Archive for July, 2004

July 22nd, 2004


Its Darren’s 30th Birthday today, but he doesn’t really want anyone to know and is planning on spending the whole day hiding in the house. And possibly salsa dancing!!!!

There will be beer over the weekend. Nothing has been organised but it will probably be Saturady in Finns, downstairs, after 10pm.

July 20th, 2004

Less Whisky…

All the whisky is gone. Donagh finished the last of it in a rather spectacular manner last Friday night, whilst demonstarting the self control and consideration of a drunken, hyperactive, six year old. And then proceeded to show absolutely no remorse on Sat evening even after a barrage of subtle yet pointed barbs.

…But I’m not bitter and I’m sure that there will be more whisky in the near future. In the very near future if I have anything to say about it. A quick trip to Southampton to visit Jamie and Hilary for the pleasure of their company seems just the thing.

In the meantime it turns out Ronan has a bottle of Highland Park, which he has been using to make hot whiskey (should that be hot whisky) with. The mind boggles!!!

Founded on these remote islands in 1798, the distillery has for two centuries produced a full-flavoured, single malt Scotch Whisky. Made from the best barley malted over burning peat from the distillery-owned Hobbister Moor; merged with waters from our own source, the Cattie Maggie spring; and aged in casks for a minimum of twelve years that shape its rare and very distinctive character.

Just the thing for Hot Whisky then.

July 12th, 2004

Paris, Whisky

Last week I was in Paris on business. I like Paris. At this time of year the weather is usually good and the streets are alive with people and activity. Not this time though!

On the plus side I brought a copy of Raw Spirit by Iain Banks. Which is a really really good book in its own right, and the only guide to alcohol I have ever read all the way through. Basically the book is a bio-graphical, anecdotal and in some places fictional account of Banks and his cronies travelling the length and breadth of Scotland searching for the perfect whisky. I can imagine no better reason to become a famous, wealthy and alcoholic author.

Being as impressionable as a retarded duckling I now have the strongest urge to visit Scotland myself and partake of the scenery, food and alcohol as seen in the book. In the meantime, the best I could do was buy a bottle of scotch. Good scotch whisky can be hard to come by in Ireland, us having our own ample supplies of whiskey, and being able to spell it properly. But Charles De Gaulle had a really excellent selection of single malts (all of which can be found in the book) and I ended up with a bottle of Talisker Single Malt.

Nev, Ronan, Edu and I had a dram over the w/e (some of us even had more than one). And we all agreed it is a most excellent whisky, even if Edu wanted to add red lemonade to his.

July 2nd, 2004

Comments seem to be working fine

Thanks to jamie for helping me out. In spite of what others might think, Jamie is quite clever!!

July 2nd, 2004

Mmmm… …Pie

I was alone in the apartment this week, so as any normal person would do. I made pie using a recipie I found on the Internet and donwloaded to my mobile phone!!

And I learned LOTS of things. Like, you really need vanilla essence (vanilla extract for USAians) to make good butterscotch, but in a pinch condensed milk will do. Also I need more practice in making pastry. And if you have a 9″ dish and a recipie that calls for a 12″ dish then even after you have tried to squeeze ALL the filling into the smaller dish you will still have a LOT of filling leftover. I didn’t need any lessons along the lines of “do not attempt to eat the cupful of butterscotch goo that is still in the fridge”. Although I don’t know what to do with a cupful of butterscotch goo. Maybe I should get a dog.

So a 9″ pie weighed down with butterscotch filling takes a lot of eating. So I brought it into UL and Ben, Ronan, Billy, Mike, Nev and Barry (especially Barry) stepped up and did their duty.

Maria was away at a conference this week and she wants me to make another pie as she missed this one. I will have to see what I can do!

Here is a picture of the pie.

July 1st, 2004

Obsession for men

Hilary writes about Harry Potter

I used to be a normal person…

and now

But I’m a changed person….. Every waking moment all I can think about is Harry POtter and what might happen to him next. Jamie describes what I do as Harry Vomit, when every word out of my mouth is about Harry and Harry related things.

Of course some of us would disagree that Hilary was ever a “normal person”. But I am not about to knock someone for reading. In fact I can offer some advice. And I can tailor it to what I think Hilary needs/would like.

Hilary wants Terry Pratchett. There is the advantage of oodles and oodles of books (see list below) written for all ages. One can hit the ground running rather slowly with “A Hat Full of Sky” and “The Wee Free Men” which are written primarily for children and hold up quite well next to Harry Potter. Then read “Good Omens” for a different style of writing.

For the discworld proper start with “Soul Music”, then “Hogfather” then “Thief of Time”. Next read “Wyrd Sisters”, “Witches Abroad”, “Lords and Ladies” then “Maskerade” (even if you don’t read any other books read “Maskerade”) and “Carpe Jugulum”. After that read “Guards Guards”, “Men at Arms”, “Feet of Clay”, “Jingo”, and the “Fifth Elephant”. At that stage the remaining books can be picked off in any order; although you should really read them as “Equal Rites”, “Mort”, “Reaper Man”, “Moving Pictures”, “Pyramids”, “Small gods”, “Colour of Magic”, “Light Fantastic”, “Sourcery”, “Eric” (illustrated if you can find it – if not I will lend you my copy), “Interesting Times”, “The Last Continent”, “The Truth” and “Monstrous Regiment”.

Once finished go back and read them all again in the order they were published so you can wacth the development of all the characters and running gags that appear more than once.

Hilary also has the added advantage that she can borrow all the books from me (I won’t miss them – I have two copies of most of them lying around somewhere). So for an initial outlay of 2-3 books the next time she visits she can depopulate my library. She may have to fight Ben and Joanne for some of them but I imagine we can work something out.

I can’t believe that I am able to list and group all the discworld novels without reference to amazon, my bookshelf or other resources. Probably I should get out more.