Like most people who are out of school for a few years, I despair for those kids coming through now. It seems that ever since I left all those years ago the level of education has been going downhill. Of course, when I think about it rationally I can see that this has been happening for a while and was happening while I was still in school. And the reasons for it are fairly reasonable when you consider the kind of adverts that used to feature in women’s magazines to sell kitchen appliances such as the one above. With most girls doing some for ofRead More →

Audrey the Skipping Girl sign was erected for Skipping Girl Vinegar in 1936. Her design was created by Jim Minogue in 1915, who won a competition to create a symbol for vinegar manufacturers Nycander & Co. Pty Ltd. When the factory was demolished in 1968 the sign was removed, but following a public outcry, a replica was created in 1970 and placed on the roof of the Crusader Plate factory in Abbotsford. The sign, which is one of the most loved and recognised icons of Melbourne, was switched off in 2001, after it’s owners decided to pull the plug on funding and maintenance. Following generousRead More →

I was going to buy myself a shiny new iPhone 4S last year. When they came out I had only just moved to the UK (wasn’t even aware that I was pregnant at that stage) and on a pay-as-you-go type of thing with O2. Apparently this means that with O2’s infinite wisdom, I am not a good enough customer (despite 6 years of being on O2 in Ireland) to be able to get a new phone. I have to wait until they’ve exhausted the market that is their contract base and allowed the riff-raff in. This was estimated to take 4-6 weeks. I’m still waiting.Read More →

I stumbled across this hidden doorway with it’s sculpture of Queen Elizabeth I while in London back in 2001. At the time I remember being quite in awe of the fact that here was a sculpture of Elizabeth outside of one of her palaces – for some reason it seems to me to be exceedingly rare. If I remember rightly, this was a little hidden church. The only trouble is that I have no idea where it is and despite kind of looking on subsequent trips, I’ve been unable to find her again. If you know the answer to this mystery please do let meRead More →

“A Uachtaráin agus a chairde” With these words, followed by the Irish President’s gasped “Wow!” and the 170 odd guest’s applause, Queen Elizabeth did more for Peace in Ireland than can ever be imagined. The speech that followed set the perfect tone and was, quite frankly, a masterpiece. The tone was of mutual admiration, understanding and desire to move forward. The focus was not on politics but on families and relationships – the things that really matter. In her own words, all involved were “able to bow to the past, but not be bound by it”. At the time I was a few blocks away,Read More →

From the June 1917 edition of Popular Mechanic Magazine… It strikes me that this shuttle is an early prototype for the beloved Aero, although this one does look extremely fiddly to use. Has anyone ever come across one of these in the real world? Tatting Shuttle’s Bobbin Winds Like a Reel A new tatting shuttle has several novel features. The frame is made of resilient metal and holds a bobbin which is turned by means of a small crank when thread is to be wound on it. Near one end on the inside of the frame is a channeled guideway which receives the crank whenRead More →

This evening I met up with Christian at Munich airport, which was just lovely after a couple of weeks of skyping. We headed to town, dumped our things in a hotel room and then went on to the Hofbräuhaus. Inge had been expecting to spend a weekend with Florian and was quite surprised to see Juli who had travelled up from Barcelona. Imagine her surprise then to see Christian and myself 🙂 The beer was poured, the food delivered (I had the schnitzal), the music played and we all had a lovely evening. On the way out we popped downstairs to look at the beer hallRead More →