Archive for January, 2010


101 Things You Really Don’t Need To Know About Me

For Dena, Peter and Seamus!

1. I am the eldest of three girls

2. This is my eighth year living in Dublin

3. In these eight years I have lived in Killbarrack, Griffith Avenue, Harold’s Cross and currently Santry.

4. My Mom is a qualified Chef and my Dad is a certified Horticulture Advisor. I don’t remember either of them working in their professions

5. I spent 4 years in DIT Kevin Street studying Optometry. I was conferred in October 2006 in St. Patrick’s Cathedral with an BSc (Hons) in Optometry

6. Is ón Gaeltacht i gcontae Chiarraí mé. Tá gailge líofa agam.

7. Growing up I lived on a holiday village site with 27 houses. My Dad was the on site caretaker. We all “worked” from a very young age, something that has given us strong work ethics to this day

8. My favourite colour is pink. Its my Dad’s favourite colour too

9. I prefer giving presents than recieving

10. Chris de Burgh’s “Lady in Red” reminds me of my childhood and most of all dancing cheek to cheek with my Dad

11. My official name is Amy ** *****. This is the name I use professionally and day to day. Amy Long is what I use online

12. I am afraid of the dark

13. My first car was a Peaugot 206, called Betsy I bought outright with shares I had in the Irish Permanent. My Dad now drives her.

14. I have had four boyfriends since I was 15. I have been single now for a year and a half

15. My mother suffered a long, painful birth with me on May 5th 1984 which she reminds me of regularly when I annoy her.

16. After completing my leaving cert through Irish I won one of 10 College Scholarships awarded to those from Gaeltachts who had highest marks for an Irish leaving cert.

17. I drink red wine, I like Chianti and Beaujolais the best.

18. I wear glasses, and have since I was 5years old.

19. My curly hair is inherited from my Mother. I am her only daughter with curls!

20. I have only visited the US once, when I was 15. I travelled on my own to my cousin I had met only once! It was my 3rd time on a plane. Previous two were also alone.

21. Apparantly I am small. I am 5ft 2″ with a size 3 foot.

22. I have been skiing once. After a one hour lesson I progressed to red slopes within 4 days!

23. As much as I love singing in the car I haven’t a note in my head.

24. I have a horrible fear of heights but hope to one day jump out of a plane.

25. My cooking is terrible.

26. I still use my first laptop. A Dell Inspiron 1525 I bought in April 08. There was no PC in my house prior to this.

27. I let on I was named after Amy Johnson, the first woman to fly solo Britain to Austrailia. She left Britain on May 5th, my birthday, 1930.

28. Someone once “slept walked” into my bed while I was in the nip! (@dinglesurf)

29. Under no circumstance will I eat a mushroom.

30. Since a young age I have suffered with Psoriasis. Thankfully it is mostly concealed.

31. I cried when Stephen Gately died.

32. On Christmas Day 2009 I jumped into the icy Irish Sea at Portmarnock.

33. My mother is a 6th generation Dub. My father is all Kerry!

34. I went to the Web Awards 2008 having never read a blog or having never heard of Twitter! This has changed.

35. Electric Picnic 2009 was my first festival at 25! I loved it.

36. I had two pet goldfish called Roger and Rosie as a kid.

37. I still have my childhood teddy I couldnt sleep without. A pink puppy called Poochie.

38. My favourite book is Jodi Picoult’s My Sisters Keeper.

39. My most hated feature are my legs.

40. I love Disney Princess’. Sleeping Beauty and Beauty and the Beast are my favourites.

41. I have had to get stitches once. When I was 15 on my leg after a fall from my bike.

42. My favourite food is Italian.

43. I grew up by the sea and three beaches and learned to swim in the public pool in Northside SC, Dublin!

44. My favourite food is my Mom’s Shepherd’s pie and she makes it for me when I go home.

45. I can move my ears without moving any other facial features.

46. I am forgetful-something that ages my mother! I need reminding to do the most mundane stuff! I even set my phone to remind me to go to bed early.

47. When I was fifteen I secretly got my bellybutton pierced as I was not allowed! Mom never noticed until I was twenty.

48. Growing up we had our own playground and tennis court! How posh 😉

49. Since my birth I have never stayed overnight in hopsital. I only once ever underwent general anaesthetic to have two wisdom teeth removed.

50. I have never had a wing mirror for longer than six months!

51. Turkish delight is one of my favourite sweets! And I never need to share it!

52. When I was born I had three grandparents and two great grandparents.

53. I always get asked who I support in GAA Football being from Kerry/Dublin background. There is no question, The Kingdom all the way. Monday August 3rd 2009 was a sweet sweet day.

54. My glass is usually half full.

55. Although from my stature I was a good Irish dancer in my day making my mother sit through many a Féis.

56. I have a “fang” tooth which I hate with a passion! Its apparantly endearing.

57. I can’t eat lamb. Not because I don’t like the taste but because I can smell the wool and the field when its roasting.

58. I consider my best feature to be my hair. I hated it growing up and detested both my sisters long straight hair. I now love it!

59. I am an advocate of blood donating. My father would have died before I was even a thought had he not recieved a massive blood transfusion in 1980. I attempted to donate when I was 18 but they burst my blood vessel and left my arm heavily bruised from wrist to elbow. I returned 3months later to donate my first full pint. I am Type B Rh Positive.

60. Although I am the oldest I am the shortest in my family. Something I get teased about alot!

61. I think I look hideous naked as years of psoriasis and weight gain and loss have left their toll.

62. Generally I consider myself a shy person when I meet people. Not so much when you get to know me.

63. I cheated on a boyfriend once. The guilt ate me alive. He forgave me but I will never do that again.

64. December 2008 I slipped in the bath in my new house and gave myself a whiplash injury. It gives me trouble ever since! Luckily I have an aunt who is a massage therapist! We trade babysitting privlidges for free rubs.

65. Although being accademically smart I am generally a fairly thick person.

66. Damien Rice is probably my favourite all time artist. I find his music sexy and not depressing.

67. I was born with jet black hair and frosted tips on my curls. I went blonde soon after. I developed ginger streaks at my temples as a teenager which I hate and dye whenever they re show!

68. One of my best mates and I learned the entire routine to Girl’s Aloud Sound of The Underground one Christmas. It is our party piece and we have been caught on stage on video at his brothers wedding.

69. In 2008 I celebrated a break up and 2 stone weight loss by stripping off with 2000 others for a Spencer Tunnick Installation in Dublins Docklands. Incredible experience.

70. I love the taste of raw pastry. I also like 7up on cold rice.

71. I openly cry. I am not ashamed of crying. I however don’t look pretty when I cry.

72. My worst trait is a sometimes nervous, sometimes anxious, sometimes excited and more times idiopathic red rash I get across my chest.

73. Someday I hope to travel overseas and help people in Third World Countries with my Optometry skills.

74. I don’t picture myself having a traditional white wedding.

75. I don’t practice any religion.

76. My sister Louise once knotted a comb in her hair, up to the root, right on her front hairline while I was babysitting. I spent two hours cutting each comb teeth off with a modified saw as she sobbed, to avoid cutting her hair at the root. All because I knew she’d get into trouble!

77. I can’t tolerate the smell of peaches after drinking a bottle of Peach Snapps straight when I was 17 and was hideously sick afterwards.

78. I have never ever seen any Bond, Star Wars or Indiana Jones movies.

79. My fragrance is Chanel Chance.

80. One of my most treasured possesions is a genuine pearl necklace. I got it from my next door neighbour who was akin to a grandmother to us. She gave them to me when I was too young to appreciate them. She has since passed and I treasure them very much.

81. I cannot watch scary movies. I went to see the Exorcist when it was re-released as a teen and I left the cinema about quarter the way through. I have never seen the entire movie.

82. I wouldn’t change my family for the world.

83. No matter where I am, no matter how noisey it is or how uncomfortable it is I will always be able to sleep! Its sometime a curse!

84. I think a man with a guitar is one of the sexiest things ever. Helps if he can play it 😉

85. I am pretty good with numbers and have a great memory for them.

86. I have an inability to say no to people. It gets used against me by family all the time!

87. One of the most difficult days of my life was watching my father weap at his best friends wake.

88. I have a phobia of vomiting.

89. I drink beer, wine , port, vodka, but will under no circumstance drink whiskey-yuk!

90. A couple of years ago I developed a painful foot condition called Plantar Facsitis and could not wear heels for 8months. That was a hellish 8 months.

91. Armageddon was my favourite movie as a teenager. I watched it three times in a row once-on video so no skipping scenes. I can recite the script and I still cry at the end when Harry says to A.J “Give this to Truman. Make sure Truman gets this.”

92. My lesbian crush is Holly Willoughby.

93. The day I graduated my Dad was flicking through the booklet of Graduates and Winners of Special Awards and asked in jest “Where is your award Amy?” Then I was named out as the winner of the AMO Pharmacy Award but had never been notified! What a nice surprise!

94. I talk too much.

95. When babysitting my little cousin when he was a toddler he fell and hit his head in garden. I cried more than he did. I cleaned him up as best I could but he still has a few stones in his forehead. He is now 7 and uses it against me!

96. I just asked my 9 year old cousin for this one. She gave me “Your car is always really dirty”. True!

97. In September 09 I learned to scuba dive despite my nerves and anxiety. It was the most amazing experience of my life!

98. I enjoy being an Optometrist.

99. From age of 12 to 22 I studied French! My ability to read it is not so bad, but my command of speaking it is woeful. I regret not trying to like it more.

100. My first kiss was at a school disco when I was thirteen. I was wearing a black mini and purple velvet top. His name was Dara.

101. I am happy.


Dietery Adventure aka #psychodiet!

So it’s no secret I rabbit on about my weight, ALOT! I have always been “bigger boned” and I am still waiting for “the puppy fat to drop off”! I have been described, by family, as portly, stumpy and stout! And in primary school I was called “Fats” for years! I’m not damaged or anything, but my weight is something I have always battled with being a 5ft 2″ stump who loves to eat pasta and pizza!

At my heaviest I weighed 11stone 6lbs, something I can only admit now after losing two stone, healthily, over 8 months through weight watchers, and to some degree grief! That was two years ago now, and I have let little over a stone creep back on! A lot of weight down at 1.524m above sea level!

Healthy eating since Christmas has seen me drop 4lbs-without really trying, but with a sun holiday looming in under 3 weeks I need to shift another 4 at least to risk exposing even an ankle! So along with Dena, we are doing a weird 3 day 10lb loss diet-just for shits and giggles! I’d like to mention all the food fit into one shopping basket!

Here’s my account!

Day One: I have just weighed myself and discovered the above mentioned 4lbs weight loss! I am so excited starting out until I see how much 2 teaspoons of peanut butter on one slice of toast is! The smell alone has me ralphing! I’m not sure if the gagging is down to peanut butter in general or the 1.19Euro jar of Tesco Value peanut butter! Never has black tea (with no sugar!!!!) been so tasty! I am surviving ok until my mean work ‘friends’ get souses and rolls! I work in a very small space!
So its lunch time-Yes! Another slice of dry toast and 4oz of tuna sans mayo! So 4oz is pretty small right? Like its 1/4 of a pound and new babies are like 7-8lbs and pretty small! But my weed smoking friend demonstrates really how big 4oz is-I have been deceived! Two tins of dry tuna-Oh dear God I did not sign up for this!
Dinner is again a menagerie of queer foods-cold meat, 4oz (!) of beetroot and a lot of string beans! First time I have eaten string beans and not sure I liked or disliked them! My taste buds are in shock! Dessert (on a diet!) is an apple and 4oz, yet again, of vanilla ice-cream! What a treat! It sounds great, but once again 4oz of vanilla ice-cream is stomach churning!
An evening of drinking a lot of water and certain male twits describing what they have indulged in for the evening I go to bed dreaming of battered sausages!

Day Two: It’s my day off and I am dying to sleep in! But no, I awake to an unmerciful tummy growl and insatiable hunger at 8.20am! I hold off on the mammoth breccias of toast, boiled egg and half banana with black tea till 9.30! Quite fulfilling! Willpower tested to the max mid morning as I get an invite to my aunt’s house for homemade fajitas with all the trimmings! *grits teeth* Said invite postponed to Friday-day one of no diet! I can imagine the damage I am going to do! Sour cream, guacamole … salivating at the thought!
Lunch: Barfing as I attempt to spread 4oz of cottage cheese over 5 measly tuc crackers! I try one and I’m unsure as to whether it’s the taste or the aesthetics and texture of the cottage cheese but I am gagging! So down the hatch with the cheese with a spoon! All 4 oz-that’s half a regular tub! Gag reflex put to the test! Followed by yummy tuc crackers! As I sit here now, with my black tea I never want to eat again! I think this was what this diet does to you! Makes you hate food 😦
The next 4 hours were sheer hell! I really struggled not to have a cup of tea or a small nibble on anything! My phone is looking rather tasty at this stage! In good news my bedroom is tidy-that is how much I need to distract myself!
Dinner time at last and one of the most bizarre to date (as if I have been doing this for weeks!). Two hot dogs and not with all the trimming you get on stand outside Flannery’s of a Saturday night! So my two hot dogs (jumbo cos that’s all I could find-extra obscene) are accompanied by measly amount of broccoli and carrots! Where’s me mash!? Strangely, it’s a more fulfilling meal compared to last night!

Dessert is again the dreaded large portion of frozen cream and the rest of the banana! Goes down better tonight-even better with a bottle of Coors!
hunger kicks in again about nine! Would murder a cuppa right now and a purple snack! Too early to go to bed so I spend hour and half straightening my hair just to be doing something! You know there should be food patches like Nicotine patches to help with the fidgety cravings!

Day Three: I awake after the weirdest and rather nasty long continuous never ending dream with a dull headache. Not usual for me! I am not in work until 11am so I am semi dozing dreaming of that bowl of Special K (Not even a fry or croissants!) with dark chocolate shavings I am about to have, but remember scales is in work so will have to wait until post final weigh in! I sit up and realise its not Friday and I have another day of dietery adventure ahead!
Breakfast not too bad-5tucs, an apple and a slice of cheader. I can’t complain. Its not exactly filling but its not vomit inducing peanut butter! My mood however has plumeted. I have also just realised the scenario of having gained weight in which case I will be hacking off 10lbs of limbs Friday morning! Arrived to work and was greeted with hassle! By Lunch I am ravengous and extreemely irritable! I would murder a carb right now! Lunch isnt shaping up too bad either! Boiled egg-in the kettle-and a slice of dry toast! I am actually full! I am on the late night so dinner not until after 8pm! 6-8pm I am delrious! I smell a receipt and it actually smells tasty-no joke! The last supper is rough-another shed load of tuna and beetroot and cauliflower! I shoveled it in in no order!

Dessert once again is the gigantic portion of icecream-why did I opt for cheap tesco shite? And half an enormous melon! Fecking full time job trying to eat it! I am temporarily full! 12 hours and counting to that lush bowl of Special K and a good old cuppa! I drank an unreal amount of water today to keep hunger pangs at bay so I expect a night of piddling!

Weigh Day!
Great sleep but weird dreams again involving me staying on the dry on a night out! Woke up in a sweat!
My scales is in work-can’t eat till post weigh in so I rush to work! Coat off, scarf off, watch off, shoes off, almost everything off! I am 4lbs lighter! Whoop OK so its not the promised 10lb, but I guess I wasn’t obese to start with! Its a very good start though and it didn’t kill me to eat the above diet for three days and I could do it again as a kick start to a normal diet plan!

So ya it was a bit extreme and I know its not a healthy way to lose long term weight! But 4lb shifted before my hols is 4lb less than I put on! Also, today I cut out all snacks as normal healthy food seemed so filling. And most important progress I now tolerate tea with no sugar! A massive saving of calories to me!

Thanks to all who listened to the moaning on Twitter! No food tweets for a LONG time!



Twenty Ten … A Great Start

I am just home from The Kingdom where I had a fabulous begining to my new year and new decade!

Last moment I decided to, impossibly try catch the last train to Kerry on New Years Eve and risk being stranded in Tralee/Killarney as weather depended on my Rents collecting me! (Cheers Mom and Dad!) This was, shamefully, my first trip with Irish Rail since 2006 and what a pleasure it was! Train was on time! Reserved seats with two power sockets meant Twitter and The Princess Bride were my entertainment! Accompanied by some contraband red wine in a coke bottle and the last blue moon till 2028 and lunar eclipse all the way it was very pleasant! I shall do it again!

I made it home, thanks to Mom and Dad, in one piece, where we rang in the New Year in our local with one of my sisters and lots of friends! Fantastic, bar the impressive tumble I took at the end of the night! Sure wouldn’t be a night out with Amy without some bruising and a broken nail!

As great and all as spending New Years with the family was, the highlight of my weekend was my trip to Scandanavia on the Dingle Peninsula!

Sunday 3rd, a wee bit delicate, Jen (@jennylong89) and Ben (@dinglesurf) and I decided to walk up one side of the Conor Pass, the longest mountain pass in Ireland. Four kilometers, uphill, 400 metres high at top this was more exercise I had done than all the exercise of last decade combined .. that is me done so for the next ten 😉 In just two hours we entered an unfamilar world in Ireland, let alone West Kerry! Ben even commented “Wow it looks so real!”, thats how unfamilar it seemed it must have been fake!

Here are some (amateur to say the least!) piccies as words cannot explain the peace, beauty and surreality we felt!

Happy New Year and Happy 2010!


Country bumpkin living it up in the big smoke!

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