Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

05
Sep
11

Because

I would like to dedicate this (brief) return to blogging to the most important woman in my (and at a guess my sisters’) life … Our mother!

Most of you who will end up reading this will know her either personally as Carole or online as @kala59 but to my sisters and I she is Mom. Not Ma, not Mammy or Mam as she tried years ago to train us to say, but Mom. No it isn’t an American twang version but the way people of West Kerry say it from the Irish pronunciation. She always wanted us to call her Mam like she calls her mother but I think she secretly likes the Mom now.

There are so many things my mother has done for us and others that make us very proud of her.

She has raised (with some help from Dad who she is still happily married to 28 years later 😉 ) three happy and well grounded girls. Growing up Mom was always firm but fair (though when at the receiving end of a wooden spoon I didn’t think so!). She raised her three girls in West Kerry away from her native Dublin and her family. I know I am biased but I am pretty sure she did a good job and that all three of us are fairly decent skins. We all made it on to third level education which is an achievement I think for both parents and children. She was there for all of us through tears and a lot of phone calls home to Mom and now two who have achieved honours degrees and another is half way there (and flying it). I don’t know how she personally put up with me during those four years! We have all since upped sticks and ironically moved to where she left over 30 years ago!

One of her most recent achievements was puppy walking a guide dog in training called Harry. She had Harry by her side for over a year and having to hand him back for intensive training in Cork when he turned one. Harry, the clumsy mutt is now an assistance dog for an autistic child in Dublin and no doubt changed a young family’s life. She is over half way through round two socialising and puppy walking Quinn who I am sure will make the grade as a guide/assistant dog when the time comes!
As I type this first draft there is soon to be a new achievement. She should be almost finished her first half marathon at 52 years young despite having arthritis in her knees! UPDATE She completed it in 3 hours 43 minutes and the knee held up thanks to her buddy Difeine! Good job Mom!
But what we are recently all so proud of Mom for is her weight loss this year and how effortless she has achieved it!

Back in January Mom decided both for herself and her joints it was time to shed a few pounds. She has been down this road before as we come from a long line of “healthy” looking girls-you can’t beat genetics! She was inspired this time by Anjee Busby (@anjeebaby) who has lost a phenomenal amount of weight and looks amazing to join Slimming World. All by herself using their online resources (from the woman who couldnt use a laptop in her 40’s!) she has lost over two stone since the beginning of the year! She has gone from a size 20 to a slim 14! At the age of 51 she purchased her first pair of skinny jeans, something her daughter half her age is envious of having inherited her Grandfather’s chunky thighs! She is even starting to borrow some items and in some cases “borrow on a full term basis” from her daughters! Not only has Mom lost all this weight but she is maintaining it and still enjoying her glass (bottle!) of wine and just a few vodka and tonics 😉

Before

Before ... January 2011

After

After ... July 2011

Now with her new svelt figure she is starting to dress in brighter more fitted clothing! Gone are the long flowing, shapeless tunics and in are the waist hugging shorter tops and SKINNY jeans! She is beginning, with some coaxing to stop standing behind everyone in photos with just her head poking out! The only pity with all this weight loss is that she hasn’t had a sun holiday to show off her new curves and maybe not hide behind a sarong like she used to do! All the old swimsuits will need to be burned before her next holiday and we may hide the sarongs!

Jenny, Mom, Me and Louise

Jenny, Mom, Me and Louise

Mom,
Louise Jenny and I really are so proud of what you have done. To us you were always beautiful but now you are happier in that beauty and more importantly healthier! Because of all of the above and as a thank you for everything you have ever done and still would do for us we are bringing you to the Marina Suites in Gran Canaria for a week in January! All four of us are going and we managed to “twist” Lorraine and Nana’s arms into joining us for the week too! It is all booked so I hope your new boss gives you the time off!!

So roll on January 26th and alot of shopping in between!

PS We Love You Mom

X

12
May
10

Slán Abhaile Harry

Today I am very proud of my Mother.

As you probably already know my Mother took it on herself to “adopt” an adorable puppy to socialise him and help ready him for intensive training to one day becoming a guide dog for the blind!

Rewind one year and the adorable and tiny Harry was introduced into the Long fold at 6 weeks of age!

For the last year my Mother has had Harry by her side as he grew to strapping 7 stone (not fat!) beautiful golden labrador!

He has accompanied her everywhere in the last year from supermarkets to old folks homes. From shopping centres to public transport. He even enjoys an auld session in our local Kane’s and has been trained to order her tipple of choice, vodka and slimline tonic! 😉

She has persevered, while we taught him bad habits and let him into our beds in hopes he’d fail, with the training schedules, several walks a day and enormous poos! She has done so well that today, Harry, still shy of his first birthday, got to go back to Modelfarm Road to “Big Dogs School” where he will spend 18 months learning to be someone else’s eyes!

So tonight, spare a though for my heart-broken Mother who is lost at home not having to bring Harry “busy busy” before bedtime, not having to booby trap the kitchen from mischievous paws and not waking up to a big sloppy kiss from the loveable fool!

Mom, we are all so proud of you! Knew you’d do an amazing job! We are devastated too … but we’d be more devastated if ll your hard work had been in vain!

Well done Mom! Love you!

PS Can’t wait for the next puppy!

x

28
Mar
10

Silly

Sunday night and I can’t sleep! I am thrawling through new blogs after attending the Blog Awards 2010 last night and I stumble across “Whats the film rating of your blog?”. So I do it for the laugh.

OnePlusYou Quizzes and Widgets

It is rated such because I said kill once and murder thrice!

Naughty

x

07
Mar
10

Oops

Anyone who knows me knows I am a little less than careful with my purple blossom Inspiron 1525. This laptop is my first ever laptop, purchased in March 2008. It was purchased as my then boyfriend had a lap top I used for loading photos and loading photos. So when we broke up I need an E800 laptop for loading photos!

Well the laptop has since seen better days. I have lost nearly all the screws from the underneath but luckily Daddy Long fashioned some new screws from old screws from unused plugs! Legend he is! The screen is a bit wobbly. And the disk drive is missing a door … but it still works!

However last Wednesday my little purple friend fell form my bed to my floor/pile of clothes on the ground. I picked it up as usual, sure its taken worse hits than that! Frozen screen so I reboot.

“No Hard Disk Drive Detected”
Means Jack Shit to me! Turns out the hard disk yoke is the whole running bit of the auld laptop!

Que a panic on twitter, me with a screw driver, pleading phone calls to put said screw driver down and alot of tears!

Along comes my Knight in shining armour Mr @jonathanpurvis. Jonathon takes is on himself to attempt to repair my laptop! I hand over an embarissingly battered unit to him and hope to God the least this is gonna cost is a new hard drive! Jonathon promises to have it back within a week! Savage!

Text at 6pm “Can you take a call”. So I buzz Jonathan. Conversation goes along the lines of “The hard drive is missing/No longer in Laptop/Size of Vogues Cigarette box/Never seen this in 15years of IT/Hard drives don;t fall out/Floor of bedroom/Hopefully not shorted” and so on and so on!

Only this crap can happen to me! On arrival home from work Thursday night look what I find on my bedroom floor …

So thats a hard drive! And thanks to Jonathon Purvis it is now securely re seated in my pretty little laptop!

Cheers man, you are a legend!

26
Feb
10

Happy 21st Jen!

Today the baby of the family turns 21!

Snow in West Kerry in 1989 welcomed Jennifer Long, known only as Jenny or Jen to us, into the world. I remember the morning she was born as I had had a nightmare the night before and was in Mom and Dad’s bed when Dad told me I had a new baby sister! I was almost five at the time.

Now 21 years later she towers over me and is the spitting image of our Mom, if only she got the hair! She has turned into a little hottie, not that she believes it and she is one of the most obliging and kindest people I know a credit to my Mom and Dad! Of course she is a spoilt little brat too being the baby and gets away with murder especially with her potty mouth!

So today Happy Birthday Jenny Wren-from Lard Arse and Loopy-hope its a good one “little” sis and here’s to three very sore heads Sunday morning!

And of course Happy “Birth” Day to Mom who 21 years ago did all the hard work, naturally may I add, for the third time! I hope your head hurts on Sunday morning too!

x

23
Feb
10

Loopy’s rant…

For this one I am handing the blog over to number 2 of the Long dynasty … Louise (well the thoughts are hers-I still had to write it!)

Louise was born with a congenital cataract in her left eye. The science bit: Congenital cataracts are rare enough and are often small or not on the visual axis (line of sight) and so often don’t pose a problem to sight. Unluckily for our Louise, her cataract is a whopper and right on the visual axis of her left eye rendering that eye blind since birth. Unfortunately if a congenital cataract to this degree is not diagnosed at a very young age, typically before 2 months, there is very little to in Louise’s case nothing that can be done to save the sight as her retinal cells and visual pathways have been deprived of any stimulation of sight. So enough of the science!

But this is not what Louise’s rant is about. Louise has lived with this all her life and it has never caused her too much hassle. She occassionally bumps into stuff on her left hand side and will have to be more careful when she EVENTUALLY learns to drive. She needs to be extra careful not to injure the good eye and as kids we were never allowed play the “flick the wet tea towel” torture game! She also only needs to use one contact lens, cost saving if you didn’t have a sister who is an optician!

The reason for Louise’s rant … a rant she is very passionate about and something she wants all you normal binocular sighted people to know about is that everytime she sees a movie or anything for that matter advertised as 3D she screams in frustration, and I can vouch for that!

See Louise, along with anyone who has a lazy eye, prosthetic eye, lost vision due to accident or disease etc cannot see the effects of 3D as they aren’t viewing with two eyes or watch it in general as it looks like muck without the 3D Specs!

Who cares you may say-at least she can still see in her other eye and go see it in bog standard 2D! Yes that is optional, if the movie comes in 2D. It is optional if there is a 2D showing of the movie as was the case when we wanted to see Avatar 2D in any Dublin cinema on a Friday night some weeks ago. It is frustrating for Louise as she has to depend on others to miss a 3D experience so she can go to same movie or in some cases has missed a movie as others would not miss the 3D version! But her biggest frustration and concern is that 2D movies will be phased out or new releases will only be available in 3D marking a possible end to her cinema going days!

Her rant not only ends there as she is raging in my right ear about how 3D is now coming to sports games and TV channels ie Channel Four’s 3D week. She fears if they can bring it to TV Channels the next step is 3D DVD’s and movie nights in and our Louise is a big movie freak!

So if you are a normal sighted individual and enjoy 3D movies, think of those next time you are set up in you Woody Allen specs who cannot enjoy the experience and feel like they are missing out!

If you are someone like Louise she’d love to hear its not just her that gets upset and annoyed!

Love ya Louise and your lampy eye 😉

20
Jan
10

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.




Country bumpkin living it up in the big smoke!

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Beer o Clock-Mahina time! Brewed and bottled on Rapa Nui

Ahu Akivi, only alter inland and facing the sea

Ahu Akivi, only alter inland and facing the sea

Ahu Akivi, only alter inland and facing the sea

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