What came first- the chickens or the blog?

Sleeping through the Performance

To say I’m devastated would be an understatement.  Last night, while I lay sleeping, the light show of the decade took place in the heavens above our own little coop. And I slept though it.

Those of you who follow my blog will know of my long standing desire to see the aurora borealis, or Northern Lights. I even blogged about it in my post “Northern Lights” several years ago. They don’t often appear in their glory above our damp little island, but last night they put on the show of a lifetime.  Greens, purples, Reds, light columns, the full works. The first thing I knew about it was when I looked at everyone else’s Facebook posts and photos this morning. 

I’m so disappointed. But enjoying all the stunning photos nevertheless.  I feel like I didn’t get an invitation to a party that I wasn’t even aware was happening in my own home. Gutted.

In other news however Mr G and I got up close with a true star last week when the wonderful Adele started her 104 date world tour here in our city! We stood with all the young folks right at the very front and were rewarded with being so very close and witnessing her superb voice and wonderful soulful songs in person. 

So instead of the Northern Lights tonight ladies and gentlemen I give you my photos of Adele…. 


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Travelling for ten days with only one trainer…my fake statuses for 2013

So, today is the first day of 2014. Instead of some insightful meditation on the past and a hopeful reflection on the future as I take down the Christmas decorations and visit the bottle bank I am just going to post a bunch of screen shots assembled from the What Would I Say? app, which takes statuses from your Face Book history, mixes them up and creates new ones. This is hilarious and should come with a warning that it is an Internet Black Hole from which I may never emerge. You should go to there. But first, read these fake/yet strangely based in reality “statuses” from me. (I realise that I do try to avoid too much personal info on my Gillybirds blog, but this seemed to be too good an opportunity to visit life here at Gillybirds Manor as if through Alice’s Looking Glass – slightly twisted, but ringing true!)

Some modest declarations –
think I may never reappear. Hello Creativity!
And yet more modest
selling my beautiful unique hand crafted cards (this sounds like a genuine post)
delighted that my hair is so Azebijan
it’s so classy

Healthy Recipe suggestions-
You’ll laugh, you’ll scoff, but yummy chicken
number 4 hour making Katsura curry
tasted fab, must try the Yemen.
just call me with mushy peas. Lush!
we were having a consolatory Curly Wurly for breakfast
It is no wonder that Fitches got heartburn again

I appear to have developed a passion for endurance Zumba
yesterday I was the sister of doing a fairly decent cup of Zumba
second hour of Zumba mates
my goodness.
number four of my Zumba first though
….sounds exhausting!

And for poetic reflections
forgive me, I will get the utter joy of all the snow

apparently a cuddle from the sky today

And some surprisingly accurate observations on my lifestyle
sunshine, kettles crisps and craft day booked for a speedy recovery
sounds like my kind of medicine alright.
not easily entertained by Sebastian Faulkes.
anyone else thinking about the wine at the bottom of the truck
it was a mug of tea.
crash helmet and dad were there.
Oops. Sounds serious.
get in with some piercings
looking out for the persistent tapping of tea.
Yes again.
Sparkly shoes swapped for something decent.
Sad. 😦
selling my son Peter.
Obviously a bad day.
too early with family.
Another bad day.
have a duvet day.
Always good advice.
smells like a rhino
.. That must have been an all time low.

And my diary was packed with entertainment –
well that’s that, at short notice we arranged a performance of Handel’s Messiah
with the exception of an enormous spider almost a performance at the Royal Albert Hall of patė.
Sounds entertaining!
it was a pretty rockin’ evening at church.
Nothing new there!
Katie may have dislocated her heated rollers so we ate it
downhill from the very beginning but sadly no Grey’s Anatomy available.
Sigh. No Dr McDreamy…

A difficult holiday-
travelling for ten days with one trainer. Nice to be back.

And some very interesting Christmas activities
Turkey and friends also without missing the craic of us
Merry Christmas and Happy Feet and no wee Danish pastry and made me long climb home
bad news rain is the Christmas music for sick children
note to catch plane to watch Father Christmas, Elf and the Snowman

Tips for today’s technology
free wifi at the facilities by candle light
remember oven gloves when your car and my iPhone still dead

References to dogs and hens
hens have no idea what a rotten day
good news. Rain coat walking dog on a wee belly today
you can talk and see how many chickens….vague

And finally….
has discovered the joy of finding it
we were the original Cheeky Girls you know</em
it’s so classy
pics will follow. So the Fitch
please ignore blog post. How long list and checking it..
Too true. Thank you for reading
Happy New Year!

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Virtual Farming

Since getting into Facebook 4 years ago I found myself completely caught up in the black hole known as “virtual farming” , specifically FarmVille. I’m not exaggerating, I loved it. Building a wee farm, growing and harvesting crops, harvesting farm animals, expanding the farm, breeding virtual piglets and lambs of all hues, and of course, plenty of virtual hens who laid daily without fail. And never needed cleaned out.


In March 2010 85 million Americans were playing FarmVille, out of 400 million total Facebook users. On the surface, it seems a harmless, even beneficial, game, encouraging social networking, budgeting and planning. While these farming games appear harmless, a nostalgic virtual trip to a rural idyll unspoilt by pesticides, natural disasters and welly-sucking muck (rather than shoot’em up nuke the enemy computer games so loved by the Gillyboys), FarmVille rendered me almost completely unproductive in the real world while there were crops to be harvested and cows needing milked. Sometimes on an hourly basis. FarmVille worked best when I could fit it into bite-sized slots in my busy life. I’d pop in, harvest my crops, think about my timetable, plant some more, go through my water, feed my animals, then craft and sell whatever I could. It felt satisfying and strategic, maximizing my time and resources to get the best possible yield. I had a pretty, growing, thriving successful farming business.
It got even worse with the arrival of the ipad. However, during Lent last year I left my virtual fields fallow and hung up my digital farming overalls, and the rest is history. I left my smiling farming avatar with her pigtails, freckles and gingham overalls standing alone surveying the decline of my agricultural empire.
Now I have my real live hens to tend to, fitting their care into my busy day, I have no freckles, no pigtails and not a shred of gingham, but there is a permanent trail of Irish muck from garden to kitchen and the satisfaction of collecting real tasty eggs when the hens deign to lay them, depending on their feed, the prevailing weather conditions and numerous other unknowns!

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