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Monday, January 30, 2006

I'm leaving on a jet plane......

Well guys I'm off on business to Europe - fantastic except that anyone who travels on business knows that it ain't a bleedin holiday and if you manage to get out for a good meal with some pleasant company on a trip that is about the height of the excitement. Then of course, there is the never-ending puzzle of what actually constitutes hand luggage with the various airlines, something that can complicate the whole issue.

It seems that Ryanair is fast approaching the point where you will only be welcome to travel with them if you carry just one spare set of underwear but at least they currently have fairly okay cabin baggage allowances (except if you happen to board in an airport where Servisair are checking you in and then they'll practically take out a tape measure to ensure that everything is just so, not a millimeter or gram more or less than the stipulated weights or dimensions!). However some of the more traditional airlines stipulate 5/6kg for hand luggage - which is fine if you are bringing a suitcase as well but if, like me, you want to avoid baggage check-in like an unwanted STD, then you'll only be bringing hand luggage.

Now I specifically bought one of those tiny hand luggage suitcases with a voucher I got for Christmas and when I say tiny, I mean tiny. It was chosen because it says on the label that it conforms to most airline dimension requirements for hand luggage. Working out the dimensions does my head in so I hope the label is right. Anyway, I doubted if I could manage to fit enough clothes in to cover a four night trip but I decided to try yesterday - and I did it! I managed to squeeze the suit, the requisite number of Bridget Jones knickers, some casual wear and a pair of shoes into the thing - in fact I turned it into a veritable tardus! Fantastic!! I had been very careful with the toiletries, packing the bare minimum as I reckon they usually add a fair bit of weight, but despite being very careful the thing still weighs between 9 and 10kg (had to use my bathroom scales so can't be 100% accurate).

Now under 10kg would be fine if I was travelling all the way with Ryanair / Air France or American Airlines but seeing as I have to fly with more than one operator, one of them being British Airways I could be in trouble. My question is how do you pack lightly enough to ensure that your teeny tiny hand luggage bag weighs less than 6kg and still manage to have enough clean clothes for a four night trip???? Answers on a postcard please... I mean the case itself weighs a good percentage of 5kg. So if anyone has the perfect solution as to exactly how little you need bring to be able to bring it as hand luggage please share your secrets.

Out of interest the following are the allowances for a standard economy trip (might be going on business but the company don't fly me business class!!) with various airlines:
  • British Airways 5/6kg (plus any big duty-free bags etc will also count)
  • Aer Lingus 6kg
  • Cityject 7kg
  • British Midlands 7kg + laptop
  • Finnair 8kg
  • Ryanair 10kg
  • Air France 12kg -
  • American Airlines 18kg - the winner!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Won't be travelling by train in China then!!!

Remind me, if I ever get to visit China, to never, ever, ever travel by train there!

"CHINESE new year is just days away and loved ones are going home for a reunion in the biggest movement of humanity on earth.....Adult nappy sales are soaring - up by 50pc in some parts of southern China - as migrant workers prepare for 30-hour train journeys with no chance of a trip to the lavatory. Li Tingting (30) learnt the hard way. She remembers climbing over thousands of travellers as she searched for a toilet."
© Irish Independenthttp://www.unison.ie/irish_independent/ & http://www.unison.ie/

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

A Bridget Jones Moment

Quick update, previous paralysing panic attacks have subsided a little and am now having a slightly Bridget moment:

24th Jan 2006

Weight - fat
Cigarettes - not enough as still in work
Alcohol - as soon as I get home
Men - none considering my boss or dad don't count

Am feeling slightly pleased with self, as I, Curly K, employee extraordinaire, have just managed to write a strategic policy document about a subject of which I have virtually no knowledge. (Note to self; must continue to be such a fantastic genius!!!) (Further note to self; might not be such a genius after all, isn't that how all strategic policy documents are written???)

Ahhhh! So much to do, so little time!

So I'm currently having on of those day, don't know if you know what I mean but it just seems that every little minute detail of every single stupid thing I have to do in the next six months is spinning through my head. When I say spinning, I mean spinning, to the point that I've only just begun my panic attack about item 1, when item 2 that is also, apparently critically urgent, pops in, moves item 1 to the side and kick-starts a whole new panic attack. Does anyone else ever feel like this or am I just mental??? (Answers on a postcard please!)
Maybe if I write down the list here it will ease the situation, so here goes;
  • Finish report one, which is in draft form, for work
  • Decide what clothes etc. I need to take on my forthcoming work trip (I always aim to travel as light as possible) and ensure all the clothes that I need to bring are clean and ready to go
  • Start three other reports for work that are way, way, way overdue
  • Clean my house from top to bottom (as I've mentioned before housework ain't my forte in life) before Kim & Aggie seriously come to visit
  • Write a reference that someone asked me for ages ago
  • Visit my friends that live up the country and I haven't seen in too long
  • Attend for a necessary blood test that is at least two months overdue
  • Do a serious de-clutter on my wardrobe and everywhere else
  • Get my car door fixed (not my fault, some blind prat reversed into me!)
  • Change my mortgage to obtain better rate of interest (better get someone who could be bothered to understand all that double dutch about interest rates to come with me)
  • Find someone who could be bothered to understand all that rubbish about interest rates
  • Trade-in my car for a newer model
  • Call a plumber / fix-it person to repair the boiler, install my oven (it's a long story but suffice to say I don't bake a lot!!), repair what I suspect is leak in my attic, put up a blind and some shelve (oh and ALL my photos and pictures) and fix my outside light.
  • Get someone to redesign some of the storage in my kitchen, whoever designed the current one obviously has never stood in a kitchen - it just doesn't work!
  • Get the window cleaner and chimney cleaners in
  • Ensure guttering is mended and cleaned
  • Buy a dishwasher
  • Buy a garden shed
  • Buy a new computer
  • Plant my garden for the spring
  • Go to the physio for my back as advised by the bleedin doctor
  • Lose weight
  • Get healthy
  • Give up the cigarettes
  • Try to meet a funny, charming man with a mind and personality

I've written just those few things in less than a minute and a half and my head is still spinning. Am now panicking that I need to become more organised - AHHH! I give up.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Lovely day

Lovely day, lovely day, a lovely day!!!
Those words are going around in my head right now 'cos it's bright outside. Are we at last seeing the beginning of the end for the endless dark, dreary days that signify an Irish winter. Please God, I don't think I can take many more of those dreary days. Am convinced I suffer from that SAD thing so look out summer here I come!

Is the Paul McKenna CD having other side-effects?

Just quick note to self, I actually began to think about giving up the ash / fags / cigarettes at the weekend. Haven't really ever considered it at any deep level except once years ago when I managed about three months off them. Perhaps the CD is making me want to become healthy in more ways than just food! Will ponder this thought and come back to you!

This Paul McKenna thing has to work!!!

Just another quick update re the Paul McKenna programme. Haven't yet dropped a dress size (of which I have many I could lose) nor has anyone dropped in front of me in wonderous awe at my svelte beauty so a bit more work to do I think. However, having just read Twenty's thoughts on obesity there surely has to be more urgency in the whole situation!

Didn't manage to keep putting the knife and fork down between bitefuls but I did manage to say no to apple tart, rhubarb tart and several other treats over the weekend so that's a start.

Tragic stabbing at the weekend

I just wanted to comment on the terrible, vicious, unprovoked attack which led to Amy Farrelly's death in Cavan at the weekend. What is our world coming to when our youth are stabbing people. Apparently, according to the Sunday World, Amy had given evidence against another guy who had not only seriously assaulted her but had also stolen her car not once but twice. The implications of Amy's death are atrocious from start to finish, most importantly her family and friends have lost a loved one who was only beginning her precious life. What an absolute waste, their loss must be unbearable. You have to deeply moved by the thought of her little two year old son. My deepest sympathy goes to them all, I will be keeping them in my thoughts and prayers.

But I also have to say that family of the guy who carried out the attack will also be in my thoughts and prayers. Their world must also be in chaos, how do they ever come to terms with the consequences of their loved one's actions. I hope their true friends rally around them at this terrible, terrible time.

Outside the brutal loss of Amy's family, the shattering chaos that has come into the lives of the family of the guy who carried out the attack there are also more sinister reprecussions for society as a whole. What happens when the guy Amy gave evidence against gets out of prison?? Who will give evidence against him again? It is truly frightening. Whilst I hope the full force of the law will be brought to bear on Amy's murderer, I doubt anything can or will be done with the guy who she gave evidence against. This could and probably will be the biggest tragedy/misjustice to come out of Amy's tragic loss.

What else can you say? My thoughts are with both families - the world is gone mad.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

EUREKA!! (incl Paul McKenna Update)

Just thought I'd gloat a little as I've managed to tidy up some of the mess that this blog had become as well as managing to get post titles back. Whilst these are not major achievements in any real sense, fuck it, I'm delighted 'cos I'm starting to get the hang of customising a blog!

By the way short update in relation to following the Paul McKenna weightloss programme - I have not yet turned into a Christina Ricci or Paris Hilton look a like (shockingly enough considering my good strapping big boned Irish body!!!). However, I am feeling a lot more positive about myself in general (one of the points on the CD) and I have definitely become more conscious of what and how much I am eating but in a good way. I am not obsessed about it but much more conscious in a relaxed and healty way. We'll see how it goes but it's certainly easier and lasting longer than previous futile resolutions to begin going to the gym etc. I bloody hate Gyms! Further updates to follow.

Monday, January 16, 2006

A lot done - a lot more to do!!

So I've now managed to get a photo or two up and I think I may even have been able to successfully tag some posts - I am slowly getting there!!! This blogging mallarkey gets more complicated the more you get into it. Still don't have a clue what a lot of it means but am simply following links on sites and working through the obvious processes on them. Not bad for someone with absolutely no techy training.

Browsing the web today and was delighted to hear in the Irish Independent that the HSE has agreed to continue to pay for a nanny for the Cassidy Quintuplets down in Wexford. Can only summise that it is very difficult at the best of times trying to raise five children at once without the added worry of a meagre bit of funding from the government withdrawn so happy days to the Cassidys.

P.S. if anyone is considering having Quintuplets (are you MENTAL???) you should log on to the The Twins and Multiple Births Association to get the full skinny on how difficult that would be!

Friday, January 13, 2006

Blogging - the technical ins and outs of how to do it well?

Seeing as I am a complete technical novice in relation to this blogging mallarkey I reckon it's going to take me sometime to get a blog as technically good as some of the good ones I've encountered in my very short blogging life (Twenty Major et al - you guys know who you are!) Simple things like how I get proper titles (as per the template) on my posts have thus far confounded me (answers on a postcard pleeease!!) which is frustrating to say the least.

Still don't know about photos, catagorising etc. and to be fair I need to read the advice on Blogger but know this will take time. Not doing too bad at this stage, I think, to have managed to get a blog up and even to have begun inserting links but am completely lost in relation to connections, plugins, wordpress etc but I will get there.

If anyone has some amazingly simple tips send them my way - always open to learning and cogging!

Is Paul McKenna a genius??

Watched Paul McKenna's new show on Sky One last night and was delighted, nay delirious with the fact that the great man says I can eat what I like and still lose weight!!! He gives four golden rules for weight loss and achieving a healthy attitude to food;
  1. When you're hungry - EAT
  2. Eat what you WANT
  4. When you're full - STOP

Lose weight

© Henning Buchholz on Stock.XCHNG & Henning Bucholz

The rules seem almost too simple to work but therein could lie the genius. Have decided to give it a go and see where it takes me. Have to confess I had bought his book about weightloss before Christmas and whilst I still haven't read it I had listened to his CD that comes with the book a couple of times. Definitely found myself thinking about what I was eating after listening to it so have decided to listen to the CD regularly and follow the programme. Will keep you posted - not expecting to look emaciated like Paris Hilton et al anytime soon but it can't do any harm - can it??

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Thank God Christmas is over!

Didn't think I'd ever say that but Jesus all the food, drink etc. just gets too much after a while. I did manage to have a fairly quiet and respectable Christmas (despite my best efforts!) but I still need a serious de-tox! Too many G & Ts, too much wine, too many cigarettes, too much good food - the list goes on.
Designated smoking area
© Bill Sarver on Stock.XCHNG

However I did manage to behave disgustingly well at the Christmas work get together - just had well over the recommended daily allowance of alcohol and cigarettes whilst remaining one of the relatively sober ones (relatively being a relative term if you know what I mean!!) Also attended another few parties since last posting and succeeded in putting away a small distillery worth of booze but didn't manage to do anything inappropriate with any eligible men so nothing new there then!

Got some lovely Christmas presents (notwithstanding that I picked half of them myself via the mammy - you know how it goes - sibling 1 phones the mammy and asks her to find out subtly what I want for Christmas, the Mammy then asks directly what I want with the instructions not to let on to sibling 1 that she has actually asked me directly what I want. The process was repeated at least twice this Christmas so can't exactly say I was surprised by the majority of my presents. However there was one exception, a friend who bought a beautiful piece of bling for me that turns out to be the perfect present, something you really like but would never have bought for yourself.

Seeing it's the New Year all that resolution crap starts again for another week or two. I have made a decision this year not to make a New Years Resolution in relation to something I will give up but rather to try to have a positive resolution as to something I will take up. This is as far the resolution has gone thus far. Whilst I would love to resolve that I will take up exercise or healthy eating I am realistic in that I'm more likely to win the lotto than to actually stick to either of those resolutions.

So in summary Christmas 2005 went relatively well, finishing off a not too bad year. The highlights of 2005 have to be as follows;
  • Passed my driving test - FIRST TIME - probably the best achievement of my life so far - the freedom - I LOVE IT!
  • Managed to complete a college course whilst working
  • Successful completion of that course, a social life and sheer laziness have led me to be eligible to have Kim & Aggie around to clean the house (2005 - the year I discovered I am crap at housework!)
  • Lost weight
  • Found love
  • Lost love (actually I didn't lose it like dropping something in the supermarket, more like I was dropped!)
  • Got a new hairstyle
  • Have managed to become a customer of a beauticians (at a certain age you need to give in to the fact that it takes a little more work!