Share your World 2014–Week 11

These are Cee’s questions this week:

  • If you were an ice cream cone how many scoops and flavors would you be and why?
  • Are you left or right handed?
  • Before making a phone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say?
  • How many rings before you answer the phone?
  • Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

If you were an ice cream cone how many scoops and flavors would you be and why?

I would be a Ben and Jerry triple sundae comprised of Cherry Garcia, Karamel Sutra and Scotchy Scotch Crunch, with hot chocolate sauce, cream and chocolate sprinkles.

Why? Because it’s the perfect sundae.

Are you left or right handed?

I started out right-handed.  Because of tendon damage from an over-zealous fencing partner a while back, there are some things I now have to do with my left hand.   If I’d known how convenient it is to have the computer mouse in my left hand, leaving my right hand free to write notes, I’d have started doing it long ago.

Before making a phone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say?

Absolutely.  A large part of my work is customer support. If I want to do my job properly, I will have researched and rehearsed the solution to whatever the enquiry is so I can give a good useful answer, quickly

How many rings before you answer the phone?

That depends on whether it is in work or at home.  In work, we don’t let it get past two rings if we can help it.  At home I am happy to let it  ring out forever. As I mentioned in previous posts – I’m not that fond of this contraption.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Hmmm… I managed to divest The Diva of the overly shaggy carpet she fondly believes of her coat in one day, which is a huge improvement on the last three-day marathon we engaged in.  She’s not entirely happy about being groomed – she has made a number of posts on this topic on her own blog.


I’m looking forward to a half-day on this coming Friday and a day off on Monday, because I need to use up some annual leave before the cut-off date on March 30.  It’s also coming up to pay-day and due to the demise of Adolf the Oranda, I have a 60 litre aquarium to populate, so I will be bringing the dogs to visit their pals at Artane Aquatics to find some new finny friends.

Share Your World 2014 – Week 11Roundup

Weekly Writing Challenge: Power of Names


Some years ago I worked in the admissions/student support section of an English language school.  Unsurprisingly, we had students from all corners of the world and it was necessary for us (and them) to understand how naming could be different from culture to culture.

Like many Irish people who have a traditional Irish name, I am often amused, and sometimes offended, by the difficulties non-Irish have with pronouncing them.  One of my colleagues was called Gráinne (pronounced Graw-nya) but the majority of the students referred to her as “Grainy”.

I was not surprised when the American TV series “Ringer” was cancelled after one season – the star was unable to pronounce the name of the character she played (Siobhán, properly pronounced as shiv -awn). If one more person calls me “Dearrdreeeee” (à la  Coronation Street),  or Deedrah or spells my name “Deidre”, I will not be responsible for my actions.  Get it right, please… it’s deer-dreh.

Then there are the the international permutations of the Muslim Prophet’s name:  which is transliterated as Mohammad (primarily in Iran and Afghanistan), Muhammad (in Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, and Malaysia), Muhammed (Arab World, primarily in North Africa),Mohamed, Mohammed, Mohamad and Muhammad (Arab World), Muhammed, Muhamed (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Muhammed, Muhamed, Muhammet, or Muhamet (Turkey and Albania). (from

My niece, @urbanfoxe worked in Qatar as a junior school teacher and was often non-plussed when, after school, the mums/nannies would turn up in full abaya and mask, to collect their little Mohamed, or Mohammed.

Getting back to my language school days.  One of my first surprises  while working there was, having followed the Spanish Ministerio de Educación ruling that their scholarship students must never share a host family with another Spanish speaker, on the grounds that it would interfere with their English language immersion programme, we received a complaint that, (for the sake of this is not his real name) “Juan Alberto  Garcia Rodriguez”, was not placed in a host family with (again, a made up name) “Rafaela Adriana Rodriguez Garcia” – turns out they were sister and brother, and their parents wanted them to be together.   Quite often in Spain, I learned, the father’s surname is placed first and the mother’s second, for a boy, and for a girl, it’s the other way around.

I also had all the fun of attending at the airport to meet and greet a student from China who had missed one of his flight connections.  This led to me hanging about the arrivals hall in Dublin Airport for several long hours one Friday night, holding a sign that said “Wong Wei”.

East Asian students liked to adopt a European-sounding name for their sojourn in Ireland.  They often chose a name that represented something or somebody that was important to them.  Some of the names were lovely, for example a young lady called herself Peace and a male student called himself Happiness.  Happiness supported his studies by working at the school as a handyman, while Peace joined the office staff for work experience.  This led to many bemused looks from visitors to Reception when we were heard to ask questions like “Did anybody see Peace today?” or “Where is Happiness?”

To go off on another tangent – the naming of pets.  I’ve got five furries here,  all adopted as adults, so I didn’t name any of them.  They all arrived “pre-named”.   The only thing I changed was the spelling of Izzy’s original name – she was originally called Issey Miyake (after the perfume).  She is so dedicated to more, shall we say, natural  aromas (e.g. badger poo) that it had to be the worst misnomer in canine history. Little Jet-Black is actually Little Very Dark Brown Stripes With Flecks Of White Here And There, but that’s more name than he will listen to. The last pet I got to name was Floyd. I only called him that because my mum could not face the idea of the neighbours hearing her calling “Geronimo” in for his dinner every day.

When I was small, we used to have a collie called Flash.  At the time there was a radio commercial for a cleaning product also called Flash.  It involved a loud jingle which went “all around the house, all around the house, spring clean with FLASH!” The jingle ended on a crescendo and and he would invariably come running to find out who had called him.  To make matters worse, the only word our budgie ever spoke was Flash  and he repeated it endlessly– the poor dog sometimes didn’t know if he was coming or going.

More years ago than I care to mention here, I used to date a chap called Tim.  We had a mutual friend called Shelley.  Time went on and everybody drifted apart, but occasionally, one or both of them would drop by to say Hi!

In the space between one of these visits, I adopted my much-loved beautiful collie, The Elder Statesman – who was given his real name by my nephew. Being a fan of the Enid Blyton “Famous Five” books at the time, he was called Tim.   Around the same time, my brother and his family moved in, bringing their lovely lady collie, called Shelley.  I had nothing to do with it.   Both dogs being rather boisterous, whenever anybody called to the house, there would be much shouting of “SIT, Tim” and “DOWN, Shelley”.  So just imagine what the two chaps thought on their next visit.

You might enjoy the article where I found the picture I used for this post:  When names get ridiculous

Weekly Writing Challege: Power of Names

100 Words #369: Leather Chair


In our box of family photographs there are dozens and dozens of  black and white studio photographs like these of my cousin Frank, aged 6 months, perched on a leather chair, and 3 year old me with my big brother.


Every year, copies of these photographs would circulate among the aunts (always the aunts!) with carefully written messages and dates, which means all 21 of us have got copies of the same collection.

I wonder if, in fifty-three years, any of my cousin’s kids will be able to reach into Facebook and grab a copy of each other’s baby pictures?

100 Words #369

Daily Prompt: Pour Some Sugar on Me


What is your favorite sweet thing to eat? Bread pudding? Chocolate chip oatmeal cookies? A smooth and creamy piece of cheesecake?

No hesitation here – for me, the epitome, the nirvana, the apex, the most wonderful, fabulous, irresistible, sweet thing to eat is a chunk of moist, crumbly carrot cake.


Not for me the neat square or the tidy cup-cake. No fake marzipan carrots or artificial cream cheese topping. If it cuts into a neat square, it isn’t carrot cake.  If it’s in a little paper cupcake case, then it’s a cupcake, not the genuine article.  Grated or shredded chocolate on top is the work of Satan.

It’s got to be the kind of cake that is so moist and packed with carrot, orange and walnuts that it  falls apart a little when it’s cut, the three primary flavours of  can be distinctly tasted, the cream cheese topping must also taste of oranges. The texture of the shredded carrot and the crumbled walnuts should be distinguishable and the orange should zing on your tongue.

Over the years, I’ve made it a point to try the carrot cake in every city I’ve visited.  Surprisingly, the Paris test, which one would expect to be the pinnacle of pattiserie, was a huge disappointment.  Lucky for me, a cafe just round the corner does a really nice version, but I found the ultimate, finest, most supreme and perfect candidate in Cairo.


Daily Prompt: Pour Some Sugar on Me

Favourite Carrot Cake picture from Cooking in Mammy’s Kitchen Square Carrot Cake from Centre State Foods and  Carrot Cupcakes from BBC

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