Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Driving practice

Monday route on

I hadn't done any driving in a week, having been busy with other stuff for the first part of the week, and the rest of it was so rainy that I didn't feel like going anywhere at all. So, it was time to take Esmeralda somewhere, on Monday.

I needed to practice the dreaded town traffic stuff, so I just drove to Woodies car park, and actually found the loading area in the back to be perfect for that kinda practice. And it did help.

After doing enough back and forth stuff, I would have felt like going somewhere out of town (Roundwood or such), but D didn't have time for that. As he needed to visit a place on Vevay Road that's very awkward for parking, he drove us there, and home after that.

Tuesday route (part 1) on

Yesterday, I wanted to do some Fun Driving (=out of Bray). D needed to drop a computer somewhere, so I went to N11 and took the first exit after Glen of the Downs, then getting briefly back to N11 on the other side, only to turn ~180° here;

View Larger Map

(Not sure if the above Street View works or not.. It's supposed to show the dodgy turn, and I've re-copied the code several times now, from Google Street View, and it works fine on their tool, yet doesn't seem to work here in my blog - I don't have any problems with the next Street View widget - scroll down.. - so I can't figure out why this one gets fucked up in the blog!)

As I didn't remember exactly where the house was where we were going, and their drive is very narrow as well, I stopped in front of a nearby pub, and D drove us from there to the house.

Tuesday route (part 2) on

I continued driving from there, heading to Roundwood. I had a tractor moment, which went well =) We decided to go to Victoria's Way (the Indian sculpture park), but I hadn't had any breakfast, so I went to Roundwood first, to get something from Centra. I was a bit worried about the tight turn from Main Street to the car park behind Centra, but it went fine. D drove us to Victoria's Way, though, as I was destroying my breakfast sambo.

Shiva.. (I'll upload more photos later..)

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Victor was mowing the huge lawn, so we didn't get a chance to ask him about the new white stupa (?) on the island.. Maybe next time.

Tuesday route (part 3) on

I drove us back home, and had my first garda check point on Upper Dargle Road =D I don't have the motor tax yoke yet, because I'm still waiting for the log book after buying Esmeralda, but he didn't even ask to see any paperwork or anything, he just told me to sort it =)

I wasn't actually stressed about N11 at all, yesterday. In fact, heading out of Bray, I was almost relieved to get to N11 :o

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

I'll just quickly... yeah, right!

I was doing late night laundry, washing my old hippie bag with some clothes.. I felt really tired, and just waited for the wash to be done, so I could go and quickly hang the clothes in the garden and go to bed.


I went to the kitchen and started emptying the washing machine.. I opened the kitchen door, and saw that Oimo and Ringo were chillin' on the lawn, in the back garden. Ringo got a bit of a fright when I opened the door, and ran to the other side of the garden. Ginga appeared out of nowhere.. Suddenly, I had three hungry cats, waiting for food..

I dropped what I was doing, and took two cat bowls (for Ginga and Ringo who eat outside), dividing a pouch of wet food and some dry food between the two bowls. I took the bowls out, and noticed that Oscar and Pushy had also appeared out of nowhere..

Pushy ran in to the house, and I grabbed Oimo, who was heading towards Ginga's food bowl - Oimo needed to get his antibiotic, so I couldn't let him eat other food, at that point..

I left Ginga and Ringo out with their food bowls, and as Oscar lives next door, I didn't feed him as he should get fed by his owner/s.

I then broke Oimo's antibiotic pill to a small amount of wet food (we have a system where I give the pill with some food first, and once he's eaten it all, he gets the rest of the pouch with no meds in it - it usually works fine), gave it to him, and gave Pushy some wet food, after he'd already finished eating some leftovers..

I needed to watch Oimo, to make sure that he eats the pill, instead of spitting it out all over the place when I'm not looking.. (He's usually good, but I think that those pills taste as bad as they smell, so sometimes he tries me..) However, at this point, I noticed that Ringo was behind the kitchen door, looking miserable; "I didn't get any food, Oscar's taken my food.."


I quickly gave Ringo some dry food as I had to keep watching Oimo, so didn't really have the time to open a new wet pouch, find a bowl for it, etc..

Eventually, I got back to emptying the washing machine and hanging the clothes out to dry. I was on barefoot in the dark garden, and stepped on at least three slugs - it gives me the creeps when they go *splat!* between your toes.. Eeewwwww..

Pushy probably sneaked up to the attic, after finishing his food. I saw Oimo trying to open the front door, which was locked, at this point.. He noticed that he couldn't open it, so he just stayed there, sitting and looking at me, looking miserable.. "I want to go to the porch..."


I went to let him to the porch, explaining that I was planning to go to bed, so I'd want to lock the front door and he'd have to come in soon..

After I'd finished hanging the clothes, I went to see if he'd come in, but no.. He didn't want to.. So, I left him on the porch and just left the security chain on, so that Oimo could get in when he wanted to, but if anyone else tried to, we'd at least hear it. (He has since come in, though.)

After all that, I wasn't that tired anymore! =/

PS, in case anyone's reading this and doesn't know; only Oimo and Thatsit are our cats. Ginga and Pushy live in the garden and belong to no one, so they get fed here regularly - our next door neighbours actually sort of think of Pushy as their cat, but they use a different name for him and don't let him in the house.. They feed him as well, though.. Oscar belongs to the other next door neighbours, but I think he prefers the cat food we buy.. Ringo is a bit of a mystery.. He used to wear a collar and never eat here, but nowadays there's no collar and he seems to be always hungry, so I wonder if his owners have moved on without him? I never knew whom he belonged/belongs to.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Last Sunday (Blessington spin with Esmeralda)

Blessington spin with Esmeralda
I nearly forgot to upload these photos to flickr as I'd already shared some of them on Facebook..

Blessington spin with Esmeralda Blessington spin with Esmeralda
The first three photos (above) are from the first stop at Djouce Woods..

Blessington spin with Esmeralda - after the car wash =)
Here's Esmeralda after her first car wash (since I bought her), in Blessington..

Blessington spin with Esmeralda
And this was just a bush pee stop at Kilbride / Threecastles.. LOL

Blessington spin with Esmeralda

Blessington spin with Esmeralda Blessington spin with Esmeralda

Blessington spin with Esmeralda Blessington spin with Esmeralda

Blessington spin with Esmeralda Blessington spin with Esmeralda

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Funny status updates

I was checking some times from my Facebook updates, and found these two status updates funny - see above.. =D At 6:05am, off to "Run and Jump" - at 8:08pm, back with stumps for feet (with all the running and jumping, eh..) =D Nah, we were really just standing around, mainly.. Some dancing, too.. (Christ.. I hate dancing..)

Anyway, I love the new filters on Facebook "All activity" (when viewing your own profile)! Before, you just had to scroll down forever, if you were looking for something - although, the year & month filters DID help, comparing to the pre-timeline version.. BUT, now you can also select the type of updates, so if you want to find a certain status update, for example, you no longer need to browse through thousands of game updates as you can just select to view status updates! (Or comments, or items people posted on your timeline, etc..)

Thursday, 21 June 2012

"Run and Jump" shoot, yesterday

Run and Jump shoot Run and Jump shoot
We left Bray at about 6:45am, so we were at Djouce golf club at 7am. Had plenty of time for breakfast and all.

Run and Jump shoot
It went misty for a while, but then cleared up, and the rest of the day was more or less gorgeous! No blue skies, but enough sun to make my eyelids all sandpapery, and some people got lobsterised out there, during the day..

The actual shoot took place at a private house and garden, about ten minutes from the golf club. We were taken to location and back with mini buses.

View Larger Map

I've obviously no pictures from there as it was a film location AND a private house, but that's the place in the satellite map, above. Very nice place.

We did a party scene for "Run and Jump" - there's no IMDB page for it yet, but if you google it, you'll find something about the plot.

Run and Jump shoot Run and Jump shoot
We returned to Djouce golf club for lunch, and then back to location again..

Run and Jump shoot

It was a long day, mainly standing around, mingling & dancing, so my feet were (and still are) absolutely killing me once it was all over..

Run and Jump shoot Run and Jump shoot Run and Jump shoot
I looked almost as tired as I felt. My hair was done up like that, which didn't really go with what I was wearing, but I'm an extra, so I just do what I'm told, lol..

Loved the text on D's t-shirt; I'm the designated passenger =D He might have been, if I'd taken Esmeralda, but I'd decided not to, which was a very good decision as I wouldn't have been in any driving condition after the day, with uber-sore feet :o

Vikings open casting (on Tuesday)

The queue for Vikings open casting (first of three casting days)
We'd planned to go for the second open casting day for Vikings, on Wednesday, but then Thursday's film shoot was brought forward to Wednesday, so we had to go to the Tuesday casting instead (and I had a bit of a laundry nightmare before that, with all the changing plans - totally threw my schedule).
And, of all the people in the world, we bumped into Donegal Catch! =D (Small world; while chatting to some random person in Bray, later that night, he asked if we knew Donegal Catch!!!)

Esmeralda under the tree..

My car - under the tree.. =)
I haven't done any driving, this week, because I've been otherwise busy (laundry, casting, extra day).. Apparently, the weather is going to be shyte for the rest of the week, and I'd hate to get out there in rain as it's just no fun, but hopefully I'll get some practice driving done, anyway.. Next week seems pretty slow, though, so then..

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Driving with Esmeralda..

As I'm learning to drive, I like to make notes of the routes I've done, so here's my first spin with Esmeralda - it's from Thursday (14th), after we collected Esmeralda from Glencormack Inn parking lot (I already blogged about it, a few entries ago). As I mentioned, D drove us to the hut at Calary, and I started from there;

Part 1 of my route, on

(As handy as that site is, I'm very annoyed with their max. 500 waypoints.. I do understand why there's a limit, but they should definitely make it clearer when you've gone past the limit! The waypoint counter does change to red, but if you're not aware of the limit, you don't know to look for it.. I did my whole route, coming to about 650 waypoints, and got an error after trying to get a link for the route. It was only when I checked the FAQ, that I found out about the max. 500 waypoints. So, I hit Undo until I was back within the allowed amount of waypoints, which brought me to the Kilmacanogue entry slip to N11 (northbound), on my way back from Laragh..) Below, the rest of the route from that point;

Part 2 of my route, on

- - - - - - - - - -

Now, today I drove from Bray to about half way up Rocky Valley Drive (avoiding the N11..), actually doing my worst driving ever, mainly because the packed Seafront really intimidated me.. As the rest of Rocky Valley Drive is really dodgy (especially if you happen to meet another car), D drove that bit, and all the way to Djouce, where I snapped a few pictures. (We saw the rescue helicopter - it must have been during their first rescue attempts..)

Then, I drove from Djouce to Sally Gap and Blessington lakes, but I didn't quite feel ready for town traffic in Blessington, so D drove us there (as I was mega thirsty and needed to find a shop). Esmeralda got a full car wash, too! (Although, I've parked her under the tree again, so she'll probably be all dirty by tomorrow.. Bird poop, and whatever those tree droppings are..) This was my first time driving the mountain roads, and I have to say that I loved it! =D It probably helps that I know those roads so well, after being a passenger so many times.. The mountain rescue team vehicles were blocking the road a little bit, around Lough Tay - they were there in such numbers, that we thought it was for practice, but it turned out to be a real emergency call out. (They have some photos on Facebook..)

D also drove us out of Blessington, and up to that little church and the bridge in Kilbride / Threecastles (see my last route map for the starting point). I took a few pictures, and then drove back to Bray. Not actually quite as nervous about N11, today! And even town traffic went better, on the way back.. I'm going to need much more practice on that.

I was meant to have a driving lesson tomorrow morning, but I cancelled it as I can now practice with my own car. I'll take more lessons again when I'm more confident with town traffic, so I'll get more out of them. Anyway, I think I've only four mandatory lessons left, and I won't be allowed to take the driving test until late October (with the six month period for the lessons..), so there's no rush with them now.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

And now she does..


I'd barely blogged about my car not having a name yet, when the name just came to me..

She is Esmeralda! =D

I first got the name, and when I started thinking about it, it just made more and more sense..

Esmeralda means emerald, which is very fitting in Ireland..

Also, I've always loved the way Colin Hunt says it =P

Four Star Pizza mega deal

Four Star Pizza mega deal (garlic pizza bread & dip) Four Star Pizza mega deal (chicken dippers, potato wedges, dips)
Usually, when I order a pizza, I'll get it from Mizzoni's. My current favourite is their Chicken Barbie, but I've also had my phases of Meaty Mizzoni, Neptune (tuna, anchovies, black olives), and Original Irish.

However, I didn't go out yesterday, so I wanted to order a large pizza to get breakfast and lunch for today as well. Mizzoni 16,5" Chicken Barbie would have been €18.30 (or maybe €17 with their website voucher), just for the pizza alone..

I'd recently noticed a Four Star Pizza brochure, so I checked it out and found a mega deal: €19.95 for one 14" pizza, chicken dippers, potato wedges, garlic pizza bread, four dips of your choice, and a 1,25 litre drink.

I knew that the pizza would probably not be as nice as Mizzoni's, but hey.. That's a hell of a lot more for almost the same price..

Four Star Pizza mega deal (14" pizza) Four Star Pizza mega deal (1,25 litre drink)
It took something between 40-50 minutes to arrive, which is a bit longer than it's usually been with Mizzoni's (around the same time on Friday evening), but everything else went fine - that was actually the first time I've ever ordered food online, and I liked the option to select "pay on delivery", rather than having to pay online.

There was plenty of food alright! :o I was really hungry, so I destroyed the garlic pizza bread first, with a garlic & herb dip. Very Nice.. Then I moved on to the potato wedges and chicken dippers. I shared the chicken dippers with Thatsit (cat), and I'd only had some wedges when I was already stuffed. I finished the wedges later, with (another) garlic & herb dip, and a BBQ dip, which was maybe a little too strong to my taste, but OK with the chicken dippers.. There was also a sweet chilli dip, but I'm keeping that for salad dressing purposes or such.. I was mega stuffed, but I kinda wanted to know what the pizza was like before it got all cold, so I did later force myself to eat half a slice, which was not that smart, but.. As I'd expected, it wasn't as nice as Mizzoni's pizza, but it was still good, and the whole deal was just so much better.. Now that I've had my breakfast pizza, I can also mention that it really works when it's cold, too. (I know that some people can't handle cold pizza, but I love it..) And there's plenty left for lunch, unless Thatsit helps herself when I'm getting some sleep.. I was on the phone last night, and she was trying to help herself to some pizza, looking at me like "ha-ha, you're on the phone, you can't do anything about this.." - naughty kitty.. =)

This would be a good size meal for two people sharing. It's definitely WAY too much food for one person, unless you want to keep the pizza for later, like I did (it'd have to be the pizza, because those side dishes wouldn't really keep..). I don't think this would be enough for more than two people, though, unless 3-4 people just want a bit more than a small snack, before heading out for the night, or something like that..

She doesn't have a name yet..

My new car in Laragh
I know, I know.. I've already posted pics of it, but you only buy your first car once, so allow me to post some more.. =P

C delivered it to Glencormack Inn parking lot (in Kilmacanogue), on Thursday morning as we'd agreed, and I paid the rest of the amount and we did the paperwork. Then, D drove it to the petrol station as I didn't feel confident enough to start with that, in a car I'd never driven before, etc.. I spent a huge chunk of my weekly budget on petrol, and D was supposed to drive back to the parking lot as I was hoping to drive it around there first, but he forgot to turn there, so he drove us up to that little hut at Calary, we slapped the L plates on, I adjusted the seat and mirrors, and then I drove to Laragh, stopping once at Annamoe as the antique shop was open again, so we checked it out and had a chat with the owner =) (My mam would LOVE that place..)

I really enjoy driving this car! I've only driven three different cars, so far (D's Nissan Almera, the driving instructor's Nissan Note, and my Daewoo Kalos), and I find mine to be the most enjoyable to drive, which is awesome as it's mine! =D I still tense up on town traffic, though.. I love country roads where I can just drive, but the constant stopping in traffic lights and such, gets on my nerves, although that's exactly the stuff I need to be doing loads as I need the practice..

My new car in Laragh My new car in Laragh

My new car in Laragh My new car in Laragh

My new car in Laragh My new car in Laragh

My new car in Laragh

My new car in Laragh

My new car in Laragh My new car in Laragh

My new car in Laragh My new car in Laragh

It has a CD boot changer, which takes 10 CDs. I haven't tried it yet. The radio was driving us nuts, though, after we were trying to find some stations (which is frustrating in general, in the rural parts of Ireland..) I don't know what we pressed, but it was making these brain-piercing high-pitch sounds, randomly, and if I can't get rid of them, the radio will be getting some hammer time (NOT with a capital H).. Must google it or something..

My car keys
I have been making shopping lists for when (not 'if') I magically get loads of money someday.. I need a spare tyre, tools, blanket, this, that & the other, for the car.. =) And she needs a name, but there's no hurry with that.. She's a sharp thing, so she'll need a sharp name. (No, I'm not taking suggestions, I hate that.)

Buying a car - in Co. Wexford, last Wednesday

Kilmichael Strand, Castletown, Co. Wexford Kilmichael Strand, Castletown, Co. Wexford
As I mentioned, it was a bit difficult to find the place, but it wasn't all bad as the weather was much better than in Bray (where it had been cloudy when we left, and it certainly didn't improve, later on..), and driving a bit too far brought us to Kilmichael strand, which was absolutely gorgeous!

View Larger Map

Kilmichael Strand, Castletown, Co. Wexford Kilmichael Strand, Castletown, Co. Wexford
I don't know what the purpose of that building is or was, but it looked interesting.. I'd love to go back someday, for picnic or something.

Kilmichael Strand, Castletown, Co. Wexford

Kilmichael Strand, Castletown, Co. Wexford Kilmichael Strand, Castletown, Co. Wexford
After this brief stop, and yet another phone call to C, we finally found the place, took the car to a test drive, and I paid a deposit for it.

The Golden Anchor, Castletown, Co. Wexford The Golden Anchor, Castletown, Co. Wexford
During the test drive, C had pointed out a nice pub in Castletown, so we checked it out, on the way home. The Golden Anchor.

The Golden Anchor, Castletown, Co. Wexford The Golden Anchor, Castletown, Co. Wexford
Support flags and a nice view..

On the way home from Castletown On the way home from Castletown
It was a bit depressing to drive home as the weather kept getting worse and worse..

On the way home from Castletown On the way home from Castletown