Archive for the ‘random thoughts’ Category

It’s been a while since my last post on my blog. Mainly this is because I am now a (temporary-for-now) stay-at-home-dad minding a 10 month young clown.

However, I found this today and I think if you do just one of these things each day it will enrich your life.


Here is one for my random thoughts category.

Yesterday, when I went to bed after a day enjoying my (almost) 9 month old son, my brain didn’t want to go to sleep just yet but decided to start thinking about the years to come and how they will look like.

I thought about my childhood,… about the things that I believe were great, yet my son probably won’t experience. Why? Simply because times have changed.

I was outside all the time, never cared about the weather. I grew up in an estate which was described as “the ghetto” of our city. Well, that wasn’t really the case,… perhaps only if you compare it to the oh so posh remainder of the city.

I knew it was time to go home either at dusk, when I felt like it or when my mum yelled at me from the kitchen window. If I was too far away to hear her, most likely some other neighbour kid was near enough and went off to search for me and tell me to go home.

Nowadays it’s different, the kids already have an iPhone. What’s the fun in that?

Or, I remember it was one of the greatest things ever to go outside in shorts, a shirt and no shoes (they wouldn’t be of any use anyway) on a rainy summer day. Run from shelter to shelter,… eventually give up and just lay down on the ground, soaking wet, let the rain hit your face and feel awesome.

You can’t do that with an iPhone in your pocket.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying iPhones are bad, in fact I am writing this post on my iPhone right now.

Anyway,… I could list a hundred more things, I think there are a ton of great things from the “good old days” that our next generation kids won’t be able to enjoy.

But I swear to god, I will do my best to raise my son well and show him the joy of a proper childhood.

Not the childhood of a non-socialised, junk food eating, console game addict kid with no manners.

Planning to visit Ireland?

Then there are a few things you might want to know,… especially if you come from a different culture.This list is to give future irish residents and tourists an idea on what to expect while being on the green island. Having said that, this list is based purely on my own experience from living here since 2008, so don’t take it too seriously 😉

Now, in no particular order:
1. Punctuality

You won’t need a watch in Ireland, the majority of the irish population is not on time anyway. Irish 5 minutes are about 30 regular minutes.

2. Public Transport

The bus is never on time,… there are no clear time tables either. Also, if you are at a bus-stop, don’t forget to raise your hand, otherwise the bus won’t stop for you (unless someone on the bus wants to get out at that bus stop). Also, if you do raise the hand but the bus driver still doesn’t stop, he might be either in a bad mood or has the impression the bus is already too full.

3. Forget umbrellas

You won’t need them. Yes it does rain in Ireland, but the rain comes in 40 different ways and directions. And the umbrella itself will use the self-destruction-function as soon as it feels the wind.

4. Cliffs of Moher

Go see it, if you don’t, you have not seen Ireland. You will be blown away by it’s beauty,… there is the public area that is fenced for security reasons. But if you are adventurous, there is a path all the way to a ruin, but be very careful, especially with strong winds. Every now and then somebody disappears there…

5. Housing is expensive.

In rural areas it’s cheap. In cities the rent is too expensive for what you get. Also be prepared for very high heating costs, it seems as if the house’s insulation consists of newspaper and chewing gum. Most fireplaces can’t be sealed so there is a constant draft, the walls are veeery thin and the windows are usually not very well fitted.

6. Water

Yes, you can drink the water and it won’t kill you. However, if you come from a country that has great water quality, you might want to buy bottled water. Also, if you are faced with two taps/faucets at the sink, be aware that the one will burn your hand and the other one will turn your fingers instantly into ice-cubes. The trick is to use the sink to mix the water.

7. Green

Plenty of it… beautiful landscapes. And Ireland does have indeed 40 shades of green as you will find out if you do a road trip.

8. Humor

You will need plenty of it,.. if you are a grinch then don’t even bother to talk to the Irish!

9. Music

It’s everywhere, in the Pubs, in the streets, Ireland is the music island! 🙂

10. Postage

If you want to send stuff abroad, for anything bigger than a postcard you might be better off booking an additional suitcase for your return flight. It’s ridiculously expensive.

11. Snow

Simply put, Ireland is whether experienced nor equipped to deal with snow. Even 5cm of snow will bring public transport to a standstill, nobody owns winter tyres, the schools close, the pipes in the houses burst, the roads are like ice rinks. So if you come in winter time be prepared for the worst!

In fairness it rarely has below 0 degrees but it can, and has happened.

12. Pedestrians

You don’t want to cross the street if a car is approaching. Not even at a zebra crossing. The car drivers won’t stop. Very dangerous if you are used to something else and blindly cross the streets!

13. Ice cream in winter

Enjoy it, it is normal to have ice cream in December or January.

14. Vinegar on Chips

Salt and vinegar with your chips/fries? Yes, please! Sounds awful but actually tastes quite nice. You usually get it with fish & chips, a traditional dish.

15. You’ll be grand!

You’ll hear that at least 10 times per day

16. Hooker lookalikes

If you go out at night, be prepared to see everything. I mean, everything. Although there aren’t really any prostitutes, some of the girls dress up like one.

17. Relax on the houseboat

If you really want to relax and switch off from the day-to-day stress, then I really recommend doing a houseboat trip along the river shannon. You’ll see nothing else than nature and sheep.

18. Cigarettes & Alcohol

You simply can’t afford them. Last time I bought cigarettes was 2010 and back then I paid € 8.50 for one box of Marlboro Light/Gold. Also the alcohol is very expensive. For a beer in a pub you’ll pay between 4 and 5 euro. Also you can buy alcohol only during certain times in the shops. This is to fight the general alcohol problem in Ireland,.. but I think this is a useless law.

19. Barrier free toll

Its a bitch. On the motorway, they have that so called ‘barrier free toll’. Your number plate gets scanned while you drive through. And if you don’t pay by 8pm the next day, you’ll receive a invoice and you’ll have to pay double.

20. Crack vs. Craic

If you hear the expression ‘What’s the craic?’, they aren’t talking about drugs, but they want to know if anything funny is going on. Craic is pronounced like ‘Crack’, but is the irish (gaelic) word for ‘fun’.

21. How to order two beer

If you use the index and middle finger, the opposite person will be highly offended.
Use any other gestures, but do NOT use this:










22. Jumpers

The irish wear jumpers to everything,… to go shopping, to go into the Pub,… every time, everywhere.  It’s normal, so better get used to it.

23. Pubs & Guinness

The pub is the second living room of the Irish. You will find a pub in every village, no matter how small. Also, most pubs serve better food than some restaurants! Also, the Guinness is ever-present and you should know, you only start drinking once it has turned completely black. In Cork though it seems that Murphy’s is more popular than the Guinness.

24. Electric Showers

Yes, you switch on an electric device, in your shower. This is not to electrocute yourself, but due to a very low water pressure on this flat island, you either have a waterpump, a power-shower, or you get barely wet when you try to shower. While the water pump usually is somewhere between the tank and the shower, the power-shower is a device mounted in the shower cabin that you switch on and it will heat & pump the water.

25. Sex

Although they don’t look like conservative grannies, (see point 16), they don’t like to actually talk about sex. Nobody,…


And last, but not least…

Still, despite all the little down-sides, Ireland is a wonderful country. The people are really nice, the country is beautiful, and they take things not too serious 😉

To pack Ireland’s beauty in 3 minutes, have a look at this:

“You don’t know when it hits you, but eventually you’ll reach the point when you decide to do nothing productive for the rest of the day.”


Hello everybody,

from reading some of my blog posts (or the ‘About’-Page) you might have guessed already that I am not a native english speaker. Nonetheless I am living in an english speaking country and I do catch weird phrases from time to time and just think, wtf?

Anyway, english might be one of, if not the most spoken language on this planet. Still, I think it has some weak moments and I think it is time to list but a few… 😉

Now, in no particular order and randomly collected in the internet:

Can anyone explain this pic below?

How strange can a language be?

  • There is no egg in an eggplant. It doesn’t look or taste like an egg.
  • There is no ham in a hamburger.
  • There is no pine nor apple in a pineapple.
  • Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren’t sweet, are meat.
  • English muffins were not invented in England and French fries were not invented in France, so where did such names come from?
  • Some names seem to describe the opposite of what the things really are:
  • Quicksand pulls you down slowly.
  • Boxing rings are square.
  • A Guinea pig is not from Guinea and it is not a member of the pig family.
  • Some examples of why you cannot blindly follow English grammar rules:
  • If writers write and painters paint and riders ride, then why don’t fingers fing or hammers ham?
  • If the plural of tooth is teeth and the plural of goose is geese, then shouldn’t the plural of phone booth be phone beeth and the plural of moose be meese? Maybe they should be, but they aren’t.
  • If the teacher taught, why didn’t the preacher praught?
  • If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what do you think a humanitarian eats?
  • How can a house that is burning up finally end in being burned down?
  • At a bank or loan office, how can you fill in the necessary information as you fill out the forms?
  • Why is it that when the stars are out they are visible, but when the lights are out they are invisible?
  • Why do people recite at a play, yet play at a recital?
  • Why do people park on driveways but drive on parkways?
  • Doesn’t it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?
  • How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?

Answer: I simply don’t know.

20 weird English words:

1. Erinaceous
Like a hedgehog

2. Lamprophony
Loudness and clarity of voice

3. Depone
To testify under oath

4. Finnimbrun
A trinket or knick-knack

5. floccinaucinihilipilification
Estimation that something is valueless. Proper pronunciation based on Latin roots: flockə-nowsə-nəkələ-pələ-fək-ation.

6. Inaniloquent
Pertaining to idle talk

7. Limerance
An attempt at a scientific study into the nature of romantic love.

8. Mesonoxian
Pertaining to midnight

9. Mungo
A dumpster diver – one who extracts valuable things from trash

10. Nihilarian
A person who deals with things lacking importance (pronounce the ‘h’ like a ‘k’).

11. Nudiustertian
The day before yesterday

12. Phenakism
Deception or trickery

13. Pronk
A weak or foolish person

14. Pulveratricious
Covered with dust

15. Rastaquouere
A social climber

16. Scopperloit
Rude or rough play

17. Selcouth
Unfamiliar, rare, strange, marvelous, wonderful. For example: The List Universe is such a selcouth website!

18. Tyrotoxism
To be poisoned by cheese

19. Widdiful
Someone who deserves to be hanged

20. Zabernism
The abuse of military power or authority. I wonder how long it will take for this one to show up in the comments.

There are also plenty of self-contradicting words in the English language.

I’m sure there is plenty of other stuff but I’ll let you do your own research 😉

Today we started unwrapping our (artificial) christmas tree from last year, and while decorating it, we were discussing whether or not we should buy a real christmas tree next year round.

I actually didn’t have to think twice about it, the answer is NO.
(Unless we buy a ‘living’ real christmas tree.)

Why do I chose an artificial over a real christmas tree?

  1. I don’t ‘kill’ a tree that has been growing for about 7 years, just to hang stuff on it for a couple of days and then throw it away
  2. I need to buy it only once and can use it every year again
  3. I don’t have the needle-mess on the floor that I have to clean every day
  4. It doesn’t catch fire as easily (I’m not using real candles anyway)
Did you know that, according to the National Christmas Tree Association,  approximately 25-30 million real christmas trees sold yearly in the U.S.! And it takes each tree 7 years on average to grow to the typical size of 6-7 feet.  Hypothetically speaking, that means we throw away about 200 Million years of natural growth alone in the U.S. every year!
No, I am not a member of Greenpeace, but I still think it is not necessary anymore to buy a real christmas tree, unless you buy a living one that you can plant into your garden (or somewhere else) after the christmas season.
Nowadays everybody shouts out stuff like ‘Save the Rainforest!’, ‘Think green, don’t print this email!’, and whatever else,… but I never heard somebody saying ‘Save the christmas trees!’
Also, did you ever think about the little, ‘ugly’-looking christmas trees that nobody wants to buy, and yet they are still for sale? Plants have feelings too! They get cut off, placed in the corner, nobody wants them, and end up thrown away without having the questionable pleasure of getting decorated and admired.
So let the real trees live their lives and get an artificial one! They have developed a lot and look much better than years ago!

If I have convinced just one of the readers to buy an artificial instead of a real christmas tree this year, then this blog post was already worth it.

PS: If you miss the smell of the real christmas tree, you can still buy this.