Thursday, December 31, 2009

Fides By Lesiem

Till the sun never rises
The skies turn to grey
Till the earth stops revolving
All light fades away
Till the planets stop spinning
In the darkness above
I will treasure each moment
I am with you my love
Till the moment comes when time stands still.

Till the moon never beams
But in the sky tries to hide
Till the oceans and rivers
Fail to turn with the tide
Till my heart stops its beating
Till the stars burn away
I will always be with you
Till the end of all days
In that moment when the world is still.

Till the raindrops stop falling
And the wind never blows
Till the mountains all tumble
To the seas far below
Till the stars lose their sparkle
And the ice melts away
I will love you forever
I will love you always
In that moment when the world is still.

Till the sun never rises
And the skies turn to grey
Till the earth stops revolving
All light fades away
Till the planets stop spinning
In the darkness above
I will treasure each moment
I am with you my love.

Till the raindrops stop falling
The wind never blows
Till the mountains all tumble
To the seas far below
Till the stars lose their sparkle
And the ice melts away
I will love you forever
I will love you always
Till the moment when the skies no longer blue
Until then you know I'll still believe in you

Friday, December 25, 2009

Tree Top Star

White Christmas

Christmas Lights

This is a close up picture of our Christmas tree in the living room with Gareths cell phone. He pulled the mattress out under the tree last night and we spent the evening under there. The cats, apparently aware Santa was coming to bring them treats last night, slept near their stockings. It took me three attempts to sneak a gift into their stockings without waking them.

Gareth and I didn't get much sleep last night, so we exchanged gifts around sunrise. I gave him a new MP3 player because he lost his in Africa, a remote control airplane he can fly when the weather gets better, and some new luggage for when he travels, plus some new clothes and pants, and I bought four new tires for his car. He got me some African handmade bowls and a mini set of a Zulu shield and spear and a ticket to come to South Africa with him in January.

We went to see his nieces and nephews this morning and watch them open their gifts. I'm cooking a ham right now and we're about to have a small dinner with friends. I'm really tired right now and ready for this holiday season to slow down, but as tiring as its been, the memories we're making will last us a lifetime.

Merry Christmas

This holiday season has been a very busy time for me. With Gareth in South Africa and due to arrive Christmas Eve, I had to do all the Christmas shopping for his family and friends, plus my family and friends. I had to get the food for Christmas dinner since we're having a gathering at our house and had to make the pies and cookies and egg nogg. Not to mention cleaning the place, wrapping the presents, and whatever else I've had to do that I can't think of right now, it's been a busy time.

Which brings us to Christmas Eve and me entertaining our guests and Gareth still not arrived. With a house full of people, all I could think of was Gareth and would he make it. He told me he may miss one of his connecting flights and be stuck in an airport for Christmas. He said he'd call me if he got stuck someplace and couldn't make it home. So my heart sank when I got a call from him and the room went silent. I heard his voice say, "How much do you love me?" to which I replied, "Depends on what you're next sentence is."

His reply, very seriously was, "Remember when I told you there's a chance I may miss a connecting flight and not make it home for Christmas?" I took a deep breath, fought back a tear, the whole room looking at me now and said, "Yes, where are you stuck?" Everyone in the room groaned.

He replied, "You never did tell me how much you love me?" Irritated now, I answered a bit rough, "You know how much I love you." At this point he said, "Then give us a kiss." and the front door opened and in walked Gareth, to everyone's surprise, with a huge grin on his face. I turned to Hamish and said "I hate him." "Pure evil" Hamish replied.

I watched as he said his greetings to family and friends. He looked so good, very tan and looks like he lost some weight. As he made his way across the room to me, my heart was racing and all I could think of was how much I loved him. When we kissed, everyone cheered and clapped and we both turned beat red. I said lets take your bags to the bedroom which was just an excuse to get him alone in the bedroom. Once inside, I shut the door behind us and we both threw his bags on the floor next to the bed and quickly turned to kiss each other. We couldn't keep our hands off each other. I asked him if it would be rude if we kicked everyone out? He replied, rude yes, but I don't care, lets do it and we fell on the bed.

After a few knocks on the door and muffled voices snickering and asking us what we we're doing in the there, we decided to compose ourselves and join our guests. We spent the evening eating and drinking egg nogg and cider.

A little later in the evening, I received a call from my friends back in the states and went out in the backyard to hear since it was too loud inside. It was nice to hear their voices and listen to their stories and get to share a bit of the night with them celebrating Christmas Eve. Gareth came out to check on me just as I was getting off the phone and we took advantage of the moment alone to get some more kissing in. "I can't wait to get you alone." Gareth said as I snuggled into his chest. I told him if he got rid of the guests I would do things to him he would be talking about in twenty years. He turned and started yelling "everyone out" and I grabbed him before he could open the sliding door yelling "no don't" and as I held him outside he was yelling "Hey you put that cookie down and get out!" As his brother poured a drink and shared a chat with someone inside he yelled "Don't pour another drink, go home you drunk bastard" With much laughter, I kept telling him to stop and be quiet or they'll hear him. Finally he settled down and turned back to me, still laughing and we just looked at each other. He was finally home.

It's now a little past midnight and Christmas Day and the crowd is gone. Gareth cleaned up since I did all the other work and allowed me to come on here and wish everyone a Merry Christmas. He just stuck a few gifts under the tree and told me not to peak. But I don't have to wait until morning to open any gifts, having him home is the best gift I'll get this Christmas. Of course, since he is my gift, I think it's time I get off this computer, take my gift to the bedroom and unwrap it. Oh, ok....he just pulled the mattress out to the Christmas tree. I guess we're spending the night under the tree.

From our home to yours, Gareth and I wish everyone a Merry Christmas. May love and happiness fill not only your homes this year, but also your hearts.

Looking For Love

My friend Ing has been asking me to fix her up with an Irish man that's looking for love. She wants one that owns a castle and would sweep her off her feet and carry her up the stairs to a princess bedroom where they would act out her favorite fantasies from the romance novels she reads.
After much searching, I finally found one. Ok, he doesn't own a castle, but he lives near one. He's not strong enough to carry you up the stairs, but he is light enough for you to carry him. As for the bedroom romance, well look at 'em. You're kind of on your own in that area. lol
Love ya, Ing. Merry Christmas. Please no re-gifting.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Silent Night To Remember

Written in the trenches of the Great War, France, Christmas Eve 1914. Private Frederick W. Heath

The night closed in early - the ghostly shadows that haunt the trenches came to keep us company as we stood to arms. Under a pale moon, one could just see the grave-like rise of ground which marked the German trenches two hundred yards away. Fires in the English lines had died down, and only the squelch of the sodden boots in the slushy mud, the whispered orders of the officers and the NCOs, and the moan of the wind broke the silence of the night. The soldiers' Christmas Eve had come at last, and it was hardly the time or place to feel grateful for it.

Memory in her shrine kept us in a trance of saddened silence. Back somewhere in England, the fires were burning in cosy rooms; in fancy I heard laughter and the thousand melodies of reunion on Christmas Eve. With overcoat thick with wet mud, hands cracked and sore with the frost, I leaned against the side of the trench, and, looking through my loophole, fixed weary eyes on the German trenches. Thoughts surged madly in my mind; but they had no sequence, no cohesion. Mostly they were of home as I had known it through the years that had brought me to this. I asked myself why I was in the trenches in misery at all, when I might have been in England warm and prosperous. That involuntary question was quickly answered. For is there not a multitude of houses in England, and has not someone to keep them intact? I thought of a shattered cottage in -- , and felt glad that I was in the trenches. That cottage was once somebody's home.

Still looking and dreaming, my eyes caught a flare in the darkness. A light in the enemy's trenches was so rare at that hour that I passed a message down the line. I had hardly spoken when light after light sprang up along the German front. Then quite near our dug-outs, so near as to make me start and clutch my rifle, I heard a voice. there was no mistaking that voice with its guttural ring. With ears strained, I listened, and then, all down our line of trenches there came to our ears a greeting unique in war: "English soldier, English soldier, a merry Christmas, a merry Christmas!"

Following that salute boomed the invitation from those harsh voices: "Come out, English soldier; come out here to us." For some little time we were cautious, and did not even answer. Officers, fearing treachery, ordered the men to be silent. But up and down our line one heard the men answering that Christmas greeting from the enemy. How could we resist wishing each other a Merry Christmas, even though we might be at each other's throats immediately afterwards? So we kept up a running conversation with the Germans, all the while our hands ready on our rifles. Blood and peace, enmity and fraternity - war's most amazing paradox. The night wore on to dawn - a night made easier by songs from the German trenches, the pipings of piccolos and from our broad lines laughter and Christmas carols. Not a shot was fired, except for down on our right, where the French artillery were at work.

Came the dawn, pencilling the sky with grey and pink. Under the early light we saw our foes moving recklessly about on top of their trenches. Here, indeed, was courage; no seeking the security of the shelter but a brazen invitation to us to shoot and kill with deadly certainty. But did we shoot? Not likely! We stood up ourselves and called benisons on the Germans. Then came the invitation to fall out of the trenches and meet half way.

Still cautious we hung back. Not so the others. They ran forward in little groups, with hands held up above their heads, asking us to do the same. Not for long could such an appeal be resisted - beside, was not the courage up to now all on one side? Jumping up onto the parapet, a few of us advanced to meet the on-coming Germans. Out went the hands and tightened in the grip of friendship. Christmas had made the bitterest foes friends.

Here was no desire to kill, but just the wish of a few simple soldiers (and no one is quite so simple as a soldier) that on Christmas Day, at any rate, the force of fire should cease. We gave each other cigarettes and exchanged all manner of things. We wrote our names and addresses on the field service postcards, and exchanged them for German ones. We cut the buttons off our coats and took in exchange the Imperial Arms of Germany. But the gift of gifts was Christmas pudding. The sight of it made the Germans' eyes grow wide with hungry wonder, and at the first bite of it they were our friends for ever. Given a sufficient quantity of Christmas puddings, every German in the trenches before ours would have surrendered.

And so we stayed together for a while and talked, even though all the time there was a strained feeling of suspicion which rather spoilt this Christmas armistice. We could not help remembering that we were enemies, even though we had shaken hands. We dare not advance too near their trenches lest we saw too much, nor could the Germans come beyond the barbed wire which lay before ours. After we had chatted, we turned back to our respective trenches for breakfast.

All through the day no shot was fired, and all we did was talk to each other and make confessions which, perhaps, were truer at that curious moment than in the normal times of war. How far this unofficial truce extended along the lines I do not know, but I do know that what I have written here applies to the -- on our side and the 158th German Brigade, composed of Westphalians.

As I finish this short and scrappy description of a strangely human event, we are pouring rapid fire into the German trenches, and they are returning the compliment just as fiercely. Screeching through the air above us are the shattering shells of rival batteries of artillery. So we are back once more to the ordeal of fire.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Kyle And Oliver - One Life To Live

Alone At Last

Someone told me about this storyline on OLTL back in early November and I checked it out online and I've been hooked every since. As The World Turns has a gay storyline, but I never got into that one. Those characters hardly ever kiss and act like a real couple, so I lost interest fast. So when I checked out OLTL I wasn't expecting much, but have been really surprised by the chances this show is taking with these characters on American daytime television. They hold hands, kiss and what kisses, very sexy! They often tell each other they love each other and are very playful with each other. They get to do everything the straight couples do on the show. I also like the fact that both characters are masculine and not the typical stereotype. The scene above where they are finally alone is very real feeling and acting. The fact that I think they are both handsome men is a nice plus.

If you haven't checked them out, I recommend doing so. Here are a couple videos to get you started in discovering them.

Their Love Story

I need you now


Jimmy Fallon - I Wish It Was Christmas

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Dave Salmoni

Gareth is due to come home this week from South Africa for Christmas and I really can't wait to see him. When we video chat he likes to print out a picture of some guy I posted on my blog and pretend to grill me about who he is and what I'm doing with him. lol
Recently Gareth told me a story of how they were out in the bush and about the things they had to deal with. One of them was how they had to wash themselves out of a pot. I found these pictures of Dave Salmoni, who is involved with African Lions preserves in South Africa. Last night when we were video chatting I pulled out these pictures and gave Gareth a taste of his own medicine which made him laugh so hard he fell out of his chair. He always ends the video chat with "I love ya boy." and I can't wait to hear him say it in my arms. Just a few more days to go.


Irish golfing champion, Padraig Harrington, raised €50,000 in aid of GOAL, one of the charities my Gareth is involved with, at Harvey Nicholls in Dundrum.

For more about GOAL click here....

Chris Hollins Best Dancer

The BBC sports reporter one the seventh season of Strictly Come Dancing, defeating Ricky Whittle of Hollyoaks.

Not An Ordinary Day

For awhile now I've fallen into the habit of taking everyday for granted. Getting up and going to work had become routine. Days we're filled with having fun with friends, planning for Gareth's return from South Africa and Christmas shopping. But early last week I was reminded of how precious each day that we have should be treated.

It started out as an ordinary day, me and three other members of the crew arriving to the ship in the harbour to tear down old equipment and wrap up projects and print out papers. I was busy sitting at a co-workers station going over a graph when I heard someone yelling to call an ambulance. It took my mind a moment to register this call of distress, but then it grew louder and we bolted to see one of our crew lying on his side.

Myself and another bent down to him while the other called an ambulance. He was conscious for a moment and talking but not making any sense. We tried to keep him awake, to keep listening to our voices until help arrived, but with one last look at us his eyes rolled to the back of his head and he drifted away. He was still breathing and had a weak pulse and at this point we just kept silently praying for help to get there fast as I held his head in my lap talking to him hoping he could still hear my voice. It took about twenty minutes for help to arrive and get him to hospital.

We got the news later that evening that he passed away from bleeding of the brain. Just moments before he collapsed he was telling a dirty joke in the hallway as we passed and we had a good laugh. He had complained of a headache earlier in the day, but showed no other signs of any health issues. I've had to deal with death many times in my life, but it never prepares you for the next time. Each time its new and raw and hurts. Its been very hard to come to terms that your life could just end as fast as this. I keep thinking of all the things he wanted to do, all the things on his "to-do" list that he'll never complete. Did he get to hear the goodbyes of his family telling him how much they loved him or was my voice asking him to keep his eyes open and stay with us the last he ever heard?

His car still sits at the docks unclaimed by his family. The same spot where he left it that morning when he came into work of what we all thought would be another ordinary day.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Stripped Clean

Out Shopping

Went out today to do some Christmas shopping. Grafton Street is all lit up with decorative lights. I'm getting excited, Gareth will soon be back for the holidays, can't wait. He called me Friday night around three in the morning and told me he was missing me and just wanted to talk for a bit and we talked for three hours. My cat is bugging for his dinner and has taken to sitting in front of the computer screen to get my attention. So looks like I have to go take care of his belly issues.

Soda Ad For Babies

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Race Day

Going with a group of friends to the horse races today. Have a few drinks, enjoy a nice meal, and make a few bets and hopefully come home with a bit of winnings. Wishing everyone a good weekend.

All Coming Home

Flood 2009

The River Liffey burst its banks and several areas around Ireland have had to be evacuated. A few people I work with have had family that was evacuated come stay with them in their homes.

Colin and Graham's Excellent Adventures

I love this show, these guys are idiots. They have no shame, they'll do anything.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Ocean Fog

We're back to sea for a for days. I'm using one of my crew mates phones to make these posts. Not sure if they'll go through or not. It's very foggy out tonight, like pea soup they say. Stood outside on one of the side decks, stuck my hand out in front of me and it disappeared in the fog.
All I need now is to turn on the radio and hear Adrienne Barbeau's voice on the radio!

Rough Day

Safe Drivers

Ireland has the most law-abiding drivers in Europe, according to a survey released today. Irish drivers were least likely to drink and drive or to use hand-held mobiles while at the wheel, the poll of 8,000 drivers showed.

They were also far less likely to drive without a seatbelt, to speed or jump the lights, according to the survey by insurance company AXA.

As well as drivers from Ireland and Britain, the survey covered motorists from Spain, Switzerland, Belgium, Italy, France, Germany, Portugal and Luxembourg.

Looking at 11 possible driving offences, the poll found that the most law-abiding drivers were Irish, followed by British, with Spain in third place and Switzerland fourth.

The survey showed that just 3% of Irish drivers admitted to driving while under the influence of alcohol against a European average of 21% and a massive 40% in Luxembourg.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Ireland 15 South Africa 10

Ireland beat the Springboks of South Africa, the reigning World Champions on Saturday at Croke Park, Dublin to finish the year undefeated. They beat South Africa at their own game by playing rough and making punishing tackles.

The Irish coach, Declan Kidney was named coach of the year. Jamie Heaslip said: "It's a great way (to end 2009), the whole year's brilliant. We've learnt a lot, learnt a lot from our mistakes and did a lot of good things and hopefully we'll be in good shape come the Six Nations."

Rob Kearney, above, was named man of the match.

Gordon D'Arcy, saw plenty of ball during the second half of Saturday's 15-10 victory over South Africa at Croke Park. "That goes down to the forwards knowing their job. Gert (Smal) really had our boys fired up for that. The gain-line, that battle, was won by our guys so we did manage to get a good bit of ball on the front foot."


A Little Funny

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Christmas 2009

Westlife turns on the christmas lights for 2009 in Dublin on Grafton Street.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

More Nice Buns

Speaking of nice buns....

Fresh Bread

I love the smell of fresh bread.

Hoisting The Cup

Gary O'Neill headed an injury-time winner to give Sporting Fingal a 2-1 victory over Sligo Rovers in the FAI Ford Cup Final at Tallaght Stadium on Sunday night.

Sporting, in only their second season, will be representing the League of Ireland in the Europa League next season.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Bothar Dunta - Road Closed

The rains have come and won't go away causing the worst flooding in the last twenty years in the Southern and Western counties of Ireland. The army has been dispatched to several counties to help with flood control, evacuations, and rescues. Buses, trains, and driving roads between Dublin and other parts of the country have been closed at times, some reopening slowly. We had a temporary break from the rain, but its back again along with strong winds.

It's a mess of a day outside and I've decided to stay indoors. I am actually babysitting two of my friends children today. One is four, one is six. One boy, one girl. They've been good fun, we've had lots of laughs playing and I got to be a kid again being silly with them. My cats are not used to children and their high pitched squeals and shrieks. They've taken to hiding behind the different bits of furniture watching with wide-eyes, what to them are little aliens, running around their house.

Since I'm going to spend the day at home, I've decided to dig out the Christmas decorations and put up the Christmas tree. I talked to Gareth last night and he said he's going to try to come home for Christmas.

Well, I better go, the children we're quietly watching a cartoon together, but now they are hitting each other. Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend.

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Hand Of Fate

More than half of the population of Ireland tuned into the game to watch Ireland try to come back from 1 goal down to beat world power France and make it to the World Cup in South Africa. The Irish came to play and took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Robbie Keane, the famed Ireland captain. Ireland held this lead until the end of regulation winning the game 1-0. The playoff series was even.

With each side now having won a game by a 1-0 score, they went to extra time, sudden death, to determine who would win the spot in the World Cup. But sudden death it was for the Irish in the 120th minute, Frances Thiery Henry, guides the ball with his hand into the Irish net.

With Ireland frantically calling for a handball or offside penalty to be called, the referees instead signal game over. No offsides is called, no handball is called, and no replay is allowed to determine the correct call. The French start the celebration as the Irish leave the field in tears and shock. Henry of France even tells the referee the ball hit his hand and should not be allowed, but the referee tells him, "You are not the ref!"

The Irish went through the preliminary rounds undefeated, but they were still huge underdogs to the powerful French team. But against all odds and apparently some tainted referees, the Irish lads showed their spirit and if not for an own goal in Dublin and a handball score in Paris, they would have pulled off one of the greatest upsets in Irish sporting history.
"It's cost a lot of us our dreams - as a boy I used to dream of playing in the World Cup, and now I'm not." said Shawn St. Ledger of Ireland. "I don't understand why we haven't got replays in this day and age. You can get replays within 10, 30 seconds and it would have helped today."

The Swedish referees were vilified in their home country. Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet laid the blame squarely at the official's door. "There are approximately 80 million Irishmen around the world. We guarantee they all feel pretty bad today. But I sincerely hope there are three Swedes that feel even worse. They are Martin Hansson and (referee's assistants) Stefan Wittberg and Fredrik Nilsson."

They concluded by adding: 'There will be no World Cup for Ireland and I assume that Team Hansson has also forfeited it's right to continue to take charge of major international matches. Anything else would be a further insult to the Irish nation."

According to The Guardian website, FIFA has confirmed that there is no chance of the game being replayed, refering to Law 5 in the official rules of the game which states that the referee has 'full authority to enforce the Laws of the Game in connection with the match to which he has been appointed,' and that 'the decisions of the referee regarding facts connected with play are final.'

For the French, this night was about continuing their World Cup dreams. For the Irish, their World Cup dreams at an end, this night will be forever remembered for the courage and the heart they showed. Even in defeat I have never been more proud to be Irish.