Saturday, November 15, 2008

This week I have used a couple of great Quick Pages (QP) from Pam Lefors Designs. Pam makes some lovely kits and usually has a FREE QP available for download each week. I love her muted, grungy style and her limited colour pallette. Apart from her lovely bluey range, she does a very nice rusty range. Her Rustic Autumn range is particularly nice and her peeled paper sets in this range are gorgeous.

Make sure you click on my scrap pages to enlarge, they really are worth seeing properly as the detail, especially in the top one is amazing.

That's my grandmother and mother in about 1926 in the first one, which is still available, and my stepdaughter with her partner and new born son, Jonah, in the second, which is no longer available, but Pam does have another similar QP available for free download at the moment. so make sure you get over to her webpage and grab yours.

Don't forget to hop on over to and check out all the other great entries for this weeks Scrapbook Saturday and add yourself to the blogroll.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Shannon Matthews Mother goes on trial

The case of Shannon Matthews, the schoolgirl who prompted a huge search when she disappeared early this year for almost a month, came before a jury this morning.

Ten-year-old Shannon's mother, Karen, is accused of kidnapping, false imprisonment and perverting the course of justice by pretending to West Yorkshire police she had no idea where her daughter was.

Alongside her in the dock will be 40-year-old Michael Donovan, who faces the same charges. Donovan is the uncle of her partner. Both defendants will plead not guilty in a trial that is expected to last four weeks.

The nine-year-old schoolgirl was drugged and tethered to a roof beam as part of a kidnapping plot staged by her mother to claim up to £50,000 ($75,000) in reward money.

Donovan abducted Shannon as she was on her way home from school in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, by telling her he was taking her to a fair. He gave her Temazepam -- a type of sleeping tablet -- and travel sickness pills and kept her tethered to an elasticated strap attached to a roof beam through a loft hatch when he went out.
The strap was discovered by officers searching the first-floor flat following Shannon's discovery

It had a large loop at the end which, at full stretch, would reach around most of the flat but not permit anyone who was restrained by it from leaving through the front door. Donovan would have used it to restrain Shannon when he left the flat

"The prosecution say that it is a reasonable inference that Donovan, who had used other methods of subduing Shannon Matthews, had employed the strap to restrain Shannon when Donovan left the flat to go shopping."

Meanwhile Karen Matthews kept up a "wicked and dishonest lie" as her daughter became the subject of a massive police search operation and a reward fund offered by a local newspaper grew to $50,000, jurors were told. Apparently Donovan planned to release Shannon and then "discover" her.

The trial continues tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My Diet Monday: Week 6 - 266lbs (1 stone lost)

Delighted to report another loss of a further 2lbs, making a total of 14lbs lost and my first stone accomplished! So well chuffed :-) I have been really good again this week, avoiding temptation like the plague. The girls at work are now very good and know not to tempt me with all the sweets, cakes and other goodies that frequently go around the office. The only cloud on the horizon is a cake sale being held on friday for Children in Need Day, but I was very good and avoided the one they held last month completely, so should be OK this time round.

Still using the Slimfast milkshakes for meal replacements for breakfast and lunch and then having a normal dinner in the evenings. I've had fajitas, spag bol, roast pork and beef strogonoff (with oven chips!) this week. I just eat what I want until I feel full and then stop, irrespective of how much food is left on my plate. This seems to work very effectively and I plan on continuing this regime until the end of the year and hopefully lose another stone. I have definitely noticed an improvement in the size of my bottom and hips (I've stopped doing the Jabba the Hutt impression!) and I can fit into clothes I certainly couldn't a month ago, but there's plenty in my wardrobe I can't fit yet and that's one of my incentives.

Hopefully next week I'll be able to report another loss, but until then I shall stay focused and determined :-)

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Barack Obama is IRISH! : Video

Documents unearthed by an Irish vicar show ancestors of Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama may have arrived in the United States from a tiny village in central Ireland as early as the 1790s.

"They're old parish records going back to 1799," said Canon Stephen Neill, rector for the parish of Moneygall, Co.Offaly.

"They're in remarkably good condition and we have constant applications from Americans chasing their ancestors."

Genealogy Web site asked Neill, whose father is Anglican archbishop of Dublin, to check parish records after discovering documents indicating Obama's great-great-great grandfather on his Mother's side, arrived in New York in 1850 before settling in Ohio.

"Like most of us he has an interesting mix of ancestry, including some impressively early all-American roots," said Megan Smolenyak, a spokeswoman for the Web site.

Records uncovered in 2007 found the President-elect’s fourth great grandfather Joseph Kearney was a shoemaker whose son, Fulmuth Kearney left for the US in 1850. Between 1845 and 1851 over a million people left Ireland on 'famine ships' to escape mass-starvation caused by potato blight and says passenger lists show Obama's great-great-great grandfather was among them.

Subsequent research into the parish records provided by Neill revealed not only that the Kearneys hailed from Moneygall in County Offaly but also that other family members may have crossed the Atlantic before him in the 1790s, the Web site said.

Nothing remains of the Kearney homestead and surrounding land in Moneygall, which ironically once belonged to the family of Obama’s distant cousin, Henry Healy. They were forced to give it up 30 years ago after the local authority compulsorily purchased it for new housing, but just four properties were built on the field and plans are afoot to turn it into a museum or heritage centre.

Born in Hawaii to a white American mother and Kenyan father, Obama's European connection means he can also join more than 30 million of his countrymen in claiming Irish descent.

You can view the Irish line of Obama's family tree HERE.

The Irish band the Corrigan Brothers have released their song 'There's No One As Irish As Barack O'Bama'.

The song features the chorus: "O'Leary, O'Reilly, O'Hare and O'Hara...there's no one as Irish as Barack O'Bama."

The band will perform the song, which is already an internet phenomenon, at the day parade on the Irish American float, and also at Mr Obama's official inauguration party on becoming President.

This is just hilarious! Being Irish myself of course, I appreciate it more than most, but you don't have to be Irish to enjoy these videos.

Below, the extended and sing along version :-)