Just havin’ a wee jook

Hiya! It’s been a helluva week, seeing as it was BIRFDAY weekend, I’ve been hacking up a lung for 9 days…AND I GOT A NEW JOB!!! excited
The job was just the best present ever, seeing as I’ve been looking for a full-time gig for almost a year. I can’t wait to start! Plus, I’ve already met most of my future co-workers (very small team), and they are basically the loveliest people who have ever existed. YAY!!

But enough about me. I know you’re dying to know more of NI’s innermost freakish secrets. Today’s title was a clue but what’s a jook, you ask?

Well, having a jook means looking at something. Peepin. Creepin??

Though it’s rare, there is a local practice that I simply cannot understand. Certain people, in our neighborhood and beyond, have been known to stand outside their houses ALL. DAY. LONG. Just havin’ a wee jook for hours on end. Just watching the world go by, but in the freezing cold rather than through a window inside the house. I’m talking EVERY DAY these people stand outside, like the world’s most bootleg security guards. WHY THOUGH? What are they doing?!

The woman who does it in our neighborhood is probably in her fifties, and despite being a neighborhood fixture, is pretty unpleasant. She doesn’t talk to anybody, so when you walk by it’s basically like this:
Then there’s the fella up on the North Coast, who routinely watches the street where Matt’s family have their vacation home. “Wee Jimmy,” as he’s known. We only go up to that house a few times a year but, rain or shine, HE’S THERE. Hands in his pockets, looking at nothing for hours.

Matt also told me that there was an older man who used to do this same thing when Matt was a schoolkid. He’d hang outside his house, and created nicknames for all of the local kids. I thought it sounded a bit creepy, until I heard what Matt’s nickname was and all was forgiven in the name of hilarity. Any guesses?


For reals though, if someone could explain to me the rationale behind this insanity, I’d greatly appreciate it. In the meantime, I’ll try to avoid a Curb-style staring contest:
Here’s lookin’ at you, kid,


Taigs, cakes and politics

Welcome back, folks! I know, I know  you’re infuriated because I ghosted this piece and was out living life like a real human. I’m sorry!!

This is going to be an ultra-disjointed, wild ride of a blob, since I have to cram in the past few weeks of hell-raising debauchery. IS THE WORLD READY?

Let me start with this gleaming pearl of wisdom Matt blurted out last week. We were doing our usual post-dinner-TV-extravaganza, and just as I was thinking to myself that a cuppa would be nice, Matt turned to face me.

“Want me to make you tea?” he asked knowingly.

“BUT…HOW DID YOU KNOW?!” I stammered.

With a sage smile, he dropped this truth bomb on me:
“Lilleh, being Irish means being able to anticipate every time someone wants a cup of tea.

mind blown

But moving right along, lemme tell ya’ll about last week: GENERAL ELECTION WEEK!

Since I work for MLAs, part of my duties temporarily included helping with the dissemination of flyers, pamphlets, etc. I was happy to support the party candidate, since I really wanted her to win, but I was a bit hesitant about going around to people’s houses and pushing random hoo-ha through their mailboxes. I felt…EXPOSED. This is basically my reaction to having to deal with THE PUBLIC at any time:

But the deliveries went smoothly enough, as I didn’t have to interact with many people. In fact, I was right in the midst of enjoying the sunshine and fresh air when the incident occurred.

I was walking along a tiny avenue in the heart of working-class East Belfast. Two young boys were kicking a soccer ball against a wall, and as I passed them, one yelled out, “TAIG!”

The other boy giggled and whispered, “You can’t say that!” But then he looked at me with a cheeky grin, and echoed, “TAIG!”

Since I’m basically the yellowest person who ever lived, I didn’t react at all and kept walking only to explode with anger once I was at a safe distance. I’ve come to grips with the fact that I am essentially the human version of this dog:
But wait: how did they know? This is what has bothered me the most! It’s not like I was chillin’ with this posse:
LOLOLOL Dennis Rodman tho.

Several Facebook commenters have posited that my red hair was the big tell. GING = CLOSET CATHOLIC? But there are a ton of redheads at the Presbo church! Well, at any rate, now that I know I can’t pass for shiz in East Belfast, I might as well start sporting my taig paraphernalia at all times.

Anyway, back to da stories. Election day also happened to be King Mattsy’s 30th bday, and the night before his family hosted a lovely pre-birthday pawty. There was pizza, chicken, and a little birthday cake! Which brings me to today’s second truth bomb.

American cake slices > Northern Ireland cake slices.

Now, I don’t mean they are greater in terms of taste. Cakes here are delicious. I mean greater in terms of volume. You get a piece of cake in America, chances are it is an idiotically humongous wedge that you will shovel down your gullet until you hate yourself. It’s not a piece of cake; it is a mountain of cake that covers an entire plate.
In contrast, a piece of cake in NI is a single mouthful of cake. You don’t even get a fork with it, because you can eat it in literally one bite! Piece of cake = microscopic fragment of cake. I usually have to sneak back for thirds of fourths to get my fill, like this:
However, on Matt’s actual birthday, I splurged and bought him a four layer “honeybun” cake from J Bird Bakery (RESPECT MA GANGSTA!). We plunged headfirst into hefty American-style slices as we watched all of the election results unfold.

Though the candidate I liked unfortunately didn’t win in East Belfast, I was just relieved the whole rigamarole was over. Because now I don’t have to put on this face while I listen to people talk about their political/social views:
Free and easy,