2013 in review

Not a hugely prolific year for this blogger suffering from a little writer’s block, but thank to the 3,000 of you who passed by!

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,000 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 50 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report. – the ultimate customer service organisation

On Monday evening, I cannot resist the urge to purchase a few things online from Slogan teeshirts, Star Trek lapel pins, you get the idea. Tragic, I know.

After three days of correspondence, this is the email I’ve just sent to their customer services people. Be warned: it’s like trying to buy illegal firearms or something.

Just so you know, the other option I received was to fax my bill to them. I was also instructed that any email attachment must be less than 500kb or it would be rejected by their email system.

Not sure these dudes qualify as bona fide geeks.

Dear Christina –

1. On 15 November you ask for “A copy of a statement from a service provider or financial institution, that shows the billing address submitted during checkout.”

I send you a statement from our internet service provider with my home address on it.

2. On 17 November you say this is not acceptable. You ask for “a phone bill or other utility bill showing the same billing address as your credit card.”

I send you a statement from my mobile phone provider showing the same billing address as my credit card.

3.  On 18 November you now say this is not acceptable. You now tell me “You need to physically scan in a hardcopy of your bill or take a photo of it.”

Like many people, I do all of my banking and utility bill-paying online. I only receive bills of this nature by email. In order to purchase some sci-fi trinkets from you, are you seriously asking me to:

  • Go online to my electricity/gas/phone provider’s website;
  • Save a recent bill to my hard drive;
  • Print it out (perhaps I should do it in colour to make it look more “genuine”?);
  • Scan or photograph it back into electronic format just so it looks even more genuine;
  • Attach it to an email and send it to you so that you can verify my identity?

Is this what I really need to do to obtain approval for my transaction? This is a genuine question to which I expect a reply.

On a related note, why didn’t your original email back three days ago specify the explicit instructions you only found the need to share with me after two attempts on my part?

Please be kind enough to send me a non-automated response to this email. I have now spent more time trying to respond correctly to your increasingly demanding verification emails than I did shopping on your website. The stuff you sell is really not that important to me.

Yours sincerely

Mairead Doyle

hours of fun

The internet can be the portal to lots of things apart from cheap flights, free email and news sites. Here are some of my favourite ways to while away half an hour.
Wikipedia is a multilingual Web-based free-content encyclopedia. It is written collaboratively by volunteers, allowing most articles to be changed by anyone with access to a web browser and an Internet connection. The project began on January 15, 2001,. Wikipedia has more than 3,700,000 articles in many languages, including more than 1,000,000 in the English-language version. Editors are required to uphold a policy of “neutral point of view” under which notable perspectives are summarized without an attempt to determine an objective truth.
Wander aimlessly through this virtual art gallery like you would a real one, or search for titles or artists.
Longplayer is a 1,000 year long piece of music which started to play on the 1st January 2000 and will continue to play, without repetition, until the 31st December 2999, when it will come back to the point at which it began – and begin again. In its present and original incarnation, as a computer program, it’s been playing since it began in the lighthouse at Trinity Buoy Wharf, London E14.

It’s also playing in the planetarium at the Bibliotheca Alexandria, Alexandria, Egypt, the Powerhouse, Brisbane, Australia and in Rufford Park, near Nottingham, England. Plans are in an advanced stage for other listening posts around the world.
Google’s language tools is a great slow-afternoon-at-work site, where you can have hours of fun translating complex phrases or sentences from English to German, then to French and back to English again to see exactly how much can be lost in translation. Hilarious. For those wishing to improve your language skills, you can use Google in your mother tongue. Choose Lithuanian, Yiddish, Esperanto, Klingon or Elmer Fudd (my personal favourite).
Read previously unpublished poems, short stories and even novels, and rate the writers’ work. Literary fiction, scifi, spirituality, humour and even westerns are included in the genres up for grabs.
Get into the podcast age and surf what’s available to download and listen to later on your MP3 player. If you want to start with something familiar, try the national radio station podcast sites such as for Late Night Live or for The Archers or I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue!

links we love

Orlando Speaks – Orlando gives his views on life, the universe and everything. Be warned – he is quite opinionated! – become a bookcrosser and make the world one great big library! A great way to share books with the world.

Learn to save a life – go to London Ambulance Service’s website for details of FREE emergency life support courses near you in London. Do it today – it could be a loved one who needs you! – post a photo message supporting the people of London – Can you believe Ballyfermot has its own website! It is really entertaining, especially for those of us who don’t visit wuite so often! – an interesting site about worldwide democracy – a really interesting experiment: independent journalists are setting up a truly independent news channel. –  dishes all the dirt on world celebrities! – when you get all those “this is a true story – circulate to all your friends” emails, you can check whether they are really true or not before making an eejit of yourself!!!

old website comments page

Sue Dawson


11:32 h

Hi Mairead
Happy, healthy, peaceful and
prosperous New Year to you both.
Hope you picked up my card.
Love Sue

Mairead Doyle


18:03 h

Greetings from the West of Ireland. I’m just idling at work for a few minutes and admiring your web site, very impressive. It’s great to see Mairead Doyle’s are dotted all over the world!

Robert Utchanah


12:59 h

Fab!! Looking at all that food on your sight made me feel very hungry and envious. Banana leaves is what we eat on in Mauritius, reminded me of home. Look after yourself and be careful of all those calories!
Love, Rob.

Richard Beal


22:53 h

Hi Mairead – Happy St Patrick’s Day in Aus to you and Orlando! Lots of love, Richard & family

Chris & Suzanne


20:51 h

Hi Mairead,

I think you must have forgotten us. We are your friends in Scotland, we are always looking at your website. Perhaps one day we will see you, as you kept promising to visit. It looks like you are having a great time in Australia. All our Love. xxxx

Melinda anderson


18:24 h

Yes!!!!!!! It is finally me!!!!!! usual crap excuse…temping, no access to computer, moving house, BIG bust up with boss at IWM (psycho bitch!), leaving IWM, temping again, new permanent job at Ofgem (Office for Gas and Electricity Office – Policy Analyst…no less :), finally happy and content, guilt settles in rapidly, gap in busy work load, FINALLY got to send this email!!!!! PLEASE accept my profuse apologies. Hope you are both well and happy.
Mel xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

your brother


16:16 h

Just wanted to let you know I’ve been in for a peep…!



16:19 h

Coming to Goa in Novemeber staying at the Phoenix park



16:17 h

Hi m
Been so busy working no time to do anything else just had half hr looking through catching up with your site it’s fab!!! lots of love hopefully see you at some time before 2007 x x x

Amanda Thomas


13:14 h

Hi Mairead,

Love the new look site, we are having a great time browsing through it all. It will be wonderful to see you soon, and we have the Abbotsford Slow-food festival marked in our calendar which will be great. Lots to do, looking forward to it all!!
Cheers, Amanda & Sam.

Susan McDonnell


17:04 h

Hi Mairead, I love your webpage! You have my email address already and when not loading up the baby or feeding the washing machine – or should that be the other way around? I shall endeavour to send some book reviews too. I have a book blog on my Bebo page… I’ll send you details should you want. Also, if you want a recent pic of Naomi I’ll try to find one!
Hope all going well down under,

steve humphrey


08:09 h

MAAM,Iam glad you are looking so well,mind you always did!!! look after you self,keep in touch.Regards Steve.



15:44 h

Sounds like you are having a great time and Australia seems to be agreeing with you. Tell that bajian he should be used to crrigated tin roof by now. love Mo.

Richard Beal


12:01 h

Merry Christmas Mairead, to you and Orlando. Have a fabulous New Year and all the very best of British to you both in your new home! And thanks for the email updates – I love ’em!

Richard Beal


14:48 h

Who let Gary Bowyer on this page? Blimey!

Richard Beal


14:42 h

Love the place in Footscray – it’ll be a great home for you both. It’s a very trendy place nowadays.

Gary Bowyer


14:35 h


I am bothered though, do i look bothered?

vanessa and barry


19:46 h

hi mairead
hope all is well with you and annette. we are both well and counting days down to our return to goa – which is 17 oct to 7 april. may see you there, if not will be in touch i’m sure love nessy xx



15:44 h

Sounds like you are having a great time and Australia seems to be agreeing with you. Tell that bajian he should be used to crrigated tin roof by now. love Mo.

Richard Beal


12:01 h

Merry Christmas Mairead, to you and Orlando. Have a fabulous New Year and all the very best of British to you both in your new home! And thanks for the email updates – I love ’em!

Richard Beal


14:48 h

Who let Gary Bowyer on this page? Blimey!

Richard Beal


14:42 h

Love the place in Footscray – it’ll be a great home for you both. It’s a very trendy place nowadays.

Gary Bowyer


14:35 h


I am bothered though, do i look bothered?

vanessa and barry


19:46 h

hi mairead
hope all is well with you and annette. we are both well and counting days down to our return to goa – which is 17 oct to 7 april. may see you there, if not will be in touch i’m sure love nessy xx

Christopher Miller


05:27 h

Very, very interesting and well put together. Look forward to regular updates on this site.
Cheers from Melbourne!

Robyn & Chris Miller


05:04 h

We loved reading your website and look forward to keep checking in to see what’s new!

Love to all at LAS

Robyn & Chris Miller


05:03 h


Donnamarie Cullen


20:10 h

Hi Mairead!
Just checked out the website. Very impressed! Lots of interesting items. Will defo be returning soon.
Hope you’re all keeping well. Say Hi to everyone for me. You’ll all be in my thoughts over the coming weeks.
Lots of Love,
Donnamarie! xx

debbie and sonu


14:34 h

Really good just showed Sonu the web page!!
hope your well and all good in england x x x



13:30 h

great website loved reading,loved meeting friends and family. Hope to see you soon in Goa

gabrielle stetson


17:57 h

Found your home page on ballyer site really enjoyed your holiday.I live in baltimore usa
lived in ballyfermot until i left in 1971.



01:03 h

Great Site Maread What road were you from in Ballyer
Here is another Ballyer site Hope you enjoy





19:24 h

Hi Mairead enjoyed looking through the doyle web page.
Don’t be confused about my e-mail as it is my name Jacinta.
Not a lot of people know that even Brendan forgets.



16:22 h

Just wanted to say hi. Kenneth mentioned you had a site when he was last over(ages ago) so thought I’d say hi while I’m here. Very nice

Jane Watson

01:59 h

Hi Mairead. Great website, hope to see you back in melbourne soon! Summer is on the way…………….

Kris Ward


16:11 h

I liked the article on “glass cliffs” and totally agree with some of the initial research just for the simple fact that it make sense. Nothing is done in a vacuum. You have to look at all the information including where the company was prior to the appointment before you can make sweeping generalization about women cause companies to perform poorly. Beside,you have to appoint/promote a woman if you want to get something done right!



21:35 h

hi mucky
kenneth said you had your own web page so i just thought i would say hi there.drop me a line it would be nice to hear from you
lots of love miriam


07:02 h

Welcome Home !!

Anto Mervyn


15:38 h

Makes a very interesting read. Love the section about your travels and all the stories and photos – i am a very avid traveller/adventurer. “Men We Love” ???..uhmmm i dont know about this bit though…hehehe. Website looks very kewlll indeed! Love the Flash Intro!!! Maybe there could be more photos and stories about your travels around the world..stories about Cuba would be nice..hint hint..hehee.

Well that’s all from me now.



16:55 h

HEY !!!!!!

Mairead Doyle


18:52 h

I’m delighted to see a website dedicated to such a wonderful name!

Mel Anderson


17:57 h

I refer to myself as ‘girl’ because I feel young and still consider myself relatively inexperienced in life…I am after all only 40…single, yet to experience love, never given birth, nor raised anything more dependant than a rodent, experienced the death of a loved one only once, endured no great hardships and have yet to make any truly worthwhile contributions to humanity or the planet!!! I think I’ll reserve the title ‘woman’ to when I have earned it…hopefully sometime in my future when I am wiser and can reflect on a more fuller and more participatory life !!! Until then I remain happy to be called ‘girl’…so Go Girl! Be proud, be fearless and live life!



13:03 h

Girls V women?

I was going to rant about this harridan’s inabilty to notice that she’s living in a different country to the US, and that she should cease the usual American practice of trying to homogenise every “foreign” country into a facsimile of the land of the free as a means of causing less confusion in her tiny little brain.

But surely the real issue here is context?

F’rinstance I prefer a foxy chicks vs mingin’ bints dichotomy, as when us chaps drop these terms in conversation we share our considered opinions on that lady’s fanciability. We thus don’t have to ask the supplementary question “is she fit?” (which is the only reason we’d be chatting about laydees) which in turn frees up time to talk about important stuff like football and the relative merits of different continental strength lagers.

Not that this should trouble the aformentioned foxy chicks/mingin’ bints cos we all know they should only be allowed to drink alcopops or a glass of dry white wine.

Tall Tony

12:53 h

Girl Vs Women?

I love to think of my woman as “my girl”. It’s a term of endearment, nothing less. It CERTAINLY does not imply anything bad, or derogitory (spelt wrong).

That’s what I think!


Tall Tony

12:52 h




11:09 h

I’ve just lowered the tone somewhat, sorry.



11:08 h

I want to vote for Bitches.


00:03 h

The term ‘girl’ can only be seen as condescending if the receiver sees it thus. To most people ‘girl’ is interchangeable with ‘female’ (the term generally used in Melbourne as PC, but which I myself find very clinical). Not long ago (in my lifetime) ‘woman’ was used as an insult. Now, thanks to feminism we see it as a term of pride. What do the terms ‘Spinster’ / ‘Divorcee’ conjur up ? And what about the ubiquitous ‘slut’ ? Will we ban their use too ? Funny how only the terms used to describe women can somehow be twisted around to imply inferiority or be used as an insult. Women, look at what is causing your reaction. Have you ever heard a man complain about being called a ‘lad’ ? Or ‘one of the BOYS’ ? Although we must be aware of other women’s sensitivity to certain terms, it is just one language after all and if you weren’t living in an English speaking area of the world
would ‘Madchen’, ‘Senorita’ or ‘Fille’ have the same reaction ?? I, for one, will continue to be proud of being an old GIRL !!


22:50 h

Why bother about the Pc way of addressing women. Is anyone bothered really.
Suggestions; Take away their vote, education and equal rights and reestablish the correct order of things!!

{But are we talking about men or women???}


22:41 h

All females should be addressed not as “woman”, “bitch”, “wench”, etc.. but by the more appropriate title suitable to all of their kind….


18:39 h

I’ve voted for Mr March. And what’s the problem with the wonderful Johnny Depp?!

nikki sherrard


16:56 h

I just love your site so much though never have enough time to browse at my leisure unfortunately….can’t find my Mr March today so have to pass.
Anyway, keep it up, it’s so refreshing and genuine.
Nikki x

Kris Ward


17:57 h

How about Jude Law (from “Cold Mountain” and “Road to Perdition”) as a candidiate for MWL?

claire de la Roque


17:08 h

Love the photos from Oz – not fair all that sun!!!

Tell Lee she is looking absolutely gorgeous and I like the v luvverly male fluff she now has in tow – well done girlie!!


Mel Anderson


17:43 h

Gorgeous darling!
I love this!! Even did the link to Orlandos page and had a good laugh…..especially the smoking ad!!! How true!! Brilliant stuff Orlando…and Mairead….MWL suggestion…Johnny Depp and Marilyn(just for me!!!!)it all helped me to get through a bleak Wednesday pm.
Ta to you both

Brian Costello

12:38 h

I think we should just call Miread a “girlie” anyway.

Brian Costello

12:38 h

This is freaky …
I’ve just seen j Daltons comments…he was here just 5 minutes ago!!!

Brian Costello

12:36 h

But I’m told I’m to old to use words like this!!

Joe Dalton


12:33 h

Hi Babe, thought I’d sign in just to prove that I had actually gone here….. you’ve gotta love the men we love! Will read Satanic Verses though

ariane casrouge


15:43 h

well done Mairead!

Igor and I have enjoyed this last half an hour discovering your site, especially your family album. Could I suggest that you had a topic with attached pictures on the last Notting Hill Carnival? (I still haven’t seen the photos Orlando took when I was around..).
see you soon,
meanwhile have a good time in Paris and then in Australia,

Harriet Graves


22:15 h

ho, hum, sooooo many beautiful men to choose from, but it just has to be Colin Farrell, by the mearest of broody, mean, come hither looks

andy maden


15:05 h

Hello, girl friend.
I totally like the picture of LL Cool J. Hoo La La, il est tres tres chaud.
Speak to you soon.
French girl. Andy



10:59 h

well i never,this is all rather posh, WHAT WHAT WHAT WHAT.

Fancy giving this to me??????

i will try and keep all my future messages just as clean, with no swearing, promise!!!!

Conor B


10:17 h

A really cool blue website, Mairead, just the place to visit after a hard day at the office to soothe frayed nerves. Take a visit to Goa, or relax
in a Soho cocktail bar. I’m afraid I
won’t be drooling over man of the month, but I could make suggestions for
a similar page for the fairer sex …and maybe a dirty, oul Dublin restaurant guide wouldn’t go amiss!

See ya,


Richard Beal


14:50 h

This has got to be the best birthday present ever! Well done Orlando!

Dr. Fox


14:47 h

Ooooooh ! how exciting, what a wonderful site…i shall definitiely be contributing to both the Mairead and Orlando site in the near future. BUT, what no Keanu on the “Men we Love” link? Perhaps we`ll find him under the “Men we think are jolly good actors” site?

nikki sherrard


12:51 h

This is fabulous Mairead – I’m bowled over!

In return for a nice browse around your site, I’ll recommend a new restaurant I’ve frequented recently and will give it 5 stars – The Hope and Anchor on The Cut, Waterloo. Check it out. Ex-Eagle in Farrington chefs and simply unbeatable.

Apollo Dean Campbell


19:02 h

I guess this website makes sense, Mairead has a lot to give the world. so it’s time we all got to share her world with her.
Mairead is one of 3 important women in our circle of life. myself, Orlando (Topcat) and Mo (Gouki) understand that Mairead/Lesa and Andy float like the bubbles, they sway like the eagles, They are the flowers open our aura.



Joe Frisch


18:12 h

Sipping my morning coffee here in Ski Town, USA waiting for the snow to arrive and browsing through….. Great site! What a 21st century, productive way to interface with Mairead’s multifaceted world! Nicely done, too. Kudos to Orlando for the idea (and design?) and your plans on keeping it going. Looking forward to the updates!

Katharine Haines


17:20 h

Am so looking forward to coming down to London tomorrow and seeing you all again.

Loved the man of the month feature – what about Johnny Depp for another time?!

Fiona #2


17:00 h

The Doyle has landed!
Got your text and rushed out to harass a colleague into giving me access to his laptop. woohoo.
Congrats on the men of the motn page. I hereby nominate Viggo Mortenson/Aragorn (the sweatier the better)and Will Smith (preferably running in slowmo!). Shall lock myself away in a room somewhere and have a good long think about future nominations. Restaurants and books also a top idea, i shall get on the case. Am also with Claire on “recipes for incompetents in the kitchen”. Many congrats again my dear.
Love Fi

Zuhair Barakat


16:57 h


Had to have a quick browse today, just to check the colours & fonts!
Will be back when I get a breathing space!!

Well done so far and many thanks to Orlando


16:55 h


John Huggins


15:12 h


PS. Home email address up the shoot at the mo but normally is

PPS. Will be putting my brother Tyrone forward for the hunk of the month!!! Not sure he’ll get the votes though!!



15:10 h

it’s very good , have not had too much time atm for an in depth look , but i will soon ……again sorry abou the ..well you know ….have to do lunch soon before it stats to snow ….

claire de la Roque


15:01 h

Oh this is sooooo cool – I want one NOW!!!!

When can I start to nominate man of the month? Nah not Dave, but the very delish Johnny Depp – mmmm so snice!!

What about funky recipes for people cant cook? (err thats me!!)


Hayley Burchill


14:28 h

Happy birthday whenever it was. What a great idea.



14:25 h

Like a kid in a candy store!


06:18 h

Looking good Mairead !! – Love the new colour scheme !

Fiona Jordan


11:56 h

What a seriously cool birthday pressie! Look forward to watching it build.