Friday 27 February 2009

Happy Birthday Malcolm!

Have a fabulous day on Sunday, hope you are ready for your party with Warren tonight.....just remember to keep some energy for Saturday night and Snow Patrol - quite a birthday party you have coming your way....a WHOLE weekend of celebration...hope you can keep up with me!!!!!!! Of course it goes without saying that the Friday song is for you...and the reason I was still sitting at the computer when you got back from soccer on Monday!

The Killers - Mr Brightside

Thursday 26 February 2009


Allow yourself confusion as you walk through life. It is your way of sorting things out. It is through confusion that you finally come to clarity.

Wednesday 25 February 2009

Good News

Okay, enough! I have a friend who is not feeling great. Every time we pick up a paper, switch on the news or have a conversation with somebody we here BAD news. Well I think it is time to stop, negativity is a contagious disease and I do not want to get sick. then,
I got my atlas - €24 and the price on the jacket? £75 - EXCELLENT NEWS.
This morning on my way to work the sky was full of pastel colours, unbelievably uplifting.
Jessica scored 2 goals in her hockey match.
It was still light at 18h00...and dry.
Of course I could just as easily have decided to focus on the bad things,JUST missed the luas twice(!) but there is even good in that, I got to grab a Metro newspaper for the ride in AND on the way out I got to stand on the sidewalk with my mates and chat for an extra 3 minutes! So you see I have made a CHOICE - I am choosing to take good over bad, so now tell me what GREAT thing happened to you today?

Monday 23 February 2009


We are not big celebrators of St Valentine in this house but we did spend some time in front of a music channel observing Westlife's Top 100 songs. No we did not sit through all 100 of them, jeez that would be slit your wrists stuff because there are SO many SAD love songs out there. Sinead O Connor was number 10 or thereabouts - Malcolm said it would be near the top, he really enjoys Sinead O Conor and when I found that I could put the actual video on my blog I decided to share it and if you have the time I STRONGLY ENCOURAGE you to REALLY watch this music video. She is feeling what she is singing and it is heartbreaking.

Venturing Northwards

Yes, we finally did it. We went shopping UP North, this is apparently not something we should be doing - we are supposed to be supporting our own economy but sadly if we did that Jess and Kirstin would not be happy owners of laptop computers. Yes, they saved and saved and finally had enough money to make THE purchase of their lives. While we were up there we added to our dwindling wine collection, the savings are incredible, I paid €4.50 for a Jacobs Creek wine that would set me back €10 in Dublin! Again I know I am supposed to buy local but with a recession on and wine becoming a necessity to get through the stress I HAVE to go north or I can't afford to feed my addiction. I promise to continue buying all perishables in ROI, oh and I will continue to support my local Aldi and Lidl (very Irish stores...okay German) for my weekly groceries - their prices are as good as the north so they can still have most of my business....although I do wonder what the prices of those stores are like in the north.....please remember my post about BUDGET, which by the way I stuck to for the WHOLE month and even treated everyone to a Chinese takeout during the month!

The Intrepid traveler returns

For some reason time flies here in the northern hemisphere. This is rather worrying as my 37th birthday looms and let's face it 40 ain't too far away! But then I guess age is just a number and I have to admit that close to 40 I feel NOT. Anyhoo, my point is that last week was one of the slowest weeks I have know thus far, and all because we were missing a limb, well Jess really, but it was LIKE missing a limb. We got awesome emails from her, bubbling with enthusiasm, texts that were cheerful and we did wonder whether she would actually want to return to Mud Island. After all she was dining out at a restaurant every day, enjoying warm sunny days and making new friends. The best is that she loved "her person" or "her people" - yes that is how they ALL refer to their host families, I thought it was so funny when she was telling us the story of her arrival: "My people were waiting for me and when I got off the bus I think I heard my person say there mine is"
The highlight seems to be the disco they all went to on their last night, apparently it was THE best and makes Wes look like a....well I am not sure what, but have a sneaking suspicion that the third year students on the trip to Spain will never be satisfied with a Wes disco again!
Luckily Jess did not fall in love with a Spanish youngster on her trip, and TV in Spanish got rather tiresome so she was actually happy to wing her way back to her family in Dublin. She was so full of beans in the car she spoke non-stop from the airport all the way home and we are all looking forward to meeting S and showing her around Dublin in March/April.

Friday 20 February 2009


My first treasure hunt is over. We started off with pizza in the lunch room, good idea to get the stomach well lined before heading off in search of 6 elusive pubs in Dublin.
Our first clue was a killer, we ran from pub to pub, every time very sure that we had finally cracked it - only to be disappointed. At the fifth stop we asked the barman for help and decided to drown our sorrows and pick up our energy with a Jagger Bomb. Eventually we called in for a clue and discovered that I had been right all along, in fact I had cracked the code within 1 minute but as my pub name knowledge is limited and accent different my suggestion was discarded...The pub was Toners and I had said Tuners....aarrgghh
After that it was easy, but we decided to make a concerted effort to be last and enjoyed our evening of pub hopping immensely. My favourite spot has to be The Gingerman and I will definitely be visiting it again at some point.
The evening ended back at Toners where there was a live band and a dance floor - yippee! Our team won the prize for best name (stolen from my sister-in-law, her pub quiz name Norfolk Enchants) I got involved in a bit of Jagger Bomb competition (which I won) and then switched to water, which ensured my perky disposition most of the day today, I finally hit the proverbial brick all at about 16h00. Tonight will be a quiet one at home and an early night!

TubThumping (yes really!)

Thursday 19 February 2009

Good Timing

A very good friend sent this poem to me and I decided it has to be shared....thanks Al.

The Invitation

Oriah Mountain Dreamer
Canadian Teacher and Author

It doesn't interest me what you do for a living
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me how old you are
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for love
for your dreams
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon...
I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life's betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your
fingers and toes
without cautioning us to
be careful
be realistic
to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.

If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand on the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,

It doesn't interest me
to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after a night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn't interest me who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the center of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.

Ho Ho Ho and a bottle of rum

I am embarking on my first adults only treasure hunt, yes ADULT treasure hunt. Our sports and social committee have decided to send us on a pub treasure hunt tonight and it should be just what the doctor ordered. Yep gloomy February has hit yours truly, and I hate to admit it but down in the dumps I have been. Luckily the stars have aligned and many festivities have been planned for the next couple of weeks.
On Saturday I am meeting a group of friends for coffee, on Saturday afternoon I get to see my eldest daughter again after a whole week. By the way...while on the subject..she is having an ABSOLUTE ball I am so pleased. She loves the family she is staying with and food choice has certainly not been an issue as they own a restaurant! Oh and a hotel, talk about landing with your bum in the butter! Friday I am DOUBLE booked. I have been invited to a hen party AND we are celebrating Malcolm and Warren's birthday at one of Dublin's watering holes. On Saturday night we are off to see Snow Patrol (YIPPEE - thanks a LOT Paul!!) and Sunday will have to be some sort of bells and whistles as it is Malcolm's birthday....phew.....may the end of my slump begin...yes sirree I feel it already.....

Monday 16 February 2009

Walk in his shoes

Malcolm printed out an article for me to read about a man who emigrated to Canada and finally returned to his homeland, Ireland. I guess it is ironic that I am settled and happy in this country that we chose, a place that we hope will provide our children with better opportunities and a more stable future than the country we left. Read Misery of the returned emigrant here so many of my own thoughts were echoed here and although I still feel we made the right decision as I am happy and definitely feel safer, corruption, worry for our children's futures and mistrust in our government is a worldwide problem.

Saturday 14 February 2009

The running of the bulls?

Isn't he a beauty? I promised a picture of my new bull...what do you think?

Friday 13 February 2009

The Fridge Photo as instructed...

English Mum challenged us all to a picture of the innards of our fridge -see hers here - EM's fridge photo and yes I decided to oblige and provide a photo of my own. Sadly mine came out all blurry and now Jess has the camera in Spain, but I love the idea and I am going to post it anyway!

And if you are wondering about the funky arrangement of "things" ABOVE the fridge, that can be another Friday photo, an in focus one next time, so now how about the DOOR of the fridge next Em??

Fine Young Cannibals

In the OLD days....when I was YOUNG my little sister was MAD about Roland Gift....remember Trace?

In other AWESOME news, my friend Lizle starts her new job today - so best of luck to you AND I read on another friend (Melissa's) facebook that her scans got the all clear - a long fight bravely fought and won, CONGRATULATIONS. Have a great weekend everyone, with all this fantastic news it can only be good.

Thursday 12 February 2009


I stepped out of the office today after a hard days work and marvelled at the wonderful balmy evening that greeted me. It is light out when I leave work now, and still light by the time I get home -just! I walked home feeling fantastic and even noticed buds on a lot of the trees, spring .. she is coming! Then it dawned on me, if I was still in good old South Africa I would be moaning as to how cold it was... 8 Celcius, I must be acclimatising!

Monday 9 February 2009

Slices of life...

Remember the new budget I moaned and griped about? Well I am loving it! Yes really. The groceries are comfortably within budget and my entertainment allowance has stretched remarkably well. I even managed to buy an outfit while out shopping with Jess, a real girlie something for a change - I love that leggings are back and got a dark grey pair with a nice dusty lilac dress, makes a change from jeans, don't get me wrong I LOVE my jeans but every now and then it is nice to wear a dress.
I also have an odd sense of power and achievement sticking to my budget, I am even beginning to think that maybe just maybe I can squirrel away some of my entertainment allowance so that I can have extra money for my hockey tour to Blackpool in May.
Of course it is only the first month but considering I thought it was going to be real tough going I am so pleasantly surprised. Taking my own lunch to work every day has helped tremendously!

In other news the weather is still lousy, the up side is that apparently the worse the winter the better our summer will be, so it is lining up to be a FANTASTIC one at this rate.

Kirstin is back in the nest after a fantastic trip to Spain which involved a lot of socialising, skiing, tours, paella (not eaten) very little sleep (surprise, surprise), a new doll (not sure how she managed to close her suitcase) and a brilliant present for me - a mosaic bull, he really is magnificent. Of course I am stressing about how much of her allowance she spent on the little guy. I think he deserves a spot on the blog....not tonight though!

Jess was thrilled to have her sister back, there was even a slight scuffle between the two of us as to who would greet her at the door (I acted like the adult and let her go first) a proud parenting moment seeing my daughters fling their arms around each other in pure delight...
Jess is on the final stretch of her mocks and I must say she has handled it all very well and the stress has barely been seen, long may it last! On Friday we celebrate the end of the exams and Jess has invited her friends to come over to our place for pizza and to get ready for their night out to Wes....pity Malcolm has spent his entire months allowance...the pub could be a welcome solace from teenage girls getting ready for a night out......

Best news for last then....Jess entered the schools art competition and claimed FIRST prize, she was shocked but thrilled and we are all very proud. If it were not for her friend C she would never even have entered, now that is what I call healthy peer pressure!

Saturday 7 February 2009


A magical movie, I was going to post the trailer but then I found this song which also gives a good diea of the movie...

Friday 6 February 2009

He's Just not that into you!

This morning Jessica and I get to have a mom and daughter morning. She is off to Wes - the rugby club not the school - for a Valentine's dance and she needs an outfit, or so she thinks. We decided to make a day of it and are going to do some shopping followed by a movie - lots of big names let's hope it is good, I do know that it will be a real 'chick flick'. Last night we watched Stardust - it was a brilliant movie and we all enjoyed it, I will have to find a clip on YouTube but time is fleeting and we gotta go!

Thursday 5 February 2009

Beggar on a Beach of Gold

Okat not quite the upbeat Friday song I was after, but I do like the lyrics...

Winter Wonderland

Yes, even through the office windows it was MAGIC. The snow came down in BIG FAT floaty flakes and it was absolutely awesome! What a sight, the walk home on the other hand was anything but, no wellies for me, just runners with breathy bits - enough to cause me to fear the length of time it takes before frost bite sets in -seriously people, I could not feel my toes. There was a bizarre stinging sensation, but semi numb at the same time and I got a little scared...OKAY I am not such an idiot, but it was SERIOUSLY cold. Of course Little Miss Clever had no gloves or hat today but she marched on fearlessly and made it to tell the slushy soppy tale.
In other news, Kirstin made it to Spain, sadly the Dublin airport closed a while later and so the French students missed their departure to Disney Paris, I think Kirstin was patting herself on the back for the Spanish language choice today. She is in her element - we have been told not to text as it is too expensive (who do you think pays the bills?) and she is well impressed with the dinner arrangements so far. They all go off in little groups for dinner and meet up in room 401 (so we were told via EXPENSIVE text) may SOMEONE be looking out for them....that's my girl!

Wednesday 4 February 2009

Globe Trotters

And she is off! My BABY is winging her way to Spain tomorrow - Madrid to be geographically accurate. Malcolm or I have to be up way before the crack of dawn to deliver her safely to school for a 5 am departure on the bus. We are still waiting for her to decide who the lucky one will be. I had already volunteered my services as I could not imagine NOT taking her as I have always been there waving the bus off for tours, but she burst my little bubble by informing me that she might want her dad dropping her off, now she is in a quandary as to who should take her. Jess prepared a farewell dessert of strawberries and ice cream in a wafer basket and we were chatting about the upcoming trip and she said, "Two years ago who would have thought that we would be off to Europe on a school tour?" Too right....
The packing has been done, chocolate purchased, clothes co ordinated and perfumes selected, my baby is certainly growing up. She is so excited because they are staying in a hotel and she gets to share a room with her friend Ellen. Have fun Kirstin and make lots of fabulous memories to last a life time, oh and PLEASE look after the camera, and try not to stay up too late!

Jessica follows in Kirstin's footsteps in 9 days time, but she is going to Léon Spain. She is a bit more nervous as she is staying with a Spanish family for a week, it should be interesting apparently they have dogs, cats,a horse, squirrels and turtles quite the menagerie, not to mention 3 sisters and 1 brother (part of the menagerie?)...they had better look after her, we get to repay the favour in March/April and our hospitality could go either way.....KIDDING!!!! The kids have exchanged pictures, Jess sent a couple of family ones and we had such a laugh because she emailed Jessica in English and said:
I leave you some pictures of me because of my family just got old.
We had a good giggle, but as Jess says she has probably had a good laugh at some of Jessica's mails too! So Jess, have fun too and live a little, but not too much!!! Make some moments to remember, and yes you can also use the camera!

Tuesday 3 February 2009


Finally. After many promising weather reports it really did happen, we got snow. We woke up yesterday morning to a fine white dusting and flurries of stuff coming out of the sky. I opted for my car to get to the luas - reluctantly as I am really battling to shift this Christmas weight and walking to the luas HAS to help somewhat, but I digress. The roads were slippery and the drivers all very sensible, some overly so but Malcolm and I made it to work and back unscathed. A lot of the snow was actually like polystyrene balls, teeny tiny snow balls falling from the sky, and no it was not hail because they were sort of bouncy and soft, not hard. Weird.
This morning most of the evidence has been washed away by rain but our flower bed against the wall has not succumbed to the elements and it is still all pretty and white - so yesterday it really did snow!

Monday 2 February 2009

The Good Doctor

On an on you will hike, And I know you’ll hike far
and face up to your problems whatever they are.
You’ll get mixed up of course, as you already know.
You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go.

So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
And remember that Life’s a great balancing act.

Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.

Dr Seuss

Waiting your turn

I was standing in line at Aldi on Sunday afternoon and there was a young girl in front of me with a bag of potatoes. The lady in front of her had a trolley full and she told the little lass to go ahead of her. I was really pleased to see that because if I have a load of stuff and the person behind me has one or two items I always let them go ahead of me too.
Enter grumpy old elderly lady asked the man behind me (he had 5 things) if she could go ahead of HIM as she only had TWO items and was in a big hurry...he politely declined as he was also trying to make a speedy exit. We had paid and were walking to the car when the woman's husband marched up to the five item man and gave him a severe (and very loud) tongue lashing for not letting his wife go ahead...I was absolutely gob smacked! Obviously the older couple were not in so much of a hurry after all, as they had plenty time to go looking for the unsuspecting man. I was absolutely shocked at their audacity, I would have understood them being a bit upset if he had a trolley full, but he WAS ahead of them and only had three more items than them.