Sunday, January 5, 2020

Can't see the woods for the trees

I was far too excited to be going to the recently opened Center Parcs in Longford forest.On the drive there I was listening to a radio programme on the terrible Australian bushfires. Hearing a first hand account of the effects on both human and animal life, it really brought the scale of the devastation home to me.
As a result, when I turned in the gate to Center Parcs and started driving through the forest a feeling of panic started to build up in me. I glanced up at the trees towering over me and thought of the situation in Australia.

"Cop on Noeleen", I gave out to myself. "It's drizzling rain here today. There isn't a chance of this place catching on fire".
For once I was very happy to be living in a rainy, damp climate.

Met up with the women and my mood lifted considerably!

First stop was the Subtropical swimming pool.

Thank God it was much warmer inside.Like excited kids we were soon swirling, splashing and screaming our way down various slides, 

It was then that I heard the words that strike fear in the heart of every teacher during holiday time.
There was one of our pupils who was every bit as excited as I was. I think the biggest shock for her was the realisation that teachers sometimes leave school! 

All that physical activity had worked up an appetite so it was time for lunch.

Then it was off to the Aqua Spa. I've been to several spas in my life and I have to say it was one of the best.
I couldn't believe that I was swimming outside on the 4th of January in LONGFORD!
It was a bit bracing getting to the hot tub!

It was a fantastic day and I can't wait to go again!

Friday, January 3, 2020

Room to Improve

I've often wondered what happens after  you do a Dermot Bannon-esque job on your kitchen, resulting in an open plan, lots of windows and white walls? I mean, how do you manage to inject colour into the room?
Well my brother Finian and his wife Marese had no such problem after their recent refurbishment. In fact they were spoilt for choice. All they had to do was raid their son Niall's painting collection. Personally I'd hang up these two!

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Happy New Year

After a fabulous New Year's Eve in the National Concert Hall at the Gala starring Killian Donnelly, I stayed in Emer's house in Bray.

Today we started the year off as we mean to go on, with a walk down to the train station to collect Emer's car. It was a glorious day weather-wise, so we decided to go a little bit further. Little did I realise that this "little bit further" was a hike up the Sugarloaf Mt, overlooking the sea.

What a way to start the New Year.

Sitting on the edge of the world.

Here's praying for a happy and healthy 2020.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

On the first day of Christmas....

Ornithophobia, or fear of birds, can take many forms. Some people  fear only birds of prey, such as vultures, while others are afraid of household pets like parakeets.

Or in my case, I get nauseous even when I see bird ornaments. In fact Mammy used to have to take the fake robin off the  Christmas wreath when I was a child. I couldn't stay in the same room as it.

So you can imagine how I felt when I got a fabulous hamper from my pupils and this little fe**er was peeping out at me from among the boxes of Quality Street and Roses!

But seeing as I am now a mature women in her mid-fifties I decided that it was time to get over this phobia. In the interest of saving the planet I have decided to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle as much as possible.

 I used the wrapping and ornaments from the hamper to make a Christmas display for my bathroom. I've just discovered that not only is it festive, it is also very functional!
You know the way all the rich food at this time of the year can give you a case of
Christmas Constipation?

Well, that's not going to happen to me this year. Every time I see his beady little eyes looking out at me, it frightens the sh*t out of me!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Sunday, December 1, 2019


We were talking about Advent in class during the week. The kids were all excited about opening their advent calendars and getting their chocolate treat each day.
Well I bet none of them is as excited as I am about the advent calendar!
I was lucky enough to get one of  Marks&Spencer's The Gift of Beauty boxes.

I bought it a few weeks ago but I managed to resist opening it. Today being the first of December it was time to surprise myself.

And first up...

Hair we go! I'll be fab-u-lous by Christmas Eve!

Monday, November 11, 2019

Putting my foot in it

There was a lovely older teacher that used to do substitute teaching in our school a few years ago. One day she came to school in two different shoes. Nothing ever phased her and she just passed it off by saying
"Girls, just you wait 'til you reach a certain stage of your life and your brain turns to mush  because of a hot flush, then you'll  think of me".

Years passed.
I thought of her again today when I arrived into school and Mr Potterton kindly drew my attention to my feet.

I'd like to say that it was because of the dark morning and I couldn't see properly. And in my defense they were both the same height so I had no reason to look down.
I tried to pass it off to my class as a fashion statement, but no luck!

Monday, November 4, 2019

Don't speak too soon.

It's always hard going back to school after a break - for teachers as well as for pupils.
I have been teaching for 35 years and I still can't sleep the night before school starts again.

Today, however was a particularly good "first day back to school" day. We got stuck into our work, while having a fair bit of fun. The highlight was when several groups of kids came up to me with pictures they had drawn with lovely little messages written on them for me.
So it was, that at home time when everyone was lined up at the end of my classroom ready to leave, that I was feeling particularly happy with myself and thinking
"You know, I think that after all this time, I have things under control"
It must have been the universe warning me not to get so sure of myself, because one little lad came up to me and said
"Miss, I don't feel very well".
And before I could do anything, the poor little mite proceeded to projectile vomit over the floor, himself and me!
I managed to send the rest off to the school gate before they too heaved in sympathy.
I got him sorted out, cleaned myself off, got him to the school gate and then back to clear up the trail.
Ah yes, I figure it was karma coming back to bite me in the a*** and to let me know that as a teacher you can never get too comfortable in your ability. There is always something unexpected just around the corner.
Bring on tomorrow!

Sunday, November 3, 2019

The Northern Star!

I am so happy to be taking part in Killucan-Raharney's fund raiser "A night at the Oscars". Last night was the night when we discovered what film we would be doing and who our fellow cast members would be.
I'm delighted to be part of....Derry Girls!
Still don't know what part I have...but I better start brushing up on my Norn Iron accent!
What about ye?

Saturday, August 3, 2019

A very special mam

Today is Mam's birthday. I went into the shop to get her a card. as usual!
I searched among the "Special Mam" cards to find a suitable one. I particularly liked the sentiment on this one.
....a blessed day,
because it is another one for us to share......

I have just had a message from my sister , who was visiting Mam this afternoon. It was a photo of my card and a question!

"Noeleen, should you have gone to SpecSavers?"
I guess I should have!!!

Friday, August 2, 2019

You're never fully dressed without a smile.

I was paying at the till in Marks and Spencer's.
"Here's a voucher for 20% off Men's".
"THERE'S 20% OFF MEN!" I exclaimed.
"Oh I wish!", she replied.
We were having the craic when the cashier beside us looked over, did a bit of a double take and asked
"Weren't you on Operation Transformation?"

I got a shock as it's been three years and I figure people have forgotten it by now.
"Well, yes", I replied.
"I thought so", she said. "I recognised your smile and your laugh!"

I got a touch of the fuzzy wuzzys! I mean, if that's what I'm remembered for, well...

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Fair exchange is no robbery

I was delighted to meet up with Lucy, my fellow Operation Transformation leader.

As proof as to how much the show changed us, I brought...
homemade Oaty Banana buns.

In return Lucy gave me home grown potatoes from her garden.

We couldn't have done that pre-OT!

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Add to cart

I went into Woodie's Home Store and More to get two door knobs for my bedroom door.I came out with....

  • a wipe clean table cloth
  • a rotary chopper for vegetables
  • an electric kettle *suddenly remembered that mine gave up the ghost this morning
  • four drinking glasses
  • two toilet seats *well, they were half price and I feel my old ones need replacing

  • a plunger

You may have noticed that the one thing that missing from that list is the door knobs. They didn't have the ones I wanted.
So now I'll have to risk going into another hardware shop and be confronted by all the things I didn't realise that I needed!

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Summer solstice- woah, we're half way there

Well, I'm certainly not surprised.
Stood on the scales this morning and I was 3 lbs up.
Actually I'm surprised it wasn't more!

I had a fabulous weekend in Killarney, eating and drinking my way through the AIMS weekend. But that wasn't what did the damage. If I had come home on Sunday evening and said
"Right, that's it. Weekend over, now lets get back on track".
I would have dropped those pounds like I did the previous week.
But no, it was like the dam burst. I ate anything that wasn't nailed down! I couldn't get motivated  at all.
Luckily it was the summer solstice.
What has that got to do with it? I hear you ask.

My friend Fiona was having a special yoga class out by the lake in Belvedere house on Saturday morning. In honour of the longest day of the year she was concentrating on our solar plexus (!) which I am reliably informed, is located behind our belly button and is the centre of our determination and confidence.
It is literally "the fire in our belly"

I was a bit worried that all those happy vibes wouldn't be able to penetrate the extra layer of  fat that had deposited itself in my belly since last week, but I decided to give it a go.
And guess what, it worked!
For me, the most powerful part was when we were doing "The Warrior". As we stood, tall and proud, pointing out over the lake, Fiona told us to look down our middle finger and concentrate on what we wanting in our future for the next six months.
To get back to my comfortable weight, get back to my comfortable weight, get back to my comfortable weight,  I chanted.
* Posed by a model...not me!!!

So now I'm very much fired up and ready to go. This week I intend to have more fire in  my belly than sugar!

This is still my favourite part of the class...time to relax!