Saturday, June 2, 2018

We're off to Coppers!

I went up to Leixlip last night for the Alternative Awards night for their recent production of West Side Story. I was delighted to unexpectedly catch up with Karl Harpur, who is home from LA to direct Copper Face Jacks - The Musical!

We have an eventful history!!!

Saturday, April 28, 2018

A very important decision to make

The date for the referendum on repealing the 8th amendment to our constitution is drawing nearer. At the moment all abortion is illegal in Ireland. This is not to say it doesn't happen. We either export it to clinics in Britain or we import it online by means of pills.  Now our country will decide whether abortions up to the age of 12 weeks will be allowed to be carried out here or not.

Seeing as it is such an emotive issue, it is not a clear cut black and white scenario, there are many shades of grey. I would lean more strongly towards one side of the argument than the other, but I still have reservations. I would worry about it being used as a means of contraception, but on the other hand how do we show empathy and support towards women who are pregnant as a result of rape, who are putting their own lives at risk if the pregnancy goes ahead or when the baby, due to a severe foetal abnormality, will either die in the womb or immediately after birth. Should society decide that they must go ahead with such a pregnancy until Nature takes its course? So I am one of the many "not exactly sure yet" electorate.
So with that in mind, I sat down last night to watch "The Late Late Show" which was having the first of several debates between the ProChoice and the ProLife sides of the argument.

I was very adamant that I was listening to both sides with an open mind. Firstly I was very impressed with how well conducted both sides were, especially seeing as how emotional the issue involved is. I thought the Prochoice side were very clinical in their arguments while the Prolife side tugged on the heartstrings.
As the debate neared its conclusion I have to admit that I was getting very irritated by the repeated argument of the Prolife side. It was, that if women have a choice, they will rush into abortion and live to regret their decision. When questioned about rape cases that result in a pregnancy the response was that it was very unfortunate, but that the women would come to love their babies. What I took from this argument was that women would not make the right decision so choice should not be given to them, instead society would make that decision in order to save themselves from themselves.

When the programme was over I changed channels and was delighted to find that the second season of "The Handmaid's Tale" was starting. Pure fantasy and escapism from the real world. Halfway through it, it suddenly dawned on me.
Yes, this is a sensationalised piece of drama. But if you strip all that away you get to the underlying theme...
Women have no place in decision making in society. Their worth is only measured by their ability to carry a child to full term. They have no choice in whether they want to have a baby or not. It is for the good of society so they must go along with the law. Society knows better than they do.

Not so much fantasy after all.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Walk a mile in my shoes

The job of principal is coming up shortly in my school. There is a lot of speculation going around, even among the kids.
One of the young lads said to his teacher today.
"Miss, you better hope Ms Noeleen doesn't get the job..."
"Why not???" she asked in surprise.
"Well if she does....she'll make you all wear high heels!".

And I can see where he's coming from.
These are the ones I was wearing today.....and I was on yard duty!

Life is a catwalk.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

'ear 'ear

I was out for fabulous dinner in Miller & Cook in Mullingar.

As I stood up to leave I heard a ..klunk. One of my new earrings had opened and fallen out, hitting the floor.
They were hoops so did actually made a little sound...maybe not exactly a klunk. That was for dramatic effect.
I searched under our table but couldn't see it anywhere. I had just given up hope when I espied the foot of a man at a nearby table.
What should I do?
I went up to him as he was having an animated conversation with his companions.
"Excuse me," I interrupted.
All the diners at the table stopped to look at me.
"Please don't get alarmed or excited but I'm just going to bend down for a moment!"
There was a collective intake of breath while I bent down and .......retrieved my earring.
"Taadah" I held it aloft.
A moment's silence was followed by howls of laughter.
"Well I didn't want to make any sudden unannounced movements" I explained.
I wish I could have taken a photo of the shock/horror/excitement on his face!

Close up to prove that I had really been wearing hoop earrings and it wasn't a very clever chat up line!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

One in a generation.

Back at school, we were discussing the effects of The Beast from the East, Ireland's worst snowfall in over thirty years. I asked them what they were feeling now that it was gone.

Personally I'm delighted as I couldn't cope with another day of isolation.

One of the lads put up his hand.
"Miss, I feel very sad."
"And why is that?"
"Well if it only happens every thirty years, then I won't be a child when it happens again."

Boy, did my heart nearly melt.

Monday, March 5, 2018

A rude awakening.

Reality is...

when you're feeling quite smug about yourself, because you've eaten healthily over the past four snowed-in days (apart from a few Twixs) and exercised daily along with Karl Henry in your sitting room...

and then you slip out of your comfy tracksuits and into your trousers.....Eekkkk!

Sunday, March 4, 2018

The Aftermath

I shall be eternally grateful to another neighbour with another tractor, who cleared my driveway for me this morning. I can now officially rejoin the human race.

But we're not out of the woods yet.
Raharney awoke to the devastating news that a young man had lost his life just outside the village in the early hours of this morning. I think the whole country thought that we had managed to survive the snow emergency without any fatalities. However, even though the Red and Orange weather alerts have been lifted, the danger is not over. Roads are still in a treacherous condition and will be for quite some time to come. It's not back to "business as normal".

So everyone, keep safe.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

A bid to escape

I woke up this morning and thought
"I am soo over this snow malarkey".
The first day or two were fine. I got so much done.

  • wrote my cúntas míosúil - all the work I did in February.
  • wrote my fortnghtly scheme for March - all the work I'm going to get done in the next two weeks- yeah, right.
  • college assignment
  • washed all the inside windows and mirrors
  • washed the floors
  • broke two gel nails in the process
  • cleared out kitchen cupbords
  • decluttered my wardrobe
  • batch cooked dinners
  • resistance workouts with Karl Henry
  • caught up on phonecalls, texts, Facebook messages that were long over due
But this morning was different. I needed contact with a real live human being. It had stopped snowing so I ventured out beyond my gateway.

Once I got onto the road the way ahead was clear. Not as pretty as when it's covered in snow, but way more negotiable. 

It felt so good to be out in the fresh (understatement) air and to be able to stride along.
Kilcolum cemetery looked particularly bleak.

This graveyard is no longer in use
Well obviously it is still being used by the people who are in there, but there are no new clients!
I was beginning to feel a little down, as it reminded me that death seems so final, when I stumbled across these.

Snowdrops bursting into life despite the adverse conditions.
With a renewed spring in my step I approached civilisation - Raharney village!
My phone began to ring.
It was my friend Ger who lives in the village. She works in the Health service and had gone into work on Thursday morning at 10 and had just returned home at 2 pm on Saturday.
So many heroes during the current lock down.
"Hi there".
"Hi Noeleen. You sound out of breath".
"Yep, I'm just walking into the village."
"Do you want to go to the pub? I could do with a drink."
"See you there in 2 minutes!"

A vodka never tasted so good. 
And if there's one thing I learned from the snowdrops, there is life after death!

Friday, March 2, 2018

Wonder Woman

I was so delighted to see Laura Higgins Tully be awarded a Hero's award on Operation Transformation this week. She was nominated by Moore's Movers for the outstanding work she does in her local community in a bid to improve their health and fitness.

In September 2016 I was taking part in The Great Dublin 60k bike ride. I was about 10k into the route when I partnered up with another woman who was doing the cycle for the first time. And that is how Laura and I met.
I don't think I'd have finished the full 60k without her support. We chatted and talked from one station to the next, giving each other encouragement when we were beginning to flag. We were so proud of ourselves when we eventually crossed the finish line.

When she asked me to talk at their Operation Transformation launch in Jan 2017, I was honoured to do so. It was then that I realised that the real leaders of this programme are not the ones who go onto National TV (in their lycra!) but rather the people like Laura who bring it to life in their communities. I was totally blown away by the lengths that these organisers go to. Yes there are weigh ins and 5k walks. But on top of that they measure BMI, blood pressure as well as coordinating aerobic, spinning and running classes. And all on a totally VOLUNTARY basis.

This year I was equally as happy to be back at their launch. And Laura was still there putting us through our paces.

It hasn't been all health and fitness! There was a very memorable night at the Sheep Shearing festival in Roscommon to see Nathan Carter!

Laura really is a fantastic woman and I am very proud to call her my friend. Here's to many more events!
Congratulations Laura x

Humanity is.......

"And this year's Mother Theresa's Humanitarian Award goes to .......Noeleen Lynam"
Applause, applause, applause!

As I've said many times I HATE BIRDS!
There's something about their little beady eyes, pointed beaks and sharpened claws that freak me out.
My man used to have to take the fake robin off the Christmas log when I was young, as I couldn't stay in the same room as it.

So why then did I trawl through my healthy eating cupboard for all the nuts and seeds I could find, bash them up into small pieces so those same little beaks could swallow them, and then trudge through the snow drifts to put them in a place where those b@$t@rd$ could find them?

Well I still wouldn't like to think of them starving to death.
Gosh, I feel so compassionate!

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Don't do unnecessary housework!

Well, I've just had the first casualty of Emma and the Beast.

Because I'm stuck in my house for the foreseeable future I have been very proactive. I've managed to do most of my spring cleaning, which is quite ironic seeing as it's the result of arctic like conditions.

Due to this increased activity I have suffered a physical injury.

Slipped disc ? Nope
Housewife's knee? Don't be stupid.
It's much, much worse!

I've been immobilised by.....

a broken Gel nail!!!

Dam you, Storm Emma, us gals should stick together.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

#1 How to survive a snow day

I'll be perfectly honest. I know we were all warned about the approaching arctic like conditions but I was sure that we would have school today, things would worsen overnight and we would have snow days on Thursday and Friday. Boy was I was wrong!

I woke up to find I had been transported to Narnia in the middle of the night.

.There's my poor wee shed that hasn't yet recovered from Storm Ophelia.

I got up and waited anxiously for the text.
School closed! Yipee!
So did I go back to bed? Hell no, I was up so there was no point.

So what exactly does a singleton do all day when confined to her house ? Well I was actually very productive.
#1: I wrote 784 words for my college assignment!
#2: Tidied my bedroom, including under the bed. Unheard of.
#3: Did a workout with Karl Henry, which not only toned me up but warmed me up!

#4: I then decided to walk the 2 and a half km to Raharney while the going was good. I won't be able to do it tomorrow when Storm Emma arrives.
It really was a fabulous day once I wrapped up well.

#5: Once home I put my Op Tran training to good use and I cooked a batchload of dinners to last me for the next few days, if, God forbid, it's as bad as they say its going to be.

#6: After all that, it was time to put my feet up in front of the telly, with a nice glass of wine ( which had bought on the expedition to Raharney earlier) and watch the finale of this year's Operation transformation. This year's leaders were fantastic and a real inspiration.
And the good news is, that if they're snowed in, in two years time, they will know exactly how to cope!

Friday, February 2, 2018

A sign of the times

It's strange the signs you see on the back road home to Raharney. I mean, why on earth would they want to set up shop in the middle of nowhere?

But on the flip side,.does this mean that Tom Cruise might be visiting???