Wednesday, August 24, 2016

1/2 million views!!!

When I checked my blog this morning I saw that it had passed the half a million views.

Pageviews today
Pageviews yesterday
Pageviews last month
Pageviews all time history

Okay, so that's since 2010. But when I first started it I honestly thought that I would be the only person reading it.
Thanks to all my followers and to everyone who ever bother to click on the link and read it. I get great enjoyment from writing it but it's even better when there is a bit of an audience! Many thanks again.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Sinister Island.

I have just returned from a week on Inis Oirr, where I ate and drank my way around the island! Chocolate, crisps and vodka have never entered my head for the past eight months and now suddenly I couldn't get enough of them. It was like my brain had convinced my stomach that the fact that we were not attached to the mainland meant that calories wouldn't attach themselves to my body!
Boy, was I proven wrong when I stepped on the scales when I returned home???

I got a bit of a wake up call one of the days when I was going for my walk around the island.
I didn't fall completely off the wagon!
One of the locals was driving his horse and cart, full of tourists. I stepped into the side to let them pass.
Dam, those roads are narrow.
I had just stepped back on the road when I heard a shout from him.
"Are you yer wan from Operation Transformation?"
"That would be me!"

Anyway I had a great time and arrived back home. I left my days and nights of debauchery back on the island.......OR SO I THOUGHT!

Today I got a text from "the island"! It read
Hi Noeleen. U have won a prize in raffle that u entered. It is.....

Noooooooo!  It has followed me home. I'm never going to escape its evil clutches. HELP!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Things only Irish people will get.

I went to Inis Oirr with three friends for a few days. We rented a house so we brought a few provisions.
When you travel with Irish people it is essential that you have both of these boxes.
And more importantly, when it's your turn to make the tea, you must put the correct teabag in the correct cup or there will be hell to pay!

Friday, August 12, 2016

The Plan

I was delighted to be invited to the launch of Aoife Hearne's new book "The Plan". Aoife is the dietitian on Operation Transformation and one of the main reasons for my new found health and fitness lifestyle.

People say to me
"Are you still following that Operation Transformation?"
I have to answer "No" even though I sit down with my print out recipes on a Thursday evening and work out my eating plan for the week, which is promptly pinned up on my kitchen wall.

But I'm not "following" anything. It's just my way of life now. It makes life so much easier. I know exactly what I need so I only have to do one shop a week, instead of popping into the shop every evening to pick up a red pepper....and a bar of chocolate!
Exercise has become a part of my life too. I'm still running, have gone back to the awimming and have started cycling. I'd miss it if I didn't do it.
Words I never thought I'd say!

As a result I've lost a further 12lbs since the show finished, bringing my total weight loss to 2st which was my target. However I've lost weight before and promptly put it back on....and more! I was determined that this wasn't going to happen this time.
I got in contact with Aoife who told me that as this was a low-carb plan I could add extra carbs in, maybe an extra 10-15g of rice at dinner.
I must admit that Aoife's idea of adding carbs and mine would be very different!
But I went with Aoife's advice and am glad to say that several months later I am still at my target weight!
My niece Emma is Publicity Executive with Gill Books and was involved in the book launch.

I got a sneak preview of The Plan last week and think it's brilliant.
All the recipes are in one place, very tasty and easy to follow!
Very important.
Even more important for me is the fact that there is a four week plan laid out so I don't even have to do that much!

I started on The Plan last Friday. It wasn't very different to what I have been doing all year. I'm not overweight now and as I was told several times, I'm in my 50's which people think it's harder/impossible to lose weight.
In 5 days I lost 2lbs!

I am NOT on commission but if you want to shed  some weight and/or eat healthier than I thoroughly recommend this book.

Proof that The Plan works!
January 2016

August 2016

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Tommy Lynam 1932-2006

It's exactly ten years to the day that we lost the best Dad in the world to cancer. Yes its true that time is a great healer. Days may go by in our busy lives and we don't think of him. Then out of the blue something mundane will happen and Dad will immediately spring to mind, resulting in tears of laughter or sadness, depending on the memory.
I don't believe in coincidences. Last night as I was flicking through the TV channels Paulo Nuttini's "Last Request" came on. For me that's forever associated with Dad and I believe its his way of getting in contact with me. This explains why.

Having said that Dad would have HATED that song and said
"What sort of a feckin' eejit is that, sure he can't sing!!!!

I've spent all morning going
This time ten years ago we were.....
This time ten years ago Dad was....
This time ten years ago was the last time....

I'm dreading 3 o'clock this afternoon coming.

The night before his funeral the family were all gathered together to prepare the funeral mass. We were composing the Prayers of the Faikthful and the commentary for the offertory gifts. If anyone had been passing by the window they would have said
"Those Lynams are having a party".
There were howls of laughter as we recalled things that Dad said. He was a man of few words but the ones he said meant something. He had a very droll sense of humour and I would like to think he passed it on to all of us.

It was my job to read out the meaning behind our Offertory gifts. I still think we managed to catch the essence of Dad in those words so here they are again

Offertory Gifts
Dad never broke his Confirmation pledge and was the proud wearer of a gold pioneer pin. This is brought by his niece Fionnuala.
Dad is proof that you didn't need to drink to have a good time.

By his own admission Dad couldn't sing or play a note, but he certainly had an ear for music. One of Mam's and Dad's great loves was Ballroom Dancing. They made many good friends through this.
One of these friends Helen brings a selection of Dad's favourite dancing music.

Dad was a founder member of Mullingar Credit Union 37 years ago and up to the time of his death continued to serve on the Board of Directors. Fellow director, neighbour and life long friend Tommy brings the book of Standard Rules for Credit Unions.
A little worryingly this book is in perfect condition and appears to have been rarely consulted.

One of Dad's hobbies was restoring vintage cars. He spent many draughty but happy hours in the shed working on his favourite car, an Austin Princess.
His son John brings the Owner's Manual, the accuracy of which Dad often called into question.

In his retirement Dad took up golf. He spent many happy hours on Shay Murtagh's golf course with his friends. His granddaughter Lauren brings one of his golf clubs. 
it must be said that Dad got just as much enjoyment out of finding lost golf balls as he did out of actually playing the game.

Dad started as an apprentice carpenter at the age of 15 and worked all his life in the building trade.
Business partner and good friend of the Lynam family, Billy Boyle, brings a hammer, one of Dad's many tools of the trade.
Dad not only built many fine buildings in the community and further afield, but he also built homes for us, his family. It is very reassuring to know that all we will ever have to do is look at the walls around us and the roof over our heads and know that Dad continues to shelter and protect us.

The greatest gift that Dad passed onto his family is the gift of faith. He was both a Minister of the Word and a Minister of the Eucharist. The bread and wine are brought up by his son Finian and his grandson Niall, representing the next two generations of the Lynam family.

We miss you as much today Dad as we did ten years ago. Keep looking out for us xxx

Thursday, July 28, 2016

My boob job!

First, the medical bit!
I went to my doctor who told me I had a "sebaceous cyst" right on my breast bone between my boobs.
Now it wasn't anything serious but  he, himself wouldn't remove anything from the tip of the nose or the cleavage as they are very aesthetically sensitive areas. He recommended a very good plastic surgeon and as the procedure was medical, not cosmetic, it would be covered by my private health insurance.
Oh goody. Maybe while the surgeon is in there he could give me a quick nip and tuck and put it on the bill!!!

That is why this morning I found myself in the medical clinic all geared up for my "procedure". It would be done under local anesthetic and would only take ten minutes. I was dressed in a very fetching gown and cap and was brought down to the operating theatre.
I popped myself up on the table and lay down. There was a team of three nurses and the surgeon. I lay looking up at them as they talked in medical terms that I couldn't understand. The local anesthetic kicked in and the surgeon stood poised over me with the scalpel in his hand. From the right of me I heard the famous words
"I know your face from somewhere!"
"Yes, so do I. I'm wracking my brains to remember where from."
Everyone stopped what they were doing and looked at me.
I said sheepishly
"Maybe it's from Operation Transformation?"
There were grasps of recognition and lots of "Oh I love that programme!"
My surgeon smiled and said
"Oh, a celebrity on my table. Now I'm under pressure!"


 And so I had the "Operation Transformation" question and answer session with them while they proceeded to cut me open, remove a tiny bit of me and then stitch me up again!
It was all done and dusted in the ten minutes and they helped me off the table, told me it was great to see me and that they couldn't wait to get home to tell their family and friends that they had met me.
I left the clinic thinking
"Did that just happen?"

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Time can't, they fly too fast.

The one fine day of summer 2016 happened yesterday. The downside to this hot weather is the onslaught of flies.

True Story:
A grandmother was failing miserably to swat some pesky flies. She handed the fly swat to her little 5 year old grand daughter.
"Here Pet. You've more energy than me. You try to get them."

The little girl took the implement and began chasing around after them but all in vain. Every swipe missed its target.
Eventually the little girl gave up and turned to her granny in exasperation.
"Granny!" she moaned.
 "Those flies must have eyes in their arses because they can still see me when I sneak up on them from behind!"

A very logical deduction!