Friday, April 26, 2019

Choose your words very carefully

In my quest to declutter my life, I went for a pamper spa day in Bloomfield Health and Leisure centre in order to detox my mind and body.


First up was a massage. I wrapped myself in my very fluffy robe and went into the treatment room. The very nice masseuse explained that I was to lie face down on the bed, over the patterned blanket but under the plain one. She then left for a moment to allow me to  settle myself, which I duly did. 
She came back into the room very quietly and explained that she was about to start.

"Have you anything on?" she inquired.
I had a moment's panic.
Do I say "Knickers" or is that too common?
How about "pants" or "underpants"? No, too masculine.
In the end I stuttered
"Just a pair of panties."

 There was a moment's silence, followed by
"No, I mean, have you got a special occasion coming up?"

Needless to say, it took five minutes to get the massage started, as we were both in hysterics. At least she got a great story to tell her colleagues at lunchtime.
"Wait til ya hear what yer wan said to me today...."

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Let it go

I have decided to declutter my life starting with my house. I ordered in a skip to help me in my momentous task.


I consulted with Marie Kondo, the queen of organisation, in order to do it properly. She recommends holding each item in your hands for a few moments and if it doesn't spark joy in your heart then let it go.



And do you know what , it really works!
So far I've gotten rid of...
my alarm clock,
bathroom scales
and the New Primary Language Curriculum!

I feel SO much happier already.

Monday, April 22, 2019

A great show

What to do on a Bank Holiday Monday???

  • Free Day
  • Glorious sunshine
  • Unable to be on my own
So off I went to Clonard GAA pitch to meet my niece and family, to engage in my favourite activity.
No, not hurling or football.
A MUSICAL!



They were having an outdoor screening of The Greatest Showman.

We sang and danced along. Well we just sang. Evelyn got up as and danced as if no one was looking. I just wish as I could be as uninhibited as that lil' drama queen!



What more could you ask for?
Oh yes....
The Easter Bunny.


Saturday, April 20, 2019

Put one foot in front of the other.

A new day dawned, which didn't seem right, but it did. I'm old enough to know that even when the bottom falls out of your world, the world keeps on turning.
At eight o'clock the sun was streaming in my window, telling me to get up and not waste a single minute of my life. Time is precious.

I did have a mission in mind. I had to walk the 8km back to Nanny Quinn's Bar and Restaurant where I had left my car the night before, after Ger's funeral. We had given her a good send off, one that she would have loved. But it had resulted in me not being able to drive my car home!

So off I set. It was a bitter sweet walk  as it was the same route that I had taken just over a year ago when I was trudging through the snow to meet Ger in the pub. Every step brought back memories of that walk. This time however, the weather was decidedly better.

Kilcolum cemetery looked less bleak.


Snowdrop season was over, but there were lots of primroses and purple flowers (that I don't know the name of!)


Buds were bursting into life.


Then I encountered some crosses. As it was Good Friday, there was a local procession to remember Jesus' final walk to Calvary. I said a prayer for Ger as I passed each one.


 I came across the second most beautiful scene of the day......


The birds continue to sing. This lone swallow sat waiting for his companions. He can't make a summer on his own.

I continued on, my legs were beginning to scream by this stage. Finally I encountered the most beautiful sight of the day.......


...my car waiting patiently for me outside Nanny Quinn's, unvandalised and unrobbed! 
Boy, was I glad not to have to walk back home.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Farewell my friends


Farewell my Friends
by
Rabindranath Tagore

Farewell my friends
It was beautiful as long as it lasted
The journey of my life.
I have no regrets
Whatsoever said
The pain I'll leave behind
Those dear hearts that care...
And the strings pulling
At the heart and soul...
The strong arms that held me up
When my own strength let me down.
At the turning of my life
I came across
Good friends.
Friends who stood by me
Even when time raced me by.
Farewell, farewell my friends
I smile and bid you goodbye.
No, shed no tears
For I need them not.
All I need is your smile.
If you feel sad
Do think of me
For that's what I'll like.
When you live in the hearts
Of those you love,
Remember then
You never die.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Ger Flynn 1968-2019


The world is a less colourful place without Ger in it.

I like to think that I have a way with words but there are none that can describe what a fabulous friend Ger was, and what a void her death has left in all our lives. I am speechless.

I thought of this blog that I posted only a little over a year ago, little knowing what destruction was lurking in the background. It was only after reading it that I realised how prophetic it actually was.
So until we meet again Ger, have the session started...and mine's a vodka and coke xxx

http://www.nols-agirlforallseasons.com/2018/03/a-bid-to-escape.html


Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Worry-bucket Wednesday


Today was "Worry-Bucket Wednesday" in my class of 9 year olds. It means that if they have any worries, no matter how big or how small, they write them down and put them in the bucket. Then if I can , I'll sort it out or at least reassure them.

Today's bucket produced a worry that I unfortunately can't do much about.

Dear Teacher,
I am worried about Brexit because I don't really understand it and I worry what's going to happen.

What could I say to that? You, me and a couple of million others.
To misquote Roy Scheider in Jaws

I think I'm going to need a bigger bucket!



Monday, February 25, 2019

Portrait of the artist as a young man


This is a self-portrait painted by my wonderfully talented nephew , Niall Lynam. Proud auntie moment.
See how good it is compared to the real thing.




Saturday, February 23, 2019

Key to my heart

Up and out of bed at stupid o'clock this morning to go to the Phoenix Park for this year's Operation Transformation 2019. It's hard to believe that it has been three years since I completed my first 5k run.
When I parked up my car, I could feel the knots and butterflies in my stomach. Why, I don't know, as there was no pressure or camera on me this time. I checked that I had my race number and phone and headed off for the starting line.
There was a festival atmosphere about the place and I was thrilled to meet up with lots of the crew that had worked on our series.
I completed the 5k.......in what time, I am not saying!
So after I had spoken to loads of people, I headed off on the 1k walk through the park back to where my car was parked.
I was lost in my thoughts and memories as I approached my car. I put my hand in my pockets to get out my car key, rummaged around and found.....NOTHING! I searched again but to no avail. My heart sank to my boots, I mean runners. The enormity of my situation hit me. My key must have fallen out as I was running. And here I was, stuck in Dublin with no way of getting home. I contemplated retracing my steps, but I knew that it was futile. I had covered kilometers of the largest city park in Europe, so it was definitely like looking for a needle in a proverbial haystack.
I don't know why, but I continued to the car. As I did so, I prayed to God, St Anthony, Dad and any other saint I could think of, asking that I'd find my key.
I looked in through my car window and saw this....


My car key was still in the ignition!!! I had been so preoccupied with the run, I had just left the car and walked away. But not only that, I had left my purse, money, credit cards and house keys in it too, for safe keeping! I stood looking at it in disbelief for a few moments before I even opened the door.
I can't believe that a car with the key on the ignition was still there after three hours. Dublin hasn't gone to the dogs completely after all.
Or maybe the would-be thief took one look at the key and thought that the car must be  a crock of sh1t and the owner wanted it stolen, so they didn't touch it!
Whatever the reason, thank you God, St Anthony and Dad for getting me home today.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Oaty Banana Bread buns

I have baked the Oaty Banana Bread buns from this years Operation transformation plan. They are absolutely gorgeous......unfortunately!!!  This means I am having a very difficult time not sitting down with a mug of steaming tea and scoffing the plate of them in one go. I think that would be defeating the purpose.

A few people have asked me for the recipe, so I am posting it here.

The Ingredients
110g butter (at room temperature)
80g golden caster sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (2.5g)
240g self-raising flour
2 tsp baking powder (10g)
4 ripe bananas (over-ripe is also fine to use)
90g porridge oats
The Method
Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / gas mark 4. Line bun tins with 16 paper cases.

Put the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat well. The easiest way to do this is with a hand-held electric beater but a wooden spoon and some elbow grease also works. The mixture should become a little lighter in colour.

Add two of the eggs along with the vanilla extract and half of the flour and beat well to combine. Add the remaining egg and the rest of the flour with the baking powder. Mix until everything is just combined – overbeating will make the buns less light, so easy does it.

Peel the bananas and mash the flesh in a bowl, then carefully fold into the bun mixture with the oats. Using two large spoons, divide among the paper cases. Place in the oven and bake for 22-25 minutes until cooked through. To test, insert a skewer or toothpick into the centre of a bun and it should come out clean. The buns will also smell cooked and be springy to the touch.

Remove the buns from the oven and after 5 minutes transfer them to a wire or grill rack and leave to cool completely before serving.

Prepare Ahead

These buns will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days or can be frozen in freezer bags for up to 1 month and defrosted as needed.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Leaders Summit

It's that time of the year again, Operation transformation. I can't believe that's its been three years since I was a leader. I lost 1st 2 lbs while on the show and went on to lose a further 9 lbs in the following months to finally reach a healthy BMI. More importantly, I managed to keep it off for two and a half years by keeping up my healthy eating and exercise.
 However (there's always an "however"), in the past six months the pounds have begun to slowly creep back up.Why now? Very simple answer. I've slackened off on my exercising and while I continued to prepare the OT meals (there the only ones I can cook!), it was what I was stuffing into my mouth in between meals that was doing the harm. As a result I've put back on just under a stone.
I have a family wedding coming up in March. Before this, I would have resigned myself to the fact that the weight had come back and sure that was to be expected. But not now. I know the Operation Transformation Plan works. So I was so looking forward to the new series starting this week.

Saturday was the day of the Nationwide walks. As I have done for the past two years I went to Moores Movers walk in Roscommon, which is organised by my friend Laura Higgins-Tully. I was delighted to meet up with one of last year's leaders, David Cryan, who lost an incredible 3 1/2 stone during the show and has kept it all off.

 I came back home re-energised and ready to give it my all.
Roll on that March wedding!!!

Friday, January 4, 2019

Dancing on thin ice

"Would you like to come ice-skating?"
"Sure".
Some day this habit of mine of agreeing to random suggestions is going to get me into serious trouble!
And so it was that myself and Jeanette found ourselves at the pop up ice-rink in Mullingar.
The first thing I noticed was that we were the only adults who were without children.
And no, we weren't being childish, we were being child-like, there is a big difference.


The first problem I encountered was putting on my skates. One of the crew had to go on bended knee to do them up!
Are they my feet? They look tiny!

I have done ice skating (badly) a couple of times in Abu Dhabi, but I wasn't prepared for how slippy it was! The minute I put my feet on the ice, my legs began to go all over the place like a drunk newborn giraffe! I grabbed the rail and held on for dear life. I kinda got the hang of it after a few minutes and started to do circles of the rink....without ever letting go of the railing!



That would have been me if I'd let go!

But I'm still very proud of myself. The one thing that struck me as I was going around in circles was the number of mothers , who were WAY younger than me, who just stood at the edge of the rink watching their children while they skated. That can't have been much fun.
Why didn't they join them? You can't live your life through your children, but you can live it with them.
Rant over!

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Out with the Old, in with the New!

I think this photo sums up the state of affairs in our nation on January 1st.


On the left is the evidence of my last meal of 2018 - vodka, wine and the remnants of a Chinese take away. On the right is my first breakfast of 2019 - organic porridge oats, honey and fruit.
Ah yes, you've got to love the enthusiasm and blind hopes of the New Year !
To really get in the spirit of things we went for a gentle (!) 2 and a half hour hike up Maulin Moutain.


While my head thanked me for it, my thighs certainly didn't!
Happy New Year everyone.