Sunday, October 14, 2018

Ode to autumn

Where did today come from?
Yesterday the weather was dire...cold, dark and raining.
Then today was a glorious autumnal day.
So in order to make the best of it I headed to Belvedere House and Gardens, my favourite place for a walk.
























































To autumn
by
John Keates

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, 
   Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun; 
Conspiring with him how to load and bless 
   With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run; 
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees, 
   And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core; 
      To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells 
   With a sweet kernel; to set budding more, 
And still more, later flowers for the bees, 
Until they think warm days will never cease, 
      For summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells. 

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store? 
   Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find 
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor, 
   Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind; 
Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep, 
   Drows'd with the fume of poppies, while thy hook 
      Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers: 
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep 
   Steady thy laden head across a brook; 
   Or by a cyder-press, with patient look, 
      Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours. 

Where are the songs of spring? Ay, Where are they? 
   Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,— 
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day, 
   And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue; 
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn 
   Among the river sallows, borne aloft 
      Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies; 
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn; 
   Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft 
   The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft; 
      And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.


Saturday, October 13, 2018

Putting my best foot forward

After a great night out last night at an 80's disco in the Greville Arms I was feeling a little tired so I had a power nap in the afternoon. When I woke up it was dark so I had a look at my phone.
18.17
Wha???

I jumped out of bed in a panic and pulled back on my boots, I go up to Mam every Saturday to look at Strictly Come Dancing, which was starting at 18.40.
I raced put the door, into the car and up to the Camillians.
It was only when I was at their door, ringing the bell that I looked down at my feet.
What the actual....????


How the hell could I have gotten it so wrong?
 I know I got redressed in the dark, but for God's sake. RED AND BLACK???

I didn't have time to go back home to change. So I had to run down the corridors in the hope that no one would notice. If someone did comment I would have to try to sell it as a fashion statement :)

Sunday, September 9, 2018

LARCCing about

We had decided to do a 5k run....ahem, walk in aid of LARCC. This is a group that offers wonderful support to cancer patients and their families during a very difficult time. Unfortunately it is only when this illness strikes close to home, that you realise that these groups are in dire need of finiancial support in order to keep doing their fabulous work.
I got a text at 10 o'clock this Sunday morning.
"I'm not chickening out, but its spilling rain here in Mullingar. What do you think?"
I had a quick flashback to January 2016, when I was taking part in Operation Transformation. During that time I ran when it was pelting snow and I jumped into Howth Harbour when it was feckin' freezing. I neither dissolved nor rusted!
"I'll be there", I replied.

And boy was I glad we did. The sun came out and it was a perfect morning for exercise.
Is there really such a thing???
Met up with people I hadn't seen in ages and the time flew by.
Here are Martina and I, proudly showing off our medals.
I think the only other time we both won medals was for a set-dance in Ceol, Caint agus Craic in 1979!

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Human vs Technology

"You've arrived at your destination," announced Fanny, my car sat nav, in her posh voice.
"Wha???" I looked around in bewilderment.
I had typed in Loughcrew Megalithic Centre and I was now stopped on Main Street, Oldcastle, outside a derelict garage. No sign of any prehistoric ruins, apart from some rusty petrol pumps. I got out and had a quick look around. Definitely the wrong place. I knew I had to be close so I went into a nearby shop and asked.

"Eh, I've heard of it but I'm not sure. Ask someone at the top of the street."
I accosted a group of people standing outside a pub.
"Eh, I've heard of it but I'm not too sure. Ask a bar person inside."
In I went I asked someone who was cleaning tables.
So I presumed they were a "bar person".
"Eh, if you go out that road
pointing in a vague direction
you'll come to some signs."

Off I went. I wasn't very confident, so when I spotted an older woman walking along I decided to ask her.
"Oh wait til I see", she replied in answer to my query.
She positioned herself in the right direction and proceed to wave her arms around to not only tell me, but show me the way to go.
"So when you come to a big blue building, take the next right and you'll see the signs".
Thank you very much", I replied as I was about to head off.
"Ah wait now", she replied. "You mind yourself. They're very narrow roads and you might meet a car on a bad bend. Make sure you go slowly and be careful!"
Such a lovely Irish thing.
"I will," I assured her.

Fanny wouldn't do that...give me the proper directions AND worry about my welfare.


And she was so right. The roads were fierce narrow. Obviously Megalithic Man didn't worry about getting his wing mirrors clipped by branches...on both sides.
Thankfully I arrived at my destination, no thanks to modern technology!

Monday, July 16, 2018

My whole stage life flashed before my eyes.

I recently attended LMVGs annual "Leixlip wins AIMS" party.
Okay so we've only won it for the past two years running, but its a tradition at this stage!

Highlight of the night was looking at all the scrapbooks of past shows and seeing how much we've changed/aged.
For all my younger readers there was a time when people actually printed off photos and then stuck them into a book! I know, totally mind-blowing!
I had gone through a few of the shows I'd been in, and then suddenly it dawned on me...













Yep, for nearly every production I was cast as some kind of slapper/ slut/ whore.

But the last one took the biscuit. Here I am in.....


My Fair Lady. Yes, MY FAIR FECKIN' LADY!
Did you even know there was a "lady of the night" in that child-friendly classic? Well apparently there isn't but they wrote in the part especially for me.

I'll put this blatant act of stereotyping down to the fact that I'm a very good actress who can get totally into character!

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Things you may not know about me #1

You think you know everything there is to know about someone and then photographic evidence is unearthed. Well the camera never lies, or so they say.

Did I ever tell you about the time I.....




...had my first speaking part in a play!

Luckily I had very supportive cast mates who helped me out!

Friday, July 13, 2018

Just Cruisin'

"Hey, I'm going on a cruise."
"What????", squealed Marese, veteran of many Mediterranean and Alaskan cruises. "Where to?"
"From Dun Laoighaire to Howth" I answered.
"Oh"' she answered, less enthusiastically.
I don't know why she was so crestfallen, it was a fabulous tour!









Thursday, July 12, 2018

Friends in Low Places

I was planning out what I will be doing in class during the next school year.
Yes, teachers do that during their hols!
I saw a lovely winter art project that requires three wine corks per student and seeing as I will have 33 of them next term, that makes a total of 100.
Someone will always makes a hames of one of them!
Now I could source all these wine corks myself but I dare say I wouldn't be in much form for doing an art project if I did!

"Hic...shure kids, here's a toilet roll....hic....make something....hic!"

So I decided to call on my trusty friends to help me out. Seeing as screw cap bottles are becoming more common, I sent out the distress call last Monday so that there would be loads of time to have them collected before I actually needed them.

Three days later.....



On the last count I had 436 corks, enough for the next four years!
That's the type of friends I have. For fear that some poor children would be deprived of their winter art project, they selflessly threw themselves, nay, sacrificed themselves, to make sure that no child would have to go without.
Friends, I salute you!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Canal Bank Walk

I was reminded of this poem I studied for my Leaving Cert as I took a leisurely power walk down the canal bank with Audrey the other evening.




Canal Bank Walk

Leafy-with-love banks and the green waters of the canal
Pouring redemption for me, that I do
The will of God, wallow in the habitual, the banal,
Grow with nature again as before I grew.
The bright stick trapped, the breeze adding a third
Party to the couple kissing on an old seat,
And a bird gathering materials for the nest for the Word
Eloquently new and abandoned to its delirious beat.
O unworn world enrapture me, encapture me in a web
Of fabulous grass and eternal voices by a beech,
Feed the gaping need of my senses, give me ad lib
To pray unselfconsciously with overflowing speech
For this soul needs to be honoured with a new dress woven 
From green and blue things and 
arguments that cannot be proven.

Patrick Kavanagh

 It really was a glorious evening for a walk.


And before you ask
"NO! Audrey WASN'T topless. She just didn't want to get strap marks!"

Not so full of hot air.

I'm about to declutter my house and was wondering what to do with all my clutter. I decided to see what a car boot sale entails so I went to Clara market on Sunday morning on a reconnaissance mission.
While I was there I spotted some huge football/beach balls. I decided to get two for Megan and Evelyn, my (grand) nieces.
I loaded them up in the car ( the footballs, not the girls!) and headed for home.I was about  two miles down the road when I heard Phssssss!
"Where's that noise coming from?" I panicked.
I checked if the back windows were a bit open. That's alarmed me before. Nope, they were fine.
"Don't tell me I have a puncture!" I wailed, trying to remember where the jack was.
The noise was getting louder and closer.
I turned around, nearly swerving into the ditch, to realise that one of the feckin' balls was after self combusting in the heat.
Panic 1 was over and Panic 2 set in. Now I had only one football and as our family knows, there's one of the two girls who sometimes doesn't do sharing!!!
Thankfully the size of the ball made up for the lost one and a happy game of football commenced in the garden.

This is what the red ball SHOULD have looked like!



And this is how it ended up.


Friday, July 6, 2018

Happiness is.....

Happiness is....growing something.
I'm delighted to say that my new found love of gardening has been successful.
Just wondering if I should flout the national hosepipe ban and risk watering them!!!


Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Seeing things

I was driving home from Mullingar on the motorway. Suddenly in the distance I saw that the road was flooded with water.I stepped on the brakes to slow down.


"Oh no", I thought. "As if the country's water supplies aren't running low enough without major pipes bursting!"
I suddenly noticed that I wasn't getting any nearer to the water.
"WTF?"
It kept retreating away from me. Suddenly it dawned on me.
It was a MIRAGE!
Seriously, what was that about?
I have lived for five years in a desert country and never saw one.
And now I encountered my first one in The Downs!
Whoever said there is no such thing as climate change should be lathered in oil and made sit in an Irish garden for the next few days :)


Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Relaxing holiday, me a>$£

"So how did you spend the first day of your summer holidays?" I hear you cry.
Well I heard someone at the back yelling it.

I was up nice and early and headed into Mullingar Educate Together school for a week long course on
"Literacy through the lens of Art and Science."
It's actually a really interesting one, and if I have to spend a week of my hols cooped up inside while the sun is belting down outside, its not the worst thing I could be doing!

Headed for home only to remember that this was the day that my road was closed due to roadworks so I had to make a detour through a neighbouring village to get to my house. Only time to gulp down a cup of tea and it was off to Kinnegad to meet up with my college group to try to put the finishing touches to our Research Project.
Fell in the door at quarter to 10, just in time to catch the end of Love Island.
Don't judge me, it was all my brain could handle by this time.
Then it was off to bed where I zonked out.

So what's in store for me today? Pretty much the same thing.
The first person who asks me
"What on earth do you teachers do during your long summer holidays?"
is going to get a whack of my glantóir over the back of their head!!!