Monday, November 2, 2020

Very reserved

 I parked my car in the empty church car park and headed off on my 5k walk.

By the time I was getting back it was starting to rain heavily so I broke into a run. But the sight that met my eyes stopped me in my tracks.

My car was now parked right in the middle of a reserved funeral zone! Honestly, those cones were placed there AFTER I’d parked.

After a furtive glance around to make sure no one could see me, I hopped into the car and took off like I was in

Fast and Furious 8!

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Last day of autumn


Seeing as today is the last day of autumn I was adamant that I was going out for a walk today. But as I lay in bed , listening to Storm Aidan swirl around my house it seemed like a lost cause. 

Fortunately there was a lull and I managed to escape for a while.

Autumn has always been my favourite time of the year. I love the colours.

I remember hearing as a child that if you catch a falling leaf before it hits the ground, you get a wish. 

So if any of my neighbours saw me flaying around the place, that’s what I was doing.

I didn’t succeed in catching one, but I did get some extra cardio in!

Well, we all know what’s coming next.

It’s going to be a tough one. The first time it’s not just the squirrels who will be hibernating.

But all is not lost. Winter includes 

My birthday

Christmas It hasn’t been cancelled, just reimagined.

The New Year. The sooner 2020 is shown the door, the better!

Only 62 more days to go!

Thursday, October 29, 2020

My Covid testing experience


I’d been feeling pretty crap over the past few days. Streaming eyes and nose.

Not a Covid symptom. As a teacher I’m deemed an expert in diagnosing it at this time.

A bit of a sore throat.

But I’m ripping the throat out of myself every time I sneeze, which is often.

Fever, raised temperature?

Now and again but I think they’re hot flushes.

Monday was particularly bad. I went from thinking I had a head cold, to the flu, to Covid, to the Bubonic plague. Decided that I needed to know for definite before contemplating going back to school.

Tuesday morning 10.58am: I rang my doctor and explained my case

11.08: I got a text saying I had a test appointment at 12.10 TODAY!

Mad dash to get showered and dressed and headed for town.

12.00: I arrived a bit early. No one else there yet to be tested. As an army soldier led to me towards the cubicle I felt like I was in The Handmaid’s Tale!

Two women were doing my test. This was the part I was dreading as I’d heard lots of horror stories.

“It felt like my nose was being raped!”

But it was fine! A little uncomfortable for a few seconds but that’s it.

I was back in my car heading for home at 12.08!

Then of course I had to self isolate. Seeing as I hadn’t seen another human since last Saturday, that shouldn’t have been too hard. But if course my gas ran out and I had to cook dinner. But Declan, local shopkeeper to the rescue. It was delivered to my door.

Then at 14.32 the next day I got my result.


I’m so relieved and also a bit more optimistic. I had been hearing reports of delays in testing and results but I must say I was impressed with that turn around.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Split personality

 I had a busy evening.

First of all I had a zoom meeting with my Slimming World group. After getting lots of tips and motivation I switched over to..

The Great British Bake Off!

Ah, you can’t beat a bit of Food Porn!

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Strictly Saturday Night


At last, a bit of normality. Strictly returned to our screens tonight.

It was a bitter-sweet moment. It was Mam’s favourite show and even in her later years we would sit with her to watch it. I remember in recent years thinking how on earth could I ever watch it if Mam was no longer with us.

And that day has arrived. I invited my sister Geraldine over for dinner and then we could watch the show together. And before anyone complains because under Level 5 restrictions we are not supposed to visit any other houses, I’d just like to point out that as a person living alone I’m allowed to have another household as my social bubble and that’s my sister.

Have to say tonight’s show was brilliant. For a first night the standard of dancing was amazing. Mam would have been impressed!

Friday, October 23, 2020

For this I went to college :)

 I'll be perfectly honest. Last August I didn't think that we'd make it to midterm but here we are....

dress up day.

I was kinda hoping I'd actually be stopped by the guards on the way to school this morning.

Guard: And where would you be off to this morning?

Me: Hello? To school of course. Where else would any self-respecting 55 year old be going, dressed like this, at eight o' clock in the morning??? 

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Putting my best foot forward

 I got a lovely surprise today in the post from my bff from secondary school, Majella.

I’ve heard of wearing your heart on my sleeve, but now I’ll be wearing my lips on my heels 😂

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Level Number 5

 It’s a strange evening, waiting for Level 5 to kick in. 

Here we go again.

It’s been a tough couple of months and to be honest I’m probably not in the best headspace to take on social isolation, but hey, we’ve got this.

I’ve sat down with my paper and pen to plan out my next 42 days.

The good news is, that’s the length of Lent.

See what I did there!!!

So as a good Irish Catholic (!) I know that we have to go through a bit of self sacrifice and self denial in order to reap the benefits when we come out the other side.

Also Science has proven that 42 days is the optimum time to establish new habits and to break bad ones. 

I don’t want to write off the next six weeks. They can be a great six weeks with a bit of planning and acceptance.

There are two major differences to the last lockdown. (even though we’re not calling it that).

Our main worry last time was the effect that it was having on Mam and the heartbreak of not being able to visit her. It really is a blessing that she doesn’t have to go through that again.

School is still open so I have a reason to get up in the mornings. Contrary to what the media are saying, teachers are not refusing to go in. All teachers I’ve talked to would walk barefoot over hot coals to get into school. 

Also, being a person who lives alone I have a social bubble that I can still visit, so I can still drop into the Ayres in the Hill of Down.

So I have a plan of sorts in place. I hope to update how I’m getting on, here. I’m not being narsistic, it’s just that for some of us, blogging is a way of feeling connected to the rest of the world and not feeling totally isolated. So if I’m annoying you, don’t click in. 

But if you do, I’d love an auld comment, so I know there’s someone out there!


Sunday, October 11, 2020

Game, Set and Match

 I got my love of tennis from Mam. I remember summers as a child watching Wimbledon in our kitchen and then going out to hit a tennis ball up against the wall.

I don't remember ever breaking a window but then again I don't think I ever had enough power in my shots.

Mam had a soft spot for Djokovic. When it came to a time when she struggled to remember people's names, she always remembered his! 

Anyone who knows me knows of my love/obsession with Nadal.

Those days of myself and Mam watching them play, seems like a lifetime ago now.

And yet, look who's playing today in the French Open Final.

It is a testament to them as sportsmen that they are still at the top of their game in their 30's.

And I can't help feeling that Djokovic has the edge today seeing as his no.1 fan will be cheering him on from on high.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Maureen Lynam 1934-2020

Today Mam passed away peacefully. We were so lucky to be able to be with her over the past three days and nights. She has had a tough few years. Thankfully she decided to bail out before the next lockdown kicked in. Neither she nor we could have coped with not being able to visit, again.

It's still a shock when a parent dies. No matter what age you are, inside you're seven. But we know that you and Dad are waltzing your way around that great big ballroom in Heaven.

 I had two different mothers-two mothers I claim

Two different people yet with the same name,

Two separate women, diverse by design

But I loved them both because they were mine.

The first was the Mother who carried me here,

Gave birth and nurtured and launched my career.

She was the one whose features I bear

Complete with the facial expressions I bear.

She gave her love, which follows me yet

Along with the examples in life she set.

As I got older, she somehow younger grew

And we'd laugh as just Mothers and daughters do.

But then came the time that her mind clouded so,

And I sensed that the Mother I knew would soon go.

So quickly she changed and turned into the other,

A stranger who dressed in the clothes of my mother.

Oh, she looked the same at least at arm's length

But now she was the child and I was her strength.

We'd come full circle. we women three,

My mother  the first, the second and me.

by Joann Snow Duncanson

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Happy Heavenly Birthday

 How I wish we could be heading out to celebrate your birthday.

Is there a party up in heaven

To celebrate today?

Did an angel frost a cake for you

Or sing to start your day?

We're celebrating you down here

As they must be above.

I truly hope your special day 

Is filled with peace and love.

This day was always special

As we gathered round you here

We'd sing and laugh and celebrate

Your day with so much cheer,

I miss those special moments

That we shared throughout the years.

It's hard to find that on this day

my eyes fill up with tears.

I've tried so hard to smile for you

But ohhh...that empty chair*

I turn around and find myself

Still shocked that you're not there.

Please know that I'm thinking of you

As I go throughout each day.

this day is very special though

Because it's your birthday

kp@2014 Out of the Ashes/fb

* This should say "bar stool" but that doesn't rhyme!

Miss you.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

A right knit-wit.

 I opened my front door the other morning to find this gorgeous gift from my sister-in-law Marese.

If we’re heading for another lockdown at least I’m prepared. 

No one was more excited than Lil’ Covid! He’s been longing for a friend for the past six months.

Unfortunately he’s going to have to wait a while longer. My current project is to knit.....


 Now, I’ve knitted many jumpers but nothing as intricate as this. Mam used to knit us all Aran jumpers when we were kids. I remember the sounds of her clacking needles. She used to knit them while looking at the telly.

Me? I have to concentrate as if I’m trying to crack the Enigma Code!

It just might take another lockdown for me to get it finished!

Thursday, August 13, 2020



"Grandma, I have a question for you?"

Geraldine's heart sank as she looked into the inquiring face of her six year old grand-daughter Evelyn. As the rest of  the family are very aware, Evelyn's thought processes are quite complex and can floor the best of us!

"Okay Evelyn, what is it?" Geraldine asked tentatively.

"You know before Corona-virus....?"

"Yes????.......Where's this going?

"Before the virus, what did they talk about on the News?"

" Well........there was the weather, sport, other things."

Geraldine didn't dare mention BREXIT or she'd still be there answering the hundreds of questions that would ensue.