"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!
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!
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.
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!"
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!
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.
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 :)
"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!!!
In May 2005 a social experiment was carried out in Slough, an English town. The aim was to see whether the new science of happiness was effective or not.
One of their steps to happiness was To Grow Something.
Well, in my garden things just seem to grow of their own accord and my gardening skills are confined to killing things- mowing the lawn, pulling up weeds and cutting the hedge. I have never proactively grown anything.
Not very conducive to happiness if the experts are to be believed. So I decided to grow something. But what?
Then, as if the universe heard me, it came to my rescue.
I had done my weekly shop in Lidl and the cashier asked me
"Do you want a seed pot to grow your own herbs?"
Did I what? Hell yeah.
So I arrived home with my pot, soil and seeds. It was like a lucky dip because I didn't know what plant I had been given. Imagine my excitement when I opened it to discover I was about to cultivate some BASIL...my favourite! The universe was definitely was on side.
After I started preparing the soil, planting the seeds and watering them to ensure germination, I was definitely feeling happier.
Boy am I proud of myself! I'm expecting a bumper crop this year.
Next stop, Super Garden :)
Well, I made it to the end of another school year. Last time I looked it was winter....for like eight months. Then suddenly it was summer, complete with heatwave.
I've got to hand it to parents who give me the most (in)appropriate thank you pressies! Cheers!
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!
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.
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!