Wednesday, July 31, 2013

It doesn't get any easier.

Where does the time go?
It was seven years ago today that my Dad died, and I feel as lost today as I did those years ago. It's true what they say,
It doesn't matter what age you are when you lose a parent, inside you're just a little child.

A friend asked me last night what sort of a person my Dad was. I went to try to explain what a kind and wonderful person he had been, but I could feel the tears welling up from my toes and I had to ask to change the subject. If I had been able to speak I would have told this story, as I think it sums him up perfectly.

Dad's proudest achievement was building the church in the local Camillian monastery. Even now, when I want to talk to him I go there rather than to his grave. During the days after his death, Fr. Monks, a priest there,  in turn told us this story.
The man who had been responsible for supplying the furniture for the church when it was built, had returned to the monastery just a few weeks previous, in order to do some needed refurbishment. In the course of their conversation he asked Fr. Monks
"And how is that man, the building contractor?"
Fr. Monks had to tell him that Dad was in the final stages of cancer. The man's face fell and he became emotional.
It seems that he had kitted out the church just in time for Christmas. When he went to get paid there was a problem, it being Christmas week and banks were closed, or some such excuse He was in the monastery trying to explain to whoever was in charge that he had to get paid, as that was the money he was depending on to pay his workers in time for Christmas. To no avail.
Dad was there in the background, probably hammering something into place. He overheard the somewhat heated conversation. He went over, took out his personal chequebook and wrote the stranger a cheque for £6000. His reason for doing so?
He didn't want families to be in need at Christmas.
Now the man did pay him back after Christmas when he got paid. But at the time Dad had no way of knowing that he ever would. And do you know what? He probably would never have gone looking for it. He never did. I have no idea how he ever made any money!
When this man heard that Dad was dying, he said
"How come it's always the good people who have to suffer?"
We have asked ourselves that very same question over and over again.

Sorry for the repost, but this is my blog from this time last year. It still captures how I feel.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


I have changed my beach because of my over zealous umbrella man. Granted he ensured that no ray of sunshine would touch my milky white body. But it's what he did want to touch it with that was getting on my nerves!
Now I fear there is a conspiracy among all the umbrella men along the coastline. Word must have travelled that I am fickle and will change my loyalties at the drop of a hat.
This is the umbrella I was given on today's beach.
Can you imagine the tan marks I'd get through that? I'd look like a giraffe!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

When you realise it might be time to go home....

I was on my balcony trying to get connected to Wi-Fi. I typed in the login and password.
Password invalid. Try again.
Type, type, type.
Password invalid. Try again.
As if punching in the keys harder was going to make a difference!
Still no success.
"What is wrong with this stupid thing? I'll have to go to see Mustafah (caretaker) about this."
It was only then that it dawned on me. I wasn't putting in my apartment's password. My subconscious has taken over and I was automatically typing in the login details of Pat Foley's Bar!

Time Ladies and Gentlemen, please!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Copy Cat

My sister-in-law sent me this photo of Tom cat.

Just look at the state of the lazy sod, lying prostrate on his back, his full belly being heated in the sun, not a thought going through his empty head. Shouldn't he be off catching mice or something useful like that.
Oh wait a minute. That sounds very familiar.....

Thursday, July 25, 2013

A teacher's work is never done.

Here I am, slogging away on my holidays, reading War Horse, our class novel for next school year.
I wonder does this count as one of my Croke Park hours?
For my non-Irish readers, the Government brought in the Croke Park Agreement with teachers as part of austerity measures. One of the conditions is that we do an extra 36 unpaid hours. I have no objection to this, as a sizable percentage of teachers would be doing that anyway. But I do object to the fact that we can't use those hours to do useful things like preparing lessons or even take the kids for extra-curricular activities such as football or drama- things that would directly improve their learning. Oh no! We have to spend  those hours writing policies, many of which end up in a folder, on a shelf ,gathering dust. Political rant over!
Next dark and dreary winter, we will be examining this novel as the rain pelts off the classroom window. My memory will be cast back to the first time I read it-
the sun beaming down on the sand, the azure sea gently lapping against the shore and my lunch being delivered to my sun lounger by a bare chested, toned and tanned waiter,
and I will say
"Class, continue to read the next passage silently. Teacher is going to have a little time out!"

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Reflection at sunset.

A mother and child stroll hand-in-hand along the sea front, as the sun sinks behind Alanya Castle.

That's it, the sum total of today's blog. No witty anecdotes, no tales of being chatted up by Turkish Umbrella Man, no hilarious translation mix-ups.
Just pure contentment.....

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

What's wrong with this picture?

The sights that you see when you're out and about.

When you cross the road, always remember the Safe Cross Code.
  • Find a safe place, such as a pedestrian crossing
  • Don't hurry, stop and wait
  • Look all around and listen before you cross the road
  • Let all the traffic pass you
  • Then walking straight across
  • You end up entangled in some thorny bushes!

Bet Cleopatra never had this problem!

Just down the road in Alanya is the beautiful Cleopatra Beach. According to history/tourist guides the white sand was brought in from Egypt by order of the queen herself. Cleopatra and Mark Anthony would have trysts there on the beach.
Don't you hate how that dam sand gets everywhere?

Today I didn't get as far as that beach but I did feel like royalty on the local beach. When I arrived, I was greeted by much flailing of arms and lamentations.
"Why you not come for the past few days? I have sunbed ready for you?"
"Eh, maybe it's because I never said I was coming???"
"I have best bed ready for you today. Come."

Sure enough, there near the waters edge, where it was 4 degrees cooler that further back
or so I was reliably told
was a sunbed...shaded by umbrellas!
"Thank you very much. This is perfect."
I had no sooner plonked my ass on the bed when Umbrella Man stuck a menu under my nose.
"You want food?"
"Give me a second there. Right, I'll have a mixed omelette please."
Food appeared in record time. Once it was finished I settled down to start my book when......a plate of glistening cherries and some other unidentifiable fruit appeared in front of me.
"On the house."
"Thank you. I'm full at the moment but they will be lovely later."
"No, it better you try NOW."

Part of the legacy from attending boarding school is that when food is put in front of me and I'm ordered to eat...I EAT! One never knew when the next bite was coming!

"Mmm. Lovely." as I forced a juicy cherry in my mouth.
"Last few days I have FIVE umbrellas waiting for you."
Ah so the reports of beach umbrellas being stolen from various beach bars every night were true!!!
"Well, there's no need for you to do that." Picked up my book as a sign...GO AWAY.
He did....only to return a few minutes later.
"Everything all right Lady?"
"Fine." Stony silence.
"I will reserve this bed for you everyday for the next three weeks."
Emma had mentioned how long I was staying on our previous visit. Thanks  Ems, I'll repay you in kind!
"There's no need for that. I'm on holiday. I like to go to different places."
He thought for a moment and said
"I can come to your apartment with my service."
"You're grand. There's a fine roof on the apartment."

Did you ever notice, there's never an asp around when you need one?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Stop milking it!

I'm all for herbal remedies!
Before coming to Turkey I did extensive research (!) on the benefits of Milk Thistle. I liked what I learned, mainly that it has antioxidant powers that both prevent and repair damage to the liver caused by toxins aka alcohol.
Being honest and realistic I knew that I was going to be consuming more alcohol in the course of my holiday that I do the rest of the year.
Which is not a lot, I hasten to add
 I felt it only responsible to try to counteract any harmful side effects of said alcohol. I started on a course of Milk Thistle tablets.

This morning as I went to take my tablet, I swear I heard my liver scream
I think it might have a point :(

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The gospel according to Noeleen

What I love about sun bathing on the balcony is that I can surf the net at the same time. I have discovered Daily Mail on-line and it is the perfect brain dead read. There have been many articles about Turkey in the past few days and none of them favourable. They include accounts of riots in Istanbul, stabbings in Marmaris and 15 year olds  running away with/being abducted by Turkish waiters. The comments on these stories range from
"Turkey is a hell hole and no one should go there"
"I've been to Turkey and it was the most beautiful, friendliest place ever."
My personal experience covers both sides.
The first time I came to Turkey was on a girlie holiday to Kusadasi, many MANY years ago. The days were spent lying by the pool while the nights were spent being dragged into bars by over zealous Turks who refused to take no for an answer. I will never forget Saturday night on Bar Street, one of the most terrifying experiences of my life. The aptly named street was about half a mile long and very narrow. On Saturday night the locals came into town and the place was thronged. I remember trying to push our way through a wall of bodies, in an attempt to get to our favourite bar. All I can remember thinking was that if a fire/row broke out, we would be trampled to death.
I vowed never to return to the country. When my brother bought an apartment down in Mamuthlar my opinion remained unchanged. For the first few years I declined all offers of a holiday place in the sun. When my family returned home, gushing with stories of great craic, lovely bars and terribly friendly waiters, I smiled ryely and thought
I've lived in the Middle East for five years, I know what these men are really like. My family are being naïve.
It was only when a family holiday to Turkey was arranged after Dad died, that I said I had better go. I was wary about spending two weeks with all my family.....and they were twice as wary of spending it with me!!! I arrived here in the summer of 2008 and the rest, as they say is history!
It was exactly as my family had said it was. My revised opinion was based mainly on how they treated my Mum. We would go out for dinner,all  the Lynams on tour! Our group included my mum, my sisters, my brother, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, teenage nieces, pre-teen nephew, someone's niece....and me! Despite the fact that there were several young, leggy blondes in our group
and I don't mean me!
the waiters immediately went to Mum, made sure that she was seated and looked after. They have such respect for the eldery and children. Of course they are working in tourism and its good for business but there were always little things done that went above and beyond the call of duty.
Proof of the pudding is that 5 years later I am still summering here. I would have had a 95% positive experience here. No place or race is perfect, but I do think that in a lot of cases you attract what you believe in.
A few nights ago my friends and I ended up in Klas disco.
You can tell by its name that it might be bit of an over statement!
It was my first time there in the five years. As I made my way back from the toilets I was stopped four times by four different waiters from various restaurants and bars I go to. The four conversations were practically identical.
"Wow, great to see you here."
Kiss, kiss on either cheek followed by a look around.
"Who are you here with?"
"My friends are over there at the bar."
"Which friends? Where are they?"
At which point I had to physically point out my friends, who waved over.
"Ah yes, I see. These are good people. So you are not on your own. Is everything all right? You will be okay?"
"Yes, of course. Thank you."
"Good. Have a good night. But if there is any problem, please tell me."
"Sure. Bye."

They were concerned that I might have been there on my own or with "unsavoury people". Perhaps they were worried about the tips they would lose if anything happened to me, but I do think their concern was genuine. I have been out in Mullingar many, many, many times and no innkeeper has ever asked me if I was okay.

And now, my dear brethren, I will end today's sermon with a story from one of my numerous self-help books!

A wise man was sitting on a hill top, overlooking a walled town in the valley below. A weary and foot sore traveller trundled up the pathway to where he sat in contemplation.
"Tell me, oh Wise One. Should I stop in that town for the night? What are the people like there?"
The Wise Man paused and then asked him."
"Tell me, my friend, what were the people like in the last town you were in?"
"They were terrible. I found them to be unfriendly and rude and ready to trick you out of whatever they could.
"Then you will find the people in this town to be the very same," the Wise Man replied.
The traveller shook his head, changed his direction and wandered on, bypassing the town.

A few hours later, a second weary traveller ventured the same way.
"Tell me oh Wise One. Should I stop in that town for the night? What are the people like?
"Tell me, my friend., what were the people like in the last town you were in?"
"I found them to be lovely people. They treated me well, shared their food with me and gave me shelter for the night."
"Then you will find the people in this town to be the very same."

Now I'm off to the beach!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Freaky Friday

My guilty pleasures would include "Freaky Friday" in which Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis play the parts of mother and daughter who change bodies and have to live each others lives to hilarious results.
Yes, Lindsay was an actress until she totally lost it.
In the past week I have had to answer the question
"Is this your daughter?"
many, many times. Now I have no problem with this as they also think Emma is about 15 as opposed to her real age of 25.
She is totally p***ed off with this, but I keep trying to tell her that she will SOOO love looking 10 years younger than she really is when she is 35.

We were wondering what would happen if we changed places for a day. I might have known there'd be an app for that!
If we swopped faces, I'd have long hair and Emma would have boobs!
Freakin' hilarious!

Well, that's the Christmas presents sorted.

Every year there is a mad rush coming up to Christmas trying to find the appropriate presents for everyone. And every year I swear I am going to start early, maybe buy a present every week or so and not leave it til the last minute, but to no avail. Well this year I am way ahead of myself. I have sorted presents for all my nearest and dearest family and friends.
SPOILER ALERT: Look away now if you don't want to know what you will be receiving in December.
It's a much sought after Turkish calendar, limited edition. Here is a sneak preview.


Now I know you appreciate the huge amount of blood, sweat and tears that went into the making of this calendar. Don't feel under any pressure to come up with an equally thoughtful present for me at Christmas. After all you have five months to think of something!!!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Under my umbrella-eile-eile.

We took ourselves off to the beach today. When we arrived there we were greeted by Ali, a good friend who had been a waiter in Foleys for many years. At lunch time we realised that we would have to call him over to serve us. The only problem was that he was used to seeing us dressed up in our finery and now we were in our bikinis.
"Here, Emma, pass me that newspaper. I'll pretend that I'm reading it and hide behind it."
Fair enough, until Ali came over.
"Oh Noeleen. You can read Turkish newspaper! What is happening in the world?"
"Ehm. I'm just looking at the pictures."
He took so long to serve us that the ink ran and I had the imprint of a backwards headline emblazoned across my chest!
You don't think I was actually going to show it, now did ya?

Those of you who have been reading my blogs for a while know of my brush with skin cancer.
Needless to say I am now paranoid about the sun.
So what the hell am I doing in Turkey?
Well I figure I still have to live life, but I'm extra careful. I lather on the factor duffel coat and sit under in the shade at all times.
Things started off well today and I plonked myself under the umbrella. After an hour my legs were beginning to peep out. I stood up to move my bed and immediately the attendant came over.
I forgot for a moment. This is Turkey. You don't do anything for yourself!
He got another umbrella and placed it beside the first one, so I was protected once again. This little game lasted for the rest of the day so that by the time we were leaving I was under FIVE umbrellas!
It was like being in a marquee!
I'm sure the other sun worshipers were looking at me and wondering
Why on earth did she bother going to the beach in the first place?
But, I'll have the last laugh.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Bruno Mars' love child.

Sometimes in my day dreams I wonder what Bruno Mars and my love child would look like.
Well, I need wonder no more.....

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Found in Translation.

Marese has made the apartment a right little home-from-home with lots of quirky touches. One such thing is a set of place mats with Irish proverbs written on them.
One of our Turkish friends was having a cup of tea and, wanting to improve his English, was trying to understand the sayings.

We explained that
A silent mouth is sweet to hear.
means that it is often better to say nothing at all.
As the old cock crows the young cock learns
means that you should listen to the voice of experience.

Today himself and Emma were on the beach. He met a group of his friends and was talking away in Turkish. Emma knows a fair bit of the language but couldn't keep up with them. When they left she asked him what they had been talking about.
Delighted to have an opportunity to show-off what he had learned , he beamed and announced
"As it says in your apartment
A silent mouth is better for your cock.

And do you know what?  He never said a truer word.
Marese, I bet you can't find a placemat with that printed on it!

Massage etiquette

I wasn't really ready for spending a long time in the sun, so Carol, Emma and I headed off to Oba for our Turkish bath. It was preceded by a 10 minute stint in a sauna "to warm us up". As the sweat poured down our faces, we decided that they should have just left us standing outside for a few minutes. The effect would have been the same!
Afterwards we were lying in the relaxation room and the conversation turned to horror stories about spa treatments.
Emma's friend had gotten a gift voucher for a newly opened spa. She was lathered in mud, wrapped in clingfilm and left to relax in a dimly lit room. After a while the lights went out completely and jets of water squirted out at her.
"Oh, I must have to wash this off," she said to herself. She scrubbed and scrubbed but all that was happening was it was turning into a gooey mush. It was also starting to sting a bit. She was beginning to feel a bit frustrated, when the door was opened by one of the beauticians. She looked at her client who resembled a monster from the deep at this stage, and let out a scream.
"OH MY GOD! Get out," she yelled.
It seemed that they hadn't realised that the room was occupied and had turned on the self-cleaning system. She was actually being sprayed by jets of disinfected water!!!

My story didn't take place in a spa as such. My friend had never had a massage. She had a male friend who was a little bit alternative. He was into reiki, rune stones and all that jazz. He had started doing a massage course and needed someone to practice on, so he asked my friend. She was a bit sceptical but agreed.
She went to his house where he had a "table" prepared for her to lie on. He left the room for her to get ready. Not knowing whet the dress code for massage was, she popped up on the table. He returned, dimmed the lights and put on some panpipe background music. He turned towards her to start the massage. It was then that he uttered the words that no woman EVER wants to hear..
"Ehm. I think you should put your knickers back ON!

My poor friend nearly died of embarrassment. After wards he asked her how it went and if she felt relaxed.
Relaxed? RELAXED? I feel as if I'm going to snap in two, I'm so tense.
I take it that she never went for a massage again. Or at least if she did, she kept her knickers on!

After deliberating for a few moments, all three of us decided that it would have been less painful to be in the disinfecting booth. That could have been cured by a bit of cream. the other incident would have taken years of therapy to get over!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Things that go "Beep" in the flight.

And so began the annual pilgrimage to Turkey.
Can I start off by thanking the nice bus driver on the Citylink bus from Kinnegad to the airport who helped put my bags in the hold of the bus?

He put on the SMALL case (that had just the bare essentials for one day, in case the main one got lost)  and left me to struggle with the 27kg one myself. Cheers, mate!
"We are now cruising at an altitude of 10000feet. We hope you enjoy your flight with Turkish Airlines."
I settled back in my seat and waited for the hostess to arrive with my meal. The fella sitting beside me seemed to be a little bit nervous. Suddenly I heard a faint "Beep, beep, beep" which seemed  to be coming from the plane under our seats! My co-passenger bolted upright in fright.
"Did you hear that?" he asked.
It had stopped but we bent over in our seats, straining our ears.
"Beep, beep, beep." There it was again.
The hostess was standing beside us wondering what on earth we were doing.
"Excuse me, there seems to be a noise coming from the plane."
See, even in a crisis I am very polite!
"I hear nothing," she said.
"Wait a minute. It will come back."
Sure enough "Beep, beep, beep."
"Hmm. I do not know what this is," was her reassuring reply.
"Can you tell someone in charge?" gulped my new partner in crime.
She called another hostess.
"I hear nothing", she said.
""Wait a minute", we chorused in unison.
Beep, beep, beep.
"I think this is not a problem."
I think it is! Can you continue giving out the dinners, after you have told someone who is a little more technically minded???
The head hostess arrived.
"Is there a problem?"
Not according to Debbie Dingle here!
She got down on her hunkers and cocked an ear.
"I hear nothing."
"WAIT A MINUTE!" we chorused in unison.
Beep, beep, beep.
"Ok. I will tell someone."
Off she disappeared into the cockpit.
My fellow traveller turned to me and said,
"I have never heard this on a plane before. Have you?"
I had to admit I hadn't. We were sitting in the centre of the plane and all I could think was it was coming from where the wheels emerge. Either the wheels hadn't gone up or they weren't going to come down! But then again I'm no expert on the anatomy of an aircraft!
Smiley hostess returned.
"The captain says that everything is alright. It is the air-conditioning."
Okayyyyy. But then why have we never heard it before. I am a frequent flyer.
"But the noise is very annoying", said my colleague.
"Would you like to be moved?" she asked.
"YES", we chorused in unison.
I thought we would be upgraded to First class but no such luck. She tried to find a place for us in good old steerage class, but it was full. We stayed put.
Thinking about it, if the plane was going to crash we had a better chance of survival nearer the back of the plane than up in First class! You never hear of a plane reversing into a mountain.
What could I do but put in my earphones and blot out the sound. It wasn't as if I could do anything about it.
The only time I got a bit nervous was when the captain announced that we were about to descend for landing.
"Well, let's see if I was right about it coming from the wheel carriage?"
Guess what?
I was wrong! The wheels groaned and clunked into place and we had a perfect landing!
I guess the captain did know what he was talking about.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Location, location, location.

"Sure what would ya be goin' to Turkey for in this weather? Isn't it better here?"
These are the words that have been said to me many times over the past few days.
True enough. The weather here has been glorious. I have even been eating out in my back garden.....unheard of.
But lets look at the two situations.

If I was in Turkey, what would I be doing?
Lying on my sun lounger under an umbrella reading a book. Dipping in and out of the pool when it gets too much for me.
In Raharney, what did I spend the past few days doing?
Mowing the lawn, cutting the hedges, washing my car, cleaning windows.

I know exactly how this lady feels!!!

Now you can see why I am going to Turkey?

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Crazy, hazy, lazy days of summer

We are basking in glorious weather here at the moment. I went for my walk early this morning before it got too hot.
Words you never thought you'd have to say in Ireland.
This is the sight that greeted me.
The fact that I had to ignore this sign in order to climb the gate is irrelevant.

No photography can capture the smell of sweet fresh hay in the morning air. It brings be right back to my childhood days. For holidays, my brothers John and Finian were packed off to Granda Lynam's farm while Geraldine, Jacqueline and I were sent over to Granny Keena's in Milltownpass. A formidable lady.
However us girls were allowed down to the farm when Uncle Maurice was saving the hay. We were set free in the field to play among the bales. At that time the bales were cuboid.
Spot the primary school teacher who has taught 3-D shapes!
They were stacked in threes in a tepee shape so we used to play hide-and-seek. Between the heat and the straw dust you'd be nearly suffocated but you'd never come out unless caught. Once the trailer was stacked we were ready to go. The bales would be the height of the walls of a house. We clamoured up to the top using the ropes that were holding them together. The top layer was narrower so we had a place to sit. The only instruction I got as the youngest in the group was
"Noeleen, hold on tight to the rope!"
And off we went.
Every bump that we crossed had us rising a few inches into the air, screaming with exhilaration. This made Uncle Maurice drive all the faster. And don't get me started on him driving under the low lying branches so we had to crouch down so as not to be swept off.
Health and safety, me arse!
But guess what?
None of us ever fell off or were injured/killed.

Can you imagine attempting to do that today? You would be immediately arrested for child endangerment. Yet to us, it was as scary and exciting as the best Disneyworld ride.

God, I'd hate to be a child growing up in this politically correct and sterile era.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


I sometimes worry about the celebrity-crazed society that we live in. Every season we see a hoard of D-list celebs trying to revive their flagging careers by taking part in the reality show
Strictly I'm an American Idol with X-factor talent on ice come dine with me with the stars.

Either that or they're selling a 20 page spread of their wedding, labour photos or sex tape to society's bibles "Hello" or "OK".

Well let me tell you, celebs, you're a NOBODY until you have been featured in the
Out and About in Mullingar section of the Westmeath Examiner!

At the Conor Quinn and The White Chalk gig at Danny Byrne's on Friday night.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Going swimmingly!

Had a great laugh meeting up with my cousins at the weekend.
One cousin was just back from a family holiday in Italy. Before she went she was adamant that she wasn't displaying her body in a bikini so she invested in a one-piece.
Her goal on holiday was to learn how to swim. She managed to persuade her slightly embarrassed 13 year old daughter to teach her. Every day she would practice her leg kicking, arm crawling and controlled breathing. Eventually she was confident that she could manage all three at the same time. She instructed her daughter to stand at the far end of the pool and she would swim up to her.
"You can do this," she said to herself. "Don't give up."
She started off, determined to succeed. Half way up the pool she felt like giving up but she powdered on! When her fingers touched the wall at the far end of the pool, she jumped up, arms spread in triumph and shouted to her daughter
"Well, I DID IT! What do you think?"
She saw her daughter stand there, mouth open in total amazement.
I know I wasn't a swimmer, but is it that big a shock to her that her mother could succeed?
Her daughter then hissed
"MAM! Your swimsuit!!!"
She looked downwards to find her swimsuit down around her belly button, boobs on display for all to see!
Her daughter turned on her heel and disappeared back into their apartment, not to be seen again all afternoon.
Surprisingly enough her daughter refused to give her any more lessons!
 Thanks for letting me use your photo, Annemarie!!!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Love Bugs

This morning I went over to Rochfortbridge for Uncle Sandy's first anniversary mass. I can't believe it's a year since I was hit on in the graveyard at his funeral!!
Which ended in this way
This year there was no repeat appearance.
But Roxy managed to get a boyfriend!

Bet their kids look like ladybirds.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

See, the snails told us so!

Back in May we had a week of glorious sunshine and then....rain. Everyone was downcast and grumbled
"Oh that's it. The weather has broken for good. That was the summer of 2013."
Now you can't really blame us. After all, that's exactly what has happened for the past three years. A fine week in spring and then rain until the next year.
But I was optimistic. I believed the snails.....
Quick recap:
The jarvey drivers in Killarney have been saying that it's going to be a great summer because the snails have been climbing the trees, to get into the shade, I believe!
People scoffed at me when I told them about these Tarzan-esque molluscs! Rather they put their faith in Evelyn Cusack and Martin King.
For my overseas readers, they are Irish weather forecasters.
All I can say is, look at this.

 Evelyn and Martin are saying that these temperatures are set to continue for the next 10 days.
Changed your tune, huh?
Now I know that those of you who are reading this in Abu Dhabi, Turkey or Australia are saying
"What are you getting so excited about? Those are our night time temperatures."
Take it from me. If you had been living in our rain drenched little island for the past few years, you would know what a big deal degrees in the 20's are to us.
So to all those Kerry snails can I just say
"Good on ya, ya boyo. Get up that tree!"

But just a quick word of warning to all those of us removing articles of clothing that are practically soldered to our pasty bodies.....

Friday, July 5, 2013

Signs of summer

Science course finished.
Lawn mowed.
Roxy washed and ready to go topless if suitable!
Murray playing in Wimbledon.
Glass of wine.
Holidays are officially here.
Woo hoo!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Stop your wine-ing!

Today we were studying Sound in our science course.
"Have you ever made a wine glass sing?" asked our tutor.
"Eh no," I answered truthfully.
"But a wine glass has made me sing!"

Monday, July 1, 2013

Eyes are the window to the soul.

Today was the first official day of my holidays. So where did I spend it?
Asleep in bed? Visiting friends? Shopping?
No to all of the above. I was in the Education Centre doing a science course.
One of the questions that was recommended to get the children to investigate was
"Is there a connection between eye colour and hair colour?"

I was cast back to my classroom of five year olds in Abu Dhabi. I was sitting with one group reading a story when Ahmed looked at me quizzically and asked
"Miss, are you Muslim or Christian?"
My heart stopped as I struggled to reply. We had been warned that under NO circumstances were we to mention religion. So how was I to answer him?
I underestimated the logic of children. His friend Mohammed turned to him and in a derisory tone said
"Of course she is Christian.......she's got blue eyes."
"Oh I see," replied Ahmed, and turned his attention back to my story.

That was a perfect piece of childlike logic.
Not to be confused with childish logic.
In his little world all his family and friends had big chocolate brown eyes...with incredible lashes, I might add! And they all happened to be Muslim.  The only blue eyed people he had ever encountered were his European teachers, who were more likely to be Christian.

Makes perfect sense to me!