Monday, April 28, 2014

Dad can be such a Dumbo at times.

In my four years of blogging, this is definitely one of my top five favourite stories.

Friends of mine gave birth to a baby boy, a little brother for their five year old daughter.
Dad had obviously read The Ladybird Guide to Parenting, and he was trying to encourage bonding between the siblings.
First of all he told the little girl that the new baby had brought her a present.
Now, stop me if I'm wrong. I can not give an accurate description of labour, but seeing as I find it hard to believe that Santa can get a sack of toys down a chimney, I certainly can't see how a baby can bring a present out of THERE!!!
Secondly, as he was bringing her into the ward to see her brother for the first time, he gave her some advice.
"You can touch him gently and then you can talk to him."
They pushed open the door and cautiously walked up to the little cot where he lay, wrapped in swaddling clothes. The little girl caressed him gently on the forehead, then leaned in and asked in a hushed tone
"Do you like elephants?"
The father coughed nervously and said
"Well maybe we should start with something a bit easier?"
"But Dad!" she wailed "I need to know if he does."

Of course she did.
In a five year old's world there are just two groups of people.......
Those who like elephants (good) VS those who don't like elephants (bad).
It's only as we get older that we put in other categories and make life far too complicated.

And just for the record, I like elephants!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Jesus Christ Superstar

Confirmation season has come and gone again.
Where are the years going to???
One of the hardest jobs for a Confirmation teacher is producing a display poster for the church. As my school, Baconstown, is small we have very limited storage space. As a result I had to dispose of my poster after each ceremony, and produce a new one the following year.
In 2011 I came up with a brilliant idea. My artistically talented nephew Niall was in Secondary school and always on the look out for a way of making a few euro. I "commissioned" him to paint Jesus and the Holy Spirit on large hinged sheets of wood. These can be folded up and stored in a small area.

And so it was that in 2014 I could still take it out, dust it off, put on the photos of this year's Confirmation class and Hey work on my part!!!

By now, Niall is a second year student in the Limerick School of Art and Design. Coincidentally at the same time as my Confirmation ceremony was on this year, these second year students were putting on an exhibition in The Hunt Museum in Limerick. Each student had to produce a piece inspired by the Museum, either by a piece of art on display or by the building and environs itself.
This is what Niall had to say about his work.

Playing God

With my piece I attempted to re-contextualise a religious triptych from The Hunt Museum using celebrity culture.
Much like the religious figures in the original painting, modern celebrities gain their status and power from the public who follow them- because without us to follow them, their fame and power does not exist.
In the same way that we have the power to create their persona and set them up on a pedestal, we also feel that we hold the right to pass judgement on them, to humiliate them and drive them to the point of insanity with our critical views on their lives. We track them, know their net worth, their taste in furniture, the absurd names of their pets and children. We are let down by their moral failings and crucify them for their wrongs. And we do this from behind a screen, answerable to nobody.
I have carefully chosen each celebrity to replace/mirror a counterpart in the original painting. Their circumstances and worlds may be far apart, but they are all suffering a similar fate brought about by their notoriety, and a lack of remorse from the public who made them what they are today.
Brilliant concept and execution.
I'd like to take a bit of the credit. After all I think the seed for this idea was sown all those years ago with his painting of Jesus.
Does it not bear more than a passing resemblance to Jared Leto???

Friday, April 25, 2014

Shelter me from harm.

It was time to head into Mullingar to get new tyres for Roxy. As it was a lovely sunny April day I took the top down.
Roxy's top I hasten to add, not mine!
I think only an optimist would buy a convertible car in Ireland, given that the number of days that you can actually avail of it is in indirect proportion to what it costs.
Anyway, Roxy and I drove onto the hard court of the garage, in all our glory. The mechanic took one look at us and retorted wryly,
"Sorry Luv. We don't do new roofs here."
Ah, ya can't beat a bit of Irish sarcasm.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Hair we go.....

Life is pretty hectic at the moment. Only 9 more sleeps until Strictly Come Dancing.
It's not only rehearsals that are taking up time, it's all the other bits and pieces...
costume fittings, leg waxing, eyebrow threading, shellac nails, spray tan, the list goes on and on.
A suitable hairstyle also has to be chosen. As the tango needs a dramatic upstyle I took my hair extensions out of hibernation. To my horror I realised that when I bought them they matched my hair which was much blonder at the time. There is no way that they would match in now.

I was heading into town to shop, so I popped into my local hairdresser. The salon was full of women with heads covered with tinfoil, while others were sweltering under hairdryers. My conversation with my hairdresser went like this.
ME: Hi Ger, I'm wondering if I can leave in my hair to get it coloured.
GER: Sure. What do you want done?
ME: I want it to blend in with the rest of my hair.
GER: Sure. I'll put in some caramel highlights.
ME: When will it be ready?
GER: I'm not sure. I'll give you a text when it's done and you can come back and collect it.
ME: Great. I'm off shopping.
As I exited the salon into the uncharacteristic Irish sunshine, I could sense the envy radiating from the other
captive customers.
If only I could leave my other bits and bobs into the appropriate grooming venues  I'd have time to do everything!

captive customers

Monday, April 21, 2014

Bag Lady

Some people would consider the term "Bag Lady" as being derogatory. I see it as a badge of honour! I'm slightly obsessed with handbags.
Okay, okay, I'm more than "slightly" obsessed.
When people visit a new place they often buy stupid things like plates or sticks of rock to keep as a souvenir of their holiday. I buy a handbag. Much more practical. As a result I have amassed a large collection over the past few years.
It was only when I was almost smothered in an avalanche of handbags, when the door of their wardrobe burst open, that I realised that it was time for a cull. 
I also am aware that I was committing the mortal sin of handbag storage...... They were left lying on top of each other at the bottom of the pile, thereby losing their shape.
I set about sifting through them and discarding the ones I haven't used in years/will never use again.
However it was an extremely long process. Each bag had its own story to tell. Whether it was reminding me of a holiday I was on, a friend who had seen a wacky bag and "thought of you", or bringing back memories of weddings, race meetings or date nights (both good  and disastrous ones!)
These are some of my favourites....

A new take on the "body bag" as seen in CSI.
One made of lollipop sticks and a very effeminate football!
A demented turkey and one that combines my two favourite things in the whole world.....a handbag and chocolate.
This is one that no single woman should be without! If you have to go anywhere on your own and are pestered by an undesirable, just pretend this is a magazine and ignore them!

This one proves that I do have a conscience when it comes to global warming.
By the time I was finished there was a collection of 50 previously-loved bags all ready to go to a caring home.   
Just let me know!
Also, the ones I am keeping are all carefully stuffed with newspaper and stored on shelves.
Let's see how long that lasts!

All I can say is........I seem to have LOADS of room for new handbags!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Costume drama

As you know I was fearing a wardrobe malfunction with my Strictly Come Dancing tango costume. I asked Maeve, a friend of mine, if she would kindly come to my rescue….which she did.
I called up to her house to discuss patterns and material. When I espied this on the wall of her sewing room, I got a tad guilty.

It reads:

is presented to Maeve Kerrigan for
Swearing never to do any costumes again! No matter what, because it is WAY too much stress, little time, little money and it’s all a load of bullshit!
I was sensing a note of resentment on her part against the art of costume making and I double checked that she didn't mind making MY costume. She reassured me that it referred to making costumes for an entire cast in a show and she had no problem making mine.
Phew, thank God for that!

So a million, trillion thanks Maeve for coming out of retirement to help me out.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Somewhere under the rainbow....

There are pluses and minuses to being single.
Minus side:
You go home to an empty house in the evenings and have to cook your own dinner (if you don’t want to go down the take-away route…..again!)
Plus side:
There is no one depending on you to cook a dinner, so you can basically come and go as you please.
I found myself in this quandary last week. I came out of school and decided that I wasn’t in the mood for going home. After a quick phone call to Mullingar cinema, I decided that I would go to see the early showing of Noah.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a HUGE Russell Crowe fan. He can do no wrong in my eyes.
Okay, okay, his singing was a bit suspect in Les Mis, but he gave a brilliant portrayal of Javert.
So it was that I found myself in a near empty cinema theatre at 4.00pm, munching my way through a family sized packet of M and M’s!
I really enjoyed Noah, once I managed to buy into the whole Rock Transformer things that were helping him to build the ark. The real power of a film is if it gets you thinking. It certainly did that. I came out of the room feeling very depressed. I was thinking that it would have been better for Earth if Noah had allowed mankind to die out with his family. After all, it is mankind who is exploiting its natural resources.  Animals are the ones who are still living in harmony with their environment, as it was intended. At the end of the film, Noah said that mankind would make a better fist of it this time.
So it was that I was very down as I stepped outside. Two things stopped me in my tracks.
11)     I had to scrunch up my eyes at the unexpected brightness. It’s usually pitch dark as I exit a cinema.
22)     There was Roxy, parked up in an almost deserted car park, ensconced in ….a rainbow!

Now, I’m no bible-basher but I have read enough Old Testament stories to know that God is said to have set a bow in the sky after the floods as a sign of His love for mankind and that He would never send the floods again.

As I got into my car, I was between two minds. My logical side was saying  
“It’s merely a coincidence, albeit a NICE coincidence.”
My spiritual side was saying
“Okay God I get your message. I’ll stop being such a Moaning Myrtle. Mankind is not a lost cause.”

Monday, April 14, 2014

An uplifting experience

Rehearsals are really hotting up for our local Strictly Come Dancing. Three weeks to go...

Dec, my dance partner, and I are doing the Tango. I'm really enjoying it. My biggest problem was getting a suitable dress. I trawled eBay looking for one but they all had EXTREMELY low backs which meant that you couldn't wear a bra. With my boobs, that was a non-runner. As I said to Dec
"If I have to go braless, it won't be my toes you'll be stepping on!!!!"
A friend of mine, Maeve, came to the rescue and is making a more modest one for me!

I was just beginning to feel okay about it, when I overheard a conversation that my mother was having with my sister. You can always count on an Irish Mammy to tell it like it is....
Sister: Noeleen seems to be getting on well at the dancing.
Mam: But I don't know how that poor auld devil is going to be able to lift her.

Luckily, I have extremely thick skin, which unfortunately weighs heavy.
Anyway, I still have the three weeks to get in shape.
*posed by models

Sunday, April 13, 2014


There has been a student teacher in my classroom over the past few weeks. Last History lesson he was tackling the very difficult topic of conflict in Northern Ireland. I always find it a very tricky subject as you have to get the balance right between teaching the facts but not fostering hatred.
He approached it in a very novel way, through the study of the murals in Belfast.

As an Art lesson they had to design their own murals, the theme of which had to be
There is obviously a budding cartoonist in the class. His mural was very apt, given the current visit of our president to see the queen in London.

I sometimes wonder why we don't just let the kids run the country. They sometimes make a hell of a lot more sense than us adults!