Friday, January 16, 2015

False Gods!

Before I tell this story I'd just like to state that I do teach many more subjects than's just that the most fun things seem to happen during this class!

In  Religion class, we were looking at stories from the Old Testament and seeing all the different names for God. In the story of Abram and Sari, He was referred to as El Shaddai, which means Almighty God.  As an activity, we made and coloured the name and drew pictures about the story. It was displayed in our "Sacred Space"
along with our covenants!

One of my teaching colleagues came in, glanced at it, did a double take and then burst out laughing
"Ms Noeleen, I thought for a moment that you had set up a shrine to...
Ed Sheeran!"

Well, if I thought it would get me a ticket to his gig in Whelans next weekend, I'd gladly change a few letters!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Drama Queen

Okay, so I'm a bit of a drama queen!
 My favourite form of drama has to be panto.
I am aware that panto has gotten a bit of a bad press over the past number of years. This is because many drama groups think that panto is an easy form of drama and that anything goes.
Panto is a very difficult art form and there are strict rules to adhere to. If you don't, you end up with a very amateur, second rate production.
I am very happy to say that I cut my "panto" teeth with Leixlip Musical and Variety Group, who are a leading force in Irish panto productions today.

For some strange reason, I have been cast as the "Wicked Queen" or "Evil Stepmother" in all productions. I have no idea why!
I remember, a couple of years ago I was involved in "back-stage left" in a panto and I was awaiting the birth of my first grandniece!!! Megan arrived on a Saturday night during a show, and when my sister told me of her arrival, I replied
"Brilliant! I can't wait to bring her to her first panto".

This Christmas I had decided that I wasn't buying my two grandnieces or my grandnephew an object for Christmas. They had more than enough toys and clothes. Instead I was going to buy them an experience. As that little baby Megan was now four years old, it was now time to introduce her to the magical world of PANTO!

Myself and her mother and her granny and Megan headed to Cinderella in The Helix. I was very nervous beforehand as I didn't know how she would react. I just wanted her to love it and enjoy the magic as much as I did.
It started. As a teacher, I know the attention span of a four year old is about ten minutes, and then you have to change the lesson. Megan was on the edge of her seat for each hour long act, never taking her eyes off the stage. She sang along to "Let it Go", booed at the two ugly sisters, and shouted "Oh no, you're not" at the top of her voice! I must admit, although the show was BRILLIANT, I did get as much joy from watching her reaction as from the action on the stage. It was a whole new way of looking at panto for me!
When you have three generations of a family dancing away in the dance-off at the end of a show, you know you have a moment to remember. After the show, when she was jumping up and down with excitement, saying "Thank you Noeleen for bringing me to the panto" I just thought
"Well I've introduced you to this magical world. I hope you continue to love it as much as I do!"

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

In God we trust

In religion class with my eight year olds, we were discussing the concepts of contracts, agreements and covenants. The children thought about something that they would promise God they would do over the next month. They wrote it down on paper which they were to place in an envelope, put in a box on our "sacred space", to be reopened in a month to see how they got on!
In this technological age there are few eight year olds who know how to address an envelope.
Hey, there are probably very few eighteen year olds who can do it either!

I held up my envelope to show them the right way up.
"Now be very careful and make sure you write God's name on it the right way up!"
One of my boys looked up at me and grinned.
"Yep,because if you write it upside down, it'll go to HELL!"
Love it!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The street where you live.

It's a fact that owners begin to look like their pets.

or even

If that;s the case, I wonder if people begin to take on the lifestyle of the street where they live. I mean if you lived on Rodeo Drive, would you be a demon on a Bronco Bull?

If this is true, then judging by the copious amounts of chocolates I have eaten over the Christmas holidays, I am right at home here!

Monday, January 5, 2015

There's more than one way to skin a cat!

During our recent holiday to Scotland we made the acquaintance of Jason the leopard. He waited patiently on the stairs landing, watching our comings and goings. He even posed happily for a photo with me on New Year's Eve. 
Thankfully he failed to notice that I was wearing his brother on my feet!

 Disclaimer: No animals were injured in the making of this blog. Jason is as synthetic as my shoes!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

No. 1 completed on my to-do list.

I'm a scaredy cat.
I'll easily swat a spider and have been known to tackle a mouse. But I am terrified of birds......and fairground rides.
If I went to a therapist and she asked me
"Now Noeleen, when did you first notice this fear?"
 I would reply.
"Well I was about 9 years of age. My best friend Marie and I cycled to Killucan where a funfair had come to the village.
This was back in the day when you could leave the house at 11 in the morning and as long as you arrived back for dinner at 6 o'clock in the evening no one panicked.
Maria and I sat into a swingboat, which was no higher than a normal swing, and off we started. Maria grabbed the rope in the middle and tugged for all she was worth. I sat rigid, clinging for dear life onto the two bars that were holding us up, refusing to let go. Maria got fed up doing all the work and tried to coax me to grab the rope, but she was wasting her time. My logical mind was telling me that if I let the bars go, then I had nothing fixed to hold onto and I would tip back and fall out.
And so began my hatred of "fun" fairs.
I have a list of things I want to do in my 50th year.
Go on a scary funfair ride.
I didn't realise how soon I would have to do it!

Sinead and I headed over to meet our friend Jennifer in Scotland, for the New Year. We landed into Edinburgh and were shown the sights. In the distance we spotted this.

"Oh that looks fun", said Jennifer. "Let's do that!"
"Visit the Scot's Monument? Sure", I replied.
"No", retorted Jennifer. "I mean the big wheel beside it!"

I gulped in fear and then thought
Now Noeleen, you said you'd do something like this. You can't chicken out on the first challenge.
"Ye're mad if you think I'm going up on that!" announced Sinéad.

And so I found myself queuing up with Jen. As we got closer to the top of the queue our bravery began to wane.

However as we were surrounded by enthusiastic 10 year olds, all very eager to get on board, we decided we couldn't lose face.
Especially in front of Sinéad.
We sat on our chair and were barred in. I rattled the bar a few times to ascertain just how secure it was. Erm!
It whirred into life and we were lifted a few feet off the ground. Not so bad.

Then it began to revolve and slowly but surely our chair edged further and further out to the side. We began to ascend. Faster and faster, higher and higher. the people on the ground began to disappear  from sight.
Though I'm quite sure I could still hear Sinéad laughing.
I didn't know whether to look up......
No, not a good idea, I could see how far we still had to go.
Close my eyes.......
Nope, it was worse not knowing what was happening.
Look down.........
Actually that wasn't too bad.
Famous last words.
The faster we went, the further out we spread. It seemed as if we were going to hurtle into the steeple of Scot's Monument.

Once again my logical mind came into play.
Cop on Noeleen. This has been set up for years. It has never struck the monument. What are the chances of it happening just now?
We reached the tip top of the steeple and kept spinning and spinning around.
Okay, I get the picture. Its exhilarating. NOW LET ME DOWN NOW!!!
After what seemed like forever the sound changed and we began to descend.  When we eventually reached terra firma I could have kissed it.
Now I realise why Pope John Paul 2 kept doing that every time he landed.
With wobbly legs we made it over to where Sinéad was waiting.
"Well how did that go,girls?" she asked.
"It was brilliant", we managed. "You should do it."
"Would you look at the faces on you. You're GREEN."

As we were leaving, I spotted a sedate merry-go-round.

"Why couldn't I have seen that earlier? I would have gone on that, and still have been able to tick the "Done that" box."
Here's hoping the rest of my goals aren't as stomach curdling!