Monday, November 30, 2015

Walk in my footsteps

In October one of Raharney's oldest citizens, Larry Byrne passed away in his 95th year.
Larry lived just down the road from me. He has to have been the most active nonagenarian that I have ever known, not that I have encountered too many of them. No matter what time of the day or night I was driving down the road I would meet Larry. He was either walking one dog, or two, pushing a bike or actually cycling it. I'd meet him on my way to school in the morning, on my way home in the afternoon, on my way to Leixlip in the evening or on the way back at night.
I'd say to myself
"There's Larry again. He's never off the road."
It's only now I realise that he was probably saying the same about me!

I remember a few years ago there was an unfortunate accident on our road when a light aircraft crashed into a field. The road was closed off. I went walking towards the village but was stopped by some officials. They warned me that they could let me through but they were must stricter at the other end  and I probably wouldn't get back. They told me this story in order to horrify me.

"An old man of 90 went through here on his bike and they wouldn't let him back. The poor man had to cycle home by KINNEGAD!" Shock horror.

And I really was shocked. I knew that trip wouldn't have knocked a fonk outta Larry as he did it several times a week, whereas it would have killed me if I attempted it!

Larry passed away peacefully in his sleep last month. I still slow down going around corners on my road "in case Larry in on the other side".

Last week I was talking to one of my neighbours and of course the conversation came around to my upcoming stint on Operation Transformation. One of my challenges is to do a 5k run, so lots of training will be done.
"Do you know what?", he said "You'll be our road's new Larry Byrne!"

If I can live as long and healthy as Larry did and then at 95 snuggle up in my bed one night and pass away peacefully, I would count myself very lucky.
Ár dheis De ar a anam.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Young or old?

I obviously don't wear a dress to school very often judging by the reaction of the Infants when I walked into their classroom in one today.
"Oh Miss you look lovely."
"You look very pretty today."
But the best of all was this one.
"Miss you look like a TEENAGER!"

I can live with that. I walked around on cloud nine all day until............

In the afternoon I had a class with one of my boys. We were following instructions in order to make a Lego motorbike.
When we were finished he asked me
"Miss, do you enjoy making things with Lego?"
"Of course I do," I replied.
He pondered for a moment and then announced.
"You are proof that you can never be too old to enjoy Lego. If you were younger you could come to my house and see all the Lego sets I have!"

Burst bubble!

I suppose age is only a matter of how you look at things.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

#2 Essential running equipment

I've been doing my research and the one piece of advice that they all give people who are new to running is to make sure that they do not become dehydrated.

I've got that all sorted.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Road Runner

There are three activities that I have managed to avoid like the plague for most of my life
Tap dancing, set dancing........and running.
The reason is I have always been conscious of my boobs and hated the way those activities made them wobble all over the place!

While I am pretty sure I can get away with never having to set or tap dance, it's not the case with the running. In the New Year I will be training to take part in my first 5k run.
So today saw me head off to Liffey Valley in search of my first piece of essential Operation Transformation equipment,........ the humble sports bra!

All I hope and pray is that I was not being secretly filmed in the dressing room as I jumped up and down in front of the mirror to roadtest all the bras to see which was the most "shock absorbent"!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Headline act!

It's becoming very real now. I was eating my lunch, flicking through the paper and suddenly I saw my mug looking back at me. I must admit my heart stopped when I saw this headline.

 My first thought was
Are they going to make me get a sex change???
Now that would be some transformation :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Crash diet!

This Operation Transformation diet is bloody  amazing!

Yesterday morning, according to I was

Height: 5ft 3ins    Weight: 11st 10lbs

Yet, by the afternoon, according to The

Lynam currently weighs 11 stone and is vice-principal at St Patrick’s National School in Co Meath.

AMAZING! I lost 10lbs in one day. I blame the fact that I was so nervous I lost my appetite and had the runs!
At this rate, there wont be a pick on me by Christmas.


Yippee, I've been chosen!

I am one of the 5 leaders for Operation Transformation 2016.
For those of you who may not know it, Operation Transformation is a TV programme on RTE. Its aim is to encourage the nation to lose weight, eat healthily and get their a** off the couch and go and do some exercise.
I have been on a diet of some sort since I was 16. I probably have lost my body weight twice over in that length of time. However in the past two years my weight has been gradually creeping up and up. Whereas before this, I would be good for two weeks and do a bit of exercise and the weight would fall off, now those pounds are stuck to me like limpets and there's no shifting them. I have always loved Operation Transformation. They don't just hand you a diet sheet and say "Off you go. Come back in a week". Rather you have the expertise of a dietitian, doctor, fitness instructor and a psychologist. If that can't get me to lose weight, what can?
I applied to the programme about a month ago. I thought all I'd have to do was fill in an application form, do an interview and then they'd decide. Boy was I wrong!
There have been many assessments to fill in, numerous interviews (all filmed) and even a stint in a swimming pool.
Last Thursday I met with the other 19 finalists. I can honestly say that I have never met a nicer group of people. Every single one of them would make an excellent leader. In fact I had chosen my top eight , and I was definite that the 5 leaders were in that group.
Needless to say I did NOT include myself in that group!

You know when they say that when they tell the leader it will be a surprise when they arrive at your doorstep, and you go
Yeah right. That's all staged and the people know already....
well let me tell you, THEY DON'T!
Yes, we were told that the person will be chosen between 9-10am or 3-4.30pm, but that's all. All twenty of us were waiting patiently this morning in our homes or at work, jumping at the slightest sound. Of course there was preparation. My classroom has never looked so organised. I went shopping for a new outfit at the weekend.
Have you any idea how difficult it is to get an outfit that says
Professional- but doesn't scream "Spinster Primary Teacher"
Trendy- but won't have every teacher in the country going "What the hell is she wearing to school? The state of her!".

So off I set for school this morning. I was sick to my stomach. The only way I can describe it is, do you remember as a child how you felt waiting for Santy? One minute I was saying "I think I was good enough?" and in the next minute you remember being naughty so there is no way that Santy is going to appear.

School bell went off and I went about my normal routine, as we were told to do. I help out in the Infant class in the morning, so there I was threading beads in a pattern onto a piece of string. Suddenly the door opened and in came......Kathryn Thomas followed by a camera man and various other people. My heart stopped and the rest is a blur!

I know I had a radio interview with Ray Darcy and Karl Henry. No idea what I said or even if I said anything.
Various scenarios were filmed around the school but again I don't really remember.

I am still in shock as I'm writing this. I now can't wait to find out who my four companions are going to be. Best of luck to all.

Boy, its going to be a crazy few months. Bring it on!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Tell it like it is.....

The Junior Infants were getting their vaccinations today so I went into their class to help keep them entertained and occupied while they were waiting for their dreaded injection.When I saw one little girl smiling up at me I had a flashback and had to say
"I taught your Daddy when he was small"
.......spitting image!
I heard a snort of derision behind me.
"You didn't", a little boy said in disbelief.
"Yes I did", I replied. "And what's more, I taught your Mammy too!"
"No you didn't", he gasped incredulously, "Cause if you did, you'd be DEAD by now!"

Kids, don't you just love them!!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


During Maths class with my 9 years olds, we were faced with the following problem.

28 mushrooms were divided among four full Irish breakfasts. How many mushrooms were on each plate?

Before we could solve the problem, I had to make sure they knew what "a full Irish" meant. I explained that it was a breakfast that had typically Irish food. I asked them for examples and I got the obvious
"Sausages" "Rashers" " Black and white Pudding" "Eggs" "Tomatoes".
Then I got the answers "Waffles" and "Hash browns". I explained that these were more American type foods than Irish.
One of the little girl's eyes lit up and she announced.
"I've got another typical Irish food.......GUINNESS!"

I suppose it has been consumed for breakfast on manys an occasion!