Monday, June 12, 2017

Summer is coming

We are just back to school after a week's holidays and we have three more to go until the summer ones.
It was very difficult to get motivated to get up this morning and to head into school, all full of enthusiasm. And I'm the teacher so I can only guess how hard it was for my pupils.
So this is my new screen saver and the picture that comes up on the Interactive Whiteboard.
I'm not sure who it's pupils or myself!!!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Relight my fire

My long lasting crush on Gary Barlow is well documented!

I was lucky enough last night to have a ringside seat at one of Take That's concerts.
Okay, so I wasn't actually in the O2 Arena in London but I was at the live screening of their concert in Mullingar cinema!
And they did not fail to deliver.....



Still swoon time!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

I need a salon!

I headed to The Sheep shearing Festival in Roscommon this Friday. I stayed overnight with my friend Laura and her two daughters Erica (7) and Evanna (4).
Not forgetting Niall , her husband of course! But he was at work while we were all out rocking to Nathan Carter!
The next morning I had a great time in the playroom with the girls. Firstly I went "shopping" in their Mini market. Then it was on to the "doctor's surgery" as I had a sore finger!
It must have been all that waving at Nathan.
But my favourite was their Beautiful Salon. Just what I needed after all that trauma. I was preened and pampered to within an inch of my life. I got HD brows, a manicure, make up and a tattoo in under five minutes😜

Evanna was carefully tending to my hair with a minuscule plastic comb. She paused for a moment and then didn't hold back.
"How come your hair is black near the top but yellow everywhere else???
That's what I love about kids, there's no filter. They say it like it is.

So it's off to my hairdressers for real this week!
The magic moment was when she then looked me straight into my eyes and said
"You can come back to our house again"

Wednesday, May 31, 2017


We were looking forward to our field trip with the fisheries officer to a local river.
Seeing as the Irish weather can be so unpredictable I was giving the class a list of what to bring. I typed it on my laptop and it went straight up on the interactive white board.
God, when I started teaching 32 years ago we were lucky to have a blackboard and a piece of chalk!!!
I wrote:
Please bring your wellies, raincoat, suncream.
I got up from my desk and started to walk around. I was a bit perturbed to see some of the kids sniggering, very unlike them. I took a quick glance at the board....and my blood ran cold. I had actually written
Please bring your willies, raincoat, suncream.
I nearly broke my neck getting back to the keyboard and began pressing delete, delete, DELETE!!!

Of course my kids were staring at me, wanting to see how I was going to deal with this catastrophy. So I imparted these words of wisdom.
"And that is the reason why you should always check your spellings before you print. Now, take out your lunches!"

Thursday, May 25, 2017

My life of crime

Life is a bit crazy at the moment. At a time when I thought I would be winding down before the summer holidays, we got the news that we will be having a subject inspection in school next week. Needless to say it's been full steam ahead.
 I was late coming home from school today so I decided to pull into Granuaile's in Kinnegad to save myself from cooking dinner.
When I came out, I was planning a hundred things in my head that I still had to do. I got into my car and shut the door.
It was then I noticed something strange. There was a packet of Baby Wipes in the pocket of the car door.
"I don't remember buying those", I pondered.
I looked at the passenger door and sure enough there was another packet there!
"What the hell??" I thought.
I looked at the dashboard and then it dawned on me!

What are the odds of there being a similiar car parked beside mine, and it not being locked? I mean, how else would I have gotten into it?

Well, I hopped out of it as if it had an ejector seat. I looked up and down the street to see if the owner was approaching but no sign. There were two young lads standing in front of a shop who must have been bemused to see a mad woman jump out of one car, hop into the one beside in and take off like a bat out of hell!
It's a life on the run for me :)

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Reboot up the backside!

I've let things slide over the past two months.
Some of my old bad habits were beginning to sneak their way back into my daily routine. Things like snacking on a sandwich while standing over a pot cooking my dinner, popping into a local restaurant on the way home from school as I haven't gotten the shopping in.
I was still cycling two or three times a week but I hadn't been out running regularly. And its amazing how quickly your fitness level can drop when you're not challenging it.
As a result my weight has slowly crept up by almost half a stone. Not the end of the world by any means, but I did recognise that as a slippy slope down to regaining all the weight that I have lost.
And, hey, I didn't pull a fire truck for nothing.

Happy to say that my resolve and motivation have returned. I worked out that I have seven weeks left to my summer holidays, exactly the same length of time that I had on Operation Transformation. And so I have started from Day 1 on the eating plan.
I'm happy to say my fitness levels are still way above what they were back in Jan 2016 and so I'm getting my running plan "up and running" much quicker.

The thing I'm loving is that every menu brings the memories flooding back.

Day 1: Meatballs and spaghetti.
As this was the first time I had to cook in front of the cameras, I remember being so stressed out that I didn't taste a bit of it as I gulped it down. How easy was it to make this time around? What was I stressed about?

Day 3: Roast chicken.
This was when I had the girlies, Michelle, Emma and Lauren over for dinner. It was greatly delayed as I had failed to turn on the oven properly! I was feeling very bad about this failure on my part til I saw the last series of The Great British Bake Off when one of  their competitors also failed to turn on the oven. So I'm in good company!

Day 5: Lemon Rosemary Chicken:
This was the one I got my knuckles rapped over, as I cooked it three nights in a I hadn't been organised enough to get my grocery shopping done. And do you know what? It tastes as good now as it did back then!

I'm really looking forward to reliving lots of other good memories. And the best part? I won't be weighing in on nationwide TV in my Lycra underwear!!!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Getting back in the saddle....... or even my running shoes

Training has been a little hit and miss recently. If I got out for a run or a cycle once a week I was doing well. So it was with some trepidation that I agreed to do the Kells 5k run on Bank Holiday Monday.
Hey, even thinking about doing it was a step in the right direction!

It was brilliant to meet up with these two, Lucy and Chris.Meeting up with them helped me remember how good running made me feel.

 So off we set.
 I had planned on running for two minutes and walking for two. But I got so caught up in the atmosphere I was soon running for three and walking for one. I then encountered a problem that I don't remember having to deal with last year. It was nearly too HOT to run! Seriously, it was the sunniest weather I can remember. It had been kinda drizzling when I was leaving home this morning and now the sun was splitting the stones. I was furious with myself that I forgotten my sun screen.
 Thankfully the end was in sight and I ran over the finishing line. It was one of the hardest and slowest runs that I have done. It's unbelievable how unfit you can get without training for only a few weeks. But I've gotten my mojo back.

And sure, isn't that the main thing!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Sure as hell beats the Cabbage Soup Diet!

I've just come across this recipe in a slimming magazine.

Penne alla VODKA!!!
Why couldn't that have been on the Operation Transformation plan? I'd have sailed through the eight weeks.
 I may not have lost any weight or run the 5k, but hey, I wouldn't have cared!!!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Run Forrest Run

I went for my run today in my favourite place in all of Westmeath, Belvedere House and Gardens. If you're ever in the vicinity of Mullingar, give it a visit.
And NO, I'm not on commission :)

I know I spelled Belvedere wrong in that caption but hey, I was running!

Monday, April 10, 2017

How close is close?

I spent several hours this morning trying to register online to do a postgraduate course in Maynooth University. I'd get so far in the application process and then my internet would go down or the dreaded message
Error! Please contact the university.
I did and left a message for help!

I tried again and this time I got to the last stage which was uploading my degree, higher diploma and passport. More panic! There was only an upload button for my passport not the other documents. I figured that I'd upload them all with that one. Fair enough it said I was successful and to take down my registration number. I panicked looking for a pen in case the dam site crashed again.

Later that afternoon I was visiting Mam when I got a return call from the university. A very nice lady wanted to check if I had been successful in uploading my application as the site had crashed a few times this morning.
"Do you have your registration number close at hand?" she asked.
A few seconds of despair, as I wasn't at home to find it and then a wave of relief when I realised....the number was actually ON my hand!
I couldn't find any paper quick enough this morning!
You can't get much closer at hand than that!

That's NOT the actual number, just in case someone else steals my place!!!

If you're interested, my application did get through1 Now just to wait to see if I'm successful. Fingers crossed!

Friday, April 7, 2017

Jolly Good Sport

I came into my hallway today and was greeted by this sight.
My cycling helmet and my boxing gloves!
Two years ago my exercise regime was going for a brisk walk a few times a week. I thought I was fit.
Now, 15 months after Operation transformation I can do a 60k cycle and I go to Boxercise with my niece Lauren.
I really enjoy it, I keep imagining I'm in an Ed Sheeran video!!!

Every so often I am stopped in my tracks and I realise I am proud of what I have achieved.
We don't say that often enough.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Will we live happily ever after?

This week I was looking at fairy tales with my class of 11 year olds. We had studied their common plots, settings and characterisation. In particular we had noticed the importance of your character's name, as it often told us a lot about the kind of person he/she was e.g Captain Hook, Professor Snape, Maleficent.
Today they wrote their own fairy tales. I particularly liked this one.

It was about a young boy called Eoghan. He had a great passion for hurling but it was illegal because of Lord Trumpster. Lord Trumpster was a frump who didn't know how to run his kingdom. Eoghan wanted to start a rebellion to take back hurling. Himself and two of his friends stormed Trumpster Tower, armed with three bags of sliotars and three metal hurls for their "bullets". They managed to invade Trumpster Tower by firing the sliotars through the windows. They found the evil Lord Trumpster cowering inside. Faced with these brave warriors he quickly reversed his decision about banning hurling....

I'll just leave that there.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Drama Queens

About 22 years ago I wrote and directed a children's drama for Scór na nÓg competition. We won  the Westmeath final and got through to the Leinsters.
One of the kids involved was Louise, who made a great little footballer!

A couple of weeks ago I got a message on Facebook. It was from Louise. She was taking part in A Night at the Oskars. This is where groups are given scenes from films which they rehearse and are then filmed. Then on the night they are shown and awards are given out. She was wondering if I would help out with her group which was doing Bridesmaids. I wasn't  sure if I could but I said I'd give it a shot.

To put even more pressure on my "directing skills (or rather lack of them) Operation Transformation were doing a follow up on how I was doing one year on and a film crew were at one of our rehearsals!

Last Saturday night we headed into Mullingar Park Hotel where we walked the red carpet along with a plethora of celebrities, thanks to Kevin Rowe Events!

The seven film clips were really well done and it was very difficult to pick a winner. It wasn't to be Bridesmaids night.
Or maybe the wrong envelope was used!!!

However there was a winner on the night. Louise got Best Supporting Actress! Huge congratulations.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

London's Calling.

We were doing a comprehension lesson on the London underground today. We were working out how many lines there are and which one would you use to get from one place to another.
Class finished with a quiz. The kids made up clues and we had to work out what station they were referring to. I read out the clues.....

He's from Peru and eats marmalade.

Abba lost the battle here.

A colourful car.

Then I came to this one.
People don't wear underwear here.
Sniggers from the class!
They all got the right answer


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

All the motivation I need.

I was in RTE for a radio interview with RTE Lifestyle. Taragh and I had just settled at our microphones when word came into the studio.

"Mr Motivator is in the building!!!"
Taragh and I looked at each other and legged it out the door in search of our hero.

He wasn't too hard to find, as his multi-coloured outfit was something Joseph would have been proud of! He was an absolute gentleman and said such nice things to me, even though he obviously hadn't a clue who I was or what on earth I was doing there.But who cares?

He looked amazing. I can't believe he's 63 . He looked in his 40's.
Soon we had an audience. Some cute English lads came out of another studio and stopped to take photos. Mr Motivator went off for his interview and we toddled back down the corridor. We were talking to the English guys and prattling on about how excited we were about meeting such an iconic celebrity!
We parted company and Taragh and I settled back down and composed ourselves. It was then that it struck me
"Taragh", I asked "do you have any idea who those guys were?"
"No", she admitted.
"What if they're someone really famous that everyone would give their kidney to meet, and there we were going on about how brilliant it was to meet Mr Motivator!"
 I wracked my brain but still had no idea, All I'm sure of, is that they weren't Take it doesn't matter!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Ring of Fire.

When Operation Transformation season 10 started in January I was really jealous that I wasn't in it this year.Trying to console myself I reflected
"Well look on the bright side. At least you'll never have to do another fire brigade challenge!"
Then I got asked the question
"Would you like to come back and do a fire brigade challenge against the current leaders?"
"Of course I would!" I jumped at the chance.

I was delighted to meet up with my partners-in-crime, Clare and Lucy along with Siobhán and Mark from two years ago.

As the current leaders were not to know who they were up against, so we were spirited into the Training centre and hidden away until they were ready for us. we had a bit of time to kill. I think I lost my calling as a chief fire officer.

Soon we were called out onto the training ground. A quick face off against the leaders and then it was ACTION!
In the next 20 minutes we jumped from a two storied building, zip lined to a fire truck., loaded it with 10 fire hoses and 20 extinguishers, PULLED the truck to the fire engine, unload it, rolled out three fire hoses and then put out a fire. PHEW. We were neck and neck until.......DISASTER. We got to the fire only to be told we'd left the nozzle back in the fire engine. By the time we ran back to get it the others had turned on their hose and we were defeated.

Of course we would have loved to have won but if we had to lose, then it couldn't have been to a nicer bunch of people.

Afterwards we had our lunch together. We were very conscious of the fact that we were eating baked potatoes and suchlike, but they were on their salads. But it didn't phase them.

I'm the rebel in blue!
Signs on it. They all had great weight losses this week. Well done lads!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Who wore it better?

I was transfixed watching the weather forecast this evening. No, it wasn't because of the arctic like weather that the weather girl was promising. Rather it was the dress she was wearing.
"Where have I seen it before?"

Then I had a flashback to my 50th birthday party.
B@#*$ stole my style!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Laughter is the best medicine.

One of the best presents from my niece Emma.



For relief from the symptoms of wrinkles and crow's feet.

Warning: May cause weight gain if used incorrectly.
Directions: Simply break off the desired dosage and consume. You should quickly be overcome by stress- releasing endorphins and no longer be concerned in the slightest about your wrinkles.

NOT TO BE TAKEN seriously.