Sunday, July 30, 2017

Superheroes come in all forms

Happy birthday to a truly inspirational woman, my sister Geraldine.
Firstly before I forget, there is NO WAY she looks 60 and all without the use of cosmetic surgery. You go girl!

Geraldine has always been the lynchpin of our family. She is the one we go to whenever we need some help or advice, be it legal or otherwise!

There’s no nice way to put this, but life has dealt her a very shitty hand, and if there is anyone who doesn’t deserve it, it’s her. Most people would give up if they had one of her conditions, never mind two. But not Geraldine.
Regardless of how she is feeling, she puts on her lipstick and heels....
Mammy’s voice: You shouldn’t be wearing those!
...and faces the world. You would forgive her if she did complain but I don’t think she knows how to.
Listening to people talking about her, the word that comes up most often is dignified and that’s exactly how she carries herself. 

Her birthday party last night was proof that is it not just her family that think that way about her but everyone who has ever met her. There were people there from her primary school days, secondary school and every job that she’s ever had. There were people there who had just flown in from holidays but the general consensus was that
“There is no way we could miss Geraldine’s party”.

So sis, I want to say that you’re my hero and role model and don’t forget


The Three Sisters

My abiding memory of Geography class in Primary school is reciting the rivers of Ireland. I was always fascinated by
"The three sisters...the Barrow, the Nore and the Suir".
Three very different and individual features that somehow ended up together by a freak of nature!

And I guess that sums us up....

Love ye lots xxx

Friday, July 21, 2017's a secret.

It's my brother-in-law Michael's 60th birthday at the weekend. Being the perfect wife, my sister Jacqueline went to great trouble organising a surprise party for him. We were all sworn to secrecy and to make communication easier she set up a closed group on Facebook.
I was afraid to call into their house. You know that classic Fawlty Tower's episode
Don't mention the war.
When there is something you're not to mention, it's the first thing to come out of your mouth.
And I didn't want to be the one to let the cat out of the bag. I'd never be let live it down.

Last weekend Jacqueline and Michael headed away for a break. Jacqueline couldn't get connected to the hotel's WiFi, so Michael took her phone to sort it out.
Sure enough he got connected straight way, took one look at the screen shot that appeared and asked her
"What's this "Michael's Surprise Party" that everyone is commenting on???

So that is why I have no problem saying today
"I'm really looking forward to your surprise party tomorrow night, Michael" :)

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Milking it!

You know you have been friends, like FOREVER, when you meet up in Kilkenny for a night on the town, only to discover that the three of you are wearing the same outfit of a blue top and white trousers! Fashion etiquette would say that two of us should have changed immediately but true friendship said
"We look HILARIOUS. Let's go!"
We had a brilliant night's dancing in Matt the Miller's. At around 2 am they announced that the bar was closing.It was then that our ahem, maturity kicked in.
Years ago when we were out, this news would have sent us clambering to get a final round in.
True to form Lorna still made a beeline to the bar and returned several minutes later with.....a glass of milk!
"What's that for?" we asked in surprise.
"We've no milk in the room to make a cup of tea before we go to bed", she replied.
And we all thought that was the best idea EVER.

To add to our more mature status we had no problem getting past security at the door with our potential dangerous item, namely the glass.
When we explained nicely what it was for, they calmly sent us on our way with a gentle
"Enjoy our cuppa, ladies!"
And do you know what, it was a lifesaver! Hangovers averted. If only we had known that when we were younger.
Youth is definitely wasted on the young!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Sun Salutations

What better way to start a glorious sunny day than with a little outdoor yoga?
Off I headed to Belvedere House and Gardens this morning with my mat tucked firmly under my armpit.

It really was a very sensuous  experience!
The feeling of the grass beneath my feet as I "rooted myself to the ground"
On Fiona's instruction.

The sounds of the birds and bees
Now stop it,actual birds and bees  
as I lay on the mat, meditating.

The warmth of the sun on my face as I struggled to come back to reality from my totally relaxed/comatosed state at the end of class.

I can't recommend it enough, especially if you want to find your inner warrior, cobra or downward dog!!

 Trying to look like I actually know what I'm doing!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017


It's no secret that I freak out anytime there is one of their species in my vicinity. I am terrified of their beady little eyes, their sharp beaks and their talon like claws.
And yes, that description applies to "cute" little robins too!
I could never wear anything with feathers on it, hell, I can't wear anything with even a PRINT of a bird on it.
I would be quite happy if they were wiped off the face of this planet, though I guess that would feck up the food chain, big time!
Every summer since I've moved into my house there has been an occupied nest in the corner of my garden. I allow this new family to hatch out and grow up, on condition that they don't come anywhere near my house and promptly move out once they've learned to fly.
So why is it, that despite this burning hatred for them, have I been spending the last few days chasing away my neighbours cats from my garden?
It appears the fledglings are ready to fly the nest and the cats have set up a stakeout relay in the hope of pouncing on a slow learner!

Okay, so I want all birds to disappear but I don't want them to do so in the jaws of an already fat predator.
Is that a paradox or an oxymoron???
So every ten minutes or so I've had to go out to run away the cats. Though technically, seeing as the white one only has three legs, it hopped away rather than ran!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Going crackers

Here is a picture of today's lunch.

Smoked salmon and dill mayonnaise on three crispbreads.

It was very tasty but I know I am going to have to get more inventive with my toppings. After all I have about six months of Carr's crispbreads and crackers to get through after getting this fabulous hamper for being a member of the audience on the Miriam O'Callaghan show last Saturday night!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Rules are made to be broken

One of my summer rules is to not spend more than an hour watching television on fine summer evenings. So why was that on my first official day's holiday I was plonked on my couch, unable to move, for 4 hours 47 mins? Well it was because of this man.

Anyone who knows anything about me, knows that I have always been a HUGE Nadal fan.Not only is he one of the greatest tennis player, nay sportsperson of all times, he also is the epitome of sportsmanship both on and off the court.
Two years ago it was widely believed that his sports career was over. He was plagued by injury and withdrew from the circuit. If he had retired there and then everyone would have understood and applauded his amazing career.
But his hunger for the game was still there and he came back this year bigger and better.
Who can forget that historic final against Federrer in The Australian Open in January.Then he had his unrivaled TENTH win at the French Open last month.
He returned to Wimbledon this year in the best form of his career. It was thought that he could go the whole way again.
My hopes were dashed today when he went two sets down against Muller. But he fought back to win the next two sets to bring it to the deciding one. As there is no tie break in a final set neither of them could break the others serve for a mammoth 37 games. Nadal saved four match points. However he couldn't save the fifth and so bowed out of the tournament after 4 hours 47 minutes.
Ever gracious, even in defeat he stopped to sign autographs as he left centre court.

He's still my hero!
And because of him I missed out on my dinner and my cycle today!
Ah well, tomorrow is another day!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

+, -, x, or ፥

I finished my film course yesterday so this morning was the first official day of my summer holidays. So did I have a well deserved lie-on in bed until stupid o'clock? Hell no!
I was up at 8.30am, staring at my computer screen, like the rest of the population of Ireland.
It was the highlight of our national pastime.
No, not the All Ireland Football Final. Rather, it was the scramble for Ed Sheeran tickets.
9 AM arrived and I pressed the button.
I then spent the next never ending minutes staring at the same annoying symbol.

Was my wait worth it?

Now I'm going back to bed!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Feeling like a Muppet.

I'm doing a summer course this week based on Literacy through Film Making. One of our assignments was to get into pairs and take photos around the Education Centre, using as many different camera shots as possible.
I love this one taken by my partner. I think she should go into photography if she ever gets sick of teaching!
Halfway down the stairs is a stair where I sit,
There isn't any other stair quite like it.
I'm not at the bottom,
I'm not at the top.
So this  is the stair where I always stop.........
                                                                       Robin the Frog.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Happy birthday to you

Let the good times roll!
My sister Geraldine reaches her 60th birthday at the end of this month, and we have begun the celebrations already.
Hey, I celebrated my 50th birthday for a year, so she's actually being very conservative in her festivities.
So we started the month with a road trip to Sligo to take in the recording of Nathan Carter's TV show.
Family and friends converged in the Park Hotel in Mullingar and then off we set.
Driving up to The Clayton Hotel, we were very impressed and immediately felt at home.

Later on we discovered that it had previously been a mental institution. We'll say no more!

After a quick bite to eat we were ready for Nathan!
Anyone who has been to one of these shows knows there is one thing you have to be good at....queuing. Because the seats aren't allocated, it's on a first come first served basis.
So first of all we queued up to get into the building. When I got up to the ticket counter I was delighted to see Jennifer, one of the girls who had worked on Operation Transformation. It's a small world here in Ireland.
Then we went upstairs to the free wine. Almost straight away a queue formed to get into the arena, So of course we joined it. Eventually we slowly moved around the corner, down the stairs and onto the set.
It was set up the same as last year. In front of the stage were tables and chairs, which were reserved for VIPs and special guests. Then there were rows of seats for everyone else. My heart sank a little bit when I saw that all it was pretty full up and the only seats available were right at the back.
Suddenly I heard a voice in my ear
"It's okay Noeleen. You can have a table."
"ARE YOU SERIOUS?" I almost screamed at Jennifer.
She was, and soon we were plonked right at the front under poor Nathan's nose!

I tried to convince my sister that I had it all previously arranged, especially for her birthday, but she wasn't having any of it!
Show was brilliant and am looking forward to seeing it in the autumn. I had forgotten about the downside of recording a tv show, namely having to do things several times for the cameras, but it was worth it.
If this is what Geraldine's birthday month is going to be like, bring on the next four weeks!