Monday 30 June 2008
We have even done the online check in so a lot less stress at the airport which is very necessary when travelling with children.
I had a pedicure today, ended up going for the pink AGAIN, I get such a summery feeling when I see that colour on my feet...next time I will do my best to break the mould and choose a different colour. Of course I had to pop in to a couple of friends, luckily Carla lives across the road from the salon which makes it very easy...and Rose lives nearby and took a stroll, well actually I think she ran...up to the coffee shop for half a cappuccino, sadly she could not finish it as she is so in demand she was meeting another friend for lunch...oh and then ANOTHER mate for coffee - go Rose(!!!) and thanks to all of you who called wishing me a good holiday...it is so great to know I will be missed!!!!!
Jess celebrates her 15th birthday tomorrow so we took her out for dinner to a place called Tribecca in Ranelagh - food was superb, I had a salad with avocado, artichoke hearts, feta cheese, peppers and mixed salad leaves - it was so good I did not even have to season it! Kirstin had a pile of nachos which looked worth salivating over, Jess had a burger, which she gave top marks for and Malcolm had a divine angel hair pasta with tomato, chili, garlic and bacon - successful meal out for all! The girls then attacked a chocolate brownie and a Hot Fudge sundae, they shared both desserts as neither could make up their mind. Now I am home enjoying a glass of wine and doing my second last post before I leave...I will have to do ONE more tomorrow! For now I am being pulled away to play a board game...so duty calls.
Sunday 29 June 2008
I need to go through all the tickets, addresses, car hire information and get a pack together, we literally home for an evening and then off again at 05h00 the following morning...exciting stuff!
I am not sure that I will get a chance to do another post for a while, I may have to stroll into an Internet place during my Holland trip and send an update of all the cheese I have eaten....but no promises! Perhaps in between all my last minute bits I will get to tap a note out tomorrow, I mean the countdown MUST go on...but if not....ADIOS AMIGOS!!!!
Saturday 28 June 2008
Of course because I was so prepared for the rain hardly a drop fell from the sky which made walking all the more pleasant.
The shop was very busy which I really enjoy and I spent a lot of time stocking shelves and helping customers, so busy I forgot to do my countdown...oops! 4 DAYS TO GO
... and my power of positive thinking DID work because it did not rain and it was a warm day!!!
Rose was having her work farewell at 51 in Baggott Street and she had invited a few of her non-work friends so Carla and I went to help celebrate new beginnings with her. After a visit to Eddie Rocketts (never thought I would actually end up there after midnight!!) we all caught a cab home and I was sensibly in bed by about 2...I think! Malcolm came crawling in from a farewell that someone had at his work a little after 3...and he has to play cricket today, should be FUN...for now we let him rest!!!
Thursday 26 June 2008
When I read that Minnie Driver had made an album (yes the actress!) and that it was not half bad I rushed out and bought it, probably about the 6th CD I have ever bought for myself...a year and a bit later I am sharing..one of her songs. I was looking for something more upbeat for a Friday...but I guess being a Friday is probably good news enough!!!
Afterwards there were wonderful snacks and the most divine looking mini pizzas, my weakness...sadly I knew I would not be getting in any decent walking as it was lashing rain so I had to abstain.
The 6th class all had the obligatory girls' wailing session with red faces and sniffling as only girls truly know how to do...then it was a slide show of the year they have all shared and it was fun to see some of the kids on their first day of junior infants, how they grow!
I must confess that I was not very sad to during the whole process, I think because Kirstin was only at the school for a year, I was a lot more tearful when we took them out of Saints last year, but the girls had been going there for 5 years. So now I have 2 high school children on my hands...let the games begin!
Wednesday 25 June 2008
Kirstin finishes primary school tomorrow, I cannot believe that my children will both be in high school come September. Tonight she is in a play, tomorrow is graduation and then she is done. WOW.
As parents we always do the very best we can for our kids. I have always been happy to work half day, stay at home, take on temporary jobs so that I am here for my kids. When they were little motherhood was 24/7 with 4 arms, eyes in the back of your head and endless energy. As they get older and become more independent (especially here in Ireland, I do not even have to drive them to school anymore) my defining role is coming to an end, sure the kids still need me but it is not with the same ferociousness as before. There are new sets of rules to be followed, different forms of punishment, logical arguments and the pressures of exams and friendships. It is still a battlefield, but unlike when they are little, moms cannot use the "kiss it and make it better" line anymore.
As they become more independent my role needs to change, still a guide but one who sometimes has to let them make a tough decision, or a wrong turn in order to learn a life skill or a lesson.
As a woman I am also coming of age, a realisation that it is also time for me to step up to the plate and have a turn, that my life is not a dress rehearsal and I need to make the most of it.
That by following my dreams I am not doing a disservice to my children, I am in fact hopefully providing a good example. Now if I could just figure out what my dreams and aspirations are...
For now it is back to the vacuum cleaner for a little more cleaning.
Tuesday 24 June 2008
Monday 23 June 2008
Then it is off to London and France, this time with hubby in tow! We plan to buy lots of wine and food, barbecue, relax, lie in the sun and read books, oh and of course a few little day trips to interesting places. The only thing is....if the pictures are ANYTHING to go by we may not want to leave...when I found this place I did not care where in France it was, I just knew that it would be a relaxing place to spend a week....wanna come?
Sunday 22 June 2008
Saturday 21 June 2008
I checked the weather for the Giant's Causeway....raining and raining. So much for my vision of me clambering around on fascinating shaped rocks of different heights...I will probably be looking at the causeway through intermittent windscreen wipers and a lot of...precipitation. Will I get to do the rope bridge? Guess it is going to be a wait and see kinda day.
Friday 20 June 2008
Yes if you are a child of the 80's you will apprciate this song...just do NOT watch the movie again. Somehow years later the lines are just not as COOL as they once were...
Thursday 19 June 2008
So the mirrors...in M&S are hopeless, the ones in Esprit are not too bad, and I cannot remember a time walking into Esprit without seeing something I like. Bonus for me today, I found a dress on sale, a) my size b) I liked c) was marked down 50% and d) did not look half bad in the mirror! Jess came away with 2 shirts that she liked and we celebrated at Yo Sushi with california rolls and much time spent watching the belt make its slow rotation. Today for once I think I understood retail therapy. I guess it also helped that we were there for 2 hours, any longer and maybe I would not have walked out as happy...
Wednesday 18 June 2008
Legend has it that the Irish giant Fionn mac Cumhaill (Finn McCool) built the causeway to walk to Scotland to fight his Scottish counterpart Benandonner. One version of the legend tells that Fionn fell asleep before he got to Scotland. When he did not arrive, the much larger Benandonner crossed the bridge looking for him. To protect Fionn, his wife Oonagh laid a blanket over him so he could pretend that he was actually their baby son. In a variation, Fionn fled after seeing Benandonner's great bulk, and asked his wife to disguise him as the baby. In both versions, when Benandonner saw the size of the 'infant', he assumed the alleged father, Fionn, must be gigantic indeed. Therefore, Benandonner fled home in terror, ripping up the Causeway in case he was followed by Fionn.
Another variation is that Oonagh painted a rock shaped like a steak and gave it to Benandonner, whilst giving the baby (Fionn) a normal steak. When Benandonner saw that the baby was able to eat it so easily, he ran away, tearing up the causeway.
The "causeway" legend corresponds with geological history in as much as there are similar basalt formations (a part of the same ancient lava flow) at the site of Fingal's Cave on the isle of Staffa in Scotland.
Now of course I have to save the best for last because I am really looking forward to this part of our trip...apparently people have made it one way and then have had to be rescued from the island by boat as they are too scared for the return journey...I am sure there are not too many stories like that, hope I do not become one of those statistics!
I should have just caught the bus as it drops me off at the top of my road but opted for the luas which meant a 15 minute walk through rain yet again. I guess after a year in Dublin I should always carry around an umbrella or a rain coat. Oh well.
Some people have been asking about my eyes... my inflammation is under control, had an appointment yesterday - found myself tearing along the canal trying very hard (unsuccessfully) not to be 5 minutes late for the appointment, could not even stop to get a quick caffeine kick...and all is no longer swell, which is a good thing! Relief for me because I am so sick and tired of eye drops at this stage, sadly still have to take them but at least it is now 6 times per day instead of every hour. Not to mention the other 2 bottles of eye drops, sigh, but well worth it to have such great vision, although apparently the clarity is still coming. I do have blurry moments where I want to look for my glasses but a few moisturising drops in the eye and things soon look better!
This is also a very sad week for me because I have to say goodbye to Melissa, she is leaving the Emerald Isle for the U.K. She has been a great friend and I really am going to miss our chats and our walks. Tonight is her last summer hockey game and I cannot even play, no hockey for 4 weeks after my eye op...so I will go up to the club after the game and we can drink a glass of wine together, NOT for the last time but for the last summer hockey time! Okay I think I had better end this post off, it is a slippery slope into depression....I will try for something funnier later, hopefully a funny anecdote will present itself later...
Monday 16 June 2008
Why oh why are they not playing in Ireland??? All over the UK...but with flights, hotel and tickets it ain't going to happen, and this is one band I would love to see...my all time favourite song from them...have a lsiten.
Saturday 14 June 2008
At 07h00 I closed the door behind me and started my walk, realised I was wearing a cardigan and was specifically told not to wear clothing with lose fibres, turned around and ran home to get a fleece instead. 07h15...door closed behind me and started the walk to the luas! Sun was gone, cloudy and threatening but very pleasant nonetheless. I love the walk from Charlemont along the canal towards Upper Baggott St, listening to my Ipod, spotted some ducklings with their mother watching over them and reminded myself that I was about to have lasik eye surgery, and wavefront...holy canoly.
Stopped for a coffee at Rose's favourite place and was at the clinic by 08h00. Stood around with the staff as the door was still locked, slightly annoyed as my appointment was set for 08h30 but a woman from the clinic had suggested I get there 30 minutes early. Ended up having a great chat with all the staff, one of whom had been out the night before...told her I hoped she was not my "scrub nurse". Finally got into the clinic and sat in the waiting room, another couple arrived and we got chatting, he was very scared...somehow I found myself calming him down, his wife was teasing him so I told her to go and sit in the car...obviously I was teasing! What can i say, we bonded, his surgery was after mine and I was taken upstairs before him. Had my pre-op appointment with the surgeon, all good to go. He asked me if I was nervous, very surprised to be saying "Not at all" but I really was so calm...he even asked me to hold my palms out, checked them for clamminess/sweatiness...no luck, cool hand Luke was me.
After my pre-op appointment had to go back to the waiting room, my new friend and his wife were waiting so we got to chat again, he had thought I was already having the op...had heard the rat tatting of the laser, I think they must test it before they start surgeries...
After his pre-op appointment we were given boxes of the drops we would be taking for the next week, compared notes on our post surgery recovery - his recovery time is longer than mine, felt bad.
I got called in for my surgery, got a beautiful hair net and was ushered into the theatre. Lay on a dentist style chair and saw that the late night girl was putting in my local anaesthetic drops, excellent, maybe i would get a few extra drops? After all the drops the surgeon came in and things got under way. Putting the clamp on to hold my eye open was uncomfortable, but not painful, then I suction up is put on the eyeball, I think to hold it still while they create the corneal flap. As I lay there I discovered that I actually got to see what they were doing, I thought it would be greyed out but I watched the corneal flap being cut and saw it being moved aside, it was most bizarre. I had to look straight ahead at an orange light the whole time, then someone says "Wavefront on right eye 16 seconds and it starts, at this point you kind of see stars - pretty cool actually. There is a strange smell and then it is over. Again I watched as the corneal flap was replaced and a brush like instrument was used to put everything back into place. One down one to go!
Left eye...same except that wavefront was 14 seconds and the corneal flap took a lot longer to put back in place...hmmm. Chatted about the jibbitz on my crocs while he was busy, all the theatre nurses wear crocs and they loved my ducks, elephants and flowers!
If I had known that I would see what was going on the whole time I think I would have been more nervous, but when it was all happening I was so grateful that I could see what was going on because it meant that I was not going blind!!!
Surgery done I was taken to a dark room, saw my nervous friend and gave him a big smile and a thumbs up, at least he knew I came out being able to see! Instructions on when and how often to sue the drops given again and then I called Melissa to let her know I was done and ready to be collected! Got home, had a coffee and then Melissa went home and per doctor's instructions I went upstairs to get some sleep. Of course I could not fall asleep, but lay there with my eyes closed, chatted to friends and family on the phone and listened to the radio. Bored. Got my glasses out and put them on to see if they looked weird, very satisfied to see that everything was blurry. Bored. Went downstairs and ate some soup. Back upstairs Lisbon Treaty discussion, Ireland is up the creek without a paddle, scary times ahead. No wait, the whole of Europe were hoping we would say NO and Ireland is being applauded...still confused.
Dinner time, watched Holland score their first goal against France Wooohooo! Sadly after dinner had to go back to bed...took my Ipod and lay on my bed listening to music, started a list of all the music it plays, tricky as I do not know what the songs are called and it is a shuffle so have to guess. Jess runs up with the latest score, she is supporting France as she likes Gallas and Henri, very sad to tell me that score is 4 - 1 to Holland, lies on my bed and we share the Ipod. At least I am no longer bored. Of course in between all of this I am washing my hands and inserting 3 different kinds of drops into my eyes...finally decide I am tired, put on funny goggles, so that I do not knock or rub my eyes while sleeping and finally fall asleep. Wake up to find goggles around my neck, oops. Replace goggles and go back to sleep. Wake up at 06h00 again, bloody hell. Things a bit blurry, thought it would be 20/20...use lubricating drops...slight improvement. Appointment at 09h20 for post op check. Removed contact bandage from left lens and had eye test, allowed to drive! Slight inflammation so I need to take anti inflammatory drops every hour, I think eye drops are all I will know for the next week!
I am not allowed to touch my eyes for a week, NO make up, carefully shower and very carefully wash face. Surgery was a piece of cake compared to all of this!
Wednesday 11 June 2008
Today I was walking home, the car safely in the driveway at home marvelling at how now that I actually have a vehicle I prefer to walk wherever I go, great exercise and it is also awesome to be out and about. Funny how things change.
Monday 9 June 2008
We are leaving at 07h40 tomorrow on a bus and will spend the whole day there.
The best part is that I get to take part in all the activities, I think I can choose four...I am so looking forward to it, I am sure that even the drive up will be great, beautiful Irish scenery and lots of noisy girls...hmmmm. Best I go and get a decent night sleep then...
And so we found ourselves dashing from train to tube and back to train until 12:30 when we finally reached our destination.
Champagne was opened lots of talking ensued peppered with more people arriving and so the fun began. We went out for lunch - at 16h00, by then I was ravenous as all I had eaten was half a sandwich and a banana, lunch was well received by my roaring belly. After that it was back to the hotel, the menfolk stayed at the pub, more wine for the ladies while I watched the hairdresser style their hair and then I snuck off for a snooze. (Exhausted as Friday night managed the grand total of 4 hours sleep)
The party was fun, there was a roulette and black jack table, I stuck to black jack and spent much time squandering my chips, very easy when it is not REAL money! There was also a dj so spent a bit of time on the dance floor too, popping over to the buffet of snacks for energy once in a while!
The party wound up at around 01h00 and we all walked back to the hotel and had a night cap in the hotel bar, I eventually admitted defeat at 02h00 - I was EXHAUSTED and snuck off to bed. Sadly woke up at 06h30 in the morning WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? Packed our things up, woke M at 07h30 and we got ready to leave, checked out at 08h0, had a quick breakfast in the hotel restaurant -VERY quiet at that time of the morning and at 08h30 hopped in our taxi to get to the train station. Train, tube, train and finally back at Gatwick. Plane delayed for 20 minutes so much sitting around...thank goodness for "This Charming Man" by Marian Keyes, kept me sane and I managed to finish it too, sorry people but chick lit rules! Everyone mocks it but pure escapism and what a fantastic book, think it might be her best work yet, it was worth the wait!!!
Finally arrived back in Dublin at 16h30, then had to drive back to our friends and pick up the kids, Got home close to sick, SHATTERED. Walked to Supervalu - got dinner things and fruit for Kirstin's school lunch, back home where I made a chicken a la king - a woman's work is never done!!! Collapsed into bed at 22h30, comatose until the alarm went off at 07h00 this morning...aarrgghh
Friday 6 June 2008
"In 2001, the village of Vasse had 569 inhabitants. The built-up area of the town was 0.18 km², and contained 197 residences. The statistical area "Vasse", which also can include the peripheral parts of the village, as well as the surrounding countryside, has a population of around 880."
I would say that my assumptions are correct...holy moly...
Memories of holidays with my grandparents are already flooding back, long walks through the country, swimming in rivers, peace and quiet...for a country with a population of approximately 16,570,613 you would not think there could possibly be villages the size of Vasse!
Marianne actually lives in Cape Town South Africa so it is fairly ironic that we will be visiting her and the kids in Holland of all places! Any suggestions of things to do...I know I do have some Dutch visitors occasionally...
Thursday 5 June 2008
We all mumbled about getting together while they were over but were not sure of dates etc. She emailed me her dates and I fiddled with Ryanair and came up with free flights! Of course there are still taxes, but for the girls and I to fly it will be 90 euro return, for all 3 of us!!! I could not pass up the opportunity so we are flying to Eindhoven on 01 July and catching a train...2.5 hours - hope it is scenic.. up to Enschede. I am sure we will be able to do a few little side trips, I personally would love to visit Delft, not sure if it can be pulled off on this trip, but you never know! We will spend time up there until 5 July, and then we will go down south to Kerkrade where Marianne grew up. It is her birthday on the 6th July so it all works out fantastically. The fact that we fly back to Dublin on 08 July at 16:35 only to fly to London at 08h00 on the 9th July did not deter me, I could have flown back earlier but it would have cost more than double, so we are going to be in panic stations, but we only live once right? I guess I had better get onto google and find out a little bit more about where I will be...
Wednesday 4 June 2008
Oh yes...and as I was walking out of Trinity with Jess at 18h00, we bumped into a friend of mine Kelly, my my but Dublin is a small place!
I was in the shower tonight trying to think how to describe how happy I am...the best I came up with is that I almost feel like I am going to burst out of my own skin kinda happy...I know it sounds bizarre...
Oh...and I even scored a goal ;)
It rained the whole way back to work too...so by the time I got back my cardigan was rather damp, and me with a cough I cannot get rid of...oops.
At 15h00 I had to walk BACK to Trinity, fill in some questionnaires and such. This time I got an umbrella from work but because the streets were so wet my feet kept slipping out of my shoes, I was shuffling along using my toes to keep my shoes on, now I think I need to disinfect my feet! It will have to wait though as I am still sitting at Trinity, on one of their computers (all my questions were computer based and as Jess is still busy they said I could go onto the internet..he he) yep blogging from Trinity - pretty cool hey!!! Who would ever have thought....
Tuesday 3 June 2008
I was happily sitting on the bus making my way home, on another FABULOUS day in Dublin I might add, listening to my Ipod when the song came on. I am not sure what it is about the song but it puts me through such a range of emotions, sorrow being one, but somehow it is a good sorrow. I love lots of other songs but generally the emotion is either happy or sad, this one somehow envelopes it all....
Forever Young - Alphaville
Lets dance in style, lets dance for a while
Heaven can wait were only watching the skies
Hoping for the best but expecting the worst
Are you going to drop the bomb or not?
Let us die young or let us live forever
We dont have the power but we never say never
Sitting in a sandpit, life is a short trip
The musics for the sad men
Can you imagine when this race is won
Turn our golden faces into the sun
Praising our leaders were getting in tune
The musics played by the madmen
Forever young, I want to be forever young
Do you really want to live forever, forever and ever
Some are like water, some are like the heat
Some are a melody and some are the beat
Sooner or later they all will be gone
Why dont they stay young
Its so hard to get old without a cause
I dont want to perish like a fading horse
Youth is like diamonds in the sun
And dimonds are forever
So many adventures couldnt happen today
So many songs we forgot to play
So many dreams are swinging out of the blue
We let them come true
Monday 2 June 2008
C is getting rather broody and was telling us how she would like 2 boys, I then started mumbling about the fact that I am very happy with my 2 girls but every now and then a little desire for a boy creeps into my thoughts. C, D and R are of course very gung ho about that particular idea, but I explained that this is not going to happen unless I find another father for my child...to which Kirstin pipes up: "Yes I secretly pray every night that Daddy's grows back." Well J almost needed the Heimlich, C was crying D and R were bent double and my stomach muscles ached... I hope they all realised that K was only talking about THE SNIP...
Sunday 1 June 2008
We got to Brittas and the wind was HOWLING which makes the beach a very unpleasant place. Luckily there are a lot of dunes so we found a marvelous spot sheltered from the wind with a fab view of the parking lot....very sad but oh so very true...in our defense there was nothing else we could do, unless breaking our youngest child's heart counts...we could have got back in the car and gone home!!!
I decided to work on my tan and promptly fell asleep in the sun, not much else to do what with the other options of counting cars or people traipsing to and from the beach...
All I can say is that the sun in Ireland is....small fry, after 2 hours of rotating and snoozing I cannot even see a tan line...ask anyone from the Southern Hemisphere what that time worshipping the yellow ball in the sky would do and it will definitely involve colour, depending on the factor of the sunscreen applied. Lobster red anyone?
We also managed to bump into friends while there, Tracy and her family had stopped off for a swim and sat and chatted a while, made us feel very local...