Monday 14 December 2009
Thursday 19 November 2009
So yes, I have a week of chaos and this is followed by zen like peace and tranquility and a tidy house. I think it is the best of both worlds, just as the peace and quiet gets to much the bags, shoes and laughter return.
All this talk of wind, it must be because it was SO very blustery today. I walked out of the apartment to a wall of rain and wind which immediately picked a fight with my polka dot pink umbrella, turning her inside out and destroying a couple of joints. Somehow I manage to flip it back to normal but the poor thing is destroyed. I will continue to attempt to keep my head dry under its flailing skeleton for a while, after all it cost me £20! In all fairness though, the wind was so strong this morning that it actually even snatched my beanie off my head in some sort of cheeky game and I was sent running down the street after it..grr. I have to say I would prefer the wind WITHOUT the rain!
But I cannot complain because there is something very energising being blown about in such mad conditions. The weird thing is that it is not that cold, I was out at 22h00 collecting the kids from a school play they were watching and it was 14 degrees!
Tomorrow night I am playing in a hockey match, I really really hope the weather has settled by then!
Wednesday 4 November 2009
Don't lose the lid for the milk bottle in a confined space. Yep, the recycling bins are inconveniently placed in the car park basement. This is very handy for regular motor vehicle users, but as a staunch supporter of the local bus corridor my car does not get to stretch its wheels very often. On a Wednesday however it has a little outing to the hockey club which also means a visit to the recycling bins. Now as the bins are near the exit and I am always in a rush I put all the recycling in my car and empty out on my way to the exit. Tonight the lid popped off the empty milk bottle in my car, the bottle that has been empty and in the warm apartment since Monday. LOVELY.
I can play hockey for 2 and a half hours on a cold, damp windy night. I went down to hockey to practice with the Vets at 19h30 and we ended up playing a match against the thirds. After that I was rearing to go home but Mandy and I decided to stay for the thirds and fourths practice so hockey continued until 22h00. Considering I only got home from work at 19h00 I was pretty pleased with myself.
Focus Ireland is a fabulous charity. Last week a whole bunch of us from work volunteered to paint a house and clean up a garden for the charity. It was a fabulous experience and was made very memorable when our 6 foot something MD managed to put his knee through the €1800 glass top hob while painting the kitchen. The thought running through everyone's mind? Thank goodness it wasn't me. Anyhow, the charity does great work in Ireland and I think what they do benefits all of us so thanks muchly.
Tuesday 3 November 2009
Now Jess did have the H1N1 virus - and that would have been rather handy to contract. With H1N1 you CANT eat, I reckon they call it s-w-i-n-e flu to reduce the street cred's of the marvelous side effect of the virus. If everyone knew that you could lose up to 3 kg's (ask Jess) not many people would be buying anti bacterial wipes now would they? Of course I kept a safe distance from Jess, using my polo neck jersey as a barrier - she was not impressed but in all fairness I had not discovered the merits of swine flu at that stage. In all seriousness though, I did NOT actually want o get sick, shame Jess really was not well but I must point out that considering how contagious it it meant to be, none of us got sick.
Wednesday 21 October 2009
Monday 19 October 2009
Life has had some interesting turns, no internet at home for a week at a time, weird! The girls spent 10 days with Malcolm while his folks visited from SA, very odd for me, I missed them a lot but it was also quite a new experience not having to rush home after work every day, not feeling bad tearing off to hockey practice on a Wednesday etc.
Overall life is still good and I am still playing hockey, have had my first Vets festival committee meeting and have made some fabulous new friends, lost a few old ones and realised how lucky I am to have such strong unwavering friends in my life. My favourite saying "some people come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime" has never been more relevant.
Back? If not on my blog then in my life you betcha!
Sunday 13 September 2009
I reckon that in SA we get so used to our fabulous weather that we take it for granted, here a sunny day is a gift, a thing to enjoy and boy oh boy we do.
Friday 4 September 2009
She got off the bus and left her school bag behind, a rather ingenious way of avoiding the dog ate my homework excuse, only the bag was a brand new Roxy one and she was not a very happy young lass.
I sprung into action, luckily Jess had her bus ticket so the number on the top right corner helped dispatch contact the driver who confirmed that Kirstin's bag was on his bus.
The fact that I had done this all before for my eldest ensured a sleek operation, only this time I had to go to Donnybrook garage to collect the abandoned bag. Last time we just met the bus on its return loop, very handy that was! BUT having said that I felt a true sense of belonging when I hopped in the car and headed for the Donnybrook garage this eve without my sat nav! Silver linings on every cloud.
Thursday 3 September 2009
That is until I ventured out on a cold and wet Wednesday night and reality came tap tapping. I am not very good at the drills, in fact I wanted to lift a corner of the astro turf and hide. The weird thing is that once we started playing, unfortunately only after 1 hour and 15 minutes of humiliation, I was actually quite good. I thoroughly enjoyed getting soaking wet and having rivers of water running into my eyes, slippery grip on the hockey stick and soggy shoes. It somehow added to the satisfaction of going out there and getting some exercise!
After all that running around I decided that a more gentle approach to exercise was a good follow on and so S and I took her Scottish terrier for a walk up Kilmashogue, a poorly timed walk it has to be said. We met at 7h30 and began our ascent with Alfie happily leading the way. At 8h15 we decided to turn around and head back as the evenings have shortened alarmingly and we found ourselves stumbling back in near darkness towards the end of our descent! Of course we had Alfie for protection and S and I did not feel the need to speed walk, or jog on our way back to the cars, at least we got to appreciate the sights of lit up Dublin spread peacefully below us. I think form now on our mountain walks will have to take place on the weekends and when the urge of an evening walk attacks, we will prowl the streets of suburbia instead.
Simply put I asked Malcolm for a separation and after a year I moved out into my own apartment and started a very new and foreign journey. The girls have been absolutely fantastic and although I am sure it is difficult for them they have settled well and are very encouraging and supportive.
I am not going to say much else about it, as it is obviously very personal but perhaps after getting this out the way I can return to blogging with some enthusiasm, instead of treating a hobby I used to enjoy as a duty and a chore.
Tuesday 4 August 2009
The amount of QT we ended up getting would make speed dating on telly look slow, it took us a horrifyingly quick 10 minutes before we were in a parking space slamming the doors. Oh well.
The store is massive, I heard on the radio that it is either the size or Croke Park..or twice the size, considering 80 000 people fit into Croke to watch Bono and the gang...that makes Ikea rather humongous.
We meandered around upstairs in the show area - they even have a 1 bedroom and 2 bedroom apartment fully kitted out in Ikea, pretty cool.
Lunch was a mere recession busting €10.70 although admittedly the order was 3 fries, smoked salmon, brown bread, 2 juices and a coffee (free refills on drinks) but still!!!!
All in all it was a great day out and we will definitely be going back for mattresses (if my Internet research can unearth some good feedback), book cases and anything else we might need in the near future, oh and maybe, just maybe LUNCH!
Sunday 26 July 2009
Of course when Bono heard what had happened, and that the RULES had missed out on tickets he said that he simply could not perform in Dublin without us being able to experience the magic and so it transpired that a third date was added to the Dublin tour. Now this is all top secret, Dubliners think that it is because he likes playing to his home crowd. In reality he had to sell another 59996 or so tickets or it would not have been financially viable for the band...
So yes, tomorrow night we are taking two very lucky teenage girls and four very, very expensive tickets (that is ANOTHER ticket master disaster involving panic and the option - Best seats available, and had NOTHING to do with me this time) to the 360 degree tour with The Script opening...who just so happens to be a band we really enjoy too. Lucky, lucky US.
So of course I had to make another batch, this time substituting half the milk for orange flower water to try something different. Luckily Kirstin wanted to prepare the batter so besides my little tweak she actually did all the work!
I had made cream cheese frosting for the first batch so this time I made vienna cream frosting, again using the orange flower water instead of milk. We used the food colouring very carefully as we wanted pale pastel colours and the results were not half bad. I demonstrated the icing technique using the yellow on four cupcakes clamouring for some decoration and accessories and then the girls each got to dress up four cupcakes too. I think the results were fabulous...and not only did they look good dressed up in such finery, they tasted fantastic too!
Friday 24 July 2009
Saturday 11 July 2009
"The song was nominated at the 50th Grammy Awards for Best Song Written For Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media; it lost to "Love You I Do" from Dreamgirls.
The song won the Academy Award for Best Original Song on 24 February 2008, ahead of the choral gospel song "Raise It Up" from August Rush and three songs from the modern Disney musical Enchanted. The song's win marked the fourth year in a row that the Oscar winner had not been nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song. For some time, the song's eligibility for an Oscar was in dispute, because it had been performed and recorded prior to the release of Once The Academy ruled that because the song had been composed for the movie, and the prior public exposure during the long period that the movie took to produce had been minimal, it remained eligible. The Academy had ruled likewise on a similar controversy involving 2004 Best Original Song nominee "In the Deep".
I loved the song when I first heard it, and although the movie was a low budget one, the girls and I thoroughly enjoyed the 'humanness' (is that a word?) of it and the fact that it is all set in Dublin and we have walked so many of the streets that appear in the film. Enjoy!
And I have to share another one with you...I had not heard it until I saw the movie, but WOW, the kids and I just looked at each other and got covered in goose bumps, her voice is so full of emotion. If you would like to know more about the movie here is a link to Wikipedia, copy and paste it (don't you just love it?) -
Her two little boys Davey and Oliver have three very capable mothers, two of whom have realised that raising kittens is very hard work. Unfortunately there are downsides to kitten fostering.
The biggest hurdle? The litter box. The cats are not allowed outside so when we got the cats we also got litter trays and cat grit. WELL. It stinks, unbelievably and to make matters worse we cannot leave windows open for fear of escape. Of course I have to open them a crack and we remove what we can and flush but I have never seen anyone empty the room as quickly as Tippin can after a visit to the red tray in the corner! And yes we do change the litter...frequently.
We also spend a lot of time sweeping or vacuuming up litter as she is a very enthusiastic digger - I guess even she knows that she needs to bury that awful smell as quickly as possible!
Kittens are very busy little things and I have even had to remove them from the dining room table! At least puppies cannot claw their way up to places animals are not meant to be. Of course when I walk into the lounge and see one curled up on top of the Sky box (it is warm) and the other sleeping under the coffee table it is kinda nice! But they certainly are a handful and a good lesson for the kids. Yikes, Tippin is back on the desk demanding attention...as nice as this is I think I will risk being called heartless and admit that 7 weeks of cats will be long enough, and yes for the kids too!
Friday 10 July 2009
Tuesday 7 July 2009
We spent the entire day at the beach, finally leaving at 17h30, Maura had to get ready to leave and Malcolm made a salad for us all to snack on because we were planning on going for dinner when he and Don got back from the airport at around 21h00. Jess had choice of restaurant and she had chosen Dakota – American style, looked a lot like the Spur steak houses to me! She had also specifically booked a table on the ‘island’ right next to the water, which was a fabulous location but the wind was a bit chilly and considering the kids and I had waited an hour for the table there was no way that we were settling for a more sheltered spot! Of course we were waiting for Malcolm and Don too, so we had no choice BUT to wait…but still! We did not really mind waiting anyway, people watching was fascinating and it was great to sit and chat in such a relaxed way. Passing the time!
Thursday was same again, except the kids bought blow up tubes from a shop and spent a lot of time bobbing in the sea. Don and Malcolm played bat and ball and I soaked up sun and read my book. We all went for an early dinner to Simbad – Kristin’s choice, when she had spotted macaroni cheese on their menu her decision was made. Malcolm and I had the paella which was much too salty, and for me to say that is BAD!!! Kirstin had an amazing macaroni cheese; we all declared it the dish of the night. After dinner Malcolm made yet another trip to the airport to drop Don off, shame he had been having so much fun he did not want to leave! The girls and I strolled into town and got ice cream cones and slowly made our way back to the apartment.
Sunday 5 July 2009
We walked around the little village and finally settled on a spot for a snack and a drink and referred to the map to find a route home that did not involve more mountains. We discovered that we could head back towards Palma and then take the motorway back to Port Pollensa, a long way around in mileage but we KNEW that there was NO way we could face those winding roads twice in one day! Our decision made we all squashed and folded our way back into the car and headed home, arriving back in Port Pollensa a mere one hour later!
Friday 3 July 2009
After breakfast all the shops were begging for little miss shopaholics attention (that would be Jess by the way) and so we wondered around poking our noses into interesting spots and before we knew it Malcolm was back from the airport with two hungry bodies, so it was back to a restaurant to feed the travelers. We ended up at a place called Simbad and the owner was so friendly and the cafe' con leche (coffee with milk) was a huge improvement on the poison back at the apartment so we elected it the coffee spot for the week.
Later in the evening we headed toward the port for dinner, there were so many restaurants to choose from and Maura suggested that every night a different person could pick a place, we all thought it was a great idea and gave her first choice and so it was that we all found ourselves eating pizzas and salads at a corner Italian place that boasted the best pizzas in Pollensa. I find the bases of the pizzas strange, it is more like a pastry then a dough, very thin crust and very little tomato base. It was a delicious pizza, just not what I am accustomed too. After dinner we strolled around for a while and got ice cream cones for everyone and then headed back to the apartment. Our first full day on holiday had been fabulous!
Sunday 28 June 2009
We landed 30 minutes early - half an hour extra holiday I cheered, little did we know the inefficiency that is Palma airport meant that the 30 minutes were spent waiting for stairs for the plane! Ah well. No amend that too...another 3o minutes wasted waiting for our luggage - I think Palma owe me an hour.
Next was the car hire and that really peed me off. We had to go to a central meeting point and find a person in a yellow shirt. It felt a little like the Amazing Race- which incidentally I have discovered I would SUCK at. Then we had to go outside and look out for a mini bus that said Centurio (or something close to that) on its side and we would be whisked off to the car hire place 5 minutes from the airport. Sadly we are not as pushy as most of the other families utilizing the car hire service so we miss out on 2 busses (they only hold 6 people – you do the math when faced with mostly FAMILIES) and by the time we get to the car hire place it is 18h45 – and we landed at 17h00!!!
Next is the drive to Pollensa – uneventful besides driving on the WRONG side of the road!
We missed the grocery store by a minute – as I ran in they turned the lights out….right now I hate my Mallorca holiday!
Finding our apartment is slightly challenging – the garmin is not doing her job, but only because it does not recognize the street name we input. The restaurants are overflowing with happy patrons as we drive around aimlessly and my stomach is beginning to remind me that I have not eaten since 13h00. This annoys me because by the time we find our apartment the places will all be closed – it is now close to 22h00…an open Spar! Wahoo – milk, wine, bread, ham, cheese and coffee – sorted!
Stroke of luck! Malcolm asks a woman if she knows where our street is and it turns out we are only a block away, this is superb news and if I had a tail it would be wagging furiously. Once we locate the apartment complex the next trick is finding our door “E” with a key tacked to it. The hunt is over after about 5 minutes with Kirstin triumphantly holding the coveted key. We had also spotted a really great restaurant around the corner that was still open, so after dumping our luggage and Dublin clothes (jeans) we legged it down to dinner.
The restaurant was great, across the road from the sea (of course we soon realized that these are a dime a dozen) and we sat and ate al fresco. I decided to have fish, Dorado was part of the 3 course menu on offer and Malcolm said it was a fabulous game fish. I think a Dorado is a different fish altogether in Mallorca because there was no way the little guy winking up at me from my plate was a game fish – and yes eyeballing me because it was WHOLE!!! Game fish meant a nice fillet or a steak in my mind, not a teeth to tail on my plate affair so I ate it with caution and yes to be honest…long teeth, but I did eat it. Of course I also did leave a fair bit on my plate so there was no way I was missing out on my third course and when they mentioned crème caramel that definitely sealed my calorie counting fate. It was also a spring board to many more dinners ending in something sweet - a habit I do not often indulge in, the constricta style jeans I am wearing today have reminded me of my bad holiday eating habits - ah well.
Tuesday 16 June 2009
Work has been hectic, we have been short staffed for ages so it has been challenging but a new staff member joined a couple of weeks ago. She is still in training and I feel sorry for her because it has been slow going as we still have to do all the usual work and try and teach her!
On Saturday we fly to Majorca/Mallorca (depending on who you are talking to!) for a week of sea, sand and sun and we are looking forward to it immensely. We are staying in a self catering apartment which looks really nice, Malcolm booked our holiday this year so I am just going with the flow. It feels really strange as I am usually the one doing all the organising but now that I am working I do not have as much time on my hands, Malcolm did for a while but now work has got very busy for him too as he is running with a finance project.
Kirstin and Jess are now young ladies, and make me very proud, Kirstin is almost as tall as I am and although she still enjoys her go kart is definitely more of a GIRL. Gone are the days when she did not brush her hair before leaving the house, invariably with a chocolate moustache!
A trip to the mall is not like it used to be, outfits need to be co-ordinated, make up applied (mascara only for Kirstin - have given up saying no) and hair fiddled with. Jess writes her last state exam tomorrow and then the summer holidays begin, although Kirstin has been enjoying her summer holiday since the end of May! Jess has been home when not writing exams and I think she adopted the holiday spirit so I am not sure how keen she is to see her Junior Cert results in September! We have had some fabulous weather and it is really awesome to have daylight until after 22h00...summer in SA may be longer but enjoying daylight for 5 hours after work is brilliant, albeit short-lived!
Now I am afraid it is time to do a bit of cleaning, got home and baked peanut butter chocolate chip biscuits with the kids...kitchen needs my help!
Saturday 13 June 2009
Monday 1 June 2009
When I got into Stephens Green I decided to visit the ladies, avoiding porta loos being my primary reason. I battled to get into the shopping centre because of all the people and once I made it up 2 flights of stairs and saw the queue for the ladies I made a hasty exit. I guess 40 000 women clog up a mall with ease...
I walked down Baggott street to the meeting point and nipped into Burger King - no queue for the ladies there! I met up with two of my colleagues and we made our way to the starting point. Interesting!
If you could see the sights I saw! The shoes some wore, would cause the feet to roar! (Sounds a bit like Dr Seuss there) Okay seriously then...for a 10km mini (I know) marathon may I present you with the image of a woman in HEELS - yes I promise it is true. Women walking in skirts, jeans, women looking ready for a night out after the leisurely 10km stroll. Well at least it helped pass the agonising 35 minute wait in the sweltering sun! Katie and I had a good gawk and an even better giggle. And then we were off! I was VERY nervous as Katie had been training and I did not want to get left behind because her husband was looking after my purse and phone (Kirstin did not want me to leave home without a lifeline...for her) so I mentally prepared myself for hell..."When you get that stitch, keep going, when your calf muscles are screaming, keep running, when you can hardly breathe, keep breathing, etcetera" and then I surprised ME. I could jog the course, I discovered that the reason I can only make it around the block is because I start too fast! I run instead of jog. I had a marvellous time! I confess to being very relieved in the beginning because with 40 000 women we actually could not jog but then things began to open up and Katie began to move...and I kept up! In fact I think I could have jogged more than we did! It was extremely hot so we decided to take it easy and did some walking but in truth I wanted to keep practicing my new found ability to JOG!!! Of course being sprayed with water by firemen along the route gave all us ladies that little bit of extra reserve energy required to push on through! I now have my first mini marathon medal and plan to start a little collection I think!
After the marathon I caught the luas home, jam packed full of other sweaty smelly women! In fact I hoped I could make it all the way to Windy Arbour for the odour! I got home (another 1.5km walk I MUST point out) and the first thing I said to Kirstin as she opened the door was "Do I smell?" She sniffed the air rather carefully, came in for a closer whiff and confidently said no. "How about under my pits" I asked lifting my hand to the heavens. She backed away slowly but I really did need to check... and so the poor child came in for a cautious sniff again and a relieved (and surprised) look crossed her face as she declared me smelly free. Perhaps I need to work a little harder next year??
To attempt putting into words how beautiful Dublin is when the sunshine is difficult, but I think I have raved about it in varying degrees in previous posts.
We have a park across the road from work and on Friday Alan, Artur, Demi and myself all bought sandwiches and went and found a beautiful spot on the grass amongst hundreds of other like minded people and ate our lunch. We soaked up the sun and the atmosphere, appreciating the beautiful day that we had been given.
After work we all headed to Diceys beer garden and I enjoyed a shandy with my team, soaking up the sun again! It was amazing standing there in my short sleeved shirt and skirt, watching people in summery gear streaming into the garden, all the more cheerful because we were looking ahead to the 3 day weekend!
Malcolm was enjoying a sports and social event at The Kingston Hotel near his work and they also sat outside enjoying the first days of summer. Sadly he spent a lot of the beautiful Saturday with a wee thumping in his head but on Sunday he got to enjoy another fab day outdoors playing cricket. This morning he heads off for Mullingar to play cricket again, this time on a private estate, yep some guy with a little bit of money has a cricket ground in his garden where games are played, apparently it is a lovely setting...I bet! Maybe Malcolm will take some pictures today and I can post them on here at a later date.
For now I am off to enjoy another fantastic morning, and a small matter of an unprepared for mini marathon....
Saturday 30 May 2009
This morning I spent a very pleasant morning with Katie, we went to the R.D.S and collected our race numbers and then wondered around sampling all the things on offer. They had a Wi Fit section and I had my weight and BMI checked...my BMI was in the ideal range - woohoo!!! I did a whole lot of little tests and eventually my fit age was revealed...32! Happy little camper moi!!!
Perhaps a 32 year old version of me will manage a jog? Worst case scenario...a scenic walk around Dublin at 15h00 on Monday, and at least we raised money for our charity through work! I will actually try to jog a lot of the course, wish me luck!
Thursday 21 May 2009
Sunday 17 May 2009
Weekends as a working mum are very different to what I am accustomed to, but I have found my rhythm, Saturday is cleaning (oh OKAY...unless something more appealing rares its head) and Sunday at some stage is the hunting and gathering for the week ahead. To this end I have to just say...I L-O-V-E Aldi. My budget remains intact and generally I even have a little left over grocery money at the end of the month, how great is that! I have also discovered frozen mashed potato (in three varieties) which is fab for the working mom, and today I am testing out the Maris Piper roast potatoes...we will see. My potato ricer has not been forgotten I hasten to add, just not as utilised as in the past!
Blissful weekend it may be, but I do have to confess that I am also really looking forward to next weekend. TRR Vets hockey festival time of year again and as my family have learnt....I'm here, but not really ( a stop over for a change of clothes and spot of beautifying) as most of the weekend (OK...all of the weekend) is spent playing hockey and then evenings socialising. This year I am on the organising committee so a bit more work will have to be done, but hopefully it will just add to the buzz of the whole weekend.
Sadly it flies by so quickly, this morning I woke up thinking ... "This time last week I was in Black Pool" and in some ways it already feels so long ago! I guess I just have to make every minute count and then hold onto the memories I create for as long as possible! (The wine talking???)
Wow, this afternoon really is peaceful, wet and cloudy, lots of rain but feeling so content.
Saturday 16 May 2009
Sadly it lost the battle with the brownie mix and died a slow and agonising death (well it SOUNDED painful) while trying to beat the batter. Wimp! Sadly I have seen a few more appliances with his name, but I am not going to be tricked into buying another Wahl product by one of my favourite TV chefs.
I guess buying quality only applies to the actual ingredients when cooking with James.
Monday 11 May 2009
Black Pool Fylde Fillies Hockey Festival did NOT disappoint. In fact if anything it was even better than last year because some of the faces were now familiar and it was great to catch up with people from a year ago. I left having met even more people and 2010 will no doubt be another great reunion! See I am already planning to attend next year.
Paula has a wicked sense of humour and to this end I was made team captain for the weekend, just goes to show the spirit in which we play…i.e. not very seriously!
Besides forgetting the name of the team we were playing while doing a ‘Three Cheers’ all went fairly smoothly, although I did not do much and elected Fiona as my mouthpiece because she is very good at encouraging everyone!
I did manage to sustain a few injuries; my beautifully swollen foot has done my injury proud! When it first happened and I was hobbling about I felt like a bit of a hypochondriac but now I am vindicated and have proudly showed off my bruises and scrapes – a wonderful astro burn on my left arm also generates a suitable wince to all who see it!
On Saturday night we all dressed up in the same outfits, and I must say it was pretty cool dancing in the turquoise circle that made up the Dolly Mixtures.
As usual all the teams rose to the challenge and some of the outfits were absolutely amazing.
After all the dancing a whole bunch of us ended up curled up on chairs and couches chatting until after 04h00 and then we all felt satisfied that we had met the magic hour and now had bragging rights for Sunday morning as to how little sleep we needed. Pulling off a win in the first game of the day on Sunday, was the highlight of our hockey games, especially as we had to get up earlier to get to the pitches!
Sunday evening was a repeat of last year with a visit into Black Pool to watch Funny Girls which did not disappoint. Afterwards we walked over to a bar called Roxy’s were the music drew us all on to the dance floor and we had a fantastic time.
More chatting ensued back at the hotel and another early morning bed time was the result! Somehow we still managed to make breakfast before the 10h00 cut off and then as the sun was shining and the whole sky was painted blue we even had a walk on the beach.
Wednesday 6 May 2009
It has been a manic week, Monday being a public holiday has thrown me off a bit and I found myself madly grocery shopping and getting bits for tour on Tuesday night.
Wednesday night (tonight) we proudly watched as Jess was presented with her award for Artist of the year 2009 at her school.
Tomorrow night we will be looking for a school in East Glendalough to enjoy seeing our youngest in action on stage and then somewhere in between I need to pack -WHY am I blogging? I have to go and pack!!!! Sorry folks but airport at 09h45 on Friday so adios!!!
Evening spent with family in front of the TV with Pizza Hut pizza, popcorn, Ben and Jerrys newest flavour - Chocolate Macadamia and DVD's.....ahhhhhhhh.
Saturday & Sunday - Spent the entire day up at the hockey club volunteering during the Irish Hockey League finals. Jess and Kirstin joined me and ended up pitching in too - Kirstin gleefully took up parking attendant duties as it required the use of walkie talkies - over and out!
On Saturday evening we had drinks at the club and a taxi home...car left in car park - on the bright side it was a fabulous spot for Sunday when Kirstin and I reported back for duty after I had done some necessary house work and a pleasant stroll up to the club. Sunday night was more wine...but only one glass and then home for a spot of couch surfing.
Monday - Bank holiday wooohooo!!! Went to Dundrum with Jess and replenished my work wardrobe with a couple of things. Jess ordered some jeans and then made a lunch stop - food was not fabulous but the setting is pretty cool - basically a HUGE glass wall and I am sure on a sunny day it must be fabulous.
Next on the list was a mad dash into town to meet Don and Maura, Maura is working in Dublin for two weeks and we wanted to say a quick hello to Donovan before his flight back to London. We went to a place called Lemon Jelly where Jess Kirstin and I had pancakes - I could make better but they were not bad...and the others had bagels, Malcolm said his was amazing..to me the name Lemon Jelly evokes imagery of fantastic pancakes and all good gooey sweet things, but what do I know? Don left to catch his plane and the rest of us had a little wander around the shops and then called it a day as the kids had to get everything ready for school!
Thursday 30 April 2009
For some reason I am affected every time I see that vase. What is it about it? I have no idea, the bearer of the gift is a lovely person but we have no contact, in fact that dinner was the last time I ever saw them.
But something happens inside me when I see that flower receptacle...a lifting of my spirit, a tug deep inside. It is peaking out from the top of my kitchen cupboard in one of the pictures I put on my blog and even there in the picture it caught my eye. I am not a hoarder or a gatherer, am not over sentimental about THINGS but I cannot bear the though of ever losing that vase. Weird.
Monday 27 April 2009
I decided to throw Kelly a small intimate baby shower to celebrate the coming of their bouncy boy or girl. A brunch was my choice for the late morning gathering and a very surprised Kelly walked in to find smiling familiar faces.
Hours before I had been manically mixing spooning and pressing out muffins and scones while Jessica and Carla went about blowing up balloons and hanging banners.
I had managed to make a makeshift (okay, okay) wash line and hung some baby clothes from it in the lounge and once Carla, Jess and Kirstin had completed the look with pink, blue and cream balloons, changed all the items on the mantle piece for fluffy toys and it looked very much like it was supposed to!
Everyone brought along something tasty to add to the groaning table and much fun ensued.
I had asked everyone to bring pictures from their baby days and we had great fun asking Kelly to guess...
I also bought safety pins and Lisa managed to collect the most safety pins from people who said the "word that was not allowed to be said" - B-A-B-Y.
We also all had a go with a pair of scissors and a ball of string to guess the circumference of Kellys bump!
Lisa brought pin the dummy on the baby which was also loads of fun and a fabulous idea.
For once we did not allow the kids to hijack the lounge but we STILL managed to sit around in the open area by the kitchen! Now guess what we were talking about here....
Kirstin wrote a poem...in about 20 minutes and here it is:
Babies bring excitement and joy
Will it be a baby girl or baby boy?
Picking out a high chair, stroller and crib
Then baby bottles, dummies and bib.
Dirty fingers, crayoned walls,
Shouting and screaming in the malls.
Fairies, princesses dinosaurs and more
T Rex, fairy tales and folk lore.
Cowboys and Indians boys will play,
In the sunshine every day.
Crowns and fairy princess dress
for the girls with very little mess.
Little fingers, little toes
What it will be nobody knows.
Friday 24 April 2009
Wednesday 22 April 2009
There was only one small unfortunate incident where I got caught up in a prank…but after that I behaved. Yep, it all started innocently enough, I noticed two girls entering a boy’s room with a key card and went to investigate. The boys whose room they were in had hidden their shoes and it was payback time. I stood helplessly by as they began to dismantle their beds! Of course I had to tell them that there were better ways to do things, soap on the toothbrush being one of my personal favourites. Unfortunately I got caught up in the moment and next thing the boys were trying to get into the room and I was hidden in the bathroom where of course I was discovered, the boys got a rather big fright to see me there, oh dear not a very good example, but extremely funny…
After that little hiccup I took my task more seriously and settled down to carpet scrutiny with the other four on my ‘team’.
We decided to let the kids all sit in the corridor and socialise as it was the easiest way to keep an eye on EVERYBODY. Sadly this did not work out very well and a very angry night manager came upstairs to find 29 kids, linen pillows and five adults hanging out in the corridor, OOPS. Unfortunately ONE of the rooms on our floor was occupied – typical. After that everyone was sent to their own rooms and we continued supervision from the corridor and played lie dice. I discovered that I am NOT very good at it. I also learned to play backgammon and think that perhaps adding another board game to our alarmingly big collection may be necessary.
At 02h00 three people went to bed, and I was NOT one of them. Dave and I heard the kids trying to peak under the door (looking for feet) and I hatched a cruel and evil plan...we left shoes outside every noisy room. I guess as a mother of two girls my instinct to keep things in order was too strong. and we prowled the corridor, listening out for stirring and sneaking about noises. At one point I went into one of the girls room just in time to here a thump on the window. I went and flung it open, peeped outside, looked left and right and discovered why the rooms had quietened down - they were all hanging out their windows for flow of conversation purposes! At first they mistook me for one of their own so it was very difficult keeping the laugh out of my voice as I roared for all of them to get into their rooms and go to bed. Somehow I managed though because 5 heads disappeared at alarming speed.
Next we confiscated the handset from the phones as every couple of minutes our hopeful 'it has been quiet for a while' would be shattered by the ringing of a phone in some or other room.
Finally it got quiet - 03h00.... Dave and I lay in the corridor on our pillows and he slowly drifted off to sleep and then I heard a cell phone alarm! I jumped up and stood at the door of the room and listened carefully, some rustling and then silence. I hid around the corner and took in the sight of Dave gently snoring in the corridor with telephone headsets strewn about and had a fit of the giggles. At 04h15 I woke Dave and we finally got to spend a little time in our rooms for some well earned shut eye. In the morning the kids discovered all the shoes and were absolutely flabbergasted that we had such foresight - the cheek of them! They actually commented that they did not think we were clever enough to come up with a low down dirty trick like that!
They forget....that once upon a long time ago I was one of THEM.
Monday 20 April 2009
Slowly but surely I got to know some of them, it was rather daunting I have to say, especially as I did not know ANY of them and they did not know me!
On Saturday night there was a dance, which finally ended at midnight and all the kids trailed off with their families. We walked back to our hotel and came across a bar with tables outside and sat down for a drink. We soon discovered (the gay credit card sign above the door was our biggest clue) that we were at a gay bar and had some very interesting conversations with a very funny guy! Of course it was so pleasant that we had a second round of drinks before finally deciding that bed was probably a wise option due to the fact that we would be faced with 29 U16 year olds again in the morning, a very sobering thought!
Fast forward to Sunday night...we all stayed in a HORRIBLE town (sorry if you live there!) and as it is my policy to find the positive in every situation it is this: the best thing about the town is that I can cross it off a list of "Where I would like to live!"
We all went for a walk and some very strange guy followed us for a while, I stayed back with the boys and kept telling them not to turn around, it was just encouraging weirdo...of course boys being boys...but finally we caught up to the rest of our group and Dr Strange sloped off in a different direction.
After our walk the kids went back to causing mayhem and the adults met on the hotel terrace for a sundowner before dinner. At 20h00 all the kids came up to the restaurant and we had a buffet style meal leaning towards kids favourites...29 vs 5 we did not say a word especially as it was all very edible!
And then the fun began! And I think it should be a post unto itself...
The opening act was Ray Gun and they were okay but I had been feeling kind of strange all day and after their performance I started feeling a little nauseous – no they were not that bad! I told the girls I was thinking of heading to the back but they did not want me to go so I stayed put. Five minutes later they regretted my company, I felt light headed, put my chin on Jessica’s shoulder and promptly fainted. Typical! The first time I EVER faint is at the 02 packed full of people. I came too and wondered why Kirstin was screaming MOM and in tears, jeez I felt sooo bad, they were terrified. I promptly stood up, confused and somebody handed me their coke which I gratefully accepted. I assured the kids that I was okay and then sat myself down on the floor…eeuuww…and drank my coke. I stayed down for 15 minutes and then took a deep breath and got back up. Luckily that was the end of that nonsense and P!NK came on and everything was right with their world once more. The very first song that she sang was actually the song Jess posted on my blog so that was pretty cool. Watching my children loose themselves in the moment was an awesome experience –they ABSOLUTELY loved every millisecond of the concert and it was unbelievably brilliant, P!nk sure knows how to put on a show. I have been to a few concerts now and I have never experienced anything like it. For all my Face Book friends, the pictures are uploaded – and here is a sampling for the blog too!
Sunday 19 April 2009
Friday 17 April 2009
Yes it may not all be clever funny but it is good for a laugh..and a few sit up and "maybe we should do that" moments too!
I collected a few people and headed to the airport and arrived on time at 04h00. It was actually really cool because Malcolm had booked the car into the parking opposite the terminal and as you drive up it registers the number plate and the fact that parking has been paid for online and the boom opens automatically, perfect for such an early start. All the kids had been instructed to wear their white hoodies so it was easy to keep the group together and Aer Lingus saw us all and herded us off in small groups and got us checked in quickly which was fabulous.
Security was a piece of cake - I had checked my hand luggage size bag so liquids were not a problem for once.
I tried to sleep on the plane but it was impossible and it is only a 90 minute flight. We were greeted by the U16 Holland coach who had hired a bus for our trip up to the club and on the way we stopped at a hockey shop called Hockey Republic where we drank coffee while the kids played around, called their parents begging for some or other fancy stick etcetera!
After that it was off to the club where all the kids had a two hour fun training session and I finally had a couple of zzz’s on the couch, well actually old train seats – pretty funky.
The weather was fabulous and I made the most of the rays by donning shorts and T-shirt for maximum ray absorption.
All the meals were organised by the club, so we had sandwiches and fruit for lunch and pasta bolognaise for dinner. By 21h30 we finally left the club and made our way on foot to our hotel (about 2km's away) trailing our bags behind us. We were all exhausted but decided that we HAD to go out and have a drink together and so we dashed upstairs freshened up and met in the lobby 10 minutes later. We went to a pub and had a couple of rounds of drinks before admitting defeat and sleep walking back to the hotel to our very comfortable beds.
Thursday 9 April 2009
Left wing was my position last night and by some miracle the ball managed to find me while I was in the D and I scored TWO goals. I also got hit in the chest with the ball - really hard! The good thing is that I realised that it is less painful than I had imagined getting hit would be. After the game Bruce made a joke that I had been taking performance enhancing drugs, of course I was pleased with that comment because I certainly have come a long way since my first mixed game with them!
My friend Hillary also told me that she has freed up her morning so that we can walk up the Great Sugar Loaf today with the girls as she would love to meet them and I was really touched by that. Looks like the Sugar Loaf may not happen because rain is threatening but nothing is stopping us from the coffee and scones at Avoca anyway! I really have been so fortunate there are so many wonderful people in my life, here and back in South Africa. Lucky me.
Wednesday 8 April 2009
First - My children, I am so enjoying that wake up cuddle and being here with them while they are on holiday
Second - Sheena. I was having my usual self doubt about this silly little blog, a total of 10 visitors today - and I would not mind except that none of them were NOT from home...sniff.
I sat here looking at my blog and just thought how much easier it would be to go onto my dashboard and hit delete. No more stress. Then I got an email from Sheena asking for my blog address...I am a strong believer in signs so enough said.
Third - Sunny skies and a 15 degree reading from my car, in a t-shirt right now!
Fourth - My self indulgent day, a pedicure and french paint - love looking at my toes in my brightly striped slip slops.
Fifth - My new fabric softener...I have just washed my new hoodie and cannot wait to pull it over my head and take a deep breath through my nose!
Sixth - Hockey game tonight against the men's Vets team and a dinner afterwards.
And last but by no means least a great weather forecast for our trip - 20 degrees on Friday!!!! Saturday it drops by 2 but that is still fantastic....I am soooooo excited!!!!!!
Tuesday 7 April 2009
On Sunday night we all get bussed to a hotel and that is where the guarding takes on a more serious note, we do corridor duty...ALL NIGHT...in shifts. Monday we are off to a Disney type theme park and then it is on a coach bus back to the airport for our flight home.
Jess, Sido and Kirstin walked down the road to one of our favourite breakfast places to give Sido an Irish breakfast on her last day. When they got back we presented her with the frame...she was so thrilled she cried! I was so very glad that I had gone to the effort, it was worth it.
People started arriving at 2 and then at 2h45 I had to drive Sido up to school to catch the coach that was taking the Spanish students to the airport. It was all very emotional and the kids all waved the bus off and then it was a mad dash back home to a crowd of friends for my birthday hamburger braai (BBQ).
It was a great afternoon, lots of nice prezzies, great company and food...and wine..and we finally wrapped up at around 22h00 which also meant a good night's sleep! I woke up on Sunday and lay there thinking back on one of the craziest weeks I can remember and feeling rather sad that it was finally time to face facts....my birthday is well and truly over for another whole year....
Tuesday was another round of late nights, movies if I recall. Wednesday.....all I remember about Wednesday is that I was rolling out mini meatballs to be dropped into tomato sauce at 21hoo and we only ate dinner at 22h00. Oh...and Kirstin went to a friend to do a project, I collected her at 20h00 and she had been fed (baked ham, mashed potatoes and veggies) and looked after, but when she got home and saw the meatballs she opted for a second dinner!
Thursday morning and my head was reeling. I was supposed to go the the Cirque de Soleil with work, I had booked it last year before I knew that we would have Sido staying. Jessica was feeling wretched as she was going out on Friday evening with all the Spanish students and it was my birthday. I was feeling guilty because I had a hockey match on Friday night and so while walking to work with the sun shining down on me I made a decision. No Cirque de Soleil for me, a dinner to celebrate my birthday with my family would be far more enjoyable.
When I got to work I told Alan my plans and gave my ticket to Shelley. Alan suggested I go to Thunder Road Cafe in Temple Bar as it was fun and hip and the kids would love it.
It was terrific, the kids each had a mocktail, I had a couple of cocktails - Sunny disposition was lovely...bonus for me was that my birthday was now stretching over THREE days.
Friday morning i was presented with an array of lovely gifts and then it was a mad rush to get to work on time!
I took a batch of brownies into work - which got demolished and the compliments were almost embarrassing (thanks Nigella) - and got taken out for lunch by my boss, along with 2 other ladies who also had their birthdays in the same week! We were given an extra 30 minutes and it was amazing how nice, long and lazy the lunch seemed!
On Friday evening I went to play hockey and then we all went for a quick celebratory drink. I surprised Malcolm by getting home at 22h00 and a good thing it was too. He had a lot to do and I assisted him for a while making hamburger patties until he booted me out of the kitchen with a nice cold glass of wine!
Monday 6 April 2009
The following morning I completed the daunting task I had begun the night before and Kirstin's bedroom was finally fit for human habitation at around 11h00. The rest of the day was spent pottering around the house and re-potting some herb plants and cleaning windows. Much personal satisfaction when I was done and sat back to admire my handiwork for the day as I even managed to tackle the formidable attic too!
At 19h00 we drove up to school to collect Sido and I watched with amusement as the Spanish and Irish children were reunited when the bus dispelled all the visiting kids into the car park.
Of course Sido was very shy and it was awful not being able to chat away as her English is not great. My Spanish on the other hand....well it is non-existent. We had bbq steaks, salad, curly fries and peppercorn sauce for dinner and then I had to get ready for the Ladies hockey dinner. I had told my team that I would pop in for a drink after 21h00, I had figured that the kids would all be settled by then.
Hillary collected me and we went to the D4 hotel in Ballsbridge and what fun we all had! A room full of ladies, a free microphone and music....add to that a few too many alcoholic beverages and you have yourself a makeshift karaoke party with some impressive dance moves from the cheering onlookers. Oh, and a discovery....NOT all Irish people can sing.
Friday 27 March 2009
Sunday 22 March 2009
Thursday 19 March 2009
Kirstin, Malcolm and I headed off to Warren and Tracy for our celebrations and when we got there the door had the most adorable welcome "Happy St Patrick's Day African people" which her girls had made - really smile worthy and heart warming stuff - thanks!
Upon entering the house we were greeted with orange, green and white balloons AND curly green and silver shiny streamers strewn about - Tracy really went to town! It was an awesome day, the sun shone the kids all played in the garden and we sat around chatting, drinking wine (okay I was designated driver so I had ginger ale!) and enjoying each others company. We all brought our own meat and a salad contribution and in typical SA fashion by the time we had all eaten the serving table still had enough food to feed us all over again!
At around 18h30 we headed home and collected Jess along the way and then had a quiet evening at home...so quiet in fact that I was in bed by 21h00...