Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy (White) New Year!

Happy New Year to everyone!

I hope 2010 is a wonderful year for you all, bringing health, happiness, lots of fun, and a bit of wealth too!

Here in Dublin, it's SNOWING!!!!! That has to be a good start to a year. Just about ten minutes to twelve, it started to bucket down, and we had about 4cm in a few minutes.

So we've just come in from a snowball fight on the green beside us! And that green is now adorned with 2 snowmen-believe me, that doesn't happen very often in Dublin.

I think this is just what the country needs at the moment- a fresh start, a clean slate, white and untarnished. And that peace, hope and freshness that an untarnished snowfall brings to the landscape. Here's to 2010!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Ruby Tuesday

May as well end the year with another Dublin pub, seeing as they were popular! Do you like that I caught the window-cleaning in progress? And his red bucket? And I do believe that's a blue sky reflected in the middle window- not a sight you see too often in Dublin!

This one is just off Grafton St. the main shopping street in Dublin. It was taken one morning in August. I decided I needed to get organised if I was to continue blogging in term time. So I got together a bank of photos, and put them in a file marked "blog".

This probably seems very basic to most of you, but to me it was a big step, in terms of forward thinking and in terms of computer skills. In the rest of my life, I'm an organised person, but I use the computer on a "need to know" basis.
So, thanks to blogging, I've learned some new computer skills and upgraded myself.
But, much more important, I've made some lovely friends in blogosphere.
Thank you one and all for a wonderful adventure in 2009!
And thanks to Mary T for hosting Ruby Tuesday- click on her name= link to see more images or to take part.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas, everyone!

To all my blogger friends, in whatever way (or none) you celebrate this day, I wish you a very Happy Christmas, or December 25th, or Crimbo.

Just a few photos from our day, which has turned out differently than expected.

This morning, we got news that Longford Cathedral, the church where I was christened, had my First Communion, Confirmation, Funeral Service of both my parents, was badly damaged by a fire that started at 5am. I often fantasise about going there for Christmas Day Mass, which would bring childhood memories flooding back- being a little girl who has just got her doll and pram from Santa, being surrounded by brothers and sister on Christmas Day, looking forward to Christmas dinner, going to visit the Baby Jesus in the Crib. You get the picture.

It was a bit of a shock to hear of 2 million euros damage to that church, the Gardai (police) have been called in, arson is suspected. Some of the damage is irreparable, stained glass windows were blown out, the organ is damaged. I'm presuming the choir gallery, where my family sang on many, many occasions, is also gone.

We have had a quiet day, just the 5 of us, with a couple of visits from friends, and a visit to church for myself. Some other plans had to be shelved, as middle daughter wasn't feeling well.

I'll leave you with a couple of dessert photos, the first is a vegan sleigh that I made and filled with vegan chocolate truffles, and the other one, much less impressive though also delicious, "bought in cos of time shortage"- God, I hope those of you who cook up lovely things don't forever stop reading my blog! Honestly, it was needs must!

Tomorrow, I'm looking forward to a quiet day at home, maybe a walk if the paths are not too slippery, and maybe a bit of baking. That's the way it is here, because I make lots of aromatherapy hampers and products, prior to Christmas is very busy, and the baking is done in the days after. But the goodies are no less welcome for it, and the Christmas Cake and Pudding taste really good in those lazy days between Christmas and New Year.

Hope you all have a really lovely, lazy holiday, wherever you are.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The truth about the tree

I've been putting off telling you, but I ditched the artificial tree.

I tried, really I did, but my heart wasn't in it. I couldn't even bring myself to put any decorations on it, and nor could anyone else. So I asked my son what he thought of getting a real tree, and he jumped at the chance. Before you could say "tree", the two of us were at the shop round the corner, the tree was bought and up.

And then I did begin to enjoy decorating. I love getting out the old things that the kids made when they were small, and I love hanging stuff in the same place as it hung last year. And remembering where we bought some of the others.

The knitted socks were made by my son, for hubbie and me, when he was 9. His teacher got her mother to travel down from Donegal (about 3 hours from Dublin, where we live) and stay for a few days to teach the class how to knit! I helped with stitching on M on mine and P on hubbie's. On top of the tree are 2 angels, made by the girls round about the same time.

We have a gold bauble bought on a trip to Disney, some painted eggs bought in Salzburg, and some lovely silver decorations, made here in Ireland by Newbridge Silverware- a church, a Cinderella carriage, a carousel. These were all gifts, one per year, from a friend.

One of my Christmas traditions is that I send these Newbridge decorations to my 3 nieces who live in the UK. I picture them opening them, and perusing what each one got. And I picture them helping to decorate their tree each year by hanging their own decorations on the branches. I hope they enjoy them, and that it gives them some sense of their Irishness. My own children, however, scorn the idea - they think my nieces would prefer to get money than decorations. Maybe now, but in the future they may appreciate them, and tell their own children about the Irish aunt who annually sent them - who knows?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

How long is a second?

It's amazing how a split second can change your life.

I've been rushing around, juggling work, children, shopping and all that.
Yesterday evening, on the way to a Band Carol Service with Son, my phone rang. Son answered it, as I was driving, and I knew from him that it wasn't good news. All is well now, but my niece had an accident. First I screamed "NO!", thinking the worst, and thinking of a car accident.

It turned out to be an accident at work, where she fell and a spike thing went into her eye. My sister lives 3 hours from here, so I went to casualty to make sure she got the proper care, in loco parentis if you like. Thankfully, there's no lasting damage, but her eye looks dreadful and will be sore for about 2 weeks.

It just made me think of people who get a phone call to say that a loved one has had a serious accident. It must be a dreadful experience, especially if that person is young. I hope it never happens to me.
And it made think how a split second can change your life forever.
I know we say it quite often, but to almost feel it is scary.

And, more than anything, it made me get the whole Christmas thing in perspective- it doesn't matter if a few cards are left unsent, or jobs undone. Most of those things will not even be remembered in a couple of months.

What matters, and the only thing that matters, especially at Christmas, is the here and now, and the people you love.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

They want to say Merry Christmas to you..Ruby Tuesday

These little guys are part of our Christmas display, gathered over the years.

My favourites are the biggest one, for sheer garishness (he came filled with sweets, must be 12 years ago when the children were really small), and the one on the swing. He is still able to swing, though he's getting old- a bit like myself then.

The one second in from the right is Beleek china, a beautiful gift 2 years ago from a dear friend . He is supposed to hang on the tree, but I wouldn't dare, I would hate for him to get broken.

For more Ruby Tuesday pics, click on the link at the top of this page, which will take you to Mary's place. She's also having a giveaway!

I'll post the tree photos tomorrow, time allowing, but I know you all understand at this busy time of year.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Not much, but more predicted!

Is this what they call a "light dusting of snow"?

It came this morning, and was gone again within about 10 minutes, but I was ready with the camera! I know it's not much to be excited about, but it may be all we get. The weather people have predicted more snow this weekend, but I've heard that before.

The last time I remember decent snow in this country was 1981, I think it was in January. We had blizzards overnight, and the country ground to a halt. People couldn't get to work, buses were off, food and fuel supplies ran out in some shops. Oh and, the schools had to close!
The night it started, my friend and myself were "gallivanting" and on our way home (c 3am) the snow began in earnest. We knew it was going to be a biggie, and could barely sleep with excitement!
The following morning, we walked to the local shops and bought in lots of food supplies. We made a huge pot of cauliflower soup, with lots of cream, lit the fire and hibernated for the week.
Every time I taste cauliflower soup, it reminds me of that fun, and those bonus days off! Some of us never grow up!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Do you like my tree?

Last year, when we bought our usual, real and natural tree, we said we'd use the artificial one (which has resided in the attic for about 15 years) this year, help the environment (as we already owned it) and give a donation to charity instead of buying.
But I don't know if I can do this.
We assembled the tree on Sunday, smoothing out the branches to make them look good. As you can see, not a single decoration adorns it- I can't muster up the enthusiasm to do anything with it. I keep telling myself how convenient it will be to have no dropping needles, and the fact that this tree fits really well in the window bay, leaving lots of room around it.
But last night, son announced that "the room being squashed because of the tree" is part of the Christmas tradition.
I've also sprayed it with Christmas Oil spray, and even that doesn't wash- "it smells lovely, but not like a real tree". And I agree with him. I think it looks pure miserable.
I'll have to decide tomorrow, as it's the last opportunity I'll have this week to decorate it. I don't mind giving the donation as well as buying the tree.
What do you think? Be honest, please!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

random . org

I'm an idiot.
I've been writing numbers on bits of paper and pulling one out of a bag!

Today, I finally thought of asking son to get a random number, and in the way that teenagers have of making you feel old and out-of-date, he goes onto and gets it.

Well, I suppose you learn something new each day!

Anyway, the generated number between 1 and 5 was 1, so Heidi is the winner. I'll send it on as soon as I get her snail add.

Again, I'm really sorry that everyone can't be a winner, and thanks for joining in the fun.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Final Giveaway!

Sorry this post is so late, it's been a hectic weekend.

I decided to have an aromatherapy evening, which took place last night, and have been up to my eyes making creams, oils, sprays, gels... beautiful work, and I've been sleeping like a baby after breathing in all these wonderful oils.
But trying to do this in my spare time, after work, is a bit much, and I probably shouldn't have undertaken the evening at all. But you know when you just love doing something and you know that people will like the stuff, and it will be a way of starting off the Christmas season? Yes, it was all that and more!
There wasn't a big crowd, but it was so lovely to have time to talk to people about the different oils and what they're used for. Everybody enjoyed trying the samples of different combinations of oils and seeing the many ways of using essential oils. And they got some unique presents for their friends. These kind of events really get the enthusiasm going all over again!
I put this oil on tissues tied to the side bar of each radiator in the house, and I'm not joking, the aroma of Christmas was as strong as if I'd been baking for a week!
The giveaway has the same rules as before, leave a comment, I'll get a random number, match it with that number comment, and leave a comment on your blog, you then email me your snailmail address and I'll pop the oil in the post.
As the post is late,let's say midnight Tuesday 8th December GMT for the closing date.
Looking forward to your comments.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


The winning number was 6, so Lola over at Agliooliopeperoncino is the winner of the Christmas Burner Oil giveaway.

Thanks for all the comments, and again I'm really sorry that everyone can't be a winner.
I'll do one last giveaway, same oil, on Sunday 6th, same rules, so call in then if you'd like to be in with a chance.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Winter with a bang!

My goodness, winter has arrived here, with a bang!

Beginning of last week, it was mild enough to go to work without a coat, and now, tonight, you'd need to be wrapped up with anything you can find to brave putting your nose outside the door!

And in between, we've had the most dreadful rain, lashings of it, bad floods that have put hundreds of people out of their homes, thunder and lightening, and now frost.

What has eluded us, my favourite of all, ..............SNOW!

But here's a cute little snowman on my Christmas burner oil, which is my giveaway to kick off the Christmas season.

Read more about it on this post.

If you'd like it, just leave a comment by midnight GMT on 2nd December. I'll pick a number (random selection) and the comment number that matches will get a comment on their blog. You then email me your snailmail address, and it'll be posted within a week, in plenty of time for Christmas. If you haven't responded within 2 days, the giveaway moves to the next number.

There it is, leave your comment!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Winner and Thanksgiving

The winner of my giveaway was number 4, so Kerri will get the oil. Sorry that I can't send one to each of you, I'd really love to, but I'll have another one to give away on December 1st, same rules, so do call back!

To today's post, it's (kind of) Thanksgiving.

Yesterday was my birthday, and what a lovely, unusual day!

The public servants here were on strike , so I was on picket duty at 8.30, having left my 3 school-age children fast asleep at home. By the time I got back, they were up and about, ready with their best wishes. There were some lovely surprises too, one of which I'm particularly please to Christy Moore in January. I love Christy's music, and have always intended to go to one of his concerts, and never got round to it. But now hubbie has organised it for us. Andthe venue is also one I've intended to go to, but not yet made it to. 6th January is the date, so I'll tell you all about it after that.

In the evening, the Band had their annual concert in the National Concert Hall- it was a night filled with good food (hubbie and I had a bite to eat beforehand while our kids were hard at work rehearsing on/off stage etc) music and friends. I was filled with mother-pride at my Tuba-playing daughter and my French Horn-playing son. Some of the pieces were well-known (supercalafragalistic), so clapping along made it even more enjoyable. I'm a participative sort of audience!

And I give thanks for having been guided (by eldest daughter) to this wonderful organisation, so full of muscial talent, where young and old, one and all, are embraced and musically nourished to fullness.

And the icing on the cake?

Arrived home to find a gift and this lovely card waiting in my porch! The card is hand-made in India in aid of the Hope Foundation.

Sorry about the poor-quality photography, I'm too tired/lazy to play around with light at this hour of the night.

Life is indeed very rich and good at this moment, and I am very thankful for all of it.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

100th Post! And a Giveaway

I can't believe it, that I made it to 100!

It's been such fun blogging, and taking part in Mellow Yellow Monday, Ruby Tuesday and that party at Willow Manor. And I've really enjoyed meeting all of you, getting to know you, and reading your comments.

So to the giveaway, as you can see it's a Christmas Burner oil, made by yours truly, with pure essential oils of Frankincense, Clove, Fir, Orange and Lemon. It will fill your home with the aroma of Christmas, plum pudding, mince pies etc. Some of these oils, incidentally, are excellent bug-busters, so it's also a good one to burn in winter, to keep colds and flu at bay. If you don't have a burner, don't worry, it will work just as well on a tissue on a radiator.

If you'd like it, just leave a comment by midnight GMT on 24th November. I'll pick a number (random selection) and the comment number that matches will get a comment on their blog. You then email me your snail mail address, and it'll be posted within the week, in plenty of time for Christmas. If you haven't responded within 2 days, the giveaway moves on to the next number.

There it is, now, wherever you are, leave your comment!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Can of Worms, or update on the footie!

Woweee! When I wrote the last post, I had no idea of the furore that was about to break open.

I just dashed off the post, literally as the match ended, very much writing exactly as I felt, definitely without analysing or thinking about it.

And I have to admit that I was only half-watching the match anyway.

Well, it seems one of the French players handled the ball, twice, and scored a goal from so doing. That goal cost Ireland the match, and arguably, their place in the World Cup. The Football Association of Ireland have been calling for a replay, but it's not happening.

The fans, I'm delighted to say, behaved really well, even in the face of such an unfair defeat. The Irish players were devastated. I'm told that even the French newspapers the next day were ashamed and embarassed.

The reaction here has been strong, calling for video evidence in future games, as happens in rugby.

I'm not sure if all this has thrown the country even more into the doldrums, or distracted us from our current economic situation. One thing for sure, it suits the government, the heat is off them and onto Thierry Henry!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


This is the word being used to describe our final match in the World Cup qualifier series, in Paris.

The best performance in a very long time- this is how our performance is being described, but at the end of the day, we lost and we're not going to South Africa.

Depressing, isn't it? It looked so good at full time, we were 1-0 up, but then in extra time we conceded a goal, and that's it. No trip to the World Cup for us.

The commentators and analysts are busy as I write, but I think it wasn't lost tonight. Ireland always seems to coast along in the early stages of competitions, and then at the end, when we're up against it, they give a magnificent performance, but it's too little too late.

The one shining light has been the fans, and I hope I don't speak (write) too soon. They have behaved very well, and stood behind their team, through good times and bad.

Myself, I'm sorry to say that I'm a fair weather fan. If they had gotten through, I'd be a keen soccer fan after a bit of a sabbatical (since the last World Cup, to be precise!). But I'm afraid I won't be visiting this new stadium any time soon. It's the nearly finished Lansdowne Road, due for completion in 2010, and will host both soccer and rugby matches. Well, with no world cup and some fair weather fans, they can't each have their own stadium, can they?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Mellow Yellow Monday

I love the yellow umbrella in this guy's bike-thing.

These eco-cabs bring you around Dublin, for free! The cyclist is sponsored by whoever has their logo on the bike, and you just give them a tip if you want.

I think it's a brilliant idea, what do you think, and have you come across them in other cities?

Click on the link below to go to Drowsey Monkey and more MYM pictures.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Ruby Tuesday

This little fellow landed on our Velux window last week, stayed a few days, then moved on, but not before I caught him! These pictures are taken through the window, and for once there was a bit of blue in the sky! I should have cropped the water drops from the first one to make it less obvious.

For more RT pics, click on the link below, which takes you to Mary, who hosts this fun meme.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The house is finished.

A while back, I posted about a fundraising project I was doing, called "Dóchas".

I made 60 jars of aromatherapy hand cream, called "Dóchas" which is Irish for hope, sold them for €10 each, with all proceeds going to Habitat for Humanity, to help build a house in Cape Town.

My brother has returned from building the house and I thought I would post a couple of pics of how it looks. They got the house finished in one week, and the family moved in, delighted.

In this photo, on the left, is the shack where they had been living

so I can imagine that it must be bliss to now have this:

Sorry about the funny faces- I don't have permission to post their faces, and this is my best photoshopping skills.

I am learning, however; the son came along as I was trying to manually smudge the faces, and he has shown me a poly something tool that does it much better and quicker, as in the top photo.

So my new motto is "Every day, my photoshop skills get better and better"!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


"Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love."
It's as relevant today as it was in the 13th Century when written by St. Francis of Assisi.
Peace begins within our hearts and our homes.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Mellow Yellow Monday

This is the view from my bedroom window each morning.

Well, not quite so close-up, I did zoom, but that same tree. isn't it wonderful? It's in my neighbour's front garden, and I love it at this time of year.

And here's another one of the same tree. I think the range of colours in it is amazing. The downside (doesn't everything have one?)
is that the leaves blow all over my front garden, but I can live with that.
For more MYM, go to Drowsey Monkey who hosts this wonderful meme.

Friday, October 30, 2009

To my auld Ma

Edit- I posted this Friday 30th October, Irish time, and didn't notice that the time on my blog is different..what's that about? I've now changed time settings to GMT- something new learned today!

This morning, at 3.15 am or so, my Mum is 22 years dead.

These were two of her favourite little poems/sayings:

1. When e're I pass a church

I always pay a visit

So that on the day when I'm wheeled in

The Lord won't say "who is it?"

2. Think of the wants of others

Think of them before your own

See all the good in others

See that and that alone.

She wasn't perfect, but she was perfect enough.

Her funeral was on All Saints Day, and at the ceremony, the priest said some words that I will always remember. "Saints are ordinary people who do their best at the ordinary things they do, and who bring good into the lives of others." He went on to say that my mother was a saint- he knew her well.

I'm so proud to have had a saint for my mother.

This morning I'll visit the church where she always insisted on visiting when she came to Dublin shopping. Often, I saw this as a waste of good shopping time, but I see it differently now. I'll light a few candles, and say a little prayer for her. Not that she needs it, she's a saint after all.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

One Brave Lady

My friend's Mum was burgled last week.
Two young lads called to her house looking for directions, which she gave. They thanked her and left.
A few minutes later her doorbell rang again, and they were there, hoods up. Quick as lightening, she tried to push the door closed, but they were quicker still, and pushed in the door.

The pushed her about, shouted at her, and dragged her from room to room looking for money. She gave them what she had, but they wanted more. They looked for jewellery, but all her jewellery was taken in another burglary a few years ago. At one point, she became breathless and thought she was going to die, so they shoved her onto a couch and gave her water to revive her.

Eventually, they shut her in a room and left.

This woman is 84 years old. She has a heart condition and many other medical complaints.

But I take my hat off to her, she stayed on her own a few nights later. They took her money, but she will not let them take her independence.

What a very brave lady. What cowardly young lads, to pick on her.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ruby Tuesday

Ok, I know it's half way through Wednesday, but I've been meaning to share this RT pic for a while.

I took it one morning on my journey to work, while stuck in traffic. I did get some funny looks as I stuck my camera out the window, but no effort is too great for my blogging friends!

For once, I looked beyond the obvious, and noticed the dream catcher in the window, above the red door, to the left of the P sign.

I hope you'll be able to enlarge the pic to see it too. If not, and if someone knows how to put that in a post, please do comment to me, and I'll edit it. The bag of rubbish on the ground just about completes the picture- depending on how long that was hanging around, you might have great need of a dream catcher! For more RT pics, or to participate, click on the link below, which will take you to Mary at Work of the Poet, who kindly hosts RT.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Mellow Yellow Monday

The Front

There's a shop called Easter in Salzburg that has these amazing painted eggs for all seasons. They are real eggs- the centre is sucked out mechanically and sent to a bakery, then the shells are painted as a "cottage industry" by people in their homes. There's a whole Christmas section upstairs, and, I swear, I wanted to buy one of each! But restraint prevailed and I selected my favourites.

The Back

This one is a gift for a friend who loves Hallowe'en- I hate it, but I loved this little ghost- he reminded me of Casper The Friendly Ghost. He's actually needlepoint, stuck onto the egg! How clever!

The Side

And I just had to show you the side of the egg- all glitter and glamour, even for scary Hallowe'en! They had multi-pronged branches attached to the wall, on which you hang these, varying eggs with the season. I'm hoping to try this at home!

Drowsey Monkey hosts this fun meme, so just click on the MYM link at the top for more!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

That was a great holiday.

I’ve been on a school trip this week.

Even though I never went on a school trip abroad when I was in school, I really believe this is a fantastic learning experience for kids, and that all of them get something from the trip, no matter how well travelled they are. And I think their teachers get to see them in a different light, away from the classroom and the pressure of getting through the curriculum.

The children who I teach have special needs- I won’t go into the exact nature of the “special” here. So all of what I said above applies even more to them. Here are just a few of the areas of growth that I see from a trip abroad- Geography, Science, History, Culture, Money Management and Currency, Social Skills, Timekeeping, Negotiation, Team Work, Patience, Adventure, Independence... Basically, I suppose I’m saying that travel broadens the mind. I’d be delighted if anyone wants to add to this list.
This is also true for the teachers, and again it applies even if they are well-travelled.

But I really feel today that I might never go on another one. When we arrived back in Dublin at 11.00 at night, having been away for 4 days, having had a 4.00am start on the day of departure, having taken charge of these children 24 hours a day for all of that time, some of the parents were late to collect, and NOT ONE of them said “thank you” for the trip. Honestly, they just took their child’s hand in one hand, their suitcase in the other, and sailed off! The children were lovely, really appreciated everything that we did for them, but where are those parents coming from? Did they think that we had a free holiday?Or that eating every meal with many interruptions of “I need xxx” was dining out? Did they think that negotiating for 2 hours to prevent some of those kids from beating each other up was a fun way to spend a night? Did they think that leaving our own families behind for that time was fun? Did they not think we were dying to get back to them? And that standing around at the airport for an extra hour was just too much?

The same has happened on every trip I've gone on, over many years, with just an odd exceptional parent who says "thanks". It's not that you expect any big deal, just a plain and simple "thanks" would be perfect. And even though you're doing it for the kids, not the parents, a bit of manners wouldn't go to loss.

The mind boggles!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Mellow Yellow Monday

I'm going over the top today, and giving 2 shots from my collection! Usually I spare them, so I always have one, but these are definitely a pair. They were taken in a fairly run-down area of Dublin, but they certainly brighten up that street. It's a haven for charity shoppers, there must be about 25 charity shops there. There are some fruit and veg stalls too, a few foodie shops, and, of course, some good pubs. It wouldn't be Dublin without them, would it?
Drowsey Monkey hosts this fun meme, so if you'd like to see more pics or to take part, just click on the link below, the yellow one!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I'm convinced the recession is over

This is just a short post, a filler-in.
I don't know whether it's post-party exhaustion or what, but honestly I can't get the time or the energy to even do a decent post. I apologise- it has just been one of those weeks that at the end of it, you go "Phew, glad that's over, but actually where DID those 7 days go?"

Now, back to this title, I really am convinced.
Last night, Hubby and I went off out for our tea, and popped into a local little restaurant/café.
Us: "Do you have a table for 2 please?"
Them : "Do you have a booking?"
Us: "No"
Them: "Sorry, we have nothing till 9.30". Full to the brim.

Now, that is a good sign, isn't it? ( Apart from the "do you have a booking" question which drives me mad- I always want to say "if I did, I would have said so"!)

Then today, I went to the shops and it took 15 minutes to get into the car park of the shopping centre! Packed! Queues at all the checkouts! Nearly like Christmas.

But please, whatever you do, don't tell either Brian Cowen or Brian Lenehan this- they are currently drafting what's billed as the worst budget in decades, with cuts all round.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

My feet are killing me!

Just a quick update on the Willow Manor Ball.

What a night! We drank lots of champagne, we danced, we ate, we ditched high heels, though not early enough to avoid sore feet. Just look at the state of them- I'm putting those heels on ebay!

The Manor looked splendid, and Willow was a fabulous hostess. She even had a door prize, which was really very generous. The Ball is definitely a date for my diary for next year.

Colin was very badly behaved, kept disappearing, and eventually I found out why!
He had "escorted" not just me but 2 other women also.
Now, Colin is just a friend, but I've told him that if he ever does something like that again, I will not bring him to another Ball. He has promised.
Some friends dropped in for a "Hair of the Dog" today- here it is.

And now, very tired, I bid you good night. Back to normal in a day or two.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Invitation to a Ball!

I'm going to a ball!

I'm just about ready to leave now. Would you like to see my ball gown? It's a Royal and Light Blue, with a jewel piece at the waist. I hope I won't be too cold in it, Willow Manor can be quite chilly at times.

I got killer heels to wear with it- they give me that extra bit of height I need!

I'm worried that I won't be able to dance in them, and I'd better not drink too much of Willow's champagne or I might keel over. I shall, instead, indulge in lots of her delicious desserts.

Willow really knows how to throw a party! There will be lots of celebrities there- in fact, I'd say it's probably the event of the year.

Gotta go, don't want to miss all the fun!

P.S. Come on over and join us if can. Just click here - but be quick, it's already started!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Ruby Tuesday

I wasn't going to post a Ruby Tuesday this week, having done Mellow Yellow Monday, and what with being busy and all that...

Then Mary announces she's having a giveaway, so my arm is twisted..

Here it is:

This house is in the same park (I DO occasionally visit other parks!), and, apart from the red bricks, it has lovely red flowers in the front garden.

Now, why don't you go over to Mary's and get yourself into a free draw- the prize is wonderful! Just click on the ruby slippers at the top.

Mellow Yellow Monday

Hope you all had a nice weekend.
Today's offering is from the same Dublin park- St. Stephen's Green.
It's taken from the same bridge, just the other side. I like the yellow reflections in the water, and the activity of the ducks.

And do you recognise the same bridge in this next photo of a photo? So you can see why I love this bridge and this park so much- every time I walk through it, the memories of this wonderful day come flooding back. I cropped Hubby out, as he wouldn't want to become famous!

You can see more Mellow Mellow images by clicking on this badge, which will bring you to Drowsey Monkey, who hosts this meme.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

What a day!

I was at an aromatherapy conference near Birmingham yesterday.
The only outgoing flight that would get us there on time was at 6.30am, which involved a 4.30 start.
Bad enough, but the only flight back was at 23.05pm!
That also was bad enough, but when we got back into Dublin, we couldn't find the car! We spent an hour searching, searching searching. Level 1, 2 and 3. We had to be in Section C because we had booked online. So after an hour, and it was now 1.15am, we called the car park supervisor for help. He assured us that according to their system, our car hadn't left the car park.

At this stage I had visions of thieves putting paper over our number plate, or even fitting a false plate, and leaving the car park.

Mr. Supervisor came down and we began searching. Within 5 minutes, he pointed and said "it's there" matter-of-factly. We had somehow wandered (driving) into section B in the morning! We eventually got home at 2.00am! 22 and a half hours after we had woken up. Lesson learned- always take down the space number when you park. Or don't book flights that leave at 6.30 am!

The conference was brilliant. We met lots of aromatherapists who work in many different situations, from private practice to clinics to teaching universities.

One of the sessions particularly impressed me, and taught me once again just how individual plants are. There were 4 different unidentified oils on the table, and we smelled each one, just registering characteristics and how it made us feel, not looking to name any of the oils. Most of the 12 people around the table agreed on most of the characteristics and effects.

The facilitator then divulged that all 4 oils were Lavender, just grown in different places. One was at high altitude, another near a sea, another at very low altitude, and another in Provence. They were distinctly different, and have different healing properties, even though they all come from the same plant family. Depending on the season, the age of the plant and other influences, the chemical make-up of the oil obtained varies from batch to batch.

I suppose it's similar to people- even though we come from the same "people family", we are different to our siblings, and we have different talents. And we change with the seasons and with our age and our influences.
It's interesting, isn't it?

Monday, October 5, 2009

Mellow Yellow Monday

This is St Stephen's Green in the centre of Dublin, a lovely park where, on sunny days, people often take their lunch and eat on the benches. I loved the reflections of the autumn hues of the trees on the water this day.

Drowsey Monkey hosts MYM, and you can see more images by clicking on the image below: