Friday, February 26, 2010

Yard Art

I hope this qualifies as "Yard Art"- it's on top of our garden shed. And I photographed it last May, on a rare blue-sky day : there's a reason that this country is so green!

Sylvester, when he was younger, used to move his legs in the wind, but arthritis has set in, and it's all he can do to balance on top of the shed.
I think he's doing quite well!
Mary T hosts this fun meme- you can visit her here.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Spare Tyres

This morning, when I pulled out of the driveway to go to work, I realised I had a flat tyre.

(photo courtesy

So 2 urgent calls had to be made- one to get the breakdown service (that comes free with the insurance) to come and change the tyre, the other to let school know I'd be a bit late.

I've been complaining about the lack of service culture in this country for some time, and saying that the businesses that survive the recession will be the ones who deliver good (or even exceptional?) customer service.

Boy, I was impressed with the service today!
So maybe businesses are cottoning on.

The callout guy, who gave a rough ETA of 90 minutes from my call, then called to say he was close by and would be here in 10 minutes. He was very efficient and very nice.

Then, on my way home this evening, I went to get the tyre fixed, and the guy there offered to check the air pressure in all the other tyres, AND that if I come in once a month, he'll always check them. The charge, for fixing the tyre, taking off the temp one, putting on the new one and checking all the others was only €8.

That's what I call service.

(photo courtesy

Now, if only the other spare tyre problem was this easy to fix...the post-Christmas one. The cold weather has made me hungry morning, noon and night, and everywhere in between. It's like "gosh, it's snowing outside again, I better have another slice of Christmas cake" - I've just had the last slice of cake number 2. And no amount of walking will work that off!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Ruby Tuesday

It looks as though this charity shop doesn't know when it will re-open (I ask you, in a recession, the charity shop is closed!!!!) , but that's just the way the light played on it.

The sign reads that it's closed until....... the New Year.

And it did!

For more RT pics, join Mary T who hosts this meme! Here!

Friday, February 19, 2010


A few friends, blogging and other ( I dislike the term IRL- in real life, because my blogging friends are as real to me as any others) are having a tough time at the moment, what with health problems, financial problems, family problems and the general things that life throws at us.

I'd like to share with you this piece that I have in my "inspiration folder" -i.e. in a drawer with other such stuff, and to dedicate it to those people.

Dr. Charles Swindoll on Attitude:

"The longer I live the more I realise the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than fact. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than success, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company, a church, a home.

The remarkable thing is that we have a choice every day regarding the attitude that we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past, we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude...I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.

And so it is with you. We are in charge of our attitudes."

I find this inspirational, particularly "We are in charge of our attitudes", and together with living in the present, this is what I try to embrace as my mantra for living. I don't succeed all the time, but I keep trying.

Hope you enjoyed it!

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Sometimes, late at night, an idea for a blog post comes into my head. I should write them down, because by morning I've forgotten them.

But one that has come several times is to write about my hubby. I call him that here, cos he'd be mortified to be identified on my blog.

But I want to write about him, and how wonderful he is. If I had to identify one thing that singles him out for me it's respect. He absolutely, wholeheartedly, totally and unequivocally respects me. And that matters. He has never once treated me in a way that was even the slightest bit disrespectful. And I'm not talking about holding doors open here, though he does that too, and stands back to let me whizz past. I'm talking about the deep seated respect, that he values me for who I am, who I've been and who I'm trying to be, that he supports my efforts and my endeavours. And there are many of those, cos I'm a constantly changing, seeking, trying kind of person.

Here are 10 things I love about him:

1. Sometimes I tell him how lucky I am to have him, and his reply is always the same "I'm the lucky one".

2. He is the kindest and most thoughtful person I've ever known. And I've known some very kind and thoughtful people.

3. He lets people out in front of him on the road. If I'm in a hurry, it drives me mad that he does it, but I still love him for it.

4. He holds doors open for me. I know that's old fashioned and not everyone's cup of tea, but I like it.

5. He doesn't use foul language. Ever. Even if I do (which is seldom, but occasionally when I'm really angry, I do).

6. There is nothing he would not do in the best interests of our kids. No matter how much bother, no matter what the cost, no matter even if they hated him for it.

7. He has always done his share (or more) with our kids. He has done night shifts with them probably more than I have. He used to cycle out at lunch time to pick our daughter up from school and bring her to childcare when I worked full time. The staff in the creche would have picked her up, she knew them very well, but he wanted her to have her Dad pick her up.

8. He always sees a side to something that others don't.

9. He defends the underdog, even when it's unpopular.

10. He is scrupulously honest.

11. He can be relied on to stay calm, even when I'm in a total flap.

I cannot imagine a life without him, and I hate to think of one of us being without the other,even though I know that eventually that will happen.
He is my soul-mate, my rock, my treasure. I love him to bits.

We had known each other as friends in university, did the same course, but then didn't keep in touch. It was a lucky Monday evening when I met up again with him as I waited to collect my take-away pizza!

Hope you all had a lovely Valentine's Day.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Ruby Tuesday

This pot, with a different plant, was a Valentine's Day gift a few years ago.

I love the hearts and the twine looks rustic against the rich ruby background.

For more Ruby pictures, with a Valentine's theme this week, go over to Mary T who hosts this meme. Just click on the image below, and Cupid will bring you there!

Saturday, February 6, 2010


My, what a busy week! Sorry I'm only getting around my favourite bloggers to comment tonight, but I will catch up on everyone before the weekend is over.

On top of the normal things, there were a few meetings to attend, both in my own school and in the children's school. And on Tuesday my friend Deirdra was in Dublin , so we had lunch together. We hadn't met in a year, and it was lovely to see her and to have the conversations that you don't have on the phone.

Which brings me to the title of this post. Deirdra is hoping to embark on a new career, and is trying to figure out where her passion lies. I think it's in writing- she is a born storyteller.

She asked me what I'm passionate about, and I couldn't give her just one answer.
So here are some of the things things that I'm passionate about, in no particular order (with the exception of number 1 ):

1. Being a mother. And this is the hardest one, because of course I want to be the perfect mother, and of course that is impossible. I'm bound to make mistakes, but I just hope that I can be a good enough mother. No pictures here.

2. I've been into Aromatherapy for about 15 years now, and I still love it, and still find lots to learn about these wonderful oils. This is my "small" box- about half of the oils I use!

3. Music, and in particular the French Horn (me playing it, that is!). I started 4 years ago, and I love it! I love playing in the band of which I'm part. Making music is such fun! My newest pieces are Mozart Horn Concerto No 2, and "I got Rhythm" (Gershwin). I've got a Grade 6 exam this year, so I'll be busy practising!

4. Teaching Business and Accounting- I've been a teacher for 31 years (can't believe that myself!) and I still get a fantastic thrill when a student grasps a new concept. They laugh at me sometimes, cos I clap my hands or jump up and down in excitement when they give me a great answer! Seriously, isn't that some job satisfaction?

(this picture credit
I've done other things in my life that I'm proud of, or passionate about, but now I'd like to hand over to you and to hear about your passions...

And one last word on passion- hubby and I went to see "It's Complicated" tonight- thoroughly enjoyed it, what a laugh!