Sunday, December 30, 2012

Busy time

Things are busy round here!
We had a lovely relaxing Christmas, but since then it's been all go.

 Eldest has gone to Berlin to a debating competition; she will be there for 10 days. 

Middle Girl is going to Blessington Lakes for a rowing camp next week.

And Son is busy partying! He had a Murder on the Orient Express (paraphnelia bought online!) Thursday night.

So we cleared out for a few hours.

These pics were snapped in the centre where we ate and then went to Pitch Perfect.

I'm knitting a scarf!! It's called Haruha, which apparently is Japanese for Leaf.
Lace knitting is not really my thing, I'm more of a cables girl, but so far it's going ok. The yarn is a beautiful silk/cashmere mix, so it helps that it feels so beautiful in my hands. I will post a pic when it's finished and blocked (not sure what that is, but I'm sure youtube will have some videos!)

Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Christmas!

Wishing you all a very happy, peaceful, fun Christmas!
I was "in town", as we call Dublin City Centre, today, looking for one ball of yarn to finish a scarf for my daughter for Christmas, so I snapped a few pictures with the iPhone.

The yarn shop was closed! What kind of shop in a city centre (even though we call it town, it is a city!) closes 2 days before Christmas?
I had to go to plan B, got other yarn in a suburban shop, and will knit a complementary cowl, and finish the scarf for the New Year.

Unfortunately, daughter is going to Berlin on 27th, and the scarf that was going to shield her from cold weather will have to stay in Dublin!

The weather here is unseasonable warm; it's really very pleasant, and lovely for some daytime walks.
This next shot is looking up Grafton Street. It was busy, and that was nice to see.

We lit the fire tonight, using a couple of logs sawn from our Christmas tree of 2011. This is a tradition I came across online a few years ago, and I love it!

We've kept 2 for tomorrow's fires.
Happy Christmas!

Friday, December 21, 2012

In the run up...

I've been having a very busy but fantastic run-up to Christmas.
Lots of all the nice things; friends, fun, food and music!

2 really lovely surprises this week.

This first one was knitted by a fellow French Horn player! I've hung it in my car, with a few drops of my Christmas Burner Oil dotted on the red, and sometimes when  it twirls I get the most delightful waft of cinnamon, orange, clove, frankincense!

This other surprise arrived by post from Brussels, with a note that said "this was made for you!".
My dear friend, Cee, sent it.

Hope you're all keeping well, warm, and looking forward to some good celebrations (if you celebrate).

Monday, December 17, 2012


I have 5 minutes to write this post; then it will be 1.30 in the morning, so I really will have to go to bed.

But I have the most exciting news and I want to share it with you, my dear blog friends.

I have performed my first solo!

The venue was fabulous; a church in Dublin, St. Michans, which has mummies in the basement and the organ on which Handel practised for the first performance of The Messiah.
There it is: technically it was soli, as there were two of us. I still can't believe I actually did it! felt so good afterwards to have conquered those nerve demons!

Thanks to the people who've dropped in and emailed asking if I'm ok. I'm great, and really sorry to have been absent from posting for so long. I've been practising and working hard, and blogging was the ball I couldn't keep in the air. But I have so many exciting things to share, and now that I've discovered you can write a post in 5 minutes, I'll be back!
see y'all soon!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

A hat!

I finally got back to a little bit of knitting!
I had seen this pattern on Stephanie's blog, Hookin', Knittin' and Livin', and thought it looked fun and, more important, quick to knit. Then daughter, out of the blue, asked would I knit her a hat. Lickety split, I pulled out 2 balls of alpaca and began, before anything could intervene. The double strand was to (almost!) tie in with the yarn used in the pattern (I knew it was still slightly thinner, so I adjusted the number of stitches), but also, as she will be wearing it for rowing practice, I figured the extra warmth will come in useful during these winter months.

The colour doesn't look as good here as it actually is, but these days the motto is "just do it", because there are too many things intervening and if I wait until conditions are better, chances are it won't get done!
Back soon, hope you're all having a nice weekend!

Monday, November 12, 2012


So much for doing a post each Saturday, that didn't work very well! Life has been incredibly busy, there are so many things that I had planned to blog about, and so on.
But here's a little glympse into a few things that have happened, all good!

Son was away at a Model United Nations gathering in London. He was very organised with his shirts and ties all laid out the night before.

And I can't understand how he got to be "MAN" size overnight! But he brought a Spiderman suit so there must have been some light-hearted activity, Hallowe'en related too!

We went to the band competition in Armagh, and won! It was a great day, so interesting to be back in Armagh, where the centre is exactly like it was when I was a child!
We've had a couple of concerts recently, which means that I've been practising lots. I'm becoming more relaxed (or less frazzled!) about playing in concerts; they're becoming a normal part of being in the band. We recently had an Annual Mass for deceased band members, and I was the only Horn who could play. Nervous moments, "how will I come in at the right time?" "nobody to follow or hide behind". And the conductor on the day is a principal horn player, also arranger of one of the pieces we were playing! Talk about pressure! Glad to say I survived and felt happy with my playing. So, another milestone crossed!

And finally, a picture from a recent Autumn walk in the park.  Hoping to get some more of this in the coming week.

And younger daughter got a wonderful award at her (former) school prizegiving. I blogged previously about the trouble at the school, and how it impacted badly on her and on her Leaving Cert. exams. We wondered if the school management would leave them out of the ceremony.
So we were surprised when she got a letter awarding her "Most helpful Prefect" .
Then a bigger award came. They present a Rose Bowl to the girl who makes the biggest contribution in her 6 years there, to school life. Students and Staff have a vote each and Zoe got that award!
 I am so proud of her, and when I saw the video of the presenter's speech about her various contributions in sport, charity events, debating, Model United Nations, President's Award, orchestra,  I was bowled over! She hasn't received the Rose Bowl yet, as her name is being engraved on it. Her name will also go on a Honours Board in the school hall.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Back with random pics.

It has been a very busy few weeks, but lots of exciting things have happened.

First up, and most recent, was Zoe's Debs. The guy in the photo is a friend from band. She had been to his debs the previous week, so they were old hat at posing for photos! Don't they look lovely?

Can you see the bruises on her legs? She has started college, and is cycling to and fro. She was knocked off her bike on Tuesday morning by a taxi. He did stop, but I don't think he really took responsibility, and tried to convince her it was at least half her fault. I don't agree. Luckily, she was wearing a helmet, PHEW. But her poor legs and one elbow are badly bruised. I know that insurance probably advises drivers to get away and stay away, but it would have been nice to get a phone call to double check that she was ok. That is how (i think) it would have happened in my days of cycling, but all that has changed now, and it's all about not admitting liability. She is doing fine , and is back on her bike.

In other news, it's been hectic at school. I've got some new projects going on this year. One is called Dissolving Boundaries, and for that one we link with a school in Northern Ireland, do a joint project, some videoconferencing, and bring the students to meet each other. Should be exciting! The kick-off meeting for that was last Wednesday night and Thursday, though I only made Thursday cos of the Debs.

Hubby and I had a lovely lunch out at the end of summer, and this picture is the dessert I had. It was so yummy! i just found the picture when I was uploading from the camera, and it brought back the lovely memory of a happy afternoon.

One other happy afternoon, spent at a local beach, yielded this picture, and again, it reminded me of that lovely afternoon when I uploaded it.
I'm going to try to do a post each Saturday from now on, as I feel I have neglected my blog, and discarded so many photos that I simply didn't have time to upload. We'll see how it goes!

Band is busy again; we are going to a competition in Armagh soon, so lots of practice scheduled, but tomorrow we have a day off as there is a replay of a football match that ended in a draw last time. There is too much traffic and not enough parking in town on those days. Part of me hopes tomorrow is another draw!!!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Tall Ships

Tomorrow is back to school!  Tonight I'm looking through my photos and looking back at a busy and funfilled summer, where the warmth of friends made up for the lack of sunny weather. And now we are just 2 going back to school! How did I suddenly become the mother of 2 college students?
This weekend, Dublin hosted the Tall Ships Race, and it was a very busy festival.
  I didn't go in on Friday to see it, and Saturday the weather was too miserable. Reminds me of that Irish saying "it would be a great country if you could put a roof on it!".

But yesterday was the farewell, and hubby and I went out to Dun Laoghaire. It was busy! Apparently there were 100,000 people watching from shore.

Those ships are so elegant!

 A photographer took our photo, and I thought "if you can take us, we can take you"- here's the result!
Lots of small boats were out in the bay, waving goodbye to the Tall Ships. And we got a blue sky!!

 It may be 15 years before they come back, so I'm kicking myself that I didn't go to the Docklands where I could have boarded. Lesson learned..grab the opportunity!
That will be my motto for this (school) year!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Summer Mountain Walk

I've neglected my blog again, and have so much to talk about that I don't know where to begin.

Maybe start with a recent lovely walk on the Dublin Mountains.. that's Dublin city in the background.

 The weather this summer has been bad, cold with lots of rain, but we were blessed on this Saturday, just the right amount of sunshine!
 There are some very interesting heathers up there
 and this green stuff only grows where the air is pure, so I'm told..
 the 3 amigos on top of the mountain!
 in the forest..
 looking into the forest, looks like snow in this pic!
 This is one of my favourites, just so much flora in it
 and cheering when we came down. It's hard to believe that this place of beauty is about 15 minutes drive from my house!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

London 2012, part 2

Saturday night we went to a fab Turkish restaurant with a friend of my brother's. The food was absolutely delicious, and it was lovely to catch up with Loch.

Sunday we went to Volleyball in Earls Court.
It was a journey back in time for me, as I worked just across the road in a hotel one summer when I was a student! Would have loved to have stayed in that hotel, but at short notice it was booked out.
It looks as though we were miles away from the action, but we actually had a brilliant view, this photo just doesn't show it.
Our seats were behind the seating for athletes; with our "gold medals", we thought we were in the appropriate place!!

See, we had a great view! Just look at all the action going on in this photo! And it was the same throughout each game.
Wouldn't mind having this team of floor cleaners at home!!
And, of course, there was entertainment between shots! I enjoyed them, but the rest of my family weren't in favour.

We had to drag ourselves away in the middle of a brilliant match, to get to the airport and catch our flights. It broke my heart to leave.
There was an early version of a 500m sprint to get to the gate on time: we arrived at Gatwick at 2.35 for a 3.00 flight! The traffic was absolutely awful the whole way there. Luckily, security wasn't busy, and we are all good runners! Made it on time!

The UK did a fantastic job of organising it, especially in relation to VOLUNTEERS everywhere to show us the way, FRIENDLY people with a great welcome, FREE HYDE PARK events,  SECURITY that worked efficiently, NO TROUBLE at any event, UNDERGROUND TICKETS included with our event tickets, PRICES in restaurants weren't any more expensive than normal.

We thoroughly enjoyed the Olympics!

London 2012 Part 1

London was a blast!

We arrived on Thursday night, my brother picked us up at Gatwick and brought us to the apartment where we were staying. We were originally supposed to stay in his caravan at a site near Gatwick, which he assures us is really good, but then we realised we'd be travelling all across London each day. So, with 2 days to go, I searched every website I could find, and picked the scrapings of the pot.
It was grand, very central, clean and plenty of space.
Friday morning we walked 20 minutes from the apartment to Lords Cricket ground for Archery.
The concentration of these guys was amazing.
I couldn't believe how disrespectful people could be- announcements were made at least 10 times asking people to stop taking flash photos, and still it went on. Each time, it was explained that these athletes have trained for 4 years for this moment, and a flash in their eyes could ruin everything. Arrgh!
The Cricket Ground is a fabulous place!

 What really astonished me was the distance these arrows travelled, and the accuracy with which the athletes could hit, even though sometimes a wind would start up just after they took their shot. I'd have no sense of that from watching it on tv.
After the Archery, we went off and had brunch, then went to Hyde Park, where there were big screens with events, and a stage with bands, and magically, although there were clouds, most of the time the sun shone. And we had no rain!!
There also was no trouble of any kind, I saw nobody drunk or showing signs of drugs. A great security job.
There were lots of interesting things for kiddies too.
We listened to the Clemson College Symphonic Band from the US.
 and then we watched that very long tennis match between Federer and Del Potro.

And we got some cute Cadbury Gold Medals! More on that later!

My family are completely nuts, and we also had many laughs, including in this picture of us pretending we had won!  Ireland didn't even have ANY medals at this stage, but we had 4 Gold ones!
 The rest of London 2012 follows tomorrow. Before the Katie Taylor boxing match Final (fingers crossed for her!)