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What Not To Worry About #26

What Not To Worry About #26

Hello friends. How about this weather we’re having here on the emerald isle? It’s been such a treat to get a little sun-kissed on my lunch break and to feel my skin tingling as I retreat back inside. My favourite part has to be cooking with the backdoor open and allowing the warm air to fill the house with scents of summer. What’s not been so great though is the constant sneezing and eye-streaming that’s been gracing my face the last few weeks (making make-up absolutely pointless) and has turned me in to a sniffling wreck. All worth it though for a few moments of heat!

 

Last weekend was probably one of the best I’ve had all year as Andrew and I weaved our way across London celebrating his birthday. I booked the trip as his birthday present and even managed to keep it a secret until a few days before (a huge achievement for me!). We had 4 days to explore the big smoke which wreaked havoc with our feet and I definitely sweated from every pore of my body but we immersed ourselves in the city life, soaking in as much as we could.

 

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It was a trip I think we both needed and we have come back home feeling more energised and motivated than we have been in the last month or two. It’s funny how only a few days away from the daily grind of work, chores and routine can wake us from a slumber we don’t fully realise we are in. Our relationships can be the silent victims in this gentle descent; we forget to really talk to each other, immersing ourselves in computer and phone screens in an attempt to destress.

 

This weekend we didn’t look at screens for most of the day (except to take photos of course, always have time for that) and instead we got lost in new streets, discovering parts of the city we had never been to while eating as much good food as we could manage. We had conversations that didn’t revolve around work or family but allowed our words to meander between random topics as we hopped from tube to tube. It was a wonderful few days and I won’t leave it too long until we get lost again.

 

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And here are a few worries I will be letting go of this week…

 

Always having to be the leader

I have realised over the last few years that I have this incessant need to be the leader on a holiday. I love to plan the itinerary, research the best places to eat and take control of the map when trying to find our bearings. I’ve slowly learned to relinquish this control but I have this weird joy for planning the BEST. TRIP. EVER and surely this isn’t the worse thing?

Having to wear a bra

Summertime is not a good season for under garments especially when you get those beautiful under-boob sweat patches that just scream summer chic. There truly is no better feeling than taking off your bra as soon as you come home and flinging it in the corner – let those ta-ta’s free!!

Being terrible at replying to messages

Apologies to all those who have ever messaged me. I do intend on replying but I have a mind like a sieve and also I am just crap at replying.

Finishing a TV series

I always get so sad when finishing a TV series and my most recent mourning is for The Handmaid’s Tale. Hole Moses if you haven’t seen it you have to!

Being a nag

Really trying not to nag Andrew when he decides to stay up late, sleep in or refuse to organise his clothes. I am not his mother. Repeat: I am not his mother.

 

And that’s it for this week. Enjoy these sunny days folks!!

 

What Not To Worry About #25

What Not To Worry About #25

I missed doing this post last week. It’s a post I look forward to writing because it’s the only time I allow myself to focus on the little things that I needlessly stress about and ask myself why I even give them the time of day. It’s easy to lose perspective when there are a million worries running through my brain:

Is it someone’s birthday soon?

Do we have enough milk for tea tonight?

Did I defrost the chicken?

When is my tax up on the car?

Is she annoyed at me for that thing I said?

Why do I get spots in my late twenties?

Am I making a difference?

Do I like where I am?

 

This madness can consume me if I allow it to but I think just being aware of my thoughts is one step closer to getting better control over them. Yes there are always going to be things to remember and yes I will have a random memory about one time when I was hammered in 2009 that will torment for the rest of my days BUT I can acknowledge the thought and then move on. I am usually a fairly laid back person but when one area of my life is suffering then the small things seem to become larger and more overwhelming.

 

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The best thing for me to do in these cases is to remove myself from the chaos and find somewhere quiet to just be for a moment. I have spoken before about the importance of prioritising these moments of solitude because it’s my way of regaining a bit more stability and understanding that it’s all going to be OK. When things are going rough we can have a tendency to focus on the present and lack the foresight needed to understand that it’s not permanent. Instead of spending time worrying about things that are out of our control, wouldn’t it be much better to acknowledge them for a second and then brush them off? Wouldn’t be much better to give ourselves a break and a moment to appreciate all that we do? Yes, I think so too.

 

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All photos by the lovely Rebecca of A Clothes Horse

And with that in mind, here are a few of the worries I am letting go of this week.

 

Not having a dog

This is a fact that makes me sad sometimes but not having a dog also means that I don’t have to sit in work feeling guilty all day knowing that my wee furball is lonely. Also means that I don’t have to be dragged about in the rain to walk off energy. Still can’t wait though.

Always forgetting my bag for life

I feel like the worst environmentalist in the world when I pull up to the shop and realise that all of my bag-for-life-bags are in that wee hole in the kitchen where we stuff them all. I curse myself every time and buy another one to add to the collection.

Cop cars

Why do I feel like an instant criminal as soon as I see a cop car? I haven’t done a thing wrong but all of a sudden I have an urge to escape from them at the earliest chance. Creeps.

My love of bread

With the bikini season well and truly here I have given up on the idea of washboard abs and will not be saying goodbye to the carb-filled joy of my heart. Bring on the baguettes.

People who play it safe

You know those people who pull a ridiculous face when you suggest doing something out of the ordinary? Like when someone asks what you’re doing for the weekend and you say that you might go camping which induces a look of pure horror. “Sure it gives it to rain for a half an hour on Saturday!! Are ye mad? Oh no, you wouldn’t catch me at that now. Oh no, sure ye’d be drenched in thon rain! No, I will be sitting up in the house there and staying put so I will”. Arrgghh!!

 

And that’s it for this week! Anything you are choosing to let go of???

What Not To Worry About #24

What Not To Worry About #24

Morning all! My weekly post is a little late this week. I think the long weekend tricked me in to thinking I was on holidays for a wee second and now I feel like I’m still catching up! I hope you enjoyed the extra bit of weekend even though we had a major rainfest here. Not to worry though – I got treated to lunch by my Granny and dinner by my Dad so no room to complain! Diet schmiet!

 

Although the rain was a little deflating, it was comforting to spend some time with family after a pretty horrendous week. With more attacks in the UK, Syria, Afghanistan and the Philippines (to name a few), it seems that we are inundated with horrific images from the media on a daily basis. Although atrocities closer to home can ignite a stronger sense of shock across our society, it should not be ignored that ceaseless attacks by all sides are occurring globally and children are too often the victims of the crossfire. It’s a scary time. We don’t feel safe with the politicians we have on offer, the environment is in peril (with Trump on the brink of pulling the US out of the Paris climate deal as I write this) and Justin Bieber is showing no signs of fecking off.

 

In these moments it’s entirely natural to want to crawl under the covers, hug our knees to our chest and wonder what the point of it all is. Until we choose to look up again and be reminded of just how lovely this Earth can be. Like when we see on the news of how the homeless men went to the aid of the injured during the attacks in Manchester. Or when your Granny sends you a letter in the post. Or a conversation with a stranger that completely blind sides you so much that you smile like an eejit for the next hour. Or when your loved one drives you to pretty gardens just so you can take some photos (even though they having a stinking hangover).

 

There is so much kindness in this world. Kindness that obliterates the bad and the evil. And almost all of us have this capacity for joy so it’s more important than ever to emit it out in the world and let it touch all those around you. Make it a priority in your life because you will surely feel a little better about getting up in the mornings just knowing that you alone can create your own happiness.

 

And with that in mind, here’s a few things I am not going to worry about this week…

 

The new £1 coin

Where can I use it? Will vending machines swallow it up? Can I pay my parking with it?? Too many worries for one coin.

Slow Cashiers

I used to work a till so I understand that it ain’t the most fun job but for the love of Jaysus could you put the crap in the bag a little faster please? I have one item in my hand and I’m watching the two of yas jabbering on about the weather, “Sure isn’t it great to see”, ” Ach it is aye”, “Did you see the rain though?” “Ach I did surely, it was a complete washout. Sure I left me washin’ out on the line and everything! Had to wash it all over again!!” OMGGGGGGGG.

Children With No Manners

Not to sound like Granny Nora here but this really gripes me. We had a big group of kids visit our offices during the week and I was helping them out on team building exercises which was like trying to control a bunch of banana-crazed monkeys. When I asked the kids to help clean up afterwards, this one fella (about 10 I’d say) just paraded up to the to empty egg carton and booted it across the room and continued to boot everything else he came in to contact with. I didn’t tell him off (his teachers were next to him and didn’t bat an eyelid) but I gave him a quare look that stopped him in his tracks. It was at this moment that I realised I was truly an adult.

‘Strong and stable’ Puns

Enough with the Theresa May jokes – PLEASE! If I hear one more person refer to something as ‘strong and stable’ in a meeting I’m going to feckin’ scream!

Brawling Cats

Now that we’re in the summer and are subjected to the humidity of Louisiana, we have started sleeping with the window open. But this now means that we can hear the neighbourhood cats going mental at all hours. It’s like a mixture of a banshee wailing and a baby wailing which is probably the scariest wailing combination ever. A sound sleep this does not make.

 

And on that note, have a delightful week! xx

My Irish Summer Bucket List

My Irish Summer Bucket List

I think most of us have a romanticised view of the summers of our childhood. The days were always warmer, longer and filled with adventure from the moment we woke up. The days stretched out before us in a haze of languid afternoons spent hiding amongst the fields, chasing the sun as it refused to go down. Being sent to bed was the worst punishment as the stubborn daylight continued to haunt us as we lay yearning to be amongst the laughter we could still hear outside.

 

As adults, the punishment now isn’t being sent to bed. It’s being sent to an office where we are forced to stay in and attempt to work while the stubborn daylight haunts us all over again. We are jailed by social responsibilities but are set free for the weekend and in order to make the most of the precious hours, we must think of as many fun things to do to save us from the guilt on a Sunday evening.

 

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Irish people can be a cynical bunch and many smirk at the mention of summer since the weather here is as reliable as our government. That sense of adventure has waned with age but Ireland has so much to offer and we can relive those childhood days, even if it’s just for the weekend.

 

I’ve rounded up a few things I want to tick off this summer in the hope that it might allow me to feel excited about the weekends and less flustered about feeling the need to fill every hour. Having these wee goals helps me look forward to the weekend and appreciate just how much this island has to offer – even when the rain tries to dampen my spirits!

 

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Go to a GAA Match

I’m an Armagh woman and the county football team was at it’s peak when I was a teenager. This meant that a lot of Sundays in the summer were spent on the side of a pitch, wearing the immutable orange jersey while screaming “Go wan Armagh!!” about a million times. I haven’t been to a game in forever and I miss the buzz of the crowd, the embarrassing insults the poor ref always endured and the terrible homemade sandwiches that were snacked on. This year I’ll make sure to don the jersey again and who knows, maybe Armagh might be within a chance of winning the Sam again.

Sleep Under the Stars

Falling asleep listening to the lullabies of leaves rustling or waves crashing might just be the tonic of the summer. I am a keen camper but I don’t make it enough of a priority to just pack up the car and get away for a night. But a night under the stars is always worth the hassle – even just for the melted marshmallows alone.

Run 5km

Running seems to be the trendy thing to do these days and for that reason I am severely unfashionable. I am not a runner and even though I have a good excuse not to be (the old CF lungs are easy to blame), I still really want to be able to run a decent distance. I have an aim to be able to run 5km in one session by the end of the summer so the practice will be starting this week. Just don’t expect me to to talk while I’m running – those freaks can stay well away from me.

Solo Picnic

I love a good picnic and Andrew and I will find time for one on weekends that will allow us to eat outside without being frozen. But this summer I want to take advantage of a little time to myself. Time to chill out, read a book or just listen to my own thoughts bumbling inside my noggin.

Island Hop

Although we live on on an island, there are still lots of little satellite islands that adorn our lovely coast and so I want to explore a few of them this summer. Last summer we visited Rathlin Island which was a blast and my first time seeing puffins up close (ish). This year I hope to visit an island or two off the west coast and get a good dose of that Atlantic air in to my lungs.

Surf

I learned to surf while living in Australia but only really stood up a few times. My lovely Aussie friends bought me a foam board as a birthday present and it has been shamefully lying in our box room gathering dust and no doubt feeling very depressed. This year the board will get wet and I will brace the ice-cold water that will surely have me wanting to dart back to dry land in an instant. I will be brave and I will try and stand up again even for just a second.

Attend the Fleadh

The Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann is an annual music festival that displays the best of Irish traditional music. I’ve never been but every year I promise myself that I will go. This year is no different but I hope to actual make it this time!

See a Play

I live in Belfast but it’s embarrassing how little I appreciate living in a city with a thriving culture scene. There are plays and musicals every week to take advantage of and so I will be sure to get my thespian head on this summer!

Host an Outdoor Cinema

We have a projector that has been lying lonely alongside my dusty surfboard which will be of much better use when hosting our own backyard cinema. I hope to string up on an old bed sheet, throw a load of cushions on the grass and gather some good mates for an old classic or two. Let’s just hope the weather plays ball!!

 

If I manage to get even half of these ticked off then I feel like I’m in for a fun summer!

Have you your own summer bucketlist? Is there anything you’re hoping to tick off this summer?? 

 

 

What Not To Worry About #23

What Not To Worry About #23

Hello all! The North is expecting a heatwave later in the week and I am already looking forward to the following:

  • Pasty folk comparing their sunburn
  • Supermarkets selling out of disposable BBQs and aftersun
  • Seeing evidence of water fights on the neighbourhood streets
  • Constant media updates on the current temperature
  • Having the window open at night to feel the breeze coming in

 

While I will be gasping in the office this week, I’ll also be planning a weekend filled with activities so I can make the most of every sun-filled moment. The weekends have been fairly quiet recently and it isn’t until Sunday evening, faced with the horrors of the Monday ahead of me, that I realise that I’ve been slacking.

 

Last weekend was especially quiet with the highlight being a morning spent researching for this post followed by an afternoon skiddling with my camera. It was one of those days where the rain kept threatening to pour which made it very easy to seek refuge inside and do a spot of pottering. Now that the evenings are well and truly stretching, we hadn’t realised the time until it was 7pm and we’d barely moved all day! We decided to take ourselves home to Armagh for the night to catch up with family so we felt like we’d accomplished something with our day. No complaints though since we were fed pretty much constantly!

 

I suppose there is nothing wrong with a weekend spent indoors but with the Irish summer lasting all of about a minute, it’s best to savour the dry bits to prevent some bitter regret on a cold October evening. With that in mind I’m thinking of making an Irish-specific summer bucket list so keep your eyes peeled for that later this week!

 

In the meantime, here is my weekly roundup of the little irks and quirks that I am choosing to let go of this week…

 

Spiders

I mentioned in this post how the influx of flies has been an unwelcome sign of the summer but now the spiders have decided to seek refuge in every room of the house. I can’t bring myself to kill them so I’ll try and pretend they’re not here until they move and then I’m on the other side of the room.

Ice Cream Van Music

Why does it have to be so creepy?? I swear they’ve been playing the same melancholy song since the Victorian era.

The Sound of Nails Being Clipped

A fella in work was clipping his nails beside me in work today and I nearly heaved on to my desk. Keep the personal grooming at home please!!

Baby on Board Stickers

The most passive aggressive behaviour on the roads. It’s not like people would be ramming in to the back of you if you didn’t have that sign on the back of the car! If anything it probably incites more anger so please for the love of feck take them down along with them stupid family cartoons.

Hayfever

Ah yes, ’tis the season of a million sneezes a day and constant itchy eyes. I’ll be knee dip in Piriton until November now.

 

Have a great week folks!!

 

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What Not To Worry About #22

What Not To Worry About #22

Happy Monday folks! So that’s the summer over eh? I woke up to the sound of rain this morning and I have to admit it was a little bit nice. Of course I’ll be wishing the sun back in a day or two but waking to the sound of rain pattering against the window isn’t a bad way to start the day and the week. Until I stepped outside to make a mad dash for the car, cursing myself that I always leave the umbrella in the feckin’ car.

 

Last weekend was a busy one, spent ceilidhing with friends and family as I performed my fortnightly whip-around Armagh. Although I’ve lived in Belfast for a few years now, most of my family and friends are still down in Armagh so I make the trek down the M1 as much as I can to avoid becoming known as the city snob – country folk can be cruel! It’s always a jammed weekend filled with countless cups of tea and biscuits but after living abroad for years I love being a short drive away from the folk that make my heart happy.

 

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I spoke in my last Instagram post about the concept of home and how transient the idea feels to me. As a child (is it weird to call yourself a child when you’re 28??) of parents who are no longer together and with no childhood home to return to, I often mourned the ‘home’ that I once knew. I used to feel a pang of jealousy when seeing friends return home for the holidays to the house they grew up in but why did I yearn for convention so much?

 

I decided that home doesn’t have to be built of bricks and mortar but can be found in relationships, experiences or even memories. Over the years I have created many homes for myself; in the student halls of Edinburgh living off potatoes and not much else,  in a hostel with my two best friends as we hilariously attempted to travel South East Asia, in the red dirt of Western Australia and in the ocean alongside it, on my sister’s couch watching trashy TV while we take turns cuddling her dog, playing Scrabble with Andrew in front of the fire on a winter’s night. And even after moving on I still left a part of myself in these places, with the people I chose as my family while I was there.

 

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And here I am, back within arm’s reach of the town I grew up in, frolicking in the orchards of my childhood (and getting pictures taken by photographer extraordinaire Rebecca) surrounded by the people I grew up with. This might be my home again for another while but just like the apple blossom that appears and disappears in a whisper, this too could be temporary. And that’s OK because a piece of me will always be here.

 

Here are a few more things I am choosing not to worry about this week…

 

Have a great week!

 

Crap Clothes Pegs

You know you’re getting old when you a sunny day delights you mostly because you can dry your clothes outside again. But why are clothes pegs the flimsiest things on the planet? I feel like Thor when they break at my very touch and then I have to fumble for another while I’m trying to keep the bedsheet up with one hand. You’d swear I was a Victorian housewife!

 

Junk Mail

I had an Avon rep come to my door to collect a catalogue she had dropped off and I had to confess that I’d thrown it in the recycling bin like an insolent child. She looked so hurt and I felt so ashamed that I’d thrown it out when I hadn’t even asked for it! This is why junk mail is the worst.

 

Duvets

We’re getting in to the warm nights where duvets become smothering devices and I have to hang one half of my body out of the bed to regulate my body temperature. It’s still too cold for just sheets so we have to live in this limbo until one of us chucks the duvet out the window in a sweaty hissy fit. I can’t wait for that.

 

Movie Nights

Andrew and I will settle ourselves in for a movie night once a week which I naively look forward to every time until I realise it takes us half a day to decide what to watch. We have bajillions of movies on the server waiting to be watched but we can never seem to pick one and furiously Google ‘best movies of all time’ for hours until we’re too tired to even watch anything. Couple joys!

 

Snooker

Who in their right mind can settle themselves in to watch that tripe on TV? Do you have to be male and over 45? It has got to be the most sinfully boring thing on this planet. In my own opinion of course.

 

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What Not To Worry About #21

What Not To Worry About #21

A whole week of sunshine transforms the mindset of the Irish people. We become unnaturally positive as we pull all of our furniture outside to the garden with naive enthusiasm, attempt to have a BBQ without at least one argument and pretend that the midgies aren’t so bad really. We understand that weather this beautiful is not to be taken for granted and while some might have the audacity to say that it’s ‘too warm’, most of us can’t believe our lucky stars when we wake up to another blue sky.

 

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There is this fervour of activity that occurs when the sun is streaming down on us. We fear that we aren’t doing enough to make the most of the sunshine when in truth all we should be doing is stopping to savour it. We don’t need to book a weekend away or take half of the house with us to the beach. The best way to enjoy this weather is by not putting shoes on for the whole weekend while we potter between our garden and the indoors. This is how I spent my Saturday; by stripping the beds and throwing all the windows open, sitting on the back doorstep to listen to kids playing on the street, cooking a fry for brunch, going through all my unused cosmetics (man, how good does it feel to throw out crap you don’t use?). Bliss.

 

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Sunday was spent outdoors with my sister Shannon when I realised I had to sit in an office the next day. She collected me from my house and took a spin to Dundrum with Bella in the back to keep us company. It’s not often that we get to hang out like this just the two of us but she is probably the person I feel most at ease with in this world. We can sit in total silence and it will still feel like quality time together.

 

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On our way back to Belfast we passed a rapeseed field that was bursting with colour against the setting sun. Being the Instagram lunatic that I am, I convinced her to pull the car over and have an impromptu shoot. She didn’t need much persuading to be fair as she’s as big an addict as I am and so we leapt about the yellow flowers like a pair of eejits. It was the perfect way to end a sun-filled weekend.

 

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I hope you made plenty of Spring memories this weekend. And here’s a few of the worries and stresses I am letting go of this week…

 

Getting an Ed Sheeran song stuck in my head

The man is everywhere and even though I might face the wrath of his army of fans by saying this…. I don’t like his music. Galway Girl is like listening to what Americans think Irish music should sound like but holy Moses it can really get stuck in your head. The man is a musical evil genius! I find myself bursting out in to song as I type out an email and feel instantly ashamed of myself. Damn you Ed!

Spring Winds

To quote every person in Ireland, “Aw Jaysus boy, sure she’s warm when you’re standin’ in an aul trap but once you’re in the shade thon wind would cut ye in two”. Translated as: “Yes, you’re quite right, the weather is splendid however if you were to step in to the shade you would find it rather chilly really”. I like the Irish version better though.

Flies

One of my Dad’s pet peeves of the summer. And mine too if I’m to be honest (not cynical I swear!). One morning during the week I woke up to the sunlight filtering through the room which was the loveliest way to wake up until I heard this steroidal blue bottle attacking our curtain like a monster. What a jaw-clencher.

People that complain about the heat

As I mentioned above, these people are the worst! They yap all winter about how you can feel the cold to the bones but when the temperature lifts above 15 degrees you would sweat it was Doomsday. They’re out fanatically watering their precious plants as if the gates of Hell are about to open at the bottom of the garden! Chill out folks – we live in Ireland and it will be raining again in no time.

Walking on mopped floors in socks

*Shudder* – is there anything worse than damp socks???

 

Have a lovely week!!!

 

What Not To Worry About #20

What Not To Worry About #20

Happy Tuesday!

 

I really enjoyed those little cluster of long weekends we’ve been having this past month. Not that I have been doing anything overly spectacular with my time but it’s the ordinary little things that have been making me happy recently. Spending lots of time with family and friends. Enjoying lazy mornings on the couch drinking lots of tea and writing. Going for mini adventures somewhere local. And sunshine!!

 

It took me a long time to appreciate the mundane because throughout most of my twenties I was seeking the extraordinary. The adrenalin from new experiences, new faces and new landscapes. As my twenties are dwindling I am able to appreciate the predictable moments because they are spent with the people who I want to be boring with. That is home to me. And even if I wander again I will always be brought back to the the ordinary moments that make my heart happy.

 

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Last weekend my family assembled to help my Granny Una celebrate her 90th birthday. We piled in to my aunt Susie’s and ate the most amazing food (there were about a million desserts) and I held a wine glass that never seemed to empty. The house was full of stories; some I’ve never heard before but most I have heard hundreds of times. We all sat around in a circle at the end of the night taking turns to play the bard and sharing jokes – a traditional end to an Irish gathering where I usually flounder because I am terrible at remembering jokes. It was a great night to be surrounded by

 

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But my favourite part of the evening was the quick chat I had with Una in between the photos we were all competing for. As to be expected on her 90th birthday she was feeling particularly reflective and she told me of her time in the Women’s Royal Navy, the most cherished years of her life. She talked of living in Egypt. How she still remembers hearing the music from her camp near the Suez Canal and the heat that seemed so different to the Irish sun. After three years in the WRN’s as a morse code operator she had to return home to look after her elderly mother. A decision she now says was both the best and worst of her life. It changed everything for her.

 

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I will cherish that conversation for the rest of my days because I saw in her more than just my grandmother. She was a wild one once and she too had that unwillingness to settle for the ordinary. She had hopes and dreams just like I do now. She was unsure of her choices and the path she was supposed to take. I felt closer to her than I ever have.

 

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This week I am choosing to let go of a few things but mostly I want to remind myself that I don’t have to have it all figured out. It’s OK with not knowing it all for now. Here’s a few of them…

 

Not Remembering Jokes

As said above I am shite at remembering jokes and quietly seethe with jealousy when people can roll a dozen off their tongue. How can you fit all of them inside your brain?! Remembering to brush my teeth is enough of a challenge.

 

Forgetting To Brush My Teeth

Until I’m all cosy in bed. It’s the worst when I get all snuggly and then realise that I don’t taste minty and then I have to drag myself from the cosiness. Personal hygiene is such a nuisance sometimes.

 

Crap Lunch

I’m trying to be really good and not spend money on lunches in work but sometimes it’s just plain sad when all you have is a few spinach leaves and tomatoes. Even a jam sandwich seems exciting these days.

 

Sunglasses

I will never complain of sunshine. NEVER. But because I live in Ireland it means I am always unprepared for the good days and always have to fish out sunglasses from the year before which are never there because I always lose them. Why are sunglasses so hard to retain? Of all my accessories they have the shortest lifespan. Or gloves. Damn seasons.

 

Never Having Change

I’ve fully embraced the modern life and use my card everywhere I go. It isn’t until I am in a carpark or a charity asks for money that I am reminded that people still carry coins. Why can’t everything just be a tap away from payment? Coins are cumbersome and just make you jingle so they should be altogether eradicated.

 

And that’s a wrap! Enjoy the rest of your week folks!

 

 

10 Ways To Embrace Your Inner Child

10 Ways To Embrace Your Inner Child

As a child I always thought that grown ups had their shit together and knew exactly where they were headed. Big decisions were just a series of stepping stones that would bring you to your soulmate/dream job/perfect house. Now that I’m a full fledged ‘grown up’ I have quickly discovered that my childhood idea was completely ludicrous and actually most of us are sort of playing along with whatever decisions we pray hope think are the best ones for our future. In reality a lot of us, including myself, are in a constant state of doubt, not certain of anything but trying our hardest to keep on.

 

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Of course being a grown up can be a really tough job. We have to pay bills, keep our cars clean and pretend we know how to do pivot tables. All this serious stuff can create such a weight on our shoulders that it’s hard to remember those carefree days as a kid when the biggest disaster was the day the ice-cream van missed your street. The thing is is that we can still tap in to those wee moments of simple joy we had back then. We still enjoy the same things (I will forever love a swing) it’s just that we don’t allow ourselves to unwind from this stiff adult mentality for fear that we’ll either look insane or we might fall in to a heap of despair.

 

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How about, instead of walking alongside that low-rise wall, you actually get up and walk along it like you know you want to? In any way you can you should encourage those innocent moments in the day that make you happy despite how silly they may seem. When we allow ourselves to just relax and be the same person we were when we were younger it can bring a real sense of contentment that can be dissipated by everyday adult life.

 

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Now that we’re coming in to better(ish) weather it makes it that little bit easier to let our inner child run free. The summer was the peak season as a child after all! I can still remember lying in bed on a summer night with the sunlight still shining through the curtains and the smell of outside still on my skin. That excitement doesn’t leave us as when we get older if we don’t want it to and I’ve thought of a few ways to help you embrace that inner child of yours on the days when you feel like adulting is too damn hard.

 

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Surround Yourself With Other Kids

If you’re a parent you might roll your eyes at this one but really you have the best tools to encourage the silliness every day. When I’m around Andrew’s niece and nephew or my friend’s children I get a snapshot in to a mindset I yearn to have again. Children believe in magic and that’s infectious – looking for fairies amongst the trees makes a woodland walk that little bit more entertaining.

Take Your Shoes Off

Run through the grass. Kick sand around the beach. Bounce on the trampoline. Throwing our shoes off to run around can take us straight back to the days when shoes were an infringement on fun. They still are.

Welcome Mess

Being an adult means keeping a tidy home but sometimes fun means mess. How about doing a bit of painting even if you’re terrible at it? Or crafting something you’ve been wanting to for ages? Buy PVA glue and remind yourself of the days of Art Attack and Blue Peter.

Play Loud Music

And dance round the house. Play songs from your childhood (my personal favourite is ‘Sunscreen’ by Baz Luhrmann but it’s not a real dance-y song) that will propel you to a memory you hadn’t thought of in forever.

Use Your Imagination

As we get older we rely less and less on imagination when actually it can be a real asset as an adult. Technology has made us lazy and we can turn to Google for just about every answer. How about creating a jar of fun ideas for the weekends? Every member of the house can take a turn in picking out an idea (and the phones could even be left at home if that’s even remotely possible).

Build a Fort

There is nothing better than spending a rainy afternoon watching movies in a fort. With lots of blankets. And marshmallows.

Plan a Treasure Hunt

I used to love treasure hunts as a kid and would love to plan an adult version with all of my friends. When we are all gathered together for a game night it’s like a playground anyway so I can only imagine what a treasure hunt would be like!

Skip

OK so I understand if you don’t want to do this in public but if you’re able to get a moment to yourself with no one around then DO IT. It will definitely make you smile.

Bring Out Old Photos

Remind yourself of the fun you used to have and rediscover the happiest moments you had as a nipper.

Play a Childhood Game

Kerbsie, Tip the Can, Hide & Seek, Red Rover. How many games did we have as children? Growing up on an estate surrounded by loads of other kids was a real blessing because there was always a game to play. Your mates might think you’re a lunatic to start with but no one can say no to a game of kerbsie.

 

Wishing you bunch of kids a lovely weekend – here’s to letting our inner children run free!

What Not To Worry About #19

What Not To Worry About #19

Hello Monday faces! I missed writing this post last week. It’s so therapeutic writing on a Sunday evening and planning what little worries I am choosing to let go of for the week ahead. Alas I was too busy enjoying my long Easter break and this week is the first 5 day week I’ve had in wee while – I’m trying not to be a little sad about it! Personally I think 4 day weeks are a good way to go but since I’m not my own boss (yet – one day!) I will have to accept that I am on the Monday-Friday hamster wheel and make sure weekends are always jammed with the good stuff.

 

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Last weekend was a special one after watching one of my best friends marry her person which is one of the strangest and most beautiful things to witness. I have been friends with Louise for 15 years and seeing her stand up at the altar in the dress we had all imagined since we were teenagers and saying the words we have all dreamed of saying was incredibly surreal. It doesn’t feel all that long ago that we were crying in toilets over boys or spending hours trying on each other’s clothes!

 

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The rest of the weekend was spent recovering in Armagh mostly beside a lit fire which in April feels like a real guilty pleasure. I fell asleep in the armchair and had to be shown to my bed like a sleep walking toddler and woke up not having a notion where I was. On Sunday afternoon I was fed by the Moffett’s and then fed again by the Donnelly’s in the evening like a touring grazer – Sundays are made for ceilidhing!

 

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My uncle has come home from Australia to help us celebrate Granny Una’s 90th birthday next weekend and his return has given the family plenty of excuses to get together. For such a big family it’s not easy to get us all under the same roof but we piled ourselves in to my Aunt’s house for a Chinese and Inidan (your typical Irish Sunday feed of course) and shouted over the top of one another while my poor Granny tried to make out the conversation. A couple of hours with the clan is enough to make my heart swell and we’re all clinging on to these special moments with Una because we know how lucky we are to still have her.

 

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This week I am starting out with a positive head despite how far Friday feels! Here are a few of the worries I am shedding…

 

Breaking Things

Much to Andrew’s continual dismay, I am renowned for breaking or losing things. The most recent damage is to my glasses which currently have one arm (or is it leg?). I’ve ordered a new pair but I’ve spent the last couple of weeks looking totally unprofessional in the office like I’m trying to start some sad new trend. I’m not I am just horrendous at replacing things!

Hackers

The joys of the modern era are the hackers/trolls/bullies we find all over the internet and I was lucky enough to be a victim of a Facebook hack a few weeks ago. Some lovely person decided to remove me as my blog page admin and despite trying to contact Facebook several times there was no happy outcome. I’ve had to create a new page all over again so if you’re reading this please share my page on Facey-B if you can so I can reach out to all my old followers. Hate to be a pest but I will promise to make you a cup of tea or at least send out some positive thoughts (don’t say I don’t spoil you).

Morning Routines

Brighter mornings has meant I am up earlier than usual but I’m not using the extra time as best I can. Instead I usually sit in a zombie-like state dribbling granola all over my PJ’s. I plan to start introducing some yoga stretches and a few minutes of meditation to wake me up a little better in the hope I might be a little more productive which leads me to my next worry…

Work To-Do Lists

Lately I’ve been a little unmotivated at work and the to-do list stares at me from my diary while I battle to get everything done. I plan to start managing my time much better in work so I don’t get the guilts when I leave a pile of stuff still to be done – no more jumping between a million tasks! Wish me luck.

Not Seeing the new Beauty & The Beast

How have I not seen it yet?! Someone please take me!!

 

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Wishing you lovely lot an even lovelier week!!