I’m taking a blogging break. So long. Farewell.

For over a year now, bar a few days I have posted a post.
Some of my posts were even popular, and I have enjoyed a growing following.
However brace yourselves, because all is about to go quiet.photo credit: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/latente/274852368/">Lisandro M. Enrique</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">cc</a>

Come Saturday there will be no My thoughts on a page post.
I will be thoughtless so to speak.
Sunday will see none either, nor any day next week.

I am writing here to warn you in advance,
as I am sure at least a couple of you may miss me.
Some may even become concerned,
and wonder what the blazes happened that Irish one.

Well let me reassure you that this break is only temporary,
I will be back.
I am heading away on holidays.
My nearest and dearest and myself.

My idea of a fantastic holiday is to pack up the car,
and family and drive to West Cork.
I enjoy the lack of heat and have no problem with a couple of rainy days.
So answer me then, why in the name of goodness am I taking a plane and leaving the country?

I suppose it’s because that is what my family wish to do,
and who am I to disagree with them.

Anyway here’s a little video I posted last year.
We have decided to risk the “cheap flights” once more,
but I’m holding my breath we don’t end up regretting it!

I wanted to leave you laughing and this video will definitely do that.

photo credit: Lisandro M. Enrique via photopin cc

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Do you remember this time last year?

Do you know what you were doing this time last year? Can you remember the days, hours, minutes and moments?

I can. For this time last year was the beginning of the long goodbye.small__9141239481

This time last year, here in Ireland, the weather was beautiful. A young boy was in the best form he had been in, since discovering six months earlier he had leukemia. We were filled with hope and, along with the good weather, spirits were high.

This time last year we were all waiting. Waiting for the day Daniel would have his bone marrow transplant. The day which would see the end of his leukemia. The day which would signal a new beginning. We were fearful, yes, but also excited. He would soon be well again.

This time last year I shared a final walk with my great friend, Dans mom. We walked and talked as usual, although inside the pain was enormous. I was saying Goodbye to my pal for up to three months, as it was anticipated that it could be that long before they got home again. As we walked along we didn’t speak of our fears, only of our dreams of success. The thought that this would not work was unimaginable, and somewhere we were not willing to go.

After our walk I briefly popped in to say Good luck to Daniel. I wanted to cry and hug him, but that would have been cruel and inappropriate. Instead I strolled in to him, and said  a quick “See ya Sweetheart, best of luck”, and off I went. No hug, no fuss.

Outside, at my car, I hugged my friend and couldn’t help it as tears briefly overflowed. Then as quick as they began I stopped them.  I smiled in apology and she laughed, then I said, “See you later”.  A blatant lie, but a necessary one. Neither of us could cope with this being our final moment.

That night there was a family gathering for Daniel and his family in his aunts house. Everyone was wondering when would be the next time they would gather together like this, but no one would say it aloud.

When it was time to leave, Dan and his family drove away, hands waving, smiles all around.  It was only after he left that those who were waving goodbye crumbled. Yet sad as they were, no one gathered together that night could have guessed, that this really was Goodbye.

This time last year Daniels clock was ticking. As the days and weeks went by we all began to hear it tick louder and louder.

Yes I clearly remember this time last year.  Every single day of it.

Thinking of Daniel, and his family this week. xx

photo credit: Rick Payette via photopin cc

photo credit: armadillo444 via photopin cc

An open letter to Garth Brooks.

Stand well back reading this as there is steam coming out of my laptop!

Dear Garth.
Well that’s a lie for starters, because Garth Brooks you are certainly not “Dear” to me.
In fact let me begin again.

Poxy Garth Brooks,

You told us your heart was in Ireland… We smiled.
You told us we were special… we cheered.
You told us you were going to begin your world tour here…. we were honoured.
You told us you were coming for three nights… not enough we shouted.
You told us there were two extra concerts… we went crazy.

400,000 celebrated. Cowboy hats at the ready. Hotel rooms booked. Holidays sorted.
It was to be the event of the Summer, and so many of us were part of it.
“What night are you going?”, was a common question. 70,000 were coming from overseas.

We brushed up on your lyrics,
“If tomorrow never comes”, “I didn’t mean to cause a big scene”.
And downloaded any old favourites we’d forgotten.

Then the news broke. There were only licences for three concerts, not five.

Were we worried? Not at all. Sure this is Ireland, don’t be worrying about licences. Did they not know it’s Garth Brooks. Everyone wants to come see him? Couldn’t they just do what they always do? Get the licence after!

No one worried.

We read the headlines. Yes we hear you, the residents were upset. We felt for them, but we had tickets. They’d get over it. This happens all the time.

Wrong.

This time the residents were determined. This time they said no and they meant no. To our horror we discovered two nights were cancelled. Feck. Who’d have believed it?

We all said things like, “Aw that’s awful”, and “God love them”, but secretly 240,000 were not bothered. They still had tickets.

I still had a ticket. A valid ticket.

Phew! Yes, yes, poor you who missed out, but Nahnahnahnah, I didn’t really care. Garth Brooks here I come.

But wait. Garth is speaking.

He loves us… Awwwphoto credit: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/shandilee/5022057355/">Shandi-lee</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">cc</a
He is devastated…. Wow!

He has made a decision… Five nights or none.

WTF? NO. No. No. Surely not?

What are you thinking Garth poxy Brooks?
Were you bad at maths at school?

You tell us you don’t want to disappoint anyone…. I get that…
But your decision means you disappoint 400,000 instead of 160.000

Seriously Garth you need a calculator.

So Garth feckin Brooks, be warned. We Irish are a dangerous breed. You think we are laid back, relaxed and up for the craic, which we are, but beneath our smiling eyes and easy talk is 800 years of a fighting nature. We do not forget easily. Just ask England.

Unless of course you change your mind?

Yours, crying into my wine,
A lost fan.

PS. I couldn’t fit this in anywhere, but Garth Brooks I think you are a right fecker, and what’s more..
you have been deleted off my ipod forever!

photo credit: armadillo444 via photopin ccphoto credit: Shandi-lee via photopin cc

Have you had the conversation?

Tonight I have no words. It’s all in the video.
If you watch it you will see those who have lived, because of organ donors, and you will see the pictures and families of those who gave the ultimate gift to save a life.

Unintentional Hero is a beautiful song, written by Pa Curran to honour his friend Taidhg Burke Neff, but this video makes that song even more poignant and powerful.
Among those families featured, is our own local unintentional hero, six year old Ben.

The song can be ordered from itunes here for just 99c.

Please have the conversation. Organ donation saves lives. Tell someone today if you wish to be an organ donor.

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If I could…

If you had three wishes, what would you wish?
Today’s daily prompt asks, Who do you give your three wishes to, and why?

By coincidence earlier today I had written a post titled… If I could.

Imagine if you had three wishes, what would you do? As a child I can remember thinking I was very clever when I was asked this question. My answer was, to use the first wish to ask for more wishes.small_5093998704
Now as an adult I wonder what indeed I would do with such a power?

As I sit typing today, I must admit that my fingers are a little slower than normal, my head a little foggy, and my body feels like that of a much older person. Before you feel too sorry for me, let me reassure you. Yes I am suffering, but not from an illness. I am feeling the side effects of a really good night out last night. I am tempted to use one of those wishes for selfish reasons, to eliminate those side effects, but no I will not waste them.

So what would I do?

Anyone who follows this blog would probably be able to answer that, and know exactly where I’d send those wishes.

The first wish I would hand deliver to a young boy no longer with us. I’d bring him back and watch his Mom and Dad, brother and sisters, family photo credit: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/dm3photography/6780867981/">Matt Preston</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/">cc</a>and friends gather to greet him. As he would burst in the door, I would ensure he had his gear bag back with him. In it would be new gear. His club GAA jersey, shorts and boots, and his basketball and soccer kits, in the bigger size, as a year and a half has passed since he last played. His gear would of course be dirty, and he would just dump it on the kitchen floor. Wearing a cheeky smile I can only imagine the reception he would get. The awful sad memories of the past year would be wiped away, and the memory of his leaving would be forgotten forever.

I would quickly move on with my next wish. This would be for another small boy. His Dads “little buddy”, an unintentional hero, who is also no longer with us. He would be easy to find. I would only need to find his Mom, Dad and sister and he would be right beside them. I would take great delight in seeing him play again with his toys, and I’d quietly leave, as his family hold him close once more.

Then finally the third wish. This one I’m afraid I’d keep for my own use. It would be for my Dad.
I would close my eyes and call softly for him to come home once more. I would not have to shout as I know, he is always close by.

I would then hurriedly make my way to Dublin. As I’d enter my childhood home, it would feel different. Complete. I’d watch through tears my parents reunion, and see the years fall from my mom, as she and Dad hugged once more. I’d then come forward for my own reunion. So many years of sadness would melt away in that one hug. I can imagine wanting to stay in his arms forever. When eventually I would tear myself away, I’d stand proudly beside him and introduce my Dad to my children. Four grandchildren he never got to meet. A grandfather, father and husband back home where he should be, in a house which has missed him for a very long time.

So there they are, my three wishes. Because anyone who has experienced loss will know that given a choice there is only one wish you would make.
If you could.

What would you wish for?
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This was written in response to the Daily Prompt. Why not check out the other posts.

photo credit: Neal. via photopin cc
photo credit: Matt Preston via photopin cc

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Second chance repost #13

Todays second chance repost comes from the blog Dr Hows Science Wows.  The writer of this blog is a fellow Irish blogger, and her blog is without doubt one of the snazziest I know. If ever you thought of going self hosted her site would tempt you.  It truly “wows”, and is well worth checking out just to show you what can be done with your blog.

Thought of the day… “the passing of the seasons”

Well it is official… Spring is here for sure… the Cuckoo was heard from our garden yesterday, not by me I’m afraid, not yet anyway, but it definitely marks the ticking of nature’s clock, the passing of the seasons.  The cuckoo is calling, tick that box, all is well with the world!

I have to admit I love the anticipation of each seasonal landmark.  The first snowdrop, the arrival of the golden daffodils, the synchronous timing of the budding of each tree, like a perfectly tuned orchestra, each player patiently awaiting it’s moment and joining the symphony at exactly the correct point in time.

photo credit: zenera via photopin cc

My children have lived in this house all their young lives and I am charmed to see them remarking on these  natural milestones too.  They begin to remember their own landmarks of the passing of the seasons and ask me when a certain one will arrive.  These things they have learned on their own… or more precisely, Mother Nature has taught them, tapping them gently on the shoulder to anchor the arrival of each new marvel.

We are lucky to live in the country where nature so beautifully illustrates the passage of the seasons.  The hedgerow by our house, each plant revealing another milestone.  A natural metronome tapping out the appearance of each… the colts foot, lesser celandine, cowslips, dandelions, herb roberts, speed-well, the flowering gorse, bird’s foot trefoil, angelica, meadow sweet, valerian.  As one disappears another arrives and there is a feeling of familiarity and contentment in seeing an old friend emerging once again.  Each a lovely reminder of our early years in this house, before we had children, when my husband and I would walk the lane together and he would point out the arrival of each new plant, teaching me it’s name.  Now every time I see a familiar arrival I remember that special time.

….just a thought!

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If you have an old post you would like to give a second chance to just use the contact me link or check out my sticky post here.

The launch of Unintentional Hero

We use the word “extraordinary” without a thought. How many truly extraordinary people do you know?

Tonight a group of families, whose loved ones donated their organs, will gather to salute and acknowledge what their loved ones have done. These are extraordinary people, in the true meaning of the word.

Each one of these families have shared the most dreadful of moments. The moment they were told their loved one would not survive. The moment they were asked to consider organ donation, and the moment they gave their loved one, one final kiss.

Each one of these families has a story to tell.

Handsome small Ben.  Saved five lives.

Handsome small Ben. Saved five lives.

Today on the Ray D’Arcy radio show, one such a story was told. It was told by Bryan, the father of young Ben who I have spoken about before on this blog. Bryan and Elma, put a young, healthy six year old to bed last year, never knowing that life was about to change forever.

Ben had a massive seizure. Huge efforts went into saving him, along side his own enormous battle to live. After eight days, despite being airlifted from Ireland to England, Ben ran out of options. In the depths of the greatest sadness a family can endure, his amazing parents offered their small boys organs to others. Then, far from home, they had to say Goodbye to their only son.

My daughter, who is a friend of young Bens only sister, sat beside me today as we listened spellbound as an email written by Ben’s dad, Bryan, was read on air. In it he spoke so movingly of the loss of his little boy, “his buddy”. Even the radio host struggled at times to continue, as did we to listen. With tears freshly flowing we heard Bryan speak about how much the launch of this song and video have meant to him. At last his little buddy, and the other unintentional heroes would be given the credit for what they have done. His tears still flow, he said, but this has taken some of the agony away, for a time at least.

As his email drew to a close, my daughter and I remembered young Ben skipping along to school, and we shared his Dad’s sadness at the huge loss of his little buddy. However we also understood that this song will honour and remember him, and all those like him.

So for anyone who can, I ask you to consider downloading this song from itunes it is so beautiful.

The writer Pa Curran also has a story to tell. He wrote this song after the loss of his best friend Taidhg Burke Neff in an accident. He wrote it immediately after hearing the news, and decided to use it to promote organ donation. Pa Curran has no advertising budget. So if you can please share the song link on social media. I think these families deserve all the support we can give them.

Just follow this link for Unintentional Heroes song on itunes.

The facebook page link for unintentional hero is here. If you get a chance you might give it a like or a share.

Thank you all.

photo credit: patries71 via photopin cc

Ever had a day like this?

We’ve all had them, those days we would rather forget. So just to make you feel better I’ll share one such a day I had with you.

I work a couple of half days a week in a local shop. On this particular day last week I arrived in as usual, and began to open up. I plugged everything in, turned the lights on, and waited as the computer and receipt printer hummed into action. The till however remained silent. Blank.

“No panic”, I thought, as I checked out the plug, and the different leads, “something is probably loose”. Having wiggled everything in a most professional manner, I deduced that nothing was in fact loose.

Next I went to check out the plug. There were a very large number of plugs attached to a couple of extension leads, but by calmly figuring out which plug was which, (and after five minutes discovering the til was the only grey one!) I unplugged it and checked it elsewhere. This proved that, yes, the plug was indeed working.

So I then accepted the til was broken. Now what?

I rang Mr Boss, who suggested that there may be a number on the til of someone who could help me. Disgusted I had not thought of that myself, I scanned the til and there I saw it, an enormous sticker with the name and number for the til suppliers. Taking advantage of the fact Mr Boss couldn’t see me, I told him I’d keep looking and would surely find the name somewhere, and promptly hung up.

I rang the suppliers and the man on the line sounded very pleasant. He never asked was the plug in nor did I detect any male superior attitude. After a lot of questions I was told that it sounded like the fuse was gone. Unluckily he told me that his team were working in West Cork, over sixty miles away, and were unable to come to fix it until the evening, but he assured me he would send them as soon as possible. Until then he suggested I open the til door, using a release button. and work with a pen and paper.

I thanked him, hung up, and stared at the till. A thought crossed my mind, that this is how it was in the good old days. Then I panicked and hurriedly went in search of a calculator.

Over all it was all a bit awkward, and time consuming, but manageable. I had to hand write all the receipts and I kept forgetting not to close the til drawer, so the til spent a good bit of the day almost upside down as I went looking for the release button. This also resulted in the cash spilling all over the drawer, and I looking like a complete incompetent. Yet all in all it was not too difficult.

Finally at lunchtime two men arrived in. Seemingly they had left West Cork especially to look after my “issue”, which they said, was more urgent than their other job.

“Well, says one of them, we hear you’re having a small bit of bother with your masheen”, (that’s the way he said it in his strong accent). “I am”, and repeating his earlier diagnosis I said,“You said it might be a fuse”.photo credit: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/patries71/2898403042/">patries71</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">cc</a>

“It might be” he said, by God it might be”, as he walked up to the til. “Or in fact it might be shimply a matter of turning it on”. And with that he pressed a button on the side of the til, which was as large as the nose on my face and which said “On”.

His buddy with him burst out laughing.

I looked at them mortified. “Ah for Gods sake, I said, I never saw that poxy button, no one ever turned the til off before”.

“Never mind girl, my man said, we’ll just send you in a fine big bill”. And off they went laughing heartily,

Blush blush. Five days later I still can’t believe it. What an eejit I am.

Now I just have to think how in the hell I am going to tell Mr Boss what was wrong with the til, without it looking as bad as it clearly was.

photo credit: patries71 via photopin cc

beauty queen

My husband is lucky he married me.

I am away for a night, so just in case my other half misses me, I thought I’d repost this and remind him just how lucky he is!

Some people wonder is marriage worth it?small_5385630635 (1)
Why would you commit to a lifetime with one person?
Well those people were never married to me.

In general I am an agreeable person,
and usually happy.
However to be married to someone who is always happy,
would be a rather dull affair,
so to ensure our life is never boring,
on occasions I get mad.
It is here my husband and I show our differences.

I am sure those of you who read this can testify,
that there are different ways to argue.
Some of us roar and shout,
others simmer silently for days.photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/tranchis/3708549622/">tranchis</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">cc</a>

I am a ‘roar and shouter’.
I go from “normal” to “boiling” in a matter of moments.
My husband is a very laid back type,
so on the whole, I do not get a lot of opportunity to boil over.

However yesterday we had a row.
It was over a life changing event.
Something so very important that I boiled over,
and my husband reacted.
I know I shouldn’t expose family secrets on this blog,
but I will let you in on this one.
It was about cleaning the barbecue properly.

If the truth be known the real reason for our row,
was the fact that the night before,
we had enjoyed a fantastic night in a friends house,
and had not returned home until 4am!
Both of us were how you might say,
a little bit tired.

Anyway I flipped out.
My usual method of anger is to roar and shout,
and throw in as many “feck” “fu*k” and whatever else words I can remember.
My husband never ever curses so each word is used by me for maximum effect.

Yesterday as usual having exploded,
I then left the room to cool off.
This might have involved door banging,
but due to the red mist in front of my eyes I cannot fully remember.
The cooling off process was as quick as the heating up.
So within a short period of time,
I was feeling relaxed and had moved on.

Then I heard my husband shout,
“I’m going for a cycle, I’ll make my own dinner”.
If I were to tell you he said this in a tone,
that you could not class as “loving”, “friendly” or “cheerful”
I think you would know what I mean.

After he left the kids arrived into me.
This is one of the many negative reasons for having children.
As they grow up they form opinions,
and then insist on sharing them with you.
Anyway they came in and agreed collectively,
that in their words, I was “so mean to Dad”.
They re enacted the row and told me he was only trying to help.
Then one of them said,
“and now the poor fella has to go on a cycle to calm down”.photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/fogindex/4521216074/">fogindex</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">cc</a>

I started to laugh.
I suddenly realized why my husband is so fit.
When I get mad I explode and sit in a room alone.
He on the other hand leaves the house,
and goes for a walk, swim or cycle.
Funny thing is he seems to be doing any or all the above,
on a regular basis every week.

So now that I think about it,
it is about time for him to say “Thank you”.
Without me he would be pounds heavier!
There is no denying it.
I really am a great wife.
He is so lucky to have me!

 

photo credit: tranchis via photopin cc
photo credit: fogindex via photopin cc
photo credit: pageantcast via photopin cc

photo credit: dMadPhoto via photopin cc

The truth behind my secret smile.

Today as I type this I am smiling a secret smile. As I cook the family dinner, I smile. As I tidy up or listen to my crew arguing, I smile.

No one sees my smile. Nor do they see me look at the clock regularly. On occasions, the secret smile breaks out, and for a moment is there for all to see, before I quickly manage to hide it once more.

What is the reason for this secret happiness you ask?

Well tomorrow at lunch time, along with five great friends, I am off for a girls night away.  Today as I cook dinner, or tidy up, I look at the clock and my mind wanders…. this time tomorrow.photo credit: dMadPhoto via photopin cc

What have we planned?

Well that would be telling. Suffice to say there will be a lot of laughing, definitely some fancy eating, and maybe even some drinking!

As I sit here tonight I think how very lucky I am to have the fantastic friends I have in my life.

Over the years I have had friends who shared my sadness when my Dad became sick and died. They consoled me and cared for me, and helped me sit my exams a few weeks later.

Then I married and moved away, but thankfully I met new friends. Friends who shared my life during the difficult, lonely days of early motherhood. Who were there to wait with me, when family members became sick, and celebrate when they recovered. Friends who have shared the ups and downs of everyday life, over the past many years.

These were the friends who also shared the desperate sadness of the past year with me. Who texted me day and night to let me know they were there, and who have genuinely felt some of my grief.

Tomorrow night, these same friends will be by my side once more. We have shared enough sadness. Tomorrow night we will share a much anticipated night of laughter, fun and maybe even song. We will forget about our everyday troubles, and we will celebrate.

We will celebrate friendship. We may even celebrate it more than once!

photo credit: dMadPhoto via photopin cc