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Posted on 31 October, 2015

When Ewan was six months I started making him a costume. Those of you who’ve been loyally sticking by the blog over the years might remember that my plan was that after going to the effort of making it he would wear it for at least seven years. When I said that I hadn’t accounted for the strong will of a toddler. This year I talked him out of being a pirate by suggesting I would dress up as a pirate and he could be a scary orange monster. It worked but that thin logic is unlikely to hold up next year!

So in honour of the costume’s hay day here are some of it’s best moments!!

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I don’t know how you do it

Posted on 27 October, 2015

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Recently I met an acquaintance who is a full time nurse and a mum. The last time I met her I was still on maternity leave and I was still firmly  on the fence about whether or not I wanted to go back to work. So after a bit of chit chat she asked if I had gone back to work. I explained that I had decided to stay at home instead and luckily I was enjoying it so far.

What followed was an exaggerated version of something that I hear a lot. She was just more zealous than most.

It went a little something like this:

” Oh a stay- at-home Mum, that’s great, wow. Is it still just the one you have?”

“Yeah, he’s two and a half now”

“Wow, great. God I don’t know how you do it. I really don’t. I mean I couldn’t do it. God, no way. Staying at home all day; I’d go mad. Absolutely insane. At home ALL day, wow. There’s no way I could do it. Straight after my maternity leave I was back to work. I love working. God, there’s no way I could stay at home. Wow, I’d go off my game. I just can’t imagine it. Fair play to you though”.

The woman is lovely and I’m positive no harm was meant by what she said but the retort that was on the very tip of my tongue was:

” Yeah I know. I think it must be my low IQ that lets me be able to do it. I reckon I’m just dim enough that  I can stay at home all day so it works out really well”. ( Then I’d wander off absent-mindedly singing ABC to myself).

In real life I smiled politely and changed the subject.

Maybe I’m blessed with a fertile imagination but I can definitely imagine working full time and being a parent. I can imagine it’s bloody hard but nevertheless it’s within my realm of comprehension. But her response is typical of so many other responses I’ve heard where the mere thought of staying at home is incomprehensible. ” I really don’t know how you do it”. Surely it’s imaginable, they are parents after all. They parent daily, what’s not to get?

I will concede that there may be a bit of paranoia at play on my part and maybe I should take what she said at face value. Judging by the number of wows included in her sentences she is impressed. Maybe I should just think “I’m impressive, isn’t that great” But mostly I’m pretty confident that the subtext of our chat was ” My God, I can’t imagine staying at home, I’d lose my mind with the boredom of it. Being at home would rot my brain”.

I’m still deciding how this conversation is meant to go . Maybe I’m missing an obvious cue and we are meant leap into a self deprecating volley.

“I don’t know how you do it”

“Oh staying at home is easy.I don’t know how you do it”. “

“Oh work is nothing, I just don’t know you do it”.

Or should I go into an elaborate explanation of how exactly I do it.

“I don’t know how you do it”

” Well, Monday morning the day normally starts at about 7 and then …”

It’s funny how something that sounds like a compliment can leave you feeling like you are doing something insane with your life. I’m not walking on water I’m staying at home with my child.  Similarly working parents are working and parenting. Both are pretty simple scenarios to imagine.I would have thought. I’ve yet to nail down my response to the next unfortunate person who say “I don’t know how you do it” I might just go with a simple understated  “aaarrggghhh” and walk off. Classy and concise.

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Best of 100 Vol 3- Rugby World Cup

Posted on 21 October, 2015

This photo set is a bit of a cheat and it’s late! Some are taken with my big camera and some are from my phone. I intended to take over 100 with the big camera but it turns out when you go to Cardiff to watch a Rugby World Cup quarter final there is far too much rugby watching happening to be concerned about photos!

Last Saturday morning, my friend Niamh and I set sail for Cardiff filled with hope and giddiness about Ireland’s forthcoming rugby match.  We had meet up in New Zealand to watch Ireland beat Australia in the last World Cup in 2011 and I was looking forward to keeping up our tradition closer to home this time.

IMG_2726Even though the match was the main aim I was still pretty excited about going on the boat. I hadn’t been since I was a teenager and I’m easily excited about going out for a pizza so having a whole weekend away caused me to burst into song every now and again (lucky Niamh!).

Such was my excitement that we braced the chilly morning air to take plenty of boaty type photos.








I became a little obsessed with the little red lighthouse below at Rosslare and Niamh reckoned I might make my quota of 100 photos on that light house alone such was my obsession with it. But the cold won out and we took shelter inside.


The rest of the journey consisted of selfies, watching a replay of Ireland beating France (and re-living those horrible injuries), playing Who is it? (a cheap version of Guess Who) and eating a fry up. Perfection!




Once we made it into Cardiff city it started to feel like we arrived at the hub of the World Cup despite the fact that it is offically hosted by England rather than Wales. Despite having only been there once Cardiff has a familiar feel to it. It’s an easily negotiated city and when your to do list is to watch rugby and soak up the atmosphere the city lends itself to both of those things very well. The huge stadium in the middle of the city has a smaller sister stadium in it’s shadow. The smaller stadium was turned into a Fanzone which allowed fans to gather and watch matches on big screens. The set up was amazing, every representative for the World Cup bowled us over with helpfulness, politeness and generally just knowing their stuff. The whole thing made for a cosy set up filled with buzzing fans (including us!).

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Despite only going from the stadium, to fanzone, to food, to the pub, to the train station we managed to spot this lovely little collection of bird houses which I now want to recreate in the garden but that’s another days work!


Back to rugby. I had never been in the Millenium Stadium and it didn’t disappoint. Our seats were right up in the gods, the second row from the back, which meant a great view of the whole pitch with a complementary dose of vertigo!


The thunder of noise that booms from the stadium is shattering. The blasts from a mainly Irish crowd of 72,000 strong is so rousing you think anything is possible. I felt so proud to be Irish and will admit to being a little teary after Ireland’s Call. While I had my niggling doubts the lift from the crowd made me confident that this would be it. Ireland would make history. Being part of a crowd makes you feel like more than a witness, rightly or wrongly you feel part of it. If Ireland made it to the semi finals I was pretty sure it was going to have something to do with Niamh and I being there! Before the match started we were enveloped in sound so load our own roars are inaudible!

Now, unless you live on Skellig Michael, you’ll know that it is Argentina, and not Ireland, who have secured their place in the semi finals. While it hurts to remember it, Ireland lost. Having watched it on the television I have to say the Ireland team look a lot better on screen than they did in the stadium. From our great height the green shapes looked slow, tired and almost frightened to come up to the Argentinians for most of the first half. I was anxiously awaiting half time in the hope that they’d come out a different team. That they did. They played like the determined Irish side we know and love so well and managed to claw their way back to be within a score of Argentina. But the Argentinan players were up to the challenge and in the end their pace left us breathless. Niamh described them as eels slipping past the Irish defense with ease (she’s fierce poetic so she is:). While it was heart-breaking to watch they were by far the better team. Despite the fact that the Argentinian supporters made up, I’d guess,  about 15% of the crowd  they made their voices well heard. They are amazing fans who manage to jump up and down while swinging their scarves around and it never gets tangled! Skilled really when you think about it! They celebrate with such absolute joy and pride that it’s hard to begrudge them anything. Even a semi-final place. Although that’s still a little hard to say.

All that’s left is for Argentina to go on and beat the Aussies for their deserved place in the final!

As for Ireland we’ll come back in four years time and once again a nation of rugby supporters will all start dreaming again.


Best of 100 Vol 2

Posted on 8 October, 2015

I am loving taking 100 pictures in one day! I realise that this is only week two and my feelings may change but today was wonderful! Having to take the camera out made me get off my rear end and go somewhere that might look nice, which isn’t a bad thing to do on a bright(ish) autumn day. So after a recommendation from a friend we took off on an adventure to Doneraile Park. Calling it an adventure for Ewan meant it was an instant success before we’d even left town!

If I hadn’t had the challenge of taking a 100 pictures today I probably would have thought that sounds like a nice thing to do I should take Ewan and then would have forgotten instantly about it in favour of the routine things we do. I have been to Doneraile Park many moons ago but true to form I didn’t really remember it. It’s beautiful! Ewan was thrilled with the way in. You go into the woods through a formal garden and a big red door. Encouraging him back to the red door was the only way I had of getting him to leave. He loved it so much.  I was a bit nervy that I’d get terribly lost again and end up with a repeat of the previous disastrous “adventure” so we took a fairly straight forward route and hung out with the deer who were pretty interested in Ewan’s sandwiches!

The highlight of the trip for me was the squirrel hunt. Ewan was determined we were going to see a squirrel. Having only seen one once in my life the chances were slim but I said “sure, we might”. So he collected lots of acorns and went through the woods holding them up shouting “Squirrels squirrels, I’ve got nuts”. It was too cute for words! We didn’t find any but he soon found a stick which he called a fishing rod and the squirrels were forgotten.

Ewan and I had been rubbing each other up the wrong way for a few days now and I think we needed something to break the mould. Today certainly did that and I’ve promised him another adventure together next week. I can’t wait!

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Hmm you've got a little something...

Hmm you’ve got a little something…

Anyone for a cheese sandwich?

Anyone for a cheese sandwich?

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