Nana in the 1940'sNana in 1995 Nana and Grandad during WW2

1) My Nana in the 1940’s. She was in her 20’s when the photo was taken,  2) In 1995, she was in her 70’s. It’s not the best photograph ever but I love the mischievous look in her eye and the start of a smile appearing,  3)  Nana with Grandad during World War 2. I’ve never met two people more in love.

Today is my Nana’s 16th anniversary. I was only 10 years old when she died. Although she was sick for a couple of years before she died, it was a major loss for all of us when she passed. She was absolutely the matriarch of our family. She organised everyone and everything. She was tough and she had strong opinions and morals. She was a strict parent and you couldn’t help but respect her but anyone could see that my Dad and his siblings adored her. My Mam always says she was so respectful and that even when she moved next door to us, she wouldn’t call in without an invitation.  She was a strong woman but she also had a wonderfully soft side. She was the most loving grandmother and she had the softest hands. She was a stereotypical Irish grandmother who was constantly wearing an apron, always had biscuits and plenty of cuddles. I’m glad she passed when she did because she was very unwell in the end but I still miss her dearly and wish she was here to see me as a grown woman. I hope she would be proud. One think I’m absolutely sure of…if she was still around, I would definitely curse less.

Lorenzo in his chair  Lorenzo & ILorenzo and his mamLorenzoLorenzo & his dadSteph, Shane and Lorenzo

1) Lorenzo in chair, he’s such a good baby,  2) Lorenzo and I,  3) Steph with Lorenzo, there was some lovely natural light so we took advantage and snapped a few pics,  4) Beautiful boy on his changing mat,  5) Shane and Lorenzo,  6) First family picture

I’m way behind on blog posts and I have every intention of catching up over the next few weeks. What better way to start than to share pictures of this amazingly cute little boy.  Last month I had the pleasure of meeting Lorenzo. His mammy and I have been friends since we were 6 years old and she and her boyfriend Shane have asked me to be Lorenzo’s godmother.  I had to wait two months to finally meet him(yes he’s only two months in these pics) as I was in Dubai for the summer when he was born and they live in England. He is absolutely perfect and I can’t wait to visit again. In the meantime I’ll have to settle for looking at these photographs.

With Robbie and JasonSigned copy of Robbie's book With Robbie & Jason in the bar

1) Meeting Robbie Fowler and Jason McAteer at a ‘Legend’s Night’, 2) My signed copy of Robbie Fowler’s autobiography,  3) Meeting them again in the bar of the hotel after the show.

Challenge Post 2: Dinner with my hero – the food, topic of conversation and reason you picked this person

Nothing had changed in my routine, except that when I went down the chippy and got me special friend rice, it would be wrapped in a newspaper that had my picture all over it. – Robbie Fowler

You know that moment when you meet your hero and you’re massively disappointed?  Well that didn’t happen to me. It was the exact opposite actually. People always say you should never meet your hero because when you do, you might be left wishing you hadn’t. When I got the chance to meet my hero last March, I completely ignored that advice and jumped at the chance.

I have many different heroes but I have two football heroes. Jamie Carragher and Robbie Fowler. I’ve been very lucky in that I got the chance to see both of them play their final games in a Liverpool shirt. Now that Robbie has retired from playing football, he’s working as a T.V. pundit and he’s also travelling around taking part in Liverpool Legend shows. As if by complete fate, Robbie was booked, along with a former Liverpool and Ireland player Jason McAteer, to take part in a Legend’s night in a hotel a stone’s throw from where I live. As in a 10 minute walk away. This might seem like it’s not such a big deal but I live on the outskirts of Dublin, not exactly the perfect location for such an event. I jumped at the chance of getting a ticket and when Stephen (my brother and fellow avid Fowler fan) went up to buy them, they only had regular Q&A show tickets. They were completely sold out of meet and greet tickets. Luckily for me, he was smart enough to put his name down for any cancellations and by the time the show came around, Stephen, my mam & I had been bumped up. Success. We arrived early and excited and managed to get seats in the very front row.

And so the story goes, I met my hero and he was exactly what I expected him to be. He signed my jersey and my copy of his autobiography. He was friendly and extremely funny. The show lasted a couple of hours and both Robbie and Jason McAteer answered questions about their careers and shared some great stories. There was a Q& A section at the end and Robbie even made a joke about Stephen, saying he looked like a roll-on deodorant. Hey, if Robbie Fowler makes a joke about you, you go with it. The show was brilliant and the interaction with the crowd throughout the night was great. They even came into the bar afterwards.

For me, the reason I picked this particular person is glaringly obvious. When I met him he lived up to my expectations, He scored 183 goals in 369 games for Liverpool, he’s had major ups, he’s had downs, he has been plagued by controversy, he was probably the only player to ever ask a referee not to award a penalty in his favour, he’s the fifth highest goalscorer in premier league history, he has left Liverpool as a hero TWICE, he scored the fastest  hat-trick in the premier league in just over 4 and a half minutes, he has won various awards both as an individual and as part of a team including the cup treble in 2000-2001. He was a world-class footballer and seems like a genuine down-to-earth fella. Is there any wonder his nick-name is ‘God’? I think this makes it pretty obvious why I chose him and what we would talk about. And as for what we would eat? A pie or fish and chips should do it, with some mushy peas of course.

 

It’s something I have wanted for a long time and I am as happy as anyone to be here. It is great to be back at my first love – Robbie Fowler (on his return to Liverpool)

 

Chief

Lady Mam & I Fethard On Sea

1) Chief tired after a long walk,  2) Lady relaxing,  3) My mam & I,  4) Fethard on Sea beach

I can’t believe it’s taken me over a month to write this blog post. This year is going by in a blink. On the 12th of August my mam and I took the dogs on a well deserved holiday. They have a very hard life you see, all that walking, sleeping and eating. We went to Fethard On Sea in Wexford for almost a week. My Aunty Pauline came with us for the first part of the week and we had a really relaxing time. We brought the dogs for long walks, had some drinks, cooked some nice food and even played bingo. When the weekend came around Pauline left and we had some other visitors including Annie the dog and my favourite little human Layla. The dogs had a ball on what was dubbed ‘The Dog Holiday’ and the humans enjoyed themselves too.I had a 99 ice-cream on the last day on the way home which is a must for a Wexford holiday.  I love visiting different parts of the world but there’s a lot to be said for a holiday at home. Ireland really is such a beautiful country.

 

For more photographs from the holiday, check out my album here

Work Desk

My new work desk looking very neat and tidy for now

I’m sort of in shock that it’s been 12 days since my last post.  I’ve had the entire summer holidays with all the time in the world to do as I wish, but now I’m back in work . This means early wake up calls and full working days but the frustrating part is that I have lots of ideas for blog posts in my head, but I just about have the time and energy to read a blog post, let along write one.

So far this week, I’ve been to dinner with the girls and attended a presentation of certificates all before Dane arrived home for 12 days on Wednesday. We’ve also been to a wedding. I feel a very busy couple of weeks coming on. Excuses excuses…please bare with me.

iPad

iPad

While I was in Dubai with all the time in the world this summer, I read blogs constantly. I would check in for any updates every other day while eating my breakfast. As the summer went on, I would add more and more to my bookmarks list as I discovered them. Since I got home, and especially since I went back to work, I’ve hardly had a chance to look at my own, let alone any other blogs. Yesterday I sat down with my breakfast for a good hour reading away. It was lovely to check out what I had missed (which was a lot) but I also realised it was really relaxing to just flick through them at my leisure without rushing off to do something else. My new plan is to do this for an hour every Sunday morning. After all, isn’t that what Sundays are for?

I say it’s a plan but I seem to be make a lot of plans in September (back to work, all go go go with work plans, you see?) My other Autumn plans include; not working in the evenings or on weekends and taking an hour every week to lie on my bed listening to music. We’ll see how they work out. I’m feeling optimistic. Anyway, just in case anyone is looking for some new blogs to read, i’ll list the ones I have bookmarked below. I have different reasons for liking each one. Some make me laugh, I enjoy the style of writing some bloggers use, some draw me in with amazing photographs and some I just find the topics interesting. Here goes:

The Mystery of Mercy Close Marian Keyes

Challenge Post 1: A Book Review (kinda)

I’m sure you’re all familiar with a well-known Irish author called Marian Keyes and if you’re not, you should be. She’s written dozens of books and I’ve read them all. Typically I like to read sci-fi (ish) books and her writing wouldn’t fall into this category at all. Mostly, I like to read fiction  (which her books are) and typically stories about things that couldn’t happen in real life (there’s enough real life in real life, am I right?). Although Marian’s books wouldn’t fall into this category at all, I adore her style of writing. In my opinion, an author who can make you laugh out loud and sob your heart out on the same page, let alone in the same book is an absolute genius at what they do. I’ve yet to come across a Marian Keyes book where this failed to happen. Her comic timing and sense of humour are second to none. In her latest book –  The Mystery of Mercy Close – she coins the phrase ‘The Shovel List’ which simply is a list of people, things, characteristics etc., that make you want to hit them in the face with a shovel. For me, this was comedy gold and I spent weeks after reading the book hastily adding things to my ‘Shovel List’. As anyone who knows me knows, I’m slightly fond, okay maybe obsessed, with making lists. Any kind of lists. So naturally I decided this blog was a perfect place to share my very own ‘Shovel list’. So here goes (in no particular order, as it changes from day to day):

 

  • Men who find it appropriate to ask me what the offside rule is when they learn I like football, even though they would never ask another man the same question. 
  • People who have seen the way I drink tea a million times saying “sure that’s milky water, not tea”.
  • Wagon wheels (the edible kind. I got them going to school everyday for a million years) Everything about the stupid reality TV show ‘The Only Way is Essex’
  • People who say I need to ‘just’ relax when I’m stressing out. Oh I forgot it was so easy, sure why didn’t I think of that.
  • Getting Diet Pepsi when you ask for Diet Coke
  • Pointy toe shoes on men
  • People who don’t indicate on roundabouts
  • Wasps
  • Skinny people who give out about being fat
  • Cryptic Facebook statuses, such as, “just so happy today” and then when people comment asking why, the answer is always “I’ll private message you”Just don’t post this status if it’s some kind of secret.  
  • Bankers
  • All of the deductions from my pay packet – universal service charge, pension related deductions, spouse & children deductions. I don’t even have a husband or a child?
  • Clowns
  • People who tell you every time they see you that you’ve lost LOOOOADS of weight. No I haven’t. Jesus I must have been the size of a house when you first met me.
  • People who don’t keep their dog on a lead. The law states that you have to, so when your dog comes running up to mine at full speed & my dogs snap a warning of ‘go away’, don’t expect to complain to me.
  • Extremely bold children being extremely bold while their parents look on & do NOTHING
  • People who speak really loudly on the phone whilst using public transport.
  • Actually…public transport itself, for many reasons. People touching off you, the waiting and wondering if it will arrive on time, people eating…don’t they know about all the germs? Ahhh!
  • Construction work on your day off…at ridiculous o clock in the morning.
  • People who ask you a question & then reword your answer into another question. For example…”what time is it?” “3 o clock” “it’s not 3 o clock is it?”
  • People who say “you’d love it” about food to people they hardly know.
  • People who say they don’t like something they’ve never tasted.
  • Pat Kenny
  • People working in supermarkets who put your change down instead of putting it into your open, stretched out hand. Just plain rude.
  • The Irish government

 

Feel free to add to it. I’m sure I will.

 

 For more information on Marian Keyes and her books, check outhttp://www.mariankeyes.com/Home

 

The Colosseum, Rome

My Dad has invited me to take part in a blogging challenge over the coming months so I decided it would be a good idea to share it here. That way people will understand if my posts getting extremely competitive. (Okay, we know they won’t. I’m the least competitive person ever…)

It’s not specific to just us, any old blogger can join in. For details, check out his post here

P.S. Choosing a photograph for this post was difficult. I took this photograph in Rome in 2011. Rome was pretty high up on my ‘places to see before I die’ list. That will make sense if you choose to pop over to My Tiny Mind and check out the details of the challenge. 

My grandparents on their wedding day

Still in love many years later

1) My Paternal Grandparents on their wedding day in the early 1940’s,  2) Years later, they share a kiss, still madly in love.

Loving someone and having them love you back is the most precious thing in the world

– Nicholas Sparks

My grandparents were an inspiration when it comes to true love. I’ve never met any two people more in love than them. I passed by the place my Nana grew up today and it got me thinking about them as a couple. In this day and age, it’s very easy to dismiss the idea of true love and happily ever after, especially with roughly 50% of marriages in the U.S. ending in divorce and the rest of the world quickly catching up. I, however, believe in true love and I have my grandparents to thank for that. Their story is kind of like a fairy tale.  They knew each other way back in the early 1920’s when they were babies. The story goes that they used to hold hands from their prams when they were just toddlers. How could a story like that not end in love? I’m not 100% sure of all of the details but to my knowledge my Granddad went to England to work in his late teens or early twenties. When he returned, they fell in love. They were married in the early 1940’s and lived happily until she passed away over 50 years later in 1997. I was only 8 years old when she died but I still remember the way they looked at each other. Like a lot of women, she often rolled her eyes and dismissed the things he said but while he grumbled at the television she would stand against the door frame with a dish towel over her shoulder and her hand on her hip and smile at him. You could see it in her eyes that she loved him dearly. My Granddad, however, wasn’t so shy about his love for her. It’s important to remember that this was a man who was born in the 1920’s. Men weren’t exactly known for showing their emotions then but when it came to my Nana, he didn’t care. He gushed about her all the time and, for him, there was no-one quite like her in the world. She was a wonderfully strong woman and demanded respect that a lot of women in 1950’s Ireland didn’t receive. She was tough and independent but the most important thing to her was her family and I suppose while he worked and provided for his family, he was happy for her to take control. I’m sure it wasn’t always simple but it appeared that she made the rules but if he wanted to have his say, he did, and she respected it. No marriage or relationship is perfect but it worked perfectly well for them for over 50 years. My Granddad lived for 14 years after my Nana passed away. He kept photographs of her everywhere and although he didn’t talk about her every day, he mentioned her regularly. When he spoke about her, his eyes lit up with the same love and it never changed. He still loved her just as much and he spent his remaining years waiting for the day they would meet again. I really believe they were destined to be together.  How could a story so perfect not make you believe in true love?

Picture5 Picture7Picture1Picture2

1) two cakes at a time…sure why not?  2) Beautifuuly wrapped presents,  3) Cocktails with my girls,  4) The UH-mazing cake Jade made. It was delicious.

I had a lovely weekend celebrating my birthday with family & friends. It involved a LOT of food, two birthday cakes on Friday night, an amazing cake on Saturday night made by my lovely friend Jade, some cocktails and more beers. I also received some fab presents. What more could a girl want?