(Photo courtesy of my brother Stephen McCann)
We’ve had a couple of weeks of really sunny weather here in Ireland lately. Unfortunately the rain showed itself yesterday evening and continued all through the night. It got me thinking about how the weather can really affect your mood. In my opinion – and it’s likely that I’m completely biased and it’s definite that I don’t have all that much evidence – there’s no better place to be than Ireland when the sun is shining. It’s a rare thing because we’re lucky if we get a few weeks of sunshine each year. However, you’re almost guaranteed to find sun here the first week of June because the Leaving Cert exams (post primary state exams for anyone who’s not familiar with our system) are happening and the first week of September because the kids are just back in school. This might seem like a ridiculous theory but it proves itself as fact almost every year. Anyway, where was I? Oh yes…the effect the sun has. As a general rule, although a tiny country, Irish people have a pretty good reputation around the world for being friendly. However, I’m absolutely sure that if you visited Ireland in the sun and then again in the rain, you would really see a difference. The sun brings out the absolute best in Irish people. Everyone is happier and friendlier. I met a woman once who moved to Ireland during a gorgeous Irish summer. She loved it so much and couldn’t wait to tell everyone at home how amazing Ireland and Irish people were. Once the autumn and winter came in she saw a massive change in the attitudes of people in Ireland. They were still nice but not as happy or friendly. So if you’re from outside Ireland and thinking of coming to visit, I’d suggest early June or early September.
I got a present of these beautiful flowers from a group of students I’ve been working with since September. I was pleasantly surprised when they brought them in for me on the last day. I love receiving flowers. They put me in a good mood, but I never really buy them for myself. That’s silly really. Note to self: buy flowers occasionally – if they brighten up your day, they’re worth it.
It’s that time of year when everything is starting to wind down for me in work. Throughout the academic year I make lists of work related things I need to do. I find lists very helpful. They clear up some space in my mind and help me to concentrate on what I need to do. It also helps me to relax when it’s time to switch my work brain off and unwind. I tend to make my work lists on my iPad so I can add to them or amend them if I need to. I love making lists this time of year. They’re usually of the last few things I need to tie up in work and they give me great sense of satisfaction when they’re all ticked off.
For lists outside of work I much prefer to hand write them on all sorts of different and pretty notepads (yes, honestly, the ‘old fashioned’ way). Come early to mid-June, I can focus on the fun lists of things I hope to do in the summer. This summer will be different because I’m going to Dubai for 7 weeks to spend some of my time off with Dane. I’ll be adding things I have to do, buy, and pack before I go to my lists this year. I’m also looking forward to making lists of things to do while I’m away.
My lists are not limited to ‘to do’ lists either. I also enjoy making bucket lists and lists of things I want to buy and make. Wow who knew I could say the word list so many times!
1) Hot chocolate and coffee date with my dad, 2) Fresh summer breakfast, 3) I just love Chief’s ears, 4) Superhero Jalapeno houmous – yum! 5) Lady enjoying a rare bit of sunshine
The dogs love getting out and running around in the grass. When it’s time to go home Chief just sits down and refuses to leave. He loves grass, but he’s allergic to it so we have to keep him out of it most of the time. Lady on the other hand does what she’s told more often, so when we call her she usually comes to the boot of the car.
While we were out shopping yesterday, Kiara decided to get her ears pierced. So exciting! I only got mine pierced last August and I’ve been pestering her to get hers done ever since. She was very brave and got a lollipop for her troubles.
1) Kiara and Layla, 2) Kiara in the Yankee Candle shop, 3) Layla enjoying her ice-cream, 4) Too cool for school in her sunnies, 5) The wax tarts I bought, and 6) burning Bay Breeze – it reminds me of cocktails and holidays and that’s never a bad thing.
1) Stephen and Bud enjoying a pre-match drink, and 2) Jamie Carragher
I went to Liverpool at the weekend to watch the last match of the season against QPR and Jamie Carragher’s last match ever. It was a great occasion and they went all out with a guard of honour and presentations. His children were on the pitch with him before and after the match and it was a really sad day. I’m so glad I got the opportunity to go to his last game and a 1-0 win helped too. We all went out on the drink in Liverpool that night. Liverpool is a great city and you’re guaranteed a good time. We finished the weekend off with shopping and lunch in Carragher’s restaurant.