Sometimes late at night……

She remembers when she was a new mother, her heart almost bursting with love, watching her beautiful little girl sleeping. She wondered what would she grow up like. What would she do with her life. Looking at the angelic face she knew the world was/would be her oyster. At times , especially when she was sleeping or if she was sick she would creep in to make sure she was ok…still breathing. She was always ok, sleeping peacefully, dreaming dreams, unaware of the twists and turns  her life would take, or the path she would go down.

Many years have gone by, she grew up to be a beautiful girl, she’s a head full of brains people said about her. She was beautiful inside and out. She had a kind heart too. Soon there  would  be grand children. Her girl would have her own kids and she wouldn’t notice the years flying by. She wouldn’t notice her little girl’s  inner torment that she kept so well hidden from everyone. She noticed her slim build, “Victoria Beckham is the same as me ” was what she would say to explain her weight loss. She ran everywhere, always on the go, always somewhere to be , someone to see. “I burn more calories than I put into my body she would say  matter of factly,  and that  was true. She had a fast metabolism, she didn’t eat a lot, never had time, or ate at work. She believed her because  it was possible. She wanted to believe her beautiful daughter was ok, she wanted to believe that what she was telling her was true , but, somewhere deep. deep down in the pit of her stomach she knew she was being lied to. She wanted to ask, she could almost guess the answers but was so afraid that if she was told the truth it would be so bad that she might not be stand the pain it would inevitably cause.

And so now, too many years have gone by, unspoken words, sometimes harsh words, sometimes screaming to be heard words, sometimes speaking softly and gently to her , hoping she would understand the pain the family and  her kids  had suffered by her decisions. Wanting more than anything to have that small girl back, the one with the bright eyes, the big smile , the head full of brains, but she was lost such a long time ago, she wasn’t sure she would ever have that girl back again.

The full circle had come around. She remembers when she was a new mother, watching her beautiful girl sleeping, only now her outer beauty was fading but her inner beauty was still there and sometimes she got a glimmer of it. And just like when she was a little girl, she creeps in to watch her sleeping, to check she is ok, still breathing. She is ok, she’s not always ok, sometimes the bright eyed girl comes through, shining a light at the end of a long tunnel. Now in the other bedroom, lying awake listening to her breathing, shallow breaths, then a long one . She’s ok, she is still breathing, and if she’s breathing she is still alive. Alive to live another day. Maybe tomorrow would be the day her beautiful daughter would make the decision. The one that has been so hard to make, the one that would change her life and put her back on the right path, the one that would give her back to her family. Maybe tomorrow would be the day she says goodbye to her demons  for good.

Perfume

via Daily Prompt: Perfume

We all like to smell nice, men and women alike. It’s part of a daily  ritual for some of us, for others its only for a special occasion and others wouldn’t go out without the door with spraying their fav  scent on.

Introduced by the ancient civilizations, to enhance with aromatic oils and  fragrances what the human body couldn’t make naturally, dabbed onto the pulse points (behind the ears, at the wrists, behind the knees and at the back of the neck)so  the  heat of the body releases the fragrance slowly.  I know what you are thinking, I did the same……my mam WAS telling the truth about where to put perfume!!! I always thought she made that up in an effort to stop my eagerness to apply perfume from head to toe.

Perfume making  has evolved into a billion dollar industry today. We all get caught and pulled in by the advertisements by our favourite movie star, favourite singer or football player. The carefully choreographed adverts, designed to stimulate our  imagination into thinking if we buy the particular product we can have, can be, achieve what the ”star” has, we can get the gorgeous man/woman.  It works, we go out and buy the fragrance, not only to smell nice but to get that feeling of luxury, opulence and desirability, but for all the other enticements too. The  bottle it comes in, the colour , the packaging, all these things are cleverly thought out , tested and designed to catch us. And we like to be caught. Don’t you just love when someone says ”ohh you smell nice, what is your perfume?” And don’t you love it , when you can say it’s the latest on the market, on trend and by your favourite celebrity. Job done!!! Now don’t get me wrong I am guilty too. Just like Kim Kardashian I love/ collect perfume bottles and the prettier the better. They are proudly displayed in my bathroom .The odd time I stand and look at them and think, get rid of the bloody dust collectors, not worth a penny but nice to look at and when visitors use my loo it makes a good conversation topic (when they come out of course)!!  so they stay put. One day I will collect them all and bin them but for now I remember events I wore a certain perfume at, which ones were gifted to me , if I bought it in a foreign country or in a duty-free while on my travels.

So I personally get a lot more from my perfume experience, I smell great, I get feel good factor, I have the memory behind the perfume be it good or bad and I know if I am near anyone at least I am smelling lovely 🙂

 

 

 

Coming home

 

During your time abroad and that can be a long or short  time away, you claim your nationality at every chance, Football matches, traditional songs, stories of your country and how great it is and how green it is. How brilliant the people are, how great the food is, the beer and the whiskey. Your proud of you heritage and  people know about it.

So,what happens when you come home ? You’ve been living overseas for a long time and you decide it’s time. Time to go home.    Only you  discover, that the place is not the same. Your memory of home is not the same as the reality. You thought you’d fit right back in …..it’s your own country after all, your friends, your family are all there, why wouldn’t you just slip back into things?? But the stark reality hits you slowly, you brush off the ”odd” feeling as getting used to things. You and everyone else tells you  to ” give yourself a chance” , everything is different, the weather, the food  , the way of life. You realize that you only connect with people in the past tense.

People have moved on, things have changed, the health system, you can’t understand. How can the country have such a crap system with such a small population, while huge countries have a great system and it works. Why don’t the government learn from them?  The job situation, is unbelievable.  You have never been out of work before, so you have to get in on the system , but you find you have to jump through hoops to even prove you are who you say you are. The unemployment system doesn’t  entice people to get a job. Help with housing, fuel, medical cards, make it easy for  the ordinary ”joe soap” who would be on an  average wage to be  better off  staying at home.  But what if you want to work? want to contribute? Where are all the jobs that  people told you were available? The country is supposed to be on the up!!!!

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The oasis in the Midlands of Ireland

I had the pleasure of staying in the Mullingar Park Hotel on Bank holiday Monday. My daughter chose the hotel as a surprise for me. I had known about this hotel for a long time and it’s one of those places that  you keep meaning to visit but somehow never get around to. So I was excited to see what the hotel had to offer. Located just off the N4 and only an hour from Dublin this really is the midlands. Surrounded by lush green land and trees.

On arrival, I was  greeted by smiling and  polite reception staff. The foyer is large , bright and dominated by a beautiful chandelier and a huge display of fresh flowers. Immediately you can feel yourself relaxing in the calm atmosphere of the hotel. My check – in was quick but professional with all the information I needed. The room, on the first floor was a good size, pristine and had everything a traveller would need. As well as a good sized flat screen TV and the usual room amenities, there was an iron and ironing board,  lovely bathroom toiletries including soap by Paul Costello and of course free WiFi.

I had a reflexology treatment booked for 3:30 , so after  a quick look around I headed to the Leisure Centre. While I was filling out the health check form I had a quick glance around the pool area. Beautiful pool with Jacuzzi and also a sauna and steam room are open everyday for residents and non-residents alike. My treatment was with Linda , who was super friendly and explained what the procedure was as she brought me up to the treatment room. Forty five minutes later I left the treatment room walking on clouds and with a full body exfoliating treatment booked for the next day.

It is better to book a treatment in advance.  There are lots of them to choose from and  Linda  can be contacted via the hotel.

There are  fresh flower arrangements all around the hotel with beautiful orchids and lilies, bringing the outside in. Tall glass cabinets displaying local designers works are available for sale and showcase the talent of the area.

After a short rest in my room and a quick clothes change I went down to the Terrace Restaurant for dinner. There was a fixed 3 course menu and also an A la Carte menu to choose from. I went for the fixed menu, and there was three choices for starter and main course. The dessert of the day and tea or coffee is all included in the 37.50 € price. I had a delicious chicken Caesar salad with house dressing with a selection of fresh breads. The main course for me  was spinach and ricotta ravioli served with mash and vegetables(which seemed a bit strange), but delicious none the less, a glass of house sauvignon blanc was just the right compliment to the pasta. I almost didn’t have dessert, until, that is, I saw the pear frangipane with cream and ice cream on the dessert menu. With my wine  finished and dessert gone there was nothing left but to sit back and enjoy a fluffy latte while my food digested. Dinner is served till 9:30pm. The Courtyard Lounge or the Horse Shoe Bar are ideal for light lunches or  relaxing  with  after dinner drinks.

I had a wonderful nights sleep in a comfy queen bed with crisp white linen and luxurious duvet and pillows. Breakfast, also served in the Terrace restaurant is an open buffet. There is something for everyone from cereals, to fresh fruit salad with yoghurt to a delicious full Irish, with toast and real Irish butter. For those of us with a sweet tooth there is creamy porridge with honey or muffins, croissants and scones. A selection of teas, coffees, juices and water is also on offer.

At 10:30, I made my way to the Leisure centre for my exfoliating treatment. I was so excited to have this, as having travelled for the last 6 months in various temperatures my skin really needed some TLC.  The package includes the full body exfoliation and  head and shoulder massage. It was Heaven,  and a treatment everybody should have as often as possible, not just for good body health but for the feel good factor that it evokes.

Overall this 4 star hotel offers great value for money, with excellent knowledgeable staff, pristine rooms and fresh, tidy  general areas, good food, nice atmosphere and beautiful location. It really is an oasis in the Midlands.

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Mrs Brown …and Irish mammies.

I am an Irish mammy and for those of you who don’t know what this  is exactly, I would like to tell you.

Unlike other mammies  we are not always right , but we are never wrong or so my own mother used to say!!

Wooden Spoons

We are the boss of the house and also of the extended family and we usually rule with a wooden spoon. But despite all the harshness , we are undoubtedly the softest mammies of all and we are blessed with a great sense of humour , a sharp tongue and the patience of a saint that enables us to cope with anything that’s thrown our way. Now, don’t get me wrong , I know all mothers love their children unconditionally but,  God  took pity on  the  Irish mammy gave us a little extra. Not much changes over the years except the ”goings on” in the family but the solutions are much the same. Either a good clip on the head, a severe talking to otherwise known as a bolloking and when all else fails a strong cup of tea which has always proved to be the one thing that makes  everything ok.

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Years ago the daddy of the house or the older brother whoever was the bread-winner got the best meat for dinner and the rest of the family got the cheaper cuts. Your only goal at meal times was to have a job so you could hand up house keeping money and get the nice meat reserved for the money makers in the house. You also had to go according to age ,and the amount of house keeping that was handed to the mother, let me explain:

Main bread-winner dad or in the event of his death , the eldest brother or sister got A pork chop, or the breast of a chicken or on a really special occasion a piece of mouth-watering steak.

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Then it followed according to age , older boys got 3 sausages and more spuds(potatoes).Next in line got 2 sausages and then the youngest had mashed potato and gravy. See what I mean :). You never went hungry, if there was a bag of potatoes and a tray of eggs you could have meals for the whole week.  And so it went on, the girls and boys all had chores but the sibling who was working was spared and they were  occasionally served tea after ”a hard days work”. On the rare occasion there was desert it was divided out in a similar manner. As the years went on and more siblings contributed to the house keeping, the menu became better, the portions bigger and the once rivalry for the best dinner stopped. Except that is why there was a ”fry”. In Ireland that means a full Irish breakfast, and on Saturday or Sunday this was the meal everyone waited for , it was also first come best fed , so you can imagine the craic on those mornings for rashers of bacon, sausages, fried eggs, fried bread and black and white pudding. When you couldn’t eat any more you were ushered off to Mass in your best outfit and hat or mantilla. The customary inquisition about the ceremony and what priest said Mass was part of mammy’s duty every Sunday. That way she knew you went and knew your soul was safe.

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Irish mammies have their own language that all Irish kids know and understand:

She instinctively knows when a coat is needed,

If an Irish mammy asks “are you not bringing a coat?”, you should bring a coat.

She is always up to speed on the weather forecast and has a talent for knowing when it’s going to rain.

She can tell when something is completely dry.

When it has been spun in the washing machine, hung out on the line with a good breeze, then aired on the clothes horse, a week in the airing cupboard and then ironed. Lastly she will do the chin test. Press the item against her chin and will then declare ”that’s dry alright”.

She has a cure for all ailments.

Flat 7 up/ Sprite cures all tummy upsets, bugs anything.

Don’t sit on a damp wall or a radiator or you will get a cold in your kidneys——-

the answer to these problems====wear 2 pairs of knickers.

She knows the Power of Prayer.

Lost items, pray to Saint Anthony.

Don’t know what to do, pray to Saint Rita (Patron saint of hopeless cases)

Need anything at all, pray to Padre  Pio.

MY favourite one is:  Make sure you have clean underwear on , in case you get knocked down and have to go to the hospital. I don’t want the doctors thinking you have a mother who doesn’t care about you!!!!!

The list goes on and on…………………………

All things Irish plan

When I had my own family not much changed except for the meat and portions. Everyone got the same . Our Sunday breakfast was the same scramble to fill your plate and your mug full of freshly made tea, none of this coffee business with a fry. It was the time we all chatted about the week , the disco the  night before , who was wearing what, who shifted who (kissed).  There was no  inquisition but a freedom to go to Mass or not.

The Bank of Mammy is always open, and loans were/are made regularly with the promise ” I will pay you back when I get my cheque” this is still a standing joke at home , and if the loans had ever been paid back they were remade 100 times over. Your were /are also the financial advisor, councillor, organiser, referee , baby sitter,and taxi service.  Collection from the pub was/is another Irish mammy’s job, especially if you don’t live in the town. You have to have a lift in and out if you want any kind of social life. It can be compared to a school run. Bale as many people into the car , hopefully all going the same direction, try to get parking near the pub is impossible due to the other cars of parents equally pissed off that they have to drive out in their pjs in an effort to make sure the kids get home safely. But its done week in week out.

 

Irish mammies worry about what they will leave their children when they die, A house that’s to be divided, money equally divided too , jewellery and of course the bank account that has the funeral money in it. We don’t want to put added pressure on the kids to worry about  who has enough money to bury you.!!! It will be hard enough for them when you die.  Ohh  we are a dying breed.  Will the younger generation continue the Irish mammy traditions?  or,  like me keep some, and make new ones too. We will have to wait and see.