Happy St Patrick’s Day 2019

To Post or Not to Post, That is the Question?

In this digital word, it fantastic how quickly we can reach all our friends with just one little post. Whether you are using a Blog, Facebook, Instagram or one of the many other platforms out there, in mere seconds you can let the world know what is going on in your life.

I’m a bit of a private person as you can probably see by how often I post.  Please believe me I have my share of dramas.  My husband’s health problems alone, could have me posting on a bi weekly basis.  Whilst I am sure I would get some very genuine support from all the lovely people out there, it’s just not my way.  When I can’t talk to my husband (which is very rare), I have my two sisters who are always available with a shoulder to lean on or even my best friend who has become like a third sister.  Between them, I get all the support I need to get though whatever difficultly I am currently facing.

The reason why I am doing this post, is because of an issue that has come up in work.  A member of staff is currently off with stress due to losing her pet.  I’m not going to try and belittle her loss, I know how much her pet meant to her.  She is now entering her third month off and her absence is causing major stress to all her colleagues who are having to pull up the slack, to make sure her programme is covered.  I don’t work in her field but even my team have had to cover activities in order to meet the demands of the day.

The point that I’m trying to make is, that while she’s been off with the stress of losing her pet, she’s been actively posting on her various multi media platforms on how she’s been away for the weekend, or how she’s been off to have beauty treatments done or been off to the personal trainer for a session.  The image she is portraying is not one of someone who is heartbroken over the loss of her pet.

The same lady had a member of her own team off a few years ago, also with stress.  This poor woman was having a very difficult time with a teenage son with severe ADHD.  Her mother very kindly sent her out to have a beauty treatment done to cheer her up and like her colleague, she decided to post on Instagram of what was happening.  When she eventually came back to work, she was given such a horrible time by her co-worker, that on more than one occasion, she ended up in my work area in floods of tears.  Will karma bite her on the ass when she eventually returns to work?  Who knows?

So, back to my original question “To Post or Not to Post”?  Have people become so focussed on having any digital presence at all, that they don’t think of the significance of what they are posting beforehand?  With many employers now investigating the digital presence of potential job candidates beforehand, how many people are doing themselves more harm than good by careless posting?  Let’s face it, once it’s out there, it’s very difficult to remove it.



I Want a Second Opinion!!

Today we attended one of my husband’s regular check ups at the hospital.  During his last visit, we had discussed with the Consultant the side effect of Chemo Brain and in order to rule out any other possibilities, she decided to send him for a brain scan.

Today we got the results of the scan.  One of two things were discovered.

  1.  A presence of a brain was confirmed; and
  2. Everything appeared to be normal.

Having been married to him for over twenty years, I demand a second opinion!!!  😀




Hobbies & Interests

Like many other authors out there, writing is just one of many things that hold our interests.  I love the comforts of home and am always looking at ways to make our house more aesthetically pleasing.  My  Pinterest pins are pretty much filled with home décor pieces and ideas (I know, very sad).

I’m a greater lover of French Country style and have been trying to incorporate this look and feel into our home.  One of the ways I’ve tried to do this, is by restoring a small writing bureau that a family member very kindly bought for me, more than a decade ago.

At the time it was purchased, we were told that it was an Edwardian piece.  I had always suspected that it was later, as the legs were a little too plain for that time.  Although the Edwardian era wasn’t as extravagant as the Victorian era, there was still an elegance about the things they produced.

After doing a lot of research (you’d be amazed by how many pictures there are of small writing bureaus), I finally came across this picture, which was a match for my desk.  It was in fact, manufactured in the 1920s.

When we purchased it, it wasn’t in great shape.  The varnish had begun to peel off the front and pieces of veneer had come away from the side of the leather inset.  Having lived with it for over a decade in it’s poor state, I finally decided to give it a face lift using chalk paint and decoupage.

I have tried a couple of different kinds of chalk paint over the years and for furniture, I have found Annie Sloan’s range the easiest to use.  Saying that, it has taken a few trial and error pieces for me to get the hang of it.  Although they say you can use any kind of natural bristle brush, it wasn’t until I purchased her range of brushes that I found my painting vastly improve.

For the outside I used Paris Grey and on the inside Pure White.  Let me say, I am not a fan of the colour grey but having seen the finished results of this paint, I am quickly changing my mind.  As the drawer ornaments were not in good shape, I purchased a range of differing sized handles from IKEA.

For the decoupage on the inside, I used scrapbooking paper in shades of black and white and using Modge Podge, I glued them to the inner drawer fronts and to the rather shabby leather inset.


Although I am really pleased with how the piece turned out there is one thing that has always annoyed me about the bureau and that is when I use my laptop on it, I have next to no room for the mouse.

Since completing this project, I have purchased another bureau from a charity shop.  This one has a much wider desk to it, giving ample room for my laptop and mouse mat.  The little bureau, I have relocated to our bedroom, where it looks beautiful in it’s own little corner of the room.  Not only that, it now offers me another location to work.  That’s a win, win in my book.

Now it’s time to think about re-vamping the replacement!



Chemo Brain

Chemo Brain or Cognitive Fatigue is something that over the last few months, we have become very aware of.   It’s something I think more people need to know about, especially if you have a  family member, friend or colleague who has had Cancer or is going through Cancer treatment.


According to Macmillan Cancer Support –


It’s not clear how many people develop problems with their concentration or memory during or after cancer treatment. Different research studies suggest quite different figures. But as many as 78 in 100 (78%) of people with cancer may be affected. It can affect both men and women.

Chemo brain refers to changes in memory, concentration and the ability to think clearly. Your doctor may call these problems cancer-related cognitive changes (CRCC). At the moment we don’t know exactly what causes these problems, or how many people are affected by them.

The symptoms of chemo brain were first linked to chemotherapy. But the term chemo brain can be misleading. Changes in memory and concentration can affect people with cancer who haven’t had chemotherapy.

Symptoms are mild or subtle. But they can be frustrating and affect everyday life.

This has certainly been the case for us.  When my husband was given the wonderful news that he was in remission, we thought that we would finally be able to get on with our lives but sadly this has not been the case.  Because of his history, every lump and bump had to be investigated which meant a lengthy trip to the local A & E Department and now because of the cognitive fatigue, working has become difficult.  Finding out that there was a reason for the forgetfulness, on one hand, was a great relief but on the other, it meant a whole new dilemma to deal with.

We are being optimistic that it will pass and have resorted to (among things) good old check lists to help him remember things.  The only problem that has come up so far, is he keeps forgetting to look at his check list.  Or has he? 😉




An Old Irish Blessing

I know I’ve posted this one before but seeing as it’s St Patrick’s Day, it seems very appropriate.




Happy Valentine’s Day

I know over the years, more verses have been added to this poem but these are the ones that I have always found amusing.  Hope they make you smile as much as they make me!

When they were handing out brains, I thought they said pains and didn’t take any.

When they were handing out looks, I thought they said books and didn’t order any.

When they were handing out chins, I thought they said gins and ordered a double.

When they were handing out noses, I thought they said roses and ordered a big one.

When they were handing out knees, I thought they said trees, and asked for some big knobby ones…


Happy Valentine’s Day to you all.




Love a Cup of Tea

This was just too cute not to share

Yesterday morning when my husband poured himself a cup of tea, the bubbles in the cup formed a cute heart shape.  Couldn’t have achieved this if we tried!  This happened to me one morning too, never thought that it would occur again.

We love our cups of tea and apparently they love us too.



Co. Mayo & The Co. Sligo Phenomenon!

Our tour of Ireland continues, month by month.  In February we travelled to Co. Donegal and this month, we travelled to Co. Mayo.  I won’t blame you, if like me you immediately envision a bottle of Helmans Mayonnaise upon hearing the name of the county.

Anyway, Newport was our destination, a small town located on the west coast of Ireland, the ancestral home of the late Grace Kelly.  There are accounts of Grace visiting Newport and wandering the streets, conversing with the locals.  She purchased the home her grandfather had resided in, with the intention of turning it into a holiday home.  Sadly, she died a few years later and the house was forgotten about, falling into disrepair.

Now we can’t have a holiday without visiting a stately home.  This time, we visited the beautiful Westport House, located in the town of Westport.

This beautiful stately home was built in 1650, on the foundations of one of the many castle’s that the pirate queen of Connacht, Grace O’Malley owned.  Colonel John Browne and his wife Maud Burke, Grace O’Malley’s great-great-granddaughter were the first residents of this magnificent house.

Sadly the house having been the ancestral home for the Browne family for several hundred years was sold in January to a local family.  The new owners have plans to invest 50 million euro in the property which can only have a positive outcome.

As you can see from the servants bell pull system of the downstairs rooms, there are quite a few rooms.

There are over thirty rooms  in total, that you can see into in the house but my favourite room was definitely the ladies parlour.

When we visited, the morning sun poured in through the window, bathing the room in a warm and inviting light.  The choice of floral fabrics and carpets, gave the room a very feminine look.

This was the room the women would entertain visitors in and also where the lady of the house would meet with the servants, to plan the day to day running of her home.



Now, on to the next part of my title.  On our way to and from Co. Mayo, we passed through the county of Sligo. While on the N16, passing some pretty spectacular and breath taking scenery.  In the Glencar area, we came across this amazing phenomenon of a triquetra in the middle of a forest.

When I came back, I decided to do a bit of research on the area and discovered that the spectacular view was a private venture planted in the mid ’80s by the McCabe Family.  They planted the whole hill known as ‘Tormór’ which included the Celtic design of the triquetra / Trinity Knot with Japanese Larch on Sitka Spruce.

Amazing, don’t you think!

Until the next leg of our Journey (Co. Kildare in April).



Happy St Patrick’s Day



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