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



Rear Window – Alternative Ending

My husband was out today, so I had the day and the remote control all to myself.  Being at somewhat of a loose end, I decided to boot up Netflix and watch a movie.

I love old movies, especially ones set in the 1950s.  It was an era of when men were men and women were women.  With that in mind, I decided to watch Rear Window with the handsome James Stewart and the stunning Grace Kelly.

I think that most people have probably seen this movie.  If you haven’t, what have you being doing with your life???

The story begins with James Stewart’s character L. B. Jefferies (being stuck in a full leg plaster cast), gazing out the rear window of his apartment, watching all the comings and goings of his neighbours.

For those of you who haven’t seen the movie, I won’t divulge the whole plot.  Now, there is a scene in the movie, when L.B. Jefferies girlfriend Lisa Freemont (played by Grace Kelly) decides to investigate the suspicious goings on of one of Jeff’s neighbours.  In this scene she and Jeff’s nurse are supposed to be checking out something in the safe confines of the shared garden below but Lisa decides that she wants to take things a little further than planned.  Poor Jeff, stuck in a wheelchair, watches in horror as Lisa scales the fire escape ladders and begins to search the suspect’s apartment .

Being that this moving is set in the 1950s, an era when husband’s supposedly ruled the roost.  Don’t you think that Lisa would have had consequences for putting herself in such terrible danger?

I know if I were writing this story, it wouldn’t have ended the way it did.  It would have ended with Lisa getting her bottom well and truly roasted by Jeff because she chose to put herself in mortal danger and then being held lovingly afterwards, while he desperately tried to convince himself that she was truly safe and unharmed (except for the warm butt, of course).




Is My Husband Trying To Tell Me Something?

Little Miss NaughtyI hope that everyone had a lovely Valentine’s day and were treated by their partners with wonderful gifts of chocolates, flowers or meals out.  Maybe some of you were fortunate enough to have been bought all three.

As well as buying me lovely gifts of make-up and a new handbag, my husband bought me these two books.

For the life of me, I really can’t think of any reason why he would purchase them for me :-D.



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