Weekly Photo Challenge: Time


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I don’t wear a watch, I haven’t since I was a teenager. For some reasons never quite worked for me, literally, they would either always decided to go too fast or too slow, or stop altogether – and wearing a watch that does show you the correct time is a bit of annoying.

So I have lived most of my life following my own time, and thankfully there are clocks everywhere to help out in those moments when I loose track of it. And I have to admit there is something quite liberating about not always knowing what time it is exactly.

The Water Clock in the Villa Borghese - by letting water flow out of the encased body of the clock. Water clocks were among the earliest chronometers that did not depend on the observation of celestial bodies, but since the flow of water is hard to control they didn't measure time accurately

The Water Clock in the Villa Borghese in Rome – by letting water flow out of the encased body of the clock time is measured. Water clocks were among the earliest chronometers that did not depend on the observation of celestial bodies, but since the flow of water is hard to control they can’t measure time accurately

battling the bug below the duvet


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After three days and most of today spent with a fever under my duvet I think it’s time to win my battle against this bug. And I have to admit I am quite fed up with having the flu (we are talking proper not being able to move flu, not just a bad cold)  – I couldn’t even read as I was shivering and had a headache, so I spent way too much time sleeping and  watching TV. The upside on that, I suppose, is I have caught up with a lot of series, both good and bad.

But I am fed up for another reason – I feel duped! I took all the vitamins and potions I could and they just didn’t do their job – the bug was stronger. So while I do seem to be coming out from crouching under my bed-covers, and the fever has subsided, I am still not feeling quite like myself. My nose is still stuffy, my chest congested and for some reason my right eye has decided to join in on the fun and has gone all red and puffy – yes I do look a treat.

So being fed up, for now, really just means I’ll be moving from the duvet to my armchair with my hundredth and one cup of hot herbal tea hoping that this bug will soon give up and annoy someone else.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Vibrant


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The world around me is anything but vibrant – grey skies lots of rain and a different storm front everyday. But because winter seems to have taken a grim and grey hold of the world it seems perfect that the theme of the week is vibrant – a visual counterbalance to what we see.

I am looking forward to the vibrancy of spring and summer - Powerscourt Gardens, Wicklow

I am looking forward to the vibrancy of spring and summer – Powerscourt Gardens, Wicklow

ode to a bag


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When I was a teenager my godmother granted my a wish – a beautiful leather satchel from Bree for my birthday. It was a pale leather bag, more pink than brown and at the time I was a little disappointed that it didn’t look like those beat up bags I so coveted.

But more than 25years later and that bag is still by my side and now it displays more than a few wounds. A little while ago I needed to replace the strap – after years of lugging around a lot of stuff it just snapped, and the inside has a patch just over where the handle is supported – again weight caused some havoc.

For years it has held my schoolwork, then my college stuff, both as a student and later a lecturer, it has sat below my desk and come with me on appointments for work and interviews, it has moved cities and countries, been on many a trip and lately my trusty satchel has turned into my mobile office: my laptop fits in perfectly, nestling down behind all of my paperwork, and so do my flask and headphones, right next to my purse, calendar, pencil cases and books. The small pockets in the front are not only the perfect size for my phone, my key slots in nicely too. So, as I cycle from A to B to C, from work to teaching to studying my satchel sits patiently in my large saddle bag awaiting it’s next destination.

Over the years the pale leather has turned golden brown, and displays several scars of being tossed around or bumped. It is one of my oldest possessions and definitely my most used and I can’t image having to be without it.

bag bag2 bag_inside

healthy potions


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Everyone around me seems to have the sniffles, some have even succumb to full blow colds. The spluttering and coughing on the bus has become a permanent fixture and tissues seem to be in in everyone’s hands. For me this is a bit of a worry, since I literally can’t afford to get sick.  With the semester now back in full swing, for both lecturing and my masters, and having just stared my new job my biggest concern – other than getting everywhere on time – is staying healthy.

To help my immune system out I have now added a few healthy potions to my daily diet, in the hope that the flu will pass me by and to keep my energy levels up.

Since I was child I have (mostly) taken cod liver oil in all months that have an ‘r’ – starting in September all the way up to April I have swallowed a spoon-full of the golden goodness or popped a capsule into my mouth while having breakfast.  With the high levels of the vitamins D and A, omega-3  and fatty acids cod liver oil is an old remedy that helps up your immune system, is good for your brain, joints and skin.

A few months ago I started taking a capsule of Rhodiola rosea every morning with my breakfast. This herb has been used since 77Ad and it is said  help with lots of different things. It is thoughts to improve energy levels, enhance immunity and memory,  strengthen the nervous system, fight depression, elevate the capacity for exercise, aid weight reduction. I don’t know if it s working but I haven’t been sick since I started using it so it doesn’t seem to be harming me either!

But now I have added something new – a green powder of a superfood mix. Now I didn’t come up with this on my own but my lovely (extremely health conscious) neighbour told me about it and suggested it would help – in particular for energy levels. A natural skeptic I am not sure if it will help – but it really can’t do any harm since it 100% natural no added sugars and filled with known goodness. So this mix of Maca, Lucuma, Hemp, Barley Grass , Kelp and Spirulina (both seaweed types) is meant to lift up my energy, keep me healthy and add all those vitamins I may otherwise be missing.

And while the powder is really yummy (the one I have is quite savory – tastes of tomatoes and herbs – so I have been putting it into tomato juice or in my salad) I can only hope that this healthy powder does it’s job and all cold bacillus stay away. But if not at least I know I have tried and that’s really all one can do.

rainbow room


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Weather in Ireland often has a mind of its own and at the moment it seems to seek the most amount of variety it can think of. Stormy winds, rain, possibly light snow, frost, mild temperatures and sunshine seems to be what our days will be like in the near future.

But when I came home yesterday the low hanging evening sun was shining in through (my rather dirty I have to admit) windows, causing the prisms in my window to paint dancing rainbows all around my home -it was like walking into a rainbow.

And while today the skies look more like grey gravel than forget-me-not blue I can’t wait to be surprised by the sun again by walking into my very own rainbow room. I just hope I won’t have to wait all too long.

prism rainbows

game night and wine


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A while ago my neighbour and I had talked about having game nights – we both enjoy a good trow of the dice or and a shuffle of cards ever now and then. So last night I wandered down a few meters of the road and knocked at my neighbours door, a  bottle of dark red Primitivo in my hand and the game Phase Ten Masters tucked under my arm.

After some cleaning (how is it that I am still finding Christmas tree needles even though I have cleaned a few times between now and taking down the tree?), doing some washing and trying to get some work done in advance, sitting down for a good chinwag, a glass of vino and playing cards was the perfect ending to a long Sunday.

An added benefit was that I won! Not only the whole game but most of the rounds, even-though my neighbour did cheat (I have no idea what and how she was adding up). There truly is something very satisfying about ending the week with a win and an empty bottle of wine.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Optimistic


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There is something incredibly optimistic about that first flower that dares to bloom, that first blossom that opens up its bud. So when I noticed this morning that the hyacinth I had bought for my kitchen table (a potted plant instead of my usual bunches of flowers) had sprouted it’s first blossom it made me smile. After a week of new beginnings and stressful scheduling a simple purple bloom brighten up the otherwise quite grey day.


long days short nights and lots of stairs


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Finally Friday – after a week of long days and short nights I am truly looking forward to the weekend. Not only am I lacking a few hours sleep I am also longing for a break in climbing four flights of stairs.

Since Tuesday I have had to walk up and down four flights of stairs at least twice a day – always a heavy bag on my shoulder and a little out of breath from cycling through crazy Dublin traffic.

Not only is my new job housed at the very top of an old industrial building four floors up with no lift but also ALL of my classes for my masters are at taking place in the attic – at the very top of the Oscar Wilde house – four extra long flights of stairs up the old Georgian house (high ceilings do have their downsides). And then yesterday I was also teaching in an old building, again all the way up on the attic – so another four flights added to my step count.

So now with the weekend only a few steps away I can’t wait to give my legs a rest – and the rest of me too!

wooden staircase

wooden staircase



preparation is key


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The next two weeks are going to be extremely busy for me. I have a packed schedule and my friends will only see flashes of me as I cycle from one job to the next and climb the stairs to my master classes. I have everything carefully timed and planned out and only hope that rain will stay away – drying off periods are not included in my schedule, nor or flat tyres, so fingers crossed.

But to be able to manage my frantic schedule I will have to pre-prepare – pack my bag in advance and make sure I have lunches tucked away in my saddlebags (I have big red saddle bags that embrace my bike in an eternal hug of practicality).

So yesterday I prepared today’s and tomorrow’s classes, photocopied up a storm (there was actually whirling and twirling of paper as I flicked through pages as fast as I could). And last night (before I had my shower and washed my hair – yes, even personal hygiene has to be scheduled) I packed my bag with all essential paperwork, pens and electronic devices. I even soaked my oats in milk over night to streamline the porridge-making process this morning.

So, yes – preparation is going to be key over the next few weeks and hopefully all will work out as planned. And if any surprises present themselves I just hope they’ll be pleasant ones, ones I’ll love to be interrupted by!




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