procastinatingly packing pre-Christmas parcels


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I should be writing a few assignments for college, I should be grading a few papers for work, I should be working on my novel and shorts stories, I should be ticking off my to-do list, I even should be having a shower – but instead I have spent the morning packing pre-Christmas parcels.

But since today is the first of Advent, and yes I have lit the first candle and indulged in some Christmas Stollen for breakfast, I have to admit I don’t even feel bad about falling behind in all of my ‘shoulds’. I put on Christmas FM, the perfect christmassy radio station, and decided that the perfect way to start this Christmas season was to make sure my nieces and nephews get a little something for Nikolaus (in Germany children polish their shoes/boots and leave them out for Nikolaus on the night from the 5th to the 6th of December in the hope that St Nikolaus will come and fill them with goodies)

So, I wrote a few cards, wrapped a few gifts all while still in my pjs and snuggled up in my new Merino woolen poncho (a birthday gift) and allowed Advent to begin. I love this time of year: wrapping gifts, writing cards, decorating my home, sitting in front of the fire while watching tacky Christmas movies and doing all those other wonderful traditions I have accumulated over the years.

Now all I have to do is drop of my pre-Chritsmas parcels at the post office tomorrow morning and enjoy the next four weeks of HoHoHo-ing and jolly Christmas cheer. But before then, I will jump into the shower and deal with all of my ‘shoulds’, after all I have successfully completed my pre-Christmas parcel packing and have to stop procrastinating for today.

all wrapped up

all wrapped up


Weekly Photo Challenge: Transition


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A good few years ago I spent a few weeks in Morocco, hiking up the Atlas Mountains. It was a wonderful trip filled with transitions: from one place to the next, from sunlight into welcome shade, from one set of ideas to a new one, from one language to another.

It was early spring but already quite hot during the day, yet still cold by night. We walked all day, the sun burning down on us and slept on the roofs at night, the black sky punctured by twinkling stars, nearly close enough to touch.

The transition from day to night night came quite quickly, the temperature would drop and we’d go from hot and sweating, to cold in just a few minutes. We’d spend or days exploring the terrain and or evenings sitting on the flat roofs eating delicious exotic food and telling each other stories.

It was a wonderful trip, one that I still often think about, my mind filled with memories and my heart full of emotions. And on a day like today, when the Irish sky is dark and gray, heavy rain is pelting down on my windows I enjoy remembering the few weeks I spent up in the mountains with the Berbers.

the day transitioning to night

the sun transitioning across the sky, casting welcome shadows

unpleasant U TI(me)


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We all enjoy a little me-time, especially when it wasn’t time that we had planned, for time that just suddenly opens up. That happened to me me yesterday, but the reason is not so pleasant. I awoke with a fever and some abdominal pain so I had to stay home from college and go to the doctor.

Yes, I have somehow contracted an uncomfortable UTI – how, who knows but being a woman there are many ways this could have happened – just having cold feet can be one of them. So now I have had to spend the last two days at home taking antibiotics and feeling low.

But hopefully by drinking lots of mugs of hot tea and sleeping more than usual(why do antibiotic make you so tired?) I will soon be back to my normal self. And while I do admit I have somewhat enjoyed spending some time at home in the middle of the week I hope the next time I find myself with some unexpected me-time it won’t involve tablets and doctor visits.


late birthday treats


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It’s been a week since my birthday but somehow I have been surprised by treats every day since. Some letters in the post and a few stray parcels were just the beginning of my week long celebration.

Last night I spent a evening tucked away behind an inconspicuous black door in the Vintage Cocktail Club, sipping coloured drinks and eating delicious nibbles with four wonderful women I call friends. It was a chat-fllled night with lots of laughter and fun – the perfect way to end a long week.

Today a steady flow of drizzle has been dampening the mood but my neighbour and I spent the afternoon over some delicious cake and coffee, chatting and entertaining her adorable toddler. We even ended up in the park playing in the rain, laughing and enjoying a lovely November afternoon.

There has been something quite wonderful about making my special day last for a while, instead of one big party and a shower of love I’ve had a trickle of gifts and events, every day filled with moments of surprises and that warm hug of joy never quite went away.

But now it seems it’s time to put away my birthday, pack away my cards and let normality return to my every day life. Not for long though, as Sunday is the first of Advent and a month long celebration of my favourite time of year will have arrived at my doorstep.


Looking forward to decorating my tree in a few weeks – I do love all of my shoe decorations



battling barney on my bike


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Over the last few days it’s been particularly windy and wet here in Dublin and it’s all big bad Barney’s fault. Barney is a massive storm front that, after Abigail’s blustery visit last week, has been creating lots of havoc- thousands were without electricity last night and trees were blocking roads everywhere today – with it’s wind speeds of up to 70-80kmh and  incredible gusts of 130kmh.

Since I have been cycling in and out of town since September it wasn’t very surprising that I got caught up in the winds yesterday on my way home, many so strong that I was nearly knocked sideways (I have big red saddle bags), I even had to push for a while not quite trusting my steely steed.

And this morning I was very close to either staying home (the weather was practically just sheets of rain and whipping winds) or giving in and taking the bus. But as I was shrugging on my jacket the rain stopped and while it was still windy it seemed to have calmed down a bit. So with that I decided to brave Barney again and cycle in to college.

Surprisingly all went well, I stayed dry even if I was a little bit out of breath, the wind was against me. But on the way home, Barney was still being gentle, I suddenly heard a big bang- like a gunshot – my tire had burst, violently and loud.  After a small, dangerous, wobble I dismounted and pushed home. Sadly the flat is so big I will need to take it the shop tomorrow, I can’t fix it on my own.

So while I may have won my battle against big bad blustery Barney, in the end I lost to something small lying on the road.

for a safe ride

for a safe ride

late night cake


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cake2 cake1

It was my birthday yesterday and somehow I managed to spend the whole day without eating any cake – no birthday cake, no celebration cupcake, no ta-da donut – nothing, Nada.

So, on my way home from my late night lecture – I try to keep my students awake and involved every Monday from 8-9.30pm – I decided it was time for a muffin, a little bit of sweet to end my birthday on.

But when I got home the phone kept ringing, the minutes flew by and my muffin sat uneaten on a plate, neglected. Then I needed to do the washing-up, pack my bag for today and make sure I had all my printouts ready to go. By the time I finally got to sit down and read the few last pages for class the clock had struck twelve and it wasn’t my birthday anymore.

The blueberry muffin still sat uneaten on the kitchen table and I had spent my entire birthday without cake. I was unhappy with this, and so was my tummy – dinner had been a long six hours ago and the noisy rumbling wouldn’t let me forget it.  So, to my tummy’s satisfaction, I decided that since I hadn’t gone to bed yet it was still my birthday and I enjoyed some late night cake as a last birthday treat.

it’s my b-day so I’ll write if I want to


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birthdayAt 7.30am this morning the postman was surprised at how quickly I answered the door, but then it is my birthday and I was hoping for post. And there is truly no better way to start your day than opening a few parcels and letters over breakfast.

Then my  morning was peppered with phone calls, visits, emails and texts, making me feel loved and cared for. But as the day flew by I still had a few things to do, work just doesn’t care if you would rather be spending time celebrating, so I’ve ended up sitting at my desk writing emails .

But now, as the day turns to evening I think it’s time to sit and write, after all my next MfA deadlines are on the horizon and I need to get typing. So, while work is still trying to lure me back, i have decided that it’s birthday and I’ll write if I want to – and yes I think I may even indulge in some chocolate marzipan hearts as I do so.

Weekly photo challenge: Victory


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xs and os

Xs & Os

I love playing games, the old fashioned kind that involve a board, cards or a few dice and while of course I love to win, I actually really just enjoy the playing (and yes my sister and brother may now be huffing and puffing in disbelief).

The sense of excitement when you hold the perfect cards in your hands, and the feeling of dismay when you know your going to lose. That tingle of hope when it’s your turn and you dare to believe that you’ll throw the right number on your dice and the thrill when you beat everyone and can declare your victory – and when you can’t, the knowledge that you can always play another game.

Unlike in life, playing games allows for do-overs and maybe that is why they don’t ever seem to go out of style. And since most games require two or players they create a space for laughter, fun, arguments and lots of time spent together.

a season for birthdays


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Every year, when autumn shakes the leaves from the trees and colours our days grey and nature hues of orange, a season of birthdays begins for me. There are aunts, my sister, a cousin, friends and then finally me, who celebrate getting older and hopefully a little wiser.

So, at this time of year, I spend some of my time writing cards and wrapping gifts, sending parcels and making phone calls, all to congratulate and celebrate some of my favourite people on this planet.

Today it’s my lovey neighbour’s turn to jubilate in the simple fact that she is turning a year older, and I will be taking her out for a cup of coffee and some cake to mark her special day. And since it is her birthday I think she also deserves to unwrap a few surprises, even if only small ones.

And I have to admit, I enjoy this prelude to Christmas as I don’t think there is anything nicer you can do with your free time, than show people that you love them, think about them and make them feel special.

a few birthday treats

a few birthday treats


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