Weekly Photo Challenge: Early Bird

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my morning cuppa with some toast - it will be a long drive - and the route mapped out on a post-it

my morning cuppa with some toast – it will be a long drive – and the driving route mapped out on a post-it

my over nightbag

my overnight bag

Today I am the early bird! My alarm went off at 5am and I was not very happy about that. But since I am off to Ballybunion, all the way on the other side of Ireland, in Kerry on the Westcoast, I do need a good few hours of driving to get me there by 10am.

I will be joining a whole host of wonderful women for the Women in Media conference and I have been looking forward to it all weekend. If last year is anything to go by, I won’t be disappointed, so the long drive and the early morning will have been worth it.

After all isn’t the saying ‘the early bird catches the conference’ ?

 

 

quick lunch on the quays

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quayYesterday was another one of those days that was filled with a few too many things and only very little time to catch up with your own thoughts.

After a busy morning at DBS – finishing up some end of year projects, getting pages printed, an important meeting about my teaching hours next semester and putting the student magazine to bed,- my tummy was grumbling and demanded immediate attention.

I had about 30minutes to grab a bite to eat before I had to go to a writing work-shop and I decided to enjoy the spring sun down on the quays.

Dublin is divided into two halves, by the river Liffey. And while I work on the south side I live on the north side, and so does the Irish Writers Center, where the workshop was being held.

I grabbed a sandwich, a hot cup of cappuccino and sat down on the boardwalk and enjoyed my quick lunch while watching the sparkling Liffey flow by. The sounds of the city all around me, pigeons eying my food with hopeful glances and tourists posing for photos entertaining my thoughts.

And while it was only a short break in my busy day, the blue skies and sunshine did give me a sense of a mini break, a perfect spring day that makes you smile.

needing more time

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This week I am extremely busy. Between working all off last weekend and my students completing their end of year projects, designing and editing a small local magazine and getting all of my grading done I have no time whatsoever.

It is only Wednesday morning and I feel if it should be much later in the week, but at least I will be (hopefully) meeting my wonderful friend J. before she heads back to Berlin at some point.

And I do have something else to look forward to. On Saturday I will be driving right across Ireland to Ballybunion on the west coast to take part in a Women in the Media conference. The only problem is it means getting up at 5am in the morning to arrive in time for the first symposium, and I know I will be longing for more time in bed when that alarm rings. However a few hours of lost sleep is a price I am very willing to pay for this great event.

I went last year and it was wonderful. Lots of amazing women (and a few supportive men) talking about the world of media. A great place to meet like-minded ladies, network and just have fun.

A bonus is that Ballybunion is truly beautiful, if a little deserted at this time of year. Situated right by the sea and littered with sandy coves it is very relaxing and I can’t wait for my mini-break away.

But until then, I will just keep busy and count down the days and make sure my camera is charged for the weekend. After all I am sure to have few hours in the afternoon to take a couple of photos, like these I took last year.

seat steps gate

surprise parties and cupcakes

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cakeYesterday I spent my evening surprising a friend J. She is a wonderful Irish lass who has made a home in Berlin, and is back in Dublin for a few days to visit friends and family alike. Since her big three-O is arriving in a few weeks her adorable sister decided to throw her a surprise birthday party.

Over the past few weeks she has been plotting and planning and yesterday all her hard work could be seen written all over J’s face. When she opened the door and everyone shouted surprise she was overwhelmed with emotions. She couldn’t hold in her tears of joy and spent must of the evening in a state of disbelief and excitement.

J’s mum and dad wined and dined us and offered cupcakes in vibrant pinks and blues. As the evening wore on and turned into night I grew tired and left the party well past midnight. But before I went I was given a reminder of a great night with an old freind and many new ones in the delicious (unhealthy) shape of a cupcake.

So as I sit at my desk today, working on several projects all at once, my head spinning my fingers typing, I look forward to an afternoon treat and will relive some of the fun of a successful surprise party.

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge – Floating

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discarded in water

When I read the title of the challenge I instantly thought of the photo I took while Hamburg back in February. I was going for a walk with my adorable (then eight months old) and I came across this floating sphere in a ditch.

I have no idea what it is, a lid or a hubcap or who knows what, but it does look like it has been there for a while. I love the way the light created the dancing shadow lines across the water (they are from a semi abandoned greenhouse).

dead toaster revived

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It finally happened, I have been expecting, anticipating it for months now, my toaster died this morning. It did so in quite a dramatic fashion. The toast popped and all lights went out, leaving my kettle half boiled and me a  little stunned.

I flicked the switch on my fuse-box and all electrical goods beeped, peeped and bleeped back to life and I put the kettle back to boil. As I munched my toast my mind wandered and I forgot what had happened not 20 minutes earlier and put a new slice into the slots and, no surprise, the same thing happened again. the toaster popped out the lightly baked bread and blew the fuse again.

I resigned to the fact that the toaster had lived out it’s useful life, after about eight years of toasting and popping not a bad investment. Too busy to do anything much about it I left the dead toaster where it lives on the kitchen counter, to be disposed of at a later time

But then the strangest thing happened.

When I came back from lecturing I reheated the leak and carrot soup I had made last night and without thinking popped the last slice of toast into the toaster to dip and thunk. I made my tea, waited for the pop and buttered the toast, when suddenly I remembered the fiasco this morning. Somehow my toaster has revived itself and will live to pop for another day.

revived toaster

revived toaster

 

sunny days

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sunshine over Dollymount Strand

sunshine over Dollymount Strand

Over the past few day Dublin has been bathed in beautiful sunshine. Near cloudless skies and warm sunshine has changed everyone’s mood, happy smiles, sockless feet and t-shirts are everywhere you look.

The only downside to this sunny weather is the fact that most of us are all stuck indoors most of the time – working. Fluttering outside to enjoy a few rays during lunch or deciding to walk home instead of taking the bus, a cup of coffee in hand, the brave even opting for ice-cream, is all most of us can do to enjoy these gorgeous days.

Sadly these sunny days aren’t here to stay and come tomorrow Dublin will paint it’s face grey again. Puddles will replace those sunny pockets in the streets and clouds will colour the skies dark shades of blue.

With that in mind I will try and make the most of today, try and squeeze an hour to enjoy the sunshine while it lasts. But since I do have an extremely busy weekend ahead of me I won’t mind the change in weather too much, I just hope the sun will return once schools out for summer.

late night encounters

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late night on North Strand

late night on North Strand

I was teaching late last night so I decided to drop in Dragana and see how her wonderful project #100Muses is coming along, and I have to say it is looking stunning. I brought a bottle of wine and we sat and chatted until very late into the night.

It was close to 2am when I left and as I wandered down the nearly deserted North Strand I couldn’t help but feel very grateful for the place that I live in. The moon was nearly full and illuminated the sleeping world around me.

I was close to home when I heard my name being called and as I turned around someone I know was on her bike right behind me. It was such an odd place and time to meet, but I hadn’t seen her in a while and we chatted for a while, as if it were mid-afternoon, not well past midnight.

After a hug and a promise to meet for coffee, she cycled off into the night and wandered the few hundred meters home alone, a smile on my face loving my late night encounter.

 

having a happy Easter

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Having a quiet Easter is turning out to be wonderful. Yesterday afternoon I spent my time baking an Easter loaf and this morning I am loving the fact that I did, it really does make for a very yummy breakfast.

Last night my friend Dragana invited me and another friend D. over to dinner. She cooked a delicious chickpea and  chorizo stew. As the three of us sat over bowls of comfort food and filled Dragana’s new home with laughter I couldn’t but think of Shakespeare’s three witches, but in the best possible way.

As the evening grew dark we walked down to my local, the Annesley House, and enjoyed a night of poetry, music and dance. The first performance we saw was by the incredible duo Nic Gareiss and Maeve Gilchrist from “This is How we Fly”.

Maeve was like some sort of delicate elfin being who plucked her harp with grace, creating wonderful melodies that Nic danced along to. I have never seen such a magnificent combination, his soft shoes tapping out a beat to support the harp, sand changing the sound, the height of his jumps mixing up the beat. If you haven’t heard of them before, do check them out you will be in for an incredible treat, just click here and enjoy: Maeve Gilchrist and Nic Gareiss.

Over G&T we then listened to poems by Demitra X and later to the punk influenced by BeRn, and as the night came to an end Dragana met a few future muses (#100Muses outtakes of #MyOwnUnknown) and that alone was worth the night.

Today I just enjoy a few marzipan Easter Eggs, maybe later a walk on the beach and I will use my free time to write and just enjoy the day. All in all I have to say I really am having a perfectly happy Easter.

easter loaf2

 

 

 

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