So, last week we got away for an early Valentine’s night away to the “Royal County” of Co. Meath, just down the road from, Dublin. It was our first night away with Benji, Charlie’s little doggy. So, we were delighted to find that Bellinter House Hotel near Navan is dog-friendly.
We had been advised that Benji could stay with us in a Courtyard Room. These rooms are converted stables which are ideal for doggies as they open straight onto the outside. Benji was also allowed into the reception, bar and study (for dining).
Getting out of the car, Charlie dropped Benji's lead and the latter took off up across the beautiful grounds like a bat out of hell. Charlie took after him but Benji thought it was a chase and thought
For over 27 years I have sponsored a number of little children through CCF (now Child Fund of Ireland). It began in the summer of 1996; I was doing well at work and thought it might be a nice idea to help out a child less fortunate. I asked to be matched with a little girl if possible as I hoped to be able to help in her education even in a small way of £15 a month. Studies have shown that an
In 1978, as we were leaving 6th class in the Presentation Convent, our teacher Sr. Pius allowed us to have a class party in school. We were heading off to secondary school (high school), some to Greenhill and some to the Tech; so, we didn’t know if we’d be seeing each other ever again. Twelve-year-old girls being twelve-year-old girls, I remember there being a lot of dramatic good-byes and heartfelt promises to always stay in touch. Forever. (For the most part we have!)
One of the best things about the Christmas holidays is that you have time to revisit some of your favourite movies. This year I got to watch the almost 30-year-old film “Forrest Gump” again – one of my all-time favourites. Yep…it really did come out in 1994!! When Forrest says that line “My momma always said ‘life was like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get’, no one ever spoke a truer word. The film superbly plays on emotion throughout, finely balancing comedy and tragedy and to me that’s a good description of life in general….comedy and tragedy.
One of the truly unusual aspects of being Irish is that weird habit we have of sometimes saying the exact opposite of what we mean. “I will yeah!” can mean “I absolutely won’t” and “shut up, you. Ya weirdo!” can mean “I love you very, very much”! The last one in particular could be classed as “slagging”. Slagging is a term used to describe a kind of harsher form of teasing.
In 1987 I passed my final accounting exams and for the next 30 years I worked in finance. I worked in general accountancy with Jim Gilligan and John Walsh at Gilligan & Co., then in international tax with Arthur Andersen, then in aircraft leasing with Sunrock (the Irish subsidiary of the huge Nissho Iwai Japanese sogo shosha) and then as Head of Finance at the Irish Stock Exchange until 2017. I made lifelong friendships. I also had the privilege of working with businesses from the
It’s hard to believe that it’s over 11 years ago since I went with Charlie and James to the Aviva Stadium in Dublin to see the one and only Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta aka Lady Gaga for her Born This Way Ball performance.
IOM TT 2009
As a child, I loved sending away for brochures and catalogues; my favourites being holiday brochures. Before the internet was a thing, you had to fill in and cut out a request coupon from the newspaper, send it by post and wait a week or two for the brochure/ catalogue to arrive with the postman. That’s how I first saw pictures of the Isle of Man, that beautiful self-governed British protectorate in the Irish Sea hallway between Ireland and the UK. I learned about the picturesque towns of Douglas (the main town), Peel and Port Erin … the Great Laxey Wheel and Castle
My mam and dad grew up in a time when many rural families had a working donkey or two. Nowadays, not many Irish families have donkeys of the four-legged kind anymore. My parents often told me stories of how stubborn they could be but also how hard they worked.
They also told me the story of the donkey and the well. It goes like this…
Now, the above is not an invitation….but the words of one of the most famous songs from the place I went to celebrate my birthday recently – Carlow. Actually, Tullow’s fabulous Mount Wolseley Hotel and Spa to be exact.
My beloved mother Peggy passed away in Feb 2014. It took me a few weeks to gather my courage to go through her “bits and bobs”. In a blanket box behind the bedroom door, I found the bundle of letters tied with a red ribbon. Forty years ago this year, my best friend Catherine and I had
One of my favourite Irish cities is Kilkenny in our neighbouring county. It’s a great pint-sized city to socialise in and many a Friday evening did I want to get off the bus as I passed through the thronged streets on the way home to Carrick from Dublin. It’s known as the marble city as the black Kilkenny marble was used from the 17th to the 19th century.
But for most Irish people over 50 like me, Co. Kilkenny …as well as being famous for hurling……will be forever tied to that well-loved fictional family from the fictional townland of Leestown in County Kilkenny, the Riordans!!
Doing Your Family Tree
The wedding photo on our wall at home of Peggy’s grandparents, John Gough and Alice Mulcahy, first got me interested in family trees and genealogy. I wondered what their life had been like in Massachusetts, what had brought them back to Ireland in 1899 and what had become of their family…. especially their daughters born in America who had re-emigrated.
I got a Facebook reminder that this time ten year’s ago I was on holidays at the Riu Nautilus Hotel in Torremolinos. This particular holiday is special to me as it was the last one I took abroad with my Mammy Peggy as she passed away six months later. In 2013, this was a return trip to this hotel for both of us as we had spent a great week there in August of 2008.
Although I’m originally from South Tipperary, I have to admit that I haven’t seen a lot of the county. So, this week I jumped at the chance when I was invited to stay with my lovely cousin Rose near Thurles. We got to see the famous Rock of Cashel, enjoy Afternoon Tea in the Cashel Palace Hotel, be entertained at a great Irish-night at the Brú Ború Cultural Centre, travel down to Coolishal, Kilsheelan (Co. Waterford) where my great grandparents lived for a time before having a snack at the Horse & Jockey Hotel. This week’s blog tells how I got on.
My name is Mary and this is my bucket list blog ...having survived a near-death experience. I hope it encourages you to "live your best life". See how I'm completing my own bucket list items. And let me know how you're getting on with yours!