Happiness in a flower

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I meant to write this post a month ago, when I seen those green shoots starting to poke their heads out, sniffing at Spring, so I better write it now before it’s not relevant. I think daffodils have to be one of my most favourite flowers. They remind me of happy things. I mean look at them, on a cold, dreary wintery morning, they are a little flash of sunshine, a little beacon of light on a dull day. I promise you when I see them, even when I’m in a foul mood, they give me that little ping of “YAY!”, even if it is only for a second (on a particular rotten day like) and I always think of Wordsworth’s poem…

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

They remind me of my Grandad, who had them and tulips all over his gardens. Even when the 14520513_10208717576710970_5972241006798313006_ngarden was reduced back to become part of the cow’s field, the daffodils left behind still shot up, hardy and strong every year. I loved my Grandad to bits and pieces, I loved his gardens and so I love daffodils for reminding me of him.

Most of all though, daffodils remind me of my first hard working, big girl job. I’m talking money in an envelope, into your hand at the end of the week….woooo!! I remember seeing a flyer pinned up in Killeen’s shop, daffodil pickers wanted! Daffodil pickers! Bejayzus! Just up the road in Croghan too, over the Easter holiday. I thought, how hard can it be… I’ll mention it to Ash.

God it was two or three of the best weeks I’ve ever had. We thought we were the bees knees…proper working folk at 14/15.  Every night I’d get me packed lunch ready and make sure I had a supply of plastic bags for the day my wellies finally gave in and got a leak. Every morning I’d be up at 7, like a real manin (pronounced man-een…I can’t for the life of me figure out where the i with a fada is on this yoke!) horse the porridge down and cycle up to Ash’s to meet her. We’d cycle up to Croghan and down behind the football pitch where fields of daffodils were waiting to be picked. Frank was our “boss”, a fairly gruff dude from Daingean, he gave us a run through of how to pick a daff. Em yep, you can’t just pick any old daffodil, there were requirements to be met…these babies were shipping to Engerlish supermarkets for selling ya know!

We’d spend probably from 8 til 11, when you’d have a tea break, if you were lucky enough to have a flask, bent over lonnnnng drills, seeking out unbloomed daffodils, at least 25cms long, to pick and bunch into groups of 10 and then stack in your crate. We got 25p a bunch…£25 a crate. This may well have been some kinda slave-like type labour and in fairness conditions were fairly poor compared to the luxuries pickers have today….wellies, wetsuits and sleeeeves provided!!! On site toilets!!! Pfffft!! If you were a girl picker you’d to take your friend with you to find decent bush to hide behind and watch out for the lads perving, and God help any of us if we needed a poo!! Still we had great craic. At about 12.30, we’d all quit for lunch and head to the beaten down old hayshed for a bitta warmth. I say warmth, but generally it would still freeze the balls off a brass monkey. Some laugh then lads, sandwich swapping, how many crates have you filled, who’s shifting who, where’s them two snuck off to, truth or dare and the odd ruck. Frank might even crack a smile during this time.

It was hard work, mostly being bent over all day and with wearing gloves being a hinderance,  you tended not to wear them and ended up with numb, battered fingers due to the cold and thorns or nettles (depending on how near the hedges your drills were). That, was the hardest work, ‘cos you get good at picking the ‘dils. Ash, myself, Darren and Mike got so good, Frank selected us for picking elsewhere…..ooooooh! We’d meet in Rhode at 6.30 and a bus would pick us up and take us off to the far side of Rathangan for the day. One day, a lorry picked us up! Yep, a lorry! I’m talking a 7.5 tonne tarp covered lorry. The four of us were loaded up into the back of it, no windows and only crates to slide around on…no seatbelts here lads…and driven off to God knows where (turned out to be the far side of Tullamore). Frank and his son would already be there, so we’d stick together and every evening, he’d drive us back to Rhode, with a pitstop at his house for tea, cakebread and a fry up. Those were my favourite nights.

It’s funny isn’t it….some mornings not knowing where you were heading, travelling round in the back of a lorry, not getting home til between 5 and 8 in the evening….all this without a seatbelt or a phone! (It’s also crazy thinking on our parents parts too…like trust us to do all this but try and get them to let you to the bouncered up Harriers at the weekend…forgit aboud it!) Our parents never knew sometimes, where we were or who we were with,yet trusted we’d stay alive and safe for a day. Seems nuts now. I wonder will my Monkey ever experience anything like this? Sadly the world is a crazier place now, I think.

What’s your favourite flower and why?

God, Spring would be woeful sad without daffodils.

Donna xx

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The thoughts of a “wunner”

It’s 6.45 and my alarm is going off. I didn’t go to bed ’til 1.20. I press snooze. It’s 6.50, the alarm’s going again. I press snooze. Ugh! Why am I doing this? Do I really need to get up? It’s 6.55, my alarm is going off, I press dismiss and reluctantly drag my ass outta the leaba (bed for anybody not from the Motherland).

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I’m halfway through week 3 of a Couch to 5K app, I’ve done the hard part this morning…I got outta bed. I feel a bit like Rocky now. I’m up, I’m at ’em. I’ve done me stretching…let’s do this sh*t!

So this week, it’s a 28 minute workout, alternating between jogging for 90secs, brisk walking for 90secs, jogging for 3mins and brisk walking for 3mins, with a 5min warm up and cool down either end….

20170322_000447First 90secs: Wooo! Yeah! Feeling pretty fly for a white girl! Eh? What’s that? Stop running already? Sure I am Usain Bolt lads.

Walkie, walkie…walking briskly…of course.

First 3mins: Phew…starts ok. Ugh..is 3 minutes really this long? Ok! Fine! Fine! Just get on with it Don. Pant! Pant! Hmm…what will I have for breakfast? God, normally I wouldn’t even be up now. Pffft! Puff! Pant! Wheez! Jeezus! Have I any clothes ironed for work? Oh Lord, has Monkey a clean jumper? Why has this one not said stop running yet?

Ding!! AT LASSST! Walk time. Oh my God! Really, why am I doing this? Pant! Pant! Wheez! Jayzus will I ever catch me breath? Like really the only reason I have to run is if I’m chased by a machete wielding clown, or if anybody is crazy enough to hurt my baby…then you better run like Satan and his hounds are on your tail! This is unreal. How am I so unfit? Oh Lord, I still have another 3min run to do! FML!

Second 90secs: Bah! Here I go again…ah this one’s only 90secs…piece a p**s. Phew, still a bit panty after that last one though. Power through Don, power through.20170322_000513

Is that it? That seemed short….the monster is looming though. I still haven’t fully recovered from the last three min sesh. I’d safely say I look like a plum tomato, masquerading as lithe leek. The panting and puffing though ….agh God…embarrassing!

Second 3mins: FML!!! I can’t do this! I CAN’T DO THIS! I’m puffing like an extremely old, on it’s way out steam engine, on the verge of combusting. Oh my God, people can probably hear me coming before they see me, this is woeful. No Don, cop on, everybody starts somewhere, plus they don’t know you haven’t already been running a straight 6miles. True, true, I got this. Oh my God, I don’t got this, my heart is going to leap outta me chest any time now, just like the Alien embryo burst through John Hurt’s chest. Like seriously, I’ve been running for a lot longer than 3mins now. Nope! Can’t do it, I’m quitting, if I can’t do this I’ll never get through week 4. Do or do not, there is no try…thanks Yoda. Ok I can do it. I can’t back out now anyway, I’ve posted on social media. FFS! Why did I do that? Lord divine Jayzus, is it STILL NOT 3 F**KING MINUTES!!! G’wan Don, stick with it, at least you’re at it, it get’s easier. Perseverance is key.You’re right Glenn, ok. I got this.Oh my God, I think I’m gonna puke. I think I may stop. Never had you down as a quitter Don? If you want it bad enough you’ll do it. True say Steve, I’m not quitting. 20170322_000533

BEEEEEP! OH THANK THE F**KING GODS!!! Brisk walk, brisk walk…wheeeze….wheeezey…pant pant puff! Keep up the walking Don, don’t collapse just yet. I did it, I did it! Ugh, my back is wet…ooooh…musta done something right. Ugh…sweaty bum! Not sexy! Who cares….I made it, it’s over! I’m getting better…wooooo….watch out Bolt!

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This is the app I use. There are loads you can follow though.

Just so ye know, this is not a sponsored post guys. Let me know if ye decide to give a Couch to 5K a go and how ye get on. You can follow my progress over on Instagram @TotallyDonnaMarie1

xx

Gold trousers do not a mid-life crisis make!

For a second my sparkle dimmed, it was like I’d been kicked in the stomach. Somebody had just tried to steal my sunshine, my glittery-ness, my sparkle. Yeah MY SPARKLE!!

Worse thing is, the thief was an unexpected source and so, disappointing. Maybe said thief was having a bad day, but that’s not my beef, don’t take it out on me.

So the sparkle stealing began with a pair of gorgeous gold trousers that I’d seen on the Collectif website. Miss Deadly Red is modelling them and she looks HAWT!!! Now I’m not a total eegit and will tell you, I will by no means look as hot but they’re gold and shiny and I love them, but I don’t buy them. I do however mention them to others as I’d seen another pair in H&M that were completely covered in gold sequins. Sparkle overload lads!170306113743_wm Anywho…a week or so passes and I walk in on a conversation about my love of these gold trousers and Sparkle Stealer or SS for short pipes up, “Gold trousers?And what’s with all these pouty pout photos on Facebook? Are you having a midlife crisis?” Defence was offered on my behalf with “oh it’s for her make up that she does”. Taken aback by the suggestion of a midlife crisis, I said no, I’m just doing what I wanna do, I haven’t murdered anyone. (Well not yet!) Then, THEN!!!! SS asks how old I am!! By jayzus!! I’m tryna be cool like, cos I was getting more annoyed with conversation and what the hell my clothes or pouting had to do with SS. I didn’t realise pursed lips and the possible sight of me in gold trousers was so upsetting. I proudly tell SS I’ll be thirty four in two weeks and ask why this is relevant, you only live once and I’m not hurting anyone.Now you know in your mind you can see yourself f**king s**t up…..SS says “yeah you might do, but it’s acceptable at sixteen not at thirty four.” “Well I like what I like and I don’t particularly care whether anyone else does”.

SS isn’t even on Facebook lads! How is so much known about my pouty pics? Well nosing through somebody else’s profile of course. Hmm and if reconnaissance was done properly, I’m sure they’d notice in most of my pics, I look like a haggard little boy, so by God when I do slick on the lippy and straighten me wig, I’ll post it on every type of social media I have access to! Ironically SS is a fair bit older than me, yet has one or two hobbies which might be deemed as “childish” themselves. I swear to God, the cheek!170307121209_wm

Anyway, as I said, my Sparkly tiara nearly fell off me head and this 10 minute conversation stuck with me. I don’t know why, as most times unless it’s a really brutal, cutting remark, it will have faded from my mind fairly quick. Maybe it was the unexpected source of the dig? So I turned to the person who’s known me all my life…The Mammy. I asked her what sort of  a person I was growing up, was I always a little bit “woooo”? (I’m not super eccentric or anything, but I do love dressing up, whether it’s for a laugh or a glam night out and I try to make it a little different or mine I suppose). Ma said “you’re just the same, funny, friendly and kind. It’s just your nature, you’re like me in a way but more out going. Why?”. I wanted to find out if I’d changed drastically, I wanted to find out if I WAS having a “mid-life crisis”. I mean it can’t be a mid-life crisis if I’ve always been the same eh? So I told her about SS. I told Ma, that for a brief moment SS made me worry if people see me as an idiot but funnily enough, at the same time I didn’t care. (If I like what I’m wearing and it raises a smile from you, whether you’re smiling with me or laughing at me, I’m ok with that…who else made you smile today?) These are my Mother’s wise words;

“Jealousy is a bad thing Donna, and that’s what’s wrong. You’re doing what you want to do and they’re* afraid. They* live boring lives and are stuck in their* ways. You could slap it to them* over their “childish” hobbies but that’s not you. You’re still young, wear what you want and you always look brilliant. I hope you never change.”

With that, I righted my crown and scolded myself for doubting my confidence.

I bought the gold trousers.

Ain’t nobody stealing my sparkle!

Love Donna

PS I always say, that somebody who can’t say anything nice to you especially about how you look, and when you clearly look great, is a jealous creature. Jealous people only try to cut you down.

PPS You too can own a pair of said gold trousers annnnd they’re on sale!! WOOOO!!