The Legend!

I’m writing this post so it’s here for the future should the Small Man ever choose to read my writings and in case my memories ever start diminishing. It will probably be uninteresting reading to most of you but shur what about it?! I’m going to write it as if talking to my boy……

So who is this person that warrants such a title as “The Legend”, I hear you ask. Who is this person that is so important they need writing about and cannot be forgotten? Well he is…..was my Grandad, your Great Grandad, Tommy O’Connell, one of the coolest dudes I ever knew and a man I constantly miss. Today would have been his 93rd birthday.

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Firstly, let me tell you this fun lil fact about my family name, as it all starts with him….So Grandad was actually Thomas Oliver Connell, some of his official letters used to come addressed to Thomas O. Connell, which over time a clerk somewhere decided that that little dot should have been an apostrophe, and with that we became O’ Connells. This will come in very useful should you ever be involved in an O’ Connell family history quiz….make note. 😀

Anywho, let’s get on with remembering the man….

Grandad had great time for me and I loved him to bits. When I was little, we lived in a mobile in his garden ’til I was two. I don’t know how true this story is but Grandad used to tell me, he’d open his back door some mornings and find a ghostly looking child in a long nightdress just standing there waiting…it was me, sleep walking to, well, I guess my best bud.

There used to be a picture of Granny and Grandad on their wedding day, hanging on the kitchen wall. Grandad was wearing a proper uniform with one of them peaked dress cap thingys. He used to tell me he flew an airplane during the war and he’s take Granny for a spin in it. I used to think, wow, how cool is that. Turns out he used to tell Da, your Grandad, he drove tanks during the war. 😀 He didn’t do either but he was part of the Fórsa Cosanta Áitiúil (FCÁ), the local defence forces during WW2, hence the dapper uniform. I guess it was a bit like the T.A now. (Another bit of family trivia, Grandad’s brother Porrie did fly for the RAF during the war, as a tail gunner in a Lancaster bomber). It makes no odds to me, his coolness has not decreased, but you can imagine from that how good his stories were…..

He had a big garden and behind it they had some fields which at the very bottom included a small wood, a.k.a The Woods. At the time it seemed huuuuge. Grandad used to bring me for walks to the woods, helping me jump the ditches or carrying me across. One wintery day we went down there and Grandad was telling me about The Badgers, who would bite your leg off. He showed me how to keep them away by breaking thick twigs in half as we walked, so they thought is was your bone snapping. I dunno how true that twig snapping story is but at the time I was constantly breaking twigs for fear of losing me leg to a badger. There were wood chopping expeditions to the woods too. Da (your Grandad) and Uncle Mike would go down to chop sticks and Grandad would sit there, give orders and supervise. As I got older,  we discovered some fallen trees that made a really cool fort, that Grandad supplied all the old pots and pans for (probably nicked from Granny’s kitchen). He couldn’t fit in but he’d sit outside. 😀

When they had the big new shed built in the garden, Grandad let us kids use the old shed as a babby house. He hung a swing up for us in there, your Auntie Sarah and Uncle Phil split the back of there heads open falling off it a few times. Grandad would sit there with us, in his deck chair pretending to drink endless cups of coffee made from turf mould and water. Sometimes he’d nod off and me and Sarah would pee ourselves laughing, whilst stealing the biggest logs we could from the stick pile, walking right across in front of him whilst he snoozed. He always approved of the little gardens we’d create next to the babby house.

Grandad loved flowers, he had a great garden. He’d trim the hedges into castle or horse shapes. He showed me what flowers were what…daffodils, tulips, snowdrops, roses, sweet peas and sweet williams….sweet williams and daffodils always remind me of him. There was a field across the road, Grandad would take me into and it was full of cowslips. You never see them anymore. 😦 There used to be a little Robin that hung out in the garden, we’d put out a bowl of bread for him. Grandad used to say he was watching out for us.

When the road was empty, Grandad used to take me onto it and we’d pretend to be driving imaginary cars, him using his walking stick as a steering wheel. Sometimes we’d walk as far as the Thatched Cottage to nose if the Yanks were in or pick the bluebells out of the hedge opposite. Sometimes we’d bring Sheba for a walk up to the canal and watch her swim. During the summer Grandad used to hold my hands whilst I stood on a big stone in the water, dipping me toes in the deeper bit.

Ugh Small Man, I wish you could have met him and him you, ye would have loved each other. I wish I had more photos to show you….you know he was a bit of a photographer too. He’d take pictures of us and send them into The Topic for our birthday’s. I remember him developing photos in the bathroom and hanging them on the line over the bath.

One of my fav memories of Grandad was the night we watched a very satanic Christopher Lee movie (no, there is no way I should’ve been watching these movies at my age, at that time of the morning but Grandad was a rebel babysitter) so I was pretty freaked out going to bed. It was summertime so the windows were open in the kitchen. Anyway I’ve gone in to get a drink before bed and there was probably about 10 “Clocks” (beetles) around the kitchen floor, of course 10 looked like 100 at the time and I started bawling for Grandad. He rushed into the kitchen to see what happened, I was crying over all these clocks so he began standing on them. Oh if you could have seen him in his trousers and vest with his braces on, Grandad looked like he was doing a jig around the kitchen tryna kill all these little beasties. 😀 😀 Uh, I loved staying there, even though the house was a bit isolated and the long hallway creeped me out. In the mornings, I’d get into bed bedside Grandad and we’d do our arm exercises, arms up, arms out. We’d get up and listen to Radio 3 or Grandad would play records. He used to love a bit of Jim Reeves and would play “But you love me Daddy” for me.

So there you go, I could go on with little titbits of memories forever but this is just a taste of Grandad…The Man, The Beetle Killer, THE LEGEND! (Your Grandad has big shoes to fill 🙂 )

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There’s a sad end to my memories of Grandad though, I never got to say goodbye…….Auntie Ina had moved home with our cousin Monica and was living in Granny and Grandad’s. I was jealous. I thought Grandad didn’t love me any more, as he had Monica there all the time now. I remember my 11 year old self telling him this and telling him I wasn’t talking to him. I was going out to Nanny Mooney’s a few days later, and although we stopped at Grandad’s on the way by, I couldn’t get out like I wanted to to say goodbye and tell him I was sorry. We carried on to Nanny Mooney’s. I knew when I woke up the next morning, by the look on my Ma’s face that he had died that night.

So my little Mandingo, there’s an important lesson to be learned here; never be cross with somebody you love and if you have to leave them, even for a short amount of time, tell them you love them and say goodbye.

Love you always my Baby,                                 Love you always Grandad,

Mammy xx                                                                               Donna xx

 

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Babe (babe), I’m back again…

I haven’t written anything here in two months! Did ya miss me?? But two months!!! Shocking! Why? Well to start with, writing a blog is harder than you’d imagine.

It’s not that I don’t have anything to say, there’s always something to say, but sometimes it just doesn’t warrant writing a blog post as it’s only something short….hence I’ll post it on my Instagram or Facebook page. Finding time is sometimes an issue too. A blog post can take you only a few minutes to read, but by the time I’ve written, considered, rewritten, spellchecked and added pictures, two or even three hours have gone by. Those hours equate to a lot of time out of my day really. Also I write mine on my laptop, I’ve no patience for writing it on a tiny phone screen but I know lots of bloggers do and therefore blog on the go. Believe it or not, despite liking to actually write and having the equivalent amount of notebooks as Paperchase’s stockroom, I’m still poo at writing a good idea down for later or even making notes in my phone…..Bye, bye ideas!

My blog as you can see, is not focused on anything in particular, which I guess might inhibit me a bit, as I don’t have a focus. I don’t really need to keep up with the newest beauty or fashion trends. I’m also woeful at following the news so politics and current affairs are also out. That said though, not having a focus means I can write whatever the hell I like….wooooooo!! Roll on the randomness and tat!

I guess like all bloggers, I get a little dissuaded sometimes from lack of support. I enjoy writing anyway, and hope one day to write a book so committing to a blog forces me to Screenshot_20170907-224118write stuff  down rather than say I will. So although I write because I like it, the likes, the shares and comments make all the difference. If I see you’ve shared my post or better still you’ve commented, then I feel like you’ve read it and you’ve enjoyed it (or not) and that inspires me to not give up. The lack of interaction can be discouraging sometimes but I guess if you really want to do something you plough on in hope. The likes themselves are good too, but I always wonder….did you just see I posted, and liked it for the craic or ‘cos you know me…did you actually read it? I’m also still very shy about telling people I write a blog. When my work colleague mentions it to people I always feel a bit of a sack really. I guess I still feel like it’s not interesting or glam or current enough to disclose it for fear I run into somebody who’s been doing it for years or has some supersize megablog that all the world knows about. So yeah…I’m not great at pluggin’ it!

So what do I want to achieve with this blog of mine? Well, I want lots of people, not just family and friends, to read it and give their opinions on what they’ve read or seen. I want people to interact, connect and enjoy what I’ve written and how I’ve written it. I guess I want my blog to be one of the few things I’ve started, stuck with and not given up on. Ideally, just like my “personalphotographerintraininglongsuffering” hubby, I’d like my blog to grow old with me (aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaw) unless I sign a major book deal and reach Stephen King-like status, in which case I might be too busy to keep up with it all. Dream big people, DREAM BIG!!

So dear readers, if you like what you read, if you’ve laughed at my “skit” pics over on Instagram and Facebook; if I’ve brightened your day, made you smile or inspired you to do something, make something or read something, please tell me and tell others too.

Sharing is caring,

much love

Donna xx

 

 

London. Sad & scared.

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I’m washing up, there are a lot of sirens tonight…….At 10.57 my sister in law text me to ask where I was. I said I was home, why? They had been watching the news at home and London Bridge had been closed off. I turned on BBC News…..

I feel sick, I feel sad and scared. I’ve never felt this way about previous terror attacks. I mean of course, I’ve felt sad and worried but I cried. I cried for London like I did for Manchester. I didn’t know anyone directly affected by the Manchester attack, but I cried. I don’t know if it hurt more because it was mainly kids and young people that were at the concert, and now I have my own kid and that, although we don’t go to concerts yet, we do sometimes make our way to places that could be considered more of a target than others. Jeez, a coupla weeks before my friend and her daughter were at an Ed Sheeran concert back home…..it could have been them.

My hubby is currently at work at Waterloo, a mainline station. With Eurostar access. A tube station. Sitting on Southbank. In the shadow of the London Eye. Tourist central. Add to that it’s almost on top of St. Thomas’ Hospital and the Houses of Parliament, shur you might as well paint a big fat red X on the area! I’ve rang him, he’s ok. The station is getting busier as people are coming in trying to find alternative routes home. He says there are police all over the place and they have been told to be extra vigilant. I’d like him to be at home now, vigilant means feck all when a loon with a death wish wants to take out every average Joe around him. At this moment I don’t want him at Waterloo, I don’t want us in London, I want to go home.

My little boy is tucked up in bed, I’ve just gone up to check on him and give him kisses ‘cos I can. He woke up and asked me if it was time to get up. No baby, it’s not. Little does he know that I’ve just watched families with little kids like him be evacuated from their homes, for fear of harm or death. Why should he know, he’s only four. Why in this modern, multicultural, first world, ” super-power” (although I think that too may fade in the coming months….aah politics!) of a country should he have to live in fear? (Yes…before anybody goes on a rant about the terror in the rest of the world, I fully agree no person anywhere should have to live in fear). I look at his beautiful little face now and hope it stays beautiful and happy despite the bad things happening. I hope the world doesn’t harden it and make it cruel.

We have a 1st birthday to go to tomorrow, a day to celebrate and enjoy a little boy growing up. Of course there will be lots of other little boys and girls there, and lots of parents and minders anticipating their futures, but the world is becoming a scary place, England….London is a scary place. Terror threats and terrorist acts are becoming more frequent. Children as young as 13 carry weapons and some use them! I fear for my son’s future. This may seem harsh but at moments like this I sometimes question whether it would be fair to bring another child into a world like this. This is my thought and it shocks even myself.

What is happening? Where is the madness coming from? Why is there so much hate? Who in the name of any God, thinks it’s a good idea or thinks their God promotes going out and destroying lives? The lives of people you don’t even know!! Why was our terror threat level dropped ? Would it have made any difference? The worse thing about this is, when it has all been investigated, we’ll be told that at least one if not all of these attackers were “known” to the police or are on “The Watch List”.  I think it’s absolutely ridiculous that we have to wait for these people to do the damage before any action can be taken. Clearly if they are being watched it’s for a reason! There is already evidence against them, surely? I don’t want to live in fear and I don’t want to get used to living with the threat of terror. I feel like maybe we’re trying to be to p.c about everything and that the police aren’t given the power they need to carry out the work that needs to be done due to this. This country, this city is broken. Ugh! I dunno lads…I’m not saying instill some kinda marshall law but jeezus, the paper shuffling and the watching needs to stop!

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With that little rant over, I’ll leave you with the thoughts of many people tonight, a thought I’ll be trying to instill into my boy, that despite the 2 or 4 attackers trying to bring us down tonight, for every one of them there are 10 or 20 people willing or trying to help.

I hope you and yours are safe tonight,

Love Donna x

Interview with a Monkey

I was reading a magazine today and the little Mandingo wanted to know what it was about. I told him I was reading an interview, what’s that says he. It’s when people ask you lots of questions and they answer them. Oh.

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So for the craic, I decided to ask him the questions from the mag, in Small Man speak of course to see what he’d say…

Who is your best friend? Suha and Albi. Normally it’s me (sob) or his cousin Millie. Apparently Suha is also his girlfriend!

What’s your biggest regret (thing you’re sad that you did or didn’t do)? A little poo. This is probably very true as this kid delights in doing old man style poos, there’s even requests for head squeezing.

What’s your biggest extravagance (thing that you love to do)? A bubble bath. Ahh the simple things, sadly we only have a shower so his baths consist of sitting in a container that fits the bottom of our shower but he’s nearly outgrown.

What’s your type (what kind of people do you like)? Sweet contests and happy people.

When did you last lose your temper (when were you last angry)? When Z slaps me and doesn’t say sorry and Daddy bugs me. What did you do to Z? Noffink! Hmm…. Totally get the Daddy bugging him thing though.

Who owes you an apology (who needs to say sorry to you)? A, ‘cos she keeps standing on me. (I need to keep an eye on these little women folk maybe…..)

Who or what would go in your room 101 (in the bin)? The skins of the orange. We had just peeled an orange.

Tell us a secret…. Monkeys poo! Well everybody knows that, tell me another? Bulldozers!

What’s the biggest misconception about you (what do people not know about you)? The fighting. Eh? What do you mean? I’m a superhero. Ohh ok cool, are you good or bad? I’m a good superhero.

Who do you miss most? Mammy. (Aaaaaaah) . Why? Because I love you. (Aaaaaaaaaaaaah!)

What is your biggest life lesson so far (what have you learned so far in life)? The seagulls flying at the beach. What does that mean? The sea! (Maybe it has some in depth meaning?)

Ok sausage, thanks so much for your interview today. You’re welcome Mammy.

Haa the simpleness of a child’s answers eh? It was quite amusing, I might do it every so often just to see how much they change. Try it with your littles and let me know how it goes.

Have fun….

Donna xx

Last year’s resolutions..success or failure?

 

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“Here we are again, we’re on the road again”….aggh…*sigh*.

Yep. Hiya 2017, you shot round fairly quick, so quick in fact I didn’t get to complete my “achievables” from last year. God there’s just not enough time in a year! So how did I fare? Well let’s have a look…..

The old weightloss…well on that I actually did ok. I got down to my lowest weight so far on my Slimming World journey annnnd I can wear a size 12 in quite a few shops now which is what my target was on starting the plan. Most people have a weight in mind that they want to get down to, mine was a clothing size…a size 12 everywhere. I gotta say though the way sizes vary from shop to shop and depending on the cut, I no longer feel crap if I have to buy a bigger size now. So not only am I lighter and smaller, I’m wise to the ways of you bloody shops and your weird sizing! Just after New Year, I attacked my wardrobe again and was actually ruthless, I got rid of pretty much everything that is now two sizes too big. I was still wearing them ‘cos they fitted but actually they didn’t they were shapeless and baggy and weren’t doing me any favours. Plus I never intend on being that size again so ta, ta for ever bigger sizes (ok I might have kept one or two pretty dresses which I love for if and when I’m preggers again…make savings where you can peeps!) Anyway on that note, if you have lost weight by whatever means (safely, hopefully) but you can’t see the difference yourself, go and try on the clothes you’re still wearing and I bet you’ll see the difference then.

Exercise….hmm…I feel like I did pretty well on this up until October, then it started getting darker and colder. During the summer, I’d started dragging my ass outta bed at 6.30 for a pre-work “wun” (walking/running…interval training I suppose). I’m not ready to commit to the word running just yet. plus there’s still an awful lot of huffing and puffing and general feeling like my heart is gonna burst out of my chest. If I didn’t get going in the morning I’d go walking with Suzanne in the evenings….jayzus lads, I even got outta me bed whilst AT HOME!! At 6.30 IN THE MORNING!! I think the only time I’ve ever been up at that time of the morning at home was on a walk home from the pub…or Ash’s house…with Karl Green! People were going to mass!!!! The SCANDAL!!!!! At the moment though, I’m still struggling to get motivated again…but it’s ok…January Blues an’ all that. 🙂

Money!!! Fecking money!! It can’t buy you happiness but it can certainly help you on your way. Well, this my friends, was a complete failure! I really codded meself into thinking I could save with all that was going on last year. The upside to not having saved is, I spent it on having a really good time! So I’m winning right? Hubby and myself have set the much easier target of saving ALL of our £2 coins…far more doable.

Patience!!! HAAA! Forgit aboud iiiit (say that like Hugh Grant in Mickey Blue Eyes!) I can’t even elaborate…I think I’ve actually gotten worse!

I have learned this year, that I am not now, nor will I ever be a knitter. I tried the sky blanket, but I got bored knitting tiny squares in the same grey (poo British weather) so never got past day 21. As much as I want to yarn bomb Calvin’s front door, it ain’t gonna happen. Fear not though, there was a winner in this too…I sent my Ma all the wool I’d bought, she was delira!

Happily, the “piles” (not the bum ones, thank you) have gotten better. My bedroom is normally clutter free, well the top of my dresser still suffers and it still has no handles BUT the only piles currently in my room are either en route to the attic or charity shop Thursday. I finally got my writing bureau finished and I’m very proud of it, along with a couple of other little bits of furniture I revamped. At the minute I’m in the process of “McQueening” Small Man’s room.

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The Reading Challenge was a success too. I’m glad I took part in it, not that there was a prize or anything but it made me take time out to do something I love again. I think I ticked off each heading on the list. I reviewed all of the books I read over on my FB page but I might just pop it on a separate post here…ya know just in case you’re not on FB and feel like you’re missing out. Hee hee! I’m going to do it again this year so if you have any book suggestions please let me know and if you’re doing let me know too.

I can’t encourage reading enough, it’s such a great pass time, it can take you anywhere, you can be anyone. It can broaden your horizons, improve your spelling and language skills and you can do it anywhere. I read to Small Man every night, woe betide me if I don’t. So go, go get your books out and discover something new.

My Blog..my little bloggy woggy! I so wanted it to be better, for more people to know about it and to read it. I wanted more interaction too, I guess though, that just helps me know that it’s being read and enjoyed…or not enjoyed but how do I know? Thing is though I still don’t know how to promote it, or I’m not brave enough.I still write once a month for Family Friendly Hq, which I find easier to say. Weird eh!? I wanted to write more and I wanted to post prettier pictures like LilliWhiteRose and Kate Kelly, but writing a blog is not as easy as one might think. It’s time consuming to say the least but I’m not giving up and there’s still time. So if you read me, and you like what you read, do share it about and don’t be afraid to say hi now and then.

So what’s the plan for this year? Well as I said to Hubby…LIVE! I intend to do more of the things I want to do and stop procrastinating. Be they large or small, I will achieve…within my means….oooh oooh…I’m going to Paris!!! Wooo!!!! And, annnnd Electric Picnic (pleeeease be good…now if Lana Del Rey was to perform again shur I’d be made up!) I’ll continue my quest to be the “size 12 that fits everywhere” and I’ll get bloody handles for that dressing table!!

Happy New Year People, may it be all you want it to be.

Love Donna xx

P.S When I say more of what I want to do, this will include my menfolk should they wish or should it be suitable for them to take part.

P.P.S It’s 9 days into January and I am totally broke! 😀

 

Can I be your friend?

I seen a post recently on a FB group I’m part of, a girl looking for friends. The girl feels she has friends within the group but once she’s outside of it, she feels like she has nobody. She knows people but there’s no friend friend if you know what I mean.

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I’m very lucky when it comes to friends, I’ve managed to hold onto friends from school and my bestest friend Ash, from national school. I mean she even forgave me for that time when we had a fight and the stone I threw, went through her open sitting room window and hit her little cousin, Selina on the head. Even Laura, who lives in another town and I don’t always get to see when I get home, we don’t speak as often as Ash and myself but she still counts as a close friend just like Ci. The thing is we don’t have to speak everyday to know that, if the shit ever hit the fan we’d be there for each other, even if it is just an ear on the phone.

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Ash & moi!

I moved to London in 2000, on holiday, if you ask me Da. I worked in a pub for a long time so you kinda have to be sociable to do that…well like 80% of the time…when you haven’t had to get up for the delivery or you’re not hungover. That’s where I met Calvin, a.k.a Quelvin/SuperChocolateBear/Bumbacleet. Twenty-five years my senior, I know I can trust him with anything and a cooler guy I’ve never met….well me Da’s pretty cool too actually. I’ve met other people too, but some people you meet in passing, some you miss, some you don’t. Some you wish you’d had more time with ‘cos even though you only knew them a short time, they definitely made an impact on you. One thing’s for sure though, if you have these people already in your life make the effort to keep them and not lose touch.

I think as you get older it certainly gets harder to make new friends. We become shy. We worry about what the other person will think. What if they think we’re weird or worse have no interest in being our friend.

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New friends

What happens to the bravery we had as kids, when we would play with everyone and not worry about what they thought? We just spend too much time over-analysing. So we mooch around being sad and lonely, because we’re too afraid to take the first step and ask “can I be your friend?” I’ve made new friends since having Small Man, and even though I think I’m ok with approaching new people, in my head I feel kinda nervous. I think oh God these people are much cooler than me…oh my God why didn’t I wear something a bit dressier, but then I get sense and I think well here I am, this is me and shur listen I dunno what’s gonna happen unless I just get in amongst it! This was how I met Courtney. Well really I met her through Slimming World but we actually became friends when I actually got me finger out and just asked for her number so we could hang out sometime. This sounds kinda weird, sorry Courtney, but I knew when I saw Courtney that I wanted to be her friend. As Calvin says, ” we gravitate towards certain people”. I felt weird asking but I think she was kinda glad to be asked.

The girl who posted the “cry for friends” was actually really brave and open. We should all take a leaf out of her book cos as she said “if you don’t ask, you don’t get!” The person you’re sitting next to could be feeling  the exact same way as you…just ask!

love Donna x

Time waits for no man.

I think I just booked a ticket to go to Electric Picnic next year with the girlies! I dunno where the hell I’m getting the money from to pay for it, actually I haven’t even got the deposit for it yet and I don’t know who’s gonna babysit the Small Monkey as hubalump is likely to be working. I’ve just come back from 9 days at home, I’m going to a wedding in Donegal next month, possibly an overnighter in Dublin in December and I AM going to Paris in Feb/March…again, money and sitters feature heavily in my problems here but shur what about it? Time waits for no man and I fully intend to start sh*tting money!

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We poo money!

Waaaay back in 2008, I decided I was going to wait for the right time less and do more of the things I wanted to do, caring less about what others thought. So I did. I went to visit my fairly brand, new friend and her “met-him-a-coupla-times” hubby in Sweden.

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Yep, that’s me there!

I never fully believed when I told her I’d visit that I would, but one day I decided what’s stopping me? I don’t pay real bills yet (I was working in a pub…food & lodging inc), no kids and no boyfriend, so I booked my flights and off I went. I came back and booked onto a Hadrian’s Wall camping hike for Great Ormond Street Hospital. I knew nobody else going and I’d never hiked anywhere. The furthest away I’d ever camped in my life, was about 12ft from my back door at home in the back garden. The only thing I did know was, I’d always wanted to see Hadrian’s Wall and I wanted to do more for charity so this trip was a win win situation. It was a 25 mile hike and being inexperienced, there were bits I found tough but it was a great experience, I made a new friend and we still talk today. Ooooh and I ate lunch under the tree where Kevin “Robin Hood” Costener defended the boy in the tree!

 

From there I booked a girlie holiday with my future in laws to Gran Canaria. I took my Ma on her first foreign holiday and we had an absolute ball. I kept up the charity work effort by doing one sponsored event a year.Me bestie and I did the Moonwalk for Breast Cancer in 2012, we walked 26 miles…in a row…through the night!! Small Monkey crossed his first finish line for Great Ormond Street Children’s hospital aged 1. Hubby also did his first charity event that day aged 33.  Bar a trip to Lanzarote, after that my “travelling” quietened down a bit as we were saving for our wedding. I did other things though, I booked tickets for hubby and myself to go see musicals that I would normally wait until I had the money, but we were saving anyway and when were we ever gonna have the money? I also did a travel and tourism course somewhere in amongst all that. Oh and I took pole dancing lessons! Why? Cos I wanted to. It looks fun and the pro’s make it look sexy as hell and I’m sorry but what woman doesn’t want to have a good time looking sexy as hell? (Admittedly the reality was somewhat different!) Was I planning on becoming a pole dancer? Nope, I’ve not an ounce of upper body strength for a start (mahooosive respect to those women who can do it). What did people say? Oh I’m sure some had their opinions but why should their opinions stop me from doing what I want?

Things quieted down a bit once I had Small Monkey, but once I made up my mind to stop waiting (for what? I don’t know) and just got out and went to our first Mother and Baby coffee morning, things started happening again. The things I go to or do might not seem big or as exciting as some of the other things I had done but they were tailored to suit my New Mammy Life. I stopped waiting to be invited places and packed myself and Small Monkey off on our own and it’s still the same now. If I wake up in the morning and the weather’s amazing, we’ll go to the beach.It wasn’t planned and we might not get there til lunchtime but shur what else am I at? Wandering around the same street, thinking I should have done this. There doesn’t always have to be a plan. Seriously lads, we’re never at home! Why? Because time waits for no man! Hubby is a different kettle of fish, he is one of those that will hum ‘n’ haw and worry about what will happen, he’s convinced we’ll get stabbed, attacked or bombed wherever I suggest going, so now I don’t wait (although if I do get him going, he normally enjoys it and tells everybody it was his idea!). I don’t wait for hubalump to ponder whether or not we’ll survive a trip to Bexleyheath, I just go. I’m tired of sitting and waiting!

My sister drives now, so we go meet her and we head off to new parks or beaches, instead of sitting around saying we’ll do it…shur there a few weeks ago we were walking around 8000 year old caves in London! When we go home to Ireland, we try to have some sort of excursion. One of the best was probably the road trip to Tramore which was Small Monkey’s first trip to the beach. Four cars, packed with family, friends and sandwiches. We’ve been to Lough Booragh, Lullymore, Malahide Castle, to name but a few and we’ve also crossed the Cliffs of Moher, Clonmacnoise, Newgrange and Bru Na Boinne (how do ya do a fada on a laptop techie types?) off our list.I even got a Nicki Minaj concert and a trip to Czech Republic with the girlies in there too! (Ya know when your foreign friend says she’s going home for her 40th, and you, having never been to the country before and knowing nobody bar her, invite yourself along. Your friends are there and they jump on board, your Czech friend says yeah what the hell, be great to have ye but nobody really believes they’re going until tickets are booked and babysitters are sorted…yeah, ya know them times! #thebesttimes).

 

I think the point of this post is “do less sitting, thinking and more up and doing”. It doesn’t matter if it’s a tiny thing like going to get a pedicure or if it’s jumping out of a plane, if you want to do it and there are no reasons you can’t then why not do it? Stop caring about what people will say…or just care a little less if you can’t completely stop. Be the talk of the village, there’ll be somebody or something new tomorrow. If you’re not hurting those around you, then whose business is it anyway? Wear the sparkly arseless chaps to the pub tonight…well maybe don’t…chaps only look good on rugged cowboys and occasionally Christina Aguilera circa 2002…but you get my point. I had my hair dyed recently, with a rainbow streak. I didn’t do it ‘cos I’m unsure of my age or I’m clutching at my youth or because I’m having a mid life crisis. I did it because I’ve always wanted hot 161014083233pink in my hair but never thought I could carry it off and people would think I looked stupid. I’ve now decided I don’t particularly care to much what people think of my hair as long as I like it. I’d rather they like me myself than my hair. I also have 8 tattoos, most of which you can’t see anyway, because…yep you guessed it…they are for me, nobody else. Somebody did ask me though, why I have 8, or any I guess, what will I do when I’m 70? Well, please God, I’ll see 70 but no doubt life will carry on as normal whether I have tattoos or not. I might dread the sight of them by then, I really don’t know, but what I do know is, right now, today, I love them all…..well maybe one slightly less but shur listen YOLO….YOLO!! What about when you’re all wrinkly? Well I’ll just have more fun ironing them out trying to remember what they are. I think I just want to look back and think I don’t have to many regrets and I’m glad I got to do the things or at least some of the things I wanted, no matter how big or insignificant they may seem.

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It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day.

I’m not even sure if any of this makes sense to you reading it now, so I’m going to finish with  some words from this cool mutha f**ka….

“Look, if you had, one shot, or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted. In one moment
Would you capture it, or just let it slip?…..

You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime
You better lose yourself in the music, the moment
You own it, you better never let it go….

So here I go it’s my shot.
Feet, fail me not
This may be the only opportunity that I got

You can do anything you set your mind to, man”

                                                              Excerpts taken from “Lose Yourself” by Eminem

So there ya go lads, life is only temporary.

Love Donna x