Hi, just a quick introduction about me and what my site is about. I am a 50 something woman, a woman in my prime, some would say. I would say just a woman, getting on with life and learning and discovering along the way.
I like to write. I write about anything and everything. It all depends on my mood, on if I feel I have something to say or if something just pops into my head and turns out to be the first line of a new poem.
I like to write about my life, my experiences or my perceptions of things. I have no distinctive style or agenda, just thoughts, the good, the bad and the ugly and I like to relay them here. Whether it is a relationship with ourselves, our families, our friends, or the world and planet around us, we all have relationships and we all have an opinion, an observation or an impact in those relationships.
I hope you enjoy this journey with me and I hope you can relate with some of what I have to say or at least that you may get a bit of a giggle sometimes. I wish you all the best in all your Relay shun ships…….
I took you to dinner that night We sat by the window A view of the river Lee flowing past A beautiful orchid and candle Central on the table I layed my napkin, carefully, thoughtfully, on my lap I hung my head a few seconds longer Composing myself Before looking at the chair opposite me Smiling, imagining you sitting there Knowing That sometime after dinner We would have our very last factime It would soon be time for you to go You were being called home To your eternal rest I had to prepare myself To face the reality That this was it And so, I took you to dinner And I stared at that chair Smiling at you, as though you were there
Toasted you, our friendship And told you I loved you forever I thanked you for being my friend I told you I was blessed to have met you
45 years wasn’t long enough I explained I would forever keep you with me I raised a glass to you I told you I was sad that you had to go But I understood it was time Acknowledged that you were tired And ready to go Told you how much you would be missed by us all But you already knew that You knew how special you were to us I didn’t want dinner to end I didn’t want any of it I wanted you here To be in that chair for real Laughing and chatting And being healthy and well I wanted that, more than anything And I know You did too…..
Sleep alludes me, though I am so very tired. The sun cracks through the opened window, early in the mornings, and the dawn chorus awakens me. Such a contrast to the labouring snores blasting my ears as he sleeps beside me, deep in his slumber, oblivious to raucous he makes or the sound of the dogs barking from across the garden.
My mind wanders to our new house, wondering how soon before we get the keys. The start to our new life. How shall I dress this one to make it a home? Which colours and fabrics and oddments shall I use. A blank canvas screaming for life and colour.
As I lay awake, I try to escape the noise and get lost deep in the kaleidoscope of my imagination until finally, sleep will surrender itself to me and I too will be oblivious….
Sometimes we just have to let go, feel the fear and do it anyway. When we let go it is exciting, exhilarating and liberating
It’s nearly completion date and that can only mean one thing….. time to start packing and sorting and selling off/giving away what I no longer need, the ‘stuff’ that is surplus to requirements.
We all have it,’stuff’ even if we don’t mean to have it, but the ‘stuff’ piles up, in our homes, our cars, our bags, everywhere.
We accumulate over the years. We change our cars, our furniture, our decor and style, and our homes.
Now I am changing my home, yet again, but this time, for a smaller home. I have lived in small before.
When I first left home at age 16, I lived in a bedsit, tiny room, shared bathroom and shared kitchen. I owned very little, as it was furnished. I owned easily removable things, like my record player and records. Some pictures and a few ornaments.
Over the years my properties have got bigger and bigger and so has the amount of stuff and furniture. This one is the biggest, the one that I am about to leave. This one I designed, on a piece of paper, handed it to an architect and then proceeded to build it. From start to finish, it was my project, my taste, my style, my design.
It has housed my husband and I and our children for 23 years. We have fostered 13 children and have 4 grand children who have all walked the floors of this house, slammed the doors, laughed and cried within the walls and played out in the garden.
The decor has been changed numerous times. The rooms have been re organised many times and we have ran a couple of businesses from it over the years.
We have accumulated a lot of stuff in the process and now I have to undo the doing, because now, we are going smaller again, but big enough to still be a down size….
Will I miss my house? yes of course. Do I feel emotional about it? certainly, but the time is right for our next adventure.
The only thing is, most of my stuff is too big for the new house, or the wrong style. I have a very eclectic taste and I have some wonderful pieces of furniture, from Edwardian to Victorian to very modern.
When we decorate rooms we always feel better about them and are pleased with the changes we made, but eventually, we tire of it, well, I do anyway, and so we change it again.
We do the same with cars and clothes and they seem much easier to shed and to move on without any major emotional distress, right?
That is what I keep telling myself now, about shedding this house, and all we have done here, with all the aforementioned people that were here with us.
I keep telling myself, ‘it is just stuff, you take the memories with you’. But I do feel a little bit attached to some of the stuff too.
Then I think, but someone else can get the pleasure out of that beautiful piece of furniture and I can get excited about sourcing a new piece for my new house. I get a buzz from finding ‘nice things’. A new project, a new beginning, a new style, a new neighbourhood. Exciting, daunting, liberating, all at the same time.
The sorting and packing and picking and choosing, now that is the real dilemma, but it has to be done and so today I made a start.
I cannot tell you how many times I changed my mind about things, but then said, just let it go, like Anna, in Frozen, time to let go.
My pictures, my paintings, my bits and bobs, they can be easily packed. My books, now that is a different matter, I would nearly need a small van for those alone, I cannot let go of them quite so easy….
The procrastination has come to an end and the ‘sorting’ has begun. It is with mixed feelings, but ultimately, happy and excited ones about the change that we are heading into as we progress to our downsizing.
Were going from 6 beds to 4 beds from 3000 square feet to 1600 square feet and from an acre garden to a quarter acre and can finally get rid of the ride on lawn mower and cut down on the mowing!
I look forward to a smaller house to clean, to paint, to decorate, to garden in and to have new walks, new views, new people to meet, new places to discover, a new place to make and call home, for our family to come and visit and enjoy with us.
So it’s full steam ahead and on the home stretch now, into completing the transaction for our new home! Watch this space……….
Itchy feet again…… Perspective is everything and as we develop and grow, what we didn’t like can change to what we do like and visa versa, but does that mean we have to stay still or is it good to keep moving, keep seeking and trying new things, including places to live……
‘We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls.’ Anais Nin
Currently I am in the process of selling my house, which I built 23 years ago in this north Wexford village, called The Ballagh, I was 32 when I moved back to Ireland and subsequently built this house a couple of years later, on the outskirts of the village.
‘Not for a million pound a week would I live there again’, I said, when I left this village at aged 19.
I had first moved to the Ballagh in 1979 when I was 14 years old. Having come from a fairly large city in the UK it was a complete culture shock to me, leaving the hustle and bustle of a city life, my friends, and my independence of hopping on a bus anywhere, practically from outside my front door, for the deafening quiet of rural country living.
The Ballagh was a very sleepy village back then, with a shop which was also a bar attached and outside a petrol pump if you needed to fill your car. There was another pub down the road, a post office a church, a national school and a run-down community centre, with very little activity.
Outside of the post office was the iconic green and cream public phone box and it was my link to the outside world, out beyond the Ballagh. There was no bus service, except for the secondary school bus which passed through, twice a day, once to take us to school and the next to bring us home.
I had been known to miss the bus, on occasion, in the morning, knowing there was no other way to get to school….
Back then I felt totally trapped in this little village and the only way to get anywhere was to stick out my thumb and hitch a lift. This was a complete no no in the city from whence I had come, but here, in the country, it was an acceptable and encouraged part of everyday life.
I would love it when I would go into Wexford Town, 20 minutes away. There was more ‘life’ there down along the main street and the quay front, and the view looking out across the water filled me with joy. There were people, lots of them, just milling around doing ordinary things, shopping, browsing and crowds of kids hanging out. There was a good vibe about the town, and I longed to be a part of it.
Now and in the last 23 years, this little village, had expanded somewhat with new one off houses popping up everywhere and a few new housing estates. The post office completely renovated and expanded to give us a much needed supermarket, but alas the iconic phone box has long gone.
The shop with the bar has also been expanded, well the pub part of it, and it also gained a function room, but lost the petrol pump.
Back in the day, if it was a function room you were after, it was the Un Yoke, down the road, and everyone, from all over, flocked to it
Now that was a great place, and at the time, it was my saviour because every week-end I got to go there and enjoy the hustle and bustle again, dance to the local bands such as Theresa and the Stars or indeed the big bands like Joe Dolan and the Wolfe Tones.
Sadly, it burned down many years ago, but the car park is now used for the very popular Car Boot Sale, on a Sunday morning.
The national school has been extended twice in the last 23 years to accommodate the ever expanding population and the secondary school bus still comes but twice a day.
The Ballagh may be known more specifically for its GAA than anything else as it has produced some great hurling and camogie players over the years, even winning the All Ireland back in 1996, the year before I moved back here. It’s full title of course being Oulart the Ballagh, as our two half parish’s make a whole.
This village is more than GAA however, it has a good community spirit. The new and improved community centre has many uses, from running a boxing club, youth club, active retirement group and a preschool, to name but a few.
We have a lovely forest walk just outside the village at Kilbride and another up Ballyboy Hill. We have cool named roads to walk such as the Fairy Lane and Tea Pot lane. But do not dare to walk the Fairy Lane past midnight or you will be stuck there until Sunrise! After that enjoy the fairy lane walk to the village and back and your steps for the day will be covered.
Before Covid put a halt to things, our annual field day would be held in the school grounds and is always a winner and great day to be had by all, young and old, with the whole community coming together to donate, participate and confabulate.
The many fundraisers held by the local people, giving up and dedicating their time freely to help further on desperately needed projects, like improving the church, the community centre, the GAA or helping those that are sick.
We have builders, carpenters, hairdressers, beauty therapists and bakers to name but a few of the tradesmen and craftsmanship that goes on here. We have a community Facebook page to ask, advise and advertise anything and everything you wish.
The two pubs, Bob’s Bar and the Sawdust Inn, both family friendly and welcoming and not only can you get a good Céad Míle Fáilte there, you can eat drink and be merry. Dance the night away to the varied entertainment they put on, and you can also do so in the knowledge that at the end of the night, if you are stuck for a lift home, the owners are only too happy to oblige.
As much as I didn’t like living in this village when I was a 14-year-old ‘blow in’ and swore, I would not I live here again, I am glad that I did, with a renewed appreciation for country living.
I raised my family here, and was happy to do so. But now, I guess I am seeking another new life and meet other new souls, perhaps in a new state and maybe a bit more hustle and bustle.
It just feels like my time here has come to a natural end with the end of raising my children, who are off on their own discoveries.
I hope that the people that come to live in my house, not only appreciate and enjoy the house but the village that it is in and all it has to offer.
Who decides whether you are fat or thin, chunky or skinny. Are you influenced by what others perceive you to be, or do you decide?
I’m getting fat. Not fat, fat exactly, but fatter than I was. Having said that, what do people consider fat?
I was always skinny. The skinny bitch. I didn’t think I was skinny, but I didn’t think I was fat. I was just me and my size was just my size. I was lean, yes but I didn’t think anything about it because, like I said, I was just me.
So now, I am still me, just a bigger version of me than I was, when I was younger, so, am I fat?
No, not really, though I do have a spare tyre, my upper arms are definitely bigger and softer, my thighs are bigger too and they wobble, they didn’t used to wobble. My ass, well let’s say, now I have an ass, so before I had a small ass, never the less, it was still an ass. My face is rounder and I have more than one chin. When I was the skinny bitch, I could, if I tried hard enough and put my face down towards my neck, make myself have more than one chin,
It is called skin, lean with pockets of fat cells in it and maybe some muscle. I used to have muscle, when I was the skinny bitch. I did lots of hand stands and cart wheels and other gymnastic tricks. I loved gymnastics at school. My friend and I were both good at it. We were the skinny bitches.
We remained the skinny bitches even after we had children without even trying.
I went even thinner after my first baby, all that breastfeeding. It gave her colic. I thought it was what I was eating, so in the end I ate very little. She still had colic. I put her on the bottle as I had to eat and something had to give. She took the bottle and the colic went, but the constipation came. She still screamed in pain.
It was a lose-lose situation for her, and a win lose for me. Win because I could now eat again, the cabbage, potatoes, salad cream etc. that everyone said was probably giving her colic. I lost because she was still screaming and I felt it was my fault for putting her on the bottle and the poor child was still in pain….
I started to get fat when I was in my early 40’s. Actually I think I started to change, ever so slightly, from my early 30’s, I think I gained about 7 pound from when I was in my teens. I didn’t try to gain these pounds, they just arrived, slowly and without much encouragement or notice from me. I was still a skinny bitch you see.
By my early 40’s I had gained another 7 pound. Still I think I looked pretty good in the mirror, even though, that is a whole stone in a 10-year period. I was beginning to ‘fill out’. I was also noticing that my skin was changing, slightly. I was getting fine lines and the elasticity was beginning to loosen I suppose. That’s ok, it does that with age.
By my early 50’s I had gained another 14 pound and from 50 to 55 another 7 pound. So from my teens I had gained two and a half stone and like they say, it crept up on me.
I am not blind. I could see my body changing shape. My face, rounder, my boobs fuller, my belly definitely fatter, my arms, my legs, my whole body. Still, I was me. I am not fat. I am fatter than my skinny bitch days, yes, but I am not fat. I don’t know when I will consider myself fat but I know this. Some people, thinner than me, will look at me and say that I am fat.
Some people, bigger than me, will look at me and say that I am skinny.
I will say, I have more fat on me than when I was skinny, but, I am still me and I am happy with who I am. Like my skin that is ageing, my hair that is greying, my body is changing as it naturally does with age.
I am glad to be ageing, it means that I am alive and that I can chose, every day, what I do with my day. I can choose to look in the mirror and say ‘hey, you are fifty something and still fabulous’ or I could criticise how I look and feel bad about myself. I chose the former not the latter.
The moral of this story is, just because you are the size that you are, you have to decide whether or not, you are happy with you. So long as you are healthy and have a healthy view of yourself in your own mind and can embrace your own body, wobbly bits and all, or bones and all, don’t let it consume you.
Other people will always have their opinions, it’s either colic or constipation, skinny bitch or fatty. You decide, yourself, what label you want to put on you……