Random

St Patrick’s Day – Reminders of the past

My grandfather was Irish and I was lucky to spend some holidays in Ireland as a child. As I’ve got older I’ve started to forget some of the details yet other memories remain. My grandad’s family lived in a remote village in Donegal so to get there we sometimes would drive, going across on the ferry (from Scotland). I remember on one such ferry I was bought a tin whistle, I loved it but as an adult now, I wonder how many other passengers on the ferry appreciated the purchase of that particular gift – haha.

St Patrick’s Day Toast

Other times we would fly into Londonderry “Derry” Airport. It was strange, going through Derry in the 90’s and 00’s, I distinctly remember seeing armed police officers, something I had never seen before. Yet, my main memories of Derry are of going shopping. It is funny how as a child something that you initially take as odd, is rather quickly accepted.

One of my favourite memories from these holidays was visiting the giant’s causeway and my grandfather telling me the tale of the two giants who spent many years throwing rocks at one another. I think these tales seem to differ a little dependent upon whose telling them but in my grandfather’s version, the Irish giant built the causeway to Scotland, upon arrival he realised the Scottish giant was much bigger and stronger than he had realised. He then scurried back home to hide. His wife came up with a cunning plan and disguised the Irish giant as a baby, when the Scottish giant took one look at him, he realised if that was the baby, the father must be even bigger and quickly returned to Scotland destroying the causeway on the way. My grandfather told me this story when I was very little, perhaps 4 or 5 but I think it was one of the first stories I had heard in which the woman was the hero, the smart one, who ultimately saved the day.

I hope everyone has a great St Patrick’s Day. Time to eat, drink and celebrate the Irish.


For those wanting a little extra fun, I quite enjoyed this article: 7 Surprising St Patrick’s Day Facts

St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated annually on March 17, the anniversary of his death in the fifth century. The Irish have observed this day as a religious holiday for over 1,000 years.

Saint Patrick, who lived during the fifth century, is the patron saint of Ireland and its national apostle. Born in Roman Britain, he was kidnapped and brought to Ireland as a slave at the age of 16. He later escaped, but returned to Ireland and was credited with bringing Christianity to its people.

Much Love
KL ❤

Random

Outsmarted by a 5-year-old

A friend of mine has an adorable five-year-old (5YO) son. He looks like butter wouldn’t melt, yet secretly he is a genius and can win most arguments – not with pouting or tantrums like most kids, worse he uses logic! After a recent house move, he began to attend a Church of England School. My friend isn’t religious at all, she would definitely give Songs of Praise a wide berth…but the school has excellent ratings. The problem really started when his pet died. The conversation went a little like this:

5YO: “Mum, you know how Oscar died?”secret

Mum: “Yes, we are all very sad.”

5YO: “He’s not coming back is he?”

MUM: “No he isn’t, Sweetie.”

5YO “Well, how come humans come back from the dead?”

MUM laughs, thinking some TV series has probably put this idea into his head: “Humans don’t come back from the dead.”

5YO: “Yes, they do!”

MUM: “No they don’t”

5YO: “Yes, they do, my teacher said so. I think I’ll come back from the dead.”

MUM (wondering if she should be checking up at school): “No, she didn’t. You must have got confused.”

5YO (getting frustrated now): “I’m not, he’s called Jesus. He died and then came back to life.”

MUM (sighing relief): “Oh that’s different. He only did that because he was the son of God. You won’t do that.”

5YO (silent for 30 seconds): “I thought we were all God’s children?…”

My friend was dumbstruck. How do you combat that argument? She has decided all future religious discussions will be left in the far more capable hands of the school.


When did kids get so smart?.. Hope this made you smile as much as it made me! Enjoy – KL ❤

muttley

Random

A Little Luck of the Irish

Happy St Patrick’s Day Everyone!

St.-Patricks-Day

My grandfather was Irish. I have many wonderful memories of staying with him in the School Holidays. Visiting family and friends, helping out on the farm, and those treasured visits to the beautiful beaches. 

My favourite thing about my Irish family though is they can all tell a story and my grandfather told many. His stories stayed with me through my years, some comical, some fantastical and some completely illogical! Have I ever told you the one about the giant in Ireland throwing rocks at the giant in Scotland?… Well, I’ll save it for another day. My point is he took the time to tell them to me and it is something I cherish and hope one day to do the same with my grandchildren (tell stories that is not throw rocks!).

My grandfather loved nothing more than having a variety of friends and family over for a few drinks and everyone in the room would sit and exchange stories. They would make toasts to celebrate good news and make toasts with a positive spin on any bad news, there was always a reason to smile and cheer and celebrate. For me, this is what St Patrick’s Day means. 

I still love to come across an Irish blessing knowing that it may have been woven into one of the many toasts I overheard. 

“If you do not sow in the spring you will not reap in the autumn.”

“Here’s that we may always have a clean shirt, a clean conscience, and a coin in our pocket.”

“May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been, the foresight to know where you’re going and the insight to know when you’re going too far.”

So my toast for this year is, to remember those we have lost with fondest memories, be thankful for those we always have, and those new friends we have found, and be hopeful a little luck of the Irish will come your way and into your heart. 

And May Your Top Shelf be Full of Good Irish Whiskey!

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Grandma’s Night Out

A few months ago my mother arranged a visit down to stay with me for a few days and brought my grandma with her. I have glorious memories from my upbringing are of my mother taking myself (and sometimes my grandma) to the theatre, so I decided it would be a lovely surprise to book a night at the theatre for us. What was on at the theatre?

The Full Monty!”

This was a stage production of the actual movie so not just some sleazy stripping, but let’s face it, it’s still a movie about stripping! What to do? My wonderful plans were already going of course, so I thought sod it! And booked them anyway.

I had a discussion with my best friend and we decided in for a penny in for a pound and her and her mother joined us. Worst case scenario my grandma would hate it and if so my OH happily agreed he would pick her up and take her back home. My mum and grandma arrived and after exchanging greetings and news we sat down to a lovely dinner Darling OH had prepared, I decided this was the moment to unveil my surprise and passed the envelope with the tickets. On opening, my mother thought they were for the pantomime (the theatre company had included an advertisement on the back of the tickets), when I told her to read it again. She burst out laughing and I explained I thought it would be a nice treat and we’d make a girly evening of it.

We got ready, OH dropped us off and we full montymade our way inside. The seats I booked were the cheapest and literally the back row of the theatre, practically in the rafters (I hadn’t thought this through as I have a disabled mother and a grandma with me!) but we got to our seats and waited for the show to start – the small theatre was packed out. Half an hour, my mum and my grandma were giggling along with the rest of us. Nothing to worry about at all. In fact the funniest bit of the evening was my grandma rolling her eyes and saying “yeah right” at one of the scenes, this made my mother and I laugh even harder!..

We now have even more treasured memories of the theatre, although entirely different from those previously.

I wonder if I can book magic mike for next year?…

—————————————–Just Jot It January – 2016——————–Post prompted by: – Just Jot January – 9th & #SoCS – Title. To find the rules for Just Jot It January, click here and join in today. It’s never too late! And don’t forget to ping back your January 9th post.

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Sweet 16 – There is always a boy!

Sweet 16!

Douglas Adams quoteWell perhaps not so sweet. I was never a bad girl. I was in the top sets, got great results and got on well with my parents and my teachers. However at 16 I had romance, I was dating a bad boy. Someone who was not in the top sets. Someone who’s mum drove way to fast with her music way to loud and wore her tops way too tight. He had blonde tips to his dark hair, wore a chain along his with his baggy school trousers and had a tattoo. I simply thought he was amazing.

He wasn’t all bad though. Our first day we spent together, we all hung out at a local skate park. I lived just outside of town about a 2 mile walk from the park and was under the instructions to be home before dark (a common rule in our house). As the night got later we headed back taking a short cut across the farmer’s field. My bad boy and his friend throwing sugar beets at one another while my friend and I giggled happily at them. By the time we got to the end of the field, it was almost dark and I knew I wasn’t going to make it on time. I told everyone I would go the rest of the way on my own and he rushed to my side saying he did not want me walking this late on my own. I refused to let him walk with me, as we spoke rain dancingstarted to spit gently from the sky and I dreaded walking in late and soaked but at that moment he took his jacket off and wrapped it round me. As he hugged it around my shoulders he leaned in and kissed me. My stomach churned with butterflies as the rain fell around us. I pulled away and ran up the path, but when I got to the top I turned and waved, he was still watching.

When I arrived home, I traipsed soddenly into the house expecting to be told off but my mum told me to sit by the fire and dry off a bit while she made me a hot cuppa. My two dogs pranced around me eager to say hello. I buried my face into their fluffy backs trying to hide the smile that was glued on my face. Returning with the cuppa my mum sat on the chair nearest me and asked what I’d been up to. “Just hanging out at the park”, I answered. She nodded her head knowingly. After the cuppa I went upstairs to get changed into my pyjamas, only then did I realise I still had his coat on. How had my mum not said anything? It didn’t matter, I took it off his lovely masculine scent passing me as I hung it up on the back of my door. For now he was my secret, even if I hadn’t been as secret as I thought!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Only Sixteen.”

Writing Extracts

Following the nightmare

Has anyone’s dream ever followed them into their waking lives?the nightmare An odd question I know but this has happened to me a few times lately and it is a most terrifying experience. Although certainly old enough to know better I still suffer from nightmares. Put it down to a vivid imagination, or reading too late into the night (as my mother used to tell me when I was a child) or to stress (which seems to be the main explanation given for adults who suffer). Although all these things are quite probably true, it is just something that has plagued me most of my life and for the majority I am used to it. Last night’s dream though was of a different type that I have had a few times lately. This one involved my little cousin and our old house. I say little as that is how she was in the dream, she is now a full blown adult, but in the dream she was around 10 and the lively inquisitive young girl who used to follow me around everywhere, that is another reason I knew I was dreaming. A friend had told me she believed my cousin was being haunted, I asked her to explain more and she said she couldn’t, she just wanted me to know so I could keep my eye on her. Strange. In the next scene my cousin is in my front room, I tell her about her friend coming to me and she just shrugs and says “I dunno, maybe”. Then I am walking to her house in the dark (she only lives across the road, another sign of being in the dream), but still I am nervous as I walk, it seems pitch black, even though the street lights are on, they somehow enhance the darkness and create shadows everywhere. I walk past the fishpond in the garden and stare into the blackness, a small dot appears, causing a circle of ripples to cast across the water, confirmation that there is something there. As I walk to the front door it opens and the light from the house floods the pathway, her friend stands in the doorway, “It’s happening again”. I follow her friend up the narrow staircase and as she approaches the bedroom door, she steps to one side and nods towards the room. Before I enter I can hear the music coming from the room, not the usual kind of bubble-gum pop Emma listens to, but some kind of low, jungle, heavy bass, thudding, music. As I look in the room I can see Emma sitting at the desk her head bobbing to the music, she is chanting to it. “Em”, I shout across the room and painfully slowly Emma turns her head round to look at me. That is when I know it is true, my heart has been thumping the whole of the dream, it now begins to hammer in my chest. Her eyes. I can see it in her eyes. Her lips continue to chant, and she turns back around focussing on her task. I step into the room, I feel like I am rushing towards her but I must not be, as I take the time to notice the sound system on the small shelf on her desk has water leaking through it. And it is running onto the desk in front of her. Her hand is in the water. My mind starts to run, shouldn’t she be electrocuted, or is that just a myth? I pull her round to face me, yanking her arm of the desk. The chair swivels round easy as her body is limp. I start to shake her, I know I am shouting “Em, Em, Emma, Emma, come on wake up”. The eyes I stare deep into the eyes while I shake her, come on, I will her to wake. Her eyes begin to roll back in her head and her eye lids start to flutter. I must be getting through. “Emma, can you hear me, I need you to wake up now, I need you to listen to me”. I lift her small body from the chair and take her to the bed lying her down gently, the rolling her into the recovery position, I push the hair stuck to her face out the way. “Emma, please, please hear me, please just open your eyes honey”. I start to shake her again desperate, and watch as a manic grin spreads across her face. “Noooo, Emma I need you to wake up right now.” The small body starts to move I can see the battle going on behind her eyelids. Her body begins to cough, it is weak and pathetic but I know it is her and I reach out to help her, then I wake up. This is when my dream will not give in, despite having been so active in my dream, I am rigid in the bed, although my heart hammers my chest in panic. My whole body is straight as a board, like I am in a coffin, my hands trapped tightly to my side, my legs clamped shut together. The strange thing is my legs feel as though they are raised slightly off the bed. I look down on them and I know they are flat, I can see it but they feel as though they are raised slightly, and my mind overrules. Why can I not move, it feels as though my whole body has gone to sleep, almost as though I will have pins and needles any moment. The more my mind wakes up, slowly I regain control over my body I first manage to move my legs, then my clamped arms, I am then able to roll over. I know this whole process, only takes seconds, but when I first wake from the nightmare in this trapped state, it feels like minutes. As I roll over on my side, my mind replays the fragmented dream over and over again, while my eyes scan all the shadows in my room, just to make sure I am safe. Hopefully morning won’t be too long. Link

Un-block Challenges, Writing Extracts

If only they knew

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Use It or Lose It.”

I thought we’d never come back from that one”, the old man chuckled in his chair quietly more to himself than the two young boys in front of him.

The boys looked at each other, then back to the old man. He was making it all up surely. Their mother would never have had purple hair and a pierced tongue. Did she really sneak out the window to meet a boy? If she had got caught why would she be in a bad mood with granddad, wouldn’t she be the naughty one?

At that moment their mother walked into the room, “go on boys, collect your things and get into the car”.

She folded her work suit jacket over her arm and walked over to the old man and planted a kiss on his forehead. “Thanks for having them dad, you haven’t been filling their heads full of rubbish have you?”

The old man looked at the boys and winked, “nope, I only ever tell my lads the truth”.

She smiled as she got up and left the room, the two young boys following immediately behind her. The old man chuckled to himself again, if only they knew.

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1998 – Buffalo Nickel

I sit at my writing desk and reach for a tiny box that I know contains a small collection of rogue coins from my travels over the years. Reaching in I pluck out a 25ptas coin, golden with a small hole in it and featuring Espana 1998. Turning the coin over repeatedly in my mind, what was I doing then?..

ptasI suspect I was a freckly red-headed pain in the ass if my brother is to be believed. 1998 was my first year joining my brother at high school. I still remember it seemed so big compared to primary school and I hated that three schools mingled to join into one high school meaning there was only a few people I knew in each class. That being said I did grow to love high school and all the eccentricity that went with it. I had a very enthusiastic English teacher (mentioned in a previous post), an art teacher with a glass eye who seemed to never miss a trick and a rather mad physics teacher who was regularly known for throwing chalkboard dusters at those who didn’t pay attention. As you can imagine, those were three of my favourite teachers!!

But what do kids love most about school?.. the holidays and this year was another trek to Spain. Swimming pool all day, chicken for tea most nights (I wasn’t very adventurous with Spanish cuisine), my first taste of red bull (I actually thought it was alcoholic!) and good traditional family memories to last for years.

What were you doing in 1998?
Thanks for the prompt idea – https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/buffalo-nickel/

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The Pirate Teacher

Tell us about a teacher who had a real impact on your life, either for the better or the worse. How is your life different today because of him or her?

teacher

I loved school, well not all of it but I certainly have a few good memories and was lucky I also had a few good teachers.

English was definitely one of my favourite classes, I love to read and write and I do think that was partly down to my mum, who was always reading to me at home. This interest definitely expanded though when I got to highschool. I was lucky to have made it to a class with an incredibly eccentric English teacher who managed to make everything we did fun. I remember one of his tactics was to get us to read in accents. I know this sounds crazy now but it truly worked. He would come into class and decide that everything we read that day would be in Pirate (regular chose this accent, think it was his favourite, or cowboy (of mice and men), or Irish (I still remember Gillian Clarke’s poem about a supposedly barren sheep because of this).

He was also excellent at discipline, I still remember one day when some kids were talking at the back of the class him jumping onto their desk and started to pretend to surf, they immediately stopped talking and he sarcastically said, “sorry am I distracting you by doing something irrelevant to your conversation?”, the girls immediately blushed and spent the rest of the time silent. Sounds crazy but it worked!

This teacher eventually moved on to teach at University and hopefully that means he has played a part in inspiring many new great English teachers.

So, if you are ever finding a report extremely difficult to get through, try reading it out loud, in pirate! You’ll be surprised how well you understand and remember it!

teach 2Prompt – https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/teachers-pet/

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Most Challenging, Most Rewarding & Most Fun

I loved todays – Daily Prompt – Good Tidings

Meet yourself 10 years ago and tell them the most challenging, most rewarding and most fun thing they will do in the next 10 years.

achievement

10 years ago I was 17. Exactly as cliché suggests I was younger, stupider and thought I knew a lot more than I actually did.

Several heartbreaks, house moves and “proper” jobs taught me otherwise.

 

My most challenging moment between 17-27

Finding out who you are and who you truly want to be. I think it is something we all work on continuously throughout our lives as things change, people change and looking back on history even society changes affect us. But I think this is something that dominates your early twenties you really get a much clearer idea of who you are and who you want to be. I was brought up by a single mother in a council house in a major city. I am now married and own my house (well, paying a mortgage at any rate) in a nice town. That is due to hard-work, determination and figuring out who I want to be. It’s something I am very proud of and believe too many people give in to being what people expect them to be when we can all push ourselves to be so much more.

My most rewarding moment between 17-27

Opening the front door to our house and watching the dogs run wildly in and out of every room as my partner brings in the box with the kettle in it (Most important box of the house!). When I picture happiness this is it.

My most fun moment between 17-27

Many, many of these all of which make me laugh even now but not something I am happy sharing on here yet…. I’ll leave that between me and my 17 year old self.