Tag Archives: caravan


We took a trip to the seaside. The west. In February. You’d be correct in assuming we were well wrapped up.

The caravan was intact, if a little mouldy round the edges. One nearby was not so lucky. Winter storms had taken its roof. Had that happened us, I’d be distressed about the curtains and very important decorations, Spurs Fan would be annoyed about the satellite dish, and the girls would take the opportunity to encourage us to upgrade. They’ll slum it for another while.

We hadn’t made the journey in months, so we noticed the roadworks that were finally finished, the house that got sold, the trimmed hedges and the fresh paint. We cheered for our own identifiers- the bike shop, the donut & wine shop, little heather hill. It feels like home.

Not for the first time, we crossed the island under a cloud. The only dry spot between the east coast city and the Atlantic ocean was the beach. Havoc wreaked by the winter was there also, dunes and paths washed away, debris and rubbish washed high.

The girls were still teaching me about taking photographs on my phone- panoramas, filters, video and other oddities.

Then the beach worked its magic and they ran off to be children, exploring, discovering and laughing.

What joy.




interminable half term update

With teacher training days attached on either end-different schools, different days, of course- the half term break in our house is lasting almost a fortnight. (Feel for Spurs Fan who just got two days, despite working much harder at school than either of his children.)

We’ve had two days of dancing competitions, lots of transfer test practise, Hallowe’en pumpkins and dressing up, a trip into town to queue up outside the fancy dress shop, building with sugar cubes at the museum, fast food, a cold, cold, cold trip to the caravan, a lot of sleeping, and some filming.

Not a bit wonder I’m tired.

Oh, sorry, bloggy buddies, do you want more? Detail? Information? Pictures?

Girl1 & pumpkin

Girl 2 & pumpkin

this IS dressing up for Hallowe'en
this IS dressing up for Hallowe’en

sugar cubes Ulster Museum

sugar cubes Ulster Museum

collaborative art

Enough of the sweetness, speccy. Filming?

Some months ago I gave a talk at an event run by RCGP. There were doctors and palliative care workers, people living with illness, researchers and volunteers. My talky bit was partly personal- about Herself and how we coped with her illness, partly wider issues of living with rare disease. Done and dusted. Everything I have to say said. Job done.

Until an email arrived a few weeks ago… Would I be prepared to talk on film about some of the issues? There’d be other talking heads. I’d only have to make two or three points. Big mouth strikes again. That pesky mother of mine, finally succeeding in pushing me out of my comfort zone. She’s laughing in the ether, happy that I remembered to put the make up on and iron the frock.

By Friday morning I was practically hyperventilating. Who will get to see this? Why did I say yes? Is it too late to opt out? Eeek.

not intimidating at all

not missing out

bright lights

I burbled on. The film maker wanted several ‘takes’ of my answers. If only I could remember what I’d just said…

I’ll let you know when it’s on YouTube. Jake may make a sneaky appearance, so we’re bound to go viral.

shocks, sun, and Sam

Ireland is possibly the only place in the world that I can expose skin on a beach and not be an object of ridicule, or of sheer amazement. Normally I’m on the beach with many layers, a hat, scarf and wellies.

This weekend was different. At no point did I wear sleeves. Not even in the late evening in our little ice box oven on the hill. I was adding sunscreen instead of sweatshirts.

In the daytime, I was not the only person with translucent blue white skin braving the sea in Donegal. Without a wetsuit.

It was extraordinary. A catamaran was moored off the beach. In Fintra; not Florida.

catamaran, Fintra, Donegal

We spent two days absorbing the sights, sounds and smells. Holding on to the heat. Capturing all the views.

beach chairs, Fintra, Donegal

The gentle, steady rumble and whoosh of the sea.

Giggles and squeals.

fun with a body board, Donegal

Warm sand. Teeny fish. A hot dog.

hot dog, Donegal

As for Sam, well, we happened across Ireland’s most famous sporting trophy, the Sam Maguire Cup as we drove to the beach. Donegal are the current champions, and all of the county clubs get the trophy at some point. For a small donation, passing strangers and Englishmen get to ooh and aaah and comment on its beauty and weight.

Sam Maguire Cup

A weekend full of surprises and smiles.

Sidey’s weekend theme: happiness