in which everybody wins

We were in England recently, staying with Nana & Grandad. As well as the magic of Harry Potter, we did a lot of family stuff, just spending time together. Sitting out in the garden (an impossibility in Belfast due to the on-going November weather), leisurely lunches, catching up.

Spurs Fan took the girls and Grandad on a tour of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, which was, apparently, wonderful stuff. He’s a proper responsible grown up, but an excitable wee boy when it comes to football and his team. Second only to THFC in his affections are musician Paul Weller, and specifically the music of The Jam.


Imagine his excitement to see that there was an exhibition, The Jam: About the Young Idea– film, posters, memorabilia- during the time we were near London.  And so, one Monday morning, he joined scores of middle aged men at Somerset House, reliving their youth. I found the coffee shop, wifi and free exhibitions, but don’t doubt I might have enjoyed it too.

Happily, Somerset House is handy for one of the bits of London that I like to spend time in, the South Bank. Westminster in one Direction, Tower Bridge in the other. London landmarks everywhere. Lots going on. Moseying, lunch, watching the boats & the people, exploring small shops and the giant Tate Modern, spotting wild birds. Pottering across the footbridge to St Pauls. In the middle of things, without pressing crowds, enjoying the river- its history, crime novels, and modern busyness.

A day of nothing in particular, but full of difference and discovery. A great holiday day.

turn, turn, turn

The vibrancy has gone from the green. Leaves are getting ready to fall.

The school preparations are nearly done, although Girl2 will be happier once she has mastered the knotting of the new tie.

The end of August is in sight, but the temperatures are those of later in the year. “Like October” said the weatherman, and nobody was surprised. We’ve all been putting on the heat. People have been spotted out and about in winter coats, scarves and hats. Children are donning the warm things without being told.

On the other hand, I just found the linen trousers I put away carefully for the summer. I’m wearing them. I’m wondering where I put the thermals.


the week that was

team pudsey

Mince pies, chatting, peeling, chopping, visiting friends, friends visiting, cloves, ham, boiling, reindeer food, lunch out, stuffing, packed chapel, girls helping, crystal glasses, roast potatoes, mashed potatoes, onesies, team Pudsey, team Westie, Cluedo, Qwirkle, charades, unnecessary nibbles, bike rides, damp walks, sunshine, power cut, coats, boots, scarves, gloves, sale shopping, novel reading, log fire, Love Actually, Die Hard, Arthur Christmas, Gaudete, cinnamon, One Direction, hoodies, the sleep test.

team westie

What did you get up to?

on moving to the dark side

Stylish people of the whole wide world, I have a confession.

Somewhere this summer, possibly in Somerset, a switch flicked in my head.

I have long been a wearer of comfortable shoes. I don’t do proper heels and have a dodgy foot, so I find a brand of comfy shoes and stick with it. That’s not to say I don’t have lots of shoes that have been experiments, or that may get worn again eventually, once, but generally I’m not a shoe person.

Even so, I have always resisted the lure of brightly coloured plastic ‘shoes’. Why would I want to look like I have clown shoes on my feet? My legs are stumpy enough, those things would only emphasise that. How can I pretend to have long, lean legs if there are big bright blobs drawing attention to where they end?

During the heat of July, Girl2 struggled with her footwear. Everything cut or rubbed her bare feet. I found an unexpected solution in the ugly plastic things. No more moans, cuts or blisters. Her feet are the same size as mine; I discovered the comfort.

A little niggle started in the back of my mind. Caravan. Beaches. Walking. Where nobody could see me.

Yes, yes I did.


Feel free to scoff. I’m in Donegal and can’t hear you.