catching up with me & Meryl

Bloggy buddies, I have news. It’s been a year since my hair was dyed, and apart from a little blonde hint on the longer bits, my hair is totally white/grey. I made an effort the other day and wore dangly earrings and, lo, I was described as ‘elegant’. I’m bigger than ever and blessed with mad white hair, but hey, ‘elegant’! And then, since she was on a roll, D decided that I was like Meryl Streep in The Devil wears Prada. Meryl at her most haughty and hilarious. Result. I’m going to work on that. More accessories, maybe?

Of course, that was at our 3rd Friday in a row of dancing events. We may all have been simply hysterical. I start off keen and motivated, but after about four hours I want to lie down in a darkened room and wimper. The music is beautiful, and some of the dancing is fabulous, stilling a crowded room. The days are long- the grown ups need as much stamina as the dancers- and we get expert at finding the fun, making it all a bit of an adventure, and finding elegance in dangly earrings.

We’ve had holidays. Not the sort that involve planes, excitement, or suncream; simply times when the schools are closed. I find holidays challenging. In with all the fun and loveliness, and the joy of all being together, there’s the fact that we’re all together, all the time. I’m used to being on my own a lot, not required to be awake, dressed or communicating. Holidays change that. This Easter we had several days in the west, experiencing all the weather- hail, rain, wind, sunshine, cold and brief moments of warmth. Board games, ice cream, beaches, and enjoying actually being able to see the Black Friday television.

Next week the volunteering starts again. We have strategic plans to make, funding to find, charity registration to complete, lectures to give, a major European conference to attend, and other things I can’t remember or don’t know about. The busyness is on its way back, if only I can keep up.



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?