Wednesday, 30 May 2012

The Good Life

Apologies for being quiet as of late, I have had a rather hectic 2 weeks which was made even MORE hectic by the fact that I was unwell… I am, however, back to full health and I promise I will be writing more regularly as it does tend to keep me (somewhat) sane! 

Other things which have kept me sane and happy the last 2 weeks have been:

                                       Sitting out the back listening to music, candles lit and a fire 

                                                   Me and the dog went for a ramble in the park 


                                                                    He was hilarious

                                    I haven’t had the chance to bake in a long long time, really enjoyed it

      I didn’t expect to stay up so late the other night and I was greeted with this glorious show before I went to sleep

                                                                    Mental little things

Yes it looks slightly phallic but I am actually really proud of my first finished piece! I have yet to decide what else I want to make… maybe a bowl? Or a little container… 

 “We all live with the objective of being happy; our lives are all different and yet the same.”  Anne Frank


Thursday, 17 May 2012

Sunshine on a rainy day

I suppose the best way to stop complaining about being idle in life is to either stop complaining or stop being idle… well this week I put that theory to the test as it was probably one of the most productive weeks for me in such a long time. After airing my frustrations on here 7 days ago, I decided that I was going to fill up my “ok” life with fun and new experiences thus create a more colourful, interesting day to day world for myself. My aim was (and now is) to try enjoy at least some a part of each day. That sounds kinda odd when I read it back… at least some part… almost like I am settling instead of announcing that EVERY DAY WILL BE HENCEFORTH *POSITIVE* :D But let’s be realistic here, not every day will be a good day. If you’re like me then at least 4-5 times a week you might find yourself in a scenario where you just don’t want to be right there in that place, doing whatever it is that you are doing, at that very moment. You probably pause, take a breath and then continue on with that ugh gut feeling, questioning is this how my life is going to be…  Would it brighten your day just a little to think that after you go through the crappy whatever-it-is, you then have something positive to look forward to? In my head that was do-able. I can’t change every single day to be my dream life but I can change a few minutes or hours! 

Some of the things that I did this week may seem mundane or insignificant but I would argue that, firstly, with the attitude that I have had the last while I have often over looked the simplest of pleasures so consciously stopping to recognise them brightened up my day when they happened. Secondly, a lot of people assume that you have to go out of your way or spend a lot of money in order to enjoy yourself – that’s not true. Anyways, here are some of the things that I enjoyed:

I went to see Dark Shadows after work on Friday. Anyone who knows me will understand my love for Mr Depp and my fascination with Mr Burton… this movie for me was hilarious, quirky, unique, cheesey and so utterly camp but that made it even better! 

After about 4 months of holding out, I got my hair cut… only a trim mind you haha, I am still growing it but it needed a tidy so I felt like pampering myself. I really love when people work with my hair (brushing, massaging, playing with it etc.) so this for me was heaven.

With the parents off at a wedding, I spent the day with the pooch and when I say spent the day I mean I literally spent the entire day hanging out with him haha. We had lunch, we played on the floor for an hour with his toys, we explored out the back and we sat on the couch (shh he isn’t allowed up on it) cuddling while watching Britain’s got Talent…

After noticing that the movie The Proposal was about to start on tv, I whizzed up and got awesome popcorn from a certain local renting dvd store, snuggled up with pjs and wait for it… I turned off my phone and laptop. Now that for me is huge. I have gotten in the habit these days to watch movies/shows while browsing online, not giving either my full attention. It is like I have a need to always be in communication or available to communication with friends and family instead of taking time for myself to switch off. I enjoyed the movie 10 times more and I shall be doing it a lot in the future.

Sometime ago I was approached to do some volunteer work which due to other commitments, I couldn’t take part in. It however planted a seed in my mind about doing some work in the future and I loved the idea that I could interact with new people. I also felt a huge need to give something of myself purely to help others. Well my commitments have changed and thankfully I got a call the other day inviting me to volunteer 3-4 times a month with a youth group.
This next one occurred over about 2-3 days and I must admit is pretty huge for me; I decided that it was about time to join the IMTA seen as I am qualified – oh wait. I never got to talk about it! Yes about 2 weeks ago my results arrived in the post and I am now a fully qualified holistic massage therapist. Whoop! – anyways as I am now employable for that type of massage, I would need to get insured in order to take on any clients. The long story short - it is cheaper to do this in conjunction with the IMTA not to mention the benefits of belonging to an association etc. Having organised both of those, I started to brain storm what would I call my trading name should I go down that route in the future. I searched through loads of websites to see what I couldn’t use and after a lot of research I settled on something that I truly feel fits with the ethos I want to bring to my company. No I won’t be telling you what it is haha, you will just have to wait until I launch it! Of course having found a name I then wanted to make sure that no one would have taken the website for it. Thankfully no one had so I decided in case it gets snapped up, I will buy the domain. Unfortunately for me, the regulations have changed when it comes to buying .ie domains so I have a lot more paper work to sort out before I can say it is 100% mine BUT it has lead me to register my business name officially (haha can you see how this whole thing has just snowballed??) which I am chuffed about. The next step will be to sort out a graphic for the name and/or logo which I will then get trademarked. Needless to say, I have been buzzing with excitement from all of this!

Finally, today’s pot of gold at the end of the rainbow took its form in a new hobby that I have just discovered: Wood turning! My mam had been nattering on for some time about doing this course during the week days which I thought was a lovely idea, but had no real push to do it. That was until while at the Festival of Fires, I came across a few different examples of wood work. Some were carvings, some were turnings, some were demonstrations but all of them looked amazing so I agreed to go along with my mam for the craic. Tonight was our first night and wow I am in love with wood turning! It is a lot easier to do then you would think however to do it with any proficiency or grace you would need a lot of skill and patience. 

Here are a few quick pictures I sneakily took during the class:

This was the first practice piece that we did; the block started out like the one which you can see laying down. We then rounded it off and started to mess about seeing what shapes we could do ourselves.

We then moved onto a piece of Oak which we also rounded off and carved down into this. It took ages to get it even! Haha


Do you have any highlights which have lifted your day?

“A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events and outcomes. It is a catalyst and it sparks extraordinary results”  Wade Boggs


Thursday, 10 May 2012


It appears I have turned into a see-saw; the moods of my blogs are rocking back and forth between positive and negative when I had set out thinking that they would try to be uplifting. Having said that I also said I would be honest and talk about things that people don’t tend to verbalise even though everyone may feel the same thing from time to time so I am trying to stay true to that. Right now I feel very frustrated with life. Due to uncontrollable circumstances, my projected goals which I wanted to reach this year have altered and I am left feeling in limbo for the next while. Maybe I should embrace it and come up with a new challenge in the meantime but right now all I can think about is how I am set back and things are slowing down for me yet again. 

Ya see as I was growing up, I have somehow consciously but not intentionally given myself a personal time line for how I feel I should live my life. I have always pictured that I would reach certain life goals by certain ages and that my life would be “established” by now. In doing this, I have fallen trap to this schedule and each time that I take stock and see that I’m nowhere near that, I feel like I am failing in life. It’s a ticking clock. Tick “your 24…” tick “your 25…” tick “your now 26…” Have any of you seen the episode in Friends called The One Where They All Turn 30? There is a part where Rachel is sitting at the table with all the others and she starts to talk about at what age she would like to get married and start having kids. She lists off timelines and as she counts backwards, she realises she has passed some of them? Haha that’s me.  

The part that I find the most frustrating is actually not the marriage/family situation, I know that will happen whenever it is meant to, it’s actually the job/living at home situation and the fact that I can’t seem to change that in the near future either. I vowed when I was 24 that I was going to move out… I’m now 26 and with the projected direction I’m heading in with my life, there is no way I can move out until at least this time next year which means I will be 27. That kills me. It actually hurts sometimes just thinking about it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I’m not welcome at home or anything of the sort, I just need to leave for my own sake. I want my own place and I want to be fully independent without having to run things past my parents. I see that as a natural thing when someone is an adult and the fact that I am still living at home makes me feel silly. I just can’t afford any other options at the moment so I have no choice. 

Then again, who said life had to be a certain way? Who said you had to move out, find the love of your life, be in the midst of your career, looking to start a family all by a certain age?! And yet that’s all I seem to think about. That I should be doing those things and that I’m not. I want those things, I’m ready for those things but life hasn’t ended up that way so I can’t have those things right now which makes me feel… inadequate. Especially because literally everyone around me seems to be ahead of me in some form or another. I’m not looking for sympathy or reassurance by the way, I’m just expressing that right now I feel like I have a very straight forward “ok” life while everyone around me is DOING things with theirs. 

I will have to find a way to be happy with my life where it is and try let go of my own pressure to be at a certain point in my life when I’m just not there yet… which is a hell of a lot easier said than done! 

I was an accomplice in my own frustration.” Peter Shaffer


Sunday, 6 May 2012

Happy Bealtaine

Generally I don’t like to make New Year resolutions because A) I never follow them through so feel like I have failed with something and B) I don’t think changes can only be made at the new year, they should happen all year round. Having said that, this year I have tried to give myself a focus or aspiration which might be in line with a resolution;  to try new experiences and get as much as I can out of life! That includes doing things I would normally find daunting or hold back from for various reasons (hence this blog).  So far this year’s “resolution” has been working out and I have been opening myself up to situations I normally would have shied away from but the big test came this weekend; I went to the festival of fires.

A quick summary of FoF for those who have never heard of it before:
The ancient Celts had four main celebrations throughout the year; Samhain, Imbolc, Beltane (Beltaine/Bealtaine in Ireland) and Lughnasadh. Each represented the beginning of a new season and had different traditions accordingly. Beltain was a fire festival which took place at the start of May to herald the start of summer bursting with fertility and life. One of the ceremonial highlights of the festival was the lighting of a fire set on a hill in the centre of Ireland which was then carried to hilltops in every county in the land. This traditionally took place on the Hill of Uisneach in County Westmeath and there are many different connections between this site and ancient Irish lore. In the last few years, there has been a renewal of this celebration on the hill each May which is called the Festival of Fires

What attracted to me to the festival when I first heard about it was the historical aspect – I loved the idea that it is a tradition that took place thousands of years ago on the exact same spot. For as long as I can remember I have had a slight (huge) obsession with any ancient Irish history, my mam says it started when I was about 5/6 years old when I saw the Robin Hood movie (the one with Kevin Costner) and from then on I only wanted to be a medieval princess that lived in a castle haha. Now I know that was English but I think it was the imagery of that time what sparked it off. I clearly remember learning about Irish history in primary school – the Fianna, Cu Chulainn, about how the Vikings came and even things like the fulacht fia. I had books as a child about the sagas of Ireland which told of the Children of Lir and the Tuatha De Dannan, we often visited the heritage centre just outside Wexford where they brought you around mock villages and ruins - I apparently stood with the tour guide the entire time questioning him on everything (I was probably about 8/9 at this point?)… the list goes on and on and on, going right into my teens. I was always told I was born in the wrong century and when asked, I always wanted to go back to that time if I was given a time machine haha. 

So you can see how this was right up my alley but not only that, it called to me from a spiritual point of view too. I don’t have a tendency to discuss my belief system with people, I am pretty private about what I grasp as the core truth to how I live my life and why I am here on this earth. I don’t know why I am quiet about it… maybe it is connected to growing up in a strong catholic household or because people don’t really discuss things like religion any more. I know a lot of young people don’t bring it up in conversation anyway. I am slowly trying to change that though and open up about it. I feel it is important for people to talk about these things because it is through sharing or debating ideas that you can challenge yourself to find the answers. You might not even know what it is that you do believe in – or not as the case maybe if you’re an atheist. Anyways, my beliefs are pagan in origin and the closest term for what I believe in is known as pantheism which is the concept that through all life runs an energy or divinity and that everything is connected through it. I have always felt an affinity to the earth and the more I read or study the natural or holistic approach to the world around me, the more reinforced I feel about my beliefs. Having said that, I have never actively done something that expresses my spirituality which only dawned on me while I was at the festival. Being there yesterday felt natural. Everyone around me was there for different reasons; there were pagans of all sects, Druids, Christians, people who were just out to enjoy the music or the fire, families who were just out for the day. But there was a feeling that everyone accepted each other and acted however they wished openly. 

The biggest leap into the unknown for me with this weekend was the fact that I went to the festival on my own. Over the years there has been loads of different things that I have wanted to do, traveling, festivals, classes, parties etc., which I ended up never doing because I had no one to do it with at the time. When I saw the website a few months ago, I instantly had the feeling that I had to be there this year but then it crossed my mind; who would I get to come with me? I knew I needed to apply for the time off with work early enough so that I got it so the commitment to go was there but I didn’t know who else would enjoy it or would have the time/money to do it. After a lot of hmm-ing and haw-ing I thought screw that I’m old enough and bold enough to just go without someone holding my hand, so I bought my ticket and didn’t think about it again. The last week leading up to it though I was starting to think would I be ok with it when I’m actually there. I was a little apprehensive about what I would do for the entire day and would I be able to sustain my own interest without someone to share it with. Boy was I wrong!

At the festival I never once felt on my own, everywhere I went people were interacting with each other and sharing ideas with each other. Even if you were shy and didn’t want to initiate a conversation, if you stood still long enough someone would come over and talk to you! At one point I was standing reading a sign (the one below) and a girl standing beside me started to talk to me, just about the day and how was I finding it etc. We talked for all of 5 minutes or so but it was if we were catching up having not seen each other in ages. Then as she turned to leave she wished me a good day and gave me a hug as if we were old friends. Later, I was sitting on a log seat writing (I had brought my writing book with me in case I got inspired, which I did…A LOT) when someone sitting near me asked me what I was writing. I talked to her for a while and then she had to go, so I returned to my thoughts and 1 min later I had another girl sit down beside me and again asked me what I was up to! Within a few mins all her friends came over and I sat there for about an hour laughing with them. I’ve never had that happen before… it feels like it takes me ages to pluck up the courage to talk to people and I spent the day talking to people from all walks of life which was a new thing for me. And what’s more, I loved every second of it.

Here are some more pictures from the day:

The festival itself was fantastic; the positive attitude was refreshing, the art and creativity there was inspiring, the atmosphere was welcoming and open. I felt a real calm about the place and it was small enough that you never got lost. I didn’t see any fighting and though people were drinking, it wasn’t a drinking festival and there were no overtly drunk people that you would associate with festivals. My favourite part of the whole thing was the fire parade and the fire itself. The sun had just gone down and on top of the hill it was starting to get rather cold as the wind blew in. Then came this glorious huge fire which was so bright in the dark and the heat that blasted out of it was unreal. There is something very hypnotic about watching flames flicker and dance over wood… People stood watching the flames for a long time, cheering whenever the pyre broke and crumbled.


I cannot wait until next year, I am definitely going again.

Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life.”  Buddha