My Christmas Day Adventure

Today was a Christmas Day my family won’t forget for a long time! We had a great time today, heard some amazing news, and then had a bit of an adventure on the way home. The weather has been pretty cold for the last while, the county was covered in a sheet of ice but this afternoon temperatures rose slightly which was great because we were due to visit family for Christmas dinner.

My brother Donal and his wife had ice problems this morning when their car slid out of his estate. Two hours later they got underway when the roads thawed out a bit. That had worried me because there’s a hill into our estate too.

After a great day with family, a delicious dinner made by my brother-in-law Chris and a visit to my own family we returned home, sharing the road with nervous drivers and reckless drivers. The journey home was uneventful but the hill into our estate proved to be troublesome. The road was covered in ice and slush and as we rounded the bend a car slid down backwards and eventually braked and turned back down. I tried to drive us up there too but the car only got so far before wheels started to spin, the car shuddered and we weren’t going forward any more. Kinda scary!

I had to turn back of course, we parked further up the road where I spotted a break in the ditch. In the freezing dark I managed to get up there, and to make what is turning into a long story shorter enlisted the help of our neighbours who were in the same boat. Between us we managed to get the essential bags out of the car, I carried Adam up the road, and we took a short cut through Rosy and Con’s house knocking a good 100m off our journey.

I used the light of my Nokia 5800 in video mode to light the way so I have a record of all that happened, even if it’s more audio than anything else! Must have a listen tomorrow.

Anyway, I’m glad to be home, safe and sound. We’ll get the car tomorrow. Thanks neighbours for your help. Nollaig Shona dhaoibh go leir!

Christmas Day Ten Years Ago

I’ll always remember Christmas Day 1998. Ten years ago on the night of Christmas Eve we returned from the Regional Hospital without our mother and my father without his wife.
I was in Kerry 2 weeks before when my father rang with the news my mother had collapsed. A massive aneurysm in her brain had burst. She spent the next 15 days in hospital, sometimes awake and able to talk, but most of the time drowsy or asleep. The day before Christmas Eve she suffered another hemorrhage. An emergency operation was carried out to insert a stint in the blood vessel and stop the bleeding but unfortunately the operation was not a success and the stint failed. Machines whirred and beeped by her bedside. She had aged so much overnight. We all said our final goodbyes.

The last conversation I remember having with her was telling her that we had decided on the Christmas gift we were going to get her. Despite her drowsy questioning I didn’t tell her, because it would be a surprise for when she came home. I hold on to that memory of sitting by her bedside. I don’t want to forget it.

We’ll visit her grave later today. Today is a sad day for my family and I but it’s also a celebration and a chance for my family to get together. We have so much to be thankful for. I know my mother would have adored Adam. Have a great day today!

Recession in Cork

The world is in recession, and it’s even affected Cork. The city was busy but it’s been much busier in previous years. Every second shop had a “Closing Down sale” or “50% off sale” sign. Usually you have to wait until the January sales. It’s great that prices are down, but depressing what it means for the economy. I heard that many stores on North Main Street have already closed their doors.


Construction work still continues in the center of the city though. I bet the developers of those sites are not looking forward to the job of selling floor space to retailers. The Elysian, tallest building in the country, is practically empty since it was opened officially a few months ago.
Besides the maddening crowds, collectors for Share and other charities were out in force. At least that’s one thing that hasn’t changed. The streets were packed with people, but the queues in the shops weren’t that long.

Bully’s on Paul Street was excellent as usual. Their ground floor tables were all taken but they have a first floor restaurant I never knew existed! We got a nice table away from everyone, it was a nice reprieve from the crowds and sounds outside. Their Bully Burger is well worth sampling too. Yum!
Continue reading Recession in Cork

2 candles and an apple pie

2 candles and an apple pie

So, I enter my 33rd year on this planet. Highlight of the day was our lunch in the Castle Hotel in Blarney where Adam was on his best behaviour and I was surprised with an apple pie and a rendition of “Happy Birthday” sung by my wife and 2 of the staff!

The burger I had for lunch was delicious too. Yum.

I used to …

Looking around the shopping center this afternoon I remembered how I used to wonder why parents had a dull lifeless haggard look about them. This was when I was single. Now I’m a parent and I know why.

I used to think that people who had their credit cards stolen probably used them on a dodgy site or entered their details on a non secure server. Then my credit card details were skimmed somehow.

I used to spell Windows Windoze, but then I graduated from college.

I used to think I was invincible, I’d climb trees, climb the local quarry, go caving, do slightly mad stuff. Life experience taught me otherwise.

I used to look for gratification in material things but then I got married and my son was born. Wow.

I’ve never been happier. What about you?