I’ve been driving my little silver Hyundai for a year now. I love it, driving has opened up my world to so much more freedom. It makes getting from A to B with a toddler much easier, especially for spur of the moment jaunts. However, it being a year since I bought the car, it means it’s a year since I insured it. And so, the great saga of car insurance renewal began. It’s a tale of the ages, of mysterious numbers being pulled from the deep, legends of people turning mythical purple colours from blood pressure spikes upon hearing the price they’re being quoted. And so, I’ve got a tale to add to the bunch, but mine is a tale of victory, of slaying the dragon. In as much as a learner driver with only a years experience can slay.
Cork City is my home. I’ve lived here for 8 years now, and I’ve developed a love for the place, rain and all. It’s a beautiful city – yes, it has it’s faults too, but for it’s small size, it’s filled with lots of history and beautiful buildings. A few times a year, it gets to show off all the wonderful cultural things this little city holds dear. On 19th August, the 12th annual Cork Heritage Open Day, is one such day of showing off. If you’re looking for something fun to do with the family this weekend, you’re sure to find something you’ll love here.
So, today is Leaving Cert Results Day. After months of waiting and anticipation, envelopes will be opened and the knowledge of those results will be here. It’s a day that has both students and parents on edge. At 9am, in schools around the country, the wait will be over. It’s something I remember vividly, that wait, the going into the school. I remember walking into the principals office, him handing me the envelope and telling me he hoped I was happy with them, and walking out into the hall to open them. A mixture of emotions filled the hall – some were ecstatic, others less so. One girl sobbed in disappointment, openly. I don’t remember the exact results I got in my Leaving Cert. In fact, when I was asked a few months ago by someone what subjects I did, it took more than a few minutes of thought to remember them all. It’s now 8 years ago. It has faded from mattering, pretty much within the first few weeks of going to college. For the amount of pressure I put on myself for it, the future me is looking back and wondering just what was it for.
I’ve been a fan of Marian Keyes since I was about fourteen and picked up a copy of Watermelon. Her writing is funny, passionate and it draws you into her world with a warm hug. Eleven years on, I’ve read all the previous books and loved them in differing amounts. Her non fiction books (Under the Duvet and Further Under the Duvet) stuck out for me as particularly special, but I spent much time in the worlds of the Walsh family and their idiosyncracies. Much like the work of Emma Hannigan, with Keyes there is a habit of looking around your family and seeing them in the characters, it brings them to life. So, when I saw that there was a new book, The Break, to be read a little jump of joy was happening in me.
As parent to a three year old, we spend a lot of time at Soft Play. It’s a necessary evil. The Irish weather doesn’t allow for playground hijinks as much as we need, and the alternative is absolutely wrecking my house (and my head). So, off to Soft Play we go. He loves it, he’s a daredevil mad to be climbing higher and higher. Me? My love is somewhat less obvious. For me, soft play raises more questions than it answers. Here are just some of them.
It’s World Breastfeeding Week, which means it’s time to celebrate all that is good and great about supporting women feeding their babies. It’s not something I feel particularly well-experienced in to write much about. My experience revolved around 9 weeks of supplementing, of panic and of not enough support – not exactly a ringing endorsement. There’s definitely a lot I’ve learned since that if there’s another baby will be put into practice to make it a better experience for everyone. However, in celebration of the boob-tastic women who fuel their kiddies themselves, here is a stash of breastfeeding resources which I have found to be EXCELLENT when it comes to all things boob.
Last week, I was wandering around Cork City when I came across a sight which turned my stomach. An anti-abortion group, Youth Defence, were protesting outside Brown Thomas on Patrick Street. As well as their usual selection of banners with images of dead foetuses, they also had lots of volunteers handing out leaflets with the same. So far, so unfortunately familiar. There were lots of families around, children are off school and the weather was nice. For the most part, parents were trying to rush their children through the area, ignoring the stands and trying to distract their kids. This was a job made much harder by the volunteers, who were handing the leaflets to the children.
Much of the conversation about postpartum mental health revolves around the woman, the mother. Her body hasn’t been her own for the guts of a year, hormone levels are all over the place, and sleep levels are minimal. The conversation about postpartum depression centres around the mother’s mood and pressure applied to her. It’s a much needed conversation – 1 in 7 women are affected by PostPartum depression, and those are the reported figures. Many women suffer in silence from shame, from fear of the consequences for their family, from simply hoping it will go away. However, despite the conversation being all about the mothers, there is increasing evidence that it affects the fathers almost as much. We need to start talking about Paternal PostPartum Depression.
I’ve been blonde for about six years now. After a bad breakup, I decided to change things up and have, for the most part, stuck with it ever since. It is a lot of maintenance though. Despite the prominence of the balayage trend, even keeping on top of that requires at least five colour treatments a year (four if I’m REALLY pushing it). At around 100 euro a pop, it’s a big ask.Bigger than the money issue is the back pain issue. Sitting for long periods of time kills my back, it is prone to seizing up, so spending close to three hours in a chair, staying still does not bode well for me. Such instances need to be rare and spaced out. So, perhaps it’s time to say goodbye to blonde.