News & Updates, Parenthood

Visiting

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Sometimes when I pick up Katja from kindergarten she runs to me yelling “Mummy! Mummy!” which is absolutely lovely. Other times she doesn’t want to come home at all. On those days she’ll develop a sudden urge to hide under the play sink, or under tables or a burning need to create all the things with the play-doh.

So it was last Friday and we finally managed to get out 20 mins after I had arrived. Once out the door Katja decided that she was not going to get the next bus, in fact she was not going to cross the road. She wanted to go “this way Mummy”, pointing up the street in the opposite direction to home. Since we had no plans and the weather was reasonable I decided to see where she would take me.

And she seemed to know exactly where she was going, round the corner and to the canal. At this point I thought I’d better check in.

Me: Katja, where are we going?
K: Alexander’s house
Me: Alexander’s not at home, he’s at Alexander’s kindergarten
K: Thinking… “Alexander’s m├Ądchen Mummy
Me: Alexander’s mummy is at work. There’s noone at home. We can visit Alexander another day
K: But Mummy, Alexander’s house is fun.
Me: I know, but Alexander is not at home so we can’t visit him

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At this she ran off ahead – stopping only to tell me “twenty-three seven” and then ran straight to the front door of Alexander’s flat where she pointed out the number 37 (twenty-three seven apparently). She then told me to “press the number, Mummy. Number 6”. Naturally this proved fruitless and it took a little bit more time to convince her that no-one was coming home soon and we should go and get the bus.

I have to admit I was gobsmacked. It’s fair enough that she remembers the way to the flats, but to know the block number AND the flat number is impressive indeed. I didn’t even realise that she’d paid any attention – shows you that you have to be really careful what you do in front of a toddler!

Wonder how she will cope when Alexander moves house in a week?

News & Updates, Travel

2013 Review

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As the year comes to a close, it’s time for the obligatory review post. This is made a little easier given that I didn’t post anything to tell you of any grand plans at the beginning of the year, so theoretically I could just say wow, look at me – I did everything. But that would be a lie.

The truth is that I did have some plans and ideas for what I wanted to achieve throughout the year.

Post more – While I’ve achieved this broadly, I was planning on doing a weekly post which I’ve sucked at. I started well but then got myself backed up and I think I’m currently only up to May or something with the weekly photo posts I was doing. I’d love to say that I’ll get them all finished but I seriously doubt it – perhaps a monthly would be better to finish off the year.

Clean more – I am better at cleaning the house. I’m quite pleased with that. Still not up to OCD standards, but then do I really want to go that far?

Be better organised – given that I totally failed to get Christmas cards out, I’d say I’ve failed this one! Still, the only way is up…

Stashdown – For those who are unaware, this means finish the year with less yarn than you start with. I’ve failed that one too. To do this properly you need to know how much you’re starting with. I decided not to count the crochet threads… far too hard! So in yarn alone I started the year with 68km. My end of year total is 77,847m so that’s just under 10km of yarn acquired.

Lose weight/get fit etc – Well, I got pregnant again and in what appears to be my typical fashion I’m currently 2kg under the weight I was to start with (have been gaining for a few weeks) and there’s less than 3 months to go!

Aside from that it was a year of up and downs. We went to Australia which was fabulous – Katja got to meet her Aussie family and my godparents. Unfortunately we lost my godfather a little while ago. I’m so glad that he got to meet Katja. Katja grew as all toddlers do, in leaps and bounds and is such a delight. I made it through my postnatal depression and the homesickness that always happens when I’ve visited home. My youngest sister had a beautiful little girl, my other sister got married and is expecting again. Mum retired. Christian’s family came for visits and there were fabulous trips back to Dublin and visits from Irish friends. Good friends have announced wonderful news with a marriage and a new life on the way amongst the updates. It’s been a great year in all and I’m looking forward to the continuation of the adventure in 2014.

 

News & Updates

Farewells

I only met Dr Francis Dolan a couple of times so I didn’t really know him well. But that doesn’t stop me from being shocked and saddened by his sudden death, at the age of only 34, just over a week ago. C knew him better, and other friends of ours as well and were understandably upset so when the funeral arrangements became known I started to work out how we would be able to go.

The funeral was held on Saturday, in a town in Donegal called Killygordon, where Francis’ family live in a parish said to have been founded by St Patrick himself. I picked up a car on Friday afternoon and then picked up C & M from the airport that night as they had both flown in from Edinburgh. On Saturday morning we left Dublin about 7:30 and started the drive. We arrived, after passing through typical gorgeous Irish scenery and blustery showers and waiting for herds of cattle to walk past, at a lovely church some 3 hours later (photo not by me).

The church filled quickly and after a Catholic ceremony with no less than 7 priests, some being family friends, and a wonderful heartfelt speech from his Professor from Cambridge, we filed outside into the sunshine. As we waited to give our condolences to the family and to pass the grave we could see that there were about 300 people there.

Afterwards we went down to the local sports centre for tea. Francis’ parents sat at our table, as did his Professor who, with C&M talked about F’s life outside of Ireland. We spent some time with F’s partner who told us that the wake had seen some three thousand people pass through the house! Later, back at the house, there was more tea and photographs and more memories and tears.

We had to say our goodbyes and by 4 were back in the car for the return trip to Dublin, a brief stop in Malahide for dinner with Steve and his mate Chopper before dropping the boys back to the airport.

It was a tough day, although much tougher for others than it was for us. It was so sad and tragic that the day had to happen, but given that it did I’m so glad that we went.

Dr Francis Dolan was evidently a much loved, admired and respected person, he will be sorely missed by many and will always be loved. I trust that he now rests in peace, I wish his family and loved ones find peace soon as well.

Stuff

Air trails

I’ve woken up today to what has become an unusual site – trails from aircraft across the skies of Dublin. The last week has been quite chaotic with the eruption of a volcano in Iceland that has sent volcanic ash into the European flying zones.

BTW today’s picture is not by me – too much glare to get a good shot myself.

It’s been interesting to watch the complete lack of leadership from governments who seemed to just be hanging around waiting for it all to clear, last time this volcano went off it did so for ages. It’s the first natural disaster to hit the EU for years and yet no sign of the EU president anywhere – which leads one to ask what is he for and where is he, oh and what is his name again?

Meanwhile, country level governments seem to have been doing as little as possible to help people get home, which has just opened the doors for the corporations to start putting on pressure. So today regardless of the ash cloud the planes are flying again.

It’s going to take another week to sort out the mess at least – and I wonder if anyone is going to suddenly come up with funding for volcanic ash testing in planes????

Ryanair seem to have been the only airline acting with any kind of leadership and sensibility. They can fly today but have decided not to fly Ireland/UK so that they can move planes to where they’re really needed. Sure, that’s put us out and now means that Thursday will be an epic adventure day for Christian as he trains and boats over to Dublin, but to be honest I’m quite happy that he won’t be flying while the ash is still such an unknown quantity.

Meanwhile, on the ground, Ning in their wisdom has decided to start charging people to access their networks – which means that eTatters will soon not be available. Totally sucks, so desperately trying to get the info off of there.

Last night I caught up with a good friend whom I haven’t seen for ages, no excuse really and hopefully that’ll get rectified soon. Had a great chat about so much – love it when you have those times when you really get to know more about someone you care about.

OK, so I’ll sign out now – back to bed for me. This cold has come back with a vengeance and I’m feeling totally shattered.

a) a feeling of total crapness from this stupid persistent cold which has now turned into a really nasty sore throat