An Evening in Dublin

I haven’t written a blog in ages and I just thought tonight feels right. My life seems to be on the cusp of going somewhere but who knows when I will finally progress where I want to. Who really knows if everything will actually fit into place for me or whether I will be still stuck in nomad’s land with my family not teaching.

I’ve come to realise that when everyone is in a reasonable mood  things are just so much better. One brother is off in the Gaeltacht for a few weeks and I have got to say it has been great having a bit more space in the house. Everyone in my house seems to be in a pretty good mood and the house renovations seem to be moving along slowly but surely.

For the second week running I went to the Irish Film Institute with my Mom and Brother. We also ate out again which was lovely after great movies. Last week I saw Kedi and this week Inside Out both fantastic for very different reasons.

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My brother Alex had been trying to persuade my Mom into going to see Kedi a documentary about cats in Istanbul for ages. My Mom does  not like the darkness of the cinema but reluctantly agreed to go just because we do love cats. I must say it was the most delightful documentary I’ve seen about animals. It was like a love letter to the cats in Istanbul and how much joy they bring to peoples lives. It was fascinating to see the cats roaming about but also to listen to all the people who selflessly looked after the cats. This documentary really restores your faith in humanity and I would definitely go see it.

 

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This week I went to see Inside Out with my Mom and Alex which turned out to be wonderful in ways I never thought. Inside Out taps into the subtleties of emotions while keeping you on the edge of seat all the way through. The music was wonderful and then as Pixar do they created a film which was easy on the eyes but exciting at the same time. Inside Out made you realise things about emotions without actually shouting it out or pushing it in your face. I don’t think I’ve ever had tears in my eyes over an imaginary friend being lost. It was a truly magical movie and should be watched by everyone not just children.

After each movie we went out for food and just talked which is something as a family we need to do more. Dublin is always a nice city to eat out in and just generally to walk about. I think there is too much pressure on families to do big things together but it’s the small simple things that are the best. Remembering we can just be average and do average things is nice for a change.

 

Memories

Sometimes it can be so easy to think negatively about everything while forgetting the good things around you. I’m still frustrated in life but things seem to be moving the right direction slowly. I need to acknowledge the small but significant things happening around me more.

I’ve also realised that I need to remember all the good memories I’ve had over the years with my family. I recently went to where I first lived in Dublin, Sandycove and all those good memories came back to me. I forgot how nice it was living out there with just my Mom, Dad and Brother. As a young child what could be better than living in an apartment looking out to the sea?

IMG_20170612_082405_801.jpgWith my brother and Mom we went to a lovely food market and antiques fair. I’m a sucker for a market or antiques. My Mom said to us both “it was lovely living out here I was able to walk everywhere it was all so close”. In a place like Sandycove all the shops and houses are so close to each other, also living beside the beach why would you drive anywhere when your surroundings are so stunning?

IMG_20170612_082015_377.jpgEverywhere you walk is worth exploring from the interesting shops or pier with stunning views.

We walked along the pier and I just wondered what it would have been like if we stayed in Dun Laoghaire? I most likely would have stayed in St Annes primary school which happened to be in a lovely terraced house. Who really knows but it does make me wonder.

I have great memories of my cousins coming to visit and playing monopoly with my Dad. I can remember my Granny visiting and going down to the beach with her. Generally I can remember lots of wonderful visitors. You never really appreciate all you have as a child I know I certainly didn’t.

I loved going to Sandycove beach and dipping my feet in the water. Even though it was really cold it made me really want to live beside a beach again. My Mom smiling and walking along the beach really topped off an enjoyable day. It’s been a while since I’ve heard my mum talking fondly about things and smiling. IMG_20170612_081520_633 (1).jpgGoing back made really happy and sad at the same time. It made me think of a far simpler time when there was only myself and my brother. There was no sickness taking hold of my family or negativity bubbling all around. Life just seemed happier especially with my Dad around.

 

 

Art and Children

In the past week I’ve been to two exhibitions which were aimed at children. Both exhibitions were great one for children and another by school children. I happened to be passing Draiocht in Blanchardstown and came across the exhibition ‘A History of Play’ by Eamon O’Kane which allows children play.

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I thought it was a really creative exhibition and really included children in a way that I had never seen before.

I also was lucky enough to pop into the National Gallery in Dublin and saw a lovely exhibition called Imagining Ireland in 2116. Children in primary and secondary schools had entered pictures into a competition with the winners been shown in the national gallery.

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It was interesting to see what children thought Ireland would be like in 2116. I particularly liked a picture with The General Email office and Mars Lingus.

Not every child is very academic but there is no limit to creativity. I think it is so important that exhibitions are made more child friendly in some way to hopefully inspire children to think outside the box and continue with creative projects. Overall I am very happy being able to see more art and find wonderful exhibitions like these ones.

Losing a Pet

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It is a very odd feeling losing a pet especially one that my family shared 13 years of their lives with. Spotty was a wonderful black and white cat who always put a smile on my face. In the end he got very sick and I hope now he is now at rest.

A pet if looked after properly becomes part of the family in so many ways. When my Dad died my family became 8 but now it is 7 which doesn’t sound right at all. I wonder how my cat Smokey will cope in the long run and how we will all cope?

I am an animal lover and believe in the benefits of having a pet in any family. A pet can teach children responsibility and compassion. Cats are also pretty good at lowering blood pressure and sometimes can detect when blood sugar levels are low in a person. The way a person looks after an animal tells you a lot about their own nature.

I will miss everything about Spotty his purring, laziness and lovely fluffy fur. I now hope my two cats Spotty and Garfield are happy together again.

 

Feeling Old

I am starting to feel kind of old now since I’ve moved home. Only a month ago I was one of the youngest teachers in the school, wasn’t married and had no children of my own. Now I’m home I feel quite different and so much more older than than my brothers and sister.

I’ve lived abroad for nearly eight years independently and am used to sorting my own daily life out. Only looking after myself has a certain freedom you only think about yourself and what you need day to day. If things don’t work out it’s fine you’re by yourself no ones complaining.

In the past month my priorities have completely shifted to caring about myself mostly, to thinking about what my family needs day to day. While I get ready for work in the morning I wake everyone else up going to school or university. I leave work thinking do we need milk or any other groceries in the house. Not so long ago I went home thinking dinner and then more school work.

I recently mentioned to my sister about feeling very satisfied at conquering the pile of laundry her reply was “that really isn’t something I’m too worried about at my age.” I felt so old in that moment. My mind is concerned with whether everyone has dinner, clothes are washed and the house is clean.

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I worry about everyone in my house and whether they are okay. When my Dad died I knew things would be different but I didn’t expect that I would move home and support everyone in so many ways. What I imagined in my head would happen when I moved back is not what has materialised at all. I worry about everyone especially my Mum who has yet to figure out her nexts steps in life.

Who knows what my nexts steps will be but my family will be part of them more than ever.

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Adults and Children

Since moving home and taking a break from teaching the same question keeps popping up in my head are adults emotionally more mature than children? As a child you learn to communicate in many different ways and how feelings can affect the way you do things. But as an adult do we really use what we have learnt as a child to help us navigate through life?

There has been so many times I have talked to a child about communication and how powerful it can be in solving issues. Time and time again I have talked about how their actions can affect how people perceive them. Repeating these lessons hopefully helps them maneuver their way around the playground and keep them from doing silly things which will result in broken friendships.

But, as adults do we really communicate how we feel enough or even understand our emotions? On many occasions I’ve been asked what is that child is trying to communicate with their behaviour and then I start to think what are the people around me trying to communicate to others? When people around me stop talking or just get angry I become worried and want to help. I become frustrated at my inability to help even though I’m thinking of numerous different ways I might be of support. I may be on a break from teaching but I still feel that same overwhelming need to help others around me even though I might not be able to much.

I just wonder do we ever really mature enough to understand our own emotions?

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First Cake Blog

Well I haven’t exactly decided what this blog will be about but since I got into writing a blog for my last class I thought I might give it a go and see what happens. A child suggested to me that I keep writing blogs because she always enjoyed them and learning at home. Who knows if my random thoughts and observations turn out to be of any educational value but you never know.

Moving away from Southampton is quite a big change and I keep noticing how expensive it is living in Dublin. I do love Dublin but all the lovely bakeries and cake shops I keep discovering are costing me a lot. Last week alone I found three different places that caught my eye and turned out to be really yummy.

Il Fornaio Caffé on College Green has the most delicious pastries which are very expensive but worth it as a treat. Whoever thought of using lots of nutella in their pastries is genius.
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Thunders Home Bakery in Drumcondra is a nice traditional bakery with lovely cakes worth trying. Every morning walking to work I passed Thunders and told myself  I would be sensible and not buy anything but by Friday I couldn’t resist and had to drop in. Well worth the wait all week. Image result for thunders bakery drumcondra

Later that day as I was meeting my brother for lunch I passed Arnotts but noticed a window of cookies. Intrigued, I walked in and saw you could have cookie Ice-cream sandwiches. This lovely place is called Creamed Cookies which has a variety of cookies and doughnuts. I managed to get out with only five different varieties of cookies one which included red velvet.

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So my first week of working in Dublin has turned out very well but expensive. I haven’t decided if I should ban myself from buying anymore delicious confectionary or continue. Either way they are being shared with others over a mug of tea so I guess that what counts.