Tell them the one about the fish

It was eleven o'clock on Sunday morning, and we'd been chatting to and entertained by our hosts, Jean and Dónal, for about an hour at that stage. We'd only met Dónal that morning but we'd meet Jean two days earlier when we'd arrived in her Airbnb in Ballybunion. She had welcomed us like old friends, although having ...

Snapshot of a woman in a house

After 18 months of searching, fourteen thousand buckets of tears when we walked away from our old house, seven nail-biting weeks from "sale agreed" to "here are the keys", and a month of almost-done refurbishment, we're finally in our new house. And it's bliss. Except for all the things that aren't working yet, like the oven, ...

Glue in my head (medical term: hayfever)

I can't think straight. I can't breathe. I feel like someone has poured glue inside my head. And the thing is, it's not "someone" who did it, it's me. My own dumbass system, over-reacting to pollen - producing histamine because it thinks it's under attack. "You're not under attack, dumbass," I tell my insides every ...

In the interests of full disclosure

There's no such thing as a perfect parent - even the kindest, most calm parents have off days (and I suspect it's a good thing for kids to know parents aren't perfect) but apparently more than half of Irish parents feel they're failing, and this feeling is amplified by the internet and social media. So from ...

Everyone’s a critic . . .

Sirmione Castle

We were talking about Mother's Day recently (I suspect I was reminding my kids how much I like lie-ins, breakfast in bed, and lunch in nice restaurants, or just anywhere that doesn't involve cooking it myself) and one of the kids asked when Children's Day is. "Every day is Children's Day!" I said. How so, they wondered. ...