Summing Up Summer And Figuring It Out

Poolbeg chimneys and Sandymount Strand - Office Mum

I like things to have a theme; I like to be able to look back and easily sum things up in three words or a couple of sentences. Like the golden autumn when everything was shiny and sparkling and brilliant. Followed by literal and metaphorical November rain. Or the summer holiday with inauspicious beginnings that turned ...

Dear Universe, I’d like a little word

on the way to Sandycove - Office Mum

Dublin, August 2016 Dear Universe, I'd like a little word about something. You see, we had this deal - I do the right thing, and you don't punish me. A very straight-forward agreement. But you don't seem to be holding up your side of the bargain these days, and I think we need to thrash it out. Take ...

How to do a Day Out in Clara Lara Fun Park

the raft

"What exactly is Clara Lara?" asked a friend who hasn't been before. Good question. It's called a "Fun Park" but beyond that, it's difficult to define. But we've been every year for the last three years, and the kids love it more than any other day-trip we've done. So if you're thinking of a day out, ...

5 Things to do in Dublin for Free

apple trees - Marlay Park - Office Mum

This post could also have been called "What we did this summer so far", or "Places I lost my youngest child this summer and needed help from strangers to find him" or simply "Brambles cafés we've been too, because they are EVERYWHERE now." We were away for the heatwave and since we've come home from holidays, the ...

Holiday Friends – Watching From The Sidelines

holiday friends - office mum

Long, long ago, on a campsite far, far away, I met a holiday friend called Claire. She had long brown hair and was from Ireland or England – I wasn’t old enough to distinguish accents. I had spent two days sitting on the steps of our mobile home looking across at her, and she’d spent ...

For the love of a good tan

Office Mum: Coco Chanel

"You've such a great colour!" said my friend. I was ten years old, and made an "ah not really" gesture, shrugging my shoulders, but secretly thrilled with the comment. Or let's call it a compliment - it doesn't really make sense that it's a compliment - I hadn't actually done anything that required talent - but ...

Ferry or Flight – Which is Easier When Travelling With Kids?

suitcases-595327_1280-682x1024

For five years in a row, we took the ferry to France, then last year, for the first time since having kids, we braved getting on a plane, and we did it again this year. Throughout the journey, I couldn't help comparing flight and ferry in my head, so in case you've only done one ...

It’s Like Riding a Bike

Marina di Venezia lighthouse cycle - Office Mum

If I’d married someone just like me, we’d have gone on holidays to Italy (we did), to a campsite (we did), to drink Prosecco on the deck every night (we did). But being married to that person just like me would have meant quite a different holiday for the kids - no scary slides, no scuba ...

Family holiday in Italy: Review of Campsite Marina di Venezia

Marina di Venezia pool - office mum

Sitting on the deck at half past midnight, I can hear Killing Me Softly wafting across the campsite, to the background sound of waves washing up on the sand. I’m finishing a glass of red wine and thinking about closing my book. The candle flickers in the darkness, and I don’t want to blow it ...

Love at first sight

Marina di Venezia - Office Mum

The voice in my ear gives me the go ahead – I’ve completed my self-imposed time running on roads and forest paths, now Runkeeper says I can go onto the beach. I turn and run towards the gate. “Buongiorno,” says the security guard. “Buongiorno,” I reply, in my Irish accent. I keep my Italian accent for ...