Fiona Cassidy

Fiona Cassidy
Author, Mother, Thirty Something...

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

My poor wee baby is sick....

It has to be said that there is nothing worse than a young child being sick. It's a scary experience for everyone involved especially when it happens during the night and there is literally vomit everywhere! Sorry for the graphic detail but we had a horrendous night with was like something out of The she managed to splatter her blind and curtains I will never know but she'd definitely win a prize for her aptitude in making her insides travel the furthest outside....yuck! Our Aine loves the bath...that said... being forcibly given one at 3 o'clock in the morning in order to wash 'stuff' out of her hair went down like a bag of badgers and I'd say the wee deaf man who lives at the top of our street had his fingers on the buttons to give Esther Rantzen a call due to the shrieks that were emanating from our house accompanied by wails of "my tummy is not happy"...and it wasn't the only one believe me!!

So we slept in the living room last night...mostly due to my fear of Aine pebbledashing any more bed clothes. Thankfully she slept but I didn't as every whimper, murmur and snort had me racing to her side with a basin! On the bright side, however, I managed to get two more loads of washing done, write a further two chapters of my book and have an indepth chat with my Australian sister-in-law at an ungodly hour where she told me I was likely to 'crash and burn' today with my antics...getting a bit wobbly now...but when all is said and done my wee woman is feeling a bit better and currently sitting watching her fiftieth episode of Tom and Jerry today...and that's what being a Mammy is all about...taking the rough with the smooth and the vomit with the smiles and laughter!

And here I am ready to do it all over again...what do I say...BRING IT ON BABY

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Annoying Emails

I'm sure we've all been there but I'm finding this particularly difficult to deal with at the moment therefore feel the need to RANT...

Picture're waiting for an important email therefore every ping, beep and click signalling a message arriving is greeted with much enthusiasm...that is...until you discover that instead of it being from someone important it is pure and utter SHITE (and that is the technical term!)

When I'm waiting for updates and news I do not need to be bothered by supermarket special offers, computer packages, advances in ipod technology,the latest fashion that the slebs are wearing or indeed what Peppa fecking Pig is up to of an afternoon....grrrrrrrr

I know that it is entirely my fault for signing up to these things in the first place but feel that these companies are doing the public a diservice by not reminding them when they fill in their details that receiving emails when one is pre-occupied, busy or indeed if it happens to be the wrong time of the month or there's a full moon may just drive them to the nearest lunatic asylum to be sectioned for beating the crap out of their computer, partner, cat or whatever else is handy at the precise time of the message arrival!!

Deep breath....breathe...breathe...and at ease.

Friday, 19 November 2010

There's no Place like Home at Christmas

When most parents think about stocking fillers for their children they usually think about little novelty items that will add extra excitement to the special day! Can I ask a huge favour...when thinking about this for Christmas this year spare a thought for those less fortunate...think of families who have extremely sick children who rely on the help and support of outside agencies who can offer respite and care to their loved ones...think about the work of The Jack and Jill Foundation who support the families of children with neurological difficulties and the valuable contribution they make to parents in this situation!

Believe it or not there is a way that you can make your child (and yourself) smile this Christmas whilst helping this organisation and that is by buying the gorgeously presented 'There's no Place like Home at Christmas' which is a delightful compilation of children's stories written by some of Ireland's best known and loved authors and personalities....and me!! Majorly successful authors such as Maeve Binchy, Patricia Scanlan, Cathy Kelly, Eddie Hobbs from RTE and footballing legend Niall Quinn have all contributed stories to the book along with a host of other authors, journalists and sporting greats! The book is beautiful and printed on parchment type paper with an eye-catching cover making it look like an old-fashioned Christmas collection and with stories of elves, reindeer, blue-bottomed bears your child will be delighted and you will be charmed!

My contribution features two very special called Aine and the other Una (can't think where I got the inspiration for those particular names) and is called Aine's Star! I'm very proud of it and feel more than priviledged to be named amongst other authors who have been my idols since I first learned to read!

Do yourselves a favour please and pick up a copy of the book and know that your support will be gratefully appreciated by everyone involved not least the children who so desperately need help from The Jack and Jill Foundation who are experiencing funding problems at the moment.

To learn more about this very worthwhile service click HERE.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

National Adoption Week

Well folks,

It's the start of November and wet and miserable it is too but not only's also a week celebrating a cause that is very close to my heart! It's National Adoption Week and as such a week where adoptees like myself come out and speak about what it's like to be adopted, encourage others to think about adopting and in my case talk about what a wonderful experience it has been! Perhaps not everyone will have been as lucky as me but I'm blessed and I know it and I'll openly say it as my Mammy and Daddy deserve the praise...they earned it one hundred times over when I was a horrible question asking teenager who was desperate to find out who she was!

Unfortunately I can't say that my search for my birth parents has been easy or indeed has had a happy or satisfactory outcome as I still have many questions which have been left unanswered and a longing to be accepted but the one thing that has always been apparent is that I was adopted for a reason , I agree with that reason and know that I got the best parents possible. Things could have been very different for me....and for that I'm truly thankful!

As we know there are many people out there who unfortunately for one reason or another can't have their own children but as the adopted child of a wonderful couple who were in a similar position and waited thirteen years for me I would encourage childless couples to please consider giving a child in need a home! You and you alone could change that child's life and what a wonderfully selfless and amazing achievement that would be!! People who want children have so much love to give so why not give it to a child, who, for whatever reason, can't or don't have it from their birth parents!

If you'd like more information about this matter please don't hesitate to contact The British Association for Adoption and Fostering who I've recently become an 'Adoption Champion' for and who will be only too happy to give you information, guidance and advice.


Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Why The 4 of Us continue to delight The 2 of Us and are still our No. 1

Sharon and I pictured with Brendan and Declan Murphy from The 4 of Us and Sharon's father...legendary showband man Brian Coll!

Continuing from my previous blog where I was praising Sharon Owens and her tremendous efforts in catering for my musical tastes at her book launch I feel that I need to give a greater explanation as to why Newry band The 4 of Us have always delighted me!

Picture's the late 80's and like all teenagers I've started to develop my own musical tastes. In order to help me do this I have Ray Darcy and his RTE Sunday morning music video show The Beat Box to help me...this is where I discovered The Hothouse Flowers, An Emotional Fish, Something Happens, The Horslips, The Cranberries and the totally amazing The 4 of Us whose music I instantly connected with and loved! I spent any money I had buying their singles and albums and was known to do my own rendition of 'Drag my Bad Name Down' into a hairbrush in front of the mirror before going out for the night! Basically, The 4 of Us were to me what Taio Cruz and Lady Gaga are to the music loving youth of today! I saw them play live in the Glenavon House Hotel in Cookstown the Christmas before I turned 17 and was the happiest girl in the room (at the very front of the room practically eatin' the stage, I might add) when Brendan Murphy, his brother Declan and their band had us dancing into the wee small hours!

My love for this group has never died and their CD's have remained in my collection so it was with great delight that I discovered that another author namely Sharon Owens liked them as well when she did a blog about them one fine day! I duly responded with great gusto and we partook (I don't think that's a word but I'll just make it up as I go along) in a session of very appreciative posts filled with memories and favourite songs!

Picture yet another is early May and I recieve a beautifully thick enveloped invitation to a book launch...but not just any book hosted by one of my favourite authors! I scan the invitation and note the time, date and venue and then I run my eye over the part that says The 4 of Us will be providing the music and fall to the floor in a dead faint requiring resusitation by a team of cardiac experts (well not exactly...but very nearly mind!)

I cannot begin to tell you how excited I was and have been about this. It's not every day that you get to meet your idols in person and take a trip down memory lane with songs that shaped a very important part of your life being sang live in a dimly lit room where you could have heard a pin drop! The 4 of us came on stage last night and entertained the assembled crowd with old favourites such as 'Mary' and 'She Hits Me' along with some new material all sung in the same hauntingly beautiful and ultimately catchy accoustic style that attracted me in the first place! They also performed their own rendition of Carrickfergus which was simply incredible and told us that Sony have added 'Mary' on to their playlist for Singstar which speaks volumes in itself!!

My night was complete when I got to meet Brendan and Declan in person (thinking I was 14 and vowing never to wash again when Brendan gave me a hug), reminiscing as I did and reveling in the fact that they were friendly down to earth musicians who were happy to pose for photographs and meet us! I hope that this will be the first of many meetings (not in a stalkerish type way just in case the poor boys think I'll be perching in bushes with my binoculars at the ready...although now that I think of it.....)

Many people have been known to thank Abba for the music but I'll do it my way and thank The 4 of Us for the music, the memories and for giving me a night I will never forget!!

Check THEM out for yourselves...

A Winter's Wedding...

Well folks,

I had an extremely glamorous and magical evening yesterday! I am fortunate enough to be able to say that uber talented author Sharon Owens is a good friend of mine and therefore was in the lucky position of being one of a select crowd of family and friends who were invited to share in the launch of her latest book A Winter's Wedding, which will be another success for the former Omagh girl who is published in no less than fifteen countries including America, Canada, Australia, parts of Europe and Russia as well as the UK and Ireland (me jealous....who said that???)

Sharon has never had an official book launch before but she certainly pulled out all the stops to ensure that her guests had a truly amazing night at the Four Winds Inn in Belfast where there was free champagne, celebrities on tap (stand up Lynda Bryans and Pamela Ballentine), a sumptuous meal, chocolate gifts for everyone as well as signed copies of her newest book on every table complimented by copies of her previous releases! As well as getting A Winter's Wedding I also went home with the American version of The Teahouse in Mulberry Street which was Sharon's first novel (and one which I quote again and again as being one of my all time favourites when asked.) This book is the first installment of the Belfast trilogy which also boasts the titles, The Ballroom on Magnolia Street and The Tavern on Maple Street! If you haven't read them...please do yourselves a favour...they are charming, funny and very cleverly written stories that describe Belfast and its streets in vivid detail with eccentric, roguish and hard to forget characters taking centre stage!

As well as filling my ever expanding belly and giving me plenty of reading material Sharon also ensured that my musical tastes were well catered for! We were entertained by Newry band The 4 of Us who literally were part of the music culture that was firmly interwoven in my being when I was a teenager so to say that I was happy is a big understatement!

Thank you Sharon for a wonderful evening! I am proud to be flying the Northern literary flag with you and even more priviledged to call you my friend!