Fiona Cassidy

Fiona Cassidy
Author, Mother, Thirty Something...

Wednesday, 19 October 2011 I'm not good at keeping my resolutions...I know I know...

Yes folks,

I did write a very long blog on 16th August stating that I was going to keep updating my blog blah blah blah but it didn't quite turn out like that! It's a bit like the first week in January when I plan my diet with the precision of a military strategist which usually lasts until the second week in January when I say 'feck it' and go and have a Wispa!

In my defence, however, I have to make you aware of the fact that my internet connection has only just been restored within the last week (happy dance....yay!) and as I've been spending all my time nursing my hubby back to health after a bit of nasty day procedure surgery (I would tell you the details but don't think you'd want to know!) my time has been all but taken up...aside from the fact that I've also managed to write another 10,000 words of my newest novel (entitled Forever Valentine and set in Belfast)...smug? me? Noooooooo.....

Anyway...this is just a wee note to say that I am going to be better at being in touch and for all you kind people who had the thought and presence of mind to email me through my website to ensure that I was still indeed in the land of the living I thank you for your concern!

Fionn xx

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

The Return of Civilisation....

Hi everyone,

No is me!! It's not an imposter pretending to be Fionnuala/Fiona/Finoodles becasue she has fell off the face of the earth and totally forgotten about her blog and its followers...ahem!!

Where does one start to explain the confusion, disruption and most of all the wondrous visit to a lovely place called STRESS CITY that has ensued from the crazy idea of moving house whilst having a six month old baby, a mad four year old and three mildly disgruntled teenagers in tow (and I'm not even going to mention the fact that I had a deadline for my third book hanging over my head at the same time!) My mother said to me several months ago - (adopts earnestly serious expression just like Eileen wears when imparting advice, criticism or both) "Fionnuala if you are trying to give yourself a hernia you are going the right way about it. Would it not be a better idea to tackle one thing at a time instead of trying to do everything at once?"

My mother and I then went on to have a very invigorating chat about what we would do if we both had the pleasure of living in an ideal world (and I won the argument...ha)! Don't tell her I said that, mind you! Just know that what I'm telling you is true!!!

But Mammy does have a point (only a small one, mind, but its there all the same.) I have never been one to do things by half. Nooooooooooooooooooo (when uttering this word and in order to give it the right air of drama it helps if you suck your teeth and shake your head.) I believe in dealing with everything life throws at me all at the same time. A bit of recreational circus training in the art of juggling may have been useful here but who knew that there would be so much to deal with at once?! Well...I did... sorta...kinda...maybe but thinking that I am God's own answer to Superwoman I went on ahead anyway!

I now know why experts say that moving house is one of the most stressful things you can do in your life and I'm not just talking about the physical aspects of it regarding the actual 'move'. The transition period where you try to get used to new surroundings is also quite difficult especially when you've come from quite a built up area but now find yourself slap bang in the middle of the country where the shop isn't as easily accessible and you can't go to the front door and shout and hope that some of the many friends you made in the last street might hear you! That said, however, our new home is perfect! It's light and airy and spacious, our children have tons of room for both themselves and all the 'stuff' they have accumulated over the years,the garden is huge and finally I have my own writing room and dressing room (yay...happy dance) but the journey there has been bumpy and stressful and just ever so slightly manic!

Thank God I saw light approaching the end of the tunnel several weeks ago or I may have been trying to write my blog whilst entangled in a straight jacket in a room where padded walls are prevalent and there are no removal vans, sleepless nights or book deadlines to worry about (all at the same time!)

Am I am happy now though, I hear you ask?!

I am delighted!!! I have finished my third book and am in the process of editing it! I have started to write a fourth book and am very pleased with it! The house looks lived in and half normal and no longer has one room named by my four year old as 'the messy room' becasue it contained (all over the floor) the contents of the attic from our old house and the children are all happy and have settled in well and taken to life in the country like little ducks to water!!

However....(sorry if I didn't complain this would be very boring to read)....I am most distressed due to the fact that I have been without broadband now for nearly eleven weeks!!!!! Surgery to staple my right arm back on would have been complete by now but unfortunately the internet connection is still severed and if the actions of a certain phone company and sattelite provider do not result in contact with cyberspace being made shortly I will not be responsible for my actions!!! And its not only me who is suffering...every time my children want to use Facebook they have to hang out my bedroom window upside down with an elbow in the air, manically waving the phone around and crying obsenities at the poor signal! For the love of God....please sort it out engineers!!! Pleeeeeeeeease!

Anyway...I hope that this justifies my lack of contact over the past few months!! I have been busy! I have been reduced to behaving like a raving lunatic at times but hey it was worth it all and were you to ask me to do it all over again....I would run ten miles in my bare feet over scalding hot coals just to get away from you!

Civilisation has indeed resumed and I will be in touch again very soon (from my other half's computer at his work...)

It's good to be back!

Fionn xxx

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Kylie for Christmas...

Folks, I have made a decision! I've been promising my other half that he's getting Kylie Minogue for Christmas for about the last eight years but since we plan to marry next year have decided that I actually mean it this time! Now, by this I do not mean that I intend to kidnap the Aussie songstress and gift wrap her for him (although methinks that he wouldn't be looking for a refund if I did). What I am referring to is the fact that there are certain similarities between us (I wish) or actually maybe there's only one...we're both five foot nothing (which is a terrible affliction when you're an ordinary human being who can't reach top shelves in shops and needs every single pair of trousers known to mankind taken up but makes you cute and sexy when you're a popstar who had seven foot bodyguards towering over her!)

Whilst she is a skinamalink I have a spare tyre or three sitting around my middle. Whilst she has a pert bum that compliments skimpy hotpants and drives men wild I have childbearing hips that are best suited to wide legged capri pants. But all that is about to change as I am going to begin Slimming World syn or not to syn that is the question!

The first class starts in two weeks and then the craic will begin in earnest and instead of cooking things because they're handy I shall be cooking them because they are good for me and the rest of the house (who will all have gobs on them because I intend to throw out the deep fat fryer, outlaw crisps and chocolate and buy copious amounts of fresh things that they will mutter about and poke with their forks in disgust...and that's just Philip I'm talking about!)

Wish me luck folks...or perhaps I should say "I should be so lucky...lucky lucky lucky ;)

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Possibly the smiliest baby in the world...ever

I couldn't resist sharing this with you all....everybody meet my happy wee man Orán x

The Radar is back on....

Sorry folks for being so bold regarding my blogging lately but as I'm sure you'll understand I've been in a differnt world that spins in time with the next feed and when its due, endless nappy changes, baby bathing and talking in a strange squeaky voice to your newborn who must have also figured that you're on a different planet because you're talking funny!! Orán is now nine weeks old and quite frankly a joy to behold! He's absolutely gorgeous (even if I do say so myself) and has given our home and our lives new meaning again after quite a troubled period! Thankfully we're beginning to settle into more of a routine and a full night's sleep now seems within grasp as opposed to being a distant memory! And with the return of normality my writing has also began again!

Today I'm off to get photographs taken by my good friend and super duper photographer Jim Hamill ( did ye like the way I just slipped that in there Jim?? And as usual I'm running around like a headless chicken trying to find something suitable to wear, which is an impossible feat at the moment seein' as my belly has taken on a life of its own and enjoys morphing into a wibbly wobbly jelly at a moment's notice! I've also just got my hair newly reddened again (much to the disappointment of my other half who is mourning his blonde bombshell and making comments about how much more fun blondes have!) but as I explained to him last night after returning from the hairdresser's if I had gone blonde the hair would probably now be pink and having an author looking like a desk troll would not be what my publisher's had in mind for press shots!

Hair and make-up aside I'm really looking forward to my afternoon in the studio as it signals the release of the papreback version of Anyone for Me? and a whole lot of fun with it! I have library evenings coming up in my local area, interviews set up and am also looking forward to visiting my local Tesco Ireland in Monaghan to see it when it will be Book of the Week the week commencing 2nd May...woohoo!! Every Little Helps and all that!

Over and out for now! Photos to follow!

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Forget Superman....Superwoman's in charge!

Praise me people!!!! Tell me how amazing I am and generally fall at my feet - no, I haven't won any awards or come up with a cure for a deadly disease but I have accomplished something else that I'd say most would have thought impossible!

Drum roll please!!!.....On Tuesday of this week (same day as I do my Novena to St. Martha which may have helped) I managed to write 5,000 words whilst keeping the mad four year old entertained and in between feeds and nappy changes involving the newly christened (photos to appear later) six week old!

Having said that though, my children were very'd think they knew their wee mammy had a big old deadline hanging over her head...thanks kids!

Feck Superman....he doesn't know what he's at in comparison....I, however, am the princess of multi-tasking and today, the queen of self-praise because I think I deserve it.

Now back to work!! Just need to figure out how I performed that neat trick which involved kicking my own arse into action whilst giving myself a stern motivational chat (in the absence of having my agent living in the cupboard....Emma aren't I great?!)

Go to sleep now Orán there's a good boy ;)

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

And we have LIFT off...

Sorry for not getting back to you sooner folks but I am literally up to my neck in nappies and powdered milk and seem to have a little bundle permanently attached to my shoulder which makes balancing the laptop rather hard work!

I promised you, however, that I would devote an entire blog to my birthing here goes!

It was the 7th February and a bright and sunny Monday morning and I was lying in my bed in ward 1 East in Craigavon Area hospital (with my legs clamped shut) waiting for the consultant to come and tell me whether or not I was going to be induced that day. I was scared out of my wits as the baby wasn't due for another four weeks and would rather have been told that I was going home if truth be known. But this was not to be the case! The consultant pulled the curtains, said a few words and before I knew it rubber gloves were adorned, the necessary procedures were taken (I'll spare the graphic details but I'm sure y'all get the gist!) and before I knew it I was being told to stay put for an hour and keep an eye on my pains.

I have to stress at this point that having given birth three times previous to this I knew that I wouldn't be long in babies don't hang about...four hours was the longest! So, when the consultant said that she'd let nature take its course and leave me to the following morning if nothing happened Philip and I both killed ourselves laughing.

As predicted an hour and a half later the pains were coming thick and fast and Philip had been dispatched to Mothercare to source premature baby clothes as I knew I wouldn't have anything small enough to fit a baby that was estimated to be in or around five pounds. (On that note I must say that I was very impressed with what he brought back too...see men can occasionally get things right when under pressure!)

I was having a ball at that stage (a birthing ball that is, ha) and puffing on my tank of gas and air like a camel would suck leaves off a bush...class stuff girls when you haven't had a drink in nine months (gives you the opportunity to become inebriated, talk shite and be forgiven for being stupid all in one go minus the pesky hangover!)

At precisely four o'clock the lovely nurse who had been with me throughout the day suggested I took a bath and Philip agreed that this might be a good idea so the two of them they got me sorted in between much moaning and stopping to suck at the gas tank as I was very sore. I had just about got into the bath when I started to panic as I could feel the baby coming so between nearly hauling Philip in on top of me, squealing like a banshee on speed and slopping five gallon of water over the floor in my attempts to get out quickly we must have been the quare sight when the midwife came in to see what the kerfuffle was.

"I need to push."

"But you were only five centimetres an hour ago."

"Well I'm not five *$@#ing centimetres any more because this baby's coming now."

I think the nurse was still thinking that I was being a bit of drama queen when I eventually dive bombed back on to my bed (fastest heavily pregnant about-to-give-birth woman on two legs ever, me) so that she could examine me.

When she shouted for someone to get a birthing kit and instructed my stricken looking hubby to unplug the bed and run for the lift I knew the writing was on the wall...I would have been smug and said 'told you so' only I was gasping by that stage as unfortunately the gas and air had been left behind!

Why, when you're in a hurry, do lifts decide to play up. It was probably only a thirty second delay but to me (and to Philip who was turning the air blue and swearing like a trojan at that stage it felt like forever.) We were only in the lift two seconds when Master Orán started to make an appearance and I will remember forever the look on the man's face who was standing waiting for the lift at the other end as I emerged screaming blue murder (if he hadn't had children at that stage I'd say he'd have probably been quite happy to forego the idea or maybe adopt one such was the horrified look he gave us.)

I made it into the delivery suite in time to completely deliver my little man, who roared lustfully (most beautiful sound in the world to a new mammy.)

I did have to laugh, though, as the nurse cradled him and told him in dulcet tones that 'it was okay' and that she knew he was shocked to be there so soon.

Eh s'cuse me...he was shocked????? I was feckin' shocked and as for Philip I think it'll probably be a long time before he gets into a lift again without hearing the words 'pant Fionnuala pant" reverberating in his head!

But all's well that ends well and my wee baby man ended up weighing 5lbs 8ozs and being absolutely perfect despite all his mammy's fretting and worrying!

But I'd say when he's older he'll feel a strange attraction to Aerosmith songs...particularly one very aptly entitled Love in an Elevator...or should that be Born in an Elevator perhaps?!

Wednesday, 2 March 2011


I just have to share this with you all as I think it so natural and so beautiful! I took this photo on the spur of the moment and think it captures the scene fourteen year old daughter Úna (who has now been dubbed mini-mammy in our house for obvious reasons) staring adoringly at her baby brother as he sleeps!

This is what life is all about folks...making the precious times count!

Introducing Orán Philip McAllister

This is my gorgeous baby son Orán who was born four weeks early on 7th February and who is the reason why his mother's blog hasn't been updated in approximately five weeks! His arrival was a shock but a very pleasant one at that! I hadn't been feeling well and was admitted to hospital on 3rd February as I had reduced foetal movement due to fluctuating blood sugars in relation to my diabetes. I thought that I was simply being taken in for overnight observation and never thought in a million years that I wouldn't be seeing the light of day again until my wee man was in my arms! Usually hospital stays are a drag that have everybody sympathising with you on your misfortune at being laid up but if truth be told I have to admit that I had a whale of a time! It was just what the doctor ordered (literally)...a well deserved rest away from the stresses and strains of the outside world and an opportunity to completely chillax!! It also turned out to be a great place to meet new friends...stand up and take a bow Carla Scullion, Catherine MCrory and Jayne Murray who along with myself were the occupants of Bay 3 on Ward 1 East Craigavon Area Hospital (or rather Bumps r Us as I nicknamed us)....there's bound to be a book in there somewhere with the main theme being the bonds created between expectant mothers when all are thrown together pre-bump! get to the important little man arrived four weeks prematurely after the decision was taken to induce me (details of the birth will follow in another blog...believe me...they deserve a blog all of their own and when you read it you'll fully appreciate why...are you suitably intrigued yet??) We have named him Orán Philip and he was 5lbs 8ozs when he was born and is a little darling!! Mammy's little star and Daddy's boy and the rest of the family are dying about him...which is exactly as it should be!!

Welcome to the world little are only three weeks old but already we would be lost without you!! xxxxxxxxx

Sunday, 23 January 2011


There is a well known saying in life that states that 'a friend in need is a friend indeed'....unfortunately, however, not everyone agrees and if someone's in trouble or feeling down and lonely they'd rather deal with their own feelings of discomfort than try to offer any support therefore how lucky am I to have the best bunch of mates in the world...ever...who literally rally around me in times of need!

Times have been tough lately between ill health, problems of a personal nature and life in general just being crap (I could use a variety of stronger words believe me but I'll refrain cos I'm a writer and supposed to have a repetoire of 'proper' words.) Of course stupid cars that don't work, laptops that nosedive off seats all by themselves (according to the mad four year old)resulting in broken screens and spiralling out of control blood sugars don't help! However I'm friends, like my man and my wonderful children are my rocks and I'm so very very lucky to have them!

I was having a particularly tough day on Friday and was basically telling my friend Carrie-Ann (who is a little gem) how down I was feeling and next thing by magic a little quote appeared on my Facebook page from her which really touched me and was so appropriate....

And here it new motto in life from now on...

There comes a time in life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh, forget the bad, and focus on the good. So, love the people who treat you right and Pray for the ones who don't. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is part of LIFE...Getting back up is LIVING

Carrie Ann, Rachel, Claire A, Joanna, Nells, Kat, Edel and the rest of the posse thanks for always being there and for having spectacularly bendy ears when I need are superstars and I love you all to bits and once I produce this babby we are definitely going to have a night out....FACT!!!

Monday, 17 January 2011

Happy Birthday Colm...

I am officially in shock folks...I am the mother of a sixteen year old!!! Of course I am the world's youngest mammy as I had him when I was four and am not a day over 21...ahem! Oh well alright then spoil sports...I actually had him when I was eighteen and had my place secured in Napier University, Edinburgh for a degree in Newspaper Journalism after sitting my the time the thought of having a baby and missing out on the opportunity to continue my studies and live life on the wild side like all my friends filled me with fear but I have to say that sixteen years on I wouldn't swap my big fella (who is now taller than me) for the world! I love him more than life itself and in many ways he did me a big favour by deciding to turn up when he did!

I am not for a moment advocating teenage pregnancy (before you all jump on me from a great height for being a bad and irresponsible influence) but Colm's arrival meant that my life went in a completely different direction than it may have done if my original plan had come to fruition! For a start I doubt if I would have had my gorgeous daughter Una, I also doubt that I would have ever met Philip, who is the absolute love of my life (stop telling me not to be hormones are firing on all cylinders...I'm allowed!) which means that I wouldn't have my precious Aine or my current bump nor would I have had the opportunity to meet and bond with his children and to boot I may have actually succeeded in my chosen career path and been a newspaper journalist as opposed to an author and wouldn't be sitting writing this blog now....whew...isn't my son a brilliant lad altogether for arriving when he did!!

I am a great believer in things happening for a reason and life being mapped out for you and am very thankful to the man in the sky for giving me my wonderful firstborn son as he means the world to me...of course he has his moments where I could cheerfully knock him out for not tidying his room, constantly fighting with his sister (who he loves really...they can't fool me), not knowing where the dishwasher is and being under the mistaken belief that his clothes are magic and therefore capable of making their own way to the laundry basket...but what can I say...he is a teenage boy and I'd probably die of shock and want to take his temperature to diagnose illness were he suddenly to turn into a clean freak who was willing to wear ordinary clothes minus a designer logo...sorry didn't I mention the penchant for anything with a label on it...if it ain't Henley's, Haywire or Crosshatch these days we do not want to George or Cherokee or Peacocks will do anymore...noooo sirreee God forbid a top might cost less than 20 quid!!!

Happy birthday to my big man who has brought such joy and comfort to me over the years and who is the apple of his Granda's eye (well, growing up with an only girl it's only natural that he would be delighted with a wee man who would become his shadow over the years!)

Love you son xxx

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

A Fond Farewell to a National Treasure

We've all heard of female celebrities, Cheryl Cole, Holly Willoughby and the likes, who through hard work, endearing personalities and a good relationship with the public have earned themselves the coveted title of 'National Treasure' but in my humble opinion Ireland has just lost one of its finest treasures which is a fitting description for this lady as her father has constantly referred to her as 'a little gem' since her tragic and untimely death on Monday.

I didn't know Michaela Harte very well but our paths had crossed in the past as we had attended several local weddings together (where she was subjected to a particularly rowdy swing by Philip during a ceili dance where the guests danced the Walls of Limerick), I had seen her at football matches (most notably in Croke Park at the Semi-Final between Armagh and Tyrone in 2005 where Tyrone thrashed their opponents and went on to beat Kerry and bring Sam home) and my partner had met her at a parent teacher meeting for one of his children who attends St. Patrick's Academy in Dungannon where Michaela taught both Religion and Irish. On all these occasions we both decided that she was a very down to earth, nice, modest girl. I don't know what we were expecting but as the daughter of one of Ireland's leading football managers who was becoming a celebrity in her own right as a former Ulster Rose of Tralee and personality I suppose you could be forgiven for thinking that such a girl might have a few tickets on herself but this was refreshingly not the case.

I, like the rest of the country, was submerged into shock, dismay and intense sadness when I heard the news of Michaela's sudden and unexplained death on Monday whilst on her honeymoon and was plunged even deeper into despair yesterday when it became apparent that foul play had taken place and she was strangled in her hotel room. It beggars belief that something like this could happen in the first place to anyone but for it to happen to someone known to us all is even more devestating and hard to deal with. News this morning indicates that arrests have been made and we can only hope and pray that the perpetrators of such a senseless crime are brought to justice.

I think, certainly here in Tyrone and also in GAA footballing circles, Michaela was probably best known for her close and mutually adoring relationship with her father Mickey Harte (pictured above with Michaela and her brother celebrating a Tyrone victory) as well as her passion for the game and cameraderie with the players. Public reaction regionally, nationally and internationally to her untimely demise has been intense as although we knew she was a popular and well liked young woman I don't think she realised quite how many people she touched during her short life. We all know how hard it is for teachers to gain the respect and admiration of their students but you only have to look at the online book of condolences and the number of appraising comments from her former St. Patrick's Academy pupils to see that she certainly made a big impression and was much loved.

I watched the six o'clock Northern Ireland news yesterday from behind a tear stained cushion as I listened to her heartbroken father talk about how much he loved his special wee girl and saw the pain etched across the faces of her brothers as they held him up and supported him. As an only daughter who shares a close relationship with her father the impact of such a tragedy and in such horrific circumstances doesn't bear thinking about and we can only hope that the thoughts and prayers of the nation will bring them some comfort at this terrible terrible time.

We must also spare a thought for her new husband, John McAreavey, who must be in a living hell at this moment...miles from home in a foreign country where he doesn't know anybody trying to deal with the shock of losing the girl who only became his wife ten days before she was murdered. I am sure that they had spent their time talking about good times to come and planning their future together which makes Michaela's death all the more distressing.

Events like these certainly put life in perspective. Who are we to complain about having troubles when the Harte and McAreavey families are suffering through the hardship of losing a much loved daughter and daughter in law in the prime of her life in such horrendously sad and difficult circumstances.

As someone with a strong faith and great belief in angels I can only comfort myself with the notion that Michaela certainly earned her wings in this life and is now above us all trying to help her family, friends, colleagues and students deal with their grief.

Rest in Peace Michaela, wee gem.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

God...but I hate pricks

Well folks,

As you have probably guessed my life hasn't become any easier but I can assure you that a) I haven't started using recreational drugs in an effort to make myself feel better b) I haven't begun a quest to start saving drug users from injecting themselves as a distraction and c) I'm not sticking a needle in myself as an equivalent to pinching my arm to check if everything happening at the moment is real.......nope it's actually much simpler than all that...last week after several bouts of tests I've been diagnosed with gestational diabetes which is something that can develop in pregnancy but that hopefully will leave afterwards.

What this condition means is that my body is unable to process the sugar in my blood therefore through controlling my diet and possibly going on insulin I should be able to combat this situation. However, it does increase the size of the baby as it is getting a brilliant supply of sugar from me and means that I will probably end up giving birth in February as opposed to March when it was planned! Oh yes...and given the fact that I am five foot nothing and have a tiny pelvis I'd appreciate it if said babby didn't grow too much bigger as I'd like to deliver it naturally if at all possible! You've all seen the film 'Look Who's Talking' with Kirsty Alley and John Travolta...well here's a wee quote from Kirsty to John when he's being flippant about her giving birth..."why don't you try squeezing a watermelon out of an opening the size of an orange and see how you feel" which point he suggests he better start ringing his mother more often....ahem!

I have to get my blood checked every week at the hospital I'm due to give birth in and have changed consultants now as well as having to see diabetic specialists, dieticians and a diabetic nurse....great craic...oh and lest I forget to mention the really fun bit I have to check my blood eight times a day before and after eating with a finger pricker whilst recording all the results.

I HATE NEEDLES!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I've never been fond of giving blood or having injections but having given birth to three children already it's something I've had to begrudgingly get used to (whilst pulling the arm out of the chair I'm sitting on or alternatively Philip...whoever happens to be closest) therefore we are not impressed with this latest development even though everybody else seems to think that it's highly amusing that I have to stamp my foot, have a stern conversation with myself (out loud) and breathe deeply in the manner of a WBA wrestler in order to psyche myself up for the procedure!

The running joke between Philip and myself has become "but it's only a wee prick darling." Which is then my cue to say "but darling you know as well as I do that I only like big pricks."

But anyway for all my moaning and complaining I do realise that it is necessary, and for the sake of my precious wee cargo I will do anything in order to keep it healthy and well and ensure that it comes into the world having had the best start possible, so I shall bear the brunt of all the tests, extra trips to the hospital and the radical diet that means I'm bereft of my chocolate fix (cue large sniff in order to ward off bout of hormonal chocolate deprived crying.)

My only consolation is that at least this annoying prick serves a useful purpose and is helping me and my little baby as I can assure you that there are other pricks in this world (of the human variety) who seem to live off hurting and aggravating people...but that would be a whole other blog entirely and one which might see me transgress from being a romantic comedy writer to one who writes books of a pychologically disturbing nature that could give Stephen King a run for his money in the horror stakes!!

But don't worry I have no intention of doing any such thing as through every trial and tribulation I will endeavour to remain positive, count my blessings for the good things in life and keep you all laughing.....right...time for another pre-lunch jab I think...oh the joys!

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

And I'm lovin' Angels instead....

This is a photo of my mantlepiece and as you can see I am more than a little fond of collecting angels, fairies and all things pretty (and scented if you include my Glade candle.) I have always loved angels but in the past few years have become even more attached to them probably as I had a miscarriage in February 2009 and in order to remember my wee baby I bought a chain and an angel pendant which I never remove.

Not everyone believes in angels which is something that I understand and respect and I would never try to shove my theories down anyone else's throat but I do think that it is very comforting to think that there are higher powers out there who help and carry us when times get tough (their arms must be tired luggin' me around everywhere I can tell you!) It is said that everyone has a guardian angel and when I ponder on everything I've been through in my life to date I do think that someone has definitely been watching over me and guiding me! I could, of course, take the attitude that perhaps they weren't doing their job as well as they could have but as I'm a positive person I'd rather believe that they got me through the worst of it whilst allowing me to learn some valuable life lessons in the process!

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

My gorgeous girls...

Just had to share this with you! I always wanted to have two little girls who I could dress the same but had given up hope of ever being able to pull it off until I discovered these beautiful dresses on the proud was I on Christmas Day?

Sending off a wish and a prayer...

My sister-in-law recently told me about a lovely tradition whereby the Chinese send off their wishes and dreams into the stars by way of a paper lantern which is lit and floats into the sky carrying with it your prayers for the future! We've lit a few in the past few months and I like to think of it as sending my troubles away which is very comforting (on second thoughts if you know how random and manic my life is you're probably wondering why a hot air balloon or 500 tonne space craft isn't the carrier of choice?!)

We lit the last one on New Year's Eve and hopefully all our aspirations and hopes for 2011 were successfully transported with's hoping!!

Monday, 3 January 2011

Three wise men...two donkeys...and a cat?!

Christmas like every other time of the year in my home is mad and full of unexpected surprises therefore it shouldn't come as a shock to you that I'm posting up a photograph of my crib complete with a kitten in the straw...

To start at the beginning...'the cat' as we shall call her for now arrived in our garden half starved and shivering in the worst snow that I believe northern Ireland has seen in twenty five years so you'll understand why 'we' (word used loosely) felt compelled to invite it into our home, feed it, buy it cat litter, give it a blanket and treat it like a little princess. I say that 'we' weren't entirely impressed as I'm already visualising the madness that bringing another baby into the world will cause therefore the thought of becoming surrogate mammy to a kitten wasn't exciting me! I actually do like cats but the timing just wasn't quite right! Anyway...I didn't really get a say (even though it's my house) because the children fell in love with it therefore I had to begrudgingly accept my utility room was going to be doubling up as a cattery for the forseeable future!

As for Aine (mad four year old) she is completely obsessed by the cat and spends all her time pulling it and poking it and trying to manoevre it into all sorts of obscure positions with the result that the poor animal favours the back of our televsion unit as a hidey hole as opposed to the utility room whilst everyone else in the house wanders around with their hands in the air saying 'leave the feckin cat alone' with varying degrees of meance in their tones depending on the time of day, how many times the incident has occured before and how innocent the pigtailed culprit tries to look whilst trying to blame everyone else!

And the best part is that (as you can plainly see) the cat is predominantly black yet my children have seen fit to call it Snowy...because it arrived in the snow Mammy duuuuhhhhhh.....

Our furry friend has become quite an established member of the household at this stage but unfortunately is still going to have to go elsewhere! On second thoughts, though, perhaps we should keep her as she seems to be bringing us a certain degree of luck as since she came to us several little windfalls have come our way so perhaps it is true what they say...a black cat crossing your path is lucky or in our case snowy!!