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I found this in my drafts folder from quite a while back but it still rings true. In fact I think I have given myself something to think about!

Have people forgotten what it’s like to be alone? To be alone with your own thoughts and only yourself to listen to them?

Sometimes I think that people, caught up in the new media, social media, digital economy have forgotten that they are in fact still humans. No need to log every moment of your day, every thought, every whim, every lunch break. It’s just not that interesting. Lonely? Phone a friend. Or better still, scrape your bum off the sofa or office chair and go see them. Talk to them face to face, not through a screen or keyboard.

No one cares that it’s lunch time in your office right now or that you’ve just burned your hand while cooking dinner. If you can still tweet about it then you’re obviously fine.

Sometimes I catch myself doing it. I know why I do it. It’s a loneliness thing.  Tweeting or using Facebook for business purposes is one thing but when you get used to having an ever-willing audience, a community in which you can participate and belong to at any moment of the day, it’s hard to ignore the call when the house is empty and it’s just you, the tv and the laptop.

And yet when I do ignore it, I feel the better for it. A few hours of ‘me’ time. Visiting friends, visiting family, seeing a movie, watching tv, catching up on housework, reading a book, whatever it may be, not very exciting but better than sitting back telling the world about how bored I am.

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Girly stuff

Not so long ago I went with The Mammy to a recording of For One Night Only starring Imelda May. Let’s just be clear…I loved Imelda May. LOVED her. And after the recording of the show…I adored her even more. You couldn’t meet a more honest, down to earth, real and genuine person. She is just wonderful and a truly happy person, it radiates out from her not only when she’s singing but when she was being interviewed too and most especially when talking about her family.

On the night Imelda looked amazing in a retro cut white dress with a rose pattern:

She looked amazing and wore sparkly red shoes and I wanted it – the whole outfit!! So imagine my delight one day last week when I spotted that exact dress on a dummy outside Retro in George’s Street Arcade! I went in, I asked was it the same dress (it was) and I checked that they had my size (they did). I’m not sure I can carry off white with red roses but they had the same dress in different patterns. I have made a dress-up date with a pal from work and tomorrow on our lunch break we are going to go and try on dresses. I will try on that dress.

For the first time in a long while, I have some money to spend on myself. This is a major treat for me and I can’t wait. If they have those sparkly red shoes too – sold!

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Off to a good start…kinda

In my first post of 2011 I mentioned that the previous year had started on a low personal note but had improved over time. This upward slant has continued – hooray! – culminating in me finding a job that I like and being given a permanent contract.

Now the ‘kinda’ good start is this. I was made permanent in this job that I like in a company that is defying current trends and growing bigger almost daily. My new contract started on the day of my birthday – perfect timing. So you can imagine the growing unease of finding out that one of my very best friends is due to have a meeting in work – also on her birthday – in which she will more than likely be made redundant or be told when she is being made redundant.

She is still delighted for me and so am I. Another friend told me today she has found herself a new job and handed in notice at her old place.

Swings and roundabouts. Ups and downs. Hopefully it’ll work out for the other friend soon.

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2010 in review

Thanks to all who have been reading my blog despite the fact that I only posted 5 times in 2010 😮 I have been thinking about this blog a bit recently, I miss it! And although I won’t be blogging very regularly, I think I’ll be trying to do a bit more than 5 this year. 2010 was a year of huge change and upheaval for me in good and bad ways. It started on a very low note personally but ended on a much higher one – hooray!

Happy New Year and all my best wishes for 2011 😉

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Fresher than ever.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A helper monkey made this abstract painting, inspired by your stats.

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 13,000 times in 2010. That’s about 31 full 747s.

 

In 2010, there were 5 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 114 posts. There were 16 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 6mb. That’s about a picture per month.

The busiest day of the year was February 14th with 96 views. The most popular post that day was Coolest. Beds. Ever. .

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were irishtimes.com, irishblogs.ie, culch.ie, search.aol.com, and search.conduit.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for my sister’s keeper, cool chairs, inside a wave, lace underwear, and my sisters keeper.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Coolest. Beds. Ever. October 2008
11 comments

2

My Sister’s Keeper July 2009
5 comments

3

Oooh wavey! March 2009
4 comments

4

Cool chairs January 2009
10 comments

5

Please help me go to the Halloween party! October 2009
3 comments

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If…

This blog has been on my mind recently, I have somewhat abandoned it. April 2 this year was my last post and even that was an oasis in a non-posting desert. Hopefully I will get back to posting some stuff over the next while if I can find the time. Big IF – here’s hoping (and planning).

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Plaque

In the midst of all the build up, the cards, the red paper hearts and pink and red balloons appearing in shop windows country-wide, I got to thinking about the fact that The Granny had brought me to visit St. Valentine once, many years ago. I thought given the week that’s in it, it was time to go back and say hello.

The remains of St. Valentine are housed in the church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on Whitefriar Street in Dublin. They have been there since the 19th century but were only rediscovered in the 1950s during a renovation of the church. His remains, as well as a small vessel tinged with his blood, are beneath a small altar and a statue of him in a large alcove along the right hand side of the church. While I was there a few ladies and gents were cleaning and decorating the church. I was reminded of the lady in The Commitments scraping away at the candle wax in the foyer of the same church saying ‘If you wouldn’t do it for God, sure who would you do it for?’ Lol.

As I was standing admiring the altar and reading the visitors book for St. Valentine, one of the ladies came over with a bunch of beautiful red roses for it. I’m not sure if that’s the usual flower of choice or just this week. The visitors book is a funny thing…some people have put in prayers for help and guidance in their love lives.

“Please send my one true love St. Valentine, I’m ready now”.

A lady had put in a note to St. Valentine asking him to send her daughter someone cos “she’d love a boyfriend”. I guess Cupid and St. Valentine got mixed up somewhere along the way.

Plaque

I was somewhat shocked to read the details beside the altar. In case you cannot read the text on the photo, it says:

St. Valentine was a holy priest
who lived in Rome
in the third century.
Having assisted the martyrs
in the persecution under
the Emperor Claudius II
he was taken prisoner in A.D. 268.
The Prefect of Rome tried
to induce Saint Valentine
to renounce his faith
but both his threats and
promises were in vain.
He then ordered that the saint
be beaten with clubs
and afterwards beheaded.
The sentence was carried out on

February 14th 290 A.D.

I’m not sure how the anniversary of the clubbing and beheading of a martyr became a cause for celebration but no doubt Mr. Hallmark and his cohorts have had a little something to do with the whole thing.

The remains of St. Valentine were gifted to an Irish preacher called Father John Spratt in 1835 in recognition of his wonderful preaching skills and they were received into the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel by Archbishop Murray on November 10, 1836*.

So when you are waking up to roses and chocolates and glasses of champagne and all sorts of random OTT-ness on Sunday morning, try to spare a thought for the humble origins of the day and poor oul’ Valentinus and his severed head 🙂

*You can read the full text of the story of how St. Valentine’s remains came to be in Dublin, below 🙂

(more…)

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I came across this yesterday via the January newsletter of the lovely Marian Keyes. Marian suffers from bouts of depression and is suffering at the moment. Instead of writing her usual newsletter, Marian wrote a short piece to let everyone know that she wishes them a happy new year and that she is laid low with depression at the moment. She finished off with some quotes about depression which help her and to encourage and support others who find themselves in the same position. This one grabbed me and is by far my favourite:

AUTOBIOGRAPHY IN FIVE SHORT CHAPTERS

by Portia Nelson

Chapter I

I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I fall in.
I am lost … I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes me forever to find a way out.

Chapter II

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in the same place
but, it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter III

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in … it’s a habit.
my eyes are open
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

Chapter IV

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter V

I walk down another street.

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