Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Waking up to the beating rhythm of a pounding headache, stumbling into the bathroom and staring at myself in the mirror… the shocking whiteness of my roots are flashing back at me in their luminous brightness. I feel every hour of my 37 years.

(Sorry, if you thought that this will be about something profound then I will have to disappoint you. Trust me… in this moment I would not be able to debate anything in a cultural or social context in an intelligent matter.)

Bright white roots reminding me that I am no spring chicken anymore. Combined with a sore stiff shoulder due to a badly executed dive-roll (yes I know, my own fault) and dark heavy bags under my eyes and a lingering migraine … I cannot even blame some mad party from last night.

Alright… que the sad violins…

Lament over.

So now I am sitting here trying to look at this from the other side. Migraine medication kicking in is also helping…

I got my first white hair when I was 20 (damn those genes!). I am however supporting the local economy by spending a substantial amount of money at the hairdresser.

Those same genes have also given me a somewhat “looking a bit younger than I am” ( just not today… though considering the rest of the family I might be somewhat reassured for the future).

The humongous bags under my eyes and headache are more likely from work stress and spending too much time last night playing the Xbox. The work situation is shortly to change for the better and gaming… well it is kinda fun.

My healthier living (… not perfected yet) and work-outs and therefore weight-loss is going OK, albeit very slowly. I do enjoy it and you will find me in the gym first thing tomorrow again. The fact is that I am getting to a point where I am fitter than I have been for many years and I never thought I would say that at 37.

I am also the luckiest person alive because I have some of the most amazing people as friends.

So all in all… life is pretty good.

Now excuse me, I have to book that hairdresser appointment.

 

 

I am back to work now the last two weeks. Easing Stumbling back into everyday life… – funny how that happens so fast again even after almost three weeks off.

I had a lovely two weeks in Sweden visiting family. We have a few new family members this year and it was fun meeting everyone though I am not 100% sure of what they thought about meeting their “great-aunt”… lord, am I really a great-aunt!? Scary!

The two weeks were pretty hectic, seems like there were 50 people around most of the time. Not to mention several dogs, horses and cats. Even with all the visiting and seeing everyone; it was great. So much laughter and catching up.

I started in Copenhagen in Denmark and then went up the east coast of Sweden to my parents for a few days. I could only stay for a few days as they have a smaller apartment and with three adults, two cats and one dog it does get crowded. Not to mention that although I love my parents to bits; I can only take that many days before I go slightly mad. We then drove to my brother’s place which is inland. Well, I drove. I persuaded my Dad to let me drive his car. He was notably nervous as I mainly drive on the left hand side these days (he frequently reminded me every time we came to a roundabout…). Well let’s face it, I was not going to travel 200km at 60km/hour due to my Dad’s regrettably slightly diminished eyesight.

I stayed a good few days at my brother’s place. They live in the middle of nowhere. It is fab. So quiet at night. Surrounded by forest, horses, big dogs and seemingly a constant stream of people. Most days there were at least eight of us. I helped out a bit on the farm and loved it. Though I was less fond of those blasted horse flies and mosquitoes that took a liking to me. I did not understand why they were biting me like never before until I realized that they seemed to like the body-butter I used. So hint, hint… Body Shop’s Body Butter is great but avoid in the vicinity of horse flies. Though everyone else was grateful…

My sister and her partner (or maybe I should say boyfriend.. though can you really say boyfriend if someone is over 45?? Haven’t figured it out) arrived on her birthday so we had a great birthday celebration. I laughed until my belly hurt.

Then I left with my sister to go and see my nephew who lives in the most gorgeous idyllic place, in a place that is the essence of the county where I am from; Småland. He and his family live in this gorgeous red wooden house with white corners built in the 1600’s. They are surrounded by lakes, cows and more dogs and cats (seems to be an ongoing theme in my family).

Then as my last stop I stayed with my sister on the west coast of Sweden. Shopping, a bit of sunbathing (when the sun decided to actually make an appearance), a round of mini-golf (which I suck at ), lots of chats and laughter and meeting everyone else (and again some more dogs and cats).

The weather was not great unfortunately during my two weeks but I had so many laughs that it did no matter. Not to mention all the absolutely fantastic food. I normally do not have a second helping but during these two weeks I ate until I was stuffed til bursting point. Best food ever! Oh a few beers, cocktails and wine found its way to me as well…

Then it was back to Dublin for a few days of chilling. I rounded off my holiday with a long (20km) walk along the coast of Dublin with a good friend. The sun was shining (for once) and it was fabulous.

I’ll leave you with a few pictures. Hope you all had a lovely July as well!!

All quiet in the hood:

Småland:

Then there was a bit of time for just pure chilling as well:

The bonds between friends, family and lovers are like intricate threads shifting in the wind. Sparkling with all the colors of the rainbow. Like shimmering gossamer in the sun. If we could but see them.

Across the universe threads drift, connecting every living being together. Some loosing an all too light connection. Some ripping apart. Some holding on forever.

With every being we meet and seek; a new thread is created.

Those illusive threads that stay strong have knots that could tell a tale of rife, of sorrow, of forgiveness, of understanding and an unyielding strength – if only we knew how to read them.

These are the threads we knit together with those we love.

In the fiercest gale the threads are stretched taut but do not break. In the darkest night they glimmer to show us the way. In the farthest distance they reach our hearts.

These are the threads we knit together with those we love.

Time seems to have flowed past at speed the last few weeks. All the sudden it is mid-January already and no blog post has been written. Ouch! Not sure how that happened.

I spend Christmas with one of my best friends together with her boyfriend, who also happens to be a good friend of mine, and their two adorable boys. Two boys, who at the tender age of 4 and 7, were extremely excited about Santa coming. Their faces when we called NORAD’s Santa Tracker was priceless.

So Christmas was full of early mornings and lots of toys but it was also relaxing and with more food than it is humanly possible to eat. One thing to keep in mind: when putting a bottle of Bailey’s in the freezer… yes, the cream stays frozen but not the pure alcohol… it does give quite a kick!

Oh and this sweet shop is just fabulous. They have all kinds of chocolates, hard-boiled sweets, fudge, toffee, liquorice and so on. It feels like you are stepping back in time when you enter.

As usual the long weekend ended way too fast and it was time to go home once again. Back to a really busy week in work, which ended with a pretty chilled out New Years Eve. I really enjoyed spending it with a very good friend, just eating cheese and crackers and drinking some wine. I guess in a way I “should” feel a bit freaked out that I rather stayed in (like my parents) than went out into town (getting pissed in a crowded pub) but to be honest it was great just chilling. Hmmmm…. not sure what that says about me.

Well, I made up for it a bit the weekend just gone by. My sister and her partner came over for a weekend visit. It was great!! There was lots of fish & chips, Guinness (OK, not much for me as I still am not too keen on the black stuff), pubs and lots and lots of laughs.

My sister and I, in stitches as always.

Proper fry up’s (sausages, bacon, scrambled eggs and toast) in the mornings kept us going. We ended up in a variety of places. All from the traditional Irish pub with a traditional Irish music session to the heavy metal rock bar in town. It was brilliant fun and over way too fast.

So now I am sitting here, trying to survive the rest of the month. The January blues and all that. As most others I am properly skint and like many I am looking over my budget and mulling over various health ideas. Oh the joy…

But at the same time, it is a new year and new opportunities looming around every corner. I do not really do the whole new years resolution thing but I do try to keep some ideas in mind. I will make this year mine. Not decided how yet but if the world will end in 2012 (like some seem to believe) then I want go out with a bang and a smile on my face.

Or in the wise words of Eleanor Roosevelt: “Life is what you make it. Always has been, always will be.”

The last two weeks have passed really, really fast and I am once again back in Dublin. I have had a great time in Sweden and could write a long detailed account about all the good times, hysterical laughs, great conversations, lively discussions, divine wines drunk and fabulous food eaten… but… I decided not to. Instead I will focus on what tickled my senses and share a few photos with you.

Because it is easy to just write down a point by point description of what I did but this was a holiday that I tried to experience with all my senses. In a way that really relaxed me and did what it was supposed to do – recharge me. So I will try to do my best to convey this to you. If I fail, well then at least you will know one thing… it still was a fabulous holiday!

Laughs with my brother. The smell of paint in the summer air. The sun warming in my back as I work away. Muscles aching in the evening. Feeling relaxed.

The scent of freshly cut grass. The adrenaline when I nearly keeled over – lawn mover go-kart…

That first taste of a cold beer after a day outside. The divine smell from the BBQ.

The sense of calm in the forest. Seeing the light filtering through the trees. The peace all around.

The amazing scent of fir trees after a warm summer shower.

The sweet taste of wild strawberries.

The belly aching laughs when playing Kinect with my sister and brother. The groans of embarrassed despair when seeing the recordings of said gameplay.. (and forget it, NOT sharing those.. ).

The beauty of all the many small lakes dotted between the trees. Sinking into warm still water as the sun sets. The faint sound of buzzing insects.

The smell of the salty ocean. The laughter from children running into the water. Sand between my toes. The sun warming my tummy. The intoxicating scent of sun-kissed skin. Feeling the world slowly tuning out as my eyes get heavy and I snooze in the sun.

The smooth taste from a 10yr old Tullamore Dew single malt. Feeling thoughtful, happy and content in the evening sun.

Calm sea. Not even a breeze to be felt. Distant cries from seagulls echo across the water.

Walking through Ale forest along the coast. A bird sanctuary can be found in a small swamp. The green colours are amazing. The buzzing and blood sucking mosquitoes are not as amazing. The itching bites are annoying but still… part of summer.

The food… oh the fabulous food. Every bite to be savored. Taste bud heaven.

The stormy spray of sea mist. The wind blowing through my hair. Giggles as we try to get at least one pic we both can live with.

Dublin Airport

Image via Wikipedia

It is finally that time again. Holiday time! I started my holiday today by going to the hairdresser and my hair is a vibrant red again. All cut and styled and looks good. The red will hopefully last a while but it does have a tendency to wash out quickly and get stuck everywhere else; my sheets, my towels, down the drain… Whoever invents a nice red hair colourant that doesn’t wash out so fast is onto a winner. As long as it isn’t a carroty red – cos that is maybe not THAT great…

In less than two days I will head to Dublin airport and then off to Sweden I go. Bag will be packed with shorts and tops, flip-flops and oh maybe a pair of jeans (this is where I am challenging the weather gods to behave and let it stay sunny and warm for the next two weeks).

As per usual I will forget something semi-important and pack too much stuff that I won’t use. I will get dazzled in the airport shop and ignore the sorry state of my credit card and happily find more stuff I do not really need. The obligatory shopping spree in the booze section is not to be forgotten. Why does everyone I know like whiskey so much?

As I am no longer capable of being totally off-line I will spend a substantial part of my holidays checking-in on FB at various locations, just so that all can keep tabs on me. Why you might ask… well ‘cos I can. It gives me a weird and something a shrink would find fascinating freaky sense of achievement doing so (yes I know, we could derive many issues out of that statement but lets not).  This blog will suffer a bit unfortunately as I will not have much time to spend blogging but I will follow-up when I am back. As I will be staying with family the whole time I am away my internet access will suffer somewhat. Thank god for smartphones and this is where I once again will ignore financial drawbacks – in this case my forthcoming phonebill.

I will spend the beginning of my holidays at my parents. Will definitely not have much internet access there. Am pretty sure they have not even heard of WIFI. They do have a PC and internet but trying to explain why I need to go on that “facebook thing” as my Dad calls it will just be too much work. As per usual procedure when I am visiting my parents I will regress back to a 14 year old, which always happens after a day in their presence. I just have to accept the fact that I will start coming out with heavy sighs, go all “ahhh but Muuuuum”, demand my favorite foods and argue with my Dad about the remote control. I might go insane…

After those “rejuvenating” days I will stay with my brother and his family and then with my sister after that. I am looking forward to meeting all, have many laughs, lots of outdoorsy days and evenings, nice food, lots of a few drinks and just a good time.

Tomorrow I have to bring my cats to the cattery. They will stay in this really nice place on the country side with a dedicated little hut and their own enclosed outdoor space… it is like a cool luxury cat hotel. Still… I will miss the little buggers and I have a funny feeling they know what is coming considering the major sucking up that is happening this evening. As the drive to this place will be a little under an hour I will be treated to howling cats in the car. They are not too fond of driving… anywhere.

Once I am back I will hopefully have lots of pictures that I can share with you (note to self – remember to bring camera). No dreadful bikini shots will be included.

So adios for now and hope you all will have a great few weeks of summer ahead wherever you are!

 

 

I love old pictures.

I have spent part of the day copying over old photos that my aunt and sister have scanned in.

My parents have a whole bunch of pictures in an old shoebox. They are not particularly organized or even dated. I used to spend hours going through them all as a kid. It captivated me looking at those black and white pictures and fantasize about what the people in them might have been like or what they were doing at the particular time.

There is just something about these old family pictures that fascinates me. I find it especially intriguing when I discover family resemblances generations back. I can see family traits from generations back in pictures of me and my nieces and nephews and so forth. Looking at these pictures makes me wonder what my kids would look like. If I ever decide to have any. Well, that is a whole other topic and one I am not sure I want to go into.

While going through these newly scanned pictures I have also come across pictures from my parents youth. They bring a smile to my face.

This is my great-grandmother. Anders pointed out that I sometimes have the same facial expression as she has here. Hrmmm..:

My grand mother 1934. She was quite a lady:

I love this picture of my parents! :

Think that is enough for now. I like sharing pictures. It doesn’t bother me…but right now I am feeling a bit contemplative. Part of me wants to rage as I never got to know my grand parents (they passed away when I was very young), another part smiles while looking at all the pictures feeling all warm and cosy. These people are part of me.