Posts Tagged ‘Family’

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.

I moved out from my parents house at the tender age of 16… it was not because I wanted to or was thrown out but because my senior second level school was too far away and I had to move into student accommodation. It was a bit scary in the beginning but I quickly learned to take care of myself and my parent were just 2 hours away.

So I never really had the parental supervision as an older teenager that both my brother, sister and most of my friends had. If I was out partying then they did not know and it was freedom that you get used to very fast. I need to point out that I was also quite shy and not very daring at that age so it was not that my parents needed to worry all too much… but still, they do not know all.

I grew up and the shyness receded. The parties were more frequent and so were other activities. I was a young single women enjoying life. My parents are not stupid so of course they knew that I was out partying… answering the phone while extremely hungover was perhaps not a great move.

I moved abroad at 22 and my parents embraced emails and long distance calls. Visits per year are few but fun and I quickly realized that as much as I love them I could not live together with them for more than a few days. I think the feeling is mutual…

There are somethings you should never need to know about your parents and there are definitely things they do not need to know about you. So a nice equilibrium was maintained.

So imagine my utter astonishment when I got a friend request on Facebook from my parents! You should have seen my face. This was quickly followed by hurried instant messaging between my sister and myself on what the heck just happened. Keep in mind that my parents are in their seventies and normally emailing and the occasional internet surfing is as far as they use their PC. I also figured out that my brother was visiting them today… the guilty culprit is found.

So I am feeling two ways about this; on the one side I think it is pretty cool that they embrace social networking online… On the other hand, talk about parental supervision on a high level. Damn, I will have to think twice before I post now, well good thing they do not speak English very well.

Then I catch myself and all I can do is to shake my head… I am 34 years old for gods sake. Why does this make me react like a rebellious 17-year-old? I guess parents will always be parents…no matter how old we get. Sigh.


Posted: November 28, 2010 in Family, Life, Reflections
Tags: , , , ,

The sky outside is slowly darkening and the snow-covered ground is taking on a beautiful blue colour. It is quiet outside. No cars passing by. Everyone has gone inside.

Today I am homesick.

I do not get like this very often, especially cos I know that often it is so easy to remember everything at home covered with a rosy shimmer. Only remembering the best parts. Focusing on how good it is when I go home on holidays. Realizing that reality seldom is the same as holidays.

Today I am homesick.

I have just compiled a few DVD’s with pictures from the big party we had for my mum this summer at her 70th birthday. Pictures and movie clips filled with laughter and joy.

I close my eyes. I can hear the laughter, the singing and the chatter. I can still smell the evening air…  the air is filled with the scent of fir trees, sun warmed grass and barbecues. I can see the forest at the edge of the fields, the sun setting over the trees and the smiles on the faces of my family.

I am happy where I am today. I have good friends both near and far. I love my life here. But today… I am homesick.




I am not a touchy-feely person really, never have been. When I grew up there was not so much physical contact. Sure we hugged but not often. Affection was more shown through humour and laughs. My dad would show his affection by ruffling my hair more than anything. He still laughs a bit embarrassed every time I give him a hug nowadays. My sister has always been the big hugger in the family and I have always loved that, still do.

Do not get me wrong, I felt loved at home but just always a little bit insecure when it came to showing it openly. I was quite shy when I was younger. Not so much when it came to communicating with my family (I talked non-stop then) but when it came to physical contact I mostly always waited for someone else to take the first step. In some sense I am still like that. I have had to work hard to open up more in this respect. It has taken quite some time and it is still work in progress.

I can sometimes long for that contact but am too shy to take the first step, even though this has improved a lot over the years. This does not mean that I want to hug everyone I see or be all touchy-feely or want others to be so all the time, as that would just really annoy me after a while but sometimes hugs are very, very nice.

For me it is a way to show that I love and/or care about a person, as I have always sucked at actually saying the words out loud. A hug shows affection and does not have to mean anything sexually (unless you progress that hug… mmm… but that is another topic for another day). A hug should mean something. A hug should be given and received freely. The worst thing I know are those meaningless I-will-hug-you-very-quickly-but-barely-touch-you kind of hugs that feel so contrived. That is almost as bad as a sloppy handshake. Shudder!

So to sum up my somewhat odd post ( I have no idea why I started writing about this now) all I want to say is; always make your hugs convey something and always mean them.

As most know I have two cats. Two very loved and fabulous furballs (not being partial at all…). They are called Cirrus and Stitch, one is a fat lazybones and the other has enough energy for 3. When I decided that I will write a few posts about family and such I realized that I also need to post about my cats as they are very much part of the family, as animals always have been in our family.

I have always loved animals. This is something that I have gotten from my parents. Both my dad and mum love animals and have had dogs and cats for over 50 years, actually as long as they have been married. My dad rescued a German Shepard puppy from being euthanized about 2 weeks after my sister was born. They have had animals ever since, everything from just a dog to a whole farm.

My love of animals will always be a part of who I am. We picked up Cirrus from the DSPCA about 3 years ago. He is a black&white moggie. He was very timid and cautious in the beginning and in so much need of affection. He was overweight when we got him… and he still is. He has been on a diet for 3 years the poor little guy. He also has FIV (which we only found out about later on) and he suffers from urinary tract problems occasionally as well so we have to keep an eye on him and what he eats. In spite of all this and numerous vet visits (which he absolutely loathes) he is still the cuddliest and most chilled out cat ever. He doesn’t lie on your lap but he loves to lie next to you and purr away happily. Because he is a bit of a lazy cat in need of exercise (how the hell do you exercise a cat!?) we decided that he needed a buddy to play with.

One day we went to the vet to buy something and one of the nurses had a silver marbled kitten on her shoulder… meet Stitch. He was found alone by two small girls and they handed him in to the vet. No owner was found and we ended up taking him home and yes, I am a total sucker when it comes to kittens. It has been fun and wild in the household ever since. Stitch has enough energy for 3. At one stage I was actually speculating if cats can have ADHD… he was everywhere…on every bookshelf, every windowsill and everywhere he shouldn’t be. He has no fear at all. Nothing fazes him, he loves every dairy product ever made, everything is a game and he is the most nosy cat I have ever met. Poor Cirrus didn’t know what to make out of this little intruder that constantly wanted his attention in the beginning but they are now the best of friends. They have each other to play with during the day and it is very handy not having to walk a cat. I tried once…bought a harness and all… it was not appreciated. Cirrus just laid himself flat down refusing to move and Stitch managed to wrestle himself out of the harness like Houdini in a few seconds.

There is always something going on in the apartment. Either mad chases up and down the stairs or lazy cat naps. Lots of cuddles and lots of laughs. Sometimes just watching them mess around is a lot more entertaining than any show on TV.

So needless to say, they are part of my family and bring an awful lot of happiness to our lives.