In The Name Of Love

It’s Pride … week? I didn’t know it was a week until I looked it up.

It’s two years since I voted for equality for my gay citizens.

It’s 34 years since Ireland voted to make me equal to a zygote.

We have a gay Taoiseach.

He doesn’t seem to think abortion is a class issue when the truth is rich women like me who can travel have better access to it than others.

I don’t want to detract from the progress we’ve made since I was a child.

But, sometimes it’s hard to feel proud of Ireland, or loved by it.


In The Name Of Love

Tiny Sparks of Joy

Getting home early from work and being able to enjoy a walk after dinner.

Planning for all kinds of future possibilities.

A friend in work getting two madeleines from a cafe and generously passing one onto me to enjoy with my coffee.

18 days to holidays.

Washing fresh from the line, ready for ironing. I love ironing.

Tiny Sparks of Joy

Wardrobe Refresh

My actual wardrobe, that is, not the clothes and accessories therein. I don’t love our fitted wardrobes. They came with the house and they aren’t a layout I would choose. They take up an entire wall of our bedroom, yet we don’t seem to have enough storage. There are no drawers, only shelves and oddly positioned hangers. We cannot justify the expense and bother of changing them because they are perfectly fine and don’t cause a huge amount of stress or thought.

I’ve been rearranging the wardrobes since we moved in last year, never to my complete satisfaction. Today I had some time to spare and tackled them again. I removed a couple of hanging rails and put an old Ikea Expedit 2×2 cube unit in their place inside the wardrobe, thereby giving myself some extra storage options and creating a nice spot for my handbags and jewellery box. This meant freeing up some shelves, and was a good opportunity to put some rarely used things (like the heated rollers that spark some joy but I last used on New Year’s Eve) in the less accessible spots.

I reorganised our shoes so they’re all in one spot and I sorted through my husbands suits and shirts, matching pants to jackets and putting some winter things elsewhere. We can now squeeze our linens for our holiday into the bottom of his wardrobe and free up space in our spare bedroom.

I still don’t love the wardrobe but in the spirit of Konmari, I thanked it for its service and I do appreciate that this is the kind of thing I can spend my time doing on a beautiful summer day.

Wardrobe Refresh

Tiny Sparks of Joy

The Vermeer exhibit and seeing just how amazing art can be in sculptural form.

Hot weather for two days, resulting in BBQs, meals out, coffees under our browning lilac tree and general good form.

Fishing tops out of a bag destined to the recycling bin and deciding they need to be back in rotation as part of my no clothes buying until further notice decision.

Geraniums I had written off but replanted in the hope they’d surprise me blooming into life.

Looking forward to a hot shower at the end of a hot day. Bliss.

Tiny Sparks of Joy

More Adventures In Zero Waste

I ordered a box of vegetables and a large fruit bag from a farm delivery service. I’ve ordered before and to be quite honest I have never been 100% happy with the price and quantity, but I have given it a chance because the food is organic, comes with minimal packaging that can be returned and often throws up unusual options I can’t get unwrapped in local shops.

This week, I felt a little ripped off with the fruit. It is nice fruit, but it is expensive. Like, really expensive – I could have bought twice the amount if I had decided non-organic and packaged food was perfectly fine. It’s hard to reconcile spending so much on so little, when there are other alternatives.

Today I went to Lidl and Aldi for the first time in a long time – I had time on my hands so this was a good use of it. I got organic milk and meat (in packaging which may or may not be recyclable, I need to check). I got a lot of (non-organic) fruit and some minimally wrapped vegetables. I bit the bullet and stocked up on some plastic packed pulses and nuts because, to be honest, the prices were very low compared to other options. And I stocked up on organic porridge oats in paper wrapping and passata in glass jars.

I unpacked everything and pondered on my purchases. It is really hard to actively choose to spend more money to buy anything loose when the quality is comparable. I like to support small businesses and organic farming and sustainability. However, the costs are something that’s certainly got to be factored in. I want to spend less, save more, and achieve financial security in the least amount of time possible. I want to be a good citizen and a responsible consumer.

It shouldn’t be one or the other. It’s really annoying when you’re left to choose between the organic fruit and vegetables wrapped in plastic and the ‘normal’ stuff that’s not creating waste in my bin. I have to wonder why the organic bananas need to be wrapped in plastic but the ‘normal’ ones don’t.

It is really frustrating to be weighing up the relative merits of every choice. I know it is an absolute privilege to have the time and head space to do so, and I am thankful every day for being lucky enough to be able to make these choices.

More Adventures In Zero Waste

Doing It Yourself (Or, Encouraging Others To Do It Themselves)

Last year I bought an Instax camera on impulse. I loved it. It came on holidays with us and I enjoyed having Real Photos instead of who knows how many digital images that would probably never see the light of day. Then, disaster struck. It was dropped on our tiled kitchen floor and the plastic bits at the front popped out. I scooped up everything, popped the bits and camera into a ziplock bag, shoved it in a cupboard and then told myself to get the camera fixed every time I opened said cupboard and saw the bag.

This week, I had some spare time before work so I popped along to the camera shop where I bought it and asked about having it fixed. I was told it was probably not worth it, based on the cost involved, and I accepted that, put everything bag in the ziplock bag, put the bag in my handbag and went on my way. The bag haunted me on my bedside table this week, a table I like to keep clear or with only a book or two and a lamp on it.

Tonight, I looked at the bag, took the pieces out and thought to myself that even though I am no engineer and have very little patience surely it couldn’t be that complicated. When himself came home, I handed him a project after dinner. Some 15 minutes later, our beloved Instax was back in business, the proof of which was an extremely unflattering picture of the two of us.

I am going to try to make do and mend more. I have a terrible weakness when it comes to waiting for things. I want them here and I want them now, and the monetary cost is usually something I’ve been willing to put up with. I need to pause, look, think and act in a more considered way. I have a working camera now. And I love my husband.

Doing It Yourself (Or, Encouraging Others To Do It Themselves)

Tiny Sparks of Joy

Sunshine on my walk home, and a weekend of good weather to look forward to (apparently).

A clean fridge, empty vegetable drawers and meals all done for the week.

Planning for holidays knowing that in a month we’ll be sitting on our sunny deck in France sipping wine.

Having a safe, beautiful home to live in and the sense of peace and security that brings to us.

Drawers that are empty, and not needing to cram anything into them because we’re almost at exactly the right level of ‘stuff’ in our house.

Tiny Sparks of Joy

Tiny Sparks of Joy

Ever increasing numbers of loaves of Dutch oven bread. Each loaf has been delicious. I’m trying it with spelt flour for tomorrow’s bake.

Plans to meet with friends I haven’t seen for months. It’s always good to catch up and natter about the past, present and future.

Some growing seeds that may help us in the tomato and broccoli department, two things which are difficult to get sans packaging.

Less than a month to go until holidays. Last week’s decluttering means I now have everything required for packing in one place.

Seeing that our favourite theatre is putting on The Great Gatsby, meaning we can have something to look forward to after the post holiday blues strike.

Tiny Sparks of Joy

Thirty Five Is Not Twenty Five (Part II)

As per my previous post, one project on my to-do list was sorting out my photos. I was feeling productive last night as it’s a light week in work so I gathered all the photos from broken frames, various boxes and a couple of bags and started sorting.

It was a lot harder than I expected. I found a lot of photos from college days that I’d tucked away and forgotten about completely. It was difficult looking at my younger, slimmer self. Like the Sunscreen Song told me when I was 18, I was not as fat as I imagined.

Looking at the photos was like looking at a different person, which, in many ways, I was. I am not the person I was when I was 18 and starting college, or the 23 year old I was the day I graduated, or the 25 year old visiting Barcelona, or the 28 year old getting engaged in Sorrento, or the 29 year old getting married and going on honeymoon.

My new year’s resolution was to join and gym and improve my health and, if I’m honest, my self esteem. The photos gave me pause for thought. That skinnier, younger woman wouldn’t have believe the older, softer, rounder (in many more ways than my figure) woman if I told her what paths her life would take her.

That skinnier younger woman hadn’t evolved much in her thinking on abortion rights. She knew little of the eighth amendment. She hadn’t developed the ability to see more of the world in shades of grey rather than in black and white. She didn’t give herself (or many others) much of a break. She was too hard on herself.

The photos have been sorted-ish. I haven’t seen albums I like and I don’t really feel like looking through many of them again so soon. Thirty Five is not Twenty Five, in all sorts of ways.

Thirty Five Is Not Twenty Five (Part II)


I have a tidy, mostly clutter free home but I have a few projects I am determined to tackle over the summer.

The first is photos. We have taken more photos in our six years of marriage than my parents have during almost 40 years of marriage. I need to organise them and separate the wheat from the chaff.

I’ve been slowly replacing my beloved paperback Chalet School reprints with original hardbacks. I’m going to sort through the duplicates properly and see what I can sell and donate.

I still have a couple of spots where junk accumulates. These need to go. I’m going to have one small spot where dumping is allowed and that is it.