Tiny Sparks of Joy

Discovering the Mueller She Wrote podcast and having an equally obsessed friend to pass the good news on to.

Throwing some money at something and it being worth every penny. At nine months pregnant I will pay for some of my problems to go away.

Small bursts of energy in between much longer periods of achy exhaustion.

Friends having good news after a very long time.

A mainly decluttered home which means order can be restored to the whole house in less than an hour after a busy Saturday.

Tiny Sparks of Joy

Tiny Sparks of Joy

The last day of work being done.

Donuts from Off Beat Donuts as a special treat.

A clean bedroom and bathroom.

Sleeping more than four hours a night.

Two children in primary school, and both being very happy about it.

Tiny Sparks of Joy

Tiny Sparks of Joy

Getting back to normal after holidays.

Being surprised with a bag of baby clothes on returning to work. Being beyond delighted to get one item back which will now be used for a fourth (at least) baby and deciding it won’t be donated after our new arrival outgrows it.

Finding a charity shop bargain when I’d resigned myself to having to buy it new or do without it.

An empty laundry basket.

The brief periods in between near constant heartburn when I realise there’s no searing pain in my chest.

Tiny Sparks of Joy

Turns out the bubble was bigger than we thought.

Just after 10pm on Friday I frantically refreshed the Irish Times’ website for results of the exit poll on the referendum. I thought I was seeing things when I saw the words ‘landslide in favour of repeal’ or some variation thereof. I burst into tears. This week has been exhausting and draining for me, so I cannot imagine how those right on the frontlines felt seeing the news. I then started panicking and we decided we’d endure another 90 minute wait for the RTE poll at 1130pm. I couldn’t have slept before then even if I wanted to.

The 1130pm exit poll results were similar and we couldn’t quite believe it. All day I’d felt anxious, and judging from messages from friends a lot of people felt the same. We’d reassured ourselves that we just needed one more vote than the other side, but we knew that would frustrate any attempts to legislate. We never even dared hope for a 60%+ figure in favour of repeal. We slept a little easier but we didn’t want to get too optimistic.

When the tallies started coming in we still couldn’t quite believe it. Photos from people at the count showed clear majorities voting yes across the board, Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Mayo – we couldn’t believe it but we started to relax a bit. I picked up a friend who came home for the referendum and we watched the results come in on RTE, feeling slightly incredulous and as though we could finally start to relax a bit.

The day wore on and we relaxed a lot. It was a clear and decisive win. I cried a few times. I didn’t expect it to be like this. Not so many years ago I dithered over wearing a black repeal sweater on the school run and finally decided to put it on and wear my cause across my chest. We got some stickers for our car but when they arrived we wondered if it was a good idea to put them on just in case. We put them on and handed spares to others.

Yesterday we realised the bubble we were in was pretty big. It is a bubble of the majority. The marches we went on represented the majority. It’s a good feeling.

Turns out the bubble was bigger than we thought.

Tiny Sparks of Joy

Two new dresses which were badly needed.

Our lilac and pear tree sprouting back to life.

Getting back to a more normal routine after a few weeks where some days I crawled under the duvet and stayed there all day.

Clearing out the clothes recycling box which has been making our spare room look messy for far too long.

Longer, brighter evenings which make me feel much more productive.

Tiny Sparks of Joy

Growing It Ourselves

Last year I bought a packet of tomato seeds on a whim and planted some seeds in some old plastic plant pots and to my astonishment they all grew into robust plants which we then planted in what was euphemistically called a water feature, something we filled into with three tons of stone and topsoil a couple of weeks after we moved in. To increasing astonishment, the plants continued to thrive and even grew some tomatoes. The tomatoes stayed green, I looked up recipes for green tomato pickles and filled some jars with green yumminess.

This year we decided to branch out a little and try a few more seeds. We’ve reused all the pots from last years endeavours and filled more that we found hiding in our shed and under various shrubs in our garden. Along with the veggies, we’re trying some flowers this time. The only big expense has been a new set of metal shelves for our kitchen to keep everything tidy and easily accessible for watering and monitoring purposes.

Tomatoes, mangetout, aubergine and basil are all sprouting. We got lazy and didn’t label the flower seeds but they’re sprouting too. We’re getting hopeful that we might enjoy one full plate of veggies grown by our fair hands, which we could enjoy while admiring our home grown flowers.

Starting a veggie patch was one of our plans for the garden when we bought the house. I’m really glad we’ve decided to do something about it this year, and we’ve already learned a few things from the process. Next year we’ll definitely plan and research a bit more during the cold months and prepare a bit earlier. But this process is definitely better late than never.

Growing It Ourselves