Monday, 21 December 2015


THERE IS absolutely no diplomatic way to say this: Christmas work parties are a minefield.

When I worked for a newspaper, there were two each year. One was the lunch for the department where I worked. The other was a night out for all the staff.
             In a busy paper, which had a morning and evening edition, not to mind a Sunday one, a full advertising department, accountants, administration and printers (feeling old!) that was a lot of people. I never attended the whole staff party. The lunch was enough.
             It wasn't that I didn't get on with the people with whom I worked. On the contrary, they were great. I just didn't eat with them every day. One year I found myself sitting right beside my boss. She was vegetarian. I ordered the vegetarian meal, for fear of putting her off her food.
            But at least with a Christmas lunch, there is less chance of somebody drinking too much and letting everyone know exactly what they think.
There is also less chance of a wardrobe malfunction.
           This, admittedly, is one which more women than men, fall foul. Because there is a direct link between the amount of effort you put into your outfit and what can go wrong on the night.
           A good friend had her Christmas 'do' last week. She wore a smart, sassy trouser suit with heels. She felt great. Until, as she was walking into the restaurant with her colleagues, one of them asked her what the black lacy thing was, poking out of the end of a trouser leg.
          Bending down, she pulled out a pair of black lacy undies. Not the ones that she'd been wearing. But a pair that had managed to go through the wash with the trousers, and become entangled. She hadn't noticed them as they slowly worked their way down a leg.
          I had a similar recent near miss. At my book club Christmas night out, we gathered in a local gastro pub. The place buzzed with huge groups of twenty-somethings, all attending seasonal parties. After the meal, I excused myself and headed for the loos, tucked away at the back of the dining area.
         Before I came back, I took a moment to check my makeup (intact), my hair (passable) and my clothes. I was wearing a favourite black and white, knee-skimming floaty skirt. Wintery, yet incredibly light to wear.
        I re-emerged into the tiny area that separates the loos from the restaurant, pushed open the door to walk out, and found myself being yanked back by the arm.
I stared, stunned, at the young woman doing the yanking.
           'Your skirt,' she whispered, pointing. I reached around, to discover I'd tucked my floaty skirt into my tights.
           'Thanks,' I muttered, tugging it out. I tried not to look mortified. She shrugged.
           I walked down through the restaurant, now feeling incredibly self conscious. At a long table near the door, I caught the woman's eye. Would I be the butt of a joke - no pun intended - shared over their meal, I wondered? But nobody else even glanced in my direction. She gave me a discreet wink.
           Then I remembered: season of goodwill to all men.
           And women.

Happy Christmas from Dublin, for those who celebrate. And for those who don't, here's hoping you enjoy some good times with family and friends over the holidays.
Follow THIS FUNNY IRISH LIFE via Email (See Follow by Email to the right of this page). You will get my fortnightly personal column, plus updates/guest author posts straight to your email. Your email address will NEVER be given to anyone, nor used for ANY OTHER PURPOSE.

Have a wonderful week,
Thanks for reading,
Hugs & xx,

Friday, 18 December 2015


THERE'S only a week to go, and if you're anything like me, you've left an awful lot to the last minute!
If you get a chance, pour yourself a hot brew and pop over to Romance Readers Club #CoffeeBreakReads, where Going Against Type is featured today.

This Irish romantic comedy is on sale for the Christmas holidays, at just 99c or 99p on #Amazon, depending on which side of the pond you're on.
I'll be posting my last Christmas-themed blog for the year on Monday, December 21. Meanwhile, here's those Amazon links.

Happy reading,
Hugs and xx Sharon.
AMAZON UK:    99p

Monday, 7 December 2015

*#Christmas #shopping and the Ostrich approach.*

THE YOUNGER members of the family have started their Christmas shopping. Started, and finished, may I add.
The eldest likes shopping about as much as I do, so it was done with grim determination after her part-time job finished one afternoon.
She rang me to ask what everyone wanted. Then she rang my mother to ask what I wanted. She's nothing if not methodical.
The middle one headed off on the train into town yesterday. She made heavy weather of having to brave the crowds, and arrived home almost three hours later.
        'Grafton Street looks like Christmas threw up in it,' she said, as she staggered through the door. I get the feeling she enjoyed every minute.
The youngest has written his list for everyone, but hasn't actually got around to buying anything yet. There's two things holding him back. The first is time. The boy never seems to have any time. When he's not in school, he's doing homework, studying for those Christmas exams (regular readers will know that this is a bit of a worry for him, as he's just started senior school this year) or playing sport.
The second obstacle is money. He doesn't have any.
        'What happened to all your pocket money?' I ask.
        'Gone.' He doesn't expand. I'm not overly worried. He doesn't get a lot. And he has to earn it by doing jobs. Which suits me, because I'm completely disorganised, and I'd get nothing done without help.
         'But it's okay, because I have an idea. I'll make you a deal,' he says.
         'What's the deal?'
         'You give me the money to do my Christmas shopping. I'll pay you back afterwards with jobs.'
Sounds fair.
          'I'll be free next Saturday. For about two hours. Do you think you could give me a lift to the shopping centre?'
I agree to be his taxi driver.
Thing is, I haven't even thought about Christmas shopping yet. As usual, I'm in denial. When faced with the mayhem of December, I do award-winning impersonations of an ostrich.
Meanwhile, the college student, the middle one and the boy have all written their Santa letters. The boy even wrote his 'as Gaeilge' this year. Which is fine, because as everyone knows, Santa speaks every language. Even Irish.
And, as the boy pointed out one Christmas, there was no need to rush around, stressed, coming up to the big day.
Santa takes care of everything.

Follow THIS FUNNY IRISH LIFE via Email (See Follow by Email to the right of this pg). You will get my fortnightly personal column, plus updates/guest author posts straight to your email. Your email address will NEVER be given to anyone, nor used for ANY OTHER PURPOSE.

Have a wonderful week,
Thanks for reading,
Hugs & xx,