Monday, 20 February 2017

WHY HOLIDAYS ARE PLANE SAILING!


                      February: dreams of blue skies and sandy beaches


I HAVE absolutely no scientific evidence to back up this next statement, but anyone who reads this fortnightly column knows that's never stopped me before.

Here goes: February is the month when most people book sun holidays.


The reason is simple. It's still cold and rainy outside and here in Northern climes, we are pale-faced and seriously lacking in Vitamin D. In theory, Spring is here. In reality, every bone in our body aches for warm sun and sandy beaches.

And the holiday catalogues, slyly slipped between the pages of national newspapers or delivered weekly through letterboxes, become our favourite reading.

We pore over those perfect photos of exotic places, mentally placing ourselves in the picture, holding a fruit punch and our Kindle, sun-kissed under a straw hat.

At some stage you have to cross a huge expanse of water

That's for those of us who like to travel, of course.


And anyone living on a smallish island hanging off the far western tip of Europe, knows how important that is.


Because the problem with island-living, is that you can't just hop in a car and drive to a different country to experience their wonderful culture/food/people. At some stage you have to cross a huge expanse of water.

And for many, herein lies the problem. Loads of people hate ferries. They get sea-sick, or nervous - or they hate the length of time it takes to travel. Whatever it is, crossing the sea by ship is out of the question.

Decanted all your liquids into poly-pocket-sized bottles

Flying is a different matter.

Anyone experience the annual joy of leaving the country, via airplane, with a family?

You've spent a week rolling the minimum of clothes into the tiniest of suitcases, decanted all your liquids into poly-pocket sized bottles, only to disrobe in front of half the country's population, because even though you are wearing NO METAL, the metal detector at the airport has other ideas!

Those treats aside, many people don't like to fly. Quite astounding, but there you go.

When our offspring were little, we spent two weeks one Summer on the beautiful island of Jersey, off the English coast.

It's everything you might imagine: quaint old villages, beautiful beaches, lovely people, wonderful weather. When we were there, the speed limit for the whole island was about 40 mph.*


Most interesting, the whole island is just under 45 square miles.


Which made it more astonishing when we met one resident who had never been off the island. Ever. He was a young man, about to be married. His bride-to-be was also from Jersey.

He was persuaded to attend a one-day Fear of Flying course

As he had a phobia about travelling over water, they would spend their honeymoon on the island. And set up home there.

The Dad (my dad) also harbours a life-long fear of flying. This, despite the fact that he worked for years in an industry which meant regular trips abroad. 

A few years ago, he was persuaded to attend a one-day Fear of Flying course, given by one of our biggest airlines.

He found himself in a room with a group of people, all ages and backgrounds. All with one thing in common.

It was all going splendidly, until The Dad began to ask questions.

"Do you know that you have a far greater chance of dying in a road crash, than you have of dying in a plane crash?" the instructor said. The Dad stuck up his hand.


"Wouldn't you also stand a far greater chance of walking away from a road crash, than a plane crash?"

The thing is, I can swim, but I can't fly

The instructor smiled patiently.
"Well, did you also know that you have a far greater chance of being on a sinking ferry, than being in a plane crash?"

"I think I'd prefer to take my chances with the ferry," said The Dad. "The thing is, I can swim, but I can't fly."

All of this must have had some effect on me. I travel by plane, but I'm never too happy about it.


One year, pre-holiday, I mentioned my nerves to the sales person in my local health shop. She produced a mild, natural remedy for relaxation.

I figured it probably wouldn't help, but it wouldn't do any harm. I took it an hour before we boarded the plane.

Within twenty minutes of boarding, I was fast asleep. I woke up just as we were landing, helped to organise the offspring, collect the bags and find our rented car. We had a two hour drive ahead of us. And I was the map reader.

The husband later told me that The Eldest, who was about eleven at the time, read the map from the back seat. I snored the whole way there. He was baffled that I was so tired.

In hindsight, I should have foreseen what would happen. I can barely manage a half glass of wine WITH FOOD, and more than one painkiller gives me a disconcerting high.

When it comes to sedatives - natural or not - I am clearly a light-weight.


I still fly.

But these days, I just brace myself.

                                                             *

* I am not being paid to promote Jersey!


Dear reader,
Big welcome from Dublin, and thanks a million for popping by.
Please SHARE this column via the sharing buttons below.

My new competition continues: simply become a FOLLOWER of this blog. When I get 50 followers, I will put the names into a hat and gift an e-copy of my book, through Amazon, to 3 winners. 


To celebrate my publisher's 5th Anniversary, their Birthday SALE and GIVEAWAY continues through MARCH 8th. My Irish romantic comedy, GOING AGAINST TYPE is one of the many fabulous books reduced at Tirgearr Publishing.

Amazon USA
 99cAmazon UK   99p


***For your chance to win a #KindleFire and lots of other prizes and bargains, join in the fun at #TirgearrPublishing's Birthday Bash: www.tirpub.com/birthday.***


If you'd like to get THIS FUNNY IRISH LIFE FREE via email every fortnight, go to the Follow by Email box to the top right of this post.

What does that mean?
   1. You'll NEVER MISS my fun, fortnightly personal column + updates/guest author posts!
   2. Your email address will NEVER be shared or misused.
No spamming - I promise.

Have a lovely week, 
Hugs & xx
Sharon.

Monday, 6 February 2017

SPRING FEVERS




                                        Artistic endeavours always seem possible in Spring.


FEBRUARY 1st marked St Bridget's Day in Ireland. It also marked the first day of Spring.

By anyone's standards, it wasn't a bad start to the new season. It might have drizzled rain all day, but it was warm.

The fact that February 2nd was cold and stormy, is neither here nor there. It's Springtime in Ireland. And that's a cause for celebration.

It's also a time for Spring fevers. And I don't mean the type that send you crawling back to bed with hot drinks and painkillers. I experienced that particular joy for half of January!

Looking back, I know I was delusional

But with new year resolutions already a distant memory, Spring lends itself to new projects. 

No matter how mad.

One February I decided that decluttering the house AND painting all the pine furniture would be a perfect 28 day job.

Looking back, I know I was delusional. At the time, I wondered how I'd never thought of it before.

The first day was fantastic: a whole room got decluttered.

And even though nobody noticed how minimalist the bathroom was, I didn't mind.

By day four, I despaired of the whole throwing-stuff-out part of the project. It's not something I do well. I turned my attentions instead, to the painting bit.

When people enquire, I tell them it's a special paint technique

To this day, we have a strangely painted, blue mirror in the guest loo. It sports a giant, white silk flower in the top corner. The Middle One, who's very artistic, is deeply embarrassed by it. When people enquire, I tell them that it's a special paint technique.

It isn't. It's simply that I used the wrong sort of paint, and wasn't able to get the cover I needed on the wood.

I abandoned that particular project after that, much to my family's relief.

Then there was the year I thought growing mushrooms in my laundry room, was the pinnacle of self sufficiency. The kit came via a mail order company.

My excitement, when it arrived, was almost too much: the Styrofoam box filled with soil and the beginnings of a year's supply of mushrooms.

Clearly, it was a slow month.

But it got more exciting about a week later.

     "Where's those batteries I bought?" the husband asked.
     "What batteries?"
     "Pretty sure I left them in the laundry room."
     "Did you look?"
     "Of course I did. By the way, I found an old box of dirt out there."
     "You didn't do anything awful with it, did you?"
     "I scattered it around the flower beds in the garden. I wouldn't just throw it out, obviously."

Imagine her horror when thousands of small, white maggots spilled out

The best Spring project I ever heard about, also involved gardening. Although on a grander scale than growing mushrooms in a box.

A friend's husband announced that he was planning a decent-sized vegetable plot. It would be done properly. The first thing needed, apparently, was a good compost bin.

The friend paid no attention to any of this. It was the husband's project. And he was happy not to share too many details.

So when a box arrived in the post a couple of weeks later, she brought it in to the kitchen and opened it. I can only imagine her horror, when thousands of small, white maggots spilled out onto her table and all over the floor: the starter kit for the compost bin.

That evening, her husband arrived home to a spotlessly clean kitchen and a note from his wife to say she was spending the night on her own in a local hotel.

He got a week in the spare room.

Spring fevers? Like any kind, you're best to let them run their course.

And hope you'll come through the other side.

                                                          *


Dear reader,
Big welcome from Dublin, and thanks a million for popping by.


Please SHARE this column via the sharing buttons below. Or feel free to leave a comment :)

This month, I'm starting a little competition. Simply become a FOLLOWER of this blog. When I get 50 followers, I will put the names into a hat and gift an e-copy of my book, through Amazon, to 3 winners. 



If you'd like to get THIS FUNNY IRISH LIFE FREE via email every fortnight, go to the Follow by Email box to the top right of this post.

What does that mean?
   1. You'll NEVER MISS my fun, fortnightly personal column + updates/guest author posts!
   2. Your email address will NEVER be shared or misused.
No spamming - I promise.


Meanwhile, with Valentine's Day around the corner, why not treat yourself to an Irish romantic comedy, 'Going Against Type'?

The link below will bring you to Tirgearr Publishing, where you can enjoy some free sample chapters, and buy links for every e-reader.

Tirgearr Publishing
 


Have a lovely week, 
Hugs & xx
Sharon.