Croc na gCearc

In the forest on the way to the top of Carrigmaclear, Co. TipperaryEnglish below

Bhí deireadh seachtaine den chéad scoth agam i measc mo dhlúthchairde le déanaí. Bhí grúpa de haonar déag taghtha le chéile chun seanchara linn a seoladh i dtreo a pósadh a bheidh ar siúl i mí Lúnasa. D’eagraigh a péire bridesmaids agus na mná ar fad craic, ceoil, bia agus deoch do chách agus bhain na circ ar fad an-taitneamh go deo as an deireadh seachtaine ar fad. Bhí bia úr, blasta agus galánta againn déanta don chuid is mó ag Bittersweet Food Company: Seafood Bouillabaisse followed by Cress, Pear and Pecan salad and finished off with Karen’s signature chocolate fondant with creme fraiche and mixed berries. I hate to admit it but her chocolate fondant is better than my chocolate fudge cake. Agus neart cocktails déanta ag na Cocktail Queens!

Tá gach seans ann go mbeadh muid tar éis taitnimh a bhaint as an deireadh seachtaine cuma cá háit a rabhamar ach níl aon ceist faoin rud gur chuir an teach a roghnaigh na bridesmaids go mór mór leis an deireadh seachtaine. Croc an Óir i Mullinahone, Tiobráid Árainn a bhí ann agus má tá slua ban ann a bhfuil taithí acu ar “self-catering accomodation” (Bear with me I’ve an Irish Language spell checker that i not as bilingual as I am) is muidinne iad. Is dócha go bhfuil saoire caite againn in iostais féinfhreastail ar a laghad i ngach cúige in Éireann agus gach seans i ngach contae chósta in iarthair na tíre agus níl ann amhras go b’é seo an áit is deise. B’fhéidir nach bhfuil sé díreach chomh pictiúrtha ach cinnte tá siad níos saoire ná títhe Landmark ach leis an áiseanna céanna. Miasniteoir (great word!), meaisín níocháin agus triomadóir. Bhí sciana géara ann (annamh go leor in iostais féinfhreastail), bhí seomra codlata le en suite a bhí oiriúnach do chathaoir rotha agus dhá seomra folctha eile. Bhí spás a dhóthain do aonar déag agus bhí a teaichín beag féin ag bean amháin. Agus do na ceoltóirí atá ag léamh: tá seomra ceoil ann freisin. Chuamar ar siúlóid álainn ar an Sathairn agus lean roinnt dúinn ar aghaidh chomh fada le barr Carraig mo chliar. Bhí an radharc anseo gleoite ar fad.

Is léir go ndeachaigh muidinne i bhfeidhm ar úinéir an tí freisin mar dúirt sé an méad seo i r-phost le ceann de na bridesmaids:

“Many thanks for your kind words in the guest book. My Mother met the bus driver’s wife yesterday and she told her how impressed he was by you all. His previous experiences with hen parties had not been so positive. Tell the girls they left a good impression in Tipperary.”

Makes us sound kinda boring… he did call us girls though. Hooya! And I didn’t need his invitation to know I’ll be going back to Croc an Óir.

The view from CarrigmaclearHad the best weekend last weekend when 11 of my friends got together to send off one of our best friends before she gets married in August. Her two bridesmaids organised with a little help from her friends a great weekend of music, fun, food and cocktails. Amazing, tasty, fresh and elegant food from the Bittersweet Food Company: Seafood Bouillabaisse followed by Cress, Pear and Pecan salad and finished off with Karen’s signature chocolate fondant with creme fraiche and mixed berries. I hate to admit it but her chocolate fondant is better than my chocolate fudge cake. And plentiful cocktails from the Cocktail Queens!

Chances are we would have enjoyed ourselves no matter where we were but there’s no question that the accommodation that the bridesmaids chose definitely added to the weekend. We stayed in Croc an Óir in Mullinahone, Tipperary and if there was ever a group of women who know their self-catering accommodation we are them. We must have stayed in holiday homes in certainly every province of Ireland and quite probably every coastal county in the West. Maybe not as picturesque as Landmark houses but definitely cheaper and with all the same facilities: a dishwasher, a washing machine AND tumble dryer. One bedroom had an ensuite that was wheelchair accessible. (Actually the only negative thing I’d say is that this room also had an unneccesary skylight with no shade so we were woken at the crack of dawn. Definitely not good after all those cocktails.) There were two other bathrooms and one of the ladies had a little house all to herself. And for the musicians reading this: there’s even a music room. We went for a fun walk on Saturday and some of us carried on right to the very top of Carrigmaclear where we were awarded with stunning views and history.

As the quote above testifies we obviously made an impression on the owner as well!

And there I am gone!

No time right now to write but I have just polished off and published a rant from a few weeks back. I was ranting about working parents because it was all the rage at the time. Please leave comments especially if you have points that you think I should make to my local TD, the Minister for Children, Minister for Education etc.

Also don’t forget to check out that lemon meringue pie. Oooh it was delish. I might make more this weekend to try and perfect it. It’s only 11am and I am hungry.

At the eleventh hour

My New Year’s Resolution has been resolved! I got a letter printed in the Irish Times today. Only slightly edited.

“BIAS AGAINST WORKING MOTHERS

A chara, – Mary Maher (November 10th) is quite right in her advice to working mothers to get the correct information and act on it. Legislation does indeed exist which is intended to protect mothers from inequality in the workplace.

However, employers are well informed by Government and employers’ bodies about the same legislation – so well informed that no mention of the real reasons for isolation or demotion (‘Are you planning on having more children?’) would ever escape their lips.

It is not possible to act upon a perceived bias. The onus is on the working mother to prove that genuine inequality has taken place. Speaking from experience, there aren’t enough hours in the day. – Is mise, Roseanne Smith”

ireland.com – The Irish Times – Letters (Subscription required)

All of tomorrow’s party postponed

Do you see what I’m doing there with my pop cultural reference being juxtaposed with my son’s 4th birthday party? It shows I’m still with it even though I’m a mom.

G is sick again so we’ve had to postpone his birthday for a fortnight. This is the third time in as many months that he has had a tummy bug so I’m getting a little worried.

And before you say it I do wonder if it’s something to do with the lurid pink icing. Or the fact that this cake was birthday cake no. 2 although he didn’t eat much of either.

My cousin R was over earlier and we were talking about all sorts of things before she had to go off to work. Among these many things the issue of weight came up and she commented as have a number of people lately that I have lost weight which is true and I am very glad that I am (just!!) under the 9 stone mark again at last. I do not write this to boast or to undermine anybody else. Those of you who know me in the flesh know I am only a small woman as G said yesterday at 5 foot exactly so I should be between 8 1/2 and 9 so I’m happy. The reason I write about this is because although I don’t think discussing weight is an appropriate topic of conversation because I think women are tyrannised by unrealistic “role” models (pity they aren’t rolly models!) and the last thing we should do to each other is add to it. However it is apparent from the frequency that comedians do the “and don’t ever get involved in the does-my-bum-look-big-in-this conversation” comedy routine that men find this obsession baffling. Tommy Tiernan did one recently at the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal (not the clip I was looking for but funnier than the one of which I was thinking). So men may be baffled by our obsession but there is little in the world more baffling than going from a size 16 to a size 8 twice in 4 years and I am not including the time while pregnant. There is nothing more baffling than trying to be supermum when you feel like you are dressed with as much style as a Siberian on a Saturday night in the 80s.

And speaking of women, the Irish Times didn’t print my letter about Bias against Working Mothers. It was a bit all over the place to be fair and I’m not 100% whether I’ll publish it myself. But obviously I have been thinking about the issue lately and while listening to an interview on Seán Moncrieff’s show on Newstalk yesterday about Industrial Relations and various news reports about the Dublin Bus and Aer Lingus strikes etc. it suddenly occurred to me how mothers can prove for once and for all that they are an essential part of the workforce, be they working outside the home or not: a nationwide strike. Now while I currently have no gripe with my working conditions (I don’t have any) I would certainly down tools for a day to support my sisters. National No Working Women’s Day. The Pink Flu. Strike while the Iron’s Hot. Wans Strike and they’re out. I wonder what would happen…? I wonder could I organise it…? I must contact all the mothers that I know… I wonder would any of the trade unions go for it?

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