Barack Obama- We will be missing you

bitmoji-20170126030901There are a few reasons why having Barack Obama in power made me feel Safe.bitmoji-20170126025447

I remember Obama winning so well. The inauguration ceremony where he fumbled the words and they had to go again. The emotions. The power. Here was a guy making history. It felt good to know he was in the White House.

As an Irish person, he was not even my President.  Why is it that it mattered so much? The President of America has to be someone outstanding.  Respected.  Trustworthy.  Charisma? Sure. It helps. They haven’t all been this way. Yet Obama has a magic power. Why did I like him? Why did I feel safer with him on charge of The Button over so many others?bitmoji-20170126025559

My reasons may not be all the right ones, but they are all my own and in no particular order.

  1. The Offaly Connection. Barack is of Irish origin and we loved it. We loved JFK for it in an almost sycophantic way. Many the beloved framed image of JFK could be found alongside one of the Pope. Obama is my time though. Obama roots are in MY country and MY county. I love this connection. This is my loved county. I am delighted  that of all Presidents, he found his Kearney relatives in mine. Moneygall (ancestral village) has ridden the crest of the wave since the honour of his visit.
    Barack-Obama-Plaza-small-620x330.jpg
    Eating chips will always remind us of you!

    The Obama Plaza is now proudly standing alongside other (random in their own way) momentoes and I guess many the anecdote and recounted tale of the day the President came to Offaly will be a legacy to many. A tremendous day for the Faithful County.

    U.S. President Barack Obama jokingly swings a hurling stick given to him by Taoiseach Enda Kenny during his visit to Farmleigh House in Dublin
    Please hit Enda with the hurl. Please.

2. The Soul. I loved when he would break into song.gty_obama_campaign_apollo_jp_120120_wblog.jpg

3. Family man. There is something about those four together. I can imagine the squabbles but also the giggles. His wife adores him and admonishes him at all the normal  times. Remember the inappropriate Mandela funeral selfie? Michelle Was Not Impressed. Rightly!! 37e0a24dcf8ec1da2b77e0200d7223ee.jpgI love how he shows his love of her so kindly. No sexual indiscretions. No rumours even of Monroe type figures. Class all the way. Scandal free. Shouldn’t this be an obvious quality? I just think he is normal.  He doesn’t cheat. He doesn’t offend. He will drink the pint of Guinness when offered-but knows when to stop.obama-moneygall-21

4. Sense of humour. He always had a gag or one liner. Inoffensive.  Light hearted. The crowd in Moneygall loved his banter. Nothing cruel of offensive. Just keeping everyone happy.

5.The Dublin trip. OK, I mentioned the day he went to Offaly. I was at work that day but I had a burning desire to see this guy in the flesh before he left Ireland. At the very last minute, just after work, (three thirty pm) on the day Obama went to Dublin, my boyfriend (now husband) best friend and I decided to go. Chance it. Fly up. See what we could see! Enjoy a sporadic last minute jaunt and give up the evening for the two hour drive to Dublin. Obama motivated us. People has been queuing the streets of Dublin from early. We didn’t expect go see anything.  We just wanted the emotions of moment. Nowadays we all have children and this sort of trip would never happen without great planning. This is one of my last memories of being sporadic before the responsibilities of parenthood set in. We had such a fantastic trip. The excitement of our decision.  The slightly too fast drive up. We parked in the jammiest spot. You know those perfect moments- we had missed the insane queues and arrived just as someone left a magnificent spot. Got to the main route. Front of the barrier. Ten minute wait and then the cars came by. OMG. I saw him clear as day in the  backseat and Michelle waved in our direction. On an Obama high, we listened to the speeches, piped all over Dublin. It was amazing. Like every county had won the All-Ireland. When he said his famous ‘Yes we can!” in Irish- Is Feidir Linn- I would have fought battles for him. The day continued golden for us as we ate the best chicken wings in Dublin at Elephant and Castle in Temple Bar (see Glorious Food Moments 2: Dublin, a city of comfort food hidden behind Georgian doors. for full discussion of said wings) and had some really strange but kinda cool occurences. As we waited to eat, we saw a crowd forming outside. My husband waited inside but my friend and I headed out. There was Jedward! Turning around, the members of Westlife were passing in a car (this is a small area) and then Brian O’ Driscoll sprinted past with our recent rugby win, The Heineken Cup. Buzzing, we went back from our quadruple celebrity spotting! A great Dublin day. All because of Obama.

6.Pearl Jam. Played at the farewell ceremony. Too cool. Just listen to Yellow Ledbetter to know why.931b8c7f.png

7.Opening minds. We were opening minds. Not closing them. Not narrowing them. The way it should be.

8.Respect. No volatile outbursts. He has respect for people. It is clear as the day is long. Watching small interactions, staged or not, they have something as bouts them that shouts real. I really respect you, it says. You just get the feeling he likes people. I don’t feel patronised or disrespected by his words.

So Mr Obama. From someone who wasn’t an American citizen but a world citizen-we will be missing you.bitmoji-20170126030058.png

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I know a Mam who…

So I have had a trying few weeks. Blogging is something I love, yet almost a year in and I find myself not wanting to write anything overly negative about life. Even if it is how I am feeling. This is meant to be my platform to help so I don’t know why I am watching my words.

So to help me overcome the problem I trying an experiment.  I am going to write my woes and woohoos but cushioned by the fact that some of the following are about me and some are about others.pretending_by_therealdollyfrikka

Anonymity, yet absolute truths.

Will let you know if it has the cathartic effect I desire…

So.

I know a Mammy who…

Works fulltime but hates every minute of it.

I know a Mammy who…

Prays to Jesus each night her baby will go to sleep when waking for for the nth time.

I know a Mammy who…

Gave up her job to be a full time mother and is totally satisfied with her lot.

I know a Mammy who…

Prioritises ironed clothing over an evening on the couch and is never uncreased. 

I know a Mammy who…

Dreams of that scene in The Holiday when Kate Winslet’s character wakes in the giant bed in the Hollywood moneyed bedroom with the 100% black out blinds and decides to just roll the blinds back down and have another nap.

I know a Mammy who…

Brings her children everywhere with her and fears nothing about being outnumbered, under pressure or overwhelmed.

I know a Mammy who…

Feel strain every day and may be closer the edge than we think.

I know a Mammy who…

Has children who hug each other and love each other.

I know a Mammy who…

Never admits to feeling strain.road-sign-940644_640

I know a Mammy who…

Takes her pain out on her husband.

I know a Mammy who…

Wishes she didn’t have to use the toilet frequently.

I know a Mammy who. ..

Needs to let go and have a big night out with an even bigger morning off the next day.

I know a Mammy who…

Now realises fully how sleep could be defined as currency.

I know a Mammy who…

Fears her child will be bullied in school.

I know a Mammy who…

May need anti depressants just to get the laundry done.

I know a Mammy who…

is realising she may need too get those anti depressants just so she sees the dust and stops caring.

I know a Mammy who…

Chose to lose her friends.

I know a Mammy who…

Wants more children but is terrified.

I know a Mammy who…

Doesn’t want her child to grow up thinking men are to be waited on hand and foot.

I know a Mam who ..

Wishes her daughter had siblings.

I know a Mammy who…

Does not know how to say no.

I know a Mammy who…

Dreads sunlight as it highlights the dirt and dust.

I know a Mammy who…

Is aging physically at a rapid rate.

I know a Mam who…

Rocks designer gear and a size 8 body.

I know a Mam who…

Feels a little bit worse about themselves when in the company of that other Mam.

I know a Mammy who…

Needs a break from thinking.

I know a Mammy who. ..

Never does anything for herself.

I know a Mammy who…

Misses her old life, although loves her children. Just misses a few aspects.

I know a Mammy who…

is interfering.

I know a Mammy who…

Is nervous and fearful.

I know a Mammy who…

Needs a timeout.

So I know many Mams. We all have highs and lows. It is amazing to be a Mam and tough in equal measures. Those adorable little dotes can’t help it but sometimes we feel like coping is a hard act. We try so hard not to let them see but the acting has to cause strain elsewhere.

And it does.dad-1716160_640.jpg

Christmas. A Very Peculiar History. A Review.

Although elements of my Christmas could always be titled ‘peculiar’, that isn’t what this post is about.

No

This is a little book review. Of what is a very peculiar, and indeed little book! Christmas. A Very Peculiar History.christmashistory

‘Christmas. A Very Peculiar History’ by Fiona Macdonald is a pocket sized, prettily packaged stocking filler essentially. A blue, red and white garland of colour, images of Santa and gilt edged designed, it is a busy looking piece. In fact, it is a history book, documenting every element of Christmas with the story behind it, often strange and sometimes sinister, to compare with the perceived serenity of the event itself.

This factfile is not fully for the doe-eyed Christmas lover, wishing to indulge in a cinnamon and ginger scented fantasy of a magical and fairy filled yuletide dream. It may be more for the pedant at Christmas, one who enjoys the mulled wine and tradition but would not blink at the grittiness that the origins of our Christmas may reveal.christmas-crib-figures-1903954_640.jpg

My first impression of this little book was based on purely  a visual element and was one of joy. As a lover of curios and old world books, see Aesthetically Irresistible Books for proof of this indulgence), I was enchanted by this little lovelie.An old world cover, vintage festive imagery and cover prints makes this a very festive feast for the eye.This version appears very Christmassy. I thought of all sorts of people who may love to possess such a dinky treasure. Five pages in however and these names in my head began to alter to completely different set of people! This is not a book for the faint hearted. It is not for the Christmas jumper wearing, Snowball drinking, tinsel loving all-singing, all -dancing number one Chrstmas fan. In fact, it may even even be best suited to the -gulp- Christmas cynic.

Later chapters present a more palatable information type rather than startling brute truths and returned me to the original expectation that I had held for the piece of non-fiction. Facts and truths of a festive nature. Likely this is because the book followed a chronological format and our past contains much more disturbing details than our recent past. Religion, violence, conflict- all too familiar themes of our human way of life. The book does not shield us from the real origins of Christmas. Yet it is a mind of information and is the result of extremely detailed study and clearly a work of love.

Overall, this book has the imperative ‘pick me up, put me down, pick me up again’ power that a little book of facts should. It taught me a tremendous amount about the Christmas season, a lot of which has managed to ply itself to my brain and which I retold knowingly as anecdote to- no doubt-rolling eyes and thoughts of ‘Know it all’…which is fine. Because I did know it all! I knew why mince pies were traditional and if they did include meat. I knew why Christmas was cancelled in 1644. I can identify the predecessors to our selection boxes- much candied or dried items. I know how the Sugar Plum fairy got her name.sterntaler-1635654_640

It may be too late to gift this book this season but this is one that will not go out of date. An interesting read for many, a terrifically beautiful piece to peruse through its use of illustration and presentation, this little book will return to my coffee table every Christmas- even if just for decorative purposes! I may not encourage my Santa loving, Nativity acting eight year old niece to read it at night but there is many the person, young and old that would be enchanted by this little treasury of historical quirks.bitmoji-20170105104850

As a Boolino friend I am occasionally sent books to review. I have recieved no payment, just a free copy of this book in exchange for a frank review. All thoughts and opinions are purely my own.boolino-friend-250x250.gif