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My time here is coming to an end. Normally, the word slowly might have been in there, but not so…this time. This time, time is running round the room. And I’m chasing its cheeky little naked bum, telling it to stop.

And settle down.

Behave.

But time is a rascal, isn’t it? It doesn’t listen when we pray for it to hurry up. And it sticks its fingers in its ears and hums a defiant little tune when we beg it to slow down.

We can plead with it. Finesse it. Scold it. And we can try to get it into that elusive bed.Tuck it in tight.

So it can’t move.

But those mischievous little hands will keep right on ticking. Showing us who’s boss. No matter what tactic we take.

And it’s because of this I’m finding it best to ignore time. Ohh yes. For now, I’ll just set it in front of the telly with a big bowl of sweet stuff. And maybe. If I’m lucky. I’ll be able to steal away a few more of its precious moments. You know…while its having a good chuckle at something we wouldn’t understand.

Because, you see, time also has a truly wicked sense of humor.

TheShrigleyClock3

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Ironing.

 

I have to admit that although I have 100% British blood racing through my veins, I don’t iron a damn thing unless it’s absolutely necessary. But it’s different here. So I’m different here. And when I first arrived, I had to iron, of all things, sheets.

 

And a duvet cover.

 

Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever attempted this task, but I’ve lived in the land of tumble dryers for many years and I can say with certainty that I never have—Okay now…it might not be just because of where I live—and that particular morning, it was arduous. Trying. And taxing. For me.

 

Five weeks I’ve been here now. In the UK. And this morning, I once again, saddled the old board with yet another billowy, seemingly endless sheath of heavy fabric. But this time, the iron glided over it as smoothly as skates on ice and before I could have the satisfaction of shouting, Blimey, I hate ironing, I was done.

 

A very different experience than the first time round.

 

And it proved to me, it really is all about frame of mind. Whether it be that you’ve simply decided ironing isn’t all that bad or that life has shown you what the meaning of hard truly is, it’s the way you think about things that will make the difference.

 

And a difference can sometimes be your steam. And that steam’ll blow the wrinkles out from where they have no business being.

Iron

 

 

 

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Coming up with posts these days is hard. Yeah, it’s summer and the status quo is gone, but I don’t think that’s the sole reason it’s been tough.

 

And right about now, you probably think I’m going to tell you what I do feel is holding me back, right? I wish. Because honey, if I knew, I’d pick it up, take it outside and give it a thump.

 

It’s been a good summer. Wonderful, really. We were lucky enough to do a lot of traveling. We flew to Las Vegas and took our daughter. We traveled to Los Angeles and took our daughter. We ventured, once again, to the North of Ireland and managed to get, not only our daughter, but both our sons and one of their girlfriends to join us.

 

And, we were blessed to be able to do so. This summer in particular, needed to be busy. I needed the distraction and it was, in no uncertain terms, provided. Opportunities fell into our lap through work stints and whimsical excuses, and we pushed ourselves beyond what we really should of done.

 

And it was good.

 

Good to run get away. Away from the things that lurk in the night. The dark shadows behind closed curtains. Those monsters that breathe heavily beneath the bed.

 

And I drank it up.

 

The opportunity.

 

Yep. Swallowed it whole.

 

But as they say, what goes down, must come up. I dunno know. Maybe it’s the other way ‘round. Or perhaps I’m just upside down. Whatever the case may be, reality is back and it’s the one doing the thumping now.

FullSizeRender

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1. Glass-bottomed slippers are as slippery as they look

 

2. After several “free” drinks, you will still feel pain

 

3. Walking over fire will not save your soul…s – it will burn them

 

4. “Extra waterproof”my sunburned everything

 

5. Gravol is as much a liar as sunscreen

 

6. When you’re over 21, Pina Coladas make your feet swell up like chubby babies

 

7. All-inclusives only pretend to have the real thing. What they actually have is TP Zero

 

8. You may get shanked for your $20 towel card

 

9. Never bring a friend’s pristine novel on a humid, oil-filled, alcohol infused beach vacation

 

10. It is entirely possible to feel like there’s “nothing to eat” after a few days of 24/7, all you can eat buffet

 

 

I don’t mean to put you off, but you will slip on wet marble floors while wearing gripless flip-flops and alcohol will not make you feel better about this.

 

That bridge is as long as it looks and its brown, glossy paint is scorching. Wear your gripless flip-flops.

 

Rough waters will ruthlessly strip your allegedly waterproof SPF and eradicate any Gravol from your needy system. You will be feeding the fishes digested buffet food faster than you can say mercy.

 

Drinking all day will make your feet swell up like puffer fish and TP Zero is exactly what you think it is. Somehow the simple concept of card equals towel and towel equals card becomes complicated. It might be the fact that each missing card means a $20 charge. Of course at least one must go astray during your stay. This also demonstrates how desperate people are for soft, cushy toilet paper.

 

When a friend lends you a book that’s in mint condition, so much so that you’re questioning whether she’s even read it or not, you should leave it at home or it will definitely look like it’s been read when you hand it back…and dragged along the bottom of the ocean.

 

Why will you stand in front of hundreds of delicacies and feel there is nothing? Because you’ve had all you can eat. You will come home full.

 

While the above may not be the most upbeat of points, I feel they are things you should know. But there’s something else. Something more important. There’s no proof of the unfavorable. No photos. No videos and in a few years time, no memory of those of minor details.

11. All you will be left with is a fantastic family vacation. There’s a vast difference between what you should know and what you need to remember.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I give my utmost hats off to travel writers. While traveling lends an appreciable amount of material, writing during traveling is not for the weak fingered. The already challenging task of sitting down to plunk one word in front of another tends to be strained by jet lag, bewilderment, distraction, preoccupation and a broken status quo. The strength to string sentences is somewhat suspended by mayhem and marvel.

 

Though, you think about it. All the time. You’re stunned by scenery and envisioned with views, you’re floored by feasts and enamored with elegance. Conversations and connections sizzle your senses. You want to nail it. All of it.

 

And, you are absolutely frozen by the enormity of the task.

 

The pressure of capturing it all with the swoop of a pen is enough to bring the ink to a boil, but making it right, doing it justice and being fair to your hopeful audience are all part and parcel of the job.

 

Thank God I’m not a travel writer. I’m just a writer who likes to travel. Lucky me.

 

I get to write when and if I feel like it. I type only when I believe I’m up for the challenge. I’m allowed to sit one out if I don’t think I’m going to make the cut. Most would say I have it easy and I’d have to agree.

 

Especially when I get to come home to kids like this…

Best Kids Ever

Best Kids Ever

 

 

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This is where our journey started!

Well, we got here. And fairly unscathed, I might add. Apart from the fifty security checks, the twenty-mile hike at Heathrow from terminal three to terminal one and the nasty border guard that stood between us and our escape from that behemoth barracuda of an airport.

 

All worth it though, because we’re free! And we’re having a great time.

 

Last night ended up being a little too great though. As I mentioned, my husband is here on business so after my long walk I was ready to hunker down for the night while he attended a Hewlett Packard dinner.

 

I was relaxed and ready for bed when up popped a late, unexpected text to meet them at a pub. Okay, so our arms are made of rubber. But let’s remember for next time, more than one glass of Pinot Grigio, jet lag and no food for forty-eight hours do not bode well the morning after. Not well at all.

Looked so pretty at the time

Looked so pretty at the time

 

So, this is what we’re doing tonight.

Dublin Dinner

 

Terribly tame and remarkably less potential for danger.

 

Fortunately, we managed to salvage what could have been a wasted day and went out walking for hours. We wandered the streets of Dublin meandering through beautiful parks and quaint shops. We even came across this gem of talent. My video skills are not the best and the sound doesn’t do him justice, but this guy’s voice made me stop in my tracks.

 

 

The only thing that might have enhanced today’s experience? A size three in those lovely little boots I found. But, there’s always tomorrow…

 

I’ll leave you with a few pics to enjoy:

The lounge in our hotel where we're hoping to sit and write tomorrow

The lounge in our hotel where we’re hoping to sit and write tomorrow

My hubby on a quick stop in St. Stephen's Green

A quick stop in St. Stephen’s Green

Mmm, Gelato

Mmm, Gelato

Cool Eddies

Cool Eddies

Love Indian food and this entrance

Love Indian food and this entrance

Dublin Ivy

Lovely lights

Lovely lights

Dublin National Concert Hall

Dublin National Concert Hall

Flushed with pink

Flushed with pink

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Exciting news, folks. I hope you have your seat belts fastened, because not only is this the first time I’ve typed and posted a blog from my phone, but I’ve also decided to take you with me.

You are now on an all expenses paid trip to Dublin and the United Kingdom.

You get to sit here at Gate D65 and keep me company for the next hour, which is nice because I’m not used to traveling alone.

Don’t worry, we had an incredibly easy check-in with only one (long) wrong turn (I told you to wear your glasses!), but we still managed to get here with way too much time to spare.

We’re chilling at a bistro table and considering writing more on Helena but we’re a little too nervous excited to settle in. We’re not really looking forward to getting from Terminal 3 to Terminal 1 at Heathrow, the monster of all airports, but we’ll deal with that when the time comes.

20140426-170444.jpg

20140426-170755.jpg

When we first arrived at our gate it was eerily quiet. So much so, that we almost wanted to ask what time the airport closes for fear we were about to be locked in. But now there’s plenty of people watching to do and enough distraction to keep us from our real writing. We will write when we’re folded into our 2x3x2 seat, right?

Anyway – we’re through security, boarding passes in hand and soon we’ll be flying high.

Thanks for agreeing to come along. It means a lot.

See you soon, kids! (Our seats aren’t together)

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