Happy New Year!


The year 2011 is coming to a close and I look forward, as always, to ringing in a brand New Year.
It's a chance to start afresh, with plans and best intentions to do things better. Or differently, perhaps.
It's a chance to look back, at the year we're leaving behind and maybe rejoice at the positive and learn from the rest.

On a personal level our year gave us a lot to be happy about and grateful for.
Although our local Panto of 15 years standing is no longer we remember the joy it gave to many over the years.
It will be missed by many but mostly by the local community.

We enjoyed  a holiday, many outings  and lovely times spent  with friends.
We proudly watched our son  grow up some more this year.
We reminisced about our missing dog and welcomed a puppy to our home, for a short while.

We dealt with problems that came our way.
They seemed big at the time yet have faded into the memory banks now.
We narrowly avoided another house flooding and were reminded of the wonderful local community we have.

We got together to fight to protect our homes.
Our special needs community got together to fight against drastic SNA cuts.
I fought that battle here on my blog and on a radio station.
My small contribution to this ongoing issue.

On a National level it's been a tough year.
Our Government does everything our European counterparts ask, while we the people suffer the effects.
Globally things are worsening , yet no thanks or relief is offered to our abiding nation.
 

We had some good times too with visits from the Queen  and Barack Obama.
We had fun watching Jedward 'robbed' of a Eurovision win!
We rejoiced in Ireland's soccer team qualifying for Euro 2012.

May 2012 be a good year for us personally and nationally.
May we realise the value of our local communities and treasure them.
May we finally realise that we the people are on the same side.
Although the grass may seem greener on the other side, it very rarely is.

May 2012 be the year we come together as one, strong nation and effect change.
May Ireland put the ball into the other team's net!
May our streets be covered in green and our ears ring with sounds of Ole Ole Ole....Ole, Ole!

 Lets go forward to 2012 with strength and positivity.

A very Happy New Year  to you all.

Now, let's ring those bells and welcome in 2012.


xx


Note: Photo credit to flicker.com




Christmas Catch Up...

It's been a lovely Christmas here at Chez Jazzy. we spent the day itself with family and have been just hanging out ever since. Which is kind of nice, given the mayhem that came beforehand! Will I never learn? I even took a break from all online activity.... go on, pick your jaw back up off the floor! Yes, I can do it! I find It's very hard to get back into when you do though!

By the way, I DID rock that red dress in the post linked to above! However, I will need to lose a few Christmas lbs before I dare rock it again! I had a great night out that night, and as I watched my almost 70 year old relative (and her 60/70+ year old friends) I vowed to be just like them, when I grow up ;-)

Since my ode to my birthday boy we've had his birthday party just before Christmas Day. As he just couldn't wait any longer, the 'most specialist boy in the world got his most specialist birthday present' two days beforehand.....
 
                                    The coolest laptop..... Red, of course!

And his party, even though it was a very small one (at his insistence) it was also a very successful one. Thank God! He loved it and wants the same again next year. Turns out small parties are the best! How very grown up....

I was all set this year to enjoy the last magical year that Santa will visit this house and hoped that no-one would tell him in the last few days! I know he's very grown up my WiiBoy, but he still believes and I'm not ready to lose the magic of Santa just yet. So, even though I forgot to leave out goodies for Santa and Rudolph,  he still came with all the requested xbox- related gifts and a very non-fizzy Soda Stream , of all things! Turns out it takes more than a soda stream to put the fizz in MY drinks ;-) I was woken up at the unearthly hour of 2.15am to go check if Santa had arrived and my boy was very happy indeed that he had, but he was notably not ecstatic. See, he IS growing up..... sigh. I'll have to tell him!

Unfortunately we had problems renewing Xboxlive on Christmas Day. He entered the code and nothing happened. Thinking it might take a few hours to activate the code we were disappointed to see it unresolved when we checked again the following day. But, never fear, the wonderful helpers @XboxSupport were there to guide us to a successful outcome. Except that, despite their best efforts, they couldn't and we had to phone the support phone line today. In the course of that conversation I copped that he'd only scratched off one code (for the free gift) and not the other one! How embarrassing! Also in the course of that conversation I was asked where did you buy the card? You can guess what happened next, can't you?

See, the correct answer would have been 'Santa brought it' with the right inflection in my voice on the word Santa, instead of a wink, to relay that a certain 12 year old was standing right beside me. But, oh no, I totally forgot and answered honestly. He responded immediately... 'WHAT??... you bought it??....but....but...'

Oh crap...

Still, I had said before Christmas that I would tell him before he went back to school as most of his classmates will probably know anyway. So, this is actually good timing. Get it over and done with. Time to 'fess up. Right?

So, after some time he comes and asks me about it again and I braced myself to tell the truth, turned to him and....... lied!!

Oh crappity, crappity, crap crap!!

I've really messed up now!

And  he's going to a birthday party tomorrow. I could land myself in some very hot water yet!

Or, it may all just work itself out? Before secondary school starts would be nice!

Meanwhile, we have some fun events and meet-ups planned to keep us occupied for the rest of the Christmas holidays.

And we have a Christmas cat that seems to have adopted us. She's gorgeous....




She can't stay though as she kinda likes Sunny, our budgie...



.No, he's NOT on the dinner menu no matter how cute the strays that keep calling here are!

Is there a sign on our door I wonder?

The Jazzy Animal Rescue Shelter.... only cute animals need apply !!

I'd better take it down before the next visitor arrives!


xx



Twelve Candles



Twelve Candles to celebrate
Each year of your life,
May your birthday today
Bring you joy, no strife.

From baby to pre-teen
You've journeyed through life's maze,
And are becoming a unique person
That never ceases to amaze.

Twelve badges of honour
Earned in your Game of Life to date,
Each step of the way
Strewn with your many amusing traits.

You're funny, witty and
An entertainer of girls,
You can be serious and mature
With flashes of wisdom like pearls.

You're creative, a thinker and
Your ideas can make me step back,
Then you break into one of your funny acts
That really, really make me laugh!

You're a son in a million
And a good friend too,
Go on with your life's journey,
Holding your head high as you do.


Happy Birthday son!


xx

This was written for my son's 12th birthday,  22nd December 2011

Lights Out



Friday night 8pm and considering options for a non-screen family night in.

What to do, what to do?


Head for sitting room to encourage co-operation from son,

Thinking, thinking...


When suddenly the lights go out and the whole house is pitched into an inky blackness.

Somewhere outside house alarms are pealing in competition and the neighborhood is completely shrouded by the black dark.

What to do, what to do?


Initial shock is replaced with excitement of the relative rarity of the occasion, as we plan...

What to do, what to do!


Candles are quickly sourced and lit with the help of the battery operated Christmas decoration lights.

A fun Lego-man torch is found and the fun begins..


We three snuggle in our snuggies on the sofa whispering quietly in the magical candlelit darkness.

We make silly shadows in the wall courtesy of Mr Lego-Man.

We three become two as one leaves the party to head out through the dark night.

Now, what to do, what to do?


It's quickly becoming colder so we snuggle deeper in our snuggies.

Shall we tell scary stories? Make Them up ourselves perhaps?

No, son wants to hear stories of my 'old days',

Sigh.


I regale him as best I can and we chat about this and that.

It's getting very cold now so we decide to go to bed early. Mum and Dads bed tonight, for comfort and warmth.

We dive under the duvet in fleecy pajamas and place our snuggly snuggies over the bed.

We are quite cosy in the carefully candlelit bedroom.


We chat some more as we munch on Cadbury's Chocolate Fingers, learning that one does indeed lead to more.

The chat inevitably turns to the current favorite conversational topic.

He offers to build me a house and we discuss the choices I have.


A cosy cottage or a fort?

Oh, a cosy cottage I think.

Of red brick or wood?

Do you want some crops?

A crafting table?

Yes please, 

There's probably no electricity in Minecraft world either.


I thank him for offering to build me this virtual house.

He's happy

I'm happy

No screens needed here for either of us.


Then suddenly,  as unexpectedly as they left us, the lights return.

Intruding on the magic...

What to do, what to do?


That's easy...

We Turn off the lights, blow out the candles and stay in our cosy cocoon.

xx




NOTE: Image credit: canstockphoto.com

Stop This Christmas Rollercoaster... I Wanna Get off....NOW!


This post is a quickly thrown together one in a manic attempt to explain my frantic life at the moment and my absence from blog writing and visiting. It is also a timid attempt at a humble apology for not being around much.

Oh, I do get stressed this time of year as I go about doing everybody's (and I do mean everybody's) Christmas shopping for them and really it's ridiculous. I mean I don't even have 175 screaming adorable Panto children to teach this year!

In fairness it has been a tough couple of weeks here. My infamous Asthmatic cough-from-hell came to visit again about a month ago and has totally outstayed it's welcome. Well, not that it was ever really  welcome in the first place! It is a particularly persistent cough this time around and resistant to serious doses of inhaler and steroid tablets. It has warranted numerous trips to my very concerned GP who sent me for an urgent appointment with a good Consultant who prescribed an even more serious course of steroid tablets. I suspect I shall be sporting a beard by Christmas, a white one, and singing Ho, Ho, Ho in a very deep voice!. Hospital tests were organised and duly worried and fretted over. Good God, what a very scary couple of weeks. Totally stressed me out..... so much so that the consultant had to administer two doses of sedation and still I recall  every minute of the bronchoscopy! The initial results are encouraging but the CT scan results are pending. I suspect some kind of lung infection to be honest. Fingers crossed PLEASE that it's no more than that.

On top of all of that my WiiBoy is having a very difficult time in school at the moment. He is upset and quite confused I think at this stage. He no longer knows how to deal with it all or the correct responses to give, as the traditional ones (that he's learned) are not working. My heart is breaking for him. I think it's even affecting his decision making as he only wants a very small birthday party next week which is quite unusual.

 However, it's now my job to smooth the way and make next week the best one EVER. He wants a very special birthday present. So The Waiting Game has begun anew and sleeps are being counted to the day before his birthday. He can't possibly wait one day more as he must have it all up and running in time. The problem is there's no room in his bedroom for it.  So, Jazzy here, the Queen of Disorganisation,  got her messy head into his room today and somehow managed to change this...



 To this.....




Now I know it may not look much but it took 2 hours to do the whole room and now there's room for the most specialist birthday present for the most specialist birthday boy in the world :-)

Obviously due to my illness I have missed a lot of Christmas shopping days and I'm stupidly panicking! Of course, now that I'm  a bit better WiiBoy is now home sick from school!! Aaarrrggghhh. It was in this frame of mind that I headed out this evening to sort out the big birthday present, a coveted Santa goody and some other stuff. This Queen of Disorganisation even had a list! I also had a 'moment' on the way and nearly had myself an accident turning onto a busy road as I misread the traffic  lights. I had words with myself....

Okay... that's it. No more. This is beyond ridiculous. NOTHING is worth this crap. It's only fecking Christmas for crying out loud. This is NOT what it's all about. Wake up Jazzy.... chillax. Your child still believes in Santa! How lucky are you?! You have one last year to enjoy the magic of a Santa believer! Don't screw it up and miss the magic. He also turns 12 next week, his last birthday as a pre-teener. You definitely don't wanna let that flit by you! Get a grip girl...

Right, back on track and in a much better frame of mind I arrived at the shops and in a very organised manner I got through said list and nailed the important stuff, in one hour .  Look at the lead photo, that's 5 pressies wrapped under the tree now, finally!!Yessssss! There's lots  more to be done and that will happen.....soon....whatever! Chillaxed, see?

I was a bit disappointed though as I had hoped to pay a quick visit to TK Max to buy a little number for a little overnight party I'm going to on Saturday night. Yes, I said overnight party!! Whoop! I sheepishly arrived at 8.55pm expecting a 9.00pm closing, but as I cheekily asked to go into the fitting room I was told closing was 9.30. Excellent.... there is a God! A quick dash back to the rails was made to secure more dresses to try on!

My previous chat with myself  must have worked as I was in a much more positive frame of mind, trying on these lovely cheap dresses. Well, either that or I totally believed the lies that the skinny dressing room mirrors told me! Either way I had another 'moment' in that dressing room. And it was way more fun than my earlier one!!

You see *ahem*... I was trying on this sizzling, red hot, figure hugging little number when my favourite Christmas song came on over the speakers....just as I was zipping it up. Now, I challenge you to listen to this song and not do what I did....



Oh, how I wiggled, posed and pouted in my red hot dress in that dressing room!!! Oh, how I hoped there were no security cameras in there!! There's not... right??!

Oh, how I thought... I can't get away with wearing this? Can I?

The hell I can! I bought the damn dress and I don't care if I can't bring the skinny dressing room mirror with me on Saturday night I am gonna rock that dress, ya hear me? Rock it!

I wonder if they'll play my song at the party?

I hadn't had any wine in the dressing room, you know. Just saying, like.

All together now...

Santa baby, slip a sable under the tree for me..
I've been an awful good girl,
Santa baby,
Hurry down the chimney tonight..

Oh yeah, Santa Baby...... BRING IT ON!!!

I can take it ;-)

xx




PS.. I will catch up on your blogs soon.... promise!








A Night to Remember....


We had one of our traditional Christmas nights out last night, one that I look forward to each year as I get to catch up with some ex-work colleagues. My attendance could not be confirmed until the last minute, which meant a frantic search for a last minute sitter. An excellent one stepped up to the plate and as I drove him down to Grandad's house I thought, what a great opportunity for WiiBoy to spend some quality time with him. That thought sparked some spontaneous memory flashes, tripping through my brain as I drove...

Thinking of the many weekends I spent on sleepovers in my Nanny's house as a child. How we all loved our Nanny and adored our sleepovers with her, on our own or in small groups. A memory, like a Kodak moment popped into my brain.... four of us head-to-toe in a double bed with Nanny in the single bed beside us. The giggles as we chatted and teased each other! The laughter at my brother's antics, blessed as he was amongst us little women. Then we'd  quieten down when she sang to us.... 'When the red, red robin goes bob, bob bobbing along....along...' (the clean version!) We'd join in in the chorus and then clamour for 'more, Nanny MORE...' And Nanny would continue to entertain us. We'd eventually fall asleep,  really late. It was probably only 10pm but to us we felt we were awake for hours! Simple times... lovely memories.

Our Nanny was an amazing Dublin woman, a Liberties Lady who had a difficult life as she was widowed as a young mother of 9 children aged from 4 to 12 years old. Left to raise them in a 2 bed council house on a meagre soldier's pension. Not easy and we think we have it hard? She herself was born, in the early 1900s weighing an incredible and unheard of 15lbs, into a large family living in a flat in Dublin's Inner City. I always remember her telling us how, as a child, she heard the first gunfire shots when the 1916 rising started that Easter Monday....

With WiiBoy happily ensconced with Grandad and his dog I made the dash home to get ready and leave the house in double-quick time for my rendezvous with Mr Jazzy and co. We couldn't find the restaurant we were looking for and as we walked further down Dublin's Aungier Street we headed deeper into a Dublin Inner City area and even deeper still into the recesses of my memory banks....

As we passed by Whitefriar Street Church I was instantly brought back to more childhood occasions. I see my mother's uncle, my great-uncle K and my Nanny's brother-in-law; a tall old man full of character and stories and totally toothless, who lived in a flat down the lane beside the church with his sister. He was an amazing man who played Santa for my mother and her siblings every Christmas as there was no money for presents. He brought them to the Gaiety Theatre panto every year too. A tradition that was continued in time with us grand-children. I then thought of his sister, my Great-Aunt S, who was a seamstress in the very upmarket Switzers store on Dublin's Grafton Street. A very high profile job in those days. I can't remember her face now, she passed away well before him, but I do remember the clothes she made for us. Especially the dress and fur jacket she made for my December Holy Communion. I also remember how she was a very last-minute kinda gal, who apparently liked her tipple, and the panic as said dress was not delivered until the very night before my big day! Oh she was a character, our great Aunt S... I recall that she liked to sing and dance also ;-)

However, it was the church that held some special memories that I'd recently shared with my WiiBoy. Whitefriar Street church is where my mother would get the bus across town to every so often, just to get some of their Holy water. Whether she believed their holy water was holier than anywhere else's is anyone's guess! Whitefriar Street Church is also where the remains of St Valentine are held in a specially created shrine. Most years, on or near my St Valentine's Day birthday I'd be brought to pay my respects to my patron saint....and to get some more of their holier than thou Holy Water! Great -Uncle K ate his dinner out in a local cafe every day and I distinctly remember one birthday meal treat taking place in that recommended Diner. Turned out that calling it a Cafe or Diner was being way too generous. I reckoned, at that young age, as I waded my spoon through a bowl of soup swimming in grease, that the correct term for such an establishment was definitely a Greasy Spoon..... shudders. I did take a look for a dodgy looking cafe but it thankfully no longer exists!

We eventually found the very nice restaurant we were searching for and joined our party, where we had a lovely night reminiscing with friends.

I wondered, nay hoped, that we were setting up some special memories for WiiBoy too and maybe even a new tradition has begun for him.

A boy should spend some quality time with his Grandad.....

xx



Note: Photo credit: cliparttoday.com
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