Tales From a Jazzy Life......

The long hazy days of summer 2013 have ended and life is slowly getting back to something that resembles normalcy.

It can take some time to adapt to the changing of routines. The earlier risings and the requisite organising of ones tasks and ones day.

Teen Boy is getting there.

I'm slowly getting my head into gear and following his lead!

Yes, things are getting back to normal and life goes on.

Jobs that were previously put on the back burner are being firmly placed on the well-intentioned to-do-lists. They may even get done. Soon.

Lovely Coffee mornings and catch-ups with friends are back on the agenda and some lazy shopping mornings too. In among the ever- growing to-do-lists, of course!

It was on one such shopping trip that I was very pleased to see a just re-opened HMV store. Oh, what a pleasure to go rummaging through actual, physical CDs and DVDs instead of inane browsing online. Akin to the book vs kindle debate, don't you think? And to finally have a Game shop - aka 'A Boy Shop' - in Dundrum Town Centre again is music to any Reluctant Teen's ears, and to his mum's too! So happy was I that  I had to treat myself to some of their Opening Day bargain priced musical treats....

Watching my teenage child's growing maturity is as - um - interesting as ever. As is being floored by his well thought out and - um - researched - arguments in a recent debate. 

Being treated to some nuggets  of Teen Wisdom was rather enlightening too. Did you know that teenagers have wonderful memory recall? Yes, they soak up everything and can remember it all - plucking facts from their brains at will, whenever they feel like it. Or so I'm told. This only lasts until the age of 20 though. Then it's all downhill from then on. Apparently. And when you get to 51 'mum...... then you forget everything....mum.!!

My usual argument in the vein of 'if I didn't have to remember everybody else's stuff I'd have less to forget so I'd remember more' always falls on deaf ears!

Perhaps parents of a certain age should start protecting their memory recall then? Further to my previous post I did some research of my own and came across the Alzheimer Society of Ireland's Forget-me-Not knots. 

So the next time anyone, either online or in real life, has any issue with my Candy Crush activity I will quite smugly inform them that I'm not merely crushing candies; I am tying one of my daily Alzheimer knots and partaking in a valuable brain gym activity. So there!

Oh yes, it's important to keep one's brain and body busy.

My efforts to knit hats for Caring Hats continues and are being squeezed into jam-packed days. I'm slowly getting there, with a little 'help' from some friends....

Unfortunately my efforts as regards being short-listed in Blog Awards Ireland 2013 were not as successful.

Not to worry though, I still have one very tenuous last chance with my 'Full Circle' post in the 'Best Blog Post' category! It's just a simple post, acknowledging a tiny moment in time that represented how far we've come on a particularly incredible journey. Although performing well, thanks to some loyal readers/friends, it does require a lot of votes in the next week to get into the top 10!

I don't like all this hassling people for votes, so this weekend will be my last attempt to get a boost up in the ratings. After that I shall bow out gracefully with my head held high and simply continue as normal!

If you have been reading my blog for a while, enjoy doing and would like to see me represented at these awards then please click on Jazzygal in this link, scroll to the end and hit 'vote'!

Many, many thanks :-)



You have lots of time to think, on visits.

Seeing her lying there restless, constantly fidgeting and agitated.
In mind and in body.

One wonders at the marvels of the mind.
How it can withstand and fight a multitude.
Ravished though it may be by a condition that has no scruples.

A condition that knows no bounds, as it forages its way through synapses and neural pathways. Devouring everything in it's wake.

Slowly as it goes though; bit by bit, nibble by nibble...

It eats away at your thoughts and words; at all your memories and connections.
Muddles familial relationships.
Then combines what's left into a neural hotchpotch of confusion and upset.

Slowly as it goes....

You don't know when it started really, only that suddenly it's presence is absolute.
It's a condition that changes the person; their words and personality.


And sometimes you get to wade through the ramblings and complaints.
To see what's real and what's imagined.

You listen too to the meanderings on people long since departed this earth.
As you keep yourself grounded with wool or phone.
And hopefully nod appropriately, in all the right places. 

And sometimes you marvel at the astuteness, that can shine through the murky mire 
of the Dementia fog.

Sometimes a tiny glimpse of the original person is revealed.
Who can even show some remorse, when teasingly chastised for their language choices.


Sometimes your threat to start a swear box and to get-rich-quick from its sure to-fill-quickly contents, is met with a hearty laugh. 

And sometimes you laugh heartily at their uncharacteristic language choices and rude remarks.

Laughter is better than tears after all.

Sometimes it's a guilty laughter.

And sometimes you just feel guilty.

Dementia is cruel.

It's nasty and clever as it  weaves its way through your brain.

And sometimes, it's in your genes.



Get Knitting for 'Caring Hats' - And Keep Homeless Heads Warm This Winter

I've always been a knitter and have recently taken to crocheting too.

I've taken to it so much that a few months ago an idea came to me in a dream one night. An idea that I have yet to act upon.

Not like Una, who had a far simpler idea and the courage of her convictions to get it up and running. There she was, sitting knitting some hats for pre-mature babies in her back garden one sunny day.....

"The sun was beaming down as I was casting on some stitches; I thought of the homeless and was thinking they must love a bit of sunshine. Then I remembered the terrible Winter we had last year and I got such a shiver thinking of how cold it was and that could be what is coming this winter.

I looked down at the stitches I was casting on and thought, maybe if I make bigger hats (a lot bigger) I could keep a few homeless heads warm this Winter?

I went into the house and googled a simple knitting pattern and found Evelyn's Patterns (I thought it was simple enough for me to make but also thought it was a bit of a sign as my Mam is called Evelyn; and so it began.)

I put it on my own facebook page and some of my family and friends said they would help. As a few hats started to come in I thought maybe there were more people than I know would like to make a hat, maybe this could get a lot bigger, so I started this page for Caring Hats."

And so Caring Hats was formed. Una has no grand plan she "just knows it will all work out and the way to distribute these hats will come, the people to give them out will come (hopefully some TY students.)"

She did set herself a goal though: 200 hats by September 12th, a date that's fast approaching.

The hats are indeed coming in and it's looking like she's getting close to her goal......

The campaign will of course continue beyond 12th of September!

As a fellow knitter and crocheter I think this is a fantastic project and I fully support it.

Those of you who are avid, or even beginner, knitters/crocheters can easily support it too, as you know we always have spare wool lying around! Now is the time for you, your knitting friends and knitting circles to put it to good use and to join in.

Don't have a pattern to hand? Here's Evelyn's Easy Knit Ribbed Hat Pattern to get you started:

US Size 8 needles (UK size 6)
Cast on 88 sts

ROW 1: K2, P2, K2 across, ending with P2
Repeat ROW 1 until hat is 11.5 inches from start, ending on a knit row.

On knit row- K2 tog. P2, K2 tog. across row

Next Row: knit two tog., P2, K2 tog., across
Last row: Knit.

Cut a tail of yarn 25inches long, thread a yarn needle with it.
Pull last row of knitting off needle.
Thread needle through every stitch.
Pull together tightly.
Whip stitch side seam shut.

Add pom pom if you'd like

Wear! Roll brim if preferred

Or would you prefer an easy crochet pattern? Here's one prepared earlier by Vicky from Castle Kelly Crafts...


Aran weight wool and 5mm hook
Start wit a magic or 4 chain loop joined with a slip stitch
Each row finished with a slip stitch into starting chain

Row 1: 1 chain (ch), 6dc into loop. (6)
Row 2: 1ch, 2dc in each stitch (12)
Row 3: 1ch, 1dc then 2dc in next, repeat (18)
Row 4: 1ch, 1dc 1dc 2dc, repeat (24)
Row 5: 1ch, 1dc 1dc 1dc 2dc, repeat (30)
Row 6: 1ch, 1dc 1dc 1dc 1dc 2dc, repeat (36)
Row 7: 1ch, 1dc 1dc 1dc 1dc 1dc 2dc, repeat (42)
Row 8: 1ch, 1dc 1dc 1dc 1dc 1dc 1dc 2dc, repeat (48)
Row 9: 1ch, dc x 7, (2dc x 1) repeat (54)
Row 10: 1ch, dc x 8 (2dc x 1) repeat (60)
Row 11: 3ch, tc x 10, 2tc x 1, repeat (66)
Row 12 - 20: 3ch, 1tc in each stitch (66)
Row 21 - 23: 1ch, 1dc in each around (66)

ch = chain
dc = double crochet
tc = treble crochet


And when you're done just click onto the Caring Hats facebook page and PM Una for address to post your hat(s) to!

As Una herself says:" Focus Ireland estimates that there are up to 5,000 people homeless in Ireland at any one time. So, let's get this rolling and see what difference we can all make - even a small gesture of giving someone a hat - they will know that someone cared enough about them to pick up the needles and wool and make it for them - someone cared "
Well, I found some spare wool and I've finally made a start.....

How about you?

Would you care to join us in helping to keep homeless heads warm this Winter?

Don't forget to tell all your friends, and maybe make it a project for your knitting circle groups too!


A Supermarket Flash Dance?

I have a bone to pick with the management of my local Superquinn store.

You see in anticipation of their re-launch as part of the SuperValu brand next February, they went and totally re-vamped their store.

The over haul is complete in it's comfort, spaciousness and display of their lovely produce; if a tad confusing for Dizzy Jazzy style shopping. Come on, you know that feeling don't you? You know, when you shop in a different supermarket than usual and you can't find anything?

Well, that's me -  strolling aimlessly through the aisles, lazily pushing my trolley as I comfortably hunt for my shopping requirements, while sub-consciously humming along to the piped/elevator style music.

And then it hits me.

The music.

They never re-vamped the music. It's still stuck on the same old '80's era tracks.

I mean, that's just not good enough.

Don't they know what could result when combining Desperate Housewife shopping with tunes from the '80's..... and wider shopping aisles?

Have they any idea of the thoughts that flood my brain?

It is simply too much to expect, when making the mind-numbingly boring best value-for-money comparisons between a market-fresh-low-cost bag of carrots or some loose ones of your choosing, that one should remain quietly sedate when they play the Flash Dance theme song in the background. It may be background music to them, but to me it's something else entirely! 

So there I am minding my own business, carelessly weighing up some carrots as they play one of my favourite dance songs, ever. Humming is abandoned as I 'sing' along: 'What a feelin'.... I got rhythm now' ..... and sashay off down the aisle . 

Only to turn the corner and almost bump into one of the managers ... who only does a double-take at the mad woman 'singing'.

I don't know what you're looking at mate. This is all your fault, you insist on playing this music and if you think this is mad then you should just see the visionary ideas sparking in my brain. In my world this trolley is not just a trolley you know.....

Not in the least perturbed by the bemused manager staring was I. And my 'singing' only increased in volume when they subsequently played the original version of 'Don't Stop Believin'....

Oh yeah, I'm really in my groove now. Especially when another mother passes by, glancing at the same shelf as I as she joins in. Is that a harmony I hear? Or perhaps one of us is out of tune? And it ain't me! Ahem...

Oh yes, I can just see it now - in Flash mob Dance mode we would  circle each other singing harmoniously, then push off on our respective trolleys, with right legs out in an arabesque!

Back in real time, emboldened by the unexpected and short-lived duet I sing louder again, only for another female shopper to give me a bewildered look.

'Oh.... bah- humbug' I think to myself as I sail on past the frozen produce..... and a young man who's singing almost as loudly as me!

Oh, this could definitely catch on! Yes, in Flash Dance mode he would grab my trolley, with me on board with right leg cutely flicked up behind as he whisks me around in a shopper's twirl...

It was when they played 'Footloose' that I realised I would have to take my leave forthwith. Things would only get out of hand. You see it's only been a mere 18 months since I'd choreographed that dance routine, for the second time, and I might remember the steps! Oh no, it's time to go. 

As I danced my trolley straight on over to the checkouts I wondered to myself : 'what if they play 'Holding Out for a Hero' next?' What then, I ask you? Would I be tempted to clear the conveyor belt, hop on board and 'sing' and dance with total abandonment? 

Definitely time to depart, while I still have some of my dignity intact.

Nothing good could ever come of these worrying, Desperate Housewife shopping thoughts...

I mean, singing and dancing in your local supermarket,.......

What next? A sing-a-long Flash Dance to your favourite '80's tunes?

Um.. Superquinn, if you're reading this..... don't change the music!

If you dare!