A Positively Good Week.....

It's been a pretty good week, starting with a trip to see West Side Story in the Bord Gais Energy Theatre last week with a friend. An enjoyable night with some memorable performances. And indeed some not so memorable too. Including my 'singing-along' sub-consciously to the truly iconic tunes. It simply couldn't be helped.

Okay, the positivity was somewhat mired by the little trip over my own two feet that I, again sub-consciously, took on the walk home from the Dart that night, resulting in a very sprained ankle! Trying to re-enact the fabulous dance steps was my friend's response..... and she's probably right! On some sub-conscious level.

So, what does one do when enforced captivity is thrusted upon one all of a sudden? One could be quite upset..... or one could choose to see the bright side. And one could be very kind and decide to share all her random and insignificant 'Positives of a Twisted Ankle' thoughts with the world.  Well, that's what facebook and twitter are there for after all. Right?  No, you don't agree? Oops..... too late. My bad. But I had fun and well, I was soooo bored that I had to do something to amuse myself. And just in case you missed them here they all are, all gathered together in a nice neat little bunch, or two!

As a result of my enforced captivity and mindless facetweeting I came to some conclusions.

*I was not smothered in offerings of cups of tea, I was perfectly capable of hobbling into the kitchen to make them myself and therefore capable of attending to all family meals. Just wait until anyone else in this house suffers a sprained anything!

*Certain people can get the bus home from school without the world caving in. It is a very good independence and social activity too, you know ;-)

*I must schedule more regular 'ailment' or 'injury' days. It's amazing what jobs you can get done that would not otherwise happen. Plus you get some 'me-time' too. Well, if paid employees can get Personal or Sick Days, why not?

Twisted ankle or not, NOTHING was going to prevent my attendance at a much anticipated reunion of a group of show friends. All of whom had taken part in the legendary John Player Tops of the Town variety show competitions from years back. Just to give you an idea, the last Tops show I did was in 1992 and the last Tops show ever (in this national format) was in 1996. I met people that I hadn't seen in over 20 years...

It was said that: 'The lads have all gone grey but the girls have all kept their colours'.         

Which was subsequently updated with the astute observation that: 'The girls may have kept their hair colour but they are all swapping specs to see the photos!' Unfortunately that was oh, so true! Not only that but I also learned a new terminology that perfectly, and hilariously, describes the action of holding an item down low and away from you in order to view it! They should include that observation in a certain musical  :-) 

I've heard a lot of bemoaning facebook talk on the airwaves recently but do you know what? It was thanks to the creation of the  John Player Tops of the Town Facebook page that this reunion took place.

A wonderful night was had by all. Staying until the early hours just catching up with friends of old. Chatting with them as if you'd only talked to them yesterday and having such a laugh that you end up with a pain in your face. Another memorable occasion to store away in the mental memory box, along with all your Tops of the Town and indeed, all your Stage Show, recollections.

There was a lot of understated talent in that room last Saturday night. Some still involved in the show business world, in a professional  capacity and others still dabbling in it in their own way. Once bitten by the stage bug you just cannot escape.

Maybe we should all get back on stage for one final hurrah?

One more for the road, so to speak.

Stranger things have happened ;-)


Diary of a Jazzy Mum, eternally aged 33 3/4: Growing Older Indignantly

And I was never more indignant then when recently reading a favourite thriller author of mine - Camilla Lackberg. You see she described one of her characters as a 'mid-fifties grey haired woman'!

Really?? Mid-fifties?? And totally grey haired?? Really??

Talk about stereo-typing, Ms Lackberg! I'll have you know that I may only have a mere 3 years to reach that life stage but so far I have only a tiny grey patch. Well, maybe a couple of grey speckles too but we'll ignore them. So, you're saying that I'll suddenly turn completely grey in 3 years time then Ms Lackberg? Well if that does occur then rest assured, neither you nor the rest of the world will know a thing about it ;-)

Mind you , although I won't be rushing off to throw bowls on a lawn any time soon, I'll not be beyond availing of any midweek hotel offers for the 'active 55 plus' group. But you'll not know a thing about that either!

See, in my head I'm eternally the optimum age of 33 3/4. Been around long enough to know enough and with tons of youth and energy left to enjoy the rest. It's a good age to be.

Now, I know I am getting older, I can read the signs you know. The need for reading glasses for one. The jiggly bits that creep up on you, the bone-clicking and the various bodily bibs and bobs attempting their southwards migration. I can read the signs alright, I just choose to ignore them.

Not so my Teen Boy, who is seemingly on a mission to ensure that I cannot. For example his favourite pastime seems to be making me 'point' out my *coughs* ever-so-slight bingo arms!

I did however manage to enact some revenge on our recent heavenly getaway, much to his disgust/amusement/bewilderment - take your pick - with a spot of Underwater Twerking.  Apparently I did it perfectly .....  'but..... Muummm'!! 

I continue to enjoy my gym time, where I can beat those bingo wings to a pulp and although I'm not the oldest there I do get a great a great kick out of being the oldest and only one on the circuit from time to time who can put my hands flat on the floor when 'touching my toes' - while wearing wedged skechers tone-ups! I'm happy for anyone to think I'm showing-off when I hold the stretch way longer than anyone else too. See, they don't need to know that what I'm really doing is easing out the kinks in my lower back!

I love working out to the upbeat music in the gym. I have quite an eclectic music taste of both older and current performers. Granted there may be exclamations of  'Call that music?..... that's just screaming' from time time, but you should note that they come from my son, aged 13 3/4 upon hearing 'Ride on Time' by Black Box from 1989!!

Much to his embarrassment any up-tempo music from any era playing in the background of any shop, anywhere, is most likely to make me bop a-long as I shop-a-long to the rhythm. And you all know what can happen when they play '80s music in supermarkets!

Admittedly I have noticed a tendency to fall over lately (twice this week) but I reckon I've turned it into a beautifully choreographed art form. It is not everyone who can walk confidently along in one direction then suddenly, for no apparent reason, do an ever-so elegant somersault and land on their bum facing the complete opposite direction, you know. It is, I might add, best to perform this amazing feat when no-one else is around. Unfortunately I didn't quite manage that last night, resulting in a  bruised ego and a slightly swollen ankle today. But hey, I met a very kind and helpful  'new' neighbour that I wouldn't have otherwise met! Thank you kind, non-judgmental neighbour!

So I shall remain cocooned in my energetic little bubble, following my 'Age is But a Number' philosophy while I continue to grow older indignantly. 

With as much dignity as I can muster.

Supermarket Flash Dancing, Underwater Twerking and Midnight Somersaults aside.


                                          The End




Golden Times

There is a lovely little corner of Ireland, tucked away down the sunny South East, near Dungarvan, With it's golden beach and picturesque harbour and it's two 'traditional' style hotels: The Clonea Strand and The Gold Coast.

We've been taking mini-breaks down there for many years now, ever since Teen Boy was a baby and we love it. Our boy has really grown up through our Clonea/Gold Coast years....

At this stage I almost consider this stunning location to be 'our' corner of the world and the hotels to be 'our' hotels.

A corner of the world that restores peace and equilibrium to your very soul. Or so it often seems to me.

The trip is always much anticipated as departure date approaches, the mere thought of it is like a soothing salve to the mind on any days that don't go to plan. One can cope with anything knowing that your corner of the world is beckoning.....

The peace starts descending and the smile spreading as soon as we get into the car. And all stresses melt away as soon as one toe dips into the Jacuzzi, which is our traditional first port of call on arrival. 

There have been many changes over the years: the road from Dublin to Waterford is phenomenal nowadays, meaning a quicker getaway to our holiday haven and the roads leading to Clonea Strand have also greatly improved.

The hotels themselves remain mostly untouched, however and no doubt are considered quite dated now. I've often thought that if I ever won the Lotto that I'd invest and revamp, while trying to keep the traditional, family ethos and good value. Maybe even let the Brennan Brothers from RTE's  'At Your Service' loose to do their thing!

These are very traditional styled hotels with homely fare served by lovely staff and they are a popular choice for many families. As far as I'm concerned the locations more than make up for anything perceived to be lacking.

Our favourite is The Clonea, as it's car park  leads to the beach and although we took the short drive to the beach to take these photos 'our' usual room also affords these stunning views....

However, the Gold Coast has it's own lovely views too, especially from the roomy family room we had this time...

It saddens me that due to the economic downturn the Clonea Strand now closes for the Winter months and won't open until May 2014.

I miss that hotel but really enjoyed our stay in the Gold Coast this week. A relaxing week yet full of activities such as father/son golf with shopping/walking for me and the leisure centre every day. Activities that wouldn't have happened had we stayed home on this mid-term school holiday.

I don't think we'll ever tire of our holiday haven.

Already looking forward to our next trip....