I’ve had a post brewing for a while but haven’t had the time to actually think about what I feel I need to say and how I want to say it. That doesn’t make sense, I know, but nothing much does when you’re sleep deprived and knee deep in plastic toys and furry friends.

I want to honestly talk about becoming a mum and how it has changed my life in such extraordinary ways that sometimes I can’t actually believe I am that lucky. That’s not saying that it is easy, but for every tough moment there are a million moments of joy and happiness.

I started really connecting with ‘it/him/the nutritional parasite’ after my 20 week scan in February 2011 and started imagining what life would be like with a baby in it. No amount of imagining can prepare you for it, that’s for sure. I was quite relaxed during my pregnancy (once the initial shock, and dismay I couldn’t attend Electric Picnic for a few years, had worn off…after about 5 months) and was open minded about the birth. I had a relatively easy birth – aided by water, gas and air and a very carefully selected playlist which included Primal Scream, The National, The Black Keys and The Low Anthem (whose song Charlie Darwin ended up being the first song R ever heard in his life). No relaxing whale sounds for me.

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We’ve been stalking..I mean, following Irish comedian David O’Doherty since seeing him support one of our favourite artists David Kitt many years ago in the Empire Music Hall. His very particular brand of VLEMW (very low energy musical whimsy) caught our attention right away and we were hooked.  We’ve seem him in many different venues (The Black Box, Ulster Hall, Empire) but last night we ventured into the autumn night to see him perform in a giant tent outside Queen’s as part of the 50th Belfast Festival.

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A few days in Rathmullan

September 20, 2012

Our wee house

My family and I have been coming up to the Ramelton/Rathmullan area of Donegal for the last 15 years, and 12 years ago my parents bought a little holiday house in the Sycamores development, just beside the famed Rathmullan House. A mere 2.5 hours drive from Belfast, the whole area is like a different world and is the perfect spot to relax and take it easy.

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A night at The MAC

September 11, 2012

Last Thursday we went on a double date with some friends. We had booked and paid for The Canteen at The MAC’s pre-show deal the day before and were looking forward to some good grub and lovely music. When we arrived we were told that the show deal wasn’t on so we could just pick from the normal menu and they would throw in a free bottle of wine by way of apology. That was very much welcome by the husbands of the group but me (the designated driver) and my pregnant pal were a little disappointed. The food made up for it though. I had seafood chowder to start and mackeral salad for main. I’m a big fan of fish and both dishes were delicious. Shortly after eating though, I took an allergic reaction and had to run home straight after the gig for piriton and co-codamal. Pesky pescetarianism.

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Only in Belfast

September 1, 2012

This post on the topic Only in Belfast has been written for the One Topic / Forty Opinions project run by Belfast Bloggers Unite.

Apart from a brief couple of months when I bounced into the world in a hospital in Cork and stayed there for a few months, I’ve pretty much lived around the same 2.5 mile stretch of road in Belfast for the last 31 years.  No, I didn’t go to university in England, I never went travelling round South East Asia, I haven’t worked in an Irish bar in America and I’ve done no throwing of shrimps on barbies on beaches in Australia. And I’m pretty OK with all of that.

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This post on the topic Sunday has been written for the One Topic / Forty Opinions project run by Belfast Bloggers Unite.

Sundays as a kid for me always meant days out with my lovely family. We went all round NI, with picnics and maps of walks and alway had a great time, whatever the weather. As I got older (and older) Sundays began to have a different, much less energetic, feel to them. They usually included a massive hangover and watching films with Mr.G-S under a blanket, eating junk food. Or when I was studying part-time with Open University, Sundays meant cursing the computer and trying to wing together 2000 words for an assignment due in on the Monday.

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We’ve just had a great weekend, and most of it was down to spending time with friends and thoughtful things friends have done for us. It’s got me thinking about how lucky I am to have such a range of totally fantastic people who have come into my life through various different routes and how important these people are to me for all sorts of reasons.

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Hansel of Film 2012

August 8, 2012

Last night my Dad, brother and I attended a great event in the Black Box, hosted by the Belfast Film Festival. The event was a showcase of short films made by the public that were being screened as part of the Hansel of Film – Shetland to Southampton and Back project, which is a relay of screenings of which has visited almost 20 venues throughout the UK and will finish up in Scotland this Saturday. A runner has been chosen to transport each set of films to the different  places, by various modes of transport, and the whole thing is part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad – the same crowd that funded Land of Giants.

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My friend Stephen came back from the Electric Picnic festival in 2009 and raved about how seeing Chic play was one of the best gigs he had ever seen in his life. He has seen a lot of gigs in his time and is someone whose taste in music I trust implicitly. He was banging on about Chic and Nile Rodgers, and to my shame I had to wikipedia the names. My reasonably comprehensive knowledge of popular music is pretty much pre-1974 and post-1991 (save for a few exceptions such as Madonna and INXS!), skipping out the disco era completely. Which is how I had never really paid much attention to Chic and Mr Rodgers himself, but the more I read about the band and the man himself, along with his late musical partner Bernard Edwards, the more I was completely in awe of the talent and incredible legacy surrounding them.

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The steaks were high..

July 31, 2012

With Junior having a sleepover at his Grandparents last Saturday night, Mr.GS and I decided to go out on a wee date night and decided to use the voucher for James Street South Bar & Grill, which we had received from a lovely friend for our wedding, to enjoy a rare night out alone. We’re big fans of BBC2’s cooking show ‘Great British Menu’ where chefs from all regions of the UK compete to see who will cook for banquets for high profile guests. So, the fact that NI winner Niall McKenna was very visible in the dining area throughout our whole meal during our visit to James Street South Bar & Grill meant that this review was always going to be positive….

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