30 May 2009

Improvised Picnic

Pique-nique improvisé

Yesterday afternoon, Cathal brought his mum and myself to the RDS so that they could collect their official entry tag for the Women Mini Marathon taking place on Monday. The Women’s World Exhibition was on in the same place, and between the goodie bag given to each lady collecting her tag, and all the free stuff handed around, including extra “for the little one” – we learnt a lesson: take a child with you to these events, you get more… - on the way out we were able to sit on the grass and have an improvised snack-picnic.

Hier après-midi, Cathal a emmené sa maman et moi-même chercher nos dossards officiels pour le Mini Marathon Féminin qui a lieu lundi prochain. L’exposition Le Monde de la Femme avait lieu au même endroit, et entre le sac à surprises donné à chaque femme qui prenait son dossard, et tous les produits gratuits distribués, y compris « pour le petit » - nous avons appris une leçon : allez à ce genre de chose avec un enfant, vous récoltez plus… en sortant nous avons pu nous asseoir sur l’herbe et improviser un goûter-pique-nique.

Trying the free yogurt…
Essayant le yaourt gratuit…

Do I like it?
Est-ce que j’aime ça?

Yum! Delicious!
Yam! Délicieux!

Full tummy!
Ventre plein!

Now all the Mammy and I need to do is walk the 10k on Monday. Apparently there will be more than 41,000 women running, jogging and walking it for charities… it’s largest all women event in the world! After all my training, I can’t wait to do it.

Maintenant il ne reste plus qu’à la Maman et moi-même de marcher les 10km lundi. Apparemment il y aura plus de 41.000 femmes courant, joggant ou marchant pour des œuvres caritatives… c’est le plus grand événement totalement féminin au monde! Après tout mon entraînement, je suis maintenant impatiente de participer.

04 May 2009

Grand, isn’t it?

Words are strange phenomena... The same word can mean so many things to different people. Especially when a “cultural” slant is brought into the situation.

For example, in English-English, the adjective “grand” means: “splendid, magnificent, imposing, dignified… of chief importance… of the highest rank… excellent… great” – Hum hum, went back to my Oxford dictionary for this one!

But in Irish-English, the meanings are so much more intricate. For example:

“How are you today? - Ah sure, I’m grand all together!” = not too bad, can't complain.

Or: “Isn’t it a grand morning?” = usually talking about the Irish weather, quite nice, especially if no rain!

Or: “Do you want me to keep doing what I am doing? – No, leave it, it’s grand like this” = It will do as it is…

I know that, when talking to people outside of Ireland, I have to be careful with the words I use, as some don’t have quite the same meaning. “Grand” is one usually at the top of my list!

Over the last while I have been tagged by a few people, but life assumed a level of intensity that did not leave much room for a response - Cheri and Hammie, I am sure you’ll understand. But there is one, a quick and easy one, that I kept at the back of my mind, for when things would quiet down again, and it would be time to reflect and then move on.

Jazzy, a little late, these are my 5 takes on why and when Life Is Grand:

- Because Cathal has gone through the surgery, and his little heart is pumping away much better than it has never before, and life is returning to some nice routine.

- When I hold him in my arms, when he snuggles his face against my neck, and feels so comfortable and trusting of me that he allows me to rock him to sleep.

- When on Saturday mornings I sleep late, then enjoy a slow lazy breakfast in bed with the good book – probably my favourite time of the week.

- When on weekday mornings I pull back the curtains and find these beautiful dawns greeting me:

Aren't they a sight? I took these photos on separate mornings over the last two weeks. Such beauty is enough to make up for the ungodly hour my alarm comes on!

- Because not only I have a job – not every one has these days - but one I really enjoy doing. I do not remember finding it so easy to go in every day with any other job I have had over the years.

So yes, Jazzy, generally speaking, Life is Grand…

I am not going to impose on people to contribute their five reasons for thinking that life is grand. However, if Mel, Cheri and Elbog, from their side of the globe, want to join in this little exercise in “Irishness”, be my guest!