The Irate Irishwoman -What NOT to indulge in during divorce

With Valentine’s day coming up, I thought I would add to the love fest by sharing some of my experience on good old divorce. Victim of a twit-attack? Save your sense of humour, grab some legal advice, and remain calm. Simply follow my tried and tested guide to what NOT to indulge in, during divorce.

It’s actually NOT your fault

When he happens to have fecked off, don’t faint, and don’t fall. You haven’t failed ANYTHING or ANYONE, it’s all his miserable failure. Every last bit.  Ditch the self deprecation. Stop self-bashing. Remember that one, write it on the mirror in lipstick if you don’t mind frightening the dinner guests – and remember, there will be guests again. Just because there’s one less lush at the table doesn’t mean anyone has forgotten you’re a damned good cook, they’ll still be there. In fact, now they don’t have to listen to him banging on, they won’t bloody go home. Have a taxi number handy. Practise your best yawn.

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Stop typing, proofread at the thinking stage

Oh dear God, I have never been good at this one. So you’re in shock, then hurt, then sad, then – the good bit – bloody furious. Got a great vocabulary? Yeah, me too. It’s a curse. Don’t do it, think it for sure, say it if you like, scream it, sob it, but don’t write it down. Kick something instead. Better. It’s all gonna come good in the end, the truth has a way of seeping out. Here’s one of those sickening inspirational quotes to laugh at…

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Don’t listen to everyone else – they’re not you

Take all the advice given  – there will be LOTS – and weed it as carefully as you would a bed of herbs. Which reminds, me, smoke some herbs if you can get your hands on any, whatever helps with the inducement of calm. Reject the prosaic platitudes, keep the good stuff for later – the advice, not your son’s mates’ drugs –  and for going back over when you need it, and dump the rest like a gleeful trip to the bottle bank after a party.

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Stop with the doll and the pins – put them down

Easier said than done. Don’t obsess. Not over what you did wrong (er, nothing, we have covered that, remember?) not over what you might have had (yeah, it’s a whole new future, and it’s a bit scary, but eventually it will be fun) and certainly not over the person you donated your used toy to…So he only jumped because someone available was oh so ready and waiting to catch him, Quelle surprise. Because really, she won’t be all that – once you have examined the close up of the one carelessly published unfiltered photo whilst drinking your second bottle of afternoon Lambrusco –  and for sure, he will have replaced you with someone less intelligent, who tells him what he wants to hear. You cannot hate her either, she’s just not that important…As my newly-gay, lovely best friend drily remarked “Jesus, Carol, I really cannot see the attraction….in either of them…”

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Don’t head for the chocolate

Embrace the break up diet. OMG the skinny-minny bit, it’s worth the split – a hundred times over. As you slide on those size eight jeans remember to smirk just a little. Yeah, you look HOT. Know it, wear it – whatever you damned well WANT – use it. And of course, when you’re ready, it’ll all help with that new and improved sex life. Just imagine, no need to fake bake it any more ladies, or pretend you’re asleep…well, it wasn’t like you didn’t know that short play inside out…you can choose where, when, with whom, and how often 🙂  – Okay, so maybe the last bit is wishful thinking for me, but I do find lately I seem to get exactly what I deserve 🙂

So, if you’re like me, and you’re a bit of a handful, just think of all those really good men –  with two hands.

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Walking in the Alpujarra area of Andalusia

The rolling foothills of the Alpujarras region of Andalusia are still a pretty well-kept secret. Step away from the sand of the Costa Tropical and wind your way uphill, where a patchwork quilt of open countryside – most of it unchanged since Moorish times – unfurls before you, as far as the eye can see. Most first-time visitors describe their worries and stresses falling away as quickly as the coast drops below them. Roads where you’re unlikely to meet another vehicle snake up and around the mountainsides, calling you to explore more…

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Carol Byrne

Pack and go

Pack your boots, sensible layers of outdoor clothing and come and join our recommended Walking Tour operator Spanish Highs, as they show you around this time-forgotten area, and introduce you to a traditional Spanish area you will unlikely forget. Make some memories that last long beyond the suntan, and meet a destination you will wish to return to, time and again.

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The walking routes

With the sparkling blue Mediterranean sea at your feet, way below, and the Sierra Nevada mountains as the snowy frame, walking in the Alpujarras is a visual pleasure. Your senses will be instantly revived also, with the scent of fresh mountain herbs trampled underfoot, and the clear, clean air.

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Come on an Alpujarras Escape Walking Holiday

  • 5 days of the best walking and hiking tours in the Alpujarras!
  • Any dates between September and June (inclusive)
  • 7 nights in 3* hotel accommodation in Lanjarón
  • Choose between 2 fine hotels
  • Experienced local mountain and walking guides
  • Most days can be extended or shortened as necessary to suit the group
  • Shorter breaks available on request.
  • Optional (May to Oct) is an ascent of Mulhacén, the highest mountain in mainland Spain (3482m)

Level of challenge

Expect altitude gains of about 400m to 850m ascent and between 5 and 7 hours of walking per day. Bring sensible clothing and good hiking boots. Hiking poles are useful. Sun hats, sun glasses, sun block and a water bottle are essential.

Want to know more? Contact us: via our Contact Page or emailinfo@spanishhighs.co.uk. Tel +44 7505 753259 by prior appointment (email) only please.

 

 

At home, abroad, on St Patrick’s.

I always say I can grow anywhere away from home, a little like a container plant. But where home is these days, I’m not really sure. But, having said that, I’m pretty sure I also haven’t yet found it. The world is too big, and I have more places to see, live in, and to write about.

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There are none so patriotic as the Irish abroad. We love to sit in Brooklyn or Birmingham, Bangkok or Brighton, and sing a rebel song whilst silently weeping into a pint. Re-runs of Father Ted and Mrs Brown’s Boys only get funnier with time, and we long for the sweet scent of the Oul’ Sod. The Fields of Athenry are sung with passion, and the free bird is allowed to fly at the big games.

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But, wait just a minute. How many of us know where the heck Athenry actually is?  (It’s Galway, lads, catch up) As for all the words – feck it, any of the words – to The Soldier’s Song, in English or as Gaeilge, I think not.But the 17th of March, now, that’s a different thing altogether. Everyone is Irish on St Paddy’s day.

It’s been 30 years since I spent St Paddy’s at ‘home’ in Ireland, and this year I looked forward to it.Well, I pondered it anyway, as I suffered a ride on the hard plastic seat  over to Dublin, complete with Zebedee behind me.

Childhood was green ribbons, mass, a Sunday-style  dinner, and the Big Parade. Trips home, later on and then with my husband,  were made up of a fortune spent in Kenny’s, Courtney’s and The Ball Alley, all local village watering holes. A blur of pints and laughs, smoke filled bars and quick wit, shirts lost at Cheltenham from the comfort of the pub, big breakfasts at my parent’s house – “to line your stomach “- and dinner kept warm and served with a thump – we were always late back.

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This year, I wandered down alone, stone cold sober, and stood for a bit under Carroll’s awning until the drizzle became a bit of a drip, then gave up and came home to watch the Dublin parade with Mother, where several dozen times we cleared up the facts that, yes, it was still Friday, and no, St Patrick’s is not a movable feast. Testing times? A bit. But, it’s okay, we’re alright.

The city centre parade was beset by horizontal rain, high winds and arctic temperatures. But, you know, everyone was smiling, enjoying it, and the Temple Street bar area held the riotous after party, if the Live Web Cam was anything to go by. We enjoyed it all, in our own way, from the safety of the sofa, and the furnace-like blast of the central heating.

It seems nothing stops us. We love a little adversity. And, I thought, no, I may not know where home really is, or what the future holds, but I’ll always, emphatically, be completely Irish!

Lettuce Pray

Those words I always thought the priest uttered at Mass on soft Irish Sunday mornings – I was an almost-adult before – like many song lyrics – I realised I had it all wrong. Young folk have no idea how lucky they are that they have lyric sites at the swipe of an iPhone – and that they’re not bullied into Mass, for that matter.

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But this post is neither religious or musical, though I suspect a Mel Brooks-style treat is being hastily scribbled in the wings.

I ask you to to forget about world hunger. Begone Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and those irritating refugees looking for non-essentials such as shelter and water. The new kid on the block is Britain. Yes, in true OLIVER style, the begging bowl is out. The supermarkets are bare and the Sun editor is doing back-flips. It’s the scoop of the century. There is no lettuce. In February. That’s winter, right? But there’s no use whining and begging. Spain is NOT for sharing.

So, let’s consider the great #LettuceGate scandal of 2017 as a great hunger, perhaps even a Famine. Ah yes, we knew we’d have you eventually, landowners and bigwigs. You thought you could get us with our own potatoes when the chips were down.

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There’s a monumental disaster afoot and it’s caused by a lack of Lactuca Sativa.

What if #LettuceGate has the same consequences as the Great Famine? Starvation. Disease. Lettuce is a rich source of Vitamin K and Vitamin A. It’s a source of Folate. The National Health Service will crumble.

There’ll be mass emigration. The fact that no-one will want you is a bridge you’ll just have to cross in search of Iceberg, Cos or your next bag of Looseleaf.

What’s the solution? Rt Hon Andrea Leadsom MP might like to know that it’s possible to wait until lettuce is actually in season and grow her own.

Remember one more thing, Britain. Where did all the Irish go after An Gorta Mór? Oh yes, but now, sure, isn’t that ‘just desserts’?

Percolated happiness coming right up

It’s a drip feed, isn’t it? Happiness I mean. Not just happiness, all feelings, all emotions. A sort of osmosis from outside influence.

Peer pressure

We are so easily swayed these days, by adverts, by song lyrics, by reading a book or watching a decent film. Open your Facebook account and be instantly irritated by someone you have never actually met, feel emotional and sad at someone else’s bad luck, or warm and fuzzy from a cute kitten/puppy video. We’re all total suckers for it, really.

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#GoPositive

So there I was, minding my own business, when HAPPY MELLY suggested I get happy for a week; Go Positive they said. Easy, I thought. I’ll just post ‘nice’ things, and curate some positive stories. I can do that. Simple.

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Hard work

It’s not, actually. My social media (personal and pages accounts) are full of some really bad shit, and I hadn’t truly taken note. I found myself SEARCHING for good news stories, and really, it was pretty trying. Forget the newspapers and media pages for a start. My ‘friends’ do like a good moan! Avoidance of 😦 reactions is also harder than you think.

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So, I gaily skipped and scrolled past the RIP posts, the dead dog posts, the FFS posts and the general angst. No Angry, Sad, or even Like  (your angry mood)  responses from me – nuh-uh. I’m not on your bus, sister.

Feelgood factor

Then something odd happened. I found my finger hovering back over those Bad News stories, looking for something positive to say. That’s better, I thought. The OP would ‘like’ my comment, and I’d feel even happier.

 

9 September at 11:27 ·

All done and not a word of thanks from management. Not even a goodbye. Thankfully students were grateful for my efforts. #wontbeback

 

Comments

 

Carol Byrne The students are the important ones, your raison d’etre. Good that they were grateful 🙂

Like · Reply · 1 · 9 September at 12:33

 

I started to do the same OFFLINE. What’s all this? A new me? No, probably not. That would take some sort of miracle.

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But a slow, drip-feed of happiness? Yes. like the best coffee, a sort of percolated happiness. It tastes pretty good too…want a cup?

Wabbit Wabbit – Sustainable gift shopping

I’m enthusing about a newly discovered treasure trove of Fair Trade products, and although tempted to keep it a secret for myself, have decided you should all know about Eighteen Rabbit Fair Trade.

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You’ll already know I’m a bit of an eco-warrior, and am published regularly for the likes of eco-companion, that sustainable travel deliverer of dream destinations. But of course, it’s all about a lifestyle change for the better, and when I want to surprise someone with a gorgeous gift and can’t swing the finances to a holiday, then I forage for the best in eco-friendly gifts online.

Recently, I discovered Eighteen Rabbit, and also found great gifts with a real conscience. Sold!

Privileged reviewer that I am, I was over the moon to receive their  list of review-able goodies, and chose a Recycled Tyre Slim Wallet, as a gift for Stan the long-suffering Man.

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Promptly dispatched to Spain, well wrapped and encased in gift-ready tissue, the wallet arrived, and I was amazed at the excellent quality, craftsmanship and overall tactile beauty. Price? Ridiculous. Just £12. He was delighted, it’s so strong too, perfect for all those bits and pieces he carries around, you know what blokes are like…!

Not just a wallet, there’s a backstory too, let me, or rather Eighteen Rabbit,  tell you…

What: These wallets have the cold, smooth look and feel of leather, but are actually made from refashioned rubber inner tubes. A masterclass in craftsmanship and sustainable innovation. These wallets are available in five different colours, but are all slightly different – a true one-off!

11cm x 9cm (folded) with long internal zip fastening, 3 card holders, small zip and 2 inner pouches. How: Made from recycled rubber inner tubes and cement sack.
Who: These wallets are exclusively available in the UK through Eighteen Rabbit thanks to a partnership we have developed with Cratfworks Cambodia, who work with disabled and impoverished artisans affected by war, poverty and HIV/AIDS.
Why: Buying these wallets helps to cement a new trading partnership between Britain and Cambodia benefiting people affected by war and poverty.

So, a perfect gift, a solid sustainable story with a happy ending, and the promise of lots more browsing and shopping when you enter the Eighteen Rabbit site…I do like the look of these Messenger Bags…

Do you shop with a sustainable mind? The advantages of presenting someone with something that’s all about more than just the latest label brings more satisfaction than you might imagine. Go for it – change your gift-shopping ways today – visit Eighteen Rabbit and see what’s inside… 🙂

 

 

Review: Hotel Rural Laroles

*Unpaid, unsponsored independent review*

Last week we had the pleasure of first night of the season at Teatro Entre Todos and their summer ’16 project of Me Vuelves Lorca. This project (similar to the famous Minack) situated in the Alpujarras is a resounding hit with locals and far flung admirers of greaspaint, footlights and theatre.

Last year we attended the opening night, and also Lorca’s Blood Wedding, and were swayed once again, choosing to see another Lorca piece, La Casa de Bernada Alba, a sad play performed with dignity, outstanding talent and a few wry laughs by the amazing Tribueñe Teatro from Madrid.

The great value ticket price included a bottle of wine, so, not needing to be asked twice, we decided to ditch the thought of a drive home, and booked a night at Hotel Rural in Laroles. Checking the reviews – as you do – on Trip Advisor, we were happy to see so many rave reviews, particularly mentioning Ramón, the host. So off we set, the promise of some tapas, dinner, and a night watching Lorca unfold under the stars.

The host with the most

Ramón greeted us warmly, and as we were the first to check in, showed us ALL of the available rooms, and asked us to choose. He can talk! Hotel Rural may be 2* but it was a 5* 10/10 for a friendly welcome. He deserves all those great reviews, for sure.

The Hotel

The hotel is clean, in fact it is amazingly spotless. The rooms are spacious enough, the usual furniture + a desk, chair, 2 large single beds zipped together, with really comfortable mattresses. WIFI available. Double glazing with 2 sets of doors, a mozzie screen on the balcony (mountains breed midges!) and air conditioning. The bathroom was spacious, modern, well appointed and came with sachets of gel and shampoo (but no soap!) I did spot locally made soap for sale in the lobby.

There’s a terrace, a cosy sitting room and a dining room.

Dinner time

We ordered a pre-theatre dinner, and it was a case of “what would you like?”, rather than “this is what I have.” We agreed on some slow cooked chicken in Champagne, a salad and drinks, and set off to explore  – read beers and tapas. 🙂

After a rest in the quiet, airy room, we partook of the delicious dinner, which was impeccable. Served with that crisp and fresh salad, and potatoes cooked in a tasty stock, we also had 2 beers and a glass of wine. Total bill €20 – amazingly good value, there was so much we simply couldn’t finish it.

We left the next morning after a great sleep, waving away offers of breakfast as were in a rush – we’re always in a rush – but with hugs and promises to return. For the next theatre production, of course…..Just ONE night Ramón 😉