Parenting is Hard but Circular

Gulp-the kids announced a few weeks ago-they didn’t want to come on holidays with us.  “We will stay at Granny’s “they said-“with our cousins”. It does not at all feel right- like, where are the days gone when they stuck to me at every point? Toddlers in wetsuits and straw hats and eating apples on the beach. Where has it gone?

My mother-who has such an understanding  nature (and a long track record of parenting  girls)  rang me last week; I told her that the kids don’t want to come on holidays with us. I was practically sobbing. She rang me back the next day and assured me this was  normal.” You did the same  Kat; refused to go on holidays with us when you were 16–they are teenage girls after all”

I have to stop mourning those days. Our holiday will be great next week (like child free!)-but I’ll miss the girls-just like my mother did when I turned 16. But at least they will get to spend time in the countryside and have a ball.

This story is circular and generational. We follow in footsteps. And I’m assured they will come back to me, but for now-it’s hard.

Til next time-




This is what Anxiety Looks Like in 2019

It’s no secret-am as anxious as fuck. Only today I saw a blaring headline “Ireland is 100 % Going to Enter a Recession  Shortly” My heart instantly jumped-thanks media. We seem terrified of everything. On a regular day I feel like an awful parent, colleague, commuter…..the list goes on. I feel like I am not measuring up to anything and why is this I am finally asking? Why has society made us think we are not good enough? Let me tell you about anxiey in 2019=how it looks.  You will wake up feeling like the worst human of all times. Your heart will beat and flare like a fiddler.  The stomach has a knot-an ever present knot.  You will not care about anyone else but your self-because you simply can’t-the energy will not be there.  You can’t eat and  you  just might puke before exiting your front door, You will never seem to make the grade as colleague, parent, culchie-because the  perfect grade does not exist. Your  heart thumps and your mouth is as dry as sandpaper. You are crticised endlessly-despite all of the above.

And here is the thing-the perfect colleague, job, child DOES NOT EXIST. We are all trying hard in a super charged world. It’s tough out and some of us haven’t it as easy as others but anxiety is not an easy watch. In any decade. Let’s try and beat this affliction because it sure as well  will beat us modern humans yet if we don’t try to find a way.

And we’re are a bit too critical of each other……..just sayin’

Til next time-peace


Migraines and Other Stories…

For the greatest age I have meant to write about migraines. They are really dismissed by community  despite the fact  the whole area is so heady (pun forgiven) and debilitating. It is only now, 12 months from my last migraine that I can write about it. I was in a horrendously demanding  line of work up until last year. Not a month went  by without a migraine, which ultimately shows how stress related these matters can be.

The evolution of a migraine is stealthy and frightening. First you get a tingle-not any  old tingle, but a sort of numbness. The day before a migraine, I could not write a word by pen, my right arm ceased working-I would flex it in wonder-but no go. It would be dead as a dodo.

When the migraine actually arrived-my skin would feel tight and drawn. I would literally feel grey.  Then the most horrendous headache accompanied by very severe nausea would follow. You can’t move, talk or interact on the most basic level. And the anxiety? No stranger to anxiety on a daily basis but there is something about the migraine that feels you are about to die. It is terrifying.

Following a migraine-the brain is crystal clear-it’s almost frightening.and my brain feels cleaner-sounds are louder and magnified- basically catch me at the end of a migraine and my mind  is at it’s optimum. This in itself is frightening as what the hell needed clearing out?

If you are a migraine sufferer, know this-it is a very serious and horrible condition. Maybe examine the stress in your life-mine reduced significantly when I made a change for the better. If you can’t, I feel for you-but it is a sign for change and difference. If I can do it, so can you.


Til next time,




The Ultimate Guide to…Owning a Malshi

20180127_125934I did not want to go down the route of dog ownership at all.

They kept reminding me of Sandy “but you loved him, he was part of the family”. I’ve even blogged about that damn, Labrador, lovable rogue. The kids pecked me on this one. “You love dogs, Mam!, you tell us every day about Sandy!!!” I used to hide behind the excuse of -well-dogs are frankly- work. But the kids wore me down-they understood me to be an animal lover-they just knew it. And I am, deep down. Mr Z- being a science bod had to research the logic of it all.  He came up, after a few Gant Charts (stop)  with the idea that the Malshi would fit in with our dynamic household.  Much as I would love one of those giant Labrador types around the place or a rescue dog (another story for later)-I’ve had to settle for the Malshi. My regrets are few….read on; a beautifully natured breed of dog if ever one walked (forgive the pun). The Malshi is a so called designer dog; in existence since the 1990, they are a hybrid between a Maltese and a Shitzu.

They Don’t shed.

These babies don’t shed so are good for the allergy prone,  but their lustrous, silky, shaggy coats require trimming at least three times a year. Otherwise they will get literally like rugs.

Their size.

Small enough dogs-but check their paw size. Harley, first day, had big paws and frankly turned out very burly. Minnie is small and delicate but her fur makes her look way bigger.


They have sensitive enough tummies; would not be firing human food- especially anything fatty or meaty their way. We’ve been feeding them dry kibble, raw carrot and brown bread and this seems to suit. They will beg for food like any dog and don’t leave your chairs out-they will hop on top of the table without any invitation.


They have a wonderful, fun nature. They are easily trained and respond to key commands. They love humans and can adapt to the nature of their  owners. If upset at all, they will pick up on this  and  try and comfort. They also love to sort their toys and make their bed. Minnie needs to have her bed and blankets made a certain way before sleep. Right too. They are not cross dogs by any means but will defend the territory against cats. Thankfully. They do like their sleep too and will while many an hour, snoozing away. Oh and if their frou, frou tail as I call it is down-something is wrong or they  are sick. A good indicator. Minnie’s tail goes down at the suggestion of a walk, while Harley loses his life.


These dogs love everyone-they are friendly and happy. On walks they will go up to every dog they meet for a chat. If you have a local bark park-you are away. They will enjoy meeting other dogs and humans and running free. To note- they are difficult to keep to heel; Harley slipped out of his lead once or twice and made for the hills, delighted with himself. Make sure they are tagged and chipped, in case this happens. They are also terrific with children-they have a natural affinity with them.

Health issues

Check their fur-they can be prone to ticks and need medication for this every 6 months. Also breathing problems can be an issue so keep an eye.


They are a wee burst of joy. Their friendly nature makes them quite puppy like.  Would I be without them one year later? No way!

How to be Everything and Nothing at Once.

I have pondered back and forward over this issue for years

I am a guilty girl-with such clickbait  and by the way if anyone wants to refer to me as a girl-go right ahead-I am 46-my girl days are unfortunately over…I’m still referred to as a girl though in certain sectors; -freaking happy days.

It takes a bit of stepping back to see how you might have possibly lost the will of yourself.  I am supposed to be the following; great mother, Irish person, housekeeper, wife, parent, worker, cook, pet owner, writer, blogger,  goddamn laundry person. And I am supposed to be perfect at all of these tasks. And you know what I am fecking jaded. Tis no wonder a “girl” can feel half cracked. That workload would drive any sentient being insane.  How did we land here??? Really-how did it get to this??  There is not one single reason we have to be this way  to exist as humans. And we don’t have the energy; why should  we have it really -a workload like that should kill a horse.

I get the feeling lately I have the impossible task of being everything or nothing at once. And I am not alone. I wonder where this is going to lead to?  The hope is  to being an actual person  who hasn’t got to feel they have to be  everything and nothing at once.

It’s going to take work but can we at least start the discussion? It is imperative we have it-interested in your thoughts…….


Til next time


2018-The Highlight Reel. Food, books and events I loved in 2018.

20181204_0758262018, as is the case with modern life, had some lowlights. It also had several highlights. Here are some of  the things I discovered and loved in 2018.


To me this was the year of the memoir and the essayist. I loved Emilie Pine’s searingly honest collection of essays.-“Notes to Self”. She touches on alcoholism and feminism and growing up. She is also Irish as an added bonus. A truly authentic  writer.

I also loved the memoir “Sick” by Porachisto Khahkpour. This was a very edgy memoir, touching on an individual’s battle with the health services, as she suffers from Lyme Disease. It is truly eye-opening how this disease, with its perceived  vague collection of very serious symptoms can really destroy a life. This disease is terrifying but ‘her honest description of her battle is so well written.

I didn’t read much in the fiction line I loved, interestingly this year.


This was the year I was introduced by new colleagues to the doughnut craze. Offbeat Doughnuts I am looking at you. That Boston Cream is dangerous.

This was also the year of enjoying really simple, reasonable food. Sano’s Pizza in Lower Exchequer Street gets my number one vote. This lovely, friendly, buzzy restaurant has a pizza oven imported from Naples. The pizzas are AMAZING.  Everyone from the Mammy, to the Returned Emigrant to the Teenage Gang have been brought here.  There is something very convivial about eating good pizza in good company and this place has it all. You’ll get a good meal for the guts of 12 euro.

Shout out to Dante’s Pizza (are we seeing a trend here?) which is an actual generic chain-I had the most delicious meal of the year here- creamy mushrooms on ciabatta. This had it all-the cream! the mushrooms! the bread and basil. Heavenly.

A rummage through Brother Hubbard’s new provisions store on Capel Street unearthed a wonderful breakfast marmalade-we scraped the bottom of this jar and it is on the repeat list.  I also happened upon this fabulous condiment known as Peanut Rayu in Scout. Oh My Divine. This adds such an unami depth to very meal-you’ll never be without it again.


One movie to rule them all “A Star is Born”. I hadn’t been to cinema for an age but have since realised this  is actually a lovely night out, especially for a catch up. This film is indescribable, from the minute you see Bradley Cooper on stage as a country singer in descent-it’s directed so beautifully you feel you are actually on stage with him. When both he and Lady Gaga sing “The Shallows” it is hard not to cry.  Kudos to them both for a wonderful, tragic movie about love, addiction and sadness.

On the TV front I loved “The Haunting of Hill House”. This has stayed with me for weeks. I suppose you could say it haunted me as it’s so sad and beautiful. The character of the mother really affected me. Not an easy watch but atmospheric and explores the dysfunctional and emotional  aspect of families.


Well there was one standout for me-the All Ireland Hurling Final, where my beloved home county, Limerick,  won the title after 45 years. Yes that’s 45 years of being the underdog in a county that just loves  and breathes hurling. Everything about this was perfect. From the (Cork) Daddy getting me an elusive  ticket to the Limerick Mammy actually delivering the ticket by hand  up to Dublin  because “you couldn’t trust the post”. To seeing the Limerick flag going up on the Quays of Dublin outside the office and your colleague dragging you out to witness it.  To the hustling to swap to get a ticket beside the only other Limerick person in the village for the craic. To the Limerick Great Granny from Glin who painted our faces. To nearly getting sick on the Upper Cusack as the nerves were gone. To the tears of joy, the ghosts, remembering our ancestors  and the young Gladiators known as the Limerick Hurling Team. To walking into a very Dublin pub in the very Limerick jerseys and getting a huge roar from the Dubs.  Magical and unforgettable-a highlight of a lifetime.  The ancient sport of hurling-we are the luckiest.

Many people I know had a tough auld time in 2018-if you look back though, I’ll wager there were some highlights. Try and find them-and preserve them. and remember there is always next year (and you did survive 2018)

Til next time and lots of love,

Kat x




The Welcome Return of Divinity…

I’ve always been an animal lover. I grew up in a rural area; the kind of place where animals became naturally part of your life, They sort of wandered in, took up residence and ended up part of the family. In my day there were several cats, dogs, goats, horses, cows; even those bats that seemed to live in every eave and roof.

We were thrilled as children when Dad brought us to buy our first arranged pet, a dog. His name was Sandy and as canines go, he was a beauty. Strong, muscular, gleaming golden coat, shiny eyed.  He was also, by almost his own admission, as dumb as a bag of hammers. He was though, so much fun and very loving. The things he got up to? Where do I start. We had a heritage gooseberry bush. Lovingly tended to through the generations. Sandy destroyed it on one day, when he ate every last gooseberry off the bush, it never produced again. We had a pathway to the lawn, surrounded by two narrow pillars, and try as he might, Sandy could not get through those pillars with that 6 foot stick he used to carry around. That pink, very expensive, designer blouse, my Mam hung out on the line which caused so much consternation when it went missing? Mam, I have a confession and a throbbing secret, I found it grey and hardened by age at the bottom of the garden in 1993, (We are still good, right?). Yep. Sandy was the culprit.

As dumb as Sandy was, he was intelligent in his loyalty. Every Friday evening he would wait by the bus stop in Kilfinane for me to return from UL. Granny was amazed how he trotted up every Friday at 6pm to greet me, I remember, even in his old age, that big goofy Labrador smile; first thing I would see on disembarking that rickety old 5 pm bus from Limerick. He loved our beloved neighbour Hannie, with a devotion that almost bordered on fanatical. Every weekday, even in the arthritic days, he would heave that old pile of bones up and head down to Hannies for the afternoon. He would also accompany her to and wait for her outside the local pub and walk her home. Yes, Sandy; dumb as a bag of hammers but loyal to a fault.

The girls were hassling me for a dog for years. In one of those ” feck it, nothing to lose moments” I gave in. And so Harley arrived. A shy, gentle, wee dog, it took him a few weeks to settle in. And then they hassled me some more and suddenly, before I could take a breath, Minnie arrived. Confident, bubbly, agile.  They both drive me insane. The house is upside down since they arrived. Nothing within chewing distance is safe. Nothing. 

The other night, after the two dogs destroyed and pulled every last toilet roll around the house, not to mention the entire contents of the underwear drawer  (had we really so many toilet rolls, knickers and bras in the house, I never knew??), I’ll be honest I was fit to re home them.  But then something happened.  A moment of stillness, a gap in the chaos. I was upset over something, crying. It happens. And in this blank and despairing space, Harley, the quiet one, jumped in my lap. And he snuggled in with those big, brown, liquid eyes, looked up at me, gave me the paw as if to say “it’s going to be ok”.  He would not leave my side for hours. And then I realised. These are  the most sacred creatures. Sent to us to remind us of divinity. Life seems terrifyingly fast and scary lately………..

How we need to be reminded of divinity, now and then.

To sacred pets everywhere,

Til next time