That beautiful blogger, Ann over at Inkpots and Quills was recently awarded this ‘Beautiful Blogger Award’ (congratulations Ann) and has passed it on to yours truly for my lovely Kitchen Table!! I now have to list 7 interesting things about myself and pass the award along to 7 more beautiful blogs (not including those to whom Ann has also sent it).

The very scary thing is that I have had a lot of difficulty in remembering any interesting things about me. I have done my best, have probably stretched the limits a bit – one in particular is interesting but not directly about me. So here goes….

1. I am a Reiki Master. Ommmmm. You may now get up from your knees and read on!! I discovered Reiki after my youngest was born prematurely and was quite ill for the first two weeks of her life. She went on to have breathing issues until she was 2. I had heard of Reiki and was immediately drawn to knowing more. So as soon as I retired fully from the paid workforce I took my first Reiki Workshop.

I will bore you more about Reiki maybe another day. But suffice to say that it has been a huge help to me in my daily life (when I remember to use it). Occasionally I still give healing sessions to friends and family! Ommmmmm

2. I have had tea with Meave Binchey at her home, with Anne (You Are The Weakest Link… Goodbye) Robinson in the Conrad Hotel and (best till last) Charlie Haughey on the lawn of his mansion in Kinsealy. So there…. (feel another blog post coming on).

3. I am a total Hispanophile (dictionary said this was a word) loving all things Spanish. Well, I definitely don’t love Bull Fighting, but other than that. I love the language and speak a very small smattering which improves greatly in when in Spain, late at night, after lots of red wine! I love the passion and the energy of the Spanish and have been known to hang around beside groups of Spanish students just to let their words wash over me. I have always had a dangerous weakness for Spanish men who pronounce my name with its full three syllables and roll both the ‘r’s. Ohhhhh…..

4. My love of Spain actually predates the two winter seasons I spent working in the Canary Islands – both in Gran Canaria and also in Tenerife as a Holiday Rep! (This won’t result in a blog post! Some things must remain sacred!).

5. Ok – here’s the dodgy one. My maternal Grandfather was a bit of a local hero in North Cork during the War of Independence. He was involved (with a few cohorts) in the kidnap of some British General who they ran around safe houses in the Fermoy area for a couple of weeks before releasing him (sounds like a not fully thought through plan to me!!!). My Grandfather’s notoriety was assured however when he was captured by the British (probably on suspicion of knowing the whereabouts of one missing General) and managed to escape – out through a toilet window! He was a handsome, very tall man and he met with Michael Collins (another of my heroes) on many occasion. Unfortunately he died when I was about 6, so I never got to talk to him about any of this!

6. I have spoken on air to Marion Finnucane, Gerry Ryan, Pat Kenny and Ryan Tubridy on live national radio!

7. I have an unfulfilled ambition which is to swim with wild dolphins in warm water somewhere! If you think you can help with that one – please let me know!

So that’s it. Wake Up! I am handing this award on to the following beautiful blogs:

Paul at Paul Sherwood Photography
Maria at Write Now Mum
Hazel at Hot Cross Mum
Niamh at Irish Wanderings
Aisling at Strictly Inkwell
Dorte at DotCom
And finally Mia – here you go – catch this award…. Mia’s Room


Thanks so much to Ann over at Inkpots ‘n Quills for my first award here at From My Kitchen Table!

In order to accept this award, I have to share 10 Honest Things about myself and then pass it on to ten more blogs.

So here goes with Ten (Honest) Things About Moi!

1. I hate fish. All fish, including those hiding in shells. I hate how they taste, how they look and how the smell! If you are ever invited to dinner chez moi, you can be assured you will never get anything that came from water to eat!

2. I love Owls. I want one.

3. I hate perfume and other artificial smells.

4. I love America and Americans (big generalisation, I know). I would love to go back this year for holidays, The Carolinas are calling me. We will see what happens.

5. I hate dishonesty. So you can rest assured that all this riveting information is absolutely true.

6. I believe in Angels.

7. I hate surprises (shhhh, but think I might be a bit of a control freak).

8. I live baking in the afternoon.

9. I hate being driven. (See surprises). I will drive, thanks.

10. I think I may have been Spanish or Italian in a former life, because I feel very at home in both countries.

Now for the hard bit: Ten Wonderful Blogs….

I pass this award on to:

Head Above Water
Irish Wanderings
Joy Frequencies
Mia’s Room
My Little Notepad
Sort of Witty
Emerging Writer
Dot Com

And I know that is 9… but 9 good ones!

"And I would like to thank….."

“I am so overcome, I can’t believe it! Oh my God, I am so thrilled.”

OK, so that’s actually from my Oscar acceptance speech but I am very honoured to have been given my first blogging award from my friend Suzannah at Joy Frequencies. Being appreciated by fellow bloggers is a great pleasure especially when that blogger is someone who writes as well as Suzannah! So thank you S.

Now I have the pleasure of passing the award on – and it must go forward and not backwards ( Joy Frequencies is one of my favourite reads – along Suzannah’s other great blogs Journeys Close to Home and My Name Is Zing).

So, first off I would like to give this award to Niamh Griffin over at Writer On The Way Home. Although Niamh’s blog is really aimed at returning emigrants and new arrivals to Ireland, her view of this country with fresh eyes (having spent many years abroad) often gives native readers such as I, a quirky and wry look at Ireland and her writing is insightful and always entertaining. So congratulations Niamh – here is your award!

I would also like to present this award to Alison Wells at Head Above Water. Alison is a gifted writer and her blog is full of wisdom and beautifully put together words. She is a great encourager of anyone attempting to write and an inspiration. So here you go Alison!

Finally, (and I know this could be seen as nepotism), I am going to hand this award on to one of the best photographers I know – Paul over there (a few feet away) at Sherwood Photography, not for his words but for his sublime images! Here you go Sherwood – catch!

Now, part of the deal, apparently is that on receiving this award I now have to list 7 things I like (excluding people). So here goes….

Books / Bookshops / Libraries…. in other words I love spending time with books, whether reading them or just being surrounded by them.

Animals – regular readers of this blog will know that I love my cats and (as they say at all the best gigs) it’s time to introduce the band. Tiger (tortieshell) is the Matriarch and beginning to show her age now, Simba (very large tabby – used to be male) is the constant in the house or garden and the most vocal, Pasqua (ginger used to be male) is a shy boy who had a very difficult youth but just wants a quiet life now and finally Kitty – or girl cat as she is known. Kitty hangs with my youngest whom she loves very much. She used to love the eldest until eldest (who is 22) got a boyfriend. And my boy Dylan (da dog) needs no introduction!

Good Coffee – must be proper coffee, especially in the morning. My favourite is Illy – and thanks to Nor who keeps me supplied.

Churches – especially when abroad I love to visit churches. Churches especially when devoid of priests and dogma are truly beautiful and sacred spaces.

Autumn – my favourite season. See my post A Heartfelt Welcome for Autumn

America – great service, good positive attitude and some of the friendliest people on earth. And we will be there in less than two weeks. Whoop de doo

Laughing – I have a sign in the kitchen that says “a good laugh is sunshine in the house”. And so it is!

So there you are – over to you Niamh, Alison and Paul should you wish to play!

Now excuse me while I go and move some things around to make space on the mantlepiece!