Monday, December 17, 2012


Yesterday was my younger brother's 30th birthday. Conor was born when I was only a year and four months old. He was very sick when he was born and both he and my mother almost lost their lives. He spent a long time in the NICU after he was born.

When he was about 4/5 we left our house really early one morning and he learned to ride a bike on his own. We lived in a tiny cul de sac in a little village. No fear back then. I love the memory of cheering him on in the cold morning, just the two of us.

This last year Conor has been very sick. There were a few trips to A&E and at the end of September he spent a few days on a trolley in A&E before being sent home. He was suffering from severe pain in his abdomen. The following day he was taken back up to A&E and eventually admitted to a ward. Two days later he had a right hemiocolectomy, an operation to remove his hugely inflamed appendix which had attached itself to part of his bowel and small intestine. The operation lasted three hours and he was in recovery for two hours. It was uncertain whether he would survive the operation at all, he was so weak and had lost so much weight over the course of his illness. 

When he eventually came back to the ward, where Mum, my sister and I were waiting, he was barely conscious. We spoke to him for a minute before being sent out. There was no one to give us any answers. At that point we didn't know it was his appendix. The doctors who had performed the surgery went home without telling us what happened. We didn't get to talk to anybody about him until the next afternoon. The level of care for patients and families in that hospital is a disgrace and I hope never to be stuck in there.

Now, two months on, Conor is improving in health. He still has a long way to go and is undertaking more tests, MRI's, scans etc. They still don't know exactly what is wrong with him.

Thankfully, he survived the operation. His birthday, and even this Christmas, is all the more special this year for us. 

Rest in Peace students and adults that lost their lives in Sandy Hook Elementary. May God help those who you left behind. Will be thinking of them all this Christmas xxx

Monday, December 3, 2012

Thank Heavens for December (well, in one way)

Well, I did it. I finished NaNoWriMo as a winner on 50,008 words! Super proud of myself. It was a real push to win. I still had around 17,000 words to do this this last week but I made it.

Of course, my novel isn't finished. I'm predicting it will be about 90k words when I'm finished the first draft. Maybe 80k when completed. I've also changed the title to Devil in the Clouds. I like that for the moment but, who knows, I may change it again.

In other news, eh well, there's not much since I have been practically glued to the laptop for the last few weeks. 

In two days time the Irish Budget 2013 will be announced. It will hit everyone, some will feel the pinch more than others. I know I will have to make some adjustments; cut things that I really don't want to but these things must be done, I guess.

The one thing that is almost certain is that they will cut the Children's Allowance. They should not do this in my opinion. A lot of families rely on this money to get by every month. Cutting this money will affect the children and put more people on the breadline. There are protests going on here all the time but not enough people are attending them, the government won't listen unless we all stand up against injustices. There is going to be another protest this Saturday in Dublin, Dundalk and as many towns/cities that can do it. If you are in Ireland support these protests, get out and stand up! There is a Facebook event page for the Dundalk one.

Protest against cuts outside Dundalk Court House last Friday

On a Christmas-y note, Beth and I put up the Christmas tree yesterday. I just couldn't resist any longer. I'm really looking forward to it and, thankfully, I've everything sorted!

Beth yesterday morning after we put up the tree

She has me tortured to open doors on the Advent Calendar!