Category Archives: Random Ramblings

sometimes a rant, sometimes a waffle, sometimes uncategorisable, sometimes I make up words

Back to busy-ness…


You’d have to wonder what gives a blogger the audacity, nay.. the temerity to wander off the reservation, leave her blog languishing for the want of a post; and then to saunter back and pick up where she left off – all the while expecting her readers to swoon and sigh with relief that she deigned to notice them again.

I reckon it’s my heightened sense of self-importance and a list of dazzlingly weak excuses 🙂 And the knowledge that there’s a lot of love and grace in you lot *imagine here a picture of me with an innocent smile – I don’t have one to post at present…*

For weeks now I’ve said… “as soon as I get settled,” or “as soon as that’s over,” or “as soon as I don’t have to think about that anymore… I’ll start writing again.” I’ve no idea where I got this crazy notion that I can only write when there is nothing else going on in my brain. I don’t normally have a taste for such luxuries. I realise that ‘the quieter day’ isn’t coming. In fact I heard an old lady once say, with great solemnity, “ah sure if it isn’t something, it’s something else.” Dagnabbit the woman was right!

I’ve been complaining to God about how little time and energy I have to write, as well as a lack of ideas, inspiration and you know… words. But instead of things quietening down, God has put me on a path that will make life a whole lot busier (and more exciting). I can’t tell you about it at the mo, but if what I believe is about to happen, actually happens… well I’ll be giving up all hopes of a quieter day, setting the alarm clock at least an hour earlier each day and, I trust, will be busier and more fulfilled than I have ever been. 🙂

Anyway, sorry for disappearing… again. While I wait to tell you about the thing I can’t tell you about yet… I’ll continue with the AtoZ – thanks for letting me know you liked it so far.

Next up is the ‘Omni’s 

A x

 

Is it safe to come out now?


Hello all 🙂

Sorry for my absence. Halfway through the A to Z Challenge we moved and it took 2 weeks to get the internet sorted. I felt like my right arm had been cut off.

The busyness of unpacking all the boxes kept me away from the keyboard for far too long. Thanks to those who were kind enough to get in touch and say you missed me. 🙂

I must admit that the build up to the Marriage Equality referendum in Ireland also contributed to my radio silence.

In the end, the vote was about 2:1 – yes to no. So why did it feel like 200:1 everywhere I went? I’ve no problem with people disagreeing with my convictions. I’m well used to it. But the amount of disdain towards people on opposite sides was awful. Hurtful. Painful.

It’s over now. The people have spoken. The changes will be made.
I’m just not sure how long it will take for me to recover from realising how much many people I know, respect and love, don’t just disagree with me, but hate the things I believe. And hate the people who believe them.

Anyway… I’m back. Back on social media, back here on my blog. And hoping to continue, albeit a month late, the A to Z.

ttfn folks xx

J is for Just when you think you know what’s about to happen, something else happens!


JOK so strictly speaking, the title of today’s blog post is not a theological term. But then I’ve been trying to take some of these complicated sounding words, and make them more understandable. With this post I’m just doing it the other way around…

You see, today I wasn’t going to write a post at all. I was going to write it tomorrow, or cram two in on Monday. That’s because TODAY I’m supposed to be moving house. We’ve been staying with family since we moved to the UK and a few weeks ago we sorted out an apartment, and TODAY is, correction ‘was’, our moving day. After lunch yesterdat I got a call to say there was a problem, and to make a long story boring, there were numerous phone calls and emails all culminating in us NOT moving into our apt.

So as I type, almost everything I possess is packed away, my bed is stripped of all but a mattress cover (I suppose I should be grateful it hasn’t been taken apart and put in a van). All the stuff that was upstairs is now downstairs filling the hall and the music room of this lovely house we’ve been staying in. And I’ve no idea when we’re moving.

What’s the term for that then? Disaster? Frustration? Pain in the armpit?  It certainly feels like it. I’m trusting and hoping that it’s actually providence and God’s will. Just a bit confusing and seemingly pointless. This is one of those times when I apply the verse that says – “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.” (Isaiah 55:8)
It’s definitely not the way I’d have done this!

My fave verse from the old hymn, God Works in a Mysterious Way, by William Cowper.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.

I’m ‘J’ust ‘J’olly as long as He’s still smiling at me 🙂

We take tomorrow off from AtoZ – am hoping to catch up on my reading of other blogs.
See you Monday x

Moving to the UK – it’s further than you think


small__8645846222The title of this blogpost will surely, one day, be the title of a book. I will write of how I took the 300 (ish) mile journey from Kildare, Ireland to Newport, South Wales – only to find that I might as well have come from the centre of a densely populated (but only by trees and macaws) jungle.

We have been here over a month and we are still filling out forms. Long forms, with tiny boxes, wanting nitty, not forgetting that gritty, information about who we are, where we have been and what emissions we are emitting into beautiful Welsh air; from our car, you understand.

We’ve gone through the job seekers allowance application twice since we got here (that must be some kind of record). We made the mistake of leaving the country for a few days, so had to close down the claim and reopen it. Having lived in the UK before, I have a UK National Insurance Number already. A huge relief, as I’m not sure there’s enough ink in my pen to fill in that form.

Job hunting has begun in earnest and there’s one application and impending interview that I’m very excited about. If you’re of the praying persuasion, do please pray for God’s will in that one.

forms

A selection of said forms…

I get that there have to be checks to make sure people are who they say they are. I’m happy to wait my turn in the dole office and actually BE a jobseeker to get Job Seekers Allowance. Having been an NHS patient before, I am REALLY grateful for the health service. It’s not perfect, and many may think it’s a shambles. In Ireland, you PAY for the shambles, so I’m happy to wait my turn in a doctor’s surgery here too… That reminds me; I must register with a doctor. (Note to self, buy another pen!)

I will make one complaint, that is the process of reregistering the car from Irish reg to UK reg. That is still not done, as the hurdles we have to jump would challenge Red Rum on his best day. As well as it being complicated, it has turned out to be very, VERY expensive. So if you’re considering importing your car from Ireland to the UK, my advice is… don’t. I’m not kidding; had I known, I’d have sold mine and taken the loss on the chin.

Having said all that we’re very happy to be here. Enjoying being back in Malpas Road Evangelical Church, and hopeful for the future.

My heart is in Ireland, always will be. Difference this time is, it’s not broken to be away from Ireland. Thanks God for that.

photo credit: amandabhslater via photopin cc

Starting the New Year with reasonable demands


HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I can still say that can’t I? I’m never sure when it’s too late to wish someone a happy new year… I’ve probably come back just in time.

Speaking of my absence… I’m delighted to see that even though it’s a month since I’ve written here, you’ve still been checking in and having a read. Thanks for that. As always, it’s much appreciated.

In case you missed it though, I’m now living in South Wales; the homeland of my husband. I’ve lived here before, so it kinda feels like home anyway. We moved back just before Christmas, so the last few weeks has been a haze of boxes – thankfully some of them were covered in Christmas paper.

This week we’ve spent a lot of our time filling in forms and taking or sending those forms to the relevant office to be processed. Bank accounts, registering the car, applying for job seekers allowance, applying for jobs. I’ve written my new mobile phone number so many times, I nearly remember it. (I’m not great memorising numbers – so this is a bigger feat than you realise.) I confess, a lot of it has been tiresome, answering the same questions repeatedly, trying to ‘prove’ who we are and where we live. Times like these can make me want to keep my head down. “Just leave me to do what I need to do, I’ll pay attention to that other thing when I’m done.”

Since I’ve written here last, Glasgow has had its 2nd tragic event in 2 years, another plane somehow fell out of the sky in Asia, and it seems the whole of Paris is on a lock-down as they try to track the terrorists who shot 12 people.

I don’t want to look up.

small__320922694I want to stay buried in the humdrum of bureaucracy. I can feel the call to look up, to look around and take in what is happening; I’m resisting it. The form filling is boring, and safe. And now that I’m nearly done with it, I wish I wasn’t!

I’m not sure what it is God wants me to understand or learn. I don’t know what it means and I’m not sure how to respond; but He is demanding my attention.

 

photo credit: runnx via photopin cc

Someone’s on the naughty list…


I have broken my very own rule of not leaving my blog idle for weeks on end. As a reader of blogs, I really don’t like to visit one, only to find it dusty and in need of a fresh post. And here I am, rocking up for the first time since Halloween!

Naughty Amo!

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The Poolbeg Lighthouse & the east coast of Ireland

I do have reasons (excuses) for my absence though. It’s a frantic time for me at the moment. I’m 5 days away from relocating to the UK. If you missed that bit of news, you can catch up here.  I’m trying to pack my life into boxes, say goodbye to people, clear the decks as it were, and… AND I’m battling one of my winter lurgies. *cough *splutter

Yeah, yeah, I know, poor me, boo hoo… 🙂
I would be a firm proponent of the ‘let nothing stop you from writing’ ethos, but I have indeed let things stop me. Busyness, tiredness, coughing, crying, more crying, packing, and a heart bursting with emotion at the thought of leaving my homeland.

I hate goodbyes and because my days are full of them, I don’t want to write them. And it’s not just goodbye to Ireland, and my family & friends. It’s goodbye to an era, as we experience the first Christmas without my dad in the world. He WAS Christmas to us, and to think we’ll never gather in our family home on Christmas morning again is hard. Very very hard.

So I have allowed the pen to dry up a bit as I pack stuff, hug people and eat chocolate.

HEY! people keep buying it for me, what am I supposed to do…?

Not sure if I’ll be back here before 2015, So I want to thank you all for reading, and the support you’ve given me during the year as I’ve wrestled with loss, and rambled on about it here.

Here’s to another year of words. There might even be a few good ones.

I’m thankful to each and every one of you who has liked, followed, commented or just popped in for a quick read. Have a great Christmas all.

auntyamo x

photo credit: Corey Leopold via photopin cc

Having a Hopeful Halloween


I read the article written by J John about Halloween and I did agree with most things he said.  As a Christian who believes in the spiritual realm and its power, there is no denying that this particular holiday has a gruesome side to it, which has increased over the years.

I remember as a child, it was a very innocent holiday.  It was fun,  it was safe and we went around each other’s houses bringing home a ton of goodies similar to what our parents had spent the evening giving away to others. Being from Tallaght, I was aware that there was some strange goings-on up at the Hell Fire Club. I’d heard the folklore of the footprint of the devil himself in the foundations of the building. But all that was far removed from the fun I was having on Halloween Night.

medium_2992510617I get J John’s point about child safety, how it’s not ok for kids to wander aimlessly knocking on stranger’s doors any other day of the year, and that all our teaching of right and wrong to young people is, if not thrown away then put to one side for this particular night. 31st of October comes along and young people are encouraged to dress up as the most convincing axe murderers or witches. And let’s not even go there with the delightful horror movies.

These days, special effects don’t solely belong to the film makers. I’ve seen some very convincing photos of deformities, demons and more than a few pre-pubescent Draculas. I’m not saying, it’s nothing. I agree it’s all gotten darker – so has the world, but that’s another post… What I am saying is that the roof is not on fire just yet.

A lot of people will knock on a lot of doors tonight. In a time when the ‘open door’ culture has passed, here is one evening when a community literally opens up. Of course we need to protect our children and keep them as safe as we can. But I don’t think the ‘Christian’ answer is to keep our doors closed and keep our children inside them. On this one night, the whole community will be wandering around. It just feels wrong to shun it because there is a dark side to it; which by the way, is not the focus for majority of people. To most it’s about having fun.

If we’re going to talk about ‘evils’, are they lesser when it comes to the mass consumerism of Christmas (a holiday I defend far more vigorously!)? And what about the TV we watch the other 364 days of the year?

I just think J John missed an opportunity to offer some alternatives. ( In fairness his article may have been edited, but his own blog post on the subject says much the same.) And I think he omitted one very important point – the Light of Christ is brighter than any darkness. Many people don’t really believe in the significance of spiritual light and darkness. Those who believe in the Light of Christ know that the darkness is powerful, not as powerful as God though. I don’t like the idea of trivialising evil, but I also don’t think it’s a reason to close ranks and dismiss the whole thing with disapproval.

My hope is that families will have fun, communities will connect, and the Light of Christ will shine in the darkness. Tonight, and every night 🙂

photo credit: FGPhotography2008 via photopin cc