I’ve always been fascinated by houses. I used to draw up house plans (my Mum kept boxes of them in the attic) and sketch door knobs and windows, anything of interest, when we visited other towns, especially beautiful Bath. Moving to Ireland meant I could indulge my interest every week through the property supplements in the national papers and now I can escape to on-line house hunting heaven at any time of the day or night. And sometimes I do, especially as the idea of moving to somewhere smaller and more manageable really appeals.

It could be a fresh start, a chance to create the perfect home for my daughter and shake off bad memories and disappointments.

But the thought of moving is scary too. Will it be a safe area? Will there be good broadband? Will a developer build houses in the field out front? Then there’s the fear of losing my support network of doctors, babysitters, hairdressers, all those essential people that help us to live our lives in comfort.

Sometimes I look at houses and apartments in the city, but I also dream of moving to the country. Originally Wexford, but that ship has sailed. Now I’m being a bit more sensible and considering bungalows and cottages within easy reach of Dublin, and sometimes I go and look at one in real life, and explore the area, just to enjoy the space, the peace, the birdsong and the big skies above.

And so it was that I found myself one sunny morning heading out in the car to look at a run down bungalow near the coast.

Though this one did have a distant sea view…

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I’m just wondering.

Do your teenagers help clear the table and load the dishwasher?

Do they play video games and watch TV, while you shout encourage them to do their homework?

Do you collapse on the couch with a cup of tea or a glass of wine, feet up, deep sigh and relax?

Probably with a few interruptions. The doorbell maybe. The phone. A teenager needing to talk if you’re lucky, or row if you’re not.


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No, not me, it’s Angel. After months of uncertainty and worry about her future, she made a decision this week to accept an offer for a “proper grown up job”. Her words, not mine. I hope that it’s the start of better things for her, and that she’ll be very happy working there, especially as she can continue with the gymnastics coaching she loves so much. So that’s my big reason to be cheerful for this week, but I have more, too…

Find out what they are here


You know we’re getting quite serious about Netflix here these days? Shows and films are discussed, blogged about, and anticipated eagerly, while the TV pages gather dust on a shelf somewhere.

But to do anything properly, you need the right equipment. And with Christmas coming up, what better time to invest in a few gadgets that would help any family to get the most out of their Netflix subscription. So here’s a few ideas to get you started.

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