Sixteen Tons

How do you feel about your job? Do you spring out of bed, looking forward to work? Or, is your job a soul-destroying monotony of pure drudgery, or somewhere in between?

This is a really interesting topic for me to write about at the moment. I have had the best and worst experience of my budding professional career in the space of two years and there are definitely stark contrasts. I really don’t want to dedicate an entire blog post to how I feel about my current job as there are experiences to be gained from everything in life and as a generally upbeat person I try to look on the good side (emphasis on try!). Instead, I prefer to focus on what I hope to gain in my next venture. I am relatively new to the world of work and my first experience of working in an open plan office, 9 to 5, was an absolute treat. Not only was it a great atmosphere to work in (thanks to lovely colleagues) but I had a sense of purpose, was given heaps of responsibility and plenty of freedom to work on my own initiative. And although I was primarily behind a computer screen, I was able to put my writing skills to use and further develop them in terms of communicating with clients. My phone skills also greatly improved and I found myself really coming out of my shell. And when I was in face to face contact with clients, I shined. This made me realise that on the job front, I excel when in contact with others and enjoy roles where I am helping people, whether giving advice or passing on knowledge. I grew in confidence as I was given more tasks and learned to work under pressure,  realising that I am actually this relaxed all of the time! The feedback I received from colleagues and clients was extremely humbling as I made an impact with my friendly and upbeat attitude. Respect, trust and acknowledgement are perhaps aspects of work that we may take for granted but once these are absent in one’s role it becomes very easy to begin to feel demotivated, unconfident in oneself and ones abilities and can even begin to have an effect on ones mental health. A bad experience in the workplace can also leave you doubting your own abilities in moving to another role. I’m still not sure what the perfect job for me will be but I know it will give weight to the following: Respect, trust, acknowledgement, the opportunity to express my creativity, whether through written or visual and allow me to communicate with others and encourage/help/motivate them.

Inspired by Daily Prompt


Young at heart


What are your thoughts on aging? How will you stay young at heart as you get older?

I am a firm believer in the saying “you are as young as you feel”. I feel like society puts a lot of pressure on people by telling us what we should have accomplished and by what age this is acceptable e.g. first kiss no later than 13, moving out after graduation and getting a steady job by 22, climbing the corporate ladder in your 20s so by the time you reach 30 you should be settled and ready to start a family (which would require you to meet your should mate at least a couple years before this). It all sounds great and before I ever acknowledged I was a fully fledged adult (only late last year!) the above example is what I envisaged as my road map…but then reality set in and I realised the unlikeliness as well as impracticality of these things happening to me within a scheduled timeframe…and also the fact that maybe I don’t prioritise the same things that society tells me I should prioritise at this point in my life.

I have always been a big kid at heart and I can’t see that changing any time soon. I should have known this when I was in my last years of school, making prank calls to people during lunch time and running around with a coconut we christened and drew a face on, instead of engaging in “adult” conversations relating to boys as some of my more “mature” classmates used to…as I look back on those final years of school, I realise everyone else was so obsessed with trying to seem older for their age that I actually thought that I was perhaps immature but now I realise it was in fact the opposite.

You may marvel at how I can remember this far back but when I was just five years old, I remember my mother watching the news as she always does in the evenings whilst I would be doing my homework and I remember thinking to myself “Will the news suddenly become more interesting to me when I become an adult?”…Almost 20 years later I am still wondering when news programmes will become more interesting to me…or if they ever will. It’s not that I don’t realise the importance of politics, taxes, finance and other such topics to our lives but my attention always seems to slip away when these come on air.

Ageing is something I try not to think about although my future is always on my mind but I never see myself as older in the future but rather think about what I might be doing and where. As a woman, the physical transformations that come with ageing are of more discomfort to me, encouraged by society’s view that we should be eternally young e.g. anti-aging cream adverts, as if ageing is negative.

My key to staying young at heart is by keeping the innocence and good nature that I’ve always had (thanks to my family who have instilled this in me) and lifting people’s spirits with lots of laughter. I am constantly surrounded by serious faces, whether it be in the metro or at work, and sometimes it’s good to laugh and act a bit silly. Life is too short to take yourself too seriously so let go and have fun, no matter what your age!

Inspired by Daily Prompt


Papa loves Mambo

What sort of music was played in your house when you were growing up? What effect, (if any) did it have on your musical tastes?

My earliest memories of music in our house when growing up was 90s britpop and indie. There used to be a kids channel called TCC and the song in the advert was ‘Alright’ by Supergrass. This ad used to play every morning before I’d go to school and to this day the song always brings a smile to my face. I have vague memories of Oasis, Blur and Take That, wholes songs I would have heard at the time but not actively have listened to. That only came about 10 years later when I went through this nostalgic phase where I longed to be back in the 90s. In my early teens I bought Oasis’s first four albums and a Blur greatest hits album, as well as a Take That greatest hits album. I even went to see Oasis when they played in Marlay Park about 10 years ago (I actually can’t believe it’s that long ago). That was THE best concert (also my first) that I have ever been to and I remember being on such a natural high that I was actually on a low for about a week afterwards! During my childhood, I would have listened to the radio a lot as I didn’t get a CD player until much later so I would have been more exposed to chart music and mainstream pop. Then in my early teens I went through a rebellious phase (only music wise as I was not cool enough to rebel for real) and started listening to indie music like Coldplay, Travis, Bloc Party, Futureheads and Franz Ferdinand. Then in my late teens (until now) I went through what I like to think of as my ‘Peter Pan’ phase or longing for eternal youth and referred back to boy bands, girl bands and handsome latino heart throbs (cough Enrique Iglesias). Nowadays, I am really open to any kind of music but have taken a particular liking to rap, especially French rap, which I find so unique and intriguing as French is often regarded as a refined and sensual language, and to hear it applied to rap, which is typically more rough and unrefined is a breath of fresh air. My favourite French or francophone artists are Maitre Gims, Sexion d’Assaut, La Fouine, Corneille and Stromae. – Sexion d’Assaut – ‘Balader’ (All I need is a smart car, some sun and a drive around Paris)

Inspired by Daily Prompt 

St Patrick’s Day in Paris

Hi all,

It’s safe to say this has been the most exciting St Patrick’s week I think I’ve ever had (since I went to the Dublin parade with my Dad as a child). On Sunday night, we “greened” or lit up the Moulin Rouge in green to celebrate the Irish national holiday of St Patrick. Two rows of dancers (a mixture of Can Can girls and Riverdancers) put on an exciting ‘mélange’ of the two dances whilst the Moulin Rouge glowed in green behind them. To witness the over the top glamour of the Can Can dancers with the understated elegance of the Riverdance was a fantastic contrast that just seemed to fit at the same time.


Before greening


After greening

Yesterday, the festivities really kicked off as we had a press lunch at Semilla restaurant to celebrate the best of Irish cuisine in partnership with Bord Bia and Tourism Ireland and some of the best Irish chefs and producers who came to share their skills with a group of journalists, bloggers and Michelin starred restaurant owners. After we had done our bit meeting and greeting (and giving out shamrocks) we had the chance to sit down and have a taste of some delicious Irish stew (the BEST I’ve ever tasted)!!!


We then hopped on the RER A and arrived at Disney. The weather had just took a 180 and was looking to be a glorious day. We picked up our passes and headed for the rides. I went on Space Mountain (for the second time), was even more nervous as I knew what to expect but was actually not as scary the second time…although was just as exciting! After that, I was feeling a bit more brazen, especially as my colleagues persuaded me to go on Thunder Mountain (which terrifies me as it’s outside) but then they coerced me by drawing my attention to the children in the queue, saying if they could do it I could…all I can say is I will NEVER do that to my child. I cried like a baby and when we looked at our photos at the end I couldn’t see my face as I was clinging to my poor colleagues arm in absolute fear. Although saying that, I’m glad I did it and came out alive.

The illuminations at Sleeping Beauty’s castle began just as it fell dark and it was nothing short of spectacular. We had expected it would be turned green and that there might be a few fireworks but we were never to be fully prepared for what was in store. It was too breathtaking to put into words and too mesmerising to capture on camera. But here’s an attempt…

VAL_7471 VAL_7530 VAL_7531 VAL_7549

There weren’t just fireworks, but actual FIRE that was so strong it left smoke rings in the air and brief blankets of warmth, which was much welcomed by the crowd, considering how cold out it was. The illuminations weren’t just amazing to look at but were extremely moving as a compilation of Disney classics such as The Lion King, Brave and Aladdin were projected onto the castle. The creativity, enthusiasm and tremendous effort Disney had gone to for this show was touching and left everyone feeling reminiscent of either their own childhood or that of their children’s, with whom they would have shared memories of of Disney’s most magical moments in film.

Hope you all had a lovely green St Patrick’s Day.


I believe


Three things in my heart I believe to be true:

1) Karma – those who have been kind will be rewarded and those who have been unkind will receive their natural justice. Revenge and anger are unnecessary, sometimes you just have to offer it up to God, the Universe (or whatever you believe in) and let it be taken care of.

2) There is a higher being and and most definitely an afterlife. I can’t ever imagine a possibility of no longer being alive to experience such emotions as love and happiness or be surrounded by those who provoke these in us.

3) Sunshine makes people that little bit more happier (or at least me anyway!)

Three things I believe to be false:

1) That you have to be unkind, rude or unpleasant to succeed in life.

2) That you can’t be whoever you want to be (even though I myself have trouble sometimes with this one)

3) That you need to “act your age” – you are as young (or old) as you feel. As long as your actions aren’t hurting you or anyone else than watch cartoons in your 20s, read comic books in your 30s or even take up knitting in your teens or enjoy having a cuppa with a friend instead of going clubbing in your 20s. Society literally has our lives mapped out for us with the activities we should be doing at a certain age. I say, throw out the guidebook and live life how you want and just be you! 🙂

Inspired by Daily Prompts

Celebrating Irishness in Paris

Hello all,

So this week has been pretty hectic. For one, in work the month of March is always a really busy time for us with the run up to St Patricks Day (we promote Ireland for a living!). Also, my social life has started to pick up around the same time (not that I’m complaining) so unfortunately I haven’t had as much time as I would have liked to dedicate to posting.


First of all, I think a congratulations is due to the Irish rugby team for only going and WINNING the 6 Nations against France yesterday  🙂 I swear I had never seen a rugby match in my life before coming to Paris and yesterday’s match was my third since arriving here and did not disappoint! I actually saw myself turning into one of those crazy supporters who screams, sings and pulls hair as if my life depended on it…but it was all worth it as we DID it!!! The last few minutes were especially tense as we were 23-22 to France as they managed to score a try (yes I know what a try is now)…but THEN the referee didn’t allow it…so we WON! 😀 I was so delighted, firstly for Brian O’Driscoll who’s last match it was and secondly for all those loyal Ireland supporters who travelled over for the match. The atmosphere was amazing and in fairness to the French, they gave us a good game and took it well.


In the morning, the Sacré Coeur held a mass (as gaeilge) for the first time ever!!! It was great to see the Irish community get together in Paris, from expats to those over for the match, I honestly felt like I was back home and it was a privilege to have a mass dedicated to the Irish in such a beautiful building. The priests even brought a bit of banter to the mass (as is to be expected in Ireland) and we were all offered tea and Irish treats in Corcorans Irish Pub after at the bottom of the hill. Of course, had to order a yummy fish and chips whilst the others had burgers and chips and bangers and mash. Was nothing but delicious!!!

More exciting posts for St Patricks coming very soon!

Happy Sunday!


Acts #5 and #6 – showing gratitude and reaching out


On my second week of 40 acts of kindness and this week is particularly interesting. Yesterday’s act was about taking the time to express gratitude to those who we might not think to thank or who’s services we take for granted e.g. postman, bus driver etc. Thus, jotting down a few words of gratitude in the form of a thank you note and giving to someone to whom you are genuinely grateful to can bring an immense feeling of appreciation and sense of worth to the person receiving the note. There is a lady in work who has been nothing but helpful to me since I arrived in Paris, helping me with the constant administration and paperwork required to do anything in this country. Although I always say thank you to her, I decided to express this in a handwritten sentiment (on a post it) and let her know how much I appreciate her help. And I think she appreciated feeling appreciated 🙂

Today’s act is about reaching out and acknowledging the influence we have on people. In your journal (created in Act #1), write a list of those people you influence…if you think you don’t influence anyone, think about those people in your phonebook who would rush to your aid in an emergency or those that would attend your wedding, graduation etc. Those people in your life that would do that are in fact influenced by you…so reach out today to those people be it via your church, school or even online realm e.g. blog (like this one!) and share a message of kindness.


Sunday strolls

20 degrees in Paris today so it was!!! Not that I ever need an excuse to go wandering around Paris on Sundays but todays weather reminded me of when I first arrived here back in September when it was sunny and scorching. So I walked from the 15th to the 7th, finally discovered where Bon Marché is and eventually ended up at Solferino, where as I was walking up by Musée d’Orsay I witnessed a marathon of roller skaters…this picture does not do it justice, there were literally hundreds of people skating!



Yesterday’s stroll involved a stop off at Darty (I’m currently in the process of buying a mini oven, this has been long over due) near Montparnasse and a walk around the back of la gate Montparnasse where I had an amazing view of the Eiffel Tower from the top of the hill. In fairness, I am lucky to be able to wake up and see the tower right in front of me every morning but it’s always exciting when I discover it from another perspective.


Act # 4

Hi all,

Act #4 in 40 acts of kindness is about connecting with those people around you that you might encounter every day but have yet to learn their name. Today’s the day to do just that. Strike up a conversation with that person in your building you you always take the lift with, or the baker who you buy your baguette from every morning, or your neighbour. Unfortunately I read this too late yesterday so missed the opportunity to get to know the lady who always serves me in the supermarket but that doesn’t matter. 40 acts has so far inspired me to incorporate these small but meaningful acts into my life and make a difference to someones day. 🙂 And I will find out my cashier’s name!

Act # 3



So i’m falling a little bit behind already, tiring day so it was, but I WILL take this on over the weekend. Act #3 is all about embracing the ensemble of your skills, talents or competencies e.g. creativity, computer skills, problem solving skills and using these to benefit someone on your ‘wish list’ (see my post on Act #1). Write out a list of the skills or tools in your ‘toolbox’ and use one or more of these to bring a bit of kindness to someone around you 🙂

Bon weekend à tous!