Saturday, August 30, 2008

Who Let The Dogs Out?

This is our beautiful pooch Tikka...bought for Babs a year and a half ago, in the hope he would bring Babs out of himself..However, Babs does not want to know him, but the rest of us love him.

We have to keep him in at night time, as he barks a lot at anything that moves outside and we don't want a fall out with the neighbours. When we went on holiday he went up to my homeplace for 3 weeks and he is not the same dog since we came back. Guess he got used to having canine company and while we were on our jollies he was getting his..wouldn't mind so much except me Ma's dog is a dog too!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008


Got results of my "Children with Special Needs" course and got a DISTINCTION...Go me!! Am over the moon.
It was a great course and a very popular one I'm glad to say..did my first assignment on ADHD and the biggie one on Autism...put a lot of work into them and it paid off. It's only part of the FETAC level 5 and I did it to see if I would learn more about autism, specifically, but learned a whole lot more.
The tutor, Bernie, was brilliant and so dedicated...she is a pre-school leader by day with FETAC's coming out her ears and by night she does these courses on top of studying herself. She is truly an inspiration.
So, for today anyway, I'm considering doing more modules to get the full award and maybe when I get them all off to school I could get into the world of SNA's myself.

Sunday, August 24, 2008


What a relaxing week we've just had. Took a trip down Waterford way to Clonea Strand Golf & Leisure in Dungarvan. Had a fab spacious house on the grounds of hotel and the beauty of it was if you didn't want to venture too far there was loads to occupy you there. Playground on site, use of the pool at no extra charge (spent a lot of time there) some nightly entertainment in bar, playloft and bowling at reduced rates in sister hotel few minutes drive away. The kids made a friend from the house next door and as it turns out that family next door had a boy same age as Babs and he too has autism. It was great to compare notes and see the two boys interact. We had more in common than that..Trish is originally from round our neck of the woods and lived beside one of my best friends husband..they have same colour and breed of dog as us, bought with the same intention..for our autistic child. They were a lovely family and we will keep in touch, which is a first for us as we normally keep to ourselves on hols.

Of course we did venture away on day trips and there is loads to go and see. As we had a few good days we took in Fota Wildlife Park, Youghal (beautiful beach), had a trip on the Waterford Suir Railway which Babs loved, he had his head stuck to the window for the vibration.. and our last day finished up with the highly recommended Copper Coast Mini Pet Farm-loads of diggers tractors to ride on and a huge sandpit as well as some lovely animals. Maybe my kids are still easily pleased but it really was an enjoyable, stress-free holiday and the girls didn't want to go back home.

Since coming home I have noticed a change in Babs..he seems more content. Maybe he is just glad to be home and back to routine cos he was overly happy today and nothing was putting him in a bad mood. All day he was trying to be funny and succeeding. If he did something naughty I would say "Stop that or I am going to get mad" and he would say "I don't want Mammy mad I want Mammy smiling, smiling Mammy makes me happy", what do you say to that? But it is good to be home.

Friday, August 15, 2008


Babs on the merry-go-round. He is a thrill seeker the only rides he was allowed on weren't fast enough or big enough to satisfy him, but he enjoyed them nonetheless.

Big sister gets her picture taken with 'SuperBradley'..all the kids love the Haven Character Shows

Babs, Big sis & Daddy on the big ferris wheel

This was the business..we owned this ride!

The girls and their cousin in the Splash Zone-another big hit with the kids.

Not gonna bore you with all that went wrong on our Blackpool hols. Got parking ticket in one spot £50 (left unpaid) and same evening hubby driving at 40 through 30mph zone and got flashed by the big yellow cameras..haven't heard anything from that..yet. The kids loved the holiday so that is what matters..girls old enough now to have figured out slot machines...aagh I hate them, only because they are addictive. Couple of snaps to capture the holiday. Off tomorrow on another one, down the country this time to Waterford. Am looking forward to this will catch up in a week or so....Laters

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Don't Pay The Ferryman

Holiday over and glad to be back. Gonna start this one at the end and work my way back. We had a rough start and even rougher ending.

Our journey home began at 8am yesterday (Saturday 09/08/08). Got kids up for breakfast, packed remaining bits into car and headed off from Marton Mere at 9.15. Our sailing wasn't until 13.50 on the slow boat back to Dublin Port so we left in loads of time. By my reckoning we would be just under 2 hours early, but I hadn't accounted for the obligatory toilet stop on the way. There were little delays on the way to Holyhead (cross winds on the Britannia Bridge) but nothing major. We arrived in Holyhead around 1 o'clock..plenty of time. We got into a queue, a guy with a hi-vis jacket stopped us to let a couple of cars towing boats go in front of us to another queue. Cars were jumping lanes but we stuck where we were. Eventually we made a jump to a shorter queue and discovered we had been in an Irish Ferries queue not the Stena Line one. One car between us and the ticket booth..result. Hadn't even taken notice of what time it was. The guy in front looked to be causing hassle. The Stena worker got out of his booth and went into the next one and came back and talked to the car guy through his peephole. The guy in the car got out looking all frustrated and went searching in his pockets. Then he went to the boot of his car and Oh My God! What a way to pack a boot. Not a suitcase in sight..just clothes and plastic bags everywhere. His wife got out and helped search the boot for what turned out to be a purse. We figured they had to pay extra for some reason. 10 mins later they moved off. Our turn.

We got up to the peephole, handed in our 'ticket' (email print out). "Ok you know you missed the boat but there is another one at 3 and I can get you on it". Rewind. What did he just say. How could we have missed the boat? He said we couldn't get on the boat cos it's about to go. I demanded to get on it saying we couldn't wait for another one. We insisted that we were there on time and that one of their men put us in wrong queue and let cars ahead of us and I even played the old 'We have an autistic child in the back' card but to no avail..the boat was gone.

He said again he would put us on the next boat (the fastcraft) and we only had an hour to wait and it would be arriving into Dublin at the same time as the one we missed so we agreed - until he said it would be an extra £75. He messed with the wrong woman now. I told him there was no way he was getting any more money for something that was not our fault and was due to incompetence of their workers. He said if we had a problem to go to some building somewhere, he gave directions and said he would open the gate to let us out. I said will we have to queue again and he said yes but it would have died down by then and off he went to open the gate. I sat in disbelief. There he stood with the gate open and we just sat and I mouthed "no way you get someone here". He closed the gate and came back to his booth and said what's the problem? I said, "You may get someone down here cos we ain't movin and we ain't payin no money neither for something that's not our fault". He scowled and picked up his phone and said someone would be here shortly.

Then this woman appeared at our car window wondering had we a problem. She was very distressed. She said "I have a disabled child in the car and I need to get on the boat, could you not move over and let us get through". I was quick to tell her that I too have a disabled child and that she was going nowhere cos the boat was gone and that was what the problem was. She got back into her car behind us. I got out and spoke to her husband and explained the situation and she was crying in the back of the car. So we sat and waited.

Then a bearded man in Stena Line jacket appeared to see what our problem was. He stated that we needed to have been here at 1.15 at the latest to have got on the boat. We told him we were here at 1 o'clock and explained the hold up in the queues. I flashed my IAA card and said the people behind us were obviously in the same boat, pardon the pun. He asked us to move forward to the white lines and wait. So we did. He was talking to the family in the car behind us and next thing the gate was opened for them and out they went. They had fallen for the old if you have a complaint go to the building...story. Few more cars passed then the bearded man came back to us. He asked for our ticket and said he would book us on the next boat.....simple as that. He returned couple minutes later with our boarding card. He was very polite and helpful even asked if we knew our way out from Dun Laoighre. Result free ride on fast boat!! We drove 20 yards on and were pulled in by security. Had to open boot for a look and I just prayed they wouldn't open roof box cos it had taken ages to close it, but he didn't. We were on the boat in time to get good seats, beside food hall, toilets and exit to car. Sailing bit rough but got into Dublin at 17.00 hrs...then the chaos began.

It took us 7 hours to get home - 5 and a half of which was sitting in traffic from the boat to Blanchardstown...absolute hell. The Port Tunnel was closed, the M1 flooded, Armagh v Wexford game just finished in Croke Park, floods on the Navan Road, overheated cars broken down all added to the traffic chaos..had we known what was in store we would have booked a hotel in the city but hindsight is great. The kids were little troopers...they held onto their wee for that long. We found 24hr petrol station in Navan where we had toilet break and food. Got home at 12.15 am and zzzzzzzzzzz til 10 this morning. Great to be home.

Friday, August 1, 2008

We're All Goin On A Summer Holiday

This time tomorrow we should be on route to Holyhead heading for Blackpool. The kids are really looking forward to it. It's one of those Haven holiday caravan parks. We went to Wales last year so wanted to do the same thing this year but somewhere different. The gang that went was us lot along with my brother, his wife and child, hubby's brother and his wife and 2 kids and a mutual friend and his wife and 2 kids - and we all got on.

The beauty of this type of holiday is that there are kids clubs in the day time and evening entertainment for the whole family. You can have a drink and walk back to your mobile home. So the adult company made it all the more enjoyable. Rory & Bradley were a great hit with the kids and our eldest won 40 cuddly toys in the raffle and that made her whole holiday.

We would cook regular meals in the day time and eat from the on-site Burger King for is only for a week and they do make a lovely burger. So off to pack now and will report next week on how good it was.