Friday, 28 November 2014

November Favourites

IN KEEPING with the Joy Pockets from previous blog posts, I have decided to compile instead a list of fripperies and feel good stuff for the month of November.  Nothing major, ground breaking or lifesaving.  Just a few things I enjoyed, thought were pretty decent and felt like sharing.
The Make-up favourites

Nail Nurse by Rimmel:  This is great if you have brittle nails or are looking for something clear to wear on an everyday basis with the added benefit of adding a tough outer veneer.  I have been known to apply this in the car at the school gate.  It also makes a great base coat for when you want to go all out vampy and paint your talons red. 

Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer:  You really can’t beat Rimmel for pretty decent recession beauty bits and pieces.  This concealer is great, it comes in three shades and doesn’t cake or settle in fine lines around your eyes, of which I have plenty and not so fine either.  It also acts as a good primer under eye shadow. 

Catrice Gel Like Top Coat:  If I love Rimmel, I adore Catrice make-up range.  Their foundations are getting massive and favourable reviews from all the beauty bloggers who count and who am I to argue with them?  I cannot resist their nail varnishes and I have many.  Many, many.  Today I am talking about their clear top coat which is pretty much a clear nail varnish but with added sternness.  It really extends the shelf life of your nails, keeping them chip free for up to three days. 

The Food & Drink Favourites

Roast chicken dinners:  What can I say?  Who doesn’t love a roast chicken?  We eat a lot of chicken in our house and my go-to meal in order to fire plenty of veg into the boys is a roast chicken dinner.  There is usually a few slices left for lunches the next day too.  It’s a win win situation.  Even the dog sits patiently waiting for scraps.

Pinot Grigio wine:  “Oh look, it’s wine thirty,” and “wine is win with an “e” at the end.”  One more.  “I enjoy long romantic walks to the wine fridge.”  If you can’t enjoy a large glass of wine or three at the end of the week (and on the weekends!) what is it all for? I disliked wine for years.  I believe it was as a result of a bang to the head before my 18th birthday but I have come to my senses in recent years and now indulge regularly.  Pinot Grigio anything, anyone?

The Health Favourites

L Lysine:  I mentioned in my first post of the month that I had a blemish on my lip worthy of its own passport.  L Lysine came to my rescue and I now make sure I have a bottle somewhere at all times to boost my immune system whenever I get run down and suffer from a cold sore breakout.

The Book Favourites

Marian Keyes The Woman Who Stole My Life. She’s back!  With a bang.  Forget about Bake and The Mystery of Mercy Close, this is Marian at her dazzling, funny, pithy best. 

The Feel Good Factor

Fake it till you make it:  Even if you don’t feel like it, put on a smile and go for it.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Hocus Focus
I’m grand, so I am. 

On paper.

On paper I’m grand.  I’d even go so far as to say I’m perfect.  Been there, done that worn the t-shirt.  Four times.

Got a question about kids?  Breast feeding perhaps?  Having a wee spot of trouble with potty training?  A picky eater?  What about teething?  Need a quick solution for getting them to stay in their beds and sleep through the night?

Okay, scrap that last one.  You’re on your own there.  No-one and I mean no-one, no matter what qualifications they claim to have, they may have half the alphabet after their name, forget it.  This one is still the Holy Grail and we’ll all searching for it. 

But I could give a half decent attempt at all the rest, maybe even solve your problem.  Kids will do that, see.  They educate you in ways you never thought possible.

There isn’t a book in any shop in any part of the world that will teach you how to be a parent so keep your hard earned cash for something nice and return the book to the shelf.  

Learning comes from doing.  I am a firm believer in that. 

Even before I had my own crew I knew being the oldest of 8 children was akin to reading a book on how to drive a car and expecting to know how to afterwards.  I knew all the semantics, the rules of the road, even what would happen in the event of a screw up.  But I had no idea what that crash would actually be like in reality when it happened.

To be honest I’m still just winging it.  But sssshhhh.  Don’t tell anyone.

Then I was contacted with a request for some tips for a magazine feature on how to keep kids focused during every day activities and on their homework because I have the aforementioned four kids and know everything. 

I drew an absolute blank.

Focus?  What do they mean by focus?  What are they asking me for?  The only focus I know is a car model.   My kid’s idea of focus is the 3D option on Netflix.

I was seriously stuck and beginning to question my parenting skills big time. I couldn’t pull that rabbit out of the hat.  I did give it some serious thought before making an appointment with Dr. Google.

I got my money’s worth.  There were some gems in there and I read them all, nodding along and taking a few notes before realising something.

We do do this.  We do focus.  What do you know?  We’re not a total disaster.  We’ve been focusing all along and I wasn’t even aware of it.

This is the prescription Dr. Google gave me.

Exercise.  Moving is great for the mind and my boys are very active.  In fact they never stop.  The three school goers have told me they love the ten minutes run around with their friends in the morning before the school gates open.

Down time.  This helps clear the mind before tackling a job and makes it easier to focus.  When the boys come in from school they veg on the couch for twenty minutes.  It’s always much easier to get them to hit the homework once they get to relax first.

Sleep.  We all need to recover and when we benefit from a good night’s rest, we can give it our all the next day.  Mine can’t handle late nights.  One is okay but if there are two in a row the next day can be, shall we say, challenging.

Reducing screen time.  My boys would sit in front of the television and play their consoles all day becoming crotchety and tired as a result.  We all need a break from fast flashing images.  Kids are no exception.    

Routine.  Possibly my favourite word!  I like to know what’s around the corner as much as is possible so I can be prepared for it.  Kids are the same.  It gives them a sense of security.

Unbeknownst to myself we were doing all of those things.  And a few more besides. 

I can take a deep breath now and focus on my glass of white wine. 

I’m grand so I am!

And I bet you are too!

Monday, 24 November 2014

Beep, Beep, Beep, Beep, Noooooooo!
WHEN I opened my eyes Saturday morning I experienced the usual “praise be, it’s the weekend,” delightful realisation.  Lurking at the back of my grey matter, however, was the horrific realisation I was without a car because this happened.

Probably without a car for the entire weekend.

Possibly for the beginning of the week. 

I pushed the thought away.  I would think about it when I absolutely had to.  When I got up.  When the insane noise levels started.  In about twenty minutes.

A funny thing.  I would stay at home quite happily all day every day if I was by myself.  Throw four screecher creatures into the equation and I can’t get out of there quickly enough.  Even though they have to come with me.

It is not yet legal to leave an almost nine year old in charge of three kids under seven.


Moving on.  We got up, put on our dressing and almost immediately the dust motes were skittering across the floor in response to the vibrations from the noise made by four boys.

I was walking around the garden with a coffee before 9am.

How was I going to do this?

We all need a break from the weekly grind and getting out on Saturday morning usually gets rid of a few cobwebs.

Mister Husband was perusing Donedeal for a new jalopy and all of our attentions were caught by the sight of a bright red beauty.  Sliding doors and everything.  Incredibly fancy and for the first time in my life I may have been impressed by a car.

So were the boys who drifted towards the computer screen for a look.

“Can we have that one?”
“I want that one!”
“If it has auto-pilot, Mammy, that means you can drink wine…………………………..”

I knew by the impeccable body work – you could apply your make up in the reflection bouncing off it – this one was miles out of our budget.  

Auto pilot or no.

Mister Husband left to see several men about some cars and the questions started up.

“Can we go somewhere?”
“When will Daddy be home?”
“Can we go somewhere?”
“What can we do?”
“Will we be here all day?”
“Can we go somewhere?”

Each time the request to go somewhere was uttered I took the offending article to the window and pointed to our empty driveway.

Can we go somewhere?  In what, dear Henry.  In what?

Yet they continued to ask.

I went for walks around the garden during times when the noise levels became too much.  There was lots of coffee.

I decided to bake a ginger cake.  I thought it would also double up as dinner. 

Hey, they had a good nutritious breakfast of Weetabix followed by homemade pancakes.  My main job of providing a substantial meal for the day was done.

There was a lot of “eewwww that looks disgusting” when they saw the treacle but they were mighty impressed with the golden syrup.

I oohed and aahed over the tins.  Come on.  Look at their lovely old fashioned-ness.  


When it came to eating the cake mix they all went into raptures over its tastiness and then they started to fight over whisks, spoons, mixing bowls and even the blob of ginger cake mix that had fallen onto the counter.

I went for another walk and left them to it.  If they did their job well enough I reckoned I’d have no washing up to do.

Joking.  Joking.

The cake was barely out of the oven and we decided to ignore the rule about such things being wrapped in greaseproof paper and let sit for two days before eating.  Who comes up with this stuff?

Rules were made to be broken and the boys mulled into warm slabs of ginger cake.

Calm happened for about seven minutes before they realised they might be on the way to a new record for peace keeping and they started to attack each other again.

Thank god for coffee and a large garden.

Oh and my phone rang in the middle of all the racket and it looks like the red shiny beauty wasn’t as ‘spensive as I initially thought and it might be ours!

Thank Christ. 

Friday, 21 November 2014

My Fcuking Car!

SO a couple of weeks ago we had the NCT.   I was very, very suspicious when it failed and I was given just one sheet with yellow highlighter all over it.

It was like being back at school and having your homework returned to you covered with red biro marks.

See, I was expecting the car to be detained at the test centre such were my fears over our teenage car and its various ailments. 

I felt relief to be given a single page filled with things to fix but at the same time my glass half empty self was thinking, “What’s the fekin point?  We’ll pour several hundred quid into the wagon in order to pass the NCT and then something big like the engine will decide to faint on us making it necessary to replace the entire yoke. We may as well set fire to our 500 quid.”

But 500 quid was all we had and we ran with it.

Last Saturday morning we drove our teenage seven seater home from the NCT hospital. Mister Husband was delighted to get another year out of it.  I believe his exact words were, “We’ll drive it into the ground, then we’ll change it.”

I was not so relaxed.  I suffer with The Fear borne from driving a pile of rattling shite with four kids in the back.   (Sorry, Linda if you’re reading!)  (Linda is the previous owner.) 

Clutches can stick, did you know that?

I know fek all about cars but I know this much. From previous experience.  With the same car.

When this happens it is necessary to pump the clutch with your foot in order to release it to change gears and if that doesn’t work you stick the toe of your shoe under it and yank it up.  Failing that, whack on your hazards and hope there is a nice clear stretch of road in front of you with a vacant space to freewheel into.

If you’re very, very lucky this won’t happen to you on a roundabout on a busy Saturday morning. 

Fucking car!  (Sorry, Linda if you’re reading!) 

True to form, the sticky clutch decided to act up one week after the NCT retest and prove to me I was right not to trust that cert.

This very morning when I was sitting in traffic having just dropped the boys to school you’ll never guess what happened?

Go on, have a guess. 

Fekin clutch went on me with half the fekin town fekin sitting behind me. 

I whacked on my park anywhere lights and began to furiously pump the clutch and claw at the gear stick whilst sticking my other hand out the window, signalling the 78 cars I was blocking to drive around me.    

Which they did.

I was pumping like a mad thing but to no avail.  The need in me to do something, anything was strong.  I could still be sitting there, swearing and beating the shite out of the clutch and all I’d have for my troubles would be the mother of all cramps in my thigh.

A big massive thank you to Gerry who was a few cars behind mine and possibly heard the stream of foul language pouring out the open window.

He pushed my stroppy, teenager with an engine to the side of the road, checked to see if I needed a lift anywhere but I assured him all was okay and people were on their way to put manners on the car.

Currently it is reposing in my brother’s garage.  On a time out if you will.  It’s not that we’re threatening it with the scrap yard, this part is more or less a given, it’s just I am so sick of the sight of it right now I cannot be responsible for my actions. 

Funny things have been going through my mind all afternoon.  The contents of the vehicle for one thing.

Immediately I thought of: the dog’s medical records which are in the door, my 15 year old umbrella from New Zealand, the box of street chalks, my notebook, my parking change money bag and a La Roche Posay lip balm which will all need to be rescued.  Amongst other things..

I reckon we need the damn thing more than it needs us though. 

Fucking car!

Monday, 17 November 2014

Why I Newly Love Sundays
BACK in the day Sundays were so lazy, so laid back they were practically horizontal.  Let me take you on a trip down my memory lane.

If my lovely cousin with the initials D and M is reading she will laugh and laugh when she remembers this. 

A bus stop in Ranelagh and a massive massive unstoppable belly laugh so loud and long and thoroughly enjoyable I almost peed my pants.  That was a Sunday to remember.  And it was over such a blonde moment (mine!) I couldn’t possibly speak about it here.

But that was how my hung over Sundays happened back in the day.  We would have been on the tiles the night before and Sunday saw us catching a bus into town and going into O’Neill’s on Suffolk Street for a carvery lunch that was so humungous it was falling off the plate.

I suspect the lovely chef knew hangover pain when he saw it and was feeding it away.  

Whatever, we stopped short of asking for straws to suck up that gravy after our roast beef/lamb carvery.

Then we would haul our meat sweats into the cinema on D’Olier Street and watch something, anything as we digested our dinner.

At any given time there would have been 8 of us.

After the cinema the obligatory Have To Be Done bevvies were enjoyed in The Long Stone before we caught the 48A back out to Ranelagh.  Perhaps fell out of it and further fell up the steps into our apartment and into bed where literally 10 minutes later the alarm clock would jolt us out of sleep by screaming, “Get up, it’s Monday!  Time for work! Come on! Come on!”

It’s slightly different these days.  Slightly. I still love Sundays but for different, very different reasons.

I get a lie on. Usually mostly.  Words cannot describe what this feels like after a long week.  It really sets me up for the next round.  It is particularly lovely if the kids are fed and dressed and the draining board cleared when I come downstairs.  Ahem.

I get a cappuccino with a muffin.  We like to go for a coffee on a Sunday morning and I love that blueberry muffin sweetness and a strong cappuccino to wash it down with.

It is my day of rest.  From exercise.  I have been very lazy of late where running is concerned. I like to blame the dark evenings which are a factor but there is nothing to stop me going out at the weekends.  Except laziness.  But for the last 7 weeks I have been working on my core strength and I take Sundays off.  I enjoy the work out very much but I enjoy my Sunday’s off a bit more.   

It is the last day of the weekend.  Weird I know but when I wake up and think ah shite it’s Monday but then realise it’s Sunday, a little “Yay!” unfurls in my head and we share a high five.

Lastly but by no means least I get a few hours to myself on Sunday afternoon when the kids get taken off to their granddad’s for a while.  This is worth its weight in gold. 

Friday, 14 November 2014

MAYBE it’s the weather but I’ve been a bit tetchy recently.  And why on earth would I keep it all to myself?  Don’t let anyone tell you to “stop giving out.”  We all need a good old whinge and a moan every now and then.  These are mine.   

Stuff that annoyed me lately.

Pancakes.   My first mistake was making them for the boys the first morning back to school after the summer holidays.  Guess who’s still making them at 7.30 each day?  Aye.  That’s right.   It means they get a hearty breakfast and it only takes ten minutes to make them but still.  I had a right pain in my hoof making them this week.  Oh, in case you didn’t catch my answer, it’s me; I’m the chef.

A tummy bug that couldn’t make up its mind.  Smallest Boy went down for a few hours with a tummy upset and I held my breath waiting for the others to follow suit.  It didn’t happen but my own stomach has been decidedly “fizzy” for a few days.  I wish it would decide to stay or fek off! bring it on if that’s the direction you’re heading in and get it over and done with.

Kim bloody Kardashian’s arse.  I mean seriously!  What in the name of lard is that all about?  What particularly annoyed me is an arse like that on anyone else would be used as a photo for an obesity article.  Secondly, it’s big enough without it being photo shopped.  It so was photo shopped.  Again, why?  Why would you want your arse photographed?  Why?  It’s all a load of arse if you ask me!

The smoker at the school gate.  I saw you so I did.  Not only does the school newsletter, which is published online every month by the way, ask that parents do not smoke at the school gates, but you decided to chuck your dirty cigarette through the railings and into the bushes.  Dirty birdy!   

The person who blocked the pumps at the petrol station.  The lady in front of me had finished and drove away.  I was done too and wanted to pull up a pump to allow for someone else to use it when a nifty little car pulled into the vacant space.   I wondered how they were going to stretch the fuel pump that far when I realised their fuel tank was on the shop side of their car.  Sure, she was only parking up so her fella could go in and browse whilst she had a good aul natter on her mobile. Seethe!

A prize I didn’t win.  Even though I suspected it wasn’t a genuine message from the person who ran the competition I still allowed myself to get excited.  I mean it was a make-up hamper for fek sake.  And I coveted it.  My suspicions were confirmed and my excitement firmly squashed when the You Tuber personally confirmed it was a mean spirited person who likes to do this on a regular basis to beauty bloggers who run competitions via YouTube.  On the upside I could still win. 

Max and Ruby.  There are no words.  None.  Except all the rude ones and being a lady I couldn’t possibly use them.  To the lucky uninitiated Max and Ruby are two sibling rabbits who live on Netflix.  He’s kinda cute and of few words but she, she is an obnoxious, bossy, self-important, shallow, annoying bitch with sycophantic, spineless friends who are not much better.  This is one rabbit I would like to see in a stew except it would choke me.

I know, I’m a grumpy yoke.  Don’t give out to me - I hate confrontation.  I’ll be better next week.  Or some stage.  But having spewed all of my annoyances onto paper, I do feel much better.

You should try it! 

Monday, 10 November 2014

Some Good Stuff About Having Older Brothers

WHEN I was younger I loved the idea of having a big brother.  I was so envious of those girls in my class who had brothers to look out for them, to help them and spoil them rotten.  

That’s what they’re for, right?

Apparently I was living in cloud cuckoo land.  All big brothers were good for were distributing Chinese burns, poking fun at you and being disgusting.  They wouldn’t even do your homework for you help you out with your homework.

Secretly I always felt those girls just didn’t have the right kind of big brother. They only had Irish ones and they didn’t know how to ride motor bikes or fly helicopters or catch the bad lads or survive in the mountains with a pocket knife and some nettles to live off.  I wanted a big brother like MacGyver or the lads from CHiPS.  The Fall Guy impressed me no end as well. 

No wonder the girls in my class didn’t like their big brothers.  Looking back on it, I didn’t like their big brothers very much either. 

Now that I have four boy children of my own and three of them have a big brother it appears they aren’t impressed with the state of affairs either. 

Never mind.  I can see the advantages of it, even if they can’t. 

There are great perks attached to having older brothers and some of those would be:

You get to play with all of their toys and DS games and use their stuff.  But only when they are at school.  And you might have to suffer the dire consequences upon their return if you’ve broken anything or put something back in the wrong place thus giving the game away on yourself.

There is nearly always someone around to play with. You would never be short of an opportunity to have a good wrestle.

You get to watch them making all the mistakes first so you don’t have to go there. In an ideal world anyway.

You tend to have loads of ready-made friends.  This comes in very handy when you start Big School.  The law of averages sees to it that some of your brothers’ friends will have younger siblings too and chances are you will know them.

You know lots of bad words. This is never good especially when you get caught trying them out but at least the older ones get the blame for teaching them to you in the first place.

You get away with much more than your older brothers ever did.  Your parents have either mellowed out, they are absolutely exhausted and/or they just don’t care anymore. 

You are hardier, faster and gobbier than your brothers.  This comes into its own in the jungle aka the school yard.  Except maybe the gobbier part.  Funnily enough older kids don’t like it when the smaller ones try to jump the pecking order queue.

When you are three and a half, own dimples and are a cute as all hell you can make even the most hardened almost 9 and 7 year olds bend to your will.

When you are at home with your mother all morning, you get spoiled rotten.  You get all the jellies.  All the couch space and remote control rights.  Plus all the down time to watch all the cartoons you want.


You get to enjoy decadent breakfasts with the most important person in your life - your mother – whilst your big brothers are at school being tortured.

And best of all, when you are sick everyone, possibly not big brothers though, makes a huge fuss of you until you are better.

Maybe I would like a big brother after all!

Friday, 7 November 2014

An Open Letter To My Younger Self
HEY you sitting there with five minutes to spare.  Have a look at this.  That advice you currently give to others about taking what is relevant to you and leaving all the rest does not apply here.  All of this applies to you.  All of it.  Except maybe two things.  But those two things will provide you with much merriment for longer than they should.

Read on!

Nothing ever happens.  Nothing happens at all.  The needle returns to the start of the song and we all go along like before.

Too much wine will get you madly drunk.  And madly hungover.  And say mad stuff you wouldn’t normally.  Don’t panic too much about that part.  If you’re drunk enough you’re most likely incoherent and they’ll put it all down to you talking shite.

Spending hours purchasing, prepping, roasting and pureeing veg does not mean your child will eat it.

What’s that?  Yes, there will be a child.  Or four.  Accept it. 

That lipstick, eye shadow, latest hairdo will not look the same on you.  At all.  Instead you will resemble a feral child who got at her mother’s make-up and then found the scissors.

Wine does not make you a good singer.  Or dancer. 

You cannot please everyone.  But you will feel guilty as hell over it.

Someone somewhere at any given time will be jealous of you and make you feel like shite because of it.  You won’t realise this until later in life when the penny finally drops as someone points out what has been obvious to them all along but not to you.  It will hurt.  But you will get over it.

Some events traumatic, dramatic and otherwise will cause your heart to break in different ways. You will absolutely believe this is the end and you are about to die but of course you don’t.  You know this deep down.  What you don’t realise is you will become better, stronger possibly even happier as a result. 

Life will overwhelm you at times.  As will your family, your child and your career.

When the shit hits the fan, you’ll want your mother.

Everyone else will be raving about that movie, book or TV programme but you utterly hate and detest them.

Weight creeps on as you get older and it will be increasingly hard to shift.  Some days “ah fuck it” is said and lots of chocolate inhaled to make yourself feel better.

A royal faux pas will happen either very publicly or just at the school gate.  But guess what?  They’ll all be talking about something/someone else next week.

You will fall in public once, maybe twice.  When you are 100% sober.  There is no ice.  And everyone is watching.

It looks like it is 5.30pm but in actual fact it is only 4.30pm.  Unaware of your poor time keeping you grab your coat and leave the office only to meet the cantankerous and belligerent elderly MD on the way out, demanding to know where you think you’re going.

You will get drunk after work one fine evening and spend the 20 minute bus ride home telling the driver how to drive and when every single stop is coming up.

There might be an argument with the staff behind the Abrakebabra counter regarding the lack of value for money with the jellybean machine; 6 for a 50c trouble.  The beans might be handed back in disgust.  Yes, there will have been alcohol taken.  

The chances of you disliking someone intensely for no good reason are high.  They just irritate and piss you off.  Intensely.  And for no good reason.

The practise of CIO (Crying It Out) won’t be for you but there might be a few times when you just let them cry because to pick them up means you could end up in tears yourself.  You won’t be proud of it, but you haul another stubborn, hissing child into the bathroom by the arm non- too gently.

You will know better than everyone else on occasion.  And not be afraid to show it.

Perhaps there will be one time in your life when you take a bottle of wine and some plastic cups into the cinema. 

You will love and hate absolutely everything about your kids.

Everyone will talking about something or other and you nod along despite not having the foggiest idea what it is.  Because you don’t want them to think you’re completely thick.  Yes, you have reached adulthood.

It will be normal to have a sudden urge to burst into snotty panicked tears when you hear “maammeeee” for the millionth time.

Wondering where time has gone will take up an inordinate amount of your time.  Along with when will I get my life back?  Without realising this is your life.

Calling your primary school teacher by their first name when you meet them in public thirty years later with kids of your own just won’t happen.  They were and always will be Mrs. Quinn, Miss. Foley or Sir.

When you open your mouth and your mother comes out, you will feel horror be thrilled, amused and slightly unsettled all at the same time.

Miscellaneous:  that three legged race at Sports Day back in the 80’s?  The one you thought you had in the bag?  Try to forget about your so called best friend deciding that the knotted pair of tights are too loose and insisting they be tied tighter.  You lose the race and she wins.  Shit happens.  Lots of shitty shit happens.  You may as well get used to it from the get go.   Treat this particular episode as a valuable lesson learned.

Enjoy the rest of your wonderful life and when you get knocked down, coz you will, get the fuck back up again and carry on!


Tuesday, 4 November 2014

November. You Wrecking Ball

FORGIVE me for this but November came in like a wrecking ball.  October finished with the mid-term break and suffice to say it was not the week I thought it was going to be.

Lots of shouting.  Stress levels through the roof.  Horribly horribly negative week so by the end of it I was not at all surprised to feel the beginnings of a cold sore on my lower lip.

I wasn’t too bothered as I always have a tube of bio-propolis for such emergencies.  

But when I woke up the next morning it was not your ordinary average run of the mill pesky little cold sore, similar to the ones I have been experiencing for the last decade.

No.  This fucker needed his own passport!  It was like the ones I suffered with in my twenties; hugely blistered and throbbing.  Not pleasant.  Unsightly to say the least.  I wanted a bell to announce my presence.

Immediately I blotted on some Sudocreme and reserved the bio-propolis for any public appearances.

When I was in my twenties I used to dye my eyebrows.    

Horridious!  I looked like someone had drawn on me with permanent marker.  People talked to them.

The shame.

During the first few days of November people talked to my cold sore.  Yes, it was that bad.

Then, I got those annoying little blisters on the tip of my tongue.  The ones that hang around for 24 hours but it’s an annoying and tender 24 hours until they fek off with themselves.
I decided I was run down.

What could I do?

For starters at the first opportunity I purchased a bottle of L Lysine tablets.

Lysine is an amino acid not manufactured by the body so we need to source it from our diet, in chicken, beef, fish, lamb, milk, cheese, beans, brewer’s yeast, mung bean sprouts, most fruits and vegetables.

I eat plenty of the above *with the exception of the bean sprouts, cheese and I like my yeast in the odd bottle of beer * but something was obviously awry with my system.

It is Day 5 and the blemish is obviously still there and painful but there is definitely an improvement.

Sudocreme is my best friend.  This stuff is great.  Especially for overnight use.

But I feel it is the L Lysine that is making all the difference.  A bottle holds 60 tabs and at the RRP of €8.94 it is recommended two tablets are taken with the main meal of the day.  Most tellingly and importantly it is suitable for people suffering from cold sores.

It practically had my name on the bottle!

I am pretty confident this will be gone over the next 5 days.  Making that a shelf life of 10 days compared to the usual 18 / 20 of yesteryear. 

November, you scurrilous fiend.  I shall be keeping a close eye on the rest of you!