From Béloland to Clonegal!

Still in the attempt to catch up with my life and share with you another great experience, I’ll write here about our one day trip we mad

Photo Collage Maker_KmO2Gnwriting only one month later, I’m practically on time!!!
e in October. Oh, com’on, I’m

I wanted to try the Airbnb experience with my whole family, so this time Maya would be joining us.

Because I’m an anxious person and also because I’m an even more anxious mother I was worried to visit someone else’s house with my toddler.

During the search of the listing I tried to get as much information as I could on how suitable would it be children wise. At the same time I had to find a place that was a minimum attractive in my toddler eyes, a.k.a. there was something to be done and looked relaxing in mine…although you can think that both requirements cannot fit into the same sentence!

After some research, though, I found it.

It was a private room, the host was living in, so it was a real Bélo-style expe

Also there was a huge field around the house, horses, an orchard and two dogs.

It looked perfect, the host was a super-host so I just needed to have a look at the reviews. With my fingers crossed I started reading and I wasn’t disappointed. The one that convinced me was left by a couple with small kids saying that the 6 years old thought to have found a new set of grandparents.

That was it! I booked!

And the stay was beyond the fantastic! I couldn’t have been luckier or happier.

We could only reach the destination in the late afternoon as we had to wait my partner to finish at work first. The host was OK with a later check in so we were set for this detail.

Almost at our destination Maya fell asleep in the car. The idea was to get there, leave the bags and go somewhere to eat.

However, cause a sudden wake up Maya was very cranky and we couldn’t move.

Our host was fantastic because she empathized with the situation immediately. She prepared us a quick dinner so we didn’t have to think about it anymore.

Also Maya, little by little and with the huge help of the two dogs, got more confidence  and by the end of the evening she was playing around the room like she’d always been there.

Sandra took her to the huge fantastic library they had at the entrance and dug out of it a few books for children.

Before bed she also read Maya a bed time story and I started really to relax.

When we woke up in the morning a nice full Irish breakfast was waiting for us, fresh pressed orange juice was ready beside tea and coffee.

Sandra took care of Maya once again, letting us have a proper breakfast.

Immediately after we finished, as she was promised, Maya was brought to see the horses.

There was a huge stretch of grass at the back of the house and at the end of it there was a small enclosure for the horses.

Maya was so happy and she started running back and forth in the tall wet grass.

Sandra then brought her to pick apples in the orchard and then feed them to the two horses. It was so funny to see her enjoying so much.

After we finished there the two dogs decided it was time for a stroll  the nearby river. Maya, of course, ran headlong after them. Sandra offered to mind her until I could fetch my partner and in order to show him the river.

It was such an amazing site. My daughter was running around freely and I felt relaxed and able to breathe better.

I learned a bit more about Sandra who’s a fantastic person as well as great host.

At the end of the trip at the river Maya couldn’t walk anymore so Sandra called her husband and my princess was brought back with the car!

Photo Collage Maker_sfq1ppWhen I finally got back to the house I found her eating an ice lolly sitting on the patio with Sandra. Yes, it was really like being in my mum’s house.

Since Maya was wet to bone I had to wash her. We had a private bathroom with tbesidhe shower but Sandra insisted to prepare her a bath, which actually was ideal. Sandra added also some plastic lightened frogs to let her play. Needless to say Maya didn’t want to get out!

But it was time to go for us and return to Dublin.

Of course nobody wanted to leave the place.

I felt so relaxed for the time I’d been there that I want to go back.

I have to go back! That’s just heaven!!!

Why? Sick world, why?

I know that I don’t update this blog regularly and I also know that I have old posts that cry to be published. Some of them are even almost ready.

However, I want to say my opinion about the recent events. Well not really an opinion, it is actually one of my flash rants really…

Once again the illustrator Don Alemanno captured well the meaning of all this crap. I don’t believe in any god, but still I find very hard to understand why a god peaceful and full of love (every religion has always given such an excuse) would want war, violence and vengeance.

“God, please, come on earth… and tell everybody you don’t exist”

What the hell is wrong with the world?

I think we could well foresee we would end up with wars or reproaches like the one happened in France.

I’ll try to explain what I mean.

Too often people who hurt other people or bully them or kill them get away without punishment.

From there we go a step further with the corruption of our governments or the humanity greed for power and wealth. They also get away unpunished or seen as temporary issues or as no problem at all.

How can we possible think that in a world where the stronger the wealthier and more corrupt reign we could have justice or at least we could have no reproaches like the one happened in Paris?

I was shocked, no, more than that, I was petrified when I read about the bombing happened not even 72 hours later Friday’s tragic events. I had the urge to vomit.

I didn’t even had the guts to read the article, but I ask myself: how can they mourn their dead planning the revenge? And also acting as they did? In particular as fast as they were ready already?

Do they really want the 3rd world war?

I look at my daughter’s face and I’m scared and angry at myself, as I’m as powerless as the majority of us in this power games.

What will I tell her? How I will teach her to be honest and good? And what for, since the world is so rotten?

You all really suck….

Thanks Oisín!

This is where the class was held. Google search.

A week has already passed since the Fantasy and Sci-Fi writing workshop ended.

I’m so sad about it, I could have cried during the last class. Good for me that I managed to keep the control this time around and don’t behave like an idiot!

The class was run by Oisín McGann  who’s one of my favorite writers, as you might well know by now.

Since I’ve mentioned him several times in my past blog posts, you might be curious to know something more about him. If you are, go to his website and check the books he’s written! Try to read one, whatever you’ll pick you won’t be disappointed, I promise!

The class ran for 6 weeks, once a week and it was all about writing and publishing your book. He began with some tips on how to get ideas for your stories, went through hints on characters, plot, world building and structure of the novel itself and ended with advices on publishing.

It was the second workshop I did with him and it was as much interesting as it was the first one. I enjoyed every single minute of it!

Despite me being busier this time with a toddler and a full time job, I made the effort with pleasure.

Most of all I knew I needed it.

After all the books on writing I read and all the workshops I made, I needed to go back to the origin. It was more or less like the need you have to go back home after travelling around the whole world.

Oisín is a natural entertainer, it’s just a pleasure to listen to him. He explains concepts in a funny, simple but very detailed way.

I know that becoming a writer it’s not easy, but listening to him gives you hope that, with hard work, you can make it…eventually.

His love for the job is clear and comes out from his explanations; so even if you went there just out of curiosity you’ll be at least tempted to give it a go! His enthusiasm is contagious!

But I also went for another reason.

You might remember my three rant posts about the atrocious feedback I received in my last workshop with “the editor” that brought me to seriously consider stopping my writing dream.

So what I wanted was a feedback. I didn’t want necessarily a positive feedback but at least a constructive one. I’m intelligent enough to understand I have weak points and that I have to work hard on them, but I needed someone whom I respect to tell me that and to be able to focus again.

And I’m happy and moved to tell you that I got what I needed.

I understand that this field is hard and that not always I will be able to receive a nice feedback or reply, and maybe it’s about time for me to build a little bit of armor around me since I want to become a writer.

However, I believe that there is a huge difference in between a negative, even rude comment and some racist even mean statement.

I had to go back and cry on mummy’s lap! Sue me!

Oisín gave me an honest feedback telling me the bits I have to work on and I promise I’ll do my best to comply, because I think he’s right!

Since my main issue is still finding the time to write, I think I’ll finish the planning properly, as I realize I’m a bit of a heavy planner and I’ll start with writing! Of course on my Luas trips and 10 minutes increments scraped from my lunch breaks. Slowly but surely!!!

Just one last thing:

Thank you, Oisín, thank you so much! 

Happy Halloween!


I’m aware that Halloween has gone already, but the annoying “having no time” condition you’re now familiar with, my dear readers, didn’t let me be faster! I actually just realized that I haven’t published anything for the last two weeks. 

Despite Halloween being gone I wanted to share my experience with you because I hadn’t had such a good fun like this year for ages.

I’ve always been curious of Halloween and attracted to it, but before living abroad I’ve always seen it as some event happening somewhere else.

When I was young, in Italy we celebrated Carnival in February and for that occasion we dressed in costumes (although less spooky). For the New Year’s Eve there were fireworks.

When I moved to Ireland I was shocked because there were no Carnival nor New Year’s Eve fireworks.

On the other hand there was the Halloween celebration that mixed a bit of both traditions.

Despite being attracted and intrigued by Halloween, I hadn’t appreciated it until this year. Yes, I went to a party or two and I prepared the candies for the  trick or treating kids in the past, but this year has been different.

I have to thank my child, whose involvement was crucial!

Being Maya older this time around and with the excuse of her being more involved and demanding, my inner child went wild!

I carved my first pumpkin ever using just a simple spoon and knife to do so. Despite that it was an acceptable job.

Also my company organized a Halloween Party for kids. Since I didn’t manage to the one thrown for adults I decided to dress along with Maya. Of course I dressed as pirate! Yarrr!

They organized face painting and pumpkin carving and delicious hot food for the families.

I carved my second pumpkin there, using the simple plastic useless looking carving set, and my job looked much better. I managed to carve a cat pumpkin!

But the day wasn’t over.

In the evening I decided to bring Maya to trick or treat in the neighborhood with a neighbor friend.

She’s from China and, like me, never trick or treated before.

I’m genuinely still not sure whether our daughters or us enjoyed more the whole event, but we were so happy and giggling.

We kept repeating we should do it every year.

Maya fell a couple of times running around and after her older friend with her short chubby legs, but she had such a great fun!

The booty as well was consistent! We managed to fill half of a very big bag, the one you get when you go in the toy stores!

Nothing special or magnificent happened, a part for the fact that we all enjoyed our Halloween day like I wouldn’t think possible.

So, even if in late, Happy Halloween!

And how did you spend the day? What did you dress as? Let me know in the comments!

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