Michaels Tours: The Great Sugar Loaf

So the BF decided that he was going to take me up The Great Sugar Loaf . It was a stunning morning and a drive down to Wicklow sounded perfect. My mom is from Wicklow so I guess it feels like a home away from home.

We arrived at the car park and it started to rain 😦 but Michael is always prepared for anything Mother Nature has in store for us. So hiking boots on and rain gear packed and off we went.

I have to be honest when we started off my momentum was low and I was pushing myself too fast and I wasn’t enjoying it. Once himself told me to slow down, it wasn’t a race and to just enjoy the journey, I did start to have fun.

As we got closer to the top we met a dad with his little boy who was crying as his hands were cold. Michael gave his gloves to the little boy and dad was very happy. It was very cold and it had started to snow.

The scrambling part for me was my favorite and my wall climbing at Awesome Walls definitely payed off.

Once at the top the views were amazing and I’m not just talking about my gorgeous BF 😘 but having a 360 degree of Wicklow was superb. But a cloud was coming in fast and we wanted to get back down.

We came down another way and when Michael suggested it, I genuinely thought he was joking…… he wasn’t, and off we went, hailstones hitting our faces and it felt like the wind was going to blow me off the side of the Sugar Loaf. We pretty much jumped our way down through loose stones and it was the best fun I had all day. Definitely the best way down.

Once we got back to the car Michaels gloves were waiting for him. We were both super happy that we helped the little guy out.

Hot chocolate, coffee and Chocolate fudge cake after was a welcome warm treat in Plucks . Great afternoon out. Looking forward to more of Michaels Tours.

Continue reading “Michaels Tours: The Great Sugar Loaf”


Wicklow, “the garden of Ireland”My mom is from Wicklow so I’v always had a connection with this stunning county. So on Saturday we decided to take a trip and do some hill walking.

We arrived a little late, and knew we had limited time to achieve what we wanted. It was very busy and it took us over 30mins to get parked. A nice steady climb up to the waterfall.

It was a stunning day and my partner was well prepared for the climb. He prepares for every kind of weather. And as I learned on our previous climb to Slieve Donard that he’s right. If he hadn’t packed extra clothes for me I would have frozen.


The walk was very enjoyable and I was mesmerized by the views. I love nature and simply love been out doors. I’m not a TV person. Going on a solo adventure is something everyone should do. But sharing an outdoor experience with that special someone is magic. I always feel the healing powers of been outside. It also helps build the gap between nature and the distractions of our busy day-to-day life.

There are so many amazing walks and climbs in Ireland and I look forward to sharing more of my experiences with you.

Malahide to Portmarnock Coast walk

Today I decided I would walk the Malahide to Portmarnock coast road. It was a stunning morning with a beautiful sun shining low.

The walk there and back is about 10k. And with the views it seemed like a much shorter walk.

As you leave Malahide you can look over the beautiful golden sands.

Living away from home, the biggest thing that I miss the most (apart from my family) is the ocean. I miss the smells, the noice, the views but above all I miss “the feel good factor”. Walking barefoot in the sand grounds us, it connects us to nature’s beauty and reduces stress as life finds perspective

The daffodils were already blooming and glowing and people were walking around. Everyone seemed content.

You can see the headland of a Howth in the distance and out at sea you can see Lambay Island

I have never done this walk before but I’ll definitely be doing it again in the very near future .

Massy Woods

First orienteering course attempted last week.

We took a drive up to Massy woods yesterday which is across from Hell Fire Club. Weather wise it was perfect. We took a packed lunch, rain gear and of course our orienteering maps.

We parked at Hell Fire Club. I was excited about reading the maps. It was going to be a fun afternoon.

It’s not as easy as it looks with me getting slightly lost at one stage. It was however a lot of fun.

You don’t have to do the orienteering, you can just go for a walk and I would highly recommend it. The scenery is beautiful and you will definitely feel like you are away from all the stresses of life.

Dear 2020 please be kind.

Let’s just say that 2019 was the most challenging, emotional and spiritual year of my life. In the past year I have been through more upheaval than some people will experience in a life time. My marriage, my health, my family, my finances and my emotional wellbeing were in pieces around me. Much of what defined me collapsed in a matter of weeks.

Looking back over 2019, I want to be able to look back and be grateful, no matter the roadblocks that came in my way. I refuse to be bitter and allow these challenges to take away any power and the love that lies within me. I wanted to allow my pain and loss to take over any sense of joy or peace I felt. I wanted to give more space to my pain so that I could validate it, and somehow feel better through it. So I’ve decided that I’m gong to take time out today to reminisce on this painful year no matter the emotions that will surface, allow myself to dig deep and see all the bad and good that came to me.

New Year’s Day I decided to walk away from a very toxic marriage. A decision that took 2 years to make. Walking away from any relationship can be difficult, because been alone can be a very scary proposition. Staying would have been a tragedy. If toxic people were an ingestible substance, they would definitely come with a high powered warning and secure packaging to prevent any chance of accidental contact. Sadly, families are just not immune to the poisoning lashings of a toxic relationship. Most relionships can feel impossibly difficult at times but for the most part it should feel nurturing and life-giving and at the very least they shouldn’t hurt. Breaking away from the marraige really felt like tearing at barbed wire with bare hands. The more you do this the more it hurts, so for a while you stop tearing, until you realise that its not the tearing that hurts, its the barbed wire – the relationship – and weather you tear it or not, it wont stop cutting into you.

In February, I went for a cycle and got knocked off my bike as I collided into a lorry. My injuries were a concussion, bruises and scratches. I was very lucky. People normally focus on the physical injuries but there was some anxiety and a little post traumatic stress over the weeks that followed. It wasn’t until months later that the reality of what could have been really hit me. I’m still afraid to cycle.

At the beginning of March the marriage breakdown had become hostile and dangerous. I felt broken, wounded and disconnected. The pain was like water, it always found a way to push through any seal. There was no way to stop it. I made the decision to leave my home. A very emotional, stressful decision but one I knew that I had to do. Downsizing from a beautiful three story house to living in a tiny ass bedroom was challenging, both emotionally and mentally. But I felt safe and you can’t put a price on that. I freed myself from material possessions. I’m learning to find home within myself and not look for it outside of myself.

At the end of March, just when I thought I was coming out of the storm, I was hit with the most devastating news ever. On Mothers Day the biggest tragedy of my life happened. My darling sisters life was taken from her. Just like that she was gone. Coping with a violent death is the most severe challenge I had to face. The challenges around this became two-fold. I found myself trying to deal with the trauma and cope with the grief. Many people live with the assumption that the world is a predictable, fair and just place. They believe that they are in control, that they are safe and secure. The harsh reality is very different. There is no way to find the slightest relief from this ordeal. On top of experiencing the natural pain of any loss, I’m finding myself particularly vulnerable to two of the harshest aspects of the whole grief process: self punishment and chaos. Thrown into a pool of torment where my emotions batter and rage without mercy. Along side this I’m dealing with unfamiliar responsibilities, unrealistic demands and very painful intrusions. All of this of course causes a very high level of personal chaos and confusion. Mental images of her death is a constant torture. Coping with agonising factual details and my own imaginings. Imagining her final moments can be the on going torment.

The next few months I put all my energy into the investigation of my sisters death. Threw myself into work but eventually work became very difficult. Working along side my husband was impossible. My stress levels were at an all time high. The environment was abnormal and in September the decision was made to close the business after 10years. Another kick, another loss. When was this year going to end?

I learned a lot in 2019. I learned how selfless I can be. Even in my darkest moments I still made space for others in my heart. I didn’t think I was capable of this. I know now I can give so much even when I feel I don’t have to. Whether that is time, money, love or things. I learned that I didn’t have to struggle alone. People genuinely cared. I had so many people try to help mend my heart. I’ve learned to stop trying too hard. I’m learning to be myself without giving a shit about what people think. I’ve been trying to do that my whole life but I’ve reached a whole new level of not giving a shit. Not because I don’t value other people’s opinions or beliefs, but because I’m beginning to value my own more. In 2019 I freed myself from other people’s expectations of me. I’m grateful for my courage to leave everything behind and start a whole new life. I’m very grateful for all the new entering my life and very grateful for the things that left. I’m grateful that I inspired you and that I inspired myself. I’m grateful that throughout the shittiest year of my life, I rose above and became more of who I am, and for that I am blessed.

I hope that anyone who is going through a challenging time, that they will read this and realise that they have no reason to feel despair. I hope they feel uplifted, encouraged and inspired and that their sparkle returns into their eyes.

I survived the year, going into new relationships, successes and extra large doses of happiness. 2019 definitely changed me. It hardened me up in some ways and it exposed long denied vulnerabilities, too. I’m looking forward to discovering all that 2020 has in store for me. I’m ready for ya!!

How long is too long for you?

In my opinion I believe Porn can be blamed for a lot of pathologies and false ideas about sex: that women love anal; that we like to have our pussies spat upon and smacked; that men need to bone as if they’re literally filming a porn movie. But I believe one of the biggest myths it’s responsible for is that women expect a gentleman on the streets and a marathon runner in the sheets.

Believe it or not (I couldn’t), some guys don’t cum that easily. Shock! Maybe it’s from using condoms. Maybe it’s their medication. Maybe it’s too much masturbating and watching too much porn. Maybe their sperm has stage fright. Maybe their so emotionally unavailable that their dick can’t let its guard down. But for whatever reason, try as you both might, the jizz remains on lockdown, the orgasm elusive.

Back in my 20s(many years ago) I was dating a guy, I’m going to call him 5K – who had a severe case of delayed ejaculation or “rock cock” as its aptly called. No matter what I done I couldn’t seem to give him an orgasm. No matter how long I blew him, screwed him, or jerked him off. It didn’t matter, he could only achieve orgasm about one out of every ten sessions. Very frustrating.

He assured me it wasn’t for lack of desire, and so, we decided to bang our way through whatever the block was, which led to marathon sex sessions. But after 50 mins in- after doggy style; the lazy boy ( on the side, one leg thrown over his leg) ; bridge pose; and even slow intimate (read: creepy), missionary- I was dry, bored and hungry.


Still hard.

Most women would kill for this kind of lover, right? I started thinking what was wrong with me? Isn’t that why Viagra was a billion dollar industry? (Nope. It’s because old men can’t get it up.) It did get me thinking, though: how long is too long? ( the duration of sex, naturally, not dick size)

For my own unscientific study, a few months ago, (before summer)I put out a call on social media asking the ladies, “Not including foreplay, how long is too long for the duration of sex?”

One woman replied immediately and said “Any man who says ‘I’m gonna rock your world all night baby’ hasn’t had that much sex.

Over all there seemed to be a vast difference in the desired amount of time one has for sex depending on if the respondent was single or married. This was interesting! Two single women said their ideal trip to Pound Town was “three hours” but I feel like only people having sex occasionally would say that, because no one who’s having sex on the reg has time for daily three hour sexcapades. Do they?

That said, there did seem to be some unity among the women I surveyed (about 30 of them) some of my favorite replies:

“If I’m having sex longer than 35 minutes, I’m over it. And if I don’t cum in the first 5 minutes, I’m definitely over it.”

“The pleasing me part starts first. There’s no time duration for that. The intercourse part after should be under 10 minutes. I could be in and out from beginning to end in 11-15 minutes I’d say….. with 8 of those minutes solely focused on me.”

“I start thinking about tax returns at minute 12. Money keeps me enthusiastic.”

“Straight pounding? 23 minutes.”

“Anything more than 35 minutes starts to reach the ‘hurry the fuck up’ point for me”

“Five and half minutes of actual sex. Iv already long orgasmed by then, even 20 minutes would be too long, I’m tired and bored”

Most of the men who replied said something along the lines of “Please say three minutes! Please say three minutes! Please say three minutes!”

This struck me as brutally honest. In my experience, a majority of men exert a great amount of energy during coitus trying not to cum to quickly and trying to please her. And don’t get me wrong, on a scale of sexual conditions a man can experience, I’ll take rock cock over premature ejaculation or erectile dysfunction. But 5k’s inability to climax fucked with my head more than I though it would. I had no idea how much of my sexual self-worth and identity was invested in my ability to readily and quickly make a man cum. It was an interesting time.

It shook the very foundation of my entire delusion that I was some kind of otherworldly sex goddess, and as a result, I started feeling uninspired to have sex because I felt like I had failed. No matter how much he reassured me it was nothing to do with what I was doing or not doing as the case may be. I realize that sex shouldn’t be goal-oriented, but it bothered me on a level far deeper than my brain or feelings. This was some gut-level frustration that was hard to shake. It really was something that struggled with. Turns out men aren’t the only ones who get insecure about leaving their partner sexually frustrated. Fancy that.

The moral of the story: We all think we want to have sex for the average length of a porn scene, but in reality, the average man is lucky to last 6-7 minutes and most women seem to be content to finish somewhere between 10-25 minutes of knockin’ boots. Happy Days!

Trust me the giant caveat been that you can really only get away with a five minute roll-in-the-hay if you take care of her first during foreplay. If not, you’re what we ladies refer to as a “lazy one pump chump.”

For me I’ll all for a robust sex sesh. The foreplay can last for as long as we’ve got but after around minute 22 of intercourse, i start thinking about what I want to eat for dinner (or breakfast- I’m one of those freaks who loves morning sex)

Take note, the jury might be hung in regards to how long is too long, but it’s case closed on how short is too short. And it’s when you climax before she does.

Have you ever had a crush on someone? Were you embarrassed? And do you think it was healthy?

We’ve all played the lead role in a drama ladened with angst, sweaty palms, racing heart and the inability to concentrate on anything or anyone else except the object of our desire. Crushes can be extremely embarrassing, and can be difficult to imagine that all this cringe worthy behavior has a purpose and is actually good for us – at least most of the time.

Crushes have more to do with fantasy than reality. We can be taken unaware when Cupid strikes, suddenly becoming self conscious around someone you find attractive. Why it happens is a bit of a mystery. It tells more about the admirer than the admired.

So in its purest sense, a crush is a form of parasocial relationship; a one sided relationship where you have feelings for someone else but these feelings are not reciprocated.

So what goes on in our heads? The feeling of infatuation or love that crushes feel is real. It’s said that when we are in love that the stress and reward system in our brain works over time. The same could possibly be true when we have a crush. The feel good chemical is released making us excitable, chatty and probably explains why we blurt out unimaginable embarrassing things. This is exemplified by the mortifying line “I carried a watermelon” in Dirty Dancing.

It’s thought that when you’re in love or lust the stress and rewards system in our brain are working overtime and the same is possibly true when having a crush .

When your brain is examined by an MRI someone in Love tents to have a high activity in the limbic area (I asked a brain consultant) so perhaps this is the area we refer to if we trust our head over our hearts when it comes to finding a partner! The limbic system is associated with addiction, this might explain how getting over a crush can be tough, and some of us hold a torch for years.

Why do we have crushes anyway?

Is there a higher purpose to having a crush other than it makes us feel good. Parasocial relationships in adolescents can be important. This can allow the adolescent to explore who they are, sexually and understand what attracts them in a safe way. Plus they are not going to get hurt like in a relationship.

However it’s very important to distinguish between imagining what a relationship would be like, and having a crush with the intention of exploring a relationship.

Most of us have dated the wrong type of person, and had our heard broken as a result. Crushes can ensure this doesn’t happen. This person (the crush) is the right person because you idolize them, there going to be who you want them to be, it’s kinda like a training ground for a proper relationship in the future. Adolescent crushes are healthy in my opinion and teenagers shouldn’t feel embarrassed.

In adulthood things are a little more difficult. Our evolutionary history suggests we are not a monogamous species. So crushes could be a way to identify a future or additional partner to meet our needs, or could be that the adult is stuck in adolescent mode or it could be a getaway behavior that leads to cheating.

To finalize, I think crushes are harmless. It can help reduce loneliness and boost confidence. Crushes could help reinvigorate a stale relationship.

I’d encourage people to recognize that they are idealizing their crush. You can’t control who you have a crush on, just enjoy it.

Donatello’s Maynooth

Italian Food is all about the ingredients, it’s not fussy it’s not fancy.

Last Tuesday I met my sister and my niece for lunch. They took me to Donatello’s. The room is nice and big, decorated simply but cosy. The service was welcoming and polite.

I ordered there rustic lunch board meal at €13. I had the mussels, 6inch pizza and rosemary potatoes. I couldn’t fault anything. I asked for the pizza to be spicy and it was perfect. Since il primo closed in Dublin I have struggled to find a nice Italian restaurant and Donatello’s matched it. I’m really looking forward to going back.

Marriage. Do we need to do this?

Marriage made a lot of sense years ago. Let’s go back to the Victorian Era, when most women didn’t have the same rights and roles as men, and were effectively “private property” a societal legacy that still influences our tradition of the bride walking down the aisle and taking her husbands last name.

Women needed financial security as they didn’t have access to the work force and men needed an heir. We prettied it up by calling it “love”

So does marriage still play a role now? Women don’t need financial security as women have the same rights as men and yes I agree the whole reproduction thing still exists but do we need to get married for this reason ?

This blog is about long term monogamous, cohabiting couples and I’m not comparing marriage to bachelorhood or single parents. Why are we still getting married?

There are 3 arguments to look at

  1. The Taxes argument
  2. The children argument
  3. The commitment argument

The taxes argument: usually isn’t valid. People mention this argument when they want to skip out of the emotional part of this and try and make them selves believe that they are making a logical decision. But most people don’t benefit from this.

The children argument: it’s said that a 2 parent home is better for kids. But there is nothing to say that the parents need to be married.

The commitment argument: wow, there is a lot in this one. A famous magazine wrote something once, and it went something like this “declaring your love in front of all your family and friends in a formal ceremony and signing your marriage license that seals the deal is meaningful” now let me translate that, it’s harder to leave when everyone identifies you as been part of a married couple.

Marriage has become a status symbol. This is evident in “same sex marriage” marriage is about external validation. The assumption that marriage not only gives them a bundle of rights but also a privileged position . People marry to show their family and friends how well their lives are going even if they know it’s not going to last forever. Unfortunately our desire for acceptance and respect in society runs that deep. People say they get married for security, it makes it more difficult to leave. But that’s false security as contracts can be broken. With security we get comfortable and when we get comfortable we get lazy, and we all know relationships take work and been lazy is top of the list why couples divorce. I know people will say ” we know this, relationships take work” and my response is “why the contract ? Who don’t you trust? You or your partner?

When people tell me that they marry for “love” that just translates to “I don’t want to be alone”

I would much rather leave the door open for my partner to come back because he wants to not because of a legal contract that says he had to.

We love things more when we call them “ours” you evaluate kitchen equipment more positively after you buy it. You evaluate your job more positively after you accept it. You evaluate your college more positively after you have been accepted. Gamblers evaluate their horses more positively after they leave the betting window rather than when they approach it, and voters evaluate their candidates more positively after they cast their vote. A kettle, a job, college, a horse and a TD are all just fine and dandy but when they become our kettle, job, college, horse and TD they are instantly finer and dandier. It’s like when you hear people say ” my wedding day was the happiest day of my life” it’s not about having married “the one” its about having married.

It’s a fact that if you commit to something orally or in writing your more likely to honor it.

So where are we? We recognize that we desire social acceptance, false sense of security and love things more after we call them ours. So the question is, what do we do? What does this mean for marriage? The answer I guess really depends on our goals and values. What makes us happy?

If you value social acceptance (with family, friends, professionals and or religious groups) then just get married and do whatever it takes to stay married. But if you value more deeper happiness then you have to take a more complex approach. If you think you can have both and only pursue one, your wrong unless you are defining “happiness” as “social acceptance”

Deeper happiness means that we know that they only thing we control is ourselves. And everything changes, people change. Contracts mean very little to the human spirit. Deeper happiness means we view people as people and not parts to complete the picture of “the perfect life”

What makes us happy is focusing on what we can control (which is ourselves) and committing (ourselves) to our partner and loving them hard every day.

The only thing we control is ourselves. Marriage is about commitment, but it does start and finish with our own. And after that we just need to respect our partners as their own person, separate from us who commit to us, but not by a contract but by choice.