Thursday, 29 July 2010

Studying Latin

I am delighted to report that I have been accepted onto a Latin distance learning course with the Open University.  It has been over 20 years since I studied Latin at school and I have memories of it being a highly fascinating language to learn.

Did you know that....

roughly half the vocabulary of the English Language comes from Latin?

Latin was the official language of all documents written in England before 1733?

there are no native speakers of Latin (as it is only used as a second language)?

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Apologies for not updating this blog in a while.  The summer holidays are here and  I have been keeping my son entertained, you know how it is.   How are you all?
Everthing fine, I hope!    

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I have submitted my French 'themed'  blog to the Francophilia Gazette (online) and they have agreed to include it in their publication in the autumn.....I'm passionate about France, the French, baguettes and Helene Segara - read all about it in

Sunday, 20 June 2010

King of the Castle

My little son turned 4 is 7.45 pm and I am exhausted.   
We all went to Bangor, Co.Down for a day out with Ryan and my step dad since it is Father's day too.....the weekly car boot sale was on so we had a browse there.   Next stop was the kiddies park and Pickie Puffer train ride which my son enjoyed thoroughly.    Next stop after that, a spot of shopping.  For once I was wise with my spending.      By the time we had got home it was 3.30 pm.

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We are just relaxing now, can't believe how much my feet are aching from the day out today.
Ryan is also loving the toys he got for his birthday....books, clothes, you can see from the picture he looks like he is ...king of the castle!!!

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Latest news

I had a lovely birthday yesterday , and got spoilt with so many presents. 36 sounds old but it isn't really (unless you are a 6 year old)!
My boyfriend got me a big box of The Body Shop well as a silver earring and necklace set and he accompanied me to my favourite Dim Sum restaurant for lunch - I was well chuffed.
I had been inundated with birthday wishes from family and friends and received some nice gifts including...
a Chinese tea set, a decorative teapot set, a Sat nav system for my car, a fresh bouquet of flowers, personalised items from my favourite sister Yvonne, as well as chocolate, other jewellery and money..... I feel so lucky that I have friends and family that care about me....

This week I had volunteered to do two extra shifts at the charity shop. Audrey, the main worker there was in hospital and will be absent all of next week also....(she happens to be the wife of last year's Mayor of Newtownabbey..)
I really like my job there.

On Monday I am going to get two new front tyres fitted to my wee motor. It went for a service recently and the engineer recommended it. Cars cost a lot of money to maintain I can safely say that!

We are headed to my cousin's again tonight for an outdoor barbeque party.   I must admit I haven't been to one in years.

Ryan's new teacher when he starts primary school is Miss McDonald.  His new uniform is a yellow polo shirt with a sweatshirt worn on top, both with the Abbot's Cross emblem on the right breast.       Exciting stuff!

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

School meeting...

We have an appointment at Ryan's new primary school tomorrow afternoon. The aim of it is to get introduced to the teachers and to find out about uniforms, and other issues.  Andy has taken a day off work to go to it.    It is only another 3 more weeks before Ryan finishes playgroup for good...scary thought!!  I'd gotten used to having my own freedom for three hours every morning....

Friday, 4 June 2010

I visited my younger sister Yvonne yesterday.  She's fine and is coping well with the twins.
They are both now around 12 -13lbs in weight.


                                              Eve & Tsai

                                              Eve & Ryan

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

My mum is the greatest workaholic I know.....
When I was much younger my main memories of her were always of her standing behind the fryer in the takeaway, or she would be peeling the potatoes.... or making battered pork balls...... my sis and I used to hide behind the storeroom at the back of the shop, and sneak a couple of them up our sleeves.
That was the 80's era and tv programmes such as Chips, The Incredible Hulk, Happy Days, Wonderwoman, Knight Rider, A team, Little House on the Prairie, Lassie & Benji  were always on the small screen.......
Actually, my mum wouldn't let the slightest thing discourage her from doing things. As well as being extremely hardworking, she was a busybody as far as housework was concerned, even til this day. She whizzes around , and doesn't stop 'til the house is in pristine condition. I worry about her.  One of these days she will end up being washed out completely.  I wish she would look after herself more.   But she always put us first - and still does.....

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

I felt like I was banging my head against a brick wall tonight.    After I tucked my son into bed, he marched down the stairs a further 6-7  times with a plethora of would be so good if he could just go to sleep whenever he is put into bed, but children are unpredictable like that.     I can safely say that Ryan is our enfant terrible.

I have a confession to make; actually I haven’t been watching my diet as well as I should. It’s true when they say ‘A moment on the lips , is a lifetime on the hips’....motivation is what I need.  We have been eating more vegetarian products (quorn)…as a change from eating meat sometimes in an effort to try to eat more healthily. I was a vegetarian for 8 years and it was one of the best things I ever did. It’s really scary when I think I could be putting myself or my closest ones at risk of bowel cancer or heart disease.   It is a worry.
           favourite food of all time!

Monday, 24 May 2010

Simply red!

No, my son has not dyed his hair.  It is Ryan gone punk.               

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Write your own book!!

For a few years now , I have been interested in the idea of writing a book.
I approached a book publishing company named Athena (based in England) but did not get anywhere with them.  Then last year, I found this online book publishers called ( After signing up this website provides you with a free book-making software programme.   Basically, you get to have great creative control over what you put in your book.   I have just finished my second book with them and waiting for it to arrive in the post.
I have ideas of what my third book will be about; my son Ryan, or my dad. Or, maybe I should dedicate my book to my dad, who means so very much to me.
I'm no JK Rowling...though I can't help getting excited about writing, whether it is on my blog or my own creative book...
I detest literature in the traditional sense though. I always felt somewhat daunted when given a difficult essay topic to write about at university.
What is true though is I do like to express myself through words, and I guess that is just a good starting point as any!

Bumping into an old friend - virtually!

I was pleasantly shocked and surprised to come across a You tube video of an old friend that I knew when I was studying in Strasbourg, France (1995/1996).  I never thought she would become this famous....just who am I talking about. CANAL JAGERROOS, the international Chinese artist from Macau!
We'd met one evening after attending a Jehovah's Witness Kingdom Hall Meeting in Strasbourg.   Don't get me wrong, I am not a Jehovah's Witness though I do have a lot of respect for them. But , Canal's husband Johan was working away at the time so she invited me back to her house.   It was the beginning of a great friendship (all my friendships in France were great), one which I will never forget. First she treated me as if I were her own sister.  She cooked for me and I must've been the first Cantonese speaking person she had spoken to in a good while.  So we had lots to talk about.  
I ended up staying the whole weekend. Her house was only 10 mins walk away from my student bedsit.

I am proud that we became good friends, Canal hadn't even had her first child Filip at that time.
I would visit her frequently and she even painted a portrait of me. On leaving Strasbourg for good ,to return to England where I was based as a student she gave me one of her traditional Chinese lady paintings which I still treasure 'til this day.

When I read reviews of her art, it sort of makes me feel honoured to know Canal.
Although our friendship only lasted months, it left a very special impression on me and on my mind......WOW!  The reality hits me and I realise I've never been friends with an 'artist' before & I feel like I am in awe!  I feel privileged.    We were two different people from totally different walks of life and our paths crossed.    I certainly learnt from the friendship that we June 2003 I reconnected with her and flew to Senegal, West Africa to meet up with her. I stayed at their villa for two whole weeks during which I did my travel thing...and the kids Filip and Sabine were already half grown up!

Friday, 21 May 2010

Ryan's sleeping....finally, he drifted off after a long day ...

I decluttered his room, cleaned it out...then organised his toy box and book shelf.  He has more books than I have had in my entire life, SCARY!

It feels so good to declutter and clean up: I mean it really does make you feel a lot better. In a mental way and emotionally, it is such a liberating feeling.  Sort of out with the old, and in with the new.

I'd made it a rule to learn a little bit of Spanish each evening.
Twenty minutes - that's all.   I want to do it. Languages to me are easy.  My aim is to learn enough to be able to understand the basics, so I can order food at a restaurant or ask where the toilet is.    C'est vrai.  Je dois le faire.

The film 'The Shepherd' is on the small screen.  My other half is engrossed.    It's about drug dealers, lots of violence thrown in, blackmail etc... I cannot for the life of me understand why films like these fascinate the male species!     He fast forwards through the adverts....gripping the remote like it was his lifeline.

Has anyone ever read the book by John Gray, entitled 'Men are from Mars, women are from Venus'?     In it, John describes the fundamental differences between the male and female human species.  His theories make sense.  Read this book if you are in a relationship!  It may even improve it.    I find much of this book makes a lot of sense, like the theory that females tend to be more into communication, whereas men, like to keep their feelings hidden...and are not so into 'sharing' that way.   
I first read this book after an ex bought me it a long time ago.  He gave it to me after we split up.  Actually he was my first boyfriend.  He knew what the word 'romance' meant.   One Valentine's Day he sent a bunch of a dozen red roses to my workplace.   I loved them SO much, that I still had them weeks after they wilted. 
Woohoo, roll on the weekend!

My little nephews are growing so fast apparently. It's been a few weeks since I last visited them. I applaud my sister for all the hard work she is doing.  (I'm sure she is exhausted)  As traditionally, twins are 'double trouble'.  
I have got myself another couple of penpals : one girl who is from Malaysia and another from France.
The PenpalsNow website is pretty word of advice for anyone submitting personal info on penpal websites :  DON'T include your postal address. I learnt from the mistake of putting my address on one site and all I seem to get is letters from prisoners. I am still getting them - eight years after placing the original adverts.  There is only one place for them - the DUSTBIN.

Just read in the paper Boyzone star Ronan Keating is to split from his wife because of an affair he had.
Why do people do things like that?   It's a sad thing to happen.  I myself was involved in a relationship with a guy who didn't quite know the meaning of the word fidelity.   But that's another blog.

Also, is it me, or are we having more humid weather than  usual?   I live in N.Ireland and even in the summer time, the weather is quite mild.   Temperatures are as high as 19 C today!
I'd managed to learn a few basic words of Spanish - I hate going on holiday and not being able to commmunicate with the locals. My other half chose Barcelona as our next destination...we'd been there in 2007 and always wanted to go back.   So, we'd booked a trip back to the second largest city in Spain.     Ooh, I can't really wait!!