In praise of presents.

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I know it’s politically correct at the moment to say when having a party or event “no presents please” or “it’s your presence not your presents we would like”. Me? I love presents. Both giving and receiving. The planning, the wrapping/unwrapping, the anticipation, the delight. No matter how small or big there is a lot of pleasure to be derived from the process, for all concerned. Continue reading

Best party ever…

IMG_1053My youngest is 12 this week. In our house, organised parties usually end around this time. This means that I can (almost) hang up my party organising boots. Thirty six parties later and with all the inevitable planning, invites, rice krispie buns, birthday cakes, tidy ups and party bags that this involves I reckon this makes me (along with every other parent in the world) something of an expert! It got me thinking back over the years to assess what made for a memorable party and therefore a memorable childhood, which is after all the reason we do it at all. The parties broadly seem to fall in to a number of categories. Continue reading

Bloom 2014: my highlights

New+Bloom+LogoAfter a tortuous week of seriously hard work in the pouring rain for those setting up the annual garden and food festival in the Phoenix Park in Dublin the sun finally came out. The show gardens have been transformed from virtual swamps into a dazzling array of colour, scents and not a small amount of sophistication. There are so many things I could blog about, from the design ideas in the show gardens (lots of circles and squares this year); the planting (lots of repetition in the planting types, with the exception of a few such as the two gardens designed by graduates of Landscape Design at Senior College Dún Laoghaire, more on these later) to the food (I ate far too many tasty bits) and the entertainment (sheep shearing a personal favourite). So here is a selection of my highlights. Continue reading