12 Jul

July 2017 Allotment Update

It’s been a while is becoming my catch-phrase this past couple of weeks.

I sat down at my desk on Monday and started to go through all my recipes on the blog. There are now over 550 published articles on the blog. It’s taking me some time to go through them all, dust them off, and start sharing them again. I hadn’t done that in months. Since the middle of May in fact when life (and death) got in the way of having time to do anything other than blog and work.

The longer I continued to focus on work and family, the more difficult it became to sit at the desk and write a blog post, or go to the allotment to garden. Especially because visits to the allotment have been bittersweet.

Those onions are just about ready to harvest:

It kind of reminded me why we love growing with the kids so much when I saw the first-time joy all over again through their eyes.

The peas, the peas are taking over 2 raised beds, they are everywhere at the moment in a giant tangle of pods and climbing tendrils. I will have to do a big collection in the next couple of days and then set about podding and freezing the peas themselves.

Of course that depends on being able to get the peas home safe and sound. It can be a bit of an issue when they are the most delectable treat eaten freshly picked, particularly when you’re 5 years old.

The sweetcorn and tomatoes are also thriving, plus there’s a new baby aubergine fruiting away in the polytunnel. Nevermind all the berries, garlic, courgettes, pumpkins, and much more.

All of this sounds like a really bountiful allotment and it is. However, we have struggled with time for the past 2 months or so. It’s the one thing that will always sabotage us. The allotment has become very overgrown and choked with weeds. We never did get to finish the last couple of raised beds and have to make do with what we’ve got this year.

For now I’m going to count my blessings and move forward. I can’t change the fact that the weeds have grown but I hope to get down there later on today with my trusty gloves.

You’ll find more regular updates over on my Instagram account which is WholesomeIreland and I’m trying to keep my Insta-Stories updated everyday. I’d love to connect with you over there if you’re interested.

In other news:

  • The Leaving Cert is over, we all came out the other end in one piece. College applications and grant forms are filled in and all we can do is wait and hope that the 17 year old gets the course she hopes towards the end of August.
  • The kids are all now on holidays, bringing new challenges around working from home. I’m very grateful to have some help in this regard though.
  • Last weekend I worked with Lidl Ireland* on their LGFA Future Stars Roadshow in Cavan and Galway. There I worked with Tom Dalton of TD Fitness on some cookery demonstrations and chatted with other parents about feeding their families on a budget, fussy eaters, and how to find time out for themselves in a busy lifestyle. This weekend coming I’ll be on the Roadshow again in Dublin and Cork.
  • I’ll have a new recipe with one of my favourite ingredients on the blog later on this week.
  • The wash basket refuses to empty, no matter how many washes I put on, and the socks still haven’t learned to sort themselves.

Finally, for those wondering about the bank situation…

Nope, no change there. We got another non-update letter today, the first since the beginning of April, telling us that the review is ongoing. Apparently we’ll hear again from the bank within 60 days, when I fully expect to get another non-update. It’s now been over 6 months since they first admitted their error. Although we have been returned to our tracker rate they still insist we owe them €40,000 more than we should. No redress (restoring the account to the way it should be), no compensation, and no meaningful engagement with us.


I mention Lidl Ireland as I’m the Lidl Ireland Full Shop Ambassador and you’ll find me writing about my full shop every week on their website.

You’ll also find me popping up in their weekly brochures!

05 Apr

Tuesday 19th July, 2011 – Tracker Mortgage Update

I’m crying.

Big fat dirty tears of despair are running down my face. It’s the kind of ugly cry that I never want to be seen in public, yet here I am. Standing in the Community Welfare Office with my husband, trying to figure out how we will manage while he’s temporarily laid off over the Summer months. The Welfare Officer shifts in her seat, embarrassed. I turn and push the buggy away from the window that separates (protects) the staff from the public. Eyes sympathetically follow me as I wrestle a tissue out of my pocket, push the buggy with our 2 year old with one hand and blow. My pregnant bump on show, my hair askew, and tears streaming down my face.

Himself has turned a deep shade of cerise, bordering on purple. We had no choice but to look for help and this feels like a betrayal of everything he believes in. He wants to provide for us, but can’t. Read More

05 Jan

What Happens From Here?

I’m starting 2017 in a state of flux because so much is up in the air. What happens from here? How will we manage our mortgage/bills and what are my plans for the future?

It’s a question I’ve been asked quite a bit over the past few weeks or so, since we finally got our letter and confirmation from Ulster Bank that we were indeed on the wrong interest rate for about the last 6+ years. We have been wrongly charged, we know that we ended up in arrears, needlessly for a substantial part of them. Read More

22 Dec

The Solstice Brought Hope

Wednesday morning, long, LONG, before the dawn, I tweeted a message about the days getting longer and that the Solstice brought hope. I’ve not been sleeping very well, the stress of everything has been taking its toll. Later on that day as I waited for the letterbox to click, just as I have done everyday since the CEO of Ulster Bank made that promise at the Oireachtas Finance Committee, I felt that hope wane.

The letterbox didn’t click at the usual time and the day got longer. Still no sign of the postman. I sent out a message to the neighbours asking had the postman been yet. Yes, he had, but with nothing for me. Read More

05 Dec

Banking On Christmas Stress

It’s not the lack of money for groceries that gets me in the end because I don’t notice the difference. It’s the stress; the feeling of tightness in my chest when I think about the bills, the weird anxiety when I consider getting the car past the NCT, and the massive gulp when we pay the mortgage every month. Then absolute screaming frustration when another niggly thing crops up that we have to pay for, that I have to fit into the budget. Somedays I feel like I’m wandering around in an empty house, in an empty town, in an empty country, with nobody to talk to about how it feels to be constantly worried about money. Read More

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