Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘celebration’ Category

Yup … it’s the kind of day to stay cosy and warm inside.

Unfortunately I had to go into town [sounds like a bleedin’ trek across the himalayas … it’s only 5 minutes in non icy weather] to pay the rent and get some more books from the library.

My good friends Miriam and Jimmy are staying with me for a few days [as they wait and try to get up the icy back mountain roads to their home] so we walked carefully in convoy into town.

As we walked down the road from the estate the army drove up to grit the roads … better late than never lads.

It’s slippy in town but it felt great to be out and walking even if the windchill factor is minus 5.

Dropped in and had a chat with Maggie … then off to say hi to the fab women in the Credit Union … then to the bank to pay the rent … then library to get books and say hi to the lovely women there … then Hi to Maggies Mum and Dad who have had no running water for weeks and still look neater and dapper than me!

Was about to slide my way home when I was hailed by Sharon Sweeny [Cannaboe Confectionery entrepreneur and wicked witch baker of my favourite carrot cake … no Liz … it is not a health food!] who offered me a lift back to my home.

Lovely to see her and I want to sent my best wishes to her mother who had a wee fall [like thousands and thousands of others around the country] on the ice and broke a few bones. It could be any of us no matter how careful we are.

Thanks Sharon for the lift and I have to give you a jar of honey that the wonderful Anne sent us from the Liz Biz beehive in America. The honey is delicious and I want to send a big hello and happy new decade to Anne. May you, your husband and bees all flourish and prosper.

Home now and enjoying the swedish cinnamon buns I made for the first time yesterday. They were delicious and I was very pleased to serve them to Jimmy and Miriam.

notice carrot cake in background?

I bought the best cook book ever last week and have been making stuff from it ever since. It’s a book that was commissioned by the Irish publishers Mercier Press from a food blogger … a young Irish lad called Donal Skehan. He writes a blog called Good Mood Food and I’m loving the cook book.

Tonight I’m cooking his recipe for Thai Green Chicken Curry and later on in the week I’m making big batches of 2 soups to freeze – Red Pepper and Tomato soup & Pea and Mint Soup.

And just in case you think I’m lolling around cooking … I am!

I’ve also sorted my office and have already booked Koh restaurant for a new round of Blog Design workshops in Dublin on Feb 6 and 7.

blog design workshops in Dublin

The workshops I did in November were a great success and I am really looking forward to doing more this year. The people I get to meet are really interesting.

The cost of the workshop is 80 euro and runs for 5 hours. People leave with a fully designed blog site and the skills to insert content and vids and photos and heaps of other stuff. People also get a 60 page info pack, chocolates and a fun learning time with me.

What’s not to love?

Someone sent me an email from an organisation [who will remain nameless] who is offering a 6 hour workshop in Dublin on setting up a blog and writing content … and they are charging 295 euro!!!

So I feel like I’m offering a quality bargain.

Coco and I are now ensconsed warmly inside and I’ve just put out heaps of bread for the birds.

All is well in my world.

Slan

Liz

p.s If anyone around town [or family in Oz and Singapore] has a Wii console they want to sell … I’d love to buy it. I really want to get the console, buy the EA Sports Challenge and just go for it in the privacy of my own home. You can email me – focusedsolutions1st@gmail.com

If there are none going I’ll buy one with the profits from my blog workshops in February.

When it comes to being physically fit I realised that I needed some new solutions to a very entrenched old problem. I decided to bring the exercise into my own home and make it varied and interesting with clear goals and feedback along the way … so that’s why I want a Wii.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

dec 27 snow in field next to my home

Now that I have sorted the broadband stuff and vented about Eircom [will keep you updated on whether they end up offering restitution for their incompetence] … it’s time to focus on the brighter side of life.

photo from my office window soon after moving into new home

I have a great feeling about this new decade and I don’t care if it’s just my optimism … good feelings are good feelings and should be hugged and snuggled close.

I’m in my new home and am loving the space and light and warmth … and Coco loves being able to play [tied to a long line] outside and watch the birds.

Decorating the house for Chritmas was a delight and my friend Brendan joined me for lunch … lovely to have a guest in the new space. Here’s me surrounded by food abundance and … a glass of bubbles … surprise surprise.

The kitchen dining room is huge and as you can see has room for a lounge suite. I’m really pleased that my Eamon Coleman painting has at last found a space big enough to hang … it was the first painting I ever bought in Ireland nearly 16 years ago and I love it.

The lounge room has a lovely fireplace [which is getting a lot of use in these freezing conditions] and Brendan lent me his Xmas tree which we decorated … looks fab and I still haven’t taken it down I love it so much. When the snow and ice melts then I will bring it down.

Upstairs I have 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms … one is now an office. My big bedroom gets the morning light and looks over fields. Coco loves standing on the couch and looking at the birds outside. I’ve started leaving seeds and bread and oats out for the birds and Coco goes into a kind of shivery delight when she sees 6 robins all perched on the wall!

view from one of my bedroom windows

Soon after I moved in it started snowing and I watched in delight as everything became whiter and whiter … little did I know it was going to last over a month.

The views from my house

my back yard

The back lane behind the house looked like something out of a movie and I ended up laughing when Coco tried running down the ice laden space … legs going everywhere!

The field next door is Coco’s idea of heaven as she just runs and runs around it … I get a bit nervous that she’ll run across the road but so far so good.

Over the last weeks we’ve had more snow and ice and I’ve taken lots of photos. I was telling my nieces and nephew in Oz about the snow so these photos are for them … they meanwhile are experiencing temps in the 40’s C.

Note – all the thumbnail photos can be enlarged by clicking on them. All the photos are either in the field next door to my new home or on the road walking in to Ballinamore … 5 or so minutes although I haven’t been able to walk in since Xmas as the paths on the estate are icy dicey.

Marc asked me today if I had made any new year resolutions and I said no … what I’d done was make some Life Dreams for this year and the new decade.

I clarified what was important for me right now and drew/wrote ideas … here’s a photo of the drawing that I’ve put on my fridge so I can see it every day. I took each of the areas and have noted things I want to do [and the rewards] … and I know that circumstances may change and opportunities/challenges will arise … that’s life.

I’ve been doing my own Life Dreaming for around 20 years now and I still am encouraged by the fact that there is always some new insight … something else I see and learn.

What did I learn doing this Life Dreaming?

That developing and launching Life Dreaming online and globally this year is THE biggest dream I’ve had in a long long long time … and achieving it will fuel and fund a lot of my other dreams.

I was already committed to Life Dreaming … but making the realisation that Life Dreaming is the priority in 2010  [after looking at my 2010 Life Dreaming drawing more closely] has added another layer of focus and intent for me.

Because I have now made it such a huge priority … that will take time and effort and energy … I know that I will be saying NO to many other opportunities and offers [no matter how interesting] that have already begun to come my way. That’s known as the Opportunity Cost of making a decision.

It’s all about where I want to focus my will.

That doesn’t mean that I won’t ensure I eat well … spend time with family and friends … find some form of exercise that engages me … travel a bit [Paris and Marrakech are on the radar] … love Coco … make a welcoming home … make some short term money … listen to my intuition … be part of my community … write this blog … drink bubbles!

But it does mean that for 2010 there will be some interesting paths I could have travelled that I will consciously ignore because I am developing Life Dreaming.

There’s a kind of serenity and peace in making that decision and being [relatively] clear about what is important in my life right now.

That’s how Life Dreaming works for me … it helps me create purpose and direction [without losing a sense of the spontaneous or ridiculous that populates my life] in a way that makes me feel excited and enthusiastic … and that’s got to be the most powerful way to live … for me anyway.

And Life Dreaming is a partnership with my brother Marc … and that’s brilliant for so many reasons. I know that there will be times in this year [and beyond] when Marc and I will feel frustrated and exhausted by developing Life Dreaming … and that’s life when you’re building a business. I also know that we’ll have more fun together than a bag of monkeys and we both believe passionately in how useful Life Dreaming can be.

So … Coco & I send you magnificent wishes for a year and decade that engages you and brings all the abundance you want.

Slan

Liz

Read Full Post »

liz

Anyone that has read this blog over the last few years will know that I’m basically a very optimistic person.

I believe that feeling hopeful is why I get out of bed in the morning.

And the last year and a half have provided a lot of interesting challenges and opportunities … most of which I have met with a measure of good cheer and creative thinking.

Yup – there have been duvet days and I love them.

And I’ve had fantastic support from family and friends … my love and thanks to you all.

I believe that nothing stays the same – good or bad – and part of thriving in this crazy chaos is to build your capacity for resilience and humour and patience and persistence.

Even in the worst moments I knew that it wouldn’t last.

Not being clairvoyent is a gift … I really, really, really … really … don’t want to know the future.

And many of my friends and family have faced their own big challenges this year – ill health, death of loved ones, financial woes … loss of some kind.

People’s capacity for courage and just damn good humour in the shittiest situation never ceases to encourage and amaze me.

Many of you have been my inspiration this year … thank you so much.

And now for the good news.

I heard a week ago that myself and a Dublin consultancy had won a nice contract.

It means that I will have more money guaranteed for the next 6 months.

The relief is wonderful … and the genteel poverty of the last 18 months wasn’t all bad either. It’ll just be nice to be able to pay bills and rent on time …and then buy some winter clothes.

I’ve also applied for an Entrepreneurial Internship grant with the National Digital Research Centre in Dublin. If I win one then I have to move to Dublin for 3 months and build a SKIL2 prototype.

Special thanks to my brother Marc for doing all the visual branding for SKIL2 and for agreeing to be my Brand Director.

More thanks to my good friend Margaret Lonergan who has agreed to be my Visual Interface Design Director [a bit of a coup as Margaret was Head of Visual Communications in the National College of Art and Design until feb this year when she went back to her visual communications consultancy] as we design the most beautiful + practical + affordable online learning space.

And even more thanks to Amy [one of my international SKIL2 Mentors] who read through the application form and gave me detailed and brilliant feedback that made it even better.

I gave everyone fab titles because currently they have been giving me their time and talents for free. When SKIL2 makes money they are sooooo getting a bonus.

Exciting and scary … as all adventures should be.

I’ll hear whether I am invited to pitch the idea to a panel by tomorrow.

Writing the grant application was really useful as I had to further refine and clarify what SKIL2 was all about.

And I got to do it twice!!! Lucky me.

I had to work online within their site …and when I went to save a pile of work I’d typed … it disappeared …never to be found again by the NDRC techies.

That was fun …rewriting everything. On the sunny side …I further refined my ideas.

When shit happens I tend to give myself a moment or two [or 20 … depending on the crisis] to feel angry, sad & scared.

Then I get on with it and find a solution and ask for help.

My fundamental power is to choose my attitude in any given situation.

Smiles in the sunshine are easy … smiles when crap hits the fan … well … that’s a tad more challenging.

To be honest, I really don’t like what happens when I get angry. Lots of chemicals flow thru my system and make my body hurt and I feel sick.

Calm tends to be my default state.

And things are happening in Ballinamore.

This Friday Mary from Cara Pharmacy is having a fundraiser for the Northwest Hospice at the Commercial Hotel.

It’s free entry and there will be:

  • a make up demonstration
  • Fashion parade
  • wine tasting
  • Flower arranging demonstration with Gail
  • Goodie Bags
  • Cannaboe Cake decorating demonstration from Sharon
  • Finger Food
  • Raffles

A great night out.

I’ll miss it as I’m starting work in Dublin on the new contract on Thursday and Friday and then I have 2 fully booked Blogsite Design workshops for Artists + Creative Entrepreneurs on Saturday and Sunday.

They are in Koh Restaurant and the owners have given me a private wified dining area for free – many thanks to them for sponsoring the workshops.

koh3

I  love finding beautiful places to create learning events. All the participants will be able to order food and refreshments as they learn.

koh seminar room

I hope there are fab things happening for you.

slan

Liz

p.s Coco dog is fab as usual. We’ve been getting straight up and out walking at 7.45am every morning. Coco loves it … and I yawn my way down the street.

I let her loose at the canal at the bottom of the street and she just runs and runs and runs. I stroll and enjoy the morning quiet.

P1080013

For the last 3 days we’ve seen the rare and shy kingfisher bird … tiny and a dazzling blue. It skims along the canal and yesterday it stopped and sang. This morning it skimmed twice and then we saw 5 swans fly across the sky and a rainbow.

p1070795

p.s.s I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been a time billionaire while I’ve been experiencing genteel poverty.

It’s given me space to develop SKIL2 and Life Dreaming as well as do a pile of probono work and fundraising.

Well, I’m at it again.

Aine Martin and I are running the Big Clothes Swap Party in Ballinamore on November 27th. As far as we know, it’s the first one in the Northwest of Ireland.

Marc has done his usual design genius job of creating a poster.

I’ve attached it here just in case you want to print it and share it around.

BigClothesSwapMeet_A3PosterV2_110309

BigClothesSwapMeet_header

BigClothesSwapMeet_mid

Read Full Post »

P1070992

Yup … nice of the sun to shine for a day as we approach the end of summer.

Now you guys know I’m not one to complain … but really … 3 years of rain with very very very intermittent sunshine … days that we can count on our fingers.

P1070988

As Mags said to me [and Mags is ALWAYS right] ‘at least this year we took advantage of whenever the sun came out.’

And once again … she’s right.

Whenever the sun shone for more than a few hours (there was a day in March … then April … then June) Mags and William and myself would message each other and organise a communal barbcue in the land at the back of Williams cottage.

Good times had by all … and hopefully a few more before winter.

P1070945

Anyway … today was lovely and I took Coco out for a walk and loved getting out of bed [never thought I’d say that].

P1070985

I took photos and enjoyed looking up through the trees at the sunlight.

P1070944

P1070949

There are blackberries ripening and I want to go pick some on the weekend and make jam. They grow wild on my walks.

P1070967

Not sure what the red berries are … anyone know?

P1070968

P1070978

I love looking at how the light shimmers and spears through the trees and just makes everything look happy.

P1070973

Coco was her usual happy self … rain or shine.

P1070971

She still can’t understand why the sheep don’t want to be her friends.

P1070982

And she comes back and lays down nearly every time I call her.

P1070979

I’m extending the command to ‘Stay’ … and she does … even when she wants to be gone and running.

P1070957

Enjoy the photos and I wish for days and days of more sunshine … happiness wrapped in light.

P1070943

P1070947

P1070948

P1070953

P1070961

P1070977

P1070954

P1070987

Slan

Liz

Read Full Post »

P1070894

You all know that my dear friend of over 20 years … Mary … has been visiting me from Oz on her European hols.

She spent 10 days in Edinburgh during the Festival with another dear friend of hers Anne.

They had a great time at dance and music and  a food festival. One thing I loved hearing about was a bar that served Pottails.

Yup … cocktails in a teapot … my kind of place.

Think I might organise a Pottail party in Ballinamore … are you up for it Mags?

Mary arrived in Ballinamore last Friday … and as you know from previous posts and Facebook notes … I had been cleaning for days before she arrived … I lost the will to live a few times.

As soon as Mary arrived we went down to Smyths pub for a great lunch …. Mary is fascinated by the Irish tradition of chips and mashed potatoes on the same plate!

For the next day or so we literally sat by the fire … yeh … in the summer. It feels like it’s been raining for 3 years.

Mary says that staying in the cottage with me is the only time she actually slows down and does nothing … she knows she’s in the presence of a lolling zen mistress!!

Just to give you a comparison.

If ‘normal’ humans have the drive and energy of 1 gerbil running in a cage …. Mary is the equivalent of about 5 of the little devils!!!

So … we chill and chat and watch the rain come down …  and in the 5 minutes when the rain stops …. We take Coco for a walk.

Mary is charmed by Coco … big surprise.

I think Coco is the dog equivalent of a super model.

On Sunday we get the train to Dublin and go the apartment we booked in Capel St.

Capel St is a great old street on the northside and just off the Liffey River.

The apartment was stunning and is over a great gay bar called Panti Bar. The bar and apartments are owned by Miss Panti and was really gorgeous …. High ceilings … big bedroom …. Big couch that I got to sleep on … nice bathroom.

All for the amazing price of 70 euro per night during the week … min booking of 2 days.

Mary gets the bedroom because she’s paying for the whole trip as a 50th birthdayth present for me … I am blessed with fantastic and generous friends.

Speaking of fantastic and generous friends … many thanks to Mags for looking after Coco for 3 days.

Coco loves going to Mags as she gets to play with all the other dogs …. And she adores Patsy cat …. Who treats Coco with suitable disdain.

So … Mary and I throw the bags in the apartment and go for a wander to the Jervis St shopping center right around the corner.

As evening approaches we go back to the apartment and get dressed up for dinner at Koh.

It’s a Thai/asian restaurant that I had read about online and wanted to check out as a potential venue for Dublin Design your own Blog site workshops … and I also love Thai food.

P1070916

P1070908

P1070905

P1070911

We were given a private room … and we proceeded to eat some of the best food I have tasted in a long while.

Check out the menu here.

Top that with a lovely bottle of French wine and some great chat and you have a fab evening.

Mary wanted to take some photos … no probs … until she says ‘do something silly’

‘Like what?’ says I …. Thinking ‘yeh … right … I really want a photo of me looking like an eeedjit’.

And here you have my eedjit photo …. Lovely …. Not.

P1070845

Here are some better photos.

P1070835

P1070839

P1070844

P1070847

Mary also turned 50 this year so we had a long chat about the new plans we have for our lives.

We ate a lot of starters as we love lots of different tastes … brilliant food at very reasonable prices.

We introduced ourselves to one of the owners (hi Connor) and congratulated him on a great restaurant … and excellent staff.

Here are a few more photos I took of the place … we went there again last  night and I talked with Connor about using their large private room for my workshops with cultural and creative entrepreneurs …more about all that later.

P1070858

P1070918

we were the last to go … that’s why there’s no people in the shots.

P1070907

this is the large private dining area where I hope to run my Design Your Own Blog Workshops … beautiful … and wified.

Mary and I then went to Panti Bar for our free welcome drink as part of the apartment package … I had a great margarita.

We ran into a friend of mine … Sean …. And his mate Jack …. And had a great chat about …. The Lisbon Treaty … the Civil Partnership Bill … science …. Urban planning …. Design …. Multi media.

Yeh … the usual trivial stuff.

Home and in bed by midnight.

Up at 7am on Monday for a major day of wandering and me being Mary’s personal shopper and introducing her to some of Dublins great shops … Penneys in Henry St … Brown Thomas … BT2 …. And funky shops in Georges Arcade on the southside.

We went into one of my fave shops … Om Diva where Mary had a great time.

P1070863

This shop is amazing with some of the best jewellery … sparkly shoes …. And vintage clothes … all at good prices.

P1070862

P1070873

P1070885 P1070864 P1070882 P1070884

P1070865 P1070867 P1070870 P1070876 P1070879

The shop assistant was a delight and has the best name … Clara Belle.

P1070860

I’m love the shop and will be popping in whenever I’m in Dublin.

We went to Mao for lunch and more great Asian food.

More wandering in Grafton St …we charmed the very attractive man in Ted Baker into letting us take photos of the shop. Mary’s husband John runs the top menswear shop in Perth and sells Ted Baker clothes.

It’s late afternoon and we were due to meet Shani for afternoon tea in the Queen of Tarts café in Temple Bar.

A lovely place … where the iron sign fell on my head last time!

When the staff saw me coming in they all got a bit wild eyed and gave me a table well away from the sign … but near a huge mirror!

Shani joins us but is off to work at my fave restaurant … Eden …. where she is one of the managers.

Every celebration I have had in the last 5 years (when I’m in Dublin) has been at Eden … including my recent 50th birthday.

P1070253

Billy. Mary, Liz, Shani & Mia celebrating with me in Eden

(and here’s a special offer to my lovely readers … if you become an Eden Facebook fan you will be able to use the special offers they will be posting only for their Fans. Things like discount cocktails and meals … love it.)

By this stage it’s about 5.30pm and we’ve been out and about for nearly 8 hours … time to stop for a drink.

We were at the lights in Georges St on our way to the Bar with No Name in Fade St when I hear a voice call out ‘’ Hey Liz’.

It’s another good friend of mine from Leitrim … Anna Legge.

Anna is Artistic Director of the Glens Centre and one of the most amazing  women. She organizes and attracts some of the best Irish and international music and literary talent to the (relatively) small venue in a small rural community … people like Sheamus Heaney … Dermot Healy … Pat McCabe … Damien Dempsey.

I invite Anna to join us and we chat for an hour or so before she leaves to drive back to Leitrim.

P1070887

P1070889

P1070888

Meanwhile … Mary and I are chatting about where we will go for dinner …  do you sense a theme running through this adventure?

Yup … great food … great wine … great people.

As we’re chatting Mary gets a text from Shani letting us know that Monday nights there is a pre theatre menu going all evening 3 courses for 29 euro.

And because I am a cosseted and much loved customer … Shani offers us free cocktails as well … life is tough folks.

We walk across to Eden and are just about to go inside when Mary hears 3 people chatting about where they can go to eat for the evening.

I know what it’s like to be a visitor in a city and not know where the good places are to eat … so I walk over and tell them about Eden and their Monday offer.

They thank me and say they will go and talk with their other companion … and yes … they came in later and had a fab time … and I ended up giving them a Dublin map and marking where the cool shops and other places to eat … including Koh.

Shani shows us to our table and we are soon seated with our cocktail.

P1070890

I have never had a bad meal in Eden (and I’ve been going there for 5 years) and the staff are wonderful.

Everyone exceeded themselves and the meal was amazing.

P1070891

when Mary cut into the chocolate (it’s hot) it oozed out … and then there were the hot cherries and honey comb icecream.

We had finished our meal and were thinking of calling it a night when Shani came over with a complimentary after dinner liquer … so we stayed a little longer.

P1070892

Shani suggest we go outside with her on the terrace for an end of evening chat.

We’re outside when 2 guys come out and join us … one of them knows Shani.

We all get chatting happily about the food and then natter away about Japan (Shani learnt and speaks Japanese) …and architecture … and design.

One of the men asks me where I live and when I say Ballinamore in Leitrim … he says ‘I didn’t think anyone lived in Leitrim’.

I smiled and told him that not only was it the best kept secret in Ireland  but it was chock full of great people and some of the finest artists, entrepreneurs, writers, musicians, film makers, architects ….

We get chatting about some of the really interesting contemporary and sustainable houses that have been built in Leitrim … specifically the Mimetic Home designed by Dominic Stevens in Dromohair.

Turns out one of the guys is an architect who knows Dominic … he’s also Italian so Mary and he get chatting about Italy … she’s Oz/Italian and will be there in a few days visiting her rellies.

The other guy asks me if I have seen the work of a particular Japanese architect and we chat happily away about how he uses light and space … and how great designers can integrate traditional and contemporary influences in their creations.

We all start talking about travel and he says ‘I’m off to New York shortly’ … a city I love and want to visit again … and Paris and Rome … and ….

I ask him if he’s going to NYC for work or pleasure … he says work.

Mary asks him what work he does …. And he says he’s in a band.

‘What’s the name of your band’. Asks Mary.

‘U2’. Says he.

‘Oh … that band … I think I’ve heard of you’. Says I.

I said ‘so it was your fault that my train was packed on the Sunday I came up to Dublin for my birthday … all your bleedin’ fans were going up for one of the concerts!’.

We all laughed and just keep chatting away.

I asked him if he was enjoying their world tour and he said that they were having a great time.

Mary asks ‘what instrument do you play in the band?’

“drums’ says he.

‘ You must have very strong arms’ says me

Mary and I are obviously right up there with who’s who in music … not!

And we all chatted for a while before his party called him in to go home.

When he got up to go he shook our hands and said it was a pleasure meeting us (but of course!) … and I wished him only good times on the tour.

A really lovely man …. regardless of the fact he plays in a band that a few people know about!

After he left I asked Shani ‘’ What a lovely man … what’s his name?’

‘Larry Mullen’ says she.

‘Oh’ says me.

Too funny.

He was delightful and before I knew he was in a band I thought he was hot and wondered if he was single … yup … nothing like repeating my pattern of finding unavailable men attractive.

Anything can happen when you’re open and friendly … and eat at Eden.

Up again on Tuesday after a good nights sleep.

We met Shani for morning tea in Lemon Jelly … a lovely café around from the apartment.

P1070921

Then more wandering … I can recommend the newly refurbished Arnotts in the Jervis Centre … some lovely fashion.

I didn’t have any money to buy anything but I had a great time helping Mary spend hers.

We had lunch in the Italian restaurant in Arnotts and a glass of prosseco (in fond memory of the trip Mary and I made to Rome a few years ago) … delicious … and once again a gift from Mary.

We were in the homewares section of the store when I saw some really interesting merchandise that gave me some ideas for Life Dreaming … Mary took some photos for me and I’ll send them off to Marc …. The Life Dreaming Chief of Ideas.

Back to the apartment to relax before going out again to meet my dear friend Feargus.

The weather had been sunny all day … I think September will be the new Summer.

On our way to the bar we popped in again to Om Diva as they always have new stuff coming in … Mary bought this lovely neckpiece … and they gave her a discount.

P1070886

P1070902

We met in the same bar as the previous evening and chatted over a few wines.

P1070893

Feargus is one of Ireland leading landscape architects and Mary runs a brilliant consultancy that looks at Place Making in cities and communities … so they bonded immediately.

P1070895

We were having such a good time chatting that we all decided to continue on to dinner … back to Koh where they welcomed us with open arms and gave us the same private room.

Feargus hadn’t been there before and was blown away by the food … it was exceptional.

P1070899

The conversation was wide ranging and as delicious as the food … as was the bottle of prosseco … which was accompanied by a iced glass filled with strawberries.

P1070897

I went and had a chat to Conor (owner) about using their larger private dining room as a venue for my Design Your Own BlogSite workshops.

For 55 euros I will be running a 5 hour workshop in his place. The cost includes a cup of tea/coffee and I’ll bring in chocolates … and if people want food or drink as they are learning … they can.

The whole restaurant is wified and beautiful … and I believe that we can learn in beautiful and social places better than in boring old rooms that remind us of school.

P1070907

This is the area where I will be teaching the blogsite design course … beautiful.

I’m going to target a lot of young cultural and creative entrepreneurs that I know who want to develop a site to promote themselves but can’t afford to pay thousands for a designer.

For 50 euro they will:

  • Learn and design their  blog site – totally hands on learning
  • Meet and network with other entrepreneurs
  • Have a good time eating chocs

What’s not to Love?

It’s a very low price but these crew don’t have a lot of  money … but they know heaps of people … so I’m going to ask them to promote my workshops to their friends.

If it all goes well I’m thinking of then having 4 to 6 weekly gatherings at Koh of everyone that does the workshops so they can network … bring along their computers … and do some free learning.

And … running the paid workshops every 6 weeks or so.

Shani is going to help me promote it … I’m starting by opening a Fan Page on Facebook when I get home today. [update … it’s done].

We had a night cap in Panti Bar and then off to sleep.

Mary and I were up and packed and had breakfast again in Lemon Jelly.

The hot waiter gave me a free tea to take away.

P1070922

Then Mary and I said our goodbyes … both got a bit teary but we’ll see each other within a year.

Mary has asked Marc and myself to kick her consultancy brand up a notch … Marc doing the visual branding of the site … and me doing the words.

I said that instead of giving me a fee … that all the meals and wine and accommodation she had  paid for on the Dublin trip would be the barter … she knew I didn’t have any money … and I felt better doing a barter … rather than feeling like I was sponging off a friend … although Mary definitely did not see it that way … generous lady.

P1070896

So … I am Marys Wordsmith and Multi Media R&D person for her business … cool.

As I type the Irish countryside blurs past … I’m on the train home.

I had the best time with Mary and my friends in Dublin … it was a wonderfully rich adventure for 3 days … and now I’m looking forward to getting home to Ballinamore and seeing Coco and Mags and just chilling down.

I feel that there are big changes about to happen in my life over the next 6 months … all good … and I intend too put myself in the way of new adventures and experiences.

I said to Feargus and Mary last night that we can get stuck in what I call Ruts of Competence …. Being great at what we do … enjoying our life … and maybe not being as mindful and aware and open to new ways of being.

I think I’m about to shake up my life … and that delights and scares me.

Bring it on.

Slan

Liz

p.s I’ve been home a few hours now … Coco and I had a happy reunion and I’ve been doing this blog post and setting up the blog workshop facebook fan page … all while lolling on the sofa bed.

Many many thanks to Mary for being part of a wonderful few days.

Think I’ll just chill down now.


Read Full Post »

P1050024

I love writing.

This blog started as a place for me to write whatever came into my head … and that hasn’t stopped.

In the first year or so I had about 250 to 300 hits a month … now that’s what I can get in a day sometimes.

It’s not the end of August yet and I just checked the stats for the month … the highest ever in the history of Liz Biz … 4,007 … and rising.

Thanks folks … for visiting … for reading … for commenting.

P1050017

A number of my international readers have become friends … and that delights me.

I know some of my family read the blog regularly … hi Dad … hi Siobhain … hi Marc.

And the people of Ballinamore … and their relatives and friends everywhere … read this old thing … thanks so much.

I still love writing this blog … and will stop when it feels like a chore.

In some ways it’s become a kind of journal for me to look back on in my older age … which I think is lurking around next week!

I love documenting events and seasons in Ballinamore … a small town that seems to always have something going on.

my cottage

And in a few hours my dear friend Mary will be visiting from Oz (we are sooo not in Kansas anymore Dorothy) … and I think I’ll have to light a fire.

And it’s still summer … sob.

In anticipation of Mary’s visit I have been cleaning and tidying the cottage all week … a few hours here and there … really don’t love doing it.

The place is looking much better … although she’ll probably walk in and offer to help me clean it! She’s a tidy tidy tidy person … and I love her.

Still got a few things to do so will pop away.

Just wanted to say thanks for reading.

P1050013

Slan

Liz

Read Full Post »

I feel a great deal of satisfaction after getting 2 big things done this week.

I worked through the night until 5am one morning to finish writing and developing the 8 Life Dreaming modules.


I really ‘get’ why some writers love writing late at night … it’s quiet and there’s nothing to distract you from getting into the flow.

I found myself in a great writing zone where everything just came together … it helps that I love writing.

My patient brother Marc is my partner in developing Life Dreaming globally [nothing wrong with Dreaming BIG] … and he has the gentlest nagging process in the world … just little hints every now and then ‘how’s Life Dreaming going Liz’.

As regular readers know … I retreated to a cottage up the mountain a number of months ago and wrote a heap of stuff for the modules … expanding the Life Dreaming workbook (free copy available on this blog at the top of the page) waaaaay beyond where it was.

lifedreaming_cover

I even  started typing up all the new material … and then … stopped.

It got to the point where my Dad, sister, Life Dreaming Test Team (bless all 13 of you around the world) kept asking ‘ when are you going to finish typing the LD notes?’

Dad wins the prize for persistence … congrats Pa and thank you.

I was wondering myself what was the underlying reason/s for all this procrastination.

But my intuition/spirit just kept keeping me away from finishing the typing … and I have a very very healthy respect for that part of me that doesn’t have words … but can send strong messages.

And … over the last months … and certainly since I turned 50 (and 3 weeks now … a newbie) … I’ve felt a deep restlessness and confusion and ennuie … and just stayed with it because all those feelings are signals for change.

I’m doing my own Life Dreaming … exploring what’s important in my life ... what I want to change … what I want to bring with me into this decade.

P1070218

Having no work and a lot of time has been enormously helpful … although financial poverty is a place I choose not to stay in for too long.

It’s given me the space to just reflect and relax and wander.

I’ve made some decisions … both short and long term … and feel really good about them … excited and re energised.

And … I realised that this whole unsettled and confused period of my life was exactly what I needed to bring to Life Dreaming.

As a result … I have been able to create and write a whole pile of new activities and ideas for the Life Dreaming modules … it now more truly captures the messy … chaotic … creative aspects of living.

So … I brought all that new experience and learning to the late night writing of the Life Dreaming Treasure Chest.

P1050028

It rocks now.

As a reward for all that effort … I treated myself to lunch at Smyths and had a lovely chat with Cathy Smyth … love the food there and it was packed.

Yesterday I sent the 8 Life Dreaming modules to Marc for the whole genius design stage … and I can nag him now!

It also went out to the 13 people worldwide who we invited to be our  Life Dreaming Test Team.

They will give us feedback during the whole development of Life Dreaming and will be our first Life Dreaming lifers … that’s not a jail sentence … they will receive everything we develop and access to all areas of the Life Dreaming site … free … as our deep thanks for their energy and efforts in helping us make Life Dreaming amazing.

By the way … if you want to follow the Life Dreaming story then become a Fan on the Life Dreaming Facebook page.

And speaking of Fan Pages … check out Sharon Sweeneys Cannaboe Confectionery Fan Page.

Well done Sharon for the Bewleys cupcake … it was in national and local papers … and why not … Sharon’s work is exceptional.

I also did some work developing the structure for a friends Wellness Workbook.

And … I had time to walk Coco.

Trying to train her to heel … good luck with that!

She comes back and lies down now on command … very proud of her.

I’m planning a very quiet weekend of lolling and streaming some tv shows online.

I took Coco outside this morning and there was actually mist … lovely cold wet summer we’re having … may have to light the fire today.

Chatted last night via Skype webcam with Derek and Lynda for 3 hours.

P1040526

On a Friday every now and then we have a Happy Hour (or 3) and catch up … while drinking a few beverages.

Nothing like a bi continental cocktail party.

They send their best wishes to all their friends in Ballinamore and hope to be over here next August.

They are not the kind of people to blow their own trumpets … so I will.

Lynda has been included for the third time running in a horror stories anthology … this year she’s in there with Stephen King.

To put this in perspective … very few writers get included … some get in once … some get in twice … very very few people get in three times.

Congrats Lynda.

Derek has been working on a Terry Gillam (did I get the name right?) piece and is cooking up a major book deal with his London literary agent.

I’m sworn to secrecy … but it’s big … mega big.

So … well done you two … and well deserved.

I’m off now to see what’s happening on the streets of Ballinamore … pop in and say hi to Dee and then Mags … light the fire … read the papers … nap

Aaaah … my kind of living.

Slan

Liz

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »