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.




Ahhhh … back at last.

I was so looking forward to sharing my christmas and house move with you all … there are heaps of pictures … but it was not to be.

As a result of a series of what I can only call systemic incompetencies … I have been without my broadband for some time.

I believe that if I hadn’t persisted over a number of hours and days to keep ringing Eircom … explaining my situation again and again and again to about 17 different people … then I would still be looking at a red internet light on my modem [and no internet connection].

I have sent a letter to the CEO of Eircom and their press office and I now put it here for you to ‘enjoy’.

I will let you know when and if I receive a reply and appropriate restitution for the stress and not being able to be in contact with friends, family and clients over Christmas.

I will be posting photos of the new home and our snow covered Christmas over the next few days.

Sending you HUGE wishes for a healthy and very abundant 2010 and new decade.

Liz Lennon

20 Pairc Fea



Dear Paul

It is with deep disappointment [but little surprise] that I have to write you this letter to report a litany of exchanges I have had with your staff that have left me frustrated and very annoyed with your organisation – Eircom.

If it wasn’t real life I would almost have thought I was in an episode of The Office.

And here for your perusal is a chronological account of my encounters:

  • Dec 1 2009 – rang Eircom to notify them that I would be moving house on December 12 and wanted to organise closing the old line and opening a new one as well as my broadband services. Was told to ring back in a week. I asked what the process was and the woman told me how they closed off the old line and then would send me a modem and it would be 10 working days to connect my broadband. She also asked me to send a letter with my new rental contract. I sent the letter and a copy of the contract to the person and address. [person 1 ]
  • Dec 7 – rang to organise new phone and broadband. Was told that everything was in order. [person 2]
  • Dec 11 – rang the day before moving to ensure that everything was organised. Told that the phone was connected. [person 3]
  • Dec 14 – modem arrives. I connect everything and insert the CD and follow all instructions. Have 3 solid green and 1 red light … the internet light. I reboot the cd just in case it’s a software problem and re input ssid and wpa codes. I turn the modem on and off and also press the reset button. Internet light still solid red.
  • Dec 17 – ring Eircom and explain the situation and the red internet light. She tells me that the order was placed on Jan 14 and my broadband should be connected by Jan 18. [person 4]

At this point I trusted that what the woman had told me was true and my broadband would be connected the next day. Ahhhh … false hope, false hope.

  • Dec 18 – no broadband. Internet light solid red. It’s a Friday so I wait patiently until Monday.

And now the farce begins.

  • Dec 21 – Ring Eircom [and by the way dialling 1901 and having to keep responding to a recorded voice to get to a ‘real’ person can be very irritating when you have to do it over and over and over again] and speak with a customer service person. I explain my situation from December 1. [person 5] Am told that I am connected – I point out that a red internet light means that I can’t access the internet [something I am going to have to explain to nearly 10 more people in the following weeks]. I am put on hold [something that will happen many times and will last as long as 10 minutes when I am cut off … more frustration]. Mary comes back and tells me she is transferring me to a technical person but she will explain the situation so I don’t have to repeat myself – I am put on hold. Technical person [person 6] comes on the line and asks me to explain the situation [this happens every time even when the previous person tells me they will explain the situation]. I explain the situation again. He asks me to turn the modem on and off and press the reset button. I explain that I have done this before but he asks me to do it again. I do – and the internet light stays red. I am put on hold. Technical person returns and says that the exchange hasn’t turned on my port or internet line and they will send someone to the exchange to fix it.
  • Dec 22, 23, 24 etc – red internet light.

It’s now Christmas and I know that people won’t be working for the next week.

Because I have no broadband connection I can’t talk with my family and friends via Skype or my blog or Facebook over Christmas and the New Year. Your organisation is responsible for that.

  • Jan 4 – red light still showing on internet. This is the day I get to talk with 5 Eircom employees and get put on hold about 6 times – 3 of them disconnect and I have to go through 1901 4 times in order to talk with a ‘real’ person. Person 7 – Talk with customer services and explain the whole situation from January 1. She looks at file and says an order was sent out on December 23rd and I was connected on December 24. Explain that I am not connected and have a red internet light. I am put on hold. Then put through to technical support [person 8] – explain the situation from Jan 1 again. I am put on hold. Techie returns and apologises and says that Eircom has made a mistake. My broadband line is connected but the exchange still needs to open the port that will enable the internet light to go green. I ask him what he will do. He says that he will put me on to the exchange and explain the whole situation so I don’t have to. I am put on hold. The exchange person [person 9] asks me to explain the situation and tells me that I am connected as an order went to them on December 23rd. I explain [again!!} that I have a red internet light. I am put on hold. She returns and explains that someone cancelled the December 23rd order and I will now have to wait another 10 working days [2 real weeks] to be connected.

At this point I thought I would explode with frustration. So far I have had to:

  • talk with 9 people since December 1 and no one has resolved the situation.
  • I keep getting fobbed off and passed around.
  • No one takes responsibility.
  • No one seems to be recording data about my situation and I have to repeat myself all the time
  • There is no quick response process or system for a customer such as myself who is experiencing a breakdown in service.

I explained to the woman that waiting another 2 weeks was totally unacceptable as I had a business to run and clients needed me to be doing online research. I had already lost weeks of online time because of Eircoms incompetence.

She said there was nothing she could do about it. I asked to be connected to their Complaints section.

I also want to point out that I NEVER lost my temper and was polite and calm at all times. Having said that … I can understand how people get angry then furious then raging when they continually have to explain themselves to different staff … and still have no resolution of a problem that is not their fault.

  • Still Jan 4[person 10] – I explain the whole story from Jan 1 to the woman who says she is very sorry for all the inconvenience. The phone disconnects and I have to ring 3 more times … listen to robot mans voice … get put on hold … get cut off … until I get through to a customer service person [person 11]. I ask to be put through the Cathy in Complaints. I am put through to Margaret [person 12] who tells me Cathy is on another call. I explain my situation since Jan 1 again. She apologises and says she will send an investigation request to the exchange. I ask whether this will get my broadband connected and how long it will take. She says it could take days.

So far I have talked with 12 people and the problem is still not solved.

This process has taken hours of my time … caused me deep distress … affected my capacity to do work for clients … and the problem is still not resolved.

  • Jan 5 – [person 13] I receive a call from the exchange. We go through the usual thing of me explaining the situation since January 1. I am put on hold. He comes back and explains that 2 things have happened. The December 23rd order was cancelled and somehow they reconnected my old broadband line but my new line hasn’t been opened [I really know that!] … and he needs a new order to be sent to his blackberry before he can open the port. I explain that I know all that and all I want is for someone to get it right and sort it out. I ask him who I need to ring in Dublin to get a new order number. He says the broadband section. I ring them. [person 14] answers and I explain the whole situation again. I am put on hold. She tells me that I am connected from an order sent out on January 4. I tell her that I am not connected as I HAVE A RED INTERNET LIGHT. She says that it’s a technical problem and she will connect me to the technical section. I tell her that it is not a technical problem as I have already had 2 conversations with the technical section. I say that it is a connection problem and they need to ensure that the exchange gets that order so the nice man can open the port. I told her that I had just been talking to the exchange man and he said he needed the order. I am put on hold for 10 minutes and the phone disconnects.
  • I ring a friend and ask him to come and pick me up from my house which is 5 minutes out of Ballinamore and iced over as I can’t walk safely. I go to his house to use his internet and check the 500 emails in my inbox.

  • Jan 6At this stage I am so wearied by the incompetence of your organisation that I give myself the day off from making phone calls and feeling frustrated.
  • Jan 7 I start again and ring 1901 … go through robot man and get to customer services [person 15]. I ask to be put through to Margaret in Customer Complaints [I’m hoping that she can help me sort the process]. I am put through to Luke [person 16] who proceeds to talk to me as if I am an idiot and parrots the following to me ‘we have sent your complaint to the appropriate department and they will deal with it within 10 days’. I explained that I had talked with the department and they weren’t dealing with it and my attempts to deal with other departments to get a new order number were unsuccessful and very frustrating. He repeated ‘we have sent your complaint to the appropriate department and they will deal with it within 10 days’. I told him that the matter wasn’t being resolved to my satisfaction and he wasn’t helping and I would recontact the exchange myself. I believe that Luke needs some retraining in basic communication and empathy skills. Patronising a customer when they have had to get to the point where they are ringing Complaints not once … not twice … but three times … is so inappropriate I am gobsmacked. At least the other 2 people in complaints had the decency to listen and sympathise.
  • Jan 7 rang the exchange again [person 17] and talked to the man from Jan 5 [he had the decency to give me a direct line and his name so at least I didn’t get passed from one person to another]. I explained that I had rung the broadband section and they were saying it was a technical problem and weren’t resolving it and I had just rung the Complaints section only to be patronised by the staff member. I told him that I was just weary and frustrated from all the calls and could he help. He said he would be in Ballinamore today and would personally go to the exchange and come over to my house. I’m hoping he will be able to resolve it. Update Jan 7 12.14am … the man from the exchange rang and I now have a GREEN INTERNET light!! He rang Dublin and sorted things out. They had been sending and cancelling orders since Dec 14!! I thanked him profusely and said he seemed to be the one person who took some responsibility to sort the problem for me. He doesn’t want his name mentioned.

Somewhere in all the conversations one of the people said ‘you won’t be charged for the time you were without broadband’.

Damn right.

As CEO of Eircom, you and your senior management team create and lead the organisational culture.

All I can say is that you have some serious process and system issues regarding customer service to deal with as I know I’m not the only deeply deeply unhappy customer.

As a result of your systems failure I have:

  • Missed talking online with family and friends over Christmas
  • Had the ongoing stress of not being able to do my work for clients online
  • Been on the phone for hours explaining my situation countless times to at least 17 people who gave me varying and different diagnosis of my situation
  • Been treated like an idiot by one of your complaints personnel
  • Been unable to write my blog

And I must make this very clear … if I had not persisted over days and weeks to explain the situation … I would probably be looking at a red internet light forever. Some people trust your organisation to be efficient … I don’t.

When an organisation stuffs up as badly as Eircom then they should provide some form of restitution.

Not only do I expect you to not charge me for the time I had no access to broadband … I expect you to provide me with some form of restitution for the losses and stress I have experienced.

A letter of apology from you and at least 6 months free broadband would be a useful start.

I will also be posting this letter to my blog [https://lizbiz.wordpress.com] and Facebook.

Yours in exasperation

Liz Lennon

All I can say dear reader is that I am delighted to be back online … and really pissed off with Eircom.



Nearly there

And the move goes on.

In the last stages of the move to the new home.

I made a decision last week that I chose to stay calm and unstressed through the whole process … and I have!

I think Maggie is wondering what wonder drugs I’m using [none Dad!] and Brendan was saying how stressful it usually is to move house.

Well folks … I decided to buck the trend.

And my calmness has been greatly helped by William and Brendan helping me move things over different nights … and Brendan having me over for meals most nights … and Mags driving me to Enniskillen last night to buy new bedding.

Friends … I do love them.

I have no internet access or phone so am using my friend Brendans when I get the chance.
Phone will be the same and new address is 20 Pairc Fea. Ballinamore. Co Leitrim.
I have been sorting, throwing, packing and moving things every day since the weekend. 

I see all the throwing and sorting in the cottage as a great exercise in decluttering [I can hear the amused guffaws from my friends … I’m untidy]. As I take time to tidy I have also enjoyed remembering the great 3 years I have spent in the cottage.
It’s been 3 years since I moved to Ballinamore and renting the cottage was the best thing I did. It put me smack in the  centre of town and I got to know my neighbours and all the people that run the shops in the street.
I got to know the Hamills and their children and we had great fun with the Sunny Funny Garden … and I am enjoying watching Maeve, James and Eoin grow into really delightful people.
And I got to know Maggie … a treat for anyone lucky enough to meet her. Many good times [and more to come]. Mags thinks I’m either pretending or really am having a stress free move … either way … she’s probably sure I’m missing a cog!
And yesterday I rewarded my efforts by spending 3 hours in the new house unpacking and rearranging things. Took Coco to see her new home and she loves it! She ran around sniffing everything then pretty much either looked out the kitchen or my bedroom window at the fields outside.
The lounge now looks amazing and I decorated the mantle piece … photos will be posted when I get broadband in a week or so. The kitchen/dining area is big enough for a couch and it already looks very homey.
My paintings and sculptures are happily spread through the house.
Today will hopefully be the last load of things to move … fridge, couch, table, cabinet and LOTS of books and files.
I thank Mags, Brendan and William in advance for their help this evening … there will be bubbles at the end.
And tomorrow my good friend Linda comes over the help me clean the cottage from top to bottom. Thank all the deities for Linda … she actually likes cleaning. So, in a way I am providing her with a great experience. I live to serve!
My access to broadband and a phone are very intermittent and full service should resume by the end of next week. My Skype is banjaxed as I think Diva has a microphone problem. Will sort soon.
And tomorrow evening Linda and I will be sitting by the fire sipping bubbles and eating whatever she has brought over from her home.
I know I say it a lot … but friends really are your wealth … and I’m a billionaire.
Must go now and work my way through the list of things still to do … it’s long but I know it will get done … with the help of my friends.

p.s Pa, if you have been trying to ring me … the phone in the cottage is disconnected and the new one won’t be connected until tomorrowish. Give me a ring on Sunday if you are free as I’d love to have a chat … same phone number. xxxxxx

Time for a Change

In just over a week  I will move into a new home.

I have had 3 very happy years in the wee cottage in High St and many many great memories.

By living in the main street I got to know heaps of people and they got to know me.

And … I like change.

I particularly like it when it’s within my control.

For the new year and the new decade I decided that I wanted a new space to live in for all the adventures that are ahead.

In the current economic climate one of the beaming lights for renters is that rents have dropped by a significant amount this year.

Places that were renting for 500 and 550 are now available for just over 400 euro a month.

And in Ballinamore there are a lot of places to rent.

I’m moving to a 3 bedroom/2 bathroom home with a large kitchen dining area that gets the morning sun … and opens to a backyard for Coco dog.

It’s a 5 minute walk from town just across from the football field and is on a hill with mountain views.

I love it.

And with every change there are things that I’ll miss … even when the change is fab.

I’ll miss the Hamills and having Therese next door.

I’ll miss having Maggie just 2 doors up … although I will continue to haunt her and visit the shop every day.

I’ll miss all my shop neighbours.

And I’m only 5 minutes away … not moving to Guatamala.

I just wanted to do this quick update so my Dad doesn’t think  I’m dead … Just packing Da.

My phone number will be the same and my new address [for Santa] is 20 Pairc Fea. Ballinamore.

I’ll be taking photos on Saturday of Santa’s visit and the turning on of the Xmas lights and post them on the blog.

I will also post up some shots of the Clothes Swap Party which went very well … we raised 800 euro and the 50 or 60 women who came along had a ball.

Marc and I are having great conversations about the development of Life Dreaming and the launch in 2010.

I’m planning more Blog Design Workshops for Artists and Creative Entrepreneurs in Dublin at the end of January.

My contract of work is going well.

Coco is fab and I am healthy.

Lots to be grateful for in my life.

I send you very best wishes.



p.s   Pa, I haven’t been able to ring because I went back to Eircom and calls to Oz cost something like 75 cents a minute!! Have been sending telepathic messages of love as you don’t like emails. xxxxx

Celebration Time

Yup – it’s been raining so much that  Cork city is under water … we are in a recession … and something happened in the football that I couldn’t care less about.

Take the time and you can make a really really long list of all the things that are annoying, distressing and just plain difficult in your life.

Some are real … and some are just the way you choose to view the world.

And then you can take the same amount of time [notice I don’t tell you to Not Feel Bad … that’s your choice and I’m a great believer in free choice] and celebrate [nay, rejoice] in the riches that abound in your life.


I am blessed with good health and a mad dog called Coco … who pretty much puts a smile on my face every day.

I live in Ballinamore and am surrounded by good people and beautiful landscape and lakes … which are pretty much overflowing at the moment.

I have family and friends around the world who I love … and who love me. They are my wealth and my joy.

Anyone who has read this blog on a regular basis will know that 2009 was challenging financially for me … and it also created some of the best time for me to develop Life Dreaming and SKIL2 and barter and just to enjoy living.

Last night I went to the Top of the Parish event at the community hall.

It was a celebration of dance, music and drama from young people aged from quite little to 18 and involved the 4 parishes of – Ballinamore, Drumreilly, Aughnasheelin and Fenagh.

And that’s just the Ballinamore Crew!

To say I was impressed by the standard of talent would be an understatement.

Ballinamore’s own JedWard

Young people sang beautifully … danced traditional dances with a contemporary edge … did small plays [and the monkey won a lot of laughs] … hip hopped … and showed us that we have a lot to celebrate.

And … they put the show together in something like 6 weeks!!! It was amazing and I found myself stunned to silence at one boys voice … and then laughing with delight at a brilliant satire of the corruption and ineptitude of our government sung to the tune of YMCA.

This was a very funny sketch … the monkey was very very funny

This young man was very good … dancing in the oldest form of Irish dance.

And at the other end of the spectrum … brilliant hip hop

These crew mixed traditional irish dancing with a contemporary edge and a hint of hip hop … very very good

Love the movement in this photo … the kids literally threw themselves into the action and you could see how much fun they were having

This wee one had a lovely voice as she sang Dana’s Eurovision song. The Aughnasheelin crew did a Reeling in the Years theme with music, dance and drama from the 50’s to now … brilliant.

We had a few special guests … the Jackson Five in fine voice

Abba are always welcome

The 80’s saw mass movement away from Ireland as people sought jobs elsewhere. This young mans voice was haunting.

And the 90’s saw the roar of the Celtic Tiger ruled by a government who helped put us in the dreadful state we are in now.

fast forward to now … and we have the same inept government. This was sung to the tune of YMCA [NAMA is an assets management agency that the govt has set up to manage big bad debts that property developers and banks built up in the 90’s … and they did nothing to regulate].

What a night … brilliant.

There were so many people wanting to attend that the show was on over 2 nights to packed audiences .

I took a lot of photos. There will be a dvd of the evening that I will certainly buy … and it would be great to see some of the performances on You Tube.

Many many congratulations must go to the adults that freely gave their time in each Parish to help the young people put their acts together. In Ballinamore Ber Hamill and Mary McGovern were the producers and they had a very able production team but I don’t have their names.

Finally … to all the young people … huge congratulations. You looked like you were having such a great time. I tried to get photos of every act because I thought you were all amazing.

Quick reminder of the Big Clothes Swap Party for Charity that Aine and I are organising next Friday Nov 27. Bring along your much loved clothes, bags, shoes, coats, scarves and jewellery … and get some new treasures. We’ll be having great raffles and a short fashion show and some special treats.

I hear there are women coming from as far as Dublin and Boyle and Manorhamilton … and all our great Ballinamore women.

We’ll be accepting your treasures from 3 to 7ish on Friday. If you’re coming a distance then bring them in from 8pm.

I’ve put the photos as thumbnails so I can put a lot on this page. All you need to do it click on them to get a bigger photo.


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.


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.



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.


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.


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.




When fear strikes


I’ve been a little discombobulated the last few days.

There are changes in the wind and movement on SKIL2 …and for the last few weeks I’ve been very excited …until yesterday …when I woke feeling really irritable and tired … and started sneezing for 18 hours …and yelled at Coco.

Took me a while but I realized that I was afraid … of moving from my comfort zone …of SKIL2 falling on it’s arse …of doing this all on my own.

And yesterday I asked some people to help me with areas of SKIL2 …and I drank lots of tea …and felt crappy.

Spent the last few hours today reading blogs online …and joined up to go to an online learning conference [online and free] in November to see the current learning trends internationally.

What was even more useful was reading a blog post by a woman who cracks me up with her daily writing about her life …Jessica writes the Booshy blog.

Todays post was called ‘ Are you afraid? Of what?’ and she wrote about her dream to write …and the fear that was blocking it.

One of the things I love about blogging is that people respond with support and their own stories.

I wrote a comment to support Jessica and found myself clarifying a few things for myself.

And what if you don’t write?

What’s the payoff … the reward for staying where you are?

What’s the pain?

And …if you move forward [or sideways …wherever!] what’s the payoff …what’s the pain?

You know that voice in your head [and are you sure there’s only one? I have about a dozen, but don’t tell anyone]?

Tell it to Shut The Feather Up!

And as for fear … it’s holding hands with courage and excitement.

One step …one bite …one leap … whatever … just do one thing to move toward your dream.

your dream …not anyone elses …not society’s …or your friends …or your families …your dream.

As for FAILURE … what does it even mean?

Having a dream … a purpose …a sense of passion … makes us feel alive …that’s success,

Making promises to yourself to act on the dream …now …that’s success.

Speaking it and asking for support …that’s success.

Swearing and nagging hubby as you struggle and flow in your writing … that’s success.

Eating your body weight in yummies as you muse on your ideas …that’s success.

Finding reasons to stay in your comfort zone … that’s normal.

I know FEAR by its first name …it’s an insidious little bastard and it can wrap it’s tentacles around you in a way that feels almost comforting.

It’s voice is all the excuses for not doing and being the incredibly perfect/imperfect person you wish to be.

yeh – there are millions of books …so what?

We all have unique voices …so go sing.


p.s I’m in the middle of a 2 day fear attack about a whole enterprise I’m developing. One moment I know it could revolutionise learning spaces for charities … the next …I’m sure a million other people have done it.

So …my gut wrenches and I can’t stop sneezing [yeh – a hysterical stress reaction …except when you’ve been sneezing on and off for 18 hours!] …and I even yelled at my lovely dog Coco [i’ve apologised].

And … I’m not ignoring the feelings … I’m listening and working out new ways to focus the project and get support.

I’m also allowing myself to be afraid and excited and proud of how far I’ve brought the idea forward in a year.

And writing this to you …initially to support you …has provided a sense of support for me. Thanks Jessica.

Oh yeh … as I was writing away I realised that I’d stopped sneezing!

And I’m going to take Coco for a walk and be content.