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Festival Rules

I can write this now. I had to wait until I could confirm my daughter had escaped from Electric Picnic alive with all her limbs intact and preferably with her tent still in tow. It is a good tent and I did not want to see it discarded with the other tents. Although I know that discarded tents and wellies can be collected for refugees which is a fabulous use for them. On this occasion and with this tent though I wanted to see returned home. My daughter is a good daughter too and I wanted her safe home too. I bumped into many parents over the weekend whose daughters were also at the picnic. We shared stories and worries. I hope they all came home safe too. Going to the picnic was a last minute decision for my daughter. A lone ticket attached to some friends was for sale and she jumped at the chance. I jumped too but with worry – and I am the most laid back mum on the planet. I do benign neglect with a passion but on this occasion I began to double and triple think. I’m the same as Jonathan Healy of Newstalk […]

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I call it ‘couchsurfing’, but really I’m homeless

In the Irish Times Weekend Magazine August 6, 2016  Facing homelessness for the second time, Jillian Godsil explores how this social issue has become a middle-class problem             I’m trying to think of a word to sum up how I feel. I think there must be one out there but I can’t put my finger on it. I know what it feels like, a funny ache that lives mostly in the pit of my belly but sometimes it crawls up to lodge in the back of my throat. I am homeless, for the second time in my adult life, and – though each person’s situation is unique and many are worse than mine – I am part of the great sickening statistic that haunts this land. The first time I became homeless, the banks repossessed my fine home and sold it for a pittance. There were so many wrongs I hardly know where to start. But I was stoic then. Gracious almost. Leavetaking suited me, liberated me or so I told myself. I embraced the continental way of living. Let us rent instead. I threw the words out carelessly as if they cost me nothing. […]

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A field for … Toby

Toby is a beautiful chestnut Bavarian warmblood gelding.  He came into our lives four years ago. His previous owner thought he had kissing spine, a terminal condition, and he was going to the factory. My daughter Georgina fell in love with him and refused to let him go. We paid the factory (ie meat) money for him and brought him home. It turns out Toby does not have kissing spine. We had chiropractors and vets examine him. However, what he does have is – well lots of things, most of them mental. He box walked, weaved, has herd separation anxiety and lots of other things hard to fathom. Georgina, who as you can guess is animal and horse mad, is also a T Touch student. Her friend and top T Touch healer Sarah Fisher was in Ireland and she came and worked with Toby. Georgina used the same techniques and soon Toby calmed down, relaxed and began to enjoy himself. Of course, there is only one thing better than a rescue horse, and that is two rescue horses. So along came Deano. Deano is a top class racehorse. His sire is Flemensfirth, an American stallion and sire of many racing heroes. However, poor Deano was not very fast, […]

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When Viagra spammers switch to Alzheimer’s, it’s time to take notice

First printed in the Irish Independent June 1 2016 We have to help carer and sufferer break free from their prisons When shoe shiners give you stock market advice, it’s time to sell your shares. When taxi drivers advise on where to buy abroad, it’s time to stay home. But when your spam switches from Nigerian businessmen, cheap Viagra and belly fat pills to cures for Alzheimer’s Disease, then it is time to stand up and pay attention. And none too soon. According to the Alzheimer Society of Ireland, the number of people living with dementia in Ireland is greater than 50,000 this year. And that is probably a serious underestimation of the problem, since there is no official register of people with dementia. A large proportion are cared for by family members and it is generally acknowledged that family carers do not routinely get support from State services as a consequence. Add in to that mix the medical postcode lottery that persists across the country and it is obvious that certain black spots have huge implications, not only for sufferers of dementia but also their carers. Unlike minding a family member with, say, cancer, caring for dementia is treated […]

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Desperately seeking …Me!

First published in the Irish Independent on May 18, 2016 We are a nation of lost souls. We have swapped the security blanket of religion for the cold harsh light of truth. We wander like bewildered two-year-olds lost in a grocery store. What began like a moment of freedom has swiftly translated into a terrifying ordeal. We have three choices: stay out in the cold, embrace it even; return to our mother’s arms and the refuge that lies within. Or we can seek new truths, new comforts.   The latter choice, the era of self-enlightenment is truly upon us. It is the new drug of the thinking classes, the opiate we choose in the search for fulfilment. We had become a nation of fast food snackers and now we need substance. The route to enlightenment has many paths. Last year, I attended a Jordan Belfort seminar – he of the Wolf of Wall Street fame. The seminar was aimed at making money but he caught the mood of the audience at an early stage. Jordan scanned the crowd and sympathetically called us out. We were there to learn how to make money but he ringed our wings by calling on […]

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