The ramblings of Mrs. Hoolihan

My rants on life and everything in between. Desperately trying to remind myself that it's just not worth the jail time.

Be a human first.

Always an avid people watcher, I can’t help but analyse the words, actions and behaviour of the human race (sometimes I lament way too much some would say, but that’s another story, for another day).

Watching how people react in particular scenarios amazes me. Sometimes I almost want to pat myself on the back, for I could have foretold the outcome before it even began to unfold. At other times I’m dumbfounded; literally blown from under my feet, I often can’t believe what I’ve witnessed.

Now as you’re probably sick of hearing me say, I’m not really a people’s person. I’m not particularly empathetic nor am I tolerant, but observing people is a hobby. In the 20 odd years that I’ve been people watching (or at least aware of my doing it, for I’ve probably done it since I was a small girl), one re-curring theme that propels itself forward, is the need for humans to label one another.

“You’re a knob”, “You’re a bloody Feminist”, “You’re a narcissist”, “You’re a woman, what would you know?” “Pah. Men are complete morons”, “You’re Catholic, of course you’d think that”, “You’re 21, grow up first”.

Why do we, as humans feel the need to label one another? Is it a reflex, protective primeval instinct? Why can’t we just treat each other with basic respect – be a human first? Before labelling one another, let’s just try and be basic humans first and foremost.

What does being a human encompass?

Well for me it’s treating another homo sapien as you would like to be treated yourself.

Being kind (something that perhaps I need to work on myself), respectful to others views and opinions (you can still air your own, but in a tolerant manner and one that does not hurt or harm another), and empathetic towards others feelings (again I need to work on this, as admittedly sometimes I’ve the tact of a gnat on a hot evening when you’ve slathered your lips in lipgloss) are what I think are the basics. Of course there’s a ton more and of course, the human nature would perhaps wish to sit and argue the toss over what’s deemed the most important…

Just why is it so hard to exhibit the above and just embrace one another? It’s a rhetorical question that no doubt has been asked for thousands of years and will continue to be asked until the end of time.

I’m not saying don’t label, all I’m saying is be a human first. Refrain from apportioning blame, shamelessly calling people out, slinging accusations around on ones’ personality traits – stop it. Stop it and be a human first.

Think the next time you wish to first label. How would you wish to be treated?

Be. A. Human. First.





Another year gone Mummy….

2.50am, 2nd March 2011 you were beckoned to Heaven to become an Angel.

Our world stopped. Tick tock, Tick tock, the silence suddenly became so deafening.

Filled with bleakness, panic and a void, we’d only ever known the strength and love of you our Mum and of Dad too. A quiet, steely strength, you were the anchor of our family ship.

The life and soul, you’d light a room with your presence. Never one to shout and scream, you quite literally held the patience of a saint.

Never one to complain, you always put others before yourself. Upon reaching you at hospital at 11.30pm on 1st March, on seeing me enter that little room, your first words were, “Jen love, what’re you doing here, you’ve work tomorrow?” Hours from death and you were more worried about me than yourself – your love for us children was your only thought, not what you were about to face – your love never waived, we were never second only ever first to you.

When you died, a piece of us died with you. A void swept in; shock overcame us and time stood still. It’s been 6 years now and not a day goes by that  I don’t think of you, wish you were here or long one last time, to hug  and smell your skin, the way I used to as a little girl.

You’re still with us, I know for certain. I know you were there on my wedding day last year, the sunbeam on the photos when there was no sun demonstrated your presence. Last year you also missed the birth of your 4th grandchild, your first Granddaughter, Isla’Rose. A little beauty, I know that you’ll be the proudest Grandmother in Heaven and each night, you’ll be looking over your beautiful grandchildren, ensuring their safety as they dream of all things sugar and spice and all things nice…

Harry asked me the other day whose Mummy Nanny Marilyn was and I explained she’s Daddy’s Mummy. He then asked me where my Mummy was and I told him that Nanny Karen is a twinkle twinkle in the star and he asked if you ever spoke to me.. My heart broke but I was determined not to cry – you’d laugh and cry at my beautiful and funny little man – he quite simply has no idea how much I miss you.

I wish you could join us from Heaven once again, if only for one last time for larger than life family meals to meet the newest members of our ever expanding family. You’d adore Wayne and Ross – they’d never tire of your never ending feeding! Your grandchildren you’d adore and you’d relish being able to enjoy looking after the munchkins of a weekend and whilst we worked, baking and cooking with them all – you’d have them domesticated before they even went to school!

Dad, Dave, Ric, Jolene, Maffu and Baby Jayne miss you terribly Mummy. Time may distance us but our hearts never will. You’ll be pleased to know that we’re all as close as ever and together, we always ensure that your memory is kept alive.

Dave undertakes his climb to Everest’s basecamp later this year; please watch over him and keep him safe as  he climbs that bit closer to Heaven won’t you?

Another year may have passed Mummy and yes the void is still there, the pain is still there (sometimes it’s as raw as the day you were beckoned) but I can still feel your warmth, hear your infectious laugh and feel your arms around me – our memories never fade and a piece of you is will always be with me xxx





Looking back and looking forward.

I look back a lot.  And I mean a lot. Not in a negative, self critical type of way, but one full of nostalgic memories and I smile whenever I think of the past.

If I were taken to Heaven today, those close to me would know that I’ve lived a happy, fulfilled and contented life. I’ve been graced with an amazing son and husband and I was born into an amazing family with wonderfully loving parents and siblings who would move heaven and earth for me (and who I’ve had more scrapes with as children and adults than the average clumsy 2 year old).

My earliest memory is sat in my highchair, eating a Mr Men yoghurt – how I remember that I don’t know, but I do. I remember Mummy tucking me in to bed as a small child and I remember Dad spending hours brushing my long blonde hair – no one bar Daddy could brush my hair!

Years later, Dad would hold my hair whilst I was sick from drinking one too many jager bombs, slumped on the bathroom floor crying that at 30, I was back home; no home of my own anymore, no boyfriend and only a shite job to look forward come Monday morning.  Little did I know, that that experience alone of being 30, single and boyfriendless, living at home with my Dad and my brother and sister, would help shape the person I am today.

My childhood was happy, very happy. I remember fondly Mummy warming my school uniform on a cold winter’s morning in front of the fire in the dining room as we ate breakfast and forcing me to drink a cup of tea to ‘warm’ me up before we’d leave the house and wait for the very cold school bus. As I got older, I’d help Mum get my younger brothers and sisters ready; Mum would be running around with a flannel in one hand and a hair brush in the other and we’d laugh as as all ran around the house, chasing each other!

Primary school was ace. Mrs Pascoe our primary teacher had an inability to shout and Sister Patricia was a deathly white shade who looked on the brink of death, but whom had a heart of gold. Sister Monica our Headmistress was a kind lady who was followed by the enigmatic Mr Woulfe, who we were permitted to call ‘Frank’ his shortened Christian name, upon touching french soil when we went to Lourdes in 1992.

I laugh when I remember Gypsy horses  running amok on our school field and Mr Woulfe would chase after them with a huge staff – often a cigarette in the other hand, all 20 chubby stone of him chasing these horses, whilst Mr Webdale would try and strike the fear of god into us all by yelling his head off and turning into a beetroot during the process. Of course we ignored him as the whole school cheered Mr Woulfe on as if he were some athlete running the 100m sprint – a very exciting time for us primary children!

I remember being told off by Mrs Coddinton for chatting too much (not a lot has changed in 25 years) to Laura Kilbride and Laura Grantham and then she’d smile and tell me it was ok to talk, but only in situations that permitted it (I still try and remember this advice when I go to open my mouth and some shite comes spilling out, but by then, Mrs Coddington’s words have long since failed me).

In Mrs Rhodes class, I sat next to Marc Chikhani and I’d yell at him for trying to steal my pencils and god forbid if his arm became too close to mine – Marc probably still has nightmares over my space issues all these years later! I remember sat with James Foster waiting for the BBC computer to be wheeled in and load and him threatening to wipe imaginary bogies over me whilst I sat threatening to dob him in – over it, all memories that I can remember as though they were yesterday.

Chrissy Allan our years’ heartthrob took me to his football formal when we 10 and that is when I first had my fragile little heart broken, when on the Monday morning after the said formal, Robert Cubbon greeted me off the school bus to tell me that Chrissy had chucked me for the beautiful Louise McPherson. Years later at uni, I’d accompany Chris to another football formal, only for me to end up blind drunk, falling down a set of escalators in the hotel and embarrassing him by my whole body ending up on his best friend’s face in the taxi, propelling me onto Ryan’s face…  Needless to say Chrissy never invited me to another formal ever again….I guess I got my own back for him dumping me 10 years before!!!

Then there were the Mum’s that would help with school trips – Mrs Gornall, Mrs Packham and Mrs Chikhani I remember vividly; they’d put the fear of God into you with thier fiece gazes, but they were the kindest ladies that parents could rely on to whip us naughty little children into shape!

Some of my best memories have been with my brothers and sisters. It’s fair to say that all 6 of us are very different indeed. Forever bound by blood, we’re a tight little unit – we may not agree on each other’s political, religious or social ideologies, but there’s nothing we won’t do for one another. There’s so many amazing memories I have, that I could literally write a book but my favourite memories are Christmas time. We’d bound downstairs at our Grandparents house, Mum & Dad as excited as were and it’d be a free for all – all 6 of us diving under the tree! Even as adults now, we may not wake together Christmas morning, but we always open presents together and it’s still as manic now as it’s ever been!

I’ve the best of friends that a girl could ask for Emma Howells and Helen Timms ( I still can’t grow up and call them by their married names), are the best. 3am What’s App conversations with Helen when our boys were babies were standard and that girl single handedly got me through night feeds and the crippling loneliness that accompanies them.

Emma always has and always will have my back. There’s no one as fierce as her (she was fierce well before Beyonce made it cool), no one with a more cutting mouth or witty comeback – inseparable since we were 11, my teenage years were the least stressful a teenage girl could have when you’ve a best friend who laughs her way through everything. Emma, Helen – dudes I love you both and I love how our 3 boys adore each other too.

They say that cousins are your first best friends and that’s so true. Nige, Laura and Ryan Dutchak have always been like 3 further siblings and not a lot has changed as adults! Nige married Tamara who is like another sister and Laura is Godmother to my baby boy – there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for this motley crue and their amazing little kiddies who we love.

And there’s my husband an my son. My world.

My husband as I’ve said before, is a 14 year old boy stuck in a 38 year old’s body. Outgoing and funny, he’s the life and soul of any party and has taught me that the biggest gift you can bestow on yourself, is to laugh at yourself, lots. Not a day goes by that he doesn’t make me laugh; even during my labour, I was laughing even as I cried – the best birthing partner ever! My Mr Potatohead and Actionman all rolled into one! We’ve had so many fun times and he’s made me laugh so much that I’ve almost pee’d my pants at times. The most horizontal and laid back person I’ve met, Wayne is like a beacon of light – the light never fades or dulls, it shines on drowning the darkness as it approaches. My happiest memories of him always include Harry; wherever one is, the other isn’t far behind. It was love at first sight for Wayne when he first met Harry and my favourite memory of them is Wayne holding Harry to the window when he was 2 days old and telling him the world is his oyster and he can do what ever his heart tells him too.

And there’s the absolute love and joy of my life, my darling, my baby, my son, my Harry.

Harry is just the most perfect little boy a Mother could ask for. There’s been so many amazing memories with our son, it’s hard to pick only a couple out. The first time he walked was a truly amazing memory as we both witnessed it and Harry was proud as punch (I even managed to capture on camera too!). As a little baby, he was always laughing and smiling and I remember you only had to blow raspberries and he’d crease himself laughing, full on belly giggles rocking his little body.

These days, Harry’s growing into a beautiful, headstrong, independent little boy. It doesn’t seem like two minutes since we were leaving him in the baby room at nursery with Melissa and Kavita (who were like 2nd mothers to him) and these days he’s now obsessed with his best friends, ‘Franks’ Frankie and Freddie with whom he’s spent his nursery life with – Mummy doesn’t even get so much as a look in these days!

As I look back, I look back with fondness, happy to have a mind so enriched with fun and happy times. Teachers and school friends who’ve sharpened my moral compass, best friends who’ve seen me at my best and my worst and a family that would rival the Brady bunch. A family as hard as diamonds – throw the weight of the world at the, and still they come off without a scratch.Parents who me to love, to be independent and speak my mind – to stand up for those who aren’t as outgoing as me. My husband and son who light up my world – never do I see dark day with clouds with them, only the sun fighting to come out from behind them.

My beloved Grandad always told me to never look back, “Looking back Jenny, it only means you won’t see what’s in front of you.” Perhaps in some cases, but in my case, it means I embrace the memories from the past and look to the future to continue to enjoy happiness and the memories that it will bring.   Life so far has been good and fun, sprinkled with some sadness but from the sadness, I embrace the fact that life’s short – I embrace the past and look forward to many more happy and fun times ahead – each memory has impacted upon me greatly for me to remember them so vividly.

We’re a long time dead after all, so best to embrace the past and the future and to live life to the happiest.






My little sister, Jolene.

It was 18th February, 1988 and I was 7 years old.

Finally YOU arrived. I’d waited since 1983 for you to arrive and I was delirious when Dad called from the hospital that cold, foggy evening and told me that finally, my dream had come true – I finally had a little, baby sister – my little sister, Joanne.

You were the sweetest little baby that anyone could wish for – beautiful, sweet natured and you barely cried. Always wanting to follow me around, you were like my little shadow! Quiet, you’d sit on the sofa, often sucking your thumb, cuddling your comfort blanket and then you’d be gone – off upstairs you’d take yourself and you’d have climbed into bed, all of your own accord.

Always thoughtful and caring, you were a little worrier from the get go. You’d say your prayers and beg that each night, Mum & Dad, and your brothers and sisters would all be ok.

In the 29 years that I’ve had the honour of calling you my my little sister, you’ve always been there for me. Together we’ve travelled to the furthest corner of the world, lazed on beautiful beaches, drank so much jager that you’ve had to be the one that’s the voice of reason, cried together during our darkest moments, walked down the aisle with me and of course, being the best baby sister ever, shoved me into your size 8 clothes when I’ve needed that extra shove!

Today my little sister, you turn 29. One more year in your 20s before you hit another amazing milestone in your life. Our life hasn’t always been easy, but you make life so much more fun and you take the best of bad and sad situations and make the best you can. Your little laughter lines around your eyes are testament to how you spend your life and whilst yes, at times, you can be a pain in the arse, you’re my little sister and I love you to the moon and back.

Happy birthday my darling little sister, Jolene xxxx


I’m feeling sorry for myself. 

I’m ill and I’m feeling sorry for myself.

Whilst I have a cold, my husband has man-flu. Whilst I’m coping, he’s ‘dying.’

We went out to celebrate one of our BFFs birthday last night and ended up home and in bed for 10.30pm whilst our mates partied on.

This am, I’ve played my snapchats back my mates sent downing shots and generally being fucked and I’m laid in bed feeling for myself that my ears are blocked and I can’t hear my own voice (probs no bad think you haters are thinking) and my voice sounds like Estelle in ‘Friends.’

However, for the moaning I’m undertaking, my friends have woken rougher than I have, so I’m ever so slightly smug that I’m not the worst one laid in bed this am.

On that note, I’m off to stuff my face with  Lemsip before our little man arrives back  from his sleep over at his Uncle Ric and Aunty Alex’s – I dare say they’re feeling worse than me anyway! 

I love my husband because…

I’m really not into public declarations of love, mainly because I think it’s a bit sickly to be honest but also because sometimes you don’t want to ram how good you’ve got something, down other people’s throats as I totally appreciate that not everyone’s lives are roses and all that shit.

On this occasion, however, I’m going to make an exception.

I fucking love my husband because today, after a late night all round, when our little boy started yelling his head off when he woke, my husband almost jumped up out of bed and the first words I heard him utter were “let’s let Mummy sleep as she’s really tired.”

A day of Harry emitting Satan like behaviour as he’s tired from a late one last night and having every cartoon shoved at us known to man and Wayne’s nipped out to collect us dinner. This, despite the fact he’s torn cartilage in his knee and finds walking unbearable, never mind driving and he’s not grumbled once today.

I love my husband because simply, he’s the dog’s bollocks.

I hate to disappoint ladies, but “Mr Perfect” doesn’t exist in your world – only mine as I’m lucky enough to have bagged this mofo.

If Carlbserg made husbands; mine would be the very handsome and witty fucking blueprint.

Thank you God, I bagged him!

Where is time going?

Where is time going? A rhetorical question, I know.

It’s been a good while since I last blogged, not because I haven’t wanted to, but because, I’ve simply not had the time.

Time is moving ever so quickly; Harry is ever the bubbly and funny little boy and is the biggest bundle of energy I’ve ever seen! Afternoon naps abandoned, we’re well and truly moving towards being a big boy.

In addition to the subtraction of naps, Harry has hit the ground running in the last few weeks with potty training. Slow to begin with (god why did my fellow Mum friends not worn me hard this stage would be?!). I say slow, really I mean lazy…“Mummy, I’ve just done a wee wee in my pants”  is what we faced on and off and then all of a sudden we were greeted with “Mummy I need a wee wee now!”

Along with potty training, Harry seems to have gathered momentum for being a superb question asker.  “Mummy what’s this?” “Mummy where’s Finn McMissile?” “Mummy can Rocky get in bed with me?” “Mummy do like Dory? I do” “Mummy why is Lightening McQueen red and blue ?” It’s endless, but such fun having such a chatty and charming little boy!

Then there’s the social side of things. Every weekend we seem to be doing something. I honestly can’t remember the last time the three of us snuggled up on the sofa and enjoyed a duvet day. I’m not moaning though – Harry loves being out and about; whether it’s seeing friends and their little munchkins or the family. We’ve seen my Father-in-Law three weekends on the bounce, which has been great and the other day my Dad was to look after Harry in the am. “Grandad Pete is coming over to look after you today” I told Harry “I don’t want to see Grandad  Pete Mummy, I want to see my Grandad Pat” came a sullen little voice – funny how fickle kids can  be!

Then there’s work. Work is mental to say the least, which is good as I can’t bear to be sat around doing nothing to be honest. How anyone is happy to toss it off all day is beyond me – why would you not want to be busy?

Last Friday I was so busy that Harry even came to work with me after his am session at nursery. Deadlines looming, I had no choice but to turn my office into a creche. Potty check, iPad check, books check, ride along Thomas check, high viz jacket check, the entire Disney Cars cast check – you get the picture! Thank god my colleagues managed to entertain the little love – “Mummy, I’ve seen Percy!” Harry exclaimed after being taken to visit the latest addition to our Fleet – what a happy little boy he was after seeing the mega 32t unit! “Mummy, I’ve had fun” Harry sang to me as I pulled out of work at 4pm, mentally and physically exhausted.

Time is flying,  and before we know it, we’ll be proud parents of a 3 year old! Already Harry is telling me who he wants to invite to his party “Mummy, Owen is coming and Frankie and Zak and Henry Giffin. Oliver Oates too but not girls Mummy” – he cracks me right up!

It’s time to focus on Bonfire Night and then Christmas – can’t wait for Christmas this year. I’m trying not to wish time away with it being so precious, but Harry is starting to understand Christmas – or at least the presents bit anyway!

We’ll be taking Harry to Church to help him understand the real reason behind Christmas and that it’s not all about the presents (time will take it’s toll on this I think!). No doubt he’ll be excited at seeing the Crib and it’s contents “Mummy what’s this? he’ll no doubt be shouting in Church, peering into the Manger, but hey, you’re only a child once, so we’ll let him be as inquisitive as he likes – even if it is in Church during a quiet part!

Time for a social life? I don’t think so! There’s date nights…. Very rarely do we have time for a date night (time, again!!!). Last weekend however, we were granted a ‘free pass’ at 3pm to go out that night after one of my brothers and his girlfriend very kindly offered to have handsome for the night. Did we jump at going out? Did we! Harry dropped at Aunty Alex and Uncle Ric’s, we were straight out for a curry. We were home and in pjs for 9pm, but at least we still had time together. So many couples fall into the trap of ignoring each other or sleeping in separate rooms (that’s just weird – it must be like living with a roomate) so we try whenever we can to spend quality time together and be “us” again.

Soon it’ll be Christmas and we’ve two whole weeks together with our munchkin; theatre and dinner out the day we break for Christmas and then bang, we’ll wake and it’s Christmas Eve! Whilst we’re off, we’ll enjoy family time and finally get round to just chilling – roll on lazy days watching Christmas films with hot chocolate and sweets – where we won’t be giving two hoots about “time”!




Thank god it’s over.

Thank God it’s over. The wedding.

The dust is now settling and I have, what everyone else has had for the last year and that’s my life back.

This time last year we changed our wedding venue and decided to enjoy a quintessential British wedding complete in the British countryside with a marquee, afternoon tea and Pimms ahoy. When we decided to embark upon this exciting adventure, I’m not sure we quite understood what we had taken on, especially as I was studying quite intensely at the time too.

Exams sat weeks before Christmas, Christmas came and went and then that was it. Full on wedding mode. And that’s how it was right up until I set foot in Church.

Months of planning and all my worries evaporated the moment I stepped into Church and saw my husband to be’s beaming smile!

The honeymoon may be over, but we’re definitely enjoying the start of married life. Something feels ‘different’ – a sense or feeling I’m not sure which, of more togetherness.

I think I must be the only Bride who doesn’t mourn the fact that the wedding is over and is just simply happy, to be finally married. It was never about the ‘big wedding’ – it was about the ‘traditional’ wedding and the fact Wayne and I were marrying or uniting if you like; formally making him and his Dad a part of my family – Wayne and his Dad are adored by my family so formalising it was only a matter of course really.

Yes, the wedding may be over but I’m glad. We enjoyed the most magical day ever (barring the very notable absence of a number of people sadly) and the important thing wasn’t the party or dress, but that we committed to one another. We begin a new chapter in our lives together that so many wonderful family and friends were happy to be a part of, but that’s past now and we have a wonderful future to look forward to!

This Christmas will be wonderful; a united family, with the usual games and laughter – but this time, I’ll be Team Hoolihan – straying to the dark side to assist my husband and Father in Law in smashing my brothers and sisters!

My husband will come home to me cooking tea in my veil and yes, the wedding cards still adorn every free space of our home, but it’s time to look forward to the rest of our lives as married couple with our precious son and family. Happy times to continue!



Day 3 of married life.

Well it’s day 3 of married and quite simply, it couldn’t be more perfect.

Saturday was the best day ever! The rain held off until tea time and then we enjoyed England’s finest rain it had to offer. Did it spoil it? Hell no! It added to the atmosphere; friends and family pulling together to ensure no one was soaked running from the marquee to the bar and back, buggies were under cover and that everyone had fun. 

Both my Dad and my Father in Law were on top form and so much laughter exuded both – an absolute pleasure to witness! We asked my FIL to read a reading from the bible (1 Corinthians 13) and when he welled up, half the church held thier breath a amazing! 

Harry was a a dream (as always) and in waiting for me to arrive at church (30 mins late – Wayne was anxious I heard!) he fell asleep. Little love!

Dancing, rain, afternoon tea – a day to remember for certain! 

My new husband is more than anyone could wish for; just too cute seeing how emotional he was throughout the day. Incredibly privileged to call Wayne my husband – I couldn’t be prouder of him! 

We’re presently on honeymoon and being the dutiful wife, we’re enjoying the delights of the Euros at present – small things make him happy! 

Signing out to enjoy a drink with my husband – could life be anymore perfect? 

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