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.



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





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! 

My Mummy. My Angel.

It’s been 5 years since Mummy was beckoned to become an Angel. 5 long years without her.

Sometimes  I hear her voice, capture a passing whiff of her perfume or hear an old Motown record and she’s right back in the room with us again.

Mummy didn’t want to die. On hearing the dreadful diagnosis of Cancer her words were simple according to my Dad, “I can’t have Cancer; I’ve 6 children”.

October 2006 is when those words were uttered and Mummy would quietly, with no fuss, battle the bastarding Cancer that would eventually kill her. Watching your parent, who you’ve always looked up to, battle a disease, is horrific. Luckily Mummy’s hair didn’t fall out, but she’d be confined to the family home for days on end; tired, withdrawn and sometimes ebbing at an all time low – the despair I think would torment her of her of what would happen to Dad and my brothers and sisters should she succumb to the fucker.

Not once did she ever ask why. Mummy wasn’t frightened of death; she never spoke of dying, I don’t think she could look it in the eye, but she wasn’t afraid – she was afraid for those she was leaving behind.

Mummy is always with us, I know that. She’d never leave us. Eternally 51, I know she’s looking out for each of us and she’d be proud of the people we’ve all become.

Dad although he misses her terribly and visits her grave without fail, every single day, is both Mum & Dad to us. He has his moments, but slowly, he’s realizing that you wouldn’t want him to mope each and every single day.

Dave is an incredible Daddy to little Davy who you missed on meeting by 2 months and Richard has become a Teacher. Joanne is your carbon copy Mum and thinks of everyone else but herself and Matthew has graduated uni with a 2:1 ! Jayne is now Mummy to Thomas who is 7 months old and a little treasure and all bar Dave who is yet to meet the woman of his dreams, we’ve such amazing partners, you’d love the lovely bones of each of them!

And then there’s me. You’d be surprised wouldn’t you at me becoming a Mummy! Always so focused on everything but children and not even liking them! Harry’s nearly 2 and an absolute dream – I know you visit him – whether it’s in his dreams or if you talk quietly to him, but I know you’re with him after what he said the other morning to Wayne.

My Mummy is my angel guardian and I know she looks to keep my family from harm. I know that when our time eventually comes, you’ll be there at those Pearly Gates, chewing St Peter’s ear off and once again, one, by one, our family will join  together again.



Losing loved ones & impending Christmas time.

Losing loved ones isn’t easy. It’s the absolute pits.

It doesn’t matter how old they are, how ill they were; who they were to you (step or biological) nothing can prepare you for the passing of a loved one.

I’ve had two friends lose their beloved Father and another his Mum in the last few weeks. Both passings couldn’t be different – one had sadly been poorly for a very long time and the other, tragically died instantly in a car crash. The circumstances are still the same irrespective of the build up of events that led to their passing.

My heart breaks for my friends. There’s nothing of any comfort at all that can be said to soften their hurt. No amount of hugs can make them feel any less lonely and no amount of words can heal their worried minds.

There’s no ‘good’ time to lose a loved one, I should know, I lost my beloved Grandfather two weeks before Christmas a number of years ago and Mummy in March 4 years ago. However, the lead up to Christmas is a horrific time to lose someone.

Christmas is family time. It’s that time of year, you enjoy spending time with those nearest and dearest to you. Yes there’s tears (there’s always that one family member who grates on you), but there’s laughter too, and lots of it too. And that’s what makes losing a loved one at this time of year so hard; you should be listening to their laughter yet all you feel is a void and all you can hear is an eery silence.

The first Christmas we had after losing Mummy was undoubtedly the hardest Christmas my family have ever had. Mummy’s absence was the elephant in the room; brave faces and smiles to paste over the quivering lips, I don’t believe I ever thought Christmas could ever be so sad…

And that’s why I can’t help but think of my friends. Day and night I can’t help but think of them. My pain isn’t as raw as it was (if you’ve never lost a parent, you can’t imagine the pain and it never goes away, you just learn to live with that pain in your heart) but it still hurts, a dull ache in your chest. Even though I’ve lost a parent, springtime when she passed brought a new sense of life. The trees started to blossom not too long afterwards, birds had returned and flowers began to peep through.

This time of year isn’t centred around any of these things – it’s all about Christmas and family. They’ll get through this horrific Christmas (two of my friends have children and this will help like you wouldn’t believe), but it’s going to be the hardest thing they’ve done to date and my heart couldn’t break any more for them…There’s light but it’ll be a long time before they can see even a chink of it.

Brought up Catholic, I believe in Heaven and that’s where I believe Mummy is. It’s where I believe my friends parents are too.

I believe they never leave us and walk beside us every day, unseen and unheard but always there…..



This one time, I went travelling.


This one time, I went travelling.

I was suppose to have been gone for three months with my sister, Jo, lapping up the wonders that Oz, Thailand, India, Malaysia and Vietnam had to offer. I say ‘suppose to’ because after only 5 weeks, I was back home on British soil.

I should start by rewinding a little bit really. After a truly horrid year, my sister and I had decided that distant shores, a dose of culture plus time to reflect and recharge our batteries was a fab idea. This coupled with me turning 30, seemed like the most fab idea to me. So 6 months prior to departure from London’s finest airport, we started planning our trip.
In the midst of all this planning, little did I know that I’d meet the love-of-my-life. They say true love never runs smoothly and in our case it most certainly didn’t. Both of us the wrong side of 30, and fresh from long term relationships, our worlds collided. And then smashed and burned.

Less than 2 months into our courtship (I’m so British aren’t I?), Wayne decided to end it. Not exactly thrilled at this, I decided it was probably for the best as some Aussie hunk would undoubtedly take interest in me I thought and declare he was some mining magnate and off I’d go and live a fab life down under, complete with sun, surf and barbies and beautiful little blonde surfer children.
Wayne put an end to all that, of course.

With less than a week before I was due to fly out to Sydney, he declared his undying love for me (6 weeks had passed since we’d parted ways). So I flew out to Oz with a heavy heart, knowing I’d miss him dearly (I’ve said before he’s the funniest and wittiest and not to mention hottest chap I’ve ever met) and that it would be a long 3 months apart.
Or so I thought.

Wayne lived in Oz you see many moons ago, having fallen in love with a native and running off to follow her. Safe to say that as I pummelled the streets of Sydney and took in her breathtaking splendours, even though I was as far away from home as one could get, the European familiarity of the city made me homesick for my beloved…
Finished with Oz, off we trotted on our Qantas flight bound for South East Asia and first stop was a bit closer to home, India.
I hated India. It’s a long story and one for another day, but I have no interest in ever visiting India again. Having survived on boiling Pepsi (yes, you read correctly, boiling as it was so hot, the Pepsi boiled in the bottle!) and out of date Mars bars and crisps, almost dying on our first and last Tuk Tuk ride, being taken unwittingly to the other side of Delhi against our wishes, having air con turned off at 10pm in a paid hotel room (WTF?),my sister sleeping in soaking wet cold towels and touring a country where every man looked at my little sister as though they were about to abduct her, it’s safe to say that I doubt India will ever want me to visit again.

Cutting our tour short without even making it to the Taj Mahal, we took the first Jet airways flight out of Delhi at midnight one night with the help of a kind Indian businessman who, without his help, I’m almost certain that night I’d have ended up in an Indian prison after being threatened by a member of the Indian army about not having a non validated ticket to exit the country (hence the kind businessman assisting us).

Back on Thai soil, we headed where all travellers head – straight to Koh Samui for some R&R. Whether it was the beautiful sun, landscape or hospitality I’m not entirely sure, but it hit us like a thunderbolt. My sister and I weren’t cut out for travelling.

Before my departure I’d had a very good job with a Spanish bank and enjoyed a rather boring life of work, work and a bit more work. So when I announced I was taking a sabbatical to go travelling, my colleagues almost wet themselves. me, travel? How ridiculous was the reply. Bets were dually placed that I wouldn’t last a week… I lasted 6.

No I found that I don’t like hostels, no air con, living on a budget and cheaper means of travel. But most of all I wasn’t cut out for travelling, not because my sister and I clashed (we didn’t), but because it was the wrong time of my life to travel. I was running away from my problems (I’d recently lost Mummy) and inadvertently, I’d run away from the love of my life.

Always there, on my mind, I missed Wayne like I’d never missed anyone. I’ve always been the most selfish person I know (I’ll be the first to admit this). I’d always put myself and my needs before anyone else; happily forsaking everyone else as I was always so career minded, determined and focused. No one was getting in my way. And then he happened.

I knew when I flew out from London that I wouldn’t last the 3 months but I was determined. So I managed 6 weeks and not 3 months; of course everyone at work was quick to assume that me and traditional travelling hadn’t gone hand in hand, no they hadn’t in the holistic view of everything, but of course if destiny was to have her way, I was never going to stay away for 3 months was I?
The point of this blog wasn’t to humour you with tales of my travels, I may share those with you one day, but it was to labour the point to take a chance. Take a chance on travel, take a chance on love. I did both and it’s funny how sometimes, despite our best attempts to change the course of our lives, sometimes just sometimes, the universe has a way of throwing it right back at you.

Whatever you may be contemplating in life, just do it. If it doesn’t work out, it’s not meant to be; like me and travelling. But I’ve a wonderful husband to be and a beautiful and adorable son and had I not taken a chance and come home, my destiny may have been all too different.

One minute she was here, the next she was gone.

One minute she was here, the next she was gone.

It’s been over 4 years since Mummy left this Earth for Heaven and not a day goes by where I don’t miss her that little bit more than I did the day before.

I knew Mummy was going to leave us, I just never at the time, anticipated it was going to be as soon as it was. That’s the thing with bastarding Cancer, it’s poison in every sense of the word. It poisoned Mummy and it left a vile and bitter taste in the mouths of us left behind to miss her and pick up the pieces afterwards, much like how I would imagine poison to taste.

Mummy was the nicest person I ever met. I’m not just saying that because she’s not here, the way people often reminisce nostalgically, I’m saying it because it’s true. Mummy always put my Father and me and brothers and sisters before her. Always the first one leaping up to make visitors a cup of tea or to ram a ham sandwich down their throat before they’d even taken their shoes off in the hallway – she was definitely the Mrs Doyle of the family! You see Mummy, was an angel that graced a large number of us with her presence and made such an impact that even kids who I went to school with over 30 years ago, still speak fondly and warmly of her.

The love my Mother shared with me and my brothers and sisters is like no other and every day with my own little boy, I strive to be the Mother that I was so wonderfully given all those years ago. Sometimes, I struggle to believe she’s not here – often when I want to share something Harry’s done and then I’m reminded she’s in Heaven and not at the end of the phone.

They say that it gets easier with time. Not strictly untrue, it doesn’t get any easier; you just learn to live with them not being here. Mummy was like no other person I’ve ever met. She had no temper, she didn’t dislike anyone and I don’t know of one person who ever had a bad word to say about her. Mummy would take the weight of the world’s heartache on her shoulders; like a sponge soaking it all in and not readily letting it go.

One of the things I miss most about Mummy is her infectious laugh; one minute it was here and the next it was gone. Mummy was always laughing – she always used to say it was better to laugh than cry and she was so right (as she often was about most things). And listening, Mummy was an excellent listener.

Mummy would sit and listen whilst I often ranted about the trials and tribulations of the world. Never butting in, she’d offer her wise words calmly and always remind me that no matter what’s said to you, to take it with a pinch of salt, never judging.

For 29 years, I was blessed with the best of Mothers that one could be graced with. Yes I’m sad and very often furious with the powers that be that Mummy was stolen from us at such a young age, but at the same time, I feel blessed to have had her for those 29 years. Some of you will live a lifetime with your Mother and never experience the love I felt, so i’m grateful for the time we had.

No I will not see her grow old, no she’ll never meet the loves of my life (my future husband and my darling son), and nor will I ever hear her infectious laugh ever again, but I know that when my time does come, Mummy will be at those pearly gates, gently urging St Peter that she’s been waiting all too long to see me again. And then I’ll hear that infectious laugh once again…

My Dad, the legend.

My Dad, the legend.

My Dad is ace, he’s irritating as hell at times, condescending and has an opinion on just about everything, but he holds an absolute heart of gold.

At 62, Dad should be entering the golden era of life with Mummy, enjoying grandchildren (with three grandsons, he’s kept on his toes) and the ever-growing side to our family, however, the big ‘C’ cruelly stole Mummy away from us four years ago. Instead, Daddy faces the cruel twist of fate of growing old without her, whilst she remains ever young, immortalised at the tender age of 51.

It’s taken its toll on Mummy passing; yes you expect your husband or wife to maybe pass before you, but for Daddy to be robbed at 58, it seems so ridiculously unfair. But, as I say, my Dad’s a legend. Yes he has his days where he misses Mummy so much, he can barely get up, but he knows that for her, he must get up every day and carry on as normal as he possibly can.

I know that we call the likes of Bobby Charlton and David Beckham, legends, however, in my eyes, seeing what my Dad achieves each and everyday is truly humbling and that’s what makes him the every – day – joe – of  – legends.

Dad is funny and charming and a complete drama queen too. If there’s drama, Dad’s always at the centre of it. I think he secretly enjoys it to be honest as he always tries to see the funny side and he has such a knack of saying the most inappropriate things at the totally wrong time but Dad is way past caring about social convention these days.

My Dad is a legend for many number of reasons, I’d be here all day if I were to list them. However, the primary reason i believe my Dad’s a legend is because although he’s endured a ridiculous amount of heartache, he never questions the powers that be for all he’s endured. He simply takes it on the chin and deals with it the best he can – for that you can be nothing short of legendary.

Most people look back only after their parents have passed to the next life to reflect on how good or bad they were. I’d rather not wait until then having already lost Mummy, I’m all too aware of how short life can be and how there’s nothing better than today to say how you feel.

My Dad, the legend. I love you.

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