April 28th 2015 - Life

Good day (not in the Australian G'day sense bah you know what I mean),

I hope you are the best you can be right now. I have flipped around this idea in my brain for months maybe even longer than that, finally moving my fingers back and forth across a keyboard attempting to write a blog entry. Let me start in the year of 13'. An amazing year! it brought me many great memories, memories of family and friends gathering for something I applied a talent of mine to in the form baking on the telly (I still cannot fathom it even happened). The greatest thing that happened this year I opened up as person, I changed... I found a voice inside me telling me I can do things,  I could speak in public and not be afraid of messing up (ok I did mess up a bit in the beginning of teaching it was nerve wracking). I taught some lovely folk how to bake a bit of bread.... it was hectic, draining but incredibly rewarding seeing people produce bread from my instructions. We had our ups... our downs.... bread turned out amazing (up) but on occasion I forgot to line tins, cue bread got stuck inside (down). People I have learned are very forgiving when you have downs, it showed I was no different to them in their kitchens. Most importantly however people listened to me and asked me questions I could answer on how to bake which was amazing as I felt like saying "ah here I only know this from learning from my dad, mum and watching food tv shows I am no Mary Berry". 

2014 was a continuation of 2013 I taught, taught and taught some more in my free time and blogged when I could. In May 2014, the 29th to be precise I reached a pinnacle of what my life was snowballing toward, that day I married my best friend Joanne. I thought that day would have never happen, especially if you had asked me 5/6 years previous to that. It was the most incredible day it was like getting to the top of the mountain and thinking where to next, but for me I had reached the top and I cannot fly. My biggest life goal was reached and I dedicated my next few months in to being as a good a husband I can be (that sounds lovey-dovey but I just wanted to hang out and enjoy being married with my wife). Even though I kept teaching here and there my interest was starting to wain slightly, not because I did not want to do it, I love the teaching part but my interest was starting to wain in baking, cooking and blogging. For nearly 2 years I had been baking and churning out blog posts just to get views, I felt like I was just going through the motions with a few freebies thrown in a long the way from certain supermarkets. Posting on Facebook, tweeting, instagramming flooding social media with some sort of recipe just for the sake of it.  I was however beginning to close a chapter on an amazing part of my life, it was like placing it all in a photo album that can I look back when I am 75 ( or older of course, I dunno why I said 75, seems like a nice round number ) if I am here still here.

2015 did not go so well is something I feel I might be saying on the 1st of January 2016. Starting off it was ok as any January could go and all the way up to day 14 was plain sailing. Day 15 however there was a thunderbolt of doom, I had what could be called a mini stroke or TIA (Trans Ischaemic Attack). My balance went off kilter, wobbly if you will, I felt like I was going to topple over. I paid my gp a visit and for the next week I was tested inside out by the Neurology team in Beaumont (for future reference they have the best Neurology team). After 7 days I was released, given medication and told to rest. My diagnosis upon leaving was something called sticky blood (your blood over clots ... not good) and the possibility of another auto immune related disease. After being in hospital I thought I would be right as rain in no time but I had become incredibly slowed up, walking any great distance was leaving me shattered. It took the best part of 4/5 weeks before I was nearly back to normal. Up till mid March when my first out patient appointment was due  I had myself worried and stressed as to what I may have so much so Joanne bought me jigsaws to take my mind off the worry, it worked buy one they are incredibly therapeutic. The outpatient date arrived, it was a relief they had found nothing serious ( I dreaded being told I would have MS or Lupus) and I have been since referred to rheumatology for further analysis. 

My stress and worry had calmed down, however out of the blue another life event hit me like a freight train. In my 30 years I had lost my grandfather in Holland (my father's father) a man I did not know so well and I felt more upset for my dad. On Easter Monday my mum's dad passed away. The man was the nicest, caring, and talented man you could wish to meet. He was woven in to every part of my life and now he was gone. My earliest memory I have is going to his work shop in primary school(he was the school caretaker) before class when I was in junior infants. I was always scared and crying when my mum left me in the morning so he would bring me to the workshop before class sitting me down to talk about football. I am sure I have cried plenty of times as an adult but burying this man brought me back to those days as a 4 year old crying, my mum leaving me in the cloakroom waiting for class to start, I cried this day too. I had lost not only my grandfather but I had lost a friend.

Following death there is life, 9 days ago my brother's fiancee gave birth to the most amazing little girl named Ava and I became an uncle for the first time. Ava however is very premature born at only 23 weeks old but she is an incredible fighting little girl blossoming each day. Seeing my brother and his fiancee hold this miracle make me so proud of them both. If you pray please pray for her, if you light candles for her even if they are yankee candles light them, if you have positivity send it their way. She has a long journey but she will get there especially with the excellent NICU unit at Holles St.

There are days you think to yourself you wish you were 8 years old and all you had to worry about was homework. I am sure there are people out there with far more troubles in their lives but for me these past few months have marked a transition from youth in to adulthood. This entry for me is more about release and expressing where my head lies. If it can help me releasing the depression of these past few months I would rather do this than bottling it up inside.

I apologise for this departure from all things food.