Posts filed under ‘Ireland’

I Hope, I Wish, I Dream.

I do this for a reason. I want you to donate to a children’s charity and write to me. Please see the About Lesley page or read the instructions at the end of this post…..

I know it has been a long time since I wrote here. I haven’t gone away, life simply took my time for a while.

Today I wanted to talk about hope. From that internet, I tool the following definition:-

Hope is the state which promotes the desire of positive outcomes related to events and circumstances in one’s life or in the world at large. Despair is often regarded as the opposite of hope. Hope is the “feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best” or the act of “looking forward to something with desire and reasonable confidence” or “feeling that something desired may happen.

My hope today is rooted in my beloved rugby, specifically the hope that Ireland can beat the All Blacks. I am watching as I type and am almost hyperventilating with excitement as the score stands at Ireland 22, New Zealand 17. There are 15 minutes of glorious but tortuous remaining in the match. I want to hope, I do believe. Most punters would not have imagined this scoreline based on the performance last week against Australia. They were lacklustre, uninspiring. This week a new team came onto the pitch with grim faces and a new determination. This is the best play I have seen in two years. I am proud but scared, eleven minutes to go and only five points separate us. COME ON IRELAND!

So that is my hope for this one day. A positive hope for the glory of a squad of men in green shorts. However, for so many people hope and despair are cruelly linked. People hope like they breathe, it is a natural state. We all have dreams. For some the hope is for their team to perform well, that perfect dress, a weekend away. For too many alas, their hope is for safety, water, food, shelter. So many victims of hate, war, even weather.

When I look at news stories this week I see people held as slaves in the first world, people struggling to exist in the Philippines as aid is distributed in chaotic conditions. I see news that children are being targeted by snipers in Syria. Over 11,000 children have died in this conflict and it is reported that hundreds have been shot. What mindset do you have to be able to do that? I can’t, don’t want to understand.

As I write now my hopes have been dashed for today. Last minute try and conversion by New Zealand gives a final score of Ireland 22, New Zealand 24. I am so sad for our amazing men, they performed like giants and must now feel despair. I now hope they take hope from their performance today into the Six Nations and play the way they are meant to, they way they did today.

I also hope that you will read my words and think about giving hope to someone who really needs help. One of the things that makes us human is hope that things will be better, people kinder.

I close, as always, with this:-

  • Please donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are older.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading,

Lesley

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November 24, 2013 at 5:02 pm Leave a comment

Lovely George….

I do this for a reason. I want you to donate to a children’s charity and write to me. Please see the About Lesley page or read the instructions at the end of this post…..

A random post this morning.

I love Friday evenings. I relax without guilt, I know the housework waits for me on the Saturday morning but I can blank it for a few sweet hours. I rented a couple of dvds last night and sat down with my son and daughter to watch the first one, ‘The Ides of March’ with George Clooney, Ryan Gosling and loads of other great actors. I had heard great reviews of the movie and was really looking forward to some political intrigue.

The plot focused on the Democratic Primaries and the battle for Ohio. The two candidates were reasonably close in the polls and Ohio is a key win for both. Most of the story focuses on the ‘the men behind the throne’; the staffers. It is all spin and bluster between the two opposing sides, journalists and the politicians from whom they need backing. The movie is beautifully shot, the atmosphere draws you in and sets an appropriately bleak background to the scheming.

I will not give away the plot but suffice to say George is the honourable candidate wanting to do good for good’s sake, he does not give off that hunger for power that so many political films focus on. Ryan is the smart staffer who has been drawn into this world of good, he does not see a man, he sees hope. However, and however there must be, George is human and all humans have flaws. Add the disillusionment to the ducks and dives and poor Ryan transforms from idealist to hardened cynic before our eyes.

It was a good movie, I enjoyed it but I could see the whole thing coming! Where were the surprises? The denouement was stretched out before me like a straight road. This does not take away from my enjoyment but the predictability of the plotline was disappointing. I did love the movie poster though, one of the best I have seen in a long time:-

Courtesy of The Ides of March

George Clooney was a co-writer and also directed the movie. He is known as a decent and honest individual who wants those who govern us to be the same. You can see his ideals in this movie and I admire him for this. His recent arrest while protesting outside the Sundanese embassy in Washington may be seen by some as an actor doing ‘good works’ but I see it as a man protesting against a government working against their people, causing suffering instead of support. If Mr. Clooney chooses to actively use his fame and influence to highlight issues and put pressure on governments then good on him. These issues needs to come to the fore and pressure needs to be put on politicians to address them.

If by some miniscule chance M. Clooney ever reads this post I hope he isn’t too disappointed by my words and that he likes the reason for my blogging, I can live in hope:)

I close, as always, with this:-

  • Please donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are older.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading.

Lesley

PS – Did you notice? I didn’t mention George’s awesome good looks and charm once, it took self-control not to….

PPS – Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you all, please don’t begrudge me my wish that Ireland give England a jolly good thrashing at the rugby today!

Green All the Way Today

March 17, 2012 at 1:12 pm Leave a comment

Disappointments?

I do this for a reason. I want you to donate to a children’s charity and write to me. Please see the About Lesley page and read the instructions at the end of this post…..

I had my annual rugby trip this past weekend. Ten of us headed to Paris for four days of relaxation, eating, drinking and hopefully seeing the Ireland rugby team beat France at the Stade Francais. This was my fourth visit to this magnificent stadium; I was really hoping I would see Ireland win when I was there. It hadn’t happened for me yet but I live in hope.

Paris was cold! Chilled to the bone cold. The compensation for the weather was the beauty of the city, walking round Paris will always make you smile inside. We spent a couple of hours walking from the Rue De Provence to Les Invalides. I wanted to visit Les Invalides again as I hadn’t spent enough time there on previous visits. I wanted to see the very grand tomb where Napoleon is interred again. I believe that those who are remembered in history are worth seeing, they had impact whether we think it grandiose or benign. It is a magnificent setting, a tad overblown perhaps but worth seeing.

I also visited the famous shopping centre, the Galleries Lafayette. What a spectacle and I am not just talking about the prices. Even with ‘Solde 50%’ sale prices some of the price tags on those pretty things made my eyes water. I did see a handbag or two that may have tempted me but I kept my credit card zipped away so that I wouldn’t be carried away by the thought of ‘but I saved so much money!’. Seriously, the thing about the Galleries Lafayette is the beauty of the building itself, the circular floors looking up to a magnificent stained glass dome. I also went up to the roof to see the Parisian rooftops and the Eiffel Tower in the near distance, I would recommend that view to everyone. My favourite site of the weekend though? The piano playing busker, his playing was wonderful and his piano-trolley was little feat of engineering…..

Of course, the highlight of the weekend should have been the rugby. We all knew the weather was bad and knew there was a pitch inspection. Many texts came from home and we were pleased to hear that the match was on at 7:30 so we headed to the Gard De Nord and packed, quite literally, into the trains. There was good humoured banter on the train, Ireland’s call and the Marseillaise was roared out by the opposing fans and then smiles and cries of ‘Bon chance’  from everyone. It is a wonderful thing about rugby, all the aggression remains on the pitch and the fans just love to sing and smile. Our tickets were gained at the last minute and proved to be up in the gods, my fear of heights always kicks in for about 15 minutes until I get used to the altitude:) Then we sat, sat and sat some more. I was told the next day by friends that everyone watching on television knew the match was cancelled, commentators were able to say that those in the stadium were not being told.

I understand why they took the decision not to say until everyone was seated. So many people moving in one direction is hard to manage, if the thousands had been pushing in two directions there would have been injuries, this I do not doubt. However, it is fair to say that the fans gave out many boos when they were finally told. As for me? I was sitting wrapped in layers with a not-so-fetching furry hat and a rug (yes, a rug!) so stayed in place until the crowds started to thin before the trek back down those steps. There was much muttering about the referee amongst the crowd but there wasn’t really anger, more bewilderment that anyone would think it was sensible to organise a match at 9pm in such weather. The only thing to do then was to meet everyone back at our favourite Basque bar and sing with the locals until the wee small hours.

The thing about disappointment? It only has power over you when you let it. Life is that strange thing, it is what you make of it. You may want different things, you may work towards your own targets but you won’t always have the control over choices that must be made or the timings of those choices. So, what do you do then? You can shout and scream but that won’t make you feel better for long. Isn’t it better to work through the twists and turns even if it takes you a little longer? Keep your sense of humour and don’t let the little things spoil your mood. I may not see the match in Paris but I will still see the match. I did get to see Paris again and that will always be worth it to me.

I close, as always, with this:-
  • Please donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are older.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading.

Lesley

February 13, 2012 at 11:04 pm Leave a comment


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