I am Stage Mum

“Where do you find the time?”

“How can you be bothered?”

“It can’t be worth that much work?”

Musicals.

I’ve been on stage my whole life, first as an Irish Dancer and for the past 14 years, as a member of Letterkenny Musical Society.  This year, we’re doing Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 The Musical.

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The ultimate Girl Power Show!

Every September, we meet to begin our winter of rehearsals and of fun.  It begins as once a week, and by February each year, it’s 2 to 3 nights a week and Sundays.  At the minute, I’m eat, sleeping and breathing 9 to 5.  I’m having ideas at 3am that are sending our Producer into tailspins.  I’m dreaming about walking on stage with no bra on.  Last night, there was a Bull in the wings as the curtain was going up… and it wasn’t me.  My kids are singing the songs and my head is spinning.

I don’t KNOW how I find the time, but I do. In fairness, I rehearse when the girls are in bed. The Sundays are hard but it’s only for such as short time.  The LMS gets me through the winter. It’s a family.  It keeps me out of trouble.

Yes it’s a lot of work. Yes, it’s busy.  Yes it’s a lot on top of being a Mammy AND working 9 to 5… But it’s worth it.  Every member has a busy life.  We all have day jobs.  We all have families.  We all have commitments.  We all get stressed and tired coming up to the show, but then?  Get-in day arrives and the curtain gets ready  to rise, and we remember WHY we do it.

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Next Sunday, the side door to the stage is rolled up, sunlight flooding the stage.  Lighting rigs are hoisted at head height while the crew work on them.  The production team are creating the world for the characters to inhabit. This year it’s an office in America in the late 70s.
I’ll arrive in the middle of it at around 3pm and walk onto the stage. I’ll close my eyes.  The familiar voices of Hubby and the usual suspects calling instructions to each other, co-operating and working together will make me smile.  The sounds of the cordless drill…the smell of fresh wood and sawdust…the muffled conversation of the sound guys from the auditorium… it will be beautiful.

I’ll open my eyes and look at the chaotic scene in front of me, wondering (not for the first time in my theatre life), at how within just a few hours, this chaotic canvas will be transformed into a completely believable world into which our amazing cast will step.

 

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And then I’ll do what I do and get together with my colleagues to get our heads around the problems and challenges that only a production team can face, and by the time our cast arrive, we’ll be ready.

So how do I have the time?  How can I be bothered?  Is it worth it?

Yes.  Because this is ME.  Yes, I have children.
My girls are the most important thing in my world.
They are my show.
They are my production.
They are the choreographed chaos of which I’m most proud, and I’ll direct them through life with the same dedication and love that I put into the shows.

But they are also only a part of me.
Yes, I am their mummy, but I’m still me.
I’m still the drama queen that lives for the stage.
I still love the theatre.

I still love how pretending to be someone else can bring me to emotions that I’ve never experienced.  I love to entertain.  I love to make people laugh. I love that I can make people cry…
I still get goosebumps when I hear someone hitting that note.
I still get so carried away watching my closest friends on stage, that I cry because I absolutely believe the pain they are conveying.

And so, standing there next Sunday,  I won’t feel guilty.

Yes, it’ll be a week of rushing and balancing, but my girls are quite safe and well looked after (the dog is so responsible!), and they know that show week is important to Mammy and to Daddy.

Roz

I’m playing Roz!

My girls will grow up in rehearsals for shows.
They’ll see the stress and work and time and effort that goes into this “hobby”.
They’ll learn confidence, respect, organisation skills.
They’ll experience the fruits of the long months of hard work, and they’ll learn that if you want something to happen, you must work to make it happen.
They might even perform on stage with me at some point.

Maybe they’ll work backstage with their Daddy.
Maybe they’ll hate it all.  That’s OK too.

But if I can’t continue up to be who I’ve always been, just because I’ve been blessed with two little darlings, I’m not doing anyone any favours am I?

I am after all, Still Stage Mum.

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9 to 5 opens on Tuesday 27th and runs until Saturday 3rd March. 

Tickets for Friday and Saturday are almost sold out, so if you fancy being swept away by a super cast, a hilarious script and beautiful music, get your tickets soon.

Buy tickets here

I am Some More Wedding Vows Mum

My Partner in Poo.

 

“I take thee for richer, for poorer”, we both said.

“For better for worse, in sickness, in health”

and while we meant all of these things on the day,

In hindsight, there’s probably more we should say.

“I’ll love you alone while it’s just me and you,

Deeply and truly, as lovers should do,

But things might change slightly when two becomes three

And yet I’ll still love you, though it might be slightly

different and strained as we sail through the seas

of babies and nappies and purees and puke,

of Peekaboo, naptimes and lego and books.

And then we realise three shall be four

I’ll still try to love you as much as before.

For while there’s less dinners and cinema dates,

Less romance and movies and less use of good plates,

Every so often, I’ll catch a brief glimpse

Of the Man that I married, and I’ll smile as you wink

I’ll love you in darkness, in fevers, in tears

And teething and pain and in each passing year.

I’ll love you in cuddles and memories and fun

In sneaky embraces and slaps on the bum

As we meet in the kitchen in the middle of night.

And when I watch you swinging our girls way up high.

When you’re loving our girls, I love you the most,

When you’re covered in poo, or you’ve not cut their toast

the right way, or you’ve left all the dishes and mess

to build them a fort or put Hulk in a dress.

When I see you exhausted, yet hugging them tight,

When you get up to cuddle or sooth in the night,

When you smile at them both, I can’t help but stare

At the husband that I never thought I could share,

but happily do with our two little girls,

Who weren’t in our mind as we took all those vows,

I know that you love me when I hear them call Daddy

And I’ll share all that love with our Princesses gladly.

So while we still love and while we’re still “us”,

With kids there isn’t so much time for the fuss

or the dates or attention or time that we had,

But that doesn’t mean our love’s old or is bad.

It’s different and shared, but the spark is still there,

It’s just covered in pink stuff and snot in our hair,

And sometimes we’re knackered or covered in poo

But I still love you as much as when I said “I do”.

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I am Sparking the Gas Mum

Gas.

I don’t know about your house, but in my house, the little blue flame means one thing and one thing only.

And not what you imagine it to be.

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In most houses, this means that it’s almost time for dinner or for breakfast or for whatever wonderfully nutritious meal that Mammy or Daddy is Nigellaing in the kitchen.

In MY house, it means the beginning of 25 minutes of “TORTURE”.

It’s like the little blue flame ignites the realisation that they are ABSOLUTELY STARVING and must eat EVERYTHING in the house, right NOW MAMMY.

It means the beginning of the fridge being opened every 30 seconds, declarations of “What can I eat?” and “I’m staaaaaarving Mammy!”

It means the cries of the wobbler as if she hasn’t been fed for 3 weeks.  The painful hollers of the pair of them as they scream hunger and neglect and cry continuously until I finally put whatever I am cooking in front of them… for them to obviously declare that they “Don’t wike it!” or that they’re “not hungwy!”

No shit sherlock.  You’ve just spent 25 minutes eating fecking biscuits and croissants and yoghurts and EVERYHING in the fecking fridge while I cooked.

I’m not sure which is the biggest waste; the gas or the energy I use cooking for them.

 

I am Snow Day Mum

“Oh Look Darlings. It’s snow!
Oh YAY Darlings, school is closed.
Hurray! We shall frolic and flail in the snow, making snow angels and building snowmans while singing the Frozen songs, and then we shall return to the house, rosy cheeked and fresh and snug as bugs to sip hot chocolate and snuggle up on the sofa…”
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And as quickly as the snow thaws and leaves a sloppy, shitty mess of reality in its wake, so too do Mammy’s nonsense notions of Mary-of-the-Poppinsy frolicking.
Indeed we did play in the snow. Indeed we did build a Mahoosive Snowman. And indeed we did have fun.
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He is quite fablis isn’t he?

We also had runny noses, red fingers, sore cheeks, wet toes, cold legs. There was frustration at slippy ground, frustration at stones in the snow, frustration at disobedient snow which wouldn’t stick where it was being shoved, and general frustration at not knowing why exactly we are grumpy when we should be frolicking in the fucking snow.
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My wee Snowangel

And then begins the trauma. The utter drama of trying to get the Eskimos unwrapped from their onions of layers. Sticky wellies, wet trousers suckering onto skin, fingers regaining their nerve endings and burning in the sudden heat, stepping into puddles of water as they step out of the wellies… Faces stinging, tummies rumbling, noses running…
Mammy did make hot chocolate and for a while, all was well. The washing machine was started for the 13th time today as everyone heated their backsides and enjoyed the sensation of feeling returning to their limbs. We admired our creation through the window and sipped the heat from the cups. Fablis…
And then, the exhaustion hit and the rest of the evening was spent with two incredibly knackered little farts who both decided that their one mission in life today was to drive each other, and Mammy, absolutely MENTAL.
Fighting, crying, complaining, declaring oneself as abused as Cinderella, declaring oneself to be missing her teacher, refusing to eat ANYTHING put in front of them, “tidying” by re-positioning crap from one room to another… You get the gist?
And then, just as Mammy thought she was going to go outside to drink gin with the leftovers of the snowman, they decided they were best fwends again and all was right with the world again…
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Shitsters…

“Did you have a good day?”
“The BEST Mammy!”
“What was the best part?”
“Playing in the snow ALL DAY!”
There you go… We were outside for all of 34 minutes and yet that’s what they remember. What was a small part of a very long day was the best day ever to them. And suddenly the stresses and snots and tears and tantrums and screaming melted into oblivion, along with our Snowman outside.
Playing in the snow is fab. It’s like a snowman actually… fab and perfect for a very short while, before disintegrating into a big wet puddle! But the carrot and stones and scarf that are left behind are just like the memories…solid and the only thing that matters. And worth every sore finger and wet backside.
They’re now tucked up in bed, dreaming of white stuff and I’m sitting here dreaming of red. Time for a glass of Blogday wine. Cheers my Dears.
Hit me with your snowman pics… or cheers with your glass/cuppa!

I am Singing Happy Blogday to Me Mum!

Oh my BOOBNESS!
It’s my Blog’s birthday. It’s my Blogday! The S-Mum is THREE years old today. How the hell did that happen?
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When I started this, I was desperate to stay anonymous, terrified of what people would think and didn’t really know if I’d do it for long. It was a hobby. A way of finally doing that thing I’d been procrastinating about for so long; writing!
Well how things have changed eh?
I now have TWO little dictators at my ankles and they keep me on my toes every day. They are my inspiration and my world. And as much as some days I want to hide in the washing machine with a bottle of gin, I adore them both to the moon and back.
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Mad as a bag of brambles I tell you!

What other people think about me and my style of parenting (“style!” Makes it sound quite fablis doesn’t it…”Sham” might be more appropriate!)… doesn’t matter a damn to me. My Bullshit Barometer is so broken that even if I looked hard, I don’t think I could physically find two shits to give if people don’t like what I write.
I am no longer anonymous. That didn’t last long! I’m loud and proud and happy to write about being a Mammy. I love that so many other Mammies (and Daddies) get a encouragement or enjoyment or a laugh at least from my words. I adore the messages I get from Mums who say “You’ve read my mind”. And I love all of the opportunities this blog has presented to me.
I’ve made many new friends over the past 3 years, both in the Blogworld and in real life. I’ve laughed. I’ve cried. I’ve sworn. I’ve ranted. I’ve loved. I’ve lost and I’ve lived. And somehow, I’ve managed to keep finding time to write. And amazingly, you’ve kept finding time to read and interact.
Thank you.
Thank you for reading and commenting and laughing along with me. Thank you for supporting when things haven’t been fablis. Thank you for helping me, one Mammy to another.
I will keep writing. In fact, by the end of this year, I intend to have some of these smumblings printed on actual paper. In actual type. In a real book. I’m working on it. And now that I’ve said it, I have to right?
You are my Mammy Squad and you are Supermums.
Shall we have a virtual “Cheers” tonight Ladybelles? 9pm on the sofa? Who’s joining me?
Love and Thanks,
The Blogday Girl xxx
Here is the very first piece I wrote, this day three years ago. It didn’t make me cringe quite as much as I thought if would if I’m honest.
“To be someone’s Mum is a gift. From early childhood, little girls happily play at being mum to younger siblings, or indeed to dolls, or pets.
 
Me, I’m the proud and doting mum of a 3 year old Drama Queen, and I am happy to admit, that I am STILL playing! No handbook arrived with the little sweetheart. I don’t have a degree in parenting. I don’t have a bloody clue really!
 
I make it up every day. I make decisions that I know make my own Mum cringe. I’m sure that at times, my dear Granny shakes her perfectly blow-dried head in horror at my parenting techniques.
 
In fact, sometimes, I swear that I’m having an outer body experience when I deal with the child.
 
The Boss, as she has taken to calling her pretty self, stands in front of me; arms crossed, pout perfected, audience’s attention caught and voice ready and poised to hit those terrifying high notes…while I chuckle like a crazy lady as I watch myself try to remain in control; Deep breaths, calm expression, remind myself that I am the adult here.
 
“Listen Darling. We need to leave the toy back on the shelf for another wee child. “
 
I’m winning.
 
“Good girl. Now, come on and we’ll go get a Babychino and then we’ll go home and watch Minions…” (Yes, blackmail. Get over it. It works…sometimes.)
 
I have her… I just need to get her to take my hand and then we’ll skip happily out of the shop, leaving behind the assembled audience in a cloud of applause, appreciation and awe at how well that mammy handled that…
 
“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!! I NEEEEEEEEEEEED TEDDY!!!!” Cue autotap tears and stratospheric screaming… Oh! and don’t forget the kicks and snake-like movements as I try to lift her gracefully into my arms.
 
I manage to wrench her under one arm, pick up the bags and move out of the shop. The audience shake heads and probably judge. At this moment in time, I want my Mammy!
 
We reach the bench outside. I put screaming child down and hunker down to have a positive parenting style talk with her. Her beautiful blue eyes are glistening with tears and her cheeks give the word “Rosy” a new level of meaning.
 
“Now Madam, listen to me. Don’t EVER…”
 
Her attention has been distracted by the huge cluster of helium balloons behind me.
 
“PEPPAAAAAAA PIG!!! Mammy wuk! It’s Peppa Pig bawoooooon! I NEEEEEEEEED IT”
 
Tears gone. Smile on. Adorable wee face up close into mine. “Pweeeeease Mammy. I wub it!”
 
“Next day we’re out, I’ll buy you a balloon okay?”
 
“Okay Mammy!”
 
And as we skip off towards the car, I look at the messy little head on her, and I know that for all my “playing”, I’m not doing a bad job really.
 
I am blessed. I am exhausted. I am happy. I would kill for a glass of Merlot. I am 100% in love with Mini-me. I’m trying my best.
 
I am Super Mum. 🙂”
 
 

Supermum?

So it’s The S-Mum’s Birthday! My blog is 3 years old today. Here’s my first ever post.
Happy Blogday to me!

The S-Mum

To be someone’s Mum is a gift.  From early childhood, little girls happily play at being mum to younger siblings, or indeed to dolls, or pets.

Me, I’m the proud and doting mum of a 3 year old Drama Queen, and I am happy to admit, that I am STILL playing!  No handbook arrived with the little sweetheart.  I don’t have a degree in parenting.  I don’t have a bloody clue really!

I make it up every day.  I make decisions that I know make my own Mum cringe.  I’m sure that at times, my dear Granny shakes her perfectly blow-dried head in horror at my parenting techniques.

In fact, sometimes, I swear that I’m having an outer body experience when I deal with the child.

The Boss, as she has taken to calling her pretty self, stands in front of me; arms crossed, pout perfected, audience’s attention caught and voice…

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I am Still Giving Out About This Mum

I wrote this 3 years ago.

Unfortunately, it seems to be an issue that is never going to go away.

“Symbols are simple. The reason we use symbols is to avoid misunderstanding. They transcend languages and general capabilities, allowing for easy communication.

Universally, red means stop and green means go. We know which toilet to use because of the shape of the symbol on the door. We can understand symbols on road signs, on advertisements, on everything. But there is a verrrrrry special breed of person who has great difficulty in understanding a certain symbol…the parent and baby parking symbol.

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This one seems to cause great confusion.

MORE than once upon a time (unfortunately), I have witnessed a seemingly fit and healthy 20-something male, bounce from his car and pop into a local supermarket. There were plenty parking spaces in the massive car park. The weather was perfect for a little amble from car to shop door.

He had absolutely no sign of child in his well kept Golf and he wasn’t pregnant, as far as I could tell anyway. And yet, he felt the need to park in the space.

Now, maybe he wasn’t taught symbolism very well in school. Or, maybe he was taught it too well by one of those wonderfully talented teachers who taught him how to see hidden meaning and to think outside the box. In this case, the box is the very clearly lined parking space, and his metaphorical musings probably allowed him to interpret the blatant symbol as “a space for people who hope to one day have sex and make a baby in the future, so save your energy for the action and don’t walk unless you have to.”

Or maybe, he’s just an entitled plank.

Either way, I followed him, tutting disapproval and shaking my head. He saw me. He carried on, probably wondering why the crazy lady was glowering at him. I was angry. I was furious and I was quite happy to let him know it.

But, I didn’t.

When someone doesn’t see that this is wrong all by themselves, it seems that explaining it to them would probably a waste of breath.

He upped his speed and moved away from my disapproving glares as fast as his non swollen ankles could carry him. And I carried on into the shop, getting over the episode by the time I reached the meat section.

Then, I returned to my car. Non-pregnant man’s car was still in the parking space. Another car had just parked in the one beside it and out popped a middle aged lady and her daughter. Now, granted these spaces are reserved for Parent and Child, but when your child is in her late teens, you’re taking it a bit too far!”

It’s as relevant today as it was three years ago. And it’s something that is getting worse. It seems that some people have simply been brought up to disregard the needs of others. I recently posted about a similar experience on my blog. It seems that most of my followers have witnessed similar events. And it’s NOT simply young men who abuse these spaces. It’s men and women of all ages. Discrimination is indiscriminate it seems…

What really surprised me was the fact that some people will defend themselves passionately.

There is a section of society who truly believe that they are every bit as entitled to park in these spaces as the lady who is 8 months pregnant and whose pelvis is threatening to fall around her ankles with every painful step. Some fully believe that if they are “only scooting in” quickly, then it is perfectly acceptable to make the Dad with the buggy and the toddler park at the other end of the carpark. And there seems to be some misconception that just because you drive a fancy newish car or jeep, then you are more entitled to the wider spaces. Saves your doors being bumped you know? Never mind the woman with the actual bump who can’t park there now because of you.

This is an issue that is ongoing. It happens EVERYWHERE, every day. It happens in Wheelchair spaces too. Despicable…

How can we stop it? Well, short of waiting for our legal system to step in, the only hope we have of removing the dismissal of the importance of these spaces is if the supermarkets become proactive and begin clamping or fining (or whatever is in their power on their property) to deter people from parking their lazy arses in these spots.

If it isn’t something that bothers you, chances are you’re the twat who’s parked in that space.

It’s simple. Do you have a Baby in your car or in your Belly? No? Well park somewhere else. Simple as a symbol really.

(There is currently a petition circulating started by Niamh at The Mammy Blog which will be shared with major supermarkets. If it’s something that grinds your gears too, go sign it.)

I am Such a Twat Mum

Mammy is a turbotwat.

Mammy drove in her gate this evening only to get a phone call from Afterschool.

“Hello?” (Checking Mirrors to make sure I have both girls in the car…)

“Hi Mammy. Erm. Just letting you know you left Mini-Me’s schoolbag in the middle of the carpark. We have it in the office here.”

Mammy doesn’t really know WHAT to say and so she laughs like a hysterical feckin hyena down the phone!

I could have apologised profusely and said things like “oh my goodness” and “Oh I’m SOOOOO embarrassed!” or “I cannot BELIEVE I did that!” I COULD have turned the car around like a good Mammy and gone back to get it.

But Who the feck would I be kidding? 🤣

Instead, I finished laughing and said “well it’s official so. I’ve lost it! I’m a twat!” followed by “If Himself doesn’t get in for it, I’ll get it on Monday morning.”

Then I laughed some more and thanked Lovely Lady for rescuing the poor bag, which I clearly remember setting down beside the car. (She knows me well enough by now. 😂)

Ah well.
“DID you SERIOUSLY forget my Bag Mammy?” She’s aghast and mortified…

“Yup. But guess what?”

“What?”

“I didn’t forget YOU!”

Because at the minute, I wouldn’t really put ANYTHING past myself. 😂😂

Brain = MUSH!

How was your day? 😗😗

I am She’s Six Mum

Tonight I am putting my 5 year old to bed. Tomorrow she shall be six.

How did that happen?

 

Mammy’s Wee Jewel.

Sparkling and shiny but tougher than stone

You entered our world with a mind of your own.

We wondered what all of the fuss was about,

But quickly learned that we could not live without

Your laughter and giggles, your glistening blue eyes,

Your mischief and wonder and oh what a smile.

So kind and so clever, you feel everything

A sensitive soul who would do anything

To make us all happy, the perfect big sis,

You showed us what love was from the very first kiss

That I planted so gently on the bridge of your nose,

And tickled your belly and massaged your toes.

And while we have rows and sometimes things go wrong

A part of me loves that you’re so darn headstrong

Because while you are sensitive and nervous and scared,

You’re also determined and stubborn and fair.

You’re clever and kind and your singing is sweet

And a beautiful dancer, so light on your feet.

You are my wee Darling, My own Mini-Me

And I’m proud of the wonderful girl that I see

Growing up right in front of me so very fast

And time may keep passing, but my love for you lasts

Beyond every worry and tantrum and rule

Because you’ll always be Mammy’s most precious wee jewel.

 

Happy Birthday Darling.

Mammy xxxx

I am Stunning Hotel Right on our Doorstep Mum – Roe Park Resort

Last weekend, we visited the Roe Park Resort in nearby Limavady in Northern Ireland. We were invited to stay overnight to relax and enjoy some family time…and relax and enjoy we did.

Limavady is only a 35 minute drive from Donegal and Roe Park is easily found. The driveway up to the resort is stunning. Long and lined with trees, it winds up through part of their golf course as it approaches the main building.

There’s lots of parking and the hotel is immediately impressive. The main courtyard is beautiful, well kept (and well lit at night), flanked by the two onsite restaurants and golf centre. Signpost ensure that the hotel reception is easily found. The receptionists were friendly and efficient and more than lovely to our two girls.

The hotel is clean and shiny and welcoming. The foyer is huge and tastefully decorated. I loved the decor in the O’ Cahan’s Bar, which had myths and legends scripted in beautiful font. Chandeliers and interesting wall decor (images, photographs etc) created a perfect balance of glamour and comfort. This is one of the parts of the hotel I would enjoy spending time in when we visit again (without the little ladies!).

We checked in to our family suite. Room 9 was, in a word, HUGE. This is the BIGGEST family room we have ever stayed in. (and trust me, we’ve tried many!) It was warm, clean and so well appointed. two single beds and a huge double bed, a large TV and a massive bathroom.

The room also had a small toilet room which Mini-Me claimed as “My very own toilet!”. A clever and welcome feature in a family room.

Although it was on the ground floor, the curtains allowed privacy throughout our stay. The room looked onto the golfcourse and driveway up to the hotel and so it was quite private anyway. There was a dinner dance in the hotel that night and yet we would never have known. The rooms are well situated for families.

The shower was fab and there were plenty towels, facecloths and toiletries. Mammy and Daddy had robes and slippers left on the bed too. (I do love me a fluffy robe. A hotel is not a hotel, without a fluffy robe!)

We were incredibly impressed by the little welcome gifts the management had left for us; a plate of strawberries, raspberries and chocolates, little toiletries for the girls, 4 x swimming hats (which I ALWAYS forget!) and bubbles for all of us! Four champagne flutes with a bottle of very lovely champers for us and a bottle of chilled Shloer for the girls.

Oh how grown up Mini-Me felt when Daddy poured for us to do a wee Cheers. Lovely touch.

After the girls had danced around the room and rearranged the furniture, we got ready to visit the pool in the Health Club. I’m a bad Mammy you know. Swimming is not something that makes it onto my To-Do list, I’m afraid. And so how excited the girls were about going swimming. The leisure centre is beautiful; large, clean and luxurious.

The pool is lovely, with separate Jacuzzi and kids pool. There is also a section of the main pool which has bubbles if you want them. Princess LOVED this.

Daddy and I took it in turns to try out the Steam Room and Sauna. The steam room is THE BEST we have EVER been in. It was like walking into a tub of Vicks Menthol! Wow!

The spa looks beautiful and it is award winning. Another thing for Mammy to look forward to on our next visit.

The changing rooms are well stocked and have lovely little stools in front of the mirrors with hairdryers. There was a little trouble with the lockers but I found one that worked and as we were leaving, the receptionist was on the ball informing maintenance of the issue, so I doubt it was an issue for very long in fairness. As with reception, the spa staff were lovely; very helpful and attentive to the girls.

We were booked in to The Coach House Brasserie for dinner at 5.30pm. Having spent a little too long in the pool, we rang to ask if we could change our booking until 6pm. No bother whatsoever. Dinner was fab. Roe Park’s website tells you that the “Brasserie provides a more casual alternative to the fine dining experience of Greens Restaurant.” Well, if the exuberant and busy atmosphere is more relaxed, the food is certainly more than fine! It was delicious.

Service was super. Staff were attentive (and patient with my little FussyBoots!). The wine list is extensive and well priced. The Menu caters for everyone and the atmosphere was perfect. I love when I can see into a kitchen and hear the Chefs. Having worked in hospitality for years, it reaffirms my belief that a good kitchen has nothing to hide. The energy coming from that Hatch was brilliant and Mini-Me was in awe watching the kitchen staff working.

My starter was garlic mushroom. The Him opted for the Carrot and Coriander soup.

His main was the Cock & Bull. Mine was the Hake on couscous… yum. The fish was so fresh. The Salt and Chilli fries are worth trying if you like a little spice. We opted for Entreflores wine. It was excellent.

The kids’ menu was extensive too and there was no problem when we asked them to bring bread for them and to bring their food as soon as it was ready. Their desserts were just class. Little sundaes of Icecream, smarties and chocolate sauce. Mini-Me ordered a “Big one”. One wink at the waitress and she was talking Mammy’s language. Two small sundaes arrived with one little scoop extra on hers to make her feel bigger!

But MY dessert ticked all the boxes. I went for the Cheese Board. Oh my Word! It was AMAZING. I’ll let the picture speak for itself. And yes, I did indeed eat it ALL.

All by myself!

Back to the room we went. The two Dollies were shattered but of course when we got back, there was a second lease of life. We tried our usual trick of putting them to bed and hiding in the bathroom for 5 minutes but Princess was having none of it. Eventually, we climbed into bed with them until they slept…and then we all woke up ten hours later! Heavy blackout curtains ensured a sleep in until 8am (yay!). Heaven!

Daddy popped over to the gym for an hour while I sipped coffee in bed and the girls watched telly. (Mini-Me made the beds. I can’t get her to do this at home, but at Roe Park? Not a bother!)

The Him described the gym as “one of the better hotel gyms and well stocked”. This I can tell you is a compliment.

We went down for breakfast, this time to Green’s. Again, a busy and efficient restaurant set up with friendly staff and an excellent variety of EVERYTHING we love about hotel breakfasts. I loved that the tables had little booklets of suppliers and all produce was local. Fresh fruit, good coffee, breads and toast and muffins and cheese and cereals and porridge and an extensive hot food section… I could go on but you get the picture.

We packed up our mahoosive room and checked out with the ever so lovely and friendly Deirdre.

After a busy January and having had a lot going on, we didn’t quite realise how much we needed this little bit of family time until we got to Roe Park. Sometimes, the only way to relax and switch off is to actually go somewhere. With all the best of intentions, a quiet weekend at home is never that is it? No.

We certainly switched off here. When you visit Roe Park, the only option is to spend time together and focus on each other. It’s quiet and comfortable, but also has wifi and good entertainment options on the TVs in the rooms. Had we stayed for 2 nights, Mammy and Daddy would have taken it in turns to make use of the Spa. Daddy probably would have tried a round of golf too. But for an overnight break, it was perfect.

And Limavady really is the perfect springboard from which to explore the Causeway Coast. We left Roe Park and headed towards nearby Portstewart, Portrush and the Giant’s Causeway. It really was a lovely weekend.

Criticisms?

Honestly, if I had any, I would write them. That’s how I am. Other than there being no milk on the breakfast tables, I have nothing to suggest at all. (And that is me being pedantic! There was plenty of milk, I was just lazy!)

The hotel is ideal for a family getaway. It’s soooooo close to Donegal so no long car journey which is always a winner with kids.

Our youngest is still quite young and so when we do stay in a hotel, it tends to be an early night for everyone, but considering the pace of the life we lead, it’s more than welcome. If you are looking for a break close to home with something to offer for all ages, Roe Park is perfect.

Myself and The Him will certainly be returning very soon without the kids. There’s a bar and a spa and another Award Winning restaurant waiting for us to try.

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Thank you to the management and staff at Roe Park for a wonderful weekend in a beautiful hotel, right on our doorsteps.

The S-Mum xx

(The S-Mum, The Him and The two Dollies were invited guests of Roe Park Resort. However all opinions and observations are my own, and are as ever honest and based on our experiences.)

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