Tasheenga Attempts #NaNo

Yes, I’ve been quiet for a while. Been busy doing stuff. But mostly I’ve been preparing for NaNoWriMo 2017. Gathering my notes and trying to get ahead with other things like housework. Get ahead with housework? I forgot that ain’t possible!

When I took on the task of writing 50,000 words during the month of November, I forgot about that thing called ‘life’. Family responsibilities, health issues and friends coming for the weekend (I’ll talk about them in a minute).

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‘Terrified’-Sacha Black’s Writespiration!

As part of my writing exercise schedule, I decided to take part in Sacha Black’s 52 Week Writespiration.

Sacha gives a writing prompt or picture every week for 52 weeks and we have to tell our story in EXACTLY 52 words. I’m jumping in here at week 42 and the prompt this week is, Terrified.

“See you later,” she said.

“You will,” I replied.

I spoke with a smile but inside I cried.

I started to sweat, I put down my phone

My legs were jelly, I was chilled to the bone.

Fear engulfed me, it turned my hair curly

How will I survive dinner with Shirley!?




Meet Shirley & Terence – My New Neighbours

A couple of months ago, I told you about My Perfect New Neighbour (to be).  

So, who has been blessed with the privilege of living next door to moi? It’s the woman who sat in her car eating a family-size chocolate bar. Her name is Shirley and her husband is Terence. Aren’t they the lucky ones! Are we lucky to be living next door to them though? That is the question!

My dream neighbour specification; Someone friendly, quiet, my age, has one child aged six, wants to join a writing group, likes to go chéile dancing, likes to go for walks (on my terms), enjoys the occasional glass of wine and Guinness, listens to André Rieu, understands good ole Irish banter & sarcasm, and knows how to boil the kettle properly.

Did I get my dream neighbour? No, of course not. 


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Come Dine With Me Spanish Style!

So the big night arrived. The final dinner in the Come Dine With Me 2017 Competition, hosted by yours truly. All my plotting and planning had come together quite nicely.

I decided on the Spanish theme a couple of months ago when I took Little Miss Six Year Old to a birthday party. They had a piñata and boy were they having a fabulous time. Some of the kids scared me a bit – they were ruthless!


Poor Piñata

I had fleeting images of Mohotma Coatalay thrashing the bejaysus out of one of these things. That’s when the idea came to me. Weh hey!!! A Spanish Dinner Party! With a piñata!

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The Other Side of Me!

Seriously, I cannot believe this is happening! I couldn’t sleep last night for fear of my little blog being abandoned. Fear that I, Tasheenga will get pushed deep down into the depths of the psyche. Hidden away from the world, like a sea creature lurking in the bottom of the ocean. Told to shut up and stay out of the way! “Hide away Tasheenga and don’t embarrass me.”

She says I’m a bad influence you know!


That Hurts!


Gloria, the one over on We Are Holistic. Yes, her that has the fancy blog, the one with all the serious stuff on it about health and taking care of yourself! There’ll be no listening to her now! She just made the longlist for the 2017 V by Very Blog Awards! Oh yeah, I like the way poor Tasheenga here didn’t even get a mention. 

She’ll be stuck over there now 24-7 keeping it all in order. Writing more ‘serious’ stuff. She’ll get all of Stephano’s attention too! If I try to give her any help, she’ll push me aside and tell me to shut up! Oh yeah, the usual scenario! She only wants me when she gets bored and when she wants to have a laugh with all those other bloggers from Big Up Your Blog.

She’s so annoying you know! She pushes me off the laptop when she has something better to write on her blog! As if mine isn’t just as important! She thinks she’s more superior than me you know. Foolish woman! I’m the personality and I was here first! She’s a blow-in!! I was doing just fine until she came into my life – somewhere in my twenties! 

What is it with people as they get older? They push the likes of me away from society and pretend we don’t exist. Going around all worried about everything. My hair this, my face that, my body, my clothes…….Instead of letting the real person shine! Then as they approach their fifties……Yoo Hoo!! They begin to unleash the best part of themselves again! Bring it on baby! 


Gloria has no idea what’s on my bucket list! Hee Hee!

So there ya have it! I have no idea when this will all fizzle out! She might qualify for the next round – and maybe she won’t. How will I cope until then? I’ll be sooooo bored. How can I convince her to let me help? There’s no talking to her when she’s in one of these moods. God….she’s so boring sometimes!!


My Perfect New Neighbour!

Where I was brought up, everyone knew everyone. All our neighbours called to each other regularly. All the kids played with each other and spent time in each other’s houses. We definitely knew our next door neighbours almost as much as we knew ourselves. When we went to town, it took forever because we had to stop and chat to everyone we met. Because we all knew each other.

Of course, the downside to living in a town like this was that everyone knew everyone else’s business! Some people knew things about us that we didn’t even know ourselves! I think those people had a condition called ‘Boredom Syndrome’ or it may have been ‘Exaggeration Syndrome’. Then there’s another called ‘Nosey Cow Syndrome’.


Times have changed in that wee town over the years. Many of its inhabitants are total strangers to each other. Of course, many are still friendly and communicative but not to the same degree as it used to be.

Where I live now, it’s quite different. It’s a much bigger town with a bigger population. I’ve made a few friends through school and work. One or two I meet for coffee now and then and go walking with. This is how I like it. At nearly 50 years of age, I’m choosy about who I befriend. I like to suss people out before I commit to a serious friendship with them. I have many acquaintances but only a handful of very good friends.

I don’t know my close neighbours where I live now. It’s quiet and friendly and nobody seems to have a desire to invade my privacy. Call me odd if you want, but I like to be left alone. I don’t appreciate unannounced callers. I’m always busy you see.


I hate to be disturbed when I’m writing, blogging, doing yoga, and cooking. After that, I’m chatting with Stephano and entertaining Little Miss Six. Or asleep!

Don’t get me wrong folks. I do Like people…honestly, I do!

I often see the woman who lives two doors down. I haven’t actually met her yet but I think she’s odd like me. Keeps herself to herself.

Both houses each side of ours are empty. One is for sale and the one to our left is soon to be occupied. I was a proper nosey neighbour yesterday. People were coming and going all day. I was trying to figure out who the new occupants will be and what they’ll be like. It was easy to spy because my desk is right beside the window – so that I get my RDA of vitamin D.

Will it be the young couple? That would be nice. Maybe they have children who will befriend my wee girl. Or they might be very noisy!! They might have a baby who will cry during the night and keep me awake! They might have loud raving parties at the weekends. Maybe they play the drums like the neighbours in our last house. Oh Gosh No!!


Will it be the woman who went in there at 2 pm? She looked well at home, sitting in her car in the driveway. Not a care in the world chewing away, on what I think was a chocolate bar – the ones that are meant for sharing! Is she moving in? She looks a bit nosey. She might be the type that likes to sit gossiping over tea and cake – for hours. Or she might be the type that likes an occasional Friday evening glass of wine and a friendly chat with her new neighbour. Me! I wonder…..

That middle aged man who was there twice and then again this morning. I wonder does he work for the builder? Haven’t seen him before though. What kind of neighbour would he be? Might be very helpful. Looks like he knows a thing or two about life. Oh….maybe he’s good at DIY and he could do loads of little jobs for me.

Oh crikey…he might be a writer. A REAL one! He definitely looks like one. Speedy on his feet. Straight back, looking ahead like he’s on a mission. Scruffy jeans and blue shirt. Small rimmed glasses and unruly hair – Stephen King-ish. That would be brilliant. We could be buddies.

On the other hand, he kinda looks like one of Stephen King’s crazy villains. Nightmare neighbour!! He might be a peeping Tom either. Eww….no!


Oh well, I’ll just have to accept whoever it is. We can’t really choose our neighbours, can we? I just hope it’s someone who’s friendly, quiet, my age, has one child aged six, wants to join a writing group, likes to go chéile dancing, likes to go for walks (on my terms), enjoys the occasional glass of wine and Guinness, listens to André Rieu, understands good ole Irish banter & sarcasm, and knows how to boil the kettle properly. Am I asking much?


This One Time In Scout Camp. Esmeralda!

The Night I Met Esmeralda.

I first met Esmeralda in August 2008 at a scout jamboree in Punchestown. We were both scout leaders back then. Over 10,000 scouts from countries all over the world attended this jamboree and I befriended a few Italians and Spaniards but the only one I kept in touch with was Esmeralda.

It was during one of my late evening walks around the campsite, that I first laid eyes on the talented and attractive Señora. The clicking sounds of her castanets stopped me in my tracks. I acknowledged the inviting glances from the Spanish scout group, by joining them in their circle of merriment.

Esmeralda was performing the Flamenco for the troop, while her husband Fernando sat on a Cajon slapping the life out of it! Their daughter Ginella also accompanied them, playing her flamenco guitar. “What a talented family!” I thought.


Esmeralda’s passion for the music and dance was mesmerising. She clapped her hands loudly but gracefully, and stomped her feet rhythmically on the dewy grass – the only available stage on our campsite. Her ruffled red satin skirt swished around her as she spiralled around the campfire like a wild gypsy woman. The darkness was lit up by the fierce amber flames that danced in unison with Esmeralda. She possessed the fiery energy of a raging bull during her dance that night.

Flamenco Skirt

After her performance, she sat by my side and welcomed me to their campfire. We chatted for a while and I was happy when she accepted my invitation to join me and my troop at our campfire singsong the following evening.

She performed many dances for us during the jamboree and not only did she teach our scouts some serious dance steps, she gave them some unforgettable memories.

And that was the beginning of our friendship. Esmeralda and Fernando bought a holiday home in Cavan three years later and they have been part of my circle of friends ever since. I have many stories to tell about us!! If she allows me to do so!

Fireside story