Friday night is pizza night in our family. We make our own pizza using the Da Piero’s pizza bases (for the non gluten free in the family). This always makes me smile because, growing up in Australia, I have never seen anything with my brother’s name on it and I didn’t expect the first place I did see it, to be in an Irish supermarket!

Even though my Australian family have never been here for our family pizza night, the Da Piero pizza base has always, in a small way, made me feel connected to them and feel like I am sharing a pizza with them.

Next Friday, for the first time since I have been living in Ireland, my parents will actually be here for a Da Piero’s pizza with us.

By Friday 27th May, 2022 it will have been five years, one month and one day (1857 days), since I last ate with my folks, shared a drink with them and hugged them.

If anyone told me on Wednesday 26th April 2017, as we had our tear filled airport goodbye at Melbourne Airport (they never get any easier but I will always b thankful for those goodbyes because it means that there was a glorious hello and so many wonderful things in between), that it would be five years, one month and one day, before we would see each other again, I don’t know how any of us would have coped with that goodbye. But, of course, coped we did.

Obviously it wasn’t meant to be five years, one month and one day until our next “Hello”. We had planned to go back to Australia in 2020 to celebrate my dad’s 70th but the pandemic hit and the whole world went into survival mode.

Survival mode also brought with it hope – hope that, sooner rather than later, we would all be in the same room again. That hope, along with technology, got my whole family through those (almost) five years, one month and one day.

Now as the glorious “Hello” nears, I realise it’s been a strange lead up to it. Of course there has been excitement, massive countdowns and the nerves that comes with parents who have only done long haul journeys twice in their entire lives (one of those being their (separate) migrations to Australia). However, I have also started feeling like the protective walls that I have had up, to ensure that I am not always feeling homesick or needing my parents, have started crumbling down.

Of course, I recognise that there are people who are in far worse situations than myself. I am one of the lucky ones who chose to leave my country of origin to start a new life, I was not forced to flee.

That said, this past week I have been very emotional and so homesick. Tonight, as I got ready for pizza night, I realised that I am finally allowing myself to miss the privilege of having my parents with me as I navigate my way through life and fumble my way through parenthood.

I miss the privilege of having them drop around, whenever they want; the privilege of having them hang out with my kids; the privilege of having them mind the kids when something comes up at the last minute; the privilege of them minding the kids because my husband and I want to hang out; the privilege of them doing school drop offs and pick ups; the privilege of seeing them being hands on grandparents to my kids; the privilege of having my mum cook her amazing meals; the privilege of having them mind me; the privilege of learning from them; the privilege of making memories with them; the privilege of helping them; and the privilege list goes on and on.

In less than one week, and after five years, one month and one day, I get to experience those privileges again and have the best Hello ever. I can not wait.

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Learning to Say Yes Again

My pre-pandemic answer to “Do you want to …?”, would almost always be “YES!” (within reason).  

I’d say yes to some outrageous stuff – sometimes not even knowing if it was even possible to do. I always just figured out how to make it happen, as I went along, and, most of the time those yeses made for some memorable and magical moments. 

It was those yeses got me through the pandemic. Memories of chances taken; wild ideas turning into experiences I never planned to do; desires (I didn’t even know I had) fulfilled. I have been so thankful to pre-pandemic me for living in those moments. Seeing the joy, and possibilities for joy, and just going for it.   

During these last, long, two years, I’ve been counting down to the days when nos and can’t could become yeses and can do. The thing is, now that it is possible to say yes again, I’ve been retreating back into the pandemic safety zone of no/I can’t (an answer that used to make me feel uneasy). Two years of staying home and saying no, to keep others, and myself, safe, is hard to get rid of.  

Truth be told though, it’s not always the safety element that is making it hard to say yes. Something has happened during this time that has been unsettling. My confidence has taken a knock. Things I was certain of, I’m not so sure about anymore. If I’m asked to go to a social event, my instinct is to say no. 

The extra kilos I am carrying has made me very self conscious and I’ve lost my clothing mojo. I feel like I don’t know what to wear anymore. I never used to wear athletic gear in public – only if I was working out. Now I don’t think twice about it as, the gear has been something I can hide behind. Being in my sports gear makes me feel like I can go about unseen, be invisible. I don’t want eyes on me.  

Zoom has become another safety net. It’s another place where I can go to hide. I still get to engage with people and have a laugh but they only get to see half of me. I get to be invisible while being visible – does that make sense? 

I’ve stopped putting myself forward for stuff. I’ve declined things that have been offered – both socially and professionally. Imposter syndrome is starting to sneak up and it’s getting harder to push back. 

It’s taken my friends and family gently nudging me in the direction of saying yes for me to get out there. I’ve not always been happy with them in the moment, but, when I am at the thing I have said yes to, I am grateful. 

I want to jump on the YES again. I really do. I want to find the exhilaration of being out of my comfort zone and yet still feel good about myself and confident that I will make it. 

I need to remember that home is not the only safe space anymore – so is the outdoors and the great unknown. It’s time to jump out of the zooms/computer screens and get all of me back out there.  

I know it’s going to take lots of small steps, so here is the first of (hopefully) many of those yeses. It’s not a big deal to anyone but me but I am going to put this piece out there. I am going to press “Yes I do want to publish this” – even though that little voice is telling me otherwise.   

Here’s to YES! 

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Back to School – All Is Different But Still The Same

There was such excitement this morning. The day our household has been counting down to was finally here!

After just over 6 months in just our care – the 9 and the 4 year old were taking their first steps back into their own world.

First Day of 4th Class
The 9 year old couldn’t wait to run, from her dad and I, towards her friends and school. Instead of me giving her some advice, she had just one instruction for me, “Please don’t embarrass me mum.” She gave me a hug and then ran off confidently and happily to the line that would take her into the place she had been missing so much – her school.

She took all the  new regulations in her stride because these meant she got to go back to her world. One where she is independent of her mum, dad and little brother.

One, that even if it’s different to what she left six months ago, is still so comforting, safe and allows her to grow as the individual she wants to be.

One, where even with all the restrictions in place, she can play freely; be with her friends, and interact with other adults (teachers and principal) who welcomed her back with open arms. Even if those arms couldn’t be touched, their warmth and safety could be felt.

First Ever Day Of School
My Junior Infant on the other hand, as excited as he was, was happy to not let go for alittle while longer.

His excitement soon turned to pensiveness as he waited in line for his turn to enter this world. He was taking it all in and no doubt the realisation that he was about to enter a new world, where mum and dad would not be as accessible as we had been in the last while, was starting to sink in.

We got extra hugs and our hands were squeezed tighter as we started to move to the top of the line.

When his turn finally came, he became sheepish and started to look a little lost as he took his first steps into the unknown all on his own. My husband and I may not have been able to comfort him, but a teacher immediately stepped in to try and ease the nerves and show him the way.

It was so hard to stand back and watch him be overwhelmed by the situation but it was a great lesson for the three of us.

There are going to be moments in his life where he is going to have to take those steps knowing that we can’t follow, and someone else may have to step in. Hopefully he will know that we will always be cheering him on and have his back, and more often than not he will be OK.

He will find a way to use the resilience, he has built up as a result of this pandemic, to get him through.

Hopefully he will also know that resilience isn’t always a requirement, here’s to him allowing himself to be vulnerable; to letting others in; being kind; taking chances; and enjoying the adventure that is ahead of him.

To paraphrase Dr Seuss, “Today is his (and her) day. He (and obviously she) is off to Great Places. He (and she) is off and away!”

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Ricky Gervais & Kerry Godliman Talk After Life Season 2

Ricky, Kerry and I had a zoom chat about After Life Season 2.

They shared how blown away they’ve been by the reaction to this series, why it’s good to be needed, Ricky’s all time favourite co-star (the dog) & more.

After Life, Season 2 is available on Netflix from Friday 24th April.


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Tony Way and Jo Hartley Talk After Life Season 2

Tony Way and Jo Hartley’s Lenny and June are happily together in After Life Season 2 (not a spoiler if you’ve seen season 1).

We got to have a zoom chat about how they felt about coming back, what parts of their characters they’d love to take with them into real life and more.

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Joe Wilkinson and Mandeep Dhillon Talk After Life Season 2

Joe Wilkinson and Mandeep Dhillon are back as Postman and Sandy in After Life Season 2.

We got to have a zoom chat about how they felt about coming back for more, being seen, age and what lessons they learnt from being a part of this brilliant series.

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Picture This Talk Troublemaker, One World: Together At Home, Smashing Records & More

Picture This performed their new single, Troublemaker, for the first time at the One World: Together At Home live event.

The audience they played to was huge, they told me how they felt during the performance, what it’s been like to smash so many records in such a small amount of time, how they’ve become mates with the Jonas Brothers, what it’s like isolating together, and more.

Troublemaker is out now.


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Margot Robbie & Jurnee Smollet Bell (Birds Of Prey) on Taking Chances, Balance of Power, & Imposter Syndrome

I promised myself that I wouldn’t mention Neighbours or Full House but what was the first thing I said to Margot and Jurnee?!

Besides their early work, Margot and Jurnee also spoke about the making of Birds of Prey. Why it took so long to get to the big screen, why this was one of the most comfortable sets they’ve worked on and how imposter syndrome is real for Margot – even after two Oscar nominations!

Birds of Prey And The Fantabulous Emancipation Of One Harley Quinn is in cinemas now.

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Mary Elizabeth Winstead & Ella Jay Basco (Birds of Prey) – No More Polite Fights!

Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Ella Jay Basco are the Huntress and Cassandra Cain in “Birds of Prey”.

We spoke about the impact this film had on them personally, how they are able to walk taller and why there is no more polite fighting.

Birds of Prey is in Irish cinemas tomorrow.




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Cathy Yan – “Birds of Prey Celebrates A Strength & Comradery Between Women”

Cathy Yan has gone from Wall Street Journal Reporter to the first Asian American female to direct a big budget comic book superhero film and to steal a line from the title, she has done a fantabulous job!

We spoke about why she wanted to tell this story, the importance of females lifting each other up, fighting for diversity and whether or not we are going to see more of the Birds of Prey in the future.

Birds Of Prey is out in Irish cinemas this Friday.

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