Why I’m goo-goo, ga-ga for my granddaughters!

As a grandmother, I believe there’s no greater bond in this life than the one between a grandmother and her grandchildren. I’d go so far as to say there’s not a single, solitary thing in this world that can bring a Nana like me greater joy than having one of my babies – in this instance my first-born – having babies of her own. This joy, or these bundles of joy, come in the form of the fabulous 15-year-old Ellarose, a human being who amazes me every single day; and her long-awaited baby sister Claudia, who, at seven months, is so incredible, she literally renders me goo-goo-ga-ga every time I hold her.

  As parents, we choose to have our children, as in we get to plan our families, however, we don’t choose to have our grandchildren, nor do we choose the number of grandchildren we’re blessed with. But let me tell you when these little miracles do come along you feel a sense of love so overwhelming and so profound, you’d defend them with your very last breath. Well, that’s how I feel! In fact, having spent the past week in Dublin babysitting my two beauties while their parents holidayed in Rome, I can say, hand on heart, that grandmothers are possibly more emotionally connected to their granddaughters than they are to their own daughters.

  That being said, despite the fact I’m a young, energetic Nana (I am!!!), I’m absolutely shattered while writing this; wrecked to the point of exhaustion. I mean, as cute as baby Claudia is, she’s also pretty demanding, keeping me on my toes 24/7. At one stage, when we were having our 4 am chat (and no, I didn’t chat to my own kids at 4 am, but as I’m a Nana who employs a ‘rules-free zone’, I’ve got an endless supply of patience where Claudia’s concerned) I did question my sanity, or lack thereof. Let me put it this way; while I’m a grandmother who can be trusted implicitly, whose heart is always bursting with love and pride, and whose handbag is always bursting with goodies, I’m no practically-perfect Mary Poppins, therefore if that baby wants to chat, even at 4 am, Nana’s going to listen and respond.

  Yes folks, despite the fact I’m a woman who desperately needs her beauty sleep – I’m no oil painting at 4 am – when that infant slaps my face and pulls my hair it’s akin to someone waving a magic wand that emits heart-melting fairy dust all over me and I become bewitched! Besides, in my defence, as I live in Roscommon and they live in Dublin, and I don’t get to drop in every single day, I find that playing the ‘long-distance’ card gives me a free pass to break not one, but all of the rules at once. Yep, I’m a greedy-granny; greedy for the pleasure that being with my two wonderful granddaughters can bring; and, as my visits to them were heartbreakingly curtailed during the Covid-imposed restrictions, I fully intend to focus my energies (what’s left of them after last week) on catching up.

  My granddaughters (and any more grandkids that may arrive) will always know that Nana Miriam won’t just overindulge them, she’ll be one person who’ll be trusted to know the things even Mammy and Daddy may not be trusted to know. In short, she’ll be the eejit who’ll bail them out, provide them with an alibi (should they ever need one…just covering all bases here), and bury the bodies for them. Er, to be absolutely clear here, there are no bodies, I’m simply hypothesizing for the sake of poetic licence!

  I’d like to pay tribute to my eldest daughter by saying that, even though she’s a beautiful grown woman who has slipped seamlessly and sublimely into the role of being a wonderful mother to my grandchildren, I still manage to see that little-girl smile I always loved so much. I see it in her, and I see it in her babies. For me, this smile, this beam that illuminates their faces and the face of my darling youngest daughter, is a clear sign that life comes full circle, and, as my once little family of two children expands into grandchildren, I know that things will also change. Those girls will get older, and so will I; probably to the extent I won’t have the energy to turn the microwave dial to defrost, never mind do a 4 am feed or nappy change.

  I know friends who believe being asked to mind their grandchildren feels like a burden; not for me. I feel both proud and privileged to have been bestowed with the trust, the honour and with the joyous opportunity to look after mine while their parents holidayed, safe in the knowledge that Nana (sorry, baby Claudia) was in charge.

  You don’t need any special skills whatsoever to be a loving, supportive and doting grandparent. Nor do you need to be familiar with the latest fashion trends, groups or smartphone apps; you simply need to unconditionally love, relate to and appreciate your grandchildren for the special, magical, extraordinary human gifts that they are. Thank you Gillian and Cathal for giving me the gift of last week…now, where’s that champagne you bought me?!

Depp/Heard high stakes ‘poop prank’ allegations are turning my stomach!

When a marriage has irretrievably broken down or when a couple can no longer stand the sight of each other, I believe in order to minimise the impact of the hurt and the utter devastation for everyone involved, a no-blame divorce is possibly the best way to go…then you both gracefully move on.

  However, it seems if you’re ‘A-lister’ Johnny Depp and his bit-part actor ex – okay, let’s be kind, she’s famous for her ‘supporting roles’ – Amber Heard, a pair who’re possibly Hollywood’s most litigious and childish couple, you do things very differently. By ‘differently’, I mean you submit yourselves to what has become a very public and thoroughly embarrassing high stakes drinks, drugs, threatening texts, video footage and a warts and all exposé regarding a marriage you once thought was perfect to the point of being untouchable.

  As someone who dealt with celebrities for more years than I care to remember, as in interviewing them and booking them for TV gigs etc., in a past career, I’ve been privy to more than a few couples’ – let’s say –  private arguments and fisticuffs. Indeed, on one or two occasions I’ve even had to become a referee…no names, no scandals. To that end, I really believed I’d become immune, unshakeable even, regarding any revelations I might hear pertaining to the Depp/Heard circus currently playing out in a US courtroom.  However, details of the stomach churning ‘poop’ prank, where ‘human faecal matter’ was allegedly discovered in this puerile pair’s ‘marital bed’ has proved me wrong. It turns out I’m not immune at all, rather what I am is extremely susceptible and vulnerable, and, may I add, sick to my very stomach!

Sinister, not smart!

Is it just me or has anyone else been hearing soundbite-style bulletins on the radio making the public aware that there are now smart glasses on the market that can take video footage of you? How very Matrix(ish) and, may I add, extremely sinister.

  I don’t know about you readers, but the very fact that someone could be permanently and covertly pointing a camera at you is extremely concerning, especially where young children may be concerned!

  Gathering and processing personal information/data and images without a person’s full consent is clearly a breach of privacy. In fact, the GDPR law includes comprehensive and detailed obligations around the collection and use of personal data; and the explanation I’ve heard contained in these adverts regarding the wearer using sounds and lights to notify those standing close by that video and audio recording is taking place won’t cut it for me…just sayin’.