Photo credit:Elena Majecki.

The Down Syndrome Paradox

This is something I’ve resisted writing about for some time and will likely open a can of worms, but somethings just need to be highlighted. Years ago, people born with Down syndrome were sent to live out their days in institutions. Society turned their back on these individuals and gave them no chance. Now, society is looking to this section of the population rather than looking away. People with Down Syndrome are living longer and more independently than at any other stage in human history. Yet, as our tolerance and acceptance evolves to become greater and more inclusive, so too does our science. And the science end of things, it seems, has a lot less to offer.

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Dissertation Unknown

Have you ever really, really wanted to do something but when you finally got the chance you realised fuck no, this is just not for me? I always wanted to be a doctor. The literary not the medical kind. A few of my friends are doctors (again not the medical kind) and I have often found myself fantasising about meeting up over coffee with them, or dinner, or wherever, the location isn’t important-what is important is how we would greet each other:

“Good morning, Doctor Kelly.”

“Good morning, lovely to see you, Doctor Collins.”

“You, too. Doctor Murphy, water?”

(on so on and so on). Also how cool would it be to have letters coming to the house addressed to you as Dr?

Well, that dream is dead. Having just completed my dissertation and thus my Masters, I can safely say that this is as far as my academic journey will go. Bring me the hat to go with the gown,I will happily cap my education right now!

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When Two is Terrific, not Terrible

Can you remember much about being 2? One of my earliest memories was climbing up on to the chair in front of my mother’s dressing table with a pair of scissors and cutting a fringe for myself. The result predictably was less than successful. I was two and a half and that’s just about all I remember about being that age. We often hear about the terrible twos, and believe me Mini-Mini has her moments but I look at my youngest daughter now and I marvel at all she can do at this tender age and the pretty awesome human being she’s already become.
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40 Before 40-Portugal (Lisbon & Sintra)

Regular readers of the blog will know that I recently undertook a challenge to visit 40 countries before I turn 40. I’ve got just under five years and fourteen countries left to see!This was Country No.26-Portugal and a trip I took back in January (!) with me Mammy and brother to celebrate a milestone birthday for Mammy-I can’t tell you which milestone figure she has now reached, but I can confirm there was a zero in it.

The Vital Statistics

Set between the sea and the mountains, Lisbon is small enough that you can walk to all of its sights, but be warned hills and cobblestoned avenues abound. Lovely to look at it, but not great for the heels if you are out for the night! Take comfortable shoes and prepare for a work out, but don’t worry there are a myriad refreshment stops along the way offering tasty drinks and snacks. Another thing to bear in mind is that while there is the lovely old historic centre, which is a joy to visit, there is also a more modern part of the city, that is frankly less appealing. Portugal, like Ireland, has seen its economy suffer hugely in the last few years to such an extent that they may be the only western country which is actively recruiting refugees  in order to aid its dwindling rural population.

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Netflix Fix Update

It’s the summer, it’s raining so here are our recommendations for the best shows currently streaming on Netflix to stop you from climbing up the walls!!

Orphan Black

When I first came across Orphan Black on Netflix, I was instantly hooked. It may have had its flaws-low budget, obviously set in Toronto yet alluding to being set in the States, some less than perfect camera work and a story that at times chased its own tail down the rabbit hole-yet it had one amazing attribute in the skills and talents of actress Tatiana Maslany. For those of you not up to speed with the Emmy award winning show, here’s a little backstory to the hit sci-fi drama. Drifter and all round screw up, Sarah comes back to the city in order to try and be a better mother to her young daughter, Kyra. While waiting at a station, she witnesses the suicide of a woman who leaps into the path of an oncoming train, but not before she has revealed herself to be Sarah’s doppleganger.

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Crouching mother, hidden dragonfly

It’s here. The moment I’ve been absolutely dreading since the school year began-the summer holidays. No school, no classes, just the kids and me. For two whole months. Squaring off to each other with little respite in site. In an ideal world, I’d just open the door and send them out to play. Here, is where the logistics of our home throw a spanner in the works. Our house is located at the entrance of an estate and faces on to the road away from the other houses. From my kids’ point of view, it’s a lousy combination. To get to the other kids in the estate, they need to go out near the fairly busy road and walk around and down to the bottom of the estate where the rest of the gang gather. Now, it’s not a big estate-only 15 houses-but it’s a big journey for little ones.

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Mini Acceptance

Today started like any other morning with all hell breaking lose as we cajoled,nudged,pleaded and quarrelled with our children to get them into school and the childminders with all necessary clothing items attached(Mini-Mini has discovered a recent and worrying rejection of pants) and at least some breakfast successfully administered to less than compliant little gobs. It’s been a stressful few months of late. Mini has been having a lot of behavioural issues including temper tantrums (not really Mini’s style at all), a complete toileting regression-when we so close to full training, SO GODDAMN CLOSE!!!!!-and generally appearing to be out of sorts.

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The 40 before 40 series

A few weeks ago, I celebrated my birthday-it wasn’t a milestone age but one such age does loom rather ominously on the horizon-that of the big 4-0. In short, I now have four years and 11 months until I exit the crazy ride that has been my thirties. I’d like to say I’m a lot more together than I was the last time the end of a decade was hovering just in sight, but that would just be a lie.

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