I just saw an ad for bright coloured summer sandals and they cast me back to a sunny late April day in Dublin when I was eighteen coming up to the end of my first year at university.

I was walking along with a friend of my brother who was about 4 years older than me.

Out of the blue, he said: I love this time of year and the way all the women are dressed in vibrant, bright colours and wearing summery dresses and sandals.’

I looked around and saw what he meant and had a dawning realisation that I definitely didn’t fit into that category as I was, and still am, a tomboy who doesn’t even own a summer dress or skirt or a pair of brightly coloured sandals.

His comment left me speechless but then I had always realised that I was the ‘kid sister’ to him and would never be anything else. He probably would have passed out if he’d seen me in anything but my denim jeans, runners or clogs and sloppy sports t-shirts and sweatshirts.

Absolutely nothing has changed in the intervening years, except for the clogs. And, I still looked at the sandals in the ad and knew that however much I liked the colours, I wouldn’t be wearing them as they just aren’t me.

I have often wondered since that day if life would have been very different if I had turned into what I considered to be a girly-girl. I guess it’s not to late to experiment now but ….

The Natural Look


Having read recently that 70% of women visit a beauty salon before going on holidays and even just perusing magazines with all sorts of lipsticks, eye-shadows and goodness knows what, I suspect that I belong to a tiny minority who never, ever wear make-up of any description.

Maybe, I’ll get cracking on it one of these days and shock the living daylights and nightlights out of all who know me!

For now, though, it’s the ‘natural look’ for me in keeping with the seashore which has an amazing capacity to throw up colourful surprises everyday.

So, tell me how you are about make-up?  Are you someone who feels undressed without it or over-dressed with it? Needless to say, I’d love men’s opinions on this subject too!

Unbuttoning Time ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 290

I was mooching around the shops in Waterford over the weekend and felt the years falling off me when I spotted a rail of duffle coats or should I say jackets?

As a teenager, I more or less lived in a dark navy duffle coat and, from conversations with both men and women, I gather almost everyone has had a coat which was extra-special to them. It seems to be less about fashion and style than the emotional state/s associated with that one coat which invariably leaves an indelible mark on a life.

Here I am in the precious duffle coat walking on lovely Baltray Beach in Co. Louth which has a glorious view of the Mourne Mountains.

I’d love to hear about the coat in your life!