Live Below The Line 2014 – Day 2


Day 2 was Saturday March 29th and I found living away from home, with temptations EVERYWHERE very difficult.

Breakfast: Porridge with water and dollop of Strawberry Jam. And a pot of tea with milk.

50g of porridge = €0.04

Strawberry jam = €0.03

Reused Tea Bag = €0.02

Drop of milk = €0.05

Total: €0.14


10am Cup of coffee:

cheap and cheerful coffee 1 tsp = €0.08

Drop of milk = €0.05

Total for the cup of coffee, you could get used to the taste but does the job waking me up = €0.13


photo (60)Lunch: Bowl of butternut squash soup.

1/4 of a butternut squash (on offer as part of 3 for €2 vegetables so the math is €2/3=0.67cent each I only used a 1/4 of the butternut as the soups was divided into 4 portions 0.67/4  =  €0.17

1/4 of a onion = €0.08

Kale = €0.13

1/4 clove of garlic = €0.04

Salt & Pepper = €0.02

1/4 of a veggie stock cube = €0.20

Total €0.64


Dinner: Chipatti Pancakes with garlic mushrooms and dandelion salad!! 

3 medium sized mushrooms that I bought in the reduced isle the whole packet cost €o.45 =€0.11

I very small clove of garlic = €0.04

Drizzle of olive oil = €0.04

Salt & Pepper = €0.02

Chipatti’s are simply flour and water = €0.10

Total = €0.17

This was my favourite meal from 2013 LBLUK and I was looking forward to cooking it again – Chipatti’s are really yummy, take no time to make and cook and are great for kids to. Find out how to cook them here.


Afternoon pot of tea – reused tea bag €0.02 & drop of milk €0.05 = €0.07

Total spend for the day = €1.15 

A saving of €0.04……!

Thank you to all of the people who have sponsored me this far. If you would like to donate to my Concern fund to buy some animals and follow their journey to help the less fortunate, you can right here. You can also sponsor me personally.

So far I have raised €50 but still a bit to go for my target of €200 – your support means a lot and Thank You.


Live Below the Line 2014 – Day 1


So day 1 Friday March 28th, is done and even though I had to go on a road trip from Wicklow to Cork it was actually OK – nobody was injured or eaten!

Unfortunately my Internet connection is down so I can’t do a proper post until tomorrow morning, but I can let you all know that one tea bag does indeed service 3 cups of tea!!

Food wise I ate porridge and soup but I will say I ate over budget at dinner time – I had a family engagement and to save myself the embarrassment of losing the plot due to lack of food, I did have a very small piece of chicken with my plain rice! But in all honesty it was a piece of chicken thigh which when I do the math probably was OK. What I am going to do just to make myself feel better is add an extra day onto my 5 day Live Below The Line 2014.

There is a link to my Concern page herehere
Where all funds will be greatly appreciated as I am taking charge of all cash raised and buying animals for some needy families. Thank you to those who donated so far – you know who you are and I am very grateful to you…!

Live Below The Line starts tomorrow!!


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OK – so I am going to be living on €1.19 for the next 5 days! (above is a very bad selfie getting the words in and avoiding the clothes horse!!)

Yep it can be done, and there are 1.2billion people doing the same thing everyday, but for them it is not a choice.

Live Below The Line is a global challenge to highlight the plight of so many living below the line and in impoverished conditions – £1, $1.50, €1.19 is what you have for your food and drink per person per day.


This is my second year of doing Live Below The Line and I think I am the only person in Ireland doing this again. I could be mistaken and correct me if I am, love to hear from another LBL’er. Last year I raised over €360 for Unicef to be sent to the children in Syria. Thank you again so much, to all who donated. This year I am choosing Concern and hope to raise funds to buy some animals – I would welcome a fresh egg or glass of warm milk when I am running on fumes over the 5 days.

Every penny has to be accounted for when living on €1.19. Last year I reused my tea bag to divide out the cost per cup – you would be surprised how many cups you can ‘squeeze’ out of one bag. I also harvested and ate the following (you would never think to, but yes they are yummy!) Sea-weed, nettles, and dandelion leaves. You can check up my escapades last year on my blog here.

I hope to bring you all some stories of how I tried to chew my own hand off, or developed a taste for wall paper!! It is a difficult challenge but each day you complete you become more in touch with humanity and they ways you can adapt and help other people.

I love doing different things to highlight the plight of others and I always change things up and spot light different charities. Not forgetting those on our own shores who face difficult and impoverished conditions. Last Christmas I organised a Christmas morning fun run raising much-needed funds for Simon Community in my home town of Cork. We raised over €300 and the 5 people and 2 dogs who completed the jog through a very peaceful Patrick’s Street had a great time. Simon and I hope to grow this fun run to give those who don’t like the idea of a Christmas morning swim the chance to throw on their trainers and santa hat, where ever they are and what ever time they like to get up and run. On a day where it is not customary to exercise this is the challenge.

If you would like to donate to my fund please feel free to either A) Meet me in person and sign my collection card or B) Log onto My Concern Page and securely donate Here

If you don’t I might just have to EAT you all up, I will be sooooo Hungry!!

Give me hope – Green Johanna

photo (57)

It is that time of the year again when the back yard compost bin produces the most lovely black compost fit for the most royal of my flowers and veggies. I was very lucky to receive a Green Johanna and Pet Pooh Loo from Great Green Systems as part of My Waste Free Home initiative where I am taking care of my own home’s waste on site.

My Waste Free Home means that I needed to find an environmentally friendly solution for all my house hold waste needs. Reducing my costs as I would be using my local recycling centers for the vast amount of items that can be recycled, so many more recyclable items can be recycled here that can go in your green waste collected by waste providers – saving stuff from landfills and reducing your house hold waste costs. At the moment I still have a bin for landfill but there is very little going in here. I hope to create a scheme where neighbours can share the cost and service of a bin for landfill as once you have your Waste Free Home implemented it runs very efficiently.

Food waste is a huge factor in everyone’s home, there is always stuff to throw out. For me the solution was to have a hot composter where everything from the kitchen could go and break down into my garden compost. Even meat and fish remains can safely be discarded – keeping your bins smell free!

The Green Johanna works amazingly well. I have mine since autumn last year (2013) and I put all of my food and garden waste into it throughout the winter. The result is some amazingly fresh smelling black compost that has been applied to my roses, rhubarb and worked into the soil. The compost must be turned regularly to keep it on track to break down more efficiently – something I need to do more of, it also give your body a good workout doing this!

It is a great feeling to be able to solve some of your own waste issues and the Green Johanna, in my opinion should be installed in every home. Having a composting system also helps children understand nature that little bit better, emptying the kitchen compost bin is also a great chore!

Happy composting everyone!! 🙂


Richard Mosse – The Enclave

richard mosse - the enclave

(Picture from – The Enclave, production still, Trevor Tweeten (cinematographer) shooting Arriflex 16mm camera mounted on Steadicam in South Masisi, Nov 2012.)

Enclave by definition is a portion of territory surrounded by a larger territory whose inhabitants are culturally or ethnically distinct.

Art is all about expression and interpretation. Art can tell a story through many mediums. Sometimes those stories are evil, horrific and things that I can barely comprehend not to mention having to live through them. When Richard Mosse discovered the beauty that unfolded when a picture was taken using infrared film he wanted to use this to tell a story that would have gone unnoticed through any other form. (Infrared captures the chlorophyll in plants and turns anything green pink, it is not used anymore and was used for military purposes) The tormented history of the Congo is something that we all have heard about in our life, but the truth is, the tragedy and evilness does not stick to us. It fails to resonate, the suffering of a whole country full of people scared and killed on a daily basis, with no hope. Richard Mosse captures images that look pretty and inviting, you stand and look, the picture draws you in, you smile at the pink beauty – then you look closer and the evil appears!

I went to the Royal Hibernian Academy almost three weeks ago to see the exhibition, I have never taken so much from an exhibition. There is a short film as part of the exhibition, it is age sensitive. I could hear the film whilst looking but I was not able to see, my daughter who is four was with me. The sounds were of gun fire, helicopters, a little girl singing, screaming and other terror. The pictures were beautiful, breathtaking, swathed in fluorescent pink of landscapes and people. The sounds were chilling, confusing my mind. How can I look at beauty but hear terror. This is why Mosse has succeeded to tell a story that would have otherwise gone unheard. He photographs people both alive and dead and treats them all with the same respect. I want to know more about the Congo and if there is anything I can do to help these misfortune people ravaged by war.

There is a short vimeo film HERE that interviews Richard Mosse and explains more about The Enclave.

The Enclave is showing for its last day on – Wednesday, 12th of March. So if you can get to see this, it is well worth the visit.