A Drop of Blood all in time for the Bram Stoker Festival.

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The Bram Stoker Festival takes place the weekend of – 26th to 28th of October.The three-day festival will peel back the layers of the city to reveal Stoker’s Dublin. Prepare for a weekend for all the family with walking tours through the lane-ways and hidden steps of the Victorian macabre aspect of the city; literary workshops exploring horror writing with award winning authors for both teens and adults; Stoker-themed theatre, lively discussions on all things vampire, and a highlight being an evening of spooky spectacle from renowned street theatre company Spraoi in the majestic surroundings of Dublin Castle.

To celebrate this fab and spooky festival and highlighting Dracula’s love of Blood. I have pulled out one fab book that I picked up for my little girl in my local charity shop when she was really young but I just knew it would come in handy some day. The book first published in 1968 by Adam & Charles Black – London,  with the fitting title ‘A Drop of Blood’ written by Paul Showers and illustrated by Don Madden. It is from a series of Let’s Read And Find Out which covered a wide range of scientific subjects in a very clear manor for children to understand. My daughter is not yet 4 and she was recently asking about what was inside her arm and why when she cut her knee red “stuff” came out, so I thought it was time to read this lovely book.

The illustrations are great, the story is really simple, yet scientific. I even brushed up on my biology myself!

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It gives insight into what makes up blood, how scabs form and what they are for, and how the circulatory system works.

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The book has been reprinted and re-illustrated with a more Vampire theme you can purchase it on Amazon Here. But, I must say, I really loved the classic illustrations compared to the new vamped up style. At the end of the day they both teach a really great lesson about what is inside ‘A Drop of Blood’

adropofblood new illustration

Another review was by Curious Pages Here.

Enjoy the book and be sure and check out the Bram Stoker Festival, looks like a lot of educational fun for Halloween. Baawww Haaa Haaa!

The Big Upcycle Event – 23rd & 24th of August…

The Big Upcycle Market

Lynn Haughton founder of The Upcycle Movement is so passionate about Upcycling and the Environment it was natural that we got on like a house on fire when we met last year. It is great to see Lynn getting so proactive about her passion with the upcoming launch of The Big Upcycle Market. Ireland needed an expo for all the creative and amazingly professional and functional items that are being made. Upcycling can be something that everyone can enjoy and you don’t have to be a certain type to appreciate the excellent craft that is Upcycling. I even have a love for Upcycling myself and have completed quite a few projects – check them out here.

I am sure this Market will be a massive success and it is a shame that I will be in Cork to welcome the arrival of my sister Sue’s second baby tomorrow 🙂 But I will be here for the next one and hope to have a stall there too!!

Best of Luck Lynn and of course Gwen xx

For anyone interested in The Big Launch Night that is Friday from 5pm – 7pm.

Location: The Stillorgan Park Hotel, N11 Dublin

Date: Saturday 23rd & Sunday 24th of August

Time: 11am – 6pm on both days.

The Dublin Horse Show – August 7th – 11th.

Eabha and the horses

If you like horses or even just the smell of them,  make it your business to get to Dublin for the annual Dublin Horse Show. It opens on Wednesday the 7th of August and closed on Sunday 11th.

I took Eabha for our debut show last year and I enjoyed it immensely, as did my then 2 year old. She even got her picture taken with two beautiful Garda horses – which never fails  to make me laugh – out loud!!

There is so much horsy stuff to see – with different events and shows on at the one time, you will be spoilt for choice. For the fashionista who wants to win a rosette then the Blossom Hill Ladies Day will be right up your street on Thursday 8th. Check out all the information on the Dublin Horse Show website Here, where you can pre book your ticket. If the weather is anything like last week, then I will be packing up a big lunch and heading in at the dawn.

Here are a few pics I took at last year’s show:sidesadle

dhs white cobcowboycanter

Live Below The Line – Final Day on 3/5/13 & Fundraising Efforts


So I am sorry I am only bringing you this post now but in Ireland we have the May bank holiday and I was off enjoying the SUN – in Ireland when we get sun then there is a mass exodus!! I can only tell you the outfits people, mostly teenagers, were wearing little or nothing. The obviously never heard of the saying “Do not shed a clout, til May is out”.

So my final day on Friday May 3rd, was great I am not going to go into the details of what I ate because it is too late for this but it contained porridge, soup and some concoction for dinner! On Saturday I drove to southern Ireland from Dublin to go spend the day with some ladies I used to work with many years ago and I did divulge and ate some amazing food and also included a desert, something I was craving all week. I am however going to try to keep up the cutting of sugar from my diet and sticking to eating a really good breakfast every morning. I was always rushing at breakfast but when on the bread line you never know where the next meal is coming from hence the importance to eat every last morsel and it will keeping you going until lunch. The ladies I lunched with were also AMAZINGLY generous and I raised a further €75 bringing my total raised this far to €191.06

All proceeds of my Live Below The Line Jar to go to Unicef Ireland and the Syrian Children caught up in that dreadful conflict that has been going on for over 2 years, and from recent reports the situation is getting worse!

MY Unicef Fundraising Page HERE will be open for a further few weeks and if you feel like donating as little as €2 please do.

Thanks to everyone for reading my Live Below The Line Blog posts I really enjoyed the week and I hope I have done some good for my efforts – at times it was tough and my thoughts are with those who have to live below the line without choice everyday!