What to do this weekend?

This weekend will be a busy one in Cork but I think we’re going to try to take it easy and not stress ourselves too much trying to enjoy it too much!

This weekend a Capoeira festival will be held in the city. On Saturday morning there will be a demonstration at 10:30 in front of Brown Thomas on St. Patrick Street, followed by workshops in Blackrock GAA club. Looks like a latin party on Saturday night and a BBQ will follow the workshop on Sunday! Not sure if I can make it but I’ll try to be there. I must dig up some more of my Capoeira photos next week.

In Blackpool The Festival of the Bulls will be held from 12pm to 6pm, Saturday and Sunday. There’s more info on the Whazon website but I’ll copy it here because they don’t have any archives unfortunately.

THE FESTIVAL OF the BULLS – Community Carnival

Saturday and Sunday 12pm – 6pm

Be Your Own Banana Company, That Man, Amani Acrobats, The Svetlana show, Bui Bolg, Mr.Cro, The Incredible Bull Circus and Cork Circus

The spectacular Burundi Drummers, Filipino dancers and drummers chorus, The 40 piece Youghal Ceile House band with dancers, Southern Brigade Army Brass band, The Mayfield Brass band, The Cork City String Quartet The Clubmen Swing band , The award winning Polyphonic Barbershop Chorus, The Christ Restoration Life Ministries Gospel Choir, Traditional musicians doing walkabouts, Blackpool Youth Club song and dance show, Isis Youth band

Duck races , Blackpool Treasure hunt, Pub Quiz
Food Market, Arts & Crafts Stalls, Massage area, Balloon modellers, Face painters, Penalty Shoot outs Community Art exhibition, Programme of local film documentaries, Programme of Award winning Irish films , Exhibition of original drawings by Seamus Murphy, Amateur Photography exhibition, Re-dedication of the Grotto, Dublin Hill, Planet gym health club demonstration and Children’s games

The Bulls Mart
The market will feature over 40 local producers and slow food promoting traders along with local craft and jewelry stalls.

Sunday 3rd June at 4.30pm
The climax of the festival will be the inaugural Blackpoll Bull Run. Although the bulls have long since left the streets of Blackpool the Carnival bulls will be out in force, creating havoc, making noise, inciting madness and generating excitement. It will be a riot of Brazilian carnival, freaky metallic bull bikes and puppet bulls, along with dancers, drummers, butchers, witchdoctors and warriors. All of them painted head to toe, shouting, singing and dancing crazy.

The public will be invited to participate in the event which promises to be an incredible sight and a fitting remembrance of what once was, of what built this city, this area, this people and this culture.

Sunday 3rd June
Bull puppet workshops
Dowtcha puppets will be holding puppet making workshops

VENUE: Blackpool Retail Park

I have a feeling you’ll find us at the beach if the weather is nice or even mildly ok. It’s been a while, before Adam was born even, and the pull of the ocean is strong!

A day of happy and sad

A year ago today I married the most amazing and wonderful woman I know, Jacinta. She’s the love of my life, beautiful, caring, sensitive and the mother of our son Adam. She is the best thing that has ever happened to me.

We had planned an anniversary lunch and Adam had been changed for the umpteenth time, ready for the trip, but then we found out that Jacinta’s sister Gerarda had passed away peacefully in her sleep during the night. Life has been turned upside down.

Turning Japanese – a song Gerry and Jacinta went mad dancing to in the front garden to annoy a neighbour!

Please type my name

I just had a thought after filling in an anti-spam keyword in a comment form. Sometimes my thoughts are interesting but this isn’t one of them. Justin Mason asks you to type his first name as a means to defeat spam bots. I bet if I did the same, even going so far as writing my name next to the box people would misspell it. “donnacha”, “donacha”, “doncha” and “dunacha” are all variations I’ve seen. You don’t want to know how Sky Digital butchered it!

For extra fun I could have an audio clip saying my name instead. I might not ever receive a comment ever again!

Jacinta and Adam came home from the hospital yesterday, my brain is lightly fried, with chips and tomato sauce. Thank you so much Mairead for making us dinner and minding Adam so we could get a short rest! Aren’t family great?

It's a boy!

picture of Adam

Today my life changes with the birth of my son Adam! After a lengthy labour he was born at 5:51am this morning. Jacinta went through a labour from hell for 30 hours but her heart melted when she laid eyes on Adam.

I would write more, but I’ve only had 4 hours sleep over the past 2 days and I need to hit the leaba.

A Dad's scary moment

Kav’s scary moment #1 was the birth of his daughter. Our baby still hasn’t made an appearance and it looks likely we’ll be going to the hospital tomorrow evening. I doubt I could describe the event as well as Kav has, so if you’ve been through the experience, go read his blog post. If you haven’t, go read it anyway, it’s written very well and worth a few minutes of your time!

It’s an emotional bungee jump, is why. Frozen panic masked as calm, driving with jittery, awkward limbs. The rush of the brief heroics when you’re playing the rescuer, flying it down the corridor with a wheelchair containing your bellowing wife and your soon-to-be first-born. The feeling of being absolutely useless to her while she goes through this.

There is nothing you can do, so you mask your uselessness with words of support, while the midwives calmly go through the motions for the tenth time that night.

Can dogs tell when a woman is pregnant?

Sorry, yet another pregnancy related post but it’s been a strange day. Our dog Oscar has always been protective of my wife Jacinta. He has always preferred her company to mine or anyone else’s, but recently he’s become a lot more agitated.

My sister and her boyfriend called over this afternoon and Oscar was on edge the whole time. Instead of playing with the ball he would growl and almost even bit me when I made to take the ball off the ground. Later he growled and bit at my shoe when I sat down next to Jacinta at the dinner table, an act for which I punished him with a few minutes outside the kitchen door.

This evening we took him for a walk and instead of running or walking quickly he walked near us, looking back the whole time, then walked behind and next to us, staying with us as we walked slowly up the road.

I’m convinced he knows the baby is on the way. These answers on Yahoo Answers to the question, Can dogs sense when a woman is pregnant? are fairly unanimous that yes, dogs can tell. I don’t think pets are psychic however!

Here are a couple of great tips and answers to some pregnancy related questions.

Does my dog know that I am pregnant?
What reactions might my dog have to my pregnancy?
What can I do about any negative reactions I see in my dog?

I really need to get Twitter’s number into my mobile, just in case..

Today was D-Day

Today was the due date for the birth, but our baby is too comfortable and isn’t coming out just yet. It’s a waiting game now, at least until Thursday when things will be given a push along.

I feel nervous and expectant. Everything is ready but the guest of honour is not ready. I’m impatient to see my son or daughter and know they are well.

I read that the last few weeks of pregnancy drag out and they certainly do. All the preparation is done. The visits to the hospital taken care of. The baby’s room painted, new curtains hung, everything assembled. We’re waiting and praying that everything will go ok for the last few days.

I wonder what my dad would have blogged about 31 years ago if he had a chance to record his thoughts. I must ask him.

More fun at the hospital

We spent over 2 hours this morning at Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH). Little had changed since last week. Appointments were still impossible to make so Jacinta was told to come in early and wait.

It was crowded last week, but if anything, it was worse today. Most seats were taken but it’s a funny thing about some people – even when there are seats to sit on they’ll continue to stand. Even heavily pregnant mothers. I can’t figure it out. Martyrs?

This last week has seen Ireland sweltering under a blistering warm sun and conditions in the hospital were as stuffy as before. I stood near a radiator in the corridor and was shocked to find it was lukewarm. Expectant mothers looked on in disbelief when I mentioned this!

You’ll meet all sorts in the hospital. All races and creeds are represented in those hallways and unfortunately Irish racism is alive and kicking. A man at the end of the corridor was heard to say, “I should learn a foreign language and get an interpreter. We’d be seen sooner.” Shortly afterwards, his partner commented on the pronouciation of a foreign doctor saying that it was hard to understand him.

Good news however, I’ll be a dad within the next 7 to 8 days (hopefully). Due date is tomorrow but if nothing happens, Jacinta will be induced by the end of next week.

In related matters, Justin provides a transcript and commentary on Green Party candidate Patricia McKenna’s assertion on national radio that there’s a link between MMR and autism. That link has been discredited and I’m following this closely, but all it takes is one comment from the parent of an autistic child to make me doubt my convictions. Conor has more to say on the matter too.

He also reported a few weeks back that children in a Cork creche were found to have Tuberculosis (TB). Munster, the southern region of Ireland, does not have a programme in place to vacinate babies and children, but after the recent outbreaks, the HSE will introduce it later in the year. The vaccine is called BCG and has been administered in all other parts of the country. The Wikipedia page on Tuberculosis has a lot more information on the disease.

More and more bloggers I read are becoming parents. Maybe I’ve become more aware of the announcements, or maybe it’s simply that they are at that stage in life when they’re starting or expanding families. Remember when you and all your friends were celebrating your 21st birthdays?

I forgot to ask the midwife

We’re just back from our first ante natal class and I forgot to ask the most important question that every dad wants to know,

Can the prospective dad get a few gulps of the gas and air?

I did remember to ask another important question.

When the baby is upside down in the womb, does the blood run to it’s head? Is the baby in a constant state of wooziness?

Apparently the unborn baby’s blood runs in the opposite direction to your’s or mine. When a baby is born two valves close off in the heart and the blood flows in the right direction! So much happens when a baby is born, they must start breathing for themselves, they have to heat themselves.. Complicated business.

Brenda Power writing in the Sunday Times has a very positive article about older mothers. This is a subject close to my heart because my pregnant wife will be 42 on her next birthday, although if you met her you’d hardly know it! I would link to the article but the Times Online website has been redesigned. They’re looking for feedback so here’s mine. I don’t mind the new colours, it’s not as cluttered as other news sites, but some of the database and archive functionality could be improved. When I tried to view last Sunday’s Sunday Times content the drop down didn’t work, and searching for “Brenda Power” in the search box returned zero results! Does she still work for you? Looking forward to seeing those problems fixed because half the enjoyment of reading the newspaper is that I can blog it later!

One more criticism of the new Sunday Times website – not all articles are available there. The two I wanted to blog about this week are missing in action, presumed lost in the server somewhere. Please fix it! *sob*