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  • Travelling with children: why the ferry is better than flying | Writing, life and other animals
    there s plenty of space for everything you might need That means you pack too much but that s okay because nobody s nit picking over the weight of your luggage There s also no problem with legroom there s plenty of freedom for the kids to run around and play and loads of activities and amenities to make the voyage a pleasant experience for all the family The best thing about travelling by ferry is that the journey becomes as much a part of the holiday as the destination The girls are as excited about the spending a night on the boat as they are about the trip itself Ordinary things like having your own cabin sleeping in bunks and having a shower are transformed into a great adventure by virtue of the fact that they re aboard ship Then of course there are meal times eating in the on board restaurants as the ship pitches rolls and yaws is a novel experience and they love going outside on deck watching the sea birds and looking for dolphins It s not all plain sailing though there are downsides to travelling by sea First there s the weather Calm seas are great but rough crossings can be difficult A bit of movement is fine it just adds to the excitement but seasick children and parents for that matter doesn t get the holiday off to an auspicious start Then there s the fact that you end up on the north coast of France which can mean a long drive on the wrong side of unfamiliar roads before you reach your ultimate destination But then again you are in your own car the children have lots of familiar things to keep them occupied and regular stops along the way can turn

    Original URL path: http://blog.cjwriting.com/2008/06/11/plane-sailing-take-the-boat/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Ending the holiday with a bang | Writing, life and other animals
    I remember grabbing the wheel and swerving us back onto our own side of the road then we lost control The car skidded first one way then the other before careening off a twelve foot bank into the ditch below At times like this the adrenalin kicks in your brain goes into overdrive and the world around you slows to a crawl Your senses become heightened and you notice everything in minute detail sights sounds smells touch everything In the passenger seat I was busy noticing the undergrowth rushing slowly towards the windscreen I braced myself for impact and then we hit with a sickening crunch I watched with detached interest as the front of the car folded in on itself like a cereal box being crushed for recycling My mind was on three things the children I was willing the car to stop so that I could look after them It finally came to rest and the world lurched back to normal speed The car at the garage where it was towed after the accident I quickly checked myself over Everything appeared to be where it should be and I wasn t in any immediate pain A glance at my wife told me that she was conscious and was busy unbuckling her seatbelt I followed her lead pushed open the door and went to check on the girls In the back seat the three year old was crying in her car seat which was a good sign She was fine One of the twins who was sitting next to her was fine too apart from a few abrasion marks from her seatbelt Then I saw my other daughter in the back row her head slumped against the window blood trickling from her nose Between her closed eyes a rapidly growing bulge was turning a violent purple blue colour My heart lurched and for a moment I feared the worst but when I spoke to her she opened her eyes was able to talk to me and could move her arms legs fingers and toes After one night in a French hospital she was discharged with nothing more serious than a slight fracture to her left elbow Our insurance company flew us home a few days later leaving the remains of the car in France It had been a horrific end to what had been an otherwise fantastic trip but it could have been so much worse We re just glad to be home with everyone in one piece Technorati Tags parenting travel children France car crash Be Sociable Share Tweet Share this Click to share on Twitter Opens in new window Share on Facebook Opens in new window Click to share on Google Opens in new window Related Posted by Calvin at 14 43 2 Responses to Ending the holiday with a bang Writing for life For goodness sake belt up says 5 September 2007 at 15 41 topic carries particular resonance for me at the moment Just two

    Original URL path: http://blog.cjwriting.com/2007/07/20/ending-the-holiday-with-a-bang/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Cardinal’s injunction: basic instinct | Writing, life and other animals
    vehement in pursuit of truth and justice for members of their tribe They by any measure occupy the moral high ground on this modern day tribal battleground But then moral values even among clerics can it seems be supplanted by more basic instincts And therein lies the very root of the problem As a parent with young children my first reaction to news of the injunction was one of outrage Once again the Catholic Church closes ranks to protect individuals who have not only committed what is perhaps the most heinous of all crimes but have blatantly flaunted the core values of the Christian faith they purport to represent It simply beggars belief It s only reasonable for people to question Cardinal Conell s motives in scuppering the State s attempt to view these documents It smacks of yet another cover up of potentially incriminating information Whether born out of a desire to protect the tribe as a whole particular individuals in that tribe or from the even more deeply rooted instinct of self preservation the move is utterly reprehensible and ultimately damaging damaging to the victims damaging to the enquiry and damaging to the Catholic Church itself For goodness sake hasn t the reputation of the Church in Ireland suffered enough through it s inept handling of the clerical abuse scandal The last thing it needs as an organisation is something like this to further tarnish its already muddied image As humans we have a unique ability to consciously overrule instinctive patterns of behaviour Although we don t always embrace it we have the capacity to transcend our default state of what s best for me and to consider the broader impact of our actions In many way s that ability to look at the bigger picture to consider

    Original URL path: http://blog.cjwriting.com/2008/02/07/cardinals-injunction-basic-instinct/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Irish not taking holidays… give me a break | Writing, life and other animals
    really popular send a get well card to the hospital Then they d get on with business as usual If they can do without you in a medical emergency they can do without you for a two week holiday A shocking 13 of respondents thought that taking their holiday entitlement would be frowned upon by management and would affect their chances of promotion Which begs the question if you truly believe your company will penalise you for taking your entitled holidays why on earth are you still working for that company The fact that employees still think like this is a sorry indictment of the corporate culture that still persists in some Irish organisations Thankfully the situation is improving as more businesses realise the necessity and indeed the desirability of accommodating more of a balance between work and family life And here s the main point holidays are not a luxury they re a commercial cultural and social imperative that serve individuals businesses the economy and ultimately the very fabric of our society If you don t take a break from the rigours of working life if you fail to spend enough quality time with your family and friends and to generally unwind your taking a massive risk You re on a slippery slope to burn out and oblivion and once you start down it it s difficult to turn back Your performance ultimately suffers in all areas of your life you become less effective at work as a parent as a partner as a friend Everybody suffers Employers should encourage staff to take time off and workers should not lose sight of the importance of holiday entitlement said Aoiffe Curtin of Recruitireland com Employers should be looking to ensure that their staff take at least one long break each year The consequences of working in a high pressure environment without taking a holiday are potentially damaging to both staff and businesses Employees are more likely to suffer from burn out and stress and as a result businesses are likely to suffer the costs of a depleted and unmotivated workforce and discontentment among staff Thankfully the majority us look forward to and take our full annual leave entitlement As for the rest of you what are you waiting for If you have holidays left to take before the end of the year take them ALL of them Forget about work for a while take the break you re entitled to and return revived refreshed and raring to go You ll be glad that you did and believe it or not in most cases so will your employer Technorati Tags Career Moves Evening Echo Careers Holidays Recruitment recruitireland com Be Sociable Share Tweet Share this Click to share on Twitter Opens in new window Share on Facebook Opens in new window Click to share on Google Opens in new window Related Posted by Calvin at 12 28 One Response to Irish not taking holidays give me a break John says 5

    Original URL path: http://blog.cjwriting.com/2007/11/13/irish-not-taking-holidays-give-me-a-break/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Dangerous radioactive gas levels in Ireland’s workplaces and homes | Writing, life and other animals
    Mallow were found to have more than 60 times the acceptable level of this colourless odourless tasteless gas which occurs naturally from the decay of radioactive material in rocks and soils The institute said levels found would be equivalent to receiving 39 chest X rays every day or nearly 10 000 in a year Cork office has highest radon levels ever found in Ireland National News Frontpage Independent ie Technorati Tags Radon radioactive gas Ireland Be Sociable Share Tweet Share this Click to share on Twitter Opens in new window Share on Facebook Opens in new window Click to share on Google Opens in new window Related Posted by Calvin at 16 26 Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your Comment You may use these HTML tags and attributes a href title abbr title acronym title b blockquote cite cite code del datetime em i q cite s strike strong Name required E mail required URI Notify me of follow up comments by email Notify me of new posts by email Working it column gets a reprieve Irish not taking holidays give me a break Subscribe to feed Get posts in your favourite feed reader Now blogging about Ireland s Wildlife

    Original URL path: http://blog.cjwriting.com/2007/09/21/dangerous-radioactive-gas-levels-in-irelands-workplaces-and-homes/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Working it column gets a reprieve | Writing, life and other animals
    for including the piece is what swung it deep down I think they were swayed more by the fact they were going to have to pay me for it even if they didn t use it Anyway whatever the reason it s good news It s a worthwhile piece and of course it means I don t have to write another one this week yipee I m also starting a new My Career Moves piece from 01 October which will be an interview piece featuring a different professional every week The article will examine their career to date the choices they ve made and their outlook for the future If you d like to feature free publicity in The Evening Echo which according to their advertising stats reaches some 127 000 people in Cork Limerick and surrounding areas simply get in touch and I ll send you out a questionnaire once I finish putting it together Technorati Tags Working It careers evening echo writing Be Sociable Share Tweet Share this Click to share on Twitter Opens in new window Share on Facebook Opens in new window Click to share on Google Opens in new window Related Posted by Calvin at 10 26 Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your Comment You may use these HTML tags and attributes a href title abbr title acronym title b blockquote cite cite code del datetime em i q cite s strike strong Name required E mail required URI Notify me of follow up comments by email Notify me of new posts by email Working it column censored Dangerous radioactive gas levels in Ireland s workplaces and homes Subscribe to feed Get posts in your favourite feed reader Now blogging about Ireland s Wildlife and Nature Read Calvin s writing on Ireland s leading Wildlife

    Original URL path: http://blog.cjwriting.com/2007/09/20/working-it-column-gets-a-reprieve/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Waiting game | Writing, life and other animals
    in you may have time to turn your mind to other more productive things But when I m behind the wheel I can never really disengage driving demands concentration even if you re crawling along at six inches per hour You never know when you might need to react to the unexpected Never is the rather obvious answer but the point is you have to be ready I ll drive for hours on the open road but fifteen minutes in stop start traffic has me tearing what little hair I have left out What you may be asking has inspired me to share this mind numbing tirade with you Possibly the biggest waste of our limited time and resources that exists on this or any other planet that s what I m sitting writing this in a waiting room at the Mercy Hospital s outpatients clinic with one of the twins Around me are about 50 other people all bored senseless and all as far as I can tell with exactly the same appointment time as we have on our little green card Anywhere else in the English speaking world an appointment is an arrangement to meet with someone in a designated place at a designated time Enter any Irish medical establishment however and that notion goes out of the window or at least it would if there were any windows in this dismal pathogen ridden port a cabin Maybe it s just me but whenever I walk into a hospital I m overcome by the sensation that this is a place you re likely to pick up something nasty rather than somewhere you go to get better And no the little dispensers of alcoholic hand cleanser dotted around the walls don t do anything to allay that feeling People are being seen in no apparent sequence at times that bear absolutely no relationship to their allocated appointment slot and as far as I can tell with scant regard for the order in which they arrived The main problem with this system is that it s not a system at all The word system implies some sort of order whereas here there is none I ve given up trying to figure it out and so it appears have all the staff No wonder the health system is in such a mess If this was a business operating in the open market it would have closed its doors decades ago But it s health so we put up with mediocre service and a bemusing anti system that doesn t even make sense to the people running it We put up with it because not putting up with it could seriously damage your health At current patient turnover rates it looks like we re going to be stuck here for the long haul to be told in all likelihood that everything is just fine and to head on our merry way Still better to be safe than sorry and at least sharing

    Original URL path: http://blog.cjwriting.com/2009/08/06/waiting-game/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Hospital | Writing, life and other animals
    a scene in watercolour or oil more the slap it on the walls kind of painting Painting in the interior decorating sense of the word is one of those agonising jobs that demands just the right level of concentration to prevent you thinking about other things but not quite enough to keep you actively engaged in what your doing I find the combination is agonizing Another one that s bound to be high on anyone s list of tedious pastimes has to be sitting in traffic Yes you have the radio to keep you company but that can be as much a curse as it is a blessing particularly when a cheery eye in the sky presenter informs you rather helpfully to avoid the tailback you re already sitting in Of course depending on the particular backlog of traffic you re stuck in you may have time to turn your mind to other more productive things But when I m behind the wheel I can never really disengage driving demands concentration even if you re crawling along at six inches per hour You never know when you might need to react to the unexpected Never is the rather obvious answer but the point is you have to be ready I ll drive for hours on the open road but fifteen minutes in stop start traffic has me tearing what little hair I have left out What you may be asking has inspired me to share this mind numbing tirade with you Possibly the biggest waste of our limited time and resources that exists on this or any other planet that s what Continue reading Posted by Calvin at 8 12 Tagged with Appointments Cork Evening Echo Column hospital Mercy Waiting Rooms Subscribe to feed Get posts in your favourite feed

    Original URL path: http://blog.cjwriting.com/tag/hospital/ (2016-02-15)
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