Ireland: raining goodwill amidst floods of sorrow

Sending kind thoughts and heartfelt wishes to people in the west and south of Ireland as they are battling ferocious weather once again. Families, friends, ex-colleagues, and strangers are currently battling gale force winds, high tides and heavy rainfall and lost material goods, businesses, pets and a sense of security. In towns where walls once stood, water […]

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Christmas!

  © Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me, 2011-2012. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis […]

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Christmas: The Paradox of Our Time

“The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but […]

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MS Ireland National Meeting Day 2013

Last September, I was invited by the Irish MS Society to take part in a panel discussion at their National Day in Galway. I happily accepted because we all know that I never say no to having a good chat. The topic of the National Day was ‘being active and interactive’, and the panel discussion […]

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My brother’s silence

A small, black leather wallet. Used, worn and carrying the scent of the jeans my brother used to wear. A plectrum, faded by the many songs he played on his bass guitar.

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It’s not just sport. It’s Irish rugby.

Yesterday Ireland saw what the Irish rugby team is capable of when all parameters are right. It turned out to be an emotional day for many since Ireland has never beaten New Zealand. When the 80 minutes of the game were played, Ireland was ahead. But then came the last 90 seconds. Pure joy changed […]

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Dublin Speaks No Language

Dublin speaks no language I cannot hear with my heart. Sings no song I cannot Feel by the touch on my lips. Hold no love, I cannot Embrace with my thoughts. Dublin listens quietly, Unconditionally. ©Willeke Van Eeckhoutte ©Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me, 2011-2013. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material […]

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11 years!

There aren’t many things in my life that have outnumbered my years in Ireland as I celebrate my 11th anniversary of living in Ireland today. Once again I had to pinch my arm, making sure that I woke up in Clonsilla, Ireland instead of Belgium. Eleven years indeed. Dreams do come true if you want […]

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My brother

A small, black leather wallet. Used, worn and carrying the scent of the jeans my brother used to wear. A plectrum, faded by the many songs he played on his bass guitar. Memories. Too many to fill my mind at once. Love. Too deep to ever forget he was my brother, my only sibling.

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20 things you didn’t (necessarily) know yet

While browsing through the weekend newspapers yesterday, I came across a nice list of questions. I like lists. And I like questions. A female attribute? No doubt. Just for the fun of it, here we go! The book that changed my life: Ulysses by James Joyce, no doubt about it! The quote that keeps me […]

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Irish skies

WordPress Daily Prompt: Release Me Tell us about the blog post you were most nervous to publish — and what it was like to set it free. Photographers, artists, poets: show us FREE. For me, flying is being released from life, on earth and in my mind. Wonder about how people are able to create machines […]

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Slowing down

A friend sent me this picture this evening as a reminder that I need to take a step back from writing, reading, advocating and generally helping others so I can “get better” again. We all know people with MS do not “get better” but I understood his reasoning… I need to sleep more,  relax more […]

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Playing God

We all have good friends and we all have fantastic friends. You know the type, the ones that will stick around for an hour when nobody else will. Every now and then, however, we realise we have insanely outstanding friends and feel how one simple sentence they say, can change days, if not weeks, of […]

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So many books, so little time!

Yesterday morning – rain, wind, a slight chill in the air – I walked totally wrecked and at snail pace towards the bookshop. Voucher in hand, lots of titles written down on paper just in case my memory checks out on me again. For a while now I had been looking at certain books, longing to buy […]

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Ooooh… :(

Didn’t make the finalist list in the Ireland Blog Awards competition but still quite happy to have been longlisted and shortlisted from 168 blogs to the best 28 in the Best Personal Blog category. Here’s to more blogging, writing and hopefully getting to the finalist stage next year! ©Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis […]

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Perfectionism

Banjaxed, tired high and wrecked. That’s how yesterday unfolded. After being up till 3.30am writing, I managed to sleep only 3h. I was unable to sleep, and as a result, I was going over the things I still needed to do before Saturday’s National MS Day in Galway. One of the topics of the day […]

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Worstward Ho, by Samuel Beckett

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.” (from Worstward Ho, 1983; Samuel Beckett 1906 – 1989) Irish Writer, best known for his play Waiting for Godot in 1952 and winning the Noble Prize Literature  in 1969. ©Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me, 2011-2013. Unauthorised use and/or duplication […]

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W.B. Yeats in Sligo, Ireland

In July I visited Sligo in the west of Ireland, where William Butler Yeats is engraved in Drumcliffe near his beloved Ben Bulben mountain. Since I am a big fan of Irish literature, and have a very definite weakness for Yeats’ poetry and life, I took several pictures from a different angle. I was trying […]

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The Second Coming, by William Butler Yeats

Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity. Surely some […]

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Being active

Last week I received an invitation to take part in the 2013 National Meeting Day panel discussion on September 28th by the MS Society of Ireland. Needlessly, I accepted straight away as ‘Being Active and Interactive’ is something that lies close to my heart. If you’ve been part of my blogging community for a while, […]

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From The Frontier Of Writing, by Seamus Heaney

The tightness and the nilness round that space when the car stops in the road, the troops inspect its make and number and, as one bends his face towards your window, you catch sight of more on a hill beyond, eyeing with intent down cradled guns that hold you under cover and everything is pure […]

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My precious boots!

WordPress Daily Prompt: These Boots Were Made for Walking Tell us about your favorite pair of shoes, and where they’ve taken you. Photographers, artists, poets: show us WALK. Already blogged about my favourite boots on April 1st, 2013, so for those who want to read it, here’s the link: Iconic and Princesses and Docs I’m one […]

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Contrary!

“You’re just being contrary!” my mum used to say. I think that from a young age, she must have found me indeed, a bit different than other kids my age. I wasn’t rebellious, in fact as a teen I was anything but rebellious, but you might say that I went through the usual girly teen […]

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It’s OK not to be OK

Chronic pain. Those who have it, can’t wait to get rid of it. Those who don’t, often do not understand what is going on in people’s bodies filled with chronic pain 24/7. Not to reminiscence too much about the good old days – those where the pain was not a constant, unwanted house guest – […]

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Time to recharge

MS is as MS does. It drains your energy levels, your thinking goes haywire over the silliest things and it well… it simply plays tricks on you. Only last week I had my right arm swing all over my bedside table, but not where it had to be. Thankfully I was alone, in my bed […]

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Blog Awards Ireland 2013

Yesterday I found out that a friend nominated me for an Ireland 2013 Blog Award. Needless to say I am chuffed, and blessed! In return I want people to know how honoured I am to have gathered so many followers who are interested in what I bring. Even if you don’t blog yourself, you are […]

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Ireland, a masterpiece

The Ireland I now inhabit is one that these Irish contemporaries have helped to imagine. (Seamus Heaney) Ireland is where strange tales begin and happy endings are possible. (Charles Haughey)

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Five-year plan

Bad tidings always happen when you least expect it. Your plans for tonight, next week or the following year get punched right in the stomach and you have to regroup. Not only does rearranging your life involve more people than just yourself; your family, friends and colleagues need to find out where you and your […]

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A Dog’s Life, by Jonathan Robin

  A dog’s life ©Jonathan Robin, 2012 Sixteen years, now almost seventeen, I’ve played at stick and ball, stayed seldom still until good master’s call would whistle shrill to lead me back – no need to smack. Sight keen. Sixteen years tail’s wagged as faithful friend, as boon companion, running round fun years. His mother […]

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The duplicity of MS

Summer has finally arrived in Ireland. After what seemed a prolonged autumn and/or winter, we saw summer marching in as if tomorrow might never come. Seeing we are a breed of people who can endlessly talk about the weather, we find fault in it as soon as it happens, only to spin more hours of […]

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Famine

Ever since Dublin became my hometown, the Irish Famine sculptures by artist Rowan Gillespie on Custom House Quay haunt me. The statues are ‘walking’ on towards emigration ships like the Jeannie Johnston and they describe so well the hunger Irish people went through during the Great Famine, called Gorta Mór in Irish (Great Hunger), between 1845 and 1852, […]

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The right to die

Suicide law in Ireland has been a hot topic recently. Marie Fleming, a multiple sclerosis patient in the later stages of the illness, is seeking the right to commit suicide with the help of her long-term partner Tom Curran. She does not want her partner receiving criminal charges for assisting her in her dying wish, […]

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Back to Ireland

So many things represent us, shows our character, our inner feelings, our life. I chose this picture because the world through my eyes is always moving. Forward most of all, sometimes backwards. My world however also consists of simple, pure stillness. But even when the world is spinning quietly, stillness is waiting to explode into […]

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Faith in Ireland

Good things sometimes fall apart so better things can fall together. This is the case for people aiming to improve their lives, careers and relationships after hardship happens. Sometimes they get there from the word ‘go’ while others may require more time to reach their destination. Having faith is often necessary to be successful and […]

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Disability is never cured with one pill alone

So it seems I’m on the warpath. It also appears that if you want to change things, you have to work very hard to get it done. And hope your adversaries are willing to at least listen for one second to what you have to say. Is it worth it? Not if your voice is […]

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