This is the post excerpt.


A week ago I attended the first ever viewing in Northern Ireland of ‘Generation zapped’ hosted by ‘Blushield UK’

Now, anyone who knows me

knows how I love my mobile phone. How I merit restaurants, hotels and places that have free WiFi accordingly .

I never really gave WiFi much of a thought other than it was a gift from the skies and it meant I could contact anyone, anywhere at anytime.

Now within a week my relationship with WiFi , 3G , 4G and anything wireless has been altered . Generation Zapped is not just a documentary, which reveals that wireless technology can pose

serious health risks, from infertility to cancer. According to the world health organisation it’s a wake up

call for society today . It is a thought provoking documentary that raises issues not just with radiation and the health risks but also the relationships between the government agencies and mobile phone companies … it highlights the campaigns and research that has occurred over the 30 Years In order to change laws , educate people and keep our children safe.

The documentary covered DNA chain breaks , increased blood brain-barrier permeability , disruption to brain glucose metabolism , creation of stress proteins and disruption of cell metabolism. Displaying symptoms especially in children such as fatigue, irritability, headaches and digestive disorders.

Since the viewing I have discussed the documentary with colleagues and friends. I received various responses. Many people interested in hearing more , some responding with ‘ is there such a thing? ‘ and the cynics ‘ that’s just rubbish and there is just no

proof ‘ or’ that’s just in US’

Well I am interested to hear more … what real option do I have ? My only goal as a mother is to protect my children from harm and raise them so that they don’t have to recover from their childhood.

One of the things made clear in the documentary is that a WiFi classroom is like the inside of a microwave oven set on very low power. That our children are exposed to that WiFi radiation six hours a day everyday, five days and week and for several months of the year. Are our school principals aware of this? The mobile phone /laptop companies have disclaimers written in the device settings but do our Education Authorities have disclaimers for exposing children to WiFi within schools ?

That along with the WiFi on their phones and laptops at home and the increased usage of these devices puts the fear of God in me for our children’s future.

Like me, my children love their technology. They have used it to help them with their education and I too know the benefits of using iPads within my classroom . It opens up a new world for education, however to what cost ?

Those children suffering from anxiety , headaches , chronic fatigue in schools could they be suffering from EMF?

Surely it is our job as parents and practitioners to find out how to prevent the growing risks for

our children ?

At the screening Blushield

Invited myself and my children to act out photo shoot for their NI launch. Seen below I am protecting my children from WiFi radiation. Since then I have taken it a step further … not only do I switch WiFi off in my house at night , remove mobile devices from the children’s and my own bedroom but I have managed to get the School I teach in to lead the way here in NI as the first school to turn the School into a ‘blu zone’

What this means is Blushield will install a device that will omit a different frequency through active scalar energy that is within the natural rhythms of universe (Schumann resonance). The children’s bodies will then choose to resonate with this natural frequency and ‘almost’ becoming invisible to the EMF frequencies.

This is a technique used by the US army during the Iraq war to protect the

For more information about a solution to this growing problem check out http://www.blushield-uk.com/

Apparently my mothering created anxiety. Blog1

School anxiety is awful for children and heartwrenching for parents . As a parent who is coming out the other side of walking my child through his anxiety issues I have become more aware of anxiety not just in school but even within families and everyday life situations . And one thing is clear to me anxiety doesn’t always look the same. Sometimes it will dress itself up as illness (headaches, tummy aches), sometimes as a tantrum or fierce defiance, and sometimes it looks exactly as you would expect.

Throughout my own experience parenting a child with severe anxiety. I personally have dealt with professionals and agencies who to my face told me my sons anxiety was a result of my ‘mothering’ and I deliberately say ‘mothering’ as for some reason parenting in this instance didn’t involve the dads approach. My son has been called ‘ lazy ‘ ‘ spoilt ‘ ‘undisciplined’ and possibly ‘asd ‘

But I am now ready to say what I always believed that school anxiety is not ….

I have been thinking and considering writing this blog now for three years. Anyone who knows me will know for three years I have been pretty much consumed with dealing with , learning about and supporting my child through anxiety. One thing I can say for sure is separation anxiety and school anxiety have absolutely nothing to do with behaviour, defiance or poor parenting. Nothing at all. You can be sure that parents dealing with school anxiety have already tried the tough love thing, even if only out of desperation. It’s understandable that they would. They’d try anything – any parents I know are pretty amazing like that. 

In fact without mentioning any service in particular I was told that any parent dealing with school refusers or a child with a parental attachment must take time off work in order to help their child , basically there was no on the ground support therefore time off work was exactly what I had to do .

On reflection I now realise why getting tough didn’t and was never going to work . School anxiety isn’t a case of ‘won’t’, it’s a case of ‘can’t’. It’s anxiety. It’s a physiological response from a brain that thinks there’s danger. Sometimes like my sons case anxiety was driven by the fear that something will happen to the absent parent. Sometimes it’s not driven by anything in particular.

When anxiety appears, the fight or flight response is triggered and the body is automatically surged with chemicals to deal with the perceived threat.

In teaching….. increasingly more, I see the early warning signs of anxiety developing in children in my class ..

In school it can look like a tantrum (fight) or resistance (flight). It’s the brain on high alert . This is why tough love, punishment or negotiation just won’t work. If a child is in that mode , no amount of any of that will help .

When you’re dealing with an anxious child, you’re dealing with a brain that will fight with all their might just to keep him or her safe. The child is not going to back down because of some teacher is saying tough words or tough consequences. 

The good news and the reason I am now writing a blog about this is that there are a small number of people who have come out and verbalised their own experiences with anxiety.

Recently I read a book by Al Minnie … called ‘ Over come or succumb’ After reading it I wanted to message Al and thank him for writing his book and giving me a deeper insight into fear and how he overcome it .

With the magic of social media I was able to message him and ended up disclosing my own sons situation and how much I have tried to help him .

Al can only really be described as a cool dude .. ironically too cool

For school ! Lol 😂 So cool in fact that a few weeks later this arrived at my door .

‘Confident Kris’ written by Al

What his book does is empower children. I felt great relief that there was someone who had not just used their experience to reach out to children but someone who recognised that children are capable of overcoming their anxiety issues themselves if they are empowered to do so . So the children who I teach now at age 7 that are beginning to feel like they have no control Al has in a small , light and charming book has given them a friend .what Kris’s character does for the parent is allow us the opportunity to explain to kids how anxiety works which will demystify what they’re experiencing .

I know only too well that different approaches suit different children and their parents but what I do know is after reading it with my class that ‘Confident Kris’ spoke to them at their level .

Already the children are asking to hear more about Kris . One child said ‘ it’s like Kris is talking to me ‘

As a teacher I feel equipped to help the children now with a little help from various techniques such as CBT and mindfulness which I have trained myself in but now along with Kris as their friend I hope to cover more children’s anxieties . As a parent I’m relieved that there is a book now targeted at younger children experiencing the beginnings of anxiety and self esteem issues .

Mother’s ruin

Mother’s Ruin

I was 20 years old when I tasted my first gin. A student budget had meant I was restricted to consuming liebfraumilch and beer until one night, my friend Robbie decided we should have a “sophisticated” drink..

That’s when Gin entered my scene. I had of course heard of it prior to that. Both my mum and Nanny always had a ‘wee gin at night’. In fact my Nanny, who was a pioneer 🙄 once took on the nurses in the hospital when they told her she couldn’t have a gin before bed. She insisted it was for medical purposes .

Of course to some extent she was right .sure, we all know Gin started out as a medicine – but then as history tells us it became ‘Britain’s first drug craze ‘

Gin became the poor man’s drink or as some called it ‘Mother’s ruin’

It was cheap, and some workers were given gin as part of their pay .

There is so much online you can find out about the history of gin. However,….. gin and I have our own personal history .

William Hogarth’s Gin Lane (1751)

I have enjoyed a glass of Gin and tonic during holidays abroad, apres ski in the alps, by a fire in Donegal, by the Lough shores of Fermanagh, at funerals, weddings and sometimes a sneaky one once I have finally got my children to bed .

Both refreshing and comforting, Gin has been a good friend to me.

So to hear of the relaunch of Belfast Gin 1912 was intriguing and it really didn’t take much persuading to attend the first ‘Belfast Gin School’.

I have attended wine tasting, beer festivals and whiskey distillery tours but never a Gin school . It appealed to the educationalist in me to recruit some fellow teachers.

… Blaklist tastefully lit up with its vintage surroundings the school has no bells and whistles. In fact it felt like the best staff development afternoon ever.

Ian Killen started his ‘ gin’ project in 2009 and his wife Gillian and himself spoke personally about their journey throughout the Gin discovery and developing process. All beginning with a fascinating story of Ian and Gillian who moved into a new house in Portaferry and discovering three items behind a mirror during a refurbishment of a bedroom.

The first was a picture of a young man, the second was a newspaper page and a handwritten note with a recipe on it.

The newspaper was dated 16th April 1912 ironic it’s the very date I post this blog .

The date significant of course because it had the whole story of the Titanic sinking on it.

The piece of paper found had a recipe scribbled on it . Which turned out to be a recipe for gin . From then on Ian and Gillian had embarked on a Belfast story of their own .

What was lovely about the Gin school wasn’t just hearing the personal stories but the observing of Ian going through the process of distilling the gin, the interesting introduction to various gin mixtures from Antony and then the facts about flavour and distilled percentages. The best bit ….. gin sipping .

It has been quite incredible hearing people’s reactions when I say I went to ‘Gin school’. I just hope Ian and Gillian have enough distilled for Belfast newest craze taking off !

I have a feeling tickets to the next school will be hard to get !

Check out ‘ Belfast Gin and spirits school ‘ on Facebook for more events .

Or follow Blaklist on insta or Facebook .

The home of hats.

Over time the loss of a loved one leaves a person with faded memories. Memories that fade in and out of your mind. However, I have one very strong memory of my mother and that was her love for hats . Always a stylish way with her … She was of a era of woman who knew how to pick out a hat for all occasions.

As a result all kinds of hats always floated around our home ..and I grew up feeling that hats made people happy and feel important . In fact it was during an experience today that I realised why I had created a literacy hat and a numeracy hat for children to wear in my class .

Hats are dramatic.

They focus you on the occasion and they complete the statement your outfit makes .

So I was rather excited to visit the newly established hat hire place on the outskirts of Belfast .

The Hat House , Glenavy.

Whether you fancy bringing some old school glamour to a wedding outfit, or the horse racing at Down Royal, If you’ve a wedding or two coming up this year, Martina McCann has opened her doors for advice of that essential part of a lady’s wardrobe:


Now, I’m not particularly into fashion shopping and I certainly couldn’t afford to be but , I do like an experience and adventure and that’s exactly what visiting The Hat House was .

In stunning surroundings over looking Lough Neagh, I approached The Hat House already buzzing with my senses. The view of the Lough, the lavender bushes . I was at ease before meeting Martina for the first time .

I was greeted with hats, furs , fascinators, crowns, jewellery and handbags tastefully set out appropriately as they were each a work of art. I couldn’t help but think how much my mum would have loved to spend the day trying on each of Martina’s hats .

As Martina talked me through her collection and helped me determine what would be best suited for my occasion it was clear she knew her fashion. She spoke passionately about her suppliers and of dresses and outfits that work well with particular items.

However the big tick for me is that not only could I hire my hat from a room that looked like the interior of the Merchant hotel ! but I was able to accessorise with a bag and jewellery too. My searching was done for me…..all in one visit .

The only downer is that I have only one wedding to attend … I may have to plan my own special event just so I can visit again !

Check out the pictures of some of the collection. (MARC Millinery ,Julie Kenny Designs, KJ Millinery, Susan Magee Millinery to name a few )

The Hat House definitely worth a visit now that the Spring season has kicked started race days and weddings etc …

Oh and yes I stopped in Clenaghans on my way home for a dessert, just to address all my senses #yum.

The Hat House : 24 Ballyvannon Road, Glenavy BT29 4QJ

To book an appointment Call Martina : 07889 082085

Teachers Escape

Where do you think a group of tired teachers who need to chill, chat , eat and have a laugh experience the ‘Best Night in the World?’

As a staff team usually once a month we try and test bars, restaurants and occasionally hotels across Northern Ireland. However arriving at school on Monday morning after our latest ‘teacher escape’ we are able to reveal a clear winner! It’s official, the Best Night Out In The World

* drum roll*

#tensquare *vegas suite*

Yep, no need to travel too far .. an overnight bag , swimsuit and a group of excited female teachers hit Friday night as tourists in Belfast . Ten square is the place to be for a ‘teachers escape’ .

I am no stranger to Ten Square and have even blogged in the past about being with my husband and being a tourist in our own city. However this time was very different .

This was a pyjama party for adults and the excitement began as soon as it was Booked.

I was the first to arrive at the hotel and then to suite and

‘Wow’ nothing quite like the Vegas suite to transform you from the classroom to a different world . One of the best parts of the experience was then seeing the reactions of each of the group arriving .

With dinner booked for 6pm the fizz was opened and our wind down had begun . Which mostly involved exploring the suite , looking at the view of Belfast and deciding who was sleeping where .

Most comments involved a ‘ wow’ or ‘ I love the …’ the suite is faultless . Soft grey carpets and tastefully matched interior meant the suite was modern and relaxing . Two large bathrooms with walk in showers with neatly laid out towels gave it a five star for Friday night luxury . The suite was perfectly positioned on the same level to the loft bar which meant easy access to a rooftop bar , to drinks and ice when required .

We were made welcome on arrival to ‘Jospers’ restaurant to a ten seated table surrounded with art by Vincent Mcallister . Pictures that left us in no doubt we weren’t in Vegas but very much in Belfast .and of course the staff room chat had turned to laughing and banter . Within an hour of arriving we had all relaxed and forgotten about our teacher lives and working week .

The menu was diverse and suited everyone within the party . The staff were welcoming , confident , friendly and also helpful regarding choices . In particular allergies and vegetarian options .

The atmosphere was relaxed and surroundings airy and spacious . However we weren’t for sitting around , as our suite was really the place we wanted to be .

A cocktail in the loft for dessert and then it was back to the Vegas suite for open air hot tub .

Throughout my teaching career I have been on many’s a staff night out , Christmas , leaving do’s , first Fridays ( payday) end of term events etc …. but I couldn’t help but look at my colleagues chatting and laughing in the hot tub with music playing and thinking ‘ what an excellent way for a teacher to escape their week’ .

I must thank the staff and management for our experience . There is no doubt the hotel industry is booming within the city however Ten Square is perfectly located in the heart of Belfast and with three different bars, live music , function rooms , Vegas suite and various other suites Ten square is a very attractive place to be for tourists and locals .

Monday morning – first comment of the day was- ‘ when can we do that again ?’