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Never a-fu@%ing-gain!!!

Never a-fu@%ing-gain!! I preface a variety of conversations I am regularly involved in with that very Irish and very made up phrase. I feel it gives portrays real conviction to what I’m saying and when I say it mean it with all my heart. Now, the things I am talking about can vary from life and death situations, to listening, with genuine interest, to one of my dads jokes...his aim in life is to get you believing his tales are real life stories and then hit you with the very poor, and often drawn out punchline! I’m ashamed to say that even with nearly 40 years experience of the worlds worst ‘dad jokes’ under my belt he manages to succeed quite regularly.


One of my most recent ‘never a-fu@%ing-gain’ moments (although, I have them daily) was last weekend. I threw a surprise 40th for Derek (husband)..never a-fu@%ing-gain!!!!!!! I knew I would nail the “SURPRISE” element of the evening considering his actual birthday was in February (long story). It was EVERY other element of throwing a surprise party that had me up the walls. On top of which I’m sure Derek was starting to think I was having an affair with the amount of sneaky texts I was sending and how weird I was with my phone, it NEVER left my side. in the weeks leading up to the party, the odd occasion that I did leave it down and it beeped I suddenly drew strength and speed from thin air and trampled over my children to get to it asap.

On top of keeping it a secret from Derek I had to organise the whole thing in secret from the kids who would no doubt blab...that was almost impossible considering they were on their summer holidays and at least one of them seemed to be around whenever I had a call regarding the party. 8 year olds are smart so my feeble attempts at being cryptic by speaking in tongues failed. My only saving grace was the fact that it had been my sisters birthday a few weeks earlier so the plan to get Derek into his own party was to say that Claire was having a belated birthday dinner for herself..so all party talk, even if it didn’t make sense, was blamed on that.


There was only one place this party could take place. The best pub in the world. The upstairs of The Dame Tavern. Where else. We were treated like royalty and had THE BEST night. My overwhelming memory of the night however was relief! A friend of mine wondered how I was so stressed about the whole thing..”you plan events”. Yes, yes I do, which is why I naively thought this would be stress free...it was not. I panicked in case he found out and the surprise was ruined. I panicked in case I forgot to invite someone that should have been invited. I panicked in case the kids blabbed. I panicked in case Derek messed up the plan by deciding he didn’t want to go for Claire’s bday dinner. But mostly I panicked in case there was a tumbleweed situation in the party room and that the friends and family that had confirmed got a better offer and didn’t show up for the big reveal. I worried needlessly. It went off without a hitch...apart from someone cheers-ing to Derek’s birthday while we were having Claire’s fake birthday dinner before the party! I thought the cat was out of the bag but as Derek’s birthday was in February he really didn’t cop at all...thankfully the whole thing wasn’t blown minutes before the surprise.


So the bottom line is Never a-fucking-gain to surprise parties! My heart couldn’t take it!


Other never a-fucking-gain moments I have had include:


-Child Birth (I have three children so clearly I reneged on this declaration)

-Being bridesmaid at a wedding, or indeed attending a wedding, while pregnant (I seem to be pregnant at ALL weddings I attend!)

-Hangovers from hell (I make this promise more regularly than I care to admit)

-Getting my sister to cut my hair

-Going back to college...again!

-Sky diving

-Getting a bus in Fiji

-Eating pizza in Fiji

…...oh the list is endless…..



Crap dad joke alert as requested: you can blame my cousin Olivia Luc for this!

“I was just thinking about the ceiling there. I’m not sure if it’s the best ceiling in the world but it’s up there.” (Marty Whelan, 2019)




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