Family and home

So, I took the plunge recently and I went home to Ireland to visit my mum and family. I was trepidatious, to say the least, given everything that has been going on. My concerns were on a few levels. Firstly, travelling and going through airports and getting on planes. What would that be like? What precautions would airlines and other travellers be taking? Would people wear masks? How close would we all have to get to each other? Could I possibly catch the virus?

Secondly, and most importantly, would I possibly carry anything home to mum and therefore infect her? She is 82 and has her own health issues already so this was a massive concern.

Thirdly, would I get home and end up being quarantined there! I worried about this a lot and I debated and deliberated for the longest time. In the end though, I felt her desire to see me and my need to see her were too great and for all our sakes I booked the flight and off I went last week.

I chose to fly into Belfast city in Northern Ireland rather than Dublin in the Republic of Ireland in order to mitigate against any possible quarantine issues. My family live in Northern Ireland, that’s where I grew up, but I always tend to fly into Dublin because I have friends and family there too, so I can often catch up with them on a trip home as well and squeeze the maximum out of every trip.

Having just returned from my visit I am so glad that I went. We had such a lovely time. The weather was perfect. It was sunny and warm with blue skies every day. I hired a car and we went out on day trips to local towns and villages nearby. We saw the sea and we talked and laughed. It was heaven.

I got to see my sister and my nephews and niece as well as they are all in mum’s ‘bubble’. It really couldn’t have worked out better.

Mum was in great spirits and I made sure we got out in the car every day as she had been trapped at home for so long. I could see the joy in her that she was able to get out regularly and she even commented before I left about how we had spent hardly any time at home. (We were mostly in the car, but I always made sure we had masks and kept safe distances from others were possible).

We sat by the sea shore and watched the boats coming in, drove along the coastline with the seagulls flying alongside us and nestled ourselves at the foot of a beautiful mountain with the sun shining on is as we had hot mugs of tea and fresh baked scones. (Mum made sure she had on her Ultrasun and wore her JPE Fitovers to protect her skin and her eyes when we were outside in the sun!)

Mum and I even lay down in the grass under the shade of a ‘fairy tree’ and had a little nap together as she used my arm for a pillow. We laughed so much about that later as I kept telling her we were like a couple of hippies communing with nature.

It has done my heart good, both literally and figuratively, to have seen the family and spent time with them.

I was concerned we might go into another lockdown soon and I might not get to see mum for a long time (it was Christmas the last time I saw her). My well of joy and gratitude has been refilled, so for now I have plenty of lovely memories to keep me going until the next time we see each other again.

I felt so emotional leaving her. It’s always a wrench at the best of times, but particularly so this time as we don’t know when the next time will be. So, I am glad I made the decision to go and I’m even more glad we wrung every ounce of fun, joy and laughter out of the time we had together. My cup runneth over. I feel like a very lucky man right now. (My trip home has done nothing for my Covid Belly that I have acquired over lockdown. Lol. This trip, however, was not the time to be worried about that!)

It is as true today as when Judy Garland said it in The Wizard of Oz way back in 1939, ‘There’s no place like home’.

I loved every minute of being back in my homeland and remembering how beautiful it is but it’s also true to say that I am always glad to get back to my own home. My home is truly my sanctuary. I am a bit of a homebody, as they say. I love being at home, making a home, decorating a home. It is my safe space from the world. I can be myself there. (The say it’s because I’m a Cancerian, apparently).

So many of us are spending so much more time there these days that I feel it is really important that we feel good about the space we are inhabiting.


There is nothing quite like a cosy home and if you feel the same then Cozee Home is a must-have for you. I am going to be on air with Deborah Leigh on Sunday at 9pm launching a brand new Today’s Special Value offer from the brand (available all day Monday) that gives us three separate throws for use around the home with a variety of colours to choose from.

I tried out the taupe option and there’s isn’t a room I haven’t used them to dress, they are great finishing touches to the aesthetic of the room but are also really practical for creating cosines and warmth.  As a runner in the bed they add an extra layer of texturing and a feeling of luxury and indulgence and I have found them perfect for quick naps or as an extra layer. I paired the taupe throw with some taupe bedding from the Kelly Hoppen range and the two work great together.

What’s wonderful about them is that you can play with them and experiment and move them around from room to room as your needs dictate. They also come individually bound in a thick grosgrain ribbon, so if you wanted to give them as gifts to people you could also do that!

With Cozee Home there really is no place like home!

Until next time,

Miceal. X

28 Responses

  1. So glad you saw your Mum, Miceal, and had a lovely time with her. I saw my dad (in the nursing home) at the weekend for the first time since February – so emotional. As you say, we have to make the most of every moment we can spend with them because we have no idea what tomorrow may bring. Hold on to the happy memories until you can be together again. Lots of love xxx

  2. Hi Miceal, so good to know that you are well and were able to enjoy some quality time with your Mum and family and above all that you travelled and returned safely. Your beard really suits you. I wonder what your Mum thinks of it.
    Keep safe and well.
    best wishes

  3. Ah what a lovely post Miceal. You obviously love your Mam and family very much. I’m so pleased you have been able to spend some quality time with them and I hope you will get to do the same again in the not too distant future. Friends and family are everything and time spent with them feeds the soul.

  4. I really enjoyed the honesty in your ‘stories’ It was heartening & uplifting to hear about your trip back to see your family & homeland. It obviously sounds as if it has done you the world of good Miceal.

  5. I am glad you had such a lovely time with your family, Miceal! Every word you said about visiting your Mum and family resonates with me as I live apart from my family in London while Mum lives on her own in Croatia and this year has been so hard. I don’t think I’ll be able to see her this year with everything that is going on but as soon as this is over I know we’ll have a wonderful time together. Thank you for sharing such a heart warming story!😊

  6. Hi Miceal ! What a wonderful heartfelt blog. So enjoyed reading. Your family obviously mean the world to you and you to them. (A picture paints a thousand words, and I just love the one of you and your beautiful mum laughing and looking so lovingly at each other !) One of the positives that we can derive from the last few months is the importance of love; love and family really because these two always go together ! Time spent with your loved ones is always time well spent, and you can bank those memories forever. Thank you for sharing Miceal and love, and hugs to your mother, she looks so precious and adorable !

  7. I’m so pleased you made the big step to go & see your mum, it is very difficult knowing if you are doing right or wrong but seeing your pictures warmed my heart so all of yours must be bursting… I work in nursing & stopped seeing everyone! I had 2 weeks off recently I isolated for one so I could see my 90 year old mum at last on the second week, unfortunately her health is deteriorating rapidly & we can’t take trips so your post truly gave me joy for you all.
    Thankyou & take care xox

  8. It really sounds like you had a lovely time, your mum looks so well, really hope you see each other again soon….. Lovely pictures to. Take care… Did your mum like your beard???…. It looks great XX

  9. You and your sister are very much like your mum it’s always good to see your mum I’m glad you went to see her and those scones looked very nice

  10. Hi Miceal what a lovely blog glad you went home to see your mum and family you are so lucky cherries your mum my mum and dad were the hub of my family and believe me when they are not there anymore it’s hard.But I also believe they are always with us family surely are very important to us. Your mum looks lovely and ho those scones lol. It did my heart good to read about your trip hopefully things will get a little better soon Hubby and me are back in lockdown again already been in for months hubby shielding due to having chemotherapy treatment for cancer not seen my son for nearly one year. We are praying for the day we can all come together again anyway that’s enough of my troubles lol but you all atQVC keep us going thankyou to you all Godbless Eileen and Hubby❤️❤️⭐️⭐️

  11. My daughter & were in the same position as yourself as they live in London & havent been home since Christmas so wonderful to see them & spend time with them.Happy you had a lovely time with your family & had good weather.Just lifts you after all the uncertainty & not being able to travel for months.Take care.x

  12. Hi Miceal great to see pictures of you and your family. After shielding for so long it’s good you have taken a trip home. It’s great to see you looking well. Take care

  13. Oh Miceal ! What a heartwarming post ! I brought a wee tear to my eye and a lump in my throat . I decided to visit my son who works in London and took the train from Glasgow and came back by plane . I’m so glad I did ! I had a great time and of course proceeded with caution . You and your mum looked so happy and life has to go on . Live and love in the moment and look forward with hope and optimism . Lots of love to you and your family x Shirley x

  14. Ah Miceal how lovely for you to finally get to see your beloved mum. Fantastic pictures of you both and you both look great. Really loving the beard, it really suits you. You are looking so well and i saw you on a TSV launch the other night looking very dapper and smart! xx

  15. Hi Miceal, read your blog, its so warm and heart felt.
    I’m really glad you were able to spend time with your Mum and had a wonderful time.

  16. Loved the blog . Where abouts in the north does your family live ? I am originally from Dungannon in Co Tyrone ,but I have lived in Birmingham for 57 years .

  17. On Miceal lovely blog of yourself Mum and sister looks like you had a great time over in your beloved home land take care and God Bessx

  18. What a beautiful blog the memories you have made are heart warming . I go to Ireland 4-5 times a year parents are from Donegal and Mayo theres something special about Ireland as you have shown keep well and just love the picture of you and mum lying together in the grass so loving needs a frame take care and stay safe kx

  19. There is one thing in the universe to make us feel whole again and that is a cuddle from your mammy!!

  20. Dear Miceal,
    What a great trip home you had and what beautiful weather. So pleased for you to return home filled with such joy in your heart and some warm memories of your trip back home

  21. Hi Micael, So glad that you had a wonderful time at home with your Mum and other members of your family You come from a lovely Ireland, I have been twice, both with the exception of the weather, had a wonderful time, first time we stayed on the boarder Monahan not sure if I have spelt this correctly, loved it, the people where so friendly. We went with a purpose, my Grandma was born in Ireland, in 1864 and I wanted to find out about the family, we went to the B.D.M in Dublin, unfortunately there where that many people doing the same thing, people from all over the world, but mainly from U.SA, Canada, Australia, & New Zealand, so the people on the desks couldn’t spend much time with us. The second time my daughters took me round the Ring of Curry, for my eighth Birthday, the views and scenery will be with me forever. Well enough about me Micael, It was lovely reading about your trip home, you have a lovely family, your Mum must miss you a lot, and you her, what did she think if your chinny chin chin!!? I personally think you look older. but each to their own. I am glad you arrived back safe and sound, love you accent, remind me of my Gran. Hopefully it won’t be long before you can take another trip home. God Bless.

  22. Read your blog today. Really glad you were able to travel home and you found the family well. I hope it’s not long before you can visit again. Loving the Lola Rose show this evening.

  23. Hi Miceal, I’m so glad you plucked up courage to visit your beautiful Mum and your photos really show your love for each other.Whenever you can find the time or you have time off from work please visit your Mum as much as possible.I’m an only child and lost my Dad 13yrs ago and my Mum 5yrs ago and I can’t put into words just how lonely I am without them and would give anything to see them again..Although I have my own family consisting of 2 married Sons and twin Grandsons, my heart aches daily to have my Parents back.We are so busy with our working lives and time just whizzes by without us realizing it, for instance, where has this year gone?
    Hope you’re now keeping well Miceal and stay safe..Sending much love 😘😘😘😘😘

  24. Hi Miceal, l love your presenting and you always look so smart. I am glad you had such a wonderful time with your mum-they are very precious to us. By the way you look SO much more handsome without your beard don’t grow it again!!

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