Not quite running with the bulls!

There is a famous event that is held each year in the town of Pamplona in Spain in which bulls are run through the streets and locals and tourists run ahead of them in a display of brovado and with a hit of adrenaline. It’s a tradition that has gone on for many years. Indeed, a quick check on the internet has informed that running with bulls is something that used to happen in England too, in Stamford, until 1837.

The reason I mention it is that I did something similar recently, but in a very Irish way! Bear with me on this one. No, I wasn’t running through the streets and I wasn’t taking my life in my hands being chased by bulls. Instead, I was at home visiting and went running a few mornings along the country lanes were I grew up and all I had for company around every corner were fields full of cows. So I guess technically I was more ‘running in fields of cows’ more so than ‘running with the bulls’.

I have to say it brought back an overwhelming amount of nostalgia and childhood memories. These roads and lanes and fields were the same roads and lanes and fields that I walked through and played in as a child decades ago. The smell of the country air, the cow manure and the wet soil as the sun warmed it up releasing its earthy aroma were like heavenly scents. Genuinely. I told some of my family this and they looked at me askance as though I were in the grip of a delirium. The cows also gave me a few sideways glances as I bade them a good morning.

There was such beauty in the landscape and everything was so lush and verdant it felt a little overwhelming. I don’t know if it is because I live in a built up cityscape but I was awe struck at just how beautiful my hometown was. I saw it in a way I never did when I was growing up there. I wonder if this is the same experience for everyone who returns to their homeland after being away, or is it because of my age (it’s the big five-oh in a few weeks! How am I turning 50? Let’s leave that for another blog though!), or is it simply that I do come from a place that is breathtakingly beautiful? Either way, it was a wonderful experience to be in the landscape and appreciating it.

Regrettably though, the reason for my visit wasn’t such a pleasant one. My mum has been back in hospital again for the last three weeks and so I have been back home for a week to see what I can do to help. A difficult task in the time of Covid. I am double vaccinated and doing regular rapid flow tests and I am extremely vigilant about hygiene and masks etc. So I headed home as I was needed to help out my sister, who has been shouldering a lot of the weight of mum’s care by virtue of geography – she lives near her. Not fair I know, and something I think about and worry about every day. I have huge pangs of guilt about my sister’s burden and not being nearer so I can do more but also about the fact that I want to be here (in Ireland, where I am writing this) with mum spending every minute that I can with her while I still can.

Unfortunately mum has something that no medicine can cure and that is simply old age. There are those who say that growing old is a privilege and I know that it is, because I’ve known those who didn’t get the chance to see it but someone much cleverer than myself once said that ‘growing old ‘ain’t for the faint hearted’ and boy isn’t that the truth. It is painful to witness and, I imagine, even more frightening to experience. I was lucky with this visit, as the hospitals had just started allowing one short daily visit by one person each day wearing PPE. So I got to see her and hold her hand and brush her hair and make her feel like she was loved and cared for and not so alone. A relief for both of us.

So whilst it has been great to see the motherland it’s been painful but precious to see the mother too! I’m leaving to return to London today and whilst I love living there and have a great family of friends and colleagues at QVC I really feel like, for the first time, I will be leaving a big piece of my heart with my family here at home.

I am so lucky though that I am able to return to London to a job that I love. I never stop giving thanks and showing gratitude for that. So I am even more grateful that this weekend I have so many great shows, including a launch of a Todays Special Value from Dyson on Friday evening. It’s the Dyson V11 Animal Cordless Vacuum Cleaner. With its digital V11 motor and an LCD screen, it is designed to deep clean homes with pets! You get up to 60 minutes of fade free power so you really can take this wherever cleaning is needed, regardless of whether you are near a power socket or not! I’ve use this myself at home and it is, in my opinion, one of the greatest corbels vacuums on the market.

Like all things designed by Dyson, it has such a beautiful, sleek aesthetic and is perfect for picking up animal hair, dust and debris everywhere in your home!

It is also available to pre-order right now on the website with a saving of nearly £100 compared to our regular QVC price and available on five, yes five, Easy Pay interest-free instalments.

Why not join me for the pre-launch at 9pm on Friday 21st May and then again on Saturday 22nd at 5pm? It would be lovely to have your company.

Then on Sunday 23rd May at 5pm, I have a full hour of Korres who are also bringing us a Today’s Special Value. I love these guys and this brand. With this Today’s Special Value they are giving us the opportunity to try several of their great fragrances in one go.

There are three fragrances in total including a brand new Chamomile Tea fragrance as well as their bestselling Sea Salt and one that is perfect for summer, the crisp, fruity, Red Apple fragrance.

Each fragrance comes in a Shower Gel and a Body Cream so you can subtly fragrance layer, which in my opinion as a fragrance lover is one of the best ways to wear your fragrance in the summertime! You could also easily divide this into three great indulgent gifts.

All of that and we also have an Auto Delivery option too where you can get the entire Todays Special Value, at the same price, delivered to you again in 60 days, so you never need to run out!

Join me in Sunday at 5pm for that!

Time for me to start packing and saying goodbye to this lush and verdant land that is home. I also need to say goodbye to the cows who have become so accustomed to seeing me running, and taking pics of them this week. I’ll be winging my way across the skies today and onto your screens tomorrow (Friday).

Until then, take care of yourselves (and any of your older relatives too).

Miceal Xxx

8 Responses

  1. Dear Miceal
    I have been really moved by your blog today. Parents are a great source of love and strength in our lives , and with that love ,comes the heartache of seeing them become vulnerable.
    It is a real blessing that you were able to spend time caring for your mum, she will hold that special time together in her thoughts, as I m sure you will too.
    My dad has Alzheimer’s and is in a care home, time is very precious and I am thankful for every minute we can see each other.
    It’s difficult to look forward and emotional to look back, but aren’t t we fortunate that we have them.
    Thinking of you.
    Anita X

  2. Lovely tribute to your mum and of course your homeland . How I wish I could visit Howth and Dalkey but this year and last not possible : feel nostalgic looking at the photos even the plane crossing the Emerald Isle . Erin’s green valleys – how magnificent . Sla’n .

  3. Sorry to hear about your Mum. Love to all your family and keep well. I always talk to the animals, I think they understand more than we appreciate. I reckon the tone of your voice tells them if you are friend or foe!

  4. Hi Miceal,
    Ireland both north and south is beautiful, you’re right. So glad you were able to see your mum again but not pleasant circumstances. It’s very true what you say about both the privilege and the weight to both the person and family though of old age. It can be all consuming and age the family no end but at the same time you wouldn’t not do it. Take care of your sister and yourself x

  5. I know what you mean about going home and the smell of cows and earth I feel exactly the same with sheep I am originally from a small valley in Cumbria near Keswick, forget about the views it is the smell gets you every time it means home. People think you are mad so I am glad their is someone else.
    Wishing you and your family best wishes stay strong.

  6. A very heartfelt blog and I send my prayers for you, your Mum and your sister.I lost both my parents before they were 70, neither experiencing the trauma of extreme old age. Take care, be kind to yourself and know many people are thinking of you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.