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New life begins at forty

They say that life begins at 40. But for many, the big four-oh looms before us, acting as a deadline for all the things we want to do or feel we should have done by then. It is the ultimate fertility deadline for most women and many approaching 40 are giving it one last shot before it’s too late. Continue Reading →

National Infertility Day Ireland

Nobody expects to be in for the long haul when they start trying for a baby. It is supposed to be a time of great hope and anticipation, when you start planning your new lives together. It is true that having a baby changes your life, but not having one changes it so much more. Sadly, this is something that one in six couples will find out.

Before I became that statistic, I never thought too much about it. Although infertility was a fear, it was not something that bore heavily on me – at least, only to the extent that I didn’t want to put off having children for too long, just in case. I didn’t know anyone who was infertile so I could only guess at how hard it might be. Continue Reading →

When IVF is not the answer

Everybody knows somebody suffering from infertility. With one in six couples affected, there is someone in your family, your circle of friends, your office that is struggling to deal with this. For some, a simple medical procedure or the right drugs will do the trick; for others, it can mean year after year of failed treatments with no explanation why.

IVF is often hailed as a cure-all, the solution that couples turn to when all else has failed. It is not an easy procedure physically, emotionally or financially and, with only a 25% success rate, it does not always provide a happy ending. Continue Reading →

A brief history of (my) trainers

I have always been a trainers girl. I love the look, the feel and the smell of them. From the day I graduated from Dunnes best to Gola Harriers, I have worn my trainers with pride, a sure sign of the laid-back, considered dresser I imagine myself to be. Continue Reading →

Ready, Winning and Able

When the Irish Paralympic team returned from Beijing in 2008 with three gold medals, one silver and a bronze, the public started to take notice. Expectations were high for London 2012 but very few people predicted the final tally of sixteen medals – eight gold, three silver and five bronze. Double gold medal winners, Mark Rohan, Jason Smyth and Michael McKillop became household names last summer while the whole Paralympic team stole the hearts of the Irish public. The 2012 Sports Sentiment Index (a survey that looks at attitudes to sport) found that the Irish Paralympics team was the public’s “Team of the Year”. Continue Reading →

How have women’s lives changed in a generation?

In 1970, Ireland was a very different country for women. A woman could not sit on a jury or keep her job in the public service when she got married. She could not buy contraceptives, refuse marital relations with her husband, live in a different place to him, get a barring order against him or divorce him. Just over a quarter of women had jobs outside the home and those that did could expect to earn about half as much as men. Continue Reading →

Kirsty Wark

“Why would it be antithetical to feminism to be interested in style, in design, in line and colour and cut? Why would a desire to feel good about yourself, to look modern, be at odds with feminism? Look at Simone de Beauvoir! She looked fabulous.”

Kirsty Wark in the Guardian.

Isabel Marant

‘You want to look good but you don’t want to spend too much time on it. I will always go to things that make me feel comfortable. Every morning when I open my cupboard I need some clothes, I don’t need some clothes to go to awards or whatever, because it’s once a year.’

Isabel Marant in the Telegraph. Spot on. Now, if only she can rationalise the price part of her designs.

Infertility is not a choice but treatment should be

Infertility is a medical condition. If you have not conceived after 12 months of trying, you can go to your GP, get a referral to a specialist, have some tests done and get a diagnosis such as low sperm count, blocked tubes or polycystic ovaries. At this stage, your specialist can recommend fertility treatment for your medical condition but only if you stump up your own cold, hard-earned cash. Our public health service can bring you as far as a diagnosis of infertility but it will not treat it. If you don’t have the money, your diagnosis is simply the end of the line. Continue Reading →

How to dress for spring when it still feels like winter

All it took was a few mild days in late February to turn our thoughts to brighter, lighter clothes. Changing from a coat to a jacket, from a boot to a shoe and from black to blue represents a change in fortune, that longer, warmer, happier days are on their way. One sunny day and our optimism knows no bounds; a dark, wet day and we can’t imagine it any other way. We were up and now we are down again. Back in the winter woollies and wondering how we can dress optimistically in minus degrees. Continue Reading →