Bloom, Bray and Boats

Some background: In case you're wondering why I did all this on a weekend when I was feeling very ill and when my son was counting down the days to the start of his state exams this week: I decided that I could be happy and ill with Smiley in the sunshine or miserable and ill and under pressure at home. So with the help of Angel, we made sure that my son had company at all times and Smiley and I got out. Also in the back of my mind is the new Capacity Act and its implications that Smiley could be removed from my care if I can't prove in Court that I am giving her a good enough 'Good Life.'


I was prepared to dislike Bloom intensely. An artificial festival about plants that I expected to be expensive, crowded and beset by traffic jams. But I gave in a few years ago when I was stuck in Dublin on a sunny Bank Holiday weekend and I needed an alternative to the Henry Street shops for Smiley.  As always I was anxious that first time, wondering if it would be disability friendly or more stressful that I could tolerate. But I needn't have worried, it always seems well organised and they look after disability fairly well - free parking close to the event, no queues for the disabled toilets, and enough space to get around on the (bumpy) paths. It has so much to offer too: a wonderful music tent (where we spend most of our time), lots of places to buy coffee and cake, an amazing food market, playground, even a science display, and of course all the show gardens and lots and lots of opportunities to buy plants (we bypassed that section since my fingers tend to be more brown than green).

The Breast Cancer awareness garden

Our favourite coffee place
My favourite garden

Smiley enjoying the music tent

The fabulous food market


On Sunday we went to the Vintage Car Rally in Bray Co. Wicklow, with a lot of great help and advice from Twitter about accessibility, disabled parking space and toilets. All are there, even on the sea front, but they fill up on busy sunny days, like this one. We ended up parking in a housing estate and walking into town. I must've sweated pounds.

So why vintage cars? I used to be a car nut until I had to get a wheelchair accessible vehicle, and occasionally I still take an interest. Besides a good day out was promised. That we had.

It's all in the pose!

The best ice cream ever?

My first car. Almost.

I want this one, Mum!


I hate to say it, but I'm always a bit disappointed by this event.

Perhaps because I'd rather be doing the Dublin Women's Mini Marathon that is on at the same time - they won't let me push Smiley round, even though she'd love it. I've asked. But it got us out for a couple of hours and the ships looked fabulous in the sunshine.

I'm not sure how I'm going to top this next weekend...


  1. That's a lot in one weekend; great that you both got out to enjoy the weather, I hope you are feeling better now.

  2. And will we all be brought to court to prove our provision of 'good life', I wonder.....My children have never got a weekend packed full of lovely things like you did! I absolutely love the photos.Very best of luck to your son and I hope you're feeling better.

  3. That's like a week's holiday in a weekend. I'm impressed. Looks fun too.

  4. Sounds like a wonderful weekend! Sorry to hear you were unwell and sorry that I wasn't here when you were in Bray! Parking on Bray seafront is now very difficult, every day of the week it seems :( xx

    1. Every day :( That sucks :( Anyway I hope to be back with Smiley as we both enjoyed it xx

  5. I got to the coffee and cake pic and just stayed there!!!
    Smiley has such a beautiful face - that shows a lovely personality.
    Ok, I know our kiddos drive us to DISTRACTION but at the end of the day, we love them.

    Hope the exams are going ok. Stress, stress and eh Stress.
    Thankfully, Paul's exams are over and he'll get his degree classification at the end of the week. He thinks he'll get a 2:2 - Which is good.
    And brilliant considering all the problems we had in his last year of school, when he was told he'd gone as far as he could.
    Ah well - onwards, upwards and try not to fall off my broomstick!!!

    1. We do love them, absolutely and good luck to Paul with his results x

  6. Looks like Smiley had a fantastic time - I am disturbed to read the para at the top about the New Capacity Act.
    Photos wonderful
    I hope you are feeling a little better for getting out.
    Good luck for the exam period. x

    1. Thank you, I'm beginning to feel better (touch wood) and the exams are going better than expected x