Wednesday, 23 October 2013

This little piggy went to (the Milk) Market!

I always try and live every day as a bit of an adventure. That means meeting new people and trying new things but also having fun routines. Whilst uncertainty and surprises are a basic human need, so are routines and certainties. Both combined in the right amounts make for a happier, more fulfilled you!

One of my ‘adventurous’ routines before heading to my office on a Saturday afternoon is a Lunch date with the fabulous ‘Milk Market’ in Limerick. This place is truly magical and since I’m not from Limerick originally, I should be trusted to say it with less bias than the ever friendly locals.  J

The energy hits you like the incoming tide of the Shannon, starting from Cruises Street where 16 new stalls put there recently guide you gently to the corner of Robert Street. From there to the Milk Market marquee it is a hustle and bustle of ‘all kinds of everything’ and there is generally a packed but easy going atmosphere about the place. When you walk through one of the 2 arches into the core of the Market the sounds and smells are an eclectic mix.

Like most people I wander round but have my favourite stalls. There are a couple of fellow Belgians, Helen & Daniel who run the very popular Flying Cheese Brigade. I won’t tell you my favourite cheese is Old Bruges in case they run out of it before I get there.

I looooooove the Tartiflette Sébastien and Kasia sell in Bon-Appétit Crêperie and devoured that for Lunch last Saturday.

I must try the Wood Fired Pizzeria goodies one of these Saturdays and let you know what they are like. On top of all the food (and you can get anything from Indian curries to Sushi) it is also the place to get your freshest fruit and vegetables.

Two more things I want to mention on this trip to the Milk Market. Valerie O’Connor recently started the ‘Limerick Food Trail’ centred on but not limited to the Market. I am going to join her one of these weeks and fill you in but if the feedback is anything to go by it is a ‘must’ for any foodie visiting Limerick or living here.

Finally no trip to the Milk Market is complete without a visit to Harper’s Café! Chef and Barista Maria and her team of the friendliest staff make you smile by simply bringing together the experience with a blend of conviviality and good Coffee (or Tea)!

So next time you’re in Limerick on a Saturday morning, step away from the greasy plate and visit the Milk Market between 8 and 3. You’ll thank me for it!  

Friday, 11 October 2013

Control the Controllables.

I have to credit the title of this post to Gerry Duffy and his excellent book ‘Tick, Tock, Ten’. He used this phrase describing ways to stay in control when he seemingly had lost control of certain functions during his Deca-Ironman event in the UK. For the curious among you a Deca Ironman is 10 Ironman races in 10 consecutive days with a time limit on each day.

This phrase is quite useful for most of us in everyday life as well. How often do you feel out of control? You feel others are dictating your pace, your wellbeing, your stress levels, your workload, your financial security or even your peace of mind. We feel lost and out of control and seek solace talking about his with our peers or escape the real world through TV, food, alcohol or drugs to give but a few examples.

So here we are letting others dictate how we feel.  Is that what we really want? What would it mean to be back in control of almost all things in life? Is that possible? Yes it is.

Simply answer the following questions for yourself each time you feel a situation is out of your control:

What can I DO about this situation to make it better for me?

 What is the outcome I WANT from this situation?

How do I NEED to react to achieve that outcome?

The honest answers to these questions (which may include asking for help from others) should give you a level of control back over any situation. You choose how to react in order to get the outcome you want. Do this often enough and it will become a habit. A habit of being in control regardless.

How would that feel?

Have a wonderful day.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Everyone you meet knows more than you do!

You have met people like me, maybe you are like me. I do it in my business; others do it at home or in their club or organisation. They are not just DIY people, they are DIAY people; Do It All Yourself!

This goes from fixing your own boiler, to cutting your own hair, to writing your own CV, to doing the admin for the club you are in, to doing the accounts for the local charity, to covering HR and stationary and IT and admin in your business.  Nothing wrong with this until you come under scrutiny. The boiler breaks down and your fixing costs you extra in parts and warranty, you miss a bit and your hair looks like the front lawn, you get no answers to the CV’s you send out, you delete half the membership of the club by accident, the Revenue audits the charity accounts or you do a bit of everything in your business except getting new clients.

Then we cry out for the help of an expert, when the damage is done. Here’s my point: ‘Everyone I meet knows more than me.’ By engaging the services of an expert, I free up my time to do what I am best at and I save on correcting the mistakes I make. Using experts saves time and money.

So next time you have a job to do at home, in your club or organisation or in your business just ask yourself what the benefits would be of getting an expert to do it and what the consequences would be of messing it up. Then make up your mind.

I have, simply by giving me more time to do what I love and by cutting out all the mistakes I have made, I give the thumbs up to using experts both at home and in the business.

Have a great weekend J