Hens on Tour

This time last week I was living it up in Portugal with 30 other women on a Hen weekend, what a difference a week makes!!

I got a 10 am flight to Faro airport, most of the others got a 6am flight but I like my sleep and can’t function that early in the morning so I got a later one. I arrived into Faro airport at about lunch time and got a coach to Albufeira, which I think took the scenic route because it seemed to take forever. When I got to the hotel I found my roomies and we followed the others into town where they went for a few drinks and then went back to the hotel get ready to go out. We were staying in a hotel with apartments, I volunteered to stay in the sitting room under the air-conditioning. The hotel was nice apart from the very aggressive and uncooperative hotel manager (it’s a long story). That night we headed into town.

The following day was spent beside the pool. With burns you are meant to avoid being out in the sun as your skin is more delicate and more likely to burn, and the heat can be difficult so I have never been on a sun holiday. Plus the fact that you are not walking around half naked like everyone else draws attention. I avoid the sun and heat. With 3rd degree burns your sweat glands are destroyed and don’t grow back, your sweat glands help to regulate your body temperature so it can be dangerous if you get too hot as it is difficult to cool down again. You can get very nauseous and your body has to work harder to cool down so it can be exhausting. It is also very easy to get Heat Stroke. The heat actually wasn’t too bad in Portugal though as there was a nice wind and I covered myself in factor 50 sun cream. Seemingly it was hotter at home. 🙂 I stayed under an umbrella beside the pool so my skin was fine. Had it been a hen party of a friend I wasn’t as close to I probably would’ve given Portugal a miss but I am very glad that I didn’t this time!! 🙂 I had a great weekend with lovely ladies, most of whom I knew but some who I didn’t. That night we went out for something to eat in a really nice pizza place and then to a very cool club across the road.


My roomies went home the next day so I was on my own in the apartment which I actually didn’t mind. The next day was spent beside the pool or sleeping, we were all beginning to fade at this stage. That night we went to an Irish bar for dinner and there was an Elvis impersonator, a very bad Elvis impersonator so bad that he was funny!! 🙂 I left early enough as I was exhausted from the heat so went to back to the apartment to pack.

We were picked up at 7:30 am the next morning for the airport, the flight was delayed for an hour which everyone was delighted about. In fairness I was fine just tired but there were a few ladies who were dying a slow and painful hangover death. 😦 It was a pretty uneventful flight home (thankfully) and we all went our seperate ways …… until the wedding.

When I was younger I never really felt I had much in common with other girls because my life was so different, for most girls when you are younger it is all about what you look like and boys.  I looked awful and boys didn’t want anything to do with me, they still don’t, so I had different priorities. Girls were often very competitive with each other too, something that I have never had much time or patience for. As I have gotten older though I have found that I have more in common with other women, as women grow up they develop different priorities and interests. I have realised that women are pretty amazing, we put up with a lot. Now I love spending time with other women so weekends away like this are great fun. It is very difficult to get so many of us together at once with babies and husbands and different work schedules so any time it happens is a novelty. 🙂




Let the wedding season commence

This weekend was my first wedding of the year!

I have 6  weddings to attend over the next few months 😮 It appears 30 is the year when everyone settles down, I enjoy having no responsibilities & still think that I’m 21 so this is majorly freaking me out! The last 10 years went right over my head. Mortgages, weddings, babies….. what?

It is an excuse to get 6 new dresses and shoes oh and have 6 weekends away (might aswell push the boat out). Oh and the hen parties 😉

I spent the weekend in Seafield Golf & Hotel Spa (which is amazing, pure luxury) at my friend’s wedding. The bride was stunning as always (the groom wasn’t too bad either, he scrubs up alright). This group of friends has 4 wedding this year so I’m sure we will kill each other at some stage & need a 6 month break from looking at each other 😉 The ceremony was held in the hotel grounds and was a humanist ceremony which was lovely. I have to say I probably preferred it to a church ceremony, it was very personal and informal but each to their own! 🙂

2016-05-07 18.12.42

I have a family wedding in France in June, which is an excuse for a week long family holiday & I am a bridesmaid in September which people seem to think is really stressful but it has been totally chilled out so far. It is great to be involved in a wedding because my brother had a very small wedding in America and lets face it there is a slim to no chance of me finding someone to marry me so it will probably be my only chance! Weddings can be difficult for people who are disabled or disfigured as finding a partner is a lot more difficult and you experience a lot of rejection but its a part of life so is something that you have to get used to unless you totally isolate yourself but you are missing out then. Im lucky that I have a huge group of friends of men & women that aren’t super coupley so not being in a couple doesn’t really make much of a difference at weddings.

The weather wasn’t great for the ceremony yesterday but I don’t think it had any effect on the day (the bride might disagree), in typical Irish fashion though we woke up this morning to the sun splitting the stones. After breakfast a walk to the beach was in order  to get rid of the cobwebs.


Just after midnight a text was received informing us that one of my best friends had given birth to a beautiful baby boy which only made the day even more special. But again hello babies, when did that happen?! I’m still in a place where i automatically think oh shit we are too young to be having babies but then I remember we are actually 30 & I need to grow up 🙂

Job Hunting & Interviews

If there is one thing that I have a lot of experience in it is looking for a job & doing job interviews!

I graduated in 2009, slap bang at the start of the recession (typical) :-(. It was difficult for anyone to get a job let alone someone with a disfigurement or disability. If anybody says or thinks that people with a disfigurement or disability are not discriminated against in the job market they are on a different planet. It does happen! It happened to me, not regularly but it did happen. The sad truth is you need to be 10 times better than a ‘normal’ person to be considered equal, especially at the start of your career.

Like a lot of other graduates I spent the first year after graduation on the dole and being knocked back over & over again. I had interned in Washington DC for a few months after completing my finals so that helped me in being selected for interviews. Getting past the interview stage was impossible though!

I won’t say that i was turned down for every role as a result of my scars, I’m sure there were better candidates & we were in the middle of a global recession!! I did have bad experiences though, interviewers sitting with mouths open when i walked in, 30 minute interviews lasting 5 minutes because the interviewer couldn’t concentrate on anything but my face.

Eventually I got lucky as I was given a contract, in the college where I completed my Law degree, as a Tutor for a few months which I really enjoyed (I wasn’t very good though). After that I was given a 3 month contract in Ryanair processing refunds (as a result of the volcano erupting in Iceland). I then ended up in the legal department of a Fund Administrator for 6 months (on Job Bridge before there was Job Bridge) & then a few months in the Department of Justice (again working for free). The market was so bad at the time that even getting someone to let me work for them for free was difficult 😉

From there I got my first PAID role in Compliance in a Fund Administrator & since then i have had 7 contract in 7 different companies, the longest lasting for a year. This meant looking for a new job & doing a new round of interviews every 6 months (on average). I must’ve had close to a hundred interviews over the last 7 years, no exaggeration. I have been in my current role for 15 months & it is permanent so hopefully I won’t have to do any interviews for a long time!! 🙂

It has gotten a lot easier over time due to me having a lot more experience & even though it might not seem like it there are a lot more jobs than there were 6 years ago, I received 3 job offers the last time I was looking!

A few interview tips I have come up with over the years are:

  • Body language – this is so important, if you act confidently and act like you deserve the role then the interviewer will too. Fake it until you make it as I always say.
  • Don’t be intimidated – the person interviewing you is just a person at the end of the day & they have probably had to do a lot of interviews too so will understand if you are nervous.
  • Eye Contact – this indicates that you are confident and are able to interact with people.
  • Listen to what the interviewer is saying. – No one wants to work with someone who doesn’t listen or can’t direction
  • Don’t memorise answers – I have always performed better in interviews where I was natural & thought about the answers I was giving.

A question I get asked a lot is whether i make an interviewer aware of my scars before an interview and the answer is no, i have never mentioned it, I don’t see why I should. If an interviewer isn’t professional enough to deal with it then I don’t want to work for them anyway. I also don’t mention my scars in an interview, I don’t see how it is relevant I am not interviewing to be a model. It is totally up to each person though, I can understand why some people would mention it.

The most important thing is don’t give up & apply for everything! It took me 5 and a half years and 10 contracts to get a permanent job but I got there eventually.

Look at me being all positive 🙂





My Very First Blog Post!!

I have been toying with the idea of setting up a Blog for years but never really felt it was a good idea until now. It always seemed like a lot of effort and it is opening yourself up to criticism from the big bad internet. Also what am I going to write about? 😮

My family and friends have been suggesting that I set up a blog for a long time because seemingly my rants can be funny and anyone who knows me knows that I can be opinionated. 😉 I am a big believer in always seeing the funny side of life even in the worst situations.

I plan to blog about anything and everything that I come across, being a 30-year-old in Ireland at the moment has its challenges, let alone being a disfigured women. I was in a house fire in France when i was 7 which resulted in 3rd degree burns to 70% of my face and body (not great) as a result I have experienced a lot of discrimination but have also had a lot of great experiences. I have had hundreds of operations, God knows how many, which are ongoing, my last operation was 3 and a half years ago. As new procedures and technology are developed I will hopefully have more treatment. Having burns is only a tiny portion of my life though, other people make it a much bigger issue out of it than it actually is. If other people were less bothered about it my life would be a lot easier. As I have heard many times it is society that disables a person and I can confirm that this is very true.

I was on the Ray D’arcy show on RTE1 last weekend with Tom Hickey (who also has a blog – Hickeys World) speaking about disfigurement and my experiences, since then a lot more people have suggested a blog so here I am. I have done quite a lot of media work in order to raise awareness of disfigurement and I have had experiences with the media that have not been very positive. The fact that everyone was so supportive and encouraging after this interview helped to give me the confidence to do it.

I studied Law & Business in college, then a Masters in Law, I also interned in Washington DC for a few months, but I am now working in compliance in financial services which is mental at the moment. I am very interested in equality and human rights so will probably write a bit about that too. Who knows?

I have a summer of weddings (I am a bridesmaid) and hen parties to look forward to, with a few babies thrown in (not my own), so that will be taking up most of my time and bank balance.

Dont expect anything amazing for the first while though as this is the first time I have ever blogged, hopefully I will improve over time 🙂