Life

Marie Louise McConville: Taking time to replenish the good karma pot

Marie Louise is trying to `think positive' in a bid to reap good karma

I'm not sure what's going on.

I think I have lost my grasp on reality and am somehow being kicked along the path of life by a very cheesed off karma who has landed on my turf for an uninvited visit and she's brought some revenge with her.

It all started with the car. I'm not going to go into it all again. Suffice to say, the car is now deceased and I am without wheels to call my own.

Then, Abbie got chicken pox. Now I should point out that James had them when he was younger and strangely Abbie did not get them, despite her being around him constantly and the two of them playing together.

So now she has been struck down and had to stay off daycare, which created other problems but thank goodness for my fantastic mother-in-law Angela who has came to our rescue in the childminding stakes.

Don't get me wrong, Abbie has been in a great mood and has been playing happily except she has been slightly off her food.

Then there was a problem with Darren's car (talk about bad timing) so that was off the road for a few days which caused me a bit of stress.

Then I got up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night and walked into the door. Then the next day in work, I lifted my handbag up to put it on my shoulder and the strap broke and everything fell out.

The following day (pay day), I went to the ATM to get a balance and take out some money but managed to walk away from the machine with my card but without my money.

When I realised I went back but the money had gone.

There have also been some other little things.

Altogether, I kind of get the feeling that I've done something not-so-good to the universe and now I must made amends - but how?

Since the start of the year, I have been trying to do one nice thing for another person every day.

It doesn't have to be a grand gesture, just a selfless act for someone else.

However, I feel I now need to step up my game if I am to replenish the good karma pot.

Don't get me wrong, I know life could be so much worse and we are very lucky and blessed, but I still feel like I need to make amends.

So I have been trying my best these last few days to pay it forward as much as I can and think positive thoughts.

I started my giving my neighbour a lift to get her shopping and I also looked after another little errand for her.

And I bought a colleague some buns for her birthday and Abbie and I helped a lady pick up some coins she had dropped when her purse fell.

There have also been other little things but to be honest, I'm a bit worried about it all.

In the midst of all this I saw a video on Facebook and it was the story of a sailor who was the sole survivor of a ship wreck, who was washed up on a small, uninhabited island.

With no survival skills, he felt abandoned but eventually, he worked out how to build a shelter but then one night, when he went for a walk, the shelter burned down.

He was very angry and shouted at God for not helping him.

However, the next morning a boat arrived to rescue him and when the sailor asked the crew how they found him, they told him they had seen his smoke signals.

The moral of the story was that while it is easy to get discouraged when your little hut is burning, bear in mind the smoke signals which may be there to attract future blessings.

I really liked the story and thought it was quite apt for my week.

So that's what I'm going to do.

Try not to feel down or discouraged, think positive thoughts and simply wait for the storm to pass and hope for a rainbow when it's over.

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Competition

This week don't miss the chance to win a family pass to the Dalriada Festival, said to be Northern Ireland's biggest cultural and heritage festival, which is taking place on July 15 and 16 at Glenarm Castle.

And for the first-time, the official Peppa Pig and George characters will be meeting and greeting the kids over the festival weekend.

The event will also be welcoming back the annual County Antrim Pipe Band Championships, The Nation's Strongman Championships and exciting additions to the festival - Northern Ireland's first ever Wife Carrying Championships and Mussel Eating Competition.

Music highlights include Nathan Carter, Donna Taggart, The Fureys and Dublin City Ramblers.

The community of Glenarm will then take up the baton from July 17, hosting an action-packed programme of events.

Further information about the event is available online at www.dalriadafestival.co.uk

I have two family passes to the Dalriada Festival for Saturday, July 15 to give away to two lucky winners.

If you fancy winning a family pass, simply email your name, address and telephone number – along with the answer to the question below – to competitions@irishnews.com

Closing date for entries is Tuesday, May 9, 2017.

(Q) Where is the Dalriada Festival taking place?

Normal Irish News Rules Apply

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What's Hot?

Sweet - If you're looking to get into the holiday spirit early, why not savour some of the Mediterranean's signature flavours in stunning new chocolates from M&S? The Gastro Travel Book (£5) consists of gourmet chocolates with centres that evoke clear blue skies and summer scents. Yum.

Return - It's been confirmed that Jeff Goldblum will return to the world of Jurassic Park in the Jurassic World sequel. The new film is expected to be released in June 2018. I loved the first one. This should be great.

Good Example - Singer Beyonce has announced that she is offering four US college scholarships to mark the one year anniversary of Lemonade. The scholarships will be handed to four women 'pursuing studies in creative arts, music, literature or African-American studies' in attendance at four selected colleges.

So Not!

Disappointment - Comedian Peter Kay has disappointed fans by announcing that there will be no more Car Share. The funny man said there would be no series three and no Christmas Specials.

Uproar - Fans of EastEnders are in uproar after long-time character Tracey was sacked from behind the bar from the Queen Vic after 30 years of pulling pints.

Leaving - After eight years in the Dales, playing Adam Barton, actor Adam Thomas is reportedly leaving to take up a £100,000 panto role because soap bosses would not give him time off for the project.

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Competition

The winners of the Holywood Harmony Festival are Mary Palmer, from Kircubbin and Margaret Simpson, from Belfast

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Easy Peasy Recipe

This week's Easy Peasy Recipe is Greek-style Steak Kebabs courtesy of Lidl

You will need:

Ingredients:

1 packet Strathvale Lean Diced Beef Steak

1/2 tub Eridanous Tzatziki With Olive Oil

1 packet Eridanous Garlic Pitta Bread

1 tbsp Eridanous Olive Oil

2 tbsp Batts Peri Peri Sauce

1/2 packet Meadow Fresh Houmous

Zest of a lemon

Mix of vegetables – baby sweetcorn, courgette, tenderstem broccoli, peppers.

A few sprigs of fresh thyme

Kania salt & black pepper

To Make:

You will need four skewers, which have been soaked in cold water for 15 minutes in advance of cooking

Chop your choice of vegetables into bite-size chunks and place in a bowl.

Add the steak pieces along with the olive oil, thyme leaves, lemon zest, peri peri sauce and some seasoning.

Mix well and leave to marinate for 10 minutes at room temperature.

Thread the steak pieces and vegetables onto the skewers, alternating the meat with the various different vegetables.

Preheat your grill or barbecue and cook the kebabs for around 10-12 minutes, turning frequently, or until cooked to your liking.

Warm the pitta bread by toasting gently.

Spread each with a little houmous then serve with the kebabs and tzatziki.

Do you have an Easy Peasy recipe you would like to share?

Are you the queen of quiches, magnificent at muffins or can you turn out some nice scones?

If so, then we want to hear from you.

You can send your name, address, contact number and recipe (plus photo if possible) to:

Easy Peasy Recipes,

Marie Louise McConville,

Irish News

113-117 Donegall Street,

Belfast,

BT1 2GE

or

m.mcconville@irishnews.com

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