Marie Louise McConville: Life's a bit sweeter thanks to an unexpected windfall
Life is great, isn't it?
January is over and February has brought with it a breath of fresh air.
The last few mornings, I've jumped out of bed with a big smile on my face and skipped into work - full of the joys of Spring.
I'm feeling on top of the world and not even the cold weather can dampen that feeling.
Of course, it might be something to do with the fact that I'm rich now (don't be jealous).
Oh yes, a few days ago, both Darren and myself found ourselves on the receiving end of a windfall.
And after living the high life for a few days, I've now decided I like being rich because having money just makes life sweeter.
Of course, it's not like we didn't have to put a bit of effort in for it.
Travelling business-class across the Atlantic is hard going and let me tell you, those lie-flat beds and the individual bundles of luxurious bedding, well, they're not all they're cracked up to be.
You may remember back in November, Darren surprised me with a trip to New York to celebrate a big birthday (less said).
As if that wasn't enough, he had arranged for us to fly business-class with Aer Lingus.
However, that didn't mean we were immune from delays and unfortunately, on the way home, we found ourselves staying in JFK Airport a little longer than we would have liked.
Initially, we were told it was just a small delay but it took a long time before we were allowed to board and while we had been due to land back in Dublin at 8.40am, we didn't eventually touch down until 4.11pm.
A fellow passenger told us about legislation around flight delays and a few days after arriving home, Darren contacted Aer Lingus.
And, hey presto, three months later, two compensation cheques arrived in the post and all I'll say is there were three figures.
Now, ssh, I've said too much.
I have to hand it to Aer Lingus, I really am very impressed with their customer service. I mean, I thought airline compo only happened in the movies.
Now, if you'll excuse me, a luxury holiday courtesy of our unexpected windfall awaits us.....Bundoran here we come.
So, Derry girl Nadine Coyle is getting ready to re-launch her solo music career - again.
The 32-year-old has announced she is hitting the road to perform the greatest hits of Girls Aloud, as well as songs from her forthcoming new album - but as a solo artist.
The performer said she is giving fans "what they want".
Reportedly, the rest of the band refused a reunion so now, Nadine has decided to hit the road on her own.
It's a brave decision given the singer's former attempts at a solo career.
So, best of luck Nadine - I mean, what's the worst that can happen - eh?
Spring is on the horizon, so how do you fancy a night out on the town to enjoy veteran Irish rockers Bagatelle?
Formed almost 40 years ago, the band are well known across the world, having toured Ireland, the UK, Europe, America, The Middle East and China and have even shared a stage with stars including Bob Marley and U2.
The band is bringing its show to the Europa Hotel in Belfast on Friday, March 2 and I have three pairs of tickets to give away.
And, according to founding members Ken Doyle and lead vocalist Liam Reilly, the gig is sure to be fab.
"We always enjoy our concerts in The Europa as the atmosphere is electric," they said.
Tickets for the gig are available from ticketsource.co.uk and Irish Tour Tickets, Belfast on 028 9031 0101.
If you fancy winning a pair of tickets, simply email your name, address and telephone number – along with the answer to the question below – to firstname.lastname@example.org
Closing date for entries is 12 noon on Tuesday, February 13, 2018
(Q) Where in Belfast is Bagatelle playing a gig on Friday, March 2?
Normal Irish News Rules Apply
The winners of the Fifty Shades Freed competition are Emma Martin, from Derry, Jackie Donnelly, from Belfast, and Gráinne McGillian, from Draperstown