Marie Louise McConville: Half a doughnut and a Disney DVD - the perfect wedding anniversary celebration

Half a donut and a Disney DVD - the perfect 4th wedding anniversary celebration?

Goodness above - where does the time go?

It only seems like yesterday that I started working at the Irish News, turns out it was actually 2002 - a shocking 16 years ago.

How did that happen?

Where has the time gone?

This week, the arrival of my wedding anniversary really brought home to me just how fast time is going and how quickly my life is changing.

On Tuesday, Darren and I celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary and while we were both delighted to mark the occasion, I found myself completely taken aback at just how quickly the past four years have gone.

Really, it seems like yesterday that I was picking up my wedding dress with my mum and sister.

The evening before the wedding was the most exciting time - might have been the champagne - and the next day was just magical.

Everything I could have hoped for and more.

I just can’t understand how that was four years ago.

Of course, on our first wedding anniversary, Darren and I - who were already parents to four-month-old Abbie - celebrated in style with a luxurious night away at our wedding reception venue, the Ballymascanlon Hotel.

There were bubbles, fancy food and fabulous gifts.

On our second anniversary we had just welcomed baby James and after a difficult first few weeks in hospital, we had finally got him home so we exchanged small gifts but otherwise, our hands were full.

Fast forward another 12 months and for our third anniversary the four of us went out for dinner to mark the occasion.

It wasn't anywhere fancy, just somewhere that did nice grub, was family friendly and kept the kids entertained with a DVD at our table.

This week, for our fourth milestone, Darren and I exchanged cards - and then we both went to work.

That night, we shared a marshmallow doughnut and then it was time for Disney Princesses and Teletubbies jigsaws.

Then we all enjoyed bowls of strawberry and vanilla ice cream in our jammies while watching the Princess and The Frog.

How our lives have changed.

From fine dining and overnight stays in fancy hotels to sharing a bowl of chocolate buttons on the sofa.

It's funny, while a small part of me does yearn for my old life, simply nothing would make me trade what I have now.

In the end it was our best wedding anniversary so far - here's to many more.


Just scrap it already.

It's only April and I'm already sick of hearing about the potential line-up for this year's X-Factor panel.

Does anyone actually care if Sharon Osbourne, Nicole Scherzinger or Louis Walsh are axed?

I don't.

As far as I'm concerned this talent show has had its run and now it's time for the boring and repetitive format to go away.

Music mogul, Simon Cowell should know it's time to pull the plug - and no, it makes no difference that Craig David or Louis Tomlinson are being considered as new judges




Spring is the perfect time to try and relax and take a break – so how do you fancy winning a copy of a "breath-taking and heart-rending debut novel?"

The Second Child by Caroline Bond asks the question: What if you found out that the child you love belongs to someone else?

Sarah and Phil love both their children and have same hopes and aspirations as any parent.

But their expectations are shattered when they discover that their beloved Lauren has been born with a tiny genetic glitch.

Over time the family adapt and thrive but then one day, a blood test result changes everything.

Lauren is not Phil's child and suddenly, their precious family is on the brink of destruction.

But the truth they face is far more complex than infidelity.

It tests their capacity to love, each other and their children, and it challenges the very idea of what makes and breaks a family.

I have five copies of The Second Child to give away.

If you fancy winning a copy, simply email your name, address and telephone number – along with the answer to the question below – to

Closing date for entries is 12 noon on Tuesday, April 17, 2018

(Q) Who wrote The Second Child?

Normal Irish News Rules Apply


The winners of the Natura Siberica competition are Marie McGreevy from Banbridge, Gemma Toner from Dunmurry, and Winifred Lennon from Clough.

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