Marie Louise McConville: Thank goodness for Easter Eggs on sale in January to alleviate a dreary month

The appearance of Easter eggs for sale in the shops has made me feel quite upbeat in dreary January
Marie Louise McConville

So here we are guys, feeling skint, feeling busted and feeling bloated and that can only mean one thing - Happy New Year.

For my family, it all started very quietly.

After watching an early evening movie, most of us were all in bed early and fast asleep.

Darren woke me at midnight to wish me a Happy New Year and then we went in and kissed the kids to also wish them a Happy New Year, as gently and as quietly as possible.

As far as I remember, I went straight back to peaceful snoozing, with no desire to watch the fireworks or a New Year movie.

I'm told the big ball dropped as per usual but I was comfy and cosy.

New Year in the McConville household was no biggie, just the way I wanted it.

And I'm sure we were not the only ones who welcomed 2019 like this and really, I hope the year continues quietly and safely.

Having made no New Year resolutions, I just want to get on with things and see the back of dreary January.

It's a month I feel really sorry for to be honest.

It's just so dull - even though the days so far have been dry and bright - my heart just sinks at the thought of January.

It's just such a challenging month, isn't it?

We start the month feeling drained and it can be difficult to get back to normal.

Yesterday, my attempts to bounce back to normality received quite an unexpected but welcome boost.

I had popped into a shop near us to grab some bits and pieces and guess what I saw on the shelf - Easter Eggs.

Granted, these were small eggs, Creme Eggs and Caramel Eggs and the like but boy, did it make me smile.

While I understand the sudden appearance of Easter-related items just days after Christmas may infuriate some, it really did give me a boost.

Suddenly, my head was filled of thoughts of Spring and newness and freshness and fun.

I found myself daydreaming about the sun and warmth on my face and meadows filled with colourful flowers.

It was really nice.

I then purchased some Caramel Eggs and went on my way.

A little later, I was feeling better as I looked toward brighter times in 2019 with chocolate in both hands - now that's what I call a balanced New Year diet.


I know I'm extremely late to this party and am probably the last person on planet earth to see this movie but how good is The Greatest Showman?

Thanks to the loan of a DVD from my mum, we were all just captivated by this wonderful film over the festive period.

Aside from the storyline being so uplifting, the music and dancing is just so upbeat and powerful.

While Darren and I sat dazzled on the sofa, Abbie and James danced around the living room.

Such a great family movie.

Hugh Jackman - you are one gifted dude.



It's 2019, so how do you fancy starting off a New Year by dining at one of Belfast's most popular restaurants?

Buba, which is based at St Anne's Square in the Cathedral Quarter, is celebrating its first birthday

One of the city's most fun and vibrant open-plan restaurants, Buba serves modern day Eastern Mediterranean-inspired food as well as delicious cocktails.

The menu comprises of lots of small plate dishes, designed to share, giving you a sample of all of the rich culinary traditions, exotic produce, flavoursome spices and cooking techniques this region is known for.

Buba is open seven night a week and for lunch from Friday to Sunday, when alongside the full a la carte menu, you can also choose from a selection of fantastic value lunch specials, including a £4 meze board to start.

I have three £50 vouchers to give away.

If you fancy winning a voucher, 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, January 8, 2019

(Q) In which Belfast square is Buba located?

Normal Irish News Rules Apply


The winners of the Nando's competition are Eileen Hasson, from Dungiven, Joseph Quigley, from Altnagelvin, and Pat Duffy, from Plumbridge.

The winners of the Armagh Cider Company competition are Mary-Rose McBrien, from Belfast, Immacula McBride, from Belfast, and Connor Bradley, from Darragh Cross.

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