What’s In A Name?

comments 2
Family / Life / Love

Good morning. After a day of blue skies and sunshine it’s back to blustery weather that is very reminiscent of winter here at Crabtree Cottage.

You may have noticed that I changed the name of the blog. It never really had a name because when I started blogging a couple of years ago I had no idea what to call it and it ended up just being tagged with my name.

So why call the blog What Karen Did Next and why now you may ask?

What Karen Did Next seemed rather fitting. When I first began the blog I had returned to full time education. I had been studying psychology on a part time basis for a number of years and in 2009 my youngest child was starting school and I thought it would be a good idea to return to education myself. 

I applied to NUI Maynooth and was fortunate enough to get a place on their Arts degree and I spent the following 5 years wrapped in the arms of academia and I loved every moment of it. (It didn’t take me 5 years to complete my degree, I also completed a post grad in Adult and Community Education and a Masters in Education.)

Well, maybe not every moment as my family and very close friends will attest to. There were some hairy moments during those years but for the most part I grew as a person, found out a lot about myself and made some lifelong friends along the way.

I really enjoyed my time at NUI Maynooth and after a shaky start choosing subjects I enjoyed those that I chose. You can probably guess that I went back to education with the intention of studying psychology however, after the first 6 mths I had decided that psychology was not for me. I fell head over heels in love with sociology a subject that I fell into when I decided 4 weeks into my degree that geography just wasn’t for me.

After completing my degree I applied for a post grad in adult education. What a completely different experience  that year was. From lecture halls with hundreds of students to a small classroom with twenty or so peers, the transition was a little rocky to say the least! It was during this year that I learnt a lot about myself, my character and the myriad of personalities that exist in this crazy world. A great foundation for entering the world of eduaction.

I was fortunate enough to get some teaching hours in a community setting during this year and so began another chapter of my tale. While I had been a literacy tutor for some time entering a classroom was a challenge of a different kind.

The following year I began a Masters in Education. In NUI Maynooth, at this stage Maynooth campus felt like home and I really didn’t want to leave. All good things come to an end though and I completed my course of study in the summer of 2013.

Since then I have had steady if not permanent work within the adult and community education sector which I enjoy immensely.

During slack times I knit! It keeps my hands and mind busy. Through my love of knitting I got involved with a local craft group Creative Longford. This talented bunch of crafters have hosted a very successful Pop Up Shop as part of the Cruthú Festival in Longford for the past two years.

At the end of last year I had the pleasure of working with a great team of people and teaching a colourful bunch of young people in a local Youthreach centre. It restored my belief in myself as an educator and gave me the impetus to continue in this field despite the difficulties in securing work.

So quite a lot has been going on here at Crabtree, not forgetting the everyday occurrences that crop up in families. As you know, I am dipping my toes into the art of stoicism and finding that the benefits are great. I have decluttered and streamlined the house which has resulted in an uncluttered and less chaotic mind.

Since finishing my masters degree I often find myself bored and at a loss for something to do. To combat this I have decided to try new things or return to old things that gave me pleasure and a sense of achievement. Hence the knitting!

One of the things I’m going to attempt over the next few months is a Creativity Bootcamp run by the lovely Jane over at That Curious Love of Green. You can read more about it here and maybe join us?  My eldest got a violin for christmas and it has fallen out of favour. I am constantly eyeing it up and wondering is there any small chance that I could attempt to master the art of playing it? Maybe, we’ll see. Sure it’s going to be a long winter! And then there’s this niggling desire to take up pilates. I have wanted to try it for quite some time. So as you see  I have been busy for quite some time and would like to keep busy for the foreseeable future.

So that my friends is the stream of thought that the name change came from. Why now? I suppose now was just the right time. The name seems right and I finally worked out how to do it.

Over the next few weeks I will be working on my impulsiveness. As soon as I type the final word my fingers itch to press the publish button. Even though I know how important proofreading and editing are. So over the next few weeks I will be editing and proofreading more accurately and hopefully it will put an end to my typos and habit of leaving keywords out.

Hope you are having a lovely day wherever it is you are.

Slán agus beanacht, 



The Author

I'm living on the Leitrim border with my lovely husband and two terrific kids. It's the little piece of heaven that I dreamed of growing up. I work in Adult Education by day and during my free time I read, write, knit, plant and bake not always in that order. I blog about life, love, family and everything in between. Pull up a chair and have a browse while you're here. All the best, Karen


  1. janembarry says

    I think I may have to change my blog name now, I’m thinking ‘The Lovely Jane’ would be perfect 🙂 Great post Karen, that’s some list of achievements and activities. I plan to learn piano myself as we have one here but I haven’t found a teacher would come to the house yet. Thanks for sharing the bootcamp details and great name change 🙂


    • Thanks Jane. We had a piano here for years, my eldest (the one that fancied learning the fiddle!) expressed an interest in it. I’d love to be able to play an instrument. Fingers crossed!


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