Saturday, November 12, 2022

YVONNE Whelan (42) is married to Brian with two children – Evan and Sara and two dogs Ted and Syd, all of whom she says she adores in equal measure. “Maybe the dogs a tiny bit more though!” A civil servant for the last 20 years in the local social welfare office, Yvonne can be heard every Saturday morning on the Saturday café with the fabulous Maria McCann on WLRfm.

 

Life in a day

The alarm goes off and the snooze button is hit at least twice; I need two cups of tea before leaving the house because the first one always goes cold, or I can’t remember drinking it. I do the school run and head to the office for 9 to do my day’s work and squeeze in the odd chat with my other family, my colleagues. I go home on my lunch break every day to see the dogs and check the slow cooker is on and that I turned off my hair straightener. I question these things every single day!

In the evenings after walking the dogs and doing a few bits around the house I retire to the sofa to watch my soaps and some Netflix with a party in hand, I’m a massive night-time eater. A pretty boring day as I’m answering this, but I enjoy every single one of them especially my Saturday mornings spent on the Saturday Café with Maria on WLR, four years now and there’s always something to chat and laugh about.

 

What school did you go to?

I am a proud Ursuline girl having attended St Ursula’s primary school and St Angela’s secondary school and they really were the best years of my life.

What teacher do you remember most vividly?

Most vividly it would have to be my very first teacher in primary school in 1984 – Ms Duggan. She was a gentle lady who baked brown bread with us and gave us Play Doh (we called it Marla – sounds like mawla) to play with at our desks. I remember struggling to settle in school. I was just 4 since the August when I started, and she would bring me up to sit with her beside her desk, reassuring me that my mam would be back at the end of the day. I easily became distracted watching her eat her lunch, she had yellow cubes which I thought were Opal Fruits but in later years the penny dropped, and I discovered they were cubes of cheese, which now happens to be one of my favourite things to eat.

What advice would you give your 15-year-old self?

Leave your eyebrows alone, overplucking will disturb the growth and you’ll be sorry in years to come.

How do you relax?

I discovered Yoga four years ago and the benefits are amazing. I have a fabulous yoga teacher, Martina Avery, who just radiates relaxation and has a lovely energy and the great group of ladies that practice with me each week do more than just be there in numbers, their company is something I look forward to, just as much as the relaxation.

What is your favourite film and piece of music?

My Girl is my favourite movie. I remember seeing it in the cinema in the early 90s and searching for a mood ring after it. The scene when Vada tells them to put on Thomas J’s glasses in the funeral parlour because he can’t see without them tear jerks me every time I watch it. I’m a massive Robbie Williams fan but my favourite piece of music is Kate Bush’s Wuthering Heights. Actually, my daughter told me I was trendy recently when another of Kate Bush’s songs rose to fame from Stranger Things and she knew the artist from my playlist.

When is the last time you cried?

I cry a lot, I’m very emotional. I cried the most tears in a while though last week when I read that Lynsey Bennett had died from cervical cancer and I cried again on Halloween, the day of her funeral, thinking of her daughters and what that day will always mean to them now.

What is your happiest moment of recent times?

Last night reading that this year in Winterval there will be a Santa Paws. As my kids are grown up, it’s a long time since I got to do the Santa experience, but this year I will be at the top of the queue with the two boys and I can’t wait.

Do you pray?

Yes, I do pray, not every single day but often and as I get older, I pray more in thanks for all that I have in my life. It is more important to want what you have than to have what you want; I love this mantra.

What is your biggest fear?

What am I not afraid of would be easier to answer. I’m afraid of my shadow, literally, wasps and cows, but my real-life fear is losing my loved ones, including the two dogs, I dread those days.

What is your most treasured possession?

My most treasured possession is a Holly Hobbie doll my nanny Kathleen gave to me when I was born. She died when I was seven months old. I really treasure that doll, knowing she thought of me when she bought it and I think of her every time I look at it, it’s a lovely feeling.

 

What is your favourite thing about living in Waterford?

The fact that we have the best of both worlds and all in close proximity. The city centre, which has some great locally owned shops, historic museums and buildings, and then the variety of beaches and scenic walks, like the greenway and the mountains just a spin away.

If you could change one thing about Waterford, what would it be?

The entrance into Plunkett Station. It gives me nerves driving over the bridge, getting in lane to drive in there, and coming out of it is no better either, or maybe that’s just me because I don’t like driving.

In conversation with Darren Skelton

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Contact Journalist: darrens

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