My Weekend: Every day you learn something new is a good day

Christine Nolan, a member of the committee who manages Cork Lifelong Learning Festival, speaks about settling on Leeside, takeaways and ladies footballers
My Weekend: Every day you learn something new is a good day
Christine Nolan, member of the committee who manage Cork Lifelong Learning Festival.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your work;

Originally from Arklow, Co Wicklow I moved to Cork in 2004 to undertake a Bachelor of Business Studies in Recreation and Leisure Management in CIT. Nearly 15 years later, I still haven’t left. I currently work in CIT as the Mature Student Officer in the Access Service. I love working in CIT, it’s like a big family.

I’m also a member of the committee that manages Cork Lifelong Learning Festival.

I love this festival and have been involved with it for years. I think the message that learning is about so much more than just sitting in a classroom is a really important one.

Learning is a lifelong and life-wide journey, every day that you learn something new is a good day.

I’m really looking forward to attending as many of the free events as I can during this year’s festival. One of the amazing features of the Lifelong Learning Festival is that every single event is free, so from April 7 to 14 you can try out hundreds of new and interesting things without spending a cent! I love trying my hand at something new, there’s no shortage of experiences to pick from in this year’s brochure and for the first time ever we have a searchable website featuring the full programme of events at corklearning festival.ie I instantly fell in love with Cork city and all that it offers when I arrived here 15 years ago. No matter what you are looking for, Cork has it! The people are so friendly, although I must admit, the accent took me a bit of time to fully understand!

What is your ideal way to spend a Friday night?

Friday night is usually friends catch up night — movie, cheese board and a bottle of wine in someone’s house or occasionally we’d head into town for a night out.

I’m a sucker for a good musical as well, so I love when productions come to the Opera House or to CIT Cork School of Music.

Lie ins or up with the lark.. which is it for you?

Without a doubt I’m a lie-in girl. I’ve never been much of a morning person, I love lying in bed with a good book or a Netflix documentary with a coffee. On the weekends, eventually I get up around midday for a lazy Saturday brunch, I’m a big fan of the Vinyl Brunch in the River Lee Hotel on the weekend afternoons. It’s so relaxed in a really cool setting,

Does work creep into your weekend at all?

Sometimes! The older and wiser I get, I find myself unplugging more regularly. During the upcoming Lifelong Learning festival I’m acting as a Festival Ambassador so I’ll be ‘working’ a lot on the weekends during April visiting various different events. It’ll be ‘fun work’, meeting new people and learning new things.

Deirdre Creedon and Christine Nolan, CIT Access at the launch of this years Cork Life Long Learning Festival promoting the initative 'Cork Playful City'. This year Cork City is exploring the different ways that we can make Cork more playful. The festival runs from Sunday April 7th to 14th. A free festival programme can be picked up in City Hall.  Picture: Darragh Kane
Deirdre Creedon and Christine Nolan, CIT Access at the launch of this years Cork Life Long Learning Festival promoting the initative 'Cork Playful City'. This year Cork City is exploring the different ways that we can make Cork more playful. The festival runs from Sunday April 7th to 14th. A free festival programme can be picked up in City Hall.  Picture: Darragh Kane

If money was no object where would you head to on a weekend city break? And who would you bring with you?

Sorrento in Italy for the ultimate mother-daughter weekend away while catching some vitamin D, gorgeous scenery, great food, wine and of course gelato! Capri is also just a short boat trip away for some serious shopping.

Closer to home, is there some place you like to head to recharge the batteries?

I love getting out and about for some fresh air. There are some great free walks throughout Cork as part of this year’s Lifelong Learning Festival including some historical walks through Shandon and Cork Docklands. I’ll be making my way to the Marina on Sunday, April 7, for the Cork Plays Event and I’ll be bringing a picnic along to the Family Fun Day in Fitzgerald Park on April 14.

Do you like to catch up with family/friends at the weekend?

Of course! I’m very lucky to have great friends in both Cork and Wicklow so my weekends usually are spent either at home in Wicklow with family or catching up with friends in Cork.

During the Lifelong Learning Festival I’m looking forward to catching up with some friends midweek too. I’m planning on getting a few friends together to try out some fun activities during festival week, including In-Line skating on Centre Park Road and Kung Fu in St Fin Barre’s Cathedral Hall.

Do you get to indulge in any hobbies? Even as a spectator?

I’m a selector with the CIT Senior Ladies Footballers so that keeps me busy during term time. I love reformer Pilates; I tried a free class a few years ago as part of Cork Lifelong Learning Festival and have stuck with it. Good for the body and mind!

Entertain or be entertained? If it’s the latter do you have a signature dish?

Oh, entertain! I love whipping up some food and having friends and family over. I love spicy food, the hotter, the better… much to the detriment of those who don’t. My signature dish would be some hot Mexican or Japanese food. There’s a list of free cooking classes I’m dying to try during Festival week.

We have so many places to eat out in Cork — where are your go to spots for coffee/ lunch/ special meal?

I’m a sucker for a good strong coffee. Bitesize Café in Ballincollig or Three Fools Coffee on Grand Parade are my usual go to’s. When my Mam comes from Wicklow for a visit, we head straight to Scoozis. She doesn’t even look at the menu it always has to be Polla alla Scoozi!

Personally I love Arthur Mayne’s for a cheeseboard or some tapas or Soho for wings. Nothing beats Market Lane for a special meal, all local ingredients from the English Market and local suppliers.

Sunday night comes around too fast…how do you normally spend it?

Prepping for the week ahead; I know, boring! The normal chores, washing, ironing work clothes, doing some food prep. My roomie and I usually get a takeaway and chill in our pjs while watching trash TV!

What time does your alarm clock go off on Monday morning?

7.15am if I’m not heading to the gym or 6am if I have a PT session booked. As much as I am a night owl, I prefer working out in the morning instead of after work.

For more on the Cork Lifelong Learning Festival see https://cork learningfestival.ie

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