Saturday, 28 February 2009


Tracy Harley is originally from Chasetown in Staffordshire in England. She moved over to Ireland 16 years ago after living and working in Greece. He sister was working in the Citizens Advice Centre in Derry and asked her to come over for the Trip-to-Trip summer festival (now O2). The festival came and went but Tracy stayed and fell in love with both Ireland and Paul, her husband who runs Castle Silver Jewellers in Ferryquay Street in Derry. She lives in Quigley’s Point with Paul and they have three children, Joseph, Seamus and Eden.

Tracy is in her 2nd year as Chairperson of Childrens Point Childcare Centre. The committee that runs the playgroup consists of parents of children that attend the playgroup, they are elected each year at their A.G.M. The work of the committee is on a voluntary basis and is a great way of meeting other parents and neighbours. The Playgroup recently moved to new premises located within Quigleys Point Community Centre and has a large room for educational activities and a smaller wet room for all messy play. They also have an outdoor play area and use of the large hall. Their move to the new premises was due to the hard work of previous and present committees and the co-operation of the Community Centre Committee. The Playgroup has some places available both am and pm and are taking registrations for Sept 2010! Give them a ring on 086 0802153 for more information

What music are you listening to at the moment?
I tend to listen to the radio more that CD’s now that I have children. The radio just keeps going and you don’t have to think what to put on. BBC Radio 2 can be entertaining with DJ’s like Chris Evans in the afternoon.

What book are you reading?
My mum gets old library books that have been taken off the shelves and gives them to me, so I read whatever I am given. It can be anything from a trashy novel to a reference book. I can hang on to the books which is just as well, as I am really bad at getting library books back on time.

What was your favourite childhood game?
I loved playing Tig, which we used to call Ackie 123. The rules are the same, you hide from people or chase them, and ran back to a post if you were spotted or found someone… Hours of fun.

What section of the newspaper do you turn to first?
I get the Sunday papers and just read the glossy magazines; they don’t require a long attention span, which is ideal when the children are running around.

What would you never throw away?
Childhood toys. I have an old style Jack in a box and Fisher Price radio that I adored. I gave them to my children and they are now a bit worse for wear, but still loved. My old cassette tapes are special to me as well. I have collected compilation tapes from friends over the years and their choices of music reflect past times and memories, I wouldn’t throw those away.

Most embarrassing moment of your life?
We did a fundraiser for the playgroup a while back and someone suggested a charity boxing match. It seemed like a good idea at the time but I had to fight a very determined 6-foot woman. Some people loved it, mainly those that saw us get flattened.

Favourite TV programme?
Larkrise to Candleford is very good and I enjoy the Victorian farm series, it’s a reflection of simpler times. My sons and I also watch Masterchef together.

What job did you want to do when you were a child?
I was influenced by Peter Pan, so was quite happy being a kid. I did take an interest in photography when I was a bit older though.

Where was your best holiday and what made it special?
We have a campervan and we had a lovely driving holiday through France recently. It was like Ireland in a way. We also love our annual trip with friends to Gweedore for an Easter egg hunt.

What do you do for a special treat?
Simple pleasures like going to the beach in Moville with the children and popping into the Cosy Cottage Café for a hot chocolate are special treats for me.

Favourite animal?
I am a big animal lover and have a dog called Rudi, which is short for Rudolph. We found him at Christmas, so it was either Noël or Rudi. Noël would be a bit of a strange name for a dog…..We also have a cat called Fluffy, he gets on great with the dog.

Biggest Challenge?
Setting the playgroup up would be the biggest challenge for me. It was a big learning curve. There was such a lot of negotiating with government bodies for funding and it is a full time job. You have to learn quickly.

What was the best present you ever got?
I got a fabulous digital camera and try to make loads of photo opportunities so I can use it.

What was the last thing you bought just for yourself?
I bought a swimsuit. I was going away on a pampering weekend with some of the girls from the playgroup committee.

What charity do you support?
Since having children I tend to support children based charities, the more local the better.

The world’s most irritating/most useful invention?
The electric juicer I have falls into both categories. It can be extremely useful and beneficial for giving the children some nutrition, but it does take up a lot of cupboard space.

Most memorable Christmas present?
I have always had good presents given to me. One of my most memorable was when a friend bought me my first rabbit. I didn’t think that my parent’s would let me have one so I thought if someone else bought it they would have to let me keep it. It worked, and the rabbit was called Biscuit.

Which period in history would you most like to have lived through?
I liked the Victorian Farm series for its simplicity but also enjoy different things from different era’s. I would take the best from periods in history and make up my own period I think….

What do you have for breakfast?
Porridge, raisins and seeds, usually sesame or sunflower seeds, they give you plenty of energy for the day.

Do you have a favourite cartoon character?
I loved Noddy… My kids love it too. It can be educational as well as sometimes he has a go at teaching the children French… Say it with Noddy…

What was your first paid job?
I worked in a photo processing shop as a sales assistant for two years. I learnt a lot about photography and the art of printing. The owner decided to get rid of us just before our 2 year YTS scheme came to an end, which saved him having to pay us himself.

Best/worst household chore?
My worst is mopping. I like the word, but find doing it very exhausting. My favourite would be ironing. Invest in a good iron and it’s a pleasure. I have a fancy iron where the water is in the base; it’s worth every cent…

What is the best/worst piece of advice you have been given?
A good marriage is like a fire it needs to be tended to regularly or the flame or spark will go out.

Personal philosophy?
Treat people as you would like to be treated yourself.

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