Christmas, 1982. Two-year-old Leigh Arnold was taken into town by her father David from their home in to see Santa Claus at Brown Thomas on Grafton Street.
"We were holding hands through the snow," she recalls. "Then after we saw Santa, my dad said to me: 'I have another surprise for you. Mummy's just had a baby girl. And we are going to the hospital and I am going to introduce you to your new baby sister, Chloe.'"
Many years later she has her own babies, Hunter, Piper and Honey. Living in Ibiza since 2014, where Leigh and her husband Steve run a retreat centre called Transformation Station, she says it's a great place to bring up their children. "They are very feral," Leigh laughs. "They are like kids growing up in the countryside. They climb trees. Really open-minded. Happy. Funny. Sweet."
Eight-year-old Hunter, she says, "will sit around all day and pick up fish with his bare hands. All he wants to do is chase lizards. He wants to be an archaeologist or a marine biologist." Four-year-old Piper "could have been me when I was a little girl. All she wants to do is dress up as a princess, and wear glitter."
As for eight-month-old Honey, "all she does is smile". Leigh adds that it is the greatest privilege in the world to teach her children "an understanding of their feelings," she says, referring to her baby boy Flynn, who died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome seven years ago.
"We talk about Flynn a lot. He is part of our family. It is very important that they don't look at it with sadness. For me, it is really healthy to have an openness; that there is nothing secret. Nothing in my life is a secret. Nothing in my life is a lie."
On May 18, 2013, Leigh found two-and-a-half-week-old Flynn dying in her sleeping fiancé Steve's arms at their home in Ashley, Cheshire when she returned from a night out.
She told an inquest in April 2014: "I could tell by the colour of his face that something was wrong. I screamed an awful lot. I don't remember much after that."
"I awoke to find Leigh in hysterics. Flynn wasn't himself. He was grey in the face," Steve said, adding that he tried to resuscitate Flynn, following instruction from a 999 operator. Flynn died at 2.25am at Wythenshawe Hospital.
I ask Leigh for a memory of Flynn.
"When you ask for a memory of a baby who passed away so suddenly… there are a million memories," she says. "My greatest memory is of him looking into my eyes with knowledge and knowing. I knew he had come from somewhere else. And he was obviously here to give me a message. And he is with me always. He'll never leave me."
"I'm still going through it," Leigh says of her grief, "if I'm honest with you. I will never say that I have got through it. There is no way. And I don't think I ever will get through it."
Leigh says it is about learning to deal with it, learning to cope. "It is also learning to help yourself when those feelings come. Like so many other parents, so many people who have been through what I have been through on various different levels, when people are going through pain - whether it is the loss of a child or a parent or a friend or a relationship - it is about healing.
"We were put on this earth and things happen. How you deal with them is what allows you to get on with the rest of your life. All I am trying to do, like so many others, is to try to be the best that I can be.
"The first thing you want to do when something awful happens is just lock the door, turn out the lights and don't wake up. But we have responsibilities as human beings, not only to ourselves but as a parent and to your family and friends.
"It is about trying to pick yourself up. I was incredibly lucky to have amazing friends and family who were by my side through everything. I also had great practitioners, who told me if you want to scream, just scream, like a crazy mad woman or man."
Leigh says you are allowed do that, "because that is an inner rage that has come out of you. And if it doesn't come out of you in a natural way and you are suppressing it by conventional medicine, it is just eventually going to come out in a time in your life when you least expect it."
"I am still healing," she says. "We always are. Steve and I are both still on a healing journey, and I think we will be for the rest of our lives."
"Leigh is an incredible woman," says Steve. "A wonderful wife, dedicated mother and an inspiration for our children. During the roller-coaster of our life together, her strength of character and determination has helped our family pull through some incredibly tough times, as well as creating precious and happy moments. Leigh continues to be a huge support for me in life and business."
Steve adds that "tragic life events led us to pursue more mindful approaches to healing". "Having felt first-hand the transformative power of Ibiza and its facilitators, Leigh and I knew we had to share these experiences with others also in need of a life shift - physically, emotionally or spiritually," he says, referring to the Transformation Station retreat he and Leigh set up last October.
With retreats on hold until the autumn due to coronavirus, and so many people struggling to make sense of the 'new norm', Steve says that they "responded with TS Live, offering free online sessions, including breath work, meditation, yoga and nutrition.
"Being isolated at home, many people for the first time have had time to search for a deeper meaning in their lives. Through TS Live sessions people have participated in practices such as meditation and breath work which they might not have done had it not been for the lockdown. We have been overwhelmed by the response and feel humbled that we can in any way help people in these uncertain times, supported by a growing community who share our vision."
"The healers and facilitators we have at Transformation Station are people who have helped us get through what we got through," says Leigh. "So they are not just like we picked random people to work on the retreats. They are people who have meant a huge amount in our lives. We can give them a personal stamp of approval."
Leigh clearly approved of what she saw at a New Year's Eve party in 2010 at Finnegan's pub in Dalkey when a friend introduced her to businessman Steve.
"It was the night of the snow storm," she smiles. "We met in that blizzard, basically. When we first started dating we came out here to Ibiza. Steve was involved in property development in Greece and Ibiza and I came along with him."
On May 8, 2014, they married in Ibiza. "Steve is a very strong man," she says. "It is very much about the woman when things like this happen. It was really important for me that the man was allowed be comforted too and have time to heal. Steve very much said to me with complete love, 'You go and have your time and do what you need to do and I will go and have my time and do what I need to do'."
Leigh says everyone deals with grief differently. "Just because you are married doesn't mean you have the same reactions to grief," she adds. "You find what is best for you, and certain aspects worked better for him than they have for me. Steve has been practising the Wim Hof method - a mixture of cold exposure, breathing techniques and meditation - for four years. It has been massively influential in his way of dealing with emotional things."
(The Wim Hof method is one of the courses at Transformation Station. Steve met Niall O'Murchu by chance at the Forty Foot last year he is now training to become a Wim Hof instructor in Ibiza.)
Processing the grief of losing Flynn was "more emotional" for Leigh.
"I needed to tap into letting my heart just cry," Leigh says, echoing what 19th-century American author Christian Nestell Bovee meant perhaps when he wrote: "Tearless grief bleeds inwardly".
Leigh admits, unsurprisingly, that their relationship suffered in the aftermath of Flynn's death. "Absolutely…"
How did they work through it? "By allowing each other time. It is really important to allow someone to go into their own space. Like anyone who has gone through a trauma, and especially losing a child, you are both looking at each other and reacting in one way that another person isn't reacting. And then, 'why aren't you reacting the way I'm reacting?'. It is a cycle where no one is getting anywhere.
"So, in order for anyone to get anywhere, you say, 'Go for a walk. Go get some head-space. Go and see a friend for the night. Have some time out.' We need to breathe. It is just allowing people to have the freedom to be their own person. Just because you're married doesn't mean that you're under lock and key.
"It is the most difficult thing to go through. So many marriages suffer. It is more normal for marriages to end up breaking up after going through tragedies than it is to stay together.
"The most important thing you can do is to try your best to make sure that you don't allow what's happened to define you."
Flynn's death hasn't defined Leigh, but how has it changed her?
"I've become quite insular in a way," she replies. "I've become [pause]… I'm less confident than I used to be. I haven't done an interview like this in a long time and I'm quite nervous.
"I am definitely a stronger person. I think I took a lot for granted. I think it is really important to be grounded and know what is right and wrong. I just try to live my life openly and honestly and try to do the best I can to help other people on a journey."
Leigh played Dr Clodagh Delaney in RTE's medical drama The Clinic in the Noughties. During that time, she was a very high-profile actress, ever-present on the social pages of the newspapers. Fun-loving, high-living Leigh was practically a poster girl for the Celtic Tiger.
In an interview with the RTE Guide in 2009, she was asked: 'You seem to be constantly in the papers these days. Do you find it difficult having each outfit you wear scrutinised and commented on?' To which she replied: "I never really think about what I am wearing being commented on. I suppose it makes sense, though, as I do it to people in papers all the time. To be honest, if I thought I was going to be slagged for an outfit, I probably would never leave the house."
How does Leigh look back on Leigh Arnold of the Celtic Tiger era?
"I was totally different to what I am now. It was an amazing time in my life but I knew nothing about life. I thought I knew it all. I didn't understand how life can deal you some cards. I have re-evaluated life and what it is about. I realise that the most important thing in life to me was taking care of myself, because fundamentally, if I don't take care of myself, then I can't take care of anyone else around me.
"I had to go into a place that I could be quiet to do that. I had to re-grow as a human being and as a soul and to evolve and to keep evolving, to the best I can. I am stronger and certainly far happier than I have ever been in my life. I feel fulfilled and I am filled with gratitude for everything I have got, regardless of what path life took me."
Leigh describes her childhood as "absolutely brilliant".
"I was never a particularly confident child. Always self-conscious, as I thought I was a bit of a geek! I was short and flat-chested and not the prettiest girl in school," she said in 2009.
She says now: "I used to boast to my friends - 'I saw Mum and Dad slow-dancing in the kitchen, having a kiss'. They were very romantic. It was a very happy household. There were four of us, two sisters and two brothers," she says, referring to Chloe, Simon and Nicky (in November 2015, Nicky died of a suspected aneurysm).
Leigh's parents David and Maureen broke up when she was 22. "We are still a very close family. Their split has no effect on any of our lives, thank goodness," she says, adding that her father is "a very strong and determined man and I think I probably inherited that. My mum has dedicated her life to her children and her grandchildren. She is actually living in the apartment next to the house in Ibiza since the lockdown happened. She came over to help out and babysit. Chloe also lives here in Ibiza."
When Transformation returns in the autumn, the courses will include Living From Your Higher Self, Wim Hof Method Fundamentals, Conscious Being Retreats and Wild Spirit Ibiza. Guests can stay in tepees or air-conditioned rooms. The food is vegan and vegetarian, sourced from their organic vegetable garden.
"The finca is in the beautiful north of Ibiza," says Leigh, "set on its own hillside with 40,000 square metres of land. On one side you have views across the valleys to Formentera, on the other unobstructed sea views out to Benirras bay, with sunset views over the sea.
"It looks like the west of Ireland where we live. I do miss Ireland. But I love it here. We try to live a healthy lifestyle. It is just an easy way of life and an amazing place to live."
Check out www.transformationstation.org for details of the retreats which start in September. They are offering a 20% discount to anyone who books by 7th July. Before then classes are free until the end of July.
Sunday Indo Living