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April 2007

B-day and design for life 07

On Friday we went to Topolis for dinner with RM and LC. Nice old reliable. After long hot night of lack of sleep (although since the JB insists he heard snoring I suppose I must have dropped off for a minute or two) I was a little out of sorts on Saturday but rallied after some "resting of eyes" in front of a Manga film called Akira (An experiment. Mildly interesting) while the JB cycled to Dun Laoire on his bike, at a record number of revolutions per min. (It seems the gears don't work, anymore.)
Then we met at Siam thai, where not even the proliferation of plastic ficus trees, karaoke-type singing behind a synthesiser and garish art can ruin the excellent food and charming service. Green massaman curry with tofu. Zehr gut. We went for a walk in Herbert Park and were disproportionately entertained to find ourselves just like in a children's adventure book, in 1960's Berlin. No, okay, in Donnybrook.

The JB gave me a ton of lovely fascinating graphic novels for the birthday. I am getting more interested by them. Comic Book Lady any day now.
And today Sunday we cycled to see Spike - to find that the favour of month may be turning in a South-western/burnt bacon direction! Siren! Siren! Stand-by for further information and possible will changing! However, he gave me a lovely wooden pestle and mortar though. A child of amazing taste and sophistication.

The election was called last night and we cycled around looking for some posters to make fun art out of. And had a cheese and bean burrito in Ranelagh. After that, we went up the SCR to IMMA where we saw Shahzia Sikander, Alex Katz and Thomas Demand. Loving  the Katz stuff, more than I thought. New York stuff, huge cartoony flat portraits. Also enjoyed Demand's paper models and Sikander's delicate and unique animation - the Pursuit Curve. I was so happy with that I jumped in the nearest sculpture.

Last night, during further lack of sleep, I came to a cheering conclusion about how to live.
1. Get angry, rather than depressed. If it's true that depression is frozen anger I've been in the deepfreeze these nearly 40 years. Must defrost gently. It is safe. I have to.
2. Get spiritual support. Could be reiki. Could be church.
3. Recognise my powerlessness. I am not responsible for the state of the earth.
4. Practise self-esteem.

Well, what do you know, it still makes sense today. My design for life.

a week full of activity, movement and turning of corners

Dear Bots, I know you like to keep up. So:

1. The circle of life (new understanding thereof)
Without overloading you, Bots, with TMI, I let it be known that the e and the JB have turned a corner, that the e has been lurking around for these many years. My worries about the state of the planet, the state of me, my moods, etc, etc, have been playing on me exhaustingly as I tried to sort out whether or not we should (try to) have a child. I would lie awake at night, thinking about it - trying to weigh it up in some enormous philosophical equation -  when I finally realised that the only reasoning you can approach this with is pure instinct, the belief in love, in family, the belief in life and the meaning of that no matter what. And the belief that this life is part of another larger scheme of life.
I have a vision, now, of a family life, (perhaps golden-lensed) and I feel called to be brave and stand by it, and be in the game of life, and believe it is a life worth living, and be led by these primal forces I feel newly in me.
(And I have to say, the potentially b*by-m*king marital relations are so much more intimate and exciting than the other kind. I mean, when you can finally throw away the various forms of latex barriers and hormones.
Quite A Different Thing.)
As to what will happen, who can know? But it is good to be here and believe in this. It feels urgently the business of life itself.

2. As that song quietly hums along in the background, other more prosaic matters are at hand. The class chose a name: something in the w*res. My classmate, E, has designed the poster and I the site. It looks good I think. Everyone's work is very interesting.
I had a tutorial this week. The graffiti stuff seemed to go down well with our coordinator. My attitude is definitely that of having a lark.
I would put in a link but I hate when they expire over time. Well, anyway

3. Our House is approaching through the time tunnel at a gathering speed. JB went a bit white and rigid for a minute yesterday in the solicitor's office, as he bravely allowed his gaze to fall upon the huge figures involved  in a mortgage.

4. We saw The Lives of Others last night. It was really good, slow, atmospheric, with a real feeling of time and place and the plot turned perfectly without predictability back on itself. Really good.*****

5. I ate a nice salad in The J*y of Coffee. I am stuffing myself with vitamins/leafy vegetables in light of no. 1. (I am using a lot of those asterisks now things are getting so personal. Sprinkling them round like hundreds and thousands **AST*R*SKS**).

6. I felt 3% nauseous this morning. Probably over-tuned to it, but could you imagine, bots? if the Kerry sp*rms were that potent? However I don't see how. Was not even near to ovulation. This is so strange, turning all the habits of a lifetime on their heads! Previously I did everything I could to avoid the sp*rm and ovum getting acquainted.
But that is the arrogance of a middle-class angst-ridden westerner - to think she has the right to control.

7. Here's an image from the show:

It amuses me. (Although I am simple, of course).

8. Made a card for Flossie. Thought it was a personal but yet without monetary value thing to do. Don't want to pressurize her into reciprocating. Although biscuits are always welcome.

9. I have run out of stirring events.

10. Dinner tonight with friends and tomorrow hope to see Spike et al tomorrow. My little buddy!

11. Talked to AMF during the week on skype. It was so nice to talk to her.

12. Apparently Justin is leaving NJ Studio. He feels God wants him to. Must have changed a bit since I last saw him, or maybe that was just a  protective shell of slacker-sarcastic-charm. I wish him all the best, in any case. I always liked him.

13. Hoping Previously Friend from Italy won't be inspired to call me tomorrow. Might turn off phone just in case. She did send me a group email at Easter which wanted you to find fun in the slaughter of lambs. A pig is saying Happy Easter to the lamb, and the lamb is saying: Feck off.
I don't like that kind of thing much.
Got a lovely card from Willy though. She made it herself, it is so sweet. I was touched.

14. Going to have some breakfast now - Goji nuts and flaxseed, and oatibix - good for my dry-eyes. Today I have to do a bit of work for sc*ilnet - go to bank to get statement and go to gym maybe.
Tis verily a whirl of excitement.

15. A Year of Blogging has clicked by. So quickly! It's been great, Bots.

My lies

p class="MsoNormal">My lie

I confess to my own lie.

In 1987 or 88, I spent the summer in the Alpujarra region of Spain working at a now (I think) defunct hotel run by some English people. I was at the base house for a week-long horse-riding tour of the surrounding towns. Every week, guests (invariably English) would come out from Malaga airport, be matched up with a beautiful Andalusian horse and head off into the dry heat for a week, led by a member of the team. There were four permanent members of staff, Rita, an 18 yo, from some flat place north of London on the flight path to Heathrow, Caroline, a woman in her mid twenties who ran the operation, Jim (let's call him), master manipulator/pervert with a penchant for young girls who travelled on a trail of slime, and Lisa, a frank, nice, capable young woman from Herefordshire (or somewhere) who’d taken a year off from her job in marketing in London to work in Spain.

The atmosphere in the house was not all one might have wished for. More than once I would open the door to find Caroline in tears -

With Jim..?

Imagination failed me. It seemed that Jim had originally been with Caroline and went back to her on the occasions Rita went home.

The weirdness. The WEIRDness. It was as strange as Brian Aldr*ch’s power over women. (This Archers’ reference may be lost on you, Bots, more's the pity).

Over time, Jim did not endear himself more to me. I saw him flirting with a 14 year old, most inappropriately, and making comments to locals like “Estas son mi novias” - (Yo no, I muttered.) And telling me that was a nice skirt, twice, like I should be pleased and letting everyone wait on him hand and foot, making his snide comments under his greasy moustache. Horrible slug.

This has nothing to do with My Inexplicable Lie. It “came out”- was spontaneously born, you could say - talking to Lisa, and she was the only normal one there – she was telling me about a time a horse got injured and was bleeding.

E, over responding, probably: It wasn’t pumping was it? When it’s an artery it really pumps.

L: Why, have you ever seen that?

E: (inexplicable bit ahead): Yes, actually (read: no, never, actually).

L: Wow! What happened?

E: (drawing on pure imagination now, but forging ahead, improvising bravely): a kick from another horse!

L: Must have been some kick!

E: Yes, it was, (losing that confidence which was the only thing that was making this whole lie in the slightest bit convincing), it was, there was a LOT of blood. I just remember people trying to stop it, (and trying to extricate self desperately) I wasn’t really involved…

L: giving e a strange look: Right.

Oh the atrocious self-inflicted pain of being a liar. How can it be worth it?

Another lie occurs to me.

I am about five. I am in class in England, Bracknell, Berkshire sitting at my desk with the other children. Steven Cl*ypool is there, I remember him. The other children say he and his family have fleas.
I can’t see any fleas. I don’t call him names. I don’t call anyone names. I just keep quiet.

A teacher comes in to ask if someone has lost a doll’s shoe. She holds it up. It’s brown flexible plastic.

(Inexplicable bit ahead):

Young e puts up her hand, although I have never seen it before. The teacher gives it to me and I hold it, an odd brown doll’s shoe in my hand. It is so perfect. If only I had the other one, and a doll it fitted. It would fit so beautifully. I am full of confused satisfaction.

weekend of 21/4

I am in my parents’ house while they are in Spain with the brother of e, his partner, and Spike. It is to be hoped there is not an plane crash since I would then be left bereft of family except of course for the redoubtable JB.

And now, some random updates on the state of play:

  1. My class are (argggggggg) unable to arrive at a consensus about a name for the end of year show.
  2. This is as foreseen. But it makes doing the site, buying the url and sundry rather difficult. However I have decided that this is not to be taken too seriously. Yes, it’s a lark to be in a show, but I am not in the same Wanting to be B*no phase of life as the classmates are. I am more akin to Larry David who wisely remarked when getting his Emmy:
    This is all very nice and everything, but I’m still bald.
  3. It occurred to me that I should be addressing the visitors to my site as Robots, as opposed to Non-existent readers. Since while I have no hits from the NERs, the Robots are a faithful (if insensate) audience. Thank you, Bots, thank you. I do it for you.
  4. Last night I was tormented by my cramping aching poor oul uterus. Pregnancy might be uncomfortable, I understand that. But remaining barren is not all that easy either, I’d like to point out.
  5. Sigh
  6. I am knackered, as they say in Dublin.
  7. Someone just trotted floatingly by, down the lane.
  8. And that reminds me to say, we now have 2 swallows in the garage. Sammy and Sally are back from Africa. Which must mean summer.
  9. Not that I mind.
  10. I quite like the winter. Although it’s nice to be able to nip out and feed Smokey in the morning in the dressing gown.
  11. As long as you don’t run into anyone.
  12. For instance, every morning there are two robins in the barn waiting to be fed with the horses. They seem to have opted for the indoor life, in what they seem to view as a kind of avian hotel where room service comes twice a day, in the form of pasture mix for senior equines. True, they were born to be wild, but are now living as voluntary and rather demanding inmates who fall over each other, squeaking excitedly in an attempt to get the most mollasses oats in their beaks. They are now losing their fear of humans. Anything for the oats man! Gimme the oats!
  13. Etc
  14. Robots, I hope you like this post. Mine is to serve you.
  15. I made sesame noodles at lunch. Pretty nice.
  16. It’s windy today. My batteries are rather flat (see no. 4, 5, 6 above)
  17. My lovely Ma left some chocolate chip cookies in the jar. They are not long for this world.
  18. I didn’t take enough calcium this month. Pish!
  19. When will e learn?
  20. Had interesting conversation with JB about compulsive liars. I have come across a few in my long illustrious. One, was an insecure 15 yo kid in school who liked to tell people he was the drummer in a (at the time) cool band called Mama’s Boys. Fairly tall, you would think, but obvious enough it was to get attention. A-creepier-nother was a fellow in his twenties in C*rel where I used to work years ago (makes image-editing software, Bots, as you know) who let it be known that he had a life-threatening heart condition from which his sister already perished. Then someone who knew him from home told us his sister was in fact un-dead, that is, not that you’d understand, Bots, alive.

Bit of a whopper, and hard to explain that one. A way to sleep with lots of women? Surely there are easier ways?

  1. I have known a couple of others, but they were not in that league. They were both more interested in making the immediate present easier for themselves, and would lie to that end, never minding the consequences, the humiliation, the lack of respect and the loss of faith and relationships.
  2. People are strange, not just strangers.
  3. To paraphrase The D**rs.
  4. I am reading RESTLESS by David Lodge. I do like him. Make them laugh, make them cry, make them wait.
  5. JB is wonderfully transparently honest. I love this about him.
  6. xxxxxx
  7. (Sorry if this makes any Bot feel sick).

Spike fell

All was going well. Life was full of excitement, promise and a wagtail you call "BUD!! BUD!! BUDD!" as you ran after him across the lawn. Run, run un-un-un! And CAR!
The concrete bottom ditch of our neighbour looks tantalising, and beyond? beyond are the HORSES! And they are wonderful. But wait! a bramble is waiting for your little (slightly pigeon) toes! A trip! A flying! A fall! and everything is horrible, horrible, cruel and mean. You go pale and cry broken-heartedly. Bobby picks you up and carries you effortlessly  back to Granny's house. You sit down with her on the sunlounger, her heart thumping uncomfortably, and feel that life might be about to improve again. The will to continue to live could be found. And when you show Daddy your KNEE! and he is sympathetic, and examines the minute spot of pierced skin, and tiny spot of blood, all is well again.

Salville House

The weather was lovely and the house peaceful and quiet, beautifully shabbily chic - the meals were so bursting with flavour it almost hurt to eat them - and though they were 4-course and at 8 o'clock (a problem for our nursery-style eating habits) it was undoubtedly the best vegetarian cooking ever. EVAH!
(Oh dear, I couldn't resist that.)

Cannellini bean puree on bruschetta - goat's cheese and asparagus - and Eton Mess, Thai curry, roast vegetables, monkfish, ginger creme brulee. Mountains of it. He earned his money, that G Parker, (a ex-groover partial Alan Whicker type, but without the blazer). He and his wife were very discreet and professional and the breakfast! homemade bread and fruit compote (and the JB picking out the raisins and putting them back in the jar..) and walking around the lanes, which were dead quiet apart from the occasional monstrous Roadstone truck which would brush you into the ditch without even knowing it. And going to see the 1798 exhibit in town which was very entertaining, if a little like eating pre-digested bites of History McNuggets. They had these big model books and a huge chess set, depicting the crisis of the time, and the emphasis was definitely on the global context of the Revolutionary age in France and The Netherlands - rather than on the Irish Rebels on their black and white ponies with their crude weaponry.

More pictures:

The JB was as ever the best company I could ever go away with. The first night, he was starved and gobbled 5 slices of bread with his starter, and was full as an egg afterwards. There was some theatrical groaning and lying perfectly still on the bed. But his stomach proved to be made of steel, or more likely Hogan's SupaVastE-lastic and he was fine the next day.
I read his story, The Journey, which I really liked a lot. We could maybe make a graphic novel of it - I like that idea, of making something handmade for no-one but myself and JB. And I sat in front of the fire, which though not necessary given the fine weather, was lovely, with the dog, Jumble, who made some very realistic (imitation or possibly real?) orgasm noises unless you patted him in the way he wanted, and a lot. It was so nice to be away from the TV noise and all the demands of life. Many of which I manage to dodge in any case it must be said.
Speaking of which, we are trying to finish c*ptivate. Again. In perpetuam. For evah.
And evah. (as above, irresistible!)
So must go to it.

wall eye

We came across this pony in a roped off part of a field on the road from Salville House to Enniscorthy.