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April 2008

A star is born..

Dscn4266 Dscn4267 Dscn4268

(**I love Badger in these photos. Badger, preening: At last, they're taking a photo of me, about time! MY MOMENT OF GLORY!).
and she shall be called Dazzle (for the purposes of this blog, anyway). She is so sweet, and awe-inspiring - a scrap of pure human potential. And hungry. She eats all the time.
Spike, now a big brother, imagine, is pleased with her. He says she is his favourite.
(Favourite what, no one has liked to ask. Not favourite medical patient, one hopes, after the "operation" he did on Tigger's eye with a toy spanner.)

The Uncanny, The Good and The Marvelous

Starting with The Marvelous, Brother's baby made a surprise appearance 10 days before her due date. All went wonderfully smoothly. Brother was euphoric. He came in, staring a bit madly, saying:
Now we have to think of a name for the baby, a name for the baby, a name..
(Well. I exaggerate slightly. You know, to enhance dramatic value).
He did seem quite awed though. And a little shocked, perhaps.
Brother's partner F was in great form. Now, yes, she understands why people have more than one child. It's true, the second is easier! It is not a story! Shout it from the rooftops!
We are all so pleased, and after the horrendous events of Christmas 2006, it is all that much sweeter.

They are thinking of a name.

An awe-inspiring task, really. To think of all its uses: the sarcastic utterances of it on the part of French teachers, lovers' whispers, typed in official documents, in passports, scribbled by hairdressers receptionists, called out in doctors waiting rooms, hand-written in hockey team lists, shouted in assembly roll call, in newspapers, in gossip-
(And now I interrupt myself to say my Bullsh*te-ometer just went off the scale. Goodness me, this is complete drivel. How entertaining. I really did just write lovers' whispers. Yes, I did. I should write for Mills and Bo*n. I am clearly wasted here).

The good:
I gave our 4 weeks notice to our landlady (coincidentally the mother of the partner of the Brother, as above, and therefore all joyous herself), for yes, the impossible seems to be coming to pass - our House Is (Said To Be) Nearly Ready, Say, on Friday or Failing That, Saturday. Hurrah! I visited our friend the builder today. The house looks all swanky and nice. In most places, at least..

The uncanny
I was walking by the Irish Canc*r Society on Saturday, on my way up to mind Spike, while his Dad nipped to the hospital. I'd just heard The Marvelous, as above, so it was not surprising that a child in the arms of a woman standing in the wide bay window of that large Georgian building should draw my eye. The woman turned, cupping her hand around the little girl's back, and I saw she, the child, had a tube in her nose. The image struck me chill - a baby, with cancer. It's so wrong.
This morning, paying for my meal in DC.U canteen, with my friends, my eye falls on the Irish Times beside the register and there she is again, that same little girl, pale but smiling, in her pretty dress, with her sweet little face, representing the Society's Plea for platelet donors.
I have of course taken this hint from the universe and I am going to donate - not platelets, because unfortunately I have been struck off the Blood Donors register for having a virus (that turned out to be nothing) - but some money, at least, for which I am sure the Society will have plenty of use.

Mild-mannered academic revealed to be BAD Mon'ter by security donkey

Sunday 6th April 2008
In a startling turn of events the JB, previously presumed to be a Really Quite A Nice Feller, is captured and imprisoned in Co Wickl*w. The charge: BEING A BAD MON'TER
His wife pleads for clemency:
No, please, he's done his time! Release my husband! Release the JB! Please, kind Spike!
Muffled voice from inside little room:
I'm good now! I'm nice, I'm a reformed character!
He is momentarily distracted as the door of the little room opens a crack, and a monster hand protrudes and gesticulates ghoulishly.
(delighted with this new opportunity to crack down on evil) NOOOOOOOOOO! Get him!
A chase ensues.

Cut to pursuers:
Wife of JB, now working for Spike, (having perfidiously switched sides): Are you a policeman, Spike?
Spike: No! I a donkey!
Wife: I see. A security donkey.

Funny enough, I read something on the internet lately about donkey being used to guard flocks of geese and sheep and whatnot from snakes, coyotes and other predators. Apparently they are ferociously protective animals - a fact that seems to have escaped our mule Jenny. Although, in something of a reversal of the concept, she has been known to run off an stray sheep or dog. So maybe Spikey is on to something. He is surprisingly perspicacious - earlier that same Sunday he gave us a short talk on eagles: They have really sharp toes. And he pointed out a chimp to us in a calendar full of images of wild animals. We peruse the pages, admiring the photos.
OOoh, the baby elephant is my favourite
, I said.
The monkey is my favourite
, chimes in JB.
says Spike, Security Donkey, HE MY FAVOURITE!!

galloping on

Our busdriver covered the 20 miles to Kilmacan*gue in 30mins today, propelled on by the stirring Grand National commentary on the radio. (It was won by Comply or Di*, btw, around the time we shot up our own homestraight at Kilmac). Not to force a metaphor or anything, but indeed it seems the whole week has galloped by at a Thoroughbred canter. I have covered miles, it feels like. JB came back. I was so happy to have my companion back (even if to put it in those terms may make it seem like a romance in an Old Folks' Home) - although I must admit it has taken me a few days to adapt to sharing the bed with him, having the fridge stuffed with food, and the toilet seat being found in an upright position. He seemed a bit foreign somehow, almost exotic. I had an impulse to examine him with my fingers like a monkey grooming another. (I did resist this. Lucky for him). He's in good spirits though, and his Dad is well on the mend. Spring is here, suddenly and all is brighter.
Work on house proceeds in the background, at a brisk pace. I have been talking to MLl, my Spanish friend on Yah*o messenger (other instant messengers exist, as Mr Brand would say) - I told her about our plans to adopt, and it turns out she and her husband are thinking about it too. It would be so nice to have a friend to share this with.  (I have found myself a little shy to make this announcement about the adoption. I don't quite know why, it just seems hard to blurt it out. It seems personal, somehow. I was like this about getting married too, funny enough. I felt like I am telling someone what colour my knickers are.)
Other than that, I have been spending long long hours drawing on numbers for my flipclock and editing long long panning shots, the type that are so long they might make you lose the will to live, that were shot by my inspirant director father in the 60's. (Poignant though, to see my mother at 25 on holiday with my father in various glamorous locations - she was so young and pretty.) I am enjoying the work. I wrote my statement of intent too, this week, for the Yearbook. Like so many furlong markers, flashing by on the backstraight.
(See what I did there? :))



After a decidedly lackadaisical 6 etching night course, I (with some help from a powerful latte, from the Joy of Chai, ironically) powered into 5th gear on Saturday and pumped out about 10 postcard-sized prints in the afternoon. (Ah, caffeine! What would I do with you? I should really thank you at my degree show. If I ever win an Oscar, I'll mention you with a tear in my eye. Thanks to my parents, my husband, The Oldest Horse in the World, and, most of all, Italian roast, freshly ground.)
We went for an interesting lunch with the characters from my class. It's odd (or maybe it's me that's odd) but I always take some time to warm up to fellow students on night courses, but then, invariably, I end up fond of them, with all their quirks and opinions, and the gentle hum of interplay that happens in the studio as we work, and am sorry to see them go and that it has to come to an end. This time was not an exception.
And they were particularly colourful. What a cast:
P*trick, slightly socially maladjusted but childlike and sweet middle-aged bachelor from Dalkey, prone to innocent boasting and indulging in something I refer to as "informing people against their will" about everything he had ever seen on the Discov*ry Channel/his friends/his shows
L*z, livewire, artist, dancer, with many entertaining stories of the wild times she had in San Francisco dancing and Rome, being an unofficial tourist guide in the Vatican,
M*ira, a touch of the P*tricks here too, a middle-aged woman from south Dublin - and NO opinion left unexpressed. She'd come out with all these factoids - anything from Why being addicted to Alcohol is not as bad as being addicted to Heroin - to stunningly obvious and sweeping observations on murder statistics. (In fact, for a group of allegedly sensitive artist-types, there was a lot of talk about murder - the more grisly the better, it seemed). The way she presented these things as the most remarkable  revelations was wonderful. Oh the lack of guile.
K*te was our teacher, an unflappable girl from Liverpool - with cool attitude and sweet tired smile. A proper artist with clothes she may have made herself, and gold clogs, but cool. But really cool.

Goodbye, goodbye, etching class! Forever and forever, goodbye.