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October 2008
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November 2008

oddities, and sweetness

  • On the way to the Hospital to Save the World with Art, one kidney patient at a time, a young feller ran at the tram I was sitting in, banging the window hard. For what, one can hardly guess. I feigned indifference, of course. (Fake the cool, will be written on my tombstone.) On the way home, it happened again, with another school-dodging teen (it was about 2pm at this point). Apparently, running at trams like a bull is the new black.
  • On the electric train back to town last week, I heard a strange gasping cry. I turned in my seat and it was a girl, maybe 17, crying desperately. I was in agony not knowing whether I should go and ask her if I could help. Normally I would have, but something about her demeanour suggested to me she wouldn't like it. And after a minute I heard her explain (loudly, on the phone), that her dog had died. "I can't stop crying" she said. "And everyone is looking at me like I have ten heads." I don't know what the point of this story is, except it was slightly unsettling. I feel dissatisfied with it, as if it is unfinished. Which I suppose answers my question. I should have said something. At least I'd know I tried.
  • I went home and gave myself a reiki treatment. Ooh, it was nice and restorative. I felt so much better after
  • One of "my" patients, when you say hello, says, by way of a greeting: There you are, love. (An expression I've only ever heard in Roddy Doyle novels). Then he said he wished we could come whenever he was in for his dialysis, he is enjoying the work so much. That was so sweet, it makes up for all the oddness.
  • Spike, tasting the frost today. I asked him what it tasted like, and he said "frosty". Hard to argue with that.


  • Good: We sorted out our studio this week. Yes, it still looks like/is a rat-infested freezing condemned garrett, but one you can sit and make a plan in. We cut out all the call for entries and stuck them impressively on the wall, where they hang, waiting to be obeyed
  • Bad: many heart-wrenching sobs and frustration over The Fertility Issue this week. The JB and I continue to have opposite views on this. He would do anything to have a biological child, I would prefer to adopt. To complicate things further this desire of his to have a biological child only surfaced 18-months into our marriage. Meanwhile I have hit forty and oscillate between terror of pregnancy and a longing for it. It's really hard.
  • Good: But, we seem to be learning something from all this, if only to respect each others' feelings
  • Bad: Hey, I can't think of anything else really bad. Which must be good? Oh. Having paid my $35, I forgot to attach my application form for the Healing Power of Art competition and then the email advising me of this got stuck in my SPAM guard. So I spent hours and $35 getting nothing done. And have only myself to blame. Self, you're a twit.
  • Good: My Little Noddy Car passed its NCT! Hurrah. I felt like the parent of a child going for their ballet exam, watching anxiously through the window as the mechanics elevated it and shook the guts out of it.
  • Bad: One of the patients in my Art Therapy group in the hospital told me all about his collection of tropical fish, which he lovingly tended over years, and how they all died when there was a power cut at his house, one day when he was out. The image of this poor man coming home to find every one of the fish dead - poor man.
  • Good: He cheered himself up by buying some piranhas. I mean, my consolation of choice would be, say, an episode of The West Wing and some real hot chocolate, but there you go.
Good/bad or what. I must go and join my parents, who are glued to an episode of The Antiques Roadshow. I'll away. Landscape

sticky incident in the south pacific

Ableseaman Spike and I found ourselves in shark-infested waters this afternoon, most unexpectedly. There we were reading a book about the Hunchback of Notredame, with all the gargoyles and cathedrals, next thing you know, knock me down with a feather, we were aboard our little boat, fending off all kinds of monsters from all angles - "ocpotuses", sharks, crocks and - most alarmingly - those dreadful swimming spiders! Spike had to dive in several times, to "get" one or other of the beasts, returning bravely to the deck, in the nick of time, to reassure me that they were all gone. But nary I closed an eye to try to recoup my strength from the long battle, but I'd feel a shark or some such monster chewing on my foot, nearly pulling me overboard! Spike had to save me more than once. I owe that small raspberry-blowing boy my life I tell you. MY LIFE.

potted list of recent events

So much has happened - some of it historic (CONGRATULATIONS AMERICA! SO HOPEFUL) - that I hardly know where to start.
So, arbitrarily:
1. I went to my conferring. I am now a Master. HA.
2. Some little effingly effing effer broke into my Noddy car and tried to hot-wire it on Halloeen night.
Then, limping to the mechanic on Monday to get it fixed for its NCT, it dumped me unceremoniously on the Ballym*n Rd. And so it was that I became more acquainted than I ever intended with the Ess* petrol station and the employees therein, as I spent an hour in their company. Brother was very good, he organised my rescue.
3. Heartache ensuing with JB re fertility "journey". Spent last week weeping into keyboard. Ug, too painful to talk about. Still, if, as they say, the pain of changing has to be less than the pain of staying the same, for change to happen, then change has to happen, say, now.
4. Found a studio with young friend, she of another generation. It is alarmingly garret-like, with the requisite patched up ceiling and peeling paint, and notices alerting you to the presence of A rodent.
5.Have been accepted as volunteer for the  nattily named AM.NCH (take a breath: The Ad*laide and Meath Hospital, Dublin Incorporating the National Children's Hospital. Glad you're not the receptionist?). I'll start next week, doing drawing in the Renal Dept. One of the other volunteers turned out to be a friend of a school friend that I remember from 1984 when she was a fairly determined New Romantic. She was so sweet.
6. Gah! It's nearly 12. Got to go and pick up car!