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January 2010

December 2009



So. Kerry was perfectly nice. There was a lot of eating and sleeping, and it was a nice quiet time away from things. I felt like a fish out of water though, I did. Like a moody fish out of water. Nothing to do with the JB and his Dad who were sweet as ever. His Dad (referred to hereafter as KDiddy), is a dote, if a bit eccentric,  though between his deafness and my inability to decipher his accent, conversation is a constant test of determination and quick-wittedness. It's like the Grand National of chat, you can fall off at any moment.

At one point I thought we were getting on famously, discussing the need for insulation in our kitchen, (You could die of exposure in our kitchen. The olive oil has soldified.) until the JB informed me that KDiddy was talking about the recession.
The recession! Yes, that's bad too.

I was in a moooo-ood. I feel so frustrated that we can't do our own thing at Christmas. I want to make our own traditions, our own food, and get people to come to us, for a change. Well. I think we all know where this train of thought is going, don't you? Let me just wrench the wheel in a desperate last ditch attempt to avoid the sore, sore point of how we'd like life to be.

Like I say, it was very quiet, and there was a lot of sleeping. I had odd dreams which I won't bore you with (In one I had triplets, and I kept forgetting to look after them. Conclusion: I need my own dedicated team of psychiatrists). One day it was so very quiet, that we - well, can I just sum it up by saying the JB looks radiant in mascara and blusher?

So that is where we are. In mascara, and in need of a team of psychiatrists, looking forward to 2010.
How are you?

A very merry Christmas and/or Your Holier

There should be a post just about... here, all full of observations, reflections and salient points. However my little, little brain is whirring away like a micra up the M50, the doors are rattling, and steam is coming out of the engine, such is the effort of Getting Organised for the Chrimble, and there's no RAM left for anything else. So I'll just leave you with my best wishes for the holiday, however you may choose to spend it. I'll be thinking of each of you, scattered across (well, part of) the globe, and sending you lots of good thoughts from Kerry (presuming I get that far, seeing as this country seizes up at slightest sniff of frost.) 

Have a lovely time, one and all.


(This year's card - Rufus, striking again.)

once bitten, twice bitten

Every year, it's the same. Every year, I'm not ready for Christmas until about mid-January. This year it crept up even more rapidly (let us pause for a moment to enjoy that word, rapid. I like it. Favourite words anyone? How about prairie? Prairie. Like that one, too.) than usual. I feel like you do when you knock back too many glasses of a local liqueur, limoncello, say, in a fit of holiday bonhomie, and get up from the table to find the floor is miles away, and your legs have turned into unwieldly brick towers, which you then try to operate as if by remote control, and varamm, the next thing you know, your nose is against the toilet door, and you think, how in the hayull did I get here?

I always feel a bit like that, actually, just more so at Christmas. Like things are in fast-forward mode, while I am slightly jet-lagged. I can never get over the fact it's Friday, for instance. I always feel it should be about Wednesday, when it's Friday.

I always make a card, this time of year. Tradition dictates it features a turkey-obsessed, lugubrious dachshund:
Which I just about have pulled off this year. And an e-card, for clients:


The JB and I are off to Kerry to see his Dad next week, and there will enact an austere, old-fashioned Christmas, with a modest present for each of us. And some dinner, and a few dark windy walks about town, and views out over the freezing Atlantic. This is good for body and spirit, I presume. And their house is cosy, drowsy-making, and no one minds if you go and doze off read your book  to the rhythmic slap of the backgammon pieces downstairs.
Pity not to miss my brother opening his dinosaur though.

Hey, it's nearly time to go to our Christmas party! Hurray!
More soon,

a perfect gift

Perfect moment

Here is mine:

What are you getting your Daddy for Christmas?
I stage-whispered to Spike, my four and a half year old nephew, over his airplane jigsaw.

Spike, confidentially, under his breath:
A remote control dinosaur.



catch your breath

My mother fell in the street on Thursday and gave herself a good oul bang on the knee and elbow. People were nice and helped her up, and a nice nurse insisted on accompanying her all the way to Grafton St. Poor Ma, though. So shocking when you end up on the ground, when previously you were happily gliding along, thinking walking was easy. And then there's the irresistible instinct which must be obeyed, yelling at you in your head: GET UP, GET UP AND SAY YOU'RE FINE, EVEN IF YOUR LIMBS ARE ACTUALLY HANGING OFF!
Not great, is it?
(This is going to be hard to believe but last night I actually did dream someone fell and I went to help her up. It's a bit vague, but I remember the clearly articulated dream-thinking in my head: I mustn't yank her up, but let her take a breath first, and saying to the person (whoever it was): Catch your breath, take your time.*

I should take my own advice. )

[*Edited to add: This story would make more sense if you knew I had the dream before I heard my mother fell. Duh.]

The ChildDr was really sympathetic and humane. (I am so disproportionally surprised by this that I conclude I must have expected some other, less kind reaction. What is this strange fear of being scoffed at, self? Gah.)
She listened carefully to all my doubts and dilemmas, and wrote in my file that we had a difficult decision to make, but booked an appointment for January anyway, which can be cancelled if we like. She wanted to know what the JB thought, and I said he'd like (like me too, of course) to have one of both, ideally (biological and adopted). (Niiiice dream. Mmm.)
I told her The Rule about how The Adoption Authorities don't want you to be having IVF as you do your assessments and she said but how would they know? Which is what some of you pointed out. And is true.
But as a child I read too much Enid Blyton (odd woman, it turns out) and went to too many Brownie meetings (mind-control for little girls, it turns out) and now am brain-washed to the point that I have an exaggerated, reverential respect for The Rules. But, you know, maybe they are right, and it is better to focus on one or the other.

So, anyhoodle, much to think about before January.

Oh, and she told me things "below" (as she calls the reproductive system) are much healthier now. Previously, when under the crushing fascist-like pressure of the despotic MonsterCysts, my poor little tubes were flattened and inflamed, (probably not allowing eggs to pass through) but now it's all heavenly and utopian in there. (Well. She may not have used those exact words). Which is good to know. She said, you never know, something might happen on its own.

Then we even had a bit of banter. I like to treat doctors like they're human, I think it has a positive, equalising effect on the relationship. I like to get in there and ask them how they are, before they ask me. Hah.
She is going to the UK (watch out for a tiny super-competent fertility Dr whirring around your streets in a blur of speed, UK friends - VAROOOM! there she goes!) to see her sister, and her other sisters are coming from South Africa, which makes 4 sisters and various dogs and children, which is making the poor ChildDr a bit nervous, as this hasn't happened for 15 years, and who knows what squabbles might ensue. (I love these glimpses into people's lives, don't you?)
So we had a knowing laugh about families, and I went on my way, relieved and fond of the ChildDr.

I sign off with a dachshund.
For no particular reason, except I have been drawing them this week.

I hope your weekend is good.
And I thank you again for your comments. They really help.


angst, anyone?

Thanks for your kind good shoulder wishes. The squelchy thing has subsided, thanks be. It was disconcerting to have sucking noises emitting from your joint, even one as with as bad a reputation as my shoulder. The MUA (manipulation under anaesthetic) went well. Quite uneventful, really. Still got lots of physio special time with Spangles to do. Can't wait! Such fun.

All that fades into the background though, as I nervously face the appointment with the ChildDr tomorrow morning. I feel overwhelmed and anxious about everything today. I feel like Maria Callas on uppers. (Apologies to the Callas estate. She was probably quite normal compared to me). It's seeping into everything. Everything is funneling at great pressure down to this next few months and I don't know who or where we'll be at the end of it all. I have to believe we'll be okay, but I can't visualise it. I normally have really good instincts for choices, but with someone else to consider (the Kerryman, in this case), it's so much harder.

For, cleverclever people that we are, we seem to have backed ourselves into a bit of a corner. In Feb 2008 we went to a meeting and put our names on the adoption list. I rang the agency this morning and found out we are simmering under (top twenty DJ talk!) and are just twenty or so numbers below the ones who are being processed now. So we should be contacted in a few weeks. Which, hurray!
Except -

On the other hand, we have the ChildDr. And the fact that the IVF is strongly not recommended during the adoption process. So we have to choose. Or make a plan. Or something.
I feel really silly I have let this happen, but honestly, it was just the natural progression of things. For my part, I (can I emphasise, this is just me) have no preference for bio-route to a family over
adopted. Of course I can see it's a much different experience, but it's not less desirable, to me, in that sense. I have tremendous sympathy for women who so long for the experience of pregnancy and childbirth, of course. I just never really have had that, myself. I don't know why. I want the parenting, I want the daily life. I was single for so long (I met the JB at 36. He is a bit younger. And fitter. And more fertile.) that I had already worked this bit out/resigned myself to it. Hard to know which. (I'm adaptable. I'm the elastic girl!)

My focus was more on the finding someone to love (the mid-thirties were a long walk through the desert in that respect) so children and so on were only a daydream. But for JB, the ability to have them is as if a given. His mother had him and his brother at 40 and 42. So why not us, he thought. Why not, indeed. He's happy to adopt, but he's been heartbroken by these months of TTC. It's been so hard on him. And he gives in to negative thoughts about how we'll never be parents, and are "kaiboshed", and will be a sad old couple who live vicariously through their nephews and nieces, and that is when I cry. And he feels awful for being so tactless, and I talk him out of it, and tell him he is not being rational, and that someday we will be parents and it will be amazing.
Around and around, ad infinitum.

So, as you can see (!), it's hard to know what to say to the ChildDr tomorrow morning. I think I'll just lay our cards on the table, and talk to her about what our chances are at my venerable age, and where we should put our energy.

Calmness, now, and clarity. Deep breaths! Also, dinner, which is in danger of ending up as a charred offering.
Your dramatic,

after Spike

Spike and I sat down yesterday afternoon at my mother's kitchen table, for a bit of a old draw. He was in his most charmy mood. Four is such a good age, for him, he's made huge leaps in social skills, and understanding. His latest fad is colouring-in, which he does in an deeply contented, entranced way. His teacher says he's good at art and he never goes outside the lines. (Which is what they used to say about me, now I think of it.

Spike: You can use my colours.
I was truly honoured. Dazzle gets roared at when she tries to touch his colours. So I drew a witch like his, and coloured it in according to his recommendations.

(I am a shoe-in to that MoMA residency!)

He tells stories as we colour. This is a new thing. As in:
I saw something funny on the telly. It was a dog dressed up as a lady!
Mad peals of laughter follow this two-liner. He can hardly contain himself. He's holding his sides.
We while away some time happily colouring in, as Dazzle carries out strategic, daring raids on the biscuit tin (she's allergic to dairy, poor child. Tricky, explaining that to a 18 month old). He makes observations now too, like when they are getting ready to leave and are bundling Dazzle into her coat too:
Her is not going to be left over.

How I love the little feller. He's the first child I really knew, that knows me too.

A complicated marital post is stewing away acidic-ly on my back burner, but for now I must get on and make myself a survival pack for the hospital tomorrow. Books, sketchbook, mp3 player, lip balm, mobile phone. (Tragic, tragic lack of food and water. Not a crumb. Woe.)
See you on the flip-side, with functional, cheer-leading shoulder (I hope),

Till then,

Technology vs Twangy

My facebook account has been deactivated. Some spammer might have/has assumed by identity, and could be spraying spam around like a madman with a hose. I am having some weird alienated Orwellian vibes. For I do not exist anymore. I am a greyed-out unperson. I am not a clickable option.

But you do not need Facebook to live! No, srsly. I am not that fond of it, to be honest. It's mildly amusing, but it's so superficial. It doesn't encourage honesty. If I really did tell it what was on my mind, it would jar horribly and everyone would think: Du-ude! Down-nnner!

Also, since I am in the mood for stating the obvious, all sorts of people can find you there. All sorts. Some of whom may be better off left in the past, where they belong. I used to go out with an Italian man, some centuries ago, when living in Pavia and going to nightclubs thrice-weekly with a dedication you see in other people when they train for the Olympics. He broke my heart in tragic and dramatic fashion (or so it seemed at the time), and so it was with mixed feelings that I received his invitation to be friends. Friends! HAH. Don't make me laugh.

Whereas, blogging, that's different, isn't it? Blogging is a first person narrative that cuts through all the distractions and allows real voices to be heard, in the gloom. It has complexity, it has flexibility. It can give people the freedom to be themselves. It makes it so much easier to find the small percentage of people that are Your People out there in the world.
Speaking of which - err - whatever that was I was on about, my SPAM filter is playing me up no end. It deftly nets all sorts of interesting and important emails and cheerily waves in plenty of ones informing me how my tool can grow like a flower.

This is maddening. And it is so very crap (Eircom mail-protector- Grrar!) that it won't resend them, so you can see the title but cannot open it to read it. I can see one from HFF there, and I want to read it! (Sorry HFF! I will get back to you eventually!)

I better go. Got to get some blood test or other, hep or whatnot.

Your non-existent,