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December 2010

home for the holidays

Christmas2010
The turkey-obsessive is back. It must be Christmas or something.

Polysterene balls continue to fall out endlessly of the sky all over Ireland and since the last leg of the journey to the JB's home town involves some cliff-teetering roads and narrow bridges with low, flimsy walls (quite vertiginously frightening at the best of times), it is prudent of  Bus Eireann to suspend services until further notice. Austere Kerry Christmas 2010 has thus been cancelled. The JB is already in the bosom of his family (so to speak), so we will be apart.

THE HORROR.

Ah, no. It'll be fine. No, really.

On The Day, since there is no public transport and my car battery is flat, even if I was able to dig it out, I am to hike across town to Brother's house in Dublin 6 to partake in some bonhomie, then retrace my steps home, no doubt heated from within this time by plum pudding and brussel sprouts. It's over an hour's walk each way from my part of town to his (more salubrious one). For some reason, this plan does not displease me, (This odd Spartan streak of mine conveniently rears its head in times of adversity. Methodist forebears, what can I say?) in fact, I am girding my loins in a siege mentality sort of way, (only without the bombs and actual danger). I am almost looking forward to it.  Well, sort of.

(There may be the odd workaholic/bah-humbug taxi-driver around, now I think of it. I could try sticking out my thumb.)

It may well be that I will fill the empty meaningless blessedly peaceful hours with a post or two, so I might "see" you before then. If not, I wish you all the best, wherever you are, and whatever you choose to do.

Be well, one and all.

 


family


DoppelgangerI
This is a piece of work we are to do for our adoption prep group. The tree represents the adopted child's family - the branches are the adoptive family, the roots the birth family. It is intended to help the child understand his or her dual identity, the lost and gained family. I do enjoy making this sort of thing, though, now I look at it, I see it's gone a bit "arty" and needs to be more upright and regular-looking, so as not to give the kid a complex. Oops. Try again!

(Note to self: Don't be one of those parents that "surprise" their kid with a huge fairy woodland mural on his/her bedroom wall, when he's 15 and heavily into metalgunk or whatever it will be. Can we agree on that?)


The JB and I had a plan for Christmas. His brother, inhabitant of Boston, would not, it seemed, be coming home for the holier, so the JB and I would go down and keep his father (who lives alone) company for the duration. I was quite happy with this vision of an austere Kerry Christmas - I could feel useful, hence virtuous, the JB would be pleased, hence indulgent.  At the same time, I could artfully dodge the huge, noisy party my brother and his partner throw, which, although lovely, makes me feel a bit of a spare part.

Only then the JB mentioned to me, just casually, in passing, that, oh yeah, his brother is coming home, and this put quite a different complexion on things, to the degree that I surprised myself by bursting into big fat tears. I didn't even know why, and it took a bit of incoherent blurting and wailing, like a car trying to start (But I don't waaaant.. I just waaaant.. etc, etc. Quite embarrassing really, like a three-year-old) before it finally sank in that it wasn't really anything to do with where we'll be or what we'll do, or even whether we'll be together or not - I no longer see that as such a bad thing. It's just not the Christmas we'd hoped for.

Sigh. Sigh, sigh.

And then we cheered each other up by imagining our future Christmas days - when we won't be vagabonds any more but will invent our own traditions, and people can come to us, and we'll have lovely funny times with our child. Like these people.

It now looks like I'll stay up in Dublin and the JB will come back for the two days of Christmas. This is okay, I can work on my comic book (I am becoming a tiny bit obsessed with it. I carry my sketchbook everywhere with me and whip it out at intervals to scrawl drawings in it), my friend, Sister 1, will be around for some of it, and there are my parents and brother & Co, too. So it'll be okay.
(I've said that twice now.?)

How are you fixed for the holidays? Bright ideas and inspiration on how to survive without being a complete curmudgeon are gratefully received.

(I have to say I sort of hate the Universe at the moment, after what happened to May and H. It's so unfair. So curmudgeon might be the only way to go.)

Bah, etc,
T



nostalgia isn't what it used to be

Life has been cancelled for the week while we gaze in wonder at the  white stuff that has fallen from the sky. We are not good at snow in Ireland. It astonishes us. We're in a perpetual state of: Jaysus! Snow, is it? It is, be the living hokey, it's SNOW, so it is. (Pause. Repeat.)
There's no other news. Our adoption meeting was cancelled.

I do have something to while away the time, however. I found some relics from 1981 in my mother's old knitting basket:
Womansown
[Expensive-look, expensive-feel! Why didn't that expression catch on?]

The eighties! A more innocent time, you might think. When we (or at least I. I am really quite old) amused ourselves with roller discos, vinyl records, wore pour-in jeans and had to make appointments to see one another, mobile phones being far in the future. As was lycra. And tabbed browsers. In fact, at the time, a browser was someone in a book shop with time to kill.

Mohair was huge. I mean that literally.
Knittingpattern
This young man would have been referred to as a "hunk", a word that makes me want to resign from the human race. Note the glowing visage. He is melting from being enveloped in this nuclear-powered neon garment.

Food was co-ordinated brown and beige:
80sfood
Mmm! Grapefruit and Crab cocktail! Smoked Mussell and Leek Soup in a fish-shaped soup tureen!

Magazine copy displayed brilliant, sabre-like wit. Not to mention the cutting-edge page layout:
Fish
Kipper pasties! Tuna in (in?) pasta shells!
Quick, invent a time-machine - I'm going back.

Interior
The brown and beige food was ingested in obsessively patterned, migraine-inducing rooms like this.

It's a mystery, really, how we grew up at all. We used to play with mercury out of a thermometer, for instance. (This is before ideas like Health and Safety or Adult Supervision were invented.) Between that, and the headbanging, we are walking miracles.

Modern times, eh.  Not so bad, maybe. What do you reckon?