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August 2012
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October 2012

September 2012


She must be fitted with some sort of radar.

Well, my darlings.

It seems that drawing comics every day does not make for thrilling blogging content, indeed, as will become painfully apparent in a moment or two, I have absolutely no news at all. I wanted nonetheless to thank you for your (as ever) kindly and empathic comments of last week. I have cheered up quite a bit. And, Vietnam has reopened (sort of) in the interim - so you know, it can happen. All is possible. I have reverted to hopefulness as the vision of the JB's potential American children has faded. Of course they won't say "mere" and "draw"; I was just testing. No, what they'll say is "hey" when they mean "hello"; "hey" being what you say when surprised to see, say, Rock Hudson. (As well you might be.) "Hey, is that Elvis?", for instance.

They may well also say "store" when clearly what they mean is "shop". One can't know.

[Somewhat related aside: Despite 4 years of living in country stateside,  the exact meaning of certain words continued to elude me. So I'd revert to my former modern language student self, as if with little notebook at hand, just like when I lived in Italy: so is  "asshole" more the equivalent of "dickhead", or "bollocks" in this context, I'd muse to myself, and collect examples that proved it one way or the other. Isn't it strange how swear words in another language don't have the same impact on you as your own language? Funny enough, I find it's the same in US English. I could say "asshole" with total aplomb, just feeling a bit of a phoney. But the Irish "bollocks"? No. Gasp! Only in an appropriate moment of passion.]

See, I do have no news.

Time is moving along at a fierce clip, is it not? It's nearly October, and the back-to-school golden sun is giving way to a autumnal chill. Time for chimney sweepering and car servicing and other evidence of being an funtioning adult. So it is, I put on socks, draw, I run, I go to choir, eat, sleep, making life up one day at a time, like we all do.

All's quiet on the edge of the world.



things: not exactly as they should be

I really hope it's true it's always darkest before dawn because that kind of bloody-minded reverse optimism is all I have left. Well, that and an oddball sense of humour. And tremendous enthusiam for gourmet crisps and large animals.

Also small, furry ones. And coffee.

But I am worried. I have things to get off my chest, and that is what a blog is for. Here we go.

Worry One:
Having been the one for ooh, all my life to be all responsible and ready to approach The Authorities and Ask For Help, like a middle-class person, not to mention feeling compelled to be the cheerleader of basically Everything, and Believer in The Happy Ending, I have utterly lost faith in The Adoption Authority.  Oh, I feel such a fool, apart from anything. Since their meeting with the Indian authorities in May, NOTHING has happened. I know they are understaffed but I cannot conceive of the foot-dragging that is going on. The JB and I went to a very depressing meeting with our cohort who speculated a year might yet pass,  to set up the working agreements with India. A year. Just to get going? To get on a working list? After which people could quite easily expect another two for the Indian part of the adoption to happen - I mean, the  matching, the Notice of Court and so on. Legal stuff, which probably can't be expedited. It was utterly crushing to sit around with these decent (One presuuuumes. They could have corpses buried under their patios, I suppose.) hard-working folk, who may well actually age out of the system before they can effect an adoption (the maximum combined age for India is 90), complaining so bitterly about the lack of good will, the apparent deliberate obstructiveness of the Authority, the disappointment, the resignation, the feeling of being cheated. All the while children stuck in orphanages when people who are so ready and so able to care for them are left waiting.

All this did not make for a happy evening. Of course. And of course, the JB and I had an argument walking back to the tram stop. I really started thinking he'd be better off with someone else. It doesn't even seem the worst outcome anymore. I'd be okay, I'd get obsessed by comics (more obsessed, I mean) or foster injured hedgehogs or something, find some mission for myself, and he'd go off to the US and find himself a nice, fertile American to have 3.5 children with. Sure, they'd grow up saying mere instead of mirror, draw instead of drawer, and forget the word aluminium has more than one "i". :-) But still! They'd be grand.

Does that sound so bad?
Answer: no. (In case you were in any doubt).

Related: Worry Two:
What is this doing to my marriage? Heaven knows, many of you know how painful it is not to be able to give your spouse what he wants so badly. Since the traumatic walk of doom to the tram stop, we have patched things up. We patch well, at this point. He tells me he wants to be parents only with me and will see it through. We're okay. We really, really love each other.

Adoption was always my answer but it's failed me. All my assurances that this would work, this was our plan, feel so simple-minded now. The uncertainty itself is the killer. I mean, if we knew it'd be 4 years, we could plan accordingly. We'd know, at least. It might well be. Or Florida might open and it might be 1. Who knows?  There's no alternative. (DE and surrogancy are wonderful options that aren't for me. Too old for IVF. Blah, blah.) We could go to the USA (he has a passport, you may remember) to live and adopt there, but I can't leave my parents.

Which brings me to Worry Three:
My parents are slowing down alarmingly - my father, as you may remember, suffered a stroke 3 years ago, my mother is increasingly and painfully affected by arthritis. It is so hard to see them so diminished. It is so hard to witness the decline. It's so hard to know it will only get worse.

Also. This haircut makes me look like an orange Cocker Spaniel.

Do you know, I do feel better now. Thank you!
I feel.. more optimistic. Oh crap?

Apparently it really is my nature.

work and rest

A round-up is called for, I think.

We were in Kerry, last weekend. It is majestic, as you can see even from these poor quality phone camera shots, taken in the rain.



The sheer scale! The vistas go on and on!


You must come and see it for yourselves. I insist upon it.


But bring your wet gear.

We had to come home a day early because Someone made a mistake and thought his flight was on the Wednesday. In fact it was on the Tuesday, as suspected by Someone Else, being me.

When he left for his ill-fated conference (it was to be held in New Orleans, but Hurricane Isaac had other plans, and he washed up in Boston with his sibling, the non-trembling one), I felt the usual five minute painful wrench of separation, after which I cheered myself up by listing all the things that make being alone beneficial:

  • Sleeping in the middle of the bed like a starfish
  • Watching whatever I want, including soothing (to me) programmes about restoring houses, the ones that give you the illusion of the satisfaction of a job well done, but without the actual hard labour
  • And other soppy rubbish some of which I have seen before but still want to watch
  • Things being found where I left them
  • Absence of puddles of milk on countertop/cornflakes scattered on the floor
  • No need to step over Someone doing his sit-ups in the middle of the floor

It's a paltry list, of course, compared to things like laughter, affection and company, but life has at least a veneer of novelty when he's away, as long as I know he is returning soon.  I heard recently on the radio that social isolation is as bad for you as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.  So working at home on one's own-ee-oo, especially when also living along, presumably, is actually physically harmful? How unfair! And, wait a minute, what harm does working in a job do to you, then, I'd like to know? True, you avoid isolation, but as we have noted, the work is not quite the 24 hour party either.

I conclude that life is an impossible balancing act, as on many previous occasions.

(Aside: I do wonder if I am actually a Martian. Things that other people find totally acceptable and normal, I stumble over and spend an age trying to come to terms with. Whoa! I say. A 40 hour work week? MADNESS. I never agreed to that.)

Work itself, though, will never cease to fascinate me. The compromises people make, the status they derive from it, the very concept of going to this other place every day to make yourself useful? And more that that, the allegiances, the politics, the power, the cast of characters? All very interesting, rich pickings, indeed, for a writer.

 Speaking of writing, did I mention The Experiment? I am devoting these months until Christmas to writing comics. I can't tell you how much fun this is. I even have a system. I devote the first three hours of the day to the comics - a complete revelation. It's manageable, more measured, allows a steady progress - rather than the frustrating headlong rush at the Big Deadline. Then in the afternoon, I can do commercial jobs, or (more likely) (let's be honest, here) lollygag around the locality in various coffee shops.

The spectre of Hard Cash: the need to make thereof is looming in the distance, but can be kept at bay till the new year, at least, when the headless chicken act will recommence.

How about you? I hope your heads are firmly attached.


[If anyone would like to follow me on my work blog, you'd be most welcome. It's a no-commenting type place, so there is no danger of anyone other than you (who already know all about me, and my innards, Heaven help you.) following you back here. If you see what I mean. And you needn't tell me who you are. Have I confused you enough with that? I think I have.]