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June 2013

party piece

So. I attended a 60th birthday party on Saturday night, in Leopardstown (the deep Southside) and stayed up till 3 am. Yesterday I was still recovering. This is the final proof, if any were needed, (which it wasn't), that I am Utterly Pathetic.

The invite to the party contained the words designed to strike terror into the heart of an introvert: Bring your party piece. It was, sure enough, a bit - you know - character-building. The place was full of cool, international couples (including a real French woman who spoke English with a Yorkshire accent) who knew how to entertain - actually hold the floor - sing, play the cello, or piano, as in parties of old. Not like us, who sandwiched between the X-factor generation and the self-sufficient, party piece one, are basically useless. We need to be entertained. We do not do the entertaining. No, no.

Thoughts arising from the afore-mentioned Experience/Party:

  • It is possibly time I learnt how to sing a song. (Like on my own, not with the entire choir, which luckily was present to lurk within thereby escaping the Taking of my Turn).  Singing solo may not cause instant fatality, I am led to believe?
  • Or, maybe I could polish my caricature skillz, instead. Not everyone can Take It, though. It would be generally preferable to avoid making people wail because their hair/waistline is not like that. (Aside: I read once that Gerald Scarfe, tired of hearing the protests of his subjects, drew himself and reported that yes, he was offended. He hurt his own feelings.)
  • Hanging with The People in their Sixties was lovely and brilliant. They have tons of life experience, but are still healthy and strong enough to squeeze the life out of every moment - like, staying up till 2am in the morning, apparently effortlessly? Like. Adopt as Role Models. Emulate.
  • Alcohol gives some people Performance Fever, a syndrome where they keep saying: Ooh! I know! And burst into song. This can go on for a long, long time.
  • Some other people go really quiet.
  • Related arising need: a good listening expression to arrange my features into: genial, responsive, not facetious, neither a rictus of despair, envy, embarrassment or boredom. As it was, I cycled manically through these:


Now, my dear, let's all turn and look at you, expectantly. What is your piece going to be?




state of non-play

(Thanks for all your comments last time. Just to follow up, W4I, sadly there is no way you can sign up for more than one country. You make one pack and send it off and that's that. You can change, but it's a slight hoo-ha involving lepping through a flaming ring and not much encouraged by The Authorities.)

Where did that week go? Huh. I must warn you I'm quite hungry and I must apologise in advance for misspellings/more nonsense than usual in this post due to this. If writing while hungry is anything like supermarket-shopping while hungry, we are in for a lot of impulse purchases of cheesy crackers. Also, gourmet crisps. And hummus.

(Janey Mac. Is Pu-erh tea meant to smell like feline bodily fluids? My tenants left it in the apartment: it is what the JB refers to as a Spoil of War. Bleargh. I know it's supposed to be All Fantastic for you in some way that I don't exactly recall, but nothing short of a hundred years of well-being could be worth it.)

So. Where were we? Well, I did get round that Awful Thing also known as The Mini-Marathon. It was a warm day and for whatever reason my hoped-for second wind or Stride-Getting-Into thing didn't kick in leaving me with no options but to adopt a sort of sad Shuffle of Despair. My time wasn't so bad, but it was all very leaden and unpleasant. I had trained, I feel obliged to point out, but the Californian lady in my ipod said her CONGRADULATIONS YOU HAVE REACHED YOUR GOAL OF (pause) 10 KM way way before the race ended. Thus I conclude my training sessions were not as long as they should have been. At any rate, I was red as a beetroot for the rest of the day, with legs of chewed string.
Ah well.

The India vs USA debate continues to be a bit of a pain-in-the-arse. In the past, in the singleton manifestation of the Twangy, I was very much of the Throw Yourself on the Mighty Wind mindset when it came to making decisions. I just went with my gut, without over-thinking things. If it felt right, I would go Nike and Just Do It. However, with another person in the mix, one who is more of a spreadsheety, pessimistic type,  my instincts are all thrown off. He wakes up every day and adds more speculative information and what-ifs to the Balance Sheet of Probabilities and my little tiny mind gets all misted up and confused. At this moment, we are semi-agreed to stay with India. Tomorrow, who knows?

Speaking of the husband, it is his birthday next week. A lofty 39. I am getting him The Killing 2, because we like to go around saying “Forbrydelsen” and "Tag", and zazzle are kindly printing a tee-shirt for him, thus emblazoned: Wolfinsheepsclothing
It's a wolf in sheep's clothing, in case that wasn't clear, and refers to a long-standing marital joke which I won't bore you with. You're welcome!

 So, my dears, that is where it is at. Time to publish this - er - "post" and get some food.

This week has been terribly worky chez moi, has it for you? Feel free to lament about this and/or anything else. And have  a lovely weekend.





"I am back," she said threateningly

Crappy camera photo taken from my studio. As you can see, I am a fan of planting but not so fond of cutting things back. That Hawthorn, for instance, is poised to take over North Co Dublin.

So. I didn't mean to take a break. I thought I'd update. And then some time passed and I thought,  I better make it a good one, like I've been thinking in the meantime, but I hadn't, (been thinking) and so more time passed and a bit more, enough to prove that perfectionism is nothing but a tripwire and you are better off having nice, achievable, low standards.

Let's not expect too much, therefore, this time, or ever, in fact.


  • Guess what? ADOPTION NEWS. The US is going to open in a few weeks! Now, even allowing for the inevitable time-slide, that is soon. We are currently agonising over whether to do a switcheroo to the USA. There is an element of gamble involved, (of course. Can anything be straightforward? Resounding NO.), because while the US will open soon, India, our first choice, will most likely be faster, given the sheer numbers involved. The US is, however, probably the more natural option for us, since we have real ties to it: the JB has an American passport, and I lived there for some years. India was more of an instinctive choice - though undoubtedly a beautiful, diverse country with a multi-layered and rich culture, I am more fascinated by it than anything. What is needed here, it seems, is a Indian Trip. [Insert prolonged travel day-dream].

    However, however - our adoption training emphasized that we need to able to foster a positive image of the country of origin and where possible a continuing relationship with it, and I do hope not to sound like a smug middle-class Westerner, but I believe we could do that with either of these countries. And while I am at it, my child will like vegetables, play the piano and be an excellent sleeper. COME AND GET ME HUBRIS.

  • Not unrelated, I am sure, to the above, is the era of domestic tranquillity that the JB and I have of late entered in this funny three-legged race that is marriage. Progress - a plan - has had great benefits for the mental clarity and general atmos. Here we are, and the Lord knows, he may snore and neverstoptalking, but I can be absolutely myself with him, he makes me laugh till I actually fall over, he brings me tea, and his heart is fathoms deep and endlessly forgiving.

Gah, tempus has fuggited and I must now go and visit my parents. Tomorrow is the Women's Mini-marathon. I am running for Riding for the Disabled. RDA for the win! Or failing that, finish! Or at least, not get stretcher-ed out! RAR!

Till soon friends.