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December 2013
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February 2014

January 2014

and in the meanwhile


While nothing has exactly improved with my mother or indeed on the progress of the adoption legislation, (WHAT IN THE NAME OF ALL THAT IS GOOD ARE THEY DOING? QUICK! DIVERT LINE OF THOUGHT BEFORE HEAD EXPLODES) the worry-level has become more manageable. Or maybe I have adjusted to it somehow. I am Getting Out quite a bit, what with teaching night courses and being in a performance in the Tr@dFest, and Seeing People. Hotdesk situation commences next week. This is helpful. This is normalising.

 It seems there is something to keeping busy. Life is varied and interesting. Odd and funny things happen.

  • I went to a fancy supermarket/deli on the way home last weekend. The check-out girl (for whom there may well be a more respectful title), as she gave me my change:
    The colour of your glasses is warm and sophisticated with your skin-tone.
    I whinnied in surprise. 
    Warm and sophisticated! She declared, in the manner of a 1960's Avon lady.
    Thank you, cashier human, for whom there may well be a more respectful title. You don't get that at Tesco.


  • The cat continues to amuse me daily. She broke into her bag of dry food the other day and ate herself silly. Kitty, I admire your ingenuity, your tenacity and your positive body image.


  • In the car again, giving a lift (not a ride, American friends, while in Ireland. Unless you want to cause a tremendous guffawing. It means.. something else here.) to a fellow choir member after practice. 
    I can get out here, she says.
    Oh no, it's cold out, I say.
    I'm from Siberia, she says by way of explanation.
    (Just like Sybil in Fawlty Towers says about Manuel: He's from Barcelona.)
    (Plus, SIBERIA! Cool!)
    Me: Out you get, then.* 
  • The entire choir is sitting around the round table in the Place of Ecumenical Worship in the nearby redbrick uni where we sing. Twenty of us, and we are all talking one after another in that alarming way which makes you feel you are taking the floor to perform when you pipe up. Inbetween gamely made comments, awkward silence prevails. One of these is broken by a German tenor (I only mention this because there may a cultural element to his faux-pas) tells us he has a story for us. He was on a swimming holiday with a young Irish woman and two Americans. The Irish woman: I was woken this morning by a cock. 
    The Americans' jaws hit the floor until it is understood that that is a rooster. HA.

    Mortified tittering from the choir, who if taken individually, in another context, probably would have been much less bashful. As it was though, another more awkward silence ensued, ironically the very thing our tenor friend was trying to avoid.

And that brings us to the end of this comedy of manners. (Goes without saying, I hope, that I would love to hear yours.)

Have lovely weekends, my dears. Talk soon.

*Not really. I brought her home.

January again and no escape

You again, January. Such a pallid, Ryvita-like month.


Also very appropriate for worrying. Of course, you know (and accept?) life is a finite thing, in theory, don't you. But last weekend, driving back from my parents' house, a cold wave of concern about my mother broke over me. That day she was so uncomfortable* that the awful inevitability of her life becoming ever more constricted and painful as her arthritis worsens made itself horribly real, at that moment, in my car. If I could just keep driving, I thought, I'd drive through it. I'd be okay for as long as I could stay in my metal bubble. But this country is not just not big enough to escape into, in my own road movie because unless I went in actual circles, I'd run out of Ireland in 3 hours and have to turn back. (There's a charming/aggravating Irish feeling of no escape, here. You could, of course, go Out West, but it isn't very Out and you could easily run into someone who you went to ballet class with as children. Or the Girl Guides, another institution responsible for many mildly embarrassing acquaintanceships.)

 It's so adult, this stuff; I don't know how you could ever be ready for it. How to manage it at all. 
Worry, for one thing, is so pointless. I remember I read somewhere once that rather than trying not to worry at all, (clearly not going to happen) you could confine worry time to 10 minutes a day, when you could worry all you wanted. You redirect your thoughts when a worry occurs. Not now, worry! You say. Please come back at the designated worry-time.

Hey, I'll try anything. I need skillz here; this is for the long haul and I like to have a plan.
I'd love to hear how you manage yours if you are of a mind to share.

In any case, I wish you a peaceful week.


*As it happens, it seems a virus is responsible for her feeling so poorly lately. Which is (relatively) good news. You can recover from a virus, after all.

twenty fourteen

Well, I don't know what I was thinking in the optician's. What am I, a twenty-five year old graphic designer? I am not the daring, out-there on the front-edge of fashion type. I situate myself firmly in the middle wave with some allowance for idiosyncracies, like whacky colours and/or handmade clothes. It seems, however, that I underwent what my father calls A Rush of Blood to the Head and now I look like the love-child of Carl from Up and Wendy Craig:

However! Be that as it may. Now that the existential crisis is over, and I have decided to cheer up and make the most of it, it is time to list the resolutions for 2014. I have whittled it down to this main one, from which other initiatives might spring:

  • Be more outward bound: stand back, Ireland, it is time for me to emerge from my shed in the garden. I am not short of friends, as such, nor indeed am I romantically lonely, but I very much miss being part of a work crowd, held together by a common purpose. This is at the frankly ridiculous level where I am have actual fantasies about water cooler chats with witty colleagues. So! Rather than diving headfirst into a proper job, I am looking into one of those modern hot desk situations. Some of them enticingly promise discounts on coffee and common areas where a person can "rub shoulders with other creative people" which I imagine I will enjoy. At least until the restraining orders against me come through from the creative types baffled by my sidling up to them shoulder first.

That's all I got, really. Oh wait:

  • Finish the online comic. Soon. This Spring.
  • And, continue Telly Ban Tuesday; jogging; try to meditate; blog weekly.

Dear all of you who visit me here, I wish you a very happy, prosperous, healthful, peaceful and fun 2014.
Go forth knowing your presence here is truly appreciated.

May 2014 be good to you.