The Past

old slides

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I discovered this among the dusty old slides.
It's 1969 and I appear to be planning my departure from the family home in Killin*y.


at last

I have finished the long and tedious process of importing my old blog. I saw my life over these nearly 2 years, as filtered through my poor addled brain, flash before me and I thought, despite the twaddle, the repetition and inconsistencies, it was nice to see it again and remember things. Like when Spike was a little baby, or when we got married. Or things I saw on the way.. so I have decided that, yes, this blogging can have merit and so I'll stick with it. I will try to up the quality of the blathering though. (Better blathering in 07 - 08. I hereby make it my solemn intention to live by that motto.)
It's been a few months, and in those a few things of interest (to me) have happened.
Allow me to list them, if you will:

Work on house has commenced (THE EXCITEMENT)
Spike's mum (my brother's partner) is pregnant (THE EXCITEMENT!)
Spike can now shriek in an earsplitting way, and does. He can also say Gorbachov.
My cousin got married. I don't know her very well, so it was nice to be invited, and to see London Cousin (everytime I write cousin it comes out as cousing. ?  Apparently I believe a cousing is an activity)
Seem to have fallen out with Enrico, Italian ex.
Am back to college. Enjoying it greatly. Will be building a bike machine with Coffey's Not Really Cousing.

And now I will upload some photos of this time - a fragrant nosegay of Sept - Nov 07 (as I can't remember anything else of note at the moment. Hmm. Solemn oath as above not really working out so far. Better luck next time).

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a foreign body

On Friday, a foreign body was found in the daily soup. A phone call from Enrico, my former-fella from Italy.
Allow me to bore you, bots, with the (translated) transcription of the conversation:

Foreign Body: Ello, Mrs Geeko is there please?

E, resignedly: Si, ciao Enrico.

(It is not worth telling him Mrs Geeko is my mother. That lesson has fallen on his deaf deaf ears too many times already. Well, in a way, poor old E. His parents are so critical and controlling with him that, out of sheer self-protection, he has grown both a Rhino-hide as thick as a tree trunk that prevents the assimilation of any new instruction, no matter what it might be, and a frightening ability to tell lies. The only drawback to this arrangement is how hard it makes it for him to learn anything at all. It's left him stranded in a kind of perfidious double-world where he can suspend truth as easy as other people pour milk.
This urked me. You could not pin him down on anything. It was as if he believed if he never admitted to anything, he could skim along free of the consequences. He treated me shoddily, what with the lying, the hitting on of my friends, the cheating, and the mother. Jeepers, she was The Worst Manipulator Known To Man.
Huh, the whole scenario reminds me a bit of Demented Millionaire Boss + Mother, now I think of it. Although I hasten to add that I never was involved that way with DMB).

FB, (in Italian): Happy BIRTHday!

E, (confused pause). Err..

FB: two days ago I mean!

E, flummoxed: No-

FB: Wait, isn't your birthday the 27th?

E: It's the 28th..

FB: Right, the 28th! Oh sorry!

E: ..of April

FB: (almost offended by my insistence on this): No, I was convinced it was 2 days after mine.. (and as penny drops) oh yeah, of course! you are Taurus..

E: (I am INFJ I tell you! Me and Nelson.) Says, flatly: No, yes, April.

FB: So how ARE you? Long time no hear!

E: err, yes, indeed. Very well thanks..

FB: Married?

E: (What's it got to do with you?) Last July, yes. We bought a house recently and blah blah blah.

FB: Children?

E: (No, really, what's it got to do with you?) No, not yet.

FB: Well you told me you were getting married and then I heard nothing else about it..

E (hackles up, thinking: yeah, I remember that conversation, you didn't even congratulate me, but what? You think I should have invited you to my family-only wedding? Hmm, I can see that conversation with JB. "Darling, I know we said we'd have a really small family only wedding, but I thought we'd slip my old boyfriend in the back? you know, the one who rings me every two years? that cheated on me? Mm, I'd really like him to be there and I'm sure you feel the same")
Says (as neutrally as possible): We kept it small, just the family..

FB: So tell me about yourself?

E, (what an awful question): e blah, and blah, and Masters, and work and blah.

FB: (now having jumped the boundary of correctitude, is now crashing about obliviously, disturbing the wildlife): How do you have your hair now? Is it long or short?

E: (spluttering, says the long awaited): WHAT HAS IT GOT TO DO WITH YOU?

FB: What do you mean? Of course I care! you were one of the most important stories of my life and of course I care!

E: could have said many things, amongst which: FB, you are developmentally arrested if to you the important thing here is the length of my hair.

But why bother eh? Waste of breath. Some people are from Mars, some are from Venus, and some are from Just Don't Get It Planet.

His parting note was that he and his mother are coming to Ireland, and he'll be back on looking for guidance.

Oh joyful, joyful day that will be.


summer of 2005



These photos are from 2005, when JB and I were only "seeing" each other, (if you look closely you can discern my delight and relief: S*X! again, after 2 YEARS, be the living HOKey, no wonder I was happy) I was convinced Smokey was going to die, he looked so bad, and there was a yellow orb in the sky which must have fallen down since then.
I wish I could reach into the photos to take the 37 year old e by the shoulders and say, lookit, Nelly, Smokey just needs more food. Grass. Don't feel bad. Soon, while in Denver on your honeymoon, you'll find a very helpful book, The Portable Therapist, and realise that is a waste of time. Your parents will help you, it's okay. You are not a deadbeat Mom. He's going to look fine again and not die in the next 2 years. There's rain ahead, sure, but there's also excitement, and learning, (in the shape of a MA at NC*D) and romance. So let's bite the bullet and dance.


being mammy

The Horse Show has for a long time been a regular August haunt for me and my family, going back to the ponylove days where I and my cousins would fantasize passionately about how a "bee" would sting Eddie Macken and one of us would be asked to ride Boomerang in the Aga Khan Nations Cup. Oh, the elaborate and endless games we'd play in the garden, jumping over poles and slapping our sides as we galloped around the grass. Later on, we'd get our own ponies and although that was tremendous fun, that longing and dreaming was gone, and with it a entire chapter of our youth was closed.
Today I and the JB had our stroll around the RDS, on a crowded family Sunday. To me the old magic was there, if in a dilute, moderate, adult form. As for J, who can know how it might have been to step into that foreign world? At first I was slightly disappointed that he didn't seem to enjoy it as much as I did, but I think I am learning something about how his separateness from me - how I am not responsible for him, for his entertainment, or his diet or his behaviour. I feel better for it too. It was a bit of an epiphany in a way. One minute, I was investing huge energy in trying to bend him my way, be ready on time, not wear his sandals (in my defence, they are orthopedic) or put on the fan or behave in a certain e-approved way, when it dawned slowly on me there was no reason for it, and I was just wearing myself out and distracting myself when it was me I should be working on.
And so I put down the (self-inflicted) burden of being The Mammy.
Hurray.

     
     

Speaking of Mammies, last night we had dinner with OldFriend (she of the many children). Honestly. How. Exhausting. That. Was. You sit at the table marvelling at the many, many variations of type, pitch and frequency of Noise that can be generated by small children, and the squabbles, and the playing, and the games, as the Mammy (OF) and Daddy (husband of OF) talk (rather bossily) to you as if you are a late addition to the family, just another (rather overgrown) son/daughter. It is like a very benign dictatorship, their parenting style. It's become an unbreakable habit, they've been at it so long, it's like their natural form of discourse.
We ran away from home in the end, to Dublin.
Phew.

I am praticising yoga a little these days, trying to get a bit of strength up before I go back to class. It does take a long time. My arms were water-strength. Now, they are more like a weak tonic. Working towards a stinging G+T...


Life, it seems..

..is not a series of neat episodes with beginning, middle and end, which would be easy to post about, but more of a collection of broken off threads and odd non-sequential happenings.

Sigh. It's been raining for - oh! a year now, at least. I beeeeellllllliiiiiieve that it's raining all over the world. (Ah R*ndy Crawford. Where are you now?) I am feeling minorly depressed, but in a way that can be allievated with some brack and custard. After all, I have everything to be happy for:
Spike and us went down to see my aunt and her friend who she met on her prison visits, as part of her voluntary work as a visitor. He seemed really very nice. (I can't quite remember what happened to him that he ended up in the chokey, but he was definitely presumed innocent (by my aunt at any rate). Something to do with his wife I think. She might have accused him of domestic violence.**)
Aunt was in aunt-ish form, sort of apparently nice, but with an sharp edge of judgement. Example: We were talking about taking a compliment, and how e's Ma can't, about her cooking, in this case. I pointed out I learned to take a compliment in the USA, where people simply say thanks when someone compliments them.
What I really hate about Americ*ns, says Aunt, (in something of a non-sequitor) is their lack of restraint. They are always so loud, clapping their hands and shouting.
Yes, Aunt, you have to hate that joyful childish enthusiasm. It's killing me! Urg, the clapping! Choke!
Etc, etc.

Spike, though, was lovely and stuck his kikkies on the wall, carefully, in pairs, and then transferred them to the TV screen, carefully, in pairs. This seemed to take ages, but not really, because there was still time to run around the house 3 times, around the wildflower meadow at least 5, fall down laughing 11, walk half mile up lane and be carried all the way back by Bobby once, as well as having lunch and looking at horse books.
We went back to town then, after buying a printer in a NJ mall in a bizarre non-place called The P*rk (another inspired misnomer from some developer's marketing dept, to add to collection), a location on the time/space continuum that I honestly couldn't find on a map. We must have gone through a time/space warp to get to it. It's the only explanation for finding oneself in a purpose built massive shopping mall built around a carpark - an EXACT replica of the one on route 35 in NJ I used to visit on my lonely empty days off. - What weird times those were. How I remember that emptiness where a sense of purpose, of place, of time or of belonging should be. I felt I could drop off the planet and no-one would notice. I felt the place itself could be bulldozed from one day to the next and it wouldn't make a difference. I felt as insignificant and body-less as a feather.
I used to invent purposes for myself: a walk to the library, far enough, and through the dodgy neighbourhoods of Long Branch, a walk to the pharmacy at the station, a drive to Atlantic Highlands to see a movie in the peculiar cinema there, to that little lunch place on the ocean front in Belmar to have a modest spinster-like wrap and juice, or to the mall to wander about in a daze. I resorted to computer dating and met some odd and lonely men, one an unrepentant alcoholic, one depressed and too-recently divorced, one a reactionary republican type, who wanted to take his (snappy, yappy) dog to the French embassy to pee on it. (Funny, it has stuck in my memory that his job was to export a particular kind of non-slip bath cleaner to Hawaiian hotels. How modern).
I could go on. I will spare you though, bots. After all, je ne regrette rien! how could I? It all brought me here to this lovely apartment I share with my strong kind husband with his heart of pure gold.

And I do have much to look forward to:
The architect will get moving week after next. Hurray.
I am going to Kilkenny to work in VeryGood Studio for 2 weeks.
Work with D9
MA
and in an ongoing way, all my lovely friends each so brilliant and unique

Future's looking interesting.. must rise to it..

[** just talking to my Ma re the friend of the aunt. His wife accused him of r*pe, and subsequently withdrew it. It's so unfair - when she was the one who was carrying on extra-maritally (or as my mother calls it "being naughty") - he'll be on the s*x offenders list for the rest of his life because she waited until it was too late to withdraw her accusation. So awful.]


week of the Appliances

I have put my old Apple Macintosh Performa 5400/180 in Black with TV card on gumtree.ie - and tomorrow will recycle my old Canon electronic typewriter which, believe me, was State of the Art in 1988. I feel a bit sad to let them go. They look like dusty non-operational machines but are repositories of memories for me. That State of the Art typewriter for instance (no one even says that anymore do they? remember when everything from a electric shaver to a toaster was State of the Art?) was the machine I hunched over sitting on the faded green carpet in my parents' room in our old Victorian house in K*lliney that looked over the bay, up until late at night, typing my thesis out. It had a bit of memory (might have been oooh! 1mb) and a little screen that showed one line of your beautifully wrought words going by. Later I bought it to Italy, feeling like a foreign correspondent, swinging it through the airport and used it to type up the disastrous (but instructive) job that was The Translation of a Knitting manual from Italian to English.
And now, when I turn it on, nothing happens. Its little silver screen is blank. No friendly blinking characters.

And my Mac, which though temperamental and a frequent visitor to the mac hospital, was like magic, with its black incorporated harddrive and TV. Imagine! That was at the time when I was leaving corpo-land and plunging bravely into the sparsely employed world of animation. 1997. I used to capture bits of animation off the TV card and study them, lovingly. My Mac. It's somehow wrapped up too, in the tragic non-sexual love affair I had on and off again for years with a man who the JB and I refer to as Tea Drinking Man, in reference to the fact that he would prefer to have a cup of tea than get in the slightest bit exposed in any way. With me, if you know what I mean, bots.
One night, he said he'd come over after work. In reality he fell, pickled, on my doorbell at 2 in the morning. I let him in. He wanted me to go somewhere with him (for a cup of tea perhaps) I didn't go. He was really drunk and thought it a great idea to turn my Mac on. I remember its chord Dang! playing out resonantly, and thinking it might wake my friend, Ll.

Enough nostalgia perhaps. I have moved on. Now I have a new relationship with a workmanlike D*ll inspiron 1100 (the JB gave it to me) and a new fridge for my tenant, which I got today in Dunlaoire, and, yes, someone who really likes me that way.

It is stormy tonight (for Ireland). It even managed a bit of a flash of lightning, which made me switch off the TV. I don't know if there's anything at all to it, but my father instilled it in me to ALWAYS unplug the TELEVISION when there is THUNDER. I think he thinks that lightning could strike the aeriel and run down the line to the telly making it.. I don't know.. explode or melt something.
Maybe he is right. It's hard to take advice on electronics from someone who finds putting on a plug an impossibly exasperating task. He's left-handed, not that that's a reason. It's actually more like, he is so non-dextrous, that he has no leading hand at all. He is no-handed.
Poor Da.



Becky

An image comes back, washing through me like hormones: our old Labrador, Becky, who was the sweetest thing.
(Unless you had the bad luck to be a rat. Or a cat. Or a mouse.)

Well, apart from with animals smaller than she was, she was so refined and ladylike she would give you only air kisses, gently lapping the air beside your face. Darling dog. I hope you live on, running in the fields after small animals, free from arthritis, forever.


Cultural jamming eh? Still stalling.

A good name for a company: indelible animation.
Pinched it from The Ind*lible Al*son Bechdel, but she needn't worry. I can't imagine I will have that company.


My lies

p class="MsoNormal">My lie

I confess to my own lie.

In 1987 or 88, I spent the summer in the Alpujarra region of Spain working at a now (I think) defunct hotel run by some English people. I was at the base house for a week-long horse-riding tour of the surrounding towns. Every week, guests (invariably English) would come out from Malaga airport, be matched up with a beautiful Andalusian horse and head off into the dry heat for a week, led by a member of the team. There were four permanent members of staff, Rita, an 18 yo, from some flat place north of London on the flight path to Heathrow, Caroline, a woman in her mid twenties who ran the operation, Jim (let's call him), master manipulator/pervert with a penchant for young girls who travelled on a trail of slime, and Lisa, a frank, nice, capable young woman from Herefordshire (or somewhere) who’d taken a year off from her job in marketing in London to work in Spain.

The atmosphere in the house was not all one might have wished for. More than once I would open the door to find Caroline in tears -

With Jim..?

Imagination failed me. It seemed that Jim had originally been with Caroline and went back to her on the occasions Rita went home.

The weirdness. The WEIRDness. It was as strange as Brian Aldr*ch’s power over women. (This Archers’ reference may be lost on you, Bots, more's the pity).

Over time, Jim did not endear himself more to me. I saw him flirting with a 14 year old, most inappropriately, and making comments to locals like “Estas son mi novias” - (Yo no, I muttered.) And telling me that was a nice skirt, twice, like I should be pleased and letting everyone wait on him hand and foot, making his snide comments under his greasy moustache. Horrible slug.

This has nothing to do with My Inexplicable Lie. It “came out”- was spontaneously born, you could say - talking to Lisa, and she was the only normal one there – she was telling me about a time a horse got injured and was bleeding.

E, over responding, probably: It wasn’t pumping was it? When it’s an artery it really pumps.

L: Why, have you ever seen that?

E: (inexplicable bit ahead): Yes, actually (read: no, never, actually).

L: Wow! What happened?

E: (drawing on pure imagination now, but forging ahead, improvising bravely): a kick from another horse!

L: Must have been some kick!

E: Yes, it was, (losing that confidence which was the only thing that was making this whole lie in the slightest bit convincing), it was, there was a LOT of blood. I just remember people trying to stop it, (and trying to extricate self desperately) I wasn’t really involved…

L: giving e a strange look: Right.



Oh the atrocious self-inflicted pain of being a liar. How can it be worth it?

Another lie occurs to me.
 

I am about five. I am in class in England, Bracknell, Berkshire sitting at my desk with the other children. Steven Cl*ypool is there, I remember him. The other children say he and his family have fleas.
I can’t see any fleas. I don’t call him names. I don’t call anyone names. I just keep quiet.

A teacher comes in to ask if someone has lost a doll’s shoe. She holds it up. It’s brown flexible plastic.

(Inexplicable bit ahead):

Young e puts up her hand, although I have never seen it before. The teacher gives it to me and I hold it, an odd brown doll’s shoe in my hand. It is so perfect. If only I had the other one, and a doll it fitted. It would fit so beautifully. I am full of confused satisfaction.