Entitled to a Title.

Monday – Important meeting with boss to sort out the rest of the year. We’ve had a superb head of school for the last three years, and I would love to chain the woman to the post for the rest of her life. But she’s more than eager to go and do research, and so it really is time to start the process for searching for a new head of school. I’ve spoken to most of the staff members personally or in a meeting, and we’ve agreed an external search is what is needed. So I and an academic colleague go to meet with our boss’s boss to get the process started. I’m surprised by how nervous I am. But it’s all very straightforward, and in that way that can happen we all agree with each other and it’s all over before you know it.  I can only hope the rest of the week goes well…

 

Tuesday – We have a conferring! Our MSc and MLIS programmes take place in the O’Reilly hall, and I’m amazed at my attitude to them. Previously, I regarded them as the highlight of my year. I’d met these kids at orientation, and then would be lucky enough to see them, robed and ready, able to accept their parchment. But this year, with so much on my mind, it was just a task I needed to get through. That’s not right, I need to ensure that doesn’t happen again this year.

 

Wednesday – Staff meeting! Let’s all have a meeting! And there is a lot to discuss at this one. For one thing, there is a rather large change in our undergraduate programmes, not least the addition of a fourth year; we’ll need to add new modules, and new teachers. There’s a lot to discuss.  I wanted to go to the gym at lunchtime, but nothing doing.  I go home and prepare, prepare, and prepare some more.

 

Thursday – Right. Off we go. What’s happening today is I am giving a small talk on the Job Grading Scheme for admin staff in UCD you can see a lot of it under #Inclusiveucd. The important thing to note is the promotional prospects for any admin here, which are listed below:

Nothing.

If you are an academic or a technical member of staff, it is possible to apply for promotions. If you are an administrative member of staff, you do not have access to any promotions, or job regrading, or pay rise. And in case it wasn’t clear, inflation means that prices have gone up and up. So administrators in UCD are placed in the grossly unfair position of having their skills devalued and their pay reduced over and over again.

Unsurprisingly, most of them are women.

Poster

My poster from the event. Read it, please, it’s important. 

So when the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Report was being launched, I put my name forward to speak on the issue. I produced my poster on the gender bias that is recognised to exist and went along with my notes.

  • I spoke about the incorrect belief that managing staff is harder than front-facing roles; so teaching, support and admin work is believed without any proof to be easy, while being a manager is hard. But we do what managers tell us, even if they are rubbish.
  • I spoke about formal knowledge rather than institutional knowledge is lauded, which ignores the institutional knowledge that is crucial in a place like UCD.
  • I spoke about how ‘Freedom to Act’ criteria is false, and ignores the many crucial autonomous actions staff take, especially when time is a factor.
  • I spoke about how we used to devalue nurses, thinking that only doctors had wisdom and value.
  • I spoke about how skills that are believed to be ‘womenly’ such as food-preparation and child-care aren’t seen to be skills at all, but an inherent trait a woman has in the home, and so is lowly paid.
  • I spoke about how when a woman does a man’s job, she’s paid less, valued less, and judged more harshly.  But when a job is seen to be women’s work, it is devalued to the extent that it is not seen as skilled at all.
  • And that I wanted to present them with a radical idea; that the work of the administrative staff is of value, and should be paid accordingly.
  • But remember, that all this is academic. Because right now what was on offer to administrative staff was this.

Nothing.

I sat down, job done. The woman after me spoke kind words about my speech, saying how could she follow that?! And the administrative staff who attended were moved, and angered, and grateful that it was spoken about. I am not smart enough to speak about this, but I am the only to do so, and so I’m stuck with me.

Was I nervous? Yes. But I was also angry, and that was hopefully apparent. This is wrong. Fix it. Or I will.

The rest of the evening was spent trying to find my son and mother-in-law, who were trying to find me on campus. I had a mind full of terrible imaginings but after nearly two hours found them.  Then home. Then bed.

Friday – the rest of the session. A lot of people had kind words, but I would love to see it become something more concrete than that. And soon, there is a lot of salary I should be earning right now, thank you very much. But I was just glad to have a day that didn’t see me fret or bother. And then I answered emails, drank coffee, and went home on one of the coldest days of the year, facing into the coldest weekend.

And guess what? The boiler’s borked. Night night all.

 

Negative Space is Still Space, People.

Okay, children, while there isn’t much to be said, there’s a lot to be said. For every major event, there’s a lot of negative space, a lot of waiting, breathing and thinking about it. This week was all about the preparation, and how it happened. Here we go:

Monday: Seriously. How often can one woman look at the phone in fear? Each time there’s a ping notifying me, I’m double-checking that Mad Lady hasn’t released the hounds on me. Her case is nonsensical, but I know nonsensical lawyers, and there’s been nothing to stop them yet.

However, I am confirmed  to speak the next week at an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion workshop, about the Job Grading scheme set out for Administrative Staff*. It’s a big topic with a lot to cover, and there’s a lot riding on it. I find myself atrociously nervous about it, and spend the day trying not to throw up. I have to present my research in a five minute ‘lightening talk’ and the big concern is learning to cover everything in five minutes. People who research, you have my respect. This is difficult, and makes me very vulnerable. I put something together, delete it, put it together again, then remember I’m supposed to be doing real work.

 

Tuesday: I attend a Universal Design Workshop, and am reminded of this;

Equality Does Not Mean Justice

Justice – vs –  Equality. 

It’s about insuring equality of access, not just justice. It takes seconds to ensure items can be embedded with text, so a reader can have images confirmed by visual readers, etc. Myself and my colleagues are ready to make the small changes to our website to get this going.

I go to the gym at lunch, and actually really enjoy myself. I have to say, exercise puts me in a good mood, and I’m back at my desk all chipper and upbeat about what I’ve got left to do on the presentation. See, the skill is to be succinct, and to the point, and can I do that? Sure I can. Easy.

 

Wednesday: WHY DID I AGREE TO THIS?! I have arranged to speak to kind colleagues in a mock presentation and I wake up terrified. We all meet at 2pm and they are, well, they’re exactly as I would wish. They’re annoyed and flabbergasted and irritated, and I am delighted. I can feel a slight sense of hysteria creep into the uncatalogued mess that is my brain. Maybe I can might just be able to do this.

 

Thursday: I know I did other things today. I know I got up, got the beloved child to school, worked, ate a lunch, learnt a beloved colleague might be leaving soon (there’s a lot of it about these days), chatted to the other half, answered the phone and made calls, operated heavy machinery and gave appropriate social responses, but really all I am thinking about is the SURE-EXTRA-DRY-MOMENT-THAT-APPROACHES-ME-OH-GOD. Bins out, dinner, bed.

 

Friday: And the other shoe drops like a Christian Louboutin (I had to look them up, I had no idea what they were called, don’t judge me here). They don’t want a slide show. They want ONE SLIDE. One, to cover all the policy and history and impact, all of it. Well, if that’s what they want, then that’s what they’ll get.  I sigh, drink more coffee, pull up my sleeves and get on with it. One slide, done. And one poster, done, gone to the printer. I press ‘send’, triumphant.

Please god, no typos.

 

Saturday: I. Meet. A. Friend. I kid you not, I put the kid in the car and we go and see Sinead O’Hart. Yeah, seriously, that Sinead O’Hart,  and I hope you’re all jealous because she’s a bloody important person and fantastic. Sinead, going to take you to lunch over Christmas, girlie, promise. She reminds me that, excuse me, why am I not writing, and hell and all, she’s write, sorry, right.

Myself and the other half go out to dinner at a friend’s house that evening, and I stay awake until 11pm. See, I can be a big girl when I want to. I go to bed like a zombie, and sleep well until…

 

Sunday: I’m woken by beloved child at 5.50 am. The fubbing joy.

Related image

We spend the day taking photos in the wood, he likes pictures. Then groceries, dinner, making lunches and freaking out. It’s half ten right now, and I’ve got to go ‘adult’ tomorrow. So night night all. And please wish me luck.

 

*I aim to give full details on this next week. Watch this negative space.

Not feelin’ It.

So it’s Sunday night. I still have to make the lunches, prep breakfasts, put myself to bed. It feels like I’ve reached the middle movement of the cantata, folks, and the second movement hasn’t gathered movement. We’re all just sitting in the audience pit, waiting for the conductor to get a move on. Is there going to be an intermission soon? Nervous cough. Nope. Not feelin’ it.

So, this week. I’ve spent most of it nervously looking at my phone each time it pings, wondering if crazy lady is fulfilling her threat. I’ll spare you the suspense, I’ve heard nothing. That is good news, but I think I won’t be able to relax until we get to Christmas day and I’ve heard nothing. Feel free to watch this space, I know I will.

Wednesday saw me finish my last session of Physio with the very patient folks in DBC, an I’m going to miss them all, if I’m honest. I’ve come up with some great one-liners while lying in pain, and I’ve seen myself honestly get better, with much less pain in my day to day life, because of the place. They were a pleasure to deal with. Le Sigh.

Thursday saw me freak out, because the big guy freaked out. I took away all screens from him for the evening, and frankly I enjoyed it enormously. I plan to do that again. Friday saw him behave himself, thankfully, so life was/is back to normal.  Of course, he woke me up at 4am both nights, but still.

Saturday was the Christmas bizarre at school. I managed to help out, in that I helped sell tickets on the day to Santa’s Grotto.

Christmas Photo

Xmas Spirit

While the other half managed to produce these;

Bandsaw boxes

These are bandsaw boxes, and they take forever, and you have to hear, sorry, learn about them a lot before they come out right.  We get through that, eat bratwurst, relax and enjoy ourselves, it’s a great day.

Sunday saw me take the big guy swimming. Maybe I was tired, but I found myself getting distracted by the people around me. There was a girl, really no more than ten years old, but she was so precociously poised and together, it was hard not to look at her. She sat in the pool thinking, every so often looking at her watch. I was wishing I had her unruffled mien now, never mind when I was ten. And then there was the Italian father, who brought his baby boy into the water and sat with him for well over an hour until the little guy was happily patting the water and giggling. Considering the calibre of some Italian fathers [towards their adult sons] I’m aware of, it was a charming scene.

Anyway. I’m going to get lunches done. I’ve Barack Obama speeches playing while I write here, trying to remind myself of … I don’t know what. Anyway. Night night.

Angry Woman Shouts at Cloud

So. It is Sunday night after the most delightful week. Let’s break it down slowly, shall we?

Monday – Week two of no sugar and no carb, along with no social media. I have a training course to get through, along with a lot to do at work. I discovered last week that there is a quick way to get to the school, which saves me a huge amount of stress and time. And of course it seems that I am the last one to figure it out, because there is a small troop of people who walk to the School each day this way. It involves woodland walks and gentle sloops and I should have discovered it years ago. Nevertheless, I’ve found it now, and it saves me meeting Crazy Lady.

We get through the day in the usual insane speed, and before I know it, it’s evening and I’m getting my gym bag ready. Only I can’t find my runners. They’re not in the bag, the bathroom, our room, the kid’s room. They aren’t upstairs. They aren’t downstairs. They aren’t in the car. They are simply not anywhere, and I NEVER lose anything. Seriously, it’s like a thing with me, I NEVER lose anything. But somehow my size seven monstrosities have disappeared.

Tuesday – I ring the gym at 6 am on the slim chance they might have them, and nothing doing. So I have pack for a swim instead on Wednesday. I was supposed to go for more training but learnt at the last minute that the course was full (hurrah!) So it was full steam ahead for a viva, and then lunch with a dear friend who has just been promoted after far too long, and after ructions at work.

Then I get a text from that lady who says I owe her a thousand euro; she’s going to the guards. If nothing told me she was a con artist this would be it. I feel myself get angry, then go right ahead and repress it. You’re not getting to me, lady.

Wednesday – I swim, and swim well, at lunchtime. I go ahead and cancel physio for Friday, though, I have no progress to report.  I drink the coffee and work through the list, which is just as well. Because the next day….

Thursday –  a staff meeting takes place, that runs from 9.30 am to well towards 2pm. For various reasons it doesn’t go very smoothly, and frankly it leaves me drained as if I give blood. I get the big guy in the car from school, and boy am I done. I get the bins out, I get the dinner prepared, but the words coming out of my mouth may as well be from a teleprompter. I am muted, I am withdrawn with all of it. I go to bed by 9.30 pm, just flabbergasted with all of it.

Friday – I wake up with a screamingly sore throat and nose, but I’ve no temperature. I get to work clad in woollens and self-pity, and drink about six cups of coffee. I get through work with at least some sense of completion. I go to pick up big man, and discover that my quick shortcut is closed on Fridays. Not to worry. I go the long way, and pick him up. We go for a wander around the school, as he is curious about the nooks and crannies of the place, then stroll out.

And that’s when it happens. Crazy lady pops up in front of me, with her kid behind her, while I’m holding my son’s hand. “You have to pay! You really do!” I try to speak to her about how nonsensical it all is, but she manages to talk over me insisting that I’ve done lots of damage, that I have to pay her, that her boss is going to sue me, and she’s going to the guards. I’m trying to speak, trying to breath, but I can’t even speak to her, I can’t even say a word to her, until the words burst out of me in the form of a yell-

“You clearly are a complete con artist and you stay away from me!”

This silences her. Whether with glee or denial she smiles at me. I take my son’s hand and move away from her, a dangerous blue-flame-fury carrying me.

From behind me, her voice carries high.

“Volkswagen are going to suuue!”

I walk faster, not looking back, and big guy complains I’m holding his hand too tight. We keep walking.

 

So, how was your week?

Image result for Interrupting gif

The Sound of Silence

So, after my little trip away last week, I was able to rediscover the delight that is going on social media. As I clicked on and scrolled through Facebook and Twitter, I could feel as a physical thing my mood lower and drag. Really, being a party to the overblown GOOD NEWS of friends of friends, and the over-emphasised BAD NEWS of news corporations is to be dragged in two extreme directions.

So I stopped. As we were at the start of a new month, with lots to recommend the decision, I decided to stay off social media and to be sensible and wise. If I found myself with free time on my hands, then I would read a book or get away from my desk.

Since then I’ve read three books.

Yes, really, three. One was Elizabeth Smart’s By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept. One was a who-dun-it set in Regency England. One was by Carl Jung. None of them were very big, but that wasn’t the point. I’ve re-discovered the need to read, and to avoid the constantly shifting dopamine-hit of online life.

webassets/internet.addiction.1.jpg

And have I been missed? Not a bit of it, which would suggest that the ‘social contact’ is nothing of the sort. Instead, this last week has made it clear how users are in fact the cow eating the grass, the product itself, rather than the buyer.  I’m the captured audience for adverts, political views, manufactured debates and inaccurate reporting. Now, however,  I listen to the news on the radio and hunt out news websites if something comes up. I already subscribe with the other half to various newspapers of different perspectives, so bias is overcome as much as possible.

The trick, however, is to be up to date, to have a full knowledge of current events, but to avoid the massive tidal wave of subjective information wherever possible.

Right. Get off the internet, the lot of ye.

I need a GPS for my life.

So we’ve been off all week because of the midterms, and tomorrow we return to the delight that is our normal lives. I had colleagues roll they eyes when I said that I was off, wishing me luck trying to keep him busy and entertained for the week. I did get a few events lined up, mainly so that we could get out of the house for a bit. But I was looking forward to us being under the same roof for a second.

And how did it go? It was wonderful. Really, just wonderful. I took him to see the model railway exhibition in Blackrock College. He loved the exhibition, and there was a huge range to see; from Lego fun exhibits to really delicate, accurate portrayals of train junctions and cities (The one from Bangor must have taken thousands of hours of work). Then we went to the library to stock up on books, always a happy occasion. Then Monday was an exciting day of playing with the neighbourhood kids, Connect 4 and jigsaws. Tuesday, saw the creation of Batman, and the calling round to all the neighbour’s houses, along with them calling into us.

Tuesday evening saw my sister ring. We were all set to meet up in Westport for a stay in the hotel. She was ringing because she was worried; did I know that there was a train strike on tomorrow? She was right; no trains. So I was suddenly going to have to drive all the hours tomorrow to Westport.

I didn’t get a wink of sleep. But I got everything ready, headed out at about 10am to miss the morning traffic with the slightly monotone voice of the GPS guiding me. It was actually quite okay; it’s very specific, saying which lane you need to be in and giving plenty of notice. However, the trip itself is very very long; nearly four hours, and for a newby like my self very hard to keep going. I spent the last hour wondering if I could do it. Turns out I could; we got there at about 4pm, all good, but my hip hurt terribly. My sister arrived soon afterwards and from there it was all facials, massage and dinner. I was just exhausted once I put big guy to bed; I had a quick shower and slept.

Do you know how quiet some parts of the world are? No noise, no traffic, nothing? We spent Thursday doing things like crazy golf and long walks and reading and swimming. Big guy got to hang around with his older cousins, who he really likes as it turns out. They ended up teaching him how to swim, to everyone’s cheers.  Another dinner out for Thursday, and Friday another swim before driving back up.

Momma’s nemesis (Pic Frank McGrath)

The M50! Oh my gosh, what sheer hell have we managed to create there? Even the cold monotone of the GPS lady seemed slightly panicked as we made our way across town. People had no respect for lanes, just swerved madly about like unsure jumping fleas. It made the last half hour of my four hours home the worst part of it, but we got home safely, the GPS Lady sounding slightly triumphant as we did.  Then it was in the door, with the smell of a beef stew greeting us, and a restful evening ahead.

Saturday saw me up at the UCD Open day, where I was on my feet all day. So today, I did nothing except laundry and make earnest lists about all I would accomplish next week. (“Diet! Exercise! Writing!”) And now I have to prepare for dropping him off tomorrow, and not seeing him all day, while I have to pretend to care about other stuff.

So I don’t feel any real joy about the midterms ending, rather I’m already counting the days to Christmas break and the chance to have unpanicked mornings again.

One other thing; I looked at my phone on Friday night and could feel my stomach start to churn again with the unpleasantness and madness it wanted to share with me. I had violent and unpleasant dreams afterwards, so have made a decision to stay off social media (Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, the works) and think that it may the saving of me. If you miss me, shure, drop me an email, I’d love to hear from you.

Don’t be a stranger!

Catch up!

Apologies for the silence, all. I got busy, tired and unable to push myself, so that last Sunday when we were waiting for Ophelia, I went to bed without any blog. Last week saw my little guy get all upset at School, (probably because his mother was mean to him at home) and the crazy lady finally send a cost for damages to her car. This is the final figure:

Damages Invoice

€1063 in total. Yes, really. 

An invoice for this, might I remind you;

Car

There’s a crowd called Chipsaway.ie, who will do repairs in driveways for next to nothing. If I hear from her again I’m sending them over to her, the woman is in my opinion asking for a crazy amount.

Monday:

We were all focused on this.

Image result for HURRicane ophelia ireland

You can see my house from here…

For us, it was an appallingly sharp wind, with long queues at the local shop. For three families, their loved ones will never come home, and that’s something I’m aware of. But it had, for us, the sense of a snow day; an unexpected day off with no barrier to relaxation. That sense of the rules being relaxed seemed to be on my shoulders for the rest of the week, as you’ll see.

Tuesday:

Big guy’s school is closed, so I stay home to keep him busy and away from small fires. I can’t make myself do physio. We make a small kite, go for a long walk and muck about with the Goldie Blox set, and before you know it the day is done. I’m supposed to do physio and exercise and nothing is done. I answer emails before going to bed, and make lists.  A lot of lists. I go to bed content.

 

Wednesday:

I have no meetings! No meetings, no physio, merely the exciting prospect of actually getting things done. However! You forget dear reader, that I am in fact honey to the flies that are my colleagues. By my reckoning, over an hour and a half are given over to chatting on Wednesday, and seeing as I now have to leave early to pick up big guy, I stomp back to my car frustrated and annoyed. Bother! Damn! Blast!

 

Thursday:

The house is filthy, the child uneducated, the clothes unwashed, the body unexercised, the accountant still uninformed, and all is wrong. At least I did my physio, which is just as well as my hips were beginning to hurt again.  I call it an accomplishment to put the bins out, and just go to bed.

 

Friday: 

I get through the Physio session, and get through the day. I’m sleepy tired; nothing too worrying, but I just want to stop the day. We get told of another storm, Storm Brian (and we all know what a delight Brians can be), and we decide to head to the shop for extra supplies.

And then I hit a bollard.

Yeah, I know.

I am making a left turn into the shop, and one of the bollards surrounding the road is already twisted and bent outwards. I slow to avoid a car coming the other way, and we hear the most awful scraping sound. I think I’m about to start screaming, but we park the car and have a look. It’s actually not that bad; there is a white scrap mark, but otherwise it’s okay. The other half tells me he’s done worse on the other car and not to worry. Still, I feel the motivation go, and I dearly wish for more resilience. Wish I could go for a run, or a swim, or see a friend or something. Baaaah!

 

Saturday:

I get through the physio, and I plan a day of excellent and robust activities. Then the next door neighbour kid calls in and there are now two little creatures making noise and a mess in my sitting room. The other half comes back from shopping with a report that the car now veers to the right; thankfully not politically. I go to my bed silent with the guilt. Have I cost us more money?

 

Sunday:

We get up, we play, dress, and go to Dunnes for jumpers and the like. He plays up like a madman, and I am drinking buckets of coffee all day.

I am going to do myself a favour. I am going to wrap up this blog tonight, because now it is 10pm, and I need to sleep and reboot. Night night all.

Game of Tonnes

Monday

I get up and do my lovely extended physio, which now takes 20 minutes. It is getting easier, and I have a voice in my head that says it is because there was never anything wrong with me in the first place. Traffic is ridiculous, pointless; by the time I get to work I’m so near tears at the effort it takes me a while to get started, and then before you know it it’s time to pick up Big Guy again. How the hell can I improve on this?

 

Tuesday

I get to work in the usual panic, and then have to go on a walkabout meeting with someone from Estates. I want to set up a room in our building where students who are still nursing are able to nurse their babies and store their milk in privacy. We find a lovely room, attached to student officers’ rooms, and it might just work. We examine two other prospects, but they are either in use or in filthy condition, they won’t work. Estates aim to confirm my chosen room is vacant for use, but it looks good. I spend the rest of the day in hopeful planning, then pick up big guy and then home.

 

Wednesday

A voicemail tells me that the chosen room isn’t looking good; they were incorrect in the room number, leading them to give me incorrect information. The guy in question in charge of the room is polite when I ring him, but wants to know who told me it was free? I seem to have stumbled into a political issue, and I finish the conversation with the sense of going back to the drawing board, damn it.

Phsyio is today as well, and I arrive at 12 noon ready for the punishment. There’s a moment when I am lying face down, feeling the same resistance in mah old glutes, when I ask the nice young man, “So, Karl, was it the glamour that led you to become a Physiotherapist?” I’m joking, but the pain is leading me to sweat and close my eyes. Wow, but this is hard. I get another extended session to do at home, and I can do cycling sessions in the gym now. I’m actually a bit giddy at the idea.

 

Thursday

Super-duper important meeting at 10.30 am. I go, so far the other side of nervous I’m not nervous. I’m so blatantly unqualified for this I can only get through on bravado.

Don’t look down ya silly!

How did the meeting go? It moved in the right direction. But no firm result. I need to write up things and move things, and be political and talk to folk, but I can’t because the door keeps opening and students and colleagues have the nerve to expect things, and what do you know it is home time already. I leave campus with the sense of just shutting the door on a hurricane.

Come on ta fuck.

We got back home and had dinner with Big Guys Nana. She wants to go on a diet, and I want to go on a diet. My success at losing nearly 60lbs has led me to be complacent about my eating habits, and with no exercise means I’m gaining fast. I promised to do up a diet plan and get back to people. Then the other half and I headed off to a Parent Teachers Meeting. It was just a briefing on the children’s schedule, no individual chats at all. It did remind me how rarely I talk to the other half by ourselves with room to breathe, to be honest.  We go home afterwards just exhausted.

 

Friday

I GOT TO THE GYM!!!

I got there at lunchtime. I did twenty minutes on the bikes, and everyone was nervous and pouting and afraid to look human, whereas Mrs Doyle here was just having a blast. I will tell you though, that I was silly enough to not wash my make up off first, and that was a bad idea; I have an outbreak of spots and no one to blame but myself. But hurrah, exercise! And it didn’t hurt and everything was fine!

Work, emails, the usual. I was so happy!

 

Saturday

Took Big Guy to the library. He seemed unaware of just how bloody magical such a place is. Nevertheless, we got out Where the Wild Things are and that seemed to break through his disinterest.

I had a slice of bread mid-morning, to the derision of the other half. “Thought you were going on a diet?” Oh, it is on, best beloved. Watch me go.

We get through the day, then bath and bed, and as I am reading a story for Big Guy I switch off. I don’t mean I get fatigued, or sleepy. I mean the tank is empty in a way I can’t explain, and I need to lie down. I go down stairs and finish the coffee waiting for me, then back upstairs. I just put on my pjs and lie down, thinking that the coffee will surely keep me aw-

 

Sunday

Morning. It’s 6am, my brain convinced this is the time to wake up. I lie there, shockingly tired. I’m reminded of the time I gave blood but didn’t rest up afterwards like they all insist you should to, and as a result was dizzy and tired to the point of tears. I get up when Big Guy comes in at 7am, but I am short tempered to the point of abusive all day. There’s no other word for it. I just have nothing left in me. When the next door neighbour’s kid calls round I’m so relieved, the effort to entertain him is almost too much today. I put him to bed after dinner, and then write up this blog. I still have to look at my emails, plan the week and get myself cleaned up for tomorrow. I will use next week to do up the diet plan as well, but I will need to go easy on the exercise if I do. It’s almost zero carb and exercising on that is nearly impossible at the start.

Right. I’ve lots to do and miles to go before sleep. Away with ya now.

Temperatures, Tantrums and Tonics.

Monday
Little man wakes up and is tired. Tired and not eating. Tired and not eating and not able to move from the couch. I take his temperature and he has 38.9 temp. Back to bed with him, working from home for me. My brother calls up from Kilkenny and delivers a huge amount of apples. I picture myself making apple pie and tarts in a pastel pinny. I can do this. I carry out my physio before bed, and wow I am in pain. Bed. Tomorrow I will be a model of efficiency, I promise.
Tuesday
Little man has a perfectly fine temperature, it’s as if the last day didn’t happen. We are all up, out and back to our usual routine without any problems. I get myself to work and get through everything by setting a timer against myself and just thrashing through it.

Boop…beep…boop…beep

In the afternoon I have to attend a financial workshop that is attended by some of the great and the good of my esteemed workplace. We eventually discover that none of us understand anything about financial details, and that the creators of said workshop need to go back to the drawing board. I leave early to collect big guy, who has had a normal day. We go home and do his Maths homework, then dinner and bath for him. For some reason I open my laptop and play uninteresting computer games until ten thirty pm, then I have to get up and do chores and physio for another hour before bed. Why on earth do I do that to myself? I have physiotherapy tomorrow as well..
Wednesday.
The morning goes well enough (up, dressed, school run, get through work). I have a lunch planned at 12 noon and I am in the cafe in good time. No one else is there, and when I check my emails I see no firm arrangement was made. Am I going mad? I was honestly certain it was on today. I head over to the physio session at 1 pm, and the only word for it is ‘Ow’.
The only way to get through it is to get through it. I make myself just remember how much I want to go running soon. There was one moment when Karl, the resident sadist, said ‘There’s a lot of soft tissue damage to your muscles, Claire.’  ‘Let’s be honest Karl, there’s really only soft tissue around there anyway.’  I don’t know if you’ve had anyone laugh while prodding you in embarrassing areas, but ooh, gosh, I can’t recommend it enough.
I realise when I go back to work that there is an exam meeting the next day at 9.30 am. This is another example of my foggy thinking, like my non-existing meeting at 12 noon. I put my head down and get through the five programme reports that have to be generated and reviewed, before fleeing to pick up beloved son at 3.30 pm. I am not panicking.
All is good with him at School, but in the car park we encounter a crazy lady. My car door touches her car door, and she. Freaks. Out. We’re talking hands on either side of her head, and she nearly starts screaming. ‘It’s a company car!’ she yells at me, and she insists on taking my insurance details. I raise a badly plucked eyebrow at all this. Normally I am Ms Empathy, but the field where I grow my fucks is all barren right now.
I’m all ‘there there’, and just get on with it. At one point I look down and her girl is looking up at me, looking as if I’ve kicked an elf. I get my kid into my car, and we head away. I look at her as I go and they are in their own car, staring at me.
Car

The offending mark. Feel free to magnify. 

That evening, the little guy opens his mouth over dinner and throws up everywhere. I wash him up and put him straight to bed, then go through the usual nighttime routine; Coffee, tidy up, wash the table, sweep the floor, make lunches for the next day, prepare  breakfast, clothes out, shower, hit up MyFitnessPal and then journal my delightful day. My brain is more dead than Trump’s credibility.
Thursday
I am up and ready for this wonderful day. I go through the old, rather than the new physio session. The early morning meeting that I was all worried about goes well, mainly because I am so good at hiding my sheer inability at coping with life. The un-arranged meeting from yesterday happens today, and it goes well too. I get through the rest of the small stuff in the afternoon but honestly my brain is on ‘Lint-Time’.
I pick up the big guy and there is no sign of crazy lady.
However. Over dinner I get an email saying that she is going to a recognised dealer to fix her car and to send her my address for the bill. I tell her, no, I am not paying for anything, I’m entitled to seek up to three quotes and she is to get a quote only. She tells me it has to be this dealer, but she’ll only get a quote if I insist. Yeah, I insist. I go to bed worried and don’t do my physio. Bold Claire.
Friday
Awake at 4am by the child, and I’m unable to get to sleep. I get all worried. But I am up at 6am and I get all of us up and out okay, the other half is okay for being woken so early.  I get myself and big guy to school okay, no sign of crazy lady. I get to my work, and I get through things mainly because of coffee.
Exam results have to be confirmed and amended where needed. Done.
It’s the end of the financial year, and items have to be receipted and confirmed. Done.
Students want to call in and confirm their subject choices are all good and confirmed, done and done.
I pick up the big guy and we go home to practise the letter S for his handwriting. Then it is time for dinner and his bath. When I come down, everything is cleaned away and sparkin’, thanks me darling. I go to my grateful bed after physio, and with no emails delivering bad news.
Saturday
Marched for repeal of the 8th, and I hope you did too.
Sunday
Ate all around me, and got ready for the week. Still no emails demanding money. I am close to burning sage to warn off bad juju here. Pick up big guy and we did the letter S. Then dinner, coffee, all cleaned when I come down. Bed and sleep. No email. I come across this image on Facebook and start laughing hysterically. Me and my brain call it a night, and go to bed.

Oh, Unclench.

Monday: Right. Once more into the breach, and all that. We are in the zone, and we get to school and work without too much problems. As I arrive at work, I discover that a crucial colleague is out sick, meaning my morning is taken up with the project she was going to handle. The day flies in an montage of forced smiles. Yay.

Tuesday: Physio day. I head over to the sports clinic and sit in a chair while beautiful and earnest athletes pass by. I feel ugly and ridiculous, and get to feel worse when a young man in a wheelchair comes in and waits in the same area. The entire process is a new type of torture for me; having people touch me is the equivalent of someone asking me to hold a spider in my hand; it won’t hurt me but it is bloody unpleasant. Turns out I have deep muscle injury in both my hips, and my glutes are way too tight. I discover this face down on a table while mah flabby butt is being prodded by an earnest cleanfaced kid, and I can hear myself asking disbelievingly, “You mean I need to unclench?!”

I’m given a series of exercises and am told to come back next week where it will really hurt. Ah for feck’s sake.

Wednesday:The exercises hurt a lot, especially in my knee. No way should I be hobbling with a new injury because of this. I ring the kid and he tells me to do a variation on it. The call takes 20 seconds, but the fact that I ring at all is new; normally I would have blamed myself for the pain and gotten on with it. Look at me, growin’.

The sky wears a wig of rain all day long, and I find myself sulking in the evening. Stupid rain.

Thursday: Lots of important meetings, and the really important one goes okay. I strongly suspect that I am not being taken seriously, and so resolved to go over their head. Hey, I could be dead next year, I need to move fast.

Friday: Sing praise and hallelujah, it’s Friday. Work is done as much as my fried little brain can take, and I go home with a sense of exhaustion that is hitting me much too early in the college year. I have miles to go yet.

Saturday: I start the day earnest, with many good plans. Luckily they will still be there for me Sunday, too. Oh joy.

Sunday: Summer’s last perfect day.  I have coffee with a friend, and a long walk with the boy. I hope all goes well for everyone out there, but next door is having a moment. Her separated husband did the dirt on her with her best friend, and said best friend just tried to walk in the house to “talk about your relationship”. What a piece of scum, especially when the children were there, standing behind her. She’s shaky-brittle with the shock, but insists she’s fine. She heads into her house with an air of breathless pain, and I watch her go wishing I could make it better.

Some people are bears throwing things, when it comes to relationships. They don’t even see how much damage they do.

 

Night all.