Family

We usually come from one, we usually plan to make one, and one way or another, we build one. Some of us come from the type of family we all want to have; a close and loving one. Some of us come from the  type of family that you’d see on PSAs; the type that gets titles like ‘disfunctional’ and who get a lot of callers from social welfare and the like.

I don’t come from the second type of family. Instead, I come from a very long line of people, we go all the way back to the time of Nelson on my Dad’s side. Still, you can never be sure if what is written on paper matches what is the reality. I know myself that ink will tell lies that would make you pale. So for me, I’m going to try out that new service ’23&Me’, which allows you to create a DNA profile for yourself based on your heritage. I don’t know what it will reveal, but it will be a creation based on science rather than on the needs and illusions that have gone on before.

Someone told me recently that you cannot escape your family. Perhaps not. But there is ‘escape’ and then there is eluding. It is possible to elude the conclusion that others can write for you. It is possible, and very necessary at times, to decide for yourself the conclusion you wish to reach. Thus, I’ll go and find out things for myself, based on the reality, rather than on the necessity of others to create, recreate, and un-create their own desired reality.

As for the actual results? I’ll keep you posted. Watch this space, that I create, if you wish. Have a good week.

Yeah, I know.

The child should be having his bath right now. Jo Frost would be all shocked-looks to the camera at my parenting skills right now. But I’m getting plenty of evidence that there are a lot worse than me out there, so excuse me if I forgo the obligations for 15.

I am beginning to believe that Alan Rickman held the complex universe together; look at the world since he died, for Pete’s sake. All goes wrong on the international and national sphere. All is uncertain and nothing is clear. Dante’s last circle awaits us.

I get holidays in a few weeks. Hope the time passes quickly.

These people have feet of thick.

There is a certain element of Irish thought that accords English institutions a large amount of respect! We review the long history of its institutions and its traditions, many of whom were responsible for our own, and decide that it has a greater understanding than we ourselves possess. However, for many people, the events of the last few days have been a huge awakening, wherein we realise that we may have vastly overestimated an nation and its population by some massive degree. In short, people, the English are as thick as two planks! What the hell is up with these people, because it certainly seems they are not connected to the same reality as the rest of us!

Greetings, Sports Fans

Hey, miss me? I’ve not posted much lately, mainly because I was too busy. The main reason for that was a little thing called the UCD Festival, which took place last Saturday. I have been working on it since last November, but things really went up a gear since May. It meant that for the last two weeks, I’ve been at my desk at 6.30 am every morning in an effort to get all the Schools ready, and this last week has seen things reach a frantic, three-seconds-for-every-job pace. Saturday had me awake at 4 am, in the car at 5.05 am, and not really wrapping things up and leaving until 4 pm that afternoon.

I haven’t been this tired since the kid was a newborn. I have pressure behind my eyes and my brain won’t stop. My skin feels weird, my muscles are all twitchy and I’m fairly sure I have high blood pressure, there is a thump-thump-thump feel to my spine I can’t get rid of. It’s not that I’m slow, it’s that I can’t even get started. The kid as well won’t let me leave the room without him, he’s seen so little of me right now. Hmmm.

Still, the day itself had some amazing moments. There was the great fun of showing my sister and her family around campus. The attendees to conferences who were dying to see their old campus again. And seeing the campus decorated was a pleasure. Check out #UCDFestival for photos.

And there was this. The artist in residence, Michael McLoughlin, created an instillation called ‘Fabric’ with me. It was based on an idea I had, to interview the men and women on campus who make life there possible. To that end, we interviewed support staff and administrators who had worked there for years, and who would very much be the students face to face experience of UCD. It took a lot of work, but nevertheless we got it done. I took a quick video on the phone, about two minutes long; 

 

Did it get a lot of praise? Nah, not a bit. I doubt many reading the notes even found it worth attending. Made me think of this (which is by Bill Watterson, not me, and I never said it was);

Bill Watterson makes another not-so-subtle commentary

 

In that I’ve ended up being snobby and elitist in an effort to shine a light on the essential but mundane. Still, there is a victory here, and that is something to be proud of.

In any case. Normal programming can now resume. So swimming, and maybe writing, can start soon.

But enough about me, how are you?

Decisions, decisions…

Life goes by whether you want it to or not. You are, if you are lucky about it, going to get older and accumulate experiences. If you’re not careful, their importance and effect will be reduced. It’s far too easy to see one week become a month, become a year, become a decade, and you find yourself living the same life with the same unfinished aims and with nothing further to aid to your life.

One reaction to the passage of time is to become more conservative, to actually avoid change. This might explain why I was so deadset against Windows 10 and how bloody annoying it is that it seems to have installed itself on my computer anyway. It means that I don’t care how good Noah Wyle is, he is no Jon Stewart and he can sod off. It means that in terms of politics you see generations making the same mistake over, and over, and over again, with no voice loud enough to say ‘excuse me, can we think about this for a second?’ It becomes the same seaside caravan in Rosslare each year, and nothing ever seems to improve.

You know the one I mean…

So I have decided that even if I make the wrong decision, and I’ve spent a lot of my life being afraid of that, I’m getting less afraid of that being the outcome. I’m feeling more reckless these days, perhaps with a clearer view of my own mortality, and so might soon make a decision more on my internal desires rather than wot will please t’ neighbours…

No, I don’t know what I mean either. But watch this space. Literally. This one right here, beside the full stop coming up. Okay? This one.

 

Once bloody more into the breach…

So. Writing. For about two weeks now, I’ve not written a word. Instead, I watched thoughts about writing come and go and pass me by, like seeing something pass me as I sit by a river. Instead, I’ve been going into work at 6.30am and working away.

Interestingly, you don’t accomplish a great deal by going into work at 6.30. You just accomplish more of the same. As is pointed out to me in many different ways, the life of an administrator is essential, but unimportant. I’m a cog, and not much more. So I go home as tired as a Benny Hill cliche with no real sense of having done very much.

And the writing, well, as it moves away from me I’m seeing how unlikely it is that I can do anything with it, or accomplish anything. I’ll have to dig at the mountain with my pick axe for a very long time to sculpt anything out of it. These ladies deserve a decent platform and I’m honestly wondering if I can do it.

It is scary how persuasive that voice is, that says to leave it, someone else can do it. My personal motto is Stultum est non conantur. That would prove me the biggest idiot.

 

 

 

A brief tribute to Victoria Wood.

Imagine the following given in a deep Northern accent. 

Victoria Wood

 

So me, Kimberly, Sharon and that cow, Tracey, showed up outside Mrs. Wilson’s house, as arranged, only Tracey showed up late because the bus took so long comin’ from Weight Watchers. She goes in each week and they tell her she’s fat and she goes out again, she says it’s really affective. Sharon felt a bit sick because she’d had a penis colada earlier while we were waiting for the tupperwear lady to show up. Most people hate tupperwear sales night  but this was totally bono fido, totally honest like. But she didn’t show, so we all show up at Mrs Wilson’s house to do the yoga night. You know her house, she’s got the pink guttering that me mam says was a bit open minded but it takes all sorts she says. Me mam not Mrs Wilson, she’s been all tense and upset since she’s had that breast enhancements surgery in Scunthorpe a year ago. The magazines say you have to make the most of what you’ve got but me mam says Mrs Wilson made a mountain out of a molehill, if ya know I mean. Now she finds it so hard to see she can hardly drive.

Anyway we go in, and the heating is on because you’re supposed to be sweating out your chakra, and our Kimberly said out of the corner of her mouth that she could feel the biggest pool of chakra in her neither regions, but then she took the coat off and she said she felt better. Mrs Wilson was there, looking like the Double-D underwire  bra was about to burst in her new Manduka loop back cami, bought to match her capri Amara. She said that she hadn’t slept at all and Tracey started laughing saying ‘Neither would I with me pillows on me face.’ Only Mrs Wilson didn’t think she was funny. Turned out she’d lost her two albino guinea pigs under the settee earlier and couldn’t get them out. The smell of pot purri drafting around the place was more powerful than Bernard Matthew’s breath after a Saturday night.

So, anyways, we get started, all stretched out on her deep shag in the sitting room, and  Mrs Wilson was all, ‘Deep breath girls!’, but you could see she was really really hot, and before we could even get down on the ground and give our sun salutation she got really pale and fainted. Me, Kimberly, Sharon and Tracey manage to get her up the stairs, waving the pot pourri under Mrs Wilson nose as she was going up, and we managed to get her towards the Marks and Spencer cotton sateen duvet cover, until Tracey came up with the idea of loosening the Double D underwire push-up bra. Before our eyes, two albino guinea pigs crept out and made their escape out the windows. Down the pink guttering faster than you could say ‘Yellow Beret’. We had to let ourselves out, and Mrs Wilson never even refunded the fiver.

 

 

The Glenroe Hour

Well. How are ya. Yeah, I haven’t posted in a while, mainly due to the little man no longer keeping a firm sleep schedule during the weekends. And so the blogs go by the wayside while I sort that out.

Anyways. The opus is done, all one hundred thousand words plus of it. And now that I have these ladies over the finish line, I’m convinced that I have written the WORST NOVEL OF ALL TIME WHAT WAS I thinking and so on. You know what you do with those thoughts? They’re an optical illusion, exactly like those thoughts that tell you it is golden. The truth is much more quantum than that, it both is and is not crap at the same time.

Would make a good title page, actually….

So it’s done. And I am in the strange position of not liking myself at all right now, convinced as I am of my failures and my laziness. Every flaw in my day to day life seems to agree with this message, that I’m lazy, sloppy, ignorant of the impression I make and crass about my speech and my gestures. It’s not helped by a sense of elitism I encounter in my day to day life, in work, in the pool… There are people out there who are a lot better at certain things than me. But where are they better people than me? Oh, wait, I can hear a voice in my head disagreeing with me. It says that in fact, they are better people than me. And then it points to the well thumbed list of my failures in life as evidence. And then I remember that John Banville worked that metaphor with more skill, and I give it up as a bad idea.

I want to write the start again. And edit the whole thing to kingdom come. And then hide. And then stand forth and let them shine.