Monthly Archives: June 2013

I have lost 60 lbs, or 4 Stone.

I was sitting in the Westbury hotel having coffee with an ex at the end of November 2012, when I made a slight joke about my weight. He gave me a look of relief, smiled and said, “Oh, thank goodness we can talk about it. What the hell happened?” What happened indeed? By the end of November I was over 200 lbs, 205 lbs to be exact. And here’s the proof:

Fat Claire

Yup. I know.

That’s me, as a size 18, in November of last year. After I reached that dreadful weight one afternoon, I just made a decision. I took up with, and signed up with and I started to eat less, drink more water, eat more high fiber foods.  I also signed up to the UCD gym, which contains this:

Gym? What’s a gym?

This is a 50m pool. And at least three times a week I swim fifteen lengths there in under 30 minutes. That’s 1500 meters, so it is, and that’s how I spend my lunch break. There’s been plenty of moments when I clung to the edge of the pool completely exhausted. But the memory of that reflection in the photo above, and the idea of my son being ashamed of me, kept me going. And this is what I look like now:

Not so large

Glammed up for the book reading in Kytelers.

I’m now a size 12, and losing all this weight really does do something to how you view yourself. This is the size I was when I was late twenties, early thirties, and seeing that figure in my reflections is almost, not quite, but almost like getting some years back. Certainly better than the alternative.

So that’s last year’s project done. Next up, world domination.

An update to ‘Some People….’

An update to my post here, about the stepfather who called off paying for a wedding.

Mother and Daughter, it seems, have now moved out and in with the groom. They took a lot of things that weren’t theirs, especially considering that the mother had never worked while they were together. They’re scaling back the wedding, he’s heard, but she got in trouble immediately as she tried to write a cheque on the account he had emptied, which he did precisely to avoid her putting him into debt. They’re now looking to the groom’s family to help out.

Yikes. Very very glad it’s not me. Our cake day was much less fraught.



Thoughts about Abortion, on Demand

It would appear that there is going to be a legal, permitted termination option offered to Irish doctors, on foot of the Savita Scandal. This means, or appears to suggest that if the life of a woman is in danger, a hospital/doctor will not be prosecuted if a termination is carried out. This option does not come into play if the health of the woman is in danger, but the risk to life is now a factor.

Of course, this is a good thing, in that the removal of legal doubt, and danger, to patients is to be welcomed. However, this is an area where there is an absence of clear thought or clarity. Instead, what I see happening is that we are once again creating legal situations on the basis of poorly thought out assumptions and beliefs, and that was huge injustice arises. So I’d like to take half an hour to write out some ideas and thoughts, and would very very much appreciate your views on this.

Lets say there is no such thing as a soul. Doesn’t matter if you are thinking of a catholic one, or any other type of religion. We’re just some what astute apes, who have managed to walk upright for about a hundred thousand years. What would that mean? What implications would exist, if we decided there was no afterlife? Would that mean we could treat each other any way we wanted, without consequence? And what would that mean to the idea of maternal care? Who cares if a baby survives pregnancy? Would we be happy with the situation that is said to exist in China, of late terminations in the seventh, eighth and ninth month? There are photos that exist, via Google, of a late termination at eight months; you can enter “late term abortion china” into the search engine and hit ‘Images’, and up they’ll come. If we’re soulless, why would this matter?

It would matter, even if we’re soulless. We may not have a God to exert approval over us, but we can exert approval, or an ethical approval, over ourselves. We would be our own references, and the behaviour we exert over others would be the criteria for how all of us would be treated, potentially. By failing to treat the unborn with respect, we create a world where none of us have respect. We fail them, we fail ourselves and in that failure is the creation of a hell on earth, soulless humans or not. The criteria here, would be to have a society of best practice; what action or actions does the least harm or corruption of an ideal of respect for all? A pregnancy shouldn’t end, to avoid a fine, this means that the death of an unborn is a means to a lesser end.

Lets try it another way.  Let’s say we do have souls. All of us, before we are born, are granted a form of immortality in the manner described by the Catholic Church. Should we then, when a woman is dying because of a failing pregnancy, let her die rather than remove the unborn child? The fear in that circumstance is that the child’s soul is equal to the soul of the mother. However, one important point to note is the amount of pregnancies that terminate naturally by themselves. And that is about half. Many of them end in their first month, without the parent even being sure they were pregnant. This ending of a pregnancy is something that is completely unremarked by those that call themselves Pro-life. There are no calls for research to prevent these losses of souls, no suggestion that this should be halted or even any concern over them at all. It would appear that the major concern is the intentional removal of an unborn. If that is the case, would it not be the case that the saving of the parent’s life is a sufficient reason, for if it is not preserved, neither the mother nor the child are saved? If we cannot keep the soul of the mother, how can we describe ourselves as moral at all?

As I said, I would very much welcome your thoughts.

A funny incident.

I’m nosy. No, really, I am. I grew up in a big family in a small town and I’m used to knowing your business.  I tend to just… notice stuff.

Like this afternoon. Waiting by the bus stop I noticed a very very expensive car parked. It was a Maserati and the driver was standing outside, arms folded.

Just like this…

As I watched (without watching, natch), a taxi pulled up, and a blonde got out from the driver’s seat. She was beautifully dressed, with a very expensive watch on her slim wrist, and he was delighted to see her. She was carrying some paperwork, and they got into the car.

I checked the board: seven minutes to go.

They stayed there, talking. He spoke while she listened, and then vice versa. He leaned forward at one point, and then she reacted. There was suddenly lots of bobbing pony tail~she was angry. He was utterly unfazed, and just kept talking.

Four minutes on the board, she gets out, and gets back into the driver’s seat of the taxi. They stay talking like that for a few minutes, and then he gets into his car. He slowly turns the car and starts to drive towards the south of the city.

One minute on the board. For a moment she stays there in the car, watching him. Her face looks pensive, even worried.  Eventually, and slowly, she puts the key in the ignition, and starts her engine. Slowly her car pulls away from the kerb, and she drives away, in the same direction after him. My bus pulls up, and it’s time to go.

Now, what do you suppose that was about? Not that I’m interfering, or anything. I’m just wondering, like.

The last time I bought a book…

it was on foot of a blog, that I picked up from Twitter, that was from a writer of a TV show I downloaded (Redshirts, so it was). I seem to have a fading connection with bookshops, which horrifies me. Bookshops, and libraries, are essential in that they present for browsing collections of knowledge. Your own subjective interests are present alongside other areas that fascinate. You should, as a rule, be made to consider the arguments of Pliny, or the science of Decision Theory, or any other topic that came to be placed in front of you. Your mind and your taste is expanded, more than any mere Amazon search can do.

Yup, that kind of Redshirt.

I want, and intend, to make a living off my writing. To do that, to make a successful career out of that, I need to overcome all the noise and barriers to attention that people like me put up, and get people’s attention. I need to be in their face in a way that normally I would abhor. What to do, what to do?

Why do you buy a book? How do you buy your books? Come on, you’re all smart people. What do you read, and how?

“Lucky pick, from a rare lapis shell…”

Some People….

Just learned of a friend who has left his girlfriend of ten years. He was a father-like figure to her daughter who is getting married, and he (not his girlfriend, mind, but he) was paying for the wedding. Now all that is off.

He’s just discovered that the deadbeat father of the bride, not him, is walking her down the aisle and giving her away, a matter of enormous pain and outrage to him. The music is including all of deadbeat Dad’s taste, and to top it all the menu includes two items my friend is allergic to. To add to his sense of outrage, the twenty or so people he had given ‘Hold The Date’  details to, didn’t get invites. They got the date reminders, but no invites. And the invites that did go out? They didn’t have his name on them. Deadbeat Dad and Girlfriend are delighted to announce….

“Ah, my PFO has arrived….”

He is shaking with fury as a result of all this. He’s no longer willing to pay for the wedding, to the extent that he has cancelled deposits. It’s cost him about €1,500 but he has no regrets. His girlfriend is furious with him, and he equally with her, they are splitting up on the strength of this. He’s moved into the office bedroom and they’re making arrangements to move out.

I’m astonished at how quickly all this has come about. But I have to agree with him. This seems to show that he is seen as a facilitator, or a bank, rather than a member of the family. They’ve  behaved terribly, and they can’t even see it.

What do you think? Should he have paid, and stayed silent? Raised concerns, but still paid up? And would you have split up with your partner, on the strength of it?