Monthly Archives: January 2016

Go Fuck Yourself, 43.

Oh sod off. So yes, I am facing into another spin around the solar system, meaning that the planet I was born on has successfully completed another cycle around the sun (being married to the other half means I have to get that one right or I will never hear the end of it). You know what that means, youngster? It means another cluster of grey hairs, that’s what it means. It means making sure the insurance is paid and that the heating is on and oh my god the end is nigh.

Yes, that’s what it means. It means the inevitable physical and mental collapse of the rather marvellous thing called Claire and that it is getting less and less likely that I will ever really have a ticker tape parade to celebrate how fantastic I am (oh, look it up if you don’t know what that is!).

This is long overdue, people!!

So last night, after visiting my home town and tying the child up so that he would in fact finally go to sleep, I was getting myself into a tizzy about the fact that I was getting another year old.  I was, in that surreal way that can happen when you are so tired you don’t know your name, I remembered the Chorus Singers Jon Stewart would use to convey his message to Fox News;



So I pictured the following, complete with my own chorus singers;

I am so old

You’re very old!

43 is old.

That’s really old!

And I should just give up, nothing to left to do…

Don’t give up yet!

I mean, don’t want to give up yet!

Can’t give up yet!

I’ve about forty years left to me, at this rate…

That’s a long time!

And I could still do a lot with it…

Could do a lot!

So I may as well keep trying…

Nothing to lose!

In fact, being mature might be a lucky privilege…

Ain’t done yet!

Maturity could be the best thing yet.

That’s what they say!


…You’ve lost us there!

Compost. Makes soil better, but it takes time. Mature soil grows more.

Still don’t follow!

Maturity might be the best thing.

Let’s go with that!

So let’s not write me off just yet.

You’ve got it made!

All right, let’s bring it home!

“She’s 43! She’s 43! She’s 43!”

Any of you got anything to say, don’t want to hear it. And I probably wouldn’t, anyway, going deaf. Young people and their music….

A Horrible Blog to Write

We all try to project a bit, don’t we? We try to imagine what life will be like when we reach 20, 30, 40, or where we will be when the New Year starts, or such. I remember believing as a child that when 1999 rolled around, I’d be living on the Moon.

When things surprise us, really surprise us, it is a shock to the system. I remember wondering to myself many years ago how things would turn out for some old ex or other, and to my amazement discovered I was absolutely right. He did end up an old louche in a bar. Ah, bless.

Let’s keep it that way.

Still, never saw this one coming. Some of you know about me and Alan Rickman. We’ve been in love for years, if only in my head. I saw him in Die Hard, loved him. Saw him in Truly Madly Deeply, loved him. Harassed him for an autograph on the set of Michael Collins. He did that speech of De Valera six times. The first time he silenced all four thousand extras with the perfection of his performance. Four thousand people, with slack jaws, because of him.

Got to see him, and meet him, at his performance of Borkman in the Abbey. He was perfection, and wonderful, and nice to everyone. I heard afterwards that some workers in the Abbey nearly resigned over the egos during that play, I hope he wasn’t one of them.

When my book was written I was stupid or brave enough to send him a copy. An astonishingly nice letter came back saying that he had it and that he was grateful for it. He didn’t know me, or owe me anything. If he was faking manners or gratitude he was very good at it.

He was interesting and rare and very very good at what he did. He was also a construct; He was not upper middle class at all. He was working class, pure and simple. His Dad was Irish Catholic. He got to a good school. He started late, and went to RADA in his late twenties. His first film role was in his forties.

I will miss wondering what he is in now. I will miss seeing his face get older as mine gets older, I will miss his voice. I will miss him like an old friend and I don’t deserve to at all. I am not his friend, was never his friend. Doesn’t matter.

Will still miss him.

The poem here starts at 3.21. Night night Alan. God bless.

A Blog from The Past

Hey all. I survived last week. I made sure little man had some idea, and then made sure his Dad and he were okay, and got on with it. That first morning I drove to work with no will or happiness at all. And of course, it was not as bad as I feared. But it was pretty bad. Grief, I’ve found, is a silent thing. I parked the car and sat in the darkness and wondered at life. Then I made myself get out, and go on, and just kept moving. His wonderful Dad left a voicemail message that reassured and comforted and it was okay. But this week is not easy. And I am still doing the Lotto.

I discovered this week the website Turns out it can provide you with access to old websites. Some of you may remember the blog I had for years,, which simply got deleted without any warning, and with nothing recovered. So I went looking for it on this website.

The blog had become a real memory aide to me. I charted my mother’s illness, my wedding and everything else on it. And then, poof, it was gone. It used to get about 500 people per day reading it. Reading through the old posts that were captured by Archive was quite telling.

Firstly, I have it seems always been convinced of my idiocy. Utterly, without any real doubt, I’ve written myself off. Secondly, by christ sometimes I can write. There were turn of phrases there that were magnificent, almost masterly in their finesse. And I never saw it, or recongised it, I never gave myself the slightest credit for it.

But what stands out the most, as Alan Rickman said, is the pain, the sheer pain of it all. I watch myself walk towards loosing Mum with a shrill inflexibility that just gets worse and worse and the life that became a horror. I honestly don’t know how I did it, I still don’t. I would have said I am much too weak but it seems that I am not.

I’m 42 years old. It already feels like a long time.

Well, feck.

Evening, fellow readers. Hope you’re all well and tucked up nice and cosy by the fire. It is Sunday night, the night before the day my people call Monday, and I … I am not happy about that.

Tomorrow morning, you see, I have to get up and go to work. Not so bad in of itself, but what is horrible is that I have to leave my son without me. I am going to leave my son without me for the day, and go about my business like some Dickensian witch who doesn’t care and who ignores a breaking heart of a tiny mite. And I will do it again the day after, and the day after that, over and over again.

Tried the lotto, didn’t work. Tried wishing, didn’t work. Tried denial, discovered it is not just a river in Egypt, didn’t work. So I have to do this. I just do not know how. I’ve had two weeks of being woken by his hands on my face, delighted to find me still under the same roof as him, and his company is a luxury always.

See, I’ll be fine. I’m the adult. He is the little person here, the one that doesn’t understand where I am or why I am not there, and when I will be back. The moment of that realisation is a knife within me, over and over. How on earth can I be doing this to him? Can you, reading this, explain it to me? How can I be doing this to him?

Somewhere inside of me is a gallery of paintings, made up of the important moments of my heart. And this moment is in there, for all to see, with all the condemnation I can muster. I am a wretch, and nothing I can do seems able to change it.

Paul Kerr The Family

‘The Family’  by Paul Kerr.