Monthly Archives: November 2017

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.


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!