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!

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