Author Archives: admin

Game of Tonnes

Monday

I get up and do my lovely extended physio, which now takes 20 minutes. It is getting easier, and I have a voice in my head that says it is because there was never anything wrong with me in the first place. Traffic is ridiculous, pointless; by the time I get to work I’m so near tears at the effort it takes me a while to get started, and then before you know it it’s time to pick up Big Guy again. How the hell can I improve on this?

 

Tuesday

I get to work in the usual panic, and then have to go on a walkabout meeting with someone from Estates. I want to set up a room in our building where students who are still nursing are able to nurse their babies and store their milk in privacy. We find a lovely room, attached to student officers’ rooms, and it might just work. We examine two other prospects, but they are either in use or in filthy condition, they won’t work. Estates aim to confirm my chosen room is vacant for use, but it looks good. I spend the rest of the day in hopeful planning, then pick up big guy and then home.

 

Wednesday

A voicemail tells me that the chosen room isn’t looking good; they were incorrect in the room number, leading them to give me incorrect information. The guy in question in charge of the room is polite when I ring him, but wants to know who told me it was free? I seem to have stumbled into a political issue, and I finish the conversation with the sense of going back to the drawing board, damn it.

Phsyio is today as well, and I arrive at 12 noon ready for the punishment. There’s a moment when I am lying face down, feeling the same resistance in mah old glutes, when I ask the nice young man, “So, Karl, was it the glamour that led you to become a Physiotherapist?” I’m joking, but the pain is leading me to sweat and close my eyes. Wow, but this is hard. I get another extended session to do at home, and I can do cycling sessions in the gym now. I’m actually a bit giddy at the idea.

 

Thursday

Super-duper important meeting at 10.30 am. I go, so far the other side of nervous I’m not nervous. I’m so blatantly unqualified for this I can only get through on bravado.

Don’t look down ya silly!

How did the meeting go? It moved in the right direction. But no firm result. I need to write up things and move things, and be political and talk to folk, but I can’t because the door keeps opening and students and colleagues have the nerve to expect things, and what do you know it is home time already. I leave campus with the sense of just shutting the door on a hurricane.

Come on ta fuck.

We got back home and had dinner with Big Guys Nana. She wants to go on a diet, and I want to go on a diet. My success at losing nearly 60lbs has led me to be complacent about my eating habits, and with no exercise means I’m gaining fast. I promised to do up a diet plan and get back to people. Then the other half and I headed off to a Parent Teachers Meeting. It was just a briefing on the children’s schedule, no individual chats at all. It did remind me how rarely I talk to the other half by ourselves with room to breathe, to be honest.  We go home afterwards just exhausted.

 

Friday

I GOT TO THE GYM!!!

I got there at lunchtime. I did twenty minutes on the bikes, and everyone was nervous and pouting and afraid to look human, whereas Mrs Doyle here was just having a blast. I will tell you though, that I was silly enough to not wash my make up off first, and that was a bad idea; I have an outbreak of spots and no one to blame but myself. But hurrah, exercise! And it didn’t hurt and everything was fine!

Work, emails, the usual. I was so happy!

 

Saturday

Took Big Guy to the library. He seemed unaware of just how bloody magical such a place is. Nevertheless, we got out Where the Wild Things are and that seemed to break through his disinterest.

I had a slice of bread mid-morning, to the derision of the other half. “Thought you were going on a diet?” Oh, it is on, best beloved. Watch me go.

We get through the day, then bath and bed, and as I am reading a story for Big Guy I switch off. I don’t mean I get fatigued, or sleepy. I mean the tank is empty in a way I can’t explain, and I need to lie down. I go down stairs and finish the coffee waiting for me, then back upstairs. I just put on my pjs and lie down, thinking that the coffee will surely keep me aw-

 

Sunday

Morning. It’s 6am, my brain convinced this is the time to wake up. I lie there, shockingly tired. I’m reminded of the time I gave blood but didn’t rest up afterwards like they all insist you should to, and as a result was dizzy and tired to the point of tears. I get up when Big Guy comes in at 7am, but I am short tempered to the point of abusive all day. There’s no other word for it. I just have nothing left in me. When the next door neighbour’s kid calls round I’m so relieved, the effort to entertain him is almost too much today. I put him to bed after dinner, and then write up this blog. I still have to look at my emails, plan the week and get myself cleaned up for tomorrow. I will use next week to do up the diet plan as well, but I will need to go easy on the exercise if I do. It’s almost zero carb and exercising on that is nearly impossible at the start.

Right. I’ve lots to do and miles to go before sleep. Away with ya now.

Temperatures, Tantrums and Tonics.

Monday
Little man wakes up and is tired. Tired and not eating. Tired and not eating and not able to move from the couch. I take his temperature and he has 38.9 temp. Back to bed with him, working from home for me. My brother calls up from Kilkenny and delivers a huge amount of apples. I picture myself making apple pie and tarts in a pastel pinny. I can do this. I carry out my physio before bed, and wow I am in pain. Bed. Tomorrow I will be a model of efficiency, I promise.
Tuesday
Little man has a perfectly fine temperature, it’s as if the last day didn’t happen. We are all up, out and back to our usual routine without any problems. I get myself to work and get through everything by setting a timer against myself and just thrashing through it.

Boop…beep…boop…beep

In the afternoon I have to attend a financial workshop that is attended by some of the great and the good of my esteemed workplace. We eventually discover that none of us understand anything about financial details, and that the creators of said workshop need to go back to the drawing board. I leave early to collect big guy, who has had a normal day. We go home and do his Maths homework, then dinner and bath for him. For some reason I open my laptop and play uninteresting computer games until ten thirty pm, then I have to get up and do chores and physio for another hour before bed. Why on earth do I do that to myself? I have physiotherapy tomorrow as well..
Wednesday.
The morning goes well enough (up, dressed, school run, get through work). I have a lunch planned at 12 noon and I am in the cafe in good time. No one else is there, and when I check my emails I see no firm arrangement was made. Am I going mad? I was honestly certain it was on today. I head over to the physio session at 1 pm, and the only word for it is ‘Ow’.
The only way to get through it is to get through it. I make myself just remember how much I want to go running soon. There was one moment when Karl, the resident sadist, said ‘There’s a lot of soft tissue damage to your muscles, Claire.’  ‘Let’s be honest Karl, there’s really only soft tissue around there anyway.’  I don’t know if you’ve had anyone laugh while prodding you in embarrassing areas, but ooh, gosh, I can’t recommend it enough.
I realise when I go back to work that there is an exam meeting the next day at 9.30 am. This is another example of my foggy thinking, like my non-existing meeting at 12 noon. I put my head down and get through the five programme reports that have to be generated and reviewed, before fleeing to pick up beloved son at 3.30 pm. I am not panicking.
All is good with him at School, but in the car park we encounter a crazy lady. My car door touches her car door, and she. Freaks. Out. We’re talking hands on either side of her head, and she nearly starts screaming. ‘It’s a company car!’ she yells at me, and she insists on taking my insurance details. I raise a badly plucked eyebrow at all this. Normally I am Ms Empathy, but the field where I grow my fucks is all barren right now.
I’m all ‘there there’, and just get on with it. At one point I look down and her girl is looking up at me, looking as if I’ve kicked an elf. I get my kid into my car, and we head away. I look at her as I go and they are in their own car, staring at me.
Car

The offending mark. Feel free to magnify. 

That evening, the little guy opens his mouth over dinner and throws up everywhere. I wash him up and put him straight to bed, then go through the usual nighttime routine; Coffee, tidy up, wash the table, sweep the floor, make lunches for the next day, prepare  breakfast, clothes out, shower, hit up MyFitnessPal and then journal my delightful day. My brain is more dead than Trump’s credibility.
Thursday
I am up and ready for this wonderful day. I go through the old, rather than the new physio session. The early morning meeting that I was all worried about goes well, mainly because I am so good at hiding my sheer inability at coping with life. The un-arranged meeting from yesterday happens today, and it goes well too. I get through the rest of the small stuff in the afternoon but honestly my brain is on ‘Lint-Time’.
I pick up the big guy and there is no sign of crazy lady.
However. Over dinner I get an email saying that she is going to a recognised dealer to fix her car and to send her my address for the bill. I tell her, no, I am not paying for anything, I’m entitled to seek up to three quotes and she is to get a quote only. She tells me it has to be this dealer, but she’ll only get a quote if I insist. Yeah, I insist. I go to bed worried and don’t do my physio. Bold Claire.
Friday
Awake at 4am by the child, and I’m unable to get to sleep. I get all worried. But I am up at 6am and I get all of us up and out okay, the other half is okay for being woken so early.  I get myself and big guy to school okay, no sign of crazy lady. I get to my work, and I get through things mainly because of coffee.
Exam results have to be confirmed and amended where needed. Done.
It’s the end of the financial year, and items have to be receipted and confirmed. Done.
Students want to call in and confirm their subject choices are all good and confirmed, done and done.
I pick up the big guy and we go home to practise the letter S for his handwriting. Then it is time for dinner and his bath. When I come down, everything is cleaned away and sparkin’, thanks me darling. I go to my grateful bed after physio, and with no emails delivering bad news.
Saturday
Marched for repeal of the 8th, and I hope you did too.
Sunday
Ate all around me, and got ready for the week. Still no emails demanding money. I am close to burning sage to warn off bad juju here. Pick up big guy and we did the letter S. Then dinner, coffee, all cleaned when I come down. Bed and sleep. No email. I come across this image on Facebook and start laughing hysterically. Me and my brain call it a night, and go to bed.

Oh, Unclench.

Monday: Right. Once more into the breach, and all that. We are in the zone, and we get to school and work without too much problems. As I arrive at work, I discover that a crucial colleague is out sick, meaning my morning is taken up with the project she was going to handle. The day flies in an montage of forced smiles. Yay.

Tuesday: Physio day. I head over to the sports clinic and sit in a chair while beautiful and earnest athletes pass by. I feel ugly and ridiculous, and get to feel worse when a young man in a wheelchair comes in and waits in the same area. The entire process is a new type of torture for me; having people touch me is the equivalent of someone asking me to hold a spider in my hand; it won’t hurt me but it is bloody unpleasant. Turns out I have deep muscle injury in both my hips, and my glutes are way too tight. I discover this face down on a table while mah flabby butt is being prodded by an earnest cleanfaced kid, and I can hear myself asking disbelievingly, “You mean I need to unclench?!”

I’m given a series of exercises and am told to come back next week where it will really hurt. Ah for feck’s sake.

Wednesday:The exercises hurt a lot, especially in my knee. No way should I be hobbling with a new injury because of this. I ring the kid and he tells me to do a variation on it. The call takes 20 seconds, but the fact that I ring at all is new; normally I would have blamed myself for the pain and gotten on with it. Look at me, growin’.

The sky wears a wig of rain all day long, and I find myself sulking in the evening. Stupid rain.

Thursday: Lots of important meetings, and the really important one goes okay. I strongly suspect that I am not being taken seriously, and so resolved to go over their head. Hey, I could be dead next year, I need to move fast.

Friday: Sing praise and hallelujah, it’s Friday. Work is done as much as my fried little brain can take, and I go home with a sense of exhaustion that is hitting me much too early in the college year. I have miles to go yet.

Saturday: I start the day earnest, with many good plans. Luckily they will still be there for me Sunday, too. Oh joy.

Sunday: Summer’s last perfect day.  I have coffee with a friend, and a long walk with the boy. I hope all goes well for everyone out there, but next door is having a moment. Her separated husband did the dirt on her with her best friend, and said best friend just tried to walk in the house to “talk about your relationship”. What a piece of scum, especially when the children were there, standing behind her. She’s shaky-brittle with the shock, but insists she’s fine. She heads into her house with an air of breathless pain, and I watch her go wishing I could make it better.

Some people are bears throwing things, when it comes to relationships. They don’t even see how much damage they do.

 

Night all.

What day is it again?

So, mah lovelies, how are you all? Limbs still in tact, major organs all still functioning? Good, good. Let’s all take a deep, cleansing breath, and begin.

Monday 11th September:  Getting ready to leave the house in the morning, I notice we have no coffee. This is bad news, especially considering the beloved child has not once slept through the night since he was born. I get through the day with a poorly contained sense of urgency, and rush to pick him up. As he gets tired his behaviour gets worse, leading to annoyed teachers, leading to me rushing over there as soon as humanly possible. I find myself almost frantic while doing this, and I’m put in mind of Shirley Maclain in Terms of Endearment. I try, and fail, to tone it the hell down.

TIME FOR US TO GO!

I pick him up. I’m told he has had a ‘fantastic day’. Really? I am ashamed of how surprised I am, but yes. He’s been polite, engaged, and learnt lots. We go to the shops, and then home, and he is exhausted with the effort of it all. Home. Bath. Bed.

Tuesday 12th September. Traffic. OH MY GOD TRAFFIC. We sit in traffic on the way to school like insane people, not moving for nearly an hour.

Image result for bad traffic gif

Eventually I just start making random turns, and end up five minutes late for school. This is hell! I get in a swim at lunchtime and realise my clothes feel salty with the morning’s fear. There isn’t a word to declare it correctly.

Chatting to a colleague, I explain how my hip hurts, which it does. I feel it all the time now. She makes the radical suggestion of going to a physio. I call up the clinic on campus and find appointments are possible. I make an appointment, and am all set to get wrenched next Tuesday. But they want me to wear shorts. I don’t know who to feel more sorry for.

Image result for frodo's feet

I pick up big guy. Another fantastic day. He’s tired, though, I can see it. This culture change is hard for him, and I have a feeling that it’s hard to keep it up. Home. Bath. Bed.

Wednesday 13th September; I am up, ready, prepped, and we try a new route. We are there in good time, with little or no mental stress. I have a day of meetings and rushing around, no chance for a swim. I pick up big guy, and just as I feared, he had a bad day. The effort drained away from him, and he was resistant to any and all suggestions. I refuse to stress over it, but instead; we go home, I get in pizza, and at about 8pm I slip away to attend the New Parents Evening at his school. I hear all about the possible sports he can do, the high sights they set for him, and the sheer mountain he can look up to.  Grand. Can I sleep now? I go home in the dark, trying to move as quickly as I can to bed.

Thursday 14th September. Exhaustion is taking it’s toll. I’m in the car driving to the School when I realise I’ve a kind of mania going on. I’m driving without checking mirrors or worrying about other drivers’ inconvenience. I’m turning into that driver, the kind that would have anyone sane cure their lip at her entitlement.

Image result for gif what a bitch

I drive into the school nearly in tears, but that wouldn’t do any good. We get into school on time, and he promises to be a good boy for me. I head to work. I print out a version of the novel for a sister-in-law who should know better than inflict it upon herself and get it bound. I get the documents for our accountant ready, confirm the Physio, and start a memo for another super-duper important meeting next Thursday. At lunch, I have a swim with a friend so I can introduce her to the pool. She’s a gentle perfume of a woman, utterly lovely.

Kid has a bad day. We go home and have another long talk. I stump my little toe on the door on the way out of his room, and again, tears would be nice but wouldn’t help.

Friday 15th September; I’m so tired, there is no joy in it being Friday. I pick up big guy and guess what, he had a good day. I’m delighted, but again, I’m muted because of the tiredness. At bedtime I see his pjs are small on him all of a sudden. He’s grown nearly half an inch in the last two weeks, no wonder he was tired.

Saturday 16th September; Big Guy and I head to Airfield park with his Nanna and Aunty Aishling. There, I have a go at the zip line and leave a trench with mah butt.

Image result for meteor crash site

Worth it. 

After a lovely lunch, we meet, believe it or not, the Queen of Hearts.

Queen of Hearts

Told ya.

She tells me to grab each opportunity, to seize the day. We only get one life. We do. We really do.

 

I wish you sleep. Much, much sleep. Return the favour, will ya?

What, you want a title too?

So this week was the second week Big Guy was in school. And it was also the final week before the start of term. There was at least one high level meeting for me to attend about a University-wide matter, and there was the usual ‘make-food-clean-house-pay-bills’ task list.

Monday; Big guy’s first real full day. I, however, have a super-duper important meeting to get to that will run until 5pm. I get the other half to go collect him, and we head home exhausted to an exotic serving of takeaway.

 

Tuesday. No lunch, no exercise. We are rushing towards Orientation for the school, lots of lovely registration issues to attend to, and all those had to be left to one side while I was dealing with the meeting yesterday. I get through all of them, and by 3.30 pm I am an empty jug, all poured out. Home. Dinner. Bed.

 

Wednesday. This was the day I was hoping very much to go for a swim with a lovely lady. But there’s no way, I just can’t do it. I try to take a lunch break but end up falling asleep for ten minutes. Then back to it. I manage after work to buy a toothbrush for Big Guy and some facewash because right now all I have to use is hand wash from Lidl and I’m looking like something from Dr. Pimple Popper (DO NOT RESEARCH THAT).  Then home. One thing I’ve noticed is that for the first half an hour after school, Big guy is frankly acting out. It actually makes sense: he’s trying to behave and take on new rules all day, it’s only natural he’s more relaxed with me. I put on classical music in the car on the way home, and we discover that he loves this piece. Mah son will be the next Yo Yo Ma, just you watch.

 

Thursday: It’s so busy I don’t get time for a to-do list. It’s just queries, powerpoints, emails, students popping in ‘for just a sec’. Someone telling me a story wonders aloud if it happened on a Tuesday or a Wednesday, and I have to stop myself shaking them by the shoulders and asking WHAT DOES IT MATTER? I refrain.  Just to make it better, Big Guy has a bad day today, and there is much frowny face and pursed lips at school. I discover I am heartily sick of the lot of them. The kid is FIVE, not a member of royal court failing protocol. They’ll just have to cope with it.

 

Friday: The postgraduate orientation happens this am, and we have the usual bunch of intelligent, enthusiastic and engaged students attending. The problems are real and many, however, from visa problems to entry criteria (do not ask me about those. Ever.) and by the end of it I’m a rag being wrung out. I look back with sad nostalgia on my exercise plans for the week. Such sweet innocence I once had. In the meantime the waistband on my trousers is as tight as an overdraft and my hip hurts like regret. I pick up the Big Guy in good time, and believe it or not he had a good day. However, there is concern that he is not getting enough sleep. He’s taking a nap during after school, just for half an hour. They want to know what time he goes to sleep? I feel like telling them that he goes to sleep whatever time we get home from the casino after being out all night, but refrain. I do tell them the truth, that his bedtime is the one thing I have right; Big Guy goes to sleep after a bath by 8.30 pm each night, without any problems. We get out of there, head home to doughnuts and the weekend.

I did try to do some yoga, and found myself in pain I’m so inflexible. The road ahead is going to be a long one, my sisters.

So, in short, my week has been like this. What, you wanted exercise too?

Turns out, Yesterday WAS the only easy day.

Monday. Rest day. And also is the first day we bring my little boy to school. I’m reminded of the refrain in ‘Going on a Bear Day!’: “What  a beautiful day! – We’re not scared!”

Image result for going on a bear hunt

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt: Michael Rosen, Helen Oxenbury: 

We head over to his school and he trots in with zero problems, especially when he sees that they have toy cars. I am not sure what to do; parents were never allowed into classrooms, so it is hard to lean on my own experience. We head away, and he’s perfectly okay to see us go. We go back after two hours and again, he’s grand. All happy. So far so good! We spend the afternoon together just hanging out, the three of us, and life is good.

Tuesday. I’m supposed to go running today, but I honestly can’t make myself. We drop little man into school, and go do errands at Dundrum Shopping Centre. We seem to buy everything, then go pick him up. Again, he’s all happy and joyous, all skipping innocence. Home, dinner, all happy joy joy.

Wednesday: So we drop him off early this morning, at 830 am and oh my god the traffic. Lots of lovely Mummies rushing in and out, parking aggressively without actually letting themselves acknowledge it. It’s hellish, and we make the mistake of trying to cross over the M50. Oh my God! How the hell does anyone get anywhere in this city?  It’s so bad I want to cry for them.

Image result for m50 gridlock

Each morning, no matter what, that is your life. 

Being at home means there is much more likelihood of eating. Trying to keep busy when in essence you’re just trying to kill time is hard. We go to pick him up and he is exhausted, he falls asleep in the car. I feel guilty, for some reason. He’s so little. He has to go to school. We’re taking a week off to focus on him, while he gets used to it. But I am here relaxing and getting annoyed at daytime radio, while he copes with it by himself. It seems uncaring and wrong; indulgent.

Thursday: – Right, look enough talk. I get up, do some gentle exercises, then we drive him over to school. He heads in all happy, then home we go. At about ten to eleven, I head out for a jog. I get about half a mile done, and the pain in my hip starts. Then it gets worse, and much worse. I figure, sure, not good, but I’ll walk it off. I try again and the pain is just awful. I walk the rest of the way home. My mood isn’t helped by a size X runner passing me by (size X is a size so small it’s theoretically possible to be less than zero), who gives me a dismissive once over. I glance at myself in a window and confirm that yes, I am all lumpy roundness. Damnit. Damn it. I go in, limp upstairs.

I check my weight. I haven’t done that for 30 days, and have kept to a diet. I have waited for this moment to cheer myself up, and not being able to run is a good time to get some good news. So on the scales I get. And I discover I have lost the grand total of FOUR POUNDS. Misery for 30 days, and now this. After grumpily briefing the other half I head into the shower.

As I begin to wash off the sulk, I get to see a spider rushing out towards me from the corner. A big, hairy spider. I’m superstitious about these, I’m convinced they mean bad news in on the way.

Image result for house spider

I am Claire’s crushing guilt. 

Nevertheless, the resulting scream was both powerful and courageous, and I was perfectly happy to be covered in soap when I got out of the shower.

I got into bed afterwards to see if a rest would improve the hip. I honestly just wanted to have a bit of a cry, was feeling low because of the pain. And that was when the phone rang.

It was the school.

Little man had managed to get out of the classroom. He’d run to the front door, and managed to nearly get out of there.

Up and out and away we go, not talking.

Friday.

So on Thursday we’d managed to get to the school, and found little man crying his eyes out on the mat in the schoolroom. We made the teacher explain herself (how the hell did he get out please?) and made him apologise for causing such worry to her. Then home, fretting, and lots of chores. Then bed, as early as I could manage. Trauma makes me exhausted, and there was nothing else for it. Friday saw me awake at 4 am, worrying. And also little man decided it was the perfect time to play, despite my ignoring him. Then up at 6 am with the alarm, breakfast, and heading over at 7.30 am.  I headed out later to get my hair cut, determined to keep myself in a permanent state of readiness. This is also the last chance for hair cuts and any real maintenance for ages; strike while the iron is working through phonetic sounds. The haircut is actually a lot of fun, and I come home looking more reasonable than I had for a while. No sign of escapism from Junior either, that seems to go okay.

We pick him up, and the teacher informs us in an appalled tone that he fell asleep in the room. This was utterly unremarkable in the creche two weeks ago. But I am now, it seems, worse than Hitler. We take him home, grateful to all the Gods that it is now Friday, and we can exhale.

Saturday: Dear friends come over, who we have not seen in far too long. Because she is a baker, and she is brilliant.

Cake

Youse all mad jealous.

I learn in quick succession:

  • A child sleeping in class would indeed be a very bad thing, and we are now those parents.
  • I can’t cut fringes for peanuts.

We eat, and laugh, and I feel my shoulders go down slightly. I stay away from the weighing scales, though.

Image result for weighing scales

Dundundunnnnnnn!

Sunday

No exercise. Is that to be gone forever, I ask myself? We play for hours in our pjs, and I realise I’ve left the Little Man’s bike out in the rain. We wheel it in, only for the electronic siren to go off again and again. Eventually I take it off the bike and hide it in the sitting room, and the child had the job of running in and turning it off at random intervals; a job not unlike being a parent. We eventually give up and smother the noise with a pillow and a stuffed hedgehog, which isn’t giving me hope for his parenting future.

Hedgehog

Hedgehog thinks of murder. ALL. DAY. LONG. 

In an effort to encourage civilising my offspring, I line up Lego figurines to convey the importance of sitting in a desk, of listening and of focus. Two rules are laid out over and over; do what the teacher says, and wait for Mummy and Daddy. He trots off to bed later that day as innocent as snow.

Exercise audit; nothing done so far. A worthy goal would be to have three exercise sessions of small duration this week. A swim during lunch and a run during the week, and a run at the weekend. If I can fit that in, and that is how I am seeing this, then I’ll have accomplished something. Wish me, and us, luck.

The only easy day is yesterday.

Monday; Back from my trip down to the sister, I found myself all exhausted, and so didn’t go for a run. Shame on me, yadayada, but I promised myself I’ll do better the next day.

Tuesday; Today was the day I had put aside to get a few errands done, and so at lunchtime I headed into town. When I was finished, I was waiting at the bus stop when a taxi pulled up. Out stepped a former colleague of mine, dressed beautifully. She was wearing what I call antler heels (where they’re so big as to make a statement). Off she went on her way, and off I went on mine. Which was on the back of a bus taking me back to work. I got through the rest of the day with a weird kind of sadness. Failure, to achieve, and failure to avoid; you imagine I’d be used to it by now.

Anyway; went for my run. I checked it out on google and in fact I was completing a mile and a half, not a mile. Hence the inability to do well. Got it done, in the same time as before. Then down to pick up beloved child, dinner, bath, bed.

Wednesday; Today was the Little man’s last day in the crèche. He’d been there since he was nine months old, and it was both a huge thing and a nothing thing. We’d got lots of presents made up, and I had special cards made for the staff as well. The other half was coming home early from work, and so we headed down together. We gave the staff lots of hugs, thank yous, and hard liquor. Then home we went, and it was only when I was there that I realised how tense I was about this. I place way too much emphasis on this sort of stuff; how well do we/I carry myself off? I can’t help it, but it does mean that I worry too much about how things look rather than how things are.

We delighted little man with a toy when we got home, the Lego Mystery Machine from Scooby Doo. And I know he was delighted because he woke me up at 3am to play with it.

Thursday – Now this was a long day, involving a lot of adulting throughout the day. Maybe to compensate for that moment on Tuesday, I wore a dress and heels, trying to look like a grown up. Fate didn’t come up with any rom-com hilarities for me along the way, no ripped tights or prat falls were experienced by me. Instead it was one long day, on my feet and running around. Meetings, crying students, no lunch, more crying students, colleagues with lots to do, and so on.  I left at 4pm as usual, with the sensation of having hugged a hurricane to myself all day.

And Thursday was the other half’s birthday. I came home with a birthday cake for him, along with some other treats. Little man helped me give him all the parcels we had wrapped for presents, then we ordered takeout for dinner. Afterwards, we had birthday cake.

Birthday cake

From a place that rhymes with Thatcheral Quakery.

It was awful; the buttercream icing tasted utterly bland, more like lard than cream.  I took a disbelieving bite, but really some part of the ingredients must have been missing from it. The beloved child didn’t have a second bite, and the other half was unimpressed on it. Nice one, guys. After my long long day, I was in bed by 9.30 pm, exhausted. My stomach was in a riot because of that damn cake, and no run was had by me. I’ll go to my grave with nothing but unfinished to-do lists on my gravestone.

Friday – Right. Swim! I walked towards the gym on Friday morning so utterly uninspired I wondered if it was a good idea. But I just treated that notion like the childish whine it was, and headed in. Got changed and realised I’d forgotten my shampoo. Don’t care, I told myself, I was still going swimming. I got into the Medium lane, and it had to be said, they seemed much slower than last time. So, feeling brave, I headed into the fast lane.

You don’t move into the fast lane unless you are sure you’re not going to be an inconvenience to someone else. I was only going to be swimming twenty minutes but I had to be sure I was going to stick to the pace. So off I went, pushing off from the wall.

And it was fantastic. It was a lovely, wonderful swim, an absolute dream and it saw me feel so much like my old self the years dripped away. I was swift, I was clean, the lines and everything else was perfect. I had walked towards the building feeling like I had nothing to contribute and no good would come of it, but it was fantastically pleasant and I was so happy. Happy! Finally! I met someone on the way into work who told me that I looked all happy and fit and everything was good. I got through work and the excitement of dinner, bath and bed with a good mood. Home, dinner, and finally the weekend.

Saturday; rest day.  I felt so good after the swim I know I could have gone running. But when I said it on Saturday morning, the little man looked so sad at the idea I couldn’t do that. Maybe Sunday?  We spent the day getting him ready for school; lunch boxes, juice bottles, new shoes, extra clothes, and all the rest.

Sunday:  No more excuses. Up, out, and away I went. Not one but two circuits this morning, of three miles in total. I feel wonderful and tired at the same time. I can confirm that there is no pain in my left hip, but there is now a pain in my right hip. Ah bless.

barbie flipped

But, it’s done. I’m pleased that I did it, that I added to my music running playlist, that I can rest tomorrow. I’m pleased that this rambling blog is done for this week, and that now I can go to bed. So on that note, good night sisters.

Image result for nell mccafferty good night sisters

Imagine a TV station that would have this kind of activist on nowadays. We were lucky.

 

Walking counts, right?

Monday – no exercise. No jog, no swim. The weekend had left me less than energetic, and the pouring rain certainly didn’t help. Bold Claire. Try again tomorrow.

 

Tuesday – right, no more procrastination. I made myself get into work as early as I could and get into my swimming gear. I’d been here before last week, when I didn’t really feel any joy at being in the water, and I frankly ‘parented’ myself into it again today. I got into the medium speed lane again, secured my goggles, and pushed off the edge.

And booom, the old push and sway was right back there. I pushed off that edge like a fish being freed again, and all the old skill I’d had was right back there with me; keep to the top of the water, make your movements smooth and clean, get into the rhythm and keep it going.

As I swam, I noticed the pool filling up. UCD is lucky enough to host the Women’s’ Rugby Tournament this year, and the campus is filled with teams from all over the world getting ready to compete. The gym and pool is no different, and a team were there this morning to get some recovery swims in. They’re strong, with all the various body types you might expect of a rugby team. I am by political leanings a feminist, but by culture I’m sexist; I’m still surprised when society puts women first without qualification. To have these women given resources, and priority, and emphasis, is a strange state for me. As I watched one figure happily swim past me, I realised I’d never seen a woman succeed for her own sake.

Men win in movies because they are the Hero. Women win in movies so they can get the guy.

Women are never heroes by themselves. They never succeed unless they succeed just-so-far and no farther. Women are not the default, they’re the reward, and that is an area I should grow a bit in.

Anyways. I got out of the pool and got ready. I’m still too slow on that one, I find.

 

Wednesday – no work, rest day, alalallalalllaa

 

Thursday; Run! Run fast! Home, shoes on, out the door! I pushed myself very hard and managed to… maintain the same speed. I would have hoped I could cut more time off it, but I didn’t. Standing at my front door, trying to breathe, I told myself it didn’t matter. What was I going to do, give up? No, I was not. Maintain, fall back, get better; it doesn’t matter, just keep going.

 

Friday – Rest day

 

Saturday & Sunday – See, I was actually full of good intentions on Thursday? And I did indeed manage to get a lot done, both for work and for exercise? But on Saturday I headed down to the sister’s for the weekend. They have a lovely home down there, and kids that still fake liking the mad aunt, and a dog so my beloved angel adores it too, and all of it. So by 11am off we went in the car to enjoy the weekend. The older I get the more I love getting out of Dublin, and I’m never down enough in Kilkenny for my liking, I miss the place very much. So it was fantastic, frankly, to recognise the hills in the distance as we went on down the country. The weekend was very much waterlogged. We had a long walk on Sunday morning just before there was a break in the rain, out in the woods called The Islands, and that took a good hour, so I am calling that exercise.

 

3 folks walking

The woman in the middle is one of the best people in the world. In case you were wondering. 

We even found a car; a passat had been pushed off the road, all the windows smashed. The more I looked at it the more I was convinced it had just been put there; the weeds were wilted, the upholstery was dry, and the thread marks weren’t pushed down. We rang the guards and told them about it, but something about it troubled me; They would have had to drive in the pitch dark and then walk back the same way. That’s a lot of effort for just a joyride.

 

Broken car

Shockin’.

It started to rain. We got just wet enough so that we were grateful to be back at our cars and get cosy. The rest of the day was a deluge, and I spent it reading and looking out of the window, tututing and going back to my book.  Hard life.

Purple woodlands

Like, really hard.

While I was down there, I had another idea for a novel;  a beginners cooking class focusing on Desserts. You could see each of the people taking part in the class, and learn about them as the cooking class goes on. The book should include the actual recipes as well, so that a person buying the book would have the chance to learn to cook it too. Yes, it is a bit Maeve Binchy, but frankly there’s nothing wrong with that. The title came to me this morning as I was putting on my mascara; “Sweet Things For Beginners.” And a cover in pink. Hmm, I like that.

But no exercise make Claire lose the point of the blog. I want to go for a quick jog today, and will update this blog this weekend. Don’t lose hope! I will be back!

The Fun that is week three.

Saturday:

So. After the fun that was last week, I decided to keep going, and on Saturday morning early headed out to do my run. I wasn’t too worried about the time, I just kept going until I  had a couple of miles down. Then it was back home.

“Mummy!” my little angel greeted me. “You’re all pink!”

No I did not take a picture, go look at a daisy.

Ah bless. Yes, pale skin and red hair and flushed face means Mum look all pretty. I had my shower and cleaned up, ate breakfast, tidied up. Then it was out of the house for a bit. The other half needed to get some parcels from the post office, so I headed down in the car. Walking away from the parked car I noticed something.

I.

Was.

Limping.

Ow. Ow ow ow. 

My left hip felt like someone had wretched it out and hurriedly put it back in again. I limped into the post office, got the parcels, then back to the car. It felt like I needed to put myself in some weird position to get the ache out of my limbs, but I had no idea how.

Then, that afternoon, it was time to take the car to the NCT place in Deansgrange. The kid was happy (at first) to watch them have a look at it, but became convinced that they were stealing it. Coping with that and growing dehydration wasn’t good. Back home, I headed down to the local shop to get dinner, then ate and then bath for kiddo, followed by bed for me, honestly glad there was no scheduled exercise for a few days.

Sunday: get away from me, rest day.

Monday: Was lucky enough to see the in-laws, and to hang out with my very cool sister-in-law and brother-in-law. It was supposed to be a ‘simple tapas thingie’, but my mother-in-law managed to present the most sophisticated buffet out of no-where. We sat in the garden and relaxed, not really caring that the rain was coming down. I drove us all home, glad of the few days off work.

Tuesday: Right! Home from work, time to get twenty minutes in. I managed to cut two minutes off the time, so hurrah for me. It is getting easier, but one thing about getting older is that you notice your improvement speed is slower, as is your recovery time. Still. I feel much better these days, so much so that I’ll be able to pose laughing over a bowl of salad any minute now.

Image result for woman salad

Oh asparagus, you just get me…

 

Wednesday: Rest day, ha ha!

 

Thursday:

Honestly not sure if I can find the time today. Lots of lovely meetings.

 

Friday:

I went swimming.

And it was a lot better than before; the rhythm was much more present, and I got it done with not a bit of bother. Still taking far too long to get ready afterwards, however.

I was supposed to go away this weekend, but had to change them, which means mentally I have no plans to go running today, Sunday. But needs must. Will see how we get on.

 

The plan for next week is:

Monday – Rest day

Tuesday – run after work

Wednesday – Rest day

Thursday – Swim at lunch

Friday – Rest day

Sunday – Run

So now you know too and should feel duty bound, dear reader, to remind me if I fail. Anyways, keep her lit!

Right. Max the envelope, and so forth

New Readers start here.

So, the saga continues. I know I said that this was going to start on Tuesday, but Sunday rolled around and I decided that there really was no point in waiting. So on went the shoes, and the tracksuit, and off I went.

See, that happened at about 5pm. And if you go to Met.ie, and look up the daily data for Dublin Airport at that time, you’ll see that 1mm of rain fell at that time.

All at once.

On my head.

About half way through the first mile I realised this was not going to level off. I kept going, because I had to; there was no way I was giving up on the first mile of the first run. But ye gods! Everything was soaking wet; the hair, the leggings, all of it. I was honestly worried the phone was going to go with all that water.  I saw a kid out there in shorts and a jacket and wondered where the hell were his parents…

I will say that the number of joggers-nods increased. This is a phenomenon whereby joggers/runners show their mutual respect by giving a solemn nod to each other as they pass. No words, just a nod, implying that we are all in a special club, and everyone else is just running because they’re late somewhere. I got several nods on Sunday, even from the wiry ‘I haven’t stopped running since Gay Byrne was on the Late Late show’ types, and I felt very special. I made it home and had the most amazing shower ever. That evening I looked out and saw the same kid, still wondering around the estate. What the hell was going on?

 

Monday – Rest day. Ambrosia from the Gods day.

 

Tuesday– Swimming day. Packed up my dust-covered (not kidding) swim suit and headed over to the pool at work. I swam for twenty minutes, with no headaches, dizziness or trouble. I was as slow as a mule, which, if you picture one in a pool is pretty much what we have here.

Weeeeeee!

Swim, in short, was fine. Getting myself ready to be productive at my desk took me forever (shower, dress, hair, makeup, and go). I need one of these, me thinks.

 

Wednesday; felt that pleasant ache in my muscles. All good.

 

Thursday; Right, when to go for a run? Couldn’t do it during lunch hour, so instead pulled on the runners before I went to pick up the child. And oh my God the difference. Running after a day’s work, even desk work, is much much harder on the body and soul. Firstly, lots of lovely people about, to comment and smile that smile, the smile that is both smug and amused at the same time. Bless ‘em in their ear.

Secondly, it is harder. I was more tired, and much slower than I had any right to be. I should have improved since last Sunday, but instead was much worse. I got into bed like a zombie, and honestly fell asleep as fast as I sank into the mattress.

 

Friday: (Today) Rest day. Three sessions down, and the schedule getting closer to figured out. The great thing about fitness is that it only needs brute endurance. If you keep going, you cannot but get better.

Good luck sisters.

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