Category Archives: Rants

Fiat Justitia Ruat Caelum

Well, how are ye? No, seriously, how are you? Are you okay, all right? Have you checked in with someone recently, rang them, talked to them, let them hear your voice, made eye contact?  Are you okay, are you at home, safe and untroubled? All your folks okay? All your neighbours?

These days, my friends, these terrible, terrible days. We sit, and horrors play out on the images on our eyes. Toddlers’ bodies flop and slack on beach fronts, teenagers flee down dark streets from concerts. And unlike the gentle words used in newspapers when I was growing up, all of it is visible and clear. Last night I watched video by a journalist who lived across from the Bataclan, showing people jumping over dead bodies at doorways, while on an upper storey window a pregnant woman clung to a metal bar, and pleaded with someone to pull her in, she was slipping. The footage ends before she gets in, there’s no way to know right now if she is okay. If anyone is okay. No one is okay.

The picture of the inside of the Bataclan looks exactly like the end of any concert, bar the larger mass of the bodies.

And what can I do, faced with the visual of these enemies of me, what weapons can I bring to bear on these men, these haters of my ways and my times? What armour can I clad myself in when I see the acts they will do? What can I do that is strong enough to stop them, I who know nothing, I who can do nothing? I am no soldier, not accustomed to hardship or battles. I can call no orders, lead no charge… But I do have in my bag of tricks something that is strong enough against these people. I, and everyone I know, can call forth around them a weapon  as strong as any fanatic, a wall of safety bigger than any gun. I can and do know exactly the form of words that will dispel the power of these men’s ways, and it is exactly strong enough to remove their power on this earth.

This power grew to a concentration just where this latest attack took place, In Paris, where the ideals and principles founded by our own culture and society began to take modern form. This power is founded in the creation of humanity as equal, and where each of us share Rights Inalienable, and undeniable, in the eyes of the executive and legislative function of our state. It is in the ideals of proportionality, in the concepts of Fairness and Privacy, in the motto and guide of our fallen brothers, Liberty, Equality, Fraternity. It has its own magic phrases such as Habeas Corpus, Presumption of Innocence, and deorum Injuriae Diis Curae, phrases stronger than any spell Harry Potter could cast about. It is a power brought about by years of argument and counter-argument, from men like Hume, Locke, Kant. It has just as much imagination, power, and yes, perhaps even magic, behind it, to make the world safe again.

These men, who would destroy us, know nothing of us, for they don’t know we can control the very turn of the earth with these words. They think we are all alike, and that we will live in fear and hate because they must. They think we will turn into them, and hate back, kill back, because that is all we can do. But they are wrong, for we have laws as strong as a mother’s love for her child’s heart. We will find these men, and all the other men. We will track them down, and we will stop them. We will look them deep in the eye, and do the one thing they do not want us to do.

We will arrest them in the name of the Law, that thing that they act against and that thing we must use now more than ever.

In the name of the Law, may it always be strong.

Something Has To Give.

Hello, sports fans. Hopefully you’re indoors on this rainy, play-called-off Sunday. I’ve the headphones on listening to Chopin, himself is cooking listening to ACDC (hence the headphones), and the child is either asleep or burning something around here somewhere. So I thought I’d take the opportunity to get a few lines down.

In terms of writing, still managed to get into the desk twice this week at 6.30am in the morning. We have now reached the thirty-one thousand word mark, and I’m reaching the inner landmarks of this novel that I’ve carried around with me for so long. One of them was reached this Thursday, in an early morning session that was just wonderful. One of these characters is, after a dreadful period in her life, regaining her sense of humour. As she lies in bed at the end of a long day, her imagination takes on a long fantasy so comically outrageous, she makes herself burst out laughing, the first time she’s laughed in years. I’ve carried that moment around in my head over and over and over again, a glass snowball of her life and her heart in that exact moment that I have had to write out to finally make free. And this Thursday she and I finally got there, we finally got to see it together.

A lot of paddling to get to that shore…

But all this is taking its toll. I’m exhausted, and really I don’t have much in the way of mental … character left in me by doing this. I normally am scrupulous with what I eat, but I just can’t keep that up this week. I came home and made Chicken Casserole with tonnes of potatoes. It tasted amazing, but the carbs should have been a big no-no. I’m finding my hands full, of all these loose fraying threads, and there is only so much energy I can give to everything. Someone took too long at a traffic light on the way home on Friday and the fury I felt was irrational, exhausted, just nonsense.

By the end of this I’m going to be a basket case. Seriously. I’m going to be nuts.

Don’t care. I think.

My ‘I have no time to write’ Post.

I have zero time to write. I have, nothing, not a thing. There is about three minutes to do this blog and then I have to work on four other projects before going home and then the second job begins. Not a second can be wasted but I’m managing to do just that because of spelling mistakes and typos and ah here…

So how are you, reading all these fascinating words on the screen at a lightening pace? How is life, how is your times, are you getting enough vitamin C, enough sleep, eating enough? You calling your Mother, getting exercise, working hard? Get some fun while you’re at it, it’s later than you think…

And now here comes the last few seconds of my time to write, nothing left to do but wrap this up, so I wish you well all of you, hope that you’re good and that life is good. Stay warm and cosy out there in that weather, you’d never know what might jump up and get ya.

Puppies make everything better….


Mah Day Off…

Remember yesterday?  Here is what I did on my day off;

  • Up at 6am;
  • Check work emails
  • Go for an hour long walk
  • Home – laundry on
  • Dishwasher emptied
  • Empty nappy bin
  • Wash bottles
  • Read textbook for half an hour
  • Give the garden half an hour
  • Prep milk for little man
  • Write for half an hour
  • Clean the top of the oven
  • Tidy upstairs
  • Tidy downstairs
  • Watch Intersellar (and wonder why someone didn’t tell Chris Nolan to edit it down)
  • Drive to creche, pick up little man

And that is why I dropped into bed exhausted at 9.44 pm last night.


Ray Darcy… (sigh!)

Ray Darcy is now on RTE, a radio show that I have yet to hear. It seems unfair to even contemplate criticising it. But my criticisms really have nothing to do with the style of show or any individual broadcast. It is more to do with the remit of the show, and how that is not being fulfilled.

One of the more remarkable things about Gay Byrne’s radio programmes were their openness to deal with social issue. They rarely presented solutions, and in many cases there weren’t any. But they gave a voice to those who otherwise would be happily silenced, and this is what made it great.

Gay Byrne at the RTE studios.

However, have a look at what the Ray Darcy show puts together. There is remarkably little contextual pieces, and by that I mean this show could be produced anywhere in Ireland, on any radio station. There is no unique stamp attached to it. It also covers none of the major concerns that might be held to exist; the economy, immigration, mental health, limiting resources, the marriage referendum. Imagine the kind of show that Gay Byrne would create today. He might ask those suffering poverty levels to speak about the experience, and how they are affected. He might speak to parents of gay children, or gay parents, and ask them their views about life and the referendum. The women who go abroad for abortions might be asked for their views. And those in Direct Provision, or even just those born abroad that now live here, would it not be good to hear from them?


But the show that is happening now is not giving air to these types of things.  It seems to be a magazine show, one that isn’t really focused on anything. Think, for example, about asking a Dublin bus driver about life. Or a binperson, or a pilot, or any of these professions. They’ve seen huge changes over the last ten years, mostly moving to contract work and the removal of a sense of connection to the communities they serve. Do you honestly think that the Dennis O’Brien fuelled media circle is going to reach out to such employees? I don’t.  Have a look at the Callan’s Kicks Parody here, illustrates nicely what I’m saying.

Callan’s Kicks…

Anyway, feel free to click on the podcasts in the links above,. I’ve no doubt that they would be entertaining. But they won’t do more than pass the time, and there is little enough of that already.

A funny thing happened in the swimming pool…

My morning routine is pretty fixed. I get up early and go for a swim, in a thick sleep induced fog, and the lack of cognition I bring to it can’t be overstated.  I function by routine; the same breakfast, the same bus, the same locker.

Last Friday, I found that someone was in my usual locker. Not to worry. Instead, I put my gear in the locker below and got on with my swim. With me so far?

Swim done, out I get. It’s about 7.35 am and I’m fully in my routine. I get to the lockers, nod to the guy next to me and open my usual locker. Once I can see inside, I realise/remember that it isn’t my locker this morning and shut it immediately.

However. I saw what was inside. And what I saw….

Don’t research this, it will ruin your childhood.


“Spiderman underwear!” I say to the person next to me.

“Sorry, what?”

“Spiderman underwear, that person had Spiderman underwear!”

We look at each other in amazement. “I hope whoever it is, is ten years old,” says my locker buddy.

“Really? No, I hope they’re forty-two years old, I think that’s brilliant!”

“You don’t think they’re for children?”

“Well, we’ve all got our own sides to us, don’t we? For example, the author of Wind in the Willows was the Governor of the Bank of England!”

“That really true?”

“Yes, it is! Who ever it is, fair play to them.”

This last part is said to each other over our shoulders, as we gather our items. Mine take several trips, I don’t want to drop anything on the wet floor.

As I go back to the lockers, there, standing at the open locker, is a man. He was seconds away from us as we talked, and looks like he came from the showers, he’s heard everything. I come to an abrupt halt, with an audible ‘oh…’ in horror.

I come up to my own locker, wondering what to say. He doesn’t turn his head, but merely gathers up his items with great dignity. As he leaves, he says one thing.

“I don’t think about Spiderman in meetings, you know.”

Make amends! Make amends, calls out my brain! So I call out to his retreating back, “But I think Spiderman is cool!”

But there is no answer, as he walks down the hall.

Well, bother. And now, his face is fixed in my memory. If I ever meet him on campus, I will remember, instantly, that this is the man with the Spiderman underwear.

And worse luck, so will he.

I have read a buk…

It is a startling, scary thing to admit but I have read a book. I did, it was a grown up book and everything. It was called For God’s Sake, and you can find details about it here.

For God's Sake: The Hidden Life of Irish Nuns, by Camillus Metcalfe

I found myself actually growing more and more suspicious about the book as I read it. There is nothing itself within the discipline of Psychiatry that ensure the remove of a status quo. This certainly applies in Ireland as it does elsewhere, where the wheels of the medical profession move to stock up and ensure that the dialogues of power are enforced and encouraged.

The book starts with the nuns’s statements being discussed and broken down. Along with that there is an introduction to each nun’s statement that explains their flaws, sins, and ‘blindness’ as to their own flaws.  There is no clarity as to where there is any direct transcript of these women’s voices, only the presentation of them through the filter provided by the author/editor. So the book is, while possibly accurate, a nice example of the operations of power that can exist in a society.


TL;DR; Nuns were good, now they were bad. M’kay?



The Meaning Of Christmas – Deed Ten

I have worked both as a waitress and in retail. There are managers out there throwing their eyes up to Heaven in thanks that I am no longer in those roles, but I think that I learnt a lot while there. I learnt that those jobs are not pleasant; you are on your feet all day, you are dealing with people who don’t care that you are tired, and that you can never be fast enough or remember enough. That’s why this next deed is so personal.

Deed Ten – Give a big tip.

Just something. Anything. A great deal of shops are open very long hours these days, staff there are worked very hard with not a huge amount of money to show for it. Sometimes, the person who works the hardest should get a thank you. So leave a thank you in a way that helps the most. Leave a tip as big as you can afford, or even a tip when you wouldn’t normally.

Every bit helps, folks.

Deed Eleven coming up, get ready!


Some random Tuesday…

Hey! Yeah, it’s early, but only in sane people’s timelines. Me, I’ve been awake since four am. No, not coming home at that hour, hair messed up and holding a pair of high heel shoes that I should have known better than to think would be a good idea cos lets face it, heels and me don’t mix, no matter what the magazines might say, Anna Wintour can get stuffed if she thinks I’m falling for that one again, no, but the black dress was a winner and everyone said so, even the taxi driver on the way home so go me, I rock and in a good way, No! No, I was woken at 4am, woken by my beloved child who thinks that our house is not our house, but is Fossett’s circus to play and laugh and thump and thump some more and oh my God I am so tired.

Still easier than a two year old.

Coffee only does so much, and I have stomach aches that let me think the acidity in that cup of joe is not doing me any favours. And it seems so dark when you’re tired, I’m growing more convinced that my eyes just strike at the idea of work, so my surroundings seem Gothic and dim these days. It’s just part of the price of living on this island at this far north on the planet, when sunlight becomes optional and all you can do is hunker down to the old myths and methods of dealing with the dark.

Doesn’t matter who you are, it helps, doesn’t it?

Anyway, I’ll keep on keeping on. Talk to you soon!