Saturday, October 25, 2014


Axl is, given the chance, excessively neat. Having worked in retail since he was 18, he faces off the items in the fridges and the cupboard, slightly in the manner of Patrick Bergin's Abusive Husband character in Sleeping with the Enemy.

Since childhood, I've been unable to be organised. My room is as messy as it was when I was four. Debris spreads around me wherever I go; crumbs, papers, discarded cups and wrappers, books, underwear... really. I'm blaming it on Dyspraxia now, it makes as much sense as anything.

Obsessive neatness meets pathological messiness. He really, really should have married a nice Catholic mammy type.

** Stupid typos! Stupid brain affected by stupid chest condition! What else have I missed?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

My brain is buzzing with crafted little thoughts. Soundbites. This is why I'll never write a novel. I think in sentences. Sentences too long for Twitter, though.

Today's cake compliment: withheld from kids' bring and buy bakesale to be reserved for the grandparents at 2nd and 3rd class Grandparents' Day because the nice lady knows my cakes are always gorgeous. That's for the grandparents of those classes, they're not the inferior ones or anything.

Said nice lady owns a lovely cafe, if only she'd buy some cake. In fairness, I think she bakes too.

Am reading a book and weeping. It's about a bereaved 14 year old girl who's a bit of a misfit, and AIDS in its early days when no one understood it and the world was a far more homophobic place than it is now. The double tragedy of her loss and the grief in the book along with the picture of such a sad, terrifying, ignorant time... an epidemic of death and misunderstanding. It's awful to think about. A good book, though. I just wish I had a volume control for the Emotive Response.

In school in about 1990, we raised money for AIDS research, but they wouldn't let us donate it to that. They said it was too vague, hard to do, and made us give it to something else. I bet that we could have, though. 

Saturday, October 11, 2014


It's my mother's birthday. It would have been her birthday. She was born on this day, sixty-nine years ago.

I think the picture on the left's a school picture. Her mother used to force her into rag curls. She looks just like my brother and my son in it. Though, those wolf eyes are hers alone. The other picture looks more like me, eternal toddler that I am. Can you see those cute doggies, though? Apparently they used to hide under the barn for the entire time the female was in season. Very romantic.

I think my mother's birthday is a thing that doesn't exist anymore. The 12th of October 1945 is her birthdate, but the birthday is no more now that she's not here to get older. These little representations of her are as real as the idea of her at 69 could be.


Bodhi has a buddy in school whose parents I really like. His mother is American, and his dad is from Crumlin, and they've ended up in Bray, temporarily. They'll be going back to CA in a couple years, which is happy for them as they like it there, and they live in a teeny house in a shitty area here and I think they need the sunshine.

That aside, their company is great. She travels for work and he does the day to day parenting stuff while she's working. He likes to style himself as shy and taciturn, but in reality he gives good chat and is willing to come have tea with me and I've realised with pleasure recently that he's become a friend. It's so nice to have a male friend. He's told me about the break up of his first marriage and I've talked about how it feels to have the physical insecurities I do (to which I think he relates). And I think he can take it, this honest talking that I need in a friendship. I think it's a relief for him, because he'd rather the honesty too. And we're funny in the same way. He and Axl are a product of the same culture and era, they'd get on very well (and do, when given the chance) though Axl is not available for social interaction with anyone but his band buddies, so... ah well.

I love men's company. I love company generally, I have to confess. Being alone is fine, but I also get painfully lonely - I'm not introverted enough to do without the connection that other people provide.

It's nice though, this friendship that hinges on our kids' relationship and the facilitation of their friendship, but ... what am I trying to say? Hanging out with him is a simple pleasure, devoid of any tensions. I likes it.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Repeat after self

I do not need a new handbag, or even a new to me handbag. I need to spend money on:

new car


dentist (this should really be the other way round)



shoes for child, if she'd wear them



new washing machine

a dryer

servicing boiler


new phone

batteries for house phone

joining Common Ground for co-op shopping

money for this year's Beavers

And so much more.

Saturday, October 4, 2014


"Spelling" by Margaret Atwood
My daughter plays on the floor
with plastic letters,
red, blue & hard yellow,
learning how to spell,
how to make spells.
I wonder how many women
denied themselves daughters,
closed themselves in rooms,
drew the curtains
so they could mainline words.
A child is not a poem,
a poem is not a child.
there is no either/or.
I return to the story
of the woman caught in the war
& in labour, her thighs tied
together by the enemy
so she could not give birth.
Ancestress: the burning witch,
her mouth covered by leather
to strangle words.
A word after a word
after a word is power.
At the point where language falls away
from the hot bones, at the point
where the rock breaks open and darkness
flows out of it like blood, at
the melting point of granite
when the bones know
they are hollow & the word
splits & doubles & speaks
the truth & the body
itself becomes a mouth.
This is a metaphor.
How do you learn to spell?
Blood, sky & the sun,
your own name first,
your first naming, your first name,
your first word.

this reminds me of a book I started writing, but lost to failure to back up - it's on a hard drive somewhere but I have no idea how to access it. Spells and womanhood, it's about. Female power and villainy. I like it a lot. I want to write it. But locked away it sits. 


Intellectually, I know that this is true. Stories abound, of people achieving huge things in their later life, never mind their middle age. I believe in CS Lewis' belief in people.

But...the last real goal I had was to have a house of my own. I have one, but I've failed to make it good. Last night I dreamed I had a beautiful house, the kind wealthy middle class proffesionals have, but it was so chaotic and cluttered it was just an embarrasment. Same with family, I wanted that, thought I'd be good at it... And the truth is, that I've stopped looking forward - in a positive way, at least. I've always been guilty of avoiding action in the now in favour of day-dreaming about future plans. It's a character flaw.

Recognising this, though, I think I've responded to my griefs and failures in life by losing the optimism or self belief that lets me keep re-framing dreams. I think I've stopped altogether. I've no confidence in the possibility of change, because I know that it's only me that can effect it, or that when I do try, things fall flat. I've no confidence in my own strength, or ability, or purpose. Either they're just not there, or they go awry. I'm a stagnant pool.

I'm tentatively hopeful that I might find a companionship type relationship in my fifties, where I can get the company and emotional connection I need when the pressures of sex and attractiveness are over... though maybe I'm kidding myself that that ever happens, given what I see online. But all that's just a sticking plaster for loneliness, really, isn't it?

How do I change this, I wonder? A vision board would be a start, I guess. I bought a board, but am low on the vision. I'm tired of never having any money. I'm tired of being too exhausted to do anything, ever. How do people go back to studying while also working and raising kids? Seriously, I can't even imagine. I can barely commit to cooking a batch of cupcakes. And how do people get brave? I feel like all I have is fear, exhaustion and procrastination. The war against myself is too much to overcome and start fighting the war against anything else. How do I dream a new dream? How do I write a blog post that isn't just one big whinge? Seems I've forgotten how to do that, too.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Olivia asks a Would You Rather

 Answers in the comments please, you lurkers.

Would you rather sweat ketchup or pee mustard for the rest of your life? 

Sunday, September 28, 2014


It's a better goddess to pray to. Than, em, less reliable and fun deities.

I bought a paper in the airport, but I just wanted a simple biro to do the crossword on the plane. The shop only seemed to have the 4 colour ones, or a posh retractable pencil. I decided to invoke some serendipity and trust I'd find a mislaid pen, or manage to borrow one. Nothing on the way to or at the boarding gate. The stewaress didn't have one. I sat down. The people beside me got moved to beside their friend after all. I looked down, and there at the corner of the chair in front was a wee Ikea pencil. Just sitting, waiting for me, by my seat. Sweet.

Not everything went that easily, but I survived, got the plane home despite missing my bus stop by about 7 stops and having to retrace my steps and get there late and my boarding pass on my phone was in HTML but they printed me one and didn't charge me (nice Ryanair customer service staff shock!).

I hate travelling though. Blech. And public transport navigation in strange places fills me with anxiety also. It's just not for me. I like knowing where I am. When I go away, I have no idea where I am. I don't even really know where Brighton is, to be completely honest.

I went to Brighton to see a gig with a friend and I met her delightful boyfriend. He was handsome and sweet. She's funny and darling. I saw the town and the sea and lots of shops. We gossiped a little, we ate kimchee (she put the discovery of it on twitter with a wikipedia link, for other kimchee virgins, bless her :). We walked a lot and talked a lot. The gig was fucking mighty. Lost in rock dancey moments. Beautiful, beautiful women singing and making such meaningful, perfect noise. Bless them all.

I also got to spend time with an old friend and her numerous tiny sweet blond offspring. I had a love sandwich with li'l cuddly twin beauties, I am twice blessed. And her ever so clever nudiesaurus three year old deigns to laugh at my jokes, which is very gratifying. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

I've nothing to write anymore. I used to be so full of the need to say stuff, whatever shite it may have been.

Now I've just ... got nothing. My mind's as empty as my blog stats. Sweetness from Bodhi this morning though. I love that kid.

Bodhi, leaving his breakfast fry to go back to his game with his friend from next door, muttering: I'm done... I pretty much scavenged that...' as he goes out the door.