Wednesday, July 1, 2015

As close to a heatwave as we get. Sweat drenched hair on my neck and a continual hot flush hum in my blood.

I put clean sheets on my bed, white sheets, pure and summery, except for the wrinkles. Getting into it, throwing myself on top is like diving into a microcosmic Santorini, blue walls, blue sky outside, birdsong and cool white sheets.

It's a beautiful embrace, that of bedlinen. I don't know why I don't change it more often. 

Sunday, June 28, 2015

This was my grandmother shortly before she died, at 96. She died yesterday last year. I only noticed because her wonderful carer put some photos of her up. She gave me this one that she took, and I'm very grateful.

I'm not a fan of death anniversaries. The Catholic church celebrates them eagerly, month by month at first. It ... I don't know if it is positive for me. I'd prefer to celebrate elements of the lives of my loved ones, not the moment of their deaths, and my grief. It was, strangely, also the anniversary of my mother's death yesterday, but I am pleased to pass that day by too. For too long, I stumbled on that significance.

I thought that getting married on Midsummer's Day would be a romantic and wonderful thing, but now I have a non-anniversary that is marked in particular and maeks it less easy to slide past it without feeling many complex things. And then, of course, a week later, my mother's death-day.

I appreciate Angela marking the day, with her wonderful photos. But my memories of my granny are far deeper, go way back. My son came to me after brushing his teeth the other night, to say he was feeling sad about her. My grandmother's name was Do, for Doreen (pronounced doe) and Olivia started calling her GrIanny Do-Do (she'd always been Granny Do to me) and that was her name then for my children. I wonder if I'll ever get to be Granny Jo?

My grandmother was a good grandmother, in many ways that counted, though I'm not sure how lovely a mother in law she was. I was privileged to have her so long, and to have a great grandmother for my children. My mother would have been a dream grandmother though. I wish she and my children had got to have that relationship.

I was driving home the other day, thinking about her, and how I couldn't just drive to her house. That she wasn't there, in a house of hers, to go see. I know this seems obvious, and simple, but it struck me at the time, I can't quite explain how. Sometimes the Lack just hits you. 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

I could really do with a big drink and a holiday from reality.

I did this colour horoscope thingy and it seems to be unpleasantly and pragmatically accurate.

Oh, I got nothing for you tonight. I hope everyone's ok.

Sunday, June 21, 2015


Well, my thrush issues are nearly gone. Thankfully. Stupid design flaw.

 Here are a few pics, though my camera is just not very good.

You can't really see how beautifully blue my laptop is, and that the blue is graded on the keyboard side so it's light and bright and shiny at the bottom and dark towards the top. I heart it, though I don't know how to do hearts on it, sadly. I'll find out.

I grew these roses in my garden! Despite the fact that they're not tied up against the wall and there's lots of greenfly. I need more ladybirds. But I sprayed 'em with washing up liquid solution yesterday, hopefully that'll work.

Leftover Lobelia I stuck in the rockery. It's not v hospitable, but they are flowering. 

Basket still alive! 

I couldn't resist these Calaa lillies, to go in my goth garden, but I didn't stop to think how big they'd get, so now I have to remove an ugly shrub - and wait for Axl to get round to doing that for me, which may take some time. I hope they'll be ok, they're growing out of their pot. 

Other roses, they're yellow. Not so impressive yet. 

Dark Plant Collection. Teeny Japanese Maple is flourishing, soon I will buy a big black shiny pot to put it in. Fuscia... will it flower this year... I do not know. Black grassy things from my granny's garden, they have little purple bell flowers. Cala lilies to come, but will probably go where that ugly yellow shrub is behind. I'd like to plant the bamboo, too. 

Lobelia growing in the wall now, though you can't really see them well. Look at those poor neglected roses, unpruned and unsupported. 

I am loving the flowers, though. Next stop, garden veg grown in a mini greenhouse shelf. 

Thursday, June 18, 2015


Well, I have a beautiful blue laptop.

But I also have thrush, a fact that is making me cranky. I never have thrush. Haven't had it since I was pregnant. I suspect it's something to do with the jacuzzi at the pool and how filled with disinfectanty foam it was on Tuesday. I'm hoping it's that, and not my new mooncup, which never caused it before and didn't last month. Hmm. Does one go back to the pool when one has thrush?

I doused myself in Tea Tree cream and apple cider vinegar (that was comfy, not) and took 3 Acidophilus, and it seems to have abated a bit. Stupid condition.

Now I must go ice some cupcakes and do some work before going to sleep and (hopefully) going swimming again tomorrow. Toodles.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

I adulted today

Guess what I did today? Something unprecedented.

I woke up early, responded to the alarm (despite not going to sleep til after 1.30 am) and went to the pool I joined on Monday, and swam for 30 minutes, and had a little sauna.

I couldn't believe I actually managed to get up. I've a 99 day membership, and I'm hoping this will allow me to make some new exercise habits. It's a small leisure club in a local hotel, and it smells like a fish tank, which isn't very nice, and the pool is tiny and about three feet deep at the shallow end, but it's on the way to work, and it's affordable, so I won't be choosy about it. It was good to swim, and I hope it'll help. With my weight, with my energy levels and my mood.

I wonder if I can do it every day? It would help if the showers didn't smell like algae and have shitty water pressure, no temperature control, and need the button pressed every 20 seconds, but again, beggars can't be choosers :)

In other magic news, I also bought a laptop last night.

I haven't had one in years, long time readers might remember the happy day Axl came home with one for me. But it's long dead, and the family desk top is about to die. This was a good deal, and I've been doing some extra lessons the last few weeks  - better to spend the cash on something solid than dribble it away on weekly costs like petrol and crisps.

I hope having my own computer, complete with Word, again, will encourage me to write more. I've felt the lack of it for a long time now.

I'd also really like to fit back into more of my clothes again - and not have my flabby underarm rub a sore on the side of my swim suit (fat people problems). Yuck. If I do swim every day I'd better firm up fast or I'm going to get either a nasty sore, or a callous. 

Saturday, June 6, 2015

I went to the market to see a friend who lives in the West. She's an illustrator and she draws adorable flower fairies. I met her friends who used to be my friends too, until they kind of edged away and I'm so hurt by that, but we had a nice little chat, and we laughed, and I revelled in Alan's sense of humour and word-smithery in nostalgic ways. He used to be someone I thought I'd know forever, I love his world view, his family... all of it. I miss him. But that was nice.

The market is in the grounds of a wonderful old Big House that's turned itself into a business in delightful ways in the last few years. I'd just been paid for my extra lessons I'm giving at the moment, so I bought everything I wanted. I chatted to the lady at the jam stall whose company is called The Birds and the Teas, and she had whiskey citrus marmalade that is gorgeous and I also bought red onion marmalade as I've been craving it for some time and Tesco doesn't sell it, bizarrely.

And I bought a big, solid loaf of Irish Soda bread from the sweet, flirty baker, and leeks for quiche tonight and a finger of turmeric for its anti cancer and anti inflammatory properties, so the challenge is to actually use it, now or I may as well stuff it up my butt for all the good that it will do me, etc.

And I bought a calendar from Sue, and she gave me a lil notebook. I spent money like a rich person and brought home my spoils and I feel the happier for it. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

oh crap crap

My brother and his wonderful girlfriend broke up :(

It sounds like the right thing to do, but it's killing them both. I think it's bringing up a lot of stuff for him he never quite dealt with, if it's ever possible to deal with those sort of things. Buried issues.

I'm sad. For them. And for me - I love her, and I thought the chances of me getting to be an aunt had increased (though I was also a bit worried about it).

Ach. I'm sorry for them, getting to the shit awful hearbreak bit. I never had the courage... though I guess I can't deny I went through something awful though, for a long time. But all the moving out and trying to rebuild  your life... it's a necessary evil,  I know, better than staying out of fear and being miserable and resentful.

I wish they could sleep through all the misery and wake up ok on the other side. 

Monday, June 1, 2015

It seems the massive gale has abated, but it's still grey and wet.

Poor Ireland. It's only just June but we've been here before - spending a whole summer waiting for summer... and then, poof, it's over already without having been. I may have spoken too soon about the wind, I hear it gusting again.

I hope the dog is happy with a duvet day too. I of course have the stuff to do that I didn't do on Friday night, or Saturday or Sunday. I don't know how I manage with a two day weekend most weeks - this long one feels no different, really. I woke up this morning and marvelled at how I manage to actually get out of bed (split infinitive amnesty!) most Mondays.

Anyway... part of the culprit is the fact that I started watching Orange is the New Black last night... and stayed up til 3am watching three of them. I could have kept going too - it's as good as everyone said it was. I don't know why it takes me three years to catch on to these things. What is that? It's much lighter than I expected as well as being very poignant and tender. It's incredibly entertaining, and well filmed. Great work. AND pretty much all about women, which I find refreshing. Lots of heroines/anti-heroines all in one.

I also read A Casual Vacancy recently, JK Rowling's social drama about modern Britain. My mother in law LOVED it and pressed it on me. It's grim, really, if I'm honest. Compelling but relentless and cheerless. I found what it did best was give a very clear empathy filled explanation for exactly what it is that makes a working class heroine addict or delinquent. Rowling is pretty unforgiving on that score - her portrayal is unflinching and refuses her reader any catharsis. Again, it's good but...

I'm going to sneak back to the tv now, I think. I drank a horribly brown smoothie this morning, having promised myself I would for the last ... ever. It should have been green, but ... no. It wasn't disgusting, but it wasn't nice, either. It was, however, better than the crap I usually stuff into myself when I wake up on weekends.

As for Olivia - I'm just musing on the fact that any time I try to attend to any remotely parental sort of issues - food, clothes, education, suitability of internet/tv etc she goes off on one. Which is normal for a pre-teen, right? I'm assuming that there would be another 8 years of this one way or another. Yes? 

Sunday, May 31, 2015

I wish I had married a man who liked  going to do stuff. And had kids who had a spirit of adventure, instead of ones who automatically say 'no'.

I'm a sedentary person, but I get excited about stuff... I like going to see things. The tall ships are here at the moment - I've never seen them but from a distance.

I tried when Olivia was small, went around to things like a single mother, but it isn't the same when there's a dad at home in bed. And these days everyone else is excursion shy. Our daughter Does Not Have Fun so when we try it tends to end in misery and complaints, and I think everyone's given up now. Couple that with the weather... ugh.

Home we sit.