Sunday, January 17, 2010

Hell in Heaven

The pictures and reports from Haiti are beyond belief. I cannot imagine how the people who live there are feeling. These are a people who, in the eyes of the Western World had nothing before the earthquake and now have even less than that. Many people have lost whole families and it must feel impossible for those left behind to continue living. And yet people will; will continue to salvage from the wreckage of their lives some semblance of normality, will strive to continue living for those who have passed on.

Aren’t we incredibly lucky in this little country of ours? The odd big freeze up and the occasional flood. But no earthquakes, typhoons, hurricanes or tsunamis – not even a monsoon. More food in our bellies and money in our pockets than over 80% of the world’s population. The luxury to sit and argue about politics, economics, to pursue artistic or sporting interests or to spend quality time with loved ones. To enjoy a fine sunset or a beautiful view and to feel at one with our environment.

So let’s stop complaining and start appreciating what we do have. We have no right to bemoan pay packet cuts or tax increases when the bulk of the world’s population exists on what most of us spend on a lottery ticket at the weekend. We have a responsibility to others less fortunate than ourselves and to these peoples we must contribute in any way we can.

And stop bloody moaning.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Maximum One Bitch Per House.

I'm meat in this house. My kids are refusing to talk to me and Jemser won't look me in the eye. Why? I took the dog back to Dog's Trust.

I know, I know. I waxed lyrical. What can I say? I was a fool in the first place.

But the amount of doo-doos in a small suburban garden - the jarvey nappies started to look appealing! The amount of excavating she did to my small but previously pleasing garden. The chewed clothes,shoes, she chewed right through a garden hose!

Her irrepressible affection and good nature manifested itself by her hurling herself- with a leap straight to the chest - that flattened anyone under five feet in height or who weighed less than 6 stone. Then there was the hair and the barking and the neighbours looking at me the way Spencer Tracey looked at Sidney Poitier in 'Guess Who's Coming To Dinner.'

She refused to stop jumping so we gave her limited access to the house and kids and I think we might have overcome it eventually, but in the last forty-eight hours she developed a nasty little habit. She started trying to take one's wrist in her mouth when playing, and nip a little. Now I don't know about you but I happen to think that biting is a big 'no-no!' even in play. She was scolded and put in the other room or in her crate. Then this morning when I went to put her back in the crate before I went to work she did it again.

But this time she ripped the sleeve of my jacket by worrrying it with her teeth. I was not impressed. And the growl - even though it was interpreted by the males in the house as a 'friendly growl'. I grew up terrified of dogs byut in recent years have more or less overcome my phobia. I had noticed son#2 had a similar fear so was actually pleased when it was he who suggested we get a dog. He picked her, I approved, Jemser fell in love and even son#1 grunted 'She's awright' from beneath his asymmetrical fringe. That was a week ago, when I had a nice easy-going fear free life

So I made the decision, because otherwise the males would dither for a year, I'd have no clothes, shoes, garden left. The bond would be stronger and sh'd still be at it - none of them wanted to do obedience training 'She'll grow out of it'

It's a good job I didn't leave potty training my babies to Jemser. They'd both be in incontinence pants by now

I rang the Dogs Trust who agreed to take her back and informed family of my decision. Jemser was devestated. I could see the little boy disappointment in his eyes. I hated myself. Son#2 was upset, despite the fact that he wanted her out in the garden or in her crate all the time she was indoors and had a panic attack every time she came near him ' Mam ,I did love her. I just didn't like being near her when she was moving!'

But Son#1 defended me. 'Yeah Mam's mean. But she was the only one doing all the shit and shit."
I was amazed. He actually noticed that no-one in the house does anything about the house except me. I'm living with Jemser for twenty years and he doesn't seem to have noticed.

Actually if I had said 'the dog or me' I think they would have picked the dog.

Damn! Best running away excuse ever gotten rid of, fool, fool, fool.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Snow business makes show business.....

Is it just me or is the 'meejah' making a mountain out of a molehill out of the severe weather conditions?

I cannot listen to any of the three major news programmes on our national broadcaster - Morning Ireland, News at One and Drivetime - at the moment. Matt Cooper on Today FM isn't much better. News reporters in recent years seem to have strayed from reportage to standing in judgement, analysing without full facts and in general heckling any and all government members, public servants or whichever scapegoat they have identified for the latest crisis the country is lurching through. I have no problem with government ministers being severely criticised on most matters, but I really cannot understand the 'hoo-haw' about the government's reactions and attitude to the bloody weather.

Does our national broadcaster and other commercial stations think that this kind of scaremongering tabloid jouranalism attracts more listeners/viewers and therefore can sell more advertising? Perhaps it is simply an age thing. You can actually hear the discomfort in some of the older journalists voices as they pursue their quarry. Some of the younger crew on the other hand appear to enjoy the baying for blood.

I find it disturbing, I do not feel well served by such type of broadcasting. Do they assume that the government hasn't noticed the sever weather? Have they any idea how hard all public servants involved have worked - engineers, general operatives, drivers, ambulance men, paramedics, fire brigades crew, nurses, doctors. Some of these out during the night for hours in severe weather conditions to ensure cotinued service of those basics we all take for granted - water, roads, hospital services.

Lads, it's not Armageddon. Not yet anyway, and if it were I think the country could well be better served by its public servants and its government than by pointless squawking in the media.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Communication...or lack of same...

Some recent frustrations and difficulties in my life have all been down to miscommunication.

Corresponding by the dreaded texts or even by e-mail, on Twitter or Facebook can and do lead to misunderstanding, which can domino on to further misunderstandings. I sincerely believe all electronic communication should (and I include the phone/fax etc) only be used for transmitting information.

It certainly should never, ever replace face to face interaction with another human being. We haven’t learned yet how to parse sentences carefully enough with written text as our primary form of communication and it is incredibly easy to hit the ‘post’ or ‘send’ button in a flash of temper.

Of course, the all important body language and facial expressions are missing in electronic methods of ‘talking’. One person will inevitably (witness most discussion boards) accuse another of being a fascist, a bully or other less pleasant names.

Until we evolve enough – perhaps alá Avatar! - to communicate without words and ‘see’ each other then I sincerely think we should stop try to tell each other anything of importance without face to face human interaction.

And that is my new decade resolution… excludes fiction of course, I have to be able to exaggerate somewhere!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Work and Dogs and Work and Kids and Work and.....

Back to the paid job in the a.m., I enjoyed the break but really it is too long, especially when it is so cold and icy outside you cannot get out for a brisk head-clearing walk. I always feel intensively sluggish after Christmas and find it hard to motivate myself to do anything bar lie on the couch and read, in between washing floors filthy from new dog and kids in mucky shoes chasing after her, and cooking dinners on a tiny primus stove since my hob blew up and taking younger child to various Christmas events.

Jemser asked a 'fella down the pub' to fix our hob ( note the 'our'). Nice man but Jesus, he must have come straight from the pub to my kitchen because he put two enormous cracks in same hob as he was replacing it in counter-top having 'fixed' it. I've told said Jemser I'm not cooking any more meals on the @@@**&&^^$%£@ primus and he will have to be hunter-gatherer to the chipper until said hob is fixed. Properly.

In the winter of 2001 there was a six week period when we went without heat. I had refused point blank to be to one to 'organise' a plumber on the basis that everytime Jemser said 'we must do or we need a, b or c' it was me who had to arrange a,b or c. He had a different sceal every evening about 'the fella' who was always unavailable or away or not returning calls or falling into enormous black holes in the Universe. I caved in one night after I had to bathe the baby in front of the fire and the older child tipped baby, baby bath and water upside down, soaking carpet, almost putting out fire and causing a huge hiss of steam and ashes to blow into room, and making both baby and I cry. I 'organised' a different 'fella' the following a.m. and we had heat within three days.

It nearly killed our marriage that wasn't, (I still cannot use the 'r' word when talking about Jemser). But this time....well, I'm older... not particularly wiser and a hob isn't as vital as I'll give him three months. Maybe he'll be sick of take-outs by then. Or maybe he will see the economic sense of getting a proper 'fella' in to do anything in this house that Jack built.

You may have noticed a slightly vitriolic tone to this post. I wonder why?