Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Fally-down socks

I've just had a fally-down socks day.

You know - one of those days when everything - EVERYTHING!! - you do and say is a disaster, from conception of idea to execution of task.

It started as I walked to work this a.m. in - THE SNOW - what's that about folks? It's almost April and we're still setting fires at night. Anyway as I walked I felt that irritating wrinkle of sock fabric bunching up in the arch of my left foot. I cursed , stopped and pulled it up and pulled at the other sock for good measure. Off I trotted again but Mr Sock-Left was determined to slough himself off despite my wishes and by the time I got to work the entire sock was bunched around my toes and my shoe was rubbing on my heel.

I got into County Hall, tugging the sock up as I rooted for my flexi card which also serves as an access swipe and which I had conveniently left at home. I borrowed the security guards swipe and then realized the lift was broken so I climbed three flights of stairs through the glass-walled atrium to get to my office. The creaking of my knees echoing around the space was most alarming, the noise not unlike that of Worzel Gummidge removing his head. I swiped into my section and stuck a box of paper in the door to hold it open while I ran back downstairs to return the security guard's swipe. When I came back up some bright bloody spark had removed the box of paper and I had to start all over again. So by the time I sat down at my desk I was in a lather of sweat - and the bloody sock of course had worked its way off again.

My day didn't get any better and I'm not going to bore you with the detail.It was a PMT day when I didn't have PMT (very, very, unfair God!)Suffice to say that the next day I head for work and feel a sock creeping down my ankle I am turning about-face slinking home and taking to the bed. Fally-down sock days should be a legitimate excuse for any absence.

But then God made it up to me and let me catch a programme this evening on television about my little spot of Heaven pictured above. Now I'm happy and I've banished the fally-down sock blues and am looking forward to my trip up to Sliabh Liag, Carrick and Glencolmcille later in the year. And I won't wear any socks.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Thumb twiddlin'

I don’t know what to be doin’ with meself (Hiberno-English for time on one’s hands).

The ghost-written project, on which I have spent the last three months of my life, finally toddled off to the editor over the week-end. I heaved a sigh of relief, hit send on my e-mail and then looked around at the rubbish-heap my home had become.

I heard Anne Enright speak once at a writers festival and someone asked her where she had found the time to write before she became well-established enough to go at it full-time.

‘I didn’t clean my oven,'she said.

I thought this admirable advice and took it to heart when I agreed to take on ‘His Name Is Rebecca’. I had to keep at the paid employment going – as my children refuse to stop eating- and felt obliged to do certain things like washing clothes, cooking meals and communicating with my offspring beyond a Neanderthal grunt.

And do ye know what?

The house didn’t fall down, the male personages with whom I share my living quarters didn’t notice the chaos and I got quite used to stepping over piles of discarded clothing, newspapers, books, musical instruments, misplaced trainers and sports equipment, coats etcetera etcetera.

Then when I finally lifted my eyes from the laptop on Saturday last I shrieked in dismay and felt like hibernating until June. Because now I had to do it all, three months worth of cleaning, hoovering, polishing, washing.

And do y'know what again?

I did it all in a couple of hours.

Now I’m wondering what in the name of all that’s unholy have I spent the last forty odd years of my life doing? From the recesses of memory I have dragged a poem about an old woman who spent her life moaning about all the work keeping a house entailed, about how she valiantly battled against all dirt dust and assorted detritus that living brings. Then ‘she lay down and died, and was buried in dirt’. I thought it was a Padraic O Conaire poem but can’t verify that. A prize to the person who can tell me who penned the poem.

And I won’t even be buried in dirt. I have left strict instructions to be burned in a grass coffin, ashes into a jamjar and then the ashes scattered from said jamjar from the One Man’s Pass on Sliabh Liag (panoramic view of same above). If all instructions are not followed I will come back to haunt them – and I always keep my word.

But then I got a great idea for a YA novel – well, I think it’s great. So I can happily stop doing housework and scribble away. I ain’t ready for the crematorium yet!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Your Country, Your Call

I'm back! Did yiz miss me?

Have you visited the webpage mentioned above? Some cracking ideas on it, and some complete bummers but it's great to see people thinking. I love a good old think, me. Anyway I'm voting for all the wind and wave farms ones - It's so obvious I think everyone should suggest something on it.

The one thing Ireland has plenty of is weather. Turn the whole of the west coast into a marching army of windmills, harness the power of the tides, the odd solar panel for the rare sunny day, and I bet we could find some way of using the rain too. Between the mountains and the Atlantic there are many many natural wind tunnels. We could have a natural source of energy that could deliver electricity to not only Ireland, but a lot of North Western Europe.

See? God does provide.

And we could provide jobs for engineers, architects, mechanics and administrators.

And we'd be rich!And our kids could all stay at home and mind us in our dotage!

See? Simple!

Friday, March 5, 2010

You can't fatten a thoroughbred......

A friend of my oldest son took a remarkable picture of him. Not that he is a remarkable looking human being but she seems, to me, to have caught his essence. His strength, his humour, his compassionate nature. (I’m his Ma I’m allowed to wax lyrical).

I showed the photo to all and sundry – beaming mother, look at the fruit on my womb, type of thing and one friend who is involved in the world of fashion and beauty suggested he get a portfolio together and she would take him on her books as one of her models. But he would have to get rid of the fringe.

Silence in the house. The son, like all his peers, is into hair. Hair makes a statement – or so I’m told - I thought you just had to keep it clean and neat. Hair is like shoes, both tell the world how you want to be perceived. Now the son has gone through all sorts of hairstyles in the last five years, from crew cut to a No. 1, from a bleached blonde streak standing up like a Mohican at the centre parting to the latest asymmetrical fringe. This fringe irritates me. But it’s his hair and I always swore I would not fall out with my kids over either hair or clothes, life is too short and their bodies are their bodies not mine etcetera.

But this fringe. He constantly plays with it or throws it off to one side with a flick of his head like a horse trying to keep flies away from its arse. He poses endlessly in front of the mirror to get that smouldering seductive look he thinks will get him women. He’s wrong of course. His smile , his laughter and teasing gentle ways are what the ladies will go for. The fringe kills me because it also hides his lovely eyes.

I have made all these comments (without bursting his ego bubble – impossible), and was told,
“Be quiet woman! Sure you haven’t a clue about what looks good.”

Which is a fair point. But it killed me that when some other good looking sexily dressed lady – of my vintage - told him to cut his fringe that he was quite prepared to do it. Have I failed him in someway that he responded to the opinion of another popinjay like himself rather than his sensible parent?

No. I haven’t failed him, I hope. His appearance is important too him, but at aged fifteen earning a few euro from said appearance is even more important. And like he says:

‘Not worth falling out with her over it. I can always grow it again once she’s signed me’
I think I have reared a politician