Friday, March 31, 2006

The horror.

I should have known I'd wake up early today. I am hungover, feeling slightly sick and irked beyond belief.
I actually feel a bit depressed.
Lunch turned into the hanky waving tearfest I knew it would. Ma surpassed herself this time. She dredged up shit from the last thirty years including her stretchmarks (Etheline's fault, bigger than average baby), not being able to carry on her career (my eldest sister's fault and our father), her depression, panic attacks, high blood pressure, weight gain (my fault), her certainty that she is about to have a stroke/cancer/brain haemorrhage ( my brother's fault), her 'suicidal thoughts' (everyone)
She bemoaned the fact that nobody cared for her. She wondered aloud why this might be, after all, had she not bled for us, did she not give us life? Was that not enough? What about the scarifices? Her youth, her body, her mind? Why did we wish to hurt her?
On and she went.
By the time we had finished our main course I was wistfully thinking of those halcyon days when we didn't talk at all. Five whole years of blissful silence. Oh sure, she tried to get Etheline to pass messages along. Vicious twisted barbed messages she knew to be hurtful, designed to inflict pain. But what did I care, once we didn't have to talk her feeble arrows did not penetrate my newly liberated hide. And Etheline-to her credit- refused to be a pawn.
If only my eldest sister had been content to live 'in sin' for all her days and not hankered after a wedding. If only.
Naturally, as both my mother and I were attending, a peace treaty had been brokered, a weak spirited, unwanted set of terms adhered to and voila, she was back in. We were connected once again. The silken webs of maternal duty had engulfed me and I was drawn back into the web of family.
By dessert she was a frigate in full sail, her cheeks were pumped up, her eyes shiny with indignation and self pity.
How was she to hold her head up? Everyone would talk. Not that she had a PROBLEM with this new daughter-in-law being BLACK! Oh no, it wasn't THAT. But what would people say? Why had my brother DONE this to her? Why did we not TELL her? (she refuses to accept that we didn't know either and thinks it is some kind of conspiracy)Who was this girl? Wht KIND of person marries on the sly like that?
On and on. I refused dessert, Etheline had cheesecake and picked at it miserably, my mother had the creme brulee, 'even though it will probably give me heartburn all day'
I ordered a coffee.
'You drink too much of that muck.' My mother said. 'It rots your insides.'
I closed my eyes.
Fuck off. I said in my head. I opened my eyes again, Etheline was watching me, her whole face was saying 'Don't do it.'
I trembled. If I just said it and walked out I might get another five years out of it, maybe longer...
Etheline pressed my foot under the table with hers.
MY mother wittered on, oblivious.
So I didn't say it. I didn't say it and because I didn't say it I have condemned myself to more of this torture for a while. But I know me, I know my limits. And she, that narcissistic hypochondriac excuse of a mother, is going to over step them any day now.
After lunch Etheline and I wandered back into town, we went to a bar we know where the seats are comfortable, the lights low and it doesn't attract a trendy crowd. We sat down and ordered beer, something we don't normally drink. We drank beer until we forgot/supressed most of the afternoon.
It took a while.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Smell of burning martyr.

Sick of being ignored, my mother has decided to bring the battle across enemy lines. Black magic/prayer/psychic/faithhealer obviously has not worked. My younger brother is still married to a COLUMBIAN. They are still returning from Australia in a few weeks, they have still done nothing about finding a place to live.
Why my brother can't type , or into a computer is a mystery to all of us. House renting has come a long way from queing all evening outside a dump in Rathmines with a copy of the Evening Herald clutched in your ink stained fingers.
So my mother is coming to Dublin today, she is taking Etheline and me to lunch. I don't want to go, Etheline does not want to go. Naturally we are going.
I predict snivelling, weeping, accusations. I predict that somehow it will be all my fault. I predict eye rolling, raised voices, shushing, more accusations, refusal of desserts, acceptance of desserts. Finger pointing and sniffing loudly are sure to top the bill.
'Nobody cares.' My mother wailed this morning when I was stupid enough to answer the phone. 'I sacrificed so much for you children and this is how you repay me, you break my heart and then...nobody cares. I might as well curl up and die for all any of you care.Maybe I should just die, it's not like I have anything to live for.'
'Hello' I lied.
'Come to lunch today.'
'I can't I'm busy.'
'Etheline is coming.'
'Okay. So you don't need me to go.'
'You're like granite. You've no heart at all, you know someday I'll be gone. Time and tide waits for no man.'
I grit my teeth because A) I hate that expression and B) I can hear her faux teary voice kicking in.
'I was at the the doctor yesterday and do you know what she said?'
'She said stress is killing me, do you hear that? Killing me!'
'Did she?'
'My blood pressure is up, I had two panic attacks yesterday, I couldn't breathe...'
And yet she found time and breath aplenty to carry on in this vein for some twenty minutes until I gave in and said I'd go to lunch.
When I finally got her off the line I called Etheline.
'You too?' Etheline groaned as soon as she heard my voice.
''She told me her arm went numb yesterday. She figures she is heading for a stroke.'
I ponder this for a moment. 'I've heard people who have strokes sometimes lose the ability to speak.'
'Fingers crossed then.'
We both laugh guiltily. I say bye and tell her I'll see her later.
My day, though young, is already in tatters.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Ex Factor.

Something Slim Lindy- and Sexy Beauty- said over the last day or so about ex-boyfriends got me thinking and indeed laughing.
When you think about people you used to date, what goes through your head?
Disbelief is usually mine. What was I thinking?
I had one boyfriend who, in the middle of a blazing row, ( he didn't like that I was going out with my friends that night, I didn't like what being told what to do) turned and put his fist through a door.
I, being of fairly sound mind, thought, 'er, you're nuts and I don't want to go out with you any more'.
I decided I'd better skedaddle. I grabbed my hand bag, flounced out of his house, got in my car and drove off.
I had not even reached the end of his road when I heard a roar. I glanced in the rear view mirror and saw him- red faced, with his fist bleeding- come running down his drive and begin to chase after the car.
Now, to leave that estate there was a turn onto another secondary road which was always fairly busy no matter what time of the day. So I couldn't just pull out as there were cars coming.

It was like a terrible film, every time I glanced in the mirror he was closer. I remember sitting there going 'Come on, come on.'
He was nearly to the back of the car before I spotted a break in the traffic.I put my foot to the floor and slewed around the corner.
I heard him screaming. So I rolled the window down.
'You better stop that fucking car you fucking bitch! I'm warning you! You better fucking stop!'
He chased the car for about one hundred metres like a rabid Jack Russell until finally it dawned on him that A) I wasn't about to stop the 'fucking car' and B) he didn't have magical powers that could make him run as fast as the Six Million Dollar man, no matter how much of a super hero he thought he was.
And I did go out that night, and I had a ball.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Romance, writ large!

Okay, it is early-for me. I am sitting here in my kimono, I look like I always look in the morning, like I was dragged through a hedge. I have a cup of steaming coffee to my right and I am sniffing softly to myself.
But these are tears of sheer delight. (I like crying, especially when very happy, don't ask)
Let me explain.
8:am- the doorbell went. I ignore it.
8:01am -it goes again, much louder and longer this time.
Grumpily I arise and shuffle, mussy headed, to the hall. I pick up the intercom.
'Good morning to you too.'
'What? Who is this?'
'It's me.'
Oh shit, the Paramour. I buzz him in and race to the mirror.
Eek! It is worse than I expected. Hair wild, face, puffy and covered in bits of green thither and yon from the face pack I used last night. I look a fright. I look deranged.
I try to shape my hair, ridiculous, it refuses to obey. Shit, I haven't even time to brush my teeth-
I hear a soft tap on the door.
Damn it.
I sigh, pull my shoulders up and answer it.
'Good morning.' he says cheerily. He kisses me on the top of my head.
'Hello, what are you doing here-this early?' I open the door wider.
He shakes his head. 'I'm not staying, I just stopped by to drop this off.'
He hands me a bag. I take it and blink. I look at him again, he is smiling.
'What is it?'
'You'll see.'
He kisses me again, on the lips this time and trots off down the stairs.
I close the door and go into my sitting room. I plonk down on the sofa and open the bag. I take out a parcel wapped in glittery red paper. I know at once that he didn't wrap it, this was done professionally. I have seen the paramour wrap.
I undo the layers of paper and remove a black box. it's light, It's flat, sort of CD sized.
I open it.
Inside, gleaming, a brand spanking new iPod Nano. It is slim, it is light, it is half the size of my old one, there is even a cool leather cover.
I am speechless.

I call him. 'You are the sweetest person I know, thank you so much. I absolutely love it.'
'You're welcome, I know how much you missed your old one.'

So folks. I am bubbling this morning, I am bubbling and completely and utterly blown away be this act of thoughtfulness. It makes me feel all gooey inside.
Hence the snuffling.
Hence the post title.
Sunshine and lollipops indeed. This is right up there for me.
What's the most romantic thing anyone one has ever done for you?

Monday, March 27, 2006

Don't make me angry, you wouldn't like me...

when I'm angry.
We were yip yapping over at Barney's gaff the other day
And he was somewhat cranky and irritated by, of all things, hand shaking in church. Docy - added his own slice of spice to the mix, I told my own story of the horror of bearded hippies and hand actions in songs, then Binty- came along and blew us out of the water with a tale of religion, spirits, laying hands and tongues of Babel. Terrific.

Ladies and gentlefolk, may I present to you the one, the only, as French Gay would say, 'she, zis one, eez the beeegeeest bitch of zem all'.
Sister Mary, principal, head nun, sadist. She ran a convent and Catholic boarding school with an iron fist. She intimidated, bullied and was clearly a bit touched in the head.
I was 13.
It was my first year of boarding school and I hated it with a vengence. I hated the food, the uniform, the other girls, the stuffy classrooms, basketball, the nuns, did I mention the girls?

I knew the first day it was going to end badly when the Matron introduced me to a tall slitty-eyed girl from Carlow and said we were to be bunk mates.
Matron smiled and left us alone.
'I bags bottom bunk.' Slitty said.
'I don't give a fuck where you sleep.' I said.
We eyed each other up. She was tall and strong looking. Used to getting her own way. Mirror mirror on the wall, who's the biggest brat of all?
We were grouped together, twelve to a dorm, eleven 1st years and one 6th form girl who would be our 'friend/adviser' and keep us out of trouble.
It was terrible. Every where I went, Slitty went too. We were in the same class, at the same table in the ref, even on the same goddamned basketball team. We couldn't seem to avoid spending time together so naturally we spent endless hours tormenting each other instead.
Tension was building.
One night, after lights out, she kept repeatedly kicking the bottom of my mattress. I had thrown her wash bag out the window earlier so she was mad and she knew I hated this.
'Stop kicking the bed.' I said after a while.
'Make me.' she said.
After some more minutes of constant steady kicking, I lost it. I mean I actually, really, full on, lost it.
I leaped out of my bunk, grabbed her by the hair and yanked her out of bed. Then we proceeded to kick the living shit out of each other all around the dorm. We fought like demons. We thew vicious punches, clawed, kicked, fell. It was primal, no quarter given, none asked for. Idiot girls were crying around us.
It was wonderful.
The form girl, big bovine lass for Waterford, panicked when we ignored her cries of 'lads lads, come on, ah lads, stop.' She couldn't seperate us, we were absolutely locked in combat.
So she ran and got Matron.
The upshot of it all was we were hauled down stairs to the main principal's office.
We sat in the outer office, Matron between us. My eye was starting to swell and Slitty's mouth was bloody from one super punch I thrown.
Sister Mary arrived in her dressing gown.
We had never seen her without her head piece. her hair was short, her eyes brutal.
We were terrified.
She hauled us into her office, and made us kneel in front of her desk. She told Matron to go and then she ripped through us, lecturing on and on about 'controlling the evil within', she said we must 'fight against the darkness', rise up and 'strike out against the forces that tempt you from the path'.
'What would Jesus do?'she demanded. 'What would he do with you two girls? What would he do? Tell me Jesus, what must I do?'
She paced back and forth as she spoke, occasionally grabbing us by the back of the neck and forcing our heads down
At this stage, Slitty and I exchanged glances. We were beginning to wonder. My knees and back were sore, my head ringing and the adrenaline starting to seep away. But she just wouldn't stop talking, on and on.
Slitty weaved a bit, time passed, but still Sister Mary raved. I tried to lower back on my legs, but she grabbed me again and forced me to kneel straight.
Slitty was trembling for the effort to remain upright, I was starting to feel dizzy.
Sister Mary showed no sign of slowing. She was enjoying our discomfort and humiliation too much to stop.
What choice did I have?
She stopped. She stared.
'What did you say?'
I got unsteadily to my feet. 'We said we were sorry, we said we were sorry.' I roared at her, crying now in fright, but furious too.
'How dare you.' she said in a really low voice, 'You will not speak to me, you will kneel and-' and then ladies and gentlemen, I said...
'Ah fuck off.'
I can't tell you what happened after that because it is a bit of a blur, but I can tell you that it was the end of boarding school one. I managed to get through another one, but that's a whole other story.

Friday, March 24, 2006

When love comes to town...

Like Andraste, I have been working flat sodding out on a project which has seen me spend large chunks of my time here, working. Sometimes it feels like groundhog day, get up shuffle to desk, remain at desk, go back to bed.
But this weekend my oldest friend is coming to stay for two days and I am giddy with delight at the prospect.
We have known each other thirty years and considering I am thirty-three, that's a lot. We met on the first day of primary school and discovered we were both wearing the same t-shirt. White with blue piping and a squeaky lion on the front.
Over the years our paths have gone different ways, she married young, lived in England when I lived in Spain, but no matter how far apart our lives, we called each other at least once a week.
This friend is possible the nicest person I know, bar non, you know one of those rare jewels that actually has no evil in her? No hidden agendas, doesn't like to think bad of people, hates to upset anyone- unlike me who thrives on being disagreeable sometimes.
She is the polar opposite of me in every way. She is short, I am tall, she is blonde I am dark, she has a light tinkly voice, mine is deep. She loves and is loved by her family, she loves children, doesn't like cats (er, although she's going to have to put up with that one) She has never taken a drugs, has never brawled with anyone, does not understand my love of gym, nor my dislike of pizza.
She doesn't drink wine!
She is easy company. She does not brood on things and she lets arguments and strife roll over her in such a graceful way that it is simply breathtaking.
When she called last night to tell me what time her train was getting in, I whooped.
And then it occurred to me, actually it hit me like a thunder clap.
I love her to bits.
I can count on the fingers of one hand the amount of people I truly love. I don't love my mother. I don't even like her very much. I do love my siblings, even though they too get on my nerves. And I love this friend.
I'm sure some of you are and you'd be right, but I use that word sparingly and to discover -late in the day as usual- that I have to capacity to love another person unreservedly has tickled me pink.
So happy weekend bloggers, I wish you all joy and peace and fluffy bunnies.
Naturally next week I will be back to my normal vile self.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Dog? That's not a dog, this is a...

What is the bloody trend with rat like dogs at the moment?
French Gay and I were lying on the sofa last night watching Prisilla Queen of the Desert, and marvelling at how like a woman Terence Stamp is, when the doorbell went.
Rather reluctantly I answered.
It was my siser, Etheline.
'What are you doing here?' I said fearfully, fearing she might want to stay again.
But she didn't. She wanted to show me her dog.
'Look! Isn't she beautiful?' she said, proffering some kind of rat at me. I backed up. Behind me the bigger of the cats grew bigger. He had been asleep under a lamp on my desk, now he looked very much like he did the day he killed the magpie.
'What iz eet?' FG asked.
'It's a dog you idiot. A chihuahua.'
We looked at it.
It was no bigger than a rat, it had big bulging eyes, massive bat like ears and it shivered.
The bigger of the cats smacked its lips.
'Er, are you sure?'I asked.'I didn't realise you were getting, dog.'
''Tut.' She put the rat/bat/dog thing down on the ground. It stood there shivering more violently with one leg raised. 'She's called Poppy's Big Surprise, Angel for short. I picked her up today, she's only eight weeks old.'
'How is Angel short for Poppy's Big Surprise?'
Etheline shot me a look. I let it go.
FG-who owns two robust beagles he refers to as 'ze two ones' sat forward on the couch and stared at Poppy. He clicked his fingers, the dog glanced at him and shivered all the more.
'Well what do you think?' Etheline beamed at it.
'What are you going to do with it when you go to work?' I said, thinking of Etheline's white and cream house.
'I'm going to get one of those little doggy carry bags, she can come practically everywhere with me. Oh and you should see the clothes they make for them, oh my god, adorable!'
'The cat jumped down and stalked over, all bushy tailed and full of glittery-eyed malice. Etheline hastily picked her pup up.
'So, what do you think of her?'
I looked at 'Angel', as it hid its bat/rat/dog face into the folds of Etheline's coat.
'I"m sure you'll be wonderful together.'
After she left I poured another glass of wine for FG. He raised it. 'A toast, to ze new addition, she will be ze niece, no?'
I sighed. 'Exactly what this family needs, another neurotic female.'
We went back to watching the film.
The cat stared wistfully at the door, presently his tail returned to normal.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Vanessa Feltz

1-I would just like it to be known that I, Fatmammycat, look nothing like Vanessa Feltz. I had a photo of her and everything, but blogger would not even let her photo load, not that I blame it.
2- I have also decided that I will not be saying hello to the man from the third floor who chews gum in the lift after all. And that in fact I may take my shoe off and crack the back of his stupid skull open, the filthy Wrigley chewing scrote.
That is all.

UPDATE- photo of that Vanessa.

Stupid selfish self-obsessed idiot.

I was having a few problems with electricity here this morning. Some lights went off, others come on, sockets work in one room and not in others, that sort of thing. The fuse box was making a funny fizzing sound and the occasional blue spark popped out. Naturally, being utterly useless when it comes to wiring and fuses, ( I can change one that's about the size if it) I called the man who repairs things in this building to come take a gander.
Paddy arrived with his little tool box on a trolley.
Now Paddy is tiny, with snowy white hair and a slight stoop as he is well into his sixties. He has been the repair man for this building for some years now. He is polite, efficent, rather charming in an old world way (he calls me Miss).
Paddy has lived in a tiny ground floor apartment with his wife ever since the building was built some twenty-five years ago. He was an engineer and the management company- who hate to be disturbed because they are a shower of lazy bastards- were happy to take him on as the building caretaker when he retired.
When I moved in here he and his wife were very helpful. They showed me around, gave me a key to the roof, allowed me to put up a larger than average satalite dish-don't ask- much to the fury of the Harpy downstairs, and in general made the transition to living here as smooth as possible for me. If parcels too large for the mail slot arrived and I was not here, they would hold them for me. His wife gave me a beautiful plant as a welcome present.
So it has come has a great blow to me today- when I enquired after his wife- for him to inform me that she had passed away some months previously.
I was stunned. I offered my deep condolences and he accepted them with his usual grace. He repaired the problem and went on his way.
I feel ashamed and upset in ways I cannot explain.
How, when I live in the same bloody building, did I not know this sweet woman had died? I know once we shut the doors to our apartments we close out the world to a certain extent, but this is terrible. How can I not have noticed that I haven't seen her lately? How did it not strike me as strange that I haven't run into her in the foyer, something that occurred regularly. My God I grew up in the country, my mother knows who is dead probably before they know themselves.
This is terrible.
I vow to stop and make pleasantries with the people in this building- including the Harpy- from now on. Even the man on the third floor who eats gum in the lift so loudly that I want to take off my shoe and pierce the back of his skull with the heel. I will even say hello to him.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Chickens are not hawks!

I posted this before on the remarkable Dr maroon's site, but as I am up to my tonsils with work I thought some of you tootsies might enjoy it again.
I firmly believe I lived the idyll when it came to childhoods.
I grew up in the countryside of Ireland. I lived in a large rambling house with my parents, my then evil older sister Etheline, my other even older sister who was not evil, and my brother- who is slightly younger than me and thus was the sibling I played with most.
For whatever reason, our parents did not spend huge amounts of time entertaining us or arranging playdates, or driving us places, any of that sort of thing. We were to amuse ourselves and so we did.
We had four dogs, two working collies and two household mutts, we had zillions of cats, mostly feral, unless we could find the kittens early enough to get them used to humans. We had a palomino pony who was grouchy and would bite and took ages to catch. We had a hunter, Bess, a sixteen two hands high liver chestnut mare, who I loved dearly and was terrified of because when ever I rode her she did what she wanted. This included throwing me and my best friend off once when she got fed up of us riding her back and forth across the head lands. She went trotting off home, leaving us to walk back to the house.
We children climbed trees, caught frogs, built forts, fished in our own brook for minnows, swam and created a mini version of the RDS Horse Show using brush handles and cement breeze blocks, which we would then make the collies jump over as we did commentary. We rode Raleigh bikes that sometimes folded in half as we cycled. We did not have brakes a lot of the time, but Clark shoes are indestructible and worked very well.
We were wildish, we were thin, we were filthy most of the time, we were freeish, we lived a great deal of the time out doors. We did not have play stations, computers, video games, mobile phones, or indeed anything to amuse us other than books and imagination.
Imagination was never a problem for my brother and me. We fought, we created, we destroyed. We learned that nettles sting; rose hips make great itching powder; if you catch mice and hide them in the kitchen the house keeper will complain and you will be slapped; bulls sometimes do not give warnings before they chase you; and the electric current running through cattle wire won't kill you but it will give you a dead arm for an hour.
Another great discovery we made one summer's day is that chickens are not hawks.
My brother and I had been watching Ivanhoe or Robin of Sherwood or some such Saturday afternoon show on our two channel television. Inspired, we ran out to the back paddock and began to battle for the control of the 'all the lands'.
We couldn't catch the blasted pony, but we did snare two fairly tame Bantam chickens, which we then pretended were hawks, ( the best villains always had a bird of prey perched on their arm)
So we held the poor chicken by their feet and they flapped and squaked a bit while we threatened each other with broom handles shouting. 'Fie, a pox upon your village' and 'You will pay the tax m'lud, or suffer the consequence!' and so on at each other.
Then it was dinner time and, rather that re-catch the chickens,-they were tame not stupid- we decided to get a length of clothesline, tie it around their feet and tie them to the lower branch of the horsechesnut tree we were playing beside so that we could continue our game after dinner.
We went inside, washed, had dinner, watched some telly -probably the Irish RM (Flurry Knox, what a chancer). Then-as it was a saturday- we were forced to take baths and have our hair washed with Clinic shampoo(vile/smelly)
We went to bed forgetting all about the poor birds. Next morning as we were getting ready for mass, my brother suddenly looked at me.
'Shit,' he said, 'the chickens!'
We sprinted outside, over the railings and back towards the tree.
I'll never forget it.
My brother's bird had somehow gotten loose and was gone, but my bird, poor old Goldie, had fallen off her branch at some point and was swinging gently about three feet above the ground from one foot, in a dead faint.
Horrified and thinking she was dead, I untied her, but as she dropped she made a faint 'squak' sound, so I knew she'd be okay once I'd revived her.
I was shaking her gently and weeping, crying, 'Oh Goldie, I'm so sorry! Poor Goldie, you're not a hawk are you?' while my brother lay on the grass laughing his arse off.
My mother slapped him when she saw the grass stains on his pants.
So you see, chickens are not hawks.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Monday monday...

...and before that was Sunday.
Sunday- up early enough, wander down town get papers, meet up with friends for brunch, have chicken salad, cup of coffee. Feeling good, feeling great, how are you?
2pm- come home, read papers for half an hour, torment one of the cats by making my hand appear and disappear behind pillow on sofa. Laugh at stupidity of cats, stop laughing when cat uses razor/scythes to catch hand. Put plaster on hand. Vow revenge.
3-pm make coffee sit at computer with Tuc crackers and semi-cured spreadable cheese. Work for few hours, feeling good, dandy even.
6pm- get email from Paramour asking me to plug phone in. Oblige him by doing just that. Take call, agree that I will join him for a glass or two of wine later that evening as I have been working and feel I deserve it. Feeling loved and special, hug self, feel immediately stupid.
Work for another while, feel confident that work is looking good and that I am a great person to be responsible enough to work on a Sunday. Feeling chuffed.
7- have shower, wash and condition hair, carefully choose clothes. Spend ages doing 'subtle' make up. Get dressed, admire self in mirror, ask cat how I look, cat licks its nasty cat hole.
Dismiss cat and spend more time looking at self. Put on very high heels indeed, smother self in Dior. Feel vain, but good.
9- meet Paramour, kissy kissy grope fondle, take seat, order some nibbly things, drink a glass of wine, chat, flirt, talk filthy, grin, flirt, talk filthy again, am accused of causing hard on, laugh, pretend to be shocked, flirt some more. Plan to be even filthier later that evening wearing just the Dior. Discuss plan with Paramour just to see him squirm.
10- Hear name called. See Country Gay wander through crowd. And shocked to see he is not crying and also has new hair cut. He joins us, more drink is ordered. Waiter -from Cuba- fills glass very high because I am nice and say thank you whenever he does, he claims I am politest person he has ever served. I laugh, drink more wine.
10:30 pm- two other friends appear, spot us, come over, much chatting, more wine is ordered, more wine is drunk.
11-blow me, here comes French Gay. ''eeeeee' look what ze cat she dragg-ed in'
Sit enthralled as French Gay entertains table with exploits, another round of drinks, have long discussion with Country Gay about John Irving, we agree World According to Garp is a splendid book and the film was spendidly cast, even though none of us really like Robin Williams. Paramour, who has now switched to Gin and Tonics, says JOhn Banville looks like Podge and Rodge (puppets) Sniggering ensues, I pat his arms, mmmmm, another round of drinks if you please. Why yes, I'd love a Baileys.
12:30- stand up try put on coat, discover can't find arms holes, look to Paramour for help, discover Paramour is trying with glassily eyed determination to work out his own coat situation.
Leave bar, suck air into lungs, air acts like LSD.
Vision wobble. Hear French Gay, say 'I think we are all a leetle fuck-ed, no?'
Agree with the assessment. Kissy kissy bye bye, call me!
Stagger up road clinging grimly to Paramour who is doing some splendid staggering of his own. Not feeling so hot.
Lift ride is horrendous. Make it to apartment, go in, make it to bathroom, vomit copiously, try to stop vomiting, only make self puke more. Finally dry retch to a halt. Flush, over to hand basin, wash face with soap! Brush teeth, brushing action made me gag. Fortunately have nothing left to bring up except organs.
Take off clothes, leave on floor, stagger back to bedroom, find paramour passed out snoring on bed in clothes. Move his arm out of the way, lie down, shut eyes. Wait for room to stop spinning, think about Chyna, female wrestler, is she a drummer now? Wonder if there are any Tayto crisps in house. Fall asleep.

I am sitting here now in my Kimono, bare feet, hair awry, panda eyes and I appear to have the trembles. Poor old Paramour woke at six and had to make his way home to shower change and get ready for work.
There is a moral to this somewhere, I think it could be don't eat salad on a Sunday or something, but I could be wrong.
I'm never drinking again!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

When are we people?

{{Blogger has been down all day on Friday, so I am going to repost this and leave it, as I am interested in any and all responses to the following article.}}

A GROUNDBREAKING legal battle has begun in the Irish courts between an estranged couple over the ownership of their frozen embryos.

The case mirrors one which divided opinion in Britain this week when a woman lost a court battle to use her frozen embryos so she could have a baby against the wishes of her former partner.

'In the Irish case, legal proceedings have been initiated in the High Court between the couple, whose embryos are stored in a Dublin fertility clinic.

The case could have profound constitutional implications and may serve as a test case to clarify the status of the unborn in this country. The status of a human embryo is still unclear in Irish law.

The couple, who live in Dublin, attended the Sims Clinic in Rathmines, Dublin in 2001 for fertility treatment. The following year, they had one child successfully through IVF and retained three surplus embryos in the clinic in the hope of having them implanted in the woman's womb at a later date.

But the marriage broke down and the couple have since separated.

The woman is now seeking the right to use the embryos fertilised by her ex-husband's sperm but he is unwilling to give his permission. He is involved in a new relationship and does not wish to have any more children with his former wife.'

I lifted this from the Irish Independent.
I commented on it at another site, but I feel it has bothered me enough to pop it up here.
I have a few concerns regarding this case.
Embryos are an emotive issue at the best of times, and this has all the hall marks of a legal quagmire. But let's ask a few questions.
1- If the mother wins, and the embryos are implanted, is the 'father' legally obliged to pay for this child even if he specifically says he does not want it?
2- If an embryo is in a state of suspended animation, without a host, is it a viable human? Bearing in mind it cannot survive and grow as is.
3- Do we have the rights to demand a person become a parent? Surely, if by law, a woman has the right to abort a healthy and growing embryo, a man must have the right to refus to allow his fertilized embryo to be implanted?
I read an argument that suggests an embryo has humanity, that it has potential to be a person. But then I would reason that every egg I lose during a period has humanity imprinted in it, as every sperm a man loses has the potentional to become another living being.
Does potential equate actual life?
This man has clearly moved on and created a new life with a new partner and may have more childen of his own with her at some point. Is it then fair, or right to demand that he father children with his ex wife?
I don't think it is.
What do you think?
Oh and Happy St. Patrick's day.

Rival rival, your face is a mess...

rival rival you've torn your...well I hope it's nothing too serious.
Good morning Bloggers. I am sitting here pungently, happily, about to run off to the shower.
I have been to kickboxing this morning. We have a new pupil, his name is 'Dax?'. Dax? is from Flaawwwwrida, he has been in iiiirland? for some months now. Dax? holds about, oh I don't know, say five different belts, including two black belts. Dax? was telling us all during pre warm up how, "he couldn't rilly find a school that you know, was to the same standard as, you know, the dojos in Flawwwwwrida?" But then "This guy? had told him about here and he thought you know, he'd check it out? But that it probably wasn't rilly his scene? You know? Cause you don't rilly grade the same way? You know? But like, he's here for a year? And he might as well stay fit as least, you know?'
I did know. Memnoch says most black belts should be used for holding up pants. He usually says this with a ferocious look of contempt on his face.
Undeterred by our expressions of frozen politeness, Dax? proceeds to tell us all about his bouts and belts, various fights, injuries and so on and so forth, and when he plans to go for next belt. Each sentence starts with the words, 'So, like...'
I start scanning the room for the Canadian who usually kicks me senseless, thinking it might be less painless just to let him knock me out and be done with it.

All the while 'Dax??' was blathering on, a few of us, were watching Memnoch's stone cold face. He does not approve of chit-chat. He sure as shit does not approve of bragging (or uppitiness) or people that end every sentence in a question.
So we begin, we warm up. After twenty minutes it becomes clear that Dax? ain't as fit as Dax? thinks, you know?
'You guys do a lot of skipping?' he huffs as we put the ropes back. He is pink in the face and sweating. So are we but we can breath normally.
'In Flawwwwrida we don't do that much skipping?'
Claire, my usual partner sighs. 'Listen er Dax, sush, he', she jabs her head towards Memnoch, who is busy eavesdropping on every word while wrapping his hand, 'doesn't like it when people talk a lot, you can talk after, tell us all about Flawww... er Florida.'
He smiles then and winks at her- actually winks!
We stretch out. Memnoch point to the white board. He has written out the patterns we are working with today. It is mostly boxing, with not a hunge amount of leg work. But the last twenty-five minutes of class was marked for condtioning. This involves kicking, in burst of three and five rounds. I've done this a few times before, it is very hard on the legs after a full class. Claire and I exchange weary glances. Dax? is squinting at the board. He looks puzzled.
'You guys? what kind of formations are these?
We hastily explain the squiggles, cross, cross angled, hook, upper, inner leg, outer leg, side, knee, elbow...
'Elbow?' He looks more puzzled.
I sigh.
We begin. Memnoch pairs Dax? up with Colm as they are roughly the same height and weight.
Colm is fairly new, like myself he's only been doing it a year. But it begins to be apparent after a few minutes that Dax? is a 'show stopper'(lots of fancy moves, very little accuracy)
After a few minutes Memnoch calls a halt.
'Come here.' he says to Dax?
Dax trots up to the main mat.
Memnoch hold up a pad. 'You know why this is a focus pad?'
Dax? nods. 'Sure.'
'Pretend Colm is a pad, hit the pad, not the air beside it.'
Memnoch sends him on his way.
Dax? flushes and retreats.
Two minutes later he is lying flat on his back on the mat, Colm no belts has knocked him down. He looks confused.
I wince for him, I have been a great admirer of that ceiling many times.
He gets back up and shakes himself off. But now he moves with a wariness and a steely determination. Claire and I exchange nervous glances, Colm is bound to get a hiding. Everyone in the gym is sort of sparring, but also with one eye firmly on the bout developing. Memnoch pretends he doesn't notice.
Less than a minute later Dax? is down again. Colm no belts took his standing leg out while he attempted a side kick.
Up and down he went for the next ten minutes. Most of us had given up our pretence at sparring and were openly watching as Dax? became more and more frustrated and less and less upright. Colm is not tall, he doesn't bounce, but he is super bloody fast. And Dax? Well he might as well have signposted his every move before he preformed it.
By the end of eleven minutes he was pouring with sweat, red in the face and had started to drop his hands even though Colm had hit him twice in the face. He took a wild swing, Colm shifted to the side and batted him on the back of the head as he went sailing past.
Dax was lucky, Colm could have used and elbow and would have in a real fight.
Memnoch called time out.
We all went back to looking busy as he summoned Dax to the main mat. We don't gloat, we have all had a 'talking to' at some point or other.
Memnoch spoke in a low voice, but the Canadian over heard him.
He said.' Do you want to learn how to fight or do you want a collection of belts in your wardrobe?'
'I wanna fight.' Dax said, no question lilt, no brag, no real eye contact.
'You eye is starting to close. Go home and come back Monday to the evening class.' Memnoch dismissed him.
Class continued as Dax? changed and packed up his bag. He left, his head was down, his humilation plain. He did not wave. Or wink.
If he is serious, he will be front row and centre on Monday.
If not, hey, just another rilly rilly showy fighter, you know?

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

some mindless frivolity after..

yesterday's gloomy start to the day. Top three cartoon characters if you please.I'm going with-
1 Sylvester. I loved that cat and his raspy lithp.
2- Pépe le pew, le locksmith of love, no? And his jaunty spring.
3-Wile E Coyote.- an inspiration to us all. Never give up and even when you have run off the cliff, keep running!
Oh and I"m putting Snagglepuss in too, because he wore a collar and cuffs even though he was naked and I loved 'Exit stage left' as a child and said it as often as possible, even when I clearly wasn't going anywhere, left or otherwise.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

one of those mornings...

got up, go to bathroom, fall down toilet because paramour left seat up. Lindy will know what I'm talking about.
Get into shower wash hair, condition it, reach for towel, huh? It is not where it should be. Step out of shower, one leg slids across tiles because bath mat is over under sink and not where it should be either, left leg remains in bath, manage not to fall by pulling down entire curtain rail.
Find towel, on the bidet!!!!Wrap self in bathrobe, put on stolen hotel slippers, pad off to kitchen, make coffee, turn to fetch milk from fridge, step in cat sick, third one this week.
Throw slippers in bin. Get kitchen towels, clean up cat sick, get milk, watch as it plops rather solididly into coffee. Swear long and hard. Remake coffee and wander in to sitting room, think perhaps Footeater was correct about sky cracks. Turn on television, discover Mark Cagney on TV3 (whispered) is wearing bright pink stripped shirt, re swallow vomit. Turn television off.
Notice paramour has left bowl from his cereal on coffee table. Feel very cross about that. Notice weather is crap. Feel even crankier.
Turn on computer, stare grumpily at screen. Long work days stretches ahead of me. Want to go back to bed, suspect cats are there and we don't want to see them right now do we?
Plug iPod into computer to charge up for the gym later. Hum, computer is not recognising it. Check iTunes, nope not there. Swear some more. Try to turn iPod on, Apple sign comes up, but no listings. waste twenty minutes twiddling with it to no avail. Email techhead chap I know. Tell him what is happening. Get email back saying he will come over and have a look at it later, but that it sounds 'dead.'
Have a little snuffle about this, realise I love iPod more than mashed potato.
Wipe tears and try to get a grip on self. Fail. Have all out bawl.
Feel better, go to kitchen and make toast.
I am not a morning person.

Monday, March 13, 2006

There may be trouble...

ahead. Oh tra la la and top of the morning to you all. My old mucker Twenty Major scooped three prizes on Saturday including best blog, oh if we thought he was insufferable before...Nevertheless, congrats to his hairy crusty balls.
Now, on to the trouble.
My brother, younger and odd as two left feet, is coming home next month from a two year stint in Australia where he has been driving huge machinery across vast tracts of land, drinking like a navvy and taking great care where he pees after a huge spider reared up at him one day and -he says- chased him back to the cab of his combine.
I'm delighted that he is coming home, Etheline is delighted he is coming home. My mother called, savage and hysterical, about his coming home.
This is very strange as he is the golden apple of her eye, the chosen one, her son. Naturally I was curious.
'What's wrong with you? I thought you'd be delighted.'
'He is married, the stupid idiot! Married!'
I listened in stunned silence as my mother ranted and raved about my brother who has informed her he won't be staying with her as he... and... wife!- who none of us knew about!!!!!!! will be looking for their own place.
'What wife?' I said as soon as I could get a word in edgeways. I could here the phone beeping as my mother raged, and knew Etheline was trying to get through.
'But who is she? When did he get married?"
'I don't know, I don't know...nobody tells me anything in this family.'
'Well..' I said. But I was at a loss for words. My brother is a grown man and naturally can do as he pleases, but it was a little odd and why the secrecy?
'I wondered why he never said anything?'
I could hear my mother draw a huge deep breath and mumble something...I thought I heard the word foreign.
'What? What did you say?'
'SHE IS COLUMBIAN.' My mother howled. 'I think, I think...he said she was black.'
'So what? 2006 Ma.'
'Ooohhhh, I knew it, I knew you'd be like this! You're revelling in this aren't you? Probably egged him on, it would be just like you to think this sort of thing, he always listened to you.'
'Wait, how is it my fault your son got married behind your back to a Columbian?'
'See, see.' My mother screamed and hung up on me.
I laughed until I almost puked, then I rang Country Gay to tell him. He needs cheering up and he knows my mother a long time.
My mother is a typical Irish country woman-not racist per se, but fairly ignorant of other cultures- for her my brother might as well have married a camel. That and I know she really wanted him to marry some local girl, live locally, and have a brood of local Irish grandkiddies she can brag about to her vicious croonies.
They -my brother and his new 'Foreign' bride are back next month.
I can't wait.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Have a good...

weekend bloggers, I'm heading out to the gym and after that I am galloping to one of my favourite bars for a refreshing gin and tonic. Kisses.

Stop that!

As everyone who has even a passing fleeting impression of me knows, I am a poor typist and even poorer speller. I suppose I could do something about this but my natural inclination is towards laziness.
My spoken command of English on the other hand is dandy. I can be as prolix and tediously discursive and the next jackass when I see fit. But mostly I say what I mean and I try to say it as clearly as possible.
I had a meeting this morning in a fancy pants hotel with the...well I don't know what to call her, so I"m going to call her 'skanky bitch from hell with too much make-up and 'orrible , nasty jingling bangles in a too sort skirt with even more 'orrible knobbly knees'.
Hummm, too much of a mouthful, so wench will have to do.
Anyhoo, the wench was talking and telling me, captive party, what her 'ambitions for the project were.'
I sat with a pen in my hand waiting for her to actually make a point, any salient point at all. I waited and I watched her bony wrists wave back and forth like pampas grass in a strong breeze. I leaned back in my seat and as my eyes were beginning to glaze over I heard this..'of course with the last person there was a disconnect, so we...'
I shot bolt upright, startling her,and indeed myself in the process. She had poked the tiger with a pointy stick.
I don't have a lot of pet hates: my mother, ill fitting shoes, cat sick, the harpy down stairs, bad manners- all right I do. But a teeth clencher for me is when people turn perfectly good nouns into verbs. It actually makes my blood bubble and boil.
'You what?' I said, 'What is a disconnect?'
She frowned and blinked, 'I...what do you mean?'
'I mean what is a disconnect?'
'Well, it's you know, when there has been a break down of ideas and-'
'OHHHHH,' I said in a dramatic and no doubt irritating fashion. 'A disconnection! Well, why didn't you say so?'
Again with the frowning. I smiled innocently.
She carried on-a touch more warily and I jotted notes down here and there, and then she said...''What we really need to do is think outside the box on this one, because if we...'
I sighed, she twitched. But then-stout heart- she carried on with considerably more arm waving. Three minutes later she sprang this...'Let's progress this and chart out how to...' on me.
Progress this?
I gave her the eye, she ignored me with blithe indifference.
At that point both of my eyebrows were packing a suitcase and threatening to leave. I was waiting for liberal uses of Ockhams razor or paradigm shift to float to the surface like the crap filled words they are, when somehow she came to a stuttering juddering halt.
'Well?' said she, eyeing me cautiously. 'What do you think of the game plan?'
'I think it is magnificent.' I said.
She beamed at me. I beamed at her.
We ordered more coffee.
When all is said and done, I may grumble and snap like any cur, but I will not bite the hand that feeds me.
I am not that stupid.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Comfort food.

On days of vileness and outright mingosity I like to indulge in a variety of things to cheer myself up. Shopping is one of them, sex is another, Diazepam works and going to the gym puts me in good humour. But food is the quickest way to lift this gal's mood.
I have four staple comfort foods, designed to put a blissed out smile on my chops. They are...
1- Mashed potato and gravy, not smooched together, but with the gravy as a moat.
2- Buttery toast, cut in soldiers-arranged in a circle on my blue and white plate.
3- sausages and baked beans- smothered in with white pepper, again the beans must be moat like.
4- bowl of chunky home made chips, covered in salt and vineger.
There, all simple, easy foods, nothing fancy, but yummy. No matter how grouchy I am, a plate of any of the the above cheers me up no end.
What about you lot? What culinary prozac tickles your fancy?

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

I stand accused...

of being a 'sleepspoofer'? Apparently I am the world's greatest liar about being awake.
This, I feel, is a bit harsh. It is true that I do not like getting up in the morning. I'm fine once I'm up and clutching my coffee, and it is true that I'm not naturally a springer out of bed... but a sleepspoofer?
Demanding clarification I was informed that I, Fatmammycat, say things like 'I"m awwwaaakkkeee' and 'Commmingggg!' and 'I"m uuupppp!' in a variety of jolly voices when in fact I am no such thing. It is claimed that sometimes I sit on the side of the bed when watched, only to collapse sideway and roll back under the duvet the moment the watcher's back is turned. Cats were accused of adding and abetting this behaviour, by somehow trapping me inside the duvet. I was informed I don't sleep, I slip into a coma and that I try my damndest to remain in said coma no matter what the hour.
I am shocked.
And yet...this morning I got up and dressed and was seated at my desk staring at my computer. The screen was dark grey and appeared in jigsaw pieces. I cursed, thinking some virus had attacked my system over night. It was only when a blue whale on the screen called John started to clear the pieces away with his tail that I realised I was still asleep.
Sleepspoofer, no, awakespoofer might be more apt.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

I am very happy...

today. The heating has been repaired, so I am blasting myself like a hot house flower. The cats are lying around panting and looking dishevelled. The phone is unplugged, I am eating a bacon and sausage sandwich with brown sauce and pepper and drinking hot coffee. Fantastic.
The major project I almost killed myself doing the week before- that saw me working most of a weekend!- has paid off and the nice people sent me a nice fat cheque, which I am nicely drooling over right this second. I have it placed by my computer so that I can smile fondly at it every other minute. Later it will be in the bank, but for now I just want to stare at it for a while, maybe give it a lttle kiss now and then.
They- the people- have emailed this very nice morning to say they have a new job for me, starting tomorrow, which will take up a few weeks of my time. This is very good news to a self employed hussy like myself. I am beaming as I type.
I'm thinking new jeans would be delightful as a celebration. But I am going to wait, the Paramour owes me one hundred Euros for losing a bet and I intend to collect. He is good looking but daft for betting actual money against someone like myself. I have an excellent memory for conversation and remember exactly who said what and to whom. He agrees that it was folly, accepts that he was wrong-after checking first- and has assured me that he will hand over five crisp twenties with good grace. Which I will accept with good grace and not a drop of nah-nah-ni-nah-nah-ism.
So all in all a lovely Tuesday. How are you lot doing?

Monday, March 06, 2006

I stayed up...

watching the UFC championships(a sort of no holds barred fighting) on Bravo last night.
Two grown men enter the Octogan and wallop seven shades of crap out of each other in five minute rounds. Sometimes the welter weights can be a bit lumbersome, but last nights fights were very good, well except BJ Penn-who I had money on.
This is a splendid way to spend a Sunday evening. It is drama at its very best. There was blood, fear, fury, kicking, eyes swelling shut, a broken hand, sweat, adrenaline, money exchanged hands( there and here, I called two fights perfectly-go on the Dean of Mean! but stupid BJ Penn let me down by beng fat and not furious, stupid BJ, he can't grapple for toffee and yet he always ends up on canvas looking slightly surprised. I mean he is super flexible, so why can he not grapple? I just don't understand it)
Anyway there here was cheering clapping and much swearing. Oh there was also Martinis, beer and crisps. I get so over excited by fights that I end up screaming at the telly and jumping up and down on the spot. It must be how people felt watching the Gladiators of old.
Naturally today I am feeling very delicate. So I am going now to gobble aspirn and drink copious amounts of coffee.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Does anyone really believe...

in horoscopes and hand reading and all that old jazz?
I ask because after reading Gorilla Bananas post yesterday I was reminded of when a dear friend of mine rang me recently and went on a ten minute burst of joyous chatter telling me all about this woman she had gone to see who was able ' to tell me everything!'
'Everything about what honey?'I asked gamely, reaching for the wine.
'Just know, how this year was so tough for me and that I would get through it and that I would be...oh you know, she just knew everything, so weird.' she paused for a second and my heart lurched a little.
'She knew about my brother.'
'Really?' I was surprised and beginning to grow angry.' Why, what did she say?'
'That I had suffered a great loss. That I was searching for answers and I am!'
I poured my wine. Of course she would say that, why else would my friend be there in the first place if not for answers and most people our age have suffered a loss of some kind.
'Did she say your brother?'
'NO, well, not at first, but she held my hands really close and said oh it's a man, and then she said someone close to you....your your brother?"
The my friend said she started to cry, so game over.

My friend has had a very tough year, she lost her brother and was wracked with guilt over their final conversation. She has a fiery relationship with her boyfriend and really wanted to know was everything going to get better. Hence the fortune teller.
Now, as any good card player can tell you, humans give off lots of subtle signs and tells. Pupils and nostrils dilate, hand fidget, eyes roll and search. In short a person can give an awful lot away without ever opening their mouth. And my friend has the most expressive open face, which makes her a ripe picking.
I listened as she told me more and more grasping feeble evidence that this woman was a true seer and for once in my life I actually managed not to open my cynical trap.I did not rubbish this woman. Even though I was furious that someone could be such a charlatan and prey on the vulnerable, I could hear it in my friend's voice that she desperately wanted to believe her brother was happy and at peace and was 'with his grandfather' (what a leap, the woman worked out that my 30 something year old friend might have a dead grandfather and after guessing a few letters and giving a description of a grey haired man in a cardigan!! finally stumbled onto him)
Maybe sometimes people need to believe in the other worldiness of others. Certainly in my friends's life something had cracked and she-normally a paragon of common sense- needed someone to tell her everything would be all right, the spirits had forseen it. And maybe, just maybe, that is not such a bad thing to hear.

Thursday, March 02, 2006


Back from Spain Darlings!. Got in last night, too tired to blog. I have tons of pictues, and I'm waiting for them to be developed, but I can honestly say I was super impressed and absolutely knackered.
It was a brilliant few days. Very excellent, the weather was amazing, 16/18 degrees in Valencia on Tuesday, I am so envious- I almost froze last night waiting for a taxi.
I have eaten like a gourmand and drunk like sailor on 24hour shore leave. I went to as many museums as I could, the MNAC in Barcelona is my favourite. It is in a castle and over looks the whole of Barcelona, hell of a walk down Grand Via to get there (but I needed it to walk off the meal I had in Caracoles the night before-Carrer Ferran, just left off la Rambla)- and a lot of steps to climb, but it was amazing!.
I went to L'oceanográfic -the largest marine park in Europe- in Valencia and watched enthralled at the amazing dolphin show. Wow! That's all I can say. I had lunch there in the restaurant...oh my.. it was amazing. the walls are glass and behind them thousand of silver fish swim right past your table. At one point as I raised my fork and man in full diving apparel swam gently past, cleaning the tank. I waved, he waved back. Surreal.
Anyway the park and the new Opera house - which looks like a space ship- and the Museum of science art and nature and the huge pod like building that looks kind of like a vast fat cactus were all designed by a local, Santiago Calatrava and if you are ever in Valencia you just have to go and stand there in awe!
Barcelona is aways fabulous, everytime I go there I have a ball. I found a new bar, run by an Irish couple-it is called Milk, great food, ever greater booze, excellent atmosphere, we were finally thrown out at three in the morning, tops! It is down in Barrio Gótic, La Parnasse. If you are ever in city, do go.
And what a palava I missed! Riots in Dublin. Honest to God riots, Charlie Bird called and 'Orange bastard' and beaten up!? Who would have thought it?
Anyhoo gotta go wash clothes and try get back to some normality.