Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Palomino.

When I was very young I loved two things passionately, my father and horses. Now, I had one, I reasoned, I merely needed the other and my life was complete.
But getting life fufillment seemed tricky. I nagged and pleaded and cried until I got headaches and snot ran down my face. I rolled on the floor begging to be allowed get my own horse. I ran about pretending I was a horse a lot of the time, I built jumps out the back of the house and made our dogs jump endlessly back and forth over them, while I did the commentry.
'Yes and it's Harvey Smith to take the cup! Oh my, is that a victory sign?'
I begged, I pleaded, I howled, yet curiously my mother remained unmoved. To each entreat she said no, but my father however, well, he was of softer disposition and my ten year old self sensed he would be the weakest link.
Like a lioness singling out the one wounded wildebeast I turned all my attention to him. I stalked him, following him about the house, my eyes red-rimmed, my hands clasped in front of me, whenever the poor man opened a door or sat down with the paper he was beset with...'Daddy please Dad, Oh please, I'll do anything, I'll polish yer shoes guvnor, make tea in the morning, pleeeeeeese. I'll never ask you for anything again ever, never ever not even pocket money, I won't...' I would pop up at his shoulder in the shed when he was trying to fix machinery, 'Daddy, have you thought about it? Have you, it wouldn't be any bother...' I would follow him down the village when he went to buy oil.'Dad, have you see the back of the farmer's Journal today? Look LOOK, there are ponies for sale and some of them are only...'
I was relentless.

Eventually, for the sake of his sanity, he relented, after all-he declared over a frosty silence before lunch- did we not already have a hunter? (far too big and downright mean for any of us to ride, well my eldest sister could, but she wasn't into horses-anyway, she was out on grass) What difference-he asked of my mother who was viciously hurling potato after potato into a pot of water-did it really make? He had ridden himself at my tender age(he said). A pony could have the smaller stable, it would teach me responsibility, and I would have to look after it myself.
'You always give in to that one.' My mother raged, 'I've already said she can't have it and now you're telling her she can!'
I-eavesdropping in the back hall-vowed to poison my mother that very day.
'Well,' my darling father said, 'what about a loan of one? Frank Doyle was just telling me the other day he's looking for a spot of grazing for that little palomino of his.'
Palomino! I immediately thought of all my much read Flicka and Silver Brumby books. Ohhheeeeeeeee.
There was no reply from my mother, just the bashing about of pots and pans. I held my breath for so long I thought I would pass out. Then...
'Alright!' She said making it sound like a curse, 'just for a loan, see how she get's on with it.'
Yes! I skipped silently out of the hall lest my mother smell pleasure in the air and descend on me like a griffon on carrion. I would-I informed one of the collies magnanimously- hold off on the poisoning.

And so, the following Saturday, a blue hi-ace pulled into the yard pulling a horse box behind it. The hunter-who had been grazing contentedly in the meadow trotted up to the gate to see what all the fuss was about and snickered. That snicker was answered by a high-pitched whinney.
I beamed.
Little did I know I would grow to detest that whinny.
He was beautiful, 13 hand 2, soft pale gold, with four socks and a blaze. His mane was flaxon, his eyes deepest brown. Eeeeee. I was smitten the moment he danced down the ramp.
My father handed me the rope of his head collar. 'Here you go girl, he's yours for the next four months, if you get on well with this fellah sure we'll see about-'
My mother cleared her throat angrily.
'Well, take him on up to the box there' my father said quickly. 'Let him settle.'
Oh he settled all right. After the first day he had my measure, and he knew that I was
A) not as clever as him.
B) half afraid of him
C) easy to trick.
The next day he threw me off four or five times. Always at speed. We'd be cantering along the headland and he'd stop dead in his tracks and put his head down. The first two times he did this I thought it was because something had startled him, the last three, I knew it was to torment me.
He liked to roll in the filthiest muckiest spot he could find, and being pale gold that meant hours of grooming. Which he would then undo by rolling again as soon as my back was turned.
He liked to stand patiently in the middle of the meadow until I was almost close enough to catch him, then-at the last possible second- he would turn and trot off-never gallop-with his head held high and whinny to himself with delight.
He liked to open the top latch of the stable door and wander down to the feed room and help himself to whatever he liked. He discovered he could make the kick slide flip over if he kicked it at just the right level.
He liked to bite if you did up the saddle too suddenly, and he was as accurate at kicking as a circus knife thrower.
After two weeks of being flung to the ground, trod on, bitten, exhausted from grooming and made to look a fool I decided I hated him.
Unfortunately I had no choice, my mother was keenly watching for sign that I was flagging, if I really did ever want a pony of my own I had to play along. That fucking pony had me over a barrel-and he knew it- the snickering bollocks.
So I devised ways of spending time with him that suited us both. I discovered he, like most ponies, liked chocolate, if he didn't bite during grooming he got a square of Cadburys, I began to take early morning rides with him, carrying a backpack. I would ride about a mile from the house, then get off and take my book from my back pack. I would read, while the pony stood cropping grass for an hour or so. Then we would head back to the house at a leisurely pace. This arrangement suited us both, we knew where we stood with each other and for a while a sort of truce held.
Until they day my stupid cousins arrived.
'I must say,' my mother wittered on to my aunt 'I didn't think she'd stick it out. Annie Doyle told me that pony could be a bit of a brute, but Cat and it seem to get along famously.'
My aunt threw back her head and said, 'Well being horse woman runs in the family, did I tell you Gavin's been taking lessons?'
'Oh?' My mother poured more tea.
'OH yes, he's quite good you know.'
'Cat,' my mother said, arching her eyebrow at me, 'Do you think Gavin could take a little spin on the pony after lunch?"
I smiled wanly at my aunt. Gavin was my older cousin by one year, a brute of a boy who I despised. He teased me mercilessly, called me names and gave me chinese burns on my arms. From where I sat on the counter top I could see him through the kitchen hatch, his index finger so far up his nose he had to be scratching his brain.
'Of course.' I said sweetly, I'll saddle him up.'
As I left the kitchen I heard my mother's useless stage whisper.
'Animals, you see, bring out the best in everyone.'

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Shut that stable door and pass the crystal ball.

Maybe I should just set myself up with a shawl, hoop earrings and a crystal ball and tour the country. Move over Una Power. I knew ths sort of thing was going to happen after last week's High court ruling, and lo it has come to pass already.

"In the High Court the State is vigorously defending the continued detention of a 41-year-old man, jailed for the unlawful carnal knowledge of a 12-year-old child.

The man, known only as Mr A, is asking the court to order his release from prison following last week's Supreme Court judgment striking down the law on statutory rape.

Mr A was jailed for three years in 2004 for the statutory rape of a 12-year-old girl after he had bought her seven alcoholic drinks. Innocence was taken from a young child, the trial judge commented when he jailed the man.
Today, in the wake of the Supreme Court decision on Section 1.1 of the 1935 Act, Mr A claims his detention is unlawful and he should be released immediately.

High Court judge Miss Justice Mary Laffoy must decide on this application.

It is the first from a convicted sex offender to come before the courts in the aftermath of last week's judgment.

The man admitted committing the offence and never asserted a defence of mistake in relation to the girl's age.

His senior counsel Conor Devally said it is not their case that the conviction or sentence are invalid and they are not asking the court to review the decision of the DPP to prosecute or the actions of the trial judge. They are simply saying that there is no longer a lawful mechanism to hold Mr A. "

See, see how that works? There is no longer a 'lawful mechanism' to hold the poor child rapist. He got a twelve year old drink and had sex with her, he was only given a 3 year sentence and yet here he is bleating to the high court and demanding his 'right' to appeal the ruling.
Fantastic. But what of the victim's right? That girl was 12 years old, he was 41 when he plied her with drink inpreperation for sex. If that is a not predator I don't know what is.

UPDATE-as promised, I am so disgusted I can barely type.

The High Court has ordered the immediate release of the man known as Mr A who was serving a three-year sentence for the unlawful carnal knowledge of a 12-year-old girl.

Ms Justice Mary Laffoy said his detention had been rendered unlawful by last week's Supreme Court decision striking down the law on statutory rape.

The court also found that it did not have the jurisdiction to continue to hold the 41-year-old in custody to allow the State to go to the Supreme Court.

Mr A had claimed that he was being held in prison on a warrant, which is based on a non-existent law.

The man was 38 at the time of the offence and was nearly two years into a three-year sentence.

Senior counsel Gerard Hogan said during legal submissions yesterday that it would be appalling if those who pleaded guilty to very serious offences involving pre-teen children were to get a windfall bonus from the Supreme Court.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Bitch Fight!

I went to bed early-ish last nght, being tired and what not- I actually fell asleep on the couch during ER-here's a tip do not mix sleeping tablets with wine.
Anyhoo, I was dreaming of hunting and in my dream my stirrups were make of wire and my reins kept snapping and I was complaining loudly to my father and some tiny mexican woman who was holding a Dirty Harry style gun when when I distinctly heard, 'OILL FOOKIN' KEEL YA!'
Blearily I opened my eyes. I lay there staring at the shadows on my roof, beside me the bigger of the cats snored peacefully. Hum, if he hadn't heard anything perhaps I-
'Fuck you ya fuckin' skanky HOOR!'
I craned my neck to look at my bedside clock. 3:44 am. What was going on?
'Whatshesay, whatshesay?'
And then I heard, 'Tracy wait.'
And then' Leggggoooomee yacuntcha.'
Then 'Traacccyyyyyy!'
Then. 'Leave it, lerrem fight ifendewant.'
Then the very definite sound of a scuffle.
I got out of bed and wandered over to the window, prepared to hurl abuse at the fuckers for waking me from my drug induced slumber, but as I opened the window I was astounded to see a full on proper fight, and not just some drunken slappers beating the shit out of each other.
Now I like a drop of violence, especially when I can watch from a safe distance. So naturally I settled in to watch.
In the red corner, TRacccccyyyy, about 25, fatty, raggedy blonde hair, sparkly boob tube and low rise jeans. All guts and crack, mmm, yummy.
In the blue corner ...I'm going to call her Tanya coz I don't like the name. Short arsed female of indeterminate age, wearing black trousers and a black ripped top. Hair scrapped back off her face in a ponytail that looked like it was made of wire. She's small and mean looking, outweighed for sure, but my money would be on her. That tattoo on her arm must have hurt like shit, so I'm guessing she has a high pain threshold.
Lets get it on!
Tanya rushes forward and dishes out a well-aimed slap to Tracy's head. Trace-atta girl- reels back, but not in time to fully dodge the blow. The sound is a dull 'whap', enraged Tracy rushes Tanya and throws all fifteen stone of her jellied body on to her. Tanya tries gamely to stay on her feet, but the brontosauras like Tracy, stumbles and both girls go crashing down, screaming and cursing.
It should be pointed out at this stage that the rest of the party, two skinny looking boys in giant runners and jeans that hang off their waists like deflated parachutes and another girl, the screamer, are trying their very best not to seem to be egging the dastardly due on, but in reality, we all know it, they're enjoying every minute of it.
Alrighty then.
Tanya is underneath and the mighty Tracy has her pinned, there is spitting and scratching aplenty, but Tanya has both her hands buried in Tracy's hair is is very busily trying to rip it clean from her head.
Tracy, to be fair, is slapping the living shit of of Tanya and roaring like a bull, but the slaps are poorly executed and really- I think to myself- why not make a fist? The boob tube has slipped and one of Tracy's puppies is loose and bobbing about like a fat albino on speed. The boys are delighted and keep laughing and pointing at it as is bobbles around. The screamer ratches the sound up a bit, other lights are coming on around.
Tanya is trying hard to get out from underneath, she is kneeing and pulling but it is a nasty looking bite to Tracy's forearm that does the trick. Tracy screams and jerks, and the wiry Tanya aims a super uppercut to the underside of her jaw.
Tracy react as though she's been shot, her eyes roll up , she topples over onto her back and her boob rolls under her arm for cover.
Tanya, filthy, with a bloodied lip and almost shirtless herself, scrambles to her feet and with spectacular accuracy, kicks the groaning Tracy square in the gee. ( not my use of word, but that is what one of the chaps said)

The shot is both efficacious and devastating. Tracy rolls up into the fetal position.
The winner leans over and spits, then reels away, leans even further over and pukes all over the road. I fancy I can smell the WKD, even though I cannot.
The lads laugh and the screamer helps the wounded Tracy to her feet. She is clutching her fanny with both hands and I wince in sympathy. Poor fat cow. I could have told her the outcome. Any girl who can scrape her hair into a pony tail so tight it pulls her eyes up is never going to be bested. It's just not in their nature to give in.
Anyway, to the victor the spoils, whatever it was she gained. I salute her silently as she makes her way down the road, limping and wiping at her mouth.
Then I pull the curtains scramble back into my toasty bed, safe in the knowledge that I could have taken both of them without so much as breaking a sweat. Elbows, ladies, life's knuckledusters, no slapping required.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

X Men 3...

rocks! There were surprising deaths, cool effects, lots of poignant moments, romance, teenage angst, a funny Vinnie Jones, a delightfully hammy Magneto, nudity, explosions, comedy, a blue Kelsey Grammer that looked like so like Monstee I laughed. Oh it was most fun, the little Goth Kid and I stuffed ourselves full of popcorn and Fanta, sniffed one more than one occasion (I actually spotted her wiping a tear away oh so carefully, the eyeliner you see, must not smudge) and throughly enjoyed ourselves. Then I came home to a clean house, opened bottle of chilled Reisling, the fiancé arrived from football, lost this week, opposing team scored three goals in the last ten minutes,tired legs- and had a super late but wholly scrummy dinner of streak and chips. God Saturdays are almost my favourite day of the week. But I'm off to buy papers now and meet friends for an early lunch, so Sunday still tops it.
Go see the film, it's fun.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Question of running and strange blisters.

One for the runners among you, if you please. I'm just back from the gym where I had a swim and then ran a fast-for me Miss Finn so don't laugh- 5k in 27 minutes. I got off the threadmil and felt fine, did some stretching and wandered down stairs to the showers. I was very red faced- natural for me, I pinkify very easily when working out- and was most happy to get under a cool shower But hullo, I noticed as I was getting out that I felt a bit faint and as I was getting dressed I saw tiny blisters, like droplets of water, on both my shins and where the strap of my over the shoulderboulderholder sports bra was.
Doe anybody have any clue what this means? Has anyone experienced this before? Could it just be from over heating?
Yours, in minor confusion,

Problem solved.

Alrighty then, so after much deliberations and some gin an excellent compromise has been reached. The subject of moving has been solved thusly.
1-We are to enjoy being engaged as neither of us has ever been engaged before.
2-I'm going no where, he's going no where-for the time being. If we're still blissfully happy about being engaged in another few months we will look for a place, together.
3- that means both of us make the leap and start off on a totally clean slate and even footing.
4-We are to ignore all opinions of family and friends and do what suits us.
We are to remind ourselves-regularly- that while family and friends all have very definite ideas of what we should be doing, family and friends can go take a running jump.
That all worked nicely for me.
And I am getting a new phone that lets me see numbers before I answer.

On an entirely seperate issue. Can anyone explain to me the logic of chopping off the tails/ears of dogs? I only mention it because earlier on my way back from being thrown around the gym I met a girl I haven't seen for years walking her boxer, a daft, stupid over-excitable thing called Dudley. Dudley had a tail, a fine long tail that he used to whip the crap out of my legs before he flung himself on the ground and pushed himself along on one side using his back legs, (really boxers are the silliest of creatures).
'Your dog has a tail.' I observed. Oh some mornings I am a quick as a whip myself.
'Yeah, my uncle bred him and he doesn't believe in docking or cropping. He thinks it's cruel.'
But it set me to thinking, in this day and age is there really any reason to dock a tail or crop ears? Is it just for fashion? Is it cruel? Would an undoctored dog be of less value? Why must show dogs be cut?
My old doberman was docked, but his ear were flappy, like a labrador because the woman who bred him said he wasn't a show dog so no need to crop (it makes a huge difference in how they look, cropped ears give dobies that very fierce intense look everybody is familiar with). So why do people do it? What about great danes, (ears) jack russells, rothweilers, cocker spaniels, pointers, old english sheepdogs? Why do they get their tails lopped off but not say, red setters or pugs, or German Shepherds? Someone once told me it has to do with damage sustained while hunting, but that doesn't make sense becasue fox and deer hounds all have full tails and uncroopped ears, and they go through the worst vegetation. And what about labs, they're a gun dog...what about...eeekk, French Bulldogs. Do the little chaps I love go through pain to make them look the way they do?
Does anyone know why the alterations? Is it to qualify for breed standard? I'm genuinely interested.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Move? What the hell are you talking about?

Damn you mother!
Last night, having spent a good portion of the evening enjoying woman stuff, you know, bath, deep conditioning hair masque, tweezering, painting, pore cleansing, facial mask, pouring wine, settling on couch, you know what I mean, I was foolish enough to take a call, only for me to hear-quelle horror!- the not so dulcet tone of my mother on the other end.
'Mummff' I said, lest the teatree face pack crack. 'Camp calp yue back?'
'Why?' She said, sounding all suspicious. She always sounds suspicious when people don't automatically yabber on phones like she does. 'What are you up to?'
'Facst patt.'
''Harumph,' she said, and proceeded to talk. On and on, bitching about this and that, her hanging baskets that were nowhere near as good as last years, about Etheline-who had been clever enough not to answer- my brother, his wife, all and sundry, telling me about local dead folk ( 'they die in threes you know') about some mysterious pain in her arm (cancer of the arm) and a pain she had in her lower back ( hernia or cancer of the back) and some blinding headache she got when she bent to open the washing machine ( brain cancer) and how her dog was doing very well going to the faith healer and what sort of children had she raised that we would be so bereft of faith and we needn't think she didn't know that we laughed at her behind her back and did I know that 'that one' across the road had a new car and thought she was a 'great one' tearing up and down at all hours and her, mutton dressed up as lamb, she needn't think she was fooling anyone and she...
Anyway it went on and one, after a while my mind was a numb as my face and I had given up trying to drink my wine with a straw. I lay on my back, trying to lip read what Frasier was saying to Niles.
Suddenly I heard '...sure you'll be moving now soon anyway and-'
'Mummmffinn?' I shot up, ' No I wonn.'
'Of course you will. ' My mother said, 'sure you're engaged aren't you? I'm sure you'll be moving in together and I can't see himself moving in there with you, why would he, not when he has that nice house, where did he say it was again?'
'Rathgar.' I said, perfectly. Odd.
'Well then.' She said sniffly. 'You're hardly going to stay in your f'lat'.
I heard myself correct her for the one millionth time. But my heart wasn't in it.
My mind now whirrled and twirrled. Now hold on a minute. Either I am a comlete moron or I am a total idiot. But the thoughts of leaving this...this haven of mine never even entered my head. I looked around wildly. Look, my wallpaper, my book shelves, the sofas, my desk that had taken four men to lift in, the pictures. What was this horrible woman suggesting? Leave? leave? Was she mad?
Anyway I finally got the wench off the phone by promising I would go curtain shopping with her on saturday. I raced off to the bathroom and splashed my face and worked the mask off. Patted it dry, never smear. Then I poured myself a large drink and rang the p-my fiancé.
'Do you think we should move in together!?' I shouted at him when he answered the phone.
'Why are you shouting?' he said tiredly.
'Sorry, sorry, my mother...I, she...well, wait, do you think we should move know in together?'
'Of course, don't you?'
'I, well... sure, but , you know, when? And also, where?'
There was a very long pause that I didn't like, and then. 'Well, I thought soon, and I thought here. You know, it's bigger and there's parking and...'
'What's wrong with here?'
'Nothing. Why are acting all crazy like this?'
'I don't know, ' I said miserably, 'I just never... I swear, it didn't even occurr to me about moving.'
'Well, ' he was laughing slightly, 'when we get married, don't you see us living together?'
'Woody Allen and Mia Farrow didn't. He kept his place and she kept hers.'
'Oh yeah, and look how well that turned out.'
'I know, stupid example.'
'Look Cat, stop worrying, you like it here.'
'I like it here too.'
'Look, ' He sighed then. 'Can we talk about this tomorrow? I've got a very early apointment.'
'Oh sure, sorry.'
'That's okay, look we'll go for a drink tomorrow after work, talk about it then, alright?'
We said goodnight and rung off. The bigger of the cats hopped onto the sofa-where one corner has been all but destroyed by claw sharpening- and headbutted me in the (smooth) cheek. Ouch.
'Would you like a garden?' I asked him. 'You could probably kill things again.'
'Marp.' he said.
Yes, fucking marp indeed.

UPDATE ON YESTERDAY'S POST: As I mentioned ysterday, some of what I feared about the new supreme curt ruling is already starting to take place. Seven men, already jailed for statutory rape, are to have their convictions over-turned and are to be released. The flood gates are opening on this one already.

See, flood gates are alreay starting to open.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Don't have sex with children....

and you won't be arrested. If there is a question mark about age, even a hint, put your mickey away.
I am one of those people who is not one hundred per cent happy about this. I'm not outraged, but I am concerned that it leaves loop holes for paedophiles and for sexual abuse.
'Why did you sleep with that girl?'
'She told me she was sixteen.'
'Okay then. You are absolved from any responsibility.'
Hum, the little Goth kid could easily pass for seventeen, but she's fourteen. She might look older but a twenty minute conversation with her will show her youth. If you're close enough to be having sex surely you are close enough to be sure of age. Hummm. I don't know, I'm not happy about this ruling. I agree all cases should be viewed case by case, but still, sex with minors should carry serious weight. Humm. I don't know, but I am troubled.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Back to work.

Up, coffee, shuffle to desk, open work file for first time since last Tuesday. Have a little read, have a little groan. Back to work. Is there anything yuckier?
On the plus side 100 posts! Yeah.

Hollyweird tat.- Angelina might have given birth to the second coming. I'll keep ya posted.
Denise Richards was in Dublin with Heather Locklears's husband , Ritchie Sambora, over the weekend. Drinking with Gerry 'Lurry' Ryan of all people.
Madonna offends churches with her new tour. Imagine, she must be shocked, what about her being crucified on a giant cross and wearing a crown of thorns did she think might offend? In other news, no one else was even mildly shocked. Sorry Mads, I bought that t-shirt and lacy fingerless gloves in the eighties.
People now feel sorry for Britney Spears after she burst out crying having stumbled with her young son, days after everyone was bitching about the direction of her baby car seat. I read that and laughed. How fickle folk are. Me too. Fickle like a fox

Monday, May 22, 2006

All righty then!

Here we go, thank you to all and everyone for the best wishes, it fair brought a tear to my eye it did. What a yummy bunch of people you all are. Eee.
The easiest thing is to do this...
Wednesday- Regressa me! Concert amazing, 14000 people screaming- my friend and I are smiling and passing binoculars back and forth.
Suddenly the spanish singer (baritone) interrupts concert to say Barcelona have scored a 'GOALLLLLL'
Place erupts. I frown, glance crankily at watch. 'get back to the blasted singing' I may or may not have shouted. The woman beside me is shrieking.
Moments later or so it seemed, he holds up his hand and informs us of a second goal.
13, 998 people stamp their feet and sing 'Champion-es champion-es wo way wo way wo way!!!!!!' forever. After what seems like two weeks of this they finally quieten down. Il Divo sing their version of 'My way' and it is good night and good luck.
We leave. I accidently on purpose kick the shin of the woman beside me as I walk past her. She yelps, I feel better.

Outside 14,000 people stand around. 13, 998 are singing and the noise of car horns is unbearable, 'parp parp, parp parp parp, parp, parp, parp BARCA!'and not a single fucking taxi from Palau Sant Jordi. They are all in bars drunk, the bastards.
Finally we find the one taxi driver in the town who-luckily for us -had been to the concert. We ambush-er, flag him down and plead with him to take us. He says he is not working. I beg and plead. He relents, but we have to listen to him scream out the window and parp his horn all the LONG way back to town. Motos are weaving in and out of traffic, flags hanging from windows, A man with cruches yells 'Yarrrhrhrhrhhrxx' in the window at us. Cops are everywhere. Smoking and doing exactly nothing.
Drink copiously, fall asleep, wake up ten minutes later feeling ill. Stumble to bathroom, vomit like Linda Blair thrice. Hey, aren't those the mussels I ate earlier?
'Hello there' I say, 'fancy meeting you again.' or 'Belarrrrgghghh'
Back to bed.
In the distance fire works explode and that fucking Barca song duke it out to see which can be the most annoying sound in the planet.
Next day I travel some, meet paramour. He is glum and sad. But his arms never looked better. I am sympathetic and agree that yes, if they'd had eleven men they would have won, and that the referee was on the BCN payroll and yes, we hates them precious. I tell him the riot police shot loads of BCN supporters with rubber bullets and that I bet it really hurt a lot. That cheered him up.
Spend day together, there is a great deal of kising and so on. Later that evening over a glass of wine the Paramour says.
'You know something? As bad as I was feeling earlier, just being with you has made it better.'
'Ah.' I say and paw him some more.
'Marry me.' he says.
'What?' I say, laughing.
'I want you to marry me.' he takes my hand in his. 'Will you?'
I blink. 'Are you serious?'
I laugh some more.
'Well I don't know, 'I say oh so slyly. 'You would have to ask me properly.'
'Okay' he says, and lo, he did get on bended knee in the middle of a very crowded pub and took my hand in his. People start nudging each other and pointing.
'Miss Cat, ' he said, red faced ' will you marry me?'
''I surely will.' I say
We kiss. Then he falls to the ground clutching his hands to his ears as the glass shattering squeal alerts nearby dolphins that the jig is up and we humans are on to them.

Friday, May 19, 2006

I am Engaged!!!!!!

To be married no less. Oh what a time I had puddiecats. I'll post more tomorrow, I've got to go out now. French and Country gay are leaving work early, Etheline is leaving work early, my brother and his wife are coming, as are all my friends. Martinis all round. I'm off the market, I'M ENGAGED!!!! Someone actually thinks I'd make a good wife, hah! And he has good arms!!!!!
I'm also a bit sunburnt.
Kisssy kissssyyyyy.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Il Divo, Arsenal, Barcelona and Paris...

The paramour left for Paris last night, I leave for Barcelona shortly. He to watch Arsenal kick Barcelona's pert bottoms, I to watch Il Divo's pert hear them sing. If this was a movie it would be a cliché. While the tenors belt music out and I sniff, he will be watching Henry and Fabregas and most likely sniffing too. It should be done in a split screen for maximum cheesiness.
On a milder note, I tried on my dress this morning, it will be fine as long as I don't need to eat or breath very deeply. I don't see hw I can sneak a little radio in with me to check the score, and I know I will be twitch. Still all in all I predict a good night. And I really hope I can get a bloody taxi back from Palau Sant Jordi. Go on the Gunners!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Fellow runners and fitness folk.

Alright, Finn and Andraste, this is interesting, a total change of view.

Everyone who has even thought about exercising has heard the warnings about lactic acid. It builds up in your muscles. It is what makes your muscles burn. Its buildup is what makes your muscles tire and give out.

Skip to next paragraph
Ben Stansall/European Pressphoto Agency

Coaches and personal trainers tell athletes and exercisers that they have to learn to work out at just below their "lactic threshold," that point of diminishing returns when lactic acid starts to accumulate. Some athletes even have blood tests to find their personal lactic thresholds.

But that, it turns out, is all wrong. Lactic acid is actually a fuel, not a caustic waste product. Muscles make it deliberately, producing it from glucose, and they burn it to obtain energy. The reason trained athletes can perform so hard and so long is because their intense training causes their muscles to adapt so they more readily and efficiently absorb lactic acid.

The notion that lactic acid was bad took hold more than a century ago, said George A. Brooks, a professor in the department of integrative biology at the University of California, Berkeley. It stuck because it seemed to make so much sense.

"It's one of the classic mistakes in the history of science," Dr. Brooks said.

Its origins lie in a study by a Nobel laureate, Otto Meyerhof, who in the early years of the 20th century cut a frog in half and put its bottom half in a jar. The frog's muscles had no circulation — no source of oxygen or energy.

Dr. Myerhoff gave the frog's leg electric shocks to make the muscles contract, but after a few twitches, the muscles stopped moving. Then, when Dr. Myerhoff examined the muscles, he discovered that they were bathed in lactic acid.

A theory was born. Lack of oxygen to muscles leads to lactic acid, leads to fatigue.

Athletes were told that they should spend most of their effort exercising aerobically, using glucose as a fuel. If they tried to spend too much time exercising harder, in the anaerobic zone, they were told, they would pay a price, that lactic acid would accumulate in the muscles, forcing them to stop.

Few scientists questioned this view, Dr. Brooks said. But, he said, he became interested in it in the 1960's, when he was running track at Queens College and his coach told him that his performance was limited by a buildup of lactic acid.

When he graduated and began working on a Ph.D. in exercise physiology, he decided to study the lactic acid hypothesis for his dissertation.

"I gave rats radioactive lactic acid, and I found that they burned it faster than anything else I could give them," Dr. Brooks said.

It looked as if lactic acid was there for a reason. It was a source of energy.

Dr. Brooks said he published the finding in the late 70's. Other researchers challenged him at meetings and in print.

"I had huge fights, I had terrible trouble getting my grants funded, I had my papers rejected," Dr. Brooks recalled. But he soldiered on, conducting more elaborate studies with rats and, years later, moving on to humans. Every time, with every study, his results were consistent with his radical idea.

Eventually, other researchers confirmed the work. And gradually, the thinking among exercise physiologists began to change.

"The evidence has continued to mount," said L. Bruce Gladden, a professor of health and human performance at Auburn University. "It became clear that it is not so simple as to say, Lactic acid is a bad thing and it causes fatigue."

As for the idea that lactic acid causes muscle soreness, Dr. Gladden said, that never made sense.

"Lactic acid will be gone from your muscles within an hour of exercise," he said. "You get sore one to three days later. The time frame is not consistent, and the mechanisms have not been found."

The understanding now is that muscle cells convert glucose or glycogen to lactic acid. The lactic acid is taken up and used as a fuel by mitochondria, the energy factories in muscle cells.

Mitochondria even have a special transporter protein to move the substance into them, Dr. Brooks found. Intense training makes a difference, he said, because it can make double the mitochondrial mass.

It is clear that the old lactic acid theory cannot explain what is happening to muscles, Dr. Brooks and others said.

Yet, Dr. Brooks said, even though coaches often believed in the myth of the lactic acid threshold, they ended up training athletes in the best way possible to increase their mitochondria. "Coaches have understood things the scientists didn't," he said.

Through trial and error, coaches learned that athletic performance improved when athletes worked on endurance, running longer and longer distances, for example.

That, it turns out, increased the mass of their muscle mitochondria, letting them burn more lactic acid and allowing the muscles to work harder and longer.

Just before a race, coaches often tell athletes to train very hard in brief spurts.

That extra stress increases the mitochondria mass even more, Dr. Brooks said, and is the reason for improved performance.

And the scientists?

They took much longer to figure it out.

"They said, 'You're anaerobic, you need more oxygen,' " Dr. Brooks said. "The scientists were stuck in 1920."

Violence against children might be harmful.

I was reading this article this morning...

CORPORAL punishment used at one of the most notorious industrial schools "did not cause harm to anyone", it is claimed.

The Sisters of Mercy, who ran St Vincent's Industrial School at Goldenbridge, said the punishment was not excessive. The Dublin school has been seen as one of the most notorious industrial institutions, with ex-residents claiming frequent physical abuse.

At the ongoing hearings of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse (CICA) yesterday, the Sisters of Mercy also denied corporal punishment used at Our Lady of Succour Industrial School in Newtownforbes, Longford, was excessive.

Yesterday's proceedings were interrupted a number of times by former residents, who questioned claims made by representatives of the religious bodies.

Answering questions on Goldenbridge, Sr Helena O'Donoghue, provincial leader of the south-central province of the Sisters of Mercy, said the Order was well aware of the pain which ex-residents carried.

She said "the reality was a cause of great distress" for the Sisters. The Sisters there during the years the school was run were also deeply distressed, she said.

The Order acknowledged the industrial schools were not the best form of appropriate care, but they "do not accept that they were excessively harsh", she said.

Referring later to corporal punishment, she said it was accepted that it was used but "was not excessive or caused harm to anyone".

Goldenbridge was "unfriendly, to put it at its mildest, to children who were hurt already", Sr O'Donoghue admitted."

"David McGrath SC, for some of the victims, asked whether there was a big clean-up before inspections. Sr Casey said she was not there at the time. She said it was regretted that girls over the age of eight were slapped for bed-wetting."

There was a documentry about this years ago and the case rumbles ever onwards. But it make me laugh when the sister says corporal punishment never harmed anyone.

I grew up in a very small village and attended a very small school where the head master was an out and out bully. I can remember vividly being slapped by him and swung around a room hard enough to leave bruises on my arm, my closest friend remembers being struck by him on the face for some minor infraction. It had to be minor becasue we were four and five when he carried out these little 'harmless' punishments.

Any yet if they were so harmless why do we remember them? Why do we hate him with a passion to this day? And we were lucky, at the end of the day we could return to the loving arms of your families. Imagine living in an institute where there is no love and little affection, where beatings were commonplace and girls over eight were regulalr bed wetters and now, so many years later are still traumatised.

The sisters are playing the 'times were different card'. I accept that they were ill equiped to deal with young children and teenagers, but it does not take a rocket scientist to know that beating a young girl because she had wet her bed, or cannot read or write, or who becomes so nervous when you speak to her that she stammers uncontrollably, is wrong.

I have long thought that beating children was stupid, pointless, cruel and a loss of control on behalf of the adult. You would not beat an adult to reason with them, you would not humilate an adult in public because they don't want to do something. You would not strike an adult for spilling a drink in MacDonalds-something I saw one day and it sickened me. A mother hit her little girl as hard as she could across the back of the head for knocking her drink over.

My mother hit us regularly as kids, and not gentle cuffs either. We did not respect her for it, nor have any of us forgotten it. She has mellowed with age, but still.

Corporal punishment is a 'one size fits all' term that covers the odd clip round the ear to some of the most horrific abuse in Ireland's history. Sr Casey well may trot out the line that the women were not deeply affected by their treatment at the hands of the sisters until she is blue in the face. But she is wrong, and I would imagine deep in her heart -if she has one- she knows it.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Fast food and Tom Crusie, who could resist?

Morning, I had fast food on saturday night-after I came back from watching Mission Impossible 3 with the little Goth Kid. I shit you not, as much as Tom Crusie is and out and out loon, the film is bloody excellent, mind-numbing entertainment at its very best with some amazing stunts that will make you slide in your chair and if you're a bit fearful of heights, like me, will make you actually squirm. Phillip Seymore Hoffman is a bad guy par excellence, what a total heartless lunatic, perfect foil. If you want and hour and a half of adrenalin soaked fun, go see it.
It does exactly what it says on the box.
Anyway, the fast food.
You will need a large glass bowl.
Tray of feta cheese. about twenty cubes.
Two green peppers, one red.
Tin of pipless black olives.
Three good sized spring onions or red onions.
Four/five ripe tomatos
Two lemons.
Black pepper
Three cloves of garlic.
Olive oil

Okay. Dressing first:
Pour 4 large table spoons of olive oil into a cup or glass, add the juice of two lemons, (it will look like frog spawn in the glass, don't worry) Add a tea spoon of sugar, a good pinch of freshly ground black pepper and two to three good pinches of cumin.
Now the main:
Slice up your peppers and lightly fry them with the garlic. Don't brown them, just soften.
Slice and dice up tomato into small pieces, slice and dice up onions, drain and then add the black olives and mix with gusto in the bowl. Add feta cheese, toss.
Get spoon and stir dressing until well mixed, pour over salad. Wrap cling film over the top and leave it in the fridge for ten minutes while you make a quick pesto.
Get crunchy bread from press, tear into chunks, put in bowl.
Hand full of sun dried tomatos, small tea spoon of basil, 2 table spoons of olive oil, clove of garlic, throw into bowl and blend quickly with hand held blender. Hey presto, pesto!
Remove salad, Open bottle of chilled white wine, kiss Paramour- who had just returned sweaty and victorious from football- remove salad from fridge, sit down and scoff the lot.
See, fast food, fatmammycat style.

UPDATE: more news of the Duke Lacrosse rape scandal.
A Duke University lacrosse team captain became the third player indicted in the rape scandal Monday and the first to speak out, blasting the charges against him as "fantastic lies."

"I look forward to watching them unravel in the weeks to come," said David Evans, a just-graduated 23-year-old economics major from Bethesda, Md., who was one of four team captains.

At a news conference, Evans was backed by other players and his mother, Rae Evans, a Washington lobbyist who is the chairwoman of the Ladies Professional Golf Association board of directors.

The charges followed a March 13 party at an off-campus house, where a 27-year-old black student at nearby North Carolina Central University told police she was raped and beaten by three white men after she and another woman were hired as strippers.

Evans also proclaimed the innocence of sophomores Reade Seligmann, 20, of Essex Fells, N.J., and Collin Finnerty, 19, of Garden City, N.Y., who were indicted last month on the same charges.

District Attorney Mike Nifong said he did not expect any more indictments in the case, saying the three players facing charges were the only ones implicated by the evidence.

Defense attorneys have insisted all the players are innocent, citing DNA tests they say found no match between any of the team's white players and the accuser.

Evans' attorney, Joseph Cheshire, said the accuser identified Evans with "90 percent certainty" during a photo lineup. Cheshire said the accuser told police she would be 100 percent sure if Evans had a mustache something he said his client has never had.

Evans turned himself in after the news conference. Cheshire said he expected his client to be released later Monday.

Evans, who lived at the house where the party was held, was indicted on charges of first-degree forcible rape, sexual offense and kidnapping. In the past, he had been cited for a noise ordinance violation and alcohol possession.

He said that he and his roommates helped police find evidence at the house, and that he gave investigators access to his e-mail and instant messenger accounts. He said that his offer to take a lie-detector test was rejected by authorities, and that he later took one on his own and passed.

Sunday, May 14, 2006


Yow, is there anything worse than getting lemon juice into a papercut on your thumb? And then- while cursing about that and rushing to the sink to rinse your hands- stubbing your toe on the corner of the brush/kitchen paper/plastic-bag-holding press?
Double whammy, ouchity bloody ouch.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Being God, being gay and the right to live...

as you see fit.
The other day, over on A Tangled Web-a site I read daily but rarely comment in- I entered into an interesting conversation about whether or not homosexuality is a sin and so on. It was interesting debate and in comparison with some other sites, it was thoughtful and everybody retained good manners, considering the very differing view points.
But there is no bridge, or meeting of minds. I'm still trying to make make some sense of it all.
A theory about homosexuality a lot of Christians seem to have is that-apart from being a sin- homosexuality is a choice and as such, a dangerous influence on the world.
One commenter said it was 'an attack of traditional Christian family values.'
Naturally I queried the word 'attack', and wondered how this could be? I don't see how a hetrosexual man and woman in a couple can be influenced by a couple in a gay relationship. Do people really think that the straight couple is suddenly going to 'turn gay'.
Apparently it can happen, because another commenter worried about the effect 'witnessing homosexuality' would have on children he was trying to educate. he said,

"For example, if the children I'm talking about don't see people with their hair dyed purple, they're automatically conditioned to think that purple hair is weird. In the same way they can quite easily learn to think homosexuality is weird."

Mind you he also said,
"The majority of homosexuals have enough heterosexuality in them for a heterosexual marriage to work out for them, I think. They can deal with their tensions etc. in much the same way as a man in a heterosexual marriage who feels more attracted to his secretary than to his wife."

I found that line of thinking staggering, was it better to live a false life and in the long run hurt a wife and whatever children you might produce just to satisfy another person's beliefs?

I suggested that children should be taught that there are all walks of life and that it might be best to let children find their own place in the world. I said I thought pretending homosexuality didn't exist seemed a fearful way of thinking, that somehow being gay is contagious. I said being gay in this country can be difficult, so it was hardly a whim or lifestyle choice.
As most of you know I have a lot of gay friends, and I have seen some of them struggle terribly with being gay over the years, coming out to parents, to family, telling childhood friends, in some cases being rejected or sneered at, I see them trying to find love, trying to live as all of us live. Putting up with discrimination, being called 'poofter, fudge packer, bender, queer' Oh I've heard it all. So it struck me as very odd that people would think it an easy choice.
And then there is the chap who suggested that being gay is not too dissimilar to being a paedophile, that being gay was merely a proclivity, like a fetish.
This is where I got mildly annoyed. I've seen this one raise it's ugly head before. So I said...

"I am not criticising Chrisitanity, nor shall I. But let me say one thing that I have said here before, the casual lumping of paedophiles and gay peole together, no matter how casual, annoys me to the nth degree. Whether you like it or not, homosexuality is the legal sexual act between two consenting adults. Paedophilia is the base carnal knowledge of a child and is- rightly so- illegal and to be abhored. To conflate the two very separate issues is a typical tactic of people who do not approve of homosexuality. Discuss one if you will, but do not try to muddy the waters."

And then the gentle backpeddle when I asked who are we to judge another's lifestyle. I was thinking about a couple I know, both gay men who have been together almost a decade and are in a very committed happy relationship. I wondered what right had I or anyone else to condemn them for their happiness and love.
In reply I got,

"Christians believe God does the "judging". Homosexuals will certainly be "judged" on more than just their sexuality. The point about sin as that it leads people away from God and towards spiritual death. That really is their own business (though it's a cause for sadness, and as such, will often be discouraged). But it's not a case of "hating" anyone, as is sometimes portrayed."

For someone claiming not to judge that was a very loaded sentence.

Well it's two days later I'm still scratching my head over this. I had naively assumed that people had moved away from frowning on homosexuality, but a quick scan through the web shows the opposite, a rise in Christian based organisations, and uglier tone, more discriminatory words and the much ballyhooed ' gay agenda' whatever that might be.
I don't know much about God, having never met him, but I know plenty about my friends, and a nicer bunch of individuals you would be hard pressed to meet. What they choose to do in the privacy of their own bedrooms is none of my business, any more that it is my business what my straight friends do ( except Tara, and that's only because it's hilarious and she likes telling me).
I think I shall let compassion and understanding of my fellow man as my guiding light, not the bible, which may or may not be the word of a God that may or may not exist.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

all apologies...

I was going to write a whole piece on nature versus religion, but Spring is here, the weather is not half bad and I'm feeling frisky, so I'm not going to.
This morning my brother and I met up early and went for a twenty kilometre run. We chatted and blathered as we ran and caught up with each other, he is happy, I am happy for him.
We reached the crest of the hill we were running up and stood there, staring in awe at the view across the city, the silver sea twinkling in the distance, wispy clouds drifiting high above us. Around us birds chirruped and trilled as bees and butterflies went about their merry way, on the hills to our left the heather was in bloom, looking like patches of lilac cotton balls and buttercups and dandilions littered the ground by our feet.
It was so natural and yet spectacularly fantastic that I felt light-headed (although that could have been the final lung-busting rise).
So now I am too tired to do anything other than offer my excuses, work, maybe gossip a bit on blogs I like. Tomorrow, tomorrow I'll deal with the bigger, less light hearted issues. My god, I can barely feel my leg, no not you lefty, I can feel you perfectly, you filthy, well toned bitch you.
Isn't it great to be alive some days? Isn't it? Aren't sunny days great? Don't you all feel the love? Here, I'm sending some your way right now.
I'm going to pop on some loud music now, run the shower, open all the windows and sing along with gusto, I may even dance a little. Lame? oh yes, it surely is, but do I care? not a jot.
Eeeeee, I love days like today.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


I can't understand parents who let them run riot.
We are creating a generation of monsters. And I do mean we, we as a society.
I don't mind quiet children, I don't mind noisy children, I don't mind laughing children, playing chldren, shouting children, I don't mind children crying. I don't mind cheeky kids, or kids being kids.
I don't like rude kids or kids who screech and somehow make that screech the most painful sound on the planet. I don't know about y'all, but high-pitched screaming of children goes straight through me. I get a very real response to it. The hair on the back of my neck rises, my teeth clench and I start to shuffle from one foot to another.
I do not like disrespectful kids at all.
I don't understand parent who can ignore it.

Yesterday, as I stood in line in the supermarket, the woman in front of me and her-frankly useless lump of a husband- had not one but two of these things with her. Screamer was about four and the sulker was about twelve. Neither of the kids did a damn thing they were told, but it wasn't that, it was the look of sheer angry contempt the older one gave his parents as they tried to cajole and plead with him to help that astounded me.
'Darren come and help daddy pack the bags.'
'NO!' The twelve year old actually folded his arms.
The woman sighed and looked at her husband. 'Will you-'
'Darren come here please.' The husband said in such a wheedling pathetic tone even I glared at him. Along with the sulker.
The parents resumed packing. At this stage the smaller kid tried standing up in his trolley, a dangerous thing since the little shit could have cracked his skull open if he'd fallen out.
His mother sat him back down, cue howling as though he'd been shot. Sulky pulled an even angrier face, howler immediately climbed back up.
'James stop that love will you? Get down from there.'
I flinched. Sulker glared at me, I glared back, Sulker looked away quickly. That's right kid.
'James stop love, you're all right stop now, good boy, do you want a Chuppa Chup?'
'Darren just take him for a minute, will you?'
Husband- 'ahh Darren, just hold his hand for a -
And so on, you get the picture, I can barely type this without my teeth hurting.
Now I don't advocate beating children, nor slapping either, because frankly you don't really need to assualt soemone to get them to respect you. But in Ireland the behaviour of children is simply getting worse and worse and something has to change.
People are waiting longer and longer to have kids. Then when they come along they treat therm like little princesses and princes. More couples are working, they feel guilty about not seeing their children, so to assuage this guilt the kids are given everything they want. Then people wonder why these kids throw massive wobblers when they are told no.
Go on any bus and listen to the way kids talk to each other. Speak to any teacher and listen to the frustration in their voices. Walk down town on saturday and watch kids bump and jostle people out of their way. Click onto and read the teenagers who taunt and send messages to each other, vicious, filthy mouthed, illiterate, spoiled, pack-running lunatics.
'Get your feet off the seat.' I said last week to a lump of about fourteen, who had his mucky filthy shoes up on the bus seat opposite him. 'People sit there.'
He glared at me, I held his gaze. After a moment he very slowly dragged his feet off the seat, making sure he left as much mud as possible on it. Then he got on his mobile phone and texted furiously for the rest of the trip to Rathgar, doubtless calling me every name under the sun. When he got off at his stop, he gave me the finger. I had to resist the urge to go after him and kick his sorry arse up the road.
The woman beside me leaned over and said, 'Fair play to you love, but you need to be careful these days, A friend of mine was attacked the other day for telling a young one to pick up her rubbish.'
'A girl attacked your friend?'
'Oh yes, young one about sixteen, she gave her an awful kick, bruised her all up the side of her leg. You need to be careful these days. They're out of control.'
This bothered the shit out of me. I need to be careful? I? Telling a brat to take his feet off the seat is something dangerous these days? People are attacked for asking someone to pick up rubbish?
No, I'm drawing the line.
So help me, I will demand people take their feet off seat/ pick up their rubbish/ not smoke in not-smoking areas/ not crowd the footpath/not spray graffiti on my building until I am blue in the face. I will not be stupid about it, I'm not going to wade into a gang and start telling them what for, but neither will I ignore anti-social behaviour that I can address.
If parents won't say no, someone has to.

Clearing the Air.

Woke up this morning ather early. Found oldest of the cats sitting in the hall looking really miserable, twitching her ears. I knew they were bothering the shit out of her even though I've been treating them and judging from the way she was I knew she was in real pain. So I called my vet-on his mobile no less- and made an appointment for her at nine.
I'm on my way down in the lift when it stops on the third floor and that gum chewing twat who never says hello gets in.
I ignore him, there is only so many times I'm going to say hello and not get a reply and quite frankly I don't mind silence.
He stands there reeking of Wrigleys and looks down at the catbox.
'Is that a cat?'
He chews on this for a second.
'I didn't know you had a cat.'
'I have three of them.'
'Yes.' I should point out at this stage that we have now reached the ground floor and I'm waiting for him to get the fuck out of my way so I can leave. In the box I can hear the old dear shaking her head.
'I don't like cats.' he says.
'Oh ?' I say, and suddenly the red mist is there. 'Well I prefer them to fat ignorant bubblegum chewing fucking morons who pretend they can't hear you when you say hello-but hey whaaddya gonna do?'
He blinked and his mouth dropped a bit, I could see the glistening blob of chewing gum resting on his teeth.
I picked up the box and walked out past him.
Fucking people.

Addition. Deepest sympathies to the family of Michael McIlveen, the fifteen-year old Catholic shcoolboy who was set upon by a gang of loyalists thugs in Ballymena. Michael was on his way home from the cinema on Sunday when he was stopped by the gang. They beat him with baseball bats and stomped on his head as he lay on the ground, this gang of brave men. He died last night in hospital last night. I've been following his progress and I am heartsick for those who are left behind. He was only a few months older than the little goth kid and this senseless act has both appalled and sickened me.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Control Tower? We may need a little help...

Is there anyone left who thinks this man is completely sane?

Monday, I'm against it.

Woke up singing 'I'm just a sweet trasvestite, frooooom Transexual, Transylvaniaaaaaaa...'
Okay, that was as good as it got. Then I sat up.
Tongue stuck to roof of mouth--check
Head fuzzy - check.
Stomach dodgy- check
Wearing stripped Dublin golf t-shirt, inside out- check
Also wearing one sock (orange)- check.
One large smug looking cat- check.
Memories of singing- check
Memories- of 'sure I'll have another one, but then I've got to get home, I don't want to be out half the night...'-check.
Memories of crushed 'Spurs fans-tee hee-check.
Memory of eating battered sausage and chips on the way home, oooorr, filling slightly ill now.
Other memory of mountain of work this week- dammit-check.
So I'm up, I won't say I'm enjoying it, I won't say it is pretty-but I am up.

A question. Why would a sane person eat food from a cafe that looks like Centre for Disease Control wouldn't even go in there?

On a much brighter and breezier note, Barney is back! Yay.

NOOOO! Update, I have just-as in this very bloody second- realised I won't see the Arsenal smmoooosshh Barcelona( You hear that Maroon!) because I will be at Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona at an il Divo concert! Shit, I'm fairly sure I would be lynched by crazed ladies if I brought a little radio in... and the bloody dress I'm wearing is so tight I can barely fit myelf into it let alone a radio. Shit. Shitty shit shit.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Worst films ever.

Now, I must hold my hand up and admit I have dragged the Paramour to more bad films than I should, I actually leaned over and apologised to him during a History of Violence. So let's just be clear, I too have sinned. But last night-after the footie- he made me watch Hostage, so I'd wager we're about even. Alright there was no cringy cheerleading scene and Willim Hurt didn't appear as Gary Oldman in Hostage, but even so.
Bruce Willis is a hostage negotiator who...oh man, due to his being convinced he could talk a man into giving up his weapon (God complex), he actually gets some kid and his mother shot Cut to some time and a new hairstyle later and Bruce is a small town sherrif, humbled and trying to lead a quiet life when suddenly three boys-for no eral apparent reason follow a girl and her rich-but dun dun dun-secretly working for the shadowy underworld-father...yada yada yada.
Look, I'm no reviewer, but it was pretty bloody awful and full of plot holes so wide and deep my cries of 'bollocks!' echoed for a good few minutes after I issued them.
Will I never learn? Why must I persist in my ever hopeful dream of a good plain old mindless entertainment movie. I mean I liked Capote, I do like 'worthy' films, but I'm talking about, you know, entertainment.
Let me give you a run down of some of the shite I have watched over the years, see if you recognise any of these numbers.

1-Damage. Jeremy Iron and Juilette Binoche play doomed lovers. he's her boyfriend's father, she's a French totty who stares a lot. The final scene of Irons wearing a mu-mu and boucing an orange in his hand made every person in the cinema burst into hysterical laughter, and even the supposedly sad scene where we watching him run down the stairs to his dead son was ruined because his mickey bobbing about all over the place made me titter wildly.

2-Planet of the Apes. Helena Bonham Carter, was she wearing makeup or not? Marky Mark, speak up, stop mumbling and where are your tighty whiteys?

3-Armegeddon, Bruce again, snigger snigger, is there sound in space? I think not.
3b) -Van Helsing. hahahahahahahahha, vot a strrrange accent ju haff Kate, velly velly stttttrange. Fortunately vor ju I haff bin distracted by Hugh Jackman zaking uff 'iz shirt fot ze millionth time. And Dra--uu000lllarrr, how small and not velly velly evvill ju ah.

4-Random Hearts- Ford/Scott Thomas try to deal with the loss of their boring spouses who were probably cheating as they were sitting together on the boring plane that boringly crashed into some where really boring. A film so boring I actually died and had to have someone restart my heart.

5- League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Sheesh, so utterly utterly ridiculous and plot free even the goth kid protested, and she will watch any old crap. Sean Connery's wig and creaky action running not withstanding, pretty bloody lame.

6-The two Matrix film that were not the first Matrix film, way to take an idea and balls it up completely fellas, ergo vis -vis, bit of a dud, wait, was it, not was it, wait, you already said that, did I? prove it, I am the one, no I am and so is my wife. I am the Oracle, I am fed up. I am hungry, I am going home now.

7- Meet the Fockers- watched it on a train on my way to Valencia, it was in Spanish, but even that couldn't hide how desperately unfunny it was . For Shame! Robert de Niro! Shame, boo hiss. Hoffman, meh, I always thought you were a bit of a dud. If I hadn't been travelling at immense high speed I might have thrown myself off. I even considered talking to the pervert veside me, but he had fallen asleep so I watched a thin stream of drool snake it's way down from his rubbery lips during the Hoffman's scenes.

8- Eyes Wide Shut. Self indulgent crappola, and for an extra slurmy helping of Tom I'm going to combine Vanilla Sky to this steaming pile of plop, put them both in a brown bag, set it alight and leave it on the Harpy's doorstep.

9-Saw, watched it the other week. Man, I didn't even realise they made films this bad anymore, It made me about as tense as a bear waiting for a butterfly to attack. Poor drivel. Cheap, pointless, nasty, and boring!

10- another tie, between Photobooth, or whatever that terrible moral film with Robin-creepy even when I'm funny look at my hairy arms don't they make you think of getting a silver bullet Williams was called. Don't cheat on you wife men, not with Hairy Paws developing your photos, he might get velly velly creepy und angry coz ju ah messink up iz fantasy, und-hey Kate, vot ar ju doink here?
And Catwoman, ah pussy pussy. A film so bad I couldnt watch it to the end. I mean, it was awful, I actually don't have the reeked of week old kitty litter, the clunky dialogue, the terribel acting, the terrible direction, I think of Michelle Pfiffer in Batman, back-flipping across the street as as the building explodes behind her and she says 'meow, and then I think of Halle Berry sorta hissing and I dry retch up a hair ball of horror. Really really bloody awful.
I'm adding the Chronicles of Riddick too, I saw it the other week, tee-hee, 'be careful necromancer, we glide beautifully', indeed.
Oh, and also Birth, the scene where the kid cimbs into the bath with Nicole Kidman creeps me the fuck out. Bleeeeeee, for that scene alone-and it's a crappy film- it's going on the list.
Anyone gots anyzink I should add?
It's Friday too! Yah!

Abortion, sex, duck and cover.

Following on from yesterday's tragic discovery of a dead and abandonded baby, questions must be asked. How in this day and age did this happen? What caused a woman to give birth in a filthy barn, swaddle her infant in a towel and blanket and then leave it there? Is this the outcome or solution to a crisis pregnancy? Was this her only option?
Unwanted or crisis pregnancy is a reality in Ireland, the statistics from the Irish Family Planning Centre point to the fact that over six thousand Irish women travel to the UK every year to avail of an abortion.
We are exporting our problem. How very Irish of us. Perhaps it is more palatable to us that way. A sort of 'once it doesn't happen under our nose it's okay' solution.
Well clearly, that's not the answer.
I have very mixed view on abortions. I believe that a foetus is a developing person and has rights. On the other hand I do fully support the morning after pill, as I do not believe at the moment of conception, voila a person is there.
I also believe a woman must have the right to decide what to do with her own body. Who am I to demand a person to live by my views?
Therein lies the crux for me.
I have a real issue with length of term, for me twenty-four week is leaving it too late. Others might argue what difference does it make, but if I'm honest for me a four month old foetus is very developed and I would be most squeamish about the thought off such a late term abortion.
But even as I type that I feel it would be easy for me to be judgemental, I am not young, poor, pregnant or alone. Circumstances shape everything.
It not just unwanted pergnancy that needs to be addressed.
A survey carried out and printed in The Sun today shows a remarkable casual attitude to sex and relationships in this country. The evidence is mounting that we, as a society, are both reckless with our sexual health and dismissive of the very real results of this recklessness. More and more people are having one night stands, affairs and last flings on stag and hen nights. STD's are rising across the board, people are not taking care. A sort of see no evil hear no evil approach to sex is prevalent. I'm not sure if this head in the sand attitude reflects a jaded culture or sheer stupidity, what would make people play Russian roulette with their health is this way?
We have come a long way in this country over the last ten years, but not far enough, as this week has shown, scratch the surface of prosperity and underneath you will find a terrified woman pushed her infant into a cold and unforgiving world.
It's time to lift the carpet and deal with what we have swepth beneath.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


I'm going to lift this story because when I saw it this morning I was immediately transported back to my youth. I remember so clearly the shock and outrage when fifteen-year-old Ann Lovett, died from blood loss giving birth in the middle of the night, at the foot of the grotto of the Virgin Mary in Granard, County Longford. I remember my Grand mother, crying and saying, 'Ah God love her, had she no one at all.'
Have times changed? I wonder. This is from today's Independent.

"GARDAI have appealed to a mother to come forward after the body of a baby was found in a derelict shed in Meath.

Senior officers said they are seriously concerned for the health and welfare of the woman.

They assured her she would be dealt with "as sympathetically as possible".

They issued their appeal last night after the grim discovery of the partially decomposed body of a newborn child in an outhouse near Kildalkey, Co Meath.

Gardai said it was possible the mother may have given birth to the child in the remote shed.

The baby's body was discovered by a man working on a local building site around 4pm, after it started to rain heavily.

When he entered the single-storey shed to shelter, he saw the small bundle wrapped in a blanket and towel tucked away in the corner of the building.

The body of the baby, whose sex is unknown, was taken to Our Lady's Hospital, Navan, and a post mortem examination is being carried out this morning.

Last night, the crime scene was still preserved pending a further examination this morning.

"We would like the mother to make contact with us and assure her we will deal with the matter as sympathetically as possible," said Supt Ken Brennan of Trim Garda Station. "We would also like to hear from anyone in a position to help gardai with their inquiries. We are very concerned for the mother's safety and health."

It appears the body may have been there some time.

The deputy state pathologist, Dr Michael Curtis, conducted a preliminary examination at the scene and will carry out a full post mortem examination today."

Is there anything more upsetting than reading something like this? Well, I'm sure there is, but for some reason stories like this depress the life out of me. What were the circumstances? Was this a hidden pergnancy? And if it was why? Was she raped? Was she a teenager? Was it incest? What would cause a woman in this days and age to disguise a pregnancy, have her baby and then leave it. The fact that the poor little thing was wrapped in blankets tugs at my heart too. Did the mother worry that it might be cold?

Ireland has moved on a great deal in the last twenty years, but in the countryside, where I'm from, there is still a real sense of shame, a stigma, attached to being unmarried and pregnant, maybe ths was a teenager and she felt she simply couldn't tell her parents she was pregnant because they'd hit the roof. Whatever the reason, a baby lay abandoned in a filthy shed, and somewhere a woman is dealing with that, most probably alone.

As granny said back in the eighties. 'God love her, had she no one at all?'

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Working mothers/working sisters.

I want you to read the following transcript. I made it after a heated phone conversation with my sister this morning... See if you can make heads or tails of it. Oh, and it is based on the fact that one of Etheline's co-workers called in sick today because her baby of nine months has a terrible fever and Etheline-who is engaged to be married and currently childless-can't get her fat head around it. There was much more to the conversation but that would take all day to type, so here, the main course.

Me: 'Well I think babies should be with their mothers for at least the first two years of their lives-if they can afford it. Poor little things, it's terrible plonking them in a creche when they're six months old, what's the point of having them if you see them for two hours a day. I think if a mother can afford it she should stay home with them until they're a little bit older.'

Etheline: 'You are a complete idiot, you must hate women or something, you want to go back to the fucking fifties, don't you? What do you know about it any way, Oh sure, they should stay home and fucking cook and clean and let the men do what they fucking like. Right, right?'

'Etheline I never-'
'Shut up. When I have my babies I'm going back to work the second my maternity is up.'
'Okay then.'
'Oh what now? Why are you saying that like that? You obviously don't approve.'
'Like you say, what would I know?'
'Exactly. I- hey, I know that ploy.'
'What ploy? I no ploy-ing anything, I just think it's better if women spend some time with their kids when they're tiny.'
'We had a stay at home fucking mother and look at the state of us.'
'She's not the best example. Look at Carly, she's staying at home with her babies and she's loving it.'
'Carly's an idiot.'
'Why? Because she wants to spend time with her children? Jesus Etheline, get a bloody grip. If you're so sure of rights, then surely her right to stay at home is important too.'
'Carly's husband is making enough money for her to swan around the house.'
'She's- she has two babies under three, she's hardly swanning. And that's what I fucking said, if they CAN AFFORD IT!'
'Yeah, but what about Carly's career?'
'She can always pick up where she left it when the kids are in school.'
'Oh fucking school. You've no idea Cat, the amount of work I have to do to cover for fucking mothers and their bloody 'emergencies.' "SORRY GOTTA PICK THE KIDS UP EARLY TODAY", yeah, right, what about my emergencies? Who can I blame?'
'What emergencies?'
'That's not the fucking point.'
'Look I know that too, but really what are you saying? Women who have kids shouldn't make them a priority?'
'Not if it effects my work and my time.
'So what are you saying then, they should just stay home with their kids and let non kid having people have their jobs?'
'No, I'm saying there should be no special preferences. So what, you have kids, deal with it.'
'Hum, tell me again how much you think I hate women.'
'I don't hate women.'
'Right, but you lose the plot if I say mothers should spend time with babies and then you lose the plot if mothers put their kids first, you don't hate women Etheline, you just hate mothers. Want to come over and lie on my couch? We can analyze why that is.'
'I-no I don't. Look I have to go, there are calls coming in here.'
And she hung up on me.

So, any clues?