Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Time Flies...

That expression always makes me imagine small bugs buzzing around with clocks on their backs! If I could draw I'd make a cartoon...

A lot has happened this last few weeks, some of it in my head and some in 'real' life. But the thing which makes me realise that I'm handling problems better is that I haven't slid down into the black pit. That's an achievemnet for Yours' Truly here!

The outcome of all the mental swings and roundabouts is that I have managed to wangle back enough salary from the Hub to pay the rent on an artisan's studio in town! How amazingly, incredibly awesome is that? I'm already calling it 'The Bolt Hole' in my mind, and today I overheard Youngest refer to it as 'The Escape'!

I've paid four weeks' rent and tomorrow I go to sign the lease after which I can move in; its really exciting as I've never done anything like this before! Imagine having a whole room to sew in? With no one to object to the mess or stuff lying around or the sound of the machine or shout at me? Being in town, Youngest will be able to walk down after school next term and study in the evenings until we're ready to return home.

The studio is located in the yard of a shop which sells all Irish handmade artisan wares. It's a bit difficult to describe as it's not a Craft shop, but its not a high-end designer shop either although the items would be Irish designed and made. The sort of shop you'd visit to sigh and dream over the contents!! In the yard are the jewellry workshops and folk working, so I think it will be a lovely place to work.

Tomorrow after school Youngest and I are going to have a look in the Market Yard Auction rooms to see if we can find some shelves, two tall stools and a chair, and then to Argos to buy an iron...the Hub would take serious umbrage if the house was left ironless and his shirts ceased to be de-creased...Doncha love auction rooms? The ultimate Aladdin's Cave!

So there ya have it! Excitin' stuff hey?!

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Staff Night Out Out Out...

Last Friday we decided to have a Staff Night Out. Its a week and a bit until the end of term but it seems that people have plans already for next weekend. There was a scramble to book a table for thirteen (unlucky for nobody this time) and, despite extreme weariness all round, out we went.

One minor problem arose though when I went to get dressed: its so long since I last needed the oul' Glad Rags that they appear to have disappeared...evaporated...rotted away?

Smart jeans? Check (luckily I have the largest arse in the West, so no competition for my jeans).

Black tee-shirt? (after a long search, and discovery of crumpled remains) check.

Good sandals????? Nowhere to be found, so wore school shoes.

Old plum-coloured jacket which I made for a cousin's wedding? Check (home made, no temptation)

Funky necklaces? Gone.

Dangly earrings? One old pair I wore in College discovered, any others....c'est disparu...

Good black handbag? Gone.

Black pashmina? Gone.

Eventually I found an old leather bag, which was actually the treat to myself on receiving my first teacher's paycheck! I scrubbed the mould off on the bedspread!!

I'd be the first to admit that clothes aren't really my thing. If its comfortable, clean and has most of its buttons its just fine. Shoes ditto- coupla €4 footwear from Penny's, one good pair for winter, (communal) gumboots, flip-flops and ye olde sheepskin slippers make me happy. I don't like having loads of stuff, besides which I only ever wear flats.
Jewellery? The good stuff I've inherited, a €1.50 pearl string, some couple of nice earrings I've collected over the years, some lovely malachite from Kenya when it was still affordable...oh and  dozens of jangly cheapo Indian bangles from Nairobi, all please me very much.

Like most mothers I guess I've spent anything extra on the girls and taken my pleasure in having them dressed well. I think they're gorgeous and I love seeing what they make of themselves now, although in years past I used to dress make for them and loved doing that too.

So no sour grapes girls...BUT I REALLY WANT MY THINGS BACK!

Having said all that, I had a great evening...and morning! It was nearly 1am by the time I'd delivered friends home after a lengthy, rowdy and hilarious meal at the French Restaurant in town. (As the non-drinking driver the Noddy car is regularly called into taxi service, the only time anyone is ever polite to him!!!)

Which all goes to prove that...'Its not what you do, its the way that you do it!' which counts....and ...clothes maketh not the woman!!!!

P.S. If my things don't come back soon I jolly well going to go and spend the girls' next months' pocket on myself at Vicki's shop 'Glass River Jewellry' and tough cookies to the lot of 'em!

Friday, 15 June 2012

Practical Perspective

'When I forget Thee
Do not Thou forget me, oh Lord?'

I can't remember where that quote comes from but isn't it just perfect when one is walking through the Valley of the Shadow? Or the Slough of Despond?

I think its time to re-read John Bunyan's 'Pilgrim's Progress'. I know its not the Bible, but I really believe that Truths can be found in the writing of other Godly people too. After all, at the start what was the Bible but a collection of writing by Godly people....ok ok...Godly men....!!

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

21st Century Howarya...

Yesterday I learnt something new, and not good 'new' either.

It seems that even in 21st Century Ireland if a wife is in an unhappy marriage her options are very limited. If she stays for the good of her children until they 16 years or older, the husband is only duty bound to support the children until they have finished full-time education, and owes the wife nothing at all financially. If the husband refuses to vacate the family home she must take him to court if she wishes him to leave and she to stay, and that case would likely only be won if there is extreme violence involved and she is in fear of her life.

If she decides to leave the family home the husband cannot dispose of the home without her consent, and vise versa. If it is sold they each get half the proceeds, if, in the current economic climate it could be sold.

There are no state benefits for a woman who leaves, so she'd jolly well better be able to support herself. She may claim 'job seekers allowance' once she has a separate address to the husband, but not before. Catch 22 situation.

The children would remain with the parent with the greater income, usually the father.

So in the end a wife gives herself to bringing up her children and keeping the home, the husband takes all her salary (whenever she is earning) and the wife ends up penniless, and, if the marriage comes adrift, homeless. What's more, the husband retains the moral high ground by not leaving the family home and continuing to support his children.

The moral of this story, dear ladies, is to either live in sin or not to put up with a lousy marriage for the sake of the children, get out early.

I totally agree that it should not be easy to walk away from one's Marriage vows, they were taken in all seriousness and in good faith.  And who on earth ever thinks at the start of a marriage that they'll end up separated or as a negative statistic? But heck- should a woman be punished for having done the right thing by her family but finally refusing to take any more **** ?

Basically, ladies, not only have we no rights, we're scuppered.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

State of the Jungle

Many years ago in my youth (summer 2010) I got really into gardening blogs, looking at the photos, reading them, drawing plot layouts, noting beautiful plants and yadda yadda yadda. Then I grew up (spring 2011) and realised that none of those people lived in the boggy, exposed hills of Leitrim and that there was no way in this life that I would ever transform my weedy stony hillside into a lush paradise. After that I turned old (summer 2012) and decided that if it doesn't grow happily in a movable pot, stuff it, I'm not even going to consider it.
That's the theory, but as you know, hope springs eternal along with the rain and gale force winds so although my head says 'forget it', my heart still says 'maybe if I...'

So I still have two raised veg beds, although one is rampant with triffid raspberries and one very brave rhubarb! The other has self seeded garlic at one end with gone-to-seed-cabbage-that-never-grew and some fabulous specimens of dock leaves at the other.
And then there are the pots...and pots...and more pots...oh and look I do believe that's a thistle come to join the pot party!

So much for the idealistic planning...ah me...sigh...

BTW, the idyll is over, with Youngest and the Hub back home. The Hub didn't seem too happy with his week's work in Holland, but Youngest had an 'amazingly awesome' (quote herself) week with her sister in Dublin. A lot of time was spent working in Theaters alongside Eldest but she also got to do some shopping and walking around Dublin, which is good. It is a lovely place alright.

I didn't get a girl's night in, but my parents had visitors, relations who are great fun, so I had that instead last night. This evening Youngest is taking Middlest's boyfriend to see the play Middlest is working on and the Hub is holed up in the office writing tomorrow's sermon.

Modom, your taxi awaits!!!

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

A Fairytale for the Assertive Woman

Today I was clearing out some cupboards which badly needed the attention and found this old chestnut...goodness knows where it came from originally because I have no recollection! I do, however, remember finding it hilariously funny at the time.

Once upon a time, in a land far away, a beautiful, independant, self-assured princess happened upon a frog as she sat, contemplating egological issues on the shores of an unpolluted pond in a verdant meadow near her castle. The frog hopped into the princess' lap and said:

'Elegant Lady, I was once a handsome prince, until an evil witch cast a spell upon me. One kiss from you, however, and I will turn back into the dapper young prince that I am and then, my sweet, we can marry and set up housekeeping in your castle with my mother, where you can prepare my meals, clean my clothes, bear my children and forever feel grateful and happy for doing so.'

That night, as the princess dined sumptiously on an repast of lightly sautéd froglegs seasoned in a white wine and onion cream sauce, she chuckled to herself and thought:

'I don't think so.'

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

So Many Suggestions!!

Wow! You really put your hearts into all these suggestions!
Thank you so much!

I'll tell you what I've done so far:

After school I went into town and bought myself a gardening magazine, a bottle of nail varnish (coral something or other) and a pair of shoes (€4 from Penny's, blown the Housekeeping I have NOT!).

When I got home I cooked myself a pan of black kale and sun dried tomatoes with LOADS of green coriander and green garlic...found it among the weeds in a veg bed! (the garlic and the kale!) Delish! (no one else likes such an excessively green supper).

Then I had about an hour and a half of pure bliss sitting on the kitchen sofa reading my gardening magazine, whilst drinking tea, painting my nails (when was the last time I did THAT??) and listening to the radio (RTÉ Lyric FM) at a volume high enough to actually HEAR (and a programme of world folk music which I love and the rest scorn).

The dogs were beetling round doing their own thing and Small Dog was trying to destroy the inside tube from the greaseproof paper roll, which is quite a lot longer than him and causing problems....every so often he gives up chewing the ends and decides to go for the kill; stalking it, pouncing on it, shaking it and trying to throw it into the air!
He's a right comedian...

And I realised something: I was, just then, totally and utterly content.

Then Middlest texted to say she was bringing one of her Lecturers over so they could work, so I lept up and threw all the stuff on the dining table down behind the sofa, collapsed the clothes rack (clothes and all) so I could toss it into the bath and pull the shower curtain, and was frantically whizzing round the kitchen with the hoover when they arrived...


I really wouldn't say I'm a slovenly housekeeper, a bit here-and-thereish definitely, but anyone who visits must think I'm a regular slattern because NO ONE EVER CALLS WHEN THE HOUSE IS CLEAN!

Monday, 4 June 2012

Me Lonesome Hee Hee!

Yesterday everyone was home at some point, if only to fill the washing machine, use up all the hot water, or top up the fake tan...

This afternoon everyone (husband, children and parents) has left for a variety of destinations- Dublin, Holland, Dublin, Strandhill and Dublin. Guess who gets to mind the dogs, deal with the contents of the washing machine and eat leftovers for a week??

But then again...
a whole week without responsibilities (not including the dogs) or running round after other people (not including the dogs) or being grouched at (certainly not including the dogs since they think I'm wonderful!)...
I could get to like this...
how atrociously can I celebrate and make the most of this first EVER opportunity???

Suggestions please- FAST! They'll start returning on Friday...

Friday, 1 June 2012

Small Dog...

So anyway, there I am lyin' on the sofa happily snoozin' when doesn't the sun go behind an ould cloud...
So up I gets and has a good ould stretch.
Himself there wasn't up to playin' so out I trots for a bit of a sniff...ya never knows what ya'll find...

...and if ya tinks that balancin' on this mossy ould stone while she fiddles wit her new toy was easy, ye can take another thinks because it wasn't!
And then I spies me darlin' sunbathin' herslf on the table so...

...up I hops to join her and what does she do?
Start posin' with me, that's what!
Well two can play at that game so along I goes wit it for da sake of peace- now what sort of an ould eejit do I look?
But dere's a whole garden full of wunnerful smells out dere
so tisn't long before I makes me escape...
Huh! Wuja just look at me darlin' now! She tinks I'm never comin' back!
Humans! I ask ya! Who'd have 'em!

Its a dog's life I'm tellin' ya, but hey!
...someone's gotta do it...


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