Wednesday, July 30, 2008

naked dream!

I don't know what this cartoon is saying, but it suits my purposes today.

I do quite often have naked dreams. Where I'm oddly comfortable with having inappropriatel fewer or no clothes on in public... or not.

But this morning I had strange clothes dreams. First I dreamt Samantha Jones was bringing some little girl a designer outfit, but brought the wrong one, so had to drive back across town (New York?) to get another. Then I was going to a party of primary school teachers (that's your fault, morgor!), in town for some event. Stayign in a hotel - I got there, followed a pizza deliverer up and up and up stairs to the cheaper rooms, where a crowd of girls were having a party. When I got there, I was wearing only a long turquoise cardigan, as I couldn't find anything to wear and had decided to borrow clothes when I got there. Which had seemed like a good idea at the time, but that I realised was weird and mad as soon as I said it.

Now it's fairly obvious that this is about revealing myself to people from the internet I haven't yet met. The literal quality of my mind's symbolism annoys me sometimes. Anyway, I promise I'll be fully cloth-ed on Thursday night.

Monday, July 28, 2008


Jeeze, my blog stats are WAY down. Like by 50%! Is everyone on holiday, or did I drive them all away with the period post?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

boredom brings all the boys to my blog

I was going to post this last night but was far toooo busy baking baking. Yaaawn. Still, Sunday's are quiet too. I love this song. I only know it and Milkshake, but I like 'em both. I think it's a great expression of the temporary frustration you feel at your partner from time to time. Or every day, whatever. It's a childish explosion, scrabbling to try qand put words on what you're actually feeling. When I was pregnant and my daughter was having a tough time, she told me she hated me about ten times a day. It was a bit exhausting, but I knew what she meant. I find my mental responses going to that impotent child place sometimes too. 'I hate you!' I don't, but I do right at that split second. She said it to her granny. Her granny said it back... :(

I read a worried post on Rollercoaster by a woman who's partner had shouted it at her, 'I hate you, I hate you!' - but she was having a row with him over how her inlaws were treating her, her husband was caught in the middle, and she had just thumped him and called him a shit. It was a sad little story, and I can imagine exactly how he was feeling. Chances are he didn't hate her, but he didn't have much of anywhere else to go right then.

Imagine my delight when I went to find the song on youtube, to find another of my favourite things illustrating it - Buuuuffffyyyyyyy!

Friday, July 25, 2008

i love metrodad

I liked this post, I"m sure we've all thought about this. The thing about e-friends, while I think the friendships are sometimes more valid than face to face friendships in terms of what you get out of them, if you've never met someone and aren't involved in their day to day lives, that friendship can fade far too fast to be that real - for example, say I know someone from the blog, and we email and comment on each other's blogs, if they stop posting or mailing, what can I do? They might be dead, I wouldn't know, and while it would make me sad, I fear the memory of the contact would fade fairly quickly. It would be much easier to normalise than losing someone you socialised with, I think.

I've just re-read this post I threw out speedily the other day and it doesn't quite say what I meant it to. It seems to read 'I wouldn't care if you all died, internet aquaintances'. That really wasn't the point I was making! I think the net's all about communication these days, and to be honest, I used to call my mother when I needed to know something, and it's nice to have the internet as a resource instead.

For me, the people I interact with online add hugely to my day each day. I don't know if it can be called friendship in the strictest sense, but especially not being in the workplace and being home with small children, I find the interaction invaluable. And the opportunity for humour, argument and support on tap is phenomenal.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

sweet baby boy

Dear little boy,

You are one year old tomorrow. It seemed momentous to me when your sister turned one, and does with you, also. I'm glad I've got you this far! I didn't have as much of a sense of you when I was carrying you as I did with your sister, other than the sense of a benign presence. And that's because you were. From the moment you were born you were my sweetie boy, my pleasant little fellow. You were like no one I had seen before, with your black hair and your little black eyes, you were my little troll doll, you still are sometimes.

Through the horrors of having to leave the house and bring you to hospital and sit there as they did all sorts of nasty things to you, you've just been a patient, friendly, accepting soul. You took to breastfeeding without a bother, unlatching yourself, and pushing yourself off if the latch was wrong, correcting yourself without a murmur. You smiled at your father at two weeks old. You have been the smiliest, darlingest, funniest boy and I love you so much. You are blue eyed with an impish grin, and the sweetest chubby cherub body. You have got old enough to let me know when you're not pleased, throwing funny little dramatic tantrums, recently you've started banging your head off things to communicate your displeasure, I'll be glad when that stops. But more significant are your hugs and kisses, your little peekaboos and jokes, your smile creeping round a door, your gurgling laugh.

Today we went to the zoo, for the first time since you were two weeks old, which didn't count. You were delighted, intensely interested and focused on all the new things. We arrived and within seconds of seeing the ducks, you said 'quack' - a second word to add to the 'yesh' you've been Sean Connery-ing about for the last day or so. You saw the monkeys, the gorillas, the seals, the penguins, the baby elephants (you waved goodbye), the lemurs, the cows and all with the most intent study.

Before bed, I feed you and you roll off my lap and flump onto the duvet, crawling up a few steps before flopping down and shooting me a huge grin. tonight you were tired after an day of driving and the zoo, but you were uncomplaining all day - you lay on the pillow and sucked your thumb. I asked you about the zoo, when I mentioned the ducks you grinned, and the splashy seals and your grin got wider. I reminded you of the elephants and you raised an arm and waved byebye again. You remembered how to say 'quack'.

One year old and all the things you've seen and learned are welling up inside you and starting to spill out.

I hope you can keep your sweetness, and humour, and continue to let all the hard things just slip on by and know I love you despite all the things I get wrong, and fail to do, and generally fuck up on.

My sweet baby boy.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

rice crispie squares are murder

Yellow melting butter. Nearly all the way, so I pour in two sticky bags of pink and white marshmallows, and stir them as they start to melt. How pastel. A puffy mixture swirls, kept from sticking by the fat of the butter, it lifts away from the sides as I stir. Little lumps of mallow circle, constellation-like.

Bovine gelatin. Hmm, this guilty vegetarian liked it better when it just said gelatin, not so specific or revolting as bovine gelatin, pig gelatin - easier to ignore for the sake of a rice crispie treat, a surreptitious cola bottle.

The rice crispies are slow to soak up the hot, pink goo. They tumble willingly, trustingly out of the box, then squeal softly, snap, crackle pop as they meet the sugary lava beneath. I turn them slowly through, round and round, listening to their little cries. I look down and some of them have crawled up the spatula, crept onto my hand, creeping towards safety. I feel them sweetly, lightly cling.

In the box they misbehave, following the spatula I cram them down with, until they cool a little, and start get denser. They let me push them down, smooth the surface, a sudden shift to a more fluid, malleable substance. It's lovely, like glacier ice that bends - neige? I want to sculpt with it - I'm sure it's been done.

I love them, but my sense of smell has gone weird recently. I sniff them, and all I can smell is... bovine gelatin.

Monday, July 21, 2008


Does anyone else think in blog prose? Instead of just thinking, I find myself thinking in blog styley. Even just little mundane (god,that's my word of the week), random thoughts that would never be posts. For example, tonight as I was cleaning up I composed the following:

There's something draggy about housework. I was scrubbing the table, and looked up to see my busty self reflected in the kitchen doors. I put me in mind of 'I Want to Break Free', despite the fact that I was wearing neither moustache, pink plastic earrings, vinyl mini skirt nor suspenders.

How funny is the leotarded, interpretive dance bit in the middle? Is that freedom?

If anyone else is viciously filthy like me, they might have to scrub hardened gunk off their surfaces occasionally. A bottle cap works fabulously for the task and saves on elbow grease or cleaner. Top Tip!

The husband was out doing garden work while I was cleaning in the kitchen (we have a 1st birthday party to plan for). I thought I heard him at the side of the house and called to him, but he wasn't there. Yet I still sensed a presence. I wonder how often we're actually in the presence of something sinister or malevolent or who knows what, and we don't know it, because we're trained to be practical and dismiss the possibility? I was scared of the dark as a kid because of what I imagined to be lurking in it, and still, at Christmas I found myself walking down a little dark road in the country after a party to get to my car, and all I thought about was werewolves.

I've been meaning to buy one of those oilskin (pvc?) tablecloths that you buy off the roll for about ten years. I've got so far as to go to a couple places and look but they're usually pretty naff. I went in to the posh fabric shop in Dunlaoighre today and came home with this fabulous, groovy retro thing today. It's too late for the table - a tall, clawy dog and two children later, it's fucked. But the baby BOY is now knocking lumps out of it with anything he gets his hands on, so I may as well have something to keep it smooth a while longer. The nice man in the shop gave me about three feet too much (I was right, you silly man). But still, doesn't matter, it'll come in useful - better too long than too short, eh?

My husband is pissing me off at the moment. He likes to invent wild, emotive, irrational arguments, and then stick to them doggedly when he's off form. I have no idea how to deal with that. Arguing just makes him go on the attack. It's hard to come to compromises or solutions when all you can do is think 'well, that's just fucking stupid.' We seem to be back in the band/work/no time for family slot at the moment. Though he's making more of an effort to help get ready for the party than I expected, so that's good.

There was other stuff, but I've forgotten.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

saturday night lull video

This came into my head the other day. I loved this song - could never remember the words:
'Who cares what people say? Not me-ee anyway.' No, that's not it...
Listen to all that throbbing and thrumming though. This is how pop should be.

What ever happened to summer songs?

Oo, not sure about the solo though ;)

you big weirdo

Heh. I love that phase. Said affectionately or pejoratively, it always holds humour. I don't know why. Someone said it to me the other day about the content of the blog. Hee. I'm a big weirdo. I don't know how to spell it, really, even though I've looked it up and tried to remember more than once. I'm going with the e first today, it looks right.

Is the blog weird? Am I weird? Identify the weird bits for me, please!

Friday, July 18, 2008

period drama

I posted before about the fact that my period has returned. One male reader reported a certain disquieted response. It's one thing reading about my baby's first steps, he can relate to that, but periods? Shudder!

The strange thing is this little exchange took place on a blog where lads are lads and love to push the boundaries of what they can discuss and say to each other - they love to discuss everything ick - from coprophagia, the consistency of their poo, all sorts of violence and gore, anything sexual is grist for the humour mill. But I've discovered the wolfsbane - the mere mention of a menstrual blood clot, and they're retching and running for the hills! Is it kryptonite?

Delighted as I am by this finding this sudden bit of power, it did initially make me want to do an early 90s comedy style riff about my flow, but in fairness the gentleman in question is perhaps more of the generation in which women were unable to buy tampons and menstruation was an unmentionable secret.

But as is clear, this blog is me. The fact that I've had my first period in a year and nine months is a significant thing for me as a woman - it spells out a return to normal feminine rhythms, ovulating again. It means I am back to my own inner routine, not the baby's. It is significant that I could now conceive again. I've never even taken the pill, as disrupting that rhythm didn't seem natural to me. This is something I want to document and mark, for myself. It is something that is central to me, and how I see myself as a woman.

Menstruating and the hormonal rhythms that come with it are very important to women. And when men laugh them off or shy away in disgust, it seems wrong to me.
But why all this menses-phobia? Why is the idea of blood from a woman's womb more terrible than, for example, incest, rape, coprophagia, any number of bizarre and nasty things!

Well, we know why. It's the vestige of a longstanding Judaeo-Christian misogynistic drive to wrest power from the hands and centres of women, who give birth, who hold the power within them. The first calendars were lunar, based on the moon's cycle, which a woman's menstrual cycle will naturally follow if given the chance. Our blood responds to the pull of the moon's path as the tides do. The lunar calendar has thirteen months, and women have, on average, thirteen periods a year. But the Gregorian calendar did away with that, imposed the solar calendar on us, along with a more patriarchal rule. Why is the number thirteen considered unlucky? Call it a smear campaign...

And so we have churching , we have the mikvah in Judaism. The idea that menstruation makes a woman unclean. Well, sure it can be messy. But what is wrong with menstrual bleeding? It makes sense - you build up a womb lining you don't need each month, if you aren't pregnant, it falls away - it's a far less unpleasant concept than a cut finger or strained muscle. Yet it has the power to fear and revolt. In the same way that the word 'cunt' has been imbued with the connotation of the worst that there is, the unholiest of unholies, cold you call anyone anything worse than a woman's genitals?

My mother had a very healthy attitude to menstruation, and I was never afraid or mystified by the idea. Or ashamed. It never bothered me that people might know I had my period (well, until I was teaching, and realised I was losing, ahem, the rag, with the same set of little fuckers at the same time each month, when normally I could deal with them, and I was horrified that one of them would work it out and say 'are you premenstrual, Miss?'). I bought a mooncup a couple years ago and I find it good - you have to get blood on your hands to use it though, and pour the little cup of blood out each time it fills. The blood is a dark ruby, it doesn't smell, it is rich and warm and I find it rather beautiful, to be honest. What is all the fuss about?

Men reading may say, what does this have to do with me? Well, if you are a father or grandfather, you need to be able to handle your daughters' or granddaughters' menarche, their coming of age, without withdrawing, or changing your relationship, or making them feel somehow rejected, or dirty, or strange. I think this is a huge area that needs to be more discussed, and brought out into the open.

If you don't have children, but you have a partner, I think her menses is something you should be aware of, if not in tune with. If only to remind her she's not losing her mind once month :)

This is something important, not to be turned into snide jokes, or to be disgusted by. It's not something to fear, but to revere. The real test of the ebbing of patriarchal values in our society will be when menstruation no longer carries with it any associations of embarrassment, disgust or shame for either sex.

Phoof, I feel better!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I was clearing space in the freezer yesterday and the pain of the ice was biting deep into my palms, it was most unpleasant. I started thinking about a woman on the Rollercoaster Homebirth website who said she'd been practicing her breathing while holding an ice cube.

I also heard that that was the thing to do - somebody asked the Community Midwife in Holles Street about breathing techniques, and practice, and she responded with 'you can practice breathing all you like. Try practicing your breathing while you're holding an ice cube, and you'll find out about pain management'.

I left a note on the Homebirth thread to point out that this is bollocks, and stop all these poor women going around freezing the hands off themselves. The pain of holding an icecube is completely non-analogous to the feeling of a contraction - you manage them in completely different ways. I'd far rather have a contraction than hold an ice cube, personally. As Tracey Donegan, a doula, hypnobirther, and birth writer said when she followed up my comment, holding ice is not a natural function of the body, the pain is to tell you to let it go before you damage your skin. She doesn't know why this inane idea is still being taught in ante natal classes.

What I learned in my private, alternative, natural ante-natal/yoga class was much more useful - it's the ha-ha-ha-blow breath - three short 'hah' breaths followed by one long blow. It's incredible, and gets you through any huge transition stage surge.

I find the best thing to do with an icecube though, is put it down, and run some water on your hand.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

struggle struggle

It's my baby boy's birthday in a week. I have to sort his party, finish off his toy dog, find a good present that isn't just one more toy in out mountain of toys... and there's this inner deadline of posting his birth story. Which I don't want to write.

Partly because there's a page or so of it on my old computer, which I can't access till I borrow a hard-drive reader yokey from my brother and I sort of need that to kick start me.

But also because I just don't want to. I still feel so negative about it, it's still such a disappointment. The whole year surrounding his birth is just miserable, and I don't want to relive it. Because I hate that it was like that. And he's such a sweet little person despite it all. I'm going to write all about him to balance the negativity around his birth, that's easy - but I need to keep that as a carrot to get me through the other.

However, a small milestone, and one a long time coming, my period returned today. I had had an ovulation pain, now that I think about it, and water retension and food cravings and irritability... mmm, yes, I should have noticed all those signs, the thing is that I get all of them often, except the ovulation pain :)

It's nice timing though - a year, the end of babyness, and I'm back to myself. And he took a step the other day, I missed it, but he stood very sturdily by himself today, so he's on his way.

phantom nappy

Somewhere, lurking hidden in my sitting room, there seems to be a smelly nappy. Just a wet one, but smelly nonetheless. When you walk in the door, a waft of it assails you. In depth searches of the room have revealed nothing -

Could it be a ghost nappy?

Monday, July 14, 2008

enough, already

I am thoroughly sick of flicking though the channels on tv, to be accosted again and again with dramatic images of murder, torture and violence. In the cinema too - choosing what you want to see isn't enough, you're still bombarded with graphic trailers, sometimes even ads, while you're held captive in your seat, assaulted by sound and sight. I'm sick of it.

I'm sitting here tonight, finding something to watch, and every second station is playing some variation of CSI or some other completely graphic film, so we have to see gore, death and serial murder, and all the emotions of terror and misery that go with it. There seems to be a rash of torture movies out at the moment, so you get hit with hideous, manipulative, worst nightmare scenes with the flick of a remote - it's fine to advertise with a shot of a terrified human covered in blood and screaming in terror, yeah, that's grand, it won't affect the kids as long as they don't witness any actual violence. Bullshit.

And why is this waste material so popular, so prevalent, that it's being churned out in such quantity? People making their money out of images of blood, guts, terror - so the consumer can go, 'ah, that's gross, that's deadly'. If you're one of those people, shame on you. At best, it may give you a thrill, but what does that say about humanity? Sure, we've always done it, sure Roman circuses, blah blah. Can anyone really argue for the good of that? And anyway, I think this is just cynical money making strategy everyone's buying into.

I don't need this shit in my head. If you think you're unaffected by it, think again. If it's all in your head but you've normalised it into something acceptable, well, rather you than me. I don't need it, I don't want it, and I deeply resent being bombarded with it in my sitting room!

Gah! I'm disgusted.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


A while ago I caught myself in a disturbing though-train.

I drive a battered (by me and my woeful maneuvering skills) Peugeot 206, and much as I love it, and wish I could do rally driving in one, it's a wee bit of a squeeze with two car seats, the buggy, (which fills the boot), the shopping, my collection of general crap...

So I started fantasising about a new car, and it occurred to me that what we really need is something with space to (for example) go collect a freecycled sofa if needs be, something vanlike that would also work as a family car... oo-er, I seem to have an unconscious desire for a people carrier!
Then the other day the husband suggested trading my car in off a van of sorts, and giving me his - then we'd have the thing for transporting stuff, and he'd have it for the music gear. We decided to have a look at what's out there, and while he was online last night he started to look at second hand VW campers. How cool would that be? They're so appealing! We both love the idea, though I suspect it may be totally impractical.

But what was in our heads as we went to sleep last night was this site he found.

Scroll down the page that opens to October, Frankie and Mark, for the cutest story ever! And check out the decor of the van interiors, I love them - I would totally do this if we got one.

Oooo, want. If only we had the money! Did you see someone in Tipperary won the Euro lotto on Friday? €15million... people nag on about one in eight million chances, but I bet the couple that won don't regret the tickets they bought before...

Saturday, July 12, 2008

10.15 saturday night

No one's ever online on the weekend. They're all out mixing their tequila for the second night in a row.

So as no one's here, this is for me. I had this album at one stage, before my brother borrowed all my tapes and left them lying around the place to slowly expire.

Little bollocks that he was.

I loved this one. I thought I was going to have to apologise for it, but I don't because it's still deadly!

And look at the age of them! Babes in arms..

Friday, July 11, 2008


Bad Things

Dropped a can of dogfood on my middle toe, rim first. Oww! There was black line of bruise, now it's spread purple all over. No longer painful, thanks to arnica. Love arnica.

Baby sick/teething and cross. Lots of cranky shouting. No sleeping or much eating.

Row with mother in law in which I lost my temper and she attacked me back with her customary offensive defense over how I feed my kids, too healthily, it's not fair, she can't give my baby biscuits. And much good it's doing him, look at his sick little pale face. Haha. Insensitive? Well you make me feel bad about myself, I've never been good enough for you, if you had someone better to mind the children I'd never see them. And more.

Twenty disses new blogs, which depresses me somehow. Given that I have a sneaking suspicion it's aimed at one I'm posting on.

Other Twenty commentator wishes for no Jo:
Feynmans Ghost says:
any chances of filtering out some of the commentators …
Jo is just plain boring

Boo for Jo... It's clearly time for another glass of shut the fuck up. :(

More cranky shouting, baby not sleeping.


Good Things

New jobs in the offing for the husband - much recruitment agency interest, and a suitable job already on the table.

Cafe Bar Deli has come to Bray. It's not my favourite restaurant, but it's solid, consistent, classy. Bray has a bizarre dearth of good restaurants.

I walked down the town to go to the bank. Excercise. First time in a while!

Hysterically laughing baby chuckling at his dad playing a form of peepo with a towel. Cutester.

Chinese Takeaway (feck it).

Thursday, July 10, 2008

ladies only today - really, it's about smear tests

When I got my first period, my mother wanted to take me out and buy me a piece of symbolic jewellery to mark the occasion, something like a silver disc. We never found the right thing, but looking at this, this might have been it! The only thing is, maybe it would have had to be a bit smaller, this looks massive.

Leading into the territory of the title...

I've been meaning to get a smear test for about ten years, and never got round to it, despite the horror this engenders in people you tell.

I actually went to a gp a year or so ago, but it was the wrong time in my cycle, and I found her to be so unpleasant that I didn't want to go back to her.

A major reason I didn't go was I didn't want to deal with a lot of fuss over abnormal cells that were just that but not necessarily any more, have fears of cancer bandied about, go through god knows what and find it to have all been unnecessary. I know a woman who had all that happen, having been tested with a high number of cancerous cervical cells. She managed it with diet and homoeopathy (she's a homoeopath) and next time she was tested she was clear. Obviously I'm not advocating that everyone do that, but it worked in her case.

Still, I've had a bump on my cervix for some time now, that I've assumed was a cyst but never got checked. Then I got pregnant, so I've left it go, and for the first six months or so of breastfeeding they say your test comes back like that of a menopausal woman's, so there's no point going anyway.

So I've been meaning to make an appointment these last few weeks, and I finally got round to it today. I'm so glad to have met the doctor I went to in the Bray Women's Health Centre, I think it was Cathleen Corr. I like her so much I asked if she was a family doctor as well, and sadly she's not :(

She's friendly, intelligent, has great hair, and lots of opinionated info. Someone suggested to me the other day that gps don't have to keep their training up, so if you go to someone who hasn't the interest, all their info might well be decades out of date! I've certainly come across a couple stories corroborating that opinion. She said the same, and gave me some advice when I told her I'd been told to go for mammograms every two years - talk to another doctor, they're constantly revising their opinions on that. Rather than castigating me in horror for not having had a smear, she said that the standard line has changed - they now don't recommend anyone have one til their mid twenties, and after a clear test result, every three years. She said a tiny percentage of women get the rapidly advancing form of cervical cancer, and if you're tested too young it's not going to show up for another twenty years or so anyway.

She also agreed wholeheartedly with the fears I've outlined above about hysterical reactions to small amounts of abnormal cells. And she told me I was better off going to the homoeopath than the gp generally, and we discussed the merits of letting kids get dirty and build their immunity with exposure to bugs. I love the woman! The only downside was that the procedure costs seventy five fucking euro :(

And so to the speculum - she said it would be very cold, and it wasn't particularly, she said it might be uncomfortable and it wasn't, particularly. She was very reassuring, confirmed that the bump I thought was a cyst was just wear and tear from the labour, and that raw areas or scarring like that can cause increased mucous output (just in case anyone reading has a similar issue and is worried about discharge!). Then she told me to sit up and put my pants on - I had to ask her if she'd done the actual smear, I hadn't felt anything! When you've had a baby, you lose inhibitions and fears about people looking up you, I find, but I was still vaguely apprehensive after Midge had posted about finding her smears painful. I thought it was perhaps an issue of how good the doctor is, so I congratulated myself on finding a good one. I even rang Midge to tell her.

Then as I was driving home, I had a depressing thought. What if I'm just dead inside??

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


So last night myself and the husband had a bit of a discussion regarding contraception. After a bit of (pause for word search and consideration - feck it:) rumpy-pumpy (hee!) we agreed that regarding several more decades of shagging, the stakes are now higher as we have had our happy complement of children, being blessed with a girl and boy child and having failed to make our fortune thus far.

Plus we're wrecked and ageing unnaturally rapidly :)

And for any other reasons, just read over the first year of this blog.

We came to a swift conclusion. The husband immediately asserted his complete lack of interest in vasectomy, and I'm on that page too - not something I'd ask anyone to do (along with waxing :) or be particularly comfortable with. I've never been on the pill in my life and don't intend to do it now. The coil I haven't thought about, though it doesn't particularly appeal to me.

So the long an the short of it is that we'll carry on using condoms, as I've done since the tender age of 15. It's worked for 15 years of our relationship, bar the time we didn't use one and had a baby - but hey, I'm over that now and I've learned my lesson :)

I know they have a high failure rate compared to other things, but that does include silly people (ahem) who use them as their main contraceptive method, and sometimes don't and get pregnant. We're happy with them. Unlike a lot of men, the husband has no problem with them. They don't do anything to you, they don't require insertion, they save on mess, and if ever you find yourself in dire need, you have a water balloon handy. Hurrah!

However, I woke up this morning having had an extremely vivid dream that I was pregnant. My son was walking and talking and had a full set of teeth but still too small to be doing those things. I was hanging out in Russell Brand's apartment, and also climbing stairs in a department store. And my neighbour was offering me a job selling charity scratch cards (oh dear).

But it was really very clear. I know it's because I have an aquaintance in this position, so it's on my mind. But still. Unnerving!

As a related aside, since my teens I've had frequent, realistic pregnancy, labour and baby dreams. Apparently these symbolise the projects that you're working on, and your creative self. It makes sense, really. I haven't had any since early in the pregnancy, so I suppose I was due one.

Hmm, messy. In case you've got this far none the wiser, this was meant to be a post about dreaming I was pregnant.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


I just noticed with much hilarity that my occupation in my profile was set to 'accounting'. Hahhaaaaa. No. I wish. Then I might have some money.

But no, in actual fact I am numerically challenged. I may in fact have discalculia, numerical dyslexia. To add, say, 35 and 17 I have to write the sum down in my head. Especially if someone is there, I become surrounded in a red fog of confusion if I have to calculate. For example, last weekend, when I had to give people change of a fiver, I had trouble working out what to give back on €1.50. Really. My brain shuts down and nothing makes sense.


There are a few reasons I haven't really written about sex on this blog much, if at all. I do feel the urge to sometimes, but it doesn't really sit well with me. Much as I love reading about other people's sex lives :)

I had this conversation with a friend once, about how we no longer had in depth conversations about our sex lives, mostly due to a more developed respect for our partners, we thought. And that 's very much a consideration now. I think my husband would be appalled to think I was sharing details publicly. So my feeling is that I need to take that into consideration.

Also, to be honest, there are times when I'm more aware of a readership than others - and these days, as I move ever farther away from my teenage self, there are things I wouldn't talk about face to face with everyone, strange as that may seem. It's more comfortable sharing secrets with far removed strangers than people I know only a little.
However, I have talked to other women about the effect breast feeding has on libido - after my daughter was born, it was a good nine months before I felt any interest in getting back on the horse (heh heh). Whatever way the breast feeding hormones work on me, I stop thinking about sex at all - no responses or urge whatsoever - I think it's a very practical form of birth control :) There was an element of fear there as well, after the revelation of pushing out a 8lb12 baby without any particular urge to. I apologised once, for the lack of goings on, and being a bit scared, and my husband said, 'No, no, if you'd seen what I saw, you'd understand!'

Another friend said the same about not being into it, said she was determined not to let it happen again with her fourth, but it did - and she thought feck it, and just accepted it. It's clearly just the way it's meant to be, sometimes.

For the last month or more, I've felt the slow return of that side of myself, and it's very welcome. It's been longer this time because of relationship issues. But I braved rejection last night and made a move, with my heart in my throat, I must admit - and it's worked out for the best.
Thank god.

It's nearly a year since the smallman was born now, so it's time I did another brave thing and pull out the birth story I started, and had to stop because I was too upset by it. Time to deal with that too.

It really is true about it taking another nine months to get back to yourself after a birth - that following year should be a rest period of recovering yourself. It is a wise woman who suggested making no major decisions or changes within that time.

Sunday, July 6, 2008


I got a dirty phonecall today - on my mobile.

I'm a little unimpressed, to be honest, at the basic unfunniness of it.

Me: Hello?

Him (in a mildly Donegal accent): Are you looking for a shag (or words to that effect)

Me: Who's this?

Him: Who do you think it is?

Me to friend: I think I'm getting a dirty phone call - I don't know if it's someone trying to be funny or and actual dirty phone call.

Him, getting impatient: So do you want one?

Me: click.

I'm not particularly bothered by this, I must say, though I think as dirty thrills go, it's pretty fucking lame. I just hope my number was randomly chosen, and that it doesn't become a regular occurence.
But thinking about it, what does piss me off is the real motivation behind it - the smug and arrogant tone, the self satisfaction - it presumably gives the caller a nasty little buzz to put a woman in a position of impotence, of powerlessness. Ring someone up, get them wrong-footed in a normally comfortable medium - and make them uncomfortable, assert your sexual dominance, you're the one who steers the conversation, calls the shots, enjoying the confusion caused by subverting - no, perverting the conventions of phone conversation.
I'm not sure what my response is. Again, I feel disappointed. It seems to me that there should be some element of humour in a dirty phone call, it is after all a ridiculous idea - but instead it's cliched, unimaginative, tacky, tawdry: Mr Dirtyphonecaller, you should be ashamed of your sordid little self.
To end on a jollier note, my mother once received a dirty call at about 8 am on a Sunday morning. She blearily answered the phone to hear someone with one of those soft, almost camp, Cork accents asking, 'What colour knickers are you wearing?'
She automatically responded, 'I'm not wearing any', amused at the innocence of the would-be pervert who assumed she'd have had knickers on at 8 am on a Sunday morning. She worried that it might have been a patient of hers though, so she said his name and he hung up instantly. I can't remember how she followed up on that one!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

a return

I don't really know what to title this. I posted a few posts ago about the anniversary of my mother's death and how to mark it. On Tuesday I was in Greystones for a visit to the osteopath, and I went to the health food shop. While parked in the Burnaby, I was around the corner from my mother's house, as it was.

I have to admit I've been sort of avoiding driving by it. Thinking about it gives me a certain amount of pain, or discomfiture. I never lived there, having moved out just before she did. It was a lovely house, she brought me to see it when she was considering moving there, and I remember sitting in the sitting room and feeling really good vibes. But when my daughter was small, I gave a grind to a kid who lived above her house, at the top of the road, and it was so hard not to be leaving her in with my mother while I was there for the hour, and calling back in afterwards. That felt so wrong - it's times like that I felt, and feel, her absence so keenly.

But at the same time, she had moved from ten acres, a three story house on the hill, having to give up her horses and beautiful country kitchen. She was demoralised, heartbroken, having been through three years of my father's affair, and she'd finally been ejected, against her will, from her marriage and her home.

So while she liked the house, she also had mixed feelings about it. And it was damp, in need of a certain amount of renovation she couldn't afford, and the neighbours were a bit horrible, compounded by the fact that she was in no form to be sociable or make friends. Reclusive at the best of times, she felt too broken. And she was sick, but what she'd been through exercised such a pull of negativity that she encouraged the illness for a year or so, she smoked, drank a little, ate sugar, things she didn't normally do.

But she applied her stylish touch to it, and it suited her well.

The other day, having been musing over ways to mark her death, I got a sudden urge to go see it. I drove down the little lane, parked in her spot, no other cars were there, and I was half relieved, half disappointed. The drive and garden were lush and verdant in the rain, the place felt green and rich and well looked after. And the owner was there, a man I'd talked to after he bought the house, who'd been interested in my mother and who she was and the history of the house.

He was pleasantly happy to ask me in, and eager to show me all the renovations he'd done, building on a whole extra section, two stories up. The whole place looked gorgeous, just as she would have liked it. He'd kept the style just the same, the extension looked very organic and just right. The older portion of the house felt and looked the same, but clean and fresh, rejuvenated. He'd kept a painting my mother had bought from the previous owner, and felt very connected to my mother too. It was a nice little touch. He said they were happy there, that it had a good feeling, and that they weren't remotely bothered that she had died there. They were happy to have her, if she was there.

He showed me how he'd cut the tree tops, and they now had a sea view. Said they never even notice the apartments ;)

Leaving, left feeling a weight lifted from my heart. I can stop averting my gaze from it now, I don't have to feel like it's an emotional elephant of grief in the corner waiting for me. I felt emotional, having visited, but positive too.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

toejam carboot sale, cake stall

I am having copying issues with my touchpad, so here's the link to a post I wrote already. Check out Toejam, it looks like fun. Saturday 1-6.

Please god this weather decides to improve.

fell down

I had a lovely friend Peter, Peter Doyle, I think (though I could be wrong), from Kilcoole, tell him to get in touch if you know him, who told me his first words, having come home from a walk to the chemist with his mum, were 'Fell Down'. Sad and sweet.

I fell down twice yesterday! Twice! First the baby gate came off the bottom of the stairs, and I fell down the last two stairs, over on top of it, hurting my hand. Then later on that afternoon I was putting recycling out the front to try and clear some space in out tip of a house. For some reason the designers of the house favoured dangerously slippy tiles on the porch and in the kitchen, so finally, it's taken six years but slip, whoosh, there I was on the ground, feet twisted out from under me. I hurt the other side of the sore hand, and the other hand, bruised my knee and gave myself door mat burn.


I was rushing around tidying because my MIL was coming over to book her golf on the computer - her club seems to be trying to force out the oldies by going techno. It's good in the end though, as the husband actually tidied up our computer/music/toy/crap room, in about half an hour, and rather than being the energy sucking pit of doom it was, it looks quite nice again. Whee!

Sadly the baby woke up wet last night, then got a burst of energy that lasted two ours, so I suspect I'm going to be wrecked and not coping again today :(