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Showing posts from June, 2010

Mad Dogs & Saints

Despite the promised forecast of a heat wave across Galway for the next week, most of yesterday it pissed raining – and there’s a reason. It’s all because I forgot to put the Child of Prague statue back out onto the raised beds where I grow my chilli peppers, zucchini and aubergines all under a West of Ireland sky. For those in the know, the Child of Prague is a wacky little statue of the boy child Jesus holding a round globe in his hand with a cross sticking out of it. Forget the whole story of some Czech prince having an apparition of this gay looking kid Jesus and skip a few hundred years to what is reality today. It’s this: if you put the statue of the Child of Prague out in the garden, it won’t rain the next day. I have been doing so since the start of May, and my garden has become a sun trap. Of course all of these blessings have their downers. I’m nursing mild sun stroke right now, as I am forced to sit in the garden most days due to my house cleaning allergy. So I went online …

Sex, Plots & Poetry

Being a poet is one of the cruellest things that can happen to a person, and I should know, because I am one. The reason that it’s cruel is because getting published in various anthologies means that there is not only a publisher who likes your stuff, but multiple publishers who like your work. Thing is though, you don’t get paid and most people think you’re a bit soft in the head. Poems are usually quite short but can take as long to write as it might take you to write a cheap Mills & Boon novel. There’s a difference though, you get paid for writing cheap novels. You also get paid for writing stories, erotica, chick lit, anything vampire and of course if you can churn out a booker prize definitive Irish novel, you’ll probably be as boring as poets, definitely as stuffy, but you’ll have money and live in an old house with a writing desk that faces a big old Georgian window looking out onto a leafy garden. You’ll spend periods of time in your country cottage or in New York and you’…

Trapped!

There’s a story I heard about this guy from Galway who couldn’t read or write. I heard it because I teach people literacy skills and they teach me life skills. Well anyways, this guy was offered a job cleaning toilets, so he was delighted with himself, because bad and all as it might be, it was a job, and there were plenty who didn’t have jobs. The day before he was due to start he went up to the council office to get everything sorted, brought along his insurance number and all that jazz. He was asked to fill out a form and when he couldn’t the council guy said that sorry, but he couldn’t give him the job if he couldn’t read or write. So off goes yer man with no job and emigrates to America. Well years later he came back to Galway a rich man. He’d driven a snow plough in the States, saved like mad and ended up running his own business hiring out equipment. The local politicians were delighted with him returning home and bringing a bit of wealth to the area. He set up a similar busine…

An Improper Punch in the Face

I’ve just removed a blog from weeks back that was called ‘A Proper Punch in the Face.’ Even though this blog is pure fiction, the bones of the story came from an experience that a friend of mine had. As the person in question lives in Germany and is currently in Africa for three months I haven’t a clue how she’s getting on. But that’s not why I removed it. I removed it because another friend’s ex was pointed to my blog by a work colleague of his, and he decided that the piece was about him. He picked out the parts that he connected with and posted up some vitriolic comments on how the other parts, because they were not true of his particular situation, should be removed – but self centred people can be like that, they only see their own story and don’t understand that there are more than a handful of people occupying the universe at present. I decided to take down the blog because vitriolic people should have all sharp instruments removed from their reach, as there is likelihood they …

Keep the Day Job

I’ve just had a rejection letter from another agency to let me know that I should seriously consider keeping the day job that I don’t have. It was the usual: started out telling me how clear the plot is and how great the idea for the book is, but that unfortunately they’ll have to pass on it this time as it is total crap that nobody would ever read (and that, of course, is said in different words, because after all, words are their business). I can’t say I blame them. The book is crap, but it has taken me a few years to realise how boring, badly written and disjointed it is. The dialogue is weak and the actual story is so twee and corny that it’s almost as bad as something by Cecilia Ahern. Thing is though, I have to keep trying to get it published because if I don’t I won’t be able to justify my banal life. There are things that are acceptable for writers to do, like spending two hours at the crossword, drinking too much coffee, going for lunch a lot, blowing social welfare payments o…

The Big Itch

A friend of mine was telling me all about the time she ran the NY marathon. I was well impressed until she said ‘it was the second best day of my life’. She went on to tell me more about the great run, but I had already switched off. My head was burning with the one question ‘so what was the best day of your life?’ Turns out it was her wedding day. Personally, the idea of spending the day running through the streets of New York with every cell in your body pounding, does appeal to me a tad more than wearing a white dress and confronting family members who I usually spend all year avoiding. Luckily for me, I had fallen out with most of my friends and relatives by the time I got married, and given that wedding dresses are not all that flattering when you are six months pregnant, I went for the modest registry office option, hence, I cannot truly compare notes with my friend who ranks her wedding above running the marathon. It made me think though: the happiest day in my life? There are …

Homophobia Is Gay!

Homophobia is a complex thing. And believe me; I know this all too well being a homophobe myself. It started when I realised that I might be gay. I was still a teenager and being gay was something that other people did. Normal kids, and I was normal, tried to find out who was gay and write so and so is a lezzer on the toilet walls. Usually the girl in question wasn’t gay at all, she probably had short hair and Dr. Marten boots, but that was enough back then. So I left the country and went to London to be gay in secret. I knew that I couldn’t possibly be a lezzer myself; I liked Laura Ashley skirts and white court shoes. I had a Farah Fawcett Major hair style and I wore make-up. I convinced myself that I definitely wasn’t one of those abnormal people who committed abominable sex crimes, all I wanted to do was to try it out once, and after that I could go back home and get married to a nice boy. I was less than an hour in London when I bumped into some friends from home, so the plan died…

I Blame The Parents

I’ve been getting a bit of hate mail recently from a person by the name of anonymous. Apparently my blog is neither funny, nor original, and I must say that I do very much agree with Mr/Mrs/Ms Anonymous because rereading my posts they are definitely non original sad person kind of blogs. Thing is, that’s what a lot of people get a laugh from. Well on the subject of something not very original – having kids, it’s been a bad day. What I just can’t stand are the tantrums. So I went down to the shop and grabbed a book called something like ‘teens and tantrums’. I’ve flicked through the whole thing but not a word of advice on how to stop having tantrums. It seems to be about families where the children have the tantrums and not the parents. I think that would be easy to deal with: just give them a clip across the ear and send them to their rooms. What I need is advice on how not to scream things like ‘you stupid imbecile’ at a child, while flinging various items to the floor before storming…

What Respectable People Do

I’m just back from the last meeting of the Parents’ Committee for this year. The end of year meeting is not only good because it’s over until September, but also because school principal treats us to finger food and wine in the school’s ‘parlour’. It would be a lie to say I don’t enjoy being one of the parent committee ladies. I feel that I have what it takes to be a committee kind of woman. I may not wear fancy heels and golden strappy sandals, but I love organising garden fetes and that sort of thing. So I can’t work out why there seems to be an unspoken assumption that I’m ‘different’ to the rest of the nice men and women on the committee. There’s no evidence whatsoever. The school principal attends every meeting. She’s great, but she’s a school principal so I just can’t help feeling nervous in her presence. I can’t help worrying that my mobile phone is about to be confiscated or that I’m in trouble for not sitting up straight or forgetting something or not having the minutes from t…

I Should Be Committed

I think I may be suffering from a rare mental disease that only affects my good self. I call it commitment-phobia. I’ve had it for almost thirty years but I’m really only coming to terms with it now. What it is is a hormone or gland or chemical imbalance or something, that causes delusionary emotions of falling madly in love and then falling madly out of love just as quickly. The falling out of love is usually triggered by the other person falling in love with me. Hence, I probably have enough ex-lovers at this stage to fill a theatre for one of my story telling nights (if they were speaking to me, that is). And believe me, it’s not as if I have a lot of choice. There are plenty of people with whom I would love the opportunity to prove I wouldn’t be happy with. No, I am only referring to those who are desperate enough to fall for me, and whom, similarly, I am deluded enough to be taken in by. I remember my first boyfriend. I was a seventeen year old school girl and he was a student of…

Detox is a Word

My life is all sorted: I’m starting a juice detox diet. Spell check just claimed that detox isn’t a real word, well how wrong is that? I’m going to do the Carol Vorderman one, because I bought the book a few years ago. It’s a great read and there are lots ofcoloured pictures of drinks that make giving up food almost seem attractive. And Carol Vorderman is so good at Sudoku that she must know what she’s doing, even if I despise healthy sexy slim women in general. The idea came to me last week when this friend of mine called over. We try to meet once a week and take time out to work on the novels that we are both not writing. This means a lot of sticky cream buns and cafĂ© lattes are consumed. We spend an hour discussing how our week has been so incredibly busy that there’s no way we could have written even a page of our novels, we bitch about any mutual friends, saying what bitches they are and five minutes before she leaves we come up with a plan as to how we really will get writing th…

I'm NOT With Stupid

I love Paris. The cafes, the culture, the art, the romance, I could go on all day. But I don’t love Paris as in ‘I heart Paris’ on the front of a tacky t-shirt. Apparently, though, I’m alone in this sentiment if I’m to go by the rail of t-shirts I’ve just seen at in the local retail store. And it’s not just Paris, I’m also not a student at various colleges mostly on another continent, I’m not Superman or sexy chic and no, the Leprechauns didn’t make me do it. I’m not ‘with stupid’ and I don’t think you should ‘save the trees, eat a beaver.’ Not eating beavers isn't a vegetarian issue, it’s more that I’m really not convinced beavers have been all that instrumental in the demise of trees. But, oh of course, double meaning. I'm on the floor laughing. Not.  Now why people go around wearing the most ridiculous things written on t-shirts is beyond me. I can’t say I’m not guilty myself. When I was ten years old the local cheapo clothes store were selling a range of t-shirts with slog…

Best Thing About Marriage

I have the best thing you can ever get from marriage: a divorce. My ex lives a good two hours plane journey away which means that the child sharing is done by going on holidays together or the kids going to stay with him during the summer, leaving me with a few weeks of having the opportunity to live the way I think I’d like to live but actually wouldn’t. He comes here sometimes and stays in my house where we organise various family days out and in. We reminisce about old times. I bring up things like ‘wasn’t it a trip of a lifetime when we travelled overland to China?’ But I never say things like ‘wasn’t it a hoot when you had the affair with the lap dancer and got beaten up by that pimp guy?’ He says things like ‘I’ll always remember how you awakened my interest in the arts.’ But he won’t say ‘I wish you hadn’t sold the family car that time to buy a polytunnel.’ We pussyfoot around all the issues and find a space where we can still be a family in our own right, a weird kind of famil…

Sexy Quips

I can never really work out what it is you are meant to do with your life in order to qualify as a worthwhile woman. If you are into things like fashion and glamour you will be deemed as weak and pandering to men as their playthings. If you have a career you will hear about how bad it is for your children and how women are difficult to work for, worse than men and more ambitious. Chose to stay at home with your kids and you’ve lost it all together, because that means you have become an unpaid skivvy pandering to the needs of little people who will grow up to hate you. A homemaker is also a dead loss. It means you cook and clean for free and also take orders and abuse for doing so. Getting married is not cool either, nor is staying single. Married women have sold themselves to the enemy, while singles are self obsessed old maids. I still have to work out my own role as a woman. Unfortunately I love cooking and hate cleaning which leaves me fat and living in a dump. I love having kids, a…

Irish Burglar Alarms

Once upon a time when I was a newly returned ex-pat, I decided it would be a great idea to live in the back of beyond, in a place where it’s so country that you had to go out and look for beauty with a metal detector. The place was mostly bog and stone and other than my good self and a handful of blow-ins, most of the locals were cousins of some kind or other. There was one sad pub where the local men sported various themes on the same check shirt while the ladies wore knee length skirts and raised a leg on a Friday night for the Set Dancing session. This village had one tourist attraction, and it did earn the name village as there was a petrol pump that doubled up into a post office where you could also buy groceries. You wouldn’t know it was a tourist attraction considering that from outside it looked like the ruins of a big old house, and it was pretty much deserted. What made it a tourist attraction was that above the hole that was once an entrance, there was a carving of a very u…

Copulative Complications

One of the great things about the internet is that borderline alcoholic lone parents, who are forced to stay home at night, can now go online once they have reached the edge of maudlin with their lonely lone parent bottle of wine. I am one of those people. Online, to define it properly, means searching up old flames. That’s because old flames are safe. They remember you from way back when you didn’t buy your clothes in the fatty shop, you don’t need to do a police check on them because you know they were always mad but not in a weirdo way and they are also likely to be the kind of married and living on another continent safe. Recently I found an old flame on Facebook. There was a touch of all of the above. He sent me an email to say he still thinks I’m beautiful (he last saw me in 1987). Luckily, he’s been living in New York for the past 25 years, so I won’t have to do my roots, put on my favourite tent and disappoint him over a coffee. The dangerous part is that he is currently singl…

Sex and Haircuts

To me hairdressers are like lovers. I get all excited about trying them out; especially the ones with a bit of a name for being quirky. This morning I dished out top dollar for a guy with a great reputation, but paying hairdressers can be on par to using a prostitute: the cost doesn’t guarantee the quality, does it? Today’s session was totally sexy – a lot of foreplay involving the male in question telling me how great he was, how great it would be and how much success he’s had with other women. The act itself was over before I’d noticed, he patted my shoulder and called me love, and like a lot of sex, I left telling myself I could probably get a better job somewhere else. As with lovers, the good thing is that you can move on to the next one soon after the anti-climax, and in between times you can mope around and blame yourself. So most of lunchtime I’ve been coming up with reasons as to why it is my fault that I’ve just paid almost half my weekly income on having some guy do a balle…