Virtual Hugs and Chips

”May all your chips be hot and your heart warm.”

A lovely quote, received today via email, from an old old friend resident in the fabulous Adelaide.  Followed with our standard signoff – ”that’ll do pig, that’ll do”.

Speaking of chips and old buds, met up with Trevor and my second niece, NN, and brought Lilsister along for the dizzy ride.  We feasted on a scabby 15 euro menu for two courses, all going for burgers and dessert.  The poor waiter brought me the normal menu when it came to order cakes, and I had to ask him for ”the cheapo menu” which did not cause him to fall to the floor in a heap of sniggers, surprisingly.  I don’t think anyone in there was ordering from the normal menu as everyone is either dole-ing it or on reduced income in our Republic of Ireland.

Afterwards we followed Trevor to the shops and while she perused the bread selection NN ran around the three of us touching off us and telling us she was delivering a giant hug.  Ahhh.

See – things might be in the serious doldrums finance wise, and I may have mislaid a husband in the last few months, but it’s the magic-inspired hugs from your niece and the inhaling of burgers with family and friends that stops those grey clouds from going black.  And the thought of hot chips making your heart warm.  Dribble.

Family Misfortunes

Christmas Eve spent popping headache tablets after neck and shoulders got VERY tense watching Paranormal Activity 2 with Lilsister in Mammy’s bed.  We had one of those fancy blanket things that hangs off the ends of beds in only the best houses, which was convenient as we needed something to block out the tv screen, in case we actually saw any of the scary stuff on the telly.  Didn’t hold hands as much as last time; Lilsister’s were too sweaty, but we did curl around each other to protect against anything that might jump off the screen, which meant I was in a giant human knot shape by the end (which was horrific, from what I can gather).

Slept fitfully afterwards but must have fallen asleep at one stage as was frightened awake by Lilsister having fullblown nightmare beside me which consisted of very faint but wailing sound of ”noooo, noooo” and legs and arms kicking and lashing at me.  In my dozed state, all I could manage was to grab her by the head and try and shake her awake by saying ”it’s cool Braille, it’s cool,” and having her awaken, wide eyed and shocked to be in a midnight head lock.

The Day itself passed as it usually does, in a haze of mood swings, beers and catching up with the brothers and respective partners.  Dinner was grand except the ham tasted funny.  Well I thought it did – the pregnant girlfriend of Firstbrother inhaled her entire plate in about six seconds, beating even Lilsister, which is no mean feat.  I don’t know her well, but the girl will fit in grand with the women in our family if that’s how she does her food.

Ended the evening in a STORM of killings after playing skins, or post-its in our case, where you put the name of someone on your drunken brow and attempt to guess their details through a series of questions, before realising you have no idea and you need to lie down.  I think I got the name of every bloody soul diva from the 70’s and 80’s EXCEPT the required Chaka Khan which was very disappointing to Babybro who had placed the name there, as I usually hold myself up to be such a culture vulture of music to him.  Firstbrother finally broke the confused spell by telling me that the name on my head had a record called after her, and the record was called ”Chaka Khan” – that wasn’t the name of the record, but I eventually picked up on his subtle signals.

It all went so well that we decided to do it again on Stephen’s night, so excepting Middlebro, we piled up to Babybro’s and Sisterinlaw’s house and attempted to play the awful Family Fortunes, which I had not seen since the eighties, but which, worryingly, Babybro and Sisterinlaw are big fans of, and therefore experts in.  Anyway, if you have a life you may not know that the game consists of being asking inane questions, answering as best you can, and hoping that your answer is on the ”list”.  If it is, happy days, if not, something else happens but I don’t know what because it was all too much for me.  I paired with Lilsister and Middlebro’s aforementioned pregnant girlfriend, versus Sisterinlaw, Babybro and Firstbrother.  Lilsister’s new man, Scarydancer, wisely decided to compere and was treated to five hours of tears, laughter, arguments and disownings for his troubles.  He also nearly split up with Lilsister during their HALF HOUR argument over the ”what do you pay once a year” topic

Lilsister answers: ”tax”  .

Scarydancer replies ”can you be more specific”.

Lilsister says ”no”.

Scarydancer (firmly) ”well you can’t just say ‘tax’ as there are different types of tax so you need to be clearer on what type of tax you mean”.

Lilsister (squinting eyes in evil way) ”WELL THEN IF YOU’RE GOING TO BE A PRICK ABOUT IT I can say car bleedin tax can’t I!”

Scarydancer has the ‘eeh enn’ buzzer thing that you hear on the show, and slowly, and quite deliberately, presses it.  The buzzer sounds and he states that car tax is NOT on the list, and therefore, our group, which I think we called ”Bump” after the impending baby, or ”Mannilow” –  I can’t remember, has lost this round.  It is a crushing blow, and the words that come out of my sister’s mouth would not be heard in the Dublin docks after a night on the rum.  This causes Scarydancer to throw down his answers and declare that if Lilsister is so unhappy with the way the game is going he can assist her by walking out and going home.  I begin singing ”It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” and this diffuses the situation somewhat, and we plunder on.

The night wears on and Sisterinlaw ends up hitting the tea due to fatigue, she’s clearly not in our family long and doesn’t have the stamina for fighting and capacity for hate that we all do.  She’ll learn.  Silly answers abound and Preggers interrupts Babybro whilst he is on a role naming things that he only has one of (nose, head, mouth etc) by asking him why he hasn’t mentioned his dick, and Lilsister wonders aloud why ”arse” hasn’t been mentioned either.  Answer of the night goes to Firstbrother for stating that of things that would make an alarm in an airport go off  ”like, old, historical shit” would be his guess.  After confusing the lot of us, he began to explain that this could mean ”like, chalices” at which I queried why one would carry a chalice at the airport, would it be because one was too good to drink one’s tea from a mere mug?  Cue further infighting and declarations of war.

By two am we were exhausted, and Firstbrother was weary of defending himself, after also answering to the question of ”things you buy that you use in the morning” as ”toilet”.  It was a night of intellectual thrills.

And now it is the 27th, and Colin Farrell is on the telly using his Dublin accent which is always refreshing.  He appears to be discussing horse tranquilisers so that’s nice.

Bubbles

You know it’s Chrismtas Eve and the start of the ”festive” season when you wake to the sounds of your parents killing each other in the kitchen downstairs.  Ho ho ho.  To the day I die, and it could be soon by excessive gin inhallation, I will never forgive ExHimself for putting me in the position where I’ve had to move back in with the EEJITS that are my parents.  May my visit be short, and quiet.  Amen.

I put on the radio to drown out the evil vibes and Michael Buble was on groaning about coming home.  This didn’t help.

Envisaged today’s arguement whilst contemplating Mr Buble’s stellar career on smoochy ballads.  Mammy would have gotten up early, even though she doesn’t need to leave the house till 9am.  This ensures maximum time to sit and bull about how difficult Christmas is.  Papabear, who after 39 years of marriage should really know better, would have gotten up, rolled downstairs and asked Mammy to make him breakfast.  Cue usual killings about laziness of Papabear, followed by cooking of his breakfast.  I have told Papabear several times since getting off the plane that daily food arguments could be cancelled if he just poured oil and sausages into a pan and ate the results.  But noooooo he and she have to have their daily dance around the madpole.

Mammy left at 9 for hairdressers, in a haze of sighs and coughs, which I pretended not to hear by turning the radio up louder.  I let Mr Buble go home and rolled the dial over to Spin instead, not my favourite station in the world but it plays a lot of ”unce unce unce unce” style ”dance” music and is therefore louder than most of the ”classic” hits being provided by our more mainstream stations.  Did the trick anyways, and I dozed off to the tender sounds of some twat shrieking about how his ladeee had it awl and didn’t need none of his dollaz, man.  Sweet, sweet snoozing.

Party last night went grand, I had gin and beer beforehand and gin and tea after I got there, and some fine food – Panties knows how to put on an excellent spread.  Some bad moments when there was an indepth discussion between the mammies of what essentials to pack for hospital trip when one is birthing, which myself and Panties did not enjoy but luckily Rocky Five came on and we concentrated on that until we could tell our story about the time we babysat for a couple on New Year’s Eve and they had sex all night on the stairs when they came home, which was terrifying for us as we were in a bedroom in a single bed with no door, just a curtain, and we were afraid they would come in and eat us, and the woman was screaming her head off and ended up wailing for Satan to put his ”evil in her”.  Terrible, terrible night, but a lovely story to shut up the maternity talk with.

Bad news indeed on Thursday as when Lilsister came to collect me she was in floods of tears – her job of five years waited till she went back to work (ill, I might add, she’d been out the two days before dying with Mammy’s disgusting cough and only went in cause she had so much work to do) to tell her that she was now redundant and could she please go away.  Not sure what’s going on, she is a credit controller for a company that really needs control over it’s credit but anyways it’s happened and there’s not a lot we can do about it.  She said her co-worker had been made redundant about five minutes before (by the way, for the second time with that company – supposedly the co-worker was in the toilet, came out, boss waiting for her, and she said ”please don’t do this to me again” at which point they actually did).  Lilsister had been upset by this news, then was called in herself, to the company owner, his wife, and her boss, who delivered the reasons and the news itself.  She said she has no idea what was said, all she remembers is the owner, who seemed quite upset himself, holding her hand, and her wishing he would not do that, as she was now crying large rivers of snot, and bubbles had started to come out of her nose, and she needed her hand to wipe them away.  The owner’s wife requested that somebody get tissues which just means they all saw the bubbles and were probably horrified.  I told her when I was made redundant they at least had the decency to have a glass of water and a BOX of tissues on the desk in preparation.  I didn’t cry, but I was annoyed as it was done in the boardroom and I knew that the managers hid the kit kats in the press at the back and hadn’t thought that chocolate might be a comfort.

Luckily myself and Papabear were at home at the time, so after the purchase of chips and the making of tea she calmed somewhat, and we discussed our lack of futures and how the hell Ireland is supposed to pull itself up out of all this.

Our immediate answer is to pile me, Lilsister, Papabear and Babybro, all of whom have now been made redundant, into Lilsister’s Toyota Yaris and hit the streets in a sort of unemployment roadshow, begging for work.  We shall start at the industrial estates, knocking on doors, leaving Papabear and Babybro right at the gate, as we believe we should be the interested looking faces of our project.  Papabear has given up ever working again and Babybro has been unemployed for so long we are worried for his health.  Another option is to bring our niece, Babybro’s beautiful daughter, N, along for the sympathy vote ie if we don’t work she doesn’t eat etc or just general cuteness – some manager may see her and go ”ahhhh” whilst we sneak by and steal jobs, or petty cash as we can’t afford the petrol.

Until then we will muddle through Christmas, Lilsister and I shall be tucked up in bed together tonight, watching the very Christmassy Paranormal Activity 2, as we saw the first one together a few weeks ago, on the sofa, holding hands, and behind cushions, and loved it.  I have to say though my hand had nail marks in it from last time, Lilsister must have been tense, so perhaps we’ll sit apart tonight.  Then it’s up at 6 or 7 to open presents – a lot less this year – and begin a day of eating, drinking and avoiding Mammy’s cough.

To Ghosts at Christmas!

Awaiting Pickup

Lilsister is hacking up her insides and I have to accompany her to the overpriced doctor.  This should be happening shortly.

Brought Papabear to the shops to purchase present for Mammy, who gave me detailed instructions over the phone this morning.  Papabear now bears the brunt of the request.  Also did some Lobomonster shopping, and asked Papabear to carry the bag, which he refused to do, in case people thought he was gay.

Racking cough subdued somewhat during the night, so much though that I slept for nearly twelve hours!  Feeling fit and full of life and ready to imbibe beer tomorrow night with Panties and the coupledup friends at her house.

Received Christmas card from Trevor with a picture of cupcakes on it – on the back is a printed recipe for making same – now that’s what I call recycling and reusing.  Trevor and I will save the planet one inhaled cupcake at a time.

Must go and find shoes before Lilsister swoops in with her mood and cough – doctor’s office may not take kindly to slippers that look like rat face (some form of animal possibly with a snout, but not clear to me).

The Hack of Her

There is a poster at the doctor’s office that gives you vital clues on what to do when you have a hacking cough.  Admittedly, it assumes you have MANNERS.

When you have a hacking, disgusting cough that sounds like you are birthing an old man each time you rack it out, you should have the decency to at a bare minimum TURN YOU HEAD AWAY from other humans and cover your mouth.  Then hack him up.  The poster also advises to cough into a tissue, which you then throw away, and then wash your hands for ”at least” 15 seconds.

Mammy has developed her slight cough into a full blown Middle Eastern crisis, by making sure it is loud, proud and spraying everything in it’s path.  If she wasn’t afraid of kicking me with a lawnmower attached to her foot I would have brought the poster home and displayed it under the 5000 fridge magnets for her to BLOODY READ.

As a result of her general disgustingness I now have a cough, which I have had for several days, but which got much worse last night, hence the highly expensive doctor’s visit.  It never ceases to amaze me why doctors in Ireland are complaining that nobody visits them anymore when they cost 60 euro just to visit, and to dispense prescriptons for inhalers that can only serve to help you breathe, and therefore shouldn’t NEED prescriptions as breathing is essential, which cost 8 euros.  Rip off anyone????

Lilsister is also extremely ill with, guess what, a racking, hacking cough, and is confined to her apartment quarters in isolation.  So I can’t even moan to her about it.  Papabear, the drinker, smoker, inhaler of fried foods and the most adverse man to exercise ever, is feeling ”slightly under the weather”.

All this and I am supposed to go to a party Friday night in Panties’ house – cupcakes have been promised, but I will be amongst a sea of couples, most of whom are either up the Ballyjames or have just spouted offspring.  If there are pictures I shall scream, and hack at them all.

Cabbage

Came down the stairs this morning to discover Mammy had left TWO messages on a pot containing ham  – peel potatoes, and at 3.30pm boil, then simmer aforementioned ham.  Great.  We’re having ham and cabbage for dinner today – another great reason to be in Ireland.  The ham and cabbage is great (yeah Germany you heard me.  Stop pickling yours!!!).

Papabear began talking of a ”friend” of his.  ”He’s a bit John Dimple,” he says.  ”Not the full shilling but not a cabbage.”

This was post eppo-fits had by Papabear in quick succession this morning.  First fit came after Lilsister called to complain about the set up of buying the season tickets for the Dubs matches in 2012.  Bit early in the day (and year) to be worrying about such stuff, but I’m a calm person, I can handle it, I thought.

LilSister emailed, texted and then called to say she would NOT buy season tickets until we could confirm we would all be sitting together as Charlie would not sit with Carl and she did not want to be left alone with Papabear at a match (him being mad abusive and all).  This from the girl who had to be TORN away from kicking the crap out of a Cork woman in 2010 cause she kept pulling on her Dublin jersey.  Fair enough to start on the Cork Cow but it was a tense match and we needed all our powers of concentration to get through the match, to will them on and all.

Anyway I know nothing about these season ticket purchases so went to discuss the matter with Papabear who threw a fit and said he didn’t understand anything and there was no point talking to Charlie cause they’re as thick as each other and he would ring Charlie who would ring Carl who would be TOLD to ring LilSister.  This was very confusing for me so I said I would ring Carl as Carl has normal brain functionality but Dad didn’t have his number so it meant going back to LilSister and her mood swings to get this.  This then brought forth fit no 2 which was about the telly not ommitting any sound – I tried the telly remote and the sky remote and no joy.  Fit fit fit and general badmouthing of LilSister for bringing up difficult subjects like seating at football matches in 2012.  Cue bashing of both remotes and the sound of the telly being turned on and off ”doo doo doo doo” noise when telly came back on, and grumblings of ”the next sound you’ll hear will be the bastarding thing being fucked out the window”.

I rang Mammy to ask if she knew how to resolve the situation and she declared that Papabear had probably ”sat” on the remote in a funny way and pressed a button.  No help.  She did suggest turning the telly on and off and then reefing out all the plugs for a minimum of five mintues.  I told Papabear this and no idea if he did it or not but as I passed by his room some minutes later I was informed through the closed door that all was well.  TV has been reinstated as the official favourite thing in the house, and viewing pleasure has recommenced.  Doo doo doo doo.

Back to shops today in vain effort to find cheap Christmas presents.  Failed miserably.  Too many people and still smarting from visiting the other day when a teenaged person stood in my way with a brochure saying ”there you go ma’am” like I was some old biddy receiving a free gift.  Bitch!!!  Or maybe she meant it like ”mam” and I look haggard enough to be her mother.  Either way, she is buried in the carpark, resting on a bed of brochures.

Came home to find Papabear still waving arms wildly about his head in relation to season tickets and seating issues.  Tried to ring Carl but am still waiting on him to get back to me.  Ate day old garlic bread and took two headache tablets.

LilSister complaining that when she turned around at her desk in work (everyone sits behind her for some reason) to declare that they are all ”retards” nobody said anything.  Have concluded that everyone is terrified of her, and that she needs a smack.

Have no deep or interesting feelings today, excepting sore neck from long haul flight home couple of weeks ago, but this is hardly worth talking about.  Besides it is nearly 3pm and I need to go and think about peeling the potatoes before Mammy comes home and beats me.