Niece Love

Starved of BOTH Irish nieces all week after moving back to my old pad, I contacted Sisinlaw about a folding clothes horse (the RUBBISH one must accumulate in order to live alone in a draughty house) and begged her to drop over the required item along with Little Niece N, so I could hug her, put her in between two slices of bread and eat her alive with adoration.

Both duly arrived this morning, and promises of my having more room in my (empty) three bedroomed house than their two bed apartment were taken very seriously, as a bunch of Little Niece N’s toys accompanied them – the noisy ones too, I noted.  There were lots of colours, and things that you could bang, which would make beeping sounds, and animal sounds, and alleged music sounds and flashing stuff – basically Sisinlaw was culling her apartment of anything that would delay the smooth transition of a massive hangover into a dull headache.  Luckily there were books too, as Little Niece N appears to, like her dad and aunt, have a flair for the words, and I am convinced I can teach her to read by three, as my own mother kindly did for me.  So as she grows, she will come to visit her aunt, not for fun times banging multi coloured plastic toys in order to make some weird sort of battery operated fusion of music and noise, but to strict rations of approved books, and beatings if new sentences are not learned by the end of every hour.  Tough love, and plenty of it, is my motto.

After second breakfast of scrambled eggs and tea and juice, myself and Sisinlaw gossiped whilst N, ignoring ALL the toys brought over for her, proceeded to run from the front door, through the hall, to the kitchen, past the dining room where we were seated, into the living room, out into the hall again, back into the kitchen and so on, whilst making a panting noise that sounded eerily like a little dog, flapping her hands, and generally just enjoying having space to be en eejit in.  This went on for about forty minutes, and only stopped because we told her she was making us dizzy, and not because her energy levels reduced in ANY way.

Afterwards, Sisinlaw popped out and we put N to bed in the spare room, with her teddy and a blanket, and I watched Only Fools and Horses for the two hundredth time, and laughed myself silly.  Hearing noises, I ventured upstairs to make sure nobody was dead or being murdered, but my fears subsided when I realised it was N, woken up now, and singing to Ted.  I picked her up, and was informed that it was ”bounce time” meaning she gets to jump on the bed in the other spare room (bouncing strictly forbidden on my own, by children and adults alike as I am a sad old spinster who never brings men back to the house).  After literally throwing, bouncing, pulling, pushing and tickling N for about half an hour, I was fit to collapse, and nearly cried when Sisinlaw walked back in, and took over bouncing duties.  They left, and I ran up to Mammy for tea, and to go on a kettle buying excursion, and when we returned, there was Sisinlaw and N at Mammy’s house, for another visit – which was fabulous, as I then got to play football with N, then see saw (where I am the actual see saw) and chasing, which has caused early onset heart attacks.

Sisinlaw left to pick up Babybro from work, leaving N with me, Mammy and Papabear, the latter making fart noises and causing hysterical giggles from everybody.  We received a text half an hour later, from Babybro, advising us that Sisinlaw had collapsed in a heap in bed, and he would be available to receive his daughter should we wish to deposit her back at his home.

An overdose of niece love and affection, and to add to my lovely warm glow, Panties has just texted to say she has bought a giant Avoca scone for me at her yummymummyladieswholunch thing (bleurgh) and can I come over to eat it soon.  Yes I can Pants, yes I bloody can.

Why I Was Hungover

Many moons ago, I sat an entrance exam to take part in a journalism course.  Next to me was a stoned rocker, with the nicest hair I have ever seen on a man, straight, shiny, and auburn.  Anyhoo, he too was sitting the entrance exam, which consisted of political and current event questions, to test our journalistic mettle.  I began talking to the stoned rocker after he tried to copy my answers, and then just asked me for them.  After that, I assumed I would never see him again, but I did, he turned up on our first day at one of our lectures, I pointed at him in disbelief, and a year later he was asked to leave the course because he took too many drugs and never came in.

Last night I sat opposite my now old friend, who is now 35, married, living in Naples and not taking drugs.  What a difference 18 years makes!  ”Spiceburger,” I said to him  ”I’d never know you.”  And the hair is gone!  Ha, I thought – now you just have normal locks.  To hell with you!

Another long and difficult day at work was followed by some wine at home, coupled with a lazy dinner of scrambled eggs and spelt toast.  Eventually I pulled on a blouse and jeans and met Spiceburger and his wife ShesAustralianOhDear for dirty pints at one of my locals.  Oddly, the Australian ordered water initally (?) and then moved to small glasses of cider.  This seems particularly unAustralian to me, but what would I know, I was only married to one for eight years.  Several pints followed along with discussions of past lovers, near misses, speed and creative careers (his, not mine – I have since realised I am a money hungry cow who needs to stop working for banks because I should have done something creative and helpful with my life, so I feel depressed and deranged, on top of my raging hangover).  Spiceburger asked what had happened to my marriage, and I couldn’t remember, so I said something about ”fizzling out” and channelled my inner Whitesnake, because lately, just lately, I don’t feel so beat up about it all.  Whitesnake DID say it best, my friends.

Afterwards, I literally fell through my front door, and for some reason, began cleaning up the kitchen and preparing my breakfast dishes.  I’ve moved house see, and am currently living alone in splendid isolation and it is GREAT.  After cleaning up, I went upstairs and put the radio on quite loudly, sang along for about two songs and then fell face first on the bed, in my blouse and knickers, and stayed that way until waking up a half hour later, to take a shower, brush my teeth and continue to sing along to the ”love zone” playing on the station (I think).  I passed out, and only got up to seek headache tablets.  Another successful evening.

I Was Hungover Today. 4

I answer the voices in my head.
”I am trying to ring X Insurance company.”
”I have been on hold 45 minutes.”
”Right.  This is ABC Bank though, we are not X Insurance.”
”I KNOW that, but you promote home insurance.  You’re all the same!”
”Excuse me?”
”It’s extremely bad service.”
”Sorry you were on hold so long how can I help you.”
”I need my bill from X Insurance.”
”You would need to ring them or write to them.”
”I TOLD you they’re not answering the phones.  You do insurance, you’re all disgraceful?”
”Would you like the number for our insurance area?”

I Was Hungover Today. 3

”I want to speak to Belinda.”
”There’s nobody here by that name.”
”She called me from somewhere in the bank, not your area though.”
”Do you have a surname?”
”Do you have an extension number?”
”No, I didn’t listen to all of the voicemail.”
”Is there anything I can help you with?”
”No she rang somebody else and I’m ringing on their behalf, they can’t speak on the phone.”

I Was Hungover Today. 2

”I’m installing a new software package and it’s asking me for a pin number?”
”Do you have it?”
”Is the software related to the bank?”
”Have you considered calling the software company?”
”Good idea.”