A Long and Winding Road

I am going to my exercise class later, what joy.

To not celebrate, I have been eating cous cous with roasted vegetables.  For excitement, I added coriander, parsley, lemon, garlic and whoopee!!! salt and pepper.  Strangely, the excitement hasn’t hit yet.

My stomach is literally churning with health, so I must balance this with tea and a chocolate chipped biccie.

In  happier news, Exhimself has emailed me to say he has just gotten married (four months after the divorce was granted) and would I like to see pictures of the event?

I think I’ll make that two biccies.

Christmas Stories: My Little Brother Would Like Me to Have Some Sex

The table was booked, admittedly with an awkward number (11 – the additional 1 was you guessed it – me – husbandless and happy about it!).  Luckily the hotel managed to squeeze us all at a table with no one person sitting at the top (which I feared would be me) and I found myself in the midst of five couples – Mammy and Papabear, Firstbrother and Preggers, Middlebro and The Baker, Babybro and Sisinlaw, and Lilsister and Scarydancer.

Having only had two beers in ten minutes with Papabear before leaving the house, I was relatively sober when Middlebro put an arm around me at the table, and asked me how my sex life was going.  ”It is not,” I gently informed him, sensing the disappointment rising up in his soul.  There immediately followed a lecture on dating and the 38 year old woman, which involved the usual encouraging words such as ”get out there”, ”meet people” and the dreaded ”internet dating” that I have heard about and which to my credit, I did dabble in when I lived in Melbourne last year.  In a short space of time I had ”met” what appeared to be a perfectly normal functioning male who didn’t look horrific and appeared to have what I like to call ”wit”.  Some jokes cracked over instant messaging and a date was arranged.  As I hadn’t been on a date in ten years, and the last time I had been on a date I had been so drunk I couldn’t remember it, I decided to have a glass of wine beforehand in a nice bar just down the road from the nice bar I was to meet my bespectacled friend in (did I mention I do like a man with glasses and this bloke wore some in his picture, so he was 50% there already).

They knew me well in my little nice bar and were quite generous with my white wine, which I gulped down greedily, hoping for a wine buzz within a short space of time.  One was not forthcoming after 30 seconds, so I bought another practically full glass and took my time with it, taking nearly three minutes to down it!

At this stage I was almost late for my date, so I ran down the stairs of my nice bar and up a bloody hill to the nice bar I was meeting Glassesman in.  I found him, and bought us both large glasses of wine, which, in my nervous state, I drank quite quickly, and realised I needed the loo.

Whilst in the loo I texted my work friends to say no, I had not been murdered, and things were okay, but I was a little disappointed that Glassesman was not actually wearing his glasses.  It was a bit of a turnoff really.  They replied not to lose heart, or if I was losing heart, to get the hell out of there.  I checked the train times and I had about twenty minutes till mine was due.

I ran out, nearly falling up and down some steps I hadn’t realised were there, and went back to my Notsobeloved.  He asked me if I wanted another drink, and I looked disappointingly into his face, only to realise yes, he WAS wearing glasses and yes, it had been a bad idea to drink the majority of a bottle of wine on an empty stomach.  But I still had twenty minutes, so I got another glass, and quite literally fell onto my train twenty minutes later.

I did not get a chance to tell Middlebro any of this, such was the forcefulness of his lecture.  Basically what it boils down to is this – if I don’t start slutting around soon, my brother will take great offence and possibly beat me.  I don’t want to offend my brother, so I had better find a willy to start having sex with.

My brother also reminded me that I was attractive, and did not look my age and was a general good person to know and while I am sure he has to say those things to his sister, it was still nice to be told and restores my faith in men somewhat, that they cannot all be cheating, lying scumbags.

I promised my brother that I would go speed dating soon, as he seems to believe that this will be my salvation, and if nothing else it will be something to tell my nieces about when they get older as I will not be unfortunate enough to have children of my own to tell stories to.  They will think I am fabulous, and if they are thirteen years or older I will buy them beer behind my brothers’ backs.  Hurray!

Middlebro patted me on the shoulder and reinforced his message telling me again that I had my looks, and that he did not want to have this conversation with me in ten years time, when my looks would be going.  Allegedly I still ”have it” and should go out and shake it about.

It is truly lovely to be looked after by a big brother, even if he is five years younger than me.  I like being his little sister.

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.

H? As In the Letter?

”I need a new car,” I said to Mammy the other day.  I am moving back into the house I co-own with the bank, and in order to get around I will need some wheels, as my legs are too old to handle walking everywhere, and at 38 (sigh) I really shouldn’t be borrowing Lilsister’s car no more.

Cue phonecalls to my insane UncleCarExpert for advice, which he promptly refused to give as he was going to accompany us on our spree.  This also meant that my mad AuntieFabulous would also be tagging along, as she is mad, and loves any excuse to get out of the house and meet people, even if they are used car salesmen called H – ”as in the letter” – yes he actually said that down the phone.

Mammy and I rocked up to UncleCarExpert’s massive house about 10.30amish, and remembered that a member of the Dubliner’s lived next door, which was nice, although we didn’t see him.  There was some home renovations going on, and rave music was blasting out of the living room, not really what I expected from the traditional Irish singer but there you go, it is the weekend and we all need to relax in our own way.

As UncleCE showed us his amazing back garden (which I have since booked for my 40th) AuntieFabulous popped her head out from the upstairs window, bra on and not much else, to say she was getting fabuloused up and would be with us shortly.  She then popped down, still in bra, and told us she had just lost two stone in weight, so myself and Mammy admired her (in fairness, she is a BABE, she may as well show us) and then told her to get ready.

Eventually, AuntieF found her heels, and a top, and we were off, to Dublin’s northside, which none of us know anything about.  Naturally we got lost, which was fine as Mammy and UncleCE argued in the front and myself and AuntieF talked about her sex life in the back.  She also asked me how my husband was, and seemed confused that I had mislaid him, then agreed with me that it was best to leave him wherever he happened to be.

Eventually locating H, who is in actual fact called ”Habib” (he believes no-one in Ireland can pronounce the name, are we that ignorant?  Possibly.) Mammy and UncleCE pointed out the cars that they liked, and promptly got into them and tried to drive off, until I told them I didn’t need a mini van, or a giant engine, thank you very much, this was a car that only needed to fit me and a handbag, as I was alone, abandoned, and would never have nine kids to squeeze in.  Jesus.

After much arguing, we selected a little silver number, which I very much liked, and which UncleCE pronounced to be ”acceptable”, so I took her for a test spin, well I sat in the passenger seat and UncleCE drove.  H gave us a dummy licence plate, which sat in the front window until I got a chance to drive and it flew out and onto the road, causing UncleCE to jump out and nearly get run over by those terrible northside drivers who have no manners or patience.  To conclude, the car was deemed acceptable, and when I got back I took a photo to show Lilsister, which became obscured as AuntieF draped herself over it, Monroe style, to emphasise its and her own finer points.

Some excellent haggling by UncleCE concluded, I popped back into H’s office to hand over a deposit and sign the paperwork, and naturally AuntieF came with me and asked for five business cards, which she got.  The meeting concluded, I shook H’s hand, as did AuntieF, but she also received a kiss for her troubles too, for I think H was quite in love.  She asked him to put a bow round the car when it was ready for pickup, and he looked quite serious when he said he would do his best. 

I do like to unwrap presents.

The Madonna Car Sticker Bought in Cambodia

Last year, whilst trudging around Cambodia alone as ExHimself, based in Australia at the time, didn’t find the idea of seeing this aincent country appealing, I happened across an odd little shop filled with signs, musings and fancy quotations.  It was there that I saw what I believed to be a car sticker:

”IN MADONNA WE TRUST”.

There is nothing more to be said.  I immediately bought it and posted it back to Ireland, to Trevor, where I knew she would love and treasure it.

Unfortunately it turned out to be a normal sticker, not meant for a car at all, but Trevor prevailed and stuck it up on her new fancy double oven, in her newly designed kitchen, and promptly took a picture of herself, thumbs up, in front of it.

I received that picture in Melbourne, where I was alone, missing my mad family and wondering what the hell I was doing moving here with Exhimself, who, true to form, had promised much but delivered nothing once he got back into his homeland.  I cried when I saw the picture and missed my friend.  I showed the photo to Exhimself who declared that Trevor was too proud of her new kitchen and fancy double oven to ”ruin” it with a car sticker that had purple writing.  This made me very sad.

I stood in Trevor’s kitchen on Saturday night, on my fourth glass of prosecco, and screamed as if seeing that car sticker for the first time.  There it still is, stuck to her extremely fancy double oven (which also appears to have some sort of professional coffee making machine thing in it – is that possible?  Or was I on my eighth prosecco?) and there it will always remain, because Trevor loves it and treasures it.

I declared this story to both Trevor and Boo, and while Trevor made angry fist gestures and I spat out my hate, Boo retreated to the solitude of the living room and watched a home improvement show, I believe silently hoping we would both just get the hell out of his house.

Break out the Big Hair

In what should be noted under the ”moving on from the end of mine marriage” chapter of my time on this planet (and allegedly the point of this blog), three things have occurred which convince me that I may be doing just that:

1. Whilst discussing food preparation with Scarydancer at the dinner table the other day, I mentioned the way my ex cooked a certain item.  Lilsister helpfully pointed out that this is the first time she has heard me refer to Exhimself as my ”ex”.  The actual name never even sprung to mind.

2. This morning, I followed an extremely handsome man around the supermarket.  Not something I normally do, handsome or not, and especially not in supermarkets, as they are full of food, and I like to look at food longingly whilst browsing.  It was also prior to beginning my working day, so for me to be even up and about, let alone stalking a complete stranger, was a miracle in itself.  Anyway, I saw him whilst I was browsing (but not planning on eating) the cake section (a girl needs something to cheer her up on a Monday morning) and once I had finished smelling the almond croissants, I followed him down to bread, cleaning products, gardening equipment  and eventually to the till, where he failed to even look up at me, even though I cleared my throat really loudly, and really manfully.  Sigh.  I tried to follow him outside but the bloke on the till INSISTED I pay for my goods (half healthy multi grain rolls if you MUST know).

3. A very good friend is dying of cancer.  Younger than me by a couple of years, he has less than 12 months with us living souls left.  After my immediate thoughts of why him, anger, shock, memories of him performing ”Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” in full drag in a club in Sydney one sweaty Friday night, thoughts of friends that I am grateful for came to mind, and encouraged me to send more texts and thoughts than I normally do.  Some responded, some not.  But not until a few days later did I think of Exhimself, and even then, only because his hometown is near my ill friend.  If he had any importance would he not have been the first face that came to mind?

Could it be?

Time?

To sing Whitesnake??????????????????

Jolliday Presents

Lilsister and Scarydancer are just back from their Manchester jollidays, which was fabulous for me as I got to roam about the apartment and feel very sorry for myself on Saturday night, thinking about Exhimself and how nobody loved me.  Ah, parties!

Naturally Lilsister stole everything not nailed down in the hotel room, including what is actually called an ”executive” shower cap.  We took it out of it’s box, put it on our heads and have concluded that it appears to be the same as every other shower cap in every other hotel room in existence, but that we must be wrong, and ignorant, as we cannot see it’s executive powers.  We must be silly billys indeed not to recognise it.

I have also received a box of vaginal wipes, which I am thrilled about, as a girl can never have too many.  Luckily, these wipes are completely flushable, although not bio-degradable, which is a serious flaw I would have thought?  Now if I ever get caught out having sex with a stranger on my way to work I need not fear, as my vaginal wipes will erase all evidence of fun times in an instant!!!!  And should I give up on our planet, and life in general, I know that the toilet will be the only one that knows my dirty secrets.

To Kill a Mockingman

Troubles rumble on with my buddy in the shipping company, whom I called today to vent with/at, which was great, as she sighed a LOT and complained about customs too and said her contact there was ”useless”.  Like all good public servants in Ireland, the ”lady” in customs dealing with my cheap workclothes is completely unaccountable for her lack of actions, meaning I cannot talk to her directly lest she has to work, or deal with humans or some other horror.  Instead she can retreat quietly into her cavern of sloth, never to be disturbed again.  My shipping contact also unhelpfully added that she had never had so much trouble with customs before, so I am feeling extra peachy about that. 

I also remembered that my two cookbooks are in the boxes, and I am most miffed about that, as one is my Nigella ”Kitchen” which is quite expensive, and my new wages just about cover the cost of transport to get to the office and not much else.  The other one I’m afraid, I don’t know the name and author of so if I do not get it back I will sink ever lower into my pool of self pity, as it is a bloody brilliant book.  I only learnt to cook in Melbourne last year, because I was alone 95% of the time, what with Ex-Himself still pretending that he loved me, but always ”disappearing” into the Australian sunset (which is crap by the way, because the sun goes down and then it is dark night, instantly, have these people never heard of the beauty of dusk???  The answer is NO.  Poor little Australians).  Anyway, this book covers EVERYTHING, even how to make scrambled eggs but best of all it is the only cookbook I’ve ever read that tells you upfront how many bowls, pans, spoons, spatulas etc you will need for each recipe and I LOVE that.  Plus I made the chocolate mousse recipe from scratch using it, and for a girl who could only burn toast mere months before, this was a HUGE (and tasty) leap.  I love this book, and I will kill the bitch in customs if she gets her greasy paws on it.

Far more worrying is my trainer at work.  His ”thing” is to read from an oversized manual for the eight or so hours that we are there, and presume that we absorb this fascinating information (for example how to send a customer a change of address form, how to stop a cheque, how to unstop that very same cheque, how to see the expiry date of a bank card etc etc) quickly and quietly.  He does not respond well to questions, or ”what if” scenarios.  In fact, he takes questions as a personal attack on his droning reading, something I find most odd.  He refuses to let us use the systems to do practical examples of his ramblings.  Why is this?  This afternoon, after the drool on my chin alerted me to the fact that I had been sleeping deeply during his speech on unlocking ATM pin numbers, I awoke suddenly and told him I was feeling rather overloaded with the information being delivered in this manner, to which he replied that he did ”not see how”.  Several of the group began stating the same fact, but I got the filthy look.  I asked him if he thought I was stupid, to which he moved gently away. 

Apart from this, he does occasionally venture into storytelling mode where we get to sit, non-enthralled, at his amazing impressions of stupid Dublin people (he is NOT from Dublin and therefore, in my opinion, as a proud Dub, NOT allowed to do an impression of a Dub anytime he tells a story of someone who he believes to be stupid).  So far, this terrible impression of a dumb Dubliner (of which none exist) has been used to prop up stories about unhelpful IT staff, drunk people at ATMs, people borrowing more than they should, banks lending more than they should, impressions of talk show radio hosts who talk about people and banks borrowing and lending more than they should, people who call talk show radio hosts about all that is wrong with society, people who forget that they have spent money in music stores and then call the bank saying that someone has stolen their money, people who engage in fraud and generally anybody that is not himself, and therefore of lesser intelligence, according to him.

HE IS NOT FUNNY.

And, like the Customs Cretin, he must go away, and stop embarrassing his profession with his existance, and fuck off and die.

Homage to the Pointlessness of Shipping Goods

Fucking customs.  After four thousand emails, two thousand calls (cause I don’t like talking to people and besides can’t we all just communicate electronically anyway due to the fact that I have precious little time on this earth and really why should I waste it talking to IDIOTS in customs) it has been decided that the ninety five pages I filled out in red tape, so red it dripped in BLOOD, plus the various bank statements confirming my address were all in vain because they have now decided to charge me VAT and excise duty on my ”goods” because, and I am guessing here, as the typing skills of the complete TWAT I am dealing with in the shipping company are second to NIL, as I spent less than a year in Australia this somehow makes me eligible for these charges.  I mean, I am seriously questioning whether to give customs a present of my work shoes, my vast collection of black trousers (worn by all women in offices with little or no intentions of ever being more than a serf in an airless cocoon filled with idiots and tears), a blanket I bought in Dublin, then shipped to Australia, then shipped back after Ex-Himself dumped me, plus a collection of what can only be termed as ”guilty pleasure” cds.  Should I REALLY be paying VAT and excise on my Smash Hits partyrific hits of the 80’s???  Does anyone REALLY want a copy of my Los Lobos crowd pleasing accoustic efforts?  And does anyone even KNOW who T’Pau are, and that yes, they did produce a greatest hits????

The answer is a resounding NO.  So fuck off customs.  I don’t need this shit, I want my blankie, I want my slipper shoes because my new job doesn’t pay me enough to buy new ones, and I’m tired of wearing my boots with the little heels in them, with my grey trousers because it makes my new job think that I am some sort of professional executive with a fully made up eye on the corporate prize, and I hate to give false impressions.  Invariably people expect you to live up to them, and I am just too tired to do ambition anymore.

And DAMMIT, I want my cds.  How am I supposed to make mix tapes of my various mood swings WITHOUT my Tori Amos collection (an entire catalogue from kooky to downright weird to suburban, and therefore boring, bliss, and back to semi-kookiness quite recently).

Fuck you customs.  Our country is in the middle of an economic depression not seen since the last Great One of the thirties, and people are queuing for food parcels in Dublin.  I am in a job that barely provides a wage higher than the state welfare payment, and I have PMT.  Give me back my cd’s and please, go fuck yourself afterwards.

Saturday Feb 25th – The Nipple

Did you ever turn up to what you thought was a cup of tea round the table, but walk into a fully fledged party?  Not the ones where everybody jumps out of your hairy sofa and yells ”SURPRISE!!!”.  No, a GOOD party.

Well thanks to Panties that’s exactly what happened to me after I was invited to her abode to share in the festivities for her father’s surprise 70th b day.  As it had a 5.30pm kick off time, my assumption was that there’d be her family (parents, two brothers and two sisters), a vat of tea and hopefully some cupcakes.  Chat would be had, and I’d be in bed by 7pm.

I walked through the house, which had about nine thousand kids in the front room, through to the kitchen, or should I say party den of the house, through to the back garden, which had amassed a HUGE marquee complete with tables chairs and an entire TABLE OF CAKES, stuffed with people, including the birthday boy, the aforementioned siblings plus partners, a professional barbeque set up (Panties’ bro is a chef) with TONNES of meat, BUCKETS of beer, wine, plus Panties herself mixing icing in Manchester United football club colours for her Papa.  FABULOUS!!!  I got straight into the beer, said my hellos, and went straight into another beer, followed by another, followed by obtaining gloves from Panties’ younger sister, Spongecake, as my hands were cold on my ICE COLD BEERS.  This was followed by laughing at Panties’ hubby Hangsandwich with his latest ”boutique beer” which came in fetching matching wine like glasses, or ”lady glasses” as I called them in order to annoy him.  Panties, finished with the cupcakes at last, settled down to a bottle of prosecco, which I gleefully helped her to inhale, whilst discussing sexual matters and what jobs we find ourselves doing now that Ireland is in a fully fledged depression (the oddest I think being the youngest brother’s current stint in an ACTUAL LEPRECHAUN MUSEUM) with her and her various siblings.

Naturally the conversation turned to piercings, and Spongecake was at pains to show me hers in her right nipple, but thankfully Chefbro did not discuss nor show his, as allegedly it is in his nether manbits.  Not to be outdone, The Leprechaun produced his own man boobs and nipples from his top (with a deftness that leads me to conclude that he does this regularly at parties), and to upset me, rubbed them on my nice new red coat, which I only recently bought, after I just moved back to Ireland, with money I presumed I would have when I began working again, which was both naive and silly of me.  Even the YOUNGEST sister has a pierced tongue.  As the craziest thing I have pierced is my third earring in my left ear (not my right, at the time I did it I considered it COOL to have three piercings in one ear, and two in the other) and this particular hole has now closed over from lack of use, I felt a little daunted.  ”I have my blog,” I thought, ”though I am alone and unpierced.”

It also transpires that many men in the vicinity have had vasectomies, but as this information may have been divulged under increasingly drunken conversations, I feel I must drift away from that particular nugget of golden information.  Instead I have just remembered that some of our Scottish guests, Scots being our Celtic Cousins and all, did bring along some shockingly awful Scottish reels, which only very old and very young people seemed to be able to dance to.  I can confirm I was not one of them.

I ended up having a whale of a time, unpierced nipples and all, and the night was only temporarily cut short when Panties’ Papa announced he was leaving the party to watch his golf at home.   When you hit 70, you RULE!!!!