No to Cork, Yes to Elderflower

Best to try new things, especially with gin, so myself and Honeymonster were recommended an elderflower tonic by a bar man who seriously, and I am not just saying this because I am 39 and 7/8ths, was about 12 years old.  Very nice indeed, except we both felt very sleepy afterwards.

Have also been trying the soda water instead of tonic, to cut calories (I’m aware it would be easier to cut out scones, but would it?  Be easier?  To cut out scones?  No, it would not.).  I suppose I could get used to it, but there was no zing, even with the addition of cucumber (essential to a clean cut gin drink – barmen, take out that bloody lemon and throw away the lime!  Cucumber is the king of gin!).

Whilst purchasing my soda water, I was accosted at the bar by a Cork football supporter who had the temerity to ask me if Dublin had won the match.  ‘Of course we did!’ I yelped at him like a wounded dog, amazed that he could envision otherwise.  He then advised me that the ‘rebels’ (a name the ignorant Corkonians call themselves) would happily see off Dublin ‘soon’.  I reminded him of our quite recent victory over this alleged ‘team’ and then we both started snorting at each other like bulls.  My gin was ready, and I left him ordering Beamish, or whatever shite Cork people drink instead of Dublin Guinness.

Our Ball – the Dubs explain to Wexford that they are surplus to requirements

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Dating Opportunities If Aged 63

Our uncle arrived at the pub late, as he plays trad music in a different pub on Sunday nights.  Dublin had just thrashed Derry in the Gaelic football at the hallowed Croke Park, and we had a double celebration what with it being Papabear’s 65th birthday celebrations too.

There was gin, beer and shots of baby Guinness.  I threw up that night and all the next day too, thank the universe Lilsister cooked shepherd’s pie the next day, it was the only thing I kept down for 24 hours.

During the festivities Lilsister informed me that newly separated Unca (age 63) would be bringing ‘a girlfriend’ to her upcoming wedding extravaganza in October.  We were both a little shocked – it was only January when I and Unca hugged each other on our mutual marriage breakdowns – my divorce and his formal separation.

I immediately approached Unca.  ‘You have a girlfriend?’ I slurred.  Indeed he did, he advised, and for a few months.  Excuse me, I pondered out loud, how long have you been separated again?  He queried if I meant officially or unofficially.  ‘Both,’ I enthused.

My 63 year old uncle, officially separated since Christmas, marriage broken down about a year and a half, has a girlfriend.  I am single almost three years and whilst I may not be seeking a boyfriend (or whatever they are called when you are 39 and three quarters) it is not like they are beating down the doors to enter Loboworld.

‘How did you find her?’ I asked.

‘You have to get out there and meet people,’ he confirmed.

I mentioned to Papabear that he was making me look bad.  ‘Yes, he is’, he replied.

Prettyboy said as soon as I stop being bitter I will probably be alright.

I remain utterly bemused that all of the above have partners and I do not.

 

Practice Makes Perfect

It’s Tuesday night which can only mean one thing in Lobomonsterland – HOMELAND NIGHT!  So as with most Tuesdays, I am at Panties and Hangsandwich’s abode, where I usually pop over before the show for dinner (tonight’s feast was steak and mash), tea and some form of cake (we have iced and poppyseed varieties tonight).  Cue also huge discussion about the various plot twists and where it’s all going and the apparent POINTLESSNESS of the two teenagers killing the pedestrian whilst speeding through the streets of DC, and Tuesday night becomes very special indeed. 

Horrificially, I have signed up to go to a social function tomorrow night, alone, because in a fit of madness I decided that in order to obtain something resembling a life, I would have to leave my home and ”meet” people.  No I was not drinking at the time, but by the power of Greyskull I will be tomorrow.  Anyway, this brings me to my second point about Homeland night, which is that, during the ad breaks, Panties is threatening to do some ”role playing” with me, but not the good kind.  No, as I have the social skills of a floor duster, I have to be schooled in the art of small talk, as opposed to glassing a stranger who happens to say hello to me in a bar (why can’t I meet anyone, I wonder?). 

I am worried that this will involve Panties asking me such seemingly simple questions of ”hi, how are you,” which I must resist answering truthfully at all costs.  I mean, no hapless handsome stranger wants to hear about the fact that I received a call in work today from an allegedly fully functioning member of society who needed to speak to the girl ”with a turn in her eye,” do they?  Do they? 

Sigh.

The ”event” I am attending is a result of joining an internet group thing – no NOT a dating website but a Dublin social club where people meet up to do normal things and this one just happens to be for single people.   Allegedly, a life ”coach” will meet us in a bar and talk to us about ”issues” facing we, the miserable alone, in what has promised to be an ”amusing” way.  We drink first, listen to the talk and assuming I haven’t run screaming from the building by then, drink afterwards.  So yes there is some drink involved, but it isn’t speed dating, which appears to be the only social function option available to us ”One is Not a Lonely Number” types and in fairness to whomever has organised it, it doesn’t sound TOO bad.  No, the horrific bit is the fact that I have to go, me, with the subtlety of a bin truck (and hips the width of one) and the charm of a fart in a lift, and make this small talk stuff with complete strangers, and not fall to the floor in a screaming heaving mess afterwards.  Can it be done?   I cannot answer.  All I can say for sure is that when I arrive home from work tomorrow I will put on lipstick and some gin and tonic – and ensure I am sufficiently tanked by the time I get there.  It really is the only way.  Strangers don’t need the truth.  It would be cruel.

We Talk to God and Receive the Delaney Cup

A glorious sunny day, a rarity in Dublin, with light winds, bright rays, the Boys in Blue aka the Dublin Gaelic football team, beating the hell out of arch rivals Meath at the truly amazing Croke Park – and a couple of rows from the front in the Cusack stand, four very hungover and crimson-faced supporters, all hating the sun for making the alcohol, still in their systems from the night before, sweat and drip out of them.

First in the row was myself, constantly turning my arms over as I had NO sunblock on and my goth skin was beginning to burn, and how.  My sunglasses sliding off my nose, my makeup refusing to keep my rosy cheeks pale.  Next to me an equally beetroot Lilsister, panting in her Dublin top, fighting with me over our fourth bottle of water bought since getting off the tram in the city centre mere moments before.  Next to her, Scarydancer, equally dripping, and praying for rain, and splendidly at the end, Papabear, with an actual wet face, loving the heat, but cursing its intensity in our unprotected area.

Two halves later and as Dublin lift the Delaney cup, as proud Leinster champions, we continue to insult and argue with the lame Meath supporters around us who tell us that we might have beaten them but not by much, to which we reply look over there lads, there’s the cup, being lifted over a blue shirt – and get back to your farms, your sheep are missing you.  Hmmpf.

So it was a long weekend, with Little Star’s christening taking place on the Saturday, and promises of coming over for a couple of drinks afterwards, and a couple of drinks only, quickly falling by the wayside as the pints flowed and my little water bottle that held no water, but gin, started to go down a treat (firstly tested for its authenticy by myself and Papabear outside the church – burning chests meant that yes, it was definitely gin in there).   Little Star was christened, with Lilsister as Godmother, and Preggers and Firstbrother at the top of the church silently mumbling their allegiance to a God Firstbrother doesn’t believe in, much to my delight (being of similar persuasion myself).  I then interrupted a Catholic Church rant by Papabear, and advised him that whilst he may believe religion to be the root of all evil, we were guests in a house and should behave accordingly.

Straight over to the pub afterwards, no mean feat as I was wearing a DRESS, yes, one of THOSE, and some shoes – so walking was slow, and awkward.  Bottles of beer flowed (the three for a tenner routine being used as an excuse), followed by gin, followed by extra gin from my little bottle, followed by pints.  Platters of unhealthy but amazing food came out, and rather than queuing with the mortals to get some, Mammy grabbed a whole platter for our table, Sisinlaw took a whole plate and dumped garlic mayo on it, we topped up our beers, and feasted.   Mammy left early with Little Niece N and Little Star, using their tiredness as an excuse to get away from the madness.   A man came on and sang about six songs on his guitar, and was roundly declared to be ”crap” by all of us.  I begged Sisinlaw and Babybro to leave as I was supposed to be sharing a taxi with them, and instead left them all merrily (till 3.30am I later found out) chatting away as I hitched a taxi with The Baker and Middlebro, who brought me home in the complete opposite direction to their flat so Middlebro could come into the apartment and locate some partysmokes that Scarydancer may have left behind (he left empty-handed, and dejected, and practically sober).

Sunday morning drew over me with my head coming out of my eye, so I quickly rose, closed all the blinds in the apartment to keep the sun out, and feasted on headache tablets and my delicious scrambled eggs.  Exhausted by the effort I took back to the bed, and begged the universe for the strength to face Meath at Croke Park later.  Lilsister and Scarydancer arrived home, looking horrific, and we three soldiers made it in to join our men in the Great Fight.

It was an early night but it didn’t make getting up for my horrific job any easier.  I woke to find I had not bought my fruit for my breakfast, meaning I had to go into work EARLY, buy fruit and yoghurt at the supermarket and eat it in our horrible canteen, which has no actual dishes, but plastic bowls and spoons UGH.  Happily, I noticed that as I left work and went to collect my things from the fridge, some IDIOT had knocked over my yoghurt and left it spilling away in the door of the fridge, sans lid, so I threw it out, stuck my tongue out at the mess left behind, and closed the door.  We had no teabags in our kitchen today, and no spoons to take the tea bags out with – you want to treat me like an animal I shall bloody behave like one.

I am currently at Mammy’s where I have received chicken and cake, in that order, and am mellowed and ready for bed once again.  We have just re-watched the match and are more impressed with our team than ever.

Up the Dubs!

Rambles Whilst the Wimbledon Women’s Final Plays Out

I must be gentle and barely tinkle with the keyboard here as my head is currently making it’s way out of my eye, due to some hastily-arranged dirty pints with a work colleague last night, followed by gin and strawberry dacqueris (for her, not me, as I am too tough for girly cocktails).

I did not drink long but I did drink greedily, not having had alcohol in a whole seven or eight days, actually, now I think of it, it was five, what is wrong with me?  I find myself gulping a lot of alcohol on a regular basis, just as I am beginning to behave food and exercise wise.   Hmmmm.

Last week’s escapades led us to a local watering hole, where I was accosted by Lilsister and Scarydancer to ”get a life and go out” after telling them my plans to watch a Christian Bale film (dribble) and get my buzz on by draining my box of beers ever further.  Honestly, a box of 20 beers is so cheap right now, it’s almost wrong not to buy one isn’t it?

After a quick shower and the spraying of that shampoo in a can stuff onto my filthy hair (my GOD that stuff is amazing, it is HONESTLY like you ALMOST washed your hair!!!) I was out the door, to meet up with Lilsister’s old friend Creamer, and her new beau, HesEnglish.   We attacked the first local bar which had the ”three bottles of beer for 10 euros” promotion which seems to be springing up in all the classier watering holes in Dublin, and interrupted the deadest sixtieth birthday party I have ever had the misfortune to stumble upon.  A man, who looked ninety, stood alone and refused to dance to the twelve year old dj’s ”crap tunes” (the birthday boy’s words, not mine) whilst what I assume was his family sat on plastic chairs and drank dirty pints.  We also ended up sitting beside two Glaswegians who wanted us to dance before we were drunk (idiots) and who kept using Creamer’s phone to take photos of us, which I hate, due to my excessive ugliness and the fact that said photos appear on facebook within seconds.

Drunkeness eventually overtook us and we stole two of the ice buckets our beers had come in (Lilsister and HesEnglish) and one beer opener (me).  Scarydancer declared that his moves were ”endless” and Creamer had a smoke with the birthday boy who verbally bashed the dj again.  Eventually ”Moon River” was found on somebody’s phone and played, but the boring Frank Sinatra version, so I didn’t dance.  Birthday boy was pleased and we ended up in an Indian takeaway, being attacked by a girl in a blue dress who started a fight with HesEnglish because he was English, and then Scarydancer,  because he was carrying two ice buckets.  Creamer muttered to Lilsister that she was about ”ready to lambate that bitch” and wanted to know if Lilsister had her back.  Lilsister nodded curtly, and I told everybody to calm down, as I was too tired to kick the shit out of some faux posh cow in a silly dress in a rundown part of Dublin.   Then the bloke behind the counter started talking about what the English had done to India, and I put in an extra order of naan bread.

Last Saturday passed in a haze of headaches and shivering, and then we perked up again Sunday to watch our beloved Dublin beat Wexford in the Gaelic Football at the ever amazing Croke Park.  We played badly at the start, which I noticed coincided with my putting my hood up on my Dublin raincoat, so I removed the hood and put on my lucky hat, and wha hey, we started scoring points.  It would have been so much easier if it just hadn’t rained, but hey, it’s Ireland, it’s summer, so we’re all wearing rain gear.  Sigh.

Back to Baggot street for post match analysis, alcohol and singing, and for a change I gin and tonicked it for the night, getting a delightful buzz but without the headaches that wine and beer seem to give me.  I pretended I did NOT know the barman from last time, and when he asked me if I had made it home safely after our last session I stuck my chin in the air and said in my poshest dealing-with-the-servants voice that ”I believe I did,” before stomping off.  My family is now (loudly) convinved I am in love with this barman because he keeps smiling at me and I don’t hit him, but in actual fact he is laughing at me and I am too embarrassed to do anything about it.

I’ve also just realised that there is now a picture on facebook of me looking like I am falling into my gin, which of course, I was.  Oh dear.  This will not assist my husband hunting mission one bit.  I must go, and sigh.

Twisted with the Tourists

Pints with Trevor on Saturday for our not too regular catch up where we discuss the problems with Ireland, how to resolve them, and then cry because we have had too many pints, and because we love each other.  Fabulous stuff.

Several pints in Dame Street led to several more in the very touristy Temple Bar area of Dublin, where Americans roam in search of their Irish destiny, and we oblige them by singing Johnny Cash songs in a traditional Irish way with banjo, tin whistle and bodhran as was the case in the pub we ended up in.  After scaring some overly large Italians away by dancing to the crazy Irish beat and singing in Gaelic, we finally snared a table where we could see the band, and enjoyed our heritage until Trevor noted that the ageing, pudgy guitar player had a lovely collar bone and that she needed to ”bite it”.  I found this very worrying and requested an immediate venue change, once we found the loos of course, as we are old and full of wee.

We ended up then in our third location, in front of another band, much younger and uglier, in some half trendy bar full of hens parties trying to eat the young singer off the stage.  They formed a circle and began dancing until Trevor jumped into the middle and busted some moves.  We drank two gins (me) and two vodkas (Trevor) in twenty minutes and left, absolutely blind drunk and stumbling.  At this stage, neither of us were frightened by using public transport, so Trevor took her crap coach home and I took the tram, and tried not to fall asleep, by putting my walkman on really loud, and texting my brother, father, mother, sister, and Trevor and saying silly drunk things.  Then I realised the tram wasn’t running to our little apartment, so somehow managed to get Mammy to pick me up near her and drop me off outside my poor door.  She alleges that she parked her car across the road from the tram stop, and nearly died when she saw the huddling mess that was her daughter ambling towards her.  Supposedly I was walking with the top half of my body slumped forward, and had my arms dangling, monkey like at my side, until a sudden jolt caused me to lean backwards and shout ”FFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!!” when I realised I had not swiped my electronic tram ticket.  I ambled back to the ticket machine, argued with it, perhaps hit it, and then fell into Mammy’s car.

After being deposited at the door of the apartment complex, I called Lilsister to confirm tea and toast were being initiated for me upstairs, which they were.  After this I am informed that I came in, and got a fit of giggles whilst buttering my toast, and spilt my tea on the sofa, which caused it to steam, and then tried to clean it up with a tissue.  Then I spilt it again, and when Lilsister and Scarydancer informed me I had done it again, I replied haughtily ”I find that technically impossible”.  Beautiful.

Woke up with my head coming out of my neck the following morning, and rose only to eat some fruit and inhale headache tablets.  Trevor texted to say that her husband Boo Boo had attempted to deliver fried food to her in bed but she had had to turn him away, much to her disgust.  She normally loves her fried food.

To upset me, Scarydancer then got up and kept busting scary moves in front of me, I think to make my stomach contents rock, and therefore heave.  Lilsister cooked a fried breakfast at noon, and I began to feel human again.  I was driven to Blessington nearby, in the beautiful county Wicklow, where we walked along the lake, visited a country house, and stopped for chips in a terrible cafe full of pink, with a very grumpy  waiter.

What a very successful weekend.

Top Half Stressed Bottom Half in Magnolia

Stress can affect people in different ways.  You might lose sleep, or drink too much, and consequently because you are 37 years old, you spend half the night in the toilet having ladywhizzes (but not vomiting because at 37 you can drink a little better than when you were a young child – not that I was a child drinking, you understand, but it seems so long ago that I started drinking that I may as well have been a child.  Except for the time where I didn’t drink for four months.  I had spent a night on a disgraceful mix of pints, shorts and shots and ended up quite literally in a gutter, with my dress – buttons all down the front, split open.  As I say, I was a child then, so it wasn’t such an horrific sight).

Or you can have dreams where you are having sex with someone you know to be gay, whilst beside the bed your old HR manager reads from a list of things that you have done wrong in work.  Ah, my former employer.  I find the best way to deal with painful moments, or many painful moments as the case may be with my former employer, is to simply block them out.  I am Irish after all, and discussing difficult issues is strictly forbidden, although drugging yourself up on prescription tablets is both socially acceptable and morally encouraged.

Occasionally though I am reminded of the madness that once was my life, when having to speak to individuals this week, who may or may not have sneered across a table from me as I cried my eyes out.  Memories of emails about incorrectly discarded sanitary towels, sitting in the disabled toilet in the basement meditating my anger away every hour for fifteen minutes, particularly in the mornings, of the constant need for headache tablets, and the constant scarity of headache tablets for some reason (could we ALL have had so many headaches?) and naturally, the day when it all ended and a new life began.

But rather than dwell on that, like a thoroughbred Irish national I will brush it aside, to be stuck under the rug for another day with a big pint and a soapbox.

So in summary a few stresses this week, coupled with some painting, of the new baby room for Preggers and Firstbrother, which has completely destroyed a pair of tracksuit trousers, covering my legs and arse in magnolia for evermore.  Not to mention the sheer frustration and horror that is painting anyways, but also in a room where my bloody brother did not even empty, leaving me to paint AROUND the furniture, walk into it, and generally curse the day he was ever born.  His feedback?  ”You got paint on the wardrobes”.  Job satisfaction, indeed.  I did too.  This is what happens when you don’t pay professionals.  Not counting the chips I was given on Friday night, which were yummy I must admit.