An Unhelpful Helpdesk

Been at a computer training place to sign up for an expensive but practical course to make me more ’employable’ once they’re finished with me.  There is a place that sells cakes downstairs so it’s a great location.

Course is fantastically expensive but not to worry, our welfare system does help some people in training courses so off I toddled to my shiny social welfare office with the fancy new name, to symbolise how all the welfare components are there for YOU, the unfortunate non-tax payer who shouldn’t be allowed to live because you’re not paying tax.

The upshot is that YES, you can apply for partial funding once you provide a letter of offer of employment.

No, I said, this is a TRAINING course, not a job.

Yes, they said, so as long as your employer provides a letter stating your role is dependent on you doing the course, we will pay towards it.

No, I said, the point of the TRAINING course is to train you to GET a job.

Once you have the job we will look at paying towards the course.

If I had a job I wouldn’t be on welfare asking for help with payment would I?

Is there anything else we can help you with?

Bought a scone and a ‘come on you can do it’ writing magazine afterwards.

Will get fat(ter) and poorer as writing magazine was not cheap.



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.

Hag Attack

After a truly horrible morning, confronted with my own ageing process (it being quite bad) which brings forth depressing thoughts about my impending 40th b day, that parole blokes seem to be more cheerful than allegedly free me, and that in Ireland, ten days means whatever the hell we like cause we’re the passport office, I decided to once again treat myself to a scone from the supermarket.

This was all fine until I spotted the hag from the post office, the invader of my personal space, breathing all over the scone display!!!!!

She shuffled off, probably to spread her misery vibes even further, and I made sure to take one from the bottom, and the back.

Luckily myself and Lilsister have decided that today is fat day, and are meeting to inhale burgers and chips later.  Our fitness routine (that meaning, the one time we went for a walk and Lilsister refused to run) has been interrupted because Lilsister has no trainers to, em, train in.  They will be purchased this week, we will eat burgers, and then next week we are boxercising.  It begins.

Breathe on that, biddy.

When 10 is 12

Horrifically, after sitting stewing in the smelly police station with old people, pre-trial criminals and their offspring, I then had to go to the post office to apply for the super duper express passport ‘service’ which is pretty much the only way  you can apply for a passport in Ireland, because may your god help you if you try and do it through the actual passport office.

In Ireland, if you need a passport, you must go to the post office.

You can only go to the passport office if you have an appointment, and if you are travelling in LESS than 10 days.

If you try and contact the passport office you will fail.  There is no telephone number anywhere – you must use the website.  I found a number once and it answered by telling me to go on the website.

Passport express is pretty much the only way of getting your passport, you stand in line at the post office and pay a whopping fee to have your passport delivered within ten working days – they do not guarantee you will get it before that.  Okay.

 So!  I toddled over to the post office, which was infected with a large queue, many of whom had large shopping trollies, making the queue even longer.  Unfortunately, I was standing in front of an old hag, who kept taking steps closer and closer to me, so close in fact she was leaning on me at one stage.  I belted her whilst ‘adjusting’ my handbag.  Then more old people joined her and they talked about what a dump Ireland is.  I went on facebook on my phone, whilst seething with hatred.  Even when the queue wasn’t moving, she kept walking on me.  I considering kicking her, but I would probably get in trouble and I didn’t want to lose my queue place.

Eventually I was summoned to counter no 2, I said hi, not even a grunt back.  My documents were taken from me.  I was supposed to take a sticker from the application form (to trace the progress of the passport) and was told a loud ‘NO’ to this.  I was clearly interrupting his sleeping time.  Then I was told the cost was EIGHTY NINE EURO and whilst sobbing and handing over the money I was informed that wait times for PASSPORT EXPRESS are currently 10-12 working days.

‘I’m paying for passport express, right?’ I ventured.

‘Yes,’ said King Horrible.

‘Like, the 10 day passport service?’


‘So how long will I be waiting then?

’10-12 days.’

This is why Ireland will never ever ever go right.

Spot the Scumbags

At my very unfriendly police station, I had the misfortune to walk in behind an old man, meaning that whatever he was there for, it would take at least 20 minutes to explain and about two days to process.  Sure enough, he wanted some paper that looked like it would fall apart if you whistled on it faxed, and to Basel, in Switzerland, for some urgent reason.  That was great to listen to but as I was amongst the parole signees I trained my ears in their direction as two of the blokes there had an actual argument about who had the worst curfew (the winner being the one with the 10pm-8am block) and when their respective sentencing dates would be.

Then the one with the better curfew was asked by way of conversation making ‘hey, shouldn’t you have been sentenced by now?’ to which he explained yes, absolutely, but his pre-trail date had been pushed back due to unforeseen delays in his ‘handwriting and fingerprint analysis’.   All things going well though, he expected and clearly was looking forward to being sentenced ‘by October at the latest’.  Then he decided he would come back later to do his parole signing and said goodbye to his comrade with a cheerful ‘always good isn’t it?’ whilst sauntering out the door, his baby in a buggy.

This was of course after we were all sitting there waiting about 20 minutes – there was nobody at the (bullet proof) reception area, even though the door opened, a blonde policewoman looked out at the pile of us, then calmly closed the door again.  The door stayed shut and the reception area empty for another few minutes.  The regulars advised NOT to bang on the window for attention, as that would mean the policepeople would wait even longer to come out.  How did they know?  ‘That blonde one does that all the time, sees you waiting, let’s you know they’re there, and leaves you again, so you go mad.’

One of the parolees said that he had complained one time about how he had been waiting 20 minutes, only to be told by our illustrious police force member that ‘sure we know that we have a camera on youse in the waiting area.’  Then they said ‘and being as you’re used to waiting you can keep doing so’ and walked back into the office, leaving our hapless criminal stewing in the very smelly reception.

Bad Photos and Hot Running

After purchasing my passport photos (they are horrible, I am SO GLAD I washed my hair yesterday and got up early to put on  a full face of makeup) I had to then take them to the police station to have them (not me) certified.  That means a policeperson has to sign two, and only two, of the back of them.  I must give four, and only two must be signed.  They must be signed in black pen.  The form must be completed and signed in black pen, if you sign in blue the form is returned to you sans passport.  I discussed this with the bloke taking my ugly passport photo and he said the people in the passport office are ‘pricks’.  Then he apologised because Little Star was there but luckily, while she can most certainly say ‘fuck’, the word ‘prick’ appears to be beyond her.  At least then I got to play ‘ready steady go’ with Little Star, which involves both of us screaming ‘ready steady go’ and running until I go very red and feel like passing out.  I think of it as my cardio for the day.



RIP Stylish Toes

To be blunt, I have a fungal infection in my big toe.

I never had one before so I didn’t know what it was, I just thought my toe looked a little funny and as I am ALWAYS pedicured (I may wear tracksuits on a daily basis and the same jumper two days running but the feet department are always tidy and colour enhanced) I didn’t really notice that it has spread to my other big toe.

I discussed the matter with Lilsister the other day, she being the expert, having had every foot disease known to man (and some unknown, when she first arrived on my doorstep in Adelaide in Australia she had a green toenail.  We went immediately to the chemist who asked to have a look at it so she could recommend a product to cure it.  The chemist JUMPED BACK when Lilsister took her toe out, like you would do if confronted by a particularly hairy spider in the bathroom, which happened to me in Sydney one night – it was as big as my hand and its legs were as thick as my fingers.  Not a country to live in.).

After my discussion with the expert I trotted down to the first chemist as I had ordered some concoction there to treat my toes with (yes, it had to be ORDERED in).  After waiting for a depressing young woman rabbiting on about how her headache tablets had caffeine and kept her awake at night till seven am! I was finally told by the chemist that my bloody toe order hadn’t come in (it was due in on Monday, today is Wednesday, what is the problem?).  I then told the caffeine addict beside me to take off her bright pink velour tracksuit as that would immediately see an end to her headaches and caffeine anecdotes, seriously, it was giving me epilepsy.

The second quite camp chemist entered into a deep and meaningful with me about what my toe looked like, I think he secretly wanted to see it but as it was covered in royal blue nail varnish I couldn’t.  He then disgustingly produced some pictures of toe fungi which made me retch and defend myself by saying I have a bit of this, and a bit of that, but my toe is sir, NOTHING like these pictures.  I am not an animal!  He then tried to get me to buy the treatment that makes your nail fall off, something also recommended by Lilsister, but as this is hideous I refused to bite.

Anyway 25 euro later I am the proud owner of a treatment box which I have to apply once a week to the ‘filed down, infected’ area.  Treatment will take MONTHS allegedly, because I am too much of a baby to do it the quick way and have my nail fall off (ugh).  Oh – and I cannot paint my toenails during this time.  And summer around the corner!  If it has not healed by then I will not go around unvarnished, damn the consequences!!!