Friday, January 6, 2017

I've been off work, as I may have mentioned, and it's been brilliant. Except I'm doing the staying up half the night and sleeping in thing, which has to stop tonight. Bodhi and his dad are on holiday too, so we've been eating a lot and going to do things. I am a bit scared to look at my bank account, as I won't get paid again til the 23rd.

Yesterday we went to see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and it was a total joy. A delight. Like drinking pink champagne from a champagne saucer. Everything about it I found utterly lovely.

Today we went to see the Turner watercolours in the National Gallery, as I've never been. They're good, like, but they're not really my thing, to be honest. But we went in to see a European exhibition, and oh, my. There was a Vermeer. Seeing a Vermeer close up is something special. A wonderful, quiet space envelopes you when you see a truly great painting.

There was a Monet too. Monet, Monet.

Google reminds me that it had to be restored, as some *person* (I'm trying to curse less, it's frustrating) 'fell' into it and damaged it and it had to be restored. I don't know how they do it, tbh.

The Goose girl is there too, it's really beautiful. And big.

But, but, oh, the Van Gogh. I'd never even heard of it before. I could have looked at this for days. It's in a really beautiful black frame, but I can't find a good photo of it with it.

The further away you get from it the more detailed it seems. I love it. I would like this in my house, quite a lot.

Oh, and there was, in the corner, a very plain bust onto which was projected a photograph of a face - so you just see the light shining the face onto the blank head. It was remarkable - I've never seen anything like it before. I wanted to see it shining onto the back of Axl's head, so it would look like Voldemort in The Philosopher's Stone, but our messing around with it attracted the attention of another woman, who like me, would have walked past it, and Axl got a bit embarrassed.

We had a burrito too. It was lovely to see Bodhi looking at paintings. A good day. 

Sunday, January 1, 2017

happywishes for 2017

I used to be all about the New Year's posts. Mostly because I was sat sadly by myself, I guess, listening to Long December and crying about the State of Things. Now, I confess, I no longer feel that confidence, or hope, that led me to search out pictures of glowing sparkler years or anything pretty or motivating. I no longer feel that I have words to say that mean anything much - I'm very aware that maybe they never did, but it's the attitude change that counts. I used to feel very sure that I knew stuff, and that I needed to communicate it somehow. That that was possible. Now I feel a lot more... I don't even know the word.

I certainly felt very teary last night, as I have done recently, but especially because I saw a picture of Olivia's teacher, who has been dealing with cancer for years now, diagnosed even before Olivia got her Autism diagnosis, I guess, dressed up with her family, but on oxygen in the hospital, and her husband saying it's the last time they'll all send wishes together.

Excuse the run on sentence. My life is like a run on sentence I can't pull together and control either...

It's not death I'm scared of so much as grief, I think. Death is a natural, inevitable thing. The ripples of grief spill out into the world - I never managed to deal with it, to be honest, and it's left me in fear of the next time. And then I feel it for everyone else, too. This year of loss of greats has been tough.

I want to wish improvement, and happiness and sustainable energy to the world for next year, but there's so much war, and Trump and Trump-voter mentality. There's all the people sneering at those who claim to be vaccine injured, and ignoring their identical stories and heaping shame on them. There's my daughter who is being taught by the internet that feminism and political correctness are the root of all fun-spoiling and her father who agrees with her. There's my own personal whirlpool of self-doubt and my daughter's situation that's ongoing and pushes me further down the funnel each time I let my thoughts rest on it, and how I'm still not finding the solutions needed in a burst of brave resilience and parental heroism.

I've lost  friend I thought would always be a friend, and along with all of the other people and family member it highlights how well I'm not doing. But I'm not sure I have the energy to be more upset about it, or feel like I can fix it.

So what will 2017 bring? How to invite good change in?

I don't know, but I do know that I wish good things, good health, firm relationships that bring strength and peace to you all. Resilience and self-belief. Laughter and love and the bravery to fight back against all the wrongness.

Monday, December 19, 2016

christmas week

I breakfasted on coffee and a Guinness chocolate cupcake. With Bailey's frosting. Best cupcake recipe *ever*. It's insanely nice. Breakfast of champions, needless to say. Try 'em. In all truth, I make amazing, rich, delicious cupcakes, and these are the best of all.

I'm on holiday for the first time in a year and a half. It's great. I feel an immense relief.

Elizabeth wrote about being a witness to the Syrian murder. I don't know what to do with myself about them. The horrors of the world and the prospect of the horrors of the future and my anxieties about the things that are wrong in my life overwhelm me and make me cry ten times a day at the moment. I am very raw. I'm not sure what to do about any of it. I don't know how to make myself better, or get my daughter better or save all the children dying in the streets of Aleppo, or hold their grieving parents. Why do I feel the need? I envy people who don't feel it. I do, so.
My friend told me yesterday that her brother has been talking to  her of suicide again. And she thinks that's ok. She's sanguine about it, she doesn't feel unfairly manipulated or affected. Damn.

I went to my work Christmas party the other night, in a beautiful hotel. There were drinks and dinner and dancing and people who on the whole, I like a lot. I felt lucky. And oh, readers, I bought a ridiculously sparkly silver dress, and new tights with a control top, and I wore my knee boots and painted my nails dark wine red with sparkly tips. And it all came together and I felt ok, and everyone was very sweet about me as I usually look like a frumpy lumpy woman ten years older than my age. A colleague who is not the best with social...ness, and is a bit of a grumpy, old before his time 80s style Socialist, who I haven't seen in ages came in and the first thing he said to me was a  very kind 'You look great in that dress. It's brilliant. If I was a woman, that is the sort of dress I'd wear.' Excuse the run on sentence but I'm trying to fit it all in. I was extremely touched by his enthusiasm. The truth was, we all looked great and some people there were breakthtakingly stunning in their finery, dancing to cheesy 80s hits.

Here is a pic of my nail varnish.Oops, one nail fell off and I redid it in gold.

And I'm going out tomorrow morning for Christmas coffees and now they're gold and sparkly.

Why am I showing you pictures of my chubby little baby hands in such an uncharacteristic way, you ask? Well, it's because for 95% of my life I've been a person with ragged, bitten nails I was ashamed of, and I seem to have managed to stop that. And they're all grown and smooth and adult looking and I've found this polish called Little Ondine that is water based, virtually smell free and peel off that I adore. It peels off a little bit earlier than I want it to, but other than that, it's fabulous and I'm so excited by having sparkly nails. I like it so much I asked them to let me be an 'ambassador', so if you every fancy ordering some, use the code AJM10 for 10% off. But be warned, while it covers beautifully and dries in a flash, it does peel off soon and isn't tolerant of water. On the plus side, it's pretty easy to apply, easier than standard polish and you can fix it quickly and change it when you want. You can check out and Apologies for the ad and the nails, but I'm just so happy to be full of love for my nails rather than full of shame, it's a very nice feeling. 

Up, down, up, down. The roller coaster of desperate-sad/normal/happy I go through each hour is tiring. But you take the good bits as they fall. 

Cupcakes, nail varnish and La Nausée is what I have for you today. You're welcome. 

Sunday, December 4, 2016


You know how I'm frequently sentimental, but I also hate schmaltzy sanctimonious crap off the internet?

Case in point. Fuck off.

Anyone prefer me to make love to them instead of sending them cookies? Show of hands? Ah, alright, I'll stick with the baking, so. Be the light, my arse.

Having said that, I could have listened to that André Rieu version of Hallelujah with the opera singers ten times and wept through it each time today. God.

I survived the baking marathon. My wares sold out. I am tired and I owe myself a weekend, but I had a delicious Indian takeaway for dinner tonight.

Bodhi is cycling, finally and his father promises to start teaching him chords this week.

I'm feeling festive, and have holidays coming, so I can live without this weekend being entirely restful. Tomorrow night, Christmas cards.

I'm going to bed early.

Oh - also, I read Iain Banks' 'The Steep Road to Garbadale' this week and enjoyed it immensely - such bright, clever writing and characters. I went so far as to see if I could find his twitter to tell him so, then remembered with sadness that he died.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

I talk so much. Like a hyper, over-excited child. Not always, but often. It sweeps over and out of meme like a wave, a swell of uninvited, babbled information, opinion, story, joke. When I found out it was a dyspraxic symptom, it made me feel slightly better, but it's still ... humiliating? Shaming? Something a little sicker feeling than embarrassment, I think. Ugh. 

I have a baking marathon to do today, for the school Christmas fair fundraiser. I want to stay in bed and read this great novel by Iain Banks instead - The Steep Approach to Garbadale. It's so well written. Funny, engaging, tender writing. Sometimes a little self-conscious, but that endears me to it all the more. I've spent €50 on ingredients, it's going to be hours of running the oven. Robbing me of my weekend. I feel resentful about it. Childishly, churlishly so. An annual tradition. Other people work harder than I do to organise it, and it's vital if we want the school to be able to keep running the lights and so on. Which is shit. But ... it is what it is. I should be more attractively zen about it. 

My Christmas present to myself and my fingernails arrived yesterday. Nail varnish. Special, water based, peelable, gorgeous nail varnish. I will blog about this soon, if you will allow me to. V v exciting. 

I am feeling shitty today. I have a headache, I don't know why, and things feel too hard to bear. I want to cry and I feel sorry for myself. Blech. Post-menstrual stress? I don't know, but I don't like it. I don't like myself. 

Saturday, November 19, 2016

I woke up at 5 this morning, to the groggy realisation that I'd fallen asleep with the light on, my computer on, my mouth guard not in. I flailed around, worrying I hadn't brought my phone up and so had no alarm. The idea of getting out of bed in the cold and dark to go find it seemed impossible.

Then the knowledge that it was Saturday dropped me back onto the pillow with almost fainting relief. Not only did I not have to go get the phone, I didn't have to get up for work either. It was a glorious, dizzy sensation. If I hadn't been lying down, I might have fallen over with it. 

Sunday, November 13, 2016

I am listening to You Want It Darker in my bed-nest and am loving it. It'd be startling if it weren't... Leonard Cohen - I mean, what is there else to expect?

It's difficult for me to listen to LC because my mother loved him, and was of his era, and I think I heard his songs through her ears and experiences rather than my own. I dissuaded my sister from having House of the Rising Sun played at her funeral (she claimed my mother loved it and she (my sister) was tickled that it was about a whore house) and in exasperation I just put my foot down and suggested a friend would play 'Hey That's No Way to Say Goodbye on the flute, which my mother played and she went for it. My father felt it was horribly inappropriate, but relented when I said it would just be the music. I probably shouldn't have pushed that on him, as it was one of the songs they'd loved together - and now I associate with it her too much to be able to enjoy it any more properly. Ah, for fuck's sake. It's hard having a mammal brain and all these chemicals. Anyway, that's my little jolly Leonard Cohen story.

Nevertheless, this album is a v good thing. 

Saturday, November 12, 2016


My son is having a good week.

He got his first pair of Docs, and he loves them, the bounce and security of them.

His sister is being unusually nice, less Aspie and more herself, calm and friendly towards him. They're enjoying each other's company, or they have been, and he can relax a bit.

He got Pokemon cards.

He put himself forward for the student council, and he won today, so he's excited and proud of himself. I'm so glad - he tried something and it came through. It's bolstering. Plus, he'll be great.

In this week of fear and awfulness, he's ok.

Since the election results, I have felt a craving to read people's reactions and opinions and to feel connected - I've really, really wanted to hide in bed and read and share those thoughts. But I had to get up and go to work. Real life intrudes. I feel horrified by so many people's violence and lack of understanding and I feel heartened and touched by others' beautiful comprehension of humanity. There are many aware, empathic, brave, clever people out there. I don't know that I believe they can save us, but that's no reason not to keep trying.


Today was less triumphant - he's worried his docs look too big and he had a fight with his best friend. But we sail on.

I lit a fire and it was insanely windy out, and the fire basically blew back into the room and smoked up the recently painted wall above the fireplace and when I cleaned it I made it far worse. Oops. New paint will be needed.

Which is bad because it's Axl's birthday today, and he has to drive to the farthest county in the country to play at his bass player's cousin's wedding and then drive home and get back at 4 am and go to work tomorrow. We'll celebrate on Sunday, but he may also have to paint a wall... :/


Spent money! On a dental check up for Bodhi, on soap, on the supermarket. I'm feeling greedy and consumerist at the moment. I want Petite Odille nail varnish for my new, grown up human nails (though I bit one yesterday - agh! Still better than in times past, though) and manicures. I want a handbag and a new phone (an ethical one I don't have to feel guilty about that costs €500 hahahaha!) I want my ears repierced so I can wear earrings again. I want more than one pair of shoes. I want osteopaths appointments and dentistry. I want music and pretty Christmas things and books and a refurb for this falling down house - a silent boiler, new bathrooms, insulation, new carpeting. I want to donate to homeless charities and dog charities and Syria and Yemen and anything that stops Trump hurting people and and and. Anyway, I went and checked my account and I have minus money til Friday, so... sigh.

If I don't post this now I should really delete it, and I wanted to post the bit about Bodhi's Good Day, so, publish I will.

Friday, November 4, 2016

I thought I'd got away with not providing a small sibling for Bodhi, who is the lovingest, sweetest child and would dote on a cute baby, be a big brother to his little sister or brother in the kindest of ways. I saw him as a toddler filled with ecstatic delight at new babies and felt so guilty - it was assuaged a bit as he got older, met his friends' demon-little-siblings and said that maybe it was just as well.

But today in the shopping centre he talked about how utterly adorable kiddies' shoes were, how any foot could be so tiny amazes him and is totally adorable. I said how magical I found the tiny, untrodden button heels of his and his sister's feet were when they were small, he asked did I press them, and sighed quite a lot at having missed out on having a little sister. He agreed that it would have been good if he'd been the big brother.

In truth, things would have been so very different if it had worked that way.

So I'm torn between feeling horrible guilt at ever having had children and guilt at only having had two, and denying him a little brother or sister to love. Right at the same time.

This week is weird - I went to a gig on Wednesday that was quite intense, an intimate performance of just one woman reading and singing very personal songs, and it messed me up a bit, to be honest - and I was hoping to go for a drink/talk/food with my friend afterwards but she had to leave straight away, and she got there at the last minute, and these days I feel so paranoid about other people, and how bearable I am to be around, and if not that then I just needed the buffer of a chat about the gig to de-intensify it all a bit. But that was not to be.

 I'm not sure I get panic attacks - maybe? But maybe they're more just attacks of grieving, but ones where I'm consumed with terror about the future and my ability to tolerate it and provide for the kids, and what if I die early and how will they be looked after and what about Olivia. So...

It's been a weird week. Like PMS but after my period. Is it going to be post MS now too? Aiee.

I bought Bodhi his first pair of Docs today. It's so amazing - I'm so jealous. Adult docs are so expensive now, and my calves and ankles are fat, I just don't feel like I can do them justice anymore, and not look like... heifer dressed as mutton, maybe. I was a size five til after I had kids (that's smaller than a US size five, maybe a four?) Now I'm a six, and sometimes I miss my feet being littler. The boots I've got are a bit too big, but the five's too small and no one does half sizes. It's faintly alienating to look down at them, but they're nice, so, it's also ok. I'm just a little surprised by it.

Soon Bodhi will be fabulous - he's getting interested in music, he's getting docs, he's higher than my shoulder... I wish Olivia was the one but she never liked 'em, and with the SPD, there was never really ever any enjoying any of it. Still, Dade loves fashion, loves himself in clothes and shoes and takes great joy in it all, in his hair, he's proud of himself. It's good. He *nearly* went for the shiny red ones, but realised he wasn't ready yet. A bridge too far.


I dreamed yesterday, while I was sleeping in because I hit off instead of snooze, that everyone was telling me about their cancer. Including Danielle's butler, as he was taking pizzas out of the Aga. 'Does Danielle have a butler?' my friend asked, when I told her this. No, just in my dream.
I know the cancer thing is just because I met someone who is at stage 4 with it in England and talked to her a lot about it, but it was unsettling nonetheless.

Monday, October 31, 2016

We watched The Jungle Book in its newest incarnation tonight.

There are many glorious aspects to it - the animation is astonishing and delightful. The reworking of two old famous songs is gleeful and a wonderful homage to the Disney Jungle Book. The care shared between Baloo, Bagheera and Mowgli is well done.

I didn't mind that Kaa is now female as her part in the story is really well done - and if you count the number of female characters in the original main story, you  only have to use one finger, so... yeah. Olivia had read that she was all seduction, and Mowgli was a nine year old boy, and ew... but the connection between sex and death is something that she (and clearly, large swathes of the internet) doesn't understand yet.

They mess with the story, but honestly, they pull it back together into a good film plot pretty well. I won't complain. I miss the real Book I know and love so deeply, but ... I don't think they're ever going to make that one the way I want them too. And it sits very firm in my head and heart. I think it might be my most favourite ever book,

Do you know some people have never read it? For them, the Jungle Book is the Disney cartoon, silly songs and cartoon vultures. For me, it introduced me to romance and daring and conflict and death and friendship bonds and sacrifice.., so many human experiences put together in such a beautiful way. I think this film scrapes at that quite masterfully, even though I balk at it not being 'right' - the story is taken apart and stitched together but I think it works pretty well to redeliver the message. And the cast is fantastic, the animation is a tour de force. It's beautiful to be able to live in the world so visually. I wish they'd make one based on the original book and not the Disney cartoon just for me though, but that might be asking too much.