Sunday, September 25, 2016

Happiness is .........

She made me hate porridge for a while.  For all of 9 months – a small price to pay. 

Way back when my hair was a crowning glory. 

I didn’t do it on purpose she laughed wanting me to tell her again how I felt when I found out she was on her way.  Delighted, over the moon, awestruck, petrified.   

When she arrived on a bright May morning, she was a little thing, all bunched up. 


First born.   

Later, feet stamping with temper, heart softer than a feather pillow, she scalded her spirit trying to fill the expectations lurking in her head. 

They’re driving me mad she’d cry, tears dripping down her cheeks, wrapping her arms around her brothers and sister, I don’t mean that really, I love them, I just want them to be good and listen.  Lying in bed, reading stories, making their hair stand on end with dark whispers of wicked witches and smelly, dark dungeons, laughing hilariously at the antics of the Twits and Dr. Seuss.   

Little people crawling into her bed in the middle of the night to feel the warmth of her heart.

She grew and grew. 

Way too fast.

Galloping out of the nest with barely contained optimism. 

Good job we did there.

Clapping on the back. 

Small happiness edging out the heaviness inside. 

Fly away Peter, fly away Paul. 

Confident, capable, world is your oyster we said. 

Don’t much care for fish, she said settling down to grow a family. 

Trying, trying, trying. 

Disappointment lingering at the turn of each calendar page, shrivelling the tiny people dreams. 

Clinics, drugs, hope, test kits, devastation. 

Tears dripping down her cheeks. 

I just want a baby. 

The cold sea separating us. 

The distance too far to reach for her small hand and kiss it all better.

24th August 2016 Louise Erin arrived into the heart of my baby. 

Into all of our hearts. 

I am so very happy with God.


Friday, July 22, 2016

The Chair

Image result for red chair by the window

It’ll be great they said, all the time in the world to do what you’ve always wanted to do now that himself is retired – to take life just as it comes, to travel the world, anywhere that takes your fancy. The luxury of lolling around all day in your pyjamas if you so desire, time to venture into the unknown so to speak, take up some new hobbies, tackle projects that you’ve always aspired to undertake but never had the time, explore new interests, grow your own veggies, become completely self-sufficient, how exciting … you’re SO lucky, they said.


Have you any plans, I ask.

A man of few words.

You must have some ideas?   Slight note of desperation in my voice.

No, I don’t.  I think I’ll do absolutely nothing for a few months.  Give myself time to get used to this whole retirement thingy.  Relax, take it easy.


I gave him 6 months, in my head.

Generous to a fault.
I would be a paragon of virtue for 6 months. Tolerance on legs, happy go lucky, isn’t life wonderful, la di da di da.  

Six months, that is 180 days or thereabouts which is approximately 4320 hours, a third of which, 1430hours, I would, hopefully, be blissfully unaware of in the land of nod.  That left 2890 hours during which I promised to be on my best behaviour.  

Easy peasy.

Just over half way through the thousands of hours, the resolve began to slip a little, the halo appeared slightly tarnished, the temper a little less than sweetness personified.  Three months in and his life was most definitely in danger; big, dirty, black danger.

The chair by the window that normally accommodates my weary bones was now no longer available.
I would roll in after a mornings work and hover meaningfully … all to no avail.  Sensitive, new age man, me arse.  

Will you have a cup of tea, I ask.  He never drinks tea.  Well sure, if you’re making one, I will.  Jesus wept.  This from the depths of my chair by the window, looking out on my garden with my birds twittering and singing to their heart’s content.  Insult to injury.  The tea is dutifully made. Courtesy and grace  somewhat lacking.  He, blissfully unaware of the rising athmospheric pressure.  I, to my credit, stop short of sulking.  Tea drunk, back off out to the working world.  Blue-arsed fly imitation for the rest of the daylight hours.   

Later in the day, I approach the kitchen, thinking it’s mine now, where’s the crossword, have a pen, kettle’s just boiled.

He’s in the chair.


It’s my turn, I scream.  Silently.  It doesn’t matter that it’s a scream because he is snoring.  Head back, mouth open, less than melodic noises escaping from the depths.  Ah, I hear his mother speaking in my head.   Sure he works so hard, poor man.  He must be tired.  She had her own chair, by a window too, which requires a papal dispensation for anyone other than her ladyship to park their bones in.

She doesn’t have to do battle with the niceties of selfishness.     

Master of illusion, I mutter.  Used to work so hard, I growl.  Will I smother him with the red or the blue cushion?  I could do it really quickly.  He wouldn’t feel a thing.  I indulge myself with misty dreams of a constantly available chair by the window, the sun shining through sparkling glass, the tantalising aroma of a dinner that I had no part in preparing, the pink pigs flying by.   

I let it go.  I’m bigger than that. 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Worrying Concepts

It's been a while.

Three years of a while.  I don't know where to start.

I'm older but no wiser and I am now definitely an orphan.  A real orphan.  Gone are the founts of wisdom and compassion that I unwittingly depended on.  Gone is the life I blindly thought would continue forever.  In it's place, that old imposter, maturity, demands recognition.

Slowly, the realisation that I am now in the front row for the high jump is seeping into the withering grey matter.  

This concept is a little worrying.

The lord and master (he wisheth) is retired (albeit early) and has taken to the life of ease like the proverbial duck to water.  Embarking on all manners of adventures suitable for 30 year olds, he has put a serious dent in the number of cat lives remaining to him.  Having endured this state of chassis for nigh on 3 years, I can categorically say I will be taken out of the workforce in a box.  The offspring are threatening to make a grandmother out of me which is yet another worrying concept.  I am not altogether convinced that I am suitable material for this elevated position.  Thankfully, there is a body of water between the parents to be and this orphaned soon to be nana, granny, gaga or whatever other vile names that can be conjured up to describe this dubious honour.  I have also become invisible.

Where is the serenity and contentment that reputedly comes with the sixth decade?

Is it any wonder, given the state of the aforementioned grey matter, that the Muse has not passed Go, has not collected the 200 euro and is still awaiting the Get out of Jail card?

I am now going to push the publish button because I told my sister I would and she's all I have left. Did I tell you I was an orphan?  She's an orphan too.   She understands.