Showing posts from February, 2013

SWEET FREEDOM....................

            I am sitting on a round table with white linen - waiting for coffee -today and I hear myself saying words to the woman beside me. It appears that I actually know what I am talking about. No-one was more surprised than myself. It appears that I am telling the woman on my left how the woman on my right is being so strong. "I think" says I, "that when there is a crossing like this, when the soul i s just about to leave the body, there is a tiny chink, a hairs breadth of a crack , where the peace comes in a draught. A miniscule breeze of ease, a sliver of eternal consciousness wending its way in, and winding its way around its closest soul, to offer strength and endurance and safe passage in stormy seas." I know, right? How else can this woman, this lioness, this warrior come to the burial ground of her son and stay sane, let alone capable of such love and honesty, such touching memories of him as a child, such fortitude in the

The Party

                      Well, there was a right hooley out in the home today. They are known to throw up a fine spread when there are celebrations to celebrate and what better reason to throw a party than a birthday. Especially if the Birthday girl happens to be 104 years young. And fit and fine and hale and hearty. A mind as sharp as a tack and an ability to paint that has her in her 105th year on the planet still exh ibit, AND sell. I watched her last week as she pushed a 90 year old man in a wheelchair up to the dining room for his tea. Oh, the go of them. While all the celebrations were in full swing I breasted the teamaid for a sanger and a sausage as I had dined solely on a biscuit for the entire day. It is only when I get a headache that I realise I have not eaten and am wondering if it is too late to luncheon at midnight. I poured a baby Jameson at 6.04 pm and I left the glass back down on the table at 9.49 with an inch still in it. The going was steady

"You're looking swell,Dolly".............

          When I was small(er) Siobhan used to say "that one was vaccinated with a gramophone needle" as my ability to hold forth on various and disparate topics since I could form sentences, was legendary. My first words were not "Mama" or "Dada" . As they were househunting with me strapped in a harness as a precocious toddler in the car they heard a voice coming from the back seat where I said - "dat lu bby house oba dey". Siobhan remarked that I had "put the heart crossways in her". Today I have talked myself up hill and down dale and into a cocked hat. I should be exhausted but am high on nervous tension, emotion and adrenaline. It all started this am when M arrived to pick me up. @ 7.00 !!! I was dithering in the kitchen about footwear when she honked the horn. Could I do "Double-Inn Citaay" in heels. The Mini Slippertons called but I refused their fur lined flat pleas and zipped on my boots. I am wearing a

Take a parachute and jump ...........

                          Tonight there is a new piece of "equipment" hanging on the bathroom door. It resembles a parachute with canvas straps and colour coded buckles. It is to raise Siobhan from her Stephen Hawking chair into a Surita Hoist , to assist with swinging her body to a commode. There are so many things in the bathroom now I can barely fit my hips in to warm the cloth I use to wipe her face. There is a commode, a hoist, a parachute, a chair to be showered in, as well as a toilet and sink. I run the flannel under the scorching taps for a hand scalding minute to gently wipe her face and itch her eyes. The woman staring back at me from the mirror is barely recognisable as Me. I remember once reading a lovely line from Liz Gilberts million seller "Eat, Pray, Love" which talked about how we often mistake our image in mirrors, or quick glances in shop windows where we spot ourselves rushing by and in that moment try to salute o

Cast a cold eye .....................

                  You know sometimes when you are curled up in the backseat of a fast car, or the top deck of a city-bus, or on a lit train flashing through the countryside late at night, and you can glimpse moments of other peoples lives? A split second glance at backyards strung with laundry, lights in bedrooms, the flickering neon of a tv set, a shadowed outline passing through rooms. I like that. I have always ... watched things, people mostly. I like to sit at street cafes and watch a stream of humanity flow by - looking for characters - noticing their clothes, their shoes, their gait. In my pursuit of this I have found anonymity in cities like Dublin or London - Torrevieja or Stuttgart - as no-one will stop to engage. I like to get a sense of people and how they tick, how they interact. As a child I was reprimanded to stop staring, as a lover ditto. I do not mean to be overt but it is my nature, and it is my eyes. They have been described both as beautifu

The Slow Set

The Slow Set. My first dance with a chap was overseen by a nun with a meg in the rooms over the Parish Hall. Oh, I had danced with chaps before, and had made myself sick with excitement at various christmas parties as a child when there were boys present and had to be led from the throng with my fringe plastered to my head from "acting the maggot". Coming from an all girls school, we just weren' ... t used to the opposite sex. I also come from an era when the cinema usherette would give you "down the banks" if you were caught courting some young fella in the double seats. "Assume your proper positions please" says she sharply shining the torch into our startled red faces while we tried to pull up or down jumpers in a lather of embarassment and frustration. As my Mother had been a "Child of Mary" in the Legion of same, I too was shunted out the door for first mass on a Sunday to sell leaflets, prayer books, rosary beads and miraculous meda