Tuesday, October 2, 2012

By chance..

Last Thursday evening I left work about ten or fifteen minutes later than my usual shiny-shaped hole in the door at 17:01. As I was walking close to home, I saw a little old lady walking towards me. 

I have a thing about smiling, nodding or saying hello to older people. They come from a better time when that’s what people did, and I always remember when I was in school hearing a story about a woman who would get the bus every day and sit on a bench in the shopping centre in the hope that someone would talk to her.

So I smiled and she looked up at me, then stopped me to ask directions. We were further along the road than she was looking for, but when I pointed the way nothing registered on her face. I quickly realised. She said she’d been walking for a long time, maybe for four miles, she liked to walk. 

I asked if she knew her address, and like it was a test she shot out the right answer. I told her I would look it up, and thanked technology for smart phones. She didn’t bat an eyelid, just thanked me and waited. 

I hadn’t heard the name before, but by chance I had met a man earlier that day from an adjoining road to hers and not having heard of it before, I asked him where it was. Behind the supermarket. So that’s how far she’d come. 

About 2 kms, 4 miles in old shoes. 
I told her I lived around the corner and could drive her home, and she agreed. We got into the car, fastened her seatbelt then mine, and I sent a text to say I’d to run an errand and would be home soon. 

As we drove she told me she was originally from Wexford, one of ten, and that her parents were still alive. It seemed unlikely, given she seemed to me older than my Granny (who at almost 87 told me recently that she was starting to get old, but that it was probably about time she did), but it wasn’t for me to decide. She told me she went to visit them every 3 weeks or so, and they came up to her too. That’s lovely. 

The kids would be out, on the road, they were always falling. She talked about the weather, saying how nice a day it was, and I somehow knew not to mention the awful rain at the start of the week, and then she said how lucky we’d been with the weather over the last few weeks, thanks be to God. 

I asked if there would be someone at home. She hoped so, as she had thrown her keys behind her. I hoped so too, and there was. 

The bell didn’t work, but the knock on the window did. ‘I have a delivery for you’, says I. ‘Where did you find her?’ the man in black slacks and matching polo shirt asked. ‘Down by the park’, I replied. He looked confused, ‘are you a nurse?’ and then tried to explain. I told him I understood, but he had to tell me, he had to explain, he had to say the words, ‘she has dementia’. He thanked me and I left.  

She looked at me, smiled and nodded, and went inside. I hadn’t even noticed before that she had no coat or bag, but had a good pair of shoes on. She liked to walk.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Things I've learned a little too recently...

Buffalo mozzarella is made from buffalo milk, and is not just big mozzarella.

Buffaloes come in male and female.

The plural of buffalo is buffaloes.

Nuns are not entitled to free travel, unless they are over 66, which they often are.

On a similar theme, Junior Minister doesn't necessarily mean young.

When your pregnant friend texts you from her hospital appointment saying 'head down, bum in the air' she means the baby.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

We are different people...

I am glad of that.

I like piña coladas and getting caught in the rain. I like sitting on my own, outside a Paris café, watching people go by. I like to ride on Jack Yeats’ horse, running blurry and colourful. I like the peace and quiet of it.

I like sitting on the couch, in my hundred-year-old tracksuit bottoms, reading a book or talking for hours about everything and nothing, or even watching an episode, for months on end. I like cooking, with real food, after hours thinking, wandering and choosing. I like walking for the walk. I like side streets and back streets. So many things.

I don’t know what a Snooki is. I don't play tennis or golf. I don’t drink, or swear, I don’t rat my hair. Sandra Dee I am not, but don’t judge me by your standards, because they are certainly not mine.

I have imagination, I cherish it, I nurture it, I feed it with wild stories of talking snails. I don’t want to grow up too far. I like to dream. I like to write. I like to watch the stars and hear the ice-cream van.

I like the internets, all of them. I like strangers, the friends I haven’t met and those I have. Even the weirdos, especially the weirdos! Difference is one of the best things life has to offer.

I am myself, and that is all I ever want to be. Our sames are as similar as our nots, but we are different people, you and I, and I am glad of that.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Can I help you with something?

I don’t like shopping. There, I said it, shun me at will! I mean clothes shopping, I could grocery shop for days on end, I’m strange that way. I’ve never liked it, regardless of my age or size, and I’ve been a lot of ages and most sizes. Maybe it started with my mother, who loves to shop and bought me endless items of red clothing. Her favourite colour, but I’m part-ginger so it didn’t really work for me.

Don’t get me wrong, I love fashion, I just don’t follow it. I have a style, I suppose, but I’m not stylish. Like anyone I have favourite colours, shapes and what not. I generally prefer winter clothes to summer clothes, for example. I’m not even a big fan of sunglasses, never mind the rest! I love wool, and the term what not.

The thing about it is too, even if you’re a size twelve it doesn’t mean your clothes will be, and I don’t just mean when you’re fooling yourself that you’re a size twelve! You might need a size 16 in one top, then jump for joy when you need a size 10 in another (even if it is a poncho, for Electric Picnic!).

I tried on two coats today, in the same shop and the same size. One was too small and the other too big. Granted the one that was too small was also Aer Lingus green so it was for the best, else I’d be tormented with people asking me for peanuts and pretzels! It has happened me before with a green coat.

Or let’s say you go to buy a pair of black trousers. For work, funerals, waiting tables or what have you. You’d think that’d be simple enough? 

Men’s trousers come in two measurements; waist and length. If you know these two numbers it’s pretty much a done deal, and if you don’t presumably you just get out a measuring tape. It’s in the press beside the torch.

Women’s trousers, however, come in all manner of things, sizes only being a somewhat complicated starting point. Waist can come in 'dress sizes' (what chance do we have?), or actual waist measurements. Length is not necessarily in yards or inches, or even new fangled centimetres, but can be petite or short, regular or medium, long or tall. These definitions are completely arbitrary, and vary so much from shop to shop that sometimes long is too short and tall is too long.

Not to mention the fact that women also come in shapes such as apple, pear, hourglass, and I don’t know, stick insect, ironing board and beach ball? Then there’s the minefield of boot cut, straight leg, wide leg, skinny and what looks to me to be spray-on!  Don’t get me started on jeggings and treggings, capri and cargo, printed and patterned!

Do we still have hipsters? Is that still an option? To me that was always some sort of retailers' code word for ‘you’ll be pulling them up all day’. Like, one of my other personal favourites, the lie that is ‘with stretch’, which really means ‘with cling’. I'd respect a shop that printed that on their labels. 

Oh, that’s right hipsters are a type of people now, not jeans. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Getting there.

How himself and myself are getting on living together.

Very well, thanks for asking. It's so easy, despite my tendencies towards Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and the fact that we had both lived alone for years, which makes you odd! We've settled into a routine, despite conflicting work schedules. We have a nice home. What can I say, I'm happy!

How I am now friends with my mother and father on Facebook.

A sign of being a grown up at last, with nothing to hide. They know who I am now, and there was never really anything to hide in the first place. They truly are my friends now, not just my parents, givers of tenners.

How I have neither time, nor inspiration, nor discipline to blog.

I'm working on that, and I'm working on something new.

How I'm battling between my love of food and my love of fitting in my clothes.

I've lost a whopping 1.5lbs in the last two weeks. No, I've lost 1.5lbs in the last couple of weeks! It may not be much, but it's a start and I feel back in control, at last. I love to cook, I love to eat, that's not going to change, but a few small things have to. I've been either side of where I am now, and I know where I want to be.

How I'm battling to get through the working day without crawling under my desk.

It's getting better, changing my attitude, 'choosing my attitude' to quote a bunch of fishmongers in Seattle. There's change ahead and I'm ready for it, I want it now.

How living my life by a spreadsheet is making my head go a little bit kaboom.

I like to know where I am, where I'm going, what I'm doing, who with, and when. But I'm learning, to relax, do things for me, do nothing, go with the flow a bit. I still like to know, but life doesn't always work that way. I'm learning.

How I am not making time for myself, despite all around me telling me to.

See above. I'm getting there.

How I plan to change at least some of the above things.

Slowly, but surely!
How I went to work today wearing a top that smelled of roast beef. 

It was great roast beef though! 

Monday, April 2, 2012

What I didn't say was...

Things I haven't blogged about in the last two months:

How himself and myself are getting on living together.

How I am now friends with my mother and father on Facebook.

How I have neither time, nor inspiration, nor discipline to blog.

How I'm battling between my love of food and my love of fitting in my clothes.

How I'm battling to get through the working day without crawling under my desk.

How living my life by a spreadsheet is making my head go a little bit kaboom.

How I am not making time for myself, despite all around me telling me to.

How I plan to change at least some of the above things.

How I went to work today wearing a top that smelled of roast beef.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

It's for you...

The phone rings, I answer 'hello', turning off the vacuum cleaner.

'what are you up to?'
'how was dinner last night?'
'good, really good'
'what'd you get up today?'
'nothing much, took it easy, did the housework, you?'
'the same, and watched the rugby'
'I didn't watch the rugby'
*stunned silence*
'I'm not that into the rugby'
'so what did you do today?'
'housework! grocery shopping, laundry, hoovering..!'
'you'd never be done'
'how long does it take to cook a chicken, an hour and a half?'
'no, two hours'
'I thought last time you said an hour and a half..? an hour covered and a half an hour uncovered?'
'I never said anything about covered and uncovered! two hours at 200!'
'200? mine's a fan oven?'
'so is mine, put it on for an hour covered with tin foil, then take off the tin foil for the last 45 minutes'
*stunned silence*
'alright I'll let you get on with it'
'ok, bye Mam, talk to you tomorrow.'