Irish Grey’s Anatomy

Who is following the blog for a while knows that last year, what we thought was a post-Halloween party hangover, was instead a burst perforated appendix that brought the travelling husband undergoing an emergency surgery .Because the appendix was not just burst but also perforated a piece of colon had to be removed and that is why,six months later,he needs a routine colonoscopy.He is one hundred percent fine and also regained all that extra weight he was so delighted to have lost,(A woman would never be so naive to think her ideal weight would come and stay so easy) but, by the law,his post surgery record can’t be filed until this last exam is done.

Friday is the day of the procedure. I have to go with him because he will be given some sedation and forbidden to drive. The hospital where we are going is not the same hospital where he had surgery, and it will take over an hour driving to get there.
At 8.30 sharp we drop the girls in school, never happened in seven years of primary, and we go straight to the hospital.

He is checked in, and we are both escorted to a cubicle where we have to wait for the nurse. The nurse doesn’t delay to arrive; she is quite old and with a very hoarse voice. After she checked that all the personal details are correct, she starts to explain what is next. I am a bit confused when she says he will be sprayed some anaesthetic in his throat and then inserted a little tube with a camera in his belly. Now, I am not a doctor, but I have some basics about human anatomy and medical procedure and what she just described is not a colonoscopy. I look at the travelling husband who is now checking emails and had no listened to one single word she said. I suppose he felt to have already socialised enough for the day after answering all those personal questions. At this point I have two choices:letting him go and have an unnecessary endoscopy or intervene and explain the nurse there must be a mistake. Because I am a charitable soul and an even more caring wife, I dare to interrupt the nurse’s speech to say he is actually supposed to do a colonoscopy and not an endoscopy.
At the sound of my voice the husband regains conscience and promptly jumps into the conversation with a nearly outrage tone.The nurse looks at us like we were half aliens and half idiots and says to him:”oh, don’t worry pet, you can do that as well, after”.
I show her the referral letter clearly stating which is the one and only procedure that must be done today.She seems convinced and leaves us to go and talk to the doctor.When she comes back,she says everything is ok and sorted and the doctor will be with us any minute.

The doctor explains once again what is going to happen and very compassionately reassures the travelling husband :”don’t worry if we don’t find anything with the colonoscopy we will do straight away an endoscopy and figure it out what is wrong”.We look at each other both thinking this whole situation is insane. I can see the travelling husband is getting annoyed and with a tone that doesn’t hide what he feels,he tells the doctor that there is nothing wrong with him and the only reason he is there it is for a routine check .
Every misunderstanding seems eventually to be cleared off. The husband is ready to go, and I am free to leave the promises and enjoy myself in town for a couple of hours.
“How nice”, I think.The weather is terrific, a proper summer day, and I have never been in Monaghan town:I can pretend I am a tourist. The hospital is walking distance from the city centre, and so I go. Lucky me,Friday is farmers’ market day and I let myself be tempted by some blackcurrant jam.As usual I have no cash with me but,determined to not let anything go in between me and some organic shopping, I go looking for an atm.

While browsing the street of Monaghan, I see a set of six crystal liquor glasses that are looking at me from a window of a little second-hand shop. I stop and look back at them, intensely, until they speak to me and ask to be bought .From the bottom of my hearth I can’t say no. The shop is one of those little treasure cave with a bit of everything inside. While the shop’ s lady is wrapping the glasses I see one of those colourful straw bag ideals for the beach or shopping. Another customer is looking at it too.I discretely move closer and closer until,from behind where my opponent is standing, I grab it first. These are the moments I am happy to have long legs and long arms.

Happy and satisfied for my bargains I feel extremely countryside posh carrying my new straw bag on my wrist, that it is also the only way not to squeeze the glasses that I managed to fit in it.Before going back to the hospital I decide to further treat myself and I go to a coffee shop I saw earlier.I order a skinny cappuccino to go,an exotic request that totally destabilizes the young lad at the till. Apparently in county Monaghan they call it low fat.With my coffee and my bag full of glasses and jam I sit on a bench.I let the sun caressing my face and I allow my thoughts wondering free wherever they want to go. Delightfully lost in my little world, I am brought back to reality by my phone that keeps receiving texts from the travelling husband:”Oh my”,” is he already done?”.No, and he won’t be for another 30 minutes, but they keep insisting he has the endoscopy too.

Seriously, this is the first time I see a hospital where they are eager to perform unnecessary procedures and for free. After a series of back and forth texts, he was eventually called in. Not more then ten minutes later he is done, and I can go back whenever I want.
Wow, that was quick! I walk back to the hospital, I hide my purchases in the boot of the car, and I go inside to the ward where I left him. He is still there and surprisingly in great form and not even the slightest drowsy. He explained to me that he refused the anaesthetic because it would have been a general rather than a local as everything was already set to perform both procedures on him.When he categorically refused it the doctor(a different from before),nearly as a threaten and with an evil grin on his face,told to him that anyway he would have had to go back if nothing would come up from this exam. At that point, the travelling husband didn’t even bother to say once again that it was precisely what was supposed to come up:nothing! because he was not there for some problem but only for a routine check.

In the end he was perfectly able to drive back home but, I am still glad I went or it would be someone else sipping Port from these little cute crystal glasses tonight.May be,it is really true that everything happens for a reason.

Carry On Wednesday

When they say ” keep calm and carry on”what do they really mean? Have you ever wonder? I have.

When I woke up this morning I haven’t thought or wondered anything because I was too tired and went on automatic pilot with some disastrous consequences:I nearly broke my neck doing yoga and I put the moka on the stove without water in it.The unmistakable burn smell soon made me realized I skipped a step of the morning coffee ritual. The dogs,instead, circling around my legs restlessly tried to make me remember the fundamental step I was skipping in their morning ritual:feeding them.I am afraid they had to loose their hope as I didn’t forget to feed them but I simply did it on purpose.No,don’t worry,I have not become evil all of a sudden,there is a very simple and compassionate explanation:Indie,our new foster dog ,is due to be neutered this morning and has to be fastened,consequently it was only fair if the other two would have renounced to their breakfast too or,at least,wait after she was gone. Plenty of time to have it later or even never .Clara can only do with a bit of weight loss and Kurt will not suffer for skipping a meal considering that last night he ate a whole piece of cheddar cheese (250gr) still in the wrapping.

Since Saturday events just unraveled one after the other. The foster dog arrived and she is absolutely beautiful and gentle and ……thanks God we already booked our holidays and the kennel only for two because this dog will never leave otherwise. I know I have been “forbidden” the third permanent dog unless I want to be single again but considering that at the moment I am seriously thinking about either divorcing or murdering the travelling husband,it might worth the shot!

As my mom says there is trouble even in paradise. We had a big marital argument Sunday morning and like in every other respectful home always for the same reasons. This time the difference is that my feet went down stamping and I am determined to not let him go away with it as easy as always. By Sunday night everything was back to normal but on Monday morning I was back to my very annoyed me and being a fiery Taurus didn’t help. I tend to think over things and overthink but,most of all,I tend to self-combusting until I explode and so I did .Being the lady I am, I did explode but very mannerly and by email. No need to mention that I regret to have sent that email the very same second I pushed the send bottom and since then I kept wondering if the outcome of such bravery would have been the traveling husband coming home with an apologetic smile or the traveling husband not coming home at all.
He came home and also he emailed me back and there is when I thought we were getting as freaky as those couple that uncouple and miraculously recouple thanks to Dr.Phil’ s advices.Ok,in our case uncoupling had never really cross anybody’s mind and the traveling husband doesn’t even know who Dr.Phil is but,gladly for me,the e-mail was highly appreciated.Apparently if you write ,even only once those same things you spent the last 20 years repeating over and over again, your partner will be hit by a thunder of knowledge and wisdom ,he will all of a sudden put himself in your shoes and finally understand your feelings and your point of view.”Verba Volant ,Scripta Manent”,a timeless truth!

To recap the so far already long week,Saturday passed by welcoming and washing Indie; Sunday passed by arguing with husband and trying to make Indie understand what her name is as whoever had her for one year never bother to give her one. Monday, started immediately quite tragically :in the morning at the beach I tried to let Indie off the lead and while the first time she was fine, at the second attempt she just took off: She ran after something or someone,I have still no idea,and she was no coming back.So there I was,once again running after one of my dogs except, as much as a pointer can be fast, he is not as fast as a greyhound ,I lost ten years of my life and my lungs are still recovering .The afternoon was not of any better and passed in a turmoil of emotions and words,said,written,regretted and all while driving the girls around to school, tennis, Gaa.If you are wondering, would they have at least one activity at the same time? Nope, not a chance to get rid of them simultaneously.At night I eventually collapsed on my pillow and not resuscitated untill the alarm went off on Tuesday morning. Tuesday had every credentials to be a nightmare of a day.I was on supervision duty at the chess club in the evening and in the morning I had to drive the school green committee to collect their green flag. Yes, I am the green parent of the school. I was elected with a fair and democratic election Maduro style: I was the only candidate! To be precise the only available and suitable candidate.Sure it could not have been the mother of the boy who is convinced that throwing the apple core out of the car’ s window is not littering because the birds will pick it up.

We left school at twelve and we were not back until four.The ceremony started at two o’clock and there was fifty-two school to be rewarded. We were not among the first ones to get on the stage and soon the excitement to receive our seventh flag became impatience to get the bloody flag and go home. I won’t hide I was worried about the dogs too. They were now alone for a long time and for the first time all three together. Clara and Kurt are well used to but I was not sure about Indie.When we finally got back to the school I literally throw the teacher and the other child in the committee out of the car and drove home in a hurry. The house was still standing, and everything seemed fine from outside: the curtains were still up and there were no blood splatters on the front windows. Inside the situation seemed pretty much the same: when we opened the door the three dogs were still all alive, with all their body’s parts attached and there were no signs of fighting or little presents left by a sensitive bladder or an equal sensitive intestine. That was a huge relief. There was not even dog smell, on the contrary there was a nice apple scent. Delighted for how well behaved the dogs have been and how nice the house was smelling I didn’t actually think about where that smell could possibly come from. I had still so much to do before leaving again for chess night that my mind was totally busy somewhere else but,when I went into the study to print some documents, the source of the apple scent was there in front of me. A nice green(to stay in theme) apple candle I forgot to blow before I left in the morning. The flame was now ridiculously high and dangerously close to a pile of papers. It has been indeed another manic Tuesday but also a damn lucky one.

A Truly Madly Ordinary Trip To The Italian Embassy

Thirteen months later my adoption is eventually finalized.Italian bureaucracy is sure not the fastest in the world and even less when the court clerk writes an incomplete address and keeps sending the papers over and over again to the same unknown address. Me, I am just glad is over but I am well aware it is still early to celebrate as now the calvary of changing all my documents with the amended name must start. How it works in Ireland I have no idea but I suppose it won’t be that complicated.Every woman who gets married add her husband surname and I’m confident there is some procedure in place to facilitate things. Before I start changing my name in the bank account, the driving licence, the social services cards etc., I have first to change my ID card and my passport. It will have to be done through the Italian embassy that is loyally in line with the timing of the Italian public offices. And there is where my worries commence.
The passport to be renewed, for example, must not be sent before three months from its expiring date but strictly not after those three months otherwise there will be no guarantee to have it back in time. According to this rule of three, I’m already late as I have to travel mid-July and I panic.

As soon my lawyer informs me that the adoption’s papers has been registered and sent over to the Italian consulate in Dublin I immediately ring the embassy. Now, that is not as easy as it sounds.The embassy is open to the public two hours in the morning Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday and two hours in the afternoon on Thursday if you physically go there;if you have to contact them by phone they recommend instead to do it outside the opening hours, to be precise within an hour after they close the office.
Wednesday morning I work my math and time and at 12.50pm I ring the office of the consulate:”Good morning I am calling to ask some information about the change of surname or, to be precise the add of a surname. All the papers have been sent to the consulate from Italy……..bla bla bla.”.After spending 15 minutes on the phone explaining what I needed the voice at the other end of the line said,”Oh, but I am only the policeman. The officer who is in charge is not here today, why don’t you come in tomorrow?”.I can’t help but laugh and make him notice that he could have said it before so to save us both time. Actually, the guard is conquered by my laugh and assured me that if I go in on Thursday afternoon he will let me in without an appointment. Those 15 minutes on the phone might not have been wasted after all.!

Thursday I collect the girls from school earlier and we head straight to town.
At 1.40pm sharp we are at the Consulate ‘s gate, the guard comes toward us and asks what we were there for.” I am the lady who laughs. “, I say laughing, because, really, what else could I do?!
He escorts us to the waiting room and gives us a number. Only two people in front of us: happy days! Without an appointment, my experience at the embassy is that you know when you start queuing but never when you end. While we are waiting I can notice that since last time I was here the personnel changed. I won’t hide my relief because my last visit has not been pleasant at all. I have been shamed in front of everybody because I wanted to pay with copper coins. Before you ask, it was only one euro out 132 euros for two passports and I refused to be treated like that. I called for the team leader and I protested that copper coins are a currency in use, there is written nowhere that they don’t accept them and so I would have gone nowhere without my passport and some apologies. They had by law to accept my coppers and also apologise.

Back to today, the wait is longer than expected as the guy in front of us has some really big issue to be sorted. Something with the Irish police treating him unfairly, drugs and the custody of a minor. In one world a mess of a situation now known to everybody in the room. The office of the consulate is, in fact, an open space leaving absolutely zero privacy. When my turn comes I approach the front office and explain why I am there. The officer who deals with me is exceptionally nice and competent and I make sure to tell him because, not to sound mean, it is a rarity in that place and in 16 years I have seen many different faces but nearly all with the same unfortunate attitude. Mr Ruggero, checks my name and address,”Oh but we know each other”, he says.”Yes, I think we spoke on the phone some time ago”, I say.”No no no, you are the lady who walks the dogs at the castle, right?”,he replays. I am taken by surprise: “Yes, I am”, I confirm. He then explains to me that we have an acquaintance in common and that he leaves in the village just passed mine. How small is the world!

At 2.45pm,we are done. We have to be back by 4 for fiddle lesson but there is plenty of time to stop by at papa’s office for a brief hello and a coffee. I haven’t had lunch yet or anything else since 7.30 this morning, I can really do with some caffeine.

The travelling husband recently changed office. His team grew considerably and so they have been moved to another side of the floor. A lot of new faces for us but we are indeed novelty for them too, as shown by their looks when we walk in.Those looks that make you check on your self just to be sure you have nothing strange in your hair, or some big disgusting stain on your top or, every women worst nightmare, the back of your skirt trapped inside your tights after your last visit at the ladies’.

In the canteen after a brief procession of characters coming in with some excuse to see the boss’ wife and daughters, I can eventually relax and chat with some familiar and friendly faces. A bit of awkwardness descends upon on us when I have been asked what brought me in town and when I vaguely replay a visit to embassy curiosity prevails and I am asked what was my business at the embassy. My first response would be:”You just said it. It is my business!!!!”.But that would be rude, wouldn’t it? So I instead answer I was there for a change of surname, hoping the guy understand it is a quite personal and delicate matter that I am not willing to disclose. He doesn’t and keeps going:”Good woman, you eventually get your husband surname then.”.Again, the first response it would be,”No, why would I want to do that 16 years later?”.What I say instead is,”I am adding a surname to mine but it is not his!”.Everybody at this point is slightly embarrassed and nobody speaks until, in all her innocence, daughter number two fills the silence:”She is getting my grandad surname because he adopted her as it is only fair that like he is our grandad he will be her dad too”.What was perfectly logic and natural in her head, in that canteen was like a bomb dropped with no warning.The travelling husband who has been on the phone all the time just hung up, and oblivious to whatever conversation might have happened in there simply asked me if I want sugar or milk with my coffee. The order is restored.

Nearly 3.30pm now we were risking to be late. We left the office and I decided to take the tunnel, That way I was sure to be back home in 20/25 minutes, except I take the wrong turn, again, and 20/25 minutes later we were instead still driving around Dublin looking for an alternative route to escape the traffic we were stuck in.I am well aware we will never make it to the start of fiddle lesson but I still hope we can get there by the end of the lesson so at least daughter number two will have all the info she needs for the concert. Ambulances and police patrol cars keep coming and going and I am trying to convince the girls it is all fault of some accidents that must have happened not of my total lack of sense of directions and total incapacity to simply follow google map.

4.30pm. We will never make it for the end of fiddle lesson either and my sense of guilt grows. At least we are eventually in the right direction and on our way out the city, bored and sweaty as it is obviously one of the hottest days in the last few weeks. We pass a pharmacy, one of those with outside the lightning green board with the time and date. A vicious reminder that it is nearly two hours we are in the car when, probably, that was the time we could have been home for if only I haven’t taken that bloody wrong turn, again! The board also reminds me that actually the fiddle concert is not this coming Sunday but the following,that explains why CG was so cool on losing fiddle lesson. She was not pretending to make me feel better. I suddenly feel no guilt anymore. Beside the pharmacy, there is a nice little cosy patisserie.I instinctively pull over:”Girls, get out! We are having a treat. We deserve it”.

Around 6 pm we get home, exhausted. We are welcomed by two drooling dogs whose eyes are nearly sticking out their head for hunger.
I send the girls up to have a shower and I ravage at the bottom of my cleaning tools box to see if I still have an emergency comforting cigarette. I do and tonight it is much needed. The phone rings, it is the travelling husband saying he is on his way and asking if I had difficult to get to the tunnel:”Nope, why should have I ? there was a bit of traffic and we didn’t make it to fiddle but once you know where to go is easy right? We were home ages ago.”.He listen,pause and then:”Did you get lost again?”.
How did he know? Does he have mind readers powers I’m not aware of? Does he have a super sight and he could see my little red car going around and around senseless? Maybe he had a track installed either on my phone or my car?
Most probably this is what you get when you marry someone who knows you since you were 15 and already crap at finding your way around places.

Manic Tuesday

This post was supposed to be about last weekend and the “darkness into light “walk me and the girls did on Saturday. It will be not!Today took such turn and twist that is all I am going to talk about.

At half six this morning when I came down for my yoga the sun was already shining high. The temperature outside was summery, no better day for wearing shorts and this time it was true. On the beach it was a joy to see how the moods were ecstatic. Regulars and not regulars dog walkers were all waving one another with big smile pleased by the atmospheric conditions. Every greeting was accompanied by a sentence praising the weather or, to be correct, “the glorious” weather. Irish people love this expression to address days like this and after 16 years in the country I totally understand why.By afternoon the rain came but the warmth stayed,meaning that if you would cross the same pleased people from this morning they would be instead complaining about how heavy the weather is.

Home from school drops and my walk,while parking I noticed the postman coming up the road. My dogs don’t particularly like this postman. He is a semi-pro marathoner and uses his delivery shift to train: he delivers the post running and if he has to talk to you for some reason or make you sign something he keeps running on the spot. I think this is what upset the dogs the most, plus they smell his fear of them. Every time I open the door to him, there is a terrified expression in his eyes and the inevitable question:”they(the dogs) don’t come out right?”.I knew since day one he was not comfortable around dogs but what makes him so afraid of mine goes back to a “little insignificant” accident that happened soon after we moved. He had a parcel for me and I went to open the front door but forgot to close the hall’s door.The giant dog got out and jumped on the postman who dropped the parcel and run down the hill. Not a smart move as,unfortunately, Kurt interpreted it like an offer to play catch and run after the him.At the time Kurt was still young and not good on recall .That, plus the tasty appeal of the running postman to fetch had the best on his German sense of obedience and so he kept going ignoring me and my desperate calls.I had to run down the hill too .The scene the neighbors had in front of their amused eyes it was the postman running like flash chased by a giant dog with clapping big ears followed by a screaming woman laughing her head off because,in fairness,the situation was quite hilarious.Well,hilarious for everybody except the poor postman who now drop my post and sprint .

Back to this morning, I thought it was easier and safer for everybody if I waited in the car until the post was delivered. It is only four houses in the lane,ours included, and it wouldn’t have been a long wait. What I didn’t take in consideration was how long it would have felt because of all the barking echoing directly in my ears. Through the rear mirror I could see he was done and he was running back down the lane. He skipped our house but I didn’t worry,on the contrary, the last three days he only delivered bills!Actually,I soon realized to be wrong:he was not done and he was not leaving but he was coming closer and closer to my car. He finally reached my window and knocked. He had a registered letter I had to sign. I got out the car and while Kurt Clara abandoned herself to a mixture of barking and howling,Kurt stack his head out of the window and started to bark at the poor man whose mocking on the spot was getting more and more nervous. I signed as fast as I could and took everybody out of their misery.

An unexpected register post is never good news,at least not in this house where most of the time is a ticket for speeding or wild unauthorized parking. I checked the sender, it was not the ministry of transport, a good news in normal circumstances but the fact that it was coming from the “evil queen” (aka my late father’s wife)didn’t really make it necessarily good.Last time I received a registered post from her it costed me few grand and lots of stomach ache. Thankfully, sometimes, when a day starts glorious it continuos glorious and, sometimes, even the Italian revenues are glorious: It was the notification of a refund of taxes I am entitled as coheir.

The rest of the morning was uneventful a part from having the proof that we planted the strawberries on the right spot. Yes, Jessica Triepel,I planted strawberries, tomatoes,courgettes and cucunmber…something must end up on my table….sooner or later. ( her out,she is a fine writer not only a brilliant home grower). Last Sunday when we planted the strawberries it was late afternoon and I couldn’t remember if that spot of the garden was in full sun light or not. Yesterday the sun was nowhere to be seen but today, eventually, we had the proof that it is a sunny spot. Not that it would have been much difference if it was not: it is the only spot the dogs don’t go.

In the afternoon I am finally ready to sit down and write a little except,this is when my day really turned weird.
The dogs started to bark and I saw a huge fancy car coming up the road, it popped on my front path and parked pretty much in front of my living room window. The travelling husband car is on the driveway in front of the double gate, my car is parked on the road in front of the house and the big path leading to the main entrance is tidy and decorated with flowers pots and a cherry blossom tree,no cars.To me, everything says “private property” and ,most of all,”no parking”.Still incredulous I opened the window and I started to gesticulate at the occupants of the car. Them,2 mid-thirties fellas waved at me with a big greeting smile. They drove a bit further and stopped the engine.A bit less incredulous and a bit more upset I went out.They were still inside the car gathering together their phones and wallet. Eventually, they opened the car and made a move to get out: “Excuse me, this is private property”, I say. The driver looked at me top to toes and smiled from one ear to the other before going:”That is ok hon, we booked the 3 o cock slot.We have to meet a girl called Aine.”.Thousands of malicious thoughts and explanations crossed my little twisted mind until I finally replayed:”She is not here,it is the wrong address”.They both blushed :”Oh,it is not you? We thought you ….well you were waving at the window….”. Seriously?,”I was not waving at the window ,I was trying to ask you what the feck were you doing on my path?”,I barked.They had no clue of what was going on .I asked them the address they were meant to go,hoping by now they understood it was not mine and they were indeed at the wrong place.They checked a piece of paper and started,not very successfully,to whisper to each other.I could clearly hear what they were saying: “I told you it was a scam”,said the driver to the passenger.
Few minutes later my patience was pushed to the limit:”I’m still here and I can hear you so would you please tell me the address you have to go?May be I can help and you can move away from my property?”.

They gave me the address :once again there have been a mixed up between our estate and the house down the hill that share the same name……….,and all my old and regulars readers know what this means!

An only girls city break

As predicted by the forecast,on Tuesday morning the heat wave was gone.We were back to the traditional Irish weather :scattering showers and dry sunny spells.More or less all year around this is what characterize the atmosphere on this side of the world.
Looking at the sky, this Tuesday the scattering showers seemed to be persistent and permanent while the chance of some sunny spell appeared very shy.In the mist and the drizzle the travelling husband dropped us at the train station.My friend and her daughters were already there ready for our little mid term break away in Belfast.

My last visit to Belfast goes back when I was still pregnant with daughter number two.At the time Ikea was not open in Dublin yet and we had to drive up north.Actually that was not an happy memory at all as early contractions arrived while in there. Fortunately, we were around the furniture section and it was not that difficult to find a comfortable couch to sit(standing was not really an option). After debating if keep shopping or going to the hospital ,we kept shopping.It was the right decision!The little creature resisted in fact an other three weeks before making her entrance in this world and I,not only would have missed all my much needed shopping but,I would have waste precious time in an unknown hospital for nothing. Sometimes I can’t help but wondering if this is why she loves so much going to Ikea.

The girls excitement for this two days little adventure was palpable. In less then two hours we were there.Our itinerary was simple and strict: On the day of the arrival str check in at the hotel and then shopping and browsing around the city;On the day of the departure, interactive science museum.

Despite the fact we were further up north,as the hotel’s receptionist remarked when we said we were coming from Dublin,the weather was much better then the one we left behind.It looks like that in Belfast those sunny spells had found their way to shine.Shattered and hungry we start looking for a nice place to have dinner. A task requiring research and patience because it is not as simple as it looks to find an agreement between four little big mouths of whom one is vegetarian but don’t usually like the restaurant’s vegetarian options.I honestly didn’t find her that difficult (and this has absolutely nothing to do with the fact she always approves my fashion choices and said I look younger then I am)but,if her mother says so ,she sure knows what she is talking about.Unless hunger was talking for her,or was it anger? It doesn’t really matter because, at the end, we had to thank our little vegetarian soul to make us end up in a very nice place that made everybody taste buds happy.

Back to the hotel the interconnecting rooms created high excitement.Not having much time to enjoy a such amenity when we arrived in the afternoon they made it up in the evening,helped by a sugar rush consequence of a stop to an american candies store.A good old fashion scolding soon descended up on them and, eventually,they all chilled down.Whoever at the time was passing in the corridor,must have been experienced some confusion overhearing the mix of Italian ,Swedish and English coming from room 427 and 429. Hard to believe that there are still bilingual kids who pretend to not understand properly their mothers native language.They were now so quiet and angelic,(and I stated without the help of any drugs),that we could enjoy a drink and a chat in total relax.

Wednesday we experienced the longitude gap.We realized we were really “up the north”.The weather was atrocious ,windy rainy and cold.To be total honest we were not that much bothered as we planned to spend the day inside the museum. Unfortunately,things didn’t exactly go according to the plan and,because it was slashing and we went to the museum by taxi and not walking we were there very early and,consequently,we were done much earlier then planned.We had lunch trying to loose as much time as we could:we purposely took ages to decide and order;we ate as slowly as we could and we also went to the bathroom rigorously one at the time.Still, we had three hours to kill.We had no options but taking our chance in the rain.We gather together our two pre teens, our official teen ager and the one who is still no fish no meat but that,has also proved to be the easiest one of the whole bunch, and walked back to the city center. A wet stroll around accompanied by some more wet shopping before heading to retrieve our bags and fetch a taxi for the train station.

During the day it rained so much that I m quite certain it stopped only becase there was no more water to be squeezed out of the clouds.On our way back to the hotel a pale sun was even starting to come out.Delighted with the change in the weather we didn’t think much of the heavy traffic on the streets of Belfast.We blamed it on the rain and the rush hour,it was five o’ clock of a working day after all.Once at the hotel,we collected our luggage and asked to call a taxi.Then,it was when we discovered that the traffic was not a normal Belfast mid week rush hour traffic. Ed Sheeran was playing in Belfast that very same evening. When we said we had to be at the station by six,the receptionist discretely laugh at us and,with a discreet patronizing tone,she suggested to forget to have a taxi in less then an hour.No panic:We had a flexible ticket and allegedly we could get the train after but that was meaning to have an other three hours to spend in Belfast.Doing what?That was not an option:in a way or in an other we had to make it for the six o’clock train.

It was not mission impossible:opposite the hotel, there was a secondary train station and all we had to do was basically cross the road and get the first train to Belfast central. Alternatively we could have also walked,fast but it was doable.In the end we went from being early to be tight with time.In a hurry and blaming it all on Ed Sheeran who ,of all the dates available, picked just that very same day to play in Belfast.We approached the station ticket man evidently stressed out and terrified to loose our connecting train. He took pity on us and let us go without paying for the extra fare. Once on the train busy chatting we didn’t pay attention at the stops.We actually didn’t even check if we were on the right train or ,if accidentally we already past our stop.Luck wanted us to be on then right train and haven’t passed Belfast central already.

The rest of journey was peaceful and relaxing.At around eight we approached the local station.We were back in ROI ,all still friends and all very satisfied for our little only girls break away but,next time, it will be only adults….just for a change and a chance of a real treat.

A Truly Madly Ordinary Hot Weekend

Since Thursday evening the weather started gradually to pick up until, on Saturday,it eventually exploded in a spell of summer.Nothing more perfect for the dinner party we were hosting.A shining clear sun up till late,nice wine,nice food,good company, plenty of cracking laughs and,all this, to be enjoyed outside in the garden on an evening of early May.Absolutely incredible,to a point that every once in a while I had to go inside to pinch myself and be sure it was real.To be sure it was not just me imagining the whole thing after being brainwashed by the medias that,for the entire past week, have been tauntingly warning the country about the heatwave that was going to hit us for the BH weekend.
Sunday morning when I opened the blinds I knew already it was not raining because the gutters were not making the usual “tic tic” noise that drives me insane but,what I didn’t know and didn’t expect,it was that an other weather wise glorious day was all in front of me.I usually don’t trust forecast to the core.

In the afternoon I have just changed in my swimming suit and I was ready to relax and enjoy my book in the garden when I saw daughter number one wondering around,going in a circle like the dogs do when they want their dinner.She started to come closer and closer to me.I knew that it could not be anything good but I tough I would have received a request of playing cards or some other board games not to go playing tennis.I started to sweat only at the idea!This is insane.Hot days like these are lazy days not sports days!Searching for a way to escape in my own personal”being a mother essential survival guide”,I lied and pretended to still be sore from all the painting I did during the week.Unfortunately,I am a softy and I felt a bit bad about it so, considering that school is off for the whole next week and the traveling husband will be gone Thursday to Sunday, I suggested her to ask him to go.In fairness,he will have all next week end to rest his ears and limbs in a five stars hotel.

Because father and daughter share the same mozzarella color skin that can go from milk white to poppy red and back to white, I diligently made sure they were well spread in sun cream.In the meanwhile,daughter number two that has just resurrected from her bedroom,decided to go play tennis as well.I gave her some sun cream too, more because my hands were still greasy then because she really needs it.She,in fact, has been blessed with a quite exotic sallow skin whose origins are still unknown.They are all ready to go:They have sun cream ,they have water and they are going to have great father daughters time.A mantra I tell myself to ease my conscience for not wanting to spend precious time with my family.A good mantra that actually works and it works so well that I relax so much that I fell asleep while reading.

I am not sure for how long I slept before a sudden feeling of something frying wakes me up:It was me frying!Carried away by the excitement for the weather and being able to stay on my own I totally forgot to use some sun cream on myself. May be it is my punishment for being a greedy woman ,a selfish mother and a lousy wife but, I am now a walking sample of body art with strawberry color patches and stripes randomly scattered on my arms and legs.

Today is the last day of this long BH weekend and,according with the forecast,also the last day of this abnormal early May heatwave. Fair enough I would say,three full days of roasting weather in a row is already too much.We are in Ireland :lets not be greedy because,now,we all know what can happen when we are.

A Truly Madly Ordinary Beginning Of May

Monday the weather was absolutely glorious and I started to work on the new shed.On Sunday myself and the girls spent around two hours to decide the colors and then an other hour to find matching pots and flowers. It has not been easy but we made it and happily came home with everything we needed to start “the shed operation transformation”.After taking few breaks for school runs and to drive first daughter number two and then daughter number one to tennis lessons,I manage to get half way through the job.It is getting late and I can see 4 hungry mouths looking at me from inside the house.It is well passed dinner time and I better go to sort something out.If only I could give chicken and rice crockets in a bowl to all of them my life would be much easier!I leave all my equipment well sheltered under the porch ready for tomorrow but I can’t resist to send a proud picture of the work in progress to the traveling husband.Next time I better resist:A lesson to improve my will power.”Oh,you went marine style.It reminds me of a beach cabin”,he texts back. It does actually, a little,but God forbids me from admitting it.With the most uptight tone I can let transpire in a text I replay that it is only because is not finished and when the flowers and decorations will be up it will be more flowery then”beachy”.I,instead, will be very “bitchy” if the next text is not a compliment on my diy work.

Considering the weather we had over the week end and on Monday , I genuinely expected Tuesday to be the same and I didn’t even think twice before slipping into my shorts. Tuesday was also the first of May and from first of May to first of October is shorts season. This is my rule or,at least,it was until this year.
Anyway, on Tuesday morning first of May as tradition wants all three of us happily jump in the car in our summer outfits and rain jackets,we live in Ireland after all.I drop the girls to school and head toward the beach.Black threatening clouds take over and a cold wind starts to bark in my years and slapping my face and legs :in one word I was cold.May be,the fact that at times we still need the heating on,should have made me think to postpone the exit of the summer gears .I feel guilty for the girls that are probably freezing too and just hope the school won’t call social services. No,I am not paranoid: it happened before that a mom has been called in because her daughters were too lightly dressed and cold all the time.Thankfully nothing happened….so far!
The rain didn’t delay to come but I am determined to finish my painting and gardening.I shortened the walk and I am driving home with one more reason to regret wearing shorts:the dogs’ poo bag ripped and it’s content dripped on my bare legs.

Cleaned up and changed in warmer and water prof clothes I ,fearless and careless,paint all morning under the pouring rain. Weather wise the afternoon is not better but I keep going. It is past 7 o’clock in the evening that with great satisfaction I can say I have finished : Soaked and freezing I am done.
The new shed is painted,the porch has been decorated, the flowers have been potted and,what is best, after a year of attempts I eventually have blue highlights on my hair.If only I knew that what I needed was Johnston “forget me not” instead of L’Oreal “starry blue”!

On Wednesday the traveling husband came back home and brought some sun with him.It is a lovely evening and despite the difficulties that I have to lift my arms,bend my back and sit without screaming because my thighs’ front muscles are as stiff as steel,we can enjoy some wine outside.
No pain no gain they say:true indeed but my little happy porch definetely worth it.