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Aug 13

Sheela-Na-Gig

Posted on Wednesday, August 13, 2014 in Philosophy, Something to think about, Strange and Unusual, Taboo, Wicklow walks

I write this for the consideration of those both owning a vagina (even albeit vicariously) and for those that do not. For those that do, I’m sure you’re aware of the phantasm that has been created regarding such a beautifully crafted phenomenon. Most seem to crave it and hate it at the same time… a lot of the worst curse words you can think of revolve around these four simple flaps and the strange secrets they hold between.  Those of us that have a vagina sometimes wonder at it, but we rarely curse it. Its mysteries just never seem to end. For those of you that don’t possess a vagina (even somewhat vicariously) it’s ok, but don’t be afraid to go and find it. It will be worth your efforts, so long as you treat it nicely.

This brings us to Sheela.

Sheela Na Gig

Sheela Na Gig

Síle Na Gigh (pronounced ‘sheela na gee’… GEE you say? Those of you in the Irish inner city working classes might relate to that word. It’s not a coincidence.) Isn’t she beautifully Fugly?

Now at this point, I could bore you with conjecture as I have just crawled my way out of the Wikipedia pit having gained very little information, purely because nobody really seems to know who she is. I could tell you where you could find these figures, and how far she dates back, and I could give you a fully descriptive bunch of theories as to why she exists, but I’d much rather be so arrogant as to let you find these facts out for yourself and in the meantime, give you my own theory.

I put it to you, that in the days of old Irish ancientness, the people were no less insecure than we are now. By proportion, there was just as much judgement, and violence. There was just as much of a likelihood  that those people had just as sharp a sense of humour too.

For example… let’s have a look at the Newgrange kerbstone markings:

k1-graphic

Our present archaeologists are pulling their hair out trying to interpret the meanings of those beautiful squiggles.

I say: What is the likelihood that a stoner was commissioned to do this? Did he get busy doodling on a big rock absolutely off his face? I wonder if he realised that 4,000 years later he would be costing researchers a load of cash and time trying to figure out exactly what he was at? I’d say he’d be absolutely delighted, and is laughing his ass off in whatever turf-pile he’s turning into right now.

Same with Sheela, I think.

I mean, there she is, all bald and ugly with her bulbous eyes and weird titties exposing her vulva so gratuitously like she does. The most confusing thing is, if you want to find her, she’s most likely hanging around Churches. CHURCHES no less. Given our Catholic stoicism she’s somewhat of a contra-indication, is she not?

So. Is she really there to ward off evil spirits? Is she a blatant warning, or has she a deeper meaning? Perhaps it was just for the craic…

Here’s what I wonder. I wonder if she isn’t a warning at all, but instead of Buddhist intent. This works for both women and church. Stay with me for a moment…

02 Kilpeck

Sheela seems to be ‘all that glitters is not gold‘, carved into rock. Perhaps the fact that she is so vulgar, so uninviting… maybe that’s her thing. Maybe she’s trying to teach us something.

So, going back to those of you who do not have a vagina but would dearly love one, what is the wisest course of action on your part? Do you go for the most beautifully obvious specimen, that one that will drain you of energy and credit card capability and probably never put out that much in the end because she is too completely caught up with her own face-value, or do you choose that lady who is the supposed frog? Once smitten she has the potential to realise all of your wildest dreams because she sees the ugly that is in you too and loves it and is not concerned with material value. Maybe she is pretty, but not in the conventional sense. She might have crooked teeth, say, but she sure can play a mean game of darts.

Because Sheela of the Gee sits in Churches above their doors and in courtyards, maybe she was informing infidels of the same theory. Pagans would see her, and wander indoors maybe in the seduction that maybe what lay within has hidden interests, not just surface value. Scrolls and filigree are nice and all, but isn’t honesty more intriguing?

After all, she isn’t scary, she isn’t a threat. She’s smiley and beautiful in her way, with her saggy boobs and labia all over the place like that. She looks friendly, someone you could have over for a cup of tea, and maybe a few rounds of cards. She wouldn’t judge you, or show you catalogs of fancy clothes that might better suit your figure. She would drink out of dirty cups and suggest funny things to do.

She is the most beautiful woman of all, and it is in my honest opinion that we should all have at least one Sheela Na Gig in our lives. If you are not one already, you might look more deeply into her ethos, it’s not like she’s hiding it. If you are, fair play to you, and may God Bless all who sail in you.

 

Mar 20

Your mother was a hamster

Posted on Thursday, March 20, 2014 in Philosophy, Rantings

I don’t like to start arguments as a rule, not even on my worst days. The ‘live and let love’ concept seems to make the world go around in my opinion. But, sometimes it’s fun.

Rarely, very rarely, I find extremists (nazis perhaps, though I shudder to use the term) who are hellbent on making everyone else bend to their way of thinking and this is where I come in… with a sense of humour of course.

“Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances of survival for life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” Albert Einstein

Did Einstein really say this? I’m dubious. It’s very easy to make a statement and accredit it to Einstein, because he’s dead. And infamous. So, I could say ‘The future of mankind’s success is based on masturbation’ and accredit it to Einstein and most suckers would believe me and be fap-happy ’till kingdom come, but it doesn’t make it true.

I had to stick my oar in.

“Agreed, but isn’t it due to the protein from meat that our ape ancestors consumed that led to the evolution of our larger brains?” I ventured. To which was replied: “I suppose our ape ancestors couldn’t comprehend that when they had a BBQ ..a vicious circle I do believe.” Score! A silly answer and sarcastic with it! I would be crazy not to confute.

dogue

My ancestors didn’t fight their way to the top of the food chain so that I could become a vegetarian.

“Would we have industrialised and eventually evolved internetz (for this conversation was on social media as opposed to my normal kitchen fights) if our ancestors hadn’t discovered the tools to hunt and cook animals? This carnivorous nature of ours must have something to do with our being at the top of the food chain. I’m playing devil’s advocate – I don’t eat meat much, when I do i’m aware of where it comes from. Not saying our kind shouldn’t eat vegetarian more often, but isn’t it thanks to meat that we are who we are?”

It was several hours until I got a response.

Are you bored yet?

“If you fed enough meat to a deer would it get smarter too ?” was the eventual answer. It was said in quotes, but I’m not sure who quoted it. This was a red flag for me.

I argued the shit out of it. I mentioned opposable thumbs. I wanted to see a deer use tools. I wanted to know why if this person was raised by vegetarians, her eyes weren’t on the side of her head instead of in front of it. AND, if they are indeed at the side of her head, why isn’t she in the media and does she have trouble finding sunglasses?

The argument continued… I won’t bore you with the details.

“Chimps would have opposable thumbs regardless of eating meat. Do u think they wouldnt be able to use sticks as tools if they didn’t eat meat? Is it because they eat meat that they have opposable thumbs ?? The point of the quote is that humans now would be better being vegetarian. For the envoirnment and for health reasons. I believe we would of still evolved if we didn’t eat meat. But as to what we would of evolved into.. Who knows.”

hip

Some conversation. The ironic thing is, I agree with this quote. I think fast food and processed meat is a disgrace. I think supermarkets should charge extortionate prices for meats that are cut up in abattoirs, and that local farmers should be the main suppliers, local economy should be the main profiter, not the global companies. My favourite foods are avocados, carrots, beetroot and mayonnaise made from free-range eggs. I also have a weakness for prawns, but that’s a whole other kettle of fish.

Yes. I know I should be arguing more serious things with more serious people but honestly I’m no politician and from an outsider’s point of view, I can see that serious arguing makes no difference because principles are very fickle things. All I want to do, is have some fun.

Please, for the love of Eris, somebody start a fight. All this normality is driving me crazy.

 

Feb 24

I hate to interrupt you but…

Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 in Jobs, Philosophy, Something to think about, Strange and Unusual

… there has been an accident outside.

Imagine you are at a volunteer first aid meeting (if you’re into that sort of thing) where you are expected to sit and be relatively comfortable in your mindset, you are wearing your best jumper and jeans or maybe your pretty heels because you never know who may be looking at you and judging you. You might even be wearing a suit. You are expecting education on a formal basis.

It is a commonplace meeting and you may well want to be somewhere else but you are there because you are there, you are bored or needing an outlet, but you are a volunteer nonetheless.

Suddenly:

a person known to you, a contemporary if you will: runs in and announces that a horrible car crash has happened outside. You are dubious but somewhat alarmed.

I’d like that. I’d like to disturb people out of their zone of security and lead them out into a mayhem of contrived chaos. I’d like fake blood and ripped up pieces of paper to represent broken glass. I’d like to spill water on dry ground and let people wonder what this fluid is, and then flick a cigarette butt into it and cause an imagined explosion. I’d have a driver with a pretend brain haemorrhage who is the father of a child who has suffered minor injuries in the back of a crashed car (because he was wearing his seatbelt) who could give a full history of not just his father’s medical background, but that of his friend’s who is in the passenger seat and suffering an asthma attack brought on by stress.

Interesting, maybidge?

I and a fellow meeting volunteer have contrived sick plans in our sick minds because we want our stagnant meetings to have a bit of flavour, and to introduce an opportunity for otherwise bored people to go out and heal sick people on a whim. I and he would rather this be kept a secret, to which you are privy.

What say you? What sick and accidental contrived situation would you imagine if you could? Nobody is watching. Everyone that reads this blog is unjudgemental so please unleash your best! But shhhhhhhh. Don’t tell anyone.

Think your worst. Think reality. Give us a scenario to practice our healing because we NEED it. We need to practice, they need to get their suits and high heels dirty. I would like to orchestrate the play from Hell, because that is life, that is what should be expected from us.

REALITY. Choking babies. Exploding supermarkets. Your favourite neighbour’s heart attack.

Reality is harsh, but plays are fun, and practice makes perfect.

No musicals though. Lyrics shall not be accepted.

gunnd

Is it cruel that I make light of such a thing if we’re to be rescuers? Should a love of horror be disturbing?

I fear for the day I find a teddybear at the scene of a car crash where a child has been decapitated.

Help us to prepare. Life is cruel.

Curtain opens…

Jan 28

Getting the hands dirty

Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 in Jobs, Philosophy

So I got called out to my first Cardiac Chest Pain a few nights back.

It was a friend of a friend of a friend, someone I’d facepainted for a few months back. I got a tip from a concerned relative, someone who knew what I was studying, knew that I might be of some help.

I drove to their house in a relaxed state of mind, found their house within a few minutes, knocked on the door and smiled and introduced myself as a student, a friend.

As it turned out, the Cardiac patient showed me the ‘real’ patient on the couch. His lover, the one he could not do without, was suffering from an acute throat infection and it was that which gave him stress, his concern, his pain.

I checked both their vitals, told them that there was nothing to worry about, they were both within normal vital ranges. I fetched water and offered to fetch coal, I sat on their rug and chatted with them and understood and listened and then I left.

It was in the leaving that the real pressure took place. Was I abandoning them? They had a doctor due to visit, but it was late, was I expected to hang around until the doctor arrived? I stressed that I was only ten minutes away, that I had an AED and equipment in the car, ready at a whim. They thanked me and asked what they owed me.

I laughed! ‘Nope! It’s what I do!’ I said. I think this confused them.

Then I left.

Did they think I was a doctor? Did I just lure them into a false sense of security? I called concerned relative afterwards and expressed my discomfort. They assured me that even the little that I did, did a lot to settle them. They have since been seen by a proper practitioner, they’re both a lot better now.

I like this role, the intermediate practitioner, the pre-hospital advisor albeit somewhat un-educated, sometimes it’s enough to calm and reassure. Maybe that’s what is all that’s needed, someone to listen.

I like this job already.

Oct 27

The post in which K8 becomes a martyr

Posted on Sunday, October 27, 2013 in Family, Jobs, Philosophy, Rantings

If there’s anything I’ve learned from this EMT course so far, it’s to keep information short and sweet.

This in itself is difficult, because every situation is different and holds its own compromises.

So, my situation is thus: I have my eldest who has global development delay. My next is nine years old and is getting a good grasp on life, fair play to her, she’s goth and I take that as a compliment (now is the good time to get it out of her system?). My youngest has playschool sussed and is ready for life to come. My husband has his own special needs, his spine is compromised so he can’t work, he suffers pain and all of those emotional difficulties that go with that. I have my own ways of dealing with this, alcohol as funny as it is in this society, being one.

So.

We cannot work, he or me.

We sap from the community and take our fair share of Irish taxes because we live in social housing and cannot get out of the rut. We have no money yet we are to raise a respectable family right? Poor us, right? We have an excuse to raise hopeless anti-social luddites, don’t we?

No.

We are not poor.

We have a roof, and a car (even if we can’t afford car tax… shhhhh don’t tell anyone!), and vegetables and meat and cereal.

We are LUCKY.

I’ve been unsure of the right path to take thus far. Yes, it’s very easy to slump into the regime of daytime TV. I’ve been there, I know every episode of ‘Friends’ by heart. It killed me. That was when I was too sober.

Then I decided to take life by the horns and to defy anything that kept me under the blankets.

I joined a First Aid organisation. I’m now its chief fundraiser and am employed to raise at least €30,000 within the next two years to sort a new ambulance. I worked at kiddo’s local school and helped them raise €22,000 over the last two years. I’ve just become secretary for an organisation that will care for cardiac compromise in my neighbourhood and I’m in the middle of a really intensive course that might even get me a job if I’m optimistic enough.

I’m working damn hard with this state, the same state that cut all my earnings, FOR FREE. I just want you to know that. Yes I get free money, but I work hard to pay it off voluntarily. I fail left, right and centre with the people I love. I forget things. I leave things behind and hope to eventually catch up to them but in the meantime I feel guilty and sad. Very very sad.

Why, when other people are so financially stable, won’t people help out with organisations that are struggling? Why are people so eager to slag off the government and yet give nothing by return just because they feel secure by the fact that they’re paying their taxes? Why don’t they feel very very sad like me?

Who are the people that are holding this state together? What are the Irish people doing to uphold their part? Are they just a bitchy alcoholic entity with a random funny opinion with the urge to do nothing but rant via bullshit internet, or have they the balls to take part in the real course of events that will make this country somewhere worthwhile to live in?

I am a random person who loves everyone.  But it feels like too much to handle because one person alone cannot do this all alone or they will be overcome and die. So, I anaesthetize with alcohol because it is less lonely. But!

I still get this shit done.

Let ye who are without sin cast the first stone. Tell me I’m wrong.

Go on, I dare you.

 

 

Sep 15

Child protection policy overkill

Posted on Sunday, September 15, 2013 in Family, Jobs, Philosophy, Rantings

I’ll start by going off on a tangent. They made child-proof caps on medicine bottles so that children can’t open them, right? I was on duty recently where an Emergency Medical Technician who is all of 25 years old couldn’t open a bottle of Calpol. My own kid, who is all of 3.5 years old, has no problem with this whatsoever.

Some rules can be very intelligent but not very bright at all.

When children are involved with an organisation and you are in charge of them (i.e. their parents aren’t around) these days you must be very careful. You must not take photographs of them, even though a rare opportunity my present itself where a butterfly suddenly decides to a-light on their baseball cap and you itch to capture a moment of rarity.

You must make sure that if a child is going somewhere, they must be accompanied by two adults of each sex. You cannot drive anywhere with a kid on your own, even if the parent gives you verbal consent. You must not be on your own with a child at any time under any circumstances which is weird for me because I prefer the company of kids. They have a lovely energy. Does that sound creepy or is this over-sensitisation?

This rule presents problems on First Aid duties.

“OMG look! It’s a candy floss stand! I’m there! Can I go?” and.. then… she’s gone.

Is a child on its own in a wilderness of people worse than a child with a responsible adult in a wilderness of people? No, apparently not…but I broke the rules when I ran after her anyway for I had no time to find a random man. I accompanied her to the floss stand, and chastised her for running away, and told her she couldn’t buy floss even if it was with her own money.

How much of a bitch am I?

It’s the skill of putting yourself in their parent’s shoes I guess. Maybe she had a dinner to go home to… either way she was here to work and not enjoy herself, and act responsibly for the sake of the uniform. I wish times were different. I would have acted differently if that were the case, but that’s probably my inner child speaking.

Like, for instance; last month I went on an Emergency First Responder course. Another member from my division went with me, but his eighteenth birthday isn’t until November so he is still very much a minor. I gave him a lift to and from the course which is miles away and definitely not accessible by public transport so his parents were very glad to have me take the ache from their back of having to separately transport him, and gave me a lovely ‘thank-you!’ card to express this.

However, what I did was to break the law entirely according to my company’s policies.

-o0o-

So now, let me tell you a story.

Once upon a time, there was a grey-haired man with fuzzy beard and steel-rimmed glasses. He was a quiet man, who loved hard work especially if it was to be carried-on outside. He disliked working with others, those lazy people who loved more than anything to lean on their shovels and speak nasty of others while dragging out days and wasting time. So, he requested every job to be his own, and this was granted to him because he always performed dutifully and put love into every job he did.

One day, this man was pulling weeds from a wilderness beside a playground. He had been working for five hours but he wasn’t tired, he was only just beginning.

The playground in question was a playground frequented by special needs children, from a special needs school just up the road. I know it well, for I bring Laughingboy there sometimes.

A child had wandered.

It had found itself in the adjacent carpark and when its teachers cottoned on to this and raised a fuss, the child locked down. It floored, and would not budge from said floor for love nor money. It lay, and it screamed if anyone should come close.

The gray-haired man with fuzzy beard and steel-rimmed glasses approached said kid with his wheelbarrow.

“Are yeh hopping in, or what?”

The child obliged. It climbed in, and allowed our gardener friend to transport him effortlessly back to the bus. The teachers were thankful. The kid’s friends were thankful. I’m pretty sure that the kid’s parents would have been thankful too, knowing that they couldn’t be there to help and that thankfully there was someone with a bit of brightness to him that helped out on their behalf.

However, what he did broke the law entirely because it wasn’t policy. He could get sacked for it.

-o0o-

There are too many loopholes and scenarios to comprehend. I know that there are monsters out there, and so does ‘the man’… but how far does child protection have to go? Will future babysitters need to babysit in pairs? Will teachers need to teach in pairs even though the school budget doesn’t allow?? I know there’s a happy medium, I fear that we hit that happy medium about ten years ago, but now it’s just gotten silly and I’ve a feeling it’s about to become a whole lot sillier yet.

Please help me to understand?

Apr 21

The Wild West – the endurance test.

Posted on Sunday, April 21, 2013 in Jobs, Philosophy, Strange and Unusual, Taboo, The Asylum Experience

I didn’t know a whole lot when I entered into this. I knew that a documentary was being filmed about eight transition-year kids (all aged 16/17); four of whom were disabled, the other four able-bodied. One needed regular medication doses, and one needed a wheelchair.

None of the children knew where they were going, but they knew they were going somewhere.

I was employed as a chaperone, along with another lady, let’s call her Curly.

As an introduction weekend, we all were to spend a day or two in Connemara, Co Galway. Curly phoned me the night before, nervous as I was… when I met her on the platform I knew everything would be okay. She has a way about her that I probably don’t need to describe, I don’t think I could anyway, she fell into that category of people that you seem to have known for years.

We yakked together on the train all the way in, and met everybody else at a hotel in Dublin. Worried mothers grasping arms and whispering secrets into out ears. I felt so overwhelmed all of a sudden, at the vastness of my responsibilities.

I went from having three children, to eight. Thank God for Curly.

We rode into the West and had the craic and some sangwiches and a bit of an auld sing-song, as you do. I couldn’t believe how quickly the kids bonded together. They were a well chosen bunch.

At a pit-stop, the kid in the wheelchair, let’s call him Joel… he hinted that he needed to pee. I brought him to the jacks and we did our best with the narrow walls of the petrol-station bog. I hadn’t realised that he needed help with everything, so when he asked for my help I was honoured that he could be so comfortable with me so quickly. There’s something about exposing yourself to others, trust is a huge thing, and to be trusted so quickly is a wonderful compliment. We made distracting conversation and I found out that he was an avid reader with a love of Xbox.

The other kids were quiet with us at the start, but we made ourselves as accessible as possible with smiles and funny faces like eejits on crack. They hadn’t realised that we’d be there for the whole adventure, I realise in hind-sight. When they figured this out, they accepted us wholeheartedly as mammies. They even named us ‘Charlie’s Angels’.

Connemara was HARSH.

There was a storm, shortly after we arrived. Our comfortable hotel was completely isolated from phone or wifi for our entire trip. Joel commented that a re-make of ‘The Shining’ could be filmed here and I agreed. It was a sort of side-ways rain that pelts your skin like pins and needles. Bleak slamming and howling noises were to be heard at night, early starts for water activities came all too soon.

landscapeboom

I was impressed by the participant kids and their commitment to effort, I mean really impressed.

There were two ‘mentors’ employed on the trip… one I’ll name Fawn, because her eyes reminded me of one. When she was sixteen, she got meningitis and had to be put in to a coma. While she was under, she contracted the MRSA bug and was given her last rites. She now survives as an amazing woman, presenting and researching for TV. She wears prosthetics, but you can’t really tell. The other mentor was Mr Out of This World (so dubbed by the teenagers). A handsome chappie, I couldn’t get a grasp on him at the start (that’s what she said).

I got to have a drink with the crew at the end of the day, I’m glad they accepted me so quickly… their histories and biographies extremely impressive. They were lovely people with dry wit and funny stories and I couldn’t wait for the next chapter.

The kids found out about our destination at the end of the Galway trip, on camera. They were going to Costa Rica… their woops and screams tingled the hairs on my arms. Of course we had to try to re-shoot that moment several times which you’d think might dilute their enthusiasm, but it didn’t.

I couldn’t believe it either.

I went home, helped to host an Easter Bonanza, and then moved house two days before the air-plane for Costa Rica took off.

 

Feb 1

The Loser

Posted on Friday, February 1, 2013 in Arty Farty, Philosophy, Rantings, Something to think about

Well sure, now and isn’t it a while since we played a game?

– I don’t like your games, I always end up being laughed at.

Well isn’t that the point, to have a laugh?

– Not if I feel bad about it, no.

But if there isn’t a loser, there can’t be a winner, can there?

– I agree, but what does losing mean if it’s all the time?

It means you haven’t found the game you’re good at yet.

– Find me a game that I’m good at and I’ll play with you so.

Sure I don’t know what you’re good at, will we just play cards?

– I don’t know how.

I’ll teach you! You’ve a face like a tomato, you need something fun.

– I don’t want to be taught, I just want an easy life.

Sure if you can’t be taught then how will you learn?

– Eventually.

How’s about we get a grip?

– That’s easy for you to say. You’re not me!

Yes I am.

– Fair point.

So what will we play?

– I don’t want to play anything, I just want to watch TV.

Let’s play ‘what happens if you only have a week left to live!’ What would you do?

– Sleep.

That isn’t true. I bet you’d get a degree in Metaphysics or something.

– You have a lot of faith in me!

That’s because I am you.

– Is that what you’d like to do?

Not really. I’d go out and go crazy.

– That’s kind of pointless though.

So is sleeping.

-True.

So what will we do?

– Write a blog post?

What about?

– nothing.

What’s the point in that?

– I dunno.

So let’s play a game!

– Let’s play ‘leave me alone’? I have things to tidy.

You’ll go crazy if you don’t play.

– I think it’s too late for that.

So you think you’re already crazy?

– Maybe.

But if you were crazy then you wouldn’t realise it so therefore you’re not crazy.

– Shut up and leave me alone.

Nope!

– I hate you.

I’m your inner child, you have to listen to me or I’ll broken your face.

– Fair point. What are we playing?

Let’s play ‘Hide and Seek’. I’ll go hide and you have to find me.

– That might take a while.

I have all the time in the world. You love me though, I know you’ll find me.

– Eventually.

I hope so.

– Me too.

Jul 23

Grabbing life by the balls

Posted on Monday, July 23, 2012 in Family, Philosophy, Strange and Unusual

It was at 9 bells last Saturday night… I had homemade pizza cooked and served. The toddler was in bed, the Laughingboy settled and Puppychild was ready for her bedtime film. I paced in the kitchen. Nervous energy. Wanting. Needing.

The source of my anxiety was the fact that there was a group of people meeting far away, the fact that nestled in the Southwestern part of Ireland there was about to be a kick-ass bonfire of peers that shaped me in my teenage years, people that I hadn’t seen in about twenty years. I needed to be there.

I put this to the husband man who thankfully relieved my anxiety and told me to fuck off.

So off I fucked.

It took three hours to drive there… that’s pretty much the longest time it takes for somebody anywhere in Ireland to drive from one point to another, not counting the Northern Territories. Unless you’re driving from Wexford to Donegal… which is in fairness a very worthwhile waste of four hours. Pittance to Americans and Africans and Europeans, but your diesel is cheaper so shurrup.

I got there at midnight. I wandered along a blackened beach with my torch and found nobody. Just a pile of wood.

I wandered back to the pub, the hub of a very tiny community and found twenty people there. Twenty people who were very surprised to see me. I met a girl with whom I’d shared various schools (far far away from there) for the best part of twelve years. We noted that it was indeed, a very small world. It seemed somehow, meant to be.

The group made its way to the beach, and lit the bonfire with the firelighters I’d brought. We sat around the blaze and re-counted old stories and laughed, and slagged, and when the conversation waned the guitar was brought out.

Problem was, nobody played guitar really, so it was handed to me.

I played them my best Rocky Raccoon, and my Rhiannon, and threw in a Redemption Song for good measure. Come running home again Katie was in the repartoire somewhere, as was Black is the Colour as it usually is in Ireland… Street Spirit made an appearance at some stage, as did Black Boys on Mopeds.

I kept playing, and strumming random things.

They said the sweetest thing.

“K8″ they said… “You’ve travelled a long way for no reason, you’ve helped with the fire, and you’re making our music. Already you’ve made this party ten times better.”

I tell you what. That compliment alone made the diesel money and the unreasonable compulsion and the risk seem so much more worth it.

The party went on…

and on…

until 6am.

I pointed out that there was a lot of crap to be cleaned up so we did that. We gathered cans and bottles and bits of plastic and binned them and threw burnable crap on the fire.

That was when I sort of fell in to said fire.

Bonfire casualty, There's always one feckin eejit that falls into the bonfire.

Ouch.

It doesn’t hurt that much now, it’s wrapped, and seen to. The doctor gave me a lollipop for knowing how to treat second degree burns and sent me home to think about what I’d done.

What with a broken wrist, and now minor burnage… I haven’t been able to shake anybody by the hand for over two months.

Is there a psychological reason behind that?

I don’t know.

I don’t care.

It was fun, and it made me feel better about myself and I’m happier having taken that risk. That’s all that matters in life, I think.

Jun 7

How to not lie awake at night

Posted on Thursday, June 7, 2012 in Philosophy, Something to think about

I lie awake sometimes at night and think of all the things I should have done or said. Thoughts of embarrassing moments cross my memory and I shudder and cringe and re-live horrible moments in intimate detail. Torture. I take things too seriously sometimes, maybe. It’s good to force those feelings out they say, focus on the positive. Guilt is a useless emotion.

Easier said than done though is that lark, focusing on the positive I mean… it seems easier to beat oneself up.

But then adults are always hard on themselves, it’s in our programming. We’ve been told to be responsible and to support ourselves or the book will be thrown at us and it’s that, probably, that forces us to rebel on some level. I’m thinking to myself though that that’s where we’ve been going wrong.

I’m an adult, yes, but I shouldn’t have thrown away childish thoughts. I shouldn’t have assumed that every birthday should be the funeral of the years that have gone before, they’re still there, still within me, looking for approval and acceptance. We’re like trees, you and I, with rings inside counting our age… but trees don’t let their inner rings die, they keep them inside and it’s those rings that strengthen and support the adult tree as it grows, and we should be the same.

We should be allowing that inner two-year-old or thirteen-year-old to take part in everyday life, and we should embrace our five-year-old selves and love it and educate it and let it take over now and then. It’s natural. Feeling guilty is pointless. Blame the kid inside and be done with it.

When you walk into a room and you’re on your own and you spot a tea-cosy, put it on your head. When you see an errant traffic cone, rob it. If you see a patch of grass with daisies on it, plonk that arse down and start making chains. Sleep with a teddy-bear. Make mistakes.

Try it, if you feel like you know what I might be phaffing on about… feel your past ages and remember them, and remember how you felt at each stage. Let that kid judge you for a change, let it ask questions and answer them as honestly as you can because nobody else is listening. Listen to it cry and hug it, and let it giggle and make rainbows with garden hoses. It’s not lost, you just can’t see it anymore but it’s still there.

I sleep better sometimes, spooning with my inner seven-year-old me. She’s a messed-up kid and she has no idea what she’s talking about but then again, neither do I.