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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Thirteen Gone Past Thirty

Thirteen Gone Past Thirty

Oh my heart in pieces falls about by ears unheard,

It's silenced screams of years long passed; my soul within they scarred.
I think I feel but feel I think, too much of what is lost,
Left within the realms of youth, which in turn became the cost.
Oh lament of the wailing one, who upon the wall does sit,
Your sorrow with my own I swear, it ever well does fit.

As time grows old and youth more young,
My heart did seal my tongue.
And time it now has passed us by, never more is ours,
The tears that flowed are now no more than dew drops on the flowers.
Old time it waits for none of us, not young or ever old,
An incubus upon our dreams by night, our stories never told.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

The First Cut is the Deepest..!

Well they say the first cut is the deepest, and in the case of my poor garden, 'tis true. After three torturous months of staring out the window, agonising over the state of my beloved garden, I finally plucked up the gumption to go out there and scut the living daylights out of that darned grass.
Okay, so technically it was procrastination - as is this post, I might add - I have two essays for uni to be cracking on with, not to mention the three assignments for bloody Economics (don't get me started!)
But sure, the grass has been torturing me since before Christmas. I knew back in October that I should have just pulled myself up off my tush and cut it then, but hey - I procrastinate! That's what I do, and looky here, don't I do a great job of it too. I am one of the few people who can actually use what appears to be real work as an excuse not to do real work - 'tis an art form I tell you!

So this morning the sun twinkled through the rising fog, calling to my chakras, begging for me to come out and play. So being the sensible Mom that I am, I decided to get all the momsy stuff out of the way first.
I hit B&Q (my all-time favourite place in the world, next to Cyprus of course) bought some more birdy feeders (now I have 9 - did I mention my garden is only fractionally bigger than a postage stamp?) and headed to Tesco for the real momsy job of picking up a week's supply of food (don't laugh Mona!) A trip to Woodies came next, sure who can visit only one garden centre without checking out the competition?? Picked up some more strawberries (have three down the garden - and nope, like the birdy feeders I really don't need anymore!) and then I headed home.

By this stage the spring was running through me like heroin through the veins of a junkie when they mainline!! I had to get out, my chest was constricted with the utter craving from the soul for the touch, the scent, the sheer living of the garden. And so I gleefully, almost manically so, dragged the strimmer out of the shed and merrily I danced to the tune of "Die grass, die!".
Okay, I love my garden, but I detest grass with a vengence - the shagging stuff just keeps growing. It's almost manic in its obsession!

And so I scut it to within an inch of its life. I say scut, because this was no cut!! If it wasn't for grass, my garden would always look pretty and flowerful and clean - my God, but long grass really makes for a shaggy looking 'mare of a garden!

But trust me, I felt so alive after it. I came in and drank a very refreshing cup of tea (thank you Brita kettle!). One hot shower later, I cooked up a weeks supply of pasta for my darling son - then had spaghetti on toast for lunch (heehee!), before finally pulling out my books to start on my history essay.

Thank God Mom rang me about five minutes later!!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

An Update on Climategate

I am a true non-believer when fed tales of the disasters pressed upon the poor earth by those damned human beings. Yes I do concede that our species are directly to blame for destroying many of the earths most beautiful and in some cases, most needed places. We wanted beef burgers from old McD's so we chopped down the rainforests, then we decided we wanted bio-fuels so we lopped out some more of them there darned trees. We are also known for destroying the habitats of so many wonderful creatures, pushing so many to the brink of extinction.

But as a student of Classics I am also well aware of how the Roman's need for an effective contraceptive saw them push silphium to the point of extinction and then those darned farmers decided to go and rear livestock on the Libyan coast around Cyrene - the only habitat of this particular herb. It was this cultivation of the land which pushed the silphium over the edge causing it to disappear forever by the first century AD.
Those darned Romans also had a bit of a love for putting on many events in their amphitheatres which required the presence of African and Asian exotic animals, many of which were viciously killed either by humans or other animals within the arena. They pushed many species to the limits and even managed to drive some of them to extinction.

So what's the problem you ask? Well, while I agree that humans are not seen as being nature's best friend on a global scale, I seriously disagree with how reviled we have become of ourselves in modern times. We seem to think the whole of everything revolves around us, in the here and now.
Sure go back any further than a couple of hundred years and most people would regard these ancestors of ours as being little more than barbarians. They were uncultured, uneducated, uncivilised in the ways to which we have become accustomed, so they were incapable of being anything when compared to our modern selves, the creators and destroyers of all that is good. It is all ego. And taxable ego too.

The start of the industrial revolution was one of the dirtiest times for mankind. The cities were foul, between the smog and the soot blackened buildings, and then there were the rats and the starvation which were rampant almost everywhere. The coal mines were dug out and emptied almost directly into the factory furnaces and everywhere people dropped dead, haggard and cancer-ridden at very young ages.
So we decided to clean up our act a little, if not for the 'environment' (a non-existent term at the time) then for ourselves. We figured out newer, more efficient, less disease-inducing ways of doing things. And as we brought down natural fuel consumption the powers-that-be put up the natural fuel prices.

Time passed and soon we were being told that we, the great creators of so many wonderful new inventions, that we the great bestowers of many genius ideas, we were nothing more than the destroyers of the great earths atmosphere. We became the devil incarnate. We day we lived, we breathed, we by our mere existence, were destroying this here wonderful planet of ours. I remember being sombrely warned when I was ten that my children would never see a real live elephant and that all the snow leopards would disappear within fifteen years. It's been twenty and there appear to be more out there now, than there were when I was a child. But the guilt complex has been bred in there by the powers-that-be and so everytime I sit in a car, travel on an aeroplane, drink from a plastic bottle or warm my tush at the hearth, I feel the guilt of being directly responsible for murdering dear mother earth.

Well no more I tell you, no more. Why? Because yet again those toe-rags out there, the powers-that-be, they have lied to us, they have blatantly lied to us. Global warming is a farce. I have had my suspicions that this was the case for quite some time, but one always tends to doubt oneself when the powers-that-be insist upon an issue. I have always been aware that once upon a time, the world consisted of thousands upon thousands of volcanoes and the temperature around here was a hell of a lot higher (no pun intended) than we could ever push it.
Okay so we mightn't like it to get that hot again, it's understandable, humans would not survive it. But we can't actually prevent it. One of the greatest influences even now, on the earths temperature is a volcano, one eruption can knock the socks off the statistics.
Anywho, back to the point. I will never buy into the whole climate change nonsense - although I will be still made pay for the myth with all these new carbon taxes. And this is why...

Read the link, I've ranted enough for one day.

But guys, I think it's time we stopped feeling so guilty. Unlike the Romans we haven't willfully killed off any creature, in fact we're probably more likely to have helped preserve many that would otherwise have died off naturally. So maybe we should be giving ourselves a pat on the back. Well that is until the 'scientists' tell us we screwed up by not killing off a couple species.

Until the next rant..

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Turning Thirty - The Christ Complex -v- The Best Birthday Ever!!

I spent weeks dreading it. That niggling doubt that comes with age; crept in and poked the side of my every conscious moment, whether I was awake or asleep. In my deepest dreams it haunted me - the days are running short, the wrinkle count will increase while the time count will decrease. I was officially old, my twenties but a thing of the past, now becoming the future's ancient history, hidden now in the depths of the shadows of time.

I was officially suffering from the Christ Complex.

I tried to forget it. I tried to ignore it. I tried to shake it off and pretend it didn't really matter. But still it niggled, still it poked and prodded, harassing me where ever I went. Aging was inescapable, it followed me to lectures and tutorials, tapped on my shoulder when I cooked, tripped me as I went to the toilet, constantly reminding me that I am not as young as I used to be, and never will be again.

I was turning the big 3-0.

My parents, good souls that they are, arrived down the day before the Great Event. They took my eager son and assisted him in his purchase of my birthday gift. All was well in the world of the 'not-turning-thirty' year olds.

I was woken at an ungodly hour of the wee morning of the Great Event, my son hopped into bed beside me and loudly wished me a happy birthday. I grunted something along the lines of 'thanks, now shut up and go back to sleep please'. Later the clock called me as per usual on the morning of the Great Event. I looked at my snoring son, clogged up with head-cold and decided I would not wake him at this ridiculous hour - he was staying home with his grandparents to re-coop.

I was no sooner out from beneath the warm covers when he sat up mid-snore and demanded that I turn on the light. Thinking I could lull him back to sleep, I hushed him and told him to rest on, but eyes still closed he said 'Do it for me Mom!' What could a mother do but concede. Two arms wrapped themselves around my neck, a kiss landed on my lips and a 'Happy Birthday Mom' made my heart flip with love for this little man, my little man, my very own son.

He jumped out of bed and presented me with his gift - a beautiful sterling silver chain with a glinting 'K'. I loved it. I loved him. My day started perfectly. And it only managed to get better as it passed.
He decided that if I wished to open my parents gift I had to go into them and wake them.

I received my first diamonds too, and I didn't need a man to get them. Well okay, I concede that my Dad is a man, and since he was one half of the pair who bought them, technically I did need a man to get them, but he is my Dad, so he doesn't count! They may be tiny, but they're mine. They sit one each side of a garnet, all gathered now upon my middle finger, proudly presented to the world, my gift from my loving parents.

My son tried to lay claim to my brand new Snuggie; a gift from my sister - a much needed gift too I might add. I now no longer need to steal my son's favoured blanket on a chilly (or not so chilly) evening. It's so soft that even my Dad gave it a go in the nippy morning air.

Content within myself I set off to uni. My friends knew of my anxiety and thought it such fun (both being members of the 'Been there, done that' t-shirt brigade!) And who could ask for better friends? Not I, for sure. Karen presented me with a box of eggs - telling me she knew I needed to learn to cook (which I seriously do!). Imagine my utter delight when I discovered six Creme Eggs nestled happily inside. I just love Creme Eggs!! Six is a real indulgence, and I could even justify it - it's my birthday and someone's got to eat them!

Mona gifted me with a pedometer. Now I long for a measured stretch where I can pace out my step! We walk over 35 km a week together, so a pedometer was also on the 'much needed' list. I sat in The Bialann with the cosiest glow simmering inside. This day, I thought, might not be so bad after all.

Tired after a long day in class, I returned home at 6:30pm. As I pulled up to the front door, I spied my son espying out through the frosted glass at me. I ventured through the door to be greeted with the best rendition of 'Happy Birthday' ever played upon a whistle.
My heart melted as I looked around and perceived all the princess balloons which now graced the hall. A sign had been attached to the banister, constructed by the hand of my most beloved son. I spent the next twenty minutes talking to both my brothers, one in New York, the other back home in Wicklow.
This was followed by a steaming homecooked dinner prepared by my dear Mama. A phone call to Granny was followed by cake and candles accompanied by another rendition of 'Happy Birthday' on the whistle.Satiated and content we all set out to the cinema. 'The Princess and Frog' was a great way to end the Great Event.

I went home happy. I was content inside in every way. No wrinkles had popped up, no grey hairs had appeared, no clock had stopped ticking. I was still me. I climbed into bed with a smile on my face.
I have great friends whom I love dearly. I have a wonderful family who have been my lifeline so many times, I love them all profoundly. I have the best son ever created by God, he is my life blood, the marrow in my bones.

But what struck me above all else is: I am loved.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Clanrickard and Claregalway Castle

I love my family and I was thrilled many years ago on a visit to Westport House to discover that this dear old family of mine has got quite a lengthy history, dating back thousands of years.
We are of course, the Clanrickards, the Earls of Connaught and Ulster, honours bestowed upon us by none other than the infamous Henry VIII himself.
There are many, many references to the oul' Clan in the ancient Annals, but this is one of the easier to read references of them. And no, it's not in the Annals, it refers to one of our little oul' castles.