poppies

Lest we forget?

Can you imagine an 80 year old ex English soldier sleeping next to an ex IRA soldier also in his 80s?
Well in the ward I worked on back in the late 1980s, this is exactly what happened.

Initially they arrived on the same day, two elderly gentlemen, coming in to have the same surgery.
I settled them into their beds, and introduced them to each other.

However I was young, and even though I was well aware of the Irish/English divisions that had marred our country for hundreds of years, I only applied it to Northern Ireland.
It was there where the “troubles” were. We lived in the South.small_220399586
All friends here. Or so I thought.

Looking back I can see now all I missed back then.
One gentleman was Church of Ireland, one Roman Catholic. One had a very English name, the other used his full name in Irish. To people who do not come from Ireland these signs are possible red flags. They say without words that, one is an Irish man, more than likely with Republican views,small_3679731865 and the other an English man and possibly a royalist.

That first evening was uneventful, and both went for surgery the next day.
It was on their return the fun began.

They saw each other as representatives of their respective nations.
So if Mr England rang the bell for help, Mr Ireland would mutter in his strong Irish accent, “Nurse you don’t have to do everything he asks”, or “That fella thinks he rules the world”.
Equally when Mr Ireland would ring his bell, Mr England would comment in a very proper English accent, “No manners!”, or “tut tut tut, disgraceful” or “How rude?” We had no spare beds, so our two “friends” could not be separated.

The following day I came to work, to be met by the sight of Mr England sitting up in bed,small__6188945683
looking very dapper wearing a cravat  and a handkerchief beautifully folded in his top pocket. A war medal was pinned to his chest.

Holding back a smile, I told him he was looking great,
and asked him about his medal.
This was a mistake.

Now Mr Ireland thought I had declared for the other side. Seemingly, according to him, my Grandfather was now turning in his grave!

Later when visiting time was over, I called into my two “pals” again, only to be met with the sight of
Mr Ireland propped up in bed, also wearing a handkerchief in his pajama pocket, and his old IRA beret perched on his head. Of course I told him he too looked very smart. He informed me his son had brought it in, and declared loudly, that he was “proud to wear it”.

That next day a new war began.  Up until then Mr England had had a radio, and Mr Ireland was making do with the hospital supplied one, which came with ear phones, so there was no volume.
However along with the beret his son had also brought in a radio. Both radios were now blasting on different channels. I was forced to intervene and as negotiations broke down, the radios were confiscated. That made me “typically anti British, Irish” in the eyes of Mr England, and a “traitor to my country, a West Brit,” in the eyes of Mr Ireland.
There was no winning this war!

The following day, for the sake of harmony in the ward, we decided to skip any peace and reconciliation talks. Both our gentlemen were moved to different rooms. By doing so we acknowledged that they had lived and fought on opposite sides all their lives, there was little likelihood they would change now.

Their final few days in hospital were peaceful. Us nurses were able to get to know them as they really were; husbands and grandfathers, very much loved by their families.small__4825737373
Two wonderful characters, who despite their differences had actually so much in common.

For my two pals however the war was still not over. They continued to wear their “uniform” for the remainder of their stay, just in case, for the sake of their country, they were called upon to do battle once more, along the corridors of the hospital.

photo credit: Defence Images via photopin cc
photo credit: archangel 12 via photopin cc
photo credit: sx413 via photopin cc
photo credit: Michal Osmenda via photopin cc
photo credit: Poppy via photopin (license)

************* I first wrote this story on my blog two years ago but I think it was only read by approximately ten people at the time. I thought some of you might enjoy it. I hope I was right.

Once my gang go back to school and college I hope to put some time into story writing and use the many stories such as this one, I have tucked away in my memory, as inspiration.

photo credit: DSC03555-pola_edited-5 via photopin (license)

My scheduling gaffe. An apology.

Do you ever schedule posts? Did you even know you could?

Well genius here was blogging about one year before I became curious as to what it meant. When I investigated I thought it was not really for me, as at the time I was posting almost daily and publishing immediately after I’d written. So I put it out of my head.

Until one day last Summer.

I was going to Dublin for a few days and I’d a post written so decided I’d testphoto credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/60141638@N06/8431849810">Character Question Mark</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/">(license)</a> this scheduling thing, just to see how it worked.So off I went to Dublin, and the following day I waited eagerly for 7pm to see my post magically appear. And I waited, and waited…Nothing. Maybe my blog was on US time? Nope.Indian time? Australian? Nope.I went to bed late, postless and still wondering.

The following day I decided to take a bit of time out of my visit to investigate, so I scurried to the bathroom with my mums ipad to check it out, (in case you were wondering why the bathroom? I was pretending I was on a blogging break). To this day I’ve no clue what happened, but I pressed a few buttons and eventually there it was. I clicked a few more and yahoo it said ‘published’. I went back to my holidaying allergic to ever trying to schedule again.

Until last Friday.

A full year had almost passed and I began to believe that after two and a half years blogging I must be almost an expert. Surely I’d manage to schedule? Once again I’d no need to, but I was curious to see if it would work out for me. I’d arranged to go with my ‘little ones’ to see the 9pm showing of Inside Out in the cinema. I scheduled my post ‘Endings and Beginnings’ for 7pm. Sadly as I drove to the cinema the scheduled time had long passed with no ding from my phone indicating my success and expertise. Feck, definitely no expert!

Never fear though as I took a quick peek at my phone later, I saw it had posted. I sat back and congratulated myself, better late than never.  A short while later (when I was not supposed to be looking at my phone) I saw a message flash on my screen that sent my heart crossways, ‘If it were me I’d like to know’. I knew immediately I’d got something majorly wrong. I clicked into the message and oh dear. In my post I’d linked to two wonderful blog posts I’d read the previous day, one written by Office mum and the other by Where Wishes Come From. So what says you? Well in my haste to go to the cinema and do my fancy scheduling I’d credited another blogger Bumbles Of Rice instead of Where wishes come from.

FECK. (All capital letters for a reason). I sat in the cinema with a big red face on me, mortified.

(How I felt as I read the text)

(How I felt as I read the text)

I hastily broke every rule in my life about social media invading time with family, and I managed to watch the movie and edit my post. As I sat there I couldn’t relax for wondering how I’d written the wrong blog name, as these two are blogs I’m very familiar with. Then I remembered. As I was writing the post and busy linking I was also cooking, a dish I’d not cooked in two years. I’d forgotten what it involved so I’d searched Bumbles Of Rice’s blog for her post, Easy chicken and broccoli bake. She’d obviously left a big impression on me because I dumped poor ‘where wishes come from’ from my mind and gave the credit due her to the maker of my dinner!

In order to right all wrongs and be fair to all, I’ll now link you to Bumbles of Rice. I could pick many of her posts but I think it is only right to send you in the direction of the one which caused me to be so distracted. Here you go Very Easy Chicken and Broccoli Bake.

I hope my blog buddies forgive me, and I as a result of my error some of you get a new recipe for dinner. A win win? As for scheduling… I’m disappointed to discover I’m not the blogging genius I thought I might be. Scheduling and I have had a serious falling out so for the forseeable future I think I’ll give it a skip.

photo credit: Character Question Mark via photopin (license)

photo credit: aarongilson via photopin cc

Endings and Beginnings.

Isn’t parenting a succession of endings and beginnings? As we leave one part of their childhood behind something new begins, weaning, walking, potty training etc.photo credit: aarongilson via photopin cc

This morning the children in my locality return to school. Between eight thirty and nine the pavement will be filled with older children greeting friends they’ve not seen for two months, as well as an army of parents walking alongside little ones in often large uniforms, skipping or dwaddling along, as they make their way to school for the first time.

This year, for the first time in nineteen years, I have no child going to junior school. In my misery I’ve indulged myself reading many posts written by mothers about to wave their little ones off on their big adventure in life. Two posts in particular struck a chord with me. One called ‘And off he goes’ is written by ‘Office Mum’, as she prepares to send her youngest child to playschool, wondering if he is ready. It’s a beautiful read, which brought memories racing back. The other is called ‘The night before the day’ and is by Where wishes come from who as I write is saying goodbye to her twin girls as they begin ‘big school’. It was written last night and again speaks for all of us who pondered the night before, wondering where the years went. Again it’s a beautiful read well worth checking out.

Today is not an ordinary day in my house either. We are having our own ‘how did that happen?’ moment. Minutes ago I waved our eldest off as she drove away to attend her graduation. How can it be that she is driving? How can it be she is so grown up? What age was she last week? Surely I’ve got the maths wrong? When did she even finish school, no talk of four years college?14567602125_bb7be178bf_n

As I read the above posts it is she I thought of, remembering all too clearly the wrench she and I felt, as she went to big school; the many days of tears as we struggled to adjust. Then, bang, it is as if we suddenly awoke one day to discover she was not only finished school but college.

Shortly the five of us remaining, will pile into the car and drive off to see her graduate. I can barely find words to write, I am so overwhelmed by how I feel. There are many ups and downs in the life of a parent, each bringing different emotions, but today I feel only one, pride. Huge pride if I am to be honest.

Of course once I have time to collect myself I’ll also be more than a little proud of myself. I mean what wonderful genes I must have because to be fair, where else did she get those good looks, personality and brains from?

Now I’ve taken the time out to write I’d better give some time to ‘what the blazes does a person wear to a graduation when they don’t do dresses?’

Well done my first born, our first graduate. As you can see I’m a little bit proud. xxx

 

Good writing news.

A few weeks ago I entered a writing competition for the Liberties Festival in Dublin. We were asked to write 50 to 300 words on ‘the theme ‘Liberties’ – either the concept of liberties or The Liberties area of Dublin, Ireland’. libertiesbookcover

I decided that was well within my writing range so I gave it a go. I didn’t win but then this happened,

We were bowled over by the entries and decided the only decent thing to do would be to let the world read some of the best pieces we received. And so our collection “Liberties: Flash Fiction from Ireland” was born’.

The Liberties is one of the oldest areas of Dublin situated in the heart of the city. Many years ago I did my community nursing there for a few weeks. The many wonderful characters I met during that time, the stories I was witness to and the humour and spirit of those living there have left a lasting impression on me. The stories within this ebook give a wonderful flavour of the Liberties.

If you would like to read my piece or the flash pieces chosen just click and download a most enjoyable read for free. Download here and enjoy.

 

photo credit: GlacierTim via photopin cc

Am I the only one?

Are your children going back to school soon? Do you ever forget, even for a moment? Or am I the only one counting down the weeks, days, or even at times hours, until the official day I get my house back?

Please tell me I’m not alone.

Today I woke up to yet another million facebook posts about kids going back to school. Like I didn’t remember, as I sat looking out at the pouring rain, that the Summer that never arrived in Ireland, was almost officially over.

As I flicked through the endless headings I began to wonder had I grown hard? My youngest is only days away from beginning secondary school. I am no longer the mother of ‘little ones’. Why was I not upset? When the other three had moved on I’d been heartbroken. (Well not quite, but unlikely as it is, they might read this). Now my baby is taller than myself and beginning to share more and more time with her older sisters discussing all manner of grown up sisterly things. Is she not slipping away from me?photo credit: adwriter via photopin cc

So I thought I’d better try to tap into that part of me which normally is overly developed and find my regrets. I took out old photo albums and gazed at the many baby photos before me. Still not feeling it I read in my diary memories of days I can never return to. It took longer than I thought but eventually I felt it, that sting behind my eyes of tears beginning to well up. Ah yes I wasn’t immune after all, I did feel regret. I was a good mother.

Feeling relieved I put my diary down and wiped my eyes, only to discover it was eye strain not tears I’d felt. Disappointed but not without hope, I went searching for my ‘baby’ to look at her with fresh eyes, as if I were a stranger. Maybe seeing the beautiful young lady she is becoming I’d feel that pang of regret, that desperate need to hold back time.

She was in the kitchen, (not tidying up). Looking at her I felt a little proud. Perhaps all the rain of the Summer had done her no harm. I know I’m bias but before me stood a beautiful, confident girl. She smiled in my direction and her face lit up. I hugged her and gave her a gentle kiss on her forehead.

‘How I’ll miss you darling on Monday’.

Returning my kiss she said, ‘Monday? I’m not going back on Monday Mum, I don’t start until Wednesday!’.photo credit: patries71 via photopin cc

‘Wednesday!’ I shrieked,’Wednesday? Not Monday?’ I roared, with more than a little regret in my tone. Thankfully years of mothering experience has taught me well and I instantly tried to cover my reaction, shouting, ‘How fantastic darling. That’s great, I’ve an extra two days with you!’.

She looked at me and I could see by her expression she was not convinced by my poorly acted ‘joy’. As she walked away she said, ‘Yep Wednesday Mum, we can do things together Monday AND Tuesday’.

I’ll leave the vision of my disappointed, ‘I’ll not have the house to myself for another six days’, face to yourselves to imagine as she left me standing alone in my kitchen.

Suffice to say a new countdown has begun.

photo credit: patries71 via photopin cc
photo credit: adwriter via photopin cc
photo credit: GlacierTim via photopin cc

What is it really like to be a mother?

As children we imagine it, as teenagers we think it’s over rated, as new mothers we wonder at our own mothers, until one day we look back and we know exactly what it took to be a mother.

This day twenty four years ago my first born child arrived in the world and I became a mother. That was the end of my life as I’d known it. I’d given away my identity when I’d taken my husbands name a year earlier, but this was different. Becoming a mother changed me completely. In that moment, as I held my daughter for the first time, the girl I used to be, the young nurse and wife, was gone forever. Now I was ‘Mum’. As I spent hour upon hour gazing at her. I couldn’t imagine loving anyone ever again, as much as I loved her. In that moment I thought I knew what being a ‘mum’ was.

As the years passed I added to my brood three more children and minded others who became as important to me as my own. As you can imagine with a large brood motherhood was busy, but it was not always easy or enjoyable. At times I will admit it felt incredibly lonely and I felt unfulfilled. Was this going to be my life forever? Surely there was more to this role of ‘mother’? Was this what school and my nursing studies had been for? Restless I believed I’d much more to give the world. Looking around at others in the workplace I’d think ‘I could do that’. I read of friends of mine doing well in life and was jealous as I stood with a crying child in my arms, supervising homework for many, while keeping an eye on toddlers, stepping over toys, cooking and wasting my time trying to tidy up. Somedays, especially in the winter, time ticked by very slowly.

Before the youngest arrived.

Before the youngest arrived.

The years passed and despite my doubts and frustrations I stuck with it, for even though I believed I could be successful in anything I did, I couldn’t imagine not being a full time mother, watching someone else caring for my crew. The days got a little easier as they got older, but no less busy.photo 1 (4)

Then, it seemed without warning, the day arrived when one by one they left. The children I minded no longer needed full time care. Even though we stayed in regular contact my house became a whole lot quieter. It was only then I began to fully appreciate the many wonderful days we had shared together, the fun, the noise, the madness. I mourned the baby I’d never again feed, the little arms raised to be carried, the endless quarrels, the rush in from school, the noise in the back garden and the continuous requests for food or drinks.

Sitting here today I feel a mix of sadness, joy and pride. Being a mother was, at times, a hard slog, but now I have time to reflect I’d not change a day of it. The house is still full but in two weeks my eldest pair will head back to college, leaving two siblings behind. This time next year another will join them, leaving just one at home. The busy house, filled with children will be but a memory.

Xmas 2014 with Santa

Xmas 2014 with Santa

Twenty four years ago today as I held my first born child and caught my breath, I thought ‘I’m a mother’. As I reflect on the past many years, the joys, fears, frustrations, pride, anger and exhaustion they brought to my life I understand what being a mother really means. There was a time when I hated to admit being ‘just’ a mother. Now as I look back at what it took to be a mother and see the wonderful young adults this gang have become I couldn’t be more proud.

Happy Birthday Sweetheart.
Love always.
Mum.xxx

clock and time

This is what my father gave me.

Every day is twenty four hours long, but how many hours of every day do we really live?

Today is my Dad’s birthday and I wanted to write a post reflecting on the Dad I miss even after twenty eight years. Then I remembered a post, which I’d written almost two years ago. This post tells more than anything new I could write, what I learned from losing Dad so early and the legacy he left me.

Happy Birthday Dad. You may have had to leave too soon, but I like to think that you live on in all of us, and continue to make an impression on our everyday lives.

I hope there is a message in here for everyone.

 

How Much Of Every Day Do We Really Live?

How much of every day do we really live?
Will there come a time when we regret,
the moments, minutes, hours or days,
that we wasted in our lives?

As a nurse, I became very aware,
that time is precious.
When I was working in accident and emergency,
I would drive to work,
knowing that in some homes,
the day ahead would change their world.
For some that morning would be their last.
For others life would never be the same again.

When I first walked out onto a ward,
and saw people of all ages,
with life threatening conditions,
I feared illness.
My friends and I would talk together.
We would hope,
that when our time ran out,
that it would do so in a sudden unannounced bang!

Then illness came knocking on my door.
My 52 year old Dad was diagnosed with Motor Neuron disease.
No treatment, no cure.
His life would definitely not be long.
We were not even given hope.
Maybe a year or two if we were lucky,
but he would eventually have no quality of life.

As we looked down that road,
everything changed.
The endless days, months and years ahead did not exist.
Our future was to be very short.
For us in that moment time changed.

You would think that with time limited,
we would feel each day fly by,
and the end of life to be rushing towards us,
at a frightening speed.
However strangely that did not happen.
The opposite occurred.
Time slowed down.

There was still 60 seconds in every minute,
and each day lasted 24 hours.
However for all of us in our family,
the clock ticked louder.
We had no minutes to waste.
Time became precious,
and something we did not take for granted.
Each day now was made up of exactly 24 hours,
with not one second wasted.

For my Dad I cannot say what it meant,
to know he would not be staying long.
But I do know he had no bucket list.
My Dad lived on.
Just as he always did.
Working for a few more months,
until his health forced him to retire.
Enjoying his days as best he could,
and continuing to be a large presence in our lives,
even when movement and speech were gone.

It was during this time that my attitude to illness changed.
As I spoke at length to my Dad,
sharing my everyday life with him,
in a way a twenty year old never would do,
with a parent,
I came to realize,
that to be given this knowledge,
that time was limited,
and every day precious,
was in fact a privilege.
By being told as a family,
that for us our time with Dad was to be short,
we were in fact being given time.

Instead of a father at work,
and a family living busy lives,
we were a family living every moment.
There was no time wasted.
Every second counted.
Right up until the moment,
that time ran out.

In those bleak days, months and weeks,
after my Dads clock stopped,
time changed once more.
Each day was still made up of 24 hours,
yet each day seemed endless,
and the future which was short before Dad died,
now seemed too long.

Since then the days have turned into years.
The clock has continued to tick.
I have married and had children.
As time has passed I have lived through,
what seemed like the never ending long days,
of sleepless nights and crying children.

Now time has changed once more.
It is once again racing by.
My small babies are distant memories.
In a few weeks another of my brood will leave home.
I cannot slow time down.
Each day is 24 hours,
yet some days are just too short.

The clock that has ticked all my life,
continues unabated.
I do not know for how long it will tick,
but for today and everyday,
I appreciate my twenty four hours in every day,
and I try to make every minute count.
Each night as I turn out the light,
I smile, grateful for the day I had,
and know I am lucky to have a tomorrow to look forward to.

photo credit: eliazar via photopin cc
photo credit: LookingThroughTheGlass via photopin <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-
photo credit: fiddle oak via photopin cc

photo credit: Petra Senders via photopin cc

Tonight I have no words.

This day twenty five years ago myself and yer man walked down the aisle. I’ve written many posts about him here, often tongue in cheek, but today I am stumped.
What can I say to him, what can I write about him?

He who… turned my life around, and made me whole.
He who…makes me laugh and roar in equal measure.
He who…comforts me like no other can.
He who…makes me me.134271077_979713d791

I feel lucky to have shared my life with someone who still brings so much fun to my every day. If truth be known tonight I struggle to write as I am feeling more than a little emotional, (and I promise I’ve not even begun on the wine yet). Earlier my mum had a request played for us on the radio. The song played was perfect.

So tonight I’d like to post that song here for you. To the one known here as ‘yer man’, ‘himself’, or my other half’. As I struggle to say any of what I wish to, let this song speak for me, as I add, ‘Thank you and congratulations to both of us’. (Don’t worry I’ll say other nice things to him offline)

For anyone celebrating an anniversary along with us, or a long relationship enjoy this wonderful song written and sung by Imelda May. If you haven’t time to listen I’ll give you a look at the chorus, I’m sure you can relate.

‘But we stuck with each other with all our might
We pulled it together and held on tight
And I’m glad for us, yeah I’m glad mo chroi
But its nothing to anyone cept you and me
There are wrongs for every right, theres ups & theres downs
But you’re the one for all my life
My true love I have found, yeah you my love I found’.

photo credit: Petra Senders via photopin cc

photo credit: viking_79 via photopin cc

How was our night away?

I know you’re bursting to know how our romantic night away went, and more importantly did he make it back on time for his feckin important championship match?

Well not wishing to upset you but after 25 years we may differ in how we define ‘romantic’. Secondly, kind and all as you are to have read this far, no one really wants to know how wonderful a night was, so not to disappoint you here are a few snippets of our night away, warts and all.

Friday 12.30pm. We’re off.
Himself, at the bottom of the road: Which way?
Me: Ha I knew you’d ask me that you eejit. I downloaded google maps. Listen to this woman and she’ll tell us exactly where to go.
Himself: Really? Great stuff.

Fifteen minutes later.
Miss Google maps: Take the next exit.
Me: Ignore her, she’s wrong, we don’t get off until exit 9.
Himself: She must know something we don’t. The traffic is very bad. I’m going to do what she suggests.

Twenty minutes later, or less than one kilometre up the road.

Himself: She’s some eejit sending us up here.traffic jam
Me: I hate her!

1.30pm (one hour after leaving)

Miss Google map: Take the next left.
Himself, exasperated and cross: I will when I can!
Me (for the 100th time): I can’t believe that stupid cow made us go through the busiest part of the city on a Friday. For fecks sake.
Miss Google Map: Take the next left.
Himself:I’m taking it, would she ever shut up.
Me:where are you going? Don’t go off here.
Himself: She told me to take the next left.
Me: Yes but now you have taken another left because you were shouting at her when she said to take second exit.
Miss Google map: Continue two kilometres (in the wrong direction)
Himself: Jesus can we not turn for two kilometres? Ah she is really annoying me now.
Miss Google map: Take the next left.
Himself: I am!
Me: Shut up and listen to her.

Eventually we left the bumper to bumper traffic and began to imagine the luxury that lay ahead. Thankfully the phone went out of battery and Miss Google maps left us to find our own way. Life was good. Things were looking up. lough erne

On arrival three hours later.
Man wearing fancy suit, waiting at door of hotel: Madam may I take your bags?
Me, mortified: Ah no I’m grand thanks.
Man in fancy suit: It’s quite alright madam I’ll take your bag (while wrestling it away from me).
We surrendered.

Having checked in we ran to the mega posh golf course. I was beautifully decked out in my one and only Tommy Hilfiger top while OH discovers he’s forgotten his ‘golf’ trousers and will have to golf in the not exactly perfect trousers he is wearing. I am pulling my reasonably respectable clubs. He is carrying his thirty year old second hand ones, within a banjaxed, not the cleanest bag with one leg of it sticking out unless he holds it.
Slightly mortified we enter the golf shop where a lovely golf pro greets us, immediately getting the measure of the two of us. Thankfully she liked us (my OH has a way with people, don’t ask me how) and instantly took pity on us. Having suggested numerous times we take a buggy and us rejecting her she eventually tells us she’ll let us have one for nothing. We jump at it and head off feeling like millionaires.

lough Erne.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

For the next four hours we walk alone, surrounded by the most beautiful of views, looking out over Lough Erne, with the sun shining. It has got to rate up there with one of the best afternoon/evenings of my life.

Our dinner was booked for nine, so with time running out we raced back to our room at 8.15pm. I managed a bath, a shower and time to wear my fancy hotel bath robe while drinking wine. My OH watched the golf on sky before going for a bath.
Me, shouting as he gets into his bath:Isn’t it lovely?
Himself: Yes, this is the life.

One minute later,

Me shouting again: Oh no it’s 9.15pm, last orders at 9.30pm.

Thankfully we were both dressed and sitting in the dining room less than fifteen minutes later.

The following day we enjoyed an enormous breakfast. Well I had breakfast, my other half had breakfast, elevenses and possibly lunch, before I pulled him away. Unfortunately it was raining so we decided to leave earlier than planned. No pressure to get us back for the big match at 5pm as we had plenty time.

We decided we would never again trust Miss Google maps so wrote out the directions in case my battery didn’t make it home. We were reliably informed the journey time was four hours and nineteen minutes.

Two and a half hours later.

Himself: Do we turn off for the N52?
Me:I’ve told you a million times, yes, but not for ages.

Three minutes later. Himself: Is this the N52?
Me:No, stop asking me every five minutes.

Eventually we make it onto the N52.

Me: now we must look for R435
Himself: okay.
We drive around numerous roundabouts at breakneck speed having the same conversation over and over.

Me: Will you slow down I can’t read the signs.s
Himself: Tell me what exit
Me: I can’t you’re going too fast for me to read where to go.
Himself: ah here’s the N52
Me: Why are we going down here
Himself: It says N52
Me: But we might have missed the right exit back there. For Gods sake, you drive too fast around the roundabouts.
Himself, with a touch of sarcasm: Ok, we’ll drive a full circle in future so you can read.

Silence for a while, might have been a bit frosty.

Me: I don’t think we should still be on the N52.
Himself: It seems a bit long doesn’t it?
Me: I think we went wrong at one of the roundabouts.
Himself: So where are we going?
Me: God knows, I’ll google it.
Himself, two seconds later: Well?
Me: It’s loading, give me a minute.
Himself, three seconds later: Well?
Me: it’s still trying to load. I’ve no connection.
Himself: Right that does it. I’ll stop at the next garage.

Silence for another five minutes as we drive on in the wrong direction looking for a garage.

We arrived into a very small towns garage and soon had a number of people interested in our plight. Interested perhaps but of no use to us whatsoever.

Us: Could you tell us the quickest way to Cork?

All of them: ‘Cork? Oh God no’ or,’Cork. That’s a fair distance away I’ve no clue’,
Then, most Irish of all was the reply,
‘Cork did you say? Well you’re definitely on the wrong road’.

Eventually we got the loan of a phone and consulted the AA map which told us we were very wrong, but in another three quarters of an hour we’d be back on the right road. We drove away, with our many new friends waving us off and wishing us well.

The atmosphere was tense in the car. Tired and fed up we hadn’t a lot to say. However just as in life, time passes as do moods and by the time we arrived home after our mere five and a half hour journey, we were once more able to speak to each other without a minor or major explosion.

Thankfully he made his match and they won, making this the perfect weekend for him.

As we reflect on our fantastic night away and our twenty five years together,I suspect both of us would be in agreement, we could do the twenty five years marriage again in a heartbeat, but the five and a half hours to Enniskillen I’m not so sure!

photo credit: Marylebone Road Rush Hour via photopin (license)

http://www.geograph.ie/profile/2282
http://www.geograph.ie/profile/6906

photo credit: viking_79 via photopin cc

small_3324879428 (1)

The highs and lows of marriage

Last Friday night…

Himself: Darling I’m taking you away for our 25th anniversary. Next weekend you and I will use that hotel voucher we won.

Me: Really? Wow I’d love that. It’s five stars!

Himself: You deserve it

Half an hour later…

Himself: There’s no easy way to say this … I’ve championship on Saturday, we’ll have to cancel.

As you can imagine I didn’t cope with the news very well. I think at one point I may have entered the kitchen. Himself looked at me warily, but I held my tongue. Rise above it, I thought, be the bigger person.

Himself: Sorry!

Me: Its fine,forget it. I’m over it,okay! (Said in a snarling, I am definitely not okay voice) I may then have banged the door, before shouting NOT!

Such is married life. I sulked and lamented and then saw the bigger picture. We had shared twenty five years of marriage we would have that night away, just not next week. Sigh.

Then joy of joys he tells me our night away is back on. I was so thrilled. He loves me more than GAA football. True love lives even after twenty five years.

Wrong, the match is later than he thought so we can leave early and make it back!

Ah well, I’m not proud and I’m not stupid, so as you read this I am off to be wined and dined. I’m sure the minor detail of our twenty five year union will come up at some stage and those who know me will know there will be wine. Hopefully the twenty five years was worth it for this. I’ll let you know, if I ever come back.

Luxury here I come. Whoops I meant here we come!