Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Last Post

... For this year, that is.
Isn't it astounding how quickly these few weeks pass? Before we know it we're back to normalcy and heaving sighs of relief that we won't have to cook like that for another year at least.
Anyone else feel like that?
Having said that, I must confess that although I did feel as if I'd spent 5 full days in the kitchen over Christmas, I had my good friend S with me and we spent much of that time laughing. In fact I'm sure we had more fun than the rest of our families did in the other parts of the house, teehee!
All in all I had a lovely Christmas, our first one in our new house, spent with my little family and my very good friends S and R who are almost family too. So even though I wasn't with my Mom and sisters and Hubby's family in SA, we had a warm and glowing Christmas anyway.
And after spending so much time in the kitchen, us gals decided we needed a break so on Wednesday, when the shops opened, we took ourselves off on a bit of a spree, making the most of the first of the January Sales, returning home laden with bags and smiles.

What I haven't gotten to do is practise riding my bike. Today was going to be the day but let me tell you, we have a storm a-blowin' here that would put an arctic ice storm to shame! So hold thumbs it blows itself away by tomorrow, 'kay?

On the other hand, we went out and did something equally fun yesterday: Clay pigeon shooting. It turns out the step-children have inherited Hubby's shooting abilities and our instructor was most impressed with "all the natural talent in this group". Hah! You hear that? Natural talent, folks. Yes, that included me. I miss shooting and I have to say there's something awfully satisfying about shooting those little clay discs into itty-bitty pieces. I think this will become a regular family outing in the coming year.

Now, my final post for 2006 wouldn't really be complete without photos, would it?
Last Saturday we wandered down into Dublin city for a bit of "Ooh, look at the pretty lights", not to mention a cholesterol-rich meal in Eddie Rockets, the only fast-food place in the country that makes a decent hamburger.
I've uploaded a bunch of photos from that night onto Flickr, so all you need to do is click here to take a look if you feel so inclined.
Here is a preview*:

The others are waay better so go on, click the link, take a look - you know you want to...!

And with that I just want to wish everyone

May 2007 be filled with love and happiness for all of us.

*If you're wondering, the "Baile Átha Cliath" in this photo is the Irish name for Dublin. Of course it isn't pronounced as it is written - I'm sure Fence or Anne would be able to help out with the phonetics if you asked them nicely, though.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Happy Merry and all that

First, let me wish everyone a Happy Christmas.


It's gonna be eating, drinking, and being merry a lot and please wish me luck since the cooking will all be done by yours truly.

We're going to a party tonight and I get to wear my pretty 'velvet' dress, yay!
Tomorrow our friends arrive and then the aforementioned cooking and being merry will begin in earnest.
If I'm lucky I may get some practise-time in on my new bike sometime over the next week or so.
I love the sound of that: "My Bike"
You wanna see a picture..?

And here's a picture of "Me and My Bike"...

Am I cool or what?!!
Now I just need to learn to ride it properly, hehe.

Well that's all I wanted to say. It's a busy time of year for everyone so off you go, be festive, be safe, be happy...


Friday, December 15, 2006

ups n downs

I feel like I cheated you guys by posting those pics instead of a 'proper' post. Sorry 'bout that... sort of.. teehee..

I'm all emotional today - not in a I-wanna-curl-up-and-die way but in a ooh-that-song-reminds-me-of-boo-hoo-hoo way. I spoke to my li'l sis on the phone earlier. She's flying off to SA this evening to spend Christmas there with the family and I just wish I was going too. I guess I'm homesick. I guess the fact that it's dreary and rainy in a sort of not-bothering-to-get-light-at-all-today sort of way doesn't help either, no matter how many twinkly lights and Christmas carols are about.
So here I am, not depressed, for a change, just a little, er, emotionally fragile today. Today, the day our company puts on a big Christmas Lunch in the canteen (turkey, brussells sprouts, hot pudding, the works) and throws a bash this evening, complete with free drinks (as long as y'all behave yerselves now!). Somehow I didn't feel very festive at lunch but man, am I looking forward to that first drink tonight! Big talk from someone who get's trashed on 2 glasses of wine, I know.

And then it's weekend, thank goodness. I will be learning to ride my new bike that Hubby fetched from the shop this morning - yay!!! Then there's the last of the Christmas shopping to be done. Tomorrow I'm taking young Cinderella with me to go see The Nutcracker ballet. I'm really looking forward to that - I do so love the ballet!
And then next week it's a 4-day week (for me), a day of manic last-minute shopping (no illusions here) and then our friends arrive and hey presto! It's Christmas and I'm left wondering, "Where the hell did the last year go???!"

And I'm going to stop right there because if I don't I'll start thinking about a birthday coming up soon after that where I'll be wondering where the hell the last 35 years went, but we're not going go to there now; I'll save that particular train of thought for another day.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

As promised...

Photos of our high-tech Christmas tree...




Sunday, December 10, 2006

3 days happy

Do I get a medal or something?

How quickly a mood can change. Since my last post mine has improved dramatically. I guess it started when I heard some very, very happy news from a close friend of mine - the sort of news that made my cry happy tears (yes I know I cry at the drop of a hat these days but it really was that sort of news!).
And all of a sudden the world was a better place.

My boss let me go home half an hour early on Friday, just because it was quiet and it was Friday and... well, just because.

I went to the hairdresser yesterday morning and I am really happy with the result (my bad- to good-hair-days since the last haircut have been in the region of 30:1).

And yesterday evening my stepson arrived from SA and will be here for a month.

Those were the highlights but I'm convinced it was that astoundingly happy news from my friend that triggered off my happy feelings. And it feels really good to feel good.
I've had energy galore - got tons of stuff done yesterday including all the housework, and went shopping today in that same mall that I was bitching about last week, and I actually wanted to stay longer to do more shopping today - but poor Hubby had hayfever and the boy-child (although at 17 that nickname doesn't really fit so well anymore, especially since he now towers over me) looked like he'd had enough of trudging through shops for one day so I called it a day when we had almost everything I'd set out for.

Oh, and one more thing. After tossing the idea about for months I have finally made the decision to get myself a small motorcycle - for practical purposes, not just for fun, in case you were wondering. Making decisions is not necessarily my strong point and now that I've made one - one that I'm happy with - I feel like I have accomplished something.

I think we'll put up our Christmas tree tonight. Hubby decided he's tired of finding pine-needles in the house up till July so we've gone for an artificial one that has fibre-optic lights on it. Photos will follow shortly, no doubt.

So it looks like my Christmas Spirit didn't flee the country after all.
Yep, I'm three days happy, and counting.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

freaking out just a little

On the one hand my mood -which has been wallowing in a black hole the last few weeks - is beginning to lift a bit. I'm starting to take an interest in things and even - despite my last post - started planning Christmas yesterday. That's right: lists have been started and cards have been sent. I was even clear-headed enough to wash some bedlinen in preparation for my Stepson's arrival on Saturday - which I am now eagerly anticipating, as opposed to feeling sweet bugger-all about anything - without too much muddleness of the head. That may not make a lot of sense to some of you but at times even the smallest task takes a really huge amount of mental effort from me.
So the fact that I've managed to get stuff done at all without feeling befuddled is a good thing, trust me.

But on the other hand it seems that in my not-so-clear-headed mood I have successfully managed to alienate myself from people I would have considered 'friends' at work. Well, maybe 'mates' is a better word than 'friends'. I feel like a total outsider - left out of the loop on virtually everything. Even work-related things, although this last is perhaps the thing that p*ssed me off in the first place and made me withdraw. The words 'overreaction' and 'over-sensitive' come to mind, but I have possibly not been able to deal with things as well as I should have - or at least as well as I once would have.
It makes coming to work every day really hard. I used to be part of 'the gang' but now I'm simply a shadow that hangs around, occasionally doing something useful. Ooh, that sounds terribly self-pitying, doesn't it? I hate self-pity. Everyone hates self-pity. Which is why hiding under the covers in bed all day sounds like a much better option. If I don't have to face all this, then I won't feel so bad about it, then there won't be self-pitying to be done... d'you catch my drift? My sister accused me of becoming a hermit not so long ago, but is that really such a bad thing? I just feel like a piece of driftwood that has been battered ceaselessly agains the rocks in a storm. And when one is hurting already, it doesn't take very much to make it worse. So I guess what I'm saying is, this piece of driftwood needs to be washed up on a beach somewhere to be still and dry for a while.

So what's stopping me from taking some time off? I guess it's because I don't want to admit to failure. When I came off my medication it was on the advice of my doctor, who said she felt that I'd be OK to just stop, as opposed to weaning off them. I had finished my cognitive therapy sessions a couple of months prior to that - the psychologist felt I was doing just fine. So admitting that I'm actually NOT doing OK doesn't sit well with me - it's like saying I couldn't hack it on my own and one thing I've always held dear is my independence; Now that I've put that in words I must admit it sounds like slightly skewed thinking; I mean, if someone I knew said these things to me my advice would be, "It's not that you've failed and it's not an independence thing; you don't have to do this alone." Trouble is I think I've had double standards for a very long time - one set of rules for everyone... except me. Learning to cut myself some slack is one of the hardest things I've ever attempted and I'm still not great at it.
I also don't have a lot of leave days due and the couple I do have I want to save for my trip home to SA next year. Which leaves me only one alternative: go back to the doctor and get her to book me off for a week or even two. Doctors don't like doing that though and I guess I'm afraid she's going to want to put me back on medication and I really don't want to go back on medication because it makes me drowsy... it sort of takes the edge off life which I suppose is sort of the point, but how am I ever going to learn to cope with it if I'm not really facing it?

Oh my, so many questions. Don't panic - most of them are rhetorical; I think I know the answers in my head, if not my heart. Sometimes it just takes a bit of spelling-out like this for me to make any sense of things.

Normal service (HA HA!) will resume shortly.

Monday, December 04, 2006

there's no avoiding it now

I've ignored it as long as I could but it's December now and the Christmas season is upon us whether we like it or not. My favourite pastime - shopping, in case you haven't been paying attention - is now simply an irritation until January.*

Even the simplest errand, like going to buy a couple of groceries, becomes a nightmare of screeching children, manic mothers and frightened fathers all determined to get their goodies before someone else does. We can't have little Timmy going without the latest action figure now, can we?! I swear these people would happily step on each others' heads in the fight to get there first.

Of course, in an attempt to fool everyone into believing it's the Happy season, the malls are populated with carrollers singing Joy to the World and whatnot...

I think I may get to a point where I enjoy Christmas. I'm almost sure I did last year - I guess I could go check my archives to see what my stance was a year ago. But this past weekend the only thing that made me not want to hurt people was when I caught someone in a Santa outfit... worn over a Grinch outfit.

Now that I could identify with.

And that's all I have to say on the subject. For now, anyway. If my family is lucky then this little outburst will have gotten all the bad stuff out of my system and I'll soon be rushing around like a madwoman decorating the tree and doing whatever I can to bring Christmas to the household.**

Of course it's possible they may then wish I were feeling as I do now instead. Apparently there is a limit to how many times teenagers can listen to the same Christmas CD in a month without losing their sense of humour.

* Can you blame me for being upset?
** I should probably mention here that I did buy a string of icicle lights to hang by our front door on Saturday when I went out to get milk.

Friday, December 01, 2006

friday fings

I'm supposed to be meeting up with some mates this evening for a few pints but to be honest I don't know if I'm in the mood for it.
It means leaving work at 4:15 (or so) to catch the train to be home by 5:20 (or so), which leaves me some time to make myself presentable* and have something to eat** before catching the 7:23pm train back into town to meet up with me mates around 8:15.
Sounds like an awful lot of effort for a pint, don't you think?

And if that's not enough here is a peek at the weather :

How they get 'partly sunny' when it's still dark out, I'm not sure, but you get the idea, and I don't imagine it'll be any warmer this evening.
Have I made enough excuses yet?
Can't I just rather go home as soon as I can possibly escape the office and go hide in my cocoon away from the cold and the noise and the big bad world?

* ... as opposed to the ogre who arrives home from work at the end of the day, having sent the perfectly-groomed woman I started out as to never-never land some time between lunch and the end of the day.
** I may even feed the husband and child while I'm at it.