Tuesday, April 24, 2007

take me away from all this

I'm going to Paris!!!
Again :-)
I know it's my 3rd time but I really do love the place, and this time I'm taking young Cinderella with me.
Perhaps it'll make her feel better after some @*#%! assholes went and stole her scooter yesterday, poor thing.
She loved that scooter. It didn't go very fast - just a little 50cc effort that sounded like a sewing machine on steroids - but it was her very own motorised transport. And now it's gone.
I got the call from Hubby when I was on the train yesterday, that he was on his way to fetch her from where she'd parked it - chained to a gate, nogal - only to find it gone when she wanted to come home after school. I thought she was actually at the school. But lo and behold, there I was sitting on the train when it stopped at the station near her school - two stops before my own - absentmindedly staring out of the window and cursing the bastards who would steal from a 16-year-old girl, when something bright yellow caught my eye. It was a police vest. Standing next to my girl-child, who was in tears. I virtually climbed over the woman seated next to me to get off the train, and dashed down the platform and over the bridge to where she was standing in the parking lot. Poor thing, she was trying to be strong and give the cops all the info she had, in between racking sobs. It wass enough to tickle anyone's maternal instinct! Hubby arrived shortly afterwards and by the look on his face I'd say the robbers are lucky they hadn't been caught because he looked ready to murder.
So sadly, our little motorcycle gang has been reduced from 3 to 2 again.
And I'm left marvelling yet again at how we left crime-ridden South Africa for a better life here in Ireland. Did I ever mention that the house we were staying at our first week in this country was robbed while we slept upstairs? And then there were my precious wind-chimes that were stolen but weeks after we moved into our new house last year. And my canvas bike-cover that mysteriously disappeared earlier this year.
And now this.
Anyway, it's done now; nothing more to do but hope the cops find it. I suppose that's the difference - at least here they make an effort to try and recover stolen goods, unlike South Africa where they just provide you with a case number so you can claim from insurance.

But back to the Paris trip. We're going for 3 days at the beginning of June and it's all booked. I can't wait! Now it's just the simple (?) task of getting Cindarella's visa sorted...

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I am king of the world!!!

OK, technically, I know that should be Queen of the world but somehow I feel more like a King. You see today I rode my bike all the way into work for the first time.

{{applause and fanfare}}

My license arrived in the mail yesterday (is this the only country in the world where it is safe to send peoples' drivers licenses to them in the mail?) so this morning I dressed in my work clothes, then took them off again and packed them in my rucksack (so I wouldn't forget a shoe or something) donned my biking gear (safety first!) and rang-tang-tang'd my way into town.
In peak hour traffic.
Yay me!
I even rode on the motorway - this is Dublin, after all, what are the chances of the traffic travelling at more than 80km/h at that time of the morning?!
Was I scared? You betcha.
Did I balk at the buses? Maybe a bit.
But eventually I did get tired of sitting in the traffic so I gingerly edged my way out and sneaked forward between the lines of cars, just like a real biker;-)
I did it!
By the time I had my bike parked at work I was shaking like a piece of jelly on the dashboard of a car with worn shock absorbers, and there was enough adrenaline coursing through my veins to make me feel invincible. Don't worry - that sensation only hit me after I'd made it to work. While I was in traffic I was nervous as a little mouse!
The other bikers in the office are all terribly excited for me and didn't even complain when I 'stole' their parking space. Suddenly I feel like I'm in a gang, hehehe!
I'm sure in a couple of weeks' time I'll be quite blasé about the commute... but for today I'll simply enjoy the sensation of having overcome fear and conquered the road.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

you want my what?

I pulled up outside my house on my bike last night around 8pm to find a small swarm of yuppies knocking on doors and smiling at everyone. One enthusiastic youngster apporached me, handing me a pamphlet, saying something about a local Senator blah blah blah... it's coming up for election time, you see. So there I was, trousers tucked into my boots from the ride, like a WW2 paratrooper, helmet still firmly on head, gloves in one hand, keys in the other and all I could hear (since his voice was quite muffled through the helmet) was something about if I waited a few moments I could have a word with Himself. I blinked at him (it was late, my blood sugar was quite low) and said, "Do I have to..?"
I don't think that was quite the response he was looking for, and he giggled nervously, said, "Oh. No. Of course not," handed me a business card and scuttled off into the twilight.
On second thoughts I could have waited for the Senator to come over and ask if there was anything he could do. Then I could have said, "Yes, you can get rid of these blasted politicians who keep disturbing my evenings now that the elections are drawing near!"
Coulda-woulda-shoulda, eh?!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Tuesday morn and all is well

It astounds me how different Ireland is when the sun shines. After months and months (and months!) of dreary Winter weather, we had four glorious days and today promises to stay that way... and they fell over a long weekend! Now, I realise that my South African readers will think I'm nuts when I tell you that temperature was around 13 degrees C on Saturday and it was so lovely out that we rushed off to get meat and invited friends around for a Braai (BBQ), because in SA 13 degrees is the dead of winter. Somehow it's different here.
I had a really good long weekend, beginning with Hubby and I going on a breakfast run on the Blackbird on Friday that took us into the Wicklow Mountains to the South of Dublin and lasted pretty much most of the day. Nothing beats an exhilerating ride on the bike on a beautiful day. Then we had our Braai with friends on Saturday, and on Sunday morning we went to the beach. Yes, the beach! OK I admit there was no swimming and we were fully clothed at all times but the sand was warm between my toes and the sun was warm on my face. Warm face and warm toes makes for warm soul, so I was happy :)
Yesterday was a model of decadence, involving apple pie and whipped cream, lots of chocolate, crisps, fizzy cooldrinks and lounging around watching TV*.
Yep, for now, all is well in Terriland :)


*By the way, I rather enjoyed "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" - by far the most enjoyable of the poor boy's adventures yet - for me, if not for him.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Husband, Father, Zombie-slayer

Something spooked me, and I gathered both children to me, my arms around them so they wouldn't stray. They were about 11 or 12 years old and they were frightened. We would be safer together. I began edging us towards the door that would lead us into the next room, to where I knew D was, to where he could protect us. Looking around I noticed there were poeple under the bed.
No, not people, corpses! Their wax-like features unmoving, dead eyes staring straight ahead. I started feeling freaked out and then I saw a pair of eyes moving, following us. Panic welled inside and I tried to hurry us to the door, knowing safety was just on the other side but unsure if we would reach it in time. My steps were tiny, as if there was some sort of binding around the three of us, restraining us. I tried to call for help but my mouth was taped shut and my shouts were mere whimpers. I realised I could reach the tape that was covering the child's mouth. As I ripped it off he screamed in terror, for the corpses were Zombies and they were writhing and moving and coming to get us! At last my mouth was freed of its tape and I screamed too, as long and loud as I could...

... I woke myself up. My heart pounded in my chest, my mouth burned dry and I was so hot I felt as if I might melt. Sweat poured off me in rivulets. Next to me, D slept soundly, his breathing even and content. I was too afraid to move any more than just my eyes, scanning the shadows that mocked me from all corners of our bedroom. Still blurry from sleep, I fought the need to close my eyes, fearful of returning to that place.
I needed water, but was terrified of the darkness and what might be lurking in our en-suite bathroom.
I needed D, awake.
So I wriggled over to him as noisily as I could. His breathing didn't change. I wriggled some more and put my hand gently on his shoulder - I needed him to wake gently, not with fright.
His breathing altered slightly but then reverted to its familiar rhythm.
Scooting back over to my side of the bed I wondered, Should I give up now? The thirst still burned in my throat and I inched back over to him, making my presence felt. He stirred but didn't wake.
I sort of felt bad so frumped my way back onto my side and propped myself up on one elbow, trying to convince myself it was safe.
And then he woke up, with a groggy, "What you doing?"
Must've thought I was getting out of bed. He always wakes when I get out of bed.
I was delighted and dashed back over to him, mumbling, "Bad dream!".
He hugged me and slurred, "What sorta bad dream?"
"Monsters!" said I.
"Oh no, not monsters!" he said, "Don't worry I'll protect you."
A moment of silence while he held me sleepily, and then...
"Would you get me some water please?"
To be fair, if he'd woken me up with stories of monsters and asked me to get him water I would've told him to f*£~ off, but not my man. Nope, he forced his eyes open and groped his way out of bed, stopping to pick up the nearest weapon he could find - his hairbrush - then stomped his way to the bathroom, making lots of thumping noises and hitting the Big Bad Brush on the ground, all the while assuring me that he was giving the monsters a beating. Upon reaching the basin he said, "You want me to bring you some water, eh?"
"Ah no, don't worry, the cup in there is all yucky - just put the light on and I'll come drink from the tap."
So he did, and I did.
When we were safely back in bed again, he asked what sort of monsters they were.
"Zombies," I said.
"Well don't you worry, I turned them into paste, they're all gone now."
My hero.
I slept like a baby after that.


The moral of the story? My mother was right about eating cheese late at night. Next time I'll go easy on the pizza before bedtime.