Athbhliain faoi shéan is faoi mhaise daoibh

An t-am seo anuraidh bhí mé ag ullmhú le gabháil ar ais ag obair tar éis saoire máithreachais. Féach mar a chasann rotha mhór an tsaoil! Ní chuimhin liom an raibh aon dea-rúin agam anuraidh. Má bhí tá siad bainte amach agam nó ní raibh siad tábhachtach go leor chun stró a chur orm. Gach seans gur luaigh mé rud éigin faoi Spáinnis a fhoghlaim mar a dhéanaim chuile bhliain. Nó b’fhéidir go raibh nóta déanta agam dom féin faoin suíomh seo a athdhearadh. Hmmm. Tabharfaidh mé faoi ach ná déan dearmad riamh go b’é ainm an tsuímh céanna “One of these days…”
In ionad dea-rúin i mbliana tá mé chun cúpla rud a bhreac síos a bhfuil mé ag súil go mór leo i mbliana. Fuair mé r-phost ó mo chara sa Nua-Shealainn ar maidin ina raibh a leithéid luaite agus ceapaim gur bealach uathúil agus dearfach é chun tabhairt faoin athfhéachaint atá nádúrtha dúinn go léir ag an am seo den bhliain.

I got an email from a friend in New Zealand this morning in which she listed the events that she is looking forward to in 2008 – I thought it was a unique way to express the reflective spirit that is only natural at this time of year.

  • My birthday – I always look forward to it.
  • My new job – whatever it turns out to be it will be a challenge and an adventure
  • Himself’s new job – ditto!
  • S ramping up his conversationa skills – I look forward to greater insight to his strange little mind.
  • G starting school – agus tá súil agam go scaoilfidh a theanga Gaeilge dá bharr.
  • All the new babbies
  • All the weddings and the fact that I am not a bridesmaid means that I will be able to enjoy myself thoroughly and not suffer any friendship fallout.
  • Camping, here and abroad
  • Meeting my cousin E’s son for the first time
  • Visiting Cousin B in NYC
  • Summer in Ireland
  • Autumn

That should keep us going for a while!

My big pressie from Himself this year was a webcam (hello you don’t know me if you don’t know that I am a geek) so if you Skype me in future you can see me. Hurrah. Here’s a sample of what I look like on my webcam. Glamorous huh? Especially with the laundry in the background.

We had a great holiday. Santa Clause was a big hit this year (if I may say so myself) and we got some great presents from family and friends. A few too many chocolates and far too much baking on my part means that it’ll be Weight Watchers not-so-anonymous for the foreseeable future. However when I did weigh myself last night, it wasn’t quite so drastic as I expected. Speaking of food I must go and do the shopping.

The Breadmaker not winner

So I made my own bread last night. I need to work on that. The way I see it, it can’t be that difficult. If it was, bread wouldn’t still be on the menu after all these years.

Shocraigh mé mo shochair leasa shóisialta a shórtáil amach inniu. Bhuail mé isteach go dtí m’oifig áitiúil agus chuir mé ceist i nGaeilge ag an bhfáiltiú an mbeadh éinne ar fáil chun déileáil le m’éileamh trí Ghaeilge. Bhí mearbhall ar an bhfáilteoir ar dtús ar ndóigh ach chuir mé an ceist arís i mBéarla. Bhí sí ag ceapadh go raibh agus an bhfanfainn ar feadh soic go bhfeicfidh sí. Tháinig sí ar ais agus b’oth léi a rá nach raibh aon foirmeacha éilimh ar fáil i nGaeilge agus bhí Barry an fear le Gaeilge as láthair. Ach ansin d’iarr sí orm fanacht arís ar laetaobh, bhí a bainisteoir ag fiosrú an scéil. Cúpla bomaite níos moille tháinig a bainisteoir amach agus iarradh orm gabháil suas go dtí seomra eile agus bhí fear ann le Gaeilge. Gabh sé leithscéal liom (a) faoin easpa foirmeacha i nGaeilge (cén fáth nach déantar foirm amháin dóibh…?) agus (b) faoin rud nach eisean de ghnáth a phléann leis an bpobal. Dúirt sé liom go raibh sé tar éis na foirme a chuardach ar líne ach nach raibh sé ar fáil ansin ach oiread. Dúirt sé liom go bhfuil an bainisteoir réigiúnach acu ansin an-tiománta don Ghaeilge. Leanamar linn agus bhí sé an-chabhrach. Bhí dearmad déanta agamsa ar mo phas, thug sé a ainm dom agus dúirt sé liom scairt a chur air féin nuair a bhuailfinn ar ais le mo phas. Dúirt sé liom toisc m’éileamh a dhéanamh i nGaeilge ba chóir go mbeadh gach rud sórtáilte taobh istigh de sheachtain i gcomparáid le 3 seachtain do na Béarlóirí agus faoin am gur fhág mé bhí na daoine céanna fós ag fanacht is a bhí nuair a chuaigh mé isteach.

Sin ráite bhí níos mó Polainnís (glacaim leis) le feiceáil ar na cláracha fógraí agus fógraí oifigiúla ná mar a bhí Gaeilge. Ach bhí easpa comharthaíochta cabhrach ann cuma cén teanga.

Bhí íontas na n-íontas ormsa an méad sin de sheirbhís trí Ghaeilge a fháil ann. Mar a thuigimse é má ceannaíonn an bhainístíocht isteach ann bíonn seans i bhfad níos fearr i bhfeidhmiú na hAchta. Chuala mé freisin ó chara liom go bhfuil sé ag tabhairt faoi taighde ar an gceist seo, rud a bhí spéis agam féin ann ach áfach níl na hacmhainní agam.

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Day Job

If only I could be half as creative as GF (right) during this “downtime” I’d be doing well. I’ve just been invited to this exhibition “…scape” and very appropriately my friend GF has this piece in the exhibtion entitled Day Job. Appropriate because today is my first day as an officially unemployed person. Abs reckons that the fact that I had my letter printed today, even though I wrote it about a week ago, is a good omen. She is very positive

This morning I was in a place that I never thought I would see again: the driver testing centre on Orwell Road. Abs had her test so I had to be her fully licensed accompanying driver. Unfortunately she failed but it was her first time and for someone who’s only been driving since August she’s pretty good. I reckon she’ll get it next time. Nerves are an unpredictable quantity.

About six people took the test at the same time as her and only one of them passed. Those odds aren’t too good. No wonder there is such a long waiting list. It would be interesting to see how many re-tests are on the list at any one time. If 5 out of 6 people failed even one exam on the Leaving Cert the teaching methods, the curriculum and the exam would all be overhauled. There is something not right with this system and certainly you have to question the training if 5 out of 6 people can fail. And then drive away…

All of tomorrow’s party postponed

Do you see what I’m doing there with my pop cultural reference being juxtaposed with my son’s 4th birthday party? It shows I’m still with it even though I’m a mom.

G is sick again so we’ve had to postpone his birthday for a fortnight. This is the third time in as many months that he has had a tummy bug so I’m getting a little worried.

And before you say it I do wonder if it’s something to do with the lurid pink icing. Or the fact that this cake was birthday cake no. 2 although he didn’t eat much of either.

My cousin R was over earlier and we were talking about all sorts of things before she had to go off to work. Among these many things the issue of weight came up and she commented as have a number of people lately that I have lost weight which is true and I am very glad that I am (just!!) under the 9 stone mark again at last. I do not write this to boast or to undermine anybody else. Those of you who know me in the flesh know I am only a small woman as G said yesterday at 5 foot exactly so I should be between 8 1/2 and 9 so I’m happy. The reason I write about this is because although I don’t think discussing weight is an appropriate topic of conversation because I think women are tyrannised by unrealistic “role” models (pity they aren’t rolly models!) and the last thing we should do to each other is add to it. However it is apparent from the frequency that comedians do the “and don’t ever get involved in the does-my-bum-look-big-in-this conversation” comedy routine that men find this obsession baffling. Tommy Tiernan did one recently at the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal (not the clip I was looking for but funnier than the one of which I was thinking). So men may be baffled by our obsession but there is little in the world more baffling than going from a size 16 to a size 8 twice in 4 years and I am not including the time while pregnant. There is nothing more baffling than trying to be supermum when you feel like you are dressed with as much style as a Siberian on a Saturday night in the 80s.

And speaking of women, the Irish Times didn’t print my letter about Bias against Working Mothers. It was a bit all over the place to be fair and I’m not 100% whether I’ll publish it myself. But obviously I have been thinking about the issue lately and while listening to an interview on Seán Moncrieff’s show on Newstalk yesterday about Industrial Relations and various news reports about the Dublin Bus and Aer Lingus strikes etc. it suddenly occurred to me how mothers can prove for once and for all that they are an essential part of the workforce, be they working outside the home or not: a nationwide strike. Now while I currently have no gripe with my working conditions (I don’t have any) I would certainly down tools for a day to support my sisters. National No Working Women’s Day. The Pink Flu. Strike while the Iron’s Hot. Wans Strike and they’re out. I wonder what would happen…? I wonder could I organise it…? I must contact all the mothers that I know… I wonder would any of the trade unions go for it?

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