Life is rather hectic when you add a small person into the mix. Suddenly the days race past, the bedtimes all seem to be like Groundhog day and there just never seems to be enough time in the day. It would probably help if I was a tad more organised. It’s on the to do list, to sort my life out, to rid myself of the stress of “oh crap, I was meant to do that TODAY”. Yes, that happens all the time. I apologise profusely to those I’ve missed coffees with, handed in stuff late to, and completely forgotten to text you back. Life gets distracting. The lovely folks in Busy B sent me a Busy Life Diary to check out upon hearing my disorganised plight. I’ve seen them the last few years and thought they were ingenious.
Although I live in Cork City since 2009, a special part of my heart lies in Waterford. It’s where I was born, it’s where I spent the Summers and weekends of my teenage years. It’s where a whole lot of my family live. I may have been brought up in County Wexford, but Waterford was MY home. On our visits home I love to share this loveÂ with E, which I’m hoping will become more frequent when I’m fully road legal! I love coming to Waterford City for Winterval, the Winter Festival which has been a massive success in recent years. This is the first year we’ve been down to visit the Winterval Santa Grotto in the Medieval Museum. I think I was looking forward to it more than the child! Here’s how we got on….
I’ve written recently about suffering with chronic pain. I’ve done so for two years, since a few months into my pregnancy, and have experienced many ups and downs with it. There have been many visits to many different doctors, trying different medications, different physical therapies and many mornings waking up and hoping “Today Is The Day” (As of yet, It’s never been the day). Pain is a constant in my life, which I’m working on reducing alongside some incredible medical professionals, but one that I try my hardest not to get me down.
While listening to podcasts while out walking one day recently, I came across an interview which my Dad had recommended I listen to, Sean Moncrieff interviewing the TV Presenter and author Andrea Hayes. She spoke about her life living with chronic pain, the feelings it instilled in her, different things she had done to cope. While her pain is from a different source, listening to her I related so much to the interview and found myself sending it to other friends who have suffered with chronic illness – all of whom reacted the same as me “I’m not cracking up, it’s not just me, she’s telling our story”. So, when I got home I downloaded a copy of the book “Pain Free Life: My Journey To Wellness” and was excited to get stuck in.
I like things which make as little mess as possible – living with a toddler tends to use up all love for mess makers in one fell swoop. Since having said toddler, quite a lot of time seems to be spent in the kitchen, making copious amounts of tea, preparing snacks for the eternal snacker (but sparrow eater) and trying to figure out different ways to try fit more healthy food into our diets (this one is a work in progress). All those snacks (fruit in particular) and teabags do add up and can make up quite a lot of mess. In fact, since we moved into our new apartment which has a dishwasher, it’s the only part of mealtimes which can really be complained about. Between messy liquids and smelly Â leftovers, if it took more than a day or two to fill the bin, we could be left with some really unpleasant hang-ons until bin day. This was even without having a designated caddy like I’ve had in other houses, which was generally dreaded if the weather got in any way warm. So when I got an email last week asking if I’d like to try out Obeo’s compost bags to see if they’d improve our kitchen fare, I was thrilled to try them out.
Oh, the weather outside is… well, it’s bloody awful for the last few weeks, isn’t it? While I consider myself extremely lucky to not have been affected by the horrific flooding around the country, it has been pretty miserable out, meaning that my big wandering walks have been lessened and more time trying to keep a toddler amused and myself sane has been had. It’s been a long holiday break, but there’s nothing like getting stuck into a series to make the time go faster. Enter Netflix, saviour of the rainy day blues.
The concept of rape culture is something that was probably first highlighted to me around the time of the furore around that “Blurred Lines” song – it’s not that my life had been in a massive bubble from it, but rather it had never been pointed out in such a way that it had a name, that it was a thing, not just a part of normal life. Things previously seen as “banter” or “just being lads” began to be framed in a whole new, less rose tinted, light. I consider myself extremely lucky in this regard, that it isn’t something that had hit me personally, that it wasn’t something on my radar. I remember being horrified hearing the details of the Steubenville case, the victim blaming, where society didn’t look at the horrific acts suffered by the victim but rather the damage to the reputations of these “promising young men” and the ruination of their futures, as if their “indiscretion” shouldn’t be something they needed to face up to, and one girl shouldn’t get to ruin their lives. This wasn’t the first case in the US in recent years where this was the premise; Savannah Dietrich from Kentucky, was assaulted and recorded in 2011, and faced her “justice” as her attackers having their records expunged by the age of 19 and a half, despite her having to live with their actions for the rest of her life, then faced potential incarceration herself for breaking a gag order by naming them online as her attackers. As a long term fan of shows such as Law and Order SVU, I’d seen time and time again the “ripped from the headlines” stories where girls and women who had been violated were unable to win a case against their attacker as much of the time, it came down to a “he said, she said”, and often, she wasn’t believed. It wasn’t until the Slane Girl debacle, almost a year after the Steubenville case that we got to see it hit our shores here, the difference in attitudes and the ruination of reputation and impact of social media in how we perceive sexual conduct in society. There were no Slane Boys, there was no shaming of them for their actions which were equal to that of the young woman involved. Instead we saw a public “slut-shaming”, photos going viral over social media, a drunken mistake displayed to the world and in an instant ruining a reputation and a life. It is with these cases, and others like them in mind, that Louise O Neill wrote the powerful “Asking for It”.
I’ve been changing nappies on a daily basis for the last 16 months. I’ve become somewhat of an old hand at it, there are no more pee on the sofa incidents, and it becomes less of a two man job as each day passes. So, you’d wonder how after 16 months of dealing with changing nappies multiple times a day, how I would still forget to pack the basics in the bag. I’m in need of a one-stop-everything-in-one-place solution – I blame the sleep deprivation!Read More