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Life in arrghland

A blog about the life of an alien in a little town in Ireland…

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Life

Winter Blues

Every winter in Ireland, I suffer from a light to medium case of the blues. I don’t know how to get over it but every year it starts out as a mild case of down town funk and progresses steadily to a medium level depression and pessimism.seasonal-depression

This is in stark contrast to my excitement for the Christmas season and the enjoyment to look forward to from having family around. I feel like i’m slowly losing my tolerance for the cold weather, the wind, slate, snow and darkness. Coming from a predominantly sunny and hot country, I complained for years about the heat but my body was used to it. Moving to Ireland was a bit of a shocker in those terms. How do people survive with all year cold weather. Even the Summers are cool and wet!

I am now convinced that I could never retire here so I have to start working on a plan that will allow me to live in a hot climate in oh about 25yrs.

I don’t know how much longer I can take living in such a cold and wet country. How do you get over the winter blues? Please share because God knows, I need a few pointers.

7 Days of erm..Dating.

Last week Hubby and I were having a conversation about how since I started working full time we’ve barely said two words to each other every day. Opposing work schedules, a commitment to fitness and an active social life had seen us reduced to a ‘how was your day’ benign conversation every night as he walked through the front door and I schlepped upstairs to bed. So I came up with a great idea to have seven full days of date nights. In a way, to cram 6 months worth of date nights (we usually have one a month), into 7 days.

The first day was as fun as you might imagine. We talked, we giggled, we had erm..fun times. It was great!

We struggled by day three. We still had a lot to talk about but two days straight of late nights and early mornings was beginning to take its toll on me. Hubby was still up for anything and excitable as usual. But then he gets to sleep in the next day till noon because his work schedule is different from mine.

By day 5 and after staying up till 1 am in the morning with my eyes barely open as I stumbled up to bed, I gave Le Hubs a warning to not plan anything the next day that kept me out of my bed after 11 pm. This was an almost impossible feat considering he does not come home from work till 10 pm most nights!

On the 6th day we both agreed we’d made a mistake. We were both royally exhausted and I was already planning a solitary escape for the weekend. We both tried very hard to gather enough excitement for the evening but agreed we were relieved there was only one more day to go. Day 7 is today. I suggested that for the last day, we should just have a blanket picnic in the living room, in front of the fire and watch Christmas movies. That’s all I’m fit for at the end of a very busy week.

I think I’ve had enough dates to last me till next Summer!too_tired_for_sex

You don’t have kids? Your life must be perfect.. and other variations.

My husband and I have been married six years now and have been TTCing since day 1 of saying I do. We are yet to be successful. Most friends and family know not to pressure us or ask how our baby making mission is going but there is that one friend that didn’t get the memo on sensitivity.

I’ve not know this friend for long so for quite some time I excused her behaviour for just

interior arrangement of a bedroom with living room chair inside  couple bedroom colour bathroom door ideas for small spaces
This is not my house

being ignorant of the facts. Less than a year ago  I finally mentioned that my child free home was not by choice. She was suitably sympathetic and stopped her insensitive comments for a brief period. Now they’re back with a vengeance and brutal in it’s precision and frequency. It’s like a slap in the face. I literally gasp when it happens.

 

We all know people like this. I find it hard to figure out the motivation or thought process to saying things like this to other people.

Wrong: Oh you’re lucky you don’t have kids to mess up your house. It’s no wonder it’s always tidy.

Right: I admire how well you keep your home. It’s so tidy.

Wrong: What do you mean your house is filthy and you’ve had to clean all weekend? It’s only two of you. It’s not like you have kids..

Right: I hate house work. Fair play to ye.

Wrong: You sometimes leave dishes in the sink overnight? What dishes? Who are you even cooking for? Is it not just two of you? At least you don’t have to cook for kids.

Right: I do the same OR I love doing dishes, lemme come help you out some night.

… And variations of these types of conversations.

How can you justify saying this to someone who’s confided their fertility issues to you? So you have six children under the age of eight and have no free time? Is this enough to warrant such behaviour? Is it resentment, jealousy, tiredness, tactlessness, one-upmanship? What?

Why resent others for choices they never made? Why not love your life however you find it. Stop thinking others have it easier than you just because you can’t see the struggle. Let people live.

Drained

I am an introvert. Some of you already knows what this means in terms of where I get my energy from. I always need to recharge otherwise I’m bad company in spite of my love of people. So this October was a challenge in of itself.

You see, not only is October my birthday, but a few of my cousins and friends are also born the same month. What this usually means is that my social life tends to explode during this time of the year. Normally I can control said social life to an extent as it’s not every year my friends and family members make a fuss about celebrating their birthdays. But for some reason, 2016 was the year everyone decided to have a big party all within days and weeks of each other!

My birthday is on the 16th so I decided to celebrate the following weekend on the 22nd. It was a milestone birthday so I wanted to throw a BIG cocktail party. Understand this is going out of my normal element but I kinda felt like I had to do something to mark the new milestone age. Yeah, I’m not doing that again soon!bdaycake

Turns out, two of my friends (with birthdays on the 12th and 17th) had been planning a joint birthday celebration complete with fancy dress for the same weekend too.Then a couple friends who had a destination wedding a month ago, also decided to throw a wedding party for those who couldn’t make it abroad, for the weekend of the 29th.

Inlaws 40th wedding anniversary this year? You guessed it. Early October! Friend’s hen do before getting hitched? Same day as wedding party! All this with my job, teaching Sunday school and the plethora of activities we planned for the teenage church for two weeks of the month. Insane!

I feel like I’ve been smiling, grimacing and eating cake nonstop since the first week of the month. How do people with super packed social lives do it? I am royally exhausted!

Time for a spa break I think and no friends invited thankyouverymuch…

Two Irish Seasons

Winter and Pre-Winter. Both with generous lashings of rain.

While everybody is getting excited about Fall weather and talking about finally wearing layers and season appropriate colours, We here in the south of Ireland are silently grumbling about the fact that it’s been kinda like Fall since July.

You think I jest? Nah. For the past few years, Summer weather has been skippingirishweather Ireland entirely and visiting our neighbours up North instead. Seeing pictures of my friends in London wearing shorts and tank tops in June was the one thing guaranteed to bring up the green-eyed monster of envy as I sat in my sitting room with a blanket carefully tucked around me.

This ‘Summer’ of 2016 was the absolute worst. After waiting impatiently for the Sun to burst forth following (a very short) Spring, We were delighted to have a solid week of sunshine and warm(ish)weather in June. Then there was that slightly sunny week we also had in July. That’s it folks. Summer was officially over.

The bitterness is real people and I may never get over it. Bah humbug to Fall and all those stores already putting up Christmas decorations in early October.

Irish weather has made me a grinch.

Epiphanies

via Daily Prompt: Realize

6- The year you realize you are funny and that there is power in the ability to make someone laugh.

10- The age you realize books are an acceptable and fun way of escape. You devour everything, from Enid Blyton to M&Bs to Encyclopedia Britannicas.

13- The moment you realize your body is changing and you are powerless to stop it.

15- The moment you fall in love and realize what longing truly is.

17- The time you realize your parents do not know everything and can make mistakes.

18- The year you left home and realized you knew nothing.

19- The year you sunk so low into depression you did not think you’d come out of it. You realize how much your family’s presence had contributed to your positive mental health.

25- The moment you realize it’s never too late to go home.

25- The year you realize you can’t do it alone and found God. Everything changed.

30- The birthday where you realized you had to leave.

33- That time you realized you had a voice and that you were okay with who you’d become.

35- When you realize you married the right person.

39- That moment you realize you have a lot to say and are ready to say it.

To be continued…epiphany-word-nerd-definition-via-lawhimsy

Realize

My Head

via Daily Prompt: Breakthrough

I’m still waiting for my breakthroughori

It hasn’t happened yet but i’m hopeful

Six years and six days…true i’m counting

Down for a change of destiny

As I argue my case with sighing and groaning

Pleading with my ori* to balance things out

Consulting and praying for violence

The violent force that pushes through

Yes, I’m waiting for my breakthrough

 

*Ori which means ‘head’ is one’s spiritual intuition and destiny*
breakthrough

Value and Yoruba Wisdom

via Daily Prompt: Value

yoruba-bronze-head
Yoruba Copper mask for King Obalufon, Ife, Nigeria c. 1300 C.E.

The Yorubas have quite a few things to say about value (Iye). Yoruba proverbs often provide a record of the distinct voice of the people on various subjects.

A k fi ran ikn gbn ti gbnrn n. This translates to:
One does not brush off antelope meat for squirrel meat
Meaning, never prefer something of little value to something of great value.

In Yoruba culture, antelope meat is definitely superior to squirrel meat (bear with me my vegetarian friends). Invariably it is advised that one learns the value of a thing and pursue it, crave it and desire it. At the same time, placing value on trifles is akin to foolishness and a suspicion of imbecility.

K ni w nn-u kt mta dnrn?
What is there to wear in a pair of trousers bought at three for three hundred cowries, or three a penny?
(Making) Much ado about a worthless thing.

What do the Yorubas value? In summary, what we value above all are relationships. This is reflected in the values we place on Marriage, Parenthood, and Elder respect. We  also value Education/Wisdom/Knowledge, the Arts/Beauty and Philosophy.

But what do I value?

In no particular order; Family, God, and love.

That’s it. Nothing else matters.

Experience has taught me that I can live without most things even if having those things make life a little more pleasant. Money is great to have but does not bring happiness where those three things are missing. Friends are great to have but can never be a substitute for family and so on.

Now saying you value something will not always be evident in the way you live your life. Someone says he values his family but spends 80% of his awake time at work and with friends. Also sometimes what you value can be at odds with what your culture or community values as a whole. This can be a source of tension (push/pull) in life as you struggle to balance your values with those of the world.

Your actions will show what you really value in life. I hope mine reflects those three things I’ve said I do value. Often times we must be vigilant so our actions and life reflect the core values of our heart.

What do you value?

 value

Race week

September is race week in my little town Ireland.

For decades, people have been coming from all over the world to see some of the best horses (and jockeys) in Ireland come try their luck in North Kerry. Can I14362621_10153873894201056_1146743205206809394_o admit that I absolutely love my town during this week? Well I love it and I hate it just a teeny weeny bit.

The town heaves with the masses that week, lots of families pour in because of the amusement center set up and I must admit this is one of my favourite parts of the week besides seeing the horses. I spent Friday night walking around the amusement part with a friend who was determined to see me die on on of the rides. She did manage to get me on one of them but that won’t happen again. Nope. Not for me!

Ladies day is also a sight to behold. I loved seeing young teenage couples dressed out to the nines in both age appropriate and not so appropriate clothes. Young love eh? It’s my favourite day to go but I had to work so boo!

I did go to the races on Saturday
which is the last day of event. I backed a winner three times out of the eight races of the day (I only stayed for seven races tho). It’s my best record yet.

Night time is wheumbrellan it gets crazy during race week. The pubs are full to bursting and so are the sidewalks. The chippers are open till the wee hours of the morning catering to the ones who need greasy food to soak up all the alcohol drunk during the night time revelling. I don’t particularly enjoy the part of trying not to hit the drunks that stumble unto the road without a thought to their life or mine but that’s another rant i’m not ready to get into today. You should definitely try to attend one when you’re in Kerry.

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