Thursday, 21 January 2010

Un-sexy sex

Is there anything less sexy in the whole goddamn world than baby making sex? I think not. Not, I hasten to add, that I am in the throws of such activities, but it is on my mind... See Husband and I are of the theory 'in for a penny, in for a pound' where Sprogs are concerned. And, although mentally I feel as fresh as a daisy, physically I'm no spring chicken. So if we are gonna throw another grenade into our happy little existence where Sproglet sleeps until 8:30am at weekends, we'd better get a move on.

Casting my mind back to when we conceived Sproglet - I want to tell you he was the product of a champagne fuelled night of passion in a rustic country lodge replete with roaring fire. In reality it was Husband cursing me for waving my ovulation sticks whilst he was trying to watch the match, and him subsequently being marched into bed where he lay like a virgin awaiting his fate. All this 'sex on demand' aint half well... unsexy. Weeing on sticks, temperature charting, checking EWM (I give initials only as it is too grim to say) and all the loopy stuff one can do in order to maximise their chances of conception make the whole process more of a science project rather than a passion one. I almost feel like if we delve into these tepid waters again, I should be wearing goggles, drawing graphs and composing a results table mid shag.

There is the added problem that Husband works nights, gets in at 3- 4am and I am up with Sproglet whilst still in darkness to get us both out the door on time. When exactly are we meant to meet in the middle? When one of us is comatose? Please don't suggest leisurely weekend morning sex. We have a small child. Anyone with children under 5 who can't afford nannies will have difficulty remembering when they last had lazy Sunday morning sex... Or else they are lying. Or have grandparents next door. Or are fucking show offs. Yes, yes, we could plan a weekend away, but for that to co-incide with all the scientific stuff would be a miracle, and frankly a bit of a downer on an otherwise fab weekend. After cocktails, a 5 course meal, two bottles of red and some fine port to end - and go on, a bit of cheese - who really wants to have a baby making shaggathon?

Like I say - we haven't made a firm decision on this one yet. Every time Sproglet throws a teenage style strop we shrink away from the thought of doubling our stress loads. Until then I might just hold out hope that the stork really exists...

Wednesday, 20 January 2010


Only two posts ago I was blogging about my beloved VSBs. Tonight I popped down to return a DVD and also to try and explain sheepishly that Sproglet has hidden a DVD of Garfield cartoons somewhere in the house but can't remember where, and for the life of me I can't find the damn thing.

As soon as I walked in and clocked my fav VSB A's long face I knew something was wrong. For a moment I thought he was going to say he was leaving. Then he told me that the other VSB - the beautiful, handsome boy who wanted to be an actor, was dead. He was only 18. All I could think was how he promised me he would watch Amadeus and we had agreed to chat it over and now, now that would never happen. Poor A, losing his buddy. He looked shell shocked.

I don't know why it makes me so sad. I didn't know this guy well at all, he wouldn't even have known my name. But he was so young, so bursting with creativity and talent. So bloody handsome. And now, he is gone. What a tragedy. VSB A didn't want to go into the details surrounding his (possibly accidentally self-inflicted) death. There we were gassing about movies only a week ago and now...
Bless him, all that life left to live. All those amazing experiences cut short. Rest in peace Ben.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Fires on the hill

The snow has thawed. Melted away to nothing, only small hard clumps stubbornly remaining on odd surfaces as proof that it was ever here to begin with.

Life feels normal again. My conjunctivitis heavy eyes are sparkly once more; my throat infection has disappeared, my cough has all coughed up and apart from two teenage style spots on my chin I am back to my usual fighting fit self. The acorn of fear that the snow watered into a giant tree has dripped away - no longer do I have to panic about how to get work, how to get food, how to get Sproglet to his school and nursery etc.

So just as life is starting to feel like it should have done come Jan 4th... I went to the movies. Husband turned 33 yesterday so he got the pick of the flicks. He picked 'The Road' which I barely knew about, save that the cinema poster was full of 4 stars - gushing what a masterpiece is was. Oh my god, if there is a bleaker film ever made, I have yet to see it. Every minute was torture. I stared at my watch, I chewed my straws (a habit I took up years ago trying to quit smoking and have continued as part of my viewing pleasure at the movies ever since), I stared at Husband, I did anything but try to look at the fucking screen.

Set in a post apocalyptic world, we follow the journey of a man with his son, trying to survive in the dusty grey wastelands, filled with cannibals and rapists, which the world has now become. I'm not a big fan of grubby, barren, rapist filled flicks - I don't appreciate Mad Max and most films set in the depressing post-bomb/environment eroded/post civilisation as we know it, world.

Eventually I could stand no more - not because the film wasn't beautiful, haunting, or engaging enough - simply because I couldn't bear another second. Husband came out about 15 mins later and promptly sobbed his heart out. The poor fella couldn't speak the whole journey home, nor even an hour later. Even today I tried to coax out of him the juicy final minutes but every time he spoke of the Father and son he welled up, choked up and couldn't speak. Now Husband is a hardened Aussie and yet he was like some pre-menstrual teen all day. He claimed it was the saddest film he had ever seen. What I saw haunts me still - and yet, it is only a movie, taken from the great imagination of Cormac McCarthy who apparently took inspiration for his book during a 2003 visit to El Paso, Texas, with his young son. Imagining what the city might look like in the future, he pictured "fires on the hill" and thought about his son.

It struck me that what we are witnessing now in Haiti, is not that dissimilar. With 200,000 feared dead, the capital flattened, thousands of injured people unable to get medical aid and thousands desperately trying to shelter from the baking heat in makeshift camps set up amongst the carnage. Unimaginable horror.

So if you haven't donated - please do: Monica is collecting donations for the Red Cross. The hell on earth I shrunk away from on screen is nothing compared to what is happening there, so go on, dig deep, as every penny counts.

And whatever you do, don't go seeing 'The Road' on a hot date. Or on any date come to think of it.

Monday, 11 January 2010

I heart the VSBs

I got in trouble last night. Yep. Not for flirting with hot young men, dancing on tables, flashing my pants, rocking in at 3am or the like. No, I was back 27 minutes late from the video store and had missed doing bath time. I know, I know, is the DVD store these days, but in my tiny mind it will always be the video store.

I'll let you in on a secret. The video store is my guilty pleasure. I while away my time there shooting the breeze with the Video Store Boys whenever I get the chance. They aren't the first bunch of VSBs that I have engaged with. No, I'm a bit of hussy when it comes to VSBs - I'll hang out with any of 'em that wanna debate the merits of the latest releases, salty versus sweet and our big top five movies - ever/of the noughties/80s etc.

At the moment I don't have to pay for any DVDs I rent as one VSB and I have sufficiently bonded. He is a typical VSB: talks like he is permanently stoned, smokes rollies, wants to get into 'music, man' and is more often than not depressed. I love him. He strokes Sproglet's hair, gives us free popcorn and relishes the opportunity to make a few suggestions other than the bog standard 'watch The Hangover, yeah great Friday night movie mate.'

He has a new mate working there who is obscenely cute: swollen lips that look almost bruised, huge puppy eyes, knife edge cheekbones and an exclamation mark of hair. He is dating the keyboard player in a hip band that naturally I have never heard of. Last night they asked me my fav ever movie - a question to live or die by in my book - and I muttered 'Amadeus.' (A Milos Forman masterpiece: The man. The music. The magic. The madness. The murder. The mystery. The motion picture). Both had never seen it. Phew! I lived to breathe another day - until they watch it and give their verdicts at least. I gave them the hard sell and they bought it. Obscenely cute one listed all other Milos Forman directed movies and wagered it would be good. For one glorious moment I felt I had imparted wisdom. Plus the cute one eyed me differently and I knew that his judgement on me had changed in that split second. As I said, live or die by your choices in the video store...

Thing is, for those precious 27 mins I am young again. We banter and show off movie knowledge and appreciate opinions and time just races by. VSB told me that I'm not like the desperate housewives where I live - the ultimate compliment. He's just back from some exotic holiday and looks far too healthy for the usual VSB pallor. One that is slightly vampirish - they sleep all day and only come alive while online/downloading/watching box sets at night.

There is one VSB who I don't click with. He looks afraid every time I enter the shop, his black curls falling over his face as he buries his head in the computer and desperately wishes that I would remain silent. He answers in a monosyallbic way and can barely string a sentance together. But I force him - I make him talk to me - every constipated word squeezed from his lips is pure agony for him. But I have met his sort before - when I lived in central London our local VSB ignored me some days, other days chatted like a long lost friend. He was utterly mad - and still, I won him over, or perhaps more correctly, wore him down. Sullen VSB knows I am wishing that one of the other VSBs was around instead, but is duty bound to keep the customer happy and entertain me with some idle chat for a minute or two. He always gives in, his need to impart movie wisdom greater than his need to snub.

Healthy lookin' VSB is threatening to quit which dismays me beyond belief - not only because my freebies will stop - but where will I get my VSB fix? Although I console myself with the thought that I have laid enough groundwork with cute VSB to warrent a 3 for two deal at least. Gawd bless the VSBs!

Thursday, 7 January 2010

New year, new decade, new post.

So how was it for you?

The new year, nay decade, is upon us and as we all emerge from our xmas slumber we squeak our eyes clean, survey the carnage of yesteryear and embark on all things cleansing and harmonious - no?

I'm trying not to give myself a gazillion resolutions that only add more pressure to my ever-curving shoulders. But i can't seem to help myself...

Let's go back first though... To Xmas. Something about the stressful journey home seemed to bash away at all my outer coating shell and somehow I felt very exposed and vulnerable once on Irish soil. Some deep cavern inside left me hollow, determined to see everyone and have a christmas moment with them all and somehow fill myself up. Every moment had to count as time was so precious and all I succeeded in doing was amping up my insane need for perfection at all costs.

Husband is used to this Irish merry-go-round of families and friends and whirlwind lunches, drinks, dinners, tea, cakes, go on have some more, will you stay the night, och you aren't leaving yet are you, is that what you call a drink? ways of Irish socialising. He watched me say no to well... no one... and exhaust myself. Same old same old. Mum's ex invited her into his house for the first time in 25 years on Xmas day. It was all terribly post modern and civilised. As if that wasn't enough my Dad also smoked the pipes of peace and Xmas evening ended with us all gathered around watching Sproglet kick a rugby ball with his cousins while we sipped wine and my Mother and Step-Mother traded tales of my Father. All very healing. It made me realise how far we have all come, how it is time for me to lay my ghosts to rest if they all can.

New year was wonderful. I travelled to York to see relatives and then on to old old schoolfriends for fine food and wine with their local friends. I found myself drinking tea at 11pm to wash down my friend Hannah's obscenely good chocolate pavlova. My toast to 2010 was one small glass of champagne and a sober thought of how I want 2010 to be.

I'm excited about it. There is lots of change coming and I feel energised by it. Husband and I chatted through some things - we finally had the time, the glorious breathing time, to do so. I'm leaving work a month early, to give me more time to write this darn book. I am going to birth this sucker no matter how hard it is or how long it takes me for my brain to dilate! He was supportive and understanding and something in all my pre-xmas rants hit home. I think we are both on the same wavelength at long last.

Sproglet was brilliant - a social bunny like his mother. He went from house to house, bed to bed without a whimper. At one house he claimed to be a tad scared of sleeping at the top of the house, so curled up with his wee buddy Fergus for the night - too cute. On Boxing night I hung out with my old schoolmates and their husbands, girlfriends etc and it made me wish I could do that more often. With the people with whom you have such a shorthand, where the banter flows, where 3am seems early to leave the craic at the table and where the roots you planted years ago bear fruit in all you share.

So all in all a great, if exhausting festive period. My need to cram as much in as possible to fill that hole shone through as always. Maybe I'll never change. Oh well. This year is the year to stress less and laugh more. To give up reading trash and take up a book instead. To see more of those that matter and cull those that don't. To spend more time with people in (the) flesh than on line. To fit in my size 27/28 jeans without my muffin cookin on the top. But to enjoy my muffins when I eat them all the same.

I like the sound of 2010. Stick around and we'll see how it goes. Happy new year folks!