Friday, April 29, 2011

My Royal wedding memory

Today wedding fever hit the world. What will be your abiding memory of it?
Will it be the gorgeous Grace Kelly-esque dress
I still think she was upstages by the bridesmaid! Has she never hear of "ugly bridesmaid" syndrome,
the roaring crowds, the snogaton (wha') on the balcony?
For me, it is being stuck in a stuffy plane on the tarmac of the runway in Istanbul, take-off being delayed for an hour and a half because our flight over England coincided with their appearance on the balcony!!!
Despite all that, I wish them all the best.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Is honesty always the best policy?

I have had a hectic few days, finished working backstage on "Our House", then onto "Tom and Viv", tried to get packed for Turkey while simultaneously attempting to clean my house and mow the lawn (I mean moss and dandelions). And in the middle of all that  I had to book Roxy into the car hospital.
One morning I went out to find her left rump all scratched and dented.

I suppose it could have been worse, it could have been mine!
It must have happened one of the nights I was away with "Tom and Viv". Obviously someone ran//backed into her while parking, saw there was no one around and sped off. I only noticed it a few days later.
As I will be away for the next ten days this is the perfect time to get her fixed.
I rang my nice car repair man and explained my predicament.
"Did you get the name of the person who did it?" he asked, wondering who was going to shoulder the bill.
"Nope," I replied.
"B^*#"$d", he retorted."You must be raging."
Actually I can't really get annoyed. If it had been me who had been the culprit, if I had dented someone's car in a dark carpark with no witnesses or CCTV footage, would I be honest enough to own up?
All I can say is that......I honestly don't know if I would!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Dutti Frutti

We finished the run of "Our House" last night...and on to "Tom and Viv" tonight. Dress rehearsal was taking place in The Mill theatre in Dundrum Shopping Centre. It's not a shopping haven I go to often as its on the southside while the northside ones are much more accessible for me!
I was a little early so I had a little wander around the centre. I had a  flashback to Abu Dhabi when I saw

It was one of the best shops there and even more appealing seeing as there was no branch of it in Ireland at the time. In fact they only opened their solitary Irish store in Dundrum a few years ago.
It had been my favourite store....until an incident turned me off it!
My friend also loved to shop there. She was a size 6.....max.
And that's a Europian size 6, not an American one.
She was betwixt and between two dresses and couldn't make a choice.
"I can't make up my mind. I'll go off and think about it and then decide."
The assistant could see a sale going out the door so she resorted to drastic measures.
"Madam better not wait too long. The big sizes sell out very quickly."
BIG??? She's a size 6 for God's sake. Where does that leave me? What on earth size do you have to be, to be classified as a small?

Excuse me, does this tampon make me look fat?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Celebrity Spotting in Mullingar

Easter holidays are here at last! I am heading to Turkey on Tuesday. Those of you who have been reading my blog since last year will know that I am a professional suitcase packer. In my diary I write down what I am going to wear each day,even what accessories are needed. Every item must go with at least two others in my suit, which means that I have a fully co ordinated wardrobe for two weeks for less than 17kgs.
Well not this year!
I am working backstage on  "Our House-the Musical" in Leixlip, which runs until Saturday night. On Sunday and Monday night it's "Tom and Viv" in Dundrum. And on Tuesday morning its onto Turkey! As a result I don't have as much as a pair of knickers packed. Panic is beginning to creep in.
After school I had to boot it into Mullingar to the bank. There was a Disneyesque queue winding its way in front of me. As I went to join it, I could see a young fella of about 19 leaning on a counter, texting away.
I wonder if he is in the queue. I'll get in front of him anyway. It'll save me at least 20 seconds. Time is precious.
He was having none of it however and he took his rightful place in front of me. Seconds later I heard an American voice drawling behind me.
"Aren't you one of our Olympic boxers?"
Now hold on a minute, I know I have been swimming a bit, but I don't think I've toned up that much!
Oops, she wasn't talking to me, but to Mr.Texter.
He smiled and replied that he was.

Phew, thank God I didn't challenge him about not standing in line properly!
I immediately was all ears. There is nothing I like more than a good bout of ear-wigging. I love listening into other people's conversations as everyone has a great story to tell. I am also quite good at lip reading. Very useful for catching kids at the end of the classroom not discussing what they're supposed to!
I don't hide behind plants or hold a glass up to a wall, in order to hear what people are saying. All you need to do it stand or sit beside your target and remain inconspicuous. They will rattle on, quite oblivious to their audience.
"Aren't you one of our Olympic boxers?"
"Well, yes. I got to the final nine."
I don't know about you, but I was impressed. I came ninth in the Raharney Community Games 200metre race in 1976 and was very proud of myself. Coming ninth in the Olympics is even better than that!
So I was now very excited about the prospect of finding out what it takes to be an Olympian. I would never have the nerve to go up to a stranger and start asking them questions. But I was sure this woman would have no problem.
But I was wrong. Oh she had no problem talking to him, but it became obvious in the first few sentences that she was more more interested in telling him her story, than in listening to his.
"Oh really. Well when we moved back to Ireland, my three sons joined a boxing club. Two of them gave it up but my eldest who is 33 now kept it up......Now his sons box.....blah, blah, blah.
We slowly snaked around the poles. Bless him. I felt sorry for him. He smiled for a while and then I could see his eyes begin to glaze over. Even I got bored and I am the world's nosiest person! He made some polite reply and promptly returned to his texting.
You would think that this was an obvious hint that the conversation was ended. No! She began again.
"What training are you doing for London 2012/"
Oh, interesting question. Must listen to this."
He stopped mid text and replied
"I'm just back from training in Miami...."
He was cut off at the pass again!
"Oh when I was in America I was near to where Mike Tyson was in jail. I wrote to him and do you know what....he replied! Imagine that. He took the time to answer my letter.
Ah listen here, Missus. HE WAS IN JAIL! What the hell else had he to do to pass the time????
Another polite reply and a return to texting.
"I also have Muhammad Ali's boxing glove......."
I was really astounded at her perseverance. I was even a little envious of it. There have been many times that I have wanted to go up to people that have caught my interest and ask them questions, but have been too reserved/shy/cowardly to do so. She was not giving up, even when it was obvious that her victim had had enough!
We eventually got up to the counters.
He went first....and silence descended in the queue. When he turned to move off, I stepped forward to get served. We made eye contact for a moment.
"Best of luck with your training," I said.
"Thanks a million," he replied with a wry smile.
And that is as invasive as I get!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Cast the first stone.

As it is approaching Holy Week, we were looking at the DVD of "The Greatest Story Ever Told" in class.
There had been a battle of wills as they had wanted to watch "The Passion of the Christ" and I shreiked in horror! They couldn't understand why I wouldn't show them an 18's film when they are only 11 and 12.
"But Miss, we've seen it before. Our parents let us watch it."
My reply was that they should be put in care if their parents are that irresponsible.
OK, that response may have been in my head, but I was very close to saying it aloud!
I was in Abu Dhabi when that film first came out. Being a country of censorship, surprisingly it was shown. But for one night only....and at midnight!
So of course we all wanted to see it! We felt very decadent heading into the cinema to see something that was "wrong"! I think I lasted about 15 minutes and then I had to leave. I don't do blood and guts very well!
Back to today. There was a scene where the men are just about to stone Mary Magdalene. Jesus steps forward and holds out a stone and says
"Let him who is without sin cast the first stone."
The men sheepishly turned away.
"That was was very clever of him," some of the class responded.
"But Miss, couldn't Jesus cast the first stone?"
Mmm, I think they're missing the whole point!!!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Signs I'm old-fashioned #1

I was in the photocopier room this morning when one of my pupils rushed in, all in a quandry. He had forgotten his hurling gear.....and there was a match on today.
"Ring home for it", I said, pointing to the phone on the wall.
I carried on with my photocopying of Easter tests....Muhaaaaaaaa! Evil laugh.
I could hear him dialling the numbers.
"Miss, it doesn't work", he complained after a minute.
"It was working a moment ago," I said looking up.
I was stopped in my tracks. He hadn't lifted the receiver but just pushed the buttons.
"Don't you know how to use a phone", I asked in amazement. "Lift the receiver first!"
"What's a receiver?" he asked. "You don't do that with a mobile."
OMG. There are now children who have never used a landline.
Those two a**holes might be right! I am a granny-esque type person!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A**holes.......A Rant!

I just don't get it. Last night started off like many a normal Friday night. A few of the women had arranged to meet in Fiona's house in Mullingar, order a Chinese, have a couple of glasses of vino and then head into town. All was going very nicely. Then I got kinda split up from the group as we were mid pub-swapping.
No panic. Mullingar isn't exactly huge! We're on our way to Danny Byrnes. I'll meet them there.
I went into Danny's, which is quite a dark pub and couldn't see them.
 "Maybe they're out in the smoking area," I said to myself and out I went. No sign.
As I was on my way back into the bar I had to pass a group of young revellers. I didn't pass any remarks on them, so I can't say how many there were or even if they were all men or were there some women in amongst them. All I heard as I walked by was
 "Well hello.....Granny." followed by laughter.
I didn't even lose a step and kept walking. But I was gutted. Now I have absolutely NO problem with my age. I am 46 (let me think, yes that's right) and I never have or never will lie about it. Why should I? I try to live my life to the full and so the more days I have under my belt, the more I have experienced. But why did that asshole have to use me as a victim to put down so as to make himself feel better about himself?And don't you just hate it when you think of the perfect retort......five minutes too late.
I wish I had turned to him with a sweet smile and say
"You're wrong there. I am old enough to be your mother, yes, but not your granny. Also I was a stunner in my day. Whereas you, on the other hand are in your prime, and unfortunately derisory glance up and down this is as good as you're ever going to be. Ah bless.
Another sweet smile.
 But I didn't get to do it on time. I went back into the pub and met the women on the way in. I didn't say anything about my encounter but it was putting a dampener on the night for me. We moved onto another pub that had a great band playing and I kinda managed to put of out of my mind.
At the end of the night Helena and I were sitting waiting for the others to come back from the smoking area. Once again I was minding my own business as a group of people were making their way out. A bald man, the same age if not older than myself, commented as he passed,
 "Hey you look good....for a granny." and kept walking.
To say I was shell shocked is an understatement. Helena looked at me and gasped
"Did he just say what I think he said?" I couldn't even answer her.
I wasn't dressed in twinset, pearls and brogues. Neither was I in a miniskirt, top slashed to my navel with fishnet tights. I don't try to look 26 or even 36. I try to look like a dam good 46 year old. I succeed some of the time. Hey we all have off days. But I'm wrecking my brains trying to think what I did to bring that onslaught of abuse on me from total strangers.
 If I had come onto Gobshite #1 in my best cougar impersonation saying
 "Come here little boy. I have some sweeties for you" then he would have been perfectly entitled to reply with a "Get lost Granny" comment.
 I didn't.
 Or if Gobshite #2 had come over to chat me up and I had looked down my nose at him and said
 "Get lost, you bald ugly f***er" then he would have been quite right to say "What are you on about, you're a granny"
 But I didn't.
I could never be that rude to anyone, so why do they think they can do it to me? I am trying to get it out of my head but I can't. One incident maybe but not two. I am angry with myself for allowing them to not only ruin last night for me, but I am letting them ruin today for me as well. They are probably not even aware of how much they hurt me.
Did they spend last night lying in bed crying their eyes out? Like hell they did.
 Are they so full of pent up anger today that if they stood within 2 feet of kindling twigs, they would burst into flames? Not a chance.
But I am. I am pounding away at my laptop in the hope that by writing it down and letting it go into the universe, it will dilute somewhat .

I now fully understand the old saying

There is one thing you need never pack and that's a gobshite.

You will always find one at your destination.