Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Looking Forward

Why do I look back over painful times?
Why do I feel preoccupied with me, how I develop, how coherent I am, how hypocritical I am?
I have found for the most part people throw their principals aside if they get enough of anything that they like.
Why is important to be principaled if no one gives a toss anyway?
Well enough of that. I might be responsible for my own difficulties but I am looking forward.
Heads up 2009 here I come.
From now on, it's me who decides.
So a small word of thanks to those who have been reading. To those who have left comments thank you so much. For those who have contacted me outside the blog and checked in and shared, I hope for all of you 2009 will be as good for you as it is going to be for me.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Junior

The wonders of Life and Modern technology. I wonder what the future holds for junior?



Monday, December 15, 2008

Why?

I am wondering about the reason. Yes I am one of those who believe everything happens for a reason, or better still, if you open yourself to it, life will teach you a lot.
Life is definitely teaching me. I am on a curve so steep that an F16 would probably cut and dive half way through. The ironic beauty of this curve is that I have no idea what's at the end. To be honest I have ideas as to the why. Some I can articulate. I believed myself and my ex where embarking on a new start instead of going down the plug hole.
I didn't believe in abandoning my son. I was found by Lover. These are three reasons I why I came stayed and am still here. Luckily now there are more, the 'Expected' will be another reason, the job of course, so I guess there are a handful of reasons as to me being here. A handful of anything is just enough for fun.
It comes down to choice. My choice. So I am responsible for it.
I wasn't believing I was choosing it to be as difficult as it is, but maybe I am responsible for that too. Perhaps I have been sitting here feeling crap since day one, and accepting it. That's all fine and dandy unless a body is willing to do something about it too. I mean like acceptance....yeah it's important, but the getting on with it bit, that is damn important too. So how have I been getting on with it.....well, I did the driving licence. I got the job. But, I didn't kill myself searching for another one. I osmosis-ized rather than learned French. Still I am doing well. I pushed myself to read a book in French, good! I have another I could start and improve, because by golly I still have problems with it.
Like just to day, my phyiso was in a crap mood and told me to head off home if I am struggling so badly here. She was pissed at me and everyone. I have had days like that. So I did the calm talk looking in the eye, telling her hey it's my fault. I didn't manage to articulate the bit about it not being the fault of the French. Perhaps I haven't articulated that at all. I own my struggle do you hear?
I am trying to get to the bottom of it. I just haven't yet managed to blow the fog away to see clearly what it is I am supposed to be looking at. The tough bit is that in owning it, you get to a lonely place. So I should do something about that too.
So the question for the day. I was a writer at one time, it's what I wanted to be. Why am I not now? I mean really why? Only I can answer that question, the good thing is I am running out of excuses.
Santa is coming!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Meziers

I have started a new treatment. It's called Meziers. It's named after a woman.
Basically I get my legs tied up in the air while I lie on a big bed.
A rather small physiotherapist then beats 7 shades of proverbial S*@T out of me while I writhe in agony, and attempt to keep my breathing deep and regular and in synch with the foot lifts and drops...and push my waist down, and my belly out, and my shoulders down and keep my head straight.
I am not sure if it will work, but it will certainly prove I am not faking injury.
The office party is this week.
You have no idea how that sentence just makes me feel like sludge.
Whew!
Weather is unseasonally cold. I am wondering how it is elsewhere. How much longer things have to go on like this?: I mean rescuing the motor industry? Please, we should be forcing them to go electric. There is a car in monaco can go 220kph and it's electric, and uses solar panels and is not at all bad looking.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

RED TAPE RED MIST


Today is the National Day in Monaco. So we have day off. Well, in theory we have a day off.
We did plan to go to the Town Hall annex, to register that I am the father of the as yet unborn child.
This is not necessary but helps in the event of the birth, within 3 days of which I must go to Maire, ( Town Hall) and register the birth of the child. If I am not there within three days, I will have to go before the Procurer Justice ( is that a word in English? ) to explain why and I will get no social insurance, social assistance, benefit, welfare, or any thing else for the child.
I was fascinated.
We walked into the Maire Annex and they told us 'No Dear you must go to the Maire Proper for that'..... ahem...
As I walked outside I saw a group of people pull up in Van and crush the car beside them that was parked. They were unconcerned.
After some debate I decided it was really just a lot of noise that appart from small scratches, no 'harm' was done.

We drove to my bank first which was about a 15 minute walk. A line of one way streets caused me to turn Right, go forward, turn left, go forward, turn left, go foward, go forward, turn left, go forward, turn left, go foward,to get there at exactly midday. It was closed with no sign of life. The sign on the door said "Ferme 12:00-13:30"

Well let's go to the Maire. We drove, we parked we walked. At the Maire I held open the door for a lady, and about 10 ladies, 4 gentlemen and a man a woman came out the door before I could go in.
I was struck by the wide open space. The panelled walls. The Black and White photo of the current Mayor hung on one wall. It looked about 40 years old but he has only been in power a few months. I thought of Dorian Grey for a moment and then put that thought out of my head. There was no clock in sight. There was a man in front of us, using his local civil servant as his psychiatrist/psycologist all at the same time, but by his jerky actions and from the story he was telling, I was pretty sure his leather coat had been on the other way this morning with the sleeves tied firmly behind his back. He took up a lot of time.
Over his Head was sign for registering births. Beside it on the right was a sign for recognition of the child, that would be us then, and further right was the Livret de Famille or The family book.

The family book is a legal document with registration of Marriage, Children, vaccinations etc;. My ex has it. I don't. It's a legal document that proves you own your own child and is often required for the registration of children in children type activities.

So I took the opportunity while waiting to recognise my as yet unborn second child to ask for a copy of the famous book. But did I have a piece of identity? Yes I did! Did I have proof of where I live? Yes, thanks to the need to go the bank because banking internet is so bad, I did!. Did I know if the act of marriage that happened in Ireland was translated in Nantes? Because if it was the the livret would be blue, if not it would be white. I know nothing about Nantes, well I know our one is blue so that is okay right? Well you see if you are not sure you can go onto the internet, and check at this address if it was translated in Nantes and then go to the Maire Annex not back to the Maire and they would sort it out thank you and good bye. Oh well.

I got up and moved over to recognise the kid, we sat down. The lady was warm and welcoming she looked behind us. Some young man who looked like he had spent the night speeding( I don't mean in a car) and couldn't find anything to get him back down, was looking very agitated. He was agitated when we had arrived 20 minutes previously and the chair was free. Apparently he wanted the same as us, but had just stood agitated for the best part of an hour looking around him. Now that he saw you could sit in an empty chair, some of his best moves of the previous night were beginning to re-emerge in a most jerky like fashion. The guy was like vogue fast forward.

Eventually it was our turn, the first character was still rocking on with his personal civil servant and we got to go back to Jose. Yes her name was her desk. she moved us down two desks, then started to deal with us. I thought of computer networks and wondered what justification in the births deaths and marriages office you could have for having to move seat depending on which thing you wanted to do.
She explained the 3 day rule. She asked about the family of the child. Know that for the moment it is not important but once it is registered then that is the childs legal name for ever and it can never never be changed. so if it's a double barrelled name there will a double hi-fin as well ( does hi-fin take a hifin? ) So if your child is called Murphy McCormack it will be Murphy - - McCormack and it can never never be changed. Cue the spooky music as our baby sets off to Mount Olympus to get his name changed. The nationality of the child will be Irish and it will be Italian because you are Irish sir and Madame is Italian and you won't have a family book because you are not married. But when you are married you will have one and the childs name ( which cannot be changed EVER) will be in that book too.
That made me re-query my earlier discovery and ask again for a copy of the book that exits already. I told Jose I wasn't too good at insisting in French, I told her it was my fault, she went and spoke to her colleague. After some hushed telling off, ( I cringed) we were invited to move seats again. The lady was not happy. I apologised and as she told me it was not a problem I could see both the jury at Cannes and Oscar Guild stand up and applaud.
Finally everything was in order and without any grumpyness and with some genuine good will from everyone we were on our way....
There was birthday class to attend, where apparently the only way to have a baby is to ensure there is no pain and that is achieved by epidural, either 10 mg (perhour?) dose or a dose you administer yourself. That's it no pain, otherwise completely natural.
Then back to the bank. I got the needful done. I asked could I do this needful on the internet, which it says on their site I can, and the girl told me no!. I told her normally I have to take a day off to come here, she told me I could write a letter. Could I send an email? NO!..

So I got to wonder with all the red tape in France a) Do they know how the internet functions? b) Thank God my understanding of it is that it was American Military at the start, and hence it is far more flexible that French law c) is it any wonder I need physiotherapy to help my body relax?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Cultural differences!

Cultural differences even happen at the level of banks.
In Ireland all I ever had to do was ring the bank with the details required.
A standing order would have then been implemented and my ex would get the money no problem.
Here I can't even ring the bank directly. I get put through to a service where they can do nothing.
The internet is not exactly the high speed network. I had to wait a week before I could be accepted, from my existing bank account on line, to perform some transactions they want me to pay for.
Anywhere else this would have been practically instantaneous.
Once they set me up with a new password and the new functionality, I have to wait another week for the functionality to actually function and that is only on the okay of a letter I am supposed to receive soon.
Nothing is fast, everything is red tape, we are forced to go slowly.
The social worker hasn't been to see my ex yet.
My ex hasn't replied about Christmas yet either. I get the feeling she is going to go ape shit when I start insisting on upholding the judgement. It won't be a problem for me. Already the first holidays didn't turn out as they should have but from now on they will.
Am I odd I ask myself to want to have time with my son? I had heard a rumour that at one point my father stayed in relationship with my mam because of me. I have no idea if it is true but it gives me food for thought.
The stereotype of man is one that doesn't fit me well. Come to think of it, the stereotypes that apply to women don't suit me either. I am not one of those guys who goes out with the guys, gets drunks, talks about conquests, fucks and then goes home to wifey. I actually find that type of guy ( if he actually does exist) extremely boring and limited in mental capacity. Yes I get drunk but usually only in good fun company. Let me define drunk here not as in not being able to stand up, Drunk is anything that is not sober, and one glass or two or three is definitely not sober. It's relaxed.
It doesn't help my belly though. I have lost the flat tummy I had when the body issues started. I have started a new treatment that I will write about soon. It's tough, painful, hilarious, and involves my physiotherapist tieing me to the wall and sitting on my arms. Kinky no?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Obama

No one is going to write anything that I can write, and I am not going to write anything that won't be said or felt already.
I understand that in the United States something has changed and for that I am very glad and very relieved, because a lot of killing might stop and certainly a lot of fear will be eased.

So Mr Obama, when you have finished your evolution of the world politic, when you can be no longer elected, and you must retire from presidency, when you have a moment, and when you and I are in the same square kilometer or mile or within touching distance, when you have time, I would like to sit with you a while, eat some food and just hang. Maybe we would have something to say each other. Is that too arrogant of me? I hope not. I have always believed in the power of dialog and the power of Yes. For you and I are People of this world, and therefore agents of change. What would there be not to talk about.

Wishing what you represent for many, to be oh so true.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Being There.

It is not easy being a dad! I know, no one said it was, but all the same it's tough sometimes.

We had our social inquest Saturday.

Right now 'Cold Case' is on TV. The subject is a boy who has been abused and killed, his father found guilty.
Clearly by the end of the Story line the father will be vindicated, and the boy will still be dead. I can't watch.
I have to move away. It makes me feel like I am nut case that I get so moved, so emotional. I just well up and have to move away.

So Saturday morning, a lady about my own age, maybe a few years younger arrived at the house. The moment I saw her I thought,
'Civil Servant', 'child care', 'hippie'. I stereotype with the rest of you. She had dirty blonde (although clean) curly shoulder length hair. She has probably never worn make up and her skin looked like she had smoked too much. She had extremely kind eyes. She wore very short synthetic skirt, horizontal stripes on her black nylons, teddy boy style shoes, and a synthetic hoodie. I could see her rolling smokes in a bar at home with a pint of Guinness in front of her. Salt of the earth.

Once or twice I came up against her complete knowing. She would point out something was or wasn't good for a child. She would somehow demostrate with a shake or nod of the head that her knowledge on that particular point was written in stone, applied to all situations, all children, and only she could be right. She wasn't a bad person. She did her job thouroughly. She asked a lot of questions. Questions about the past, questions about how I met Boy's mother, how he arrived, how we left Ireland, how we split up, how I managed to stay. I tried to be me. I told her what I could but it was heavy emotionally. I didn't want to get into the blame and retribution and I fear that my reluctance will make me loose out in the end. Who knows? Who could possibly know.
She wanted to know how I met Lover. If this baby was an accident too. If someday I was going to do things in the right order... it was said with kindness but the consequences of it could be huge.

I have been amiss in applying the judgement. My ex asked me not to send my son to the day care center that she would look after him when I was at work. I reluctantly agreed and the upshot is, he is not here tonight. He should be but he isn't. He will be here tomorrow. My listening and giving in again has caused only problems. I should have applied it to the letter. I should have insisted. I shouldn't have had to insist. So tonight I did. I told her we have to do what the judge said. This is what the Social woman said. But when she said it she used it as a way of explaining to the child. Funny how it has to be explained to the adults too.

I have posted the first cheque. You would not believe how difficult it is to contact a bank employee and get them to do things with the money I have given them. It will happen in time. But for the moment I can't get a standing order orgainsed. I have already spent the last week trying to do it...not an excuse.

So now what?

So now tomorrow I have to do something I am not comfortable with. I have to contact social woman and explain what has happended this holiday. I already told her perhaps the holiday came too soon after the judgement, there was some emotion around it, we hadn't managed to discuss Christmas yet....my God after last Christmas I am not so positive.

Well there you go. Where am I ? I am fucking sore. I have a trapped nerve in my back to complicate matters. I am getting fixed but it is really slow. I am impatient.

Boy is delighted baby will be here soon. Lover is suffering from a cold almost constantly but in truth, I have seen a lot of pregnant women in my day, this is a piece of cake as far as pregnancies go. I don't mean that in a macho way. But she has been generally energised, there have been no complications, physically she is healthy and strong so why would it not be good. I am very positive.

Once baby arrives, and boy's future is decided, we can buy the apartement, then I can focus on my two dreams apart from raising my children. Iron man and writing my Novel or my movie and either way telling stories....

If I don't read you, or I have not been by your blog in a while, I think of you anyway.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Big Sweep

So the big clean up is on. Dust is a problem, it is everywhere. We live in a pretty dry place and the dust just blows it's way in and hangs around till it gets either blown out or sucked up.

Due to the nature of the French Socio-legal system we are required to keep paperwork. Lots of paper work, receipts, contracts,agreements,wage slips,more reciepts, letters, invoices, bills,notifications, more receipts,envelopes, copies, duplicates, tax statements, prescriptions, and receipts.

Due to my nature I have papers about music, film, computers, programming, getting fit, receipies,scripts, poetry, artwork, letters, envelopes, receipts(that are not so needed),oh look more sheet music, oh look I remember that song....and I have them everywhere.

Due to the nature of our place, and our lives, along with all this paper that does nothing but invite dust that has already invited itself anyway, and sees the paperwork as an excuse to stay, there are an inordinate amount of books. Books about language, geography, travel, cooking, war, history, strategy, babies, triathlons, yoga, spirituality,novels, romances, pulp fiction, pulp fact even, politics, media,computers, film, more history, and DIY, and they exist in Italian, English French and yes we have one or two in Gaelic.

Due to the fact that some stranger is coming soon, to see are we fit to have my son with us more than the odd weekend, plus, the fact that we really need to get organised, the big clean up is on. No better excuse for stopping for a few minutes and writing up the blog.

Paperwork will now be called paperavoidance. Books will now be called dust gathering recepticles of useful information if you have absolutely nothing else to do with your life and plenty of time to read.

Cleaning up will be called getting dirty, because I had a shower a few hours ago and now even my insides need another one.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Been not gone

Sometimes I drive myself silly trying to think of headlines. All is well. The judgement is in, I saw my lawyer she explained, it has come down more in my favour than his mothers, and time will tell if it really swings my side.
My parents came for a weekend, about 2 weeks ago, so time, space and access to web land was restricted.
It was a challenge but fun. At 80 years of age I am proud of both of them and how they keep it together through thick and thin. Maybe they learned a little about our lives and Lover got to know them a bit better. Boy got spoiled rotten.
He was bad the first weekend, so I explained the judgement and then he was back to his usual self. But he was so bad, I am still in shock from it. Silly me!
I am now offically shattered, better understood by my lover, under pressure and starving. So this is just a note to say hi, I have been but not gone, and I will get my ass in gear for myself and write something worthwhile, noteworthy soon.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

NI OUI NI NON

There is a game they play here called Ni Oui ni Non. Niether Yes nor No. You have to answers questions and you are not allowed say yes or no? Do you understand? Ah see I win!
I feel that is what is happening in my desire to have my son more with us.

Today my lawyer called while I was in middle of something important in work.
I had to move quickly outside. I answered, closing my eyes dreading this moment.
I had no idea if I should prepare to jump for joy or to sink to the ground and yet neither response would have been correct anyway.
Even if it was the perfect result the right response would have been perhaps a sage nod of the head, a satisfied smile, maybe a secretly clenched fist of joy. Nothing more than that or it would not have been right.

For the moment my ex has my son, I get to see him every second weekend offically. I stop paying for his Canteen and his schooling and I stop buying him clothes and I pay her 200 euro a month.
In the meantime there will be a social inquest in how Lover and I live in our home. We agreed to that before I had to go to court.
My lawyer explained this is the first step in the Shared parenting. If the result of this inquest is positive then there is no court that can refuse the Shared parenting. So I suppose all in all it's a good result, it could have been worse. There is still light. I am just not able to cut that rope that binds me yet and that honestly irritates the hell out of me. I have a desire for finality.

My body is getting better. I have changed physio's by accident almost. The new physio and I have become friends. The other one was brilliant and so is this one. But this one gives me more. Will strengthen my body. I will be healed soon. I will be back on track.


So I guess the result of today is neither no, nor yes. Change or no change or waiting or slow change. I will know more when I meet my Lawyer soon who will explain the ruling in detail.

But I have had a lot of support from my readers, and for that I am very grateful. So this is the news you have been waiting on. Sorry it's not more conclusive.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Change expected no change

Been to the doctor, not fixed yet, can do some stationary bike and swimming will be soon, absolutely no running.

Tomorrow someone who knows nothing about us, makes a judgement as to if my son and I can legally spend more time together.

My parents arrive tommorow. They are 80. My mother is probably a manic depressive.


I suppose I was going to write that I feel anxious, stressed out my bucking oak tree would be more accurate but perhaps not as nice. . . . .

change and no change...... life is different everyminute and yet we stress over what the next second will bring knowing I can make bugger all difference in the end to what the day brings. I can only deal with what arrives.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Happy Birthday To Me

There you go, 41 today. The life plan is not where I thought it would be. It never is, that's the wonderful side of life. This week is a biggie. My parents arrive on Tuesday. I find out what will happen with Boy the same day. Life will continue either way.
I had some friends over, much less than before. This time instead of wild groups I boiled it down to about 10 and 7 arrived.
My new physio from Romania and her boyfriend. They are just a lovely couple. JN a good guy from work who is dad to two little kids, he is the french me in many ways. We even look a little alike I think.
The italians and the banker and her man who are I suppose long standing friends, came for dinner. We had Pasta with Sepp, Beef in Warriors special sauce, with green beans, individual baked alaska, lots of wine and champagne and I started my day with a good old hangover.
Now the weather is like home....Talk about a month of change... I am smiling.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Hanging Out For The Weekend.

He met me from school and looked really pleased in that timid way he does. We chatted a lot in the car, I noticed how quickly that changes, how quickly he evolves. He asked about the divorce and when it was going to happen. I told him we had seen the judge already, that she was to decide if he got more time with me or as his mam wanted. He was silent. Then 'That's a bit silly really'. I agreed. I explained he was a lucky boy, many kids don't have anyone to care for them and he had two adults fighting over him.'I have 3' he said. 'How? ' 'I have Lover too'. Yes indeed he does. Lucky boy.
Later when he saw her, he was so all over her, her eyes looked at me questioning, her lack of confidence wondering why he was so interested. My tears welled up, I cried. She has yet to really learn to be loved by him and that is okay, and he is just crazy about her, and that is just fine.
We had a good weekend but he was weepy. Sometimes crying for no reason. Wanting me to sit with him when I was cooking dinner. Lover took him through his homework and washed floors and did Ironing, I took him through his games, tidying his room and cooking the dinners, and got him to help cleaning the kitchen. I told him to remember that no matter what happened I won't abondon him, he knows, but there was some weird news item on about kidnapped people so I thought it was a good opportunity to remind him.
We took in a film WALL E or whatever it is called, we all enjoyed it. He was tired and hungry by the time it was over. I teased him a little bit for moaning so much, and he did that laugh and cry that kids do when they are so tired.
Baby is growing well and we all sat with the book and saw the pics and got the measurements.
Sunday I asked him if he wanted to go back to his Mams, 'OH No, I want to stay till tomorow', and that was just the finest thing I heard all weekend.
I am still getting physio but I have much less pain than before, I am still on antibiotics. It's okay this life. We can only hope it works out.
My 80 year old parents come over the day I am due to hear the Judges Decision. I am anxious. We love each other a lot but my mother and I tend to rub each other up the wrong way. But hey she is 80 you can't teach an old dog new tricks. If your dog is pissing on your shoe you need to teach it young that it is not okay.
Honestly I am looking forward to it. My Dad is delighted to be coming , I can hear it in his voice. I am just anxious about their health, about boy and about the future.
All we can do is turn our face to path ahead of us and march onwards.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Red Palace

I was nervous as hell. I missed the bus. I missed the second and third bus too. I got the one to the tram, the one that does five circles of 4km each to travel just 4 km. Not good for the stress. I borded the tram and Sat with my back to the direction it was going. I realised I was heading backwards through practically every street that had some importance in my five years here. I wondered about it. I remember the flings, the short time friends, the girls I was keen on, the teachers, the rides on my scooter. It all came back. My Arrival, how I had come to this point in time. I thought perhaps it was fitting that on this auspicious day, it was an accident of timing that I should make this journey in this fashion. Would my outlook have been different if I had been facing the other way? Would I have thought that I moving forward into a new future? I don't know but I travelled as I did. I am on a joruney to find out which face life is watching me with, truly believing my son will be better off seeing more of me, knowing I will be better off if this right, which is ours, is bestowed on us by strangers.


Le Palais Rusca is opposite the Palais de Justice in Nice. It is a low red pinkish building. The security is airport like in appearance but ineffective. It crosses my mind if I was a disgruntled citizen it would be fairly simple to run amok and cause damage. Luckily I am not the type.
The floor is laid out in shiny grey squares surrounded by pinkish borders... it's a modern place. The toilet seat is broken. People come and go from the bathroom complaining about no paper. No one notices the 50 or so rolls stacked up against the wall. The place is bustling with people. My ex sees me and comes towards me. I say hi. She says Hi. We can't keep eye contact. She sits beside me and crosses her leg toward me. I wonder if she still has feelings for me, for I don't understand why she is any way near me. She gets up and goes to look around and see what room we are to be in. She comes back to tell me. I am hyper stressed, palms sweating, I don't want to say anything in case I say the wrong thing and make it all worse. What if I make a plea for her to think of boy and what he wants? What if I ask her the point of all this?

My lawyer arrives she is calm, she looks pleased at my appearance. I have taken out the studs in my ear, I am wearing my teaching outfit, pressed shirt, razor crease trousers, shiny shoes. We don't recognise each other now and then we do. She tells me it will be fine. She asks is my ex here, I say yes. She goes to introduce herself and find out if her opposite number is around. Apparently not yet. He arrives late. He sees me and acknowledges me before he knows who I am. I knew who he was straight away, don't ask how, I saw him come in, I saw him walk down the hall, before he saw me I knew him.

My ex goes into a room I wait outside. She is out in no time. I go in. There are two women sitting at a long table. It's a modern office, not what I was expecting. One of the women is thin and grey. I didn't register her face, she was a grey as the computer in front of her her hair glasses, skin, everything blended into the machinery and the formica covered table. The other lady is big. Younger than I she hasn't washed in a few days. She is very heavy she starts talking to me. I am looking for the Judge. I assume he will come in the door over to my right. I sit on the office chairs, they are beige with more pink cushions worn down from how many couples clenching their ass cheeks over the future of their kids?

The big lady is talking....I realise she is the Judge.

She is asking me if I am who am. If I am the guy who married my ex on Jun 29th and that my son Boy born on 13 April 2000 is he as well. I state yes to Boy Born on April 13th. The date of the marriage is wrong, is it a trap? Too late to say anything, there is another question.

Are you in agreement for Divorce? Yes, I reply. I have re made my life, I am going to have a child, my son is delighted to be a brother finally and no longer be alone, we want more time together.........She notes something down. "Are you in agreement for divorce?
" Yes Madame I agree to divorce! "

Why is it your ex epouse who has submitted the petition?"
"Actually I went to see a lawyer who was not efficient in his job. I thought I was doing the right thing telling her. I had to change lawyers. She managed to get her petition in on her terms first." She notes something down.
I am looking at a huge welt of body fat on her arm, I am taking in her dirty hair. I am not struggling at all in French but I am not present to my words or her aura, I can see everything between us, we are the universe.
"Thank you sir you may call in the other people".

I rise and go back to the door behind my left I open it and hold it for the others to come through. Will she see at least I am polite?
There is hesitation, we are supposed to sit in the middle, the lawyers somehow endup being sheppherded by the couple who take the outside chairs.

He starts to talk. Their argument is that it has always been like that. Why should it change now. The fear for the psychology of the child. They don't want his free time activities to suffer. My claim for Alternative minding is a retribution for their demand for 200 euros a month. If I drop my claim over my son and agree to every second weekend and half of school holidays they will drop their demand for money. I start to tear up. I am disgusted. The nervous girl who I met in the hall way, now has a cast of hate and determination to her face. They would stoop so low those who know so little of the love between a father and son. I am more than disgusted and the last vestiges of affection fall away like dried moth wings at sunrise through the open window.

She starts to talk. She is nervous, she looses her train of thought, she mentions boy, the age of reason, why I waited till now, it's all a crock but it might work, she mentions we live in a expensive area purposely to be very close to him. It's true, that's why we pay more than we should and we live 3km away from his house 5km from his school. So I could be close to him. His name again. The fact I am willing even with the shared care to still contribute to pay for his schooling. How could I not do that?

There is more to say I am too nervous. It's too late, it's done. The deliberation will be give on September 23rd the day my parents arrive. 2 days after my birthday. I sign blindly without reading the divorce agreement. My lawyer signed it before me. She hands it to her right, ( I am on her left) Her lawyer signs it, I see his signature even though he is two people away from me. He writes with a carefully meditated flourish, too carefull that spoils the flourish effect. She signs it.

I notice all he has said to me is hello nothing else.

I notice Virginie my lawyer took the time out to be civil.

I notice the Judge knows none of this.

We are dismissed. I am the only one to voice thank you, and immediately I wonder,would that small thing make a difference.

I am shook.

There is a sea of people outside the door. I can't see Virginie my lawyer. I wait till my ex and her lawyer go. Virginie is there in front of me. She beckons to me as a mother to a lost boy, we walk down the hall, I see my ex outside her law guy talking to her. Now as I write I wonder was he angry? I don't know why that would be? Maybe I am clutching at straws. I didn't think it at the time.

Virgine is nervous, 'Look it won't be any worse than what you have now, at least you will know what days you are going to get your son and that can't be changed' This is true. 'Go have a drink'.... I laugh , one? We make eye contact. What was that I ask? I am disgusted. That was disgraceful they tried to buy me off for 200 euros. She shakes her head, no that wont work it's why I didn't even ask you. Go and relax.....I put my hand on her knee, 'You are coming to eat in my house when this over I tell her! She laughs. I think this person is genuine and I know it means absolutely nothing.

I walk off in a daze. I know she is behind me somewhere, is she trying to reach out? Or is she trying to burn holes in my spine with her lazer vision?

The bar is not open till 12 and anyway I know no one there now. I have no friends there to talk to. I go to the Grain de Cafe on Felix Faure. This place that has been a constant for me. The men kiss me in greeting and they have no idea how grateful I have been to them down the years for their humanity. Coffe and pain au chocolate. I write some notes for myself and for boy. For the future.

I call a few people, I get a few calls. I update people. I am destroyed. I feel like I have been hit by a truck. I can't sleep I am too exhausted. Lover finally comes home I tell her about my day, I am very calm but so destroyed. I find it difficult to concentrate on her news. I apologise and she understands. She knows the Red Palace, she has been there herself. She has lived through this.

Now as I write I am emotional. My future relationship with my son lies in the hands of a woman who is younger than I. Fatter than I. Greasier than I. More Qualified that I in a educational sense. I have to have faith in this person and this is a challenge. All 5 of us in that room, because my son was there in spirit, All 5 of us in front of her are complete strangers. What will she base her decision on. Papers with figures, appearances? Finances? Manners? A strange name of a lovely boy whom she will never meet? What is this thing we call Justice? How have we allowed ourselves to evolve to this moment in time?

The Red Palace, is red, Is it for the blood spilled or the love broken, or do they even know the cruel mockery of it's heart when they send the ex lovers, the parents of those conceived in passion who separate in anger, who fight cruel games through priveledged educated white kids, over the future of their own fragile children whose interests and desires should be our only focus?
The Red Palace, no matter the result in the month of ripening fruit, will live in my soul till my days are over. I need to let its colour be a positive sign of things finally bearing fruit. Of change that comes perennially in September.

Monday, September 08, 2008

A life changing moment

So tomorrow I stand before my ex, and a Judge and lawyers.
I should find out if I get to have my son, who lives 3.5 minutes away from us, who is delighted to be a brother soon, who follows me everywhere when he is here as if I am going to dissappear out his life, with me more often than every 1st 3rd and 5th weekend of our lives. No matter how it turns out, it will change our lives because at least something will be written in law and no longer at the whim of his Mammy. Et Voila!
Wish us luck!
I just hope her lawyer father wasn't able to pull strings he should be keeping his hands off anyway.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Hello September



It's not like me to leave it so long. So hello September, the month where my life changes. It's easy. It's my birthday month, it was Autumn at home, things coming to fruition, leaves turning and long cold sleep setting in soon, September is the preparing for bed of the year where I come from. Here its still late evening.

I have been sick as a dog. I have had my best friend visiting. I am very lucky that Lover and she get on so well.




To all you perverts out there, she is a friend. That is it. I put great store in my friends. I have two life long friends, she and He. They get to see me as often as possible as besides, it's nice to have pal who lives in nice place.

I have spent great time with Boy. Lover is doing very well and baby is starting to kick so all is good there. Everytime Boy is here he is kissing the belly, feeling for movement. Everytime he is on the phone he wants to know how big Lovers Belly is and how many pumpkins it is. He is really excited to be a brother finally.
I have been in touch with my lawyer. I am very anxious. The other side as she calls them, the opposition, the other party, are maintaining Boy is traumatised by the birth. They maintain that the reason not to have shared custody is because we never had it.
They maintain that the expenses paid by my son's grandfather are paid by his mother. The truth of it is, even though she has given up her job (apparently) and Boy says she hasn't, that she is still working but from home, she still has more income than I, and doesn't understand the Judge won't award her money for herself. It's all about boy.
I wonder what they would have done had I put in claim for being thrown out on the street in a foreign country with no contacts or assistance?
Anyway that is probably the bitterness rising. It's difficult to stay calm. I hope for his sake that they will sense but I know they won't. The are not intelligent enough and they have been nothing but dishonest.
Perhaps it's good for me to vent but perhaps I am saying too much here in this public space. While I don't always manage, honesty and honour are two of my principles. I understand I live in a world where those two principles are not worth the paper they are written on but I would still like to have a world where giving your word means something. I gave my word to my son. I gave my word to myself. I gave it to my Lover. Hell I even gave my word to my ex. Now I have to careful that I don't allow myself to get trodden into the mud.

Maybe this is why I have not blogged in so long. So apart from being sick...is it the stress? I have been trying to have a great time. here are some shots of places and things and peeps :-)





But of course, I had to show you all this one too.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Return

He is back and damn I am relaxed.
Apart from the viral infection I have just picked up.
Boy has come home to tell me he almost broke his hand running with the dogs, by smacking it hard against the wall when they jumped on him. Oh apparently his leg is scarred from the same incident, ( don't ask). He has a knot in his back because he fell down a staircase in a bar.....( sorry but from an 8 year old that is just too crazy). No medical checks nothing but not much of a sun tan either because his mother is careful about that.( excuse the note of sarcasm).
So Georgia got pissed off with Russia cutting off it's gas and telling it's smaller states to break free and Russia belched, George farted and world war 3 was averted by erm ............................are we allowed say French to American readers?
It's going to take two months for me to heal. Horaaay, I will actually heal! Then I am going on a get in shape program with a fitness doctor, a dietician and a physiotherapist, it's going to cost a bit but damn it's an investment.


The apartment buy is no more. We dropped the idea. I couldn't get my ex to sign a piece of paper saying she would go for half of it. We have not being together for 4 years, what is the point?

My best friend is coming over on Saturday for a week. Yippeee.

I have a ton of shit to write about, and a ton of photos to post but I just don't get around to it, it drives me mad.


So here is one for you :-)


The bump is much bigger now and all 3 of us are really pleased.

Monday, August 11, 2008

I am Grateful for

I have a friend who has tagged me to do a meme. These are peculiar things but she has asked what do I feel grateful for.

My Son
My Lover
OUR pending child
My health ( whatever state it is in)
My intelligence
My family
My Friends
My lifelong friends ( both of them)
My joy
My ability to make people laugh
My perceptiveness
Fruit
Blossom
Laughter
Tears
My Lover
My Son

and my friend who tagged me :-)

I am certain there a whole bunch of things I haven't thought about.

Friday, August 08, 2008

What to tell you.

Okay ........it's hot. I am trying to write a play for a friend. God it's hot. 30+ in the shade 40 + in the light. Twenty minutes in the sun means sunburn. My personal own body good news is I swam yesterday and today.
I aggravated the tendonitis in my left ankle but hey it was good for my back.
I also found out the Doc who is dealing with me is looking for an Iron Man volunteer. How crazy dropped in your lap is that?
It's hot. Next week I see the Physio only once, because the planning is screwed up. I had asked repeatedly for it to be planned up weeks in advice and finally when they get around to it there is no space.
I see the Podolog though, that should be fun. He wants me to go out for some beers.
I did a really silly meme on email that I got from a very dear friend and to tell you the gods honest truth I was stunned the amount of people who replied.
It's too hot to think. I was going to tell you all about how we finally conceived baby but I haven't checked in with Lover if she is okay with that.
Boy is still away, god it's hard. He won't be back for another 3 weeks.
My Lawyer has dissappeared but I guess she is on Holiday. bummer for me and great for her.
My running pals are now running half marathons regularly which really bums me because it means I will have no running friends when I am fit again.
But you know what. I am warm, we have a baby on the way, work bores the living shite out of me, I am a good dad, I am going to get fit and I have some very funny posts to tell you about. I just have to write them. Suffice to say Ar Lá has Tiochfaided and Chuaighed and all is well in the Castle of Warrior in Middle earth. ( only because I can't be arsed complaining). OH I am so not watching the Olympics, then all the advertisers will loose loads of money cause no one is watching and the evil empire will loose loads of money, and perhaps they might not have as much to spend on displacing people to build stadiums for drugged up dickheads with nothing better to spend their money on than watch dedicated athletes swallow their principals because we tell them too. Ha I knew I had a rant in me somewhere. Don't Tune in Drop out.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Expecting

My doctor asked me last week if there was a lot of stress in my life. I laughed. I told him the fact that I am alive in the South of France means I am stressed. I struggle a lot more than I should. I still feel completely out of water. I have heard that in the land of the blind the one eyed man is King. However for me that position must be one of desperation. How do you tell what you see to a community who have never seen? King? Outcast more likely.

I question am I being overly negative here and I hope I am not. I am, I think being very realistic. Given my daily frustrations with communication, with being precise, the lack of sport has served to multiply the stress a number of times. I told my doctor this. He asked me was there anything specific going on. I reeled off the list.
My divorce is happening too slowly and I am afraid I won't get to see my son enough. Some judge will look at what I earn, at what his mother earns and demand I give her money. He won't care she doesn't pay rent, he won't care that I have to have exactly the same items in my place as she has in her place, and therefore the financial cost is the same, he won't care she doesn't teach him to wash his teeth or how to use his knife and fork. I won't be able to commuincate adequately either with my lawyer or the judge.
We are trying to buy an appartement, the bank won't give us a loan unless my ex signs a bit of paper that she is not going to try and take a part of the appartment. I have asked her would she sign that paper and got no reply.
My lawyer is apparently on holidays so there is no advice coming in there.

We are expecting a baby. Lover is now starting her 4th month and we are very happy. Boy is delighted and really really curious. I have checked with him many times how it would be to have a sister or brother and he is just so thrilled. He feels alone in a world of adults with his mother. He feels it here too I am sure. I have told him that when he is back from holidays we have to organise that some of his friends can come and visit.

So the doctor smiled, I seem to be very amusing for the medical brigade down here. Perhaps it is my sarcasm or dry humour but I don't think they get to laugh a lot.

So I am back on the pain killers and the muscle relaxants. Lover seems to have a lot more energy than before and is really sweet and pleasing to be around. It is a welcome and timely change.

MY groin strain is easing up, My balls don't feel like they are exploding any more, just a little too stretched. My shoulder and upper arm are locking, my hip is locking...my physio went on holidays and his replacement seems a little run off her feet, and I am her last patient of the day...the work is hurried rushed and not as good.

I am changing appointments back to the morning to see what happens. There is another physio next week and it will be interesting to see how or what she does with me.

I have just another twenty sessions to go...........I must keep stretching but it's not so easy with a groin strain. Ah time for a pain killer I think.... if I come out the other side of this healthy there is nothing going to stop me doing my Iron Man.

Around the baby all we are able to think about are girls names, so previous experience tells me it's a girl. Boy is already trying to come up with names. Lover is very very happy and that is good.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Beach or My New Word

I am just back from Lunch on the Beach. It's where I used to go to swim. At the moment I just catch some rays, hoping to be less white.
I people watch a lot. That doesn't mean I perv, but I genuinely watch bodies, expressions, gestures, aspects, styles, stances, and poses of peoples bodies and try to figure it all out. Like why is it always the women with the smallest breasts who go topless, and those who have fake ones.
In all my meandering on that I have coined a word a Mokini. Yes it's a mono kini but I called it a Mokini before you did. A mono kini is basically just the bottom part, as opposed to a one piece, which is a nonkini. Another word coined.
I think I might have got too much sun.
Still I look at water and I wait for my physio to give me the go ahead. I hope I can start swimming again soon.

Monday, July 21, 2008

He is gone for a while and a part of me with him.

Boy who has been with us save the odd weekend since early June and for a good part of May is gone again. Last Friday I had to take him to the dentist. He had been with his Mam for a weekend and I picked him up on a Sunday. On the Thursday I got a text message telling me he had a broken tooth and it was urgent he saw a dentist. It took me a week to get organised. Let me explain. I have no insurance for my Son because I work in Monaco, I dont' have the 'family book' my ex does and so I needed the French social security number. I replied to her text and asked her for it straight away. I got it on the Saturday when we bumped into her by accident in the Supermarket. Yes I am having a bit of bitching session.
Monday I got the name of Dentist off a friend, rang and booked. It was his first visit Friday. He was excited. More so when he entered the waiting room to find the only other person there was a girlfriend who had moved from school. Apparently they had been very close at one point. They spent 20 minutes giggling. Her mother tried to make conversation with me but was obviously uncomfortable. I guess I must be perceived as a bad father somewhere in the community.

Boy had two holes in his teeth. At 8 years of age his mam only gets him to brush his teeth before he goes to bed, so once the dentist was done with it was home for mouth wash and tooth brushing lessons. Eye drops for conjunctivitis and an awful lot of hugs as we were both aware the weekend, the week, the month, the time was nearly up.

Sophie, the mother of one of the boys in his class, bumped into me outside the village school. She asked for my number to invite us to eat. I had known already herself and Thierry were different, she is one of the 3 women in the community who has ventured to have a conversation with me, to break the ice. She is a kind person, perhaps a bit like I would be with a stranger back home.

I gave her my number we exchanged names, I made sure she would ring, but like an idiot I didn't ask for her number. If she doesn't ring I will get her number and invite them the next time I see her.

They are really the only couple that have reached out to us at all. I wonder about village politics of the bourgeois here. I mean it really makes me wonder.

To be honest I don't think many of them talk to me ex either. Given most of them are blow ins I wonder what rocks their boat, what goes on behind their doors. Do they even know I exist when they walk past without saying hello.

One guy has a restaurant, it's nice. We eat their and brings friends when they come to visit. We are known so to speak. Yet when he comes to pick up his child he doesn't say hello. He knows my son, we have talked about the school. He told me everyone knows my son. Is it that out of context for him to say nothing?

All the while I berate myself severly for not being more forward myself. Damn lack of confidence in another language can be very demeaning.

Do I really intimidate all these people? Why is it only certain women, two who incidently look like they could be sisters have spoken to me?

There is nothing as bizzare as people.

I am missing boy an awful lot already.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Quick One

I don't have arthritis or rhumatism. I have a severe groin strain, tendonitis in both heels, buggered disc in my lower back, siatica, torn muscle in my arm,deformed knee cap and a pain in the ass. :-) Other than that I am fine and rehab starts tomorrow.
Have had boy with me for most of the last month and wow it's just so fine. He is turning into a challenging argumentative stubborn lying testing little man. I am trying to deal with it with humour and not put up too much resistance. It's tough to know what is the right thing to do, but I would rather this challenge than not have the opportunity to be with him at all.
The sun is shining, we are in high summer, no fires yet but hotter than usual for this time of year.
Things are moving slowly on all fronts but they are moving. Thank God lover has the patience I don't have for all the paper work.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The Good News

The news, North East West and South, bring me information from the four corners of the compass and you bring me the NEWS, alternatively you me bring me new information, and therefore any number of new things becomes the news.....

I am rambling. My visit to the surgeon was interesting, I tried to teach him how to use his computer, he tried to pull me apart and make me scream. I did once or twice, but not a girl. The screams were more low down Dublin North City, like "Arrrghh HOly Fuck don't do that again or I will burst you! " He did it anyway, probably because he doesn't understand what that means.
We muddled through in French and English, Franglais. My French is good as far as it goes, but more and more often I find myself not able to finish a phrase. I am expressing myself in French in ways I haven't done before. So I come up against a wall when I realise I don't know the verb, or the emotion or the adjective I am looking for.

For the moment I don't need surgery. I am permitted, even advised to SWIM and BIKE ( hey that is two thirds of an Iron Man) but my bike has been nicked so I am miffed. I have a crushed disc that will probably get infiltrated but by what or who I don't know. I have severe tendonitis in my ankles, both of them, I have a number of muscular issues in the back due to compensating. The knees are fine, just a deformation of the patella, ( his words not mine, I felt like saying 'hey bucko that's most sore place I have and you tell me I am fine, maybe I should explain burst to you a bit more finely)...

He is worried about the tops of my femurs apparently I have some problem there that needs to be fixed. More scans, more radios, more expense. If I was in Ireland this would cost me thousands, it will finish at a few hundred bucks I reckon. But I will be fit at the end. This guy seems to know his stuff.

Last week I had my brother, nephew and sister in Law from Farmington Maine here. It was fun. Boy was here all week but wow is he turning into a changeling. Contradicting everything, grumpy, not eating, spots starting already on his face.....at 8....yuck it's going to be tough for him.

We worked our way through it, if I stand back I know a lot of it is excitement at being around us for long, and tiredness from being up so late. He is a trooper. This morning his school bag was 8.5Kg, I had to aruge long and hard to make him leave some stuff at home. When I opened the bag I realise no one had checked it for a few weeks. Okay my bad for the 4 or 5 days he was here, but really. I had to wash it. Picture it, your dad naked at the sink scrubbing your bag, your step mam putting on her make up, dad going crazy cause he is asleep hungry and naked and wants to get dressed and we should have left the house 10 minutes ago....boy is barefoot and not eating breakfeast.....arrrrgh what a mess but what fun.......no really, you have to laugh if not you have to cry.

Saturday morning we signed up to buy an appartement. September 1st is D day. It's slightly bigger than where we are, more central ( bad point) not as nice an area ( bad point) closer to work ( good point) higher and brighter( good point) not as good a view ( bad point) parking private but not covered ( good and bad), it will ours( worth about 50 good points).........and so on and so on. I am getting a bit anxious because it will be a disaster zone when my 80 year old parents arrive at the end of September.

So back to swimming on Thursday. and then to find a cheap bike somewhere :-) ....

It's hit 30-34 C the last few days. If you don't know what that is google it. I love it but it is way too hot.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Slipped

I have been slipping up on the blog. The news about my body doesn't seem to be good. Firstly it's all in french so its not as apparent as it might be, or I understand completely correctly and I am fucked. I have a necrose at the top of each femur, I have a little nut or grain of calcium on the 11th and between the 4th 5th vertebrae, and the disc for 4 and 5 is fucked with 5 having a nice crack in it. Then there is subsequent damage around that area that is playing with siatica.........ouch.

Haven't got over the robbery yet, I am so bummed about the bike being stolen and the tent.

The appartement the one we are buying, needs re-wiring, we have been quoted 14,000, then 10, 000 and I know we can get it much cheaper, if we can find an electrician.

Problem here people fleece each other, there is no such thing as honest and honourable work.....God I am so innocent.

Boy has taken to contradicting and lying about everything which I find stressful.

Ex has fucked up the holidays again.......and I don't mean just once when I say again. She changes her mind daily.

Iron Man is on today in Nice, I haven't moved near it. I am sore, and a little scared. I guess if I was healthy I would have been down there, helping even, but I am not. I really don't know if my body is going to let me do what I want it to. I am reading Moncia's report, ( I just want the Tattoo ) it's inspiring but, I don't know how I am going to do it right now. Next goal this year was a Marathon, I had enrolled.....but I wont be running one this year I think. ......

My brother arrives tomorrow from the States, looking forward to seeing him and the family, even if the holiday plans have been screwed. ...
Oh Bugger.

Oh well at least the Euro 2008 football has been immensely entertaining, look at the Russians, who would have thought they would make the semis?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Life is looking for something.

Sometimes, I think life is a test. That there is a certain number of things or a certain awareness to achieve before I die. That is my raison d'etre. My reason for being is lately becomming a bit cloudy.
See I sometimes believe that the challenges that come my way, do so to enlighten me, make me wiser, teach me that important thing I am resisting. I have thought this for a long time. I remember in a previous spirtual existence, crying with exasperation, ( is that how you say it?), and saying 'fuck sake, whatever you are trying to tell me, just fucking tell me and stop being so fucking obtuse, opaque, secretive, and deceptive, just write it out in letters so I can I see it and I will do it.".... Of course life, the Universe, God or the gods, He or She or They or it or whatever, doesn't really do in your face. Sure a Volcano is pretty in your face all right but the great WHY?, can be a mystery that many generations go to their grave with it etched on their last breath.
Soooo I have some challenges lately. My body has decided to revolt, if any one comes to read here they will have seen that. The swimming and running and cycling stopped.
I was supposed to swim today but I was so hung over from the medication I couldn't get my ass in gear.
My lover is ill. She is bed ridden for the next 10 days. I had a shitty day at work. I am full of pain. I get home to find the cellar was broken into over the weekend and they stole my bike and tent.
One of my neigbours went to the Arab quarter to make a complaint in the police station there. I will go local tomorrow morning. I will meet a rude police officer who will have no patience with my stilting french. I will make an inadequate report. I will be late for work. My body will complain with the stress. My mind says, "Hey this IronMan idea, you are fucking mad, I am not letting you do it. If you don't listen to me telling you through your pain, then I am going to send out a thought wave when you are asleep and make someone steal your bike". I say fuck it. I am doing this Iron Man. If I catch the fucker who took my bike I will shove it up his or arse side ways.
Our Gardien is a cyclist. He went on holidays just before the break in. My neigbour had his bike stolen too. I think that is a wierd coincidence.

I don't ever see Arabs in this area, what would they be doing here in the morning so trying to break in? I just think Life is trying to tell me something right now and I wish it would right out for me so I could get it. I am not great at clue solving when I am tired.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Way To Much

Just way too much happening that will be a 'Way To Much' good in my life I hope. I am currently undergoing sessions of physiotherapy for the back, knees, legs, ankle etc;. I had to go back to the doctor because the pain killers were doing diddlysquat. It's getting better, I have 3 periods a day where I am basically off my face for about half an hour, so I guess these meds are a bit stronger.

The implants into my shoes are recifying the way I hold myself which is putting a strain back on the body. Righting the comfortable position into a correct position. It brings it's own set of aches.

Moaning a lot aren't I ?

Celebrating the news that very quickly happened in our lives. We had done a lot of talking about buy a place to live. Tired of pouring money into some else's account and nervous of my age and a bank loan, we finally started visiting last week. Wednesday. Saturday Morning we saw two places. The first was awful.
The criteria are basic, 2 bedrooms minimum, place to park the car, garden or big terrace. I prefer a house out of the city, she prefers an appartement in the city. She wins. We found a 7th floor place 71 meters square, if you are reading in feet and inches mulitiply by 3 and add a bit. The block has a dead end on one side so it's quiet. It's within walking distance to town for those who like to walk. It's near a stadium with a track where I can run. Boy loved the place, lover loved the place I thought it was fine. Electrical work needs to be done but other than that it's the usual make over job you would expect for an appartement that is 30 years old.
So we made an offer.
Got a phone call this morning that one half of the brother sister couple selling the appartement agreed to the offer.
Looks like we could be on our way.

Weather is terrible, warm and wet.

OOOH and our New Nikon D80 is on the way. Now I can take real photos again :-)

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Nothing wrong my foot!

So one of my hips is higher the other, or one of my legs is shorter than other. I had an accident when I sixteen. It wasn't looked after. When I got to France 5 years ago, I met a doctor who told me after a lot of examination that the intense pain in my knees was in my head. I felt really bad. Everyone here believed him. I was still getting white light flashes of pain occasionally months afterward but had to bite my lip when it happened. It's probably part of the reason my ex in laws think I am a dickhead, but hey that's an aside.

When I started to run and swim 2 years ago, and had given up smoking, a lot of the pain, not all, but a lot of it went away. Last year I was taken to hospital just as the Gypsy Kings came out on Stage. My back had completely locked. I was a week off work and doped up to my eye balls in muscle relaxation pills and pain killers.
After my semi marathon this year. I pulled a muscle in my back. It wouldn't go away. My back started to cramp up a lot as I was compensating all the time.
Finally my running pal to me to go visit her at work. They X Rayed me but didn't see too much. I went to see yet another doc. Probably the 5th different one at this stage.
He took about 2 seconds or less to look at the X Ray. He was Ohh la la ing before he even turned on the light to look at it.
When I sixteen I ripped all the tendons in my foot. I had seen a ball coming towards on the ground and while running full speed I turned to kick it away. I ended up on my back. I looked down at my foot and there was a metal shot put between my feet. Not something you kick away easily.
I continued to play football, with a lot of difficulty. Went to the doctor the next day who told me to put a strapping on it and that was that.
I have been compensating since then. My left foot is slightly atrophied, if that is the right word. I can't bend it as much as the other one. Each time I run I have to make it 'crack' before I know I can run without it cramping up.
All the swimming I had been doing until the end of Febuary has helped keep the problem at bay. Now I need to get a orthapaedic sole into my shoe. I need phyisotherapy and I am taking 9 things morning and evening to let it all relax. I start the physio next week.
No running this week. I swam 500m yesterday and I was completely knackered. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly I loose my ability when I stop. Now I am anxious about the running too. I am doing a Marathon in Novemember and hopefully and Iron Man in 2010. Just one time.
My sleep is still disturbed by thoughts of my first lawyer here, who really screwed things up. I am anxious about my son and not being there enough for him. I hope to God it turns out okay for him.

In the meantime I was on the bike recently when we had a lovely morning. these photos are were I ride. It takes me one and half hours to get there and 20 mins to get back. OOOOh and Monica my future coach did her Iron man in 13 hours and a bit. I am very thrilled for her.




Monday, May 26, 2008

Just things

We spent the weekend hanging out. Cooking Goat slowly in the oven. Going to St Paul de Vence looking at the expensive boutiques. The weather is terrible. It's the last titanic struggle before summer sets in next month. The Cannes Film Festival and the Monaco Grand Prix have come and gone.

Now the Cote D'Azur will be full of pleasure seekers, rich bastards, drunken wallys, sunseekers, tourists, friends, visitors, morons, and some people shouting english really slowly and really loudly to perfectly tri-lingual French waiters who are proud of their linguistic ability and scorn those who can't put two words together in foreign glot.

Boy was emotional and tired this weekend. My brother split from his wife and his teenage kids have been doing the teenage thing. My Neice shaved her head. I told him maybe she was happy about it, maybe she was upset that her mam and dad are not together any more. He asked me about his mother and I. I told him we had different ideas on how we should be together. His mother didn't want to help or support me and I wasn't able to be what she wanted. So it didn't work out and she asked me to go. He thought about that. As I reflect now, maybe it was more than a little undiplomatic but I am done protecting someone who doesn't give a shit about me. I know I should protect my boy, but then telling him truth is someway of protecting him.

People to me are strange about relationships. Lovers friend is here and is so clearly hurt it's painful to watch. She has been so let down. Why do we seek perfection in others when we know damn well it doesn't exist in ourselves? What is that fairy tale crap we believe? Instead of pointing the finger of blame at him all the time, do you for a moment realise how hurtful, or how unsupporting your are? Why is it always the bloke who has fucked up?

I am having a difficult time with my back, still haven't managed a visit with a doctor yet, I am hoping on Wednesday.

So boy was tired at the table. There was something wrong. He was a little sad after talking to his cousin on MSN. He started to get upset, not able to communicate what was wrong and saying 'nothing' and getting more and more frustrated the more insistent I got. I don't let him sulk ever. I insist now more than ever on communication that is clear and coherent. I know I know. He is only 8. Well it's the perfect time to learn to identify stuff and put words on it.
I offered a sit in my lap and a hug. He came and climbed aboard. Father and son gave each other a full body Hug and damn the trapped nerve. Our visitor got upset and started to cry. It'a a long time since her father hugged her. I felt like asking when was the last time she gave him one.

I have to write important letters and I am not doing it. I have enrolled for the marathon in November but I am in a lot of pain and chewing pills. I normally take nothing ever.
My friend Monika was running the Iron Man Brasil on Sunday. I hope she was okay. I hope she finished and has achieved her goal and now she can get the tattoo. Me Next!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

United win the Champions league.

I have grown up with stories of the the MUNICH air disaster. I heard how Bobby Charlton walked away without a scratch. How Whealan an Irish player was killed. There has through my life time been a Irish thread at Man Utd. Stapleton, Moran, Irwin, Keane, O Shea, among others. It was lovely to see an Old Bobby Charlton walk up the steps tonight. Leading his team 50 years on from the disaster. It's nice to be a fan most times, but especially when your team win. Even if the Irish guy didn't get a game and the ghosts of the past were standing beside the goal keeper. They won on Penalties, but it was a fun match.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Lucky? See it From the Other Side!

Is it our greatest self deception to believe others are more lucky?. 'The grass is always greener on the other side'. How much do you know really of the lives of those whom you perceive luckier than you? For my part there are those who look at me with envy, I have a child, I live on the Cote D'Azur, I work in Monaco, I am not far from the Cannes film festival. Wow people think. How lucky can you get?
They don't take into account, the shitty divorce, the loss of direction in my life, the loss of my circle of comfort and culture. The struggles I had in trying to settle in. The fear and rage and hurt and pain have only recently abated. They know nothing of this.

However what is most important is what side of that complete story I decide to focus on. I am lucky, I am alive. I have good things I have bad things. I am lucky because I choose to be and instead of scraping the shit of my shoe I decide to use it on the roses to help them grow. I often seem to find people whose wounds I can sense. I am drawn to look after them, to mother them. Often they take what they can and walk away. I can be hurt by this as I try to invest not just for their good, but for my security too. I like to have friends and the best way to have friends is to be one.

I would like to live in a 'perfect' world so I reach out and try and be with others the sort of benefactor I would like them to be with me. Many don't understand but I still feel lucky. Because in all of it I have a handful of people around the world I really appreciate. They teach me a lot about myself.

I could decide that the 40 people who were in my house last St Patricks day, who ate my food and partook of my hospitality and then practically disappeared from my life, are friends. I could decide they are all bastards as they came and went and that was the last I heard of them. I could decide that is just the way it is here. I can't justify saying I am unlucky. I make my own luck by the effort I put in. Yes some of us have some more advantages than others. Some of us are better looking, a concept formed by the mass Hysteria of being the same and different and conformism. Some of us have more money than others, a combination of hard work for some, thievery for others, circumstances, but are they more lucky than I?

Was Elvis Lucky? World famous star, dies on his toilet overweight? Britney? Marilyn Monroe? Micheal Hutchinson? Was Florence Griffith Joiner lucky? What is it we deem as lucky?

A friend is running the Iron man in Brazil soon. Lucky woman! Nope, not lucky. She has worked her ass of for the right, the priveledge, the honour, and by calling her lucky I demean her effort. On the other hand I can say she is lucky because she has the drive to do this thing, to stick at it, to persevere. It doesn't sound like luck that.

I guess we are all lucky and we are all unlucky.Today if you don't feel lucky. Look at what you have going for you. Tell me how unlucky you are. Maybe you are not trapped under a fallen building in China, maybe you are not at the brunt of a rocket attack or air strike in Israel or Gaza, maybe you are not watching a military convoy make their way through your town, maybe you are not a hostage, maybe you are not crippled or blind. Maybe you are more lucky than you think. Leave me a comment and tell me one thing you think is lucky in your life, and for the balance, tell me one way you think or feel you are not unlucky. I guess I will be lucky to get a response. (smiling)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Holidays Over



I am shattered. I have just spent a great week with really good friends. Eating and drinking to beat the band.
We went to the market in Vengtimiliga in Italy.




We went to the Historic Grand Prix in Monaco which was the culmnination of a dream for my buddy who was celebrating his 60 birthday.





I haven't been blogging. I have a trapped nerve in my lower back which means I am not running swimming or cycling and it means I am starting to put on weight.

My nurse comes tonight for my alergy shot so, hopefully she has a good referal for me to see someone.


In the mean time enjoy the picture essay :-) We strolled the pits afterwards and my 8 year old boy had the priveledge of sitting into a formula 1 Ferrari and playing with the Steering Wheel. Not many people have that priveledge in life. He woke up the next day telling us he had dreams of being a driver :-).

But I am not biased. There are other things in the world more important than a ferrari




Like a Bugatti?





Never a Dull Moment!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

All the Fun of the Fair.



May 1st is a holiday here. No one works except the people at the wine fair. Don't start cracking jokes about the French please, I have to live here. They work very hard.



You see there is a lot to do at this time of year on the Cote D'azur. The film festival will be starting soon. There is a Grand Prix comming up.
You can out to a nice restaurant in Monaco and eat Duck



You can go to the wine expo thing,where people go crazy. You get a glass and basically walk around all the producers in France finding out what you want and what you dont want. There are also people who make

Salt



Spices


Cheese



Charcuterie


oh and for the ladies...........chocolate



and tea.


and other goodies..




The reason some of the photos are a little blurry is I am still getting used to the phone, but also because I tasted a good part of the following...





Yes it does look this blurred in real life, there was no way I could focus better than that. We had already tasted 21 wines and I don't spit.


Oh well the cellar is now stocked for the visitors who may make their way over this summer :-)

Still not training, hoping to go bike and run this weekend.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Only Because I Have To

Yep I am updating today simply because I haven't updated and I should. Currently my lower back is blocked. This usually happens when I am tired and stressed out around my son, his mother, my lover etc;. Today everyone met. I was informed I had to bring him to the artisana show to help his grandmother. I had other plans, finally we got there an hour later than organised but it was cool. My lover met my ex, and my ex mother in law. Friends later went to find Boy wonder and met them too and chatted. It was all very civil. My lower back was twitching, I try to be civil not to bitch, I don't always succeed, but I don't see the point in stooping to the other sides behaviour.
So it was okay in the end, but it cuts, when they assume they can just cut into our precious time together like that.

So what was the other plan. Top Marques.. have a look at these.........




I am not really a materialist but it was fun for a half an hour.





And the coolest......................




This is the luxury car show in Monaco. We had free passes. We went. I insisted on it. I wouldn't pay in 39 euro just to be treated like a piece of dirt. They guys selling the cars walked around wiping our finger prints off, in case the person behind us was a multi millionare interested in buying the car that was bullet proof, bomb proof, assasin proof, but obviously not stupid person proof.

We didn't pay into the workshop in the Ballet either. Last night was my 8 year olds' first exposure to ballet. 5 young coreographers with 5 young scenarists, put together a 2 hour long show of 5 different pieces.......The most impressive for me being a story of rain falling on the earth. It opened with 6 dancers standing around a figure on the ground. Standing on the figure with her foot on the head and the other on the stomach, was a woman in white. She looked like she was about to devour her victim on the ground. The story unfolded, violently, impressively, beautifully, but somehow very darkly, with the use of video and some incredible ballet and shape shifting, our 7 female dancers, 6 in white, one in brown portrayed something about rain falling on the earth, and the suffering the earth endures during this torrent. Boy wonder was scared at this particular one but loved all 5 stories and I was pretty damn pleased.

The weekend is over, finishing up with friends and a dinner. Life is stressful, but good. I can't write about the lawyers till I receive certain pieces of paper. I ran today for the first time, didn't help my back, didn't run far.

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