Thursday, December 31, 2009

So that's that then

Looking back over my year, I became a father again in January, I had health issues all year really. I got blue. Got through it and changed my way of thinking completely. I accepted my place in life, I became part of where I am. I decided to change and I did something about it.

I had my surgery

I joined a triathlon club.

Started to write again, even though it's stalled a bit


Oh and I had sex this year too.

Bring it on 2010. I hope to evolve professionally. I hope to finish my book to grow more, to get home more. Lets say I don't hope I plan.
I am just going to do it.

See you all soon and thanks for stopping by

Thursday, December 24, 2009

So this is Christmas!

It snowed this week, amazingly it snowed and it stuck, I haven't prepared the photos, but might post one before new year.
The temperature dropped to -2 C at one point. Clearly it's been the coldest in the 6 years I have been here.
Boy is here. He is here for the first half of the holidays, so there is for once, no need to role play Christmas this year. It will happen as it should. Tonight we will eat beautifully and badly at the same. Salmon and foie gras, with champagne and blinis. It's a tradition. There will be no oysters as I am the only one who adores them, and I just can't manage all those oysters by myself.
Tomorrow morning on the 25th of December we will open our presents together. There will be no falseness in pretending. Santa doesn't have to come early or late. Everything for us for once will be the same as everyone else. That is good.

My Christmas spirit took a bit of a bashing from my job situation. A lot of people didn't want to go to the Christmas party. I wanted to stay with Boy. There were no decorations put up in the offices. The usual gift exchange didn't happen, and the usual hamper wasn't handed out. No explanations, no emails to wish anyone a good Christmas.

I was given a card and a present for the birth of my daughter which happened in January. I am pleased and stunned. Stunned that it took so long. My mind boggles at how their minds operate.

This year has seen a lot of changes. I have integrated myself in my mind on the Blue Coast. I belong here now. Home is a concept that is being reformulated time and time again. It is for sure no longer the house I grew up in, even though that is what comes to mind at the first hint of the word. That house now has strangers living in it.

I am aware of the concept of love this Christmas. What is it? How is it spread for many ? How do you express it and share it?

I am aware that on the other side of the world in New Zealand and Australia friends and relations are nearer to opening their pressies than we are. In our turn we will do it before friends in Mexico, California, Maine, and where ever it is you live.

I am aware that this time of year is a burden for many. A pressure. I know there are people out there lacking love, lacking esteem and that the greatest gift they might get is a glass of water, or even a smile, if they get anything at all.

I know that not far from here, someone might get a gift worth my yearly salary in monetary terms, and that very gift might be cast aside and never used.

I am aware there is a lot of love and care. A lot of concern for the planet, for our future as humans, for my own future. I know this, that whatever it represents for you, whatever the origins of the word, this comes close to a temporal mark in the year, a day or moment that we should acknowledge in the miracle of life.

There are enough of us positive enough, with enough love to go around to change completely the business and how the business is done on this planet.

This is Christmas, a time of hope and joy. Make it what you will but make it good. I will be here in 2010 with a smile on my face, hope in my heart, and looking forward, no matter what happens.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Advocate

The Night Before

I couldn't sleep. I was anxious. My sleep pattern had been blown asunder by a virus that had struck the three of us living here. This night wasn't any easier. The young one woke just as I was drifting off, it was 4 am. This time the solution was Daddy. Usually it's Mama. I sat on the edge of the bed rocking her in my arms. I hummed softly. I remembered a tune I learned by Liam Clancy. It was about a sailor leaving his ship as the voyage was over. I hummed deeply rocking with one arm. My memory drifted back to similar moments with my son at the same age. That child was normally Daddy's job to lull to sleep, to give the bottle after breast feeding had finished, to wake up early at the weekends so Maman could lie in. I did it willingly but now look back with questions and some self reproach. However there is no point. We are in the here and now and still she is drifting in and out. I try to put her down in the bed several times. I am losing my touch perhaps, each time she wakes and wails, wails and wakes. Forty minutes later , I hug her tightly to my chest and take her to our bed. Instantly she is asleep on my chest, like a small dwarf trying to protect his hill of gold coins. Her legs and arms stretching either side of my torso. The sandman finally visits emptying his precious cargo into my eyes, as he leaves the clock informs him it's after 5am and he must be thinking of returning home before the eastern sky starts to fade into light.

The Morning

I was late out of bed, not so late, but it meant skipping a proper breakfeast. I put on my cheap brown suit, white shirt, a tie with dark red and black bars, I looked sober smart. I parked close to the courthouse. In Old Nice there is the Palais de Justice, and the Palais Rusca one opposite the other, both buildings couldn't be starker in contrast. Justice has high glass walls and gold lettering for brotherhood, freedom and equality etched into white stone. The red court I described before and it's low structure reminded me of a rebuilt roman bath house.
Inside the security man made me take out my keys. I passed through the metal detector and it beeped. He handed me back my keys and admitted me. I wondered about the level of security. No checks whatsoever.
I waited for my lawyer to arrive, there was no sign of her.
I played people watching as lawyers in jeans and runners, or smart pants and shoes, or redhigh heels and mini skirts or shinny black boots with smart heels, all milled around on business all dressed as normal people under the black robes of justice edged with some white fluffy touch to make them look.....legal I guess.
I wondered about this game. They were ordinary boys and girls who had been through college and now worked for a living at the coal face of other peoples misery.

She walked out and saw me, she inquired about Madam, I hadn't heard a thing. She went off to find her. About 10 minutes later she was back, she tried to hide her satisfaction that Madame wasn't going to be there. She talked about the future, that if it didn't work out, it wasn't final. I could always try again later.  I nodded, knowing in my heart that this is it for the time being.

Eventually it was time to wait in the small hall before the courtroom. There were four chairs, full of coats and bags, and lawyers. There was I, and a lady of about 25. The other 8 people in the small space were lawyers. They chatted and laughed and compared notes and cases. I earwigged and took in the different senses of style, senses of  value and upbringing too.

My ex's lawyer had already walked past me, turned looked at me, made to move off and stopped, pointed at me and then offered my formal name and smiled and shook my hand. He wouldn't make supporting cast in a B movie that is for sure, never mind get a cesar or golden lion for that performance. I asked him how he was and he was gone without a answer.
Now in the small space I wished him bad vibes, I positioned myself to be in line with him, each time I sent him vibes he repostioned himself to get someone between us. I know I was being mean and nasty, but I had a sense of what was going to happen next and I was not going to let him do it easily.

We entered.

The same room as the last time, purplish walls, high windows, ordinary workaday tables badly stuck beside each other. A Man with well cut short grey hair, dressed in black, no tie, somewhat overweight, looked up, he seemed startled to see me. A lady about the same age beside him perhaps a little older, different salary bracket for sure. They acknowledged me. The proceedings began.

PROCEEDINGS
As my ex was not there, we got to go first, I was from that moment on completely ignored. My lawyer was pleased and nervous. I sent her vibes to stop her hands shaking and take the tremor out of her voice. They stopped.
She opened her file, made a point, explained it, and moved the page to one side. She made another point, explained it and moved the page to one side. Each time she revealed the next page with it's heading, it's argument, and she continued in this vain for about 20 minutes. The judge took notes, only one time referring to his secretary to write some thing down.
She made a good argument in that at 9 years of age living 3 minutes away from his father, having expressed a desire to make up for lost time, having seen his little sister and being more than comfortable with his step mother and having every thing he needs here, there is no reason why on earth this little boy should not be more often in his fathers house. She refered to different reports, and to nearly two years of evidence gathered and presented.
I was happy she built a good solid argument. I wondered why she didn't seem to have so much confidence in herself. When she finished she sat back, but as we were angled side by side, she sat almost back in arms. It was a surprisingly warm moment between us.
The rebuttal was to dismiss the aformentioned reports out of hand, to make references to bills that were never paid by me, which in fact were. To throw dirt and hope some stuck. The reply was unstructured, not very coherent in that the only reason they were against it was because, well they were against because they are convinced boy doesn't want it.  The reply was short, delivered under some duress, ( I was still sending forget your arguement vibes ) and was over quickly. The judge spoke,
The court will deliver it's verdict on January 15th thank you all very much
Monsieur Smarm the lawyer for my ex,  was from that point onwards ignored by me, he shook my hand afterwards, I didn't smile, I gave him the limp fish.
My lawyer tried to talk in an annex in private, he followed us in and delayed for nothing, so she said nothing.
She waited as did I.
Once again she explained if the judge said no this time there would be other times. I explained to her I wasn't living in hope, I was just living. She misunderstood. I explained further. I told her I had done everything I could. I had spent money, gathered evidence, come to court and witnessed her present a case. Now some guy will decide our future. If it's in favour of our argument, then great. If not, I still have to be a father, I still have my love driving me to teach and make him the best he can be, within reason and good measure. I will not be upset if the answer is no. Things will be clear, concise and legal. They will be binding. I will have at least a leg to stand on.  She wished me a happy festive period and walked back into the annex to get something, I wished her one too, and she replied but I didn't hear it.
She came back and looked at me, I told her I hadn't heard, she explained she had been through the same process all too recently. I was full of admiration. She had been thoroughly professional. She had done her job, and perhaps her nerves were explained by her personal story.
I touched her lightly on the shoulder as her eyes filled up. She turned away, hating that her mask had fallen.
I asked was she okay, she shrugged it off as if it was nothing. She complimented me on my sincerity and honesty.  Of course I was pleased.

The Conclusion
I spent the day in town with lover celebrating. We bought me a new set of clothes, and shoes, we joked that I would marry myself I looked so good, and then let Georgio, the assistant in the well to do store, into the secret that today was my divorce.
It will be all legal and offical on the 15th January. There are two important things. For my sanity I will be now free of an awkward unhappy, unpleasing relationship. It will sweep the deck clean and I can get on with my life and perhaps try to build something new with the mother of my son, for the sake of my son. I have longed for this for long.
For my son, his concentration is not top, his discipline is out the window, but he knows where ever he is there is acres of love and that beneath that , there are acres more. If nothing else this alone is a gift in life. I will not say that I put my faith in the law. My faith is too important. I will abide by whatever decision is delivered. I will get on with our lives. I will continue to be as good a father as I can be. What else could you ask of any man?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Now it will happen

When I get out of bed tomorrow, I will shower, dress, have breakfeast and go to court. In the court some stranger will decide what is best for my son and for his parents. The arguments will be made by two strangers who have met either of us a handful of times. The decision will be based on cold hard facts. Who earns what? Who lives where? There will be no weighing up of our personalities. There will be no weighing up of our history, or desires or our feelings. It's called the law, justice. The journey I have been on to here, will not be taken into account, but my lawyer will attempt to argue it to counter the argument from the other lawyer that I am some what less of a father than I am really. There are no drugs, alcohol or abuse issues being raised. There is just a couple of people, unable to communicate effectively in a helpful way. Who perhaps would benefit from a wise somewhat spiritual elder and a warm hand on our shoulders to talk sense to both of us. But then you can't quantify that with noughts and crosses and bottom line euros and cents.
I guess I will just have to be my own elder. I will put out my positive vibes and not think of any worst case. Everything is good and as this is the only recourse whatever happens is right for the moment. If anyone reads this, it will probably be all over by the time you get here. One thing will never change. I will always be my sons' father, and I will never break the promise I made to him as a babe in arms. I will never drop you son.
Gosh I am so anxious, but at least it will be over.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Liam Clancy

This is a man who taught me to sing, and taught me the value of story telling. I would have never sung a tune nor written a word, were it not for Saturday mornings listening to Makem and Clancy on my cassette player. I would listen, and listen again. I learned 'The Cobbler' , I learned 'Waltzing Matilda', I learned about the legend of seal people, I learned when it was time to leave her because the voyage was done. Any smattering of gaelic in music that I know, comes from those deep sharings, I was amused and moved as a boy, barely a strip of a man, not a hair on my face, as his voice caressed my soul and pulled at my heartstrings, and taught me how to dream...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GbkwCidPlzg&feature=related


Copy and paste the link into a new tab and let his voice fill your glass. I remember he recited this,

The Night Stirred at sea and the fire brought a crowd in.
They say that her beauty was music in mouth,
Few in the candle light thought her too proud
For the house of the planter was known by the trees,

Men who  had seen her drank deep and were silent,
Women were talking wherever she went,
And like a Gong that is rung or a wonder told shyly
Oh she was the Sunday in Every week.

Rest in Peace Mr Liam Clancy.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Life

Life.
It is for living.
It is full of situations. Each situation can be seen as challenging or to be avoided, or as rewarding, or as difficult, tough, hard, fun and a plethora of other words. I have no doubt however that it is not meant to pass us by.

When we are old and grey and look back on our time on this planet, there must be signs of interaction with others, signs of achievement, signs of being here.
There must be signs that all has not been taken for granted and that all that has been has not been in vain.

Perhaps this is just how I, a man, neither young nor old make sense of my existence.

I was perhaps follisome in my youth. I was certainly naieve. I have a sense of something that for me is a 'right way' of  being with others and often I have suffered for it. You see motives are never entirely pure. My motives of looking after others are surely in a small way, motivated by a fear of being abandoned or having no one around. I have learned in my time here in this place, that different cultures, interpret human kindness in different ways. Many here interpret it as something to take advantage of. That has nothing to do with the place. It's everything to do with the type of people that are attracted to being here however.
I am  always right. I am never wrong either. In the great energy system that is the human race, I like everyone else, am susceptible to energies. When I postulate an argument I am right, all of us are. This point of view if you like, is valid because it exists and therefore cannot be wrong. It is an energy in itself. It might not be apt for the situation but it is not wrong in the scale of the universe.
I can ignore energies if I wish, as many do, and close down, which I believe leads to illness. I can meet energies head on which can with unawareness lead to issues,  or I can weigh each one up and decide for itself and myself how to react in the most healthy way possible.

How difficult to write about a concept when I know that each and every word could be interpreted differently to the way I intend it to be. My way of dealing with other energies has become more and more to meet them head on. What has changed from my youth is the awareness of my own reaction to energies and synergies. Sometimes I wonder am I more .....in tune with the reality of what is happening. I notice lately I am encountering situations that are mirroring my beliefs. Up to this point at this phase of my life, I  have meet a lot of energies that were counter to my beliefs. Now I am being affirmed. Now, it is no longer the same belief system or  perhaps it's better expressed by saying my belief system has adjusted itself, been tempered and refined. I am still afraid of things I call challenges but I have learned if I don't stand up face to face and look them in the eye....( what does that mean? ) If  I don't take responsibility for myself then I can't blame anyone else for my happiness or un-happiness. The buck stops here so to speak. This goes for everything from my expanding waste line, to my lack of real writing, to my job search, to my romance, to my sense of self and well being.

I have a friend who's Gospel is 'all we have is projection'. I understand this but disagree strongly with it. For in a balanced universe of Gravity and Flight, black and white, good and evil, day and night, if there is projection then there is reception. Reception or receptiveness to energy is I believe a big part of who I am. I read something today about the doing. Stop the bitching, the excuses, the explanations, the reasons, just do it. In other words my writing career that I have long abandoned for moaning about the French or keeping fit, or drinking wine, or spending time playing games on the computer, or whatever, will never happen if I don't make choices. I must learn to channel the energy into the place it will give me most satisfaction. I am like a Nuclear reactor but I am only being used to light a 40 w light bulb in the storage room at the back of my brain. I have so much potential and it has to start somewhere. It's up to me to be receptive to this energy.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

France V Ireland I am changing Razors

Being home in Ireland was great fun. It was a great recharge of the batteries.
Last night I was in a bar in the Nice. Ireland were in the second part of a 2 legged playoff in Paris.
If they won they would qualify for the world cup.  I was completely alone giving it loads surrounded by 50 french people in an Irish bar.  We scored and got extra time.
We lost to a goal that was against the rule of play on 2 counts, Offside and Handball.
Irish people today are up in arms.
The world is calling the French cheaters.
FIFA have actually blocked comments on the match report on their website.
Whatever about it being a game and passions running high, to block the right to free speech smacks of cowardice and distinc lack of impartiality and honour.

It is true Ireland outplayed the French but they didn't take their chances and they should have done. So I won't come up with conspiracy theories. We could have won the match had we scored.
It's sad to see that the values of high Morals have been cast completely aside in this day and age in the pursuit of profit. It's sad to see a governing body block free speech. It's sad to see a professional footballer cheat and not be able to admit it. It's sad that the professionals who are responsible weren't up to the task.
I have a friend called Gillette, she is the best a guy could get I believe. The guy who committed the foul last night is Gillette's poster boy, the company that is, not my friend's. So while Gillette my friend will always be the best a man can get, I will changing brands to shave. Never again will that brand cross my door till they drop poster boy for cheating.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Ka Ching,



No, I am not writing about some Chinese philosophy.

 I am writing about the hibernation I have been in since I was about 6 years old and first played with the idea of living a life of poverty and prayer to lord god in heaven. Declothed of that wonderful illusion around the age of 26 having spent a year and a half in organised religious life, and many years previously in disorganised religious life, I set out on a path of trying to make my life work.
In short the good brothers were uncomfortable with my taking it all so seriously and to the letter of the law, and of really putting it up to them, and they sort of moved me sideways and out the door, quite quickly in fact.

So began a life of study and creativity. For the first time in my adult life, I actually found myself with a group of people in University with whom I had little or no empathy. Consider if you will a 27 year old with a penchant for detachement trying to have a conversation with an 18 year old child of an upper class family, who's only interest in life is where the next 42 screaming orgasms and whisky chasers are comming from. The source of finance for the cocktail drinking life was usually mother or father, in the detached house on 12 acres up the north west somewhere. The cash was obtained by lying about some obscure course in languages that was absloutly necessary for this grade A student and model of Irish Citizenry.

Then once I was qualified so to speak, and with a very complicated love life, I banged around film and T.V studios and sets. Nothing permanent but all good clean and healthy fun. Never earning a huge amount of money either but slowly building a reputation as a reliable team working, non complaining, likeable bloke. In the film business this means you get hired. In Ireland the film buisness how ever isn't as prolific as other countries, and I was still broke.

I said it didn't I. Anyway, when boy came along it was time to get serious and get a steady income. I moved into IT after a dodgy bar job here or there. As luck would have it, I got a lovely number programming for airlines. I got trained up, did ok, got married and then that Sep 11th attack happened.

The day we all lost our jobs someone rang me up to see would I be an emergency teacher of english to a bunch of kids in rough part of town. Hell Yeah. I lasted 2 years teaching part time, there was a down turn in the economy. I had a young child marriage problems, confidence problems, goal issues, and my wife wanted to go home. I had also finally found my way into a political party that I had been trying to get into for about 2 years, I had produced and directed my own play without a loss financially, I had almost completed a course in psychology, but as usual these things are for the middle classes, and I wasn't, so finance and pressure from my partner I gave it all up. So we came to France.

I started after a year to teach english, just as my marriage fell apart. Then I got into I.T and being the sort of guy I am I had no idea of salary.

Now 4 or 5 years later I do. It's like just before my operation something went Ka Ching, or is ker chaing, anyway the penny, about 6 million of them in fact dropped.

If our dreams are ever going to come through, it's time, beyond time in fact, but better late than never, to get up off of my rear end and make it happen.

Who knows by the end of the year instead of stressing out at  the end of each month because I am overdrawn and then the bank charging me more money, and so a sticky downward spiral begins and gets deeper, I might just be able to come home from a meeting someday and look at lover at say .......Ka CHING.

I might sound sad, but I am just nervous as hell and pretty excited about the future.......ker ching!





(Image courtesy of : http://i.telegraph.co.uk/telegraph/multimedia/archive/01431/euros-cash_1431091c.jpg )

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Health

My arms feel like rubber. I feel like I am one of those nodding dogs. You know when I was 7 years old my parents went to the U.S.A. They brought me back an alabaster football player with a spring for a neck. It was fun. I think he had a red jersey, touch his head it would bobble up and down. Touch mine it will just fall forward.
I got the xrays back too. So here is another question. Anyone interested in seeing what they did to me on the inside?
Booboo is ill. She has rhynolaryingitus.....I haven't a clue how to spell it and I am too feeble to bother looking. She is a trooper but gosh it's a heart breaker to see her so ill.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Recovery

I am feeling a lot better. I have much less pain. The pain is more localised. Last night I slept a bit better but it was still 3am before I dozed off.
I will probably go back to work near the end of the month. Lover lost her job the day I was operated and it's an anxious time for us. I try to stay focused on the positive, on moving forward. I try to make it happen for me in a way. Not easy when I am not so lucid and I don't have much focus. I go to rehabilitation every day. My fitness before this issue, and the fact I am doing what I was told to do, seem to be helping me heal quicker than expected.
So it's all good news.
We go to Ireland for Halloween, just 5 days. I am so looking forward to being on my feet, seeing family and friends, feeling my ancestors, smelling the rain, feeling the wind....and 5 days of that will be enough to take the edge of the longing :-). I would murder a pint of Guinness.
So anyone thinking of me out there, I am fine. Getting to where I am supposed to be. Now if I can only find a way to have a lot more money life would be darn near perfect ......

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Giving you what you asked for :-)

This is for you spooky people out there who said post the photo. I feel a bit odd about doing it but what the heck might help someone if they have to go through the same thing. So here is some factual information. All that red stuff is a sterilising fluid not blood. There is no blood but lots of bruising, all that stuff that looks yellow well it is, and blue and black and whatever.



I am better than I was when that photo was taken. I spend most of my 24 hours a day between sleep and awake...neither one or the other. Lover is looking after me so patiently and putting up with my extremely bizarre mood swings due to the funny meds they had me taking. I am in a lot of pain but it has dulled a lot. I don't really have any strength to speak of. I am loosing my almost 6 pack belly by the day. I don't have the strength to lift my arms above my head.  I have something weird going on in my throat probably the stitches...I hope so, otherwise I might have another problem. I am not tasting blood anymore which is good.
The cut is a good one, the scar won't be hugely noticeable I think. My left arm and hand are numb/pins and needles still, but immproving. This just has to be the last health issue I have. There is a life to be getting busy with.
Perhaps it's telling me slow down, but honestly if I was any slower I would be going backwards...Actually I am going backwards on the sports front. But hey. I am undergoing physio and all will be well.
Thank you all for your words of encouragement. Already I am getting flaky again and very sore so I have to stop writing and post.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Ouch

I am okay. I am in some pain. I am back home. I shouldn't be sitting here at the computer. So I am off back to bed. Thanks for all your well wishes...
Would it too yucky to post up a photo of me post op?
Thinking of you who are thinking of me, and wishing we could have a drink together and a chat....
Now back to recovery.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Ode to an Op

Sometimes when I write here, I avoid the deeply personal. I don't want people to get hurt and too many people who know both of us in my couple read this blog so it's not really fair. However this time I can go deeper because it is just about me. Yes I am going to roll like a hippo in the mud in my own feelings and splay them like a prostitutes' legs over the page for you to read.

My sugical procedure is standard. 
Lots of people get it done. 
I will feel better after it. 

This is the three line mantra that suburban buddists have been repeating at me for the last 48 hours.
This Haku of Health is supposed to make me feel good and positive and have me practically bounding into the hospital as if I was on a can of rubber red bull with a good dose of speed, and completely relaxed and content to undergo the operation that will change my poor sad sorry life............STOP RIGHT THERE BUDDY.

They are going to put me to sleep
They are going to slit my throat open. 
Pull the opening apart reach in a take out a disc that stops two vertebrae rubbing together that is incidently around my spinal cord. 
They are then somehow going to put in a fake one. 
Stitch me up
wake me up 
Send me home.


That probably doesn't pass for a sonnet but lets call it an Ode to an Op.

I happen to enjoy life at the moment and this is becomming a slight inconvienience. The other inconvienience is they took away the spell checker on this thing and I am too impatient to read through it properly. (Besides I am not getting paid for doing this, hence the sloppy work).

The surgeon told me not to stress out. I told him what was stressing me out was the fact I was getting stressed. I have grown up around hospitals, I have watched people pass away. I have laid out dead bodies.
However I don't like other peoples fingers in my body. No not even my lover gets to put fingers where some men really appreciate it.

I just don't like foreign bodies in me. ( I am not being racist here). I have seen E.R. worse still I have seen Dr. Greg House. I preferred Hugh Lawrie when he was a comedy duo with that other brilliant routound actor who played Wilde in the film of the same name. [House has got so formulaic, as to be completely predictable, except for the brain anurism that is caused during a routine chest X Ray because the patient forgot to tell one House's minions he took honey with his coffee and not sugar in his tea. Some deadly nightshade flower had been visited by a bee who made the honey, hence the complication. ]

Anyway my surgeon is nothing like him. I am a little anxious because it's all in French. My flow doesn't flow. I am not quick enough with the questions. I am thinking too much. I mean today I asked what I should bring with me. When I reflected I thought it was probably self evident. 

I didn't sign the paper they gave me before the visit to the anestheseologist. The paper said everything had been explained and I had asked all the questions necessary. So I didn't sign it. Then he didn't actually explain anything either just ask me a lot of questions. So it stayed unsigned. They didn't notice.

I am nervous. I am mostly nervous about the cutting, the bleeding the stitching. So let it be known in case I don't stop bleeding till all 8 pints have run out of me, or I never wake up,  or my honey intake causes some unforseen complication; let it be known that all my worldly possessions go to my two children and until they are 18 to my Lover who for privacy purposes will remain namless here. But if you find me on face book you will find her.
I am a little nervous about the putting me to sleep.
I am slightly anxious about visitors if anyone will come or not.
I am pissed that I won't get to see my son before during or after.
I am a tad nervous I wont wake up. Just somewhere at the back of my mind, there is just a little itch that this could be it.  It isn't it, but it's a possibility, a slighter bigger or slightly more recognisable one than crossing a busy street .........but nonetheless a risk.

No I don't know I will be fine, there is no one reassuring me on a professional basis and I can't tell the future.
So once more as I apt to do here,  like an English King with a hard on for the battle, I throw myself into the breach.. For mine own glory. I will have a scar I suppose that I can tell tall tales about when I recover.
But just on the off chance I don't get the chance to say goodbye and that I love you. Well you know I do. I wouldn't be me if I didn't. I will be less of a man. less of this man when I come out but I will also have a little extra. Perhaps that is something to look forward to. Being a little bit more special than I am already.
Wish me well.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Proof that excercise works...

So this is the difference that 100 days makes, or a summer. At the start of June I started a work out. I started because I needed to build strength so I wouldn't get hurt like I did last year, and end up totally incapacitated for a few weeks, and not be able to do any sports for a few months.... This is the result of my efforts.
 BEFORE





AFTER



Please note there is no trick photography. I am more tanned, I have lost 6kg in rougly 110 days. I cut down on the alcohol, I cut out white bread totally, I cut out startchy foods, like pototoes and pasta in the evening, I drank more water, and ate more fruit.  I still have some way to go. One thing is sure, the discomfort I am in now before surgery I am facing next Friday, would have been a lot more intense if I hadn't built up my core muscles. It's not so easy to move my head, so I can get up and out of bed by pulling on my stomach muscles. Once I am fixed and back running I will post another photo after my next 50 day session. I know I am not Addonis, ( or Addidas hihi) but I like that I am getting fit. It helps the mind too.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

I wasn't expecting that

One of the great things about life is the unexpected stuff that crops up. A body can find themselves tootling along thinking they are happy and their buddy next door is looking in thinking you look sad. Projection has a lot to do with everything. However, positive thinking has too.
About a month ago, I strained my neck watching TV. Yeah life can hard.(I am joking). I didn't pay much attention to the neck strain, had it before, read the book saw the movie, hell I have even eaten the stew. Oh no wait, that was rabbits right. Anyway I thought I would work it off pretty easily. I continued doing my 30 minute work out on the floor every day, plus 50 push ups and started doing pull ups. The pain wasn't going anywhere. I continued swimming, it helped a little, but the pain when I would wake in the mornings was getting a bit much. Long story short, last Tuesday , I forced an appointment with Doc. We did the tests, yesterday. I went upstairs to ask for more painkillers as I was running out of paracetemol. The hospital is really well set up and the doc likes me, so he pulled me in, without an appointment in front of everyone. He called up the results of the MRI on his PC, ( don't you love technology) and then said, 'ah I think that needs surgery' I backed off saying cortisone and rest might do it, but he wasn't convinced. Then he sent me to the guy next door who stuck needels into me and gave me electric shocks. I thought of Gobles, and Pavlov, and I thought of smacking him one, but the pain inside was greater than that outside. Plus I knew he was trying to help. He walked out of the room and there was a discusion outside. I was then sent to a Neurosurgeon. This guy was my age. He had that sort of big boned body that comes from a wealthy background. As if he inherited good health through his ancestors access to the best food. His clothes were pretty sharp too. My inverted snobbery got the better of me.
He looked, and said OH it's a beauty. Actually he said OOH il est Beau!. An Italian speaking French to an Irishman in Monaco is always a challenge for both parties involved. I sized up what he said, knowing the reason he was in front of me was to make money. I asked him about alternatives which didn't sound pleasing either, I considered for about 2 or 3 minutes, stalling him by asking questions, about risk cost, recovery.....He told me there was no reason to stress. I thought of asking him if anyone had opened his neck recently and taken anything out, but seeing as he was proposing to do that to me, I thought I better not be cheeky. So next Friday I will have a disc removed from my neck and an artifical one put in. I won't have any more pain. I might not swallow so well for a few days. A friend of mine is Running an Iron man that weekend and it's my birthday on Monday. So I wasn't really expecting that, but I am okay. A little nervous, but ok. Life is for living and this is just another step on the adventure. I just have to remember to be positive and not project.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Happy Monday

You know that thing you do when you take a path, the same path every day and you wonder what would happen if you took the other one? Well lately I have been getting the bus, then walking, then the train, then walking to work. Little girl has to be in the creche at 730am in the morning and picked up at 630pm at the latest. The result of our reconfiguring the trip to work, was me deciding to cycle to work everyday, put the bike in the car and drive home early to pick her up. However I still haven't got over some mental block so for the moment it's public Transport.
There are two buses that leave the same time from in front of the appartment. One goes down the hill eventually veering left where I get off, go down a lot of steps, walk quickly for 10 mins, cross the tram lines, and arrive at the station. The other goes, left straight off, down to the tram lines, where I can get a tram that drops me in front of the train station.
I was always getting the first bus, and wondering about the tram. If I got the tram I might see some pretty girls. If I got the tram I meet someone I know, If I got the tram I might be quicker....
So last Monday I got up late, no breakfeast, running late, sore neck, out the door. I got bus number 2. I was the only person on it till the second last stop. Two women got on there, and then got off at my stop for the tram. I ran accross the road missing the tram. I waited 4 minutes and got on the next one. The journey was slow, very slow, the tram was overcrowded. I focused on my interior self trying not to let the panic get the better of me as sometimes happens when I am stuck in a wall of bodies.
There were some pretty girls, but no one I knew.
I got to the train station and tried to get to the platform, my ticket was out of date and the controller stopped me. Shit. I had thought Monday was the 13th. I ran back to get another and there was a queue. I waited got my ticket and missed my train. It's odd as I write now, I am getting tense, more so than I was was during the event.
I stood on the platform and about 10-15 mins later another train pulled in. There were 4 people only around me, the door of train pulled up right in front of me. I pressed the button leaned my hand on the train and stood back to let people off. Something pushed at my arm. I turned and saw a small man, nervously trying to push through me. It was silly, there was loads of space the other side of me, there was no rush, there was plenty of seats, and not many trying to get on. I told him to wait, he mumbled and pushed at me again. I told him louder in French "Ay OH, Attend,laisse les autres descendre..." The guy looked at me and shoved me. Now picture it. I am fit 81kg 179 cm, dressed in jeans and smart casual shirt. He is about 59kg 150cm baggy trousers, heavy green jacket (it's warm) red dirty baseball cap, dirty and unwashed but not smelly. A few years ago if people were violent with me, I would stand my ground, pull on my inner core, stare them down, talking gently and reasonably and logically. On more than one occasion the situation has been completely diffused like this. Since I came to France I have sort of thrown out the pacifist and joined the Darwinians. I shoved him back HARD but not by any means with my full force. He was shocked and stunned. A stream of abuse came out of his mouth. He boarded the train as I did and the now 7 or 8 others waiting behind us. A business man roared at him, 'OH Monsieur comportez vous correctement". I took encouragement as I was already filled with doubt and beginning to feel this was all my fault.
I stared at the little man. He was shaking and shouting about having some card, a battery in the heart, and that he would report me. I walked away, as far as I could I found a seat and I sat. I couldn't believe when by hazzard he ended up following me looking for a seat. He was still moaning and mumbling ...he saw me and his tone raised up a few notches. All the time I was observing myself. I knew I didn't have the language skills to talk him down, but it seemed no one else did either. I can tell you that at 8 am in the morning when someone is speaking very loudly at about 300 words a minute and throwing obscenities around people get upset. The french reaction is a couple of OHH la la's and then silence. Suffer in silence. It's as if they all thought 'IF I don't look at him he will go away'. Some people got up and left. His main barrage towards me was that he had some sort of travel card, he took it out and showed it to me. 'So what?' I said quietly in French. His tone went up, he started to tremble more violently, he wished a cancer on my throat and on my wife and chilren. An intelligent lady called to him offering him her seat. He refused stating he didn't take seats from women, he had a battery in his heart and his card...( I thought of him telling him to change the battery), He abused me a lot more. His tirade was going on about 10 minutes now but I had some sort of shield around me......nothing he could say could hurt me, but it was tiring, and I was feeling the need to give him back the energy he was spewing at me. I told him to stop acting like a child.....then he lost it completely. MERDE...... MERDE MERDE, each one long drawn out, terrifying most of the people around him, his face screwed up into a rage MERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRDE. To which I instantly replied with my best gallac shrug of the shoulders, 'Et Alors?' He abused me again, calling me SCUM, it was a word the President of France had used, a specific word. I thought of replying in another Presidental gaffe, 'Casse toi pauve con' Get lost you poor fool, but I didn't.... he calmed eventually going to sit on the empty seat the lady had vacated.
When I finally got to Monaco I wanted to punch him in the head. I got off the train and went to work and laugh at it now for the most part. But a big part of me wants to know what that is all about? Why is that an accepted strategy of human behaviour? How does he feel he is benefitting himself by playing such a victim?... Une pile dans le coeur....a battery in the heart, my ass! I would warrant, but I can't be certain, there was nothing physical wrong with him at all. Certainly lacking love, it sounds trite now when I say it, but why? Certainly under some enormous psychological stress. When my verbal skills are better someday, maybe I will be able to put my arm around him instead of pushing...but for the moment, no one is going to vomit there crap all over me, without me respecting myself in the process and refusing to give into the fear.
I am beginning to settle into this life her in the hexagon, and I am glad I haven't chosen his strategy to get by.
One thing is for sure, I will be getting the first bus from now on and not the bus less travelled by, for that has made all the difference.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Good Life

After a conversation with a friend I realised why I write here. Most of the time it's to offload. I suppose my PC becomes my shrink. I sit in front it and tell it stuff. I don't tell everything because I know people are reading.
Suffice to say that the mood of a lot of what I write, is bound to be frustration.
I have come to a realisation in the last few weeks only, that finally, after 6 years of frustration, that I am where I am. This is where I belong. My accepting that, which I couldn't have done sooner because I was on my path and not yours, has allowed me to be happy. I am happy. I don't have a great job, I don't have a lot of money, I wish my discs wouldn't keep acting up but these are all paltry concerns. I have a few good friends in the world. I have two wonderful children. I have a lover. There is food on the table. There is even beer in the fridge that I don't really feel the need for. Since I decided early June to kick myself in ass, Life has come up trumps. Things are afoot. I can sense huge changes since April. There is a voyage ahead and it's very very rewarding.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

The quality of Mercy is not strained

You know it hasn't rained since my pal was here in June. I just heard a noise behind me in the room, the skies have opened and it has just pissed rain really really hard. It will freshen the air, clear the pollution, dampen down the dust, cool down the sea, and day to day will be just a tad more bearable.
But by gollygum drops we are lucky to live in such a beautiful place. Boy is back on the mainland, he will be here Friday. I can't wait.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Chill

It's been a strange summer. All that I could ask for in some ways and yet it irritated the bejaysus out of me. When I look back on my Summer which is not over yet, I realise someone has been in my space since June, give or take 70 days of no time to myself. That was countered of course by getting on the bicycle or trying to go for a run or swim. Result I am fitter at the end of Summer than at the start. Thats ok.
I am carrying some small niggles and hoping they don't blow up on me into something serious.
Lover and my baby girl have gone to Italy, taking with them the wonderful but irritating dog, and the lovely and helpful mother in love, (lovers mother). Boy is in Corsica since August 2nd. I am now alone. I am wondering what effect it has on the system.
I am not in the slighest bit lonely. I have frustrations with where I am at. I am trying to do something about it. Today however I will chill. It's hot, the Mistral or it's cousin is blowing up from North Africa, but gently. So it's very hot. I was raised in a watery sea of green grass. Here it's arid, red rock. Perhaps that's a compliment rather than a conflict, or at least it should be viewed as so.
The future is calling, it's time to start thinking of what shoes to wear for the journey. However that decision can wait perhaps till tomorrow.
Today I will do the opposite of the atmosphere, and just chill alone.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

An Epiphany?

Today I got on the bike too late in the day but not too late as to suffer too much. I was late out of bed, I ate breakfeast.

Lover wanted a pic nic but I had shared on Friday I wasn't interested. I had a long cycle planned for Sunday and I am sticking to it.

Up I went and realised as soon as I was saddled my front tire was devoid of air. I felt like a plonker, right in front of the appartment pumping air into my tire. Maybe it was a sign to stay home....

I cycled up hill, and as I went I noticed those purple trumpets, creeping over the fence almost herarlding my every effort.

I saw an old(er) man walking his bike uphill, he gave me his hat and it made my day.*
I went further up and further, and then down a step decline to go back up again. Superman on the worlds fastest road bicycle passed me and left me for dead.
I could swear he was doing at least 45-50 kph uphill, I was struggling with my steady 9.

Every kilometer that passed more trumpets sang to me, and white and yellow bursts of applause reached out to touch me as I went past.
It was a good cycle. I went farther than I have ever been up and up.

At some point looking out over the hills at Aspremont just before turning for Tourettes Levens, a phrase popped into my head. I belong here.

It has taken 6 years but I belong here. That phrase came back again and again. I thought how lucky I was to live in place, the hills, the scorching sun, the sea. This place where I have children and a lover. I thought of my neighbour who is an avid cyclist who might yet turn into more than a passing acquaintance. I thought of discussing with him how lucky I was to be here.

My spirt spoke and said no it's not luck. It's choice. I made my choices and now I should give myself my own hat.*...

I belong here. My sweat has seeped into the ground as have my tears. I belong here.
Later I noticed the trumpets had wilted in the midday heat, I too was wilted, at the end of my force, I tried my mantra I didn't believe it, I was too tired.

However, on this strange day of days, it's true to say, I belong here.

*[in french when you are congragulated, they tell you chapeau, or hat. It's like doffing the hat to you]

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Seeking the past?

I seem to have had an urge to track down old friends in the last few years. I am not someone who keeps friends too easily. Maybe as I have matured I have remembered to return emails, phone calls, not forgotten names and birthdays. I have always been forgetful.
One time I met a lovely girl at a night club. We went back to her place and didn't have sex but we had a nice evening. She left on holidays for two weeks the next morning. When she got back and rang me, I had no idea who she was. It was hurtful for her. It took me about 3 or 4 days to remember, when I did, I rang her back and tried to apologise. She didn't buy it, I didn't blame her.

I have met a lot of people in my life. A lot of ships have passed both by day and night. Lovers and friends have come and gone.
One thing I am interested in, is how everyone is. I wonder how past friends have faired in their lives. Have past lovers found their prince charming, who I certainly wasn't, or princess charming for that matter? Have past buddies become dads, successful business men, are they gay and out?
Who are the children that call these people Mother, Father, Lover and will most likely never know that for a moment in time, I shared a part of their identity, contributed to their makeup and was clearly affected by their presence in my life?

One or two people I have managed to track down to some success. One or two, to point blank empty stares coming back from the internet as first touch messages are replied to, and then there is the deep white hole of an empty space and time continuim where the relationship now carries on in it's pre-recontact form. Each of us having ceased to exist for the other. I think my forwardness in admitting I still 'feel' for these people might be a part of it.

What is curious for me, is that no one is looking for me.

That line jumps out of the page and whacks me accross the face and I sit there not reacting, turning the other cheek.

I am not sure to be honest I would want too many of my old entourage, groupies, hangers on, lovers, friends, acquaintances tracking me down, for a deep and meaningful. At the same time, however, there are many who made an impact on me. I remember the good times, the sharing, the things we had in common and I wonder what part of me was so weird that no one wants to get in touch?
What part of me is it that is so weird that does want to get in touch?

Perhaps I am basically lonely, I would guess in hindsight I have rarely been not lonely around people. In fact probably the only time I can be sure to be not lonely is when I am alone.

Perhaps I am just a good natured soul who cares in my own clumsy way. Perhaps I have just too much time on my hands and not enough occupations.

Either way those of you, who touched me, reached out and allowed your fingers to caress my soul and opened your ears to it's music, even it did make you run screaming, I am grateful for the time we shared, and hey if you are reading this and we shared something in the past, get in touch? The rest of you, for the most part I wish well, success, wealth health and happines. Yes there are one or two of you I wouldn't piss on if I saw you on fire at the side of the street, but hey, you make your bed you lie in it.
I am sure I have changed just a tad for the better, I wonder have you?

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Another Beginning

Last night was nuts. Boys last night we broke the regular habbit and ordered Pizza. I am normally sort of fastidious about what I eat and Pizza is usually on the menu maybe once or twice a year. Yeah so what?
This month we had it twice. They are great, but just not any good really.

So last night boy was feeling tired. He had scuba dived for the first time on Friday with the summer play centre.It had taken a lot out of him.

His Mam and I had a huge row on the phone at the beginning of the week about when he would go back to her. As usual it was earlier than I planned.
Partly my fault as I didn't understand her message at the start of the stay. However her need to abuse and holler down the phone when I ring to sort it out is depressing.
I have lost practically all respect for her which is a shame. I just keep reminding myself she is my son's mother.

Boy didn't manage to eat the pizza. We sat and watched the 'Goblet of Fire' one the better Potter films, I was wondering why

he wasn't holding on to me for the scary bit, I turned to him. He was fast asleep with his head on his head, as if he was trying to figure out some problem.

We woke him up gently and offered him the chance to go to bed. He refused. I had promised him as last night treat. It was a trip at 11:15pm long after he should have been asleep, to Italy. We had to pick up baby's grandmother from the train station.

Boy was a little freaked when we got there, the train was over an hour late, we hung out. There was the usual drunks, down and outs, tired fathers, anxious mothers, taxi drivers, impatient ciggarette smokers, plenty of trash and grotty corners. At night the effect was rather errie. The excitment coupled with the tiredness meant he had a good time.

Finally Nona arrived, with Sid. Sid is blonde for want of a better description. He smells. He got down off the train and promptly crapped on the platform. Nona was mortified. Boy was laughing his head off but still wanted out of Errie'sville train station asap.

Sid is a dog. A big dog. A year old, strong muscular well behaved and tried to take me on with his growling twice already. He should watch out I bite.

It was 2am by the time we had all hit the sack. Myself and boy shared the big sofa bed in the living room, ( another one of his special treats). I woke several times covered in sweat. It's 27 C in the house at night. NUTS.

I had planned to be up to running speed this month I am not. My nutrition could be better. I have a lot of fatigue I shouldn't really have. So I am just going to make it up in Calories and excercise. The meds are moving the brick on my chest.

I sound like the 'Godfather' at the moment. The dust in the inhaler sticks to my vocal cords....it's interesting. It changes

my normally resonant tenor voice, to that of a down and out scumbag who might slit your throat if you look at him. I don't mind until the crap in my lungs comes up.. Yuck.

Okay I am not even proof reading this. Baby has had some problems with the doc finally telling us the compliment milk we are using, when her mama is not around, is no good. She has an allergic to cow milk she told me.

The doc is an odd character for me. A somewhat goodlooking but aged lady from China. Polyglot, but a head like a sieve. She probably experiences the same things I do trying to think in three languages, or two and two halves.

Right I need a nap. Then shopping and then nothing planned. For the first time in 6 weeks I don't have the day planned around boy. I wish I did. I won't see him now till September. I saw my ex sister in law. She looks good 6 months pregnant. I have
always had time for her, always will. There are a lot of babies around boy at this time. It's great for him.

I have been up and down struggling but then well I will get out of it sometime.

Friday, July 24, 2009

what does it mean?

So I am a little freaked. I have a 17% lack in lung capacity. I have no idea what the implications of that are.

Diminished Capacity

No sooner had I written my previous post than I put my back out again, but in a different spot. I was sitting eating, a bit stressed out, and my back started to cramp. 1 hour later I was doubled over and could hardly move. I managed to make it to the car and the drive home was full of cussing at every gear change.
The chiropractor came the next day and snapped me a few times, so I could eventually straighten up.
We went camping finally after the little one had been running a huge fever. The fever broke she visited the doc who gave us the go ahead. I spent my time throwing boy in the air instead of doing any meaningful workout. My back was feeling better.
This week I cycled to and from work and while I was faster than last time the climb home killed me. I had been feeling pretty low on energy since we came from camping. I couldn't figure out why the fatigue. I finally left monaco at 8pm in the evening getting home about 940pm shattered.
I left Monaco late as I had to visit my allergolog. He has told me now I have a diminished lung capacity. This explains a lot, an awful lot. Possibly the fatigue too. I am waiting today to find out how dimished. I am still tired. The new inhaler takes a bit of getting used to.
Oh and here is the bike route Go tap the elevation button when it loads it looks like fun

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Back to Sport

I have the all clear from the doc. This is really good news.
There is a marathon in November I was aiming for last year, I thought I might have time to do it this year, if I am not ready I am not ready, but it's a little difficult to motivate myself when I don't have a target.

I am not in a rush, but I don't want to be kidding myself either by going too easy. My Training totals are not great for these last two months but I know I am making progress. Yesterday I hit 700meters in the pool which is pleasing. May 2008 I was swimming a Kilometer a pop 4 days a week in the pool so I have some ways to go.
Today I have a 50KM cycle planned between Nice and Antibes at 730 in the evening, it's a social thing and 40k will be easy enough,as it's comletely flat, the first 5k will be a piece of piss, as it's downhill, that makes the last 5km which will be a new distance for me a bit of a challenge.

I make sure I eat enough and drink enough so I don't bonk, the weather here is 28C at 9am so you can imagine the conditions. They are the same type of conditions that would probably exist if I ever get to compete Iron Man France.

I am cycling only once or twice a week at the moment, but once the month of July is over I am have a bit more free time. and can focus a bit more.
I have August Pegged as the month to see my training Organised.
I am at the moment paying attention to fatigue and hunger, I am doing core, and some upper body stuff to gain strength, I have a heart monitor, so they are all steps in the right direction which I didn't have last year. I have improved the diet and make sure to take in much more fuel than I had been.

It only remains to be seen can I keep myself motivated.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Wheels comming off

I am in a Funk. I spent the weekend with my stressometer starting at touching the red zone and finished it with the stressometer blowing right up in my face. It wasn't fun. It is very hard to balance a inner belief system that conflicts with a stress imposed system. Things that normally wouldn't warrant a thought in my system become hugely oppressive when the stress mounts.

Where does it come from this stress and how does one deal with it? That sense of not being heard, or understood. That sense of standing in the middle of the ocean and screaming for assistance while you watch everyone on the beach have a good time and the water pounds down on your head. Everyone around you ignoring you completely. Oblivious to you. You know the one. If you live on this planet you have probably felt it at least once..... or else I belong in the funny farm.

Boy had to go horse riding this Sunday. I was so proud to see him, my 9 year old son, guide a horse through obstacles, make it turn, trot, meander. I don't even know what half of it is called. I was just so proud. He came 10th of 22.
He is much more suited to this than rock climbing. He has more fun, is more sure of himself. Yet as I look back on the day I can see the signs of what was to happen.

It was extremely hot and all the kiddies were out in the sun. He wasn't drinking water. By the time I convinced him gently to come and eat, he was well hungry and thirsty. The day went on and on, he brushed down ponies, cleaned their hooves, attended the prize giving and choose a rosette in the Irish colours.
I well up with emotion when I see him on the horse now, in my minds eye. So proud of my boy.

We get home later than planned, my father in law who I allow stress me out the moment he is in my space was being himself. Jolly, spread all over the place, a little forgetful, no quite understanding the slow panic that was building up. There is no where to sit.

We discovered some missed homework. It was Sunday late. One baby had to bathed and fed, dinner was being prepared the table had to be cleared and a clean cloth put down, the homework should have been done, but we missed it through a misunderstanding, the guitar lesson hadn't been done either and boy still had to have a shower and clean up after the horses.
There was some moaning during the homework, the usual interruptions from NONO not grasping the reality of the situation, not knowing when not to Butt in and when its okay. It's not his fault.

There is no handbook for life. There is no handbook for parenthood either. There is certainly no handbook for little 9 year old boys who are really really tired and don't want their daddy to leave the room when they go to bed. There is no explaination leaflet on what to do when father and son find themselves in a mexican standoff, which has built up over a half an hour of daddy trying to turn out the light because it's bedtime for everyone and son not wanting to be left alone.

Who teaches you what to do when father blows his top so loudly with exasperation that boy is terrified?

Cue the feelings of failure, the feelings of being abandoned, of being a Useless father. Feelings that it has all been a waste of time, that by the time he is an adult he will have nothing to do with me anyway.

There is no map of emotions that you can track when you are crying your eyes out and you stop momentarily to see your father doing the same.

There is thank the gods memories. Memories of the same angst and fear and pain and tiredness, memories of sobbing so hard that my throat hurt, memories of being left alone with it.
They teach me not to leave him alone, but to stay close. They teach me to try again. They teach me to tell him I remember crying like that, making that whuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu whuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu sound like an ambulance, or fire engine. Maybe he could get a job sitting on one? There is a laugh/sob. I tell him how I cried so hard I forgot what I was crying about, that I remember continuing to cry and not feeling like it and yet still continuing. I tell him we are proper pair of loo lahs and there is more laughter, some more tears from both of us, he wants a kiss from his baby sister, from Lover, from His mother, from His Daddy.

Finally he comes to sleep in our room down beside me on the floor in the cushions and fit mat. We fall asleep holding hands. In the morning we wake hugs and kisses. He is off to school, he mentions I might ring that night which is unusal. I ring. I make damn sure I ring. We are good. He is happy to hear me. I am as usual over the moon to talk to him. I feel cut in half when he is not around me.

Since then my stress has only mounted farther and farther and yet I am exhausted. I need sleep. I need a little change of scene. I need not to let that happen again.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The wheels are turning

I am back in the saddle. Biking , some very light running, swimming.
It doesn't always go as planned. Time is a premium in our lives.
We are not doing anything special, just out of the house 12hours a day.
It doesn't give much time for much else when you have to factor in an evening meal, relaxation, and sleep.
Boy is growing at an incredible rate, his mother is still be uncooperative and rude in front of him.
I find myself getting more and more impatient lately. I don't have time to be going back and forward. I don't see that I should be the decision maker in my couple either, but I am and I have to be, then the arguments start. If I don't make a decision on something then I am constantly asked to do so. So it's a juggling situation.
How does one balance it and not get narkey and under pressure all the time? On top of that people around here don't listen.
Oh look, I am having a rant.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Where are we going?

It's June 6th. Last night I rang Boy. He was in the bathroom so I rang back 20 minutes later. I got curt hello, then a 'could you call me tomorrow I am watching a documentary?'.. .....'Oh! Okay. Is it 'Home'?' 'Yeah', 'Ok, love you lots speak to you tomorrow, the whole world is watching it!' 'Love you too'...

So finished the call between a 9 year old boy and his father. .. . .

Today I have done some weight training, some stretching and once again I am going to try to restart running. I have been doing what's called core excercises for a few days now. Trying to get rid of a beer/wine belly after a year of no excercise is not easy. I took on a few kilos but I am slowly and surely getting back into shape.

I keep thinking I should write a book about all the relationships I had.

The urge to tell stories and write and direct etc; won't go away now. Now I am more relaxed in France even if disenfranchised, I can't vote either here or at home, I am finding my old spirit coming back in.

The only way to look is forward.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

From the mouths of Children.

The red twin seater ferrari teased me as I drove past. Myself and boy love looking at them. I told him if I won the lotto I would buy one.
He thought for a moment and then made a sad sound, he told me there was no space for his baby sister.
I was touched.
I told him would could get a spank off big 4*4 just like the one coming towards us on the other side of the road, in fact I would buy a big house with a pool tool.
He then informed me that wouldn't do because I would have to buy his sister and himself presents.
I told him the house the two cars, any I had, would be theirs too. In fact the only thing I have for myself anyway is my bicycle.
He corrected me. He told me that for myself, I also had him and and his sister.
Talk about being humbled by a nine year old.

I am back training again

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Time is Trickling

I am not too sure how much longer I will be blogging. Since the baby has been born, things have got very busy life wise. I am still waiting to be divorced. Finances are at an all time low, I am just ignoring the letters the bank sends. There isn't really anything else I can do. Boy now spends his Wednesdays with his Uncle, his free time in his grandmothers house. His mother seems happy to pass him around.
I am still waiting for the war and abuse when she realises there will be no more changing and chopping weekends to suit her and her family. It won't be easy to take that stand but I will have to take it.
Work is usually busy, but like anywhere there are high and low periods. I am in an organisation where the understanding of open communication and team work is at a premium. You can imagine the challenge.
Lover is finding it hard being back at work and not being with the baby. I understand, but there is zero chance of surviving on 1 salary let alone it being my one.
My college education, post grad diploma and various courses in computers are unrecognised here. It's as if I was uneducated. My Salary I am afraid reflects that. Arguing it is like trying to convince a leopard that stripes are better and he really should wear a Zebra coat.
I still have a problem with my lower back/hip, but I have been swimming again for a couple of weeks. I have also started on the bicycle again. It's good, yesterday I got up as far as Aspremont which is a 20km round trip. I start about 190 meters above sea level, go up to 500 meters above sea level and come back again. The trip back takes roughly 25 minutes, the trip up took one hour and ten minutes. Still I love it.
I have put on quite a bit of weight in my non active period. I am trying not to let the frustrations of life get the better of me, to remain zen as it were.
I have goals, questions, desires, and yet; I am feeling or thinking, that nothing I do can make anything change. I am on the road pre determined, or destined, and somehow, life knows what choices I am making before I am even faced with it.
I remember my friend telling me, 'Slowly slowly catchee monkee', I can't for the life of me remember what it is from but I get the gist of it. Slow and calm, no questions, just move forward, slow and calm. Make no haste in the race to become the ultimate you, yet move gently forward, barely rustling the leaves of obstacles so the branches that would hinder you can slowly bend to your path and the forest will open to your desires. Slowly calmly moving forward.

Friday, May 01, 2009

May Day, May Day, but nothing urgent!

As the world economic crisis, grips countries around the globe, strong ripples wave their way through France and Monaco. People are loosing jobs, but not to the same extent as elsewhere. I am hoping this time I will be safe. I have had little time for writing or thinking. Work is constantly busy to make up for the short fall caused by those let go.
I am clearly tired in the evening as is lover. Booboo, our girl is just so smiley though, so we can't complain.
The festival time is starting too in the big wind up to Summer.
The barriers and coloured hoarding are all up in Monaco for the Grand Prix in 3 weeks time. Tourists are arriving already. The schools are out on holidays.
We had a hell of time finding someone to look after girl, but finally found someone awkwardly placed in relation to where we live.
Monday Morning will therefore be a panic, back to school for boy then the other direction for girl, then back to where we came from to reach the motor way...... I am not looking forward to it.
The rain has finally stopped, if it doesn't rain for the month of May we are in for a crazy hot summer.
I am swimming again and we encouraging each other to loose our winter bellys, with some situps, and hip stretches in the evenings. It is isn't easy, but hey there are too many flat bellys around for us to be comfortable on the beach.
There are issues to deal with between us, but I reckon if we feel good about ourselves we can only feel better about each other.
There is loads I could write about, but I am tired of whining about the divorce, which is costing me more and more each time I see my lawyer. It would have already paid for a very nice 2 week holiday in Ireland for the 4 of us.
I hope to get home this year and keep the job :-).
I am having fun reading a lot of blogs and playing video games to deeeeee stress myself, or is unstress, weird, or is it wierd?
Anyhow, things are okay, it's a loooong weekend. Not doing much but socialising today.
Have a happy May.

Monday, April 13, 2009

What colour are the stars?

So today we went for a stroll in the forest. I haven't got the photos downloaded. It's boys birthday.
Boy was with the 'other' family celebrating in the garden, while I decided it was time to get back on my bike in more ways than one.
It's time to get back to school and get a french piece of paper that proves to the world I am intelligent and worth a decent salary.
It could also be time to knuckle down and write. I don't know how many successful writers won their battles with procrastinism but I am sure there were a few. My problem is, that it hasn't been a battle, it's been a full scale war. I will let you know who wins if I am published :-).
I hopped up on the bicycle today and my legs are still jelly. You see I live on a road that has 13-15% gradient. It's steep, and the only way to be sure of getting home is by going up.
I also picked just after eating a plate of pasta with onions and tomatoes as the time to go. Suffice to say I was back in the house after 40 minutes.

I washed up and loaded girl into the car and lover and I and she, set off for the countryside. A sunny hot drive to the wilderness, over populated by a million others with the same idea.

But still it was quiet. It was tranquil. We had a nice walk, we took some nice photos. We chilled out. It's the first time we have been alone in 3 months, outside, with no commitment to anyone else. It was relaxing.

We are soooooooo unfit.

While there we noticed two guys. Lover saw them first. Militaries, she called them. I looked over to see two world war 2 English Helmets peeking above the ground. I looked closer, one had a camera. I assumed there and then it was two guys trying to write a book, taking photos in period costume.
Later we came upon them again and I stole some photos. Eventually one of them spoke up and I thought I should have asked for permission. Actually he offered to let us take more shots.

He was about 18. He told us about the landings at Theoule, Antibes and elsewhere along the coast during the second world war. He wasn't surprised we hadn't heard anything about it. He referred to Normandy and the thousands of books written about it and the various landings during the war.

He explained the Senegalis story that came from Africa to repulse the Nazi's from France and save Europe. I was gobsmacked.

He recounted how sometimes he gets support, sometimes ridiculed, sometimes people think he is mad. I told him they are badly educated. But then so am I. As a child growing up, the war was portrayed simply from the British American point of view. It was only by meeting people from Russia I learned of her huge sacrifices and now today I learn even more about the sacrifices of boys of colour, who believed the hype.

As I sat there talking to this young man, idealistic, I wondered has anything changed in the 60 or so years? Has the world learned anything? Why are the white people still ridiculing the black and using him to fight their wars. Why more profoundly are we whites aligned with those whites, when our history has more in common with the history of the black man than of any white man outside the shores of my homeland.

I have moved on. I don't truly at this moment identify myself with a country or race. I am in identity limbo. Perhaps it's better that way.
This young mans story and what he showed me today have given me the kick up the backside I needed.
Long live the spring!

Friday, March 27, 2009

How much time do you have?

When I came to France, I had left Ireland,under the impression that I was moving into a house that was been given to us to look after and do some work on, and that my father in law would help me find a job through his contacts. I very quickly realised that this would never happen.

The house I moved into on 2.5 hectares of land had no electricity or hot water, holes in the roof and the grounds were completely unkempt. The house had rats and was not suitable to be the living quarters of a family.

In my time there I replaced ceilings, helped plan the installation of electrical wiring , installed water pipes cut grass and trees and used a chainsaw, and a heavy garden machinery. None of which I was qualified to do but all of which I did thinking it was for the future of my family.

When the relationship between my ex and I broke down, I had no job, my level of French was minimal, my understanding of the administrative tasks involved in French life was non existent and I found many practices culturally very different.

Faced with the prospect of probably never seeing my son again or only in Summer time at best, I decided to stay in France for him. I was completely alone.

I had asked my ex for help in order to find a place to live, she refused. It was with tenacity and persistence on my part that I finally found someone willing to rent me a studio and I had no references no guarantees but I pleaded with the agent.

During the break up I got my first job teaching English.

My revenue Brut Global in 2004 was 3600 euros. I still had to feed myself and my son when he was with me, and pay rent and electricity.
In 2005 my revenue Brut Global was 7782 euros. Fortunately I had friends at home and had made some friends in France who helped out with administrative tasks, kept my morale up as best they could and encouraged me to stay for my son. In these two years, I was obliged to rely on others to get by, I visited the St Vincent de Paul in order to be able to eat. .

I obtained a scooter for transport and found finally a willing companion who has been my rock in a very challenging time in my life.
I am 1m80 which is a inch short of 6ft, and when I met my current partner I was 59kgs. There is a pic of me on face book. It scares me now when I look at it.

I had discussed often with his mother the fact that when I was established we would share the care of our son. The more established I became however the more reluctant she appeared to be. Dates that were made, were often broken and I could never be sure even around Christmas as to if and when I would see my son. She is incapable of sticking to dates or organising ahead.

I have paid his school and canteen always despite my earnings being so low. Oisín has always had enough clothes, toys, and food in his home with me, and I have often received him in shoes or trousers that are ripped and torn.

I have in the past 5 years, managed to hold down a full time job, to learn French and although I can speak well I wouldn’t consider myself fluent, certainly I am bilingual. I have also obtained my full driving licence, although driving on the other side of the road was a challenge for a while. I have continued to teach Oisín to communicate, to use English, to guide him as best I can. I quit smoking again for him in order to be there when he is older. I learned to swim correctly and I have become fit, all for my son.
I am now settled and I am a father again, one year after trying to get a divorce in the first instance. Finally Oisín has a sister and he is very proud and very loving toward her. I have succeeded despite my ex wife. Whatever issue she may or may not have with me, she has no right to use our son to gain leverage of any sort.

I have had no wish to engage in a fight or to disturb my son. My strategy in not asking for full garde was to be fair. My wish was to engage maturely as the good parents that we are. But this social inquest and my difficulties with the first lawyer, a friend of my ex’s father, who threatened me with prison, signal that the boy's mother and her family are willing to play politics with him.

Now there is the question of his sister who will grow up knowing her brother is 2kms away but she can’t see him and how do we explain that to both children?

I am not going away. I live in this country for my son, and now for the rest our family. I am the father of my son. I am doing my job. I am there for him. I will never let him down no matter how much other people may wish me to disappear. I am asking the French state and legal system to understand that in our case some form of shared care must be established. Every second weekend is not enough. I am open to suggestions, to innovations, to compromises and this I know in my heart is the way forward.

But whatever happens he will always be loved and soon it will be time to just get on and move forward.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Life goes by so fast

I have had friends here. Good friends. It's been pleasant. I am over tired. Boy was here earlier than expected for the French mid term break. We had 11 days of bliss, learned the times tables, played video games, changed and bathed his sister together. We had fun.
I have received lots of letters that I have requested from people asking for them to write how I am as a father. Some are very perfunctory some are very touching. The French are big on letters and legal things, and there is a special way to write this stuff.
I will update soon with a proper response to the social inquest. But for the moment, my couple is under some strain, but we are managing to hang in there. Our daughter is beautiful as are our friends. I am learning lots about people when I see how the interact with my girl.
I am evolving! Finding my power and then stepping into it, has been difficult but I am beginning to manage it a lot better now.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Somthing Amiss

Well I haven't been writing because with the New Born it's been a bit of the lack of sleep that has been killing the writing desire.
However there are other issues which I don't dare talk too much about now. I am in contact with my Lawyer a lot in regards to my son. It's worrying, but I am hoping common sense, justice, and fairness will be seen to win through in the end.
I am reading lots but I am so tired at night as if I have spent the day training.
I have managed to take up the swimming again which helps the stress levels stay down.
My best friend lost his mother and it's tough not to be able to go and be there for him and his family but he will be with me next week.
Eh Volia and crazy short update on life to blogland..........
keep your fingers crossed for me!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Sleep

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

I wish!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Bitten on the Ass.

You know, sometimes life is just wonderful. In the last 2-3 weeks, I have become a father again. My daughter is wonderful, a miracle, amazing, and incredibly pleasing to both my lover, boy, and of course myself. I have seen my 'mother in law' barking on the phone to her dog, my sister in law arrived with a new style coat, that I had admired a long time ago. She is training to be a designer. Her taste is right up my street. A little conservative, a little......erm...left of left lets say.
In fact there was so much joy and so much newness in my circle I had almost managed to push it to the back of my mind. Then last Tuesday morning my lawyer rang. I knew from her tone it wasn't going to be good news. She was in possession of the 'judgement' of social services and would send it to me. As soon as I would get a translation I would ring her to discuss an appointment and to decide how to proceed. Nothing in her tone or words gave me cause for hope.
Friday morning I brought boy to school, rebuilt a computer with an amazingly strong graphic card, that lover had bought for my Christmas present. I was happy. I mean genuinely happy. That feeling that comes so rarely in life. The world is perfect, all your loved ones are close, no one is pissing you off, even finances momentarily are not a problem. I was glowing. I suppose it was like an after orgasm, or an escape to victory, or some feeling comparable. This feeling however had duration, longation, durability, realness, tangibility. I was alive.
At 4:15 I went to collect Boy, our 'copains' friends were at the school. I should fill you in, because of my history in filming, I had a panasonic T shirt. I was seen by a couple who work in film, they made contact with me, they are the only people in the area to have bothered. We love them and feel appreciated by them. He was there with his parents in law as the kids got out, and introduced me as ' a friend' and I was very touched. We had some banter. I was confident. I was alive. I was happy.
Boy came out and we greeted each other the way an 8 year old can greet his father when everyone is looking. We came back home and checked the post. I knew what was in the envelope before I opened it. I could feel the energy from it. It drained me immediately.
I managed to stay calm as I read the lies. The report included the social workers report about her meetings with me and Boy's mother and himself. In honesty it didn't appear to give creedence to the lies told about me. However the report, (made while she wasn't working) stipulates that things should stay as they are. I should see my son, every 15 days. I should pay his mother upkeep of 300 euros a month.
Let me say that last night basically I cried myself to sleep. Okay so emotionally it is hard, I feel my heart is torn. Yes I have a new life with Girl, Lover, but I would not Choose ever between Girl and Boy.
Now on principal here is what pisses me off. I have made huge efforts. Yes I clap myself on the back ( basically because no one else does and I need to feel good). I gave up a career, a culture, an identity and friends for something that tumbled down on my head. Smashed me. I survived. Now I have to play second fiddle to a person who now has a full time job ( funny how just for the period of the investigation she was available for her child) so my son is absent from his home for a minimum of 12 hours a day. Then he is often posted out to an aunt, an uncle, grandmother etc; while mother is off doing her thing. I don't have a problem with that. The problem I have is he could be with his father sooner in the day more often in the week, with his step mother, with his sister!
I live in strange society, I am very very angry, I am incredibly heart broken. So now my challenge is how do I do what is best? How can I even know what is best? I am on that thin line of trying to decide what is best for him and what it is that I want, and how do I tell the difference.
I haven't told him the judgement. I will talk the lawyer first. All else pales into insignificance, but I have a lived a life of comprimise too much. It has battered me to sacrifice my principles time and time again.
Perhaps it is just a fable that truth and honour win out. Perhaps I am dreaming to think that if I want this enough I can make it happen. How do I tell that it is the best thing? I cannot imagine a journey of 5 minutes 2 times more a month than happens at present would destabilise a child in any way!
But I know this, my desire to be a peace bringer, to be a person of principle, honest, has once more risen and bitten me on the ass.
From now on there are balls to be played and none of them are soft. The truth is like a well cut diamond, beautiful, precious, but multifacited. I will now show the other faces of our truth to whomever will listen and I will shake off the responsibility that this mess is only mine, and I will show I am a good father, I will try not to be motivated by anything other that what is right, but for once in my life, to show the decievers, their commeupance, ..........perhaps that would be loosing focus, but it would give such satisfaction.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Hungry Feeling

A hungry feeling came over me stealing as my girls were sleeping in the other room.
I spoke with a pal on Skype today and he pointed me towards this.

I understand how foreign it is to you, but listen, at a quiet moment, empty your head of stress, just let the voice and the notes caress you, you will hear my ancestors, my roots, calling me home!

This is a part of why I am different!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

PRIDE

This is the good face of pride.



Perhaps this is the lazy good face of pride, I am actually awake!



While I have a lot of irritations in my simple life, they are as nothing when I look at these pictures or think of these moments, or better still, just live them.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Elisa My Girl



Will post better quality pictures when I come down from circling around the planets and can think straight.

Follow by Email