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06/01 Direct Link
News today about an Air France jet en route from Brazil to Paris described as “missing”.

I’ve always wondered at the use of this word in these circumstances. I mean it’s hardly likely the plane is going to turn up like a stray dog. That said I suppose they will probably eventually find this missing plane and some of its passengers.

I know air travel is safer than travelling by car, but it still has an impact. My father was on a plane that went missing in 1968. They found bits of the plane and 13 and a half bodies.
06/02 Direct Link
To those of you living in warmer, sunnier parts of the planet I know this may sound like making a fuss, but the weather in Dublin these past days has been unbelievable.

Perhaps I shouldn’t say “unbelieveable” because when I thought about the weekend just gone, known as the Whit Weekend traditionally, and the June Weekend nowadays, I could remember quite a few over the last few years that had been gorgeous.

BUT, but, but … warm sunny, summertime weather is still welcome around here and this week has been spectacular. I wonder should I be worrying about global warming?
06/03 Direct Link
The weather forecast includes the phrase “cooler than of late”. Hmmm... that wouldn’t be hard around here. Anyway, it’s been most enjoyable, particularly as I’ve not been in to work for the last five days, but it’s back to the grindstone tomorrow. It’s a pleasant, comfortable, flexible and generous grindstone though, so I am not complaining.

I managed one trip to the recycling centre/dump this morning. It took longer than I’d anticipated to actually load the car, so two more trips are required on Saturday. And I need to find a way to dispose of polystyrene packaging. 10 years worth!
06/04 Direct Link
Well so much for describing my job as “a pleasant, comfortable, flexible and generous grindstone” yesterday. This evening my teeth are grinding in frustration. Grrrr.

The function I manage internally is also outsourced. This is for historical reasons from when two companies merged. I was asked almost three months ago to find contractors for a new venture. I did. Then I waited until last week for Marketing approval.

While I was out for two days operations people moved on to source alternative contractors through external suppliers rather than using those I had found together with internal resources.

Corporate politics eh?
06/05 Direct Link
On this day 5 years ago my mother celebrated her 80th birthday. She was several months late doing so, but had always wanted a summer rather than a winter birthday party. There was a big family gathering and we thought we’d be back for her 90th. Sadly she only had two more.

On this day 65 years ago the Allied forces were setting off for the D-Day landings on the 6th that marked the beginning of the end of WWII.

On this day 47 years ago my mother got confused and thought her new daughter had been born on D-Day.
06/06 Direct Link
We were woken at 6.30 this morning by the sound of hailstones smashing against our bedroom window. And that was the end of the beautiful fine spell of weather we’ve been having in this part of the world.

The rain hasn’t stopped since. Showers we’d been expecting, but it’s been like a winter’s day with bits of trees being blown around and non-stop heavy rain all day.

Local and European elections were held yesterday. Results so far (European results won’t be available until tomorrow) are showing a significant swing against the government. Same story in the UK. No surprises then.
06/07 Direct Link
A poem from the archive for today’s 100 Words

There’s a bend in the road, a road that I know, where time and space stand still.

There’s a bend in the road, a road that I know, where walking the earth is heaven fulfilled.

There's a bend in the road, a road that I walk, where sea and earth collide.

There’s a bend in the road, where my spirit will walk, when my feet grow tired and die.

There’s a bend in the road, a road that I love, where the wind caresses my face.

And I become the place.
06/08 Direct Link
I find myself regularly checking for updates on Flight 447. Is that gruesome? Judging by the interest in the TV programme Air Crash Investigation, lots of people have a fascination with plane crashes.

On Wikipedia you can look up details of every single commercial airline crash since 1922 including the crash my father died in.

Latest news from search crews in the Atlantic tells of part of the tail being found. So far bits of wreckage, personal belongings and 16 bodies have been recovered.

An incident like this certainly focuses the mind on just how fragile all of life is.
06/09 Direct Link
It seems to be a given law of the universe that building work = problems.

Attic conversion starts:

Day 1 goes well.

Day 2 starts out well, i.e. no phone calls to me by lunchtime. Good sign.

3pm. Phone call. Problem with the new stairs. More phone calls and a resolution. Phew.

4pm. Phone call. Central heating boiler is in the centre of the house. Flue goes through the house, the attic and out. Seems the upper part of it was not replaced when we got a new heating system some years ago and it is made of asbestos! Aaaaaaaagh.
06/10 Direct Link
€2,500 later that wasn’t in the budget.

*Sigh*

Not only does the asbestos flue have to go, we also have to move and replace the boiler. Regulations now mean that boilers can no longer be located internally. Neither of the contractors who came round today to offer solutions and estimates was prepared to just replace the flue.

Thing is, I agree with the logic, it’s our budget that’s having the problem. I voted for the Green party who is behind this and other measures introduced over the last couple of years. They have been in power supporting a minority government.
06/11 Direct Link
Better get a move on here or it’ll be tomorrow. Been in my sister’s house to meet one brother who is home from Canada and another from South Africa. We’re having a family reunion this weekend (as if I didn’t have enough going on).

But, it’s a good thing because at least I’ll be forced to forget about builders and attics and flues and asbestos and budgets for a few days. Instead I’ll be talking and laughing and walking and eating and drinking and...

You get the general drift. There are 12 siblings and many, many more nieces and nephews.
06/12 Direct Link
Builders and family reunions have kept me offline for a week. So I’m cheating now: the following 673 words are from a novel I wrote last year.

Sunday, 30th, December, 2007

Dear Mother,

It is three months today since you died. It is two weeks since your eightieth birthday, the eightieth birthday you never had. That all sounds quite normal, normal for other people at any rate; dying at seventy nine that is. I am struggling though, still really struggling with the very notion that you are no longer here.

I wrote you a card for your birthday even though…
06/13 Direct Link
...I wasn’t at all sure what I planned to do with it. Philippe suggested that I put it in the God Jar on the window sill. This is a blue glass vase with an inscription that reads In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity. It’s an idea taken from The Artist’s Way; remember you were so interested when I read that book a few years back? Sheila at work was reading the book at the same time and gave me the vase as a gift; she chose the inscription herself. Anyway, the idea is that you write down whatever is...
06/14 Direct Link
…ailing you, whatever question or concern you might have, a wish, a desire and now it seems a birthday card to a loved one who is gone. You put the piece of paper in the God Jar and you let God take care of it. No definition on what “God” means however; I think that bit is up to yourself.

At some point during this Christmas week I decided that I would write to you on a regular basis, for six months anyway. I chose today as it is the last Sunday of the month and those Last Sundays we…
06/15 Direct Link
…had are a part of my growing-up years that are so special. I think you must have started them because your working hours were so irregular. It was the one thing you and I were always committed to and if you ever had to work the last Sunday of a month we had to replace it the week before or after. Remember? We were not allowed to let it go any longer than a week. I know as I got older and went away to college we let it slide, but we still managed most months once I was back…
06/16 Direct Link
…living in London.

I am writing in a beautiful notebook that Rosie gave me for Christmas, dutiful god-daughter that she is. I do wonder sometimes what Sarah and Hugh were thinking asking me, their non-religious friend, to be godmother to their first born child, but they were adamant. There’s more to spiritual guidance and being a godmother, they said, than belonging to and going to church. I’ve certainly enjoyed it though it’s hard to believe she’s a teenager now.

I must have read somewhere that writing to a loved one who has died helps to move through bereavement and I…
06/17 Direct Link
…certainly hope it does for I am bereft Mother, completely bereft without you. Then I stop and think and say No, that is not so. My daily life at work at the pharmacies, my life with Philippe and with other friends like Sarah and her family is pretty much as it was. Inside though, I am bereft, adrift and drifting without you - as my anchor, my wise counsellor and above all my mother who loved me unconditionally, always.

I am crying here, trying not to drop tears on the paper. So often I have berated myself with thoughts like:
06/18 Direct Link
“You are almost forty Lucy and this is the natural cycle of life. Now cop on and move on!” Then I try to be softer with myself. I know you would have been. You loved and comforted, but still managed to have and set high standards. I still miss you terribly though and so often. Just this morning even I got hit sideways by that most physical of sensations. WHAT? You are gone, gone from this life? I so desperately want to be able to see you and hear you and hold you again. Those are all physical sensations too.
06/19 Direct Link

I need to do a bit of catching up on my 100 Words entries for June. So I’m going to take the quick route again and post a further extract from my novel Dear Mother to fill the gaps for these dates: 20th, 23rd, 25th, 27th, 28th, 29th and 30th. Blogging and 100 Wording have both been sorely neglected this month. For the most part that’s because of having builders in, but also because I’ve reached a point (again) where roads are diverging in this blogging business and I’m not at all sure which one to travel. (Thanks Mr Frost).

06/20 Direct Link

A continuation of Lucy’s first letter to her recently deceased mother…

 

I’ve been wondering, do you think by doing this, by writing here I mean, that I am falsely keeping you as a person in this life, not letting you go?  My own answer has to be that whether or not I am it will still be a good, useful and healthy process. I know sometimes, and can only hope other times, that you are happy and peaceful wherever and whatever you are now.

 

2007 is almost over Mother. In two days we will be in a year that you…

06/21 Direct Link
Can I sneak in here just before midnight with 100 words?

I am betwixt and between again. No surprise that to the astrologers amongst you. I am a Gemini.

I have received encouraging feedback to my last post – an extract from a novel, the ending of which started this blog last year. So much so that I am inclined to publish more of it here. But it won’t quite work in the 100 words each day format.

Talking to myself again really.

Had a lovely Father’s Day and Midsummer’s Day with friends and family for dinner.

Just finished clean up.
06/22 Direct Link
The One Minute Writer is a blog I like to visit. A new prompt is posted each day asking you to write on that subject for no more than one minute. I guess I get practice from my own (recently slipping) discipline of writing 100 words every day.

Anyway, I notice that C. Beth has used a prompt I suggested a while back as today’s prompt.

Linda Evangelista said she wouldn’t get out of bed for less than $10,000.

What makes you get out of bed each morning?


If you’d like to have a go at answering go to http://oneminutewriter.blogspot.com.
06/23 Direct Link

…have never lived in. I really am sounding maudlin and I don’t mean to. I suppose I am also doing the usual year-end reflection and the fact that I am forty next year is giving me extra food for thought. Of course your death and trying to sort out exactly what it’s all about has me thinking, thinking, thinking, but it also has me contemplating the fact that I am next. I don’t mean that I think I’m going to die anytime soon, but life is moving on and in our very small family I am now the older generation,…

06/24 Direct Link
I’m sitting here at the laptop trying to find the energy to make the simplest of decisions. That’s what builders do to you I reckon. Your whole life becomes so consumed by plaster dust and sawdust and that tiny detail and this tiny detail that you start to lose sight of the big picture and the reason you entered into this mad arrangement in the first place.

*sigh*

Sorry if I’m sounding depressed. I’m not. Just completely incapable of doing anything that is not entirely essential to get me into the minute that follows the minute that I’m in.

*smile*
06/25 Direct Link

…well the only generation come to that. Which brings me to another point. Pushing hard at the back of mind as I approach forty is the absence of a child. But the reality of my life doesn’t seem to be going that way so far and of course the ticking clock gets louder each day. I know you were forty when you had me, so I guess I shouldn’t write myself off just yet.

 

Philippe and I are getting on very well at the moment. He has been a star these last few months, really a star. He’s organised his…

06/26 Direct Link
I was a teenager. He was my hero.

My first record was a 12” version of Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough.

Here’s hoping he did get enough. I suspect he did.

The news made me feel old and then sad for someone who meant so much to me years ago, but very little more recently. Except that he too suffered from vitiligo. Or did he?

Trying to explain to my 10 year old what “molest” means as we watch the news. I can honestly say I always thought Michael Jackson was a-sexual. His sexual energies went into his dance.
06/27 Direct Link
…work so he can spend more time in London and less in Paris and that has been great. He’s not here just now; he went to see his parents for a few days as he spent Christmas here with me. I’d asked him to as I knew I was going to miss you. We had dinner around at Sarah and Hugh’s just as you and I did last year. Being with children at Christmas is always a good plan I think, but particularly for me this year. Sarah has been absolutely wonderful these past few months too. And the children…
06/28 Direct Link

…of course are just so young and vibrant and doing whatever it is they’re doing and being themselves that they keep me from self-pity and getting down.

 

Philippe is due back tomorrow and we’ll spend New Year’s Eve together. I’m thinking 2008 will have to be a year of considering our options. What is it we really want after almost six years together? I can safely say sitting here today reflecting on all that has happened in 2007, that I am now certain, absolutely certain, that I would like to have a child.

 

I have been reading a lot since…

06/29 Direct Link

…you’ve been gone – Deepak Chopra, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and Carl Sagan among others, but I am confused. Confused still about what I think actually happens, what actually happens when you die; when anyone dies. You’d have heard about The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins I’m pretty sure. He’s attached to Oxford, a biologist originally and currently the professor in charge of the public understanding of science or some such. He’s written lots of other books, but this one has caused something of a furore here and in the States. I’m sure you heard about some of the fuss, but…

06/30 Direct Link

…I don’t think you read it. Essentially it aims to convince its readers that God does not exist. My first reaction was to say “Hold on a minute; talk about the baby and the bathwater. Religion may be, but God?” He then deals with people who generally think and feel like I do. Einstein is among them so I am in good company Mother!  In my own words, a belief in something behind creation and existence that’s not personal, not superior, but the essence of everything that is. And I would generally call whatever that is “God”, for ease really.