Honey – Two Years.

Two years ago today, my Honey-dog came home to live with us. Two other dogs have joined us in the intervening years, but she is still my baby and my best beloved. I waited thirty-four years to find her and she changed our lives completely.

My little truffle-hunting Moomin-pig

My little truffle-hunting Moomin-pig

She loves her daddy best of all.

She loves her daddy best of all.

Honey with Fudge and Ronnie, her adopted sister and brother. So many smiles!

Honey with Fudge and Ronnie, her adopted sister and brother. So many smiles!

A happy girl after her Adoption day pork pie and scotch egg this evening.

A happy girl after her Adoption Day pork pie and scotch egg this evening.

Today’s Achievements. (Which Is Now Yesterday.)

I would like to have the time to sit and write here properly but, for today at least, I don’t. As a result, I will make a quick list with the intention – oh, always the intentions! –  to come back to it later.

* Today, a nice man in a lorry delivered one point two tonnes of wood pellets to my house, bagged and on a pallet. I’d love to tell you I’m half way through moving them but I think it’s closer to about a third of the way. Thankfully, Dave has said he will help when he gets home. Which will be shortly. Hooray! Still, sheer bloody pig-headedness basic self respect means I have to get as much done as I can so that I know I haven’t left it all to him.

* After almost two years, it looks as if we are finally starting to wind things up with J and his play therapist. I have been of the opinion for some time that nothing useful was happening there any more. It now looks as if we might be done with it all by the end of next month. This will free up Friday nights and sixty-five euros a week. Yay, frankly. To be fair, the PT was talking about coming to a close last summer but J really didn’t seem ready to let go. Now, though, he seems to be in a better place with it and they are both aware that they have an end in sight and that they have to work towards this.

* We’re still no closer to finding out what on earth is going on with the apartment that Dave’s been sharing with his aunt. At the moment, his official moving out is dependent on her being offered accommodation elsewhere. This is slow because there is a mass of bureaucracy involved. Naturally, he does not want to leave anyone high and dry but it’s getting expensive to keep, essentially, two households running and I must admit that while I completely support his holding on until he can let go, it’s frazzling me a bit. There’s not a thing that we can do to influence matters one way or the other as she has been on the list for sheltered housing for several years and all these things naturally run at a snail’s pace. In some respects, it’s not bad timing because at least we know something has to happen before the end of July when, I believe, their current lease expires. Still… It’s money going out that can ill be afforded. It makes me cranky because it would make D’s life so much easier financially if he wasn’t also paying rent every month. It actually has nothing to do with me, and it doesn’t affect me financially at all. It’s just irksome to my twisted mentality that he’s paying rent on somewhere where he isn’t living.

* We now have proper broadband in the house. For the first time in many, many years, I can potter about on my laptop without having to deal with the frustrations of O2’s sucky signal. All hail UPC and the nice engineers who sorted it all out quickly and neatly with no fuss whatsoever.

* I went for an interview last Friday with a company who were looking for someone to work in their Sales Admin team and they offered me the job on Thursday. It’s not great money but the hours are nicer, it’s not a million miles away – back in Sandyford again – and the company seems like they’re growing while keeping a level of realism about their approach. I like that. The people who were at the interview were people I felt I would be happy to spend time with, which is always a bonus, and I’m really pleased that it’s worked out. I start on the first of May and I’m more excited than  thought I’d be at the prospect of going back to work. One thing is obviously the relief that comes from being able to go to the bank on Monday and say that I will soon be able to pay my mortgage again, but another is that I know I’m starting to sink into a rut at home. I love it, don’t get me wrong, and left to my own devices would be happy to do more of it, but I feel like it’s time to rejoin the world a bit.

* Today (being Saturday, the day after I started this) we got quite a lot done at home. We have abandoned the sofa to the boiler house where dogs can have full control over it. Fudge, A.K.A. Destructo Puppy, has chewed one arm almost completely to bits and it’s no longer fit for human purposes. Predictably, it’s going to be a while until I/we can afford to replace it – although I have been scanning the equivalents of Freecycle already, just in case – but we can make do with what we have for the time being. I was struck by a real gloom earlier; somehow got caught up in all the things we need to spend money on or to replace or whatever, and, daft as it may seem, felt quite desolate that I now live in a house without a sofa in the sitting room. But I realised this evening that it’s not all bad because it’s changed the way I see the room and it’s reminded me, however daft it might sound, not to get so hung up on how I think things ought to be, especially when so often it turns out that there’s a much better way for thing to be than I ever imagined. You might think that with the changes that have already taken place this year, I’d be a little bit more trusting of the way things are flowing. Apparently, you’d be not wholly correct. I think I’m getting better, though, and trusting more. I can see it all unfolding and I like what I see so far. It’s the obsessive need to hang on to every little last thing that’s causing me problems. Living with Dave is a good lesson for that, actually. For the most part, he’s really easy to live with nowadays. He’s considerate and helpful and we see most things the same way but occasionally, something small crops up and I have to remember that, while he’s really laid back about most things, I’m not living on my own with the kids any more and that, if this is going to work, I need to loosen my grip on the reins slightly. I’m lucky because, yet again, this is another lesson that’s being taught gently so far.

* Tomorrow, it’s the turn of the front garden and the spare room. The front garden because it’s being overrun with weeds – I think I could win awards for my dandelions – and the spare room because I think Dad’s coming to stay on Monday. Hopefully, the beautiful sunshine we had today will stick around so I can get yet more washing done and we can all enjoy working towards making this house an even nicer place to be. I like this working as a team business. It’s a really satisfying feeling. But for now, it’s bed time. Remind me to take some pictures too. There needs to be more pictures! G’night.

Lack of Leaping

So, as of today, the following is true:

* We have a new addition in the family: furry, four-legged and three months old. Her name is Fudge (courtesy of my husband who things imagination is Wrong when it comes to dog’s names) and she’s a German Shepherd/Rottie cross. Her GS genes seem to be winning at present and, given her current size, she’s going to be a big girl when she’s grown. We collected her from the ISPCA on Sunday and she’s settling in well so far; she’s found all kinds of Interesting Things* in the garden and likes her new bed, although she doesn’t like being left on her own to sleep. The Hound, AKA my beautiful Honey-dog is being very good with her and I’m super-impressed with her, especially as Fudge is very bouncy and likes clambering on people and things. She’s also teething which means that everything’s getting chewed; nothing is safe.

A snoozy happy puppy.

* I have had two interviews this week so far, both of them yesterday. One of them was for a job I quite fancied, working in the city three days a week. Yesterday was my second interview with them but they called last night to say that they were offering the position to the second candidate, thanks but no thanks as it were. Which is a bit of a bummer really. The second interview I had yesterday was for a company in Sandyford and they want to see me again. This is for a full time role and I’d really rather not, but if they decide they want me, I suppose I will have to take it. Good part time jobs, with decent pay, are few and far between. I don’t know how we’re going to get on, though, if I go back to working five days a week. It will certainly be interesting.

* I am carless again, thanks to a problem with, TRM thinks, one of the cylinders on the Renault. Gophers, garden hose and extreme suckage, frankly. We are exploring the possibility of being a one car family. It’s awkward but not impossible. So far.

* I seem to be suffering from extreme lethargy this week. I really am finding it difficult to get going in the mornings or, indeed at any part of the day. I don’t know if this is down to the insidious Gloom that I am fighting – which somehow manages to be present despite me being incredibly happy with the majority of my life – or whether it’s an issue of diet. I suspect that my mind is spending so much of its energy on our financial situation that it’s wearing me out without me being entirely aware of what’s going on. The answer is probably more exercise and general Getting-On-With-It-ness. To that end, I am going to go and get a bit organised because, amazingly, the house is a tip and needs to be wrangled into shape. As do I. Happy February 29th.

*Well, interesting for a puppy, I suppose. These comprise mainly of twigs, compost and, this morning, a bright pink flying ring/frisbee wotsit that she’s currently chewing contentedly while Honey snores gently beside me.

Being Inspected.

There’s something about having an ISPCA inspector in your home – even a perfectly nice friendly one – that is inclined to make one feel guilty. Aside from the potential lunacy of one’s dog who, mercifully, on this occasion is happy to have her tummy rubbed while lying on her back instead of snarling like a timber wolf with a headache, one cannot help feeling that one is being judged. (As, I suppose, one is. And rightly so. That’s why it’s called a home visit.) There is an overwhelming temptation to point out that, yes, the Hound is moulting like crazy but, actually, she was brushed earlier today and, despite the floor full of fur, she’s generally looked after fairly well.

Small children making helpful comments are, naturally, completely unhelpful. I would no more let the children take The Hound for a walk by themselves than I would fly to the moon but, thanks to J, it sounds as if that’s exactly what happens all the time. He also feels it’s appropriate to tell the inspector that “Mum doesn’t have a job at the moment so she’s at home all day.” Which is, somehow, both helpful and demoralising all in one go. Ugh. Why can’t one muzzle one’s offspring, I wonder?

He goes off in his nice white van with a page full of notes. I wonder what the outcome will be.

Today, in addition to be grilled on vaccinations and pet insurance, I also applied for two jobs and dole payments. It’s a whirlwind, I tell you. *sigh*

Monday Morning… And It’s A Good One.

I had the most delicious weekend. It wasn’t that anything that remarkable in the general scheme of things, but it just worked so nicely. The children were with their grandparents on Friday evening which meant a bit of a sleep in on Saturday morning. Evie had a birthday party from twelve to three and J elected to stay and hang out with Grandad for the afternoon which left Dave and I free to have a wander in Greystones with the dog and then to eat the most delicious lunch together for the first time in years probably. Somehow, the day was a perfect balance of children, Me Time and Us Time. (Us Time is an acknowledged necessity if we are to keep this thing running as sweetly as it seems to be at the moment.)

Yesterday, we threw caution to the winds and went to visit the ISPCA’s National Animal Centre in Co. Longford. Mainly because I caught sight of this little lady on their website and Dave melted a bit we wanted to meet her and her sister, Lola. Initially, I thought Lola was prettier but she’s so bossy and extrovert that she had Honey bamboozled in no time. Lottie, on the other hand, is a lot calmer and less intrusive where our girl is concerned and so we might have accidentally-on-purpose filled out forms for a home check to be done… What have we let ourselves in for? She was born on November 15th so she’s still very young – it’s one way to use up old shoes, I suppose!

Today, I have applied for two jobs – having not got the one I wanted that I interviewed for on Thursday – but I have a good feeling about this week. I don’t know if it’s just the sheer, unadulterated joy of having skin again – and it is a joy, believe me – or the lovely weekend with my family, or if it’s all that in combination with having a great walk this morning with The Hound. Whatever it is, life is feeling more Spring-like and I’m sort of excited about things. Also, my Dad’s coming to stay in a couple for weeks for two nights and I’m sort of looking forward to talking to him about a business idea I had a little while ago…


On Wednesday afternoon, we decided to ditch the homework books and went to enjoy the freezing yet sunny weather in Glendalough with a dog.

The round tower in Glendalough.

Some of the gravestones from the early 19th century.

St. Kevin's church (foreground) and the round tower.


A Honey dog and an Eve-With-Frozen-Fingers who knew it all, apparently, and didn't need gloves.

Forty Shades of...moss?

An unexpected mini waterfall.

Plane trail in the evening sky.

Morning Walks.

On the 20th of November, we got a new addition to our family. Her name is Honey and she’s a four year old Rottweiler Labrador cross. She’s soppy and gentle and we love her madly. The routine that has developed in our house has been that I bring the children to school in the morning and then Honey and I go for a walk. Sometimes it’s a reasonably long walk, sometimes we’re both feeling a little lazy and it gets cut short a bit. What I have found, though, is that the light at quarter past nine on a weekday morning is often absolutely lovely and, thus, my phone has been busy snapping pictures.

The seafront from Bray head one drizzly morning last week.

Sun rising.

A fairy path on the cliff walk

The old swimming baths - redecorated.

What's left behind.

Bray harbour: an essay in glowing blues.

I know none of these are perfect but there’s something about the glow in them that makes me happy. And I think that’s a good description of my life at the moment.