Saturday, December 1, 2012

All I Want for Christmas is You

I went down to the GPO on O'Connell Street today to post off Christmas presents to some very special and wonderful people who, due to the current state of affairs in Ireland, now live in far flung places across the globe. I thought of the hundreds and thousands of other people up and down the country who will be making similar trips to their local post offices; mammies and daddies and brothers and sisters and girlfriends and boyfriends and best friends and old friends sending cards and pressies off to sons and daughters and siblings and friends here, there and everywhere. 

There will be plenty of empty chairs at dinner tables all over Ireland this Christmas day,  but I'll tell you one thing lads - Grandad's chair at our Christmas dinner table will be the emptiest chair in Ireland.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Dial 'H' for Heartbreak

Right. Deep breaths. This post is going to be a bastard to write. Tissues at the ready - here goes!

Something that I have been dreading happening since I was old enough to dread something happening has finally come to pass. Grandad finally found out what really happened to Glen Miller. How? - you may ask. Well, because he's gone to Heaven, that's how.

Here we go now, snot flying everywhere already.

For those of you who don't know how I felt about my Grandad, you can read about it at the end of this post.  He, like Nanny Alice, was an exemplary human being. Meseff and himseff had a special bond, because we were both as odd as each other. When I was growing up, every single Sunday all the uncles and aunts and cousins would do to Grandad's house for tea. First the adults would eat and when they were finished the kids would take over their places at the table while the adults went into the sitting room. Then we would all go into the sitting room to have the banter and Grandad would sit in the dark in the kitchen and listen to Glenn Miller records. At some point in the evening (after several rigorous rounds of blind man's buff out in the hall)  I would sneak in there too and sit on his lap and we used to sit in silence, looking into the darkness and listening to the music. I'd love to know what he used to think about.

We were bestest buds. He used to knock on my window every Saturday morning at stupid o' clock to take me grocery shopping with him. Unfortunately, there was also a third party involved in these Saturday morning  activities. This was Jazz, Grandad's dog. What can I say about Jazz? The dog was just an anomaly. To me, thinking back now, his personality was indecipherable. I could never tell whether he was good or evil. One thing, however, was very clear. The dog fucking stank. To high Heaven. I mean, he had some serious issues. No living thing should emit such a foul stench. Getting into the car with that thing took superhuman strength. I'd be like "Oh my GOD! The smell in this car is unreal!" And Grandad would give the quintessential Grandad quote "I'll put a bit of scent on the dog" and reach over me into the glove box and take out a bottle of Brut and sprinkle it on the dog. As you can imagine, this only exacerbated the situation. So I used to stick my head out the window the whole way to the shop.

When we got to the shop, I could either have 40p or a Yop. Or on a really good day, I could have an Onken spaceship yoghurt. Jesus they were lovely. As I got a bit older then, bordering on teenage territory, I had a little crush on this fella that worked in the supermarket. Ronan, his name was. Grandad used to elbow me in the ribs whenever he was in view and I used to get all up in a heap. Then one day we were going through the checkout and who was packing the bags only Casanova himself. Grandad turned around to me and said in a really loud voice "Look, isn't that the fella that you like?" I nearly died. "Oh my GOD, shut UP Grandad!" "Ronan, isn't it?" He said this for the benefit of Ronan, who went beetroot red. I. Was. Mortified. I said nothing until we got out the door and then I ate the face off him all the way back to his house in the car. He took it all on the chin, chuckling away to himself and then he made it all up to me by making me my favourite thing ever in the world: Grandad pancakes.

Now these pancakes were the shiznits. No other pancakes on Earth can stand up next to Grandad pancakes. Probably because he cooked them in lard. And of course, the secret ingredient: custard powder. My sister would go crazy if she saw him putting the custard powder into the batter "That's disgusting! You're not to put that in mine!" and he would say "no, no, I won't" and the minute her back was turned he'd signal to me to watch him while he put a heaping spoonful of custard powder into the batter and the two of us would be trying not to look at each other when she tucked into her pancakes.

Then when I was 16 I got my very first job, in Besco's supermarket, so Grandad used to call into me in work and I could still do the shopping with him. But then I moved onto the greener pastures of Pound City and my cousin Anna took over shopping duty. When I was a teenager sometimes when I heard the knock on the window I would do a big groan because I wanted to stay in bed. I want to go back to that time and smack myself in the fucking face. I would do anything for one more scoot around Crazy Prices, me eating the head off him for hiding behind the toilet rolls on me and him just laughing his head off.

Sure that's only the start of it. He was just a legend on all counts. He was always laughing and always smiling and he was just the best, most honorable man. I could tell a bajillion stories, I could go on and on. When I think of my childhood, Grandad had the starring role, not my friends, not school, not anything else, but Grandad. Then when I got older, whenever I had a big fight with Mam I used to ring him in secret and he used to give me the pep talk. He always had my back and I always felt like he understood me, and if there's one thing I have always wanted it's just to be understood.

Then in May, he suddenly remembered that Nanny had died twelve years before, and his heart broke all over again, and so did all of ours. Then he needed full time care and eventually had to be put in a nursing home, where we had our last ever proper conversation. The last thing I ever said to him was "I love you" and the last thing he ever said to me was "I wish I had ten more of you".

Then he passed away at the end of September and we buried him next to Nanny Alice. I'm not taking it very well. I honestly thought he was going to live forever. Most of the time it doesn't feel real and I just walk around with a cloud over my head, forgetting things I have to do and losing things. But then sometimes I get an overwhelming wave of grief and I don't know how to deal with this. I can't believe it's over.

I really do wish I had ten more of him. But like all the greats, there can only be one.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

End of an Era

I rang BBB twice this week on our landline number and there was no answer. Highly unusual. So I rang him on his mobile. He said he was after moving out of our house.

The minute he said it, my heart got all cloudy and sad. I was imagining our little red phone ringing in our deserted room, with noone to answer it but the ghosts of two years of my life. I had a Ghost of Pavia Past moment where I imagined myself standing to the side, watching some happy scenes of the time I spent there, doing midnight ninja stealth farts on BBB's leg, introducing pancakes into his life, laughing at my own blog, and so on.

Why am I so affected by it, like? I suppose now it's official that my second life is no more. You see, before, I had two lives; my life in Ireland and then my life in Pavia. The thing about moving to a different country where noone knows you or even speaks your language is that you can be who you truly are, unrestrained by the more often than not cringeworthy dirt that your friends and family have on you. The time you told your friend that she was a baby at her birthday party when you were 7, the time you went down the bogs on rollerskates with your best friend and laughed so much you pissed yourself when you were 10, that unfortunate grunge phase you went through as a teenager, and all the subsequent hearts you (accidentally) broke when you finally came into your own - all these things just melt away and it's who you are now that matters. Anyway, that's fucked out the window now. I don't have my little safe place to go and run away to any more. Well I mean I can always go to BBB's new house but shur that's not the same - the shower head doesn't even spray directly into the toilet! What kind of an establishment is that?! I don't mean that I want to back down that road, it's just nice to know that it's there, this parallel universe that I can escape to if ever everything goes tits up.

I'm really happy now in Dublin and I have that good feeling you get when you know you're in a good place. But, goddammit - I miss that bidet!

Bidet to you all.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Eddie, Eddie, Wherefore Art Thou, Eddie?

Well, well, well. If it isn't Jenniky skulking around her long-neglected blog. 

The cheek of it. 

The utter GOWL of it.

Whatever, take your judgement elsewhere. This is a place of merriment, I tell you! Also a place of whining, though. And bitching. Also occasionally moaning. 

So my last post was over a year ago. A lot can change in a year. Par example, BBB and myself are no more. We broke up in November, but my first clue of our imminent doom came months before that, when he went to Switzerland for the day. 

He drove up to Geneva to see the car show, and as I would rather stick a needle in my eye than go through that torturous hell, I stayed at home to "work on my thesis". He said he would bring me back a present, so immediately I was buzzin off my head as I thought that my lifelong dream of owning a little cuckoo clock (a real one, now) was about to come true. He's hardly going to get me anything else - my utter abhorrence of teddies is well known by anyone who knows me, and I'm not a big chocolate person either. That narrows it down to a cuckoo clock or a fine lump of cheese, both of which I would welcome. Buzz buzz buzz all down the day thinking about me little cuckoo clock-to-be. 

Cut to the evening when he comes in the door home. "I got you a present!" he says. Be still, my beating heart. "I went into a shop and all they had was either teddies or cuckoo clocks", he says, with a cheeky twinkle in his eye, implying that the choice was obvious. He puts his hand into his bag, my pulse quickens. He rummages around and finally pulls out...a little teddy. There are no words to adequately describe the feeling I had just then. Not childish disappointment because he didn't choose the cuckoo clock; something deeper, something dark, with distinct tones of dread: 

It's not going to be him.

Oh no. Noooooooooo. Stomach pains. World-crumbling feelings of wretched despair.

The adorable puppy face he is making and the fact that he was thoughtful enough to pick out a teddy for me is only making the pain worse. 

He's not going to be The Fella. Oh no. It's not him. Oh bollixy bullshit crapbags. 

Shur it's only a matter of time now. Now that I know he doesn't understand me and never will, it's only a matter of time before the crippling loneliness of being with someone who doesn't understand you gets the better of me and I do my signature runner. AGAIN. Fuck sake, like. What the fuck?! Can't wait to die alone. I'd say it's going to be some laugh.

As predicted, several months down the road I cut him loose. I had moved back to Dublin by then and I loved doing my own thing and to be honest the whole long-distance relationship thing would have been fine for me were it not for the whole have-to-ring-the-other-person-every-day-or-else-they-will-bombard-me-with-missed-calls-and-messages-telling-me-I-am-neglecting-them thing. I just couldn't deal with it. Plus when he came to visit he basically wrecked my head. He just didn't fit into my life here. I should have listened to my friend Kazza's advice when she said "never take a foreigner out of context". Wise words.

Anyway I'm much happier now that the pressure is off. Although he's still on my Top Ten Rides of the Universe list. Right up there with Kevin Costner in Dances with Wolves. Oh early 90's Kevin, it would be an honour and a privilege to cause you a sex-related personal injury. 

In other news, I'm back in Dublin. Think I might lurk here for a few months more and then who knows? How are the rest of ye doing anyway? 

Are ye well? 

Cos ye're lookin well.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Day 2. I'm always so - fashion!

Got up and went to work at 9 and finished class at 11. Came home and let Gillian make me her bitch. Had a lovely shower and put on a lovely frock. Went to work where one of the other teacher's students said to me:

"You are always so - fashion!"


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Day 1. Again.

Lads I'm not sure I can say I fell off the wagon when I was only halfway up on it to begin with. For my last post I did the workout, but I did it like a little whiney dickhead. Then the second day I was literally too crippled (and fat and lazy) to do it. Then the third day I did nine minutes of it and then I said to myself "Fuck this", and I had a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. Times seven.

Then I had a little think.

What the fuck like? What the hell is the problem here? I only want to get fit like, it's hardly rocket science. It's as simple as doing the workout every day and not letting my fat sausage fingers lift kebabs to my little piggy mouth.

It's not that simple though, is it? Oh no. It's a complex web of emotions and self-sabotage. And Bounty bars.

I took a step back. I took a good hard look at myself. And then I sprung into action.

I'd been working so hard and worrying so much about this that and the other thing that I'd completely forgotten about myself, so that when I finally remembered to have a look at myself I was like "Jaysus boy, some staaaaaaaaaaaaaaaate". Luckily BBB was away for the weekend so I had that time to myself.

First things first, I went through the underwear drawer and threw out anything that I don't absolutely love. Then I moved onto the wardrobe and did the cull of a LIFETIME. Like I literally have barely anything left! I may actually have to go to work in my knickers like. But I'm telling you lads, my soul feels cleansed. Then I did a major facelift of the house. Which only took me a few hours, considering that we live in one room.

Then I did a manicure, pedicure, full body de-fuzz and a facial. The old Jennie was starting to come back. Then I put on me little frock and do you know what I did? Do you know what I actually did like? You won't believe it like, cos I still don't.

I went out and enjoyed myself.

Meseff and Laura went out and lay out under a tree next to the river all day. All day like. Me, relaxing like. Usually on Sundays, it's my only day off so I spend it organizing myself for the week ahead and being knackered and stressed. Not this Sunday though, cos there I was lurking under a tree reading my little book as happy as Larry.

I wasn't quite as happy when I woke up on Monday morning with the back of me legs burnt off me but shur what can you do?

Despite my red raw legs, I got up and weighed myself on my weighing scales, which I bought especially, and wrote it down on a chart I made, along with my measurements. Then I did the first day of the Shred. I think Jillian was happy with me, because she told me I was well on my way to being "Shredded". Although it's not quite clear if that's a good thing or a bad thing. Then I put on the most adorable ensemble ever in the world that I would never have put together had it not been for my wardrobe cull and skipped out the door, all pumped up and ready to teach the SHIT outta some English.

Compare that now to the last Day 1.

Bitches, I be reborn.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

30 Day Shred - Day 1 - Jesus Wept.

Good Jesus. That Jillian Michaels wan ain't foolin! I got up at 7 o' clock this morning to do The Shred with BBB. Lads no joke now, it was nearly the end of me. Talk about a near death experience! I was so traumatised that later in the day I had to eat a Bounty and a Reese's Easter Egg.

I hate myself.