Moving country


Haven’t been here for a while, to the point that I couldn’t actually remember how to post. However I’ve managed to work it out so in a little rosé induced fog I am blogging this red (or rather rosé) letter week for my own benifit, as I have long since lost any few followers I ever had. The reason I am bothering to write is that in the last two weeks I have had my drawings framed and hung in my local café, I have been on tour in Ireland with my French chamber choir (singing incredibly obscure 17th century music) and have just returned for the café myself and a few pals were toating my wee photo expo AND I have gotten a grant to write my French based script. THESE ARE GOOD TIMES!!! When things go belly up, as buddists and Irish pessimists always say they alway will, I want to remember this week and hence am blogging to mark it. I am begining to think this impulse based to Paris was quite a good idea afterall. All I need now is a bit of romance and today, when been chatted up in a café I had high hopes I was going to have it all…until he stood up..and came to my shoulder..and put on his anorak, so it seems you can’t have it all after all. Ah well.

I occasionally revisit my all but dead blog just to remind me about the sort of things I got up to in the last year. Well today something happened which I want to be sure to remember. Possibly I have mentioned in posts past my cutey young waiter, ie the lovely young fella with the smile of a young John Travolta, on whom I have a cougar crush in my local café.

Anyway, I’ve just spent the last 12 days in Ireland but today, when I returned to my café, not only did he and the other waiters give me a lovely warm welcome, but he gave me a presant!!! A copy of Le Petit Prince to help me learn French!! We’d discussed it before and he bought it for me! I am so beyond touched and charmed. The only thing is, I now have to read it!

They say ‘be careful what you wish for’. So, because, when my pal told me she and her husband were moving to India for his job, I enviously sighed “Oh I wish something would happen to me that would shift me out of my rut” I wonder did I unconsciously wish up the fire in the house I rented for 14 years. Okay, it was more of a smoulder then a fire, but believe me, it’s the smoke that’ll kill you.

Still, consciously, I was actually quite happy in my rut in Dublin, in my cute fire hazard of an apartment by the sea, surrounded by 14 years worth of clutter. So when the landlord, incited by the fire authorities, told us we had to vacate the building I felt the initial devastation of loosing what was effectively my home. However disconcertingly soon afterwards certain excitement started to niggle in my gut. ‘Hell’ I started to think, ‘I’m a writer, I can write anywhere, why tie myself into a lease for an over priced bed sit in Dublin when I could be…well anywhere!’

Thus I found myself giving away 80% of my possessions on jumbletown.ie, storing the rest of my worldly goods in archive boxes in my parents house. Thus becoming, at a stage where most of my pals were settling down and buying houses, effectively homeless.

You’d be surprised how liberating having nothing feels, and how bloody terrifying! And disorientating and exciting, all at the same time. It makes for erratic dreams.

Oprah frequently says “the universe very often has a better plan for you then you have for yourself, if you let it”. So when the universe landed a three month residency in Paris on my lap, I said cheers. When a woman I was speaking to for all of ten minutes at a Paddy’s day party in the Irish Embassy, offered me the loan of her exquisite little house in Bagnolet until the end of August, I said thanks very much. The fact she had season 4 of The Wire, which I’d been hanging to see was just gravy.

When I rang my mate just to say hello, she informed me that I could have her lovely house in Dublin, a ten minute walk from where I used to live, for the next two weeks, again i was able to cheers yes. I’ve actually been officially homeless for over a year now, and I keep wondering when panic and a mad yen to settle down again to kick in, but instead , having no official roof over my head seems to be opening alot of doors, so for the time being, I’ll just go with the flow, who knows where it will take me.

And guess what, she has series 5 of The Wire!

The rain has stopped, the sky is blue. On Google weather, a little row of bright sun icons line up for the days ahead. My bad humour has broken. This morning, blowing off work for a walk in the country, I wouldn’t have swapped my muddy black berry lined path for the Boulevard Saint Germain.

Having spent the last two months in the city, I was in the mood to be charmed to see nature at play. The acrobatic swallows were again out in force. the same fat wood pigeon of yesterday was perched on the same branch of the tree and beyond him, the large dog fox appeared again as if on cue, out for his evening stroll….

Until he paused…

And crouched…

Ominously!

Even from a distance I could almost see his muscles tense as three of my father’s stupid pin headed guinea fowl and beloved bloody peacock meandered straight into his orbit. The peacock in particular seemed to stroll straight towards him, almost as if to say hello. It was like watching the first half of one of those carnage filled documentaries my father watches on a loop on the nature channel.

Much screaming from my bedroom window wasn’t enough to deflect the foxy little fecker, which is why I found my self scrabbling over a brick wall, ducking under electric fencing, up to my ankles in mud, waving my arms frantically to scare him off. To be honest he seemed less frightened rather then slightly miffed. He’d trot off a few feet then pause and look back as if to say ‘Bother, are you still there? How terribly tedious’ until eventually, bored, he took to the hills.

Meanwhile the brainless and ungrateful guinea hens and peacock resisted my attempts to herd them to safety by flying left, right and centre. When I eventually managed to drive them back over our wall, I realised, to my chagrin, that I couldn’t get myself back over it, agility is not my strong point.

Hence, feeling slightly guilty for interfering with the fragile circle of life I had to trek through muddy fields in my good patent shoes till I could find a gate to get myself back out onto the road towards home. It all felt a far cry from France until negotiating my way around cowpats put me in mind of dodging dog shite on the streets of Paris.

Hmm, I’m very tempted to pop down to Dunnes stores to buy a dress. Apparently they have nice ones down there for 20 quid. However I am broke and there is better things I could be doing with my squids, like saving them to go back to Paris. Anyway I don’t need any dresses. I still haven’t unpacked half those I bought in order to attract attention from cute French men and immigrants.

No, I just really feel in need of a retail therapy hit. They weather has stopped flirting an is now just sulking and I am looking out at grey rainy clouds. The news is grim. The artists exemption, which means that broke writers are at least tax free, is about to be cut, the new Irish drama on tv is about jobless Irish people being forced to immgirate. Personally immigration is looking like my best option at the moment.

My ambition to write and direct a feature film is being insideously replaced by the desire to teach English in a country that is at least warm. I think I, along with most Irish people, suffer slightly from seasonal emotional disorder, and suffice to say today it’s gloomy both inside and out. I wish I had a punch line for this blog entry but I don’t. I’m just blue and I suppose I have enough blue dresses already.

Huh, Ireland, my two faced betraying homeland, was obviously only teasing me yesterday, lulling me into a false sense of security and hopefullness with it’s sunny facade. Becuase it’s wet, gray, rainy and shite today. Foolishly I have weather reports for both Cork and Paris set on my google home page. Here in Ireland a series of stormy icons represent each day for the next week. For Paris they’ve just come stopped short of drawing little happy faces on the string of suns.

This time last week I was sitting under a canopy of vines, having a breakast of home grown grapes and ripe peaches in the sun, contemplating with what Parisian divertisment I would fill my afternoon.

This week I’ve just had a bowl of Tescos cornflakes for breakfast and am huddled in a poncho over a heater for warmth. Outside are slate grey skies, wet fields and chicken runs which, in a fit of whimsy, my sisters have painted bright purple. For entertainment later, rather then a leisurly stroll around the Musee D’Orsay, I’ll probably be watching ‘Private Practise’ on ‘RTE Catch Up’.

On the bright side…. oh, I’ll have to getback to you when I find one.

I have one of those odd Skype numbers where you buy a ‘local’ landline number as part of your package. In theory it’s supposed to be so my pals can phone me for the price of a local call but in practise it means I just field a lot of wrong numbers.

Well a guy just rang from Dublin looking for a software company, and I got the most unexpected and sharp pang of homesickness on hearing his strong Dublin accent. I’m currantly looking for signs as to whether I should stay or go back to Ireland. Does that count?

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