relocation


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.

Hmm, is it worth blogging if you feel you have to be cautious about what you write? Before, when I was a complete newbie to Paris and was internet dating up a storm, it didn’t really matter what I wrote about various people becuase chances were, I wasn’t going to see them again. Actually that goes for my standard dating too unfortunatly, but let’s not dwell on that.

But now you see, I am getting to know people, in fact I can even say I have made some friends. However gossip is my life’s blood. In fact I think rather then blood, I have the exact brand of ink running through my veins they use to print ‘The National Enquirer’. And where there is very little gossip, I can manufacture some. That’s one of the few advantages of being judgemental, I can have an opinion, about which I can go on at lengh, on just about everyone!!
But you can’t do that with friends can you? Oh of course you can behind their backs with other friends, I mean that’s part of the deal right? It’s what you sign up for, in fact if one’s friends are NOT dissecting one’s latest life decisions, well they don’t really care do they. However it’s probably not the done thing to post the gossipy musings on the internet is it…or is it??? I’m still not 100% au fait with blogging etiquette ..or liable law for that matter but it’s why, when I went back to Ireland, my blog fell at the first hurdle. Various family and friends were within hitting distance or at least knew where to find me.

The other option is I suppose, ‘if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing’ but where’s the fun in that?

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.

Flea market, Bantry.

Flea market, Bantry.

My parents go to a market in Bantry the first Friday of every month. It’s like the flea market at Port Clingnancourt but with less attractive people, a lot more rain and a surprising array of chickens. Unfortunatly I had a writing deadline looming, had a lot of work to do and really couldn’t afford the time to go with them….and yet an hour later found myself wandering around stalls featuring decapitated dolls and huddled baby rabbits. Discipline has never been my strong point.

Now I spent my last week in Paris whinging about having to go home to Cork, but be honest, it’s actually been rather pleasant. The weather has been, let’s say, flirtatious. At times bright and sunny at others, sombre and moody. It keeps you guessing, it’s ‘rules’ weather. And at the risk of sounding twee, water pistol fights with hyper young nieces and nephews can be as heady as any amount of glasses of wine over looking the Eiffel Tower.

And by God, people are nice! I travel a lot and I have to say, more often then not, national stereotypes hold true, and while the Bantry marketeres were a lot let stylish and attractive then those in Paris, they were far more friendly and pleasant. Indeed the affability and general good humour even seemed to dispel some the heavier rain clouds.

What’s more there was something to appeal to each of our interests.

When not reading history my mother is obsessed with charity shops and tat, the tattier the better, which she buys and adds to the other mounds of tat which fill the family home to dysfunctional bursting point. Hence she was in her element.

Over at the livestock side of the market my Dad was bargaining over chickens. Ever since I can remember, any trip with my father has involved either the buying or selling of fowl or dogs, his twin obsessions. As you can imagine these two passions often clash with bloody results and the ensuing carnage means he has to maintain a constant turnover.

And as for me, I found myself locked in the back of a dirty back Hi-Ace Van.

No, I’m not particularly into machinery or being kidnapped but I am into psychics. To some a dirty van in the middle of a fair might not be the most auspicious or inspiring of environments in which to hear of one’s future but Mystic Moria’s sign did say ‘as seen on TV’ and she was only a tenner hence I found my self locked in a van with a wall papered interior, with a 200 pound traveller woman, in the middle of a small country town. The Eiffel tower never felt so distant.

Mystic Moria: So make three wishes.

Me: Ok. Done. (No bother, I always have at least five to hand in case of just such emergancies ) It is a tenner right? (Be sure to establish the price off the bat, you don’t want to find yourself paying 150 quid for a two minute reading. )

MM: Aye, the palm is a tenner love, but the palm and the crystal ball together is twenty.

Me: Just the palm so please.

MM: Ah but the ball is very good.

Me: I’ll just stick with the palm today.

MM: The tarots is twenty, now them’s the best.

M: Ah now, if I got them all you’ll seeing poverty in my future.

Stoney silence.

So she picks up my palm, I resolve to give nothing away, neither by word nor expression.

She stares at it at its tangle of lies and starts to recite in a monotone.

MM: Oh love, you’re very up and down, you’re going through a very tough time, very tough.

Me: Hmm. (Hardly, I’m just back from a summer Paris. I’m free loading off my poor parents for a couple of weeks. I’m tad bored and broke but other then that, not a bother.)

MM: One of your wishes, it was about your family. You’re concerned about one of them and are wishing the best for him or her.

Me: Hmm. (Nope, my three wishes were entirely self centred involving money, men and me. Now I feel slightly guilty)

MM: And I see you have a man, a wonderful man that loves you and thinks the world of you.

Me: Hmpf. ( No, I bloody don’t, I have a couple of loopy internet blokes that seem to like my online alter ego, but otherwise there is no man, wonderful or otherwise thinking of me one way or the other. By now I feel kind of depressed.)

Her: And he’ll have a diamond on your finger or around your neck before the year is out.

Me: Huh! (Now she’s rubbing salt to the wound. NowI feel somewhat despondent)

Her: And I see you in two years time with a husband and childer.

Me: Whatever. (Okay, what ever about reading the palm, can you not just SEE how old I am?)

Her: And you are going have money, lots of lot of money.

Me: Silence (Not if I keep giving it to shite psychics in Hi-ace vans.)

MM: And you’ll come back here next year and give me a hundred pounds because everything I have told you is right.

Me: Glare. (Now I feel just bloody stupid.)

And my palm had curled to a clenched fist.

For all of two seconds I debated whether or not to pay the tenner. However, locked in a Hi-Ace with a very large rather tough looking traveller woman I decided against getting into any arguments. I handed over the cash with almost Parisian bad grace.

MM: Oh and be sure not to tell anyone of anything I’ve told you, or you’ll give away your good luck.

As you can see, I’ve decided to risk it.

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