still here?

I have been here all along, sleeping, writing an assignment, preparing a presentation, responding to a consultation, watching the remarkable referendum results, wishing I’d had a vote. The referendum was to amend the constitution of the Republic of Ireland- I live in Northern Ireland. It’s a very different jurisdiction, where we had a whole legal row about a cake with a message supporting same sex marriage. The court case wasn’t about actual same sex marriage, you understand. The row was about a cake. Well, ok then, not just a cake, more about equality, freedom from discrimination due to sexual orientation or political views. The island of Ireland has many complexities.


And of course I was watching Irish dancing. (This video shows a fellow competitor, younger than Girl1 and Girl2. She’s young enough to still wear socks, while they wear black tights. Two pairs for added blackness.)

I love to watch our girls dance; it’s the travelling and the sitting and the noise and the hours that bother me. But girls have fun and learn and sometimes get medals. The know how to accept defeat graciously, they know how to keep motivating themselves, how to work at improvement, how to show up and perform, and they know how to celebrate a win gracefully. All that, and they can do amazing things with their feet.

Spurs Fan was away at the weekend. He returned to the homeland; to Nana, Grandad and Tottenham Hotspur. They nurture him.  Of course he was worried about the chaos he’d left behind- would Jake get his insulin, would the clothes get washed, would anybody get fed? Every morning he texted an alarm call, contented to not be here for the reaction. We had no news to tell him when he came home. All the technology meant that he knew everything, having had live action updates. Girl2 let him know about a vomiting dog before she appeared with the kitchen roll to help clean up. Lucky Spurs Fan.

This coming weekend the Scotland branch arrive. I am not a flurry of cleaning and ironing, or food shopping. We will not be here. Nor will they. We’re all heading off west for a few nights in the fancy schmancy hotel. One of us is getting on a bit and needs to lie down somewhere comfy. There may be sparkles and cake along with the cuddles and loveliness.

Feel free to join us. Apart from you songbirdsignbird and you, soulwais. You have a grumpy dog to look after.


9 thoughts on “still here?

  1. Hey now Westies are NEVER GRUMPY you probably didnt give him his insulin on time Seriously Never met a westie I didnt Love❤They are simply the BEST!!!

    1. Stubborn, grumpy and still wonderful! Visitors have to warned not to touch him because the growls come from the depths of his feet, but when he wants hugs, there’s no escape 🙂

  2. last week i directed choir for BBC bit…
    this week can barely speak without tears.
    but the “paralysis” has passed…..
    and who would know anything but US!

  3. I loved watching the young dancer! Such poise and to me, perfection. I am so glad your girls have the benefits that come with the rigors of performance. As you have stated, there are many lessons learned. Thank you for the reference to the referendum, which made the headlines here as well. In the U.S. we still sadly argue over “cakes” as well…I get it! I thought of you when I heard the historic results, but didn’t realize that Northern Ireland was not included in that vote–that’s my ignorance, I’m afraid. Thank you for the explanation. And may your upcoming weekend be perfect!

    1. Girl 2 has been working hard on her poise and control for her version of this. When done well, it can be amazing to watch. My weekend was lovely, thank you!

  4. I was home during the referendum and felt really excited and yet when I thought about it, realized that doesn’t apply to us so the excitement felt more remote. Yet the rest of the UK have marriage equality. So we’re the forever forgotten about, neither one nor the other, in the hands of a bunch of nitwit politicians who don’t give a shit what the people might want…
    It’s a lovely dance. I used to Irish dance but I’ve never seen that one. Is it a new interpretation?

    1. Jackie, it’s a slip jig in the Festival style of Irish dance, mostly based east of the Bann. The style was popularised by Patricia Mulholland and sometimes called ‘Irish ballet’. Apparently the Feis style is about twice as fast, and more athletic- my two would pass out! Many years ago we just turned up at the Irish dancing class we’d heard of, and it turned out to be festival. There are no wigs and no solo costumes, which suits me just fine 🙂

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