on not following instructions

“When all else fails, read the instructions.” The old man used to view instructions as a last resort, each set a challenge for him to best.

Sometimes I’m good at receiving instruction; often I too will think I have a better way of doing things. Why would you not do it the easy way? Or the obvious way?

Then there are the things I’ve been doing the wrong way for so long that I’ve forgotten there is a right way.

Today I was reminded that there is a right way to wash bras.

A clue for the uninitiated- it’s not in the machine.

The hassle and the expense pain me.

A new undergarment, ripped to shreds on first contact with the washing machine. I can’t even bring it back to the shop.

Bad words.

it’s the people, people

It was grey and cold. There was sleet. Spurs Fan and I were baffled in a DIY shop. How do we know what we want? I want the pretty shower that looks like it might be more powerful. Naturally, it’s the most expensive. Neither of us were at our best- we’d just come from IKEA. I shouldn’t get annoyed by dawdling, chatting people. Or upset toddlers who are only reflecting my own emotions. But crowds of people cause me anxiety and too much choice bothers me. Shopping for practical things is not my strong point. And all the people were in between me and the soft, fluffy inessentials.

So much of life is about the other people. We can be inspired and energised, or drained, by the other people in the space. We can be blocked and frustrated, or caught up in the flow and move further than we’d ever imagined.

I’m planning on adding another page to the blog. A page full of links and connections to some of the inspirational e patients I’ve come across. I have a big long list, and now I just have to put in the effort of actually adding the links. ( Some days I’m good on ideas, some days I can do detail…) There will always be more to do. There will always be somebody else who inspires me.

Bloggy buddies, meet Jules John.


Go on then, JFDI.

reverting to routine

By the middle of September, we’re all back in the swing of things. Girl1 feels like she’s never been away from school, Girl2 is no longer concerned about getting lost. Spurs Fan is well into the anxiety mode in which he operates during the school year.

The activities are back in full swing- Gaelic football, soccer, Irish dancing, ballet, netball and goodness knows what else. In the middle of the Saturday morning runaround, something else happens. A little something that sustains the rest of it.

The visit to the discount supermarket. There’s always something new to try, something random but suddenly vital, and a sticky Saturday treat.

cheese and onion rolls, Lidl shop

cold compress

jam doughnut, donut, sticky bun

Now, I’m not saying that a trip to Lidl is the highlight of my week (well, not every week), but the jam donuts are worth the trip…

the one about the football

Ah, now.

The regular reader may not be surprised to find some mention of the World Cup here. Spurs Fan is defined by soccer. He’s been involved in clubs and teams his whole life. Apart from work clothes, he’s most often found wearing a garment that brands him, and has strangers strike up conversations about the fate of their respective teams. For the last two seasons he has coached the local girls’ team, who play in a boy’s league. That part of the weekend that isn’t given over to Irish dancing, Girl2 spends playing football with her mates and her dad. It’s unavoidable. I see a lot of football matches on TV, usually from behind a book.

Tonight, I put the book down. In our family draw, I’d got Brazil. I knew this team weren’t up to much, but still: Brazil. I had a t shirt and a loom band. I wouldn’t need to pay too much attention.

Girl2 had drawn Germany. After half an hour, even she was willing Brazil to score. Something, anything, one wee goal to take the edge off the mortification. A goal in the last minute was too little, too late. Tonight’s match was a little like watching the girls’ team play against a team of boys. Ah, go on, let them score. Maybe you could take a player off to give our ones a chance?  But no. Germany beat Brazil by 7 goals to 1- an unprecedented humiliation.

It really was a remarkable day, because I hadn’t imagined that anything could have topped the novelty value of the new football.


It’s teeny and cute and most unlike all the other footballs we have here.

’twas not I who bought it       #unexpectedfootballnews