A lot of wool. A lot of bog cotton. A lot going for it.













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The Erris Loop



Breakfast of champions for Mimi, who’s made a decent dent in her stash of M&Ms before Mrs mememe2U and I came downstairs at 9 am.

She won it at her friend Saidhbhe’s birthday party.

Her guess of 109 M&Ms was the closest to the actual 117 total contained in the jar.
No better contestant than a sugary-shite addict to win the jackpot.

The problem is that she is just as accurate when it comes to identifying missing M&Ms from her loot.

She knows just how many Finn and I manage to knick during the only 30 second window of opportunity when she wasn’t jealously keeping an eye on the jar.

Let me tell you, you don’t want to mess with a junkie…

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M&M, elle aime!

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Democracy at work

It didn’t start well.

Some petty consular agent with a very different understanding of the French language to mine was going to deny me my civic rights. No way Jose!
Aux armes citoyens! My (civic) Liberty shall not be denied, I demand my Equality. But you can keep your Fraternity. I don’t want you as a brother, sister!
I was redirected to the Service Contentieux (you know you are in a French embassy when the complaints department is as big as the passport office) but knew I would get the same misinterpretation as to what constitutes a valid form of identity. My Irish driver’s licence fits all the criteria set out by them: an official document, delivered by a Member State of the E.U. with my name, photograph, date and place of birth. Why the fuck would you list it as a valid form of ID if on the day you will only accept a French passport or ID card (“même périmés”, I wouldn’t want to put that to the test… Might actually try in two weeks’ time).
I was lucky to spot the head honcho himself who was doing a bit of PR by taking the details of some of the thousands of voters (I am not exaggerating) who each queued for about two hours to vote.
I pleaded my case to Monsieur l’Ambassadeur, explained that this was not just a case of administrative misinterpretation (pettiness is a perk of the job for underpaid consular agents) but a much more serious case of denial of a fundamental civic right, as enshrined in the statute of the Republic.
I was upgraded to the top of the queue at the Service du Contentieux (my apologies to the other raleurs) with an express recommendation from the boss man that my little problem be addressed asap.
They still wouldn’t accept my perfectly valid Irish driver’s licence but issued me on the spot with a cute little Carte Consulaire, with a photograph of me that dates from twenty years ago when I was 20 kilos slimmer and wearing my cool leather jacket bought in Texas (that’s what they had on file).
I happily rejoined the snaking queue, and 90 minutes later voted for the guy I don’t like to try and stop the woman I abhor.

I discovered during the process that the under two years old are not very keen on civic practices. Or long snaking queues. There were a few meltdowns. And some very very stressed parents.

Anywaym, it’s done. Round one.

Back to the same craic in two weeks’ time. I think I’ll bring my Carte d’Identite from 1982 with me. The one that expired in 1992. It says on the form that it is a valid form of ID…

The French living abroad vote for the next president



Today I walked for two hours with a teenager. It was, like, totally boring, like. We talked about films, and history, and video games, and sexual education, and the internet, and special effect, and art, and exams.
It was, like, totally boring.
And mega embarrassing.

Jayzus, I hope that none of my mates saw me walking on the streets of Dun Laoghaire, talking to him. The embarrassment. Total morto I am…

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Totally embarrassing, like


versus the height of the wellies.

The Atlantic won.





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The depth of the ocean

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Mimiteen is ten


Jayzus… 10 years already since that little fist punched the air, out of the C section, prompting the obstetrician to ask you to take it easy.

How incredibly aware of your environment you’ve been from an early age.
You looked so serious for the first couple of months, taking in the world around you with your big saucer eyes, and that little frown that said that you were reserving your judgment until later, after you had gathered more information.

You’ve grown a lot since. I know what you are thinking, but don’t worry about the height. It’s just centimeters. Your growth is measured in other units, and it is tremendous.

You are so in tune with the world around you that it is I, big bozo, who learns from you.
You show tremendous maturity when it comes to relationship intelligence.
Especially if we use your brothers for bench-marking purposes…

I am so delighted your enjoyed your birthday.

Enjoy your first watch. And your first real writer’s pen (no, it doesn’t run out, you just pop in a new cartridge!) And your Game of Life and Monopoly with credit cards (sort of annihilates what was truly fun about Monopoly, the dipping in the bank while the others were not watching…)

Mum and Dad, and Pepe and Nana, and the bros love you very much.

There is only one Mimi.
And you are she.






An altar to MDF

The Big Blue and Yellow shed

Last Thursday, once again, for the sake of fun and surprising parenting, I bit the bullet.
I bit a whole AK47 charger full of them actually.
I offered, unprompted, to take Mimi and Finn for a Swedish hotdog after our fun-filled swim in Ballymun.
They very happily took me up on the offer.

The usual sense of aggressive tension was permeating the car park and entrance to the Church of the Holy MDF.
Having no intention of buying any colourful trinkets or flat-packed modern living, I steered them straight to the customer returns area (who in their right mind could be unhappy with their colourful trinkets or shiny flatpacked Billy bookcases?!) where the hotdogs can be found. And stressed, aggressive, short-tempered shoppers who have just been spat out of the checkout area €350 poorer than they had intended to be (cheap colourful trinkets have a nasty habit of combining into a surprisingly high total it seems…)
With barely three dozens angry Neanderthals in the queue ahead of us, we considered ourselves lucky.

The kids loved it. The nasty hotdogs, the chips, the doughnuts, but most of all the free refill cups.
I was tempted to try and explain to them that nothing is free in life, that the “free” refill is actually very much incorporated in the sales price.
But that would mean being boring old daddy, on a rare day when I had actually volunteered to take them to the big blue and yellow shed…

They loved all of it.
They loved the pool.
They loved the waterslide.
They loved the long hot shower after the cold water.
They loved their hotdog meals.
They loved the sugar rush from their refilled cups.

Unsurprisingly, they were like possessed beings for the drive back.
(But I did find it hard not to smile when they were wondering why there are so many words for a penis. “Penis! And Willy. And zizi” “And balls” “Not balls, Finn, they are the testicles, it’s not part of the penis, it’s the goolies, and the dangly bit is called the sack” “Santa’s sack!!!” Giggle giggle giggle giggle giggle giggle giggle)

A good day.

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In a trance