… probably the reason why neoprene was invented.

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a splash of colour... quite literally, art, essential parenting implements, funny, homemade festival in one's back garden, humour, ireland, parenting, photography, tourism, travel

The Irish Summer…

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The Irish Summer. It never fails to deliver.

Didn’t stop us from swimming though. Yep, we are hardcore.

the Irish weather

dublin, Ireland

more rain predicted for Dublin, live with it!

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art, dublin, essential parenting implements, global warming my arse, ireland, parenting, photography, tourism, travel

Hardcore!

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One of the main reasons for this French trip, this swim upstream back to the source, was the deadline of going to see my granny before she sinks further into the slowsands of dementia.

She did recognise me. Or rather she did recognise a version of me in her muddled past-cum-present.

Poor Brigitte. She is not in a good place. Physically, she is in as good a place as could be expected, given the circumstances.
But in her mind, she is in distress.

She catches glimpses of her current state.

She can feel herself sinking ever deeper.

And she cannot put it into words.

She cannot demand relief.

art, death, life lesson, love, monochrome, parenting, photography, portrait

Brigitte

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art, death, he died for our sins, homemade festival in one's back garden, life lesson, monochrome, parenting, photography, travel

Three brothers

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The three brothers R were all born in the house next to the cemetery, there, in the background.

And now they all rest side by side, here, in the foreground. Jean-Marie, André, Raymond.

Three lives closely entertwined, from start to finish, within a hundred yards.

Things were a lot more localised, back in the days.

This sort of thing could not happen nowadays. No way.

There is no WiFi in the old house…

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

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activity park with a potato crisp theme, art, essential parenting implements, ireland, mayo, parenting, photography, tourism, travel

The Erris Loop

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dublin, essential parenting implements, funny, humour, I'd be tempted to admitting to being superstitious but I prefer not to say it aloud, ireland, one shaggin number away from a million, parenting

Democracy at work

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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

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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…

art, dublin, dun laoghaire, essential parenting implements, funny, humour, ireland, love, parenting, photography, portrait

Totally embarrassing, like

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