This day 18 years ago our son arrived into this crazy world. The scent of lilies are like a time machine for me, straight back to the ward in the Coombe to my bed opposite the confident assertive lady who called her son Jay. She seemed to have it all under control. I felt so out of my depth, shell shocked but with a fierce love and terrible fear of my little baby, all at the same time. Donnachadh was the talk of the maternity ward. Gorgeous, he is...look at de hair on him...Jaysus he’s only massive the nursing staff doted as they peered into his see-through cot. They reckoned he had the most luscious head of black hair for a newborn. He never lost it. He immediately became known to us, his brand new naïve parents, as The Small Man, all 10lb 8oz of him. I couldn’t believe he was mine and I asked as much in the delivery suite. His journey wasn’t easy and he was tardy, five days over. All in his own good time. Still the same. No panic lads. He’s the most intelligent, the wittiest, the most handsome person I know. He’s kind and loyal. I admire his discipline and self-motivation. He makes a mean omelette. He is a legend biscuit eater but cannot abide almonds and powdery apples. As a baby he never kept his socks on. No change their either. Under the coffee table and behind, underneath or between the cushions of the sofa are home to his socks today. Our house is not without its rows, like any house with teens who jostle for their voice to be heard among the myriad of pressures they face and the concerns they harbour. He’s a big brother and his sisters are stone mad about him; they may not say it, but they are. We all are. When he’s happy, sad, up, down, stressed, elated, we love the bones of him. We wish him contentment and success in everything he does whatever that may be. And so to our Small Man on his birthday; don’t worry so much, especially about what other people think, don’t be too hard on yourself and things have a way of working themselves out. I hope perhaps someday you will be as proud of yourself as we have been and continue to be, of you. Happy Birthday xx
A little ditty from an October trip to New York, just before the Wizard of Oz oils his wheels and levers for the White House.
23rd and 10th
Bags we did pack, New York we were bound
Sweaters and hoodies, T-shirts and socks,
Chargers and earphones, kids must have their sounds
Shampoo and conditioner, knickers and jocks.
Departures was bedlam, check-in easy
Security would make you tear out your hair,
Two hours later began to feel queasy,
Like cattle in a pen, all waiting to get in.
Finally on aboard, our seats we found,
Pringles and jellies and back of seat screens
Refreshments from crew, green ladies dead sound,
Heads on shoulders, movies unseen.
Touchdown. New Jersey we land,
To Manhattan we speed - eyes darting and wide
Skyline familiar, glistening and grand
Déjà vu feeling they have been stateside.
Jug handle junctions, battered buildings and turnpike
Shimmering behemoths across the Hudson,
One World Trade Centre a middle finger spike
$75 billion reprisal reconstruction.
23rd on 10th red brick blocks boho
Iconic ladders outside of each floor,
The Chelsea Hotel we shared with Leonard and Brendan, pure soho,
When will it re-open its door?
Diners and psychics and dogs wearing shoes,
Drugstore enema kits, diapers for men,
Lucky Charms, Reeses and cheeses in tubes,
Hyper and silent, freaky and Zen.
The High Line, above the streets it rises,
We peer and posit through windowed apartments
Built by Mexican navvies Trump criticises,
Jenga buildings with art and attachments.
Apt street art for contemplative talk
I want a president Zoe Leonard demanded.
We read and think and ponder and walk,
The lessor of two evils, US future stranded?
Peaky Blinder on balcony, Irish brommie
Costumes galore for Halloween high jinks,
Zombies, witches, Wallies and mummies,
Jet lag the better, for us, forty winks.
Pancakes and waffles and thick butta’d toast
BBQ wings, Carlos cannoli’s, lashings of Coke
Cawfee in mugs from sweaty Greek host
Pizzas, omelets, the portions…a joke.
Matilda’s Martin a true old New Yawker,
The flashlight he keeps
Like a ghost, a sleepwalker,
From vaudeville past, shows us our seats.
To Tiffanys we jaunted, just for a gander
Blue boxes, blue bags in Chinese ladies hands.
Ground floor we meander,
Emeralds and sapphires from exotic lands.
The Belly of the Beast we ventured
Air rights built him up
Trump Tower’s pink marble for his favourite gender
Epitome of ostentatious man’s one up.
From a Nescafe jar the old man drinks
Tips pills into shaking hand,
Into Cheetos camouflaged bottle he sinks
His possessions in a trolley they stand.
Others hear voices, loud and clear,
Talk to themselves, ward off the demons,
Choose they cannot what they want to hear,
Mental evils, complex the reasons.
The madness of Macy’s on 34th street
Make-up and perfume, left right and centre
From black bosomed beauty, bright white teeth
Medby’s lipstick and liner bought from a mentor.
Skating in Bryant, the blades cut the ice
Legs arms flaying, not graceful at all
Our girls brought home bruises, tumbling thrice,
Great memories we have, despite the fall.
Weird, wonderful, wistful, woeful
Strange and selfish, a solipsistic conundrum,
A beacon to narcissistic pre-disposals
Sure to return, escape the humdrum…
...or perhaps not, as we may not be let in.
At the time of writing the deluge hammered down on my roof and I could not remember a time when the weather was calm and inaudible. Sure as eggs are eggs last night was the first night in months there was neither gale nor gust and the roof breathed a sigh of relief. An elderly energetic lady I know has a particular modus operandi when it comes to winter. She reckons denial is worth a try. DLO (Don’t Look Out) she advises. The same lady can handle anything, but the apocalyptic nonsensical excuse for weather was wrecking her buzz. And mine. It was like living in a windy washing machine. I feared it was not beyond the realms of possibility that we might run out of letters for the persistent tempests. Sheer numbers might dictate the appellations of next years orages and could hence be revered to as MacEva, MhicFrank, O’Gertrude and so on.
Winter, if only by its seasonal name, has passed. We are emotionally attached to the weather, in Galway at any rate. We cannot help ourselves talk about it. Angrily muttering under pulled up hoods and inside out umbrellas, on the sides of football pitches, shoving children into cars and putting bins out is there ever an end….Jaysus it’s relentless. As if the swirly Met Éireann clouds had a vendetta against us.
Nonetheless, we have seen the back of back of it and there’s a grand stretch, all the same. Christy Moore personifies the months ‘the January man is here the start of each and every year/Along the road forever’. No way around it, only through it. To those who took one for the team and did Dry January, fare play to ye. Here, it stuck itself up its own derriere. Suffice to say, I was one of the smug sickeners with intentions to stay off the sauce but failed spectacularly. Having been successful in previous years can I honestly say with confidence that it made me a healthier, better person? Ah…that would be no. However, there was less cheese consumed.
So Spring has sprung and February brings the politicians out of the traps to chase the rabbit. Over the next few weeks, in order to hold on to some degree of sanity, one must endeavour to remain rational in the face of empty promises from delusionally detached prospective representatives of ‘the people’. Us mortals whilst reasonable thinking beings are primarily irrational head the balls. The eminently brilliant psychologist and founder of behavioural economics Prof. Daniel Kahneman just might provide us with the mental armour we need to shield ourselves from the dry chat of politicians. The hand-shaking-funeral-attending-baby-kissers prey on what Prof Kahneman refers to as our brain’s System One, intuitively organised and primarily first across the line behaviourally. In second place is System Two, the rational, logical, thinking structure. It’s a biteen slow. We are prone to bad mental habits or cognitive errors, basically. For example, we anchor or rely heavily on certain information so grill them on the nitty gritty as they stand on your doorstep talking scour. We are prone to the 'Ikea effect' in that we tend to disproportionately place a higher value on things we have worked hard for or built ourselves. Thus politicians talk about ‘building an economy’ and ‘valuing society’ because they have allegedly larboured to create it but it doesn’t really wash with tax payers. Knowledge of both systems and how they work can be used by governments and policy makers to become more economically and societally responsible. The Obama administration has its own social and behavioural team. I know, we could send all the members of the next government, whatever smorgasbord that will be, off to the Centre for Applied Rationality (CFAR) in San Francisco. Yes, it does sound like something out of a Margaret Atwood novel but it does exist (oh and the MD has a cool eye patch). I’m guessing it has really, really big windows. Inda and Joan and Gerry could all head off on a junket for System Two bootcamp. Sure they’d only love that.
Me, I’m sticking with le flou artistique. It’s the lazy option.Suits my systems just fine.
I have a dysfunctional relationship with yoga. A recent class took the biscuit. You see, it’s just not that into me. Feel the breath. Allow the breath to become more fluid. Let your thoughts come and go. I should have been relaxing, I should have been baring all monkey thoughts but what breath?! I had stopped breathing 10 mins into the class. I think I like it, I know I am the better for doing it, I do get something from it. There is that feeling coming away from a class of being a bit lighter mentally and physically, like my muscles have been put through a 1400 spin and my brain has been exorcised. But I’m just not that good at it and I’m not convinced I like the people who do yoga either, even though albeit inconsistently, from time to time, I am one of them. Go figure. Perhaps it is that sub-conscious competitive part in me. Everyone else is better at it. And perhaps it is because I admire those who have the discipline to work at it and improve. They have a handle on their asanas, whilst mine are the yoga equivalent of Future Islands lead singer’s dad dance. Some people are just bendy. I’m stiff as a plank, not bendy at all. In one particular posture I sit with my legs spread apart. The idea is to bend from the hip, reach down with your hands along our inner legs to grab your toes, all the while breathing. I resemble a door that has something jammed in its hinges. I can go no further. The lady beside me has folded herself over, now lying with her cheek on the ground, all the while chewing gum. I’d swear she has WD40 IV’d into her hips. How dare she be so bendy! Maybe I’ll excel at the balancing postures? Nope, cannot master those either. I stare unfocused, unstably, at something ahead of me, not really sure as I have forgotten to wear my lenses. I can’t see the instructor either so I’m left looking around me as if I have a nervous tick to see what the others are doing. They are all in the moment, eyes closed, doing that breathing malarkey. There are accouterments like straps, blocks, foam cushions, like raw materials for a Mary-Make-&-Do adult class. Whatever extra tools are available I’m using them. Now we’re trying the splits. Saints preserve us. Blocks stacked high either side of me, I’m leaning on two Jenga piles to make but a mere triangle with my legs. Chewing gum lady is horizontal, just chilling, legs 180°. I need more blocks and announce to the instructor we’re going to need a bigger boat! Smelly guy to my right is laughing his arse off at me and falls out of his asana. Into another posture now and we’re using straps wrapped around the soles of our feet, to encourage the leg to drop to the side. It’s cosy, we’re packed to the rafters, just a little too close for comfort. As my leg drops I struggle to keep it from falling uncontrollably to the right in which case it will crash land and destroy the jewels of the guy beside me. My red face in contortions, concentration all over the shop, my pranayama is all gone a bit Pete Tong with futile attempts to stifle a menacing prevailing wind from the spicy chicken I had earlier. The only thing that has had a work out are my glutes with ferocious clenching, and my forehead from frowning. I hear the sounds of music and craic waft in through the windows from the pub across the road, drowning out the plinky planky yoga tunes. Maybe that’s where my true asanas lie.
I recently went to a local quirky eater for lunch. You know it; white washed uneven walls adorned with mediocre badly framed photos of austere 1960s bathing shelters, chipped enamel milk jugs with indigenous fresh flowers? That’s the one. The food was great, up to its usual standard so not an issue there. Alas, I came out of the place with a form of tinnitus, the word ‘guys’ ringing in my ears. Ok guys, what can I get you?, Everything ok for you guys? Thanks guys, have a great day! Well hey, guys, that drives me spare. Enough I say. Not only that, and this really wrecked my buzz, the majority of the waiting staff were bearded, pierced and inked to the last. I have no problem with tats, rings or indeed beards. In fact I’m married to a beard who, much to my horror, ordered a flat white (slippery regressive slope there, just saying). When it opened first this eatery prided itself on being the ‘Other’ to the rest of Galway restaurants i.e. hip, trendy, vintagey cottagey, artisanal (oh I don’t know, I’m not an interior decorator) as opposed to the GBC with stainless steel milk jugs, matching chairs and beans on toast. Not a thing wrong with that either, we were reared on it. But seriously, someone needs to pen a sharply worded letter and inform the powers that be of the demise of The Hipster. Indeed The Guardian the stalwart liberal voice on all things broguey, beardy and tweedy lamented its passing back in June 2014. Soooo last year, guys. Lunch was superb, the boy Jamie might even have cheered on from his foody heights as I savoured my quinoa salad with all the pomegranate jewels, seeds and tasty greens. At least I didn’t get lunch served in a welly or on an ironing board as has been gastronomically à la mode recently. That’s great, guys, I’ll have that old style on a plate, thanks. When next I darken its door I will sport one said Hipster by the neck, drag it to the counter and inform management Pythonesque that ‘E’s not pinin’ for the fjords! E’s passed on! He has ceased to be! E’s expired…’is metabolic processes are now ‘istory! ‘E’s off the twig! ‘E’s kicked the bucket, ‘e’s shuffled off ‘is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisible!
According to Aristotle, never knew him but I’d say he was sound enough ‘it is the nature of desire not to be satisfied and most men live only for the gratification of it’. Well that’s comforting. Whatever floats your boat, where you get your kicks it’s horses for courses really. If pleasure is a tenuous thing, it will always be fleeting. Here’s the thing though, the great scientific minds of our insatiable world, in particular Dr Kent Berridge suggest intense pleasures are rare and less prolonged than intense desires. So unfortunately we are hardwired to be unappeasable, always wanting, doomed to never be satisfied. Again, consoling. Desire and pleasure are complex yokes, a mix of psychology and neuroscience driven by media and envy. The best-arse jeans, that perfect sized handbag, the coolest boots, the perfect relationship, content children, the pithiest comments, the best burger, the best holiday evvverrr – all will-o’-the-wisp. Fundamentally it’s the old reliable chemicals, based on a reward system, doing their thing in the brain – we look for what we think we need, endeavour to obtain it and if it brings us pleasure then we want more. Dopamine, the kingpin, the chemical honcho is at the eye of the pleasure/desire neuroscience storm. Take food, for example; when it comes to eating, sugar, fat or salt triggers the happy chemicals in the brain, in the dopamine pathways, resulting in a craving for more. For research and reference purposes try Boychicks doughnuts at the Saturday market in Galway and have all three; sugar, salt and fat together...OMG soooo good. Same for nicotine, blood nicotine levels low, brain signals craving, smoke a cigarette, brain releases dopamine, creating further pleasure, resulting in further cravings. Genius. So this push and pull of wanting and liking comes and goes like the tide.
Science is behind everything, this we know. There is psychology behind the whys and wherefores of listening to music. It too has an effect on the dopamine system. The big brains in the pleasure/desire research world have analysed music and suggest there may be a song with an exact balance of syncopation and length to satiate the pleasure of listening with the desire for more. The funk equivalent of a pint, in the snug, in Neachtains, on a Friday afternoon. ‘Good Old Music’ (1970) by Funkadelic is allegedly said song. Download it, listen to it, move to it, run or walk to it. Trust me, it’s a spotless, funky tune.
What is also interesting, is that sometimes the anticipation of the pleasure is as powerful as the action – the pop of a wine cork, getting ready to go out, booking a holiday. If you’re lucky enough to be heading off to somewhere nice, as you stock up on flip flops & bikinis, shorts & maxis and all the accoutrement that you don’t wear, perish the thought, but could this be the best part of the holiday? The anticipation, the craving, the desire to go. Is this why when we come back we feel like we could do with another one, the pleasure unappeased, already thinking about next year. Or perhaps the weather was just shite and you were transformed into the Elephant Man by mutant mozzies. Next time will be better…
Just keep them fed. Always buy bread, even if you don’t think you need it, buy it. Buy two loaves at a time. Such was the advice from the elders about raising teenagers. Especially teenage boys; they inhale bread. Most homes have their own smell, our signature note is toast. First question in the morning sometimes, from the now 6ft Small Man, before I’ve had a sniff of coffee, is What’s for dinner? Later, if the aroma of dinner is not to his liking it sets the tone. What’s not to like about a home cooked meal? Liberties. It has to be said I recollect turning the key in the house I grew up in, and the waft of stew with the covert parsnips hitting me full on. Double Latin on a Monday morning would have been preferable. Thus there was a causal correlation between what was for dinner and mood rating on the stroppyness scale. Now it’s the reverse, the tables have turned and my children are doing the same to me. Bloody karma.
There is a corner in our kitchen that’s magnetic, where the fridge and food press reside. The physicists in Cern should come and have a gander at it. Like moths to a flame the kids stand staring, fridge door ajar, the light hypnotizing them, like it's a portal to another world. Then they chant their mantra There’s never anything to eat in this house. They move to the press. Again, standing, staring. What they really mean is that they have eaten, but have forgotten they ate all the bread, cream crackers, Nutella, peanut butter, biscuits, ham and cheese (actually I eat all the cheese). I should have shares in Tesco and Lidl. I half expected I might have even received a call at the reading of the will from Mr Ferrero’s solicitor, he of the Nutella dynasty, given the copious quantities they go through each week. There’s never anything to eat, they say, as they grow like weeds. Their bones waving hasta luego to their achy muscles and joints. I feel like a Bean an Tí running a B&B, feeding and washing. With their ever changing moods they are like visitors, going into their rooms one person but you don’t know who you are going to meet when them come out, especially the girls.
All three will be in secondary school in September. I feel as time goes on I may need to employ a transcendental shamanistic approach to try and retrieve their child spirits. That or just increase my running and red wine intake, potentially simultaneously. The child essence that used to look up and smile and wonder at our perceived knowledge, has vanished. Now, I feel like John Snow from Game of Thrones. Not cause I’m partial to sporting a wildebeest around my shoulders but because I’m told you know nothin on a daily basis. Their levels of frustration and annoyance could power a small village if you bottled it. Resistance on their part is no longer futile as the balance must shift to give them a little more autonomy. I need a ‘negotiations’ skills class from the queen mother herself Cersei Lannister (too much?). Let the games begin.
As the year closes in and Christmas approaches it heralds for Himself, the ‘semigrant’, his longest yearly period at home in Galway. Thus it’s time to reflect on all things Swiss given the connection. In my youth I believed Switzerland was home to Heidi, chocolate, snow, cows with bells and…well that was it. And that is it, mostly. And cheese. I was 18 the first time I was in Geneva whilst Inter-railing around Europe with my best friend. Sans mobile phone, sans credit card, equipped with flashy new rucksacks, travellers’ cheques and a European train timetable we had places to see and manky hostels to stay in. My memory of Geneva was the cost of the hostel being the price of a small village. The rest is hazey, due in no small part to the cheap rosé coiffed whilst on the raz with an Austrailian lady who subsequently came to stay with me in Galway. My father can recount her being ‘a mighty woman for the Jameson’. Thus, all my friend and I further assimilated to our knowledge of Swiss stuff was ludicrously expensive watches, hookers and how to say ‘cin I haeve anotha rosé ploise’ not in French but with an Aussie cadence.
Over the past year or so I have learned a tad more. Just like their famous watches the country runs accurately. Sometimes Himself goes all Swiss on us, all anoraky about things. Especially punctuality.
Aesthetically, the Swiss get it right, every time. They look well, act appropriately and are partial to formalities. On the surface it would appear that way. There is correct attire for specific social occasions. I’ve been over and back quite a few times with the kids and sometimes we don’t have the right accouterments with us. Like gear bags. There’s something about a middle-aged man wearing runners with jeans, lugging a blue IKEA bag filled with towels and sandwiches that screams refugee. Such was the state of us at a Swiss waterpark last mid-term trip. Any wonder we were getting dirty looks. Furthermore, an anniversary dinner in a posh restaurant the night before with far too much vin rouge (just couldn’t leave it at the wan bottle, ah no, sure that’d be pure Swiss) resulted in morning after ropeyness. A trip to a waterpark had been promised, so no getting out of that one. Suffice to say red wine sweats are nasty at the best of times especially queuing on a Baltic waterslide stairs. Having said that flinging oneself from a height and skimming at GForce down a slide works does the same job as a rasher and brown sauce sandwich. A sauna seemed like a better idea but we forgot to bring our towels. Now it has to be said, we were wearing togs as were the other people in the sauna. But there are rules. An elderly couple took great pleasure in ratting on us and we were asked politely to leave. Towels were requisite, we didn’t have same. Knuckles rapped.
Here are some more of their rules…
No shops open on a Sunday. Everybody does their family-leisure-walking with those stupid poles-thing on a Sunday. Or if you’re a middle-aged man you cycle (same as here, that bit).
You cannot mow your lawn on a Sunday in some cantons (sort of like our counties). Only if you’re minted enough to rent a house with a lawn.
If it’s not your scheduled day and you’re bold enough to do your washing off timetable, in the apartment building communal machine - even if it’s empty and there are no other loads waiting - you may find your clothes removed and scattered in the Alps by the Lady Who Guards The Washing Machine (usually late 50s, single, rotund, speaks no English and smells of stew and cheese).
The country has a navy though it is landlocked.
It’s true, everything is expensive over there, except public transport and electronic equipment.
Everybody likes cheese, especially fondue which smells rank.
Whilst a hub for cancer and medical research, they like to smoke. Voters rejected a nationwide smoking ban in all enclosed public places in 2012. Many cantons have fumoirs, special smoking rooms that are sometimes staffed. Phillip Morris employs 3,000 people with a manufacturing and large R&D facility in Neuchâtel and Lausanne.
Yes, the chocolate is only massive. If you’re invited to a Swiss dinner wo-betide the numptee who brings a box of Milktray, even if it’s all because the lady loves them. It’s rude to bring anything other than Swiss chocolate.
And now for something completely different…
The country is unique for having enough nuclear fallout shelters to accommodate its entire human population. Great for storing wine and unruly children.
Often praised as a model for direct democracy, the country did not grant women the right to vote in any of the elections until 1990. Sure they were flat out protecting the washing machines.
Amongst industrialized nations, Switzerland has one of the highest rates of gun ownership, but has nearly half the rate of gun-related deaths that the US has. Men in are required to keep the firearms they are issued during their military service at home even after they leave the military. That’s mad Ted!
All those little Nespresso pods that you spend a small fortune on are all manufactured in Switzerland. Nespresso an operating unit of the Nestlé Group is based in Lausanne.
The scenery is breathtaking, the Alps spectacular. The towns on Lake Geneva are cosmopolitan and vibrant compared to the archaic rural villages.
Finally, bear in mind your cat or dog when you tucking into your Christmas dinner and think of Switzerland. The moonshine folk in the Alpine hills are partial to les animaux domestiques especially at Christmas time. All is not what it seems.
With bulging blackberries and new blank hard backs announcing the end of the summer, I contemplate this years forced family togetherness, I mean holiday. Yes we were lucky to have one and I never take them for granted. Perhaps that has something to do with us being a ‘euro commuter’ family with Himself over and back to Switzerland to work, every week. Holidays are ever evolving as each year passes, especially as the kids get older. Time to be together, to regroup, reconnect, to throw schedules, drop-offs, pick-ups, work, study, early mornings out the window. There’s nothing like a bit of forced togetherness and a lack of wifi to bring out the best in people (insert tongue firmly in cheek here), especially when you have teenagers. That said, we normally do them well after the requisite 4 days to completely unwind and stop taking the heads of each other. Then, by the time the 2 weeks are up, we’ve had enough of each other’s nuances and are relieved that it’s back to routine and your own bed. That’s not just us. Psychologists say when it comes to the jo-holiers the anticipation and looking forward is more enjoyable than the thing itself and, most importantly, we remember primarily the good bits, rose tinted as it were. We post photos on Facebook and Instagram, these also tinted, literally. With all of this in mind here are a few of our highs and lows for August 2014:
Terrifing alarme volant zip lining with mucky hill walking in unsuitable attire resulting in up close and personal encounter with electric fence. Tears of terror and laughter still echoing in the mountains of Lausanne.
Enroute to Italy epic traffic in Zurich adding 2 hours to car journey. 7 hours in the car but did get to drive through 17km tunnel.
Rain on arrival to Porlezza, Italy. Teenage givey-outty-ness at the highest level.
Fever and code red moaning results in first trip to doctor, Italy. Eldest on antibiotics. Heroic nose blowing with loud sinus sufferance.
Flying ants. Himself on anti-histamines. More rain.
WiFi ONLY in hotel bar. Shame.
Trip to Foxtown Factory Outlet, Mendrisio, Switzerland. Experienced outlandish displays of wealth by minted men for burka covered wives and daughters. Surreal.
Did I mention the rain?
The Middle pukes on steps of really old, important church in Milan. Race out of Leonard De Vinci’s Last Supper (universally the most famous mural painting, ever, in art history) due to Middle's second impending vomit.
Sebastiäo Salgado exhibition, Milan. Inspiring. Leads to middle age occupation envy.
Nerve shattering drive OVER the Alps, through Simplon Pass. Scenery spectacular to back seat chorus of ‘we’re hungry, OMG there is no food! We’re all goin to die!!’ for 5 hours. Jaysus, are we still climbing? I just want to get off this f….n mountain!
The true art of the art of head banging is shared with the girls at beach party, Porlezza, Italy. The Eldest, MORTO!
The Middle has swollen eye and ear ache. Second trip to doctor, Lausanne, Switzerland. Another round of anti-biotics.
Le Musée Olympique, Lausanne, Switzerland. Superb.
With all of that in mind I share with you some of the writer Tim Lott’s real family mottoes, not the saccharine fridge magnet ones or those hanging on the back of toilet doors, cause that’s the place for them:
For the teens ‘Most of the shit you’re going through now, you won’t remember and if you do, it will be useful ammunition after things go wrong when you’re grown up’.
For parents ‘Remember that person you married? They’re still IN THERE, somewhere.’
Lastly, and hard to top this one, in the words of Matt Groening ‘Families are about love overcoming emotional torture’. I concur.