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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Meat You At The Door

I heard a knock at the door and looked out the window to see a young man smiling back up at me. I didn't know who he was but I liked the cut of his jib so I answered the door. There's no TV's in this flat and I ain't afraid of no ghosts. I kinda guessed it would be one of the new flatmate's (I'll think of a suitable nickname for him eventually...if he sticks round long enough to acquire one, though already Tojo springs to mind) chums. I could never have possibly guessed, however, what he was delivering.

Five kilos of pork loin. He could tell by the look on my face that this was a novel experience for me. I recall the freezer at Nellybert's being full to the brim of various bits of pork and I've seen the things hanging up in a butcher's shop but I've never been handed a big lump of meat at the door.

I think the very fact that I'm even blogging about this shows that my brain is mushed from essay writing and studying. That's only my brain though. My heart feels all warm and fuzzy 'cause I picked Ziggy up from my sister's and got lots of cuddles and kisses from the girls. E showed me to the door, gave me extra kisses and cuddles and waved me down the street. No amount of studying can beat that!

Monday, April 27, 2015

The Cuddle Club

I thought I would have a lot of photos to post of the Treehouse Warming Party on Saturday night but, as it truned out, the flash was spoiling the ambient mood we had going and I wasn't in the mood for taking photos. I was in the mood for....cuddles. There were many invited to the party but only a handful turned up (13 in total). This was probably just as well as (we now know) that the treehouse can only really comfortably fit 12 people and 2 dogs. In my head there would be people spilling out of the treehouse...on to the verandah, sitting on the spiral stairs, swinging on the swing and bouncing on the trampoline. There will no doubt be a party like this in the future but for the first one it was nicely sedate and danger was kept to a minimum.

All the important people were there and we all became a member of a very exclusive club...The Cuddle Club. The genius behind this was the tallest, hairiest man at the party (Gus!) who didn't like the sound of Fight Club and thought Cuddle Club was more fitting to our needs. We had the Cuddle Club mascot, Judy Pudding, who was doling out hugs left, right and centre. We had two rules. The first rule was "we don't talk about Cuddle Club". Clearly I have broken that one already. The second rule was "nobody leaves the treehouse without a torch" because it was getting dark and I didn't want people to trip on fallen branches which is exactly what Gus did just as he was saying "We don't need torches, we have the light from the love of our friends".

Yes, yes we are a bunch of hippies. But what else can you expect from a treehouse party crowd? We played guitar and ate homemade pizza (everyone loved Nelly's dough) and drank cider and whiskey. After a while we took the party into the house where there was electricity and toilets that flushed. Though many did not want to leave the treehouse and go back to reality. Hails said it was like being inside a book (she named the book but I can't recall). I, of course, felt like I was an Ewok and Gus and I conversed in what little Ewokian we knew. We sang along to The Littlest Hobo theme tune and we had a mixture of posh crisps and 'common' crisps. There were lanterns.

Oh...and there is chat about a road trip. Mel and I are going to be Thelma and Louise only instead of having Brad Pitt we'll have Ziggy which makes us infinitely cooler.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Confidence Shop

Just look at that cow's face. I love cow faces. They are dreamy and gentle. They have empathic eyes. I could tell this cow all my woes and feel like it was really listening. Of course, it will be listening only in the way that a cow can listen to a human's troubles. But still, I'd feel like it understood more than a lot of the humans I do talk to.

I have been struggling to update my blog due to a number of things. Worry about my family, stress of my coursework, the upheaval of yet another new flatmate. I was sad to say goodbye to Gus but his path lead him right back where he started because I guess that's where he needed to go. I still laugh about the silly conversations we had and I miss speaking in funny accents. My new flatmate is not from Ireland so I have to speak in an accent that he understands. Not that words are everything.

My birthday was last week and mum and I spent a nice day shoe shopping and eating ice cream in Garvagh. I have a small party planned for the weekend as I feel I need a bit of fun and lightness after the past few weeks (months/years). Today I have a driving lesson with a new instructor. I plan to be more assertive this time round. Because, despite the progress I've made over the past few years, I realise that my biggest downfall is still a lack of confidence, combined with this need to please everyone around me. If there was a shop that sold confidence I'd be there with all the money from my change jar. But then I wouldn't be able to afford the driving lessons and I'd have all this confidence with nothing to be confident about and that would make me like some kind of man with a small dick complex.

I am looking forward to the summer when the first year of my course will be all wrapped up. I still have a placement to organise and my own persoanl therapy to attend (as part of the course requirements students must undertake 20 hours of personal therapy). I embrace this. Even though I had counselling before there is always a benefit to talking through things no matter what's going on in your life. I still feel like I'm wading sometimes, like everything seems to take forever while time moves at super sonic speeds, but I know it will come. I will drive, I will get a placement, I will continue to learn and grow and, one day, I will be that person who helps others to learn and grow. I finished reading the Road Less Travelled by M.Scott Peck. If ever there was a book written about life and what it means to be human, this is it. My heart sang with joy and a feeling of hope and acceptance the whole time I was reading it. It's akin to that feeling I get when I look at a cow's face.

And here's something else that makes my heart sing with joy. A flying dog by name of Zigatron Marley. Just look at the awe in the other doggy's face!

Saturday, April 11, 2015


After all this time I have finally figured out what language Ziggy speaks. It's "Ubudubuda". He totally understands it. When I tell him to get off the table in Ubudubada he does exactly as I say. But, who knows, perhaps tomorrow he will speak a different language.

I feel like I have a devil and an angel on each shoulder at the minute. One is saying "Be yourself. It leads to the road of happiness". The other is saying "Don't be yourself. It gets you into trouble". The thing is, I'm not sure which is saying which. Is it the angel saying "Be yourself" because she wants me to be happy, or is she saying "Don't be yourself" because she wants to protect me? Or is the devil saying "Don't be yourself" because he wants me to be miserable, or is he saying "Be yourself" because he knows it will get me into trouble? Is that confusing? It must be because I'm confused.

It must be the angel who has the loudest voice and she must be saying "Be yourself" because she does want me to find happiness. The devil is saying "Don't be yourself" because he thinks he can hold me back with fear. As always, I'm skirting around the real issue but I'm raw. I feel like the universe is challenging me to dare to be myself. I am torn between this embarassment that if I bear my soul no one will understand, and this self-belief that tells me it doesn't matter if they understand.

Self doubt affects us all. For some people it's a mild affliction but for others it is all-consuming. I don't want to be consumed with self doubt and after a long time and a lot of hard work I became more sure of myself. It really does feel like the universe is throwing me curve balls in the form of people who come into my life who seem intent in filling me with that self-doubt that I worked so hard to shake off. I can't focus on that though because the universe has also thrown me a couple of life lines in the form of people who accept me as I truly am. So again, I go back to that feeling like I have an angel and a devil on my shoulders, trying to weigh a little heavier than the other, tipping the scales.

Ziggy also has an angel and a devil on his shoulders. I don't know what kind of conversations they have with him but depending on whose speaking the loudest he can be the dirtiest, devil dog or the sweetest, most beautiful angel. Even though I already knew it I have had a few lessons reaffirmed today: We all have our angels and demons and, mostly, we're all just doing the best we can with the tools we've been given.