radegund: (blue-pansy)
It's [livejournal.com profile] niallm's and my thirteenth and seventh anniversary! (We got married on our anniversary.) And we are both on for another thirteen years! Woo!

The Feaster and I went to collect the Oyster from his music class, and on the way home the Oyster snapped at the Feaster and called him stupid for no reason, and I threw a totally adolescent strop and said I wasn't talking to the Oyster until we got home.

And far from being squished by this, as traditionally he might have been, he shrugged it off and began telling me to raise one finger for no and two fingers for yes ... and three fingers if he could talk to me even if I wasn't talking to him ... and four and five fingers for I forget what.

So I stopped being cross and started to laugh, and asked how many fingers I should raise for "I love [the Oyster]"?

"Six!" he said. So (the car being paused) I raised six fingers.

And then when I turned my head to park, I saw the Feaster enthusiastically waving six fingers at the Oyster, because he loves him too.

Ah, my menfolk. Sometimes, you know, they are very, very lovely.
radegund: (Default)
12 years since the sleety Monday morning when [livejournal.com profile] niallm & I agreed that we'd fallen in love.

6 years since we informed the State.



Sep. 27th, 2010 05:57 pm
radegund: (Default)
It turns out, right, that living in squalor is really not where I want to be.

But all our housekeeping mechanisms broke down in the onslaught of 2009 (the construction of the south wing) and the early part of 2010 (my vitamin B12 deficiency), and they're only just beginning to come back.

I still feel at sea. So I'm going to take a leaf out of [livejournal.com profile] ailbhe's book and start by keeping track, every so often, on a haphazard schedule and without rigid criteria, of the stuff I do.

I think it may help, at least to pinpoint what's getting done, what areas of work are "mine", what's being neglected, and so on.

Here's today's:
click if you really need to know! )

That brings us to 17:25ish, when I started writing this. I may come back later and update when I've done some more.

if anything, even less interesting than the first list )

Moar update:
you know the drill )

There are mountains of laundry waiting upstairs, and the kitchen backlog will take a while to clear. I want to be doing things like building the new utility room shelves, but clean clothes, meals, and a usable kitchen take precedence.

Maybe I'll get to measure and mark the timber for the shelves this evening. If I can find my effing set square, dammit. I hate it when my tools go missing.

Question: Are you overwhelmed by the maintenance of your living space, or does it feel basically under control? If the latter, what are your top tips?

Feast Day!

Aug. 13th, 2010 02:56 pm
radegund: (Default)
Happy St Radegund's Day, everybody!

I am celebrating by ... um ... doing lots of laundry. Calling out Robin Hood related spellings to the Oyster. Watering the new arrivals in the garden. Cuddling the Feaster. Ironing lengths of organic fair-trade cotton that I'm going to turn into headscarves and capes and wraps.

Tonight, being Friday, is Pizza & Film Night in our house. Fun times.

How are you celebrating?


Mar. 29th, 2010 11:56 pm
radegund: (swan-head)
This evening, K stayed home with our sleeping boys, and [livejournal.com profile] niallm and I went out.

Like, together.

As in, we actually had a conversation.

With each other.

And it ranged over multiple topics.

And other than waitresses bringing our drinks and so on, nobody interrupted us.

It was Ay. May. Zing.

And because I love you all so much, I'll share two little thoughts that occurred to us. They made us larf and larf.

1. Marxist workplace poster: "You don't have to be alienated from the means of production to work here - but it helps!"

2. When you give your toddler over-the-counter antihistamine to help him sleep, and it doesn't work? Phenergans Wake.


As you were.
radegund: (Default)
1. This morning, very unusually, the Oyster woke me and the Feaster up at 6:30, and I didn't really get any more proper sleep after that. I am a walking ball of exhausted, irascible self-pity. Snarl.

2. The builders were meant to come at 10:00 to do the final snagging on our extension works (which began on 6 April 2009, I wish to note). Did they show up? Did they fuck.

3. At lunchtime I managed to superheat the dish in which I microwaved the peas, and burned my fingers when I went to pick it up. Ow. Ow. Ow.


4. Just after lunch, I took my iPhone out of my pocket to phone the builder (again). The phone dropped from my INJURED FINGERS to the floor, whereupon THE SCREEN SHATTERED. Like, badly. It still works, but there are little holes in it, and shards sticking out here and there.

So now I need to get everyone out the door and into town to buy a new phone.

Gah! And also, bah!

[livejournal.com profile] niallm IS COMING HOME TOMORROW.

Please send a time machine so I can skip the next 24 hours.
radegund: (swans)
Oh, look, here I am again, being BORING about SLEEP. I'm so sorry. Perhaps one day I'll have something new to whine about. Won't that be nice?

In the meantime, boring boring boring boring boring.

In fact, I might almost go so far as to say, YAWN. (See what I did there?)

But it kind of helps to write it out. So here we all are.

Look, universe, am I not allowed to have a good day without paying for it, or something? It really felt, yesterday, as if I'd come through a hard patch and things were going to improve. I got stuff done! The children went to bed at a reasonable hour! For the first time in I don't know how long, I had normality, or some semblance thereof, in my sweaty paws.

I went to bed just after 11, and I read for a while, then settled down to sleep and found it hard on account of the whirlybrain (but that's common enough), and then [livejournal.com profile] niallm came to bed and we chatted for a bit, and some time after 1:00 I went to sleep.

1:50, the Feaster arrives in our bed wanting milk. I notice that he smells a bit, but decide that it's not something I'm prepared to investigate further. Probably just gas, I tell myself. He feeds for a while, and we doze off.

Some time before 4:00, the Feaster wakes up again and commences his infernally irritating switching-sides drill. To ensure that Niall, at least, gets some sleep, I bring the Feaster back to his bed.

That smell's pretty bad, actually. By the light of my iPhone I confirm that he has pooed. (This is extremely unusual - normally he only poos in the daytime now. I think it's the tail end of his upset tummy, working its way through.)

Grossly, I actually wait to see if he'll go back to sleep first, before submitting to my fate and bringing him downstairs for a change.

I'm drawing a veil of decorum over the ensuing scene. Let's just say that this was one of the truly GREAT nappies. When the mighty excretory epics come to be written, this nappy will take its rightful place in the firmament of nappies. Its olfactory nuances alone will require cantos and cantos to explore. Its exquisite textural intricacy and subtle gradations of colour will inspire flights of literary virtuosity that are nothing short of breathtaking. Aging warriors with rheumy eyes and crooked backs, sitting by sunny walls with their preprandial snifters, will gaze into the distance and remind each other past glories - "Ah," they will say, "this was a nappy!"

So I deal with that. And then we go back to bed.

Of course, the Feaster is thoroughly awake by now. Argumentative, wriggly, rapacious. Also, for various reasons, I have a major desire not to fall asleep next to him. I want to put him back to sleep and spend the rest of the night in my own effing bed, kthxbai.

5:00 comes and goes. I read blogs on my iPhone ("feed reader", ahahaha). The Feaster switches sides, kicks me, sits up and converses. I think I probably couldn't have slept anyway, even if that were what I was trying to do. I watch in numb disbelief as 6:00 comes and goes.

The Oyster gets up at 6:08 and goes downstairs to play.

Eventually, at about 6:25, the Feaster falls asleep. I go back to my bed, a broken woman.

Next thing I know it's 9:00, and the Feaster wants me again. Niall brings him downstairs and distracts him with, I don't know, rum or crack or something. (Do I care? I do not.)

But Niall is on call today, and he gets paged at 9:25, so I have to get up.

Which was ... challenging.

So universe, cut it out, OK? Stop it! Cease and desist! You've made your point, whatever it is. Now, GIVE ME A FUCKING BREAK.

Message ends.
radegund: (swans)
I am repeating the drastic experiment of April '09 (or was it in fact '08? I can't actually remember), and going to bed at 11pm every night this month. January had got ridiculous, and I was officially Not Coping.

NOT THAT THIS HELPED last night, when I both (a) signally failed to make my deadline, and (b) ... well. Read on.

After a lovely phone call with [livejournal.com profile] ailbhe, I was all ready to bed at 23:15, but just then, [livejournal.com profile] niallm came home (Thursday being his Evening Off). And he'd had an exceptionally interesting and varied day, all about which he proceeded to tell me.

And then it was 23:55.

So I went up to bed and read for a while, then settled down to sleep.

Then at 0:35, the Feaster went bump. (I found him sitting on the floor beside his bed, still mostly asleep.)

So I fed him all the way back to sleep, came back to my bed at around 0:55, read Niall's new poem (that's what he does of a Thursday evening), and slept until 2:30something, when the Feaster arrived in for more milk.

So then Niall went to the Feaster's bed, and we all slept until 3:30, when the Oyster woke up and got enormously distressed because I'd forgotten to bring his alarm clock upstairs last night. He screeched at Niall for a bit, then came in and began to screech at me, but I persuaded him not to because the Feaster was asleep (with his head on my shoulder, as it happened, so I couldn't get up to deal with the Oyster). So the Oyster went back to Niall, who went down and got the alarm clock, and then they had an incredibly loud conversation about why I had forgotten to bring it up. Whyyyyyy???

Meanwhile, I edged out from under the Feaster without waking him (woohoo!) and went in to comfort the Oyster, because Niall was losing his cool. And the Oyster was in total shuddering meltdown for a bit, and then began to calm down. We had some logic, then some illogic, and then just soothing noises. But he couldn't settle because of a pain in his ankle - which I suspect is what had woken him in the first place. (Growing pain? Do they actually exist? I couldn't see any damage.) So I went and got him some Calpol, and after a bit he consented to let me go back to bed.

So I got into bed without waking the Feaster again (I am NINJA-MAMA) and settled down to sleep at about 4:00.

And at 4:12 the Oyster came in to tell me that the pain in his ankle had gone. Which was lovely of him. But really.

So THEN I slept until the Feaster woke up at 6:20 for more milk, and then again until the Oyster and Niall started moving around some time before 8:00. Then endured the Feaster climbing around on my head (this is not comic exaggeration) until about 8:50, when Niall took him downstairs and I slept until 9:35 and dreamed I was on the run from the police over some vague involvement in a drug deal, and had to take care of an elderly man who was in it with me and wasn't so quick at climbing through windows and similar.

Then I had to get up because Niall was going to work.

It was a hard day. But both boys were absolutely lovely, and I barely lost my temper at all, which was kind of miraculous.

At one point, the Oyster was leading me through an improvised "choose your own adventure" game, and I realised that I simply wasn't following, and his voice was driving spikes through my brain, and so I appealed to him - said I knew he wanted me to play, and on a normal day I'd love to, but I was just too tired.

So he went away and drew me this, which is me sitting on my high-backed desk chair beside my computer monitor:

Made me feel considerably better.

As did the Feaster's contribution at lunchtime, when I put my head down on the table for a few seconds.

Feaster: You go a-seep, Mama!
Mama: *goes a-seep*
Feaster: Cock-a-gooooo!

Which about sums it up, really.


Nov. 4th, 2009 03:24 pm
radegund: (Default)
Yup. What I was downplaying as a heavy, chesty cold (with fever) at the weekend was this morning diagnosed as ... dun-dun-duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuun - swine 'flu.


(I say "diagnosed" - the doctor didn't order a test, but she says it's the obvious conclusion.)

More to the point, it's also what the Feaster has had in parallel with me over the past few days, AND it's what the Oyster suddenly came down with yesterday evening. He's currently in the oh-god-wretched phase, while the Feaster and I are definitely over the worst (thank any relevant deities). [livejournal.com profile] niallm may or may not have had it the week before last. If he didn't, I suppose he'll get it next...

I've had muscle aches and cold symptoms since last week, with an unshakeable headache since about Saturday. My fever spiked on Sunday night, and had more or less abated by Tuesday morning. I spent Monday completely out of it, and Tuesday maybe half there. Today I am up because I have to be, but if I didn't I wouldn't. Niall and K have been running around looking after everybody, because they are made of solid gold.

The Feaster has been physically attached to an adult damn near constantly since Sunday, including seven- or eight-hour feeding sessions each night.

The Oyster is on Tamiflu, but since the Feaster and I are on the mend we're not.

I thought it was quite amusing the way the doctor danced around the actual moment of diagnosis. She first asked if the Oyster had any ongoing health issues, and then she chatted some more about the symptoms, and then put her head on one side and said something really coy, like "had you any feeling yourself about it, or...?" And it was only when I said I assumed I had 'flu of some sort, whether swine or otherwise, that she nodded and said the likelihood was that it was the OMG HORROR OF TEH TERRIFYING OINK ITSELF. Whereupon a dark cloud covered the face of the sun, and a rain of frogs fell from the ceiling of her consulting room, which I thought was pretty tacky, but there you are.

Anyway. We'll be back up and running in due course. Meanwhile, this headache had better go away, or there'll be trouble.
radegund: (Default)
Too much life going on over here recently to post about it much.

The extension is nearly finished. We're in that irritating final phase where everything's basically there and mostly functional, but there are still bits of wood and plasterboard and bags of cement piled up everywhere because there are people coming Any Day Now™ to finish off various bits.

Still, though. KITCHEN.

We're unpacking boxes and assembling cheap shelving and moving furniture around at a fierce rate. It remains astonishing how much dust is actually accommodated in a given space following such activities as this house has seen.

The garden is a wasteland of black hardcore. But we have plans. Well. I have unrealistic and grandiose plans, more suited to a garden six times the size. K has some very specific plans that I think she may believe I understand rather better than I do. Then there's what the builders can do for the budget.

I've become an extension bore - you know when you're really wrapped up in something, and you meet your friends and just brain-dump at them for what feels like ten hours, eyes wide, teeth bared, fingers splaying with the earnestness and the importance of it all ... except that what you're talking about is formica countertops and semi-solid flooring, which have taken on a wholly unwarranted significance in your tunnel-vision landscape? Well, that. Argh.

Today I remembered that I used to go into town, occasionally, Before. Perhaps I will again some day soon.

Oh, it's all going to be magnificent. But it isn't yet, and I'm very tired of it.
radegund: (Default)
Oh, LJ, I have to confess I've been cheating on you with the rest of the Internet.

It's funny how "I'll just read this one article" can lead to day upon frenzied day of burrowing through ever-proliferating Safari tabs, eyes burning, brain a-whirl. And then I turn around and realise that my friends page, which had been at a manageable skip=100 or so, now won't even display the messages I was last reading because they're more than two weeks old.

So I'm doing something I've never done before, and not trying to catch up. If you'd care to point me at any momentous posts from the last few weeks, that would be great.

I do actually write several LJ posts a day, in my head. They're good posts, too - full of interest, wit, quirk, and so on. It's depressing. I'd be such a great blogger if I ever did any.
radegund: (Default)
Saturday: Varied )

Sunday: Simpler )

And now it's Monday, and our new windows and doors have arrived! Yay!

ETA: Ohhhhh, you wanted doors and windows that FIT? Well, you should've said.
radegund: (wine-pansy)
Ahahahaha. Slightly manic, here. It seems that until today we had experienced merely the antechamber of hell. We have now been admitted to ... well, not the inner circle, because we still have a vaguely functioning kitchen. Maybe the lobby.

Here in the (cramped and ill-appointed) lobby of hell, then, it is, principally, very, very dusty. Masonry dust, as you may know, is particularly filthy. It's not the good, clean dirt I'm used to - the mud, the crumbs, the fragments of leaf and twig that get tramped or strewn about the place as the kids do their inimitable thing, nor yet the soft, cobwebby fuzz you find gathering in corners when you don't clean your house (and we don't, much). No, masonry dust is stealthy. You walk into a room, and everything looks fine, but as soon as you touch anything - there you go, your fingertips are grey. It arrives in a haze you can taste, a cloud you can barely see except out of the corner of your eye. Your eye, I might add, which stings, just as your throat aches naggingly and your nasal excreta look as though you'd spent the day on the London Underground. Ugh.

Things the builders took away from us today:

* An amusing selection of the electrics in our kitchen - boiler and sockets (including fridge), but not oven or lights. Not sure what happened there, as the fault didn't set off a trip switch on the fuseboard. I rang the ringleader at about 19:00, and he sent around a henchperson, who very kindly and apologetically rigged up something to get us through the night. He'll look at it again tomorrow, he says.

* Use of the Oyster's room. In order to replace the old steel beam with a longer one that will support the extension roof (the new one is also much thicker: apparently the old one was risibly under-specified - eep!), it was necessary to drill two whacking great big holes in the wall under the Oyster's bedroom window, so that this whole section of the house could be propped while the beams were switched. The props were left in place this evening, as the free end of the beam has yet to be bolted to its colleague, so the holes remain unfilled, and there's a bit of a gale in there (besides the dustsheets, wet floor, and general filth). So O is happily asleep in his old cot in our bedroom.

[Aside - being a HUGE plus: the builders levelled out the floor, while they were at it. The ends of the joists rest on the new beam, and there was a discrepancy of about 20mm between one side of the room and the other. So they just hoiked the lower joists up a bit, and now they're all true. You used to be able to put a marble on one side of the floor and watch it roll down the slope - it'd be lovely if that were no longer the case.]

Things they will take away from us tomorrow:

* The kitchen window, which will be cannibalized for its beautiful granite lintel and cill (to be reused on the front façade of the extension), and thereafter boarded up to await the internal demolitions next week. And thus our doomed kitchen will be plunged, yea, even into utter darkness, evoking a symbolism that is by no means lost on me.

We will, needless to say, pass through this as through a cleansing wossname. But we're definitely moving into the hard part now. Internal demolitions will, let us say, exacerbate the dust issue somewhat. The boys and I will be decamping for a few nights next week. I may tape up the internal doors.

But! But but but! It's SO EXCITING to see the innards of my house like this. I may have seemed a trifle loopy this afternoon, prancing around and squeeing at the builders as they showed me the beam joint and the joists and all. I just really, really love this stuff. One of the best bits of this whole experience is that I'll live in the new space with the knowledge of exactly what went into it. The thought of that is like a highly polished bell of glee going bing! in my middle. If you see what I mean.
radegund: (wet-stones)
The weekend was very mixed.

It had soaring highs, such as my LIE-IN on Saturday, followed by a couple of hours TO MYSELF, and a thoroughly rocking concert in the evening.

It had plunging lows, chiefly centred around the Feaster coming down with a feverish coldy thing, which meant that I've had hilariously little sleep since Saturday, and I've been a crabby old harridan as a result (sorry, [livejournal.com profile] niallm!).

I spent the last two nights drifting in and out of a doze while the Feaster wriggled and whimpered and chatted and fed and fed and fed and fed and fed and fed and FED. As usual for me, I dreamed very vividly: for quite a long stretch last night I was trying to position F to benefit optimally from the train track layout in my dream (and then kept remembering that he probably wasn't dreaming the same thing). There was also a complicated worry scenario about buying too many cheap bicycles and trying to tidy innumerable plastic toys and clean the filthy, filthy house, all while arguing with Niall. Boo.

And now it's Monday, and I'm seeing the world through a pinkish mist and feeling remarkably sorry for myself.

Fortunately, K has arrived. And Dimitri is outside building our new roof. So it's by no means all bad!
radegund: (stone-sparkles)
1. The plumber got the boiler back up on its feet today. Can haz heating! Yay! Apparently it cut out because of an airlock, and it's not 100% better - he'll be back tomorrow to clean out the pump.

2. The Oyster does quality mondegreens: today he sang the chorus of "I'll tell Ma when I get home" as "Cheese handsome, cheese pretty, cheese the belle of Belfast city". I had to stifle my giggles. (He still plays hide-in-the-sink, although I suppose it's only a matter of time.)

3. Two frequent themes from our games at the moment:
    (1) the Oyster is an alien / monster / wild aminal who arrives in our house from his werreld. My role is to look beyond his aggressive facade and recognise that he wants to make friends. He then asks if he can stay with us, and I enthusiastically welcome him. He asks "So, do you like me so far?" quite a lot.
    (2) the Oyster is a superhero (more coping with non-omnipotence, I'm thinking). Yesterday he was Superhero John Murphy, who wore a big pink super-cape (OK, bath towel), and could run, jump, and fly. He asked, "So, are there any problems you'd like me to solve?" I said I wasn't too impressed with the current government, which prompted a long discussion about economic policy, voting, etc. John supports rich people sharing their money with poor people, and he's going to make a machine that will make money so that everyone can have as much as they want. Each rich person will give some money to a poor person that they know (we didn't ultimately resolve the issue of rich people who know no poor people and poor people who know no rich people). It's important to remember that if the government give all their money to the poor people, then they will be poor themselves. Taxes may help with this, although I'm not entirely sure that the concept was grasped. John will run for election. His posters will show a picture of him in his super-cape, with a slogan that makes it clear that he can fly. But he can't make people vote for him: they have to decide for themselves.

4. Huge roadside sign on the way to Castledermot, Co. Kildare:
Fed up renting? Own "YOUR HOME" from just €720 per month.
Gotta love those quotation marks!

5. The Feaster is talking a blue streak. Most of what he says isn't English, nor close to it, but he clearly knows exactly what he's saying. He addresses us solemnly, using syllables and intonation and everything, then waits for a response. It's KILLINGLY cute. (Actually, it's very like the language of Boo in Monsters, Inc.) English words we've positively identified include (in no particular order):

- there (deh)
- that (dah)
- there [he|she|it] is! (dehhh-iziz, often with a beautiful baby top-note on the first syllable)
- cow (a very rapid d-gw, possibly for "the cow" - haven't heard it in a good while)
- moo (bvvvvv)
- train (day or tay)
- Mama (mama)
- bread (debd)
- cracker (gah-goh)
- potato (duh-duh, just this evening)

He also uses annann to mean "food" or "food I want RIGHT NOW", and he has a word meaning "breastmilk" that I've yet to pin down. It's something like dez, I think.

He seems hugely amused at the whole language gig, which is delightful.
radegund: (Default)
I got back from rehearsal this evening (for our CONCERT on SATURDAY, which is going to be ACE, plug plug) to find that our gas boiler appears to have packed in. At least, when I tried to turn it on earlier there was a rather sickening little sound from its innards, as of something small and vital going clunk. And now there's no heat.

At least it's May (not that you'd know it from the driving drizzle outside). I hope we don't need to replace the boiler, because I'd much rather spend that money on nice tiles or a spiffy new hob or similar. Replacing the boiler is on the medium-term list - we want to get a high-efficiency one, for which there's now a grant - but if we have to do that straight away, we'll need to compromise on something else.

You know, people don't realise quite how pinchy diamond shoes can actually be.
radegund: (swans)
This afternoon I FINALLY attacked the landing cupboard, where stacks and nests and huddles of the Oyster's outgrown clothes have been lurking. I started out all organised (in, like, 2006), with folding and keeping like with like and everything, but that broke down fairly quickly, and for years it's been a case of stuffing things in wherever there's space.

I pulled everything out and triaged it, then put it back in piles and bags, with - and this is the genius part - labels on the shelf saying "Feaster's next size", "Feaster plus 2 sizes", "Feaster plus 3 sizes", "Oyster outgrowing". So when they move up a size, we just shift everything over. I'm counting on the Feaster moving through the next couple of sizes faster than the Oyster, which means we shouldn't need much more space than we're using now (or at least, not until the clothes get really large).

Curiously, we seem to have about twice as many 2-3-year-old clothes as the sizes on either side of it. Hmmm. I wonder if that's because this is the size the Oyster was when I took my first career break, and I was revelling in my ability to pay attention to what he wore?

For my next trick, I'll tackle the Feaster's outgrowns, which are stuffed in a plastic box in our room. They'll go up to the attic when I've separated the sizes. I'm not sure if I'll have individual bags for all the overlapping and incompatible small-baby sizes, or just have bags numbered 1, 2, 3, etc., or what. But that's altogether less urgent than today's task, which was long overdue.

And now I don't have to go panic-shopping for the Feaster, who is popping out of nearly everything. I've even washed all of the size he's moving into, so I can make the transition over the next few days. Result!
radegund: (Default)
I had my left ear syringed this afternoon. Calloo, callay, I can HEAR properly again! It backs up periodically, and I hadn't had it done since before Fiachra was born, so the quantity of wax that came out was fairly impressive. (I have an icky fascination with such things, which I recognise isn't universal, so I won't give you a more detailed description. Unless you ask.)

Driving home, I was grumbling to myself about the little physical annoyances that beset me (WOE! My life: SO HARD! etc.) - I mean things that are basically just irritating, as opposed to a health concern. And I thought, a poll! So here you go:

[Poll #1398299]

I don't mean to dismiss the experience of people for whom, say, migraines or insomnia are frequent or serious enough to be debilitating - I'm not talking about stuff that affects you very profoundly, just the niggly little things that you'd rather not have to put up with. And of course, the lines get blurry once you start thinking about it - for instance, I left out vision and hearing problems because they seemed somehow ... more serious than what I was listing. Perhaps because they are on a continuum with blindness and deafness and thus shade into "disability" territory, which isn't where I wanted to go.

Now I'm worried that I'm being outrageously insensitive with this whole post. I'm going to post it anyway, and trust you to point out to me if I've overstepped the mark.
radegund: (stone-sparkles)
This morning we went to the Rare and Special Plant Fair in St Anne's Park, and saw many rare and special plants. Also, we ate rare and special felafel, watched a rare and special man weaving a cane chair (not that one), made a careful collection of rare and special sticks, and hurtled around chasing many rare and special dogs.

It was simultaneously brilliant (beautiful day, very warmfuzzy set-up - small fair, not at all overproduced) and frustrating (garden all dug up, can't buy plants, WOE). I got talking to a man about grape vines, scored some Irish apples, ogled Myosotidium hortensia, fondled mosses, and gave measured consideration to a rather fine Tetrapanax papyrifera. Wished I could've stayed longer, but we were due at my parents' for lunch.

The juggernaut of Irish garden shows, the Bloom Festival, is on from 28 May to 1 June in the Phoenix Park. Anyone interested in going along?


May. 9th, 2009 11:10 pm
radegund: (swan-head)
If you're in Dublin next Saturday (16 May), why not come and hear the Mornington Singers concert in the Pro Cathedral? I have tickets for sale, if you're interested; they're also available online.

We're singing mostly modern music from Britain and America, and there's some really amazing stuff in there. Our conductor has a gift for programme choice - she seems to nail it every time.

The two settings of "When David Heard", in particular, knock my socks off. The Tomkins is lovely curly baroque, and the Whitacre is astonishing. (Mind you, I have trouble singing the words "Absalom, my son, would god I had died for thee" without my stomach turning over. This is very much the point of the story, I suppose. Probably adds to my performance...)

We're also singing Barber's Adagio for Strings, aka the Platoon theme. And we're doing the Barber piece that the choir performed at [livejournal.com profile] niallm's and my wedding in 2005: Reincarnations no. 3, "The Coolin", which I chose because its text (translated by James Stephens from the Irish of Raifteirí) gives me goose-bumps. Allow me:

Come with me, under my coat,
And we will drink our fill
Of the milk of the white goat,
Or wine if it be thy will;

And we will talk until
Talk is a trouble, too,
Out on the side of the hill,
And nothing is left to do,

But an eye to look into an eye
And a hand in a hand to slip,
And a sigh to answer a sigh,
And a lip to find out a lip:

What if the night be black
And the air on the mountain chill,
Where the goat lies down in her track
And all but the fern is still!

Stay with me, under my coat,
And we will drink our fill
Of the milk of the white goat
Out on the side of the hill.

Anyway. If you're into choral music at all, it'll be a fun evening. See you there?