Our girl is a bit of a solitary soul. She doesn’t seem to have much of a knack for making friends. She came home in fantastic form today. She was good all day. Somebody (some blessed, blessed child) played chasing with her in the yard. I hope she plays with her again tomorrow.
Archives for January 2009
I grew up watching black and white television with two channels.
When I was a small child, married women were not allowed to work in the civil service or the banks.
I know what a soda stream is and I have tasted its products (not very nice, kids).
I watched the Berlin Wall fall and Nelson Mandela walk free (on the telly but live).
I saw “Who framed Roger Rabbit?” and was amazed and dazzled by the technology (it mixes real people and cartoons).
I watched the original series of Charlie’s Angels and was the proud owner of the 1977 annual.
I got Super Trouper the Album for Christmas when it was newly released.
I remember my cousins getting a video recorder and how we all marvelled at its miraculous, magical workings.
I didn’t use a computer when I was in college; there was no internet; there was no google.
I grew up without email. When I began my working life, everything came in and out by post.
I was once expert in the use of the dictaphone.
I used faxes every day. I remember when faxes were shiny new technology and they used shiny paper too from which, hilariously, the text faded away on the files where it was carefully kept.
I had a part share in the office mobile phone which was so heavy that you had to carry it around in its own special case.
I believed that Burlington socks, Benetton scarves, legwarmers, Adidas Roms, ankle boots (welcome back ankle boot – I see you have rejoined us in the new century) and parka jackets were very cool. Ideally all worn at the same time.
From an original idea by the ever estimable Finslippy. Tell me, how old (or young, if you really feel that’s appropriate and tactful, in the circumstances) are you?
We have a new carpet on the stairs, it is cheap, as these things go, and it is beige. It has made me more happy than I believe a carpet should.
I wish, though, that we hadn’t got it laid the week we finally started toilet training Daniel.
My sister goes to see a lot of films and her return to Ireland has meant that I too am going to a lot more films. Here’s a pretty unsuccessful batch
Waltz with Bashir – Ari Folman
The best of the bunch. I saw it in the Kino in Cork and was able to take a snack bar and a cup of tea into the auditorium which alone would have justified the price of admission. The last film I saw in Hebrew was Kadosh, true, that was a long time ago but that experience has kept me away from Israeli films for a while. This was really very good, if somewhat disturbing. It’s an animated film about a former Israeli soldier’s experience at the Sabra and Shatila massacre. I went with my younger sister and her friend and I was astounded that neither of them had ever heard of Sabra and Shatila.
The film did get me thinking again about the state of Israel. It is the most extraordinary thing. If you made it up, no one would believe you. A state founded largely by central and eastern European intellectuals; people who had been in hiding; in camps; fleeing for their lives; people whose relatives had been killed in vast numbers. They go to a patrt of the Middle East where the climate is a bit different from say, Odessa; revive Hebrew (very guttural language and that is the least of its challenges); win wars against their Arab neighbours; and go about building and protecting their state with a stubborn single mindedness. You cannot but gasp at the improbability of it.
The tale of Depereaux – Sam Fell and Rob Stevenhagen.
This is an animated story of a mouse who rescues a Princess. I didn’t think much of it myself but I wasn’t the one to be pleased. The Princess and Daniel found it middling but Michael found it absolutely terrifying and watched it sitting on my lap while sobbing in fear and peering through my fingers at the scary cat. At the same time he refused to leave. He is still traumatised. Not recommended.
Twilight – Catherine Hardwicke
Now that my sister is back, I don’t have to drag my unfortunate husband to this kind of film. There aren’t so many people in their 30s who are in the market for teenage vampire flicks. I must say that I quite enjoyed it and am now toying with the idea of trying the books. Does anyone have views on the books?
The Spirit – Frank Miller
This is a beautifully shot film with a hilariously over the top performance by Samuel L. Jackson. It mixes real people and animation very cleverly. It is therefore a pity that the plot is atrocious and the dialogue worse. After about 10 minutes I begged my sister to abandon ship and a stream of wiser people left the cinema. We stayed to the bitter end. It was, undoubtedly one of the worst films I have ever seen. Wikipedia quotes Robert Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times on the film, “There is not a trace of human emotion in it. To call the characters cardboard is to insult a useful packing material”. Mr. Ebert is spot on.
Did you miss me? I have been spending the Christmas season with my family. Christmas Day passed off peacefully; everyone was good, everyone liked the presents offered by kind benevolent Santa Claus and generous relatives.
We drove down to Cork on the 27th. I haven’t driven that road in nearly 10 years. It’s improved a lot. True, the boom may be gone but they can’t take our roads away from us. Cork was peaceful and presentful. The children did not disgrace us in the presence of my relatives.
My father told a story of the joys of living in a small city. When my father was a little boy, a barber used to come to the house to trim his grandfather’s beard (a man who was born during the famine, fancy that). My father emigrated to Britain and when he came back to Cork several years later, he went to the barber on the Western Road who had trimmed his grandfather’s beard. As he walked in the door, the barber instantly said, “Master Dan!”
As is traditional when we visit Cork at Christmas, we took the children to Fota wildlife park. As is equally traditional the parents enjoyed it and the children did not. Matters began inauspiciously with the Princess announcing that she hated animals. We ignored this unhelpful intervention and tried to jolly her along. Once we got there, Michael and Daniel joined in the revolt. About half way around, Daniel stopped moving and stood in the path with his arms folded. “What’s the matter, sweetheart?” “I am displeased,” he said without further explanation. Anxious to avoid one of his spectacular temper tantrums (one night before Christmas he rampaged around the house naked – he did not wish to put on his pyjamas – and screaming for a significant length of time; he is the most empathic of my children but when he loses his temper the consequences are terrifying) we carried him the rest of the way. Michael was far more articulate about his concerns. He started to cry in a nasty petulant kind of way. “What’s wrong, sweetheart?” He ticked his grievances off on his tiny fingers, “one, I am frozen, two I am tired, three I am sick, four I want to do a wee.” We carried him the rest of the way too. The Princess trailed along behind whining that nobody was carrying her and NO she did not want to see the cheetahs. At one point she leaned her head on a fence and a monkey ran over it. This piqued her interest for a moment and she asked me belligerently whether I had got a photo. Needless to say, I had not. Not 43 euros worth of unalloyed pleasure then.
We drove back to Dublin on New Year’s Eve, blithely informing the aghast Cork relatives that we would be back shortly. I went to the supermarket and bought some food and a half bottle of Tesco’s special champagne to see in the new year. Oh yes, it’s all glamour here.
We took the children to see Fossett’s circus (founded 1888 apparently and certainly around when I was a little girl) which I enjoyed very much putting my hands over my eyes for the cage of death which Mr. Waffle and the children were very blasé about.
Tomorrow is the last day of Christmas, alas. We have our memories and a picture of the children with Santa which we stuck on our calendar.
Me (indulgently): Look it’s you and the boys with Santa.
Her: No, it’s us with a random stranger.
Sometimes that child is too smart for her own good.
Happy new year.