To The End

“I’d love to stay here and be normal
But it’s just so overrated.”

  • Tracy Jacks by Blur.

*** Funny mood WARNING ***

“Funnier than usual ?”

How do you mean,, ?

“Well , it’s just that, em, you always seem to be a funny mood.”

I see. Well, then, yes, funnier than usual.

I blame the following for my current mood:

The news.

A skip outside Kae and Bronwyn’s house.


Prince Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa.

My diet.

People,( the negative ones).

Pasta,( the cat, not the food).

Trinity, ( the place, not the other one….although…)


The news ? Well, what can you say. It’s particularly dreadful this wee. But that’s the actual news, as in information. And it’s important. My gripe is news as its portrayed on news channels, news programmes, newspapers and talking heads on the radio. Particular ire is directed at latenight ‘What The Papers Say’ segments which bizarrely feature journalists critiquing other journalists interpretation of the news. But it’s not even that simple. They are appearing on a programme with a bias, feature two journalists with opposing political affiliations criticising other journalists who also have a political bias and write for papers with a political bias. It’s not news.

Everyday this week 100,000 people were lifted out of poverty. Anyone see that mentioned anywhere ….apart from here, just now…don’t be facetious …

So , and yes, I know I’ve said this before, now, I listen to the news headlines at 10 am. That’s it.

The skip outside Kae’s and Bronwyns’s ? I called up to their house yesterday to collect the last delivery of 500  x 3D printed face shields and there was a small skip in the drive, filled with all of the empty filament rolls. Just felt like the end of something good. I know that the reason for it ending is that things are getting better. We delivered for free over 9,000 face shields. One of them must have saved someone. It’s just been all consuming for so long, that… I don’t know. A sense of meaning is gone with it perhaps. That’s self-pity really isn’t it ? OK, done with that now.

Twitter ? They say great wisdom sometimes arrives unexpectedly ‘Out of the mouths of babes’ , but in my case it arrived from Ray, my running buddy, although it was no less unexpected. We ran chatting and talked about news , politics, life and determined that it was all a balls at the moment. And then Ray said that we were actually suffering from second hand stress because we both follow Twitter.

So as soon as we arrived back in the car park, we both deleted the app from our phones. Tale that Jack !

Prince Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa ?  OK, this one is a bit of a stretch. He wrote The Leopard, widely regarded as one of the great Italian novels of the 20th century. I honestly don’t know how I came across it. I’ve been reading it this week to get away from the news and Twitter. There’s a part in it where the Prince is suddenly aware that he’d old when someone tells him that his daughter is in love. It hits him that he’s old enough to have a daughter that has fallen in love. He’s 43 ! He’s 3,651 days younger than I am !
I’m not reading The Leoprad now. I’ve moved on to Humankind: A Hopeful History…so far , so good.

My diet ? For weeks/months now I’ve been blaming the temperature setting on our washing machine for shrinking some of my favourite tee shirts. There was never anything wrong with the washing machine. I hereby publicly apologise to the good people of Hotpoint , and instead , now blame  Reese’s, and in particular their Nutrageous bars, Vincent for bringing biscuits to work, The Monte Carlo for re-opening and continuing to make the most divine fish&chips on the planet, Keoghs for their Cheese & Onion crisps ( large packet obviously), Plant Motors, or Applegreen as they call it now, and their devilish ‘Two for €2’ offer on Cadburys, The Local ,for their fiendishly addictive sourdough bread and , I’m drooling as I type…their sourdough donuts !

“Couldn’t you just cut down on the Moretti, Guinnes and Rioja ?”

Quiet you !

People, the negative ones ? Exactly !

Pasta, the cat, not the food ? We have a strange relationship with Pasta, our first cat. Pasta hates us, and we fuss after her. She comes and goes as she pleases. We feed her whenever she desires it. If she sleeps inside she literally throws herself against our bedroom door anytime from 5.00am onwards to be fed and let out. If she goes out for the night on manoeuvres , she waits menacingly at the kitchen window for us to get up, then  she insists on lounging for rest of the day on our bed, after being fed and adored. Except last Tuesday. She went out on Monday night and wasn’t there in the morning, or at lunchtime. I pretend to not care as much for Pasta as I do for Tuna, or second, and much loved cat, but the whole way back to work I drove very slowly with the windows down calling ‘Pasta’. She turned up at 4pm. Realising that I really do care for a cat has deeply troubled me.

I am Cat People now.

Trinity ? Those BASTARDS ! They allowed me onto a course , made it fantastic, packed it with explorers, and now it’s nearly over. We’re all giving out to each other on class WhatsApp groups about how far behind we are with assignments , how this or that is impossible, how this instruction isn’t clear, ‘But didn’t Joanne say it was OK?’ . Yes, but she recently banged her head doing wheelies, so we better ask Rachel. You ask her, she doesn’t like me. She doesn’t like me either. Get Aisling to ask her. OK…… Aisling says that Rachel says that what Joanne said was right. Thank God for that. Why didn’t we just ask Gillian in the first place ? Did you not see her on that last assignment clinic webinar ? Yeah, definitely regretting a few life choices. Certainly regretting this assignment clinic thing. Did you see Karl when he was asked for the 15th time what a Value Proposition was ? I know !

Anyway , it’s been great and we’re all just scared because it’s nearly over… you Trinity bastards !

And Richard ? Richard is possibly the most wonderful human in the world…hmm, Ireland…no, a bit of competition there too. Ulster ? No. Belfast ? Robert, Zebi, Edel, Talat, Lundy, Abernethy,Patricia, and Clare ! So, no. In Bangor ? Aran. OK, Richard is possibly the most wonderful human in his house in Bangor…if Joan’s out.

Richard is a terrible man for Freudian slips. He recently sent me a message and meant to say that Joan was scared of something bit instead wrote that Joan was sacred, which anyone who has ever met her would agree, but still it was funny to see Richard put it in print…especially as he is the Chief Constable of the Grammar Police…in fact Vampire Weekend wrote ‘Oxford Comma’ about Richard after I told them about him that time in McKenna’s.

So Richard called me this week, which would be enough to put you in a funny mood, as it’s always something important when Richard calls, and we agreed on something, and then he wrote himself a note to remind him to let me know a date for something. He emailed me again the next day, this spooked me immediately, two communications in a week from Richard, the only man in history who has more business and community commitments since retiring than ten of the rest of us do now. His message was :

“I made a note in my “to do” list on phone to give you notice of the upcoming meeting.

“Time and date to Paul” it read, except it reads “Time and fate to Paul”.

Coming after my “sacred wife” slip perhaps you should check your insurance, material and spiritual.”

So I have been checking.

Writing this has been checking.

Thank you for reading.

I’ll be OK.

I’ll be 53 next week.

I’m sure I’m going to be OK.

Seriously, I’m fine.


P.S. This is Tracy Jacks by Blur

Author: paul

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *