29 August, 2012


Been busy.  My uncle has been over from the States, via England, and he takes a lot of time to have fun with.  Didn't take as much whiskey as last year though (nor did he get sick).  He went back to the UK today and, sad cow that I am, I cleaned the house.  I'm cleaning it in preparation for the kids going back to school on Friday.  I want to do NOTHING.  Nothing at all.  I want to sit on my arse and just look around my lovely clean house, smugly, for 4 hours before leaving it to collect the kids again.
I.  Am.  Very.  Sad.
But seriously, the house is filthy.  There are generations of dust bunnies behind the sofa.  The inbreeding has been phenomenal.  The freezer is nearly bare as we haven't done a proper shop in weeks . . . kids are in and out and then they're in and then out again, no one is eating proper meals.  A good breakfast they are guaranteed but beyond that?  They're on their own.  
Yeah, so downstairs is spotless.  Upstairs is a minefield for another week.  Would be a shame to ruin the nice feeling I'm feeling by trying to take on a bigger job than is really necessary.  I mean, I want to park my arse on the sofa on Friday.  Can't see upstairs from the sofa so . . . why bother?
I do, however, have to work out if any additional bits of uniform are required.  Talk about leaving it late.  I'm hoping that every other mother (father) has been super organised and no one, but me, is leaving it until the day before school starts to finsih uniform shopping.  I did try to get their uniforms last week but the shop was bedlam and, whilst I was there, I realised I didn't actually know what they needed and I am buggered if I'm buying them an entire new uniform this September.  There's a recession on don't ya know?  Plus, I just forked out the guts of, jesus, €300 for 6 pairs of shoes.  They only have one pair of feet so why oh why do I need both a pair of trainers and school shoes?  Are there any hybrids out there?  Can someone invent a cool black trainer than could be mistaken for a school shoe by the Principal?  Please??  Hey, remember when we were all little and you used to have a 'shoe bag'?  You'd go into school and change from your shoes into soft plimsoll type shoes . . black?
Anyway, the house is clean and everyone's bags are packed.  Lunches must be panicked over.  Again.  Every year without fail I read and read as much as I can about school lunches.  I steal articles from other people's newspapers with headings like 'Healthy Lunches for Kidz' . . Oh, and I fucking hate that 'z' at the end of 'kid'.  Bloody hip to cool magazines.  Arses.
I don't want the boys caught in the lunch trap I was at their age.  Jam sambos or banana sambos (ughghg, the banana would be a brown, wet, mess and sweet from the tablespoon of sugar that would go on it.  Now, that I'm all posh (cackle) and grown up I put pepper or cinnamon on my banana sambos.  Then there was the  year where, every day, I had corn beef.  Not the corn beef that you cook at home but instead the square stuff that you got in the supermarket and was pock marked with little windows of fat.  Bugger, feel queasy. Ugh. Oh, and I still can't eat jam sandwiches because I can still remember the sensation of the soft bread, hard butter and jam in my mouth.  Heeeeeeeeeeeave.
Whatever sandwich you got it was always either wrapped up in the paper of yesterdays bread, Brennans, or tinfoil.  No lunchboxes back then.  I can even remember having a medicine bottle as a drink bottle.  Seriously.  God, had forgotten that.  This was the days before 'safety caps' so my little fingers had no problems at all opening the bottle.
I can remember petit filous suddenly hitting the supermarket shelves and getting that in my lunch box (late 80s by the way) and my mam never remembering to give me a spoon.  We also got a carton of milk every day from 2nd class on and it was always left at the sink outside the classrooms. In front of the window.  So it would be nice and warm.  In the summer.  Ugh, again.
Himself, being from a poor part of Dublin i.e. The Northside in the seventies and eighties used to have lunch provided.  One day they'd have ham, another would be jam, then corn beef (the crappy kind like me on the southside) cheese on a Thursday and on Friday they got a fairy cake (that's a 'cupcake' to those of you born in the last 15 years.  Thank you 'Sex in the City').  They also got warm milk.
I can remember seeing kiwi fruit for the first time and begging my ma to buy us pizzas, you used to get these mini pizzas, frozen, in a pack of five.  I begged and begged and she got them and they were horrible.  Peter H. lived next door and he finished off the five of them.  He came from a family of . . lots and I think he was probably always starving.  Not because they were poor or broke or anything but because, I can see it with the boys here, they are always bloody hungry.  Anyway, Henno finished the pizzas.  
I wonder have my boys ever noticed 'new foods' or whether all the new stuff is ordinary, everyday stuff now?  But yeah, I remember kiwi fruits coming in and disgusting little cheese and ham pizzas.  And sodastream.  
Golden days.
Right now I am debating the merits of cold pasta salad vs. falafel.  What about noodles?  But seriously, who the hell wants to eat either cold pasta, falafel or noodles????  Ugh.  As I type I am becoming less worried.  I can see that they only want a ham sambo so . . . that's what they are going to get.  And a chocolate bar, it's Friday.

p.s. How did you cover your school books?  Ours, or rather, the lads books, are covered by the shop in clear plastic.  But, when I was little you would get the paper bags from H. Williams and turn them inside out and use them to cover your books.  Occasionally, if your ma and da had done up the house,  you would use wallpaper.  Hahah, I can remember the O'Kane's doing up their house and having huge wallpaper sample books that they binned when finished with.  Us kids, i.e. the entire street, sat and went through those books and tore out the pages we loved best and used them to cover our books.  Lots of flock covered copy books for me that year.  Very hard to keep your writing neat when you're writing on the left hand page of a flock covered copy book.

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