The Woman of the House ........

I've never quite seen myself as any of the stereotypical monikers like 'her indoors' or 'the woman of the house'.

Nor do I see myself as the 'housewife' or the 'home carer' - although the latter does kind of come close; and I'm happy to allow that particular moniker to apply if it means a lowly Tax Credit from our self-monikered 'family friendly' Government. Harumph.....

Although the 'stay-at-home-mum' is my moniker of choice, I'm not quite sure that I completely see myself as that either.

I'd like to think that these monikers do not define me you see, they are only components of the complete me. All except the first two, of course, I was never either of them!

Actually I've not had cause to pay any real attention to any of the above until this week...

This week being the one filled with dusty air and dust-sheeted stairs and with wiring, piping and noisy kango-hammering being the order of the day. For days. However you can't make an omelette without cracking some eggs, so I'm happy to let the continuing parade of hard-working tradesmen through my house to, well, crack on.

And crack on they did, in more ways than one! It was interesting the many different personalities, all tinged with good old fashioned - and tamed down - tradesmen humour!

There's always one that has an old fashioned view of women in the home though, isn't there? Well, one that should know better than to show it, that is!

Now I'm not thoughtlessly putting this nice and very polite man into this particular stereotypical slot. Oh no. He was quite capable of doing that all by himself. The first sign was me arriving home to the steamy sounds ... of a kettle on the boil (steady people, steady) and the strains of 'oh here's the woman of the house' floating at me down my very own staircase! With accompanying hints of 'I like mine with a little milk and two sugars please' - now remember this was the cup of coffee he was quite willing to make all by himself when I wasn't there! The big tell of course was his proud admission, within mere minutes of the above, that he 'comes home from the pub to his dinner on the table'.

Oh dear. I've lived with one of these men for many years, from birth actually, and thought - well hoped really - that they (the type, not the person) had disappeared from our evolutionary gene pool. Forever.

Clearly not!

While I was confident that I had his stereotypical slot completely on target, I wondered how he thought he had done with the one he had mapped out for me?

I mean, there was no apron permanently wrapped around my middle, there was no ribbon in my hair and no constant homely smells of lovely home-baking to float through the very dusty particles. Any time he popped his head into where I was, when I was at home that is, I was to be found ensconced on the sofa either reading my kindle or on my laptop, and with the TV on in the background. On one occasion - almost, but not quite, to my shame - I was even found asleep on the sofa! Actually, passed out through exhaustion after crawling, foetal style, into the corner of the sofa was a more apt description, if it would make any difference to Mr Neanderthal! Joking.... he's really a very nice man!

See, looks can be deceiving, He wasn't to know all the things I had done this week, things that wouldn't normally floor me yet did. Yes, a new hair-do was one of them but I've waited a very long time to be able to sit long enough to get one! There were physio trips too and parent visitations and school meetings and pick-ups to attend to also.

And I can only imagine the shock on his face when my husband, straight home from his working day, was dispatched by 'the woman of the house' to ask if he'd like more coffee.... and then deliver it him! All because I just couldn't bear to make another trip up those dust-sheeted stairs.....

He must have thought me the laziest woman alive.

And I must confess to a little 'stay-at-home-mum' guilt.

But everyone got fed and no-one has run out of washed and ironed clothes. Yet.....

And all will return to normal when I am fully recovered.

Or a lot sooner.

All that dust........!!


On Peaceful Protests and Having Respect.....

It was quite disconcerting answering the door just before lunchtime on a midweek day. I thought I had figured it out you see. The optimum time to play 'Avoid The Cold Caller' and not answer the door under any circumstances, is just about dinner time. Preferably just when you're about to lift up the dinner, or just when the cheese on that pizza is almost bubbling away to perfection. That's when you hear the dulcet tones of your ringing door-bell. It's not usually at lunchtime, unless it's a Saturday.

Saturday is usually 'Jehovah's Witness' day, so therefore I was so surprised to open the door at lunchtime this Tuesday  to see two women holding Bibles. With one lady standing on the step, almost in my face, and both waving leaflets they were quite intent on ensuring I take. I declined. Politely.

But like the sucker I usually am when I don't follow my own 'Avoid The Cold Caller' rules, I had to listen to them for a while - it's a fact that cold callers are cold to any attempts you make to get them to understand that (a) you don't have the time, (b) the dinner is burning or (c) the cat is about to eat the goldfish. They insist on having their say anyway. It is very annoying.

However the ladies today raised a couple of questions I'd been wondering about recently. The main ones being: What is wrong with our world? and: Can we make it better?

Now I'm sure they were making a more global reference which perhaps pertained more to Syria, Iraq and the Israel/Palestinian conflict etc.

Although these issues do of course concern me my recent thoughts were more closer to home.

In particular: What is happening to our little corner of the world?

While I am absolutely delighted that finally, after years of recession and austerity measures being continually flung at us by our 'partners' in Europe (The Troika) - all of whom dress exceedingly well and look like they've no worry about where their next meal is coming from, Ireland's citizens have finally found one issue to stand up and be counted on. That issue being 'Water Charges'. Now, if you're reading this from another country and are thinking 'but we pay water charges, why doesn't Ireland?' please know that these Water Charges are the proverbial straw that broke the backs of the Irish people. This protest is about far more than Water Charges. Did you know that Ireland has paid 42% of the total cost of the European bank crisis?  That's despite the fact that we only make up about 0.09% of the EU population and our economy only makes up 1.2% of EU GDP.

Sure no wonder we're angry.

No wonder we're - finally - protesting.

However, based on accounts of some recent protests I do wish we could take the bitter anger out of our protestations and think long and hard about how best to get our point across.

I thought that the original and recent street protest marches were outstanding and peaceful.

It's the 'pop-up' ones that I abhor. The one at Coolock which subsequently moved to Coolock Garda Station and sounded terrifying.

Then there's the more recent ones in Santry, Sligo and Tallaght where protesters have taken to surrounding Government Minister's cars. While I appreciate that this is a prime opportunity for protesters to make their very valid points I do not think it appropriate to surround a Minister's car for two-and-a-half hours.

I don't think it appropriate to hold anyone, be they Irish Water Meter Installers or Government Ministers, hostage in their cars or vans for hours with no access to food, water or toilets. What if someone became ill, had a panic attack or was hit by a flying missile?

And while I thought the surrounding of the Garda Station (these are Government employees with families at home) was appalling I also think that the reported incidents, if true, of how our Gardaí are dealing with the protesters are completely unacceptable.

Seriously, did that beefy Garda really have to lift up this small young woman only to discard her by flinging her aside , like a finished coffee cup, to the side of the road; where she could be clearly heard banging her head off a metal bollard? Could he not have just put her on the foot-path?

I do not agree with a lot that comes out of our 'great leader' Enda Kenny's mouth but I do agree with his assertion that there is a 'sinister element' to these protests. I had said something similar myself earlier on. In my experience there is usually a cohort of people who will join your Dáil protest, shouting slogans in 'support'. But they have their own agenda and can seem quite intimidating. And of course then there are the people who are just gagging for a fight....any fight.

The result of these out-of -hand protests is that beefed up security measures will now be in place..... with the taxpayer footing the bill. And while the Gardai are busy minding our Government Ministers and the Irish Water Meter Installers who is going to mind the public?

It seems to me that we, the public, need to re-iterate the need for peaceful protests and disassociate ourselves from the 'sinister elements'. And our Gardaí seriously need to review how they treat members of the public who are protesting.

Maybe my bible thumping callers were right and the answers to 'What is wrong in the world and how to fix it' is in the bible.

Or maybe the answers lie within ourselves and how we treat and have respect for one another.



Recovery from a back injury can be such a painfully (pun intended) long drawn out affair. It is all about taking things easy for such an interminably long period of time - especially when one is more used to running one's daily life at breakneck speed.

Recovery is then clearly for patient people - or patient patients if you like - and definitely not for impatient ones. Like me!

Recovery is about rejoicing and embracing all the little, minute improvements that you may experience on any given day ..... Ooh look, I can now walk up the stairs with no crutch!

Recovery is also about pacing yourself.... Just because you got can now walk up the stairs - ahem - crutch-less doesn't mean that you can suddenly go for a 30 minute walk! Be patient Jazzy.... be patient.

Recovery means that when when you feel a little better you can allow yourself  to do something you enjoyed doing in your pre-injury days. Like a simple and short trip to a popular local General Store, all by yourself. The General Store where, you know, where they sell stuff other than groceries.... like clothes for example! And recovering from a back injury means that you are limited in what you can wear so you might need new clothes. To make you more comfortable like, and to cheer yourself up!

Recovery means that although you may now be able to get to the shops all by yourself, for small groceries .... or clothes .... or even pretty little ballerina Christmas decorations!.... you also have to give a lot more thought to getting the items you desire from shelves, or rails, to checkout.... and then back to your car!

Recovery most definitely means totally re-defining the meaning of the word 'heavy' - even the tiniest item can cause overload and strain on your back. 

Recovery means being careful to avoid basket-carrying and trolley-pushing busy shoppers, and shop workers too, all of whom are far too busy to notice the careful shopper with her small basket and crutch! (It's actually quite scary - I may even have to develop a 'look' to give them!) I do appreciate the apologies but please try not to bump into me in the first place, I fear for my back you see......

Recovery offers the opportunity to meet some lovely, kind people. Kind enough to push your purchased items in their trolley to your car, which is a long way away from theirs... in the lashings of rain! Thank you kind, post-crutch user, shopping angel.....

Recovery means that I will also have a much kinder attitude to crutch-users when I am fully recovered. And I WILL be fully recovered. All in good time Jazzy, all in good time....

Recovery means having your ups and downs, your good and bad days and trying to remember that this is normal. And also remembering to keep the emphasis on the 'ups' and the 'good'.Things WILL get better Jazzy, they simply must....

Recovery is all about glimpsing that tiny flickering light of hope, gently burning down the very long tunnel and remaining positive.

Recovery is all about listening. To your medical practitioners, your body ....... and yourself. Your opinions count you know and you're so right to examine the possibilities that potential therapies may have to enhance your own recovery.

Recovery is therefore about being proactive. It shouldn't be all about the medications. Ask those questions, find those other complementary routes.....

Recovery means being very, very thankful that you never dropped your Health Insurance. It really is the 'security blanket' that advert professes it to be, no matter the provider. Shame on successive Governments for making this so.....

Recovery is about discovery. Like discovering all those hills that have suddenly popped up in nearby towns. I'm quite positive they weren't there in my - ahem - crutch-less days ......

Recovery is about solving confusing conundrums. Like keeping mobile, while also being sedentary. And thinking: it's all very well having a litter-picker to help pick up dropped items (I drop things, a lot) but what happens when the litter-picker itself falls down? What then, I ask you?!

Recovery is limiting. Especially on mid-term breaks and on being sedentary. What is one supposed to do then, eh? Well.... I guess there's baking and cooking for the home-cooked goodies loving teen on his Mid-term break - with his help of course ......

And there's a myriad of completed, semi-completed and barely started crochet and knitting projects - more of which anon - that I sincerely hope are completed in time........

Recovery is therefore all about hoping that one gets better .....  FAST.

Or else this Desperate Housewife is in serious danger of transforming into some kind of  a deranged, mutant Domestic Diva!!

And we really couldn't have that, now could we?!


Note: And finally, Recovery is about finding an outlet to release your thoughts and fears. It's very therapeutic and for me my blog is my main outlet. So, apologies for all my recent injury-related blog posts, it's all I seem to be able to blog about. But then ...... it's my blog, my rules :-)