REPORT A PROBLEM
March 1st and time to write 100 words. I came across this website a few weeks ago and did a dummy run. I lasted 4 days.
I notice many contributors have completed multiple months, so it must become a habit that is achieveable. I make no guarantees and just hope to complete my 31st 100 words by the end of this month.
I joined the blogosphere six months ago and despite several changes - the one constant has been lack of time to read blogs not to mind write one. 100 words daily has an attractive, brief discipline about it.
Itís a grey day this morning Ė none of that spring sunshine weíve been having lately Ė with a soft rain hardly worthy of a hat.
I was reading Saturdayís Irish Times on the train to work - specifically an article about a young Cork man who suffered a spinal cord injury playing rugby in 2007. He lives a difficult, but positive life in London with his mother and round the clock professional care.
On euthanasia - he appreciates how he might end up wanting to end his life, but for now he says his quality of life is definitely worth while.
13 Things That Don't Make Sense
, a book by science writer and quantum physicist Michael Brooks arrived through my letterbox yesterday.
The subtitle is
The Most Intriguing Scientific Mysteries of Our Times
The 13 Things are
The Missing Universe
The Pioneer Anomaly
The Wow! Signal
A Giant Virus
The Placebo Effect
I have read the introduction and part of chapter one and so far it is fascinating. And most importantly for a scientific book aimed at a general readership, it is clearly and simply written and therefore understandable.
March 4th puts me in mind of my first real boyfriend, E.
From 14 to 17 we were an item. We used to go religiously to the local disco every Friday night. There the drama of teenage social rules and regulations was played out in painful detail as the DJ played
They Shoot Horses Donít They
over and over and over again.
I still know him because I stayed friendly with his sister who was my brotherís girlfriend around the same time. They managed a re-run a couple of years ago when they met again after marriages, divorces, children etc.
1.5%. Thatís the new European Central Bank euro zone interest rate.
Q. Can it go any lower?
A. Yes it probably can.
The Bank of England has just hit 0.5%, so I guess the ECB can too.
Unemployment in Ireland is over 10% of the workforce. Last time it was that high was 1997. So recently? Somehow I thought the Celtic Tiger was up, running and roaring at that point.
Most depressing personally is the value thatís been wiped off my pension fund. The only positive is that I have enough years left to allow it to recover.
Brilliant chapter on Cold Fusion in Michael Brooksí book mentioned on March 3rd. Do not ask me to explain! Iím an armchair scientist. Love the concepts, but donít always understand the detail. Anyway, if they ever sort it out weíd all be sorted for energy forever.
Next on my reading list is
The Vanishing Face of Gaia: A Final Warning
by James Lovelock. He says we are wasting our time pursuing any energy avenues other than nuclear. On the subject of carbon emissions: he reckons that while weíre all scrambling to shut the stable door, the horse has already bolted.
9.30 pm and just home from lunch.
We flew from Dublin to Heathrow and then drove north to Hertfordshire.
My partnerís aunt was born ninety years ago today and the lunch was in her honour.
She is one of five children. One of her brothers died at Dunkirk in WWII. A brother and sister lived into old age; another brother is still hale and hearty at eight-five.
I got to thinking about how different the world was when she was born. WWI was not long over and Ireland was embarking on a War of Independence.
The weather just couldnít make up its mind today. Overcast and raining one minute, magnificent sunshine the next. One constant was the wind. We went walking on Dollymount Strand, which was fine heading east, but tough, cold work heading back towards the city.
It was beautiful though with the tide so low the sand spit seemed to go on for ever in all directions.
Back home and we had to do a temporary job to close up the gap around the access point to the attic. The westerly wind was getting through and making itself felt.
Attic insulation long overdue.
The economy is depressing, but the news from Northern Ireland is worse and the combination of the two could set the province back years.
Two British soldiers were shot dead on Saturday night by the Real IRA. Two other soldiers and two pizza delivery men were shot and injured. The soldiers, incongruously dressed in desert fatigues, were due to leave Northern Ireland just hours later for a tour of duty in Afghanistan.
I sincerely hope that this attack does not de-rail the peace process that has so painstakingly been trying to establish a liveable future for all sides up North.
I am heartsick. A policeman has been shot and killed in Craigavon. Another dissident republican group, the Continuity IRA, has claimed responsibility this morning. The authorities think it was a setup; that he and his colleagues were lured into a trap by a false 999 call.
The whole situation could so easily slip back to where it was several years ago if these dissident republican groups are not stopped. Ordinary people need to make their views and voices heard. Sinn Fťin has been making progress through the peace process and needs to use all its influence to stop this now.
It was an absolutely gorgeous spring day today. Warm and sunny with clear skies. The perfect antidote to depressing news on the economy and from Northern Ireland.
Seems the ordinary people up north are making their voices and views heard. Thousands have marched today denouncing the dissidents who threatened to return the province to the dark days theyíd left behind them.
On the economic front. I heard a suggestion today that the interim budget thatís been announced for April 7th (to help get us through the rest of 2009) should really have been set for April 1st. Aprilís Foolís Day.
Iíve just been to a presentation outlining the current (desperate) state of my pension fund. Some new, safe, lower return investment options are being offered and one older option is gone. Not surprisingly. It was guaranteed never to go below a 0% return. In 2008 it did, of course, and the fund managers had to cover the shortfall.
Incidental observation: The presenter was a good-looking man with a wonderfully rich, resonant voice. Uncharacteristically, he had
hairstyle. Grown longer on one side and swept over the bald patch. Truly, this is one of lifeís entirely unimportant, but completely baffling mysteries.
There was an interesting feature on RTE Radio 1 this morning about the
Kilfenora Ceili Band
. Celebrating 100 years in existence, the band has a rich history playing traditional music in north County Clare and beyond. One particular family has had members in the band since its foundation.
Being the week thatís in it, thereíll be a lot of ceili music to be heard up and down the country. And a lot of dancing, mostly improvised, to go with it. Iím even going to a ceili myself in my daughterís school, which is sure to be embarrassing but great fun.
I worry about having nothing to write about. And always something turns up.
Today itís Rugby!
The Six Nations Championship is ongoing. Ireland is doing very well.
Wales played Italy today and to everyoneís surprise Italy presented a real challenge.
Then came the Ireland/Scotland game and Scotland did better than expected, but Ireland did ultimately win.
England and France play tomorrow.
The expectation of who will be top dog changes from year to year depending on players and coaches. Ireland is in with a chance of the Grand Slam this year (winning all games) if we beat Wales next weekend.
There is a cherry blossom tree in our front garden. It is coming into full, luscious bloom these past few days; usually achieving its peak around St Patrickís Day. So itís very nearly there.
The buds are a vibrant dark pink before they open. Once opened the petals are light pink front and back. I wonder where the dark pink goes. It must be an optical colour illusion created by the density of the petals while they are still wrapped tightly around each other.
Either way it is a beautiful, mesmerising tree for a few weeks this time of year.
I am both surprised and impressed. Today I am half-way to completing my first month of 100 words daily. Once this entry is complete I will have written 16 of 31 entries for March.
Iíve been reading about the End of Life forum that was launched last week by President Mary McAleese. It seems like a very worthy endeavour by the Irish Hospice Foundation. They have started a national conversation on how best to deal with the inevitable end of life that we all face. From all angles. The conversation is to end with an agenda for action in 2010.
Today is St. Patrickís Day. Hope itís been happy wherever you are.
The ultimate in celebrating Irishness, it has never been political in my experience Ė more a fun, family day with over-the-top green, white and orange hats, skirts, wigs and flags becoming the normal attire in recent years.
I took my daughter, nephew and niece into central Dublin for the parade. Past experience made me go in a little late Ė too late Ė we didnít see much. Problem is itís very hard to see much anyway the crowds are so dense. But itís always good fun with a great festival atmosphere.
Today started out as one of the most beautiful of the year so far. I went walking with a friend and our dogs on Portmarnock beach in the early afternoon. It was magnificent.
Then around 3.30 the sunshine started to disappear into a fog that has become denser and colder over the last few hours. As far as I know itís called a sea fret, a curious phenomenon that is caused by the cold air over the sea meeting the warm air over land.
Visibility along this part of the Dublin coast has been pretty non-existent these last few hours.
The shroud of fog over Dublin didnít lift until mid-afternoon today. So cold and so quiet.
Natasha Richardson: how very, very sad. I know lots of people die every day in tragic circumstances and we just donít get to hear about it, but it doesnít make this story any less tragic for her family.
It certainly focuses the mind on making a renewed effort to live in the present moment. While we may be able to accept the ultimate certainty of death, I think we have a lot more difficulty accepting that we know not the day, nor the hour.
to describe a cherry blossom tree the other day. And today I came across the origin of that word.
Austrian physicist, Franz
, entranced, or
, late 18th century Paris with claims that magnets and water could be used to heal.
Another word with an interesting history is
was the estate agent of an absentee landlord during the so called land wars in 1880ís Ireland. When he refused to lower rents and starting evicting people, Parnell suggested that rather than resorting to violence everyone in the locality should just refuse to deal with him.
The Six Nations Championship is the biggest northern hemisphere Rugby championship each year.
Ireland won the 2009 championship a little over an hour ago.
And because they beat all the other five teams Ė Wales, Scotland, England, France and Italy Ė they also won whatís known as the Grand Slam.
And to boot Ė because they beat Wales, Scotland and England Ė i.e. the non-continental countries and original participants in the Championship, they won the Triple Crown.
But it was close. Todayís game against Wales was nail-biting to the end. I watched it in the pub with family and friends. A terrific atmosphere.
I am tired today and cheating. These are the first 82 words from my first, and only, novel.
Lucy stepped back and started reading from the bottom of the list.
Zimmerman led to Weiss and then to Walls. From the top Archer led to Arnold and then to Baeck, and about half way down there were two Ganglehoffs, followed by a Hegarty. But there was no Harris between Ganglehoff and Hegarty.
No Patrick Harris. No any Harris.
Surely there had to be some mistake?
A forty year old mistake or a more recent omission by a headstone sculptor she wondered.
Today Iím sharing anotherís words because coincidentally the
has a piece by
, daughter of the Gangelhoffs I mentioned yesterday.
THEIR FACES fade. Their voices dim to a whisper. But sometimes I see my mom and dad, their smiles flash as they wave to me one last time from the window of their doomed plane.
Sometimes, I think about my mom and how she didnít know how to swim and she didnít like to fly. And I think what a sad, melancholy irony that she died when a plane she was on crashed into the Irish Sea.
Echo India Alpha Oscar Mike with you. . . Twelve thousand feet, descending, spinning rapidly.
These were the last words heard from the flight deck of the Aer Lingus Viscount St Phelim on March 24th, 1968.
En route from Cork to London, the plane crashed into the Irish Sea near Tuskar Rock, off Co Wexford, at approximately 12.15pm local time. All 61 people on board were killed.
My father was one of them.
No official cause for the crash was ever established. For me, Iím not sure it ever really mattered. The loss and the learning are much the same.
I met a good friend today who is in her mid-forties. She is divorced and has no children. Lately she is fearful of loneliness, of being alone.
She lives in a comfortable suburban estate where most of her neighbours are people around her own age, but mostly they are families with children.
This morning as she watched her neighbours she felt an overwhelming sadness at the thought of still seeing the same neighbours come and go, but with their grandchildren, and she will still be alone.
She wonders should she move house, but knows itís not the answer. What is?
Here I am wondering how to find the energy to write 100 words today. Not because Iím down Ė although you might think that after the last few posts. Rather from exhaustion and hence being incapable of coherent thought.
A busy, busy day at work, followed by a busy, busy evening at home with everyone making demands and pulling me in too many directions.
So, I click on to 100 words.com and see a post by Terry written a year ago today. I click through to see that he has completed 100 words every single day since May 2006.
Highs and lows.
Achievements and disappointments.
My daughter is a competitive Irish dancer and today competed in the Leinster Pre-Open Championships. Thatís the next biggest thing to the All Irelandís.
Her two classmates both won prizes in their age groups, but R got nothing at all. It is hard for her to deal with, despite my pointing out that lots of other good dancers got nothing either.
Tomorrow are the figure dances and she is despairing that she wonít win anything then either as her partner has torn a ligament and canít dance. Her teacher is hurriedly re-arranging the formations.
This is the latest Iíve ever left it to write 100 words.
Itís 11.05pm and weíre moving to summer time tonight.
After 12 hours at the Leinster Feis I was fit to drop when we got home and ate proper food at 9.45 this evening.
R was well compensated for yesterdayís disappointments with 8 medals to her credit today. To her credit and her classmates. All the dances today were figures and so were multiple ventures, culminating in a 16-hand complicated routine called the Celtic Cross.
It was a horrendously long day, but an enjoyable one; especially for the competitors.
Tired today. Not surprisingly. Yesterday was a long, long day and then to be short-changed by an hourís sleep didnít help.
That said, I always think the clock change is in the mind not the body. Letís face it weíd often wake or go to sleep an hour earlier or later on a weekend morning and wouldnít think anything of it.
Trick is to change all clocks, watches, and mobiles before going to bed so you donít really know any different in the morning.
Time is a curious phenomenon anyway, holding us in a hypnotic trance most of our lives.
This exercise of writing 100 words each day for March has got me to thinking a lot about writing.
Why we do it other than to serve some functional purpose?
I have achieved 30 days and have enjoyed the exercise more days than not.
I try to analyse my own motivation. To understand why I have the constant urge to write and I suspect it is because force of habit makes me assume it is the only way I know to express myself creatively.
So, my mission for April is to search and find some other routes to creative expression.
The freesheet headline today tells of a 49 year old man found guilty of murdering his wife. He got a life sentence.
Although he admitted killing her, he had pleaded not guilty to murder. He claimed he was driven to violence by jealousy: his wife had re-kindled a relationship with an old flame from 20 years earlier.
He waited for her to return from meeting her lover and then stabbed her in front of their three children aged 4 to 10.
Those unfortunate children have not only lost their mother, but also their father in the most tragic of circumstances.
The Tip Jar