And slowly, and surely, they drew their plans against us

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I am seeking more consistency in my life, and to this end, I’m trying to set certain recurrent goals and scheduled tasks. Google Calendar mails me daily, with a list of things I had promised myself I would do (at the start of the month or week. Damn that PastMe, says I. Perhaps FutureMe will help me out?).

In any case, Google Calendar reliably informs me that today I am to blog. Thus, blogging I am.  (Apparently PastMe has committed a host of FutureMes to this task every future week.)

Tonight I finally got around to going through the various Sympathy and Mass Cards that many wonderful people sent to us following Helen’s passing. I am trying to compile a list of names and addresses in order to send out thank-you cards. It’s turning out to be quite difficult – not least because we don’t know the addresses of people, but often because it is night on impossible to make out some of the names! We have clearly been spoiled by the Internet Era and its printed text. 

It’s, not unexpectedly, quite a sad task. And I was once again touched by some beautiful messages of condolence from some wonderful people. We made it through that tough tough time with the help & support of many extraordinary friends. You know who you are. Thank you.

It’s nearly 4 months now since Helen passed away. It’s hard to put into words what those four months have been like. There’s been a whole load of keeping on keeping on. There’s been the usual busy-ness that life contains. There have been many small moments where we remember “This Time Last Year” – in something as simple as the type of meal we are preparing, or ordering coal – and stop for a moment of sad reflection.

And I’ve had a collection of crazy dreams (3 or more scattered through the months) where Helen has come back to life and been invariably annoyed with us for burying her. Who could blame her!

We call down to the graveyard mostly once a week (sometimes the WeatherO’Doom has just been far too inclement for this, and it’s been a bit longer), to say hello and even chat a bit. It’s a thing that helps in some way, I guess. 

I’m not really sure what I believe when it comes to thoughts of an afterlife (well, I have some theories involving a greater number of dimensions than our 4-D consciousness readily perceives and the wave equations of Quantum Mechanics – but that probably deserves its own blog post, and for readers to be after a significant amount of wine), but – at the moment – this is what it feels right for us to do. Whether we are heard or not.

I mentioned in my previous post that we are training for the Cork City marathon in June, with plans to raise and donate money to charity in Helen’s name, and I will mention it again closer to the time – poking our wonderful friends to donate. Those 26 miles will be hard fought, if the last few weeks’ training is anything to go by. I may blog further about distance training and running once I’ve enough experience to have anything more to say about it than “ow”. 

But for now – Anon, my friends. ‘Till Google Calendar bids me write once more.

There’d be no distance that could hold us back

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So this is the New Year … 

I’ve been blogging in my head on and off for the past week.  
Death Cab for Cutie’s New Year has been playing in my head the whole time. 2009 was an horrendous toil for a variety of different reasons, and I’ve been feeling like I’ve been holding out for that turn of the dial, to bring me into a New Year and a new phase of living.

And I don’t feel any different.

But another day turning over and stretching doesn’t really change anything.  I’m not much of a person for New Year’s resolutions. For one reason and another, not just to do with the arbitrary line in the sandness of the whole thing, and the tendancy to give ourselves excuses, to “put things off” until the year has changed.

The clanking of crystal

I gave up drinking alcohol at the end of November, and New Year’s was chimed in with cranberry juice in champagne glasses.  I don’t know how long I’m going to stay away from alcoholic beverages, but it will be at least until the Spring Equinox. My long standing struggle with depression has almost always been exacerbated by the long nights of Winter, but this year’s has been the most difficult I can remember in a long time. I suppose I’d forgotten quite how terrible it can be in Ireland when the little daylight that’s there is obscured by fog and rain.  Some mornings it’s lethargy, others sadness, but most commonly it’s a twisting, paralyzing terror in my stomach that grows through the day until I can’t sleep at night with the fear, and the cycle starts again.

This is not the only reason I’ve given up drinking, but I do feel that keeping alcohol out of this mix is a sensible plan.

Explosions off in the distance.

This is the year that I’m due to marry, and there’s plenty for organizing. I had planned on blogging out the details here over the course of the year, but failed failed failed. I don’t think I’m going to pick up the reigns on it now, but I will be updating this site  very shortly (this week) with details on accomodation and the likes (now that hotels have finally gotten back to me with prices).

So this is the new year 
And I have no resolutions

We’re running a marathon on June 7th –just over 2 weeks before the wedding. The hope is to raise money for a (as yet undetermined) charity and donate the money in Helen’s name. A kind of memorial thing.  I got a pretty shiny gps running watch to help with the training, and we’re ramping up to follow this schedule in a week’s time. I very hope some of the slippy slidey ice has cleared by then.

For self assigned penance   
For problems with easy solutions

The house is a huge thing on the 2010 agenda as well. It needs a serious cleaning out and refurbishing. We possibly need to get in contact with a structural engineer of some kind as well and sort out damp proofing. I’m sure it’s one of those things that will be very easily sorted out by throwing money at the problem :)

So everybody put your best suit or dress on   
Let’s make believe that we are wealthy for just this once
Lighting firecrackers off on the front lawn
As thirty dialogues bleed into one

We are definitely far from wealthy in the fiscal sense.

Gareth got a phone call on Wednesday this week. I could hear him talking out in the hallway, serious low tone and drifting scary words. In he came with worried stance and thumbs down. The company he’s been a staff writer for for coming up on 7 years have decided to let him go with less than a month’s notice, and nothing more than a pat on the back.It’s … unexpected.

It’s, I think, going to be one of the best bloody things that has every happened to us.

I wish the world was flat like the old days
Then I could travel just by folding a map
No more airplanes, or speedtrains, or freeways
There’d be no distance that can hold us back.

Gar, despite his lack of belief in himself, is stupidly talented and relentlessly imaginative and hardworking. We’re putting together a framework of plans and schedules that will let us survive financially but (hopefully) still allow Gar to finally create some things that don’t get mangled by bad editing slipshod layout and look-a-shiny-thing style management choices.

Meanwhile, I’m (hopefully) heading back to college in the Autumn, and thereafter will have the chance to let the yoof of today in on the secret that mathematics is actually fun and not as scary as bad teachers would have them believe. Well, that’s the dream …

So. This is the New Year.

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