Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Coffee - with the editor!

The editor called me into his office this morning. I hovered nervously in front of his desk, heart sinking as I realised he was scrolling through my court reports on his computer.

‘Sit down for feck’s sake,’ he barked.

I sat in the chair across from his desk.
The phone rang, but he didn’t pick up. Michael peered in and went away again.
The head of the advertising department stuck her head in the door just long enough for him to growl ‘piss off, I’m busy. ’
I sat and sat, until I felt I couldn’t sit for a second longer and then he settled back in his padded office chair, tapped his finger against his teeth and said, ‘Did someone help you with these?’
‘No . . .certainly not,’ I answered, feeling an unmistakable thrill at the fact that I was actually entitled to be outraged.
The editor shoved back his chair, muttered ‘right. Let’s go for coffee,’ and strode out into the newsroom, sub-editors and reporters scattering in his wake.
‘MICHAEL!’ he bellowed, and Michael duly appeared from the photocopying area where he’d been lurking.
‘We’re going for coffee.’
‘Right,’ Michael replied. He turned towards the newsroom.
‘Lads – we’re going for coffee. Any problems ring me on my mobile.’
And with that I was swept out the door, into the front seat of the editor’s pale grey Rover, and whisked away to the Lakeside Hotel Breakfast room, where I had a very nice fresh scone with raspberry jam and cream, and two cups of freshly ground coffee poured from a slightly tarnished silver pot.
The editor did most of the talking, between singing snatches of Emmy-Lou Harris and drumming his fingers on the table. It turns out he’s a big country and western fan.
When we were heading back out to the car Michael whispered ‘This is his way of letting you know he’s pleased with your work,’ and I felt a small glow of satisfaction that I’d actually managed to do something right.

I’m still stumped as to who the lady in the photograph I found could be. I know Aunt Dee had dark hair when she was young, and by all accounts, before she became the priest’s housekeeper here, she was a bit of a beauty.
There’s an inscription on the back, but it’s so faded it’s illegible. I think I’ll bring it into the office tomorrow and ask Marie if she can work some of her computer magic on it.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Could this really be Aunt Dee?

Michael read over my court reports today, and to my astonishment, and his, he told me they were ‘actually quite good.’
I felt a bit smug, until I remembered I worked as a legal secretary for 10 years before I got married.

This evening I tried to do some more work on Aunt Dee’s vegetable garden, but within seconds of going out the door I was engulfed by a cloud of the largest midge/fly/mosquito creatures I have ever seen. After less than five minutes I fled inside. I suspect that, in the past, Aunt Dee may have used some illegal, growth boosting fertilizer in her vegetable garden.

Hunted from the garden, I decided I might as well start on the task of finding a nice publisher for my book.
It turns out that might not be quite as easy as I’d thought. Apparently, to get a publisher to read it, I first of all need something called a literary agent. But as there seem to be plenty of these out there, (probably more than there are books being written,) I suspect it won’t be too difficult.
I also decided to clear out Aunt Dee’s desk, which sits in the corner of a sun-faded room, formerly known as the parlour, overlooking the front garden, and is where I now try to write (and end up exploring the fascinating world of the internet instead).
I found this photograph in one of the desk drawers. She’s awfully glamorous, which is not something I remember Aunt Dee ever being.

But if it isn’t Aunt Dee than who is it?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Paperback writer

Paper back writer (paperback writer)
Dear Sir or Madam, will you read my book?
It took me years to write, will you take a look?
It's based on a novel by a man named Lear
And I need a job, so I want to be
a paperback writer,
Paperback writer.

It's the dirty story of a dirty man
And his clinging wife doesn't understand.
His son is working for the Daily Mail,
It's a steady job but he wants to be
a paperback writer, Paperback writer.

Paperback writer (paperback writer)

It's a thousand pages, give or take a few,
I'll be writing more in a week or two.
I can make it longer if you like the style,
I can change it round and I want to be
a paperback writer, Paperback writer.

If you really like it you can have the rights,
It could make a million for you overnight.
If you must return it, you can send it here
But I need a break and I want to be a paperback writer,
Paperback writer.

Paperback writer (paperback writer)

I’ve been thinking about writing since Dómhnall told me I should start concentrating on my own work again.
My book tells the story of a brave, unassuming woman trapped in a loveless marriage who aspires to be an award-winning writer, while writing her novel in secret.
While there are some autobiographical elements, it is entirely fictional.

It was only when my ex-husband (who I will not be writing about here) left me and I realised I had nothing to live on that it occurred to me - I could sell it! So today I decided to do some research, just in case the junior reporting job doesn't work out and I need something to fall back on.
Apparently, according to the internet, there are many, many writers all over the world who’ve sold hundreds of books they haven’t yet written for thousands, sometimes millions, of euros. (Isn’t the internet an amazing thing? You type in a few words, like writer and book deal, and all sorts of things come up).
I’d be happy with 20 or 30 thousand myself. A little more would be nice, of course, but I don’t want to be greedy, and while I feel that my book is good, it is a little dark. Unlike the one in the song above, it is a little less than a thousand pages long (230 pages, to be exact), and while the fictional husband featured in my book isn't a very nice man, he isn't actually dirty. In fact, personal hygiene is something that's very important to him.
The story in my book isn't actually dirty either.
Just sad.
And dark.
And a little . . . uneventful, which I suspect means it may be artistic, although that wasn't something I was aiming for when I wrote it. Then again, I didn't really write it with any aim in mind, apart from trying to do something that would stop me thinking about what my-ex-husband was up to on the evenings he didn't come home . . . . . .
I've been thinking about changing the ending. In my second draft the ex-husband is reunited with his plucky ex-wife after she bravely creates a new life for herself and his eyes are opened to all her newly-revealed wonderful qualities.
Now I'm not sure.
A possible industrial accident that leaves him emotionally crushed and just very slightly maimed might, I feel, be more effective. I just have to pin down the details (flying debris after someone, never traced, plants a small quantity of explosives in his hardhat during a building site visit, versus office chair collapsing under him, involuntarily causing him to catch his index finger in his electric pencil sharpener). Hmmmmmmm.

The red-haired lady was lurking out on the street when I drove into town to pick up my paper. She didn’t get a chance to throw anything at me today, but she did yell something that sounded like ‘bagelmasher’ as I sped past.

Friday, March 27, 2009

A strange thing happened

Dómhnall dropped in this morning.
He told me that I had far too many pictures of flowers on the blog and that it all looked too girly. He also told me I was ‘way too eager’ to get involved in the many, many exciting things happening on the internet, and that I needed to get my head together and do some writing of my own.
I’ve decided maybe he’s right. I found the nature posting a little stressful, which is, of course, entirely my own fault and is the last thing such a lovely project was intended to be. But somehow I managed to take three hours to upload my photos (which, let’s be honest, are not very good – you should see some of the photographs these people are taking. There’s no other word for them but brilliant) and I also posted my link at entirely the wrong time.
I think I might just enjoy being a bystander for a while.
When I asked Dómhnall how he had learnt to be so wise at such a young age he muttered something about ‘me mam’, dropped the slice of toast slathered in nutella he’d been eating, and left. He is definitely not himself.

A strange thing happened after I came back from work today. The eccentric looking red-haired lady was standing outside the house by the public phone-box (in which there is no longer any phone) and when I parked the car on the street and opened the front garden gate something large and wet landed with a splat an inch or two from my feet.

It was a big, very soft, tomato, clearly thrown with great force: Some of the seeds exploding from it had landed on my wine suede shoes. I looked up to see the red-haired lady glaring at me. She was yelling something that sounded like ‘ladlebatter.’
I scurried inside and took refuge behind the sitting room curtains, where I watched her glare at Aunt Dee’s house until she finally went away.
I must ask Dómhnall if he knows who she is.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Nature notes (and other stuff)

Yesterday evening I discovered a nice site called Rambling Woods http://ramblingwoods.com/ on another very nice site called Round the bend. Rambling Woods has invited people to post weekly Nature notes, and I think this is such a nice idea I’ve tried (tried being the operative word) to participate.

Firstly, I’m still not sure how this works so apologies to anyone who has landed or lands on this page looking for something entirely different – also apologies for the quality of the photos.
Also I have to be honest and say I’m not entirely sure what the purple flower is. I found it growing on the wall outside the house – I looked it up in one of my gardening books , and the only thing it resembles is something called foxes cabbage.

The smaller picture is of primroses and violets - I stumbled across a bank of them on a walk this morning, the same walk where I spotted this handsome mountain sheep and her two new spring lambs.

Other stuff

The court reporter called in sick with pneumonia today.
There was a series of loud crashes in the glass box after his call, then Michael scurried out and explained in strangled whispers that the court reporter is the only journalist in the office with shorthand.
‘But . . I know shorthand’ I said, astonished that I might actually be of some use for the first time since I started working here a week ago.
‘You do?’ Michael said, his eyes bulging with relief.
So today I did my first day of court reporting. The town’s ancient courthouse is not the nicest place in the world to spend a breezy spring day – but at least I finally felt I had something to offer. (The cases were not too edifying either – one man charged with urinating on a garda car, many many charges of driving without a licence, or tax, or insurance, and a case of a seventy-eight year-old pensioner who refused to have her eyes retested for her driving licence renewal. She drove away from the courthouse smiling and defiant, straight through a set of red lights.)

I love the of explosion of sharing on the internet. It really is an astonishing place. When I said this to Dómhnall this evening he told me darkly that he was worried about me. He also told me there was a fada on the o in his name.
Then he ate two apples and a slice of tea-cake. I wonder if he’s sickening for something?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

'Please don't worry if you feel you have no talent . .'

Today I came home planning to do a bit of writing.
Instead I spent an hour exploring the internet, another hour watching television, a half an hour berating myself for not writing, and a final half hour telling myself there was no point in trying to write anything anyway, because it was almost certain to be rubbish, and everything worthwhile has already been written - Like this:

The Tay Bridge Disaster
William Topaz McGonagall (1879)

Beautiful Railway Bridge of the Silv’ry Tay!
Alas! I am very sorry to say
That ninety lives have been taken away
On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember’d for a very long time.

’Twas about seven o’clock at night,
And the wind it blew with all its might,
And the rain came pouring down,
And the dark clods seem’d to frown,
And the Demon of the air seem’d to say --
“I’ll blow down the Bridge of Tay.”

When the train left Edinburgh
The passengers’ hearts were light and felt no sorrow,
But Boreas blew a terrific gale,
Which made their hearts for to quail,
And many of the passengers with fear did say --
“I hope God will send us safe across the Bridge of Tay.”

But when the train came near to Wormit Bay,
Boreas he did loud and angry bray,
And shook the central girders of the Bridge of Tay
On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember’d for a very long time.

So the train sped on with all its might,
And Bonnie Dundee soon hove in sight,
And the passengers’ hearts felt light,
Thinking they would enjoy themselves on the New Year,
With their friends at home they lov’d most dear,
And wish them all a happy New Year.

So the train mov’d slowly along the Bridge of Tay,
Until it was about midway,
Then the central girders with a crash gave way,
And down went the train and passengers into the Tay!
The Storm Fiend did loudly bray,
Because ninety lives had been taken away,
On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember’d for a very long time.

As soon as the catastrophe came to be known
The alarm from mouth to mouth was blown,
And the cry rang out all o’er the town,
Good Heavens! the Tay Bridge is blown down,
And a passenger train from Edinburgh,
Which fill’d all the people’s hearts with sorrow,
And made them for to turn pale,
Because none of the passengers were sav’d to tell the tale
How the disaster happen’d on the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember’d for a very long time.

It must have been an awful sight,
To witness in the dusky moonlight,
While the Storm Fiend did laugh, and angry did bray,
Along the Railway Bridge of the Silv’ry Tay,
Oh! ill-fated Bridge of the Silv’ry Tay,
I must now conclude my lay
By telling the world fearlessly without the least dismay,
That your central girders would not have given way,
At least many sensible men do say,
Had they been supported on each side with buttresses,
At least many sensible men confesses,
For the stronger we our houses do build,
The less chance we have of being killed

The Scottish American Society holds an annual contest in William MacGonagle's honour.

'Get out your pen and paper. Get ready for the poetry contest in May. Yes, folks, it's the William MacGonagle contest once again. The competition will be fierce. And please don't worry if you feel you have no talent. This is exactly what is required. '

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Writerly things and daffodils

I spent another hour this evening clearing the back of Aunt Dee’s garden and unearthed two more finds (see pics – I knew one of them was a daffodil/narcissi type thing. The other one, it turns out, is forsythia).

I also went exploring the internet last night, managing to avoid youtube this time, and instead sticking mainly to writerly related subjects.
Scrolling through the many, many blogs and websites, I was hit by an overpowering attack of inadequacy. It pursued me into the night, making me wake up at four this morning to ask myself how I dared to call myself an aspiring award-winning writer (who has yet to win an award) when everyone else in the world was clearly incredibly creative, talented, and much more accomplished than I could ever imagine being.

People are doing such astonishing things – creating beautiful places, documenting their smart, clever lives. And lots and lots of people are writing. All over the world people are writing beautiful poems, stunning novels, plays, movie scripts and more.

Then it started to get bright, so I sat by the kitchen window with my cup of tea and watched the sea turn from midnight blue to pearl grey, and decided that in the end it was probably better to have aspired to something than not to have tried at all.
So I’ve decided to send off another four poems,( this time to The Stinging Fly, a very clever publication featuring both fiction and poetry whose deadline for submissions is the end of this month.) And then I went to work.

When I came back Domhnall was sitting in front of the television in Aunt Dee’s chair, eating my brand new replacement box of crunchy nut cornflakes, watching The Simpsons.
Closing the door after him a little later, I noticed the eccentrically dressed red-haired lady standing a few yards away, watching us.
It may have been my imagination, but I’m almost sure she looked angry.

Monday, March 23, 2009

On a positive note . . .

Something nice happened in work today.
When I came in (10 minutes early) the editor was already in his little glass box, scanning this week’s edition of the paper.
Twenty minutes later, with everyone sitting at their desks, the office remained oddly silent. I wondered if people were still hung over from Sheila’s going away party on Friday. I’d only met her for a couple of minutes, but she'd struck me as a being an all-weekend-going-away-party sort of girl.
But something told me this silence had nothing to do with hangovers.
Every so often someone would glance towards the glass box.
At 9.52 a bellow issued forth.

‘MIICCHAEL! Get everyone in here – NOW!’

So we shuffled in and lined up in front of the editor’s desk. I noticed the back of Michael’s shirt was dark with sweat.
I tried to lurk towards the back of the group, but since everyone else was trying to do the same thing there was an unseemly scuffle that resulted in one of the slighter reporters being knocked over.
‘WHAT THE F**K*** HELL ARE YOU EEJITS DOING?’ bellowed the editor.

‘JUST – just stand still, for god’s sake.’
There was a long, shuffle-tinted silence.
‘Who the f*** (said very quietly, almost in a whisper) subbed the Barrystown notes this week?’ There was another very long, this time shuffle-free, silence.
Then a sub standing next to me called Marie mumbled ‘I think it might have been Sheila.’
A sudden flurry of similar murmurs traveled through the glass box.
‘Yeah, it was Sheila.’
‘Definitely Sheila.’
‘Yeah, Sheila was at them Friday afternoon.’

The Editor looked at us all for a long moment. I felt his eyes burning into my forehead. Please god don’t let him be able to read my thoughts, I prayed.
‘So that’s the way it’s going to be, is it,’ he said finally. ‘Right so - Clear out of here, the lot of ye’s, and go and do some f***ing work. But don’t think this is the end of this. Because it's not.’

I whispered a hurried thank-you to Marie as we left the office.
‘No problem. The last thing we need is to lose another of the women in this office,' she murmured with a lopsided smile.

I had a sneaky look at the notes page later on. According to the Barrystown notes, a sheep-shagging fund-raiser (as opposed to sheep-shearing, which is, of course, what it should have read) would be taking place in Barry’s Field on Sunday. How did that happen?

On a positive note, at least my new co-workers lied through their teeth to protect me.

Thank you Women rule writer, for pointing out that at least I have good neighbours. (See Sunday's post.)
All the same, I've decided I’m not going to look at youtube for a while.

Instead I have set myself some ‘improving tasks.’ Firstly, I have picked four of my shiniest, newest poems to submit to the Fish Publishing competition. (Even though 12 euro per poem does seem a little steep.)
Secondly I am going to start working on the third draft of my novel.
Just not right now.

There is a window banging upstairs. This is a strange, sighing ship of a house.

Attached is a picture of rain-soaked mountain path, intended to tie in with the positive tone of this post.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Utterly humiliated

I am utterly humiliated.

I’m still not sure whether it was the stress of the new job, or the fact that I’d been surfing youtube for 24 hours straight, but after I fell asleep on my keyboard I slept for over six hours.
Next thing I know, I’m being shaken awake by someone with very large hands, and when I open my eyes, someone astonishingly large is looming in front of me.
Then I hear a deep, soft-vowelled voice say something like ‘God almighty – look at her face – what’s wrong with her face?’ and out of nowhere Domhnall appears.

Domhnall takes one look at the computer, the empty cereal boxes and the potato waffle packets, and he tells the very large person, who seems to be wearing a uniform, that it looks like I am suffering from an allergic reaction, probably caused by facial contact with my keyboard, that I am a writer and that I’ve clearly been working through the night to complete a deadline.

‘Right,’ the large person mumbles nervously. ‘A writer, is she?’
And that’s when my eyes start to focus and I realise that it is the oddly attractive garda standing in my kitchen, his cap perched on his head, his face pink with embarrassment, looking like he would rather be anywhere else in the world but here.
I then realise that the oddly attractive garda has found me, slumped across Aunt Dee’s kitchen table, in my ancient Dunnes Stores teddy-bear pyjamas, unshowered, with something apparently horribly wrong with my face.

‘Make sure you put something on that face of yours,’ he murmurs, stepping back a little too hastily, and all I can mumble is ‘yesthankssleeppjsorrythanks’ before Domhnall has bustled him out the door again and is standing in front of me looking stern.
‘You’ve got bits of crunchy nut cornflakes stuck to your face,’ he says.

Turns out he had called to the door three times yesterday and once this morning (I must have been so absorbed in youtube I didn’t even hear him) and he had decided, seeing as the car was still outside, that something was wrong.
‘Because you never really go out anywhere, do you?’ he said by way of explanation.

On his way back from trying the doorbell this afternoon he had happened to bump into the oddly attractive garda, who had also, he told Domhnall, noticed the lack of activity around Aunt Dee’s house.
(He keeps an eye on my house? I said. ‘He said he keeps an eye on all the ladies like you – the ones who live alone,’ Donal mumbled between mouthfuls of cream-crackers lathered in butter and slugs of milk straight from the carton. ‘I did try to warn you about youtube, ya know.’)

We sat there in silence for a while after that. And when he had finished all the cream-crackers he said he was off home.

10.10 am - youtube cont’d

David Bowie – mmmmmmmmmm.

Skateboarding dog – ha.

Talking cat – hahahahhahahh.

Very tired. Very very tired. Need sleep. Keyboard looks soft. Will just push empty cereal packets and waffle bags to one side.

12.15 am - Youtube continued


Take this clip here:
- I mean, I didn’t even know Patrick Stewart wrote. How could I not have known that?

And I never for a moment suspected David Bowie was so genuinely talented. For a man in his sixties he’s got this preternatural energy about him.
He’s actually very attractive.
Yes . . .
Very attractive.

Very late. Tired. Eyes getting sore. But so much still to see - so much to learn.
Might just get some more of those potato waffly things to nibble before having a look at Bowie being interviewed by Parkinson . . . .

Saturday, March 21, 2009

youtube - not u-tube!

So I googled u-tube this morning - which I now know should of course have read youtube. I mean, I knew that, somewhere in the back of my mind, you know? People mention youtube all over the place, right? – It just didn’t ring a bell with me when Domhnall mentioned it yesterday, that’s all.
But back to youtube.
Never, and I mean never, in my wildest imagination, was I expecting it to be like this.
It’s . . . well, it’s incredible, isn’t it? Practically the whole world is on here. All I have to do is type in something – anything – let’s say fiction writer Ireland. . . . and look! All sorts of things come up.

Shoot – I’ve just dropped my box of crunchy nut cornflakes all over the key-board. Some of them have also gone down the front of my pyjamas. Shoot.

Crunchy nut cornflakes can be quite delicious eaten dry out of the box, can’t they? Even, on occasion, out of the front of a pyjama top. Hmmmm.
Must go – youtube beckons. Much to look at. Much to find out.

Friday, March 20, 2009

On probation - after only two days

The editor was not out having coffee. He was sitting behind his desk watching the office door like a hawk – (or so Michael whispered to me after I was flung out of the glass box for the second time in two days)
Suffice to say that I am now on probation. If I write anything else about work I will cry, so instead I have decided to focus on more positive things, such as the fact that another very kind blogger, Women Rule Writer, has also left a nice message in my comment box. Judging by her blog she is a very accomplished person and deeply committed to the craft of writing, which is why I am adding her link to my page.

I am also adding totalfeckineejit’s link because he is witty and he manages to incorporate music into his blog. I have no idea through what magic he does this.
Domhnall called in this evening, and when I asked him how one would do such a thing he muttered darkly about something called u-tube. When I pressed him further he told me not to go there, and that he had once lost an entire weekend looking at clips of talking cats and skateboarding dogs. He also ate two entire cuisine de france baguettes, one of which was not even cooked.

After my dreadful day in work I decided, to take my mind off things, to have a look at Aunt Dee’s overgrown back yard, once apparently home to a lush and productive vegetable garden. Hacking through the brambles and ancient, woody fuchsia bushes, I found this (see pic). It’s a camellia, according to one of the (many, many) gardening books I borrowed from the library.
Isn’t it astonishing that something so pretty can thrive in such chaos?

First comment - yahooo

I just got my first comment today – very, very, excited – in fact, it almost makes up for the black, black day I had yesterday.
This morning I got up very early, went for a restorative walk on the hill behind the house (where I got chased by a horse) and then came back to turn on my computer and find a lovely, supportive message from somebody called totalfeckineejit. (I suspect it may be a Polish name. Check out their fascinating blog at http://totalfeckineejit.blogspot.com/.)
Oddly enough, this person also tried to read Ted Hughes’s letters, but got further than I did. I’m not sure if it had something to do with the fact that my husband (about whom I will not be writing) was having an affair at the time and I hated all men, but I found that after the first fifty pages, rather than being inspiring and entertaining, Ted Hughes’s letters were, for a mere aspiring award-winning writer like me, a little turgid and pretentious.

Thank you, totalfeckineejit, for your lovely comment. I do hope your stay in Mountjoy wasn’t too awful – I spent six-years in a metaphorical jail, and it was hell.
I am now half-an-hour late for work. Shoot and damnation (I don’t think I’m allowed to post curse words). Please god let the editor be out having coffee with the receptionist like he was yesterday.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

First day in the job and a run in with the boss

My first day in a full-time job in over six-years and my new boss catches me red-handed ‘dossing’ (his word, not mine.)
So he marched me into his little glass office and in front of everyone in the entire news room, he took me apart. He called me a waster. He asked me if I really wanted to be a leach on the already drained resources of a proudly independent, family owned local newspaper. (I told him I didn’t, but I don’t think he heard.) He asked me if I thought I was up to the job at all, and what sort of an amadán did I think I was, emailing my friends on my first day in a new job. (I didn’t get a chance to explain to him that I am actually an aspiring award-winning writer and I was working on my blog.)
When he stopped shouting he asked me what my background was. I thought it was an odd sort of question, but I haltingly told him that my mother was Catholic and my father was an agnostic, and that I’d spent a large part of my childhood in India.
For a second he just looked at me. Then his face went a strange, dark red colour. Then he laughed. And then he looked very, very worried.
‘Who hired you?’ he said finally.
‘You did,’ I told him. ‘You interviewed me on the phone two weeks ago.’
‘I see,’ he said. Then he bellowed: ‘MIIIIIICHAEL’ and a balding man in a white shirt and jeans scurried into the glass office and hovered in front of his desk.
‘Take this comedian here out of my sight - and keep her busy. And for god’s sakes don’t let me glimpse her anywhere near this office, or me, for the rest of the day.’
Michael told me I was on coffee making duty for the rest of the week. He also told me I would have to ‘sub the notes’. I gathered from the murmurs of relief flurrying around the newsroom that subbing the notes is not a popular job.
And so I spent my first afternoon running between the kettle and the computer, reading about ICA painting competitions and sheep-shearing fund-raisers. It was not quite as exciting as I’d imagined my first day would be. But on the upside, at least I wasn’t fired.
And now, after a walk on the beach and a dinner of fresh fish and salad, it all seems quite distant.
Oh, who am I trying to fool? Even after an enzyme boosting, sun-kissed amble along the dunes (see pic above) I feel beaten, humiliated and ancient. One day into a job that any self-respecting 20-year-old communications student could do with their eyes closed, and I’m already in trouble with my boss.
My marriage is over.
And I am sitting in a dilapidated house that I only inherited on the strict proviso that I resurrect the long overgrown ancient vegetable garden Aunt Dee once took such pride in.
I don’t know a thing about vegetable gardening. Or broad beans. All I know is I’m supposed to plant them soon and that the books (the many, many books) I have borrowed from the library recommended dwarf ones for windy areas.

The red-haired lady was on the beach again. She wasn’t crying today.


I'm writing this in work! I'm supposed to be shadowing the chief reporter but he's outside having a cigarette and he told me to 'look busy and have a sneaky browse of the internet.' I've decided to write something here instead - that way the editor, who sits in a little glass box in the centre of the office, will at least see I'm typing if he looks up.
Donal called in this morning on his way to school. He told me, between eating half of my granary sliced pan and a pound of Kerrygold, that he'd had a look at my blog and it wasn't bad for a first attempt. However, I needed links. What are links? I asked him, and he then proceeded to tell me. I'm still not quite sure what they are, apart from the fact that if you click on them they go to places I like.
Donal also told me that he is not fifteen, he is seventeen, and that his name is Domhnall, not Donal. Oh my god - the editor's coming. Don't look - don't look - oh my god - he's walking towards my desk.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Very excited!

I am very, very excited. My first official blog - and if it wasn’t for Donal next door I’d still be trying to figure out how to set up an account.
Donal is only fifteen, which makes his encyclopedic knowledge of this blogging world even more boggling (blogging/boggling - hmmmmm.)

I am a (fictional) aspiring award-winning writer. So far I have won no awards. It's just something I aspire to do.
I split up with my fictional husband six weeks ago (I will not be writing about him) and recently moved to my aunt’s house in a small town on the west coast of Ireland. My aunt is 'no longer with us' (as my mother would say). She was very fond of me, which is why she left me her house. Tomorrow I start a brand new job, the first time I’ll have worked full-time in over six years. There are reasons why I have not worked full-time in the past six years, but I don't want to go into them right now.

I’ll be writing about lots of things in this blog including my ongoing struggle as an aspiring writer, my vegetable garden, (I inherited if as part of my aunt’s property and have just cleared a bed to plant some crimson flowered broad-bean seeds), my new job, my ongoing struggle as a writer (did I mention that?) and possibly the oddly attractive garda I met on the way down to the beach yesterday.
I’ve also noticed an eccentric red-haired lady behaving strangely around the town. But more of that anon.