Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Better things

This time of the year I always get a little sad recalling unhappy memories of the breakup of my first marriage. This song always reminds me of that time.

And better things certainly did come my way.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

18 and counting

My sister and I were talking last week about the Dugger family's impending 19th child. Apparantly my eleven year old niece's comment on the topic was "I think they need to get a hobby". To which her mum replied "I think they already have one, honey".

Sunday, September 27, 2009


My oldest nephew turned twenty one today. Boy, that makes me feel old. It seems like no length of time since I used to bounce him on my knee and change his nappies. No doubt that would be a very disturbing thought to remind him of. At this stage, if we do eventually have children, there will be a bigger age gap between David, my oldest nephew, and our kids than there is between him and me. So I will be relying on him to lead them astray at a young age and buy them pints when they are penniless students.

John's youngest niece turned one year old last week. We went down to Cork to visit her last night. She is just adorable. She definitely looks like her Daddy's side of the family, with big brown eyes and the cutest little smile. Whenever I see her it just makes me imagine what our little one might have looked like, as she could easily pass for being John's little girl. He is her godfather, and is so proud of her. If anything seeing her renewed my longing to have a baby, but not in a sad way, more in a positive way. But as it is, it's lovely to have a little one like her in our lives, even if it's just in an Uncle and Auntie capacity.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The joys of domestic goddess-hood

This summer I have really gotten into baking. More for the sake of something to do than anything else, but I've also noticed how appreciated it is when you visit friends or family with some home baked cakes. My mother in law is a typical Irish mammy who has no truck with "shop bread", so when I started visiting bearing gifts of homemade banana bread and madeira cakes, I was elevated to status of daughter in law numero uno.

Years ago I bought "How to be a domestic goddess" by Nigella Lawson for my sister for Christmas. Not that I thought she needed any help in that department, Lord no, this is the woman who single handedly made our wedding cake. But she said in passing that she was dying to get a copy of this particular book. As it turned out, by the time I had bought it, she had already bought a copy from a book club. So I kept the copy I had, flicking through it occasionally but rarely baking anything from it, apart from pizza base.

So early this June I dusted down my copy, and started a baking habit. As I write I have a lemon madeira cake in the oven. It's baking 101, but so yummy.

Here's how it goes:

240 gr softened butter
200 gr caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
grated zest and juice of one lemon
3 large eggs
210 gr self-raising flour
90 gr plain flour

Butter and line a 23 x 13 x 7 cm loaf tin. Preheat oven to 170 C or gas mark 3.
Cream butter, sugar and lemon zest. Add eggs one at a time with tablespoon of flour for each. Gently mix in rest of flour, and finally, the lemon juice. Sprinkle with approx 2 tablespoons caster sugar as it goes into the oven and bake for one hour. Let it cool in the tin before turning out. Tuck in. Yum-yum.

All hail Nigella.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Dole office 2009

It's now over three months since I swapped my corporate Amex card for a much less glamourous social security card. The first couple of months were great. I really enjoyed the novelty of having time on my hands, to visit people, potter about the house and garden and just relax for a while. If I was to believe the purveyors of assvice, the relaxing should have done wonders for my ability to conceive. Well newsflash, it hasn't.

But this post is not about infertility, it's about unemployment in the noughties. I went through a fairly long stint of unemployment when I left university, and I have to say Ireland was a pretty grim place to be back in the early nineties before the boom happened. There was very little money about. Now we're back to that again, but I really don't think the reality of it has hit home to a lot of people yet.

I see people walking into the social welfare office in designer jeans. I see people driving up to the post office to pick up their welfare in 4x4 jeeps. Obviously the trappings of former wealth. I think there are a lot of people out there who have received redundancy lump sums who just haven't had the reality of their situation really hit them yet.

The first day I went into my local social welfare office to sign on, I met a girl I knew who used to work in the same manufacturing plant as me. She and her family moved over here from the north of England when the company closed the plant there and moved the production lines to our facility in Ireland. Anyway the Irish plant has now downsized hugely (from a workforce of 500+ to approx 160, which in a town with a population of around 7,500 is a huge blow to the area) and many people opted to take voluntary redundancy.

Anyway, I overheard this girl (you couldn't but overhear her, she was talking at the top of her voice in a very small waiting area) saying the following (think Yorkshire accent) : "Ah missed mah signin' date last week, cuz I were in Baaacelona for t'Man Unigh'd match. Now they've told me I 'ave to sign on in two weeks, but I'm gonna be in fuckin' Mexico on me 'olidays, in' I?".

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Dole Office 2009.

That was easier than I expected

Turned out Saturday night's birthday gathering was just for immediate family, spouses and kids. So no awkward questions from people I haven't met in over a decade as regards our family situation or lack thereof. Phew!

I stayed with my sister on Saturday night and on Sunday morning I went to mass with her and my nieces. I'm not a regular Sunday mass punter, but when in Rome, or in this case Kildare, do as the Romans, or Lilly Whites, do. So off I trotted.

The second reading made me remember why I don't go to church more often. It went something along the lines of "If you want something, pray for it. If your prayers are not answered, then you are not praying correctly". Well that told me rightly, didn't it? What about my sister in law who died of cancer in her mid thirties? She had half the country praying for her recovery. Were all these people not praying correctly?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Bye bye clomid!

No, I don't have any "good news", today is CD2. Bleughh! I was of course holding out for this being one of those stories that goes something like "and believe it or not, just when we decided to ditch the fertility drugs, I found I was already knocked up!". Not so for me. No bun in the oven. Meh.

So this month is going to be totally free of fertility drugs. No horrible shitty clomid. No horrible stingy hcg injections. Hopefully I will start feeling a little less down and a little more energetic. Part of me is still holding out for the off chance that we will just spontaneously hit target all of a sudden. But if it hasn't happened after almost a year of ttc on clomid, I don't think it's going to happen au naturel.

This Saturday I'm going to Dublin for my brother's 50th birthday party. He's decided to make it an early evening gathering, so as to be a family friendly bash. Cue Jane being the only one rocking up to the party without an ankle biter or a teenage offspring in tow. I'm already laying bets in my head as to how many drinks I will be down before someone, an in law or friend of the host who I haven't seen in several years, asks the question "so do you have any kids, Jane?" and I give them the inevitable answer, while trying to keep a pleasant smile on my face "No..."
Guaranteed to kill the conversation stone dead every time.

You really like hoo....

Thanks so much to Melissa at What? IF? and C at Cats with Passports for nominating me for a One Lovely Blog Award. Apologies for the late acceptance, but better late than never! I can't help thinking of Craggy Island's Lovely Girls competition when I think of the term Lovely Blog. Those of you who are Fr Ted fans will know what I mean, those of you who are not, look it up on youtube, it's bound to be there.

Anyway, I'm passing on the award, so the nominees for lovely girls and boys of the IF/pregnancy/parenting blog world are:

Cats with Passports
Diary of a Miracle
Nuts in May
Hot Mama Bear
Paint it Black
Hairy Farmer Family
Fee Bee

As I haven't been surfing around the blogosphere as much these days as I used to, my nomination list is a little short, and it's one of long term favourite reads.