Early Days Of A Better Nation

I went on holiday and one of my citizenships utterly disgraced me.
I came back from holiday and the other surpassed all possible expectations.

Friday, my friends got married, a cross-border wedding, where the groom’s party stopped off to vote in the Marriage Referendum on the way to the ceremony. We laughed, we cried, I was named as a guilty party in the speeches*, someone got Sean up throwing shapes, the bridesmaids shed tiny silver flowers all over the dance floor, and yesterday morning I stabbed blearily at my phone to find that the first tallies looked like Yes and all morning it kept going up, so that by the time we bade the newlyweds goodbye and headed home it was past the point of losing.

By the time I went to bed, Dublin was having the party of a lifetime, and the HSE press office were telling inquirers the transition arrangements with gleefully mendacious encouragement to have two parties.

Early days. Early days.

*“They were both very quiet about this whole romance. Sure, we only found out when her Mammy said ‘Isn’t Mary’s boyfriend a nice young man?’ and she had to be put straight!”

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Run away to the circus

I held up my long-delayed end of a bargain on the last Saturday before school started back and took Tori to The Ark in Dublin for their summer circus programme. Which was wonderful.

Getting there, slightly less so, since the Enterprise on a Saturday morning is invariably packed out, and this was no exception. I ended up appropriating the fourth seat on a table which already had three people on it and wedging her on my knee, with many pleas that she try not to kick the gentleman opposite. She’s always been a long creature, but seven came in with equal inches in legs.

But we managed, and we entertained ourselves with the fairy story drawing game on my tablet, much to the entertainment of the nice gentleman opposite, comprehensively de-and-re-constructed our bacon bagels for Reasons and I stood firm on the hot chocolate being for the trip home, not down. And cracked and got a taxi over from Connolly, since I couldn’t quite face trying to navigate an over-excited seven-year-old when I wasn’t completely sure of the directions myself. Taxi driver asked what we were going to do at the Ark and got an endless stream of chatter that boiled down to “Clowns!”

And so to the circus. We collected our tickets and name stickers, and were gently chased out again for half an hour until the rest of the group arrived. So we had a little wander round the farmers market that lives in the entries on a Saturday and Tori asked for apples and the man warned her they were tart and she was undeterred.
“I like sharp things! … that’s very sharp.”
“You don’t have to eat it if it’s too much.”
“No! I’M EATING IT ALL!”
A small girl making lemon-faces every time she bites her apple is one of the funniest things on earth.

The first session was designing and creating their own clown make-up and costume. Little lecture on the Clown Museum and how every clown has their own face, kept in the archive on an egg so no-one else will use it until the clown retires or passes it along. Then they were set upon the dressing up box to try out ideas. They dressed themselves up. Then, because I was sitting on the floor, I was comprehensively bewigged and be-hatted, and only narrowly avoided being be-nosed.

Then the eggs were handed out, and the scissors and glitter and fabric and glue and I was delegated to make a bow-tie and one of the Ark girls started making glasses, and firm instructions were issued to the effect that ONLY the grown-ups were allowed the UHU glue. Apparently there is a story to that. I can make a fair guess.


Silky the Clown

Then onwards to a desperately rushed lunch and an afternoon with the circus. Fossets had joined in to provide photos and videos – the boys who are learning to be horseback acrobats in particular were brilliant. The kids were got up to be ponies in the ring, then they went up to see the clown (comprehensively heckled for his terrible jokes by a four-year-old), and up again to see Lizzie and hear the tale of the night of the red feathers and the magic circus, then up again to make their own shadow puppets.


Constructive Criticism

Which was yet more UHU glue, and the most complex shadow pony anyone had made all week. Tori is mildly dangerous when let loose with an entire table of stuff. We ended up trailing out with a string of glitter behind us and a great many balloons. Down the Boardwalk and onto the train and the great amusement of the lady opposite.


Clowns and Horses and Bears

And then we took pictures of ourselves reflected in the luggage rack. For Reasons.


Because

Rise Above

It has been a very, very busy day. Week. Month. Year? I’m being eaten by my own life. Mainly in a very enjoyable and entertaining way, but still. The filing is building right up, and I’m not sure where the summer went.

Actually that’s a lie.

Bletchley Park, claims, tiny demanding dogs, new interns, taking Amy and Mike round the Ards Peninsula, claims, Em becoming a proper doctor, work plumbing drama, corrupting Danny with Springsteen, claims, fighting with National Trust, York, claims, aunt’s wake, inadvertent comedy at said wake, funeral, Mike, Olympics, Tori and Thomas and DINOSAURS, work landlord drama, Sarah and Mark’s wedding, Paralympics, claims, ongoing war with Translink, other tiny demanding dog, claims, new housemate, Pod Delusion, new semester, mad cleaning tear on the house and garden with both housemates, discovering kaput-ness of boiler, becoming paranoid about newly fixed boiler, being banned from setting foot near the boiler for a week…

Quite a lot for four months, really.