Monday, April 27, 2009
We are now on the, I dunno, 7 millionth attempt to stop smoking, and this morning I went into the shop to get some juice and left with 20 cigarettes. I hadn’t even thought about buying them, I just walked up to the till, asked for 20 Marlboros and left (minus the juice). I was halfway through a smoke before I remembered that I was supposed to be giving up.
(At this point I should say a big thank you to my first boss in the petrol station where I worked when I was 14 for finding it amusing to teach me how to smoke… not that I was arguing, it seemed like a very grown up thing to be doing.)
But I’ve no excuse now, I know all of the dangers, I know how bad they are for me and how they damage my bank balance but still I smoke. The crux of it is that I am a smoker, I don’t remember a time when I didn’t smoke… 20 a day, everyday for the last 11 years and despite all of the warnings I keep smoking for one reason alone… I like them… or so my nicotine addicted system will have me believe.
So far willpower and patches have failed, my sister is suggesting hypnotism but the idea doesn’t appeal to me at all (oogly boogly scary stuff) … maybe some kind of clockwork orange type aversion therapy… or then again, maybe not.
I think I shall accept my weakness, indulge in my little addiction and hope they have found cures for anything I get by the time I am old enough to start suffering for the damage I’m doing now, definitely the sensible choice… I shall give up on giving up so.
I’m not going to get annoyed; it’s not worth having a fight about this… mantra for today, repeat ad nauseam.
I had a bit, (just a little bit) of a moment this morning, actually two moments that have really got the blood boiling and now I’m in work quietly steaming…
On the Luas today a very strange little man decided to have a go at me, apparently I’m going to hell (which sounds fun). Thing is, he seemed like a normal enough kind of a guy.
I was chatting with my friend about how someone knocked on my door yesterday to give me a miraculous medal, which is a fairly common occurrence and I declined to accept it. I suppose I could have been agreeable and just taken the bloody thing but I’d already had the Jehovah’s at the door that morning and my tolerance for religious claptrap had waned. When I said thanks but no thanks to the holy Joe they became insistent and irritating so I got a little but short with them and told them to ‘go peddle crazy somewhere else’. My friend and I were having a bit of a juvenile giggle at this fine example of my rapier wit when ‘Luas man’ decided to intervene.
He puffed himself up, stomped over to where I was sitting and eloquently argued the case for the religious by abusing the length of my skirt, granted this was a powerful argument. My skirt was very short; obviously I was in league with the devil and all his minions. I had no morals, clearly I was promiscuous and inherently evil… and had he mentioned I was wearing a very short skirt? (I’m paraphrasing here; his language was slightly bluer). There is very little that you can say to a person like this… but I will point out that if you are a large man and stand over a girl of 5 foot 3 and yell at her about the length of her skirt then this is probably not the best way to illustrate that your religious values are an example to us all, just saying.
On a slight less annoying note when I got off of the public transport and made me way to work someone bumped into me, I apologised (even though it wasn’t my fault, I’ve a tendency to do that) and they told me to ‘fucking watch where the fuck you are walking you stupid c**t’, which was nice and has helped to put me into a great mood on a Monday morning.
I need to see something nice happen today to restore my faith in humanity…
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
April's mini-budget included cuts in the Rent Supplement scheme which will increase the risk of people becoming homeless. You can help prevent this.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Chaos, panic, and disorder.
My work here is done.
The Strasbourg-based court is considering the admissibility of a legal challenge by the women, who claim their rights were denied by being forced to terminate their pregnancies outside the State.
The women say the restrictive nature of Irish law on abortion jeopardised their health and wellbeing.
The identities of the three – known as A, B and C – will remain confidential as the case proceeds through the court.
While it has been known for some time that the case is pending, papers lodged with the court show in detail for the first time how the Government will contest the case.
The main plank of its defence rests on its contention that domestic legal remedies have not been exhausted by the women.
It also robustly challenges suggestions by the women that there is a lack of post-abortion care or counselling in Ireland.
It also insists the European Convention on Human Rights does not confer even a limited right to abortion and it would be “inconceivable” that member states would have agreed to this.
The women at the centre of the legal challenge include a woman who ran the risk of an ectopic pregnancy, where the foetus develops outside the womb; a woman who received chemotherapy for cancer; and a woman whose children were placed in care as she was unable to cope.
The court, which is separate from the EU, adjudicates on human rights issues among all 47 member states of the Council of Europe.
Any decision of the court is binding on the member states and must be complied with, except if it consists of an advisory opinion.
The women’s complaints centre on four alleged violations of articles in the European Convention on Human Rights, including protection from “inhuman or degrading treatment” and freedom from discrimination.
The women at the centre of the case – who are represented by the Irish Family Planning Association – say the lack of any effective remedy at home means they have satisfied the requirement to exhaust domestic legal remedies.
In addition, they say that taking a case would have been costly, futile and could have forced them to relinquish their anonymity.
While the case has passed the first stage of the hearing process, a formal hearing on the admissibility and merits of the case is expected shortly.
The case will be watched closely by observers given a ruling by the same court in recent years which resulted in Poland being instructed to guarantee access to legal abortions.
From Irish Times: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/frontpage/2009/0421/1224245071362.html
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Once upon a time, not all that long ago, I made a decision upon finishing my degree that I would immediately find work and not, as many of my contemporaries did, flap about for a year and travel or wait for the dream job to come along.
The original ‘dream’ had been to be a writer and to take the first job that came along and, in my free time, write a book. The first job that came along was in admin and gradually grew to the point that, when I came home in the evenings I didn’t write, I can make an excuse and say I was tired or similar but the truth is that, in the face of day to day monotony, the ideas and will to write dried up.
I once found myself in a situation where the funding that paid for my accommodation while in college dried up and I found myself sitting in a pub with no money and no place to live. Luckily a friend took me in but I swore I would never find myself in that situation again, hence the immediate entry into the work force.
Some people thrive on the excitement of uncertainty; I like things to be secure and as a result am always slow to take any chances, making the conscious decision to accept a more static existence, albeit an occasionally boring one. This is an approach that I accepted in myself, looking for the things I love in life outside of my career. However this is also an approach that relied heavily on the stability of the economy, something I foolishly took for granted until recently.
In recent months the idea of my holding onto the job I took nearly three years ago has become unlikely, and even within it increasing taxes and levy’s have reduced my salary to the point where it no longer provides security.
All of this pushes a person into a corner, I’m currently looking for work elsewhere and overseas, which is a frightening prospect considering that I have always lived in Dublin and, with the exception of a few package holidays, have never had a huge urge to travel or leave the country… or even the city if I can help it!
This is one small ‘economic crisis’ story, and one of the less traumatic ones. Being young, having no children and only myself to support means that things will be okay for me, and I will do what I have to do to carry on. Everyday people are losing their jobs and facing cuts in their salaries and they can ill afford the added financial pressures that this creates for them. When the Taoiseach talks about everybody taking a 10% cut in their standard of living he does not acknowledge that, for many, a 10% cut means total devastation.
This too, as they say, shall pass, but the fallout from the current situation, the impact that it will have on families already struggling will last for years to come.
Like many who grew up in 80’s Ireland I remember when things were difficult before and realise how, with an improved economy, came improved education, understanding and tolerance in society. We began to break the chains that poverty, religion and narrow-mindedness had wrapped around Irish society and became a people in our own right, outside of a stereotype.
In the 80’s the eldest of my family left Ireland and went to the UK, building a life for herself there that now only briefly collides with the lives of the 4 sisters and 1 brother who stayed at home. I often wondered why she didn’t come home, because I am Irish and couldn’t imagine the urge to be anywhere else, now I am disillusioned with this country and, while I accept the need for steps to be taken to boost the economy, I despair at where these cuts are being made.
It is those in our society who have no voice, no power and the most need that are victimised by those who should protect them, as it was before, as it will always be, for ever and ever. (Amen)
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
“Imagine if every time you walked into a room with a neatly turned down bed, you automatically took off your clothes and got into it -- even though it wasn't bedtime, wasn't your bed, and wasn't even your home. This might sound fanciful but it's a documented behaviour of patients with attentional problems caused by brain damage (Lhermitte (1983).
Many everyday occurrences can also be explained by attentional errors, like when we miss obvious changes in the environment, fail at sports or simply forget to put the milk back in the fridge. More seriously psychologists have found that attentional processes can play a role in psychological problems like anxiety, panic, insomnia, depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Here are 18 ways attention can go wrong, some very common, some extremely unusual, a few downright weird; each giving us an insight into how our minds work…”
The man says he originally met the psychic through her on-line psychic Web site. They later met in person, and she told him “he has a spiritual problem and that she will need to perform spiritual ‘work’ for him,” according to the lawsuit. She later told him “his case is so big” she had to abandon her Web site “to concentrate on his case, but that it is OK because it is what she is called to, or supposed to do,” the suit claims.
Later, the psychic asked the man for $15,850 for a trip to a “spiritually significant location” in
The psychic claims the man became her boyfriend and bought the $700,000 home where she lives. The man kept the house in his name and declined comment on the alleged relationship.
Perhaps she is what she once was, still.
Beneath week days and horoscopes, the heart still beats.
This is not an epic poem; there are no heroes or heroines, but
perhaps these are the only stories left, here where we live
at the ends of everything.
Monday is a liar of a day, and the rest of the week
When sense tells you that there is nothing in a Sunday?
Like a cliché, full circled to Shakespearian beat, weeping
for what all of her weeping achieved, once upon
silly, empty fairytale dreams.
She is trapped, like Sybil, to the dusts of time.
Crying wolf once makes everything lies, especially to liars.
Perhaps, by trusting in Wednesday, embracing woe
there is something to be gained, static
and steady though surrounded by change.
Perhaps she is what she once was, still.
Past tomorrows becoming yesterdays, as they will.
Dreams built upon wishes are foundations in sand,
fleeting whispers of structure, crumbling
as their dreamers will.
Brian Cowen, the Irish prime minister, is facing legal action in the English courts over his ownership of a buy-to-let flat which his landlords say he is illegally sub-letting to Leeds University.
Mr Cowen is part of a group of Irish investors who invested in a block of “student cluster apartments” designed and built as a hall of residence in the city.
The Newcastle-based freeholder is seeking payment of ground rents and management fees from the Irish group believed to be more than £100,000.
The disclosure of the legal tangle over his British investment property will be highly embarrassing to the Taoiseach as he struggles to navigate the Irish economy and national banks through the worst financial crisis in decades.
The purchase of the student apartment block, which cost around £12.5 million, was financed through mortgages taken out by the investors with Allied Irish Bank, whose share value plunged 98 per cent in the last year because of bad property loans.
Last September, amid fears that a bank was about to go bust, the Taoiseach and his finance minister Brian Lenihan stepped in to extend a 440 billion euros government guarantee to six mainly-Irish owned financial institutions, including Allied Irish with whom Mr Cowen secured his mortgage for the Leeds apartment.
Our Government are a bunch of lying, robbing gits...
Monday, April 13, 2009
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Going over figures in my head and trying to make
Something out of my pockets full of nothing.
When I thought that I was being sensible
I was making all of the wrong choices
And no matter how I add them up there is not enough
Just to pay what needs to be paid, and live.
In the past it has taken less then this
For everything to spiral away from me
And with every part of myself I try to resist
The urge to bury worries in a bottle, as is our way.
Things seem harder today then they need to be
And I am tired, having no fight left, just for the moment.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
My rent is €650, my loan repayments are €270.00, electricity comes to about €70, gas about €145.00, NTL €32.00, TV licence €13.00, travel to and from work €40.00, Union Dues €30.00, Internet connection €30.00, Phone €20.00, grocery bills about €220. Leaving a grand total of €380.00 to live on per month.
I suppose it could be worse, but currently spending about 180.00 on smoking, which would leave €200.00 per month, or €50.00 per week.
The smokes have to go, thank God I don't have any kids!
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Speaking during leaders' questions in the Dáil ahead of the Budget announcement, Mr Kenny told the Taoiseach that people were being "penalised" for the mistakes of Fianna Fáil and challenged Brian Cowen to call an election.
Responding, Mr Cowen said people were aware of the challenges facing the country and that today's Budget was "another step in making necessary adjustments". People were ready to "make whatever sacrifices necessary" to restore the economy and the public finances, the Taoiseach said.
"That's the usual, you don't answer questions, Taoiseach," Mr Kenny told the House. Irish people "know well" who created the problems and are lying in wait for the Government, which will not give them opportunity to have their say, the Fine Gael leader said.
"The country is not working under Fianna Fáil . . . will you put budget to people in general election and give someone a mandate to lead this country out of the mess you and your people created?"
Mr Kenny accused Mr Cowen of pulling the "greatest con job of all" in May 2007 by putting out adverts in national papers claiming 97 per cent of taxpayers would be better off under FF.
The Taoiseach told Mr Kenny there would be sufficient support among people for the budget in what was a "clearly different" situation to May 2007.
"The important point is we will come through this recession as we did in the past . . . people will have to take some steps back to go forward. There will be a greater degree of sacrifice required, but it is far better to be open and honest about that."
from: Irish times: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2009/0407/breaking43.htm
Every week, we hear about children being put into care. Often the circumstances they are being rescued from make it sound like a happy ending. But when a child reaches 18 the state no longer has any legal responsibility to look after them. Even if they have been in care for most of their lives, they must suddenly survive in the adult world - alone. Many people struggle in these hard circumstances and can even end up homeless. There is some support but not enough for everyone - so more needs to be done.
Focus Ireland has now organised a petition to Minister for Children, Barry Andrews, who is currently considering a proposal to change the law and provide a guarantee of Aftercare where it is needed.
I have written to Minister Andrews to support this call, I thought you might be interested in doing the same. Click on www.focusireland.ie and click on Take Action.
It only takes a couple of minutes and will make a difference.
I know what I'm betting on... who exactly voted for Fianna Fail in the last election? (bet you feel really silly now)
Friday, April 3, 2009
and then look up the Iona Institute here
Then decide on the likelyhood of the there being any merit is this 'study'.
I'm saying nothing!