Thursday, September 28, 2006

Where there's smoke...

...there's a car that's dangerously overheated.

Picture this: you're driving along, in a hurry to get to the bridal shop where your brides- and groomsmaid dresses are being ordered. Because they won't take your credit card details over the phone (and, let's face it, the person on the phone sounds like a moron anyway), you have to get there to pay. And if you don't pay today, you might not get the dresses until after Christmas.

So it's mission-fairly-critical.

All of a sudden, you see some smoke coming out of your car's bonnet. Hm, maybe it's just your eyes?

Nope, definitely smoke. And it keeps going, and it's getting worse.

So you try to change lanes (cheers to the lady who saw me frantically gesture at the smoke and pretended not to notice), and you're thisclose to the place you need to be at by 5.30, and it's almost 4.30, and you could drive on, and then ask the relatives living nearby to help if necessary. But then an even bigger plume of smoke wafts up, you lose your courage, and pull into the nearest service station.

You grab your bag, run in to the station and apologise as you interrupt someone and say: "There's thick grey smoke coming from my bonnet and I don't kniow what to do. Could someone help me please?

Finally, eventually, someone will help you (seriously, it took like a minute, and neither the customer being served, or the guy behind the counter, seemed at all worried). The manager comes out and sorts it. The car's overheating, so all the water and stuff has been boiling and the smoke is, in fact, dirty steam.


Having aged 15 years in the space of ten minutes, you run your first errand. The second errand requires a cross-town trip, which is out of the question. Hell, even getting to the next suburb over produces more smoke. And it's hard to look confident when other people start to look at you in a concerned manner.

So my lesson of the day? When there's smoke, there's not always fire. Sometimes it's superbly dirty steam. But it's still bloody scary!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Testing the waters

After nearly a month on hiatus, I think I'm ready to be back blogging.

I'd hoped that the time out would have allowed me to gain some perspective on my life and how I deal with it. I'm not sure that I have gained this, but there's nothing like a self-imposed ban on blogging to make you think of all kinds of interesting things to blog about!

It's been a really hard few weeks for both The Trouser and me, as we simultaneously try to satisfy our respective employers' crazy demands, plan our wedding, plan to move, and try to figure out all the family stuff. I've been upset, tired and prone to shout or cry 95% of the time, and he has been very sweet.

Thank you for your kind comments and emails. They have really helped.

The emotional turmoil hasn't been so great for the knitting either. I simply haven't had the energy to knit. But I do have a work in progress shot for you - my mother's Forecast:

This photo is sadly overdue, given that the body was done the week after I started it. And really, I must figure out how to get the lighting better so you can see the colours better (it's a lovely dark navy). Still, better late and crappy than never.

As you can't quite see, I'm onto the ribbing on the first sleeve, and will really need to get a wriggle on if I'm to finish and block this by Mum's birthday (9 October). But I'm glad I didn't knit when I was really stressed and upset - I much prefer even tension!

Monday, September 04, 2006


I haven't been the most prolific blogger recently, and here's why: I'm having a rough time.

Work has been hell on wheels recently. New, horrible, irresponsible, unreasonable boss whose own manager won't pull her in line. The whole team is demotivated, demoralised, and keen for her to leave.

The wedding planning has been pulling up all kinds of issues related to The Trouser's sister and her nasty husband. It's hard to talk about without going into gory details, but let's just say he makes up lies about us - but mostly me - and is the most vindictive bigot I've met in a long time. His lies are fairly unoriginal and transparent, but The Trouser's parents are not very switched on.

Which leads to this weekend's fiasco.

Our visit to The Trouser's parents' for Father's Day started off with the traditional "Doesn't The Skirt like dogs? Why not? She's scared of them? Our dog isn't scary! Even though she is scared of all dogs? We can convince her to looooove our dog by going on and on and ON about how lovely it is, and talking to it in baby talk."

It descended fairly quickly into even worse yuckiness: demands to look at their computer because they'd fucked it up again; offers to show us pictures of the sister's house, complaints about the mother's work, rah rah rah the sister and the impending baby, boo hoo we're so fat and need to diet (but continue to buy and consume fatty foods).

Bombshell #1: The Trouser's mother has already decided that they will come and visit us mid-2008 for a holiday, so we'd better get a place that has enough space for them. They want to visit the UK, so they will be expecting us to host them in Ireland. In our home. Which had better have room, but if not, we'll all "just have to make do" anyway.

Seriously, we don't have jobs or a place there yet, and they've already made demands.

Bombshell #2: The Trouser's father has quit his job (which was very tiring, the way he did it) and is now going to work on distribution rights for a soft drink in Australia and NZ. He has no relevant experience and no idea. They stand to lose quite a lot if it isn't successful. Like their income, and their (still substantially mortgaged) house.

Bombshell #3: Amidst a painful and ultimately pointless conversation about The Trouser's sister and husband, it was revealed that the husband had accused me of saying that WWII was a good thing, and had implied I was anti-Semitic. I wasn't suprised, but what really threw me was that after almost 6 years of knowing me, The Trouser's parents believed the husband over everything they'd personally experienced about me.

While the conversations may have made some headway - I finally got to react honestly, as opposed to being nice - I feel worse than ever. They trust the word of someone whom they both assert is "difficult" over anything they know of me. They make no attempt to defend me or think anything good about me. I'll never be their (spoiled brat of a) daughter, so I will never be family, and they will always defend their daughter's interests above anything to do with me, even when it is clearly wrong.

I don't want to see them ever again. I don't want them at our wedding - and definitely not as house guests.

I give up.

I need to stop feeling so upset, attacked, defenceless, and victimised. I need to figure out what sort of contact I am prepared to have. I also need to figure out if I want my father to tell his parents where to go (apparently he's been dying to do it for ages). I need to figure if I need The Trouser to do anything more on top of everything he's already tried to do (I don't think so though).

I just need space - mostly from them.

Since whingeing about in-laws is boring even when you know them, I'm going to try hard not to post about it. But since it's all I can think of right now, I'm not sure if I will be blogging for awhile.