Raheengraney House – what next?

It has been such a long journey and with so many twists and turns that I scarcely know where to begin. It started with a kiss, it started with a Facebook update, It started with a mid life crisis (not mine, lol, I’m waiting to have mine later!), It started with a divorce… I’m actually not sure where it started and I am even less certain of where it will end, but one thing I know for sure, this year I’m fighting fit. This week I made a video. You can watch it here. http://youtu.be/tzKO6Nw_p0k Last year I also made a video. You can watch it here if you like too, although much of it is cannibalised into my second video. So what is my story and where do I begin? You know what they say – a good start is half the battle. So here goes! This is a story of the big house, the big divorce, the big lawyers, the big courts, the big banks, the big bankruptcy, the big recession and little ole me standing at the other end of the lane, scratching my head at the wonder of it all, at the injustice of it all, and […]

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The man next door is not your enemy – a rant on the side of the people

The man next door is not your enemy. He may well be in receipt of many hundreds of welfare money and reliefs each week, but he is not your enemy. The young girl who has a baby to ‘get ’a house is not your enemy. Would you wish that lifestyle choice on your sister, daughter, or friend? The chap doing the nixers and claiming the dole is not your enemy. People make choices but often choices are forced on them. It could be accident of birth, education or geographical location. It could be as result of job loss, divorce or bereavement. It could be the school you went to, the kids you hung out with, or what your parents did. It could a desire to follow a dream, or conversely inertia and laziness. It could be because you fell in love in final year, broke up in final year, or could not find love in final year. It could be the books you read, the books you hoped to read, or more importantly the books you never read. It could be the songs sung to you in the cradle, the songs you hummed as a child, or the songs you […]

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I’ve hit Rock Bottom and I’m Really Happy

It’s official. In November I hit rock bottom. The bailiffs came to my office to seize my goods. Only they gave me a stay of execution for a week. I have to say it was the toughest week of my life: the toughest week in a run of five years of very tough weeks. I am glad to say that on that Friday in November the stay was extended and the threat removed. I am glad to say my eldest daughter does not need to leave school and get a job as a groom to support her broken mother. I am so very glad to see the back of that week. And I’m even better than glad, I’m actually really happy because I have hit rock bottom and as everyone knows, once you hit the bottom, the only way is up. Over the past five years I have hit so many lows, you’d have thought I was limbo dancer trying desperately to get under that bar. And each time, it moved a little lower. I’m pretty flexible and springy but there is a limit, and even elastic can snap. So, when I went into meltdown during that terrible week, my […]

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Debt Becomes Her

At the end of last year, as the debate over our national indebtedness continues, there was a horrific story that hit the headlines:  A professional Irish man who had lost his job and was currently unemployed, was struggling to pay his mortgage. And in struggling to pay his mortgage, he was neglecting to feed his children. The story grew even more terrible as it transpired he found his daughter in her bedroom chewing on cardboard from a cereal packet to stave off the hunger. This story is frightening from so many perspectives that it is hard to know where to begin. One really scary point is that it is being told in modern Ireland. This was not, when I last looked, a Third World country with no infrastructure, no police force, and no welfare state. This is a country that recently entertained the Queen and the President of the United States of America. We spent millions on security, on entertainment, on promoting the visits but they went without hitch and even with a fair degree of pride. In terms of keeping up with the Joneses, we were right up there. Is feider linn we all repeated after the O’Bama from […]

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How do you find the middle?

Bang in the Middle!   Jillian Godsil became divorced. Her ex husband became bankrupt and she was left with a million euro mortgage on a house worth half that. This is her story about being in the middle.     How do you know when you are in the middle? Is it by age, experience or weight? As the Ardal O’Hanlon joke goes, everyone wants to know your weight at birth but no one wants to know at death. So how can we tell where we are? Age is equally arbitrary; genes and luck count in unequal amounts; some of the healthiest people I know have been struck down in car accidents, lives wrenched horribly short. Or do the gods wait for us to complete our own personal bucket list? And what if we are too conservative or wildly over-optimistic? Does that have any bearing on what we get to finish and can we keep on topping that list up every year if we are lucky enough to reach those ambitions? I am hoping I am only at the middle. It feels a bit like Peter Pan and Tinkerbell: she may have pleaded for everyone to believe in fairies; I […]

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Raheengraney House – an Historic Story from the Future (fiction)

It is the year of the Green Gods 3011 and I am named Seth. I am in my final year of Home Schooling: next year I will join my brothers on the Mars Satellite for a three year rotation. The rotations are getting longer as we run out of oxygen here on earth. The planting decrees came too late and only small bubbles of breathable gases are still found on earth, Ireland being one such bubble. As it our custom when we leave a planet, we must write a leave taking. My tutors have explained that each leave taking should be viewed as a final, standalone account. Just in case we have a final, final conflict, and yes the irony is not lost on me. People once wrote on parchment, then on paper and the printing press seemed to create a lasting legacy. But of course parchment can turn to dust and books can be burnt or lost in floods. Then people believed that what was written on the internet would live for ever, but this too turned out to be false. If you have no computers, there is no internet and data cannot remain suspended forever, and for many […]

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The Many Colours of Yellow

There are things that cannot be mended, cannot be fixed, cannot be found. We try all the time to find the reason, call the name, find the cure. But sometimes it just does not exist. And all the brown paper and glue cannot make it right again. We tumbled down that hill and our bruises are as real and yellow as canaries or sunflowers or daffodils. They are also the colour of chardonnay, the colour of perfume, the colour of a glass of Powers Gold Label. Canaries sing down the mines, sing in their cages. Daffs and sunflowers spread their pollen like poison, etching misty fingers in an indelible path. But bruises will fade, pass away, leaving only a trace on the skin. Jaundice will do its part too. And carrots, apparently. Even weak sunshine will leave its yellow shadow on some. Yellow used to be such a pretty colour in our youth, but as we age it has become the colour of urine When we are broken, we cannot dream any more. This can be called a state of yellow. The yellow belly of defeat. And how do we mend? This is also the colour of yellow. The bright […]

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Letting Go and Binding Fast – A Poem for my Children

  The umbilical cord Stretches as far as the eye cannot see And beyond that which the mind cannot imagine.   It has infinite elastic and give, Timeless reach and understanding For things and worlds that I cannot hope to comprehend. As my parents before me turned their lives upside down And accepted on trust the new worlds I gave them So too I reach out and hold my children’s new truths, new livings, new infinites.   There is very little old in the new Snippets and snatches of times before But most is new forged, new gotten, begotten And the old is mostly forgotten.   Save for the combined tug tied up in the sinewy cord A tug that pulls back even as it gives forward An army of mothers have passed it along And it loops and pools over generations, through families and out of sight A sinewy thread that binds as it loosens, tugs as it gives Holding and giving and letting go.   © Jillian Godsil 2012

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I’d almost forgotten what it was like…(fiction)

…to feel warm sand between my toes. Of course, the last time I’d enjoyed a sun holiday was when my children were very young. Fast forward through recession, divorce and financial ruin and it had been almost twenty years. And now I weighed in at almost 26 stone. I may well have lost a few pounds, pun pun, along the way but I had bulked up on my weight. My obese body was a bulwark again the world, that horrible shivering miserable mess that lay in wait for me. With food there was no answering back, no reproachful looks, no tearful conversations. Just plain satisfaction and I could call the shots. Of course, while it was wonderful to feel the sand between my toes, I could not see them. My large breasts and rolling belly obscured all views of what might lie below. Unless I sat well back in the sun lounge and pushed my toes out, only then could I see the tips of my fat toes and feet. ‘Oh hello toes’ I said. ‘Enjoying the sun and the sand?’ The other problem with being obese was burning. There was more skin than ever, skin stretched tight over mountainous […]

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