A post about nothing much.
So I’m struggling a little in work. I can’t settle. I have one eye perpetually on alternatives and of course, now that I’m working, there are suddenly interviews and little side-projects aplenty. Of course there are…famine or feast, eh? It’s only now that I am back to work and have something with which to contrast my office that I realise just how positive and mellow the little world which I inhabit actually is. I’m not joking when I say that visiting the prison in which I have my chaplaincy placement is like going to a funfair followed by the circus followed by pints in a cosy pub compared to a day at this office. O the dreariness, O the attitude, O the lack of windows. I sink a little lower with every passing hour. Thankfully my workdays do get book-ended with pleasantness by travelling with my friends, which is a very gentle and manageable way to begin and end my days in there. I am, despite appearances, a complete softie, you see.
Now I will, as if on the first day of school, write an essay akin to “What I Did In My Summer Holidays” except you can exchange “In My Summer Holidays” with “This Weekend”. :D
What followed my miserable working week was three days of absolute soul food. I cannot remember a weekend so good in so long. It just might have been perfect. I’m all filled up again and ready for the onslaught of the week. I am fed.
On Friday night, we drove for a few hours to share in a dear friend’s 30th birthday celebration at a little craft brewery north of the border. We ate our body weight in local sausage, steak and an angrily-prepared birthday cake, as well as a few choice beers. We sat in the blazing heat of the evening outdoors, with the best music from the last 30 years and real conversations and the sun setting behind us and the stars rising above. The husband unit and I stayed that night in a local hotel and our room was quiet and cool and in the morning, full of sunlight. We slept in luxuriously, travelled a short way to meet lovely and artistic Dave and Helen for coffee and pancakes and cinnamon scones, and then left for a day of sunshine, sea, sand in my shoes and theological debate with the beautiful and interesting feminine feminist at Seapark. She prepared for us delicious Greek things and taught us to make (and drink) Dark and Stormy rum cocktails (a revelation!) before we raced homewards for a night of rollicking-camp Eurovision frolicks with numerous like-minded Eurovision lovers. After several hours of laughter, and having exercised our democratic right to elect our new all-singing all-dancing overlords, we headed reluctantly for home just as the wee hours approached, but the weekend insisted on continuing! Today, Sunday, was my last day at the prison until September…and after worship there were tears, gifts, cards, chocolates, hugs and kisses all round, and even some lazing in the sun that broke into the grey concrete yard where the prisoners can get a little air. I left feeling like the richest woman in Ireland. I was greeted at the prison gate by the husband unit, who took me for picnicking in the park under a giant oak. We ate empanadas and pasta salads and ice creams and eventually wandered homewards for an afternoon nap, before meeting the extended family for reunions with the long-lost American brother, meat and beer and salad and cake and small children with burnt noses and bouncy castles. Home again by 8, curled on the couch with a glass of wine as the husband-unit revises for his last exam of the year, and the plan is to be in bed by 11. All is well in the house of Chip Monk.
It’s official, you know…I am alive!