Sunday Miscellany is a long-running “music and musings” (as they call it) programme on Irish radio. Every Sunday morning of my life, until I moved out (even, come to think of it, if I was hungoverly drinking a cup of tea at my boyfriend’s house because I’d, ahem, missed the last train), it was the soundtrack to breakfast before going to mass. It features soothing or energising pieces of music interspersed with short memoir-style essays, usually read by their authors. Its theme tune is probably one of the most comforting sounds I could ever wish to hear.
It was many years before I connected the written word “miscellany” with the missal-eny (missal, obviously, because it was church day) I’d heard about for so long.
I don’t have any soothing music, and right now it’s still Saturday, but here are some snippets anyway. Imagine them being read by the author while you eat your rice krispies and wait for the toast to pop.
Hooray! A new person likes me! I’ve been stuck at 12 on my Facebook likes for ages, and suddenly tonight it’s 13. It’s been particularly trying, because the first day I set it up, I got 15 likes straight away, and I thought, “This is easy! I’ll have 50 or 60 luvvies in no time,” but then it wasn’t working properly and I had to take it down and start from scratch the next day, and I’m still not back up to the original 15. So, you know, if you’re on Facebook and you’d like to like me, please do. If you don’t want the updates, you can always hide them, but otherwise it’s an easy way to get a notification whenever I write a new post. And you get bonus super-secret only-for-FB-likers updates every now and then (but not annoyingly often) too.
I’ve just finished Operating Instructions; a book that I’ve seen recommended as new-parent reading ever since I was pregnant. It was good: somewhat surprisingly God-filled, but in a very diffident way. Americans (I generalize; forgive me) are so much more out there about their faith. Every time I click Next Blog on Blogger (which I have to do quite often because they’ve sneakily set it up so that to get to my dashboard I have to go forward and then back again; I won’t object because presumably other people have to click to my blog for the same reason, and what goes around comes around), I’m amazed by how often God is invoked in the next blogger’s About or Description or something. Irish people keep quiet about their beliefs even when they’re strong – especially when they’re strong, I’d say. The prosletysing life is not for us. Evangelical Irishmen are few and far between, except when drunk. (I generalise, but I’m allowed.)
It was quite similar to Anne Enright’s Making Babies, I thought, which was given to me when I was pregnant. I started it and tailed off, but when Monkey was about six months old I picked it up again and every word resonated with me, hilariously or sentimentally. If you enjoyed the one, I recommend the other.
Mabel didn’t nap yesterday, and in consequence went to sleep in a swift ten minutes at bedtime. She always falls asleep with me on her right, with her feet hanging off the side of the bed. Tonight we are not so lucky; I’m currently listening to her on the baby monitor, conning Daddy into singing songs and reading more stories.
My new glasses have been hurting the bridge of my nose, making me look – when I take them off – even more like my grandmother than I usually do. Her not-inconsequential nose was pinched at the top not by glasses but rather by old age, the rest of her flesh having dropped a little around the cartilage, leaving little indents on either side. (My nose is not the impressive Roman one of my maternal grandmother and some of my cousins, but it’s a mini version of it.) I took them in to have the small, hard pads replaced by some more cushy silicone ones.
The nice (but not cute) Jason-Long-wannabe hipster nerd who had sold them to me was there again, spieling his spiel to some other poor sightless fool. He had been helpful, offering opinions and bringing along new selections, one of which was the pair I ended up with. At one point I tried on a pair, looked in the mirror, and remarked, “A little too Lisa Loeb, don’t you think?” He laughed encouragingly, but even before I said it I thought that I probably had ten years on him and wondered if he’d know what I was talking about. Then I rationalised that she was more popular over here and probably had more hits than just the one I know, and that the glasses were a fairly constant part of her image, as far as I knew. So I said it anyway. It’s amazing how many thoughts you can fit in the instant before you make even the most offhand of comments.
So none of us got raptured today. Did you? When we came home from Monkey’s soccer game this morning (wherein the reds massacred the purples by about ten goals to nil, but none of them were scored by him; he’s more into defence, which he pronounces in the American way with the accent on the “dee”, to my chagrin) the Jehovah’s Witnesses were making the rounds of our neighbours, and I wondered if it would be interesting, or politic, to bring up the whole notion of the world ending this afternoon with them. But they didn’t call to our door, even though they must have seen us arrive. Maybe we looked beyond redemption, one way or the other.