Archive for Ireland

The Consequences of Death and Cocaine

I promised myself that I wouldn’t write about this but I can’t get away from it.  Everywhere I turn is overflowing with it so now it’s my turn.   Just to start you off I’m going to let you know how I already felt about it.  Most of you probably already know just how against drugs I am, cocaine in particular.  For various reasons, here are a couple of them.  My best friend ruined my life by suddenly committing suicide because he owed money from drugs he was supposed to sell.  He didn’t even take drugs himself.  I didn’t even know he was selling.  He was the happiest person I knew (or so I thought) and I’m so mad at him for wasting his life for a scumbag dealer.  I’ve never gotten over it.  One of my very good friends ruined her own life by taking drugs before she knew she was pregnant and eventually lost the baby that should have been my godchild.  She will never get over that.  Her dealer boyfriend threatened to burn my house down and cut my brother’s head off because she went out one night without him and he got high and wrongly thought she was with me.  I know young fathers who have been taken to the mountains, had their tattoos cut off and shot in the back of the head because they got caught selling (and therefore lost) the drugs that were going to make them a little money for their family at Christmas.  I know the devastated mothers, girlfriends and fatherless children left behind.  They will never get over it.

I’m caught in the middle because I know the families of the people that snorted cocaine and then decided to pull those triggers.   I have to be careful who I invite to special occasions because it could turn into a fucking bloodbath if somebody turns up and spots the father of the man who murdered his brother.  I’ve been asked so many questions because people are looking for vengeance…and I don’t blame them but hurting innocent people in retaliation is never the way. 

I’ve been threatened a million times by people who are only brave because they are on coke that night.  I’m not afraid of anyone.  Nobody scares me but I should be scared because they aren’t afraid either – as long as they are snorting.  Anything can happen then.  There was a report before that said most gun crime was committed while the person was high on coke.  I well believe it.   And that’s even before the health risks both physical and mental.  People can die almost instantly, they can be poisoned by what the coke is cut with, they can die after a couple of years, they can die because of the continued stress on their hearts, their personalities can change, they can appear psychopathic even sociopathic, becoming emotionless and aggressive. 

I don’t really give a shit if this sounds like I’m standing on my soapbox.  I don’t give two fucks.  Yeah I’ve had bad experiences, so what?  What about the people that I don’t know personally?  What about that party where a couple of cokeheads were refused entry only for them to come back and shoot through the windows killing a 21 year old mother?  What about the innocent people that get shot because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time?  It’s one thing when the scumbags are only killing each other but now it could happen to anyone.  Bump into somebody on the street and who knows what could happen these days.  Drugs are involved in everything now.   It’s slowly eating away at my country once again.  It’s no longer the poor areas either.  Everywhere is getting a look in.  Anyone could be touched by it.

So, after that unexpected rant, this is what my actual post is really about!  Yesterday was the funeral of one of Ireland’s most well known models, Katy French.  She recently turned 24, a week before she died she admitted that she had been taking cocaine for the past five years but that sort of life was over for her.  She warned people of the risks of taking cocaine.  A couple of days later she was in a coma.  Of course the media (and everyone else) jumped on the idea that she died from cocaine use.  She had a series of small heart attacks and her body basically couldn’t keep going from the stress.  I think it’s terrible that people made these assumptions before her family could even start to cope with the idea.  It has been said that traces of cocaine were found in her blood but even if she hadn’t taken it that day or night, her heart had still been weakened from five years of use.  People are wondering why she said she was done with cocaine only a couple of days before this but I’m sure she thought she was.

I have to back up a bit here.  This year in particular, the focus is on cocaine use in Ireland.   Please read that article to really understand what it is like here.  There has been a huge effort to bring awareness to the dangers.  In the last week alone an investigation came to light that said cocaine traces was found in over 90% of the toilets of pubs, clubs and workplaces in Ireland.  Read that article to learn more about Katy and recent events.  Every single day in the newspapers and on the news are warning articles and items about the epidemic of cocaine in Ireland.  A couple of weeks before Katy French came into the picture, there was an incident at a party where cocaine use left a couple of people in comas which turned out to be fatal. 

Ireland has a population of around four million people.  Four million people.  That’s a very small number in comparison to most countries.  For a couple of people to die in the one week from using cocaine makes a huge impact.  Or at least it should.  But it didn’t.  Those men in Waterford died and nobody batted an eyelid.  Gangland heads are getting shot over here on a regular basis and nobody cares.  I’ve heard people say about that party in Waterford things like, “ah, it was only a bad batch.”  Wtf, your next line could be a ‘bad batch” you gobshite!  Oh, but wait…the toxicology reports on Katy French have said that the last cocaine she snorted was pure.  What was that about bad batches?

I’m getting to my point, stay with me here…So we all know what the dangers are.  It’s thrown in our face constantly by the media.  I mean there is a concentrated effort on informing people.  Not just the possible instant effects but the long term effects too.  Katy warned people about them before she died.  But nobody cares.  Why is that?  Nobody wants to know.  Nobody wants to hear it.  Nobody wants to hear about the consequences.  Until now.  Until a pretty, blonde, famous model has her life snuffed out.  Suddenly, everybody is shocked.  I’ve even heard people say that it’s put them off touching cocaine for life.  This is the consequence of her death.  This is what it took for people to pay attention.  A young girl had to die for people to sit up and listen.   I hate that it has to be this way and I hate saying this but if it saved one person’s life then she didn’t die for nothing.  I feel so sorry for her family and the families of everybody else that is left behind.  But I can’t feel sorry for people who take drugs.  They know exactly what they are doing and they are doing it to themselves.   I hate that but not as much as I hate the people getting them hooked.

Can I just say that I have NEVER once been offered cocaine.  By anyone.  I have never been offered any kind of drugs except hash in the pub and once a school friend of mine asked me to split an E with her.  Other than that, nobody has ever tried to get me to take drugs.  That says one of two things to me.  Either they know by the look of me that they’ll be on the receiving end of a box in the mouth 🙂 or people have to go looking for it.  People who actually know me already know that they won’t be spending time with me if they are off their heads on coke.  Just for the record Ireland is supposed to one of the top cocaine using countries in Europe and one of the cheapest.  It’s freely available to those who want it and people from all walks of life use it.  If my children grow up to use it I will be both devastated and ashamed.  My heart would break if my children took drugs, I don’t know what I would do. 

I’m glad that young people in particular are taking notice of what could happen but I wonder how long it will last.   There has been such a flood of awareness over the last week, it’s been amazing but that kind of attention can’t be maintained.  So we will all probably be reading about more young dead people over the holidays.  Isn’t life great?

I know this is a horrible post but I don’t really care.  I’m sick of the whole thing and I feel better after writing it.  I know that what I say doesn’t change anything for anyone else in this world.  But I feel relieved now for getting it off my chest.  It pisses me off when young people with severe health problems would love to have the chance at life that so many people are wasting.  I’ve depressed myself, I might do a meme later to cheer myself up 😉

 Edit:  I just read this and thought you might like a less hysterical calmer point of view 😉

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Getting Lost at Home

Yesterday was the freakiest day ever.  We had planned on going Christmas shopping early with the kids as well as bringing them to see Santy but Mr. Claire changed his mind because the Little Man didn’t have his haircut.  Not that it would make much difference even when the child’s hair is cut it still manages to look moppy.  So at the last minute, he asked his family to babysit while we went out shopping for the kid’s toys and clothes for Christmas.  They agreed (they don’t see the kids often) so we set out on the long drive there.  They live in the next county and it usually takes about an hour and a half or two hours at most to get there.

So, we started driving, I kept saying that I had a baaaad feeling about driving that day.   The car started its new trick of cutting out every time he braked and he soon realised that the traffic was…not good.  So he does what every man I know does.  Finds a different way to go.  Why is that most men can’t sit still in a bit of traffic, they have to keep moving?  No matter how long it takes them, they won’t just sit there and wait for a couple of minutes, they have to try every single alternative option.  As long as they’re moving, they’re happy.  Even if the moving consists of reversing and turning around only to end up in the place with began!  It’s very annoying because without fail, it takes longer than it would have if we had just waited.

So after about 20minutes of ducking and diving around traffic jams, Mr. Claire decides to go a brand new way.  And gets lost.  Can I just say that it is hard to get lost between Dublin and Kildare.  I hate asking for directions but I was willing to stop by some coppers and ask them the way.  “No,” he growled back at me.  Sorrrrreeeeeee!

Eventually (after quite a few false starts) things begin to look familiar to him and we find ourselves on  the right route to Kildare.  Then the heavens decide to open.  The rain lashed down on us.  I have never been scared in a car with Mr. Claire before but I have never experienced anything like yesterday!  The cars in front were unleashing waves of puddles that were lashing against the windscreen.  You should have seen his little face concentrating.   Bless!  Mucky water continuously spraying against the windscreen does not equal safety.  And myself and the Little Man weren’t improving matters by singing, “We better run, run, run, the storm is on it’s way,” over and over and over again.  Mr. Claire retaliated by refusing to play any cd other than Garth Brooks for the whole day.  I learned my lesson…

So at about 5pm we finally got to his mother’s house.  He made us walk through mucky grass to get to her front door.  Toerag.

We dropped the kids off, as usual, the Little Man was ecstatic at getting away from me while the Princess screamed her head off and had to be forcibly removed from my person.  Free at last, Mr. Claire and I frolicked to the car jumping for joy.  We went to Newbridge and bought the most amazing clothes for the Princess.  She’s so freaking cute in them.  Not the point!  A right dozebag pulled out in the middle of the road right in front of ongoing traffic.  I thought Mr. Claire was going to get out and be all bionic man and chase the car down the road in a rage.  He was really pissed because we missed crashing into the back of that eejit’s car by inches.  A chorus of beeping made that car shoot down the road away from everyone.  We went to Naas and bought toys in Smyths.  It was a bit crap.  I’m very disappointed.  I can’t get the stupid boys version of the Little Tykes camera I planned to get him.  Everywhere only stocks poxy pink ones.  Do they think boys don’t like taking photos?  Toerags.

The dinner Mr. Claire had promised me that morning ended up being in a chipper but it was lovely so I’m not going to complain.  Anyway, we set off from Naas to Kildare Town.  From where Mr. Claire used to work to where Mr. Claire used to live.  And he managed to get lost.   Again.

I don’t fecking know how the hell he managed to get lost between Naas and Kildare Town.  I don’t know how many miles apart they are but they are close and it’s like one straight road through!  Even I know my way and I am shit at directions!!  We ended up on this long arse road that went on FOREVER.  In the wrong direction.  I started getting the feeling that we would never see our children again.  He had this horrible look on his face that plainly said, “please don’t start bitching at me right now, please!”

We eventually get ourselves off that road and discover we are miles in the wrong direction but at least we can find our way back.  So we drive through all of these poxy, bendy, twisty lanes with no light whatsoever and what does the fecking car do?  Keep cutting out, leaving us for a couple of seconds each time in the pitch black!  It was scary shit.  Mr. Claire is a great driver and managed to avoid crashing but it was a close call a good few times yesterday!  If I had been in the car with anyone else, I would have gotten out and walked.  I have never been scared in the car with Mr. Claire before but disaster was chasing us yesterday!

 We got back to the kids in one piece.  His family wouldn’t even believe me that he had gotten lost in Naas.  It’s seriously unbelieveable…Then when we had arrived home, his brother rang to see if we were okay because a truck had overturned on the road we had just driven down.  All in all, a creepy day!  All that to get some bloody Christmas shopping done!  We got home at around 11pm, exhausted.   But at least we’ve started getting things in for Christmas.  We got our boxes of biscuits and tins of chocolates as well as our boxes of crisps.  It wouldn’t be Christmas without those! 

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Topsy Turvy Town

I think that was a Bosco song.  Correct me if I’m wrong.  In case you don’t know Bosco was an obnoxious little puppet that lived in a box and always visited the zoo.  Kids program over here years ago.  I loved it and it came out on dvd last year or the year before.  Class.  He’s (it?) probably the reason I’m the way I am 🙂

 Anyway, I’m over earlier’s little mishap.  Not really but I’m able to write a sentence without swearing so that’s progress mate. 

So, a while ago, I turned on my laptop, ready to face blogland yet again.  It started running fine until it got to the desktop.   Which was upside down.  I sat there for a couple of moments wondering if I was going mad or if somehow my son had manged to twist the screen upside down.  It does twist but not that far.  I restarted the computer.  Same thing again.  Desktop was now upside down land.  W.T.F…?

If Mr. Claire had been here, I would have blamed him in an instant.  Have you ever downloaded those practical joke things that make the mouse go haywire when someone tries to use it and stupid stuff like that?  I used to do that on my old boss.  He thought computers were dangerous as it was without me wrecking his head but it was so funny watching him get freaked out about it.  He could take a joke.  I can’t.  But Mr. Claire was in work so it couldn’t have been down to him. 

I did a system restore thingymabob back to yesterday and everything is okay now, obviously, since I’m writing a post.  But I still don’t know what happened.  Can anyone tell me?  I didn’t even know you could get the desktop to go upside down.  It was so freaky trying to click things off the screen.  Anyway, I want to know how to do it again so I can freak Mr. Claire out next time he uses the laptop.  Things like that baffle him and I don’t really have a whole lot to do since NaNoWriMo ended and my kids went for a nap.  What can I say, I’m easily amused.

Oh, and The Late Late Toy Show is not worth a whole post so I’ll add a little end note here.  The Late Late Show is a longstanding talk show over here that’s on every Friday Night.  It was hosted by Gay Byrne for years and now Pat Kenny has taken over.  Anyway, if you’re a kid it’s the second most boring programme in the universe.  (Live at Three was the worst by far).  But, there is one day every year where they devote the entire show to toys.  Then, it is the best show in the world.  So last Friday was that day (or night). 

The repeat is always on a Sunday afternoon and as I missed the live version, I have the repeat on now.  It’s such a load of crap now.  It’s so….boring.  There’s no atmosphere.  Sure, there’s lots of toys and Christmassy stuff but there’s no happy feeling.  Even my kids got bored and fell asleep rather than watch it.  When I was a kid, it was the best thing in the world.  You’d see all of these lucky kids that were mostly incredibly posh.  There’s always one incredibly common token kid.  They (and sometimes celebrities) would get to test out toys and go on the show and talk about them.  There would be kids dancing and singing and the audience would get lots of free toys.  The catchphrase for the Late Late Show is – “There’s one for everyone in the audience.”  The highlight of this year’s show was a kid saying they didn’t like a boy doll because he had a “you-know-what.”  *Sigh*

The toys are getting better, but it’s still so boring.  I look forward to this every year and I’ll admit, it’s been lacking in the last few years but there’s always some redeeming feature.  Like that little boy who sang “Shout” and was surprised by Girls Aloud behind him.  He was the cutest child.  He made me cry and I still have no idea why.  Can’t find a clip of that unfortunately.  Somethings were as expected.  Pat Kenny wearing a ridiculously ugly jumper.  Toys not working.  Kids getting cheeky.  “You DON’T do it like that!”   Dustin stealing the show…Gerrup outta that!

Maybe I’m just getting too old to enjoy it anymore. 🙂

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F*%k You, FAI, F*%k You…

You may have noticed the National Anthem page there on the right.  I’m going to dedicate that page to the FAI, it seems only right.  For all the readers from far away lands, football = soccer here by the way. 

Anyway, in our football Golden Years in the 90’s (led by the one and only legendary and honorary Irishman, Jackie Charlton.  Jackie, we still adore you, please come back, you’re not too old, we promise), most of our players had English accents down to the grandparent rule so most of our team didn’t have a clue what the words to the National Anthem were.  They used to move their mouths anyway; it was amusing to see who could actually sing it.  So I think a good start for the FAI would be to teach our players the words to the song, it might make our woeful performances on the pitch a little less embarrassing.

Here’s a recent enough clip of our anthem being performed at a match.   Note how our younger players have learned from the embarrassment of past Irish footballing legends and have managed to not only learn the words but to sing so loudly that it sounds like a whole football team is singing along.  Also check out our recently sacked manager, Steve Staunton.  Now, Stan the Man was a great player on the Irish team for many years yet he still doesn’t know the words.  Glutton for punishment?  Well, he did take the job as Ireland Manager with no experience and after the unpleasantness that was Mick McCarthy (who used to play Captain, then managed to single handedly drive away Roy Keane, our Godlike Captain – we all like a cheeky rogue).  That says it all really.  Now there’s talk of Andy Townsend lending a hand, not as manager you understand, no we need someone experienced.  Experienced enough to have been sacked, obviously.

So now the FAI are looking for a new manager to shame.  Shame?   Why, yes, that is the perfect word for it because Irish football is in a shambles.  I repeat, Shambles.  That shower of planks don’t know their arses from their elbows.  They are now trying to fix long standing problems with a big name.  Newsflash – it doesn’t matter who manages the team, it won’t make great players magically sprout up out of the ground. 

Think of England, where men that wear skirts sarongs and cheat on their wives with women that pleasure pigs on television can become national heroes (and villains depending on the current scapegoat) and earn unlimited amounts of money.  Now think of Ireland, where football players earn an average wage, earned by their full time jobs.  That’s right, part time footballers are two a penny here.  We need to develop the youngsters, actually properly train players and maybe one day, we will get some decent players.  Constantly.  Not just two every generation. 

Our darling little Taoiseach had his dreams of the Bertie Bowl but he was laughed at.  He is also a bit of a plank and deserves to be laughed at but in fairness a decent football stadium could have been a great starting point and a hell of a lot more useful than the Giant Syringe pretending to be art in the middle of O’Connell Street.  And definitely a lot more useful than the proposed Giant Metal Man they want to put in the River Liffey.  Think of the children…please, think of the children….   Just thinking about it pisses me off.

Anyway, I’ve forgotten my point by now but it seems like people wonder why we lose at everything.   Most countries work harder for their athletes.  I used to love football and I mean love it.  My dream was to go to an Ireland match.  I used to settle for Shels and Pats matches instead which were great craic, don’t get me wrong.  But I always wanted to see Ireland play.  Everyone did.  World Cup, Italia ’90.  I was 7.  I remember the matches, I remember the atmosphere, I remember the love.  Once Charlton went, the love sort of…faded.  People started blaming the managers.  Just for the record, Brian Kerr rocks my world 🙂

So, FAI, if you ever get your act together, maybe you’ll help out our local teams a little bit more.  Maybe if the kid’s football teams had a little bit of proper funding, they might turn out some Eircom League players and maybe the Eircom League players may turn into International football legends and maybe, just maybe, if you put a bit of effort into making Irish football what it could be, our decent players wouldn’t piss off to England to play for real money the first chance they get.

If the FAI bucked up a little, maybe the boys from Crumlin United would have more of a future than playing for Wolves reserve team, maybe Usher Celtic would win a match because they can play rather than their opponents pissing themselves for fear of scoring in case they get stabbed.    Maybe, wankers that make up the FAI, you could think about how you haven’t supported the players or the managers of the Ireland team for fear of getting shit on too.   And, I’m sorry, but how many fecking press conferences does it take you lot to actually spit something out?

In conclusion:  F*%k you FAI, we’ve had enough of your piss taking bolloxology.

 Oh, and…Up the GAA!

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