This is a very boring picture but it shows something about which I am very excited. Almost three years after we moved into this house, we have hooks on the back of our bathroom and bedroom doors. I can now hang my dressing gown up between showers. I was somewhat inspired by this post on the satisfaction which can be derived from teeny tiny improvements to your home. A few other small jobs have been crossed off my to-do list this week.
I’m not really a believer in things balancing out but as we put up these hooks and patted ourselves on the back, a second set of hooks came away from the wall. That’s on the to-do list for this weekend, as we’re very partial to being able to hang our coats in one spot rather than cluttering up the end of the stairs.
My daughter took this photo from our bedroom window. It’s clearly not the best picture, given how blurry it is and the fact it isn’t a particularly exciting shot. She was so happy with it that it made me think about how hard on myself I can be. I wish I could be as happy as my daughter was with this photo whenever I accomplish something.
When I was 16 and in transition year in school, I was in the Young Scientist exhibition, along with some friends from school, one of whom is still a dear friend today and works in science. My project was on antibacterial detergents and I have no idea why I plumped on this idea for my submission.
It was a fantastic experience. I don’t work in science but I do love science and I still love the idea of a young scientist exhibition. To be quite honest, the memories of the social side of those few days stayed with me much more than the science side and for a socially inept 16 year old that was probably a good thing.
I have such fond feelings about that time in my life. Every year when the exhibition pops up in the same hall where my project was showcased all those years ago I get a smile on my face thinking back to when some of the greatest thrills of my life were seeing my project title on the little stand I had been allocated and winning tickets to go and see Blur in the Point Depot.
I’m really looking forward to bringing my own children to this when they’re a wee bit older, and maybe seeing their projects exhibited when they’re older again. I’m sure this year’s submissions have much fancier graphics (shout out to Windows 95!) and the students are a lot more tech savvy (no boosting your social media profile back in 1998 but I hope they have as much fun as I did and look back fondly on 2019 as I do on that January in 1998 when I was 16 and having the time of my life.
Definitely cliché, but I’m hoping writing them down will help.
- Go to the gym three times a week. I’m starting with a personal trainer session tomorrow afternoon.
- Write things on the calendar so I’m not constantly wondering if I’m missing something. This one is going pretty well so far.
- Continue to leave my phone upstairs every evening. I enjoy TV and chats so much more without the constant scrolling.
- Use the library a lot more. I love our local library and it sparks joy every time I visit.
- Eat vegetarian at least once a week. December was a Month of Meat.
Another happy Christmas with friends and family.
Deciding to repeat last year’s New Year’s Eve plans and making it a tradition for our family.
A new hairdryer and hair straightener as part of my Christmas present. I didn’t realise how much I missed my GHD.
Taking down the decorations and getting housey jobs done.
Remembering that this was the year we repealed the eighth and completed our family.
I’d kind of missed the fact that it’s the 100 year anniversary of the 1918 election in Ireland, for which the franchise was substantially expanded and women could vote for the first time. I like the fact that we still vote using paper and pencils and that then as now people could spoil their ballots if they so wished.
Having no other plans this evening I’m going to watch some of the “election coverage” on television. My daughter is the same age her great grandfather was in 1918. I hope she’ll remember going to vote with us to repeal the eighth amendment and in favour of marriage equality and the other visits to polling stations along the way.
This week the Bill to provide for legal abortion services was passed. A hundred years ago women got more rights, and I hope next year we can give more rights to those who need them.
It took 20 years to legislate on the referendums on the X Case. This week feels a little surreal. Less than seven months after we passed the 36th amendment legislation on abortion services is wending its way through the Oireachtas. It isn’t perfect legislation and it will exclude people who need to access abortion services when they have a diagnosis of a non-fatal foetal disability, those who don’t meet the 12 week deadline and those who face barriers to access like conscientious objections.
I’m torn on waiting to get the legislation to be more inclusive and seeing the need to pass the current Bill and keep working on service provision. It’s been hard to listen to some TDs talk about pregnant people, in particular the narrative I have heard and, for a long time, believed about abortion. There’s been some very nasty rhetoric that I don’t think I’ll forget.
I still think of Savita every day, and when I woke at 5.17 am today she was on my mind as I saw on my phone that the Dáil had passed the Bill to regulate the termination of pregnancy. My heart sinks when I think about whether we’ll have to hear about another Savita in order to get the law right. I hope we won’t, but the reality is that abortion services are going to be restricted in Ireland for the foreseeable future.
I do hope that come the new year people who need care won’t be getting their information from lampposts like the ones we’ve been used to seeing. I hope everyone who needs care can access it. I hope we don’t have more letters in the courts because we didn’t care for those who needed care. We’ve come a long way, but we know from bitter experience that this is not the end of the fight.