I Have A Conscience, Too

“Matters of conscience” is a phrase I loath. It seems to imply that there’s only one “side” voting or acting in accordance with their conscience and that those of us on the “other side” give nary a thought to our actions or words.

Well, I have a conscience too. It’s been in a state of flux, but as Marjorie says, a mind needs a fresh stream of ideas flowing through it pretty regularly or it’ll get pretty stagnant and that’s not a good thing.

My conscience won’t let me sit at home on a rainy Saturday having figured that there’ll be plenty of others to march on my behalf. My conscience is ashamed of itself for some of the views I held on how exactly the eighth amendment affects girls and women. My conscience won’t stay silent when I think of the girls and women heading abroad to access abortion while I’m writing this.

My conscience has sharpened my focus enormously. Saturday has been a pivotal moment for me. I’m not under any illusion that other people’s consciences will be taken out and aired regularly as a reason why I should remain equal to a zygote, probably delivered in a falsely sympathetic but poisonously patronising manner during the following months and, I dread to say, years.

No matter. Marching in the pouring rain, me and my conscience seemed to come to the sort of happy alignment that’s galvanised me and prompted me into taking a bit more action than simply writing blog posts.

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I Have A Conscience, Too

I Was Two When Ireland Voted To Make Me Equal To A Zygote

I’ll be marching for choice tomorrow. It will be the third march me and my husband have been on to seek change so I’m not equal to a zygote.

I wasn’t always as militantly prochoice as I am now. To my shame and regret, I allowed the myths and lies peddled to me as a schoolgirl educated in a single sex Catholic school to blind me to the truth.

I’m marching because I am not equal to a zygote. I am not a woman who can’t afford to take an airplane ride, get into a taxi and pay for abortion services in another country. I’m marching because the eighth amendment affects women who don’t have as much money as me, who don’t have the legal rights to leave the country as I do and who don’t have choices because they are too sick or young or have other responsibilities they can’t leave for a day or a weekend.

I was two in 1983. I have never been able to vote to make Ireland’s abortion laws less stringent. I have never had the option to take WHO essential medicines to end a pregnancy I do not wish to continue. If I am pregnant, I will have to wait for doctors to determine whether my life is at risk before I may be able to have an abortion. If I’m dead and pregnant, my husband may have to watch me decompose while the High Court decides whether a foetus has more rights over my body than I have the right to dignity.

I’m marching because I’m mad as hell that people who have made a career out of providing balance tell women that we ‘deserve better’ and skirt around the fact that all they really want is for the poor, the sick and the silenced to be forced to fulfil the myth they cling to that Ireland is better without WHO essential medication and choice for all women.

We do deserve better. We deserve better than having to march for the umpteenth time, having to publicly beg others to vote so we’re no longer equal to a zygote. We deserve better than facing the possibility of being the next letter in the alphabet in the High or Supreme Court.

I Was Two When Ireland Voted To Make Me Equal To A Zygote

I Don’t Usually Love Cheesecake But…

Last night I had a great evening of eating, drinking and chatting with friends. I had found it a little difficult to get a reservation, so we ended up eating in San Lorenzo’s. I’ve eaten here a couple of times before, and on the last occasion I had brunch and then we decided to split a slice of cheesecake. I am not a fan of cheesecake-I like my cream cheese on bagels, with or without smoked salmon, but definitely not whipped with gelatine and/or baked into a sugary dessert. However, the Nutella cheesecake I split over brunch with one of my very best friends was delicious.

Amazingly delicious, so much so that when we had already eaten starters and main courses last night, I waxed lyrical about this cheesecake so much I talked the others around to splitting one slice between the three of us. It’s a very rich dessert and we had Irish coffees too, so one slice was more than enough. But it was as delicious as I remembered, maybe even more so because I had the delight of expectation to add to the deliciousness. If you’re going there, have the cheesecake, even if you don’t like cheesecake.

It isn’t often I’m out two nights in a row these days. I’m as happy watching TV while doing the ironing sometimes. I am looking forward to another dinner out with friends tonight though, even if it’s a different restaurant that doesn’t have Nutella cheesecake on the menu.

I Don’t Usually Love Cheesecake But…

Words Aren’t Invented, They Grow

I’m paraphrasing Anne Shirley a little with this title. I’ve come to realise many of my orchids didn’t start out as orchids at all. Like this bag, for example, which started out as a desire to have a little taste of luxury at a reasonable price but is now a treasured orchid. Sometimes what’s an impulse buy or purchase out of necessity grows into an orchid.

While schlepping home in the rain, muttering to myself about how autumn has arrived with a bang and wondering whether the Converse shoes which had been an orchid but pinched my feet all afternoon would get more comfortable once they’re back in heavy rotation, I realised my rain jacket has become an orchid.

I bought it on a whim four summers ago, when a sunny July afternoon suddenly turned into unseasonal heavy rain. I happened to be outside the Patagonia shop, ran in and bought a bright pink lightweight raincoat that I thought was a little on the pricey side, but probably worth it.

Like the bag, I go through phases of wondering if I should trade it in for something newer. I wouldn’t choose a bright pink raincoat now as I’ve nothing else pink in my wardrobe and it clashes with a bright red bag I use regularly for work. However, on days like this it’s an orchid I’ll keep. The hood and long sleeves mean I’ve two hands free and, unlike Anne Shirley, I won’t curse my umbrella for turning inside out and launching me into a relationship with a dark, brooding and dull but rich man.

Words Aren’t Invented, They Grow

What Am I Saving This For?

Last year, I decided to save the money I’d usually spend on impulse clothes purchases and keep it aside as a lump sum to spend after a visit with a personal shopper. I dutifully stopped myself buying all the tempting bargains I’d usually give into and, in September, went along for my appointment. I was taking a hint from Marjorie.

I spent an hour and a half trying on clothes, some of which I loved on sight, others of which I hated and most of which were outside my comfort zone for reasons of colour, style or price. I ended up spending a lot of money on two skirts, a pair of black jeggings, a pair of jeans, several tops, a dress and a cardigan.

I’ve worn every single thing, with the exception of one blue top, countless times. The dress is something I wear at least once a week, usually more, the jeans are a staple and meant I ditched all but one of the other pairs I was indifferent about and all the tops and skirts are on heavy rotation for work, play and other occasions.

The one blue top is something I love, but never seem to wear, maybe because it feels a little too ‘dressy’ for work, yet doesn’t fire me up when I want to get dressed up for a night out, and until now I’d considered it too nice for ‘everyday’ wear. On Sunday I was looking for something to wear with the black jeggings and I pulled the top out and put it on.

Yes, it was dressy. Yes, it was too nice for ‘everyday’ wear. Yes, I said, yes, I will wear you today. It felt nice to put something that still feels new to me on, and feel a little bit overdressed for what turned out to be a day mainly spent reorganising two rooms and doing some serious decluttering.

So I’ve learned my lesson. Within reason, I’m going to wear the things I’ve been saving for ‘some day’ more regularly. It’ll mean some other things will get a bit more rest between wears and my wardrobe options have expanded without spending a penny.

What Am I Saving This For?

This Was Not A Day Of Rest But It Was Relaxing.

I thought I’d decluttered as much as I could before we moved, but it turns out even someone who’s gotten rid of about half her stuff can still pare down further. Today I decided the Random Boxes Of Stuff that have a habit of accumulating like dustballs under a bed needed to go.

I’ve chucked out makeup I’ve been only half interested in using for months. I’ve collected all the hair stuff I no longer use since I stopped using shampoos, organised it into a box and put it in a bathroom cabinet-it was expensive and I’m not going to throw it out immediately resulting in me needing to rebuy various bits and bobs. I tidied all the hair ties and pins I’ve had on heavy rotation since the aforementioned no shampoo journey into a small metal box that contained lime leaves only 15 months out of date.

I’ve rejigged our spare room to a setup more of my liking and sorted through bedlinen. We moved a chest of drawers that had been in another room into our spare room, it works great and means we don’t need to buy anything else for storage. Given the consolidated linen collection, there are two spare drawers for guests.

I’ve chucked out out of date medication (well, not so much chucked as bagged for disposal the next time I’m in a pharmacy), sorted out our tiny ensuite bathroom shelves and I’m delighting in a clutter-free bedside table. I’ve a bag of items others have told me they’ll use ready to leave the house tomorrow.

This has been relaxing, in a strange way. Getting rid of all the things we don’t need, use, like or want and either recycling them or sending them on to those who will use them is a very good feeling.

I’m not quite finished and I have held onto one broken item that can’t be repaired, but it still sparks joy as it was the first Valentine’s day present my husband gave me, back when we were still boyfriend and girlfriend. It may seem a little strange to keep it, given my decluttering zeal, but sometimes my heart rules my head. It has a new home nestled among the silk scarves I rediscovered during a previous session of sorting stuff out, and now wear regularly because of my new hair situation. I’ll see it every day and I’ll still think happy thoughts.

This Was Not A Day Of Rest But It Was Relaxing.

The Weekly Round Up Post

This week’s delights included returning to work after a blissful three weeks holidays, finally finding an ironing board cover that fits my larger than the norm ironing board (in a nice beige that’s easy on the eye), getting a new camera and figuring out how to use it so I can finally get around to putting some pictures in my posts, decluttering The Wires Of Mystery and several early nights with some second hand books I snagged in Chapters bookshop.

The Weekly Round Up Post