Attending protests about the proposed move of the National Maternity Hospital to a site owned and controlled by nuns seems to have paid off. When I got home from the gym this morning, I was greeted by the breaking news on a radio programme that the Sisters of Charity were giving up their role in the health care group where the new hospital is supposed to go.
I’m happy but skeptical about this move. We know how the Catholic Church bodies have acted in the past in their response to paying their share of the abuse compensation bill. We know trusts have been set up to prevent schools being handed over. We know the liberal use of mental reservation by religious men and women to retrain control over processes and investigations.
So I won’t be celebrating just yet. After all, the best way to know what’s going to happen is to look at the past. And the past tells us that the record of Catholic bodies in Ireland is not one we can examine uncritically. The Sisters are pretty devoted to holding what they have, be it property, control or money, or all three.
Today I had brunch at Sophie’s, a restaurant in the Dean Hotel. A friend had booked it for a long overdue catch up and it was an excellent choice. There aren’t many places in Dublin with rooftops views, so it was lovely to eat in a place where we could enjoy the view. The food was delicious, and even though the table was only available for an hour and a half we didn’t feel rushed. In fact, we ended up snagging a table outside and availing of the sunshine and chatting over a bottle of prosecco. It had been a long time since the three of us had met so we had a lot to catch up on. I will definitely be back, for food and drinks, as it was good value for money and a nice central spot.
I have had highlighted hair for about ten years. About a year ago, I decided to let my hair grow out uncoloured, as part of my adventures in not washing my hair with shampoo. I now use a Lush bar shampoo to wash once or twice a week, and I like it thus far.
Today, I had a hair appointment after the gym and I’d toyed with the idea of a fringe beforehand. I’m not very adventurous with my hair, but I needed a change so I went for it. I went for it, got the chop and I love it.
I cleaned our oven using baking soda and a vinegar, vodka and orange peel solution, combined with a lot of elbow grease. It came up pretty well and the lack of heavy duty cleaning smells meant it was easy to get right in and scrub.
I’ve consigned some hand towels to the dishcloth stage of life. I cut them, washed them and folded them for use. The edges are a bit frayed but I can live with that.
I’ve grown to really like the Lush shampoo bar I’ve been using. It does the job and I can stretch to about four days between washes. Depending on whether my outfit suits a headscarf, sometimes I can go even longer.
I have fallen down on the clothes front though. I’ve been ruthless about my wardrobe, anything that sparks no joy or is has tiny holes in it or has become too shabby has gone. This has meant a greatly reduced collection of clothes, with the result that I’ve bought new dresses and a top from Cos. I have worn and loved every item. I’m going to try to resist the urge to buy a few more things and instead use what I have left and seek out other options. I have never found anything I like in a second hand or vintage shop, so online browsing is the plan for now.
I’ve broken out my three pairs of Saltwater sandals following some nice weather. This is my third year wearing them, and they’re just as good as new. I’ve decided to bin all my flat shoes, two pairs were never really comfortable and two are too worn to keep as I’ve been wearing them for five or six years now.
From All The President’s Men. I feel like these words are truer than ever this week. I don’t think humans are designed for so much news, and news of such intensity, in such a short time. I don’t know where this is going, and I am 100% certain it will be a bumpy ride, but I think I need to dig out my copy of All The President’s Men this weekend.
For the first time in a long time I bought new clothes yesterday. I didn’t stick to my zero waste principles but I’ve given myself a pass because I’ve sent six items off to recycling and charity. I have many empty hangers and my wardrobe looks sparse. I’m wearing a new top right now and it sparks a lot of joy. I had been in a frump slump for some time, wearing the same things over and over, many of which were quite old and a little dated. I’ve decided on buying some more new things, things which I have spent time trying on and which I love, and which are a little more expensive than usual. It’s nice to wear something that’s up to date, and I think Marjorie would approve.
Since that post, I have worked on my physique, I have weeded out what I don’t like and I have stuck to my resolve in terms of buying. I have four pairs of flat shoes, two of which are a little uncomfortable and run down, and two of which are extremely comfortable and run down. I’m planning on getting rid of all of them as soon as I find one pair that’s comfortable and stylish.
One of the lovely things about having only books on my shelves that I love is that I know every time I reach for one it will be one I will enjoy. I tend to reread the same ones over and over, skipping the bits I don’t like and savouring the parts I have grown to love. One such book is Marjorie Morningstar, a book a friend recommended and loaned to me and one which I loved so much I had to buy a copy of my own.
I am not jewish, or living in New York, or dreaming of a career as an actress, but I can relate to the other Marjorie as she tries to figure out who she is, where she’s going, and what she’s going to do with herself. I reread it again recently and it still sparks a lot of joy.
And, it turns out, Herman Wouk is still alive, and will turn 102 in a couple of weeks. I am sure he knows how much joy this book still brings to people, decades after he wrote it.
I have become slightly obsessed with Sara Berman’s closet. I don’t live in New York and have no plans to go there any time soon, nor do I have any immediate plans to strike out alone in a tiny apartment. I won’t see this exhibit before it closes. I do, however, have a greater and greater love for the kind of pared back simplicity this closet inspires.
I am a work in progress when it comes to possessions. I have drastically reduced the things I own, but there is definitely still room for less. Yesterday I wore a top I hadn’t worn for almost a year. It didn’t spark joy once during the day I wore it, so off it goes.
I noticed that my colour palette has reduced too. I have a lot of blues, greys and blacks, which makes me happy. I wore white and black to the gym yesterday and being in those colours made me feel focused and put together, even when sweating during a weight class.
White isn’t really my colour (too pale and interesting for it to make me look anything other than washed out) so I won’t be following Sara Berman down the all-white route. However, I can see the sense of joy in having a co-ordinated wardrobe, in the fact that everything always matches and looks clean and fresh, especially when folded with precision.
We are married for six years now. It feels like we only got married a year ago, which I am assured is a very good thing indeed. We went to see a play and had dinner, which is exactly what we did last year to celebrate. This year we ate in the same place, but it has changed hands, for the better it turns out. We thoroughly enjoyed our second visit to Mr. Fox, the pre-theatre menu is great value and we had the same wine as last time.
The play this year was Private Lives, which is about two couples on honeymoon. This day six years ago I was packing for our honeymoon and I am extremely grateful our Private Lives haven’t turned out anywhere near as complicated as those of the characters created by Coward.