Alfie

This is Alfie, a mixed-breed Jack Russell Terrier we rescued from the dog pound in 2016. He’s currently about 3-4 years old, and has bags of energy.

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Dr Flynn Medicine Woman

What’s the tradition? The first son inherits the family business, the second joins the priesthood, the third becomes a doctor, and the fourth a soldier? I’m sure it’s something like that.

Well, in my immediate family the first of the current generation (my brother) is something in marketing – so not exactly the family business, but we’ll let that slide.

The second (me) works in IT for a living, but is also a ‘Lay Vicar Choral’, so that’s almost a priest (but not really). And the third – my cousin Sarah – has recently passed her final exams and become a fully-fledged medic. And we’re all really proud of her, as she’s quite an amazing person.

I’m not sure, however, whether the fourth of our generation is so keen of signing up for the armed forces though. Maybe that’s not going to happen.

Christmas preparations

As of this morning, I have a new-found respect for my mother – not that I didn’t respect her before. It’s just that the high level of previous respect has shot up to an even greater level.

This is the first year that I’m not due to celebrate Christmas in my parent’s home (I’m being careful with language here, as my folks have moved house twice since I ever lived with them – so where they live is not really my home). Instead they’re coming here to Dublin.

It made sense to invite them over, because I need to stay in Dublin to fulfil my singing duties at the cathedral up until and including Christmas morning. And rather than my sit crying into my microwave turkey dinner all on my own (which would never have happened – I’ve already turned down 2 offers of Christmas dinner from friends, and would no doubt have got more), I thought it would be nice for them to come to me. And it would give me the opportunity to play host for once, and perhaps take some of the pressure off them. After all, despite their spry appearance, they are both pensioners.

The thing I didn’t really appreciate was the amount of work that goes into preparing for Christmas. There’s the preparation of the house – tidying and cleaning – and the purchase of all the food, and all those ‘extras’ like crackers.

I was at Marks and Spencer at 9.30am this morning picking up my turkey, as well as a whole load of other food. And as I write this at about 11.00am, I’m contemplating a further two food shopping trips today.

It doesn’t help, of course, not owning a car. I can’t just fill a trolley and dump it in the boot – whatever I buy I need to be able to carry home (without my arms dropping off).

Anyway, I feel that I’m beginning to ramble now – and that’s probably because I’m trying to avoid having to go out again. But I suppose I should switch off the computer and get going – and hope that I find the strength to battle through the crowds in the city centre. Thank goodness all my present buying is completed.

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