BRAD     |     EMILLIE

Monday, October 18, 2010

Back to the everyday

At the moment our everyday existence is very busy. And as Nikolai's naps are becoming shorter and shorter, it is becoming difficult to find time to blog! So what is it that fills our time?

Well, as some of you know, we are planning a wedding reception for January 2nd. I am constantly in shock over how much work it is to actually plan a reception! I had assumed that because we're not having a service in a church (or similar location), or bridesmaids, or really much beyond a receptionŠ± that it would be simple and easy to plan. As is a theme with most of my life's lessons... nothing is ever as easy as it seems. Kudos to everyone who organized a big wedding! (My only excuse is the 8 hour time delay between my current location and that of the wedding reception).

But to be fair, the reception is only able to suck up MY excess time. Brad has taken to working in the evenings with his excess time. This might seem like a workaholic maneuver, but I think he enjoys sitting on the couch, listening to music, sipping a pint or a glass of whiskey (a pint obviously refers to beer, not whiskey), ... so I don't feel too sorry for him. I think he's getting in shape for the spring, when he will be teaching a third-year course (and will need to prepare for all the lectures outside of his research position time).

I think the truth behind our lack of free time lies in our many affiliations. As I've already mentioned, I've taken over the Maynooth Toddler Group. This didn't seem like much when I originally volunteered... but I soon realized the true extent of the workload (grants, insurance, parental education, on top of the weekly drop in). I'm now in the process of (hopefully) organizing a team of people to run the Toddler Group. My other affiliations include the Dublin Food Co-op where I volunteer once a month stocking shelves. The Dublin Co-op is a volunteer run co-op that provides 100% organic and 100% vegetarian fare. It's a bit Off The Beaten Path, but we get most of our groceries there and really stockpile whenever we can get a car ride. I've also joined the Castle Keep Art Group, so that I could be assured of at least some time to paint every week.

Brad's affiliations include his weekly Sunday Cycle, which apparently will continue throughout the winter... provided they don't get any of that freak snow from last year. He plays football (soccer) on the engineering pick-up league once or twice a week, and he's the secretary for Transition Towns Maynooth. Now, Transition Towns Maynooth (TTM from here on out) is something that I joined... figuring I'd find like-minded people to befriend. Then I sent Brad to a meeting in my stead... and he proved a better fit for the bureaucratic and rather boring planning sessions. TT's is a movement that started in the UK... and is a town-by-town initiative to look at ways of making the town more self-sufficient in the future. It stems from the whole Peak Oil viewpoint as a basis for future planning. The Maynooth group is mainly academics and so far its initiatives have focused on: planting fruit trees, getting access to local farm products (hence the lamb adventure), and local food evenings.

I was asked about joining the local musical society's production of Godspell as a chorus member... and while I'm pretty tempted... I also like my sanity.

Although our initial goal in joining these activities was to meet people (in lieu of having any pre-established family/friends), participating has added so much to our existence that this will likely become one habit that we will take with us, wherever we move next. So if you're at home on a Wednesday night, with nothing to do but watch tele (tv)... then why not look for a group to join?! I understand the feeling of exhaustion that follows a day of running around after a very busy toddler (or two). I'd surely fall asleep sitting on the couch, but getting out is so liberating that I usually come home much more energized than when I left!

I've included a pic of Nikolai's completed kitchen, at my mother's bequest. (While most of the design was mine, Brad gets credit for drilling all the holes and knitting the dishcloth.)

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