Hello Online My Old Friend...


...I've come to troll with you again!

Well not really. I've never been the sort to sit on the odd parts of the Internet having arguments with people over things that make absolutely no difference to me in the long run. But I am, finally, back online. At least in the domestic sense of the term.

See in Ireland things move slowly. Painfully so. For too long a single company owned the phonelines and in order to get anything done when it came to telecommunications you had to go through them. Sadly even if you try to go with another Internet provider you must deal with this shitehawk company from the dark ages. It took us a little over five months to just get a phoneline installed before we could get broadband. Five months of polite phonecalls followed up with slightly annoyed ones followed up with one hour long rant at the poor girl on the other end so that she would escalate it up.

But hey, these things happen. Not in modern countries, but definitely in Ireland.

Anyway I figured I would use my newly returned abilities to rant from home to update on the status of the latest book.

Book four in the Filthy Henry series, working title "Stolen Stories", is now draft one complete. Meaning I've about a thousand more hours of work to do before I'm even close to being happy about selling it. Draft one though, still nothing to sneeze at considering all that has been going on in mine and the lady friend's lives lately.

Sadly I am not entirely sure if I can get it ready in time for Dublin Comic Con. I'd rather not rush it just to have something on the stall to sell, even though it would be nice to return this year with four books ready to go. Still, stranger things have happened.

Like people buying the books to begin with ;)


By Half


Life is busy, that's just a fact of...well...life.

In your youth you had so much time in a day to do anything and nothing. The world was your's to squander or conquer at will. Then you grow older and suddenly time becomes the enemy. There aren't enough hours in one day, not enough minute in a single hour. Before you know it you blink on December 27th and suddenly it is December 24th of the next year.

To combat this people generally opt for 'the quiet life'. They do as little as possible at the weekends to fully recoup from the working week. Maybe they get involved in their hobbies more, just to be doing 'something' but not be insanely busy. These people generally lead healthy lives and don't 'go postal' from stress levels being through the roof.

Of course not everyone is able to keep life from being busy all the time. People that go from birth to death without every having a single busy event in their life would be considered hermits, or maybe those monks that sit in silence at the top of snow capped mountains. Either way it is nearly unheard of for people to be constantly 'not busy'.

You change jobs or get married. Buy a house or have a baby. People pass away and funerals happen, birthday celebrations for 'the big numbers' occur. Without a doubt a person will have at least one of these busy moments crop up.

There are ways to control them, in so far as the chaos of life can be controlled. You can buy a house without trying to plan a wedding at the same time or get a new job without a baby coming along.

Then you get people like us, myself and the ladyfriend. We decided that rather than do things slow, simple and easy we would pack as many busy events into as short a time frame as possible.

First up, after a considerable amount of thinking and talking, we decided that with the arrival of Nugget our current home was no longer ideal. It was a lovely house when we bought it, large and with potential and over the last five years we have put our mark firmly on it. But with Nugget we realised a few failings of the area we lived in, mainly around transport. The pair of us work in the city, a mere forty minutes away by bus on a good day. In Ireland there are never good days with traffic, so that trip generally takes closer to an hour. Worse the options to get out during certain times of the day are limited if not completely missing. Throw in Nugget and all the things that can happen to a kid requiring ready transport and the house was no longer up to snuff. So we started looking for a new place. Talks were had with banks, approvals gotten, a new and much better house found. It was a chaotic time.

But that didn't keep us busy enough. I decided that current events in my job had pushed me to the point of 'go hard with a shotgun or go home'. I opted for 'go home' because visitation rights for prisoners are not that great and Nugget really should never see the inside of a prison. So, in the middle of filling in bank forms, one source of income for the house just quit their job. With nothing lined up.

The ladyfriend was super supportive on that front. She had noticed that in the past few months my mental health had not been the best and had started to silently worry. When I told her my plans she said it was the best move for us.

So, buying a house and down one income. What next?

Well the ladyfriend wasn't happy in her job either and hadn't been for some time. With some gentle prodding, using my patented jester 'helpful bullying' method, she hunted and found another job. A better job and one that she is ideally suited for.

For those keeping tabs. Buying new house, quit job, ladyfriend starting new job.

Now I had had a slight stay of parachute jumping in my job and was moved into another department. But that hasn't exactly worked out as advertised. Through a series of random events another job with a new place landed on my desk. One that I really liked the sound of. Five interviews later and boom: new job for jester.

Now the tally is sitting at new house, ladyfriend starting a new job, jester starting a new job in a month.

Basically we didn't want to do busy by half and just went full busy for the fun of it.

At a certain point we probably should be tested.


One Year On (2)


Having no concept of time is one of my defining character traits. Not being able to keep track of the passage without major events to bookmark specific points. The birth of Nugget, myself and the ladyfriend's first child, was one of the most important fixed points in time for me. But it seems that noticing a full year had passed from that amazing day is still not in my wheelhouse of skills.

A. Full. Year.

Like, how in God's name did that happen? I blinked, I'm fairly sure I blinked, and Nugget changed from a tiny bundle of cuteness that could fit neatly on my lap to a toddler speed-walking away from me as I try to change her nappy. I'd heard that when you become a parent time seems to move faster but I never believed it. She figuratively changed in the blink of an eye.

What an insanely brilliant year it has been as well. From learning that myself and the ladyfriend can survive on six hours of broken sleep (although that only lasted a couple of weeks and then Nugget decided that she needed eight solid hours herself) to coming home after a crap day in work and see Nugget's gummy smile, it has been amazing.

Seriously there isn't a thing I would have changed from the past year. Myself and the ladyfriend got to celebrate Christmas and our own birthdays with this little nutter smiling away the whole time. We even had our first Mother's Day and Father's Day, all because Nugget was in our lives.

Even today Nugget showed just how brilliant she is. For a few weeks she has been giving people 'high fives' if you held out your hand. Today she started to blow kisses. True it was at anybody that smiled at her (so I may need to start sharpening the swords for future-boyfriend-skewering) but still. How somebody so small can bring so much joy into your life is a mystery and one I couldn't be bothered solving because it's just great having her here.

Not that she knows today is in anyway special. Except maybe that for dinner she had a slice of cake to smash into her face. Ah, sure you only turn one once I guess.

If you ever get around to reading this in the future: Happy Birthday Nugget!