Monday, November 29, 2010

Cabin Fever

It's snowing in Ireland.
Proper Arctic stuff that can be measured in inches instead of millimetres.
This happens every year, and every year we flap, panic buy and hunker down as the country grinds to a chilly halt.
Schools close, businesses lock their doors and we huddle indoors unless starvation is imminent or,even worse, we run out of chianti.

Our Scandinavian and Canadian friends must shake their heads in disbelief at how quickly and efficiently we are rendered incapable by a bit of snow.

It's kinda fun in one way, as we get to play at being human squirrels, and have a little unexpected holiday from the usual mayhem of rushing about doing the thousands of Important Things we believe are absolutely necessary....until we're prevented from doing these Important Things and we realise that they're actually not that important at all.

But a curious by-product of our snowy lock-down is that suddenly I have an awful lot of time.

It's a bit mortifying to admit that I am horribly uncomfortable with this.

It's great to be able to read my favourite blogs and keep on top of the laundry (hell, I even go mad sometimes and talk to my children!!! The very thought!) but there isn't much going on to distract me from my  mental chatter.

Really, no-one should be left alone with my thoughts for too long.

It's like a horrible interview between Hannibal Lecter and Mrs Beeton on a continuous loop, filled with all my domestic coulda, shoulda, woulda's  and the dire consequences of being a less than  perfect HausFrau and SuperMammy.

I love a healthy bit of Irish Catholic repression (I mean, what's a stomach ulcer if it means you don't have to deal with uncomfortable thoughts??) and using the busyness of being a full-time Mammy is a great way of making sure that Stuff stays safely buried.
And, yeah, I can hardly describe myself as a Catholic anymore, but I was hard-wired in my formative years to believe that suffering and martyrdom are good for the soul.
(Hmmm...good for the soul, but even better news for people who don't want to hear you whinging.)

So bring on the thaw!
I don't like navel-gazing...turns out my belly button's only full of fluff anyway, not splendid pearls of wisdom.
There's only so much cleaning and playing draughts I can handle before I strap some snow chains to my tyres and take to the roads.


  1. Keep yourself warm with some hot chocolate and watch crap on TV - its what everyone else will be doing

  2. I don't know what the Canadians are doing, but I do remember 20 years ago the Russians in Moscow laughing their heads off at CNN reporting how UK was totally paralyzed by 2 inches of snow. And I wonder if Catholic guilt can be transmitted through osmosis - no other explanation how I got it, at least of the supermammy/housewife variety. Maybe it is due to those hormones released after you have a baby!?

  3. I live about 2 hours south of the Canadian border..and I NEVER mock anyone for snow woes..especially when they aren't as used to it as we are..perhaps it is the catholic guilt that still lurks in the dusty parts of my mind that keeps me from doing so? :D

  4. I think you're right, lots of Canucks laughing! Well at me anyway!!! Can't dare to moan when on the phone and if I do it has to come with explanations of the houses are built differently, heating doesn't work the same, can't even buy snow boots here, etc...
    But if this weather keeps up, think I need to invest in snow tires as I don't well with my own thoughts either ( or truthfully, just need a break from the kids! ) xx

  5. @ Anon, tea and my laptop are keeping life and soul together here
    @ Truf, catholic guilt probably is contagious!
    @ Kathleen, go on...have a sneaky laugh at us!!
    @ Tess's mum, we might cross paths on the road
    (with our fab Canadian snow boots and snow tyres)

  6. We were dug out of our mountainy retreat by a load of well wishing neghbours (The fear of having to deliver my baby may have had a galvanising effect...). Everywhere we went people nodded and smiled, offers of help were endless and the bloody economy is off the radio waves. I for one am pro snow. Just keep the radio on to stop the inner monologue.

  7. Love that last picture! Just started snowing here so i know the feeling. Keep warm!

  8. @ Alison, woohoo for snow...but does this mean your baby now won't be a proper mountainy hillbilly??? Now The Child will be wearing Uggs instead of going barefoot in dungarees.
    @ Casdok, we are as snug as bugs in rugs...just a bit stir crazy with it

  9. I love that navel gazing pic!! I have descended into the murky waters of my thoughts after several days of being stuck indoors. I am unable to cobble a decent observation or gem of wisdom to share with you.

    Think I might go run around the house naked or something!


  10. I tend to see snow as just another challenge, including to my patience...I always find a way to get out as I can't cope with cabin fever and definitely want to keep Stuff well buried and out of thought's way xx

  11. I've missed your humour, Jean, I am back in the land of blogging. I was offline for a while trying to get some writing done.
    Cabin fever setting in here but we still have had the schools open.
    Roll on the thaw!!

  12. Oh yeah I love the navel gazing pic too! I felt the same about the extra time on hands at the weekend! It was great no panto rehearsals but then the time got gobbled up on me anyway. Sigh! It's the uncertainty that gets me...we don't know from day to day what's gonna shut down and we can't plan!

    Ah well, we may get used to it. Quite unsettled for the rest of the week I hear.

    xx Jazzy

  13. @ Jen, you go girl!
    @ Blue Sky, good on ya
    @ Brigid, great to see you back!
    @ jazzy, the uncertainty is a pain

  14. I hate the navel gazing bit as there are too many things that I don't really want to think about! I really should get on with some housework but I know that I'll have a sneaky hour of rubbish telly instead!

  15. I have had my navel gazing time too because I have had some time off of school and don't know what to do with myself. It is nice to catch up on the blogs though but don't know about all the TV watching.

  16. You are so funny, I have yet to hit the days when my kids can busy themselves enough that I have time on my hands when we are trapped in the house. Thanks for reminding me that it has its disadvantages! Hope things thaw out soon!

  17. It's the same here in Seattle. We aren't used to snow, nor do any of us know how to drive in it, so the entire city shuts down when we get snow :) LOL!!

    I'm popping by from Nurses Notes, to say thanks for leaving the comment on my Guest Post I did! Hope you get a chance to pop over to my blog and see what I have going on!!

  18. @ Tilly, rubbish telly is yer only man
    @ Lora, lovely to hear from you
    @ Jessica, here's hoping!
    @ Cori, great to hear from you!

  19. Your blog always makes me smile.
    I LOVE your writing and adore your humour.
    Fi x