Monthly Archives: February 2010

Enter the Dragon

Yesterday evening I went to my local for a few drinks after work, and then went home to be confronted by a dragon.

This may sound like a the prelude to a tale of marital disharmony, but those of you who read this blog regularly know that I would never refer to Mrs Tin in such terms (she doesn’t read this often, but knowing my luck today would be the day).

No, what I mean is that there was one of those big bendy dragons that appear in Chinese New Year parades in our living room. Tomorrow is Chinese New Year (Year of the Tiger they say, though probably not in Ireland), and Bray School Project had a parade yesterday using the dragon. Apparently the tallest kid in first class gets under the head and the rest of the class get under the body and they walk around the yard.

They are lending it to the new Greystones Educate Together School for them to use it on Monday, so it is spending the weekend in the Tinhouse (don’t ask me why, bearing in mind that we have no kids in either school. That’s just the kind of thing that happens regularly to us).

Anyway, this is a picture of me wearing it:    

What astonished me is that, although I was last person home yesterday and therefore last person to see the dragon, I was the first one with an irresistible urge to put it on.

It’s a lovely feeling knowing that I’m more childish than my children. 




Shrink Wrapped

Just when you think I’ve given up mentioning my health (what, you have a pacemaker, Tinman? You never said) you get two posts in a row.

Because I’ve been back to my psychiatrist.

I haven’t written about him in a while because I haven’t been there in a while. I did have an appointment with him in December, but turned up on the wrong day. This makes one blood-pressure test, one heart check and one shrink visit  in the last three years for which I have turned up on the wrong day, and I’m sure my shrink would have made a lot of this, if only I’d arrived on the right day to tell him about it (I didn’t mention it this time in case it reminded him that I’d stood him up at Christmas and he charged me for it).

Anyway, since I was there last my mood has got better, my sleep has got better, my stress has got better, and my derealisation has got much, much worse. The remoteness of everything going on around me is now quite astonishing, and sometimes a bit frightening.

Anyway anyway, he was quite helpful, and quite reassuring. He reckons the feeling might seem worse because I’m feeling more, and therefore noticing the vagueness more. In other words, it’s worse because I care more, and this is apparently a good thing.

I’m going to try this argument at work at 8.30 tomorrow, when I’m meeting my boss to discuss a report which, well, I don’t have ready. I’m going to tell him, though, that this is because I care more about these reports now, so their punctuality will be getting worse, and I’m looking forward to using words like #**xx!@ tomorrow evening when I report verbatim what he says.

Anyway anyway anyway, I’m going to be taking yet more medication, and thus my already faint hope of one day competing in the Olympics (faint because I’ve tried and am shite at virtually every sport on the planet) grows fainter all the time.

I’ll never pass the drugs test.

Waltzing with TILDA

As I reported on Saturday, the lady from HOTDOG arrived for my interview this evening.

The interview, which their leaflet predicted would take 90 minutes, actually took two-an-a half hours. I’d have thought that perhaps this is because I’m getting old, were it not for the fact that the whole point is that everyone they’re interviewing is getting old.

It was great fun, though quite comprehensive. She did indeed give me a memory test, and also quizzed me about my health, economic circumstances, number of friends and even my sex life (which was, unfortunately, another memory test).

She is making an appointment for my health assessment in Trinity (excellent, one more blog topic), and gave me a card thanking me for my time, and informing me that I will shortly receive a cheque from them for my participation. The cheque will be for twenty euro, which should keep me in incontinence pads for at least a week.

I was also given a keychain with a supermarket token built in:

The fact that it says TILDA on it kind of makes a mockery of the whole confidentiality aspect. I find that endearing, so needless to say I have attached it to my keyring and fully intend to carry it everywhere.

The Sadness Of King George

So George Lee has resigned, after just 8 months as a TD.

Since his leave of absence from RTE doesn’t expire until May, many people are wondering what he will do to keep busy. No need to worry, George has a packed programme of activities arranged that will keep him occupied until at least the week-end.

Tomorrow: George runs the Marathon. Well, not the whole thing. Or most of it. Well, he turns up at the start and makes sure he’s in all the photographs.

Wednesday: George gets a job teaching at Hogwarts, but resigns when he finds that you can’t really just wave a magic wand and change things.

Thursday: George becomes manager of the Irish soccer team. During the first game an opponent handles the ball. When the ref refuses to give a free George takes his ball and goes home.

Friday: George starts a blog, using the tagline “anything worth doing, is worth doing for at least ten minutes”.

Saturday: George gets to opportunity to have an affair with Keira Knightley, but walks away, saying he’d hoped he’d feel more used.

Talkin’ ‘Bout My Generation

I’m going to be taking part in a study about ageing.

A lady called to the door yesterday and said our house had been chosen at random to be part of the sample. She then asked was there anyone in the house over 50. When I said I was, she said “really?”  in a surprised voice, and with that simple piece of acting she had me hooked.

The study is known as TILDA, apparently from “The Irish LongituDinal study on Ageing”. I have to say that I’m not a fan of acronyms that use letters from the middle of words. They might just as well have opted for “tHe irish lOngiTudinal stuDy On aGeing”, and HOTDOG is how I shall be referring to it from here on.

The third word in the name (my fingers are too old to keep typing it) is there because this is an ongoing study. In other words they will call back to me for updates every three years or so, until such time as Mrs Tin opens the the door to them and, before they say anything, just shakes her head sorrowfully.   

According to their website, some of the questions they are interested in answering are what happens to people’s memory as they age, do people have enough savings to provide for their older age, and what happens to people’s memory as they age (they might also like to ask whether people’s jokes get more and more obvious as they age).

The lady is coming back on Tuesday to interview me for about 90 minutes (she’ll probably ask do I have any health issues, so I hope she’s got a really good battery in her laptop). I will then be given a questionnaire to fill out in my own time, and finally I’ll have to go to Trinity College for tests (as I’ve said before, Tinson1 is studying Science at Trinity, and if any of this involves being tested by him then I’m outta there).

The HOTDOG leaflet says that I’ll be helping to “develop health, social and economic policies and services that will benefit all people living in Ireland”, so I already smugly feel that I’m doing a better job than the current Government.

It also says that my answers to Tuesday’s interview will be treated in the strictest confidence, and I’m sure that they will.

Except, of course, that I can’t wait to tell you lot all about it.

Dreaming Outside The Box

Sorry I’ve been away, but as usual the first week of the month at work has consisted of thirteen-hour days and very little time for writing wonderful posts, or even my usual rubbish.

Yesterday one of the guys, rushing out the door, told Goldeneyes and I that he would not have a report that we needed, because he was “back to back”. After he’d gone she and I debated what he might have meant by this (I suggested that it was the opposite of him being back-to-front).

We are surrounded by the sales department. Thus our two desks are a remote desert island in a sea of  jargon, much of which we find very amusing. They all say “going forward”, of course, so often in fact that occasionally, to my horror, I find I’ve just said it myself.  When they are “in the zone” they all “think outside the box”.

One of them refers to “getting all our ducks in a row”. What does this mean?

My favourite, in the loosest possible meaning of that word (i.e., the worst thing I’ve ever heard), is when one of them was talking about a potental new client, and said “they’ve an office here, but the mothership is in the UK”. Sometimes the word “aaargghhhh!!!!!” is just not strong enough…..

Perhaps all this is the reason for the dream I had last night. In it a bloke was running a radio show. He had two women in the studio with him, while another one stood out in the street somewhere holding a microphone, like your woman you see standing outside the Four Courts on RTE whenever there’s a big trial on (yes, I know it was radio, but somehow she was in a little window in the top corner of the dream). Anyway, the two women in the studio were having a great time, chatting, slagging and laughing, and every now and again the other one would say “well…” and be totally ignored. Eventually the presenter noticed this and said “I’d say you’re feeling a bit left out of things out there, Elaine”.

And slowly and coldly she said “honestly, it’s like trying to talk to the inside of your spare foot”.

This was so startling that I actually burst awake, saying What?”.

I can’t wait to drop it into a conversation with the sales team.  


Just To Clarify….

Having read this yesterday, about the Irish blogger who’s had to pay out €100,000 for libel, I’ve gone back over my posts for 2010 so far and would like to make the following points absolutely clear:

  • The Met Office are remarkably accurate in their forecasts. Given the wide range of possible types of weather (it can be dry OR wet) it’s astonishing that they’re right as often as they are.
  • The guy in the Vodafone ad who created a white Christmas for his girlfriend is obviously a loving and sensitive person. Any girl would love a hundred tons of fake snow in their garden as opposed to, say, jewellery or a flight somewhere. And the word “Crimbo” is perfectly acceptable. Should be word of the year, in fact.
  • A trip on an 84 Bus is a warm, smooth, pleasant experience, one which I readily embrace whenever the Dart breaks down (which is very seldom, never due to incompetence, and only due to acts of God).
  • As we now have a Blasphemy Law as well, can I say that God’s acts are generally a Good Thing.
  • Journalists are a higher life-form than we humble bloggers. If they say blogging is dead, then it is, and those of us who think we are still blogging are obviously wrong.
  • Bankers are hard-working, well-meaning souls who deserve everything that they have coming to them. I want to assure them that, no matter what the banking enquiry turns up,  I will not think any less of them than I do now.

And finally, Bertie. I may have given the impression that I found some of his explanations for his money to be a touch far-fetched. If I didn’t, then I certainly meant to.