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Husband Manager

    Pouring Wine

    "Wine comes in at the mouth

    And love comes in at the eye;

    That's all we shall know for truth,

    Before we grow old and die.

    I lift the glass to my mouth,

    I look at you, and sigh."

    W.B. Yeats.

    Musings of an Irish girl who took a leap of faith.


    We sat in the back of the school bus listening to the young ones rattling on about all things young. With just under an hour of our journey left to reach our destination, we popped open a can of beer each as we figured we would last the distance without having to ask for a pit-stop.

    It was an early start for us, meeting the Jax Fray group at 8am, not knowing what to expect on the organised day trip out. Garrett put us totally at ease when we arrived at the bus pick-up place and told us about the Fray social club and all the different events we could sign up for; softball, volleyball, kickball, basketball, anything else with a ball, darts, cornhole, cross country.... we were spoilt for choice with the variety of leagues to join and most importantly, they were for adults, with no experience. Perfect way for us to meet new people and have fun learning a new sport at the same time. Ginnie Springs day trip was our first outing with them and when Garreth said there were a couple of others in our age group, along with mostly 20's / early 30 year olds, we relaxed a little.

    The rain was torrential on the way there but when we arrived it began to clear up and the sun shone brightly as we walked with our tubes to the pavilion where the Fray group would be set up for the day. We glanced around and noticed that Garrett seemingly had included us in the "couple of people" in our age group, but, not to be outdone by the young ones, we popped open more beer and packed a few to carry with us on our tubing experience down the river.

    Ginnie Springs ~ "A slice of pure Florida".

    Picture yourself floating lazily downstream on a big blow up tube in the aquamarine, crystal clear waters of the Sante Fe river shimmering in the Florida sunshine, beer in one hand, camera in the other.

    Someone mentions alligators; your eyes widen and you realise your fu$ker of a husband is gradually floating away from you. So you drop the camera, paddle one handed getting nowhere, yelling for fu$ker to come back, realising he is just saving himself. Finally I was able to grab his big toe, pull him close so at least the alligators would have a choice on the menu, hold on tight and pop another beer. The young ones at the back of the bus were floating nearby and they called us over to hook up with them. Appetisers, mains and desserts for the alligators sounded appealing to me so we linked tubes and shared our beers. Floating happily down the river again, chatting to the young ones, telling life experiences, learning new lingo, places to see, things to do etc in Jacksonville and realising that age is just a number when we stopped off to jump in to the alligator and turtle infested river from the swing rope. An hour or so later we exited the tube experience. I laughed so hard at fu$ker trying to get off the tube that my sides hurt. He went under several times, I laughed. He held his beer up, trying not to lose it, he went under again, yet still I laughed. He held a hand out for me, taking big gulps of water, yet I continued to laugh. The young ones helped him out, minus a shoe, but no major injuries and the beer intact.

    But seriously, we saw no gators, lots of turtles, made friends, watched volleyball and other games, ate the lunch and drank the beer provided by the Jax Fray club and hopped back on the school bus totally happy and relaxed after an amazing, fun day out.

    We made a pit-stop on the way home, grabbed more beers for the return trip to the starting place and as the school bus came to a halt, we looked around at everyone waking up from their slumbering snoozes.....

    Heck, we were the young ones after all!


    I was so anxious bringing my dog Hero to the U.S. It entailed months and months of organising transport, paperwork, vaccinations, customs clearance, crate training etc. It was probably the most stressful part of my relocation. However Hero was a real trooper and did not seem one bit fazed when I picked him up and released him from his crate almost 13hrs later in JFK cargo terminal. Apart from the longest pee in history, he was totally relaxed and forgiving, much to my relief. The next part of his journey here was only beginning, he had a sister to meet and bond with.

    We decided it would be better to introduce them on neutral territory so they could get used to each other outside their new home in Florida. That went really well, so we had high hopes for the long road trip that lay ahead of us where they would be in close quarters for at least 17/18 hrs.

    They sat on opposite sides. They glared at each other. She showed teeth several times. He huffed and puffed. They snapped over snacks. They were hot and frustrated. Every little thing annoyed them. They sniffed each other and turned their noses away. At pit-stops they marked their territory, one would go first, then the other, then they would have to re-mark and re-mark. It will take time for them to find out who the boss is. But, as everyone keeps saying, they will figure it out.

    The dogs got along famously by the way!


    Today is World Turtle day so I feel I owe it to the #littlebollix to write some sort of post about him.

    Garman was my one worry about emigrating to America, who on earth would want #littlebollix? All I did was tell people about my angry turtle; he provided great writing material however.

    I wrote about him fighting with his brother Loch like a fecking Ninja. I wrote about him basking like a German on a sunbed at 6am in the morning, his voodoo flipper waving shit, his shell banging off the tank annoying the dog, his Rocky workouts, his hissing and spitting...

    He was a shithead, a dirty, rotten #littlebollix. Tank maintenance was never ending but he had the best of everything. His tank was huge and he had a summer pond too. I spent a fortune on him but I can't say he appreciated it as every time he swam by he glared at me or flipped the finger, he fucking did!

    Finding a home for him was a worry. I called so many pet shops and asked everyone I knew to take him in. "Maybe change your sales pitch" I was advised! Eventually I found a pet shop in Carlow that were only too happy to take him in, along with the tank. Carlow bound for the turtle, Florida for me, quite ironic! We drove down with him in a bucket of water, flapping and scratching and kicking to get out. Angry as hell. The shop was amazing, as were the staff. He joined a menagerie of terrapins, snakes, frogs, chameleons, iguanas, geckos etc.

    Finally a happy turtle. He never even looked back - #littlebollix

    Happy World Turtle day Garman. Miss you!!!

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