17 Mar 2006

Happy St Patrick’s Day!

Today started off a whole lot better than yesterday. I even had my breakfast brought up to me in bed. Today was a holiday so Gordon was at home; and he used his laptop for only about 30 minutes!!

There were loads of extra events at the local folk museum today to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. It’s a bit different to how I did things as a child. Then, Paddy’s day was a great excuse to break my lentern denial of sweets. We all pinned a bunch of shamrocks to our coat with a big golden harp thing, headed to Mass and sang the Hail Glorious St Patrick hymn, then we stuffed our faces with sweets before heading to Letterkenny in Donegal for a fairly rubbish parade. I don’t do the mass thing any more so the religious aspect of the day is lost to me. I can’t be doing with all that corny green beer either, not that I get much opportunity for sitting about in pubs anyway. But it’s a bit annoying how it’s almost seen as St bloody Guinness’s day now! The folk museum thing was nice though, and no matter what foot you kick with, you could enjoy it ;-)

But of course we’re not your average family. It was cold and windy (it wid’a foundered ye). The children went rushing off and started going into some of the little houses, looking at the open fires, running up the narrow staircases. Duncan really liked the room housing an old town library, especially the grandfather clock and the glass case full of stuffed birds. I suppose that kind of thing was cool 100 years ago. Some bright spark had decided to stick an ice-cream van in the middle of the town square. Did they not know we were coming? Do they not know how tricky it is to keep Duncan away from that kind of thing? And did they not think that it was a bit of wishful thinking to expect to sell much ice-cream on a cold March day in the top bit of Ireland?

True to form he made straight for the van, and I lead him away telling him I would buy some ‘floss’ (candyfloss, which they also sold) just before we went home. After that he was in and out of buildings, running to the van in between with me panting along behind him. Once I was a few seconds too slow and he was trying to climb up into the van. Lady was closer so she pulled him down and I heard her tell the woman there, ‘he’s got autism’ in her straightforward manner. Just before we left, we all had a ride on a trap pulled by 2 beautiful shire horses. They all loved this. Thomas and Gordon sat up front beside the driver, and Duncan squealed with pleasure and sang ‘horsy, horsy, don’t you stop’ twice!

One thing that went through my mind as I was watching him run around shouting and squealing with happiness, enjoying the feeling of the wind pushing him, I thought about how he would appear to others. The sound he was making sounded like ‘arghhh!’ but happy. I thought that though he sounds cute doing it now, if he’s making that kind of noise when he’s 10 it will look weird. Though why I thought about this I don’t know because I couldn’t actually give a flying duck what outsiders think.

He was fed up when we were leaving as he wanted more ‘floss’ and made a terrible racket in the car. It upset Gordon more than me. I think I’ve finally realised that it’s not worth getting upset because he always gets over it soon enough. One thing I will have to sort out though is a new seat belt system as he kept undoing his.

Our new desktop computer arrived from Dell; I ordered it at almost midnight on Tuesday and it was delivered yesterday. We bought the cheapest one they sell, £289, and Gordon and Lady went to PC World to buy a speaker system and internet connection. He loves it there (and hifi shops and stationary shops and electronic music shops). When they came home, he told me they’d had a great talk about progress. Hmm. She told us that she’s going to test Santa’s existence by asking him for the ASIMO robot Gordon showed her; she reckons if he’s real he’ll be able to get it, but if it’s just her parents, we’ll never be able to afford it.

I might ask him for a 5 day a week maid, just in case he’s real.

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