Ann Allan: As Good As it Gets.


Summer is nearly over and Autumn is almost upon us. Time to have a look back at the last few months and what has been happening. For those of you who have followed my ‘journey’ to get my new teeth, The journey’s over. I’ve reached the end of the road and it’s been a long one. It hasn’t taken quite as long as it has for the Orangemen to get up the road but it has at times been just as frustrating. I now have a full set of knashers and I can assure you that it’s a peculiar feeling to go from no bottom teeth to a full set in a matter of minutes. But imagethey look great and I am growing in confidence everyday. It’s also very romantic as the hubby and I can now place our teeth side by side on the bathroom shelf. I had my treatment at Cranmore Dentistry on Windsor Avenue. The staff were excellent and on the one day that I had a wobbly David Nelson was there to reassure me and talk me through the procedures. All in all I was very brave.

Chatter is doing well. I have still got a faithful following. But the competition is growing and every other tweet contains a link to a blog. We are becoming a nation of bloggers exposing our souls, our inmost thoughts and fears to strangers who in most cases probably don’t give a damn. There is a danger I think that we can be tempted to unload too much personal information. Once it’s out there it can’t be taken back. I feel that there is a boundary that shouldn’t be crossed. I base that on my own experiences of confiding in someone re personal problems and then regretting it when the problem has been sorted. I’m not saying we bloggers shouldn’t be honest but there is a danger of going too far. On a positive note Chatter has been short listed onto the long list in the Blogs Awards Ireland. In the next two weeks it will be announced as to whether we have been short listed to the short list. Keep up. If this is as far as Chatter gets I am still very pleased and wish my fellow contestants all the best. ( Liar, liar, pants on fire)image
At the beginning of June I was looking forward to a long hot summer. Forecasts of heat waves were abundant. I treated myself to new clothes suitable for basking out n the patio, barefoot, cold drink in hand soaking up my daily dose of Vitamin D. Instead dull cloudy weather. It’s been such a cool summer that the wasps usually in abundance at this time of year seem to have hibernated already. So the new clothes still with their labels on will stay in the wardrobe until next year. I honestly don’t know why I buy new clothes. Getting up in the morning I go for the old, washed out top and jeans, thinking I’ll keep the new ones for a special occasion. The special occasion rarely arises and when it does I look in the wardrobe and can’t find anything to wear. The hubby on the other hand looks as if he dresses in the dark and now that I think of it, he does. The best clothes in the wardrobe are put on to cut the grass, walk round a wet muddy golf course and wash the car. No matching outfits with him. I am however delighted to say that as in other years, the bees have returned to the lavender plants and are extremely busy pollinating whatever they pollinate.
We’ve had the Nama scandal this year and allegations about the shenanigans of our glorious leaders. imageApparently window cleaners are being exposed to horrific scenes. This should be a warning to all those hot-blooded couples who want to have sex in the afternoon to remember to close the curtains otherwise there are going to be a lot of window cleaners suffering from PTSD. Will they be able to sue? Or just claim on insurance?
As well as The Nama scandal we’ve had crisis after crisis on the political scene. Welfare bills, alleged shady dealings from those up on the Hill and latterly the ten bob question as to  whether the Provos are back or did they ever go away?  What a place? Corruption and sleaze, in fighting, mistrust. All the makings of a political drama. But unfortunately it’s our government. A laughing-stock abroad. No one has the courage of their convictions to act in the interest of the country, apparently, the salary and the status being more important.

How to sort it out? The million dollar question. Dissolve the assembly and we leave a vacuum for those who wish to bring us back to violence? Keep it going, knowing the problems will not go away?  SF are always going to have a mandate so can’t be excluded and the other parties also have a core vote so it looks as if we are stuck with what we have got. So nout else to do but get on with it and make it work. Cause in reality nobody’s going anywhere.

Marriage guidance may be called for again to sort out the problems of those parties who can’t live in agreement. Time to look at the marriage vows. What happens to the children?    ( SDLP and Alliance being the bigger kids and NI21, TUV and Greens, the rug rats ) At the  time of writing UUP has decided there has always been three in this marriage and they have had enough. Besides, its one in the face for their former lover who they had a brief affair with in order to get two of their members elected to Westminister. This could turn out to be a clever move with the assets from the divorce settlement going to them in May. Time will tell.

One of our problems is that many of our younger population see the troubles as in the past. They didn’t live through bombs, murders and the terrible times we had in the 70 ‘s 80’s and 90’s . They didn’t experience what it was like to live with the thought that when you or your family went about their day-to-day lives, there was always the fear that they wouldn’t come back alive. They look back and are fed the propaganda that it was a glorious struggle for a United Ireland or a glorious struggle to protect the union. It wasn’t. It was a frightening time with the loss of over 3000 lives. Innocent communities and innocent victims. But when you haven’t experienced it it’s hard to relate to the fact that this was not a just war. So we are stuck with the situation. We are incapable of breaking the sectarian voting patterns that have been the root of all our problems. We are not mature enough to vote for the things that matter most and break the cycle. We need new faces we need new politics but above all we need to accept that this may be as good as it gets.


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