Some things really do stay the same … like our wet July and August for the last 3 years … and I bet the sun will shine on the day all the kids go back to school in September.
Humid and wet and grey … yum yum.
Took Coco for a walk and she loves being out … so that’s always cheering as I watch her run up and down looking like a drunk dog.
Festival is over for another year and well done to all the organisers and volunteers … mighty effort.
I was in Dublin on Sunday for the engagement party of 2 of my best friends … Shani and Mia.
An amazing time at the Odessa Club … caught up with people including Mia’s parents and god parents … and made some new friends.
Jaime … from the band Cuckoo Savantes … entertained us beautifully with some great songs.
I became a fan on their Facebook page as soon as I got home.
I know Jaime won’t mind me putting their profile page photo here.
I had a wonderful time chatting with Jaime and his partner Michael who runs a brilliant non profit for gay young people across Ireland.
And then there were the DJ’s … and all of us dancing like mad maggots … well me anyway.
Nice to be home so I can concentrate on tidying up the cottage as my dear friend Mary will be visiting next week from Oz … and she is uber tidy … and I’m … not.
Our public servants have been getting a bit of a bashing lately.
And you know what folks … it’s not the front line workers who are at fault … it’s all the senior managers and politicians who have huge expense accounts … and what looks like … little accountability.
Todays paper has information on government ministers and public sector CEO’s who ran up bills in the hundreds of thousands … on 1st class travel and hotels and drinks and taxis …
Here’s a little taste to set your heart racing:
- A former minister had a travel bill of 126,000 euro in 2 years – including 900 euro a night hotels … 7,591 on taxi airport pickups …
- former FAS director (for international readers … that’s the government department that helps the unemployed get training and jobs) swapped his 1st class air tickets (16 in 3 years) for 2 business class tickets so his wife could come with him
- ‘friends’ of ministers often get their travel expenses covered
- Mary Harney (Minister for Health) spent 190,000 euro on a trip to the USA last year … 11,000 euro on hotel bills … 11,000 euro on minibuses to move her 7 people group around … 410 dollars on a wash and blow dry
Seriously folks … no front line worker gets those perks ... it’s the boys (and girls) in suits at the top of the ladder … who abuse the system … and aren’t even particularly productive as a result.
I mention public servants because I’ve been going through the process of getting social welfare benefits as there is no work in my sector at the moment.
Here in Ballinamore we are very lucky to have good public servants who treat their public with respect … thanks to the Social Welfare inspector and the local Community Welfare Officer for all your assistance.
Thanks to the Revenue Commission staff who are sending me admin stuff so I can get the benefits.
I have had chats with the staff there over the years in Limerick and Sligo … and every single one has been helpful and thoughtful.
And … I hope the FAS office in Carrick is as helpful when I go in there to ask about some online training I’ve seen … may as well use the time to build my web design and computer skills.
I’ll also be checking out the customer service skills of the housing service in Leitrim County Council when I apply for rent allowance.
I’ll let you know how I go.
Hope your week is going well.
Here’s a photo of me at my 50th birthday dinner in Eden restaurant Dublin … with Billy, Mary, Shani and Mia. Best people … best restaurant.
p.s Oh yeh … one of the things I’m thinking of becoming in my 50’s is a civil ceremony celebrant … with a particular focus on providing ceremonies for gay couples.
By the end of the year there will be a civil partnerhsip act/law that will enable gay couples (and straight for that matter) to enter into civil partnerships.
Civil partnership will not provide all the same rights as Marriage … and this is decidely unfair to a whole group of our citizens.
I never wanted to get married or even be in a partnership … but I deeply believe that all citizens should have equal access to all civil liberties … including marriage … if they choose.
I started to do some research on what I needed to do to become a legal celebrant … and as usual … bless Ireland … it’s run by the beaurocrats … the HSE to be exact.
Currently if you are straight and want to have a civil partnership you go to a registrar in your County and go thru the paper trail and then a ceremony done by the Registrar.
You can’t have a ceremony in a field, park, lake, beach … I think all my siblings have had their wedding ceremonies in parks or on beaches in Australia.
You can have a ceremony in an enclosed public space such as a Hotel or Castle … but it has to be approved by the HSE.
And here’s the kicker … because it’s run by the Public Service (a wee oxymoron) … you can only have your ceremony from 9am to 5pm and not on a Saturday … not sure about Sunday.
Now – there are another group of official people called Solemnisers (only in Ireland would they call this kind of celebration – Solemn) that can perform civil ceremonies … and that’s what I hope to become … when I can find out how.
I’ll be calling our local registrar soon.
And to all my friends who are fighting for gay peoples rights to not only enter civil partnerships … but also marriage … keep up the good fight and damn the begrudgers.