Empty Nest (round two)


It was early May. The weather was lovely, and I was looking forward to a relaxing summer in the garden, dining Al fresco at our new patio set;Jimmy barbecuing a few steaks while I tossed a nice salad and poured us both  a cool beer. We were going to enjoy balmy nights on our loungers,listening to music, chatting, drinking wine and worrying about no one but ourselves.  It was the first time we’d lived alone since we were first married; before the twins were born.

Whitney was in Australia with her waste of a space boyfriend, on a two year working visa.  Jason was working in the building trade (just like his da) in Canada,Rick had moved to Galway with his new job and was sharing a house with a few lads from work. Kylie, pissed off with her job at the beauty salon, handed in her notice and fecked off to Ibiza, to do God knows what, and Koko  was back packing around Europe with her pals before starting college in September.

Everyone had warned us of empty nest syndrome, said we’d be so lonely and wouldn’t know what to do with ourselves. My arse! I’ve been here before, and they all came back like bleedin’ boomerangs, so this time we were going to make the most of it.We were going to love every minute of it…and when I say minute…

We’d just got back from the airport after dropping Koko at the departures.

Will I carry you over the threshold Bernie?

Feck off, Jimmy, we’re not newly weds, and anyway you have a bad back.

You’re right, Bernie, and you’re not as slim as you were back then. Better not risk it.

Are you saying I’m fat?

I wouldn’t dare.

Whatever…right, I’m just going to take off these jeans and put me shorts on while you fire up the barbie and pop that box of beer into the fridge.

This reminds me of when we really were newlyweds, Bernie.

Aww, does it?

Yeah, you stripping off the minute we got home and then telling me what to do.

Jimmy Violet! You’re a dirty git. 

Get away out of that, you love it.

Go on, I’ll let you rub some factor fuck all into me back if you’re good.

I’ll be up in a minute so, and I promise, I’ll be very good.

You’re incorrigible, Jimmy Violet. Ah for gods sake, is that my phone ringing?  I hope it’s not me ma. I’ll never get out to the sun at this rate.



Hiya ma.

Whitney love, I wasn’t expecting to hear from you today. I thought you were Facetiming me on Sunday?

I couldn’t wait until Sunday ma.

Why? Is everything ok?

I have some news.

Good or bad?


Go on…

I lost me job.

Again? That’s the third one since you got there.

But the good news is, I’m coming home.

What? Why? Seriously?

Don’t sound too excited ma.

But I thought you loved Australia. 

Not anymore ma.


It’s a long story, but can we stay until I get meself sorted?

I don’t think your da would be too happy to have Gary Boylan living under his roof.

Gary isn’t coming with me ma.

But you said ‘we’, Whitney.

I’m pregnant ma.

Holy mother of divine. What do you mean pregnant?

Pregnant, it means having a baby.

I know what pregnant means.


Aren’t you going to congratulate me?

I’m still trying to get my head around it. How the hell did you manage to get pregnant?

The usual way ma.

Don’t be cheeky miss.

Well, you did ask.

For gods sake, WhitneyI meant , with all the protection available in this day and age, how did you get caught?

Get caught? Jaysis ma, it’s not the nineteen fifties.

All the more reason for you not to be getting pregnant at your age.

I’m twenty three ma.

You’ve your whole life ahead of you Whitney. You said you were going to travel the world before settling down.

I’m in Australia ma. how far around the world do you want me to go? And who said anything about settling down?

Well what else would you be doing with a new baby?

Living my life ma, not worrying about a mortgage and life insurance.

A baby is a big responsibility, Whitney, and you will have to worry about getting somewhere to live…and life insurance. How far gone are you?

Four months.

FOUR MONTHS? And you’re only telling me now.

I kept putting it off, ’cause I knew you’d be disappointed, and I know you don’t like Gary.

I’m not disappointed, and who said I don’t like Gary?

You did. I heard you telling da that Gary was a sleeveen.

If you love him, it doesn’t matter what I think. Is he going to stay in his mas gaff until you get your own place?

He’s not coming home, he’s staying in Australia.

That fucking sleeveen gets you pregnant, and now he’s letting you come home on your own?

He’s not ‘letting’ me ma. It’s my decision.

The little bastard. Your da will batter him.

I already did that ma.

What do you mean?

Well, that’s how I lost me job.

I’m not with you.

I came home early because of morning sickness, and I caught him in bed with me boss.

She’s in bed with your fella, and she fires you?

Well, I didn’t get fired exactly.

What ‘exactly’ happened?

I dragged her fat arse out of my bed and threw her out into the garden in her nip.

You could have done yourself and the baby an injury.

She had the cheek to threaten me with the sack, so I told her to stick her job up her hole.

And what about him?

I haven’t seen him since I gave him a few wallops and threw him out after her. He’s not speaking to me.

He’s not speaking to you? The bloody cheek of him. 

I know. I even threw out the clothes they’d left on the floor, so it’s not as if they were naked for long.

That was nice of you. So why is he annoyed with you? The little gurrier.

I put all of his stuff in bags out on the pavement when they left.

You’re too soft for your own good, Whitney. I’ve always said it. I wouldn’t have wasted the bin bags on him.

Well, the garbage men were calling that morning soooo…

Good girl yourself.

I also gave the keys of the apartment back to the landlord, and because I didn’t give notice, he only gave back half of the deposit. So, I used it to buy a ticket home.

 I suppose he’s moved in with the dirty hussy.

I doubt it.


I don’t think her husband would be too pleased, that’s if he doesn’t kick her out.

She has a husband?Does he know about his cheating bitch of a wife?

He does now.

Talk about Hell hath no fury.

So, you’re not mad  with me anymore?

I wouldn’t go that far, Whit.

But I can come home?

Of course you can love. You don’t have to ask. This will always be your home.

What about da? 

Ah he can stay as well.

Do you think he’ll do his nut when he hears?

I’m sure he will, but he’ll get over it.

Grand, will you ask him to pick me up from the airport?

When are you arriving?

Half an hour ago.

Are you serious? We’ve just come there after  dropping Koko off.

Nice one, so I’ve the bedroom to meself then.


Empty nest my arse!


I’m coming love. I’m coming.

I don’t think so granddad.





  • What were you doing in my knicker drawer by the way?
  • What?
  • You said you saw my Bisto tin in my knicker drawer.
  • I was packing a bag for you.
  • Because you found my running away money?
  • No, because you were in hospital having the twins and you asked me to bring in more underwear.
  • Oh right.
  • Why do you think I was in your knicker drawer?
  • I don’t know.
  • Are you trying to insinuate something Bernie?
  • Calm down Jimmy, I know you’re not a cross dresser, and if you were, sure my knickers wouldn’t fit you.
  •  Not the ones you wore back then Bernie, they wouldn’t have fit the Michelin man.
  • Fuck off, you’ve some cheek. I’d just carried two of your children for eight and a half months, I was hardly going to be wearing lacy thongs.
  • I was only joking Bernie, stop being so sensitive.
  • You weren’t joking, you were saying I was fat.
  • I just said your knickers were a bit on the big side.
  • Well so were your jox. At least I had a reason for being fat. I was pregnant; what was your excuse?
  • Ah you’re getting personal now Bernie.
  • It hurts doesn’t it Jimmy?

That’ll teach him…cheeky bastard





In-laws ( Lily of the valley)#AprilAtoZ


When you’re young and in love you don’t realise that when you get married, you’re not only marrying him; you’re basically marrying his whole family. If I knew then what I know now, would I still have married him? Probably, but I would definitely have gone ahead with emigrating to Australia, which is what we had talked about. We’d even filled out the application forms and enquired about Visas. However, Jimmy’s ma had other ideas. My pal Julie is married to Jimmy’s brother Ray. She was there when Jimmy told his ma our plans.

  • Australia? What do you want to go to Australia for? Your family is all here James.
  • Yeah but with this recession, there’s feck all work ma. Bernie’s brother is working for a big construction company, he said they’re always looking for workers. He can get me a job as soon as we arrive.
  • Oh, I should have known SHE’D have something to do with this.
  • SHE has a name ma, and we’re getting married so yes she does have something to do with it.
  • I don’t know why you’re rushing into this marriage, you only know each other five minutes.
  • Because we love each other ma, and it’s six months, not five minutes.
  • That one seems desperate to get a ring on your finger; are you sure she’s not pregnant?
  • I proposed to Bernie ma, and no she’s not pregnant.
  • I wouldn’t put it past her to try and trap you into marriage.
  • Ma, what do you have against Bernie?
  • Apart from her trying to take my son to the other side of the world you mean?
  • I keep telling you ma, it’s a joint decision, Bernie is not trying to make me do anything.
  • Well, what about that job with Anthony? I thought you were going to take that?
  • I am going to take it, but it’s only temporary; I’m still applying for Australia.
  • What about me and your da? We’re getting on in years now son. If you emigrate, we might never see you again.
  • Ma, you’re only in your fifties, and you can fly from Australia in twenty four hours. Of course you’ll see me again.
  • Well, with my bad heart, you just never know.
  • Look ma, we’re not going immediately, so stop fretting, and there’s nothing wrong with your heart.

Jimmy’s  da had a massive heart attack six months later and died at the age of fifty five. Lily of the valley, the aul witch is still alive and kicking, and I sometimes wonder if she even has a heart. As for emigrating, it never happened, and even if it did, I don’t think  Australia would have been far enough away from his ma. 🙄

Gymslip mammy


Me pal Rita called round for a cuppa this morning. She always has the gossip

  • Howya Bernie
  • Howya Rita, any news?
  • Did you hear Vera Moran’s young one is pregnant?
  • Louise? Again? Jaysis she only had twins last year
  • No, the younger one, Laura
  • Ah stop, you’re messin’
  • I’m not
  • But she’s only a child herself Rita
  • She’s nearly fifteen
  • Oh my God, Vera was only telling me about her studying for her exams in June
  • Well looks like it’s not only her books she was studying Bern
  • Remember when we were her age? We were still in knee socks
  • … and playing with dolls
  • Ah I wouldn’t go that far, sure I met my Mick when I was only fifteen
  • You were an early starter Rita
  • Are you saying I was easy Bernie Rose Violet?
  • I never said that, will ye feck off being so bleedin’ sensitive
  • Well feck off insinuating then
  • So how far gone is she? Vera’s young one I mean
  • Seven months
  • Mother of Divine, how did she hide it for so long? When did Vera find out?
  • She hadn’t a clue. She only found out last weekend when she walked into her bedroom and the young one was examining her bump in the mirror
  • Sweet Jaysis, she must have nearly died
  • Ye, she pulled her top down real quick when her ma walked in
  • I mean Vera must have nearly died
  • Ah yeah, can you imagine the shock of it
  • Her baby having a baby…jaysis I’d die, she’s younger than my Whitney
  • And a quiet young one too, not wild like some of them
  • I know, a lovely kid she is, and Vera was always strict with her
  • Well, she kept her on a tight leash after Louise got pregnant
  • Not tight enough obviously Rita
  • Or too tight even. Sure the poor young one couldn’t go as far as the corner shop without Vera ringing her
  • I don’t know how she got pregnant
  • Will I draw you a diagram?
  • Ha, feck off. You know what I mean Bernie. I wonder how she got away from Vera for long enough
  • That’s true Rita, so who’s the father, do you know?
  • She won’t say. Brian is going mental. He said he’s going to chop the mickey off whoever it is
  • Jaysis, no wonder she wont tell.
  • I know, that Brian fella has an awful temper on him
  • Well, all I can say is … God help the poor young fella whoever he is
  • Rumour has it that it’s Charlie O’Malley’s young fella
  • Are ye serious? That little fart in the can
  • Charlie was always a little scut, his son is the same, always in trouble.
  • How in the name of God did a lovely young one like Laura get mixed up with him?
  • Well Charlie and Brian are mates since way back. The kids must have met at some family thing
  • I can’t see them being mates after this
  • Brian is a bit of a mad scone, he’ll do time for this Bernie, you mark my words
  • He is a law unto himself, Lord only knows what he’ll do
  • He’ll bate lumps ou’ve the pair of them
  • Poor Vera, she’s an awful lot to put up with
  • She’s heartbroken God love her
  • Sure isn’t it happening to young ones everyday Rita
  • It is Bernie. Babbies having babbies
  • I know, and in this day and age, there’s no need for it
  • Have they never heard of contraception?
  • Have they never heard of keeping their knickers on Rita?

Kids! You’re never done worrying about them are you?



What is it about tea that Irish people think it solves all problems?

I’m pregnant…have a cup of tea

I crashed the car…you need a nice strong cup of tea for your nerves

My fella broke up with me…he didn’t deserve you love, sit down and I’ll make you a cup of tea, you can tell me all about it

Me granny died…Lord rest her, I’ll make a pot of tea

Jimmy came home one evening in a rotten mood

  • What’s wrong with you?
  • Nothing
  • There must be something wrong Jimmy, you’re like a demon
  • I am not
  • You are so
  • I might be out of a job
  • What? How?
  • It’s this bleedin’ recession Bernie. There’s no work
  • I thought you were up to your eyes building houses
  • We were
  • So what happened?
  • No one is buying houses anymore
  • Of course they are
  • Well they want to buy them but the bank isn’t lending them money so they can’t
  • Fucking bankers
  • My sentiments exactly Bernie
  • So when are you finished work?
  • We’ve a meeting with the union on Monday
  • So it’s not definite?
  • Nothing is definite, but it’s looking bad
  • That’s shocking Jimmy
  • I know. I’ve been working with them for the past twenty five years. What am I going to do?
  • I’ll put the kettle on
  • What?
  • I’ll make you a nice cup of tea
  • Fuck tea. I’m going for a pint
  • Right so
  • Are you coming?
  • Are you not meeting the lads?
  • I am, but you come too
  • Ah no, you go on
  • Right so. I won’t be long
  • Take your time Jimmy
  • See you later Bernie

Some problems need tea, but some problems definitely need a pint