Episode 2-72 – Two for “The Potentials”, please. 

Traffic in Dublin: an opportunity to silently judge the taste of the Southside nobility. I’m currently just in view of St. Andrew’s College, acutely aware of both the ebbing supply of time I have; the critical condition of Sven’s bladder (I may have been over reaching in my beach ambitions) and the proliferation of freshly valeted SUVs steered by well groomed, perfectly made up, fortysomething blondes delivering their Mount Carmel bundles to schools assuring them of law degrees. I’ve seen one dad pushing a buggy – I guess the rest are at breakfast meetings – several Asian au pairs or nannies and a few Save-the-Planet types with their sprogs in those bizarre wheelbarrows attached to their bikes. Quite a few are depositing the double-barrelleds in triumvirates of Barbour jackets, Hunter wellies and J Brand jeans. Their highlights are identical; their expressions full of a smug emptiness.

Or is that me projecting my perception of these cleverly married women onto their microdermabrasioned faces? Am I the smug one? Look at me. I’m going it alone. You know nothing Jon Snow. I’m the Ygritte to their Cersei, or so I like to think from my own hard-strapped, am-I-working-or-middle class? vantage point.


It’s been a busy day. I’m tired, but good tired. My feet are cold though: they haven’t warmed up since I left the beach this morning after my yummy mummy voyeurism. My wellies are split and that very popular discount chain we all swear by, but ignore its manufacturing ethics, is out of stock. I happened to pop into one this afternoon. 

“What? Dotty? Shopping? But you said you hate shopping!”

God, I hate shopping. I had to go see about my new glasses which broke and, of course, the frames I chose were the last pair ever of a now discontinued line so I had to choose another pair and I’ll be waiting a week for them, after handing over another twenty quid for the pleasure. 

So, in two days, I’ve had two irritating instances with multinational high street brand retailers. I will remind you of the aforementioned smashed phone screen. Poor Jamie Dornan’s face was looking bruised and battered under all that splintered Pyrex. I went to visit the phone company’s nearby branch in the apparently recession proof, Ugg-trodden, faketan-stinking, “OMG”-echoing, large shopping centre after I had left my poor snapped frames in to the Glasses’ Salvagers (thankfully I was sixty kilometres away from Shouty Phone Company Woman – remember me nearly punching her in the larynx?). 

I’m due a phone upgrade next month, March 29th. It’s now February 24th. I’ve been a customer of this telecommunications company for… ten years? But no…

“No early upgrade. No can do. You need to be on contract for thirteen months before you’re upgrade eligible [upgrade; upcycle; upscale – they all got a bit overused didn’t they?].”

” I’ve been on contract for more than a hundred months. I can’t see Jamie’s jawline properly, do something!”

“But you haven’t been on this contract. You’ve only had this magical upgrade liberating contract for eleven months.”

“And I’m paying more for this contract than my last one. So I’ll have to put up with this for five weeks?”

 (I know, first world problem.) 

“Oh no, we won’t take that back. Look at the state of it! Sure you can’t see half of Jamie Dorn…”

 “I KNOW!”

 “You’ll have to claim on your insurance”.

 “So that’s a sixty five euro excess on a phone I’ll be giving you back in a month that you can fix for a fiver?” 

“No, no. The excess is one hundred and twenty five euro because you already claimed on this contract before.”

 “Yes, when my four month old phone randomly, through no fault of my own, stopped working and started overheating”.



 “Oh, well it’s either one two five now or four hundred when you’re upgrading because you smashed this one and we only take them back in perfect condition.” 

But at least I can now see Jamie’s… 

Part of my hectic day today – and yesterday was busy too – involved a hop and a skip down to my Psychic. I mean Psychiatrist, who clearly woke up and fancied herself a mid-morning snack of guilt trippingly good humble pie. She pretty much argued with me about ElsaDaughter: how much she knows; how will I react when she is no longer so close to me as she drifts away as all teenagers do from their parents; how she must be living on the edge of a cliff of fear thinking I’m going to top myself; how the new social worker (never heard her mentioned before…) can help with any forms or referrals; is ElsaDaughter being looked after? Does she have other people to talk to and support her? What would she say if she were here now? While you’re coping and doing well you might like to think about how it affects her. Don’t rely on her as your confidante. 

Eh, I don’t. 

She knew I was annoyed; defensive; riled; indignant. 

I spent three hours last night in my kitchen making that kid whoopie pies, for Christ’s sake! And dinner, I do feed her non sugar occasionally. Quiche. I bought her her favourite mozzarella, fresh basil and cherry tomatoes and a new water bottle out of my last tenner. I left her a cute little bilingual note on the chalkboard today. Granted, I also (accidentally) locked her out of the house for two hours today but in my defence, she had a lovely time at her mate’s… 

I’m a good mother. I’m a mother with crap mental health who is desperately trying to rebuild a future while remoulding the present. I do everything I can for her. Like other women suffering from depression, trauma, anxiety it can be hard work to make myself care enough about myself to wash, eat and not bleed but any drop of fuck-giving I have goes on her. I love that kid. So back off Doctor Bitch. 

Anyway. She could have ruined my getting-shit-done buzz. A few weeks ago she probably would have but I didn’t let her today. I walked home, head high, well till the sun got in my eyes, then I looked down a bit. I didn’t get to Playschool as my trip to Guiltsville ran over. But I enjoyed going yesterday although I did repeatedly nod off during session one with the spa music. I think my head’s bob-jerk motions were quite alarming to the other… what do I call us? Students? Patients? Clients? Inmates? Potentials? The Potentials. I like that. 

                      The Potentials:

        Only group crafts and candles can 

              save them from themselves. 

          Coming soon to a psychiatric 

                   hospital near you. 

Ah no, seriously. It’s much more than candle making and panpipes – there are yoga mats too. 

I shouldn’t make fun of it. It’s actually really helping. I missed the day hospital today and my buddies there. Tomorrow I’m going to make a special effort to be friendly to everyone and not be the narcoleptic in the corner. 


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