There is a man…and then there is a drill

Hand drill

Yesterday my boyfriend bought a drill. He wanted to get into the DIY spirit of things and offered to use his new toy to put up my blind for the impending renters. As we met for a post-work drink he pointed at his purchase nestled in the bag. It was housed neatly in an army green box that wouldn’t break if dropped from the Empire State building. This drill was obviously hardcore.

After I did the appropriate amount of oohing and aahing I let the drill talk slide and got onto other things. But as the drinks and the sun went down, the word’ drill’ or ‘drilling’ was mentioned a number of times with the type of vigour normally reserved for someone after a snort of cocaine or psyching up for a marathon. He was clearly excited.

When we got home the drill was unveiled. A massive thing with not one…wait for it…but two chargers. After jumping around with the instructions he plugged the battery in and then watched it. As I made dinner and occasionally glanced at the TV, his attention was on the plug point and the blinking yellow light. Unable to sit still he went into the bedroom  to investigate the blind situation. I heard mutterings from the other room, mufflings of discontent.

“You’ll need to get it cut to size. That’ll need a saw.”

This line was delivered with disappointment, the tone of a man denied. He slumped back to the couch again.

Dinner came and went. I was satisfied and he was angtsy. With “it must be charged by now” he sprung up, inserted the battery into the drill and pressed. ‘Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz’ cut through the flat. ‘Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz’. As he tried different variations my teeth started to rattle, vibrate in my head as if loose. Over the z’s I asked him to stop. With a frown he looked around. He wanted to drill and was going to find something that required holes, whether I liked it or not. He surveyed and frowned again. Then there was a shout, a eureka moment that required a carton lightbulb to hover above his head.

“I know I’ll get the screwdriver bits out.”

drill bits

Apparently this machine could not only drill, but also screw. All the bits came out. A hexagon of metal parts that could be used as torture devices if required. They were lined up like little families from big to small; little twisty metal families. After picking one he jumped up, higher and faster than I ever seen him go. He disappeared into the bedroom and went ‘Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz’. After a few minutes he reappeared, the ends of the previous blind that were attached to the window frame cupped in his hand.

“Boom, this thing is amazing. That only took a few seconds.”

“That’s great!”

“Yeah, it is. I’ll be drilling all over the place.”

“You’re loving this thing.”

“You bet I am!”

I laughed and turned back to the TV trying to figure out what Michel Roux Jr. was doing with a rabbit and some prunes. Then something caught my eye. Clutching the drill he was posing, the drill pointed out in the stance of Bond holding a gun. I started to laugh and the poses got more exaggerated, an comical assassin seeking out targets for his new drill. He pouted and strutted, the drill now an extension of him. Minutes passed and he was still at it.

“Sit down will you.”


With a clunk the drill was plonked on the table and he slumped onto the couch like a scolded child. On the screen the rabbit was now a cellophane turd that nobody should want to eat.

“Ugh that looks disgusting. Who would want to eat prunes anyway?”

My question went unanswered, the cogs turning in his head. Then he turned and looked at me, his ear boring into my cheek. I looke around with a ‘what is it?’ look on my face.

“Now” he said “about that saw…”

The ranter went relentless and it wasn’t pretty

This weekend I was coined as relentless. I nagged and didn’t seem able to stop while being unaware I was doing it. This was not good. It didn’t help that I was irritated and had a lot on my plate but – relentless –  is not a word I want to be alongside, never mind crawl all over. On consulting with my good friend I found out its many meanings and started to feel worse.




that does not relent; unyieldingly severe, strict, or harsh; unrelenting: a relentless enemy.

1585–95; relent + -less

rigid, unbending, obdurate, adamant, unyielding. See inflexible.


So not only am I unrelenting, strict and harsh, but according to its antonym I am unmerciful. I have subjected my boyfriend to a day and a half of pecking like a dominant bird in a nest that doesn’t want its sibling to live so it will get more food. It was a revelation to me. I started this blog because I like to rant about things that matter, silly things I notice and people or events in everyday life that are just irritating. But I never wanted to become a nag. A relentless nag at that.

Bird pecking

So at what point does ranting become henpecking? How do you know where the line is and how not to know to cross it? I just thought I was giving out a little bit at the weekend. Perhaps giving out a little bit too much ‘I know more than you’ advice. But when I sat back and thought about it he was right. I was being relentless. It was as if all the things that irked me slightly all came to the forefront like a mob being let through the doors to buy a new iPhone. The clambered over each other and wouldn’t relent until I expelled them from my rapidly moving mouth and eye rolls.

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It’s a Numbers Game (part 3) the arrogant one

Heart and paint

This is the third installment of a piece I wrote about online dating when I was single and neck deep in the process. On re-reading I realise what a depressing experience it was for me. Last time it was the nervous one. Others who love the process may disagree (either way please feel free to share!)

We met during the day at the National Gallery. Cold and wet he was late. I wasn’t sure how long to wait, wondered where the scales tipped from patient to desperate. In my head I heard the music of Countdown, letters and numbers clambering over each other to get in the right order. Then across the road I saw him, or at least a larger, balder version of him. He hesitated at the entrance as if temporarily paralysed. Then he spoke, in deep tones. He oozed charm and confidence, jokes flying left and right.

Unfortunately none of it was directed at me. It was all for the person on my left, a bewildered security guard alternating between nods and turns waiting for the bombardment to stop. Impatience growing I called his name. He went quiet and turned, looked put out by the interruption. A limp hand sat in mine.

I suggested something to eat. “Yes” came out, but everything else went the other way. As I lingered over sandwiches he waited by the till and stared down. People questioned him, asked if he was in the queue. He waved them past with a grimace. I plucked a sandwich from the row and walked down. At my arrival he uttered “there you are” as if I had been somewhere else entirely.

“Together or separate?”

Before I had a chance to answer he jumped in.

“Together of course” and handed over a twenty euro note.

He leaned over, his breath hot at my ear.

“I know what you artist types are like.”

It was said like a compliment, as if bestowing a gift of generosity. Every mouthful stuck to my tongue as he watched me eat.

The rooms went on forever. Sculptures and paintings registered but didn’t sink in, as if pleasure was impossible in his company. I’ve no idea why I stayed, curiousity or maybe masochism.

“Modern art, what a load of rubbish. It’s just lines and shapes as far as I can see. A child could do it.”

I tried to run, move faster through the rooms.

“Picasso, now there’s an artist.”

Triangles of eyes and limbs crept over one another.

“Really, you like Picasso then?”

He launched into a synopsis, descriptions of colour and technique that belonged in a book. Across the room I pointed to a painting.

“What about that one?”

“Awful, so simplistic and dull. The colours even, they are just bland, no life to them.”

I let him go on; adjectives rolled out and formed a noose. We moved in closer and his eyes fell on the placard. He spluttered and went rigid. I left him there, sauntered through the arch alone. It was a tiny triumph, but delicious. An old Picasso ripped apart by someone who claimed his genius.

I walked on and left him there staring.

Next & last is the drunken one…

It’s a Numbers Game (part 2) the nervous one…

Stethescope and heart

This is the next installment of a piece I wrote about online dating when I was single and neck deep in the process. On re-reading I realise what a depressing experience it was for me. The first was the creepy one! Others who love the process may disagree (either way please feel free to share!)

Then there was the nervous one. He had a pupil that strayed at his nose as if drawn by a magnet. It had a mind of its own, darted around while he talked. And talk he did, endlessly. All about his job, as an engineer for an architectural company named after a clutch of people. Acronyms and technical words spilled out as if he had swallowed a manual. At some point he noticed my attention wane. Caught out on a glance to the tables behind wondering what they were talking about. It had to be more interesting than this.

Then I heard it. Not quite able to believe what was said.

“I got the test results today, one year cancer free.”

So there I was; a recipient of great news on behalf of a stranger. Thrown by his candour and comfort around the ‘C’ word I stuttered “Congratulations”. I let him talk; exorcise his malignant woes unsure of what to say or do.

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To Bicker or Not to Bicker….

Bicker image

I never bought into bickering. Isn’t it just a cowardly way to argue? A tennis match of snipes and grumbles? I always thought a proper argument was the best way, a fulfilling venting of irks and dislikes. Now, I am converted. Arguing ends too quickly. Arguing is a quickie on a Sunday night when your working week is about to begin and you really just want to sleep. It’s a roar followed by a huffy conclusion that can only end in heavy silence. No, I have now decided that bickering is for me following my first real encounter with it this weekend.

The setting was Tesco, the trigger what to eat and the duration was up and down every aisle and back again.

Him: “What about some steak?”

Me: “Too meaty. I can make chicken kebabs with yoghurt and some cous cous if you like.”

Him: “I don’t like any of that”

Me: “You don’t like much do you? So bloody fussy.”

Him: “You’re fussier”

Me: “No I’m not. Name one thing I don’t like then? Because I can name about 20 of yours.”

You get the picture of how it began. We wandered through the supermarket pecking at each other like angry hens, while choosing the accompaniments to a roast after it had been agreed on with a snippy “Well you’re cooking it”, followed by my exasperated “Fine”.

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