“NO WAY!” I shrieked. “Absolutely not!” I had walked into the lounge on Saturday afternoon, while my husband had been clearing out the spare room and my gaze fell on two ugly human-sized speakers, resting against the wall. “There isn’t room for them anywhere else,” my husband patiently explained, “and it will be nice to have music on in here.”
We had ended up with these humongous speakers because his best friend had gone off to India “just for a year” and it had been agreed that we would look after them. But since buying a house, I wanted things to look nice and cosy and devoid of eyesores. I communicated this point at a volume that even the gigantic speakers could not compete with and after a heated debate, they were banished to a different room.
Earlier that week, I had arranged to meet my brother and his sister-in-law at the park, as we have children the same age. My nephew is in the process of being potty trained and he was encouraged to spend a penny before we ventured to the swings and slides. In an effort to set an example to my own son, who just turned two and is still in nappies, we all gathered round to watch this momentous occasion. My nephew performed beautifully. His show-stopping wee was greeted with cheers all round and a prize of three juicy raisins.
I was called into the hospital the following day by my endocrinologist, because he wanted to check my visual fields. I never enjoy trips to the hospital, mainly because I develop a strange inferiority complex around doctors and tend to babble inanely. On occasion I’ve become so flustered that I’ve automatically said “Thank you, Father” upon leaving the room. Hopefully most think “She’s obviously Catholic” rather than “She’s clearly insane.”
The reason for my occasional trips to the endocrine department is that I was diagnosed with a benign tumour on my pituitary gland a few years ago, which among other complications can affect your peripheral vision if it continues to grow. I mention this because it’s thanks to Natural Fertility Awareness, specifically the Creighton Method, that I received an early diagnosis and prompt treatment. While my local GP dismissed my concerns, it was in fact my NFA instructor who after examining my monthly charts spotted that something was amiss and encouraged me to insist on a blood test. Thank God for her!
On the topic of childbearing, the tabloids are reporting that Prince Harry’s comments about limiting his family to two children for environmental reasons have caused a further rift between him and his brother. I can’t say I’m surprised: for parents who with larger families, what Harry said was a bit of a kick in the teeth. I used to like the cheeky prince, but since he tied the knot with Meghan he is boring me to tears because he seems to have adopted his wife’s woke opinions on everything. Also, if babies are so damaging to the environment, why have any at all? Why not just skip having kids all together? A well-worn phrase about cake springs to mind.
The change in Harry since he met Meghan reminds me of John Lennon after Yoko came along. Don’t get me wrong, Lennon was no saint before he met his second wife – but at least he had a sense of humour. Once Yoko arrived he started to write philosophical dirges like the song “God”.
Lennon’s worst song of all, in my view – “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” – features on the acclaimed album Abbey Road, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this week. (The Beeb reported how thousands turned up at Abbey Road to recreate the famous album cover.) This cleverly crafted album is let down by Lennon’s obsessive tribute to Yoko halfway through. He allegedly wanted it as the final song, but McCartney vetoed this idea and replaced it with something much better instead.
During Mass on Sunday, I resolved to try and listen closely to the Gospel, as my mind has a terrible habit of wandering off during the Liturgy of the Word. Where your treasure is, there your heart will be,” the priest read. I thought about what I valued. Trying to build a beautiful home is a high priority, and I was reminded that it was my husband who had used his Saturdays for the past year to graft and hammer and build, in order to renovate our ramshackle house into something homely and habitable.
When we returned home after Mass, I took a deep breath. “The speakers,” I sighed. “I don’t really mind if they live in the lounge.”
Madeleine Teahan is a freelance journalist