Last night.

Claire Byrne Live on RTÉ One.

Singer Brian Kennedy (top) discusses the silent Christmas night had by many in Ireland involving turkey for one and – for whatever reason – no family involvement whatsoever.

How estranged are you, anyone?

52 thoughts on “Estranged Things

    1. Clampers Outside

      I hope you’ll accept a “merry Christmas” from a stranger then Tomm.

      Merry Christmas Tomm and may the new year take you to those with whom you feel you’re at your best,
      Clamps

      Reply
    2. Slightly Bemused

      Hi Tomm. A familiar tale in five words. As Clampers says, please accept my best wishes, both for Christmas and for the future.

      Can I give you some advice from experience? I cannot say it gets easier, but it is possible to make it harder on yourself. And also, not harder, if not exactly easier.
      I am not a believer, but I do go to the Christmas morning mass here, and meeting friends, even for that quick chat after always helps. Make sure that you meet someone that day that says hello, even if they do not know you. One year for me, it was the shop assistant at a petrol (well, gas station where I was) station which was the only place open that day. It helped.
      Find a local restaurant that does Christmas dinner – most hotels do – and go there rather than staying at home. Interaction, even or maybe especially with strangers, can really help.
      Hide the alcohol until at least well into the afternoon.
      Find the Christmas film that you always secretly wanted to cry to, and watch it, and cry if you want.
      Think of the good times you have had together. Those were real. Don’t let them become whips: remember them fondly.

      Above all, don’t be totally alone, even if the contact is only by Skype or similar. Or here. Maybe the ‘Sheet can do a ‘Hello It’s Christmas post, and if so, I will be here.

      Take care of you, let the world take care of itself for a few days.

      Reply
        1. Slightly Bemused

          Please do not think that!

          Responsibility for a relationship of any form is on both sides. It did not work out – but it is not your fault! You may have been a cause, but do not hold yourself responsible for the actions of another, however much you think they are justified.

          Be responsible for your own actions, but not for the responses of others. If you think your actions were unreasonable, learn from them. But the failure of any relationship takes exactly the same thing as the success: both sides.

          Reply
        2. Spaghetti Hoop

          Tomm, whether it’s a bereavement or end of a relationship, don’t despair. Lots of folk have experienced the very same and are out there to chat to and help others in the same boat. This is your first christmas in this new (possibly strange) chapter, so be good to yourself.

          Reply
  1. Spaghetti Hoop

    I wouldn’t say everyone spending the day alone is ‘estranged’ as such. If your life is full of noise, work, chatter and dashing around – then the 25th is a lovely day to relax and reflect, or catch up on your reading and hobbies. I particularly like trying out new recipes – especially cocktails – and a bit of arts and crafts. Abroad it’s no big deal as there’s lots open and loads of ‘ex-pats’ to hook up with – but nearly everything shuts down in Ireland. Thinking of finally doing the Forty Foot dip this year.

    Have a lovely Christmas Broadsheeters. Make it different every year. Get out and about and spread cheer and goodwill.

    Reply
    1. Ambivalent Gendered Brit

      Fair play Hoop same to you
      Circumstances around the estrangement are always unique
      Reading between the lines Brian has issues with being accepted for who he is

      Reply
    2. Slightly Bemused

      Thanks, ‘Hoop!

      Sometimes being alone is good. But being alone at the times everyone else is with family is harder, especially until you find your equilibrium.And your true friends.

      Never going to do the Forty Foot – holds no attraction. But I could sit looking out over the Cliffs of Moher for days, and not get bored. Point is taken, though – get out of your normal skin!

      Happy Christmas everyone. Never understood the ‘merry’ bit, as merry always seemed forced to me. Happy can be quietly contented, though, and that I prefer.

      Nollag Shona, either way :)

      Reply
  2. Janet, I ate my avatar

    my gaff in Paris used to be a bit of an open house for all the expaty wandering, made for really fun casual Christmases buffet style,
    actually stressed out this year as role of chief peace keeper , child minder and chef,
    I’d love to be on a sunny quiet island with a t-punch, bitta snorkeling and a good book…

    Reply
      1. Janet, I ate my avatar

        New year’s Eve definitely involves a locked door, heat on full blast,the faithful hound, hiking socks, shellfish platter, bubbly and a movie,
        any good movie recommendations, a feel good one ?
        a

        Reply
          1. Janet, I ate my avatar

            thanks clamps, my mind always goes blank when it comes to choosing movies, usually watch docs about experimental archeology, not really bring in the new year fare ;)

          2. Janet, I ate my avatar

            love a bit of Lucy, her history of the home one going through each rooms evolution was amazing

          3. Ambivalent Gendered Brit

            That was a lovely little subthread, thanks both,
            More of this please clampers and less of your reductive spats with Nigel thanks

          4. Ambivalent Gendered Brit

            Thanks clampers. I didn’t mean to be catty. I just feel there are some arguments not worth having. The other person , while I’m sure he doesn’t even realise this yet, isn’t in my view actually worth the attention lavished on him in this case. I hope you understand.

          5. Slightly Bemused

            If you have not seen it, I highly recommend Terry Pratchett’s HogFather. Seasonal, witty, with just that turn of extremely clever.

          6. Clampers Outside

            Nor I, I’ll look it up.

            I was thinking of that Kurt Russell Santa movie for Christmas day for myself, as I’ve not seen it yet.

        1. Ambivalent Gendered Brit

          Where I am it was lashing rain and then an actual thunderstorm all day.
          Didn’t feel like a holiday at all!
          Previously I once went away for Christmas we had Cmas dinner and then went for a dip in the pool. Later cocktails with sexagenarians up to god knows. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen people your grandparents age getting freaky.
          Your comment immediately brought to mind memories of dangerous liaisons in an old cafe by the train station in a small Southwestern ville. Allé!

          Reply
          1. Janet, I ate my avatar

            Haha, I once booked a month in a nudist swingers Villa in Corfu by mistake, I did NOT read the small print,
            so we get picked up at the airport, shown our room, all good so far, then knock on the door and the owner walks in mickey swinging to show us were the extra pillows were…you could have knocked himself out with a feather, I was in the dog house for most of that month, best tan I ever got though…

  3. Not Gerry Adams

    I have a “redpilled” son named Bodger whose mind was broken by Internet memes. Wonder what he’s doing now. Anyway, nobody misses him so maybe estrangement isn’t all bad.

    Reply
  4. Iwerzon

    Christmas? Lock the doors, play with toys, eat and watch films. I have a sign on the gate that says ‘Happy Xmas – Friends welcome — Family by appointment only’.

    Reply
  5. Ringsend Incinerator

    Fair dues Brian K. Tough time of the year.

    Peace and goodwill to all men and women or other or whatever you were gender-recognized at birth.

    Reply
  6. Paulus

    Well done to the lot of you – you’ve managed to cancel out most of the aggressive, macho, bile-spouting, opinionated crap that gets aired here regularly.
    May your potatoes always be floury; and may your hot-water bottle never burst in your beds.

    Reply
    1. Ambivalent Gendered Brit

      Agreed.

      Everyone take a bow.

      In fairness it only takes a few people like Slightly above to raise the bar for everyone.

      Reply
  7. Lilly

    Sad that Brian Kennedy wasn’t accepted by his family because he was gay. I doubt Bap had a problem with it though. Better to be by yourself at Christmas than spend it with people who won’t let you be yourself.

    Reply

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