My husband James and our friend Paul are on the final stretch of their epic fundraiser cycle for Bob's autism unit. This afternoon they will coast into the most northerly point in Ireland at Malin Head, after leaving the most southerly point in Mizen Head six days ago.
Hope their brakes work.
The imprint of a saddle will be permanently tattooed on their backsides, for anyone brave enough to take a peek.
(the boys with their two favourite cheerleaders Katy and Breda)
While the boys were toiling in the mountains, I was doing a bit of cliff-hanging myself, as I got a (blessedly) brief taste of what single parenthood is like.
I'd love to do a schmaltzy post about missing James, but I'm a grounded kinda gal. It goes without saying that I miss him, but I also know that it's only for a week.
I've spent longer in hospital.
The single biggest change for me was making decisions without consulting anyone.
I didn't do anything major like buy a yacht or sell one of the children (or at least that's what I'm telling James), but it was the hundreds of mundane things that couldn't be left to anyone else.
There was no-one else to bounce ideas off ..."should I argue with my teenage son or just let it go?", "will I wash the floors now or wait til the kids go to bed?", "fish or chicken for dinner?".
But 24/7, that kind of mental responsibility gets very weighty.
I knew I could handle the kids/cooking/cleaning etc. etc., but the constant rehearsals in my head of what needed to be done next was hard to switch off when bedtime came.
On the flip side, I'm secretly quite pleased with how super-organised I can be, if not a tad concerned about the obsessive relish with which I stream-lined the notice board and rotated the towels in the hot-press (aka the airing cupboard, for anyone who can't speak Irish).
I practically used a ruler.
To hell with religion, alphabetised bills is where inner peace is at.
So I would like to make a bow to single parents, who have to organise having a shower with military precision, and can leave nothing to chance... because if things fall apart you're the only one trying to fix your life with glue and sticky tape.