I got up early, had a shower, a slice of toast and went to town with my mum. I went for coffee with her and then wandered around. Ran into her later in H&M and she bought me an amazing grey jacket. This made me happy.
None of my friends were coming in I thought, but then I text Caroline and she was around until her French grinds at 2. So we went for coffee in Gusto. By ‘we went for coffee’ I mean she had a coffee and I sat there watching her learn her French vocab. I used to really love Gusto, but in recent weeks Cork Coffee Roasters has taken over. Nowhere can compare.
Caroline went off to French grinds so I went looking at grey jackets in various shops to make sure there wasn’t something better (and cheaper) out there. There wasn’t. Then Liam came in, and as I was going to meet him, Hannah came in, so we met him in Tesco and went for lunch in Tribes. I hadn’t been there in so long. Last time was the for the most recent Coolaboola meeting. It’s Coolaboola’s official meeting place y’see. I like Tribes. Despite the fact that it’s ridiculously expensive for what you get, it’s all cosy and warm and homely and comfortable, and you can just hide away from the world and never come out.
When we finished there Hannah and I went shopping with Liam. To Dunnes. Dunno if you call that shopping but whatever. Caroline came to meet us, and form there we headed to Penneys but it was way too busy so we left and went to Cork Coffee Roasters. This is becoming an increasingly common pattern in my life. We sat at that little counter for about 2 hours, probably more actually, only getting up to order coffee / use the facilities, although Hannah and Caroline did leave at one point to go to H&M and Liam went across the road for a few “messages” before we ordered.
Just as we were sitting down with our coffees we noticed a Garda walking up the street towards Centra. I have a bit of a thing for men in uniform so, naturally enough, I kept an eye on him. He went up to this group of teenage knackers who were congregated outside Centra. He took one of them aside, who had a can in his hand. We watched the boy’s heart break as he was made pour the can out on the street, and was then made hand over the other three cans in his pockets. And along comes this old hobo, and the Garda gives the hobo the three cans who proceeds to pocket them, and walk back the way he came, slowly but surely. Everyone in the coffee shop was watching this event and laughing; the guy who was working there even came down to the window for a gawk.
But it was just so nice in there. It’s such an amazing place. You go in there and it’s a different world. The best coffee ever, the friendliest staff, the cutest decor. The place is full of superlatives I tell you. We talked about everything and anything, whiling away the time as the rest of the world moved on outside, sometimes covered in a blanket of rain.
Eventually we managed to tear ourselves away from the place. A bit of a culture shock was in store for us because Caroline wanted a fecking footlong sub, so Liam and I waited downstairs for them, commenting on the dismal sight of the recently shut-down Romeos. That place was only open for about a week (slight exaggeration). We took a stroll to Tesco, passing the gangs hanging around outside, and bought some cheap-ass Coke and a big bag of McCoys salt & vinegar crisps. Savings galore we got.
Together we headed down Careys Lane to the bus stop, loaded with bottles and Coke and crisps and clothes and bags. That’s a really cute street / lane actually. It’s all narrow and pretty and historical and musical. What more could you want from a lane? We got onto a lovely double decker number 8, sitting in the ‘upper saloon’, always in the back of our minds that we may topple over at any second. Thankfully, to date, this has not happened.
We got off the bus at Bishopscourt Green and walked back, passed the
cop shop Garda station and up the hill to Niamh’s gaff. The rents are away in NY, so like any normal teenager, she decided to have a gathering, which obviously turned into more of a party than a gathering. You know when you put “Bring your own drink!” in the text it’s never going to be just a gathering.
So it all started off ok. There was a nice selection of crisps and chocolate and sweets, along with a few bottles of coke, just crying out to be mixed with vodka. Hannah, Liam and I were the only ones who had managed to get some “messages” so the others were waiting for those with the fake IDs to come along. They came along, and the rest, as they say, is history.
That is until some random guys who weren’t invited turned up and forced their way in through the back. Things got a bit noisy and messy, tensions were raised and a punch or two were thrown. The house was a wreck, random guys started fighting, but out came our tae-kwon-do heroes to save the day as people were ordered to leave.
But not before the neighbours came in. As I stood in the kitchen I suddenly noticed two people about 25 years older than everyone else in the house standing and staring at the utter mess of the place. Our black belt-ers forced more people out, and then the word spread that the Gardaí had been called. Fuck. Caoilfhionn and I sourced some refuse sacks and began clearing up every single bit of evidence. Two stuffed bags later the place looked alright, and we went making sure everyone who shouldn’t be there were gone. I went and checked on Niamh who was being looked after in the utility room / bathroom. More people came in saying “Oh it wasn’t my fault. I was only helping. Is everything ok?” “Yeah, everything’s great. Thanks for stopping a civil war from breaking out. You’re great. Can you leave now?”. We rescued the dog from some guys who came round the back, kicked the last few people out, and locked all the doors.
I still don’t know whether or not the Gardaí came, but if they did, they didn’t come inside. We profusely thanked the neighbours for coming in and assured them we’d be fine. Once the majority of people had left the rest of the portay-goers went into the living room and watched some ridiculously horrendous X-Factor Uncut type show. Or maybe it was Who Wants To Be A Millionaire actually. Yeah, I remember a question about Blakjack and Blackball, or something to that effect. Instead I decided to go get the hoover out and clean the gaff. I do remember Liam being out with a spray-bottle of Dettol at one stage too to be fair.
After the place was all clean we went into the living room and sat down, analysing the night that had been. All us ‘girls’ were there, and randomly, in the middle of us all, who else but Liam. Sitting there on the couch with a blanket over his legs and the dog on his lap. That boy…I swear to God. But in the good way :). I made some tea. Then Ashling put on pizza and chips. And we crowded around the kitchen table tucking into the Tesco Value tomato and cheese pizzas and oven chips.
This is the stuff dreams are made of.