Monthly Archives: January 2010

Snow Day!

The view from my window...sort of.

More like long snow weekend. Today didn’t feel like Friday, probably because yesterday felt like Monday. And yesterday felt like Monday because it was the first day back at school. Bloody wrecked, so I am.

But then, lo and behold, during Maths just before lunch, it’s announced we have Monday off due to adverse weather conditions. And then I come home, and on Facebook it’s all ‘Ahhh I love you Batt O’Keeffe’ and ‘Wooo! No skul til thurs!!!’ and such. I tried to avert my eyes from the ‘txtspk’ as the kids these days call it, and focus on the positives.

The main positive is, of course, what has turned out to be ‘a two-day week and a five-day weekend’. Zack Morris said that many, many years ago on Saved by the Bell, and it’s an ideal I never forget. Now it’s here. I vote we name it Zack Morris Week or something to that effect.

I know I live a little to the left, but still pretty cool..

Our driveway covered in, I dunno, two inches or so of ice, which means the cars have been left at the bottom of the driveway. No longer can we just pop out to the car with minimum exposure to the cold, but instead you get your daily exercise getting to the car in the morning. Win win situation! Apart from the danger of walking down, the state of the driveway, the wrecked grass, the fact that it’s annoying, blah blah…

I’m still trying to get it into my head that tomorrow’s Saturday. The lovely Maths Enrichment classes in UCC are starting again tomorrow, joy of joys. I sat through weeks and weeks of impossibly hard Maths last year, and I return again for more educational Saturday mornings. Hannah, you are just too cool dragging us back there. Looking on the bright side, as I seem to have done a lot in this ridiculously boring post, is that I get to check out UCC’s newest building, the Western Gateway Building. Accentuate the positive…

I’ve started watching Friends again on YouTube, just in the correct order. Currently working my way through Season 2, and my, what a show. You’d kind of forget about it. I think Chandler’s my favourite, but I like Joey too, and Ross. And all of them.It’s just one of those questions in life that’ll never have a definitive answer. More like a theory when you think about it…

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Music makes everything better

After getting my Provisional (Woo!), struggling to survive without my phone, revisiting the 90s and using a phone box, being hassled while having coffee, buying pizza and chips, getting lost while sourcing forks, walking up a steeep hill in the ice, we had quite a lovely band practice session.

Our drummer got a ‘Band Bible’ for Christmas that has songs in different genres and tells you what each instrument has to play and also has a CD so you can hear what you’re supposed to be like. We mastered the Indie Rock song quite successfully and had a most enjoyable jamming session. Caroline took some superb videos which are on our Youtube page and we had some savage pizza and laughs were aplenty!

I should go to bed. School on Thursday. Ugh.

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The Mighty Sales

January. It brings determination to lose that bit of weight you think you put on over Christmas, ridiculously cold weather, and the infamous ‘January sales’.

I hate sales. Rooting through all that crap thrown together. Jeans on the same rail as dresses for a night out; red shirts next to pink jumpers next to orange skirts; sizes 4, 6, 18 and 20. Although saying all this, I did manage to get one or two things in the sales. But sales are a mess in most places.

It’s an Irish thing though. As soon as Christmas is over everyone rushes out as early as possible the morning the sales begin to try and get the best bargain. As widely publicised in the media, some of the larger stores opened on Stephen’s Day this year in an effort to combat the recession. Looks like it worked. Wait, Celtic Tiger two-point-zero ain’t here yet, but alot of people went out hungover and bloated to fight through fellow shoppers.

I didn’t.

Admittedly though, that was because I was in the far boglands of Kerry and there ain’t no BT’s or Arnott’s around those parts. I don’t know would I have bothered if I was at home either though. I prefer to happen upon amazing bargains, because that happens so regularly.

I’ve also noticed sales on foodstuffs recently. By recently I mean today. A friend and I were feeling cold and hungry so we went to the hot food counter in Tesco. And there, before our eyes, were bags of 10 chicken nuggets reduced from €1.20 to 48c. We gave into our desires and bought them. They were small, hard and dry. It was after the first five that the terror of food poisoning set in. Let’s say we decided the bin looked hungry after that..

M&S had a ‘food sale’ too. I walk in,, take a look around, and there on the shelf are sweet, crumbly mince pies, left over after the festive season. Looking all lonely and forlorn with their yellow sticker stating they’ve been reduced from €2.59 to €1.50. How could I leave them there? I mean really, having to spend another night on the cold supermarket shelf. What did they ever do to deserve that huh?

They were good though, the one I had anyway. The five that are left are hidden behind the party finger food and under the naan bread in the freezer. If anyone dares touch them….

So the moral of my mind-blowing story is food sales can be good, just make you choose your reduced foodstuffs from a reputable source, and never buy on impulse. You’ll regret it.

Happy shopping folks! 😉

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2009: Month by Month in Photos

January - Dublin

In January, we took a little trip to Dublin, disguised as a visit to the Young Scientist in order to take a day of school too. That was a nice day.

February - Paris

February entailed a nice trip to Paris with school. I fell in love with a city and felt close to a certain person. It’s a beautiful place. Je l’adore.

March - Work Experience

March brought adventures into the world of work, with me spending a week hanging with the surfer/skater kids in Tubes, and then rubbing shoulders with the legal eagles in the courthouse. (Only pic taken from Google Images because I have feck all photos from March.)

April - Coolaboola gig

April brought with it the first Coolaboola gig of 2009 featuring Alterosa, Daithí Ó Drónaí and Spitvalve @ the Pavilion . April also had magazine awards in TCD, hiking through mountains to Kenmare, and the musical, Chicago, with yours truly as Miss Velma Kelly. [Pic – Brendan Canty]

May - Coolaboola gig #2

May saw us bringing Delorentos to Cyprus Avenue, supported by the mighty When Good Pets Go Bad and the Truffle Shuffles. May also entailed a few summer exams, and then the glorious holidays.

June - Cork Midsummer Festival

In June, I spent my days behind a sound deck with a theatre project called Out of Order, created and directed by my two favourite Belgians, as part of Cork Midsummer Festival. June led us down to Bandon also for BandonMusicFest where we saw the one, the only, MUNDY! I also got a job. Selling scratch cards on the street. Moving on… [Pic – Sinéad O’Brien]

July - Cannes

My favourite part of July was Kinsale Arts Week with all it entailed, but then the dream was shattered and two days after it finished I had to board a plane and fly off to the South of France with the rents and the brother. Death.

August - Surfing

There were a few nice trips to Garrettstown for surfing in August, along with a KAW reunion/party thing which was nice. And we got our new puppy Zico! ❤

September- Mooosak!

September brought us back to school. I started this blog, and my friends and I formed a band. Ha!

October - Coolaboola gig #3

October brought Daithí Ó Drónaí back to the Pav, supported by Fizzy Make Feel Good and guests from Argentina. October also witnessed many free gaffs, including my few days staying in my friend’s house with her while her parents were in Paris. And Halloween just squeezed it into October too. Not a bad month at all at all.. [Pic – Brendan Canty]

November - Cork floods

The rains came bigstyle in November, flooding everywhere from Inniscarra Dam to the city centre. Water was cut off to a large part of the city also. And there was one very memorable party…

December - Plugd Records

December was lovely and horrible all in one. It brought Christmas and my birthday and presents and Christmas Eve. But it also brought the news of Plugd’s closure, and the final shutting of its doors on the last day of the year. December saw the final time our Zico closed his eyes, icy roads, and the ringing in of a new year.

It’s been a good one. So long, 2009.

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Sometimes people just annoy you

I’m not just being mean. I’m not having a bad day. I’m not trying to find something to rant about. I’m not holding any grudges. There are just some people who I find it hard to like.

The worst thing is that don’t even know why. For some reason, I just don’t like them. Plain and simple. Which is absolutely fine if you see them once a year. That sounds suspiciously like I’m referring to family, but I’m not. I mean, if you can avoid the person, then it hardly matters if you find them grossly irritating. It’s when the person is someone you see regularly, someone who others like, someone who you have to live with, someone who may even be a friend. (If anyone reading this knows me, I am not referring to a particular person there, but just various general situations.)

It’s awful, really awful, if someone annoying comes along and ruins your day. You may not be able to complain to others, and there may not be any specific reason, and that’s the worst about it. If it’s someone who is blatantly annoying or even abusive, then it’s fine, because you have a reason. But if it’s just some person who grates on your nerves for absolutely no reason. It’s like nature just meant it to be. It’s as though you’re both the same end of a magnet, repelling each other.

I don’t know how else to put it. Is it just me being irritable? Maybe, when I think about it, there are reasons why certain people annoy me. No-one annoys me for absolutely no reason. But the aspects of a person’s personality that annoy me don’t annoy others. Is it because, as people, we like and dislike different things? Or is it because some people are far more tolerant than others?

Some situations tend to increase tensions, especially Christmas with family. There’s always some stress surrounding the whole dinner and celebrations and whatnot. And if you’re stuck with relatives for days on end, any one of them who annoys you is going to annoy you even more, for the simple reason that you just can’t escape.

It can also happen within a group of friends, where two friends don’t get along for no apparent reason. It might be quite obvious, or perhaps not noticed at all, even by the person who is the ‘irritant’ so to speak. Just the ‘victim’, the person who is annoyed beyond belief, but who can they go crying to?

That’s just life folks, and you gotta deal with it.


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A crappy end to a good year

Two thousand and nine. I liked it. It was all so, so good up until, I dunno, Stephen’s Day or something. Christmas Eve was the best, but I don’t want to say it started going downhill from Christmas Day. I guess the depression really sank in the day after Stephen’s Day. The mighty 27th of December.

The past few days were horrible. Really, really awful. Our 7 month old German Shepherd had been getting sick for a while and lost a huge amount of weight over Christmas. We had to ring the vet on his mobile and call him in to the surgery during his holidays to have our Zico looked at. He got a blood test on the 28th and we got the results on Tuesday evening. There was no definite illness, but our vet said it could be Addison’s disease, a very rare condition of the adrenal glands, whereby the body does not produce sufficient steroids. It is mostly found in middle-aged female dogs. JFK had it. I found all this information from the mighty Google, and it all looked quite positive, because with proper treatment there is no reason why an Addisonian cannot live a long, healthy life.

On the 30th, Zico was brought into the vet early in the morning. I was sitting in the car, and I watched him walk after my dad, so slowly. And he went in through those doors, and the staff came out and chatted to my dad for a bit. And I saw Richard, the vet, lift poor Zico up, so easily, as though he were a much smaller dog.

My dad came back to the car and told us that Richard wasn’t hopeful. Even in two short days he had seen a deterioration in his condition. They were going to do alot of tests on him, to get a definitive result on the Addison’s, and if that wasn’t it, try everything else. Leaving there, even though it wasn’t extremely hopeful, I knew he was in the best hands, and that there was nowhere else safer for our sick puppy to go.

We went for breakfast in town, as in the rents, my brother, and me. It was fine. I had toast with butter and cinnamon or some shit, and a glass of orange juice. I felt a bit wrecked because I had a cold and after breakfast I left the others and went to Plugd. Albert had a smile and a bitta banter for me, and Jim asked me did I want a tea or a coffee from next door. I was crying in there, mostly from the bitter wind outside and the fact that my eyes are incapable of staying dry in such conditions, but also because I was worried about the dog, and because it was the second last day of Plugd Records, and how Albert still seemed happy, and Jim personally offered me a coffee.

And then I went and got my photo taken for the provisional which turned out crap because I hadn’t had time for a shower and I had a cold. Town was eerily quiet, and I hated it. I waited at the car for over ten minutes as I almost froze to death before the parents came along. And I realised my passport was at home so I needn’t have bothered with the bloody photos.

And as soon as I got through the front door and into my bedroom I took off my coat, threw my bag on the floor and got into bed. I pulled the duvet over me, just wanting to hide from the world. Along with the cold I just felt miserable. I was so worried about the puppy too and I just hated it. I wanted it all to be ok again. I lay awake alot. I slept a little bit. After eight hours in bed, I finally got up at about eight pm. I went into the kitchen where my mum was clearing up. My dad had gone to drop my nana home. I poured a glass of water. I sat on the couch in the kitchen. My mum came over to ask me how I was.

I didn’t care. I asked her about Zico, and she was silent. ‘He died, didn’t he?’ I said to her. Again, she didn’t reply. Then, ‘The vet called. He had to put him down this evening.’ And that was it. Every feeling in my body disappeared. I didn’t care that I had a cold and a fever and a headache. I screamed. I cried. I shouted. I bawled and roared my head off. The tears streamed down my face and I wanted that dog back so, so bad. I couldn’t take it. I didn’t want to believe it. I wanted someone to blame. So I looked.

‘It wasn’t the Addison’s’, my mother said. ‘He developed pouches in his oesophagus so food was getting caught there and never reaching his stomach.’ I knew it wasn’t Addison’s. He was a young, male puppy. Addison’s wouldn’t have killed him anyway. I don’t know how long I moved from room to room screaming and crying. I felt like a part of me was gone. I felt so empty.

Two years ago, on my way into Maths Paper 2 of the mocks, I found my black Labrador dead on the road. Of course I cried, alot, but not as much as I did when I heard about Zico. The Labrador was almost six years old, so you’d think I’d have been more upset having grown more attached to her. That was true, but with Zico, it was this horrific sorrow of losing him. It was because he was so young, and was such an amazing dog. In his short four months with us, he became the most well-behaved dog we have ever seen. He was an absolutely gorgeous German Shepherd, my dad’s pride and joy. When the weather was still fine, we’d bring him to Kinsale and the waiter in the café fell in love with him. He’d always ask for him when we didn’t have him with us, and brought a dish of water for him when he was with us.

I hate thinking about how he suffered, not for long, but he suffered. And it’s awful to think of how I could have spent more time with him, but I didn’t. He was such a beautiful dog and I miss him. I miss him so much. I cry when I think about him and want him back. I want to walk down the road with him and I want to play with him and I want to hug him and I just want him to be sitting there when I go outside. But he won’t be. He’ll never be here again, but he will forever remain in our hearts.

RIP Zico.

Here’s a photo of him on one of his first days with us. More recent photos haven’t made it onto the laptop yet.

Our baby...

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