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Me.

Summer evening.

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Christmas, like.

Today, my dad came home with a bag of mince pies. One of my top five favourite things about Christmas is the good ol’ mince pie. They’re fantastic. Mince pies conjure up all sorts of festive memories. Subconsciously, dear mince pie, I judge and analyse you with each bite I take. I’m sorry. You’re all lovely, but some are a lot more lovely than others. The best mince pie has a suitably crumbly pastry, a good mince:pastry ratio and is served warm, with cream. Gimme a glass of mulled wine or some alcoholified coffee with it and that’ll be the cherry on the top of the cake. Not literally, of course. I hate those mince pies that, instead of a pastry cover, have icing. Person who came up with that? Yeah, you. What in God’s name were you thinking? What kind of sick person thinks that putting sugary white icing directly on top of mincemeat is a good plan? Because it’s not. So don’t do it.

Mince pies aren’t the only sign of Christmas around the gaff at the moment. There are pine needles all over the carpet, decorations that haven’t found their ideal home yet, stacks of empty decoration boxes in the utility room and not one, but two, Christmas trees. I told my parents that they’ve made it now. Two Christmas trees. That’s definitely a milestone in a person’s life. Can’t wait until the day I get to add that to my CV or Twitter bio or something. I mean, it doesn’t count unless you own the house because, for now, I’m just living off my parents so they get to take all the credit even if I decorated The Second Tree.

To be fair though, The Second Tree is only a baby one. It’s about my height, and I brought my mother to town yesterday to buy another set of lights for it and some new decorations. Like, I have to have a theme for a tree. I’m not into having kids’ decorations on my Christmas tree, and many a war has been had over the placement of my younger brother’s not-so-amazing art and craft on the tree. Fortunately he’s over that stage now, and instead the battle is to allow only red and gold decorations on the main tree. Boring, traditional, classy – whatever you want to call it – I like it. And not just because the vast majority of our decorations fall within that general colour scheme. So anyway, I went to Penney’s because who wants to spend their (or their parents’) money on baubles when it could be spent on whiskey.. Penney’s is class though. I picked out these fantastic brightly-coloured, almost to the point of gaudy, decorations. Which is really quite riveting when you think about it.

This year was the first in a while that I’ve fully been able to enjoy the whole build-up to Christmas thing. Every December from 1st to 6th year has been taken up with cramming for Christmas exams so, while I still managed to make time to decorate the tree every year, this year is the first that I can properly enjoy my handiwork and sit by the tree, wasting time on the Internet, listening to a record or six, reading, drinking tea, eating mince pies, whatever. It’s nice. It’s peaceful. The calm before the storm of the mad nights out that are hopefully yet to come.

So yeah, Christmas, you’re one of the better times of the year. Until it starts snowing and there’s slush and ice and no-one can go anywhere and we’re all left stranded in town at 4am because taxis are scared to come out. But yeah, apart from then, you’re class.

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A life update before we plunge into the good stuff once again.

Hi there friends and people I don’t know. Probably more people I don’t know than friends, actually. But that’s another story.

Last time I was here was August 17th, so I’m going to a nice, easy but relatively boring post in order to ease myself in gently to this blogging thing once again. I’m thinking list form, because there’s less of a chance for me to go off on a tangent and it might look friendlier to the eye for all you loyal readers.

1. Beginning where I left off, I drank a few glasses of whiskey and orange juice the morning of the results, and waited until I knew everyone would be gone from the school and went and collected my results. Neither precaution was really necessary though, because I got 590. And, if you’re like the vast majority of people to which I’ve told this news, you’ll want to know where those 10 points went; the answer being science fucked me over. A1s in everything, and then A2s in biology and chemistry, which I think is quite good for bullshitting my way through science.

2. I went to Electric Picnic. That was terrible amounts of fun. I probably didn’t see as much music as I had planned, but I don’t regret that for a second. Great craic, and a long list of memories that I’m not going to bore you with. Not that I want such stories to become common knowledge. What happens in Stradbally stays in Stradbally. Unless you’re one of those people who holds a grudge. In which case you shouldn’t be allowed go to Electric Picnic in the first place.

3. I started college. Law and French in the mighty as-featured-on-HIMYM UCC. It’s class. Law is interesting, and I like French, or at least the idea of one day being able to speak it fluently. (Or to fluently speak it. Do we have any opinions on split infinitives?) Aside rom the academic stress of starting my assignments 24 hours before they’re due, and struggling to attend lectures after a night out when sleeping is so much more attractive, I love college in general. UCC is lovely, and I’m glad I stayed in Cork, even if I would absolutely love to move out. I like how you’ll always see some friendly face around campus. I like how it’s different from school and so much more ‘me’. I like how my class are lovely and we’ve good craic together. I like arsing around campus even if I’ve a million other things to be doing. I like it in the evening when it’s dark but the illuminated Quad looks lovely and, at the moment anyway, the Christmas lights just make me smile. Oh, and it’s Ireland’s only five-star university, yo..

4. Following on from point three, I do a radio show on UCC radio every Friday, along with three others. It’s in Irish, which wasn’t exactly our plan but I’m glad, because it gives me the opportunity to use my Irish on a weekly basis, something I know would never have happened after I changed my CAO from Law and Irish to Law and French if it weren’t for the show. It’s very ‘organic’ as we like to say on a regular basis, in that it’s rarely well-planned, our Irish isn’t fantastic, I say ‘like’ about 100 times per show, and we’ve started depending on Youtube for music instead of iPods and CDs which isn’t the best idea. Like today we played some Christmas track but there was just random noise for the first 30 seconds while some stupid airport scene took place in the video. If this all sounds like your thing, UCC98.3fm (accessible through iTunes radio) every Friday from 2pm ’til 3pm.

5. I got a MacBook Pro, which pleases me very much. I’d had my good ol’ Sony Vaio for the past three years, and while it was still going strong-ish, I broke the screen by pushing on it too hard when angling it in order to watch Gossip Girl – or something equally embarrassing – in bed one night. So y’know, I told the parents how imperative a laptop was for college, especially in my course so I can save the environment and read various cases and reports on-screen as well as doing assignments and the like. And I told them there was no point in getting me anything other than a Mac because I just wouldn’t be happy. So they bought it for me as my Christmas/birthday present. Quite frankly, it’s the best Christmas/birthday present I ever got, and that ol’ education discount is nice too.

6. Oh I got my Christmas holidays today. We finished off with a charming French exam which we won’t talk about right now. (Ah to be fair I did pass.) Next week is technically study/review week but I doubt I’ll make it into college which leads nicely on to my next point…

7. …because I have tonsillitis! Only made it to two lectures this week as a result, although to be fair I did do a contract law assignment on Monday in between going to the doctor and taking antibiotics. So I finished the assignment half an hour before it was due, made my mum drive me to the print shop in the student centre but they told me they were “closed for printing” (’cause they do so much else) as there was a “big job” going through. Panic ensued, until I remembered this other place up on College Rd., ran there (first time running in UCC, awkward) and then continued my sprint to the law office and I made it, sans-bibliography, with five minutes to spare. Anyway, tonsillitis sucks. First time getting it so the doc wasn’t all ‘to hospital with you!’ but it’s still a terrible nuisance and my tonsils look disgusting and all I want to do is eat sorbet. Made orange sorbet myself one day during the week, squeezing about ten clementines and one large orange in order to get enough juice. The sorbet was amazingly good but it was gone all too soon. And so much for my dad’s promise of getting me more today.

8. I’d love an Irish coffee or a Bailey’s coffee right now. And some sorbet, of course. Slán.

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Since we last spoke..

I’m not going to apologise for talking about my life. It’s all I actually want to write about right now, and you’re here of your own free will so I’m allowed incessantly babble on about myself.

In my last post I think I talked about me feeling rather poorly and how I hoped to make it to The National in Dublin last Friday evening? Yeah well that didn’t happen. And to put it bluntly, it really, really sucks. Bigstyle. There’s not much I can do about it, I know, but it’s realising how close I actually came to seeing them live is what hurts so much.

I’m probably over-reacting. It’s just music, right? Not really though. To most people, Boxer is a couple of good songs by some indie band from Brooklyn. To me though, The National mean a hell of a lot more. Maybe one day I’ll go into it, but not now.

I remember first hearing the rumours that they were coming to Dublin. I was fucking ecstatic. Delirious. It was unbelievable. I was dancing around the house like a headless chicken while my parents looked on in amusement. They understood though. Highs followed lows as the shows sold out, as I managed to get tickets from a friend, as plans got messed up, as plans sorted themselves out, and then the final devastating low last Friday morning when I couldn’t get out of bed.

It didn’t really hit me then. At the time I just felt so shit the last thing I wanted to do was get on a bloody train and traipse around Dublin in the snow. I couldn’t have done it and I wouldn’t have enjoyed it one bit. Today though, on the way home, Bloodbuzz Ohio was mentioned on the radio and immediately I changed channel. For the first time in my life, I couldn’t listen to The National. I couldn’t sit there and let that recording play knowing that I so very nearly heard it live. That moment killed me.

Then I was decorating the Christmas tree earlier and I couldn’t even consider playing Alligator. It sat there in the pile of CDs, but I just couldn’t put it on. No Age, Holy Fuck and Abe Vigoda made up my decorating soundtrack. Not bad, but The National just shoulda been there..

I’ll see them some day, and I know it’ll be worth the wait.

In other news:

  • I had my Irish oral today. Got an A1 (fuckyeah)!
  • Two weeks yesterday ’til my birthday which is exciting!
  • Christmas exams start Thursday which is not exciting.
  • I have a dental appointment on Monday, which may sound like a mundane fact but it is actually a huge event in the life of a dentophobia sufferer.
  • I put up the Christmas tree this evening but plenty of decorating remains to be done.
  • I am going to go to the library tomorrow with Caroline to study for the day. It has been two weeks since I’ve opened a book at home due to my being sick. (Refer to point about Christmas exams)
  • I also hope to get a pair of shoes tomorrow. Grey or black pumps, but a decent pair.
  • I got a lovely, warm, black parka the other day.
  • I currently have a €50 note stuck inside one of my Uggs. I must purchase a harness for the dog tomorrow and I get to keep the change. The harness costs a tenner.
  • I’m tired and I should go to bed (wearing my new pyjama pants!) Good night.

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Open letter #?

Dear X,

Sometimes I regret it. I shouldn’t have used you like I did because it got all mixed up in my head. I wasn’t really using you, but it worked out in the end that I was because of the consequences.

If the aftermath had been different, then maybe it would have worked. I can’t say for sure. I wonder alot about the ‘what ifs’ and the coulds and might have beens.

I’m sorry if I hurt you, or just annoyed you, or made you hate me. Wait, no. That’s kind of selfish. If you hate me, then you’re entitled to do that. I can be a pretty mean person.

Aside from all of this, though, you made me realise some stuff. You don’t know this, but you did. And it more than likely isn’t something that you meant to do, but I know it’s something I had to learn at some point. So thanks. You were the catalyst. It’s something I knew I’d have to decide on sooner or later, and it just so happened that you were the one who cleared the fog from my vision.

I hate how it worked out. I don’t miss you, but I miss what I never got to know. Now I’m looking for another one of you, because I think I need someone like you. It was just bad timing. It always is though, isn’t it? You want what you can’t have, but then if you do get it you don’t want it, and then you lose it and you want it again. Maybe that law is just there so when you do get someone, and you’re happy and you never want to let go, that’s when you know it’s love? Not necessarily one’s soulmate, but someone you love. Wow I’m so weepy and emotional-sounding when I write it’s ridiculous.

Yeah that’s it.

Niamh.

(This is extremely over-exaggerated and I am now laughing.)

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Missing me?

I know I’m not around too often (read: at all) these days, but that’s because I’m busy over at another blog for Kinsale Arts Week..

If you miss my ramblings, my words and my photos, head to http://kinsaleartsweek.wordpress.com/

You’ll love it, I promise!

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We’ll start with last weekend..

Ok, I know I’m always making excuses, but I genuinely didn’t realise how lazy I’ve been with the blog recently. Not that I even need to make any excuses or anything because it’s my blog and I can do what I want with it. But I love ye all so I don’t want you to think don’t care. Anyway, moving on..

Last weekend provided alot of blog material. I should have written about it back when it happened, but I kinda didn’t feel like it. I don’t know did I actually ever mention it, but I was staying with a friend last weekend while her parents were away. So naturally we decided to avail of the fact there were no parents around and invited a few people over to help us consume the litres and litres of alcohol. After an extremely dramatic race in my tights, standing on street corners, and a couple of lies, we managed to get away with it, and Friday was really a rather civilised night. ‘Twas grand, nothing major, just a few friends spending the evening together. Oh how times were easy..

Nightlights for prettiness!

We sat inside, then outisde, and once dusk arrived, I insisted on the addition of nightlights to create some atmosphere. It worked, but then again, my suggestions always work.. 😛

And after all that, everyone else left, and we went to bed. Next morning, I arranged to meet Lorna and Brendan and Caroline in Fellini’s on Carey’s Lane. I’d always passed, looked in, and commented we should go there sometime, but never got around to it until Saturday. It’s a really lovely place with pretty décor and a little vintage shop section with all kinds of interesting things. And the produce ain’t half bad either! On Brendan’s recommendation I got the muffin and it was served warm with melted chocolate drizzled over it. Mmm..! So we sat there for ages and chatted about this and that and it was lovely. 🙂

Oh! Nearly forgot! Just before Hannah and I went to get the bus, I had to go get a rosette for my brother for his Confirmation. And on my way I passed a busker who was surrounded by young ‘wans’. And I recognised him. Last June when I was out selling scratchcards on the street, I stopped him and he bought one and we chatted for a bit about my scratchcard-selling and his busking. I never saw him again, until Saturday. Had I had the time, I’d have stopped and re-introduced myself but I was in a rush home for dinner. It made me smile alot though, because he was just one of those people who’ve stuck in my mind.. I’ll see him again, I’m sure..

That evening, it was Ian’s 18th. And not just any 18th either, this was a Pokemon-themed 18th. Yes, we are so cool. I went as Dawn. Don’t ask me who she is either; it was Google who chose my costume for me.

The famous 'Dawn'..

Not that I looked much like her, apart from wearing a black dress and having the same colour scheme going on. But at least I made an effort. And to be fair, it was an excellent party, and very well stocked. Plenty of drink (to my detriment) and food, and the lovely Jasper too! Perhaps I went a tad overboard with the alcohol, but I was very merry and happy so there was no need to stop. And it’s not like I was going home so I didn’t need to be stone cold sober leaving either.

Although, as the night went on, I got drunker, the house got messier, and stuff got more complicated. But I didn’t mind, because it meant I had an excuse to escape from it all and tell Ian’s parents and their friends my life story and every single problem I’ve ever had. They are the coolest people ever. There was drama, but Caroline and Ian and I went for a nice peaceful walk, but had to turn around abruptly as our lift had arrived. And then the birthday boy sprained my finger. Which was so very nice of him.

The car journey home was fun. And then I went to sleep. when I next opened my eyes, my finger was twice the size it should have been. Attractive..

Sunday can be summed up concisely in one word: Hangover.

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