Tag Archives: Christmas

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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The day after Stephen’s Day..

I hate it. It’s always the day we come home from Christmas in Tralee and it’s one of those awful days spent packing and travelling. It’s not like I was mad to stay in Tralee or anything. Aside from the fact that it isn’t the greatest of towns, I hate being away from home and not having your stuff with you. Stupidly enough, I left my ‘packing’ ti five minutes before we ran out the door, when I threw some random clothes and my straightener into a big H&M carrier bag. Yes I am very unprepared.

Even if you do have everything with you, you still have to go rooting through your bag to find whatever you want. And another thing about staying with someone else is that you don’t really have your own space. Whereas we slept in my aunt’s house, we spent the days and evenings in my grandmother’s house so it was a bit all over the place. And I didn’t have a bedroom in the gaff where we were most of the time. Fourteen people with only a kitchen, a living room and a dining room means it’s a bit of a tight squeeze when it comes to soap watching time.

Speaking of which, don’t you just want to shoot the television? I know I am probably one of very, very few teenagers who would agree with this statement, but I am not a television watcher. So having to sit down and watch hours upon hours of people with British accents fighting over the turkey is something I dread.

My dad tried to drive home yesterday to feed the dogs and hens and whatnot, but couldn’t get out of Killarney because the road was closed due to the TREACHEROUS conditions. See how even more dangerous they sound when capitalised? So he rang my cousin who said he’d go out once he’d dropped my other nana to A&E because she broke her wrist on the ice. Thanks Owen for doing all that. 🙂

One of the doggies is very sick. He’s the newest addition to the family and has been getting sick for a few weeks. We changed his diet, and that helped for a little while, but then he started getting sick again. So the we got drugs from the vet, but still no use. He’s gotten so thin now and is always really tired and we’re so worried about him. Vet tomorrow morning bright and early though, so fingers crossed.

Town tomorrow for a peep round the shops, a coffee and a chat. Home’s nice too.

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Written on 25/12/09 at c.13.00

We’re driving along, currently between Killarney and Farranfore. My dad has his left arm in a sling, and is driving the car with the other hand. I had a major crying jag earlier when we were about 10 minutes down the road because I thought I was going to die. Not that there’s still no chance of that happening. Still plenty of road to go and the like…

My aunt left half an hour before us in her front-wheel drive and we’ve just caught up to her in my dad’s automatic Merc. I wanted to turn around earlier so , so much. I  was terrified that we were going to crash. Our driveway was seriously bad and my dad thought we wouldn’t even make it out the gate. Then we had to go down to the neighbours so I slowly made it up the driveway with the biscuits and booze while my brother just went sliding down. Two wet feet later I was back in the car for another slide up the road. Then we got to the bypass and the tears came flowing forward.

I told my parents I just wanted to turn around, and could we not just go home. I saw absolutely no point whatsoever in risking our lives on treachorous roads so that we could spend Christmas in boggerland.

To be quite honest I thought it was horribly selfish of my mother to insist we went on just so she could spend Christmas with her family. I nearly told them everything then. Because when you think about it, they know nothing about my life, or who I am. I am 17 years old and I have my whole life ahead of me and felt I shouldn’t have to throw it all away so I could celebrate some commercialised holiday with people I rarely see. But we kept going.

Then we met an ambulance coming towards us and that set me off again. My mum’s friend’s fiancé was killed along that very stretch of road so I kinda didn’t feel like tempting fate.

We’re listening to Adrian Crowley’s album that Albert picked out and my friends bought for me in Plugd for the ol’ birthday. The mother loves it. She’s telling me to bring it into the kitchen an’all. That’s a huge compliment. Must tell Albert. I hope they’ll like their Bon Iver CD I got them for Christmas…

This blog post is very, very all over the place and I don’t really know what I set out to write about, or what you’ve even gotten from it. It’s a tad difficult to type as I’m turned sideways to hide the screen rom the brother, and said brother won’t shut up, and there’s also the never-ending terror that we’re going to slide right off the road.

Just passed a sign for Listowel. Jim’s probably down there for Christmas. It’s nice how some things change and others stay the same over the course of a year.

Nollaig shona daoibh go léir. Hope it’s a good one, and here’s to a successful blog next year, along with a hopefully amazing 2010 in general. Thank you for reading. 🙂

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Christmas, and the people it brings.

I like Christmas, and pretty much everything about it, but my absolute favourite thing about Christmas is how it brings everyone home. Yesterday was one of the nicest days in town. I saw lots of people, but the ‘highlight’, so to speak, was seeing a person who has moved across the water and who I haven’t seen in a long time.

We were queuing up to get waffles with chocolate sauce and I looked out of Winthrop Arcade and saw this person. It was like everything and everyone else disappeared and I ran across the street shouting his name. He put down whatever he was carrying and gave me a hug. It was nice, so unbelievably nice. I knew this person pretty damn well, but due to age differences and the like we haven’t exactly kept in contact or met up the odd time he comes home. But we chatted, and it was like he had never moved away. It’s been a few years, and I guess we’ve both changed, but it was still comfortingly familiar. He’s one of those people you can just talk to, and laugh with, and it’s easy and so, so lovely.

That really made my day.

It also made me think about this sense of home that exists at Christmas. Students who are dispersed around in various colleges nationwide, and even worldwide, come home to their mammies. People who are living their own independent lives become children again. Everyone’s looking for presents for their friends and family. It’s like Christmas unites everyone together, and we’re all the same again.

And seeing people you miss, it’s just the best.

In other unrelated news, I passed the Theory Test today, with full marks may I add! I went for a coffee and a scone beforehand in my favourite coffee shop and one of the guys who works there noticed. He was telling me how he only did it earlier in the year, and then wished me luck as I was leaving. Later on, I went back with a few friends, and as soon as I was in the door, he shouted down to me and asked me had I passed. That was nice. Things like that make me smile.

Going into Plugd today also made me smile. Aside from Albert being nice, there was a first-time customer in there, who wasn’t used to Albert’s quirky sense of humour and his various phrases. She got a bit confused, but was very funny about it, and decided that she loved the place and would be back. Then Albert said ‘We’re closing at the end of the month.’ It was interesting how he can still make a joke of such a horrible issue, and how everyone laughed.

Christmas holidays are deadly.

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Early mornings and long days

I don’t like culchie buses. In fact, I don’t like any type of bus. But rural buses are alot worse than city buses. So when I have a day off (like today) but my parents have work, I get a lift with one of them as far as a ‘city’ bus stop and end up being the first teenager in town. I think I hold some sort of record. Not that I live in the middle of nowhere, far from it to be fair. It takes 4 minutes in the car to get me to a bus stop, but that 4 minutes of road is a little too treacherous to walk or cycle.

So this morning I was in town at 9am. It’s not as bad as it sounds, I swear. I just sat in my favourite coffee shop from 9am til 11am, then decided I had just about outstayed my welcome and left to go to the GPO and post my mother’s Christmas cards. I just avoided developing frostbite as I crossed the bridge and down Oliver Plunkett Street. I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to see the GPO. After that little sojourn was complete, off I went to Plugd for a sconce around, stopping en route to chat to a few friends who were collecting for SHARE. My excuse for not being so socially aware is that I had forgotten to wear my Uggs. Pumps are not a sensible choice in -3.5 degree weather. There were icicles, yes ICICLES, hanging from the fountain on Grand Parade.

Plugd was nice. The door was closed ‘cos it was so cold, which gives the place a nice homely feel. I bought a CD, which I want, but is going to be used as the Christmas present for the ‘rents, and also bought Albert a coffee. And gave him my copy of The Cork News so he can frame my quote..

I bought a pair of shoes in Dunnes, black pumps with studs and sequins, and met up with my friends. More coffee followed, along with personal cake recommendations from one of the ‘baristas’ in Coffee Roasters. Back to Plugd for more Christmas shopping, and the like. Tried on 3 skirts in Topshop.

First one isn’t online, so no pics, but here’s the other two:




(For some reason I can’t make those links look pretty so you’ll have to make do.)

Well any opinions? Tried both on with grey tights and aforementioned pumps, along with my grey jacket. Can’t decide which on though…

Then my mother text me and told me to come home so I couldn’t ask my friends who were with me either. And the bus driver was mean to us when we asked for halves. Then he drove ridiculously fast over the ramps on College Road and I thought I was going to die.

Also I should be at a ‘drowling’ party now. ‘What’s drowling?’ I hear you ask.. None other than drunk bowling. Check that shit…

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