Tag Archives: Ireland

D’Leaving

I’m worried, just ever so slightly, but worried all the same. With only one exam left, and a four day gap between now and then, I have lulled myself into a false sense of security in which I think it’s all over and I can go out, drink coffee and get drunk. Not necessarily in that order. Pre-drinking saves you money after all..

The past week has been a bit of a bitch. The hype surrounding the first two days and the speculation as to whether or not dear Ms. Boland would make an appearance (she did, but it was a manky question) died down very quickly and we were all left to struggle on, sourcing strength, support and encouragement from our good friends Berocca Boost and Red Bull.

Every evening at about 8pm, Facebook would be taken over by multiple statuses all saying the same thing: ‘Tips for Geog tomorrow pleeeeeease? SO FUCKED.’ ‘Boland Dickinson Frost. Boland Dickinson Frost. Boland Dickinson Frost.’ ‘Topics for French essays? Alcohol? Cyber bullying? Heellllpppp… :(‘ ‘All-nighter for Bio anyway.’ etc. Facebook: an uncannily accurate portrait of a procrastination-loving generation. Think that’ll be the title of my third book. (Two other ideas I gotta deal with first..)

Most mornings, I’d set six alarms, beginning anywhere between 6am and 6.30am, depending on the amount of cramming required, and scheduled to go off at 5 minute intervals so that I’d either eventually get up or else fuck the phone off the wall and return to my state of slumber. I think the fact that the phone’s only a week old dissuaded me from employing the latter technique and, instead, I’d begrudgingly drag myself from the bed at times I’d never before seen on the face of a clock.

Tuesday was not a good day. I’d now like to express the intense dislike I feel towards whoever thought it would be a good idea to have Irish Paper 2 and Business on the same day. Do they not know that it is genuinely impossible to study both of those courses in one evening? I focused my attention on the masses of Irish literature I had yet to learn, and planned to use the ever-popular exam technique known as ‘winging it’ for Business. By now, some of you may have worked out that I like to ramble. A lot. So, yes, there is a very high probability that my answer on the ways in which managers can use Maslow’s Theory to motivate staff reads much like one of these literary masterpieces that are my blog posts.

I quite enjoyed the rush of adrenaline that pulsed through my veins as I ‘winged it’ right through the short questions, only faltering slightly at a financial ratio calculation, before continuing with more of my meaningless babble in the Applied Business Question, and finishing the paper with the highest concentration of bullshit in the long questions. And then I went home and collapsed. Trying to sound like you know what you’re talking about is actually rather exhausting.

Actually, come to think of it now, winging it seems to have been my general plan of action since Business. French study consisted of watching Hors de Prix, while Biology was just a bit of a write-off, apart from a brief venture into the never-before-seen world of genetics. Having said that, I feel the paper seemed to slightly favour those of us with a ‘erra fuck it shur’ attitude to the whole thing. I mean, there’s nothing about migratory ducks in any LC Biology book.

And now I find myself in bed before midnight for the first time in over a week, not exactly sure how I used to waste days upon days on the Internet. This is the reason you’ve been treated to this highly coherent and witty blog post which most excellently displays the stability of my mental condition at this moment in time.

Come Dine With Me’s on in ten. Gotta find some energy and put on the kettle, although it’ll be a bit weird having tea instead of a heart-palpitation-inducingly strong mug of Nescafé Gold Blend..

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For the day that’s in it..

Dear St Patrick – I don’t mean to offend you or anything, but I can never quite get it into my head that your feast day is an actual holyday of obligation. To be honest with you, the only thing people are going to feel obliged to do this Thursday is drink until they can no longer remember why it is they are wearing a ridiculous green hat that flashes intermittently, lighting up the dingy street that they stagger along.

Don’t think that you’re a failure though. Unfortunately, this country isn’t in the best condition and everyone is, quite frankly, a tad depressed. You should be extremely proud that your legacy gives us a semi-legitimate excuse to forget all our troubles and worries – that is until the following morning when the dry mouth, pounding headache and tender stomach only exacerbate problems. You needn’t worry about that though. You did enough for us by getting rid of the snakes.

Speaking of snakes, I’m pretty sure a lot of people would appreciate it if you came back for a week or two and did some more banishing of the odd snakey character that we have hanging around the Kildare Street area. Maybe you could even return full-time and give us a hand sorting out this business with the IMF and the ECB. I hear we’re looking for a new president too so, if the Áras takes your fancy, I’m sure you wouldn’t have to go through the whole rigmarole of standing for election. I mean, there’s got to be one or two perks to the whole patronage thing.

Come to think of it, you’d probably be quite shocked if you did manage to rise from the dead and pay us a visit – not that the rising from the dead thing would be majorly surprising seeing as you are a saint and that must mean you’re in the good books with God. Actually, the more I go on, the better being a saint sounds. I might give it a go if employment prospects still look bleak once I finish college. Anyway, if you do come back, be prepared to see a land very different to the one you remember. I won’t spoil the surprise though, but just wait until you see the airport (and the ad for it is even better). – Yours, etc, Niamh

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It’s Sunday

Two o’clock on a Sunday afternoon, and yet for me, the day is only beginning. Everyone was out this morning, so I had the house to myself. I lay in bed, enjoying the unusual sound of silence and listened to two and a half albums on the iPod. The mother had brought the child down to Youghal for a tennis tournament, and my dad was out at a football match. Blissful peace for the day, or so I thought.

On exiting the shower though, I heard the dreaded sound of a car engine. Peace was destroyed. The mother and child were home.

So now I’m here, doing nothing much.

That’s the thing about Sundays, they’re sort of ‘nothing’ days. Friday night you go out, Saturday’s for town and maybe out that evening. Sunday’s for nursing hangovers and doing the English essay that’s due in the next day.

When I was younger I used to hate Sundays with a passion, and to an extent I guess I still do. I think the detest I felt toward a day that made up half the weekend was instilled by my hatred of mass. Now I realise it’s actually not that bad, but when you’re a child every minute that you have to sit still feels like an hour. For some reason, I just HATED mass. I can’t describe it, I just did. So I always associated Sunday with mass, and never looked on the bright side (that I didn’t have to go to school).

Only on a Sunday...

I was never one of ‘the plain people of Ireland’ either; thought I was way better than that y’see. Dinner in the middle of the day was a concept I could just never understand, and I couldn’t see why we had to eat potatoes and meat and veg at lunchtime, instead of having sandwiches or something, like we did every other day. Another thing I dreaded was the religious Sunday evening bath time. Like every child I hated it. Weekday bathtimes were never as bad as that one on Sunday evening for some reason.

And so this disdain towards Sundays came with me as I grew into my teens. It was now ‘the day before school’ and a family day when you couldn’t really go out.  Dinner slowly came to occur later and later in the day, and today we eat at the lovely time of 6 o’clock. If we do happen to go to mass (which occurs far less frequently), it’s always on a Saturday evening, and we go to Kinsale instead on a Sunday morning for coffee and a walk on the beach.

It’s interesting to look back and see how some things have changed over the past 10 years or so. Not just in my life of a Sunday, but in Ireland in general. For me, I now have dinner in the evening, considered a more modern time I suppose? Whereas down in Tralee, my mum’s mother and the few aunts who live there still have ‘Sunday lunch’ as far as I know. I think why I hate ‘dinner in the middle of the day’ so much is because it seems to tie you down or something? Like my mother for example, she has to do the whole family-seated-around-the-dinner-table-as-a-bonding-thing, so if it was spuds and lamb at 2 o’clock round here I couldn’t be spending the day in town. Or maybe I just associate that Irish custom with my childhood Sundays and pre-Celtic tiger Ireland? I can’t say for sure.

Sundays now are far more relaxed. I love Kinsale, alot, so going down there makes me happy. Then I’ll do homework or play tennis so it ain’t half bad. Maybe even a jamming session over in Aisling’s house if we’re feeling like it. If not, I may spend the day on the laptop. It varies. There’s still the ‘Ugh tomorrow is Monday’ feeling, but not to the same extent. The way the country has evolved also changed the focus of Sunday from a religious, family-orientated day to a ‘chillaxing’ day. Shops are open on Sundays, and it’s now, more than ever before, just like any other day.

The traditional Sunday is a thing of the past, and it’s for the better methinks. I just hope a recession doesn’t revive any poverty-related traditions. We’ll just have to pray that doesn’t happen I guess..!

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Irish drink culture..

Reading a friend’s Bebo page today I noticed she had listed in her ‘hates’ drink culture and the discussion of it. She has mentioned this topic on numerous occasions, but seeing it declared for all to see on a social networking site (*deep intake of breath*) made me ponder it for a moment or two. And then of course I decided to blog about it.

It’s pretty clear that as a nation we are obsessed with alcohol. No one will even attempt to deny that. It’s not really possible to go out for a night without having a drink, but I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing. It’s hardly a crime for people to want to go out and enjoy themselves, and if a drink or two helps, then why not? I remember talking to someone (a little) older and wiser about this once, and they told me that, as in their case, alcohol is good if it’s a behaviour improver. Grammatically that makes no sense, but you know what I mean. He said to me that a few drinks to help a person socialise and reduce their inhibitions isn’t a problem, but if people know they become violent when they drink, well then obviously they should stay away from it.
So I thought about this, and did some research! By research I mean getting “locked” myself before I had any intention of writing a blog on the topic, but I may as well put the experience to good use. I’m not a regular drinker. But if it was easier for me to get away with drinking, the irregularity would be sure to disappear. Underage drinking is another topic altogether, best left to someone not as biased as me.
So anyway, we got our hands on a 20 pack of Miller and a “naggin” of vodka. I’m going to clarify at this point that I do not use the word “naggin” in everyday speech. To summarise events, we got drunk. Three 17-year-olds and three 16-year-olds. One male. Five female. The night’s happenings have led me to conclude that:
1. Teenagers can drink in a sensible fashion. We spent the night in a friend’s house whose parents were away, not out in a field. We even had some pizza with it. Although I was forbidden from going near the oven after a certain point.
2. Even the smallest amount of alcohol can affect a person.
3. Despite the fact that I am a good girl, I ended up becoming quite violent towards one of my best friends after a misunderstanding over a boy.
4. It can fuck stuff up. Emotions, relationships, breakable items, your head.
5. Drinking two litres of water before you go to bed is the best thing in the whole world. FACT.
I’ve gone a bit off the point here, but back to drink culture. What we did last Friday night was fun. It was one of the best weekends in a while, and a major factor in my enjoyment of it was alcohol. I’m not a shy person, but drink makes me lose any inhibitions that might be holding me back. Some may think that’s bad, but life’s short; do what you really want to do.
Social networking and drink are inextricably linked. A quick nose around Bebo or Facebook on a Sunday afternoon will reveal plenty of comments with the words “locked”, “plastered” and “out of it” featuring prominently. In the middle of a recession, is it so bad that people want to show the world it ain’t all that bad? And taking a few pictures and putting them on your profile won’t do anyone too much harm either. Social networks are just a popularity contest. A place to shout out to the world “Look at my life. I’m having so much fun.” Posting photos of nights out is an integral part of that. Of course we’re trying to look cool. Of course we’re trying to show all our peers we have as good a time as them. But we’re supposed to. It’s why Facebook exists. Did you seriously think it was actually to keep in contact with friends and family abroad?!
We’re Irish. We drink. Get over it.

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