• so that happened

    Clumsy Is as Clumsy Does

    I am astonishingly clumsy. I know people often say things like that. They laugh and say “Ooh, I’m such a klutz!” and it’s endearing in a kooky kind of way. Often what they mean is that they dropped their pen a couple of days ago, or they spilled coffee on the table when they put their mug down a little too vigorously. I am not the endearing, kooky kind of clumsy. I am the full-on, disaster-waiting-to-happen, miracle-I-haven’t-broken-bones-yet, guaranteed-public-humiliation kind of clumsy. Last month, I was in town chatting with a friend when I tripped. I didn’t trip on the pavement, or on a broken cobblestone. I didn’t even trip on…

  • so that happened

    Pity the Madrileño Vegetariano

    I landed in Madrid a week before Scrubs was due to arrive. My grandfather – my Yayo – was excited to meet him, but hid it (badly) beneath his usual gruff stoicism. He made sure the bedsheets were ironed and the pillows were plumped and the blankets were in the press (“por si acaso” he said, as if anybody in Madrid during the summer has ever been in need of a blanket). He dotted his long thoughtful silences with the punctuation of seemingly random questions about this new man in my life. The first time I broached The Subject, he was sitting in his armchair by the window, his chin…

  • so that happened

    Boiling Point

      They say that if you drop a frog in boiling water it will jump right back out, whereas if you put it in cold water and turn the heat up slowly, the frog will boil to death without ever realising it’s in danger. It’s complete rubbish, of course. Let’s be honest, if you drop a frog in boiling water it will die. If you put it in cold water and turn the heat up slowly, the frog will escape the minute it starts to feel uncomfortable. Still, it’s a handy made-up metaphor for allowing creeping change to cheerfully lead you down a path you never meant to take. Before…

  • pets are awesome,  so that happened

    Fingers Crossed!

    I am currently typing with only seven fingers, down from my usual eight (pinky fingers are decorative), because the middle finger on my left hand is wrapped in multiple layers of gauze. Beneath the bandage, it now strongly resembles ET’s finger, only without the magical properties and with far more blood. It’s attractive, is what I’m saying. Fortunately this is a relatively recent development, because I had a wedding to attend at the weekend and one bobble-ended finger possibly in need of an amputation would never have gone with my dress. Unfortunately, I am now on a course of antibiotics, which is never ideal heading into the weekend. A fortnight…

  • so that happened

    “Irish People, Am I Right?”

    I daydreamed as I stood in line for the till, cradling my carton of milk and loaf of bread like precious cargo. The shop is usually pretty quiet mid-morning, with only freelancers and frazzled parents usually stopping in for essentials. The man in front of me was taking his time, and slowly my attention drifted back down to earth and settled on his lanky figure. His clothes were ill-fitting and dirty. His hair hadn’t been washed in any version of the recent past, and his cheeks were hollow. He was buying cigarettes and a six-pack of beer. “I just lost a hundred on a horse,” he said to the young…

  • so that happened

    The Handover

    This morning I got up at 4.45am, a time that I’m sure you’ll agree should be exclusively reserved for extenuating circumstances and trips to the airport. This was an extenuating circumstance. My friend and I, bleary-eyed, slumped into the car and headed off on a two hour drive to Rosslare Port, where we drove straight onto the waiting ferry for Wales. Two cold hash browns, four badly poached eggs and three hours of interrupted napping later we finally arrived on the shores of Pembroke, Wales. We drove off the ferry, swung back around to the departures terminal, and waited for our contact to meet us at the agreed location. She…

  • so that happened

    The Blog Went Boom

    Last night, as I lazily clicked my way through a WordPress wormhole, I decided at the convenient hour of 1am that it was as good time as any to switch over to self-hosting. I popped gummy bears into my mouth until there was more sugar than blood in my veins, and then without giving it too much thought (this will become evident in a moment), I signed up for 12 months with Siteground. Here are the things I did not consider before pulling the trigger: There are many things that might be recommended activities for 1am – having a gin & tonic, dancing to terrible music, getting into a deep…

  • so that happened

    What Not To Do: Facebook Messenger Edition

    Over the weekend, after reading a message that had just come through on my phone, I let out a small huff. It was the kind of huff that acts as a tiny, audible exclamation point; the kind that tells you something has been noted that doesn’t deserve the energy or attention of actual words. Across the table from me, my friend raised an questioning eyebrow, and I turned my phone so she could see the screen. “Why does my ex-boyfriend always show up as active on Facebook messenger?” She leaned forward to examine my ex-boyfriend’s smiling face and shrugged. “Hmmm. Are you still friends with him on Facebook?” “No!” She…

  • getting-engaged-wise-men-say-only-fools-rush-in-love
    so that happened

    Wise Men Say…

    There is one teeny, tiny thing I neglected to mention in all of my rambling about Mexico. I got engaged. We got engaged! There was an engagement? Basically, what I’m saying is that there was a very happily accepted proposal, and I know that makes it sound a little like a business deal, but in actual fact it was both completely unexpected and eerily perfect, and not at all like a business deal. More like a movie. Or a telenovela. I don’t talk about Scrubs much here because Scrubs is quite a private person, but we have been together for… a while. A long while. About eight years now. That…

  • unplanned paramedicine in Paris France when do i get the manual
    so that happened

    Unplanned Paramedicine in Paris, France

    We had just stumbled out of the Parisian bar Le Comptoir Général when it happened. As I reached the bank of the canal to join my friends, I went to glance back at the bar and turned just in time to watch a little hatchback brake suddenly, sending a pizza delivery guy smashing straight into the back of him. The scooter and the pizzas skidded sideways across the road. The driver was flung up in the air. Everything slowed for an instant and then sped up. He hit the ground like a sack of potatoes. Half-drunk and without thinking, I immediately ran over to the unconscious figure sprawled across the tarmac and when I…