• Thoughts on...,  Uncategorized

    Suspicious

    An ice-cream truck drives by my house almost every single day. I know this because I can hear it as it tinkles along. It plays a teeth-grindingly irritating melody that I could hum for you by heart if I were able to hold any semblance of a tune, and even when it’s raining out I still hear it, like I’m being haunted by a particularly obnoxious music box. Since nobody in their right mind is buying ’99s* in the Irish autumn, I have a theory about this ice-cream man: I think the ice-cream merchant is a drug dealer. Granted I have never seen him (unless he’s the man that wolf-whistled…

  • personal,  Thoughts on...,  Uncategorized

    “Traditional”

    It’s almost October. You know what that means. It means damp, russet leaves underfoot and a chill in the air like a whisper telling you to make vegetable soup. It means zipping up jackets and debating whether or not you need to wear a beanie. It means gratefully pulling on your Uggs on the way out the door because they have once again become borderline acceptable, like they do every year around the time Starbucks brings out the pumpkin spice latte. It means cold fingers and early dusk and thick, knitted jumpers that feel like inanimate hugs. I like Autumn, and I particularly like October. There is something magical about…

  • Thoughts on...

    Childish Things

    When I was a wee slip of a four year old, I remember visiting a friend and following him upstairs to a room that contained a giant cardboard box. It was long, and lay on its side, and easily took up at least half of all available floorspace in the small, book-lined room. In hindsight I suppose it had originally housed a fridge. My friend walked around to the back of the box and called for me to follow him. I remember looking at it with all the healthy skepticism a four year old can muster. It didn’t look like anything special. In fact, it looked like it might have…

  • personal,  Thoughts on...

    Notes From the Country

    I was born in a city. I have always lived in a city. I grew up with a street lamp outside my window and the sound of a train passing by every twenty minutes. I’m used to light, and noise, and shops that are less than five minutes of a walk away. I’m used to lots of people going about their business with earphones in, purposely not making eye contact and completely ignoring the existence of anybody else on the road. So when I take a trip to the countryside, I’m always reminded of the things country people take for granted that are – for me – hugely abnormal. Every…

  • personal,  Thoughts on...

    Temper, Temper

    I have anger issues. Or rather, I have a single anger issue. It’s not an issue clouded in a dangerous red haze, that bursts from my forehead like the emotional descendant of Athena, explosively demanding TO SPEAK TO THE MANAGER! No. It’s the other kind of issue. My anger issue is that I am not terribly good at expressing my anger. Either I am emotionally involved – in which case my eyes invariably leak in a way that looks suspiciously like crying but is, in fact, just a watery expression of intense frustration – or I am not emotionally involved, in which case I would just rather not, thankyouverymuch. Here…

  • personal,  Thoughts on...

    Staying Alive

    The other day, while out walking with a friend, we took a detour on our way home and found ourselves in an old cemetery. It was, as she put it, the sort of place Tom Riddle might show up to challenge you to a wand duel. The ground, bulging with overgrown roots, was uneven and covered over with long blades of grass that soaked us to the ankles. Most of the engravings on the oldest headstones were illegible; the inscriptions had been gently buffed to smoothness by the passing of time. Speckled with lichen and pushed by either weather or slowly shifting soil, the stones leaned drunkenly at different angles.…

  • birthday,  personal,  Thoughts on...,  unbirthday

    Birthdays, Waiting Days & Holidays

      On Wednesday it was my birthday. I always feel slightly unworthy on my birthday, like I didn’t do enough to deserve the ‘happy birthday!’s flung my way. I feel like I should have accomplished something great this past year and I just… haven’t. I feel like I didn’t do sufficient good this year, as a human. I didn’t contribute enough. I am lacking, somehow. Still, as with every year, it’s just made me more determined to knuckle down this coming year. I will blaze through 2018! Hopefully! ….My resolutions start early. To date, I think this might be my least organised Christmas yet! As things currently stand, some of…

  • personal,  Thoughts on...

    A Last First Kiss

      We had been sitting next to each other – awkwardly at first, then more comfortably – for about an hour. I could feel his thigh pressed against mine. When he moved his arm, I felt his sleeve brush against my sleeve. He made bad jokes and gave me lopsided smiles while I babbled non-stop in an effort to disguise my nerves. He took a phone call and unfolded himself from the couch to pace the room, so I moved┬áto the window to look out over the river. Even from across the room I felt like there were delicate filaments of feeling tying us together, vibrating with the low sound…

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    Thoughts On… What It’s Like Being An Adult

      When I was a child, there were always things I had to do before I could go out to play with my friends; homework, tidying, dishes, extracurriculars… Whatever it was, I had to finish it perfectly before I was let loose to climb trees, or to run around in the undergrowth, or to make up terrible, terrible dance moves, or to collect earthworms and snails to “rescue” them from being stood on by careless pedestrians. I was a weird kid. Anyway, I would take care of my tasks, and then I was free to leave the house and find my friends*. My mind would empty of school worries or…

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    Something The Tooth Fairy Never Mentioned

    Sometimes conversations don’t at all go in the direction you were expecting. One moment you’re talking about balloons as cat toys and the fact that your wisdom tooth is digging into your cheek, and the next the conversation has taken a sharp left turn and you are hearing a sentence that doesn’t seem relevant in the slightest. “Before you get pregnant, it’s vital you get any dental issues out of the way.” “Excuse me?” This conversational clanger had been dropped in – apropos of nothing – by my mother. Just to be very clear, I have no plans to get pregnant. None at all. I am not a broody person.…