• Uncategorized

    Madrid Memories

    Madrid is my soul city. I haven’t been there in about nine months now, and I’m starting to feel that familiar ache that comes over me when I go too long without visiting. Half of my extended family live in the city, and I have been faithfully flying over at a rate of at least twice a year for the past thirty years. Three years ago, my last remaining grandparent – my Yayo – passed away, and I worried that this would change things. I worried I might not feel as welcome in Madrid now that I no longer had somewhere to stay. I worried that the connection I felt…

  • panic,  personal,  Thoughts on...

    Thoughts On… Adulting Struggles

    It is unseasonably warm in Ireland at the moment. In a freak occurence, the sun is actually visible, the clouds are wispy and barely-there, and the temperature has crept up to Irish-sunburn levels (which isn’t very high, but it’s high enough for people to wander the streets in singlets, puffing and red-faced, panting about how it’s “FAR too hot!”). I am currently sitting at my table, with a cup of tea beside me to wash down my many supplements*, thinking of the many, many things on my To Do List. The thoughts of all these things that need to be done have come together to form a thick, grey, thundercloud…

  • personal,  Thoughts on...

    Cooped Up in Cork, Ireland

    I’ve been living in Cork for the past few months. I’m a Dublin girl, so I’d grown up hearing Corkonians talk about how Cork should be the capital city of Ireland, and how Dublin had robbed Cork of its rightful place as the nation’s most important city… It left me with a somewhat garbled idea of what Cork must be like. After hearing all this chatter, I imagined Cork to be a large, multicultural place on par with Dublin. You know, an actual, geographically alternative capital city. … And then I moved here. Cork city is tiny. If I walk so slowly I’m practically going backwards, I can walk from…

  • Life Skills Unlocked

    Life Skills Unlocked: Reading for Enjoyment

    When I was a child, I would read books to teleport out of my life. One moment I would be lying in bed staring at the white ceiling, anxiety clawing at my throat, and the next I would be visiting prickly Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle, or laughing at Dogmatix and his fondness for trees. My introduction to reading was a steady and consistent diet of Beatrix Potter, Goscinny and Uderzo, Hergé, Roald Dahl, Dr. Seuss and Enid Blyton. I read compulsively, almost obsessively. As soon as I was able to read by myself, it became a fixation; whether we were out for a walk or it was after dark, I would have a…

  • Uncategorized

    AH. Yum. Yum.

    You know that ad with the tagline, “You’re not you when you’re hungry”? It’s a Snickers ad, I think. They main character has been acting irrationally, but thanks to the healing power of chocolate they shapeshift back to themselves after a single bite of a Snickers. You know the one? I identify strongly with that ad, only for me it’s, “You’re not you when you’re tired.” I am not me when I am tired. I become something else entirely, something strongly resembling a mogwai who has been fed after midnight, put under a spotlight and doused with a fireman’s hose for good measure. I become a gremlin. My face scrunches…

  • Thoughts on...

    Plans and Pawprints

      Some people have detailed daydreams about their future wedding. I am not one of those people. Some people already know what they will name their future children. I am also not one of those people. I do have names picked out, however. Names that I speak out loud to see how they’ll sound shouted out loud in the park. I do have detailed daydreams that involve craft projects and colour schemes. You see, my detailed daydreams are about future pets. I have it all planned out. I will first get a cat – an indoor cat, since I will have to move at some point and don’t want to…

  • so that happened,  Uncategorized

    New and Unexpected Housemate

    I have a housemate called Lenny. I don’t know when he moved in. He lives in the bathroom. I noticed him for the first time the other day. I opened the door, turned on the light, and there he was. “Oh.” I said. “Hi.” He froze, then ran for cover. He hid in the corner while I brushed my teeth. We watched each other warily. Well, I watched him warily. I can only assume he was watching me too. In reality, his eyes are far too small for me to know exactly where he was looking. You see, Lenny is a silverfish*. Since discovering him in my bathroom, I’ve done…

  • personal,  Thoughts on...,  Uncategorized

    Spilling The Tea

    If you ask anyone abroad what the national beverage of Ireland is, I would wager that they’re likely to say Guinness. After all, Guinness has been successfully plying their trade for years now – 258 years, to be exact – with Irishness as a large part of its brand persona. It has the harp, and the Irish music, and that ad at Christmas that shows Dublin looking perfect and makes you feel a tingle of excitement… I mean, Guinness really puts forward a good, solid argument for why it’s the natural choice for the nation’s official beverage. Despite all of this however, Guinness just doesn’t get the job done. It…

  • Uncategorized

    The Sugar Rush is Real

    Yesterday was Pancake Tuesday. I’m not sure how widespread Pancake Tuesday is, but if it’s not a global holiday then it should be. If anything can unite us in this time of division and disharmony, it’s pancakes. I mean, talk about a food of the people. They can be adapted to suit everyone! If you don’t like the fluffy, thick American pancakes, you can go for paper-thin French crêpes. If you don’t like them sweet (YOU MONSTER), you can have them savoury. Seriously, pancakes are multi-purpose. Who needs a penknife in their back pocket? Pack a pancake instead. I ate a lot of pancakes yesterday. I had pancakes for breakfast.…

  • Life Skills Unlocked,  Uncategorized

    Life Skill Unlocked: Millinery

    If you’ve never heard the word before, ‘millinery’ is the word for the art of making fancy hats and fascinators*. I actually have never worn a fancy hat or fascinator. Not because I don’t like them – they can be pretty amazing – but because anything small and girlie makes me feel self-conscious and stupid, and anything wide-brimmed makes me look like a peculiarly flamboyant portobello mushroom. Still, as you know, I like to try my hand at new crafts, so when Emergency Sister invited me to join her for an afternoon of millinery at The Design House** on Dawson Street, I jumped at the opportunity. I have not, in the past, had…