• 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…

  • Travel, flying, Ireland, home

    Straight Outta Ireland

    There are a lot of great quotes about travel. For example, Mark Twain once said, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness,” and I’ve certainly found that to be true in my own life. There is something about being in a country that is utterly unlike your own; it stalls the senses and resets your brain to create a new normal built on the foundations of the old. Today, I’d like to write about any one of the many places I’ve visited on my travels. That’s what I really feel like doing. I want to spin an amusing tale about the time my milk withdrawals led me to sneak…

  • Uncategorized

    Learning As I Go

    Adulting is hard. When I was very small and found out that Santa was a huge secret, and that everyone around me was in on it, I accepted it with good grace. I thought, ‘That’s some good secret keeping! Good job, adults.‘ Then I watched my parents sort through taxes and insurance, bank accounts and mortgages and doctor visits, and I decided – I’m still not quite sure how – that this must be part of a different, separate adult conspiracy. ‘Clearly,‘ I thought, ‘this is We’ll-Tell-You-When-You’re-Older material.‘ Teachers never touched on this Very Important Serious Stuff between classes on soil erosion and the Irish civil war. Over time, I…

  • cocktail bar, cocktail making, how to make cocktails
    Life Skills Unlocked,  Uncategorized

    Life Skill Unlocked: Cocktail-Making

    When I was about seven years old, I used to sneak into my grandfather’s study. I would tiptoe past the piano, crawl behind the burgundy leather Chesterfield, feel along the bookshelf for the small metal key, and slip it into the lock on the cabinet below. I would turn the key feeling like Alice down the rabbit hole, and I would slowly open the small mahogany door to reveal a glittering array of crystalware. The “bar” was really quite small, with one glass shelf dividing the space, but the back and sides were lined with mirrors, which multiplied the decanters and glasses and bottles of alcohol until it looked, to…