Life in the new house is great! We've put up lots of curtains, hung pictures and we burn lavender on a daily basis. What more could you want?
I'm a very busy girl these days. College is crazy and has me occupied most days while the girls are at work. I'm loving it though, and I'm looking forward to the day when I have my own class of little munchkins like Ciara has.
Living so close to town is the dream. I go in every day for a stroll around and a little snack (yesterday I had gem biscuits...remember those?!). The city is starting to feel very wintery now and I love it. Everybody has cute little cold faces, rosy cheeks and red noses. In the last week particularly, I've seen about 65,000 beautiful winter coats on people that I want for myself.
I'm inundated with half-finished little knitting, crocheting and painting projects. I'm an awful woman for starting something very enthusiastically and then leaving it to gather dust for months on end. My excuse this time is that I have too much college work to get through...
Here's some snaps of recent autumny/wintery shenanigans:
Sarah's sitting across from me at the kitchen table and we're talking about giving the blog a bit of a makeover soon. Watch this space, folks.
Speaking of blogs, my wonderful, beautiful sister has followed in my footsteps and created one of her own. It's all about healthy living and she's definitely a woman on a mission! Follow her, everyone!
I needed to be in college about an hour ago, I've also a weeks worth of dishes to do so here I am. It's a grim day weather- wise but I'm on half term so all is well. I've rearranged pictures on the wall and moved some books around.
This week has just been crazy. Between prepping for my new job which starts on Monday (by prepping I mean clothes shopping - yo' pro' wardrobe essentials, you understand!) and house-hunting, I'm finally moving into our newly rented house tomorrow with MEGAN AND DEE!!!!!. It has all been quite hectic and once we found somewhere, things moved very fast which has caused one or two tension headaches over the weekend. Honestly though, once we're all moved in and working, I'll feel a bit better. It's exciting renting as a graduate for the first time but after handing over soooooo muuuuuuuuch money and seeing your savings shrink considerably, I'm eager to get into my new job and start earning so that I can afford this new yo' pro' millennial gal lifestyle; it's not all quite mason jar cocktails and chic throw cushions yet!
Aside from being eager to get into this new job, I'm also the first one to move in properly. Because the property had been advertised to let immediately, there didn't seem to be much leeway to postpone the move-in date until next weekend. While it may have suited me, the two others are house-sitting for another week which means that I'll be all by my-lonesome-self in the house this week. It also means that I'm under pressure to set up our utilities (MORE MONEY A£^£*"%$!#!!!) asap which in turn means looking at the best packages and committing us to a year's contract. Commitment. Ew.
So that's it really. I'm quite sad to leave home all the same. I've been out of home for 5 years really and it has been nice this past month being here and having little movie nights with my Mum in our matching onesies or eating pizza with my brothers and sister. I'll just have to come down on weekends. Pictures of new abode to follow soon. I had best say goodbye to my current sleeping quarters now.
Here's to adult life. Starting in 5...4...3...2...
In a similar fashion to Megan's disbelief on September first, I can't believe it's the 21st already. September went by in a flash. Have you started your Masters yet Megan? Keep us updated about how you're getting on, I'm very interested to hear about how great you'll do! Excited to hear about your new found employment too Sarah, no doubt it's something epic and exotic!
September brought with it 4 nights of fireworks outside our kitchen window as the Tall Ships festival rocked through Greenwich. How romantic watching the colours from the kitchen sink, at least it made wash up a bit more thrilling.
Rationalising whether buying a camper would be a good investment. (I'm in the yes camp.)
Pigging out on DIY cheeseboards and Port. Delish.
Tired, dirty feet after an 11 hour day at school. It's only my 3rd year teaching but I'm still managing to be surprised by the long, tough (albeit fulfilling) days that the start of a new academic year brings. I thought I'd have accepted these instead of feeling the need to crawl into bed by now. Maybe next year.
(These days are few and far between Megan, and also not compulsory! Fear not.)
Big congratulations to Sarah on graduating top of the class!! You looked fab. Hope you had a lovely day.
It's the first of September and I can't believe it. I had a great summer, but oh my god, it has flown by. I'm about to start my Masters of Education and I couldn't be happier. I applied (just about) back in June. The closing date for applications was the day after my birthday, and being the disorganised lump that I am, I left everything to the last minute...application form, references, academic transcripts, the whole sha-bang. Myself, Sarah and Dee, along with a few other old faithfuls went out for my birthday and we drank an awful lot. Alison told me a few days before my birthday that she would be "taking it easy" because of a very important meeting in college the following day. Fast forward forty-eight hours, a couple of bottles of wine, a few shots of tequila and countless cigarettes to this photo:
A Happy Birthday indeed! Met a lovely German/Cork man. Success.
Anywaaaay, the next morning we were ALL dying. We were feeling very sorry for ourselves. I mentioned to the girls when the closing date was for the applications. "Megan, we are going to get that application sent away today if it's the last thing we do. BY GOD WE WILL", they shouted in unison, arms flailing about in the air, or something like that. With that we stuffed sausage sandwiches into our faces as fast as we could and set off. We went to work for a reference, to UCC for my transcripts, to Snap to photocopy everything a million times, home to print everything else off and made it to the post office with about 10 minutes to spare. (Just an aside, express post is expensive.) And there you have it, if it wasn't for Dee and Sarah I would be...dead probably (that hangover was unmerciful)...and not about to start my masters.
In other news, Harvey got neutered on Friday, the poor sod. He wouldn't look me in the eye all day after I collected him from the vet. He would have been a great father dog, but alas, it was the responsible thing to do. He's forgiven me since, and we had cuddles this morning.
Speaking of Harvey, he's been asleep on my lap the entire time I've been writing this. He loves sleeping when I'm on my laptop, I think he might like the sound of the fan on it or something. Look how cute he is:
I woke him up for an extra level of cuteness:
Can I get an AWWWWWWHHHHHH....?
Also, I've started drinking coffee. Myself and Dee went to the farmer's market in Wilton two Tuesdays ago and I had a mocha there. I've had a coffee every day since then and I'm enjoying it more and more as the days go on. I hope to be a full fledged coffee drinker by the end of September. I also hope to take up latte art.
My first mocha
Current favourite foods are: Hallumi, Lazycake and courgettes
Current favourite drink: Toro Loco Rosé (aldi) and coffee
Reading: A Room with a View by E.M Forster and How to Be a Brilliant Trainee Teacher by Trevor Wright
Ah, university life, a time in which you have the opportunity to learn about yourself, find your true passions in life (#career), become more independent, and learn to flutter your social butterfly wings. You enroll, sparkly-eyed and with a head full of sophisticated parties, glorified sports success, and academic perfection. Graduation is but a small light in the distance, so far away that you are sure you will have your life and career ambitions sussed out by the time you get there. Four years? That's aggeeess away!
Well, boys and girls I am here to tell you that four years flies and post-college life does not hold all the answers you once so optimistically presumed it would. You probably didn't do as well in college as you would have liked, thanks to persuasive housemates, belligerent nights out, Four Star Pizza, watching Coronation Street omnibuses, and generally procrastinating. Procrastination in fact is probably your most developed skill after your four years. Three essays, a presentation and an in-class exam this Friday? What a PERFECT time to watch "Game of Thrones" episodes back-to-back!
You probably haven't participated in much sport since you left mandatory PE class in school. If you did, be honest. You didn't join for the joy of sportsmanship or the sense of fraternity you only get from being part of a team. You did it because of the club's social nights out, during which it wasn't unusual to see you down Jaegerbombs while smeared with U.V. paint. Classic.
Your emotional well-being during final year was probably a split between panic, determination, wondering what's been happening in Corrie, panic, boasting about how much you are doing to people you don't like, freaking out about how little you are doing to people you do like, trying to eavesdrop on said conversations between others, panic, and dreaming of the end of exams and the first frosty pint of freedom.
By the time you put down the pen in your final exam, the feeling of elation you expected to embrace you is achingly absent. As you walk out of the exam hall and of your undergraduate college life, there isn't any confetti, fireworks or applause. That's it. Life, as corny as it sounds, goes on. What you didn't expect is at the very millisecond your pen grazed your desk with the finality of your academic voyage, a signal, undetectable to you, transmits to everyone you've ever met. No sooner have you walked out of the university grounds, you bump into Mary, your mother's best friend's cat-sitter you met once for five minutes in 2002. You've barely exchanged pleasantries, when in comes the big question.
"So you've just finished uni, haven't you?"
"Yeah, literally just finished my last ex-"
"So, what's next?"
"What's the plan? What are you going to do with your life? What are your ambitions? What have you decided to do with the next 40 years of your life? Hmm, hmm, hmm?"
And so, it goes on. This isn't an unique experience. You will be burdened with this sort of investigatory torture for at least another 5 - 7 years. The answer "To be honest, I'm not sure" or "Oh, I'm just enjoying life without exams at the moment" don't sit well. Nor does "Well, I'm just going to take this year to work a bit and figure out the next step". No, no, no.
You should be saying things like "I'm dedicating my life to God and am moving immediately to a missionary retreat in East Timur" or "I've found myself a soulless office job which will more than likely drain me of any semblance of joy within two years but I will stay there until I qualify for the OAP bus pass". I honestly think it would be more acceptable to say "Oh, I've recently found myself a position as a sex worker. It lets me dictate my own hours, it pays well and I really enjoy it" than "Oh, I don't know yet". God. for.bid.
I should however clarify that not knowing IS FINE. Not knowing your plan for this year let alone for the next forty IS FINE. Telling Mary the cat-sitter to do one IS FINE. So in the words of TayTaySwifSwif, shake it off. You'll sort it out. Probably. And if you don't, doesn't that make you all the more interesting.
At least, that's what I'm telling myself... Graduation is next week. We'll worry then...
Holidaying this year was a trip home to Ireland. West Cork for a week and East Cork for only a few fleeting days. The weather was glorious so there was plenty swimming, kayaking and general outdoorsing. I think this summer may be the longest stretch I've ever gone without wearing tights, It's been great.
West Cork is a big family affair and is always worth the trip back to catch up with nearest and dearest. When Jam's parents called down they brought their quadrocopter along (it's sleek and technical and sounds like a whole load of wasps flying above your head.) Have to love the aerial view of our beloved rental in the middle of nowhere. There's usually about dozen people staying in the house with a smattering of tents in the landlords back garden, I was tenting it this year. The marquee (gazebo?) in the garden acts as the dining room so everyone can fit!
There were plenty drives and spins, naturally. A particular favourite was down the VERY steep roads from Baltimore to Lough Hyne. We stumbled across this randomly placed bench and the caption was very fitting:
'suigh síos agus lig do scith'
A return trip to Cape Clear was pretty breathtaking.
And then when East Cork was visited an impromptu trip to Cork managed to be pulled together at the last minute. Getting the bus was quite the flashback.
Have any of you guys been to Six? It's new since I was home last and though we could only stay for a round of cocktails, I'd love to head back to try their food. Bit of Frieda on the wall and I was smitten.
2 Weeks went by so fast and then we were home to London. A few more weeks of summer holidays for me and then back to the littles on September 1st!
But first! I've Reading to go to. The line up is amazing. Everyone i'm excited to see is already quite well known but if anyone has an suggestions... send them my way!
Myself and Dee were lucky enough to go on a week long holiday to Lisbon this summer. To say we have the post-holiday blues would be an understatement...we're back nearly two weeks but it feels like a lifetime!!
Lisbon is THE most beautiful city I have ever visited. It is so colourful, vibrant and interesting. There is a very relaxed way about the place, and at times you simply forget you are in a capital city, which I love. It is a city that you can't seem to get lost in (which I also love) and believe me, Dee and I have been lost many times in many different places, so trust me on that one.
Architecturally, the old and new seem to blend together seamlessly, with derelict buildings almost adding to the whole vibe of the city. The traditional tiled walls of these neglected houses and shops are too beautiful to demolish (I think!), making them more of an endearing feature rather than an eyesore. Speaking of tiles...if you are into, or in my case semi-obsessed with tiles then you will FREAK in Lisbon. I stopped about 72,000 times to take photographs of tiles. Dee was far too polite to tell me to calm the f**k down, but drew the line when I asked if we could go to the National Tile Museum. Yes, I am that much of a loser.
Lisbon is the perfect city when you think about it. Here's why
I love Lisbon because it....
...is situated right next to the beautiful ocean, and has a stunning Golden Gate-esque suspension bridge
...enjoys a Mediterranean climate that us Irish are weak at the knees for
...has lovely tiles
...is a stones throw (more like a tram ride) away from the beach
...has a very chilled out atmosphere despite being a capital city with a population of over 3 million
...has a National Tile Museum
...is steeped in history, being the oldest city in Western Europe (predating Rome and oh mon dieu, Paris by hundreds of years!!)
Now, I can't really say much about outdoor activities that don't involve lounging, eating, drinking, lying on grass etc. because obviously it's us and we hate all that with every fibre of our beings. But I did overhear people talking about surfing and watersports being nearby, god bless them, so that's great. I can, however, comment on the food. We ate a crappy meal at the first restaurant we set our eyes on on our first night due to exhaustion, so I'd prefer not to relive that experience here. From then on though, every single thing we ate was delicious. We kind of steered clear of bigger, more touristy restaurants and made our way down the smaller streets to eat. A friend of ours told us to pick places that looked crappy on the outside, which we did. We were not disappointed. The food was so fresh and delicious and so, so reasonable. It really was one of the highlights for me.
We stayed in a beautiful hostel called 'The Independente' which is excellently located in Bairro Alto. The building itself is gorgeous, with high ceilings and huge windows in the dorms, making them very bright and airy. There's also triple decker bunkbeds which I thought was the coolest thing since sliced bread. Every single person on my snapchat contact list received a picture of those bunkbeds. There's also The Decadente bar and restaurant which is popular with guests and tourists alike, and the food is scrumptious. The staff are super friendly too. Having stayed in some dodgy hostels, I was very, very impressed with this one.
I liked Bairro Alto, it seemed like it was the more bohemian part of the city. I found an amazing record shop there by chance, and treated myself to some new records, including Astrud Gilberto and Sister Sledge woowoo. The area has a lot of craft shops and art galleries dotted along the streets, each one with a beautiful smiling face inside to chat and joke with you (the people are amazing!).
It's basically the best city, and I miss it loads. While we were there myself and Dee decided that Lisbon was our spiritual home and I genuinely believe that it is somewhere I could be very, very happy for a very long period of time. We had some serious laughs, ate some wonderful food, danced to some amazing music and made lots of lovely new friends from all over the world and I cannot wait to go back.
Oh ya and we went to a music festival too, we cried during Interpol, danced like mad things at the Arctic Monkeys and MGMT were so good that it gave me a nosebleed. More on that later.