Thursday, July 30, 2009

Number 6 / Irish Blood English Heart

It takes like barely any time to get to Ireland. We sat down on the plane and I barely had time to get Madison (my iPod) warmed up before it was “put away your tray tables please”. Convenient, yes, but I do like a slightly longer flight - gives you time to write something substantial and listen to an album.

Dublin was cloudy when we landed. And windy which irritated me since Vic and I had, only a few days earlier, argued about wind in cities. The second we got out the airport we were hit with our first wave of Irish friendliness when enquiring which bus to catch.

Can I just say now that I need to get rich? Our premier room was soooo nice! The beds were like sleeping on air! PLUS we got access to this suite on the seventh floor which had a balcony and free cookies! Um, squee!

The first day was a bit whirlwind-ish. And by lunchtime we were both full-on knackered. A nice lady nearly speared Vic on the end of her nails whilst she elaborately explained to Vic how to get to Dublin Castle and I chomped on my bagel. Dublin Castle was way more interesting than it sounds. It’s still used so it’s fairly nifty inside. Plus real famous people have stayed there, like Queen Victoria.

But what fascinated/terrified me was the Chandeliers. In every room. Big, heavy, glittering chandeliers. Mark will understand why these unsettled me so much.

After this was St. Patrick’s Cathedral but frankly we were sleepwalking by this point. A nice Kopparberg and some lasagne in a typical Irish pub (and a diet red bull for Vic) gave us a second wind and we wandered down to the cinema to watch The Proposal (it’s awesome! Watch it!).

Tuesday was the only full day. We walked all the way to Phoenix Park (about 4 miles?). And I was on full boy-spotting form as we wandered round the city. As expected, Dublin had way way more cute boys than Marseille. I counted 30 top-class cuties in only two and a half days!

We stopped in a bar near our hotel for lunch and Vic struggled to a) get the barman to understand her and b) explain what an archers and lemonade was. Once again I was struck by just how friendly the Irish are. A nice dude at the bar helped Vic out and the barman was very sweet about the whole thing.

The Temple Bar is legendary in Dublin. So it seemed fitting to do number 6 (drink a pint of Guinness in Ireland) there. The barman was super nice and the atmosphere was just… right. Tourists and Dubliners all happily co-existing in a merry state. As far as bars go, it may be one of the best I’ve ever been in.

Then an American started hitting on Vic and it was clearly time to go :)
The last day and it was clearly time to do something every tourist is required to whilst in Dublin - go see how Guinness is made! It's not easy to find the Guinness Storehouse but certainly well worth the walk. In fact, the entire experience was surprisingly interesting. The Storehouse is super modernised and has a very Irish charm about it.

But the highlight of the storehouse has to be the gravity bar on the seventh floor. Not only does it offer the best view of Dublin, but you get a complimentary drink. It was 11:30 am when we made it up there and I was really in no mood for drinking. So I totally copped out and got a soft drink. Vic for her part did get a Guinness but only drank the top. Wuss.

Dublin is lovely. I'd recommend it to anyone. Packed with tourist-y things to do plus bars, cinemas, bars, theatres, bars, the academy, bars, cute boys, bars and shops. Oh and bars. Indefinitely what I enjoyed the most though was the hospitality. People were only too happy to help wherever we went, from barmen to hotel staff to bus drivers and just randoms on the street. I've never felt so welcome away from home. And every single bar we walked into felt so comfortable and welcoming.
Amazing really.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

From The Garden

My rabbit is shedding. Usually this is no big deal. Bunnies do this about three times a year in reaction to season changes. But, much like his namesake, Fye is a bit of a preener. So it breaks my heart to see him with a mini mohawk on his back.I was outlining THE PLAN (a.k.a. what I'm going to do when I'm done being a summer bum) to one of my workmates earlier and was a little startled by her reaction:

ME: So I should be done working here by November. At least.
MARIE: Oh, I don't know. I doubt you'll have found a job by then.

HUH? Am I really that unemployable (and is this a word?)? Or just really naiive? I mean, I have damn good GCSEs, good a-levels and a degree! Plus four years work experience, a fine reference and voluntary work! Wouldn't you employ me?

I'm not looking for a job with Alan Sugar. Just anything full-time, please.

Fye is glaring at me. I think he wants me to get off the laptop and put him back in his sparkly, clean cage. I'm turning away and pretending I can't feel his gaze burning a hole in my back.

Tomorrow I must say goodbye to someone very special for 3 whole weeks. And then some. I'm not very good at goodbyes. I usually opt for the nonchalant, playin-it-cool, emotionally redundant method. Which often, I've learned, results in regret. Maybe I should add it to my list - learn to say goodbye. But isn't that just tragic? I don't want to grow accustomed to goodbyes.

I think maybe I should focus on improving my hellos.

I'm gonna get a pinwheel when we go to Blackpool. A BIG one.

(And the seventh unnatural hole in my flesh has a name! Isby!)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Number 5 (Get Up, Get Up, It's A One Night Stand!)

So I'm falling behind with these posts. But at least I'm doing the tasks!

5. Go Abroad

Marseille is one weird city. And I had one weird week there. But anywhere with my compadres guarantees laughs and downright legendary memories. I have a few favourite moments of the week:

- Watching Kyle and Dan eating at the Haagen Daas restaurant for the first time. I've never seen grins so wide!
- Taking Toni on an unexpected tour of every fountain in the city whilst she was dying to pee.
- Eating cherries as black as coal.
- Rescuing Dan's shorts (we mustn't give up!)
- Ring Of Fire
- The night(s) of pulling stupid faces
- Our many failed attempts at whispering (so as not to wake poor Vic)
- Groin

So you must have seen it coming that I'd whip up a little Marseille vid. Tis hardly my best work, but it amused me nonetheless.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Sunrise, Sunset, Swiftly Go The Days

The world is ending. Bright eyes are... retiring!

One more album then poof - Conor Oberst turns back into a whiny, dull folksinger forevermore. So sad. What a waste.

I was wandering, wandering, wandering today and this beautiful idea literally leapt into my head. Maybe it snuck in through my ears? Or was stealthily injected into my veins? I really hope it wasn't slipped into my drink.

Anyway. Toni Maiden you need to phone me. Preferably tomorrow. Preferably before four o'clock. Thank you please.

LOOK at what lucky girl Karen received yesterday:

(Plushies not included)

I also got a Skinny too! America doesn't deserve her.

I've been reading this blog which is basically a guy reading the Twilight saga and summarising the chapters. Perfect for both Twilight lovers and haters. If you've got a minute to kill, check it out.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


I love being English. We were on a train and Vic was getting quite fired up (as per usual) about folks always
complaining about the UK. The NHS specifically, but that's irrelevent.

So while we were in France I had cravings. Mainly for a decent cup of tea and complete control of all music (gah! Mark's music taste... it just makes me ill). But it was English food I missed most. One cannot live on sandwiches and cherries forever.

So today after church I had beans and sausage on toast. It was sooooooooooooooooo good! The butter was literally oozing out the toast.

My Mother puts onion on her sandwiches. Don't you just think that's gross?

Friday, July 17, 2009

In Case You Never Know

"as we grow and follow our own dreams, friendships are no longer as effortless as they once were"

I've been feeling the weight of forever dragging me down the last couple of days. At Manchester Orchestra last night, they played this song called 'I've Got Friends' and its all about letting people go. I sat around a table with five of my closest friends today. And there was only one I felt close to.

The others are just slipping through my fingers.

The right thing to do is let them go. But right now, when my whole life is so uncertain, I can't see it like that. I can only see them leaving me. Leaving me behind for dreams, ambitions, aspirations and new people. So I pull away first.

It doesn't help that my life seems to bore them all. Whether that's true or not, its just how I feel, how I've felt for a while. I'm like a hick country girl surrounded by city slickers. And I hate that so much. I should never resent my life like that; I know how lucky I am.

I discovered something disconcerting in the last week. I can tell the truth. But it's like a transaction. People tell me their truths, bear their shivering souls to my scrutiny and I feel obligated to reciprocate with a piece of myself.

Obligated! Fucking obligated! That's just messed up.

The truth is so overrated. It can make you cry, or hate, or flinch. It changes people. I really don't recommend it.

But there you go. Tell me a secret and I might just tell you one back. And then kick myself for ever opening my mouth.

And like a week ago I said I hate when people write self-pitying posts. This isn't one. I'm young and healthy with freedom of speech and a good family. People would kill to be so lucky. I am that lucky.


Just to add, Frank Turner's new song is now on his myspace. It's FUCKING LEGENDARY. Check it out or live forever without true musical enlightenment.

Frank is a true poet.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Number 3

Okay, so this one is technically (if we're ordering them chronologically) number 4, but whatever.

3. Go To A Gig On My Own

I've dragged my mates to a lot of gigs. And I've missed out on a lot of gigs. Strangely I just couldn't bear to miss out on Manchester Orchestra.

Going on my own wasn't so bad. I got to the front and waited. And waited and waited. I was, oddly enough, surrounded by Americans too.

Once the band had come on, all was well and being on my own didn't feel strange at all. I was just so glad I'd had the courage to go. It was a great night and the band were great (even though the most gorgeous guitarist in the world has grown a moustache).

Now I'm just thinking of other gigs I could go solo to... like Mew in November... mmm, squee...

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Au Revoir

Sooooooooo... I'm going to France today. Which means no blog-age for a week. Unless I find an internet cafe.

Gosh, there's so many butterflies in my stomach right now. It hasn't really hit home that I get to spend a whole week with (some of) my favourite people in the whole world. I'm too busy stressing to be perfectly honest.

It'll definitely be alright.

I was in negotiations with a guest blogger. But most people who read my blog will be in France with me so we decided to save that little treat for when I'm away later in the summer. You can look forward to it.


Sunday, July 05, 2009

Self-Righteous Facist Dick

There's one thing that I know I'm good at. And lately I've had doubts whether I actually am as good at it as I thought.

People have this ability to knock you down. And the worst part is that most of the time they never realise how they've hurt you. When I have a bad night at work, I think about all the things I'd say if I were to quit right then. But I can't quit. When you have big plans you need hard work to fuel them.

So I just keep going.

I am excited about all the wonderful things waiting for me this summer... but it's all tainted. By failure. Uncertainty. Impending loneliness.

I've been writing. I think it's really good, for once. I'm doing the write what you know thing, even though I don't believe that. And someone keeps bugging me about guest blogging next week. Maybe a week of silence is what this space needs.

I do apologise. I generally hate when people write self-pitying posts. Am I self-pitying? Or stoic? Or just scared shitless?

It kind of says it all that I don't know.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

The Music That Saves Me

*Who loves Jack's Mannequin?

Kaz loves Jack's Mannequin!

Is it true?

MMM-HMM! I do I do I do I do ooh!

(*you may only understand this if you were born in the 80s)

Oh yeah baby, we're going watching Jack's Mannequin!!! Squee, squee, squee! And this will bring my 09 gig total up to TEN!!! TEN GIGS IN ONE YEAR! And that's only so far. Who knows how many I might end up attending before the year is out? I have rocked this resolution.

There aren't many bands that make utterly perfect, that make music that you always feel like listening to. Personally, I can only name 5. And Jack's Mannequin are indefinitely one of them. I just can't recommend them enough. I converted Toni, Skinny and Dan into fans (and boy do I take full credit for that). Even Stephenie Meyer credits them in part for Twilight!!!

(Either, 'Caves', 'Swim' or 'I'm Ready')

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Number 2 (heh heh)

Oh really, if I ever get too old to laugh when someone says number 2 please shoot me.

2. Go For A Meal In Chinatown

This was a joint celebration of Kyle getting older (woo!) and Vic coming home. I'd wanted to do something a bit... different. And this was certainly different.

The guys ate with chopsticks (must be a macho thing). Toni could barely eat any of her main meal since she was so full from starters. Markie had duck for the first time (and liked it). And we ate orange slices afterwards during which we discovered that I am, apparently, shit (because I don't eat oranges right).

And I finally have overcome my Chinese food phobia (caused by an unfortunate dim sum experience). I still wouldn't say Chinese is my favourite cuisine, but it's nice to know that I don't have to write it off completely.

I love chinatown. I'd recommend it to anyone.