So I Finally Got Away…

Posted on June 10, 2013

… To Dublin. Alone – and just a little lonely – but it was still worth doing.

I’d already been once before, but this time I fancied returning to see/do the things I missed out on the first time. Also it was my first time travelling solo, and I was like “well this would be a good opportunity to see how you get on”.

It took a while between landing and checking in, so I used this gap in time to visit The Book of Kells at Trinity College (a major tourist trap this time of year but still worth seeing). I took some photographic evidence:

The Old Library Staircase

The Old Library Staircase

The Old Library

The Old Library

 

Books which helped contribute to the university's collective knowledge

Books which helped contribute to the collective knowledge of the university

The Old Library (a notable literary inspiration) complete with all its various treasures from throughout its history (yes I know the photos don’t do it justice but I couldn’t resist a little snapping):

Trinity College Dublin

Trinity College Dublin

Dublin is a city with a certain atmosphere which is hard to pin down. It feels almost like Britain (being in relatively close proximity, and with the people speaking English and everything) but it has rather more of a European vibe. The summer heatwave certainly contributed to that feeling, as I ran about like crazy, here and there, trying to decide how put little ole me to the best use in this place.

Kilkenny

Kilkenny

A ruin in Dalkey

A ruin in Dalkey

So I turned it into a mini-adventure; I went to places of interest on a whim, I ate a ton of salady veggie food from the outlets which have popped out around the city, I took pictures, I did a ridiculous amount of walking. I visited Kilkenny and the coastal town of Dalkey, both very pleasant places to spend a morning or an afternoon, and to just get away from everything for a while should the city become too intense. Which it did for me, quite often, as much as I enjoyed the whole experience…

I made the most of my time there and came home. I don’t regret doing it, certainly.

In fact, I’m pretty sure that I’ll at least try to plan something like this again soon…

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Re-Reflection

Posted on May 12, 2013

Exactly a year ago, in my post “A Bit Of Reflection”, I pondered a key turning point in my life, and where I would subsequently be a year on. This, today, is a year on – how time whizzes by :/

Some things are more or less what I expected them to be:

My parents went ahead and took over the inn that they’d had their eye on, and after LOTS of trials and obstacles things are starting to pull themselves together, and it’s turning out to be a most successful venture (plus somewhere to escape every so often).

My fiance and I are still engaged – we’ve still had our respective hardships in our lives which have overlapped into each other’s life, which has sometimes made for a wobbly crossing, but we’ve managed to find a way to keep going, and at the time of writing, are still going strong

Some things just… are:

I graduated from uni in June, shortly after the original posting. My GPA was quite a bit lower than I was hoping (and expecting), mostly due to the difficult birth of my dissertation, plus dropping a couple of classes as a result a sudden bout of apathy – perhaps unwisely. But I still managed to graduate with an M.A., and have taken pride of place among the millions of other graduates who are floundering around, over-qualified for many jobs but under-qualified for that perfect one…

Some things are not quite what I expected them to be:

I’ll admit that I had assumed that I’d be well on the way to a successful career in writing. That is partly true – I gained an internship, and further experience down the line, in content writing, a little of which was paid but most of which was voluntary. But in terms of creative writing (nanowrimo for example), that has been considerably more of a struggle than I thought it would be.

Lack of confidence in my writing, plus few impartial and willing people available to proofread and give constructive feedback, have resulted in my writing remaining pretty much for my eyes only. I dare not even self-publish before taking this step, for fear that something I love, and have taken time to create and nurture, will be torn apart callously by some unknown figure, whether or not justifiably.

I have the continually nagging feeling that… despite all the above, I still should have done something by this point in time. It’s weird how long one can continue to postpone. A year ago, if I thought I’d still be at this stage, I’d have administered a swift kick to the arse (if it were physically possible)  and been like “COME ON ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! :{”

I guess this would now be a good time, without leaving it any longer anymore, to actually put something out there. Like, for proper digestion and contemplation. And hopefully a receptive audience. If there’s one actually out there.

Oh well, time to keep on plugging away. Once again.

:(

Posted on February 23, 2013

Boy did I jinx the hell out of my last posting.

The Amsterdam deal was a scam, we ended up cancelling and are now back to square one (#firstworldproblems is what you’d be quite justified in calling this issue but hey this is my venting space).

Still itching to go away somewhere (or indeed anywhere but here) as soon as possible; whether it’s a genuine lust for adventure that’s brewing within me, or simply an increasing despondence with where I live, or something else entirely, I’m really not sure. Maybe it’s all of the above.

I wonder if a “moral of the tale” can be drawn here – or if it’s simply a case of shutting up and moving on. I’ll probably just do that anyway. With a sulky face.

On Yer Bike

Posted on February 17, 2013

Dear reader (whose existence I am still somewhat doubting), some things have indeed been happening of late.

I continue to write daily, although usually in micro-doses which over the course of the year so far has probably barely amounted to a page – I. Need. Direction. Because. I. Suck. At. Creating. My. Own. Direction.

I’ve landed a paid gig creating quizzes for learners of English as a second language. The work has been a bit on the sporadic side, but it’s still something. Significant other has also landed a new job at an old workplace but in a new position. Things have progressed for both of us in that respect recently, just a matter of seeing if things continue to go swimmingly.

Having been generously bought a shiny new road bike, of course it would have been rude not to take it for a ride, so that we did today. It took some getting used to, to say the least, and there were a few definitely hairy moments, in which I came uncomfortably close to veering into the path of an oncoming car or lorry due to not being able to pull down on the brakes properly because my hands are just too tiny and I was skittish on my new bike… but that aside, it was good to be back out on the bike, and it was a rather nice day – but I’m not sure whether my beloved one would say the same thing, having not been able to take a more challenging uphill route and really get the old gears going. Sorry.

There’s the chance that we’ll be going to Amsterdam for a day in the near future. Yes, a day, and no, not for the reasons one might imagine  It should be an interesting excursion, if only to see just how much we can possibly fit in, and well worth writing about I’m sure.

But for now, a full recovery from the exertion of the day is on the agenda, along with a gamely attempt to keep up the momentum on what’s been going on.

Happy New Year. Yes I Know It’s Late.

Posted on January 15, 2013

I didn’t even bother to make any proper resolutions this time.

Either they fall apart quite spectacularly (leading me to regret ever announcing them,  like I had a chance of following through with any of them, in the first place) or indeed following them so ardently, and to the letter, that I end up turning myself into some kind of automaton gone into overdrive – which doesn’t really benefit anyone, least of all me…

Alternatively, I’ve just made an understated pledge (quietly) to just “get on”; that is, with whatever that comes my way, what simply won’t go away in the first place, and new things which latch themselves helpfully onto the back of the line.

Still being an unemployed graduate with far more free time than I deserve, I’ll at least try to return to this space every now and again and post something that differs a bit more from this one.

A Pet Is For Life. No Really.

Posted on December 20, 2012

Reading the news every day, there’s a great deal to be depressed about, though one thing in particular caught my attention, due to the sheer recurrence of the story.

The SSPCA has recently issued a fresh warning to those who would give a pet as a Christmas present this Christmas – because the sad fact is that so many of them end up abandoned in shelters, and even on the streets, as owners find that taking on a new pet isn’t quite the no-strings-attached ride they were expecting.

The Scottish SPCA has announced that they will no longer be re-homing animals during the peak Christmas period (December 20 to January 3), in a bit to avoid even more pets undergoing the ordeal of being accepted into, then promptly rejected from, a new home.

The sheer number of reasons given for returning unwanted pets – late-onset allergies and keeping the house tidy, to name a couple – all fail to disguise the real reason; that their old-timer pooch or moggy is simply not as “cute” in their old age. Furthermore, so many of the people making these excuses are the ones who ignored the plain fact that pets – whatever species or breed they are – require lifelong love and care – not to mention a bit of the loyalty that they give to their owners so freely…

 

Personally, I would love to have a new furry addition to the household, whether during the festive season or indeed at any other time. However, I have also witnessed the experiences of other people when it comes to pet owning, and all the potential hidden costs and time-consuming measures that need to be undertaken just to keep the critters happy and healthy.

However, these people in question have thought very carefully and for a long time before going for the plunge, and have the domestic and financial resources to be able to care for them properly. Cats and dogs can make quite a mess of the home and require endless amounts of attention, and ferrets… you’ll be very grateful for the existence of air freshener if you’ve ever encountered any.

Despite the various problems their pets can have, overall they are a joy to have in the home, and they won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. Maybe I’ll be able to commit to a pet, or pets even, of my own some day, but for the time being, my tiny flat and limited income have meant that I’ve had to put that on hold for the foreseeable future, and restrict myself to cooing and pulling funny faces at unsuspecting pugs, danes and everything in between – when their owners aren’t looking, of course.

To re-cap – if you’re reading this, having found my site by some fluke or miracle, PLEASE do not make pet-buying or pet-adopting an impulse purchase, thinking of it as something that can simply be returned to the store.

If in doubt, leave it till you’re definitely ready.