Friday, December 30, 2011

How To Be A Woman by Caitlin Moran: book review.

I'll be blunt: not many things keep me up until 3am, stifling giggles under my duvet. David is one of those things. Black Books and Flight of The Conchords are two others, and now How To Be A Woman, a memoir slash rant slash advice book by Caitlin Moran, who writes for The Times is a third. It was recommended to me by both my mum and Kate, so I was pretty stoked when I find it amongst my presents on Christmas Day.

I never considered myself a "feminist" per se, merely someone who considered equality to be a good thing and with a passionate, slightly weird love for the poetry of Adrienne Rich. However, a few chapters into this book, Moran invites me to stand up on a chair and shout "I AM A FEMINIST!" over and over. Much of the book is concerned with feminism, what it is, how it's doing and, well, how to get by "patriarchal bullshit"!

First things first: this book is completely and utterly mental. It's not for the faint hearted. The first chapter deals with early teenage madness: periods, masturbation (lots of masturbation, good lord), feeling fat and, er, having stones thrown at you. The book's chapters have a pattern: anecdote from Moran's life followed by rants and a few little life lessons on, well, how to be a woman. It goes from Caitlin at 13, flying through bras, boys , jobs and lapdancing. We learn about her long haired, horrible boyfriends, her failed attempts at clothes, how she feels about role models (Jordan...well, let's just say that I wouldn't recommend she read chapter 14.) as well as covering serious stuff like love, childrearing and abortion.

The book took my breath away in parts - I found myself giggling nervously over the undeniable TRUTH of some parts, feeling slightly ill at the thoughts of other parts and, more often than not, nodding in agreement, akin to scrolling through a "shit girls do" Twitter account.Granted, from "I get married!" on, I found myself nodding with agreement less - particularly with the abortion chapter, which is really not for the faint-hearted. I, for one, had to scan read it very very quickly for fear of throwing up or bursting into tears.

This emotional roller coaster of writing just proves that it's fantastically written. It's hilarious, thought-provoking and even the motherhood bits are made interesting. I'm definitely going to be recommending this far and wide, particularly to guys - just to see how they react!

4/5 :)

2011: Because a picture speaks a thousand words, part one.

I'm not going to lie: up until June, 2011 kind of sucked. I was sad, school was basically my whole life and I listened to a LOT of bad songs. I also wrote some really cringy poetry...but anyway. Happily, the latter half of the year took the roughness of January-June and kicked it's ASS. I had a blast from July through to the fun I'm still having between studying, of course! So much has changed - I know people say that EVERY year, but it's true, this year more than ever. I've grown up (a lot!), done new things (I've been drunk! I went to parties!) and I've chilled out a lot. Basically, the second half of 2011 made me a lot happier than the first half, and possibly several preceding years. Or maybe that's the tomato relish and cheese sandwich I just ate talking.

In July, I did the best thing that I could have done: I fucked off to France for two weeks with only my family and 8gb of Doctor Who to keep me company. We stayed for a week in the South of France, before training it down to Paris for a few days. Taking the train around France was so much fun - I'd love to go inter-railing when I'm in college, solely for that dusty, exciting smell you find in train stations in Europe. Not the damp smell of pee and weariness in Connolly. France was gloriously sunny, pasta filled and relaxing and even though I was ready to leave by the 14th day, two weeks with family and without a phone did me good. Also in July, I had a bunch of people stay over and we watched horror movies and Jeremy Kyle until 6am. My last day of July was visiting a CTYI reunion, which was nice, but weird. I didn't miss it this year, to be honest. But that's another story.
I love this photo. I'm not sure why - it was a mistake, Dad got in the way. But it's cute.

Ah, August. August 2011 is a month I have a feeling I'm going to remember for quite a while. [warning: this WILL get slushy. Those who cannot wait for my New Years Resolution to take effect, look away now!]
August started off with a very scared, chocolate finger-touting Áine spending three weeks in Connemara: totally alone. It was the scariest thing I've ever had to do in my life - I'm FINE socially (better than I think, apparently) but my god, when you're surrounded by hundreds of teenagers, all with friends, it's a bitch to go up to them and become their new BFF. Scratch that: that's hard IN ENGLISH. In fractured, halting, why-do-I-do-honours-Irish gaeilge? It's next to impossible. For some reason, however (karma?) the fates smiled on me and Gavin, who I knew vaguely from Colaiste Acla 2008, was there. After a slightly awkward dance on the first night, some intervention from the wonderful Jana, and a very helpful beret, I eventually managed to make some friends. And, wonder of wonders: dear readers, I met a boy! David, after a week of asking me to dance, stealing my hats and trying not to get kicked out of Colaiste Sheo, got his act together about a week in and we've been together since. And it's wonderful. And he's wonderful - I can't say it enough. AND I WILL SHUT UP NOW.
August was cray-cray when I got home, too: suddenly I had this boy, perched in South Dublin, who I was expected to visit from time to time. So a good portion of August was spent on Bus Eireann. I did have time, however, for a few tea evenings with my friends, some trips to Donadea, and, most importantly, THE DEBS! The Debs was absolutely fantastic - after months of waiting, dress trying on and worrying about how short my hair was, I had a lovely night, happily drunk off friends, David and vodka and ribena, the drink of kings. Oh, and Kate got her Leaving Cert. results - 475. Exactly what she needed. Vintage-fucking-Kate.
August deserves two photos - it was the best month of 2011 by a country mile. So here is the gang in Connemara - I'd just begun to talk to everyone there, I was freaking delighted.
Me, Neil, Conor, Roisin, David, Emmet, Gavin, Orla, Jana, Andrew, SHANE!, and Eoin :)

The Debs! (also the only decent photo of Dave and I known to humankind)

Oh, September. The hallowed month of returning to school - for the final time. I feel as though a cloister bell should be sounding. Yup, in September I began my Leaving Certificate year, and it's been pretty relentless so far. There were still some great moments, both in school and out - History class has become somewhat of a sanctuary for me, and no doubt the bants were had in that class. I also turned 18 in September, in the middle of the week - party hard! My favourite moment of September came from the "information night" we had in school, where Sheila, Ashley and I laughed so hard I thought we'd be kicked out. And we learned the most important lesson of all...

No doubt the highlight of this month was Frances', Brenda's and my joined 18th shindig, held in the splendour of Chez-Franki. I went to see The Lion King for my 18th - which was lovely, too, but it doesn't quite compare to a house party and all that Blue WKD. I also voted for the first time in October, saw Michael D. in town, and stayed in my granny's house for a week. Here she is reading my Home Ec. book, which is apparently fascinating. Oh, and the obligatory costume party shot -

Like April, November is a nothing month. It's dull and boring and no one likes it. Is November your favourite month? I thought not. I saw three plays in November: An Triail, Big Maggie and Silent, the latter being a definite 2011 highlight. It's a one man play about homelessness, suicide, drugs and homosexuality, but it's hilarious, heartbreaking and wonderful. Go see it if you ever come across it. Phenomenal. Other things that happened include my trip to the Mock Dáil in NUIM: I didn't exactly do Scoil Mhuire proud but I enjoyed it, and it was definitely a cool new thing to try. I also attended my best friend Ross' older sisters wedding, which was mucho fun for a school night! Here's my and Rosstifer on the night - aren't we cute?

As I type this, it's the last morning of December 2011. December was great once I got off school - which seemed to take years. I also attended a party in ~Terenure, which was interesting to say the least. I went to Open Days and celebrated Christmas with a cow tea towel and a shiny new iPhone 4. So yeah, I didn't do too badly at all. There isn't much to say about December, mainly cos I've been blogging it all - so, to sum up, some photos! Here's Emmet skulking at the Terenure party, and Roisin and Brenda being Harry and Ron in English class.

To sum up: 2011 was the girl with the curl in the middle of her forehead. When it was good, it was very very good, but when it was bad it was weeping, wailing and bad poetry, not to mention horrid. Here is a list of things that I learned this year:
  • It's very hard to maintain a secret relationship with an asexual.
  • More cheese is always a good idea, but so is the gym.
  • Long, drizzly walks in Connemara CAN be fun.
  • Sometimes, one has to accept the weight.
  • Space Mountain is less fun the second time.
  • Alcohol is, in fact, my friend.
  • Documentaries about bikes are a whole different genre of documentary,
  • Black leather boots work with ANYTHING.
  • Stuff is always more fun when you have a Blue Box.
  • I could trust Brenda and Zoe a hell of a lot further than I could throw them.
  • I might never be Beyoncé, but it sure as hell won't stop me trying!
  • How to make truffles.
  • SOCKS!
  • When you're sad, Doctor Who can always cheer you up.
  • I'm actually pretty great.
  • I have no idea what to do with my life.
  • Sometimes, dance music is great, particularly when Calvin Harris is involved.
  • Never trust a suit wearing Englishman. He will steal your beret.
Here's to 2012. Come at me, bro.

One of the funniest photos of me taken this year. Success Áine says thank you for reading and have fun in 2012 :)

2011: Because a picture speaks a thousand words, part one.

Here's the deal. 2011 was a big year for me. So much changed that quite frankly, I can't get my head around it. Writing about it, even in two halves like Meg did, seems like an enormous task that I'm simply ill-equipped for. Too many personal things happened, and not enough cool stuff happened to me. Meg interviewed the Taoiseach, goddammit.
Then, however, Eimear from Tumblr saved the day. She mentioned that sh'd post her favourite photo from her project 365 to represent each month - and I'm shamelessly stealing her idea. 2011 will thus be summed up in 12 snapshots, each with a different meaning. Nights out, school books, new friends... Hell, I might post a song for each month, too. Anyway, let's get ready to rumble!


See, I'll admit it...the best part of January 2011 was the return of a certain ginger-haired, Limerick based blogger who I happened to be quite fond of. Not to open old wounds, but the short story is that we don't talk anymore, so even though that was the most important part of that month for me, no doubt...I just can't bring myself to do it. So what else happened in January? Well, very little, it appears. I saw Black Swan not once, but twice, and enjoyed it both times. I travelled up north, and took a great photo of my dad grumpily reading "Hello!" magazine. I also seemed to do an awful lot of school work - what sort of fifth year was I?


Again, rough stuff was happening at this point - rough stuff that'd eventually take over and keep me miserable, until, well, August. Cheerful, huh? Now you know why I didn't enjoy this year...I did get my very first iPhone in February, as well as doing a lot of cooking and having a small party in my house. I also saw The Field, by John B. Keane, marking my year-long habit of going to the theatre. To balance this out, however, I made My Chemical Romance my single concert of 2011, and my god, if that doesn't make photo of February, I don't know what does.


Ah, March. Where shit got really real. Ok, ok, I'll stop now, but I spent most of this month being a moany, sad, stressed-out mess. I also found out I didn't get to travel to Zambia with my school - which, I'm not gonna lie, is still a kick in the teeth. But hey, Zambia isn't going away any time soon! There were also some lovely moments - I spent my St. Patrick's Day with a huge group of friends watching Moulin Rouge and eating. I visited Orla in Wexford and watched fireworks in the rain, and then kind of ruined a lot of things. I haven't been back since. I'm dedicating March to Orla, one of my best friends. We've had...well, we've had a bitch of a year, to be honest. But we're still awesome. Just saying.
Here are the aforementioned fireworks.


Christ, what happened in April? I find April to be one of those downer months, where nothing really happens. One is stuck between summer and winter, bored and grey. I know I was - I scarcely remember April, but my 365 says that I went to a bunch of parties, including Fiona's and Tiarnan's. Both were good nights, actually! I also cut all my hair off (not the first of many times where my hair goes way too short) and visited Wexford with my family. I read a LOT of books (6 Darren Shan novels in one day, if memory serves correct) and most importantly, my newest cousin, Isabella was born. She totally deserves the photo here, though she's a lot cuter now, I promise.


Fucking May, bro. May means summer, and summer means an upturn in Áine's spirits. Fuckin' ay! The Easter holidays finished up, and suddenly the world was one of BBQ's, grad parties and end-of-year things. I won the English award for my year, which was wonderful and (I can't lie), one of the highlights of 2011 for me. I also went to see Fucking Barack Obama, where I queued for a good six hours and was still about a mile away from him. However, the single best photo of May (and possibly the year) goes to this shot of me and Nicole in the bathrooms on sixth year grad night. She told me to look frightened. I still am.

June was the most fun that I'd had for the whole of 2011. I supervised the Junior Cert. exams in school, which sounds like a bore. Except that it wasn't. I made 300 euro by watching Doctor Who, chilling with some wonderful friends of mine and Mr. Gorry, history teacher extraordinare and hero of mine was there to chat with us. I repeat: 300 euro. Who cares that it took up 3 weeks of my time? It was fantastic. Other June highlights include my trip to Galway with Kate ("There is a startling lack of small free birds in Athenry!") , Franki's Come Dine With Me night (one of the best nights of the year) and the Shakespeare and performance festivals, lovely days in lovely Dublin. I also managed to get 4 A1's in my summer exams (and a B IN IRISH!!!!!) which was jammy enough. This is my favourite photo of June: on our last day of supervision, we ordered Dominos pizza. Twice. Roisín, who got quite attached to it, is pictured here doing what Project Maths does best...and by that I mean only does. Dividing pizza into 8 pieces.

Tune in tomorrow for 2011: part two, in which Áine actually has a rather nice time, despite the horrors of the Leaving Cert. beginning!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Handwriting tag!

I'm getting terribly obsesse- I mean, fond of Franki's lovely blog. Much like her, it's fun, pretty and laid back, and she tagged me to post some handwriting tag thing. I felt like writing earlier today (I promise, I did) but unfortunately, I was out until 11pm! Stupid Bus Eireann, ruining my plans for blogging and such...anyway, here's me tag.
My handwriting is somewhat multi-personalities. I have very, very, very small and tidy handwriting for Home Ec., very messy writing for History and everything in between for everything else. Mostly it's a mix of print and cursive and it depends on not only the pen, but how I'm feeling today. My handwriting doesn't reflect me at all - I'm damn consistent, but alas, my writing is not.

1. Forename and name of blog
2. URL of blog
3. Write 'The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog'. (It has all 26 alphabet letters. Oooh!)
4. Favourite quotation
5. Favourite song(s)
6. Favourite Artist(s)
7. Anything else you want to say?

Monday, December 26, 2011

Peace, love and presents.

Morning, afternoon and evening to you folks - I hope that everyone had a lovely Christmas day yesterday. As I said before, I love Christmas, but I'm just not feeling it this year! Bummer, huh?
That said, it wasn't exactly the worst day of the year. I'm typing this post on my glorious new iPhone 4, which does...well, everything bar talk back. I love it. It's fast and shiny and doesn't buzz when I call someone. iPhones are great.
Obviously, I just got a few small thing s after the phone, which proved to be kind of bizarre. I got a cow...(I think it's a small tablecloth, but I'm not sure. ) thing, a set of kitchen-y things (oven gloves etc. - I do love baking!) and te awesome-looking How To Be A Woman, by Caitlin Moran. It's a feminist memoir written by a comedian and it looks brilliant, I can't wait to get stuck Into it :)
Outside the family, I got wonderful presents from Zoe and David - I got this mug from the former and a super cool Dalek poster from the latter. They know me too well! I also got a USSR war medal from Dave, which is super cool to a history nerd like me :)

I spent yesterday with my parents, siblings, grandparents and uncle's family - which meant a lot of running About after my three year old cousin. My day culminated in Facebook and rum, quite naturally - my family are all too sick to spend time with, as I'm trying very hard to stay healthy. Festive cheer, wha'?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Poetry: Iniskeen Road, July Evening by Patrick Kavanagh.

I realize it's something of a cop-out to post Leaving Cert. poetry here, but hey, poetry is poetry. We've just finished Kavanagh in school, and while I didn't really enjoy his stuff on the whole (blah blah blah ordinary blah extraordinary BLAH) I really liked this poem. It's the first poem we covered, set in Monaghan in the 1930's when Kavanagh was young. It's about being lonely, frustrated, isolated and never being able to go to the dance. Fun stuff, you can imagine.

The bicycles go by in twos and threes -
There's a dance in Billy Brennan's barn to-night,
And there's the half-talk code of mysteries
And the wink-and-elbow language of delight.
Half-past eight and there is not a spot
Upon a mile of road, no shadow thrown
That might turn out a man or woman, not
A footfall tapping secrecies of stone.
I have what every poet hates in spite
Of all the solemn talk of contemplation.
Oh, Alexander Selkirk knew the plight
Of being king and government and nation.
A road, a mile of kingdom, I am king
Of banks and stones and every blooming thing.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Hugs and stuff.

Remember when you were a kid? You'd fall down, someone would be mean to you, or you'd break your favourite toy. It was like THE END OF THE WORLD, at least to an over-emotional kid like me. But for the most part, our knee jerk reaction was to burst into tears and run to Mammy for a hug, right? Parents had this knack for making everything better - I know that if I was a mum, screaming kids would wreck my head, but that never really seemed to happen with my mum - rather, she always, always made it better by hugging, kissing and cuddling Tiny Me.

For some reason, my intrinsic thought was that Hugs Just Make Things Better, along with soothing words and (in my dad's case) threatening to "fix" the perpetrators.

Fast forward ten years. I'm eighteen and I spend a lot less time falling down. Being mean to me will generally result in being screamed at and most of my dearest possessions are in less than three pieces. My love for affection, however, has remained. Physical affection is something most of us adore, but I'm the first to put my hand up and claim addiction. It doesn't have to be parental or romantic, I just love showing affection to my friends and family. I visit my granny once a week and I've never once forgot to hug her goodbye. I kiss one of my best friends (on the cheek!) for something as small as holding a book for me. I get comments all the time concerning Dave and affection, from my mum to my sister to people we went to the Gaeltacht with.

Affection comes in lots of forms - for instance, I know people who do kind things for people they like, or even just tolerate them, but that's as far as they go. In a way, the toleration or the nice gestures (ceetainly the latter) is affection, just in a more abstract sense. After all, who hasn't got the warm fuzzies after someone bought them something or lent them their French copy? As I've talked about before, those who are aloof people I admire, not only because of their infinite coolness, but the fact that they don't need to constantly prove how they feel about someone. That's just it, isn't it? For some reason, a lot of affectionate people feel the need to express how they feel about others. All the freaking time. I'll freely admit to this. Telling people that they're awesome makes me feel awesome, and though lately I've been getting a twist in my stomach thinking about being annoying, I generally assume that it makes them feel good too.

Speaking of twisting stomachs, lately I've started to think that, at eighteen, my affectionate nature just isn't cute anymore. In fact, in terms of romantic relationships, it's probably a little bit...well, can you say desperate? Luckily, I have a boyfriend who's (to quote) "very used to it" and doesn't mind my near-constant hugs and compliments. Still, I'll admit, my nature has started to plague me. I've been able to scale back (somewhat) with my friends - sixth year and all that - but in a way it's repressing myself, and shouldn't I be able to be Born This Way? I guess not. I guess there's a line between cute and annoying, and my nature stands astride that fine line.

What do people think? Is affection overrated or integral to, well, being human?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Christmas.

I love it when older people call the festive period "The Christmas". It's one of those ways of talking (along with the truly wonderful "I do be" tense found only in rural Ireland) that has become quaint and unusual, now that we all talk like we're American. But anyway, that's another post.

We're well and truly into Advent now, with a mere 12 days to go before Christmas day. As a sixth year, I don't have exams this year, but for some reason this hasn't really helped my festive spirit. I'm just not feeling Christmas this year, though I think that might be the Leaving Cert. talking.

If it's not that, it might be that we only got our tree on Sunday. Normally, we all go to Donadea forest and spend a good hour debating the merits of trees (I like the short, plump ones. Everyone else likes them as tall as they'll go.) before buying two as a compromise. We bring them home and decorate them with our mishmash of decorations, ranging from classy spangly baubles mum bought last year to, eh, my doughy playschool creations. Job done. Pretty as anything. This year was different. I was too bogged down by projects to pick the tree, and it's now Tuesday and it still hasn't been decorated. It's a little bit sad. I can see the tree from where I'm sitting - it's cute, quite small actually - with three sad looking ornaments on it. Sin é. It's a sad sight, I'll tell you. Our other tree - the 7ft behemoth in the corner of our conservatory - is something I don't even want to look at. Why my parents insist on buying a tree for a room that's about -20c on a good day, I'll never know.

Something else that's preventing me from getting into my usual Christmas happiness is the fact that I don't finish school until the 23rd. Neither do any of us, I guess, but it's not exactly festive to have French verbs, photosynthesis and algebra heaped upon your head. Though I guess we did cover "Advent" by Patrick Kavanagh in English, which prompted me to start singing this, and it's been stuck in my head ever since:

Yeah, it's a four year old. I can't find the Grinch version! It's accurate though. This year, I just can't seem to find Christmas. Maybe I need to look deeper into the box of Roses or go to mass or something...

Saturday, December 10, 2011


I just ate four slices of pizza without really thinking about it. Yes, I'm disgusting, but I've also eaten little else today. Pizza is the most horribly addictive food, with the noble exception of cheese & crackers. But hell, I really, really adore food, particularly when it's cold and when RTE News is on in my living room for the third time today. I do things without thinking a lot of the time nowadays, often things that aren't particularly good for me. More often, it involves pizza, actually.
However, some things are better than food, though largely because they don't evoke a sense of guilt regarding the eating of pizza. Some things, however, are out of my reach because of the bloody year that's in it. Sigh.
Some things make sixth year survivable.

I am terribly cheesy.


There's something about Apple products that just...attract us. Maybe it's the price of them (whisper it, children of the Celtic Tiger), the cool white layout of the website, the shiny apple logo found on all their products, or the shape of a curvy, slender iPhone or a smooth, well rounded Mac. Yes, yes I did just semi-sexualise Apple products. My point, however, still stands. We love them. Worldwide, people can't get enough of the shiny poshness of Apple, particularly iPhones.

What is it about them? Why are "Apple snobs" so reluctant to switch from the iPhone to the Android, good, solid Nokia, or even the wonderful 14 euro phone that Dave has? Off the top of my head, I can think of three people in my close friend group with an iPhone. Of this, I know at least two are on bill pay - the rest of us soldier on with a phone that costs about 400 euro, plus the credit spent on 3G internet, texts and phone calls. My best friend Zoe, proud owner of a shiny iPhone 4, always has her 3G on. Always. I can't help but wonder how much her phone costs her!

Why are we so obsessed with ludicrously expensive iPhones, though? Is it the feeling of them, perhaps? Is it the status? Are we all just brand addicted fools?

I myself have an iPhone - I got it as a present earlier this year. It's an iPhone 3G (that's three models ago, folks) and while it cost me nothing, it's also wrapped in Sellotape to keep it together. It takes about thirty seconds to load an App and sometimes, it just doesn't want me to listen to music, alright?
So why is that, when mum suggested I get a new phone for Christmas, I point blank refused to think about other phones? Is it the feel of my wonderful phone in my hand? 3Gs are curved around, not square and blocky like the newer ones. It sits perfectly in my hand, and it's pretty heavy, but in a comforting way. I can shove it in my pocket and I'll know it's there. While I don't really care about the aesthetics of a phone, it's nice to have a screen that bright, a message system that snazzy and a phone that just looks cool.

Maybe it's just the fact that when one's phone rings, an iPhone can be casually whipped out. It's the most careless of status symbols. I often notice that it's commented on with people I'm with for the first time "You've got an iPhone?!" iPhones are rare enough these days, I suppose, but it feels like everyone's got one, it's no longer a big deal, really. Personally, I feel the need to belittle my poor phone at this stage "Yeah, but it's held together with sellotape. And it's third hand."
The poor phone never did anything to deserve me dragging it down to my I-can't-afford-a-4S level. It tries its best for me.

Or maybe, just maybe, it's the handiness of it all. I can keep all my pictures on my phone and edit the crap out them with Instagram. I can check my e-mail and my Twitter. I can stay on Facebook chat long after my parents have taken the laptop, though I'm not always sure this is a good thing. It's...simple. What else can be plugged into my computer and download all my music like that, even if it will only play it 8/10 times?

I love my iPhone, but I'll never pay full price for one, and come Christmas you can be sure that if my shiny new phone is under the tree, it'll have a shiny eBay tag attached to it.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Madeira cake and a length of copper pipe

This is a blogpost brought to you by two things: my stress and my brother's taste in music.

I get stressed because I'm doing my Leaving Cert. When I'm stressed, I like to bake - but I'm not good at baking by any means. My best friend Zoe makes the greatest cake in the world - it's science - but I'm more of a "sure toss it in, it'll be fine!" kind of person.
This has occasionally gone very, very well (cinnamon and chocolate cupcakes, anyone?) but more often than not ends up in me feeding the mixture to Marley, our dog. I don't bake for the cake, though - it's a wonderfully de-stressing experience, like taking a bath or going for a walk. The mixing, the scooping, the measuring, and the deliciousness of a warm cupcake are just brilliant for chilling me out.

Madeira buns are the single greatest thing to make when you feel like something sweet and you've got feck all in the house, which I nearly always do. Sometimes, I make my granny's wonderful marbled madeira cake: it's plain madeira with chocolate swirled in and it's absolutely to die for. I'd give you the recipe, but I'll leave that to part two of the post...

My younger brother is quite the accent whizzkid, and lately, he can't stop singing songs by The Rubberbandits Spastic Hawk ("Spastic Haaaaawwwk") is his most recent find, and he will not stop singing dinner, doing homework, playing football, he never stops!
He also showed me this recently enough, and I was in stitches laughing at it! I never normally go in for Irish comedy - particularly novelty-ish acts like these guys, but my god, this is perfect. Though it's ten times funnier when Enda does it.

Infinite cool and a bad case of verbal diarrhoea.

Since I got back into the blogging groove I have become a little obsessed with reading other people's blogs, both those I know and those I don't. To my utter delight, I discovered the fantastically written and damn cute To Be Quite Franki quite by accident the other day - it's a new-ish blog about fashion, art and life written by my lovely school friend Frances. It's brilliant, but I had absolutely no idea that it existed until the day before yesterday when I stumbled upon it.

This might sound a little, well, weird, but I really admire Frances' ability to keep stuff like a blog quiet. We've been friends for a good while now, and I never knew about her blog - whereas I set this one up less than a week ago and it's all over my Twitter, Facebook and I tell everyone in real life, too. Likewise, my long-suffering school friends hear stories about David on a daily basis, and great as he is - I'm not sure they care quite as much as I do. I'm naturally quite chatty and extroverted, but I just can't seem to shut up sometimes. It's a serious flaw in my personality. Being an open book is all well and good, but sometimes one needs to learn to keep quiet. Last week, I asked my friends to hit and/or berate me if I mention David or college - so far it hasn't quite worked, but I live in hope. I may not need to broaden my vocabulary much, but I certainly gotta work on my topics of conversation.

Like I said, I have an infinite admiration for those who are just cool - who don't need to broadcast their lives to the world. The sort of people who don't have their name on their tumblr and who, in my head, listen to cool music and wear a lot of layered, autumn coloured clothing. Actually, a lot of my close friends are like this - Kate hasn't posted a Facebook status in months - but it's just not in my nature to be introverted. In a way, it's self-interest. I'd love to be introverted in that way, though, because telling everyone about (almost) everything comes across as so childlike. I should probably work on becoming cool before college...oops, there I go again!

To sum up, here is a photo of Kate and I: she's a blur, trying to get out of the photo, wheras I...well, see for yourself:

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Maybe I'm a sucker for weird versions of songs, or maybe I'm a sucker for this song, but either way, I can't stop listening to this!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Tumblr and my Irish Mammy Complex.

Tumblr is brilliant. It's a really easy to use, really popular, really addictive blogging platform full of pretty pictures of things and wit. I've been using it for two years now and I'm hopelessly addicted, despite several attempts to wean myself off of it. However, some things about it I will never truly understand. Ever. One of these is topless Tuesdays, but that's a whole different blogpost, I'm telling you.

Tonight, I came across this photo:

I really and truly don't get it. Is it art? Is it cool and hip to have nosebleeds now? Are the hipsters going around punching each other like in Fight Club or some shit? I get that Tumblr is for expressing one's feelings through art and whatnot, but I really, truly do not understand why this is cool or beautiful. Maybe it's me, but all I think when I see photos like this is:
  • Who took this?! (I also think this about sex photos, seriously, what the what.)
  • He/she is going to ruin their clothes.
  • Someone's going to have to clean that up.
Yeah, that's right. On seeing that picture, I mentally ran through the procedure for stopping a nosebleed in my head and then my brain let me know what gets blood out of clothes. This is when I realized that five years of Home Economics has caused me to develop Premature Mammy Syndrome, when I have the thoughts and phrases of an Irish Mammy, 25 odd years too early. I love Irish mammies - my friend Danielle does a magnificent impression of one - but hell, I'm 18, I'm not even close to being a mammy! I suppose at the end of the day, I'm the one doing the washing and the drying and running yis back and forth to school like a taxi and what do I get for it?
Oh lord. Kill me now.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Implosions, by Adrienne Rich.

This poem totally blew me away when I came across is on Poetic Medicine the other day. That said, Rich's stuff always blows me away - I've never connected to a poet so much, or found any work quite so powerful as hers. It's strange, in that to most people she's the lesbian feminist one, but I am neither a lesbian nor an ardent feminist, but by god, I love her work. She's hardcore, dammit.

The world's
not wanton
only wild and wavering

I wanted to choose words that even you
would have to be changed by

Take the word
of my pulse, loving and ordinary
Send out your signals, hoist
your dark scribbled flags
but take
my hand

All wars are useless to the dead

My hands are knotted in the rope
and I cannot sound the bell

My hands are frozen to the switch
and I cannot throw it

The foot is in the wheel

When it's finished and we're lying
in a stubble of blistered flowers
eyes gaping, mouths staring
dusted with crushed arterial blues

I'll have done nothing
even for you?

"Keeping my options open" and nostalgia overload.

I'm just back from the DCU Open Day, which I went along to with a few friends solely because I had an Irish test toda-...I mean, I wanted to keep my options open for myself. The CAO application has been open for a few weeks now, and to be honest, I can't think about much else until I finally fill out that form. I'm fairly sure where I want to go, but it's no harm to have a look around, as my mum would say.

As previous readers know, I attended CTYI in DCU for three weeks in the summer of 2009 & 10. I loved it at the time - however I may feel now - and arriving into DCU today was a really confusing experience. Don't get me wrong, it's a lovely college, and it was much friendlier than the UCD open day - there were helpful studenty types everywhere, we were given bags of free stuff and it had a really nice atmosphere of student-ness. DCU is forever intertwined with the CTYI experience for me, and even the smallest things caused a wave of nostalgia.

For instance, the restaurant smells the same as it did, and the revolving trays for food are still in place. The Quad is still the Quad - just with a good deal more smoking. Spar is still horribly expensive and I felt nervous sitting in The Street, despite being a prospective studnet and completely allowed to. It's really weird to think that all I have to do is get 400 points and I could be living permanently in the Larkfield apratments and hanging out in the same places I did two summers ago.

Though they really are the smallest student apartments on Earth.

My problem with open days is that I'm generally too busy running around seeing my friends from outside school to really get a proper look at the place. Today was no different - Franki and I left the Communications lecture before it started and looked at make-up instead. Then I met Conor, but that's beside the point - my point is that I seem to get very little DONE at Open Days, particularly at DCU's today. It just...didn't appeal to me though! Now that I think about it, it's probably the fault of CTYI that I never considered DCU as the university for me, and today I was proved correct in thinking that going back as a student would just be too weird. As I said earlier, it's a damned cool university, just not the right one for me. The right one for me is currently way up in the air and causing quite a bit of stress, but hey, it'll be fine.

One thing I will say, though: student food? Deadly. I got curry chips, a Snack bar, soup and juice for a fiver!

Thursday, November 17, 2011


There, I've started. The first word typed on Áine's blog part 6 is an inane greeting. Typical. Now that I've started, I'm not sure how to continue.
Some of you may remember me from such moderately successful blogs as Dobby's Sock, which got (kind of) nominated for an award once and actually did okay for itself. Then I deleted it without warning, advice or much thought, really. I didn't miss it at all - a word of warning to bloggers, the "blogosphere"...well, it's not a nice place. Or, to be blunt, it's full of absolute pricks.

I'm not here to talk about DS, though. It was nice and pretty and I put a lot of effort into it, but it's over and done with and this blog is certainly not going to be version 2.0 of that. For one, it got boring and for two, I'm going to be a lot lazier nowadays. Meg still posts on her blog daily - sorry, but that shit ain't happening here guys. This blog is for funsies.
For those reading who have forgotten or have never heard of my other blog, hey, I'm Áine. This blog is for me to post ill-written thoughts concerning life, love, music and The Leaving Cert.
ll be a lot of that, but hopefully it won't develop into one of those hugely depressing Leaving Cert. blogs. I don't want that, so I'll try and keep it interesting. Even more so, I'll try to keep it as a Leaving Cert distraction, of which I have an alarmingly large amount, between Facebook, the boyfriend (who will be mentioned way too much, just warning you) and organizing my notes by colour and topic.
And cleaning my desk. Though that normally doesn't go so well.

I'll also try and keep it short. A lot of blogs I read go on and on and on...and on about one vaguely interesting topic, and I know I find myself scanning lines and wishing I had a highlighter for the key points. (God, I really am an LC student) so I'll try not to bore you too much.

A bientot, lads. And yes, I'm aware that should have a cicumflex-y thing. Oh well.