It’s the season of top 5 lists more than ever this year as we crawl to the end of a decade. Here’s my list of the things that are essential to my Christmas:
David Parkes’ Christmas Hits on repeat (cassette version too for a nice old school crackle)
Fixing the Christmas tree lights
Myself and the sisters wearing Santa hats *all* the time
Drinks and chats at my Nana’s before midnight mass on Christmas eve
The annual Christmas day swim fundraiser for the RNLI after morning mass in New Quay
The first one on that list is particularly close to my heart. It was an RTE production of the classic Christmas songs along with a cracking ‘disco’ medley at either end. The cassette has been wheeled out and left in the stereo every Christmas for as far back as I can remember and has been the sound I associate with being at home in Clare for the festive season.
I had a look online last week to see if perchance it ever came out on CD or there was still some way of getting a copy of it as I’m sure the cassette is bound to wear through sooner rather than later. To my delight and surprise it’s available on iTunes for €8.99! You can even get the individual medleys on their own if that’s your pleasure. Can’t believe it was released in 1992 – where the heck do the years go? I was still writing letters to Santa then!
My beloved mam and dad are celebrating 30 years of marriage today.
For someone in their early 20′s (barely!) that seems like forever. That’s at least 10,950 cups of tea between them. Yikes.
It’s wonderful, truly amazing considering the ups and downs they’ve faced along the way.
They’ll probably kill me but mam was 25 and dad 22 when they tied the knot in the 70′s. It’s really comforting for someone of a similar age to look at them and think that despite being so young and still very wet behind the ears, I shouldn’t be afraid to make big decisions and leaps of faith.
While on the bus home, the chatter on Twitter about the 09.09.09.09.09 timestamp home sparked a memory of a blog post I had read. It was on Darragh’s blog, on 08.08.08 (and probably at 8.08am too knowing him) looking back on the year that had passed. I hope he doesn’t mind be borrowing the idea as a mould for a post that I’ve had lying around the nether regions of my head for a while.
So where was I this time last year?
This time last year I was living in the apartment I’m now looking across the rooftops at. Luckily, this apartment was quite compact and all on a single level as I tore ligaments in my left ankle and was resigned to crutches for about 3 weeks, unable to stand or walk on it. It was horrendous for someone as independent in mind as I am. But it helped me learn a lot of things about myself and people close to me at the time that I thought I could rely on so not all bad
I had time booked off work to (finally) take a holiday for the first time in nearly a year but had to leave booking it till the last minute as I wasn’t too hot on the idea of spending a holiday abroad on sticks. Thankfully it all worked out and I got to book a trip to France sans crutches where my long-held romantic notions of the country were confirmed. The food, the wine, the landscape and cityscape of Lyon and the Rhone Valley, the lifestyle, the attitudes. I loved it. Lesson learned: holidays are really good for you.
In summary, things were pretty good – nice new place to live, job I loved, had started learning to drive and in the full of my health (well, from the knees up anyway!).
And this year?
Right now, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. I’m thankfully still in the job I love, in the full of my health, living in a lovelier (and cheaper!) new place with a great family and group of friends around me none of which I’ll ever take for granted. And I’ve found my best friend.
In the past week/10 days I’ve seen a fantastic production of The Rivals at The Abbey, saw David O’Doherty record a fantastic live gig at Whelans and got to go along to the wonderful Bugs Bunny on Broadway at the National Concert Hall.
In between and around all of that I’ve got to meet some fantastic new people, catch up with friends I love, move into a new house, spend Sunday in Croke Park watching a great game of hurling, eat, drink, sing & dance. I’ve got a job I love, a wonderful family and friends around me and we’re all in pretty good health.
I’m not bragging. I’m just high as a kite & realise that I can’t take any of this for granted. I’m incredibly lucky and grateful for my lot in a time when so many are probably struggling to find the motivation to get out of bed in the morning.
I’m off out for a crazy day of adventure and (hopefully) fun with a wonderful fella.
Whatever you do today, I hope you have a great one. Sure maybe even see you out there
So I’m moving in just over 2 weeks time. Not very far but still, it means packing up my material world & then unpacking it into my new place. To say I hate moving would be a massive understatement. I loathe it.
The loathing is mainly caused by the amount of stuff I have. 7 years of renting in Dublin means I have accumulated quite a lot of gear. When I moved last summer it took my poor dad 4 trips with his big-ass Ford Scorpio & a lot of lifting. Since then I’ve been to Ikea twice & that’s enough said right there. I want to do a serious clear-out this time around & need some advice on the hows and wheres of recycling my unwanted gear.
Clothes - I have lots I want rid of. Not torn or destroyed, just well-worn. Who should I give to/where/how?
Books - talking nerdy stuff here that’s probably out of date such as the Director MX 2004. Straight into the recycling bin or stow away in the attic to laugh at it in years to come?
Packing - considering using those vacuum bag things but haven’t used them before – are they any good? Any caveats/recommendations ?
Moving - (all going well) I’m moving to a house within the same little development I currently live in. It’s a 5 minute walk from my 3rd floor apartment down to the house around the corner. A shopping trolley would be ideal for moving but sadly, I don’t own one. Ideas for an alternative or have you got a trolley I can borrow?
Advice on any of the above would be superb, particularly the clothes side of things. Oh and of course, like I said last time, I’m never moving again