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My Never Ending Series of Unfortunate Events – A Collection of ‘Jessisms’.

So the other day while casually pondering life (ya know, as ya do), it occurred to me that I’ve had some pretty weird and unfortunate shit happen to me over the years. Now I know we all have our wacky experiences and encounters, but I’m starting to think that I have a significant amount more than others. After 23 years, and countless inputs from friends and family, I’ve come to the conclusion that ‘it’s just something about me.’  Apparently ‘I just have that ‘look’ (whatever that look is I’ll never know).

I’m just a recipe for disaster. A walking calamity. A magnet for mishaps. Quite a while back, I decided it might be a fun idea to compile a list of what I like to call my ‘Jessisms’, or in other words my own personal never ending series of unfortunate events. I’ve had this blog saved as a draft for some time now, and I’ve been slowly adding to it as my propensity for misfortune continues.

(Before I begin I must point out that most of these instances weren’t actually my fault, and therefore the circumstances surrounding them should not solely be put down to, clumsiness, stupidity, intoxication, or the colour of my hair).

Without further ado…

Being bitten in Coppers:

This is probably the most bizarre of them all. So there I am on my 19th birthday, minding my own business, enjoying my suddy and red to the gentle sway of Nicki Minaj in the basement of coppers. Utterly Sophisticated. When then, out of no where some middle aged bald guy runs up to me, bites me on the shoulder, and runs away. Next thing I know I’m being fussed over, your man is ‘goin to get the absolute shit kicked out of him,’  and there’s talks of tetanus and A&E in case the creature drew blood. Luckily he didn’t. Probably not surprising for coppers, but still unfortunate nonetheless.

Getting caught in the clothes line: 

It was a grand summers evening, and being the model child that I am I decided to hang out the washing for the fam. It was back in the too-young-for-a-job-days, so doing the housework would get you your 20 euro for the week. Which looking back is kind of bordering on the lines of child labour, but anyway. I had set out with great intentions, only the next thing I know I find myself literally stuck to the line. My long hair had betrayed me by getting deeply entangled in one of the pegs. The only thing I could do was stand there helplessly and hope someone would rescue me. A good forty minutes later my sister arrives back from my nan’s and sets me free. I have had a strange aversion to clothes lines ever since.

Being put in a strangers car by my father:

(Here’s looking at you Tom Keogh).

I regret to say that this one actually happened. It was around about 5 years ago, before my driving days. My dad was giving me a lift to the bus station, as I was heading back to college. All was going well, it was a seemingly inconspicuous Monday morning. That is until the car broke down less than half way through the journey. It wouldn’t have been so much of a big deal, if it wasn’t for the fact that I had a test that day that I couldn’t miss. If I missed the bus I missed the test. The car wasn’t budging and there was no one around to come to our rescue. So what does my dad do? Stands out in the middle of the road and attempts to flag down oncoming traffic. He then starts pleading with random strangers to take me and my mortified self to the bus station. Next thing I know I’m flung into a car, case in tow, with a woman called Ann and her two kids. Ann kindly threw me out at Waterford bus station some twenty minutes later, after the longest and most uncomfortable silence of my life. On the re-telling of this story my  Dad always says, “well didn’t ya make the bus?”. Yes Dad, I may have made the bus, but I can assure you my pride did not. (Also, she could’ve been a psycho killer, but whatever, “sure I made the bus”).

Accidentally using ‘Intimate feminine wipes’ on my face

Okay now this was just deceptively cruel. Who even knew such things existed? Again, not my fault. The culprits in question were bought for me under the illusion that they were, in fact, normal facial cleansing wipes. A similar incident happened shortly thereafter, when I used my nephews  “nappy rash” cream on my face. A serious dupe for sudocream let me tell you. I’ve now come to the conclusion that I need to just give up on facial products in general.

Drinking my own contact lense:

Some of you may remember this one from Facebook.

Yes I indeed happened to drink my own contact lense. I’m not proud of it, in fact it still haunts me to this day, almost exactly two years after it first occurred. It wasn’t a sick dare or anything, it was just something horribly and disgustingly unfortunate. You see, anyone with contact lenses will understand the hardship of taking them out after a night out. Sometimes you surprise yourself and manage to store them perfectly in their little containers of solution. More often times than not they can end up glued to your eyelids, left to shrivel on two plates, or in this instance floating in glasses of water. Now you can see what happened next. I’m drunk, I wake up in the middle of the night, I’m thirsty. I innocently reach for one of the glasses of water beside my bed, and well you get the rest.

Capsizing in the waters of Slovenia

Now this one was a genuine near death experience. Not being dramatic. So I’m on an inter-rail with a group of friends, and we decide to do something other than destroy our livers. That something turned out to be white-water rafting. Very adventurous of us altogether. Let me set the scene. So we’re looking sexy in our wet suits as we embark our vessel. (Which was basically a blow up floating boat, and not a raft made of sticks like I had originally imagined/secretly hoped). Our instructor ‘Yuri’ was quite the man, and ensured us we were completely safe as we navigated our way through Slovenian waters. All was going well, until all of a sudden the boat capsized. Before long we were all being flung rapidly downstream. At first we found it amusing, but after Yuri’s frantic screams of ‘this is fucking serious,’ we were in full titanic mode. The water was fairly shallow, so me being me, think ‘ah sher it’s grand I can just stand up and sort of walk back’. Disaster. Of course I’m flung back straight onto my arse and dragged across rocks, dodging trees, and screaming for my life along the way. What made me think I could walk against a rapid current, I’ll never know.  In the end I somehow managed to swim back to the raft, oar in hand, exhausted. All I could do was lay there like a wet seal and wait for the others to be rescued. Tragic stuff.

Being asked on a date to Mcdonalds by a Dublin Bus driver:

Now I know some of you might not view this as unfortunate per se, some might find it flattering. But picture the scene. It’s 11:34pm. I’m en route home from a late shift and I have to be up and back in work at 7am. All I want to do is peacefully disembark the bus and fall in to bed. I press the buzzer and I approach my stop. The bus driver seemingly innocent, turns to me and asks in the thickest Dublin accent “Dya wanna go ta Mcdonalds?”  Still genuinely not sure if he was asking me on a date, or if I looked like the type of person who frequents McDonalds. Either way I stared blankly at him, shook my head politely, disembarked the bus and ran for my life.

Wearing my leggings inside out to work:

Now I must stress that for 6 months straight I had to endure the pain of 7am starts, something my former college student self wasn’t accustomed to at the time. (My present self is now peeling herself up at 6.30am). Anywho, after my early rise I then had a bit of a bitch of a commute, so naturally these types of mishaps were bound to occur…weren’t they? Nonetheless, after my usual ritual of crying into my cereal at the foot of the stairs, I set out for work. I got on the bus, put in my earphones and tried to avoid the oncoming plague of other passengers. Only then did I happen to look down and realise that my leggings were in fact inside out. Facing an hour long commute and a further 10 minute walk to work before I could rectify the situation, there was nothing I could do. Fortunately I wasn’t the strangest creature on the bus that day.

 Being abandoned by my ‘friends’ in a dyke:

 When I was in primary school we had a dyke (which is basically a washed out ditch/trench like thing), that ran along the back of the school. Of course we were forbidden from going near it, but that never stopped us. I remember coming to school after spraining my ankle in a separate unrelated trampoline incident. I was on crutches, but my friends convinced me to come out to the dyke anyway. Not wanting to miss out on any of the fun, I agreed. Next thing I know I’m being lowered into the dyke crutches and all. It was all fun and games until  someone got wind of one of the teachers coming. Everyone fled, leaving 10 year old me alone in the dyke to navigate my way out with my crutches.

Being run over by a bike in Sweden:

I think I’ll let the below speak for itself on this one. I did legitimately have a stalker in Sweden btw, but that’s a post entirely of it’s own.

Chipping my tooth on a pole in Barcelona:

Not intoxicated, just blind and laughing too much. I probably reacted a little too dramatically when this one happened, but in fairness it was one of my worst fears realised. I thought my whole tooth was gone. Plus, I hadn’t long shed my braces, so it was pretty upsetting. I did however, get to rock the ‘London Look’ for a few days.

At this stage, I think I should probably start wrapping this up! I am aware this post is probably quite long, but it has only just scratched the surface. I mean I could probably write an entire book filled with my misadventures, perhaps one day I will. For now I will leave you with these short anecdotes, in the hopes that you enjoyed reading them just as much as I enjoyed re-telling them!

As Mr Lemony Snicket himself once said:

 What might seem to be a series of unfortunate events may, in fact, be the first steps of a journey.

~Jessie

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It’s True, Nobody Likes You When You’re 23

I must admit, 8 months into my 23rd year and I’m starting to think Blink 182 were on to something.  In case anyone reading is unaware, (and it’s not obvious from the title), they coined the infamous lyric ‘nobody likes you when you’re 23’.

Twenty three is just awkward. It’s not as crazy as 18. It’s not as fun as 21. It’s not as blissfully oblivious as 22. Why you might ask? well because 23 is that horrible year where you have to start realising things. (Kylie Jenner I’m lookin’ at you).  You’re plucked from your lovely little college nest and turfed out in the real world to start fending for yourself.

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They don’t prepare you for this kind of thing. Nobody teaches you how to suddenly adult. Sure I spent the last four years perfecting the art of seeking out the cheapest wine, but that’s not exactly going to equip me for the impending 9-5 slog (although some would disagree with me!).

I’ve found these months of my post college life to be some of the toughest thus far. It’s more than coincidental that this time seems to coincide with my 23rd year..

I mean it’s very difficult figuring out what you want to do with your life, and it can be disconcerting when things don’t go how you expect. I packed up my life and hopped on over to London, only to move back 8 months later. As buzzfeed once said (yes, I’m quoting buzzfeed), you’re expected to have your shit together, but have none of the resources required to get your shit together. Truer words have never been spoken.

It seems like you have a lot of options, but they all come with some sort of catch. Do you find a job and start working right away? But that leaves no time for travel. But how do you fund the travel without a job first? So many questions, so little answers. Whatever you find yourself doing though, it’s terrifying because it’s the first time you have any real responsibility.

You’re an adult, but you’re essentially the baby version of an adult.

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Now you have to start thinking about scary things, like making appointments for yourself and learning how to cook a roast dinner. On top of all this you’re faced with the realistation that your next significant birthday isn’t until 40 (we all know people who throw 30th’s are kidding themselves).

All of a sudden you can’t afford your lifestyle. All of your lovely luxury student discounts have disappeared, and you weren’t prepared for the reality of ‘adult’ prices. Honestly how do they expect you to afford full whack when now you actually have to pay bills? So rude.  With that being said, I’m still doing my best with the ‘strategic thumb place’ and wrangling whatever cinema and train tickets I can. A girls gotta do what a girls gotta do;)

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The thought of getting older is scary because you feel so far behind both in an emotional sense and a career sense. You’re itching to get beyond your years and make something of yourself, yet at the same time you don’t feel as if you’re ready. It’s a total mind-field really.

I read someone describe the year of 23 as ‘upsetting, brightening, hardening and hectic all at once’. I couldn’t agree more. It’s just one big massive limbo. I find myself pushing myself to be the best version of myself. I’m constantly striving to do better. I find myself in working environments surrounded by people who have achieved so much, and subsequently I feel a bit useless. I then have to remind myself that these people are much older than me. They have more experience, and I am only, after all, just twenty three.

The biggest thing I’ve learned in the last few months is that sometimes you have to go backwards to go forwards. Because the truth is you ain’t gonna walk out those college gates and into your dream job. You’re still gonna have to rely on a helping hand every now and again, and that’s nothing to be ashamed of. You have to walk before you run and all that jazz.

If nothing else, 24 is only 5 months away 😉

 

 

 

 

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Final Year Fear

FF_Divider_Pink4I’m aware at this stage that a lot of my recent blogs have adopted the same ‘help I’m in final year’ tone, but it’s hard not to think about the fact that ‘real adulthood’ is getting closer with each passing day.

I mean fuck, it’s scary. I’m not going to pretend otherwise. Looking back first year seems like it was just yesterday, but at the same time it also feels like a million years ago. Back in 2012  19 year old fresher me thought 2016 was a lifetime a way. Yet here I am. A mere 12 weeks off graduating and becoming a person. It’s kind of a catch 22. In one way I can’t wait to finish and finally be done with essays, group presentations, and classic literature! But on the other hand I’m going to miss university life and the prospect of finding a job is actually terrifying.

When you’re little you  just assume that when you grow up you get a job and become successful, like it’s that easy. You also have that blissful innocence that you can be anything you want to be. I, like many others went through many different stages of wanting to be many different things. I think my very first dream job was to become an actress. I was quite the little drama queen, so it didn’t seem too far out of my reach.  I loved performing on ‘the stage’ in our house (that is the step in our family kitchen). I would parade around for anyone that would give me the time of day. It was all fun and games, until I realised we didn’t live in Hollywood and despite being a dead ringer for Beans from Disney’s ‘Evens Stevens,’ I wasn’t destined for sitcom fame.

So then came my next dream job. The classic ‘I love animals so naturally I’m going to be a vet’ phase. That is until I was swiftly informed I’d have to operate on the ‘ugly’ animals too. And there’d be blood. Ew. After that I think I scaled my ambitions back again. I decided I was going to be a teacher. But I had a conflict of interest because I also wanted to be an author. Naturally ten year old me decided that this wasn’t going to be a problem and I was just going to do both. Yep a teacher by day, and a kick ass best selling novelist by night. I think somewhere in between that I also wanted to be a doctor, but I knew even then that I couldn’t forgo my social life for 600 leaving cert points and 7 odd years in college. (Serious kudos to all those who do).

I suppose at this stage you’re wondering the point of this little rambling. I just think it’s funny that when you’re younger you have no concept of limitations or self doubt. Anything is achievable and you have the whole world in your sights. Now that I’m finally at this stage in my life it’s like I feel as If I can’t do any of it. Though deep down I know I have the skills, it’s just that awful fear of not being good enough, or not getting hired etc.  It’s mad, when you’re a child you’re supposed to look to the adults for help and guidance. Though I find myself longing for reassurance from fearless 10 year old me. I know she’d give me a right kick up the arse and tell me to cop myself on. Call me crazy but I think we’d actually be much better adults if we rekindled our inner child a bit! Obviously within reason.

There’s a common complaint among myself and those in my course; and that is we don’t get the time to read and write the things we actually want to read and write! Which is precisely why I’m writing this blog, to escape the annoying demands of  my FYP. In some ways I feel like academic life really does curb your creativity and confidence. Sometimes I feel like I don’t have time to work on other skills and aspects needed for the ‘dream job’. Which nowadays involves either staff writing for an online publication or something within radio or broadcast journalism. But ironically the further I progress in my academic pursuits, the further away it seems. Strange that.

Anyway I’m sure there’s going to be plenty more tears and breakdowns over the next twelve weeks, but as I’ve so frequently heard, ‘It’s all a means to an end’. Where I’ll be this time next year I’ve no clue, but as long as I have good people, a strong shade of Mac lippy, and a customary glass of wine in tow, I’m sure I’ll be alright.

Until the next existential Crisis!

~Jessie

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How to survive a wedding dateless: The Do’s and Dont’s:

So Thursday of last week saw me attend a family wedding solo. Like many of the guests in attendance,   I of course was given a “plus one”.  It’s funny, I remember about a year ago when my auntie was making the invite list she said to me “Ah sure you’ll probably well have someone by then” .  Unfortunately that wasn’t to be. After an arrangement with a fellow single family member fell through *cough* thanks Barry 😂 I was left dejected and dateless. But not to worry I still had my pride..

I approached the situation with an optimistic Facebook campaign:
Which sadly yielded no results.. So I ended up being the only guest who didn’t bring a plus one. (Aside from uncle John who travelled alone from the states, but he’s married so that doesn’t really count).

I mean I could’ve brought a friend, but I decided to brave it alone. What with feminism constantly reminding me that I’m a strong independent woman who don’t need no man, I couldn’t let the sisterhood down 😂 To help my future single ladies out, I decided to compile a little list of Do’s and Dont’s, key to surviving a dateless affair.

Do: drink wine. Lots and lots of wine. It’ll help you relax, and genuinely make you seem like an all round more interesting person when you get a few grigios in you. Plus it’s free at dinner. If you get a sound waitor like I did, he might just fill a bigger glass for you out of sympathy.


Don’t: trip down the stairs with said glass of wine in your hand. And if you do, make sure it’s  only your uncle and his partner that see. (Shout out to uncle Chris and Kate for picking me up and dusting me off). Probably best to avoid carpeted stairs in high heels on any given day.


Do: go all out at dinner. Hey who are you trying to impress? You came alone. Chow down and enjoy..


Don’t: automatically assume that just because you didn’t bring a plus one, that you might somehow get two dinners. You won’t.


Do: make over-compensatory jokes and quips about how great single life is and how happy you are.

Don’t: decide you’re going to try flirt with the barman and then subsequently sneeze in his face. I heard that happened to someone I know at a completely unrelated event………… 

 

Do: spend time chatting to other guests and family members. Just because everybody came in twos doesn’t mean you can’t be an amazing third wheeler! In all seriousness though, be social. 

Don’t: be afraid to bust some moves on the dancefloor. If uncle peter and his new hip can tackle it, so can you. Just be sure to run to the bathroom and hide when the slow set comes on..


Do: take advantage of drunk fathers and family members by getting them to sponsor you a round..

Don’t: take yourself too seriously. Don’t have a date? Draw one..

        

 At the end of the day weddings are a celebration of the bride and groom, and whether you attend the event single or with a plus one in tow, you can still have a great time with friends and family. I know I did 🙋

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How to survive festival fomo

So it’s that time of the year again. Thousands all over the country have descended upon Stradbally Co. Laois for the annual Electric Picnic festival. Thousands, except you. Whether it be work commitments, college, or just plain empty pockets you’ve had to count yourself out of the festival shennanigans this year. In my case it came down to both empty pockets and a serious clash with the All Ireland hurling final. Being from Kilkenny there was really no question about it. (This is coming from the girl who took three connecting flights home from Sweden last year just to be there). Nonetheless, that’s not to say I’m not also experiencing some of the festival fomo blues. 

*fomo for those that don’t know is the fear of missing out.

You’re stuck at home feeling sorry for yourself and it seems like festival goers are unavoidable with their never-ending updates of fun. But fear not! Instead of deleting your Facebook, Twitter and snapchat, and disappearing off the face of the earth until it’s over, there are some ways you can combat the fomo. 

The @Ireland Twitter account, which is being curated by Chris Williams @thatbritguyie this week has created the fun and clever little hashtag #EPathome. It’s a fun way for those of us rejects who can’t attend to get involved! Rather than just stare venomnously at our snapchat feeds and the TV coverage we can pretend we are actually there. Twitter has really been embracing it that’s for sure! 
   
    
    
   
Some interesting suggestions there no doubt. Here’s a look at my own attempt: 


Another way to fight off the fomo is to look at the negatives. 

Being squished in a two man tent with 10 other people, or panning out on the comfort of your own couch? Think about it. 

You could also pray to Mother Nature that the heavens open up and saturates all those smug attendees, while you’re within the confines and safety of your electric blanket.. (see what I did there… )

Sorry. 

 Though I realise that kind of thing is a form of extremism. Use at your own risk. 

Aside from that there’s plenty you can do to keep busy. Have a movie night, head out and about for some retail therapy, or you know cheer on the Cats in Croker with me on Sunday 😸 For those at the festival though, I do (however begrudgingly it might seem), hope you all have a memorable time. 

Maybe there’s hope for the rest of us next year! Happy EPing! Whether it be at Stradbally or #EPathome 

 

 

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Life in Barcelona 

As many of my Facebook friends know already, on June 21st I began my journey  to the beautiful city of Barcelona. Back in February I decided (somewhat out of the blue) that I wanted to Au pair, teach English, and immerse myself in the wonderful culture of Spain. While simultaneously passing on some of my own Irish charm of course😉🍀.  Having spent a memorable semester abroad in Sweden I seem to have caught an insatiable travelling bug. From -16 degrees and 10+ inches of snow, to 32 degrees and plenty of sun, sea and sand it’s safe to say a new adventure is well and truly under way.

One of the first things I’ve come to notice about Spain is not only the warmth that radiates from the sun, but the warmth that radiates from the people. Don’t get me wrong, the swedes were friendly, welcoming and seriously efficient, but in two short weeks the Spanish have made me feel like family. I’m staying in an area just 10 minutes outside Barcelona called Sant Cugat De Valles with a family of four and I’m au pairing for their two girls, Sofia and Paula. The girls are incrediblely smart, caring and creative. They make me laugh every day and have already started treating me like a big sister, giving me this just two days into my stay:


On the Tuesday  after I arrived it was a big festival in Spain known as St Joan ( pronounced like “juan”. Of course my bogger Irish accent was saying Joan).  My host family explained that st Joan is basically a big celebration of the summer solstice – the shortest night of the year. Great emphasis is placed on it particularly in the Catalunya region. Basically it’s a night of fireworks, eating, drinking and celebrating. It kind of reminded me of paddys day over here. My host family had friends over and everyone was responsible for bringing a different dish. I ended up trying lots of authentic Spanish food, I even surprised myself by trying and liking what I called “this slimy fish looking thing”. I’m not one for sea food, but I was offered a piece of homemade toast with a sweet jam, and what looked like a worm on top of it. Not wanting to be rude and deciding to just be adventurous, I went for it, shcoked that I actually enjoyed it. I’ve already opened up my palette to trying lots of different foods which I’m pretty happy about.  Considering lunch often features spinach , and dinner isn’t complete without a salad I’m hopeful I’ll be a “skinny mini” in no time 😂

What I really love about the Spanish lifestyle is that a huge emphasis is placed on sitting down and eating meals together. There’s something so lovely about that. We eat breakfast lunch and dinner together outside everyday. It’s a practice that’s largely lost in today’s society. Given busy schedules, families tend to eat separately. I’ve already learned so much from my host “mam and dad”, Silvia and Alfonso. They are constantly telling me about their lives and Spanish culture, asking me about Ireland, my life, and what I hope to do in the future.

As far as the city goes, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything so strikingly beautiful before. Everything about the city just takes you in. The buildings, the people, the atmosphere, the restaurants. I haven’t gotten a chance to do anything too touristy yet, but I’m hoping I’ll get to do gaudi’s infamous Sagrada Familia sometime this week. I did get to see the camp nou football stadium though, and that was seriously impressive. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves on this note:

  

  

  

 

Even at that these snippets don’t do the city justice.

Moving on then to my “metro disaster”.  It’s true no adventure in the life of Jessie Keogh is complete without some form of misfortune. I move to Sweden, I acquire a stalker ( legitimately) I move to Spain, I’m a victim of robbery. Below is a picture of the Spanish metro, it looks so pretty and quirky on the outside, but inside lurks some of the worlds most skilled pickpockets, and I of course found out the hard way. It’s funny actually, only a couple of days before it happened Silvia told me to be careful telling me their previous au pair was robbed of €250. I remember thinking “that will never happen to me”.  I’m one of these people who constantly checks their bag and holds it close, I’m not careless in that regard which is why I was so shocked to find my iPhone and purse gone from my bag on Saturday night. I was on my way to one of the nightclubs with some fellow au pairs, having a great time, when all of a sudden I noticed my iPhone was just gone. In a split second. My purse was still there, but in the commotion of trying to find my phone that suddenly vanished too. I couldn’t believe it. In one instant my bankcard, drivers license and phone were just gone. Trying to get home that night having no means of contact or no access to money in a foreign country was frightening to say the least. But thanks to the amazing new friends around me and the kind strangers in the station thereafter, I managed.

 

Anyone who knows me will know that my iPhone was like my fifth limb. All day Sunday I was pretty devastated. I was angry, upset and bitter that this horrible thing happened to me so soon into my stay and when I was having a great time too. How was I going to take pictures? Document my time? Worse still how was I going to arrange to meet up with anyone? How was I going to get money? These were all questions swirling around in my head. Looking back now it seems so trivial. After I had cried it out of my system, I thought back to the Berkeley J1 tragedy from a few weeks ago and I suddenly felt so selfish. 6 people lost their lives on what should’ve been the summer of their lives, and here I was alive, still in a beautiful city, crying over material things that were utterly replaceable? It suddenly all seemed laughable. I then read the moving article by Injured Berkely victim Clodagh Cogley in which she said;

“Enjoy a good dance and the feeling of grass beneath your feet like it’s the last time, because in this crazy world you never know when it might be.”

Her words put everything into perspective for me. I may not have a phone, but I have two perfectly functioning legs. I have eyes to see, lungs to breathe and lips to taste. Things could’ve been so much worse and I thank my lucky stars they weren’t.  In fact the 10days I’ve been phoneless have actually been a real eye opener for me. In order to meet up with people I’ve just had to agree on a time and place and stick to it rigidity. (How did people ever survive in the 90s?!😜) it’s funny though, I never realised how much the world is actually plugged into their devices. I was at the train station during the week on my way to meet some friends, and every single person on the platform had earphones in, or were glued to their phone. I was honestly the only person who wasn’t. It just struck me how we don’t see peoples faces anymore. We don’t look up to take in our surroundings, we are too preoccupied with what’s happening in the virtual world to appreciate the real world. Don’t get me wrong I know before I was definitely the guiltiest of all.

Anyway while I was having these wonderfully awe inspiring life affirmations, an elderly woman approached me on the platform. (Probably because I was the only one who looked alert). She asked me in Spanish “was this the right platform for plaza Catalunya” I replied using what little Spanish I have saying “yes it is” she smiled said “Gracias” and went on her way. I couldn’t help but wonder would this have happened if I was glued to my phone? She most likely wouldn’t have approached me, and I wouldn’t have gotten to practice my Spanish and help someone out in the process. So every cloud has a silver lining and all that 😊

 

In other news those wondering how my tan is coming along can see for yourselves:


It’s currently  39 degrees and I can promise you “factor 50 SPF” has been lying to us all. I’m hoping that lovely pink glow will turn a smooth caramel brown like  my spaniard counterparts😂 I’m pretty sick of Paula and Sofia calling me “Leche” (which no prizes for guessing, means milk). They’re great little girls though. So caring, funny and affectionate. I already know I’m going to bawl leaving them!


 

   

Despite my first little hiccup, I’m looking forward to the next 5 weeks of antics Barcelona has to throw at me! And I can’t wait for more adventures with my other Aupair chicas💜

Hasta Luego! X

  

 

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The best things about Christmas

So Christmas is just a matter of days away, and it’s hard to believe it’s that time of year again! It always comes around so quickly. In true festive spirit I decided to compile a list of what I feel are the absolute best things about Christmas time  🙂

In no particular order..

1. The tree. I mean come on, putting a giant tree in your sitting room and getting to decorate it is unique and special to this time of year. There is nothing quite like the happiness a christmas tree brings. Just look at all those pretty lights. Plus the smell is so nice if you go for a real tree.

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2. The absolute chooons.

mariah

ya scumbag, ya maggot. 

Because really, what were Christmases before Mariah Carey, The Pogues, and Band aid?

3. Woolen winter warmers! 

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Getting to wrap up in the cold christmas weather is the best. Hat, scarves, knits, boots and gloves. There is just something so undeniably cosy about the winter wardrobe.

4. The Lights. 

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There’s always pretty lights everywhere and it’s just so magical and happy and enchanting.

5. Hot Chocolate.

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Hot chocolate warms the soul and it’s the season to drink copious amounts of it without feeling guilty 🙂

6. Christmas nights out.

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Always so much better than your standard night out. Christmas is a chance to get together with friends you mightn’t have seen much of during the year and ruin your livers with plenty of alcohol and festive cheer! Stephens night is always a messy one.

7. Ugly christmas jumpers.

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Don’t deny it, we all love them. Christmas isn’t complete without donning one of these festive favourites.

8. FOOD, FOOD AND MORE FOOD.

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There aren’t enough drooly emojis to explain. There’s just so much yummy food and its glorious. It’s the time to indulge and expand your waistline 😉

9. Presents.

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Yeah Yeah, Christmas shouldn’t be about the presents, it’s about spending time with the people you love and all that jazz. But come on, everyone loves the presents. Even shopping for presents for other people is so lovely. It’s so nice sitting around the christmas tree and watching for everyones reactions when they open their presents. Plus new stuff. Nothing beats new stuff.

10. Christmas Movies.

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Curling up by the fire to watch countless feel good christmas movies is just the best. From the Santa Claus, to the Grinch and Jack Frost, we love them all. These movies are a chance for us to relive the child in us at Christmas and you’d by lying if you said you didn’t look forward to the onlsaught of all these movies every year.

11. Home alone.

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It’s getting it’s own category just because. McCaullay Culkin’s adventures as Kevin Mccallister the poor kid who is constantly left behind, must be the greatest series of Christmas movies of all time. Don’t fight me on this. (I met the bird lady from Home Alone 2, I know people).

12. Ice Skating.

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Even though i’m probably the most uncoordinated person on the planet, ice skating is still a fun festive favourite. Even if it is just going to result in you and your friends getting absolutely busted up, it’s still a great christmassy activity.

13. Christmas Sales and Shopping.

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Granted I’m never brave enough to go in on Stephen’s day (bless all the souls that are) but theres nothing like those days out to town a couple of days after Christmas and getting to blow all your money in the sales.

14. Starbucks Cinnamon Latte. 

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Because what basic white girl doesn’t look forward to this every Christmas?

15. Loved ones coming home.

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This one is the best. How sweet is it when relations living all across the globe come back and surprise everyone for Christmas? I got to fly home this year myself and it was such an exciting feeling walking through the airport terminal 🙂

16.The general cheer.

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Everyone is just so much happier this time of year. In the words of REM shiny happy people everywhere 🙂

17. Michael Bublé.

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I instantly think of Christmas whenever I hear Michael Bublé. Seriously the guy seems to lie dormant all year, and then resurfaces every December to re-release his Christmas album that everyone adores.

18. Board Games.

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I don’t know about you but I love when the board games get whipped out at Christmas. Nothing better than having a few drinks and getting competitive with the fam over a classic game of Operation. Best avoid Monopoly though, that’s  a relationship ruiner no matter what time of year. Chances are you’ll all still be playing it until next Christmas anyway.

19. These a bad boys!

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20. Getting to express your inner child. 

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You’re 21, big deal. At Christmas you are completely justified in acting like the big kid you really are. Colour with your siblings, scream along to singstar, play with dolls, remote control cars whatever takes your fancy. There is absolutely no judgement here.

21.Candy canes! 

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4 for you glen coco, you go glen coco.

Sugary goodness 🙂

22. Harry Potter marathons.

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queue magical hogwarts music. Why is it that Harry Potter has suddenly become associated with Christmas? Whatever the reason I’m not complaining. Love when these are all shown over Christmas. 🙂

23. Special Christmas episodes of your favorite TV shows.

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24 When strangers and retailers wish you a Happy Christmas.

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25. Mulled wine.

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Delicious warmth in a glass.

26. Christmas Eve.

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There is nothing quite like the excitement of Christmas eve, no matter what age you are 🙂

27. Christmas PJs.

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They are just so fun and cute!

28. Christmas Dinner.

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Cant.Stop.Salivating. Nothing like the nap that comes after this feed either!

29. All the Christmas Ads.

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Christmas is the only time of the year we actually enjoy ads.  Coca Cola, John Lewis, Guinness.

30. Getting handwritten christmas cards in the post.

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These days handwritten messages and cards are few and far between, so Christmas is one of the few times they make a come back and it’s really nice to see.

And last but not least… The main man himself

31. Santa – because what would it all be without him? (Tim Allen was the best Santa Claus of all time btw)

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So there you go, some of my absolute favourite things about Christmas time. What are yours? 🙂 I’m sure there’s loads more for people that I’ve left out. I hope wherever you are this Christmas you have a happy and special one. Enjoy, eat, drink and be merry ❤