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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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Growing up in the country

When you spend most of your life living in the country there are things you come to truly love about it. Six months ago unfortunatley I had to move away from a place I spent the best part of twenty years falling in love with.

No matter how exciting city life may seem, it will still never compare. Sure the city is ‘alive’ it’s busy, it’s convenient, but it doesn’t have the charm or warmth you come to associate with the countryside. There are certain things that only people who live, or have lived in the country will understand and relate to. So I said I’d compile a list, as ya do 🙂

We’ll start with:

‘The Country Nod’

Ah the aul courtesy ‘country nod’ you’re taking a stroll down the lane and you pass a car, tractor, van whatever. You may or may not know one another, regardless you will both engage in the country nod. One of you will usually begin the exchange by nodding your head and smiling slightly in mutual acknowledgement. If you’re wearing some sort of cap it is also customary to casually salute it. If you’re not a farmer/old man an imaginary cap will also suffice.

Everyone knows everyone and everyone’s business

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Had tea and toast for breakfast? Mary knows about it. Fell in the back door at an ungodly hour in an absolute drunken mess last night? Mary knows about it. Forgot to feed your dog? Mary knows about it. The country is made up of a cluster of small towns and villages, and basically you can’t do anything without the nosey neighbours knowing. It can be annoying having everyone know, or think they know about your business, but it’s just an accepted trait. Everyone is guilty of being a small town gossip. Sure we’re only concerned after all. On a serious note though, you just don’t get that real sense of community and togetherness in the city . People take a genuine interest in you. Your dog dies out in bally-go-backwards and Mary and all the neighbours have the kettle on straight away. In the city? You’re lucky if people even know your name let alone if your dog died.

The scenery and views
Green grass, leafy trees, blue skies. It’s just perfect. Everything is out in the open and it’s impossible not to appreciate it. Actually getting to see a starry night. I have friends who grew up in the city and have never seen a sky full of stars, that just seems crazy to me. Growing up right near a golf course and these views? How could you not love it.

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The smell

Granted it’s probably silage, but it’s a unique country smell. Outsiders turn their nose up at it, but we basque in the smell of clean air, freshly cut grass and nature.

Bales

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Was there anything more delightful than running into a field and hopping the bales as a kid? Needless to say you were the thorn in every farmers backside, but nothing could stop the inticing lure of a well wrapped bail. Our parents couldn’t get us out of the fields during bale season and we loved it.

Exploring

There is so much land, forrest and cool places just waiting to be discovered out in the country. I remember setting off on long walks for the day with my sisters and cousins just looking for devilment. Timeless. If it didn’t end in us getting a few lashes of the wooden spoon for going off the radar for a few hours, It ended in us finding some pretty deadly hiding places for the next epic round of hide & seek.

Being Identified by your relations/ mistaken for your siblings

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“Which one are you now? Oh you’re Mary’s young one! Christ look at ya now, getting big ya are”

Spending endless evenings hanging around the same place

Everyone who lives in a small country town has their own distinct creepage spots. This is where the youth of the town/village will just meet to waste away together. Centra car park anyone? Mill in kells.. Mullinavat waterfall.. I could go on.

Similarly knowing all the shifting spots

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All I have to say on this one is primary school oil tank. You stay classy ballyhale.

Camping

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The best camping spots are in the country, no question. Staying up all night around a badly lit fire and a poorly picthed tent, drinking like the little scumbag you were. Ah the memories.

The sense of Freedom
For some reason there is just a sense of freedom that comes with living in the country. For me it was speeding down the hill on my bike, feeling like nothing or no one could stop me. The feeling of clean air in your lungs and wind through your hair is something else.

Having family living close by

It might not be this way for everyone, but for me I was surrounded by family. I grew up living right beside my grandparents, my aunts and uncles literally lived up (or down) the road and everyone was only a stones throw away. There’s something so lovely about knowing the people you care about are literally on your doorstep. These days that’s something which is becoming less and less frequent, and it’s sad to see.

The quietness

When you move to the city you really come to appreciate life without sirens, noisy cars and the general sounds of hustle and bustle. There is nothing like the quiet dead of night you get out in the country, I think that’s something I miss the most.

No matter where I end up in life, no place will ever compare to the place I spent twenty years in, the place I grew up in, and the place I called home. It’s not only home to family and close friends, it’s home to some of my fondest memories. It’s the place where I took my first steps. It’s the place where I countlessly scraped my knees. It’s the place where I learned to ride my first bike. It’s the place where I broke my wrist. It’s the place where I played hide and seek. It’s the place that I explored from top to bottom.

It’s my place, and I will never stop missing it.

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You know what they say, you can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl. 😉