The Long, Long, Longitude Weekend

Well that whizzed by in the blink of an eye! A full three days that felt like a few hours -crazy fun hours (time flies and all that). After years of attending Electric Picnic -a four-day mud-marathon endurance test, three days of great music at a festival where you get to go home and shower every day sounded almost too good to be true. In reality it was no less messy and no more tame. It would have been less traumatic to my body and my spirit had we gone home after the respectable finishing time of 11pm each night. Alas the festival atmosphere was undeniable all the way through, various venues in town and an array of house parties were calling us and, too hopped up on drink, good music & ingested glow stick goo, we were powerless to ignore it.

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Dublin was still enjoying it’s uncharacteristically hot July weather so each act was bookended with some flaking out on the grass and reflection (deep emotions and insights through drunken ramblings). Impressing myself with my early arrival, I saw Cast Of Cheers first and they were great, followed by Marcus Foster (may have had a little crush on him and his keyboard player), Vondelpark, Django Django, Foals and Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs. The stages were just a short walk apart so it was so much easier to fit in everything we wanted to see than at the bigger festivals and there was no need for wellies due to the dry weather and fewer people.

Getting in at 5:30 Saturday morning did very little for our stamina but Saturday’s line up was happening with or without us so after a cooked breakfast, shower and a lot of hugging, we boosted morale enough to drag ourselves to Marlay Park for the second day of revelling (it was actually evening by the time we got there after a Dundrum  mojito & barbecue stop and a brief prosecco rest in Ballinteer on the way). Villagers, as always, were excellent. We caught the end of Trentmoller before the amazingness that was Paul Kalkbrenner.

Sunday’s late start, similar to Saturday’s led to us missing Frightened Rabbit and the Minutes as the nights started to take their toll on us but we made it in for Hot Chip, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, some of SBTRKT’s DJ set and Kraftwerk. Honestly Kraftwerk were slightly disappointing for me, I’d been looking forward to seeing them for so long and actually found them a bit boring. The 3D glasses were fun though!

One of my favourite things about any festival is catching acts you wouldn’t necessarily go to see in a stand alone concert and becoming a fan, Paul Kalkbrenner and Foals really delivered for me in this way. I can’t wait to see them again.

So the three days joined into one big blur of luminous facepaint, whiskey-smuggling and questionable decisions and have resulted in a mud-caked, vaguely human-shaped ball of pained, pukey, paranoid Jenny blob on the couch and that all too familiar faint groaning sound that I can’t stop making. Or at least I think it’s coming from me.

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There Is No Better Feeling

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A Belly Flop into the sea on a blissful sunny Friday in Dublin is the finest of things.

A few friends and I took to the 40 foot and plunged into the cold sea water, in the least graceful fashion, to cool off from the tropical heatwave Dublin is currently enjoying.

In the “hazy, lazy, crazy days of Summer” version of events we remember the kids’ laughter, smell of suncream and sight of 99s all ’round fondly and omit the pretty brutal girl fight we witnessed from across the beach. It is still Dublin after all!

Instead bombing into the sea at speed, the fuzzy feeling of drying off in the sun and flaking out on the beach as the sun sank slowly lower in the sky will live on in the much-instagramed Summer of 2013 memory box.

This may seem unusual to those from warmer places but the ability to spend an evening outside without the threat of imminent rain, hail or sub-zero temperatures is so unbelievably out of the ordinary. The wonderful novelty of of sauntering about town with no jacket! Our little country breaking from it’s baltic norm.

The joys!

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They’re Calling Me “Accident-Prone” (Polite Word For Clumsy)

So, I had another little tumble.

Having taken up running 8 days ago I decided to take my new fast legs for a spin through Herbert Park and hit the deck after tripping over some uneven ground. It would be fair to say that the highest stone sticking out of the ground was about 4cm above level and I should have been lifting said fast legs higher than this but I still feel like it was the fault of the dirt track and not my own (*shakes fist at earth). I ploughed into the ground in front of two runners (real ones) and two groundskeepers, who helped me to the nearest tap to clean my wound (conveniently placed exactly where my February bike fall left me maimed). My arm is all stingy and sore but my pride came off a bit worse.

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Given my history of failing to stay upright all the time and what I would call an unlucky run of injuries, I should probably have given this running career a tad more thought. I’ll keep on trucking for now, maybe even taking more care of myself and watching for obstacles.

Note to self: Lift legs higher.

*UPDATE: Two days later I was swinging my arms two vigorously while walking and punched a wheelie bin. I now have a plaster on my knuckles to match my arm. I, personally, think it makes me look more street.

I (sniff) FELL OFF (sniff) MY BIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIKE!!!!!!

I have never felt so sorry for myself! Gather ’round, I will tell you my tale of much woe. Sooooooo much woe! Brace yourselves.

So there I was, cycling straight (down a hill so gathering a good bit of pesky speed!) when a big-haired woman in a big stupid silver car pulled out from a little road in front of me. I tried to swerve and break to give myself more time to stop but the thin layer of ice on the road left me skidding and before I knew it I was sprawled indecently across the road like starfish roadkill, face-down, limbs akimbo, right beside her car.

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I hadn’t even opened my eyes before three lovely men were shaking my shoulders and picking up my bike, they pulled me up by the arms and walked me off the road while big-haired woman sat in traffic (that’s right -she was in such a rush to pull out onto a main road TO SIT IN TRAFFIC!!!), eyes dead ahead, afraid to look at me. After a minute she drove off and I was busy being fussed over by a little bunch of heroes and fighting back tears I didn’t want to cry in front of them (be a big girl, Jenny).

I spent five minutes assuring them I was absolutely fine, thanking them profusely and getting myself together before I turned away, inspected my stingy wounds and cried (loads!), My bike was jammed somehow and the wheels wouldn’t turn so I limped off across the road to lock it to something, called my boyfriend to cry at him for a little bit and hobbled off towards the DART station feeling mighty sorry for myself. Good thing I’m a trooper.

So here I am now, nursing my injuries and assessing the fallout (real bike damage is yet to be determined, she’s in with the doctors as we speak). I’m compelled to tell you, this process has been quite cathartic and now after making four sobbing phonecalls to loved ones and having written this I am starting to feel a good bit better about my ordeal.

Thanks guys!

Why It’s Written In Joyce’s Heart

Dublin, to my eye, is a beautiful place.

I often walk around this city, down streets I’ve walked at least 100 times before and find something new & amazing. Walking on a boardwalk, over cobbles, through the throngs of shoppers or down the alleys there’s an unmistakable energy. It doesn’t have a name and I’m pretty sure I only felt it when I’d lived somewhere else and come back but it’s made of magic. Sure it can be grumpy and damp at times but this place has quirks, it’s fun and interesting. In fact, it would make a great first date. We should set it up with a cute, fun city we know and see if they hit it off. Preferably one with a vaguely similar climate without a difficult time difference.

Well, Dublin, I see you clicking with Amsterdam. It has canals, you have canals. It likes bikes, you like bikes. You don’t massively dislike tulips. You’d never be stuck for chat.

I’ve actually never been to Amsterdam (though I might have to go soon and inspect this floozy my city’s been seeing).

Admittedly, this took a surreal turn. I just wanted to state my love for this great place. It has character, charm and humour despite its troubles. The segway into dating part of the Netherlands was accidental. Long distance wouldn’t really suit anyway. Your loss Amsterdam.

I can’t help but wonder about Dublin’s online dating profile now though………..

Living Up to the Stereotype

It was a very happy Paddy’s Day in Dublin yesterday but I’m really feeling it today!

I was part of a 45-strong team of intrepid pub adventurers who braved 12 establishments on a special Paddy’s Day pub crawl. I joined 3 pubs into proceedings (there was a three drink catch up penalty for my lateness enforced by the lovely event organiser, Sue. Rules are rules!)

As you can see below, it was a classy affair full of reserved individuals (I  think we all look fresh as daisies considering this was the last pub).

paddy's day pub crawlI knew a handful of the people there and only one well but everyone was so lovely and friendly I have signed up for every Paddy’s Day pub crawl for the next 5 years as a result of the warm welcome they gave me.

I don’t know about everyone else but I haven’t awoken on time to catch even a moment of the parade since I was about 9 years old. In fact, the only Paddy’s Day parade I’ve been to since the age of 6 was in Syndey and to be completely honest, they put us to shame! The true meaning of Paddy’s Day (aside from the actual, true, real meaning of course) is on the streets and in/around the pubs. A day off work to partake in some stereotypical drink-overindulgence after a lie in. When people refer to craic, they’re certainly not talking about the leprechaun costumes, shamrocks or top’o’the mornin’ to yas. To me at least, it’s the palpable warmth, the sense of fun and the hum of collective chatter from a pub full of happy people.