Saturday, 29 December 2012

The New Year is Nearly Here!

Well, someone call the Mayans and tell them their calender maker needs to be sacked because 2013 is almost here. Over a week since the supposed 'end of the world' and we're all dandy (I challenge you to use the word 'dandy' before 2012 is out). But more importantly we have all survived Christmas again. After the months of stressful festive lead up we've gotten through one of the most expensive and eventful holidays. It really is an achievement if you've not had a heart attack from too much food, liver failure from all the booze or gone mad trying to get children's toys to start working and killed all the family in a fitful rage. Actually, even the toys working is irritating as, hello, Furby was one of the top toys on Santa's list this year. I had a Furby, I loved it (could never figure out the gender) but my grandparents used to have to leave it in the kitchen when I'd gone to bed because it would randomly start talking at any time of night.
But no sooner has Christmas ended does New Years begin. Arguably the biggest night of the year which comes at the worst time, after all who feels good in their little black dress after a week of living off Quality Street chocolates and cold meats? Certainly not me after hearing drink in Ireland averages around €5 in the city now. I mean a fiver for a pint?! That's like £4! I've been spoiled with student nights and northern living. It's time to pay, literally. But it is NYE and I should pitch in and help rebuild the Irish economy (notice, at not one point have I considered drinking less).
This will be my last blog post of 2012. There's a big thanks for all of you who bother to click on my links, wherever you may find them. I'll leave you with the top 3 posts of this year; in at number one with a phenomenal 1668 page views, yes you read that right and I'm amazed too, is
Second is my review of the pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks
And number three is about the five students you'll meet at college/university


Monday, 24 December 2012

It's a Christmas Eve Special Blog Post!

Happy Christmas everyone! It always comes around so fast, doesn't it? It feels like only a few months ago I was escaping to the kitchen away from the screaming nephews and nieces. If there was ever a moment to appreciate your childless state it's when you're topping up your wine glass whilst listening to your brother sooth his crying son. Why was he crying? Because he's a child and apparently you howl non stop until you're 12.
But this year there will be no screaming children, just three fat cats (I'm not joking, I've come home to what can only be described as morbidly obese cats) because I'm here in Ireland with my grandparents. It's already lovely and festively Irish, there's enough booze in the cupboard to open our own pub, and the food...oh the food! It sounds mad, but the Irish vegetables are so much better. Probably because half of them are grown down the road, as was our turkey. Yes, a full on free range turkey was delivered this Christmas eve morning. Reared only five minutes from the house the bird is huge, it's literally taking up a third of the fridge.
I braved Galway today, brushing off warnings of busyness and crowds because I've seen Leeds on a Saturday afternoon. Once you've been in Primark at that time...there's no erasing those memories. Galway was absolutely fine, in fact I'd say the morning was fairly quiet. Or maybe I've become city hardened.
Anyway, I hope you all have a lovely Christmas. Easy on the mulled wine until the children go to bed, unless you're lucky enough to be childless in which case pour it on your Cornflakes. Fill up on the turkey, lest your mother turn it into a turkey curry which lasts until the new year. And remember it only comes around once a year, so the fact you've eaten a tin of Quality Street mostly to yourself is forgivable (this also applies to St Steven's Day, New Year's Eve, New Year's Day and days in between and directly after when you need to 'get the food eaten').

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

How to Survive the 2013 Budget

The new budget for Ireland has been released and it's official; we're all in the shite.
Well, not me actually, I live in the UK (so take the 'e' away), but nonetheless I thought I'd give you all some tips on how to cope with this new budget.

1) Pack the wine away Bridget Jones, an extra €1 per bottle means it's cut down (not an option) or find an alternative. Well, how about a drink that would support the local economy, is totally tax free AND will get you locked just pouring the stuff? That's right, we should all go back to poitín. Though I should point out I don't mean the weak, legal stuff. They tax that.
2) Cigarettes have gone up by 10c to €9.40 a packet, if you think you can afford this price hike then go ahead. That's a 0.5c increase per fag, so by cutting down by one cigarette every ten packets you won't be affected by the increase. You know, except for those crazy nicotine withdrawals you'll get every tenth packet.
3) The biggie; the local property tax. A tax of 0.18% of the value of your home. How do you get around that one? Well, have your home valued but before the inspector comes round make the place look like a hell hole. I'm talking painting mould on the walls, bricking up the spare bedroom and paying the neighbours to rave for 24 hours straight. Then serve him tea made with spoiled milk, don't offer him any biscuits (but eat one in front of him) and talk about how badly you're wanting to sell the place (you know, so it seems believable).
4)The child benefit has been reduced by €10 a month so I think it's time you explain how the benefit system works to your child, angrily inform them that the fat cats at the top have banned all pudding allowences! What scum! Feed them with anger, instead of custard, and hopefully you'll motivate them so much that they grow up to be a politician who brings in mandatory jam roll Fridays
5)Win loads betting with Paddy Power, they offered great odds on what would come up in the budget including what colour tie Michael Noonan would be wearing (handy tip: google images of him from the last ten years, work out his favourite colours and make a fortune!). However, remember there's a mansion tax on properties over €1m, a slightly higher percentage of 0.DriveTheMoneyOutOfIreland

But, if after all these tips you still feel like the Emerald Isle has become too much you could always emigrate! There are 26 other affluent EU countries to choose from; know, never mind. All the hot ones would fry the Celtic skin and all the cold ones would be, well, cold. Sit tight at home and just try to get through the next few years. "The worst is over" according to the pink tied Mr Noonan.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

The Best Days of your Life

'High school days are the best of your life'

You poor soul, I don't know who started that but, my God, they need a hug. If my life really had peaked in high school (or secondary school, for the Irish readers) I would honestly just give up and become an alcoholic now. You know, instead of waiting.
Let's break high school down; you're forced to spend five solid years with people who the only thing you have in common is your age. Oh, and this also coincides with a time where you have to deal with the whole 'becoming an adult' thing. You know, self discovery etc. Sometimes discovery of others, depending on how attractive you were.
It's at least a bit bothersome. I'm sure there are people out there who had great high school experiences but I'm going out on a limb here and saying for most of us...not so much. In fact, all my best memories are of times I was meant to be in school but, uh, wasn't.
If you ask me (and if you don't, well why are you even here?) college/university is the best time of your life. Between the 20 hours a week timetable, the ability to buy liquor and the general freedom you get it makes for a good time. Well, within reason. You still have to learn. But, you can go to the pub between classes (I'm not that cool) or bring your knitting and sit in the common room (I'm not that uncool either, my knitting is a predominately home/knit shop activity).
Plus, it's great to come in on a Monday and hear a 'I was so DRUNK' story caught in that delicious age gap after you're so young what happened could be classed as child abuse but before 'I think Mary has a drinking problem'.