There’s nothing more inherently Irish than telling everyone you hate heading out for New Year’s Eve and then being the drunkest man in town that night. Barry weighs in, whatever good that does!
Me: Well, Barry? You all set for New Years? Are you heading out on the town?
Barry: Are you gone soft in the head? You have to be a special type of deluded to actually want to go out for New Year’s Eve. It’s one of the messiest nights going! Nothing but hardy lads and young wans absolutely slaughtered, making a show of themselves and making the night a chore for everyone else! You have to tell everybody that you’re sick of heading out on the busiest night of the year and that you’re looking for a house party or an intimate dinner with a loved one. Then you bump into the same eejits when you’re out and buy each other shots!
Me: You have it sussed. New Years can’t be that bad? You could be talking about any Saturday night in Cork to be fair.
Barry: You’re not wrong, but New Years is a different beast. There’s a strange tension in the air after the antics that have taken place between Stephen’s Day and the 30th. Everyone has been in a perpetual state of drunkness and nobody really knows what day it is. They’re told it’s New Year’s Eve and so they go out to celebrate. There might be fights in town and there might be peace in town. There’ll be shapes thrown but they’ll be half-shapes. More like shadow boxing, preparing for the big fight that may never come. We are all but specks of dust in this cosmic wind, carried along from new year to new year with no knowledge of our future. Powerless.
Me: Jaysus, Barry. Are you ok?
Barry: Ah, I get pensive at the turn of the year is all. Wondering if I’m after wasting another year away doing feck all but then I see Pauric Joyce down the pub and I feel better again. That prick says every year that he’s not going out for New Years because ‘it sets a bad precedent for the following few months’. Down then conducting verses of ‘Auld Lang Syne’ on top of the bar. Sure he was barred twice in the last three years for making indentations in the corner of the bar. He’s not a light fella as you know. Anyways, it’s just the falsities and niceties and the resolutions that nobody keeps. Why can’t people just admit that they’re going to smoke some cigarettes and drink in January and consume the exact same amount of meat as they did last year?
Me: It’s just a way of people feeling good about themselves and about their plans for the new year.
Barry: Ah, away with that now. People shouldn’t be forced to give up anything. Take up reading more and exercising more and the rest will follow. Don’t punish yourself before the year has already started!
Me: Any resolutions yourself, Bar?
Barry: Allow myself to be guilt-free when I avoid amadáns in the street that do be asking me personal questions.
Going to the cinema is one of my favourite things to do. I love the popcorn, the Coke, the bags of sweets but most importantly, I love seeing a new film. I love experiencing the emotions that go with a film and figuring out whether it’s good or bad. I love realizing what’s about to happen and I love being kept in the dark for as long as possible. In this listicle of movies of the decade I’m not interested in box office hits or popular blockbusters. I humbly offer you my favourite movies of the 2010s, in no particular order.
A Star is Born (2018)
This movie rocked me. I went to see it on my own in a movie theatre in Chelsea, Manhattan and had to leave swiftly after it finished so the other customers wouldn’t see me as a blubbery mess. I watched it again on St. Stephens Day 2018 with my buddy Ultan and we both made half serious jokes about crying all the way through. One of my favourite movies of all time but don’t watch it hungover with the lads. You might just cry together!
This movie, along with the next one on this list, was one of the first I’ve seen that left me completely baffled. I left the screen thinking I had it sussed and after my friend’s mam dropped us home I couldn’t make sense of the layers and levels anymore. Seriously, though, what a film and just awesome storytelling. Was the top beginning to stop spinning though?🤔
Shutter Island (2010)
Leonardo Di Caprio reared his beautiful head twice at the start of the decade to invade my dreams and make me doubt everything I ever knew. I’m referencing the plot of Shutter Island, folks, not my battle with my feelings for Leo….. ANYWAYS, his turn as befuddled federal Marshall Teddy Daniels alongside Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley and Michelle Williams is in my top 5 movies of all time, never mind my films of the decade. Check out the book too.
Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
Well, well, well. Lovely Leo strikes again. The raunchiest, funniest and downright outrageous collaboration between Di Caprio and Scorsese should have won Leo an Oscar. Who can forgot Margot Robbie’s ‘eye’-opening performance?
About Time (2013)
As you can see I’m not really describing these movies in any great detail. You’ve more than likely seen them. They’re all very mainstream and we’re all very popular in their respective years. Maybe you haven’t seen this rom-com. Maybe you haven’t even heard of it. But I guarantee that you will love it and be enchanted by this great film. For that reason I won’t give anything away. All I will say is that it will make you fall in love with Domhnall Gleeson and Rachael McAdams. Also, you will cry.
James McAvoy cemented his place as Charles Xavier in the X-men movies of this decade but his most memorable performance(s) came as Dennis, Patricia and Hedwig in M. Night Shyamalan’s unexpected sequel to Unbreakable. McAvoy astounds as the broken man with 23 different personalities.
Eighth Grade (2018)
Bo Burnham’s directorial debut won plaudits and praise all around the world. Elsie Fisher is mesmerizing as the awkward, shy and cringey teenager who navigates boys, her Dad,mean girls at school and her own crippling self-doubt in this fine, fine movie. Gucci 👌
Django Unchained (2012)
Quentin Tarantino’s seventh offering was a chaotic mix of over the top Western, laugh out loud comedy and absolute gore fest. Leonardo Di Caprio was awfully brilliant as the vile plantation owner Calvin Candie while Jamie Foxx was absolutely superb as the gun-slinging, slave-freeing hero of the piece, Django Freeman. Samuel L. Jackson and Christoph Waltz were unreal in supporting roles.
Hateful Eight (2016)
Straight into another Tarantino flick, this one set in a harsh winter as our heroes and anti heroes are holed up in a haberdashery, is dialogue heavy and has problems with pacing. It is by no means Tarantino’s best film but I loved the dynamics between the characters and the relationship between Walton Goggins and Sam Jackson.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)
Frances McDormand is impeccable in this twisted story about loss, tragedy and finding hope in resilience. Her supporting cast isn’t bad either. Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell serve in her local law enforcement and their relationship with McDormand is rocky at best. If you haven’t seen this one, do so immediately. It is a classic Martin McDonagh screenplay, full of twists and turns and has you shouting for all the different characters, no matter their intentions.
Seven Psycopaths (2012)
This is possibly my favourite on the list. Sam Rockwell absolutely steals the show as Billy, the bipolar/Hoyman/serial killer who gets Colin Farrell and Christopher Walken into a whole pile of deadly trouble. This made Rockwell one of my favourite actors. He is so wonderfully weird and this second McDonagh offering on my list shows the pair work well together. There’s always a shootout!
La La Land (2016)
Jaysus, lads, 2016 was a great year for movies! This musical absolutely ripped my world apart and made me fall in love with Emma Stone about fifteen times. Stone and Ryan Gosling are the perfect onscreen couple. Their trajectory and falling apart was hard to watch because I, along with most other audience members, was willing them to stay together. Alas, it was a masterpiece. The singing, the acting, the story and the fantastical set-pieces made this an enchanting, if emotionally draining movie.
Green Book (2018)
It’s hard to say that this was a hidden gem as it won three oscars but finding it on our dodgy box in the Bronx with new movies and having not heard much about it, I was delighted that I got to see it. Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali had such a great back and forth throughout this film. It was so easy to immerse myself in the world they were trying to portray. I lived Dr. Shirley’s oppression with him and suffered Tony’s ignorance in dealing with him. It was a fantastic movie and one everyone should watch.
A harrowing tale about the Catholic Church scandal in Boston in the 90s. This true story was brought to life by Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachael McAdams and Liev Schreiber. True stories need to be told and this tragic tale is a film that should be watched.
The Secret in Their Eyes (2010)
I watched this at midnight one summer night years ago. Nothing else was on television and as I flicked through the channels it was the title that caught my eye. An Argentinian film that tells the tale of revenge and when does revenge become too much. It was remade in 2015 with Chiewetel Ejiofor and Julia Roberts but it doesn’t hold a candle to the original. One of the highest rated films on IMDB.
Manchester by the Sea (2016)
Turning up to the cinema in full Manchester United gear, singing ‘Glory, Glory’ as I ran up the aisle looked pretty foolish about two seconds into the movie. Seriously, though, a slow burner that tackles raw human emotion. My type of film.
Leap Year (2010)
My brothers and I watch this movie every time it’s on television. Amy Adams is the heroine of this crazy rom-com that features the worst Irish accent ever produced by Matthew Goode. Pure enjoyment and Irish divilment for an hour and a half!
That concludes my list of my favourite films of the decade. Let me know yours in the comments below 👇 Let me know if you agree or disagree with my picks 🤔🎥🎥
It has been an interesting decade in the Premier League. United’s power was waning from the beginning only to crumble so emphatically and powerfully over the last five years. City seemed to be the ones to take their place at the helm of English football, but they never looked consistently convincing. Chelsea and city traded titles for a few years before Chelsea almost followed suit directly behind United in plummeting down the table. Arsenal and Tottenham both came so close in 2016 only to solidify their reputation as perennial underachievers as Leicester surprised the world and were crowned champions. Liverpool have been looming dangerously close to securing their first league title in almost three decades. As United’s star dimmed, Liverpool’s shone brighter. Coming close with Brendan Rogers in 2014, they finished second once again last year in a title race dominated by themselves and City. This year they seem to have already wrapped things up. It is hard to see anyone catching up with them. City are suffering from their third year slump. Leicester are the closest of the two but their unimpressive loss to City the other night and their hammering by the leaders shows that it is Liverpool’s to lose.
Everybody has their own opinions on who should be in the team of the decade. Lists are compiled and torn apart in pubs and sitting rooms all around the globe. Here’s mine for you to rip to pieces. I’ll try not to let my love of Manchester United shape my opinions too much.
Goalkeeper – David de Gea
Recent calamitous blunder and his slow decline over the last year after carrying a failing Manchester United side on his magnificent Spanish shoulders for almost the whole decade aside, de Gea has to be the top keeper of the decade. Not only is he an aesthetically pleasing keeper in that he is acrobatic and kept so many games alive using his feet, but he definitely kept United in the top half of the table in the years prior to his complacency. For the whole of the decade he has had to contend with constantly changing defensive partnerships in front of him due to injury and lack of consistency. He is, for me, the Premier League keeper of the decade.
Right Back – Cesar Azpilicueta
This is a bit of an odd one. I suppose it just my team of the decade but it is odd considering he has never really grabbed headlines or been in any of the PFA teams of the year. However, he is as solid as they come and has been in the Chelsea side every year since he joined in 2012. He is captain now since the departure of Cahill which shows his development over the years. He won the title twice with Chelsea and has survived three different managers. He is one of my favourite players from rival teams but I hate seeing him play against United. Proper footballer.
Centre Back – Vincent Kompany (c)
What a fucking animal. If I was one on one with Vincent Kompany I’d probably just pass him the ball and step to the side. “Work away, Vinny kid!” An absolute beast of a defender but his absolute banger last year can never be forgotten.
Centre-Back – Jan Vertonghen
I actually struggled to think of a partner for Kompany. Ferdinand and Vidic had a great start to the decade but the decline of United was fasttracked by the demise of their partnership under Moyes. John Terry had a good run of it but Vertonghen pips him to the post for me. He’s solid, strong and can tackle. He is let down by dodgy goalkeeping behind him but he is a big part of the reason that Tottenham were so strong for so long.
Left Back – Leighton Baines
The third member of Oasis has to be a cult hero of a left back. I’ll never forget his free kick for against Newcastle. He may be winding down towards the end of his career but that free kick, and his many important displays for Everton over the years have ensured he will be remembered as one of the greats.
Right Mid – David Silva
Every generation of football fans has that one player that just seems to have it all. They obviously have the talent but the almost photographic memory of knowing where exactly to put the ball at your teammate’s feet while still knowing exactly what is going on around you is unmatchable. David Silva possesses this talent, and along with his penchant for scoring goals and making fools of defenders, he could be the best player that the league has ever seen. He spent all of his prime years here and is fininshing up at the end of this season. It seems fitting that he be on the team.
Centre-Mid – Kevin De Bruyne
What an absolute talent. It sickens me to put this many City players in my team of the decade but by God is De Bruyne the best of the bunch. He is still only 28, but his talent was obvious from his time at Chelsea. Perhaps he needed time to grow, or a manager to show faith in him at the time. He is tenacious and technically gifted beyond belief. He also has an anger in him when his team isn’t playing well that allows him to access another level above any opponent, leaving them trailing in his wake. He is the assist king and scores peaches for fun. Magnificent bastard.
Left-Mid – Eden Hazard
Probably the most unpredictable player in this team. Hazard could go several games without doing anything of note and then burst onto the scene of a game and run the opposition ragged for ninety minutes. He terrorised Liverpool for the duration of the decade and it seemed as though the ball was glued to his feet. I remember reading something that a teammate of his said that he would be pure crap in training all week and then go and dominate the game on Saturday. He deserves a chance in Madrid and his place on this team.
Centre Forward – Sergio Aguero
I don’t think I’ll ever recover from the Argentinean’s last minute strike to win City their first Premier league title in 2012. Following on a live score app because we didn’t have Sky Sports at the time, I had to wait until Match of the Day that night to hear Martin Tyler’s infamous ‘Aguerrroooooooo’. I hated him so much for years for his constant scoring against United but despite my obvious bias, he has to be the best striker in the Premier League over the last decade. I’m all about consistency and longevity. If I was making a ‘Best of all-time Premier League’ he might have more competition for his place, but he sits at the top of this list.
Striker – Jamie Vardy
Jamie Vardy has been having a party in the Premier League for the last five years and it ain’t stopping any time soon. He has been in the top scorers list for the last four years in a row and with 17 already this season he is bound to beat his best haul of 24 by a country mile. It’s not just that he scores goals, though. He absolutely loves scoring them and celebrating them in front of opposition fans. This year he danced like an eagle in front of Crystal Palace fans. Crystal Palace are nicknamed the Eagles. He is the king of shithousery. All other pretenders to the throne, like Ander Herrera and Andy Robertson can only hold flickering candles to his name. Chat shit. Get banged. It’s……….Jamie Vardy.
Centre Forward – Harry Kane
This was my last position to pick and it actually was tough. Kane was the obvious choice but there have been so many exceptional strikers over the last couple of years that I had to think about it. Mane and Salah both could have taken this spot but because I hate Liverpool they can fuck right off. I’d love to put Rooney in here but his peak dipped around 2013 while Kane’s star was just rising. The future top scorer for England is just too good to leave out. Yes, he steals goals from teammates and yes he sometimes looks like he has killed before but Goddamit if he isn’t an exeptional footballer.
Cian Dalton’s PL Team of the Decade
Alternatives and Unfortunates
Of course a team of the decade is going to be surrounded by some debate. If you’re like me you’ve probably just swiped through and looked at all of the pictures. There are a few positions that could be changed around. Also, that midfield is technically superb and full of talented players on the ball but could be ovverun by a side with a bruiser in the middle. Perhaps N’Golo Kante should go in instead of Hazard or Silva, or possibly Yaya Toure could slot in to a 4-4-2 to shore up the midfield and Harry Kane would miss out.
Hugo Lloris would probably be my second keeper of choice but he just makes too many small mistakes over the course of a season for him to beat De Gea to the top spot.
Riyad Mahrez would probably feel hard done by if he saw this blog post and knew who I was. He is Algeria’s and Africa’s greatest export but his slump when he first joined City was unfortunate. Thankfully he is back on top form again. Well, thankfully in the sense that he’s a great player and deserves the good fortune. Not thankfully, though, because I despise City and all they stand for.
Please let me know what you think of my team of the decade. It was tough to pick but a joy to write about football for the first time in a long time. Keep an eye out for more Rambles in the New Year and different teams of the week from different leagues around the world as I up my output of sports content. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and have a Happy New Year!
You meet a whole array of characters over Christmas, and none more annoying and amusing as your resident crank, Barry. He filled me in on his typical Christmas at home by the Lee.
Me: Well, Barry, what’s the craic? How was your Christmas?
Barry: Alrite kid! How are you bai? Haven’t seen you in a while? Were you laying low before Christmas? Trying to stay away from town in case you had to buy anyone a pint, I’d say! Some mooch, lad, that’s all you are! Plenty of nights out I could’ve done with someone to buy me a drink. They weren’t serving me anymore. Said I was, “More drink than man” or some dramatic aul shite. Other than that it was the normal stuff. Drink too much Christmas eve. Get up at about 4 o’clock and plonk myself down at the Christmas table, reeking of fags and booze. Listen to the mother give out that I ruined Christmas. Sure it was only the feckin’ front door that I kicked in. Not my fault that I forgot my keys. Although she is 90 so I should be more respectful and kick in the back door next time. ‘Tis the demon drink that did it to me.
Me: Would you ever give up the drink?
Barry: What the fuck did you just say to me?
Barry: Thought so. Anyways, Stephen’s Day then I’d go down to the long puc and lose about three or four sliotars into the ditch. Some bollox of a feckin’ route they’re after taking the last few years. Down from O’Neills and along the windy road to the Squire. And all the feckin’ cars driving up and down the road as if it wasn’t a sacred day in Rathpeacon G.A.A. I tried to lobby for a tannoy system to be put in place between Rathpeacon and Whitechurch. Local news, announcements and that sort of thing. At least then I could warn the feckin’ rally drivers to stay at home for an extra hour and that their relatives would be safe as long as they stayed indoors away from the stray sliotars. Anyways, the community group shot me down. Miserable pricks.
Me: That’s be a bit much, surely. Would you expect people to enjoy being woken up or scared shitless by random announcements? Were the tannoys just for the long puc or for everyday use?
Barry: Everyday use, lad! Morning announcements and all that. “Pauric Joyce shat himself in the pub last night. Avoid the second stool by the window.” I could set up an aul watch tower over by the pitch then and keep on eye on the surrounding area at night, too. I’d have it hooked up to the pub then. “Lads, the shades are en route. Close the blinds and turn off that feckin’ jukebox.” It’d be fierce handy for G.A.A. matches. “The Whitechurch team bus has just left and will be here in 15. Lock your doors and make sure valuables are out of sight!”
Me: Fuck it, that’d actually be handy. And they shot you down? Can’t believe it.
Barry: I know, yeah. Sure look, can’t win em all.
Me: Any other plans before the New Year?
Barry: Same old, kid, same old. Drink, drink, drink. See some relatives. Talk some shite. Yourself?
Look, we’ve all been there. You’re in the local pub over Christmas, trying to enjoy your few too many pints before heading back into the real world. All of a sudden, one of the following walking caricatures makes a beeline for you, stands between you and the bar and sobers you right up. Let’s have a look at some of these bastards.
The (Not-so) Private Investigator
“Well, how are you going? What are you at now? Are you still in the same place? What are you doing there now? And where is that then? Are you still at home? How’s everyone there? Did you do the long poc? Are you playing this year? What’s the brother up to anyways? Are ye Sean and Eileen’s kids? Where are they tonight? And where were you the night Old Man Reilly was murdered down by the creek? And do you have much time off over Christmas? Who’s that fella over there? Haven’t sees him here in ages. I’ll be back in a while there.” Yeah, fuck off and stay over there man, I haven’t answered this many consecutive questions I didn’t want to answer since my fucking French oral!
That Prick/Bitch from school
Possibly the worst of the bunch. They swan over, all handshakes and hugs, smiles and kisses on the cheek and expect you to forget that they’re a piece of shit who you never liked. “I assume you’re still living at home, yeah? I moved out last year, yeah, you should definitely do it. So much more freedom. Oh, you lived abroad for two years. Yeah, so you kind of get it so, yeah. We should definitely meet up though, haven’t seen you since school! Snapchat me!” Yeah, I will in me fuckin’ hole snapchat you you dickhead.
There’s possibly nothing worse than being in the local pub and the failings of the previous season of Junior B are being dissected for the whole night. Most people get it. We’re here for pints and craic, not here to be told how shit we were and most definitely will be next year. The only thing that auld prick who talks about the glory days of Juior A in the ’70s is succeeding in doing is making you more defiant in your own talent and proud of your club. Before you know it, you’re definitely playing again next year and that bastard is smiling in the corner. Maybe that was his plan all along.
It’s half six on Stephen’s Day. Everyone’s quietly drunk and loudly resenting the winners of the long poc. Kids are running around and elderly couples sit by the fire, smiling at the generations mingling before them. As the evening grows darker and the families filter out, one man is on a different level. Moving seamlessly between groups he manages to amuse and annoy in equal measure. Singing songs at an abominable level out of key and making bad and dirty jokes, he weaves through the crowds, leading people to unanimously ask the question…”What fucking time did that eejit get here?” If anybody’s reading this and they thought they had a great time flitting between groups and getting laughs from each of them, the reality is probably that that was you. And we were laughing at you, not with you.
The Coked up Guy That Nobody Knows
Scratch that. There is one person who’s laughing along with the drunkest guy in the room, and that’s the coked up guy that nobody knows. His stories are louder, his jokes are worse and he WON’T. FUCKING. LEAVE YOU ALONE. This motherfucker just will not take a hint and leave. He will pull stories out of his fecking arse to tell you. You know everything about him now. He has cursed you with the knowledge of his existence. He is the real scrooge.
The Life Coach
There’s a special place in hell for people that come into the pub and tell you what you should be doing with your life. I’m sorry, but have you seen where we are? We’re in the local on a Tuesday feckin night. I should be telling you what to do with your life. Let me start. Put down the fuckin gin and tonics and get a pint into your hand, good lad.
Sure look, I could go on and include the people returning from abroad in this list but I think five is a nice number to end on. I also am one of those people and I refuse to make fun of myself on Christmas. I know this has been done before but I feel mine is a bit more authentic than the same shite peddled year after year by different comedian pages on social media. You will for certain meet at least three of these people out over the next week or so. Be prepared, or be one of these people. Who knows which is worse?
Good morning to my American friends. Good afternoon to my Irish friends. Good evening to friends in different timezones but I have the same message for you all! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Miss you all.
This time of year can be tough for some. Lost relatives linger in our minds while not every home is a happy one. I am at the end of this page, my Facebook and Twitter pages if anyone needs to talk about anything. I’ve had a good year and am having a good Christmas but I’ve had some lonely ones and I just want you to know I’m here.
I hope your bellies are full of food and your heart is full of love. I hope your bellies will be full of beer later. Thanks for reading this year and here’s to the next week, the final week of the year. It’s always a weird kind of limbo in reality where some people are working, some people aren’t and everyone’s a little drunk.
Finally, I leave you with a word from one of entertainment’s finest, Krusty the Clown.
I’ve dabbled in games over the years, going through phases. I might get stuck into a few open world games a year and then watch as my interest slowly fades. I’ll try and play some First Person Shooters with my brother and get slaughtered enough times that I’ll rage quit for another year. Some days I’ll get a sudden urge to buy a Nintendo, crack open a fresh Poke Ball and start another journey. Eventually I’ll forget to keep playing and my poor Pokemon will be without a Master. There is one game that I’ve always played consistently (not always well) and religiously. Fifas 2002 through to 2019 have been bought, played and well and truly paid for. Starting off on my Playstation 1 with no memory card, myself and my brother would play Fifa 2002 morning, noon and night. Due to the lack of the aforementioned memory card we would get up, immediately start a season of the Premier League or the World Cup and play through until we were knocked out or won the tournament. Normally we were knocked out. We graduated together along the years, playing every single Fifa game up until Fifa 20, crossing enemy lines by buying the Xbox 360 before coming to our senses and finally settling on the Playstation4. I have a feeling I haven’t played either Fifa 10 or 11 but the rest have definitely passed through our various consoles. This year, though, we didn’t so much hang up our boots as keep them in the year 2019. I don’t have the same desire to play as much as I did in previous years. The new game wasn’t bought and we’ve made do with the outdated version from this year. The love for the beautiful, virtual game was gone. That was until tonight.
Having grown tired of constantly choosing Manchester United and leading them to glory year after year I finally decided to change it up. Fifa ’06 changed the game for one year only as you couldn’t choose any of the top, top sides. You had to earn it. I chose the boys in blue from Merseyside. Rooney was my favourite player and he had come from Everton. They weren’t a supremely talented team but they were solid and looked the best of a bad bunch. Also, Fifa ’06 was an extremely tough game. It was hard to score and easy to concede. That meant that every victory and point earned was a mighty battle won. James Beattie was my new favourite player and Alan Stubbs and Leon Osman became heroes of mine. Everton were my second team. Of course, you’re not supposed to have a second team and United are my true love but I have a soft spot for Everton and Goodison Park. I thought that I might try and find a new team to add to my list of favourites.
I delved a division deeper and trawled through the 24 teams for my chosen vessel. Who would I guide through the murky waters of the Championship? Would I go for a team that I didn’t really know or would I go for one of the top contenders for the title? Aston Villa looked tempting but after United drew with them recently I couldn’t stomach it. After much thinking I settled on Stoke City. Tony Pulis’ once rock solid defensive unit had just been relegated when the game came out. A mix of youth, experience and untapped potential lay within their ranks. I felt I could make a winning team out of this freshly demoted squad.
I didn’t really look at the squad before I picked the mighty Stoke. Jack Butland, one of England’s best keepers, manning the goal gave me a solid start. Pieters at left back with Ryan Shawcross and Ashley Williams as centre-halves looked solid. Joe Allen, the Welsh Messi, stood out in midfield. James Mclean and Tom Ince pushed out wide with Benik Afobe heading up the attack. That starting 11 looked promising enough for a Championship side and the bench looked every bit as good. Saido Berahino, Mame Biram Diouf and Peter Crouch were an odd triplet of strong substitute options. Bojan and Ibrahim Affelay also looked a little bit too good to be on the bench, but we all know what Bojan is like in real life and I don’t fully trust the Barca reject. All in all, a good squad with a big enough mixture of young and old to see me out to the Premier League in our grand return: Premier League 19/20: StokeBack Mountain….
I can already see some future problems. While there are some technically gifted players in the squad, Fifa’s fitness levels are ruthless. It is quite an old squad too and I’m going to have to raid the youth of the Premier League if I am to have any chance of not petering out straight away. I shouldn’t think too far ahead but I am fairly confident that I will get promoted somehow this season. How will I get on in the world’s most competitive league while probably still relying on Joe Allen and Charlie Adams?? I mean, it’ll be a bit of craic, anyways.
Every Tuesday and Thursday I will update with how my squad is doing and how I am faring on my road to the Premier League with an aging Stoke side in World Class difficulty. I have decided to try parts of the below challenge. A top four finish will be difficult but with the great Mr. Manager on the case I’m sure it will be fine.
100 posts! Well, this is the 101st post but I have surpassed 100 posts! God, this would have been so better if I made this my actual 100th post instead of putting out that money diary. Well, at least that got some likes and some interaction on Facebook. I guess that shows that I’ve still got a lot to learn in this blogging game. ‘Coz I’m going to the top and I’ll stop at nothing to get there. And by nothing, I mean any slight convenience that manages to make me doubt myself. Nerds. Anywho, I’d like to run some stats by you guys and put them into context with my effort levels and the lessons I’ve learned as a result. Sit back and enjoy the self deprecating ride.
My work has been viewed 4’004 times since I created the blog. 4’004! If we bear in mind that I rarely posted at the start and could never be accused of being consistent with my uploads, I’d say that’s pretty good going! An average of 40 views per post which isn’t outrageous but it means something to me, dammit!
2’862 people have visited my site and read some of my work. They might have accidentally logged on when looking for a Rathpeacon themed lead singer of a travelling band but they’re still counted here!
My posts have been liked 270 times. Not an awful lot when you look at it compared to the amount of views but that figure has increased six fold over the last year. If only it went one better and I could have made a pun about Avenged Sevenfold. Ha. Music.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and WordPress have been my main outlets. My Twitter views went up by 25% this year while Facebook and Instagram views both went down by about 20%. I found it odd that Facebook was down but then again, I’ve been very sporadic. As well as that, my Instagram views went from 76 in 2018 to 62 in 2019 and I stopped pushing my blog on Instagram back in May. Perhaps I need to revisit that medium.
My writing has been viewed in 54 different countries. Madness. Among some of the more obscurer countries to glance upon mine tomes are Hong Kong, Kenya and Madagascar?! Manny and the boys reading my blog and they jungle animals and all, ha? Movies.
I think the most important and glaringly obvious lesson I should take from this is that I need to be more consistent. Myself and my girlfriend looked through my activity for the year and I’d be great some months to churn out posts and articles and then other months I might post one? Sure who is going to care and click in if I’m constantly starting anew?
I also need to write more. I can’t just post once a week and let that be that. I have had great ideas that have slipped by because I’ve been too lazy to give myself a fair chance of developing as a writer. Maybe I have a distinct style that will one day make me millions. Until then, you guys are stuck with me😎
I should write what I want. I know that if something isn’t working and is getting no likes then why bother, some might say, but if I’m enjoying writing the odd piece about United and more movie reviews with the odd sarcasm filled opinion piece then so be it. It is my blog after all and Sandra got the kids in the divorce so THIS IS ALL I HAVE, ARE YOU HAPPY NOW SANDRA???!!
Oh, I lost the run of myself there, my apologies. Sorry kids. Daddy loves you. Mommy is a lovely woman who is certainly not a whore who I caught with the milkman. I mean the milkman, for Christ’ sake, Sandra. Although, maybe I’m the fool for thinking….wait a minute….hold the phone….Fernando was never a milkman was he?
My life’s a lie. Stats are lies. Love is a lie.
I tend to skip the editing process and just hope I got rid of anything I didn’t mean to write.
I sporadically post instead of posting at the right times, like when people are on lunch. or commuting home from work. Will work on that.
On a semi serious note, thanks so much to everyone for reading the blog. Whether you read it whenever you see a post or you’ve read it once and never thought about it again, I thank you. I definitely thank my regular readers more. To all the bloggers on WordPress who are sharing a similar journey to mine: You are all so talented and I need to practice remembering to hit the like button because I genuinely enjoy so much of your work. To my friends who read and support me: Thank you, you don’t understand how much I appreciate the help and support. To my girlfriend who supports me and advises me: I love you to bits and would be lost without you. To Brie Larson: I think you’re great and would love to meet up sometime. To my girlfriend once again: Totes lol JKs, Brie who? Love you, boo.
Here’s to a great Christmas everyone. Happy drinking and happy writing!
Each week the journos over at the Journal dot IE pick a fairly financially comfortable twenty-something to give us their money diary for the week. They bring us through their spending, necessary and unnecessary, and usually finish off the week with a heartfelt little note about how they will curtail their frivolous spending from now. Here’s a truthful one.
I’m a 25 year old office worker living in Cork City. I live at home with my parents and have only recently bought my first car. I am terrible at saving and would never claim to be good with money. I like pints.
Occupation: Office-worker/Data entry clerk/full time mad bastard. Age: 25. Looks: 35. Location: Cork/Wherever the road takes me. Salary: None of your business you cheeky bes! Monthly pay (net): About €1600.
Transport: €352 – including car loan. Rent: My parents haven’t asked me for any yet. I’ll hold out till the new year at least. Household bills: LOL. Phone bill: €20 Health insurance: I simply don’t get injured so I don’t need this hence why I don’t pay for it. Simple. Groceries: €100 on bits and pieces for lunch. Subscriptions: Netflix €9.99, Spotify €8.99. Gym: €42.
6:30 am: I wake up and begin my five minute scream at the ceiling to prepare myself for another Monday. This is a free form of therapy I’ve formed that doesn’t cost me a penny. 6:31 am: My girlfriend punches me in the side of the head to signal that my therapy time is over. 7:10 am: I stayed over this weekend so begin the drive back to Cork and to work. She packed me lunch because she is the best. 9:10 am: I sped the whole way home. Suck on that, pigs! I get a coffee and a yoghurt in the shop to start my day. This comes to €6.00. 13:30 pm: I have my lunch of breaded haddock and mashed potatos. I like to break the boundaries of cuisine whenever I can. 5:30 pm: I head home and lie down on the couch after eating dinner. This has been a good day but tiring so I stay in for the evening. I get all my gym gear ready in preparation of going in the evening and then don’t go. 11:00 pm: I go to bed after snoozing on the couch all evening. I fall asleep after 1 am. Today’s total: €6.00.
6:30 am: I am on the early shift today and in my own bed so I get my full five minute scream in. My mother barges into MY room and tells me I have to move out if I’m, “…going to keep up the shouting shite!” I laugh and tell her to get out and that that joke isn’t that funny anymore. 17:00 pm: I brought my lunch with me today and we have free coffee in work so I didn’t spend any money on unnecessary food. 21:00 pm: I head to the cinema with my brothers. I get free entry because I gave two long years of my life to that place. I pay for my Munchies, which is ironic because I robbed so many bags of them while I worked there. LOL. Today’s total: €3.90.
10:00 am: I bring my Flahavan’s Quick Oats to work with me and have them for my breakfast. I also have lunch with me for later so I’m looking forward to saving even more money today. 12:30 pm: My lunch is sitting in the fridge in the canteen in work. I am standing in the queue for Subway about to pay for my footlong Italian meatball sub with cookies and a drink. The really annoying guy in work took his break at the same time as me and I couldn’t bear the thought of listening to him talk about nothing. 1:30 pm: I finish my Subway and start tucking into my sandwich I made this morning. It would taste better if I wasn’t forcing it down my throat into an already full stomach. I look at my cookies and shake in fear but I know I must persevere. There are starving children in Africa that would eat this no problem. 6:00 pm: I eat my dinner in silence, afraid that I will vomit if I open my mouth for anything other than food. 9:00 pm: I have turned into a giant piece of food. I am edible. Cookable. The meat sweats come in waves. Today’s cost: €8.60 and a quarter of my weight in sweat. Also my dignity.
6:30 am: I wake up a new man. After a successful trip to the bathroom I resolve myself to eat my own lunch that day instead of going to the shop as well. 10:30 am: He is so annoying. I have to get out of here for at least a few minutes at lunch. 12:30 pm: I decide to take a quick drive to clear my head after listening to absolute shite for the last two hours. Where should I go? 12:45 pm: I arrive at the shop and feel Subway calling out my name. The deli is closer and cheaper and arguably better so I make my way towards the crispy chicken goodness. 19:00 pm: It is not the money that bothers me so much as the unnecessary food. I have lunches with me for a reason. Healthy eatin’ and less spendin’. Nothing works. At least I can save money at home. 22:00 pm: One of the lads is home from Waterford for the evening and we are six pints deep. We’re on rounds and everyone knows that’s cheaper. Town is on the cards, yup I said! 1:30 am: HSHDBhaahsdjasd??!!! Today’s cost: ????
8:00 am: Jesus H. Christ, why is that light so bright. Every movement brings with it a fresh wave of nausea. Luckily, my darling mother is going to drop me to work. She is too pure for this world. Oh, fuck, why did I move my head when I tried to get up. 10:00 am: Maybe I’m still drunk. Oh Lord I’m having too much fun dong nothing and laughing at everything. Do they know I was out last night? Haha nah they definitely don’t. 14:00 pm: Everyone knows. Somebody said they smelled alcohol earlier and I ran to the bathroom. Everyone knows and I’m going to lose my job. Oh, why must I love the sauce so much. Never again, and I mean this, never again. I’m off it. And the fags too. 19:30 pm: Sure more friends are home for the weekend. It’s nearly Christmas sure. Can’t rule out pints. 2:10 am: So drubk. Today’s costs: Shot$!!
15:00 pm: I finally awaken from my slumber. There will be no food for me today and therefore, no costs. 20:00 pm: I need pizza. I must have it. I will not rest until I have it. 21:30 pm: I feel not one bit better after all my dough balls and pepperoni swirls. Today’s costs: €40
12:00 pm: The 2nd day fear has kicked in. Why does nobody love me? Why do all my friends hate me? Why does every job seem like a dead end? Begin hyperventilating. Keep hyperventilating. Stop hyperventilating when a loved one shows any interest in me. Repeat twice every hour for five hours. 6:00 pm: I start Fifa for a six hour playthrough before staring at the ceiling and preparing for my morning scream. Today’s costs: €0.
Weekly Subtotal: €58.50 confirmed, hundreds on beer uncomfirmed.
What I learned:
I should really keep track of my money when I go out drinking. Maybe there’s a handy app for that. Maybe the national banks could look into it so I could see just how much I spend on a typical night out.
I have to stop letting my feelings of pure, unadulterated hatred influence my spending. Eat healthy, feel healthy.
I have it very lucky in that I have no real household bills bar buying my food for the week. In saying that, my family are very lucky in that I choose to live with them.
I have so much potential to save. I have so much potential as a human bean. Will I fulfill either? Tune in next week.
“An chéad stáisiún eile, Nás agus Sallins.” After two long hours of trying to read and changing songs my senses are tingling. Only five minutes until I get to see your curls bouncing as you do that cute little half jog up the steps into my outstretched arms. Utterly adorable.
The drive back is filled with hand holding and stolen kisses, Giving the car behind us an innocent, goofy show. What must they think when they see two people so completely Absorbed in each other that simple journeys are fraught with danger.
No amount of writer’s block could stem the tide of my words for you, A torrent of love that I have never felt before. I cannot write of film and sport when your lips and eyes fill my waking thoughts. I cannot think of work nor money when your laugh gives me enough life for a lifetime.
My love for you is like a pilgrimage and you are my deity that I will pay tribute to year after year. An eternity of bliss that no one else could understand as I whisper into your ear That you are class, you are perfect, you are unreal and you… Are just something special in my life.
A life that has been unproblematic in the grand scheme of things, Yet not fuflfilled And it is your kindness that makes My heart beat still.