Let's talk about death, BA-BY!

“After all, to the well-organised mind, death is but the next great adventure.” – Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, 1997.

I sensed the white, freezing feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach before the thought even entered my head. Initially, I put it down to the combination of chocolate, popcorn and coke zero as I stared up at the images dancing on the cinema screen. I had a tendency to overeat at the cinema. I had a tendency to overeat wherever I went. As I wondered whether a trip to the bathroom was imminent and I deliberated whether I should leave there and then or wait till the end of the scene, a little voice, my inner monologue, piped up and sent chills down my spine.
“You’re going to die someday…you’re going to be dead and cold in the ground and you won’t exist anymore. OK, enjoy the rest of your movie!”
Almost as soon as it entered my mind it was gone. I settled back into the movie and yes, I did enjoy it. I can’t remember what I watched but it was funny and had a happy ending. However, for those ten or so seconds where I realised my own mortality, I was in a state of dreaded fear. But still, it passed and I moved on and it didn’t affect my life.

However, this intrusive thought has not really gone away. It is by no means constant and as I said, it does not affect my life; it is there, though, in the back of my mind somedays. It has grown legs too, including my family and loved ones in its dark encapsulation of my biggest fear; DEATH! Death will come for us all and leaves no one behind. There is no point running for you will only be out of breath when the end comes. So, instead, live your life to its fullest and accept that while death is inevitable, you decide what you do with your time here.
I wish I could accept that and live by my own rules.

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I have started listening to the Blindboy Podcast a lot recently. It took me a few goes to get into as I was starting at whatever the most recent podcast was and was probably daunted by the sheer amount of content online. Third time’s the charm, I started from the start, as mathematicians so intended, (Praise be to maths) and I am hooked. While I don’t agree with everything that he says I do enjoy the podcasts and as a fan of the RubberBandits and their music, I am a fan of Blindboy and his hot takes.
I was listening to a podcast today from April or May in 2018. You never really know what you’re in for with his podcasts, and death found its way in to this one. He was talking about older people enjoying things like comic book movie and how people aren’t really grown up until their mid 30s. He said that part of life and growing up into a proper, responsible adult is accepting that death is inevitable. We are all going to die someday. While I don’t agree with his thoughts on people who enjoy things like comic book movies being real adults, he was not saying it in a malicious way. I do agree that death is inevitable and I have accepted that but sometimes that little voice pipes back up and reminds me that my family and friends won’t be around some day, and neither will I.

I don’t know if it is the fact that I’ve never lost anyone extremely close to me before their time or if I am going through some sort of existential crisis, but I think one of these two factors outisde of my control are contributing to these thoughts. I don’t want to alarm anyone either! This post is not meant to worry anyone because as I’ve said, it doesn’t happen that regularly and it doesn’t affect my day to day life. I don’t shuffle around the place, hugging the corners of buildings and crawling down the road in my car for fear of the hooded reaper slamming on the breaks and collecting my soul. I don’t worry about my family and friends and girlfriend every minute of the day and bombard them with texts about their health. I text them to make sure they are worried about me and if I’m eating properly because I’m precious! Seriously, though, everyone gets intrusive thoughts sometimes. As I have no significant mental health problems I can brush them aside and decide to live and breathe and enjoy. For others, it is not so easy.
Be kind, always.

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How do you deal with death and the thoughts of our own mortality? Let me know in the comment section if you like! Also, I’m always open for people who need to talk or vent ✌

Brain Fart

Lads…I had the biggest brainfart of my life this morning. I was driving down the road, going a slightly different route than I would normally take because I was picking someone up for work. Nevertheless, I have driven this road countless times in the past. In the recent past, mind. I passed under the One Eye Bridge, turned the bend and a car was stopped in the middle of the road. A truck was stopped on the other side of the road with a big line of traffic behind it. I wondered what they were all doing? How did so many cars break down at once??
As I indicated out and overtook these buffoons I locked eyes with the woman in the stationary car. Her eyes bored into mine with a mixture of confusion and anger. I mirrored her gaze. What wa she looking at? I indicated back in and continued on down the road, only concerned with making my way into town to pick up my co-worker. I noticed angry faces glowering at me as I slowly, mockingly rolled by them. It was only as I turned the next bend and faced the roundabout that I realised my monumental howler. To those people it looked like I was the meanest See You Next Tuesday in the world who flouted basic morality and road-formalities whenever I felt like it. Little did they know that all sense left my body and instead of seeing a woman letting a long line of traffic make its way from behind a parked truck, I saw people too indecisive to drive their cars and said I better drive myself or I’d be late. And you know what? I’d feckin’ do it again! Let them rot!*

Have you ever had a moment where you messed up like this? Have you ever wanted to let those people know that you’re actually not an asshole?; You’re just a little bit slow on the uptake in the mornings like me?

*I deeply apologise to all involved. Especially the woman who I fear might have her mouth permanently stuck like that after witnessing my jaw-dropping arrogance.

Must see sights in Cork

I have written some lovely descriptive pieces about the beauty in the hills of Kerry and the rugged charm of Sugarloaf, all the while forgetting some of the lovely places that I’ve been in Cork. Come to the real capital of Éire and the actual European capital of culture 2005 and feast your eyes on the glorious nature of the Rebel County.

Old Head Kinsale

Old Head Kinsale sounds like the name of an auld lad that’s been on the same stool in the same bar for decades, supping away at the dregs of a pint of Guinness and pawing at the greasy end of a bag of bacon fries. In reality it’s a magnificent, jutting piece of rock that looks like it was carved from a giant’s side. An absolutely stunning view awaits you across the Atlantic, seagulls dotting the horizon and occasionally stealing closer to see if you have any food. One time, my buddy Dave brought his pasta with him in a lunchbox ‘coz he’s a healthy boy and the seagulls nearly converged on us as we sat on a rock.
Steeped in ancient history, passing hands from the original settlers to the Vikings and to the Normans, there is a golf link behind the tower at the entrance. Dún Cearna is now a tourist spot and probably my favourite viewpoint in all of Ireland. It genuinely feels like you’re on the edge of the world and that you’re about to start off on a great adventure like the many great warriors that settled there of old.
Stop into Kinsale town on the way back home for some quality seafood and a nice, friendly vibe.

The edge of the void

Inchydoney beach

Lcated outside Clonakilty, this beach is picture-perfect. While myself and the friends found it hard to actually fin our way onto the beach from the car without a ten-foot drop, it was worth the journey. We looked so out of place with our high-brow fashion and multicultural garments, intimidating the locals as we walked by in a haze of arrogance that only people from closer to the city could muster. It was as far west as any of us would ever go again…

Follow me on Insta hunz xo

Farran woods

Come with me now to the magical wood of Farran, almost halfway between the two dreaded lands of Macroom and Balincollig. Most places that I don’t like or loathe in Cork are in my bad books as a result of fights in underage G.A.A. I need to let this stuff go. I made the pilgrimage to Farran Woods and feel cleansed again. Perhaps one day I may set foot in each revolting town once more.

Oh deer!

Spike Island

Ireland’s Alcatraz has an eventful history. It passed from Irish hands to Normans, from the Normans to the English after the Act of Union in 1800 and then finally back into Irish control after the Bunreacht na hÉireann in 1938. It was then used as a prison until 2004 while the prison guards and some civilians actually lived on the island. The famous riot of 1985 should be known to all viewers of Reeling in the Years, where prisoners escaped and made camp on the roof of what is now known as the Burnt Block.
The island now hosts tours of the old facilities. Myself and K did one there at the end of last year and it is really interesting. They also host horror movie nights and events for horror movies. We attended one where several famous Irish and English actors, producers and casting directors answered questions. We then watched Dog Soldiers, a cult horror classic. Get online and book a tour, you’ll enjoy it.
Unfortunately, Cobh is another town that I don’t like becasue of G.A.A. and I had to drive into the town and spend a bit of time walking through it. A hellish place, so just bear that in mind when you’re making your decision.

One of the prison guards and I making up after I shanked him on the way to dinner yday evening. It’s a dog eat dog world behind bars but at the end of the day, we’re family.

Fota

Despite this fine establishment residing just outside the dark hole that is Cobh, this zoo is definitely the best in Ireland. The walk around is beautiful and while you are separated safely from the animals, seeing the creatures so close is unreal. The restaurant is standard enough and there were some construction going on around the lemur enclosure that made the place look like an Eastern-European slum. The lemurs had gained the clarity to rob cigarettes and wallets from visitors. They had begun a bartering system and had even held some kids captive. They ran the zoo that day with an iron fist. Other than that, though, it remains a family friendly and enjoyable walk around the grounds.

Lady Bantry’s Lookout

This steep walk, similar to my recent trek up the Cardiac Steps, has one of the best views I’ve ever seen. Just outside, you guessed it, Bantry, thestory goes that Lady Bantry, wife of an Earl, had muscular Irish men carry her up the steep climb as she was in a wheelchair. Goddamn Brits making us do humiliating things for them.

I must confess a sin and say that I have actually never been to Gougane Barra or Mizen Head. Otherwise they would definitely be on this list. Please let me know if you would like to know more about Ireland’s glorious nature and various walks and hikes. Or if you think i missed out on any of the Rebel County’s must-se sights, drop me a message or give me a follow and enjoy my fantasies and reviews of Éire.

New Years Resolutions 🙌🙌

There was a rather strange anomaly at the beginning of this month. People all over the world but most especially in Ireland, gathered together and ignored the beginning of the year until the 6th. Most people started back to work on the 2nd and a few people started back training and eating well on the 1st. Most of us, though, extended our shite eating and binge drinking for one more weekend. Obviously some people don’t buy into the whole ‘New Year, New Me’ spiel and that’s OK, but the majority of the world will try and turn over a new leaf. Resolutions are made and promises are sworn. Get fit. Eat less shit. Do more of that thing that you enjoy that gives you a brief respite from work.
The older I get the less stuff I give up for my Resolutions. Why deprive yourself of something straight away? Talk about starting the year off on a negative! Promise yourself you will exercise more or play more sport and by default you will eat better. You’ll feel the effects of the positive endorphins rushing through your body and brain and think to yourself, ‘Wow. I feel better after all of this exercise. Maybe I’ll keep it up!’ Maybe you won’t and you’ll give up on your resolutions and that’s fine. The world is going to end in about ten years anyways. Could you live with yourself if I end this life looking better than you? Didn’t think so.

This year I’ve made a few resolutions. Two weeks in and I’m still going strong…ish. I haven’t broken all of them at least!

Gym

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I’m really gonna hit the gym hard this year. I decided to go at it full throttle. Seven workouts/exercises a week. No excuses. 6:30 every morning, cardio and weights every session. NO. EXCUSES.
Laugh out fucking loud. Some people do tend to burn themselves out straight away. Do what you feel comfortable doing. If that’s five days a week, class. If that’s twice a week with a view to increasing your attendance, great. I myself have gone for at least three gym sessions a week. Football and hurling training will start soon and then I’ll be as fit and ripped as I was when I was 17. Jaysus I was a ride.

Coffee

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Buying coffee out is so got-dayum expensive. Sure, save a bit by using your keep cup but you’re still paying about three euro every time you get a cup. And that’s just Spar, Centra and other garages. Obviously I’m talking about the largest size because I’m an important man with important places to be.
Seriously, though, this year I’m allowing myself three coffees out a week; 1 during the week in work and 2 on the weekend with K. 3 coffees, depending on where you go, will cost you upward of 10 euro. And that’s fine, because Mommy needs her caffeine! I’m Mommy.

Lunches/ Meals Out

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I was a terror when I started this new job for eating out and getting a big lunch every day from the shop. Now that I’ve settled in a bit I’ve started bringing my own lunch every day and eating a bit healthier. Chicken and rice is my main meal. I might have some hummus in the morning or afternoon. The point is, I’m not spending as much or eating enough to feed a family of five every day. The plan was to just have one meal out on the weekends and cook for our other meals. We may have failed in that regard the last few weeks but I’ll speak a bit about that in a future post.
K told me I eat like it’s gonna be my last meal 🤣 we weren’t short of food growing up I can tell you that for nothing! I must be living vicariously through my ancestors from An Gorta Mór and am just making up for their lost time!

Reading

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I used to be a savage reader. I could even read the big words. I’d look them up and down, say them out loud really slowly, mocking them with how easy I made it look. Now, I find it a struggle to replicate my previous excellence in the field of literature.
I’m not going to attempt the book a week challenge. I’m going to build up to it. One or two books in January will hopefully turn into three or four in February and so on and so forth. If I can double my tally each month and my maths is correct I should have read 4’096 books! That’s some going! VERY realistic.

I think we all have our own journeys and falling into dry January or the walking/running challenges give us a sense of conformity and uniformity that humans crave. What happens when the 100 walks are finished, though? Do you give up straight away? Do you go on a mad binge the 1st of February to celebrate the end of a sober month?? I personally go mad every February to celebrate St. Brigid. I go on the lash for four weeks straight, knitting huge blankets and trying to cover big areas of land with them. I smoke joints rolled with the rushes from a Brigid’s cross and talk to God. He’s a sound guy. Other than that though, I keep it pretty tame.
The point I was trying to make before I sidetracked myself with a fantastical story about getting high with the used rushes from a religious symbol, is that moderation is the key to keeping things going.
My resolutions will break from time to time but I won’t fret. I have a good feeling about this year, guys ✌

A Guide to Hillwalking and Mountain-climbing for People who don't know what the F**k they're doing!

There used to be a time when I would scoff at the idea of doing anything productive on New Year’s Day. It was a day for the hangover and an evening for the bed. Sure look, you might be cheeky and go for one or five pints in the evening but that’d be it. The 2nd of January was always the day of reconciliation and getting back on the right track. Perhaps, depending on the day that the New Year fell, you might only start thinking about getting your act together on the following Monday.
This year, though, I joined a lot of others and made sure that January 1st was going to be a new start for me and not just the calendar year. Yes, I went out for New Years with my girlfriend, Katie, and we had an absolute blast. We weren’t out too late and were home at a semi-reasonable hour. We had plans for the New Year and we were going to stick to them.

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“A mother from Wicklow and a father from Rio. Neither a hurling stronghold!”

I wrote a little bit already about climbing the Sugarloaf. I’m talking about the one in Wicklow, not the one in Brazil. Neither a hurling stronghold. I think that the world needs something like a guide for people like me when it comes to outdoor hiking (as opposed to indoor hiking) and I’m willing to give it to them. So folks, count yourselves lucky as this is the very first edition of ‘A Guide to Hillwalking and Mountain-climbing for People who don’t know what the F**k they’re doing!” This week I give you my preparation and thoughts and feelings as I traversed the mighty cliff!

Preparations

First of all, I did not for a second think that drinking a fair amount of alcohol the night before was a good preparation for my first proper hike in years and my first of 2020. However, it worked, so here is a provisional list of stuff you need and things you need to do before your first climb.

  • Have a bit of a night out beforehand, as a treat. Nothing too mental, mind. Have a few pre-drinks, a nice meal out and maybe four or five double whiskeys and you should have just enough of a headache the next day for the fresh air to feel good in your battered body and mind.
  • Now, you should have your clothes ready, or at least have an idea of what you’re going to need. Most important are your shoes. I had no idea of the exact terrain we would be facing but I assumed a bit of mud and a few rocks. So, naturally, I went for old runners with half the sole worn off for maximum mediocre grip. Sorted!
  • You’ll also want to misjudge the weather and completely disregards weather apps by wearing at least two layers of coats and jackets, a hat but no gloves and light pants. Your legs and hands will be cold but your body and head will be burning up!

Thoughts Throughout

I journeyed through a thousand human emotions during this relatively short walk. I saw the face of God on top of that summit, and it was glorious. Alternatively, I stared into the sun for too long and almost collapsed. You decide.

  • Beginning: This actually isn’t that bad. It looks like it gets fairly steep at the top but Katie said it’s fine and I trust her. I’ll be fine. Grand.
  • First Slope: Oh God, I taste whiskey and duck empanadas at the back of my throat. Why did I get the last double when we were leaving? I hate myself. It’s so muddy!
  • Final Climb: I tweaked the muscle at the back of my knee there a minute ago. Ah fuck. I don’t want to tell Katie, though. I’ll be fine. The Gods blessed me with a spare knee, right? Oh, I’m light headed.
  • Summit: This is genuinely lovely. First achievement of 2020. This is my year. This is my decade. I am just in the happiest place right now. The climb wasn’t even that bad.
  • Descent: I am going to absolutely brain myself on one of these rocks. What fucking shoes am I wearing??!! OK, just slow down your breathing behind this random lady and her baby, you don’t want them to think you’re some ragged animal hunting them.
  • Bottom: Sweet Hallelujah, sweet level ground how I did miss you!

Afterthoughts

You know, I’ve recently found out that I can be a tad dramatic. Just a small bit. Just a smidge of overreaction. I didn’t voice any of this on the hike and a lot of this is exaggerated. I did have a little moment of, ‘Oh God, this isn’t that bad but I am still incredibly unfit.’ Maybe the excess of drinking, smoking and takeaway isn’t beneficial, even if it feels so good! That’s another topic for another post.
The Sugarloaf is easy. I was short of breath after reaching the top and the final climb over some rocks is a bit tough for my first climb in years but it is worth it for the views and the intrinsic sense of worth upon completion.
This weekend Katie and I are going to tackle the Cardiac steps and lads, I’m a bit nervous. The word ‘CARDIAC’ is in the name. She has assured me that they’re actually not that bad. While I trust her, she warned me that the Sugarloaf was fine and I almost died there….although I am a little overdramatic!

Types of People you Meet on Public Transport

Christmas is over! We’re halfway through the first official week back to work and for most of us that means we’ve been getting the dreaded beast that is… PUBLIC TRANSPORT! Delayed buses, slow trains and jam-packed coaches with no knee room are our new reality. I say ‘our’. I mean ‘your’. I own a car now. I’m a big boy.
Let’s have a brief look at some of the absolute creatures that board our buses, trawl our trains and assault our senses.

The Smell

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When it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month or even your year

I’m going to preface this one by saying that we don’t know a person’s background or the circumstances that bring them to have such a smell permeating the air around them. All I know is that they smell horrendous and it doesn’t matter how bad you feel for them, they are coming for the empty seat next to you, and they’re gonna encroach on your side of the seat. Smelly travels, fellow passenger.

The Leer

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“Do I look like a resonable man to you, or a peppermint nightmare?” The Hitcher, The Mighty Boosh, Season 1, Ep. 8

Oh, Jaysus. Look at the cut of this fella. It’s not even the way he looks or what he’s wearing. It’s the cold, dead look in his eyes that screams, ‘I’m undressing you with my eyes and there’s nothing you can do about it”. I mean, I find it uncomfortable when I glance over and a leer barely feigns breaking eye contact with me. I can only imagine the hardships the womenfolk go through day after day, leer after leer, uncomfortable encounter after uncomfortable encounter.
So I just wanna take a minute to say, stand up sisters! No more leers! No more leers! No more leers!

The Space Invader

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If I was an alien being brought to this world with no knowledge of the human race and someone asked me to point out a creep, I’d point all forty of my tentacles at this motherfucker. A close cousin of the leer, the space invader knows no boundaries. His knees touch yours with nary an invitation. His elbow takes the armrest even though he has the window seat. Come to think of it, it’s a booked seat and he doesn’t look like an Ellen.

The Talk Show Host

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“And next up on Samantha’s phone is Sharon! Sharon is having trouble with Mark, her on-again-off-again boyfriend of 12 years and father of her two kids. Tune in whether you like it or not because you forgot your headphones, there’s a traffic delay up ahead and Samantha is only itching to give some advice. STICK AROUND for the shock twist when Samantha rings Mark to tell him she’ll meet him ‘there in a minute la’. STICK AROUND AGAIN for Cameron, Sharon’s other best friend who is on the same bus apparently and hears the second phone call and confronts Samantha! I’m Cian Dalton, on the late bus to Mahon! BUSWATCH!”

The Group Project

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The boys cheering for the bus before coming on to intimidate me 😢

For some reason you sat on the top deck. For some reason you sat near the back. Suddenly, a group of young lads and girls get on and they’re all wearing similar clothes. They sit near the front and they are loud and boisterous, laughing and slapping each other’s shoulders. Could they possibly just be having fun? Could they just be kids joking between themselves? NO! NEVER! They’re laughing at me! They’re going to trip me up! They’re going to look at me over their shoulder and snicker and chuckle and it’s all about me!

The Luggage Carousel

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Imagine trying to squeeze past this A-hole on a packed subway!

This passenger comes in two forms and all shapes and sizes. They can be found after a full day’s shopping, possibly with a friend, occupying eight seats and avoiding all eye contact.
Other times they can be found on an absolutely jam-packed bus , one hand holding a pole to steady themselves and the other hand resting in the middle of the pile of bags strapped around their shoulder. You know what I’m talking about. They will maneuver this group of bags our of your way, into your way, around you and him and in ways that defy the laws of physics. Always when you’re trying to get off at your stop. Pricks.

Best of luck back on the grind, guys. Is there anyone I missed out on here?

Barry’s Rants: New Years Eve

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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.

Me: Happy New Year.

Barry: Many happy returns.

Barry's Rants – Christmas

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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?

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?

Me: Same here. Might write some shite too.

Barry: Do kid. Practice makes perfect.

6 Types of People you Meet in the Pub Over Christmas

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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

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“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

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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.

Armchair Pundit

“Yis are all shapers, and spoofers, and cods…”

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.

Shitfaced

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“It was Christmas Eve, babe….”

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

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Alright boys have I shown ye the picture of my kids for the third time?

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

Yeah, that’d be great.

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?

Merry Christmas, everyone!

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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.