21.

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My baby brother is 21 now. How did that happen? How am I 23 already? These questions are old and boring (quite like myself) so I’ll let them lie and tell you a little bit about Eoin.

Eoin has been about seven million feet tall since he was 12. For a brief period he grew really quickly, so quickly that his brain didn’t know where his body ended and the world began. He was all limbs and no coordination. 

His feet are like boats. I can wear my shoes and his shoes at the same time. 

He believes he was born to wear suits. Buying one for his debs was a monumental moment in his young suit wearing career.

He used to be a terrible hugger. I think it was to do with his height but every time he would hug you he would just flop and lean his whole weight on you…which was a lot to bear. It took some teaching but my mum and I finally got him to give good, strong, bear hugs. 

When I am mad at him he picks me up and turns me upside down. It is awful and cruel and bullying because he can do it just because he is bigger than me but it works. I usually end up laughing. 

He cooks the best puttanesca ever. You will want to stuff your face with it. 

On the 31st of January 2013, at a dinner for my mum’s birthday, he said “intelligence is a burden that I unfortunately carry”—self esteem is clearly not an issue for Eoin. 

I miss him like crazy and am so sad that I can’t hug him today and stuff my face with cake and tapas.

Eoin you are the best, 21 is going to be a good, good year for you. I love you. x 

Living at Home.

Tip #4

Create Rituals.

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Before I crawl into bed each night I light some candles on my make shift nightstand. My current collection consists of two vanilla scented tea lights from ikea. They burn in the leftover jars from two more expensive scented candles since burned. 

I look forward to the ritual of striking the match, hearing the crackle of the wick and the woodsy scent of smoke as the match goes out. Reading my book, writing notes, making to-do list, scrolling instagram (guilty) or chatting to Rich feels all the more sacred and intentional by the light of twin flames. There is something comforting, homey and relaxing about the flicker of candlelight. 

 

*The image above is of the impressive candlesticks at Ballyvolane, the night before Aoife & Gary’s wedding. My setup is certainly a bit more humble than that. 

 

Living at Home.

Tip #3

Practice consideration.

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It’s easier said than done. I know. I really, truly know.

Consideration is the single most important thing you can do as a person living with other people. Especially people that you are related to and love but sometimes can’t stand.

Empty the dishwasher in the morning. Rinse out the mayonnaise jar. Pull your hair out of the drain. And for the love of god try not to roll your eyes when you’re asked to do the same thing for the millionth time. If you’d done it before the asking started there wouldn’t be any need for the eye rolling now would there? We could all use a little reminder of this every now and then. 

Living at Home.

 

Tip #2

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Look for things you can make your own. I am always on the lookout for pieces that I can paint, cover, fix or alter.

You will argue with your boyfriend during these kinds of projects. Your mother will be driven demented by the smell of paint. Tears will likely be shed. But if all goes well these are the pieces you will take with you when you leave. These are the pieces that will make your first out-of-home place feel like home. A modern day trousseau. 

Sometimes it will be something as simple as a cheap ikea step stool painted white with spray painted golden steps. Other times it will be a rickety woodworm filled chair that you carried (ahem, your boyfriend carried) all the way home from the flea market. 

I never knew such joy could be found in a can of gold spray paint but then again I didn’t have a golden pineapple before now either. 

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It is likely that this will be my last season of living in my family home  and so I am documenting the ups and downs, frustrations and joys in this space as it all comes to a close. 

Living at Home.

Tip #1

Keep your room clean. Having a sanctuary to call your own is of the utmost importance. Put art on the walls, rugs on the floor and keep your deodorant in a drawer, or failing that, neatly on your dresser.

The cleaning part is never really fun and I always get sidetracked by seven hundred layers of nostalgia and old photographs and love letters but that is all part of the process.

I wake more rested and fall asleep more calmly when the floor isn’t covered in seven layers of shit and I know that there are clean underwear, tights and t-shirts ready and waiting for morning. It’s the simple things, right?

It is likely that this will be my last season of living in my family home  and so I am documenting the ups and downs, frustrations and joys in this space as it all comes to a close.