the end



My three week stint as a domestic goddess (haha!) is coming to a close and I could not be happier. I am, quite literally, exhausted. Trying to juggle looking after a tiny baby in the morning, cook clean and do the washing in someone else’s house in the afternoon and then come home and make dinner for my boys in the evening (not to mention keeping the washing under control) seriously takes it’s toll after a while. Thank god for that dude up there, he is, hands down, the best cleaner in the world. If it wasn’t for him my mother would be returning to a bomb shell tomorrow morning instead of a somewhat clean and tidy (but utterly lived in) home. He hasn’t complained once about it either. So, thank you Richard, for cleaning up after us every night (And thank you Eoin for not picking up after yourself one little bit!).

All of that said it was really lovely to be independent for a while. It was cool to leave my bowl there knowing that no one was going to give out to me if I didn’t wash it until the next day, or spend hours making dinner just how I wanted it. It was also nice having a little job for a bit…although it made working on any freelance jobs virtually impossible which sucked. It was cool to run to the shops to get that thing I forgot for the dinner or just eat chickpeas out of the tin for lunch if I didn’t feel like running.

It was really really nice to live with Richard, to go to sleep to the sound of him breathing and eat breakfast together in the morning before heading to our respective jobs. We got on really well, but, if anything, spent less time together than normal because we were both so busy. A lot of the days I minded Emily in the morning, did my mum’s job in the evening and then babysat that night…it was great, and I’ve saved a plenty, but I certainly couldn’t do three jobs like that all summer long!

It gave me great hope for a day when we do live together, hopefully. (I can’t wait!)



PS I should really go easier on my mum, she does so much!

Age



This is the thing: When you hit 28 or 30, everything begins to divide. You can see very clearly two kinds of people. On one side, people who have used their 20s to learn and grow, to find … themselves and their dreams, people who know what works and what doesn’t, who have pushed through to become real live adults. Then there’s the other kind, who are hanging onto college, or high school even, with all their might. They’ve stayed in jobs they hate, because they’re too scared to get another one. They’ve stayed with men or women who are good but not great, because they don’t want to be lonely. … they mean to develop intimate friendships, they mean to stop drinking like life is one big frat party. But they don’t do those things, so they live in an extended adolescence, no closer to adulthood than when they graduated.
Don’t be like that. Don’t get stuck. Move, travel, take a class, take a risk. There is a season for wildness and a season for settledness, and this is neither. This season is about becoming. Don’t lose yourself at happy hour, but don’t lose yourself on the corporate ladder either. Stop every once in a while and go out to coffee or climb in bed with your journal.
Ask yourself some good questions like: “Am I proud of the life I’m living? What have I tried this month? … Do the people I’m spending time with give me life, or make me feel small? Is there any brokenness in my life that’s keeping me from moving forward?”
Now is your time. Walk closely with people you love, and with people who believe … life is a grand adventure. Don’t get stuck in the past, and don’t try to fast-forward yourself into a future you haven’t yet earned. Give today all the love and intensity and courage you can, and keep traveling honestly along life’s path.
Relevant magazine

(I am Blessed via Meg)

Berlin/4

It sometimes can feel like the holiday ends once you check out of the hotel. Even though we had hours to spare and our bags were locked away I couldn’t shake the feeling like we were just waiting around to get the S-Bhan back to the airport on Friday. We set out nonetheless, not wanted to waste time being bored, and headed for the Jewish Museum. After that rather confusing and disorientating experience—the museum has an interesting ‘pathway’ to follow—we headed back towards familiar territory on foot. After stumbling upon check-point Charlie I convinced Richard to have a currywurste because well, we were in Germany and we might as well act touristy if we’re hanging around the most touristy part. It looks gross, the chips were ok and he somehow ate it all.
Another thing we happened upon by chance was this automat. I was sooo excited and spent ages wondering if we’d actually find one after I saw this post. Then as we were walking back to the hotel to collect our bags one just appeared out of the blue. It’s €2 for a strip and we did two ’cause as soon as you put that money in it takes the photo…which we were not expecting. They’re total duds but also hilarious and lovely.


Thank you Berlin for being so kind. We had such a great time. 

(and thank you to anyone who actually read these posts…I wanted to have a proper sort of diary written for myself, I hope they didn’t bore you to tears!)

Berlin/3

After missing our hotel breakfast we went and bought some crazy amazing but probably really bad for you pastries next door and set out for the day. It was no longer raining, thankfully, but the cold had yet to subside. We headed further out towards the suburbs where google told us the junky camera shops and vintage bargains were to be had. We were not disappointed.

This camera place was crazy, old man shop-keeper included, and Richard bought a polariser for cheap and I played with the old cameras and marvelled at all the old photographs and treasures to be had. We left, with promises to return later, which in the end we didn’t get a chance to do. We continued our hunt and found some pretty amazing vintage finds.
 Including this grey pure wool coat! Which fit like a glove and was certainly warmer than my little tweedy jacket. We went back to the hotel for a bit after lunch and then headed in search of a polaroid—which I was determined to come home with—which we found in a lovely little shop in a pretty nasty district. We went to a lovely little Italian restaurant, which was bursting with Germans drinking and eating and laughing, for our last meal.

(our waitress liked the look of my camera so we persuaded her to take this only photo of two of us!)

All photos of me by Richard, as before.

Berlin/2


On Wednesday morning it was raining when we woke up. The rain persisted and so did we, after an-all-we-could-stuff-ourselves-with breakfast we headed out in search of umbrellas and adventure. We climbed to the top of the Berliner Dom—it was wet and slippy and the stairs were small and windy. My legs turned to jelly and my heart began to pump faster. I wanted to get down, which we did…eventually. It was beautiful though, from the inside, which didn’t feel as high.
(second last photo credit: Richard Barrett)


Then we walked and walked and walked, taking in the Brandenburg Gate, Holocaust Memorial, The Guggenheim Museum—we saw this exhibit and it was fantastic—The Reichstag and sections of the Berlin Wall until we gave in to hunger and went in search of food. The Pizza place we found had no seats, just high benches that we, along with other hungry folk, stood at and casually wolfed our food without talking. It was delicious.

It was cold, which is nothing we weren’t expecting given our friend’s warning. Just how cold it could be was something I was unprepared for. I had to buy a new cardigan in H&M to wear over the jumper I was already wearing and it was still freezing. Even Richard was cold. We walked and keep warm and eventually gave in and spent a while going in and out of shops, keeping warm and eating chocolate and trying on ridiculously priced shoes.
After toasty hot showers at our hotel we went out to a cool Japanese restaurant just five minutes from our accommodation. It had thousands of, what appeared to be, chopsticks hanging in a cloud like formation from the ceiling and the wine was delicious. Richard had ‘the best meal of his life’ while mine was lovely until a dish of barely cooked cold prawns arrived…which needless to say I did not eat.

Altogether it was a great day. (Just cold!)

(All photos of me by Richard)