Endless Summer

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A few weeks ago when chatting with my friend Kirstyn she asked me how I felt about not getting a summer holiday this year. While we both took some time to ourselves over the past few months this counts as the first summer in our respective 24 years where we haven’t had at least two months of pure freedom. Oh the perks of being a student. It wasn’t something I had thought about and so her question stopped me for a second.

Truly, it feels like I have been on summer holidays since I moved to California. I think it might have something to do with the weather? I’m joking…it has everything to do with the weather. I can count on one hand how many times it has rained since we arrived. (This is not a good thing, the drought is truly a natural disaster.) However, for this Irish girl so used to a damp, cold and changeable climate being able to count on sunshine for days on end is nothing short of revolutionary. 

It is one, big, long, endless summer and it’s coming to a close. My heart is starting to beat towards home again and it’s all kind of coming full circle. Before then here are some photos to recap on the last couple of months. 

When Hannah came we spent some time exploring San Francisco before embarking on our road trip. We cycled through the city and across the bridge to Sausalito which is a cheesy, touristy thing to do but definitely worth it. I love cycling around this city. 

We spent 4th of July at Lake Anza. I read half a book, basked in the heat of the glorious sunshine and avoided the millions of kids in the water. Haha. 

These above four photos are from Jack London Square in Oakland. For about ten minutes of my commute to work this is my view. It’s stunning no matter the weather or time of day—though the morning I shot these photos was particularly stunning.

What are brothers for except playing leap frog and other weird stuff like that? We have fought and we have made up and bickered and drove each other crazy this summer but it has been nice to have him here…most of the time. 

We have spent some time housesitting and garden-sitting over the last few months. These are some of my favourite photos I’ve taken this summer. 

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Hanging out in Temescal Alley is always a good idea, especially for those filled-right-before-your-eyes doughnuts from Dolly’s! 


How has your summer been lovelies? It was 34 degrees on Monday and in the high 20s today so it doesn’t look like this summer is ending any time soon. I think we’ll just have to come home to get our quota of autumn-winter chills and cosy fireside cuddling. 

For Your Weekend.

We have been hiking and I have been reading. For the fifty or so per cent of my time not at work at least. It is a glorious fifty or so per cent. I wish it came in larger chunks but I’ll take my snippets here and there and where I can. A bart ride, a lunch break, a fly-by sunday outing. 

Sometimes I forget that my body is a biological, animal, feral thing and needs to be outside. I forget that I am my body and my body is me and there is no line or blur or disconnect. Or at least there shouldn’t be. Being indoors sucks life and being out of doors restores it. A simple equation so often forgotten. 

I also forget that I love to read. My ridiculous inner narrative says things like, it’s been so long since I read a good book. It’s been so long since I enjoyed a book, maybe I just don’t like reading any more. I would read a few pages and my eyelids would droop, too heavy for the words. Page by page, slowly creeping through a story muddied by sleep and time and missed days. I tried to read The Road. I stopped. I couldn’t. It never really started for me. 

But I don’t read to fall asleep. I read to wake up, to time travel, to understand, to be inspired. And so I got some better books. Because life is too short for bad books, cigarette smoke and wailing toddlers in supermarket aisles. Last Friday I stepped off the bart and into the second-hand bookshop in Berkeley and bought three books from this list and two more for good measure. So far I have read one short story, one memoir, one novel and half a book of short stories this week. Escapism is a real and beautiful thing. 

I have also been replenishing my wardrobe with ridiculous bright, cheap, vintage and thrift store dresses and expensive but much needed staples. Jeans, sandals and shoes, you know the drill. Next month I am dedicating a portion of my paycheque to t-shirts. It’s a thrilling life, but someone has to live it. 

Tomorrow I am going to work my little bum off on some fun, just-for-me work as well as some work for Moss Cottage before dragging Richard up a hill or down by the sea or to the park…and Sunday is wide open right now, just the way I like it.

Have you got plans? Tell me them all, I’d love to hear. xoxo

For The Weekend (Happy Birthday Mama!)

Today is my mama’s birthday…we just facetimed and all of my family are together celebrating. Today is the second year out of all my 23.5 years that we’re not spending this day together. We will definitely make up for it next year. My brothers and sister and niece all took her to brunch this morning at this wonderful place…and so we didn’t feel like we were being left out our monthly challenge for January is to get brunch at Mama’s. Yum! I sent Monica a beautifully printed version of the above as my birthday gift; she loves Leonard Cohen and I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. 

I hope you have a love-filled weekend wherever you are, birthday or no birthday Saturday is the perfect excuse to eat cake ;) 

 

 

For the Weekend.

It’s Friday, finally. This week has been a tough one. I think I’ve hit a three month wall here in the Bay Area. It feels like holiday time is over but I haven’t started work yet (visa sponsorship approval blah) and so I’m in this displaced limbo and don’t know what to do with myself. Add in some homesickness and it all adds up to a pretty crappy time. I’m trying to remember that all will be well (as my mother always says) and I chose this (as Lisa Congdon says). We had a huge full moon a few weeks ago, I took a couple of photos as we were driving across the Bay Bridge and then the next morning I saw my cousin has instagrammed a photo too (from Ireland). Sometimes home feels impossibly far away but knowing that we’re all under the same sky is a sweet kind of comfort. 

We are getting up early tomorrow to drive to Santa Cruz with a couple of friends for the day (putting these tips to good use). I am excited to listen to some good road trip music, feel the wind in my hair through the window and escape the city for a few hours. I hope your weekends are full of adventure! xoxo


This made me laugh out loud — I Went to a Taylor Swift Soul Cycle Class and We Need to Talk About It. (Aoife, this is for you). 

When things feel tough I like to reread this

Could you be nice for forty days straight? This sounds just like a lent-challenge I did a few years ago—it was hard, harder than I expected. But maybe it’s time to give it another go?

Made me laugh. (I confess though, I haven’t read the book and probably won’t see the film either)

This hyperlapse of San Francisco at night is beautiful. 

The perfect Galentine’s day card—are you ready for February 13th?!

 

For Your Weekend.

What have you guys got planned for the weekend? I intended on posting this last night but we went to the cinema instead…so happy Saturday morning from California! I’m about to rush out the door to get some food but here’s some things I’ve been clicking around this week. I hope your weekend is full of kisses and yum food. xoxo


We saw Into the Woods last night. Have you seen it? I don’t love modern musicals but went in with an open mind and, well, kind of hated it. The plot made no sense, the message was completely lost on me (what was the take home meant to be??) and the weird mix of darkness and humour and innuendo just didn’t work for me or for my friends. Here is a rave review and here is one less so. If you’ve seen it what is your opinion? Love love love it? Or want to pull your eyeballs out with a fork hate it? 

Have you heard of Dallas Clayton? This LA artists’ instagram brings the sunshine every day, go follow follow!

I’m ashamed to admit it but until now I had never read anything by Maeve Binchy. When I found this book in a second hand shop here in Berkeley I thought it was high time I read something by this famous Irish author…even if it did take moving across the world to do so! I’m halfway through Tara Road and loving it. 

Hermione Granger and the goddamn Patriarchy is the best thing I’ve seen all day.

When I was a child my mom wouldn’t buy me a Barbie”—made me laugh. I had barbies but my older sister wasn’t allowed them! 

We watched In a World earlier in the week. It was funny, intelligent and, incredibly written, produced, directed and starring Lake Bell. A female. I wish that wasn’t noteworthy but it is. 

Mmmm brunch. This is on my list, not today, but soon.

 

(Photo of Maedbh & I by Richard)