2015 was a great year and these were my highlights:

January:

1. My cousin Louise’s hen night and wedding 

2. Visiting some of my lovely family in Exeter, Devon

3. Visits from my godson Lorenzo from England

4. Galway for a night with the girls 

Jan 1

January 2015

May:

5. Inishbofin with the mammies and daughters

6. Our friend’s Richard & Jacqueline’s wedding

7. Harry Potter Studios in Leavesden

May 2015

May 2015

June:

8. Liverpool with the girls

9. A day trip to Belfast with Dad, Marian & Mark

June & July 2015

June & July 2015

July:

10. Paolo Nutini concert in Marlay Park

11. Ed Sheeran concert in Croke Park

 

August:

12. Calpe in Spain for our friend’s Bud & Suzanne’s wedding

13. Visiting the Choctaw monument in Cork

14.  Fethard-On-Sea for the dog’s holiday with some family & friends

August 2015

August 2015

August 2015

August 2015

September:

15. Electric Picnic

September 2015

September 2015

November:

16. Stephen’s graduation

17. Ireland  qualifying for the 2016 Euro’s versus Bosnia & Herzegovina in the Aviva Stadium 

November 2015

November 2015

December:

18. New York trip with friends

19. My friend Kiara returning from Australia after over a year 

20. The Riptide Movement gig in Whelan’s

21. 12 Pubs of Christmas in Dublin City (well, the second 6 pubs of Christmas)

22. The girl’s Kris Kindle night as a 5 piece group (there was only 4 last year)

23. 2fm Xmas Ball concert in the 3Arena

24. Christmas Day drinks with extended family, followed by Christmas dinner with immediate family

25. Lots of  festive get-togethers with friends and family

26. New Years Eve with friends in Emma’s new house

December 2015

December 2015

December 2015

December 2015

Here’s to a great 2016…

Full Irish Breakfast
 Dane Me Bulmers

1) This is a half portion of a full Irish, I swapped the pudding (I’m not a fan) for an extra sausage. I dread to think how big the full portion is,  2) Dane,  3) Me,  4) a lovely cold pint of Bulmers

 

Boozy lunches are great, am I right? We woke up super late yesterday and decided it was a perfect day for a boozy lunch. Of course we had a few things to do including checking out a party shop for last minute Halloween costume ideas (of course) and so by the time we got to the pub it was half 3 (queue rumbling tummy). I sensibly started with a water to combat the dehydration of going from Ireland in October to 35 degree Celsius Dubai. Dane, however, went straight on the Bulmers. We ordered 2 Irish breakfasts (yes! Only the Irish believe a fried breakfast should be an all-day meal option). Half way through my meal I realised what was missing was an iced cold Bulmers so I order a pint. Our boozy lunch (at 3.30pm) turned into a boozy afternoon and early evening. Ah well, no reason to set the alarm this morning so why not!?

I’m in Dubai now but I haven’t even posted about Dane’s visit home in September so I’ll be doing some retrospective blogging over the next while.

Chief

Lady Mam & I Fethard On Sea

1) Chief tired after a long walk,  2) Lady relaxing,  3) My mam & I,  4) Fethard on Sea beach

I can’t believe it’s taken me over a month to write this blog post. This year is going by in a blink. On the 12th of August my mam and I took the dogs on a well deserved holiday. They have a very hard life you see, all that walking, sleeping and eating. We went to Fethard On Sea in Wexford for almost a week. My Aunty Pauline came with us for the first part of the week and we had a really relaxing time. We brought the dogs for long walks, had some drinks, cooked some nice food and even played bingo. When the weekend came around Pauline left and we had some other visitors including Annie the dog and my favourite little human Layla. The dogs had a ball on what was dubbed ‘The Dog Holiday’ and the humans enjoyed themselves too.I had a 99 ice-cream on the last day on the way home which is a must for a Wexford holiday.  I love visiting different parts of the world but there’s a lot to be said for a holiday at home. Ireland really is such a beautiful country.

 

For more photographs from the holiday, check out my album here

Kiara and IDane and DecoKiara and DecoKiara & ICheers Deco & Kiarapolice car 2Dane & I

1) Kiara and I,  2) Dane and Deco being competitive,  3)  Kiara and Deco outside The Burj Al Arab with the Jumeirah Hotel in the background,  4) Kiara and I with the Mercedes Police car,  5) Cheers – shot time!  6) Deco and Kiara,  7) Dane and Deco with the policeman and the Bentley police car,  8) I love this picture of Dane and I. It’s so silly. We had just posed for a picture together and this was what followed.

The fact that I’m writing this post almost a week after arriving home leaves me with a sad feeling. Dane always says that you don’t really appreciate a place and how amazing it is until you leave. In a way, I believe he’s right. You see it all the time with Irish people living abroad. They tell anyone who will listen how great Ireland is. So much so that I often wonder why they left in the first place. In my opinion, part of this is because the grass is always greener on the other side and part of it is because as time goes by we tend to forget any negative feeling towards a place, especially if there aren’t many, and remember only the positive ones. We also tend to build it up to be better than it was. It’s a funny one because although I remain firm on my stance that Dubai really isn’t for me, when people ask I still tell them how beautiful it is and about all the amazing things to see and do and I would always recommend it to people. Strangely enough, The first time I went to Dubai remains very close to the top of my list of holidays. This may come across as strange, but I feel comfortable in Ireland in a way I’ve never felt in any of the beautiful and spectacular places I’ve visited. I know now, more than ever, that Ireland is my home and I just can’t see that ever changing. That being said, I find myself missing small things about Dubai, most obviously waking up every day and knowing Dane is there.

Our last 10 days in Dubai were spent with Kiara and Deco, as you know from my previous post Summer in Dubai, Part 3. Although they were our third set of visitors in only 2 months, it was just as fascinating to see their reaction to all of the wonderful things Dubai has to offer. The same way a place can seem much more enchanting when you leave, it can seem very normal and everyday while you’re there. Especially if you’re there for a while and have seen it plenty of times. Seeing everyone’s reaction to the things only Dubai can produce was refreshing every time and it reminds you to appreciate it while you’re there. Kiara and Deco were very aware that this was mine and Dane’s last week or so together for a few months and were kind enough to arrange some of their plans for days out when he was off so we could spend some time together. All four of us had a great time and the 10 days went by in a blink. We ate, we drank, we shopped, we played cards, we laughed, we argued over the rules, we took silly photos in photo booths, they experienced Dubai – the Burj Khalifa, the bus tour, the market, Wild Wadi water park, etc. We had a 7 course, 7 star afternoon tea pretty much right after a trip to Burger King, we shopped some more, we went to Sega World and the ‘men’ reverted back to being boys – it wasn’t a long trip! We drank some more, we ate some more, including a McDonalds drive thru trip or 2 in taxis (I have never seen a human being consume food the way Deco can – he eats lots and very often) and we had some of the funniest taxi journeys ever, singing and dancing with the taxi men. Dane’s ability to sing in ‘Punjabi’ is second to none.

This summer in Dubai was interesting to say the least. I got to experience it with some of my favourite people and I am eternally grateful to them for making it that bit easier to be away from home for so long (I know what you’re thinking – you would swear I was away for 10 years but it was a daunting experience for me as I’m such a home bird). Having people that I love there stopped me from getting too home sick and certainly made the days when Dane was in work until 6, 7 or 8 at night much easier. I hope they enjoyed it as much as I did. I also made some lovely new friends and I hope to see them in Dublin in the near future.

Being in Dubai during Ramadan and the start of the 3 day celebration (Eid) that follows it taught me a lot. I learned to appreciate a culture that is so different from my own and because at times it was difficult, it also reminded me to appreciate my own culture. It taught me that although I love to learn about other countries and cultures, I am very lucky to live in a country that it is very liberal (not an opinion I would have had before, we’re still pretty far behind other countries on a lot of issues). Being in Dubai for Ramadan reinforced for me the lengths people will go to please their god and whether you agree with it or not, it takes a lot of strength to fast for 30 days in 40-50 degree (celsius) heat whilst going about your everyday life which includes working and for woman still cooking for children and all of this without so much as a drop of water from sunrise to sunset. Ramadan is not only about fasting. It is also important to live a clean life during this period where Muslims should only think positive thoughts, refrain from gossiping, smoking or having sexual relations during daylight hours. It is also a time for giving and so it’s a nice time to be in Dubai because people are very kind and charitable.

Now that I’m home (well in County Wexford, which is about 2.5 hours from home), I am enjoying the familiarity and beauty that is Ireland and quietly remembering the magnificence of Dubai.