Tuesday, March 27, 2007

I'm staying

Since December, more and more people keep asking me what my plans are. My friends back home ask. People I work with ask. Random people who I barely know ask. Everyone seems to want to know if I am leaving. They don't ask if I am staying, they ask if I am leaving. They comment on high turnover in Speech/Language therapy in Ireland and then ask if I am leaving. One person started the conversation by commenting that I had been in Ireland almost two years and what was I doing? She knew there was a chance that I would leave. Other people ask how John's job is going. They then say things like, "Oh good, then you'll stay."

When people in Ireland ask me this question, I am reminded of the high turnover in my field and am struck by what they are really asking. People want to know if they can get attached. In many ways, I think that they have difficulty trusting new people. Other therapists have left, what makes me different?

The other end of this spectrum is with the therapists. It gets frustrating having people ask me what my plans are. It also gets frustrating working with angry people because that is how they have had to be to this point. The Irish therapists that I know don't get asked if they are leaving. They occasionally get asked if they are staying (and yes, there is a difference). It makes my relationships a bit more difficult at times because people are guarded with me. Also, it kind of hurts my feelings that they may be asking about my life and what is going on with me for I perceive to be selfish reasons.

Sunday, March 25, 2007


Since I finished the baby blanket, I have focussed on learning new stitches and combinations. So, I have made some simple, little projects such as hairbands and potholders/hotpads (for taking things out of the oven/moving hot things). Both Tiffin and Darshin sit on my lap while I knit. They also enjoy sitting on any knitting or yarn that I may have left out. And yes, that is a Darshin paw attacking the red hotpad!

Saturday, March 24, 2007


Every spring, I feel my spirits lift a bit as the days get brighter, the days get warmer (in theory), the birds sing, and flowers bloom. There are a lot of flowers blooming here and it makes me smile whenever I see them because I love flowers. Because I can feel my spirits lifting, I thought I would post about happiness.

So, these are a few of the everyday things that bring me joy.
  • seeing John and getting hugs and kisses from him
  • knitting
  • knitting with both cats curled up on my lap/legs sleeping near each other
  • seeing flowers blooming
  • a sunny day
  • the sun actually warming the day (as opposed to winter when the sun means cold)
  • seeing progress in children I treat
  • wearing my knitted projects (I will post pictures of one of them later)
  • sleeping in
  • having Darshin wake me up by licking my nose, curling up near my head and purring while I pet his belly
  • Tiffin almost jumping up to reach my hand as I go to pet her when I get home from work
  • Tiffin curling up on my shoulder, purring loudly, while I pet her
  • Meeting up with girl friends for coffee or dinner
  • John cleaning the apartment and doing dishes

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Céilí Mor

As part of our celebrations for Paddy's Day, we met up with some of my friends and went to listen to Celtic music before heading to a pub for a couple pints. There was a pretty good crowd there and everyone seemed to be having a great time. These pictures I took. :) I didn't take very many, though, since it started to rain shortly after we arrived.

St. Patrick's Day

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, we went to the parade. It was fun and I think there were more people there than last year. However, since we didn't have our friend J to wake us up, we got there later this year than last and didn't have quite as good of seats as last year. Therefore, John took the pictures for me. :) I think he did a good job.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Another Misadventure

Yesterday, I met up with a friend who I haven't seen since before I moved to Dublin. She had emailed me to say she was in Dublin for a few days with her husband and wanted to know if I had any free time. We scheduled to meet up on Friday afternoon. I left work a bit early and thought I'd have plenty of time to get to city centre from Ballymun. Well, I saw a bus passing the stop as I walked out of the office. Then I waited. And waited. All taxis were full. The buses that went by were out of service. Then, finally, I saw a bus. It was full and not stopping. I waited a bit and finally saw a bus just labelled "city centre." It was pretty empty so I hopped on it. It was 30 minutes after I had left work. I was supposed to meet my friend at Molly Malone in 5 minutes and was still in Ballymun!

Needless to say, I was late. Luckily for me, however, the bus driver was a "speed driver." We got into town in amazing time and then I legged it to Molly Malone. I was only 20 minutes late! Anyway, I met up with my friend and we meandered down Nassau street and did a bit of shopping. We then headed to her hotel which was near Merrion Square. Somehow, we just ended up there. I didn't intend to direct us and we weren't paying that close of attention. We just got it right! I was quite happy by this. We then went into her hotel and chatted until she had to get ready for her dinner plans.

As I was leaving, my friend asked me if I was OK getting back home on my own. It was only 5:45 PM and Merrion Square isn't that far away from Temple Bar. I assured her that I was fine, that I knew my way, and if I didn't, I could just hop on a bus. Ooops.

So, I started walking. Instead of paying close attention to where I was headed, I texted John to tell him about the amazing deal I got on a cashmere sweater at the Kilkenny shop. I also thought about going to the Louis Malcahy store to look at the pottery. Before I knew it, I had no idea where I was. I walked past Pearse St. dart station. It wasn't the side I was used to seeing and shouldn't have been on the way back home. I thought I still had a clue so I kept walking.

And then I saw a lot of Council housing. I knew that I wasn't in the right area. I called John again to try to help me figure out where I was. I walked down Pearse street and headed towards what seemed to be a bridge. It was. But it wasn't the river like I was hoping. It looked like it might be the Docklands (later found out it was). While talking to John and trying to figure out where I was and how to get back to Pearse station, I saw a bus that said it was going "an Lar." I hung up with John and waved the bus down. I wasn't exactly at the stop. The bus driver waved to me and I thought he meant to go to the next stop since many drivers won't pick people up unless they are at a stop. Well, I ran over the bridge which had the sidewalk closed so I was actually running on the road where the cars drove (but there were no cars since they had a red light).

I got tired of running and looked back to see where the bus was. He was slowly behind me. He stopped and opened his doors. I got on the bus and he asked where I was trying to go and why I ran off. I said I thought he wanted me to go to the next stop. He said that he was trying to wave me onto the bus. I said but he didn't open the doors. That is the universal get on sign. And I also mentioned that other drivers don't let people on if not at the stop. He told me the next stop was the end of his line! He also said that route 77 drivers are nicer. He was really nice. So, he let people off at the last stop and told me to stay on the bus and he'd help me get sorted after I calmed down (I was a bit out of breath from running). I explained where I was trying to go and he laughed. I was in the completely wrong direction (actually heading south instead of north). He also laughed when I asked if I had been heading north or south and reminded me that Dubs don't use north and south. While chatting, he drove into the bus depot and pulled up next to another bus. He asked the driver if she was going on her route soon as he had someone who needed some help. She said the bus in front of her was going out next. He pulls up next to this bus and asks the driver if he'd help me out since I have such a pretty smile and I was lost.

The two drivers joked around for a while and laughed. The other driver agreed to take me on the bus and help me get to where I needed to go. I then asked him where I was. He said I was in RingsEnd! Yep, I ended up near the Docklands and was walking away from city centre, not towards it. So, the driver had me sit in the seat closest to him and we chatted a bit. He got to another stop and two women got on who didn't know exactly where they were going. They asked him if the bus went where they needed to go. He said to get on the bus, sit next to me and he would get them near where they needed to go. Then, near Trinity College, another couple got on and again asked if his bus went where they needed to go. He tried to explain that they needed a different route but they didn't seem to understand his directions. He told them to get on the bus and stay up front and he'd get them to the other line.

So, we get to Dame street and I get off the bus. The driver tried to give me directions to Temple Bar but I assured him that I did actually know where I was at that point! He then told the couple who had gotten on the stop before to get off the bus and go a little bit up the road and what bus number they needed. There are some really helpful people out there and those two route 77 drivers really were friendly.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Long Weekend!

In honor of St. Patrick's Day on Saturday, Ireland has a public holiday on Monday. That means we don't have to work so we have a much needed 3-day weekend. We will be taking in the festivities of Paddy's Day by watching the parade and spending lots of Saturday in a pub. I haven't decided if I will give myself dispensation from the giving up of alcohol for Lent or not. Everyone has told me that the Pope gives special dispensation for Paddy's day.

This long weekend is much needed. Everyone is stressed out and in desperate need of a holiday. There hasn't been a public holiday since New Years which means many people haven't taken a day off since then. I know that is only 3 months but it is a long 3 months. It is a dark, wet, cold 3-months. In honor of the holiday, I suspect that about 1/2 of my mates will be off tomorrow. Also, the best part of it being the Friday before a bank holiday: no one wants an appointment so I have a whole day to work. We'll see how much I get done since I am hoping to cut out of work a bit early myself. :)

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


This year for Lent, I gave up caffeine and alcohol. I gave them up for a few reasons. When I gave up alcohol, I knew I would have some awkward social situations (but have thus far avoided them). I hadn't really thought about the giving up of caffeine. Saturday, a lady next to me at the knitting group ordered a cappuccino. It smelled sooo good and made me want one. But, I couldn't have one. At lunch one day, I was talking about how difficult it has been to give up caffeine even though I don't drink that much of it anyway. One mate commented that you are supposed to give up nice things for Lent.

Recently, I went into the staff room to let people know I was leaving. Someone came up to me and asked if we could have a chat. I said I had a couple minutes as I had a taxi waiting. He then asked if I wanted coffee. I said, no I was fine. He then asked if I wanted tea. I said no again. He looked a bit uncomfortable. I then said I gave up caffeine for Lent. He smiled and said that they had water. I assured him that I was fine and we found an empty room and had a quick chat.

I couldn't help wondering how the interaction would have gone if I had told him I just don't drink caffeine. Tea is such a staple in the Irish diet. Not drinking it or coffee is seen as very strange. Some mates even tease me that I drink herbal or green tea instead of the black tea provided by work.

I also wonder how it will be when I am in a situation where I would normally drink. We have gone to a couple pubs since Lent began but the people with me knew that I had given up alcohol. The waitresses have given me a few looks but I can handle that.

Monday, March 05, 2007


On Saturday, I completed my second knitting project: a baby blanket. One of my mates is pregnant and due soon so I decided to make her a blanket. She is really sweet and I figured that it would be a good way to practice my knitting. For the project, I learned how to purl (the second type of stitch). I also learned how to make moss/seed stitch. The moss/seed stitch is difficult and I made mistakes in it but people have assured me that they look intentional. Either way, I am quite proud of the blanket.

Yesterday, I went to my favorite yarn shop (this is knit) and got some new stash. I also made a list of projects that I want to complete. Right now, I am making some swatches, playing with color, and learning new stitches. I have a bit of a stash as well. I also got enough yarn for a friend to make her sister-in-law a baby blanket. Since she felt the yarn I used for the baby blanket, she fell in love with it and is going to start using the "yummy" yarn (merino, cashmere, microfiber).

Today, I took the blankie to work, showed it off. I also gave my mate the blanket today. She loved it! It turns out that purple is one of her favorite colors. I knew there was a reason I liked her. :) When she saw it, she was in awe with it and said that it would be the blanket that she brought the baby home in! That was what I was hoping for: this would become a treasured gift. I hope it becomes the security blanket even though that means it will get worn out to bits. The three weeks it took to make it were well worth it (even though now I want my own blanket like it).

Thursday, March 01, 2007


Last week, I left work a little late, after 6:00.  I looked out to the right and saw a sunset.  It was actually really pretty.  The clouds were all pink and purple and color was splashed across the sky.  On Tuesday, I walked out of work about 6:30 PM.  I could still see!  It wasn't totally dark out.  And the birds were chirping.  There were flowers blooming on the trees and from flowers in the ground!  The air feels lighter. The sun feels warm.  I don't need my scarf during the day.

Surely, it is the beginning of spring.  Which means "summer" will be coming soon!