From Home to Home

This year is going super fast, isn’t it? Before you rush to get me a wheel chair, a portable TV with Count down re-runs. Stop its ok, i know its a old thing to say. But it has, lads its bloody well October already? Do we have to put away the shorts and bring out the long johns? I think that would be best. As of yesterday, i began the familiarly cruel 10 minute walk to the tube in the early morning, freezing my bollox off, dreaming heavily about the trapped stuffy smelly condensed air that awaits me on the glorious tube. This is of course in direct contrast to my summer feelings towards same said air. I cannot lie. When it comes to winter, it is your ally your comrade, your best bud. I welcome it thus, come here to me you fine thing, wrapped your stall breath in and around my face, thats right, don’t forget my ankles, which continue to show as fashion dictates. Back to my point. Winter is coming. Alas we must wait until April for new Game of Thrones. 

I wont lie, i wont protest, i will be honest, i love winter. I love the clothes, the season, the coldness, the holidays that it brings with it. Come on, halloween will be coming shortly and after that we only get the super camp holiday we know as CHRISTMAS.... ( said in which ever christmas carol you sing best).  I shall not get ahead of myself though, i will enjoy the build up and not wish away the days.  At the end of every september. I usually get to head home, for a quick visit. That would be it then until i make my flight over for the Christmas holidays.  This year was no different. I landed back in cork at the end of september for 4 glorious days back to the mother land, or father land.

Sticking out

I think everyone can agree, we all have a good ear when it comes to our own. By this i mean, you can spot one of your own a mile away. I tend to find this becomes all the stronger before a trip back to the republic. Now to be honest, a-lot of the time, it isn’t hard to single out who’s irish in a line up. Look there he is, that one there -  eating ham sandwiches scoffing Tayto’s they brought especially from home or took a 65 minute bus ride to a giant Asda who stocks them.  But you would be wrong, the irish are starting to blend in see, they have too, we don’t all have the great building skills of our past brothers in arms. Thats right were all over the place. Almost like an invasion. I said almost, its not a invasion, alright lads and lovers, no need to panic, were not here to get our own back - its cool, like i’ve said were totally over the whole, you took over our country for years thing, best buds we are now. No need to panic, not here to take over your country, stock pile your cheaper drink and send it back home. Also more importantly stopping the import of the great Tayto to insure only the Irish can enjoy there splendidness.  No that would be crazy so stop thinking it you stupid bitch. 

Recently on the Piccadilly line i sat across from 3 what i can assume were nurse students. Who were talking wildly and loudly about there last night out escapades. The piccadilly line is super slow so there voices were coming across super load.  Basically they had shit loads of drink at some house party near Manor house, two of the girls were discussing how they stopped drinking at 12, to avoid a hang over, alas they still are hung over. They turn to there friend lets call her ‘Maeve’ to get her take on it. ‘I got home at 6 this morning, i was wrecked, vomited all over Luke's legs after scoring with him. I woke up with a Traffic cone next to my bed. I feel fine though’. ‘Maeve’ then resumes eating her McDonalds ham burger at 9:45 in the morning. 

Am i the only one who upon hearing a familiar accent, need to know immediately where there from and if you know them, there family or there neighbours?  Working in retail i get prime opportunity to do this. On one very awkward encounter a big bogger from country Cork wanted to speak to me when he found out where i was from, this lead to him shouting at me from across the shop floor, asking where I'm from, him telling me where he was from, asking me did i know the other Murphy's  - from Cork, him then waving made and leaving - He had that kind of accent that only irish people can understand,  everyone else around me was looking for a translation.  On the opposite end of the spectrum, am i the only one who finds it both annoying and frustrating when someone presumes, you know a person they either met once, or are loosely related too? Yes the country is that small sure isn’t he only over the road. I have learned to hold my tongue on this, however though - in one instance i did loosely know the person they asked me about for feck sake.   Random thought, does anyone else get asked to say POTATO loads? Just me? moving on. 

Over 100mls

On this particular trip, i was bringing Chris with me to see the fair home land.  One thing i don’t think either of us banked on was the sheer stress of traveling with someone else. Being a Frequent flyer, things tend to pass me by. Which way to security? - This way, oh look a women on fire, no time to stop and star onwards bitches. Having a second set of eyes, Chris could now pointed out the frightfully obvious things i had started to take for granted. Firstly, gatwick airport is a right shit hole. Very true. Security staff were rather rude. Very true.  A worn looking lady, berated a school girl who still had water on her person when attempting to put her stuff through the scanner ‘NO NO NO... YOU SHOULD OF THOUGHT OF THAT BEFORE YOU GOT HERE, YOU CANT HAVE THAT IN HERE!!!!’ This should of been a sign of things to come. 

The bastards spot checked my bag for the first time in 3 years, and even took off some of my comestics that i had just fecking bought that very fecking morning! ‘ These are going to be destroyed there over, 100mls - apparently they were 120mls - the fact that i had been bringing the same stuff through all for many flights, meant absolutely nothing to these peoples, NOTHING!. Feckers, also destroy them? how very fecking dramatic. In cork airport they offered to send them to your home address, now thats customer service right there.  Another one of Chris’s observations was of course, you do not need a gate number to know which plane is going to Ireland. ( This as in relation to the fact, irish people look irish.)

Wet wet wet

When ever the weather turns, wet, or a freak rain storm hits, someone always turns to me and says in a condescending tone complete with British tut - ‘this rain, i suppose you’re used to this’. Yes I am it rains alot at home, but the thing is we have these things called houses which come with roofs, so no like you i don't like getting fecking wet.  Note to self. They have a point. When we arrived home, it rained pretty much from the moment we landed, to a extremely wet foggy sky cast day when we boarded the flight home. Never mind. 

All Blarney

As i had a tourist in my midst, i truly had to turn the irish charm on and show him around our most attractive watering holes and scenery.  This in turn meant i had to do stuff i’ve never actually done before. Blarney castle anyone? That place is plan and simply idyllic in nature.  The castle itself is huge and consists of what feels like hundreds of rooms still in tack.  I found myself agreeing with the american tourists and marveling out-loud about the structure of the rooms, the winding stone staircases and views outside.  The only problem of course, the route through the castle was single file only. The staircase was incredibly steep with worn stone steps, luckily they had a safety ROPE attached to the side, oh i feel much better now.  At points, you would find your self surround by loud bustling mothers with cameras, who simply refuse to let you pass as they were enjoying taking detailed photos of the moss covered walls. 

The Blarney stone is located at the top floor of the castle which is now open air. You have to lay back on the floor tilt your head back, which hovers over a completely free fall space and kiss the stone behind your neck. Sounds easy enough. Very safe. There were after all two teenagers to hold you down incase you fall.  After emerging the final steps onto this vast space. I found myself inexcusably paralyzed by fear of heights.  I walked around it don't get my wrong, but i did have go very slowly incase i accidentally fell on the overly worn now smooth stone surface and plummeted to my death, in-front of the waiting fat tourists eating ice cream outside the castle.  Chris took his chances while i grasped the railing for support ( not for dear life). 
Me walking towards the Castle

Aside from the castle itself, there are walks, caves, Manor houses, and botanical gardens to take in. It was wet and cold so the Manor house we took off for. Only to find it was closed to tourists until June 2014. Im totally coming back for that shit. We did have a look in the dungeons to the side, after 4 head bumps, a crippling claustrophobic feeling as the dungeons got smaller and there were people behind us blocking our path, it became apparent that the space was used by teenagers for binge drinking.  There were fag butts and empty beer cans everywhere and ‘ Sally is a slut’ written on the wall. 

The caves - basically we found more of the same. Upon leaving we came face to face with an american group dressed as if to go deep cave diving. Lads this is a side cave in Blarney in cork in Ireland. It don't go that far.  The whole mood they were going for with there clothes was completely ruined by the old lady with them, video tapping everything on her IPAD.

Ginger Wig

Extremely near to my parents house at home is Corks old city Goal.   We call it the old Woman's Jail?  Apparently its just us locals that give it that affectionate little number.  The Jail or Goal - i have done many times, but most recently was surprised to see they had updated it some what. The tapes they used to give out are now little MP3 players you get to keep! Wow what a treat, also some of the models of people have been modernized, the little boy being whipped in a ceil, is now ginger. I suspect this is to help tourist better picture him being irish.  The temperature of this place is below freezing, the only person who was not effected by this was my Mother who joined us, while me and chris shivered away.

Chris & myself, outside the Goal
An Bróg

Chris did see the fine nightlife Cork has to offer also, such as lines that were ridiculously long on the Saturday night due to the All Ireland Final ( Very good game, watched it at home if you wanted to know, was extremely stressful match, heart in my mouth, Cork lost and Claire won - sad times).  We also made a trip out the friday night to ‘An Brog’ which as it goes is now getting a renovation, so glad i got a trip in there before its ‘im a dirty pub’ charm gets washed away.  To be honest, i think what chris enjoyed more, or was it me, was the fact you can get a taxi on the street and be home in less then 5 minutes. Boom take that london night bus you bitch.

All in all, showing someone around your home time, makes you feel incredibly proud of where you come from in a way i think only the  Irish and most importantly Cork people know how.  Even with me now living the life of riley here in London ( yes i said it) i have the safety of knowing, home is a short flight away. Theres a Irish person around every corner (albeit drunk or hung over) when i get lonely or homesick. Most importantly, i have the MP3 player from cork city Goal to play me to sleep if needs be  during the hard times or if home sickness takes over.

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