Thursday, 9 June 2016

Existential (mostly) Pre-Birthday Bants

In an ever decreasing number of weeks I shall be turning 29. 29, you say. Tis neither here nor there, say I.

In the above sentence, here loosely translates as being a fully functional adult woman while there means 30.

I ponder my current sitch while waiting for the ever elusive 215 to Blackrock. Sticky with suncream (eugh), plus my arse is solidly welded to a bench by what I can only hope is melty week old chewing gum. Once again, I chastise 18 year old me for not buying a Punto and terrorising fully licenced family members while I had the chance. I'm way too long in the tooth and short in the wallet to bother with that driving nonsense now.

215 to Mahon ....41mins

In an effort to wile away the minutes before my white (and red) motorised steed arrives to spirit me back from whence I came, I break out turning 29 into pros and cons.

*Sidenote: I think the homeless man next to me is performing an exorcism (on me) or a hex (also on me).

215 to Mahon ....34mins

I do beg your pardon, but I had to leave my bench (and coincidentally my week old melty bum gum) behind. The homeless man's incantations had reached town crier-esque volumes so I thought it best to beat a hasty retreat.

215 to Mahon ....(somehow still) 34mins

  1. I have no squad goalz. My squad is complete and has been for some time. My squad game is flawless. 
  2. I've learned that adding 'z' instead of 's' to make words plural makes me effortlessly current. Please see above.
  3. I'm above trends. I smile smugly to myself as others trip over themselves to wear/eat/say the latest thing. 
  4. I don't wear bras and/or makeup on a regular basis. Sometimes even for prolonged periods in public. 
  5. I've overcome the majority of my personal demons and those I haven't I've learned to deal with. 
  6. I know I am not perfect but I am ABSOLUTELY certain that I am in fact fabulous in every way imaginable.
  7. I am more confident in my decision making skills...despite years of proof that I probably shouldn't be. 
  8. The above also means I am much less anxious about the aftermath of aforementioned decision making. Once again, this is despite years of proof that I probably shouldn't be.  
215 to Mahon ....31mins


  1. My ovaries legit hi-jack my brain every time a cute baby passes my line of vision.
  2. Still can't spell the words rhythm or  tomorrow without pausing to see if they are spelled correctly. 
Bus Arrives

Cons continued:

3. I'm still single. Not the end of the world and it is mostly my own fault. I basically want a friend who passes the shower test. P.S. All my friends are successful rides who are gas!
P.P.S. Shower test: Someone passes the shower test when you can imagine them naked in the shower and it is neither weird nor unappealing. 

Passes Anglesea St. Garda Station

4. I haven't written a script of any kind yet. Theatrical, Java or otherwise. Must do it this year. 
5. I couldn't drive a nail, let alone 'a dinky second hand sporty number' or whatever it is young road users say these days. I'd rather lick a splintery table for eternity than learn how to drive. 

Passes St. Fionbarrs Hospital

All in all, I'm still pretty much the same as 25 year old me. I just give less of a shit about you and more of a shit about myself. About bloody time too, I hear you say. *Future me nods encouragingly at this imaginary statement. 

I've replaced Buckfast (it's technically a wine) with Prosecco and McFlurry's with dark chocolate ganache sundaes. I still have no idea what I'll be like when I grow up and I'm more ok with that the older I get. 

*Slams notebook closed with aplomb and swishes off the bus. Slowly realises she got off the bus 3 stops early. Breathes deeply, hikes bag over shoulder and makes sweaty ascent to Blackrock. 

In the wise words of 'da mudder': Once a gobshite, always a gobshite - no matter the birthday being celebrated. *I believe it is her own personal version of  Shakespears' iconic 'A rose by any other name, would smell as sweet'.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Bunreacht na hEireann; from Rome Rule to the muscle of Brussels.

“In the name of the most Holy Trinity, from whom is all authority and to whom, at our final end all actions both of men and states must be referred.”                                      -   Preamble to 1937 Constitution of the Republic of Ireland.

2013 has to be a landmark year for Ireland in the EU. Not only is it our seventh time holding the Presidency of the Council of the European Union but we are also celebrating (or commiserating, depending on your opinion) 40 years within the institution. And what a year it has been. The commonplace bingo chant ‘13 lucky for some, unlucky for others’ has never seen a truer day. But when you sit back and take note of the public issues of the day you realise how far we have come as a nation since we have joined, and how far we have yet to go.

When De Valera and his men sat down to draft the 1937 Bunreacht na hEireann (Basic Law of Ireland) they sat down to draft a political statement of Ireland’s national identity. It was put to the people and they ratified it; whether it was because they felt it was a good political document or because of their party affiliation with the Anti-treaty side one can’t be sure, but ratify it they did.

Back in the day (1937) Ireland’s political society was conservative, largely rural and very catholic. Hence the dense religious references in our Constitution. There was even reference to the “special position of the Catholic Church” and two Catholic priests were involved in the draft making process; John Charles McQuaid and Edward Cahill. This document screamed we are a legitimate government, an independent state and our people live by a strict moral and legal code. Appropriate in 1937 but not so much now.

We were insular; we had protectionist trade policies and strong cultural revival movements to ensure that our Gaelic identity remained intact. Then in 1973, we joined the European Economic Community. We took part in international conferences, we debated European policies both at home and in Brussels, we became a team player on the European stage. All the while in the background our society was changing. People were more educated (thanks to EU grants), more travelled and more people from different cultures were coming to Ireland to work, study or just visit.  So since our society has changed, surely our statement of national identity should as well?

The Constitution establishes how the Irish state is governed and lists the fundamental rights of our citizens. Many are common place ie right to privacy, right to just procedures etc., while others are more firmly rooted in Catholic beliefs. Central in the list of rights is the idea of your typical (in 1937) Irish family. It specifically mentions “The rights of a family founded on marriage”, this implies a family founded on a marriage between a man and woman.

In 1983, “The right to life of the unborn” was added to the Constitution. In 1986, the Irish people voted against lifting the ban on divorce, in 1995 thankfully we had progressed enough along with the rest of mankind to vote for lifting the ban. In 2002, the 25th Amendment (Protection of Human Life in Pregnancy) to Bunreacht na hEireann was rejected but by a frustratingly small margin – 49.58% (618,485) voted Yes while the No vote reached 50.42% (629,041). This bill aimed to legally redefine abortion (which is still a crime) and rid women of the right to an abortion if they felt suicidal.

The abortion dispute still roars on and has been at the forefront of public debate for some time thanks to the X case and Savita Hallappanavar’s tragic story. A story which may have been avoided had we clearly stated laws in our constitution for the protection of the mother and consequently the medical professionals treating her. This would mean less time debating what constitutes a risk to the mother’s life vs a risk to the mother’s health. We need doctors in our hospitals not lawyers. We also need politicians to take a stance and create a solid, clearly defined piece of legislation.

Fortunately all of our basic laws are not shrouded in cobwebs and old world morality, the shimmering light at the end of the tunnel is that on April 14th 2013 the Convention on the Constitution voted in favour of changing the Constitution to allow for civil marriage for same-sex couples by a clear majority ( Yes – 79%; No – 19%; No Opinion – 1%), not only that, but they also voted in favour of changed arrangements in regard to the parentage, guardianship and the upbringing of children.

While Irish society would have undergone these changes at one time or another, our participation in the EU has definitely accelerated the process especially with the current generation. Our parents were tentatively accepting of Europe whereas we have grown accustomed to its big hovering presence and have gone forth all guns blazing, accepting, participating and questioning it. So it seems the EU has opened minds as well as markets. Long may it continue. 

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Dublin Pub Box - Smokey Jo-sephine and other non-LOLs

Day 15

I've fallen off the bandwagon guys, I smoked and drank last night. *Cringes away from the imagined stares of disapproval.

It just happened, I wanted to get that off my chest before this post went any further. I'm sorry to everyone up there on the moral high ground. I used to live there once. It was nice up there. Down here it's all sadness and hangovers. If it's any consolation (I know it's not) I was slip-slip-rolling all over Lillies, and yes, yes I did look like a Grade-A loser.

I feel terrible, this is not going to happen again until after the fight. Soooooooo angry at myself. And the worst thing of all, my anti-smoking housemates were so understanding. I am such a horrible person.

Not much happened really, I think because fight night is so close it's a case of tying off any loose ends. For most of the session, us ladies worked out on the bags while the guys sparred. Then once the guys were done, Richie gave us all one quick sparring session.

We went for 3 rounds, and I was surprised that I felt reasonably ok afterwards. But that is before I reverted back to my old persona, Smokey Jo-sephine. We'll see how I get on tonight.

One thing I gleamed from the latest sparring session is that my fight is all in my head. When I'm feeling good, I fight well, when I'm feeling anxious or nervous, I fight badly. I know that sounds like an obvious thing to most athletes, sporty types but it's something I have just realised. #hindsightis20/20

Now I just have to work on my mental game, stay focused, not be afraid and don't worry. At the end of the day, none of us are professional fighters and this is for charity. Afterwards, we will share some laughs, buy each other a pint and apologise for any injuries we may have given someone. I think some of us are getting flashes of Million Dollar Baby style endings. We need to chill out and by we, I mean me.

Also, I would like to give some props to my gurrrrl, Rainie Somers (best name in the world), for being a big leg-end and co-organising the first annual Dublin Barman Quiz and donating all monies to Pieta House. #Gowanyagudting

Ok you guys,
See you tonight,
I'm going to see if I can run off the shame.
Damn you Smokey Jo-sephine, damn you.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Dublin Pub Box - Miscellaneous

Day 14

Anxiety from previous session still alive and well ? - check.
Cryptic tweet from @DublinPubBox that worsens aforementioned anxiety - check.
Surprise cameo from a former World Champion boxer - check.

So first things first, the lovely Bernard Dunne dropped into the National Stadium to give us some handy pre-fight advice. Note - Eat at least 3 hours before the fight, a) because of digestion and b) because you will be nervous. Guess which reasoning I'm going with. He gave us loads more tips but that's the one that stuck out in my head. Typical me, always thinking about my belly. He stayed on for a good while to answer our questions and give us a couple of his best blue steel poses. I was on camera duty so only got one chance to get a photo and it was blurry. #firstworldproblems

Then after that unexpected excitement it was back to the grind. You know, the usual, touching your inner ankle while jumping in the air and touching the ground with the odd torso twist thrown in to keep things fresh. #simples

I know I am usually jokey and light hearted but on a serious note Day 14 of Dublin Pub Box was definitely not my brightest moment. I'm distracted by my worry. But my distraction in the ring earned me 2 well aimed right hooks to the head. My brain was so rattled I saw stars for about 10 seconds. All that prattle about me being good defensively, scratch that. I was holding my head up like a floating duck waiting to be taken out. I know what I did wrong but I have to admit, my confidence is sorely shaken. I feel like I've hit a wall and then been hit over the head with said wall.

I know I need to stop dwelling on this stuff and think of the bigger picture but I can't help myself. Tonight Matthew I'm going to be a ....sad boxer :(.

But my self-indulgence is distracting me from the whole point of this bloody thing - raising money for a wonderful and unfortunately in-demand charity -Pieta House.

Last year alone, Pieta House helped over 3,000 people. They have counselled people from as young as 8 years of age all the way up to 80. Hard to swallow isn't it, that someone as young as 8 would contemplate taking their own life. Someone who should be full of innocence and blissfully ignorant of life's ills should never know the darkness of suicide. Really puts my petty problems into perspective. If you're interested and have 3 minutes and 40 seconds to spare here is the story behind Pieta House;

See you all tomorrow night,
Until then lets just be thankful for everything we have.
Carlynn xxx

Also, Bernard Dunne is a legend. That is all. Goodbye.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Dublin Pub Box - YOLO

Day 13 

EEEEEEEEEEEPPPPPPPPPP!!!! Prior to last night's training session I had an overwhelming sense of doom. All weekend, the anxiety was growing and growing until I thought about not going to training. I genuinely don't know why it was this particular session that freaked me out but it did. Maybe subconsciously I realised that it was session no. 13....

Also, Tuesday morning I went and bought some head gear on Capel street. Considering the location I should probably clarify that I purchased boxing head gear and not a gimp mask. Although the latter might have been both cheaper and more becoming of a young lady such as myself. I have to say didn't feel my most attractive with that glorified lagging jacket/sweat bucket on my head, that was not helped by the two half-naked blondes cavorting around ring no.3. Eugh!!

Heard through the grapevine that we might find out who our opponents are this Thursday. I am completely crapping my pants now. I would much rather not know...I think....I don't really know what I want to know to be honest. Why have I signed up for this bloody thing?!?! What's wrong with me? Why did I choose to put myself in a small amount of space with someone who wants to knock my block off? Why have I not realised what I have done until right now? Why have I enjoyed every minute of it up until now? Why do I have a sneaking suspicion that I am going to keep this up once the match is over? Why? Why? Bloody why?

I came home from training in a bit of a panic and thought the only way to master my fear was by eating a snickers and half a bag of bourbons. They didn't help me master anything but they did distract me from the whole boxing thing for a while as I debated which was healthier; smoking or obesity, because since I quit smoking I've been eating everything that hasn't been nailed to the ground.

Anyway, I know I say this every week but this s**t just got very real. By the time fight night comes I will be inhabiting an alternate realm of hyper reality where I am completely incapacitated by my own fear, kinda like these guys;

Until tomorrow guys,
Remember YOLO, be careful-O,

Monday, 18 February 2013

Dublin Pub Box - Mrs. Potato Head

Days 10/11/12

So sorry I've fallen off the radar the last few sessions guys. Life and love respectively have kept me away from both training and Firstly, I was ill for Day 10, I went to Day 11 and had to work for the 12th training session as it was Die Hard Day also known as Valentines. A big night in the pub calendar. So here's what's gone down since we last spoke;

  • I'm still off the cigarettes. 14 days and counting,
  • I've confirmed Honey Badger as my boxing nickname - There's no going back now. *Wrings hands fretfully,
  • I sparred for the first time on Day 11. As with everything in that god forsaken gym, it was an eye-opener, ironic really, when you think about how it usually manages to close a few eyes in the process. 
I sparred 3 times; once with Michelle, once with Lisa and once with Niamh.

To be perfectly honest the first sparring session was a complete waste of everyone's time. Myself and Michelle would have been better off tickling each other and making friendship bracelets for the minute and a half we were supposed to punch each other in the head. #BFFs

The second one was more like an actual round. I say this because I was absolutely exhausted after about 50 seconds. I just remember John roaring "This is the battle of the Jab hands". It sounded so like Jazz hands that I couldn't help laughing. Then I hit Lisa and apologised for it! John told me to stop apologising for hitting her, it's kinda what I'm here for. Then I apologised to John for apologising. #sozbabes

The third one was quite nervewracking because it was against Niamh and in my opinion she is one of the strongest. So I just went in there ready to receive a bit of a beating and I didn't. It turns out my defence is quite good. I just need to punch more. Apparently they don't give you points for defence. #bummer

Then as if that wasn't punishment enough in itself the only pictures the photographers took of me were during the sparring. My face looks like a squashed potato in all of them. Seriously guys thanks for that. Here's one of the pics as proof --->

Then we had to fill in our boxing profiles for the pamphlets and they ask you what's your fighting style....Seriously!!! There is absolutely nothing stylish about the way I fight. This guy on the other hand...even his nickname is better than mine;

''I'll see ya tamarraw after school'',

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Dublin Pub Box - The cold shoulder

Day 9

So Tuesday, full of good intentions, I went to the National Stadium at 5.30pm to get an extra hour of training in, only to be greeted by a locked door and sub-zero temperatures. Not conducive to good intentions or blood flow. Stood around for 30 minutes, freezing my ass off debating whether or not to just head home and go on the absolute lash with a friend of mine.

Got into the high performance gym at around 6pm, stiff, runny-nosed and feeling very sorry for myself. I also have a pretty bad cold and a chest infection, so my little sojourn outside didn't really help matters.

Inside, there were no pads so we just went to work on the bags. I really need to work on my speed so I decided to practice quick jabs for 20 minutes. This it turns out wasn't my brightest idea, considering the emphasis of our training was bag work and squats, plus I had no partner. So I did double the work.

Today I am about as useful as an ashtray on a motorbike. I can barely move my arms and don't get me started on my ass. Every time I stand up/sit down/cough/laugh/move in general something twinges or aches. I reached to get some coffee from the top shelf earlier and  pulled something in my left butt cheek that was never intended to be pulled.

I have a pain in my stomach as well and I don't know if it comes from coughing or that finally after years of half-arsed trips to the gym I am getting the abs of my dreams. Unfortunately, I think it may be the former.

I planned on watching the rest of the Rocky movies over the weekend but decided to have a Harry Potter marathon instead. I know right, super useful! I can tell you all the rules of Quidditch but my shadow-boxing still leaves a lot to be desired.

I really need to get my Rocky marathon out of the way because the new Die Hard is out soon therefore I'm due a Die Hard marathon. So many movie marathons, so little time. These are the things that keep me up at night people?!?!?!? What to do, what to do.

I've also been off the cigarettes for 48 hours and I haven't eaten any of my loved ones alive, which is a good thing, however, I haven't taken my head out of the fridge in days, I might as well just pull up a chair. I think this non-smoking will power has more to do with my chest infection than any real internal strength on my part.

I'm feeling too sorry for myself to do any kind of training over the next few days. I'm going to go for a paracetamol induced nap and maybe watch Rocky II.

Laters my dears,

PS. Regards nicknames I was thinking Carlynn 'the honey badger' McCarthy, here's why;