2012: My year

It was the year…

I completed a year of blogging in January.

M and I broke up… and it was the saddest and strangest time. Nothing seemed right. I had thought we were the problem. We weren’t. After about 2 months apart, we found our way back. We went on a date on Good Friday, in April. Our own Good Friday Agreement, my Mum called it. The relief and gratefulness was overwhelming. I woke up on Easter Saturday with a smile. That hadn’t happened in a long time.

My 23rd birthday passed without much ado. I’m still not really used to being 23! Must be grown up if I didn’t want a party or too much attention.

Lots of lovely Josh Ritter things. He continues to follow me on twitter, with 87 other people. In June, M and I went to Dublin to Josh’s book signing and hung around to meet him. Josh was lovely as usual and recognised me from twitter and before. Just so happy. Best day🙂 I’m just honoured to be his fan. What a wonderful guy.

I graduated from Queen’s University Belfast with a 2:1 in English (Major) and Philosophy (Minor). The final year was hard for me, with lots of personal stuff going on. Am proud of my achievement and still hoping that my degree will help me in my quest to work with words. Three years in Belfast seemed to pass in a flash. I was happiest with my living arrangements in the final year, lovely flat on University Avenue. Bitter sweet: Proud and happy to graduate but am still missing the small things about being in Belfast. Friends, lectures (I didn’t have many in final year, just awful seminars. I LOVED listening to someone intelligently speak of books for an hour at a time.) and oddly, Common Grounds on University Avenue. It seemed that just as IO got into the swing of Belfast life it was taken away.


M moved into Fort Will.I.Am, giving us some space and peace. I don’t live with him but I have somewhere to escape to whenever I want.

I saw Foo Fighters at T Vital in Belfast. It had a festival feel and it was a brilliant show, despite comical drowned-rats episode as we queued in a thunder-storm.

I continued work with the job I have been in throughout university. I appreciate the work. I like my colleagues. I yearn for more.

I took up Zumba and Yoga within a week of each other  They lasted longer that I expected them to… but yet not that long. I did enjoy them… but weird nervousness did rear its head, and exercise is not a strong point for me. I know it’s importance though, and am unhappy with my body as it is so will have to rethink my strategy.

Had a very lovely visit and a lemon cake from my best Belfast friends in October. Hope to have many more visits and meet ups, and to stay in touch via my favourite form of communication: snail mail in between times.

We sadly lost Maria, M’s grandmother in November. Christmas was a hard time for everyone in her absence. We will keep her light shining.

Two little bundles of kitten came to live in Fort Will.I.Am. They are Buttons and Brave and we have been making gradual headway with them. Very shy little things. I like them a lot.

buttons andbrave mickeyinstagram

Christmas was special, I always love Christmas. I felt a bit like George Bailey and really appreciated what I have. On Christmas Day I’m always at a loss at what to do. M and I ended up watching the traditional screening of It’s a Wonderful Life in my overcrowded living room, with my parents and sisters. I could tell there was many other things he would rather be doing and he wasn’t too impressed with the old black and white film, but it meant a lot that he would sit with us. And it did me good to see the old feel good movie.  I loved this blog post entitled ‘Clarence’ by Lou Morgan.

I will hush now to muster my hopes for 2013 and savour the last hours of 2012. Thank you for reading and commenting in 2012, I’m going to try to be more efficient and organised and present next year for you all.

Tennant’s Vital – Foo Fighters 2012

Hello ! I’m just still coming down from a wonderful day had yesterday at Tennant’s Vital festival where Foo Fighters were headlining.

It will be remembered for:

  • The big thunder and lightning storm and the heaviest rain I think I have ever seen that continued most of the way along the motorway as we drove to Belfast.
  • Having to go to the back of a seemingly never ending queue of festival goers to enter the venue even though we were there at 3.30pm in time for the gates.
  • Said rain and thunder starting up again as we waited. Being SOAKED and not really caring. Tickets nearly falling to pieces in the downpour in the few minutes they had to be exposed.
  • Disappointment of there being no actual way to get wristbands for the pit, we had set out hearts on it this time. M even tweeted Foo Fighters, asking.
  • Bumping into the birthday boy, my brother, who was wearing a Justin Bieber mask, bought me a drink, and was generally having the time of his life.
  • Getting to wear my pink ‘NI Our Time, Our Place’ plastic poncho from the Peace One day concert, and feeling like I was truly a festival queen with my plastic pint glass in hand.
  • Time passing really quickly between acts because I was having a laugh with lovely friends.
  • M’s holding-2-pints-and-a-wasp-attacked-him dance. He was NOT HAPPY when we laughed.
  • That concert feeling when the lyrics get you.
  • Not being able to see the stage really at all due to your 5’4 height and the crowds, but it not mattering too much.
  • Dave’s wee daughter Violet.
  • Dave Grohl shouting at a girl who was ‘talking on her motherf***ing cell phone’ and dedicating ‘This Is A Call’ to the receiver of the call. For all the OLD Foo Fighter fans.


All my crew, and my birthday boy brother, 2nd from right, and his crew. Happy Birthday jimmy!


Mark someone from The Only Way is Essex, Holly Willoughby and Bieber ! What’s the chances?!


My very own Foo Fighter🙂 Wouldn’t like them or probably know much about them if it wasn’t for this man.

Dave !


Would love to have been closer, but M’s skills and my camera zoom was good. :0 We were closer than we realised, too. Dave Grohl in the flesh!





Loving it !


Aftermath. Field of empty cups, and a long walk to the car. Beautiful.


Lots of the feelings I had about it were similar to those at the Milton Keynes Concert last July. Maybe because Foo Fighters are so mixed up in my relationship with M, it really does mean something to me and knocks at my heart when I sing with thousands of people lyrics that have been a backdrop to my youth. Even before Foo Fighters came onstage, the whole atmosphere of the concert, coupled with the mini-holiday feeling, and the hard time I’ve been putting myself through lately, I felt first and foremost young, and carefree and happy. I have no idea where my life is going, and I’m 23 now… the ‘young’ feelings may not last much longer, but it was a day full of life’s moments and I am thankful for it. I grabbed for M and Caoimhe’s hand when Dave led the soft singing of ‘Wheels his little wide-eyed daughter Violet was onstage with him, and he had tears in his eyes and everyone just backed him up, the lyrics are so apt for me right now.

Well, you wanted something better man

You wished for something new

Well, you wanted something beautiful

Wished for something true

Been lookin for a reason man

Something to lose
When the wheels come down (When the wheels come down)

When the wheels touch ground (When the wheels touch ground)

And you feel like it’s all over

There’s another round for you

Copied from MetroLyrics.com


Thank you Foo Fighters ! My third time seeing you was a charm. May your music always make us feel young and happy.

P.S To the friends I couldn’t find, Dermott and Paddy, I hope you’s had a great gig. D you will be glad to know that my 3 pints were Tennants ! There wasn’t much choice…


I graduated on Friday 6 July 2012. M and my parents came to Belfast to celebrate with me. It was a very lovely day. I have no idea what’s next. As Josh says: “So if you’ve got a light, hold it hight for me/ I need it bad tonight, hold it high for me…. Light and guide me through, hold it high for me, I’ll do the same for you, hold it high for me…”

Here are some photos for you sensible followers, family and friends without facebook.

I got a 2:1 in English (Major) and Philosophy (Minor) and graduated from Queen’s University, Belfast. Thank you for all the support and encouragement over the last three years! (Pre-blog but you know what I mean!)


Thursday Night Likes

I’m feeling all tired but I really want to blog! So have decided to share some things that I have enjoyed lately and/or that I would recommend.

Melon Lady’s YouTube Channel

I’m not really a YouTube sort of person, I usually only use it to watch film trailers or look up songs that I’d like to hear again, or watch Josh Ritter videos (of course) However I came across @melonladybaby through @Polaroid_Rage and I love her videos. First of all she has the most amazing sometimes pink, sometimes purple hair. Second, she’s so funny. Third, her and Ben have the loveliest wee relationship. Fourth, I’d quite like her life! Anyway, if you subscribe to her YouTube Channel it’d be a good thing, here’s my favourite video of hers:


That new film ‘This Must Be The Place‘ with Sean Penn

I saw it with Abbye on Monday in the QFT and it was so good. Sean Penn plays ageing ex-Rocker Cheyenne who now resides in Dublin with his wife of 35 years, he looks ridiculous in his make up, and he is ravaged by many things… probably drugs. He has this child-like weird voice that kind of reminds me of Michael Jackson’s. Anyway I don’t want to ruin it but I just welled up watching trailers. The tag line for it is:

A bored, retired rock star sets out to find his father’s executioner, an ex-Nazi war criminal who is a refugee in the U.S.

But it’s so much more than this! Things I loved: Cheyenne’s quiet little spilt-second half-laugh, his relationship with his wife, the subplot with Rachel and her little boy. The conclusion is powerful, although I’m not sure I entirely ‘got’ the very end of it. But there are several real laugh out loud moments. Here’s a great clip:

Speaking of films, I also enjoyed the previous week’s cinema trip, to see ‘Headhunters’ also in the QFT. A Norwegian film, it’s probably ‘action’ and pretty violent, but often comically so. I think they were meaning to be funny too. Very strange, and definitely worth seeing.

I enjoyed a solo coffee experience in Common Grounds, reading Umberto Eco’s ‘The Name of the Rose’ which I am officially not enjoying, 14th Century monks, anyone? But I don’t mind it really.

I’m appreciating and enjoying Belfast probably more than I ever have, which is ironic because I’m finishing in just over a month. And my life is going to be scary and different and unknown. If anyone needs me to write things, and will pay me, that would be great!

I’m spending time with my house mates when sitting in my empty room feels too isolating. And it’s been fun.

I’m hopefully going home tomorrow for the weekend. I haven’t been home in two weeks and you’d think my Mum hadn’t seen me in a year. Today she text me, ‘Hello Fi my long lost friend.’

I apologise for the rambling post, I was just excited to blog!  Let me know if you’ve seen any of the films or if you have anything cool to recommend! Or anything, I like hellos!

Hope you are well and happy x

Bookfinders, Belfast

There is a wee dark, dusty and dirty higglety-pigglety second-hand bookshop very near Queen’s University in Belfast. It’s amazing. I can’t find much about it on the internet but have seen it compared to Black Books, and that makes sense!

I found myself spending about an hour there yesterday. Happily browsing the shelves which are roughly divided into sections. My flat mate Kevin hadn’t been before and stopped at the languages section which was right at the door. I peeked through plays and classics curiously. Kevin found a (monolingual?) Japanese dictionary, and got very excited indeed. We could hear people talking in the little cafe at the back, but other than that the shop was quiet, and a lovely place to escape the bitter wind and cold which has suddenly replaced last week’s sunshine.

I ended up with a pretty yellow (and yellowing) copy of Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Edible Woman’, (which I am greatly enjoying) a teeny English dictionary (for 50p!) and a book by John B. Keane called ‘Letters of a love hungry farmer’ which is the fictional letters of a 52-year-old ‘Chastitute’ from somewhere near Cork, and called for HILARIOUS dramatic readings later on last night. I left it in Belfast but one of my favourite bits was “Such a good lady, who only lifts her skirt to answer a call of nature.”

Some books are locked away in glass and wooden cabinets, and I spied a copy of Nietzsche’s ‘Thus Spoke Zarathustra’ (boo hiss) in one of these.

We decided to stay for a cup of tea, and to pore over our new purchases. The cafe area has lots of portraits of writers, a big mirror, some fairy lights, it doesn’t look like a cafe at all really. It’s so great. I have been there at least once for ‘Poetry and Pints’ at night, it’s BYOB and there are wine bottles with candles in, which are my favourite. Judging from posters and leaflets dotted around Bookfinders has hosted many book launches and readings also.

First image from here. Rest all my own. I hope it was ok to take/share them!

Kevin, tea and a thesauraus.

Wakening Wednesday

Hey there. I’ve missed you. It’s been hard to summon the energy to think of ideas and write the last while. I’m here now and I will try harder. Here’s just a small collection of something I’ve watched, something I’ve read, somewhere I’ve went, or frequented, and a little extra on this sunny Wednesday.

Midnight in Paris

My auntie was right. I did love it. Written and directed by Woody Allen. Owen Wilson’s character Gil is a screen writer, but he wants to be a novelist. His favourite thing in the world is Paris, especially in the 1920’s. He is on holiday in Paris with his fiancée Inez (Rachel McAdams) and is struggling with his first novel. After midnight, while lost and a little drunk and walking alone… some of his dreams start to come true.

Yes, it is fairy-tale like and you may have to suspend your disbelief along with Gil. But it’s sweet and heart-warming and about writers, and Owen Wilson is brilliant. I always did want to go to Paris.

The Hunger Games

Feeling very intrigued with the hype that surrounded the release of the film (I honestly don’t think I heard of the book before I got wind of the film) and surrounded by friends who were skipping off to see it in the first few nights, I bought the first book on saturday evening after a lovely walk with @caoimhetracey. Yes I do probably have other more vital things to be reading…. But I flew through it and was finished on Sunday before I returned to Belfast. I liked it. I couldn’t help drawing parallels with other things, which may not be fair. But that wasn’t a bad thing.


I thought it was like Big Brother in the playing of the anthem and projecting image of whoever has died up in the sky. It’s like playing the Big Brother tune at eviction! Also the fact that there has to be a romance, to keep the public interested and to try to win…. very Big Brotherish. But Big Brother is the ultimate reality TV programme and that’s what The Hunger Games aspires to be in Panem. I’m not criticising.

Also: Triwizard Tournament a la Harry Potter. Children getting drawn from a ‘hat’, districts/houses, and something about the backpacks, all different sizes with the numbers of the districts on them which are put in near the end for the tributes reminded me of the Triwizrd champions picking out their mini dragons from the bag, to see which one they would have to fight/trick.

It was a satisfying book, perhaps some things were too neatly tied, and I did find the Gale/Katniss/Peeta love triangle difficult. ‘Specially because I never got to see Gale’s reaction to anything. I don’t think it has the depth of… even the Harry Potter books. It seemed quite short and I don’ t feel I fully connected with the characters.

I’m going to see the film tomorrow night so I may report back. Did you see it/read it? What did you think of it?

Common Grounds, University Avenue, Belfast

@commongroundsni Is a fair trade, coffee-not-profit cafe located on my term-time street in Belfast. It has so far raised more that £50,000 for the list of charities pinned to the notice-board since opening in 2004. I haven’t been in there as much as I’d like but I have made a few stops in the last few weeks, and I love the wooden floors, varieties of people doing work or catching up, the huge bowl-like servings of caramel latte if you ask for a large one, art for sale on the walls, friendly volunteers, little garden and al fresco area for this lovely weather we are having, and so much more about this wee place. Last night I got two of my flat mates to come after dinner and because it was so busy, we sat at a table outside and sipped our coffees in the middle of the holy lands on a warm evening! It was lovely. It was one of my stops in my crying-in-the-cafe-to-friends week-long tour of Belfast that happened two weeks ago. *Ahem*

The best thing about Common Grounds is possibly their Gift Board/Giving board. You can go in and pay for a coffee and cake for your friend Lisa and they will write ‘Lisa- coffee and cake’ on the board, and the next time Lisa comes in she gets free stuffs! Yay. Really want to do this some time🙂

Some other things are : I’m loving the freak summer we seem to be having this week. It’s gorgeous! My friend and I were saying it’s funny seeing what everyone decides to wear in this sudden drastic change of weather. I’m still in jeans and light layers. Some people are staunchly wearing their winter coats. Many girls have opted for short shorts. Lots of topless fellas drinking beer on the sofa that they’ve dragged from their living quarters into their teeny gardens. I have been melting in all my seminars. Today I was almost the only person who turned up to a screening of ‘Possession’ our tutor organised. (One other guy who I just happened to talk to in class that day turned up, and we were the only two, out of a possible about 40 people!) I have spent a sad amount of it looking out at it, but it’s still cheering🙂

I’m still half looking for a pen pal (yes, I know, I have a degree to be studying for…pffft) And I think my search may be answered on Good Mail Day’s 2012 Call for Correspondents (Thanks Abbye!) I don’t think I’m brave enough to leave my address but i see some kindred spirits on that list, so although they put their names forward a few moths ago, I hope they’d still be willing to write if I do get a letter or two written. There’s a girl from ‘Bear, Delaware’ hehe. Coolest address ever.

I say, Essay

This is accurate. Only I don't have a Mac.

Hello lovely reader, I am just informing you that I may be a little sparser than usual with my blogging as I have somehow left myself with ridiculous deadlines for 2 major essays and then an exam. It’s 3rd year and they are worth a sickening amount…Quite genuinely worried. I came back to Belfast on 2nd January but haven’t gotten very far since then. Today is looking slightly better but I need to stay off all these websites. I’m this close to getting someone to change all my passwords! It has happened before. So, say one for me, maybe leave me a wee comment somewhere to cheer me up, and be patient with me. My blog will be a year old near the end of the month and I’m hoping to plan something nice for that! Let me know if you have any ideas.

Also if you know any secrets about Nietzsche, you know where I am. Hate the guy right down to the tips of his ridiculous moustache !

I will see you on the other side…