Nice and Easy – Take 2 (Digital)

Travel, Uncategorized, Visuals

Hi folks,

I hope you enjoyed the last collection of digitals from my trip to Nice. It feels like a lifetime ago, now more than ever as the mist rolls in from the Irish sea and gives the garden a rather spooky and deserted feel that’s apt for the month that’s in it. I can’t even see the dogs through the mist. I can hear Ollie, the Burnese, give a half-hearted woof every so often, obviously calling out for help in finding his way back to his food bowl by the front door, but if he’s not less than five metres away there’s no sign of his big lumbering paws through the fog.

It is decidedly un-Nice-esque.

Still, I said I’d put up the next lot of Nice pictures soon so I can continue reliving holiday life from the (dis)comfort of my office desk. So here you go.

Take Me Home

Uncategorized, Visuals

The idea for ‘Take Me Home’ came about a few months ago when we realised the lack of awareness for dogs in rescue shelters.

There is a definite stigma attached to certain dogs, particularly those of a restricted breed, which sometimes causes people to choose to buy their pet from a breeder despite the large number of healthy dogs living in shelters, unable to find homes. Over the last few months we have visited some shelters around Ireland in an attempt to capture the story of these animals.

Nice and Easy // Digital

Travel, Uncategorized, Visuals

 

I’ve finally made it back to Bam Bam Madame having neglected her for weeks due to an unending pile of tasks of which I still haven’t managed to dig to the bottom. Since I am currently stockpiling cappuccinos at my dad’s house on a wet Monday morning, I have decided to take a few minutes break from job searching to do what I do best to calm my frazzled nerves: write.

So here I am, writing.

A couple of weeks ago (it feels like a lifetime), Jack and I went to Nice on the French Riviera for a break from the greyness of Dublin life in autumn.

Conversations – Film

Uncategorized, Visuals

This is my second collection of film photos, named “Conversations” because they all involve somebody I care about and are all just as much to do with hearing as they are seeing. Whenever I look at photos I want to know what’s happening in the background and what the people in them are thinking and feeling at the time. So that’s what I’m trying to do here. I hope you like them x

Party

Look and Lifestyle, Uncategorized, Visuals

I turned 24 this week.

The change has had its ups and downs. Predominantly downs, as you can imagine; at 24 my mum was married, had me on the way and a flourishing new business in the pipeline. At the same age, that chap Spiegel who invented Snapchat was already worth something-billion dollars and turning down offers left, right and centre for his creation. Beyoncé decided, at this shining time in her life, to break away from Destiny’s Child and pave the way to a bright future and a solo career.

I, on the other hand, have been given my first proper handbag by my friends to stop me from carrying around my ‘embarrassing’ net shopping bag and am more often than not covered head to toe in dogs’ wee. This is the marking of my 24th year (25th year? Don’t – even worse.)

Dogs

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Hello everybody, a happy Tuesday to you.

A while ago I wrote about the challenges of leaving college/generally moving between life stages and the problems encountered as part of the process. Such problems include feeling purposeless, at a loose end, and, in my case, downright batty. Suddenly all the energy you’ve been drilling into study and reading and thinking and so forth isn’t needed for that any more and it ends up going into other such exciting activities as questioning what’s wrong with you and shouting at people who ask you what the next step is.

You might be pleased to note that I’ve recently discovered something more fruitful into which I can merrily blast this energy. Something which leaves me covered in dribble and mud and sometimes wee at the end of the day but it doesn’t matter, because it also makes me feel content, purposeful and able to just enjoy things again. That something is volunteering at the local dog shelter, the DSPCA.

Monday Book Corner Episode 2: 40 Years with the Krays

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Happy Monday errybody.

It’s actually sweltering in Dublin at the moment. I’m sitting at the kitchen table in a t-shirt thinking that even the t-shirt is too hot to wear, but I can’t go backless/strapless/bikini-ed today due to less-than-attractive lobster look acquired yesterday at the Sunday Market. Things could be worse, of course. I could be one of the poor American tourists who decided to come here this week and packed nothing but a range of “Irish Weather Protective Gear” like hiking boots and cagoules, only to find themselves in what can only be described as tropical conditions.

This week the book of choice was also a true story, stemming again from my tendency to become obsessed with other people’s lives and legends. This particular obsession began in Paris, when Jack and I watched Legend starring Tom Hardy and Tom Hardy as the notorious Kray twins.

Kiera’s Book Corner Episode 1: Man’s Search for Meaning

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Good evening pals, and welcome to Kiera’s Monday Book Corner.

Firstly let me apologise for the lateness of this post. If you’re here because you’ve seen me bragging about the Book Corner on Instagram, specifically the post which promised this first entry to be put up this afternoon, I’m sorry I’m late. Aside from the fact that I am nearly always late, my windscreen wipers snapped off the car the other day and I took the opportunity this sunny afternoon to go and get them welded back on, so I was very busy.

The good news is that I’ve made it. It is Monday still and the Monday Book Corner’s first post has made it to the site just in time. Phew.

This week’s read is a book that I admittedly have read once before, sometime last year, but decided to give it another go this week after remembering how profoundly moving and beautiful and tragic it was. This week’s entry is Dr. Viktor Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning” (available here).

New Ways of Being

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Happy Thursday, everyone!

I hope most of you are enjoying the sunshine outside today. For anyone sitting at your office desk counting down the hours to the weekend, you have my sympathy and also only about 29 more to wait until freedom. Although it is supposed to rain all weekend, so that’s a pity for you.

I’ve just come back from four days at my dad’s house in the Wild West, as I call it, which is actually not in the west but in the south of Ireland (but in the western part of the south called West Cork and that’s where it gets its very witty name). It was the first time I’ve spent there in as long as I can remember that I didn’t feel an underlying sense of guilt for not reading some sort of dull report or writing practice essays on German poets or checking college emails to make sure I haven’t forgotten something very important. For the first time in at least six years, I felt wholly relaxed and free to do as I pleased, be it helping Dad dig a new little flower bed next to the pond, reading a book (of my own choice!) in the sun room  or drinking old bottles of Namibian Tinta Barocca late into the night without worrying about having a very functioning brain the next morning.

But whilst this lazy post-finals haze all sounds very idyllic and restful, there is still a niggling feeling that I can’t shake off, and I’m sure it’s the same for most college-leavers at some point in the immediate aftermath of finishing final exams. While I was still in the throws of mine, I phoned my best friend Katie in Scotland, who had finished hers a few days previously. “You must feel amaaaaazing!” I gushed, already feeling excitement building as I imagined walking out of the exam hall on the Thursday afternoon into the welcoming summer sun (it rained that day in fact, which is typical). “I did for a few days afterwards,” she said, “but – and it might not be the same for you – the panic about results and what’s going to happen next has started to set in now.” Even though I couldn’t imagine such a panic, even in the days directly after I finished, such a little knot of dread has struggled to its feet and begun to lumber about in my head in the last few days. Sometimes it tires and goes for a rest and the excitement of freedom and looming summer adventures takes over again, but when nap-time’s over the knot gets right back up and back to his post at the forefront of my mind.

Such a feeling, I’m sure many of you will understand, is exacerbated by such things as family friends leaping in front of you and demanding, “So what’s next??!” You can almost see a sort of lottery wheel spinning around in their head with things like “Going to work on Wall Street!”, “Travelling the world!” or “Doing a Masters!” written on each segment. As you hum and haw the wheel slows and ticks past each of these options before landing on “Who Knows!”, and the poor person’s expression is wiped of anticipation and replaced with a blank gaze before they stutter, “Well…it must be nice to be finished, at least”, to which you reply, “It was until this hideous encounter”, but in your head.

The problem is that during college you have so many dreams for your future whirring around in hour very busy head, but you also have the safety-net of “still studying” keeping you from having to act yet, from  having to push yourself into the scariness of Real Life and grab whatever flies your way with both hands. In my case, new dreams are born every day, and where I’m finding myself now is a vast expanse in which ideas ping pong past on an almost daily basis, but don’t stay around long enough to materialise. While I was standing in Dad’s garden watching him prune a fir tree I complained to him about the situation to which he replied, “At your age, your head should be full of ideas. I wouldn’t expect anything else.” He continued pruning the tree and I went inside to put on the kettle, a little pacified but still not completely certain.

One of the hardest things to get my head around is the expectation that a child of 18 knows what he or she wants to be for the rest of their life and must then make the decision to follow that path. That is why I chose a BA in Modern Languages, giving me the freedom, I thought, to apply myself to whatever I like while chattering away in German or French as I go. But now that I am finished, I do not want to be a German or French teacher. I do not want to work in the EU (I don’t think). I do not want to be an academic because I don’t have the patience. So then I, and countless others who leave college with a degree that is not applied, are left wondering “What am I?” and, indeed, “Who am I?”

This is all sounding very negative, and I’m sorry. I might take this opportunity to give a little insight into Positive Kiera’s outlook on all of this: the good side to leaving college with an identity that is not yet perfectly sculpted and a bustling myriad of ideas which will not sit still is that you still have time to decide, grow and choose what and who you are. You still have space to try things, to feel, yes, the occasional thud of defeat, but the plentiful moments that something is working out and feels right. We have all heard success stories about people who have come from little and become great. My stepdad, for example, left school at 16 and became a DJ – though somewhere along the way somebody observed that he was good at maths and now he is the project manager of a bank. Jack recently met a chap in Croatia who, having worked for years on Wall Street and having decided it was not for him, moved to Croatia to become a boat skipper. Stories about change and fate and decisions give me hope for the people who answer “What next?” with “Who knows?” If you have any success stories or advice for college leavers you’d like to share, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment!

I have written a lot today, haven’t I? I hope you managed to get to the end and haven’t fallen asleep at your desk or thrown your laptop into the nearest dustbin. I also hope that, if you ever find yourself wondering “Who am I?” that reading this will remind you that you have lots and lots of time to become whomever you want to be, and in the meantime you are a wondrous creature with hundreds of possibilities. I am off on a roadtrip now around the Irish coast with some excellent girls. Next Thursday I promise there will be less depth and more pictures to my post 🙂

See you soon and lots of love,

K. x

(cover picture by the amazing Amanda Shadforth at @Oraclefox)

A New Start

Uncategorized

Hello everyone!

Well, it’s been a while since we last spoke. What happened was, sometime after I came back to college and the true stress of final year set in I decided I wouldn’t write any more. Firstly, I thought, my life was about to get pretty boring and un-noteworthy. Secondly, I assumed that I’d have zero time on my hands with which to write updates on my supposedly boring days. All in all, I felt it was time to pack in The Peapod and Pearl. In actual fact, whilst I was (almost) right about the second assumption (I have close to zero time to write anything but essays), I was wrong about the first. Your life is as boring or as exciting as you make it. And mine is still pretty fun, thankfully.