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My Thoughts On The Burke Campaigns


* Writer’s Note:  I’m sorry I haven’t written a blog in a while but I have been busy with moving to a new apartment over the last week, plus I was a bit under the weather the week before. Weekly blogs are back on now! It was very nice of people to actually ask when my next blog was going to be out. It made me really happy to know that you enjoy reading them and I will try my best not to leave again! *

People who live outside of Galway are probably wondering what the Burke Campaigns are so I will quickly do a brief explanation.

The Burke’s are a family from Castlebar who are known for their campaigns against Gay Marriage, where they quote Leviticus, and claim that the gay community invented AIDS. They are made up of Martina and Sean Burke, and their ten children, all of whom have biblical names. The parents of the family run the website Campaign for Conscience where they post articles on issues such as abortion and Christian values.  They have been part of daily conversation in Galway recently as two of the Burke children who attend NUI Galway have been running for positions on the NUIG Students Union. Enoch Burke who is the part of the Christian Union Society, has been running for Equality Officer. His younger brother and Auditor of the College’s Life Society, has been running for Post-Graduate Officer.

Enoch Burke running for Equality Officer in my eyes is a complete and utter joke. If it had been any other position such as his brother going for Post-Graduate Officer, I would have no problem with it, but someone who is well known for being anti gay simply can not even be considered for a position like this. What if a gay person came to him because he/she had been attacked because of their sexuality? Would he have just turned them away claiming it was their own fault? If he saw someone on the campus being verbally abused because they were gay would he just walk by like it was nothing? Would he join in? The Equality Officer position means you work to make sure everyone is being treated equally no matter what the colour of their skin is, what religion they follow, or what their sexual orientation is. Someone who opposes gay people simply can not be allowed to hold this position.

NUIG held a Gay Marriage Referendum last week. In the weeks before hand, both sides were campaigning for people to either vote Yes or No. The Christian Union Society and the Burke family of course were campaigning for a No Vote. Though I don’t agree with their views, I do admit that they had every right to do so. If they were simply expressing their views peacefully and fairly then I would have no problem with them doing so, even though I believe they are wrong. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. However what I strongly disagree with are the Christian Union’s posters in which they say ‘To permit couples of the same gender to avail of marriage is to change this definition. Once altered in part, the entire definition is then subject to change. For example, the NAMBLA group (USA) are now lobbying for marriage status for pedophilic men-boy relationships.’ They basically compare being gay to being a pedophile. In my opinion that is completely outrageous and bordering on a hate crime. Gay marriage is the legal joining of two consenting men or two consenting females who love each other for the rest of their lives. Pedophilic marriage is the legal joining of an adult who is sexually molesting an underaged person. Those two are completely separate issues both legally and morally. The idea of comparing the two on any level is completely uncalled for, offensive and down right disgusting.

Photo: The Christian Union Society. As marriage  equality means paedophile marriages.

Photo taken by Cian Moran of NUIG Christain Union  Anti Gay Marriage Poster.  

On Wednesday the 12th of March, the Burke family started a campaign stand beside Smokies Cafe to promote pro-life and to oppose gay marriage. Once again, that is perfectly fine as they have the right to do so. Of course this upset many people around the campus who were already upset over the statements on the Christian Union Posters. A similar protest started around the Burke’s stand where people held a sit in and held up ‘Love, Don’t Hate’ Posters. These people also had the complete right to do so. Things got heated however when the Burkes claimed that someone “trashed” their stall, though many have said that a few of their flyers had simply been pushed around. Crowds started to gather and the Gardai had to be called to keep the situation under control. Sean Burke, the father of Enoch and the other Burke children, arrived on the scene and apparently started shouting at anyone who challenged his views on gay marriage. The students fought back to the Burke’s claims and many videos of this can be found of this online. For this part of the protest, I am very proud of the students of NUIG who stood up for what they believed in. They kept their protest peaceful and showed great unity on behalf of not on the colleges’ gay and lesbian community, but the entire country’s. I certainly hope their protest shows the government during this very delicate time, that gay marriage is something that we are willing to fight for.

Though I am still proud of everyones protest, there is one part of it I wished had been left out. Everyone started to encourage male and female students, some of which were complete strangers to each other to start kissing in front of the Burkes. They also held mock gay marriages, again some of the “couples” being complete strangers to each other. Though I understand that this was an effort on behalf of the students to show their support for gay couples I think this was a bit much. I personally felt that the mock marriages were making a mockery out of the idea of marriage. To have strangers “marry” each other shows a lack of respect for the idea of marriage, Marriage is something to take seriously and if gay people want the right to marry then showing the respect and seriousness it deserves is something that people need to show. Why would people fight for a couple to marry if they don’t take it seriously?

The Burkes left the building at 6.30 to the sound of an applauding crowd. As someone who believes that marriage is something every consenting adult has the right to, the pride I felt for the students of my old university is something I will hold on to for many years. The Catholic Church has had a strong grasp on this country for a long time, but it is events such as this that shows that we are slowly changing for the better and becoming more open minded, loving and tolerant of our fellow human being. Everyone has the right to love and be loved no matter what anyone says. If you are a man that loves a man, a woman that loves a woman, a man that loves a woman, or a woman that loves a man, their is no difference. Love is love and is worth fighting for. As long as the two people are making each other happy then there is no problem in my eyes. So well done NUIG, you certainly deserve a pat on the back for standing up for your fellow students. I hope you are all able to continue to spread your message of love and tolerance to the rest of the world.


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Stuck In A Rut


So today’s blog is going to be a bit of a moan on my part. Usually I don’t like to write about my personal life but I know a lot of people are in a similar position, so I thought somewhere out there, someone might like to know that they aren’t the only one who feels like they are going nowhere. It is ok to feel down about it, just because you aren’t in a life or death situation doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to feel sad.  So without further ado, here is my moan about life.

So over the past year or so I have been feeling a bit unhappy. I don’t think I would go as far as to say I was suffering from depression, but it’s still not a nice feeling and it often gets me down. If I was to pinpoint when it started I would probably say a few months after I finished college. Like a lot of us out there I found getting a job next to impossible. The country is in a bad place at the moment and unfortunately that means post-graduate grants have been taken away or reduced severely, and jobs are hard to come by. My friends will tell you that I’m a very organised person, I plan everything to the smallest detail and if something goes wrong, well I wont be a happy lass. The same goes for my life. I was one of those rare secondary school students that actually knew what she wanted to do. My plan was very simple: Get into NUIG, Study English and Classics, Get a 2:1 Degree, Get into the teaching HDip, Qualify as a secondary school teacher, Get a teaching job. That was my plan and for a long time everything was going fine. Then the good old recession hit. Not only did they take away the post-graduate grants, (without which I couldn’t even fathom continuing 3rd Level education) but teachers were being let go left and right. Suddenly my life plan was a pile of ashes.

How did this make me feel? Well at first I was angry. I had worked hard to get into university. I had taken a job as a waitress at sixteen just so I could pay for extra expenses like levy fees and books myself. I hadn’t taken a single penny from any of my family for university, I had worked, gotten good grades and now my degree was no better than a piece of toilet paper. I felt so cheated and furious that my hard work had been for nothing. However I knew that being angry wouldn’t fix anything, I had to make a new plan with what I had and so, like so many others, I joined the dole que.

Now people on the dole get a lot of bad press. People seem to assume that we enjoy queuing up in front of the world for the free money that the tax payers are give us. Well let me tell you, the majority of us despise it. Queuing up for the dole every month is absolutely humiliating, sometimes it hardly seems worth it for the amount of money we get. For over a year I couldn’t find work. I had to que up every month outside the dole office hoping that no one I knew could see me. I had to live off E100 a week, barley leaving me with enough money for food when rent and bills were taken away, all the while my degree was gathering dust. I sent out CV’s to every job I felt I could do, went to the countless seminars that the government thought could help me, but nothing was happening. I was living life without a plan, without any real kind of security and I hated every second of it.

Then last Summer I decided I had had enough. Sitting at home being ashamed of myself wasn’t getting me anywhere. I had to find something I could focus on that could make me feel like I had some self-worth. I signed up for a creative writing class in September last year. Luckily, at the same time I was head hunted for a sales job with a printing company. Though I didn’t see myself as a sales woman, a job was a job and so I rushed to take it. Suddenly my life had meaning again, it wasn’t what I had wanted but it was something. My boyfriend and I also decided that we wanted to move in together so we started looking for places to live. Everything was on the up and I noticed myself start to become happy again.

However it didn’t last very long. The creative writing class gave me a new-found confidence in my writing but it ended in December. I vowed to keep up my writing, hence I started this blog. The job started to get to me though. I loved the administration side of the job but the telesales was just not for me. I was nervous at the thought of “cold calling” from the beginning, and now, five months on it hasn’t gotten any better. The pressure of a sales job is just too much but at the same time, letting a job go no matter how unhappy I am at it, seems wrong to me. I fought with the thought of leaving for a long time, trying to see if I could get used to the sales aspect, thinking that maybe I just needed time. Unfortunately no progress has been made. Finding an apartment has also been a hectic and disappointing time, though I’m still holding out hope for that one.

So I’m back to feeling lost and stuck again, like I have no hope of ever doing something that I truly enjoy. Living life without a plan for someone like me is terrifying, and it hasn’t gotten any easier. I still want to be a teacher but right now there is just no point in trying. Even if I was able to get the degree, the chance of getting a job are slim. People have suggested that I go abroad, maybe to Scotland to try to get my degree there and then find a job. Though that may be a good idea it would mean leaving behind the one part of my life that has consistently brought me joy, the one thing I could never leave, my boyfriend. He has been there for me through all of this and I don’t think I could live without him. He has been a constant support to me and has a four-year PhD in NUIG, so I wouldn’t dream of going without him. I also have a lot of good friends in Galway and since I have only recently started to improve my friendships with people, I think packing up and leaving would make me feel more lost and alone than ever.

So where do I go from here? I wish I knew. All I can really do is keep trying. Keeping looking for that apartment, keep looking for a job that makes me happy, and maybe one day if I’m lucky, I might get to go back to university and become a teacher. Right now I’m just trying to live each day at a time and enjoy the few things I have in my life that keep me going. If it wasn’t for my boyfriend, my brother, my friends and my family, I really don’t know where I would be. The simple joys that they give me are what inspire me to keep trying at life no matter how hard it keeps knocking me down. Being around people you care about can be hard when you are unhappy with yourself, but I am trying to push past that and focus on the good being with others can bring. I am stuck in a rut but I will continue to keep clawing out of it until it kills me.


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The Blame Game


*The following opinions are completely my own*

So by now I’m sure everyone has heard of the popular drinking game ‘Neknomination’. It has been trending on Facebook in the past few weeks, and has been all over the news in light of the tragic deaths of Ross Cummins and Jonny Byrne. Since the untimely deaths of the young Irish boys, people have taken to various social media outlets blaming the Neknomination game for the two boys tragic deaths. The game involves someone being tagged/nominated to post a video of themselves downing a pint of beer, or other form of alcohol, within 24 hours of being neknominated. When they have completed this they then nominate two or more of their friends to do the same.

Now I am in no way going to say that the deaths of these two young men are not the tragedy that they are. Both were popular guys with loving families and bright futures ahead of them. They did however make a very silly mistake that ended up costing them their lives. The Neknomination tag is just another game that promotes binge drinking. It is a silly concept that makes it look like alcohol has no consequences. However, Nekominations are no different to any other drinking game. No one is forced to accept the challenge, they can very simply ignore the tag or say no to it. I don’t promote Neknominations in any way, but at the same time I don’t think it is fair to entirely blame the tag for what young people are doing. Binge drinking is a problem, it has been for a long time but Neknominations if taken off the internet, will just be replaced by something similar.

At the end of the day people make their own choices. If a person chooses to accept a Neknomination tag and is silly enough to down a pint of beer, whiskey or vodka then that is their own choice, and they must accept the consequences of their actions. Unfortunately for Ross and Jonnny, the consequence was the early ending of their lives. It was their decision, no one elses to do what they did. It is the harsh reality of the situation and may be hard to hear, but in the end the two young men made the decision to drink irresponsibly. I am in no way saying they deserved to die, what happened to them was a tragedy that has shaken the country. They made a mistake and my heart goes out to their friends and family. However we must realise that the Neknomination tag was not solely responsible.

Alcohol is fun if consumed responsibly, people seem to be forgetting that fact. Not everyone enjoys it but for those who do it is not a crime to drink. One beer will very rarely do anyone any harm. The Neknomination game was most likely created in light of this fact. It never set out to harm anyone, it was simply created as an optional fun thing to do. It doesn’t tell people to jump off a bridge, it doesn’t tell people to drink so much that they become seriously ill, it simply says to chug down a pint of beer or your alcohol of choice and film it. It has been put out there as a game and if you don’t want to play then no one is going to force you to take part.

I know people are going around saying that peer pressure forces people into playing the game. Yes, that may be a factor into why people play the game, but we having been teaching our children for years that in life, you make your own choices and deal with the good and the bad that comes with them. Some people will bend to peer pressure in an effort to fit in, we all do it sometimes, but we should all have the ability to know what can harm us. Throwing up our food to be skinnier will harm us, taking heroin to be “cool” will harm us, downing a pint of vodka will harm us and jumping from a bridge will harm us. Everyone goes through these choices knowing what could potentially go wrong, and so they must decide if the consequences are worth it. Now I don’t think Jonny Byrne knew that in his drunken state, he would jump off a bridge and drown, but I believe he knew what he was doing could seriously harm him. He probably thought that the worst that could happen was he would need his stomach pumped or would get a cold from being in he cold water. Jonny couldn’t possibly have foreseen this and neither could the person that neknominated him, or the creators of the tag. Fun things can turn out to have terrible consequences that no one even considered. Blaming Neknominations for the deaths of these two young men however wont bring them back and it wont stop people from making similar mistakes.

If it happened to someone I loved, of course I would be angry and upset, and want to have someone to take the blame. However I know that Neknominations doesn’t force people to take part, it doesn’t set out to hurt people and it doesn’t control the decisions people make. It was simply the catalyst that unknowingly led to the tragic deaths of two young boys who were just trying to have fun but took it too far. They unfortunately made a fatal mistake. Everyone makes mistakes but most of the time we get to stick around to fix them.

Binge drinking shouldn’t be encouraged but Neknomonations are just a very small part of the problem. Our culture makes it look like something to be proud of and that, is what is truly to blame. Our mindsets need to change before more tragedies like this happen. Thousands of people have died because of binge drinking and they will keep dying until society sees binge drinking as something to be ashamed of instead of cool. Alcohol is something that should be enjoyed responsibly but it is knowledge that will help us achieve that. So go out tonight and have a beer with your friends, but when you start going for your fourth or fifth just remember the choice you are making.

RIP Jonny Byrne and Ross Cummins. Your lives were tragically cut short but you friends and family will make sure you are never forgotten. 


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How To Save Money: Six Tips To Help Your Bank Balance

Tips for Saving Money

So Christmas and New Year have left cobwebs in our wallets. Have you noticed yourself getting overly excited about finding a euro coin in you jeans pocket? Do ESB and Internet bills send shivers down your spine? Do you fear the end of the month when the landlord comes knocking? Never fear! Using my years of experience being poor, I have come up with a few pointers on how to save money so that your bank balance can start its road to recovery!

Step One: Bargain Websites/Facebbok Pages

So your landlord is coming in two weeks and your 50 euro short on rent, what do you do? Well I bet you have a load of old clothes/unwanted Christmas presents that you were planning on letting hibernate at the back of your wardrobe. Solution: Sell them! The internet is full of bargain websites and facebook pages where people can sell their unwanted items. Not only will you get some money but it will also help you clear out your unwanted stuff. Make sure it is a safe website though and you trust the person you are selling to. If you live in Galway I recommend the ‘Galway Official Online Jumble Sale’ facebook page. Link below!

Step Two: Smart Shopping

So the weekly food shop is leaving you strapped for cash. It might be time to rethink the way you buy your food. Start shopping in cheaper stores such as Aldi or Lidl, especially for your fresh fruit and veg. Buy off brand products that taste the same but cost much less. (I got off brand Bran Flakes for three euro cheaper yesterday!) Also look out for reduced sections in supermarkets. Many will be selling food that is close to their sell by date a lot cheaper than usual. It is a great way to bag a bargain!

Step Three: Buy Less, Cook More!

We are all tempted to go out for lunch every day when we are at work or college, but at the end of the day, it lands up costing us a small fortune. It is a lot cheaper to cook for yourself and bring meals with you than to spend up to ten euros a day on lunch. Make large dishes like Cottage Pie or Lasagne that you can split into portions and freeze. Most work places and colleges will have microwaves that you can use for free to heat them up. If not you can always prepare a salad or sandwich the night before to take with you. If you are too tired to cook when you get home most evenings, then prepare meals you can freeze at the weekend so you can just pop your dinner in the microwave or oven when you get home. 

Step Four: Stop Spending!

At the end of the day it is very simple: you will save money if you don’t spend it. If you have trouble with this there are a few ways to break the habit. First of all don’t take too much cash with you when you are in town with friends. Set yourself a limit and only carry that amount with you. If you are tempted by the ATM, know which ones will give you ten euro notes so you can avoid withdrawing large amounts. Also get into the mind set of saving your two euro coins. Have a piggy bank (preferably one that you cant get into without breaking it) and put all the two euro coins you come by into it. You will be surprised how much money you will gather from this simple trick! 

Step Five: Bring The Party To You!

Going out drinking and partying can be fun, but if it is done too much your money wont be around for long. Start inviting friends over for movie/game nights instead. If you still want to party then party at home! Alcohol will be a lot cheaper if you are splitting a bottle with a friend instead of paying around 5 euro per drink in a club. Watch out for the noise level though as you don’t want to annoy sleeping room mates or neighbors!

Step Six: Get The Electric Bill Down.

Electric bills can be the scariest thing to come through the letter box, so getting it as low as possible is a must. Here are a few things you can do to save electricity! If you only need hot water for a few dishes then boil the kettle instead of turning on the immersion. Take out the plugs and switch off the sockets you aren’t using. Make sure electrical items aren’t left on standby. Turn off the TV if no one is watching it. Dry your clothes on a clothes horse/washing line instead of tumble drying them. Don’t leave the immersion on for hours! Only leave it on for the amount of time it takes to heat the water you need. Don’t have the heating on when no one is in the house. Make sure you have energy saving light bulbs. If your immersion tank isn’t insulated than ask your landlord to insulate it for you. It will keep the heat in the tank for longer. 

So those are my handy tips on how to save money this year. I hope they help you save some money so you can treat yourself every now and then! I had a few more but I might save them for a future blog post. If you have any money saving ideas then let me know. I’d love to hear them!


So long for now!


Why I Don’t Call Myself A Feminist




Feminism has been a touchy subject for a very long time so I want to make it very clear that these are my own views and opinions. I know people will probably disagree with a lot of what I have to say, and to those people I say; I understand. Everyone has a right to voice their own opinion, including me. So before you start writing your response to this I want you to remember a few things. 1.) My opinion has been formed through my own personal life experiences. 2.) I am not saying I am right, or that you are wrong. I am simply sharing my thoughts on the matter. 3.) The people I am talking about make up a very small percentage of people who call themselves feminists. I am in no way blaming all of them for the points I make. 4.) I don’t mind you disagreeing, in fact I encourage it. As long as you are polite and respectful of others then I will listen to you. Maybe you might even help me see things in a new light.

So what has put me off calling myself a feminist? Well my main answer to that is: I don’t really like what the idea of feminism has become. A few years ago I definitely would have described myself as a feminist. I wanted men and women to be treated equally in all countries of the world, in schools, in the work place and just generally in life. However the modern idea of feminism doesn’t seem to mean equality, it now seems to mean that women should have more rights than men, and that women can be looked down on for not doing the things that they were previously frowned upon for doing.

What exactly am I talking about? Well I’ll try to give you a few examples. For the longest time, women have been fighting for equality in the workplace.  Basically the idea that an equally qualified man and women would be paid the same amount of money for doing the same job and both be treated respectfully. To me that is what feminism wanted. However, now some work places are required to take on a certain amount of female staff (and a certain amount of staff of different nationalities but that’s a topic for another time). Now to me that is unfair. If a woman and a man go for the same job but maybe the man is more qualified than the woman or just generally more suited to it, then surely the man should get the job? Why should the man be refused for something he would be better at just because a company had to fill a quota? Yes the quota may be there to stop employers from being sexist when choosing employees, however consider this: if an entire company is filled with male workers because they were all more qualified than any of the women that applied then surely that is fair? The same goes for if a company was full if of female workers. If they were all more qualified and suited the job more than all of the male applicants then that should be fair.


That isn’t the only thing I find unfair in the modern workplace. These days women get maternity leave for obvious reasons. Now that is something I completely understand, and think that women completely deserve. However some businesses give next to no paternity leave for fathers. I find this wrong as both mothers and fathers deserve time to bond with their child. Now I understand that women’s bodies take time to heal after the experience of giving birth, especially if there are complications. However some places will give the same amount of maternity leave to a mother who used a surrogate or adopted. Again, I think this is fine as its more about the bonding experience and finding a routine. However what if two gay men used a surrogate or adopted a child? Don’t they both deserve the chance to bond with their child and find their own routine? Doesn’t any father whether their partner is male or female?

So in my opinion the workplace is not yet perfect for women OR men. I will admit though that it has come a long way, and is definitely taking steps in the right direction.


The other point I mentioned was the way some feminists look down on women who do things that was once expected of them. One of the things that really gets to me are women who are looked down on for wanting to be housewives/stay at home mothers. Yes, it is a stereotypical job, but it is a job that some women still want to do. I may work now but in the future when I have kids of my own, I would like to be a stay at home mother until my youngest child is in school. Childcare costs a lot these days and personally I would like to raise my children myself and not send them off to at a crèche. I have nothing against these types of places, I think they are wonderful things, it is just not something I personally want to do. I don’t look down on mothers who work, sometimes they just don’t have the option of staying at home as they may have to work to support their family. I don’t in any way feel that they are abandoning their children by choosing to work. I don’t judge them for making that choice so why should some people get to judge me for the choice I want to make. I want to look after my children myself, I want to cook for my family and I want to do the housework. It doesn’t mean I’ll be locked in the kitchen all day, it doesn’t mean I can only identify myself as a mother and a wife, and it isn’t being forced upon me so what is the problem? Men who do so can be seen as “gay” or “unmanly” and now women are being looked down upon for doing it. There doesn’t seem to be a winner.


Now I know people have very strong views on the following topic so I will try my best to make you understand what I’m trying to say. Writing about this topic scares me to death so please read it carefully and don’t jump to conclusions. If you don’t understand what my views are please ask me before ranting that I am pro-female rape.


A big thing that feminists have been fired up about is the idea that if you dress too provocatively, then you deserve to be raped, because you were asking for it. Now before I continue this point I want to say NO-ONE DESERVES TO BE RAPED. It is a horrible experience that can traumatize you for life, and anyone who is guilty of it can rot in hell. However I will say this, girls who dress provocatively are not asking for it, but they are not helping themselves either. Everyone has the right to dress how they want but it is a known fact that the less you wear the more of a target you are. Some people will assume that you are a slut and that you are easy to get into bed. Someone might start buying you drinks until you are so drunk that you don’t know what’s happening. I’m not saying that a girl in a cardigan wont have this happen to her, but girls in more provocative clothes are more likely to be targeted by these horrible people. I think that this is what the majority of people are trying to say, but some feminists will say, that people who think this are telling women they can’t wear what they want, and that they are asking to get raped. Again, this is not what I’m saying. If women want to dress in revealing clothes then go right ahead, but be aware of the dangers of doing so.


While on the subject of rape, I want to address something that I think angers me the most about a small percentage of feminists. That is, the idea that men can’t be raped or, don’t go through as bad of an experience as women when they are raped. To me, this is absolutely ridiculous. Rape happens and it is awful no matter what gender you are. At the end of the day you are being sexually violated and that is the same for both genders. A male will feel just as violated, scared and vulnerable as any female that has this horrible thing happen to them.


I could keep writing this blog for days but I think I’ll stick with the few examples I have given. I think women who fight for equality are amazing people, and that the female gender has a lot to thank them for. However the idea of feminism is slowly being tarnished for me by a small group of so-called “feminists” that are ruining it for everyone. At the end of the day these people are taking it too far and making the idea of feminism laughable amongst men and women. So that is why I no longer refer to myself as a feminist. I suppose if I had to put a label on it I would call myself an equalist because that is what I want, equality. I think it is something the whole world should keep fighting for and strive to achieve.








P.S   This may be badly written as I found it difficult to get my point across with some of the topics.








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A Little Piece About Love


Love has alway interested me. It’s a powerful thing that can both fulfill us and destroy us, make us laugh and make us cry, make us content with the small things that we have, and make us do crazy things we never usually would have considered. Plutarch thought that love was a madness that overcame us in a fleeting moment that would ruin our lives, Shakespeare made us think that love could conquer anything, and Catullus thought that a life without love is not worth living. All these different views on love have been expressed throughout history with poetry, plays, novels, music, movies, television and art. Humanity has used any medium within its reach to show its opinions on love and didn’t really care if people agreed with them or not. Though people nowadays say the world is in a terrible place, full of hate and violence and greed the world has still held on to love. Even those who fill their life with hate cannot escape love, even if all they think they love is their hate.

By studying English for most of my life I have come across many views on love, and though I find some of them completely unfathomable, I admit that love is one of the most powerful and meaningful things a person can ever experience. However many of the ways we come to learn about romantic love can make our understanding of it blurred, making it easily confused with gratitude, attraction and idolisation. One thing I don’t believe in is “love at first sight” in a romantic sense. I believe that when a mother or father holds their child for the first time that they can love that child undoubtedly from that moment onwards, but as for romantic love I believe that love must grow over time.

People can say that they love someone two weeks into a relationship but may not actually mean it for another two years. I understand that some people wear their heart on their sleeve, I wouldn’t say I’m far from being one of those people, but I think that true, meaningful love, can take a year or even more to truly mature. Now people may think of me as a hypocrite as my boyfriend and I said the “L” world within a few weeks of our romantic relationship, however this is my example of the exception to the rule: “Friendships before Relationships”.

A good number of people will find love from their friendships. Sometimes a friendship that started off innocent will slowly grow into something more, sometimes friendships are made because of the initial attractions people have between each other, and sometimes one of the people in the friendship will develop romantic feelings for the other, but it takes a while for the feelings to be reciprocated. However it happens, I find that a friendship can turn into love surprisingly easily with the right people. The thing about love is that more often than not you will never see it coming, but to me that is one of the best parts about it.

So by now you probably think I’m a huge romantic who spends her day reading Romeo and Juliet non stop with a box of tissues and a bar of dairy milk. Well, I’ll take the chocolate but Romeo and Juliet, in my opinion, is a terrible love story. It brings me to the point of “Young Love” also known as “Puppy Love”.

What most people don’t realise when reading “the most romantic love story ever told” is that Juliet is under the age of thirteen when the story is told, her father even admitting that she is too young for love and marriage (and that was saying something in those times). The idea that the couple were so in love that they literally could not live without each other, and died because of it is a little ridiculous. Now I know most thirteen year old girls think that their relationships are totes gona last 4eva xx but realistically they will probably be over in a year tops. I’m not saying that young teenagers can’t feel love for someone romantically, but 9/10 times its going to be “Puppy Love”. The thing is that even if you love someone at that age, neither of you will be the same in ten years time. You are at that stage in life where you personality and interests change every ten minutes and by the time you reach 25, you most likely will have matured into a very different version of yourself.

However, I think that young love is a wonderful thing. It prepares you for the real deal and helps you realise a lot of things about yourself and what you want. It is an important experience to have but don’t be like Juliet and kill yourself over it. Trust me, you will laugh at your young relationships when you are older and wonder what the hell you were thinking, crying over that boy or girl for two weeks.

I believe that everyone will find that special someone whether they find it at 19, 29 or 59, but before you do, you should appreciate the other kinds of love you have around you. Whether its the love you get from your family, your friends, your dog, the kind stranger that ran after you when you dropped your purse on the street, or the waitress that always gives you extra cream in your coffee. Cherish it, and remember that though the world is full of poverty, war and greed, love is everywhere. Though it can sometimes cause us pain and we wish it was never there, it is still out there and I doubt it will ever leave us.


Inspired by Formosus, the logical romantic. 

Posted in Uncategorized

My 5 Favourite Things About Christmas


So it’s that time of year again where everything gets sparkly, people get cheerful and the Christmas jumpers start rising out of the deep dark depths of the wardrobe. If you ask around many people have very mixed feelings about this time of year. Some feel its too commercialised, some find it very hard financially and so it takes some of the joy out of it, some think it’s great because they have young kids that still believe in the magic, or they just generally like the vibe of Christmas. For the longest time Christmas just didn’t mean much to me. My brother and I were both too old for Santa and we lived away from our parents so I just felt I had grown out of it. This year however, I actually find myself having a little bit of Christmas spirit and…it feels quite good. Nothing has really changed, I’m still too old for Santa, I don’t have any kids to put on the magic for and I unfortunately still wont see my parents, so why do I suddenly find Christmas so appealing? Maybe its because I’m a little more financially stable than last year? Maybe its because I’ve found my own little family in my boyfriend and my cat? (Not to insult my actually family, I love you guys too <3) Or maybe I’m just in a better place emotionally than I have been in the last few years? To be honest I have no idea but I’m enjoying it no matter what the cause. No more bah humbug blues for me!

So to celebrate my sudden injection of Christmas spirit, I thought I would spread some of my Christmas cheer by telling you some of my favourite things about Christmas!

1. The Galway Continental Christmas Market.

Every year, Galway is host to the most adorable Christmas market you have ever seen. There are shops, craft villages, beer tents, sweet stalls and even a merry-go-round! My favourite part without a doubt has to be all of the amazing food! They have everything from corn dogs to heated pretzels to zebra burgers, so if you are in Galway I highly recommend you at least go for a little wander around.

2. Buying Presents!

Though I hate the expense of the holiday season, I love buying presents for other people. For the last couple of years I’ve been pretty poor and I’m still poor, but not as poor, so I finally got to buy proper Christmas presents for everyone this year! I get very excited about the thought of people opening their presents on Christmas morning, not to mention I am one of the few people that actually loves wrapping presents, so I suppose for that I don’t mind my savings taking a bit of a hit.

3. Candles.

I don’t know why but this year I have gotten obsessed with candles. The funny thing is I don’t even like your typical Christmas candle scents! My two favourite candles at the moment are a winter berry scent and a peach and apricot one I bought on a whim a few weeks ago. Most people love their mulberry spiced candles or gingerbread candles but not me! Fruity and flowery all the way!

4. Cosy Clothes.

I can be very body conscious, so summer dresses that show off lots of skin aren’t very up my ally. That’s why I love it when it starts to get cold and it becomes acceptable to wear nice warm jumpers and cosy tights! I also love wearing hats and scarves so fashion-wise, Winter is definitely my favourite season.

5. I Can Act Like A Child And No-one Cares!

Okay so I may do this all year round, but at Christmas time everyone’s inner child seems to come out so I can get away with it a lot more. I can wear my bear hat and silly jumpers and no-one will laugh, I can watch kids movies (not that anything really stops me from doing that) and I can eat all of the sweets I want!

So I hope you enjoyed the 5 things I love about the Christmas season. Let me know what you like/don’t like about Christmas, as my next blog will probably be about the things that annoy me about Christmas time.

Until next time!