I began the month on a high, at home in my newly tracked down Vetements, sipping on Champagne, getting a haircut and grabbing brunch with my parents and I spent the first Monday of the month eating dinner out with friends and laughing. That week I planned a family getaway for the following weekend with my parents, checked out the Create 2016 display in Brown Thomas and, on Friday evening, got a deep tissue massage. I felt loose and happy but spent the weekend a little tender. The next morning my brother and I went for brunch and I had one of the most bizarre restaurant experiences of my life.
I suggested a Vietnamese place where the food was really great and we strolled along in the sun and grabbed a table outside. Upon sitting down and ordering, we noticed that a four or five year old boy, clearly the son of the owner, was running around. He was super beautiful and cute and we smiled at his antics. Suddenly, he came up to our table and we said hello and asked what his name was. He didn't reply but sat down next to me and tried on my sunglasses. They looked ridiculously big on him, so we laughed again. By now, he was clearly getting comfortable but he was sweet so we entertained him. He stayed by my side as our drinks arrived and asked for a sip of my brother's Fanta, then rested his head on my arm and looked up at me sweetly. When our starters came out, he asked for a chicken wing and I offered him one. Then he took another off the plate without asking. From here, his behaviour started escalating and his mother noticed and began to give out to him but, as we had laughed and encouraged him, we felt bad and didn't want the kid to get in trouble. The other tables started to murmur and notice and we became increasingly uncomfortable. When my main course arrived, he wanted some of that too, so I gave him a little of the beef. He said it was too hot so I blew on it for him. Then he wanted another piece so I did the same but he decided it was still too hot and spat it out on my plate. At this point, I was utterly baffled but could do little else but laugh. He took another piece of beef off my plate with his bare hands and I ended up having to eat while cradling my food to my chest and away from his reach. My brother and I acted a little cooler and pretended not to notice his trying to get our attention, in order to calm the situation. This resulted in his running around and creating lots of noise and his mother dragging him inside. While the food was as good as I remembered and the kid was sweet (just a little bold and clearly without anyone to play with), I felt terrible for suggesting the place to my brother. I saw the funny side of it all and quite like when things go a little wrong, as it makes a day memorable but I know others don't always feel the same way.
The next day was a lot calmer. I skyped with my best friend living in Hong Kong and then went to play board games at a friend's place. The following week was spent having dinner with a pal who lives in England now, getting tea and talking for hours with my best friend, and planning our trip to Galway. On Saturday, we headed off to the west coast and arrived in Galway in the evening. We got to our apartment in Salthill and then strolled into town and had a drink before our dinner reservation. Upon arriving at the restaurant I discovered Bell X1 and another band had just been in, as they were playing at the International Arts Festival, but, crucially, I also learned that they had eaten the last of the pork belly...having ordered my second pick off the menu, I went to the bathroom, where my second restaurant incident of the month took place.
I noticed, as I locked the door, that the lock was a bit dodgy but ignored my intuition (why do I always make this mistake?) and closed it fully. When I tried to unlock it, I noticed that the knob was loose and not turning the bar that slid across to open and close the door. I turned it repeatedly and, at the noise, a girl outside asked me if I was okay. I told her what had happened and she went to ask a waitress for help before returning shortly to say that it was, apparently, common and to keep turning. She left before I could say that wiggling it was not going to solve the problem. After another girl came and went without being much help, I began to get panicky and rang my father to tell him what had happened. Then next thing I knew, my father, brother and the owner were all gathered outside the cubicle, passing me knives under the door and giving me advice on how to jimmy the lock into place. I could see, however, that the bar was knocked out of place and removing it was the only thing that would fix it and kept asking for a screwdriver. My pleas were ignored and my dad even attempted to kick the door in before, finally, a screwdriver was passed under the door to me. I removed the lock and escaped, without succumbing to a panic attack, and walked back into the restaurant with all eyes on me. As I moved through the building with burning cheeks and shaky legs, back towards our table, I realised the worst part of the situation: my traitorous family had eaten all the starters without me.
The rest of the trip was less eventful, but in a good way. It mostly involved eating, wandering around, a little shopping, checking out the Hughie O'Donoghue exhibition and going to a market. That evening, my brother and I splashed around in the water while others looked at us like we were lunatics for braving the cold Atlantic sea on an overcast night, before going to an arcade and earning enough tickets to win a ridiculous stuffed flower toy for our mother. Silly as that all sounds, it was incredibly fun and probably the most pure quality time we've had together in a long time. The next day, we awoke to a Galway that was so sunny, it looked like the Mediterranean. Our apartment overlooked the sea and the water was bluer than I've ever seen. Of course, it was the day we were headed home. Obviously. But we made the most of it, ate more good food, splashed around some more, walked along the beach and visited a craft village in Spiddal before Dad drove me all the way back to my apartment in Dublin...I am a little bit spoiled.
By comparison, the following week was relatively quiet, until the weekend, when I had my first proper swim of the summer; tried out a new afternoon tea and fashion tour package in the Fitzwilliam Hotel with my friend Matthew; then spent a solid 12 hours together, hanging out, eating, grabbing a few drinks, listening to our friend, Tom's, music and talking about everything under the sun. Sunday, I grabbed coffee with another pal before going to my best friend's birthday dinner where I was so hangry I spent most of the evening pouting until I was fed and spent that night being thoroughly embarrassed by my behaviour.
In the final week of the month, on the back of travel, getting back into swimming and a burst of motivation in all aspects of my life, I began organising LFW in September in earnest, eating better and deciding to be more active. And I then spent the final weekend of the month getting up earlyish (for me and for the weekend) to go walking all around Blessington Lake with my bestie, playing racquetball with my family, going to see the new Star Trek film with my siblings and cousin, welcoming my little sister back from Thailand, playing with the Thai makeup she bought for me and hanging out and watching terrible television with my parents.
Once again, the month didn't feel eventful to me until I looked back on it. It was only then that I saw how lucky I was to have a life so filled with joy, laughter, good people, wonderful opportunities and great food. My resolution to get in better shape based on that sudden, mysterious burst of motivation halfway through the month is still going strong and will probably shape this month but the biggest takeaway, now that I think about it, is probably the importance of quality time in life. There's simply no substitute in life for a friend spilling their guts to you and you getting suddenly closer; childlike adventures with a younger sibling who is now very much an adult; hilarious mishaps that make the people around you cry with laughter upon recounting them; traveling with loved ones to see a familiar city in a different way; and simply reconnecting with best friends by making time for each other. The best thing in my life is the people and they constantly remind me why that is very much the case.
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