Family, fights and flights

Friday April 4th 2014

Dia dhaoibh arís!!

Once again I’ll start with a countdown of my time at college and say I only have about 4 weeks of lectures left before my exams and the end of my year as a fresher. It’s absolute madness. The past year has been a blur- an exciting, fun (and work) filled blur but a fast moving blur none the less.

Being back at college was strange last week as I had just come back from a two week break and was still in holiday mode. Two weeks back home in good old Donegal was unreal. I would love to say that I made the most of it and had new amazing adventures everyday but alas, all I can say is that I took it easy and relaxed at home for most of it. It wasn’t all lying around though so never fear!
During the midterm, my UCD team and I had an All Ireland semi final to play. I was beyond ecstatic at this. My first year here and we were in an All Ireland Semi? I’ll take that! The day of the match I was, in true Áoise form, relaxing in my apartment when my fellow Michaela scholar Fionnuala asked me where I was playing as she also had a semi final to play. Turns out that we were playing against each other- if the nerves were bad before, they were nothing compared to now!! So we travelled to Dundalk and unfortunately for me, we were unsuccessful. I was absolutely devastated but they were by far the better team on the day and I wouldn’t have wanted to lose to any other person but a fellow scholar. It softened the blow that Coleraine then went on to win the All Ireland Final so we lost to the champions at least! Big congrats to Fionnuala also on the win, she’s raking in the All Ireland titles!

Over my break, I attended a charity boxing night between my home football club and the local rugby club. This is the fifth year the event has been running and it was as successful as ever. My friend and my brother were both fighting in it so I was unbelievably excited. It was a great night all round and St Eunans won the event overall.
Even better than that my brother, Dualtach, won his fight by miles- although I would be entitled to be biased, it was the best fight of the night! My sister Deirdre and I both had different reactions watching him fight. Whereas I was chanting for him and cheering him on, my older sister had her hands up to her face, supporting him but worried at the same time. It was strange to see and I didn’t quite understand why until I thought about the fact that it was her little brother- she had the natural instinct to protect him and didn’t want him to get hurt. He was my big brother- my assumption was that he couldn’t get hurt, he was invincible. (Turns out he’s not- his red hair makes him prey for the sun. Sunburn is his kryptonite.)

Being the youngest in a family of seven, I never had to deal with this problem- everyone was older than me and I looked up to them and still do, in different ways. Áine was the oldest sister, the wisest- well she had a gift for being the wisest and least wise person at the same time. She is my cinema buddy for all things superhero. Fionnuala was the one who made you feel tall-even as a child. She was the first of us to take the walk down the aisle and she set the bar high for how to look on our wedding days.
Deirdre was the go to girl for Disney films. She’s a bit of a fixer upper but she conceals it, doesn’t feel it and doesn’t let people know. (Any Frozen fans with me? No?) She was the pretty one with the awesome personality (she has a whole list of other things I could say but I’ll leave it there).
Dualtach is the only boy on the family and obviously the only brother I have. Even though he’s a bit of a half wit, it was just natural to look up to him. He was one of the reasons I got involved in football and where I got my wit from. Seána was the one who shared my love of football and supported me in it. After games, we always sit down and analyse everything!
Sinéad was only a year and a half older than me so we basically grew up together and we were the closest. We have the same sense of humor.
Now that I have two nephews, I can maybe understand how it feels to have a younger sibling. It’s definitely something different!

Even though I adore my family, it’s nice to get away from them for a while (you know yourself) which is why I’m even more excited about the fact that my friends and I have a June holiday booked in Portugal. This will be my first holiday in years and my first one with my friends so I am looking forward to it so much. Sun, sand and señors – yes please.

Bhuel sin é a chairde! Slán go fóill,

Áoise

P.S word of advice, never leave your window open when you leave the house. Charlotte learned the hard way today when a pigeon, er, relieved itself on her bedroom carpet.