I’m just sitting in university freezing my socks off despite multiple layers of clothes including thermal vests given by Nana last time I was home. I’m finally back in Vienna after weeks of revelry, ending in an intense four days of eating, drinking, sleeping and singing in Connemara – a little green paradise surrounded by the Twelve Bens mountain range and countless golden beaches on the west coast of Ireland. Considering I’m from Ireland I haven’t really taken advantage of the amazing little villages and landscape to be found on each coast, and had never actually been to this gem of a place before. But despite the never-ending thunderous wind and rain, it has to be one of the most beautiful and peaceful places in the world.
The first day of the visit was really a day of firsts – first time on the West Coast, first scallop, first crab claw, first Pollock. Actually I think I ended up eating Pollock every day (because I’m a pescatarian, and despite me assuring Jack’s mum that I was perfectly happy with vegetables and potatoes at dinner, she sweetly insisted on putting aside some fresh Pollock for me at every meal. I truly was a Pollock Pillock.)
New Year’s eve itself was a frenzy of champagne, sparkling accessories on sticks and an unforeseen singing competition which I would usually find hellish. On announcing the competition rules, Uncle Paul exclaimed, ‘I’ve heard that this young lady’ – pointing at me -‘has a lovely singing voice!’ I don’t know who started that rumour but it’s a downright lie. Still, if I can give a warbley rendition of ‘Galway Girl’ in front of ten people I’ve only just met, I can do anything. Perhaps will consider signing up for next year’s Britain’s Got Talent. Other acts included a surprise team outburst of ‘American Pie’, led by Mark, and a most…moving re-enactment of ‘The Lake Isle of Innisfree’. By the early hours of the morning the party was in full-swing. I’d even developed an alter-ego – Clare from Norfolk – who was quite adept as both a joke-teller and executor of a group performance of ‘Wagon Wheel’. Hurray for Clare!
And the carousing didn’t die down the next day, or the next. I think I’ve drunk more wine in four days than I have altogether since arriving in Austria. It’s safe to say that for the next four weeks I will be taking a much-needed break and try to detox myself in preparation for the looming exams. This is not going well so far. Since waking up this morning I’ve discarded my French Literature copy in favour of cutting pictures of clothes out of style magazine, been to buy Prosecco for my housemates return from Milan this evening and baked two batches of chocolate chip cookies. There’s just no changing some people, I suppose.
Anyway, off I go. I’m going to an organised study session at Ashley’s house with Ayesha. ‘Organised study’ in this context can be translated as tea-drinking and eating the characteristically burnt biscuits from my first batch while discussing such important topics as the Christmas break and complaining about not studying.
Again, Happy New Year to you all. Much love, as always,
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