Happy Birthday Ross :)

7 05 2011

Yesterday it was Ross’ birthday, so we all got invited to his apartment for a BBQ. Unfortunately the weather was not that nice :(, but we moved the BBQ cooking to the oven inside, and just did some kebabs on the actual BBQ. But who need a BBQ when you have good friends? I went up a bit earlier to help out a bit with the preparations, but Norah, his apartment mate had everything under control, so there was not much for me to do. (Not that I am complaining about that :P). So I went back home (i.e. down a flight of stairs) to change and returned for the party portion.

People started coming, and I think it was a good number of people. We ate (Nora/Ross’ famous potato salad, Zahra’s great salads, small nibbles, burgers, sausages…you name it we had it)….a lot. There was food to feed an army. But oh well. Isn’t that the way with all parties? Norah and Ross were on cooking duty during the party, Nora (there are 2 of them…notice the H hehe) was on cocktail duty and the rest of us…chilled 🙂 and chatted and ate 🙂 Most of Ross’s friends are also good friends of mine, so it was a really enjoyable evening.

After all of us were stuffed to the brim came the desserts. We had a cake and then lots of party pieces (75 pieces in all hehe…thanks to Iceland). They were actually quite good, especially the profiteroles, which I loved. After some more chatting, the night was coming to an end. I helped them with the cleaning out (a bit haha) and then made my way home. It was a truly enjoyable evening…can we have another one soon?

Happy birthday Ross…hope you enjoyed your bday party as much as we did 🙂

Photos from Zahra’s bday

28 03 2011

Well, the photos from Zahra’s bday party are in. Here you can see the wonderful food:

The delicious food

The delicious food

The friendly people:

The guests

The guests


The guests again

The guests again


The group from DCU (and Ali): Ali, David, Ross, Me, Monika

The group from DCU (and Ali): Ali, David, Ross, Me, Monika

The birthday girl with the cake:

Birthday girl and cake

Birthday girl and cake

No photos of dancing…but that is a good thing I think 🙂

Thank you Zahra for allowing me to borrow the photos (not that I asked hihi…but if its a problem tell me 🙂 )

Happy Birthday Zahra :)

27 03 2011

Yesterday we celebrated Zahra’s birthday. Celebrations came a bit late, since her birthday falls on the Iranian new day, and so most of her friends (and herself) were quite busy celebrating their new year. However she decided to celebrate her birthday nevertheless. So she invited a couple of her friends to her house, where she prepared a banquet of Iranian food, washed down with some Iranian dancing.

All the people from our lab and Monika were to meet outside my apartment building (since I was the only one who knew where she lived, having been there before). I got dressed (bought a new dress in the morning, when I was shopping with Monika…was not planning on buying it, but saw it, liked it and decided to buy it on a whim…not so sure why cos I am not a dress girl, but we will see…I will probably see the photos now and say noooooooo what did I do, but anyways).

Surprisingly enough, everyone made it within 5minutes of the planned meeting time, and we made our way to Zahra’s house, which is a short 15 or so minute walk from where I live. Once we arrived, we were some of the first people there, but being a group of 5 people ourselves made for a merry group. The other people soon started trickling in, and the chatting increased. This time, we were the only non-Iranians there, but they always make an effort to speak English to us, so we still feel part of the group (or perhaps I just bother them too much asking what does this mean in Persian that they just don’t bother…but my Persian vocabulary is increasing 🙂 ).

After some initial nibbles, came (at least my) the favourite part of the night…Iranian food, which Zahra had lovingly prepared. Others in my lab have heard me rave about it, and Zahra certainly did succeed. She had told us to come on an empty stomach, and even though we ate and ate, there was still some leftover hihi. I had the lamb and rice, which I knew were delicious from last time, tried some new types of rice, and had the most mouthwatering sort of stuffed baguette thing with beef…MMMMMMMM. We HAD to go up for seconds hihi 🙂

After the food, came tea and then obviously the DANCING 🙂 I had had my first experience of Iranian dancing during Roya’s birthday, and knew what to expect. This time I was happy to see that Monika dived right in to the dancing, with Ross joining soon after, and then David. Basha had already left home, so he did not get to experience this :(. Well, what we did might not really be called Iranian dancing, cos in no way can I emulate what the Iranians manage to do so effortlessly. But we try (and provided comic relief to the Iranians there).

After round 1 of dancing, came more tea and the cake. And with the cake comes obviously (I am learning now) the Iranian knife dance. This time, I got to have my own dance (Marzieh and Sahar…grrrrrrrr…and Sahar did not even do it herself). However these people had seen me make a fool of myself all evening with my dancing, so whats a little more. Monika did the longest knife dance, and I think she was quite good. I just did the bare minimum and passed it on to the next person 🙂

Here is my favourite Iranian happy birthday song 🙂 It has good bits in English so you should be able to follow. I want it sung at my next birthday 🙂 Cos it is so nice and cute.

After the delicious cake, came more dancing and fun. However by now time had passed (it was after 1am by now, and Ross still had to drive all the way home…a 50minute or so drive). Other people were starting to say their goodbyes, so we decided to join the group, did our goodbye dance and made our way home. Monika and myself embarassed Ross all the way home with our dancing in the middle of the road and singing all the songs from the 90s (though Ross seems to be really handy with all the Spice girls lyrics haha).

Once I got home, I tried to sleep, but I was still on a high from the party, so I watched an episode of a new series I am watching and slept in the middle of it 🙂

Overall a REALLY ENJOYABLE evening…will post photos once they become available.

Thank you Zahra for inviting us to your beautiful home: TAVALODET MOBARAK AZIZAM 🙂

Coffee Morning :)

12 11 2010

Every week, the research students and staff at the School of Biotechnology have a coffee morning. This is organised by each research group in turn, and held on alternate Weds and Fridays. It is really a nice way to get to know other people and meet in an informal way, even if you tend to stay with your own group.

This week it was our research group’s turn. So Ross and myself (the others did not really bother) went shopping yesterday for goodies. We went to Tesco and bought the goodness of Tesco Value :)…Ross was worried that we might not have enough, but I was quite confident that we had enough. Today saw us going up to the room a bit earlier to lay out the food (biscuits, cakes etc) and prepare the coffee. Once the food was laid out, we noticed that we did indeed have quite a lot of food, and in fact only opened around half of the stuff.

11am came and no one came to the room :(…but by 11:05am the first people started arriving. Everyone seemed to congratulate us on the food, and asked us if we baked it ourselves hihi. The coffee morning was a success I think…we also got to take most of the food back. Ross is keeping it for the next coffee morning by our group. But I took a packet of bourbon biscuits mmmmm…I had the first few with my hot chocolate today WIPPIE!!! YUM YUM!

More Maltese in Dublin!

30 10 2010

A few days after I arrived in Dublin, I received an email from a guy I went to Uni with back in Malta, saying that he is moving to Dublin to start a PhD (UCD unfortunately not DCU), and that he had heard rumours that I had moved there. Apparently the HR guy from where I worked before knew him cos they are both Gozitan, and they just met randomly and got to know.

I was delighted. However I had not heard much about when he was coming exactly etc. Earlier on in the week I emailed him and he told me he had just arrived in Dublin with his parents who were helping him to settle down. After a couple of other emails, we decided to meet up today since his parents left early this morning. On Saturdays I generally attend the Coffee and Cake Meetup for the New and Not so New in Dublin, whenever I have nothing else I have to go to. Therefore I invited him along, and he agreed. I think it is great because like this he can also meet other people.

We met around 2 hours before and we proceeded to walk across town (whilst chatting away in Maltese). We arrived at the cafe early (of course) and had some coffee and cake together, until the other people came along. I really enjoyed my time with him (and the others). It is good to catch up and it seems that we are going through the same process. We both applied to various PhDs, then got accepted for some, then as the time came close, we got scared and started having crazy thought about going to the easy work life, but now we are here. Excited (but scared), and waiting to get on with it. We both seem to have the same philosophy as regards the PhD, so the discussion was good. It is also good to know that there is someone you know who will probably be here for the whole 3 or so years I will be doing my PhD. Although we live far away (across the city)…so around 1 hour by bus I would think…it is good to know that if the worse come to the worse you can contact him 🙂

I had a great time today. The Meetup was great as always (although the number of people who came was limited…probably due to a Halloween party being held tonight by the same Meetup group)…and I had a great time with George. Looking forward to our next meeting…maybe next week’s coffee and cake?

Visit to Town

16 10 2010

This week, I went again to the New and Not so New in Dublin Coffee and Cake meetup at Milk and Coffee in Dublin. This means that I get an excuse to get into town (it is quite expensive here to use buses…Eur1.60 to get to town, which is around 15mins away (and another Eur1.6o to come back) is a minimum, and the service is not that great.  But anyways. Since I was going to town, I decided to go in a bit earlier and do some shopping. Ross from Uni had suggested a good shopping area, and that is where I went. It is just off the main road me and my mum had trawled all over last time we were here. But we are not that adventurous. So this area was uncharted before in my internal Dublin map.

What did I find?…more and more and more…larger and larger and larger shops than I had seen elsewhere in Dublin. I did not buy much, but I bought some much needed stuff. Most importantly? I am the proud owner of a new mouse…for my laptop that is:

My new mouse

My new mouse

 I actually wanted one of the colourful ones such as this:

The colourful sister to my mouse

The colourful sister to my mouse

But the guys at Logitech have forgotten to include Malta in the list of billing addresses pffff. So a plain one it is.

After some shopping I made my way to the Meetup. It was nice to meet up with some of the people from last time. However most people were new. It was like out of around 40people there, 30 must have been completely different to last time. But that is great. Cos you get to meet up with new people. I am really enjoying these coffee and cake activities. I get to meet different people and have a really pleasant time discussing anything and everything. Today we discussed anything from French strikes to the Irish recession to Oktoberfest to Costume parties. It is also great cos I get to network…I got some ideas from my dissertation…so that is always good. And the hot chocolate I had was also mmmmmmmmmmmm mmmmmmmmm.

I won’t be able to make it next week, cos I have special plans for then. However I will certainly be back.


2 10 2010

OK…so weekends where what I was most scared of coming up to Dublin. You have nowhere you actually have to be, and you can plan anything you want. And yes, that might not be such a good thing when you are in a foreign country and know no one. But day 1 of weekend 1 has come and nearly gone and I can actually say I enjoyed myself. The day flew by :). This morning I ran a number of errands (bought a duvet, pillows and a mobile phone)…WIPPIE!…no more using a bunch of clothes as a pillow and my coat as a duvet :). I also learnt all about togs hihi…I now have a 13.5 tog Duvet…hope it is fine.

 After lunch, however I had something I was most looking forward too. My sister had suggested (insisted?), I go into the Meetup.com website and join in. This website is basically a list of groups, which you can search, join and then receive details of meetups. I joined a couple, and have been receiving invites for a couple of weeks to just get a feel of what is organised. Last week I flagged one which I though was interesting…it was a Coffee and Cake activity, organised by the New and Not so New to Dublin meetup group. It was scheduled for 3pm at Milk and Honey Cafe. I made my way there, and was immediately welcomed by the host Pasquale.

I spent a truly enjoyable 3 hours with these people, chatting about everything and getting to know each other (I also had a delicious hot chocolate). It feels great to meet up with other people. Most are foreigners, although some have been living in Dublin for years…the most I think was one lady living in Dublin for the past 11 years. I think I took the honours of having been in Dublin for the shortest period of time…2 days. One other girls was pretty close at 3 days hihi.

I also learnt that another Maltese girl is active in the group. However she was not present today. I hope to meet up soon with her, cos it is always nice to meet Maltese people. I really enjoyed myself, and look forward to attending other meetups with this group. Today we were around 30people, and this activity happens every week. So I will certainly be back. They also meet up every Monday for drinks…but will need to see the details for that, cos it depends on when I finish Uni, and what is up. I already have something in my calendar for Monday :).

Yeah, I have now set up a google calendar, so that I could insert all the activities in Dublin I come across. Then on the day (or some time before), I can choose what to do. I have a number of recurring events included, particularly during the weekend. Which is great (or grand…as all the Irish say…yes here EVERYTHING is grand hihi), as I know that every weekend I can find things to do.