Christmas in Malta

28 12 2010

More than half my Christmas holiday in Malta has passed now (sniff sniff). Today week I will be back in Ireland and the cold (barring any flight cancellations). The past 1.5weeks has been quite eventful, as Christmas back home tends to be. I have mainly just slipped into Bernard’s life in the evenings and on holidays and doing bits and bobs of my own in the mornings. I have been to party after party, meal after meal. How else can you celebrate if not by food? However it is a fun way to meet the others.

Most of the activities were related to ZAK. To date 2 parties…and tonight I will have the third weeeee. The party tonight is an end of year activity for ZAK, and Bernard will be playing during mass, and at a mini concert they will be giving after before the DJ music starts. So for the past days I have had more ZAK :)…with rehearsals for tonight. However I enjoy myself (unless it starts getting boring hehe) and so do not mind. I also had an in-law party at Bernard’s house, where they invited all the family’s gf/bfs and their parents to…what else…eat. Bernard had a half day off so I went over to their house earlier to help in the cooking. However Bernard’s sister and her bf had already started so it was not too much work hihi. I also got to know Bernard’s sister’s b better :)…to date I had only met him for a total of about 3 minutes. He is great fun (I approve 😛 :P…not that you need my approval haha).

On Christmas eve we went window shopping in Valletta and then to midnight mass at the University Chapel…where I got to meet up with a couple of other friends who are always there. Then on Christmas Day we had lunch at my aunt’s house…MMMMMMMMMMM as usual…and in the evening we went to Bernard’s house, where we visited his grandfather and then played board games/cards at Bernard’s house with his sis, her bf and Bee’s brother. And I already wrote about my big present from Bernard. WEEEEEEE…it was fitting a big tightly (I have chubby fingers…what can I do), and I have now altered it to fit weeeeeeee. My fingers are a chubby size 17 for future reference :P. Sunday saw me meeting up with ex colleagues from GSD…Ruth, Lenny, Mario and Clarissa…with their husbands/wives/gf/bf…and CHILDREN (including 1 on the way…congratulations Ruth). It is always great to meet up with them again, as I enjoyed their friendship during my time at GSD, and I was thrilled to be invited to join them. The conversation did not ebb one minute as always and it is good to catch up.

My Christmas hols are not all play (and food however). I cannot switch off completely ever it seems. I have put in some time of work (would not call it hours). Working on a poster, a lit review and a paper…however this is done in a snatched 30mins here and an hour here. Not very productive, but it is the way I work best.

Hopefully u will get another update soon. Hope you had a VERY HAPPY MERRY CHRISTMAS 🙂


25 12 2010

Weeeee…got one of my best Christmas pressies today :)…Bernard gave me an engagement ring weeeeee…I (obviously) said yes…so you might ask when is the big day…not really sure…but if you are really nosy I will tell you that it will be on the 30th of February 2012 🙂

It is a really nice ring…(he bought it according to my liking)…according to his description (I would not know anything about rings) it has a princess cut diamond, 0.15ct, with a band of 18ct white gold

I also got some photos to take up with me to Dublin.

Thank you Bernard…for the past wonderful 5.5years and the coming years together


Lab Christmas Dinner

15 12 2010

A few weeks ago our supervisors asked whether we would be up with going out to dinner as a lab outing. We obviously had no problems with that and a date was set for yesterday (since from then on the lab members will start dwindling with 3 of us having left the country by the end of the week). The location was set to the Mona Lisa Restaurant at the centre of town and the reservation was at 6. However a couple of us decided to head to town earlier and go to a pub (as you do just before dinner).

So Ross, Annmarie, Zahra, Basha and myself left the lab to head to town where we met with Mark (a student who finished his MSc earlier on in the year) at Fitzgerald’s Bar just across the O’Connell Bridge. I had only met him briefly before at the BRS Pub Crawl, but did not get to chat with him much. He is really nice and you could easily chat on and on with him. We had a couple of drinks, then headed to the restaurant. Kieran (one of the supervisors) was there, and we were soon joined by Anne and John (2 other supervisors) and David (a PhD student who stayed longer at the lab since he had his PhD transfer today).

We all decided on the Christmas menu, where we had a starter, main course and dessert for €19.95. I opted for Garlic Ciabatta, Chicken with Wild Mushroom and Port Sauce and Apple Pie to close. The food was quite good, and the company was even better. Although we did get to discuss some subjects which might not be the best idea to discuss (religion and politics). But everything went well and no one got offended or anything. The discussions did not waver for one minute and I quite enjoyed myself, even though I was sitting just opposite one of the supervisors and I would have thought it would have been a bit more awkward. But oh well, I can generally talk to anyone, and I do not think I said anything I should not have.

After dinner, what do you do? Go to another pub. Mulligans it was. David, Zahra and Basha headed off but the rest of us trooped on.  This pub looks really traditional and they even had an open fire. The discussions went on (whilst the guys drank more Guinness) until first Annmarie had to leave since her bf had come up to give her a lift back home. At around 10:45pm Ross and myself also headed off to catch one of the last buses back home (thus preventing the need for a taxi), leaving the others behind.

Overall an enjoyable evening…when shall we go next??


A Christmassy Weekend

13 12 2010

I could say that last weekend was full of Christmas cheer. Here in Dublin the Christmas feeling is in. My first Christmas activity was the Pub Crawl by the BRS last Thursday (read more about that here). At the weekend a couple of other Christmassy activities were held.

On Saturday I went to the OLV young adult group Christmas activity. We were to meet up in town. However I had no idea of where the place was. So I met Ian and Colette at the bus stop and we went into town together. There we were supposed to meet Fabrice at the City Bank (I think). We were expecting him to be on time, but there was no sign of him, and it was cold. After quite a wait it dawned on me that if someone said the bank in Dublin I would not go to the actual place we were but to another place further up the street. Fabrice is from the Mauritius and although he has been living in Dublin for 3 years I thought he might have made the same mistake. So off Ian went and indeed…there he was at the other place.

We quickly went into City Bar where we had to meet the others. It was quite a good group of people and as Emer had booked in we got tables and sofas reserved (although not enough for all of us 🙂 ). We chatted and drank together and I got appalled at the really high prices for eating out in Dublin as usual. We got 2 big platters of food to share consisting of sausages, chips, chicken wings and onion rings. Granted they were big platters, but I doubt their actual cost would be more than €5, or at most €10. So €20 for the platter would be acceptable. These were €40 each. This is normal everywhere here in Dublin and I am slowly getting used to it. And I had lots of fun, which is the most important.

On Sunday I went into town to see the Christmas decorations and shop around the place. Then I met up with Monika, another girl on the ATWARM programme because I had invited her to join me on Meetup for the New and Not so New in Dublin group. I had seen they were going to the Christmas Market at the Docklands and had really wanted to go The promotion states:

The Christmas markets of Germany are famous for evoking an unparalleled magical festive feeling. This year that authentic Germanic magic is coming to the IFSC in Dublin’s Docklands at the Docklands Christmas Market

I admit. I have not been to many German Christmas markets (one in Hyde Park last year to be exact), and have not lived for any length of time in Germany (a total of  around 5.5 weeks counting all trips). But this was certainly not my idea of a German Christmas market. The only German thing I saw was the food…Sausages and beer :). There were no wooden ornaments or anything similar. But we did get healing magnetic bracelets haha. Nevertheless I really enjoyed myself talking to Monika and the other people at the meetup…and…I got a photograph taken with Santa :).

Overall a fun weekend! Christmas here I come 🙂

Pub Crawling

10 12 2010

Yesterday I went on my first ever pub crawl with the BRS…the Biological Research Society at DCU. It was organised as part of the Christmas festivities by the BRS, with the event starting at 3:30pm. Therefore after our lab meeting we rushed back to lab got our things and proceeded to the BRS pub crawl. The pub crawl was divided into 2 parts. The first part was the actual pub crawl. We were given a list of clues from which we had to figure out which pub in Dublin it is. We then traveled around Dublin going from Pub to Pub collecting playing cards which were stuck at the different pubs, memorabilia, answers to questions on the pub (and general science) or its vicinity and more importantly receipts from drinks :).

On our team we were Ross, Zahra and myself from our lab and Zahra’s husband Ali. We then joined up with another group (basically because we had no idea of the pub names). I impressed (hmmm not sure if that is the right word) the others with my strict adherence to the rules (and disregard for anything else)…but I think they were won over by the end of the night when I had collected a good stash of receipts and not being drunk….ohhh so much for being resourceful. I also managed to find a couple of cards (once I remembered about them and actually started to look for them).

I also got to visit the smallest pub in Dublin…it is positively claustrophobic and tiny (it is underground to boot), but Oh so quaint and cute…but let us say that the patrons were not so enthusiastic to see a bunch of people traipsing in and looking for stuff…we would have filled it on our own…but Oh well! Here is it in all its glory 🙂

The Dawson's Lounge...yes it through that door u have to go in :)

The Dawson's Lounge...yes it through that door u have to go in 🙂

The last pub was the Gingerman, where the lower bar was reserved for us and we could mingle, chat, drink and eat :). We did not stay long at this place ‘cos we had been out all day and we were getting tired. But overall a really great night. I really enjoyed myself and cannot wait for next year (I will have my strategy improved considerably muhahhahaha). I am glad I went, especially since I was not so enthusiastic in the beginning.

So thank you BRS for a wonderful afternoon-evening-night 🙂