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 🙂 )

A Night Out In

6 02 2011

Yesterday I had a night out, where I actually went in 🙂 Hmmm…that sounds complicated. Well, it was a night out, but I stayed inside. Why? Because Zahra, the other girl on the ATWARM PhD programme in our lab, invited me over to her house for the evening. She had been softly inviting me for some time now, but I never really wanted to suggest it myself. Well, last Friday after Uni she said it again, and so yesterday morning we chatted a bit and somehow got around to the invitation. Zahra told me to go with my tummy empty and be prepared to eat. Hmmm no complaints about that. Therefore yesterday at 5pm saw me going to her place. I bought an apple pie on the way (yes I know…crappy present) and off I was.

We did not get around to doing much, but got around to doing plenty. I have missed such nights out, where you go to someone’s place, and just eat, chat and have a good time. The only other time I did that in Dublin was when I had the movie night with Monika. These are the best evening. No stress, no dressing up. Just lounging around. It was Zahra, her husband, and myself. Unfortunately other people from the lab had gone home for the weekend, since they are Irish and so they could not make it.

So what did we get up to? We chatted, watched youtube videos of Malta and Iran, and a couple of Iranian and Maltese music (I showed them some Wintermoods, Sammy Bartolo, Freddie Portelli, the Malta…Truly Mediterranean videos and a couple of others). I really liked the Iranian music too (although I could not understand most of it hihi).  I also got to see parts of Zahra and Ali’s wedding video, and continued to confirm that Iranian girls are BEAUTIFUL.

As promised Zahra had cooked a big dinner of Iranian food. We had (OK not the actual titles, but you can get the idea) some rice with herbs, nuts and potatoes, lamb with sauce, chicken, mushrooms, sort of meat and potato burgers and some salad. Yes lots of food I tell you (and all this after the nibbles at the beginning). We also had ice-cream for dinner.

Suddenly without knowing I looked at the time and noticed how much time had passed…time flies when you are having fun :). So I got to leave, but the ever gracious Ali and Zahra walked me to my apartment. It was a nice walk. After the earlier rain, the air was clear. Just the smell of burning wood in the air. We said our good byes and they left.

I look forward to another such an evening. Thank you Zahra and Ali.

Bia Baghalan (hope I wrote it correctly)

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 🙂

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 🙂

My First Visitor…Day 1

26 10 2010

Sorry for not posting much lately, but I have been kept quite busy over the weekend. The first visitor to my humble abode came on Saturday afternoon and left early this morning (too early might I say but anyways). And this was no ordinary visitor…weeee I got a visit from my dear bf Bernard. Luckily Monday (yesterday) was a bank holiday here in Ireland. Therefore I got the whole day to spend with him :). We had figured that out after he had already bought the ticket, so it was a pleasant surprise.

After picking him up at the airport, we immediately made our way to my residence. Luckily I do not live far away from the airport (10minute bus ride), and so we were soon there. We dropped everything off and we left to go to the Omni Park nearby, here I generally do all my shopping. We went round for a bit since it was soon closing time (yes shops in Ireland have quite short opening times, especially at weekends and public holidays) and then went to search for someplace to eat. I do not get round much, and the area I live in is quite residential. So restaurants are not that plentiful. However at the omni park we found Eddie Rockets store and we decided on that (we also had McDonalds, Burger King, KFC, Pizza Hut and a Chinese restaurant to choose from…it is surprising that in such a small place you would get all the main fast food restaurants within less than a minute’s walk from each other…generally these are joined by Subway as well…but this is a recurring theme in Dublin).

I had a Grilled Pineapple Hamburger whilst Bernard had a Smokestack. After dinner we opted for an apple pie with ice cream and a milkshake. The food was really delicious  and the portions quite big MMMMMMM. We have nothing to complain about that. Any complaints are regarding the service, if there was any. After around 10minutes of having sat down we had to ask for a menu to be brought to us. Then we had to flag down a waiter to get our order taken (although she did excuse herself). However once we were successful at ordering, the food did not take too long to arrive and it was mouth-watering. Another complaint I would make would be that we ordered a combo. However on the receipt they place on the table, the price of the separate items is shown. Then when we ordered dessert, we got another receipt showing just the deserts we had ordered, however we got a price of around 30Eur. We ate everything and went to pay. We were told that the receipts always come out like that. Then they will discount the combo meal and the total price would show on each additional receipt even though nothing shows this.

At this point we were full and tired. We went back to the residence, I watched some Grey’s Anatomy whilst Bernard set up my Irish mobile. Then we had a good night’s sleep 🙂

Strasbourg Day 5: Course day 4

23 09 2010

Today was the fourth day of the course. This was a different day however…no lectures were held. Instead, following what we have learnt during the past days we had to split into groups and prepare a presentation of how we would tackle a particular climate change related issue. Our group is composed of Andrea (the Maltese guy) and the three people from Strasbourg with whom we have been eating etc: Marlene, Marie and Gaylord (I figured out his name cos I saw it written down and it is his actual name).

Well our group is working on a situation of extreme rainfall with high frequency in an African context. I think we did a good job during the day. We also had breaks for coffee and lunch. For lunch we went to Les Expat, where it was suggested to have croques. This is a sort of toast with cheese on top.



We finished our presentation at around 4 (we will be presenting tomorrow), went for a beer, and then we all left our separate ways. I walked around, visited the Strasbourg history museum (really good…you get a head set which explains what is happening etc…really liked it), walked a bit some more and then came to the hotel. I have now packed (most things) and am surfing the net. Will soon go out to eat however cos I am getting hungry. Then I will be meeting Andrea, Marlene and Gaylord for some drinks.

Will hopefully not be too late cos tomorrow I need to wake up earlier than usual (at 8:15 need to be at the Uni) to go to the Council of Europe, where we will have a tour and do the presentations.

Merci pour votre attention 😀