Invited to your home!

16 03 2011

Last Friday I had another activity with the OLV family. This time the whole family and not just the OLV young adult group. Peter was a trainee pastoral worker who spent part of his traineeship at OLV. His traineeship at the parish ended a couple of weeks ago (read more about the OLV young adult group farewell here). However the people of the parish decided to organise a get together for him, and one of the ladies involved in the church, Mary, opened her house for a group from the parish for a small get together for Peter.

I had been uncertain about going, as this was my first activity outside of the OLV young adult group, but with the wider family. But since Colette and Ian were going, and I liked Peter, and Colette was going to pick me up and I had a good rest after the sampling and sample processing I decided to go ahead.

I am glad I went after all. The people were all really welcoming, and we had some good discussions (OK I mainly chatted to Colette…her poor head must have ached a bit after, but I chatted to some other people too). The food was really good too…although I got a bit too much for my liking…I was asked a question which I could not understand quite clearly…I asked to have it repeated again and still could not understand…as usual I tried to guess…and assumed it was…was the food good?…so I replied yes…apparently it was do you want more?…so more food is what I got…though I must not complain too much about that hehe :).

I like the welcoming aspect of the OLV family (and many people in Ireland from what I can see), in that they are very welcoming. Peter, said that this welcome is not something that happens everywhere. And we discussed the aspect of welcoming quite a bit with him. I am glad I made that decision to become involved in the OLV group (although sometimes I think my intentions are not that ‘catholic’).

I also got to meet the new trainee pastoral worker (Mary as well). She has been in the parish for a couple of weeks now. But I have not met her yet. I do not think she is as involved as Peter was, and I doubt she will make it to the 630 Gospel Mass I go to and interact with us. Oh Well. We will see. Peter made a huge impact on us. Will see what Mary has to offer.

Overall a great night, though it got a bit shaky towards the end, where as usual one Irish guy drank a slight bit too much (I think…or maybe it is his nature) and started taking over all conversation with stupid comments. Oh Well.

Thank you Mary for organising the activity, and everyone at OLV for welcoming me 🙂


Busy Time! and Taize prayers :)

16 03 2011

Sorry for not posting at all in the past week, but I have been extremely busy working on a 1 week sampling programme, which meant collecting samples and then being in the lab every day for a week (Sat and Sun included) to process the samples. It was quite a learning experience and I am glad I did it, as I learnt some useful techniques. However I am now happy it is over, and I can get to working on my project. This does not mean that it was all work and no play (though mainly work).

On Thursday the people at OLV young adult group (OK actually it was 99% Ian’s work) organised a Taize style prayer meeting. Such prayer services have started being held in the church every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings at 7.30pm a couple of months ago, instead of a daily evening mass, which was not possible to maintain. I never usually go to them, but seeing that it was a Taize style one and Ian was organising it, I decided to go along and give a helping hand.

I really enjoyed it I must say. Ian organised it beautifully. The setting was really calming (he has lots of patience to have switched on all those candles on his own). The readings etc were related and the music was really nice. So congrats Ian. I will definitely be back  whenever you organise the next one (or perhaps I can help you a bit more than this time…I just showed up and read a prayer (A).

Pancake Tuesday

8 03 2011

Today was my first Pancake Tuesday ever. In Malta we do not have such a day. Probably cos we like to celebrate more, and so have 4 days of Carnival. Why have one day when you can have 4? I had been hearing about this, and was invited to a Pancake Tuesday event at the OLV church, where people from the 6:30 Mass I go to were organizing the event. Basically it worked out as a sort of get together. Pancakes were brought in and we had a couple of drinks and other sweets and we just had a good chat and a good time. I had pancakes with nutella, maple syrup and cream (not all together) and they were delicious MMMMMMMM.

I also enjoyed the conversation, in particular with two German girls, and then the priest joined us, where we discussed a couple of topics, and also how different Irish people are to our cultures. We discussed such aspects as problems in religion and faith, priesthood, Irish drinking and Carnival. I always enjoy talking to Fr Fenton. He is a canon lawyer and knows a good deal about many things, and I feel you can actually have a good discussion about most subjects. It was the first time I really talked to the Germany girls but they are both really nice.

A good day overall 🙂

Who are the Dubs?

22 02 2011

As I said previously, last weekend I went to see 2 Irish hurling and football games, with Dublin playing. On the game programme, there were a couple of articles. However one, written by Tom Humphries (Irish Times), really caught my eye. It is called You’re a Dub if…, and gives a couple of facts about what makes people a Dubliner. A couple caught my eye, and I wanted to share with you. At the dinner, after the game, I also discussed them with the other people in the OLV group. Well here goes:

You’re a Dub if…the women in your family go to the shops wearing their pyjamas

Yeps. People here have a weird sense of style. I have seen people wearing pyjama trousers EVERYWHERE. The city centre, shopping, even in church. I cannot understand this phenomenon. According to people in OLV (they find this phenomenon strange too), most Dubs think that putting the pyjama trouser bottom into your boots further elevates your fashion sense. The weird clothing I have seen here. It would be freezing and people are wearing the shortest hot pants or skirts, with no tights or anything. Well, whatever makes them reproduce the most, according to one former lecturer of mine.

…you consider a jacket over your Dubs jersey to be formal wear

…you think that buying a Dubs jersey in anything other than a size too small is a fashion howler

Others to do with clothing. Yeps, tracksuits and ultra casual clothes are the way to go here (there are clothes I would only consider to be suitable to go on a hike with, and perhaps sport training, but not to go to the centre of town.

Those are the ones that particularly struck me. Other interesting/funny ones are:

…you have bags of spuds but southsiders have ‘sex’ of potatoes

This sounds like someone talking with a Maltese accent hihi

…You know that Hugh Hefner is A Heff but that Kevin Hefferman is, ‘The Heff’

…Your mortgage has you broke, but it’s a useful half hour conversation [Oh God have I heard about the recession since I moved here]

…You think safe sex is when you stop the car first

…the opening half hour of Saving Private Ryan reminds you of your days playing junior football

Then there are a couple related to Dublin’s dubious track record in winning in hurling or football games, and their rivalry with Cork

…You once had a poster on your wall with a prayer which began ‘Bless the Dubs O Lord we pray, keep them on their winning way’

…You know for a fact that the GAA [the Irish games association responsible for football and hurling] exists purely as a mechanism for keeping Dublin down

…You tell anybody that asks that the Dubs are the worst ever. That you are never going again. But in your heart this is the year, this is always the year.

Regarding the last, I seem to have brought them luck last weekend. Let’s hope it lasts. I believe this is their year…Oh NOOO I am becoming a Dub 🙂

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 🙂