A Post Long in the Making

27 06 2011

First of all, sorry for taking so long to update you all (although some of you are certainly happy cos you don’t have to read what I write). But I have been quite busy and been up to so many things, I had to check my calendar to see what I got up to. First up was a visit to Belfast to meet my supervisor there. This was the third time I met him, though I have been in contact with him regularly via email. So On Wednesday 15th May I made my way up to Belfast, to be there ready for the meeting next morning at 9am. I planned the trip to allow me some time to go around Belfast on the Wednesday, and luckily had some gorgeous weather allowing me to wander around the city and take in some sights. Thursday was a day at the University. I will write more on that in myresearch blog in the coming days however, as I do not want to bore you about my research here.

On Friday, I then woke up as usual ready for my day at Uni. However I received a special call from Bernard asking me about my plans for the weekend. He does not normally call, but Oh well, I thought it was a nice thing. However before saying goodbye he asked me whether I was able to pick him up from the airport that night, and that is when the rollercoaster began. YIPPIE!…he decided to come on a surprise visit. That meant that I first had to organise my room a bit, and keep up with the Uni stuff. That evening I had a birthday party for one of the girls from the School of Biotechnology, Markella. I headed to her birthday party, but then had to leave early to go pick up Bernard from the airport at around midnight. Fortunately, Ross offered to drive me to the airport to pick Bernard up, which made things much easier, since buses stop running at this time (thank you Ross). We arrived a bit late to pick up Bernard (though it was because the plane landed very early), and then headed home.

The weekend was a packed weekend. We went shopping, visited the Street Performers World championship in Dublin (great event, really enjoyed it, even though it rained), went to the Jameson Distillery Tour (where we got selected to get a whiskey tasting…though at 12 noon it might not have been the brightest idea, but it was great fun), went to Monika’s for the evening where she told us all about her trip to China for a conference and Zahra and Ali showed us the photos from their trip to Malta and Italy. Then Monday, I made my way to the lab, since I had a couple of things I had to do after my visit to Belfast and so on, whilst Bernard entertained himself in the city centre. That evening, a good friend of mine, Marco, was visiting Dublin and DCU, with a group of 9 other Maltese for a course on Science education and inclusion, organised by AcrossLimits from Malta and DCU partners. So that evening, Bernard and myself joined the group for dinner at the city centre.

Tuesday morning, was time for Bernard to leave 😦 :(. However since Marco et al were in Dublin, I ended up going out to dinner with them most nights. The whole group was a great lot. I really enjoyed myself with them and we really had a great time. I hope they did not mind myself butting in to all their evening activities, but oh well, they seemed to be OK about it. It was a good craic as they say in Ireland. The group finally left on Friday afternoon (Boohoo, but thank you Marco for the goodies weeeeee, and Bernard too 🙂 ).

The weekend was here again in the blink of an eye. Oh I forgot, I went to a softball game on Wednesday, and we WON!!!!…I did some good plays, and some horrible ones as well, but Oh Well. I was pretty tired when the weekend arrived, but first up was a farewell party for Ilaria, a girl from Italy who was doing her masters at DCU. I was pretty exhausted, but I made it to her house and stayed for a bit, before going home to flop into bed and sleep a long long sleep.

The weekend was pretty relaxed. On Saturday I went to IKEA with Monika. Then Sunday I went to softball training and to mass. Then it was back to another week. Sorry for a long post, but I tried to include everything in it. Sorry for the delay, but I was quite busy, and I needed a whole weekend to get my energy back up to write it. Will try to write more regularly, and keep the posts shorter from now on 🙂

A great day to Softball!

10 04 2011

Lately, we have been having some great weather in Dublin. Today temperatures rose to 20 deg C, and the sun was out in full force, and therefore it was a great day to go back onto the field to play softball :). After my initial Irish softball experience, I was planning to start playing with the Flyers. However earlier on in the week I got the bad news from one of the girls, Cora, that the Flyers were no more 😦 Luckily she suggested another team: the Renegades. They also play in the Northside, however they are by no way as close as the other team (or more accurately they are still quite close: 15mins by car…but it took me 1 hour 15mins to come back by bus).

I was put into contact with one of the guys form the team, who picked me up and off to softball we went. I really enjoyed being back on the field. I made a couple of blunders (ball straight through the feet anyone?), but it was not all bad. I also got my first nice round bruise on my thigh. The first of many yet to come 🙂 I have still much to improve, but I am pleased with the way things turned out. The people on the team are also really nice 🙂 They have around 4 teams in the club, so I am sure they will find some place for me 🙂

Can’t wait for the next training session on Wednesday. I have decided to get just 1 bus and walk the rest of the way. I will see how that goes 🙂 Wish me luck 🙂

Back into the swing of things

8 01 2011

I have been meaning to join some sort of sport team (preferably softball or handball since I have some prior experience) since I moved to Dublin. But I could not find one that suited me…i.e. located close or else in the case of softball even training…with softball the season runs from April-September…so when I came in October the season was just finished. However when I was at home for Christmas I decided to take another look around. And sure enough Softball Ireland were organising an Indoor Softball tournament this weekend. I sent an email and hoped for the best. Sure enough I received a reply from one of the organisers who found me a team and also put me in contact with a team that plays close to where I live for the tournament…The Flyers…who train close to the airport, which is handy enough for me. One of the girls from the Flyers was actually on the team I was with for the day.

Well this morning I could not lie in, cos at 9 I had to be at the ALSAA sports club. Luckily it is also where the Flyers play so it is just 10mins by bus away (although I did have to wait 20 minutes for the bus to come). I got on the bus and hoped for the best, that I could recognise the stop and get off at the right place. I started hearing two guys behind me talking. First it was something about metacarpals and metatarsals. But then the conversation turned to strikes and pitching. Hmmmm I said…so I turned round to them and asked them whether they were going to the Indoor Softball Tournament. They said yes and off we got together. Once off the bus we chatted a bit and we realised that we would be playing on the same team YEAH! First contact made.

We got into the gym, and had a short briefing on the rules of the game (they are somewhat different to the outdoor version). 10 teams were playing, on 3 different courts (1 big court divided into 3). On each team a minimum of 3 girls have to play at a time, with 8 players fielding. When batting everyone goes in line, 1 boy 1 girl and everyone gets one ball each…either a ball and you get on base, or you hit and get on base (or no) or you strike out/foul ball and you are out. The scoring system is a bit complicated (did not bother with it), but you can get negative points (OH JOY!). There is a set time for each inning and people keep on batting until the time is up. Each game had two innings.

The people on my team were really great…we did not do too well…but we had a great time. It seems that my team (the Usual Suspects) has a reputation for being big on the fun 🙂 They all welcomed me right in and I had a great time. My batting and fielding were not too horrible. I also did a couple of really good outs on third in the last game weeee…and got crowned the Third base queen at the end of the night…so that was a good thing. And what’s more…we won the plate final and so we got a small trophy…a shot glass of Dublin weeee. After the games (there were the semifinals and finals on for the cup) we retreated to the bar upstairs for some drinking and chatting. I stayed for a bit then headed for the bus back home, so that I could update you all.

Overall it was a great day out…Thank you to Cora, Shaun, Ciaran, Ger, Mike (I think), Sinead, Suzanne and Sarah for making me feel so welcome. Can’t wait for Feb/March when preseason training for the Flyers starts…or April when the games start. I had a great time and will definitely be back 🙂


19 09 2010

As I will be soon leaving Malta, I have been trying (OK I do not put much effort in these things…but I try :D) to meet up with some friends. I have a farewell organised on the 28th September (if you are reading this, yes you are invited…even if you did not receive an invite…probably you received it on Facebook…or else I missed out on your name). The others are informal meetings. I met up with Clarissa and Ruth last Friday weeeeeeeee, and yesterday I had my softball farewell. Well, not my farewell only. Another team mate was a sort of exchange student doing her masters’ degree research in Malta. A friend in her lab played softball so she used to drag her over haha. Her research is now finished and she will be going back to Germany next week.

Therefore yesterday we had a joint farewell dinner at Tal-Kaptan Restaurant at Bugibba. We were supposed to meet at 8:30pm…but the parking situation in Bugibba is horrible to say the least. Luckily I have my trusty bf Bernard who always knows where to find a parking place within sensible walking distance :D. Well…but 9:30pm everyone had arrived (even 1 couple who could not find anywhere to park and came in to say hello and left home hihi). The food was good, the company was even better and the evening was very enjoyable :D. It is great fun to meet up with such friends…especially since I have not seen them in some time since softball stops during the summer months.

I hope I can find such a good group of friends such as these softball friends. I have known some of these people for around 6 years now. We have been together through good times (and bad), and even if we do not meet up as often, I know that I can go to most of them if I need some help. And I hope they know the same thing about  me.