The Journal of a Seasonal, Mild Insomniac

It’s the middle of the night when I wake. I initially feel confused and weirded out; the ghost of a dream flickers away into the stuffy air.  It’s still dark out, and hot; my eyes are as muggy and I flounder about the bedside table looking for my phone to check the time.4.37 AM. Upsettingly, I knock a glass of water on top of myself and the lukewarm liquid runs down my arm. I am now drenched, annoyed and wide awake. An average mid-summers night that doesn’t involve donkeys or magic.

My own Mid-Summer Night's Dream

My own Mid-Summer Night’s Dream

When it is cold (which is pretty much 97% of the time where I live) I sleep lightly, but well.

When it is hot (my definition of hot being anything above 20 degrees celsius) I do not sleep. I get rings as dark as a Dementor’s baby under my eyes and become a shadow of my former self. I turn into a horrible person who literally growls at people during daylight hours.

Sleep is gold dust to me.



Recently, for a number of reasons, I have been given cause to appreciate my life and some of the simple yet great aspects of it, such as sleep. Cheesy it may be, but everyone seems to just speed through everyday on some kind of automated mode, not acknowledging how utterly lucky they are to have a car, never mind shoes, or would you believe it, feet to go places with. A small number seem to feel comfortable fermenting in the perceived “mundanity of life”, all the while complaining about the economy, weather and whatever else they don’t understand. I wholeheartedly admit that I too am guilty of giving out about the trivial. Who isn’t? It’s natural. It feels good to complain.


Anyway, I’m here to do the opposite. I’m here to “not complain”. I’m here to say that I am thankful for everything that has been handed to me. I am in general good health, I am of sound mind (at least I think so, the day I stop asking questions I’ll reconsider) and sort-of sound body (I should probably go for a run tomorrow). My family and friends are always one-hundred percent supportive and there for me. All this plus the added bonus of having food, water and a house to live in. I am in third-level education despite my gender/nationality/status/age/anything else that in my opinion is totally irrelevant. I’m also one of the lucky ones who isn’t oppressed, abused, discriminated against, down-trodden or illiterate. I have ten fingers and ten toes. I have a modest bank account. I’ve got my FREEDOM. I have some sort of spirituality (no religion yet; maybe someday, probably not). Everything I could ever need and want. I add on to this list a part-time job and I already have more than a dozen things to be happy for. Oh and it doesn’t stop there, but I won’t say anymore.


Sorry I couldn’t help it.

The most fascinating and frustrating thing about humans is that so many,although deserving of it, don’t
have many of the things I have. And yet they are happy in spite of it. There are people in this life who have nothing, not even a scrap of clothing to put on their backs. Remarkably, they are so unbelievably grateful to be alive. Conversely, there are people who drive around in their ferraris, the boot stuffed with Prada bags and shoes, weeping their eyes out on the inside, trying to dry the tears with more money. Trying to fill a gap that’s just getting bigger. I’m not saying that having money is a bad thing at all, just an excess of money. As a wise woman once said; “Money can’t buy happiness, but it does make things a lot easier when you are unfortunate.”

All the same I still think that this image is quite powerful:

So yeah, sleep is wonderful. A dear friend. It’s great. But if I still get to keep my eyesight/ literacy/ fresh drinking water, I’ll shut-up with the complaining in future and pick up a book until I fall asleep again. At least I’ve a nice bed to sit on while I wait.





This post is dedicated to my liver. You take up most of the anterior abdominal cavity, something I didn’t realise until I studied anatomy. You are an absolutely massive part of my life and I am so grateful for all the glycogen you have stored and fats you have broken down for me over the years. Also, I heard that you are the only organ that can regenerate? Award to the most underrated organ ever! Thank you for everything. I love you.



“Be who you wanna be”-Barbie


Tough times don’t last.

Tough people do.

“It’s so much darker when a light goes out than it would have been if it had never shone.” – John Steinbeck

I do not think that I go so far as to tell a lie when I say that we have all experienced the sharp, bitter and seemingly interminable sense of loss. Sometimes, you are aware of its approach, like your shadow growing up towards you as the day turns to evening. Sometimes this weird and way too often overwhelming world tosses a knife at you.  You are forced to react. Life doesn’t seem to care if you catch the handle with your shaking hands or get cut across the palm. People respond differently to it, but it effects us all.


Personally, the only way I can describe it is as the weight of an entire ocean inside your chest, while at the same time it feels as if a giant piece of you has been ripped away.  I think that there are many different types of loss, each as uniquely painful although maybe not as profound as the one before; when someone you love dies, when someone that was close to you moves out of your life, when you lose yourself in an unhealthy obsession,when a person you thought you knew inside out suddenly changes, when you lose the willpower to make the best out of your life, physical loss of a treasured possession,  loss of social connection with the people around you because of a mental illness..etc. The list can go on and on and on and on.


When you first experience loss, whether prepared to or not, it comes as a shock. Your entire being feels caught up in the moment. You don’t quite believe what has happened. It can’t be true. It won’t be true. You try to reason with yourself in your head. You try to think logically. You can’t. Everything is screwed over. It’s an almighty mess. It feels like the world, no, the entire universe has turned in on itself and consumed you. You feel weak. You need to sit, but you can’t. You are too angry. Suddenly all you can see is red. It bubbles up from the pit of your belly. This isn’t fair. God isn’t this uncaring. This is unacceptable. You won’t accept it. You will scream and cry on the inside if not on the outside. You feel like you’ve been abandoned. This is impossible. You had never thought that it would be as real as this. You plead and plead. Then you think about what has happened and the cycle starts all over again.

"Gone, the saddest word. In any language"- Mark Sloaka

“Gone, the saddest word. In any language”- Mark Sloaka

An idiot would say that it is painful. It goes much further than painful. It is on a different, unearthly scale altogether. Loss has no units. It just is. My words cannot do it justice, I think. Loss is not a language. I don’t even think it is a feeling. We hear the phrase “feelings of loss” all of the time. The closest I can come to describing it is to tell you to picture a dirty, dank river that repeatedly pulls you under until it has torn you apart. You think that your mind is destitute and any chance of future happiness is impossible. It’s undesirable at this stage you say. The prospect of moving on, even if it’s just a tiny glimmer at the bottom of the river is unimaginable. You can’t leave this behind. It has made itself part of you. It keeps you up at night and drags your thoughts and focus away during the day. Loss has replaced what was taken. And it is a monster.


They say that moving on is simple, it is that which you leave behind that makes it so difficult. I can only offer one piece of solace to those experiencing loss. You can’t change the hand you’ve been dealt, but you can choose to make the best game out of the cards you receive. No matter how long it takes, there is always a way out. Loss may always be a small part of your life, but you can be free. It doesn’t have to control you. We as humans are blessed with minds with imperfect memories. Our brains have built-in coping systems. I don’t know how people keep going on, but somehow they do.


The day you forget comes sooner than expected. On this day, you will probably get up out of bed. Then you will get dressed, eat breakfast, brush your teeth, and go about what it is you have to do on this day; school, work, whatever. Then you finish the day and head to bed. You turn over to fall asleep and then you think; “I haven’t thought about this loss for a whole day.” Initially, you feel guilty. How could you forget about something as important as this? What does this mean? Are you a robot or something? You feel a faint surge of the emptiness you felt before. And then miraculously, you feel just fine. You realise that not thinking about it all the time is ok. Forgetting doesn’t mean that that person,place or thing isn’t still a part of you. The people and things that we hold most close in this life are like prayers said in a temple; once you have given them special meaning, then they will always be there, housed in your heart. The human heart is a complex thing, I believe that it has a greater spiritual capacity then many people realise. There is room for the past, present and future. This doesn’t mean you should dwell too much on any of these three things, but it is a comfort in any case.


As you lie there in your bed, you start to think about something else, something trivial. And there you go; a small part of you has moved on.

So goes my discourse on this daunting and somewhat delicate subject.

I finish with some contemplative words;

“Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form.” ― Rumi

Dedicated to Mariyah Janjua. I think that you must have two brains.

Fresh Kicks

And so it comes to an end. My first year in college is officially over. I remember that when I was in secondary school I was continually told by my English teachers that beginning sentences with ‘and’ is not acceptable in the practise of good writing. However, I think in this case it may be quite apt, as the last year of my life has been a long string of ‘ands’. Countless new experiences, new faces and new adjustments. I will be blunt about it: it was a new everything. I’m not going to sugarcoat it, moving away from home was difficult. More than difficult, it was completely and totally terrifying. All through my life I had been in the same group of friends. I always had the comfort of knowing that I wouldn’t ever actually have to make friends “all by myself”. I had it easy. Then the Leaving Cert. came and literally smacked me in the face. Well, not literally but I did feel as if I was being hurled headfirst into a sticky barrel of tar. Then it was over. It ended and all too fast. The results came out and I was offered a place in college. I was then faced with the prospect of well, going it alone. My school friends had all gotten into different universities all over the country, some even knew people in their courses. I was a little worried and I’m going to admit it; afraid.

However, all my worry was in vain because it actually happened.
I made friends. Nice ones. And it was so ridiculously easy.

In college there are so many different kinds of people. This is one of the first things you notice. It can be overwhelming at first. You spend time with people you have everything in common with. More then often you meet people you have nothing in common with. This is even better. I find it incredible. This is going to sound odd, ( in no way am I going off on a soul-searching tangent) but I thought I knew myself before starting college. After one year, I have finally realised that I haven’t got a clue. It’s not a bad thing either.

When I first started college in Trinity, I thought that people wouldn’t like me because I was from the country. I also thought that I would lose face back home because I was now a “Trinity W****r”. For the most part, I was wrong. I would like to make an honest statement that I can wholeheartedly swear is true. I have not in a whole year met a single person who fits the title of “Trinity W****r”. (This is all correct bar one accidental house party where everyone had fake English accents, but that’s another blog post altogether.) In fact; I have met some of the soundest, kindest, funniest, smartest and most genuine people you could ever wish to meet.

I also learned many things and had many weird and wonderful experiences:

1.Ate my first big mac and enjoyed it.



2.Met some friendly Belgians who like death metal and pancakes.


3.Learned how to identify stuff in the human body.

4.Ended up in Dundalk on a night out.


5.Realised that 50 percent is the new 90

6.Figured out how not to spend MY LIFE-SAVINGS on public transport in Dublin City.

7.Figured out how to use public transport in Dublin City.

8.Survived Coppers Crush 2014.

9.You drink more milk than you can afford.
10.Disregarded the system.
11.Skipped Chemistry to eat McFlurrys and then watch MeanGirls.

No regrets.

12.Made friends.
13.Potatoes make great catapult thingys.
14.Do not ever EVER get involved in student politics. ( Unless you actually like that kind of thing)
Earphones in. Look straight ahead. Do not make eye-contact with the campaigners.

Earphones in. Look straight ahead. Do not make eye-contact with the campaigners.

15.Nutella and Peanut butter will make you fat.
mexpasta 068
16.Learned that the bin will not empty itself. Ever.

All in all, it’s been absolutely unbelievable. I loved it. Roll on second year.


Overplayed in apt 88.11:

For Anthony Conway: If you ever go missing again. I will find you.

Happiness is a warm puppy.

Ok, first off I would like to apologise for the delay in making this blog post. I’ve been busy with college and study. Exams are two months away which means my emotional state lies somewhere between a mild fear of failure and blind panic. This usually happens to me the night before an exam, when the stress procures for me a sort of short-term memory loss.  In fact, it sometimes gets to such a state that I can no longer count numbers, spell words and remember basic facts like my own name. In retrospect, it’s sort of funny. I mean,  I’m supposed to be remembering things like how to read an ECG trace and memorising the course of the radial nerve, and yet I can’t even focus enough to add up how much I need to pass the module.  I think it must be some sort of defense mechanism. My brain usually shuts off twenty four hours before an exam. 


Luckily enough, I have figured out a way to cope with this. I find the less stressed I am, the more I am likely to remember things. I know that everyone is different and yes, exams will always be stressful no matter what and so on. The answer (for me anyway) is to sit outside in the garden beside my dog. If it is raining or the dog is busy licking the plaster off the walls (Buddy likes to do this, he always looks like he has been snorting cocaine, dangerous habit I know, but he can’t be persuaded otherwise), I watch videos of cute puppies playing on youtube. Now, as my family and friends are aware, I am a “self-confessed dog lover”.  I don’t understand people that don’t like dogs and I feel interminably sorry for those unlucky beings that possess an allergy. I find happiness in the fact that no matter how much of an asshole the rest of the world thinks you are, your dog will always think that you are God’s gift to creation. Why not? You feed them, take them for walkies and scratch them behind the ears. That’s pretty much all a dog wants out of life. That in return for undying companionship.  Good auld Marilyn knew what she was talking about:

“Dogs never bite me, humans do”.


Anyway, I have to make the point that dogs are simply one of my favourite things in life. Don’t get me wrong, I love other animals as well. Cats are great, horses are slick and most wingéd beasts are pretty fly.  Please try not to navigate away from the page after reading that. I couldn’t resist the allure of the mighty pun. To get to the point, I have composed a very special list below that I hope you will enjoy. Even if you aren’t a dog lover.

Things that are great ’bout canines, y’all:

 1. Puppy eyes.


But I wuv you

2.  Dem ears. There are over twelve different types of muscles in a dog’s ears. Say what? 


“Yes, I am anatomically superb”

3. If you are seventy and own sixteen dogs, it ultimately makes you quite cool. Turning out to be a crazy dog lady instead of a crazy cat lady is actually quite an exciting prospect.


She’s got s-wag. 

4. Dogs went to Space before humans. 


Commander Dawg at your service.

5. There is a dog called the Peruvian Inca Orchid and he looks like this:


6. There are dogs that look exactly like their owners. Sometimes, things are just right in the world.



We all love Buzzfeed. Click for more doggie/human twins. 🙂


8. The ancient Mbaya Indians of the Gran Chaco in South America believed that humans originally lived underground until dogs dug them up.

9. More history. Dogs have lived with humans for over 14,000 years. Cats have lived with people for only 7,000 years. Cold felines. *eugh*


10. Cesar Millan is in a job because of dogs.


“The dog is a reflection of your energy.”

11. Dogs will always admit when they are wrong.

12. Dogs are just fab. And they know it.

From this day forward, in all stressful moments, may you go forth with the determination of a dog:


Dedicated to Aisling McGowan. A dog enthusiast.

Waiting for someone else to make you happy is the best way to be sad.

“The heart was made to be broken”-Oscar Wilde. Not one of my favourite sayings I have to admit. You see, I’m an optimist. I’ll admit that much for free. I tumble headfirst into things. I always have and I always will. Whether it be study, work, family, friends or hobbies. I will always give it absolutely everything I’ve got. I am not embarrassed by this fact. I have never been one for doing things half-heartedly. I don’t think I’ve ever used the phrase; “I’m not arsed”. It’s the same when it comes to matters of the heart. It makes me squirm to write this but it’s true.
“Ew”; you say.
“Here she goes”.
“Don’t make me puke, Gráinne.”
“Shut up.”
I can identify with such reactions. In fact, writing that did make me get sick a little bit inside my mouth. But I’ll go on. I have a tendency to invest quite lot of my time and effort into the people in my life when I love them. That’s why when things fall apart, I nearly always seem to land flat on my face. There is usually a multitude of tears, followed by an excess of some sort: binge eating, binge drinking and yelling at inanimate objects; sometimes animate: poor doggy/family/friends/random people I don’t know on the internet. Finally, there is (very eventual) acceptance. I have had my turn as the breaker. I have been the broken (lol so deep). I have even been that quality friend who passes you tissues while you sit in a toilet cubicle in Eddie Rocket’s after a night out, drunkenly crying your mascara off over the creepy ex’s latest crimes. I wonder if anyone else has used the gem: “You can do so much better than him. He was a slut anyway.” Solid advice. Works ninety percent of the time on the intoxicated. Anyway, the point is, I’ve seen a fair amount (not a lot, but a fair amount) when it comes to heartbreak. That’s why when a friend of mine suggested that I write a post on it I thought; “Yes, ok, this will be interesting”. However, I was stumped. How do I write something on heartbreak that won’t come across as soppy, fake or worse yet, just plain stupid? How to I reach out to those currently feeling, well, crappy about l’amour? The thing is, I couldn’t think of anything to say. There is nothing you can say that will help people when they have just been broken-up with or (somehow always, always worse) rejected. As Britney Spears once said: “You can’t give advice to the broken-hearted”. I got that quote on the internet so its authenticity is questionable.


Everyone has their own way of dealing with things, some do it better than others. Side note: some hide it better than others too. I only know of one trick that works EVERYTIME. It’s making doctors everywhere furious!! If you don’t get this reference then you need to leave. No, seriously though; it’s time. Give it time, focus on yourself and your own life. As much as you need to. It could take until tomorrow. It could take until the end of the week. You might still feel the same in a year or even in two, but trust me. Eventually, you will struggle to picture what their face looks like in your head. Give up on those who don’t care about you. They’re not worth a single second of your time. They’re not worth a fart in the wind. Focus on what makes you happy. Or else, one day you’ll realise that you’ve actually committed so much of yourself to this person that you don’t have a clue who YOU are! Waste of time. Total Utter Shlutter. And you can’t force someone to like you. It’ll never happen.

The Great Question:

Do you know what the saddest thing is? The right person for you is more than likely out there going about their daily life without the faintest idea of who you are. And you can’t stop thinking about the way Mr fancy-pants’, perfect-human’s, object-of-your affection’s hair catches in the light?


You have better things to be doing, kiddo.

Dedicated to my good friend Prateesh Chauhan. You’ve got a heart of gold, lad.

Here’s a song that’s about well, you know, heartbreak. And cats.


Do you remember the first time you ate a piece of chocolate? I, for one, most certainly cannot. Who on earth could remember such a thing as that? I like to think that chocolate has no beginning and no end in my life. It just is. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’m harbouring an addiction for it. Oh no, I shouldn’t have mentioned the word harbour. It just made me think about a big chocolate boat moored in a beautiful chocolate port on a fabulous chocolately day. Case in point. Anyway, a few days ago, I came home from college. I was in terrible mood. The train had taken hours. There had been nobody to talk to on the train. It was cold and raining. I was starving and still recovering from a Mystery Tour(Another story altogether). To make matters worse, Mum hadn’t put the dinner on. (No hate intended, shout out to the mothership). FML, I know right? But never fear, I knew exactly what to do. I knew exactly where the Malteasers were. My problems were solved. Alas, they tasted weird. I was not phased though. I am a consumer and “I know my rights”. I sent an ever-so-slightly childish email to Mars ( Fun fact: they run Malteasers, my whole life is a lie.) informing them of my misfortune. It went like this: “Malteasers are usually my favourite sweets. Today, I opened the big red bag in eager anticipation of a malty treat. Unfortunately, this was not to be. When I opened the bag there was a disgusting smell. I was simultaneously repulsed and disappointed. Needless to say, this particular bag tasted disgusting, all vinegary and gone-off. Normally I could easily eat a whole bag in ten minutes. Today was the first time in my life that I had but one Malteaser. I am terribly confused and frustrated by such a coarse display of negligence on Mr. Malteaser’s part. Here’s hoping you can make things right.” In my unhappy state of being I turned to the internet and found the wiki page on Chocolate. Interesting stuff. Did you know that markings have been found on ancient Mayan tombs suggesting that chocolate has been around since 400AD? Not only that, but there is evidence to suggest that it was once used a currency? I guess I’m not the only one with the slight obsession. J. S. Fry & Sons were the first company to produce a chocolate bar designed for mass consumption and in 1873 they made the world’s first Easter Egg. Society owes a lot to these men. I could go on. But here, I’ll get to the point. As I clicked through the pages of internet I came across something that confirmed a horrible rumour I heard a few weeks back. Chocolate is running out. Yes. Earth’s supply of cocoa beans is dwindling up to a halt. Did I just make you care about climate change and fair trade? Hope so. The deadly cocktail: the length of time it takes for a cocoa plant to produce beans (around four years), the unwillingness of cocoa farmers to invest in such a time-consuming commodity, big companies that just want to make money(we were all thinking it) and climate change( increased rainfall, insect infestations and periods of prolonged drought). Chocolate production just isn’t profitable anymore. Not in the old way. Not in the way that we like. The solution is to use some kind of chemical substitute in place of cocoa, filling the gaps with vegetable fats and more fruit, nuts and candies. I OBJECT , you think. Nobody really likes fruit and nut anyway.. bar a select few. No pun intended. But, think about the time you last had a chocolate that tasted really chocolatey. And I mean wonderfully, deliciously chocolatey. Anyone else notice that all the Dairy Milk Tray chocolates taste exactly the same nowadays? Same goes for Quality St. and Roses. Generic truffles I say. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but it’s time we started becoming more aware of what’s going on around us. It’s time we started caring about our planet. And that means ALL the plants, not just the cocoa ones. ALL the animals, not just the cute ones. It’s time we started giving a bit more of a damn about things that we don’t really give a damn about. I am inspired by a fridge magnet: “Save the Earth. It’s the only Planet with Chocolate”.