Category Archives: introspection

The Real Me

I don’t make friends very easily. I’m sociable and gregarious and all of those things that on paper should make it easy for me to make lots of friends; and while it’s true, I have many acquaintances, I can count the number of VERY close friends that I have on both hands (and maybe one or two toes).

Don’t get me wrong, this is a good thing. Having a little network of really close pals is great. However, it’s tricky when they mainly live in another country. It can get a bit lonely when the people you’re used to sharing stuff with with – laughs, adventures, heartaches, scandals etc – aren’t mere minutes away.

I’ve been in Ireland just short of 18 months now and in that time I’ve met loads of really fantastic people. It’s true what they say (whoever “they” are, and “they” tend to say an awful lot)… but yes, it’s true what they say about the Irish being very friendly. Indeed, the vast majority of people you meet really are very friendly; interested in why you moved here, how you’re settling in, what you think of it all so far etc. And there it ends.

Where it’s quite tricky is making the step change from someone who knows lots of friendly people, to someone who’s built up a network of lovely friends, including some of the really close variety (not that kind of close, dirty mind!)

For me this takes a bit of time. People don’t tend to know quite what to make of me when they meet me initially. I kind of stick out like a sore thumb for starters; I’ve never been very good at blending into the background. I don’t really look like most girls, I don’t talk like most girls (largely because I swear like a navvy!), I’m not particularly subtle (to look at or to listen to) and am generally a bit “different”. All of this can mean that I also seem to be unapproachable and a bit intimidating at times apparently.

The odd thing is that yes, while I appear to be all of these things, I’m also a  massive jumble of contradictions. Not in my opinions and the like, but in other ways.

So while I’m the loud, pint swilling, non-PC, potty-mouthed, joke cracking seemingly confident girl in the room, I’m also quite shy, self-conscious and bizarrely somewhat timid. I’ll happily be the performing monkey in a situation and make everyone laugh, because fuck it, I’m funny 😉 But it always shocks me when people realise that I’m quite shy underneath it all. I always think it’s incredibly obvious.

So, because of all of this, and no doubt a myriad of other factors, I don’t tend to make really good friends very easily. I don’t let a lot of people in you see, to get to know the real me.

But then every now and then I meet someone who just gets me. Who thinks I’m fun and funny, interesting and good company, yet sees the other sides to me and accepts them too. And in turn lets me get to know them a bit better as well.

Recently I’ve made two very, very good friends and I love them to bits. They’re as silly as I am which is a real bonus, but they also “get” the real me.

Which is why we get drunk & I let them do stuff like this to me…

The Love Child of Marc Bolan & Salvador Dali?
The Love Child of Marc Bolan & Salvador Dali?

Thanks boys. Love you loads! Mwah!


No, not my gas… or the leccy… or the phone. It’s not one of “those” posts. More just me in general really.

Not sure what’s up with me of late, but I’m feeling a bit out of sorts. Like I’m walking around in a bubble. I can see everything that’s going on but feel like I’m watching it all through a slight haze & can’t quite get myself fully involved.

I'm a bubble girl, in a bubble world, Life in plastic, it's... er, a little disorientating actually

I'm a bubble girl, in a bubble world, Life in plastic, it's... er, a little disorientating actually

There’ve been a fair amount of ups & downs going on in Curlydena World of late which have all factored into create this feeling: upheaval at work, tonsilitis the other week and then a mad dash back to Manchester on Sunday for a couple of days for a bit of a family emergency & several long hours sitting in a hospital & generally just fretting a lot, and then back on the ferry to Dublin in time to be in work on Wednesday.

So, now I’m left feeling like I’m permanently zorbing, but without any of the fun, giddy “ooh, wahey, look at me, I’m running around in a giant bubble” goodness.

I’m sure I’ll shake it off soon enough. Probably after a weekend of lie-ins, red wine, Mad Men, Scorcese films, Mock the Week & more red wine. Sounds like a plan to me.

And if nothing changes and I still have this bizarre bubble around me, then I guess I’ll just have to look on the bright side, and realise that now at least I can be my usual clumsy self but without the risk of quite so much injury and less regular bruises about my person – I often have the knees of a 9 year old who’s no good at hopscotch combined with the shins of a footballer who forgot to wear shinpads when playing against Roy Keane circa 1997. Not the most attractive feature on a girl of, ahem, 30… I mean twenty-something*.

Got to look for the silver lining after all 🙂

* I know, I know, I don’t look it.

Churchgoing by Philip Larkin

There seems to be a lot of debate about Atheism versus Theism of late. In Ireland over the last week or so this has been in no small part due to the introduction of the new Blasphemy Law.

I’ve got my own thoughts about God(s), Religion and the like. Mainly that I’m about as Godless as they come. But I respect people’s right to their Faith, whichever denomination they chose to affiliate themselves with. Me, I’m in “The Church of Making the Most of Now as it Could All Be Over Tomorrow”.

But I remembered this poem last night, one that I always really liked. Partially because like me Philip Larkin, was a cynic which lead to becoming an atheist. And party because even though I’m a non-believer I, like Mr Larkin can appreciate the allure of the symbolism found in a church and Man’s need to seek answers to the “serious” questions.

Whether you’re a believer or not, it’s a poem that can get a person thinking anyway.

Once I am sure there’s nothing going on
I step inside, letting the door thud shut.
Another church: matting, seats, and stone,
And little books; sprawlings of flowers, cut
For Sunday, brownish now; some brass and stuff
Up at the holy end; the small neat organ;
And a tense, musty, unignorable silence,
Brewed God knows how long. Hatless, I take off
My cycle-clips in awkward reverence,

Move forward, run my hand around the font.
From where I stand, the roof looks almost new-
Cleaned or restored? Someone would know: I don’t.
Mounting the lectern, I peruse a few
Hectoring large-scale verses, and pronounce
“Here endeth” much more loudly than I’d meant.
The echoes snigger briefly. Back at the door
I sign the book, donate an Irish sixpence,
Reflect the place was not worth stopping for.

Yet stop I did: in fact I often do,
And always end much at a loss like this,
Wondering what to look for; wondering, too,
When churches fall completely out of use
What we shall turn them into, if we shall keep
A few cathedrals chronically on show,
Their parchment, plate, and pyx in locked cases,
And let the rest rent-free to rain and sheep.
Shall we avoid them as unlucky places?

Or, after dark, will dubious women come
To make their children touch a particular stone;
Pick simples for a cancer; or on some
Advised night see walking a dead one?
Power of some sort or other will go on
In games, in riddles, seemingly at random;
But superstition, like belief, must die,
And what remains when disbelief has gone?
Grass, weedy pavement, brambles, buttress, sky,

A shape less recognizable each week,
A purpose more obscure. I wonder who
Will be the last, the very last, to seek
This place for what it was; one of the crew
That tap and jot and know what rood-lofts were?
Some ruin-bibber, randy for antique,
Or Christmas-addict, counting on a whiff
Of gown-and-bands and organ-pipes and myrrh?
Or will he be my representative,

Bored, uninformed, knowing the ghostly silt
Dispersed, yet tending to this cross of ground
Through suburb scrub because it held unspilt
So long and equably what since is found
Only in separation — marriage, and birth,
And death, and thoughts of these — for whom was built
This special shell? For, though I’ve no idea
What this accoutred frowsty barn is worth,
It pleases me to stand in silence here;

A serious house on serious earth it is,
In whose blent air all our compulsions meet,
Are recognised, and robed as destinies.
And that much never can be obsolete,
Since someone will forever be surprising
A hunger in himself to be more serious,
And gravitating with it to this ground,
Which, he once heard, was proper to grow wise in,
If only that so many dead lie round.

It’s a nice thought…

tomorrow morning


There’s something really lovely about this thought. What with the “current economic climate” and the rest of the bollocks that’s going on out there; the ups & downs of love (not the ins & outs, that’s just lust), and the endless opportunities for worry and stress that the world holds.

As a cab driver wisely reminded me last week, it’s all too easy to worry about the future and completely forget to enjoy or even experience the now.

When you think about it all though, you don’t know what’s around the corner. (unless you’re some kind of psychic, but then even I know what’s around the corner for you my dear – care in the community!) Who knows what the future will bring? Could be utter shite, but it could also be fucking awesome… and if you’re really lucky, some awesome fucking.

The only thing you can count on is that the sun will set on today, and will rise on tomorrow. So don’t sweat it. What will be, will be. I  like the idea that the future is unknown… plenty to look forward to! 🙂

Now, I’m a believer… or am I?

It’s been a bit of a week for all things relationship, sex, heartbreak, mischief & fun related in my world. The majority of these things haven’t been going on in my life specifically (I’d be exhausted), but largely those of my friends: most of whom I’ve been lending a listening ear or giving sought after advice to (I try not to give the unsought after stuff, though admittedly have been guilty de temps a temp).

This week’s tales of woe include a very close friend whose young & passionate relationship hit a brick wall at enormous speed due to the emotional fuckwittage & utter lack of balls of the man involved; an old & very dear friend in the aftermath of an emotional conflict that he/she can’t tell their significant other about; a friend who’s fighting off the interference of others in their otherwise blissfully happy relationship and a couple of other friends who are dabbling in the world of online dating, with varying degrees of success.

Then there’s myself, happily single but always up for a bit of fun from time to time – though very unsure about whether I actually want a relationship or whether I would, as I suspect, run a mile – yet still managing to get confused about what men want from me & how that differs from what I want from them, or one in particular this week anyway.

The crux of the situation is that pretty much everyone is out there looking for the right one and all that jazz. And we all handle it in different ways. Lots of my girlfriends have various theories about the ways that they subconsciously sabotage relationships, dates etc and to be honest, I’ve never really held much sway in all that stuff – I tend to think of it as the refuge of the “needy girl”, never something I have ever aspired to be. I’m very much of the, “it’ll happen when it happens and go about your life in the meantime” school of relationships & not worrying about it too much really.

Then I read an article in the Style magazine of the Sunday Times that made me wonder if I’m actually a bit of a commitment-phobe. If that is really why I remain single? Is that my “sabotaging behaviour”?

Men have been notoriously branded commitment-phobic for a long time, and with very good reason (ask anyone, male or female, they’ll have a story about it). But the article raises the question of commitment-phobia among women. And I for one am convinced. While all of my friends seem to be having relationships or at the very least looking for them, I am blithely going about my life not really giving it any kind of priority or caring about it much either.

Turns out I may very well be commitment agnostic. Not necessarilly fully phobic about commitment but it’ll take someone very special to make me willing to do it again. I tend to want something a lot more casual and no strings – the benefits of a relationship without the responsibility or depth of feeling… or very probably, the risk of getting hurt. And judging by the many dramas that I’ve been hearing about this week I’m not necessarily on the wrong track here.

I’m not a needy girl always seeking reassurance from men; the victim who constantly gets shat on from a great height only to go back for more, or the high maintenance girl who finds a bloke only to make a million demands & try to change him. I have a massive lack of respect for those girls – they give the rest of us a bad name.

No, I’m the girl that isn’t going to go seeking a relationship. If it happens, it happens (assuming I haven’t fled for the hills) yet in the meantime, I’m going to be honest, yeah I want men in my life – that’s what “friends with benefits” were invented for 😉 And I’m cool with that, it doesn’t make me a slag as I’m pretty picky about who my FWBs are and I’m not using it as a means of snagging a bloke either. I  choose it because I’m not sure I “believe” commitment to be the right thing for me, at least not right now…

… but who knows, maybe one day I’ll find someone who’ll make me sing like the Monkees?

The Old Grey Knickers Test (A.K.A The 8 Things Meme)

Yesterday the rather lovely Sinéad Cochrane did me the honour of asking me to complete the 8 Things meme, as she wants to know a bit more about me. Well, what can I say, other than thanks Sinéad, I am indeed very flattered 🙂

Tragically however, she (and all of you) may live to regret this, as despite what I may lead you to believe, I fear am in fact incredibly dull. Duller than a pair of well-washed, greying knickers, left out on the washing line for several weeks and viewed through a smudgy pair of glasses on a bleak Tuesday in October at around 4.48pm when it’s slightly dusky and also drizzling with rain.

I shall however endeavour to make myself appear as interesting as possible as I don’t want to be responsible for people falling asleep whilst operating I-phones, PCs, Macs and other heavy machinery. Can you read a blog whilst driving a forklift? Ah, one of life’s unanswerable questions…

I’m waffling. I’ll stop & crack on.

Okay, so this is the 8 Things Meme. I give 8 answers to each of the questions below and then release unto the world, whilst also tagging another in the hope that they too will furnish us with their info. Well, here goes:

8 Things I Like:

  1. Being really silly just for the sake of it
  2. Singing really loudly in my car
  3. Geeky boys
  4. Laughing so much it hurts
  5. My ass – yeah, I know, odd right? A girl that likes her own behind. Sorry, but I do. I think it’s peachy… but er, without the downy peach-fuzz
  6. Big mugs of strong, milky tea. Porcelain-wrapped happiness
  7. My new life – not here a year yet, but am happier than I’ve been in a long, long time
  8. My hair. It’s big. It’s curly. It fucking rocks!

8 Things I Did Yesterday:

  1. Interviewed potential new housemates
  2. Dropped a blob of coleslaw onto my lap at lunch & spent the rest of the day walking around looking like someone had cracked one off on my thigh
  3. Spent 3 hours researching baked beans
  4. Put fresh bedding on the bed, thought I’d put it on inside out, took it off again, turned it the right way around, put it back on again and realised that NOW it was inside out. I left it – it was late and I was tired
  5. Checked my bank balance
  6. Forgot to phone one of my friends back in Manchester (sorry Georgie)
  7. Watched Eurovision & wished I could dress like a drag queen
  8. Gave a housemate a lift into town late at night because it was raining and because it meant that I got to have a little in-car sing-song

8 Things I Wish I Could Do:

  1. Sing like I think I can when I’m having said in-car sing-song
  2. Stop cracking my neck; I sound like Odd Job & I think I’m getting an overly muscular neck
  3. Make my uncle better – but in the meantime I’ll just ask you all to consider registering to become a Bone Marrow donor. You know it’d be a good thing to do
  4. Give myself less of a hard time
  5. Afford to buy the Agent Provocateur underwear that I fell in love with at the weekend
  6. Wear killer heels without towering above the majority of men I meet & thus feel like the 50ft Woman
  7. Bring my dog Linus over from Manchester – he is the king of dogs and I miss him
  8. Invent interchangeable, detachable boobs as frankly there are days when I’d much rather be without them. Plus it would open up a whole other world of outfit possibilities.

8 Things I Don’t Like:

  1. Pineapple – it is the fruit of the Devil!
  2. Putting fresh bedding on the bed
  3. Running. I was made for way more fun stuff than running. Still, needs must…
  4. Over zealous political correctness
  5. People who can’t laugh at themselves
  6. Politicians who forget that they are elected to serve us, not to patronise, steal from, bully and lie to us
  7. The fact that on some days my hair looks like a really bad wig and therefore I look like Eddie Large
  8. Having to squeeze only 8 things into each of these categories. I could go on for days

Well, there you go. I little bit of insight into me and the nonsense that runs through my brain. I had fun compiling my little lists anyway – so thanks again Sinéad 😉

Now, in the spirit of this meme, I shall now tag Joe and Ben to answer it next. Lovely boys who make me laugh. Am I allowed two? Oh well, I’ve done it now. I’m a bit maverick like that. Anyway, c’mon boys – spill the beans 🙂

Wherever I lay my hat…

Just home from a week at er, home and feeling somewhat confused, but can’t help feeling that overall it’s a good thing.

I went home to Manchester for a week to catch up with family and to see my Uncle who had a bone marrow transplant on Wednesday (more about that to follow). It was lovely to catch up with my family & friends whom I love heaps & miss just as much, but for the first time since moving to Dublin almost a year ago, it didn’t feel like home.

Dublin really feels like home most of the time – my life is here now. Yet sometimes, at the same time, it also doesn’t quite feel like home. Every now & then I feel I remember that I’ve not been here a tremendous amount of time and some things still feel very new.

So, I’m left feeling a bit like the Littlest Hobo, not quite knowing where my “home” actually is. However, I can’t help feeling that it’s still just a transient state and while I’ll always love Manchester (it’s in my blood) this is all actually a sign that slowly but surely Dublin & Ireland as a whole are becoming my home. And I can’t help but feel that that’s a very good thing! 🙂

Every day’s a school day

This week two things have got me thinking about learning & expertise and how one finally does enough of the former to become the latter, or at least consider themselves in that way.

The first was a colleague with less than a year’s experience trying to tell me how to do my job. Now, I absolutely do not know all that there is to know about marketing & advertising, but without tooting my own horn, I know a hell of a lot – believe it or not, I’m actually pretty shit hot at my job, even if I do say so myself. But this girl apparently knows it all though. Good for her I say. In the meantime, I shall continue to learn and evolve; much as the industry that I work in.

The second was this blog. I have no desire to become any kind blogging expert, that’s not why I did this, but it does sometimes feel as though there’s many a blogger out there with “expertise”, literally waiting to throw advice at you about how to make yours better, make you money, blah blah blah. Add to that the other bloggers out there that are positively brimming with judgement of others and the whole thing can be a more than a little bit intimidating.

(Don’t get me wrong, the vast majority of bloggers I’ve come into contact with have been nothing short of lovely, but as with anything else in life, there’s always some who will spoil it for others).

Anyway, I’ve been wracking my brains for something “worth” putting on my blog for a few days, determined as I am to have a decent crack at this. But because I’m a total novice I’ve found myself getting really nervous about it.

Until I thought about the aforementioned colleague and told myself to “cop on” and just get on with it. Essentially, I am not an expert in anything at all and I never will be either.

Like the tattoo I got last month says, “Still, I am learning” and I always will be.

Ancora Imparo

Flirting with disaster

Hello, my name is curlydena and I’m a flirtaholic.

Actually, that’s not strictly true. I’m not addicted to flirting, I just do it a lot apparently. With friends, people on the phone, the bus driver, the 70+ year old dude I bought a packet of smokes from at the weekend, the list goes on. The point is, I’m pretty much an omniflirter – my flirting is utterly lacking in any form of discernment at all. It’s what you could call a pretty scatter-gun approach.

Therein lies the rub though. People misunderstand my flirting and mistake it for more than it is. I don’t flirt in a predatory way though, AT ALL, especially as I’m more than likely to be totally oblivious to the fact I’m doing it. In my world I’m just being friendly and bubbly and all that sort of jazz, but in the eyes of others I’m being flirty. So, to figure out how to reign it in I guess I should look at what constitutes flirting exactly?

According to “sexpert” (and oh my f*cking word, what a claim to fame that is, I don’t think) Tracey Cox, you know a woman is flirting when:

“She’s attracted if . . .

  • She’s looking at your mouth
  • She’s lightly stroking her outer thigh
  • She starts massaging her neck
  • She flashes her wrists
  • She stands with her legs apart, weight on one foot, hips tilted
  • She starts invading your space with objects
  • She darts short, repetitive glances your way”
  • (Source: Superflirt – Tracey Cox )

    Now, I’ll admit to being a tactile person, that’s just me letting you know I’m comfortable with you more than anything, and I do massage my neck a lot, but that’s mainly because I am REALLY overdue a visit to the Osteopath to sort out my shit posture. I don’t however, go around standing with my legs apart, lightly stroking my own thighs, that kind of stuff can get a person arrested! And I don’t invade people’s spaces with objects – nor am I aware of any of my girl friends having ever built a wall of clutter around a person to signal their interest in them.

    So the mystery continues. After ooh, about 3 minutes thinking it over though, I think I am considered flirty for the following reasons mainly:

    • I’m fairly tactile
    • I like to look people in the eye when talking to them and smile
    • I have a total love of mischief
    • I have a fairly pesky sense of humour
    • I just am – it’s clearly part of my DNA or something

    I’m not about to change any of these though, they’re a basic part of who I am, especially the DNA bit. What does this mean? Well, I’m going to carry on flirting my way through life really. The day’s always that bit nicer with a bit of flirty banter though, I reckon. Sod it, it er, perks me up anyway. Meanwhile, people are free to mis-interpret it all they want too; and they do, but that’s fine. While the world thinks I fancy everyone I come across, I know when I’m genuinely interested in someone, as ironically enough, they tend to be the people I get the most shy around & wait for them to make a move – kind of like the female equivalent of “Field of Dreams” I like to think, haha.

    So, in conclusion. I’m a flirt. I like being a flirt. A mischievous, funny, harmless flirt. And I shall continue flirting in my own inimitable way. I will not however, be standing legs akimbo & stroking my own thighs, whilst simultaneously building a woman-made wall made of randomly found jetsam around a person – all sounds like too much effort for me.

    And to the next person I clam up around totally – I’ve built it, the rest is up to you.