A quarter-life crisis, a Familienfest, the land of the free, my first real job.. Here are the highlights of 2011


I was: unemployed, restless, devilish

What I said: “I have few accomplishments to recommend me; I cannot draw, my recitals on the pianoforte are clumsy at best and I have neither a talent for embroidery nor the gift of graceful movement. The one area in which, after much searching, I have found myself to excel is in the ability to produce plausible-sounding Gibberish at will…” more


I: found a job, was still devilish.

What I said: “I check my e-mail before going to sleep and there’s a Valentine e-card in from LSB! I think: “Aw, what a sweetie”. I open it up only to find a Fine Gael cartoon canvasser tell me that “Labour are red, Fine Gael are blue, we won’t raise your taxes like they want to do”. Then he winks and looks shiftily (seductively?) to the side. I send one to every member of my family signing it Eoghan Murphy xxx, the name of the Fine Gael candidate in my constituency who topped 98 fm’s “hottest election poster boy” poll…” more


I: had a quarter-life crisis

What I said: “There was once a raven-haired fortune teller who, tracing her forefinger over my palm, told me that I would live to be in my nineties. I was alarmed when I realised some time ago that I had reached quarter age in spite of her promise of longevity. This realisation, coupled with acute post-graduation panic (PGP) has propelled me to a life crisis…” more


I: tried to forget about my Quarter Life Crisis by taking a trip to Sligo with LSB

What I said: “We’re leaning against a stony wall by the riverbank. I’m unzipping my camera case gingerly because I want to remember the stillness and his solitude when a blonde-haired man of about thirty staggers, stony-eyed towards us.
“Don’t you dare take my picture”, he yells. “You’ve no right, you sons of bitches. You’ve no fucking right at all”…” more


I: thought about my younger and more vulnerable years.

What I said: “I was 16 and practically the same but for a hideous mane of long, straggly brown hair with orange highlights. I had just finished struggling through The Satanic Verses. I’d taken it to Germany where I spent many a journey on slow trains, puff-puff-puffing their way through the Bavarian countryside, with the battered book on my knee, trying to make sense of it all. Bizarrely-named angels, and evil and the Muslims didn’t like it: it went something like that…” more


I: took up a political cause

What I said: “As they beat their hammers on their oak writing tables and whisper “Objection” in advance of September’s Referendum, the twenty-two dissenters will inevitably privately concede that the scrapping of Article 35.5 represents good riddance to bad rubbish. Objection over-ruled…” more


I: thought about pens and penises

What I said: “Unless it’s accepted as equally scandalous that the proportion of male nurses is equivalent to that of female corporate executives, a discussion of gender can never be detached from a social weighting in favour of money…” more


I: attended the annual Familienfest

What I said: “As I was tucking into my vegetable bags (or Gemuse Taschen) I had a sudden sinking feeling: I had forgotten to pick up the bag of black sausages!…” more


I: admitted that I don’t have the first clue about the economic crisis

What I said: “Every weekday morning, I brush my teeth while listening to the business news on Morning Ireland. Once the weather comes on, I know it’s time to spit…” more


I: realised that there’s nothing quite like an Irish Presidential election.

What I said: “The struggle for the presidential candidates to find many more words than the Queen of England herself during the “Irish Language” debate revealed the incongruities that are still gripping this little nation, which – desperate for an export-driven recovery from economic ruin- continues to struggle with its own identity…” more


I: went to America.

What I said: “Subways in New York are grubby places. They are for poor people and for people who read large books with city library stamps printed on their spines…” more


I: finished learning the Arabic alphabet!

What I said ““That is a beautiful and new car!”, I said pointing to a rusty 1993 fiat punto. “I am Kate Katharina.” “Pleased to meet you.” “Give me a falafel please”.”… more


Thank you all so much for making 2011 lovely and for taking time out of your much more exciting lives to leave comments. I appreciate you all enormously. ❤

12 thoughts on “A quarter-life crisis, a Familienfest, the land of the free, my first real job.. Here are the highlights of 2011

  1. Hey
    (have you a blogging target to reach before 2012 your posts have gone up in frequency somewhat?) 😉
    You write so well, and are so ‘switched on’ as the kids say these days, why aren’t you writing for a magazine or a newspaper? I don’t want to cast aspersions on Irish journalism that I’ve witnessed in the past but there’s room for some quality writing there, that’s all I’ll say. Have a happy New Year!! I’m designated driver so will be logging on New Year’s Day morning to what I presume will be an internet wasteland with everyone still in bed.


  2. Hehe, excellent theory! Actually, I’m just on holidays from work so I’ve re-adapted to my natural pattern of staying up extremely late and writing from bed, where I’m comfortable and warm in my onesie. Alas, I’m back on Tuesday so my postings will become less frequent again 😦

    Thank you so much for your kind words! They mean an awful lot to me – such a nice feeling to have people enjoy what you write! I’d love to write for a magazine or newspaper but alas, journalism is a closed shop. I don’t have fancy contacts and in fairness, I write about Christmas trees and savants.. 🙂 2012: must carve niche!

    I’ve had very little success getting anything published, but curiously an academic journal of African American Studies picked up my piece about Dominiqe Strauss Kahn!

    What are your plans for the New Year? I hope you have a wonderful night, despite being designated driver. You can watch the madness with sober bemusement and then write about it. All the best!


  3. My plans are to get the most out of the food. Baked camembert. Beef in red wine. Cherry Frangipane tart. Cheese board. I think you’d agree the drink is superfluous. Yeah journalism in this country is pretty tough nut to crack. Well (and I didn’t mention it because of this but you’ve led me in that direction) write some fiction and send it to my magazine. I can’t offer you a career in journalism but I might be able to offer you an ISBN number and a copy of the magazine in payment. That’s the most underwhelming sales pitch, I know. Well here’s to a good 2012 – and don’t sell yourself short you’ve touched on the economy, government, world anti-terrorism, Iraq, it isn’t all fantastic boyfriends and ill fated mouse rescue.


    • Even though I don’t like cheese and I’m a vegetarian, you’ve made me hungry. The power of words. Have you read The Gourmet by Muriel Barbery? I think you’d appreciate its sensual, moody foodiness.
      I’ve only ever written one complete short story and it’s terrible! If I ever manage the transition into fiction, your magazine will be the first place I send it, promise! And believe me, a copy of the magazine would be ample payment! The last time I contributed to a magazine I had to pay to attend the launch event and then again for a copy! Hope today provided you with the time and space to reflect on the gastronomic delights of the night before.


  4. Happy New Year Kate!! I am still ardently followng your blog and today I realised that you have your own blog url? Or I am mistaken? Was that your last accomplishment for 2011?

    Looking at your entry, I might try to do something similar(or not) but still, I am glad we are still onto our blogs despite busy schedules and also encouraging each other on 🙂

    Have a great year! 🙂


    • Happy New Year to you too, Clariice! You are incredibly astute – I bought my own domain just an hour ago! I thought that it was a reasonable price to pay for making it a little bit more ‘my own’! I really look forward to reading your posts. Yours was the first blog I subscribed too when I joined wordpress and I’m so glad we’ve both kept blogging up all year! We can “virtually” pat each other on the back! Keep up the wonderful work 🙂


    • Thanks, it’s quite the club I’ve joined 🙂 Oh, there are wonderful things. Your world will change. Kidney bean potato pie, spinach lasagne, chick pea salad, vegi steak, nutroast.. If that’s not enough, I can link you to some recipes.


  5. I’m inexplicably fascinated by it! Also, I teach a lot of middle-eastern students so I have that as a motivation too. Have you ever learnt any exotic languages? Ma’a salama 🙂 (PS The chronicles of my attempts at learning Arabic are well-documented in the blog’s archive if you’re interested!)


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