Tag Archives: apartment

All Signs Point to …

I have been talking about relocating to a new city for a while.

Over pints, with a red, flushed face, did I all too often, dramatically announce, “I’m leaving! Remember this face! I am gone! I am sick of Dublin. Sick of it. There are too many ghosts in this city.”

Eyes were often thrown to heaven. “Yeah, yeah, we’ve heard this before”. Sometimes I even received, “what do you expect to get from London that you can’t get in Dublin?”

A month ago, Best Friend proposed he and I spend some time looking for jobs in London using the internet. We did an in-depth, intricate search on Google, using scant terms such as “London VAT jobs”. We received a few matches.

Best Friend  perused one particular job spec. “I think this job would suit you.”

I read the detail on the screen. I shook my head. “Oh, no, this sounds very technical. No, no, this is not for me at all.”

We came across similar jobs. I shooed the notion of them away.

A day or so later, I pondered the job spec. The more I thought on it, the more I realised this job was for me. I could do this. I could be good at this. This is my job! I called the recruitment agent. We chatted about my experience and interest in the role. He forwarded my CV to the recruiters, who instantly expressed interest in my profile.

Faraway, in another land, removed from flights of fancy of living the London Life, Best Friend and I addressed our living situation. The duration of the lease on the apartment, slowly wasted away; to extend the lease or not.

“I could just quit my job – for the first time in my life, throw caution to the wind and leave! Oh wait, no, I have no savings. This won’t work.”

Best Friend disagreed. “You need a job before you move. We’ll look at the matter of the lease, when the need arises.”

Meanwhile, elsewhere, away from employment opportunities and living arrangements, did I happen to meet a handsome, English man – London Bloke – in Dublin for a business trip. We arranged a date. The date went well. In fact, it went very well. I like him very much. I am lazy in romance and for what is a rare occasion, I made the first move on our date.

Roughly one week later, events progressed nicely. Before I knew it, I was required to go to London for a second interview.  London Bloke and I had been in contact prior to the interview. We arranged a second date, deciding to meet in Soho.

I arrived late, having spent fifteen minutes wandering around Soho in search of Compton Street. I walked into the darkness of the bar and looked around for London Bloke. I spotted him within seconds. He looked good. I awkwardly greeted him. I was nervous. Do I shake his hand or kiss him on the mouth?  What is the etiquette for a second date? I opted for a kiss on the cheek.

“It’s really nice to see you again,” he said.

My head spun. Wow, Irish men never say stuff like that. Well, the Irish men I’ve known never would. “It’s nice to see you too,” I replied somewhat coyly, looking to the floor.

“You’re in my city this time. Let me buy you a pint.”

We moved to a nook of the bar. Conversation and laughter radiated from that corner.

London Bloke supped his pint of ale. “So, how did the interview go?”

“It went OK. My head was completely fried afterwards. It was two hours long. I spoke for two hours! I am naturally talkative, but even I found that challenging.”

“When will you know the results?”

I hesitated. “Thing is … I already know the results …”

He raised his eyebrows in expectation. “Oh?”

“I got the job.”

A sexy smile crept across his face. “I am so happy for you. And, I am happy for me too.”

I was stunned. I’m sure my smile beamed. “Thanks.” I felt very strange right then, unaccustomed to the sensation of shyness.

I returned to Dublin the next day, slowly and gradually communicating my news to friends. Events were slowly settling in my own head. Since then, I have handed in my notice at work. I am due to finish my job 15th July; the same day the lease ends on the apartment.

I fancy the arse off London Bloke. As sad – or hopeful – as it sounds, I have not felt like this about anyone in years. I no longer feel dead from the waist down.

I never subscribed to the “whatever is meant for you won’t pass you by” train of thought. In my opinion, our lives are what we make them. Recent events have caused me to wonder if sometimes, now and again, things just go right and fall tidily into place.

It’s really quite nice when this happens.

The Fooleries of Fairview

When anyone asks how long I’ve lived in Dublin, I automatically respond, “six years”. I forget it’s actually ten.

I’ve lived mostly on the Northside of Dublin except in third year of college, when I lived in Crumlin, which let’s face it, may as well be the Northside.

A couple of weeks ago, Johanne collected me from the City Centre to drive me to her place for a chilled out evening. En route to her apartment in Clontarf we passed through Fairview. Fairview might not be the most pleasant place in Dublin, but I retain a fondness for it, having lived there for two years during my college years. I liked Fairview for the fact I could walk into town in twenty minutes. The rent was relatively cheaper than City Centre. As a student it suited me.

Despite the fact Best-Friend and I routinely swore/swear not to live together, we have shared (and continue to share) flats and apartments. Fairview was one such location for our shared home. Our first place in Fairview was miniscule; there wasn’t room to swing a kitten. Despite this, I have great memories of Best-Friend and I sitting up until the wee hours, chatting and watching music channels. We were happy in our hovel. During my car journey with Johanne, as her car took a de tour down memory lane, I experienced a flashback that reminded me of the splendorous flat in Fairview.

The story centres on a bar of chocolate. For some reason any time Best-Friend and I live together there is always an abundance of chocolate. Best-Friend tended to buy large bars of Lindt when he returned from his travels. It was a good relationship we had; he bought chocolate and I ate it.

One evening we happened to meet one another at the door to the flat. I returned from my evening shift at the cinema. He had just finished college. I went straight to my room to throw my coat and excess clothing on the floor in my usual haphazard manner. I entered the living room to find an irked Best-Friend.

“Why did you eat the chocolate? I was going to give that to Johanne.”

His sharpness caught me off guard. “I didn’t eat the chocolate.” Or did I? I thought. With two steps I was half way across the tiny living room, next to the table where he stood.

“Look at the corners of the chocolate,” he said, pointing to the large bar of Lindt.

The chocolate bar sat in the centre of the table, presented in a fashion that made it ready for the filming of an advertisement. However, the scene was not picture perfect. The foil at two corners of the bar was torn. Small chunks were removed. Crumbs were scattered around the crime scene.

I examined the scene. “So …,” I said, “you think if I were to eat your chocolate, I would chew on the corners of your bar and hope you didn’t notice?”

Best-Friend did not respond. He knew I was going somewhere.

“And if I were to chew on the corners of your bar, do you think I would leave small shits on the table too?”

“Shit? What are you talking about? There’s no shit! ” He was most dismissive of me.

“Look!” I pointed to the small black dots that happened not to be chocolate. “That is mouse shit. We have a mouse. That is unless you think I went to an elaborate plan to dupe you out of the corners of your chocolate and sprinkled mouse shit on the table.”

“Oh right. Sorry.”

Awkwardness is …

I have previously written the “Awkwardness is …” series in third person narration, which is  tiresome. I’m changing the format.

So back to the entry.

I live on the eighth floor of an apartment block. Walking down the stairs takes an age, especially when half asleep. Needless to say, I use the lift. The only thing is the lift is small. A journey shared with a perfect stranger is to get to know that person  intimately.

Yesterday morning, my oh so nice neighbour – with whom I have nothing in common – joined me in the lift for the third morning in a row. Sunday’s topic of conversation was the cold weather. Monday’s words were on the uselessness of storage heating. This morning’s exchange was different.

I was already in the lift when I heard his apartment door bang. His keys rattled. He hastened once he saw I held the door open.

“Morning,” he said in his usual cheerful manner. He flashed his good smile.

“Hi, again,” I said. It was 08.15 and I was not in the mood to talk.

He made some general chat. I looked up and cut across him.

“You’ve toothpaste on your face,” I said, pointing to my left cheek in an attempt to guide him.

“Really?” He rubbed his cheek vigorously. “Is it gone?”

“Yes, it is.”

It was only when spoke, I realised my observation may have been out of place. I was grateful when the elevator reached ground floor. I bolted from the confined space. I wished him good day and assessed the weirdness of commenting on a practical stranger having toothpaste on his cheek.

In the Face of Danger

I moved into Best-Friend’s apartment a few months ago. It made sense at the time. Best-Friend travels so frequently with work there was no point leaving the place vacant. The location of his apartment is ideal. My daily commute to work is no more than a ten minute walk. Joy!

Since vacating Ex-Boyfriend’s house, I have no laptop. I mean to buy one. I just have not got around to it; clothes are more fun to buy. I can do all my essential internet things at work. The only websites I use in the evening are Facebook and Gmail. Having internet access is not essential.

Best-Friend has a Mac that’s about ten years old. It functions adequately for my needs. Its power adapter is a little finicky. One evening, it completely gave up the ghost . I had no way of powering the Mac but for the remaining battery life. In desperation I intricately moved the adapter box and cable until it delivered charge.

Last week, Best-Friend observed me doing this. He came over and examined the cable.

“The cable is split,” he noted. “Be careful you don’t get a shock. It could be dangerous.”

“Ah sure it will be grand,” I responded dismissively.

On Monday night I sat on the couch with the Mac on my lap. The adapter was again misbehaving. I tweaked the cable and sure enough it delivered power.

A few minutes into my surfing, I smelt smoke. It can’t be the adapter, I thought. Was that I spark I saw? A curling, string of smoke spiralled up from the dodgy section of the cable. Ah sure it will be grand, I thought.

Best-Friend walked into the living room. Just as he did, the adapter decided to give off another spark, followed by more smoke.

The alarm in his voice was clear. “Stephen, the adapter just sparked!”

“Yeah, it did.” I looked towards him confirming his statement.

He flapped in panic. “Quick … Ehhhh …. Unplug it … Quick … Smoke …. Fire …”

I removed the power plug from the laptop with a small movement of my hand. I looked up at him from the couch. The Mac still remained on my lap. I am undecided whether it was a serene calmness or dumb stupor that filled me.

“Ehh … Quick … Flames … Unplug it from the wall! Get it off the couch! The couch will go on fire!”

“It’s grand,” I said. Humour filled my voice. “There is no charge in it since I’ve unplugged it from the Mac.” I unplugged the adapter from the wall to keep him happy.

“I knew that adapter was dodgy,” he said.

“Yeah, I now agree with you.”

Best-Friend has incredible patience when it comes to my technological faux pas. Once, in our apartment in the IFSC, I was in the kitchen while he watched the evening news in the living room. Suddenly, the apartment descended into darkness and silence.

“Ohhhhh” I cooed from the kitchen.

“Did you just put a knife in the toaster again, Stephen?”

“Yes.”

He got up from the arm chair and tripped the switch on the fuse board. He compared me to his grandmother who apparently used to do the same.

My nonchalant attitude towards technology concerns me a little. I appear to have no respect for electricity and its potential dangers. Will this be the cause of a premature demise? I imagine a neighbour breaking down my door to find me dead in the bath – electrified – with a GHD hair straightener, dangling from my right hand, submerged in the murky water.  Am I dismissive of the dangers of modern technology or am I just calm when faced with danger?

Would I have been good in the rescue service? Picture me standing outside a burning building of six or seven storeys in a fireman’s uniform. My face is covered in soot. I look good, if I do say so myself. I appear calm, cool and collect in the face of danger. The building is engulfed in a fiery, orange blaze. Dark, black smoke pours out and fills the immediate area. While scanning the building, I see a young woman banging her fists of the glass of a window on the third floor. She is panic stricken.

An onlooker standing thirty or so feet behind me cries aloud. He points at the window. “Quick! Save her!”

“Ah sure, she’s grand,” I respond.

Hooked on Virtual Reality

I’ve always been proud of myself for not getting hooked on Facebook like many of my friends. Bebo – which is Facebook for fourteen year old girls – was another matter entirely; I was a Bebo addict until I deleted my profile a year ago. I’ve had a Facebook profile for years. I rarely used it, only logging into it once a month. I hated the fact I had to decline so many invites to join friends’ applications such as becoming a zombie warrior; determining what kind of cocktail I am; or discovering the age I am likely to die. Facebook was pointless in my eyes, until now …

I recently discovered Farmville and Yoville applications on Facebook. Farmville was the first to draw my attention. Farmville involves the growing, maintaining and harvesting of a virtual farm; I choose crops, animals and trees. I run the farm as I see fit. The aim of the game is to earn money (by selling produce) and gain experience points. I am allowed access to greater varieties of features as I earn more points. This game – with its lame graphics and non-existent purpose to progress through levels – should be well beyond the vast scope of my interest and coolness. I am completely hooked!

This is a picture of my farm. I am quite proud. I perceive it as an agricultural powerhouse.

Farmville

At the moment, I am growing rice in paddy fields, squash, soya beans and trees of some kind. The little farmer next to the 98% almost grown rice crop is made in my image. So far today, I have logged into Farmville three times to harvest and replant. Yesterday, Boyfriend asked if I would be nice enough to make him tea. I informed him I would after sowing my egg plant. He threw his eyes to heaven and accused me of having an addiction. He just does not understand life on the farm. It requires 100% commitment.

When I am not busy on the farm, I occupy myself in Yoville. Yoville is a virtual town where you can interact with other Yovillians. When I joined Yoville, I received an apartment. I suppose Yoville operates similarly to communism. The town of Yoville has amenities such as cafés, diners, furniture shops and even a nightclub. It’s necessary to earn money by working in the widget factory. I have not yet figured how to actually show up for a shift. Money allows for the purchase of food, drinks and refreshments; clothes and accessories; gifts such as plants and lamps; and furniture for a minimalist apartment.

Some of my friends have also started using Yoville. These friends live in my apartment block. I can drop by their apartment and interact with them. I can even sleep in their bed if I wish. There are no locked doors in Yoville; there is potential to be creepy. One of the best things is that the game allows you to interact with other random inhabitants of Yoville, who you might bump into during a mosey around the town. I chat with them via speech bubbles and emoticons.

I’d like to inform you that my interaction with my fellow Yovillians has been high-brow. It hasn’t. So far I have asked random Yovillians if they would sleep with me so I could buy furniture for my shitty apartment. Yesterday, while attending a virtual party I offered a group of female Yovillians a lap dance in exchange for Yocash. They were entertained, but my robot dance failed to win any currency from them. One invitee at the party showed up wearing just a swim suit. Some of the attendants called her a slut. Oh how I laughed.

This is my apartment in Yoville. You now understand why I might allow my Yoville character to sleep around in order to pay for some home improvements. Yoville

As you can tell I am hooked on Farmville and Yoville. Boyfriend forbade me from using the laptop this evening. He forgot we have an old desk top upstairs. I secretly harvested my rice in Farmville and went fishing at the lake in Yoville.

Something Fishy

I had a brilliant weekend. Nothing particular made my weekend lovely. It was a weekend with no purpose, no hit list and no arrangements. I was free to do as I pleased and that I did. I could not have asked for better weather to lounge about town. On Saturday afternoon, I spent an hour or two looking at fancy apartments with Best Friend. After much “oooohing” and “ahhhhing” at the amazing apartments in Castleforbes, I walked into town to meet Boyfriend. Together we walked around town basking in the sunshine. I had settled on the far fetched notion that I would make a fish over the weekend. I am trying to encourage myself to eat more fruit of the sea. Boyfriend and I visited the Asian Food Store near Jervis Street Luas Stop in search of ingredients. The Asian Food store is very cheap. Even the fish counter was impressive. A box of livelycrabs lay on the ground waving their legs at me. I declined to wave back. At this counter I bought fresh squid and some frozen scallops. I am a little squeamish with squid, but soldiered on with the task of preparing it at home. The end result was deep fried calamari. It was deceptively simple. I even managed to cook sea food again on Sunday; I cooked scallops with chorizo. Again, the recipe was easy peasy. The whole lot went down nicely with a few bottles of Heineken. One of the cons of preparing so much fish is that my hands smell funny. They smell like I attended a teenager’s disco on Saturday night. I assure you I did not.