Broken Into.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Last Wednesday in the early hours of the morning, as I slept soundly next to Rich, my house was broken into. My mum came into my room at a quarter to seven and woke us up. Lily was barking a couple of gardens away. The back door was wide open and the table was littered with debris from our wallets and coat pockets. Cards were strewn, receipts lay dormant and the cash was, obviously, gone. My laptop was taken, in it’s case in my school bag. In the bag was a roll of undeveloped film of my newborn niece. And my house keys. I kicked a basket. Eoin punched a wall. We all paced around in frustration, anger and disbelief. We could not understand why this was happening again. Just under a month ago we were also broken into. Twice within four weeks? Crazy. The first time an iPad and a new digital camera were stolen. We weren't home and it didn't feel as much of a big deal. The sense of invasion of privacy wasn't as strong.

The locks have been changed, the windows and doors have new bolts and an alarm is going in this evening. We are safe and our replacement possessions will be safe now too.

I usually back up my work regularly. When I was writing my thesis I emailed chapters to myself, uploaded them to google drive and backed them up on an external hard drive. The night before we were broken into I contemplated leaving my laptop in college. Leaving valuables overnight in NCAD is not advised but I knew that I was not going to do any work once I got home and I would just be carrying it home to carry it in again. I thought better of it and packed my computer up in my bag to go home. I also ignored a little icon that popped up in the corner of my screen prior to shutting down that told me my last back up 21 days ago. That night I popped a roll of film from the hospital into my bag so I wouldn't forget to bring it to be developed the following day. Unfortunately whoever broke into our house, rifled through my things and took my bag, favourite film camera and computer complete with three precious weeks of work also took that little roll of film with them. It's probably in a bin somewhere now. I a month behind with my degree show project now. I hadn't realised just how much work is done in a month. It's all just so frustrating.

Thankfully having a newborn around at times like these really puts things into perspective. We are so lucky that no one woke up and heard these people in the house. I shudder to think what could have happened had we disturbed them. I am thankful that we are all ok, that most of what was taken can at some stage, in some way, be replaced. We don't have those photographs but we have the memories. A photo of newborn Lola is nothing compared to holding her, kissing her little face and smelling her beautiful freshness. Being an aunt for the first time makes up for pretty much anything.

Detach, In Process

Monday, April 7, 2014

 I like to look at other peoples’ processes, probably because I am nosy but also because everyone does everything so differently, it is fascinating. Here is a peek at a book/journal/quarterly/fancy ‘magazine’ I am designing for my degree project.

It is called Detach and focuses on the the transitional time between being an adolescent and an adult. You know that horribly frustrating, not-earning-enough-money but for all intents and purposes independent period of time? Yeah, that. It’s really fascinating and satisfies my nosiness because spending large chunks of time talking to people and taking their photographs is my favourite thing to do.

 I had intended on it being a book originally—and it still might—but I am experimenting with a quarterly format with each issue subtly encouraging conversation and reflection upon a different topic.
It feels like much more of a challenge this way because I need to come up with added material around the stories of the individuals I interview…and I need for this content to not seem too contrived or commercial or ‘filler’. I’m playing it by ear…it might just be a 200 page book at the end of the day if that’s what works better!

 Annnnnd now one with grids on, cause grids make me look like I have an iota of a clue what I’m doing.

How do you like to work? InDesign is my favourite…I do not understand those Illustrator heads, it drives me nuts! I prefer my illustrations to take place on paper with pens ;)

I love to eat with you (at Nosh)

Monday, March 31, 2014

A few weeks ago I gently reminded Eoin how often Rich and I have taken him for brunch in order to cajole him into taking us…he was feeling flush and obliged immediately! We went to one of his favourite places, Noshington’s where I have never been before. I don’t know why it took me so long to go, (the name is a little weird) but I will definitely be going back. I had the best chai latte ever followed by the most delicious smoked salmon on toast dish. It was mouth watering, the perfect size, deliciously dressed with cream cheese on the side. Eoin had the special which was avocado on toast with poached egg and Rich had eggs benedict. We were all equally satisfied. AND they had mini bites of cake to taste beside the till so it felt like we got to eat dessert without actually eating dessert. More places do this please!


Thursday, March 27, 2014

For a few days there it felt like Spring was coming…but you know how it goes, two steps forward and then three back. A day of sunshine and blue skies followed by two of heavy rain and grey clouds. While I huddle by the heater in work my heart is warmed by the photos I did manage to take while the sun was shining. I hope yours is too. Is it Spring where you are?

PS I am on a major Portra 400 kick at the moment…I can’t get enough of it’s rich tones, I think it suits golden hour light so well.


Thursday, March 20, 2014

I don’t know how to write these words but it has been over three weeks now and I feel the need to get something down. On Friday the 21st of February my cousin Cian died suddenly at work, off the coast of Angola. It still feels unreal.

If I was writing about this kind of experience fictionally I would say that this news ‘knocked the air’ out of me and my family or that it hit us like a ‘ton of bricks’ or some other kind of literary cliché. I cannot speak for the rest of my family but for me realisation—and with it, grief— comes in waves. It washes over and engulfs me periodically. The rest of the time it feels unreal, like a bad dream or practical joke. But it’s not. It is horrendously real.

Many people have written beautiful things about Cian and his many, many, achievements. They are equally difficult and wonderful to read. He was the personification of adventure, never passing up an opportunity to do something new and exciting, always willing to volunteer his time, knowledge and expertise. He explored and travelled more than anyone I know. He approached every situation, conversation and opportunity with an unmatched enthusiasm. He was an example for myself and my siblings alike, never pushing us any direction but always subtly guiding the way and revealing to us all that is possible. He was, and will continue to be, an inspiration for generations to come. I feel so thankful to have known and loved him.

He was a good, good man and I will always miss him. 

Not Buying.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

I am trying not to buy things. Or I am trying to buy less things. The other night I was lamenting to Richard that I needed to buy a good water bottle because buying water from the shop every day was giving me hives (of the metaphorical variety). It’s like I could feel all those plastic water bottles piling up, gathering on shelves, in the bottom of my bag, around the sink and, ultimately in the (recycling) bin. It made me feel claustrophobic when I thought about it. He laughed at me but agreed it was probably a good idea to get something reusable. He’s a great appeaser, that one. I am now the proud and delighted owner of a reusable, dishwasher-able, filter water bottle from Stock, and it feels good.

The main way I am implementing this not buying things decision is by not buying clothes. I have decided not to buy new clothes this year. If I want to wear something new it must be second hand, hand made or vintage. So far I’ve bought two jumpers this year. One was new but I had a voucher that needed to be spent that I didn’t get around to using up after Christmas. The second is vintage. I know I’m only six or so weeks into the year and I probably wouldn’t have bought much anyway but being able to look around the shops, see things I like and then let them go is so liberating. Knowing that I don’t actually need things, that I can walk away and forget all about them leaves me calm. I am not restricting the buying of anything else but I am trying to shop with intention and mindfulness. I mean, do I really need a new nail varnish that I won’t like next week? No, is usually the answer. Stuff is stressful. And nobody needs more stress.

As I work in a tiny little shop—a shop that is independent and reliant on loyal customers, word of mouth and people coming out to see us despite the wind and rain—I have come to appreciate the value of shopping local. When I do need to buy things now, like for instance a shiny pink water bottle, I want to spend that money somewhere independent, somewhere where the owner actually works behind the till…even if that does mean it costs me a little bit more.

I am intrigued as to if it will all get boring or too difficult halfway through the year, or if I’ll be dreaming of new t-shirts from Gap or sandals and bikinis from Penneys come July…I hope I don’t. I hope this experience teaches me more than I expect about wanting and needing and wearing and value.

What do you think, could you ever give up clothes shopping for a year? What would you miss most? 

PS Obvioussssly underwear/tights/socks not included…cause, well, gross. 

Something I Designed: Moss Cottage Bags

Monday, February 3, 2014

I made a portfolio site in the hopes of encouraging myself to apply for some internships. So far that hasn’t happened…but it did force me to finally photograph this cute bag I designed for Moss Cottage

I love to eat with you (at Fumbally)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I don’t think I could tire of eating here. The food is beautiful, simple, humble but oh so delicious. This time we have brunch, you, the eggs on toast, and I the avocado. My absolute favourite.
Sometimes we talk and sometimes we don’t…the silences are rarely awkward though occasionally I find myself worrying if other people might notice we are saying nothing. It doesn’t matter really. In Fumbally there is so much to look at and listen to. The kitchen is open and the tables are shared. The art on the wall is enviable. It is furnished how I imagine my future home will be; eclectically and emotively, the chosen pieces ooze feeling and story*. It feels like being in a different time and place and yet familiar Dublin resides just outside the door. Haunted by hipsters and suits alike Fumbally does what it does and does it well. You should go. 

*even if it was all created intentionally to appeal to a ‘certain crowd’, I really don’t care.

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