We’re keeping Kleenex in business!


Just a quick update:

Sent mum the poem for Mother’s Day (which was yesterday in Ireland).

She loved it!

She cried tears of sadness because I wasn’t there to hug her and cried tears of pride that I’m her daughter.

Then I cried- because when she cries, I cry.

All in all, it was a rather wet-faced day 😛

Love, xx


Mum’s the word

mothers day

Ok, so I know it’s celebrated in May in certain countries (America and Germany are just two that I know of), but Mother’s Day is just around the corner in Ireland! This Sunday, March 10th, mothers all over the country will (hopefully) be showered with cards and gifts from their children to show them how loved they are.
I have a very soft spot for my mum, as she is also my best friend ❤
We get on great and chat about everything with one another! Over the years our relationship has only gotten stronger, despite the odd argument along the way.
I am currently in Germany so I cannot physically be with my mum this weekend, but we will Skype and keep in contact no matter what. My brother at home has bought a few things for her, which I will reimburse him for when I get home at Easter. Still though, I would like to do something nice for her to show her how great she is and how much she means to me, and I’m just looking for suggestions off you guys!
Whether it’s a poem written for her, or something I can send home to her, or even something I can do for her when I get home- I’d just like to say thanks to my best friend, and to the best mother in the world!
Appreciate any help you guys might have, and also feel free to tell me about your own mothers… I always love a good mom story 🙂

Danke schön xx

p.s Here’s the link to a lovely (but definitely tear-jerking) blog post about a wonderful mother who is sadly no longer around. If you’re going to check it out, I advise bringing tissues!

Packing sucks

young woman standing on over packed suitcase in bedroom

Since when did I start to dislike packing? Most people hate it, but I used to love it when I was younger. I used to help my mum pick out which clothes we would bring and it used to be pre-holiday game. It would build up excitement levels and get me in such a good mood. I used to look forward to getting out the suitcases and throwing open the wardrobe doors to select the lucky items of clothing which would accompany us on our travels.

Packing used to signify summer clothing, because we usually traveled abroad to Majorca, and as you may know the weather there is slightly better than what we would be used to in good ol’ Ireland. At home, even in the summer you wore your winter clothes. The odd day when the rain stopped for long enough to let a little peep of the sun shine through people went mad and lost all logic. Shorts were worn, string-tops and flip-flops saw the light of day again after three consecutive years in the wardrobe; basically we lost the run of ourselves altogether. People got sunburned and thought this was great as it looked cosmopolitan (it actually looked more like we were trying to impersonate the Polish flag: red and white).

The key to dressing weather-appropriate in Ireland should be this: layers. Start off the day by wearing numerous layers (a t-shirt, cardigan, jeans, a light blazer and an anorak). As the day progresses take off/put on additional layers as required; for example when it stops raining, remove the anorak. When the sun comes out, throw off the blazer and cardigan, and swap the jeans for shorts. When it begins to rain a minute later, add a pair of thermal tights. Etc. Etc.

But I am going off the point at which this post is aimed, to wit, packing. I used to see packing as the beginning of a summer adventure; I now see packing as my mother used to see it: a tedious task involving far too much thinking and far too little alcohol. Last night I was trying to throw a few bits into my suitcase to bring home. I should mention I am going home for just under four days. As of this morning, my suitcase will not close. I have not finished packing yet.

Where’s the alcohol?

I didn’t even think I had too many (unnecessary) items packed into my small case. It’s one of those cases that are supposed to fit in the overhead lockers of the plane, and it is currently looking like it is about to have a suitcase-aneurism. If it bursts at the airport later and I am left surrounded by a mound of my own dirty washing, I will just nonchalantly walk away from said mound as though I have no idea how it came to be there. I am trés cool like that.

So yes, my case is mostly full of washing. My mum said if I brought it home, she would wash things for me and have everything dried and ironed before I went back. I think you can all see now why I love my mum so much. I have been doing washing here for the last seven weeks straight and I’m sick of it. There is also no means for me to dry my clothes other than in the shower. I am used to having a clothes-line at my disposal; having to hang jeans up, then remove them a while later to have a shower, and then put them back up again so that they dry in under a week is starting to grate on my nerves. I forgot I had a top hanging over the shower railing one morning and because I was half asleep I just had a shower and washed my top again… this time with shampoo. Oh the joys of living in an apartment.

Anyway, I’m trying to get away without having to check-in any luggage for my flights, so I will use my suitcase as hand-luggage and my laptop case as my handbag. The laptop bag is another hot mess. It contains not only my laptop, but other such vital items as my actual handbag, make-up (I want to look fabulous when I land), phone/laptop/camera chargers and sweets for my work-colleagues at home/me if I get hungry on the flight.

Seriously, when did packing become such a nightmare? And has anyone any other suggestions for ways to get your suitcase to close, when sitting on it doesn’t work? Gott in Himmel, save me!

37 more hours:

il_570xN_216363172_largeThe amount of time that has yet to elapse before I will arrive home. This time has to include the following activities: packing, travelling to the airport, waiting at the airport, a short flight from Nuremberg to Frankfurt, an hour and a half wait in Frankfurt and a slightly longer flight to Dublin. It also has to include today’s work, tomorrow’s work, eating, sleeping and last minute panicking/excitement overloading. When you think about it, that’s actually not that much time to do everything. But if it kills me I will get everything done and I will get home with a smile on my face and a suitcase (probably overpacked) by my side.

It’s not as easy as just going home though. You see, I am surprising my brother for his 18th birthday and so he does not know that I will be home in 37 hours (hence the surprise). This means that I must pretend I am still in Nuremberg and doing mundane Friday evening activities, when instead I am actually amidst a whirl of planes, trains and airports. This also means that I must have a story in place. Normally my family and I Skype one another in the evenings, over dinner if possible, so it feels like we’re still all together. Seeing as I will be en route to the airport tomorrow evening, I will be unable to Skype home. Do you see the pickle I am in? My brother will wonder why we are not Skpying unless there is a reason for it, and the reason is this: my internet will not be working tomorrow evening.

I know what you’re thinking- but Claire, you said in your last post that your internet isn’t working any of the time: true (and well done for reading my last post). The internet situation is as follows: there should be internet in my apartment; there is not. I am currently using the wi-fi of another inhabitant in my building, who lives two floors beneath me (don’t worry, he knows about it; he gave me the password- it’s not illegal, I swear). I have complained numerous times to my landlord, but he has chosen to ignore my complaints. As of late he is rarely present in the building, in fact he could have died and I would be unaware. Therefore I cannot throw a hissy-fit in front of him like I had planned to do. This makes me sad and angry simultaneously.

Anyway, I’m getting sidetracked here. The point is, my internet connection is rather fickle as a result of the fact that I am using wi-fi from two floors beneath me. Therefore, it has happened before (and it will happen again tomorrow, mwahaha) that my internet has lost its signal and will not let me connect again for several hours. That is le plan to cover the fact that I will not be Skyping tomorrow evening. Now we must move on to my mother’s cover story.
My mum is going to collect me from the airport and I genuinely cannot wait for that. I will literally run to her like they do in the movies where people are reunited once again and dash to meet one another in a warm embrace. I will strive for this, but more than likely I will see her, start to run towards her, then promptly trip on my suitcase/big poofy coat and end up smack bam on the ground, my teeth rattling around in my head. I’m ever so graceful.

So mum is driving two hours up to Dublin to collect me and will then have to drive us two hours back. She will be gone ca. four hours (excellent maths right there). She has decided she will tell my brother she is going to a table quiz on the eve of his birthday to try and win him his present (she’s hilarious like that), he will roll his eyes, mumble something along the lines of “Ok, whatever, I’m going to play x-box” and thus the conundrum will be solved.

In less than 37 hours normality will be restored (well, as normal as my family can do). In less than 37 hours, I will be home.

Coming Home

I have been waiting for the last almost seven weeks to get to see my family and my boyfriend again. Saying goodbye to them all that time ago was hard, very hard. I remember when mum and I arrived at the apartment that Sunday evening and it seemed as though everything was wrong (namely because everything was wrong). There was no internet (still isn’t), there were no shops open for us to buy any food for that evening or for breakfast the following day, there was no duvet or pillow for the ‘bed’, and basically everything else was wrong too. I remember becoming hysterical after Friedie had left. I couldn’t contain my sadness and my disappointment and every other emotion that was whirling around inside me. I was terrified to face this new place, where I knew no one and nothing, alone. Luckily the one person in the world who means the most to me was with there beside me to comfort me when I needed her the most. I broke down and cried uncontrollably, huge, wet tears running down my face and onto my clothes and into my hair. She let me wail into her shoulder until she too was covered with foundation and mascara. I could tell she was holding back her own tears. Of course, she did cry, but I knew she would have cried more had I not needed her so badly to be strong for me. She told me I had to stop crying, so I did, because she is my mother and I do what she tells me (some of the time). We had to go and get some fresh air. It seemed like we had been sitting inside for an eternity. It had started off with Paul driving us to the airport that morning. I say morning, but it was really more the middle of the night than anything. From there we waited in the airport. That was hard too, because every second I spent with Paul beside me, I knew I was getting closer to having to say goodbye to him. When I eventually did have to say goodbye, I started to cry. I found walking away from him seriously difficult to do, and the only reason I actually did it was because mum was there to console me when we got to the other side of the frosted glass. She was there the whole time-on the plane beside me as I slept, when we arrived at Munich airport and had to try and get train tickets to Nuremberg, on the train journey that seemed to last another eternity. I was so tired and sick of sitting down, but she was always there to my side to make small talk with. We both knew we were just trying to pretend like it wasn’t all really happening. Mum had been dreading that day for months, ever since she’d found out I would be going abroad for six months as part of my college course. I hadn’t really started to worry about it until the very end. Then, on that long train ride to my new place of abode, I began to fear like she had feared. That evening when we eventually arrived and during my sobbing session, I pleaded with her to bring me home with her. I know I wasn’t making it any easier for her; in fact I was probably breaking her heart with my desperate attempts to return home with her. I couldn’t face the thought of her leaving me the next day and me not seeing her again for what would seem like forever. The idea of her boarding a plane without me made me break down even more. That was when we went out and got food. She knew me so well. The food helped, but still didn’t change the fact that at that time I was truly miserable. The next morning would not be any easier. Waking up almost as early as the morning before, we arose to the tiny room that was, and still is, my living space. I think we had a granola and a Rice Krispies cereal bar for breakfast that day, luckily mum had brought them from home. I asked would I walk with her as far as the train station. She said no, she would go on her own. I don’t know was this so she could cry in peace, or so I could have another few minutes rest in bed after she left. Seeing her go was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to face. Closing the apartment door after the elevator had descended and taken my mother out of sight was so hard. Rushing to the window and opening it to the freezing cold air, so I could stick my head out and wait for her as she left the building was easy. I heard the front door open and saw my mother leaving. I waved frantically at her, and although she looked up towards me, she could not see me behind a part of the building that jutted out. I could not yell down to my mother, four floors beneath me, as it was still too early and I thought I would wake people up. Even if I had yelled down, I don’t know would she have heard me. There was a sharp breeze outside and my calls could have been carried away by the German wind. Or I could have opened my mouth to call out to her, and perhaps no words would have come; only a dry and course whispering sound. That was the last time I saw my mother in person. That was almost seven weeks ago. The time has passed, but slowly. I have not hugged my mother in almost seven weeks, and for me that has never happened before. Even at home if we have a flaming argument about something, chances are we’ll be back hugging one another again that same evening. It’s just how we are. She is my best friend in the whole world.

This weekend I go home for three days. It is a surprise for my brother’s 18th birthday. I have been waiting almost seven weeks for this one weekend. I’m coming home