Some Dialogue Since I’ve Been Home

Some Dialogue Since I’ve Been Home

Dad: I need to figure out what to do with your grandad.

Me: What do you mean?

Dad: Well, he’s just sitting through in the office.

Me: His ashes?

Dad: Mmm.

Me: Why don’t you scatter them in the sea? He loved the sea.

Dad: Well, I promised him I’d put bury his ashes next to Grandma’s but I promised her I wouldn’t put his ashes anywhere near her.

Me: Oh.


Me: Get your feet off the table!

Brother: What? They’re clean. Smell them.

Me: No! You’ve been walking on the floor all morning.

Brother: Fine, I’ll put on my shoes.


Dad: People keep wishing me a happy 70th birthday. How can I possibly have a happy 70th birthday? It’s a contradiction in terms, isn’t it?


Dad: So Norm, I was thinking I’d make you macaroni and cheese tonight. We’re going to have beef.

Brother: I don’t eat cheese. I’m vegan now.

Dad: Oh for fuck’s sake.


Brother: I go swimming now.

Me: I’ve joined a gym!

Brother: Jesus, I couldn’t join a gym.

Me: Going swimming is practically going to a gym.

Brother: I prefer cycling.

Me: I cycle AND go to the gym.

Dad: I turn over onto my other side to avoid bed sores.


Dad: I’ll never be as smart as I was when I was 18.

Dad (to me): You were never smart when you were 18.

Me: I know, I was just thinking that.

Sister: You were nice though.


Dad: What are you, Fraser?

Boyfriend: My star sign?

Me: He’s an Aries.

Sister: Oh, fire!

Me: His midheaven is all air though.


Me: Dad, what is that?

Dad: What do you think it is?

Me: Grass?

Dad: Parsley.

Me: No, Dad. Seriously, what is it? Is it grass?

Dad: Yes.

Me: Is grass and weed the same thing?

Whole family: Of course it is.



Merry Christmas Eve, folks!

Man, I think this is the most excited I’ve been for Christmas EVER! It’s for a number of reasons, really. I’m off work for 10 WHOLE DAYS, family are coming over from Holland (Barbara sure gave them a rough time on the ferry last night), and old family friends are joining us tomorrow for Christmas celebrations. OH and I’ve also brought home the best board-game in the world: Cranium. I’m going to wrap it up and put it under the tree so it looks like I’ve got my family quite a lot of presents, but it’s really just a present for myself. Everyone in my family hates board-games, but when it’s Christmas they HAVE to play with me. MWHAHAHAHA.

Mum’s stewing the ham right now. When I got up this morning it looked like little cooking elves had been working in the kitchen all night. There was food everywhere, recipes sprawled across the kitchen table, sausages defrosting in the sink…it was a lovely sight to wake up to. Then Mum came hobbling into the kitchen, all frizzy hair and crazy eyes, and said that she’d been up since four in the morning planning.

I feel kind of bad. For about two months now I’ve been telling Mum that I can totally help with all the cooking, but so far since I’ve been home, I’ve just been looking at all my old childhood books and getting emotional. It’s only ten, though. There’s still time to help. Although deep down I know I will just end up watching Christmas cooking programmes and getting hungry.

I’m the worst.

SO. Last night on the way home, we stopped off at Kinross services for a toilet and coffee break and GUESS WHO WE SAW?!?!?!?! BLOODY TILDA SWINTON!!!!!!! It. Was. Insane. I always thought that if I was ever to see a proper famous person that I would totally play it cool, but that did not happen. I couldn’t stop staring at her. And I wanted nothing more than to go and congratulate her for her role in About a Boy. Then the BF then told me that that the woman in About a Boy was in actual fact NOT Tilda Swinton. I’m so lucky I’ve got him — he’s stopped me from entering many an embarrassing situation.

We’re at Mum’s for Christmas this year. We were at Dad’s last year and it was…an experience. I arrived at his on Christmas morning to find him, my brother, and my sort of brother DRUNK OUT OF THEIR MINDS, and the Christmas turkey upside down in the oven. I have since heard, however, that putting a turkey upside down in the oven helps it stay nice and moist. And you know what? It was a particularly delicious turkey that year. I felt sorry for my brother. He’s a vegetarian and my Dad doesn’t really have time for that sort of thing so he just got stuck eating a bunch broccoli and Brussels sprouts. He couldn’t even have any potatoes or gravy because they were cooked with or in animal fat. My brother’s a nice laid-back chap though. He didn’t mind too much.

Uh oh, me Mam’s needing help with the spuds. Better run.

I can already feel the finger cramp.



Gran Canaria with Da Fam

Gran Canaria with Da Fam


There’s one great thing about working full time: you TOTALLY appreciate your time off.  I’d say this is the best holiday I’ve ever been on just because I can compare it to my life at work. Like yesterday, I was floating in the beautiful, sparkling ocean, which was lovely in its own right, but what made it even better was the fact that I was thinking of those poor souls at work, probably consoling an angry customer who was just told they can no longer be seen for their appointment as they arrived 20 minutes late (ugh, people), and counting down the minutes to their second break.

But seriously, if you don’t have a full-time job, get one just so can experience this blissful FREEDOM! I’m not just content here, I’m ECSTATIC that I don’t have to wake up to an alarm; that I can read all day; that I can have a cocktail whenever I want; that my life is one big break and not just two tiny half an hour ones; that there’s time to write, time to sleep, time to EAT, time to do whatever I want.

It’s awesome.

So this is day two in Gran Canaria and so far, I’ve learned that the older you get, the less you are willing to put up with bullshit. I feel kind of bad now for how I’ve always seen my Dad as this angry, grumpy, impatient consumer, constantly annoyed that things are not meeting his standards, but really, he’s just a victim of his age. I started to think this around the same time I was in the airport with my Mum for about four minutes. It was strange, she was behaving the way that Dad usually does. She was rude to the check in staff (he kept turning his head as he was speaking to her, making it hard to understand him); she was affronted at the price for a cup of tea; the plane was far too cold (then it was far too hot); she pointblank refused to move from the aisle seat that she had paid for especially (she was asked to move so a guy with a BROKEN LEG could have more room), and anyone who tried to skip a queue…well, I don’t really want to get into what she did then.

So here I was, confused. Why is Mum behaving so much like Dad? She was always the sanctuary, the nice one, the good cop. But then, it hit me: SHE’S OLD. Ok, maybe not “old”, but older. She’s the same age Dad was when we first started travelling. Tragically, Dad hit his grumpy old man stage around the same time I hit my grumpy-OMG-my-parents-are -so-embarrassing stage. Those were turbulent times, but at least with Mum, I’m in my laid-back-23-year-old-alright-with-who-I-am-and-who-my-family-are stage. I can just watch Mum wreak havoc with calm amusement (although, I did flinch when she made the poor guy with a broken leg hobble to the end of the plane, OH THE SHAME).

I was also slightly chuffed that I’d have a few good stories to tell the aunties when we arrived, but instead of being hit with guffaws of laughter and “oh stop, you’re too funny(s)”, I was met with “I would have refused to get out of the seat as well”, “Bloody Ryanair – more RyanIDon’tCare HAHA”, “kids these days just MUMBLE! You can’t hear them at all”, and “Tell me about it – THREE EUROS for a cup of tea!”.

Yep, they’ve gone old too.

Not Quite the Waltons

Not Quite the Waltons


So the family dinner was quite nice. Mum didn’t actually make it for dinner, but we saved her some leftovers (minced fajitas – how ridiculously difficult is it to eat these things?!). She also brought pudding (chocolate eclairs and creamy meringues), but she’d accidentally kept them in her car all day in the sunshine, and so they were absolutely disgusting. Well, that’s what my brother and dad said anyway – I, at the time, had already eaten an eclair, and while I thought it tasted a bit funny, I powered through because I love nothing more than a nice, big cream pie.

Stop it.

The conversation around the dinner table mainly consisted of mum and dad swapping their barrister stories from when they were getting divorced. Dad said that mum’s was a right nutter, but I couldn’t really understand why. You had to be there, apparently. They also told us that they mainly fought over money, and that they didn’t really care who got the kids so that was nice. Nothing like the loving devotion of parents, eh? They then talked about their childhoods:

Dad: You know your mother was constantly high on marijuana when she was younger?

Mum: No I wasn’t!

Dad: Yes, you were.

Mum: I was not, I hardly ever smoked! I just drank a litre of cider every day.

Well, that’s much better mum.

I actually get a bit stressed about this. My parents were absolute rogues when they were younger. My dad started smoking when he was 11 (11!!!!!) and left school at fifteen, and mum’s parents went back to Ireland when she was 16 and left her in Glasgow with her two older sisters (you can imagine the shananigans they got up to – there were a lot). But they’ve done alright for themselves. It’s like dad said, one day they just cut their hair and went to work. I don’t have any hair to cut! I don’t smoke, I don’t constantly drink, and I would much prefer staying in with a cup of tea and reading a good book over going out and partying all night, and because of this, I am absolutely certain I am going to fail at life.

I’m actually going out to celebrate an 18th tonight. It’s the daughter of my mum’s best friend and we’ve sort of grown up together. The last time we saw them, her mum said that she couldn’t believe how sensible we are – because we’re their spawn – but her daughter hit the nail on the head, saying, “It’s really no wonder we’re so sensible. We grew up putting YOU to bed.”

That shut her mum up.

Ach weel, we are who we are, and as much as I wish I could be more crazy and fun, I’m not. I told my brother of my worries yesterday after a mammoth Facebook stalking of someone’s gap year photos:

Me: I worry I’m a bit boring sometimes.

Brother: Why?

Me: Well, everyone goes off travelling by themselves and sees the world, and hugs monkeys and things. They seem to do so much.

Brother: Well, why don’t you go off travelling? You could easily do that.

Me: But I don’t want to. I don’t like travelling – it scares me.

Confused glance from brother.

Brother: Riiiiiiiiight. So don’t do it then?

Me: But that’s boring!

The conversation sort of went round in circles. He’s not boring. He does all kinds of reckless things. He was once drunkenly playing with flares on a boat, and I was raging, telling him not to be so stupid and to give them to me. He laughed, asserting that I should just “live a little”, before the flares blew up in his hands, and, crying his eyes out, he had to be taken to hospital.

I bet you’re thinking that the moral of this blog post is going to be that, sometimes, it doesn’t hurt to be sensible, but my brother ended up having the most blissful sleep, gassed out of his mind while I was curled up on a chair in the hospital reception next to an old Greek man who did not stop farting.

It may be time to grow my hair.

I Friggin’ Love the Irish

I Friggin’ Love the Irish



I’m not sure how this blog’s going to turn out…I’m terrified it might be a bit soppy…


Yesterday, I arrived back from a weekend of partying, drinking, dancing, and surfing in Ireland – it was my Mum’s 50th and her one friend and family all gathered in a hotel to celebrate.

Yesterday, I also had to read a lot of Irish plays and short stories in preparation for Uni this week and every text captures the importance of family to the Irish. Now I know that family is important to a lot of people of any nationality; but to the Irish, it seems as though family is enough. My mum only needed her family at her wedding and she only needed her family at her 50th.

Ok, and her one friend.

But it seems to me that there are few people who would be content with just their family at important occasions such as these. And there seems to be even fewer people who can party hard with their family and have a bloody good time. It’s also only in Ireland that you see every kid go home from university for the weekend, no matter how many hours away home is. If I did that here, I would be judged, hung, and quartered!

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all holding hands and kumbayah; we have our fights and fall-outs, but these are rare and when they happen, they’re joked about for years after.

“Remember that time I punched you in the face and you ran out the pub and we didn’t see you until the next morning?”

“Hahaha, yeah, I spent the night sleeping in some truck, yeh bastard!”

And we of course never admit to each other how important we are. My auntie actually tried to do this at four in the morning, the night of my Mum’s 50th, and it went something like this…

“I just wanna sob say a few sob wordsss about Fran-sob, sob, sob-ces. She’s the best sob the besssst sister anyone could have-

-“Is she going to cry?-

-she’s alllllways there if I sob need advice-

-HAHA, she is actually going to cry-

-and I just sob wanna-

-Get off the stage!-

-tellherthatIloveher” sob, sob, sob, sniff, sob, sniff.

-Jaaysus, someone take her home!”

But at the end of the day, that home is Granny’s and that’s where everyone will be, fighting over a pot of spuds, mushy peas, and the last lamb chop. And you know what? I wouldn’t rather be anywhere else.

Cough. But for now, I’m away to spit, burp, fart, and burn things.



Edinburgh Fringe, Baby

Edinburgh Fringe, Baby


I wish the Fringe wasn’t so popular – it would seriously help my street rage. I don’t know if it’s because I’m from the country or what, but whenever I’m sharing a pavement with more than one person, a complete monster takes over. Seriously, I scare myself. Ugh. Get OUT of my way. WHY are you walking so slowly? People have places to go, you know. GET OFF THE PAVEMENT JACKASS!!! Oh God, he’s only got one leg. I’m going to hell for sure.

But yeah, other than the street rage, the Fringe is pretty great.

I was there last weekend and I had a swell time…despite being horrendously embarrassed by both my family and friends. Instead of street rage, my Dad suffers from restaurant rage…serious restaurant rage.

“Could I have some olive oil and balsamic vinegar, please?”

Time Frame of two seconds.

“WHERE, is my OLIVE oil and BALSAMIC vinegar?”

“Dad, please calm down…it’ll be here soon, they have to phone down to the kitchen…”

“Phone? PHONE? What, can they not use their legs?”

Dad frantically looks around, while I hide my head in my risotto.

“RIGHT I’m going to go and say something. DISGRACEFUL.”

“NO, Dad, no, please let me…oh look here it is now!”

I wipe the sweat off my forehead as a nice lady lays down the oil and balsamic vinegar.

“You’re lucky”, says Dad in a jovial, but not-so-jovial tone, “I was away to complain”.

That poor girl had no idea how lucky she was.

Anyway, enough about rage. I kicked off the weekend by seeing the one man show, Churchill by the lovely and extremely talented Pip Utton. I met him a couple of years ago. His show was before mine and when he came off stage, I was in the dressing room getting ready. I saw a man, all grey curls and cheeky blue eyes, looking at me in the mirror. I laughed and said, “What?” to which he replied, “I just LOVE watching women put on make-up. The concentration” before skipping away up the stairs.

That was Pip.

The show he did back then was Charles Dickens, and Churchill had the same effect on me as it did. I was desperate to ask Charles Dickens about why he fell in love with Nell, and what was wrong with his first wife before I realised that it was Pip, and not Mr Dickens and so I wouldn’t be able to ask those questions. The question I had for Churchill was how, HOW, can your favourite animal not be cats?!

“I don’t like dogs because they look up at you and I don’t like cats because they look down on you. Pigs know they’re your equal. They look you straight in the eye and always seem to be smiling. I like that in an animal I’m going to kill.”

Oh alright, fair enough.

The next day, my friends and I ventured out to see what we could scrounge in the field of free shows. The first show we saw was an improvisation comedy which was pretty funny, although if anyone doesn’t like audience participation, I would advise you not to go. I’m not a big fan – you go to see a show, not be in it – and so I usually head for a spot near the back to avoid such humiliations, but we were late and I had to sit stuck out on the edge. Perfect audience participation location. I could see her looking at me even though I was finding a spot on the wall extremely fascinating and, sure enough, “Tell me, what’s your name and what do you do?”


Having failed to think up a lie about my life in three seconds, I replied, telling her my name and that I study English Literature. Queue funny, funny jokes about what I expect I’m going to do with my life…but no, the jokes didn’t come. What kind of comedy is this? Maybe just saying English Literature was a good enough joke in itself. There were a few chuckles from the audience.


After seeing a few other shows, and having a snooze in one, my friends and I decided that it would be a good idea to have some fish and chips in the meadows. Sounds like a good idea, doesn’t it? Fresh fish, crispy chips, sunny meadows, good group of friends hanging out…be like something out of One Tree Hill

Try The Inbeweeners.

It started raining, our bums were wet, our chips were soggy, the fish was disgusting and we were egging our friend on to down some lime, lemonade…and vodka. “CHUG, CHUG, CHUG, CHUG!”

British youth at it’s best.

But we then decided to splash out at night and actually pay for a show. The Human Jukebox. It was about a guy who could supposedly play any tune – that’s what it said on the leaflet – and so of course people went there, ready to give him really obscure suggestions to try and catch him out. It did catch him out and when people realised that there wouldn’t be a show unless they COPPED ON and gave him some well known songs…well, they did exactly that. And he was a pretty talented guy. And funny. Well worth the £9.50. And girls, if you’re anything like me, you will find him extremely sexy. A short ish, bald guy with glasses, and questionable dress sense, multi-tasking like crazy? Oooooooft. It’s getting hot in here.

The next morning, however, my trip came to an end and it was time to say goodbye to the jugglers and hipsters; the buskers and fortune tellers; the tourists and aggravated locals; get another subway and board the bus home. Then get off that bus because it was broken and into another.

Don’t get me started on my bus rage.