College Blues

Ah it’s that time of the year, mid September, the beginning of the college year. “Hooray! Freedom!” squeals the masses. I on the other hand, shrug. College life has never been fun for me- there I’ve said it. Ever since I began college in Dublin four years ago, I’ve been in a relationship and ever since I’ve been in a relationship, my boyfriend has been on the opposite side of the country to me.

Darren & I in Galway 2009
One of the many trips to and fro

I love Darren, I love spending time with him, therefore I dislike being in college in a different county because we hardly ever get to see each other. In the four years that Darren and I have been together he has spent three years in college in Galway and one year working in Cavan. It’s hard, not only is he my boyfriend he is also my best friend- and call me ridiculous and petulant but I simply don’t have a good time when he’s not with me. Experience’s are meant to be shared. I just had a fantastic three days in Dublin, with Darren and my friends Liam, Finn, Pauric Christine and Malachy & Jen. The best three days that I’ve had in the four years I’ve been living here.

Pauric & Liam.
A lovely lunch with friends

A day out at the 40 Foot in Sandymount

I don’t go out in Dublin, I don’t see the point,  I’m not going out with the intention of scoring a guy which seems to be the whole reason for going out up here. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not bitter that I’m in a relationship. I love it! I wouldn’t be able to handle nights out with hyper active freshers. I’m such an old fogey and I’m not even 25!

Good man Swanson

But I DO want to enjoy myself in Dublin and I thought this year would be the year. Darren is now a qualified teacher and there was a possibility that he could find a job up here. I’ll admit we both got carried away with the thought of living together. It wasn’t even the “living together” part that was exciting- it was just being in the same county as each other for the majority of the week. Being able to stay in at night in my lovely cosy house watching TV, Eating dinner together, actually going out to gigs and experiencing the wide variety of things that makes Dublin so appealing. I was actually looking forward to committing myself to long days in college doing my dreaded dissertation and final year projects because I would be coming home to see Darren.

Having Fun in Dublin

It sure beats trudging home, eating alone and crawling into bed to watch Netflix. It sounds like I live alone up here,  well I have for the last couple of months while my house mate and cousin Emma has been in Pennsylvania on her INTRA placement. Emma is the epitome of enjoying college life, she loves being in DCU, she has lots of friends, and goes out a lot. She’s always asking me to go out with her, but as previously mentioned, I’m boring and just don’t enjoy it. So it would’ve been  a great excuse to curl up on the couch with Darren and watch a film instead of confining myself to my room.

Rare meals together

I guess I’m just tired of this to-ing and fro-ing- I really thought we’d catch a break and finally get to be in the same county. To make matters worse, I have to work at the weekends Friday, Saturday and Sunday so there’s my weekends gone. I can’t even look forward to them without the threat of work hanging over me.

All my friends who are in couples either live together or have always been in college in the same county living just a short bus ride away. I’m just fed up of never being able to experience this.

I know that it’s selfish to be so irked by this when people have much greater worries. I just needed to vent.




This will be the start of something new

Image by Aimee O Reilly

Stage is Set

The Upstairs Venue in Whelan’s holds 120 people. Last Tuesday night 200+ Ragfans crammed themselves into Raglan’s end of Summer gig….

A testimonial of Raglans ever growing popularity has to be the three girls (Natalie, Aimee & Niamh) who arrived straight off the bus from Cavan wearing awesome home-made Raglan T-shirts. They’ve christened themselves the Ragladettes. I want one of these t-shirts!!!!


This gig marked my tenth time to see Raglans this year, and as usual they didn’t disappoint.

Their support on the night was from the delightful Adela and the Meanites, whom I had never seen before but thoroughly enjoyed.

There was a buzz in the air as the lads took to the stage and blasted out a super charged rendition of Down. It’s hard to know who sang it louder, the Raglads or the audience. But that’s the beauty of all of Raglans songs they are so catchy that after one verse everyone is singing along.



To my delight they played High Road, a song that has been omitted at their last few gigs.  The harmonies and the melodies in this tune are just gorgeous, dare I say it rivals Sand in My Pockets as my favourite song. As the lads breezed through their crowd friendly  set list the audience was whipped into a frenzy, their “last song” was Home, a beast of a tune which had everybody  ferociously clapping along.

I say “last song” because those sneaky Raglads were only teasing the audience….. as they walked (with difficulty) off the stage they were bombarded with multiple chants of



Digging Holes video 

This was repeated at least ten times with a crescendo of feet stamping.

Raglads returned to the stage and belted out the chant along with the audience,   as the song reached the “This could be the start of something new” lyric the audience lost it and the crowd surfing began. But there was one more surprise in store.



At each gig I’ve been to the Raglads have been extending the instrumental part near the end of the song, Liam, Rhos and Ste all provide extra percussion on anything that’s near hand…the audience usually go wild and sing along to the beat. However, this time Ste appeared with a bag full of instruments, mini tambourines, mini maracas, whistles and vuvuzelas, he threw these into the crowd and they were frantically snatched  up by the eager fans, who then participated in the instrumental part of the song.

It was nothing short of magical.

The ending of the song was drowned out by the screams of the crowd, cheering clapping, whistling and hugging. Tired, sweaty and on a high, Raglans bolted off stage with huge smiles on their face’s.

As the crowd dispersed into the cool air of the smoking area, the steady drip of condensation from the ceiling fulfilled the Raglad’s promise to their fans for “the sweatiest, most enjoyable end to the Summer imaginable”


Huge credit to Ms.Ragladette Aimee for the awesome photos!x

I bagged a Set List and my very own Tambourine

Satisfied Ragfans
Darren, Natalie, Manus
Me, Aimee, Niamh