I ♥ DK

The night before I left for Leitrim the JCR election candidates had to file their manifestos by midnight. One of my flatmates, who is a candidate, should have been finalising his manifesto and sending it off. Unfortunately, he came down with a serious case of being a nineteen-year-old and went clubbing instead. This should have been the end of his campaign, but a group of his friends, all my flatmates, worked, tweaking and editing and got his manifesto sent off in time. I was really impressed by how genuinely generous this was and began to well up. I told the boys, with a hand placed on my heart, and a lump developing in my throat, how lovely they were being.  They shouted me down. I had obviously implied they were being less than masculine. They quickly sent a text to their absent clubbing friend, saying that they had sent off the manifesto, but were a bit drunk which didn’t matter because no one reads these things anyway.

Why do boys spoil everything?

There were no boys going to ruin our holiday in Leitrim. The picture of Leitrim in my mind was one of bleakness. For some reason, I pictured it as being a cross between the surface of the moon and Clondalkin. I can confirm that it is nothing like this. It is lovely. You can’t swing a cat without hitting a lake. We saw at least five lakes, a waterfall, a ruined abbey, a fairy bridge and a fairy tree. We met colourful locals. We saw one and two half parades.
The village of Drumkeeran has a population of 242 and four pubs.That’s one pub for every sixty people.  As we entered the village, a large sign with lights proclaimed that Drumkeeran was hosting a three-day St.  Patrick’s Weekend Festival. As we walked through Drumkeeran (or DK as I christened it) on the afternoon of St Patrick’s Day, there was not a soul to be seen, not even a dog. Everyone of the four pubs and the restaurant were all locked up. There wasn’t even a hint of festival. I snorted in urban superiority.
That evening was a different story. By the end of Saturday night, I had drunkenly designed a t-shirt that declared “I ♥ DK”. This was for a number of reasons:

1. I had drunk four pints of Guinness
2. The night-time Drumkeeran parade had been MC-ed by a man (I’d be willing to bet he was the local primary school principal) who claimed that St. Patrick had banished the “shnakes”.
3. The bar landlady was absolutely fascinated by us, and how we had ended up in Drumkeeran of all places (we didn’t really have an answer).
4. The clientele of the bar seemed to include the entire population of Drumkeeran, small children, bored teenagers and alcoholic pensioners. Everyone knew each other and I bathed in the warmth they all had for each other.
5. A man sang Country and Western music all night and no one seemed to find this funny.
6. The parade featured two floats (or possibly three) that were “Mrs Brown’s Boys” themed. The two (or possibly three) Mrs Browns were fighting on the (Main) Street of DK by 10 pm.
7. When the parade finished, everyone went round a second time, just to make the magic last longer.
8. There were free sandwiches that tasted like my childhood.
9. It was lovely Guinness.

I didn’t follow any diet over the weekend. Of course I was with people, so I didn’t go mad. That’s my least favourite aspect of going away with people – having people know what I eat. I don’t know why, but I hate people seeing me eat, or even knowing that I eat. I’ve lived in Trinity Hall since September and most of my flatmates have never seen me eat. I had a few diet shakes in the kitchen in September and I had a mandarin orange there last week, and that’s it. I have my breakfast in my bedroom and all other meals in town or on campus. I’ve shared an office since October and only shared a lunch with my fellow-PhDs twice. I often go to Spar for lunch and have it eaten while walking back to my office. I know this isn’t a particularly healthy way of being, but that’s how it is. I’m still hoping for a good weigh-in tomorrow. I haven’t had any binges this week and I’ve completed Week 3 of my Couch-to-5K. I did miss the last boxing session of the term because I went for sneaky pints instead, but overall I’m happy with myself.

Anyway, I had a lovely weekend in Drumkeeran. I drove the four of us home from our cheap-as-chips cottage (which had a stunning view and smelled vaguely of old lady) this morning. I didn’t crash once. However, I did do a three-point turn on a bend on a country road during which the car cut out three times and I reduced one of my friends to tears of laughter and possibly panic. There was considerably less laughter when I mistook the left lane of the motorway for an exit and tried to drive on the wrong side of the road. But we survived. Fittingly, as I dropped the last of my friends off, I crashed into a footpath. Luckily, I won. The car is fine. I have no idea how the footpath is doing.

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One Response to I ♥ DK

  1. I am the last of your friends = I am in this post. Hurrah!!!

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