And outrage ensued

Things are going great! Bar one awkward conversation that I am trying not to think about because I just start getting mad.

My Mom and Dad and I met my Boyrfriend for an early coffee this morning. It is a coldish day but he's heading off "down the country" to where his family is from in the West and this will be the only chance so I thought, what the hey, and we arranged.

It was brief and I introduced him as "my friend" but of course Mom, being Mom, knew right away what was going on. He had mentioned his daughter in the course of conversation so on the way back to the apartment, Mom decided to engage me in some plain talking and said, "You do realise that it will be difficult being involved with someone with a child."

"Mom!!!" I said.

She went on to say, his primary committment is to his daughter, he might get back with her mother, etc, etc.

To which I can only comment: What business is it of hers?

I am pretty upset, but in the interest of family harmony I am just not going to go there and if she wants we can discuss it by email when they are back home. This is still their holiday so we've got to be having fun. Today, the sales start in Dublin so it's Mom's day. Neither Dad nor I are much into shopping so we will trail around behind her as she hits all the big department stores and we'll carry her bags. We need the exercise; yesterday was fabulous but it did mostly involve eating, eating and more eating. I don't know how much Dad spent on all that fancy food but it was definitely appreciated.

I need some plans though, urgently. So if any Dubliners read this, I'd love some suggestions for cool things to do over the next couple of days. I think I have New Year's Eve more or less sorted out: there's a parade on in the afternoon. We'll eat at home and then go to a pub for a traditional sort of experience. Mom 'n Dad are leaving on the 2nd and shortly after that it will be back to work for me!

So...what to do today?

Merry Christmas everyone!

It's Christmas eve and it feels so strange not to be at home today! Still, if I had to be away for Christmas, it doesn't get better than this. I'm in Dublin, my parents are here, and the new year is shaping up to be fantastic... I'm so happy. And something tells me that this may be the first, but won't be my last, Christmas in Dublin.

So.. Happy Christmas everybody! X Towniegirl

Excitement nearing fever pitch!

That's not me. It's my parents. They've never been away from home for Christmas and they are so cute -- really excited. I feel as though our roles have been reversed.

I had been worried about what we'd do for dinner on Christmas day because I'm not much of a chef, goodness knows, and the kitchenette here at the apartment is pretty spartan.

Turns out Dad already booked something on the Internet. And it's a sign of how excited about this trip he must be, because it's a wildly extravagent Christmas Dinner at a fancy hotel called the Merrion. I don't even want to know how much it's going to cost. He said the money they are saving by staying at my place instead of a hotel should more or less cover it (!). Mom doesn't know yet as it's also his present to her.

The only thing I'm worried about is that none of my clothes are really up to scratch for such a fancy place. There's the black lace number I picked up at Oxfam on George's Street. It is really pretty but it smells of mothballs. It's from the 1950s and while it's gorgeous I haven't gotten around to having it drycleaned and it SMELLS its age. That's the best I've got and I think I'll have to run with it and the shiny shoes I picked up in Penneys.

BTW, Glendalough -- I've been there in the summer and now I've been there in the winter too and my personal opinion is that winter is the time to go. Sure, it's cold up in the Wicklow Mountains but what could be more beautiful and Gothic than snowflakes whirling around a medieval monastic settlement and the lakes? Loving it.

Tonight Mom and Dad are actually staying IN as finally, after basically running around since they got here, they are tired. I'm tired too...but not so tired I can't go on a date! We are exchanging our gifts tonight as we won't see each other until the 27th. Want to know what I got Him?

am I awful?

We are having a fantastic time but this apartment is SO small that I'm about to leave, ostensibly to get some groceries, but secretly to go to Simon's Place which I love because it's the sort of cafe where you can go on your own. I just need half an hour by myself to drink a coffee and think in the quiet. I also love it because the walls are always completely covered with posters and flyers about things to do -- sometimes in small venues that you mightn't see advertised that easily. Fr'instance, who knew that there was a course on fabric painting? And it just costs 50 Euros. So I guess my lie to myself is that I am actually going to research some fun things to do with my parents.

The weather is cold and bright and really very beautiful today, so I was thinking when we get back we'll do something outdoorsy like to go one of the lovely parks for a walk, followed by lunch someplace nice. Soup in front of a fire sounds fine and my Boyfriend told me that a lot of Irish people go to hotels to have lunch in the hotel restaurant, which maybe we'll try as that wouldn't be something that would necessarily occur to me. Tomorrow, I'm really hoping for some more of this fine cold weather as we've rented a car and the plan is to go to Glendalough in Wickow, so long as the roads aren't too icy.

So: and also tomorrow, an interesting encounter as we are meeting my Boyfriend for lunch although I will introduce him as "my friend" because, after all, it's a new relationship still and it's too soon to get serious about things. I'm kind of hoping that meeting my folks will make it easier for him to introduce me to his family -- not 'cause I want to be pushy but because, well, I don't know. They sound interesting and fun, and to me it just seems like the normal thing to do.

Right. I hear Mom and Dad loudly making coffee in the kitchen so I'm going out for my quick, precious, solo coffee. Simon's Place was in the movie "Once" and I do get a bit of a kick out of that as well.