So today I feel my heart being pulled across the Atlantic more so than usual, because my Uncle Freddy passed away over the night, and his wife, my Aunt Annie, is struggling to recover from recent surgery, but is struggling due to the grief from losing her husband. My cousins are crushed, and I'm sure my father is saddened at the news, as are my siblings and I.
Freddy was one of my only uncles, on either side of my family, truth be told, that didn't scare or intimidate me. When he walked into the room, he always, and I mean always, had a smile on his face, and that smile was contagious. Since my father's side of the family have always been a tad on the serious (or shall I say reserved) side, Freddy was a breath of fresh air when he came to family events with my Aunt Annie. I am smiling right now just thinking of him and thinking how I felt as a small child through my teens and twenties, whenever I saw him, knowing he'd always have that same gregarious grin and open arms. And the best evidence of the kind of man Freddy was can be found in his kids, who are among my favorite cousins (of which I have over a hundred at last check) -- always kind and pleasant to talk to. I know they learned it from their parents. So today I feel sad to be so far away and not a short car ride away as I would have been if I hadn't moved. I have no regrets, but still, my heart is heavy and it would be nice to hug my family.
However, moving on I will report what I have been up to these few couple of days. On Thursday night Mark and I went to an art opening at the Gallery Thisisnotashop. The new installation was of the artist Andréa Stanislav, who, as it turns out, is a friend of my friend Heather! This shouldn't have been surprising since the gallery is run and owned by friends of Heather as well, but I felt all warm and fuzzy having that connection, and we had nice conversation throughout the evening. A very nice (and talented) singer named Gar Cox did a few songs with his guitar, and it was really enjoyable. Then we all moved on to the Dice Bar, and some more people joined in. Mark and I both had a great time talking to new acquaintances about all sorts of things: fashion, art, music, and nonsense. We probably should have gone home after the Dice bar closed, but then Andréa and Jessamyn convinced us to have "once more drink" at a bar down the street. So we went, but I ordered a club soda, and Mark couldn't even drink his Maker's shot. (Note to self: if your partner can't drink his drink, don't drink it for him, thinking "it can't go to waste"!)
We stumbled to our bikes, and realized that it was imperative that we get some food on the way home. We were going to stop in at Burger King, but we were allured by the je ne sais crois of Johnny Rockets, so we went in there instead for some late-night eats. Mostly, I would not recommend it, but the fried mushrooms were tasty!
After we got home, we both felt encouraged that friends in Dublin are only just around the corner. I know it will still take more time to build relationships, but I know that it will happen, because there is sure some fun stuff going on in this town! But it's hard because I don't want to be too pushy with the few people I do know here.