Grainne




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own a vegetable garden
Radish Overload

But still totally worth it! As I don’t have my own garden I got an allotment. I now have potatoes, lettuce, radish, beetroot, celariac, artichoke, spring onions, carrots, tunip, cabbage, brussel sprouts, peas, mangetout, broad beans, peppers, courgettes, swiss chard, squash, sweetcorn and cauliflower growing! I could probably end world hunger…



drink a bottle of wine worth over €100
Going upmarket...

A bottle of Saint-Émilion: Château Beauséjour-Duffau-Lagarrosse, ranked Premier grand cru classé B wine fans! Originally bought for €95 a number of years ago but currently worth €104. Well I say currently but bottle empty now!
It was rather delicious and well worth the money – makes for depressing drinking when you have to return to the budget buys though…



see Pompeii
When they invent a time machine...

...I’m going to live in Pompeii back in the day! Nearly didn’t make this one due to train strike in Naples. Waited over 3 hours for trains to start running; God I hated that city! Was worth the wait though. Pompeii even more amazing then I was expecting. If it wasn’t for the large groups of tourists you bump into now and then you would swear you had stepped back in time. I love it when something you learned about in school becomes real! Nerd or what!



Do a parachute jump
I am LEGEND!!

Not only did I jump from a plane but I did it solo. I am officially the coolest person I know. Fact. I fell off the strut (fellow divers will understand…) but then I stabalised myself and floated to the ground -scarily near the bog of Allen at times but steered myself to safety. Discovered I have no upper body strength so braking was a bit hairy and I landed flat on my face, but “any jump you walk away from is a good jump” so I’m not complaining.
If it wasn’t for the total lack of Halle Berryness I could be the next bond girl!!



see the mona lisa
C'est Formidable...

(...not too sure of the exact meaning of that but I do like to say it!) Anyway, I can’t believe so many people think this is not worth it! It was everything I hoped it would be and more. I sneaked off to Paris one weekend in January (as you do) with the sole purpose of crossing this off my list. I went straight to the Louvre; no queue to get in so was already onto a winner! Spent the next couple of hours exploring other sections of the meuseum, building the anticipation so to speak!. When I finally got to it, approaching from behind, I was nearly sick with nerves. I’ve had this woman’s image overlooking my bed for years and I’d heard so many negative things about the actual real life painting that I was afraid I’d be disapointed. But I had nothing to fear. It was like everyone else in the room disappeared and it was just me and her. Is it totally crazy to say that I think we shared a moment? It was like she was looking right at me, with a somewhat knowing yet approving look. Yes, it does sound insane but I left feeling like I’d just won the noble prize for greatness. And I didn’t even paint the thing! Totally woth it!



Take my Mum on the Orient Express
Near Murder on the Orient Express

Overnight from Rome to Venice. WELL worth the 2 or so grand it cost(!) The meal alone was class, have never had so many courses in my life! And so cute the way they make up the cabin for you to sleep! However was still worst night sleep of my life, not suited to overnight trains so was in a bit of an unpleasant mood the following morning; nothing new there then! Was definitly an experience though and as added bonus should be the favourite daughter now! Should be…!



get a master's
Girl Genius. Confirmed.

Hurrah for me. I now have a First Class Honours in Environmental Resource Management and, should I so wish, can put M.Sc(Agr.) after my name. I don’t so wish but it’s nice to have the option! Still can’t get a job though….



see an opera in La Scala in Milan
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Went to see Rossini’s La Cenerentola. Hadn’t booked any tickets as that would require doing something proactive (and why would you make life easy). However I heard that 2-3 hours before each performance La Scala sell an extra hundred tickets or so and that if THEY haven’t sold 2 hours before the start the price is reduced by 25%. Music to my ears. Performance began at 8 so at 5pm we were sitting in the square opposite trying to assertain if we should hold out for the reductions. And hold out we did. Feeling smug we went up to the ticket office and the first thing the guy behind the counter says is “you want 10 euro tickets?” Did such a thing exist? This was better than I could have hoped for! We asked if they were good seats and he pointed to the seating map and said yes. There was either a breakdown in communication or he was having a laugh. We were somewhere above pergatory, practically over the stage. To see anything we were hanging over the balcony. But it didn’t matter. It was the first opera I’d ever been to and I can’t believe I haven’t been before. Not sure if it was the music, the performance, or the venue itself but it is definitly something to be experienced at least once. Recommended! And 2 days later I was at Aida in the roman amphitheatre in Verona. How bloody cultured am I!!



Have afternoon tea at the Ritz
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This was expensive but worth it once I got over the inital embarrasment of looking like a baglady in a very respectable hotel. Actually getting through the door gave me a bit of confidence. The sandwich selection did not come as a vegetarian option so I only had the egg and cress ones and the cream cheese and cucumber ones. Luckily they filled you up again when you neared the end so I didn’t starve.Then there were the scones with jam and clotted cream (very nice!) and some other little cake things that were quite rotten (but that didn’t spoil the event!) The tea was served from a silver pot and all in all the experience was most enjoyable!



be a member of Mensa
Are you listening Ms. Brennan?

Wanted to do this to prove, at least to myself, that I’m not a complete Thicko. Possibly the most pretentious thing you can imagine. I haven’t even told my friends, although my mother knows-thought I’d inform her of my “superior intellect” in the hopes that she might feel a bit guilty for calling me stupid when I failed a German exam (impossible language) and all the times I dropped out of college (looking back I now realise that the old superior intellect wasn’t being suitably challenged, ho ho!). Unbelievably I actually studied for this exam!! I did loads of practise tests, listened to Mozart and bought a book called “How to Improve Your IQ”! And it worked! I scraped in! No references pease to awful spelling. There’s more to intelligence than being able to string a couple of letters together!! Trust me, I’m a genius!



see the pyramids
But missed the Sphinx

Pretty Amazing. What was even more amazing was the fact that I took the trip myself. A definite experience. I escaped death many times but at least I’ll have something to tell the grandchildren! For some reason I couldn’t find the Sphinx (place is well bigger than you expect) so I will have to go back at some stage. To be honest by the time I got to Giza I was so stressed (Taxi driver walked off with my tickets and passport, I start screaming and police pull their guns on him-you’d have to be there..) I was like “Right. Pyramids. Nice. Can cross that off my list. Now where is the nearest plane to take me home.” But I ended up staying and loving it once I got out of Cairo. Remind me to tell you about the 3 men who tried to sell me into slavery. It’s a miracle I’m here to tell the tale at all!



get a Blue Peter badge
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Thought this would be a hard one:a childhood dream that needed to be fulfilled. And they’re not easy things to get. Previous begging letters failed miserably. Had to resort to lying as these are normally only awarded to kids who’s letter or idea is mentioned on a show or if you’re a guest on the show. I sent in a letter written with my left hand to make it look like I was the nine year old I claimed to be. Gave them a receipe for dog biscuits (swiped off the net!). Don’t know if they actually made the biscuits on TV but they sent me out a badge anyway. And bonus: they sent one out to my dog Failte as well!!
And to think Brad pitt gave his Blue Peter badge away!! Good looking , but terribly stupid!



get a degree
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This took some time! Started college 10 years ago (!) and have been dropping in and out ever since. However I have finally finished and now have a degree in geography and sociology! Bloody useless but at least I have it. Although it has to be said it’s not the best degree ever (a third:messed up a couple of my final exams and lecture attendence was not my strong point!) Still, my mothers happy!



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