35 before 35: Item exchange

I have decided to exchange the “Vist Ukraine” item on my 35 before 35 list. While I do still want to go there, I’m thinking it may not be the best idea right now! And since I don’t know if/when the situation will improve, I’m removing it from the list as a precaution.

I wanted to replace the item with one that is at least vaguely similar, so as of now the first item on my 35 before 35 list will be “Visit Belfast and see whether I recognise anything”. For those who don’t know, I lived in a place caled Holywood close to Belfast for two years as a child (dad/step-dad were posted there with the army) and we used to visit Belfast for things like shopping. We left when I was 7, so it would be interesting to see whether I recognise anything. (I’m ptetty sure I would recognise things on my actual estate, but as it’s an army barracks I wouldn’t actually be allowed in! So Belfast is the best I can do).

To see all the items on my 35 before 35 list (including what I’ve already completed), click here.

The big reveal: Part 1

I’m taking a leaf out of Aussa and Deanna‘s books and spreading the revealing of my truths and lie across two posts. Sorry to torture you, but you only have yourselves to blame 😉 You wanted to hear the stories behind the truths, and if I try to explain all five in one post we’ll be here all year. So you can have two truths today then in my next I shall reveal the remaining truths… and the lie. Okay?

Before I start with the revelations, let’s take a quick look at your guesses…

Numbers 1, 2 and 4 all had one guess each.
One person couldn’t decide whether to go for number 5 or number 6
And a whopping six of you guessed that number 6 – the one night stand – was the  lie!

I also discussed this post with four of my friends (two of whom actually read it on the blog) the other night and got them to guess, too. Each of the four gave a different answer, with votes for numbers 1, 2, 4 and 6…

And now for my first two truths…

True
Photo credit: Pete Lewis

Number 2… When I was 17, I got incredibly drunk at my mate’s birthday party and threw up all over the floor (and myself)  in the toilets is TRUE!

Yes… I made it all the way into the ladies, then sat down in front of a cubicle and threw up. I was so, so close to making it to the toilet!
The worst part of this story is that my friend, who was 20, had managed to smuggle in a bottle of vodka so we’d been ordering cokes for most of the night. As far as the bar staff were concerned, I had drank a grand total of two triple vodka and cokes. They must have thought I was a total light weight! And, of course, nobody thought to ask me for ID until after I was sick… the story ended with me being made to leave through the fire exit and the birthday boy, who actually worked at the pub, nearly losing his job for not informing his colleagues that I was underage (the drinking age in the UK is 18). The vodka-providing friend then phoned my dad to come and pick me up… and he proceeded to laugh at the state of me all the way home.

Number 5… One of my earliest memories involves checking under a car for bombs is TRUE!

As Lady of the Cakes correctly pointed out, I am an army brat and the IRA was quite active in the 80s. This incident actually happened while we were living in Northern Ireland. I’m not sure whether it was the first time we checked under the car for bombs – the fact that I remember this specific time suggests it may have been – but I know for a fact that it wasn’t the last. On the day in question, the car was parked outside a Toys R Us (I think?) in Belfast and we needed to check for bombs before we could drive back to camp. I remember my stepdad lying on the floor checking to see whether anything was under the car, while my mum and I walked around the outside at a slightly safer distance looking for any unusual objects stuck to the car. Presumably my sister was there, too, but I don’t remember what she was doing. My brother wasn’t even born yet so I can’t have been any older than six… and if it was, in fact, the first such incident it was probably shortly after we moved to Northern Ireland, which would mean I was five years old.

So there you have it, two truths. If anyone who hasn’t had a guess yet would still like to join in you still have four  statements to choose from:

1. While at university, I got paid to kiss one of my friends.
3. I could read before I started school
4. I was conceived on my mum’s 19th birthday
6. During my first year at university, I had a one night stand with my flatmate’s ex-boyfriend.

Which one is the lie?

I’m going to Ireland!

So, now that I’ve finished boring you with ten million posts about Berlin, let me tell you about my next trip…

At the pub quiz two weeks ago, my team came second. Usually, the prize for second place is a pitcher filled with whichever draught drink you desire, but this time was different. The prize was a voucher for a “Lonely Planet” travel guide of your choice. Somebody had the brilliant idea that we could claim our Lonely Planet and then use it for a quiz team holiday. So we left the quiz on Tuesday agreeing that everyone would think about where they would like to go.

Irish flag
Irish flag (Photo credit: RedKoala1)

Two days later, after a couple of discussions with Jan, I had a brain wave. We’d one the pub quiz in an Irish pub, so why not go to… Ireland! I’ve been wanting to go there for a while anyway, to see something more than just Dublin, and it seemed appropriate. Jan thought some people might have already been, but I decided to suggest it to the group anyway. It turned out that nobody had been to Ireland (other than Jan and I, and we’ve only done Dublin… plus I lived in Northern Ireland for 2 years) and everybody thought it was a brilliant idea. I, my friends, am a genius! (Well, not really… I just had the voice of Simba from the Lion King in my head when I typed that…)

We will be going in June, if we ever manage to get everyone to agree on flights! And it’s looking like our main destinations will be Dublin, Kilkenny, Galway and possibly Belfast (Dublin is a must… we have to fly there). Those are just bases for sleeping and storing luggage… there will also be daytrips of course. So now I need your help. Would should we definitely, 100% do in Ireland? Any suggestions for good (and cheap!) places to eat/drink/sleep in any of the four places metioned? Anything that doesn’t appear in any tourist guide but is worth visiting? Our quizmaster is from Kilkenny, so we’re hoping he’ll be able to help with that, but I’m sure some of my readers must have been to Ireland (Tina.. I know you have!)

Here, have a photo I took the last time I was in Dublin… in 2007:

Dublin Cathedral

And now it’s over to you. The comments box is open. GO!!