Well, I'm Ireland-bound in April. I have a dear friend who lives there and one or two other lovely friends and very handily, they're all in the same area.
Things have been stressful lately with one thing and another. I haven't blogged about it as I'm not really in to constant whingeing and besides that, my lovely friend who is one of the very nicest and kind-hearted people you could wish to meet, has had a terribly tough time lately and it doesn't feel right for me to be moaning about things that are relatively small when she has had some real tough times since October. Bad luck seems to follow her but very recently she lost one of her best friends in a horrible car accident and there have been a multitude of other things. As the saying goes, it never rains but it pours.
Anyway, she's getting through it. She's never once gone down the woe-is-me route and never once ever not asked me how I am or how my life is, no matter what mess she is struggling with she has always been concerned with how I am.
She is one of the very few people in this world I'd drop everything for if she needed me to. There've been a couple of nights lately where she hasn't slept and has has been in pieces so this has led to long chats in the early hours of the morning with me trying to act as comforter, counsellor and a shoulder to cry on because the poor girl has been at her wits end with various things. A lesser person would either be terribly bitter by now or would have given up on life completely.
We've both decided we deserve a holiday but we are both fairly broke. I have access to cheap flights and she has a spare room so that's that, I'm flying over in April and I just know we're going to have a ball :-).
She is a very good musician and well known in certain circles and deservedly so as she has grafted her way up the ranks. However, Irish musicians and drink generally go hand-in-hand. Having said that, Irish and drink generally go hand-in-hand never mind the musician bit! ;-).
My family on my paternal and maternal side are of Irish descent so it will be nice to maybe find out a bit more about both sides of the family too as I'll be over there for a good week or more.
I suspect the days will be filled with a couple of touristy things, horses and chat. The nights? Well I've no doubt that judging from past experiences with P that they'll be spent full of drink, music and laughter about anything and everything :-).
It sounds very cliched and very strange but we're sort of on a different level to most of the people our age. She is six weeks younger than me and we've known each other for a couple of years but when we did get to chatting and getting to know each other we found we had quite an astonishing amount in common. We've both had (for very different reasons) tougher than average childhoods and young adult lives. Mine through health and family, hers through circumstance and family. We have an incredible amount in common with likes and dislikes and have ridiculously managed to finish each others sentences or say the same thing at the same time on a topic.
We both of us are convinced that in a previous life we must have been sisters! Both her sister and my one sister have been terrible bitches and we often joke that if we could, we'd trade our respective bitch sisters for each other. As I said, she is one of the very few people in this world I'd drop everything for and do my utmost to be there for her if she needed me to be and she says (and has done) the same for me.
She is one of a very select list of people that I know I could phone day or night with a problem and she'd do her best to help me with it. It's a very true friendship we have and I'm very thankful it exists. We're both strong characters, we're both very outspoken and both are very 'down the line' when it comes to justice etc but despite all that, we've never fallen out which when you are two strong characters, takes some doing at times but I've never had need to fall out with her and (so far) she has not felt the need to fall out with me. If she has she's kept it very quiet :-P.
I am very much looking forward to this jaunt away, if only to be there to give her the much needed boost of support.
I've a feeling my liver may cuss me for inflicting the Irish way of life on it during a couple of nights though ;-).