Hello, world. I’m MacDara Conroy, and this is my blog.

Highlights of a year (or so)

Nine years ago on this very date, I took my first steps into the world of personal publishing by starting my own website, a horrible mess of black and orange (well it was 1999) which eventually morphed into what you see before you today. Nine years! Jesus. That’s a long time. And what do I have to show for it?

Well not a lot, going by the lack of activity here (unless you count my Twitter updates). But I’ll have you know that my real life has been far more eventful.

For starters, I’ve had a proper job for two years now, laying out newspaper pages and correcting people’s spelling and grammar. It’s not nearly as glamorous as it sounds, believe me. But it’s a good start for a career in the media. Knock on wood.

Getting the job, of course, meant I could afford to finally leave the nest and get a place of my own, which I did in January this year. I’m now in an apartment in The Liberties, overlooking what remains of the old city wall. I’ve got a nice landlord, too. He was kind enough to drop by with his spare key by when I locked myself out that one time.

And I’m not here on my own. Bee came over in February, spent a few frustrating weeks getting her immigration status sorted, and a few more months getting used to life in Dublin, which is a big change for a South African girl.

Some things she was prepared for from previous experience, like being able to walk through the city centre after sunset without fear of being shot in the head. Others came as a surprise, such as the long summer days (sunlight till 10pm was a surprise) and the humidity (on a par with the tropical parts where she grew up). But I think she likes it here. And more importantly, we’re not sick of each other just yet.

Travel-wise, May saw us traipsing to deepest Somerset for the All Tomorrow’s Parties festival, the most striking memory of which is watching J Mascis pose for a photo with a giant ice cream cone.

And last month we went to Paris — where we saw some amazing sights, gawked at some terrible art, and ate some pretty good food — before a short break at Disneyland, where even my unfortunate tumble[1] couldn’t spoil all the fun. Oh, and our hotel room was enormous. As in ‘Am I sure they gave us the right one?’ enormous.

And that’s the highlights, more or less. I’m sure something else will come to mind tomorrow and I’ll kick myself for not remembering it. But if I kept holding out for such things, you wouldn’t be reading any of this.

1. In my head it’s a Platoon-style drop to my knees; in reality it was much less graceful, and more painful.