Approaching the End of a Chapter

Who’s the Sunshine of My Life? (16/4/14)

We’ve been really lucky this week with all the sunshine and clear skies – with occasional bouts of clouds. It’s been lovely. It’s like Southern Californian winter weather funnily enough. I can feel myself getting happier with the extra boost of vitamin D.

Some lovely plants of the Tercentenary Physics Garden at Trinity.

Dublin Open & the Bouncy Ball (19/4/14)

I visited Trinity for the first time since my arrival in August. Everything was in bloom so I got some lovely pictures of the things that were in bloom. What really amused me the most was the tercentenary (300 year anniversary) physic garden they had right in front of the sports centre. Alas, flowers in spring – my ultimate weakness. I couldn’t get enough of it.

The last trampoline competition of the year – hopefully not the last I’ll ever attend. I got there early and had fun on the different trampolines, as theirs are noticeably different in terms of their bounciness. After about an hour of bouncing around for warm-ups, the competition started. It was lovely to watch the different schools compete again. This time, it was another small competition involving just three school – the three schools in Dublin: Trinity College Dublin (TCD), National University of Ireland, (NUI) Maynooth and my school, University College Dublin (UCD).

Some good shots I got at the Dublin Opent: crash dive (top left), pike (bottom left), forward tuck/somersault (top right), and some fancy Elite move I haven’t learned the name of (bottom right).

My performance this time around was not up to my own high standards, but at least I tried. I was supposed to do a synchronized routine with my friend but she overslept and didn’t show up. But, it was alright. In the end I didn’t place to get a medal, but I did get the chance to learn what it’s like to score-keep and I got a chance to actually get to know some of the other competitors from the other schools, which I had not done before. I also got a chance to watch several non-serious accidents happen that were pretty funny. One trampoliner got himself THROWN across trampolines TWICE during the competition because he has so much energy during his routine, but the energy was directed the wrong direction when he took off into the air; he was fine after a little ice to the back after the second incident. Then, we had another trampoliner practically GLIDE off of the trampoline, miss her footing on the floor and almost went crashing into the judges table – instead went under it – after she finished her routine.

After the 7-hour competition, my personal coach and I went to grab some food to eat before the night began. As our snack/my lunch, we went to a convenience store and I had my FIRST “hot chicken fillet baguette/roll”, or simply put: a “chicken roll” (side note: Irish people say “fill-et” not “fill-ay”, strange). I’d been told, the whole time I’ve been in Ireland, it is THE “go to” food to buy from convenience stores all over when you’re hungry and want some cheap, delicious food. All it’s made of is a baguette – my French friends would, of course, argue it’s not a REAL baguette – cut in half and stuffed with pieces of a deep-fried, herb and crumb-covered piece of chicken breast. Of course they have other things added in them, but that varies from store to store. Although, the other things you add in is set-up much like Subway where you just pick and choose what you see, what is available. The oddest thing, I think, though, is the fact that they SMOTHER one side of the baguette in butter OR mayonnaise to begin with, then they put everything else in and the chicken pieces last.

Our Bouncy Ball dinner (left to right): homemade cream of vegetable soup; steamed vegetable sides with the turkey and ham with herb stuffing, baked potatoes and mash(ed potatoes); our three cream desserts.

Then, we all made our way up north, almost up to the Dublin airport, up to the Regency Airport Hotel to prepare for the “American Prom”-themed Bouncy Ball – the trampoliners ball involving any students of any Irish schools’ trampoline club that cared to attend the ball. We started with cocktails at 7:30-8pm. My coach got a virgin strawberry mojito that was PRETTY delicious (I think they used sour flavouring rather than a lime because it didn’t taste sour at all) and I tried some drink I’d never had before. It wasn’t as good as my first cocktail experience, I can tell you that, but it was still pretty good. Then, we had a fancy 3-course dinner. It started with a delicious bowl of homemade cream of vegetable soup, followed by a serving of traditional roast breast of turkey and ham with herb stuffing and (real) cranberry sauce and a side of veggies (turnips – my first time knowing I’m eating turnips – carrots, and string beans). For dessert, we finished the meal with three small “cakes”: a passionfruit one (almost like a passon fruit panna cotta), a coffee cream cake (almost like tiramisu), and an apple crumble/cream cake thing. They were pretty delicious.

After all the belly-stuffing food, we went on the dance floor and had some fun until about 2 in the morning. Some of us stayed up later than that until about 6am. It was a fantastic night. Sometime around 3-4am, I woke up from a nap in one of the rooms to return to my room to take a nice warm bath. I hadn’t had a hot soak bath in YEARS. It was AMAZING. I forgot how much I love baths. Then, I returned to the little get-together that early in the morning, still carrying on from the night. It was fun – although lacking in A LOT of sleep.

Things I Learned “today”

  • Holland is a REGION of the Netherlands. In the Netherlands, they speak Dutch. However, the Netherlanders/Dutch people refer to themselves as “Nederlanders” and the language as “Nederlands”. But, English-speaking countries call them Dutch people who speak Dutch because of the German use of “deutch”…or something like that.

Words/Phrases of the Day

  • What’s the goss? = What’s the gossip?

Additional Pictures:

A panorama from inside the garden on the east side of the Museum Building.

A panorama of the garden on the east side of the Museum Building.

Things from the Trinity College campus: ‘Sfera con Sfera’ by Arnaldo Pomodoro (top left), ‘Apples and Atoms’ by Eilís O’Connell (top right), and some ‘cherry’ blossoms (bottom).

Some silly pictures of trampoliners I caught during the Dublin Open.

Some more silly pictures.

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