I have just returned home to Edinburgh after one of the best weekends of my life.
I know I wrote a post earlier about heading to Ireland for the wedding, but I didn't realise quite how affected I would be watching Nicola walk down the aisle. The cousins on the O'Dwyer side are a tight knit bunch. We always enjoy each others company, none of us is ever really the 'sensible' one, we are all up for trying anything once, and over the years we have become better at getting our parents to join in with our antics! Of all the cousins in my dad's family, actually of all my cousins across both sides, I have most contact with Nic. She is probably the closest I have to a sister since my own sister passed away.
The morning of the wedding was frantic. There is a saga with the mass booklets that I shall tell many of you over a pint when I recall the weekend in the future. All was well, we managed to have 100 booklets at the church with five minutes to spare (and I got to see a proper langor fight on the street....' whatcha mean? I said nuttin' when you slept with yer wan?'), the bride looked stunning, the rings were remembered, candles were lit and the register was signed. It was a success!
The reception was just superb. Drinks flowed, laughter rang around the room, we were all treated to an exquisite show of Irish dancing, there was a sweets trolley (Paddy O'Dwyer had quite a full pocket of liquorice the next morning), a fish and chip cart and good god was there twirling. I just just say thanks to Darragh for the twirling, he had me spinning for a good hour on the dance floor! And the shoe dance. There was the shoe dance, which has evolved impressively since it was first created by Nicola and Dave at Tracey's wedding nearly ten years ago! There were some serious moves being busted over those shoes!
I spent the day after with my cousins too. I absolutely loved it. If I could have made it last forever I would have. Actually I tried to make it last longer, my cousin Ross convinced me to change my flight by a few hours but because of traffic from people flying home from voting the prices were gone through the roof. I really need to work on that rubber arm of mine. It is far too easy to twist it. I am normally quite excited about coming home to Edinburgh after my wee stint away but this time I was really lonesome. I surprised myself.
I think spending the time with my cousins reminded me of what things could have been like for me if my life had turned out the way we expected. My cousins were sitting around the table with their siblings having so much fun, telling me stories of things that they got up to since I have seen them last. There was so much banter and affection. I loved getting sucked in to it all, getting involved in the action and I really felt like a member of a family. I know my family will read this and get grumpy and say that I am always a member of the family but you know what I mean. I just felt involved with everything.
It got me thinking about Edinburgh, and why I am here. I love my life in Scotland. I really do. I have a some wonderful friends, who I know I can rely on for everything and anything, I have a good job, and a great team behind me. When I was with my ex-boyfriend, I adored having his family as part of mine. I found it really difficult not to be a part of that unit when we broke up. Despite suddenly feeling very alone, I never felt the urge to return back to Ireland. I think I understand why now. It is much easier to be away and feel occasionally lonesome, with the hope that it won't last for every than be close to what I can never have and know that there is no way that I can ever have it again. I won't lie, I shed a couple of tears when I came home. Though some of the tears could have been from the sheer excitement of seeing my bed. That was a great moment. It did make me think about how someday I would like to find someone to start my own little family unit with. I'm not feeling any urgency, don't get me wrong! But the complacency is fading. It would be nice, someday.
One thing that has come out of this weekend other than fear of what will happen to my liver in three weeks time when we meet up again in three weeks, is how much more contact I want to have with my cousins. It is too easy to forget to drop a message or pick up a quick skype. I can't wait for three weeks time (though there will be no offer of help with the mass booklets this time). We were on our 'A' game this weekend... rest is needed to do again again for the Clare wedding!!!
To the Stapletons. I wish you both a lifetime of happiness together. You are a wonderful couple (Eoin, you have the patience of a saint), and I can't wait to see what the future brings you!
NB: I am now in recovery mode until further notice. Do not be alarmed if you cannot call. I will be unconcious.