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The rocky road to 30

Living

Diary of a homebird
Ciara Galvin

I NEVER want this month to end. Not because of the great weather we got, or that I’m a massive golf and tennis fan and it is the season to binge on watching either discipline. No, it’s because it’s my birthday month. I decided having just one day to celebrate my birth was a bit overrated. There was so much celebrating to be done and so little time in just 24 hours, so I’ve extended it till July 31. People tell me it has to end when the balloon figure 3 and figure 0 deflate, I say, they’re still buoyant!
My birthday month officially started in June actually (I’m really milking it), with a trip to Athlone with the bridies for some retail therapy and fodder. The motorway is a great job and I left work in plenty of time to make it home for a quick change. 30 degree heat and no aircon in Black Beauty doesn’t end well. On the motorway I was even confident I’d get a nap in before 8pm dinner reservations. However, the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. And boy did plans go awry. I was met with buses and cars reversing on the motorway and people abandoning cars on a grass verge. Turns out the great drying out had actually caused gorse fires between the Athenry and Loughrey junctions and a car accident didn’t help matters. Thankfully, nobody was seriously injured in either incident. I had two choices, and was like Robert Frost, sit pretty, pretty melting in Black Beauty till the junction cleared, or take the road less travelled - The Bog Road.
I rang my brother in law, a Rossie, and took directions, I’d still be in Athlone in good time. And I would have been too, if it wasn’t for my complete inability to take direction, literally.
I instead drove to Mountbellew, Caltra and Ahascragh and back on to the motorway for Athlone. If you looked at it on a map I imagine it would resemble the figure eight or something like it and I’d imagine there should be Benny Hill music playing.
Turns out when I was in the famous milliner Philip Treacy’s native home of Ahascragh I was a mere ten minutes from Athlone via secondary roads, but I kept going. 7.15pm and a shell of my former self, I arrived at the hotel, to realise I drew the short straw for the sofa bed, at that stage I would have been happy with the floor. For another birthday celebration we went as far as Delphi, and once again took the ‘scenic route’ via Clonbur, Maam, Letterfrack, only to cop that Delphi is in fact the far side of Westport. It was a sunny evening, and hey, we got to appreciate Kylemore Abbey, twice.
I got some lovely presents for the old birthday, a painting, vouchers, signature perfume, jewellery and really felt the love. But you can always count on your family to ground you. As I opened up a birthday card from my siblings I faced some harsh realities.
A note from my brother read, ‘30 is the new 20, as in it’s still ok to live with your parents’. Thanks Lorcán.
And I’ve been thinking, maybe I should return all my birthday presents and buy a SatNav?

In her fortnightly Diary of a Home Bird column, Ciara Galvin reveals the trials and tribulations of a twenty-something year old still living with her parents.