What Not To Worry About #39

Good day old pals! How are things shaping up on this grey and dreary Monday? It was if the sun barely rose this morning and my mind never fully woke up to the fact that it was daytime – the opposite of what I needed. I work in an office that looks out to the Cavehill mountain in Belfast and on a day like today the clouds roll over the cliff edge and down the hill in a misty swirl, a little distracting if I’m honest. What I do enjoy on days like this is getting home and lighting candles in different rooms around the house. I tidy up a littel bit, cook something hearty that warms my belly before settling on the couch with a cup of tea and a book to read. There is something so indulgent about creating a cosy atmosphere at home, something that’s a little harder to do when it’s summer and all the windows are open to the world. This past week has seen me driving from one end of the island to the other (6 hours of driving is not kind to the behind, I tell ya) to attend the TBEX conference down in Kerry. My good friend Rebecca from A Clothes Horse had asked me to go with her a few months ago and I thought it would be an amazing opportunity to meet people with such a similar passion to mine because blogging isn’t something a lot of people really understand up here (“You mean you don’t make money from all this carry on?!”). Rebecca is the one person I have to bounce ideas off and I have taken her prisoner as my mentor because after blogging for a decade, the gal is a friggin’ wealth of knowledge. I think the reason why I devote so much of myself to this wee space is simply because of how much happiness it brings me. This blog is more than just a hobby; it’s something I am more passionate about than anything I have done in a long time and knowing that my words might make one person either think or feel differently about a topic or themselves fills me up with more joy than any job ever could. That is enough for me and if there is a day when someone might actually pay me to write the words that tumble out then that would just be a dream come true. Of course I was beaming pretty much the entire time I was in Kerry. We attended talks that filled me with so much inspiration I felt I would burst if I didn’t get every single word written down. We were able to meet with companies that I could never have imagined being in the same room as never mind actually having a chat with! It was hard work but the kind of work that feels all worthwhile especially when you can end the day in a pub drinking a Guinness and tapping your hooves to the beat of a bodhrán (the Americans go wild for a good dose of “ceol agus craic”). It’s safe to say that despite the grey Monday I am feeling super positive and very happy to share a few worries that I am choosing to let go of this week. Let me know if you’re joining in too – would love to hear the worries you are saying goodbye to :) Being shy – there was absolutely no room for shyness at the conference. I had to be shiny and sparkly which I can sometimes struggle with but somehow I managed to enjoy every second of it. I think it was because I was just so excited to be there and I wanted to leave without a single regret, even if it meant almost losing my voice in the process! Hostels – another reminder that I am getting old is the fact that hostels now give me the creeps. Rebecca and I had booked ourselves in to a twin room in a hostel to save a few coin during our stay in Killarney but we ended up only staying one night because:

  1. I sank a good two feet lower when I sat on the bed (this was not due to holiday weight!)
  2. The sheets felt damp
  3. The radiator wouldn’t work
  4. The shower had a push button that would leak out freezing water for a minute before you had to push it again (like a freakin’ leisure centre)
  5. The pub below us meant we could hear a pair of lads having a very audible heart-to-heart at about 1am

I won’t say where the hostel was but let me tell you we booked ourselves in a hotel the next day ASAP. I was never as glad to see a proper mattress in all my life (and this is a girl who loves camping!). Being the big spoon – I read this article yesterday which was a little bit adorable to read and also confirmed my belief that being the big spoon feels just lovely even if your partner tries to swat you off because apparently you’re “too clammy". Being a bit of a pyromaniac – I am counting down the days until we can light our fire again because my favourite sound in the world has to be the sound of a crackling fire. I was also really happy to read this article and learn that humans are actually wired to gather around fires so it makes perfect sense! Taking photos in public - as a blogger I have to take lots of photos in front of people who look at you like you're a bit mental - why are you taking photos of yourself drinking a coffee love? I'm getting used to it though and kind of laugh now when locals wonder what the hell I'm at - you even get a few who want to join in!

About Author

I'm Alex, the writer, photographer and creator of The Full Shilling. I started writing as a way to share all my favourite places in Ireland and the list just keeps growing! My aim is that you'll find somewhere new to explore and you'll make some great memories along the way. Happy reading!


  • Alex Donnelly
    4 years ago

    I think my backpacker hostel days are definitely over but I wouldn't say no to a boutique one!

  • Henry Elliss
    4 years ago

    You should try out the sort of "boutique" hostels that hipsters say in - there are some very nice ones around, and I think they actually do themselves a dis-service by calling themselves hostels.

  • Jenni
    4 years ago

    Your photos are stunning. What a beautiful part of the world.

  • Beth
    4 years ago

    Ha! I had to laugh at the taking photos! I often look like a little bizarre taking photographs. Even my husband gives me strange looks!

  • Caoimhe
    4 years ago

    I want to go home and light the fire. Another lovely article Al :) we are passed the hostel window of our lives :(

  • Alex
    4 years ago

    Love this post! Wish I could have made it across for TBEX! I still really struggle to take photos in public - also people tend to look at my like i'm being an arse if I say i'm a blogger so i'm a bit shy about it!

  • Jayne Laughs
    4 years ago

    Lovely to hear you had a fab time. Glad you managed to get a hotel room too! I think I would have done exactly the same eeeek! :)

  • Emma
    4 years ago

    I'm so glad you had such a great and inspiring time. It is lovely to be able to attend events with like-minded friends. Your photos are just stunning!

  • All Mummy
    4 years ago

    The hostel fills me with fear! We stayed in one in New York and it was ok but the showers were shocking! Not sure I’ll repeat the experience!

  • Ger
    4 years ago

    Kerry is beautiful , that's for sure.
    Sounds like you really enjoyed your stay. I have to say,the picture of the local with his pint is excellent !!!

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