Saturday, 10 September 2011

Lurgan (that word means many things to me now)

Heeeeeeeeelllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllloooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo people,

I'm back and, boy, have I got a lot of writing for you! Here it is:

At first Lurgan seemed entirely foreign and strange and, to be honest, scary beyond all reason. I was late-ish so my house was already outside and my head of house had to lead me out to them. The girls looked like they were going to skin me alive, now they are all like giant teddy bears and I love and miss them. I do not miss Ben who is boy who I made a bargain with that he would leave me alone if I wrote about him, happy Ben?

The strangest and scariest thing about Lurgan is the impact that it can have on your mind. I am a person who doesn't do something without the tiniest fraction of my heart in the action. Lurgan stripped me to my core. Feelings and actions were raw. The simplest of words affected me. I felt more and put more feeling into my actions, I also couldn't escape. I couldn't escape into my mind and make everything disappear. I didn't have a book to make me forget my reality. I had to live it. Every second had meaning, every second could make a difference. I remember in particular fondness times at the beach when my friends and I would look for rock pools and find crabs and jellyfish. I also remember lunch times spent at the Foosball tables cheering for blue or silver. One lunch time at the Foosball tables that I do not remember happily is the one where my friends made coke come out of my nose (I am NOT explaining that story). The tent is light and airy but the hall is more cozy and home-like, the place you go back to everyday.

The probably saddest thing about Lurgan is how blank my mind was. I said before that I get my inspiration from trees (don't ask, have not got the time to explain), well Connemara? Beautiful but not a lot of trees. I could barely think but something that was good about my mind was that I somehow learnt how to manipulate what I dream about. I would dream about anything I wanted.

Waiting for the bus after a long day, sitting on your ass laughing with friends, listening to Marcus saying "Bus Bán a hAon, Slán" (Bus White No.1, goodbye). Doing impressions of "Turas go Connemara, Wow" (Trip to Connemara, Wow).

The céilís (dances). Just the céilís. "Beirt os corr beirt" (two in front of two) was great craic (fun). My favourite of the actual Irish dancing dances is "seachtar os corr seachtar" (seven in front of seven). It was so much fun! Out of the non-Irish dances my favourite is "The Drolene" (I don't know how to spell it). It was a strange and hilarious dance. I can't even explain it without laughing so I won't.

Getting ready was hard when you were too warm and tired to get up so there were a couple of times when I got on the bus with no shoes on and after running down the driveway which was made of giant loose stones, try running on that (I wouldn't recommend it).

The Irish classes with the "Abair Leat!" sheets on the clipboard with a sharp pencil, if you were lucky. One of the classes was in room no.5 which was outside with picnic benches and a roof over your head (I'm not describing this well, am I?). Anyyway, in room no.5 you would be singing the songs written in or translated into Irish. The classes where you got on a bus and went to another building and did drama, drawing and singing. The classes were different from school, they were pretty okay.

One thing that everyone wanted was the bands. You got a black band when you were caught speaking in Irish when you didn't know there was a teacher there listening to you or there was a code where you went up to the vice principal who basically ran everything and was insane (Cá bhfuil mo bhicycle?) and said "Cén chaoi a bhfuil an craic?" (What way is the fun, basically it means what's up?) and then he asked you and you have to say "Tá sé mighty!" (It's mighty!). You got a blue band when you signed up to AbairLeat BEO, which is like Facebook in Irish, and got five friends. You got a white band when you were happy to be speaking Irish. The most sought after band was the final one, the green band which you got when you helped others with their Irish. I had all four bands by the third Sunday.

There was also a project for each course. The projects involved dressing up, singing, dancing, acting, art (e.g painting), writing songs and scripts and translating songs into Irish. For cúrsa C (course C) two years ago the project was THRILLER!!!!!!! They had to translate Thriller by Michael Jackson into Irish, do all of the make-up (zombies) and dress-up, film it, sing, choreograph the dance, actually dance, edit the film and actually get hundreds of people organized enough to do it.

The project for Cúrsa C 2K11 was (drum roll please.....................) GLEE!!!! This course was now being called Cúrsa Glee or Glurgan (Glee+Lurgan). My class which was an awesome class named.....MACDARA (macdara is the patron saint of Connemara) had to dress up as one of the following, Nerd, Goth/Rocker, Jock or a cheerleader. I was a nerd. I'm trying to get a hold of a picture of me in my nerd stuff so if anyone from Lurgan who is reading this has a copy please leave a comment and I'll send you my email. We had to do a dance and sing a song and act a bit. We didn't have to do much because we were the youngest class there.

Siopa Goal (Goal Shop). Siopa Goal is where everyone got chocolate, crisps, tissues and drinks when they couldn't go to Supervalu. The best thing is that every single cent made in the Siopa is sent to Goal Charity.

Lurgan is a fun experience. One of the funniest things ever was a disco and I was trying to bring my friend, Tara, to a certain person. When I took her Tara was standing next to her boyfriend, Eoghan, and he was trying to follow the insane maze I had made through the crowd and when Tara told me this I decided to be mean and make some more zig-zags and then dragged Tara to somewhere we could just see Eoghan turn around a couple times with a super-confused look on his face but then Tara ruined my funand called him over but he obviously just thought he lost us instead me just being incredibly mean (Sorry Eoghan but it was incredibly funny to watch). I can't blame him though because the disco was dark and hot with lights pulsing across a strip of floor making the normally cosy and warm hall into a place where you could barely see left and right and it feels like anything can happen if you dance enough, like you can go anywhere if you keep walking across the hall. Long description made short: the discos are amazing and can make you forget where the hell you are.

I love the way people show off their talent in Lurgan whether singing along in singing class or writing something and letting others read it or palying guitar in the middle of the hall (for no apparent reason). Every example here is true for one person and Lurgan people will know exactly who I am talking about.

On the last day of Lurgan I felt like crying and I did cry. Several times and very loudly and very messy, sorry to all the people who hugged me when I was crying your jumpers were probably soaked. On the last night after the disco I was the first in my room to fall asleep and Alex, Kyna and Nicole decided to play a prank on me. They wrote on my arms, put hair extensions in my hair, put sweet packets and things that I will not say on this blog on my face. They took several pictures with flash and I still didn't wake up. None the less, NOT FUNNY.

Leaving Lurgan was so hard. That stupid song 'Slán Abhaile' made me cry, a lot (Thanks a bunch Cormac!). The people I meet there were and are one in a million. I miss you all guys!!!!!!!!!! And here is a song by Taylor Swift, Queen of Emotional Sad Songs with Breathe. (When she says You it's plural for everyone in Lurgan) And Macdara-ers? I would happily live those three weeks over and over again for the rest of my life. And a big LOVE to everyone in Teach Noirín!!!!!!!!!!!!!!