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Thanksgiving in Dublin


Table peeps

As my fellow expat and friend Lily said during our Thanksgiving dinner yesterday evening, our friends are family to us as we don’t have our blood relatives nearby. Whether they know it or not, our mates play a very important role in our lives here – far away from our moms, dads, sisters and brothers back home.

This was the spirit behind what my friends Bill and Sharon dubbed Thanksgivingpolooza, a three-day weekend away in the midlands of Ireland to celebrate a very American holiday. The idea sprung about a couple of months ago, when Mountaineering Man considered who we could invite for this year’s Thanksgiving dinner. Every year we have to choose just a handful of friends, as our space in Dublin simply doesn’t allow for any more. A hunt for a bigger space was launched.

House

After some Google searches and Twitter queries I came across Bishopstown House, a beautifully-restored Georgian estate with multiple bedrooms, two sitting rooms, a roof deck and a massive kitchen. There’s also a private pub and more bedrooms next door in a converted stable house. There is some interesting history behind the building; Michael Jackson chose it to be his Irish estate but he passed away before the refurb was completed. It is now rented out as a holiday home. Sad for the King of Pop, but lucky for us! After a few group emails, I booked it and on Friday we all met up at the property with food, drink and supplies and hunkered down for the weekend. Thanksgivingpolooza 2013 was on!

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It’s been awhile, and I apologise for my absence but it’s that time of year when everything just seems to go batsh*t crazy all at once. That’s not to say it’s a bad thing; it’s just a very hectic time of year.

One reason I’m finding myself increasingly busy lately is because I’ve taken on a new role at work. I’m now managing the Social Media team as well as one of our largest accounts – a juggling act to say the least! I’m so wrecked at the end of the day I find it difficult to find the brain space to write blog posts, hence the long silence.

Another reason for the mad schedule of late is that this is the season of entertaining and gifting and meeting up with mates; all good but time-consuming endeavours. In the last few weeks I’ve gone to two work ‘dos, a friend’s housewarming/Christmas party, one wedding and have spent several hours Christmas shopping in between. In the next few weeks we have a brunch, an engagement party, Christmas drinks and Christmas Eve & Day at the in-laws before we’re off to Los Angeles for a warm and hopefully relaxing New Year’s holiday.

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There are so many things to be thankful for this year, I hardly know where to start. I’m grateful for my health (despite a few hiccups of late, I’m perfectly fine), I’m grateful for Mountaineering Man and our lovely place in Raheny that we now call home and I’m incredibly thankful that – in a country where the unemployment rate is 14% – I’m gainfully employed.

I’m appreciative of my friends here, from my long-time mates in Collon to my relatively new circle of buddies in Dublin. I feel lucky to have my fellow food blogging friends, who I can always rely on for a weekend brunch in or a trek out to try some fabulous restaurant. I can’t ask for better friends than my life-long besties back home in San Francisco and LA. – though there’s an ocean between us we’re still as close as ever. And of course I’m thankful for my amazing family, who I got to see last month and who showed MM a wonderful time in Los Angeles during our visit. There’s MM’s family as well, who have always been so kind and warm to me and with whom I look forward to spending the holidays with this year.

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