Niall’s virtual diary archives – December 1998

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2nd December 1998

Holland, update on little things happening

5th December 1998

History of Ronan and Siorca, Niall's attempt to define love

6th December 1998

Niall feels depressed and useless

12th December 1998  
16th December 1998

Niall goes for a drink with Kathryn, catches up with various people

26th December 1998

Back to Cork, Ireland, Home for many years. What I did during the first few days there

Wednesday 2nd Decembet 1998: 6.20pm, dagh, sorry for not making an entry in so long. Y'see, I forgot to make an entry on Tuesday (ie; a week ago) when I found out I've failed the first semester at uni. So I thought, fuck it, I'm going to Amsterdam, which I did the following Wednesday (ie; a week ago now). Came back on Sunday morning, absolutely fucked from eating lots of space cake just before going through customs. Ah - that's a point - that was fun. Y'see, I travelled without a passport, mainly cos it went out of date. Now the dutch side had no problems, but the UK side certainly did. I went through, off my tits, and they told me to go into a waiting room. I remember sitting there, thinking things were kinda cool in there (they weren't really, but I thought they were right then), and this police bloke comes in and asks me if I've been in trouble with the law before. I say I have, then he asks if it was for a drugs related offence, and I said it was. Then he says something about possession of cannabis resin, and I was of course thinking of the bong and half a gram of top-grade bud I had hidden about my person and whether they were going to search me, and then he says I was free to go. Being sufficiently off it to not think twice of it, I said thanks very much, collected my luggage and left.

Weird. You'd think the MI5 files would be more up to date wouldn't you. I know they keep tabs on my emails. I mean, here is one of these damn legalisers going to Amsterdam, smoking himself stupid over there, and coming back. Is it really possible I wouldn't try bringing something back? Shah, no, but I guess no one thought of that. Oh well, better for me I guess.

Holland BTW is really a nice place, decriminalised cannabis notwithstanding. It's very cheap, there is a great atmosphere (the heroin dealers will quite happily give you directions for example - what other country has this?!?), and the food is so far above that of the UK it's incredible. Dunno why dutch thai food tastes so good, but partially it'd be because of the very strong weed they have there amplifying taste sensations, but partially it's I think because the dutch people wouldn't put up with the crappy food at stupid prices we have here. And them being an eminently sensible people, they make the changes happen rather than pandering to countries such as the US like the UK does.

I won't go on too much about Amsterdam, but suffice it to say that it really opened my eyes. Cannabis needs to be legalised in this country. If only for the amazingly beneficial effects it has on people's temperment (I saw not one instance of anyone even shouting at someone else), but also for the sheer money it sucks out of other countries. I figured the dutch must be earning somewhere between five hundred to one thousand million pounds a year out of drugs tourism, and that money (as far as I consider it) should be going here to fix our education system among other things. I personally quite like the idea too of having a row of plants sitting in my room supplementing my meagre student income.

And bringing us on to the whole legalisation issue, my apologies for not actually posting the legalise motion last entry. It's here now. Read and enjoy!

And so what's been happening since Sunday? Well, sunday I spent smoking beautiful green hydroponically grown bud and proposing that the LRA should allow me to produce framework documents for the LRA and JCR's constitutions. They agreed, so I am replying to Tom Stevens letter with this information. I plan to have it done for early 1999.

Monday night I spent socialising and persuading Melanie (the girl in Nicholson mentioned last entry) of the current path of reform of the LRA. She takes the view they should simply be thrown out and replaced (this is after the Lawns Ball which err, shall we say wasn't appreciated much by ticket purchasers). I take the view that some members of the LRA need removing and replaced with people such as Melanie, and hopefully this will inject that spark necessary. We'll see. Next meeting is in three quarters of an hour, it should be fun!

Last night was a big huge caining session which lasted some silly number of hours. We smoking an eighth between us, which is cool, except it was of my crappy soap bar, which after Amsterdam I'm far less bothered about than perhaps I should be. These things cost money, but well ... after you've smoked some Golden Glow, you'll know what I mean by not caring much about soap bar :)

And tonight - well, I think it's programming programming and more programming. I have contract work to get through, plus more on tornado. Then tomorrow should see me get some letters to some people, and we'll work from there till the end of the week. Actually, then it'll only be two weeks to go till Christmad ... crap eh?

Right, I'm off for a joint before the LRA meeting. Talk to you again real soon (maybe even tonight). I have a rant to do! Be happy ...

Saturday 5th December 1998: 10.05am, the network's down so you guys won't be reading this for a while, but hell I've nothing much better to do right now so I thought I might as while put in an entry. I've just after undergoing some eighteen hours of sleep after Thursday night at New Horizons (it's a drum n' bass night) where I did ever so small an amount of speed which kept me up all night Thursday and eventually had me finally able to sleep Friday afternoon. I've just woken up now. Weird that - it was strong, but I barely took any of it so I have to say I was amazed by the effect.

So what's ticking in my life at present ... well, not much actually. In fact, I've just looked at my planner, and it seems all I have planned so far for today is ringing Elli and meeting Melanie's boyfriend tonight at the pub. And err, that's pretty much it. Of course I have things such as contract work, doing more on those framework documents and so on, but I think that can all pretty much wait. Right now, I'm going to do nothing for once, at least until midday. Oh that reminds me - I have some skunk being delivered for then, so I guess that's pretty cool overall.

So what right now? I mentioned a rant last entry, and yup, this time you're getting one. But it's not so much a rant as it is an update on my thoughts. As long term readers will know, the one big problem in my life is relationships. As in, I can't do them. You might think, well surely no one can, but this is a common misconception enhanced by shows such as Ally McBeal. In fact, there are a very small minority of people who are in fact truly in love and it's also very interesting that these types of people seem always to be in love. It's almost as though they have a knack for it.

Now despite my statements in Niall's theory of relationships about how few people who think they are in love really are, you will note I never excluded the people I mention above (in fact that day I was just narked at how many people enjoy self-delusion). The first time I met a couple of the ilk above was when I was a young lad all of sixteen and the couple were called Ronan and Siorca (two very solid Irish names). Now it was commonly held in my strict catholic school that Ronan was not entirely as straight as he could be, mainly as he was an arty type. I met Ronan through Kev (the guy who saved my life when I really really got drunk that time, and who's a great friend of mine) and he had been going out with this girl called Siorca for about four months. Siorca was very good looking, had been out with a number of the "popular" lads in school, and was fancied by a lot of lads mainly as she was seen as "classier" as she had gone out with these popular lads. Anyway, the upshot was that she had met Ronan, and started going out with him much to the envy of others who couldn't understand why.

Now Ronan and Siorca were great. I got on with Ronan pretty well, as much as an arty type can get on with a sciency type and the thing I liked about him most was his lack of pretensiousness even though, that said, it had to be said he was a bit odd. I went to a party of his when I was in fifth year and it was there I met Siorca for the first time in the kitchen the following morning, and it was there that for the first time since Aoife I clicked with a woman first off. It's rare this happens unless I'm on E and so is she, so it's why I remember it so well.

We only talked for a few minutes then, and probably in all the time between then and now I have only talked to her for a few hours in total. I don't know why this is - I guess our paths didn't cross often. But what particularly got me right from the start, and it still does to this very day, is how in love they were (they're still together might I add). They did many things together, and many they did not. But they were absolutely solid, and despite the many trials they went through this never changed.

If you understand what I'm saying here you'll know why I claim that a majority of people are not in love with their partners, even if they think they are. Indeed, probably most marriages have a touch of love but not true love. But what is true love? True love I feel is not an eternal thing at all, mainly as people change over a period of time and so the love between them must also change. But certainly there are couples such as Ronan and Siorca who are truly in love at least right now.

Now from what I have seen, the period during which this true love lasts can vary extremely. My cousin and his girlfriend Natalie had it for about a year before it all went wrong and indeed if examine enough couples closely enough, you can come up with the following definition of love:

Love is the occurances of true love

In other words, when people are in love, they experience periods of being truly in love ie; there are times when they are and times when they are not. If you think of when you yourself has been in love, you will remember that there are times when you feel very much in love with your partner, and other times very much less so. This is when you are in love - vanilla style. This is how 99.999% of people practice being in love.

This definition allows us to further define how some couples can be more in love than others - they experience occurances of true love at a more frequent rate. And of course movies such as Titanic show the perfection - true love all the time - which is of course impossible as no two people could maintain that for any length of time.

Now I talk here about proper love in general. Many people consider a loving relationship as containing a certain amount of jealousy to keep the parties together. Indeed, some mainstream religions take the view that men and women are innately incapable of being faithful and so take society-wide measures to discourage unfaithfulness in the name of sanctity of marriage. But in reality, I see no reason why when two people are properly in love they feel they have to be unfaithful - or even feel any need to be so.

However, this said, I have observed how some people become more or less in love in say different surroundings, or maybe a change in money flow. This it can be said that love is subjective to outside factors. This makes sense, as the rate of occurances of true love depend on external factors. For example, if it is a bitterly cold day which is dark, dreary and downpouring with rain, most couples wouldn't feel very much in love when walking through it. On the other hand, walking together through a cold, snowy but bright day in winter with children throwing snowballs at each other often generates a romantic feeling. Which brings me on to defining romance:

Romantic situations are those which cause many occurances of true love

This also makes sense in the context above. Now we have one problem remaining - all these definitions depend on the definition of true love. And what is this? Well, people have been trying for centuries and failed, but I'm going to give it my ha'pennies worth too:

A couple experience true love when they find fundamental joy in experiencing each other.

So essentially what I'm saying is that people in love experience moments of fundamental joy in experiencing each other. This BTW is not when experiencing each other - the joy is found in experiencing each other ie; the joy results from the experience, not during the experience from some other factor.

And what is fundamental joy? Well, that's a hard one as I reckon it's different for everyone, but for me it very much resembles when you feel joy from accomplishing something eg; you build something arduous and afterwards sit back, look at it and feel great. Now whether the feeling of fundamental joy and the joy of accomplishment are the same or just similar I don't know yet. But I'm getting there.

I'm sure you're wondering by this stage why the hell I'm going on about all this? Well, this all fits into the general portfolio of tools I am building to get me a decent woman. I have, as you know, Niall's theory of women, Niall's theory of relationships (into which all the above goes) and a whole wealth load of anecdotal evidence both from my own experience, that I have seen in others and that others have told or expressed to me. And with this latest step in defining love, it ramifies what I should look for in women in the future in order to build the perfect relationship which is slowly beginning to shape itself within my mind. Because a relationship cannot be perfect without its two constituents being perfect - me and whoever else. And as I learn and realise more, I am improving myself and my understanding of myself, and I am improving my understanding of what I need to have in a woman. And so I grow closer to knowing what to look for in a woman, so thus improving my chances of finding such a woman and obtaining happiness. Cool.

Right, that's me done. It's just past midday now, I have some nice skunk to get, so I need to get dressed/cleaned up. See you again soon, and be happy!

Sunday 6th December 1998: 10.50pm, the network's still down - so you won't be reading this for a few days yet! Well, I'm not doing too well. Last night Elli rang to break it off. Now I know I'm not in love with her, but it was still a shock - and now I feel ... alone ... again. And I feel tired, lonely and not particularly loved. I've been battering my head against the LRA & Lawns issues since I came here, and we're not any further than when I started, despite me failing semester one and effectively losing my girlfriend because I was spending too much time on Lawns stuff. I'm not happy. I try and try and try, but nowt happens. And I'm getting close now to giving up.

As is usual, when things don't go too well here, I think about leaving. I know I won't especially given I do enjoy being here a lot, especially from a social point of view. But I am increasingly beginning to notice how this year I have not met any "killer" women if you know what I mean. I came to uni to practice the relationships things, and you can see from last entry how well I'm doing from a theory point of view. But in actual practice, I'm not doing too great at all. As I refine my selection process, inevitably I suppose I increasingly reduce the selection, meaning I meet less and less of suitable types. However, that said, I guess I've met more suitable types than I did last year, although most are taken or otherwise not available. Annoying.

So I'm back where I started again at the start of the term effectively. Frustrating. That's about the best way I can put it.

Right I'm off to get very very stoned. The skunk I have at present is very similar to white widow, so a joint deep-toked is like having a brain labotomy ie; I stop thinking and getting myself depressed. Yeah yeah I know you're not supposed to take drugs of any kind to solve your problems, but to be honest I couldn't give a shit right now, so I'm just going to get very fucked.

Bye, see you soon, be happy!

Saturday 12th December 1998: 6.21am, it's been a strange week - full of business and then quiet. I got the final draft of the union legalisation motion drafted (that's here in case you're interested), and at last Wednesday's LRA meeting was instructed to pass the framework constitutions over to the student union for further development, which I did. I also caught up with loads of people, some of which I haven't seen since the start of the semester (eg; Rachel). So there were some days where I was run off my feet, and other days when I spent most of it in bed catching up on a lack of sleep.

Except for this weekend actually. I got out of bed last night at around 11pm, so I was up all night doing contract work before dozing off around 1pm today. I then slept through until 12am tonight, and now I'm up and wide awake again. So effectively I've done nothing much for the last two days - it's cool, but weird and strange.

Hmm, typing's hard right now - the CD-ROM's having trouble reading a scratched CD I'm copying. Better be off for now - too difficult to type!

Be happy, see you again soon!

Wednesday 16th December 1998: 12.48pm, well we're in the run down now before Christmas break next Saturday, whence of course your beloved webmaster won't be quite so frequent with his updates (ah well). And of course, given we're in this run down, this means yes, I am catching up with people as I have been since last entry.

And yup, one of those people was Kathryn herself. I caught up with her yesterday in the bar where she was getting drunk with her mate Emma and I proceeded to have three pints and nearly fall off my chair. Yup, it's official now, I'm a lightweight! I think though it's more to do with me having not drunk any alcohol prior to this for about two weeks, and so it hit me hard. Weird.

Anyway, needless to say, a pissed Kathryn and a pissed Niall are bound to start talking to each other - as in, properly, for the first time since last Easter. And while it feels nice we have finally broken the ice, it also means there's stuff now I and her have to deal with, not least the realisation that we both fucked the other up and both of us since have been unable to open up in subsequent relationships. Which is what happened to me and Elii really I suppose. Another victim of things in the past.

But I suppose it could be argued we've stepped on a stepping stone to recovery. We've faced up to each other and learnt, and theroretically I suppose we can now move on and become better people. Ooo, I think I'm in a soppy happy mood today. Not good ;)

Pretty much only that and LRA stuff (we're having an internal reelection) has happened since the last update. Not much. Been quite quiet really ...

I figure I'll make another update before Christmas break, and then you'll be treated to Niall's entry of the year, my traditional rounding up of this year. I always do it every New Year, but this time it'll be public and available for all you people to read. I might even type in last year's entry, depends on how busy I'll be. I will be back home after all - last year saw me party the holidays away and do precious little study. Which has to be different for this Christmas, but well, knowing me ...

Anyway, have a nice day, and see you again soon. Be happy!

26th December 1998: 3.44pm, tis what we call St. Steven's Day here in Ireland (that being the day after Christmas Day), so happy St. Steven's Day! Well, I'm currently typing all the way back home in Ireland on my good ol' Acorn which can at least edit text, thus enabling me to generate this. And besides, I wanted to tell you about the last few days (although actually I can't remember when I made the last update!)

Exactly one week ago today saw me sit up all night with a mate smoking lots of californian marijuana, and I decided at around 7am that there was now no point in going to bed, so I might as well start packing. This I did, and I left for Manchester for my flight home at just before 11am. Unfortunately, due to engineering works at Manchester, I missed my flight at 3pm by some five minutes, and so spent the night wandering Manchester Airport looking for something to do (there isn't very much). I ended up sleeping on a very comfortable bench in the British Airways part of Terminal One (no, I mean it - it was really comfortable and quiet).

And so on Sunday I came home. That night I immediately hit the Cork nightlife by going to a lock-in at a pub (drank until half one in the morning), and then on to the clubs. Got back with difficulty (my mate was having one of those very very serious discussions with his new woman) by 4am, and got to bed not long after that.

And then, as usual, the allergic reactions began. Y'see, despite me having spent how many years growing up in Cork, since I left three years ago I have been having stronger and stronger allergic reactions to home every time I come back. This time it's been really bad. Constantly blocked up, unable to breathe through my nose, sore and weeping eyes and hurting lungs. No, it's not because I've been smoking too much (I wish!), it just seems to be something in the air. Dammed if I know what, but whatever it is it doesn't seem to be very compatible with me. In other words, it means breaks here are spent in utter misery feeling totally inhuman. Not pleasant, and you don't really enjoy Christmas as much as you should unless you get drunk enough to forget the aches and pains.

Which is exactly what I did last Thursday. I had spent the week ringing old friends letting them know I was back, and we eventually organised a meeting on Christmas Eve. We went to this small local pub in Cork's university area which had pool and snooker tables and proceeded to play lots of pool, snooker and drink much Murphy's (this being the stout in Cork - a bit like Guinness but better). Once sufficiently rat-arsed and having caught up with innumerable tales and happenings, we headed home at 1am - although the bar was still serving!

Now that night saw me catch up with a lot of things. The last time I was home was before this virtual diary even began (more than nine months ago), so a hell of a lot has happened. While most of it won't concern yourselves, there were some interesting points raised. Firstly, it seems that Siorca, the girl I did the dirty with whilst engaged to Kathryn (my apologies for the lack of a link, but I don't have access to this site right now) is still in Cork despite finishing her degree last summer. In fact, it would seem she is going out with a good friend of mine, Tim. Tim was not aware of her prior involvement in our circles, as of course excepting me, she was not. And much was made clearer now, including her dislike of talking of that period of time and of me (she does not know Tim knows me).

If you have been reading for a while, you will know that Siorca hates me with a passion. After we slept with each other exactly a year ago (give or take a few days), it got all over Cork that it had happened, her boyfriend found out and horrible things happened. This she all blamed on me, which was unfair as I told almost no one - it was the other people in the house who spread it so far and wide. But I was not here to rectify the misunderstanding, and it was easier for her to blame everything on me, so that was the way it stayed and has continued to. Pity - she was a nice girl, as I told Tim.

Another interesting point raised was Ronan and Siorca, whom I mentioned in a recent entry about defining love. What I had not realised was that there is an innate conservatism within their relationship which is obscured by self-perceived liberal attitudes. While they think they are liberal, and often express liberal views, it is only through their wish to be liberal and extensive thought thereupon which makes them seem liberal. In fact, innately they are very conservative, and are easy to shock. This was a revelation to me because I had always viewed Ronan and Siorca as being very liberal in their attitudes and quite unlike the conservative Irish catholic based society that exists here. It seems I was wrong - many of my exploits these last few months most definately shocked them. This is very pertinent - because maybe it applies to relationships such as Melanie's - in which case, it may well apply to all such relationships, in which case it becomes clear that loving relationships such as these are maybe less about love and far more about an incapability to face the modern changing world alone. The conservativeness I mention above I think does not come from a dislike of it, but rather a fear of it. They prefer to view new things far away, think about and discuss them, and then make a decision. Having them thrust into their face makes them extremely uncomfortable, even to the point of being incapable of handling it. So they bond with someone else to better shield themselves and enhance their ability to discuss and make decisions about things. Interesting - probably not the whole story by any means, but bound to be part of it in some way.

Another person I met there was Kev, a bloke I've mentioned here many times before, and his girlfriend Cecilia. Well, now they've broken up, but still close friends, and Kev's returned to education and is doing a course up in Limerick. After everyone else had gone home that night, me and Kev wandered down to the city centre in search of food providing establishments, and of course it now being Christmas Day meant nowhere was open. But thankfully, Hindu's of course don't observe Christmas, and so were quite happily raking in the cash - so we had an Indian curry which was very nice. And then, we went home. Typical night out in Cork really - and it was good to see Kev again, who promises to visit me soon in England.

And so this brings us onto yesterday, Christmas Day. After the traditional Christmas dinner made by my father (which might I add was very good - he's learning with practice), I did the traditional Christmas night - going to my mate Richard's and smoking and drinking as much as we can. It varies how many people are there from year to year, but this had to be the biggest to date - we had Richie's lovely cousin from Australia Leslie-Ann, Richie's brother Robin, Mick from across the road, Richie's woman Shirley, Eugene the hard bastard, his woman Katie, Mick Sull, Lee Road Brian, and all the lads from years gone by that used to be one of the great fears in Cork before most were put away or driven out. Well, they were all back for Christmas, and sure as hell we partied that night. Apart from me, who was fucked from too much of Richie's drink (it's free which is why everyone goes to his place Christmas Day), too much smoking and all this combined with being pretty sick from these bloody allergies. So yeah, the little room was packed to the hilt, and we all watched Braveheart and yelled whenever English people got killed. Fun being back in Ireland!

And so on to today. I'm supposed to be doing contract work this Christmas, but I keep being drawn to this project I started two years ago before my mother died. It is a patch to make Acorn RISC-OS preempt its tasks (something claimed by almost all to be patently impossible). Last Christmas of course I spent wondering what to do about Kathryn, so this Christmas in memoriam to my mother I thought I would finish this project at least, even though there's no point as Acorn people don't really exist anymore. So that's what I'm about to go do now - I'll upload this update after 6pm when cheap phone calls come in (I'm using a very old modem that doesn't always work). And sometime before the end of the hols I'll upload it here, and circulate news to the remaining Acorn world that we finally have preemption. And then I'll sit back and laugh at those who laughed at me. Hehe, I like being vindictive and revengeful ... :)

Right, so I'll be off then. The next update is likely to be in a while, as it's bollocks updating the pages in such an old-fashioned style (write HTML manually in a text editor, pray it's okay, zmodem it up to a mainframe, ftp that to my webserver, and then use pico or summat to insert the HTML, and then pray all that works (unlikely)), and besides, it's not like much is happening at present other than drinking and smoking and going out. Oh damn - isn't that what I do every day anyway? ;)

Good luck, have a happy new year, be happy, and don't go and die or anything! Bye!

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