One of the sweetest parts about travelling are those irretrievable seconds when a place reveals itself for the very first time. For the first time, ideas and imaginations are replaced by real, concrete images. As my metro train emerged from the mouth of the underground tunnel Lisbon reveals itself as a city of colours; bulky apartment blocks were disguised in sunny yellows, pinks, purples and greens, colours I was more accustomed to seeing in a children’s playground.
minding myself that I can have fun without alcohol, or that I can simply enjoy a few drinks, Dry January served its purpose. The hype was equally as valuable, providing the necessary impetus and a legitimate excuse not to drink (a decision which I doubt would have been met with as little resistance on an ordinary occasion).
It wasn’t until I was older that I truly understood the force, the institution that is Female Friendship. Growing up as a child in the segregation of Irish schooling, I was only friends with other girls like me. We were forbidden from interacting with ‘the boys’ during school hours, and friendship in my eyes was a sacrament that only existed between members of the same sex. At lunchtime we would peek out the back window and those that hit puberty long before I did would point out they boys they had kissed at the weekend, or ‘scored’ as we used to call it back then. Before we even had time to know one another as friends, boys quickly came to hold the position of sexual objects: to be kissed, fawned over, or held at arms length. In my little world, the friendship was female.
I think it is nice that someone wants to get to know the genderless“I only see people, I don’t see colour or gender.” I’ve heard it said countless times, a self-effacing testament to the speaker’s ability to see the true person unobscured by colour, race, gender, sexuality or religion. With such decisiveness, they detach themselves from such bodily or social hindrances, and get to all the good stuff, the real stuff that makes us who we really are. Up until a while ago I would have counted myself amongst such people, but now I’m not too sure. The motivations of this sentiment are admirable, but I’ve been wondering lately whether it is little more than a fanciful ideal. Can we really unearth the unadorned personhood, shining in its glorious purity beneath the pressures and prejudices of the mortal world?, sexless, colourless and nationless Ellie, but even I’m not sure who she is or whether she even exists.
With New Years having just passed under our nose, it is once again that time of year where we place ourselves under the microscope for a rigorous self-inspection. With a season of gluttonous self-indulgence brought to a close, the sequential leap from depravity to punishment fits in nicely with the spirit of the religious festivities. For every drink or pie too many there is a sin to atone for, and the tallying up of our annually- accumulated vices sweeps us into the new year on a fresh wave of disgust and loathing. This year however I found the idea of waiting till New Years to change my life positively comical. With self-improvement and wellness very much in vogue, tearing yourself to shreds only to build yourself back up again is an year round, if not daily, activity.
Campaigners gathered today outside the Dáil in efforts to suede the government to approve cystic fibrosis treating drug ‘Orkambi’. The NCPE (National Centre for Pharmeconomics) has recommended the government not to approve the drug as it does not represent value for money. Vertex, the pharmaceuticals company manufacturing the drug are currently charging €160,000 per patient annually, while the National Pharmaceutical Agency has valued the drug at €30,000 per annum. The final decision rests with Minister for Health Simon Harris who will receive a recommendation from the HSE, but a report in the Sunday Business Post indicated that the HSE would…
While making an appearance at the launch of a new helpline for the victims of crime, Taoiseach Enda Kenny called for there to be a discussion about the ‘corruption’ of young people of Ireland due to their exposure to porn. In a country where open discussions of sex are limited to sex-ed classes and tend to follow the strain of thinking that abstinence is the best, his move is a bold one.