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The Good Auld Days

The good old times! It’s a saying I’m finding myself using more and more these days. But last week a friend of mine sent me on some pictures she had found of the old gang and all I could say to myself “They good old days” 

Taken about 15 years ago. I was 20. Fresh faced and so naïve. The complete opposite to me now. I haven’t looked fresh faced for many years. But looking back at the photo made me realise how simple life was back then. Living at home, I had no rent or bills to pay, all my money was for me. Working all week just to live for the weekend. Nights out Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Friendships meant seeing your friends every day, spending hours doing nothing together, but you were together. No social media, no distractions. We lived in the moment. No camera phones. And if someone brought out a camera, it would be one person, not everyone. By the time they developed the photos we had all forgotten about them and seeing the pictures was a brilliant surprise.  Today for me things are very different. I have adulted… yes, the dreaded A-word. Money goes on bills, loans, rent. These days a night out has to be planned to within an inch of its life. No more seeing friends every day and spending hours just chatting. You would be lucky to see some friends for months on end. Life just gets in the way. AND this was all before COVID19. Now it’s even harder to get out your house. Let alone plan or do anything. 15 years ago, the only reasons I would have had a job would have been to pay for my car insurance and petrol and to have my nights out. Other than that, I didn’t want a job. Now things are just so different. My job is everything. My life revolves around my job. 

The nights out back then were Epic. We would never know where we would end up and in what state. If we made it to the nightclub, we would have called it a brilliant night. The night would be a giant pub crawl. And back in the early 2000s when Ireland was in the middle of the boom, nightlife was brilliant. The drinks were outrageous, the amount of drink was crazy and the craic was mighty. I can still remember our routine. We would start at a bar called Heartys. The place to be if you fancied a cocktail. My cocktail of choice was an FBI. This comprised Baileys, Vodka, Kahula and three scoops of Vanilla Ice Cream. Man, it was delicious, and it lined the stomach for the rest of the night! Method in my madness, I tell you. Once we had drank many cocktails, it was then down to Rurais for more fun and drinks. In the square in Tralee, it was a three floor bar that was crammed on every floor. Remember, these were the days we had money to waste. Music was always banging, and you would always bump into people you knew. Then after some shots mainly Butterballs it was off to the Abbey Inn to calm down a little before heading to the nightclub. If you were brave, you would get a monks mix. Fuck knows what they put in it, but it blew the balls off you. At this stage now as you could imagine we were in some state but it was time to head to Fabric. 

Back in Tralee in the early 2000s a nightclub called Fabric opened up. Man, it was the place to be. Three different clubs in one spot. Tralee had seen nothing like it before. Every Friday night and Saturday night the gang would be there. All living our best lives. But walking down to Fabric was a challenge in its own right. Stumbling, throwing up, the world spinning all the while trying not to catch the bouncers eye and let them see how Twat faced you were for the fear of not getting in. You would see all the boys, taking off their trainers and socks and then putting their black socks on over their trainers. You see trainers in the nightclub was a big no no and if you were wearing trainers you were not getting in. Once inside it was a case of more drink and dancing. Heading out to the smoking area and bumping into someone and spending an hour out there. Leaving the nightclub, we would all try to organise food and taxis. All without taking selfies and checking Facebook or snapchat or Instagram. Any photos taken were for you and your friends, not for the world to see.  Then the following day there was no such thing as a hangover. I mean the past few years I have almost died from a night out but back then I could drink and drink and be fine the following day. Getting old is a bitch, I tell you.  Back then I didn’t care what others thought of me. The confidence was at an all-time high. As long as my friends and I were having the craic nothing else mattered. I miss those days. And seeing those photos is making me want the lockdown to end and we can all reunite for one night. I think most of the country will party like 2004 once this lockdown is over. 

I will always remember the good old days for the right reasons. 

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