Ordeals and Are You For Reals: Sponsored by Aircoach Customer Service

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the more your life crumbles around you, the more amusing it is to the wider populus. Due to some interest in an Instagram story documenting a pasta-induced delirium, exacerbated by an inflated ego, I have decided my first new post should not be the insightful, considerate, thought-provoking, earnest piece of literary gravitas I had originally planned (Beckett, Jung and climate action would all have been heavily featured) but rather a brief account of how my day disintegrated in what I’m assuming was a karmic onslaught of hysteria given my pomposity to set up this new website.

If anybody else is ordaining today the new Monday, a real Monday, then please, join me for some light motivation.

Nota Bene: This is to be read exclusively to the soundtrack of Dido’s iconic ‘Sand in my Shoes’. I will also accept ‘Mysterious Girl’ or actually, anything from Dido in general seeing as I am unequivocally going down with this ship and I would currently very much enjoy if my life was for rent.


As some of you may know, I went to bed on Sunday night in a state of something approaching hysteria. I had been travelling 16 hours on a journey that could have taken 5. I had said goodbye to beloved friends it will be months before I will get to hug again. I had bid arrivederci to six espressos a day, pizza, pasta, cannoli, gelato, midday aperol spritzes and 6 euro litres of Sicilian wine. And sunshine.

Did I mention burrata? For those yet to experience culinary enlightenment, burrata is a giant ball of softest, creamiest mozzarella, stuffed with, you guessed it, more cream. Then slathered in olive oil. Then lovingly encircled by a necklace of hunked and gargantuan bread. It’s also what the inside of my heart looks like.

Given these completely unnecessary descriptions of my diet over the past few weeks, it shouldn’t be surprising that I similarly went to bed with a migraine from either too much or probably too little caffeine, a stomach that resembled that of an overdue mother soon to birth triplets, and a heart heavy with the ache of goodbyes.

…And the sheer effort of trying to get blood through my lardy arteries.

And yet, I was hopeful. I generally like Mondays. I’m quite the fan of fresh starts and new pages and the promise of a new week for reinvention. I was also cock-sure I would wake up and my latest act of horrific narcissim (hint: you’re reading it) would have been endorsed, validated, and championed by 1,000 followers. All this despite the fact I definitely do not know 1,000 people.

Holidays have this effect on you where it makes you want to reevaluate everything about your life. You look around at the locals – the horizontal, non-plussed, shoulder-shrugging, laidback natives dousing themselves in olive oil and knocking back grappa and you think ahh, this is the thing, this is the stuff of life and living. This is real, visceral human experience. They are present. They are making it count.

Returning from Sicilian sojourns, I made a promise to be more present, more aware. To make better value of my time and stop this constant headless chicken running around I’m apparently so fond of and so embarrassingly known for.

Getting up the 10 minutes earlier to meditate. Sipping coffee rather than inhaling it. Brushing my hair instead of the usual, tie it up and hope no one notices it’s four days old malarkey. The stuff of radicalism, folks.

Oh my god I forget to mention arincini in earlier diet spiel. I AM SO SORRY, ITALY AND DEEP FRIED RICE. Please know I love you just as much as all other incarnations of carbs slathered in trans fats.

And so, on Sunday night, after exposing myself in ways I never thought I would to my meagre Instagram following, I set my alarm thirty minutes early to allow myself a mindful, meditative start to my week. But alas, alack, it simply wasn’t meant to be. Read on to hear a tale harrowing, heartbreaking, and mysterious.


I wake at allotted time and dress surprisingly quickly. I am only five minutes behind my pre-ordained schedule, still giving me adequate time to sit in a hipster café supping my oatmilk nonsense and pondering life. Hurrah.


As I am on the cusp of departure, I suddenly realise I don’t have my purse. Strange, I murmur aloud but, being in the unfortunate habit of regularly misplacing highly important items, I begin my morning ritual of an impromptu bedroom scavenger hunt without surprise. A fun game to play at any time of day but particularly when you are already late but trying desperately to remain calm and convince yourself you’re still in control. This little ditty proved fruitless after twenty minutes of hair-tearing, bed-stripping, drawer-upending fury.

It’s then I remember the previous night’s delirium and the strong possibility that the purse, along with my sense and dignity, never made it home with my corporal self. After all, I had already abandoned my luggage in an airport bathroom and remained ignorant of the fact for a solid twenty minutes. Not ideal in a time where unattended baggage usually ends in men in uniform and handcuffs. If only emotional baggage was greeted with such a welcome – AM I RIGHT, LADIES? How all my dreams would come true.



I refuse to be phased and calmly call aircoach. Lost and found is not open. ‘No problem’, I tell them. It is not no problem, it is a very big problem, all my worldly belongings are contained within this vessel of salmon pink fake leather and so I am forced, at 8am, to abandon day of holistic mindfulness in favour of cereal and chocolate. By 8.10 I am horizontal and queasy as my body rebels against yet more beige, sugar-laden food. Somehow, I roll onto my bike and down the hills to work. Somehow is the operative word in that sentence. So is roll.


My co-workers must think I’m suffering from a weakness of the bowels as I run in and out of the office, trying to make contact with the elusive Aircoach lost and found department. It takes four failed attempts before I can ascertain that yes, indeed, yes they do have a purse belonging to a ‘Holly Therese Hughes’. I can almost hear the snigger in their voice as they presumably gaze on my less than flattering ID photo. But I am indifferent, ignorant to this subtle attack on some bad lighting and unflattering photographic angles. I am euphoric, elated, ebullient with the news goodness still prevails in the world and I am not at risk of elaborate and cunning identity theft. So euphoric, in fact, I don’t really hear the operator when he calmly informs me collection of said salmon pink purse can only take place at the lost and found centre – a warehouse out in the Airport Business Park. Awkward, I think, but still feasible. I’ll get the bus out after work. A cheeky podcast, some intense people-watching, a few well-deserved snacks for the journey and we’re laughing.

Sorry, what’s that, Mr Operator? You’re only open 9.30 to 5? And you’re closed on weekends? Of course, no problem.



The airport is an hour away by public transport. I don’t finish work until 5 – the assigned hour for closing of business, doors, windows of opportunity. It is 11.30am. Like a mature, responsible, working professional, I deal with this conundrum like any self-assured 26 year old would. I sit at my desk stress-eating biscotti and outlining my dilemma in abrupt WhatsApp messages to less concerned friends. At 12, I call lunch and decide to distract myself by going food shopping in an attempt to eat my way out of unhealthy food habits and the stress occasioned by this latest curve ball. I buy 30 euros worth of every green fruit and vegetable I can find and then undo all my good intentions by spending another tenner on a vat of hummus for lunch. Protein, right?


I had planned to attend an after work spin class in order to sweat out the alcohol and work off the cheese belly. I wasn’t excited about it but I was excited about the prospect of ridding myself of the triplet bulge. Reluctant to give up the exercise ghost, I instead convince myself that it is a good idea to cycle to the airport in lieu of spin. I announce my predicament to the office and my intention to leave work an hour early to make it out in time.

I manage to refrain from mentioning that my physical absence will make no difference given I have been emotionally, mentally, and spiritually absent from work all day. As in, when I say I didn’t do anything, I really, truly mean I didn’t do ANYTHING.


It takes me approximately 30 seconds atop my trusty vehicular steed to realise my cycling adventure was a cataclysmic mistake. According to my Google Map directions, I only have 41 minutes and 30 seconds of torture left to endure. It is 4.25pm. You do the maths. For the first time ever, the estimated time of arrival on Google Maps is going up, instead of down. That is how much I am underperforming and no amount of Taylor Swift can save me now.

Somehow, I arrive at 4.57. Salmon pink fake leather item is waiting for me with all worldly belongings intact. I float out of the business park delighted with my accomplishment and sail home. Taylor Swift is not necessary.

I arrive home and eat another vat of hummus, ready to redo Monday all over again tomorrow. An eventual end.


At time of writing, this felt like a tale worthy of attention. Intrigue, suspense, drama, adventure – it had it all, I thought. On completion, the dullness of this anecdote has assailed me with the fire of a thousand suns. The realisation, while occasioning a potent measure of repugnance, is not enough to put me off publishing. I just thought I should let everyone know, at the end of my rant, that it’s definitely not worth reading this far.

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