Friday, 7 July 2017

A brief Autobiography: How Irish dancing went from being a hobby into a passion into an obsession.Part 12: Summer of 2007 - Malaysia with the family, first tour with Royal Tara, Prague for my Aux Pairs wedding and London to see Prince.

Part 12: Summer of 2007 - Malaysia with the family for my Granda Tans 70th, my first tour with Royal Tara, Prague for my Aux Pairs wedding and  London to see Prince.  And no fellow St. Pats Alumni - you did not like Prince in 2007, you liked Eminem or Green Day.

For my grandad's 70th the whole of my extended family went away to Malaysia for 3 weeks. We stopped in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on the way there - which has the biggest shopping center ever.  Then we went to Ipoh, Pangkor Island, Kuala Lumpur but spent the largest segment on Penang. We had a fantastic time and the older cousins and myself use to go to  a club in Penang and they use to play “Umbrella” and they use to bring out umbrellas. I also pulled a local "model" one night when I was in that club.



I remember the whole family at grandad tan 70th played “Yamm Sinn” we did shots of tequila whilst doing it. All the kids did irish dancing, for our Malaysia family, and I can remember I was too drunk to dance in time and was really upset. I started crying because I thought to myself that in ten years time, that was when we were planning on coming back, Granda might be dead and then other cousins started crying. My prediction was right - some of my family are going to Malaysia literally tomorrow to bring his ashes back home. 

One night I can remember I got really upset because I didn’t want to go back to school and my parents were going to make me. I told my older female cousin I didn’t want to go back and I wanted to go to stage school or do a music and dance course. I hated school.

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From my knowledge, I was the first pupil ever to be asked to go away on tour with “Royal Tara” in their first year. We toured in Spain, Portugal, and Tenerife with other folk groups. I thought this would be fun and an excuse for a holiday, although it also turned out to be a bit of a nightmare at times.

I started to get bullied by the girls in my age group Gillian, Nicola, Kerrie and Nicole and the assistant teacher Lesley. Only I and Gillian had qualified for next years ulsters at “Glenravel” FDTA and I think this might of been part of the problem, however also being allowed to tour on my first year in the academy and culture clashes also didn’t help. I felt they stirred up a load of shit between myself and other pupils and the teachers, in particular, the “teachers pet” Jenna Hamill, who sometimes would have been against my sister - they stated that the only reason my sister and her friend Katie had beat her at Bangor was because they were from there, I obviously defended my sister against them. There were a lot of arguments. I made friends with some eastern European girls and they hated them as well.

I can’t imagine how stressful the whole predicament was for the teachers. Bringing 30 teenagers away on tour. Especially considering how easy it is to access alcohol in the continent. One night some of the teenagers got drunk and Ruth banned the girl from going out. But the boys who were my age and a bit older still managed to sneak out. This infuriated the girls more. 

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It was my old Aux Paris wedding in Prague that summer. It was beautiful, we went sightseeing as well and went into a “Sex Machine Museum” - if you want to make sure your teenage son/daughter doesn’t get pregnant bring them there; it is sure to put you off sex for life.

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My big sister and I then went to London to see Prince in the 02 arena. I had loved Prince for a long time. I got his greatest hits for Christmas a few years prior to this and couldn’t stop listening to him. My favorite was “When the Doves Cry”, “ I wanna be your Lover”, Let’s go Crazy” “little red corvette”. It really angers me now that only in a recent year people my age and younger started to like him. He was amazing though strangely we thought he looked a bit ill. Jade's friend and I had an entire suite to ourselves. I'm so glad i got to see one of my favorite artists before they died nearly all of them have died since: Whitney Houston, Donna Summer, Michael Jackson and Etta James are some of my favourites to name a few. I hate that now people my age that claim they have "always been a Prince fan" when they havn't -  no fellow "ST. Pats alumni" you do not like Prince, Whitney Houston or Motown music - you like Eminem or Green day. And that's the way it goes for me, whether it be in Irish dancing, family, work or school life - I start doing something first get made fun for it then everyone starts to copy me and someone else get's the credit.