25 and none the wiser.

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25 years old. 20 years since I started school. 17 years since I watched France win the World Cup in my Grandad's house. 7 years since I had my first legal drink. 4 years since I decided to become a professional poker player. There is obviously so many different milestones I could put in here. They were just the first few that came to my head. I know I'm not old. 25 though. Time is flying by. Thankfully for this birthday I had two of my best friends from home to celebrate with me.

I've never really been one to really care about birthdays. Didn't have a big 18th or a fancy 21st or anything like that. However, after Conor and Ciaran finally making their way over to Malta almost 3 years after I first moved here I decided I'd properly get on it for the whole weekend. Well that was the plan. They got in late on Thursday night. A couple of quiet drinks turned into many many rounds of kakerlaken poker (Paudies favorite game) and pyramid two of my favorite drinking games. Next thing I know it's about 4/5am and I'm putting the lads to bed (Conor with the first of two nights spent sleeping in all his clothes, classic!) because there was no alcohol in the house besides tequila. I never drink tequila.

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The two lads work full time. Early starts. So naturally they were looking forward to a nice lie in first day of the holidays. So even more naturally the second it hit 10am I was jumping on the lads for a tactically breakfast before we were on to the beach club. It was a lot of fun the lads enjoying everything I love most about Malta. Just relaxing in the sun. Bliss. Considering the albino state of the two lads, making me look tanned as fuck I may add, we didn't over do it out in the sun. Grabbed a burger from my favorite burger place ever, 'New York's Best' on the way before you guessed it. Few tactical naps. Now the video I'm going to post, I don't think it accurately captures the fear I saw in Conor's face when he awoken. Ciaran's laugh just makes it though. Enjoy.

I was under a little pressure to provide decent spots from the lads. I definitely pulled it out of the bar in their eyes for dinner on our first proper night out. Brought them to a steak house called 'Buffalo Bills'. Just absolutely hit the spot. It was also the first time I'd being out for dinner with these lads properly in over 6 months, so it was super enjoyable. Moved onto the 'Beer Garden' where we witnessed some of the best and worst karaoke all at once from an Italian wedding group. The bar crawl commenced and we finally made our way into 'The Jungle' aka Paceville. The local clubbing area in Malta. Making our way to our regular spot 'Bacco' to meet up with the rest of the lads here. Conor and Ciaran bought me a bottle of Vodka for my birthday which the rest of the lads had no problems in helping me finish it. I ended up bailing pretty early for a night out in Malta. Was at home and in bed before 4am. There was a bit of drama with some girl I knew and I let myself down, my family down and the lads down by calling it an early night on my birthday. Zero lad points.

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This was my day to suffer. I just couldn't keep up with the alcohol. I couldn't even get myself down for breakfast with the lads. We were going on a boat party with some of the lads and about 20 of Mimmi's work colleagues at around 7pm. It was going to be a struggle. I think the worst news I ever got in my life was at about 3pm and Mimmi reminded me that I had promised 2 weeks earlier to make a playlist for boat party. I had zero music on my pc. So I sat there for the next 3 hours downloading basically 'The Grind List' from my YouTube channel and a few other classics, aka 'Maniac' 'The Logical Song' and the classic... 'Thomas the tank engine theme tune'. Naturally as it was my birthday we stuck a cheeky 'In da club' by 50 cent as the first song. 'Go shawty it's your birthday... etc etc...'

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We snagged ourselves the best spot on the boat obviously. It was like one massive giant bed. With bean bags. Had I died and gone to heaven? Of course there was free alcohol on the boat. At the moment in time as we were cruising across the water, watching the sunset as I cuddled my bean bag I may or may not have said 'This is bliss, I won't be drinking any alcohol on this boat' a few times. Fast forward a few hours, 3 falls so comedic-ally bad with alcohol in my hand each time if recorded each would have been an internet sensation and I'm hammered dancing away to 'Maniac 2000' doing back flips off the boat. Classic. Managed to convince everybody to come back to mine for an after party instead of heading into 'The Jungle' again. My favorite moment by far was when Ciaran went and got changed at around 2am, 'So when are we going out properly Fintan?' 'Eh think everybody is just staying here buddy'. Not one bit happy he responds with a 'I'm going to drink Paudie under the table with shots tonight and we're all heading out!!' Within 5 minutes he was passed out on the couch and I had to bring him to bed. Maybe the most classic!!!

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The next day everybody was surprisingly fresh. I brought the lads down to one of my favorite spots that I had only recently discovered. You're not actually supposed to swimming there as it's a spot where all the scuba divers enter the water, but if you go in the afternoon it's nearly always completely empty and just a fantastic spot. It's down the end of one of the fancier harbors so you get to see plenty of €5m+ private yachts docked up. Once we'd made our way down to the bottom of the harbor and could jump in, I inquired to Conor, 'Have you got your phone on you to take a picture?' 'Nope left it at home.' Exactly the answer we'd been looking for and with that we the rugby tackle into the water. Boom. Wasn't exactly as graceful as I would have liked and because Conor is somewhat of a simpleton he didn't drop his towel. So in the end, joke on me as I had to let him use my dry towel. CLASSIC!!

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The final hooray. The last supper. I was a little bit tentative about going out for a 4th night in a row. I mean I'm not even meant to drink alcohol. What must my poor liver be going through. But we all knew we were going out. I made a booking in what is my very favorite restaurant, 'Chapter One'. It's a a french/maltese restaurant with a Michelin trained chef. It's just all sorts of fantastic. Again it was just the 3 musketeers off for dinner. I feel I didn't nail this one quite as much in the lads eyes. 'Buffalo Bills' was maybe a little more up their street. It was still a fantastic meal and such a fun night. We moved onto a cocktail bar called 'Barcelona' and things got a little out of hand. When your first order is a Long Island Ice Tea when you've already got the guts of a bottle of wine in your it's only going one way. DANGER ZOOOOOOOONE. Conor got a little bit of stick for getting some pink drink while the lads were already on. LAD POINTSSS YEE!. Idiots. Anyway, like I said at the beginning of this I'm 25. Well fast forward a few hours I'm smoking sheesha, (I've never smoked anything ever, a cigarette, weed w/e) getting sick in the toilets (didn't manage this once as a 24 year old) and smashing my iPhone (debate-ably as Ciaran was minding it the whole night). What. A. Disgrace. I just woke up without a clue of how I got home or what happened for the final few hours I was out. 25. I can't believe I thought people who were 25 were adults when I was a teenager.

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That was it. I survived. Even though I've been sick for the past week which was probably completely down to these 4 days it was worth it. I'm delighted the lads finally got over the visit the island I fell in love with and even if I'm not a huge fan of birthdays, this was a fantastic one. I will admit though I was extremely happy to see the back of the two shite bags <3

One last thing, I discovered these photos literally as I was writing the blog and looking for pictures for it. I don't remember them being taken, however earlier in the blog I stated that I never drink tequila. Well it looks like if you are of Nordic descent, there is two of you and you whisper sweet nothings in my ear I'm in! Thanks for reading.

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