Thursday, 10 December 2015

Last day of being 24: A reflection

Today is the last day I shall be 24, from tomorrow I'll be in the 25-31 group on surveys (The horror).
I'm in my room chilling to Justin Bieber thinking about my last year( Never thought I'd say that ha).

Life: In the last year I've moved into one of the best homes, this place could be called the united nations with the spanish french German,Argentinian, Nordic (don't know that counts as he was here for 4 days and then kicked out) and of course Irish. I was a bit worried about living with students, but then I remembered I don't exactly act my age and my previous housemates weren't exactly begging me to still live with them when my previous lease was up. But we all get on  well and somehow I get referred to as the mam and am pulled aside to take up dresses, which I had utterly no idea about but together we managed it.

Work: In terms of work the year has flown. I've stopped working in the pub, so I can work more Sundays which frees up another day in my week. There's been a few dodgy days with both patients and staff but I've enjoyed my job. I'm in the middle of filling in my UCAS, just waiting on my
reference, which I have to chase up  tomorrow.

Working out: Fracturing my elbow was clearly not great for my working out. Joining the gym was not something I thought I was going to do this year, but it was really a good thing. I'm in an alright place with my body, of course I'm not 100% happy with it but...I had this dress that made my back look super strange, and I tried it on recently and it fit perfectly  (whoop whoop). Also, when I joined I wanted to work on my arms (running can't improve them that much, it turns out ) and its almost a gun show altogether ha ha not really, but over all I've enjoyed it.

Travelling; My carbon footprint is terrible and I know it. Seems like a million years ago since I was in Barcelona. I highly recommend the place. I'm trying to do more things with people as much as I like travelling on  my own, so I said yes when my friend asked did I want to go to Iceland in February so I have something really lovely to look forward to. Next year I hope to be traveling permanently to London, something I don't want to think about until  I have definite plans which I don't yet.

Love: Its funny as I write this Earned it from the Fifty Shades of Grey is coming on, which is the movie I saw the day I said goodbye for the last time to someone I had a complicated relationship with. I'm proud to say I only looked him up on Facebook once since and that was this week. It is not easy for me to find someone who "gets" me, and I seem to have a thing for those  who aren't in a place where they can have relationships, double points if they're foreign double points. My friend asked do I actually try and I do, but sometimes its easier to go out and have a nice night with someone, but I did try, like really try over the summer, so at least I can say that, and I did have a good time with him, even if it was for  short time, if I learned nothing from Dan Savage its that a relationship doesn't have to last forever to be successful.

Entertainment: This year could be referred to as the year of the podcast. I'm subscribed to  almost 30 Podcasts of all types, serious, pop culture, fact and fiction,a lot of different things, depending on what I want to listen to. Late as usual I finally downloaded the Spotify app, just the free version and I love it when I don't want to think about what I'm listening too much. The author Louise O'Neill has blown my mind in November and I keep recommending it to everyone, either of her book read read READ them!!!

All in all 24 was a good year, got my heart punched in the face, made some really cool friends from all over the world, found out I like the fact I can lift more than my weight with a leg press, and finally that donating your hair is the ultimate humble brag, and you will get absolutely sick of saying it yourself which I think is a good thing. I don't want to have too many expectations for next year, I hope to continue to develop as a person, keep the friends I have, eat really good food and appreciate what I have and what I am doing

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Buy Irish: Blank Canvas Cosmetics

MAKE UP!! I have quite a lot! Not on a absolutely stupid amount but a good amount. I'm not the worst in all honesty, I have gone past the sticking the eyeliner brush in my eye, though sometimes I end up with said eyeliner on my socket as it hasn't dried, and I like to give some of the blame to the actual eyeliner product.......There has been a fair amount of mishaps but I am working on it, by watching lots of other people apply make up, of course. I love make up tools, in Barcelona I bought a beauty blender I have an eco tools eyeshadows set and in college I had the Real Techniques core kit which someone I lost, how does one lose four brushes?

Anyway my main issue is eyeshadow. I mean I can put it on basically, but anything elaborate, proper blending colours into each other and really nice glam look, I try, but they always look the same. I was half on the look for a proper packing brush, I feel like I don't put enough on my eye and a small blending brush, to create a crease like all the youtubers do!

So I'm in a pharmacy in my hometown, and overheard Blank Canvas Cosmetics. I've heard of them before from Irish youtubers and I've previously been on their website before. I looked and saw they were eight euro for eye brush so after looking and  reading the back I chose the E35 flat shadow and the E42 pointed crease brush. They are both super soft and the E35 is vegan, though I don't think the E42 is, if you're that way consious. On the box of the E35 it says the brush is also suitable for concealer which I tried and, now, I want to buy another one so I can have one for each purpose, with them being 8 euro its not much and good brushes are something I'd like to have

Monday, 23 November 2015

Lit Nit Wit: An ode to Louise O'Neill

The last two weekends I've been working with the same patient in the hospital. There has been a lot of card playing, silly jokes and quite a bit of reading. Last Saturday morning, on the patients tray was a book named Only Ever Yours by Louise O'Neill. Instantly the name Louise O'Neill jumped out to me. I remember her interviewed on the radio, and my cousin took an Instagram shot of her other book Asking for it. After the assurance from my patient that I could finish it in one day I got to it.

This book is a dystopian future originally for the YA, but has been re-released for all after the publication. I have read a lot of YA in my time, usually after I was deemed a YA truth be told. In this future, women are bred in artificial wombs and raised in special schools to get chosen at 16 by a male also 16 as a wife, if not chosen as a wife, the leftovers become concubines, or are left in the schools to raise the other up and coming girls. The boys continuously watch the girls, over the 16 years and rate them, and nearly always the top ten get chosen by one of the boys. The girls are bred to be pretty with ipads strapped to their hands, social media even though they get the same food and can only see each others feeds. Everyone sees everyone's day and everyone is judged and judged and judged. As Freida and Isabel turn 16  and enter in their final year, pressure builds, tension rise, weights are monitored. I did finish the book in one day. I did cry. This is an utterly heartbreaking book. the patient has to give me a teddy to cuddle as I was so empty after finishing this book. It really looks at an extreme future, where social media presence, looks are the only important thing. The girls only saw pens when the ladies in charge were drawing red circles on the girl who had gained some weight.
There has not been many books where days later I think about the characters and their actions and the whats ifs and if only.

During the week I was again with the patient who had a book voucher and she talked her visitor into heading to the nearest book shop to buy Asking for it, the new Louise O'Neill book. Lucky me I was put with the patient myself again for the weekend, who at one stage refused to speak to me until I had finished the book. This book follows Emma, a very pretty 18 year old before and after an attack on her. It examines societal judgement on women, victim blaming and looks at why so few women go forward after a sexual assault. The thing I most like and appreciate is that I did not like Emma. She knows she's pretty, she takes things from her friends homes. She gets them in trouble and doesn't give a fuck. She is forever in competition with the women around her, just as her mother is. I'm from a small town, maybe not as posh as the one Emma is from, but in every town there are these guys. 19-30, never left the place, maybe went to college near by but hopped back ASAP, haven't a notion of going to Australia or London.They play grand hurling or football, but their not good enough for county. Girls 5,6,7, years younger than them are infatuated with them, if they get any attention off the lad, they become instantly cooler, the only reason they have gotten the attention is cause all the girls that chaps age are in relationships or have left. Those men always annoy me, the biggest case of big fish small pond you'll ever see.

The town is fictitious but the town is in the same county that I live in, so the mention of the clubs and pubs and eventually the mention on the Cork Rape Centre are touches to the book I really like and the term shift, (which means to snog, or make out in other countries).
Cecelia Ahearne is known to write fairy-tales for adults. Im going to say Louise O'neill is the direct opposite. I had to stop reading Asking for it several times cause I knew something bad was going to happen, but I was hoping it would all end "well".  These books should be required reading for everyone of any age. Please read them and tweet at Ms O'neill (@oneilllo) and tell her how traumitised you are, and she'll probably tweet you back

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Lit Nit Wit: How to Build a Girl

In the last few years I was never mad about Caitlin Moran, I'm pretty sure it was because of some tweets mocking people about liking something or someone, clearly it wasn't an utterly big deal or I would remember. I once last an eye over her  autobiography and it really didn't draw me in in all honesty. Recently though Guy Branum of pop rocket shared an article she wrote to men about how women feel about them and it just captivated me with its brutal honesty that men don't know and more than likely don't want to know. When I was last in the library I saw her fictional book how to (blank) a girl and thought I'd sit down and see if her fiction was more to my taste

I have read a lot of coming of age books in my time, usually after I have come of age usually and I am too old for, books such as Perks of Being a Wallflower, and The fault in our Stars and I've always been to old for them. This book on the other hand, is the coming of age book for adults, I never thought I'd see the day. 

This is a first person account of life in the 90's in post Thatchers disembowelment of Wolverhampton and The Midlands in general (I've also recently seen all the episodes of This is England so I know it wasn't a good time to live there, also I utterly recommend all of the This is England episodes, and the Movie). 
The main character is Johanna, the second oldest and only girl of five children who live with their failing pop star of a dad and a post partum mother. Her father has been trying to break the music industry to get them all out of the area and eventually Johanna after believing she has royally ruined her families income decides to write for a music magazine reviewing bands ( the millennial in me scoffed at the fact she knew no one in the magazine and just mailed in reviews for weeks on end and landed a job in no time, and of course worked wearing a top hat).

This story looks at young people trying to figure out who they are,and how they try to be how other people want them to be and expectations from people, which all of us have experienced. Her experience with her sort of boyfriend, as in if I do this this and this that maybe he'll stick with me. It slightly came across as maybe kink shaming a sight but in the book, if you want to do those things you go right ahead, but it shouldn't be done only to keep someone else interested in you. On a separate note it was lovely to see her having a pure enjoyment day with a musician just chilling out feeling pure friendship love for  I have to say her experience of cystitis is so funny, as someone who has been inflicted with that once or twice myself. I would utterly recommend this book,.

Friday, 23 October 2015

Kind of Thrift Haul

I can't and won't call this a thrift I didn't actually buy these items. We have a family member who lived in the states but had a house in Ireland where she'd visit for holidays and leave clothes, shoes and other things in the 70s and 80s. In the last few months it was decided the holiday house was going to be cleared out, and I was allowed to go through the clothes and shoes and bags and take what I wanted, and I can't thank the relative whose clothes they were and to the aunt and cousins who put all the stuff in bags for me and thought of me when they saw certain coats and shoes.

Honestly I love everything I got. Everything has been cleaned, dry cleaned or repaired, I learned to sew buttons because of this, which is a good thing. I also then went through my wardrobe and donated a lot of things I felt didn't suit me. Because of this new wardrobe and hairstyle I feel like my personal style has taken a big leap in a good more chic, I actually dried and styled my hair and I would not have done that two weeks ago, cause I just had so much hair. Maybe its cause I'm seeing my Birthday coming up and this is how I'm going to improve myself as I get older..
I'm finding incorporating the pieces into my wardrobe easy. The pink shirt and cardigan look great with my mom jeans and pink Dr. Martin shoes  Having the low heels is nice, I don't really need high shoes as I am 5'8, but I still have a bit of height and my feet don't hurt in the morning

Turns out you can never have too many shirts..

I threw out four pairs of shoes and two bags and will not buy any for years and years

The black embroidered was made by my relation!!

Look how well those buttons look!!

I could also that two piece as an emergency wedding dress, why I need that I don't know but still....

   It took three weeks for those white jumpers to dry! So worth it though, they are so huge and cozy. I've been wearing the cardigan non stop, It goes with a lot as its such a pale colour, and is perfect for when its still to cold to be wearing the epic ugly jumper beside it.

Friday, 16 October 2015

Donating my hair

Sometimes I get things into my head that I decide I'm going to do.
My hair has been long long all this year and for a while I've been thinking about donating it.
Having long hair was ok, but I was lazy and just piling it on my head and not styling it, so I came to the conclusion that a child who had lost their hair than me who was fretting about how much I need to hoover. I looked up the site Rapuzel Foundation and located a local hairdressers. When I went the first time (back during the summer ) my hair wasn't long enough, it has to be at least 14 inches, so I had to wait. In all honesty I was afraid I'd get angry at the length and just cut it but I didn't. Thankfully

For inspiration I looked through photos of Lily Collins, Emma Watson, Lena Headey and Jo Elvin.I think the fact I'd seen two season of This is England and love Lols' hair helped me pluck up the courage to go short. I had a bob before and again as I am so lazy I didn't maintain it and it looked bad, it emphasised my chins too which didn't help the situation either I screen capped a photo of Lily Collins to show the hairdressers.

So anyway last week I thought I'd try again but as I was in Cork City I went to Origins Hairdressers on Drawbridge Road and after they established it was long enough, I was booked in
. I didn't really believe I was going to do it, even when I told my housemates I was going to do it. I didn't even tell my parents. I told the lady cutting it, Donna I was freaking ever so slightly, she was lovely about it. She tied my hair in a low pony tail and added three other hair ties down my pony tail to keep it all together. And then it was cut off and showed me it. It honestly so strange to look at
Two chairs over another woman was donating her hair, which was about a foot longer than mine. Once our hair was cut, and I saw her donation,it was the closest thing to Dick envy I've ever had.

I spoke to Donna about what kind of hair cut I wanted, as I explained a bob wouldn't work. I had accepted I was  going to go super short so I was going to go for it. So she cut the left side really short and left the right a little longer. The word funky was thrown around quite bit, cause there is quite a few layers and such. She finished my adding some wax and told me over the next few days to try and mess with it a bit.

So far I love it. I already had a texturising spray at home and that has been fun to play with. I've been on twitter and tumblr asking for tips, so far I've been told to wear hats and that the more forward your hair is put the more feminine it is and styling it back is more masculine. Any other tips would be appreciated. Glamour magazine is my favourite magazine and while I was in the hairdressers they tweeted a link to a gallery of pixie crops and I tweeted them saying I was donating my hair and they tweeted me back saying it was lovely, which flabbergasted me, so I tweeted again saying it was because of lily collins and their editor, who then liked that tweet. It was the cherry on top

I've been told I was brave to cut my hair. I think so many people are defined by their hair, which I think is unfortunate really, to be known only as 'The red head' or something like that. I'd hate for my hair style or colour to be the most interesting thing about me. I realise some people see their hair like a security blanket but at the end of the day, they are more interesting parts of you then the coloured protein that comes out of your head......

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Reflecting on September

My August got a bit dispiriting towards the end of the month, I thought I was having something with a chap, but it turned out, nope...Turns out my type is emotionally unavailable.....yay.....
And my housemate husband decided to fall back in love with his ex-girlfriend, who then moved country to be with him and he moved out to their love-nest.........How inconsiderate!!  

Thankfully I had a lot of weekend plans for September.
Firstly I headed to London with my brother to spend the weekend with our dad and go see the Ireland England match in Twickenham. I wouldn't often fly with my younger brother, so that was slightly stressful but everything went well. The thing I love about London is there is always something to do that you haven't done before, namely that day we went to Hamleys for the first time. It was amazing holy mackeral. The royal family are made out of lego and there is so much Harry Potter memorabilia.... my brother as a 16 year old loved it. I as a 24 year old loved it and my dad the biggest child at 53 loved it. Who doesn't want to see a teddy camel that costs over £1000!!

Bright and earlyish we headed to Twickenham, its not often I have a full irish with a pint of Carlsburg...Twickenham is a daunting cool place particularly when England are winning and singing Sweet Chariot. That match was particularly interesting as they were raising money for the soldiers
who have fought in the wars, and so soldiers were at the match in their uniform, there was a pilot in my row. They were all so young looking, it really made me think to be honest. Ireland lost to England but as I said to the man who came up to me all self assured in himself, we beat them already this year and had a six nations to show for it ha

Months and moths ago I was on break at work my friend asked me to come over to London for a Holifest, she didn't know much about it, other than there was paint involved and music.....So of course I said yes. So for the second weekend in a row I was on a plane heading to London at 6 in the morning... Whooo. My other friend from college was also visiting London from Reading so we all hung out. We had breakfast in the apartment,went to Spitalfields market and we made a futile attempt to get croughnuts in Camden Market. I met up with my dad for an Indian, which is still funny to me, this man thinks bell peppers are spicy!! In the evening I met back up with the girls and had some hipster beers in Hampstead!

The day of the festival we headed to the heath for some predrinking and the consumption of cadburys pretzels. Our other friend left to meet her brother and we headed to the park by The Olympic park. Lets say it was easy to see who on the overground ( hint we all wore white). As we were walking towards the gate we had the amazing idea to write each others numbers on our arms, so off we went to the police van cause who else would have a pen but the policemen??? We were (slightly drunken) Geniuses!! After we got our tickets and changed our money for tickets we split,she to get the paint and I to get the drinks, after we found each other, of course she had found a guy from the village over from her in Kerry (if that's not the most Kerry thing I've ever heard). After a while of hanging with them, and me after grabbing his phone and adding her on his Facebook

I have no concept of time in all honesty so after.......a while  my friend came up with the idea we should go on each others shoulders, that's what people do at festivals... it was both our first time at a festival actually. I was very good and lifted her with my legs but I did need a hand to actually stand up, but it turned out the lads behind us were utter legends who we hung out with for the rest of the night. Why didnt I add any of them on facebook?? cause Im an eejit!!  Shout out to Ben, Nick and especially John who stupid enough to lift me up on his shoulders at some stage during the night!! We headed back to the apartment at eleven and of course we went out after of course, after a couple of showers of course. I may or may not given myself whiplash in the Electric Ballroom in Camden.

I was quiet the week after, my neck needed some healing...But the following week I was again off guessed it London (I am legitimately concerned about my Carbon footprint). My lovely father managed to get two tickets to the Ireland Romania game in The World Cup,not exactly the final but the next World Cup is in Japan, you can't go for a weekend trip there!! I arrived the Friday and decided as Dawn O'Porters' pop up shop was still open I'd go and see her stuff. I'd also never
been to Newburgh street so that was another thing I've never done. Dawn herself was in the shop chatting and  typing away. The clothes were amazing by the way. I touched a YSL gown and her own clothes line is only gorgeous. I was on her snap chat story and everything!!! I also saw Victoria Beckhams shop, which I did not go into, and I saw The Royal Academy of Art again for the first time.
Sunday was the day of the match, we walked to Wembely, had breakfast, and of course headed to an Irish pub, where we met the Munster Supporters group and had such a laugh. There was 88,000 and about 87,500 were irish, it was also the biggest attendance at a RCW match so whooo. I've never in my life see a mexican wave go round six times either.      

Monday, 21 September 2015

Lit Nit Wit: Revival

We've all heard of Stephen king. He's one of those people who you feel as an adult reader you should read at least one of his books.  My bar manager is a massive reader and gives me toughish books to read mostly I think to see my reaction. He was the one who gave me Shantaram and funnily enough the part of the book that I felt decreased the quality of that story, he felt redeemed the book. What's more is, I gave him the Illuminators, which he found as difficult to get through as I did, which made me feel slightly better too. I can't wait for him to finish it so we can talk about it.

The latest book he gave me was the Stephen king book Revival. Not a book I've heard of by him, but I felt it was a good place to start.
Revival follows the life of  Jamie Morton who's childhood pastor Charles Jacobs fascination with electricity and it's power and the pursuit of the seemingly impossible.I spent a good chunk trying to figure out, if really what the Pastor is doing has a good or evil intention.Jamie  is reflecting throughout the book, and mentions the terrors from early on, and since its Stephen King I was anxious from the start. OK spoiler ahead, the one thing was I didn't understand exactly how he became a Heroin addict, was the only thing. It was interesting to see how his life evolved and was getting better and then how he was pulled back into the Pastors life. If you've never read Stephen King and you want to start, this is a good book to start with. It's not the scariest book, but you know something is going to happen and the build up is very well done 

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Lit Nit Wit; Almost French

I mentioned this book a while ago and how I would review it along with Victor Hugo's Notre Dame de Paris. I was utterly fooling myself that I' d manage that book, Ill stick to the Disney movie I think, ha. If you are able to read and enjoy Victor Hugo I have a special respect for you. 
I digress, so Almost French follows the story of an  Australian journalist who meets a French man on her journey around europe and after one meeting is invited to stay at his apartment and really she never leaves. Instead of being a love story between them it looks at her attempt to assimilate herself into the Parisian culture and the trials that they both face when she is completely ignored at dinner parties who being an outsider, which surprises even her partner. His surprise at this and the extent of the snootyness I found interesting, as at least she had read a book where she was recommended to imagine the other guests as chairs because at the end of the night when no one has spoken to you, you are not surprised or sad as they were chairs and chairs can't speak.

She also writes candidly about her difficulty in finding a journalist job for a while and the affects that can have on someone so used to working and to a newly formed couple. It was also interesting to see how she integrated into her partners life, whereby some friends are not trying with his girlfriend and she and her lack of desire to regularly visit his father. One thing I didn't enjoy about the book was she didn't really talk about how she fell for this man and changes her whole life trajectory, I understand how they meet and she visits him but then it never goes into  detail about how they went from that to them marrying really. It mostly kinda sounds like they are housemates that only hang out with his friends, which makes her convincing him to move closer into the city and not visiting his father quite as  often as a bit pushy.

As someone who could absolutely see herself moving to Paris for a couple of years, more than likely as an old lady with her cats ( it has been discussed that if out of al 17 cousins I am the most likely to end up a cat lady), so it was interesting to see an actual experience, the ups and downs and ultimately was it worth it. I would recommend this book even if you never plan on falling for a French man any time soon.

Friday, 3 July 2015

Emergency trip to London

So my weekend last weekend was all planned I was gonna head to Dublin for Dublin pride and manu Chou (who ok I didn't really know who he was but it was gonna be fabulous) And then Wednesday evening I get a phone call which resulted in frantically trying to find a way to London for the weekend. The choice was between spending €320 to fly there and back or spending 16 hours and 87 euro return to get the bus/ferry, which I did choose to take To make sure I wouldn't lose my mind on the bus cause I knew my phone wasn't going to live until I got to the ferry nevermind London so I packed a bag to prepare which included 2 books (how to be Parisian and 4 glamour magazines 1 colouring book 1 box of pencils 1 pencil sharpener 1 copybook I use to scrapbook/doodle 1 pink prittstick 2 big ass safety pins 4 hair slides
2 nail varnishes
1 nail buffer 1 cell charger 1 small bottle of coke (to mix with the bourbon) An amount of bourbon 2 packets of crackers 1 container of soft cheese 2 big honeycomb chocolate bars 2 wallets (1 for euro 1 for sterling) 2 pairs of sunglasses 1 iPhone plus 1 pair of earphones 1 waterbottle There absolutely could have been more things but I literally cannot remember it's amazing I was even able to carry everything without killing anyone. The journey over was fine and uneventful thankfully I'm not the best traveller in the world really too much heat while I'm sitting or a smell can give me an awful heading with the occasional dry heave (not a pretty picture I know) I went to Leon for breakfast cause I like to go I places I still haven't been to in London which is hard to believe as I've been there six times in the last 18 months it was slightly disappointing really (Not enough salmon or avocado with the poached egg) best place for a good breakfast that doesn't cost too much for me is forever pain au quoident ommm.

My new housemate is from Argentina and has never been to London so I spent my first three hours taking photos of the
London eye and westminster and Trafalgar Square, it felt nice to feel like I was showing someone around London, through snapchat. I also headed to Westminster to see the statues of Churchill and Lincoln that I haven't seen before. I wanted to head into the Chapel but I had to meet my dad so still there are more things in London I haven't done which is always good to know.

After meeting my dad and insuring he was fine and was actually going to go to work for a couple of hours I arranged to meet with my friend in Hampsted. We had coffee and walked around admiring the houses and realising this area is like living in the english country town. We also saw Dynamo, my friend didn't know who he was but I did and thats the most important thing. My two aunts lived in London in the 80s quite close to where my dad lives now. Their local pub is now dads local Indian, which is funnier when you learn my dad considers peppers spicy and wouldnt have a lasange or a pasta dish that included peppers. After the dinner we walked around the area and dad showed me the local Hindu Temple. In all my travels I don't think I've ever seen one and I've certainly never been in one, and I wasn't expecting to be allowed in as I was wearing a dress that showed my knees, but dad went in and asked and they told us the only rule was we had to take off our shoes. We got a lovely tour of the place. Another thing ticked off my list.

I have quite few friends in London,one who has always been in Ireland every single time I was in London, but not this time!! I was so excited. My dad and I headed to Westfield to meet her and it was lovely to catch up, thankfully dad went to the bathroom so I was able to get ALL the gossip! ha. After that giggly meeting dad and I headed to Ealing, dad had a thing to do and halfway through we headed to Bills, one of the few goals I had for this trip was to head to a Bills I didn't care which one or with one I just needed to get to one FINALLY. I had the mac and cheese and kale I also saw Danny Cipriani, the rugby player, who def saw me staring.............After getting caught on the bus for over an hour and then the bus stopping and telling everyone to get off, it turned out we were right beside The London Designer Outlet, where I ended up buying three bars of Lindt Chocolate, and a new pair of shoes for mother. I think you have to be in a certain mind set to outlet shop and I was not in that mood for that.

On my last day I was able to meet my friend. We headed to oxford street, got traumatised by the primark on said street and headed to Bella Italia for a calzone and a chat with niamh and another friend who had come to london for the day from Reading. I was having a great aul time until I realised that I would also have to HEAD HOME ON A BUS AND A FERRY FOR 15 HOURS. I enjoyed my time in London as normal, and as normal I was fairly tired so the thoughts were not good as I headed unto the bus. After a nap, the bus driver stopped the bus (to where I still do not know, it was england but where in england no idea where) and i had a Krispy Kreme Doughnut and a coffee which helped

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Staycation Week 2

Music: I really have to go to more gigs and concerts and this week definitely improved my credibility a small bit............maybe. Back when I was in college three of my friends went to see Black Stone Cherry in Dublin and played them non stop for weeks after, so I decided I would SOMEDAY go and see them. A few weeks ago I was walking by The Pav in Cork and I saw they were playing there. I looked it up and they were also playing in The Academy and I guessed my friend who went to the first concert ( I had to ask him via Snapchat, hes too cool for facebook now...)

Live at The Marquee hosted The Coronas twice and my friend was heading to see them the second date  so I decided I'd head off to see them aswell. I saw them once before the week before my Leaving Certificate results,so like 2009.

If anyone knows who both of these bands are, you'll know how different those bands are. One is a proper rock band from Kentucky and the other is a pop rock band from Dublin.
I loved both so much though. I wouldn't listen to them as much as I once did, but I was still able to sing along to 90% of the songs and grinned so much when I realised I knew them as well as I did before. I almost cried at both gigs and loved each gig so so so much, both bands are as good live as they are on their album, and you can see how much they enjoy their own gigs which is one of the best things to watch

P.S if you're ever in Dublin and looking for somewhere to eat Smokin' Bones on Dame Street is so good I had the chicken sandwich with the Bourbon mash (carbs and Bourbon are two of my favourite things)

Books: So yes I finished Paper Towns, nothing to write home about. I am about 10 years over the target audience, and really I started reading Danielle Steele when I was 12, probably not the best idea but there we go, a perfectly ok book, which will be made into a perfectly ok movie that I won't see. My housemate has The Little Prince (the book) and he has let me borrow it, it is adorable and I am actually enjoying it more than Paper towns actually.. ha ha, my friend has it in french and I will read that too..when my french gets better....its definitely is improving slowly but surely..... I've promised a french man an entire french a year ha

TV/Movies: I was doing so well with my movies, but with going to Dublin and...recovering from Dublin and the other concert, I only managed one movie this week The Prince of Egypt, which is way way darker than I remember it (the last time I saw it was about 8 years ago, but still) I did see half of Eyes Wide Shut, and I will watch the rest of that in the coming week..
I'm up to episode 11 of Orange is the New black, its as good as the previous  two seasons I think anyway.

I was never the cool kid that hung out with a load of other kids in the park but yesterday my housemate and I went to Fitzgeralds park with wine in travel mugs and bags of MATE (its an argentinian loose tea, not entirely mad on the stuff but its interesting all the same). It was nice to hang out, just people watching..

photo source

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Staycation Week 1.

It felt like I was only back from Barcelona when I was asked by my dad to take some time off.
While one brother was finishing the Junior cert, my mother was going to Lourdes and the other brother was heading to London for a week, so I was needed at home.

when i wasn't helping my brother study history and Home Economics I was catching up on movies I should have already seen and reading a book and finishing off and starting a tv show.

Tv Show:  I finished watching Unbreakable Kimmy Smidt, The Netflix original series that follows Kimmy as she adjusts to life in New York City after spending 15 years in a bunker. There is only one season so far and I mostly enjoyed it (spoiler ahead). The one part that annoyed me was the fact that Kimmy pretty much forces her employer to divorce her husband after it transpires he was having an affair with their marriage counsellor. Maybe I've been listening to too much Dan Savage, but at one stage her boss says no im going to stay with him, for the lifestyle,and Kimmy should have accepted it. All in all I think its  fun series and of course I adore her housemate,

Today I started on the 3rd season of Orange is the new Black, in the middle of the 4th episode now, as entertaining as ever, don't know how I feel about Piper as usual, will report back.

Movies:  I'm actually proud of myself with the amount of movies I've watched this week, I've seen
Jurassic Park (really really good) Coco before Chanel (Audrey Tautou does such a good job, its uncanny) Frida (I want to learn all about her after watching this, all the intertwined history..yes) Rocky Horror Picture Show ( holy mackeral some movie, so random and fabulous) Birdman ( so worthy of all the Oscars it won, I can't properly even comprehend the filming involved but I thought it was amazing) Big Hero 6 (yes I cried, spectacular film as normal from Disney) and finally American Psycho ( I'm still confused but I loved it) why has it taken me so long to see these?? I do not know, but I'm slowly catching up....I'm probably not..... but IM TRYING ha

Music:  Not much on this front I'm afraid. I started listening to PVRIS, not really my thing to be honest. Any recommendations would be appreciated

Book: I started reading Paper Town when I saw the ad on youtube ( which was in spanish, my youtube app is convinced I'm still in Spain, I wish) Its better than Looking for Alaska, which isn't saying a whole lot, cause I didn't like that at all. I know I'm not exactly the targeted audience, but its a nice light read, full book review coming when I've it finished.

Life: Life has been ok  while I've been here. I got my nipple pierced (honestly not too bad) and I went to the dentist ( I need two bloody fillings, and I've psyched myself up to look into braces to straighten my one really crooked tooth, it may come to nothing but I think I might as well) its bee a quiet week but a good one, next week will be more busy I'm heading to dublin, for a gig and I'm off to the marquee in  cork Saturday, a fun week ahead, this is how summers should be I think

Saturday, 30 May 2015


I swear I will stop talking about The Shadow of the wind any day now but not today!! Ha ha so in December after literally years of talking about going to Barcelona, at 3 am I booked my flights to Barcelona, finally says everyone. A while back I asked on Facebook if anyone had any recommendations about where to stay over there and one of my friends suggested AirBnB, which I honestly never would have thought of myself so thanks friend! After looking through all the reviews I decided on This room because of the price was great and the location was near Playca Espanya, which had a metro stop I travelled up to Dublin Tuesday and stayed in (link) for the evening, a group of us got a taxi to the airport and I was checked in and sorted in no time. I slept through most of the flight (even through a passenger behind me whistling to his friend, 8 rows in front of him). I was a little confused about where to get the bus when I arrived but once I found that I was sorted. I met an American couple who had flown over on reserve (I only knew what that was because of an episode of the Simpsons) and had no place booked but were there anyway.
I wasn't able to check in to my room until 4 so the first thing I did once I arrived was take the bus tour, this one was particularly good because I saw some of gaudis work that I wouldn't see again on the rest of the trip and I was able to plan what I would do the following days better. At about 3:30 after a quick stop at the market off las rambles (which is utterly amazing for food and presents) I headed towards the apartment which was a small bit more difficult to find then I anticipated, only because my phone was dead and I had written the address badly on my boarding pass but it was worth it, really clean, use of the kitchen, grand shower, really nice owner, you couldn't fault the place. After a lovely siesta (when in Rome and all that) I headed back to las rambles for some tapas paella and sangria. You have to have paella when you're in Spain, try and not have chicken paella if you can help it.
I found the food on las rambles reasonable and there was loads of ice cream places and little shops and it seemed to be the place to start your evening, I left the place at about 9/10 and it was only really getting busy then. Somehow my housemate and his friend have slightly gotten me into soccer so I watched the last 15 minutes of the Real Madrid game in a pub that sells Guinness and Murphys...

It was recommended in a magazine to book the tickets to sangriada familia before you flew out there (proceeds from the tickets go to building the church which I thought was cool to be honest. I walked passed some of Gaudis buildings on the way there so i was sightseeing on the was to sightseeing ha. I chose to get the audio guide tour which I also recommend as you can wander around and still get educated on the doors and glass and the plans etc. I do love churches (Blame my father for this) and I really really enjoyed the views and the windows and the roof. I went up the nativity tower and got some lovely views of the city, walking down was interesting, particularly with a French man behind me with a fear of heights, but we made it anyway!! You need about 2 hours in the church but it's well worth it. After hearing about it on the bus tour the day before the next thing 

I planned to do was head to park de gaull but first I was famished and I knew I wouldn't get anything in the park so I stopped at a restaurant two or three blocks away on Carrer de la Marina which had tapas a main meal bread a dessert and a drink for 12, I ordered the soup and Iberian ham, before the soup arrived the waiter brought over three tapas, muscles with tomatoes, a type of coleslaw (well I'd describe it as a coleslaw) and a potato salad with fish. the soup followed it was a clear soup with chicken egg (yes egg) and some vegetables. I was disappointed with the ham, but it was more I didn't know what I was ordering. The ice-cream and espresso that followed was so nice after and the staff were lovely I was enthralled by the owner carving the iberian ham off the

I headed to the park then, an old man offered me directions OFFERED me, in all my years travelling this has never happened and people totally ignore you altogether! The park is a must see in my opinion, the views of the whole city are remarkable and some areas of the park look like backdrops of GoT, I walked around Gaudis House but didn't go in, and I also didn't pay the €8 into the paid part of the park which has different art that Gaudi made for the park

Friday I decided I wanted to see the football stadium. I had prebooked the tickets but these tickets are valid for whenever, no specific time or date which suited me fine my legs were becoming more and more tired so it was nice to have a sleep in that day. I am by no means a soccer fan, in the last year I've watched two and a half matches all Barcelona games actually. It was so interesting to learn about the history of the club and see the importance of the club to the Catalonian people. I held a champions league trophy I never thought I'd do that in all honesty. I couldn't leave without a memento, a pink Barcelona Jersey which I'll wear for the Barcelona juventus game Whooo sports.

After the Football Stadium I headed to The Picasso Museum, which had a Dahli/Picasso exhibition which showed the comparison work of the artists. Picassos work at 17 was just amazing and he got better with time

Three times I attempted to go into the cathedral which is a different church to sangriada familia. The first two times it was closed and the final time I wasn't allowed in as my knees were showing....,.
For some reason there's Dunkin donuts in Spain but they call it Dunkin coffee...literally makes no sense!! But of course I still went there and had a doughnut. I was heading back to the food market and I knew if I went in there hungry I would buy the whole market, instead of the sardine shaped Chocolates that came in sardine cans for my brothers and some chorizo and Iberian ham so I could have a Barcelona dinner with my friends at home. Iberian ham is sold in paper cones, the people walk around eating it. I bought a cone and some olive bread for my dinner that evening to have a relaxed dinner in the house. After dinner i had a sleep and considered spending the night in the house until I was woken up by a couple singing Beatles songs.. One I wasn't in the mood to listen to them and two they were having a good time so I should go and have a good time, it was my last night in the city and I hadn't gone out out while I was there

I walked down las rambles randomly and towards the end of the road I turned left and there was a tiny cocktail bar with a 25 person limit. I ordered a mojito and got talking to the 60 yr old woman beside me who was over with her husband rom Chicago and they were leaving the next morning we proceeded to do three shots (one to bb king who had just died). When they left for their flight I met a Scottish couple who accidentally booked 27 airbnbs, a Canadian and a French Canadian tourist, and Danish rocker with a fear and loathing in Las Vegas tattoo. I then headed to a sports bar that had €2 beers and chatted away to an English man (don't ask me what about as I had 8 mojitos in the cocktail bar) and then headed home

A fabulous last night; I was warned by everyone I told I was going to be robbed over there, I didn't bring my good camera, didn't bring my purse out, but really I had no problems of the sort, it took me two days to get brave enough to use the metro which is a really handy easy cheapish way to get around (very similar to the tube I found) I did meet people who had been robbed, but they said Barcelona was still their favourite place, so there is chance or luck involved too, try to be as vigilant as you can, bring the bare essentials out and don't make it easy for the pick pockets is my advice.

When i woke up on my last day, it was the first time I ever wished I had more time in a place. I was able to keep my bag in the apartment so I was able to head to the beach without concern for it. Up until the last day I was very good with having good values food, but on the last day I was fairly hungover and ended up spending €25 on a sandwich a starter and a coke, the restaurant was right by the beach but was utterly over priced, I headed to the beach near (which is a topless beach btw). The water was amazing truly lovely I swam loads and getting dried by the sun. People walked around selling mojitos blankets, massages. There was volleyball nets and showers, this beach knew what it was doing. I stayed there all day, got quite burnt (my own fault as i wore no suncream....) I headed to the apartment to collect my things headed for the airport bus and was there in 15 minutes and was went through security in no time. I may or may not have bought some bourbon, rum and two giant toblerones.

I would highly Highly recommend to go to the city, if anything you need more than 4 days here, and I wouldn't say that about a lot of other places ha