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