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 conversation....in 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

Barcelona

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 bone.om







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

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Lit Nit Wit: A Mix

You'd think in the six weeks I was off i would have read a load of books!! Not at all at all for some reason (Because of parks and recreation and the walking dead, not that I'm complaining).
Since I got back to work I've gone through a few books, and instead of doing individual Lit Nit Wits I thought I'd write one for all of them.
Photo taken from Amazon.com
The first book I completed was The Luminaries; I actually got this book in Dublin when my brother and I were traveling from dublin to cork after our holiday. This story is based in New Zealand where gold fields have been found and subsequently villages full of men out to get their fortune pop up. The story starts with the arrival of Walter Moody to Hokitika one of these new villages. On arrival to his guest house he stumbles onto a meeting of 12 men trying to figure out how each of them have become entangled in mysterious circumstances involving a dead man with a hidden fortune, the disappearance of a young man and the apparent suicide of a young prostitute. In a new small village it was easy to believe that all these men could be somehow linked and would remain so as the story unfolds. I am usually terrible with names and sometimes mix the characters up but these characters back stories were so intricate and detailed I could recall who was who with ease. I always take it as a good sign when about half the book is the back story of the events that led to the meeting of the men in the guesthouse we see in the first chapter.I thoroughly enjoyed this book, the characters were so well hashed out and the events so interesting and varied. At the start of each chapter was a synopsis/ tease of the entire chapter which I thought was an interesting idea, I don't think I've seen it before actually. throughout the story there were about three small but significant events that seemed to me to go unexplained and the final chapters were literally a page each, which kinda grated on my nerves a small bit, but I would 100% recommend this book to anyone who really wants to get into a long detailed book they can get enthralled in.
Anytime I see a book by Carlos Ruiz Zafron I immediately buy it, in fact I was in waterstones about to buy the book and the man in front of my saw said book and we had a fangirling moment, to the point where I gave him the book and went back to the stand and got a copy for myself. I think I loved Shadow of the Wind so much, it was the reason I went to Barcelona for my holidays this year (more on that later) that all subsequent books of his are kinda disappointing. Marina follows Oscar a student in Barcelona who liked to explore the long abandoned and almost forgotten houses of the Barcelona elite. He stumbles upon Marina house and quickly becomes fast friends with her and her sickly father. Marina shows Oscar a mysterious figure who visits a graveyard and leaves an emblem of a black butterfly regularly, who is this woman and why does she do it? Oscar and Marina pursue this mystery and become entangled in a story of deceit and betrayal and love and the strive to heal sickness at all and any cost. If you haven't read Carlos' before maybe I'd recommend this, because then you could read his other books and become more and more impressed but personally I think his original was the best and all of his subsequent stuff has been sub par in comparison.


The day I bought Marina I also bought the cult classic Lolita. I saw a big rant about the book covers for this boon which intrigued me further. This story follows Humbert Humbert a French writer who is also a pedophile I had an idea about what this book was about but felt like I really needed to read it to understand the cult classic status that follows this book. The book is in two parts and I have to say I preferred the first half. In the first half he is working towards getting a nymphet such as Lolita and in the second half he has her in his grasp, but it all falls apart as he runs off with her driving around the country with his precious Lolita. In his deluded mind some young girls are not children but nymphets, demons who were sent down to tempt poor men, the dehumanisation of these children for his own satisfaction was something I had not seen before in a book and I found it borderline profound, to get into the mind of someone like that, it was not something I had ever particularly wanted to do but here I was and I found it kind of fascinating. For me though, there was too much French in the book. I realise the character is French but having less than basic French (I did German in school) i enjoyed seeing so much of it in the book. Thankfully my French friend was my own personal google translate, but the French wasn't even significant to the story it was almost like filler! The author also seemed to jump from writing in the first to the third person and my poor brain had a bit of a tough time dealing with it on occasion. Throughout the book I asked myself repeatedly could a book honestly disturb and entertain me at the same time and the honest answer is yes in a strange way, books enable you to go to different places and view the world through different peoples eyes. Eyes you maybe didn't really want to look through but at the end you appreciate the fact you did

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Diary of an Invalid 6

Saturday: The countdown to going back to work is on! I actually did a shift in a pub I used to work in on short notice. It was interesting it was like I never left in one sense but the manager said I had changed in the weeks I had been away which I thought was so interesting actually. I think maybe I may be more quiet in myself, just because I had so much time on my own. I have such a fear of annoying people that I'd rather not message them too much. I live with a close friend (well we've become friends since moving in together) so I had him in the evenings but for most of the day I'd be alone walking around. I don't necessarily think this is a bad thing.

Sunday: For some reason I have done very very few Irish touristy things in Ireland. I've never been to galway, the cliffs of Moher or even seen the Blarney stone. Ardmore is a village close to me and there is a famous cliff walk that I have never done,until this Sunday.The day was dry and windy, a
grand aul day to be walking around the side of a country. It is so lovely, not too long and the views are gorgeous.There is a part of a crane (possibly from an oil rig) just washed against the cliff and old look outs and you end up walking past the famous St Declans round tower. If you ever have a free afternoon around there I highly recommend it. Maybe round park beside the beach when the tide is very high as you could get drenched in a wave as my brother (who was holding a soon to melt 99) and I found out.





Monday: Finally it had arrived, the day my mothers last assignment got finished. It was a day I remember fondly.........ok not really, but she's finished them all now, and only has a practical left to do around the start of May so happy days for both of us.

Tuesday: Mother had to go to hospital today (boo) but I got a spin to Cork (yay). My final sick note was handed into the hospital and I gave the days I'd be working the following week, so it all felt more real. To celebrate I wandered into the Wilton Farmers market, which technically wasn't open yet....and had a breakfast crepe (the egg had two yolks BTW!!!!!) and a macchiato which I accidentally ordered but it was so nice and made me feel more grown up (ain't nobody got time for milk). A few weeks ago I tried to give blood but because my arm was injured I wasn't able, so today since its basically all better I tried again. I explained what happened to the nurse and I was allowed (whoo). If you can give blood do people!! Tuesday is of course beer pong day but I won't be able to go for the next three weeks with work and holidays (Barcelona I'm a coming). I decided to do an alcohol consumption (do not try at home kids). So 6 pints cider + 3 shots -1 Pint of blood = a really honest almost too honest Niamh.......... At least now I know..............

Wednesday: Today was an utterly duvet day, I did nothing and it was amazing.

Thursday: Last week I went on my first run (6 miles) and I attempted 8 miles this Thursday and wasn't able, I got an awful pain up my left hip so after I reached mile 6 I decided to just walk the final 2 miles, so I travelled 8 miles, I just staggered through the final 2 miles.



Friday;  I had physio today! whoo!! my homework is to hop on my leg, it was hilarious tbh, he was asking what I was gonna do for the weekend, and I had to ask was I able to wear heels ( I didn't particularly want to but it was good to know whether or not I could).






And so ends my diary of an invalid. I knew it would seem long as I was going through it but now looking back it did go quite quickly. I didn't read as much or listen to as much music but still, my arm is better and my sanity survived. I may be slightly different to people, but I think thats interesting. Thanks for reading

Monday, 20 April 2015

Diary of an Invalid 5

Saturday: I have had so many quiet days in such a long time. I spent today reading and scrap booking, and probably watching 7 episodes of broad city or listening to 3 episodes of Dan Savage. I feel so much more open minded, and relaxed really. When you're more of "an adult", and with friends away and parents are doing college stuff you kinda learn to chill on your own and stuff. I leave the house for a while every day just to not lose my mind, and to see cork and kinda see what happens when i go up a road I haven't gone before, my perception of cork is off cause there would be some areas you'd only ever drive to,so you cant figure how to walk there
Sunday; My housemate returned from his week away from London with a big bag of M&Ms from
M&M world in London, as well as big load of Spanish meats from his parents. He showed us more Irish housemates how them Catalonians eat meat with tomatoes and oil and nom, no wonder they live so long!! 

Monday; See Saturday

Tuesday: I went for day drinks with 2 italians 3 spaniards and a Korean in a bar, I had to be shown by said Italians. Beer Pong Day. I.E I go to An Brog to shout at French men as you do.It's getting more and more popular, a 4th table is going to be added to the courtyard. There was the grand total of three irish girls at the bar. I'm not complaining but I was explaining to the new girl this was the norm, before helping her for her date. How do people get dates?? I asked her and she was super brave and asked him for a lighter when they got off a bus, so clearly I need to start smoking! ha ha 

Wednesday: Today I was back in the hospital for Physio. I was really put through my paces and he discouraged me from returning to work the following week or competing in a run my mother was doing the next day. It was painful but I knew it would be worth it cause if not I could end up needing surgery to strengthen my arm. I was given new exercises to do and another appointment for the following Friday. I was then somehow talked into going to The Old Oak to watch the Barcelona soccer game. In the last few months I've watched two entire Soccer games, which is a record! Really!! soccer just isn't my sport but my friend is from around there so talking to him is what interests me. I decided to head home that evening to help with a college thing

Thursday; Today was spent on college work for an assignment my mother is doing. She did a reflection on nursing a transgender woman.  This was not something she had looked into or thought about I think and it was interesting to see her reactions to the unfortunate experiences some transgendered people in hospital settings. She was really affected by the stories and I think she is conscious of some of the experiences of that group and will be a better person to them in general.

Friday; My brothers and I are going through The Batman movies at the moment, we  are on Batman and Robin this week, I liked it, even if it is supposed to be the worst of the Batman movies. This was either the first or second movie I ever saw in the cinema. I think it was the second after Space Jam!! We were talking to my dad today and he may have tickets for the Ireland, England World Cup warm up game in September, I am very excited,  I now need to get an Ireland jersey ASAP

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Diary of an Invalid 4





Saturday:I wasn't even sure if I'd find somewhere to cut my hair, particularly as it was the Easter weekend, and we had spent all morning cleaning the house. But I wandered into a hairdressers I
wouldn't normally go to, and they were able to fit me in. I dont think my hair has ever been as long , the hairdresser had to get me to stand so she could cut the ends of my hair. I also got a fringe, exciting. My friend is in college in Dublin at the moment and she was returning for the weekend with her boyfriend, so we all headed out, I went out hard altogether....My brother and I had a great chat at 4.30am while I was trying to hide easter eggs.




Sunday: Easter Sunday! Today was a good day to be hungover. After mass (as the priest was walking out of the church he was giving out creme eggs), it's roast lamb day as well as chocolate egg day, my brother  stole my main egg, the brat! One of our grandmothers and uncles had dinner with us, which of course is always nice. We then headed to our other grandmothers house, and there was cousins who aren't around much, and more food! We finally headed home, and watched Batman and Robin.

Monday: It's the start of April and the weather is amazing!! I was even invited to a Barbeque in Cork city, I was at home so I couldn't go, I was helping my mother with her college work. I finished watching the second season of Brooklyn 99, which is just hilarious.

Tuesday: Today my dad went back to England, so we went to airport to drop him off. My brother and I went to buy gym clothes for him, cause he's starting to go to the gym now. We went to Waterstones which we normally do. Mam collected him after a while, and I stayed in the city, its beer pong day don't you know, even though I didn't play, I go to talk to everyone (creep really) I met a few people who are living in a hostel, cause in Cork its getting more and more difficult to find somewhere to live

Wednesday: I headed home in the morning to help my mother with college stuff again. I watched a lot of  Broad City and I decided to finally book somewhere to stay in Barcelona. A few months ago I asked on facebook was there any recommendations and one of my friends suggested I try AirBnB, and I researched it a lot and looked  at the locations of the places and the reviews the people gave so I booked it. It's a good price for a single bed in a good location, I'll let you know how it goes

Thursday: I was actually invited to another Barbeque, this time I was even able to go, so I got my lamb burgers and headed on over where as usual I was the only irish person at the house. I had sushi for the first time ever, and i had a lovely time altogether, as the evening went on we actually crossed the road from one house to another house, where another person at the party was living to get as
much sun as possible. With my fringe and sunglasses on, from my cheeks got sunkissed (burnt). We said we'd meet up that evening again, so i headed home, watched the final episode of Breaking Bad (yes only this week. the final four episodes will go down in history). I didn't know many people from the party, and the one girl I did know became ill, so I just headed to the bar I liked in town and it turned out some of my beerpong friends were already there so I hung out with them for the night, some of the guys from the barbeque ended up there too. There was a bit of a touchy feely episode with another guy, that put me in a bit of bad mood for a while, but I tried to just dance on and forget about it.

Friday: In a still not great mood/slightly foggy, hungover mood I basically stayed indoors in my room and watch moone boy, not giving anything away but Paul Rudd is in the last episode in the third season, which I think is amazing, the show itself is amazing in all honesty. I eventually got outside and went for a walk around the city and everytime I go walking I see something new, I still feel like such a novice to this place