Saturday, 24 September 2016

A flyby of the last fortnight

It's about 2 weeks since I last blogged (shame!) so in order to catch you up on what I've been doing I will post a short summary of a few items below
 
 
What I've been watching:
Bloodline.
I love this Netflix series, it's atmospheric and compelling. 
And the scenery reminds me of Key West!
 
Laughing at...
I went to see Bridget Jones's Baby with Katie in Galway last week.  I thought it was one of the funniest films I've seen in a long long time.  It felt good to let loose and laugh out loud  uncontrollably.
 
I've been reading:
#Love by Trish Murphy

I attended the launch of the book #Love with my mam.  The author (Trish Murphy) is a friend of mam's and it's her second book.  I enjoyed it - she's very astute about relationships.
 
Drinking adult beverages....
Cat's Meow and an Escobar from Sophie's on Harcourt Street
 
Celebrating...
...Tara's birthday with Jackie, Gillian, Tara & Kamilla
 
 Marching...
There was an incredible turnout at the March for Choice today in Dublin. 
My favourite chant was "Enda, Enda, when's the referenda" :-)

 

 

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Hell and Back 2016

Every year the staff of the company I work for choose two charities that we raise money for throughout the year.  We run various events like raffles and quizzes, and we also run one BIG event/fundraiser every year.  Last year for example we had 120 staff members abseiling off our building - we like to put a personal challenge in there!
This year was our biggest staff charity event ever.  We persuaded 300 members of staff to sign up to complete the Hell and Back challenge, all in the name of Irish Life Staff Charities.
 
The committee arrived at the event nice and early and got stuck into the work.  Myself, Greg and Cormac had the fun job of greeting our heroes as they arrived and directing them to our own special area for check in and registration.
 
All those purple shirts looked pretty cool I thought!
 
It's hard to describe how it feels doing Hell and Back.  It's a 7km course - a lot of it is uphill, a lot of it through swamp and a lot of it through man-made obstacles like tyre climbs, rope ladders, and crawling passages.  So obviously (not being majorly outdoorsy, or majorly fit) I found it extremely physically challenging.  But what I enjoyed was the camaraderie of it all - random people helping each over the obstacles or warning people about what was up ahead "be careful - there's a massive dip as soon as you get in here" - words you always want to hear when facing getting from one side of a swamp to the other eh!
 
For a look at all the obstacles check out this video here:
  

And I did it! And here is the photo to prove it
 
Another after-pic with some ladies I used to work with in a previous team.
 
Today I feel proud, with a real sense of achievement.  But my God I am in pain all over my body and  covered in bruises, and also covered in welts from being hit with bb's in the awful sniper alley.

Sunday, 4 September 2016

It's good to catch up


 
On Friday night I went out with some of my gal pals who I used to work with.  It was way way overdue and we all had lots of news to catch up with.  It wasn't too late of a night which we all laughed about the next day - very different when we all worked together and every Friday night we headed out and really let our hair down. 

Saturday morning I woke up to miserable wet and dreary weather.
I went out for a cycle down to the swimming pool...which I found out only opens at 2pm!  So no swim for me, but I got wet in the rain anyway!
 
Later that afternoon/evening Katie called to me and we had some nibbles, drinks and a good catch up too.

I set up the bar in the window sill.

Bar with a view


I love this - my vintage Carling Black Label glasses on fun vintagey cocktail napkins.  The caption is "I truly amaze myself,,,,this after five martinis!"

This pic makes me feel like a modern day version of the cocktail napkin :-)
*Note the vintage pineapple ice cube holder!
 
 

Ceili Dancing

When Enid and I were in our teens, every Summer we attended Irish summer college in Balbriggan.  Primarily of course were the Irish classes every morning but also included in the course was music, singing, sport, going to the beach, and Ceili dancing every evening.  Now Enid and I were, and still are the worst dancers ever!  But ceili (set) dancing is one type of dancing we can actually do.
 
So when I saw an ad for Ceili dancing in The Grand Social I said to Enid we should go. 
 
On our way there we saw this crazy little travel agent shop in Abbey Street.
 

How crazy is this old signage??  I was going to say they really need to do some new branding but I think it is actually so old (and retro) at this point it may have actually come full circle and is actually kind of cool.



 
We had such an evening at the Ceili.  Some of the steps came back to us immediately, and some didn't.  We laughed and smiled  as we skipped and tripped through the Walls of Limerick (Ballai na Luimni) and Siege of Ennis. 
 
I cannot recommend the whole night enough.  It is on again in a month and Enid and I will definitely be back!
 

Bike crate

I posted recently about the jazzing up my bike was getting.  I had planned on putting panniers on the back carrier but I would need to do a little more restructuring to get them on perfect.  Plus when I tried them I wasn't actually mad on the look.
 
So I decided to go the crate route - which is very Key West also :-)
I got this crate in a charity shop for €2.  I then bought some cable ties (for attaching the crate) and a bungee rope for when using, to secure items in the crate.

Crate, cable ties, carrier.  And we are set!
It is working perfectly, I've done loads of shopping and carrying lots of stuff in my new crate, so great.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Life in the fast lane

After my hectic morning at the market and getting my bike done I really needed to relax. 
(That's sarcasm btw!!!!) 
 
I cycled to St Stephen's Green where I spent a lovely time sitting beside the little lake, watching the ducks and reading a great book.  What a freaky photo but it's all I have.
 
I am re-reading the wonderful "In the Unlikely Event" and I am enjoying it even more this time round.  If you haven't read this I recommend you go and buy it, or borrow it from your library, right away.


I also enjoyed watching a bridal party from The Shelbourne having their wedding photos taken.  
 


 
Later when I was leaving the Green I saw the whole wedding move from the main hotel to the function room at the side escorted by a bag piper which was nice.  I think it was an American wedding...
 
What a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.  It brought to my mind the lovely Dublin saunter song. 
 
Happy Sunday all!

New bike accessories (some vital!)

I have been putting off getting new brakes on my bike for way too long.  Going down a hill last Tuesday sent me the message loud and clear they needed to be done.  And fast. 
 
After work I went to a great shop in D2 where they were done in 10 minutes while I waited for the princely sum of €28.  While there I enquired about getting a back carrier installed (for panniers for my bike) and was quoted €40.

Then, yesterday, at a market beside Portobello lock I spoke with a bike repair clinic who had a stall there.  I was quoted €25 for the back carrier.  So there and then I got it installed - again another 10 minute job while I waited.
 
Obviously a big price difference (good for me) but I guess they both have very different models.  Those big premises (which were lovely to look around) and all that stock doesn't pay for itself.  And the convenience of nipping in after work and getting it done straight away is worth a premium too...?

Here she is!
New brakes and new back carrier.  I will get the panniers from Mam's house and she will be all set! 
The panniers will make a big difference when buying groceries or going to the gym,,,that basket up front is good for nothing - except maybe handbag,