Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Oireachtas Committee - 8th Amendment

When asked by a journalist for a few words on the lobby at Dail Eireann today this is what I said:

"As a supporter of the Repeal the 8th campaign I felt that the "Handmaids" made for a powerful visual representation of how a lot of women in Ireland are feeling today - you must remember that many women who are of an age where they are accessing healthcare under the regime of the 8th Amendment have not actually had an opportunity to have their say previously. And equally there are people who h...ave voted previously who will never actually have to make choices related to the amendment. I believe that the results of the recent Citizen's Assembly was a considered and fair reflection of the people of Ireland today. And I thank the citizens for that.

Our stand today, was to say to the Oireachtas Committee that we will not accept any retreat from the recommendations of the Citizen Assembly.
 
We got a tremendously positive reaction today with many people stopping during their lunch break to take photos and say messages of support to us. I truly believe Ireland is changing for the better (again), and now we just need a referendum (on legislation according to the citizens assembly) to demonstrate that"
 









Tuesday, 19 September 2017

The Irish Handmaid's Tale

I have been intending to do a detailed post about my feelings about the 8th Amendment in the Irish constitution and why I believe it needs to be repealed - that is for another day as it is a complex issue about women's healthcare and rights (which extends so much further than just abortion rights) which deserves some time and attention to explain my thoughts fully.

In the meantime I would like to record details of a protest I shall attend tomorrow at Dail Eireann.  The plan is to dress in the costume of Margaret Attwood's handmaids and the objective is to call attention to the Oireachtas Committee (on the 8th amendment) as they start their deliberations  - that after the clear pro-choice recommendations of the recent Citizen's Assembly we will not accept any retreat.

The Oireachtas Committee is made up of 21 politicians and it is in their hands to decide what legislation we will get/get to vote on.  Our objective is to put them under pressure that they cannot but recommend pro-choice legislation - again along the lines of the Citizens Assembly.

It took me just under two hours to make my handmaid's cape and hat this evening. If Enid wasn't away I would have zipped through it on her machine but unfortunately I had to do it all by hand sewing.

I was only able to buy a sheet in the correct colour in a Single bed size.  I was worried it would not be big enough but actually there was so much material to battle with that I was glad I had not got the double.

I created it with a simple long/high collar which came out really good I think.  Plus I think I will get away without a hood because of this collar - which is a relief because I simply don't think I have the energy or will to make a hood as well.

 Finished! Cloak (or cape) and hat.
 
 


 

Monday, 18 September 2017

Esmara by Heidi Klum for Lidl

I may or may not have queued up at 7am this morning outside of Lidl on Parnell Street for the Heidi Klum collection that went on sale today when doors opened at 8.

 I may or may not have gone into the shop and bought the one thing I really wanted - this INCREDIBLE brown suede biker jacket for a crazy €59.99.  The cut and shape on it is amazing.  Not to mention the detail in the stitching.

I may or may not have gone a bit wild and bought a few other items.


Ahem....!


3 pairs of skinny jeans in black, blue and navy
€12.99 each.  COME ON!!!!!!


3 pussy cat bow shirts in white, navy (for work) and leopard skin (not for work).  I would have bought the black one but they didn't have it in my size.
Leopard skin is not my usual thing but hey will be nice for a Saturday night out in town am sure.
 Like the jeans these were a bargain €12.99 each too...

And finally, a fabuuuuurlous black lurex tuxedo style jacket.  Seriously at €19.99 I wasn't leaving this behind.  It'll be nice for any formal events - thrown over a cocktail dress.  Or else just a Saturday night in town over a graphic tee for fun, or a plain top if I want to look a bit classier. 
It's fun! I am totally going to get wear out of this :-) 

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Nostalgia's not what it was - a solo exhibition

Busy times for my brother in law Ciaran McCoy aka Pigsy. At the moment he is preparing for his second solo exhibition at the beginning of October.  He is also being filmed and interviewed by filmmaker Mike Andrews for a documentary Mike is making about him.  Oh and on top of that he only had one of the projects that he was lead architect on featured in the Sunday Times this weekend (I like to say he is an architect by day, and an artist by night!).

Anyway, I digress.  His exhibition!
Running over 4 nights in the very cool Fumbally Exchange, opening night is Thursday 5th of October and am sure will have a great buzzy atmosphere just like his last exhibition.  And then on Friday night there will be a street party vibe - the Fumbally Exchange is on Dame Lane which is always good on Friday nights!

Oh and.  Did I mention free beer?
Hope Beer will be showcasing their hand made Irish craft beers at the exhibition too

For more information about Pigsy check his website out here


 

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Long weekend in Ibiza September 2017

Earlier this year my friend Tara suggested we go somewhere to celebrate her birthday. Of course I was interested and when Ibiza was mentioned I decided I would definitely go.  It is somewhere I had never been before and I had heard great things about it.

Tara came over to me on Wednesday night to stay the night, before our flight out the next morning.  It made sense for her as it saved her husband getting up to drive to the airport (our flight was EARLY) and it made sense for both of us as the holiday felt like it started that night.  We were both excited and had to force ourselves to stop chatting and laughing in bed and go to sleep before our 3am wakeup call.

I must say, as horrific as 3am sounds I really didn't feel too bad at all.  Maybe that was the calypso coffees I made with breakfast - whaaaddd, sure look weren't we on our holliers.

Things were smooth in Dublin airport, and we were off and landed before we knew it.  Although! There was a group behind us on the plane who were intent on starting the Ibiza party early but hey, look what can you do.  The poor crew, but they must be used to it because they were well able to handle them.

Ibiza is a small little island with a cute little airport which reminded me of the Key West airport.  It was quite busy though - flights coming in literally every 10 minutes from all over the world.  It was quite surreal actually - on Friday night we were at a Tinie Timpah show directly under the flightpath - and the planes fly very low - so all throughout the night we had planes coming directly over us.  It was the same on the beach during the day.

Tara and I made our way to our hotel where we checked in - we got a nice room on the ground floor with the most amazing view of the ocean directly at our eye level. 


The view from the higher floors would probably be different, maybe even more impressive, but I liked the way my sight was drawn all the way out to where the sea ended and the sky started.

Then! Then the rain started.  So we decided we would head for lunch and prayed it would clear up for the afternoon. 

We ended up having a long leisurely lunch (due to the rain) with a few drinks - sure what else could we do.  The rain got torrential/monsoon-like, with thunder and lightening, but it did eventually clear up.  And we made it to the beach for whole afternoon.  And it was glorious.  Because we don't get much sun in Ireland I really treasure any time I can get at a beach in the sun and I immediately switched off and relaxed.

After the beach Tara and I headed for a drink in a tiki bar close by.  It's a bit of a tradition of Tara and I - last holiday we were together was in St Augustine, Florida and I used to go out on a boogie board all day, then throw a pair of board shorts on with my bikini top and go across the road to a dodgy old biker bar and meet Tara and friends for drinks.  So we had a big laugh together saying it is just not a holiday unless we are in a bar in bikinis with damp clothes and hair.


I do love a tiki bar - I always feel like I am on holidays with Tom Cruise and Elizabeth Shue :-)

So that evening, after quick showers etc, we went out to the Port/Marina in lovely old town Ibiza. 

The massive yachts were a massive juxtaposition to the old walls and forts of Ibiza. 


We strolled around the lovely little cobbled narrow streets and settled on somewhere to eat where I got swordfish which was fab. The girls got paella between them which was so huge it would have done for the three of us.  That paella was utterly amazing.

I may never eat paella again unless I am in Spain/Ibiza because it simply cannot live up to this. 


We spent the remainder of the evening in a lovely tavern up on the rooftop of an old fort.  It was full of locals (about our age) all casual but smartly (and stylishly!) dressed enjoying after work Thursday drinks.

Steps up to the roof

Friday was another beach day!  A different one from the previous day - a little bigger and more atmosphere.  More beautiful views of mountains and sea - Ibiza really is a beautiful island. 


After a long day at the beach we went for something to eat and a quick drink on the way to the hotel and then we got ready for the night out!


Jackie had booked tickets for us to go see Tinie Tempah in Ushauiai which is an outdoor club - and which was very cool, and atmospheric.  I wouldn't have thought I was going to love it so much.  Tinie Tempah was great but it was all the DJ's before which I really loved.   Again not something I would have thought was for me but I really did have a great time.

Afterwards we headed across the road to Space (one of the big Ibiza superclubs) - it's recently been renamed Hi but everyone still calls it Space.  I really liked this too! And again not something I would have thought I would (lol you're probably wondering why I went to Ibiza at all!).  There was one main room - glitterbox - with a cool dj playing some cool tunes with the crowd pumped and dancing.  And then there were loads of different rooms off of it where there were different things going on - a chilled garden area, techno house music room, 90's dance area, acrobat/dancers/performers etc. It was great! 

The only bad thing was that we all had worn high shoes/wedges out which was a biiiig mistake (but hey they made the outfit lol!). My feet were killing me and I finished the night and went home earlier than I would have wanted.  Seriously! Always always wear flats in Ibiza!
 
 



So guess where we went next morning? Yep. The beach. 

We were kind of debating what to do that evening when some guy selling tickets for an event came past and started talking to us (there are club promoters etc selling on the beach constantly).  We ended up buying tickets for The Zoo Project which sounded soooo cool and as it turned out WAS soooo cool. We finished up on the beach around 3pm and went back to the hotel to get ready (a very quick turnaround) and headed to a bar for an open bar, and body painting, which was included in the ticket price. 
Yep the body paint on my arm and face kind of made my night :-)

 
Note my flat shoes!!!

At 5pm our coach arrived and we travelled about 30 minutes to Zoo - an old abandoned zoo turned into a festival space.  I had a ball! Loads and loads of bars - in old animal cages, lovely food vendors (I had the most amazing tacos), acrobats, performers, yoga (in the old pony ride enclosure lol), a dj/show in the seal pit with the crowd all standing and dancing in the viewing stands.  It all finished at around 12 midnight - we had originally intended going on to a club but we were all pretty wrecked after a great night so we just headed back to the hotel.  And considering our long day the next day I was very glad of that!


For our last day I packed my bag pretty quick and headed to the pool to get a last bit of sunshine (I'm Irish, I need as much Vitamin D as I can get!) before heading to the airport.  Ah the airport...where it all went wrong!  Our flight kept being delayed/pushed back and back until we knew there was no way we were making our connecting flight in Madrid.  We got to Madrid, queued up with a million others and eventually got ourselves sorted and switched to an Aer Lingus flight leaving at 10.50pm that night (groan).  Could have been worse though!  Anyone heading to London couldn't get on a flight until the next morning which would have been an absolute pain. Anyway we eventually arrived home in to Dublin airport at about 1am (compared to our original 7pm eta).  Strangely enough I was absolutely fine - I think the combination of the early previous night and then sleeping on both flights really saved me.

A trip down memory lane...

A post from my facebook page on the 6th of September 2017



 

Heading away for a few days with Tarusha and Jackie (Ibiza baby!)
 
Brings to mind the last Spanish adventure some years back with Tara; we were 25 and were travelling around the South of Spain with two great French pals - the four of us squeezed into Bruno's teeny tiny car for a fortnight. It was an amazing trip filled with laughter, chats, beaches, mountains, city sightseeing, midnight dips in village fountains, rioja, fun, music, tapas and sangria.

 We also attended a friend...'s stunning wedding in a beautiful old farmhouse tucked in the base of a cliff - where we ate lobster, drank wine, smoked cigars and danced until dawn when we breakfasted on traditional wedding onion soup.

 If that wasn't enough, it memorably culminated with Tara and I having to make a mad dash from Madrid to Paris to catch 1c Ryanair flights home (yes 1c!). Amongst other looniness this mad dash involved an overnight train trip, dinner with a priest, a lot of vodka and beer, and the chef serenading Tara at 3 in the morning.
 
But I am sure this trip will just be a nice sedate few days on the beach, with a bit of craic in the evenings. Nothing crazy, no mad dashes, no wild stories. Completely sure of that. Wink.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

The Great Gatsby at the Gate Theatre

 
I had been very excited and looking forward to Saturday night for some time now.  A while back Enid, Kasey and I booked tickets to see "Gatsby" in the Gate.  It was quite funny, for a while there it seemed that everyone in Dublin was talking about it - they'd gone to see it, were going to see it, or were mad that tickets had sold out and they couldn't see it.
 
So I am just delighted to have seen it!  "Seen" probably being the wrong word - taken part in. is better.  It was an immersive theatre production - the first time I had ever attended something like this, and it was sheer brilliance.  As you can see we dressed in the style of 1922 and we arrived to the theatre where the seats had been removed from the main auditorium and it had been turned into the mansion of Jay Gatsby.  This sounds crazy but it just worked - throughout the evening while the main act was going on in the main auditorium small sections of the audience were being brought (or rushed or ran!) off to other areas and rooms of the theatre where smaller pieces took place.  We took part in Charleston dance class, a blackjack game and Enid was inducted to play a part as a reporter at one point!  It was truly a great experience.
 
The cast were wonderful, The sets were great.  And special mention to the costume design by the wonderful Peter O'Brien. In homage Iwore my beloved Peter O'Brien coat from his first pret a porter collection for a-wear back in 2006!

New rug

 

 
Enid and Ciaran bought a new rug for their home so I got a donation of their old rug.
I am really happy with it - I have it in my hallway, and I really think it ties the room together :-)
 

Friends of the Grand Canal - once a month meet up and clean up

On Saturday Enid and I joined the clean up group Friends of the Grand Canal and spent two hours picking up litter along the paths and banks of the Grand Canal.
It was a lovely bunch of people and a glorious day as you can see (which was strange because the day before which was the 1 September had been terribly chilly I thought).
We enjoyed some coffee and chats afterwards.  And Dublin being a small place we met a guy who we both had a mutual friend with - coincidentally enough we had previously been part of a clean up of the Royal Canal with the other friend.  If that makes any sense?!  The point is Small World!
 



Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Terminator 2: Judgement Day Remastered and in 3D!

 
Yesterday (August 29th!) I went to see T2 in 3D with Enid. 
 
It was amazing!!!  AMAZING!!! 
It was so good it actually felt like a completely new film that I was seeing for the very first time.  And believe me this is not my first rodeo watching this film - when I was 15 I attended a summer camp/film and acting course, and  myself and two similarly sci-fi/action movie gripped young fellas watched it EVERY SINGLE day during our lunch break for TWO WEEKS solid.  Ever since then I have been pretty much obsessed with it - T2 and the original The Terminator films are in my Top 10 favourite film list. I see from a search on this blog my last mention of it was in a blog of February 2016.  Hmm, I am sure I watched it more recent than that, but I guess that is the last time I blogged about it.
  
I know a lot of people are not fans of 3D - and it has never really delivered all that it has promised (in some people's/real film buff's opnion).  But I just love 3D films!  And if there was ever a film that was made for 3D I think it is this one.  Some of the scenes from the beginning, you actually felt like you were in the tunnels with the resistance and part of the fight for the world.  The chase scenes felt akin to being on a rollercoaster - that you were actually on the motorbike with Arnie and Furlong.  And the helicopter scenes! You felt like it you were in another helicopter right alongside for the filming. You could almost reach and touch the T1000.  
Oh and the furnace at the end,  you were so right there in the scene you could almost feel the heat. 
And of course all the explosions - hey who doesn't love an explosion in 3D.
 
There was a bit of a funny (funny odd) moment at the beginning of the film where James Cameron welcomed us all and spoke about the film and the remastering etc. And then he goes "so thank you for visiting your local movie theatre in the UK to watch this movie"  At the mention of the UK the whole cinema literally took an intake of breath, collectively gasped and then ooohed slash kind of booed.  So it wasn't a full boo, and it wasn't too bad natured or anything...but still! Who the hell signed off on that!
 
 

A round up of all the action of the past week

A flyby update of what I've been up to over the last few days
 
Last Monday was the Great USA eclipse
I saw some very cool photos from friends on facebook in America which I was delighted with,  Here in Ireland we were promised a partial eclipse.  What we got was a very cloudy day for the whole day, then a sun that peered out from clouds about 5 minutes before the forecast eclipse time and a sun that disappeared behind the clouds right at the scheduled time.  So in summary we didn't see anything exciting at all!  Which was lucky in some sense because none of us had the special viewing glasses or anything.  This is me taking a selfie with the sun in order to avoid looking at it directly.

Tuesday I went to the launch of the Designist shop in the Science Gallery in Trinity College.  I love Designist - I currently go to the George's Street branch so I am happy to have a branch even nearer to me now.  I pottered around the gallery and spotted these bikes which I had seen out and about and had been wondering about them.  They play tunes depending on where you cycle and the pace you cycle around Dublin.  I must investigate taking one out soon I think!

Thursday evening I was out for a work summer party.  The food was quite good and the wine was lovely too.  But I didn't stay out late and was home around half nineish.

Then on Friday I met two of my old (and closest) work colleagues.  We used to work together about 14 years ago and every single day we went for an afternoon coffee together. It has probably been about ten years since we all worked together (in one form or another) but we have always kept in touch which is nice.

Completely impromptu we started off with beer, cocktails and Prosecco in my house - we had arranged to meet in a pub then we all got delayed so decided to meet in mine and go from there. One little sociable turned into a few more but we got out eventually - it was still bright as you can see from this photo.  We went for something to eat and then on to the Bailey for the night.  It was a fun night as nights out with these pair always are!  Although...some of us were "a little" under the weather the next day though.  But not tooooo bad I hasten to add.

Saturday night I donned my Hawaiian shirt and went to Ukulele Hooley with my dad and my uncle,  It's always a good night and I enjoyed it a lot.  It is a bit of a tradition for my dad and I to go every year.   Sometimes Enid joins in too but not this year :-(
It is also a tradition for me to wear this pink shirt for it each year.
 
What else?
Oh yes - I stayed over in Enid and Ciarans on Saturday night and we got up at 4am to watch the McGregor Mayweather fight.  That is our tradition, the three of us do it for every McGregor fight.
I went to the vintage and craft market in Newmarket on Sunday and bought three records - one of them, Emmylou Harris, I am particularly happy about.
I also met Enid on Sunday and we did some strolling around town and some nice sitting in Stephens Green - on a park bench, watching the ducks, it was lovely.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Costume party / theme night

You may know that I just love a good fancy dress/costume/theme party. And coming up I thought I had two to go to!  But it emerged I had my dates totally wrong for one so won't be able to go to it now.  But I will tell you about the dress I had planned anyway.

First up was my plan to go see a viewing of Dirty Dancing (30th anniversary) with my friend - and although there was no mention of costume we decided we would dress up.  So as the film is set in 1963.  And bearing in mind that Baby Frances Houseman is 16 in the film I decided it would be better for me to dress for my own age but as if I lived in 1963.  I ended up (I think) dressing like Baby's mother in the film/slightly Jackie O and result was this:


Disappointingly this outfit will remain in the wardrobe for another 1960s night out.

Next outfit will definitely be getting out to party!  Enid, Cousin Kasey and I are going to see "Gatsby" in the Gate Theatre.  It is immersive/interactive theatre and attendees are encouraged to dress as if coming to a party in Jay Gatsby's mansion.  How fun does that sound! 

Costume design is by the amazing haute couture designed Peter O'Brien.  Some day I must blog about my beautiful dress coat from his first ever pret a porter collections which I bought over ten years ago and still wear today (and still get the most amazing compliments about it when I wear it).  Do you remember the last play we went to see where he had done the costume design?  That was an unusual night is all I can say...  My blog about it is here

There is a bit of a story of how I got this dress.  I thought I had something in my wardrobe which looked 1920/1930s but when I tried it on last week I felt unhappy with it - it really wasn't the look I was going for.  So last week when I was going to meet my friend at the hopsack (see my other post) I passed a thrift store/charity shop which had 3 dresses in their window all "Gatsby" in style.  In Ireland a lot of thrift stores display their best stock in their window and have a little sign saying when they will be selling them.  Conveniently they were going on sale just the Saturday coming!  And I was happy I found the dress in a thrift store, I really did not want to pay a lot for a dress/costume I was going to wear once.

I arrived at 8.30 to wait for the opening at 9am.  I was really surprised to see two people already in the queue.  Eek and one was a girl about my age too!  Which could only mean one thing she had an eye on one of the dresses as well.  And personally the one I wanted was the nicest I thought, so I was sure she was going to go for it too.  I got in the queue and I began talking to her.  Turned out she wanted the pink dress (I wanted brown) so all was good and we had a nice laugh about that.  And interestingly she was going to Gatsby too. 

Enid arrived soon after and she was a great help because she found the necklace I am going to wear as a headpiece!  So without further ado.  Here is my outfit, a bargain I think you will agree for €15 and the headpiece for €5