Sunday, 14 May 2017


Last week I went for a flying visit to Galway for one night.
Primary goal was to see Katie in the Galway Musical Society performance of Rock of Ages.
Ok so I am completely biased but she was awesome.
Lol - totally biased!

Secondary goal to catch up with my wonderful friend Laura - on the right of this pic in the grey.
After the show we had a great night in The King's Head where a great band was playing.  A total throwback to the trips (lots of them) my friends and I used to take when in our early 20's to Galway. 

The next morning before my bus home I pottered around Galway.
I was impressed with their city bike scheme.  The bikes are similar to the Limerick ones, and they look like they are in great locations all around the city.

Eyre Square was lovely in the sun.
In the background you can see the Meyrick Hotel which was previously the Great Southern and hence was named The Southern Comfort hotel by myself and an ex of mine when we used to stay there.  Also in my early 20's like the trips to Galway mentioned above.
It will always be the Southern Comfort to me therefore :-)
This adorable little café is near the bus station.

It screamed Key West to me  And I didn't catch a photograph but an old lad strolled past it in a leather jacket and a quirky captains sailing cap which also screamed Key West to me (you get all kinds of great characters on the rock!)
So that was it!  I departed the sunshine of Galway and arrived home to lovely sunshine in Dublin too.  I spent the afternoon and early evening chilling out in Merrion Square which is always lovely when the sun shines.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Shopping trip

I met my mother this evening and we went to Gap (in Arnotts) on Henry Street for a browse.
I've wanted a denim jacket for ages, in particular after seeing a lovely one that Enid had on our recent trip to Muscat.  I really like the colour of this one. 
Gap and it's crazy sizing...Medium was huge on me, this is size Small

Bag and flip flops for the beach - trip to Ibiza coming up in September

A white shirt for throwing on over my bikini in Ibiza.  Again the crazy sizing in Gap, this is size Extra Small!!!

This is not my style at all but my mother made me buy it.  I guess it looks good on, but I just need to get used to it - it just isn't something I'd normally wear.  It's a nice colour though, and the cutouts on the shoulder are not at all as big as they look on the hanger, when you are actually wearing it.

I specifically wanted some new graphic t-shirts.  These will look good under my new denim jacket I think.  Lol, you want to hear something funny? These are from the boys department of Gap - they are for boys ages 12-13!

Monday, 1 May 2017

Muscat trip 2017 - Part 2

I started a blog about about my recent trip to Muscat which turned into not so much a post about Muscat, and more a post about Dubai and Abu Dhabi...  Funny how that turned out! Read it here.

So this is about Muscat! 
Enid and I had the best time!  It was great to see Lydia and catch up with her on everything. I also particular loved seeing her living her life, dressed for work etc (glamourama - she is cabin crew).
I also liked showing Enid around - as I have been to Muscat before but this was her first time.

So what did we get up to - bearing in mind we were there for just a week there was only so much we could squeeze in.  We did all the usual tourist stuff, The Grand Mosque, Mutrah souk, walking along the corniche, drive through the mountains, a small hike in the wadi (valley) etc.  And then we did a lot of usual holiday stuff - pool and beach. 
Enid has posted on her blog in detail about some of these places so I've linked to them above and below.  She has lots of photos as well so worth a read..

The beach! Sigh.
We had the best beach days. There really is nothing like a day at the beach.  Completely different from being at the pool.  Nature is so restorative.  And relaxing!  It really felt like a holiday/break from the norm.

The food!
We ate the best Arabic food.  I absolutely adore the hummus over there.  It has a more gritty/grainier/drier texture than at home.  Plus a super intense flavour.  Mmmm 

Cocktails for, eh, a cocktail party

So! You are throwing a party! Or like I will be doing this coming Friday, hosting a gathering and having a few people over for a few little drinkies before heading out.

What to serve?!

If you have been following my blog you will know that mixing drinks for friends is my thing.  Well one of my things :-)

Here are a few of my failsafe recommendations for a good night.

1. Caiproskas
Ok so these are labour intensive.  See here for my full instructions on how to make them.
While these ARE a bit of work alright, they are so worth it.  And in particular one thing I always say about these are they suit both men and women.  I do hate generalising, but you know the way some cocktails are just "womens" e.g. a Cosmopolitan and some more "men" e.g. an old fashioned or a basil gimlet.  These are real kicky drinks. And any fellas I've served them to have seemed to enjoy that kick alright!

2.  Falling Waters
Easy peasy lemon squeezy!!!!  The complete antidote to the Ciaproskas
There are loads of recipes online but here is how I make them.
Using a potato peeler peel strips of cucumber into martini glasses.  Hold the cucumber above the glass as you peel and the juice will go in the glass also.
Add 2 large ice cubes - or 3
Pour in 2 shots of vodka - the large side of the a drinks jigger
Top up with sprite
And that's it!

3. White Russians
I loves these! Particularly October, November, December and January.  Don't ask! Just because!
Ice, vodka, tia maria and milk in a cocktail shaker.  And shake.
This is a handy one also because you can make a large amount in a jug and then it's ready, and just pour into the shaker with ice and shake throughout the evening.
For my gal pals on Friday I will serve them in cute little milk bottles like this with straws. Another night I might serve them in cut glass old fashioned glasses or plain glasses a la The Big Lebowski. The dude abides.

4. I am not a big Prosecco/champagne drinker but I always find a bottle of Prosecco on ice goes down well

Any of the above and I am giving my absolute guarantee of a good night!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Middle of Middle East trip

Typing to you live (well obviously not dead!) from Muscat, Oman.

This is my third time in the Middle East.  Hmm, when I see that typed in b&w that seems crazy - because being honest it would be far from my first choice for a holiday. Allow me to explain however. The first time I visited was 2/3 years when I was working on a project for a few weeks in Abu Dhabi (with some meetings/days in Dubai) so it wasn't actually a choice - or a holiday!  And then last year I went to visit my sister here - Muscat, Oman where she lives and works. On that trip I also took in a few days in Abu Dhabi and Dubai again (my other sister K was also with us and she had never been to those cities before).
And now! Here I am to visit my sister L again. 

I have a lot of holidays to take this year and I wanted to get some trips in my calendar. I also need to make sure I squeeze in holidays in between college etc - whenever I have a break from college I need to ensure I at a minimum, take some time off work, and ideally that I go away somewhere. So I had this week in April booked off since early January and then I just needed to decide where to go.  I was thinking of visiting a friend in San Francisco (which is one of my favourite cities in the whole world) but for a variety of reasons I will go there some other time.  And so (for a variety of reasons also, which I won't go into!) I decided I'd go visit L.  Then it turned out that Enid had some time to take also, plus she had never been out to see L so she decided to come too.

I like Muscat.  Out of the three places in the ME listed above it is far and beyond my favourite.  Abu Dhabi and Dubai are not my cup of tea at all.  If I was forced that I had no option and must go back then I'd take Abu Dhabi at a push, but Dubai I will never be in again.  Dead cert.

In fact I like Muscat a lot....


For part deux click here!

Saturday, 15 April 2017

The Train, Abbey Theatre

Yesterday was Good Friday in Ireland, and while some businesses close unfortunately the part of the company I am currently working in does not - but however I chose to take the day off.  Which I am glad of. It's feeling like a very nice long weekend already and it's only Saturday.

Cousin Kasey, Enid and I met in my flat where I made some cocktails.  The (ridiculous) licencing laws in Ireland outlaws the sale of alcohol, and the Church says one should not drink on Good Friday.  On this basis I go out of my way to make sure I have a drink or two.  I really do not like being told what I can or can't do by the State - particularly when the State is being told that by the Church...  And ironically enough, this year, that ties in nicely with the theme of the play we saw later.

I had intended making a few different cocktails.  But in the end I was too busy chatting and we needed to leave earlier than intended to collect our tickets, so the pineapple dacquiris and ciproskas were scratched, and I just made Falling Waterfalls and vodka and diet cokes.
I've no photo of the food but it was LOVELY - thanks to Cousin Kasey for bringing!

From there we headed down to The Abbey to see The Train

This poster was up outside my office during the week

We had another quick drink before the start of the play - theatres are exempt from the licencing laws.  You see! Like it makes no sense at all.  Why is a theatre exempt but a pub is not?  Crazy. 
And I ordered our interval drinks.  Ok enough about alcohol on Good Friday, on to the play!!!

But first, a pic of Enid and I (posterity! posterity!)

The Train
It was wonderful! Absolutely wonderful.  Such an imaginative and creative way of telling the story of the contraceptive train, plus the Ireland as it was then - how much the church was involved in the "bedroom" of Irish families. 

The actors were excellent - and great singers - it is a musical afterall.  All in all a great production. 

AND at the very end a superb hat tip to #WakingTheFeminists (do you remember my blog post about the event I attended) and a call to action for more areas of women's lib where change is needed.  To be honest it did depress me that while there have been improvements of course (contraception, divorce, signing for loans without a man [bloody hell], removal of obligatory redundancy on marriage, equal pay) there are still remaining other areas where there is MASSIVE improvement needed - bodily autonomy for women being key of course.... #Repealthe8th.  While two years ago Enid and I did a lot of canvassing for Marriage Equality,  Enid had told me that she didn't think she could do it for a referendum for Repeal the 8th. That considering some of the stuff we encountered on the doorsteps (while mostly good, when it was bad, it was HORRIFIC), that she just thought it would be too emotive.  Anyway after last night she thinks she will do it.  I am happy about that - she was really good at it - but I want her to only do it if she wants to do it herself. 

Team Clean up Dublin

Here's Enid and I at a canal clean up day a couple of years ago.  It was the most gorgeous weather that day.   Lol which is why I am wearing a Hawaiian shirt and a mini skirt. In Ireland.  As you do. Actually, when the sun shines in Ireland it absolutely IS what you MUST do, in my opinion!

And here we are on Friday picking litter in Ranelagh.  There were loads of other jobs we could have done - weeding, painting plant pots etc - but we always volunteer for the unglamorous job of litter picking.  Reason being that no one else volunteers for it, and it just needs to be done, and anyway we just walk along chatting and having a laugh and the time flies and we get loads done.