Sunday, 26 June 2016

Pride 2016 - Boomtown Rollers skated with Pride!

On Tuesday evening the hall for roller derby was not available so instead I met up with some of the derby girls.  The plan was that some of the more experienced team members would show us "fresh meat" how to change wheels and clean bearings etc - I love all that kind of diy stuff.  And that we would create a banner for front of our group for Pride Parade 2016.
Painting in action!

The finished piece.  I think it looks phenomenal - the rainbow flag for Pride, the skater for Boomtown Rollers, and the pulse line and heart for Orlando.
We met yesterday at Parnell Square for the parade.  We were number 98 out of 101 groups/floats/marchers, but actually we ended up going last out of the whole parade.  Bear in mind we were on skates so this was for the best!!!!  There were some pretty hairy moments - in particular the hill from Parnell Square down on to O'Connell Street (eek!) and then near Pearse Street train station the road/surface was very bad for us skaters.

A flavour of our day out at Pride!

I love this picture of Enid and I :-)

Cousin Kasey was spectating and joined in when she saw us.  I was joking saying that Enid looked like a traffic or roller skate cop :-)  
After the parade Enid, Kasey and I went in and checked out Pride Village in Merrion Square (and all the events therein) - nice vibe.  We then went for something to eat in Xico's on Baggot Street (which was the old Baggot Lounge).  I got chilli which was GoooOOOOD!!!! 

Saturday, 25 June 2016

One to watch.....!

Keeping it in the family!  I think you all know my twin sister and her blog.  Well we have added another person to our stable - my brother in law Ciaran is now blogging too!  Welcome Ciaran! 

Check his blog out at The Art of Ciaran McCoy

Ciaran is an architect slash artist.  He designs and creates the most beautiful buildings and he also paints the most incredible expressionist paintings.  He has an exhibition coming up in Autumn this year which I for one am very much looking forward to.

"Dad's Dublin" by Ciaran McCoy

I'd love you to hear what you think of his blog of and his work?

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Street Party 2016

Last Sunday, in conjunction with National Street Feast day, my road held their first ever Street Party. 

 It was a simple concept which involved all - the plan being that we bring out a table and some chairs, and everyone brings some food.  I also brought out my gazebo, and ya neighbour from across the road helped put that together (thanks Tommy!).  Plus we decorated the gazebo with buntings and balloons - and a very attractive pink "sail" owned by a neighbour.  I think you will agree from the photos below that it certainly all looked great.

However, decorations are all very well, but a party is not a party without any guests so I waited with baited breath to see who would come along.  All our immediate neighbours came - with lovely food - check out those beautiful sandwiches below!  Also came neighbours who we didn't know, but know now and for the future!

It was a lovely afternoon, filled with lovely food, great chats and games of hopscotch :-) I have posted a flavour of photographs below - how great does it all look?!  For more photographs see Portersgate Street Party on facebook.

After the success of the day the next "neighbour event" is already in the planning!

Cute sign handmade by little girl across the road!

Very professional looking sandwiches!


View from the upstairs of my house.  Love that "sail" :-)

Selfie stick pic...

Harry was the only neighbourhood cat to join in the festivities...if you can call this joining in!!!!

Tea and Prosecco - a good party combo

The sun came out!

View from the upstairs of the corner house on my road

Let the games begin! 

Tiny - the dog that smiles!!!

The laydeez!


Sad ending to a great day:  That afternoon it was hard to justify posting these lovely pics on facebook while learning about and reading reports of the horrific Orlando shootings in the Pulse nightclub.  It was particularly sad seeing posts from my friend in Key West who live so close to Orlando and who felt it particularly bad.  Key West people are very special - summed up by their official motto of One Human Family.

One Human Family

I am still in shock and grief over what occurred in Pulse nightclub in Orlando last Sunday.  It is impossible to understand how our world has come to this that someone is filled with so much hate for fellow human beings that they could do something like this.
Today I decorated my roller derby helmet with a sticker from Key West - of the official motto of the island that "All people are created equal members of One Human Family".  I will be wearing this helmet and showing my support when I skate in this year's Pride parade on June 25th.
#loveislove #lovewins

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Roller Derby - new gear!

My adventure in Roller Derby continues and I am delighted to now have my own gear.  It's so much nicer just being in your own sweat...rather than that of people who have previously worn the borrowed gear lol.  Eeugh that sounds gross doesn't it, but it's true, roller derby is a serious workout!!!!
Check these babies out!!!!  I bought these via facebook sales page over in Key West for $10.  I spotted them (from my couch in Ireland!) when they were posted, and quickly messaged the seller, and then Enid who kindly hopped on her bike and picked them up for me.  They are far from the best Derby skates (they are really more plain roller skates) but they will do me for the moment until I really get into the sport.  New proper roller derby skates will cost me about €150 which is fine and I don't mind spending this - but only if I am serious about sticking with it!

I bought all my protection gear from a girl in my team who is taking some time off because of an injury. This gear (plus the helmet) would normally cost about €100 and I got it second hand for €30.  Again much happier paying for secondhand until I know I am serious about the sport - which by the way I think I am, I had an absolute ball/a mega session yesterday evening!
My gear is pictured above on a chair because it is currently drying out after a soaking in Dettol - which was advised to me by some derby veterans - you see I told you it's a work out and a half!!!

Here is a pic of me in my new skates, laughing hysterically because I nearly fell over just a split second before the photo was taken.

Bike commute

Since I came back from my holidays I resolved I would do more cycling (just as I did over in Key West).  It has helped a lot that the weather has been so good - particularly on the day I took the photos below.
I dragged my bike out of the gamesroom and attempted to cycle into work - with the promise to myself that if I could not do it I could always hop on to the train along the way.  Miracle of miracles I made it in to work, and back home, and resolved to do it as many days as possible.  Since then I have cycled in every day except for Tuesdays when I have Roller Derby after work and have to get the Luas out to Walkinstown.
My route ranges from a lovely cycle on a meandering path along the Royal Canal.
To the thunderous noise of the motorway

To the busy streets of inner city Dublin
(not looking so busy in this picture I admit, but trust me it's busy - case in point: my mother keeps telling me to be careful on the bike, and she NEVER says be careful about anything lol!)
I cannot tell you how much I am enjoying the cycle - from a physical and mental perspective.  I am going to keep going with it as long as I can - I am preparing for the weather to get worse and plan on buying waterproof trousers and jacket etc. 

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Key West 2016 (aka review of South Street Serenity)

The plan was that this blog post would be a review of our vacation rental in 2016 "South Street Serenity", but when I started into it and uploading photos, it morphed into a review of the property/trip report of Key West 2016.
The house is exactly as described on the internet, and comfortably fit our extended family of 7.  There are plenty of lovely areas for sitting and socialising, with lots of other nooks and crannies if you wanted to get away!!!
The outdoor showers were phenomenal!  There is nothing better than a shower outdoor in Paradise and it will be one of my abiding memories from this years trip.
Katie and Lydee in the nice big cooking area - a big dining area is hidden in the foreground

We did have some iguana visitors, which freaked us all out a little at the beginning but we got used to it.  Hey, this IS a tropical island after all.

The pool was perfect.  A good size, and good sunbathing area.  
How pretty are the next three photos...
We had some people over before Trivia (more later about Trivia) and this house was PERFECT for socialising.  This would be my dream home at home here in Ireland :-)
A morning ritual to sit outside drink coffee and read The Citizen.  This has always been a Key West tradition for us, but made all the more special now as we know some great folk who work there and get this fine publication out every day.  Small island, the "crime report" is pretty funny!!! :-)
Location of the house!
Like everywhere in Key West we were in a convenient location, but there were some particularly nice places beside us...
The butterfly conservatory was just around the corner from us.  See here for my review of the conservatory.

A very short walk to the fabulous Southernmost Beach.
Ok so I think that is all the house stuff.  Time for a few pics and words about what else we got up to on this trip!


I love biking around the island, it's the only way to get around (I find it way too hot for walking!!!) and as it was very sunny this year - almost too hot to sunbathe -  I got most of my tan from cycling.


The bars. The bands.
We really enjoyed The Spectrelles in The Bull & Whistle, and The Bubba System Band in Grunts bar (met some lovely folk from California in Grunts - hi Terri, Seth & Gene!).  Didn't get to see Patrick & The Swayzees, next time!
The food!
We went to all our usual favourite haunts - Alonzos, Kelly's etc.  But we also ate a couple of times in La Concha.  Their fillet mignon and fish tacos were SUPERB!!!
Something new!

Mam, Dad & I met with Sheila and Chris on the USCG Ingham for sunset.
Waiting on the sun to go down...

We normally go to Mallory Square for sunset celebrations, and that is pretty special (a festive atmosphere) but the sunset here on the Ingham was more a meditative experience. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Other new stuff:
We visited the oldest house on Duval (highly recommend), did a tour of the Hellings home (The Womens Club), visited the giant conch out by the high school :-)


Another Key West tradition, Enid and I in our twin shirts.

See here for Enid's full blog post about Trivia.  It's different from our Table Quiz's at home - but just as much fun, and we met some wonderful people through Trivia. *waves to Sheila, Chris, David, Bob & Scott*
Judy Blume!  We met Judy Blume.  And she was incredible. 
What an island where you can meet your childhood/teenage hero.
The best airport bar in the whole world.  Key West airport has a beach.
I will finish up by posting a status from my facebook on the day I left the island (on the 3pm flight), kind of summarises "my life" in Key West for that short wonderful time I get to spend there every now and again...

This morning:
Packed suitcase. Weighed suitcase. Unpacked suitcase, repacked suitcase.
Cycled to yard sales with mam. Cycled down Duval and got last minute souvenirs. Sold a bike via Facebook. Did an hour on the beach - sunbathed, swam in the sea, got sand between my toes and saltwater in my hair.
And now I'm at the best airport bar/beach in the world ...
Key West you've been wonderful. Met up with great old friends, and met some great new friends. Until the next time.