Sunday 31 May 2015

Sunday spa day

This morning I went over to Enid's and met up with Katie who was also there.

First up we had breakfast. Don't you just love the packaging of these O'Neill rashers.  Enid and I saw them in Superquinn and were attracted to the packaging, the look of the rashers and the award sticker on them. My married name is also O'Neill so that was a bit of fun. They were really tasty and I shall be getting them again.

After breakfast we all hopped in the hot tub.

This photo is taken of us after the hot tub.  The weather has been so changeable this weekend and while it had rained a little when we were in the jacuzzi, when we got out it became lovely and sunny.  This is us sitting in the sun wrapped in towels.  We used all of Enid's lovely creams and oils and we all agreed it was just like a mini spa day!

Saturday 30 May 2015

Same Sex Marriage in Ireland (or marriage as it will be called from now on!)

One week ago today it was confirmed that the people of Ireland had voted to bring in Same Sex Marriage.

It was an incredibly proud moment for our little Ireland and one week later I still have this incredible inner smile and feeling of pride.

Happy Equality!

Cinema double bill!

A fantabulous day!

The new Al Pacino film "Danny Collins" is out and after seeing the trailer I really wanted to go.

Enid said to me on Thursday she was thinking of going Saturday so we arranged we'd go together.  As we were buying out tickets today (for the 1pm showing) I suggested that we could go straight into another film -San Andrea - if we wanted.  She wasn't keen initially but after thinking about it said why not!

Danny Collins wonderful! I thoroughly recommend this film. I am not going to say much about it because I don't want to give anything away.  Just go see it!

San Andreas just ok.  I don't recommend you go see this film.  It's a big blockbuster action film and it delivers in that respect.  But delivers nothing else really.

I am still thinking about Danny Collins now.  Go see it!

Wednesday 20 May 2015

Marriage Referendum

On Friday 22nd of May Ireland is holding two votes. 
One of them is to decide if we want to change the age you can become President of Ireland from 35 to 21, and the other which (obviously) is getting much more attention is whether to extend marriage to Same Sex couples.

I really feel passionate about the marriage referendum, I feel it is simply about equality, and not discriminating against any group of people.  At the end of the day it's about inclusion - if people are so into marriage that they want to be part of the institution why wouldn't we want to include them.
The debate however has got very very intense over the last few weeks.  We have a number of very vocal groups around Ireland who don't want to share marriage.  They say that gay people have Civil Partnership so they should be happy with that and not want marriage - because marriage is just for a man and a woman.  They also have been muddying the waters bringing up the topic of adoption and surrogacy which (a) have nothing to do with this referendum and (b) we are being informed by Child Protection organisations like ISPCC and Barnardos, and by Geoffrey Shannon who is an expert on adoption in Ireland that same sex marriage will not change the current process.

So based on all that was going on and being said in the media, while Enid and I were talking the good talk on Twitter and Facebook, we figured it was time to get out on the ground and take part in the canvassing. (Fair play Enid for suggesting it!)
We went out last Thursday for the first time ever and it was great.  We were both matched up with someone who had done it before and off we set.  It was great hearing from people who were definite Yes's, we politely thanked and walked away from any No's, and we talked to people who were undecided about what their concerns or questions were.  I'd hope we've influenced some positively.

It was great meeting and chatting with all the other canvassers.  Everyone was incredibly nice and POSITIVE which is lovely in this day and age.

This is the group Enid and I went out with on our first day.  There's Enid on the left end of the flag.  The canvass had finished in my estate so I just went straight home :-) but missed the photo :-(

On Monday I went out on my own as Enid was working late.  There I am to the right of the flag in a red coat.

I couldn't believe my luck but it turned out that Rory O'Neill aka Panti Bliss was allocated to our group/area's canvass.  He has been sent all over Dublin to a different area each night.  Poor Enid was going mad that she missed him.

And finally we went out yesterday evening.  We had nearly 80 people out canvassing!!!  We split into three groups and the above was the group we were in.  It was really great to finish on such a high with so many people out on the canvass.  The organisers Roderic O'Gorman and TJ Clare should be very proud of themselves, they did a great job with the organising  of the routes and the marshalling and directing.

Oh and most importantly it looks like 69/70% Yes in Dublin West of those who answered their door and spoke with us.

If you are reading this before you vote please get out and vote Yes.  Without revealing too much personal information one of the people I was speaking with on one of the nights is a gay person with children.  Their children see the awful No posters every day ("children deserve a mother and father" etc etc) it affects the children and makes them worry.  Now if that isn't an argument for voting Yes I don't know what is.

Monday 11 May 2015

Make Gra the Law

Coming up in just over a week Ireland has a very big important referendum.  The Irish people will be voting on two items.  

One to reduce the age that you can become President at.  Currently it is age 35 but we will be voting if we want that reduced to age 21.  It's not getting much media coverage and I think it will not be passed and the age will be left at 35.
The second one is the big ticket item.  This is the vote as to whether to change the Irish constitution to allow two men or two women marry each other.  It's getting a lot of media coverage and generating huge social media conversation and debate.

Maybe I am naive but I am predicting it will be comfortably passed.  Anyone I've said that to (my sister and friends) disagree with me.  They think it will pass but it will be very tight.  I admit as the time gets nearer I am getting nervous about my prediction, and even more nervous about it being passed at all, today there was an article in the papers about the "Silent No" who it is estimated high in number. It is really scary out there the amount of people who simply don't believe in Equality.

I have not been out canvassing myself but I have been doing my best on social media.  Plus I have been wearing my Yes Equality badge on the train in and out of work every day and I am hopeful that people are seeing it.

Enid mentioned on facebook that she has spare badges if anyone would like some and a friend of ours in Key West said she'd love one.  Enid is sending some to her but I figured I would send some also.  They remind me of the One Human Family stickers which we bring back from Key West and give to friends.

I got a nice little selection of yes and ta badges, plus some stickers.

I also sent a little translation guide :-)
I suggested for the stickers that if they trim off "I'm voting" it will be more relevant as the vote is in Ireland only of course :-) I also suggested trimming off 2015 and they will last forever!

So there we go, it will be winging it's way in the post to a good friend tomorrow.

Sunday 10 May 2015

Take That, so good we came twice

I apologise in advance to my regular readers.  There is a small part of this blog that could be taken as very slightly blue (but funny lol) so look away now if you are adverse to that type of thing.  I am blaming my bold friend Alice :-)  
Friday night was a big night for Enid, Alice and I as we had tickets to Take That in the Point Depot,  (Yes I know it's called the 3Arena now, but I'm old school and to me it will always be The Point!)

Our seats for the show were "so so".  They were good because we had no one sitting behind us so we could dance away without worrying about bothering anyone else.

And they were good for seeing the whole stage and the theatrics and the production which the two pics below show.

They weren't however great for seeing the guys faces.  We really could just see little people moving around and from our seating position we couldn't even see the screens.  But as I said it was great for seeing the whole production so we did get really into it and enjoyed the vibe.

So, most importantly, how were Take That?  They were amazing, amazing, AMAZING!  Considering they have recently lost Jason and are now only a three piece it really does not make a difference, they are just fantastic.  
We danced and bounced and sang and screamed our little hearts out. Boy did we scream! It's funny but whenever I am at a TT gig I am reminded of the old RTE archive footage of The Beatles arriving into Dublin Airport and then playing their one Dublin concert in The Adelphi cinema.  I've said it before but I'll say it again I truly believe that Take That are The Beatles of our era.  I believe that their songs (some of which have lasted 25 years already) will last as long as Lennon/McCartney songs.

They were so amazing that the second the concert was over we got straight on to Ticketmaster to see if we could get tickets for the Saturday night - we said we wanted Standing only as there was no point if everything was going to be the same for us as on the Friday.  On initial view it seemed there were only seated similar to our original available.  But then when I went in again I found some Standing.  Not sure but it seemed as if a batch were just released??  What luck! A few tense minutes while waiting for login and payment etc to go through but finally confirmed, phew!

So on the basis that we had been so lucky to get the tickets we wanted, we figured we should make the best of them and do something that we have never done before (even in my teens with Bon Jovi playing in the RDS), and heck, that we would go and queue outside of the venue.
Enid and I arrived at 3.30pm which we thought was very early for Doors Open at 6.30pm and were surprised to see people queueing already.

Here we are dressed for the weather sitting on our camping stools which we picked up in town on the way to The Point.

€1.49 in Dealz!  Bargain of the century.
Next time we are planning on bringing Penneys blankets and a full on picnic with a flask of coffee (plus whiskey to make Irish coffees) and will just leave it all outside the venue - we were not allowed bring the stools into the venue but for €1.49 who cares!!

While sitting outside we were joking saying we should be using the time to make banners.  Alice said she had already thought of a slogan for her banner "Take That, so good we came twice"
Enid and I were like, "Alice!!!!!!!! Do you know what you are saying??!!!!!"
Alice *innocent face*, "what?! whad???!!!!!"
Alice, "bold cheeky grin", "whad?!!!  C'mon it's funny!!!!!"
Lol, it is pretty funny. And clever :-)

So what was different about Saturday from Friday?

Well for a start....
...views like this.

And this.


We were so close that at one stage Howard pointed, and smiled, directly at Alice.

Again, they were totally AMAZING.   I am now completely obsessed with their new album songs - in particular These Days and Flaws.
I felt the crowd were better on Friday - they cheered loudly on more of a consistent basis over the whole night.   But once Saturday nights crowd got into it they went crazy, and as we Irish are wont to do (don't ask!!!!) launched into a round of Ole Ole, Ole while the band took a break before their encore.

Overall an incredible two nights.  Alice and I have decided that it's a simple must that you do the two nights, first seated and then standing.  I just hope, as Take That said themselves, that it won't be another 4 years before they are back in Dublin.

I leave you with a tweet from Howard which makes me think that he/they would have loved Alice's banner! Grrr a wasted opportunity.

Monday 4 May 2015

This weekend's shopping

I did way more shopping than usual this weekend.  I did so much shopping (for me) I worry I might actually be getting a shopping addiction.  Detox next weekend I think!

First up this adorable oven glove by Carolyn Donnelly.  
I really did need this.  I have two currently and they are both in sorry states.  
This one was €8 with 20% off so €6.40

I bought this fun bag in Penneys to put my shopping in, plus I will use it as a beach bag in Mexico.

Some bikinis for Mexico - very much needed

A cute sunglasses case from Penneys.  I think you can see by the oven glove and the sunglasses case how much I love a tropical pattern.  Reminds me of Florida.

L'Occcitane foot cream.  It's amazing.

A shirt for my dad's birthday.  Not his usual style but he will wear in in Key West.

Friday 1 May 2015

The biggest steak ever!

For dinner this evening I had a delicious and HUGE steak.  My butcher recommended a rib eye steak as it is the fattiest (which I requested).  I said to to cut a generous size.  And my God he did!
How big does this look?!!!

Big fat steak!

It almost takes up the full (big) plate!

Smothered in kerrygold butter.

LCHF rocks!