Friday 27 April 2018

Double denim!

This evening I called over to Enid's and when she opened her front door to me and I saw what she was wearing I just laughed.  She didn't get it until I took my jacket off and she saw what I was wearing that she laughed too. It was a funny moment!
(This is not the first time Enid and I have turned up wearing the same clothes. It actually happens quite a lot. At the end of the day we are identical twins so we have the a similar taste and style. I do think however it was quite a co-incidence today.  I haven't seen Enid wear that shirt for a while, and I cannot remember the last time I wore my denim shirt - like I dragged it from the back of my wardrobe this morning)

Tuesday 24 April 2018

This blog post is brought to you by the letter "C"

Ugh why am I feeling so lazy about blogging?!
So just a little post about my busy Saturday...lots of stuff done, all related to the letter C!
First up Enid and I went out with our local Canal Clean up group
There's Enid leading our little gang of new volunteers we looked after for the morning
Then I headed off Canvassing with Enid in the Christchurch area,
Can you spot Senator Ivana Bacic in the front row? (3rd person on left, white top, navy trousers)
I had some eye opening Conversations with people on their doorsteps, this referendum is not won yet...

From there we jumped on the Luas on its new route (it's AWESOME) out to my sisters house for my nephew's Confirmation


How great was the weather!  Amazing for Ireland.  I was happy for us all, it was lovely having a family gathering where we could be out in the garden.
I can't think of a "C" for this!
Katie bought Enid and I a gift of some metal straws.  We have been saying for ages that we want to stop using plastic ones. 
And also Katie and I will bring these to Key West because a lot (most??) bars over there have stopped serving drinks with plastic straws. (Which reminds me, some pubs in Dublin are using paper straws instead of plastic.  Better for the environment but I really dislike the paper ones, so I'm interested to see how these metal ones work out)
Ok so see the Comments section of this blog.
I have been advised:
"Conservation of energy by reducing plastic production is your "C" for the metal straw!"


Sunday 15 April 2018

Weekend round up

On Friday evening after work I did a small but much needed chore and replaced the battery on my mains powered smoke alarm,
The chirping had been annoying me for a few evenings but with my ceilings being so high it was not as easy as just standing on a chair as I have done previously.  Conveniently I spotted a step ladder down in the basement of my building so I borrowed it for 15 minutes to get this job done.
Saturday I was up nice and early and off on the canvass trail with the Dublin Bay South chapter of Together for Yes.  It was a positive canvass overall and you can read all about it here
Then it was on to the real weekend fun stuff!
Enid and I got the bus out to visit our best friend Alice.
And Baxter the dog.  How cute is this pupper?!
We had a lovely evening with plenty of great food, drink and chat.  Playing in the background on Spotify for the whole night was Abba! Yes the whole night.  Enid, Alice and I have been massive Abba fans since we our early teens and there is nothing like it for sparking some reminiscing :-)

These prawns in garlic, chili and coriander were divine!

And how good does this steak, avocado and mac and cheese look!  I tucked into the steak and avocado, and athough I would have loved to hoover down all that scrumptious mac and cheese I was very careful and just had a bite or two of it.  The thought of a bikini in two short weeks is keeping me on the straight and narrow!

We finished with a Key West delicacy of coconut (key) lime patties which were so good!
And of course that went delightfully with our Key West conversations.  Key West and our recent big trip was of course a central theme to the night!
Thanks for a great night Alice in your beautiful new house!

This morning I had a lovely relaxing time reading the Sunday paper with a coffee.
I know I say this a lot but it really was nice to be up and out,

Later that morning I popped into Dunnes in Stephen's Green to try on a skirt from the Savida range I had seen on a mannequin.  I really like it, and it is so comfortable that I am going to try wear it instead of jeans  - for a change - I tend to live in tight jeans and biker boots at weekends, I should mix it up more.

The only bad thing about this weekend was my attempt at coconut keto pancakes which simply didn't work.  And in fact set off the afore mentioned smoke alarm!!
Pity :(  I really wanted some pancakes.  And now I am literally CRAVING pancakes and Canadian maple syrup.  Ah well... Probably for the best...bikini Amy, bikini!!!

Together for Yes, to repeal the 8th amendment

I have a small break from college classes at the moment so I am going to take advantage of it and get off the keyboard and out to have some real life conversations with people on the doorsteps of Dublin.
I contacted the Dublin Bay South chapter of Together for Yes and on Saturday I joined them for a canvass in the little cottages and redbricks of Harolds Cross

We knocked on the doors in parties of two...

Note the Repeal the 8th Maser Art sticker on this door.  No conversation was needed to see how the residents of this house are voting!
Overall we got a positive response, in summary
Mainly positive and firm Yes'
A lot of doors unopened/people not home however
Some non Irish people who said they are not eligible to vote - all noted support for repeal though
The odd couple of No voters
I hope to get out again very soon - all going to plan I will be able to join this coming Wednesday after work for a couple of hours.

Sunday 8 April 2018

Sunday funday

This morning I was up out and early to meet Enid at 10am.  It was a lovely bright morning as you can see from this photo I snapped out the back window of my building beside the lift.

We headed off to the Solomon gallery beside the Westbury to check out the last day of Incognito in aid of the Jack and Jill foundation.  The chance of buying a Tracy Emin for €50 is a clever concept!

They started with 1600 postcard sized pieces of art, amongst them 3 Pigsy's, and this is what remains! The charity surely has to be happy with that.
We spent the remainder of the morning looking for a dress for Enid for an upcoming wedding - which we found in "& Other Stories" - and drinking coffee and chatting in Starbucks.  It was a lovely morning.

Then this afternoon I used a glue gun for the very first time! It was awesome. 
Thanks Enid for the loan of it :-)

A while back if you remember I blogged about this amazing birthday gift I was given (a shell from the site of The Atocha shipwreck) and how I mounted it.  Today I changed the backing paper to a pale greyish blue to represent the sea.  Previously it was white paper and it always jarred with me.  It's a subtle difference I admit, but I am so much happier with it now.
If you are interested, click here to see how Enid mounted her shell!

Saturday 7 April 2018

Who moved my cheese?

After my lovely visit to the National Gallery I strolled up Naussau Street and popped into the Kilkenny Shop.
This adorable little thing from Newbridge Silver caught my eye!
It's a set of cheese picks made up of mice poking out of a silver cheese on a little wooden cheese plate.
It's the pure whimsy of it all that I love

Seriously how cute is the detail! 
And useful too!  Could be used for cheese or also for olives?  Actually, even cocktail sausages too!
And then, a complete spur of the moment decision...
...I went to Urchin for a little vodka and diet coke

And beautiful gambas a la plancha.
Urchin never fails with it's great quality little plates.  I recommend it heartily if you are looking for a light bite in a good location in Dublin city


National Gallery of Ireland

It is to my shame that I tell you that not once since I moved to Merrion Square have I visited my neighbour the National Gallery of Ireland.  Not once.  How dreadful is that.
Today I righted that wrong!
I went in the entrance on Merrion Square West rather than the new millennium wing on Clare Street - I did however walk through the whole gallery and exit on the Clare Street side

Well to say I was impressed is an understatement!
The art pieces in our national collections were simply breath taking,  I am not exaggerating when I say that seeing Jack B Yeats' Liffey Swim in the flesh gave me goosebumps.
Specifically I wanted to see two paintings by the artist Charles Lamb who during the 1920s and 30s was based in Connemara, in fact right in the area where I have stayed recently


I bought two postcard prints. Liffey Swim because I just adore it. It's a beautiful painting. It exsquisitely captures the excitement of the Liffey Swim which I have attended numerous times, but of course many decades since this painting (1923).  I also adore from a sociological perspective that the Liffey Swim has been going that long!
The one on the right is a Charles Lamb "Loch on Mhuillin" which would you believe is the exact lake I have visited.  I thought this painting was spectacular today!
I won't be leaving it too long before I go back to visit with my neighbour again I tell you!
Which reminds me, before leaving I filled out a comment card giving my feedback that I thought the gallery equalled any galleries I have visited in Europe, Boston and New York.  And when I filled my name and address in the appropriate section I added a big smiley face and the word: Neighbours!

Monday 2 April 2018

Low carb snacking

It's a bank holiday here in Ireland so no work today which is nice! Plus I am studying (not so nice!).  So these two things combined call for snacks./a little treat.  However, I am going on holidays in 4 weeks (bikini alert) so I need to make sure I don't go too crazy and ruin all my good work on eating well over the last while.

On the right are dry roast peanuts which are reasonably low carb.  And on the left is my new favourite treat, 2 ingredient low carb chocolate mousse.  Made with 90% dark chocolate (melted) and whipped cream it is as simple as all hell.  And it is AMAZING!!

Sunday 1 April 2018

Come West Along the Road

This weekend being Easter it is a long weekend in Ireland, so Enid and I took advantage of having Monday off and made plans for a little road trip.
With Enid's little IQ packed to the brim and coffee in hands we set off...with Bones in tow.  To be fair Bones is great company, and he really was no trouble at all this weekend. 

As we arrived near Galway city we realised we were very close to our sister Katie's apartment.  We drove up and gave her a phone call to see if she was home.  She was surprised, but delighted to hear from us and buzzed us straight in for coffees and a lovely chat.  She was delighted to see Bones too - she is a big fan of her furry nephew - and we all had fun playing with him and showing off the latest tricks he has learnt (a very funny one involving a €10 note in particular!)
The photo above was taken as Katie waved goodbye to us from her balcony.  It was great seeing her and we were really happy we had caught her at home.


Once we arrived at OKF (the lake house) we were pretty hungry so we whipped up a little lunch straight away.  It was so nice, we decided to take advantage of the weather and the beautiful setting, and eat lunch outside. 

Bones guarding the door!
Like I said above, he really was no trouble at all.

Later that evening we went for a little walk up to the village and had a drink in one of the local pubs.

But as planned, back in time to see the incredible sunset across the lake.

This photo was taken literally 2 minutes after the above photo.  Can you believe the different colours?
As the sky went dark, and the lights from all the houses around the lake twinkled on, we lit the fire and got comfortable for the evening.  We had a lovely night of chatting and reading our books on the sofa. 
Did I ever mention how bad the internet coverage is out West?  It makes for a nice little digital detox and a chance to catch up on ones reading!
On Sunday morning after a fantastic nights sleep we were up nice and early and I got the full Irish going on the hob.

Rashers, sausages, black and white pudding, and cheesy scrambled eggs. Nothing better! 
The weather was not as nice as the day before so there was no eating outside today. 
After breakfast and a little more relaxing, we began packing up the car and closing up the house. Before we got on the road back to Dublin we decided we would go visit the famous "Coral Beach" nearby.

Named for the unusual yellowish stony sand, Trá an Dóilín, a biogenic gravel beach actually made of coralline algae known as "maerl". 
In photos, and in real life, it was quite funny because Bones blended in almost to the point of camouflage with the "coral". 

Where's Bones?! :-)

Back in to the car for the long (but good) drive home, Enid and I chatted and listened to Elvis on Spotify.  We both agreed it was a super road trip and night away for the two of us. 
Sorry, I mean three! How could I forget Bones :-)