Sunday 29 July 2018

Back to the Dead Elvis

Amongst a million other obsessions two of my biggest loves in life are Elvis Presley, and Back to the Future films. 

On Saturday night at the Vodafone Comedy Festival I had the pleasure of seeing two very unique interpretations of these two very things.

First up was a script reading of Back to The Future.  It was awesome!  I literally laughed through the whole thing.  It's hard for me to describe so forgive me!  There was a cast of 5 playing all the different characters, and there was a narrator holding the whole thing together.  Then there was a lot of rewriting of the script -  for both the era, the Irish audience and for the comedy.  Yeah I told you that it's hard for me to describe properly, trust me, it was brilliant, best you go catch it and see for yourself!

And then. THEN! The Elvis Dead.  A retelling of the cult film Evil Dead through the medium of Elvis Presley songs.  Created by Rob Kemp - a tremendous singer, performer and comedian - this was AMAZING.  Simply amazing.  To spend an hour laughing uproariously, plus singing Elvis songs, come on, does it get any better than this??  Ok this is one that will be touring and one that you must simply go to.  Did I mention it was amazing?  It was stupendously amazing!


How about this for a coincidence!

This morning I met up with my mam.  As we walked towards Grafton Street she commented that her lipstick had ran out and she needed to get a new one.

We pottered around Grafton Street and went for something small to eat.  When we came out of the café we noticed a queue (not a huge one) wrapping around Brown Thomas.  I asked what people were queuing for and was told "free lipstick from Mac, it's National Lipstick Day."  Free lipstick! Have you ever heard the like of it?!  Plus don't forget what my mam had told me earlier on!

It was about 10.50am we stood in the queue. At 11am they opened the doors and we were inside in another queue by 11.05am.  We were given wristbands to wear which we would exchange at the till for our lipstick.

It was really great!  I thought we would all be just literally handed a lipstick e.g a classic red with no colour choice.  But instead there were 8 samples/colours to choose from!

Both mam and I liked the same shades - we liked "hot gossip" and "crème de la femme", with both of us going for Crème De La Femme in the end.  It was quick and easy, we were out of the store delighted with ourselves by 11.20am.

What a seriously great giveaway.  Thank you Mac and Brown Thomas!

Sunday 15 July 2018

Galway Film Fleadh 2018 - Pigsy

What a wonderful weekend!  From start to end there were many great moments, culminating with the first showing of Mike Andrew's superb documentary film about my brother in law Pigsy at the Galway Film Fleadh.

Looking back on the weekend it's quite funny to see that there was an (unplanned) overarching "cinematic" theme about it

First of all on Saturday I spent the day getting some zen in the beautiful lakehouse in Connemara.  This cottage has a varied and interesting history.  Built in 1906 by the Congested Districts Board as a knitting school, it served to provide an income for women from the area.  Then in the 1970's its owner at the time, the film maker Bob Quinn, ran both his film production company Cinegael and a cinema from this house.  Yes, you read that right!  A cinema!  Can you imagine?

After a lovely few hours pottering around the cottage I headed back into Galway to meet with Enid and Ciaran.  We were staying in the Ardilaun hotel as they had Bones with them and the hotel is dog friendly.  On our way to the bar for a drink, Ciaran was walking down the corridor with Bones ahead of Enid and I.  He turned around to say something to us and was greeted with THIS SIGHT!

Do you get the film?! :)))
And now the final film reference of this blog!

Mike's film is a beguiling little short.  Ciaran has a wonderful story to tell - which I won't share, better you see the film yourself - and his telling of it in his own unique way, through his artist self Pigsy, charmed the audience.  The film was recognised warmly with a huge round of applause at the end.  I am proud to know both Mike and Ciaran.  Great work done by Mike and his beautiful capture of Pigsy, and Ciaran is to be admired for putting himself and his story out there for all to see, enjoy and to be inspired by. 
 I look forward to Pigsy's next move! 
(Watch this space!)

Thursday 5 July 2018

30 days of Keto

I am excited!  I have started a 30 day challenge of 30 days straight of eating keto.
So first of all I went shopping for some good low carb high fat food

I am 4 days in and feeling great!
I am recording what I eat each day on instagram, feel free to follow my journey by clicking here!

Monday 2 July 2018

Chicago Trip Report (with photos)

With Photos!  An understatement if I ever heard one. 
There are over 40 photos in this post.  I've never ever posted as many in a single post before.
Also, because there are so many photos you will find this post is slightly different from my usual trip reports which tend to be a straightforward timeline of what I got up to each day. 
Indeed this is a bit more of a cacophony of Chicago! Please enjoy!
I arrived early to Dublin airport so as to have a smooth passage through security and immigration.
As I was early and because the airport was crazy busy I figured I would check into the airport lounge.  It was cool and calm, and as I sipped on my flat white martini and read the newspapers I was glad I made the choice.

I may also have arrived early to the airport because I was so excited to get going! Here I am on the airplane looking very excited :)

It must be said that it is so handy to get from Chicago O'Hare straight into downtown Chicago.
Here I am on the blue line train looking very excited.
The jetlag hit me hard on this trip - but not so much that I was tired during the day or wasn't enjoying myself.  More so that I was awake early every morning (6am-ish).  The first morning however was particularly spectacular.  I woke up at 3am and simply could not sleep.  I eventually gave up and this is me drinking out of my favourite N.Wood Street mug and enjoying sunrise on the balcony at 6am


I can now add Wisconsin to the list of US states I have visited
We arrived before it started so I had some time pottering around on my own.  I love this photo of the sky ride/gondolas while they are empty and at a standstill
I got to see the bands on all the stages (6) doing their warm ups/sound checks which was very cool
Did you know that Milwaukee is famous for Harley Davidson, Beer and Cheese?
It's also famous for their fish frys.  And for some strange reason instead of going for a fish fry or even something cheesey (beer battered cheese curds anyone?!) I ended up going for the most awful Chinese food ever.  Ah well.  Lesson learned!
Summerfest is located on the shores of Lake Michigan in Milwaukee.. 
Later on I sailed on Lake Michigan (in Chicago) this begged the question how big exactly is Lake Michigan??! 
Specifically the question; is Lake Michigan bigger then Ireland maybe?! (Insert shocked face emoji here).
The answer is No. 
 Ireland is bigger than Lake Michigan.  JUST!  Ireland is 1.21 times the size of Lake Michigan

Food! Glorious food!

In no particular order, here is some of the scrumptious goodness I ate

Lobster tails! (Pre being butterflied, buttered & garliced)

Lobster tail on the barbeque...or as Americans call it the "grill"

This lobster tail and shrimp tasted divine.  That is all I can say

Waffles, bacon and Canadian 100% pure maple syrup.
More divineness

The usual order from The Smoke Daddy.  BBQ spare ribs, cornbread, mac and cheese. 
 Cannot be beaten

Dove's Luncheonette. 
This was a new find for me.  I of course adored the décor!

But my God I simply cannot describe how amazing this dish tasted.
The first time I had tamales was in Chicago at Christmas but jeebs this lifted it to the next level. It was filled with country ham and carnitas, over mole verde.  If you remember on my last trip I was excited about trying mole?  Well I'm addicted.

Jeni's Ice-cream
Peanut brittle, chocolate and espresso
Yes a flight of three. What I can say? It was HOT (36 degrees Celsius)
More grilling!
Chicken and Steak Kabobs
Taco De Pescado (beer battered tilapia fish) from Big Star
Taco Al Pastor (pork)
These are the lobster tails from up above in the supermarket
I first tried sushi in 1998 when on my J1 in Florida and I did not like it. I've never tried it since.
Well, twenty years later, I like it.
One last treat in the airport before going home.  I love Bao Buns.  You cannot get these in Dublin/Ireland so I stuffed myself full lol

The Bean

No two ways about it this is pure amazing.  I don't care if it's really touristy.  I don't care that there was myself and a million others there looking at it.  It's just beautiful

I love this photo I snapped of it peeking out from behind the greenery as I arrived upon it

Seriously!!! Beautiful right?!

Can you spot me?

One last glimpse back before we headed down to THE BOAT!!!

Sailing on Lake Michigan

This was absolutely the highlight of my trip

 First of all there was a cooler with beer, sodas, and my alcoholic beverage of choice ;)

Secondly, views like this

And this

And finally.  There is me. On the tiller. For two hours solid.
Check out the captain behind me.  He looks pretty chilled and relaxed with me in charge eh?!


The Robey Hotel, Wicker Park


A really cool art deco hotel with beautiful MCM furniture

Did I mention the most beautiful MCM furniture?
These chairs were so comfortable!!!

Two very good cocktails.
The top one (Holy Cow!) was nicer than the below (Fire over Lake Michigan).

Spectacular views from the rooftop bar

Only 13 floors up but unbelievable views.  Look how much green there is!

There's the blue line!  (Right hand side of the pic) 
I really enjoyed the little drink in The Robey.  Those views! Swoooooooon.  If you are in the Wicker Park area this is definitely a Go See.
Speaking of Wicker Park...!

Well of course I had to go visit my favourite coffee shop and ogle the life size DeLorean

And the coolest little Mexican bakery.  With prices so cheap I seriously have to question how they are surviving??  Coconut cake that I pay $5 for in Key West can be had from here for 80c!!

I took a pic of these bar signs as I was walking to Velvet Goldmine on Division.  Some day I will do a whole blog of shop/bar signs - particularly all the old 1950s ones on Milwaukee Avenue.
I don't have any photos but Velvet Goldmine was amazing.  Beautifully curated pieces at not the worst prices.  I've been following them for a while on instagram and I'm glad I got to check it out in real life.

Time to go home!
All in all another wonderful trip to Wicker Park.  Hard to believe but (ALL of) those photos above probably don't capture everything.  There was loads more great stuff. Some of it the most simplest of things eg. hanging out on the balcony, having evening drinks and chatting. Watching the world cup and chatting.  Chatting. Did I mention chatting?
All good things must come to an end however!
Insert sad face emoji here
Until the next time Chicago :-)