Saturday, 16 December 2017

Christmas Tractors Of Carrick On Suir 2017

The Carrick Beg Christmas Tree in previous years
 Being from the little town of Carrick On Suir means a few things... number 1, you'll always be secretly disgusted with the Christmas lights in the town, I mean come on where is the tree?!!

Number 2, if anyone outside of Carrick has the audacity to knock the lights in Carrick On Suir or mention the lack of the tree then that's not okay and you'll have an issue with that.

 Number 3, you'll always wonder about the so called ghost of the Shebeen pub.

Number 4, you might not admit to loving the Clancy Brothers but my God when a verse of the gypsy rover comes on you're up and at'em.

And number 5, Christmas won't officially begin until you see this crazy little town lit up by a parade of snazzy tractors.

When I lived in Carlow I would tell anyone who would listen about Carrick On Suir, having lived here for 22 years no where will ever beat this little town in my eyes, but when I'd tell them about one of my favourite events on the calendar the Christmas tractors run, they could never understand what was so great about it? Excuse me... WHAT'S SO GREAT ABOUT IT?!!!
Well, let me tell you,

Now in it's fourth year the annual parade was started by local man Stuart John Downie to bring a little change to the usually quiet town around Christmas and give the place a little buzz. Why wait hours to see a coca cola truck when you can witness something so different and so fun within the town of Carrick On Suir. It brings the community together and there's nothing I love more than catching up with old friends and then heading into O'Callaghan's pub (for a hot chocolate of course ;))
 After the parade of lights through the town, the tractors park up in the car park where you can take pictures and have a go on the amusements.
 Thousands come from all over the country to witness something so special and if you are around tonight then it's something you should definitely make time for!!
I for one cannot wait, fair play to everyone involved!!
Merry Christmas and I'll see you there!

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Black Friday 2017

This could be a blessing or a curse but this Black Friday I'll be working and it also falls on the weekend that my car insurance is due so I won't be going wild (that being said I did spend €100 on Boohoo's pre party this morning) but that didn't stop me raiding through every website on the interweb to see what I could (and most possibly will) spend my money on tomorrow.
So what is Black Friday??? - Black Friday is officially regarded as the first day of the Christmas shopping season. A day in which many retailers have special offers in store and a day you break the bank in minutes on things you don't really need but convince yourself you do.
Here's a list of deals in store and online that If I was to flog my money this is where it would go...I hope it's of some benefit.

1. Meadows And Byrne - 20% off almost EVERYTHING!! If you want to revamp your home just before Christmas there's no better place to look than M&B. With 20% off almost everything online check out the website from midnight onwards.

2.Victoria Secret - VS have some of the most beautiful underwear/models ever but for me it's their body mists I love the most. With my favourite 'Aqua Kiss' and many others only €7 it's the perfect time to pick up a spray.

3. Yankee- 
I don't know anyone who doesn't love a yankee candle and with a large jar only €19.95  where could you go wrong?

4.Boohoo -  My favourite online shop are hosting a Pre Black Friday Party with 30% off EVERYTHING!! Use Code - BOOM and you'll be amazed at what you save. 

5. JD Sports -  If you're looking for anything sportswear related then this is the website for you, there's 30% off almost everything so you can literally shop til you drop. 

6. MandM direct - I'm not joking I don't need a new pair of runners but after looking on the website there's about seven pairs I NEED in my life!! Up to 75% off. 

7. Inglot - Like all girls I love Inglot makeup and wear their HD foundation daily so I'm obsessed with any sale Inglot have. All week Inglot have had 20% off on certain products so take a look on the website and see what catches your eye. Plus for any men reading every woman loves Inglot!! 

8. Asos- 20% off everything with the code WIN20're welcome ;) 
9. New Look - 25% off absolutely EVERYTHING!!!!! 
10. River Island - 20% off everything starting from today. 

11. If you're looking for anything make up/perfume/beauty wise then of course you need to check out Debenhams with up to 30% off - ends Friday. Sam Mccauleys have gifts for everyone and the one and only Perfume Shop which ends November 26th so you have a few days to look there ;) 

12. My Protein .ie have 30% off EVERYTHING!!! Use Code- BLACK to avail of this offer.

13.  Aer Lingus - All you have to do here is look for yourself, you won't be disappointed!!

And there you have it, 13 places you need to check out tomorrow to get the most of your black Friday.

Saturday, 30 September 2017

๐ŸŽƒLittle Piece Of Halloween

Hey Everyone ๐ŸŽƒ๐ŸŽƒ๐ŸŽƒ
I can't believe it but It's that time of the year again, only one more day until it's my favourite month of the year OCTOBER!!! Which means only one more day until I re-launch my Halloween blog 'Little Piece Of Halloween' ๐ŸŽƒ๐ŸŽƒ

It's hard to believe another year has come and gone since I started Little Piece Of Halloween but now that it's in it's second year I've so much up my sleeve for what I hope... will be the best month ever. I can promise you loads of spooky stories, things to do, decorations, days out and my own personal encounters with the paranormal within such a spooky month.

So, if you're looking for me anytime from now until November 1st you know where to find me and don't fear because LPL will be back very shortly. Please check out Little Piece Of Halloween  and feel free to share with the Halloween lover in your life.
Until then,
Lynda ๐ŸŽƒxx

Thursday, 21 September 2017

The Dunbrody Famine Ship Experience

I think one of the first times I ever visited the Dunbrody was when I was about 10/11 in primary school, when our big yearly school trip was to New Ross. My second trip to the Dunbrody was when I was probably around the same age and had convinced my parents to take me back and well my 101 trip (possible slight exaggeration) happened just the other day at the age of 22 and for me it was still as special as it was all those years ago. 
At the risk of sounding 'uncool' history is one of my biggest passions in life hence why The Dunbrody has always been one of my favourite attractions in the sunny south east so when my friend Karen told me she had never been it was pedal to the floor as we headed for one of my all time favourite places on earth.

For those of you like Karen and living under a rock, The Dunbrody was a ship built way
back in 1845 for the merchant family the  'Graves' of New Ross, Co.Wexford, built as a cargo ship it happened to launch the same year the Famine struck Ireland. With the potato crop failing and food prices soaring it drove millions of starving Irish across the Atlantic in search of a better life in America. With so many people leaving and demand high 'William Graves & Son' used their entrepreneurial skills and decided to deck the ship out with bunks to meet the demand of passengers and for six years between 1845 - 1851 she carried thousands of emigrants to a better life in America.
  Life on board the ship was treacherous, with up to 300 people on board disease was rampant and death wasn't unlikely it wasn't long before the Dunbrody became known as a 'coffin ship'.
The Great Famine or An gorta mor, in Irish was one of the most tragic and traumatic events to ever happen in Irish history and if you can walk onto that ship, hear the stories, meet the people and not get shivers... then you've a heart of coal.

Now onto the actual tour and experience, I travelled up from Waterford so it's literally a straight road and took about half an hour. Traffic can be mental coming from Waterford to New Ross so make sure to give yourself plenty of time and it can be even worse coming from New Ross to Waterford so brace yourself.We arrived for the 3.45 tour but tours run from 9.45am to 5pm daily. Admission is €10 for an adult and €6 for a child/student which is a great price and well worth it.One of my favourite things about the Dunbrody experience is the ticket you get on arrival, it's an actual replica of the ticket passengers would have received when they booked their one way ticket to America. The attention to detail is outstanding and it gets you thinking about what it must have been like holding that ticket ready to leave your family and home behind.  The first part of the tour is self guided as you pass through a museum of history, reading actual letters written by passengers, seeing what they had to eat just stepping back in time before we watched a little video, it almost transports you back to 1845 and as the shutters are opened and you're facing the Dunbrody it's almost impossible not to get a little lump at the back of your throat. 
 Our tour guide was a man named Mark and from the word go I couldn't fault him, one of the most informative tours I've ever been on, it was a pleasure to listen to him and straight away you felt comfortable and relaxed, able to ask any question you want without a bother. Big props to him!!

The next part of the tour is actually boarding the replica ship and being showed around the deck. It's pure madness!!! I couldn't explain it to you but seeing how small the area is and hearing the stories of what went on on board..CRAZY!!
Then you move downstairs into the cabin area, you get to see where Steerage and first class stayed and believe you and me it was anything but glamorous. When you think of what those poor people went through it would break your heart. The next, and probably best part of the tour is when you get to go back in time and meet two passengers who are still on board the Dunbrody. One steerage and one first class, you get to hear their stories and see their life and the actors who play these women are incredible. It was a different lady playing Ann White this time around but I loved it.
 The last and final part of the tour is when you're left alone to explore and take pictures on the ship, you can see which passenger slept where, go into the first class quarters and just really see how these people lived, it's a mystery how any survived!!

And so there you have it, my review on The Dunbrody Famine Ship Experience. I've loved this ship since I was a child and I guarantee you will love it too. Irish History is something I feel should be celebrated so much more and where better to start than with the Famine.
 Whilst down in this part of the country there's so much more you can do especially if you're like me and love being a tourist for the day. If you're heading back towards Waterford then take a tour of the Waterford Crystal factory and then head out for a walk on Tramore beach. However if you're heading the other way then head down to one of my favourite parts of the country, the Hook Peninsula. There you can visit Hook Head lighthouse or my personal favourite Loftus Hall, which you can read my experience about here..
 I really hope you enjoyed this post and let me know what you think too.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

My Netflix List

Believe it or not when things come into fashion I tend to turn my nose up at it which is exactly what I did all those years ago when 'Netflix' came about. You'd be mad if you thought I was going to pay an extra €8 a month just to watch some television that I'd already getting be getting for free downstairs, what did I want with Netflix anyway? I had my Hawaii Five- O box set and my portable DVD player up in my room shur I was happy out what would else would I need?!! I need!?
 I now know how completely and utterly sad that makes me but that was my opinion up until about three months ago before I followed the crowd and downloaded my first free month of Netflix.

Let's get this straight, I had no intention of keeping Netflix but my desire to watch 90210 was just getting too much. The withdrawal of not seeing Naomi and Dixon was ridiculous and I needed some 90210 in my life and seeing as though Netflix has 'ALL THE PROGRAMMES' I presumed they would have that TV gold (long story short they don't) anyway my friend told me you get a 30 day free trial and then you can just cancel your account, perfect plan that's what I was going to do, get my 90210 fix and then get out....basically I couldn't get out. 
 Seeing as though everyone is always asking about new series to watch I decided to write a little post on what I like to watch and what I think you should watch too. That being said however I have a very specific/odd choice in television so it may not be for everyone but anyhow, here goes...

1. The Keepers - 
This was the first series I watched on Netflix and it's the one I'd recommend the most. I had heard so much hype about The Keepers that I thought there was no way it could live up to expectations but it did, I admit it isn't one for the faint hearted and it can be upsetting but it's a fascinating true story that I'd defiantly recommend. 

2. Girl Boss - 
Let me put this out there, if you're all for quirky, sassy, inspiring women in business then this is the perfect series for you. I had never heard of 'Girl Boss' before so had nothing to compare it too but when it came up on my recommendations list I knew it was something I was going to love. 
It follows the story of a young 23 year old called Sophia who decides to start her own E-bay fashion business called 'Nasty Gal' it follows her journey from enmployment to empowerment and everything in between and if that's not good enough I recently just found out it's based on the real life Sophia Amoruso... who's without a doubt been added to my list of most influential people, I would really suggest you give this a watch. 

3. Drugs Inc - 
This might sound crazy but I'm fascinated about the world of drugs and drug cart tells so this was the perfect series for me and the one I thoroughly enjoyed the most. It didn't just give you the facts about drugs but it showed you every aspect from the dealers to the users to the police across the world. If you have any interest in finding out how this whole billion euro industry works it's a must watch. 

4. Lock Up Maximum Security - 
I'm not being funny when I say I was fixated on this series it's brilliant, I would genuinely watch an episode when I woke up, when I was getting ready, when I came home and before I went to bed I couldn't get enough and with so many episodes thankfully it kept me going for a few weeks. I fell head over heels in love with about four prisoners but if you're like me and love all this jail stuff then give this a watch.

5. Orange Is The New Black - 
I know I'm about five years late but I love OITNB!!! I'm currently on series 3 and it def lives up to the hype....God I really am obsessed with prisons aren't I?!! 

6. HEROIN (E) -  
Heroin(e) is brand new to Netflix and the most recent thing I've watched,it came up in my recommendations and seeing as though it was only the one episode that lasted about 40 minutes I decided to watch it there and then and I wasn't disappointed!!
Like it says in the title it's all about the drug heroin and the amazing people who help save the lives of users day in and day out. It's not often my faith in humanity is restored but this touched my heart and guaranteed to touch yours too.

7. Interview With A Serial Killer - 
On the complete other end of the spectrum this is one of the most interesting things I've ever watched in my life and still creeps the hell out of me. It's such a bonkers thing to have a man who killed 11 women sit there and speak about killing people with such little remorse, honestly it makes me sick but if you're like me and love getting inside people's minds then this is one programme you should watch. 

8. Conspiracy Theory- Did We Land On The Moon -  
I am the biggest fan of Conspiracies and this one is without a doubt my favourite. I'm so 50/50 when it comes to this debate but take a look and see what you think yourself...

 9 . Inside Russia's Toughest Prisons - 
After sitting awkwardly at pre drinks one night whilst my friends discussed this series I knew I'd have to get on it and it amazed me. It's very intense but I've nothing but respect for those prison wardens, I know for a fact if I had a prison that's how I'd run it...

10. Inside The World's Toughest Prisons - 
Saving the best for last....Mr Paul Connolly!!!! I mean, Inside the world's toughest prisons...Paul Connolly is an Irish Investigative journalist who I've looked up to all my life and when I found this series on Netflix I nearly cried with happiness. Paul steps into the life of a prisoner and shows us what a life in jail is really like.
 My only complaint with this is that there's only one season!! And it does help that I think Paul Connolly is without a doubt the best looking man in Ireland!! I could write a blog post on him alone....

And there you have it, ten series that are on my Netflix list. I know they all kind of have a similar trend but and it's not for everyone but who says you can't be girly and have a complete odd side ey?! If you do watch any of these please let me know what you think and of course if you have any suggestions then let me know :)  

Friday, 25 August 2017

The Truth, The Whole Truth, And Nothing But The Truth, I'm Feelin 22 ✌

It goes without saying that nobody likes getting older,well apart from that seventeen year old who's counting down the days until they're eighteen and can finally throw away the fake ID but for me, I was never that girl. I was never the seventeen year old who couldn't wait to grow up and as irrational as it may seem growing older is my biggest fear in life. Why fear something you can't change? I don't know...I just really don't know but what I do know are birthday's are supposed to be a day of celebration and happiness however if you ask me how I was feeling on my birthday 'happy' wouldn't quite make it into my vocabulary, but on Monday August 21st I became a 22 year old.

I know you're thinking I'm being a little bit dramatic but according to my mother I've been the same every single year on my birthday but this year is worse than ever. I think it's due to the fact that I love being 21, I feel like it's an age where yes you're an adult but you get away with everything like you're still a 'young one' but 22, that's a grown up and I'm nowhere near ready to be a grown up, I don't feel like a grown up, I don't act like a grown up I AM NOT A GROWN UP!!!!! and you need to send help PRONTO!!! Thinking back to this week last year when I had my birthday party I was probably the happiest I had ever been 21 is a great age and I'm so envious of anyone that still has it to come.

Okay now lets call a spade a spade, one of the worst things you can do in life is compare yourself to others, it doesn't get you anywhere but at this moment I can't help it, my life
is not what I expected it to be like whatsoever and I think that's one of the hardest things about turning 22. I look at my other friends who have already turned 22, some living with boyfriends, some finishing their degrees, others with their dream job and some travelling the world and that's what I always expected my life to be like but the reality is very different and this is not what I had planned. I don't have a degree, I haven't travelled the world, I don't have a relationship, I don't have the career I've always dreamed of and to be totally honest I don't know what I want to do with my life either.

Since I was 15/16 the journalism/media industry was the only path for me and truthfully I think that's where it all went wrong. At such a young age to be so determined and ambitious may seem like a good thing but I knocked on every single door and got as far as I could for a teenager but being honest no one is willing to give a child a chance, especially not in this industry! I put so many hours into doing work experience, writing, interviewing, researching, making contacts and blogging that I never put enough work into  the things that really mattered like school and studying. If I put half as much effort into my school work things would probably be a lot different.
At 22 you should be in your chosen career field, done/ finishing off college but for me it's now that I have to turn around and start from scratch, and that's a scary thought but I'm also looking forward to it.

I started writing this post last week, just before my birthday and decided not to share it then as it was quite dark and I hate sharing negativity on my blog but now that the weeks gone I feel much calmer about being closer to 25 than 18 as much as it breaks my heart.
 I watched the clock turn to 00:00 on Sunday night and cried with sadness but then it hit me, I'll never be as young as I am right now.
Now I have tomorrow night to look forward to with my best friends and I cannot wait, I'll be sure to keep you updated ;)

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

The 16 Stages Of Every Irish Debs

If you're trying to locate me in this picture I'm going to make it easier for you becuase that's me,second row, four in from the right with a purple dress that looked blue in photographs and hating every aspect of my current appearance. I hated my dress, hated the colour and as for my hair, don't even get me started even to this day I hate it being up it just does not suit me at all but other than all that it's hard to imagine this night was three years ago this month on the 28th of August and I'm going to take you on a trip down memory lane of things that happen in the preparation at every single Irish debs.

Before I begin I just want to give a special shout out to Patricia who's making her debs in Wexford today and to everyone else who's debbing it out today or in the upcoming month live it up, you'll only get one night like it!!
So without further ado....

The Stages of an Irish Debs

Way back in the day (well 3 years ago) the Debs were a big thing, I know for a fact myself and my friends hadn't been out that much and unless you were lucky enough to be a plus one at your cousins wedding seven years ago this was/is probably your first formal night out and the prep work had to be intense. I remember having 'Kiss' magazine out in front of me with it's six week plan to the debs and I followed it like the bible, it was my holy grail and I wasn't missing one step which is why I bagged my debs date months before the actual night which is where we're starting out...

1. Finding A Debs Date-
 This can be one of the hardest steps for girls out there like who can you bring that isn't a dick but looks good enough for a picture and won't ruin your night???...Growing up I had three best male friends so I always knew I was going to bring one of them but after Connor got asked I panicked and asked Darragh about seven months before the actual debs but listen here preparation is key!!! I could tell you a few funny stories about how I almost ended up going alone five/six times but yeah, I won't...
2. The Dress - 
This is my horror story well actually my entire debs story is a horror story but the dress caused me awful grief!!
 Firstly I ordered this most incredibly beautiful dress off the internet, it was stunning. Silver glittery top and a long beige full skirt it was incredible looking and cost the best part of €200 but My God it was worth was stunning, that was of course until it arrived and it was VILE!!!! I couldn't wear it the shoulders were for a six foot man, the length for a 9 foot man as for where your boobs were expected to go...disaster!!!!!! Long story short, don't buy your debs dresses from China kids!!

One day mam arrived home with this really pretty pink dress, I loved it and straight away decided I would wear this dress, until of course me being me decided na I don't really like this I need a new one two weeks before the debs and decided to buy this purple yoke from Debenhams don't ask me why but at the time I loved it. Brought it home bought Darragh's tie to match it which cost me €25 I may add!! Then when I decided I wanted to wear the pink one they wouldn't take back the tie so I was stuck wearing the purple one....the horror goes on!!

3. The Twins-
It goes without saying that at every single Irish Debs two poor souls will end up with the same dress and take one guess who the poor soul was at my debs....Yes of course it was me, I wouldn't care if I even liked the dress!!! ....Still not over it!! 

 4. Heels-
I'm one of those lucky girls that can wear heels all day and not die, I have this thing called 'Barbie toes' where it's comfier for me to walk on my tippy toes than on the flat so heels to problem, what was my problem however was the height of my debs date, now at the time I was 5'2 even though now I've sprouted to about 5'3/5'4 but Darragh wasn't that much taller...still isn't but what I decided to do was buy little heels wear them in the pictures and then change into flats....turns out the flats cut the heel off me but what's another story in the Lynda horror tales ey?!

5. The Tan-
Remember when I said my debs was a horror story....yeah, I had my spray tan booked for the day before, couldn't wait to be a golden brown goddess woke up on the morning dying!!!! As in could not get out of bed and missed my spray tan :) :) :)
 Thought I was going to miss the debs but fear not sent mam to town to buy me some Sally Hanson, of course she picked up the lightest one she could so I had tan paler than my original skin....there's always a tan disaster just don't look like poor Hughie. 

To this day I don't know what came over my mother,she was a woman possessed!! Everything had to be SPOTLESS!!! I mean as in two days before my debs on my hands and knees with a mask on scrubbing the shower with a toothbrush spotless...It still ponders me!! 
 As for the back garden.... plant all the flowers...ALL THE FLOWERS!!!!

7. The Corsage-
According to google 'a corsage is a small bouquet of flowers worn around a women's wrist at a formal event purchased by the woman's date' do you want to know what Darragh thought he was getting me....
Long story short I bought my own....

8. Something Goes Wrong- 
You can have spent months planning your perfect dress/hair/tan/makeup and unlike my debs everything can have been going perfect but something will go wrong, make my words!! Just embrace it! :) 

9. Your Family Judge And Eyeball Your Date- 
I don't think there's anything more nerve wrecking than hearing the door bell going and knowing it's your date, I can't imagine what it would be like if you didn't know the person but their whole family, your whole family it feels like an arranged wedding and you can bet on your life the fam will be judging your choice in date. 

10. No More Photographs PLEASE - 
Firstly...see I told you my dress looked blue in pictures,
but after an hour of photographs in your newly flowered garden it's onto a professional shoot at school without everyone watching the photographer make you stand really awkwardly with your date...

11.  The Bus -
I hear of people these days getting their own transport to the venue but for me one of the best parts of the night was the bus, the clam before the storm if you ask me.
 'Quick get me a seat, watch it will ya don't sit on me dress, ya tit ya you wrinkled it' where as coming home...'are those my feet'
12. You Can't Sit With Us -
It goes without saying everyone has a place at a table but the school weirdo does not have a place with you and your six school best friends getting ready for your last hurrah together, please move.

13. The Pins Come Out, Hair Goes Down- 
This happens around 11.30 your head starts to feel heavy and what makes you feel better than having long flowing curly locks...nothing!!! It's a right of passage on the night!!

14. Lads Remove The Ties/Jackets In Order To 'Get Down' -
Like the hair coming down the lads have their right of passage too and that's loosening the tie and taking off the jacket how else are they going to attempt to beat the girls when Maniac 2000 comes on?!! 

15- The Waterworks - 
Whether it's the sixth year grad song coming on at the end of the night or the realisation that the girls you've spent the last eight years with will no longer be there on Monday morning it's an emotional time believe me, that being said I didn't cry because I'm a cold hearted gal who's best friends lived in the same avenue so I was flying it!! 

 16. 'Where's The After Sesh?'-
No one is ready to head home after the night well those that make it through the bus ride home aren't ready to go home so the next question is 'Where's the sesh' and there's always one!! 

So there you have it, sixteen stages of Every Irish debs...I hope everyone has an amazing night and I'm sure you'll see comparisons of this list and your own!! 

Monday, 10 July 2017

Kings Of Leon: Part 2

 If you follow me on snapchat, Instagram, Facebook or live anywhere in my surrounding area then you'll by now know that last, last Sunday,July 2nd I went to Dublin to see my all time favourite band / my all time favourite man in the world Kings Of Leon/ Caleb Followill for the second time and this is a post I've been trying to write since I arrived home that Monday evening however overwhelmed with emotions and looking up property in Nashville it's only now that I've been able to gather myself together (just about) to fill you in on what was without a doubt the best, well tied best day/night of my life. If you must know the other was the first time I saw KOL in Marlay Park 3 years ago you check that post out here  but there's just something about seeing your favourite band live and even more so when you walk away with more than just memories but I'll get to that later.

I started listening to Kings Of Leon properly about seven years ago when I was about 14 and they had just released Pyro. Before that growing up I only listened to whatever was in the charts and whatever was doing the rounds on blue tooth probably the likes of Pitbull and Usher but whatever was in this song just had me hooked. It took me months to try find out the name of it but one thing for sure Pyro was a special song to me and to this day it's still one of my all time favourite songs. I started listening to KOL more and more and now each and every song has a special meaning to me, the emotional attachment I have to the band is something not everyone will understand but you can only imagine my happiness when after months the day had finally come and it was time to pack up and head to Dublin.

Realising we actually wanted to make it up Dublin alive I decided not to drive and we got the 7am bus from Waterford to Dublin, a journey that took just over 2 and a half hours which of course gave me plenty of time to have an emotional breakdown and even fully recover so that no one would have to know my black puffy panda eyes were down to the fact I'd be hearing Caleb Followill's God like voice in just under 13 hours.... like PINCH ME!!!!! But yeah, no one needed to know!
 After we arrived we began the search for our hotel The Ripley Court and given my track record in Dublin we found it without a hitch. The location of this hotel was magnificent just off O'Connell Street and a two second walk from the Luas stop you couldn't have asked for more. Not to mention the lady on reception was a joy, very basic hotel but I'l 100% stay here again.
 We stayed in a triple room which cost us €149 for the night including breakfast, again very basic but it was spotless, friendly and perfect for what we wanted.

I don't want to get too into Dublin itself as I'm currently writing another piece on the 'Culchie in the city' but realising the time was gone half 2 I started to panic. We were still in the city which meant we still had to get back to the hotel, get ready for the concert, have dinner, and get the luas to the arena. I, of course wanted to be up the very front at the railings but as it approached 3pm, 3.30pm I realised I might as well wave goodbye to that dream but hey! at least I'd be going to the concert. We headed for the 3 arena around half 4 and was shocked when we arrived to see seven people in front of!!! What the feck?! When I went to the concert in Marlay park I made Annmarie go about 9 hours early and at that there was still hundreds there ahead of us but who cared now there was only seven people and a two hour wait in front of me and my front row Caleb Followill dreams and I was one happy girl. It wasn't long though until it started to rain on my parade.....literally, the heavens opened and we began our wait in the rain, if that wasn't bad enough we then realised we were at entrance number 3, meaning two more entrances before us which were apparently packed  and to say I was devastated would have been an understatement AND as well as all this sheer and utter annoyance everyone around us, and I mean EVERYONE was coupled up. I kid you not when I say the fact I am single could not have been highlighted any bit more especially with my dirty looks to the couple on the right, but whatever my future husband who does not know of my existence was being held in the arena only about 7 meters away from me so yeah who's the winner here?!!!!

As half 6 approached the crowd started moving and we were finally in the same building as THE Followill's, breathing the same air in fact and as we walked in I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw that there was no other people in the arena, entrance 3 was the standers and before I knew it I was front row at the railings soon to be face to face with Caleb Followill....

I can't for the life of me remember what time the supporting act came on at but they were an American band called Nathaniel Rateliff who were nothing but pure savage!! I'd never heard a style of music I loved so much they were brilliant and of course they had a stunning drummer...sorry I just can't stop myself! Here have a listen to this ... I Need Never Get Old LOVE IT!!
When they left the stage Nacho and the crew came out setting up for the boys and he waved at us!! no joke!!!
 Anyway, just after half 8 the main event took place with KOL coming out and kicking off the show with 'Around The World' I was blown away!!! They were even better than Marlay Park 3 years ago and Caleb was better looking than I could ever have imagined.
 I remember just standing there looking at the lads like 'Oh My God' this is it and at that time I genuinely do not think there was a happier girl in the world...A pig in shit is the only way I could describe my happiness which if you know me is kinda a hilarious pun because my nose looks like a snout, here's a little clip I took of 'Use Somebody' believe me when I say that this does not do it justice but WOW!!!
You know when people go to a concert and they say 'they smiled right at me' well, and I'm not even taking the piss when I say Caleb smiled right at me. I saw him look down at me and I was Jesus he looked at me, then he smiled and I remember thinking to myself why did he do that? THEN I looked down and realised I was wearing a t-shirt with his face on it. I thought I was delusional, loosing the small amount of marbles I had left until the girls said they saw it too and I realised it really did happen... I couldn't breathe!!! 

They played every song I wanted to hear and when the time finally came to play Pyro, well.... long story short I just was not ready for what was to come. 
When I first heard Pyro live I teared a little not gonna lie but this time, Holy Mary Mother Of God I was roaring!!! So much so the bouncer came over rubbed my arm and told me not to cry! It was just so beautiful. I started to record it on my phone, got the whole intro and the minute they hit the first note my memory was full and I got nothing so here's a little video courtesy of my friend Aisling.. 

When the last song was sung and the stadium began to empty Caleb and the boys threw out some of their guitar pics and Caleb threw out his cup. Never in a million years did I ever think I'd get something but just before walking off stage Caleb filled up another blue cup, slugged it off and threw out the cup and who got it??? ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   
Yep, I got Caleb's cup with a little dribble of beer left in the end of it and a week on I still guard the cup with my life, my prize possession!! 

So there you have it, they story of Kings Of Leon Part 2 - Greatest night of my life!! I grew up listening to KOL and having watched the documentary 3,000 times I feel like I know these boys and they are the most incredible human beings on the planet!! God Bless!! 

Thursday, 8 June 2017

The Leaving Cert (3 years on)

It's almost that time of year again, the exam season is about to begin where thousands of Irish students are going to be thrown into the leaving cert and are probably up in a heap right now with the books out in front of them cramming as much as possible. When it comes to the leaving cert and exams trust me when I've said I've definitely had enough experience with them to know what I'm talking about and having done my leaving cert for the first time three years ago I will never forget the feeling I felt going into that exam centre, something that will probably haunt me for the rest of my life and I'm not kidding.
 I completed my leaving cert in 2014 (which I spoke about in a few posts in the past you can read them here, and here if you want) and at that time it was my dream to go to the University Of Limerick and study journalism and new media and no one was changing my mind. The points were high up in the 400 but trust me when I say that was not remotely possible for someone like me, It's not that I'm putting myself down but for someone who despised studying and all things education I wasn't going to get that many points but I couldn't be told.
When the results came out and big shock I didn't receive the points I needed I decided there was no other choice but to go back to school and repeat the leaving. I've spoken all about repeating before (here and here) and when that horrific experience was done big shock I still wasn't going to UL and headed off to Carlow to study media and public relations and well, that's a story for another day.

The reason I am writing this blog post today is because I remember when I was doing my leaving cert for the first time and I read blog posts about what it was really like and I remember thinking to myself 'what a heap of crap' that's not true, what do you mean I won't stay friends with my classmates?? What do you mean the leaving cert doesn't define my life...what a heap of crap!! but looking back I can't believe how accurate they were and I'm hoping that once person, one young girl (or boy) reading this will take on board what I'm saying and realise the LC is an exam and it does not define you!!

As much as I'd love to give advice about how to study and making notes that's really not me and trust me when I say I was probably the most laid back leaving certer in the country, I tried my best and that was that. The night before my English exam I spent the night with friends watching laughing chains and drawing pictures, I rocked up to my English exam with my hands covered in moisturiser and couldn't hold a pen for the first five minutes and we even ended up having a huge session right in the middle of our leaving cert before maths, so I really can't say I was the perfect student.  If I could go back now I would definitely try a little bit harder, I feel as though if you put in the hard work then it'll pay off but at the same time what's for you won't pass you and this is something I strongly believe right now.
 Thinking back on how badly I wanted to go to UL it broke my heart, this was my dream it's all I ever wanted and I could guarantee you that I wanted to be a journalism student a lot more than 50% of those people in the lecturers. It was devastating but now, there's no way I'd like to go to UL. Having gone to Carlow IT and seeing how hands on the lecturers are, seeing how you really get one on one treatment, having the small enough campus there's no way I've have coped in a University!! No chance I loved the aspect of an Institute.
I spoke about leaving Carlow previously so I don't want to go into it again but if I had not gone to Carlow I don't know what my life would have turned out to be, so much happened in Carlow that changed my life forever and if I'd gone to UL I'd never have made the friends I've made, or went to The Foundry, or just had the amazing experiences I've had there...did I do the right thing leaving Carlow??...we'll never know but believe me when I say what happens, happens for a reason and if you don't get your first choice it's not the end of the world and there are always options.

When it comes to your classmates well lets call a spade a spade here, you won't stay friends with them forever believe me. I've stayed good friends with maybe four/five max from my year and although I love the majority of the girls I went to school with I don't talk to them every day, or every week or every month for that fact but trust me when you meet them girls on a night out it's the best feeling in the world. It's impossible to keep up to date with everyone, you might try for the first couple of months but with everyone scattered around the country it's just really not possible but you'll make new college friends and those people will change your life forever, trust me!!

And what if you don't know what you want to do and you feel like you need to go to college, well that's bullshit and that's exactly what I thought. I did a level 6 course in radio broadcast journalism and presenting the year I repeated my leaving cert and I adored everything about it but a level 6 just didn't seem good enough (and obviously the college life was appealing) but I didn't know what route I wanted to take media? journalism? events? and I only wanted Limerick, it was my favourite place on earth and where was Carlow??? I truthfully had no idea were Carlow is, plus I was just about to turn 20 and that's so old starting first year of college right??? NO!! NO IT IS NOT 20 IS NOT OLD STARTING COLLEGE!!!!
 If you truthfully have no idea what you want to do then I'd strongly recommend taking the year off, work in different places, get experience in sectors you like and then make a decision.
When, IF... I go back to college I'll be just gone 23 and yes it scares me being so old and it can be deemed as embarrassing but yano what who cares?!!

As cheesy as this sounds the world seriously is your oyster and a few exams coming out at the end of school mean nothing and won't affect your life believe me. They may affect where you go to college but so what? that's it!! And wherever you end up it's where you're supposed to be!!
 I'm not saying don't study but if you want my truthful honest advice, keep the head down for the next week, cram as much as possible, watch YouTube clips, don't stress, do your best and get ready to bounce into the not so real world of college.
College is the best experience you'll ever have so literally count your blessings because you're about to have so much fun, come on..few exams and your life finally begins!!

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Clancy Brother Festival 2017

It's just under two weeks until my hometown of Carrick On Suir will come alive with art, music and storytelling as we gather together for the annual celebration of the Clancy Brothers. This year is particularity special as it marks the 10th anniversary of the festival and anyone that knows me know that the Clancy brothers festival is one of my favourite events of the year, A weekend which turns this little town into a cultural melting pot held on the June bank holiday each and every year.
Carrick On Suir, a town situated in the South East of Tipperary was once home to the four men which together with Tommy Makem became one of the worlds most loved folk groups throughout the decades and if you get a chance to visit over the four days then I can promise you will not be disappointed.

To my friends I'm the raver, I love my dance/techno music but what not a lot of people know about is my Clancy brothers CD collection or my playlist on my Ipod give me a good verse of 'Mountain Dew' or 'Gypsy Rover' any day and I'm a happy girl. I feel so blessed to have grown up with such an amazing festival under my nose, with one of my earliest memories sitting out in my back garden with my two best friends listening to Mundy sing 'Galway Girl' from the river bank and what a special memory that is.
For me the weekend celebrates the art, music and history in this town but also the fun, laughter, and most importantly the family and friends I have had here in Carrick On suir the memories that I will possess forever.

 As I said above this year is the 10th year the festival is in action and for me the highlight of the weekend is always the River Festival and Open Air Concert in the Sean Healy park from 2pm on Sunday(June 4th)
 I can't express how much I love this day sitting out in the grass (having a few drinks) listening to the live music, for me it's like the 'Oxygen' festival that I never got to go too and I love it.
 It's a free day so you can bring the whole family, there's face painting, bouncy castles, great bands and I find it's the perfect place to catch up with old Carrick Smashers.

Before this all kicks off the festivities on Sunday begin at 9:30am when there's a River Walk to Dove Hill Irish Design Centre for €10 including breakfast.
Ps. The staff are lovely up there in Dove Hill ;-)

At lunchtime you have the choice to enjoy some theatre at the Brewery Lane and to finish up the Sunday the song writing competition 'A song for Carrick' where the three finalists have been chosen and will preform in the Nano Nagle centre at 7:30 tickets are €10 and the concert will also feature Robbie O'Connell the folk songwriter.
 Of course the night doesn't end there with all the pubs in town offering entertainment not only on the Sunday but for the whole weekend and if you're like me the night will end at 2am when you fall out of the disco...sorry mam!!
So you think all that sounds amazing??? well that's just the Sunday but the festival kicks off on the Wednesday (May 31st) in the Brewery Lane Theatre where there's the opening concert for €12.50 and again more actives on the Thursday (June 1st) in the Brewery. 
 Friday (June 2nd ) is jam packed from lunchtime theatre, a film being shown in the Nano Nagle 'The Story of The Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem', the Eleanor McEvoy concert and of course the Eoghan Power Memorial singing competition in Figgerty's at 9pm. It costs €10 to enter, you can pick up an entry form from the Tudor Artisan Hub or see the website. 

Saturday (June 3rd) kicks off at 10.30 am with a walking tour of Carrick - On -Suir which costs €5. If you want to know a little bit more about the town local historian Tom Walsh is your man all meeting at the Heritage Centre. 
From 2-5 pm you can meet the Clancy Family in the Nano Nagle centre where you'll have the chance to trade stories and browse memorabilia. 
 Another highlight of the festival is the Youth busking competition from 2.30pm up the main street, the town comes alive and there's nothing more magical than it, honestly if you can get yourself to town on the Saturday you won't regret it. And of course the headlining concert THE HIGH KINGS in the strand theatre at 8pm. Tickets are €25 and can be purchased from the Strand. 

If you can recover then from the Sunday (which I'm telling you now will be savage) there's one thing you need to do on the Monday morning (June 5th) and that is the 'Walk On The Wild Side' with Brian White. An incredible gifted story teller an amazing knowledge why not spend the morning with my uncle exploring the wildflowers and wildlife along the banks of the Suir from Ormond Castle ro Tobar na gCann, a hands on free experience for the whole family, it can't be missed!! Meeting at the Ormond castle at 11.30 am.... it'll cure the hangover promise!! 

As well as all these incredible events there are some great workshops for the kids and adults throughout the week from  Sean Nร“s dancing with Irene Cunnigham on the Saturday to learning to play the bodhrรกn you can take a look at all the workshops here.
And finally finishing up with the Art Trail which kicks off on Friday morning the whole way through the weekend scattered here there and everywhere it's great too see some local art and of course this years highly anticipated 'If these chairs could talk' where locals were encouraged to tell a story through chairs and these are my favourite so far, ridiculously talented.
So there you have it, my induction to this magical weekend in Carrick On Suir, there's no where in the world I'd rather call home than this town and I cannot wait for this years festival to begin and to end this post I'm going to leave you with my favourite Clancy Brothers song 'The Whislting Gypsy Rover' a song that yet again brings me back to my childhood and reminds me of my family gatherings with nanny singing along in the middle.
Lynda  xx
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