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 NÓs dancing with Irene Cunnigham on the Saturday to learning to play the bodhrán 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
Links -

Friday, 12 May 2017

5 Years Of Little Piece Of Lynda...

Five years ago today the date would have been May 12th 2013, a day that is of no importance to you but for me, it was a life changer.
I remember it well, it was a Sunday and I was just the average sixteen year old girl. I was in transition year in school, obsessed with rugby, working on the school magazine and more than likely starting to think of vodka and going out but for me the most important thing at that time was my dream to become a radio presenter/ journalist and at sixteen believe me when I say there was nothing going to stop me.
 Looking back now I was probably one of the most ambitious kids on the planet I knew what I wanted and nothing was going to stop me I was willing to work hard and do whatever it takes to get there but being honest this was a downfall that I wouldn't realise it until I got into my twenties. When you're working your arse off from such a young age making contacts, getting experience, doing interviews, getting articles published, editing the school magazine, knocking down doors and gaining as much knowledge of the industry as you physically can it's only naturally that five years down the line when things haven't gone the way you always wished they would that you start to realise that if only I had that determination I had at sixteen then things might be different now, you can't help but think to yourself 'If it was going to happen it would have happened by now' but one things for sure blogging changed my life and for me going into a field of media having the blog was crucial and the opportunity's that have risen from it have been incredible.
So why did I decide to get into blogging? With no disrespect to any other bloggers before I got into blogging I had never read a blog in my life and I had no interest in doing so. Any journalist I ever spoke to always gave me the advice of starting a blog as it was a good way to 'get my name out there' so I did it. I loved writing and telling stories is my forte, so if doing this little blog was going to better my career in the process then I was going for it. There wasn't any other young girls in my area that had a blog at the time so I was really on my own and of course having no knowledge of blogging wasn't ideal either to top it off I had never shared any of my writings so it was a huge step, and being honest if I had to start a blog from scratch right now I wouldn't be able to do it so I'm glad I had the balls back then.

I didn't know what kind of blog I wanted, I loved fashion, beauty and sport but I didn't have it in me to
dedicate full blogs to them so I decided to label myself a 'lifestyle blogger' a little bit of everything and that's where my name 'Little Piece Of Lynda' actually came from. Originally it was supposed to be 'Little Bit Of Lynda' but I messed up my first blog and then that name was used so I had to settle for LPL, I'd love to say I spent hours thinking of creative names but it was genuinely me sitting at the kitchen table trying to fill in the gaps as quick as I could and so the name was born and it's actually quite fitting now because I want my blog to allow readers to see a little bit of life, through my eyes and I feel the name really reflects that now, even though I had no idea what I was doing at the time.

As a blogger for 5 years now (can't believe it) it's safe to say I've had some incredible opportunities. I'm not talking the likes of what some beauty bloggers get like holiday's to LA or bags and bags of Inglot makeup but I mean opportunities that have pushed my 'career' further and really changed my life.
I got to work with amazing campaigns 'Because I Am A Girl' still being my favourite, writing for some of the most amazing websites The Secret Obsession, Just Jen and, getting into a broadcast journalism and presenting course and my favourite thing of all, having the opportunity to meet and chat to new and interesting people.

When I sit back and look at my interview section of my blog I can't help but smile. My first ever phone interview was with my Idol Laura Whitmore and for a seventeen/eighteen year old to say the first interivew they ever did was with their hero well, it still boggles me. Then from Iskra Lawrence, Danny Miller, Jack Derges, Mike Sherry, Courtney Smith and Lisa Cannon the list goes on and I learned something from every single one of those people and I feel so blessed and honoured to have gotten the opportunity to meet them and chat to them something I could have never done without my blog.
 Because of my blog I've gotten to work with some incredible firms that I could only have ever dreamt about like Beat 102 103, Tipp Fm and TG4 and also having my first ever article published in a newspaper by the Limerick Leader and being invited on Limerick Live 95fm for a debate about the Leaving Cert points which was my first time ever on air, in terms of what I've gotten out of blogging? -It's been priceless!! 
I just can't help to think that if only I got into blogging a bit later in life then I might not have taken all these things for granted but when you're young you never appreciate how quick the ball is rolling for you....that is until it stops!!

Blogging is becoming more and more popular with new blogs being started every single day but you need to realise that if you are one of those people who are starting a blog for the 'free stuff' you won't last and actually you'll just annoy everyone along the way. It's true bloggers do get a lot of things for free but believe me when I say there's a difference between having a fashion/beauty blog to having a lifestyle blog, having a lifestyle blog means you won't get 1/3 of what bbloggers get but if you are in it for the right reasons you won't want anything anyway and that's all I have to say on that topic!! 
If you've followed my blog from the beginning you'll genuinely have grown up with me, from going to school, doing the Leaving Cert, repeating the LC, meeting Conor Murray, doing a course in broadcast journalism, going to college, moving to Carlow, dropping out of college every piece of my life has been documented and I just want to thank you for coming on this journey with me. 
 I'm not like So Sue Me who gets thousands of emails/messages/tweets a day but it's the odd little messages off young girls who make my day and everyone who's ever messaged me or spoken to me in person about the blog it really does mean so much and thank you!
 I'm never going to have a huge following and get tonnes of free make up and products but that's not what I want anyway, I started this blog to get the career I wanted there was no other reason but it back fired drastically when I realised I was in love and obsessed with my little blog that's been my get away place for the past five years.
 It's true I don't have as much passion as I did all those years ago but I could never stop blogging, it's my life and I really hope you enjoy every little journey I go on...
Thanks so much for reading,
Lynda Xx

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Review - Lóréal Magic Retouch

A relatively new product on the market is the Lóréal magic retouch spray and I recently decided to jump on the bandwagon and give it a try, unfortunately however I am ridiculously disappointed in this product.

 It had been a couple of months since I last got my roots done so I thought this would be the perfect product to get me through the next week until I had time to get to the salon. I picked up the little can in Penney's for €12.99 and thought it wouldn't fail me, Eva Longoria was the face of it for Chrsit sake she's not going to lie to me....SHE LIES LADIES!!!!! EVA LONGORIA LIES!!!

  As you can see from the picture below I have very light blond hair so naturally I decided to try out the 'light blonde' spray. It comes in a wide range of colours and I have heard the black one is good at covering grey hairs so maybe it's just the blond that's useless?
I sprayed it on dry, styled hair from 10cm back and waited for the magic to happen.... Long story short I'm still waiting and if anything it made my roots darker.
I thought that maybe my roots were a little bit too dark for the product so after two weeks of getting my roots done I tried it again and to be honest I was more disappointed than I was the first time. Like the last time I sprayed it on my dry hair and I'm not joking when I say it genuinely made my roots so much darker than they already were.
 They almost looked ginger in colour and the texture, it was disgusting. My hair felt dirty and gritty as if I hadn't washed it in weeks and had just walked through a dusty building site it was awful, and days on it still felt horrible and dry.

Overall out of ten I'd give this product 1 star I genuinely wouldn't recommenced it to anyone. I asked my hairdresser about it and she said it just simply does not work on blond so maybe you'll have better luck with the dark browns and blacks but if you want my advice, save your money and put it towards getting your hair done at the salon, much better believe me!!

Thursday, 4 May 2017


There's nothing short of drama on Fair City recently between the women's revolution, Paul realising Niamh stole his money and of course the Katy story line, anyone following the soap will agree it's been nothing less than entertaining and one young actress has been in the hype of it all, Rebecca Grimes, aka Miss Hayley Collins.
 I'm obsessed with Rebecca's character Hayley, she's my all time favourite Fair City character. Her sassy yet empowering personality, her amzing sense of fashion and her PR background I think she is the coolest gal on the block but after doing some research I realised the girl behind Hayley the lovely Rebecca Grimes is just as hard working, ambitious and determent as her character... just a lot nicer!!

I first came across the real Rebecca Grimes when I was on my lunch break in work reading a little interview she had done with a magazine and I couldn't get over how lovely she came across.  When I got home that evening I decided to look into her work and she what else she had been up to and I was blown away. From theatre to television she's never stopped, knowing exactly what she wanted and never giving up. So many traits which I admire so you can only imagine the excitement I had when I got the chance to ask Rebecca a few questions. I hope you enjoy reading this interview as much as I enjoyed doing it :)

What made you want to follow a career into acting? Was it something you were always interested in perusing or did it just happen for you?
 I was always involved in speech and drama classes growing up. When I went to secondary school I took part in all the school productions that we had and I guess that's where i really fell in love with it. I didn't really realise at that time that you could pursue it further. I remember filling out my CAO form and being clueless because nothing appealed to me. I knew I never wanted a conventional 9-5 job, once I realised I could get proper training and try to make a go of acting as a career my mind was made up!

When you realised you were on the right path how did you get involved in the acting scene?
Well I was very young when I finished school, I had my leaving cert done at 16. I was too late for some of the acting courses that year (and I didn't get into some of the others!)  so I decided to do a post leaving cert course in Theatre Performance. That year was brilliant for me because it gave me a complete introduction into the world I was getting into. We studied texts, went to see plays, put on our own productions. It was really great and for me it was the best stepping stone into what I wanted to do. At the end of that year I ended up getting an audition for a new Passion Machine play. I got the part and had my first professional part as Clare Maguire in A Little Bit of Blue directed by Paul Mercier at Andrews Lane theatre. After that I got signed with an agent and tried my hand at auditions here and there for a year but it quickly became clear I needed more training. It was then I decided I needed to go back and apply for the Gaiety School of Acting.

How was your time in the Gaiety? 
It was a great experience. It was very tough and it really does separate the men from the boys! It is a very intensive two year full time course, you have a massive workload, long days from 8:30am til usually 6pm . Then you might be trying to keep a part time job going too, as well as getting your assignments done, seeing shows and preparing for the next day. That said it gave us invaluable experiences and I made some of the best friends of my life there!

Is it important for aspiring actors to go to college or can you pick it up? 
I don't necessarily think a degree is important- I don't have one myself, but I do  think formal training is a hugely valuable asset to anyone looking to pursue acting as a career. Of course there is always an element of natural talent but you learn so much about the industry and about yourself as a performer , and about the type of work you are interested in making whilst training.

Like I mentioned above your CV is jam packed and it's so easy to see you're hardworking and determent, what was your big break?
Oh gosh :) well, there's been some very very quiet times in my career. After graduating the gaiety I didn't work for three years... I was waitressing full time to pay my rent and not getting any of the auditions I was going for. Its a very tough time as an actor because you begin to doubt yourself and the path you've chosen. Eventually I got a part in a play-unpaid of course! And from that somebody from a different agency saw me. I decided to apply to this agency and luckily I was accepted. From there, very slowly things started happening. I think I needed a change as much as anything and the new start with this agency was the fresh start I Needed. I got parts in plays here and there including a show in The Gate and various fringe productions. Then I got some bit parts a couple of short films and TV shows such as Ripper Street and Vikings.

What's been your most special memory of the industry?
There's been so many lovely moments thankfully. I guess turning 18 on that first show in Andrews Lane was really special. The cast all bought me a cake and a beautiful book signed by them all. I had my first legal drink served to me in the bar that night and then we all went out for karaoke. That's a great memory :)

How did Fair City happen for you?
Well actually I auditioned for fair city YEARS ago. I read for the role of Louise Doyle when she was coming back into the show a while back. Obviously the part went to the much better suited, fabulous Leah Egan. I got the standard rejection email "we loved you, but not this time. ..we'll be in touch if anything else comes up" . I took it with a pinch of salt as unfortunately rejection mails are ten a penny in this business, but lo and behold about three years later I got an email from Fair City one day while I was working a temporary December Job. They said they'd had me in a few years previous and a part had come up that they thought I was suitable for-was I interested? Was i what! I couldn't believe it- it was the best Christmas Present!

What's a typical day like for you on set?
There's no such thing as a typical day!! ;)
 However it usually starts I'm up at 5:30am to do my hair and drive to the studio. Then I'm in makeup at 7.20. We start filming at 8:15 You could be in every scene of the day, or you might only appear in one. It all depends on.what's happening in the storyline at the moment. We get an hour for lunch during the day which I usually spend grabbing some food and going over my scenes for that afternoon or the following day. Then we wrap filming at 6:35, unless we're on a late shoot which could mean anytime!

Is acting as glamorous as people think?
There are definitely glamorous elements! Its lovely to get your hair and makeup done and to wear nice clothes, but the reality of it is often long days, lots of waiting around. Very often you're outside all day in all weather conditions. I've been on productions where we had to stand in a river in the freezing cold and rain all day. Thankfully the crew were amazing and wrapped us in warm blankets and gave us hot water bottles in between takes, but its still tough going. That definitely wasn't a glamorous day! 

 I love Hayley, but what do you think of her? Are you anything like her in real life?
Well we both have curly hair!! :) but no Hayely is way more feisty and outspoken than me! I also don't sleep with other people's husband's in real life!! 

Speaking of sleeping with husbands, you were recently part of the all women's episode how was it working along side Celia Murphy (Niamh Brennan) for the past couple of months?
Clelia is one of the funniest people going and we get on great! We shared a dressing room during that block of filming and we got on like a house on fire. She's also a stunning actress and I loved watching her in action. We had great fun shooting the scenes between Aisling O'Neill- another fabulous actress, Clelia and myself. We were like The Witches of Eastwick plotting against Paul. It was a real honour to get to be part of those storylines.

What can we expect for her in the upcoming months? 
 I have absolutely no idea!! I'm so interested to see what's next for her. Its always so exciting when we get the scripts, I'm always wondering what mischief Hayley will be up to next!

Was there ever a time you felt like acting wasn't going to happen for you and considered throwing in the towel? 
Absolutely! There were plenty of wobbly moments over the years. The first three years after graduating were definitely the hardest. It gets so tiring to be told no time and time again, its hard to not let that effect your self confidence. I was really lucky in that I had a very strong network of close friends after the Gaiety. We were all able to encourage and support each other through tough times. Thankfully something came up just in the nick of time every time I felt like quitting! 

Have you ever written any plays yourself? 
Yes I wrote and performed in a play called Mavericks that was on about two
years ago. It ran at Theatre Upstairs (which is run by Karl Shiels who plays Robbie in Fair City). After that, we were invited to perform at Bewleys Cafe Theatre on Grafton St. We were actually the last show to perform there in the old space. It was a piece I was very proud of and had the best time working on. I wrote it with a friend and we had been working on it for years. He took a step back from it to pursue another career and eventually I finished it. Somehow I managed to convince the most amazing team to work with me and we put it on. It was a play about two out of work actors trying to put on a play :) I suppose its true that you should write what you know! 
 Writing is something I absolutely love and I definitely plan to do more of in the future.

What can you tell us about yourself that might surprise us? 
I teach group fitness classes in Finglas four times a week. People are usually surprised when they hear that. You get the odd person saying it to me in class but most of my girls don't even bat an eyelid now, unless they're trying to find out some story line secrets! Obviously I never divulge anything but we have a good laugh anyway.

Finally Rebecca, what advice can you give someone hoping to follow in your footsteps and peruse an acting career?
Never ever give up, if its something you really want you will find a way to do it. Work hard, keep your head down and stay focused. Go see as much theatre and films as you possibly can, find out what you like and what you don't. Read everything you can get your hands on and try to learn about what type of work you want to create. Then surround yourself with like minded people who will support and encourage you! 

And there you have it my interview with the lovely Rebecca Grimes, see I told you she was a sweetheart!!
Huge thanks to Rebecca for taking her time out to answer these questions for me!!
It was a privilege!!
Lynda xx