The Edinburgh Itinerary

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In keeping with my New Year’s resolution to go exploring (one of the few that I’ve managed to obey), and sticking firmly to my list of places to visit in 2014, I spent three days in Edinburgh, Scotland last week. When I say it’s one of the most beautiful cities I have ever visited, I do not exaggerate. For anyone considering making the trip, here follows a short and cheerful review.

Accommodation

We stayed in Brodies Hostel on the Royal Mile. I picked this particular hostel more so for the location than anything else, however the pictures looked pretty good and it had decent reviews. Beyond being sufficient for our needs in that it was a place to stay, the hostel itself wasn’t great. Brodies has two buildings; our room was located in the second building, which appeared to be much older and dreary-looking than the main building. To avail of the WiFi you had to pay extra, and there was no towel hire – something that I genuinely believed was available in every hostel. The location also proved to be as much of a curse as it was a blessing, because the Royal Mile is LOUD. So unless you’re a heavy sleeper and not at all fussy, I wouldn’t recommend Brodies to future travellers.

The-Edinburgh-Castle--007Edinburgh Castle 

Edinburgh Castle was the first stop on our three-day adventure. Situated on a hill, at the top of the Royal Mile, the views from the Castle are spectacular. Unfortunately, you have to pay through the nose for the privilege of actually going inside. An adult ticket to enter the grounds will set you back a hefty £16.

In defence of the price, there is a huge amount to see once you actually get inside, including the National War Museum, the War Memorial, the Regimental Museum, and the Royal Palace Crown Jewels. Even if history isn’t particularly your thing, these are still fascinating attractions, if only for the beautiful badges of honour and soldiers’ uniforms.

Helpful tip: Try to avoid visiting the Castle on a windy day. I was in danger of blowing off the side in several instances.

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Pinterest’s most wanted: Style: Individual pieces

Pinterest is my addiction. I can (and, all too often, do) spend hours at a time scrolling and pinning. It’d all be harmless fun if I didn’t so regularly buy the things I see. That, however, is only possible in the case where the pin in question links to the website where the piece of clothing/pair of shoes/cute handbag is available for purchase.

Unfortunately, this is seldom the case with pins, thus my boards are full to bursting point with things that I either have no idea where to buy, or I never have a hope of being able to afford. Never before has there been a first world problem of such a magnitude.

With this in mind, I bring you the first in a series of blog posts of the items on my Pinterest boards I most want, and can’t have; the individual pieces from my Style board.

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Tokyo Crystal Wrap Watch

This Tokyo Crystal Wrap Watch is definitely one of the items on my Style board that I most long for. Coral and gold are so beautiful together. Yet, I don’t own any coral or gold clothes or accessories. This could have been the purchase to change all that.

The pin originally came from Shopbop.com, with the watch costing €125.51. Unfortunately, it’s sold out, and has been for the last four months since I originally pinned it. I have yet to come to terms with this heartbreak.

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Haute Hippie Beaded Snake Halter 

Another item from my board that is cruelly out of stock. I have the biggest grá for maxi dresses because of their ability to flatter any figure and make you feel like you’re wearing jammies. This particular dress is just a beautiful cut/shape/fabric.

The dress and belt are from revolveclothing.com. Regardless of the status of the dress, its sale price is €587.89, and frankly, no matter how many times I open my purse and shake it, I can’t seem to find that kind of money in it.

3abe0d489ea2a54897c49488e6302f9dEmbellished Jacket

This is one of those pins I repinned from some other gal’s board and I haven’t the foggiest idea where it might be from. My guess is somewhere expensive though, because look at that detail. No, really, just sit back and appreciate the whole jacket for a second. It’s flawless.

The model should close her mouth though. She’ll catch flies.

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New Year’s Resolution: Explore

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I’ve made a thousand New Year’s Resolutions, all of them clichéd that go along the lines of ‘put away the Haribo and go to the gym’. None of them, however, are worth boring anyone with a monotonous blog post about.

With possibly the one exception.  This year I’ve made the resolution to travel more.

Very soon, thanks to my new job, I’m going to become re-acquainted with something called a weekend. Apparently it’s where you get two days off work at a time, one after the other.  Believe it or believe it not, I’ve worked more or less every weekend since I was 15 so this is a BIG DEAL to me.

Thus, in the hope of not actually wasting this valuable time off, I’ve decided that in 2014, I’m going to make use of these weekends and visit a few places that I’ve always wanted to see, be them near or far away.

Glendalough, Co, Wicklow

Monastic city, Upper Lake and Lower Lake, Glendalough, Ireland

I have little to no excuse as to why I’ve never been here before. It’s an hour drive from my house in Dublin, or alternatively an hour and a half drive from my home in Kilkenny.

For those who have no idea what Glendalough is, it translates literally as ‘The Valley of the Two Lakes’ and is home to an early Christian monastic settlement.

It sits pretty in the Wicklow Mountain National Park and there’s even a round tower. Everyone loves a good round tower.

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My 100 books to read before you die

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There are a thousand lists that exist – be it on the internet, in magazines, in book shops, etc – of the books you should read before you die. Generally all of these books are classics, heavy, difficult to understand and, in some cases, really bloody boring.

There are certainly hundreds of books that I want to read before I die, but I’m not going to stick to somebody else’s idea of what they should be. Therefore, I’ve been making my own list for the last few years, and slowly, but surely, I’ve been reading my way through it.

There’s no particular rhyme nor reason as to why I chose these exact 100 books. The recommendations came from the following places; friends, family, librarians, lists of classics, lists of books every woman should read before she’s 30, BuzzFeed, book shops, Pulitzer Prize winners, Man Booker Prize winners and a literary journalism class I took in university.

To date, I’ve made my way through 28 of these books. However, out of that 27, there are 5 that I want to re-read because I was very young when I read them the first time round, so I guess that puts me back to 22. I should really get a move on.

images-2Novels

  1. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

  2. The Blind Assassin – Margaret Atwood

  3. The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath

  4. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – Mark Haddon*

  5. When She Woke – Hillary Jordan

  6. The Woman Who Walked Into Doors – Roddy Doyle

  7. The Luminaries – Eleanor Catton

  8. We Need to Talk About Kevin – Lionel Shriver

  9. A Passage to India – E M Foster

  10. The Lord of the Flies – William Golding Continue reading

The prodigal blogger returns

So long has it been since I last posted to this blog, that it took me 3 failed login attempts before I finally remembered both my username and password. Apologies for the neglect, I’ve been busy doing stuff. Most recently, this:

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Yes, yes I got my degree. (And in record time for a member of my family too, who are famous for staying in college for as long as my parents’ bank balance would allow.) Thus ends my college life forever. Well, for now at least. I won’t be ruling out further education just yet. Sorry family.

Anyway, in an attempt to revive my blogging skills, here are a few things that have lodged themselves on my radar this week:

THIS music video:

  

I’ve always been a fan of Lily Allen’s ‘f*ck you’ attitude and lyrics but she only made my list of Girlos after I watched this. Lily basically takes it out of all the Mileys and the Rihannas with this parody-esque video. It’s also a cracking tune.

Eyebrows have been raised over the ethnicity of the backing dancers, but Lily defended herself yesterday with this Tweet.

THIS website: 

http://amiafuckingfeminist.com/

Yes, I’m a fucking feminist.

THIS trailer: 

Are we all aware of the plot to Flowers In The Attic? No? Well it’s a bit of an odd one. Flowers In The Attic was a book written by VC Andrews in the late 1970s which essentially goes something like:

Family has a lovely life – daddy dies leaving a mountain of debt – mother and children forced to move in with evil grandmother – children locked in the attic by evil grandmother and crazy mother – brother and sister fall in love.

Yeah.

ANYWAY, the book, which was previously made into a movie in the 80s, is now being remade into a TV movie, set for release in January.

It also stars the amazing Kiernan Shipka from Mad Men who I thought was still six and a half but after some investigation it would appear she turned fourteen last week. Happy Birthday Kiernan!

THIS eyeliner:

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I bought the Maybelline Eye Studio Master Precise eyeliner yesterday and now I’m starting to wonder where it’s been for all of my liquid-eyeliner-applying life. It draws on perfect eyeliner wings. Do you know how hard it is to draw eye liner wings? Very fucking hard. This is going to save me at least 5 minutes of make-up time every single morning.

THIS grand statement by Miley Cyrus:

“I feel like I’m one of the biggest feminists in the world”.

Or so she declared in an interview with BBC’s Radio 1 Newsbeat programme.

I’m sorry, what?

Now listen here Miley, I’m all for your music; I love a bit of Wrecking Ball and I dance around the house to We Cant Stop like nobody’s business, but don’t get up on stage in nothing but your knickers, shove your ass in Robin Thicke’s crotch and then call it feminism. It’s not.

THIS picture of a kitty cat wearing a hat:

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Shout out to Her.ie who shared it on Facebook the other day.

Feminist parody video of ‘Blurred Lines’ briefly removed from YouTube

In a moment of true irony yesterday, a parody video of R&B star Robin Thicke’s hit single ‘Blurred Lines’ was briefly removed from YouTube.

The feminist comedy video ‘Defined Lines’ boasted more than 450,000 views in just 3 days, and was briefly taken down on Monday because it was flagged by users as having ‘inappropriate content’. 

The video was created by law students from the University of Auckland with the intention of addressing the issue of objectifying women in music videos.

The original video for Blurred Lines contains topless women, while the parody video features three fully dressed women responding to the attention of three young men wearing nothing but their underwear.

The students had also re-written the song lyrics to include the line: “What you see on TV, doesn’t speak equality, it’s straight up misogyny.”

Apparently the fellas just couldn’t quite hack it when the tables were turned on them, yet had no issue with the original version of the song, which has been widely criticised for its lyrics about the ‘blurred lines’ between consensual and non-consensual sex.

The video has now been restored after its creators appealed the ban. Praise be.

Shopping Bag: The latest haul

Spending my food money on clothes and handbags is something I do far too often. Still though, they say admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery.

Here is my latest haul:

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Mr Postman brought the majority from Asos, but the earrings are from Topshop and the leather pants are from Only.

These boots are by far my best buy. They’re London Rebel, and I got them half price on Asos. It really would have been a sin to leave them behind.

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