Friday, 19 September 2014

The luck of the Irish...

I've been mulling over the title of this post for a while, and I can't help but see the irony in it. I had a fairly unlucky time in Belfast, but in some ways, I had a truly incredible time as well. As for the irony, well you'll understand that in a bit. I figured the best way to tell my tales from across the Irish sea would be to tell them like a story, maybe then you'll be able to understand the pure madness of it all.

Last Thursday, the 11th of September (yes, we flew on 9/11), both Emily and myself got up at the crack of dawn to make our 8-something-am flight, and from the moment I woke up I knew I did not feel good at all. Nevertheless we persevered to the station, and proceeded to get the train to Southampton airport to catch our flight. Emily had an asthma attack on the train, whilst I sat there trying not to be sick on her. The poor woman sat across from us looked as if she wasn't sure if she should be concerned or fed up with the two broken girls with a huge pink suitcase sat opposite her. To brush over the rest of the morning, Emily recovered whilst I was sick at the airport, then our flight was delayed by around 45 minutes. We eventually got the plane, and made our way to Ireland, convinced that as far as drama goes, we'd already had our fair share of it, and that things could only get better. 


Once we landed, we found our way into a taxi, and headed for the city centre well aware that we couldn't check in for another two hours. Whilst Emily was prepared to wonder around Belfast with suitcases in tow, I felt as if I was ready to find the nearest bench, curl up in a ball, and patiently wait for death. We called the hotel, who said we could come and leave our bags there, but when we arrived the wonderful lady on the desk said we could have a room. What a babe. And thank god we did, because as soon as we got in the room, I was sick again, then curled up in bed with a fever for the next six hours. So far, so bad. 

Six hours in bed was enough for me, and I was bloody bored. And hungry. I was genuinely running on nothing, so we ventured out and had a KFC. Obviously the only choice of meal for a recovering sick traveller. 

Friday morning I felt considerably better, which was just as well because we'd booked a coach trip to Giants Causeway. I felt almost like a pilgrimage for anyone visiting Northern Ireland, and we couldn't come all this way and not go there. We stopped off at a few castles along the route for some photo opportunities, as well as at Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. It's a really old rope bridge which you can walk across, after the 1K trek from the car park. So we walked a kilometre, I crossed the bridge onto the island of nothing whilst a vertigo-suffering Emily waited for me on the other side, before we trekked another kilometre back. Not bad for a girl who'd spent 6 hours throwing up and sweating in bed the day before. I bought a certificate saying I crossed the bridge (I was proud of managing it the way I was feeling), and a really cute Irish guy said my name (which I totally wanted to record but that would've just been a bit creepy). 





We stopped off for lunch at a Whisky distillery, called Bushmills. I've never drank whisky in my life, and the bar was free, so Emily and I managed to blag a shot of whisky for lunch. It wasn't too bad, initially I coughed and thought it tasted a bit like cough mixture, so I necked it, and that seemed to do just fine for me.

Giants Causeway was amazing. It was so beautiful, and you were allowed to climb all over it. We got so many wonderful pictures, and I climbed this really tall stack and nearly fell on my arse straight back down again. I would completely recommend a visit to anyone going to Northern Island, it really isn't that far away from Belfast, probably about an hours drive, but it really is such a wonder. The visitor centre there is pretty good as well, really interesting with all the old myths and tales about giants as to why it's there. Emily posed with a fake shark and we laughed about a definition of a rock, which sounded like the worst chat up line ever.




Friday night, we were on a roll. Not even tired, we glammed up ,well, we got changed and tried to look a little less like we'd spent 10 hours on a coach tour, and went out for dinner and drinks. It was my first ever time in Frankie & Benny's and I had a super lush cocktail called P.S I Love You, fitting as that was the inspiration for booking the trip, whilst Emily picked a Long Island Ice Tea. We then decided to try a bar that had really good reviews online, so we tracked it down and headed in. The bouncer stopped us, and asked for ID. He said we needed to be 21, but he let us in anyway. Shame the barman didn't feel the same when he said we weren't old enough and asked us to leave. Completely ridiculous. Officially the first time I've ever been asked to leave a bar before. So we headed round to another bar, and walked straight in, no ID or anything. We stuck with boring old double vodka and coke, which came to £8.40 each! We had one, decided not to waste our money on another, and called it a night.


Saturday morning, and I felt like shit on a stick. But still, I dragged my corpse out of bed, ate a tonne of bacon, and we headed out. Before we left England, Emily and I had a sneaky plan which we didn't tell anyone about, just in case it didn't pull through. We both hoped to get a tattoo each whilst in Belfast, and today was the day. We found a really amazing place called Skin Works online, and went in. They booked us for the afternoon, leaving us a little time to explore and shop before we got inked. Emily went first, and she kept a really stern face on, saying how everything was fine and that it only felt like a scratch. Lying bitch. My turn came around, and as soon as he began, it was so painful, maybe even the most painful thing I've ever done. I'm terrible as I can't hide expressions on my face, so I was gurning for England for the whole 10 minutes whilst he was repeatedly stabbing a needle into my foot in the shape of a four leaf clover. (See, there's the irony, I wasn't very lucky yet I got a four leaf clover tattoo - one of the ultimate symbols of luck!) Afterwards Emily confessed how painful she felt it, but that she knew if she said it, I would chicken out. She even told me how she felt the needle 'twang a vein' in her wrist... 


(Mine is the four leaf clover on my foot, and Emily's is the wings on her wrist)

We rewarded ourselves with a good sit down and some Come Dine With Me in the hotel room, before going out to the highlight dinner of the week. We'd found this place called The Dirty Onion online, and upstairs it has a Brazilian chicken rotisserie. Being called The Dirty Onion, we wrongly made the assumption it would be a pretty casual chilled place, but no, it was full of people in their dressiest outfits, killer heels and fanciest jewellery. We definitely looked like we'd walked out of the orphanage in Annie in comparison. The chicken was amazing, but I started to feel really ill again. I couldn't swallow, it was like my throat was closing, and my hearing was getting worse and worse as I was getting really light headed. Concerned, Emily dragged me back to the hotel and got the reception to find the number for an out of hours doctor. I ended up in quite possibly the scariest doctors surgery in the world. You had to buzz in and out, and then wait in what looked like a prison waiting room. I got a wonderful dose of pills to make me feel better though.

With money running out, and me still feeling pretty rubbish, we basically spent the whole of Sunday in bed watching TV. We did venture out so I could pick up a prescription for some more lovely pills, and we went to Tesco and bought an amazing feast of crisps and pastry goods. We also bought Ben & Jerry's, and well, spoons to eat it with. We spent the afternoon sat in bed eating ice cream watching Cats & Dogs. Bliss. In the end, we decided to go to the cinema just so we could do something, so we went to go see Lets Be Cops, which we wanted to see for ages. It was hilarious, go see it!


There's really not much we could say about Monday. We packed and left, and had one last wonder around the city centre before concluding that we were too poor to shop, and too tired to walk anymore.  So we called it quits, and headed for the airport. 

So my five days in Belfast didn't exactly go to plan. I didn't get to go to any museums because we didn't have the time. We didn't get to drink very much at all. And I certainly didn't meet the Irish man of my dreams. However, I did eat a lot of chicken, go to a creepy hospital, see the Giants Causeway and, as my dad put it, escaped the country to get a tattoo. So you could say, in some ways, I had a much weirder and unexpectedly better time than I could've planned. Here's a picture of me with a big fish, which I think sums up the pure randomness of the entire trip.


I'll be going back to tick off everything I didn't do this time around, especially continuing my search for Mr. Right. (That makes me sound like a middle aged woman on the prowl, I'm not proud of writing that.)

Much love 



Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Everything is changing...

I'm so useless at this regular posting thing! It's not because I've forgotten, but simply because I haven't managed to find the time to sit down and write for a while. And not to mention the struggles of connecting my laptop to the wifi in my new house. New house, I hear you cry? Well I've made the big move, I've packed up my life in Weymouth from the last five months and returned to Winchester; and things here are looking fairly permanent. So I'm still getting my head around the fact that I've pretty much left my beautiful hometown for the foreseeable future, which is both heartbreaking and insane. My whole life (bar the eight crazy months at uni) has basically been in Weymouth, so knowing that those days have gone, is quite hard to accept. But still, everyone has to move on and accept change in their lives, and I'm looking forwards to whatever madness this academic year throws at me! (And trust me, if it's anything like last year, I'm in for one hell of a ride, but this time, you guys get to share in it with me.)


Leaving Weymouth meant a lot more than leaving my friends, family and dogs behind, I also had to leave my amazing job back in Weymouth. Hopefully it was more of a 'cya later', than a 'goodbye forever'. I'm like the bad smell that never goes away there. They're stuck with me for life. 

However, within 3 days of moving to Winchester permanently, I've managed to get a job in my favourite coffee shop here! I'm completely over the moon, so hopefully everything will be alright, and I could seriously use the money to save up for all my elaborate travelling plans. And drinking. And maybe food? And clothes, definitely clothes. 


I plan to do a huge over-the-top post all about my new room here, and how I've decorated it. I'm pretty proud of how everything is coming along, I'm a few photos and fairy lights away from the perfect décor. Not to mention bunting, lots and lots of bunting....

Expect a much more fulfilling post next week, I'm off to Belfast for a couple of days with Emily, because...well... I won't lie, Irish men. We may or may not have watched P.S I Love You and decided on a whim in May to book five days in Ireland. So please be patient, and I promise you all my crazy tales from across the Irish sea - unless of course I've met the man of my dreams and I've eloped.



Much love 


Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Totally Fetch Films...

I love a good movie. To me, there is nothing better than spending a day curled up in a duvet, watching films with endless supplies of tea and chocolate. Unfortunately, I rarely get days to do this, but when I do I make full advantage of it. I'm not usually a one-genre-film kinda girl, I'll sit through almost anything - within reason. I'm not a huge fan of gore or violence, and the film has to have a plot that I can follow that isn't too ridiculous or complicated.

So what are my favourite films? Prepare yourself for a lot of girl-power, soppy romance, and films that will have you wetting yourself with laughter (or shitting in the street....)

Bridesmaids - She's really doing it. She's shitting in the street. Bridesmaids is the best comedy with an all girl cast - fact. It will make you cry with laughter, with a plot that is in some cases so ridiculous, that it really could be true. The cast are purely brilliant, Kristen Wiig is just so naturally funny, as is Maya Rudolph and Melissa McCarthy. Plus it has Chris O'Dowd in it, whom I adore. Every single part of the film is quotable, and I'm all for quotable films, especially when other people can quote it with you. This film will completely stand the test of time, I have no doubt that I'll still be crying with laughter at it in 40 years time.


Mean Girls - This. Is. A. Classic. Every single girl who grew up in my generation will have watched Mean Girls. I mean, that's just like the rules of feminism. I had high expectations that secondary school would be like Mean Girls, and in some ways it really was. Mean Girls was great at exploring all the strange little cliques of people, and how bitchy everyone really was. I guess you could say it prepared me for school, and that you shouldn't back stab or trust anyone. Or push them in front of a bus. Again, this film is ridiculously quotable, and I could recite the whole film to you if you asked me to. And the Kevin G rap. 


Chicago - Could this be the best musical of all time? It has all my favourite things. The Jazz Age in America? Check. Kick-ass female leads? Check. Songs with dance routines you wish you could do? Check check check check check. Half the time I torn between wanting to play the role of Roxie Hart, and the other half I'd kill to be Velma Kelly. Both have amazing songs, both have amazing costumes, and both are equally as bad as the other. One killed her lover, the other killed her sister and her husband. Chicago proves that murder really is an art, and that sometimes crime does pay if you want the spotlight. 


Bridget Jones: Edge Of Reason - My flatmates are convinced that I'm really Bridget Jones, with a hopeless love life and with ridiculous things always happening to me. At first I was slightly offended, then I realised that the comparison was actually quite uncanny, and that it made a whole load of sense. So why do I love the sequel over the original? It's simple really. The whole scene in the prison in Thailand. Every time I watch this film, I am in stitches over a bunch of women trying to sing 'Like A Virgin', whilst wearing bras outside of their clothes. I've included it below for your viewing pleasure. 


Friends With Benefits - Justin Timberlake. God dammit he is one fine specimen of man, isn't he? Plus we get to see a whole lot of him in this film, if you know what I mean. He's not the only reason I love Friends With Benefits though. It shows how love isn't always where you expect it, that it's not all tacky and clichéd, and that sometimes, just sometimes, you can fall in love with your best friend. It's a thoroughly modern love story, and gives me hope that maybe one day I'll actually find a decent guy in this world.  


The Avengers - Okay so this is cheating a little bit, because I love all the Marvel films, and this was just a way to express my admiration for most of the characters in one film. I love Thor. I love Captain America. I love Iron Man. Hell, I love them all. I completely 'nerd out' when I watch Marvel films, I like to research all the characters and how they interlink, and yes, I'm one of those people who ALWAYS stay for the mid-credit and end-credit scenes. Because they are important. I wish I was Black Widow (and not just because Scarlett Johansson is my girl crush), and all of the guys are damn good looking. The Avengers is everything you could possible want in a kick-ass action movie. 


Elf - Christmas means awkward family reunions, too much food, and Elf. Undoubtedly the best Christmas film, because 'The best way to spread Christmas cheer, is singing loud for all to hear." Will Ferrell is probably the only actor who could be capable of playing such a role, and he does it perfectly. It's funny, heart-warming, and plain bonkers in some parts (it has a talking narwhal, need I say more?). To me, I don't feel in the Christmas spirit until I've watched Elf, it's as essential to the holiday as having a Christmas tree. 


Legally Blonde - Now, I'm all for a bit of girl-power, after all I did grow up under the influence of the Spice Girls. I'm also a feminist, and a sucker for people who break the boundaries they are confined to by society and surprise everyone. Legally Blonde is a totally awesome film following Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon), who gets into Harvard to win back her boyfriend, only to discover a new passion for the study and practise of law. She's the complete polar opposite of everything you'd imagine a law student to be, and I adore that. It shows anyone that they can be anything they want to be, and that there are no limits. Elle Woods is a complete hero, and I love her to bits, plus I always get a strange burst of motivation to do something with my life whenever I watch this film. 



Much love