Hello blog my old friend…

I’m back after a year away, and while this is probably the longest period I have gone without writing a post here, it doesn’t mean that I haven’t missed it.

Many  reasons have prevented me from visiting this site, but I’m back and I promise to do my best to keep this updated going forward.

But first thing first…

I never got a chance to express my joy at not only being longlisted, but shortlisted for the Ireland Blog Awards last year.  I know I said it to some of you in person but I wanted to say a big thank you to all of you who voted for my little blog and to the judges for even placing me amongst such talented Irish bloggers.

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And if that wasn’t enough, I was longlisted again this year for the Littlewoods Ireland Blog Awards in the Best Blog Post and Film and TV blog categories.

It’s such a great honour especially considering how far this blog has come in five years and I hope that is something that will continue into the future.

So lucky…

I am so lucky that I had the opportunity to work with such amazing people at the Sunday Independent, Irish Independent and The Herald. I have gotten to interview and meet so many great and inspiring people as a result of it and I have achieved many things that I  never thought possible a year ago. There are so many articles that have been close to my heart, but there are definitely a few that have stood out for me personally. I learnt so much being part of the Independent’s 1916 series with the regular nine lives slot and it was such a great opportunity considering the importance of the last year.  I also got to write great pieces for The Herald from investigating the photographic archives to interviewing local celebs for My Side of Town. But two pieces that were highlights for me was getting to experience what it was like to be a Barbershop singer first hand to writing ramblings on the pros of being single on Valentine’s Day.

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I will never forget waking up that Friday morning, half asleep listening to Morning Ireland and hearing my name. It was a surreal moment but something amongst many things during my time there that I will always be eternally grateful for.

 And in the world of entertainment…

News wise it’s been quite a depressing year, but thankfully the world of entertainment has somehow kept a smile on my face. Oh where, oh where do I begin? I think the one thing that stands out in my mind in the last year is Netflix.  I and many Gilmore Girl fans owe Netflix a big thank you for making our long withheld dreams come true.  Finally, finally we will get to know what happened to the very much beloved Lorelai, Rory and Emily and yes, I have been guilty of binge watching the entire series in preparation for November. But I think my love of these fast witted girls deserves a post of its own.

But Netflix has just kept surpassing itself with quality programming, and there are two programmes that stand out for me personally; Jessica Jones and Stranger Things.  Completely different, but without hesitation, are up there with some of the best television dramas I have seen in a while. If you haven’t watched them yet, do.

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Gilmore Girls came back with the preview to beat all previews

Then away from Netflix, there is Game of Thrones and I don’t know how they did it, but somehow, they won me back. We won’t dwell on the disappointment that was season 5, but instead on the excellent narrative that occurred in season 6 bringing us in a direction that fans have desired for so long whilst staying true to the story’s core. I will be sad when it comes to an end, but I have more faith now that the creators will do it justice in the end.

Then there are reality TV shows that I have become surprisingly obsessed with such as the the Great British Bake Off and Celebrity Big Brother(we’ll get back to the second one). I think what really was the highlight of GBBO was mainly Nadiya Hussain. Starting as the relatable underdog, she soon became one of the of star bakers of the series  and the eventual  winner. Nadyia is basically an inspiration to all and her own series exploring her own heritage in Bangladesh is a real  treat.

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Nadyia aka my hero, the most deserving winner of GBBO

Celebrity Big Brother is pure trash TV, trash that I openly admit to watching if I want to switch off  a few brain cells. But whilst Farrah Abraham’s performance is iconic in itself and yes the love affair of Jeremy and Stephanie made great television, the moment that stands out for me is  when reality star Tiffany Pollard confused the death of David Bowie for that of fellow housemate David Gest. Needless to say all hell broke loose. And to make things even sadder and stranger, 2016 being the year it has been, David Gest died  a few months later after that season finished.

As for the recent series of Celebrity Big Brother and Big Brother, the less said about it, the better (you were robbed Hughie, robbed).

Then there are the series that have surpassed themselves in quality and still manage to have me as hooked as ever from iZombie to Outlander and of course, Carmilla. To the shows that  I’ve been told to binge watch and have lived up to said binge expectations (War & Peace, The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story, UnReal, Lucifer and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend).

There are the shows that have gone down in expectations and not so surprisingly have been cancelled as a result (Faking It, Agent Carter). And of course, I do need to mention my all time favourite show; Once Upon A Time. Season 5 started off with such potential, but unfortunately lost it’s way and ended  in complete shambles. Let’s hope it can pull a Game of Thrones, when it comes to season 6.

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Daenerys for the Iron Throne on Game of Thrones

As for film I can’t even comprehend where to begin, but it has been a good year. The highlight for me is one word; Ghostbusters. I would be lying if I didn’t say my inner nine year old wasn’t jumping for joy seeing four bad ass ladies kick some ghost ass. This has been a great year for film and I wish I could discuss it all but here are just a few highlights from the top of my head; Room, Love and Friendship, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Deadpool and Captain America: Civil War.

To top it all; I also saw  Marina Diamandis perform again, attended the Gaiety for the first time and hell, I have even seen Annie the musical at the Bord Gais. But definitely a most recent highlight is seeing the great Amy Schumer live. She is amazing  and I couldn’t stop laughing the whole time during the show.

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I also saw the stage production of one my all-time favourite films; Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The film will always stay close to my heart because Audrey. But Pixie Lott and cast excelled in this stage adaption. I love the new take on my favourite tale, especially since it was closer to the original book adaption by Truman Capote.

Entertainment wise it’s been amazing and it’s been hard to condense down to the above.

New York so good, I need to visit it twice…

I got to go to New York. New York! There are two places I have always dreamed of visiting the first is Paris (I’m going back) and the second is New York. Last April I was fortunate enough to go on a four day trip with my family to the heart of it all in Times Square. It wasn’t cheap and it was too quick, but oh boy was worth it. It lived up to all my expectations and more, the glitz and glamour and bright lights it felt overwhelming for sure. While the heart of it felt like a dream, without question my favourite bit was strolling along Manhattan on a sunny, but cold Sunday afternoon.  Whether it was seeing Lady Gaga’s apartment, to glancing through the Strand Bookstore – it was an amazing experience. I think though what stood out in my mind for sure was being able to walk in the same footsteps as the great Candace Bushnell on Fifth Avenue. If you know me and know me well (and read this blog), Candace Bushnell is up there with the greats for me. (The fact she favourited a tweet mentioning this was another highlight, see below).

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Just a few of my shots from NYC

Other highlights include being on top of the freedom tower, where the view stretched out all the way to New Jersey. Shopping Woodbury and getting to go to an actual Kate Spade boutique! But of course experiencing all of this with my family was the biggest highlight of all. It’s merely a matter of when, not if, when it comes to returning to NYC as I know I’ve only seen an eighth of what that great city has to offer.

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Tweeting with the idols…

Let’s face it with Twitter, you can often feel like you’re tweeting to the void, so to get any pleasant response is always awesome. But a response from one of your idols is something else. I don’t know what it has been about this year but I have had so many interactions with my idols/celebrities on twitter…and when I say interactions…I mean likes. But I’ll take it! Some are below but the few that literally made me stand up and scream are Candice Bushnell(my queen), Louise O’Neil(she replied), Gwendoline Christie and of course, mostly recently the great, Amy Schumer.
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The future…

I’m excited about the future, I really am. There are a few things that are on the agenda for me this September, things I have always wanted to explore but have been too afraid to in the past. But like my hair(which is blonder and shorter BTW) nothing is for certain, but as we all know too well anything in life rarely is. But I for one can’t wait to hop on my bike and cycle into the great unknown. Will it go smoothly? Most definitely not, but if I have learnt anything in the last year the best things rarely do.

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Did I just compare myself to Audrey Hepburn on bicycle? Yes, yes I did.

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