March for Choice – 30 September 2017

Saturday, September 30th marked the 6th Annual March for Choice. 

Women, men, children (even pets!) from all over Ireland gathered on Saturday to march through Dublin city centre to show support for the Abortion Rights Campaign and the ongoing #Repealthe8th drive. 

If you are not familiar with the history of this issue in Ireland to date, there is a great explainer video here

With a referendum finally announced for mid-2018, the pressure is on now, more than ever, to inform people as much as possible on this subject, and to make sure that people know exactly what it is that their vote will change.

Talk to (at!) your friends, family, colleagues, neighbours, anyone who’s willing to listen – it’s too important not to. 

Simply put, repealing the 8th Amendment of the Irish constitution will demonstrate that the Irish people trust women to make the right choices for themselves. Repealing the 8th Amendment will not legalise abortion, despite what others might have you believe… 

Last Saturday’s march was something I was really happy to be able to take part in. Obviously everybody on Saturday would have preferred that there were no need for a march, but there is. Personally, I was a little overwhelmed by the sheer number of people that turned up – all in amazing spirits. The chanting, singing, drumming and laughter (there were some really witty signs!) created such a beautiful atmosphere, and I felt so proud of everybody there. It was clear to all that it’s an issue that is close to a lot of people’s hearts.

I won’t ramble on any longer, as I’m sure I’ll write more on this again, but for now, here are some photos of Saturday’s march, along with a few shots from the #Strike4Repeal gathering back in March of this year. 

If you want to sign the petition, you can do so here.

If you want to donate to the campaign, you can do that here

If you spot yourself in any of these photos and would like me to take it down, please just message me on sharonadotie at gmaildotcom or on Instagram (@sharonaie

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Love loves to love love…

'Paris Syndrome' (2007) by Jun Yang

In advance of what is billed as the most romantic day of the year, everyone is aaaaaaall about the love…

So my blog post title may be a little deceptive (ha!) but who doesn’t love (wink, wink) to feel clever by quoting Joyce once in a while! If you are a little sick of sappy season ahead of Feb 14th, I cannot recommend highly enough the exhibition still running at IMMA at the moment:  “What We Call Love – From Surrealism to Now” for a very different, visual take on the whole feeling, idea and concept. Move fast though – it’s finishing up tomorrow Sunday February 7th!

According to the accompanying book published by IMMA – What We Call Love – the collection has drawn from Surrealism’s idea of love as “amour fou” (mad love) and new concepts of love from the sixties onwards.

Clock Tower at IMMA
Clock Tower at IMMA

I visited recently (having meant to take a look for several months now) and really enjoyed the range of viewpoints and art forms. Photographs, paintings, sculptures, exhibits, films, documentaries – they are all included. The exhibition features work from greats like Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Damien Hurst, Yoko Ono – to name just a few – as well as many other artists that wouldn’t be as well-known. You don’t just have to take my word for it though – Aidan Dunne of the Irish Times recommends it too 🙂

I took a few photos while I was there (IMMA always makes me want to take more photographs…) so I have included a few here for those of you that may not make it along before it ends. Let me know what you think! 🙂

'Couple With Their Head Full of Clouds' (1936) Salvador Dali
‘Couple With Their Head Full of Clouds’ (1936) Salvador Dali
I love this one. The colours, the gilt framing, the slight incline of heads towards one another.
Les Amoureux Titre by Victor Brauner
Les Amoureux Titre by Victor Brauner
'High Moon' (1991) by Rebecca Horn
‘High Moon’ (1991) by Rebecca Horn This was the piece that initially intrigued me most before coming to this exhibit. Obviously incredibly visual, it was also a very different take on the subject of love…..!
1969 Yoko Ono and John Lennon
1969 Yoko Ono and John Lennon.
Another one of my favourites from this exhibition. The first photo is ‘Bed In For Peace’ by Ivor Sharpe, and the second photo is from their wedding day in Gibraltar.
'Paris Syndrome' (2007) by Jun Yang
‘Paris Syndrome’ (2007) by Jun Yang.
This was easily one of my favourites from this exhibition. I love the strange angles, the awkward posture, their expressionless faces.
Central Nervous System (2013) by Wolfgang Tillmans
Central Nervous System (2013) by Wolfgang Tillmans
From 'Hot 100s' by Jeremy Shaw
From ‘Hot 100s’ by Jeremy Shaw
Watercolour by Michele Ciacciofera
Watercolour by Michele Ciacciofera
The Couple (2003) by Louise Bourgeouis
The Couple (2003) by Louise Bourgeouis

 

'Passion Bed' (1993) by Dorothy Cross
‘Passion Bed’ (1993) by Dorothy Cross

 

‘Make Love’ (2005) by Attila Csörgő
‘Make Love’ (2005) by Attila Csörgő
Seaweed Dress
Seaweed Dress
A still from Seamus Nolan's film, screening at IMMA as part of "F**k IMMA"
A still from Seamus Nolan’s film, screening at IMMA as part of “F**k IMMA”
A still from Seamus Nolan's film, screening at IMMA as part of "F**k IMMA"
A still from Seamus Nolan’s film, screening at IMMA as part of “F**k IMMA”

 

 

 

 

 

 

And also, if you have already been – let me know what you think!

Tickets are still available, and priced from €5-8. Students go free.

All the best,

S

XO

Gates at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham
Gates at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham

 

Trying out my new camera

Having recently acquired a new camera – a Canon 70D – one of my 2016 resolutions was to put it to as much use as possible, and improve my photography through practice, practice, practice, some more practice…! I have always felt that so much is learned through trial and error, and have found this to be particularly true for me – in all aspects of life! It’s all very well and good to get things right on the first go, but my experience is that my mistakes have spawned my best learned lessons.

So on that happy note(!), I vowed to do away with all the usual excuses – cold, sickness, laziness –  and take the camera out on a little walk-adventure as often as I can. Two weekends into the new year, and so far, two photo walks done.

I have chosen a few photos from the two days here, and hopefully some of these posts will show some progression….. ! Haha! I tend to be quite hard on myself and critical of the photos I take, so seeing any kind of improvement would be great 🙂

Here’s a little selection of photos over the two days – would love to hear what you think!

S

XO

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Monday January 11th

Today has been a very sad day.

For a whole lot of people. For his family, friends. For those who worked with him down through the years. And for his fans. A broad spectrum of people from all different walks of life has mourned the loss of David Bowie today.

For all sorts of reasons.

Some will remember with fond memories dancing to his music when it was first released. Others, like myself, will have only discovered his creations later. (“Let’s Dance” changed everything for me)

Having only just gotten to hear his new album this weekend just gone, it just seemed so surreal that he is actually gone. He had been around, and recording music throughout my lifetime to date, so for me personally, I just couldn’t quite believe it at first.

His legacy is immeasurable, having inspired so many people around the world through music, art, fashion, film. The back catalogue of collaborations is a testament to how he currently sought to evolve, improve, push any and all boundaries. He was an innovative, driven and brave individual who has certainly left his mark behind.

Lots of people who are far more eloquent than me will write and eulogize his death over the coming days and months, so I’ll just leave it to the man himself to sing us out with Lazarus.

RIP David Bowie

Dipping my toe back in..

So the blogging thing hasn’t gone all that well for me so far. It’s a little here and there… stop and start… hit and miss.

So. I figured out that perhaps brevity is my friend. Where procrastination is not.

Sooooo a lot has changed since my last post, but let’s start off light. While I have always had a huge interest in photography since I happened across some of the work of Robert Doisneau, it is only in the last little while that I have actively tried to learn more about the technical aspects of the art.

Trial and error seems to be the trick. But it’s a very rewarding way to pass the time as well. It’s gotten me to venture out in all sorts of weather in pursuit of certain pictures, out on hikes, into music festivals, even just walking down streets I’ve never noticed before. Getting paid for my photography in the last few weeks was something I never thought would happen, but it did!

Anyways, now I can hear myself rambling, so I’ll just leave you with a few of my favourite photos of late – check me out on Instagram too, I post (almost) daily, let me know what you think!

S

XO

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Rush Hour on O’Connell Street
Silhouettes@SmockAlley[1]
Silhouettes at Smock Alley
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Downstairs at the CHQ building
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Hands in the air for Jamie XX @ Metropolis

Street Art in Dublin

More and more pieces of street art are popping up all around Dublin at the moment. Particularly in the city centre, MURO Street Art‘s recent event left behind some wonderful works. While some on the corner of Greek Street have been sprayed over – *Boo!* – the bigger pieces are still available to see along the Luas lines near the Four Courts stop.

Street Art DublinStreet Art Dublin Street Art Dublin

I love to see that they have painted these wonderful pieces on buildings that were falling into disrepair and making the area look quite derelict. Literally blank canvases!

Street Art Dublin

What I don’t agree with it is the fact that these are being looked at as graffiti that needs to be painted over…

Street Art Dublin

There are plenty of other spots around town to spy other creations. Some buildings in Templebar are quite colourful, and there are lots of other finds around town as seen by Ekaterina Smirnova here.

Colours - TemplebarPavement Art  - Lord Edward StreetStreet Art Dublin - Kilmainham

Street art certainly seems to be more of a growing trend (not just in Ireland, Athenian street art here ) as more boomtime purchase buildings are being left untended, with increasing demand for art space, but not much of anything in the way of support for aspiring artists..

I personally like it;  I love to see all the various methods of expression. It also goes to show that you don’t need a massive budget to produce something special.

Great New Ideas

Great new ideas flowing this evening…

I’d like to thank.. the PortHouse, the wine they served, and… the wine.

How is it that the creative side of the brain seems to work that much better with alcohol? Why is that? It’s just giving everyone an excuse to drink in the hopes of being more.. em… artistic… yes, that’s what we’ll say.

Anyhow, ideas flowing this evening.

Every now and then, we all *try* to have that conversation of what are we doing, where are we headed to, etc., etc.

This evening, the wine spurred this on a little more than usual.

So plans are afoot!

The blog has been resurrected.

Eventually. So perhaps yes, the word resurrection is perfectly apt!

Watch. this. space! *

*I promise this time around, blogs will actually follow….

Keep Calm, (Wo)Man Cooking…

Keep Calm, (Wo)Man Cooking...

So I’ve never claimed to be a domestic goddess.

I’m no Nigella.

Thankfully, my husband doesn’t have a sweet tooth, so baking is never something I have really ever had to master.

Problem being, that I am partial to a dessert or two.

So recently I decided to try it out again; my last foray into baking and dessert-making being back in school with some butterfly cakes – anyone remember those?

Butterfly Cakes
Photo from http://www.exclusivelyfood.com.au

Anyhow, I decided to start off slowly, and made a relatively inoffensive cheesecake.

It looked a little lumpy, and a little broken around the edges, but surprisingly (to me, and everyone else that tried) it tasted actually pretty good!

So it spurred me on to try a slightly more challenging recipe – chocolate  fudge brownies.

Hardly rocket science by any means, but to a rusty baker like myself, you have to walk before you can jog right?

Anyhow, tried to keep it as simple as possible for myself – as I realised that I had no scales and no square baking tin to be found….

So butter and cocoa melting in one pan, I whisked eggs and sugar up.

When both were ready, I folded them in together, and sifted in some flour – and when I say sift, I mean I dumped in slowly, whilst frantically mixing. (Note to self, sieve would be easier next time.) There was no exactness to my method, as all measurements were pretty much guestimated…

Chocolate fudge brownie mixture
Mixing bowl..Chocolate fudge brownie mix - close upLooks a little lumpy, but had a quick taste- not bad!

Then due to not having  a square baking tin, I figured that this brioche pan would have to do.

Popped it into the oven to warm it up, and greased it with some of the finest butter – Kerrygold.

Another note to self, pastry brush would have made the greasing a little easier….

So in it all went.

Brioche Pan - not designed for brownies...
Brioche Pan – not designed for brownies…
Keep Calm, (Wo)Man Cooking...
Keep Calm, (Wo)Man Cooking…

So then with oven at 160, I just had to wait … and wait a bit more … and take a peek … and wait a bit more..

Nervously awaiting...!
Nervously awaiting…!       Chocolate brownie mix raising nicely..Chocolate brownie mix raising nicely..

And eventually, I couldn’t wait any longer.

I figured – what’s the worst that can happen? And immediately thought of both Dr. Pepper AND Murphy’s Law simultaneously..

But as it turned out – against all odds, it wasn’t so bad.

Letting it rest a little, while I decided how best to go about this..
Letting it rest a little, while I decided how best to go about this..

I knew that these were never going to be your typical square or rectangular “homecoming queen” style brownies, but I reckon they did ok… 🙂

Chocolate fudge brownies (from a brioche pan!) with some delicious seasonal cherries.
Chocolate fudge brownies (from a brioche pan!) with some delicious seasonal cherries.
I heart my brownies... :)
I heart my brownies… 🙂

Catch you another time…

Hopefully any other baking related posts won’t be quite so dramatic…. 😉

Shar XO

Shopping – the most dangerous addiction of all…

I love shopping.

I’ll be the first to admit it – I have a sinful amount of clothes sitting in my closet, in my drawers, on shelves, on the floor.

Yet for some reason, every time I’m in town, I still find myself shopping.

Sometimes browsing, sometimes just having a look – but always on the lookout for THAT elusive piece of clothing that will spin my whole wardrobe on its head, and change everything. I will then be that fashionista. I will finally feel like the glamourous persona I have always wanted to be.

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Quite the fashionista..ahem, or not. No amount of attitude was going to get me to pull this one off..!
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Me, ridiculously excited at Louis Vuitton store in Singapore.

This, of course, is absolute codswallop. Codswallop is not a word I use lightly, or at all for that matter, as it’s a word that seems absolutely ridiculous to me, much like the mindset that we con ourselves into every time we traipse around the high street.

That blazer is going to completely transform all my trousers/skirts/dresses/t-shirts/blouses

Doubtful, my dear – if it did, it would be a snip for €90, and sure, wouldn’t we all have one!

This all came to mind for me today, as I led my fashion-conscious-yet-challenged younger brother around the shops, trying to dress him up to make the most of himself, whilst still trying to stay within his student budget. A tough job, but a cinch for a seasoned fashpert such as myself. As we walked around, I told him the old chestnuts of “don’t just buy those shoes just because they’re a bargain, because if you never wear them then they’re not such a bargain after all” and the other one: “decide what you’re looking for before you hit the shops”. In the meantime, I ended up buying two tops, a dress and a pair of trousers for myself. Which I did not need.

Where do we get this constant compulsion? Is it a female thing? Do the likes of Penneys, Matalan, Forever 21 actually know us better than we know ourselves? Is it the physical act of buying that gives us the adrenaline rush, or is that slinky top really the thing that keeps us going back?

The fact that I am probably subscribed to at least thirty fashion websites that send me daily updates on all of the bargains that I am missing probably isn’t helping any compulsions that may otherwise be content to lay dormant.

I really enjoyed myself today. Not because I went on a spree – it was only a little one… – but because I was helping others buy for themselves.

Which reminds me – I should be on commission in Zara, for the amount of business I’ve accummulated for them at this stage.

Either way.

I will be starting a clearout this evening in my wardrobe.

Not a job that I relish – it’s one of my pet hates, and I feel so guilty every time for having let the state of it get so bad.

I will be rubbishing all that cannot be salvaged, donating what cannot be sold, and the small remainder shall go on eBay – one man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure and all that.

I shall also, forthwith*, be under a self-imposed clothes^ shopping ban.

I shall check and report any withdrawal symptoms – fever, shakes, etc.

Wish me luck.

Til next time, sayonara.

Shar XO

*For future reference, fancy words such as forthwith, show that I am at this moment, very determined to do as I say.

^ When I say clothes, I do have to remind myself that included in this ban are bags, shoes, accessories. Any loopholes and I’ll be back to square one.