Weekending in London

British flags were EVERYWHERE

It’s good to get away and travel for a few days every now and then when and if you can. It gives you perspective – you make new memories from new experiences –  you meet new people –  you jolt yourself out of your routine.
Sometimes, it’s planned months or more in advance, and sometimes it’s a spur-of-the-moment trip.

I managed to do one of each to London within a month of each other. The first, in middish-May, was booked on a Tuesday for that weekend, and the second trip – just over a week ago – was planned for a few months, to go for a few days with my sister and her friend.

Katie & Lisa, 35mm Fujifilm ISO400 on Pentax MeSuper
Katie & Lisa (35mm Fujifilm Superia X-tra 400 on Pentax MeSuper)

So while my credit card and all associated finance-y things hate me right now (aaaaaargh) it was really enjoyable.

During the first trip (I was only there for two days, one night) I stayed just by Primrose Hill – a beautiful part of London. I didn’t plan where to go or what I wanted to do, I just went with the flow and having brought a lovely Pentax film camera with me, decided to just grab shots as I went. It worked out pretty well. Solo travelling (while it’s not for everyone, or even for every destination) does have its upsides – your schedule is completely up to you; where you eat is completely up to you; if you want to stop off and have a coffee and do some people-watching for an hour – it’s all up to yourself.
Solo travelling also really reminded me of how much we are constantly checking our phones etc ALL THE TIME. I had turned my data off while away, so initially felt like a limb had been removed, but once you get used to connectivity not being so instantly available, it is actually quite liberating. You also have so much more free time, with far more opportunity to observe everything around you.

Here’s a few of the shots I grabbed on the Pentax MeSuper camera – 35mm Fujifilm Superia X-tra 400.

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So the second trip with my sister and friend highlighted the upsides to travelling with friends – you get persuaded to go to places you wouldn’t normally choose to go – in my case, Madame Tussauds and to a musical – and you find that you really (unexpectedly) enjoy yourself.
Despite delayed flights and cancelled trains, we actually managed to fit in a morning in Madame Tussauds, a delicious lunch upstairs at Ottolenghi Nopi, a leisurely afternoon adventuring around Camden, a trip to Queen’s Theatre to see Les Miserables, and all amidst the fallout of the Brexit results (I won’t even go into it right now..) and the celebrations of Gay Pride!
So certainly a lot going on… 🙂

Again, I had brought along the film camera (I had a roll of film that I wanted to try out) as well as my Canon 70D. I really wanted to take a few more photos while I was there but as it turned out, didn’t take ONE photo on my Canon – after dragging it all over very humid London…. #facepalm ….

Didn’t take as many shots the second time around, but this time more of them turned out better – progress?

So again, these were taken on the Pentax MeSuper, this time with 35mm Kodak Colorplus 200.

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I think this post has probably dragged on longer than I wanted, but hope you saw something interesting ! If you’re already following me on Instagram or Twitter you may already have seen a few of these shots…

Either way, would love it if you let me know what you think 🙂

S

XO

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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

 

Photo-ing Paris

One of my New Years resolutions was to try and travel a bit more – spend less money on crap I don’t need, and use it to fund travel!

Paris is just one of those cities that everyone goes on and on about. To the point that it gets tiresome. To the point where you want to book anywhere else to travel to, because the world and their mother have already been. And bought some Parisian style t-shirt to prove it. “It’s just so beautiful”.”Oh it’s so romantic”. “So bohemian”, “Fabulous dahling” (Okay that last one is a direct quote from Ab Fab but you get my drift…)

But all of it is true. It lives up to the hype that it has created for itself. I have been several times now, and each and every time, I have not wanted to leave.

I think it’s a city that combines some of my biggest interests:

  • travel – d’oh… but seriously, I love the exploring experience, even when you have been to a city before, it’s still nice to go get (a little) lost and find all-new places.
  • food – this country knows how to cook. I mean, they REALLY know their way around the kitchen… (quick but weighty recommend for Le Flamboire – ate there. Delicious. Fabulously French, but also just plain fabulous. Just go…!)
  • wine – yep. Yeah. Mm-hmm. Yes to the wine.
  • film – every corner of this city is just constantly aching to be photographed !

So when Ryanair had a flash sale before Christmas with flights for €5 each way, it was too good to resist. (Of course, there was a Ryanair style hiccup, but that’s a story for another time…!)

Two days and one night in Paris. What to do? Given that I had been to Paris before, I figured there was no need to rush around, and that a very chilled approach was key. Soak up the atmosphere, eat as much as possible, take lots of photos of pretty things and revisit a few sights. So that’s what happened.

Here’s some of the photos (if you follow me on Instagram, you have probably seen a few of these already!) – a mixture of shots simply grabbed on my phone (Samsung S6), and some film photos, taken on a Pentax that’s from the seventies. Which is AWESOME.

Hope you enjoy!

S

XO

So the film photos first….

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Followed by the phone photos….

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PS if you’re subscribed to my blog, the photos possibly are not displaying if you’re reading your mail on a mobile device. But you can check them all out here 🙂

 

 

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

Apologies for the tumbleweed…

I’d like to apologise for the radio silence. It dawned on me only last week when I was reading another (very fabulous) blog – more details on that later – that it’s been almost a year (!) since I last posted on here.

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In my defence, I’ve been pretty busy exploring a completely new path in life. On the other hand, I’ve been a great fan of procrastination…!

Anyhows, over the last couple of months, I decided to pursue a love and interest of mine that had always been something I wanted to do – drama and acting.

I took the plunge first during the middle of last summer, signing up to a weekend workshop with John Dawson. Initially, I wasn’t entirely sure if it was something I could try – if I would be any good at it. After that weekend, I was hooked. Completely convinced that even if I wasn’t as good yet as I wanted to be, it was something that I really enjoyed, and the idea of getting hired to do something so enjoyable? A dream!

So fast-forward a couple of months; and I’ll admit – I’ve been really lucky. I have gotten to work with some of the most creative, crazy and funny individuals. I have discovered a whole new way of looking at film and TV. I was a little worried that “knowing too much” from behind the scenes would ruin some of the magic – a spoiler if you will – but if anything, it’s actually just given me a much better appreciation of the artform and the huge talent, preparation and ruthlessly large workload that contributes to these pieces.

I’ve learnt a lot, and more importantly, I’m learning more every day. Which is what you want from life right?

Ok that’s enough for the moment I reckon.

But not as long until the next post – promise!

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