Tuesday, July 24, 2012


I'd like to make something clear now: this is not, and will never be, a fashion blog. That's not me skillfully ignoring what's hip and cool these days, it's not me eschewing the Leanne Woodfulls of this world; it's that I don't, and never will, have a clue about fashion. I try, I fail. I don't try and I fail worse...it's just not my thing. Only the other day did I learn that bootcut jeans WILL NOT FIT INTO BOOTS. I don't know what's worse, in retrospect: the fact that I tried or the fact that I wear bootcut jeans. I think I'm selling myself short ever so slightly: I'm not THAT unfortunate in the dress department. I'm just not incredibly stylish, like some of my friends are. That said, I don't really try. 


The t-shirt changes. My favourite is either this one my Communist Party one from Threadless or a short blue tribal one my mum bought for me in America. The shorts are occasionally swapped for a dress, and the shoes change on occasion. I have these Docs in a shorter version and I love them. I also have black leather boots that have been worn to death ...But by and large, that's how I dress. Day in, day out. I like to mix it up soemtimes - one of my favourite things is a leopard print dress. Ooh, I know, I'm just mad. But I mean- 
 it's leopard print. Let me have this one, fashion world. I know I should leave it to people like Kesha, but the dress hasn't got a zip, or a belt, or anything awkward. One just has to put it on. It's lovely. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand I think I just proved the point is that I don't really keep up with trends, I don't actively seek out fashion and I'm really not that bothered. Sometimes, however, I just feel damn materialistic, and I drool over clothes from Topshop, A Wear and various other places. But goddammit. I just spent a good half hour online, looking at the above sites as well as others. It seems to me as though clothes I like have gone out of style, and have been replaced by ridiculous things like faux-fur headbands and peplum. WHO can wear peplum?! It's ridiculous!

This is why I end up in shops like Dorothy Perkins and this is why I'll never be as ~fashionable as some of my friends. I just don't understand a lot of the clothes out there today. Plus, I'll freely admit that I have an awkward body shape - by awkward, I mean big. Clothes just hang funny and "get caught" on my belly. What can you do?

I occasionally stumble across things that I love to wear, and I wear them to death. Some of them are a bit quirky, like the red beret I bought in Paris two years ago...

...which I wore in Paris, pretty constantly for summer 2010, for the entirety of last year's Gaeltacht, as a costume and teamed with a lovely red coat earlier this year. And all for the princely sum of 9 euro...

Some of them are completely un-interesting, like the leather jacket I bought in River Island the Christmas before last. I remember feeling sick to my stomach on seeing the 80 euro price tag, but thankfully the jacket is worn almost every day. It's been worth every cent...if only it was a bit warmer! Funnily enough, I have few photos of said jacket - I wear it with everything, but I always take it off when I'm inside.

So that's me and my relationship with clothes: in turns it's amazing, boring, depressing and exciting. I haven't been shopping in quite a while, but this post has made me want to go and take down half of Dublin city. Just in case anyone was wondering, here are my "fashion" tips:

  • Hats are incredibly important. A hat got me a boyfriend. Never underestimate hats.
  • Red, as Caitlin Moran says, is a neutral.
  • Sometimes it's good to buy something you wouldn't normally - my flowery Docs, my rainbow suspenders. You never know. 
  • If something isn't comfy, for Christ sake's don't buy it.
  • Sometimes one has to step away from the floral. I own a hideous amount of floral clothes. Floral is cute but too much is just...no. I need to stop.
  • Denim shorts + tights = lifesaving outfit.
  • If you think something looks good, wear it. Ignore anyone else's ideas. One of my favourite dresses is yellow and ruffled. My mother did not approve, but I feel better in it than almost anything else.
  • However, listen to advice sometimes.
  • Always bring a spare pair of tights.
  • Try to be interesting. It's all well and good to look like you've stepped out of a magazine (yay, you) but what does that say about you, really? My attempts at style make me look like a lunatic, but hey, at least I deliver what I promise.
  • ACCESSORIES ARE GOOD. Outside of hats, I don't spend money on accessories, because I lose them almost straight away. What I have are a pair of earrings my darling friend Brenda made me, and a belt that doubles as a bottle opener. Buy accessories. Don't lose them. 
  • Sometimes, sequins just have to be bought. I desperately want a sequin jacket. Then, maybe, I'll be cool. 
And that, my dear readers, is my part one of some on clothes, accessories, and what I have the nerve to call fashion. 


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I get fit! Part three: I go swimming!

Swimming has been a constant in my life since my dad threw me in the local pool at the age of three. My childhood years were spent doing lengths; I literally spent every weekend swimming for a couple of hours. Naturally, myself and my siblings progressed onto to competitive swimming, except when I didn't. At the age of eleven, I decided swimming wasn't for me, much less training several times a week. After several rows, my parents accepted that and while my brother and sister won medals, I sat on the internet.
Would I be writing my "I get fit" blog had I kept up the swimming? Probably. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I love food far too much to be thin. A life without saturated fat makes me sad. I mean, I just ate a giant plate of goulash (I might even post the recipe. Hmmmm.) while writing this post. No amount of training would make me look like Kate Moss, and it doesn't really bother me. Much.

My role model for the past eight years.

Anyway, I've been working at the whole getting fit thing for a while now. I'm eating a lot healthier than I used to, I've been doing loads more exercise and I am sloooooooooowly seeing improvements i.e. I look like a living human being these days. The best thing I've found has been swimming!

I go swimming in my local pool, and my first go at it (in about two years) was horrific. I flailed up and down the pool for ten minutes or so, gasping after a mere five lengths. I managed to choke out a further five before I quit, promising that I'd build it up and bemoaning that I hadn't swam in two years. Funnily enough, I kept my promise - I've gone swimming five or six times since and this morning I swam thirty lengths, with the help of my wonderfully encouraging younger brother. I was so proud of myself, goddammit. Swimming is something that -  prior to the contests, the lengths and the rows - I really loved. I still do - it's a method of exercise I actually feel comfortable with, which means a lot when one's trying to get fit.

A lot of people my age refuse to swim, for fear of looking silly in a one piece. This is something that riles me no end, because once you get over that: swimming is fun, easy and absolutely fantastic for your body. Yeah, I'm still more manatee than model, but I don't mind. The lovely thing about a swimming pool is that people will always look worse in a swimsuit than you - they don't give a shit, why should I? It's all about body positivity and health, to me. Anyone who's laughing at my body needs to re-evaulte their life choices, and as long as I hold on to that mentality it's grand to swim. My thighs bump, my swimsuit is a bit dodgy, but I'm in the pool, thrashing around trying to change it. I'm not Superwoman, it's hard to deal with that, especially when guys from my year are hanging around. It's fine once you get used to it, and I'm absolutely loving swimming. 

Fitness as of now:

I'm finally starting to notice my body shaking itself up. I think I deserve a new swimsuit, a la this lovely picture via Frances' pinterest: 

Retro swimsuits

Now if only we had the weather for it...

Monday, July 16, 2012

Elliott Smith - Needle in the Hay

Ever come across a perfect, achingly sad song? They're rare things. Most songs have a tinge of sadness to them - it's much easy to write melancholy music. But when you do stumblr across this kind of song, it's hard to get away from them. Some of my favourite songs are very sad, but they make me happy because they're just...well, gorgeous. This song is one such perfect song, one I can't stop listening to since I discovered it via The Royal Tenenbaums last week. The simple guitar, the fact that I have no idea what Elliot Smith is saying, the end. Love it. 
Enjoy x

Friday, July 13, 2012

Les cartes.

Greetings, islanders. I write to you from the wonderful French west coast, where I have spent the past week. It's all been sun, sand, sea and, er, Breaking Bad until today. The weather has taken a turn for the Irish and it's been lashing since 6am. I woke up this morning to raindrops slamming off the roof, sounding like thunder. Not one for the sun, I don't mind too much, but my mum and my sister are distraught, particularly Eimear. She came here, it seems, for one reason only: to tan. Hilariously enough, my brother has tanned, but not her. I have freckled terribly and chunks of my shoulders are considerably pinker than others. My main gripe with the holiday has been the fact that I can't sleep - thank American Psycho and tin rooves for that.
Rain, rain, go away, you're ruining my sleeping pattern.

Unlike many things, La Palymre is considerably less fun when wet. My family and I have spent the afternoon in our mobile home, eating crackers and coaxing the shitty wifi to work. Shockingly, it's not that much fun in a mobile home, particularly when there are five people in it. Two of which are over six feet tall. Anyway, Enda's and my solution to the boredom was a deck of cards. Cards on holiday seem to be a quintessentially Irish thing. To me, it conjours up images of a Father Ted-style caravan holiday, with seven kids yelling snap at each other while the parents do shots of whiskey and make ham sandwiches. My mum spent her childhood holidays playing cards together because it was too wet to do much else, in Galway, Cork, Kerry and Wexford. Thirty years later, history is repeating itself - Enda and I spent a good hour playing twenty-fives. We played five or six games, one of which I managed to win.

The problem with me and cards is that my brain is...just...not...that logical. It's okay for social logic ("YOU CAN'T JUST SHIFT SOMEONE ELSES FELLA, GODDAMN!" etc.) but when it comes to any kind of numerical logic, I really, really fail at it. Of five. Maybe Enda has a gift for these things, I don't know. It was pretty embarrassing to lose that badly to a 14 year old, though.

It got me thinking about ~the simple things~. I've got a laptop with a bunch of movies on it with me, but it was just as enjoyable to play with a few bits of paper with Enda. I'm not remotely patriotic, but maybe the rain brings out the, eh, Irishness in some people. Or maybe I was just sick of the laptop. Either way, cards are great. I can't say I understand their logic (or even half understand it) but it beats walking on a beach in the rain by several country miles.

A bientot.