Saturday, 11 November 2006

What's Paris Got On Me!

So Derek is a lucky guy. He does a good job and works hard for Carphone Warehouse. However there are a couple of perks to his job and being assistant manages really has it's benefits when you work for the shop in the centre of town in the middle of the action. One of these perks involves meeting famous people, and Derek has been having a good year (although I was the one who saw Pamela Anderson and Liz Hurley and not him, but that's another story for another day!)
Brendan Gleeson:
Brendan Gleeson is a famous Irish Actor, seen in such films as: Harry Potter (Mad Eyed Moody), among a long list of other credits which can be found here, I'm sure regardless of your taste in film you'll recognize him from somewhere. Anyhow, Brendan Gleeson is a fan of Carphone warehouse and of mobile phones, much like many other people in the part of the world. He came onto the shop looking for a couple of gifts for his nearest and dearest... IPODS! and he bought not one, not two but four of the popular little music players. Unfortunately Derek really doesn't get much of a commission for selling the apple million dollar babies but he did make out with one little thing... his signature, Mr. Gleeson did pay for the purchase by credit card so Derek just blocked out the private information and photo copied the signature.

David 'the hoff' Hasselhoff:
So Mr. Hasselhoff doesn't really travel prepared, perhaps this is his fault or that of his PA who both came into the store as the Hoff's phone was dead and he was unable to charge it without a working charger either because he left his at home or, like probably some american's thought the world revolved around them and no one else had different plugs and you'd be able to plug your american plug into any socket... this is about the get dirty so I'm going to drop it there before I offend even myself.
Anyhow, the Hoff, an owner of the Motorola V3 needed a charger and he was one his way, although I think Derek actually got away with calling him 'Dave' and chatting him up about the country and found out his travel plans and that he was in town for a book signing and the off to London.
I'm quite sure he's in no rush to leave Europe as he's like the biggest celebrity here, and with his new internet commercials out, it looks like he's got the fantastic ability to laugh at himself so, Dave, you're welcome here anytime!

Paris Hilton:
Paris, Paris, Paris... what can you even say about the girl. Someone famous for being rich, a girl who really amounts to nothing and does nothing for the world she lives in, but I guess someone has to be the punchline for the jokes in the world and Paris is the punchline of this chapter. She's in Dublin to launch her new fragrance at the BT2 store on Grafton Street right next to Carphone Warehouse. She's in town for the one 'performance' and she's getting paid 20 thousand just for that!
Anyhow, so she's in town to meet and greet her fans and it's insane on the street with the screaming girls and (mostly) gay men looking for a glimpse of the girl who does nothing. Because of this interruption, Derek gets invited (as the store's manager that day) to meet the Heiress. So off he goes, and in good old Derek fashion he gets up to the front of the line, gives her a smile and asks her out for a drink tonight??? I mean, what? excuse me? But being the ever popular and jet setting girl, she politely declines and says she's off to (God I so want to say Paris here...) London and that it's too bad because she would have loved to!
So Derek leaves, big cheeky grin on his face, a signed personalized photo of her, a copy of her CD (anyone want it?) And the tackiest watch I've ever seen, which as soon as I put it on I couldn't stop saying how 'hot' I thought it was. Perhaps there's a little Heiress in us all.
The punchline: she's not even staying at the Hilton here... what they didn't even want her???

Monday, 1 May 2006

May Bank Holiday Weekend

This weekend was fantastic, two counties taken care of in one long weekend, not bad. Our trip to Leitrim was the nicest part, we left early on Saturday morning and made it to Carrick on Shannon for lunch, beautiful little town, kinda reminded me of a small little tourist town with a river that runs through the middle, it was a beautiful hot sunny day... yes I did say hot, we managed to get sunburns on the boat trip... I'll come to that. Back to the story, we stopped into the tourist office just to get our bearings and to see if the woman could recommend a nice place to stop for lunch, she was useless.... so we went across the street to a pub and had lunch, yummy pub grub and then crossed the river and had a drink out on the back lawn of a pub on the Shannon, it was lovely. We had a stroll around the rest of town and then took a short boat ride down the Shannon, not really all that great of a boat trip but we agreed that we would have regretted not doing it. After Carrick was seen, we headed over to the B&B that we had booked to check in and see what was up. Let me tell you this was the prettiest B&B that I have ever been to in my life, we had the best time and since then have talked about nothing but when we might be able to go back. The house was on a hill overlooking the canal; our room had two large picture windows that over looked the canal and the fields. The place was run but a nice couple who also run a small restaurant out of the other side of the house and we had been told to book dinner for that night as well and had reservations for 7:30. We relaxed till it was time to go and then enjoyed the best meal of my life, The best thing is that the bill the next day when we checked out was only 152 euro for the night and dinner and it was worth every penny, the bed was fantastic slept like a baby , the room pretty and clean, and dinner was so good, even Derek, the pickiest eater in the world, was torn on what to order but went with a chicken dish as well as vegetable soup to start and cheesecake for dessert. I started with a homemade pate with little slices of toast and Cumberland sauce, yummy, and then had fish in a white wine sauce with, and get this, pan fried green grapes, mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm just thinking about it makes my mouth water. It was all served with mashed and scalloped potatoes and fresh steamed veg all home grown, god it was good. I was too full to have dessert and Derek had to roll me back to the room and we couldn't move. Breakfast the following morning was just as good, the husband that owns the place is the chef for everything, god I'd be massive if I was married to him. Derek and I loved the time we spent there and would not hesitate going back tomorrow.... if only we had the time!! The best thing we (I) did in the planning was to try not to replicate the same experience the following night in Sligo. We left the B&B and the weather wasn't the best raining and cloudy so we figured there was no rush to get to the seashore in Sligo as there would be nothing for us to do there and we had reservations for the Seaweed baths only for 3:30. So we took one of the more scenic routes from the tour book I have and went on a tour of Yeats county, lovely back roads and lakes and waterfalls, it was a nice little tour and then once we got to Strandhill in Sligo we weren't so low about the weather anymore. We sat in the car for a while and watched the surfers in the waves, which are huge, some of the biggest in Europe. The surf is so strong that they don't allow swimming there because so many people have been pulled in and drowned from the undertow. Crazy. So we went to a cafe to get a snack for lunch and then over to the seaweed baths. MMMMMMmmmmm perfect on a cold rainy day is a bath, we decided to do it together and there was more than enough room, won't go into detail though. The room was set up with a steam sauna room (basically a large shower with the top blocked in) and a huge claw footed bath tub filled with warm water and seaweed. The seaweed is harvested every morning at low tide and then cleaned, used once and then sent to an organic farm to be used as fertilizer, the whole thing was lovely and we both left feeling relaxed and moisturized but not greasy, even Derek’s dry skin was softer! After we went up to the B&B which was more like a basic room above a tavern and took a nap. When we woke, hungry we decided on pizza and headed into the town of Sligo to see what we could find, nice quiet night, but ended up in the tavern downstairs where there was live music and extremely excellent and cheap Guinness, imagine 5 rounds for 22 euro!!! We had a nice time and eventually made our way up to the room.
This morning was beautiful again so we ate breakfast and went down to the beach to take a photo or two and then went and did a little bit of sight seeing of Megalithic Tombs and ruins and stuff. We wanted to get home early as long weekends are known for having traffic when everyone is trying to get home at once so we didn’t stay too long, just enough time to get some photos. So we beat the traffic and made it back to the city in time to join Derek’s parents at that lovely church pub. Mmm.

Tuesday, 18 April 2006

Easter weekend in Roscommon

County Roscommon was visited Easter weekend when we were invited to the home of brothers Owen and Paul. It was a beautiful home that they have restored and it was a lovely break from the city, slept so well as at night it was pitch black and you couldn’t even see your hand in front of your face!!!
We took a trip one afternoon to Galway as it was only a short drive away (is anything in this country really THAT far???) Anyhow, had a great weekend, little too short as Derek had to work on Saturday and Monday afternoon but it was worth the trip. Happy Easter! Hope the Easter Bunny was good to you!

Saturday, 15 April 2006

Girly Good Friday

Today I had the day off for Good Friday and met up with Derek’s Mom, Susan and his brother’s FiancĂ© Niamh and we went to Powerscourt for the afternoon. A little about Powerscourt:
The gardens at Powerscourt are probably the finest in Ireland both for their design and their dramatic setting at the foot of Great Sugar Loaf Mountain. The house and grounds were commissioned in the 1730’s by Richard Wingfield, the 1st Viscount Powerscourt. New ornamental gardens were completed in 1858-75 by the 7th Viscount, who added gates, urns and statues collected during his travels in Europe. The house was gutted by an accidental fire in 1974, but the ground floor has been beautifully renovated and now accommodates an upmarket centre where they sell hand made beauty and bath products and hand woven wool sweaters and clothing and food. There is also an excellent restaurant and CafĂ© (Avoca) where you could buy inexpensive healthy meals like quiche and salad which is what I enjoyed for lunch. Derek’s cousin works at Powerscourt and we ran into him there and he sent us off to walk around the grounds for free entry which was nice and definitely worth it. I took loads of photos and have uploaded many of them such as:
The Perron: Leading down from the house to Triton lake is the Perron, a beautiful Italianate stairway added in 1874. Beside the lake, it is guarded by two statues of Pegasus- the mythical winged horse and emblem of the Wingfied family.
Triton Lake: made for the first garden the lake takes its name from the central fountain which is modelled on a 17th century work by Bernini in Rome.
Japanese Gardens: enchanting Edwardian gardens created out of bog land, contain bamboo trees!

Beautiful day, good company. We ended the day off at Derek’s parents for hot cross buns and tea. Good way to start a long Easter weekend.

Sunday, 9 April 2006

Mom and Dad's Visit

Well, kinda sad that I don’t have more photos of when my mom and dad came to visit, I know my mom took loads but her camera is all the way in Canada now. We did have a lovely time with my mom and dad here, I think they really enjoyed themselves. They did the tourist thing, sightseeing and all that and Derek and I enjoyed seeing some of the sights with them. We had some good laughs, way too much drinking (Derek and my Dad and their pub crawls home!!!) and I think my mom and dad finally got to know Derek as they’ve really only met he a few times. My Parents also had a bit of a Meet the Parents/Meet the Faukers as We has dinner with Derek’s family and there has been an exchange of e-mail addresses so I don’t think anything we do anymore will be kept quiet as I’m sure there will be some reporting back to one another!
Overall it was a good week and I’ll be sure to update this with more photos when I get them off my mom!

Sunday, 5 February 2006

Just a quick hello

Hello, and greeting finally from Ireland.
I was waiting to make sure that my first update from here was going to be shocking, exciting and just about unbelievable. And although there have been little things that have both puzzled and confused me, it’s been about a month since I got here and I kept putting off the update but this morning it happened. It was finally the perfect opportunity to show you just how different Dublin is from Montreal… actually from just about anywhere I’ve ever been before, I woke up to it being the first Sunday of the month. Now I should tell you that where we live is a large complex of 5 buildings, each with around 90 apartments in each. And outside the complex this morning were horses. Lots and lots of horses. It seem that traditionally this Sunday is the day that they sell and trade horses of all sizes outside the apartment complex. It was both confusing, exciting and honestly I was shocked. The perfect time to post and show you just how different it can get here. Now although I only got a few pictures, I couldn’t capture the smell, or the experience of Derek and I checking the underside of our shoes in the elevator before going into the apartment. Nevertheless, things here are exciting and I hope to post more photos soon, I’ll try to get off my butt and clean the apartment and take some photos of that. Hope everyone is well, talk to you all soon. Love Me.