Wooden carved hearts for valentine's day

Top 5 movies to watch on Valentine’s Day

Ok, as we all are WELL aware of right now, I am a sucker for love.

Witnessing it, experiencing it, (more recently) seeking it…I just love it.

Nothing would have brought me as much joy as detailing all of the cutesy coupley things that I normally do on Valentine’s Day.

However, this year I find myself fucking bored and alone independent and free.

Rather than being a complete grump missing such a topical and opportune time for us bloggers, I thought it best to chuck my addition into the mix.

Whatever you’re up to this V Day, you can always rely on the good old magic of movies to keep you company.

Below are my top 5 films to watch on Valentine’s Day.

The best valentine's day movies of all time

Film-spiration

The Golden Oldie One

Gone with the Wind (1939)

No list of beautiful films is complete without the absolute blessing that is Gone with the Wind.

Focusing around the American civil war (not very sexy, but it gets better, I promise!), the almost 3 hour epic follows the story of Scarlett O’Hara, a Southern Belle of Irish decent, and her struggle back to power after the war savages the life that she has always known.

It has unreal floaty fashion, a fierce-as-fuck female lead, and the sexy bastard marvel that is Rhett Butler, or Clarke Gable to you and me.

Filled with weak-at-the-knees moments a girl can only dream of like below, if you find yourself with a few hours to spare, you won’t be disappointed.

The Rudey One

Blue is the Warmest Colour (2013)

Controversial choice, but hear me out, okay!?

Regardless of whatever you are into – men, women, trans, cucumbers or bullets, I challenge you to watch this film and NOT get the horn.

Visually stunning, the film follows two young girls and their mesmerising story of forbidden love in the boroughs of the original city of love, Paris.

What makes this film so ‘rudey’, so to speak, is the no-fear attitude when it comes to the sex scenes.

Perhaps a film definitely better watched with just you and your partner, but nonetheless – a must see.

The Feel Good One

Bridget Jones’ Diary (2001)

Oh Bridget, Bridget, Bridget. How do I even begin to tackle you!?

One of my absolute favourite films without a doubt ever ever ever!

A story of a normal, single, twenty-first century woman, picking herself up after a particularly difficult (and at times, admittedly hilarious) breakup. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry.

It makes me conflicted over which handsome chappy I would pick! Or more to the point, when I’m going to have two absolute 10’s fighting over me…

The Weepy One

Atonement (2007)

The first of my Keira Knightley appreciation club entries, Atonement will hit you with all of the feels.

Without giving too much away, the story is set during World War II, and follows a wealthy woman and her families employee, who fall deeply in love. Unfortunately, a lie forces the couple apart, and what follows is a tale of how wrong things can go, when life decides to be cruel. Seriously, I still can’t watch the below trailer without developing an absolute shit-storm of emotions, nuts!

More of a recommendation if you are fancying something slightly more dramatic, and are wanting to remember how lucky you are to have found your other half. Oh and the soundtrack is TO DIE FOR.

Get the tissues at the ready. You’ll need them.

The ‘F you’ to Relationships One

Domino (2005)

Another entry to feed my adoration for the good, great Keira Knightley, Domino, whilst receiving terrible reviews EVERYWHERE ELSE (seriously, check out these Rotten Tomatoes reviews!), is a firm favourite in my house.

A wealthy beauty queen who doesn’t quite conform (maybe that’s why I love this film so much, the resemblance to my life is just UNCANNY, ha!) changes course and becomes a bounty hunter. Along the way, she forms a crew with two acquaintances, one being the eye-pleasing Choco.

It has action, it has a fit topless Spaniard, it has classic one-liners like “Have you had a nose job? *QUEUE DEATH SMACK*”…what’s not to love?

Plus, the ending makes you not want to believe in love on this cruel world ever again. Great watch IMO.

And that, ladies and gents, is yet another window into the mind that is Tganjen.

Like it or love it, these are the films for me. Romance, Tragedy, Unrequited love, Pain, Transient Love…Jeez, I need to get out more.

Hope you jammy sods enjoy celebrating how truly wonderful love is. Hold your loved ones close. Time is sometimes short.

Lots of love

Jen x

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Festive background of sparkling defocused lights

CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN – WHY I LOVE CHRISTMAS

Sweet baby Jesus – I fucking love Christmas.

Sorry for the swearing, but I tell you – it’s warranted. Far and away the G R E A T E S T time of year.

Chilly, but nice outside. Lovely jubbly xmas songs wafting through the airwaves like a bad trump that won’t quite go away, (but you are secretly enjoying). Everyone appears to be in a jovial, spirited mood (makes a change for the office grump – yes I’m looking at you here Karen).

The only issue with it all? It’s all over too bloody fast.

24 measly hours we get. 24 measly hours to cram in as much un-adulterated happiness, whilst balancing the sober/pissed tightrope that, let’s face it, we all walk year on year.

But where does this pure adoration come from? It simply can’t have something to do with the bat-shit/bonkers/strangely-specific certain traditions my family hold…could it!?

Christmas Countdown Why I Love Christmas

The Traditions behind the Magic

Since I was a little girl, Christmas has always held such an importance in my life.

Being one of six, it was always a bit of a squeeze in la maison.

Therefore, from popping out the ol’ love tunnel, up until the age of about 18, we had a distinct gruelling-regime tradition.

We would all wake up (excruciatingly early, my poor mother), clamber to the end of our beds to check ‘If he’d been’.

I must have been a very well behaved child, as he always had been…oh how times change.

All six of us would proceed to the parents’ bedroom, in which we would assemble in a designated spot on the king size bed, open our stockings in front of each other (in age order, obvs), and then…

SING

A

CAROL

EACH.

Yup, sing a bloody carol each. NO, we aren’t what you’d call the modern day Von Trapp family. YES, getting older I have come to realise the slightly strange concept of this but, it was my childhood, it wasn’r as weird as it may sound to outsiders.

And honestly…amazing, amazing memories.

But this was only the beginning!!

After mother was satisfied with the annual carol service, we would all line up in age order (can you see a recurring theme here!?) at the top of the stairs, and then descend to the downstairs landing to greet the carrot and milk.

Once we had all confirmed that Santa is indeed a fat bastard (cookies and milk at every one of the 25 million homes in the UK alone (yes, I was one of those children)), we’d be back to the lining up – guess in which order – at the living room door.

Dad would proceed to duck into the front room to set up the cam-corder (miss those things, life seemed so much simpler then), and then after hearing the anticipated ‘YEPPP’, we would all frog march into the room and be greeted with an unbelievable mountain of gifts (there were 6 of us remember, we were by no way spoiled!).

Resuming our official seating places, mum would sit under the tree and roll call the recipient of whichever gift she had picked up.

She always did the passing out, there was no doubt about it. She still does it to this day.

After hours of joy, sprinkled with a certain envy of the siblings’ gifts (come on, we have all been kids before), we would cart our prezzies up the stairs and lay them out on the bed, like a shrine to our parents’ incredible work ethic.

Free time whilst dinner was being prepared would follow, and then the grandest, and loudest, meal of the year would be served; when you have approx. 10 people around the table (more like 20 nowadays, mind), the prosecco certainly didn’t help the swiftly raising octaves.

Thanks, kisses, and the reluctantly retiring to bed, eyes brimming with tears.

It’s over for another year.

The hollow feeling at the end of December 25th is something I still experience. THIS is why I hold the day so dear; anything that can make you feel ANY sort of emotions like this, has GOT to be important to you.

Christmas tree in the snow

The Tradition Lives On

Every single year I tell this story, and every single year people look at me in complete disbelief.

As crackers as it may sound, this is our Christmas. After 20 years of six young children running riot every December 25th, my mum has got it down to a tee. Wonder woman!

Don’t get me wrong: As we all grow up, traditions do change. Our day this year was not as similar to this as it once was. However, similar to my hairstyle, priorities have changed.

Spending time with those closest to you is above and beyond the most important aspect of life. It is why we were put on this planet, together. It is what makes the world go round.

No words can accurately describe the pride I feel towards my batshit/loud/extra/mahooooosive family.

 

This, ladies and gents, is why I love Christmas.

How about you? Have your family developed any quirky traditions? Let me know in the comments; i’m so intrigued to see if others have any any specific or odd traditions!

But for now, we’re stuck in this odd week before New Year when no one knows exactly what to do with themselves! Do we have to rise from bed before 11am? Do we need to wear pants? How long can you keep leftover turkey for!?!?!?!?!

Sad that, once again, it is all over…but memories truly do last a lifetime.

I hope all of you lovely lot had a day as precious as mine.

Until next year, St Nick!

Jen x

Super Salzburg: Things to in Salzburg

Salzburg, Salzburg, Salzburg. What a beauty of a place you are.

In terms of larger cities, Austria, in general, is somewhat lacking.

Of course, you have the capital Vienna, which is far and away the most popular and populated; the beautiful and historic city Graz, and then somewhat lesser known cities to your standard traveller, such as Innsbruck and Linz.

But my favourite, without a shadow of a doubt, is Salzburg.

Salzburg

Simply Salzburg

A stunning, historic yet contemporary city; Salzburg has it all.

From the traditional original architecture, to the sheer amount of things to do when you visit, I was lucky enough to visit Salzburg in August 2017, and can safely say, memories that will surely last a lifetime were made.

But what exactly is it about this tiny city that is so fabulous? First and foremost, visually Salzburg ticks all of the boxes.

Completely traditional, just to walk around the narrow pedestrian streets which make up the centre is a pure joy. Crammed full with alleys, sweet boutiques and patriotic tourist shops, there is a feeling quite like no other here.

All of the shops keep in line with the standard Austrian looking buildings, meaning that even the McDonalds on the high street doesn’t look out of place.

Contrary to many cities around Europe, I felt an overwhelming safety whilst casually strolling the main shopping area; whether this can be attributed to the brilliantly friendly and welcoming locals, or simply due to the fact that there were no cars, I literally had not a single concern in the world, beautiful.

Secondly, for a city with a population estimated to be around 146,000, Salzburg doesn’t miss a trick when it comes to attractions. Here are my recommendations!

Things To Do

Schloss Hellbrunn – One for all of the family, Schloss Hellbrunn, although slightly out of the city centre, is an attraction guaranteed to put a smile on everyone’s face.

Schloss Hellbrunn

A palace completed in 1615, which was originally constructed as a ‘pleasure palace’, this attraction is best visited on a sunny day. Boasting stunning gardens, impressive architecture and a wet surprise in the Trick Fountains, there is a host of activities to be enjoyed.

Check online here for any upcoming events.

Must See: For any Sound of Music fans out there, the famous pavilion in which the famous dance scene was filmed in now resides in these gardens. Massive brownie points with my mum!!

Haus der Natur – Definitely one for a rainy day, the Haus der Natur (House of Nature) is a museum bursting with educational activities.

Residing over 7,000 square metres and several floors, the museum includes a reptile zoo, an aquarium and wholly interactive science centre.

Must See: The museum hosts exhibitions which are always a super addition. When I visited, there was an exhibition on the human body: Fascinating AND educational, loved it!

Mozart’s Geburtshaus – One for classical music fans, Mozart’s House (Just try and get Clean Bandit out of your head now…) is slap bang in the middle of the shopping area in Salzburg, and completely unmissable, largely in part to the hundreds of tourists armed with selfie sticks posing happily in front.

Full disclosure: I am not a classical music fan and, being short on time and money, I didn’t actually explore the museum itself. However, I have been assured that this museum is an interesting look at the life of a genius.

Must See: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

And last but not least…

Shopping – Hit the ‘high street’ and enjoy some cool retail therapy.

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With big names like Zara, H&M and Pandora, although limited in size, the shopping in Salzburg was a highlight for me. Dinky little alleys (like the above image), cute tourist shops shoving Mozart and Lederhosen’s down your throat…what’s not to love!

Must See: As sad as I sound, it is by no means a secret that I am a fat bastard foodie. Take a look at the McDonalds, which one of the locals told me was the only McDonalds in the world which doesn’t look like the standard McDonalds restaurant. This apparently is due to restrictions set in place by the council ensuring that none of the original buildings or architecture is amended, or that any of the shops look out of place. It’s lovely as it ensures that you forget you are in a main city, and these little touches set Salzburg apart from the majority of other main cities in Europe.

Well there we have it! A couple of recommendations from my heart to yours.

Have I missed anything? Have you uncovered any glorious hidden attractions in this beautiful city? Let me know in the comments below.

Until next time,

Jen x

Christmas Countdown – The Predictions

Now, how does that age old poem go?

“Twas the eve of the eve of Christmas Eve, and all through the house,

Nothing was stirring, not even a mouse”

That’s how it goes, right? We’re nearly there folks; the annual best day of the year is almost on our doorstep, and I must admit, i’m starting to feel it now.

Preparation Is Key

Now, as you may already be aware, super-organiser extraodinaire Tganjen began her Christmas plans months ago.

Do not for one second judge me here, as i’m not bragging! As one of an enormous brood, on a pathetic wage, all whilst trying to earn a degree, unfortunately, it is a necessity.

Spider diagrams, comparison websites, hours procrastinated searching for inspiration…I thought I had it well under control.

However, life involuntarily gets in the way, and I slipped…severly. Cue the mad dash down the high street every single day the week before…KILL ME NOW!!!

With one more full shopping day left, I should be ok…but the whole process has got me thinking.

What am I hoping for under the tree this year?

**Warning – What you are about to read is very likely to come across as horribly. Please try to keep in mind that I am ALWAYS completely (and sometimes brutally) honest. Call it what you wish; spoiltness, un-greatfulness, gratuitous. I can assure you that I am none of these things. I am just unreservedly honest. Feel free to leave me a comment at the bottom with your opinions…I believe that everyone is always learning, therefore all criticism is eagerly welcomed!**

tree

Ungreatful Spoiltness, or Thoughtless Convenience?

This is where I am bound to ruffle a few feathers.

Throw yourself back to Christmas 2016. Again, we had waited all year with baited breath.

I had asked for NOTHING in particular,  as as from previous experience, I had found that the gifts that I had received when they were actually thought through, and sweetly considered (rather than ordered by yours truly) were much nicer.

THIS WAS A MISTAKE.

As previously mentioned, I am one of a huge brood. Let me spell it out for you, without sounding too brattish, I tend to get a fair chunk of gifts…what can I say, i’m a very lucky, (very loveable, Ho Ho!) person.

Anyways, back to 25th December 2016. I had waited all day for the gift giving ceremony (which in our house takes hours). And then I waited. And then I waited.

And I received one gift.

ONE gift.

Out of 15 people sat in that room infront of me, I had received ONE gift.

To clarify, I am genuinely one of the most un-materialistic persons on the planet. I either lose, ruin or break anything of value (not on purpose, unfortunately this is just who I am as a person), which means that I very rarely treat myself to anything nice.

Like, legit – I struggle to even buy decent branded Tampons.

So I thoroughly enjoy the big day! People buying me nice things I would never buy myself = Very, Very happy Jen.

Not this year. One, flaming gift. As i’m writing this, it still hurts now!!

Apparently the team had decided it be best to all band together to purchase me a tablet. LOVELY gift…if you didn’t ALREADY HAVE ONE?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

tablet.jpeg

Honestly, as much as it pains me to write, there were no words.

Quite literally…I said my thanks and was polite, and it wasn’t until the middle of the year that I finally plucked up the courage to ask “WTF!? Why on earth would you buy me such a thing? Why does no one know me at all!?”.

I’m not proud. Nor am I perfect; I have a lot to learn, quite clearly.

It all just felt rather…convenient. Black Friday had really taken off this year, and the gift, the LOVELY gift, was an absolute steal. Had my nearest and dearest been at a complete loss, and gone for an easy option? It certainly felt so.

After scrimping and pinching money together after a particularly difficult year, going above and beyond to think of amazing (if I do say so myself) gifts that I know they would love, this was like a kick to the heart.

This brings me to this year. My opinions known on last year, the family have been out scouring the local town for the perfect gift for me. Quietly, this fills me with glee!

But what do I forsee myself unwrapping this year? Let’s have a look at my predictions.

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The Predictions

Momma: Jewellery, jewellery, jewelley. Mother is quite potentially one of THE most trendiest (and knowledgeable) women in the UK when it comes to jewels. After an unfortunate incident in Rimini, Italy this summer, in which all of my prized collection of jewellery, a collection built over 23 years, was stolen, I have high expectations from Momma-bear this year. Bring. It. On.

Siblings: A Blow-drying hairbrush – Mine broke during the summer, and as a lady who is as extra as Gemma Collins when it comes to blow drys, I have a feeling this will be in the mix somewhere along the line.

A dressing coat – After years of nagging about how much she hated this particular garment, my sister and housemate informed me one day that the dog had simply taken it upon himself to shred my beloved 5 year old dressing gown. The dog, being a tiny Chihuahua cross Pugg, who had never chewed a ruddy thing in his life, selected my house coat to begin. What are the odds eh? Expect a replacement.

Smellies – Perfume, Body Washes, Skin Creams…I’m a sucker for all things pretty, and a fiend for smells. Come near me with a bad case of BO? I will literally gag. Internally, of course.

Books – Being a student studying English Literature, one might assume that I have enough reading to do. No, not my family. Without a doubt a few books that I physically cannot read until summer will be thrown in the there, just to collect a nice chunk of dust for a few months.

A Purse – Lost mine a few weeks ago. As I mentioned earlier, I am horrendous at looking after things in my life. Relationships, purse, phone, they are all doomed…which brings me onto my next one…

A Clumsy-twat proof phone case – I cannot emphasise how much this pains me. Two weeks ago I received my FOURTH phone of the year. And ALREADY it has three lovely shattered corners, and a huge scratch across the sceen. Handy.

Dog: Unlimited + Pure true love. Literally all I could ever ask for.

Now, I know what you are thinking. I don’t ask for much, do I! What can I say, I’m honest, and certainly have high hopes this year…

But what’s on your list? Have you been dropping mega hints all year to your loved ones? Or do you go old school and post a list in your WhatsApp group? Le me know in the comments below!

Obviously, I shall update you after the big day has passed.

And if it’s a bleeding tablet again, look for me on Most Wanted!!

Wishing all my lovely followers a truly very, Merry Christmas. Stay safe, and I hope all of your dreams come true.

Jen x

 

 

 

Saying Goodbye to the Girl You Knew

It’s that time of year again. Every other sentence starts with “So are you all ready for Christmas then?”, or, “Are you excited?”.

Yes Carol, OF COURSE i’m bloody excited. It’s one of the two times of year in which I receive gifts which, the non-materialistic hippie inside me hates to admit, I thoroughly enjoy.

Yes, seeing the young ones in the tribe tearing open the “gifts-which-I’m-certain-are-the-greatest-gifts-they-shall-ever-be-so-lucky-to-receive-only-for-them-to-toss-to-one-side-when-the-next-sack-gets-delivered” does bring a special warmth to my heart (and aneurysm to my brain) quite like no other time of year.

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But excited? You know what? No, I’m really not excited. I’m really not excited at all.

This year has been hard. Fantastic in some respects. Unbelievable at other times. But overall, this year has been really, very difficult for me.

Here’s where I am simply compelled to throw the standard warning in: I am about to embark on a mammoth whine about the opposite sex. Not your type of thing?

You can find other posts here. Sorry (not sorry).

In addition, although the nature of this post isn’t necessarily naughty, I need to start somewhere, and it would be false for me to start anywhere other than where my great whopping head has been for the past 12 months.

Anyways…

Losing a Part of Yourself

This year I lost my partner in crime.

This year I lost my protector.

This year I lost my friend.

After a V E R Y colourful 5-6 years, me and the man that I was certain was going to father the future sprogs, parted ways.

I know what you’re thinking, “CHRIST, there are worse bloody things in the world Jen, stop harping on”.

But I can’t. A solid 12 months since we ended. A solid 6 months with completely no contact. And I still think of him daily.

Now don’t get me wrong, I have 0 contact with him for a reason. Believe it or not, this is by choice.

And God love my friends! They have been there through absolute thick and thin, worst and best, torturous and side-splitting hilarious. But as friends do, they just can’t help filling me in on every little tiny detail that he is getting on with.

And i’m sick of it.

I feel like i’m going insane. As much as people tell me how much better I am doing, or how much better I can do. As much as people tell me that I’ll get over it, “it just takes time!”. As much as people tell me that i’m “doing the right thing, he was no good” for me anyways…

I.Just.Can’t.Stop.

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I go through my days, thinking about how he would laugh at this, or how much he would love that present, or the absolute worst; how much I know he will be thinking about me, and how he is only with the new girl because he can’t have me.

To be blunt? It’s embarrassing. It’s embarrassing, it’s pathetic, and it’s almost psychotic.

Countless cocktail nights turned emotional support talks have attempted to convince me that, “It’s not him that I want. It’s someone”. I can’t decide which is worse! Pathetic or desperate, what a choice!

And now we have Christmas. A time of year that, for the past few years, I have had someone to completely share it with. I have had someone to buy for! I have had someone to consider.

I am terrified.

Watching the beautiful nearest and dearest giving and receiving from their loved ones is going to be about as much fun as a smear.

There is simply no denying it: It is going to be shit.

Or

Will

It?

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Time For Change

Well, it is going to be shit, if I let it be shit.

Changing your attitude or outlook may seem like a slightly standard piece of advice you’d expect to hear from the besties/sisters/poor unfortunate soul sat next to you on the bus BUT, this year I’m frigging well determined.

Determined to change everything around! Countless hours I have procrastinated, wondering why I am like this!? Multiple veiled tweets sent, just in case he is still watching. I refuse to let memories rule my present any longer.

No more time is going to be stolen from me. No more eye rolls from those closest who, although they truly want the best for me, are sick to the back teeth of me subconsciously pulling every conversation back to him. No more waiting for the next part of my life to begin. I am here, I am willing, I am ready.

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It won’t be an overnight thing. I really do have so much to work on, mainly involving coming to terms with myself, who I am, and why I feel that I don’t deserve anything good. I know what I need to do! I have known for a while. Why I have never felt like the time was right? I’ll never know.

All I know that as always with me, it is a work in progress, and this is just the beginning.

Bring it on.

All the best, and have a bloody good Crimbo you lovely, lovely lot.

Jen x

Us the duo: No matter where you are

Back in 2015 a six second clip caught my attention. Showing only two mouths covering Calvin Harris’ recent club hit How deep is your love, I was captivated. A short internet search and I was welcomed with open arms into the family of Us the duo, or just Us, as they were known in the early days.

The duo, made up of husband and wife team Michael and Carissa Alvarado, are not only fabulous performers; they’re absolute fucking couple goals. A quick browse of their charming YouTube and it’s difficult to not be besotted. Video after video of covers and their own original catchy tunes, paired with the total obvious adoration they hold for each other and I was a changed woman, which is why when I heard they were coming to the UK headlining their first European tour I was dangerously close to requiring a triple heart bypass.

For the first time in my life I actually understood what the classic Pointer Sisters meant when they wrote their hit I’m so excited – after years of following (and falling for) a band which meant so much to me personally, I was going to be able to witness the magic LIVE.

Now i’m not going to lie to you – even though I could recite the proposal video, the wedding song and the aforementioned Vine from memory, I had never really concerned myself too much with their original tracks. As a self proclaimed super fan, there was no chance in hell that I was going to rock up to the venue (closest gig was in Sound Control, Manchester) without being able to join in, so back to the good old trusty internet for some
swotting up. After a brief search I was able to obtain the set list from another genuis, amazing, like-minded individual who had been witness to their sorcery in Dallas, US. I made a playlist, and for the next couple of weeks drove my family crazy blasting the duo’s trademark folk-pop tunes.

Then came the gig itself. A mad rush down the M60 stretched out for what seemed like forever, due to the fact my companion had been kept late at work. You can probably imagine my utter joy at hearing this…of all bloody nights! That aside I decided it best to not get my knickers in a twist – Within a few hours I was going to be watching a band that I had only ever seen on the internet…I wasn’t even sure these guys were actually real!Screenshot_20170320-130900.png

Descending the stairs into the main room the atmosphere was bustling. Soft covers and melodies filled the air and bounced off the red brick walls whilst the eager fans (like myself) attempted inconspicuously to get as close to the stage as possible without offending anyone (c’mon, it’s a British thing!). As close as nerves would allow, it wasn’t long until a chance look over my shoulder allowed me to see Michael and Carissa wading through the crowd – I could have died.

Starting off their set with a medley of hits from 2016 proved popular, as within minutes everyone in the audience was joining in, albeit a little less rowdy than what I was used to. The couple held their own and treated us to a range of songs from their new EP Public Record, complimented by their naturally humourous personalities. I was in my element. Singing as loudly as I could, the relentless practising had paid off and word for word crooned along to songs which effectively tell us the story of their lives. Magic

Quite quickly I twigged that the audience were there for arguably their most famous song, No matter where you are, and unfortunately this was apparent, as at times through no fault of their own the atmosphere felt a bit…flat. In addition, my only other grumble is purely down to the layout of the venue itself, as a wide concrete bollard inches from the stage hampered our view. This was not unnoticed by the band though, and they made a conscious effort to keep peering around said bollard to engage with us throughout the gig.

Personal highlights included Goodbye Forever and Fighting for you, yet a request constantly repeated from the audience (Oasis’ Wonderwall…this is Manchester I suppose) sealed off what I had completely expected; a stellar performance from two complete professionals, accompanied with the coolest, happiest, well written songs I could think of. I’m so pleased I had the chance of attending this gig, as it really did sum up for me exactly why I do what I do – for finding the relatively unknown, and witnessing the genuine magic that they create.

Until next time,

Jen x

Dublin (- adingdong) PART 2: The shit bits

Ok my lovely readers, now I have well and truly buttered you up with the fabulous traits a beautiful city like Dublin has to offer, It’s time to get real.

Prior warning people – This is by no means meant to piss off any hardcore Dublin fans. It is merely one ladies’ (lol) opinion on what i have said is a beautiful, energetic city.

Right, now that’s out of the way…

1. €9.00 FOR A CARLSBERG?!?!?!?!?!?!!?

Jesus Christ almighty Dublin, I know capitalgogartys-temple-bar-districtcities are known for being dear and going large and that but frig me I was genuinely astounded at this hike from £2.80 a pint in my local! Unfortunately, It didn’t stop there either. €13.00 for a single Vodka. €4.00 for

a tin of Diet Coke. €7.00 for a day pass on the tram!? Honestly, I am no skinflint. Literally, every holiday I go on I overtake money just in case I miss out on anything. But Mary Mother of God over €200 euros on a two night stop is literally enough to put me off coming back forever. Such a shame.

2. Homeless  😥 😥 😥

This is an unfortunate reason to tar my trip in Dublin as I’m assuming all is being done to combat such an issue in a capital city, but nonetheless it completely altered my time there. Why on earth is there so many homeless people on the streets of Dublin? As a reasonably seasoned traveller, I’ve genuinely never seen anything like it. After dolling out change to the first couple (perhaps slightly naive of me on reflection) it was quickly becoming apparent that should i continue, i’d be joining them, so the purse went back in the knock off and the hard faced cow came out.

3. Cannot believe I am writing this but…Where are all the Irish at!?

Go on guys, call me a hypocrit. A tourist, complaining about the amount of tourists, in the tourist area, of a capital city of a country. What a numpty – yes I know – however when compared with the fact I literally heard about three Irish accents the entire weekend, my ‘P.S I Love You’ montage’s were a complete fucking waste of time! Dublin, I was expecting my Gerard Butler, and all you provided was a Kirk from Corrie lookalike…gutting!

So there we have it. The results are in, the shots have been fired.

I really loved Dublin. Great company paired with a smashing apartment has ensured that the memories will always be pleasent ones. Unfortunately though, they will only ever stay memories, as I cannot see myself going back any time soon.

Thanks, but no thanks.

Jen x