David Bowie

So, The Man Who Fell to Earth has left us.

At the age of 69, David Bowie passed away on January 10th 2016 after what the tabloids dubbed a “secret” battle with cancer.

I think the word they’re reaching for is “private”.

I can’t really add anything new to the beautiful tributes I’ve read and heard, but there really is a Star Man waiting in the sky now, and he’s already blown our minds.

I think New Order said it best:

“Oh, you’ve got green eyes
Oh, you’ve got blue eyes
Oh, you’ve got grey eyes
And I’ve never seen anyone quite like you before”

RIP, Aladdin Sane.

david-bowie2

Oh, you pretty thing…

 

Books recommendations, with a little help from my friends..

I’m always on the lookout for book recommendations, so I canvassed some of my friends, favourite bloggers and my husband for their book choices! My esteemed panel didn’t steer me wrong and now I’ve added to my already overwhelming book backlog and I hope you will too.

Without further ado…

Barry Finnimore is a singer/songwriter, a barista and my husband (n’awww). He’s just started working on his 3rd EP and always puts the seat down. www.facebook.com/barryfinnimoremusic

His Choice: Life by Keith Richardsbarry 1Deirdre Foley is a co-founder of www.vivaadonis.com and is a History grad & mPhil student. She can rock a red lippie like nobody else I know.

Her Choice: Fathers Come First by Rosita SweetmanDee 1.jpg

Co-incidentally, Rosita’s daughter, Chupi Sweetman Durney, herself an insanely talented jewelry designer, also gave me a little recommendation.

Chupi’s designs are amazingly beautiful and intricate, and I’m the very proud owner of an engagement ring and wedding ring designed by her. Her website is www.chupi.ie
Her Choice: A Little Princess, Frances Hodgson Burnett

Claire Kane has been responsible for quite a few wonderful blogging adventures, her latest is http://clairebyreverie.com/, which she describes as An Irish Beauty Blog with a Little More. A qualified personal trainer and Sports Nutritionist, she also runs http://voltafitness.co/ I don’t know where she finds the time!!

Her Choices: Girlboss by Sophia AmorusoClaire 1.jpg

Room by Emma DonoghueClaire 3.jpg

Niall Murray is the singer and guitarist with Dublin 5 piece “Handsome Handsome”. If you get a chance to see this band live: Do It!! https://www.facebook.com/HndsmHndsm:

His Choice: Catch 22 by Joseph HellerNiall M

Paula Dennan is the writer behind one of my very favourite blogs, http://cornflakegirlsmusings.com/  If she gives a book recommendation, you definitely follow it!!

Her Choices: Northern Lights by Philip PullmanPaula 1

Tender by Belinda McKeonPaula 2.jpgSoooo, there you have it, quite a long post, but some really great recommendations, my Kindle list has now exploded!!

Happy reading, and happy new year, xx

She Shook Me – €1.00 EP

Hello!

To celebrate a great year (which included our marriage in October) we’ve decided to sell our She Shook Me EP (5 tracks) for €1.00 on our Bandcamp page – www.barryfinnimore.bandcamp.com 

We’d be delighted if you’d download a copy, consider it our wedding present!!

We recorded it at Orphan Studios in Dublin, with Gavin Glass producing.

We were/are immensely proud of our work on it and it paid off with lots of airplay and good reviews, particularly for the title track, She Shook Me.

 

😀

Hazel+Barry Wedding_263_DSC0206

Our wedding day, October 2015

Christmas Wants

I don’t know about you,  but when someone puts me on the spot to make a decision as huge as “What do you want for Christmas?” I freeze. Ironically, I literally spend hours and hours of my life trawling through Instagram, Asos, Amazon… drooling over items that would complete my life, if only it weren’t mid-month and I weren’t so broke… Yet when I’m offered, I clam up.

I don't know

What do I want for Christmas??

Call this a pre-emptive strike, if you will, or else take it as an ideas guide for yourselves, I won’t tell…

1. Tropical Popical voucher:

I’m starting big! This nail salon on South William St is a dream for manicure lovers and David Gandy lovers alike. Glitzy and kitsch, I adore this salon and don’t visit here half often enough, the staff are sweet and SO talented and I’ve never seen anyone coming away with less than amaazing nails.

I got my wedding manicure done here and I adored it, it was Gelish and it lasted a good month before I had to tearfully say goodbye.

nails

My wedding nails, Tropical Popical

A €25.00 voucher from Tropical Popical would go a long way to curing my Jannui*, that’s for sure. Available on their site www.tropicalpopical.com

*Jannui is a thing: http://www.dailyedge.ie/jannui-symptoms-1247474-Jan2014/

2 Peter Marks/Style Club voucher:

Some people say that vouchers seem impersonal or boring, but with a voucher for Peter Marks, I could high-tail it over to The Style Club on North Earl St and have a go in their relaxy chairs while treating myself to a nice hair-treatment with which I could swish into the New Year. Not too shabby for Hazel!

3 CVD Beanie Hat

I follow Custom Vintage Dublin on Instagram and they give me serious insta-wants.

Their bobble hats seem to sell out quickly, and I have no problem imagining why…

(ps, their sunglasses are bleedin’ gorgeous too!!)

CVD Beanie

Photo: Custom Vintage Dublin – Instagram

Check ’em out online – http://www.customvintagedublin.com/

4 IFI Membership:

There is little else I enjoy more during the winter months than popping into the IFI and settling in with a cuppa tea and a cookie to watch a movie or documentary.

I don’t go often enough, but with a €25.00 membership which includes free tickets, discounts at the IFI shop and café… I would definitely be motivated to indulge my culture vulture side more frequently🙂

http://www.ifi.ie/home/membership/

5 Magazine Subscription:

I *do* love a good browse of the magazine stands, but I often come away empty handed due to my aforementioned brokeness or else a security guard scorps at me and I get paranoid and leave the shop. HOWEVER, if I woke up on Christmas morning to a gift-wrapped magazine with a card telling me I’ve been gifted a 6 month/12 month subscription, I would be really chuffed.

Stellar Magazine is definitely one of my favourites and you can get a 12 month subscription for €23.00 over on their site. They often throw in gifts for subscribers too. Belter!! http://stellar.ie/subscribe/

So… 5 nice ideas for the upcoming festive season that won’t break the bank, don’t you think? What’s on your list? Are you adding any of the above? And most importantly, what are you buying me??

🙂

Girl in a Band, book review

As a teenager in the 90’s, I was completely besotted by Kim Gordon, a proper rock and roll ice queen, the epitome of cool.
Girl in a Band, Kim Gordon
Book-ended by her and Thurston Moore’s break up, Girl in a Band is raw and self-aware at times, but never cringey or oversharesome (no, it’s not a word, but it should be). Artsy and nostalgic, it’s well-paced and I think she gives just enough of herself away to let the reader in, while preserving much of her mystery.
There is a slight simmering anger bubbling under at times, as well as thoughtful sensitivity, I found her so relatable, whether discussing her childhood in LA, her relationship with her schizophrenic brother, her first days in New York, art, music and (of course) Sonic Youth, and on into marriage and motherhood, the tone seemed so conversational that I ate this book up in a matter of hours.
While it’s no “Just Kids” (my favourite memoir ever), it’s a really decent, classy read, which I thoroughly enjoyed and would recommend.

Brooklyn, book review

You can’t swing a dick without reading heaped praise for Colm Tóibín’s novel Brooklyn and the film adaptation, so I settled in for a tale of immigration, alienation and love in 1950’s America …

Brooklyn

Beginning in 1950’s Ireland, the novel follows the blah and spineless Eilis through her voyage to the United States (her mother and glamorous older sister decided she must go to America, so, eh she does…), where she is handed a job, enrolled in evening classes, set up with lodging at a boarding house, meets and is courted by an Italian American man, etc.

Sweet, huh? Does she appreciate or make the most of these amazing opportunities? Nope.

A passenger in her own life, Eilis doesn’t really make any decisions on her own until the end of the novel, and even that was basically for lack of viable alternatives.

I could not get passed the desire to shake Eilis to wake her up, she was so one-dimensional and passive throughout the whole story.

We are teased with potentially tantalizing characters and plot threads:

  • A priest manages to secure her a passage, work status and job but how? And, more importantly… why?!
  • A brilliant professor who is possibly a Holocaust survivor
  • Her unpleasant landlady and her bitchy former boss
  • An Italian boyfriend who looks suspiciously unlike the rest of his family

Sadly, these aren’t fleshed out into anything that would risk doing more than pique your interest… and then disappoint.

The “twist” arrives at the end of the novel when Eilis realizes she has a huge choice to make: a proper “head or heart” dilemma which could see her return permanently to her parish in Ireland OR committing to a lifetime in America… sadly, it all comes too late for me to give a shite about a character I longed to throttle for 270-odd pages.

Don’t believe the hype, lads. I’ve been told that it works better as a film, but I won’t be beating a path to the cinema to see this.