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Sunday, 21 January 2018

My Guinness Storehouse Experience

Dublin, Ireland


The Guinness Storehouse is ranked Ireland's No. 1 tourist attraction and up until last week Thursday, I'd never set foot in it. This is not a sponsored post as €17.50c came out of my own pocket for the ticket and the Storehouse, unsurprisingly, have no idea I will be writing about my visit. With that disclaimer out the way, shall we dive in.

Visiting the Guinness Storehouse is something I wanted to do sometime last year as a part of my Discovering Ireland blog series where I aim to share my Irish travels. Being an immigrant to the country there's still so much I have to learn despite having lived here almost eleven years.

I visited the storehouse with friends and it served as a great way to fill the day learning something new and catching up with each other. It's also a great date idea for when you get to meet your bestie's boyfriend for the first time!






Price

At €17.50c student discount I think the tour is quite reasonably priced. The factory holds a lot of history and information about the Guinness factory and the people that built and continue to keep it thriving today.

There are also certain times throughout the day where adult tickets, when booked online, are €17.50c. They're not all awkward early hours either, when we visited I checked the adult tickets and afternoon times between 15:00 to close and around12 noon were the same as student prices.

Location

Up until turning up to it's gates, I had no idea where the Storehouse tour location was. I mean I'm pretty sure I saw one of it's gates along the quays on my way back from my the Cliffs of Moher tour but I don't know if I'm right about it even now. With the help of Google maps I was able to find it with no issue from the bus stop on James Street, Echlin Street. Buses 123, 40 and 13 all stop there. Other buses may also pass near by with a short walk to make it all the way. My friends who walked from Dame Street, City Centre did it in about 35-40 minutes so cycling would be maybe half that time.

Walking up to te building I felt and thought I was definitely getting lost but once you see one of those infamous Guinness gates, you'll know you're going in the right direction. Hopefully you'll have a less foggy day so things will be a lot easier to see.



Information

The Guinness Storehouse has a very easy to follow layout with information all over the place on the walls or via interactive screens. A part of me wishes we had been a part of a group tour because I feel like a lot more of the information would've gone in if I had someone telling me instead of moving along. I'd have loved to read every single piece of information available but I was far too conscious of holding behind my group of friends and then the other group of people who started their tour at the same time at us.






If you're planning to visit and actually learn about the factory, I'd recommend giving yourself lots of time to be able to stop and read or watch all the little bits of information available to you. They are all quite interesting too. Maybe go alone or bring someone who is will be just as interested or willing to wait around on you.

There are lots of fun facts and mad bits you pick up like Olivia Guinness having 21 kids therefore being pregnant for 16 years! Or equally fascinating as the one above.





Tasting

After going up what feels like five floors, you arrive at the 2nd floor for your tasting. In this part you get to smell some lovely and some not so lovely vaporised air and you have a rep to give you some fun facts and a little more history about Guinness. You may be queueing about 2-5 minutes for there to be enough  people to become a tasting group but it's totally worth the little shot of Guinness you get and you also get to learn how to drink Guinness the right way. Yup, there's a rihght way to drink Guinness, who knew?





 As this is the last part of the main tour, you'll have an option between using your voucher attached to the ticket on the 4th floor where you learn to pull your own pint or the 7th floor which occupies the gravity bar.


                     




Gravity Bar

Needless to say we chose the gravity bar wanting to see these "breathtaking" sites of Dublin City. Unfortunately for us, we chose quite a foggy day to visit and so I have absolutely no pictures or idea what the site would've looked like. However I was not disappointed. Up in the gravity bar soaking up the lively atmosphere of tourists and locals like ourselves, as well as our complimentary pints of Guinness and Hop House 13, the day couldn't have been more perfect for us.There were even Shamrock shapes on top of the Guinness pints! I didn't think a pint of Guinness could get any more Irish.






We ended it off with a trip to Bunsen for some dinner and even now thinking about that day brings a sense of fondness for my friends and the memories we're making together.

I certainly wouldn't turn down another opportunity to visit the storehouse to take in some more knowledge and besides, I need to have my breath taken away by the amazing views from the 360° gravity bar.


Have you ever been to the Guinness Storehouse? What was your experience like? 

Let me know below!

Don't forget to grab your pin before moving on to the next post.



Till Next Time
xxx

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Coolest Monkey in the Jungle

Dublin, Ireland


Five words, one sentence, uproar.

In case the title of this post doesn't immediately tell you what I'll be talking about today, then I'll fill you in. H&M recently released, and pulled, a piece of clothing from their latest children's collection. This said garment cause outrage because of the sentence written on the garment and it's relation to the black child model wearing it. You can find the image and more about the story here.


It is common knowledge that the word "monkey" has been used as a racial slur against black people for many years even till this day. I myself have been subjected to this insult and needless to say, I also know other black people have been on the receiving end of this hurtful insult.


Monkeys are incredibly smart animals however the insult, for me, lies in the lack of recognition of your identity as a person, a fellow human being, of flesh and bones and blood like every other human.


However, and I speak solely for myself, I do not find the H&M campaign or advertisement, racist. For me racism comes with intentionality and until proven otherwise, I can see no intention behind the circumstances that led this black child model to wear a hoodie that featured a sentence with the word "Monkey" in it.


When I initially sat down to write this blog post last week, I was immediately conflicted between what I thought of the issue, what the media portrayed and the questions that other people's comments, articles, Facebook posts and such suggested raised in my mind.


I didn't want to be an angry black woman seething that things were being blown out of proportion but I also didn't want to be a complacent black woman on an issue that, if not to me directly, would change the fabric of the world I live in today. That change for better or worse would eventually affect the way I move in this world because of how others' perspectives would be shaped by it. With this is mind I knew there was only one thing left to do.


Before I decided to actually write and publish my thoughts on this issue, I had already thrown the idea out once. I was afraid of what people would think and that I wouldn't be able to defend my opinions and the truth is, I wouldn't have been able to defend my opinions because I hadn't taken the time to understand the thoughts or opinions of others.


Why was it so many people were offended by something that to my eyes was completely innocent?


Obviously the people at H&M aren't calling this child a monkey! If anyone sees this child and thinks by having the word monkey written on a jumper they are being racially insulted, surely that's more a reflection on their negative perspective that's still stuck on dragging into the present a dark past?


And yet I didn't feel right in my opinion but I didn't feel wrong either, I simply felt... uneducated. So I decided to dive in and see what I could learn. I reached out to all the black people I could for some schooling and I was not disappointed.


I discovered and learned to see from the many different perspectives people have taken on this issue and question things that hadn't occurred to me prior to these conversations and finally I was able to develop and build and come to a final opinion that feels right to me and my situation.


I enjoyed and learned so much from talking to those around me and getting informed and now I'd like to share my opinion on the matter.


Like I said before, I am not personally offended by the H&M garment or ad and prior to speaking with all the people I did, 19 in total ( and yes I was 100% interested in each person's genuine response ), I did not agree that it was racist. At best, it would be 'possibly' insensitive.


In my mind, there was no racial intention therefore it could not be racist and seeing as neither the child, who is old enough to know the racial connotations of being called a monkey, or his mother ever felt the garment was chosen for it's racial connotations, the offense was then on the part of the viewer and not an insensitivity on the part of H&M.


However, and this is the most important part...I was wrong!


My main problem lied in the fact that I could not easily understand how people could be so offended by the ad. I mean yes if H&M had been calling the child a monkey it would be racist but they weren't. If the model had been of a different race there would've been no issue and I'm sure black people would've bought these for their children or nephews/nieces without thinking about the racial element because I would have. There certainly would've been no outcry so what's the big deal!?


It's so easy to fall into wanting to convince someone to see from your perspective and how right you are that you fail to take into consideration the other person's point of view. When I initially formed my opinion on this topic, I was thinking selfishly. In talking to people about what they thought and felt personally about this issue I learned the biggest flaw in my initial opinion and why I would never have been able to defend it. I was being selfish. A selfishness based on my own experiences.


Given my personal nature of dealing with the past and moving on, I harbor no anger from the years of racism I received when I initially moved to Ireland. I'm over the egging of our house, being chased home, taunted, the harsh words etc. I've dealt with the big things and deal with the little things I encounter now.


I personally now in my life do not encounter a quarter the racism I did 8 years ago even in a month, dare I say a year but the difference is that some people still do. Racial tensions are incredibly high in society right now because black people are FINALLY able to express the anger and hurt that they have endured for hundreds of years which were still horrendous even up until forty years ago.


The hundreds of years of our dark, hurtful past has shaped a society that is still stacked against black people and other people of color. We fight a conditioned society every single day and for some people the reminders and hurt is very much present and painful. And for the first time in maaaany years people are able to express that.


Being called a "black monkey" may be something I experienced a few years ago but for someone else it may have been 5 minutes, days, weeks ago. The years of work that has gone into media representation alone  of black people is only just  beginning to break the surface. There are still so many challenges faced by black people and depending on where you live and your personal experience, your perspective of black issues will vary to some degree.


Therefore I can now say I understand the definite insensitivity of the ad and the offense someone can take to it because offense is taken on a personal level based on ones perspectives, experiences and opinions.


I could feel no offense to the ad because for me it did not strike up any hurtful memories or feelings. I had moved on from anything that could hurt me but there are billions of black people who's painful wounds of racism haven't healed. And as I was reminded, it would be selfish of me to expect people to move on like I have when they have not yet finished their healing process. And healing takes time and expression of emotions that were repressed.


Black people and other minorities have yet to receive an apology for the tragic and dark history that lingers not so far behind present day. Wounds are still raw, if not for me personally or those born outside of the time, the wounds are carried on and grieved for those who lived it and could not grieve it then.


There are people who's entire identities are based in these tragic times and yes they also need time to move on therefore it would be selfish of me and anyone else to think them wrong or try to convince them otherwise because of how we feel about it.


With that said there is just one thing about this entire controversy that I simply cannot stand by to be done in my name as a black person.


What happened in South Africa was a crime and I do believe is something that reflects well on the issue at all.


If anything H&M's lack of racial sensitivity would present a learning opportunity and one that could have been achieved by explaining and educating people on why such a seemingly innocent thing can be so hurtful and insensitive. However resulting to violence benefits no one and teaches nothing.


It is actions like these that blows a learning opportunity completely out of proportion. Things have been taken a tad too far and o for one do not support it. I never wanted to see thrashed up stores on the front pages of a newspapers next to a title that speaks of a fight against racism. The only message I see lies in the actions of the people.


At the end of the day H&M have accepted their mistake and apologised ( of course an apology is only worth as much as the actions that follow) and it would have been the perfect time to turn to the cameras that are pointed on the issue and share a much needed lesson on black issues to the world. But what is out there now is a mess. This apology has fallen on some stubborn ears and hearts and the issue continues to escalate.


There is no reason why a family should have to move home for security reasons because they do not agree with something even if they are at the centre of it! What kind of message does it send that black people are fighting each other instead of working to educate others? How does this benefit a fight towards a less discriminating world?


I can't help but question the motives behind any racial respect that comes from this controversy. Will it be out of understanding or fear? H&M have since the incident  hired a diversity leader in an act I can only see as a way to protect themselves from something like this happening ever again. I believe they have learned a lesson from this but what that lesson is will only be revealed in time. Have they understood why thier thier garment truly offended people are the acting out of fear? What will these reactions of disproportionate anger alter the fabric of the world we live in now?


Celebrities ending partnerships or boycotting the brand? What's that going to do to a huge corporate group like H&M? They'll lose some money and you'll look great defending your personal values and morals ( which I support) but the world would learn so much more from an explanation of your pain than your condemnation. At least that's how I've come to see it.


In my quest for better understanding, I've experienced how the lack in education about black history greatly undermined my own opinion and how with better education, thoughts become informed and therefore can translate to action. However without this education, we only have time and issues like these, which are nowhere near as big as other more pressing racial issues, to raise a platform for a conversation about such a serious topic.


I feel saddened by my new found perspective but I am inspired to learn more, not allow the media to influence or inform my opinion and to share what I learn with others as a way of passing on some knowledge.


I am so grateful for all the people who shared their thoughts and feelings on the issue with me and helped me to see it from their point of view.


I also hope in my short education by these people some of you reading this have been able to learn something.


If you'd like to add something or even share your own opinion with me, I'm available on any of my social media and I'd love to talk and learn some more! And a conversation that's always happening whether in the media lime light or off it and it's one I'd like to keep going.


You can also let me know in the comments!

Till Next Time
xxx

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Time To Finish What I've Started

Dublin, Ireland













Coat - Zara
Top - Mint Velvet
Jeans - Primark
Shoes - Doc Marten
Socks - Primark

Before I start I'd liek to introduce you allt o teh latest memeber of my Wardrobe. This gorgeous Coat from Zara. It's made of 45% Viscose and 55% Poleyster, so no animal fur here. It's one of the softest pieces I've ever owned. It's incredibly warm and draws attention and compliments like bees to honey! If you're thinking of investing into a Coat for this year, I'd recommend checking this out.


DISCLAIMER: NOT A SPONSORED POST/PRODUCT.


And now today's post.


A character in a TV show I recently watched said humans are unhappy because they compare success to how much they are able to accomplish in a given time. As 2018 begins and I think of the things I can and want to achieve this year, I can't deny that the fear and anxiety I feel is centered around the notion thay I will not be able to accomplish all the goals I set myself no matter how realistic I make them. I'll want to compare my sucesses to that of someone else's and see how I measure up. I'll feel sadness when I don't get the results I want and I will get jealous when someone does something better than me.


In the moment what this character said was so profound to me, ringing as true as day but I'm also aware of the complexities that such thinking doesn't allow for. I will also learn from my mistakes when I don't get where I want, in my jealousy I will recognise and admire the achievements of others and push myself to try harder.


A lot of times in my life when I experience feeling sof inadequacy or failure I recall the many projects I started but never finished. When I compare them to the people I started with, there's only ever one distintion between us, they put in the work and finished whilst I didn't. It's a persoanl flaw I do not like.


For 2018 I would like to finish all that I have started and that is one of my main goals for the year. To finish what I have started. I don't want to make a big huula about it so I'll leave it there, but throughout the year I look forward to sharing this journey with you all.


Have you any unfinished business you'll be tying up this year?


Till Next Time

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

The Challenges of Balancing Work and College

Dublin, Ireland


Originally this post was going to focus on the ways I try to balance work and college the best way possible but it wouldn't be very true to the point I am right now. 


I'd say I'm someone that balances college and work pretty well in general but with that said, there do come stressful times where things just don't run as smoothly.


Like myself, many people in college have a job alongside college either Part-time or Full-time. I'm quite lucky to be in the position where my college hours, at least for this first semester, allows me to to the 32-37.5 hours of work I generally do.


Mentally it's rewarding to be able to discipline myself to commit as much as possible of myself to both this aspects of my life that take the majority of my time. Emotionally it's fulfilling to know I'm finally studying a course I enjoy, working towards a career I'll hopefully enjoy more and working in a fun job that pays my bills and gives me a sense of financial security. Physically running between work and college and friends, the gym membership has gone out the window in favor of a more easily accessible home fitness regime so there's a few bucks to save.


As great as it is, sometimes having to move from errand to errand, place to place can quickly get out of hand and I find myself spiraling into a situation where I'm completely spent. And these are the times where I take a little step back and reevaluate the situation and there are a few key things I look at. 


1. Sleep

Sleep is fundamental to my attitude, emotional and mental outlook. Without adequate sleep I am unable to perform to the level I want which then causes unnecessary stress making it harder for me to sleep and so the cycle continues which is how the last week has been.


As I write this I went to bed at 1am after arriving home from work just after midnight and did not wake up until 11am. I had breakfast and went back to bed for a nap. I'd spent my entire shift complaining about how tired I was and I was going to do something about it.


2. Diet

Ever since I started my job in the food sector my brain has been under the impression that because I was saving some money every time I got a free meal at work, it meant I should then be eating out for all other meals. Which 1) makes no sense and 2) is still costly and unnecessary.
I don't remember the last time I ate an actual fruit and not used a Naked smoothie as substitute for one. I also haven't cooked any meal that wasn't frying an egg in over three months. It seems I buy fruit and generally food only to decorate the fruit bowl or fridge until it starts to mold. No good at all.


3. Exercise

After paying €99 for a gym membership I did not use once after starting college I decided to do away with it and stick with home fitness. I went back to my Workout Trainer app which I swear by and kettlebell workout videos with Bodyfit by Amy.
The last little while however without adequate sleep or nourishing diet, I've been too tired to even think about exercising properly. Instead fast walking to work, and lifting cans of soft drinks are my new favorite exercises.


4. Water

I use to have to run to the bathroom at least once an hour because of the amount of water I drank. However since starting my job three months ago with it's unlimited drink supply, I've indulged in my soft drink consumption more than the water we also get for free.


From now on I'll be on a soft drink cold turkey and the fact that the thought of it makes me want to drink a can of fanta lemon to calm my nerves tells me I have a problem.


5. Day Diary

The final nail in this sinking ship of a situation comes from the fact that I've stopped writing and accomplishing my day to day tasks. I'm sacrificing preparing for the next day to get more sleep and then not completing all the things I need to and creating unnecessary anxiety about tasks that could've been done in a matter of seconds.


I'm taking the night to check out of the world and check in to my mental state with a journaling session and working from the inside out. Looking at these things I'll be making decisions on how to best resolve these issues to make sure nothing effects the other.


I can already tell you time management will be a big factor but there's only 24 hours in a day and as long as I'm not putting too much on my plate, that should be enough time to get everything done in a relaxed healthy manner.


I'll also be prioritizing the tasks and assignments I need to complete to ensure that I'm not spreading myself too thin.
I always try to remember that unless I take care of myself, physically, mentally and emotionally, I will not be able to perform to the ( realistic ) standards I set for myself. As long as I keep this in mind, I'm able to recognize when I need to take my foot of the pedal a little or all together.


How do you find your balance again after tripping up? 

Let me know in the comments!


Till next time
xxx

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Thursday, 23 November 2017

Please Don't Touch My Hair

Dublin, Ireland



Today I'll talk about my utmost biggest pet  peeve when it comes to personal space. Before I start, I'd just like to say that this is not a targeted post at anyone and it is not meant to offend anyone who has been ALLOWED to touch my hair prior to this post.


However if we've had an encounter where I was unaware of your intentions prior to the act, then this is for you.

I'm sure you see posts like these pop up every now and again from ladies of the African or Latina community talking about their tales of unwanted hair attention? Well today I'm adding my story to the mass.


This is not a message of political issue or one of cultural appropriation, it's simply a personal message and one I should really never have to say but here goes, please don't touch my hair.


Okay, there I said it.


Let me explain why and again it's pretty simply... I don't like it.





When I was in primary school we had few playground rules to stick by, one that I've always remembered was to keep my hands to myself. It's not the biggest life lesson but it is a useful one.
Imagine getting up to style your hair so it looks as good as you feel and whilst walking down the road a complete stranger decides they'd fancy copping a feel of your hair and thus runs their hand through it. Putting aside the complete lack of manners in the act, it is an invasion of my personal space and a threat to my hairstyle which takes a real long time to do!


When this happens yes I get real flipping mad sometimes, I even question the justification of punching you in the throat but that's only on a bad day. Be it acquaintances or strangers, if I'm lucky enough to cross paths with another soul, even if just below surface level, on this Earth I treat them with the same level of respect I'd like to receive. Therefore if I do not at any point place my hand in/on your hair I'd expect that you wouldn't do it to me.


It can be incredibly invasive and makes me feel insecure if someone touches my hair without permission. Imagine having someone run their fingers through your hair while you feel greasy and can't wait to go home for a shower. They may not find your hair as gross and you may feel it is ( because realistically it probably isn't ) but for that moment you're left feeling even worse about it than you did before. It never makes me feel like my hair is beautiful and soft and fluffy like you may say afterwards, it makes me feel violated.





So for one last time, dear strangers please don't touch my hair. I know it may look like cotton candy and it may be tempting but it's on my head, an extension of me and I really don't like it. You wouldn't run up to stroke my knee so don't touch my hair!


If you would like to touch my hair by all means ask but don't be offended if I say no because I'm not a walking spectacle that you can access with a polite please or thank you. I get in moods of not wanting to be touched, I may not want to ruin my hairstyle, I may not be comfortable with you or the situation, whatever the reason, just because you ask doesn't mean the answer will be in your favor.


Just keep your hands to yourself unless told otherwise. It's not all that hard a thing to do now is it?

So please don't touch my hair.

What is your biggest pet peeve when it comes to personal space?

Till Next Time
xxx

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Wednesday, 15 November 2017

I Want To Go Away This Weekend

Dublin, Ireland


I haven't traveled or experiences a new place in so long it's starting this drive me nuts! I've had plans but lately life has been happening to me. I've been moving and working a lot the last few months with college and now a full time job basically I haven't had much time to do nothing except relax in the little down times I make sure to get.

I've a week's work holiday request in for the first week of December and I'm looking to go away. I've compiled a lit of top 5 places I'd like to visit.

1. Paris, France

Its not a city that I've expressed much interest in going before because of questions of racism and how precious they are about the language which I do not speak.



With that said it's pretty close to Ireland so there's a short flight and I'm all too aware of the romanticized image of Paris to not want to see it for myself to see how it really neasures up.


2. Amsterdam, Netherlands

Earlier in the year I was in talks of visiting with two other friends, in the end they went but I stayed behind. Unlike Paris, Amsterdam is a city I definitely want to visit.



From what I've heard and read it doesn't take too long to get to know the best of the city so it would be great for a weekend getaway.


3. Bruges, Belgium

I visited Bruges for a day last October while traveling around Belgium. I immediately fell in love with the old Bruges city centre but I didn't really get to spend as much time as I would've liked.



Returning to Bruges for the weekend, especially at this time could be a very relaxing weekend. I'd be treated to sights of beautiful architecture, delicious food and gorgeous city views. Plus very few tourists!

4. Bormida, Italy

I read about this small country side city of italy in a BuzzFeed article titled " This Town will Pay You To Live Here". I don't necessarily want to live there but I'd love to get a dose of it's beautiful country side atmosphere.



Additionally I really want to practice my Italian some more, a language I speak on very rare occasions but adore it. And after seeing Call Me By Your Name, I'm convinced what I need to get over the bittersweet hole it's opened up inside me is a visit to the Italian countryside.


5. Lombardy, Italy

If I really let myself be honest here, I just want to visit Lombardy because Call Me By Your Name was filmed here. It seems so beautiful and yes I know it's a movie it's meant to be beautiful, but I just want to visit it for myself and experience the undeniably beautiful Italian countryside.

A post shared by Luca Marin (@luca51268) on
Again the chance to speak italian and the temptation of homely italian cooking is enough to make my stomach flutter.

All these places in time will be visited but fir the weekend coming up I can only choose one.

Have you been here or planning to go? Got any tips or advice? I'd love to hear them.

Till Next Time
xxx

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

What Its Like To Fear Failure and then Fail

Dublin, Ireland


So a funny thing happened in college. Basically I was really worried that I wasn't good enough to pass my photography class at the level I thought I could and then my photography lecturer told me that yes I'm definitely not good enough, in fact I'm struggling. Now isn't that the gosh darn funniest thing you've heard all year? Yeah me too.

As a child and for the early stages of my teenage years I would sit when told to sit, walk when told to walk, eat when told etc. I didn't do much that wasn't what was asked or expected of me. When I first started blogging as a way to start finding my own voice and with all projects that I have ever taken on, there's always been a strong fear of failure. Fear that by not following some plan set in place by another who probably knows better than I, I'd undoubtedly fail.


In going out on my own, I would fail and confirm my inadequacy. The skills and characteristics I pride myself on will be proven useless and I'll revert back to a routine of structures and processes I can follow strictly.

So yeah receiving this news for a short while threw me back into the deep end of that feeling of failure and inadequacy, a place I've slowly swam out of the last few years. Now I'm a better swimmer than I was back then so I've managed to move away from the deep end and can feel my toes touching ground again but I've come back with a little nugget of new perspective.


I tried so hard to please the opinion of this one lecturer, so afraid of what they'd say that I sabotaged myself. Every click of my camera or thought about this module has been an almost unhealthy obsession with what they would say to the point of simply tiring myself out and giving up. My work could be a lot better than what I have produced but it could also be worse.

For all my fear of failure am I not just setting myself up to fail if all I see is what I'm failing to do right or perfectly according to someone else's subjective views? I feel like I have this talk with myself every few months where I have to reassure myself of where I am, where I've been and where I'm going.


I'm tired of the sound of my own voice in my own head. I feel like I have let the Hormone Montress from Big Mouth inhabit my body whilst I took a little gander off with the fairies.

There's been a lot of complaining, worrying and negativity underlying all these beautiful lovely moments I'm having the last few months. It's just time for an attitude detox and the clock has struck thirteen. I'm not worried about failing this module, just a little disappointed with how it's gone so far. However, it's a nice lesson to brush up on again so early in this course so I remember why I am here and who I'm doing this for.

So yes I'm failing at the very thing I didn't want to fail at but I guess all I needed was a strongly opiniated lecturer to stump on me and remind me of who I am, someone who doesn't like being stumped on!


What character flaws do you find yourself slipping into periodically but learning from?

Till Next Time
xxx

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Thursday, 28 September 2017

Cliffs of Moher

Dublin, Ireland


*DISCLAIMER* This post is NOT sponsored by Paddywagon or any other party.

Back in July, which feels a lot longer than two months ago, I took a day trip with my best friend Karen to the lovely Cliffs of Moher. For this occasion, we used the delightful service of Paddywagon tours to finally see one of Ireland's most famed attractions.


The day started off messy, to say the least. Having forgotten my purse at a friend's the night before there was the stress-inducing race against the clock to get to their house and into town for the 7am pickup arranged from our stop. With major thanks to my wonderful housemate, we made it with plenty of time to spare to get ourselves back into the exciting headspace for the day's adventures.


The thing that made using Paddywagon so attractive to me was that you weren't only buying a ticket to the cliffs but there were a few other stops along the way that I didn't even know about until Karen looked at the itinerary and told me.










First up was a rest stop at Obama Plaza Moneygall then another stop at Bunratty Castle. We spent approx. 40mins was spent here and I can't for the life of me remember why we didn't even manage to make it inside the castle. It must've been all the pictures we took outside Durty Nelly's!


Our specific tour operated the schedule backward in order to avoid crossing paths with the other Paddywagon groups and other tour company groups. This way the locations we visited would as little crowds as possible. This meant up next was the piece de resistance, The Cliffs of Moher.


Our driver was great to emphasize how miraculous it was that after so many rainy consecutive days, the skies on that day had painted themselves blue with the sun shining graciously down on us.
It was beautiful to see. Not unlike the cliff face of any other cliff but still lovely to be able to say I've been there now. We took plenty of pictures, stared in horror at the surprising amount of people who would sit at the end edge for pictures or simply to look cool or feel whatever thrill they found in the gasps they elicited from those of us around them. 







I also got electrocuted feeding the cows although that was completely my fault. I was completely blind to the many warning signs of electric fencing. We laughed and climbed as much as our feet and time would allow. Following the thrill of the cliffs, we shuffled ourselves unto the bus where our tour guide entertained us with honest reviews of where to eat and drink on our next rest stop in Doolin. It was so sunny we even had to pick up some ice cream!


The Burren, known for its Limestone rocks was next on the itinerary. We had a relaxing drive through the park, all the way down to the 'Baby Cliffs' where we could look out to sea and enjoy the late afternoon breeze.


The day was brought to a fairytale end with a drive along The Wild Atlantic Coast known for its mesmerizing natural beauty and on this beautiful sunny day, it did not disappoint! We stopped at Kinvara where Karen and I enjoyed a quick albeit somewhat slippy stroll around Dunguaire Castle.





It was almost 7pm when we returned to the city and 12 hours on the road although fun really did take its toll on us. I was desperately in need of food and a nap. We bundled ourselves into Boojum and hurried home for my nap. All in all a beautifully spent day.


I definitely felt like I'd made the most of the trip crawling into bed that night. Our tour guide full of knowledge and fun was hilarious to listen to. I had an awesome day with my best friend. Even the fact that my phone proceeded to die immediately after couldn't ruin it! €40 most definitely well spent!




I haven't discovered as much of Ireland as I wanted to at the start of the year but I'm so glad I have this ticked off my list. I'll definitely be returning again when I manage to drag some mates along.

Till next time

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