Tag Archives: just for fun

Fun and eco-friendly bag

Came across these sweet bags on the Young British Designers website and thought they were fun. Made from natural cotton AND only £20. If you haven’t visited this website, you should- it’s filled with fashion products from emerging designers and trendsetters. Always good to support up and coming talent!

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Day Out to the Ulster Museum

Having been off work for two whole weeks, I committed myself to do one of the things that I have been intending to do for too long- visit the refurbished Ulster Museum in Belfast. It reopened in 2009 and houses various exhibitions in a contemporary space.

The history of Ireland was the highlight for me, from medieval times right through to the troubles. I enjoy learning about history but strangely I only remember learning about World War II, Vietnam War, Cold War between USA and Russia, in school. This could be terrible memory on my part or perhaps the history of our Island is too dividing or contentious but it is so interesting and important to know about our own past. It helped put a lot into context for me, in terms of understanding the troubles better. Shameful to admit but much of the exhibition was new information to me, or perhaps felt new because of it’s presentation. In timeline format, I found it fascinating to work my way through the centuries to the present day. I would seriously recommend a visit to anyone who, like me, enjoys history and is a bit sketchy on some details of Irish past.

A visiting exhibition, The Queen: Art and Image, was one that I found quite interesting too although did not like the layout of the exhibition at all. It contained various photos of the Queen since her coronation. Some photos are documentary and more informal, others are official portraits taken by Annie Leibowitz (love her!) and Cecil Beaton. There are also art pieces from Andy Warhol and Chris Levine. The content was good but the timeline through the decades wasn’t clear and chopped and changed from wall to wall- it didn’t flow well and was unclearly marked. However that aside, I enjoyed studying the photographs.

Through this exhibition and into another space, we were met with more modern art works under the title Silent Echoes. The title is taken from a recent acquisition Silent Echoes, Ohara (2008), a sound sculpture by American artist Bill Fontana made by recording the sounds echoing within a Japanese temple bell when it is ‘silent’. This piece could feel a little strange to some but I thought it was truly lovely. As you sit in darkness looking at the film of a bell- unmoving, the room is filled with sounds from within it. This drew particular emotions from me as it reminded me of someone dear who died in 2011. The sound and the apparent lack of movement- to the naked eye at least- was calming and warm.

There are many other areas of the Museum dedicated to the Living World with animal replicas and Ancient Egypt. We didn’t see everything during this visit so plan to go back again soon. The bonus is it is FREE admission- yay! Perfect for those of us on a budget and kids would also love much of the content in the exhibitions as well as us grown ups. There is a restaurant and shop, and the museum is located right beside Botanic Gardens so very easy to get to. You can usually find parking on a side street (depending on time of visit).

A thumbs up from me on the Ulster Museum! Our next stop is Ulster American Folk Park, Omagh….

                     

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Weight off my shoulders

Picture this, it’s a normal Wednesday evening, nothing much going on so I decide to have a hot shower and wash my hair. I had been growing my hair since I got engaged in December 2008 and by that evening it fell past my shoulders and half way down my back- the longest I had ever had it. I had wanted long hair so that I could get it put up for my wedding in a classic, timeless style and although I got married in 2010, I didn’t cut it afterwards.

I kept it long and felt like it was some sort of badge, I was proud to have had the patience to grow it. It was feminine and fun. I’d also got very good at styling it- in curls, in up-dos, side low ponytail with curls was a particular fav…

But then on this normal Wednesday evening as I lathered my thick blonde locks in shampoo, I felt this sudden and intense desire to cut it all off. It was such a strong feeling. I often get urges and decide to do something to my hair, whether it’s dying it darker, styling it differently or that one time I decided to get bright pink sections (I seriously did!!), however this was a much more powerful emotion.

I almost grabbed the scissors as soon as I stepped out of the shower but thought “hmmm…probably best to get professional help here”, and I don’t mean a therapist. Thankfully I’d already made a hair appointment with my fabulous hairdresser Roisin at ‘The Works” in Omagh.

So two days later, I broke the news to Roisin that I want to cut off the two years of patience. I was never one for being precious about my hair, I’m of the opinion that it will always grow back, a somewhat different attitude to others I’ve seen in the hairdressers chair with a nervous fear of losing any more than exactly one inch of their locks.

Now, I must explain that Roisin has been my hairdresser for many years and I trust her implicitly. I showed her what I thought might look good on me, a Gywneth Paltrow-style long bob and she worked her magic.

Having about 6 inches or more cut off my hair felt like a weight off my shoulders (sorry for cliche!). It was like two years of stress, anxiety, loss- all the negative emotions- just fell to the floor along with my split ends. My new cut made me feel confident, sexy, fashionable and in a way, me again.

So what is the point in telling you this story? ;) To recommend a change in style and it can make you feel like a new person, or re-discover your old self…either way it is a change and we could all use that every once in a while.

So here’s to my new hair style. And a new lease of life. Although…I might go even shorter at my next appointment!

 

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