The lazy weekend hangover

21 02 2011

I usually have one night out of a weekend, but with a weekend in Cardiff for the 6 nations match against Ireland fast approaching I decided to stay off the drink until then.

This morning I’m discovering that you can have a hangover without drinking.

I had lots of plans for the weekend – move my files from my old broken laptop to my new one, sort out my clothes and take some to a charity shop, scrub the bath and sink…and how much did I achieve? Zilch, zero, nada, nothing!

I stayed up late watching films then lay in through my alarm clock. I cooked lunch, decided to go to town to an art gallery and then spent a few hours cooking an elaborative dinner. None of these were on my ‘to do’ list and so I sit here thinking about the long list of things I need to achieve this week.

So much like a drink related hangover I’m left thinking “Why?” and regretting parts of my weekend, but thankfully my bank balance didn’t take its usual weekend hit.


Friday Crumble

18 02 2011

Every Friday, someone in the office makes cake for elevenses. Today we’re having a delicious apple crumble which I’m sharing wit you for #frifotos. Yumm!

Dydd Sant Ffolant Hapus ~ Happy Valentine’s Day

14 02 2011

My dad has a thing for precious stones and has been collecting them for as long as I can remember. There’s a display cabinet of his favourites in our kitchen with stones of all shapes, colours and sizes from all over the world.

That is probably where I get my stone collecting habits from. Whenever I go out for the day with family or friends and I want to remember the day I find a stone and bring it home. I have a vase filled with stones from all over the world – Wales, Ireland, Morocco, Argentina, Spain and a few others I can’t remember.

They all have a happy memory of a day I loved, so here, just for Valentine’s Day, are my stones:

Irish Blog Awards 2011

13 02 2011

Just a quick note to say that this blog has been nominated in the Best Newcomer category at the Irish Blog Awards Judges will be whittling down the finalists so watch this space to see if it made the cut.

Thanks to everyone who nominated the blog, I really appreciate it.


Dim ond nodyn bach i ddweud bod y blog hwn wedi cael ei henwebu yn y categori Blog Newydd Gorau yng Ngwobrau Blog Gwyddelig: Bydd y beirniaid yn dewis yr flogiau fydd yn mynd i’r rownd derfynol, felly dewch yn ôl i weld os fydd yr blog yn llwyddiannus.

Diolch i bawb wnaeth enwebu yr blog.

i comes to Ireland

11 02 2011

I got sent this press release today and decided to post it because I’m interested to see how it will do in a tough market. Given the recent demise of other newspapers in Ireland I can’t see why they would choose to enter the market. I wonder if it will just be the UK’s version sold in Ireland or if it will be an Irish version of the paper.


“i to launch in Ireland due to popular demand”

i, the UK’s first new national newspaper for 25 years, is to launch in Ireland on Monday 14th February, due to popular demand.
Created by The Independent, i is designed for readers who want a concise, quality daily paper for just 30 cents.
Launched in England, Wales and Scotland in October 2010, i has since been inundated by requests to be distributed in Ireland.
The requests reflect the appetite for i, which recently moved into the second part of its launch activity with a UK TV advertising campaign featuring Dom Joly and Jemima Khan.
i is currently sold in England, Wales and Scotland, from Monday to Friday, and from this Monday it will also be available in Ireland.
i is specifically targeted at readers and lapsed readers of quality newspapers, and those of all ages who want a comprehensive digest of the news in printed form. i will now provide an essential daily briefing for those in Ireland, combining intelligence with brevity, and depth with speed of reading.

Simon Kelner, editor-in-chief of i, and the Independent said of the new launch:
“At the Independent and i, we pride ourselves on listening to our readers and it has been great to have been inundated with such positive feedback about i since its launch in October.  The demand from Ireland is a testament to the paper’s success so far and we are pleased to be in a position to respond.”

Andrew Mullins, managing director of i, The Independent and the Evening Standard said:

“The latest expansion in Ireland demonstrates the impact that i has had so far. By continuing to exceed expectations, i proves there is a place in the market for a paid-for, concise quality daily.”



What’s in a name?

27 01 2011

When I tell people my name outside Wales they usually respond with “WHAT?!” When I first left Wales as an innocent (“yeah right” some of you may exclaim) 18-year-old I went by the name Harry because the day I moved into our cramped student digs in East Anglia and introduced myself I was told “Well, you’ll have to change that because we can’t say it.” So Harry stuck and there was more than one occasion that I turned up for work through a bar staff temping agency that I was told “Oh, we were expecting a boy!”

These days I go by my full name and it gets butchered by people who haven’t heard my name before. When I moved to Ireland however the tables were turned and names like Aoife, Caoimhe and Caitríona had me flummoxed. I had to get people to say them for me and then I repeated them over in my head before I called any of these people.  So now I do have some sympathy for those poor people who see my name and call me Gdgasdtadiagdqwiwq. (They’re lucky they don’t have to call up and ask for my friend Llinos!)

Something interesting came up this week which led to me thinking – should a name be pronounced the correct way or the way the bearer of the name sees fit? A perfect example is Llywelyn: more often than not it’s pronounced Loo-El-un when the correct Welsh pronunciation is Llyw- el-in (Ll as in Llanelli). This week I heard of someone called Siân saying their name as Si-ann (si as in Simon). I was all ready for the “That’s not how you say it” rant, but then I thought, If she wants to say it that way then it’s her choice, isn’t it? I know more than one Irish person who grits their teeth when they hear the American singer Ciara say her name like it’s a large family car made by Ford, but should someone go up to her and say “Come on love, now that’s not how you say your name, so stop it!”

What do you think – would a rose pronounced any other way smell as sweet?

Skin Savvy

25 01 2011

 I’ve been using moisturisers since I was 14 because I have patches of dry skin on my face harking back to my childhood when I suffered from terrible eczema. I also have very sensitive skin and have tried expensive products that feel like putting acid on my face, so no matter how expensive the cream I always return to my faithful Nivea Crème. I put a layer of it on my face before bed and I awake with my skin feeling fresh and less dry. 

As a nation we spend thousands on beauty lotions and potions to make ourselves look younger and more attractive, but I read today that researchers have found that eating your fruit and veg is not only good for your insides, they can make you look good too.

Researchers at St Andrews and Bristol University in the UK found that people with a yellow skin tone were seen as the most healthy and attractive people. They found that carrots and plums are rich in carotenoids which give your skin this yellow glow, making you appear more attractive and healthy. The fruit and veg that bring on this yellow skin hue include carrots, plums, mangoes, apricots, sweet potatoes and spinach. 

I’m not sure if yellow skin is more attractive than pink skin and if you eat too many carrots you could be more orange than yellow (although you wouldn’t look out of place on the streets of Dublin.) What about Afro Caribbean skin – I assume that doesn’t turn orange. 

My own personal view about beauty products is that the state of your skin is down to genetics and diet and no amount of whatever amount the latest beauty cream you use you can’t stop the aging process. What many of these products do is fill in the valleys on your face so there’s less of a shadow and so less of a visible wrinkle.

Let’s face it – a pot of cream is never going to make you magically look younger and if you don’t believe me listen to the scientists who dispute many of the big brand claims –