Friday, 21 November 2014

Market Bar- Mood Elevator



It was dark and rain was relentlessly attacking from all angles. The streets were packed with what seemed like every commuter and tourist in Dublin. Umbrellas loomed out of nowhere and narrowly missed eyes and heads. 

The dark, the downpour and the dawdlers were all working together to make actually getting anywhere a struggle.

I wasn’t in the best of moods. After a double dose of insomnia, a looming assignment deadline and a long day in work spent feeling hungry due to a lack of coffee, fighting the tides of people and rain wasn’t my idea of a great time.

It was miserable. My bag was ridiculously large, as my mother had repeatedly pointed out, something I had chosen to ignore, but when said bag was filled with my laptop, charger, bits, bobs and assorted layers, I could no longer deny its cumbersome weight. The straps were stretched over my coat, and kept sliding off.

My boots, beautiful beige ankle boots I was unable to resist once they were spotted on Bershka’s shelves, were already hurting. I had bought them in the belief they would be ideal for work. In my lust-filled haze I hadn’t considered the fact that the heel was deceptively high and any walking that went further than the bus stop, coffee shop radius led to an ungainly gait and a slowed pace, as well as aching feet.

And now, the albatross of a bag and the heels worked in tandem to assure that my mood was plummeting with every plodding step. That, and the umbrella I was wielding, which had decided to start to slowly collapsing around my head, over and over.

A usually fast walker, the distance from Merrion Square to Drury Street seemed eternal.

There were slow, stalling, foolish walkers on every street. Why, oh why do people walk so slowly? 
Why do they take up an entire footpath? Why do they walk in threes, stopping to talk when they are in the middle of a city street during rush hour?

 I just wanted to go home. But, instead I had to wait around until 7.30 pm for a dinner commitment. I was hungry, and couldn’t decide whether to bide my time in a coffee shop, where I would have to go decaf, and avoid anything but a small one, so as not to spoil my appetite, or in a bar where I probably couldn’t work on my laptop and could very well end up drunk.

My prospects weren’t good.

I began to slow down as I passed Stephen’s Green. I was running out of time and needed to make a decision. After walking further and becoming even more indecisive, I found myself on the street where we were meant to meet for dinner. Then there was one location that began to stick out in my mind, but I wasn’t sure if it would be too busy.

In the end, I had no other ideas, and so I gave my bag one last hoist and shook off my pathetic umbrella. I pushed the heavy wooden door, my hand pressed against the gold handle, and entered an airy yet cosy, dark yet with ambient light coming from candles, room that is the Market Bar.

It was thankfully near empty, and I spotted a man on his laptop. Smiling, I ordered a wine, and took my seat at a dark wooden table with a perfect view of the room.

My mood was lifting by the second.

marketbar dublin lilacpaperdoll.com

I no longer felt crabby. Two hours seemed like nothing, and I actually felt inspired. This was just what I needed.

I imagined how great it would be to come here to work every day. I allowed myself to imagine a life of writing, picking and choosing my office each day. That would be great.

For now, that may be just a dream, but I’m going to make it my business to come to beautiful places like this more often.

To write. To while away the time, and to feel inspired.

Oh, and I’m most definitely coming back to Market Bar to test the stomach-rumble-inducing tapas menu. A plate of cheese and meat sounds absolutely perfect right now.




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Tuesday, 11 November 2014

A Day in the Country

Getting out of the city can be great. There's nothing like a trip to Wexford to make a weekend. Although this time it took us hours to actually navigate the traffic in the city centre, once we were looking at a long stretch of road we were able to relax.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Burritos and Blues

burritos and blues mexican food dublin lilacpaperdoll.com

Dublin is a foodie heaven. After my long absence, I'm constantly amazed by the quality of the food on offer all around Dublin. 

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Samhain Festival


So, how was your Halloween? I know I'm a little late, but I haven't been able to post until now. Mine was very low-key. It did involve an entire tub of Hagan Daaz Praline and microwave popcorn, and Pretty Little Liars. The Halloween episode freakishly came on during my binge, which I thought was very cool, and a little spooky, maybe? 

My Halloween was so quiet because I celebrated a week early, at Samhain. A festival on in Co. Meath, When we heard about it, we were sold. 

"As the sun rises over Sliabh Rua, the Red Mountain, light climbs into the 5000 year old Cairn, illuminating the entire tomb and its three chambers before focusing on the Whispering Stone, an ancient white monolith, an omen of what’s to come at the spiritual home of Samhain.

Shadowed by Sliabh na Caillíagh, the “Witch’s Mountain”, bordered by 300 year old Yew trees, grown to ward off evil spirits and centered around the ruined church of Saint Oliver Plunkett; lies our playground for the night, Loughcrew Gardens."

It really crept up on me and I had no time to come up with a costume. I wound up with half a flapper costume, but no dress or shoes, and so I dyed my hair pink instead. Something I've been wanting to do for ages, and I figured Halloween gave me the perfect excuse. 

I wanted pastel, as you would know from my Pinterest board, but was a little apprehensive about doing a full bleach the morning of the festival, memories of the last time I did it looming in my mind, much like the giant scarecrow that I had resembled. 

Instead, I quickly gave myself bleached highlights, and then dyed it pink. I also bought a hair crayon in the shade I actually wanted, and so I went mad with that and wound up with some cool hair.


 The buses were leaving from town, and, as is the tradition with all Irish festivals and other similar day trips, we stocked up on some drink to have on the way. 

When we arrived to the buses, we were horrified to find a queue leading to a thorough search, and groups of people in fancy dress all slugging from bottles and cans. 

Now, for those of you who are unfamiliar, when you go to a festival in Ireland, the bus is officially a no drinking zone, but everyone brings large amounts of drink on board. I think you could risk having say a litre bottle of vodka taken off you, but anything more than that is all good. 

So this was pretty shocking. 

We crept around a corner and, in a flashback to the days of knacker drinking, emptied some Coke from our bottles, and then poured our naggin of whiskey inside. I was almost gagging at the flashbacks of knocking back a naggin of the cheapest vodka in a bottle of Club Orange back in the day. Luckily, whiskey doesn't have the same horror-inducing effect on me. 

We made our way to the queue, after confirming that small plastic bottles were getting through. 

As I opened by bag to be searched, I saw S make it to the other side. My woman took out my bottle of Coke and asked what was in it. 'Coke' I said, noticing that the bottle had a drop of liquid on the side. 'Just Coke?' she asked, eyebrow raised. 'Yes.' I said, my tone implying what else could it be? But my eyes must have betrayed me, because she opened it and took a sniff. 

Shit. 

'I'm taking this,' she said as she flung my beloved drink in the bin. I felt like I had just been in trouble with a teacher. I hurried past her and joined another queue to get on the bus. 

Luckily, S was willing to share his stash during the journey, which took us an extra hour due to the driver getting lost a few times, and the bus going about 40 kilometres an hour the whole way. 


When we arrived, we entered a woodland path that was worryingly mucky. It was raining, but not too heavily. 

When we got inside, we realised that the festival consisted of three tents. I could have sworn there as meant to be at least one actual building.



I instantly regretted not wearing wellies, I would have so worn wellies if I had had any notion of how much of an outdoor festival this was. I was also relieved that I hadn't gone as a flapper in heels. My flat suede boots were not ideal, but they could be worse. 

Within an hour, there were muddy sinkholes dotted along each tent exit. This meant winding up ankle deep in mud any time we went outside. 

Then, the rain started to pour. 

We were having a great time, but the threatening weather was worrying. 

And then the bar ran out of Coke. 

When we went again, it was out of drink. We almost got crushed as people were desperately traying to get the last of the drink.


The music was amazing, as was the atmosphere, but soon it was time to go.

We waited a while for a bus. Our driver was comically strict and army-like. The bus was as quiet as a library on the way back. After-festival buses are usually fun, loud and anything goes. This one was like a senior citizen's day out.

The next day were were relieved to discover that people who had left later than us had to queue for hours in the rain and then wait in traffic for even longer, not making it back to the city until 6am.


All in all, we had a great time, but next time, wellies would be a must! My poor boots were covered in a thick layer of pale mud, never to be worn again. :(

How was your Halloween? 




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Saturday, 1 November 2014

Birthday Pig-Out at Elephant & Castle, Dublin


Elephant & Castle in Dublin's Temple is one of my favourite restaurants. And so, when my little brother chose it as the place he wanted to celebrate his birthday with with family, I was kinda feeling like it was my birthday too!

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Girl's World Roundup


Welcome to Girl's World Roundup. As you know, I am a feminist. I don't like to mention it too much, because I know the F word freaks people out. But it seems like feminism is close to becoming trendy, thanks to Emma Watson's fabulous speech, Beyonce's better-late-than never acknowledgement of the word, and even Taylor Swift backing up on her previous denial of being a feminist.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Last of the Summer in Howth


Howth is pretty great. A drive along the coast of Dublin will bring you to a harbour town that is as pretty as it is enjoyable. 


howth co Dublin, Ireland views of the sea

As a child, many a Sunday was spent traipsing up and down the walk along the pier. The best part of all was getting to run up and down the bumpy roof. It was brilliant.  

We recently headed off to Howth for a stroll and fish and chips, of course!

Monday, 13 October 2014

The Weekend - Ireland Match at the Aviva Stadium and Gone Girl

Hi there everyone. I hope you had nice and relaxing weekends, and that Monday is treating you alright!

This weekend, I went to my first Ireland match in such a long time, and it was so good! 



Monday, 6 October 2014

Insomnia- I Can't Get No Sleep!


Hi everyone, I hope you all had a good weekend. 

My week wasn't as insane as last week, but I had a tiredness hangover that lasted all week. To make matters even worse, my idiotic mind kept me up long after I went to bed, despite the fact that I was exhausted. I just can't seem to stop worrying and over-thinking when it comes to lights out. Does this happen to any of you? It's like I'm my own worst enemy. I feel like a zombie all day, and am dying to sleep, but when it comes to it, it's like I'm doing my best not to sleep, even though I am in desperate need of some beauty rest! 

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Paint it Pink and Feel Your Boobs!


Happy Weekend to you all!


This week I was pretty much exhausted 24/7. More on that on Monday.

October is breast cancer awareness month. And yesterday was a day to paint it pink and share on social media.

I'm pretty sad that I didn't realise this sooner, as I could have planned something. When I did realise, I imagined making bright pink cupcakes as a Foodie Friday recipe, but then didn't have the time.

So instead, I turned Paper Doll pink.
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