18 Years

By | Family, Profound | No Comments

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I just realised that today marks the 18th anniversary of my leaving Ireland and moving to the UK.

What’s interesting is that all my immediate family are actually all over in Dublin this weekend. Sandra and Angie had organised to go over for the weekend to get some time with Mom. It was also Mom and Dad’s first opportunity to meet my newest niece, Hannah-Grace. My bro Tom had to go over for work.

Me? Not so lucky…but then again… I am. I have an amazing wife and a good life here in the UK and while it could always be better I do feel blessed.

I’m thankful for all I have.

Would have been nice to have a family get together though! 😉

No More Connie Kicks

By | Ethical Living, God | No Comments

I really really love Converse! I remember as a kid thinking that they were the coolest trainers ever and I really wanted a pair but my parents couldn’t afford them which was heart breaking! I tried to persuade them that I didn’t need to eat for a couple of weeks but it didn’t stick.

Now I’m a proper grown up I can afford them and for the past decade or so I’ve been donning my connie kicks with pride and replacing them in an unending cycle of shoemanship!

More recently Converse have started offering the ability to customize your shoes by letting you design your own which is awesome! I designed the spinning bad boys below bringing a theme of my heritage but sadly I will never buy them.This pains me greatly as I really really really want them – Look at them – they’re so full of awesome it’s silly but I just cant bring myself to buy trainers from them until they sort some stuff out.

You see Converse have a pretty bad ethical score card. The Ethical Consumer website only gives Converse a measly 6.5 out of 20 including 3 big counts against them involving abuse of workers rights. This is not cool!

So how do we live ethically but maintain our sense of super cool?

I did some research and found a few companies that sell canvas style trainers that are very similar to Converse but have a much better ethical rating and we settled on The Fair Corp. They have a really great selection and have a massive score of 17! Both my wife and I needed new trainers so we ordered a pair of black low tops for her and pa pair of green high tops for me!ad

When they arrived I tweeted about their arrival and got a nice tweet of appreciation in return (great customer service that):

Woop woop our trainers came from @ETHLETICshoes http://ow.ly/i/Lp46  #EthicalLiving

We were a little nervous about getting them as we didn’t quite know if they’d be as good because in the past ethical companies have had a rep of producing below par quality products but these have been amazing! We were initially very impressed and I’ve been continuously impressed with them since.

Silver Strand 2012

By | Family | No Comments

The View

Our holiday was truly fantastic! I’ll try and follow the photo gallery below:

  • Arrival & Awe – So we arrived in Dublin airport and everything went as planned. My Dad had left his car keys at a pick up point complete with the agreed codeword along the bottom of the envelope even though the chap at the counter didn’t even flinch when I delivered said code phrase. No he only responded to my name but this response resulted in passage to the Car.  Dad bought a Skoda Superb. I thought his previous 5 Series BMW was big but this thing was enormous. Enormous and luxurious – it parks itself! Anyway  after a few mins of poking around the controls we drove down to Wicklow and our next awe striking experience was delivered when we walked in to my parents Static Caravan. Our home for, what would be the next 10 days, was beautiful and homely and much more than we expected.
  • Dara & Dalkey – Day 2 was a bit of a tour in itself. We arranged to meet up with one of my old school fiends Dara in Bray. The ideas was to walk along the promenade and have lunch but as we were walking we all realised that the quality of food establishments was poor so we went with Dara’s recommendation and drove up to Dalkey (If I could choose to live anywhere with no regard to life as it is I would choose here) and after trying to find somewhere to park we had lunch in Queens. Post Lunch we strolled down to Bullock harbor cause it was a beautiful day. The heat of the day dictated the need for ice-cream and no trip to Dublin is complete without a trip to Teddy’s in Dún Laoghaire which we ate while walking down the West Pier. it was a lovely day in all.
  • Silvers & ma youff – The next couple of days were spent chilling. We started reading “The Hunger Games” trilogy (taking it in turns to read to each other) in the caravan and walking on the beach I grew up going to every single summer of my childhood. It was brilliant. We also noticed that my folks had the entire works (to date) of “Downton Abbey” so we also indulged in that and managed to watch the first two seasons and Christmas special before we went home.
  • Brittas – We headed out in the car one day heading for Brittas Bay but we ended up overshooting as we weren’t quite ready for a walk when we got there so we continued down toe coast to Gorey and had lunch in a lovely little cafe before returning back up to Brittas for our walk.
  • Perrymans & Cormac – Midweek and one of the best days was when our friends from London “The Perrymans” came down for the day. It was really great having a friends from a different era of life get a flavor of my early life. We did some walking and chilling and in the eve one of my oldest friends “Cormac” came down for the eve and we ended up having a wee sing song. It was really a lovely day.
  • Glendalough & Boxing over the Sally Gap -We headed up in to the wicklow mountains to visit Glendalough which is an ancient monastic ruin. We walked about, realized how unfit we both are and then took a drive over the Sally Gap while listing to Katy Taylor achieve Ireland’s only gold medal.
  • Mom & Dad – On the Friday we had arranged to collect my folks from the airport seeing as we had their car. So we went in and brought them back to their house and then went back down to wicklow where they joined us for lunch the following day. We had a lovely time with them over the last few days and it was great spending time with them.

All in all our holiday was restful and chilled and we had a really wonderful break!