Wednesday, October 30, 2013

You sound like you're from London!!!!

Our five day trip to London was an enjoyable one. The weather was perfect, so Farah and I decided be royal tourists. We visited the usual suspects such as Buckingham Palace, The Changing of the Guard, London Eye, Trafalgar Sq, Westminster, Little Venice and Notting Hill Carnival which you can see more photos here.
London is super expensive, my wallet thought my hand had gone mad. However there are a bunch of things that don't pull on the pocket strings. Freebies included a stroll through through Little Venice, which I loved. Someone pointed out Richard Branson's house boat along the way and yes it is massive, it's even got a little second floor. No matter what city I'm in, I always head to Chinatown. London's Chinatown is pretty epic, we ate at an absolutely amazing Japanese Restaurant. The markets were another pull. We had to see Camden Market (I wish we had more time here) and Covet Garden, whose antiques were to die for. We avoided the long lines of the the London Eye (£20 P.P), instead opting for a stroll by it and back over the Bridget Jones bridge. Buckingham Palace was jointed as usual and if you plan on getting a close up view of the changing of the guard, then get there early. Another must see freebie is the Soane House Museum. This museum/former architects home is jam packed with his projects, collection of paintings and models. It was truly fascinating. On a rainy day, The British Museum was a saving grace, giving us a chance to see the Rosetta Stone and a lot of Mummies. St Paul's Cathedral is also worth a visit. The detail is amazing, but watch out for service times, once you sit down they do not like you leaving until the end.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Rose Of Tralee

I was home for the Rose of Tralee festival in August for the first time in two years. Below is a small collection of my photos from The Parades, Meeting the Roses, The Fashion Show, Birds Bazaar and Sharon Shannon. The festival takes place every August in Tralee, Co. Kerry. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Cork - Corcaigh

I really wanted to show Farah my old stomping grounds around Cork City. The City where I went to University, made best friends and have some of the best memories of my life. An early morning train and a few hours before our flight to London was enough to give Farah her first introduction to Cork. For me it was a walk down memory lane. We met some of my friends for lunch then we headed to the English Market, where some of the best olives in Ireland are kept. You can buy just about anything here.

We took a stroll up Oliver Plunkett St and down St Patrick's Street and had a look in the shops, Farah's favourite being the MAC store and Brown Thomas. Then my version of College life. I took her down the streets with our fav night clubs, Fast Eddies on the Tues night for a bit of Hip Hop, past The Bakery which was always a messy night ending in Tequila and breast in a bun from Hillbilly's. On we went past The Beamish factory which is now sadly closed down over the bridge and stopping to get the first glimpse of St Fin Barre's. In first year that was our north star, we knew we were 20 mins walk from home when we saw the church.   Onto College Ave it was, before passing our house from third/fourth year. We had some laughs in that house and some great parties too. The fights, the dances and the hangovers all made better by a Friday morning roll, a pepsi and pringles from the local shop. Up the street lies UCC, it is a beautiful campus still to this day, a few changes have been made but its still in tip top shape. Unfortunately the Old Bar was closed so no beer for us.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Notting Hill Carnival

We headed to Notting Hill carnival during the August bank holiday weekend. I wasn't sure what to expect and if arriving at the tube station was any indication, I should have just turned around and gone home. Instead we waited in a constant flood of people to get a gasp of fresh air. Finally when we arrived at street level, I was glad I stuck it out as the crowds thinned and we walked through the beautiful neighbourhood of Notting Hill. Gorgeous houses lined the streets, cautiously boarded up, suggesting a messy outcome by days end.

We followed the crowds thinking we were all going to a particular area, but the party just starts the second you leave the tube and doesn't end for blocks. Every street is covered with stalls, some looking more make shift than others, just trying to make a few bob out of the weekend. Jerk chicken can be found at almost every stall, with some curries and lots of corn. I was surprised to see machete-wielding vendors cracking through coconuts as if it were normal, I mean how often do you see that. Red Stripe was one of the chosen drinks of the festival, inconsistently priced and available everywhere.

A parade of people marched through the main street which went on for hours and miles. People randomly joined in and walked with it. We strolled down several smaller side streets which looked to be more residential. That was the best random accident ever, here we saw front lawns turned market vendors selling water, punch, sky cocktails, jerk, offering toilets for 1 pound a head. It was actually amazing how the police turned a blind eye to the guy walking with a trolley selling his own house brews. I guess anything goes on carnival once its not violent.

Carnival was definitely an experience but not the same one I thought I was going to be having. I guess the amount of street fairs Montreal has, led me to believe there would be more on sale other than food and drink. I am not sure how I feel about carnival in the end. It was rowdy and crowded, disorganised and just a drink fest. I think the word carnival is misleading and should be replaced with block party and as a block party it was perfect!!!

©Alison Slattery. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Anna and Wayne

Congrats to Anna and Wayne who welcomed their bundle of joy into the world in August. Anna is a Yoga teacher at Moksha on St Laurent. She has been teaching up until this week, way to go Anna. We met on the mountain to take some shots of the beautiful couple in the evening glow.
Wayne tells me that their little girl is going to be a Bulls Fan, I guess it could be worse :)
Best of luck you guys and I cannot wait to meet and photograph her.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Kerry the Kingdom!!!

Sometimes I take for granted the beautiful county I hail from. My latest venture home was a refreshing reminder of that beauty. I mean Kerry just has it all. We have glorious beaches, miles and miles of sandy beaches, just waiting for someone to leave their footprints there. Banna, Ballyheigue, Camp, Derrymore and Inch are just a few to mention. We have scenery that celebrities would pay millions for and have. Fields of forty shades of green, drenched in cow shit and rain to give you those colours that you so long to see.

Let me take you on a journey through the small towns and villages of Kerry.
Next time I am home, I promise to go south to the beautiful beaches of Glenbeigh and Rossbeigh and continue to venture down to Waterville.

Ballybunion offers you cliffs, surfing and a top golf course. In the summertime, you can get cooked salted periwinkles in a brown bag for a few euro and try your best to extract them with a pin. Ever wondered what it would be like to take a seaweed bath? Well look no further! If walking is your thing, then you might fancy a walk around the cliffs to the Nine Daughters Hole.