Stranger Things

The N-Team to save 2016

2016, well it’s been a bit shit hasn’t it?War, refugee crises, national treasures popping their clogs left, right and centre. What we need is a crack commando unit of goddamn heroes to turn this ship around and get some good vibes flowing.

Like these guys….

1.  Luther

From the man who should be the next James Bond-suave and charm personified, actually feck James Bond-he should be the next British PM!-comes John Luther-a talented detective with dark tendencies, he’s the ultimate in crime stopping charisma.

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2. The kids from Stranger Things

Stranger Things is the series everyone has been talking about this summer and with good reason. If you’re an 80s kids like me, you will fall head over heels with this sci-fi horror from the Duffer Brothers. It’s The Goonies meets ET meets Poltergeist with a sprinkling of The X-Files thrown in for good measure, but it’s mainly a delicious trip down memory lane that’s high on nostalgia. It’s so realistic, you’d wonder how it was made in the 10’s rather than in 1983 when it’s set. The soundtrack, plot and cinematography are all top class, as are the actors. Winona Ryder makes an excellent comeback but my heart belongs to the kids of the series-Dustin, Mike, Lucas and Eleven. “Friends don’t lie” is their mantra and so many of our world leaders could learn a thing or two from these awesome kids.

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3. Captain Jean-Luc Picard from Star Trek TNG

I know, I could have gone with the original Captain Kirk, but wouldn’t you rather have the man who gave us a lesson in dignified ass kicking, saving humanity on countless occasions throughout the series’ 7 year timespan? I mean he even got the Vulcan neck pinch down!! Yes it’s everyone’s Shakespeare quoting, Earl Grey swigging but technically French 24th century starship captain. He’ll sort 2016 out at warp speed (sorry, couldn’t resist!)

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4.Edina and Patsy from Ab Fab

Sure these girls might not exactly hold the answer to the refugee crisis but at least they’ll provide us with buckets of champers and laughs, two things that are guaranteed to get you through the shittiest of days.

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5.The Guardians of the Galaxy

These guys. Actually maybe just Groot, an army of Groots. That oughta do it.

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6. Voltron

This brainy team of astronauts will surely come up with a few ways to solve the world’s problems right?

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7. Daft Punk

Just cos they’re amazing and this documentary-Daft Punk Unchained shows them off in all their bonkers, over the top, perfectionist seeking glory.

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8. Jem and the Holograms

And then when it’s all been said and done and 2016 has been turned around, who better than to sing us out than the wondrous Jem? Lovely.

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All images courtesy of Netflix which is where you’ll find all these shows right now along with a whole host more. What are you waiting for??

Disclosure: I am a member of the Netflix Stream Team and receive a free subscription to the service, along with occasional lovely things in return for frequent reviews of the shows they have on offer. I am not paid for these review and all opinions remain my own honest ones.

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When Two is Terrific, not Terrible

Can you remember much about being 2? One of my earliest memories was climbing up on to the chair in front of my mother’s dressing table with a pair of scissors and cutting a fringe for myself. The result predictably was less than successful. I was two and a half and that’s just about all I remember about being that age. We often hear about the terrible twos, and believe me Mini-Mini has her moments but I look at my youngest daughter now and I marvel at all she can do at this tender age and the pretty awesome human being she’s already become.
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40 Before 40-Portugal (Lisbon & Sintra)

Regular readers of the blog will know that I recently undertook a challenge to visit 40 countries before I turn 40. I’ve got just under five years and fourteen countries left to see!This was Country No.26-Portugal and a trip I took back in January (!) with me Mammy and brother to celebrate a milestone birthday for Mammy-I can’t tell you which milestone figure she has now reached, but I can confirm there was a zero in it.

The Vital Statistics

Set between the sea and the mountains, Lisbon is small enough that you can walk to all of its sights, but be warned hills and cobblestoned avenues abound. Lovely to look at it, but not great for the heels if you are out for the night! Take comfortable shoes and prepare for a work out, but don’t worry there are a myriad refreshment stops along the way offering tasty drinks and snacks. Another thing to bear in mind is that while there is the lovely old historic centre, which is a joy to visit, there is also a more modern part of the city, that is frankly less appealing. Portugal, like Ireland, has seen its economy suffer hugely in the last few years to such an extent that they may be the only western country which is actively recruiting refugees  in order to aid its dwindling rural population.

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Netflix Fix Update

It’s the summer, it’s raining so here are our recommendations for the best shows currently streaming on Netflix to stop you from climbing up the walls!!

Orphan Black

When I first came across Orphan Black on Netflix, I was instantly hooked. It may have had its flaws-low budget, obviously set in Toronto yet alluding to being set in the States, some less than perfect camera work and a story that at times chased its own tail down the rabbit hole-yet it had one amazing attribute in the skills and talents of actress Tatiana Maslany. For those of you not up to speed with the Emmy award winning show, here’s a little backstory to the hit sci-fi drama. Drifter and all round screw up, Sarah comes back to the city in order to try and be a better mother to her young daughter, Kyra. While waiting at a station, she witnesses the suicide of a woman who leaps into the path of an oncoming train, but not before she has revealed herself to be Sarah’s doppleganger.

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Crouching mother, hidden dragonfly

It’s here. The moment I’ve been absolutely dreading since the school year began-the summer holidays. No school, no classes, just the kids and me. For two whole months. Squaring off to each other with little respite in site. In an ideal world, I’d just open the door and send them out to play. Here, is where the logistics of our home throw a spanner in the works. Our house is located at the entrance of an estate and faces on to the road away from the other houses. From my kids’ point of view, it’s a lousy combination. To get to the other kids in the estate, they need to go out near the fairly busy road and walk around and down to the bottom of the estate where the rest of the gang gather. Now, it’s not a big estate-only 15 houses-but it’s a big journey for little ones.

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Mini Acceptance

Today started like any other morning with all hell breaking lose as we cajoled,nudged,pleaded and quarrelled with our children to get them into school and the childminders with all necessary clothing items attached(Mini-Mini has discovered a recent and worrying rejection of pants) and at least some breakfast successfully administered to less than compliant little gobs. It’s been a stressful few months of late. Mini has been having a lot of behavioural issues including temper tantrums (not really Mini’s style at all), a complete toileting regression-when we so close to full training, SO GODDAMN CLOSE!!!!!-and generally appearing to be out of sorts.

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The 40 before 40 series

A few weeks ago, I celebrated my birthday-it wasn’t a milestone age but one such age does loom rather ominously on the horizon-that of the big 4-0. In short, I now have four years and 11 months until I exit the crazy ride that has been my thirties. I’d like to say I’m a lot more together than I was the last time the end of a decade was hovering just in sight, but that would just be a lie.

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Mini Easter breaks away

Easter holidays 2016. Prepare yourselves. They are going to be loooooong. Easter Sunday is pretty much the earliest it possibly can be-falling on March 27th this year. With Paddy’s Day a mere 10 days earlier, this means your little darlings will be finishing up school on March 16th and not heading back until April 4th. Di-sas-ter! Two and a half weeks of them looking at you, shouting at you, swinging off your earrings (I love my kids really but I also love our little breaks apart, absence makes the heart grow fonder, and all that jazz!)

So what to do?Well ideally, you’d ship them off to to other family members far,far away but what if those family members are rather inconveniently heading off on their own holidays? Here then, are some of the nicest break aways I’ve found for the Easter holidays. Cos what’s better than staring at the same four walls getting on each other’s tits? Staring at brand new walls while getting on each other’s tits, that’s what! Reseached by me so you don’t have to cos I’m good like that! All breaks aways unless stated are for a family of four, so larger families, expect the prices quoted to rise. That’s what you get for having all the babies.

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Mini Politics

There’s such a difference in the air today compared with the last time this country went to the polls. Then we were voting for equality, for human rights,for love. And we got it spectacularly right. I shed tears that day when Ireland voted ‘Yes’. I have never been more proud of my country than I was that day. It was like we were on the crest of a wave;change was coming and it felt good.

Fast forward nine months and all I feel is despondency at this upcoming general election. I’m going to tell you a story here, that is not mine to relay from a first person perspective, but it may easily have been.

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