Friday, September 21, 2012

25 Before 25: Take a Random Roadtrip

So ideally, this would have gone down something like this: boyfriend and I would decide to go somewhere to stay overnight without booking before hand, fill up on petrol and hit the road with no destination in sight. Though as I approach the deadline for this I realise it’s not going to happen (neither is visit a country I’ve never been to before unless I win the lotto or someone wants to pay for me to go abroad! *cough*).

So Saturday morning I had to drop my aunt off to the bus station early and I bought along my friend K who was staying with me for the weekend. We decided instead of heading straight back home we’d go on a drive, deciding where to stop along the way. Which lead to a mini tour of South and West Clare.

The first place we hit was Lissycasey, where we drove past this pub and then promptly turned around for some photo opportunities.

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Next main place we hit was Kilrush, where we decided to visit the Vandeleur Gardens. Unfortunately, seeing as we were up so early, we were 2 hours too early to enter. Instead we went for a quick stroll in the woods.

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And then off went again! Next we hit Kilkee so we decided to stop at the West Clare Railway at Moyasta. And would you believe it, it was also closed! (are you beginning to see a theme here?!). So I took this quick snapshot of the office and cafe.

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From there we decided to head onto Loop Head Lighthouse. We looked up on K’s iPhone that it was open until early September. We weren’t sure if they would be open or not seeing as it is now mid-September! But we decided to take the gamble. And luckily it was open!

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After we went for a quick walk around the cliff edges.

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After our lovely walk, we continued on, deciding on a whim to stop in Doolin in the Tea Rooms. Unfortunately it was closed! Moving onto Quily we stopped at Seafield beach to look at Mutton Island.

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We were then going to play some arcade games at Sugar Island Cafe but it wasn’t open yet! We figured that was the final sign to head on home and put our feet up!

Monday, September 10, 2012

World Suicide Prevention Day

I was going to write a completely light and fluffy Things I Liked post today. Until I remembered it’s World Suicide Prevention Day and decided to write about that. Mental health is something that’s very important to me and hearing about the possibility that there might be cuts made to mental health services here in Ireland breaks my heart. Think about all the car safety ads you see. In general more people die by suicide a year in Ireland than they do in road accidents. Yet you never see that much awareness and advertising for suicide and mental health. In fact, according to The Irish Times, nearly 10 times more people died by suicide in 2011 in Co.Clare (where I live) compared to road traffic accidents. 19 people died by suicide, 2 in road accidents. And of those 19 people who died, 17 were male. Which I find shocking.

There’s such a stigma attached to mental health which is a shame in this day and age. Mental health should be as much a priority to someone as physical health is. And while we’re talking about stigma I’d like to point out that I hate the term ‘committed suicide’. It’s linked with religion and suggests that the person is committing a sin or committing a crime. ‘Died by suicide’ is the preferred way to say it, even if it does take a bit of time to get used to saying.

In 2007 by cousin decided to end his life. I debated different ways of saying this, it’s not an easy thing to say or admit to. Nothing sounds right when you try and word it. I think it was probably the hardest thing my family have gone through as a family. I remember the day I found out like it was yesterday, the shock and disbelief, the anger and the grief. The endless wondering of if you knew could you have helped. That’s one of the hardest things to deal with, it goes around and around in your head, it can drive you nuts. You just need to realise that you can’t change what happened and there’s no point in torturing yourself. Anger is another emotion a lot of people feel. I just remember thinking about how desperate you must feel if you think this is the only way out, that this is the only solution. How dark and lonely you must feel. Which is why I think awareness is important, to let people know there are others that were once in their shoes and that it can get better. That there are people here to listen to you, to help you as best they can.

For me, the best way to try and get over it was to talk to family members, try and ‘normalise’ it. To make sure it wasn’t a stigma, to try help each other make sense of it. Personally it wasn’t enough though. Once I went back to college I decided to take up the free counselling service. They were fantastic and I found myself returning two years later to help with more issues. It’s something I know I could benefit with going again and I probably will when I have some more money available. If you think this is something that could benefit you, please talk to your GP about it.

The internet is a source of information and support too.

International Association for Suicide Prevention runs in association with World Health Organisation and are the people that run this World Suicide Prevention Day. It has a Help page with links to Crisis Centres all over the world.

Samaritans is a fantastic charity that helps people. Contact information can be found on their website and there is a great article on emotional health.

U Can Cope is a film that is realised today with the 3 main messages being 1. Anyone can experience suicidal thoughts 2. There is always hope 3. There is always help.

Mind is organisation that has loads of information about mental health and stories about people’s experiences.

Black Dog Tribe is another site with information and forums about mental health. It contains a brilliant blog post from Ruby Wax about feeling the ‘pitter patter’ onset of depression coming back and the mindfulness around it. While I have never used the forum, it strikes me as the perfect place to discuss problems you might be having if remaining anonymous is important to you.

Mental Health Ireland aims to promote positive mental health while also supporting people with mental illness (as well as their families and carers).

Pieta House is a centre for for the prevention of self harm and suicide. They are a fantastic organisation. In May my family and I did their Darkness into Light Walk, where people gather at 4am and walk while the sun rises. It was an amazing experience and I’d definitely do it again next year.

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My brother and my boyfriend on the walk this year.

I know this post is long and I was going to stop there but couldn’t without mentioning one last charity. William Winder was a local boy who took his life a few days before his Junior Cert was due to start. His parents set up the William Winder Rainbow Foundation and have been doing so many wonderful fundraisers and events. Their aim is to raise awareness for youth issues and offer support to and information to youth, parents and school. They often post helpful links and tips on their Facebook page. Please go and support them if you can! They also have hoodies and t shirts for sale, something I must go purchase actually.

If World Suicide Prevention Day helps just one person then it is worth it. Please share this post and the links above and help de-stigmatise mental health issues and suicide.

Hope you all have a wonderful week!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Nails of the Week!

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I was trying to use my striping tape to do some pink and mint green nails and it went a bit wrong. So I covered it up with black crackling polish. It reminds me of the 80s for some reason!

Rimmel Lycra Pro Professional Finish in Peppermint
Angelika Nail Polish in Sweetie Pie
W7 Crackle in Black

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Nails of the Week!

I was so excited when I received my Dollish Polish in the post! I got ‘Heart of Glass’, named after the Blondie song and it’s just beautiful, so sparkly. I decided to use it over a black nail polish for a dramatic effect.

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Black base- Catrice I Wear My Sunglasses At Night (with flash)

I couldn’t capture it properly but the black has very subtle pieces of dark glitter through it.

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Look at how pretty it is!

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No flash

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With flash

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Blurry picture but it shows the colours the sparkles give off

I love this polish, it has 3 elements to it. The big chunks of glitter, which to me remind me of broken CDs or something (also reminds me of the bits in the Essence The Huntsman polish), the sparkly strands and then the holographic pigment that coats all the nail, making the base colour holographic. It’s so beautiful, I got lots of compliments on my nails, even from my boyfriend!

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