Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Marrakesh, Morocco, Nov 2011

Marrakesh has to be one of the most magical places that I've ever been to. It's like another world. Tiny streets filled with masses of people, motorbikes, donkeys, horses and carts, all bustling around competing for space to get by.  At first it was a bit of a culture shock, but very quickly we realised that the people were lovely and felt really safe and at ease.

We stayed in Riad Linda which is in the heart of the medina. The Riad is a grand old house and we stayed in the Kings suite which gave us more space. Such luxury!  The staff and owners were lovely and most helpful.  But the best thing about the Riad was its closeness to the Djemaa el Fna or main square. 

The main square is where we spent most of our time. The smells, sights and sounds were from another world. In the centre of the square are hundreds of stalls all selling traditional Moroccan food.  One night we sat on a balcony in a restaurant looking down over the square. We just watched the hustle and bustle, whilst the steam from all the food stalls rose into the sky and across the mosque. Such an awesome way to spend an evening! 

We spent days just wandering around the maze of souks, which are never ending. Getting lost was part of the fun but often locals would try to guide us to their shops in the hope that we would spend lots of money.  Of course we brought back souvenirs and I got presents for the kids. We sampled all the Moroccan pastries and ate all sorts of tagines in various restaurants. You can't go to Morocco and not try all the local food. The only thing we didn't try were the snails. They just didn't appeal to us! 

We did a sort of cooking course at the Riad, which turned out to be more of a demonstration. Then we ate it that evening in the Riad courtyard.  One of the staff took us shopping and we both bought tagines to bring home, along with lots of local spices to cook with.  The smell of the spice souks were totally intoxicating! 

I would have been happy enough just wandering around for weeks with my camera as the entire place was just one amazing photo opportunity. I made Hank a photo book of Marrakesh for Christmas so that he can keep the memory of our amazing trip alive forever. 

I could add hundreds of photos to this post but better not or the page will never load. But here are a few of my favourites.  I would definitely go back there again. Without a doubt. 

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Tarja turns 15 in the style of Tim Burton!

Wow, I am so incredibly late with updating my blog posts. So much has happened since I last posted. But first let me start with Tarjas 15th birthday. It's hard to believe that my baby girl is nearly a fully grown adult. But she is turning into the most beautiful, helpful, kind young lady and I'm so very proud of her.

We of course had a birthday celebration at home. She wanted money to buy a laptop with (she's
been saving for months) but she still got a few wee presents too. New clothes and girlie things. But this year she, her cousin and her aunties organised a special Johnny Depp/Helena Bonham Carter/Tim Burton themed birthday party for both Tarja and her cousin B at Nannys

What a great night it was! Aunty J had made the most amazing Tim Burton themed cakes, and Aunty M put a lot of effort into food and decorations. Everyone dressed up and it was a memorable night.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Red Hot Chili Peppers, Belfast

So after a full night of queuing I finally got be to only a few feet away from the real Anthony Kiedis!  Yes I did! DREAM COME TRUE. Haha. Ok, so after a full night of queuing A and I finally managed to get our two tickets each to see The Red Hot Chili Peppers live at the Ulster Hall in Belfast for an intimate gig for the MTV awards, which were hosted in Belfast this year.  

Another two hours queuing ensured we were pretty near the front of the gig, about 3 rows from the front in fact. This meant we were very close, as you can see from the photos.  Hank and I had already seen them perform live a few days before in Dublin, but we were one of thousands of people there. This gig was much smaller and the atmosphere was electric.  I had one arse of a man try to literally pull me out of the way to get my spot. When I tackled him about it he started grabbing me and trying lift me out of the way! In the end I smacked him in the head and he let go! Moron. 

But the gig was awesome and I was on cloud nine.  I've loved the Chili Peppers since I was 15 and this was an absolute dream come true!

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

A year of giggles and gigs.

Doesn't everyone love being spoilt? Yep, I know I sure do. And last weekend I was happily spoilt by one particularly hairy man who chooses to go by the name of Hank. (Rolls up eyes).

Anyway, so two weeks back marked the anniversary of our very first date. But Hank decided to have himself rushed to hospital via ambulance rather than celebrate. So I spent our anniversary worried out of my mind.... but all was well in the end and the following weekend he was still in the land of the living and cooking me a yummy meal.

So to celebrate our one year of laughs, giggles and numerous gigs, Hank cooked me a yummy meal with more starters than I've ever seen before, a steak dinner and yummy desert too. Oh, and of course... wine. Lots of wine. He gave me a gorgeous bouquet of flowers, and a card too. And what did I get him? Nothing. Zilcho. Yes, I am a bad girl friend. Whoopsies!

For the love of ROCK!

I have wanted to see the Red Hot Chili Peppers in concert for about 18 years. I already got to see The Black Crowes in concert back in July when 'Hank' and I went to England to see them. That was just possibly the most exiting evening of my life so far!

But this weekend coming I shall be seeing the Chili Peppers.... TWICE! Yes, twice! I managed to get tickets to see them in Dublin for Friday night. I was only able to get tickets by pre-ordering the new album which meant I was given a special code to order tickets 3 days before they went on general sale. And I am glad that I did, because they sold out within an hour. So I shall be seeing them with Hank on Friday, along with thousands and thousands of other people.

BUT.... I shall also be seeing them on Sunday in an intimate gig at the Ulster Hall in Belfast! And how did I manage to get tickets for that? See the photo above. By queuing for 12 hours, overnight, in the cold, in an orange body bag! Yes, I am slightly insane. But it will be so worth it to see them in such a small venue.

Thankfully it was a rain free night and not as cold as it has been. A and I were well prepared with hand warmers, sleeping bags, thermal undies, flasks of soup and wind resistant body bags. The hardest part was sitting on a small deck chair for 12 hours. By the time we got to buy the tickets in the morning, my entire body was in serious pain!

But we did it, and are now in possession of these treasured tickets which are selling for a small fortune on ebay! I can't wait until the weekend. I'm not sure I can handle this much excitement!

Halloween 2011

My kids love Halloween. When I was a kid we didn't really do the Halloween thing. But we do now. Mostly because my kids love sweets. And being given sweets for free is something they love even more!

This was the first Halloween that little Rosie has really been aware of. She was most excited. This year her big sister took her and Barney 'trick-or-treating' whilst I sat in making a costume (but that's another blog post). It was nice to sit inside in the warm whilst they went out together. It was so cute watching them walk up the road in their costumes, all excitable. Tarja said that after every door they knocked on she exclaimed "let's do that again!", making the neighbours laugh.

We carved two pumpkins, both in a 'Nightmare Before Christmas' theme. One was Mr Oogie Boogie, and one was Zero the dog. Rosie was dressed as a cat-witch. She loved her new witch costume but insisted that she wanted to be a cat, so Tarja gave her some makeup for that. Barney wore his new Grim Reaper costume, which was... well... grim.
Related Posts with Thumbnails