Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

Thank you very much to my good friend Miss G at Time to Talk Beauty for the nomination AND the snail mail package all in the one day. I am consistently amazed at her dedicated daily blogs about all kinds of beauty related treats and treatment. We met through blogging and became friends on twitter and met up a year ago and haven’t looked back!  Delighted to have been nominated, not least to get me blogging again.



The rules:

– Thank the blogger who nominated you, linking back to their site.

– Put the award logo on your blog.

– Answer the ten questions they have set you.

– Make up ten new questions for your nominees to answer.

– Nominate up to ten new people.


Miss G’s Questions for me:

1. Why did you start blogging?

As a reader, I found blogs endlessly exciting and interesting. It’s just reading in a digital kinda way. I also got a great sense of connection and community from blogging. I wanted to scratch my eternal writing itch and be a part of that community.

2. What is your number one beauty product?

Hmm. I’m really not one for beauty products but maybe tinted moisturiser/Garnier BB Cream. I can deal with only that if I have to and it’s my base for any make up I do wear.

3. What do you spend more time on before a night out; hair or make-up?

Probably hair as I’m not great at either but I have a make up routine at least. My hair is a bit wavy and frizzy so it does need some work. You will usually find me persuading my sister or Mammy to plait it or fix it some way for me.

4. Who are your fashion and beauty heroines / muses?

I actually have no idea. Um. I loved Chantry’s character in the recent great ‘What If’ film, she was played by Zoe Kazan (Who kinda looks like Zooey Deschanel). I like a cutsey dress sense. And natural make up. 

5. If you have a favourite film, what is it and why?

Maybe I should reassess, but I think it’s ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ it’s just a love story, two people meant to be together no matter what crazy stuff they do. In a presumably futuristic world they impulsively ‘erase’ the other from the memory. It needs to be watched at least twice. Wonderful cast and incredibly clever story.

6. What is the best shampoo you’ve ever used?

Probably that ‘spensive Aussie stuff. I love the smell of it! 

7. What is your favourite city?

I’m going to say Edinburgh… Just to stay in Miss G’s good books. The film ‘Midnight in Paris’ makes me crave to see Paris sometime, maybe that would change my mind??

8. False lashes, mascara, or both?

Mascara. Don’t have the patience and dedication for false lashes. I had them once for a wedding and I liked the effect though!

9. What is the best lip balm you’ve used?

I used to love the Body Shop ones when I was younger. In the colourful tubs. Mandarin flavour!

10. What is your current mood?

Hopeful. The best way to be. 

My Nominees

Butterflies and Roses

Girl in the Gloaming

Paper and Salt

Lupus in Flight

Little Grey Box


My questions for them:

1. Do you have a make up must-have?

2. How are you at ‘doing hair’ ? Tips?

3. What is the last book you read?

4. What is your favourite dessert?

5. What’s the last song lyric to strike a chord with you?

6. Who would play you in a film about your life?

7. Do you think the theatre is still relevant?

8. What does blogging mean to you?

9. Is social media a blessing or a curse?

10. A telling question, ultimately is what you do for a living important?

Alternative CV – A creative writer type

Craving creativity.

A trained journalist with a degree in English and a little bit of Philosophy.

Passion for books and reading and words. A logophile.

A love of listening to people’s stories.

Social media bug arising from a desire to connect and reach out to people.

11 GCSES with a smattering of starred A’s.

3 solid A Levels.

A need to avoid retail.

Six years experience in a busy Opticians which was customer orientated, retail and reception and more.

A hard worker, a friendly face, a good team-mate.

A keen learner, a curious discover, creative minded.

Appreciator of beautiful things. Clean designs.

Fan of old fashioned snail mail for correspondence.

Volunteered happily at children’s book festivals ( a volunteer manager!) and children’s summer schemes.

Six months placement experience at a busy local newspaper. Plenty of by lines I could show you.

An award for excellence in Journalism.

Three years solid creative blogging.

Genuine person with a lot to give!

Confidence newly blossomed in the last few years.

Give me Journalism. Give me publishing. Give me a book review job. Give me means to write a novel. I might break my retail rule to sell books for now. The wishy washy Arts have my heart.

Let me use my strengths and loves to earn a wage and be dignified. Allow me to grow and find my way and feel fulfilled.

Half tongue in cheek. Half serious. Get in touch allusive UK creative head hunters!

References available on request. Also normal CVs.

Picture from here.

Picture from here.



Derry, Ireland


Ode to 15 fellow Journo students

1 Professional Newspaper Journalism Diploma

16 hopefuls

19-46 Age range

9 Months

23 Words per sentence

17 Vox Pops

5 Exams (at least)

20 Editions of iNews

3 lost and legendary classmates

8 Newspapers for Work experience

1 Pair of Grey Trousers

173 Scones

10 Shorthand Notebooks (me only!)

13 interesting video pieces

About 5 wonderful drinking sessions

1 Amazing BBQ

13 Survivors and Friends


This may seem very strange, but I feel that I need to put into words how much the wee motley crew that I spent the last 9 months working with trying to obtain an NCTJ in Newspaper Journalism have meant to me. It really was a life changing year, and I know it has a lot to do with these guys.

There were originally six women and ten men. Journalism is male dominated, after all!

There were other large media classes starting at the same time and we all speak of our relief when we weren’t placed in the class with all the 16 year olds who seemed to know each other. (I was 24 starting off and I had a fear everyone would be 18).

An early video journalism class. I think we were going drinking after this...

An early video journalism class. I think we were going drinking after this…

We seemed to spend loads of time in ‘the newsroom’ in the college at the beginning. We shyly made tea and coffee when it was there and crammed some current affairs on Monday nights so as to have something to talk about when we were singled out. The tables are all pushed together and we sat around as one big table. 3 days a week of class time were enough to get to know people.

Early on people learned to bark ‘stop worrying!’ at me when I verbally whimpered and fretted about everything and anything. As I do!

Learning the frustrating but weirdly enjoyable art of Teeline Shorthand were probably the most enjoyable classes. Or at least the one where most banter happened. The boys were wonderfully immature and we usually ended up in fits of giggles when we should have been practising this psycho-motor skill. A tub of chewing gum was thrown from person to person. There was cake one time. The passages dictated to us held all kinda of hilarious innuendo. Someone started drawing male body parts in people’s notes or dropping cut-outs into people’s bags. People got slagged for being good and slagged for being bad at it. In Derry, if you’re not being slagged off it’s a bad thing.

We took turns editing the student newspaper in pairs, and it was a stressful experience especially the first time. But looking back at us working together and trying to delegate, it was really beneficial, and brought out the best and worst in us. Editing when I did, and I wasn’t cracking my shin bone off a bench, I found great quality journalism from them all.

I think our eyes were opened to a lot in Reporting class. We learned tips that we will never forget and we heard many amazing stories. We were always able to remind each other afterwards of the right way to write copy throughout the year.

I have to say sometimes during Public Affairs, Court Reporting and Media Law I was ready to tear my hair out.However the quick humour, how we gelled with the lecturers and the general atmosphere in the class was key in getting me through, usually with some enjoyment.

The three who had to drop out in mostly mysterious circumstances kind of became revered celebrities between us. W, I and L – we will never forget you!

Oldie from Halloween!

Oldie from Halloween!

In true hack style, there were many excuses like Halloween, Christmas and any exams going for a drink. We had a few memorable all-day ‘seshes’. The college in in my home town, and as the only girl from the city I’m kind of proud to say I was usually there to the last. Not my ususal thing, drinking for hours on end, I swear, but the company was the best. Everyone a bit more comfortable when the beer-wine-gin started flowing (usually in the Ice Wharf!) and I think we all really looked forward to having some time to chat.

I don’t think I was the only one worried about it coming to an end. We had a final night out on the 25th June last week, and it wasn’t the best organised, and I got a few hugs in but we mostly kept it light. Enough of us are based in Derry for now to try to reel the others in, I really hope it happens.

I’ve had fascinating discussions about all manners of things. We all have come from largely different backgrounds and chapters in life but with a similar interest in stories, including each other’s and this has meant a lot.

I know that a few of us have had personal upheavals and trials in the last nine months. I don’t mind saying that the class was a support and also a welcome distraction. I became very close to the four other (remaining) girls, we bonded quite quickly. There was a day I stood crying my heart out for an entire lunchtime to these girls in the newsroom and nobody judged! I am really grateful for their support. And to all the people who made me laugh when I didn’t feel like it.

Not to diss the boys. I definitely became close to a handful of them, too. I have had excellent relationship discussions, life comparisons, life lessons learned and I’ve walked away feeling better after some chats to people I really look up to.

The last night out! :(

The last night out! :(

There was even rumours of a secret romance late in the year. There was a super-injunction and everything. I can’t possibly comment but I hear Fiona is funnier these days? And seems happier coming from her friends…

The in-jokes are ridiculous.  The nurse who guards the scones. Gillian’s knickers. Flamboyant Ringo. Big arm freckles. The secret life of Noelle.  Immaturity abounds but that’s what was needed and welcomed! A year of laughing, stressing supporting. Heart-to-hearts in bars are my favourite.

After completing and so far doing well in my journalism qualification, I can’t see what’s next and I am terrified about the future. However, in the grand scheme of things – I know this course and this choice was the right move if only for thrusting these great and beautiful people into my life. I have said it over and over. These bunch of good journalists took up firm friend spots and I’m hoping it stays that way.

So Laura, Jacqui, Claire, Natalie, Gary, Gareth, Michael T, Steven, Declan, Michael K, Mark and Ciaran. What can I say? Every good luck, hope and happiness in all that you do. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for keeping me sane, and making me laugh and opening my eyes a little more this year. You’s have meant more than you think to this sometimes shifty Derry girl.

I was actually going to ask for your addresses and snail mail you individual cards, but maybe that would be even more strange.

Us after a mostly successful shorthand exam with our lovely teacher.

Us after a mostly successful shorthand exam with our lovely teacher.

Let’s not lose touch. Journalism Class of 2014 forever!