Happy New Year! The Christmas festivities have come and gone so let’s see what #TeamAlice got up to – check out our highlights from the festive period! #WhatTickledAlice.

Out and About

Martina went to see ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi‘, which marked the first time she has ever sat down and watched a ‘Star Wars’ movie, she feels very out of the loop! She has not been converted to fandom, however… 2.5 hours of her life she will never get back! On a more positive note, she went to see it in the IMAX screen in Cineworld, which is Dublin’s only official IMAX, (she thinks!) So she watched the movie complete with her 3-D glasses, looking like a total nerd. The picture quality and 3-D effects were amazing – Martina would highly recommend that screen for anything like that!

Emily enjoyed spending time at home in Tipp for a week and having all the fam around, including LOTS of children. Lots of eating, drinking, nights out at home and catching up with old friends. She did manage to escape out of the house a good bit though and went off for a hike up the Galtee mountains one of the days after Christmas. Definitely a highlight – the top of the mountain was covered in snow and it was beautiful, felt like she could have been in Switzerland! The Galtee mountains are fab and only an hour from Emily’s parent’s house so she definitely wants to climb more of them in 2018!

Ellen also relished being at home with her family for Christmas, especially since her big brother has just emigrated to New York! Being able to spend lots of time with him before he jetted off was great. One highlight for Ellen from the Christmas period was her family’s annual games night. All the cousins and partners come over for a night filled with food, drink and lots of games! Unfortunately she wasn’t on the winning team this year, though 🙁

Another highlight from Emily was New Year’s Eve – best one yet she says! She spent it at #10West, a little festival run by Smithwicks and HomeBeat on Achill Island. She went with a few friends and knew a few other groups of people at it, including our own Niamh! The weather was surprisingly pretty nice, and they had organised outdoor activities so on New Years Eve she went on a hike, and that evening they had a big tent out the back of one of the pubs beside Keel beach with bands and DJs playing – Sing Along Social and Stomptown Brass were definite highlights. Emily said it was so much fun and she is now a convert to Smithwicks! She loves Achill, and thinks it’s her spiritual home. On New Year’s Day itself, they all went to the beach beside the AirBnB and did the charity swim for Achill RNLI, or rather, the charity run-in-and-out – it was BALTIC. She said it was worth it, it scared the hangovers away!

Eva went to see ‘Let the Right One in’ at the Abbey Theatre over Christmas. According to Eva, it is sooooo good!! The stage design was stunning, and she was absolutely terrified at certain parts. She would definitely recommend seeing it while it’s still on!

On the Page

Martina is simultaneously reading two books: Hillary Clinton’s ‘What Happened‘, which her mother gave me for Christmas; and ‘Maeve’s Times‘, a compilation of Maeve Binchy’s writings for The Irish Times, edited by Roisin Ingle. The Hillary book is an interesting look behind-the-scenes of the presidential election campaign but, so far, she still feels like she’s holding things back & being a bit too much of a politician in how she’s recounting events. ‘Maeve’s Times’ is excellent. Martina has devoured it over the past two nights – it is all different articles she wrote for The Irish Times from the late 1960s onwards, so a really good snapshot of changing times. All beautifully written. She might even bring it into the office as a lesson for us all when she’s finished.

Emily finally finished ‘The Casual Vacancy‘ by JK Rowling which she really enjoyed – she flew through it once she had some time over Christmas. It doesn’t have a happy ending though which was a bit of a shock, but still a good read. She also got a present of a book of short stories by Maeve Brennan, an Irish author who seems to have been largely forgotten about, and so far she’s enjoying them.

Ellen is reading ‘The Tea Planter’s Wife‘ (another Christmas present) and loving it! Set in the 1920s, it’s about a young Englishwoman who marries a charming tea plantation owner and widower. When she moves to Ceylon (Sri Lanka) she discovers he’s hiding secrets about his past and the death of his first wife. She’s only halfway through but can’t put it down!

Eva is reading ‘The Omnivore’s Dilemma’ by Michael Pollan. Pollan delves into the slightly terrifying world which is the US food industry – mapping out the county’s dependency on corn production to large-scale factory farming. She’s finding it absolutely fascinating and actually can’t put the book down!

On the Screen

Eva has been watching the new ‘Black Mirror‘ episodes on Netflix. She thinks they’re only okay, unfortunately and was a bit disappointed that they don’t quite have the eerie edge that the previous seasons had. That said, she will still finish watching the season!

Ellen watched the ‘Oasis: Supersonic‘ documentary on BBC over Christmas and really enjoyed it! She has always been a fan of Oasis but now can’t stop listening to them again since watching it. The band’s split was kind of inevitable but who knows, maybe they’ll reunite one day and that would be one gig not to miss!

Looking forward…

Martina is heading to Pickle tomorrow night with friends, her favourite Indian restaurant in Dublin.

Apart from that, we’ve all been trying to eat healthily and do lots of exercise this week after absolutely over-indulging over Christmas!

That’s all from us this week, what did you get up to over the Christmas holidays? Have you got any New Year resolutions? Let us know in the comment section!




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