As our regular readers and most adoring fans will know, THE Dublin recommendations blog #WhatTickledAlice has had a bit of a break since late last year. But, it’s a new decade and your favourite PR team are back with their top recommendations.
We’ve had to hastily devour all the remaining chocolate at Alice HQ so as to be able to begin our January wellness journey. A bullet no one objected to taking. And while we finish off the last box of celebrations, Team Alice are recapping on the best films, books, podcasts and activities from the festive period and providing you with our top recommendations from the last couple of months.
Here’s the first #WhatTickledAlice of the 2020s!
On the Screen
Martina really enjoyed ‘Messiah‘ on Netflix, although she says it may not be everyone’s cup of tea. She tells us, “it’s a really interesting concept and – despite a drop in quality about half-way through – kept me guessing to the end.” She has now moved on to ‘Money Heist‘, a Spanish-language crime drama. She’s only two episodes in but liking it so far.
While – contrary to most people – Martina wasn’t blown away by ‘Little Women’ (there have been heated debates in Alice HQ on its merits, or lack thereof!), she watched two other Oscar contenders in recent weeks: ‘The Irishman‘ and ‘Marriage Story‘. She says she really enjoyed ‘The Irishman’ and didn’t find it too unbearably long (stopping for plenty of snack breaks). She was blown away by ‘Marriage Story’. It’s a pretty difficult watch, but Adam Driver and Scarlet Johansson give really amazing performances. In her view, both should win Oscars, although it seems fairly likely they won’t!
In the Little Women camp are Emily and Emma. Big fans! According to Emma, “Yes, Little Women really is as good as everyone says it is and yes, I will be going to see it again.” If you’re one of the few yet to watch it – they’re recommending you do so.
During a Christmas break of doing little other than watching films, Darragh has some particular highlights – ‘Judy’ being number one. He says “Renée Zellweger’ Golden Globe was so deserved! It is a really incredible performance”. As a friend of Dorothy’s, there’s no great surprises there! He’s also recommending Netflix’s ‘The Two Popes’ (fascinating story about the conservative and progressive forces of the modern Catholic Church coming head to head in the form of the two most recent people to hold the position of Pope).
In the Ear
Martina has been listening to the new Jape album, ‘Sentinel‘, and tells us it’s her favourite of all his albums to date. To quote The Irish Times, “Richard Egan is one of the finest Irish musicians of the past 20 years. Sentinel is another reminder of his understated, unassuming and unique genius” – and sure The Irish Times is always right.
Following Darragh’s recommendation, Eimear has been listening to the podcast ‘How to Fail with Elizabeth Day’. It’s an uplifting, feel-good listen where a diverse range of guests from media, politics, arts and entertainment speak about their greatest failures. The interviews delve beyond the failures to what they guests learned from the experience and how that contributed to their success – ideal for the cold morning bus journeys into Alice HQ!
Darragh has recently been listening to Fearne Cotton’s podcast ‘Happy’. He’s finally getting around to it after working with Fearne on last year’s WellFest. It took a while – but very worth it. The podcast focuses on how a litany of interesting guests find their happiness and fulfilment. With names like Dawn French and Stephen Fry, it’s a great listen. A particular highlight is the episode with journalist Bryony Gordon. She who speaks about depression, alcoholism, and how she found liberation through running the London Marathon in her underwear.
On the Page
Martina is almost finished a fascinating (though pretty harrowing) book called ‘Village of Secrets – Defying the Nazis in Vichy France’. It’s the account of how a remote community high in the mountains of the eastern Massif Central hid hundreds of Jewish refugees and helped thousands more to safety in Switzerland during World War II. You can read more about it here.
Eimear is reading Louis Theroux’s ‘Gotta get Theroux this’ which delves into his life and the array of people he has met along the way. She tells us it’s as “fascinating as his weird and wonderful documentaries.”
A few recommended reads from Emma from the Christmas break – Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know, The Fathers of Wilde, Yeats and Joyce by Colm Toibin is a must for literary lovers she tells us. Emma is also highly recommending An Post’s Best Non-Fiction Book of 2019 – Constellations by Sinead Gleeson. She says it’s probably the best non-fiction she read in 2019. From a reader as avid as Emma, that’s high praise indeed.
Out and About
Eimear kicked off the festivities with a visit to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park in London, which was just magical! Fueling her Christmas market fever, she then took a trip Edinburgh. She spent time browsing the markets at the foot of the castle, tasting haggis and drinking coffee in the café where Harry Potter was put to paper.
Eimear spent time visiting new spots such as Drogheda. She drank delicious cocktails in the fab Trinity Quarter and took in the unexpectedly picturesque beaches of Louth. She also spent a weekend in Galway, – “the most reliable spot for amazing food, music and craic!” Busker Brownes has climbed her list following the latest visit – one to definitely check out!
Emerging every now and then from hibernation, Emma occasionally ventured out and about this winter. She enjoyed the University of Dublin Choral Society’s Michaelmas Concert and Christmas cocktails at The Blind Pig. She was also delighted to attend her favourite author Sarah Moss’ talk on Brexit and literature at UCD College of Arts and Humanities Annual Lecture at MOLI. And finishing the year right, a bracing walk along the Fanad Peninsula on New Year’s Eve, with a customary pint in Portsalon.
And that’s it. A exciting beginning to the 20’s for Team Alice! Roaring or not, we’re looking forward to it.