Now facing into the third week of December, #TeamAlice are getting fully into the Christmas spirit. With Christmas FM now the only station we’re tuning into, the festive life has got us – got us good! This week we’re bringing you our top festive films, Christmas markets at home and away, and telling you where to expect a visit from the ‘Yule Lads.’ Yeah, we had no idea who they were either!
Here’s this week’s festive #WhatTickledAlice
Out and About
Martina spent most of this week in Iceland, where she was invited by Rannís – the Icelandic Centre for Research – to deliver online communications training for Horizon 2020 research support networks from all over Europe. She enjoyed a delicious Icelandic Christmas tasting menu with the training group at Rok Restaurant in Reykjavík, with highlights including the reindeer fillet, smoked duck and Laufabrauð, a type of Icelandic bread, traditionally eaten at Christmas.
As well as working, she found time to explore Reykjavík – a really compact city, easy to walk around, and full of cool shops and quirky buildings. She also made a visit to the famous Blue Lagoon: a volcanic thermal pool with a temperature of 37 degrees and a milky blue colour to the water, due to the presence of the chemical compound silica. Relaxing in the hot water while Iceland’s winter wind and rain swirled around her was an unforgettable experience!
Martina also learned loads about Icelandic Christmas folklore (which is a lot more sinister and scary than the Irish traditions): there isn’t one Santa Claus in Iceland. Instead, children are visited by 13 “Yule Lads” in the lead-up to Christmas Day, who are basically bold trolls who come down from the mountains to wreak havoc! And there’s a somewhat terrifying Christmas Cat, who eats anyone who doesn’t receive a gift of new clothes!
Back on home soil, last weekend, Emily checked out the Dublin Christmas Flea in the Point Village. It was brilliant – so many stalls ranging from food to jewellery to art, and prices to suit all budgets. It’s on again this weekend so she’d really recommend visiting for a festive afternoon!
On Sunday, Emily and some friends took a notion and went to Portmarnock beach at 8.30am for ‘#Wimrise‘ – a workshop on breathing using the ‘Wim Hof’ method (which promotes breath, focus and gradual exposure to the cold, as the key to happiness, health and strength – imagine what they’d say about these notions back in Tipp!) as the sun rises, followed by a swim in the Irish Sea. She tells us it was brilliant – attracting roughly one hundred people, no mean feat on a Saturday morning. It’s coming totally recommended from Emily. #namaste
If you’re looking for a Christmas market further from Dublin, Darragh’s recommending Belfast! While up North on a hen party, they called into the market on the grounds of the very grand city hall. He loved it, browsing through craft vendors’ stalls and soaking up the atmosphere. They finished in the huge market bar sipping on mulled wine. If you’re looking for a day away with plenty of the festive feeling, this is for you!
On the Screen
Niamh watched a Christmas favourite The Holiday this week. The film has divided office opinion, and she thinks that frankly anyone who doesn’t like it is wrong. She’s all about the cheese at Christmas (the food type, and film type) and this has plenty of it!
Emily went to see ‘Sorry to Bother You’, a new comedy. She didn’t know anything about it before going to see it and she loved it – really wacky but very funny. It’s set in an alternative present-day America. A young black man gets a job in a call centre and quickly rises to the top once he starts using his ‘white voice’. He attracts the attention of a big corporation, WorryFree, which offers workers free food and accommodation for a lifetime of work and he has to wrestle with his new-found success and his morals. It’s quite clever and darkly funny, check it out!
In the ear
Eva has just finished listening to the third season of the podcast, Serial. This time they explore the criminal justice system in Cleveland, Ohio. If you’re looking for a return to the enthralling first season murder-mystery, then prepare to be disappointed! But Eva highly recommends season three where no aspect of the judicial system is off limits to the show’s producers, taking you on a visit to Cleveland’s courtrooms, judges’ chambers, county jails and high security prisons.
Darragh has been binge listening to ‘How to Fail’ a podcast by British journalist Elizabeth Day. In each episode, she interviews a different, highly successful person about the failures they have experienced in their lives and how those failures, or the lessons learned from them have contributed to their overall success. It’s amazing to hear the back stories and challenges that lie behind what seem like very charmed lives. Guests are also very diverse ranging from Dolly Alderton to Alastair Campbell. Darragh’s highly recommending this!
On the page
Niamh finally got around to finishing Normal People by Sally Rooney last week – a great read. She really enjoyed it. For a book with not a lot happening over a period of a few years it’s quite the page turner – a great one for over ‘The Christmas’ if you haven’t yet read it!
That’s it for this week. Only one more to go. Hope you have a merry weekend. Let us know what you get up to below.