The very charming Ranelagh road.

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Swaying trees welcome you into Ranelagh, looking particularly attractive and in full foliage around this time of year. It is wonderful, walking or driving past that lone cherry blossom tree on the little square. Entering Ranelagh, it is possible to see a place that sometimes defies explanation of how it comes to be what it purports to be.

Ranelagh road leads into Ranelagh Village. It is charming here, although the term village is lightly used. Ranelagh is a busy place, filled to the brim with cafes and restaurants.

Nick’s Coffee is a little kiosk right across from the Luas station, and in the short few years since it has shown up on the scene, it seems to have garnered very loyal customers. This tiny place is regularly cited as having the best coffee in Ranelagh. Locals sit on its front bench, or in it’s little outside enclosure, just to catch up and sip coffee.

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Across from Nick’s is Locksmiths and Cycles for all your bicycle needs. Be it customization, or just advise on the best bike to invest in. With his range of new and second hand bikes, Jack is always willing to advise you. Although the occasional witty banter is also his forte.

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Fashion comes in the form of boutiques dotted along the main street. Deja Vu, the newly arrived Seagreen. Bow and Pearl proves colorful however, for super fun fashion and gift offerings. If their range of edited chic fashion doesn’t get you topping up your summer wardrobe, then their range of trinkets, accessories, and candles will ensure that you pick up a gift for someone you might really only like.

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Eat dim sum at newly opened Maks restaurant, or at Dillingers, which is on the site where Dylan McGrath’s Mint restaurant used to be. Do pop in to Kinara kitchen however, with their award winning mixologist. This restaurant has been buzzing since it opened, and offers the finest Pakistani cuisine. They recommend their Roomali wraps and Thali lunch, although do go anytime to see how they can further be of service.

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Er Buchetto, Caffe Italiano, offers a more rustic setting for breakfast or coffee. Or be still, and eavesdrop on literary conversations, as the finest poets and writers tend to breakfast here. With Cinnamon just a few doors down, dinner with friends is sorted.

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Apart from being an uber cool place to live, Ranelagh is a unique offering in the art of Dublin and city living. Do pop down sometime. You won’t be disappointed.

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Dublin; A Lifestyle Issue

In a rapidly growing multi-cultural city, Dublin comes into its own via its array of casual social spaces. For day birds, this is especially fortunate. Walking along the familiar route from Rathmines to Grafton street, by way of Portobello and Camden street, I took a moment to note a few examples of laid back Dublin.

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Wall and Keogh, with its fragrant teas in over-sized glass jars cannot help but slow your steps. In the world of teas, where sealed bags and limited aromas populate, the chance to try a variety of loose leaf teas, from the very sweet and fruity, to spiced concoctions, makes this little place interesting. Its cosy basement sofas and backyard gilt iron seating makes it ideal for the upcoming summer months. Sit with friends, sip hot drinks from mismatched crockery, embrace the cave-like ambiance.

Coming up to the Insomnia cafe, with its dark roast double shot coffees, the name suddenly makes more sense. What makes this establishment all the more interesting is its free coffee grounds. Any one with a little garden, or indeed a big one, can find gratification in this city offering.

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Walking through St Stephen’s Green park on a cold spring day, Grafton street opens up to all lovers of shopping and life on luxury row. It does not take long before one is upon Bewley’s Oriental Cafes. With its restaurants on three levels, quirky, pretty and tiled facade, oil paintings of beautiful people and a roaring fire on cold days, this is indeed Dublin as is loved by locals and tourists. With gigs a regular feature above stairs, music is also a part of this beautiful establishment. With its reasonably priced menu filled with salads and good mains, Bewley’s is a lifestyle staple. I highly recommend the seafood chowder!

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Brown Thomas comes at the end of Grafton street. The one stop place for lovers of luxury goods. If funds are limited, a stroll through the shoe department can prove adequate therapy. And if that does not fill your needs, a new oud perfume from Tom Ford can cheer you up. Maybe a new lipstick from Bobby Brown? Or just walk out with prettily colored macaroons from Laduree, sumptuous little gifts for yourself as well as all your girlfriends.image

Take a pause at Avoca. Walk in through the shop, swoon at all the colors from Irish and Scandinavian designers, pick up a book on fashion or cooking, or just some pretty damn good oat cookies. Then pop upstairs, past all the beautifully colored lambswool and cashmere throws, and relax at the restaurant upstairs. Order a fresh soup of the day, a carrot cake cupcake, or just a sweet scone with raspberry jam and clotted cream. Chase it down with coffee, then end your day in contentment.image

Then take the green line luas and head home. The day is done. It has been filled with beautiful and wonderfully colored specimens, of an eclectic and wonderfully varied city.

Ah, People

People are odd curiosities that remove me from the populace. I find it uncomfortable to unwind my body to the uniformity. I am of rigid mold, and plain folk just don’t cut it for me sometimes. I become confused, alarmed, worried. Then I retreat, in order that I may re-strategize.

I prefer simplicity. I prefer a sprinkle of humanity. I engage with these species, as if a calm wind held my back. I seek their minds and their eccentricities, in order that I might understand my proclivities. It is better this way, for then I am not of two minds. Doubt is the undoing of the unbending human being. It can never be deciphered, nor understood satisfactorily.

So I seek them still, these specks of the population that hold me in thrall, and ground me with my beliefs. So that the curiosities become even more mundane, and I can see through them, to the exemplary.

Thank you, Sir.

I suppose you think I need rescuing. That I am like a bird in a cage, in need of assistance. Let me disabuse you.

I am not so fragile. I am not inclined to dramatics or hysterics, like some females I know. I do not bemoan my existence, falling to my knees to beggar myself before the Almighty, wailing “Why me?” like a confused samaritan. My tendencies are not such.

Instead, I am determined. I am cold and I am heartless. What you feel is pity, and I feel no particular emotions about your condescension.

Please, refrain. Direct your energies and affaires of a more delicate nature to a more worthy corner. I do not sympathise, for indeed I cannot.

Thank you, sir, for your consideration. I am most heartened.

The Journey

A snail crosses the pavement very slowly, despite the perils of such a journey. It might be a short crossing, for it might never make it to the other side. Or it just might. Boldly does it go, flinging away doubt, relishing ignorance.

 

Might we not take our cue from the humble mollusk? Must we question too much when instinct always has a solution? There is a journey to be made by us all, and we are unable to anticipate the true destination. Ignorance is bliss, making the progression sweeter, with anticipation our only ally, our lone company.

 

Venture forth, brave and true. Because when you are certain, and your will is strong, you can never be wrong.

The Raid (The movie)

It thrilled, it thrilled. It sang beneath my veins, gave me goosebumps. I was like a kid again, my smile wide and goofy. Oh what a movie! It thrilled!

If any of you have missed a good old martial arts action flick without the fuss of recent years, see this movie. It is too cool for words. A police team raid the apartment block of a known and untouchable drug lord, with tenants that include all his nefarious associates. Things don’t go to plan when they are spotted and the bad guys decide to retaliate. Cue machine gun, knife and machete toting bad guys and dead police people, trapped in the sixth floor with no way up, or down. There is a lot of fun stuff here to keep the action movie enthusiast glued to his or her seat.

This Indonesian action flick ticked all the boxes. Old school, check. Bloody, check. Violent, check. Psycho martial arts pro, check. Cute hero, check.

Enjoy!

Chronicle; the movie

Chronicle tells the story of three young men who acquire super powers then have to learn how to deal with it.

No one ever tells you what happens when you’re a person with issues who’s got all these super powers and no interest in being precious about it.

This is an excellent flick, more in its humanity than special abilities. There are no grand gestures, no noble deeds. Just a pissed off teenager with a way to do something about it.

It’s awesome. Check it out.