Tag Archives: Irish

St Patrick’s Day Sparkle

An event I have wanted to attend for years is the Birmingham St Patrick’s Day Parade.  This year I finally made it there.  My friend and I dressed in Green, wore false Shamrock nails, sparkling facial tattoo’s and made our way to the city centre.  Once we reached the Bull Ring we were immersed into a sea of Green, White and Gold.

Me and April

We watched lots of floats go by, listening to Irish music, watched Irish dancers, Salsa dancers, Chinese dragons and Pipe Bands from around the UK and from Ireland. After the parade we made our way through the singing, dancing crowds to the folk village and had a glass of Guinness – had to be done!!  From there we visited St Anne’s Social Club and met up with some family friends from my childhood.  I was warmed up with a hot Jameson’s – Whiskey is not something I drink but I was so cold it did the trick to warm me up.

We were very lucky girls as we had concert tickets to see Nathan Carter at the Birmingham Town Hall.  This is the longest UK tour Nathan has done so far and he was excellent.  His grandmother sells the merchandising and yes we bought wonderful T-Shirts, Black with plenty of sparkle.  At home we have quite a few Nathan Carter CD’s but live, he is  incredible.  What a voice.  When he sang ‘The Town I loved so Well’ the Town Hall was in awe.  Nathan told the story of his musical journey growing up, moving to Ireland, playing to empty venues to now, sell out performances.  He certainly deserves every success.

All in all it was a very long, tiring but perfect day. Below are some photo’s of our wonderful day 🙂

Bull Ring, Birmingham. St Patrick's Day Parade.

Bull Ring, Birmingham. St Patrick’s Day Parade.

DSCF3031

April – waiting for the parade to start.

DSCF3036

Ould fashioned Pony and trap.

DSCF3039

Fly the flag for Ireland.

DSCF3045

The Trinity Netball Team

DSCF3070

The stage is set for Nathan Carter!

DSCF3073

Nathan in action.

DSCF3078

Me, Nathan and April – what a fabulous evening 🙂

Advertisements

2014 – What made you Sparkle?

At this time of year we tend to look back on what we are leaving behind in 2014 and we start to look ahead to the new year, 2015. We’ll be busy making resolutions, plotting and planning for the year ahead and if you are like me, once again making a start on healthy eating and getting more exercise!!

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/036/49481946/files/2015/01/img_2543.jpg

Picture via Pinterest

When I look back on the last twelve months, I think, like most people, we’ve had our up’s and down’s, our happy and sad times because that is life and you can’t escape it. What we must do though is live it because truly, that is what life is for. So, for my first blog of 2015 I am going to share with you the moments in 2014 where I felt alive and totally sparkling high on life.

The stand out moments for me were a wonderfully happy and chilled out week with my lovely friend, in Santa Eulalia, Ibiza. That was true Ibiza heaven…

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/036/49481946/files/2015/01/img_1184.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/036/49481946/files/2015/01/img_1535.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/036/49481946/files/2015/01/img_1175.jpg

I was then lucky enough to visit Lagos, Portugal with my wonderful boyfriend and we walked 72 miles over the course of a week and I still didn’t lose any weight…I blame the ice cream and sangria intake…

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/036/49481946/files/2015/01/img_1643.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/036/49481946/files/2015/01/img_1667.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/036/49481946/files/2015/01/img_1666.jpg

A real highlight of the year was re-discovering my love for Irish Country Music and going to see John McNicholl twice and having such a fabulous fun time at his shows. Meeting John was just wonderful because he is a lovely person and makes time to talk to and have photo’s taken with his fans.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/036/49481946/files/2015/01/img_1764.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/036/49481946/files/2015/01/img_2336.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/036/49481946/files/2015/01/img_1748.jpg

A final highlight was a trip to the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market at night. I love the Christmas Market and usually it is a quick walk around at lunch time to try the food and visit the stalls so it was lovely to have time to stroll around at my own pace.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/036/49481946/files/2015/01/img_2410.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/036/49481946/files/2015/01/img_2412.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/036/49481946/files/2015/01/img_2437.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/036/49481946/files/2015/01/img_2415.jpg

Do you have highlights from the year in your mind? What stands out for you as being happy and making your heart sparkle?

Thank you for joining me on my highlights of 2014 memories. I wish you all a very happy and sparkling new year.

Thank you for reading my blog ✨

Country Music – the bliss and the sparkle!

Oh how my free spirit soared that night. That feeling of pure bliss, happiness rippled through me like waves of delight. The freedom of singing and dancing, the simple pleasures of life and something I hadn’t enjoyed for too long a time.

Where did this amazing bliss take place? The Irish Centre in Birmingham! I said it was the simple things. A place I used to visit often with my family and we’d sing and dance to our favourite bands and here I was, years later with my wonderful, up for any adventure friend, April, waiting see Irish Country music star John McNicholl. I was so excited, I’d tweeted earlier that evening that I felt like a teenager again and believe me, that felt great.

Just sitting at the table and listening to the warm up act, Little Jimmy, brought back happy memories of waltzing around the dance floor with my Dad and my uncles, aunts and cousins and us working out our own jive because the Irish jive is something I’ve never actually managed to master. Sadness also as most of my aunts and uncles are no longer with me and although I am blessed to still have my parents, they can no longer kick their heels up as before.

Then, the star attraction takes to the stage and he was just magical. John McNicholl has a wonderful voice and to hear the songs brought to life by seeing him live was awesome. The wonderful bonus was that we could take to the dance floor and dance our hearts out to the music. Songs that speak to the Irish heart, songs of home, of love, of heartbreak and of dancing.

IMG_1749.JPG

I can’t remember when I felt so free, so happy, relaxed and truly alive. The music sparkle was reignited, my dancing feet were alive and my voice was belting out those songs…well the ones I knew all the words to anyway. This was such a fun evening. I think I could still be dancing to ‘Let’s Dance’.

IMG_1751.JPG

After the dance we met John McNicholl and what a truly lovely person he is. A talented, gorgeous, unassuming and friendly man. As you can see from the photo, I was on high sparkle time!

A week later and we are still truly sparkling, planning our next country music night out. We have a few on our list, Nathan Carter, Derek Ryan and of course another night with John McNicholl. True sparkling heaven.

I am so glad my beautiful Mom reignited my country music sparkle ❤️

http://www.johnmcnicholl.com

Thank you for reading my blog.

IMG_1709.JPG

Music lifts my soul.

I love music. I love most music, Jazz, Country, Motown, Soul, a little bit of Rock…I can’t think of any genre that I don’t like even a little bit.

My passion is dance music, oh how I love to get on the dance-floor and dance. The feeling of pure freedom, I feel every beat as if it is pulsing through my veins. I love to dance. I love to waltz, I can do a mean Siege of Ennis – any Irish folk will know that one well!! I like party music, 50’s, 60’s etc right up to now…my favourite for sheer heart loving joy is Trance. I know why there is a whole section of Trance known as Euphoria because I can’t describe my spirit releasing on the dance-floor any other way…pure euphoria. That uplifting feeling of freedom and dancing off all the stresses, tension and anxiety that real life can bring.

Music has the ability to lift you up, bring back memories, make you sad, cry, laugh and make you sing. Who cares if you can’t hold a note, sing out and fill your heart with happiness. Hold that hairbrush as your microphone…come on, we’ve all done it…I still do at times! Be free within, it will be such a release.

Irish music makes me so happy, brings back memories of holidays to family at home in Ireland. So it also makes me sad that they are having the craic elsewhere these days.

Spanish music makes me tingle. I have not yet found words to describe how the first few bars of ‘Bailamos’ by Enrique makes me feel. Yes he is gorgeous and I do love him singing…that music though…I think I just kind of melt inside. Any Spanish music and it is as if my soul awakes, it recognises a call from home. To my knowledge I have no Spanish heritage and yet I feel my destiny is linked to Spain in some way. I love Spain in the same way I love Ireland.

Spanish music awakens every fibre of my being. Dance music sets my spirit free. Dance The Siege of Ennis and you might end up with a black eye or a few bruised toes but you’ll have had one hell of a good night out!