Embrace the sunshine and the unpredictable

Posted on: 5th May, 2015

Category: Image

Contributor: Louise O'Dwyer

How can anyone dispute the fact that it is heartwarming to wake up in the morning and see sunlight trying to peep through your curtains? We endure so many dull grey days causing us to just ‘haul’ our bodies around the place with a bleak expression, that it is no surprise how quickly a smile takes over our face when the sun finally beats down. It doesn’t even need to be a very warm day, but the option to grab sunglasses over an umbrella can be just enough to lift the spirits! The dilemma we all face is the struggle in between warm winter woolies and light summer fabric, what to wear and when to wear it? Despite the fact that we are told it is officially summertime, I think perhaps our climate stays — with two very stubborn feet — planted firmly in Spring for a lot longer than it is supposed to. It has to be a very gradual process, this idea of a clothes changeover; the best way forward is to wear lighter colours but in a warm fabric, ditching the dark cardi’s and opting instead for nude, cream, peachy ones and throwing on a matching or contrasting scarf for a bit more ‘wind protection’. It’s hard to let go of comfy winter boots but don’t worry, you ‘will’ be back in them again before you know it, pull out all of your pumps and converse and wax or shave those legs, paint your toe nails and tenderly introduce your legs and feet to the elements — because it will be a shock to the system, it’s been many months since the sun has kissed them.

The shops are full of ‘marvellous’ bits and pieces to tempt us in glorious colours. Yes of course there is a major throwback to the 70s around with lots of flared denims and cute little embroidered cami’s, but I have to say that there is something for every taste and shape in this season’s collection. Maybe you have already purchased a pair of flares, if so, well done, as they are the ideal festival must-have. For those of you who ‘wouldn’t in a million years’, don’t worry, you are not alone, flares are a very acquired taste — you can very comfortably stay in your ‘skinnies’ and still be a style queen!

Spring/Summer jackets are everywhere and I love them. The variety is endless, snug waisted jackets for that sleek look and longer duster coats for a night on the town. Try on every colour and shape, find your ‘fit’ so that they can be worn over jeans, skirts or dresses and don’t worry, the highstreet shops are carrying plenty of different styles, so your pocket will still be smiling! I must admit though that a good quality boutique jacket is a wonderful addition to complete any wardrobe, I know that you might buy three in a highstreet store for the same price but a great fitting Spring/Summer jacket will complete any look. Try to shop as local as you can, quell your need for instant gratification if you must and save up for a really eyecatching body flattering one!

It wouldn’t be a complete wardrobe without a beautiful cream blouse and I adore the balloon/wing/cropped sleeve ones that are in all of the shops. Okay they dissuade against trying to put something on over them but they look amazing with a fitted skirt, jeans or trousers. It’s an ultra-glam look and you can wear with flats or add extra ‘wow’ with a block heeled Mary-Jane shoe or a sandal. The addition of lace detail in a lot of the blouses completes a very feminine look that can be worn day or night.

Trousers are making their biggest appearance in quite a while, —some are patterned but lots are a single colour. Tailored trousers will always win out and, this season, they have been teamed with gorgeous cami’s and patterned or plain chiffon blouses — throw in a pair of cute block heeled sandals are you are ready for whatever your day will bring. Don’t be afraid to try on all the different shape trousers that are out there, the slightly looser svelte on the waist with high pockets have definitely won me over; I love the way that they are very fitted on the leg, a wonderful contrast and they give a great shape. Fit them on — you always have to push yourself outside of your comfort zone, otherwise you’d end up wearing the same clothes year in year out! Make a promise to yourself that the next time you go shopping you will try on at least three different things that you would normally never wear; what a treasure find if you discover that one of those three things is the most flattering thing you have tried on in years! Don’t deprive yourself, treat yourself and take a good long look around, find your ‘Destiny’ pieces. Don’t ever be predictable, that’s just ‘boring’.

I suppose it is easier if you are blonde to wear black during the warmer months; blonde hair completely lightens the look and it will be no surprise to you to hear that it is one of my favourite colours, you can do so much with it and team it with any colour. This season the designers have added a lot more lace and given it an almost ‘folky’ look — some have even added a lot of fringing. Its pretty to wear and pretty to look at and without a doubt, will be stylish enough for any occasion.

Blue is one of the most beautiful colours in the world. There is a shade to suit every skin tone and hair colour and if you haven’t found your ‘blue’ yet, then shame on you because blue is the new black. Royal blue is majestic (of course) and ever-so-easy to wear. It’s drop dead gorgeous in a dress but why stop there, what about a tie-neck blouse or a button front cami? The ‘young and the restless’ can choose the ‘playsuit’ option and they too will look amazing (am jealous as hell).

Pick up whatever flip-flop you fall in love with because chances are if you leave them until next time you are shopping they will be gone! Take out all of last years ones and see what you can salvage, I have been known to wash a pair or two in my washing machine and you would be amazed how fresh they look as a result.

Promise me one thing, don’t do the ‘cheapie’ on sun block and never use sun oil. Sun block expires so chances are no matter how full some of your bottles are, they may need to be ditched. Mind your skin, you have to live in it for (hopefully) a very long time to come!

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11th October, 2017  ·  

Submarines, American Sailors, and the Underwater War in Irish Waters, 1917-1918
by Dr John Borgonovo in The Parish Centre, Clonakilty
on Thursday Oct 26 2017 at 8.30 pm

In 1917, unrestricted submarine warfare by German U-boats brought the United States into WWI and created a crisis in Britain. To defeat the submarine menace, an American naval fleet was dispatched to County Cork, bringing about 10,000 sailors with it. This talk will explain the circumstances of this extraordinary event, and how Cork residents dealt with their unexpected American guests.

Dr John Borgonovo is a lecturer in the School of History at UCC. His publications include Spies, Informers, and the 'Anti-Sinn Féin' Society: The Intelligence War in Cork City, 1920-1921; The Dynamics of War and Revolution: Cork City, 1916-1918; Exercising a close vigilance over their daughters: Cork women, American sailors, and Catholic vigilantes, 1917-18; Something in the Nature of a Massacre: The Bandon Valley Killings Revisited (with Andy Bielenberg). His latest publication (with co-authors John Crowley, Donal Ó Drisceoil and Mike Murphy) is the highly acclaimed and magnificient Atlas of the Irish Revolution. In July of this year, he organised a very successful conference on Winning the Western Approaches - Unrestricted Submarine Warfare and the US Navy in Ireland 1917-1918.
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11th October, 2017  ·  

Apple Juicing Day in Clonakilty next Sunday Sept 30th. All welcome to bring their apples from 2-6pm to the Clonakilty Community Garden (on entrance road to Clonakilty Lodge).

Building on the success of its inaugural 2016 event, local voluntary environmental organisation Sustainable Clonakilty invites people to bring along their apples and press them to extract their own juice to take home, using the group's Apple Press.

Volunteers will be at hand to assist in the procedure. Bring along your apples washed; clean containers to freeze your juice (milk/juice bottles or cartons, plastic bottles with caps); clean, sterilised glass bottles to pasteurise with swing caps or suitable for 26 mm diameter metal cap.

A limited number of new 3 litres juice bags that are suitable for freezing and pasteurising, can be purchased for a nominal fee on the day also.

This is a free community event and donations will be welcome to cover costs.

For further information, please contact Xavier at xavierdubuisson@gmail.com or text at 086/0476124.
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26th September, 2017  ·  

Dúchas Clonakilty's first lecture for the Autumn promises to be of huge interest to all: Emerging from the Shadow of Tom Crean – The Parish Centre, Clonakilty, Thursday September 28th 8.30pm.

Lecture by Aileen Crean O’Brien & Bill Sheppard

In May 2016, Kerry man Tom Crean, along with Ernest Shackleton and four other crew members, landed the James Caird lifeboat on the rocky isle of South Georgia. The navigation of that small boat, across 1500 km through icy winds and towering seas, is regarded as the greatest ever feat of navigation. They then trekked across the forbidding and inhospitable mountains and glaciers of South Georgia to seek help for the rest of their crew, who were left behind on Elephant Island after their ship, the Endurance, was crushed by the Antarctic ice.

One hundred years later, Crean’s grandaughter, Aileen Crean O’Brien, set off with her sons and partner to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps. Join Aileen and Bill to hear of their adventures (and misadventures) on the Southern Ocean and the island of South Georgia.
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7th September, 2017  ·  

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