Thursday, 17 November 2011

Versace for H&M -The Experience

Excitement over Versace for H&M has been building for weeks.
As a lover of bling and cheap designer swag- library diva was determined
to be as close to the beginning of the queue as possible.

Here is my Versace Diary.

7am- get up

7.15am- get dressed and run out the door.

7.30am - meet my friend at the luas and head towards Dundrum.

7.45am- Get in line outside H&M.  Two members of staff are there to greet us.
We're given wristbands and are told that we are in the second group of shoppers to get
into the pen.  Twenty shoppers are allowed in at any one time.  Everyone is given 10mins
to do a 'supermarket sweep' and pick up a maximum of 7 items.  Only one size of garment
can be bought.  If the wrong size is chosen, staff will do an exchange for you in store, if that size
is available.

8am- Wrist bands firmly on we head to MacDonalds for breakfast.

8.55am- Return to the queue, in time to see the first group of shoppers enter the ring.  The
excitement in the queue is palpable.  Some of the security guards look bemused by the whole
thing.  Although, myself and my buddy arrived over an hour before the doors opened, we were
by no means the earliest.  One lady with a buggy (yes she brought her baby) had slept outside the shop
overnight in order to be at the top of the queue.  You will undoubtedly see her picture in the paper.

9.20am - Extreme shopping is called for when you only have ten minutes to mull over and grab what you
want before you head for the changing rooms.  I try on a black studded top and a turquoise dress.
My friend tries on a purple dress and a silk fringe dress.  I love the black studded top-definitely a keeper.
Would look class with black skinny jeans and gold heels.  The turqoise dress is not great, the lenght is
a little too short for my liking and the cut isn't very flattering-not great on the tummy.
My friend wasn't enamoured by the two dresses she tried on. 

9.30am - Pay for my black studded top 40euro and accessories 20 euro.
My friend got a bracelet for 25 euro.  Winner.

I was very impressed by how the shop ran the event.  Because people were given numbered
wristbands and a maximum of twenty shoppers were allowed to shop in the Versace section
at any one time, things didn't get too crazy.  I had been expecting cat fights over clothes, but that
didn't happen.  The staff did really well in bringing stock back to the shelves after it had been tried on
and discarded.
The stock in the Versace range was good but not great.  The scarves, bags and accessories were georgeous.
The top i got was lovely but the dresses weren't wonderful.  The materials used were not the most
flattering and the sizing was off.  I heard one very skinny woman say that she had to get a size 16 and there
was no way in hell she was a size 16.  Unfortunately, Dublin did not get everything in the Versace for H&M range which was a shame.  I would have loved to have seen the leather jackets and shoes.

Now, onto River Island to get those skinny jeans i've had my eye on for ages....

Here is (stolen) picture of the top i bought

Here is another stolen picture of the turquoise dress i tried on and discarded

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Versace for H&M

Hurray! The event i have been eagerly awaiting for two weeks is finally here.
Versace have designed a line of clothing for H&M which goes on sale in stores
and online tomorrow.  Best of all, clothes are at H&M prices, Woohoo!
I have my eye on a black top with metallic detail for 35euro.  You better not get
there before me!
Doors open at 9am, get there early before its all gone.
To get a preview of the bling go to:

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Two Shoes tonite!

X factor hopefuls Two shoes are playing in Dandelion tonite.  Think The only way is Essex,
So expect big hair, lots of fake tans and tons of attitude.
Doors open at 11 and tickets cost 12 euro.
Library Diva is very excited as she was team Two Shoes
Promises to be a fun night....

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Launch night for Damien O'Reilly

Can't wait to see Damien O'Reilly's first Solo exhibition which will be launching
Friday the 18th November at 6pm in the Mad Art gallery.
Art and free wine, what more could you want from a Friday night.
All are welcome!

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Launch of stillorgan library

Last Friday saw the launch of Stillorgan library.  The event which was hosted by Branch
Librarian Ann Millane saw the library officially re-opened by Leas Comhairle Jane Dillon
Byrne.  The Leas Comhairle proved to be a engaging and witty speaker and entertained the
community filled audience with the tale of how stillorgan library got a temporary portacabin
for 35 years but that is county councils for you!
The humble portacabin has now been transformed into a state of the art community ammenity with
self-service machines, a bright open plan and wheelchair accessibility.

Around 100 members of the community, library staff and council officials turned up
for  canapes, wine, live music and special guest speaker Monica McInerney. 
Monica McInerney is the author of 10 books which deal with families, life, love and everything in between.
Having lived in Australia, Britain and Ireland, this talented author has a unique take
on the everyday themes which affect us all.  In a refreshing and at times hillarious speech,
she gave the audience her tips on how to read more.  Here are the ones I remember.

1. Bring a book everywhere- while your waiting for the bus, on your lunch break, waiting
to pick the kids up from school, life provides many moments in which you can read.

2. Open your mind to different types of books- If you always read Thrillers try a romance.
If you always read classics, try a contemporary writer.

3. Get to know you local librarian or book seller.  These people are professionals and can
help you find a book you will like.

4. If you are struggling with a book or are not enjoying it, stop reading it and start reading
something else.  Don't let one bad experience put you off for life.

Monica McInerney signed copies of her new novel 'Lola's Secret' in the library.
These books were supplied by Dubray bookstore located in the Stillorgan shopping centre.

To find out more about Stillorgan library and the other libraries in Dunlaoghaire-Rathdown
go to
To read more about Monica McInerney go to
For a list of Dubray stores, their best sellers and promotions click on

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Library Diva is Back!

Blog posts are a bit like buses- you wait ages for one and then three come along
at once.  Library diva has been hitting the books and assignment deadlines have
taken precedence over blogging notes.  That is not to say that, that i didn't miss
you immensely, Indeed your absense from my life was keenly felt.
Here is a recap of what i got up to over the last couple of weeks:

Had a very gay weekend in Brighton.

Shopped till i dropped in Dundrum- love my new dress from Oasis- sparkleicious!

Went to see the fabulous Patrick Wolf in the academy- He is amazingly talented-
check out 'the city' on you tube for a taster of what he's about.

Went back home to Galway for the weekend where i sipped coffee and
browsed the bookshelves of the hungry worm in Loughrea and
took afternoon tea in the G hotel- Fabulous!

Attended the launch of Bow and Pearl's Autumn/Winter collection- too tempting
for words!

Library diva can't wait for the launch of Stillorgan library tomorrow evening- if you
can't make it i will be blogging and tweeting from the event- Chat soon! X

Sunday, 23 October 2011

The return of sin e

Library Diva is pleased to say that Sin E was hopping last night.
After the closure and subsequent reopening earlier this year, crowds
had waned and i was worried that sin e would never get its mojo back.
Last night allayed my fear- the tunes were bopping and so was the crowd.
Brilliant night was had by all!

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Visit 2011

Ever wondered where artists work?  Now is your chance to find out as over 250  artists living
 and working in Dublin willopen their studios to the public for one day only.  Visit 2011 is takes
 place on Saturday the 22nd October.This is the ideal opportunity to take a tour into the
creative sphere of some of Ireland's most prominent artists. 
To find out times, venues and studios click on the link:

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Nigella's french toast

As you may or may not be aware Dublin library Diva started as a homage to the delightful
Nigella Lawson.  Upon discovering that Nigella had 12 versions of the same dress i
had been coveting from afar, I simply had to get one for myself and share my
journey with cyberworld.

Last week I discovered an amazing channel on UPC- its called the food network,
and guess what (cue drum roll).... they play reruns of nigella express twice a day.
Needless to say the dvris working overtime and my love of Nigella has
been rekindled.  Here are some gems from the domestic goddess herself:

'I agree that to some people using half a kilo of chocolate to make 12 cookies may seem
excessive, but personnally i don't put a price on alleviating human suffering'

'Emmanating calm is hard work after all'

'generally i dislike all things skinny'

Here is a recipe for doughnut french toast that i have taken from  I will be
testing it out in her honour tomorrow

Doughnut French Toast


  • 2 eggs
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 60ml full-fat milk
  • 4 slices from a small white loaf or 2 slices from a large white loaf, each large slice cut in half
  • 25g butter, plus a drop of flavourless oil for frying
  • 50g caster sugar


Serves: 2
  1. Beat the eggs with the milk and vanilla in a wide, shallow bowl.
  2. Soak the bread halves in the eggy mixture for 5 minutes a side.
  3. Heat the butter and oil in a frying pan, and fry the egg-soaked bread until golden and scorched in parts on both sides.
  4. Put the sugar on a plate and then dip the cooked bread in it until coated like a sugared doughnut.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Are Cafes the new Bars?

Is cafe culture a real alternative to a night in the pub?  Dublin is home to a number
of cafes who offer a great nights out without the pints.

Accents coffee and tea shop:  located on stephen street just off Georges street,
Accents is host to Dublin's first non-alcoholic comedy night every Monday evening.
Perfect excuse to catch up with friends for a laugh without the lager.

Busybee and Coco cafe:  A buzzing fairtrade cafe just off grafton street.  Late opening
and live music every Saturday makes this a great place to check out if you fancy a change
from the pub scene.

Bewleys cafe theatre:  This iconic landmark on the heart of Grafton street is home
to regular theatre nights.  Check out their website for upcoming shows

Moda:  Located in Rathmines, Moda is a funky art cafe with late opening until 10pm.
Knitting enthusiasts should check out their Tuesday night Knitting group.

Promenade Cafe:  A charming cafe in Dun laoghaire which has started to hold Monthly
theatre nights.  Like them on facebook to keep up to date.

Are cafes finally usurping pubs in the capital?  To be honest, probably not,
Pubs and boozing are part of our DNA.  However, its great to have options,
Heres to more choice!

Monday, 3 October 2011

Websites I love:

Here is a round up of where to find out wheres happening, whats hot, and whats free around the
Broke but looking for fun? From festivals to workshops with a bit of everyting in between,
If its fun and its free, its here!
A free online events magazine.  Sign up for e-mails and every Thursday find out whats hot
in Dublin. From art to fashion, culture to clubbing, whatever your interested in you'll be the first to know
where its on.
A brilliant blog all about feasting like a king on the purse of a pauper! Check it out for restaurant deals,
to find out who has the best early bird deal in Dublin or to download supermarket vouchers.
A one stop shop for whats on where in dublin.  Very useful for gigs and cinema listings.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Late night Cafe's

Its 8pm, you'd kill for a cup of tea and a slice of cake and good old natter.
Where do you go?

Tea Garden:  located on lower Ormond quay Dublin.  An amazing selection
of teas, served in a relaxing setting.  Open till 11pm 7 days a week.
Check out the website
for the full menu on offer.

Busyfeet and Coco Cafe: located 41/42 South William street Dublin.  This popular
hotspot serves great coffee, tasty treats and beer until 11pm Thursday to Sunday.  Live music
every Saturday, this cafe is well worth checking out.  Like busyfeet and coco on facebook to
keep up with upcoming events.

Joy of Coffee/Joy of Chai: Two coffee shops in temple bar.  really good selection of teas,
coffees and cakes.  Open till 10 or 11pm.

Accents: located on Stephen Street lower, near Georges Street.  This is a new kid on the cafe
scene.  A large selection of teas, coffees and treats are on offer in a cosy, relaxed setting.  Downstairs
is particularly inviting with couches and bean bags scattered around the floor.  If you come on your own
there is a bookcase to peruse while your sipping on your coffee.  Accents is open until 11pm most
nights of the week:

Moda: Art cafe located in the middle of Rathmines.  A regular haunt of library diva.  This
surprisingly spacious cafe serves tasty and reasonably priced meals and snacks during the
day.  At night, Moda serves teas, coffee and cake until 10pm.  Like needlework?  They have
a knitting club every Tuesday evening at 7pm.

Dublin Library Diva Plea:
Library Diva misses Java's in Galway, she loved the late nite cafe which
opens till 4am in the morning serving teas, coffees and snacks.  Quiet and atmospheric
this was the ideal place to set the world to right under the cloak of darkness.  Please, please
someone open up a late night/all night coffee shop in Dublin.  I would be eternally grateful...

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Culture night Galway at Bell, Book and Candle

 Around Galway For Culture night this Friday?
Pop down to Bell, Book and Candle for a fantastic day of Music....

By Celine Hughes

Bell, Book and Candle Book and Music Store in the West End of Galway will be celebrating Culture Day by saying a big ‘thank you’ to everybody who is, and has been, involved with us over the years by hosting a day long event showcasing some of the best established and up-and-coming artists, independent music labels, and musicians in Galway and beyond.

The day will be run in association with Wingnut Records, an independent music shop that is ran on enthusiasm within the store itself which now hosts approximately 500 releases of new Irish music on tape, CD and vinyl.

We will be releasing a CD with booklet (limited edition and only available on the day in the store). The CD will feature 15 different tracks covering the most diverse and talented artists on this isle and the booklet accompanying it in a very old music/fanzine style gives a chance for everyone involved in the project and those represented by us to get together, tell our story, share ideas and be unified in our vision of expression. The following are the people and bands featuring on the CD:
The Driftwood Manor, Strange Crow, Squarehead, Windings, Landlovers, Lamp, Lafaro, Strider, Brain Kelly, Them Martyrs, Austin D H Ivers, Rites, Jimmy Penguin, Christians Vs Lions and Bitwise Operator.

Some of the labels represented on the CD include Rusted Rail, O.O.A.L, Richter Collective, Popical Island and Randal Records.

Also on the day there will be a showing of paintings by artist Cecilia Danell and ceramic work from Sinead O’Toole of Forge Ceramic Studio, along with some visuals by the super 8 hero Julien Dorgere of Super8 Shots who will also have a stall featuring super 8 cameras and equipment for those who may like to get interested in this medium.

The live performance aspect will be taking place in the early evening and feature live spoken word by emerging poet/writer Elaine Cosgrove and a performance by up-and-coming slam poet Lisa Keegan. There will also in the evening be vibrant live music by The Driftwood Manor, Brain Kelly of so cow, Jimmy Penguin and Them Martyrs.

Being an underground book and music store in the West End of Galway our survival has depended on the diverse community that has come through our door to support us and that we are so grateful to be a part of. The store has become a hub for all that is great about the constantly evolving art and music scene in Galway, a crossover point for all the sub-cultures coexisting in this town. The local musicians, artists and writers are the life-blood of the store, they are what gives Galway colour. On Friday the 23rd of September we will be celebrating this and coming up for air. Come join us.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Rude Health 2011

Every September, well known and respected members of the health industry congregate
in the RDS to dispense information and advice on all aspects of healthy living to the public.
The main hall of the RDS is taken over to exhibitors selling goods and offering advice
on sports and therapies, the environment, food, skincare and complementary remedies.
Four lecture halls are taken over to speakers discussing a range of health related topics.
The main speakers at this years show were Patrick Holdford, Marilyn Glenville,
Jan de Vries, Bernadette Bohan, Karen Ward, and Jane Plant.

Rude health 2011 took place Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th September.
Library Diva went along with her marginally more health conscious mother
to check out the event.

Who we met
My mother and I had the pleasure to meet Beibhinn Byrne, a Journalist who is often a guest
on TV3's Midday.   Beibhinn runs the Natural Food market at St. Andrew's Resource centre
Pearse Street every Saturday from 9.30am to 3pm.  For the past year my poor mother had
been wondering what oil Beibhinn had recommended people use as a detoxifying
mouthwash first thing in the morning.  Beibhinn was very friendly and approachable, will definitely be checking out her organic and wholefood market.  FYI: the oil is sesame oil.  I have started to use this oil myself.  Time will tell if it does me any good!.

Who we saw
Queues for Patrick Holdford were insane all weekend, i believe people had to
queue for almost an hour just to see him.  To be honest, i wasn't sorry sorry to miss
his show.  Am slightly cynical about all the hype that surrounds him.  Most of his advice
sounds good- eat well, drink water, take supplements, exercise and fresh air, but some
of it seems a little avaricious especially in his promotion of very expensive products.

Marilynne Glenville- a specialist in women's health.  Dr. Glenville uses both mainstream
and complementary medicine in her practice.  Myself and my mother went to her talk on
'7 supplements important for women's health'.  FYI: Vitamin D, Omega 3 fatty acids and
probiotics are the important ones.

Jan de vries:  A fountain of wisdom and generosity, i always enjoy seeing Jan de Vries. An expert
in herbal medicine, naturopathy, osteopathy and reflexology,  This man has written more books than he can remember and takes a very simplistic view of health and well being- good food, good water, fresh air and maybe some echinacea.  My motherand I went to see his talk on 'coping with stress and anxieties'.   Inthis talk, he discussed the
importance of sleep and relaxation.
Tip 1:
Place your left hand on your forhead, place your right hand on the opposite side of your head.
Sit up tall, breathe in to your abdomen through your nose, breathe out through your mouth.
This is a tip for centreing the body.
Tip 2:
Place your left hand under your navel, place your right hand over your navel.  Sit up tall,
breathe in to your abdomen through your nose, breathe out through your mouth.  Repeat.
This is a tip to help you to sleep.

What we liked:
Cathy's Spelt for health
Bread mixes to make your own spelt bread at home.  Tried out their multigrain
bread mix, very easy to make and tasty to eat.

Foods of Athenry
A Galway based family company producing natural breads and treats.
Library Diva wishes their breads were easier to get in dublin!

Natasha's living foods
Sells cakes and treats made from raw cacao, cacao butter,
agave syrup and other healthy things.  Her cakes and treats are raw and
sugar free, yet are strangely rich and tasty.  Check out her stall in temple bar market
on Saturday, in the people's park, Dun laoghaire and selected health food stores.
Library diva spotted her cakes for sale in Accents coffee shop a couple of weeks ago.

What we were dubious about:
Cherry active juice
20 - 30 euro for a bottle of juice- who are you trying to kid?

350 euro for a blood test your doctor hasn't ordered?  Why?

Rude health 2011 was buzzing with life, and people and interest.  Its great that people are getting
more and more interested in their health and well being.  Each year, the Rude health showcases and
informs the public on a dizzying array of disciplines, principles and products.  Cant wait for next
years show!

Friday, 16 September 2011

Electric Picnic   

By Hayley Reynolds

Electric Picnic sadly spells the end of the summer for me. The last big event to look forward to
before Autumn sweeps in and we can no longer deceive ourselves with hope for sunny days. Still, it's hardly a bad way to
hand over the baton to the colder months.
This year I arrived bearing numerous copies of the line-up (gifts from my more organised friends), including one laminated, and proceeded to circle everything I hoped to catch. 
Sadly as a veteran festival-goer I know that to 'see it all' is simply not possible, especially on the Stradbally Estate. Performance tents spread far apart, many gigs overlapping and the inevitable bar and portaloo queues.However, at Electric Picnic, like any relationship worth its salt, compromise is key. The rules? Everybody has one 'Must-See' band, like their get out of jail free card...
'I know you have a splitting hangover and about as much energy as a tree sloth after Sunday dinner but I really wanna see this band on at lunchtime.... So gerroutta that tent!'.
The good thing is you never know where you will end up or what you may discover.
You see, it's not all about the music. Our merry little group attended a pretend wedding in the inflatable church, got our hair done in the beauty parlour, had a dance-off atThe Minutes's DJ set in the Heineken Electronica bar, hid in the trees at a rainy rave in the early hours and got sidetracked at the nice wine bar in the Mind Field area. Not to mention the numerous pit-stops at the artisan food stalls.

So it's forgivable that my list of what I wanted to see veers slightly from what I actually saw. On that note, here are my picks of the Picnic:

People still talk about their amazing gig back in 2005. I just grit my teeth and try not to let my seething jealousy show. Frontman Win said it was a gig that 'changed their lives'. They weren't expecting everyone to know all the words and for the rapturous reception they received. Way to put pressure on the crowd aye? But I did my best maniacal jumping and chanting along as they played a suitably epic set on the main stage on Saturday night. Hopefully they noticed.

These were my must-see pick and in the freezing cold, but thankfully dry, Sunday evening, Zac Condon and his band did not let me down. They played their Balkan folk sounds from the recently released third album and of course some old favourites. The brass section providing a welcome break from the dance and rock acts.

Mr Blake provided me with my gig of the year with an intimate set at Whelans a few months back and this outing at the picnic was just perfect The sun beat down strong on Saturday afternoon. Girls selling vodka jelly shots to the crowd, the heavy teeth-chattering bass reverberating through us. Mix all that in with his soulful voice and it's another top class gig.


PJ cut a fine silhouette on her smoky stage, black feather headpiece and clutching her auto harp for a dramatic set. The wind and rain failing to dampen our spirits. Her mercury prize winning album is fast becoming one my my new most played on iTunes.

Such a great festival band, the perfect mix of nostalgic lyrics, big sounds and sing-along-ability. The excitement in the crowd was palpable and the band seemed to grin their way through their set with us.

Heartbreaking melodies and lyrics. James has made one of the loveliest albums since Bon Iver's For Emma Forever Ago. Don't believe me? Then check out If I Had a Boat and Follow You Down to the Red Oak Tree off his album Early in the Morning. His tent was full-to-capacity with people spilling out and sitting on the ground outside. Electric Picnic may need to consider bigger tents next year.

This UK psychedelic rock/electronic band have been around a while and have that perfect blend of happy and sad, fast and slow. They gave me one of the best gigs of the weekend which included much dancing.

Performing at 1pm this Irish Electronica group were on way too early for the amount of energy they can pack in but a great kick start to our day. Whipping out handfuls of 'TUNE' signs to the audience, who didn't need much coaxing, including one massive banner which some lucky punter caught. High energy/tempo and a little bit of scaffolding scaling thrown in.

THE CHARLATANSvicinity. We may have been the happiest little section that evening.

The Walkman
The Drums
Public Enemy
Chemical Brothers
The Rapture
The Rubberbandits

My friend Jayne's first picnic and she was ecstatic to see her once favourite band. Not knowing many of their songs it became one of my highlights too as to see her so happy in the (friendly) mosh pit was an infectious energy booster and not just for me but for anyone in her vicinity.  We may have been
the happiest little section that evening.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

The 10 Euro Challenge; 10 things to do for a tenner or less in Dublin

This is a challenge we've been talking about for a while,  and it's been surprisingly easy to come up with events, gigs, and places to visit that are free or  cost  10 euros or less. We are going to keep adding to the list. If you know of any cool happenings!, gigs, exhibitions or simply great ways to spend your Sunday evenings in the city for 10 euro or less, we would love to hear about it. 
  • Hollywood Babylon - Dublin's Midnight Movie Film Club - Block T; Running Saturday fortnightly April to October 2011 and devoted to the clubs favourite 'disreputable' movies, It's 10 euros in and good fun, in Smithfield.
  • Milk and Cookis stories; Temple bar once a month for free!! A free story telling event in the Exchange in Temple Bar. Milk and Cookie Stories is a place for storytellers, experienced or not, to exchange stories, both traditional and innovative. If you feel like giving the TV a miss for a night, and hearing a great story well told instead, this is the event for you.!/milkandcookiestories.Email;

  • Galleries and Exhibitions Openings. The city is teeming with galleries; public and private. Most are free; IMMA, Hugh Lane, National Gallery, Douglas Hyde, Project Arts Centre. Gallery opening are also a free and a fun way to see  new exhibitions, while mingling with a glass of wine. Check out VAI and Circa Magazine for listings; 

  • Films and a pint at the Hacienda nights film event. This event was held monthly at the Hacienda pub off Capel street but is now a moving event. Great fun and you can vote for your favourite movie to be seen on their facebook page.

  • Bingo at the George on the Sunday;;drag, bingo and pop tunes; free in and you might win the jackpot!  

  •  Hep Cat Club Monday nights in Grande Social, Free Dance; salsa and fun in the grande Social on Monday night.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Cape Clear Storytelling Festival

Cape Clear is an unspoilt piece of heaven off the west coast of Cork.  For the last 17 years,
Cape Clear has hosted the Cape Clear Storytelling festival.  Dublin Library Diva went along
to this years international Storytelling festival to hear some stories and check out the beautiful

How to get there:
A ferry can be gotten from Baltimore in West Cork (the Wire reference was not
lost on me).  A pleasant 45 mins later and you are in Cape clear.  A return journey from
Baltimore to Cape Clear costs 15 euro.  A 10% discount is available if you book online.

About 130 people inhabit Cape Clear.  All of the locals i met were very friendly and
hospitable towards visitors.  The Storytelling festival attracts a couple of hundred people
onto the island every year.

Visitors wishing to stay over night have a variety of options available to them.  Looking for
comfort and privacy:  B and B's and Guesthouses are the way to go.  Looking for comfort and
good value for money?  Tir na nog hostel ran by Michael O' Driscoll is an excellent Choice.
Geraldine stayed here and availed of Bed and Breakfast for 25 euro.  The rooms are basic but
comfortable and the breakfast was excellent.  Proper full Irish with all the trimmings was served
in a buzzing breakfast room.  Busy weekend in Cape Clear.  Maeve and the rest of the girls were hardier
and opted to Camp in the camp site.  Visitors to the campsite have the option to bring their own tent
or hire the use of a tipee or a yurt.  Hire of a tipee is 20 euro per person per night.

Food and Drink:
Feeling peckish after pitching your tent? Sean rua's cafe bar on the north side of the harbour
serve tasty hearty meals and delicious desserts with a friendly service.  Tip: you have to
be up pretty early in the morning to get the berry crumble which seemed to be constantly
sold out.  The chocolate fudge cake is pretty good too.

Story Telling Festival:
The festival is a 3 day extravaganza of international renown.  A great programme
of story swaps, concerts, historical walks and talks are organized every year.
Interested in history and nature?  Join the heritage walk with Diarmuid O'Drisceoill.
Want to improve your storytelling performance skills?  take part in the workshop in emotion and
intuition in performance storytelling.  Wondering how to entertain the kids?  take them along to
children workshops.  More intereted in Music and dancing than storytelling?  Banjo sessions and set
dancing afternoons abound.

Dublin Library Diva loved Storyswap at Ciaran Danny Mike's on Saturday afternoon.  Sitting out
in the beer garden, drink in hand, being entertained by talented storytellers from around the globe
who generously share their tales with the audience.  The inimitable Pat Speight presided over the
event with warmth and quick wit.  The relaxed atmosphere meant that people could come and go as
they pleased listening to a story or three on their way. Dublin Library diva loved the glamourous
Storyteller from Dublin and her rap to 50year old women everywhere.

                                                                   David Holt 

Saturday Evening Concert:
Mc Jack Lynch presided over the evenings entertainment.  Roy Arbuckle, Graham
langley, Kate Corkery, David Holt and Sheila Stewart performed to a full house.
Unfortunately Geraldine missed half the concert because she was doing her make up
and trying to decide what shoes to wear, leading Maeve to quip that she was the
'champagne backpacker'. At the intermission mugs of tea, glasses of wine and tubs
of goats milk ice cream were served for a small donation.
The secound half of the Concert was brilliant:  David Holt entertained the
crowd with his stories and his banjo playing.  The song 'let it slide' entertained
an appreciative crowd who empathised with the advice on how to deal with a marital skirmish.
David Holt travels around the world with his Banjo and his tales.  Join him for an evening
of entertainment this Saturday at the Odessa.
Sheila Stewart comes from a long line of scottish travellers and regalled the chrowd with
ancient ballads when are in danger of being lost forever.

Cape clear was buzzing this weekend, there are two bars on the island, Ciaran Danny
Mike's near the South Harbour and Sean Rua's cafe bar on the North Harbour.  Both bars
were hopping to the early hours.  Sean Rua's bar had a brass band pumping out tunes,
Ciaran Danny Mike's had an impromptu sessiun with a few guitars.  Dublin library diva
hopped between venues via a vino fueled ramble down the harbour.

The island is an area of great beauty and it would be a shame to go home without
seeing this part of the country properly.  Sunday was spent hiking round the majestic
gleann rua loop.  The rocky landscape and the panoramic views were awesome.  After
packing up our bags we wandered uphill towards the lake at the centre of the island.
The rocky, hilly landscape may be great for walking but cycling would not be advisable.

Tempted to check out cape clear?  Library diva recommends checking it out at festival
time.  There is the storytelling festival on every September and a Walking-talking festival on
every may.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Dublin Fashion Festival at Beaux Bows

Dublin Library Diva cant wait to See White Collar Boy at Beaux Bows on Friday.
20% OFF Fashion on Friday Evening between 5.30 and 6.30.
See you there!

Monday, 5 September 2011

Festival Fever for September

September,traditionally the month for returning to school and routine,is buzzing with festivals and events in Dublin and beyond. This is quick round up of whats happening in Dublin and around the country. Library Diva will be doing her best to visit as many festivals and events as possible.

Your Festival Guide:

Sept 1st - 11st  Mountains to Sea; Book festival in Dun Laoghaire ; talks, workshops, readings etc;

Sept 3rd - 5th  Cape Clear Storytelling Festival; stories from around the world on a beautiful west Cork island.

Sept 4th - 11th Waterford Harvest Food  Festival; markets and dining events

Sept 6th - 31st Oct Dublin Contemporary; over 90 contemporary from 5 continents in venues all over Dublin for 8 weeks.

Sept 8th - 11th Dublin Fashion Festival; shows, catwalks, designers, fashion and fun

Sept 9th - 11th  Clarenbridge Oyster Festival; Oysters, drinks and craic in Galway

Sept 11th - 17th  Listowel Races; Horse racing, craic, drinking, music and chat..wild...

Sept 10th - 25th Absolut Fringe; 16 days and nights of cutting edge theatre, comedy, music and spectacle

Sept 22nd Arthurs Day; music, pints of the black stuff and craic

Sept 22nd - 9th Oct  Oktoberfest; 18 days and nights of Bavarian madness

Sept 23rd Dublin Culture Night; 156 cultural venues welcoming over 100,000 free visitors; all Free

Sept 29th - 16th Oct Ulster Bank Theatre Festival; 553 performances of the best theater from Ireland and beyond.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Great Big Mountains to Sea Book Swap Dun Laoghaire

Love Books- Love telling people about your favourite books?
Love Free stuff-  Love doing something for a good cause?
Love meeting new people and sharing common interests?
Not going to Electric Picnic and looking for a way to distract yourself on Saturday?

If you answered yes to any of the above,
Then come along to the Great big mountains to sea book swap and join Paul Howard,
Marita Conlon McKenna, Declan Hughes and Martina Devlin as they discuss their
desert island books in the pavillion theatre.  After the talk everyone gets in on
the fun, bring along your favourite book, with a note attached telling the new reader why
they have to read the book, accost a stranger, recommend your book to them and swap.
Meeting new people, chatting about books, getting a new read- what could be better?
and you never know who you might meet.....

Fun kicks off at 11am in the Pavillion Concourse, Dun laoghaire.
Event is free, donations may be given to National Adult Literacy Association (NALA)

Monday, 29 August 2011

Zombie Squirrels and One Liners: My adventures at the Edinburgh Fringe

Zombie Squirrels and One Liners: My adventures at the
Edinburgh Fringe
Lyndsey Connell
It’s the 20th August 2011. The sun is blazing, the streets are thronged and I am more than a little sleep deprived. I am in Edinburgh with my friends Jacqui and Clare and within minutes we have decided that we are going to pack in our jobs and move to this pretty, sunny energy-filled city. Maybe we wouldn’t have felt the same had we landed on a bitterly cold, wet, miserable day in November, but for now, we are on our holidays and there are sights to see and shows to attend!
Our first day contained only one show, and I shall not speak of it as it was an utter shambles. Let me tell you though- the shambolic ones only increase your appreciation for the well thought out and entertaining ones. I will try not to bore you too much and give you instead the Highlights of the Edinburgh Fringe According to Me.
Celebrity Stalking
Of course that’s a joke! I would never stalk anyone! Ever! Honest….
Anyway, if you were so inclined, being that pretty much every comedian in the UK and Ireland decamp to Edinburgh (as well as hundreds of other performers) for the month of August, this is the time and place to indulge. Gasp as you spot Paul Merton walking back from the loos in the Pleasance Courtyard! Gape as you clock David O’Doherty walking down the street! Faint with excitement as you notice Anneka Rice in the window of a restaurant you’re passing by!
All that’s pretty impressive right? Well prepare to puke with jealousy when I tell you that we met and had our photo taken with Tim Vine after his show in the Pleasance AND met and had our photo taken with Dave Gorman (my second favourite Jewish comedian) Both lovely, both absolute gentlemen.
Recovered from that? Then it’s time to let you in on another:
Lashings and Lashings of Ginger Beer!
What can you drink when the Bulmers Pear Cider tastes distinctly of apple? When beer is making your tummy upset? Why, Crabbie’s Ginger Beer of course! And, no, I am not being paid by the company to advertise its tasty beverage (more’s the pity). To our delight, fizzy gingery goodness was available in most pubs and if you have any respect for your tastebuds I urge you to join me in campaigning to bring these bottles of happiness to every pub in Dublin. You have the power!

The public. I deal with them every day in my job. They’re the worst. Really. They are awful. Obnoxious, self-important, boorish gits, every single one. Did I encounter such horrors in Edinburgh? Happily, no! I’m not saying they don’t exist, and perhaps if I was working behind one of the many bars, or at the box office, I might have a different story to tell. But considering the population of Edinburgh swells massively during August, to not encounter the worst traits in the general public is pretty impressive, I think. Not to mention, the fun to be had and seriously good tips to be gleaned from chatting to complete strangers. Without doing so I would have missed out on the daft, but extremely enjoyable ‘This is Soap’, not to mention the sublime Luke Wright’s Cynical Ballads.

Graveyard Tour
This doesn’t have anything to do with the Fringe, and can be done any time you visit the city, but I had to give it a mention as we did it on our last night in Edinburgh and it was the perfect way to end our holiday (and contained the zombie squirrels of the title). A mix of historical facts and storytelling, it was a scream (quite literally) and I can’t recommend it highly enough. Our guide (Gerry, with a ‘G’) IS awesome.

I will finish up now with my favourite shows and particularly where the comedians are concerned, if they show up at a venue near you in the future, you should absolutely check them out! I will definitely be making a return visit next year- maybe I’ll see you there?
Barry and Stuart: Show and Tell

The Tim Vine Chat Show

Dave Gorman: Powerpoint Presentation

Luke Wright’s Cynical Ballads

Joe Wilkinson: My Mum’s Called Stella and My Dad’s Called Brian  

Friday, 26 August 2011

Flayed by the Fleadh!

Flayed by The Fleadh
Dympna Reilly 

Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann 2011 was officially over last Monday night. But as I left it on Tuesday trad music still twirled on the night air. Die hard revellers determined to drain every last drop hovered round pub doorways as the odd player with giddy gait hustled by them music case in hand still hungry for tunes. Time may have been called Fleadh 2011 but it wasn’t buried just yet.

The annual Fleadh Cheoil is organised by Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, an organisation established to promote Irish music, culture and language. For ten days during the Fleadh there are workshops, performances, concerts and competitions.

Cavan has been its home for the last two years and is bidding to host it for a third time in 2012. In its’ 60 year existence the Fleadh has travelled all over the country from Listowel to Letterkenny. It is estimated it will generate over €30 million for the local economy as over a quarter of a million people poured into Cavan last weekend.

The pubs were so crammed on Saturday night you couldn’t turn a sweet in your mouth. Hordes of people took to the streets for a breath of fresh air and an earful of tunes. Trad heads mad for music flitted round the town as texts told of a session flying in this pub or the next. Newcomers caught the Fleadh bug. Regular Fleadh goers caught some tunes eventually by playing the waiting game and staying for Sunday and Monday night. Stories were told of the drunkest/most obnoxious/ broadest/ prettiest person in the pub stunning everyone into silence with some of the most beautiful music and/or singing you’ve ever heard.

The Fleadh has its share of Aran sweaters and purists but banish any ideas you may have of a staid scene. There were plays, pageants, art exhibitions, storytelling and quirky asides like (I kid you not) the West Cavan Trad/Samba band. Cavan Obscura by local artist Siobhan Harton was another highlight. She transformed a double decker bus into a camera obscura. It was a feast for the senses as the blacked out bus provided wonderfully warped views and sounds of Cavan travelling through the town and its environs.
Boats ferried people across a lake to an island with castle ruins to listen to ghost stories. There were walking tours, flash mobs, lectures, lilting. But the Fleadh’s ultimate Father Ted moment occurred when hundreds of people took part in a Guinness Record attempt for brush dancing- worth checking out

When you wake up at six in the morning on a campsite at other festivals it’s cos someone is havin a whizz on and/or setting fire to your tent. At the Fleadh it’s cos some loon Scot is belting out the bagpipes. With the session at full tilt as other musicians join in you may decide to get up to check it out- but bewarned even if diddly-ei isn’t your scene don’t expect to get back to bed for a few days. Fleadh 2011 is dead, long live the Fleadh.

Best back cover of a Book


Dear Osama they want you dead of alive so the terror will stop. Well I wouldn't know about that I mean rock n roll didn't stop when Elvis dies on the khaze it just got worse.Next thing you know there was Sonny and Cher and Dexy's Midnight Runners. I'll come to them later. My point is it's easier to start these things then to finish them. I suppose you thought of that did you?
There's a reward of 25 million dollars on your hear but don't lose sleep on my account Osama. I mean just supposing I did see you driving a Nissan Primera down towards shoreditch and grassed you to the old bill. Well, I wouldn't know how to spend 25 millon dollars. It's not as if i've got anyone to spend it on since you blew up my husband and my boy....

This is a book I came across at work recently by Chris Cleave..the back cover really caught my attention, and shows the best possible way of using the book cover to entice a reader.. great graphics on the front with a very witty passage on the back!

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Festival Clothes Swap Tonight!

There is a festival clothes swap tonight in the Greenhouse on St. Andrew's Street.
Its 5 euro in with a free cocktail- How fabulous dahling.  Its on from 7-10 pm and you can
bring your own booze.  Cheap way to update your wardrobe and get the night started at
the same time.....

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Sunday Funday!

Excuse the cheesy title, its the best i could come up with im afraid!
Here is a roundup of the best places to go in the dublin surrounds when
you need to get out of the city and into the fresh air.

Wander up the pier to Joyce's tower, where Mr. James Joyce found his inspiration,
Take a dip in the forty foot or meander around the Sunday farmers market in the people's park.
Only 30 Mins away from the city, with breath taking scenery and an abundance of
cafes and restaurants, Dun laoghaire is the perfect place to spend a sunday afternoon.
Over the Summer the area morphs into festival central- from chalk festivals to classical music
in the park, there is something going  on every weekend.
Coming up soon is the Dublin bay Taste and music festival from the 25th- 28th August.
This is followed by the Mountains to sea book festival from 1st-11th September.
Check out

A short dart journey out of Dublin, Howth is the fishing and yachting capital
of Dublin.  Take a walk on the pier or a hike up the nearby mountains.
Alternatively kick back and relax with a coffee or tapas in one of the
prom side restaurants.

Another excuse to hop on the dart! visit this cute and quirky seaside town
for a swim or a sunbathe.  Feeling adventurous? Last sunday I walked cliff side
walk from bray to greystones, the views were amazing! I finished the day by hopping
on the dart back to Bray for fish and chips in the beach house restaurant.  Yummy!

St. Kevin's bus leaves from Dawson street twice a day and takes you into the heart of
wicklow mountains.  A peaceful idyll, Library Diva strongly recommends that everyone visits Glendalough
and takes a walk around the beautiful unspoilt landscape. Visit the lake and monastic settlement, have a picnic in the mountains and go on a walking trail.  Trails range from gentle strolls to challenging hikes
into the Wicklow way.  If your lucky, you might catch the brilliant Alan bailey dressed up in Medieval
gear, playing the bag pipes.  Well worth seeing.  There are no cafes or restaurants around Glendalough
so pack some sandwiches and bring a flask.
For transport information and bus timetables check out

Dublin Mountains:
Rugged, unspoilt landscape, perfect for a drive, a hike or a cycle.
The views are spectacular and so close to the city.  After a long
hike, pop into Johnny Foxes the highest pub in Ireland for a dinner
and a pint. Perfect.

Other places to visit:
Not in the mood to go very far out of town?
Coco Markets in Marley park and the people's park dun laoghaire are worth a look.
On Saturday there is a market in Temple bar which is pretty good, alternatively wander into
the iveagh gardens

Saturday, 20 August 2011

100 Euro Challenge; Week 3; Day 3

100 Euro Challenge;  Week 3;  Day 3

Bus to work and home: 3.70
Food: 9.00
Gym in Rathmines : 6.00


Verdict: Today it was difficult to keep from spending the pennies, especially as I chose to go to the gym and not run outdoors. This means I have to be thrifty over the weekend..a difficult task as i'm going to a friends house tomo evening for dinner.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Thrifty Threads Tour of Dublin from Temple Bar to Ranelagh

Need to update your wardrobe but low on cash?  Heres the definitive guide of where to
go in Dublin.....

Shotsy Vintage:
Fabulous new vintage shop in Temple lane south, Temple bar
Follow the blog
or check them out on

Lucy's Lounge:
Located in the centre of temple bar, Lucy's lounge is a myriad
of treasures and curiosities.  For a preview of whats on offer check
out the blog

Vintage boutique on Wicklow street.   Check out their website

Om Diva
Vintage boutique and sewing academy on Drury Street.
Browse their vintage clothing or learn to update your
existing wardrobe at their sewing classes.  Library diva
loved the  'sip and stitch' course and the 'learn to love your
machine' workshops.  Check om diva out on Facebook.

Located on Drury street this granny's attic of a shop has everything from Hats to shoes,
Dresses to trousers from the 1920's to the 1990's. 

Beaux Bows
Georges street arcade.  Cute as a button clothes and accessories.  This relatively new boutique
stocks Irish designers such as Chupi.  Look Beaux bows up on facebook.

Georges Street, this branch of Oxfam holds quality vintage apperal at rock down
prices.  Brides to be should take a look at their wedding collection.

Enable Ireland:
Located on George's Street, this shop boasts the best dressed window on the
charity shop circuit.

Cancer Society:
Rathmines.  Heaving with clothes and curiosity's.  Library diva picked up a bargain tent
for 8 euro.  Bargaintastic.

Green with Envy:
Rathmines.  Vintage and Art exchange store in Ranelagh.
A relative newcomer to the vintage and art scene.  The shop is run
by the lovely and talented margaret who has made the beautiful painting in the
store. Definitely worth popping in for a browse.
To make some money out of your unwanted clothes, check out

De Ja Vu
Ranelagh village.  New and gently worn designer swap shop.
This shop is run by the lovely Mary McNulty who has a good eye for
what suits the customer.
Library diva recommends engaging in some friendly haggling.

100 Euro Challenge; Week 3; Day 2

100 Euro Challenge;  Week 3;  Day 2

It felt easy to make the challenge today ; spent under 10 euro so very happy with that.. I shopped for all my food at Lidl and made my lunch at work

Bus to work and home: 3.70
Food: 4.86


Verdict: Today the challenged seemed easy to make..on target at under 10 euros spent.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

100 Euro a week challenge - Week 3 Day 1

100 Euro a week challenge - Day 2 

So taking over the 100 Euro challenge from Geraldine is going to be tough. I'm expecting to find it difficult but since i'm not good at budgeting it's a great challenge to try. 
So the week ahead includes working on Saturday; Off on Friday and doing a run in Slane on Sunday, so it will be interesting to see how I do. 

Today got off to an ok start; I shopped for all my food at Lidl and made my lunch at work; a must if i'm going to survive on 100 Euro a day.

Bus to work and home: 3.70
Lunch: 2.58
Dinner: 3.00

Total: 9.28

Verdict: Today got off to a good start. This isn't going to be easy however as I like to use the gym and go out at the weekend but will be on my best behavior!! Looking forward to the challenge now. 

Wanted! Missing Restaurants

Tenors in Donnybrook and Diep noodle in Ranelagh have mysteriously disappeared.
What could be happening to the eateries in south Dublin?
Any information you may have on this case which could lead to their reapparance
would be greatly appreciated
Dinner would be rewarded for their safe return.....

Monday, 15 August 2011

100 euro a week challenge- Week 2, Day 7

The final day of my journey, Hurrah!   I gladly pass the blog onto maeve, who will hopefully
manage her budget a little bit better than i have. 

Bus to and from work:                                                                             3.70
Fresh fruit and nuts (Its Monday, im trying to turn over a new leaf):       7 euro 
Total spend :                                                                                          10.70

Total spend this week:  137.93
Verdict:  Total humiliation, am over budget by nearly 40 euro!

I may have failed miserably in the challenge, but i did learn a little about saving money,
Here are my tips for saving a few cent.

1. Bring your lunch to work.  You will save a fortune. 
2. Forget the take away coffee- a jar of instant costs 3 euro.  Go figure.
3. buy fresh food and cook from  scratch.  Instant ready meals and take-aways
eat money.
4.  Try shopping in aldi or lidl for a change, the brands sound funny, but the quality isn't bad
especially for things like frozen veg, cheese and  household cleaners.
5.  Bought my toiletries in lidl/aldi and was surprised by how cheap they were.
6.  Take a look in charity shops, you might be surprised by what you find.  Maeve picked
up a tent for 8 euro in the cancer society shop, Rathmines.
7. Join the library, its free to join and all the books you can read and films you can watch.
8.  Relive your student days and get friends round for drinks before heading out.  Its usually
the best part of the night anyway.
9.  Look out for restaurants that offer early bird deals and are BYOB.  Dublin's library diva
loves Seagrass on portabello bridge, Punjab Balti in Ranelagh and Rotana Cafe, Camden street.
10. Buy yourself something nice with all the money you've saved.

I, Geraldine Whyte, a.k.a Dublin's library diva pledge to support Maeve on her 100 euro
per week challenge.  To live frugally yet stylishly from this day forth.

IMMA 'Twenty'

Stephen Brandes

David Godbold

As part of the celebrations marking the Irish Museum of Modern Art’s 20th anniversary, Twenty, an exhibition featuring twenty artists, opened to the public on the 28th of May. The exhibition presents a younger generation of Irish artists whose work is seen increasingly on the international stage.The show includes installations, photography, painting and sculpture, and featured are artworks from IMMA’s Collection by Orla Barry, Stephen Brandes, Nina Canell, Fergus Feehily, Patrick M FitzGerald, John Gerrard, David Godbold, Katie Holten, Paddy Jolley, Nevan Lahart, Niamh McCann, Willie McKeown, Perry Ogden, Liam O'Callaghan, Niamh O'Malley, Alan Phelan, Garrett Phelan, Eva Rothschild and Corban Walker. The exhibition also features a borrowed piece by Irish artist Sean Lynch. We visited the museum last month to check out the exhibition and have coffee in the museum cafe (charming if pricey!). Highlights of the show included David Godbold's witty drawings and Stephen Brandes work on Linoleum. Definitely worth checking's on till 31st of October.,%20

100euro a week challenge: Week 2, Day 6

As you know, i have gone over budget this week.  However, im still going to log my spending
habits for the next 2 days.  On Tuesday, maeve will be taking over the 100 euro a week challenge,
i will be free to shop without guilt.  Thank god, the pressure of noting down every cent is getting to
me.  Here is what i spent on sunday

Groceries:  8 euro
Hangover cupcakes (essential)  4 euro.

Total spend: 12 euro.

Total spend this week so far:  127.23
Verdict:  Overbudget by 27.23 euro

Sunday, 14 August 2011

100 euro a week challenge- week 2, day 5

Deciding that the task ahead of me is impossible, i decide to give up, and relax the
purse strings a little.  Had a lovely day at the rosanna cruthers beauty salon with a friend.
We got a sweedish massage and facial as part of a city deal offer.  Super relaxing, we both
felt like we could sleep like babies afterwards and our skin was left glowing.  Thumbs up!
A delicious meal and glass of wine in Punjab balti followed and then it was back to the house
for a couple of drinks before heading into town to dance the night away in sin e and the workmans

Gym - 6 euro
Credit- 10 euro
Dinner - 25 euro
Dvd rental - 4 euro
Two drinks in town - 11 euro
Nitelink home - 5 euro

Total spend for the day: 61
Total spend this week so far:115.23

Verdict:  Seriously overbudget but totally worth it!
The challenge for the next to days will be damage control!