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  Posted: Aug 9, 2012 8:37 AM FEED
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Got a sweet little parcel from @BarrysTeaTweets this morning...

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Posted: Oct 15, 2017 11:13 AM
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Thanks to the generosity of friends, family and strangers, my dear friend Jocelyn Blake (@serendipititree) is on her way to Istanbul this morning. In less than a week, her generous donors raised enough to pay for her first round of treatment for her rare and aggressive form of ovarian cancer at the Chemo Thermia Oncology Center. It meant so much to me to see donations coming in from my Instagram gang, from people who don't even know Jocelyn but wanted to help. I also appreciate the messages of support to me directly. It's been a big strain on me personally to see my friend go through this and your messages really, really helped. We have a new fundraising goal of €100k by Christmas to pay for travel, accommodation, follow up PET scans and a second round in January 2018. You can keep in touch with Jocelyn's progress at www.youcaring.com/jocelynblake. I'll keep you posted on our plans for fundraising events between now and Chrimbo. Thank you again for your kindness and generosity x
Myself + @annaflaps are having some serious lols on our Mostly Coastal Irish Tour. We spent less than 24 hours in Sligo and managed to fit in there amaze meals. The gorgeous Dearbhla from @puddingrowsligo in beautiful Easky welcomed us with her trademark baked goods of pillowy soft bread and custard stuffed doughnuts. We brought Shania to see the Split Rock outside Easky for a #shaniaselfie. Last night we had a smorgasbord of outrageously yum chicken wings @shellscafe last night as part of our @singalongsocial supper club. Brunch this morning was from @shellscafe too. If you haven't been to Strandhill or Easky, throw your wetsuit in the boot of your car and get here asap. Beautiful part of the country and home to such warm, lovely folk. Next step: Clifden + @theinntothewest 💕🍴
Posted: Oct 13, 2017 11:21 AM
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Today is the last day of my Meal Ticket column in The Ticket of The Irish Times. I was only supposed to cover this column for a few weeks but it turned into an immensely enjoyable job for nearly two years. Thanks so much to @orrcollins and Laurence Mackin for the opportunity. I'll still be writing about food elsewhere in The Irish Times so you haven't heard the last of me yet! 🍴💕
If you're a friend of mine, you'll probably know how important my friend Jocelyn Blake is to me. For the last six years, we've captured measurements of how much her daughter (my god-daughter) Freya has grown through pencil markings on the wall of my kitchen. It's been nearly three years since Jocelyn was one of myself & @nialler9's bridesmaids. It's been a decade since she taught me how to make pastry. She gives the best back massages. Her hands are the softest I've ever had the pleasure to hold, and her laugh is the loudest I've ever known. Now my dear Jocelyn needs my help more than ever, and I need your help to help her. She has had a really, really tough year and she is very sick. After three surgeries, she was diagnosed with a rare form of ovarian cancer and began chemotherapy this September 2017. However, this is a purely palliative treatment and her prognosis is poor. Jocelyn is one of the most spirited and strong-willed people I have ever met, and this spirit shows no sign of waning in the face of cancer. She is on a mission to seek out a curative treatment and we have found hope through the Chemo Thermia Oncology Centre in Istanbul, a clinic who combine the highest level of conventional cancer treatments with science-based integrative therapies to improve treatment results, where she has been accepted as a patient. We need to raise €34k to get Jocelyn to Istanbul, and we need to get her there as quickly as possible. Anything you can give to help would be so, so, so gratefully received. If you can't donate money, you may be able to help by hosting your own small fundraising events, or attending one of the upcoming events we have planned to raise further funds for Jocelyn to support her through her recovery. Please do get in touch with me directly if there's some way, other than donating, that you'd be able to help. You'll find all the details on her YouCaring page at www.youcaring.com/jocelynblake
In Galway today for Food on the Edge, a two day food symposium led by Chef JP McMahon, his partner Drigín Gaffey and their team. Over 50 chefs from around the world have come to Galway to talk about the future of food. This morning we heard from Chef @esbenhb about how he tackled unsustainable working hours in his 3 star restaurant in Norway by gradually moving his team to a three day week. @NiallMcKenna of James Street South in Belfast talked about his core tenets of respect, belief and passion. Chef Angela Hartnett @angelacooking told us she hated the word "foodie" because of its connotations of exclusivity. Good food should be accessible to everyone, she said. My favourite talk today came from Palestinian-American cook and food lover @abeer_najjar who talk about the subtle racism in food culture appropriation. She shared her story by way of a letter she wrote to her grandmother, Siti, who retained her family's food culture even when living in a refugee camp throughout the 1950s. Najjar says that food is indeed a gateway to diversity but it's important to make sure the origins and original voices of those cultures are not written out of the narrative. #fote2017
Saturday lunchtime at Rochelle Canteen. Beautifully hearty and comforting cavolo nero stew, roast pigeon + buttery plaice. Ooh and a divine roast pumpkin, radicchio + goat's curd salad 🌿
In London to celebrate the launch of my great friend @bakingfiction's cookbook The Little Library Cafe tonight. First things first: lunch at The Shawarma Bar on Exmouth Market. Divine labneh + a cauliflower shawarma = 🙌🏼
Oh, you know, just spent my evening swimming under a rainbow, wbu? 🌈
I try to take Monday afternoons off as often as I can. It's when my energy is usually at its lowest ebb so I try to spend my time on myself rather than on work. After my weekly check-in with my (amazing) therapist to make sure my noggin remains uncluttered, I spend as many Mondays as I can wandering around town, dipping in to a quiet gallery or museum. Today's escape is in the @rhagallery where I'm taking in Ronnie Hughes' deadly neon patterned and almost 3D paintings. Of his work, the artist said "...the process is one of trial, error and response and I'm interested in 'finding' the finished work." It's making me think about my own work processes, and how when I'm in the beginning (and middle - and sometimes the end!) of a creative process it can feel something like "faaaakkkkkkkk where AM I?" so I love Hughes' idea of the process as a search. Sort of like a treasure hunt. Cool.
Powerful scenes (and signs) from today's #repealthe8th March for Choice. Well done everyone @freesafelegal for organising today and for everyone who supported the cause by showing up. If you're unsure of the facts around abortion in Ireland, I found this page of info on the Abortion Rights Campaign website very useful: https://www.abortionrightscampaign.ie/facts/
And if you're unsure about why we should #repealthe8th and want a respectful non-judgemental chat about it, comment here or send me a PM and let's discuss.
Friday night lights at Forty Foot tonight 🐳
Posted: Sep 23, 2017 4:28 PM
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Inspired by the amazing toastie game of Sarah and Liadain at @themarketkitchencafe I made myself a cheddar toastie slathered in (shop-bought) béchamel sauce, topped off with some sweet green chilli sauce and a few sassy slices of spring onions. I am beyond delighted with my life right now 🍴
It actually blows my mind that one of my jobs is now leading people in Sing Along to silly, amazing and gas songs. How did this even happen?! Thank you SO much to all the Culture Night team for asking me to bring @singalongsocial to the Amphitheater last night, and thanks to everyone who showed up and sang along. Such a gorgeous crowd of people! It was such good fun. Thank you 💕🎉#culturenight
This week's view...I've been on a working holiday for the last week in my haven of slow living: Portugal. I've spent the afternoons on the beach, after mornings online and fully connected. I've been finishing up a writing project I've been working on for the last year (here's a clue: it's a book!). This week has been perhaps my most successful attempt at work-life balance. But the balance has been largely possible because I'm *technically* on my holidays so... it's not exactly sustainable. My freelance life + the fact that I'm bringing a large project close to completion means I've made myself accessible to work while here... I'm definitely going to need a *proper* holiday again soon, to fully recover after an eventful summer. Because we are so constantly connected, I think the only way we can achieve full on proper recovery time is through a complete digital detox and being resolute in our boundaries of when we are off and when we are half off. Even with very clear out of office email messages, you are still contactable by What's app, Facebook messenger or text, and people will reach out. The only thing you can control is your decision to respond. I think how we take charge of our downtime is our own responsibility and one that we have to be careful in how we manage. And on that note...I'm off to the beach with @emerthescreamer + @sarahjaybee's book #omgwaca on my Kindle for the afternoon 🌴❤
I really relished the lols involved in bringing @singalongsocial to @epfestival this weekend, especially alongside my right-hand-pal @annaflaps. It's such a silly, cheesy, fun and up-lifting part of my life. Thanks to everyone for playing (and singing) along with us 💕
They say it takes a village to raise a child. Well, it takes a whole community to throw a party on a remote island off the coast of Mayo. My friend @fionnkidney has been holidaying on Inishturk Island since he was a little kid. 5 years ago he and 30 friends went out for a weekend of craic and they dubbed it Turkfest. Since then the weekend has grown to its maximum capacity of 150 people and I came on board as the programme curator and community manager of this non-profit crowd-funded invite-only party for friends and friends of friends last year. I didn't realise it at the time but I had found my dream job. Not only would it allow me to bring 150 like minded souls to a beautiful place for a weekend of letting their hair down, it would teach me how to foster community spirit to ensure the sustainability of a special event like this and how to encourage a shared ownership of it by blow-ins and islanders alike. There are too many people to thank because literally everyone helped us pull it off. From our islander friend Mikey who let us have two of his hoggets for a beach BBQ to Myles and Jane from @shellscafe and @colmkeaney who fed us all. To @hennessyirl who sponsored our Beach BBQ which allowed the amazing @biggsybiggs and her bro to build a stage out of lobster pots upon which @lisaoneillmusic serenaded us under a blanket of shooting stars. To @cloud_picker for donating coffee to us and @strongrootsirl for donating burgers and fries. To an unexpected performance of Riverdance, to crab claws caught and cooked for us by islanders, to Lilla Vargen and @weareleboom for playing for us, and to all our workshop and event hosts. To a GAA trophy that highlighted the friendship that had formed between Turkfesters and islanders in the last five years, to delicious food in The Club all weekend. To our island interns John Anthony and Leanne who we couldn't have pulled it off without. To my co-producer @wilsonconor for being such a joy to work with and for being unbelievably skilled in the art of razzle dazzle...To @fionnkidney for having the vision in the first place and for entrusting me with it. Magic. Thank you so much to @allenkiely for 📷
Pulling in to Inishturk Island earlier today 🦀