When the sun is shining and the grass is green…there is no place I would rather be than Ireland!
Summer in Ireland this year fell on Friday 10th August, and what a beautiful summer it was. As luck would have it, some wise soul in Cork decided to organize a Flash Mob in Grand Parade so we could ‘dance into the weekend’ in style!
Normally flash mobs gather quickly, do something wacky, then quickly disperse. This one was different…and better! It lasted nearly an hour and everyone just danced their socks off, basking in the sunshine, and moving up and down and around the street to the beat, with not a car in the world! Here are a few pics I took before joining in the fun myself!
Happy Weekend Everyone!
Just before lunch time today, over 300 people painted themselves into the Guinness Book of Record here in Cork, setting the new Body-Painting World Record! The event, which was organized by Cork Body Painting set out to break the previous 5-year long record of ’264 bodies painted’ held by an American group.
People of all heights, all backgrounds, all shapes and all sizes showed up from 8am this morning to strip naked (Okay, we all had to wear a thong!), and just before lunch over 317 bodies has been painted from head to toe, fingers, ears, armpits…and sometimes even people’s hair!
By late morning, as the counter clicked 200 a mighty cheer erupted in the hall of the Camden Palace Hotel, gradually becoming louder as we approached the 264 mark. Confidence oozed out of participants as they pranced around half-naked, posing for photos, helping out others or just soaking up the general atmosphere.
However, it wasn’t all plain sailing, as panic spread through-out the city last night as every last shop in Cork sold out of Male thongs! Adult shop, Utopia, came to the rescue though and remained the only outlet with thongs still available yesterday evening, according to The Irish Examiner!
It was a bizarre feeling to be walking around the Camden Palace Hotel with all but a skimpy thong, sipping on hot tea and chatting to total stranger over a game of foosball. I never thought I would feel so at ease and comfortable surrounded by so many naked bodies!
I doubt I will ever forget the image of a 634 multi-colored arms, a spectrum of color, raised high above a sea of naked ambition as the last of the group photos were taken, with everyone smiling and cheering and in a state of utter bliss.
As Keira O Connell, the chief organizer and the lady behind the idea summed up the event, “I think it’s safe to say if I asked anyone that didn’t have an enjoyable experience today to raise their hand, we would be looking in the face of a liar!”
It truly was an unforgettable experience enjoyed by all and something I can now tick off my bucket list!
“You’re hitchhiking to DETROIT?!” friends asked of me incredulously. “Are you mad?” they would enquire, ever before a mentioned I would also be couchsurfing there, i.e. staying on an absolute stranger’s couch for the weekend!
I never planned to go to Detroit; it all just seemed to fall into place. I was invited to attend the Detroit Couch Crash, a meeting organized by all the wonderful couchsurfers in Michigan to unite people from all over for the US Memorial Day weekend. It also happened to take place during DEMF (Detroit Electronic Music Festival), an annual event attracting thousands of hard core music fans.
After standing awkwardly, on the main highway out of Toronto, with my thumb stuck out and a strained smile on my face, I waited patiently for a kind stranger to pick me up. Many people pulled in, slowed down or stopped, before performing rude hand gestures or shouting obscenities in my direction and subsequently speeding off…Charming.
Eventually I secured a ride with what seemed to be a very decent man travelling all the way to Windsor, a border town with Detroit. However, his greeting was anything but conventional.
‘I hitchhiked myself once, from LA to Montreal fifteen years ago. Yup, got picked up by a mass murderer and all. You just ‘know’ when you have sat into a car with a mass murderer…’.
To me, it is uncontrollable, belly aching laughter with a friend. Pure happiness.
What does “happiness” mean to you?
Here is a short video I made of the singing “Flash Mob” at Central Station in Amsterdam that took place on Sunday. About 50 people turned up to sing “Give peace a chance”, by John Lennon.
Such great people and such great fun!
I love flash mobs!!
So a few weeks ago I got nominated for a “Versatile Blogger Award” by “The Boy” over at Short and Fun blog…go check it out!! I feel pretty bad about not doing what I was supposed to straight away so I’m going to try to make up for it now! So first off let me say thanks for nominating me and if anyone is looking for some cool, short and fun posts go check out Short and Fun Blog, it’s highly entertaining!
So what now? Oh yes I have to nominate 15 bloggers (but I’m breaking the rules again and I;m only nominating 10!) who I think are equally awesome and deserve a bit of praise. This is going to be tricky as I follow so many great blogs…but here goes…
1. LRNT Blog Go check out this absolutely beautiful photography blog by the wonderful Lauren. Her photos are so colorful and alive…she really makes me want to visit all the places she had captured, a blog in need of much praise! She has the ability to make us appreciate the tiniest things in life and make them beautiful- an inspiration.
2.Ecstatic Eclectica Go check out Russels beautiful photographs where, in his own words, “Beauty is everywhere just waiting to be captured”. So true and he illustrates this brilliantly by taking daily photos of what some might see as mundane and makes you see the interesting side of everything.
3. 50 Year Challenge How can you not love a blog about visiting 192 countries, reading 1,001 books, and watching the top 100 movies over 50 years! Go check out her post about encountering a Lion in the wild..scary stuff!
4. Carl Dagostino Carl’s tagline on his blog is, “I know I made you smile”, and no truer words could be said of this hilarious cartoonist…go check out his blog, it will put a smile on your face too!
5. Heifer 12×12 Go check out the wonderful Betty’s mission to go to 12 countries in 12 months and REALLY get to know the places she goes and the people she meets. Interesting stories, beautiful photographs and a charming lady!!
6. Rasta Photographer I’m having great fun following this blog about Ethiopian adventures and using it to re-live my own adventures on magical continent that is Africa.
7.Wells For Zoe A blog about a project of the same name set up to provide clean and safe water for rural communities in Malawi. I think these guys are really inspirational plus they’re Irish so that’s a major bonus!!
8.Studio Michael James From photos of Mickey Mouse to tropical beaches, wild safari plains and waterfalls to mouth watering bottles of wine…his pictures are all fantastic and I love checking in on this blog daily to see what’s new!
9. Chiquero These guys are mesmerizing! If you want bright, jump-off-the-page, colorful, cheerful, interesting, unbelievable, unusual and every other adjective available to describe unique photographs and art projects…go check out this blog!
10. The Unperceived Heidi over at The Unperceived is an artist specializing in Photography…but you don’t need to be a genius to figure that out. Go check out her blog, this girl has real talent!
Lastly I believe I’m suppose to tell you all 7 random facts about myself. Here goes…
1. My favourite song in the whole wide world is “Galway Girl”, by Mundy.
2. I have been a member of couchsurfing for nearly 5 years now and still love it as much as my first ever couchsurfing experience.
3. I’m 5 foot 10 inches tall (or 176 cm!) and have big feet (size 7-8) for a girl but I still LOVE wearing high heels!
4. I celebrated the millenium twice.
5. Naweza kusema swahili kidogo! (That’s swahili, can you guess what it says?!)
6. I love making up new cheesy chat up lines! “Are you from Jamaica? Cause Jamaking me craaaaazzzzy!”
7. My middle name is Katrina, so my initials are “J.k Newenham”..oh so similar to “J.k Rowling”. She’s a little older than me though!
Happy blogging everyone!
I went out to meet a Spanish friend for lunch yesterday and ended up staying out til past midnight, thanks to all the free TradFest events in Temple Bar. I met up with a load of awesome couchsurfers and spent hours walking around from pub to pub listening to all the great traditional Irish music and even had a free Irish dancing lesson in The Arlington Hotel!
We drank, we danced on the street, we danced in the rain, we laughed, and I guess we all made some new friends!
Here is a little video I made of our Sunday Session! Yeehaaaaw!
Also check out FREE HUGS SEOUL, KOREA
So last weekend I organized a FREE HUGS day in Dublin. About 10 or more couchsurfers showed up, and despite the cold wind, we had a fantastic few hours hugging randomers….I must have hugged over 200 people!
Free Hugs is a funny thing. At the start, people are nervous, or scared or embarrassed. But once you get or give your first few hugs, you start smiling more, become relaxed and really open up to everyone that passes, without discrimination, as hugs and people come in all shapes and sizes!
Little kids would walk up to me shyly, and give me a timid hug. Teenagers would run at me at and leap or jump into my arms. Some would swing me around. A drunk, and perhaps homeless woman, hugged me and kissed my FREE HUGS sign, then said ‘God Bless’. Another man gave me a bear hug so strong it nearly squashed me. One lady was quite upset and thanked me saying she had just got bad news and that the hug really brightened up her day. One guy asked me to virtually hug his friend..on the phone! Some groups would ask for a group hug, then run away giggling while others would embrace you and you could really feel the goodness of the hug. Some asked for a kiss, and were politely declined! So yea, hugs and people come in all shaped and sizes!
A truly wonderful, and free, day in Dublin!