ShaneMcDonald.ie http://shanemcdonald.ie Welcome to ShaneMcDonald.ie. This the personal website and blog of Shane McDonald with blog posts, photography, music information & Shane's Queen Site. Fri, 21 Jul 2017 00:16:31 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8 https://i2.wp.com/shanemcdonald.ie/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/cropped-smd.jpg?fit=32%2C32 ShaneMcDonald.ie http://shanemcdonald.ie 32 32 108138922 Top things to do in Stockholm, Sweden http://shanemcdonald.ie/top-5-things-stockholm-sweden-2017-07/ http://shanemcdonald.ie/top-5-things-stockholm-sweden-2017-07/#respond Thu, 20 Jul 2017 23:02:29 +0000 http://shanemcdonald.ie/?p=2363 The post Top things to do in Stockholm, Sweden appeared first on ShaneMcDonald.ie.

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Things to do in Stockholm, Sweden

I visited Stockholm in October 2016, it was my first time there and there are some highlights you should not miss.

Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, is part of a Baltic archipelago which has about 24,000 islands. Stockholm itself only stands on 14 of these islands. The city has over 50 bridges with cobblestone streets, multi-colored buildings and amazing architecture.

The Vasa

This is one of the Top Tips on TripAdvisor for Stockholm. The Vasa was a Swedish warship built between 1626 and 1628. The ship sank after sailing about 1,500m into her maiden voyage on 10 August 1628. The ship was built on the specifications of a previous ship which had a row of guns. The King at the time wanted 2 rows of guns on the Vasa, This made the ship very top-heavy without any changes being made to the design. In the 1950s and 60s the ship was raised and the museum today shows how this was done. The Vasa now sits on full display, restored to its original glory. When I was visiting I thought this was just going to be a ship and a story… I was very wrong. It is so impressive to see and you could easily spend a few hours here.

If you are at the Vasa when you are in Stockholm, you might want to visit the ABBA / Swedish Music museum which is also nearby.

Djurgarten

Djurgården or the Royal Game Park is one of the mentioned islands in central Stockholm. It is easily accessible and you could easily walk it from the central train station in about 25 minutes. Djurgården has historical buildings, statues, monuments, museums, galleries and so much more. There is even an amusement park Gröna Lund. The walks through the area are very impressive and you get good views of the city from there also. It is extremely popular as a location and over 10 million visitors per year visit Djurgården.

Try Herring from a street cart

When I heard that there was a cart in Stockholm selling herring and that it was very popular I was sceptical. Firstly I had never actually tried herring. Secondly, it was from a cart. So, on trying the first bite I was hooked (excuse the pun). It is served with a type of mustard sauce and is on toast. Within a few minutes it was gone but worth trying. Since tasting the herring in Stockholm I managed to get it in Ireland, more or a Polish version, but still as tasty. If you are in Stockholm you must try herring.

View from Skinnarviksberget

In every city you will have a good viewing point. Paris has the Eiffel tower, London her the Eye and Stockholm has Skinnarviksberget. To get to Skinnarviksberget by metro you will need to get to the Zinkensdamm metro stop and from there it is only a short walk to the viewing point. There is a small climb so having decent shoes will help – heels, probably not a good idea !

Skinnarviksberget will give you wonderful views over the city and if you are a photographer, it’s very good near the blue hour!

Visit Old Town

The Old Town in Stockholm is also known as Gamla Stan. This is the historic heart of Stockholm. The Old Town is one of the favorite areas of Stockholm with it’s medieval streets and the Royal Palace. Much of this area is car free so it is a joy to walk around and enjoy. Gamla Stan is actually 3 of Stockholm’s islands, namely Stadsholmen, Riddarholmen and Helgeandsholmen. Stadsholmen being the largest of the three islands. This was one of my favourite parts of Stockholm.

It is a great place to enjoy Fika which is a concept in Swedish culture basically meaning “to have coffee”. Best when accompanied with pastries. In Sweden these pastries such as cinnamon buns are often referred to as fikabröd or “fika bread”. One of my favourites was a cardamom bun or Kardemummabullar. Delicious!

Place to Stay

If you are looking for a hotel in Stockholm I highly recommend the Radisson Blue Viking Hotel. It is very central, right by the train and bus station. It also has excellent staff and the very best breakfast – a real Swedish style start to the day.  The Radisson Blu Viking is also only minutes away from all the major shopping areas such as Drottninggatan, Bibliotekstan, Stureplan and the iconic NK department store.

The Radisson Viking also has a wonderful Skybar with great views of the city.

If you have time you can also take in a ferry cruise, which will bring you around the many areas of the archipelago.

Stockholm is a wonderful city with so much to see and do. I will certainly be back and I would love to see the city during the summer as it gets quite chilly in late October.

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iPhone App to help you diet and lose weight – MyPlate http://shanemcdonald.ie/iphone-diet-app-diet-lose-weight-myplate-2017-07/ http://shanemcdonald.ie/iphone-diet-app-diet-lose-weight-myplate-2017-07/#respond Wed, 19 Jul 2017 21:06:15 +0000 http://shanemcdonald.ie/?p=2617 The post iPhone App to help you diet and lose weight – MyPlate appeared first on ShaneMcDonald.ie.

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Everyone likes to look their best but sometimes that extra chocolate bar or those movie munchies catch up on us. The extra pounds can be a lot harder to shift than they were to put on. When I noticed that I was a few kg heaver than I wanted to be I said I would do something about it but I knew my diet was good to start with.

About 3 years ago I was around 1.5 stone (or 20 pounds) heaver than I wanted to be. Thats when I started using a diet app called MyPlate to help monitor elements of my diet. I have to admit I only used it intermittently, for a few months at a time but I saw results in about a month.

The app asks you to enter in everything in your diet – anything consumed that day. It computes the calories in your diet and deducts any exercise you do. The phone will detect any walking when the phone is on your person or you can add exercises later from a very well defined list. It then tells you, based on your diet goals, how your calorie intake is doing. Your goal can be simply to maintain your weight or to lose a certain number of kg per month.

You can see the breakdown of your sugar, carbs, protein and water intake. Remembering that an increased sugar in your diet (e.g. soft drinks, sweets and cakes) will make your body store more fat, the sugar intake is the tricky one to maintain. This app can help with this.

Some initial setup is required, entering gender, current weight, height and the mentioned weight goals. After that, just start entering your daily food and drink intake. There is a huge database of foods already there or you can enter your own food. Obviously some honesty is required in order to use the app but if you use it well you will see results.

I think part of the reason it works is that you start thinking, ‘Do I really want this?’. It makes you accountable for the things that you eat and makes you think about your diet. Plus, you can enjoy the treats but then you need to work them off. So if you go 60 calories over your limit, a fast paced 20 minute should burn that right off.

 

MyPlate Diet App Screenshots

You can see the screens below on how it tracks calories, fat, sugar, carbs and weight. Overall I ended up losing the 20lbs I needed to lose and wasn’t miserable doing it (I still have a sweet tooth). It’s a very good app and if you have good will power it can help you lose weight.

MyPlate Calorie Tracker on the App Store

MyPlate is the fastest and easiest way to diet, lose weight and improve your health! Join millions who have lost weight with LIVESTRONG.COM’s MyPlate Calorie Tracker — the most user-friendly way to track your food, diet and exercise on your iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. MyPlate makes tracking calories and getting the proper nutrition easy.

Download App

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The most people applying sunscreen World Record Attempt – Postponed http://shanemcdonald.ie/people-applying-sunscreen-world-record-attempt-2017-06/ http://shanemcdonald.ie/people-applying-sunscreen-world-record-attempt-2017-06/#respond Wed, 28 Jun 2017 21:28:13 +0000 http://shanemcdonald.ie/?p=2550 The post The most people applying sunscreen World Record Attempt – Postponed appeared first on ShaneMcDonald.ie.

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Please Note this event has been postponed - Click Here for more information

Please Note this event has been postponed until further notice

Click Here for more information on the most people applying sunscreen World Record Attempt

With the weather getting warmer and sunnier we all need to be aware of the risks of UV rays. There are a lot more cases of skin cancer these days. You may not know this but, skin cancer is the most common cancer in Ireland and indeed the most preventable. Every year there are over 10,000 new cases are diagnosed in Ireland.

With this in mind there is a very novel way to get the message of sun-protection out there…. while raising funds for cancer support. There is a very unusual event taking place in Waterford, Ireland on Saturday 1st July with this in mind. The Solas Cancer Support Centre is attempting to break the Guinness World Record for ‘The most people applying sunscreen’.

Now, I was not aware that there was even a category for this. Apparently, there was already a World Record for ‘The most people applying sunscreen’. This was set in the USA in May 2014 by the Ann’s Hope Foundation of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In that world record 1,822 participants were involved.

The weather for this Saturday looks to be very good and hopefully there will be a good turnout for this Sunscreen World Record attempt. It would also get the Solas Centre and their great work into the news and on the map.

For more details or to register to take part in this free event please go online to www.solascentre.ie . The Sunscreen World Record event is taking place in WIT Arena, Carriganore, Waterford, Ireland on Saturday 1st July 2017 and participants will need to arrive at 10am. Once registered you will receive details about the Sunscreen World Record attempt and you must bring this confirmation email with you on the day.

Only preregistered participants will be able to take part and as the Sunscreen World Record terms asks that participants must apply their own sun screen for 2 minutes we ask that children taking part be over 5 years of age.

Sunscreen World Record Attempt by the Solar Centre Waterford, Ireland

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Top 20 Glastonbury Festival Tips – Get the Most out of your Glastonbury Festival Experience http://shanemcdonald.ie/top-18-glastonbury-festival-tips-get-bestl-experience-2017-06/ http://shanemcdonald.ie/top-18-glastonbury-festival-tips-get-bestl-experience-2017-06/#respond Thu, 15 Jun 2017 21:17:10 +0000 http://shanemcdonald.ie/?p=2494 The post Top 20 Glastonbury Festival Tips – Get the Most out of your Glastonbury Festival Experience appeared first on ShaneMcDonald.ie.

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I have been to Glastonbury 3 times, 2013, 2015 and 2016 and I even played 2 of the official stages in 2015. The Glastonbury Festival is an amazing experience and lack of pre-planning can affect your enjoyment. These are my Glastonbury Tips for before, during and after the Glastonbury Festival. There were 18 but I have extended them with 2 great additional tips.

1) Bring the Right Stuff

The gates to the Glastonbury Festival open early on the Wednesday morning of the festival. Before you get to the gates you should have a think and plan your packing.

These are a few items you should think of bringing to Glastofest;

  • Good fitting wellies  : If it rains the areas become very muddy quickly. Invest in a good pair of wellies which fit correctly. However, based on the current weather forecast I cannot see any rain issues affecting the Glastonbury Festival this year. (unlike last year)
  • Bring Hiking Boots or Hiking Shoes also :  If it is sunny you don’t want to be dragging your feet around in warm wellies.
  • Phone PowerBar : You will need to charge your phone, 3 or 4 fully charged power bars might get you through a few days.
  • Torch : When it gets dark, certain areas of the site are unlit and a torch will help you find your way
  • Sunfactor and after-sun : You are standing outdoors most of the day waiting for your favourite band, don’t get burnt! You will need sun factor this year! Last year I brought it and never used it, as the weather was so wet.
  • Wet Wipes : You may not have a chance for a shower but at least you can be fresh-ish!
  • Sandwich Bags : These can help keep your phone and other items dry (should it rain)
  • Black Bin Liners : Can make for a quick and cheap poncho
  • Transistor Radio : Get one for a few quid so you can enjoy WorthyFM the Glastonbury Festival radio station.
  • Batteries : Bring some batteries for your radio and torch.
  • Toilet Rolls : If you are camping, this is a vital accessory … bring 3 or 4 each in a small plastic bag to keep them dry.
  • Hand Sanitiser : A useful and cheap alternative to soap which is not something you find in the drop toilets here.
  • Bring Layers : The temperature could be 27C and sunny or 12C and windy in the evening, so be prepared.
  • Tickets : Don’t forget your tickets as you won’t get in without them … no matter what the excuse.
  • Don’t bring anything you value … it will probably be ok but don’t risk it!

Also, this year with the extended security searches everything will be searched. So if you can buy it, (e.g. beer, snacks) don’t bring it with you. There will be extra long queues on day one as a result so be prepared for this.

 

2) Download the Glastonbury Festival Smartphone App to schedule your week in advance

There are over 100 areas where you can catch a band, everything from a small stage in the corner of the site to the impressive Pyramid stage. The official Glastonbury EE smartphone app has the full listing for all the main stages. You can also plan your trip by marking the bands or events you want to see. This way, you can identify clashes. If you do have a clash I would recommend going to the band which either are harder to get a live concert of or the one which is more unusual. In the past I have seen the Moody Blues when there was a clash – I felt it was a once in a lifetime chance to see them live. I have used the smartphone app every year and it certainly helps – there is even a Glastonbury site map to help you get around.

To download the Official Glastonbury App powered by EE visit http://ee.co.uk/why-ee/tickets-events/glastonbury

 

3) Expect Delays

If you are driving to Glastonbury for day one you will encounter delays. Last year some people were in the cars for up to 24 hours coming from London. Ensure you have enough petrol, water, snacks and patience when you are getting there. Don’t worry it will be worth it.
Every year we go, we always stay at a nearby town called Nunney the night before, in a lovely pub/hotel called the George at Nunney, this is only 30 minutes from the Glastonbury Festival entrance. Its a handy tip to get a bit closer to the event in advance.

Also, don’t forget the extra security which will be in place this year as mentioned in point 1 above which might cause further delays!

 

4) What to expect when you arrive at the Glastonbury Festival

Once you park your car or disembark your bus you will need too queue for entry.  There will be a long queue and last year it took us 45 minutes to get through around 11:20am but it might be a bit longer this year. Present your ticket and you will get an wristband which must remain untouched on your wrist for the duration. You will also get the Glastonbury magazine and a lanyard with information about the acts etc.

Now if you are camping, quickly go find a good spot.

 

5) Pitching your tent

Obviously you have to select an area to pitch your tent. Ensure to try get an area which is uphill, so any rain won’t accumulate in your area, also not too near the path, so you don’t get trampled on in high footfall areas. If you have a pole or flag, this can help identify your tent amongst the thousands in the area. If you don’t have one, just identify some other landmarks or flags to help you.

We decided not to pitch a tent but to have one pitched for us – the Pop-Up Hotel is the ideal way to do Glastonbury if you prefer not to go down that route. The facilities include a really comfy pre-erected tent or yurt, security, electricity WiFi, dining options, hot showers, nice toilets, music and a great crew of friendly staff to help you at all times.

Glastonbury Festival - Top Glastonbury Tips

6) Arriving on the Glastonbury Site on Day 1

I would recommend on day 1 getting to the Stone Circle as soon as possible. There’s lots of song and laughter in this area, we enjoyed a very “earth-song” like rendition around midday with lots of people holding hands, and a real throwback to the Glastonbury of the 70s.Very enjoyable just to sit and relax … you’re here !

After that, I recommend walking the site as much as possible to understand the areas like the Park, The Glade, Green Futures, the Healing fields and how to navigate between them. If you know where each route leads, should you need to get from the Pyramid Stage to the Park Stage in a hurry, you will know the route without looking it up on the map or reference the Glastonbury App.

 

7) Understanding the Limits of Glastonbury

There are a few things which you will find about the Glastonbury Festival and some home comforts which you won’t have. These are a few which the first time visitor may encounter.

  • You probably won’t have a phone signal all the time – you will be off the grid sometimes (or at least I was)
  • Toilets are a luxury and you can forget any thoughts of having a pine scented bathroom to enjoy (Try the long drop toilets)
  • Showers are a real luxury (unless you’re lucky enough to be glamping), get your wet wipes for that or queue for a shower in the early morning.
  • There will be a lot of walking, ensure your footwear is good.
  • If it rains – it gets muddy very fast. Check the forecast for each day ahead if you can so you are prepared!
  • There are a lot of people so just remember to be patient and just go with the flow.

 

8) Grab a spot for a wonderful Sunset

At the end of day 1, climb one of the hills, such as the one with the Glastonbury sign on it – This is a good spot to watch the sunset.
As long as it is not raining! You really could sit here all night.

Glastonbury Festival - Glastonbury Sunset

9) Don’t just limit yourself to one stage

The music at the Glastonbury Festival starts on the Friday and it is worth getting to the first act on the first music day. You will always remember the thrill of saying, it has started – Glastonbury Festival is on!!

You now have 3 packed days of music and around 100 stages or areas to try visit. I would recommend trying to visit all the major stages from Pyramid to West Holts and the Other Stage to the Park. You will enjoy a great variety of genres and even a few bands which you may fall in love with. I recall seeing bands like Haim, First Aid Kit and Rudimental for the first time – all great acts.

 

10) Expand your tastebuds

There are some spectacular food options at Glastonbury. Yes, you can get burgers, chips and hot dogs but there is a lot more to enjoy. I recommend going to places like Greenfields for a veggie option or over near the Double Decker which serves tea there is a wonderful seafood kitchen where I got the most amazing crab dish. I also remember overdosing on Tom’s Pies somewhere near the Pyramid stage. The final recommendation is Pachamama, go there and try the Tibetan soup and other delicious options.

 

11) The Circus Fields … not just for children

You really should spend some time in the Circus fields. Many people overlook this area of the Glastonbury Festival. Last year I saw some of the most amazing acrobatics – one of the acts included a drummer playing with a band who was on a bungee cord. You will get exactly what you though, circus acts but you will also see many walk-about acts, comedians and a few musicians just to keep the Glastonbury feeling alive in that area.

 

12) Push your Limits, Open Your Mind

There are some amazing venues which may (or may not) push your limits. These include areas such as the Unfairground, Block9 and Shangri-La. I really enjoyed areas like the Cave, Glasto Latino, The Common, and Copperdollar (my favourite). These areas at night become like a scene from a post-apocalyptic world like Mad Max. After 11pm these areas are very popular and you probably will see very big queues.

 

13) Watch the Arcadia Spectacular Spider awaken from its slumber

On Thursday evening at 10pm the Arcadia Spider dress rehearsal takes place. This is your chance to see the whole show before the official start of Arcadia proceedings on the Friday night. If you miss the Thursday rehearsal then just make sure you get there early on Friday to get a good spot. The arcadia spectacular is amazing.

The Arcadia Spider at Glastonbury Festival

14) Chill Out

If you want to chill out there are a number of areas you can do so. I like visiting the healing fields and the craft fields. Last year in the healing fields I got a gong bath which is 2 gongs being banged for 30 minutes – sounds terrible, but I fell asleep and felt great after it. You can also do yoga, meditation, reflexology and much more in the healing fields area.

The Craft fields are great for trying something new, everything from axe wielding and ring making to wood work and silversmiths. I made a ring for £20 – a very enjoyable 3 hours silversmithing. Try visit the craft fields on the Thursday as the music has not yet started.

The Peace tent near the stone circle is also another amazing spot to visit. The flame in the centre was (apparently) lit from the embers of the flames of the bombed Nagasaki. Very moving area to come and meditate.

15) Find a random piano

There are a few pianos dotted around the site and as a piano player I get to one each day for a few minutes. A good crowd will draw and my favourite moment in 2016 was how 2 or 3 people turned into about 50 or 60 as I played Bohemian Rhapsody (I will edit the post in the at some point to share this)

16) Get a view of the Glastonbury Tor

The Glastonbury Tor can be seen from some locations but the iconic ancient building a few miles away is often captured by the BBC in their coverage. Find it and grab a photo of it for yourself.

17) Climb the Ribbon Tower

There will be a queue for this iconic tower but the views are worth it. You have probably seen this on BBC coverage or Glastonbury images. The ribbon tower gives great panoramic views of the whole Glastonbury Festival site.

18) Board the Double Decker Bus for Tea

Yes, there is a red double decker bus serving tea and crumpets (and a lot more). Located not too far from the pyramid stage this bus is always busy. With comfy seating it’s a great place to go after you have been standing for 4 hours watching your favourite headliner. The simple things in life often bring the greatest joy, and you can relax onboard the double decker and take in some well deserved treats. There are cakes here too and they are great.

19) Listen to the Glastonbury Festival Local Radio Station

Tune into WorthyFM for the very latest news about the festival plus some secret gigs. In 2015 we were listening to WorthyFM and heard that the Dali Lama was going to be at the stone circle. Only for that we would not have been at an audience with this great man. Tune in to Worthy FM at 87.5MHz.

View from the Ribbon Tower at Glastonbury Festival

20) End as you started – at the Stone Circle

End your visit to Glastonbury as you started it, at the stone circle. This spot at around 3am early on Monday morning after all the music has ended is a very fitting place to be. Song, laughter and a very relaxed feeling over the site.
It’s over for another year – but you were there.

Enjoy Glastonbury!
Don’t Pee on the Land and Leave no Trace !

 

My Glastonbury Festival Photo Gallery

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Premiership Match Predictions & Result for last day of the Premiership Season http://shanemcdonald.ie/premiership-match-predictions-last-day-2017-05/ http://shanemcdonald.ie/premiership-match-predictions-last-day-2017-05/#respond Wed, 17 May 2017 22:23:20 +0000 http://shanemcdonald.ie/?p=2437 The post Premiership Match Predictions & Result for last day of the Premiership Season appeared first on ShaneMcDonald.ie.

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During the 2010 World Cup is did a few predictions on those fixtures. For the last day of the English Premiership season I decided to put my Premiership match predictions out there before the games. See how accurate my predictions were below. I put a €1 on an accumulator for the interest but a few of the 10 games let me down.

My Premiership Match Predictions

Arsenal V Everton

Arsenal have unusual form, they beat teams in the top 6 but seems to struggle at certain times when they need a result. They have a good home record while Everton’s away form is average with 18 points from 18 games. As they chase Liverpool, they know they can’t slip up as they need a win as a draw is no use to them with Liverpooks superior goal difference.
I would love to see Everton win, I would love it (Keegan style), to help Liverpool stay above them but I Arsenal should win here.
Verdict : Score result, I think 2-0 possibly 2-1 at a stretch.

Result : Win = Correct, Score incorrect but margin was by 2 goals

Burnley V West Ham United

This is a typcial end of season middle of the table clash. I could be a bore or both teams might want to go out with a bang. Burnleys home form is good and likewise West Ham is not bad either. I’m sure other Premiership match predictions are giving this as a win for Burnley but I can’t split them.
Verdict : I think it will be close, so I am going to tip a 2-2 draw.

Result : Incorrect

Chelsea V Sunderland

Chelsea the Premiership champions and Sunderland are unfortunately relegated. I cannot see this going any other way than a Chelsea win.
Verdict : I also think it could be Chelsea going out with a bang with a 4-0 win.

Result : Correct, score incorrect but winning margin was correct

Hull City V Tottenham Hotspur

2nd placed Spurs are away to Hull who are relegated. Spurs have secured 2nd spot so they can relax but Hull are down and may want one last fight to retain the pride.
Verdict : All I can see here is a Spurs win, unless Hull pull something amazing out of the bag. I’m tipping Spurs to win by 4.

Result : Correct, but margin was off as Spurs scored 7 !

Leicester City V Bournemouth

Another middle of the table clash with Leicester being my favourites in this one. They have a better home record and a slightly better goal difference. I also think they will want to give the home fans a good last game before the summer break.
Verdict : I think 2-0 to Leicester on this one.

Result : Incorrect, it was a 1-1 draw.

Liverpool V Middlesbrough

Liverpool will need to win this one in order to stay in 4th spot with a decent chance of Champions league football next year.
Middlesbrough are already down, so this should be Liverpools game to lose. Liverpool put 4 past West Ham last week so they could do the same here, or more. If they win and Man City lose they go 3rd, if Liverpool draw and Arsenal win, Liverpool go 5th and outside the Champions League spots.
Verdict : I am going with Liverpool to score 4-0 again, maybe 5 if they are on form.

Result : Correct, but score was off by 1 (tense first half by all accounts)

Manchester United V Crystal Palace

Man Utd had a dodgy start but have done well recently. They would be favourites in this game but Crystal Palace have a decent away form. Manchester United will need to be on their best game here.
Verdict : It will be close, maybe 2-1 or 3-1 (possible late goal) to United.

Result : Correct, Score incorrect but margin was correct at the 3-1 guess, no late goals !

Southampton V Stoke City

Yet another mid-table clash with Southampton being a few places ahead of Stoke. Stoke have had the worse run of the 2 teams in the last 10 games. However Southampton’s home form is the 4th worst in the league, so this could be a decent game with a few goals.
Verdict : Stoke to win 2-1.

Result : Correct

Swansea City V West Bromwich Albion

Swansea barely avoided relegation thatks to very good recent form. West Brom have had a bad spell last winning on 18th March. Verdict : This may be close also so I am going with a draw, wither 0-0 or 1-1.

Result : It was 1-1 until Llorente came and scored a winner for Swansea

Watford V Manchester City

Manchester City will want to secure 3rd spot so I cannot see them putting out anything other than a full strength team. Both teams on the opposite ends of the table and Man City have the 2nd best away form in the league.
Verdict : A win for City, possibly 3-0.

Result : Correct

So those were my Premiership match predictions – I got 7/10 results correct but not so good on the scores. 

if you want to leave your own comments or Premiership predictions for 2017/2018 please do so in the comments below…

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Pre-flight Airline Safety Announcements (Should the Truth be included?) http://shanemcdonald.ie/pre-flight-airline-safety-announcements-should-the-truth-be-included-2017-05/ http://shanemcdonald.ie/pre-flight-airline-safety-announcements-should-the-truth-be-included-2017-05/#respond Wed, 10 May 2017 19:36:34 +0000 http://shanemcdonald.org/myblog/?p=857 The post Pre-flight Airline Safety Announcements (Should the Truth be included?) appeared first on ShaneMcDonald.ie.

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Everyone knows the pre-flight airline safety announcements…. What you should and should not do on the flight, as well as what to do in an emergency. But would it not be better if the truth was thrown in also for a more realistic airline safety announcements.

As a little bit of fun, it just might go a little like this….

“Ladies and gentlemen, you are very welcome abroad your flight today, on board this (insert aircraft type here) series aircraft.

To fasten your seatbelt …. In fact if anybody by now does not know how to fasten their seatbelt please leave the plane now, as you don’t deserve to be on a plane.

This aircraft has 8 emergency exits – 2 at the front , one left , one right , 2 at the rear , one left , one right and 4 over wing exits 2 left , 2 right. It should be fun watching all 300 of ye scrambling for a gap barely able to fit one person , especially if the wings are on fire and you have to find an alternate exit.

In the sudden loss of cabin pressure, at about 39,000 feet, your lungs may puncture and blood vessels on your skin will burst almost immediately being exposed to a huge pressure difference no to mention temperatures as cold as -50 C. Oxygen masks will drop from the panel above your heads.  If you are still conscious , pull on the mask to start the flow of oxygen.  Stop screaming, place the mask over your nose and mouth and breathe normally.  Oxygen will continue to flow even if the bag is not fully inflated. Oh by the way, there’s only about 12 minutes of oxygen in those passenger tanks, sorry!

In the unlikely event of us landing on water (very unlikely as our journey today is 90% over land today and in all probability we will be landing sideways in a field going at 670kph) … your life jacket is under your seat.  Plunging at speed towards the ground, the G Forces of 8 G mean the in all reality you will not even be able to reach for your lifejackets as your body will weigh 8 times its normal weight.  If you do manage to get them place it over your head, tie the straps at the front.  Do not inflate the lifejacket inside the aircraft as this will jam you into your seat and you will just have to watch all the sensible people leave the aircraft from your seat.

The lifejackets has a light and a whistle to attract attention …. as if 3 miles of burning wreckage won’t get you enough attention.

Please read the safety card in your seat pocket for further reassurance.

We hope you enjoy your flight.”

I don’t think this new style airline safety announcement will take-off (excuse the pun).

In truth, the airline safety record these days is very good and millions of people travel on aircraft without incident. I love flying and I never fear going on a flight, quite the opposite. The above actually came to me on a flight so it is actually dark humour on my part.

 

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Beauty and the Beast – Movie Review http://shanemcdonald.ie/beauty-and-the-beast-movie-review-2017-04/ Tue, 18 Apr 2017 21:21:42 +0000 http://shanemcdonald.ie/?p=2396 The post Beauty and the Beast – Movie Review appeared first on ShaneMcDonald.ie.

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Beauty and the Beast, the 2017 live action remake of the 1991 animated classic of the same name. Directed by Bill Condon and starring Emma Watson as Belle, Dan Stevens as the Beast, Luke Evans as the egotistical and quite funny Gaston, and Josh Gad as LeFou this is a very entertaining movie for all the family.

Set in 18th century France, the movie starts with Belle in the local village as we are introduced to the key characters in the village. The setting and production would remind you somewhat of other classic Disney movies from the 50s/60s while being modern and stunning to watch. This production of a live Beauty and the Beast rendering really wraps the film and music we know from the 90s and brings the whole thing to life.

Emma Watson is perfectly cast as Belle, the beauty of the village and the one girl who has the intellect to go far in life, much to the annoyance of the local learned and scholars (a bit like the know-it-all Hermoine from Happy Potter). Emma Watson also sings 3 songs in the movie, but I thought in the first number there was a slight amount of auto-tune going on (either that or the production on the audio was a bit off)

Beauty and the Beast would be nothing without the beast. We are indeed introduced to the Prince who is turned into the beast after dismissing and insulting an enchantress. He has until the last petal from a rose falls to find true love. We also see Belles father, played by Kevin Kline, and we find out how he ended up at the beasts castle. There are some changes to the original storyline in the film, one being that Belles father was a bit slow but in the live action version the father, Maurice, is quite skilled at making clocks and automated devices.

Gaston is forever after Belle, thinking of her as his future wife. He is accompanied by Le Fou who some people say is Disneys first openly gay character. Gaston hears that Belle is in trouble and goes to find her, thus encountering the Beast which is vows to kill.

I’m not going to spoil anything, there is a lot of story to go from here, but the films CGI is very entertaining and combined with the musical numbers its something to behold. Beauty and the Beast may not be everyones cup of tea (excuse the pun chip) but overall it is worth the admission fee – if you have kids, it’s a no brainer, they will love it.

If you enjoyed the original Beauty and the Beast, you will love this one too. If you have not seen it, then you will be enthralled by the story, the characters and a few twists in the story.

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Recent Recommended Movies – Moonlight, Fences, All is Lost http://shanemcdonald.ie/movies-moonlight-fencesall-is-lost-2017-04/ Sat, 01 Apr 2017 20:16:45 +0000 http://shanemcdonald.ie/?p=2366 The post Recent Recommended Movies – Moonlight, Fences, All is Lost appeared first on ShaneMcDonald.ie.

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Recommended Movies – Moonlight, Fences & All is Lost

I have seen a few great movies in the past few weeks, 2 oscar winning movies and also one which is available for download.

Moonlight

This movie is one which I was in two minds about, both before seeing it and also afterwards. It is done almost in 3 acts as it looks at 3 defining chapters in a boy and ultimately a man’s life. Chiron is a young black man growing up in central Miami and the movie starts with him as a child. He watches his mother played by Naomie Harris become addicted to drugs, and he battles to understand his sexuality. Mahershala Ali is amazing in the first section of this film and very much deserved the oscar win.The film is shot in an unusual style and afterwards it took me a while to digest the movie, but this only help you appreciate what you have seen. Worth a watch!

Fences

Fences was actually a play which was transitioned to the big screen. The movie is the story of a black family who’s son played by Jovan Adepo gets a chance at a scholarship but his father Troy Maxson played by Denzel Washington had that chance but doesn’t want his son to go down that route.  Maxson once had that opportunity and dreamed of becoming a professional baseball player, but he was just too old  when all of the baseball major leagues began admitting black athletes. Although the father never admitted it was age, claiming it was racism, he still remained bitter over this missed opportunity. The father removes the son’s chance to meet a college football recruiter and the splits in the family begin to show. This movie has a few plot twists and is very well played by all involved. I would actually rate this higher than Moonlight and it is a very engaging movie.

All is Lost

This movie (available on Netflix or iTunes) is quite unusual in that it has very little dialogue. Infact it can be a few minutes before you hear any utterance from Robert Redford. It is set on a solo voyage in the Indian Ocean as a man (unnamed and played by Robert Redford) awakes to find his yacht taking on water. The yacht hit a stray shipping container and water is pouring into the vessel damaging his radio and navigation equipment. He sails into a violent storm and almost dies. He hopes drift into a shipping lane at some point but eventually sees no hope and is faced with his death, to which he has no option but to face head on. A tense and dramatic film, some lulls in action but the end I thought was good.

Moonlight Trailer

Fences Trailer

All is Lost Trailer

 

What do you think … if you have seen any of these movies, leave a comment with your thoughts…

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Cat The Play takes to the West End in London http://shanemcdonald.ie/cat-the-play-takes-to-the-westend-in-london-2017-03/ Sun, 12 Mar 2017 19:00:45 +0000 http://shanemcdonald.ie/?p=2026 The post Cat The Play takes to the West End in London appeared first on ShaneMcDonald.ie.

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CAT the Play has hit London’s West End. This is a shop not to be missed. This show is written by a good friend of mine and well known Waterford actor Jamie Beamish along with Richard Hardwick. I saw this show on it’s last visit to Waterford and it is a hilarious show with a bit of an edge where you least expect it. It strings you along with song and well written script and then it …. well, I will leave you find out for yourself!

DAVE WAS IN THE ORIGINAL CAST OF CATS.ON OPENING NIGHT HE WAS SACKED. HE WAS NOT A HAPPY PUSSY…

Visit the Official Website for details

A roller coaster, tongue-in-cheek homage to the world of musical theatre, CAT (THE PLAY!) is the fictitious account of how Dave the Cat was sacked from the iconic musical CATS just minutes before ‘curtain up’ on opening night.

As dreams of West End acclaim and adulation turn to tatter, this riotous parody of show business offers audiences a comedic, fictional insight into Dave’s turbulent theatrical career, beginning with his first role as Jesus’ donkey in the original cast of Jesus Christ Superstar and ending with a grand finale of backstage drama, romance and anarchy that led to his hopes of stardom becoming nothing more than a distant ‘Memory’.

After a sold out run at the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, this comedy about the greatest musical star that never got to shine finally makes it to The West End. Starring Gerard McCarthy, CAT isn’t so much a love letter to musical theatre more a death threat.

Liam Murphy called it “A WOW OF A ONE MAN SHOW”

Pat McEvoy called it “AN AMAZING PIECE OF THEATRE!”

Book Tickets to CAT the Play - London

Tickets for Cat the Play

26TH & 27TH APRIL, 7:30PM
AMBASSADORS THEATRE
WEST STREET, LONDON, WC2H 9ND
BOX OFFICE: 020 7395 5405

Click Here to Book Now

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Dalek Relaxation Tape for Humans – Funniest Viral Ever http://shanemcdonald.ie/dalek-relaxation-tape-for-humans-funniest-viral-ever-2017-02/ Mon, 13 Feb 2017 20:32:19 +0000 http://shanemcdonald.org/myblog/?p=1236 The post Dalek Relaxation Tape for Humans – Funniest Viral Ever appeared first on ShaneMcDonald.ie.

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Do you remember the Daleks from Dr. Who? Those things really frightened me, but now the Dalek family are coming back. There is no Dalek invasion or Dalek army coming to feast on us. No, the Dalek are coming to us to help us with relaxation. According to this fantastic viral, the Dalek from Dr.Who will be making a return, but this time at your local spa. The stresses and strains of daily life will float away as the Dalek relaxation tape for humans plays in the background.

The first time I head the Dalek Relaxation Tape I was on the ground in a ball with the laughter. Who ever did this is a genius, as the retro aliens come back to reduce our stress.

Have a look and enjoy – I think it’s the funniest viral video ever !

Dalek Relaxation Tape for Humans

 

Next time you go to the spa, just remember the Dalek Relaxation tape … relax …. then laugh out loud !

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