Littlewoods Ireland Christmas Commercial

Littlewoods Ireland Christmas Commercial

Normally, the first Christmas commercial I see comes with a cry of ‘No, its far too early for this’. But this year, the first Christmas commercial I saw was for Littlewoods Ireland and I actually liked it.

Now, part of the reason why I liked it was because they used the Queen song, “Those were the Days of Our Lives”. The song was written by Roger Taylor about his kids and it was on Queen’s album Innuendo. It’s a very emotive song and therefore fits perfectly, as it is all about looking back. (As an aside, the video for that song was the last time Freddie Mercury was on camera, and today 24th Nov is the anniversary of his death).

Anyway, I really liked this commercial because it focused on the real joys of Christmas. The soft lighting, cheeky grins from kids stealing chocolate, everyone decorating the Christmas tree, putting out mince pies for Santa and of course the excitement coming down the stairs on Christmas morning. There is also a flashback moment when mum and dad are seen as kids. The tagline ‘You never forget how it feels…. to be a child at Christmas’.

I know John Lewis every year has a great Christmas commercial, this year’s dog is no exception. But I think Littlewoods Christmas commercial has given them a run for their money,

Take a look at the commercial below. What do you think?

Cigarette Butts are Irelands Biggest Litter Problem

Cigarette Butts are Irelands Biggest Litter Problem

In a recent survey of litter in Ireland, it was found that Irelands cities and towns are now cleaner than they have been for many years – thanks to better awareness from the public, more bins and a huge effort from city and town councils. However, some pedestrians and motorists ignore bins and drop cigarette butts and food on the streets.

Cigarette Butts mentioned in Litter Reports

The 2008 National Litter Pollution Monitoring System report found that cigarette butts and cigarette-related litter formed 46% of street litter and food packaging & Sweet wrappers making up 17% of all litter.

The 2015 National Litter Pollution Monitoring System report found Cigarette related litter was at 59.8% – up over 13% on 2008, while packaging litter & sweet related litter combined was around 19% up a small amount on 2008.

For some reason, cigarette smokers have some sort of ignorance when it comes to litter. Cigarette Butts also contain over 4,000 toxins which can kill birds and fish – so why, when finished a cigarette do smokers flick their butt into the streets – in a “F**k it, someone else will clean  that up!” attitude.

Smokers should be fined for doing this – after all it is litter. If they are not fined then there should be an extra tax on each cigarette in a packet to pay for cigarette butt clean up.

Naming and Shaming

I think Ireland may have to Name and Shame pubs, restaurants or outlets which don’t encourage smokers to bin their butts when finished smoking. Perhaps there may also be a law which allows fining smokers who flick their butts into the street after they are finished smoking. This seems to be a habit amongst many smokers rather than finding a bin.

My Cigarette Butt 10 Step Challenge

I have observed a huge number of cigarette butts on the streets of Ireland. I have come up with a cigarette butt challenge. Basically, try walking 10 steps in any town or city in Ireland, observing the ground. See if you can walk those 10 steps without seeing a cigarette butt on the ground – it is almost impossible. If you do find a street or town let me know in the comments below.

I do have to reiterate that there are conscientious smokers out there who do place their finished cigarettes in bins provided. However, there has been an increase in this sort of litter, so it seems these smokers are in the minority.

First Use of the Lee Filters system

First Use of the Lee Filters system

Over the past 7 or 8 years I have experimented with using filters. I started off using very cheap ones I got online for under £10. Those were real rubbish but I could see the potential.

I then upgraded to brand name filters, I won’t name the company as those filters resulted in soft photos and a colour cast on some occasions. They worked to an extend but you could not reply on them.

After doing some research on Twitter (basically asking photographers which filters they used), I found that the Lee Filters system was the one to go for. While I was in London recently I decided to take the plunge. I got the adapter ring for my 24-105 L series lens, the foundation kit holder for the Lee filters and the Lee Filters Big Stopper. The Big Stopper is a whopping 10 stops of a filter, so a 1 second exposure becomes a 16 minute exposure using the Big Stopper.

In the past 24 hours I have tried out the filters and they work really well as you can see yourself below. I hope to post more photos using these filters on my photo website at www.shanemcdonald.me and on my Instagram account www.instagram.com/shanesphoto

Sample Photo using Lee Filters

Photo of Waterford using Lee Filters
Review – Aroi Asian Street Food, Kilkenny

Review – Aroi Asian Street Food, Kilkenny

Having walked from Bennettsbridge to Kilkenny along the Nore we were looking for something hearty and tasty to eat. I had been to Aroi with a work function and decided to go there.

Aroi Asian Street Food is located on Friary Street Kilkenny and has plenty of space inside, while being bright, airy and a tad funky in decor. The service is very good and on a Sunday there is an option to enjoy a main course and Gelato for only 10 euros which is wonderful value.

I chose to push the boat out and have a starter, main and ice cream. The fish cakes were the starter, one of the nicer thai fish cakes I have tried, with a little kick of chilli present. For the main course I had the Yellow Fish Curry served with brown rice. This curry was full of flavour and full of fish – salmon, cod, smoked cod, mussels, crab, and calamari – as well as being jam packed with veg.

The meal was thoroughly enjoyable and was rounded off with some very refreshing ice cream. The whole meal for 2 came to under 35 euros and its a spot I will be returning to.

Aroi Asian Street Food, Kilkenny

Aroi Asian Street Food, Kilkenny

Aroi Kilkenny

50 Shades of Grey – The Irish Version

I don’t know what all the hype is about with this 50 shades of grey book but I got an email with the 50 Shades of Grey book Irish Style, which is basically a parody of the 50 Shades of Gray book – pretty crude but very funny.

I don’t know where the source is for this but well done to who ever created these…

FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, IRISH STYLE……..

… “Give it to me, give it to me”, he roared aggressively. Some days Mary hated working at Ulster Bank.

He slipped his hand under the red silk.. “You’re so beautiful in that dress.” he said — “Fuck off, it was only a euro in Penneys!” she replied

Bernies knees were sore and her throat was raw …. This was the longest Novena sheíd ever attended.

“You’re so tight”, he said, I’m from Cavan she replied.

Slowly he ran his finger down the middle, parting the pink softness, feeling the moist sticky centre. He loved a Mikado.

“She Quivered as I stroked her thighs. Take me in the shower Sean!” – I whispered to her “Wait til I turn on the immersion”.

Her underwear was wet as he pulled the rope. There’s great drying out today she thought as the clothes line hoisted

‘Its so long! Never seen the likes of it!’ exclaimed Mary, as she joined the dole queue

She widened her mouth, trying to fit it all in!! The Juices ran down her face. Mary did love a kebab after coppers

Sharon was panting as she let out one final scream of pure pleasure. There was nothing like beating Kilkenny in the hurling

She took a deep breath as the shivers rolled down her hot body… Jaysus, she thought. The Vicks is kicking in now!

Come on! Pump it hard.. Real hard! But it was no use the tyre was definitely punctured!

He asked if she could handle more than one finger. She said “No, I prefer a Hob Nob or a purple Snack with me tea!!”