The Devil wears Primark πŸ™ŒπŸ»

(Reading time: 3 minutes)

Can we all collectively just take a second, and thank the fashion gods for creating the wonder that is Primark?

We can? Perfect.

Then let’s get a move on.

Primark has been a staple of wardrobes around Ireland for the last three decades, if not longer. I remember being dragged through the aisles by my mother on more than one occasion as a child. “We’ll only be here for a second,” was her famous line, “just a quick look.”

Fast-forward two hours, and we’re still there, and she’s still repeating that same sentence…

Primark was torture. I hated it with a passion. I’m sure most kids did, and probably still do. As a moody teenager, I protested and stood outside the shop door, refusing to take one step further. It was a victory at the time, but thinking back, it was a very small and insignificant one – but that is not the point.

Fast-forward 15 years later, and I find myself taking that once dreaded step more and more often, while repeating that very same phrase, “just a quick look.”

I CAN’T GET ENOUGH.

According to the female ‘experts’ in my life, the ladies’ section of Primark has always been pretty reasonable. In the last few years however, menswear has been receiving some heavy investment, and there has been a noticeable improvement in the garments’ quality. The fabrics, prints, colours, fits, and styles have all undergone radical transformations, which has resulted in something that we never associate with Primark – durability.

It used to be an accepted fact that we were getting one wash from our Primark’ gear before it was bin-worthy. Now, we might get six or seven, before we even begin to notice it’s shifting, shrinking, and shortcomings.

But, at this stage, I don’t really mind. The jumper only cost me €8, and I wore it everywhere, so it was money well spent. It is a commodity of the fashion industry and fast fashion in general – buy it, flaunt it, flog it – before finding the next item, and repeating.

Primark is essentially a fashion house for frauds – scanning the market, spotting trends, highjacking pop culture, reducing the quality, producing en masse, selling cheap, and profiting big.

It is a vicious cycle, but one that I find myself very much a part of. Fashion moves fast, and trends are fleeting, but with the investment that is currently being pumped into this fast-fashion space, why not take advantage of Primark’s endeavours to be the best at coming second.

They see a trend, replicate it, and move. It is a solid business plan, and has multiple benefits – happy customers, affordable trends, and continual advancement.

However, Primark’s pulling power and universal appeal could see them become more than just the fraudulent cheaper choice, in my opinion, but maybe our only choice.

To put things in perspective – name another fashion outlet that is a market leader for clothing and accessories operating in 11 different countries worldwide, has 385 fully functioning stores, employs almost 70,000 people, has a dominant social media and online presence, profits from repeat customers, and is continuing to expand year on year?

____________.

No, you can’t name one?

I didn’t think so!

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To blog or not to blog

(Reading time: 3 minutes)

Starting a blog can be a frustrating experience because it takes a lot time and effort.

Time to take out our computers, and turn them on. Time to make the perfect brew which will power us and our ideas for the next two hours. Time to find the perfect playlist for typing, and the perfect font for our words.

And effort – it takes an awful lot of effort. What should I write about? Will this be interesting? Who will read it? Should I have a picture at the start? Or at the end? Is this the right word? 

And in the midst of all this panic, another question comes along – do I even care anymore?

This was me.

I used to take out my computer, set up my little station at the kitchen table – water, coffee, notepad, pens, music, headphones – and by the time I was ready to go, like really ready, my ideas weren’t.

It was monkey see, monkey do, and I was mimicking the “full-time blogger.” I was doing what I thought a blogger would do, and what I saw them doing on social media. But it wasn’t really working. 

I’m a full-time student, I work weekends, I have a girlfriend, I live away from home, I watch Netflix, I chill, I cook and clean, and I have a life away from my blog, believe it or not! So sitting down for two or three hours to write a blog that maybe 100 people would see just wasn’t worth it. 

To start a blog, we don’t need a fancy Apple MacBook Pro touchscreen laptop, the perfect sugar-free pumpkin spice latte from our favourite coffee house, an amazing playlist, or even thousands of followers on social media – all we need is our phones and a good idea, and it took me a while to realise this. 

People make blogging out to be a full-time job, and I’m sure it is for some people. But for us ordinary folk, it’s just a passion, a hobby, and something that we do for fun.

That’s why I have started using my phone to blog. It’s always on me, it’s quick and easy, and I can probably text on this thing faster than I can type anyway. It’s a win-win, and it’s keeping things fun.

And now I’m writing when I want to, where I want to, and whenever I get a few spare minutes. Using the notes section too, means word vomit can happen at any time. No logging in, logging out, finding websites, forgetting passwords, I can simply just vomit… and then copy and paste later. 

If I was to start my blog all over again – I would start by making more of the blogging apps available on my phone. The computer makes sense. It’s good for typing and has its obvious advantages, but it’s also big, bulky, slow to turn on, has to load, and needs to be on stable ground.

Imagine walking down the street, typing up your latest post on the keypad of your laptop while weaving your way through the crowds… now, imagine not doing that because all you need is your phone. This is casual. This isn’t our job. 

It also removes the ‘pressure’ that I used to feel when I wasn’t posting. I used to think that I needed to spend an hour on my computer and crack something out quick – but it took too much time and effort to even find my computer. Now my phone is full of half-arsed ideas to fully-fledged blogs ready to publish. 

But the key thing is – I’m always writing.

It also doesn’t matter where you write – WordPress, Blogger, Weebly, etc. – but what does matter is your passion. WordPress estimates that there are 1.97 million blog posts written everyday on their platform, so commit, be passionate, have fun, and don’t be just another one post wonder. 

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Addicted to social media

(Reading time: 2 mins)

Do you ever find yourself just scrolling through Instagram, and scrolling, and scrolling… and next thing you know, you’re three years deep in your favourite youtuber’s brother’s wife’s account looking through their 2014 holiday pics.

No.

Just me… well, this is awkward.

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You are what you wear

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It is said that only two things in life are certain – death and taxes. But I think that there could be a third – death, taxes and the memory of your old school uniform.

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F*ck bloggers

Since starting this blog and pressingΒ ‘publish’Β on that very first post, I have always wondered am I a blogger? It is a question that means little to anyone but me, but what really is a blogger? The term holds so many high fluting, fiddly-idle-dee notions, but what does it actually mean? I enjoy writing about stuff. I do it all the time. I have a blog. I have an Instagram account. They’re linked. So that must mean that I’m a blogger… right?

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Hasta la pizza, baby

The Dough Bros fire up new ovens in a new location

Local foodies were thrown into disarray when the Dough Bros announced that they would be closing the doors of theirΒ beloved pop-up.

The wood fired pizzeria opened almost two years ago, and following a whirlwind romance with pizza lovers nationwide, the Bros have decided to shut operations on Abbeygate Street Upper ahead of a game-changing move. This week, Eugene and Ronan Greaney, the Galway brothers behind what has become one of the most popular eateries in Ireland, explainedΒ why last Sunday was the perfect time toΒ serve the last slice… for now.

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Top 10 Things To Do Before Tough Mudder

As the name suggests, Tough Mudder is going to be tough.

After initially signing up, you said that you would be in the shape of your life, don’t lie, we all said it.

I know I did.

I wanted to be able to run 10km without breaking a sweat, climb walls like a parkour kid, jump over moving vehicles… but now that the day has actually come, I have just realised that I can’t even cross the road without putting my life in danger.

However, I have bought the ticket, I want the Tough Mudder headband, and I’m already thirsty for that end of race beer.

finished

So, I’ve devised a 10 step plan for success… Tough Mudder, you’re going down.

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