Showing posts with label THEREDDUTCHESS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label THEREDDUTCHESS. Show all posts

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

The Green Sofa

At the age of 8 I moved house. I moved three miles up the road to another estate.
I was leaving my world as I knew it.
I was leaving my best friend and my routine of ‘calling in’ for her so we could go out in our roller blades or go on our bikes.
This was all being diminished because I was moving house. It may not seem very dramatic to an adult, but for me, at 8 years old, it was traumatic.

My casual walking down to school with my best friend was now going to be replaced with having to
sit carefully, on the clankity old Ulster bus seats, in hope that the movement of the bus wouldn’t disrupt my position and cause my legs to shift onto the freezing cold chrome edges of the seats.
This is when I started to feel strange. 

My best friend Carla (Left) and I

"I too, felt like I was covered, wrapped and stitched in complete unfamiliarity."

I remember opening the door into the living room of our new house. The only familiarity that I saw was our green sofa that had made the journey some hours before.
I stood in the doorway, and I stared at the green sofa.
That sofa had been a different colour once, but my mama had got it covered in a new material earlier that year.
I looked at the sofa. What was once a brown, familiar and molded with routine sitting sofa, was now covered in a new fabric.
I too, felt like I was covered, wrapped and stitched in complete unfamiliarity.
At 8 years old, I remember the overwhelming feeling of fear. I was consumed, by what I know now, was acute Anxiety. I was for the first time, experiencing Mental Distress.
Little did I know that this was the start of what would be a very long journey spent in complete mental wilderness.

"I was losing my childhood
 to the ‘bad feeling’ that 
my young innocent 
self labelled it."

I didn’t know how to explain how I felt. I was a child, and my vocabulary was limited.
I began saying that I “didn’t feel well” and when I was asked where I was sore, or how I felt, I just replied, in hopelessness “I don’t know”.
After many a trip to the Doctors I was told “It’s all in your head, stop worrying”, but it was in my head, and it was festering. That was it, I had to deal with this feeling because the Doctor and nobody else  could understand me.  My mum was always trying to distract me from the silent torment of my mind by saying “let’s bake buns” or “let’s go up into town to get new shoes”.

Nothing worked.  

I was losing my childhood to the ‘bad feeling’ that my young innocent self labelled it.
I wasn’t young anymore, I wasn’t carefree anymore, and we all knew it.
I, who was completely in awe of Disney’s ‘The Little Mermaid’ and sang every song during every second of every day, had stopped singing. The house was quiet now. My voice was silenced by the turmoil in my young mind. Before I was 10, I wanted to die, I couldn’t cope with it. 
At that age I had believed I wouldn’t live long, because I felt that it was not normal to feel so bad without dying soon.

Let’s fast forward to 2013. I’m still alive. I’m 24 now.
Since becoming mentally unwell from that young age of 8 I’ve been on three different types of anti-depressants not to mention the multitude of anti-anxiety medication and sedatives.

But I’m so happy!
Never did I think that feeling this good was possible for me.
Looking back, I know today that those feelings that I had when I was 8 was the beginning of the Depression and Anxiety, and ultimately a clinical diagnosis of O.C.D.
It has been over two years since I’ve been diagnosed with O.C.D. I was diagnosed due to a crisis, and I couldn’t cope and I had a major breakdown.
The coping strategies that I had developed since I was 8 had crashed and burned in face of this crisis where a family member had become unwell.
It came to a point where I refused to let the Doctor tell me that “exercise would lift your moods”.    

I swallowed my pride and demanded professional help.

My pride, my awareness of the stigma attached to mental health that came from society and even myself didn’t stop me. I didn’t care anymore. I needed help because the other option was Suicide and I refused to let Suicide be an option any more, even though I had Suicidal ideation.
And so, I was given an appointment for a psychiatric assessment. On the day of the assessment I was petrified about what would happen to me once I started to talk about how I was thinking and feeling.
I have no idea what I said that day in that room, but I remember I felt like there was a black cloud that had just burst open with rain and was now relieved.
A couple of days later I graduated with a degree in Drama. I was proud of myself and I was happy to have my photograph mounted on the wall between my brother and sister’s graduation photos.

The day following my graduation I had received a letter from the place where I had gone for my psychiatric assessment. I had sat down on our new black leather sofa and read the letter. The letter described my disorder; the letter deemed my disorder ‘common’ and contained a treatment plan of new medication specific for my disorder and C.B.T.

That letter meant more to me than my degree, because even though my degree proved that I studied drama for 3 years, my letter from the psychiatrist meant that I could now get better after 15 years of mental struggle.
I sat on our new black leather sofa and I cried with relief, liberation and catharsis from the unknown shadow that I could now name, and now control.

Celebrating my birthday in Melbourne, Australia

I wasn’t like the green sofa anymore. I was becoming more like our new black leather sofa, I had aged with struggle, but I was tougher now, I was durable and I was now more resilient, despite who or what impacted on me. 

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Nuremberg Markets

Coming to Nuremberg makes me I feel like part of me is coming home. Whether it's due to the fact that my boyfriend lives here or because the city of Nuremberg is surrounded by historic walls, just like my home city of Derry, I think it's a very rare, but a beautiful thing, to have a sense of familiarity in a city I've only visited a couple of times. Perhaps I lived here in a past life?

I'm currently perched on the edge of the Rudolf red sofa in my boyfriend's apartment, right in the middle of this picturesque city of Bavarian Nuremberg, and I'm so content. I've had the most relaxing long weekend of napping, eating, snuggling and of course, soaking up the atmosphere of the infamous Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt. So before we head back home to Derry for Christmas I just want to share with you a little insight to our festive weekend.

The tiniest tea-sets for a doll's house.

Camel at the Nativity Scene

Enjoying our Glühwein (Mulled Wine)

I hope you've enjoyed this little peek into what it's like in Nuremberg during this time of year.

Thank you for reading.

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Monday, 24 November 2014

Days in Dublin

After the massage, which you can read about here, we went back to the hotel and had a little nap as we were both in a relaxed trance. Of course, I woke a little earlier to do my makeup whilst watching Gossip Girl on Netflix and enjoying a cup of tea (No wonder it takes me so long getting ready).

 Vast hotel hallways always makes me want to run down them... yeah, I'm like that.


Hotel Selfie


When we were ready we walked from our hotel through the scenic Ballsbridge to St Stephen’s Green and mingled amongst the Christmas Markets, eating Marshmallow Popcorn (yes! You read that right, marshmallow popcorn- which was beautiful may I add), mulled wine and enjoying all the crafts on display. I couldn't help but stop and look at the quirky jewellery as I love my rings.


There was such a Christmas spirit received by everyone on that Saturday in Dublin. We proceeded to walk up Grafton Street that had been captured with a web of Christmas lights.
The street was dotted with Grafton Street’s signature buskers and the crowds, surrounding them, were forgetting the bite of the cold and their worries as they stood entranced by the music that seduced them.

We then met a friend in Pull & Bros, which is a quirky little casual restaurant that is renowned for its pulled pork…it’s actually the place where my boyfriend took me on our first date where I was careful not to smack or make a fool of myself in front of the handsome guy who I was trying to impress. Forward on 7 months in the same place and I sit, unashamedly tucking into my food drowned in an excess of BBQ sauce. As one does!
After sitting longer than necessary at the restaurant, we decided that we’d finish our obscure conversations in Bewley’s Café. My parents love Bewley’s, and upon seeing it, I knew that’s where we’d go. I had Hot Chocolate with huge plump marshmallows bumping into each other on the surface whilst my boyfriend tucked into an over-sized wedge of Strawberry cheesecake whilst Conan, our friend, had a humble little muffin whilst enjoying the fact we had a beautiful foreign woman as our waitress.


After a while we departed from Conan and went browsing through the shops, one being COS which Stephen and I are a fan of. In fact, we love the chic tailoring and fresh Scandinavian edges of the clothes, particularly the coats.

We had decided we’d have a late dinner, but that was sabotaged by the idea to go see ‘Interstellar’ in the Cinema. We loved it and chatted about it right into the next day. On the Sunday we enjoyed another full breakfast consisting of fruit, pastries, cereal and good ol’ hot breakfast foods, of course this was all accompanied with copious amounts of tea.

We then parted and made our way home. We have a few exciting places booked, so keep an eye out for where we end up next.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

The Buff Day Spa, Dublin

Last weekend my boyfriend and I met in Dublin. We stayed in the luxurious Clyde Court hotel in Ballsbridge, which is my favourite area in Dublin. I just love the rustic charm of the architecture of the town houses and the old Irish atmosphere that the air seems to have preserved from the centuries before us.
My boyfriend always spoils me wherever we go, so I thought that this time I’d surprise him with a ‘Swedish Full Body’ massage on the Saturday morning at the Buff Day Spa. I chose the Buff Day Spa due to the reviews and personal recommendations.
So on the Saturday morning we arrived, quite late may I add due to the fact that we were full up from the beautiful breakfast we had at our hotel. It’s no secret that we love our food!!

So once we arrived we were greeted by the most pleasant staff. I was summoned to the ladies’ changing room where I was given my own locker which contained a beautiful fluffy bathroom, chic little sandals and the loveliest little gesture in the form of a little square chocolate, which I ate of course despite barely being able to stand since my breakfast. This girl forgets everything else when chocolate is within reach, and don’t tell me I’m the only one.



After I filled out my ‘Client Consultation Form’, in which I was asked about my preferred ‘Massage Pressure’ and my hopes for my treatment, I was then ushered into the ‘Emerald Room’ which, to me, was a relaxing and soothing sanctuary.  My masseuse was the lovely Claire, and she asked me a few questions regarding how I was feeling in terms of how tensed and stressed I had been feeling over the last week. I had told her I was feeling more stressed than usual due to a recent bereavement. From that Claire went and created a mixture of essential oils that was suited to my needs which we had discussed.  

When I was ready for my massage Claire asked me to take three deep breaths of the essential oil mixture. I felt instantly relaxed. Claire began with my legs and feet, worked up onto my back and shoulders (where I had the most tension) and down my arms and hands. For that hour I was in heaven as Claire worked out the knots and uptight muscles in my shoulders, back and legs. I then turned around and had a warm eye mask laid on me whilst Claire worked on the front side of my legs, arms and shoulders.

After the most blissful experience I was then offered to relax more in the ‘Tranquillity Room’, this was a low lit room with soothing music, and a water feature that had the most relaxing sound of trickling water. The room also hosted a few relaxation beds, bean bags and corner seating.
After I enjoyed taking full advantage of the Tranquillity room I then went back into the Ladies’ changing room where I had full access to the amenities, and I even got the chance to do my hair and have a little look around whilst my boyfriend was still getting his massage.


What Stephen has to say about his experience…

“Calming from the moment I stepped in, whether it was the receptionist, masseuse or other employees. Although I didn't know what to expect, I was talked through the process and made to feel comfortable. The actual massage was perfect, knowing the areas that needed attention with the soothing sounds of music in my ear. I was in a delirious state of relaxation after, as my body felt reset."

 The Buff Day Spa also provides excellent 'Christmas Warm Up' packages for which include:

-30mins Back Massage

-Buff Express Facial

-Mineral Salt Scrub

-25 Euro Gift Voucher

-Glass of Champagne


Other than massages the Buff Day Spa also offer Dermalogica Facials, Image Peels, Body Treatments, Maternity Treatments, Manicures & Pedicures and Beauty Services.







To take advantage of these offers call The Buff Day Spa on:

Telephone: 353 1 677 4624

Facebook- The Buff Day Spa



Call in- 

52 South King St (Beside the Gaiety Theatre)
Dublin 2, Ireland


Thank you so much to Eileen, Claire and Aoife for their hospitality and utmost care and service during our visit to The Buff Day Spa. We can’t wait to get back there again for some more pampering, and you know you should too. 

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Therapie Clinic, Derry

I was invited by Therapie, thanks to the lovely Gemma, to come along and receive a complementary and new revolutionary procedure. I decided to offer it to my Aunt as I thought it would be better for me to document the process on someone else, and I also knew it would be something she’d like to try.

So we went up to Therapie and we were welcomed by the lovely Lucia who told us all about how Patricia, my aunt, would be the demonstration model for Tracey from Advanced Skincare as she demonstrated this new avant-garde anti-ageing treatment.

Patricia before the treatment
Consent form

Patricia signing the consent form

The main feature of the treatment is the brand new hi-tech (and fastest on the market) Micro-Needle from Samsung Medical. The product was launched in September.
The Micro-Needle pen comprises of hundreds of little probes that penetrate the skin at a very quick speed. It is suitable for all Skin-types and can be used for:

  •        Veins

  • ·         Strengthening capillaries

  • ·         Stretch marks

  • ·         Stimulating hair growth after chemotherapy.

  • ·         Targeting crow’s feet

  • ·         Targeting scarring and pigmentation

  • ·         Fine lines for people in their 20s

  • ·         Self-Harm scars

  • ·         It can give you the highest condition of skin

  • ·         Suitable for men and women.

        The Process:
-Cleansing the Skin
-Anaesthetic is applied
-Anaesthetic lasts 15mins
-A gentle peel is applied.
-The gentle peel helps deeper penetration of the needle.
- Serum is applied to work in conjunction with the pen- An anti-pigmentation serum was used on my aunt.
-There are 217 probes in the pen with 3 options of speed. 0.1-1.5
      -Opens millions of channels within the skin
- Promotes re-growth of collagen.
-It is superior to Botox and Fillers.

-The pen is issued with new probes for each client
-An anaesthetic is used to alleviate any pain that could be caused.

Botox is a fix, but this pen brings the skin back to its natural state.  The pen mimics injury which prompts the skin to rejuvenate. However if you do have Botox the pen actually prolongs the effect of Botox.

Lines on the chest area

Lines on the forehead

Crows Feet

Serum of choice used with the pen

New Probes for new clients

Probes fitted into the pen

Micro-Needle pen

Beginning the process

Targeting fine lines

Speed is adjusted according the the delicacy of skin area (under-eye)

Targeting Crows feet

                                                               Cleansing the face

                                   Using the pen to target areas with fine lines and wrinkles

 Products used during the process:
-The masks acts as a catalyst to the hyaluronic acid after treatment
-In the toners used - Bio-hyaluronic acid: -Anti ageing-Anti Pigmentation
-Cosmeticeutical- active ingredients in the serum that cannot be found in shops.
-Toner and cleanser along with serum are a must to soothe skin and to get the best results.
-SPF 30 is necessary as skin will be sensitive after treatment. 

Choice of masks applied after treatment

A soothing mask to cover treated areas

Products used and recommended for continued use

Sunblock to protect the skin for after the treatment

Eye Renewal Cream

Rejuvenation Toner

Since having her fourth out of the five treatments not only my aunt, but myself and other family members, have noticed how illuminated her skin is. It's like she has been airbrushed in reality. Her skin looks dewy, replenished and very healthy. We are both so impressed by the results from the first treatment, and my Aunt looks as fabulous as ever. It's a treatment worth trying!



If you'd like to try this treatment for yourself please visit:
Thanks to Lucia for inviting me along, and thank you to my gorgeous aunt for being the guinea pig. x

For any more information email me-
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