Facial Approval

Whenever I see someone who is much younger than me with a thick beard I do feel a little bit envious when all that I can grow is wiry whiskers. I have tried to sport one but I just look ridiculous and I suppose it’s a good thing as herself dislikes any facial hair. So for the most part I’m a clean-shaved man, which I’m fine with because I’ll never be able to grow a full hipster style no matter how hard I strain, which I should stop doing as it makes me a bit lightheaded. I did try to make it appear thicker once. How? Well I would have been only 23 at the time and I had beard of sorts… so to make it look fuller I applied my mother’s mascara. I even made sure it was waterproof too but during the day while at the course I was doing, the guys there were giving me a little bit of a party as it was my birthday and I had forgotten that I had the mascara on until I was hugged and kissed on the cheek by a few older women. I noticed one was vigorously rubbing her mouth and she looked like a bulldog sucking on a lemon. Yeah, so if you’ve got a thick growth grow one but if you don’t, don’t. There is no option C. Having said that though it did look good, from a distance. 

But for most women, they actually love a man with a beard and there are some scientific studies to show this. Whether it’s a mark of maturity or masculinity or attractiveness or whatever the reason for the most part, they do prefer a man with facial hair and I don’t mean patchy and wiry (See above. For us, we can just furgetabouit), even if it’s just stubble, although men with stubble are perceived as being more of a fling/sex partner (maybe this is because of the bad-boy image that comes with the stubble look) as apposed to a man with a longer/fuller beard who are thought of as being more of the paternal type. And I think this to be true, especially when I think back to being a kid, I never saw one of mates dad with designer stubble, it was either a full-beard with grey in the chin or nothing.

Men have similar judgments of facial hair, except that they found full beards as appealing as heavy stubble. Men also noted a greater perception of masculinity as facial hair increased. So men with beards look pretty cool providing they are groomed well and not just grown out of laziness with the moustache hair curling into the mouth.

I setup a small group-chat on Facebook Messenger with my friends that I know of who have beards just to find out what their other halves think on their facial hair. All of their wives loves them. One shaved his beard and when his wife seen him, she told him to never shave again. So below I complied the best styles and how to achieve them. Disclaimer: I know I’m not qualified to talk about beard styling given my reasons outlined above. However, if I did, this is how I’d go about achieving the desired look. 

1. The Balboa

You need to grow a full beard in order for you to have ample hair for shaping. Do not shave for 4 weeks or until the beard has fully grown. You also need to grow a mustache. It requires careful sculpting so you need good razors to achieve the look. You can use a disposable or an electric razor to take off the hair on the sides, and a straight razor to shape the Balbo beard style appropriately.
The Van Dyke

2. Long Stubble

Just don’t shave your beard and mustache for 1 to 2 days. After that period, just trim it to keep its short length. If you grow hair above your cheeks, just shave it habitually to maintain the look. You can also shave the hair growing on your neck area, keeping the stubbles focused just around the lower area of your face. One of the easiest looks to maintain. 
Long stubble beard

4. The Bandholz

Growing a Bandholz require patience. At first, you will look patchy and unkempt especially during the first 4 months. You need to have the patience to keep it untouched. Throw away your razor and scissors; you won’t need them for months. Just let it grow until it reaches the maximum length you can genetically grow. You can start shaping and cutting it 7 months after, or you can keep it as is, depending on your preferences. What is nice about the Bandholz is that you can keep it freely unlike other beard styles.

The Bandholz beard
I’d love to hear what you guys think and feel free to tell me if I’m talking sh*t.

IT book review 

By Stephen King

Easons €10.49 was €13.99

Pages 1,138

It book cover

IT first edition book cover
IT first edition book cover first published September 15th, 1986


About the author: Stephen Edwin King was born the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. After his father left them when Stephen was two, he and his older brother, David, were raised by his mother. Parts of his childhood were spent in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where his father’s family was at the time, and in Stratford, Connecticut. When Stephen was eleven, his mother brought her children back to Durham, Maine, for good. Her parents, Guy and Nellie Pillsbury, had become incapacitated with old age, and Ruth King was persuaded by her sisters to take over the physical care of them. Other family members provided a small house in Durham and financial support. After Stephen’s grandparents passed away, Mrs. King found work in the kitchens of Pineland, a nearby residential facility for the mentally challenged.

Stephen attended the grammar school in Durham and Lisbon Falls High School, graduating in 1966. From his sophomore year at the University of Maine at Orono, he wrote a weekly column for the school newspaper, THE MAINE CAMPUS. He was also active in student politics, serving as a member of the Student Senate. He came to support the anti-war movement on the Orono campus, arriving at his stance from a conservative view that the war in Vietnam was unconstitutional. He graduated in 1970, with a B.A. in English and qualified to teach on the high school level. A draft board examination immediately post-graduation found him 4-F on grounds of high blood pressure, limited vision, flat feet, and punctured eardrums.

Synopsis: To the children, the town was their whole world. To the adults, knowing better, Derry, Maine, was just their home town: familiar, well-ordered for the most part. A good place to live. It is the children who see – and feel – what makes the small town of Derry so horribly different. In the storm drains, in the sewers, IT lurks, taking on the shape of every nightmare, each one’s deepest dread.

Now IT is a cleverly laid out story in probably my favourite method of literary craftsmanship, simply put, we follow two time lines 27 years apart that shadow an almost identical path fraught with a monstrous menace and a demon that prays on children. Seven young friends come together in the late 50’s and face a little more than the usual growing pains of childhood, a promise is made and years later they come back to Derry to face a horror all but forgotten. Yanked back by the, whatever that makes you wince the most, but this is a hell of a lot more than the story of six boys and one girl who stumbled into a nightmare one hot summer.

There’s so much to love in this story, characters that you watch grow, characters you can’t help but care deeply about and a gripping story that remains that way for the vast majority off it. Stuttering Bill, ‘beep beep’ Richie, Ben ‘haystack’ Hanscom and Beverly Marsh were my favourites and whenever the story cuts to the friends as adults, you just can’t wait to get back to the stories of the youngsters. Their altercations with the bullies, Henry Bowers getting Bev’s boot right where it hurts the most, Eddie lying in that hospital bed and finally giving his mother what for. There’s just so many stand out moments with these kids and the trials and tribulations they faced, it’s just too much to mention them all.

Richie with the mouth that simply decided on its own to cut and run instead of stopping too think ‘Richie could hold back no longer; his mouth simply fell open and then ran away like the gingerbread man, as it so often did’.

The Patrick Hockstetter chapter, a sociopathic kid that while not as disturbing as Shelley from The Troop, was just creepy as f*ck.

While he was beating frantically at it and watching the bloodstain spread above the place where it had taken its hold, another settled on his right eye. Patrick closed it, but that did no good; he felt a brief hot flare as the thing’s sucker poked through his eyelid and began to suck the fluid out of his eyeball. Patrick felt his eye collapse in its socket and he screamed again.

Beverly a witness to it all, the sink and the blood, her escape from the manipulative partner and the belt. Ben chased by the clown at the bridge over the canal, it’s all just fried within an inch of its life with the fattest side salad known to man, a delicacy in fine dining.

The kids going back into the basement of that house and Ben struggling through that little window.

He started to pull himself out and realized, horrified, that he could do it, but was very apt to yank his pants – and perhaps his underpants as well – down to his knees when he did. And there he would be, with his extremely large ass practically in his beloved’s face.

Bill on his return to that sewer.

I guess this is what we mean when we talk about the persistence of memory, this or something like this, something you see at the right time and from the right angle, image that kicks off emotion like a jet engine. You see it so clear that all the things which happened in between are gone. If desire is what closes the circle between world and want, then the circle has closed.

And finally IT, a thing that changed and fed on your worst fears, a f*ckdoer of pure evil.

The fears of children were simpler and usually more powerful. The fears of children could often be summoned up in a single face … and if bait were needed, why, what child did not love a clown.

I always wanted to read this book but was put off by the size of it. I’m glad I did now even if it took me over a 3 and a half weeks to complete! An unbelievable read that had me on edge. I love Stephen king’s voice and his ability to create a world with just words that make you feel like you’re there. If you have never finished this book because of the length of the story then I advise you to get back to it! Amazing. And yes, it is that scary!

IT movie review available here.

The Bolds On Holiday book review

By Julian Clary

Easons €9.80

The Bolds book cover

About the author: Julian Clary is a comedian, entertainer and novelist, who has toured across the world with his one-man shows. He became a household name in the late 1980s, and remains one of the country’s most popular (and least predictable) entertainers. Julian has appeared on numerous popular TV shows including Celebrity Big Brother (which he won), Strictly Come Dancing, This Morning, QI, Have I Got News For You and is a regular panellist on BBC Radio 4’s Just a Minute. He has starred in West End productions of Taboo and Cabaret, and appears in panto most years – he loves wearing silly clothes and lots of make up! Julian also narrates the Little Princess children’s television series. He lives in Kent with his husband, dogs and several chickens.

About the illustrator: David Roberts is an award-winning illustrator who has earned great acclaim for his distinctive style. He was born in Liverpool and studied fashion design at university in Manchester. After graduating, he worked as a milliner and a fashion illustrator, but always felt his true calling was in children’s books. David finally realised his dream when his first book was published in 1998, and since then he has collaborated with some of Britain’s finest children’s authors, including Julia Donaldson, Sally Gardner, Philip Ardagh and Jacqueline Wilson. He is also the creator of the popular Dirty Bertie books. He lives in London with his husband. His book Little Red was shortlisted for the 2005 Kate Greenaway Medal. In 2006 he won the Nestle Children’s Book Prize Gold Award for his line drawings in Mouse Noses on Toast.

Synopsis: It’s the summer holidays, and the hairiest family in Teddington decide to take a well-earned holiday by the seaside. With their extended hyena family in tow, they head on down to Cornwall for a spot of camping. But it’s never long before trouble sniffs these hyenas out, and Bobby is mistaken for a pup and snatched by a wicked dognapper. The Bolds will need all their ingenuity to hunt her down and rescue all the pilfered pooches. But can these hyenas-in-disguise save the day, without letting the cat out of the bag?

The story is about a family of hyenas trying desperately hard to conceal their canine features to blend in with the humans and (as most families are) this family is disfunctional to say the least. There is a lot of things happening in this book and moves at a fast pace. From a mad-cap sports day, to a wounded leg, to dogs, to holidays, to dognappers, to reading about new friends. The family really are harmless but I wouldn’t want to leave next door to them as an adult BUT as a kid I’d love it what with all the excitement that always follows them around!

I suppose if you wanted to delve a little deeper into what I think Julian was trying to convey in this story, that it doesn’t matter where people come from, what they look (be it hairy or otherwise!) or what their religious beliefs are, it’s the person that you should get to know. That’s just mean overthinking it when I look at Syrian refugees coming to a foreign land to live. Smile and be friendly, guys.

It’s a fun little book for both boys and girls aged between 9 to 12 years. The Christmas cracker jokes are corny but then again have you ever read one that wasn’t? It’s filled with funny moments that will have your inner child in stitches. I tried hard not to “laugh out loud” but I did find myself sniggering. Well worth buying for the little person in your life.

iPhone 8 is here… And will be gone soon!

In case you have been living under a rock you will have noticed that the new iPhone is out now. But what’s the big fuss about it? Well… it’s now made from glass, you know that material that shatters when you drop it? Yep, GLASS. Oh I’m sure that it has some sort of new fandango within the glass to stop it breaking but it doesn’t get away from the fact that it is glass. The boyos in Samsung have this already with their Galaxy phones.

The world’s most popular camera, now even better

Pretty bold claims but how much better is it actually? Well it’s a 12MP camera the 8 Plus has wide-angle and telephoto cameras. Digital zoom up to 5x the Plus has up to 10x.

Both models:

  1. Optical image stabilisation
  2. Six-element lens
  3. Quad-LED True Tone flash with slow sync
  4. Panorama (up to 63MP)
  5. Sapphire crystal lens cover
  6. Backside illumination sensor
  7. Hybrid IR filter
  8. Autofocus with Focus Pixels
  9. Tap to focus with Focus Pixels
  10. Live Photos with stabilisation
  11. Wide colour capture for photos and Live Photos
  12. Improved local tone mapping
  13. Body and face detection
  14. Exposure control
  15. Noise reduction
  16. Auto HDR for photos
  17. Auto image stabilisation
  18. Burst mode (whatever that is)
  19. Timer mode – how can they claim this as new feature?

While all the above is pretty fancy, your average person doesn’t care about all the bells and whistles and the majority will just use the camera to take selfies, look how awesome my bod is gym pictures or the obligatory d*ck snaps. And then there’s these kind of people:


If you want to be a photographer invest in a SLR camera. But it’s now got wireless charging again this is nothing new as Samsung has had this for quite some time.

The price of the phone is over a €1,000 I mean for that price you could put the money towards a used car.

As much as I love Apple products I’m just not wowed anymore. I mean, I used to love watching the keynotes but now it’s just boring. What Apple need to do is develop an iPhone to captivate the imagination of everyone just like the very first iPhone. I mean the way that device changed the way we communicate was unbelievable. But instead they are adding little do-das and gimmicks that are only a novelty. In 2 months time the iPhone X will be available, and what’s so special with that? They’ve removed the Home button. In 2 months time that iPhone 8 of yours will be outdated, obsolete!

Ultimate Treehouse 

Two storey treehouse
Flashes of Light Photography

At HUNYO I don’t have a reward for the best dad, yet but if I did have one in my hand I would definitely hand it over to Adam Boyd from Highland, Michigan, USA. Adam built a treehouse and I use the term “treehouse” lightly because you wouldn’t fit that in a tree but what it actually is it’s a playhouse and again I use the term “playhouse” lightly because that doesn’t look anything like any playhouse I remember seeing when I was younger. Back when I was a kid there was a tree that was out my backgarden well it wasn’t actually in my garden it was in Harrison’s just next door. But it was so big that it rested on top of our shed. We’d climb the wall and get on to the roof of the shed where we’d then get into the tree. It was fun and ignited our imagination.

The playhouse is 24 feet tall and would put any apartment in Dublin City to shame. I suppose when his daughters are grown up he could rent it out! The workmanship and the detail is quite remarkable. I wonder what the neighbours would say.

Ultimate tree house
Flashes of Light Photography

They say the family spend everyday in it, I’m surprised that they haven’t moved in especially when it’s probably better furnished than your house.

Inside the two storey treehouse
Flashes of Light Photography

Daughters, Avery and Violet I’m sure are the cool kids in crèche when all they’ve got would probably be a square box with bricks as furniture and maybe a broken tea set filled with dirty water.

Inside the two storey treehouse
Flashes of Light Photography

Boyd, who is president of ATB Building Inc, uploaded a selection of photos of the house onto Facebook, where it quickly attracted a lot of attention. Currently, the post has been shared almost 50,000 times.

Rear view of treehouse
Flashes of Light Photography

With a slide to the rear of the building I can only imagine the brownie points that this dad won. What would they say to their daughters when they are disciplining them, go to your room or to your house?!

IT 

It’s September 8th 2017 and Stephen King’s killer clown, Pennywise is back with a vengeance.
The story takes place in the sleepy town of Maine where Pennywise resides deep within the sewers. It is children who he preys on and it’s only the children who can only see him, which what makes him that much more dangerous. I mean, if your parents can’t protect you then who can?

In the 1987 version of the film the clown was played by actor, Tim Curry and he took on the role as a cartoon but with Bill Skarsgård efforts he plays the part as a monster trying to be a human, which is a hard thing to do. I mean, it’s hard for me to explain this but there’s a scene where Pennywise is laughing and he suddenly stops to stare into nothing as if he himself was frightened of showing any sort of emotion be it fake or otherwise.

Tim Curry as IT

Bill Denbrough (Jaeden Lieberher) is a kid with a stammer (known to his teachers as stuttering Bill) who has to look after his little brother, Georgie and perhaps partly just to get rid of him, lets Georgie (Jackson Robert Scott) play outside in the rain, sailing a paper boat down a rushing gutter. Just as the boat disappears down a drain, Georgie is surprised to see a clown standing down there in the darkness: this is the sinister red-balloon-wielding Pennywise (Bill Skarsgård), who asks him if he’d like his boat back? Just lean down into the darkness and take it! Falling for the clown’s charms, Georgie does as he is told and in the blink of an eye that’s the end of poor Georgie.

Haunted by what happened to his younger brother who was under his watch Bill sets out to find out what happened to poor Georgie. And I feel that his parents blame him for the disappearance of their child and so during the long summer days Bill is more or less left to his own devices. With having to deal with the local bullies and abusive parents as well as a murderous clown who says that frighten flesh taste better, the Losers Club have a lot of growing up to do. The only girl in the gang, Beverly is although it’s not shown in the film but it is implied that she is not only being hit by her father she’s also being sexually abused. Her father in her mind is much more scarier than the clown that lurks beneath the town. When she finally faces her fear, which is what the whole story is about, is when they can overcome IT in a final showdown.

Thoroughly enjoyed this adaption … it is true to Stephen King’s book. There is lovely character development. It has a Stand By Me feel in places. Funny and plenty of jumps and scares. “Masterful” is on point in my opinion! I’m by no means a fan of horror but I have read the book and seen the original version so I was just curious to see this adaptation, I’m glad I did. And the kids in this film were excellent.

I saw IT in Cineworld and you should too!

I’ve reviewed the book IT too, have a look here.

Rascals Ginger Porter

Rascals Ginger Porter from McHugh’s at €2.59 per can. ABV 4.8%.

A little bit of information on the Rascals.

Rascals Brewing Company is an award winning Irish craft brewery located in Dublin, Ireland. The brewery was founded in 2014 by, Emma and Cathal. Their story began while living in New Zealand where they both discovered their love and healthy obsession for craft beer! On moving home they chucked in the 9 to 5s and made the bold decision to start their own microbrewery.

The Rascals name represents the pair behind the brewery, the bright and bold branding and most importantly, the styles of craft beer they like to brew; BOLD IRISH BEER.

As soon as I opened the can I got the strong ginger scent that flooded my nostrils with an instant calming factor, that everything’s going to A-OK. A bit like getting a bear hug from your granny but then again I don’t remember my grandmother smelling of ginger.

As I pour it into a glass I can get all of the other aromas. The sweetness of the delicious chocolate fragrance and that ginger zest are a delight to the scenes. It’s a dark beer caped of by a lovely thick creamy head. This beverage has won its first reward back when it was in its infancy as a homebrew and as a commercial beer it won a gold and bronze at the Alltech Cup. It’s a beautiful porter that would go well with a Sunday Roast and with the dark evenings lurking around the next bend what way to spend your evening than with a glass of Rascals Ginger Porter. That’s my honest to goodness review!

BEERS_GingerPorter_caseStudy_725px-1