Somewhere in between the Baltic conditions of April and the last 10 days summer has arrived! It's all very exciting. I'll never tire of Irish people's appreciation of sunshine, even after we've all been burnt to within an inch of our lives.
The sunshine timing was perfect for me last weekend as I decamped from the city and made my way to Wicklow for my first Fraoch retreat. I had come across the Fraoch girls in research for our May issue's Girlie Getaways feature and was desperate to try it for myself. The body & soul escape was quite out of character for me yet exactly what I had hoped for. It was a seriously soothing combination of a cosy cottage room complete with cows mooing outside, yoga classes on the lawn, (there's me in the flowery leggings stretching. Yikes), long walks, Sunday papers, great company and some really amazing food. The late alfresco brunches were never ending and almost certainly undid my yoga-ing, but who cares? It was so much fun. The Fraoch Retreat girls really know how to throw a Yoga bash. And if Yoga Bash wasn't a thing before, it is now. Get on it.
Dare I say it, IMAGE HQ's morale is at an all time high. Despite the freezing cold conditions and stiff competition from a seriously competitive Lidl team, we ran the 5k Staff Relay for Autism Ireland last week. There were IMAGE branded dogs, excellent running playlists and medals galore. We've pretty much got the 5k concept down now and it's all about the fuel. Cue the apr's run Percy Pigs pigout. Next, it was a cocktail-making master class and competition in the Odeon (thank you Smirnoff and our Rosie McMeel for organising) and of COURSE our team won. No hard feelings, HotPress! Actually, the joke's on me in my ridiculous cocktail scientist get-up and goggles. Did I mention our table ran out of vodka a quarter of a way through the event? No competition.
I popped in to the RHA gallery's annual exhibition for a snoop this week, too. Fuelled up beforehand with a coffee from cool, in-house coffee spot, Coppa (brainchild of the masterminds who were so kind as to bring you Coppinger Row.) Here's one of my favourite pieces, Rock by Pat Harris.
I'm very excited for Taste of Dublin. Check out my interview with the wonderful Jonray Sanchez-Iglesias on IMAGEdaily (coming up soon!), one of the guest chefs at the festival. Appetite at the ready!
Read more of Jo's musings on Twitter @jo_linehan