Sunday, September 4, 2016

Diva Days

6 years on from my last appearance at Electric Picnic, this weekend saw a fantastic reunion with the Poetry Divas.  Why did it take us so long to get the group back together?  Well, we are divas after all and there were a lot of details to work out.  (also they didn't need me and were perfectly fine doing brilliant performances since my last stand with them, thank you very much, but I don't like to think too much about that)

The picnic was, I'm sure you're sick of hearing by now, if you're in Ireland listening to any of our mainstream media, bloody brilliant.  55,000 people in some fields in the middle of the country, getting all wet and happy and  inspired.

I said two new poems, both of which were written in the 6 years off, and also within the last 2 weeks, which just shows the power of a deadline and a dropped skype call.  Posting my most topical one here now, it's called "In defence of the defenceless" and aims to stand up for the weak and marginalised in our society.

In defence of the defenceless

Will no one stand up for Pat Hickey
And say "Ola" you are taking the Mickey
Now he's on house arrest
Still tv's not the best
over there and he's missing Fair City

Will no one stand up for the men
I'm saying it time and again
Only one fifth more pay
for doing the same things their way
doing five things and calling it ten

Will you help out poor Trump, first name Dónald
His speeches so not monotonal
Thought the presidents race
was X Factor in space
and the mood swings, he's clearly hormonal

Will no one stand up for poor Putin
And the suits that he just looks so cute in
True most people who've said
Bad things about him are dead
All the blame he is calmly refutin

Ah come on now, stand up for Pat Hickey
Show respect for a professional sickie
He smiles so demurely
He's not wrong, no it's surely
not his fault if the tickets were sticky

Sunday, July 24, 2016

2 more months on

So, still at it, I am.

I find it funny looking at the post from 2 months back, to see that my body was giving out so much about the exercise.  It was mind over matter back then,  now things have flipped.

Matter over mind.  My body itches for the exercise now, not real itches - just that if I try to miss my slot of running around the house like a looper, jumping up and down, lifting heavy things, climbing things - basically my body says "C'mon" even though my mind might think I'm a bit tired, or that I might like a little break for the evening, I still feel an irritation until I do it, get the moving done.

I now understand what people mean when they say exercise is addictive - like a lot of addictions it works by making you feel like crap if you don't take the substance of choice.  I used to be able to happily sit around for the evening, maybe watching a few hundred minutes of tv, or having intellectual conversations with my 2 year old... now no more.  So grand, I'll be living longer maybe, I can run if I need to, play more with the kids maybe and can climb several flights of stairs without being completely out of breath - however I have to accept that I am now enslaved - to the muscles, the bones, the sinews, the stretch.  But yes it is a stress reliever, and the world we live in is undeniably 3 dimensional, so it is handy to be able to move sometimes from one spot to another.

Anyways - hope Summer has been treating you well, and that you are moving and shaking it, the aul bod, wherever you are.

Saturday, May 21, 2016


I was never a sporty spice... I knew I could run when I was a child, I was fast.  I saw no reason why this wouldn't continue.  I didn't quite get the concept of use it or lose it, and so I calmly let my body get lazy.  My muscles see no point in straining themselves, they relax.  They sleep.

Imagine my surprise when walking with some colleagues lately around the block near work, and finding myself out of breath, legs wobbly with the incline, red face, stitch in side, inside, and the rest of them, the cheek of them, their legs continuing to work easily, them talking away, breathing away, grand.

So I've gone for professional help.  I'm paying a lady, a Polish lady as it happens, to tell me what way to move around for a half an hour or so each week. In between meetings with her I'm doing a bit at home too.  I'm only two weeks in, but posting this here is my public commitment to it.  With big thanks to my friend who went for personal training first.  Now I own lycra, not including swimsuits, for the first time since bicycle shorts in the 80's.  I am doing Burpees, that don't involve bouncing a colicky baby for hours on end. 

My body is resistant to it, at 6.30 each evening, I can almost hear my legs and arms saying "here, there's no bear chasing us, there's no deer to be running after, what are you doing?"

I'm probably over-expectant about it - I am under the impression that this regime will lead me to become a Jane Fonda-esque robot, able to survive on just 8 hours of sleep, and not feel tired ever...

Some benefits have already begun.  I'm going for more walks, which the dog loves, and do have a leetle tiny teeny bit more energy I feel, which is impressive when you think about the extra energy being expended, however I do ache.  My arms especially can hardly lift a cup of coffee, which has been replaced once a day with a hot lemon and fruit drink...  I hardly recognise myself.

I will keep you posted.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Terrible two-ness

I love the terrible two-ness.

Monkey boots is two in two days time, and she is milking it.  She is the most irrational crazy little lady in the world.

She announces what she is doing all the time - as she knows she is the most important person in the world.  She then asks for help, and tells you she'll do it herself, then asks for help, then slaps your hand away when you try to provide the help.  Then cries when she realizes she can't do it herself, and then eventually allows you to help again, but accuses you of cruelty because you wouldn't let her do it herself.  This can include anything from opening a car door to dressing herself and even changing her own nappy.

She uses marker on every surface.  She lies down on the ground to do her colouring in, so she can really concentrate up close and personal.  She has today taken to keeping her markers in her wellingtons, as you'll see if you look closely above, so that she'll always be quick on the draw.

She whacks you on the head with a book, then gives you a very cursory kiss and tells you you're alright now.

She sees no reason why she can't do anything that big brother, 3 years older can do.

She wears her cycling helmet to bed.

She loves plasters, to the extent that she currently looks like Fagan with bandages on the whole length of her little fingers.

She accuses the dog of biting her hand if said dog happens to sniff at her when she happens to be tired.

When she hurts herself and you ask her where's the ouchie, she'll point to the place she got it, ie the ground or over by her toy tractor or whatever.

She is constant entertainment, energy and too much cuteness sleeping with her bum in the air like a tiny frog.

Anyways, happy birthday boots. 

Sunday, April 24, 2016


Hope you've all remembered to include the number of bananas in your household on this, our national census night.  They're under threat you know, they'll be gone next year or the year after, hold them close, treat them well, love them like your own.

You know, I was a bit aggrieved to find out in the past week that I inhabit the same county as some absolute idiots.

In Cork we have, in this actual day and in this age, people who actually attacked a family for not being Irish while attempting to move into a council house.  I was pretty embarrassed when I heard about it.
It must be difficult to be so stupid.  I had a song when I was in secondary school about leaving the Poles alone, but I meant the lamppost type things, it was a joke born on a school tour when we were going on a ferry and lots of people were hanging out of them.  It was sung to the air of "Teacher, leave those kids alone"
Back to the stupo-heads.  They even threatened the would've been neighbours of the family, who sheltered them during the attack, strangers, who helped when they could. 
I just don't get it. How would those youths feel, if they were ever to realise that their fashions, bought in Penney's were sewn by foreigner's fingers, the kebabs bought after their night of english cider from a european discount store contained non-irish horse and cat meat.  I think they could die of the shock, for their own sake (and yes, possibly ours) they should be captured, put in a sanctuary, to keep their sensitive souls safe from foreign  influences, they should watch nothing only re-runs of Glenroe, eat nothing but spuds, wear nothing but aran sweaters, and jeans from the 80's with saggy bottoms, with Mass every second day, and compulsory GAA matches, and see how they feel about a bit of multiculturalism after that.

Any other ideas of what could be done welcome... I'm at a loss.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Zootropolis - a review

This is not really a review of Zootropolis the movie, except to say that it had the best sloth scene I've ever seen.

If you're wondering why I never apologise for the long gaps between posts or refer to them really in any way - it's a lack of presumption rather than manners.  I would apologise profusely for not having been here, but I don't really think any one cares... and now don't go thinking I'm fishing for compliments either, oh we've missed you various, we love you various, life just wasn't the same without you... I'm well aware, you all have your own lives, you've all moved on with them.  So why am I here?

Well, I was at a shiatsu workshop last week, part of the lifelong learning festival in Cork, four free massages and time spent with proper chilled out nice people, none of the short legged variety in sight, just lots of leaning and being leant on, and learning about energy lines, meridians, welcoming the sun, (or a ball of fire, was it? I can't really recall) and how a lack of feeling grounded might be to blame for our sweet tooth, because of the element Earth being associated with the taste of sweet, and I did refrain from referring to the power rangers, however a joke just as cringeful did occur, which I feel I have to report on, that being when the group were doing introductions and naming out their types of healing that they're good at - ie "I'm an energy kinestheitologist", and "I use crystals" etc, and it got to my turn, when I said "I'm really good at excel" - they did laugh, the generous, kind souls that they were. 

It does make you think though doesn't it, maybe excel can heal... especially when you use conditional formatting and pivot tables, ummm pivot tables... see?  my time away hasn't been a complete waste.  I will try to report back on my adventures in healing using excel in the near future.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The new things

Apparently experiences are all set to be the new things - once all the houses, and all the washing machines, and all the gardens and all the under the xmas trees are full to capacity, (and all the trees have been cut down, and all landfills full), people are going to get greedy over experiences.

No, this isn't just the idea of experiences, like the vouchers for flying we all bought each other in the 90's that no one ever got around to using... more real live experiences, meeting famous people, having them to dinner, making flowers out of butter, learning how to spin silk from spider's webs... it's thanks to the web/ apps/ whatevermebobs, which allows us to boast our experiences live.

Like sales of anything though - eventually it comes down to convenience - like i'd love to canoe down Niagara some day, but just the time and hassle of getting in and out of a wet suit, having to brush my hair afterwards etc etc, pure mayhem - so how to get the lovely belly warming experience without the inconvenience of having to go out and do?

 Story telling has always been a form of sold experience, deepened, and painted by the teller, focussed on certain aspects, drawing you along, inviting you to partake in the creation - in the written form especially your own experiences during reading will colour the product (as I found when reading kafka's "the Trial" while enjoying a 5 hour airport wait - it was perfect).  As experiences become the new things however - I'm not sure reading is quite going to explode, or indeed sitting and listening to storytellers (though again happily the web makes this easier by the day - anyone watching Moth stories out there?)
Poetry is experience in concentrated form -  like the coffee capsule things that look like spaceships - it can be surprisingly shiny and powerful...
Film is experience applied to your face, appealingly sometimes in a group setting, simple and magnetic - you get to splash around in it with others, soak it in...  But will there be megastores - that's what I want to know, when all the furniture shops and garages, and garden centres close, will they be replaced with centres of discovery - people going to the COD (you heard it here first folks) to discover, try new things big and small - maybe I could go around with a little stall teaching people how to make blades of grass whistle by placing between your two thumbs.

What experiences will you enable in this bold new world?  What will you save up just for yourself?

Monday, June 22, 2015

Benefits of Wrappers

I’ve been reading about the benefits of using Banana peel and Orange peel – not just for football related jokes – but for real practical purposes, such as reducing wrinkles (just flatten them right across your brow) and cleaning mirrors (yes, just take the stringy bits off and it’ll have the mirror shining like never before)

But – have you heard about the benefits of used sweet wrappers?  They are amazing.  In fact 99% of the fibre present in a typical sweet is in the wrapper, as well as 20% of your RDA of vitamins and minerals.  If you haven’t had a bath with a rainbow of sweet wrappers floating around you, you won’t know what I mean.  They are super for exfoliation, they are non detrimental to the bubble level – (unlike pesky sponges) and it’s so environmentally friendly – you need never throw out a wrapper again!!

Why not collect the plastic from around your old loaves of bread and stuff a pillow case with them to create a super comfy and waterproof resting cushion for your windowseat?  No Windowseat?  No problem!  Gather all the lollipop sticks you can, pile them altogether, cover them over with card from your various food and consumable items, (turned inside out to show off the rustic “raw card” look), finish it off with the last of a few jars of mayonnaise, and leave to dry gloriously in the sunshine. 

Cut out the ingredients, or nutritional sections of your favourite foods, make an album, so you can show visitors what you’ve been into.

Fun for all the family.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The world is forcing chocolate on me!!!

So yesterday I thought we were getting there, I thought I was making progress, I got a different person serving me at the garage, and when I told them I was off “the chocolate” and that I would happily take an apple instead – they said “sure take an apple instead”  I was delighted.  It was a real breakthrough.
Today, back again, delighted to see the same person working, surely they’d tell me to take an apple again, maybe they’d even have the apple ready for me, all polished with the annoying little sticker removed… but alas and alack – the server looked as if they’d never seen me before in my life, making no sign of remembering our golden moment of only 24 hours thence, and even went so far as to put the bar of chocolate on top of my hot beverage cup, “why don’t you have a nicely softened with the heat of your coffee chocolately snack” he almost said to me.  “Get behind me chocolate”  I almost said in return, but instead I said “I don’t want it” a small part of me still hoping he might remember yesterday (when all our troubles seemed so far away) but no, he simply said “I’ll give it to someone else so”  I said “Fine”  “Have a nice day” he said with a hint of cruelty.
In the car – driving along, chocolateless – what comes on the radio “Eating two bars of chocolate a day is shown to reduce the risk of heart failure” or something.  Well I know why – it’s because if you eat lots of chocolate like an obedient mind slave you will not face the stress and embarrassment of having to refuse chocolate at every turn….
In the meantime, half of the readership of this blog (hi Mammy and Daddy!)  have taken this to be a poor advertising campaign, saying “We’d love to go to that place but you never told us the name of it?  What kind of chocolate do they give out? Oh it sounds great value!”  however the other half will know this is a serious thread, about serious issues, it’s about freedom, community relations, health, and kafka-esque complications of the modern world preventing us from fully living to our dreamed potential,,, not saying my parents don’t get that too, they just also see it as an ad. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Trust Shop

Clean shaven-ness, I think that’s one of the key things,
- he smiles,
and good hair – as close to a Ken doll as you can get. 

Enda raises a glass and settles back into the leather seat.  

John leans forward,
that’s all very well, but like how come you always seem to know just what to say? 

A wry chuckle from the other side of the table,
Well that is indeed an interesting secret. 

There are no secrets between us,
- John opens his football muck covered hands in a gesture of open-ness, while Enda raises his perfectly manicured steepled lámha to his lips, in a shushing gesture.  They look around them,  they are alone in the office, as they were ten minutes before.  John leans in a little more, Enda can almost smell the sweat. 

- he says softly
here’s the thing, you’ve got to study American Presidential films, Harrison Ford, Samuel L, George Lee, anyone you can get hold of, watch them religiously – this is what I’m really doing when I say I’m going for my 3 hours transcendental medication.  I see you’re creasing your eyebrows John, I know you’d rather watch Italia 90, but you asked the question.  Can you not Handle the Truth? 
He looks around again, to reassure himself the office hasn’t heard his raised voice, the excitement having taken over for a second, he readjusts his tie.

John is astonished.  
It’s surely not as simple as just looking at them?  I mean you must take notes?  How often do you watch them? 

Alright John, here’s the thing, one a day.   Even when you’re sleepy –
- he holds up a finger to hold John back from his spluttering protest, -
Even during the world cup, when you’ve been up all night to watch Penos.  The key thing is never let a day go by without watching an American Film of some sort, and you’ll always have something respectable and wise to say. 

And then they’ll believe me? 
John asks, 
About the 5 million?  And.. and… that I’m doing a great job? 

They both laugh at hearing that out loud, 

Lookit, they’ll believe anything, they want the happy news, they want to think that someone in charge knows what they’re doing.  It’s easy – just make believe.  Like my good friend willy wonky says… It’s a world of Pure Imagination. 
- allowing his voice to lilt into the music a little.  They both hold their breaths a little in the ensuing silence.

You just did it to me there didn’t you? 
Says John, 

glasses clink and both men smile in satisfaction