Sunday, February 12, 2017


Have you ever watched the International Space Station live feed?  on youtube?

Here's the edge of night-time from over the atlantic - just off the edge of Canada, just as I type - screen shotted

You really gotta check it out

You can even see where in the world you're looking at on the map here

It makes you feel pretty small, and also freaks you out - i mean what if you see the other side of the world exploding, how long would the internet still work for?

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Worriers

Are you a worrier?  They sound a bit like the less glamorous cousins of the Borrowers... I'll admit it though - I am one.  One am I.

I have forehead creases to prove it, that's the only outward sign though.  Most people think I'm very relaxed.  I like to act that way, still haven't shaken the cool dude type act that I photocopied from my older brother when I was about 12 and took his advice to heart "Just act like you like the doors",  but deep down, I'm really not as cool as I seem.
Ok, ok, don't ROFL,,, those who actually know me in real life know that I don't seem as cool as that last phrase seems to suggest that I seem, but I mean cool in the sense of unworried.  I've had various people tell me that they think the world could fall down and I'd still be relaxed, unruffled, unworried, and maybe that's true.  I think the worry I talk of is more of an unreasonable type of thing, a less practical thing than being worried about the real things that you should worry about.  Now really it's not a big hard type of worry or actual anxiety thing, (see now I'm worried I'm falsely advertising it) my worries are a type of fuel to imagination perhaps emanating from the supernatural type worry generated by a Nun teacher when I was 9 years old telling my class the devil might actually be hiding under the bed, and also to say good bye to our parents carefully each day since they might die in our absence at school.  I have move on from such serious worries to WAY more trivial things.  Maybe I'm like trump, tweeting to my innermost mind the drivel of my opinion on entertainment shows to distract myself from more serious things.
For example - I worry about which lane I should drive in, in the Jack Lynch tunnel - the side with the phone or the side with the escape doors - I hate that they have them on different sides, but I suppose everyone would only want to drive on the side with both if they were together.  I also always hate slowing down at that point that has the sign post showing you are 50 metres each way to the door or the phone, how would one choose which way to go in that case, in the event of an emergency?
I was worried about winning that recent trip to the movie premier, not just about what to wear, who would mind the kids etc, but about whether or not to accept a bucket of popcorn in the extremely impossible chance that I ended up seated beside Ewan for the picture, like would my munching put him off the film?  I suppose that wouldn't matter too much though, as at least he already knows what's going to happen, unless they filmed alternative endings to keep it secret.
Of course others can stoke worries for us too,  Danger Cushions recently invented a whole new worry for Monkey Boots as she embarked on the adventure of  potty training, he called it the "poo monster", and said she had to be careful to go really quickly and run away when done.  He even found proof, a sample of the same monster's fur (otherwise known as cotton wool) which I duly confiscated to get tested in the lab at work.  Luckily she doesn't seem to have paid him much heed.  Her biggest worry is whether or not to accept the burden of ruling her kingdom as recently revealed in a late night conversation with herself.... in very serious tones... whispered... "I am the queen..... I am not the queen.... I am the queen.... I am not the queen"

Of course she will always be the queen of cuteness in my eyes.
Apart from the obvious (with the world kind of falling apart and all) what are your biggest worries oh dear readers?  I will try and set your minds at ease.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Food Musings

Food is Art.  Food is not just the visual art we are used to thinking of, the rainbow plate of amazing-ness - the mosaic - the bento box.  It's becoming more - it's deeper.

It is drama - the goji berries grown at high altitude surviving with their lectins giving them the edge to survive.  The stories on our food, the personalities selling it to us, the feelings it engenders are part of the opera that food is becoming.

Food is deeply personal, what we choose to nourish ourselves with becomes part of us.  The art we choose to consume also affects us, helps make us who we are.

Food was always a key part of human cultures, but it has taken off, at least in our culture, in recent years as a key cultural expression.  The theatre of food at Electric Picnic, along with numerous other food markets and stalls.  There's an insatiable appetite (pardon the pun), particularly among the millenials, for food to be part of how they express themselves.  Food is no longer a chore in Ireland, there I've said it.  It is becoming something that we are fascinated by, that we use to fascinate others.  (If you haven't tried the Okinawa purple sweet potato then you're among friends, but if you have - please tell me where to find it).

Food is a voting opportunity,  a daily political choice, a way to show the world your philosophy, a way to make the world more like the place you want it to be - whether by planting your own tomatoes, showing love through extravagant preparation of something for others or for yourself, or buying a premium ice-cream that promises at least an hour of orgasmic joy on the couch in return for a hefty price.

Andy Warhol (I'm reading a way too long biography about him right now) was inspired by food products, and consumer products in general, but food products are currently turning around and being inspired by art, with high end popcorn showing up with beautiful prints, impressionistic arrangements on plates, Mango strewn bento boxes.

Food is from nature, and nature & food always inspired art (remember your first drawing of a fruit bowl?), so it's no surprise how much food is seen as a visual beauty, but it's increasingly being used in a more challenging way.  At my xmas work party, I had a lemon thing for dessert that looked like a raspberry thing.  This was a head F&*K, this is what art sometimes does and what food is now trying to do.  Take you by surprise, laugh at your assumptions.

Food is poetry - mark my words.  The O- Cajun- al pun, will develop, the novels will be read while you browse, while you cook, the letters will be embedded in the apples, like they used to be in sticks of rock.  Bottles of wine will grow on trees, in the actual bottle, as food becomes sci fi.

Yes, I might've just been to Harrods.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

On 2fm today

Had great fun today on the lovely Eoghan McDermott's show on 2fm, reading out the following monologue, my version of Choose Life, from Trainspotting - in an effort to win tickets to the premier of the difficult, 20 years later, second film, in Edinburgh.  Final winner will be decided on Friday, would be amazing to win altogether, but sure either way it was a bit of fun!

Choose Online. Choose a blog.  Choose a fear soaked headline.  Choose the family you like.  Choose a tiny screen.  Choose flashing memes, stars cracking a snap chat and elector-tainment.  Choose bitcoin wealth, slow food movements and mental endurance.  Choose interest in the dog fighting a pumpkin, the dog saved by a stranger, the dog with a friend who’s a cat.  Choose viral inspiral.  Choose your pretends.  Choose pleasure of the novel, and by that I mean new, things that take two seconds or less.  Watch DIY vines showing instant results.  Choose junk for the mind, lurk through charity posts and read about cults and life, god forbid, outside of online from the hole.  Choose falling in to it for any spare minute no matter the cost.  The lost bits of peace, the days in a daze, reading chats and ok’s and wondering where all the time went, day bright blue light invading your bed, blinding your head.
Choose your future.
Choose life.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Why nothing is so popular

I'm obviously not talking the Neverending Story Nothing here

G'mork: Because people have begun to lose their hopes and forget their dreams. So the Nothing grows stronger.
Atreyu: What is the Nothing?
G'mork: It's the emptiness that's left. It's like a despair, destroying this world.


I'm talking of a nothing that's popular and up and coming.  It's all the rage and comes in different flavours.  The first is head nothing.  Empty your mind, put down your head for a while and fill it with lightness.  Nothing in your head for a while, turns out it's a really really good thing.  Like from your childhood when you stared into space for a while, or like transcendental monks - leaving your brain alone for even a teeny little while, like 10 minutes a day, makes it stronger and more creative.  Try it if you don't believe me, but not just yet because there are a few other types of nothing that are big right now and if you switch yourself off you'll miss out.

Getting nothing done.  Otherwise known as exercise, is also particularly celebrated at this time of year.  Furiously working hard in the gym for example - moving things around, and putting them back exactly where you found them in the end - or going for long walks, starting and finishing in the same place after up to several hours of exertion - or swimming up and down in the same piece of water, all great examples of working hard - and getting a whole pile of nothing done.

Eating more nothing.  Also called dieting - Nothing-eating is an art form, and can be accomplished by many means - but generally a fashionable thing to do, a book called French women don't get fat, even advises avoiding places where the foods that tempt you are available so that instead you eat nothing in place of the sugar coated pastry of your dreams.

And my final nothing for tonight, the house proud nothing.  Nothing on any surfaces, nothing on carpets, acres of nothing in every room, surrounded by luxuriant materials chrome/ wood/ glass and what have you,  this is a particularly hard type of nothing to obtain in a plastic strewn house after xmas, but the big psychological boost towards it's achievement is that great big wallop of nothing sucked into the home when you shake off the xmas tree, to remove the decorations and get that fecker down - this makes you believe that your house is almost as tidy as pre-xmas and that with just a little bit of work and concentration some long term nothingness can be found.

Good luck to you all finding your little bit of nothing in the new year.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Tips for a perfect 2017

I have decided to make 2017 the best year EVAHHH.

How you may ask?  I'm going to follow the following simple steps to having the perfect life:

I will stop insulting my mother in law by telling her I'm trying to write a funny blog post, and asking her to refrain from talking - definitely will not do that in 2017.  Especially since she now wants to read said funny blog post when it's done and now the pressure is on.

Speaking of pressure, I plan to put my self under all kinds of enormous pressure ("Niamh is thinking", my mother in law just told my sister in law, warning her not to talk!)... in the coming year.

I will follow every one of those "in just five minutes a day you can X, Y, Z your self to miracle hair, teeth, relationships, shoes" articles.  I will build on the success of these every day until I work up to one full 24 hour session of 5 minute portions of perfection by teeth pulling with coconut oil, tricks to sort out dodgy posture, loving questions for my children, (she took just five minutes a day and now her kids are perfect).

I will multi-master, no, I will multi-dominate.  No more multi-tasking for me, 2017 is going to be a year of brilliance, and all my limbs and faculties will be full on, full time, 100% of the day.

Speaking of full time, I plan to find and hold down four more full time jobs, so that I have one for each working day of the week, they'll all compliment each other and will sometimes mix and meld, so that no one boss will feel left out and all will find my work stupyfyingly amazing.  This will involve quite a few interviews and job applications at the start of the year, but I'll somehow squeeze that into lunch breaks, which will also involve a bit of yoga and choir practise, but sure you gotta sweat to compete, (compete pronounced to rhyme with sweat - there that's a new word pronounciation I've made up just there now, already and it's not even yet the year for the magic).

I will of course be pursuing my film-making career following the viral sensation that was my first "mini-Movie" but I will be pushing myself in this area and will warn my fans they may find some of my future work a little experimental (stress on the mental part).

There will be charidee work I will be also absolutely trouncing, with a skipathon, a ladies pole vaulting competition in fancy dress that I will win though dressed as a koala, and a massive round of homeless comforting which I will do during the wee hours every second thursday of the month.

I will dissuade Trump from doing anything too silly via twitter, and will also use the same tool to talk the english out of brexiting, I can't believe no one else thought of that, like no-brainer!!

I will stop celebrities from dying in 2017, not on my watch in the year of perfection.

I'd also hope to travel some more, see a bit more of Kerry, or even my own native Cork.  Cork's great so it is, you should go there more if you haven't already been.  I will also aim to try each pub in my local town and sing karaoke in each even if there isn't a karaoke night on.

I will try every recipe in my newly acquired on loan book of Bento lunch box ideas, all 501 of them, before I get half way through the year, so that I know which are my son's very favourites for back to school time.

I am making all these commitments very publicly here so that I may be judged and may judge myself on how I perform.

I hope this is somewhat helpful to inspiring all you readers to go on to greater and greater heights in the coming year.


Monday, December 26, 2016

Saturday, December 24, 2016

2016 - the literary highlights

First off, apologies to anyone who clicked in here hoping for actual like, international or even nationally significant literary highlights of the year.  Those who know this blog will understand this is just my own little list of things artistic that inspired or that I enjoyed this year... (just - says she, all self deprecating).


Can I think of 10 of them?

I shall try.

10.  I'm reading a bit more this year, which is nice, reading is good.

9.  I'm blogging a teeny tiny bit, and staying in touch with some nice people because of it - hi Bug, Rachel, Cait!!  (Triona?)

8.   I have a weekly habit of a sanity coffee which I've managed to keep up with the heroic help of Mr Cushions, whereby I go away and reflect for an hour on the week past, the week to go, and make mini resolutions and keep sane because of it - the notebook I fill during those hours will be a huge source of literary riches in the future when wanting to delve into the busy early years of family life that otherwise are a blur.

7.  Went to see the Pixies, not literature as such, but still one of the best cultural things of 2016.

6.  The gym and personal trainer, still going to her, still a bit alien and a new world to me, but interesting, inspiration inducing and of course health giving...

5.  Film making workshop - attended through work - how to edit phone videos, more on that in 2017.

4.  Shiatsu workshop - Free on culture week or some such, fascination insight into Eastern philosophy when it comes to the body, the elements etc.

3.  Electric Picnic and the two new poems I wrote for it.  The only 2 poems really of any sort that I wrote this year.

2.  Danger cushions beginning to write his own stories, and making films... wonderful stories and the boundless imagination of himself and Monkey Boots together.

1.  Family, Friendship and Fun in a bewildering world - happy holidays everyone - wishing you a fabby doo 2017.  xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Scaling the new pyramid

A new food pyramid has been put out by the Irish government last week.  Food Pyramids are thing since Sweden brought in the first food pyramid in 1974, same year they won the Eurovision with Waterloo, maybe they were concentrating their effort on the singing that year, as a pyramid is perhaps not the best representation of how we should eat.  A Pyramid is a huge and mysterious thing, the crowning achievement of many generations of great kings in ancient civilisations, would this be partly why most nations have moved towards the plate – like something relatable to actual eating? 
No, no – let’s keep the pyramid, it’s a lot more noble, isn’t it?   
Should we make it into like an Irish version, a food burial mound – what like Newgrange?  
 Yeah – it’d remind us of our bellies then too, when we’re lying down like, after dinner… 
No no, let’s keep the pyramid.   
(awkward silence)
Most other countries are switching to plates.  
 Are you a man or a shamrock,  we’re keeping our pyramid!

Pyramids were always loved by doctors too, the very first doctor in the entire world, was a pyramid builder called Imhotep  ( the first part of his name pronounced like Im the irish for butter) – the two things went hand in hand really, building pyramids, and then suddenly needing a professional dedicated to fixing broken people… diagnosing squashed clavicles etc. 

So this new pyramid comes to us, 11 years after it was commissioned by the way, it’s based on a survey of the habits of 11 hypothetical people, obviously they followed one of them around per year…  And what have they done with it.  Well we’re eating too much crap – so they’ve divorced the crap from the pyramid altogether – unfortunately mimicking the elevated evil eye – so now sweets and crisps are subliminally recognised for the role they have in controlling EVERYTHING!   

However the official line is that we should only have sweets, fizzy drinks and salty snacks once or twice per week.  So the selection box should last until the 10th of Feb instead of 10 am xmas morning.  The box of Quality street should see you through till Easter, and sorry if you started the advent calendar late but if you wanted to follow the guide you should have started it at the end of September.

Now the government are also looking to help us get active, which is great, they give us helpful descriptions of what exercise actually is – so

Moderate activity is any activity that causes
your heart to beat slightly faster and your
breathing to become noticeably heavier without
feeling out of breath. Like taking the water at Dublin airport without paying…

Vigorous activity is any activity that causes a big
increase in heart rate and your breathing becomes
much faster and deeper leaving you feeling out
of breath and sweaty… will let you insert your own joke here.

There’s guidance too depending on how lazy you are – so for lazy teenagers, and adults, they are accepting that some of us just won’t move, so they’ve given us a guide on how much less we should eat if we’re in that bucket.  At least they’ve left kids out of this saying "No kids should be inactive." 

Great timing coming into xmas too –  however remember – it’s not what you eat between xmas and the new year, but what you eat between new year and xmas that matters.