Thursday, October 30, 2008

Mired in Secrets and Lies


I am very excited. To the extent of doing little excited involuntary dances, and laughing coffee out my nose during lunch breaks, and the reason?

Me & my Boyf are off to Barbados on Saturday - to surprise my mother - whose 60th it is.

RELAX everyone - she doesn't read this....

So now I can share with you the heinous plot. We are getting the same flights as the folks to Gatwick, but getting a later flight than them out to the island itself, so we're pretending that we just so happen to feel like a night in London - at 8.15am on a saturday morning, with two big suitcases in tow - we will not be rattled - I've actually got a guide book on britain to pose with on the first flight to lend some credence to our excuse....

Will let you know how that goes... Back on 9th Nov

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Getting Noticed


Today I handed in notice... with the only employer I've ever had - outside of fruit fly labs, counting cars, sweetshops, fastfood joints, cardboard box factorys and various bars where I worked during college - in other words my first real job.
It was a bit of a momentous occasion, reactions were surprising - in a good way though... It's strange - people were mostly very supportive about it. Think I'd a good excuse for slinking away - reducing my commute by over 90% is hard to argue with. I will miss the aul place, feel like it's kind of an extended really really huge family, some cranky aunts, bratty cousins, drunk uncles, but mostly sound people, good place to work really. Hopefully the new place will be even better - will keep my avid readers well posted... actually will just be saying it's wonderful - in case they're reading... hahahah (crafty eh?)


Saturday, October 25, 2008

My name's "Various" and I'm a bookaholic


Or - to steal a clever term from a website - I suffer from fiction addiction.


Spent today in blustery Dun Laoighaire - wandering around all it's bookshops. We hit the second hand store first, got some cheap Theodore Zeldin, Paul Theroux, and AM Homes, (the discovery of the year - more on her later). Then spent an agonising hour walking around the Huge and Huge best book shoppe in Dublin - with it's great categories, loads of quality, all laid out in tempting, colourful surroundings. Managed to evade temptation there, had a coffee instead, while reading a bit of the latest book I've started, "Reefer Madness". Then went upstairs in the shopping centre, and found a way around my ban on buying new books, since I simply had to buy a present for my ma, who's birthday is coming up really soon... and the fact that she might then pass em on to me, that's hardly my fault. Home after that, and finished reading "Bad Day in Blackrock" - a brilliant first novel from Kevin Power, just launched, and getting a nice bit of well deserved publicity - it's really really good - one of those books that has a real point to it. After that, had a bath, while reading a short story from Tobias Woolf's "Our Story begins", it ended a bit abruptly but was amusing all the same - the story - not the bath. Then had my drying hair read - a book I keep by the hairdryer, at the moment it's AM Homes' "The end of Alice", a very disturbing, but also astounding read, you can't help reading on altho you sometimes don't want. AM caught my attention from reading her short story collection "Things you should know", and during the week I was chauffered to and from work by her "This book will save your life" - another quirky and amazing little gem, but not one for the car really, her writing is really good - but doesn't work on the road - it's too dense, you want to rewind every few seconds - lucky I still have a hard copy - another second hander - to peruse sometime - maybe while on my upcoming great big sunny holiday....

I'm reading Haruki and Kurt Vonnegut, as well as Haileys' "Wheels" - will keep you posted on them when I finish - I need some help -

Best book title seen today "If you liked school, you'll love work"

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

my chat with Ann


Went to a little gathering, haw haw, to see Anne Enright last night - see how I spell Ann/Anne both ways, so that I'll be guaranteed to be right 50% of the time - in the Irish Writer's Centre. Part of the hourglass readings - and they actually do have an hourglass there, v impressive stuff.

Ann said - among other things that winning the booker prize didn't matter, that she can multitask to the point that she can write several books at once while reciting her kids schedules, and that she can't wait to settle into writing another book - she finds it good to have one constantly on the go - to occupy the obsessive part of the brain. She read - no really performed a brilliant story written on the theme of Pride, done for a 7 deadly sins kind of thing for RTE.

I asked a couple of questions - from the second last row of the audience, really deep and meaningful stuff like "do you show anyone your work before you're finished it?" (The answer was no - if you care - she doesn't anymore because her husband gave up years ago - also she said that in writing groups etc you know you're on the right track if you think you're right and everyone else is wrong,,, hmmm. - what if you're just disagreeable??)

Well worth a visit anyway - the hourglass readings are run by the ever entertaining Dermot Bolger, their next visitor is Deirdre Purcell, followed closely by John Boyne in striped pyjamas.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Bukowski on Poetry

Came across this yesterday in U tube. Couldn't resist putting it up. Be warned - he does use some colourful phrases, and doesn't have much time for other poets - so sensitive souls might be best advised to give it a miss!!


video

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The pip and the pip squeak


So - here's the latest on the books that have been accompanying me to work and back in the last couple of weeks.


Knew Mr Pip would be good, and he didn't dissappoint. The book is about fiction, and the importance of books, their function as friends, and a very real means of escape. It is engagingly told from the point of view of a young girl, whose world is a bit shattered by the conflicts tearing through her isolated island. The real horror comes up a bit suddenly, had to rewind the cd to see how my hero was left in the position we last saw him in. The end dragged very slightly, if I was to cut anything out it'd be the little bit about the trip to England. But really a very fine book otherwise.


Now on to the pip squeak. At the moment I'm listening to a horrific sci fi book called "Shock" - by Robin Cook. Thankfully it's not the politician, but instead an american who specialises in Medical type stuff. The writer calls his characters "The women" all the time, "The women went for coffee, the women laughed, the women exchanged their signature glances". The story itself is a good enough yarn, but "the women" found themselves enwrapped in their current conundrum only after 10 rather tough going cds where every bit of high tech is gasped over in their working day - it sound like it was written in 1980 - when a phone with a list of phone numbers in it would have been impressive, you'd forgive this of course - only for the fact that wikipedia assures me that the book came out in 2000. hmmm. I have no doubt that "the women" will make it through the next 2 cds and miraculously come out in one piece, but will be sure to let you know if they don't.


dot

...

Saturday, October 11, 2008



The best stand by far at the leapordstown wedding fair.



Look closely at the title.

Worth every cent of the 10 euro entry fee....

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Mystic Meg

I have found a loophole in the time space continuum and have just realised I can travel back in time to write Saturday the 11th's lotto numbers, today!

So here they are:

7, 23, 25, 42 - I forget the rest - too lazy to write em down - I'd be a really rubbish time traveller...

In other news. This morning I filled my little travel mug as usual with a hot black liquid, I knew I wasn't as perky as usual - put it down to Thursday tiredness, but guess what? I got home only to find, to my horror, that the coffee was "Entkoffeiniert"!!! - This was translated this evening for me, by my cosmopolitan other half, to mean decaff!! I was as sleepy as a 5 week old golden retriever - as illustrated in the below. Watch it - he's so darn cute!

video

And yes - if you're wondering, I have already given up on my noble resolution of yesterday. Darn it.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Case of the mysterious dissappearance of the magical flying CarPet

Yes the wonderful little car pet that I spoke of in the last post is no more. He was last seen Tuesday morning, and stuck with the front windscreen as far as Castledermot, it is rumoured that he may have kept going straight there for Carlow. Tis a pity. I think the fame got to him, all the people eager for news of him, simply got to his tiny little head, not to mention those calling for his death!
New resolution for me regarding blogs by the way - "must not ever do blogging unless have done some other more important work - ie real writing.... even a little bit." So whenever there's a post here, you'll know it's a little reward for me, having done something brilliant for myself - the post will be a celebration, a little whooppee for me - rather than the work dodging excuse it has sometimes been up to now. And by work I mean real work in the pretentious "My life's work ie writing great novels" kinda way. Not the other thing.

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Fly


I have a pet fly who has been accompanying me to and from work for the last week or so. It's a bit weird. It's a small one, with 6 superthin legs, almost the shape of a mosquito - but bigger. Not that I really know what a mosquito looks like. He sits on my windscreen, and I keep having a quick little guilty panic when I turn on the wipers, cos I think I'm about to crush him, but then I remember he's on the inside. He's a remarkable little fellar really, withstands all kinds of temperatures, from the icy cold we've had in Lucan lately, to the near sauna conditions, that I sometimes have the urge to experience via the heaters in my car. He's also extremely well travelled, for a fly. What other little fly can say he's travelled 500 miles or so in each of the 2.5 or however many weeks they live? (not including those sneaky smug little buggers that come in on aeroplanes). My fly has really seen the world. And to think, I tried to shoo him out the window when I first saw him. I mean he's extremely well behaved too. Never flies into my face when I drive, unless of course he's planning something, lulling me into a false sense of security. Although he's not really a fly that looks like he's planning something, not the type of fly that rubs his front hands together - not like those sneaky blue bottle feckers. Enough! If you're still reading this - I commend your endurance - you probably watch the apprentice too, hell you could be the apprentice, you should enter next year.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Half of a yellow sun

Just finished listening to the above titled book in the car on the way home this evening. It's good, really good. Tough in parts, if you don't like that kind of thing - haunting images of war etc. Makes you appreciate how good we have it I suppose. With all the talk of the car crash that is our world economy, I feel lucky not to live with the fear that my fiancee might be conscripted, or that where I live will be taken over by soldiers. Sobering listening.



Not that I'd be driving drunk - like I don't need sobering listening for that reason, I just like it sometimes. Mister Pip is up next, have seen the writer talking at the writer's fest, so am looking forward to that.... not sure how deep and meaningful it is ... something about an isolated island somewhere south of the equator and charles dickens.... I know you'll be on the edge of your seat till you hear more about that one.....
Don't blame me by the way if half of a yellow sun is really bad/ boring for long stretches - some of the cds were scratched, and I glazed over for some other bits - concentrating on the driving!