Monday, January 28, 2013

Best things in life being free...

So this new found organised me has been a bit touch and go - yes, I've managed to finally clear out under the stairs where baby things have foundered ever since the young fella was a baby, just a short time ago, but no, I haven't lost my incredible gift for NOT planning ahead, and not doing things that make sense in the right order...
Such as?
Such as having a shower before departing for a social trip/ visit to our kith and kin in Gaillimh, leading to the sad state of affairs of being on the road good and early, but having the hair style of an asylum inmate, and not one of the nice asylums where they wash your hair regularly.  This was the predicament feacing the cushions family on the N20 Saturday last.

So we did what any family would do under the circumstances, we talked about what the best possible solution to the problem might be, and laughed at the thought of stopping off in a 5 star hotel, and renting a room with them for the sake of a shower.  How we laughed.  The money department is of a good bit of concern to a lot of people these days, and we're no exception, so 250 euro for a shower seemed like a little too much to be paying.
Laughing was all I thought we'd do about it.  But Mr Cushions took the turn off for Dromoland Castle.  And drove all the way up to the car park, both of us laughing at the pristeen golf course, the sound of clay pigeons being shot at, the stretched limo outside the front door.  In with us, and our secret weapon - the amazing Danger cushion.  He was charming everyone in sight, thinking the men in armour were santy claus, and being forgiven for coating the tables with half chewed liga.  You'd think they could afford new couches, but the furniture they had was absolutely ancient.  Well, I got to see where all the money they saved on not doing up the place went, when I, after 20 minutes or so of relaxation and people watching, ventured downstairs to the 5 star Spa.
It went like this
"I don't have an appointment or anything"
Nice girl smiles politely
"But we're on a journey and..."
Still smiling politely
"I was wondering how much it would be... to take a shower"
"Oh that's no problem, they're through there, " thinks for a second... "Eh are you a guest?"
"No" But it was too late, she had already raised my hopes and gorgeous girl that she was, waved me on.
There never was such a shower, as my father in law once famously remarked about a Turkey, (replacing the word Shower with Turkey in that case).
It was as big as a house, with two shower heads, one power shower, good as a massage, and one rain head type thing that felt like being in a tropical storm of hot water, and fragrant shampoo and body wash of course.  Stepping out into a chunky robe, and slippers, and using the fancy schmancy moisturiser and power hair drier, I felt as happy as I've felt all year.  All you need in life is a brass neck.
Thank you kind girl in the black uniform, and of course, thank you NAMA.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Once a Week Wendy

So, I've decided to try and live a more organised life.

Being organised, for me, means bringing things upstairs with me when I'm going upstairs.  Mainly things that belong upstairs, not just everything, I'm selective.  It works the other way too, I try to bring things downstairs  that belong downstairs.  (can you believe you just wasted 7 seconds of your life reading that?)  But it obviously doesn't work all the time - otherwise why would there be so many things in the wrong place in the first place, although I can proudly say I've never left Plaice in the wrong place, (mainly because I wouldn't bring Plaice back to my place in the first place).
So, bottom line, what does this mean for you, talented reader and decipherer of intermittent gibberish?  It means that I am endeavouring from now on, to supply you with gibberish at a target frequency of once per week, thanks to all the extra time I'll have in my life from being more organised.

This week I will tell you all about LesMis, in case you haven't seen it.  Just the important bits mind:
They sing all the way through.  There are close ups of people you'd prefer to see from the back row of the Point Depot back in the day (though you'd give out about the acoustics there, just to fit in with everyone else who gave out about it).  There's a child on a horse drawn carraige, cgi'd onto it - in this day and age - without a hair moving in the breeze and him meant to be trotting along, and I found that toe-curlingly annoying, I mean - just put the child on a real carraige - did he have some kind of equestrian allergy?  - steps around obvious joke here -.  Sacha Baron Cohen is brilliant in it, I just love funny bits in anything, especially in something so completely miserable outside of the funny bits - makes the funny bits shine even shinier.
That song "Bring him home" is actually from a "shortly after Dad meets daughter boyfriend moment", and isn't half as moving in it's real context as it was in all those imagined contexts I had for it down through the years, having conveniently forgotten its context in the point that night, or maybe they left it out that night, from what I remember it was long enough....
That is all.

Tune in again next week for more top quality Gibber Jabber.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

If I said it once....

Here's a poem I originally posted on this blog almost 3 years ago - 13 April 2010 to be precise...  pity no one ever listens...

A Poem which aims to dissuade you from bringing your horse to Tesco

this poem has found a new home, so I'm taking it down from here... more news of that anon...

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Literary Highlights / Book List of 2012

12 days into the 13th  year of the 21st century, and I'm only now getting round to writing up my literary highlights and booklist for the last 12 months,  speaking of 12...

1.   I took this snapshot myself on my computer, at 12 mins past 12, on the 12th of the 12th Oh 12,  I thought it was pretty cool at the time - so cool it counts as my no. 1 literary highlight... If I'm going to come up with 10 as usual - I better start small.
2. Attended a course entitled parallel worlds and how to create them, run by Trevor Joyce in UCC, it was pretty much a tour of things he likes that are a bit obscure in writing, and was interesting, if a little light on the practical side... ie he didn't really push us to try things out ourselves - but it was good to devote an hour and a bit a week to the aul writing, and definitely helped ease the pain of being back out in the land of work.
3. The Medicine Session - got to go say some poems for nice people in Lismore at the coolest gathering south of the Shannon thanks to the lovely watercats.
4.  IPYPIASM has once more been a roaring success with some lovely newcomers and the brilliant Titus as hostess and competitor with the mostess.
5.  Attended a lovely writing workshop given by Afric McGlinchey.
6.  I didn't enter a single competition all year, so therefore didn't lose any.
7.  Nor was I refused publication in a single magazine, low or high brow, paying or not, tree killing or online.
8.  Neither did a single agent or publisher say that any novel of mine, no matter how long ago I wrote it, was unworthy of their attention or representation, although I've never sent any novel to an agent or publisher, so I could say that for every year.
9.  I was asked to write, and did write, a review of a poetry book.
10.  I only had 38 posts on this blog, which you'd imagine would have freed me up for hours of creativity, hours and hours....

And now for the book list
I didn't keep much of a log of reading this year, so I'm just squeezing in what I remember here, some good some bad. Favourites in bold to save you the reading if you're very busy and important (like myself)

Franny & Zooey by JD Salinger I really liked, as you'll know from the post "I love JD"
Jo Brand's autobiography was one of a number of books that were about to be thrown out from my parents house and which I rescued in hopes that it might be amazing, and it was, but not in a really good way - ah no, Jo, I jest, if you're reading this, it was fine, just very like a big long series of emails to a friend recounting ups and downs of life without much in the way of insight into comedienneship.
I had a Kevin Barry feast with City of Bohane and Dark lies the Island, both brilliant in different ways, one of the stories from Dark lies the island will haunt me probably until I no longer know my own name.
A little Jennifer Johnston with the Gingerbread woman, was of her usual quality too - ie great.
The Baron in the trees on the other hand, while light and readable could have easily been left in the trees with us all equally happy.
I can thank my book club for that last one, and thanks too to them, for my getting to read Anna Karenina, actually the wikipedia page about Anna Karenina.
Anne Enright's Making Babies was a good read, funny and honest.
A sense of an ending by Julian Barnes - recycled a bit from an earlier book of his I read, but got alot right.
Book of the year was of course Red Ribbons by Louise Phillips, I loved the pace and excitement, so proud of Louise's writing, a clever blend of thoughtfulness and action, a very successful debut for her and really well deserved.
There was a light one over the Christmas, about a magical health spa and three different women with three different challenges in life, can't remember the name now - maybe "Always and Forever" - something along those lines.
Also read Cinderella in Irish Luathriona it's called - that was a good one too.
Christine Falls and A Death in Summer provided my John Banville fix this year in the guise of Benjamin Black, I liked em, dark, but a good pace.
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe was amazing, full of story telling touches, beautifully written, like a piece of the past, sliced out and served, extremely well worth reading.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

New Year, No Fear!!!

So, here we are, another IPYPIASM draws to a close, Bug snuck another one in at the end - call over here for a lookie at it in close up, and the story behind it, bringing the USA a marvellous one poem clear of the previous year's score... so scores on the doors ended up at

USA  8.5
Scotland (the incredible) 19 (up 5 since 2011)
Ireland 15  (down 6 on last year)
England 1 (down 5)
RoW 0

Not that it's a competition or anything, and yadda yadda, taking part, xmas spirit etc,,, but - we'll be back, oh yes, next year we will be back!!

Thanks all for taking part, and most of all to Titus for being a great hostess!!