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Showing posts from April, 2012

Everything and Nothing

If you ever delve into  'The Lives of the Great Poets', you will find a thread that is unrelated to all writing. Most poets, and writers come to that, seem to go through splurges of wealth and affluence followed by dire poverty and lives lived in run down garrets. I remember reading about one guy who got a stipend which was to last him for a year. He went out and had a crimson waistcoat hand tailored, bought a pocket watch and then lived like a pauper eating stale bread crusts and drinking water for the rest of the year. Oh how right he was!
You see I've gone through various stages of wealth and poverty over the years, and I find it interesting. Growing up in middle class south county Dublin was a bit like living in a bubble. I assumed that there was a certain level of affluence that would always be a given. Just like we assume that having electricity or running water is a given, even though all of these things are always hanging on the edge of a cliff.
In my early twentie…

Seeing the World

I happened to be wandering upstate Galway at about 8am this morning, and don't jump to conclusions, I hadn't been kicked out of some fiery goddess's bed for wearing her out, no, I had been dropping some random teen of mine to the bus. So I ended up strolling through the Galway market early enough that most stalls were just being set up, and it had that buzz about it that I love so much more than when it's in full swing. Planks and poles being carted along on makeshift trollies made of old prams, stall holders fighting over inches of precious space and the smell of second-hand, home-grown and incense merging, to create that smell that you only get at the Galway Market.
There's a guy eating oysters as fast as Mike, the Oyster & Egg man, can slice them open. I decide that it's not every day of the week you get the opportunity to have fresh native oysters for breakfast, so I ask Mike if I can have just the one, and as he hands it to me I realise I have no money…

What Time Does

I give a session at work on Time Management. It used to be a day, now it's an hour, but I could give it in 5 minutes or less just by saying this: You can't manage time, you can only manage yourself, and time goes by at different speeds - Kairos & Chronos. The End.
Chronos is the expression for time passing in a, yes, chronological way: second for second, hour for hour and all that jazz. Kairos is the concept of how time flies, or doesn't depending on how absorbed you are in something, or in a hurry, or waiting for pay day.
There's one thing I never go through though, and that's the passing of time as in when you get older, or the seasons of things, or happy times and sad times, because after all, it is our feelings that carry us through time and not any other mechanics.
Yesterday my Mother phoned me. She has the start of dementia. On a bad day she thinks I'm her sister, and how come I never told her where I live. She tells me about the people who hide in th…

Sleeping With Strangers

If you ever make an appointment to meet somebody at noon in Leipzig and you're travelling from Galway, prepare for adventure. Well I guess only in my case, but thanks to the good old German railway having a 3 minute delay, all of my connections were gone, and given that everyone in Germany goes to bed at about 8pm, it was the last train that I'd missed. But hey, I'm a well seasoned traveller, and having  been half way around the world with a rucksack I knew I'd come up with something creative. So I wandered across the road to a nearby hotel and decided to check in and get going again next morning. A swarm of Asian gentleman and a perplex receptionist with one of those nasal sounding voices informed me that the Frankfurt fair was on and that not only were the rooms all booked out but that they cost €400 tonight. She gave me a further look as if to confirm that €400 was probably three times my life savings, and although the math wasn't too far off, I decided that I&#…

How to be Undateable

You know what it's like when you see a trailer for a movie or a series - 2 minutes where they show all of the interesting bits condensed, and you want to watch it right that minute but then a sentence comes across the screen saying 'coming next Wednesday' or more likely 'coming when you won't be home'. And whatever is on now is always crap and you're only watching it because you think something good is coming on after it, but it isn't, because you got the day or the week or the year wrong.
So when I saw the trailer for the 'Undateables' on Channel 4 there the other week, I just assumed that it would be another one of those documentaries that look great but are really bad and that I'd miss anyway.
But then, ah then, something happened. I was reading a review in the Irish Times that had something to say about this documentary, 'The Undateables'. So there were some interesting points made. One of them being that the title was damn cruel…