Thursday, 31 January 2008


Aaargh! I am so frustrated. I am in the process of swapping over my Internet Provider and getting myself set up on wireless. My laptop is my lifeline but for a few weeks now I have not been able to use it because of some problems.

But.... it's looking likely that we will swap to Sky in the next week or two. Sometimes they make you wait for a code, but at least we will put the wheels in motion and I will have an end in sight. I am really missing writing my Blog, and I do apologise for not keeping it up. Please keep checking back, especially in two or three weeks time, and I promise there will be something here.

Friday, 11 January 2008

U23D and more!

Exciting times!

Sue and I have just booked a trip to Manchester in February to see the U23D concert film. We are both so thrilled and it's a great shot in the arm after what seems a lifetime since we last saw U2 live. This will be the next best thing... we will literally be right in the action. Ha ha... it will be so funny to be in a room with so many other U2 fans and all of us wearing those super-trendy 3D glasses!!! Can't wait now... roll on Feb! We are making a weekend of it - seeing the film on Friday, and then on Saturday we are going to the Comedy Store in Deansgate and having dinner while watching some great stand-up.

And other REALLY exciting news is that we have booked another night in the penthouse suite at The Clarence for this coming November! You might call it madness - and you may well be right - but we just couldn't resist. This will be our last chance to experience it because at the beginning of 2009, the hotel will be closing while the re-structuring goes on, and when it re-opens, the penthouse as we know it will be long gone. That's very sad; eras are ending all over the place, and a lot of the Dublin we know is changing at a heart-breaking rate.

But... while the penthouse is there, we will take advantage of it one more time. Last time was amazing and the four of us had such a special time. For many reasons we will not be able to top that (for a start we won't have millionaire rock stars buying the champagne for us!), but we will make it special in other ways. There will be just the two of us this time and we plan to make the most of it - so many things planned for that scant 24 hours!

I will of course be blogging it afterwards!

Saturday, 5 January 2008


As you know, I have been reading Oscar Wilde this week. It's been quite an experience and I have felt like a light has shone on me. It has inspired me - reading his poetry - and thus illuminated by his genius, I have clicked on the file that contains my book (Borders) and started to work on it again!

It's been sitting neglected and gathering cyberdust inside my laptop for quite a while, but it's about time I finished it, so that is one of my new year resolutions. A bit late, I know, but better late then never!

Watch this space. I might have to hash out a few problems as I go along. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Oscar fever!

No, I don't mean the movie awards. I know it's coming up to awards season, and all the girls in Tinseltown are planning the botox injections in the soles of their feet so they can wear the Manolos all night....

But my fever is more to do with an Irishman who, if he were alive today, would be over 150 years old (I like the older man!!). I am talking, of course, about Oscar Wilde, one of my favourite writers and definitely one of my favourite people in the world. He was an extremely erudite and witty person, a brilliant writer and raconteur, full of mischief but also very sensitive. He lived his own life, and was true to himself and his opinions despite the bigotry surrounding him. I would love to have met him and spent an evening chatting in the pub over a few pints! No doubt he would have drunk absynthe and smoked endless cigarettes! His wit was (and still is) world famous, and it would have been a privilege to experience it close up.

This year it is my plan to learn much more about him and to read more of his work. This week I have been learning his epic poem "The Ballad of Reading Gaol". I have 16 verses memorised so far and have only 93 more to go!!

The poem was written after his release from Reading prison in May 1897, and it was published under the pseudonym "C.3.3." which signified Building C, Floor 3, Cell 3.... which was his "home" at Reading during the serving of his sentence of two years hard labour for the crime of being a homosexual.

The main theme of the poem is the execution of a fellow prisoner who had been convicted of murdering his wife. This triggered Oscar to describe the nature of people in general, and that we are all capable of hurting those we love; that what we need is forgiveness.

Here is a little snippet from the part I have learned so far:

Yet each man kills the thing he loves
By each let this be heard
Some do it with a bitter look
Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss
The brave man with a sword!

Some kill their love when they are young
And some when they are old
Some strangle with the hands of Lust
Some with the hands of Gold
The kindest use a knife, because
The dead so soon grow cold.

Some love too little, some too long
Some sell, and others buy
Some do the deed with many tears
And some without a sigh
For each man kills the thing he loves
Yet each man does not die.

I will write more about Oscar as I progress in my research about him. Hope you enjoyed this little foray into his mind.

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Happy New Year

Well, 2008 is here. I hardly noticed it; it kind of crept up on me while I was watching the telly last night and drinking wine. Very underdressed it was, so I didn't recognise it. In fact, it was dressed very much like 2007. What a swizz!

I never go out on New Year's Eve any more because I would rather have my toenails pulled out with pliers than stand in a noisy, crowded, sweaty pub with a bunch of people, most of whom will turn into shrieking baboons at midnight! And don't get me wrong, I don't mind staying in. It's okay. You get to slob out in front of the TV in your jim jams and slippers, and when you fall over drunk after a bottle of wine then either your spouse or your sofa will catch you! Perfect. But I sometimes wish I was somewhere more exciting.

Two years ago at New Year 2005/2006, I was in Dublin, standing outside Christchurch Cathedral listening to the New Year bells with my friends Sue and Julie. Sue and I have been talking lately and we really want to do that again, so maybe next year!

So welcome to 2008 one and all. I hope you got to spend it with someone you at least quite like, and I hope you get what you wish for in the coming year.