13 November 2011

Any Galwegians Want to Volunteer?

I am part of the  Galway Science and Technology Festival committee this year and just thought I'd mention that the festival is looking for volunteers for the Exhibition Day which takes place at NUI Galway on Sunday November 27.

The organising committee and NUI Galway are looking for 100 volunteers to help out on the day when hundreds of scientists, engineers and business innovators will showcase their work at 60 interactive stands.
Visitors to the exhibition will be able to participate in experiments, watch demonstrations, and discuss ideas with researchers from NUI Galway and GMIT, as well as industry representatives from the festival’s main sponsor Medtronic and others such as Boston Scientific, CISCO, Hewlett Packard, Avaya, Covidien, SAP, Lake Region and Creganna.
Different exhibits will allow the public to learn more about topics such as life-saving medical devices, renewable energy, IT in the future, and kitchen chemistry. NUI Galway’s museums will all be open on the day, and the popular 3D tour of the universe makes a welcome return.
Dean of Science at NUI Galway, Professor Tom Sherry, says the college is delighted to host the exhibition for the second year in a row.
“ Last year’s event was a huge success, “ he says, “and this year we have been working hard to improve dealing with the large numbers of visitors we are expecting. For this purpose, we are inviting anyone who is interested to volunteer some of their time on the 27th to help us get people around to all of the different activities that will be spread across the NUI Galway campus.”
A science and technology background is not required to volunteer as information and training will be given in advance of the event. To sign up for volunteering please contact william.brennan@nuigalway.ie . For general information on the festival seewww.galwayscience.ie and to prebook the shows for the exhibition visit www.galwayscience.eventbrite.com

You can follow the above links to see more about he festival. The exhibition day is free for all and is a fun, family-oriented event. Check out the cool shows that are on and book your place now because it gets crowded. Fast.

05 November 2011

Sadie and Loki

Remember Sadie and Loki, those cute little kittens? Well they're getting bigger and stronger.

But...they still think they're kitten-sized!

02 November 2011

Twitter Saves a Bookstore

Well not Twitter exactly, but back to that in a minute.  

I'm part of a group called ItStartsWith.UsThe goal of ItStartsWith.Us is "to build a global community of individuals focused on making a positive impact in the lives of the people around them." And it takes just 15 minutes a week. This week the mission is to take that 15 minutes to help promote someone or a cause. It was inspired by a video about how a dedicated son, a blog post, a tweet, and a promise of free burritos saved a bookstore. 

When I saw the video I knew I had to share it, so here it is.

Last Monday there was more flooding here in Ireland. We had some really bad flooding in late 2009 and after the earthquake in Haiti (early 2010) there was a huge outcry that we had helped over there but hadn't helped our flood victims. This time let's do more: The Irish Red Cross is running a Floods Appeal until the 26th November. 

Donal Forde, Secretary General of Irish Red Cross said “Donations received will be used to support those whose homes have been damaged by flood water caused by Monday’s record rainfall. We will work closely with the Community Welfare Service within the Department of Social Protection to identify those most in need of our assistance”.

Anyone wishing to donate to the Irish Red Cross ‘Irish Floods’ appeal can do so online; by phone: 1850 50 70 70; or by cheque made out to ‘Irish Red Cross’ and marked ‘Irish Floods’ and sent to Irish Red Cross, 16 Merrion Square, Dublin 2.

24 October 2011

And the Winners...Aren't

On my last post a commenter asked how I manage to win so many competitions.

I replied that you have to enter to win, which is a bit of a disappointment. I mean that's kind of obvious, isn't it? Still, people often overlook it. How can I be jealous of people for getting published in this magazine and that when I haven't even submitted? I can't. Not reasonably anyway.

That said, this is my blog. So obviously everything is a bit one-sided and biased. For example, let's see how many times I've posted about not winning/placing in a competition....

Not once.
(small margin of error here - I might possibly have posted once or twice)

So this post is about all the competitions I haven't won (kind of a difficult feat considering I like to block out these rejections of my work, but I'll work from what I do remember).

Firstly: Foyle Young Poets Competition. I entered in 2010 and 2011 and I did not receive a thing - not even a special mention. Then there's my story Wizened, which I really like. I entered a fantasy writing contest with it and got...nothing. Then a special secondary-schools story competition in the Clare Champion with the same story. Once again, nothing.

Those are the reasons I then decided to focus on my poetry. Even so, I didn't get a thing in Cuisle this year. You can submit up to three poems and I submitted three. None on par with Creation and Evolution I guess.

That's all I can remember off-hand that I have entered but haven't won. Like I said, my mind blocks out losing.

P.S. Lovely bit of graffiti, that, isn't it? These pictures were part of the final result of a photography course we took in school.

14 October 2011

And the Winners Are...

I didn't mention it here, but Visit Woods and the WWF were running a short story competition called the Big Forest Story Picnic. The theme was to be about the forest and the woods, and simply to do with conservation I suppose. I forget the exact parameters if there were any. Anyway, the winners have finally been choosen after a month's extension on the announcement date. And, I have won the sixteen and under section. See below :)

{Edit 2014: This can no longer be viewed online. VisitWoods began in 2008 with the aim of bringing together information about woods that are open to the public and inspiring people about visiting woods. The project was funded by the Big Lottery Fund (administered by Natural England) for 5 years and came to an end on 31st December 2013.}

I win free books. If I had one the older age category it would have been a Kindle, but I suppose I will have to live with ten books of my choice. Heehee...

In addition, you might recall a competition I did mention here, which was the Concern Creative Writing Competition. I have been told recently that my entry (short-listed as I found out) is to be included in the Concern Creative Writing Competition book, which will be published by Liffey Press. Last year I got nothing, so as you can see I am slowly scaling the steps to the top.

16 September 2011

Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry vs. To Kill a Mockingbird

I was reading the best-seller list in the Sunday paper last week. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry and To Kill a Mockingbird were both on it. Roll of Thunder was under Children's and To Kill a Mockingbird was under Paperback Fiction. It seems schools in general are pretty much split between the two. Oh, there are other novels that are chosen (Lord of the Flies and Of Mice and Men, for example) but it is these two that made the best-seller list. These that parents all over Ireland rushed out to buy in their droves the last weeks of August and the first few weeks of September.

The list-fellows of To Kill a Mockingbird are: One Day (David Nicholls, the film is now playing in cinemas), The Help (Kathryn Stockett, also now a film, release date 28 October), The Confession (John Grisham), and Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow (chick-lit by Claudia Carroll). Altogether a broad range of titles (also not in order).

Roll of Thunder, by contrast, has not one but two Diary of a Wimpy Kids as list-fellows. Need I say more?

26 August 2011

Introducing Sadie and Loki

They may belong to the next-door neighbours but they seem to like us. And we like them, so meet Loki...

and Sadie.

As you'll have noticed, I changed the blog header photo again. It was MM's idea actually. If you want to see the whole evolution of my blog header photos, here you go.

22 August 2011

Cuisle Time Again

Believe it or not, it's Cuisle time again! Seems like it was only - a year ago that I was entering last year's competition. Oh wait, it was a year ago!
Anyway, if you're under eighteen, I would strongly suggest entering. I mean, how many other poetry competitions give out trophies? Trophies.
The details are below.

Limerick City International Poetry Festival 12-15 Oct 2011

Cuisle Young Poet of the Year Competition would like you to write a poem or three poems. This or these Poems can be about anything, anything that matters to you, things that happen in your life: special occasions or everyday events. 

This competition is promoted by Cuisle, Limerick City International Poetry Festival. Winners will be invited to read during our festival in October and prizes will be awarded at a special award ceremony.

Start writing now! Send us your poems. We look forward to reading them.


• Entries for Cuisle Young Poet of the Year Competition 2011 may be on any subject and not more than 30 lines.
• Entries are invited in 3 CATEGORIES: 
Category 1: Poets aged 8-12: under 12 on 1st September 2011 
Category 2: Poets aged 12-15: under 15 on 1st September 2011 
Category 3: Poets aged 15-18: under 18 on 1st September 2011 
• Entries are welcomed in both Irish and English. 
• Entries should be submitted typewritten on A4 pages. 
• The name and address of the poet must NOT appear on the manuscript. 
• Entrants may submit up to 3 poems, EACH with a completed Entry Form. 
• Poems must be submitted by 14th September, 2011 at the latest. 
• Each entry must be the original work of the poet, must not have been published or broadcast previously nor already submitted elsewhere for publication. Entries will not be returned. 
• Entries must be submitted by post to:
Cuisle Young Poet of the Year Competition 
Arts Office
Limerick City Council 
City Hall 
Merchant’s Quay 
• Entries will not be accepted by email. 
• Please mark envelope(s) Cuisle Young Poet of the Year Competition. 

 • Prizes will be awarded in each category. 
• Winners will be notified in October, 2011. 
• Winners will be announced at the Cuisle International Poetry Festival 12-15 October 2011, and will be invited to take part in a special Cuisle Awards Ceremony in Limerick. 

For further information on any of the events contact: 
Competition Co-ordinator: Bertha McCullagh. Tel: 085 7593265 
The Arts Office: Tel. 061 407363 

Entry forms may be downloaded from www.limerickcity.ie or www.meta.ie  (here is a link to a printable pdf entry form - the details are also on the pdf)

Entry forms also available from Schools, Colleges, Libraries and Belltable Arts Centre at Limerick Tourist Information Office: tel. 061319866.
Information and Application forms also on Poetry Ireland website www.poetryireland.ie/resources/competitions.php

For more information on the Cuisle Festival, the link is here.
For older poets, The Stony Thursday Book, a Limerick based poetry magazine, will also be published as part of the festival, but unfortunately submissions closed on the 12th of August. There is always next year however.

20 August 2011

Kerry Trip

1. Cromwell's Bridge, Kenmare. Oliver Cromwell never came to Kerry and the name is more likely from croimeal, Irish for moustache.

2. The Dursey Island cable car - the only cable car in Ireland. We happened to take it on a windy rainy stormy day. A bird flew under us, over the dangerous currents of Dursey Sound. We didn't get a chance to explore the island, as we got saturated almost as soon as we exited the cable car and decided to return immediately.

3. The release of ten white-tailed eagles as part of the re-introduction of Ireland's disappeared winged predators. These were only one year old. Their white tails don't appear until they are three or four, and they don't mate until they are about five. In the space of four or five years however, poison and wind turbines take their toll. So we hope these survive to have little baby eagles of their own. A further thirteen were released the week after we returned.

4. Carrauntoohil, Ireland's highest mountain (which is only 1039m).

5. Uragh stone circle: the biggest monolith is 3m high and the circle has a diameter of eight feet.

6.  The Glanmore River and Lake.

7. Anemones and starfish in a sea-cave.

16 August 2011

Poets Meet Painters Launch

Photo from anaduncan.com
This is the sculpture 'Crest' by Ana Duncan. It is what inspired my poem 'Fishing,' which won first prize in the schools section of the Millcove Gallery Poets Meet Painters competition. That and my experience of fishing from a boat instead of a pier for the first time a couple years ago.
I noticed that a lot of the short-list and winners had drawn on their own experiences and memories for their poem but yet had a clear link to the artwork they were inspired by. I think the artwork more inspired reflection and thought on the poets' own experiences than created a new scenario in the poets' minds, which is what I had imagined would happen. But then, the relating of our own thoughts, experiences, and memories is rather the definition of poetry.
The launch of the Poets Meet Painters anthology was a nice event. It was raining, unfortunately, but most of the audience was covered by the tent that was set up outside. Copies of the anthology, water, and wine all seemed to sell very fast. Amazingly enough, everyone was there on time, even early, which the gallery didn't expect. And small wonder, with the Irish sense of time!
What I found most interesting was that the artists of the pieces were there. Last year only a few were in attendance. Ana Duncan said that 'Crest,' and her series of similar works were inspired by the struggle between man and the sea. I found it interesting how I managed to pick up on that with my poem, which details a fishing trip out on the sea. Most of the artists were able to reveal that they had been inspired by similar themes to those that inspired the poets.
This competition and event is growing fast people. I suggest you get writing for next year's competition!

To see more of Ana Duncan's work, her website is here.
For details of the winners, photos, and to purchase the Poets Meet Painters anthology for a measly fiver plus postage, the Hungry Hill Writing Website is here.

13 August 2011

'The Winter of Our Discontent' Book Review

I found this book hard to get through, for a while at least. It didn't seem to draw me in like the rest of Steinbeck's books do. It took about half of the book to get me really involved. The sometimes first person narrative threw me a little, I must admit. The story was good though. I thought it was a little...older in feeling than the others I have read, but it makes sense as it was his last novel.

From the blurb: Ethan Allen Hawley's family has come down in the world. His father's people were prosperous ship-owner sin New Baytown, but Ethan is a clerk in a grocery store...One day the seed of a chance incident blossoms into a fantastic resolution in Ethan's mind. Why shouldn't the mouse sharpen his teeth and join the rat-race? Why shouldn't the honest man use the very quality of steel that has made him honest to cut his way through the competitive jungle? Ethan is armed for his pirate project not only with his reputation but with a great deal of inside knowledge about his customers, the citizens of New Baytown. The winter of our discontent appears to have turned to glorious summer. But though he has proved several superficial truths,he has forgotten a fundamental one: dishonesty is invisibly infectious.
I think the way I read this, in between a myriad of other books, contributed to me not liking it as much as Steinbeck's other novels. I love reading Steinbeck because he is refreshing, and for this book, like the blurb says "he has put his finger on the pulse of a small town." Steinbeck is an expert at showing that though people appear different on the surface, thoughts, feeling, impulses, and urges are the same within. 
The Winter of Our Discontent was darker, I thought, than a lot of his earlier work. I enjoyed reading it. As always the characterisation was superb, and New Baytown was described in intricate detail. The plot was more in evidence than in some of his other work, and it was overall an engrossing novel.

I give it:

Plot: ***
Characters: *****
Voice: ***
Originality: ***
Dialogue: *****

Which means... four stars
Amazon listing here.

11 August 2011

The Meeting of the Waters, Killarney

We returned from Kerry last Friday. Along with the Poets Meet Painters launch and award ceremony, we managed to squeeze a lot in.
This is a postcard from 1917. The scene depicted is the Meeting of the Waters, near Killarney. I thought it would be interesting to see what it looks like today (and take a photo of course). We stopped off and took a short fifteen-minute walk or there about to the Meeting of the Waters (The Meeting of the Waters is the point where the Upper, Middle (Muckross lake) and Lower (Lough Leane) lakes meet).

It was like foggy memory. There was that recognition and déjà vu of an unexplainably familiar place but the knowledge that I had seen it in a picture and had just never seen it in person. Of course there was also relief that it looked, well, exactly the same. Sure there were changes, the bushes had grown somewhat in the intervening (almost) one hundred years. The boat that passed under the bridge was a motor boat with people hooked into orange life-vests, instead of the row boat on the postcard. There was the fact that the path was right in front of the toilets and the bridge had been "restored" in 2007. But overall there was definitely a sense of continuity.
Olive writes that they came under the bridge (Old Weir Bridge) during her trip on the lakes and had seen deer along the banks. I witnessed a boat making the same journey and I have stood in the National Park listening to the deer. Killarney and its surrounds have been inhabited for 4,000 years. In 1750 Viscount Kenmare built roads, boating facilities, and inns. Queen Victoria visited in 1861 with her entourage and the first Irish National Park was formed in 1932.

Killarney may have become a huge tumour of hotels and resorts since then but buried underneath its essence is still there. It has a long past that is still tangible. And it has a future.

27 June 2011

Sky Lantern

We belatedly celebrated the solstice and the end of my exams the other night with one of these sky lanterns. They are cool, rising like miniature hot air balloons. Well, maybe not too miniature, this one was pretty big! They are cheap too, and relatively easy to light and send off. Ours rose fast, even on a night with little wind, so it's probably best to let them off on a windless evening.

I'm currently in the process of moving my WordPress photography blog over to blogger. It's a lot of work, but hopefully when I'm finished it will end up many times easier to navigate (for me and for readers).
We will be heading down to Cork and Kerry and the Millcove Gallery for the Poets Meet Painters award ceremony/publication launch on the 30th of July. We are hoping to spend a week down there hiking in the National Park and exploring the area.

23 June 2011

'Siberia' Book Review

'Siberia,' by Ann Halam, is an intriguing book. It is set in the future, and it only took me until the end of the book to realise that I had read Halam before, in the equally thrilling 'Dr Franklin's Island.' One of the things that I like most about her books is that, though they show a bleak and sometimes depressing world, they end rather happily. Enough to make the reader believe there is hope for the world she has created.
From the blurb: When Rosita was tiny...she and her mama had to go and live in an ugly place...a prison camp...she didn't understand her mama's magic...She only knew she had to keep the secret until Mama said it was time to start on the great journey...But once Rosita grew up to be a tough, cynical girl called Sloe...Mama was gone. Sloe had to make the journey alone...Sloe becomes a heroine, equal to anything, in this dazzling blend of science, adventure, and fairy tale.
I really enjoyed reading this book.  Like the blurb says, it is a mix of science, adventure, and fairy tale. Each element is warped and rearranged to fit with the others but they are no less pure for that. The world as Halam created it was spectacular. I could see everything as though it was before me, and the people fit cleanly into it. It might be true that people will easier believe a big lie than a small one, and that is true here. How odd this book seems, though no less odd than the other I read, but it is...believable. Sloe's love for the tiny animals is real and her adventures as she tries to make it back to her mother are difficult and trying. The other characters are vibrant. I think this was a great book. In fact, I might recommend it on the strength of the note at the end alone.
Halam writes:
The greatest seedbank in the world is held in Lenigrad....In the Second World War...half a million people starved, but the curators of the seedbank barricaded themselves in, and defended their stocks - the hope of the future - from the starving citizens. When Allied soldiers finally entered the facility, they found the emciated bodies of the botanist lying beside full sacks of potatoes, maize and wheat, a priceless genetic legacy for which they had given their lives. This is the story that gave me the idea for Sloe and her adventures...The Siberia I'm talking about in this story is not a place. Siberia is a sate of mind.

I give it:

Plot: *****
Characters: *****
Voice: *****
Originality*****(is six possible here?)
Dialogue: ****

Which means... five stars

Amazon listing here.

22 June 2011


I "learned" a new word today. I was watching a video and the guy in it said, as he tried to sound eloquent and all-knowledgeable, and I quote: 'whether real or fictitional.'
Fictitional. Hmmm.  I almost choked on my drink. When I researched it, it seems that it was first coined by Nicholas Wright, a British dramatist. There are many renowned writers who coined words, so maybe fictitional will make an appearance in a dictionary someday soon.
Also, did you know that the definition of 'fortuitous' is simply 'happening by accident or chance,' and doesn't really mean 'by fortunate accident or chance'. However, since it has been "misused" since the 1920s, surely by now it has assumed a new definition?

21 June 2011

Summer Solstice

I feels odd, it being the 21st June already. The longest daylight of the year, and it seems as though it should be the middle of summer when it arrives. Normally it feels that way, but not this year. Have you seen the smart TV ad where they put screens over the windows of the train? The song in it is beautiful and having discovered the artist, have been listening to her music over the past few days. There seem to be a lot of "fan snobs" who get really annoyed at people for discovering new musicians from commercials. That is how I have found almost all of my favourite singers and bands though. I think anything that gets the artist known to more people is a good thing.

Anyway, I give you a lovely little song by the same artist, Vashti Bunyan, perfect for today.

20 June 2011

I'm Back

I am just beginning to relax into the warm bath of summer. Finally free of exam stress and worries, and my creativity is blooming again at long last. Last Friday I threw out (by that I mean recycled) three years' worth of copies and pages and school-related things I no longer require. It was wonderfully liberating. Best of all, I found amongst them so many scribbled pages of words and ideas I had long forgotten. It was a little sad to see how much I used to write, how often I used to just let the ideas flow and forget about making sense and having a plot. But then, now I have so much free time to fill with writing.
Slovenia was absolutely amazing. I only spent about two days there (one full day and two halves), but we did so much, I had such a great time. I cannot express how brilliant it was. Well, I suppose I could try. We ate at a farmhouse and the food was the best I had ever had, and home-made apple juice and meat reared there and lettuce grown there and tomatoes that tasted of sun. And the caves we visited in the only other karst region of the world besides Ireland. And flying over the Adriatic so clear, even from 30,000 feet, and the Alps dappled in snow and wind farms in the Channel and English farmhouses and stepping out into London sunshine (sort of). And driving through Italy and weather so warm while storms raged at home and sitting out under a balcony draped in vines sipping cold water. And the music festival where they played traditional songs and even the teenagers waltzed. Wow. I cannot wait until we go back (sometime...)

13 May 2011

Wonderful News

Cuisle is a word I mention a lot on this blog. The Limerick Poetry Competition in which I won first prize in October 2010. One of my favourite competitions to enter, because I love the award ceremony venue, the illusion of intimacy while still being aware it is high-profile.
Well, just guess what I found out last night. I am going to be reading my poem again next weekend (Saturday I think). In Slovenia!

Now I don't know all the details just yet, but we (MM and I) will likely be flying into Italy and then crossing the border to Slovenia. I will post pictures when I return. I've only been to three countries in my life, two I've lived in and the third, Canada, I walked across the border to (through the relevant security). So this is a wonderful experience that I'm really excited about.

Me and my poetry in Slovenia...

19 April 2011

Blog Changes

As you'll have noticed, I have been making some changes to the blog. I felt it was getting stale and out-dated, and so I gave it a bit of a facelift, hoping to refresh and revive it. The biggest change is the background colour of course, it was black and is now white. I used to be quite enamoured with dark backgrounds but I now feel simpler is better as it is clearer and easier to read.
I also changed the header photo and shuffled the sidebar around a little. There will be some more small changes soon, but I couldn't say what they'll be.

As of late I have been listening to Pagan chants and melodies, something that I have been interested in for a long time. When I was around eleven I had friend who was a Pagan, and Ireland being the way it is, full of Neolithic sites, it makes sense. Of the many worships I have touched the surface of, the worship of nature and her bounty has always felt the most true and natural for me. Not to say that that is Paganism, or that it isn't, just that Pagan music is nice, and I like it.

26 March 2011

Don't you sometimes wish there was a hotline to the muse?

Do you ever notice that sometimes you wait for inspiration and it strikes you at exactly the wrong moment? Sometimes though, it is the perfect moment.
I often find that when I am writing for a competition, I cannot think of anything until right before the deadline. Occasionally this occurs directly after the deadline. I don't have a lot of stories to choose from to enter into competitions so I normally have to write something new.
Lately I have been waiting for inspiration for a certain competition. I had known about it for months and it has three themes. I eventually chose one and brainstormed. After a few weeks, I knew exactly what I wanted to say. I just couldn't see how to frame it. Then suddenly last week as I rode home on the bus in the scorching heat with no ventilation, it hit me. I knew exactly how I would begin it.
On Thursday I wrote the first 300 words. I stopped at a point I knew I could continue from. This morning I finished it. I am very proud of it. It is the first time I have written this way, with a plan and an idea of how things would go already set down. It was an interesting experience, and one that I liked.
Now I have just over 30 hours to edit it. :)

Incidentally I entered the competition last year also and my entry then was absolutely horrid. At the time I liked it but now I can see that it was nothing to be proud of. I directly contradicted myself in it. I think, or at least hope, that this one is different. The winner gets a net-book, second place a kindle e-reader, third place an MP3 player. Not bad, eh?
It's actually an article, not a short story, that you have to write but it's open globally to all ages so if you are interested, here is the link.

17 March 2011

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

I went to the Parade in Galway today with my friends. If you were watching it in Eyre Square and were one of the many people who weren't cheering, shame on you. If you heard a few girls screaming and cheering for every bit of the parade, that was probably us.
This was the first time I was actually in town on St Paddy's Day. It was very festive and there were lots of Italian, French, and American people. Good fun but exhausting.

25 February 2011

Cavan Crystal Competition and Google Calendar

I've been trying to keep track of upcoming competitions etcetera for my writing, and this week I have managed to send out a piece or two.
I decided to use Google calendar to keep tack of all the deadlines as I don't have a calendar in my room any more. Only today I found out that it emails you on the day of the deadline (which I have in the calendar as events). Quite cool and useful. I like it a lot so far as it is easy to scroll through the months as opposed to a physical calendar that you would have to flip through. It is also much less hassle when seeing a competition online to just click over to Google calendar as opposed to running into the other room, finding a pen...
It will soon be time for the Cavan Crystal/Windows Publications 19th National Student Poetry Competition. What a mouthful. Last year I was short-listed or long-listed or something; it was all very confusing. (Edit: June 20 2011) This year I was highly commended (again, I suppose). There were over 1400 entries and I came in the top 80, which means about the top six percent.
The link is there is you are living in Ireland and under eighteen. Last year there was an adult competition but I guess that isn't on this year. The deadline is March 31st (put in 32nd there for a minute).

21 February 2011

English, Mid-Term, and Kate Bush

I started a post more than a week ago but never got around to finishing it. Last week I was doing mock exams which were stupidly stressful considering they are mocks for an exam that is comparatively unimportant in itself. English was our first exam and we had two and a half hours for paper one (which took me two hours twenty-five minutes) and two hours for paper two.
It was long but not particularly difficult. Despite the fact that I am good at English, I don't really like it. It's mostly the structure of the classes and the material we are forced to ingest that is unfavourable but luckily (to the best of my knowledge) the teacher feels similarly. Irish secondary school teachers have to teach us for the exams, not for the sake of education.

Last time I was at the library the librarian (who is extremely nice) offered me this biography of Kate Bush, which I ended up getting. Seeing the futility of reading it if I had never heard her music, I have been listening to her songs this weekend. MM likes her and has one of her CDs which is cool for me. I like 'Wuthering Heights' and 'Army Dreamers' but she has sung lots of songs. I get the impression I'm still only skimming the surface.

Although I'm only in the first chapter of the book so far her life sounds really interesting and her childhood home - a 350 year old farmhouse in London - the stuff of dreams. Another interesting thing was that her childhood friends were surprised that she grew into such a phenomenon as they really didn't see it coming at all, which seems almost unbelievable but I do often wonder what my friends will become and with most I am uncertain.

The sound of her songs does sort of remind me of the film Sweeney Todd though.

30 January 2011


Yesterday morning I saw a satellite that for a minute I thought was a plane and I thought...
Orion is my favourite constellation
and Venus was bright in the sky tonight
but there are still clouds that hide the moon
even when it shines full and bright
and when the sky looks empty,
there are still people up there,
and even if we are alone in the galaxy,
some of us will still be scared,
the moon you see is the same one they do
and the man or the rabbit is just an illusion
even science can't explain everything,
sometimes it's all confusion.

One Single Impression 

27 January 2011


So I finally have a minute of time so I decided to say: I am still here.
It even seems hopeful that Sunday will be creatively fruitful.
In the meantime...
This is an interesting sign.

11 January 2011

Back to school after a nice but chaotic break although holidays are usually supposed to make you more relaxed rather than less but anyway work seems to be and have been piling up so I will probably be hibernating in a little cave somewhere 'out there' until sometime next week if not later. Too bad.