Archive for October, 2008

I’m a little saddened today. I’m saddened after reading a story on movies.ie about Joaquin Phoenix quitting acting to pursue a music career.

I’m not a huge film buff and although I love the cinema, I go through phases of going all the time or not at all – feast or famine! Currently I am going through a famine ๐Ÿ™‚ However I know what I like and who I like andย  Joaquin Phoenix is right up there on the list. When I see his name attached to a film I can be pretty sure it’s a damn good one. He’s one of the best actors out there in my opinion. He’s not someone I find especially good-looking but there is definitely a quality about him on screen, a certain something about him and when I see his name on a film trailer or flyer I know it’s going to be a good one!

Earlier in the year when I was in Dunedin in New Zealand and saw a poster for We Own The Night outside the local cinema

I knew nothing about it, had never heard of it, had seen no trailers, but based on Joaquin Phoenix being named on the poster I went to see it. And I was delighted I did, I loved the film it was wonderful, gritty, dark, entertaining, and had a great cast of actors besides JP – Robert Duvall, Eva Mendez and Mark Wahlberg also star – rent it out if you haven’t seen it already! And watch out for the hot and steamy opening scene ๐Ÿ˜‰

I loved Joaquin in Gladiator in his Oscar-nominated role as Commodus, one of my very favourite films ever

And of course there was his other Oscar-nominated performance as Johnny Cash in Walk The Line.

When making his announcement recently, he had this to say:

“I want to take this opportunity to give you the exclusive, and to talk a little bit about the fact that this will be my last performance as an actor,” he said at a benefit in San Francisco to honour Paul Newman.

He added: “I’m not doing films anymore, I’m working on my music. I’m done. I’ve been through that.”

His upcoming movie ‘Two Lovers’ starring Gwyneth Paltrow will be his last. I’ve just watched the trailer and I think I’m in love all over again! I will definitely be going to see this movie even if I have to go on my own, I will make sure I go see it!

Good luck with the music career Mr. Phoenix, if your performance in ‘Walk The Line’ is anything to go by, you’ll do well.


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An unexpected stop

A few days ago I was having a very busy day. I spent most of the day in the car in fact, driving from A to B and back again, only to do it all over again. On my way to a 4pm appointment I found myself in an unusual situation-I was really early! By almost an hour! That almost never happens to me. So how was I going to fill in this time? I knew when I reached my destination I had a few notes to read but that would take me twenty minutes at most, thirty if I really stretched it.

So, driving along, I saw a familiar turn off and on the spur of the moment I took it.

The day was cold and bright like today, clear azure skies, no clouds, lots of wind and lots of sunshine. I parked the car, checked and double checked that the car was locked. I was driving my father’s car that day so I was extra careful, it wouldn’t do to come back to an empty space! And with coat on, off I went.

I approached the gate but it seemed to be closed.

“Oh no,” I thought “it’s closed to visitors today”.

When I got closer I saw that the wind had just blown it shut though and I went on in. Walking over the railway bridge I looked ahead. There was no one around, I had the place to myself.

Not another living soul to be seen.

I walked up along the wall to my right watching out for the familiar avenue. I found it, went along a little bit, eyes peeled. I couldn’t find what I was looking for though so I retraced my steps and continued on to the next avenue. I noticed a strange noise. A tinkling type of noise, very light but distinct. After another two avenues I decided to approach from the other side and I ended up in the original one and there it was, hidden in the third row, a familiar and welcome sight. My grandparent’s headstone. I hadn’t been there for a year or so. It looked clean, has worn well and doesn’t look too shabby. Unfortunately the same could not be said for the ground in front of the headstone. I pulled some large weeds and cleared away the broken head of an angel from a neighboring grave off theirs. I said hello and a prayer and I promised I would be back to sort out the grave and make it look better for them.

And off I went to dump the weeds and broken angel head bits in the bin.

I could still hear the strange sound but looking around I realised I was still alone-apart from the thousands of dead people, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t them! Eventually as I was leaving I passed right by a grave with lots of beautiful, fresh white flowers on it. One of the bunches had blown over into the footpath so I stopped to pick it up and replace it on the grave. And I noticed the rosary beads tied around part of the headstone. It was rosary beads! Hundreds of pairs of rosary beads of all sorts of sizes tinkling and blowing in the wind were making that lovely noise!

It was an unexpected stop in a day of hurry and rush and stress and it chilled me right out. It’s nice to visit family, no matter where they are.

A perfect day for a stroll in the cemetery ๐Ÿ™‚

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It’s early morning and I wake up. It’s still dark, inside and out.

“This is not my bed”, I think, a little confused. “What’s going on here?”

I struggle to my feet. Hands scrunched into two fists, I rub my eyes and look around.

I peer into the darkness to the bed beside mine. A strange unfamiliar grunt, night time sleepy noises. I see two big body shapes in the bed, I get scared and I start to cry.

My mother comes quickly to shut me up and take me out of the cot I am in and into the other room where herself, my father and my baby brother have slept in my single bed.

I later learn that the two shapes in my parent’s bed were two of my uncles (whom I’d never met), arrived late at night from New York for my grandfather’s funeral.

Halloween 1980, aged 19 months.

My earliest memory.

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Earlier in the year I took a trip. A long, once in a lifetime (though hopefully not ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) trip around the world. I took probably thousands of photographs of the wonderful things I saw. At the time many of my favourite photographs were of stunning sunsets, tropical islands, beautiful coastal views.

But my favourites have begun to change.

This is now one of my favourites.

It is a photo of the Moeraki Boulders on the west coast of New Zealand’s South Island.

According to tradition:
Local Mฤori legends explained the boulders as the remains of eel baskets, calabashes, and kumara washed ashore from the wreck of an Arai-te-uru, a large sailing canoe. This legend tells of the rocky shoals that extend seaward from Shag Point as being the petrified hull of this wreck and a nearby rocky promontory as being the body of the canoe’s captain.

Though according to science/tourist board!:

The Moeraki Boulders are a number of huge spherical stones, found strewn along a stretch of Koekohe Beach near Moeraki, a small settlement just south of Hampden on New Zealand’s Otago coast.

These boulders are grey-coloured septarian concretions which have been exposed through shoreline erosion from black mudstone coastal cliffs that back the beach.
They originally formed in ancient sea floor sediments during the early Paleocene some 60 million years ago.

The boulders weigh several tons and are up to three metres in diameter.

At the time it was just a short refreshments stop on a long bus journey on the way from one place to another, we only stopped for maybe half an hour. These boulders – and there are many of them – loom out of the sea and out of the sand dunes like something left there by a passing alien craft. They look completely out of place. And yet everything about this photograph brings me back. To the limitless possibilities of being so far away with only myself for company. To the freedom of looking after and answering only to myself.

And most of all to the wonders of the world and how beautiful it really is.

Sometimes it is easy to miss that or to forget it. Yesterday, showing someone around Dublin for her first time and seeing it through her eyes made me appreciate what Dublin is again. She has just moved here knowing a grand total of two people and is as excited about Dublin as I was about everything on my trip.

What I saw yesterday was a small but vibrant and colourful city, full of art and culture and interesting people. Yes it’s not all good, it has it’s fair share of trouble and troubled citizens but show me any city that doesn’t?

I love it!

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All of us, whether with or without kids are surely aware of the phenomenal rates people are paying to have their children taken care of in a kind, caring and safe environment away from the home while Mammy and Daddy go off to earn the big bucks. They have to be big bucks to pay for what is, in most cases, akin to a second mortgage.
So in these times of recession how much compromise would you be willing to make to get your little darlings into a more affordable place?

I’m all for saving money where possible but even I wouldn’t even consider putting my kids (if I had any) in here. Wonder why it’s affordable?

As a friend would say ‘EPIC FAIL’!
Image from here.

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“Personal Blog might document a personal activity of the blogger that is helping the disadvantaged”

According to the Blog Action Day website this is what the personal blogger (i.e. me) should be writing about today to highlight poverty in the world.

I’m not sure if I am doing anything to alleviate poverty, save my own. I no longer give to charity on a consistent basis, I can’t afford it. I count almost every penny through necessity and am probably looked at as a miser for it but needs must, etc.

I think after the Irish government’s Budget yesterday, people are going to have less and less to give away to to others, needing more just to keep themseles and their families going. I have already noticed an upward trend in the number of homeless people and beggars on the streets of Dublin and this is only set to get worse. It’s not really poverty compared to other countries of the world but it is the kind that is on my doorstep and the easiest place to lend a helping hand in the absence of some helping cash ๐Ÿ™‚

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No, no, not the sequel to the film, just part two to this post yesterday where I wondered what I might advise a fifteen year old me about life, love, career and all things in between to make her teenage and early twenties years less painful.
There is the school of thought that would say that every painful experience I went through has led me to be where I am today, to the person I am sitting here writing this.
But to that I say bollix.
There were many experiences that only slowed down my growth into the woman I am today and it is in spite of these experiences, not because of them, that I am me. For sure some things taught me more of life, but some things were just a nasty pain in the ass to be borne and struggled through until I got the better of them.
With all that in mind (!), here is my love(ly) letter to 15 year old me:

Dear Daisy,
You are doing your Junior Cert right about now. And you are very serious about it and about doing well. Don’t worry so much, you will do very well. I promise!

Spend more time with your friends. I know you think you need to study, study, study but spending time with your friends and having fun are important things too.

Try not to be scared to go out with your friends when you know they will be up to what you think is ‘up to no good’, drinking or smoking or hanging around with the wrong people. You are strong enough to tell them you don’t want to be part of some things without having to become a hermit.

Think carefully about what subjects you want to do for your Leaving Cert as it is going to be tough going. Pick things you love and are really good at, not what you think might be a ‘sensible idea’ or worse still ‘a bit of a challenge’ ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

Take an interest in boys. Don’t always assume that if you hear from one of your friends who has heard from one of the boys that their friend likes you that it must all be a set-up. They are not trying to make a show of you. They are not trying to trick you into saying you like him too so that they can all have a good laugh about it afterwards. Boys do and will like you, go with it ๐Ÿ™‚

Don’t be afraid to let your friends hug you. I know it’s awkward because no one has ever really hugged you before but go with it and return the favour sometimes. Believe me you love hugs!

Lastly-write more stuff in your Beverly Hills 90210 diary – you’ll enjoy reading it in later years when you rediscover it ๐Ÿ˜€

Much love and hugs to you from me,
Daisy (Age 30)

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