Archive for March, 2009

Oooh wavey!

Last week while blog-surfing as I do from time to time, I came across a man called Clark Little. Clark is a surfer and photographer from Oahu in Hawaii. What’s special about Clark is that he takes photos of waves, with a super high speed shutter, from inside the wave. The resulting photographs are literally breath-taking, I was completely blown away by them all! Wantsies!

(photos taken from treehugger.com)

Thanks to Colm on Sunny Spells and Scattered Showers who’s blog post about his favourite blogs led me to BoingBoing and in turn to Mr. Little’s photographs.


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The Rain Before it Falls – Jonathan Coe

I had the good fortune to share a taxi ride from the airport into Dublin city centre with Mr. Coe last year when he came over for the Dublin Writer’s Festival to share the stage with Mr. Lloyd Jones and both were a pleasure to speak to.

This book tells the story of Rosamond, a woman born in 1930’s Britain, who survived through World War II and whose entire adult life was shaped by the summer spent with her country cousins during one summer in the forties when many British children were sent out of the cities for their own safety.

Her life is as told by her on a series of tapes in the day or two before her death, and I felt the excitement of her niece and two grand-nieces as they hurriedly tried to find the time to listen to all of the tapes together.

Rosamond, once engaged, never married, tells the tale of her broken engagement, the lesbian relationship with an almost stranger which broke the engagement and coloured the rest of her life, her subsequent attempts to recreate that relationship. Rosamond is on a quest for love through most of the book-when the love of her life leaves her she turns to looking our for her cousin’s daughter, even from afar, and later that girl’s daughter to whom the tapes are originally addressed.

I found the book sad but totally engrossing. Coe has written women so well, indeed there are almost no men in the book and those that are there are merely peripheral characters.

From other reviews I’ve read this is a complete departure from Jonathan Coe’s usual type of novel but I look forward to checking out his others in the future.

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I’ve just finished editing Darragh’s interview with Duke Special back stage at the Greystones Theatre on 26th February 2009.

See if you can spot how many times Darragh says ‘Okay’ :mrgreen:

Darren has already posted some photos from the night.

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I switched over.

Dumped ESB faster than you could say OVER-PRICED. As soon as Bord Gáis were offering a service I changed over in the hopes of a significantly lower bill. My ESB bills were never extortionate anyway, but money saved is money in my pocket, right?
I got the above letter with a lovely booklet as Gaeilge as well as in English telling me all about their terms and conditions of service. Most notably, to my eyes:

anyone currently receiving an electricity allowance towards their ESB bill, will no longer have it paid directly towards their bill but instead will receive a monetary payment which should be used towards payment of their electricity bill

– if one chooses to make part payments, there is a minimum payment of €20.00

– if your account is in arrears, you will be required to pay full payment of arrears plus if your service has been disconnected there is a disconnection fee of €99.88 (incl. VAT) and a reconnection fee of €102.15 (incl. VAT). A grand total of €202.03 if you happen to fall significantly behind in your bills.

As far as I can tell, it might not be the best option to switch over for those who pay their bills bit by bit on a weekly basis with a minimum of €20 or for those receiving social welfare payment towards their bills-there’d be a temptation to spend cash in hand instead of putting it towards a bill possibly.

Also to note is that, strangely, I have yet to be told the price per unit bar the promise that the price will be 10% less than the ESB are charging, regardless of ESB dropping their prices to match Bord Gáis’s introductory offer, plus an additional discount for paying by direct debit. According to the booklet, the tariff structure is available on their website, which I found easily here.

I’m eagerly anticipating my first bill (first time for everything), which I have reliably been informed by the very helpful @TheBigSwitchIRL on Twitter, will be issued on 5th May next. Only time will tell if it was a good idea to switch over, so far it’s looking good though 🙂

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Christchurch New Zealand 14th February 2008.

I was destined to fall in love with New Zealand, I knew it before I got there. The fact that I would arrive on St. Valentine’s Day was just the icing on the cake as far as I was concerned. However it didn’t get off to quite the start I had hoped with my flight from Melbourne arriving late on Valentine’s night, in a downpour of epic proportions.

The downpour lasted for the whole two nights and one day that I spent in Christchurch first time round and I was delighted to get the hell out of there on the second day for my Magic Bus trip around the South Island. When I returned two weeks later however, I had fallen in love with New Zealand for sure and Christchurch welcomed me back with open arms and sunny blue skies 🙂

Here are a few photos from the second time round in Christchurch-I’m pretty sure I took feck all the first time in the rain 😦

Christchurch Art Museum where I spent most of my first (rainy) day in Christchurch looking at beautiful paintings.

The tourist tram, really just for lazy tourists, Christchurch is significantly smaller than even Dublin!

The main square in the city is called Cathedral Square so named thanks to this stunning cathedral.

Life size chess! Well not actual life size, but lots bigger than normal.

The Wizard gives one of his lunch-time sermons. This guy comes out in his ittle car most days with his ladder and stands up there to give some sort of speech. This particular day it was how women’s love for shopping was the ruination of society and men are lazy slobs-he was a very funny guy. There might be a clip or two of him on Youtube (not my clips).

Magnolia flower in the Christchurch Botanic Gardens. I’ll spare you the rest of my flower pictures!

That was all from little Christchurch, but I’ll fill you in with my travels around the South Island next. There are many picture so it’ll be very hard for me to choose. Very, very hard.

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An Taoiseach, Mr. Obama

Sunday I headed off to Denny’s Big Day Out in Dublin city centre as part of the St. Patrick’s Festival. It was a glorious sunny day and as I headed down Merrion Street, many others were heading in the same direction to Merrion Square.

Walking alongside a man and his three or four young children I couldn’t help but overhear their conversation. Walking past Leinster House, the eldest child, a boy of about 7 asked his dad what was that?

“That’s the Taoiseach’s office, that’s where he works.”

Some oohs and aahs of amazement from the kids.

Dad: “Who can tell me who the Taoiseach is? Come on, come on.” He was snapping fingers while saying this, may have been a school teacher in disguise 😀

Oldest lad said something I didn’t quite hear.

Disappointed dad: “No, no its not Barack Obama.”

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It’s happening!!

At last someone has decided to give Irish pop culture culchure a kick up the arse and get blogging it. All of it! All in one place!


The Culchie blog has landed.

I’ve been promised there will be movie, music, gig and book reviews and by the look of things whatever else takes people’s fancy too.

Love this post from AJ about lunch bags! How cute are they?

Now if only they’d get rid of those blasted Watchmen images

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