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Archive for September, 2009

Thank You!

In the true sense of this blog WHOOPSADAISY I’ve missed my very own first blogiversary by five days. Yikes.

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16 September 2008 I took the plunge, mostly because my arm had been twisted to join in The Blog Pound but I decided to take the plunge by myself as well and started to blog here on my own little patch of the interwebby universe.

Thanks so much to all of you who have commented and read what I’ve written, I really do appreciate every comment on my posts, every link and every blogroll mention.

You guys rock 🙂

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One of my american cousins has changed his Facebook status to this today:

“Glory is not a conceit. It is not a decoration for valor. Glory belongs to the act of being constant to something greater than yourself, to a cause, to your principles, to the people on whom you rely and who rely on you in return.”…………Dedicated to the three hundred and forty three New York City Firemen who died on september 11,2001. Thankyou, I DO NOT FORGIVE AND WILL NEVER FORGET”

The last line I find kind of chilling, particularly the ‘I DO NOT FORGIVE’. He is a member of the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) as is another cousin but although both joined after 9/11, the sense of community and togetherness and unity that the event itself instilled in the services means that they feel as much a part of it as those who experienced it directly. And how could they miss it really with memorials adorning the walls of the stations inside and out.

Hells Kitchen - Ladder 21 & Engine 34

Hells Kitchen - Ladder 21 & Engine 34

The memorial between the two doors is a series of seven plaques, one for each firefighter from that station lost in 9/11, the cross is made from parts of things found at Ground Zero.

Hells Kitchen FD close up

For the eagle-eyed ones among you, I posted the below as a comment on a 9/11 blog post elsewhere this time last year-before I had my own blog. I’ve edited it a little. I thought it might be of interest today to the few of you who frequent here 🙂

I seem to remember that news started to filter through to the office I worked in around 2pm after people went back to their desks and did their ritual post-lunch checking of SkyNews etc. before settling back down to work. Normal worked carried on but with a growing sense of unease in the office that something huge and terrible was happening outside in the ‘real world’.

I remember a panicked phonecall from my mother asking if I’d heard from two cousins I kept in touch with, her brother’s sons, American born and bred, who both worked in Manhattan at the time. Frantic emails were sent as all phone lines to New York, even up-state where their parents lived, seemed to be cut off. Eventually I got a quick email from one of them stating that all was ok, everyone safe as far as they knew, their family unit was still in one piece. His brother had the misfortune to watch out his office window as the second plane slammed into the second tower down the block from where he worked. I still have the emails from that day printed out somewhere, I must re-read them**.

Later though, more was to unfold. Another of my mother’s brothers, the eldest, made a plea bargain with God that day. If only his eldest son, who was to travel to Manhattan for work that day, hadn’t been hurt or worse, he would do anything. Anything for the peace of mind that one of those falling bodies wasn’t his. His wish was granted and he has kept his word, he has never touched alcohol since. This from a man who thoroughly enjoyed a few beers. The whole thing changed him a lot, I can see it even the few times a year that I see him.

Later still, a son of close friends of the family in New York became a victim of 9/11. He was a carpenter working for the state of New York and drafted into Ground Zero as were thousands of other workers in addition to the emergency services for the clean-up operation. As with many others, he was later diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. After a long, painful and brave battle including a period of remission, he succumbed to the illness and died two years ago leaving a devastated wife and three young children behind. The State of New York have yet to pay any of his medical bills or a pension to his widow. His sister is fighting the cause. Incidentally it has been in the paper recently (2008), both here & in the US, you can read a bit here.

**I’ve actually been to the attic and dug out those emails, here’s the most appropriate one I think, it really conveys the feelings of those there at the time, the panic, the rumours, the sense of fear.

MattHalpinClick on the image for a larger version.

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Carpet_Theatre__THE_BLANCH__photo_2_by_Emma_Haugh__pictured_Bryan_Burroughs_and_Amy_Conroy_detailBeing from ‘De Blanch’ as it is affectionately known, I was either going to love or hate a show based on the ‘loveliness’ of the Blanchardstown Shopping Centre and it’s frequenters. When I first saw Darraghs video from the launch of the Fringe Festival I thought this was one show I had to see. If nothing else, for the catchy theme tune 🙂

Billed as a ‘grotesque comedy about shopping’, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. I knew there would be skits based on stereotypical skangers but wasn’t quite prepared for Orlagh and Enda, living on credit, driving a Pajero, with 2.4 children and a credit card bill as long as your arm.

To be honest, ‘The Blanch’ was my first ever Fringe Festival event. I expected things to be a bit rough round the edges, simple costumes, no sets, etc and that’s what we got. The material in places was spot on (the recording of the voice at the crossing is an exact copy and was a brilliant addition) and in other places, not so much. It’s a show that has huge potential to be great fun but it needs polishing and trimming. There are several scenes they could do without and the almost gratuitous violence against each other and (admittedly imaginary) children was just of no comedic value in my opinion, although the lady sitting next to me seemed to find it hilarious!

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Enda and Orlagh

The show I saw was a preview so presumably things will be tightened up and changed around for the main run and hopefully they make the most of the real comedy potential in some of the sketches.

The cast were great with Amy Conroy in particular really stealing the limelight from the two lads. I’m not sure I know anyone that I’d recommend it to but I wish them all the best with the run in the Fringe and in the Axis, Ballymun after that.

If you want to look up The Blanch or any other Fringe Festival events, you can see them on the Fringe Festival website.

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Some time ago I came across some wonderful drawings of glamorous ladies in the 1940s. The artist was David Wright, and the pictures were drawn to epitomise female glamour during World War II. They really caught my eye and I intend to purchase some prints of them for when I eventually get around to putting a selection of photos and pictures up on my walls!

Let me share a few with you:

1909

1962

red white and blue 1945

1910

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This one's my favourite.

You can read a tiny bit more about David Wright on Wikipedia.

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