Archive for the 'Blog' Category

Oct 02 2009

Oh, You Pretty Thing

Published by under Blog,Music

This is what I’ve been listening to this morning…a lot…

2 responses so far

Sep 30 2009

Byrne, Of No Fixed Address

Published by under Blog

A friend of mine sent me the following article which appears on Kent Online and asked the question – “Is this you?”

Two men admitted conspiring to take heroin into a prison when they appeared at Maidstone Crown Court on Monday.

Dino Gillett, 36, of Canterbury Road, Westgate, and Jack Hennessy, 22, of Pritchards Avenue, Hawkinge, Folkestone, also pleaded guilty to taking mobile phones SIM cards and batteries into Elmley Prison, Sheppey, between February 8 and March 14.

Gillett’s wife Sahra, 35, Carly Morris, 24, who worked for Serco Security at Canterbury Crown Court, and Darren Byrne, 29, were also in the dock.

Gillett, of Thanet Road, Ramsgate, Morris, of Devonshire Road, Dover, and Byrne, of no fixed address, will enter pleas to the charges on October 20.

Dino Gillett also admitted 10 charges of supplying undercover police officers with crack cocaine and heroin between April 14 and May 1.

Dino Gillett, Hennessy and Byrne were remanded in custody and Sahra Gillett and Morris had their bail continued.

Judge Philip St John-Stevens told Dino Gillett and Hennessy they were facing “significant” custody.

They will sentenced after the trial of Byrne, Sahra Gillett and Morris on January 4.

I was insulted. Although, is it a bad sign that I wasn’t put out by the suggestion I was involved in illegal activity, I wasn’t miffed by the suggestion that I’m now homeless, I wasn’t bothered by the fact that a friend of mine (who knows I own my own home) thought I was now living on the streets of Kent? The thing that got on my nerves was that he thought I was 29 years of age!!! I’m 28 damnit.

2 responses so far

Aug 27 2009

Whatever Limits Us We Call Fate – Emerson

Published by under Blog

It’s strange. I think I only ever consider the possibility of fate and destiny and a predetermined route when things are going wrong. When I’m ‘down on my luck’, this is when I think that some higher power is fucking with me.

When things are going well, it’s all me. It’s my good decisions, wise actions and forthright, positive thinking that has brought me to this good place. But on those dark days, it’s my bad luck.

When I was younger I imagined there was a Laughing God. I think it’s the only deity I ever really believed in. The Laughing God loved nothing more than to mess with my life, to place me in awkward, difficult, horrible positions, just to watch me squirm. The Laughing God was not a good God.

So, is there fate? Is there a higher power, a puppet master yanking at our strings? I don’t think so. Wouldn’t life be a bit pointless if that were true?

4 responses so far

Aug 07 2009

Friday Evening

Published by under Blog

And why shouldn’t I treat myself? This is the first birthday I’ve had, since becoming a wage earner aged 16, that I haven’t bought myself a birthday present.

I do it every year. Whether it be a new phone, a snazzy but pointless gadget, a trip away. This year, I did not.

So, I’m perfectly entitled to sit in the Westbury and order an €11 glass of wine and watch the world of the wealthy wander by.

There’s a wedding on, but I’ve found a quiet corner in The Marble Bar. Near me is a table of four. The D4 Mummy is looking dishevelled, but expensively so. Her children, a boy and a girl, are quiet. I’m the first to admit that a noisy child is the single most annoying thing you can find in a bar, but these kids were too quiet. They clearly don’t want to be here. Mummy chastises one of them for not sitting up straight. The 10 year old girl promptly corrects her posture.. Daddy seems oblivious.

He is slumped in his chair, bored with the world. His phone rings and he glances at it with a mixture of fear and disgust. He doesn’t answer it. Instead, he stares at the phone, now resting on the table. He stares at it, as if contemplating the death of the phone or his own demise. “It’s either you or me, phone.”

Has he lost his fortune in the recession? Has he just been laid off? Did his stallion not make it to the Horse Show? Or is he just bored with his lot? His irritating wife, his ‘perfect’ children, the SUV and the private members club, the big house and the boring friends.

Mummy informs the family that they are leaving. The girl and boy jump to their feet with military precision. Daddy drags himself out of the chair slowly. He contemplates his phone again, before pocketing it. Shoulders hunched, he dutifully follows his wife and kids out the door and back to a life he clearly does not want.

I sip my wine. It tastes good and I smile.

3 responses so far

Aug 07 2009

Life Is The Name Of The Game

Published by under A Year in my Life,Blog

As I turn 28, I still act like a child. As I turn 28, I still enjoy silly games and childish pranks. As I turn 28, I still watch cartoons, laugh at juvenile comedies and look forward to watching the latest mindless Summer blockbuster.

At As I turn 28, I drink with my friends and go out regularly. As I turn 28, I don’t feel tied down or restrcited. As I turn 28, I still believe the world is my oyster and I can do or be anything.

But as I turn 28, I am proud of my responsible side. As I turn 28, I look around at my beautiful longterm girlfriend, my wonderful home, my good job and my meowing cat. As I turn 28, I have a mortgage, loans, credit cards and a savings account and I’m proud of what I have achieved.

I realise life is art, but always a work in progress. As I turn 28, I’m happy to say – I like how mine is looking so far.


A friend of mine from my school days is getting married soon. I received the invitation last week and I was surprised by how overcome with emotion I was. I’m so happy for him. I look back at lunchtimes in 5th year, when we would sit out on the grass verge talking about music or the leaving cert or whatever teacher was irritating us that day. 10 years later, we have full lives and responsibilities. It’s mind blowing. It’s brilliant.

One response so far

Jul 28 2009

The Oddballs Are Out In Force

Published by under Blog,DART,Story

The oddballs are out in force this morning. The DARTs have been getting quieter and quieter in the mornings, and therefore less eventful. Occasionally, we find our eardrums accosted by Spanish students on their way to a tour of Dublin’s sites, but mostly it’s just me and dwindling numbers of half-recognised faces ignoring each other, staring blankly out at the sea or buried deep in our books, phones, laptops.

This morning, had the sun not been shining in the sky I would have assumed it a full moon. We begin with Mr. Touch. I watched him board. He gently caressed the door frame. He did not just tip his hand off it or hold the frame for support. He ran his fingers and hand along both sides and the upper part of the door frame, as he stepped onto the train. Then he stood. He looked around the carriage. As I mentioned, it’s very quiet these days, so he had his pick of seats. I didn’t see what he was waiting for. Then he reached out and grabbed one of the bars people use for support when standing. With both hands he rubs the bar up and down, up and down, up and down. More than just me was staring, bewildered at this man’s disturbing ritual.

As he moved forward into the carriage I could see he was wearing trousers that were a few inches too small for him, odd socks (black and white) and a t-shirt that was about 4 sizes too big for him. It draped on him like a poncho. His jacked was old – it was a rain jacket, black and shiny. His telescopic glasses looked like they could identify individual grains of sand on the moon.

He finally chose a seat. Not beside me, thankfully, but in the next set of four seats. As he sat down, he touched everything. Again, he rubbed and caressed. His chair below his ass, the back of his seat behind him and then the wall behind him before settling on the window. For two stations, he just sat there head down, rubbing the window. A woman sitting across from him looked very worried – perhaps concerned that he might start rubbing her. He did not. Perhaps she wasn’t the right texture for him.

At Dalkey, another odd gent got on. He was elderly, but probably not as old as he looked. Short, extremely skinny and with two bugged eyes that more or less held banners out in front of him proclaiming “I am strange”. The banner toting eyeballs did not lie. He sat directly behind me, opposite a woman who was so engrossed in her copy of Let The Right One In that she didn’t even notice him sit down.

He immediately began apologising to her. Now, as far as I could see, he had not done anything to apologise for. He didn’t bump into her or knock over her bag, so she was understandably startled by his sorries. He kept saying it – “I’m very sorry, I’m sorry ma’am, I’m sorry, I’m very sorry” and she was baffled by him. She tried to calm him with her own incessant “it’s fine, it’s fine, don’t worry, it’s ok”, but it did no good. Eventually, he just quietened down. The apologies became a dull murmur and then a faint whisper and then they were gone.

But sadly for the young woman, that wasn’t the end of it. He quietly said, “excuse me ma’am, excuse me ma’am”. She had no choice but to respond. He was very quietly spoken and I couldn’t make out what he said. Neither could she it seemed, at first. I heard her say “oh, Sydney Parade? Yes, I’ll tell you”. Presumably he had asked her to let him know when he reached his stop. This was followed with another minute-long tirade of “thank you, thank you, thank you very much, thank you ma’am, thank you”. This too eventually dwindled and tapered off.

At Sydney Parade, she did her duty and told him it was his stop. He immediately began a new set of thank you’s and as the train pulled out of the station, we could see him staring back at her, still mouthing the words – “thank you ma’am”.

Is it a full moon tonight?

6 responses so far

Jul 08 2009


Published by under Big Brother,Blog,Story

My little project has been abandoned. Lack of time, lack of interest, lack of motivation – take your pick. It’s all finished in my notepad, so I may come back to it some day, but not right now.


Cheers to anyone who was reading. 🙂

7 responses so far

Jun 23 2009

Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds

Published by under Blog,Music

No responses yet

May 24 2009

An Empty DART Story

Published by under Blog,Story

Just Lottie and I. On a Saturday afternoon. On an empty DART.

There’s no annoying teen voices, no too-loud headphones, no intricate lies across strangers faces, no loves being born nor hearts being broken.

Just a quiet train and an empty notepad.

7 responses so far

May 22 2009

Leaving On A Jet Plane

Published by under Blog

She’s staying home. He’s off to work in London for six months. She’s weeping on his shoulder. He’s trying to be strong for her. She’s saying how much she’ll miss him. He’s saying how much they’ll still visit each other. She looks genuinely broken. He looks exasperated and glad to be leaving.

It’s fun to watch this real life soap opera unfold in front of me. Neither are being particularly quiet, though he seems a little embarrassed by the situation, so we are all privy to every detail of their conversation.

She’s an overly painted blonde, aged around 19, dressed all in pink (ALL in pink – shoes, dress hairband, necklace, the works) and he’s a mid-twenties, suited, moisturised ginger. With every whinge and whine from her about destiny and soul mates, he moves further from his initial lovey-dovey ‘I can’t live without you’ position and closer to his eventual ‘look, will you just calm down’ just as I alight at Pearse Street Station. If it wasn’t so cringeworthy, it would make great television.

When his phone rings, he greets the person on the other end with such warmth and relief – I’m finding it hard to see why these two people are a couple in the first place.

I’m reminded of the episode of Friends when Chandler can’t break up with Janice, so he tells her he’s moving to Yemen instead. She escorts him all the way to the airport where he eventually has to get on the plane to Yemen. I wonder if Blondie will see Ginger Boy off at Dublin Airport…

5 responses so far

May 21 2009

What Floods Ideas Are

Published by under Blog

It’s said by many that the classic prolific French author Victor Hugo’s much adapted novel Les Miserables, following the lives and interactions of several French characters over a twenty year period in the early 19th century, starting in 1815, the year of Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo, focussing on the struggles of ex convict Jean Valjean and his journey for redemption, as we watch the nature of law and grace unfold amid the backdrop of France’s changing history, the architecture of Paris, politics, moral philosophy, justice, religion and love, first published to a mixed reception in 1862, contains possibly the longest sentences in the French language and even contains the longest sentence in literature as a whole, with a diligently crafted but ultimately barely readable 823 words, and that the verbose author merely constructed the sentence to be difficult and to claim the dubious honour of having constructed said the sentence, but a brief glance across Google’s first page of a search for the term ‘does victor hugo’s les miserables contain the longest sentence in literature’ points out that Timothy Fullerton’s A Compendium of useless Information, published in 1975, may have been erroneous in its claim, citing examples such as our own James Joyce’s notoriously heavy going Ulysses as having a sentence containing 4,391 words, a polish novel Gates of Paradise with a 40,000 word sentence, a czech novel Dancing Sessions for the Advanced of Age with a sentence clocking it 13,955 words, the novel which went on to inspire Jonathan Coe to write his 13,955 word sentence in 2001 for his book The Rotters Club, in 2001, and even the French novel by the famed Marcel Proust, Sodom et Gomorrhe, with a sentence of 847 words, all quickly debunking Fullerton’s claim, which just goes to show that research and proper preparation are essential when compiling such compendiums, and all of these extended sentences must lead a reader to ask if there is any advantage to him or her in this, or whether the longwinded, over-reaching is just a way of stroking the ego of some of these authors, allowing them to prove themselves master of language.

And just think, my sentence is a mere 356 words long.

5 responses so far

May 20 2009

The Turtle

Published by under Blog,Story

The turtle wished he could fly…and it was so.

As he floated away, he looked down at his turtle friends and felt no sorrow. Some day he would fly their way again. They would welcome him back with open arms and it would be good.

For years, he flew to new lands and saw great things. He looked down on the gazelles and the plains, the saw the high trees of the rainforest and the wallowing hippos in the Amazon river. He travelled to man made cities and rested atop high concrete towers. He witnessed the turning of time from on high and it was beautiful.

Then he flew with the eagle and the eagle’s family. The eagle greeted him with a smile and they all flew high into the clouds together. For days, the turtle soared with the birds and the eagle showed him many great things. Sometimes he would catch the eagle looking inquisitively at him. For the first few times he let it pass – it was fun to watch the great bird’s confusion at the flying turtle.

Then, after a week, he said to the eagle, “You stare at me strangely, you know?”

“I am sorry. I do not mean to… I was wondering…” The eagle’s voice trailed off. He was unsure if he should continue.

“If you want to ask me a question, ” said the turtle, “please, go ahead”.

“Where is your family?” asked the eagle.

The turtle was stunned. He did not expect this question.

“What do you mean? Do you not want to ask me how it is that I fly? Do you not want to know what I’ve seen? Do you not want to know what it is like for a turtle to see the world from the eagle’s viewpoint?”

“But you are not an eagle. What use is there in seeing all these wonders, if you have no family, no friends to share them with?”

The eagle felt so sorry for the turtle. The turtle stared on. He did not want to fly anymore. He realised that seeing all these great things on high was empty. He experienced nothing. He was not living.

Resolute, he flew off at speed. He flew day and night without pause. Over the mountains and rivers and trees and animals and seas, he flew, ignoring all of it, knowing where he wanted to be.

He was home. High above, he looked down on his old friends. There seemed to be more turtles now and his friends had aged. He supposed that he must look aged too.

He flew down and proclaimed, “friends, fellow turtles, I am home. I am returned.”

With a slow, gentle and warm glance, one of his old friends nodded in acknowledgement at the returning turtle. Then he turned his back and walked away.

The other turtles, one by one, did the same.

“But why don’t you talk to me,” the turtle asked. “I have seen great things and I want to share them with you, I want you to know all the wonders I have known.”

One of them turned and spoke, “Old friend, we are happy for you. We are happy that you have done well and have seen great wonders. But we have grown older and moved on. We have families and other responsibilities. Though we wish you well, there is no place for you here now. Goodbye.”

He did not fly off. He merely lay there alone and shed a tear. In seeking greatness, he had missed his whole life.

15 responses so far

May 19 2009

Hero In A Teacup

Published by under Blog

Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, the Nokia tune, some hip hop gansta rap, a new and different version of the irritating crazy frog noise, some Take That, a string of polyphonic peals – with all of these the kid was quickly trying the patience of my fellow passengers.

I was ok with it. Any other morning and I would have been quietly mumbling death wishes on the boy, along with everyone else, but this morning I was content to watch the stress and distress on their faces, the withering glances from the old woman in the corner (that went completely unnoticed), the audible sighs (audible to everyone except the kid who was completely engrossed in his collection of ringtones) and the subtle glances at each other, acknowledging their shared hell.

Then, completely out of the blue, one man who before this seemed not to mind the noise at all, grabbed the phone from the teen’s hand and slid it along the floor of the train, halfway up the carriage. The youth got such a fright and he was about to give out to the man until he saw his immense size. The kid grabbed his bag and went off in search of his phone – he did not return to his seat. Nor did he return to his self conducted symphony.

The smiling faces on my fellow passengers faces and the gratified  tap on the shoulder of the phone thrower has set me up for the day.

11 responses so far

May 14 2009

The Young And The Senseless

Published by under Blog

I wasn’t going out of my way to listen in. I was happily scribbling down things into my notepad, waiting for Lottie to get on at the next stop. The woman just happened to be quite loud, but once I heard her, the situation had my full attention.

The first thing I heard from this woman who was reading a newspaper article to a young boy, was something about a murder and rape trial. She was reading the details to him and he was asking questions about it. I’m useless at working out people’s ages but I would guess he was about 6 or 7, certainly no older than 8. She my have been in her mid to late 40’s. Maybe I’m behind the times but it didn’t seem right that she would be talking about these things to him with such vigour.

She read other articles, but none that stood out. He was very interested and inquisitive about everything, so continued asking questions as she read. Once the paper was put away, they just chatted. Lottie said later that the woman seemed to speak to the young boy the same way she would speak to someone her own age. That’s probably about right.

When are you going to get away from the farm and go on holidays somewhere warm“, she asked him.

Never,” he answered resolutely, with a smile. He was cheeky but harmless.

You’re getting as bad as your father“, she replied, which would be a negative enough thing to say to a young boy, except she actually went far further than that…

Do you know the furthest your father’s ever been? The last time he was outside the county border was for his honeymoon in Wexford.

I think she cackled then, but that may have been my imagination adding that. The relationship was becoming clear. She wasn’t the mother – she was likely an aunt.

The boy said, “No – he goes away to get the feed. That’s miles away.” Such innocence in his voice and it seemed all she wanted to do was crush it.

She laughed loudly (more than one person on the train turned to see what was going on at this point).

Every year I go to Kerry,” she said, “and that’s further“.

The boy stopped asking questions and became very quiet for a while. One of the last things I heard from the duo as they departed from the train was her saying – “you’re spending too much time with your father and his brother – they’re both useless too.

Lovely woman.


4 responses so far

May 13 2009


Published by under A Year in my Life,Blog

I had a dream last night. It was one of those vivid dreams where you awaken and wonder if it really happened, was it real. It was so preposterous that it couldn’t possibly be real.


It begins in a hotel bar in Dublin, where a friend has convinced me to go to some bizarre event.

One moment we are having a pint as I nervously discuss the possibility of leaving, and suddenly we are transported to the registration desk where a big woman with a warm smile greets us. I look to one side and see an unusual man with a Mohawk beside his cheerful friend with the chirpy Kilkenny accent. Then we are cheering winners of an award introduced by the DJ, Rick O’Shea. Then we are dancing with all the new strangers.

In a flash, I am on the bus home, eagerly writing about the strange events of the night. Another flash and I’m sitting in another Dublin bar, talking to a wild woman who talked to me like we had been friends for years. I sit talking with a quiet man who leaves an incredible and indelible impression on me and a far-from-quiet man who tells me he is a binman. The dream is becoming very surreal and I find myself writing again – about my adoption and other personal moments in my life and I am receiving kind words and encouragement for my musings. Before the dream began, I couldn’t have imagined being this open to complete strangers, to the world.

Another flash. I’m alone in an old fashioned bar. I’m about to go to a Jay-Z concert. Now I know this is a dream. The DJ from the start of the dream walks in. We sit and drink lucozade and talk like old friends. The room is filled with more strangers and one friend of mine from school. Most of my dreams end up having elements of my past in them, so it’s not too unusual. I dance to Jay-Z’s rap stylings while a quirky tall woman tussles my hair repeatedly.

I’m in a house in Blackrock with Lottie. We are surrounded by more strangers. We talk of life and love and play with an Indiana Jones hat and whip. There are shots and I am massaging the head of a girl I just met. This dream just keeps getting stranger and stranger.

I’m at a music festival. I had never in my life been to a music festival. There’s a tornado and I see tents and chairs fly over my head. I talk with that DJ again. He seems to be guiding me through the dream. He speaks of parallels in our lives, of friendship and fate, and though I’m not sure I understand, I know what he is saying is important.

My brother is there. And I am standing in a circle of teenagers watching REM on the main stage. I wonder if I am getting too old, or conversely am I getting younger. Am I a teenager now too? Living the life I couldn’t ten years previous?

I don’t get my answer, for in another flash I am watching Tom Waits thunder across a stage in a tent in Phoenix Park. I’m in awe. A man behind me is crying.

I’m at another gig. It’s Duke Special, then Jack L, then Juliet Turner, then Cathy Davey, then Neil Hannon. I’m in the box at the Olympia, watching Stephen Lynch. I’m at more comedy gigs. The dreaming is moving fast and jumping back and forth. I see Jason Byrne’s nose bleeding…and we all laugh. I hug Des Bishop and he sings Léim Thart. There’s comedians all around me. Stranger and stranger.

I am at home. Lottie is there. Things are calm and easy. We are drinking wine as our friends arrive. Great friends. People I did not know before the dream started, but who have now become a vital part of my life. We laugh and drink. We break bread together. As we talk, one of my new friends brings tears to our eyes and he speaks of the love he has found. He likens it to swinging on a star. As midnight tolls, we ring in a new year. It is one of the greatest moments of anyone’s life. And it is happening to me. I am dreaming.

I had this dream last night and wish it had been real. It spanned a year of my life. It couldn’t have been real. No one could have a year filled with so much life and love and people and events and eye-opening moments. I wish it was real – it would have been the greatest year of my life.

20 responses so far

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