Archive for the 'Greystones' Category

May 12 2009

Desperation In Green

Published by under Blog,Greystones

In recent weeks, the DART has been getting quieter and quieter. It’s strange. This time last year the train filled rapidly at Greystones and people were forced to stand by the time we were leaving Bray Station. Whereas today, and especially yesterday, this 8.30am DART is less than 50% capacity as we depart Greystones and Bray has to added much to the mix.

Ok, some of it can be put down to the kids studying for exams and such, some of it can be put down to people taking their summer holidays, but a drop as dramatic as this is very scary – are job losses really gone this bad?

A taxi driver told Lottie last week that he can see a definite decline in traffic over the past 6 months. Even Rick has photographic evidence of the drop in train travelling numbers.

ESRI says it’s going to get a lot worse before it improves, with unemployment hitting over 16% next year. Can it get much worse?

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Mar 31 2008

I’m An Ambassador

Published by under Blog,Greystones,Music

Following on from Mulley’s post and Anthony’s follow up, I wondered what I am an ambassador for. I’m not sure if I’d call it being an ambassador but I certainly rant about much of the following:


Little Shop of HorrorsToo many guys today are afraid to either admit to enjoying musicals, or afraid to let themselves like musicals. I’m not! I love them and have done so for many many years. A love of musicals is one of the first things my girlfriend and I had in common. Probably the earliest musical I fell in love with was, rather unusually, Little Shop of Horrors. I think I empathised with the beleaguered Seymour desperately hoping for a way to get out of Skid Row……or maybe I just loved the songs. From Rocky Horror to Jesus Christ Superstar, from Blood Brothers to Rent, no other medium can constantly give me shivers of joy as much as when I fall into the worlds created by songs and good storytelling. But am I an ambassador for Musicals? I think so. I’m an ambassador for being proud of enjoying them. I try to introduce people to shows with varying successes.


John CusackI had a brief twitter with Mulley a few nights ago about Grosse Pointe Blank. Whenever someone asks me my favourite movie, I always try to break it down, wondering what’s the most cinematic, most uplifting, most technically impressive, most thought provoking. But if I’m truly honest, my favourite movie must be Grosse Pointe Blank. I laugh out loud everytime I watch it. I love the world and the characters that inhabit it. The music is fantastic and the dialogue is brilliantly witty. Everyone should see this movie, John Cusack’s Best, and while it won’t be to everyone’s taste, I can’t imagine anyone walking away from it saying they didn’t enjoy it.


Juliet TurnerWhen we first moved to Dublin, 7ยฝ years ago, we went out a lot. For some reason we always had a lot of disposable money (possibly due to the cheap hole we were living in). Whenever possible, we would go to gigs and we would make special efforts to see Jack L and Juliet Turner. Jack’s voice should be declared a national treasure and Turner’s quirky sense of humour added so much to the already astounding music at her concerts. Over the years we have converted a good few people to fans of the pair. At one of Juliet Turner’s gigs about five years ago, an odd act, called Duke Special, was her support. His stage presense and eclectic tunes made us immediate fans. While we shouted his praise for years, it’s bittersweet to see him have so much success now. It’s hard not being part of a group of devoted fans, when the group is in the hundreds of thousands. That said, I’m delighted for him and his band – they deserve every bit of success the get. (I’m putting together a post on Jack L which will be up later or tomorrow)


There’s a group of people which I would like to consider myself an ambassador for and that is the bullied, especially kids. No child (and no person) deserves to be victimised and abused. It’s a subject that is close to my heart and while I would be an ambassador, a megaphone for the persecuted, I have not yet found my voice. But I will.


Greystones NO PHOTOSHOPWe moved to Greystones almost three years ago and immediately fell in love with the town. It’s more a home to me than anywhere else I’ve lived. And I am happy to rave about the place. It’s beatiful and quiet, but within easy reach of Dublin; it has great community spirit, as illustrated by Gingerpixel; it can grow outwards without losing any of its inner charm. That last point may be argued by some of the older residents, and while I can understan their viewpoint, the growth of Greystones own subburbs can only bring more amenities and oportunities to the town. Without growth comes stagnation. The people, for the most part, are very friendly, something which I have struggled to find elsewhere along Ireland’s east coast. It’s a great town and I would invite people to visit, to stay a while, to move here – they won’t be disappointed.


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Mar 26 2008

St. Patrick’s Weekend

Published by under Blog,Greystones,Night Out

I said I would return to write a post about St. Patrick’s weekend and, true to my words, I present:

Well, I’ve had quite the weekend. Full of old friends and nostalgia, newer friends and dramas. There were fights and resolutions, there was poetry from an unlikely source and some music to play Scrabble by. ISt Patrick's Day discovered things about myself and my life, but more significantly I uncovered some truths about those around me. I can’t say it was standard weekend, but then again Saint Patrick’s long weekend is not standard.


Much of Friday’s evening is tough to tell a tale about. There were a number of differing events and interactions that were initially negative but on a worldly scale, perhaps a little positive. I’m sorry if this sounds somewhat cryptic, but I think I’ve encountered my first post to require censorship. While I would only write the truth, the truth can hurt and other peoples’ perception of the truth may differ slightly from mine. Therefore, I’ll stay schtum, except to say…I wouldn’t change a thing.

The remainder of this post will not require a degree in cryptology, I promise. Friday night’s official event was an old friend’s birthday party. I’ll call him the Musicman as he was the first person I ever met who instilled in me a true appreciation for music and for making music. Indeed, we had a band in school and wrote songs together. I am forever thankful for meeting this guy. I have covered much of this night in a previous post, so the only thing I’ll add is this…Musicman, why did you abandon the music? Musicman is now a successful scientist (I could go into detail about his career, but I’d just be confusing me and the readers) and will undoubtedly make a name for himself and, most importantly, a fortune in his field. I guess I just envisioned a day when we would both abandon our respective career paths and finally finish that musical we started. It’s a nice dream, so let me dream it.


What? No hangover? Fantastic!

I awoke at a reasonable hour and pottered about while The Otter Half studied. Our new bikes are still glaring at us angrily because we have yet to take them outside. We toyed with the idea for a while but then Hugh Laurie had a better idea. We nestled into the couch for some time, watching House MD.

As evening fell, my Otter Half drove me down to the badlands (Wicklow Town) to meet my father for a drink, while she skirted the outskirts of the town in Ashford, to spend the evening with her Grandmother. My dadGuinness Hat and I hit The Old Forge, my once-upon-a-time-local-pub, and embraced the thing that God granted all good men – Guinness.

I will admit that there was much imbibing done, but late into the evening the conversation became philosophical, as such Guinness fueled, father-son, once-upon-a-time-local-pub conversations often do. We discussed our lives – our respective pasts, presents and futures. His past was not as rosy as mine (and I thank him and Mother for ensuring this). His present is a hive of confusion, hardship, a hope that his crises are mid-life and not end-life crises. And, depressingly, his future doesn’t seem to feature in his thoughts.

So, in the midst of his sharing old stories with me, he began to recite in an ancient Seanchai lilt a story about youth and friendship and a night out with the lads in nineteen hundred and something something. When he finished his poetic verse, I asked him where he learned it, where he heard it, who wrote it, who first said it. And he replied, “ah, my man, that’s just your father”. He shocked me. I was all set to hear more from this poet…except it was my father, a man who has more in common with Homer Simpson than Yeats. Unsure of how to feel or what to say, we moved on and had another pint, but it’s a moment I won’t forget and it’s a moment I’ll return to.


St. Patrick’s Day didn’t really feature in our home. I can’t say I’m much of a fan of the parades and brouhaha anyway, but we did have an enjoyable day. After another few discs of House on DVD, we popped down the town to see what all the drum banging and bagpipery was all about. Apparently we had just missed the procession. Oh damn, what a shame, he said as sarcasm smoke billowed up from the sarcasm fire lit beneath his words.

There’s a new ‘EcoShop‘ open in the centre beneath our apartment. An EcoShop is a shop that cashes in on the gullibility of the economic environment that surrounds it. What? That’s not an EcoShop? Oh, my mistake! Apparently it’s a shop that sells ecologically sound produce.

Well, they suckered me in. I bought a can of cola made from fruit juices (surprisingly delicious), some fairScrabble trade honey from Jamaica (so smooth and flavoursome, I doubt I’ll ever return to that homemade Boyne Valley crap again), Green and Black’s version of Nutella (I fail to see the earth-saving relevance of this product, but it tastes great on a bagel) and some cocoa (which I have yet to sample). The whole thing is very overpriced but it’ll undoubtedly be a roaring success. This once niche market fits nicely with the keep-up-with-the-Jones nature and attitudes of Greystones.

We concluded our evening with a few games of Scrabble, some music and a nice few drinks. The perfect relaxing end to my weekend.

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