Saturday, 15 April 2017

The Train, Abbey Theatre

Yesterday was Good Friday in Ireland, and while some businesses close unfortunately the part of the company I am currently working in does not - but however I chose to take the day off.  Which I am glad of. It's feeling like a very nice long weekend already and it's only Saturday.

Cousin Kasey, Enid and I met in my flat where I made some cocktails.  The (ridiculous) licencing laws in Ireland outlaws the sale of alcohol, and the Church says one should not drink on Good Friday.  On this basis I go out of my way to make sure I have a drink or two.  I really do not like being told what I can or can't do by the State - particularly when the State is being told that by the Church...  And ironically enough, this year, that ties in nicely with the theme of the play we saw later.

I had intended making a few different cocktails.  But in the end I was too busy chatting and we needed to leave earlier than intended to collect our tickets, so the pineapple dacquiris and ciproskas were scratched, and I just made Falling Waterfalls and vodka and diet cokes.
I've no photo of the food but it was LOVELY - thanks to Cousin Kasey for bringing!

From there we headed down to The Abbey to see The Train

This poster was up outside my office during the week

We had another quick drink before the start of the play - theatres are exempt from the licencing laws.  You see! Like it makes no sense at all.  Why is a theatre exempt but a pub is not?  Crazy. 
And I ordered our interval drinks.  Ok enough about alcohol on Good Friday, on to the play!!!

But first, a pic of Enid and I (posterity! posterity!)

The Train
It was wonderful! Absolutely wonderful.  Such an imaginative and creative way of telling the story of the contraceptive train, plus the Ireland as it was then - how much the church was involved in the "bedroom" of Irish families. 

The actors were excellent - and great singers - it is a musical afterall.  All in all a great production. 

AND at the very end a superb hat tip to #WakingTheFeminists (do you remember my blog post about the event I attended) and a call to action for more areas of women's lib where change is needed.  To be honest it did depress me that while there have been improvements of course (contraception, divorce, signing for loans without a man [bloody hell], removal of obligatory redundancy on marriage, equal pay) there are still remaining other areas where there is MASSIVE improvement needed - bodily autonomy for women being key of course.... #Repealthe8th.  While two years ago Enid and I did a lot of canvassing for Marriage Equality,  Enid had told me that she didn't think she could do it for a referendum for Repeal the 8th. That considering some of the stuff we encountered on the doorsteps (while mostly good, when it was bad, it was HORRIFIC), that she just thought it would be too emotive.  Anyway after last night she thinks she will do it.  I am happy about that - she was really good at it - but I want her to only do it if she wants to do it herself. 

Team Clean up Dublin

Here's Enid and I at a canal clean up day a couple of years ago.  It was the most gorgeous weather that day.   Lol which is why I am wearing a Hawaiian shirt and a mini skirt. In Ireland.  As you do. Actually, when the sun shines in Ireland it absolutely IS what you MUST do, in my opinion!

And here we are on Friday picking litter in Ranelagh.  There were loads of other jobs we could have done - weeding, painting plant pots etc - but we always volunteer for the unglamorous job of litter picking.  Reason being that no one else volunteers for it, and it just needs to be done, and anyway we just walk along chatting and having a laugh and the time flies and we get loads done.

Holy Thursday 2017

Enid, Alice and I met up for a catchup on Thursday in Xico on Baggot Street.  Enid isn't mad on the food but it suited Alice and I - she wasn't in the mood for walking far as she was wearing very fancy shoes, and I just adore the food here.
I ordered the chili as I always do.  My friend Tara and I are obsessed with the rice here.  Last time we went we were asking so much questions about it that they were almost going to send the chef out ot us  #ricenerds
Tara and I go here a lot - we used to go a lot when it was the Baggot Lounge previously.  "Pint and a platter?" used to be our code for will we go to the Baggot for a drink tonight...back in the day!
I also like the atmosphere in Xico.  At some point of the night it literally goes mental and turns into a nightclub with dancing on the tables. Well that's what I remember doing last time I was there. I joke and call it the "Titty Twister" from the movie "From Dusk til Dawn". 
Enid wasn't overly happy with the food.  Lol but sure she never is :-) She was complaining to Ciaran the next day.  He was like, well you were eating in a nightclub, what do you expect?!

We left way before the titty twister turned into vampirefest however.  None of us fancied a hangover the next day!  It was a great night as always with these pair early finish or not.

Vincent Hanley

This Irish Times article came up on my facebook feed this morning.  It is 30 years since the death of Irish VJ Vincent Hanley.  Below is what I posted on my facebook page today.

I was a bit young for MT USA originally but I remember it well - maybe from reruns?? I always loved Vincent Hanley.

It's sad though that the story of his death, and the conversation about the cause of his death/how it was reported at the time overrides how just bloody good he was.

It actually isn't just an Irish story though - it's redolent of the (1987) book "And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic". The world was simply afraid to say the real reason people were dying. People were scared and fearful that they too could be infected. And with that fear came shunning and abandonment...
"In 1988 Key West had one of the highest AID'S rates per capita in the US. Part of the reason for this was that it became a refuge for hundreds of people who were diagnosed elsewhere but felt they could not remain at home in what many considered to be hostile environments". (Source
If you'd like to see some photos of this sombre but beautiful memorial I had blogged about it previously here.

I'm glad I live in a different world now.

Enid commented on my facebook post which is a very good add on to the above

"So sad, to be dying and then to be cut off from your family and society by the stigma of the disease that will ultimately kill you. I remember the Benetton ad - it put a face on the people and their families. I think it was ground breaking"

Sunday, 9 April 2017


How adorable is this!
Enid and Ciaran were recently in Venice, and Enid brought me THIS back from the Peggy Guggenheim museum.
It even looks great when it's still in its packaging

Literally 5 seconds to assemble, pop it on a wine glass, and there you have it - a Mondrian art lamp!

The scale of it doesn't really work in my window sill where I thought I'd originally put it

So it is currently residing on the mantelpiece.  I still think it looks a bit lost.
And hey! Literally watch this space.  I am currently looking at an art piece to replace the print above my mantle.  I'm really not fond of the print that is currently there.  Sometimes I think it might be a Georgia O'Keeffe or Georgia O'Keeffe inspired maybe?  But in any case it's not my taste, I guess it is my landlords taste...  Anyway as I said WATCH THIS SPACE! Something exciting is coming!

Saturday, 8 April 2017

The bicycle...a simple solution

I've been thinking for a while about getting a new bike.  My current bike is a mountain bike I've had about 7 years.  To be honest it was never great even from the start and it's pretty beat up now. 
I cycled around town and dropped into a few places.  One or two I've blogged about before as I've been in to get different things done to or bought for my bike, and today it was good to be just looking at the bikes.
One shop I was excited about going to was the Dutch Bike Shop.  Enid has a dutch bike which she's really happy with and I'm currently investigating if one is right for me.  At the end of the day the Dutch (amongst lots of other things) know their bikes!
Love this quote they have painted on their wall....
Two years ago when I came home from Key West (where we do A LOT of nice and easy biking) I swore I was going to cycle more.  Which I have.  There's nothing like it for your mind and body, and SOUL!  If there is something bothering me I find there's nothing like navigating around the Dublin traffic to take your mind off it.
Cool car parked outside.  The shame I've no clue what it is.  Why did I not look at it more carefully???

So this really caught my eye!  They didn't have the women's version for me to try so I took this one out.  I liked it a lot, it's nippy which I am used to currently and which you don't get with the traditional dutch bike style.  The only thing is that it wasn't the most comfortable ride.  The saddle in particular, plus no real suspension.

This however is the opposite.  Very very comfortable.  But a little unwieldy, and very heavy.
So I really am not clearer as to what I want, will have to do a bit more looking around.  Still good to have a good gander at the dutch bikes, and they're definitely not ruled out.


Renault Caravelle

I came across this photo the other day and it made me smile.

Pictured is myself, Enid and our cousin Danielle who is a year older than us.
I remember this photo well - I think Enid and I are about 9...we were coming up with mad hare brained ideas and dressing up and taking photos all summer long.  This photo was taken by Dad but there are tons of photos at home I imagine of us and different friends and cousins in different costumes.

The blue dress was handmade by our Great Aunt - Mary Kelly.  She would have made it when she was about 20 for a dance.  She had a really teeny tiny waist that it fit us when we were 9!!! I remember the weight of it - it was a proper 1950's style dress with a few under layers of netting to it.
Mary was my Nana's sister and we never called her Great Aunt or anything.  We are pretty informal in our family, and in fact she was always known as Mary Kelly - probably to differentiate her from one of my Nana's daughters (my aunt) who was named Mary.  Mary Kelly was such a great woman - she made Enid's wedding cake, and she also made her bouquet which was the most beautiful loosely tied bunch of wild flowers.  She died maybe 10 years ago or so, my Nana and her were very close and I know her passing hit Nana hard and she still misses her so much.

And then the cream dresses were dresses that two of my aunt's Clare & Christine wore when they were bridesmaids for (my aunt and Godmother) Bernie's wedding.  That was the early 80's - 81/82 maybe - but they work as a 1950's style.

 The car.
If I remember correctly was a Renault Caravelle,  It was one of my dad's many projects, which if I am being truthful to the past must be said did not get any further once my dad bought it.  What can I say, maybe he was busy with other things but my dad was famous for starting things and never finishing them.  Ah sure look it, that's life,  Anyway he had this car for about a year and then sold it on... Nice having this photo of it anyway!