Sunday 30 July 2017

Abseil 2017

Last week my company's staff charity's committee ran a massive fundraiser to raise money for our two staff charities for 2017 - MS Ireland and CMRF Crumlin.
119 Irish Life staff members (myself included) abseiled down the front of the Irish Life building - and it was a great success.  It looks like we will have raised in the region of €80k in total - the count is ongoing and we will have the final figure in next week. 
Go Irish Life Staff!

Harry Bebbington-O'Neill RIP

Harry Bebbington-O'Neill 2008-2017.

 My poor Harry was in an accident  on the night of 17th of July and didn't make it. He was a great fella, and a real character - as I think a lot of you know from the photos and stories I've shared over the years here on my blog.  If you do a search for Harry you will find plenty of them

He had a lot of fans and as Enid said "he'll be missed by everybody especially all those neighbours he owned and loved".
He truly was a special cat. I know he had a great life and I will always have the great memories.

RIP Harry.

This is my all time favourite photo of him :-)

He even had his own facebook page...

Sunday 16 July 2017


Spoiler alert!
**Contain spoilers** Do not read this post if you have not seen Once and want to see it (film or musical)** Details about the plot are contained within**

Image result for once musical olympia

Once is showing right now in the Olympia in Dublin.  You should go if you can.  It's so wonderful!

Above is a photo of the set which is one of the (clever) stars of the show.  It is a beautiful depiction of an Irish pub, in a semi circle drawing you in so that feel you are actually in the pub with the cast.  And in fact some of the audience were actually there.  At the beginning, and the interval you can go up on the stage and buy a drink from the bar on the stage - while the cast are in the middle of a traditional Irish sessiun.

So while I enjoyed the film I always thought that it felt a little "low budget" - which of course it was.  But more importantly not filled out enough or unfinished or something.  I don't know if that makes sense, but that's the way it felt to me anyway.  The musical however closes that loop for me.  I think it was made for stage - and whoever adapted it for stage is a genius.  Some of the pieces are just perfect, for example the three girls dancing with headphones on is stunningly beautiful and both old fashioned and modern at the same time.

I cannot say how much I loved this.  And how uplifted I felt when I came out - which is unusual considering the poignancy of the story - two people sharing a 5 day experience, unbelievably perfect for each other but destined never to be together.  Please go see this if you have the opportunity.

Bits and pieces

This photo popped up in my facebook memories yesterday.  And I know, I know, I am always saying "this is my favourite photo"  but come onnnn this absolutely have to be.  This is from 2012 when I arrived to my mams for Sunday dinner and there was Nana wearing a cardigan very similar to mine.  I am not sure what is the message here - is Nana dressing young?  Or was I dressing old?  Or do we meet somewhere in the middle?  Whatever!  It just has good memories.  We all laughed ALOT that day.
I looooved that cardigan I was wearing,  It was vintage Jaeger and had a bit of Chanel feel about it - which of course was similar to the twinset Jaeger style which Jaeger was originally famous for.  Anyway that cardigan is long gone, it is too big for me as I am smaller now...good that I am smaller, bad because I miss that cardi.

On Friday evening I met Cousin Kasey and Enid in The Garage Bar.  Kasey had messaged me earlier the week when I was at Once to see if I was around that night to meet.  As an alternative I said we could go for a drink that weekend.  For fun I said we should go to a dive bar and have a good old natter.  I think a dive bar has a different meaning here in  Dublin than elsewhere in the world.  We ended up in the Garage...there is a big long story about this pub from about 1995, involving Enid, Alice and I and some lecturers from a film course we attended that Summer but that will have to be saved for another day.  To be honest it's best told over a drink and in the Garage!

Last night I watched Brooklyn on Netflix. You might remember I went and saw it twice in the cinema when it came out.
Saoirse Ronan is just amazing in it. I remember after reading the book, when she was announced, thinking she was too young to play Eilis. But she's just completely perfect in it. She's such a talent.
And as for Colm ToibĂ­n. I love a lot of his books but this is my absolute favourite. I've seen him a couple of times out walking near Enid's house and I always want to stop him and tell him. I'm always too shy though...but after watching it again today maybe next time I will..
And yes I bawled through it again.

Canal Clean up

Enid and I went out and joined a canal clean up group on Saturday.  Last "TeamCleanupDublin" meet we went to was back in April in Ranelagh - my blog about that is here. And in the past we did a lot of clean up meets on the Royal Canal (West/Northside).

This time however it was the Grand Canal. We met at Waterways building near Grand Canal theatre where we met a lovely woman who while had partaken in it before was running it for the first time.  She got involved in it primarily because she lives in the docklands on a houseboat.  How lucky is she! 

Once we had signed in and got all our gear (gloves, hi vis, picker tools) we set off  I had assumed we would be doing something similar to our Royal Canal days i.e. walking the length of the canal between locks, and picking up the litter on the canal paths and in then bushes.  This was different: we concentrated on the Grand Canal basis and we were also pulling out rubbish from the water.

I love this dog.  How adorable does Bones look in his hi vis jacket.  Plus the head on him is always adorable.  He was a pain however!  Enid let him off the lead and was like a lunatic when other dogs came along.  So then she had to manage him on the lead while trying to work.  Eventually she rang Ciaran to come get him.

Between our small group of half a dozen or so we filled four big refuse sacks of rubbish.  The basin in the last point before the rubbish goes into the Liffey.  From the Liffey it goes into the sea.  From the sea it goes into the world.  We stopped a tiny bit of this happening. A good morning's work!

Tuesday 11 July 2017

Bloggers block

The antidote when I am unmotivated and don't know what to blog...a "what I've been up to" post!

What I've been reading:

Image result for elin hilderbrand the identicals

As usual I am reading a few books together. 
I am struggling through "The Writings of Ivor Browne. Steps Along the Road: The Evolution of a Slow Learner".
I am dipping in and out of Bernie Sanders "Our Revolution A Future to Believe In".
I am slowly reading "Into the Water" by Paula Hawkins (author of The Girl on the Train).
And the good news is I am flying through Elin Hilderbrand "The Identicals".

What I've been watching:

Image result for jackie brown movie

I watched Jackie Brown on Saturday night! Instantly I felt about twenty again.  This was one of my favourite films around 1997, and I particularly loved the music in it. It was as good as I remembered and I really enjoyed my quiet night in. 

Other things going on with me...
I went on a very enjoyable walking tour of Dublin docklands - good architecture and some interesting stories.  I'd recommend taking a stroll around this area to feel the vibe.  If I ever have to move from where I currently live,  living in the Docklands area would definitely appeal to me.

New bar in Dublin (another one!).  Myself and the Friday night O'Reilly's crew checked out Ruin Bar on Townsend/Tara Street.  It's the reopening of MacTurcails which must have been closed 3/4 years at this stage.  It's fine...the clientele is very similar to the old MacTurcails so it felt a little bit young  for me anyway.

Enid, Alice and I had a nice catchup on Sunday morning. Main topic of conversation was The Big Trip.  It's less than 4 months away at this point and is getting very real!  (Don't forget this trip has been 3 years in planning!!)

Saturday 1 July 2017

Exciting times

Stuff.  That is going on.
Enid moved job! 
She has left Fingal library services after 17 years and is moving to a new library in a different area. 

Before Enid starts the new job she is going on a holiday.  Which means Bones is going to his grandparents!  T'his is him being dropped over - that dog gets more like a baby every day.
There is a funny story about Bones and when he stayed/stays in Lyttle Holme (well a few stories actually).  So first one is that he is only recently back staying with Mam and Dad.  This is because of some bad behaviour a couple of Christmasses ago involving incidents of eating things he shouldn't have namely two cupcakes, a Christmas pudding AND a little small antique book.  Come on! Seriously Bones! A book?? Enid denies it but I was there and saw it all!
Anyway Enid was stuck for a minder a while back and Mam said she'd take him again.  And wait for this.  He now sleeps on the bed with the two of them, and gets gravy on his doggy biscuits.  She has him ruined! 
So good/exciting times for Enid.  I am excited for her.  I've lots of good stuff happening too :-)  So here is a happy excited kitten with a cute little face for both of us.
What's been going on in Merrion Street these days?
Today there was a large pro-life rally held on Merrion Square.  No doubt we will see lots of pro life and pro choice rallies from here until the proposed referendum happens next year.
These aren't great photos but it made me laugh when I saw this earlier this week

Three journalists standing outside Government buildings
The umbrellas aren't clear but they were from RTE, TV3 and FM104. 
It made me think of the end of Anchorman when the tv hosts arrive from all the different networks and channels, and at 7.30am in the morning it made me smile.


The rejuvenation of Dublin 1 continues...opening of Piper's Corner

The old Sean O'Casey pub on the corner of Marlborough Street and Sackville Place has been closed and derelict for the last 6 months or so.  To be completely honest even when it was open it was pretty decrepit and run down.  So it was exciting to see that it had been sold and the new owners had started the overhaul and now it is coming near to completion.

Just one week ago it looked like this

Whereas it now looks like this!  It's very interesting isn't it - a real standout - and I particularly like the type on the name sign.  It's a massive change and a welcome addition to an area that is going through a real rejuvenation. With Irish Life's big renovation of their plazas (which look amazing by the way), with the coming arrival of Wetherspoons on Abbey Street, and with the building opposite Piper's Corner apparently going to be a hotel things are definitely on the up!

So it seems that Piper's corner will be open in a week or so and I for one am looking forward to it. From the name I think you get the message that it will have a strong musical influence and with Sean Og Potts, son of The Chieftains Sean Potts involved no doubt it will be a success. As I said, I am looking forward to checking it out once open - and am sure a lot of my colleagues are too, as we are always lamenting the lack of a good "local" right beside us.