Last last month I missed Dublin Pride. I didn’t mourn, largely because of how intrusive the corporate sponsorship of companies like Tesco and Nestle has become – these are not known for treating their staff well. Rumour has is that London Pride is even worse – apparently members of the LGBT community are only allowed to participate when invited to do so by corporate sponsors – the ordinary folk are corralled behind barriers to watch Goldman Sachs employees wave rainbow flags on the parade. I have hope that Dublin Pride can be saved from its own greed with a strong effort made to limit corporate hijacking of the event. It saddened me somewhat to miss Dublin Pride – having experienced my first one there in 1996. It couldn’t be helped however. I was being internationally fabulous out foreign. Continue reading Limerick Pride
I have been in the Iveagh Gardens in Dublin four times. The first time was to see Pixies in concert in mid July 2016, at the start of my two week summer break from work. It was wildly exciting to finally see them live. The next time I was in the Gardens was in mid July 2017 to see Fleet Foxes live, as I (coincidentally) began my fortnight’s summer holiday. Last year I went to the Iveagh Gardens on July 11th to see Eels perform as I went on twelve day holiday. Continue reading Villagers in the Iveagh Gardens – concert of my life.
While pondering on how to successfully poach an egg – while eating one – in the canteen at work in the Wastelands this morning, I started eavesdropping on the conversation beside me. A colleague was describing her son’s summer working holiday in Canada, and about how he has just started work in a distribution centre in Vancouver. How sweet, I thought, to be nineteen years old and traveling for the first time. I inquired whether or not he’d need a visa to work there. Unsurprisingly the answer was yes. Of course a visa is required to work on another continent. I mentioned my impending holiday to the Maritimes, and announced smugly that I wouldn’t need a visa. Continue reading A visa for Canada
An email was distributed to all staff last week. Was anyone interested in a complimentary weekend pass for the inaugural Forever Young Festival, being held in the grounds of the Palmerstown House Estate this weekend? This was a festival that consisted of music acts from the 1980s. That was partly my era – well I was only five years old when the decade began so I’d be more of a late 80s kind of musical child. I was a bit ambivalent as I was already seeing Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott from the Beautiful South on Friday evening in Trinity College. Nevertheless I expressed my interest. To my surprise I received an email to state that I could have one pass – no companion pass for me. Even going to bed after the fantastic concert on Friday night, I was unsure of my movements on Saturday. Continue reading Frankie Says Relax
I played Riff-Raff in ‘The Rocky Horror Show’ in 2015. It was a pop-up show performed by the In-Players in Amsterdam. I was not the first choice for the role, but I didn’t know that when I was offered the part. Who cared? This was the role written by the creator Richard O’Brien, for himself. I could do that. It was a no-budget production, so I acquired a glittery pink one-piece, tight leotard for my 2nd costume on my own – as well as a hair drier as a murder weapon. I adored the experience from start to finish. Such a dirty, sleazy, hilarious show. Continue reading The Rocky Horror Show
Last night I went to the Teacher’s Club to see ‘Casa Valentina’ by Harvey Fierstein, which has been produced by the Acting Out group for its Irish premiere. Fierstein is the famed Tony Award winning writer and actor, who shot to fame with his play (and later film) Torch Song Trilogy about a young New York drag queen’s struggle to find love and family. I first encountered him onscreen as Uncle Frank in ‘Mrs Doubtfire’. Continue reading Theatrical: ‘Casa Valentina’ by Harvey Fierstein
The minister for homelessness in Ireland is a posh boy named Eoghan Murphy. He is the grandson of the thief Russell Murphy – an accountant who was posthumously exposed as having stolen vast sums of money from his clients, who included Hugh Leonard and Gay Byrne (who had been a personal friend of the crook). He is the son of Henry Murphy, a lawyer who made millions from the Mahon Tribunal – a public inquiry in Ireland in 1997 to investigate allegations of corrupt payments to politicians regarding political decisions. He is a man who comes from enormous wealth (much of it criminal, no doubt, thanks to criminal Grandpa Russell). His official title is the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government and for the past two years he has sat idly by while the homelessness crisis in Ireland reached catastrophic levels. He is a member of the Fine Gael party – a party that is popular among rich people. It is the Irish equivalent of the Tory Party in the UK. Continue reading Eoghan Murphy: a chocolate fireguard
Update: 18.50, Tuesday 02 July
As expected Barry’s Tea has dropped its sponsorship of animal cruelty – due to the growing backlash. A good result – although their slowness in reaction is concerning, so to paraphrase their stock response ‘I am reviewing my boycott of their tea’.
When I lived in Amsterdam, I used to beg any visitors from home to bring me a box of Barry’s Tea whenever they would visit. Likewise I would always buy several months’ supply when visiting Ireland. The Dutch teabags were simply unfit for purpose – weak, feeble and hanging from a limp string – you’d need two for a decent mug of scald. Fripperies such as strings have no place on a teabag. Irish teabags had no such paraphernalia. Barry’s Tea were plain, square bags of goodness that you’d leave stew in a mug of boiling water for a couple of minutes, and you’d be rewarded with a drink of utter wonder – rich and soothing. If ever I was running low on supplies I would send an urgent missive home ‘Send Barry’s teabags’. Continue reading Boycott Barry’s Tea
On January 30th this year I decided to work from home. The reason for my decision was because a statue of the late, folk singer Luke Kelly was to be unveiled on the grass verge beside the Royal Canal on Guild Street that day. The President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins was to do the reveal of the artwork. The view from my window was directly on the statue. I would get a birds-eye view of the unveiling, away from the huge crowd gathered, and out of the bitter cold. The ceremony – on the 35th anniversary of his death – was impressive with speeches and music, and masses of loyal fans. The location of the bust was at the end of Sheriff Street – where Kelly had grown up, and remains a local hero for inner city Dublin, for his part in the legendary group the Dubliners. Continue reading Defacing Luke
Last December I went on a theatrical spending spree, purchasing early bird, preview tickets for a range of shows in the Abbey Theatre during 2019. My Christmas bonus went to a good cause. Priced at about ten euros these purchases are completely risk free. Even if the play is disappointing then the outlay will have been minuscule, and you’ll have seen a show. One of my December purchases was for ‘The Unmanageable Sisters’ on the Abbey main stage. One of my companions last night was my own sister. It seemed appropriate, although I would never accuse her being unmanageable. Continue reading Theatrical: ‘The Unmanageable Sisters’ at the Abbey