Blog Of The Week.

Well Done to Well Done Fillet who made yesterday's Blog Of TheWeek in the Mail on Sunday

The book entitled "Well Done Fillet -Good things come to those who wait" will be available in all good bookshops ?

Questions, questions...

  • Why is it that people say they "slept like a baby" when babies wake up every two hours?
  • If a deaf person has to go to court, is it still called a hearing?
  • Why do we press harder on a remote control when we know the batteries are flat?
  • Why do banks charge a fee on "insufficient funds" when they know there is not enough?
  • Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet?
  • Why do they use sterilized needles for death by lethal injection?
  • Why doesn't Tarzan have a beard?
  • Why does Superman stop bullets with his chest, but ducks when you throw a revolver at him?
  • Why do Kamikaze pilots wear helmets?
  • Whose idea was it to put an "S" in the word "lisp"?
  • What is the speed of darkness?
  • Are there reserved parking spaces for "normal" people at the Special Olympics?
  • If the temperature is zero outside today and it's going to be twice as cold tomorrow, how cold will it be?
  • If it's true that we are here to help others, what are the others doing here?
  • Do married people live longer than single ones or does it only seem longer?
  • Do you cry under water?
  • How is it that we put man on the moon before we figured out it would be a good idea to put wheels on luggage?
  • Why do people pay to go up tall buildings and then put money in binoculars to look at things on the ground?
  • Did you ever stop and wonder......
  • Who was the first person to look at a cow and say, "I think I'll squeeze these pink dangly things here, and drink whatever comes out?"
  • Who was the first person to say, "See that chicken there... I'm gonna eat the next thing that comes outta it's bum."
  • Why do toasters always have a setting so high that could burn the toast to a horrible crisp, which no decent human being would eat?
  • Why is there a light in the fridge and not in the freezer?
  • Why do people point to their wrist when asking for the time, but don't point to their bum when they ask where the bathroom is?
  • Why does your Obstetrician, Gynaecologist leave the room when you get undressed if they are going to look up there anyway ?
  • Why does Goofy stand erect while Pluto remains on all fours? They're both dogs !
  • Can blind people see their dreams? Do they dream ??
  • If corn oil is made from corn, and vegetable oil is made from vegetables, then what is baby oil made from ?
  • If electricity comes from electrons, does morality come from morons ?
  • Why do the Alphabet song and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star have the same tune?

Stop singing and read on . . .. . . . . . . .

  • Do illiterate people get the full effect of Alphabet Soup?
  • Did you ever notice that when you blow in a dog's face, he gets mad at you, but when you take him on a car ride, he sticks his head out the window?
  • Does pushing the elevator button more than once make it arrive faster?
  • If quizzes are quizzical, what are tests?


POETS WANTED for Poetry In Motion 2008

Poetry in Motion Community

Are you a good listener? Six poets will have the opportunity to work at community level in performance poetry residencies; engaging with community groups but also roaming the wider community, seeing opportunities to widen the making and reception of poetry. This will include absorbing the local voices, dialect and vernacular of the local communities (new and old) to translate into the poets’ own collections of work and encourage the performance and submission of poetry from the public. Poets will spend twenty five hours in these performance poetry residencies developing their own work and encouraging new voices.

Poetry in Motion Schools: Right Here, Write Now

As with the community literature project, this year New Belfast is taking a radical new direction with the Poetry in Motion for Schools project.
Poets will spend six hours per school facilitating the creation of performance poetry pieces on the theme of the ‘Rights of the Child’ and an additional three hours non-contact work. This year, students’ poems will be audio-recorded (where possible), collected and published in an audio anthology and also featured on dedicated pages on the NBCAI website.

More information on both projects is available at www.newbelfastarts.org

If you are interested in being considered for either scheme (or both) please send an artistic CV to chelley@newbelfastarts.org


"Hey assholes,she's got a blog now!!"

Yesterday I wrote...

I reckon June should be blogging , even just to extend slightly these status updates and to keep saddo's like me amused.

Today, she's started to blog

The Strife and Slimes of a Freelance Journalist

Late 30s journalist with delusions of winning the Orange Prize before the hysterectomy arrives. Living in Belfast, about to move to Whitehead, originally from Dublin. Unmarried, unsavoury and possibly unpublishable.

Thank You June :-)

Plastic Paddy.

I've just completed a quiz on, you guessed it correctly, facebook. One of these annoying ones trying to get me to sign up here. It was, I suspect, an early quiz for next St Patrick's Day entitled "How Irish are you?" I tried my best to answer all the questions, incorrectly.

My result is: Plastic Paddy/ Not Irish
Your a plastic paddy or not Irish. You dont know the history let alone culture of Ireland. Better do some reading before St. Patricks day.

How long do I have now, to read up?


"Hey assholes, it's my birthday!!!!"


Today is JC's birthday.No it's not Christmas. JC's status updates on facebook keep me constantly amused and instead of giving her 'the bumps' I want to share some of her updates on here...

June says: "Hey assholes, it's my birthday!!!!" Buy me a drink or lick my earlobes.

June thinks the Seaside house is amazing but defo the kind of creepy house you'd lose your marbles in... The Shining, etc. Hmmm, to take or not to take?

June is off to view the Seaside house. yipeeee doooo daaaaaaaaa day.

June wants to have sex with a Mossad agent.

June got paid. Musn't grumble.

June ain't done with the Seaside obsession yet; she's even bought a Victorian night-dress on eBay so she can stand at the window and frighten people.

June can't read....is too obsessed with the Seaside house to concentrate on anything.

June is reading Ian Sansom's book in bed...

June is heading to YUMS for a tuna omlette. She's bored out of her bollix with Easter.

June visited the Seaside again today in the searing rain - fab...

June has roller-coaster intestines.

June ate a WHOLE tub of Baileys ice-cream for Brunch & is now so mortally freezing she has to return to bed.

June says the war is over folks & I don't care if it's orange as a crate of satsumas. The Seaside House is the new orgasm.

June is depressed about the seaside house...

June is totally OCD about the seaside house so much so she can't work, sleep, eat or think. This is love!

June has found someone mad enough to rent the gigantic 7-bed house by the sea... oh boy, roll on summer.

June is at odds about an amazing house she could rent away from Belfast....? Will she will she will she.

June has a headache from multi-seed bread.

June is bunking off from the office (well the boss already bunked off himself) to get some creative writing done.

June is back in the office without blue hair. The man with the plan has gone out for sambos.

June is heading out to get her hair dyed blue by a hair student. I'm half hoping it turns out totally disastrous; I need a good laugh.

June is off to bed without the addition of chemical compounds or the elegant appearance of luster.

June is praying the culchie students don't run amuck around Stranmillis tonight...

June is back from a greasy Indian...where my switch card bounced.

June is heading to Sinnamon with yer man's novel to edit. She'd rather stay in bed and get laid.

June has mohair up the nose.

June is spooked by a nightmare of a woman on a boat, large glasses & a Dyson.

June is sliding on butter.

June is in Cinnamon reading Sun Trib & eating nuclear salmon.

June is back from Giraffe, clogged with linguine.

June is a fistful of anorak.

June is caffeine fucked & may even clean the house...

I reckon June should be blogging , even just to extend slightly these status updates and to keep saddo's like me amused.



When you retire you get a bus pass.

But not everyone.

In and around Ballymena there's the Gospel Bus. Now we hear that Ian Paisley has hinted when he retires he wants to take his "gospel bus" south to Oireland.
Ian Paisley has hinted how he plans to fill his time after retiring as Northern Ireland's first minister -- by taking a "gospel bus" south to mainly Catholic Ireland to win converts for his Protestant church.

Paisley told Irish media he would not be driving the converted camper van, which bears the slogan "Transporting the Gospel Jesus Christ and Him Crucified", but would be outside it using a loudspeaker to spread his beliefs.

I think that's a great idea as I live up North and I've heard him before. Hopefully he'll bring the Rev William McCrea with him. After all he'll need someone lead in worship, is that the correct Free P phrase.

on facebook i've been sent

Thanks Ellie! That Old Knudsen's a bad influence :-)

On the shores of Lough Neagh.

Ballyronan Marina
Originally uploaded by stephen.paskin
Just over two years ago a blog started with these words...

We spent the St. Patrick weekend working to get the vegetable plots reading for planting a season too late as usual, but here's hoping everything will be ok. Four out of the six planned beds are ready to go. We got the first planted up on Saturday with shallots, onions and garlic. We have early potatoes chitting at the moment. Again late, but I'm hoping in a couple of weeks we will be caught up.

The weather is very cold still so I don't think we have lost much time.

I've enjoyed reading the blog, Drumenagh Brae and seeing how things have developed, especially the garden. A highlight on the blog was in last November...

We Passed!!!

Today we had our Northern Ireland Tourist Board inspection. This is the last of three inspections on the road to being able to open our doors to paying guests. The first, environmental health, checked to see if we were had the right facilities to cook our guests breakfast, the second, fire service, to check that the accommodation was up to scratch in terms of fire safety and if we needed a fire certificate. This inspection from NITB was the most comprehensive, this was to check the nature of the guest bedrooms, the en suites and bathrooms and the guest lounge and breakfast room. One and a half hours later I was given the good news that we passed!!! In about a weeks time we will have our certificate and be listed on the discover Ireland website. We will launch our own website and open our doors to bookings very soon.

Now visiting the blog and the website it's great to see Drumenagh Brae Bed and Breakfast is now open! I hope they keep blogging and maybe have an open day for local bloggers sometime.I'd suggest that the full title for the establishment be called Drumenagh Brae, the Bloggers Bed and Breakfast and hopefully bloggers visiting Northern Ireland make a point of staying at Drumenagh Brae :-)

Thanks to Stephen Paskin for letting me use his photograph of Ballyronan Marina close to Drumenagh Brae.


Norn Oirish Nancy?

I missed last Saturday's I'd Do Anything where one of the contestants is

Northern Irish girl Niamh, 17, is currently studying A-level Drama. She is classically voiced trained, and has sung a solo at the opening of Belfast's Grand Opera House.

Niamh loves spicy food and will always order a steak in a restaurant. Her favourite place in the world is New York.

It'll be interesting to see her image change and the members of I'd Do Anything For Niamh Perry rise from 41 members to?. If like me you don't always get to watch TV every Saturday night you can cheat like me and find out what's happened on Unreality TV.


One thing leads to...

Last week I was reminded of the expression "Live by the sword, die by the sword". The incomplete reports then by the media of another tragic death left me thinking how easy it would be for the media to hinder any form of reconciliation in Northern Ireland. Last week one of the main stories was the death of a veteran Republican, no doubt a war hero to some. The media seemed to highlight, in connection with his death, the anti social behaviour of a small minority of young people in West Belfast and the PSNI not doing their best to tackle this. They could've taken a look at the bigger picture. His death obviously had an impact on his family, friends and community. I wondered who else his death affected.

Nearly a week later I find out.
The daughter of a man killed in an IRA bomb attack by Frank 'Bap' McGreevy, who died after being savagely beaten just over a week ago, says she forgave the bomber and feels pity for his family. Jean Morrison, whose father John Smiley, 55, died in the blast at the Klondyke Bar on Sandy Row in south Belfast in January 1976, said that despite forgiving her father's killers, she wanted the victims of the numerous tragedies of the Troubles to be remembered.

Mrs Morrison, who still lives in Sandy Row, told a Sunday newspaper that she held no hatred or spite against her father's killer, but felt that he and others had been forgotten.

"That man suffered a bad death, but so did my daddy."

She said she felt for the McGreevy family. It was the people left behind who had to carry on, she said, and her family was still dealing with the grief over her father's murder.

"It is the people who are left behind who have to carry the burden, and we are still carrying that burden of tragedy and sorrow and grief."

The story doesn't end there. After the attack on the Klondyke Bar.

A barmaid lost an eye and several people lost limbs after the bomb was left at the door.

In a retaliatory attack a Catholic woman was battered with a brick. The perpetrator, a friend of Mr Smiley, carried out the assault after he heard of his death. He was sentenced to 12 years in jail for grievous bodily harm.

We may never know how the barmaid and the Catholic woman managed after that. How their experiences affected someone else who may also have retaliated. The death of a man in 2008 connected with death and injury back in 1976 is hard to comprehend. Reactions to reports of the death of Frank 'Bap' McGreevy, I'm sure could be still as raw as reactions to the news back in 1976 that loved ones had been killed or injured. How stories today are reported will affect the future.

No Warning

Something happened during the summer of 2007 in Northern Ireland.
Strange lights were seen in the skies. People started to disappear.
The strangest thing of all, however, was that nobody noticed.

Back in the present, footage of the missing individuals has been
uncovered and released onto the internet, arriving just as
mysteriously as the disappearances themselves.

A new telecommunications and software corporation has also arrived in
the Province, promising great services and products, yet their origin
(and motive) is shrouded in complete secrecy.

An emissary has appeared, claiming to know answers but, for some
reason, he cannot relay his message directly – other forces are
watching him and he knows he has to stay one step ahead of them in
order to fulfil his mission. He has to rely on cryptic clues and the
ingenuity of his audience in order to reveal a dreadful fate and a
desperate cause.

Everything is not as it seems. There is more going on than we have
been led to believe. This is just the beginning of something bigger
than the planet and, so far, we have been given No Warning.

Link to missing footage: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRwbwyt4Zpo

No Warning

No Warning is an exciting new Internet-based video series based in
Northern Ireland. It is a Science Fiction adventure with a twist –
in order for the viewers to follow the story they have to solve
cryptic puzzles in order to progress and to find out more information.

To help people delve deeper into the story a forum has been set up to
encourage a community-based culture where people can discuss all
aspects of what they have seen, possible story arcs, as well as the
puzzles themselves. If people cannot solve a particular puzzle to
watch a key video the community is encouraged to help them along in
the spirit of sportsmanship.

No Warning has been developed on a low budget (self-financed)
complete with a small cast of professional actors. It uses a wide
range of digital effects as well as some dynamic and creative
filmmaking to help bring its unique story to life.

No Warning, although based in Northern Ireland, its audience base
would not be exclusive to just this country. Because of its
existence on the internet it is a truly global series. One of its
best points is that it is very non-political and avoids contentious
issues such as religion, the Troubles etc. I believe, because of
this, the project displays a greater, more positive image of Northern
Ireland to the world in both creativity and context.

I would ask that you watch the first episode of the series, and if
you enjoy what you have seen please feel free to progress further
into the world of No Warning and pass your experience on to others.



Hallelujah, it's Chocolate Sunday.

I'm feeling slightly spiritual/religious today so I thought I'd jot down a few memories/thoughts about Easter.It's changed over the years.I was brought up in what I'd now term as "fundie Christian" family.Memories of Easter then were mainly about Church and especially to me, the hymns. Like one written by Charles Wesley

And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain—
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

and to me the most memorable verse of that and any hymn...

Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray—
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

I would then have called myself a Christian and to an extent still do.I rarely attend Church as one thing I can't abide is a hypocrite. I find any time I'd attend Church I'd look at the minister and the congregation and the gap between what the theory and practice of Christianity seems to be huge. So many churches with Christians on show, even on Maundy Thursday I watched the service which sickened me.It sickened me because what I saw seemed to contradict what was taught in the Bible.Let not your right hand see what your left hand does, or something like that.

About ten years ago I attended a church and was what is called 'active' in that church for a few years.Reasons for leaving were the safety of my family in a church where the leadership didn't inform me of known paedophiles attending the church.Anyway,at that Church over one Easter period the leaders had suggested that everyone ( who was well enough) fast for about three days.I did that and attended the prayer times they had every evening.It was a very rejuvenating type of experience, definitely worth trying at least once in your life.The celebration dinner that the church had at the end of the fast was amazing.

Other Easter memories include being entertained by the Mods and the Punks fighting on Bangor seafront on Easter Mondays. Also an annual pilgrimage when a convoy of us used to drive to Portrush.

That was then, today it's coffee and probably chocolate . Cause it is Chocolate Sunday.

Happy Easter Folks!


What would you get, if...

Using the ingredients listed

2 oz (50 g) caster sugar, plus 1 level teaspoon
1 level tablespoon dried yeast
1 lb (450 g) plain flour
1 level teaspoon salt
1 rounded teaspoon mixed spice
3 oz (75 g) currants
2 oz (50 g) cut mixed peel
1½-2 fl oz (40-55 ml) warmed milk
1 egg, beaten
2 oz (50 g) butter, melted
2 level tablespoons granulated sugar

You first stir the teaspoon of caster sugar into 5 fl oz (150 ml) hand-hot water, then sprinkle in the dried yeast and leave it until a good frothy 'beer' head forms.

Meanwhile sift the flour, salt and mixed spice into a mixing bowl and add the remaining 2 oz (50 g) of sugar, the currants and mixed peel. Then make a well in the centre, pour in the yeast mixture plus 1½ fl oz (40 ml) of milk (again hand-hot), the beaten egg and the melted butter. Now mix it to a dough, starting with a wooden spoon and finishing with your hands (add a spot more milk if it needs it).

Then transfer the dough on to a clean surface and knead it until it feels smooth and elastic – about 6 minutes. Now pop it back into the bowl, cover the bowl with a lightly oiled plastic bag, and leave it in a warm place to rise – it will take about an hour to double its original size. Then turn it out and knead it again, back down to its original size.

Divide the mixture into 12 round portions, arrange them on the greased baking sheet (allowing plenty of room for expansion), and make a deep cross on each one with a sharp knife. Leave them to rise once more, covering again with the oiled polythene bag, for about 25 minutes. Meanwhile pre-heat the oven to gas mark 7, 425°F (220°C).

Bake the **** for about 15 minutes. Then, while they're cooking, melt the sugar and 2 tablespoons of water for the glaze over a gentle heat and brush the **** with it as soon as they come out of the oven, to make them nice and sticky.


Wanna be a star?

from 4NI.CO.UK
Post Office Seek NI Advert Cast Members
Budding worldwide web 'screen stars' from across Northern Ireland are being offered the opportunity to win a part in the next Post Office advertisement, this time being produced for the Internet.

Post Office claims this is the largest ever, online casting call.

Following the success of the last advert for Post Office Broadband, which featured Ken the Postmaster (Early Doors actor, John Henshaw) and top band Westlife, the Post Office has launched a competition on Postmaster Ken’s MySpace page where would be TV stars can win a place in front of the camera.

Post Office Head of Broadband Stewart Fox-Mills said: "We've had a great response to the TV ad featuring Postmaster Ken and would like to give customers in Northern Ireland the opportunity to appear on national TV in the new ad to be screened later this year.

"We're already had entries from thousands of people from all walks of life who’d like to find out more about Post Office broadband direct from Ken and his team," he said.

Paul de Freitas of the Casting Directors' Guild said: "Getting a part in a TV ad for a national institution like the Post Office is a truly fabulous way of getting that first foot on the fame ladder.


Enduring 5 years of violence.

Children of Iraq

Childhood in Iraq is more precarious than ever. Tens of thousands of children have lost parents and other family members due to violence. Some 600,000 children are among the 1.2 million Iraqis to have been displaced over the past two years with most families being unable to return home.

The Children of Iraq Have Names
by David Krieger*, November 1, 2002

The children of Iraq have names.
They are not the nameless ones.

The children of Iraq have faces.
They are not the faceless ones.

The children of Iraq do not wear Saddam’s face.
They each have their own face.

The children of Iraq have names.
They are not all called Saddam Hussein.

The children of Iraq have hearts.
They are not the heartless ones.

The children of Iraq have dreams.
They are not the dreamless ones.

The children of Iraq have hearts that pound.
They are not meant to be statistics of war.

The children of Iraq have smiles.
They are not the sullen ones.

The children of Iraq have twinkling eyes.
They are quick and lively with their laughter.

The children of Iraq have hopes.
They are not the hopeless ones.

The children of Iraq have fears.
They are not the fearless ones.

The children of Iraq have names.
Their names are not collateral damage.

What do you call the children of Iraq?
Call them Omar, Mohamed, Fahad.

Call them Marwa and Tiba.
Call them by their names.

But never call them statistics of war.
Never call them collateral damage.

*David Krieger is a founder and president of The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.

Poem published @ www.wagingpeace.org


On the 30th January 1976...

John Smiley (55) Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),
Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in bomb attack on Klondyke Bar, Sandy Row, Belfast.

In 1976, McGreevy was sentenced to 20 years for his part in the Klondyke bar bomb on Belfast's Sandy Row, which left one victim dead. Belfast Telegraph

Victim's sister highlights 'evil'
The sister of a man murdered in west Belfast has called for the community to come together against what she called "an evil in our society". Frank McGreevy died after being beaten up to 60 times in his home in Ross Street at the weekend.

Reminds me of the expression...

Live by the sword, die by the sword"
This is a metaphorical expression meaning that living one's life in a certain way will, in the end, affect one's destiny.


The Stills Of Life.

I'm just one of many bloggers and readers responding to Grannymar's "The Stills Of Life".

Still proud ~ of the achievements of my nearest and dearest. Sometimes very small steps.

Still thinking ~ too much. And, procrastinating.

Still grateful
~ life's been good to me so far, as the old Eagles song went.

Still enjoying ~ friends and fun.Or was that fun and friends. Or fun with friends.

Still wondering ~ about some crimes ( I wasn't involved in) I reckon I've solved. I've still got a suspicious mind.I might just spill the beans on here sometime.

Still hoping ~ that I'll win the Lotto and be able to give nearly all the winnings away. I suppose it helps if I start doing it first.

Still working ~ as little as possible.

Still facing ~ forward.

Still pleased ~ to have all my own teeth, even though there are a few gaps appearing.That's a secret I keep with my dentist.

Still trying ~ to complete all "the stills of life" in a reasonably sensible fashion.

Still glad ~ all over.

Still amazed ~ that there is a possibility of some one actually reading this far down this list.

Still eating ~ too much.

Still dancing ~ slowly occasionally, with ?

Still breathing ~ Thank God, even though I have sleep apnoea.

Say Cheese!

Take a break from your computer!

Download, print and build your own pinhole camera, designed exclusively with Corbis images and illustrations.

All you need is
* A printer
* Some good printer paper
* One thin cereal box for the light-safe interior
* A razor blade for cutting
* Some double-sided tape or glue
* Thin needle for making a pinhole
* Small piece of aluminum foil or soda can to puncture with the needle
* One new roll of film, preferably ISO200
* One film canister from which the film has been removed. You can empty a new roll, or get an empty canister at any photo supply store.

Anything for a quiet life

I've harassed this blogger for months and months and she finally gave in and answered these questions.Another blogger from Northern Ireland.Let the interrogation begin...

# What is the title of your blog? The Bells Have
made me Deaf

# Why did you call your blog.... First thing came into my head

# Briefly, describe your blog, if you can. Defunct

# Why do you blog? I rarely do any more.. lack of time and inspiration.

# What has been your best blogging experience? Uhhh... um

# What would be your main blogging advice to a novice blogger? Prepare to be mocked.

# What are your favourite blogs? Those I can read easily while on a tea break.

# What is your favourite book? I'll let you know when I find one.

# What is your favourite film? O Brother where art thou

# What is your favourite poem? Ach who could limit such a thing to just one. I'll go for Shakespeare's Sonnet 116

# Who are your 'Top 10' favourite musical artistes or bands? This week it's.. Derek Trucks, The Cinematic Orchestra, Patrick Watson, Goldfrapp, Bittersweet, Jose Gonzales, Spoon, Doveman, Samamidon, Jed & Lucia. Next week... who knows?

# Who is your favourite comedian? Dave Allen

# If you were to relive your life to this point, is there anything you'd do differently? Only with hindsight. Without it I'd likely be just as stupid all over again!

# What would you call your autobiography? And then I woke up.

# Who would play you in the film about your life? I reckon the only one for the job is Miss Piggy.

# What are your hobbies, apart from blogging? Hoarding, foraging, pruck, internet, walking and the endless donation of my opinion to the less fortunate.

# What is your most treasured possession? My dog.

# Who are your sporting heroes? Sport should be something to participate in rather than an alter to worship at.

# If you won a million on the Lotto what would you spend it on? I don't do the Lotto.

Time now for you to head over to The Bells Have made me Deaf and inspire her to write another blog post.


St Patrick's Day 2008

Owen Gary Colt was born this morning. The day his uncle Trevor dines with George Bush.
Congrats to all the Colt family, especially Ye Olde Granda and Granny! :-)


Planning your vacation?

Even the many Americans with Irish ancestry may not think of Ireland much except on St. Patrick's Day.

But Northern Ireland hopes to take advantage of a growing interest in genealogy to promote a cultural and tourism exchange between that region and East Tennessee.
Many of the whites who settled in East Tennessee in the 18th century where Scots-Irish who left Ulster for the Appalachian frontier.
Northern Ireland Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure, Edwin Poots, was in Tennessee last week and says he sees a "significant opportunity" for tourism and exchanges between the two regions.
The Knoxville News Sentinel

Guess what, I've found the perfect place to start.

It's in North East Tennessee, on NORTH IRISH STREET ...

(423) 787-0500
WEBSITE: www.mainstreetgreeneville.com/tours_mansion.html

Located 14 miles from I-81 in Historic Downtown Greeneville. "Showplace of East Tennessee." Designed and constructed by two craftsmen from Ireland (1815-1821). The circular staircase, arising three full flights, is the "tour de force" of the builder's art. Built by William Dickson, Greeneville's first postmaster for his only child, Catharine, who married Dr. Alexander Williams. This house served as headquarters for both Union and Confederate armies during the Civil War. Tours daily at 1 p.m. limited to 12 people. Advance reservations for groups over 12 people. Closed holidays. AC.


If it's a Bank Holiday, why not?

Paisley calls for St Patrick's Day public holiday

By Gemma Murray

FIRST Minister Ian Paisley has called for St Patrick's Day to be designated a public holiday.
The first minister and former moderator of the Free Presbyterian Church said he always celebrates the day by preaching about the saint.

He has said he thinks March 17 should be a day off for everyone.

"I have proposed it in the House of Commons and I have proposed it here," said the North Antrim MP.

"Maybe they'll celebrate my passing by saying to St Patrick 'you can have a day to yourself'."

I say, I say, I say...

What about an 'Ian Paisley Day'?

St Patrick's Weekend.

Decisions, decisions?


Learn Irish online.

I need to be very careful when I type this because I find it so easy to type Oirish instead of Irish. The only words I know in Irish are "chucky arla" and that's because of the artist known as Michael Stone who was supposed to have shouted those words when he launched an attack on a funeral back in the 1980's. I've been tempted to learn both Ulster Scots and Irish, though the recent dealings I've had with a famous Ulster/Scots family have put me off that so called language and culture for life.

Michelle has announced on her blog that she's launched a new website for people who are trying to learn Irish...


It's an Irish language learning website, aimed at adult learners who have a cúpla focal or or no Irish. Right now, we're working hard to publish lots of free Irish language learning materials - such as podcasts, flashcards and language learning games. They're not live yet, but we're going to launch these as soon as we can.

If you're trying to learn Irish, or if you know someone who's trying to learn Irish, go to www.talkirish.com or sign up now for our podcasts. The more people I can sign up in advance, the more free learning materials I can provide on www.talkirish.com!

Where in Ireland is the people's democratic County of Laois or is it Laoighis or Leix, or could it be Laos? Is it the County that sounds like Leech?

Did you hear the one about...

A man is driving along in the Oirish countryside, when he comes to a petrol station, since he's in need of petrol, the man decides to stop. He says to the attendant at the station, "Fill it up, will you?". The man says "Sorry - we're right out of petrol." So the man considers, and says "Well, I'm a bit low on oil, would you mind topping that up?" And the attendant responds"Sorry, but no oil either." The man thinks, and asks the attendant to wash his windscreen, to which he gets the by-now predictable response that he can't do that. The man at this point is fairly mad, so he asks the attendant "Just what kind of petrol station is this ?" The attendant then looks both ways, and very carefully whispers to the man "To tell you the truth, this is just an IRA front."

The man then says "Well, in that case, you can blow up the tyres !"


Free Drinks!

Gordon Brown's Alistair Darling's Budget as usual affects drinkers.Spirits up by 55p, a bottle of wine by 14p, a pint of beer 4p more and a litre of cider up 3p.

But it's not all bad news for me today.Today, via Facebook, I received an invite to William Crawley's Social Experiment and the tagline was Free Drinks Yes FREE DRINKS. A Party, A Night of Mayhem.

On the downside, if your shy like me,they're filming a documentary. I'm just not that keen on being filmed, especially if I was slightly intoxicated. The invite read ...

Join host William Crawley for a very special party to be filmed for a forthcoming documentary.

With your help, William will attempt to change Saturday nights forever.

Admission Free

If I get dragged along in a state where my alcohol level is high?

So Will, if I'm there I'm there if I'm not I'm somewhere else.

The definition of paedophile.

According to The Free Dictionary

paedophile - an adult who is sexually attracted to children

pedophile - degenerate, deviant, deviate, pervert - a person whose behavior deviates from what is acceptable especially in sexual behavior

Pedophilia or paedophilia (Commonwealth usage) is the primary or exclusive sexual attraction of adults to prepubescent children. A person with this attraction is called a pedophile or paedophile. The ICD-10 and DSM IV, which are standard medical diagnosis manuals, describe pedophilia as a paraphilia and mental disorder of adults or older adolescents, if it causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
The term pedophile is also used colloquially to denote an adult who is sexually attracted to young adolescents, especially younger than the local age of consent, as well as those accused or convicted of child sexual abuse or child pornography-related offences.

It annoyed me as I was watching the news on BBC NI last night and listening out for the word "paedophile" in connection with this story...

Man guilty of raping schoolgirls
Schoolgirls as young as 12 were raped and abused by a County Down man, Belfast Crown Court has heard.
Jason King, 38, from Balfour Street, Newtownards, described as a "predator without a conscience," abused nine girls over a six year period.
King has been convicted of 58 charges, including nine rapes and 25 indecent assaults.

Online on U.TVas well

NI man convicted of sex charges

Belfast Crown Court has been hearing how one of Northern Ireland's most prolific sexual predators spent years ensnaring schoolgirls, some as young as 12.

The headline in the Belfast Telegraph today reads....

Is this Ulster's most despicable sex predator?

Again the word "paedophile" hasn't been used in the article. To me, using the word "paedophile" would best describe Jason King. Describing this EVIL BASTARD as a predator reminds me of language that David Attenborough might use on his wildlife shows.

Now Jason King has tracked down a 12 year old girl. Watch as he lies in wait. He's just about ready to pounce. It is fascinating to watch this predator...


The Biggest **** In The Country?

Stephen Nolan, who's show is now on BBC Radio Ulster gets a lot of 'stick' as they say.Doctorvee was discussing the future of 5 live and about Stephen who he described as an audio arsonist...
Then in the evening there is smooth, calm Stephen Nolan. That was sarcasm there. This loud mouth just approaches every topic from the most controversial and inflammatory angle. His treatment of sensitive subjects has all the tact and subtlety of a bulldozer knocking over a child’s sandcastle. When you factor in the fact that Stephen Nolan is from Northern Ireland, I should think it is a miracle that this audio arsonist is still alive

and some classic comments...

#1 Tom
Stephen Nolan’s voice is the single worst noise on the planet. You could use it to torture prisoners in Abu Ghraib. Eamonn Holmes is nearly as bad, merely replacing aggressive shouty ignorance with droning inanity.
Lest it be thought that I just hate people from Northern Ireland, I should point out that Colin Murray on Fighting Talk is wonderful. Oh, and I’m Northern Irish myself.

#6 Onebrow
Stephen Nolan frequently ruins my late night visits to the kitchen. The man has no sense of tact, indeed he seems to think of the tactful way of going about something, then deliberately decides to do the complete opposite. Clearly somebody on the BBC thought it was a good idea, he’s probably a ratings grabber.
He would certainly seem to be popular with the people that phone in to his show. Who are, unthinkably, often worse than Nolan himself. Though I wouldn’t be surprised if Nolan just managed to bring out everybody's inner caveman.
I could rant at length, but I fear I’m beginning to sound like someone who would phone in to Stephen Nolan’s show.

Does Mr Nolan bring out your inner caveman?

Arm movement

The Dreaming Arm has moved, from here to here.

I wonder will he consider giving away freebies to all the visitors who visit his site this morning.


Irish blogger's book makes it to No 6 (so far) on the best-seller list.

No, it's not Twenty Major's book The Order of the Phoenix Park but a blogger from the North who blogs @ Diary of a Mad Mammy with her book entitled Rainy Days and Tuesdays

that's made it to the best-seller list, again. The Derry Journal reported on Friday...
Journal' reporter Claire Allan has been celebrating this week after the paperback edition of her debut novel 'Rainy Days and Tuesdays' stormed into the Irish charts at number six.
“I’m over the moon. I was shaking when I heard the news and I’m still overwhelmed now,” she said.

The novel, which tells the story of a working mother who decides to completely transform her life, reached number nine in the bestsellers’ chart last summer.

“I wasn’t sure what reaction we would have to the paperback,” Claire said. “Although there has been a massive amount of press interest this time around, I was totally gobsmacked to hear it had done so well in its first week on the shelves.”

Claire was recently interviewed on Blogcritics by Jill Hart

Jill Hart: I have to admit that I’m an avid reader of your blog as well. I think I started reading that before I got ahold of your book. Your blog is open and honest (and hilarious). You talk about being a writer and a mom.
Claire Allan: My son, Joseph, is an absolute dream. He’s fantastic and he makes me laugh so much. I think boys tend to be really affectionate more so than girls. I have a six year old niece and she is really canny the way she operates but Joseph is so affectionate and loving. It’s great. I love him to pieces.

So there's another great blog to visit.With Jill saying to Claire "I’m an avid reader of your blog" how could anyone avoid reading Claire's blog.

And the blurb about the book from Poolbeg (the publisher)...

If you like Marian Keyes you'll LOVE Claire Allan!

Claire Allan

A brand new talent from Poolbeg!

From the publishers who discovered Marian Keyes, Maeve Binchy, Cathy Kelly and Patricia Scanlan among many others, we are delighted to present our newest discovery, Claire Allan.

Grace, Parenting Editor of a monthly glossy, was once the glamorous Health and Beauty Editor. Now she still looks like she’s nine months pregnant two years after childbirth and is devastated when the office bimbo, stick-insect Louise, announces: “I need you to lose weight.” Grace has been chosen by the magazine to undergo the ultimate make-over for a feature.

Overcoming her first reaction (which is to murder Louise), Grace decides to go for it – not realizing it will involve taking happy pills, crying torrents in front of her hard-nosed editor Sinéad, being weighed in public, and wondering whether or not she wants to stay married . . .

Will it all be worth it?
More Info: http://www.claireallan.com/

So Ladies, and Gentlemen, you have been told. :-)

In the summertime

The Seamus Heaney Summer School 2008 is planned for 28th July to 1st August with Ciaran Carson, Leontia Flynn,Medbh McGuckian, Sineád Morrissey and Glenn Patterson.

More details here soon.

It must've been raining last night.

I looked out my bedroom window this morning and a lake had appeared in the distance.I rubbed my eyes and it was still there, it wasn't a mirage. I've never seen it before, so I came to a conclusion that it must've been raining last night.


A wee small poet from Derry...

is a member of the Northern Irish bloggers webring and a while ago answered...

#What is the title of your blog? www.aislingdoherty.wordpress.com
# Why did you call your blog.... um....its my name and i thought i'd run with it til i came up with something i like better.....it hasn't happened yet!
# Briefly, describe your blog, if you can. - its a collection of my poems, strung together with details about up coming gigs and the work that goes into making them happen, its a sort of poetry life in progress.
# Why do you blog? - as i reminder of what i've done. my memory sucks and so its good for me to be able to look back and see what i've been doing with my time!
# What has been your best blogging experience? - blogging the details of our first tour around Australia. i blogged in airports and dodgy internet cafes all over the counrty, and when i read back that blog now, i'm right back there. it makes me laugh cos i had forgotten most of the minor details.
# What would be your main blogging advice to a novice blogger? - just do it, you think therefore you can blog!
# What are your favourite blogs? - i don't have a favourite. i tend to surf around to find ones that fit my mood at a particular time.
# What is your favourite book? i don't have a favourite book. i like reading Stephen King & John Grisham
# What is your favourite film? hard to pick one, it depends on my mood. - top few would be - Aliens, 5th Element, Starship Troopers, Leon, Pirates of the Carribbean.
# What is your favourite poem? Raw With Love, Charles Bukowski. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
# Who are your 'Top 10' favourite musical artistes or bands? a bit eclectic - Nina Simone, KT Tunstall, Annie Lennox, Missy Higgins, Dave Matthews Band, Maroon5, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, U2
# Who is your favourite comedian? Lee Evans & the big man Billy Connelly
# If you were to relive your life to this point, is there anything you'd do differently? - i think i would pay more attention to my gut instinct...since i've started listening to it, its never steered me wrong!
# What would you call your autobiography?hmm i don't know, maybe "The List of Things I Did Instead"
# Who would play you in the film about your life? somebody small, Kylie, Rea Pearlman......at a push Danny Devito in a wig!
# What are your hobbies, apart from blogging? writing poetry, travel,
# What is your most treasured possession? photographs, memories
# Who are your sporting heroes? ...... i'm a girly girl, I don't speak the language of sport...in fact i don't think i could name one person who is involved in sport!
# If you won a million on the Lotto what would you spend it on? i would send a crack team of cleaners into our local hospital....its minging


It could be you.

I've changed the template on here again and instead of 'reciprocal linking' to other blogs I'm posting links to starred items from blogs I read on Google Reader. So the 'recently read...' section on the sidebar of this blog might just be something you've blogged. Reciprocal linking I felt was at times a bit false.I'd link to a blog and maybe only read posts from it once in a while.I tend to read blogs listed on my Google Reader on a daily basis and I may as well share with you what I'm reading.I shall tell you what these blogs are on my Google Reader list, sometime.If you want your blog added to the list , let me know.


Subject: The Future GCSE Poetry Syllabus Returns

Venue: the Pavilion, Ormeau Rd, Belfast.
Date:Tuesday the 11th March 2008
Time: Doors open at 8pm.
Entrance: Through the space left by the doors opening.
Bring: £2.50 to pay at the door and money to buy Gerard a drink.
Featuring guest poet: Nick Toczek
Line up: Gerard McKeown, Brian Bailey, Stephen Garboui, Colin McKeown.

About the Poets:

NICK TOCZEK has been a professional writer and performer for forty years. He's published three dozen books and pamphlets, released a few dozen rock tracks, and has gigged worldwide (Cairo and Madrid next month). He's sold more than half a million books of poetry.

In 2007 he released a retrospective rock CD, Totally InTOCZEKated; wrote the script and lyrics of Show Trial, an opera set for a 2009 London theatre premier; co-wrote a lyric on the Babyshambles album, Shotter's Nation; completed his first full-length novel, Angels of Derangement (about a gang of time-travelling, serial-killing pensioners); and drank a few beers.

This year he's so far done a lot of gigs and beers, and begun recording a new album.

“The most exciting and visual performer we have this side of Benjamin Zephaniah” – NME.

“See him if you can. He’s brilliant.” – The Stage.

“Toczek is bitter, disturbing and political. His language gets harder and more effective with each publication.” – The Guardian.

“A more interesting writer than most" – The Big Issue.

COLIN MCKEOWN has performed regularly at Queen's University and the Crescent Arts Centre.
He was runner-up in the 2007 Belfast Poetry Cup. Colin and Gerard McKeown (No relation) represented Ulster in the recent BBC Radio 4 Poetry Slam.
Colin is a film and tv producer of over thirty short films including early work by Pearse Elliott, Brian Kirk, Enda Hughes, Sean Mc Guire, Lab Ky Mo, and Adrian Dunbar. He has produced four feature films including Karl Golden's romcom THE HONEYMOONERS and Isabelle Coixet's THE SECRET LIFE OF WORDS.
In 2001 he and Vincent O'Connell won a Bafta for their BBC drama BEYOND THE BOUNDARY. Most recently he has collaborated with Peter Johnston on the innovative 15 Second Film Festival. He also has a cycling proficiency badge.

STEPHEN GHARBAOUI has been reading poetry around Belfast for the last ten years. He is 42 and works part time in mental health and believes poetry is good for his mental health. he has had one pamphlet of short poems, hotel kyriad, published in 2005. Last year he completed an arts and disability forum funded project on the twin themes of cross-cultural identity and mental well-being centred around a trip to Morocco.

BRIAN BAILEY is a well known figure on the Belfast performance poetry scene, having been organiser and co-organiser of a number of events including the New Belfast Performance Poetry Cup as well as long running open mic nights in The Arcadia and Bookfinders Cafes.

GERARD MCKEOWN was the 2007 winner of the New Belfast Performance Poetry Cup and together with Colin McKeown represented Ulster at the 2007 All_ireland Performance Poetry Slam where he finished second and Ulster was the top scoring provence.