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Archive for the ‘Just Saying’ Category

Hello Kitty!

I’ve been holding off on posting about another recent addition to the Woodhaven clan. Following the death of my beloved Queen Victoria, I was quite adamant about not getting another pet, least of all a cat. But just as Vicky arrived unannounced (against her usual, more grandeur entries), this little guy appeared at our patio door a few weeks ago.

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We managed to capture him after an hour long escapade of ducking and diving. He wasn’t in a great shape either. For the first week we cleaned him up, fed him and monitored his symptoms, which was a runny nose and clotted eyes. Once the week was up I brought him to the vet for a full check and the vet did usual vaccinations and a jab for Feline flu, which is what he believed was affecting the little guy.

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He’s now foot loose and fancy free and totally friskified (which is a new word for wild, curious, up to mischief and bold). Oh and he’s also not a he, he’s a she. We haven’t settled on a name just yet, since we thought he was a male and were initially going with Prince Leopold. We’re not even sure we’ll keep him. He’s already stalking the ducks (more on them soon). The only way I’d let her go is if she was going to a devoted, decent home.

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My blog followers are slowly growing and with every new reader serotonin releases in my brain and gives me a little high. Some of my friends have been telling me that my writing is getting better and on the back of that Jilly (Richie’s sister) asked me to write up a piece for a Press Release. She and her friend/business partner, Grace, opened their new Salon (Salon Twenty One) in Mullingar a few weeks ago. An editorial in a local news paper seemed like a good choice to advertise and make locals aware of their business. Though it might not have been fully needed, feedback from current clients have all been positive and word of mouth has spread these excellent reports to new clients.

I wrote up a few paragraphs and passed it to Jilly and Grace for review and they were delighted about it. Though they might be chuffed about the success of Salon Twenty One, I’m on cloud 9 that they liked my ‘article’ and the majority of comments about it from friends and clients have been beyond belief. I wrote a bit more than what was published but the Editor of the Mullingar Advertiser did a good job and cut out the crap that wasn’t needed.

Here it is. I’ve uploaded the original image size, so hopefully it’s more legible when you click on it. I think you’ll agree that the Salon is amazing as well.

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“Mortals, you defy the Gods? I sentence you to travel among unknown stars. Until you reach the kingdom of Hades, your bodies will stay as lifeless as stone.” That’s a line to one of my most favourite cartoons ever.

If you to quiz me on theme tunes to 80s cartoons, I could probably recite them all word for word. It’s my party trick.

There are very few that I didn’t like or enjoy. My Saturday mornings were filled from 7am to 12pm, getting square eyes in front of the TV. My mum and dad used to get up early to go to a car boot sale in Dublin’s city centre. This meant I could go to their room with my younger sister and brother, Ann-Marie and Paul. All three of us fit easily into the same king-sized bed. Most of the time we lay there undisturbed. I can’t really remember if we ever fought over what to watch. Though I do remember we all wrestled, including Ann-Marie. The bed was our ring and we must have been influenced and still had an injection of energy from watching WWF, late the night before.

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Getting back to my cartoons, though it my TV addiction wasn’t limited to cartoons. I had many beloved one, like Thundercats, He-Man, She-ra, etc but my clear favourite was an original French cartoon dubbed into English and animated by early Japanese Animé artists. It was called Ulysses 31. Loosely based on the endless voyages of Ulysses in Greek mythology, this was set in space and in the 31st century. Ulysses was destroyed the giant Cyclops and this angered the Gods (which were effectively an alien race). They banished him to travel among unknown starts and seek out the Kingdom of Hades.

There were only 26 episodes. I wished there were more, but this is perfect, since how many seasons would you want Ulysses lost. It would turn into Dungeons and Dragons (another love of mine). What drew me to Ulysses 31 was firstly the animation. It was my second exposure to Animé/Manga, next to Battle of the Planets. After that, it was Ulysses, the character himself. He was calm and brave but it was his wisdom and morality that always saved the day. He had long brown hair, with beard and mustache. There was something sexy about him. Can I even say that about a cartoon character? I can, some people find Jessica Rabbit sexy. I loved his gadgets, the anti-gravity belt, the laser pistol that also became a ‘light-saber’ of sorts and of course, the energy shield.
All the characters were great, from his son, Telemachus, and alien comrade Yumi, right down to the small red robot called Nono. But the villains were amazing also. Sometimes they were pure evil, other times, they were misunderstood and acting out of coercion or misguidance. I could probably go on for a bit about all this. A more minor character is the ship they travel in. Her name wass Shirka. Her deep, monotone voice is sultry and to the point, but has a sense of innocence.

Check out episode one, freely available online. I bought the dvd box set, maybe you’ll do the same after you get a dose of episode one.

Here’s the opening sequence. Come on, you got to admit, it’s catchy.

There’s one other thing. I’m really surprised that a Film Studio hasn’t attempted to give Ulysses 31 the movie treatment. If I had some more experience writing a script it would be one I’d love to put pen to paper for.

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Yet another murky cloud has overshadowed Woodhaven and I’m not talking about the bad weather. Our fine-looking monarch and ruling Queen, Victoria, has, with great sorrow, passed away. I’m finding it hard to get over this. I left the house at 6:20am and then Richie found her 2 hours later at the front of the driveway. Her life had been knocked out her, most likely by a passing vehicle. The house is right on a bend and most of the time, the cars speed by.

I’ve grown up without pets. ‘Too many mouths to feed already’, my mum would say. When Victoria arrived at our back door, I was little impressed but for her beauty. She grew on me almost instantly and I had grown to appreciate her independence and sometimes dependence on us for the odd snuggle. Finding her lazy on a bed upstairs would put a smile on my face. It perplexed me most of the time, on how she got there, but I’d be amazed when she’d look up with that, ‘Hey. Yeah, I’m here, by the way’ look on her face. A big yawn and a stretch and then back to sleep!

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I’ll miss her trot down the garden to the house, with her lemur like striped tail, high in the air. She was still so very young. Not even a year old. For fuck’s sake! Pardon my language. I’m pissed off and upset. I’m annoyed that I got attached in the first place but happy to have had her too. It’s so confusing. This is the likely reason why I’m not good having pets and animals around. We still have Yoda of course. Yoda was a house cat that Richie’s cousin gave us. She’s moving abroad, so we said we’d take the small patchy ginger/white/black cat. Yoda has slowly become an outdoor cat, against her own comfort, but she sticks close and never ventures off. She lacks the feral attitude that Victoria possessed. She’s older and more mature than Victoria was, so has lost her naughty but playful side. This isn’t a bad thing. Just, Victoria made me laugh and smile more.

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We plan to bury her when I get home from work today (I’m writing this in work. Has to be done). I want to be the one to place her in the ground. She was my little baby.

If I was to have read a similar blog post, to this, 3 years ago, I’d probably be throwing my eyes to the sky, confused why people can get attached to pet. To all animal lovers out there, I’m sorry to ever have thought like that.

All rise, and hail Queen Victoria. You will be sadly missed, my mischievous, furry baby, with the best eye liner in town.

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Have you ever felt you were destined for something? It could be anything. That it’s your fate to live in a particular city in the world or destined to have a doughnut a week for the rest of your life. Well I feel that way, not for the doughnut, but I feel I’m destined to win the National Lottery.

I buy a ticket almost every week and yes, my head tells me of how much money I waste a year on this weekly purchase. Blah blah blah. And I’ve also heard of the probabilities that I’m more likely to die in the time I buy the ticket to the time the numbers are drawn, even if it’s only a half hour to the balls dropping. Ha, I said balls dropping. But I don’t care. If you aren’t in it, you can’t win it. Plus, my gut is telling me this could be it. This is the week I win. When I don’t win, I’m not let down. It might be next week. I feel I’ve to win, I just don’t know when it will be.

I don’t have much credence of getting rich quick. Getting rich is not a priority of mine. But I still feel I’m going to win the lotto. I know it. I believe getting rich quick can happen to people but I’m also a firm believer of you having to work and have ambition to getting rich.

This is nothing to do with the ‘Secret’. I’ve listened to the audio book, but that’s not it. I’m not asking the Universe to bring a lotto win to me. I’ve often imagined what it will be like when I win. Will I see the results on TV, will I hear that the winning ticket was sold in the same shop I bought mine, or will I scan the ticket it for the small display to come back to me and say ‘Contact National Lottery Offices’. I think I might have a conniption fit there and then. Even atom of my being will be vibrating so fast and so erratically that I might be out of phase with reality. My instinct will tell me to hold it aloft and run down the street. ‘You’ve got the Golden Ticket Charlie, run straight home’. But no, I’ll draw it close (‘My Precious’). I’ll clandestinely hug the shadows. I’ll slink into the National Lottery offices to claim my win.

‘Never wish to win so much money’, those are words I hear in my ears. My mother has said that so many times. I’m not wishing though. I’m not going to squander the money. I’m not quite fully sure what I will do with that amount of money. I’d definitely donate or have some foundation set up. My life would change entirely, as everyone’s would. Would it change for the better? I’m not sure. Old problems would be replaced with new ones. Concerns on how to share it out among family and friends would most likely be the peak of my problems, initially anyway. For now, I’m not going to think about that. My winning thought, that’s what takes over everything else right now.

I know, you think I’m crazy.

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Whenever we were in the car with our parents, be it travelling to a holiday destination or just down to the local supermarket, they would play an old cassette tape of the Carpenters. Their solid, easy-listening became the greatest travelling companion for any road trip.

I still hear both my mum and dad rattling off ‘Sweet Sweet Smile’ in the front seat as my Dad would lean over to my mother, place his hand on her leg and say humorously and affectionately, ‘You have a fine pair of legs on ye Vera’.

It’s a real pity Karen Carpenter isn’t still alive. Would they still be the success there were. I have to believe they would be and that the fans would still be following them. I’m sure there are parents, even today, listening to them and introducing their kids to them. I know my sister does with her 2 year daughter. Still I never see someone on the Xfactor singing one of their songs. There’s never a Carpenters Week. Are their songs too feel-good folk/country songs? I don’t even know how to categorize their music.

All I know is that Karen and her brother Richard knew how to make the music and sing the song. I wonder if there’s someone out there coming up with a musical much in the same vain as Mama Mia. I know I’d want to go see it. Plus, why aren’t people covering the songs? Maybe the rights are tied up. Richard still lives in California and maybe he hasn’t released the rights. Could it be that there’s no interest. I refuse to believe that. Their songs are too singalong-able for them not to have a following.

You know I don’t even have the Carpenters on my ipod. I must rectify that immediately. I don’t exactly have a favourite song of theirs but if I was made pick one it would have to be ‘Top of the World’. I’m way too attached to that song from my childhood. In my adulthood, every song is my favourite. I don’t know all the lyrics or all the songs but I love all the ones I do know. What are yours and why?

I was going to link a few songs here but youtube the ones you like, especially if you haven’t listened to them in a while.

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Another thing I’ve noticed about America and I thought this deserved its own post, is something about the Kids of America.

It’s confidence, and not badly to the point of arrogance. Just plain old self-confidence and self-assurance. They have it and it’s like they’ve been bestowed with it from birth.

The main reason we were in America was for Damien’s son’s Communion and that’s when I first noticed this self-belief. None of the kids had any qualms about standing in front of a crowd. Many of them read passages from the pulpit in full view of the congregation. They enunciated clearly and loudly like accomplished orators. I remember my stomach churning whenever I had to talk in public. I only got rid of this in adulthood and it returns now and again and i have to force myself to get over it. I remember feeling like this and turning red in the face with embarrassment, when only having to read aloud to the rest of my classroom. Words would come out with a robotic stammer.

I was really impressed by them, and it made me jealous that I wasn’t more like this when I was younger. I was also taken aback by the overall discipline of the children in the Church, bar one particular child that lost attention now and again. I was later told that the school does Communion rehearsals, 4 or 5 of them. In Ireland, they’d probably do 1 rehearsal and the whole thing would be a shambles.

Side Note: Damien’s 4 year old daughter sat quietly with us, scanning pictures on a camera. She stopped abruptly on one of Richie and me exchanging a very small peck on the lips. She felt the need to move to every single person on the pew and tell them, ‘I saw Paddy and Richie kissing’, in her most adorable American accent. By the time it got to Richie’s mother, she actually thought we were kissing there and then, in the church.

Finally, where else but in America would kids just sing together randomly on the steps of a Museum.

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