Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Christmas

Dá mbeadh mileoidean agamsa
Ní bheadh Críost gan cheol anocht
Is é ag teacht ó áras bán a fhlaitheasa
Chuig an mainséar bocht.

Do sheinfinn ceol do chuirfidh gliondar ar a chroi
Ceol nar chualathas riamh ag piobaire sí
Ceol ‘chuirfidh na réalta ag rince i spéartha na hoich’

If I had a melodeon, Christ would not
be without music tonight
when going from His white
heavenly house to the poor stable
I would play music that would put joy in His heart.
Music never heard by a fairy piper.
Music that would put the stars dancing in the night skies.
Eoin O Tuairisc 1919-1982

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

personalised pressies

What's important is that you show that you've put serious thought into your choice of present, right?
Ok. so far I've decided to send Barak a Bob the Builder CD (can we build it? Yes we can!) and Dr.(?) Gillian Keith is getting a bag of my shite in the post any day now. The new love in my wife's life, Gok Wan is getting a pair of braces because, although one may look good naked, one is rarely impressive while displaying plasterers crack or check boxers. Roy Keane's dog Trigger is getting roller blades before his master has the shaggin' feet walked off him.
On another topic, we've just received a directive from the powers that run the educational system in this blessed corner of the world which will revolutionise cost cutting as we know it. Sixty percent or more of people at any meetings must be based elsewhere and must have travelled to the meeting, before ...............any biscuits are provided!
Such inspired thinking gives me great confidence that my 60% reduction in hours of work starting January 1st next will prove extremely temporary. Maybe I should send Batt a few of my Dunnes vouchers

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

bah humbug me arse!

Three little words to bring the rosiness back to your cheeks and put the yodel into yuletide.
Sweary is back!
God help us every one!

Friday, December 05, 2008

flat out

Survived November! The maddest month of the year for me in terms of work, as My office administers a huge Science and Technology Festival which runs for two weeks, involving over 20,000 people mostly schoolchildren in lots of activities. I can be seen to panic at anytime night or day if a busload of children pass me anywhere on my travels. It's generally a lot of fun also, but good to get out the other end! December started beeeeeautifully as the Fabulous Galway Gospel Choir supported the Harlem Gospel Choir in a sell-out gig at the Town Hall Theatre on the 1st . Some of us got to sing a few songs onstage with them. We're doing another gig tomorrow night in the Abbey church in Galway at 8.30. January should prove interesting, as my hours of work are being severely reduced due to government cutbacks. At least I'm of an age to remember having lived through a recession before, so I'm not losing too much sleep.

Friday, October 31, 2008

heading the way of all the undead

Another bump on the downhill slope. My nine year old asked me whether herself and her buddies can go trick or treating without me watching from behind the bushes/lampposts/parked cars this year. What seemed like a chore is now revealed as having been a perk. sigh...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

blue arsed fly

Rather busy at present, But have had enough time to read my father's recently published autobiography. Interesting if slightly disturbing experience! Incidentally, for those of you in USAland, bookmakers Paddy Power paid out last week on all bets on Obama to win the presidency contest. They put the cost at around one million. On another topic, one question. why do Clare people always ask what the real deadline is, when you give them a deadline?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

leprechauns guide to the galaxy

Cool! Eoin Colfer of Artemis Fowl (Die Hard with Fairies) fame has been asked by Douglas Adam's widow to write a sixth Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy book, as Douglas had always intended the series to have a sixth instalment. I know we've had James Bond and Gone With the Wind continued over the years. Who else would you get to continue writing someone elses series?

Friday, September 12, 2008

miseriness as usual

The dreaded first week in Saptember has come and gone. The summer is gone and the rain is getting colder. Everyone in our house is back to school/college/work/the couch in front of the television watching daytime soaps and plotting world domination by socialists. We've paid for the school insurance/music/irish dancing/ballet/salsa/piano/gym membership/study sessions/maths and french grinds. I had the job as official bollicker to the Fabulous Galway Gospel Choir, giving bollickings to the people who didn't make enough rehearsals last year, so at least all the misery wasn't one way (heh). Leaving cert boy is thinking he might consider being a teacher. I can think of at least five teachers who would just love to see him getting his ass kicked by a crowd of unruly litte gobshites (or gobshiteens as they are called in the gaeltacht). You could probably earn a fortune by selling tickets to that particular class! The nine year old has further taken over control of the house, telling everybody exactly what they can and can't do and calling everybody "butt-wipe" under her breath if they don't comply quickly enough. Started coaching first years in the old alma mater yesterday and was introduced to my new colleague, a teacher who is trying to make the transition from GAA man to Rugby Bugger (all donations gratefully accepted). I could have sworn he was a leaving cert. Especially as he was wearing a dress shirt and was hung over from the school debs the previous night. Insurance guy called at lunchtime to look at the kitchen floor which is trying its best to recover from a flood resulting from the eejit who installed our new dishwasher not tightening the yoke you're supposed to tighten (hope I'm not getting too technical on ye now). My dad phoned me three times last week totell me he's going to France for a month to harvest his vineyard (Bastard). other than that not much to report.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


You live and learn. An evaluation sheet for a summer course run for teachers on the seashore as a learning environment had the helpful comment that there was a health and safety issue with the field trips. The sea weed was very slippy.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

highs and lows

Met a young guy last week who was over on holidays from the States. I went to school with his dad and he introduced himself to me while I was playing music with his uncle, a good friend of mine. Very pleasant, friendly, out going kid, 17 or 18 years old. He went to Dublin for the weekend with his travelling companion. They went clubbing, met some more young American tourists, one of whom had "legal herbal smokes" which he offered around to the assembled. Two days later, the young lad is brought into the psychiatric unit in a very distressed state and was admitted straight away. The boy has no history of any psychiatric problems. His parents flew over straight away, hoping to bring him home, but the hospital say that he will need to remain as an in-patient for at least another week.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Greetings from Atlantis

Ireland is soon to disappear into the sea. Not soon as in within the next three million years. No. Soon as in during the All-Ireland hurling final, towards the end of September. Belfast had three quarters of the average rainfall for august last Friday, Dublin has had four times the average rainfal so far this month. Galway has been serially pissed on (and pissed off) since Westlife started their mellow submarine tour here in July. I.m all set, with my inflatable lidl kayak under the bed each night as I sleep (not an easy thing do do in a lifejacket). Could be worse, I suppose. I could have a 08 registered convertable in the driveway (snigger). At least we got to dry off briefly this year. Went to Carnac for two weeks in August and had lots of exposure to the orangey ball in the sky. There are a lot of very tense people around the place who haven't had that luxury, having bought that mobile home/chalet in the wesht, north wesht or southwesht. Very dangerous topic of conversation hereabouts. It's unusual for the weather not to be spoken about on a daily basis in Ireland, but now saying the four letter word beginning with R is like playing Russian roulette (which also begins with R. Wow!). Far too many pale twitchy people around for my liking.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Dear google map person

Hello. You're doing a great job. I wonder if you could do me a little favour while you're at it. Could you keep an eye on the cats on our road when everybody goes to work? Just for a couple of days during the week. I was walking to work this morning and i noticed all the cats on our road were sitting in their respective driveways or gardens. Watching me. It was as if they were waiting to make sure all the humans were out of the way before they started. Doing something. The dog won't get out of bed unless we're at home, so I'm sure he knows there's something afoot. Or apaw. Our cat, Mittens, killed a pigeon that was bigger than himself last week. Feathers everywhere. He's gotten very self confident lately. Hmmm.

athletic support

I was watching the athletics from Roma last weekend, and saw at least two races where despite the use of a pacemaker the races did not end up being particularly fast. Now I'm no runner, with the exception of the odd bus or last orders occasionally, so I'll have to consult with Fatmammycat or some other professional, but I think I spotted the problem. The pacemaker was running IN FRONT OF the other runners. I reckon if you're going to pay for a pacemaker they should run behind the other runners, preferably with an electric cattle prod or large ridgeback and hurling verbal abuse and threats at those in front. In the good old days, when Ballybane had a butchers shop instead of a roundabout we used to run home with the liver (deliver the liver), chased by two hungry Irish wolfhounds. Not a barrell of laughs, I'll grant you, but by god the liver was fresh when we brought it home (if we brought it home....)

Friday, July 11, 2008

sad day

Had the terrible misfortune of attending the funeral of a 14 year old yesterday. A lad I had coached in rugby over the past year died suddenly while playing sports in summer camp. During the service the priest itemised a list of some of the boy's experiences and achievements at that terribly tender age, including practically finishing his first novel, which would put many of us to shame. His eleven year old brother, roommate and confidant addressed the huge congregation at length and with great honesty, dignity and a level of insight which belied his years. His schoolmates sang and played music beautifully, though their hearts were fit to burst with grief, experienced at far too young an age. The young buried the young.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

The workings of a teenagers mind

We spent a lovely couple of weeks on a campsite in Carnac last year. We go to Brittany every other year or thereabouts, lots of Breton friends over the years through music etc. 16 going on 17 particularly had a ball, enjoyed a lot of freedom becaurse the campsite was very safe, lots of other 16 going on 17 year olds hanging by the pool etc. So good was the holiday we decide to repeat it this year. 16 going on 17 balks because the older boys didn't HAVE to come on holiday with us when they turned 17. Still with me? Good. Ok. So 16 going on 17 comes home from school in December asking whether he can go on the school skiing trip in the US at Easter. We saw the price, took a deep breath and said "OK, but you will have to come to Brittany with us in the summer" (Main concern being that the house would turn into a complete cess pit and fall down if our three sons were left alone in it for a fortnight) "I'll think about it" says he. Eventually he agrees, but he's left it so long that all the places on skiing trip are filled. sigh..........
Two weeks before skiing trip He comes home to say someone has pulled out of the skiing trip and they're holding the place for him. "Fair enough" we sigh, "provided you come to Brittany. He balks. No way is he going on holiday. "none of the others had to come with you". "True. But none of the thers have ever been on a skiing trip and/or to the US." we counter. We call his bluff, but he hangs tough and doesn't go skiing in the US at Easter.
Last week he says he's going to come to Brittany with us.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

your lifejacket is under your seat!

Things are going from worse to worser around here. Lady wife and daughters sank into the pitch at Pearse Stadium over the weekend while bopping to Shane Ward and Wetlife between thunderstorms. I was nearly killed while driving to collect them, when I was overtaken by two elephants, two giraffes, two wildebeeste etc. Then we're officially told that the recession is cranking up nicely. I had a conversation with a Donegal fisherman which made me feel very angry. He was well past the anger stage. Then I hear that a work colleague (on secondment from school)gets an E mail informing him that the ninth annual contract he's been awaiting from the dept of Education will not be forthcoming. He had regional responsibility for a particular aspect of education in all schools in the county of Galway (some 300 or so). He will be replaced by a national call centre.
On what is maybe a lighter note (or maybe not)last night the Galway City Council in their wisdom (?!) elected the person most hated by city council officials since the dawn of time to be Mayor of Galway.
I purchased a lifejacket and inflatable kayak from Lidl a couple of weeks ago. Inspirational!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Better news

Read today about a study where 40% of gambling addicts were able to refrain from gambling for a month when on a course of some new drug.
Probably worth a shot at those odds.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Has anybody seen Macdara

Anyone know what happened to macdara's blog? Has he moved or given up?

Friday, May 23, 2008

lisbon shmisbon

That's that screwed up anyway. When the rest of Europe come whinging to us about non-ratififeckingcation of their treaties we'll tell them "don't blame us, blame Azerbijan, Finland, Macedonia, San Marino etc. You give our most famous turkey the boo hiss treatment, ye can feck off for yeerselves."
Anyway, eldest son made it home in one piece from the mandatory year in Australia. If he were to be believed, you'd swear it was Siberia he was coming home to. Myself and the three sons went across the road to our local to watch the match Wednesday night. It was the first time we had done so as a group and it was a bit surreal. I felt that we were on the set of a western or something. Good fun.
It's amazing how much fuller the house seems all of a sudden. You'd have thought that the difference between a family of 6 and one of 7 wouldn't be too dramatic, but we now reqlise that it's time to bite the bullet and hire a receptionist, doorman and chauffeur. Let ye not worry about the stinking carcass of the celtic tiger, we'll soon have the economy back on track!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

older by degrees.

Ok. I give up. I'm officially ancient. My 19 year old ickle boy has finished his final exams and if he's to be believed, will be the proud owner of a degree in history and soc and pol (with special expertise in Socialism and anti-Shellism)in the next few weeks. His big brother is on his way back from his Year In Australia. The recently appointed 17 year old is the proud owner of an airsoft gun which arrived in the post looking very menacing yesterday. 14 year old daughter is as usual, displaying a more sensible approach to life than either of her parents, and the baby (9) is getting scarier/less cooperative/better at tantrums on a daily basis. the dog has set a new world record for shedding, having reached four years without missing a day. The cat, however is progressing quite nicely. He has become more affectionate since we bought the new softer duvet. The little things become more important as you trundle downhill.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Socket to me, Monsieur le President

I've been having too much fun lately to write. The Fabulous Galway Gospel Choir did a couple of gigs over the past fortnight or so. The first featured a guest artiste who is a household name in quite a few houses. Yes folks the very holy James Kilbane sang with us! "It's an awful pity he wasn't born in the States" I thought looking at him in his lovely black suit. "Sure, Hilary or Obama or yer man who makes the chips wouldn't have a chance beside him. He'd be a gorgeous president". Then we did a gig with a French choir, who choreographed and acted out all of their songs. The Parish Priest wondered whether they sang religious songs. Then he read their pamphlet which explained the songs in English and asked no more. I think the ones about the garden gnomes and breastfeeding kittens proved most entertaining. My wife has been so nice and supportive of late, that on Friday, as a special treat, I let her take one of my teeth out. Down to 4 panadol a day now.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

april schmool

Laziness, holiday changes in routine and the fact that the fecking hard drive in my (new!ish! as in 4 month old) pc screamed and died, have combined to make me less communicative than usual. All is well, Passed the twenty two years married mark yesterday, which proves there are saints living amongst us. Eldest has left Oz and will spend another two months on a series of beaches in Thailand on route home. He's already starting to panic about the weather. Number two son is coming close to the end of his final exams and is even grumpier than me. Son number three is back to school after a fortnight's clubbing/gaming/sleeping half the day/asking for money. 14 year old Daughter is independently wealthy, having run an easter craft,song and dance camp for twelve 5-9year olds in our kitchen last week. 9 year old daughter just gets cuter andbossier! Went to the doctor today and left most of my blood in her office as she tried not to snigger when telling me to stop eating crap and stop putting salt an the non-crap that i eat. I'm as healthy as an overweight middleweight trout, but a good buddy got a scare recently so I'm doing the sure-to-be-sure thing.

Friday, March 07, 2008

flexitime in prison

I admit it. I was being holier than thou about the GAA. We were having a discussion about thuggery at work this morning and i was harping on about the ability of the gifted GAA player to get away with all sorts of shennanigans on and off hte pitch and the spectators/guards/witnesses all seem to develop amnesia/selective blindness and a spot of wrist slapping is the usual sanction. Then I look at the Irish times online this morning and what tdo I see? two headlines one under the other:
Kearney begins life sentence for murder.
Kearney to play full back on Saturday.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Póltachts for the people

I was perusing the Central Statistics Office yearbook for 2007 the other day over a cup of coffee, like you do. It's like the Guinness Book of Records without the gross photographs. Anyway, I notice that the Polish population of Ireland has surpassed 63,000. Further on I notice that the number of people who speak Irish on a daily basis outside school is 53,471. So we should probably start looking at setting up a few Poltachts, where you can go to learn Polish, or build a house if you speak Polish well enough to pass an exam. It's only a matter of time before we have to put a Polish verse onto the God awful "Ireland's call" as they'll make up the front row of our scrum and hopefuly be able to throw the ball in straight. Once the intermarraige between east and west gets going we should be unstoppable. With their work ethic and our charm we'll conquer the world, not to mention the porn industry. We await with interest the father of all pornstars, Seánín Stopavitch!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

stolen laptop containing data of over 171,000 blood donors

Blood, A+, a bit sticky.
always tries to get a second bottle of Guinness with chat up lines which haven't been used since Frank Sinatra was a boy.

Marry in haste....

Feck Yer man Dunne and yer other man Dunphy in pushing the FAI into a decision on our new manager. If we'd waited one more week we could have got Castro! Now there's a fucker who knows a thing or two about defence!

Friday, February 15, 2008

why do they call it cold calling?

There should be a seperate room in hell for people who phone us in the evening wanting us to change phonecomapnies/insurancecompanies/alarm companies etc. Preferable in a particularly hot part, next door to the latrines.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Commodores can be saved

Great news for mankind.
(sorry, linky thing won't work)

Monday, February 04, 2008


Bus trip coincided with the Ireland-Italy match, which proved to be a blessing in disguise. Dumped everything at the Old Monastary Hostel and proceeded next door for a rehearsal in the Church, which was small, cold but had a nice warm tone A sculpture dedicated to the boys who lived and died in the infamous reformatory was terribly poignant. An hour or so later we went back to the hostel with our host Leo and his lady wife Claire and had a wonderful veggie meal. We then went to tog out and went back to the Church, which had been heated and transformed, fresh flowers and candles on the windows. The concert went really well, the energy we got from the crowd was palpable, Mick Kinsella played south american tunes, gospel tunes, a Scottish tune and Amazing Grace, during which a lovely lone voice rose up from the audience to join him.
The gig finished, we hit the Bard's Den for a great shit-kicking bluegrass session with Nial Toner, his band and a few friends. Cans were purchased and the session in the hostel went on till half past oblivion.
Next morning three of us made 9.30 mass, had our throats blessed in honour of St Blaise (where was the fecker at 4.30am?). About 8 of us struggled through the snow up to the top of Diamond Hill. The walk is absolutely wonderful and the views make it worth the effort. the trip back was one of those surreal experiences where everyone was in exactly the same state of hungover nervous exhaustion and thing which were probably mildly amusing became hilarious, with people rolling around their seats holding their sides, with tears running down their faces.

Go To Letterfrack! there is an amazing sense of healing about the place and an enthusiasm about arts and music which is totally infectious. Long live the Prince!

Friday, February 01, 2008


The Fabulous Galway Gospel Choir is heading even westerer this weekend as we have been asked to give a royal command performance in the principality of Letterfrack on Saturday night, where we will be joined by Mick Kinsella of Mick Kinsella fame who will take us on a harmonica journey to the blues. The concert will be followed by a walk to the pub to hear Niall Toner and sidekicks do their bluegrass thang, before we retreat to the old monastery. Anybody left standing will attempt to scale Diamond Hill on Sunday morning. I'll be lucky to make it to base camp for the cure.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

No White Smoke

Why have Ireland no manager yet, despite enthusiastic searching and outward hopefulness by the powers(?) that be. Bock figured it out yesterday. Someday, when it all comes out, John Waters will thank us.....

stop blogging!

Ok, everybody back to work. John Waters said ye were all a bunch of negative wierdo types whose views are poisoning the cybersphere. The cute gerbil-like one said to leave commenting on stuff to people like him, who has an editor to tell him when he's talking shite (as if he ever would talk shite!). In fact I wouldn't be surprised if the blogosphere was responsible for the negativity which stopped people voting for his wonderfully optimistic ditty in the Eurovision, thereby hindering a united Europe, which probably had a knock-on effect of destablising the fecking American economy and bringing the whole economy crashing down around us. Enough with the negative vibes already, as they used to say in Roscommon long ago!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

heads down till Paddy's day

2008, feck that for a game of cowboys. Wind, rain and poverty. Too many pounds and too few euros. Calls from our 21year old baby boy, complaining about the heat in Cairns, ungrateful little fecker! Visa bills and having to sell my body to get some heating oil. Don't mention bloody sales either if you know what's good for you. The online scrabble addiction hasn't got any better. I'm also the only person in Galway who hasn't caught the dreaded flu, and the paranoia has got to the stage that I'm running away from anyone who looks like they might speak to me. Number two son is deeply depressed that college has restarted and he's not sure that he'll be able to remove his arse from the couch where he's been stewing in his own juices since late December. The dog still thinks he's a cat and the cat still thinks that we're his lazy, good-for nothing servants. Happy new year!