About Me

My photo
! Cant impart too much information as I would have to kill you with my bare hands

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Stoker School

Some of you may be wondering about the obscured avatar up in the corner of the page. It was taken a few years ago when I first started going to an annual event here in Dublin called the Bram Stoker Summer School. Ive always been drawn to strange and fanciful in all aspects of my tastes, music,art and most of all literature. Nothing compares to the pleasurable shudder and lingering awe aroused by a really good story and in particular ghost story, Gothic or horror whatever you want to call it. We love to be scared yet know we are safe, to close the book and take comfort in the familiar outlines of the room and yet somehow in that moment the room is not quite the same, its infected by the strange.

My Dad always had a 'Mystery' book on the go, it could be anything from the Loch ness monster to the Vampire of Dusseldorf and I remember when I was eight he bought me 'The worlds greatest ghost stories' which where accounts of sightings / hauntings around the world. I danced with glee when I seen it (see Im not the product of just dark musical tastes) I ploughed through the usbourne series of books on the paranormal,superstitions & world mythologies. You might think it strange of an 8 year old having such an interest in things of such a macabre nature but no stranger than children devouring every word JK Rowling has ever written. From then on I was pretty much reading the same things as my dad, I couldn't wait for 'The Unexplained' magazine to come out in the news agents and my special treat tv wise was to be allowed to stay up and watch ' Mysterious world of Arthur C Clarke'where he investigated strange objects like the dropa stones etc.

Then one night when I was in my 20s a local cable network had a bulletin board for local events on the tv and it advertised the Bram Stoker Summer School; a feast of literature of the gothic and horror genre. I thought that's the ticket for me and set about getting the details of where and when. I stupidly and embarrassingly thought that this was going to be like some kind of undertakers convention. I was dubious about what kind of people would be there but was pleasantly surprised how different the cross section of society that seemed to be interested in this particular genre. Lawyers, doctors, housewives, postmen etc I have to say I did feel a little out of place at first being the youngest there. The opening ceremonies was chaired by the founder of the summer school, a six foot plus Sligo man who goes by the name of Denis Mc Intyre, a colorful charismatic man who is passionate about his Stoker crusade in so much as restoring Stokers nationality and recognition of his work to the worldwide media and diverting the Transylvania publicity to Dublin. In short do for Stoker, what Yeats and Joyce have done Ireland. He was particularly interested in the eroticisim that Stoker imbued the vampire with and I could fully appreciate that and gave several talks on the subject at the school, which in turn Im sure, had something to do with me being made a breitheamh (honorary member for contributions) at the school.

The evening and weekend also was a wonderful and powerfully inspiring chapter of my life. Too often the passion for literature is left unnurtured with young people. The heady lifestyle of socialising and getting a steady 9 to 5'er diminishes and quells the hunger for something as simple and potentially evocative of the many worlds a book has to offer. Each year at the school the speakers got more interesting and dare I say it more famous (Ingrid Pitt, Leslie Shepard, Jeanne Youngeson). Denis, to his credit has gone from running the school in a draughty old rugby club to getting his very own visitor centre and museum here in Dublin.

I think that given the experience that it gave me over the years and it being such a wonderful induction to a host of other writers, it is a shame that instead of kids sitting in front of the tv or xbox all summer on vacation that schools don't instigate a literary week of writers and workshops dedicated to Rowling, Dahl etc as a way to introduce them to other writers which would ultimately enhance their learning capabilities, vocabulary & spelling. I think kids would devour this with as much gusto as Dracula did with Lucy Westerna's jugular.

(Me at the opening night many moons ago)

Monday, February 26, 2007

Political Prisoner?

As promised here are the photos my chap took the other night of the bound guardian of the bridge. It seems she is a symbol of some political significance to the people who pasted her up there. Further on down the block Suolas (my chap) found a small image of her painted to a wall surrounded by the other images here. I Had a theory that I spoke to Glamourpuss about recently that given irelands political stance (neutral) and the activity in Shannon airport (letting US iraq bound aircraft refuell at shannon airport) Ireland has been depicted as a bound woman( when under English rule and under penal law irish people could not talk about irelands political status and had to reference her as a woman with dark hair ( Roisin Dubh or dark roseleen)in song, written word etc so Im guessing they are applying this image as a modern day Roisin Dubh.. I think I prefer thinking of her as the romantic gaurdian though that rests on stone and shows me that no matter what her creator is trying to say with her, theres beauty to be seen in the darkest of places..
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Are there any more like you at home?

My chap went out the other evening to take a better photo of the bound bint for posterity, knowing quite well it was a matter of time before she was defiled (!); her left knee is already torn away. He also tells me she has a sister which is around the corner at the main train station. I havent been able to investigate due to one of my munchkins being ill and going back and forth to hospital with her but hes taking the camera out this evening to take more photos of her clan..

Monday, February 19, 2007

On the way to work II

It was a damp, cold and very wet Monday morning. The kind of morning when your eyes sting with tiredness, its late and you have not much time to do any of the essential tasks that one would normally carry out. As I grabbed for clothes of any description that where to hand I left home to work without my keys , umbrella, and more importantly something warm (a box black velvet jacket does not compliment such a mornings weather as such) I could have gone back in and got my long overcoat but this would have involved a chorus of 'Mama don't go puweeese' - Rips me in two yknow so Id rather look like a drowned rat than upset them.

On a daily basis, I walk under a railway bridge which is a grande big stone bridge with a pedestrian arch 'tunnel/walkway' either side. Its dank, dark and I always get a feeling of 'film noir' when approaching it on mornings and evenings such as this, when the weather is dismal. The stone walls have veins of dampness in its 50 feet of acoustic masonry and in the evening 3 red low lights fail miserably to give adequate visability In short its a great location shoot for spies, being followed and 'exchanging packages'

So there I am bleary eyed trying to cross the busy road when out of the corner of my field of vision I can see this figure. In the millisecond of seeing it the thought is 'cover it up love' thinking she was a prostitute selling her wares, then my eyes locked on to it because It looked like someone had stolen a manniquin and the voice inside my head said ' I could have some fun with this' and had already made up my mind to put it under my arm, leave it outside my door and call my other half when I got into work to let him know there was a new house guest outside cold and shivering and would he make her a cup of tea.

When I eventually got up close it turns out that it was actually pasted steadfast to the wall.. I took a photo of it with my cellphone, the camera is a little crap on it but you get the idea. First of all I thought it was a remenant from a photo shoot , then I thought maybe an artist is doing this at various places around the city to raise his profile, then I thought maybe its a revenge from aggrieved lover - I dont know but Im open to suggestions of the possiblities.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Father Ted

I love this episode and if youve never seen Father Ted I hope you feel like youve discovered a comedic gem

Thursday, February 15, 2007


The wonderful General Catz has quizzed me here and here are my answers, I pass it to Cranky, Olives, and Hammer

1. A song?
Lemon Song - Led Zeppelin

2. An 80's rock album?
5150 Van Halen

3. A singer?
Tarrie B

4. A man?
Patrick Moore

5. A woman?
Monica Belucci

6. A writer?
Angela Carter

7. A book?
Around Ireland with a fridge

8. A word?

9. A movie?
"Brotherhood of the wolf”

10. A wise statement?
"Whats for you wont pass you by."(My Gran) & 'Dont write cheques your ass cant cash' (Chief wiggum to Mayor Diamond Joe Quimby)

11. A colour?

12. A flower?
African Violet

13. A fictional character?
Gussie Finknottle

14. A name?

15. A guitarist?
Jimmy Page

16. A guitar?
A martin

17. An Age?

18. A famous Historical character?
Leonardo Da Vinci

19. A flavour?

20. A meal?
Beef Wellington

21. A country?

22. A city?
New York

23. A monument?
Lia Fail stone/ Jacobs Pillar Hill of Tara

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Givvin mama sugar

If you can over look the obsessional Rickman montage and enjoy this baby making inducing hit for what it is (it was the only vid on youtube with a decent sound recording of the song) then Happy valentines to all

Friday, February 9, 2007


Thanks all for giving me suggestions with the links trouble Ive been having, I was telling my chap the other night and without flinching he noticed the bleeding obvious that I had either one too many slashes,dots etc in my links, the eagle eyed marvel that he is! And he did it all simply by comparing the address's in the comment box. His attention to detail astounds me (plus this was the first time I really approached him for help with it)

(me having realised how I fucked up)
So I will at least be able to link you guys properly now and maybe I can try out doing the inserting links in my posts now - Ill figure that one on my own hopefully..

My Hero

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

On the way to work

When walking to work this morning I passed by the site of my mothers paternal home, I say site because it was knocked down and now, like so many places in Dublin city was erased and new apartment blocks put in its place. However it made me think of something I had not thought of in years, the house itself my mother told me was haunted and not in your bump in the night haunted either. Many many times my mother and grandmother would prepare dinner each day in anticipation for the walton number of siblings to return from their respective jobs, and, as the cooking was under way Mam & Nan would hear the clatter of china and cutlery being 'interfered' with. When roused they would go to investigate the parlour and would find the Delph or dining chairs piled up in the middle of the table ( a lot of plates and chairs for 7 kids and 2 adults to dine at), this happened from time to time but then it started to get more and more frequent until it really bothered my Nan.

The house itself was a Georgian townhouse with a scullery and parlor downstairs so in order to gain access to the parlour you would have to pass my mother and nan when preparing the evening meal. My nan told my grandfather who was as big as a house and a 20 pint a day docker about the paranormal events, he said he would stay the night in the parlor to see what was up. The next morning my Nan found my grandfather ashen faced with an empty brandy glass beside him and he told her to fetch the priest right away and get the house blessed. He never spoke about what he saw he refused point blank (much to my annoyance), it must have been something else , my grandfather was as hard as they come, heavy with his fists to all that knew him - my nan & mother found that out to their detriment but he wasnt the same for months after his night in the parlour. Anyway interestingly enough as the house got blessed and the windows and doors where opened for any negative spirits to leave both top floor sash windows cracked and broke. Sounds like something out of a Spielberg movie doesn't it. But like the house , the presence that lived in there are long since gone.

A house in dublin not too unlike the one I speak of and consquently around the corner from the paternal homestead site..

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Drum Roll Please

The winners of the caption competition are Slaghammer & Squid Vicious , Judged by my better half, both of you can email me so I can send you your respective lucky (?) bags. Thanks to all who entered !

Monday, February 5, 2007

Trip to the 70s toyshop

The wonderful Helene has tagged me in a toy meme from your childhood - Often I wonder should I store my kids toys for later years so they have something to cash in on if times are tough, if I did the roof would cave in if their current collection is anything to go by (Ill just keep the ones safe that have special significence to them) but heres mine - Im a bit rustly in the melon to remember a lot so Ill press on and see what I can remember, they are far from retro cool but they kept me out of trouble albeit partially as a child..

Okay the first one I remember is a Holly Hobby doll, more so a rag doll with her patchwork dress and cap that looked like it was raided from Laura Ingles closet , I dragged it around with me from about 3-5 years old, even when I got my ‘tiny tears’ (a breakthrough in the world of dolls at the time, Im sure the manufacturers where tempted to put on the flashcard of the box ‘Both cries and pisses itself!!!’) Doll, I stayed faithful to Holly

This is Simon, it was a light memory game that started of slow with a series of flashing colours and tones and you had to repeat the sequence, the sequences would get longer and faster and you would have to keep up the pace. I seem to remember my mother hijacking this game once to often but have fond memories of her playing it really fast and when she would get it wrong calling simon a fucker.

Australian artist and star to children of the 70s Rolf Harris endorsed this little gizmo in the late 70s early 80s, the Stylophone was quite the hip toy to get, the idea was you slid or dotted the magnetic sensitive pen onto the musical pad that was done out like the keys of a keyboard and it would give that strange ‘alpha wave frequency sound’ for different keys. I also remember it came with a booklet of songs that only your grandma could remember, none of your cool stuff that would encourage kids to ’keep at it’ I would probably have enjoyed it more if I could have belted out Bowies ‘starman’ rather that ‘put another nickel in’..

I think I only ever owned one sindy, (and NO barbies which I am eternally grateful for) I remember specifically asking for this one because she looked like a teacher but when ‘Father Christmas’ delivered it and I found it under the Christmas tree I noticed that Santa forgot to take the bleedin price tag for the local toyshop off it. My spider senses tingled and somehow I never bought the story of him running out of sindys in his toy shop and had to run to ‘Pride & Joy’ and buy me one. The fall of the innocence had begun its heavy downward spiral. Consequently I was forever putting Sindy naked in a shoebox bed with Action man (GI Joe) being the promiscuous slut that she was..

This was one of the Fisher price dolls houses that I had I remembering thinking it was cool but impractical to play proper house in because none of the furniture would actually fit properly once you closed it up , you had to fix things on their side, not very practical when you’re a child who thinks that once you put the toys up that they co-existing daily lives and schooling albeit secretly when you are asleep.

Cant remember if it was my sister or me who got this but it was cool none the less. You just simply weaved the plastic straws in the tower and filled up the marbles, the player with the most straws and least amount of marbles won. A game of skill AND strategy my friends

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Tearing my hair out

Ive been fiddling around with my links list here and nothing seems to work, Ive looked with pure scruitany and compared the example in the 'how do i edit my links list' nothing seems to be out of place and will it link?? It will link like two homophobic men thats how well it will link! Im thinking of suggesting to blogger to add into their menu or to their 'help team' (as I have been inundated with error codes whilst trying to visit a couple of my favourite blogs today) a 'how do I murder with my bare fucking hands due to frustration and not be held accountable' button on their menu. This does not help my spiralling bad mood to which I will rationalise the change of season - this waiting room of the world that it is, borderline exhaustion and breaking in a new pair of boots. Little to complain about havent I?

Im hoping that the finalisation of redecoration this weekend will give me a burst of enthusiasim..I think Ill hammer a bottle of Chateau pape de neuf tonight - its been absolutely months and months since I had a drink, so my resilience to alcohol is probably that of an 8year old so I should get giddy very quickly this will be to my other halfs annoyance or delight who knows but already Im warming to the idea of listening to Tom waits and crystal gale's 'this ones from the heart'(I will try later to put in in MP3 format here on the blog), lights down low, gallon sized wine glass in hand lounged out on the sofa like some veritable queen of sheeba.

When giants roamed the earth

These are two wee snippets gauranteed to make you smile if things are pissing you off and also dedicated to the first person who ever commented on my blog - belated birthday greetings to you Stucco, old chap. Btw The competition ends on sunday with my unbiased better half doing the judging , thanks to all who gave me giggles.