January 20, 2013


If you’re looking for interesting plays to go and see this year, you could do worse than Theatre@36 at the Teacher’s Club.

It’s where we stage our La Touche Players productions and I can’t recommend it highly enough. It’s a wonderful little venue in the heart of Dublin city. It’s so good they even had the President go to see a play there last year!

Visit the bar upstairs for a post-show drink and a chat in a beautiful Georgian room overlooking Parnell Square.


Weather not in Alpha Beat’s favour

September 14, 2010

I saw a headline on the Irish Times website today and clicked into the story, only to discover it was a story about horse racing. This happens too often so I went looking for some more stories with interesting headlines and they have inspired some haikus.

And the moral? Don’t judge a news story by its headline, I guess.

Weather not in Alpha Beat’s favour
It’s pouring rain now
as the sound check starts up slow.
Fascination’s first.

Giving Phileas Fogg a run for his money with a TV remote
A strange kind of race,
Relayed through the medium
of small screen. Phil lost.

Strauss plays captain’s role with century
Composer takes the
Lead. One hundred solo years
laid bare before him.

Pyjama Girls

August 24, 2010

I went to see Pyjama Girls in the Irish Film Institute this evening.

It was massive.

Living in the city centre, I sometimes see pyjama-clad girls around the place. It’s a Dublin phenomenon and one that’s deserving of Maya Derrington’s documentary treatment in this film.

What was interesting from the film was how self aware the girls were. How they knew that their style was anti-style but they were confident enough to continue on regardless.


Twas the night before the LC results

August 17, 2010

It’s a little known fact that the Leaving Certificate results are delivered to schools on behalf of the authorities by the wizened Saint Joseph of Cupertino. He works quickly and quietly over the course of an evening, and it’s said to be bad luck to cross his path on the only night of the year he comes out of hiding.

Twas the night before the LC results, when all through the school
Not a creature was stirring, not even an owl.
The dusters were lined up by the blackboard with care,
In hopes that St Joseph soon would be there.

The swotters were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of A1s danced in their heads.
And the headmistres in her nightgown, and the dog on his bed,
Had just settled their brains for a short evening read.

When out on the street there arose such a clatter,
She sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window she flew like a flash,
Tore open the net curtains and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen dew
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to her wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny examdeer.

With a little old driver, so lethargic and slow,
she knew in a moment it must be St Joe.
More tardy than badgers Joe’s coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

“Now English! now, Bus Org! now, German and Hist’ry!
On, Latin! On, Spanish! on Physics and Music!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the school-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of results, and St Joseph too.

And then, in a twinkling, the headmistress heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As she drew in her head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Joseph he came with a bound.

He was dressed all in feathers, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of Leaving Certificates he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like posies, his nose like a berry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a moon,
And the beard of his chin was as white as ‘la lune’.

The stump of a cigarette he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a fat face and a horrid pot belly,
That shuddered when he laughed, like strawberry jelly!

He was flabby and fat, a right ugly old foot,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of my gut!
A blink of his eye and a nod of his head,
Soon gave Headmistress to know she had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the envelopes, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But she heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
“Happy Exam Results to all, and to all a good-night!”

(Apologies to Clement Clarke Moore and good luck to all those getting their results tomorrow.)

I was always falling

July 4, 2010

I tripped over a kerb again today and grazed my knee a bit. I’m so unbalanced.

When I was a little girl and I fell, I used to say that the ground came up and hit me, not that I knew about the whole ‘may the road rise to meet you’ business.

I was always falling.

I think the most momentous was when I fell out the front door.

I’d gone running out to play in the cul de sac, after lunch. We had a long hallway in the house and I ran along it and caught my foot in the slight lip of the door frame and fell and cut my chin. Evil driveway.

Mum and Dad were there in a moment and Dad scooped me up and walked me to the doctor’s surgery, a couple of minutes away.

“Why didn’t you drive her?” asked the peeping talking heads and eyes.

I had to get two stitches, I think. I still have the scar, just about.

No stitches or scars today, just a bit of a graze really. But tripping over in public? It’s still really embarrassing.

Beverages, minerals and drinks

June 27, 2010

I returned from a brief railroad trip to Kilkenny this evening.

There were beverages, minerals and drinks available on the train. So said the electronic display in carriage (coach) B.

Phrases in triplicate comfort, console and calm me.

Sex and the Desert

June 25, 2010

Eventually got round to seeing Sex and the City 2 last week. Eventually getting round to writing this post, which has been rattling and rootling around in my head and my notebook since then.

While it was clear from the trailer and the reviews that this wouldn’t be a good film, I was curious to know would it be enjoyable in any way. And by enjoyable, I mean how much shopping envy I’d have afterwards.

Alas, dear reader, it was not to be – upon leaving the cinema I was too devastated for shopping. And that says a lot.

It was when I saw the greengrocer’s apostrophe in Carrie’s Vogue column that I knew I was in for a tough ride with this film. Shoddy, just shoddy.

And then they went to Abu Dhabi (filmed in Morocco apparently) and sang Karaoke (Helen Reddy’s I Am Woman) and Smantha got caught having sex on the beach. Yes, it’s as bad as all that. It’s politically incorrect in the wrong kind of way and very, very patronising.

I love a good coinage as much as the next person, but this film took it to a different level. Coinage for coinage’s sake is not to be recommended. Some examples for your delectation:

Brooms – Stanford and Anthony get married and call themselves this, an amalgamation of bride and groom, but it just made me think of people with bad hair. I was, however, impressed with their wedding, which featured Liza Minnelli and swans. Yes, Liza Minnelli and swans. And Carrie in a tuxedo and a mad looking headpiece.

Interfriendtion and interfuntion – no comment.

Sandwedge – Charlotte falls off a camel while trying to answer a call from her husband. This is Miranda’s lame quip. Miranda, I missed the old you.

Bedouin, Bath and Beyond – just one of the many references to the mysterious Middle East. No further comment.

Erin Go Bra-less – the Irish nanny who won’t wear a bra, and looks like she came from Offaly via The OC. Her perkiness gives Carrie the chance to wonder if Charlotte’s husband will succumb to “the Jude Law” which was amusing. But not amusing enough to excuse the many other indiscretions.

So it’s materialistic escapism of the patronising variety – in a discussion about how hard motherhood is proving, Charlotte wonders how women with no ‘help’ cope.

I have no more words, coined or uncoined.