Friday, June 29, 2007


Quote of the Week

Don't knock the weather. If it didn't change once in a while, nine out of ten people couldn't start a conversation.

Kin Hubbard
(1868 - 1930)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Mick Flannery

The Spiegeltent was packed last night and everyone was there to see Mick Flannery and his band play. Last night’s gig was an early gig; it started at 7pm and finished up at 8.30pm to facilitate another show shortly after 9pm. It’s been a while since I was at a Mick Flannery gig. I think the last one was his gig at the Opera House last September. I was delighted to hear lots of favourites from Evening Train as well as some new songs. He had help from Aaron Dillion, Andy Dunne and Ricky Lynch on ‘Take on the Chin’ which is a great crowd pleaser. Aaron Dillion also played harmonica for the song ‘In the Gutter’. I’m looking forward to hearing the new album whenever it is released.

Monday, June 25, 2007


Camille O'Sullivan

I saw Camille O’Sullivan perform in the Spiegeltent last night and I thought she was excellent. I hadn’t seen her show before so I wasn’t sure what to expect but I really enjoyed it. (Thanks to Ratgirl for suggesting it!) Camille made a great entrance dressed in a black sparkly skirt, fishnet tights, high heeled ankle boots, a black basque and swept up hair. She started off by singing ‘Hallelujah’ and it was hard not to be moved by her rendition of the song. She sang like she meant every word that she was singing. After this song she changed tack and sang some lively numbers like ‘Amsterdam’ (Jacques Brel) and ‘In these shoes’ (Kirsty McColl) which went down well with the crowd. We were treated to great humour and singing while being introduced to some interesting characters. I loved the fact that she was up on the stage enjoying a bottle of red wine from a brandy glass in between songs. The energy that she has is amazing and she likes to play with the crowd, treating men and women in an equally fun way. The six piece band made up of piano player, bass player (bass & double bass), drummer, electric guitarist, saxophone player and trumpet player were an excellent accompaniment to Camille’s singing and truly enhanced the mood of the show. At the end of the performance she walked through the crowd with every band member walking after her (except the piano player who was still on stage playing away) as the crowd sang out the last song. It was a great end to the show. As a singer Camille is known for her passionate and dramatic interpretations of the songs of Jacques Brel, Nick Cave, Hans Eisler, Kurt Weill, Bowie and Tom Waits but she is also an actress, artist and architect. I left the Spiegeltent thinking that it was high time I discovered my inner vamp, if only I could remember where I put my fishnet tights and red lipstick!

On a slightly less happy note, Ratgirl and I once again fell foul of the ‘nutter in the crowd’ syndrome. It happened almost as soon as we got into the Spiegeltent, we had barely picked a spot by the sound guys (we missed out on seating) when we were joined by two couples. One of the couples seemed fine but the other couple seemed more hyper. The guy from the second couple was tall and dressed like a biker while the girl wore a black dress with fishnet tights and cowboy boots. Biker guy was so tall that a girl from behind us was forced to make her way to the front of the standing group in order to see the stage. Things weren’t too bad at the start, the girl in the cowboy boots yelled ‘You go girl’ a couple of times leaving the rest of us cringing around her but that wasn’t too bad. Unfortunately it didn’t stop there, a comment about Camille’s fabulous bum was followed by a ‘We love you’ and a few more ‘You go girl’ shouts thrown in. This girl was obviously a fan and knew most of the material off by heart but it’s a little upsetting when someone from the crowd starts singing the lines to a song a few seconds ahead of the person on stage. Luckily this was during ‘In these Shoes’ so it wasn’t that noticeable, the same can’t be said for some of her singing during the softer songs when she could be heard clearly around the Spiegeltent. It wasn’t that she had a bad voice in fact she had a very good voice but we had paid to hear Camille O’Sullivan sing not her. The girl that originally moved up to get a better view actually left where we were standing, possibly due to the embarrassment of the situation. Lots of people looked around to see where the loud singing was coming from and in the end a lovely guy from one of the seated rows came up and asked her very nicely to refrain from singing so loudly. Shortly after that she left with her boyfriend so I don’t know whether she got to see the end of the show or not. It’s a shame when one person lets their unique enjoyment of a show disrupt the enjoyment of those around them.

Friday, June 22, 2007


Cork Midsummer Festival 2007

Cork Midsummer Festival started on the 19th of June and runs until the 30th of June. There is a whole host of events on during this time with something for everyone. The Cork Midsummer Festival website is excellent and easy to use. If you are interested in music events then click on the music icon and the same thing applies for theatre, dance, art, circus and family events. The Cork Midsummer Festival is one of the fastest growing arts festivals in Ireland. Theatre, dance, music, visual arts and circus events are taking place in a range of venues around Cork, from construction cranes to naval bases, nightclubs to residential houses, parks to cathedrals, theatres and factories. This year there are more free events than ever so drop into the festival box office on Patrick’s Street (No. 56), check out their website or ring the hotline on 021 4274077 for information about events or to make a booking. One of my favourite parts of the festival is the Spiegeltent and this year is no different. Lots of great acts are performing there including The Frank & Walters, the Cork Chamber Choir, Camille, Mick Flannery, the Sultans of Ping and many more.


I Graduated Yesterday……(well sort of)

Well the truth of the matter is that my cousin graduated yesterday after five long years as a med student. I graduated (twice) many years ago and missed both graduations. I know I know, missing one is understandable but missing two is just careless. Anyway the upshot of not going to my graduations is that I had no graduation photographs. This is something that has never really bothered me but which my mother has had a tendency to bring up now and again. It didn’t help a couple of months ago around the time of my sister’s wedding when my brother arrived home from Australia and suddenly framed graduation photos were popping up all over the house. I had meant to get some graduation photographs taken but I never got around to it. The situation was rectified yesterday in a very painless manner when I took some fake graduation photos wearing my cousin’s cap & gown and using a rolled up lunch menu in lieu of my degree. I didn’t feel too bad about it either when my cousin's younger brother and sister got in on the act and both had their photographs taken wearing her cap and gown. I think it’s a good idea to have a few spare graduation photos hanging around just in case they miss their real graduations when the time comes.


How Women Pick Men

Dr Lynda Boothroyd, a lecturer at the Department of Psychology, University of Durham has led research being carried out into women’s attraction to their father’s facial features. The research found that women that had a positive relationship with their father were more attracted to the faces of men that have similar facial dimensions especially in the central region of the face. The researchers were looking for evidence of parental sexual imprinting which is a sexual preference for individuals that have some of the characteristics of one's parent. They carried out the research by showing a group of women photographs of men's faces and asking them to rate their attractiveness. The faces were measured using calipers and then compared to the women's fathers. In addition to this the women were also asked to rate their relationships with their fathers, for example how much time he spent with them and how emotionally involved he was in their upbringing. The research also showed that we learn what is good in a face partly from the faces of men to whom we have a strong positive relationship. Further research into this area may show whether it just applies to fathers or whether it may also apply to an elder sibling.

‘How Men Pick Women’ is a whole other kettle of fish and something that is better left to the experts to explain.


Quote of the Week

Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.

Sir Winston Churchill
British politician (1874 - 1965)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007



Fred played in the Opera House on Saturday night to mark the launch of their new single ‘Good One’. Hurray for Humans opened the proceedings and they were followed by Oppenheimer. Hurray for Humans had a really good drummer and I was impressed with Oppenheimer because the band is made up of just two guys who put on a really good show. After the support bands had worked their magic the crowd was treated to a performance by three jugglers before Fred made their way on stage. Originally when I bought tickets for Fredfest from the Opera House I was told that all the seats would be taken out but a couple of days before the gig I head that they couldn’t take out the seats for fire safety reasons. When we got there on the night some of the seats in front of the stage had been taken out but most of the seats were still in place. At the risk of sounding extremely old I was quite glad that there were seats there. I got to sit in comfort during the support acts and then I was able to stand up and enjoy the Fred energy in full when things were in full swing. Hurray for optional seating I say ! I really enjoyed the entire Fred gig. They have such energy and enthusiasm and always look like they are having fun on stage. Being at a Fred gig is kind of like getting an extra large surge of endorphins to the brain. :-) Their drummer is excellent and more of a performer than drummers normally are, I loved the bit where he leapt off his stool after the first song so he could put on a rather funky shirt. Fred played loads of songs both new and old. They also managed to get some great audience participation going before rounding off the show with a good encore that ended shortly after half twelve. Their new single ‘Good One’ is available for purchase and download from their website . There are also lots of other great bits and pieces on Fred's website.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Ocean's 13

The Danny Ocean crew are back for a third outing and I’m glad to say that I enjoyed this film a lot more than Ocean’s 12. Ocean’s 13 goes back to the original location of Las Vegas so there is no faffing around Europe a lá Ocean’s 12. The premise of the film is that the gang are back together in the name of revenge after Reuben is double crossed by the evil Willy Banks, played by Al Pacino. This is a glossy heist film with lots of appealing characters and good humour. If you are looking for a relaxing evening you could a lot worse than watch Ocean’s 13 at your local cinema.

Monday, June 18, 2007


Tour de Flock

BellX1 released a live album and DVD, called ‘Tour de Flock’ last Friday the 15th of June. The live album was recorded at the Point Depot in December 2006. Tour de Flock contains songs mainly from their Flock album with a few songs from previous albums. BellX1 are play the Marquee in Cork on the 1st of July.

The CD track listing is:

Bad Skin Day
He said she said
See your heart
Snakes and Snakes

Friday, June 15, 2007


Quote of the Week

Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired.

Robert Frost
US poet (1874 - 1963)

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Sunken Boat

I spotted this near my Aunt’s friend’s house and thought it was pretty cool. I wonder who owned the boat originally and how it got to where it is and why it was just left to rust away…


Dave Geraghty

David Geraghty, a member of BellX1, is releasing a solo album and a single. The album, entitled ‘Kill Your Darlings’, will be released in September this year and the first single, ‘Fear the Hitcher’, will be available to download for free from Dave’s website tomorrow. ‘Fear the Hitcher’ is the song of the week on the Ian Dempsey show on Today FM so you could probably hear it sometime tomorrow morning between 7-9am. Dave is playing a gig tonight in Crawdaddy, Harcourt Street, Dublin. I wish I was going to see him play but I’m hoping that he will make it to Cork soon for a solo gig.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007



After a quick trip through Unionhall to admire the fishing boats my Aunt and I headed to Glandore to enjoy the gorgeous weather. After some nifty parking on behalf of my Aunt we went to a nearby pub to enjoy some coffee while sitting out in the sun. It’s hard to beat Ireland when the weather is this good.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


War Games

Despite the odd bout of road rage (and the fairly frequent crowd rage) I’ve always thought of myself as a fairly peace loving person until last weekend. A group of us went to Clonakility and participated in an afternoon of War Games, which was sort of like laser/electronic paint balling. The good thing about the laser war games is that you don’t get the hideous bruising that I’ve heard comes as standard with actual paint balling. Although I did still manage to get a rather spectacular bruise on my left shin, but that’s more due to my own clumsiness and the unfamiliar surrounds of a forest rather than an attack by the enemy. When we arrived we were each given a dark green jumpsuit, a helmet and a gun. I think last Saturday was one of the hottest days so far this year so it was pretty funny to see people putting on the jumpsuits over t-shirts and shorts. The first game started off slowly and I spent most of it trying to spot the other team and avoid getting killed. Things livened up after that and by the third game I’d morphed into a combination of Rambo and Steven Seagal (well in my head anyway). Suddenly I was ducking and diving behind trees and firing off rounds and grenades like I’d been born with a gun in my hand. It was good fun and I’d definitely like to do it again. The only downside has been the creakiness of my poor legs for the last couple of days – I think they are still in shock!

Friday, June 08, 2007


Unionhall Boats

I took these photographs a couple of weeks ago on a gorgeous sunny Sunday. We were on our way to Glandore but decided to have a look at the fishing boats in Unionhall first.


Quote of the Week

Make it a rule of life never to regret and never to look back. Regret is an appalling waste of energy; you can't build on it; it's only for wallowing in.

Katherine Mansfield
New Zealand short story author (1888 - 1923)

Tuesday, June 05, 2007



I was in Oxford a couple of weeks ago on a training course and I thought it was a lovely city so I took a few pictures. :-) Oxford is famous for its University, which is the oldest in the English speaking world. It is also known as the "city of dreaming spires" because of the harmonious architecture of the university buildings. It has a lovely relaxed feel about it which is unusual for a city.