Thursday, February 28, 2008


Quote of the Week

All paid jobs absorb and degrade the mind.

Greek critic, philosopher, physicist, & zoologist (384 BC - 322 BC)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Walking on a Sunny Sunday

I went for a walk on the old Kenmare road (also know as the coach road) recently. The weather was absolutely gorgeous, one of the best Sundays in a long time.I hadn’t gone for a good walk in ages so I was a little apprehensive, but I donned my hill walking boots in good spirits. I love the area around Kenmare, the scenery is really breathtaking.The walk was fine despite a few uphill struggles, because I’m so unfit, but about half way through my ankles started to get sore. By the time I took the boots off at the end of the walk I had lovely friction burns on the sides of my ankles. This is probably due to the fact that I hadn’t worn those boots in four years!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Oscars 2008

I watched the Oscars last night and was delighted when Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova won the Oscar for Best Original Song. They were so cute when they went up to accept the award. You gotta love Glen’s opening ‘Tanks’ in the best Dub accent. It looked like Marketa didn’t get to make an acceptance speech but Jon Stewart brought her back on the stage and she made a lovely speech which you can watch on youtube when you click here . Honestly some Hollywood actresses could take lessons from Marketa on how to make a decent acceptance speech. I also loved the bit when Daniel Day Lewis went up to accept his award for best actor in a leading role from Helen Mirren and he knelt before her while she pretended to knight him with the Oscar.

If anyone missed out on the winners, there is a list of them below.

No Country For Old Men

Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, No Country For Old Men

Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood

Marion Cotillard, La Vie en Rose

Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton

Javier Bardem, No Country For Old Men

The Counterfeiters (Austria)


No Country For Old Men



Falling Slowly - Once (performed by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova)

Taxi to the Dark Side


The Golden Compass

There Will Be Blood

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Peter and the Wolf

Le Mozart des Pickpockets

Elizabeth: The Golden Age

La Vie en Rose

The Bourne Ultimatum

The Bourne Ultimatum

The Bourne Ultimatum

Monday, February 25, 2008


Dictionary Corner #12

Tramontana - Noun,

A cold north wind blowing in Italy or the adjoining regions of the Adriatic and Mediterranean.

- Origin, Italian ‘north wind, pole star’.

Friday, February 22, 2008


Specky Four Eyes

One of the things that I dislike about wearing glasses is picking a new pair every two years or so. After getting a number of reminder letters I toddled off to the opticians and got my eyes tested. The guy testing my eyes was hilarious, after every test he kept say ‘go maith, go maith’ so much so that I was disappointed at the end when I didn’t get an ‘ana mhaith ar fad’! When he was giving me the results of the eye test he said that they were marginally better than my least test and quipped that I was ‘like a fine wine, getting better with age’. Then he launched into a detailed description about my eye problem and the prescription necessary to fix it, complete with several diagrams. I think he was probably the funniest optician I’ve ever met. After the test I had the awful task of picking new glasses. Normally I’d bring a pair of contact lenses with me so that I could see what the frames look like when I try them on but I was a bit ill prepared this time. I spent ages wandering around picking up different frames and peering into the nearest mirror trying to get some idea if I’d like these frames in six months time let alone two years. It isn’t easy when each pair of frames comes with several stickers stuck to the lenses so it’s hard to gauge what they will really look like on. I also had about seven assistants offer to help me choose frames; I must have looked totally incapable of completing the task on my own. Eventually I just wandered over to one of the assistants, did a cursory trying on of the different frames and agreed to take them. Well at least it’s another job over for two years!

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Quote of the Week

Wisdom is not finally tested in the schools, Wisdom cannot be pass'd from one having it to another not having it, Wisdom is of the soul, is not susceptible of proof, is its own proof.

Walt Whitman
US poet (1819 - 1892)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Definitely Maybe

I went to see ‘Definitely, Maybe’ with a couple of friends on Valentine’s night. The film stars Ryan Reynolds as a Dad to Abigail Breslin (of Little Miss Sunshine fame) and the other main stars are Rachel Weisz, Isla Fisher and Elizabeth Banks. I sort of had it down as a run of the mill/slightly dodgy romantic comedy but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Don’t get me wrong you still need to take a bit of a leap of faith with the premise of the story. Basically the father tells his daughter the story of how he met her mother, but he also tells her about two ex-girlfriends and she has to guess which women is her mother. Although he changes the names of the women we are still supposed to believe that the obviously intelligent daughter can’t pick out her own mother from the different personality types portrayed in his story. Anyway if you gloss over that part of the film it can be fairly enjoyable. Ryan Reynolds wasn’t bad as the Dad although I did have a hard time trying to forget that he used to be in ‘Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place’. Abigail Breslin is great as the daughter and the rest of the main characters all give pretty credible performances. This film is good if you are looking for a bit of uncomplicated escapism, but if you aren’t into romcoms then steer clear!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Foy Vance

When Gareth Dunlop had finished his support slot there was a bit of waiting around before Foy Vance appeared on stage. He started playing straight away amongst all the paraphernalia on stage. He had quite a lot of equipment and managed to use most of it to recreate his unique sound. Prior to this gig I had listened to his CD ‘Live Sessions and the Birth of the Toilet Tour’ and had fallen in love with his song ‘Indiscriminate Act of Kindness’. He played for a good while and played some great songs. He told the crowd that it was the first night of his tour so he would be experimenting and trying out some new songs. He carried off the show very well on his own with the help of a laptop, some other electronic gadgets and a few guitars. At one point he started fiddling with his laptop and explained to the crowd that he was just checking his emails! He played ‘Indiscriminate Act of Kindness’ as part of his encore which was a lovely end to the night for me.

Monday, February 18, 2008


Gareth Dunlop

Foy Vance played in Cyprus Avenue at the start of last week. When I went to the gig I just wanted to see Foy Vance and go. For once I wasn’t really in the mood for a support act. Normally I’m happy to see a support act because you never know how good they are going to be. Anyway, after standing around for a while a tall guy came on stage with a guitar and started singing. He had a great voice, one that makes you sit up and take notice. He eventually introduced himself, in a lovely northern accent, as Gareth Dunlop. At the end of the night I bought his EP which has four great songs on it. Three of the songs on the EP – ‘That’s When I Know’, ‘Dreamers’ and ‘Firefly’ can be heard on one of his myspace pages (just google ‘Gareth Dunlop Music’). I think it’s worth a listen. :-)

Friday, February 15, 2008


Quote of the Week

To keep your marriage brimming, with love in the wedding cup, whenever you're wrong, admit it; whenever you're right, shut up.

Ogden Nash

Note: This week’s quote is dedicated to M&B, happy engagement!

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Dictionary Corner #11

Metonym – noun

A word or phrase used as a substitute for something with which it is closely associated, e.g. Washington for the US government.

- DERIVATIVES metonymic adjective metonymy noun
- ORIGIN Greek metõnumia ‘change of name’


Happy Valentine's Day

To all the couples in love, may Valentine’s Day be a happy one and to anyone who is not all loved up, may cupid’s bow find you. :-)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Aaron Dillon

I went to Meade’s Wine bar for the first time on Saturday night to see Aaron Dillon play. I’ve walked past it thousands of times and never been into it. The gig was held upstairs over the main bar in a room with tables and chairs (and one couch). Each table had a wine bottle with a candle lit in it giving the room a cosy atmosphere. Aaron started playing at around 10-ish. I admire anyone that can stand up in front of a room of people and sing in a clear and steady voice. If he was nervous or slightly unnerved by the proximity of the audience his voice didn’t betray this fact, although he did admit to not looking anyone in the eye during the first song. He generally gave a short description or told a story about what his songs were about before he played them. Two of the songs ‘The Host’ and ‘The Ghost’ were sort of on the same topic about a guy whose sweetheart is marrying someone else. He also sang a song which I think is called ‘How it hurts’ and he prefaced he song by saying that the moral of it was not to get involved with married people. I really liked the song and hope it is on the album which Aaron is due to release in March/April this year. I’ve seen Aaron perform a couple of times with Mick Flannery and I love his harmonica bit on ‘In the Gutter’. He also played a support slot for Mick in the Opera House almost a year and a half ago. That was the first time that I heard ‘Brown Envelope’ which is going to be the title track of his album. Towards the end of the gig Aaron was getting tired (he played a long set) and he opted to sit for a few of the songs. A friend that was with us invited Aaron to sit at our table for one of his songs which he did and then he moved on to another couple of tables before standing up for the last one or two songs. All in all it was an interesting and entertaining evening. Aaron Dillon is playing again in Meade’s Wine Bar on the 23rd of February and I’d recommend if you are looking for a good gig that night. Unfortunately I won’t be able to make it that night but hopefully there will be a few more AD gigs when his album is launched in the near future.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008



I saw ‘Juno’ last weekend and loved it. Ellen Page gives a great performance as the feisty and kooky Juno, who finds herself pregnant at sixteen and must decide what to do. What follows is sort of a journey of discovery for her involving a potential adoption couple. Juno’s Dad and her stepmother have some great lines in the film and I loved the scene where she tells them she is pregnant. Juno has gotten a few Oscar nominations this year and I hope it wins something. The film also has an excellent soundtrack with tracks from The Kinks, Belle and Sebastian, Sonic Youth, Cat Power and The Mouldy Peaches on it.

I give it two thumbs up. :-)

Sunday, February 10, 2008


Dictionary Corner #10

Mimeograph – noun

A duplicating machine which produces copies from a stencil, now superseded by the photocopier.

- ORIGIN from Greek mimeomai ‘I imitate’.


David Geraghty in Cyprus Avenue

David Geraghty played a gig in Cyprus Avenue last Sunday night. He was supported by a guy called Cormac O’Caoimh who played many songs about rain and raindrops. I preferred the more upbeat songs which he played towards the end of his support slot. Dave and his multitalented band arrived on stage reasonably soon as Cormac’s departure. It seems that Dave and most of the members of his band are able to play several musical instruments which made for a varied performance. Dave’s piano was covered in a sort of fluffy animal print cover thing which looked really soft, so soft in fact that I wanted to go up and rub it. Unfortunately that would have looked a tad weird so I managed to control myself and not bound onto stage to rub the fluffy piano cover. Cyprus Avenue was quite full and the audience were reasonably attentive bar a few incessant talkers at the back. Luckily I was standing at the side near the sound box so they didn’t bother me too much. I really enjoyed the gig and loved it when Dave ended the show with a rousing version of Kaleidoscope.

Thursday, February 07, 2008


Quote of the Week

Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine.

Lord Byron
English poet & satirist (1788 - 1824)

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


Colourful Veg. (& Fruit)

These photos of colourful vegetables were taken in a market in Quebec City. There were lots of different types of vegetables and I thought the colours looked amazing.
These pictures really make me want to make lots of delicious soup or maybe it’s because I’m kind of interested in making soup anyway at the moment.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


BellX1 Tour America

Well BellX1 are off to the States and while I’m glad that they are bringing their music to a wider audience, I am jealous of all the tour dates that I will be missing. I’m especially jealous of their gig in Vancouver on the 29th of March! I hope Dave will have time to recuperate after his spate of gigs around Ireland recently (more about his gig in Cyprus Avenue soon).

March 2008:

12 –Toronto –El Macambo
13 –Philadelphia –World Café Live
14 –Boston –TT The Bears
15- New York Bowery Ballroom
19 Chicago –Schuba’s
20 Minneapolis –Varsity Theater
24 Los Angeles –Troubadour
26 San Francisco – Café Du Nord
28 Portland –Dantes's
29 Vancouver -Plaza Club
30 Seattle -Nectar Lounge

Ps. They are also doing a show in London on the 4th of March.


Crappy Monday

I had a crappy day yesterday. I went to work very happy after a lovely weekend and even left the house extra early in an effort to be in work before 9.00am. Unfortunately the traffic and rain conspired against me. I arrived at work after nine despite my early exit from home. This wasn’t the best start to the day but I wasn’t too distressed. As the morning wore on things got worse, not in a dramatic way, but small things started to surface that I thought had been dealt with previously. By lunch time I was Ms. Narky Nark McNark and I couldn’t hide it. On the upside lunch was delicious and the coffee afterwards was particularly good. At this point in the day I made the fatal mistake of going straight back to work instead of going for a short stroll to clear my head. The afternoon didn’t really get any better and by the time I got home late, I was thoroughly browned off. I’m rarely that out of sorts on a Monday but thankfully I’ve discovered the solution to a crappy day… a generous glass of Rioja and lots of Milka chocolate

Monday, February 04, 2008



It looks like the Tesco value range has expanded to include Scotch Whiskey. I wonder what it tastes like?

Sunday, February 03, 2008


Dictionary Corner #9

Philately – noun

The collection and study of postage stamps.

- Derivatives: philatelic adjective philatelist noun
- Origin from Greek philo- ‘loving’ + ateleia ‘exemption from payment’, used to mean a franking mark or postage stamp exempting the recipient from payment.

Saturday, February 02, 2008


Irish Blog Awards 2008

Thanks to Gamma Goblin for giving me the heads up that Betty the Sheep is one of the 136 nominees on the longlist for Best Blog 2008. To say that it was a surprise is a bit of an understatement, I’ve always been under the impress that about three people read this blog so if any of those three people voted – thank you very much. :-) There are some great blogs on the list such as Nialler9, Headrambles,, The Sigla Blog, Irish Flirty Something, Donal O’Caoimh, Ice Coffee Words, Grannymar, Gingerpixel, and It Had Better Be Good. The award nomination list is also a great way of being introduced to new blogs, especially if you have time to check out all of the categories!


Smooth Silky Sand...

This photograph was taken on Prince Edward Island last September. I really like it because the sand looks so smooth and silky. It reminds me of a lovely day spent on a beach. Sometimes when I look at this photograph I wish I was back on the beach lying on the sand listening to the sea.