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Thursday, 26 March 2015

Watery World

Reeds along the water bank hide a myriad of secrets known only to the fish and other inhabitants of the water and its surrounds. They present a magical enclosure where the dark forces of life reside.
Fish with humps, ducks with walking sticks, swans in wheelchairs amongst other unsightly and unpleasant residents.
Humans are advised to stay away or suffer the consequences. What these consequences are I am not sure.
I have spoken to an old fish on the night the reeds are tallest and he revealed some of the terrors that reside within.
He spoke about the dreaded Turret rat, so called because their teeth resemble the turret of a castle. How he or any other fish know what a castle looks like is beyond me but I didn't question him, decided to just listen.
I am sworn to secrecy about the location of this meet or the date on which it took place. The dark forces within the reeds are very secretive. He tells me turret is always on the lookout for victims of the human kind.
He reminded me of the many missing people around the world who after a night out, disappear without trace or explanation. This is the work of Turret and his accomplices within the reeds.
Their dark deeds are often disturbed when well minded councils or conservation groups cut the reeds back. They look on this as time out or rest time, knowing the reeds grow back quickly.
Turret will often recruit a long slithery pike to use as a whip around the ankles of unsteady humans. Particularly in the early hours of the morning. They will be pulled into the water and mashed into a slime by thousands of hammer head flies which is then used as a slush like drink for the reeds.
These hammerheads are very good at taking instructions from Turret and his cohorts in the dark army. They feel safe in the reeds because humans look to the water for menace.
Reeds can also talk to each other but refuse to converse with other life forms. They won’t even talk to Turret or any of the other residents of their enclosure. They see the human slush as part payment for the protection life form receives in their space.

JC-Dublin-A City defined by its Whispering Reeds

Saturday, 21 February 2015

A bit of 'FUN'

‘I forgot to remember to forget’ is a phrase that comes to mind as I ponder a question posed in a local newspaper ‘Don’t forget to have fun’. Ironically I have forgotten what fun is?
I am having a flashback to Cyndi lauper’s 1984 hit song ‘Girls just wanna have fun’.
Is fun something you can remember to have, like remembering to pay bills or or collect someone from the airport?
Surely having fun is a consequence rather than an intentional act.
Could I possibly look at my watch, see its three o’clock “Oh! Time to have fun” and off I go?
I suppose it depends on what one does for fun, as I read recently in David Norris’s  Autobiography ‘A kick against the pricks’, about a family living close to him on North Great Georges Street in Dublin’s North City, who built a snow man and a snow seat on the street for all to enjoy. People were having good fun with this until three teenage girls came along and had fun knocking down the snowman. The act was fun for them (The girls) while the consequence of the act was hurt and anger for the couple who built it.
There was also the group of Chelsea football fans who had fun throwing a coloured man of the Metro in Paris. Hopefully the consequence of this act of fun will be jail time or at least a hefty fine.
Some will have fun running a marathon which can be hard work, painful and energy draining to say the least. Others enjoy playing rugby as the Irish team did against France last week. It wasn’t a fun game as it struggled to entertain but the outcome or consequence was fun for the Irish team and supporters who revelled in the win.
For me! I have fun challenging perceptions or taking on the impossible and making it possible.

I also have fun writing nonsense like this?

Dublin-A City defined by its sense of fun

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Caca Milis

A night of carols in the National Concert Hall accentuates the process or form that leads to a pre-determined outcome.
We have the choir, Ruby the diva, Orchestra made up of all the constituent parts. There were brass, strings, drums, organ, as well as the leader and conductor.
This is a nice safe way to enjoy a traditional Christmas, safe from the cold emanating from at least six inches of snow (150 mm),
There is of course nothing wrong with this, twelve days of Christmas, some Strauss, Wagner, Handel’s Messiah, enjoyed by a less than full auditorium.
As I tend to need something more than this for my enjoyment, I wondered if there was some randomness placed amongst this very safely designed process for Christmas, what would be the outcome.                                                                                                                           Design, generally leads to pre-determined outcomes as is the case with this concert. My mind wonders what would be the outcome if somebody hit the drum in a few unintended places or the diva let out an untended roar or cry. We could hear the violins squeak a little or maybe insert some Beatles or better still, something original. What about some dance, Jedward style or Greek Tracian, maybe a Russian leg dance, what about all three, wouldn't that be interesting, along with the Zumba.
Often, a little randomness leads to the pre-determined outcome-plus, wouldn't that make a very interesting Christmas, for me at least.
Christmas Cake
A scattering of strings
A thump of drum
A mix of percussion (A random pinch)
Blast of brass, polish to a high gloss
Drop in diva, the larger the better
A sprinkling of holy night, sung in tune
Large bash of organ (organic)
3 French hens, check batteries
Large dollop of choir
As much or as little of randomness as you can tolerate
Stir well adding Sean Quinn’s delusional optimism
Add a dollop of sensuality (Well! this is random)
A touch of Eroticism (More randomism)
A spoonful of desire (Sprinkle randomly and generously)
Pour some cheerful brandy over it, in large seasonal proportions
Place in the oven at level random and bake for 12 days, with a partridge in a pear tree
Check at regular intervals, be nosy, use a needle to prod and make sure plenty of sentimentality sticks to it. If not, leave in oven until ready.
It is recommended that you roast your nuts on an open fire, while waiting for the cake to bake.
Warning-Fan ovens may put out the fire?

Second warning-This cake can only be baked with the permission of the bundesbank, the troika or Angela Merkel. Possibly any two of the three.

JC-Dublin-A city defined by it's cakes

(Caca Milis=Sweet cake)

Friday, 3 October 2014

Connecting eyes

It’s strange that moment when two eyes connect, the realisation of recognition. The thoughts that can run through your mind, in that second, that very fast moment.
‘is that him/her, it can’t be, I was just thinking of him/her'.
Across the distance between our eyes and our thoughts, it is recognisable that he/she, is having the very same thoughts, shared thoughts.
I've had this connection a few times in my life, not always with someone I wanted to connect with.
On one occasion, during the late sixties, I was working on a building site on Grace Park road in Drumcondra. We worked on 'Piece Work' and only  paid for the work we completed. We had a maximum to complete each day and I had no problem achieving this goal . In fact I was well ahead and had work stored up as there was a maximum we could earn each day. It was winter time and needless to say, I wasn't jumping out of bed with excitement each morning. I would turn over, then twice, turn over again, back and forth many times. Eventually I would inch my way out of bed on to the cold winter, lino covered floor. In my own time I made my way towards the first of my two buses, late for work. This happened morning after morning, right through these frost covered mornings. The money was very good but the work was less than enticing.
It was on my second bus, one morning, heading up the Drumcondra road, where this connection happened.
Our two eyes connected when the bus stopped at the junction of Drumcondra road and Grace Park road. I was less than fully awake, my head lying against the steam covered windows. It’s important to recount that the bus stopped in the middle of the junction, right in front of A blue 'Ford Anglia' car. This was not any Blue Ford Anglia, this was the blue Anglia car owned and driven by my boss. Our eye’s met, his from behind the steering wheel of this sixties classic and me, through the disturbed steam covered window of the number 16 bus. Our thought connected, not of the polite variety but easily understood.
He didn't need to say anything for me to know I was in trouble, I didn't need to say anything for him to sense that I felt trapped, nowhere to hide, why had I disturbed the steam on the window.
The anger in his eye’s and the evidence of blood pressure that showed in his red face sent a very distinct, clear message to me that morning.

That brief moment, those brief thoughts, underscored our relationship from then on. 

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Elysium Fields

Could heaven be a place?
Homer, Yeats, O’Casey, Joyce,
Shaw, Frost, Shakespeare, Burns
Hardy, Kipling, Wilde, Keats
Milton, Tennyson, Auden, Sappho
Longfellow, Plath, Blake, Wordsworth
Twain, Emerson, Donne, Byron
And now
Fill the sky with dancing words and

Sparkling stars.

JC-Dublin-A city defined by its 'SPARKLING STARS'

Friday, 11 July 2014

Is it a 'SIN' to be happy

A question worth asking in these changing times, when all information about us is available to google. What is'Happy', its not delirious or ecstatic, its just simply that, happy, the opposite to un-happy or miserable. It is also fair to say that no man woman or child and by implication animal or rock, can be happy all the time. Just trying to think what a happy rock looks or sounds like.
There is no such thing as perfection, just the constant search for it, something we strive for. The same can be said for happiness, true, total happiness.
Yet we often feel happy and the question i ask is can this state of happiness 'BE A SIN'. You will probably say 'No' and you may be quite right but how can you be so sure? what is sin? Another of life's questions.
First of all we have to ask ourselves what makes us happy?
Is it seeing others miserable or making a buck at someone else's expense by pulling the wool over their eyes?
Ken Dodd, the British comedian had a song that went to the top of the charts, titled 'Happiness' and yet! he was too miserable to pay his taxes, was that a sin?
Sunflowers are by nature happy. their big round face exuding smiles, joy, fun etc leading the implication of a happy plant. they come in many colours and sizes. I love the giant one about seven feet high and probably bigger in hotter climes. I cant imagine this plant being  a sinner but how can you tell. Sinners come in all sizes and class, big and small, some of them are even in-between. How many people have we trusted only to be disappointed by their dishonesty. Politicians, business people, public officials, relations and even super-stars who show themselves to be ordinary people. How shameful and sinful.
How many of the new successful politicians who have replaced others on the basis of their mis-deed, will be found wanting before the next election?
'WAR' is another area worth considering terms of 'SIN'. Is war a sin, is participating in was a sin, is killing in general a sin. Talking of general, often we see pictures of these guys in movies or press conference after a battle justifying their actions. How many people believe them. Politicians are the same, justifying war as the solution to some in-equality when in fact it is usually about resources, oil, gas, metals etc.
There is a theory that the good done by war should be far greater then the bad, that can never happen with nuclear war as this leads to total wipe-out and no opportunity for lasting good. It is also hard to see where good comes from in wars past, only justification for actions with some wealth for the victors and poverty for the losers.
At present we see the Palestinians and isrealeays killing each other and every man woman and child knows this will not end happy for one side or the other. It will eventually need compromise from both side possibly monitored by other countries. If there is 'SIN' it is the lack of ability to sit down and listen to each other and care for their fellow man.
Of course if countries did this, there would be no need for armies, arms manufacture possibly some government ministries. There would then be a need to share resources equally and evenly according to need. Cold countries would need more fuel for heat, hot countries would need more water to drink while barren countries would need more food to live.Countries with sea water around them would need to share the spoils at reasonable prices. Possibly we would see science devising way to make us all self sufficient rather then shipping foodstuffs, cattle, vegs, fruit across the world wasting the fuels needed for heat in the cold countries.
But then! if there is no sin maybe the way the world is can be seen as ok?

JC-Dublin-A city defined by its joy in 'SINFULNESS'

Saturday, 10 May 2014

When you're older?

As a child I was told so many times “it would be inadvisable, maybe when you’re older’. Maybe not in that precise language but close enough. Often it was just simply “No! while other times it was “No! maybe when you’re older” and so on. The point is, I wasn't allowed to do it and that was that.
These are the phrases I have had to listen to since I was younger, much younger.
I wasn't allowed to cycle into town because it was deemed too dangerous, hence I was too young. I could have a car when I was older, dress as I want, eat the food I want, live where I want, spend my money as I want. All to be conducted when I'm older.

Now that I'm older, it is still inadvisable to eat the food I want, drive the car I want, wear the clothes I like, spend my money as I want and certainly I couldn't cycle into town with the various infirmities I have developed.
Somehow or other there should be a period in between, where I could do as I wanted, but no!, there was and is someone telling me it is inadvisable.
I remember working on a building site in Castleknock in the sixties, fitting duct to carry hot air (Central heating) through the house. I was listen to my small transistor and the best of 60s music, while the sun shone on my blue overalls. I was enjoying this rare summer day when a cloud approached in the shape of the site foreman aggressively telling me to get rid of the radio. "Radio's aren't allowed on this site”, he bellowed using more than one expletive.
I explained to him that as I was the only one on site within hearing distance of my battery operated portable, I didn't see why I couldn't listen while I worked.
He informed me, using more colourful language, that it was inadvisable for me to ignore his instruction as he would inform my boss and I would have to live with the consequences.
Cheekily, I took out my pen and wrote down the direct number to my boss.
He was right, the next morning I was moved to a different site.

When the sun is shining on your blue overalls, the site doesn't really matter and I did listen to my radio in the new location.

JC-Dublin-A city of dreams