theater and tissues, going to see Ballyturk


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Tonight I am going to the theater with friends, long planned and finally here. We are going to see the new play written and directed by Enda Walsh: Ballyturk. 

It opened last month at the Galway International Arts Festival and has been talked about ever since. Ballyturk is set in a fictional noplace and deals with existence and the brevity of life, a mix of silly, funny, sad and deep.

Staring one of my favourite actors Stephen Rea - who I met on Christmas Eve a few years back (but that is another story), alongside Cillian Murphy and Mikel Murfi, Ballyturk promises to be a great night out and I am really looking forward to tonight.

The only problem is that my nose is still running and I will have to figure out how to discreetly clean my nose, after all there is nothing worse than sneezing, coughing and nose blowing to ruin a trip to the theater.

And then there is the issue of my bag, normally one takes I like to take a smaller bag with me when I go out, but the piles of tissues I am going to need demands a bigger bag. This then, in turn, will effect my outfit, oh the life of one afflicted with a runny nose.

But I am determined to make theater and tissues work!

Mikel Murfi, Cillian Murphy and Stephen Rea in Ballyturk

Mikel Murfi, Cillian Murphy and Stephen Rea in Ballyturk



back home with a cold


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It has happened again and I don’t know why, I arrive home from Germany with a runny nose and tickle in my throat.

Well I did get caught out in a thunderstorm and got soaking wet, and yes I did pack summery clothes not knowing the temperatures where about to plummet so got stuck with no proper coat or shoes, and yes my baby niece did have a runny tiny nose.

Now I am back home sneezing and drinking hot tea, trying to turn a runny nose into typing fingers, after all what better excuse to stay home and work on my book?

However I haven’t quite found my muse, maybe she too is in bed with a cold, and I need to get more honey and lemons so I will have to leave the house at some point and wander down to the corner shop. But for now I will stick to my herbals and try and lure my muse from under the covers and onto the pages.

After all maybe a good sneeze will clear my mind, wake up my muse and get some work done.

I like to write when I feel spiteful. It is like having a good sneeze.

D. H. Lawrence

Film Review: The Expendables 3


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Ex3 Sly Stallone and the Expendables are back with a big bang. This time around the bad guy is the cruel and ruthless Stonebanks (Mel Gibson), one of the original Expendables. When one of the Expendables dies on a mission to bring Stonebanks down, Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) begins to question his relationship to the crew. Not wanting to deal with more loss he decides to ditch the old gang and hire new blood to hunt his one time partner down.

Guided by Bonaparte (Kelsey Grammer) he headhunts some new talent and ends up with a bunch of inexperienced hackers, bouncers and motor mouth Galgo (Antonio Banderas) who is looking for a new crew.

But of course once the shit hits the fan the only people who can really help Barnet are his old trusty Expendables.

The Expendables 3 may have turned to younger actors like Kellan Lutz, Ronda Rousey and Glenn Powell to liven up the action scenes, but it sadly lacks the same humour and enjoyment factor from the earlier films.

Out of the original cast only Jason Statham, as Lee Christmas, and Sly himself seem up for the job as an Expendable, the rest of the crew require a lot of good will to be believable. Arnold Schwarzenegger (Trench) looks as if just standing and smoking his cigars is all he can muster and Harrison Ford (Drummer) is visibly shaking.

The Expendables 3 has clearly lost complete sight of the motto ‘less is more’ and thinks that by loading up on testosterone and big names is enough to make an action movie, but it is simply not good enough. The action scenes are lacking, jumping out of the way as buildings explode and ‘nearly’ getting hit by bullets just isn’t very exciting, even if it last for 20 minutes.

Overall The Expendables 3 is a pale remake of what has gone before and can only function as an example of how to present as many big named stars as possible in a really bad film.


Film Review: Sex Tape


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Sex-Tape-trailerFor his latest slapstick comedy, Sex Tape, multi-talented Jason Segel has not only teamed up with director Jake Kasdan again, but with co-star Cameron Diaz, too. However this time around the story is more about the “what happens next” phase of romance.

Settled as a married couple with two kids, living and working in the suburbs , Annie (Cameron Diaz) and Jay (Jason Segel) seem to have the perfect life. But ten years of marriage have diminished the passion and they just can’t seem to find the time or energy to have sex.

When Annie’s blog lands a fantastic sponsoring deal she takes matters into her own hand, gets her mum to babysit and tries to seduce Jay on roller-skates. But things don’t go as planned and after several failed attempts to awaken their libido Annie comes up with the glorious idea, much to her husbands delight, of making a sex tape.

However since Jay has the curious (and very generous) habit of gifting his used iPads to friends, family, the mail man and even Annie’s boss Hank (Rob Lowe) , the home made sex tape gets uploaded to the cloud, available for all to view. And after an anonymous text alerts Jay to his faux pas a whirlwind adventure ensues.

Sex Tape is your typical slapstick comedy, very much in the vein of Segel’s Forgetting Sarah Marshall, just with a lot more naked bums. The adolescent humor and thinly veiled double entendres do make for some entertaining viewing but overall are just too predictable. Sex Tape is a mix of everything that has come before, a little bit of Meet the Fookers, a splash of “Father of the Bride, a hint of Bad Teacher and some Marshall from How I met your Mother.

Segel does what he always does, dopey looks, silly quips, and he obviously relishes showing of his behind. And the chemistry between him and Diaz, like in Bad Teacher, just isn’t there. Both leads seem to be too occupied with themselves to actually act with each other. And Diaz , as always, tries to hard at playing the hottie hat she forgets her age. However her body does looks great and she shows off a lot of it.

Over all Sex Tape is a lighthearted comedy peppered with a lot of nudity. Nothing to taxing and some scenes are quite funny, if over the top. But maybe, to paraphrase Annie and Ray, you’ll f***ing love it.


a tote bag from tea-towels


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I’ve been wanting to teach myself to sew for a good while now and while my mother is a great seamstress and my aunt is extremely talented, I have never really sat down at a sewing-machine.

Of course there was the obligatory time in school in which I did sew (with help) an apron but I never really got the hang of it and my mum always felt quite protective of her sturdy sewer, especially since my big sister seems to have played  a little havoc with it.

Anyway I have always liked the idea of making little cushions, tote bags and even patchwork blankets but I have never owned my own sewing machine. I did pull one out of a  skip one time but it didn’t work and so i disposed of it again.

However this year IKEA had a great deal on a lovely little white one, with blue and yellow (Swedish colours) trimmings. And while I have been trying to save I splurged on my very first own sewing machine.

Not quite sure of where to start I made a wonky pincushion for my neighbor and left it at that. I needed fabric but couldn’t afford an awful lot, but I did use it for my sock zebra, too. But when trusty Penny’s (or Primark) had some lovely tea-towels on offer and I decided to try my hand at making a tote.

And I have to admit I am quite proud of the result, it even has a lining made out of a bed-sheet. Now, I know my mother would give out about my wobbly stitching on the handles, but I did find them rather tricky. And yes I haven’t quite managed a perfectly straight line everywhere but for my very first try I am delighted.

And since it’s my friends Birthday on Wednesday I will gift this very first tote to her, and hope she can overlook the little messinesses and enjoy using it anyway.  totetote2




Weekly photo challenge:Texture


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In April I visited the beautiful Powerscout Gardens with a friend. The sun was high in the sky, the smell of freshly cut grass was everywhere and no matter where you looked you saw stunning views and flowers in bloom. But walking through the beds of tulips that where bobbing in the breeze I spotted this gorgeous grass standing tall and proud, the texture of its seedhead clearly visible against a dark hedge.


rainy sunday at home


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With the rain hammering down all day yesterday it was hard to remember how warm and sunny the last weeks have been. But the downpour did allow me to say home and not feel guilty about watching a film in the middle of the afternoon, while sipping tea and packing gifts for my family in Germany.

I still have a lot to do before I am ready to board the plane tomorrow, but I have managed to tick a few things off my list while staying in and feeling cosy.

There is something about the sound of rain drumming against the window that just makes you want to put on woolly socks and drink a hot cup of tea. And while little rivers ran down my windows I couldn’t help but think about how much I enjoy just being home.

Not that I don’t love going away, exploring foreign lands or the beauty of Ireland, or seeing my friends and family that live so far away or even close by, but there is something about the home we create around ourselves that allows us to be completely free.

All the trinkets, photos, books and pictures we collect and display are tiny bits of our lives, things that have made us who we are.  The music we listen to, the films we watch, the books we read represent our tastes, as does the food in our fridge.

Home is where we want to be when we feel unwell or unhappy, we want to cuddle up with our own familiar things and allow ourselves to do as we please, no matter what convention dictates.

But no matter how much we enjoy our own four walls we should never allow them to become our world. Because only when we wander out, into the every day and the unknown, can we find those treasures we so proudly display and experience those moments that make us feel alive.

The home  should be the treasure chest of living.

Le Corbusiere

sock zebra for Germany


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Since I’ll be heading off to Germany on Tuesday I started making lists yesterday. Lists of what to pack, what to do and what to wrap. The wrapping is actually quite an important part of preparing since I’ll have one Birthday to go to and four nieces and nephews to shower with gifts.

Over the past few weeks I have been collecting bits and boobs but somehow I never really saw anything I wanted to gift my new baby niece. Not wanting to leave her out I decided to make her a little something and when I saw some lovely stripy socks my mind was made up what.

I sat down yesterday in front of my sewing machine (I am trying to teach myself) and started on a little sock zebra. Once the main bits had been tightly stitched together I stuffed and fluffed the body with filling, attached ears, sewed on eyes and et voila my toy was ready to be loved. I just hope my baby niece will like it.

zebra2 zebra


turning red – update on my path tomatoes


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I am all excited today, my path tomatoes are finally turning red, well at least two of them are. They are small cherry tomatoes but I am still going to harvest them later on today and have them for my dinner.

I just hope that the rest of them will follow suit, but maybe they can wait until I am back from Germany to become red. After all I don’t want the birds or the neigbourhood kids to pick them before I get a chance to.

red path tomatoes

red path tomatoes


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