Happy Birthday Mum

From her birthday last year

A wee Christmas 45th Birthday for my lovely Mammy today. Despite the fact that Christmas Birthdays are a Rip Off I am hoping she has a lovely day. She does SO much for us, it’s actually not very fair. And she probably won’t do anything to celebrate, 8 children and 4 days before Christmas will do that… I will chip in to help though, even though these essays are surprisingly NOT doing themselves. I hope she knows how much I appreciate her, and even as a 22 year old woman I’d be lost without her.

I bought this wee gift book, and despite the horribly cheesy floral design, this page rang so true that I choked up in the middle of WH Smith:

It's a Helen Exley giftbook and it looks like they've updated a lot since whenever WH Smith ordered this...


Here is the cutest photo of Jacob yesterday when he helped wrap up his present for Mum - I let him have the socks I got her - and then I helped him hide it under his cot for today!

Happy 45th Birthday Mammy! Maybe I will print this out for you since you don’t use computers. I will teach you some day… when you have time!


A lie burns long, while the truth bites quick…

…a heart is built for both it seems.

Lisa Hannigan at The Mandela Hall, 13th December 2011.

I wasn’t sure about Lisa Hannigan’s new album ‘Passenger.’ I adored ‘Sea Sew’ and found this one a lot slower and subtle. However, after seeing her live for the 3rd time on Tuesday, I haven’t been able to stop listening to it.

I really love Lisa. I was going to say ‘there are no airs or graces’ with her. Perhaps there are no airs, but there are graces… She is very quiet, she says little between songs and there are slightly awkward silences…but this is endearing. Her voice is soft but often husky, her movements elegant, she seems to have a favourite dress that she wears on stage and in videos. She was able to quieten the often rowdy ‘student’ crowd at the Mandela effortlessly.

I adore her lyrics and hearing her live highlights and drives them home even more… The songs that stood out lyrically for me where ‘A Sail’ and ‘O Sleep.’ There was plenty of fun, too, in songs like ‘What’ll I do,’ also her dead-pan rendition of ‘Safe Travels, Don’t Die’ – “Please don’t bungee jump, or ignore a strange lump…and the gasoline pump’s not a toy.” Some of the songs from the previous album the aforementioned ‘Sea Sew’ drummed up a great response, I found this video from the night, an old favourite, ‘I Don’t Know’ – I love that a lady keeps going ‘awwww’ that was how me and my friend Caoimhe were the last time we saw her! :

I have said it before but there is nothing the feeling of standing in the dark with the music beating in my chest, allowing it to blot out all my worries for a little while. I couldn’t help singing along quietly at some of my favourites and swaying slightly although no one else was!

It was not packed out, and as seems to be a trait of the Mandela Hall, a few people were very drunk and heckle-y at times (why do I always end up directly behind/in front of them?) but it was a genuinely beautiful experience and I am grateful for the two Caoimhe/as for driving the whole way up to Belfast and back in the one night to come with me, it was lovely to have some company, I needed it this week. Thankful for this special wee night, and I recommend Lisa for a little soul soothing.

10 Films with Writers and Writing

After reading a few brilliant blogs on this, after I’d thought of it, I realise that I haven’t seen a fraction of the brilliant films on writers and writing that are out there… But a few months ago at the cinema, as we watched the trailers there was one for ‘The Help’ and Mickey said “Not another film about a WRITER!” I laughed cause I hadn’t realised that I do love those kind of films.

10. The Help

LOVED the book and the film didn’t disappoint. I can usually hold back the tears in the cinema. Not this time.

9. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

Okay, taking liberties here but this is possibly my favourite film ever and Joel is scribbling in his journal a lot. LOVE the contrast in Joel (Jim Carrey) and Clementine (Kate Winslet) it’s like they’ve swapped places. Love story with lots of twists.

8. One Day.

Emma is meant to be a writer and stuff keeps getting in her way…namely Dexter. Love Anne Hathaway even though she got slated for her accent in this.

7. The Hours.

Nicole Kidman playing Virginia Woolf writing ‘Mrs Dalloway’, Meryl Streep playing a modern Mrs Dalloway, Julianne Moore READING Mrs Dalloway, clever. Deep.

6. Dan in Real Life.

This is super cute. I love Steve Carrell. He is a columnist. It does count.

5. Music and Lyrics.

“A washed up singer is given a couple of days to compose a chart-topping hit for an aspiring teen sensation. Though he’s never written a decent lyric in his life, he sparks with an offbeat younger woman with a flair for words.” IMDB Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore singing together…

4. Shining.

I just scared myself watching the trailer.

3. Secret Window.

Mickey bought me this film for my 17th birthday!  Aw. I absolutely loved it, not just because it has Johnny Depp. Scary but brilliant. “You stole my story.”

2. Misery.

Not intentional having 3 Stephen King stories in a row, here. He does seem to write almost solely about writers… The film equally as good as the book. Terrifying edge of your seat stuff. Kathy Bates is such a good baddy.

1. Stranger than Fiction.

I really, really love this film. It always makes me cry. Harold Crick starts hearing a voice narrating his life. (Will Ferrell, usually don’t like him but he is brilliant in this, trust me.) Karen Eiffel (Emma Thompson) is writing a book about him in which she is figuring out how to kill him. He tries to find her and stop her.

There you go. I know I need to watch ‘Dead Poet’s Society’ and Shakespeare in Love and I see ‘Adaptation’Barton Fink’ and ‘Sideways‘ popping up a lot too… Can you suggest/recommend any more?