A Twitter Tale…@Ireland for a week – let’s write

We all know the Irish can talk for Ireland. We all know that every single Irish person has at least one book in them. Well, let’s get collectively writing on Twitter. Here are the first two lines – send me your line and the number where you think it might run. Replica lines may be juggled somewhat. this is fun! Send your lines to @ireland   1. The man at the corner shop did not look up when the gun went off @jilliangodsil 2. it was as if he was expecting it @paudimac 3. He was used to gunfire. The army taught him that. @islandgooner 4. He had powers to illude gunfire. @cybercalci 5. He’d learnt the noise of bullets tearing flesh too, the gasp of shock. She collapsed, eyes blank. He folded his paper, walked away. @GuyleJeune 6. As he walked, something glinted in the corner of his eye @islandgooner 7. and still he walked on neatly tucking the receipt into his wallet. @beanmimo 8. Not in his wildest dreams did he ever expect a hardback copy of Larouss’se reference for wine lovers, to be of any use to him @fleurman

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Jim Bolger – interview by Jillian Godsil on SETV

I had the pleasure of interviewing Jim Bolger, racing trainer, recently. It was a big honour and I have to say I was really worried in advance. Jim’s international reputation precedes him: he is a very straight man, at the top of his game and would not suffer fools gladly. The night before the interview I suddenly got very worried. I wondered if I had done enough research. I woke at 2am in a blind panic and got up and started watching video after video of him. Of course, the more I watched, the less I knew. I finally collapsed in bed about 6am, exhausted and all the more confused with his wins, the horses and the different race courses. This is me with the cameraman man Ronan from South East Television before the interview. I may look calm, but ….             Anyway, it all went fine on the day, thank goodness. Jim was a most friendly interview subject and very generous with his time.  The final result is on the SETV pages (click here) and look for the icon on the right. All I say afterwards is Winner All Right, Winner All Right!

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Cat on a Holly Tree Top

  The first we had any indication that there might be trouble was on the Thursday night. Tigger, our cat of some three years, once rescued off the main Carnew to Aughrim road, when not much bigger than computer mouse, but with an enormous capacity to survive a main road, and lungs like a fisherwoman, and a cry as piteous as the orphan that she then was, presented with her back leg paw as swollen as a hockey ball (the football analogy would have been excessive in this feline example).   It required attention although Tigger did not seem in pain. We kept her in the house just in case and much to her disgust, intending to bring her to the evening surgery at our local veterinary clinic.  She puked for good measure just before we left displaying her annoyance at such treatment. Our cat travelling box, while purchased as such, leaves a lot to be desired. It is a wire cage with no bottom, necessitating a towel or similar to cover the base. We tried the canary trick of draping the cage with a cover but she mewled horribly all the way to the neighbouring village, sticking out the […]

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Back to School – End of the Summer Madness

For once, and this is very unlike me, for once I am cheering for the end of the summer holidays and the welcome return to normal life now that we are all going back to school tomorrow, indeed some pupils have already returned. Typically I cherish a child-like horror of school being mentioned while still technically in August and the recent years’ slippery slide of returning to school before September has greatly saddened me for all sorts of nostalgic reasons and very few practical ones. It is like Christmas being flagged before Halloween is over; to my mind it is just not right.   But as the dying days of summer drew to a close I can only say that I have witnessed a wave of misogyny spreading across the globe, creating a scourge as nasty as any plague, and infecting people in despicable ways. In some ways, this misogyny was accidental and haphazard but it was no less disturbing for its seemingly unpredictable eruptions.   First off was #slangirl. While her actions were less than clever, it was the singling out of the young girl for such vitriol that was frightening. There was no #slaneboy or even #slanecouple. I […]

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Slim Shady at Slane

Slane Castle – Eminem         There is a vast difference between attending an Eminem concert from the VIP halls and from the grassy knoll with the rest of the hoi polloi. For starters you tend to get there much earlier or you have no chance of a spot up at the barriers, which is still separated by yet another strip of grass and then the posh barriers which corralled the uber VIPs (Mary Coughlan, Twink and Gerald Kean according to some reports were giving it their all in those quarters – or perhaps they remained in the castle overlooking the stage where it was dry and not full of screaming fans – who knows).   We arrived with the biggest baddest rain storm you could imagine. Luckily we had been delayed and still parking as this happened. We stayed put eating our sandwiches. Champagne was not served in the plebeian jeeps sadly. We had to do with cans of diet coke, laughing as the windows fogged up and the rain torrented down. Following that shower, sales of ponchos was brisk with the local touts.   Apparently, entrance to the VIP area was met with a strict body […]

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Retreating … not drowning

There was about twenty of us ranged in a circle in the Wilderness Lodge in Glemalure, Co Wicklow, of different ages, nationalities and backgrounds. We were on a retreat, for some of us our first ever such experience, on an Internal Alchemy and Qi Gong workshop which was to last two days.     We were asked by our instructor, affectionately referred to as the Mayo Monk, for our reasons for attending. One by one we gave our answers and they hit a refrain of wanting to de-stress from our busy lives while connecting with our inner selves.   We were glamping in the field beside the centre, in bell tents beautifully decorated and furnished – only luxury surroundings for our poor stressed bodies. And the food, well we were to be fed like kings for the weekend with home-made dishes and salads and bbqs and endless cups of green tea.     Ok, first let me explain the theory about Internal Alchemy. In this ancient Chinese discipline, it defines the five essential elements that make up the body; fire, water, wood, metal and earth. Each element is attached to a primary organ; fire to the heart, water to kidneys, […]

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How to lose a Home in Ten Easy Steps …

How to lose a home in Ten Easy Steps On August 7, 2013, the sheriff will officially seize my house, my former home. Unlike some other high profile bankrupts, I don’t have secondary houses to fall back on. I haven’t relocated to America or I don’t swan around the world on yachts. I had one home and on August 7th I will be officially homeless. Now, don’t worry, I only mean homeless as in lacking a home that I once had. In fact, for the past four years I have been renting a cottage nearby with my two children and various animals. I rent a very beautiful cottage with panoramic views across the local little hills. My old home has panoramic views also, but across to Mount Leinster as befits the central house of a townland, for Raheengraney House is named for its region. I don’t think I will be there to witness the surrender of my once beautiful home. It has been a long time since I was there, maybe January of this year, and I don’t relish the thought of a sheriff changing locks or putting up yellow tape to stop trespassers. On August 7th, I will become […]

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Interview with Aoife Brennan, author of The Cougar Diaries

I have been working with South East Television and recently they asked me to interview Irish writer Aoife Brennan, author of The Cougar Diaries.         Aoife’s book is fascinating in that she writes from the heart. It is not your normal erotica, in fact it is it quite the opposite as her character faces real life situations and troubles as she tries to discover who she is post divorce. It is also very funny in parts and a little sad in others.     Aoife explained that this book is all about Sex and Divorce, but book two is all about Sex and Austerity. And funnily enough, it works. A real page turner. Watch here to see my interview with this lovely author.     Sadly we had to take down the YouTube link HERE (NSFW). but here is a transcript of the very funny interview – lots of laughter and frank discussion!  Buy the book here (.com) or here (.co.uk)     Jillian: The year is 2013 and the book title Fifty shades is synonymous with erotica or Mummy porn. People said it started off with ereaders – women could buy the most salacious reading materials and no […]

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The Irish Hospice Foundation – Cycling Safaris 2013 – Atlantic to the Med

Supporting my friend Sean Melly’s fund raising cycle for The Irish Hospice 2013. (most recent entries upfront) donate HERE watch his progress on GPS map HERE             FINISHED! I could not believe it. We had made it. We arrived at Narbonne sur plage (on the beach) in the afternoon after completing our 112km cycle.  We were wrecked but exalted. Some cyclists ran straight away into the water in their riding gear, others changed into shorts, but we all piled into the Mediterranean which felt cold after the hot sunshine and the long ride. The water was wonderful and cooling. Then we had lunch on the beach before cycling the 25km back to Norbonne city itself. Tonight we shall have a celebratory dinner and then fly home tomorrow. So, over the five days we have cycled a total of 650km with climbs of 7500 metres. The climbs were the tough part of the trip, cycling on the level is easy but elevations are a killer. Last year I did the Lyons to Nice race which was hard, but this trip was definitely tougher. There are rumours of which route they will take next year with San Sebastian to Barcelona […]

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