Tag Archives: irish

Olympics Part 2 – Can you solve this security dilemma?

Pic from InsideThe Games.biz

The security at London Olympic venues is now being provided by soliders. As far as I’ve heard, they’ve been polite, reassuring and quite hot. Phoarr! (That’s according to one Olympic volunteer anyway.)

But here’s a security dilemma that left the soldiers scratching their heads. And there’s a prize for the best (or correct) solution supplied by YOU.

It was like this: The first military searcher could not decide. He called in his sergeant. The sergeant pondered a while, before eventually coming up with a verdict.

The puzzle is coming up in a moment. But your challenge, dear reader, is to tell me in the comments below, what you think the army sergeant decided. (You’re also welcome to say what he should have said or done.)

So here’s the scenario:

A parent with accompanying children arrived at the entrance to the Olympic venue with two full plastic water bottles.

The rule is that no liquids are allowed to be taken into the site. (For security reasons. Free water is available inside. Empty vessels are permitted.)

But this resourceful parent, anticipating a hot thirsty day, had frozen the water bottles overnight. As it happened, the day was overcast, and chillier than expected – and the ICE HAD NOT MELTED Continue reading

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Nicknames

Can’t see the resemblance myself.

Oh dear. This is getting personal. Nicknames. There have been a few.

And we’re not talking Maccers, JoJo or your name with “-sy” appended.

But as the Loose Bloggers Consortium (see below) demands an answer, here goes.

Three spring to mind…

1. Bantam: Have you read the book Angela Ashes (or seen the film)? If so, you’ll be familiar with “stand-up, north of Ireland, Protestant hair” – the sort of hair that might have been dragged through a hedge backward – ending up like a bewitched barleystack. For some inexplicable reason, people have sometimes confused such a thatch with my own fine mane (see gravatar top right). Hence the nickname – bantam – sticky-up.

2. Irish: Paddy or Mick I’d find offensive, but somehow this didn’t bother me me. It was accurate. Not on the face of it insulting. I’m happy – proud to be so described. I liked the person who came up with it. I could imagine it as the moniker of  character bound for the East Indies on a tramp steamer imagined by Joseph Conrad.

This planet may be familar to some of you.

3. Planet: As in – “What planet are Continue reading

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Does this make me… hardcore?

Kim Hyesoon

Last Friday I immersed myself in poetry read aloud at the Poetry Parnassus. It claims to be the UK’s largest ever gathering of poets. (Not including pubs surely?) At least one poet from every country competing in the 2012 London Olympics. It’s big.

So does even turning up make me an intellectual?

Let’s raise the stakes. I sat through repeated bouts of poetry, in Korean by South Korean poet Kim Hyesoon. So that’s Korean poetry in Korean. That must make me a hardcore intellectual.

She said, through a translator, that she’d only read short ones, the better for us to get the meaning in translation. She may need help with the translation of the word “short”.  I can tell you that she is very illustrious and pioneering and that it was an unrepeatable experience. Not to be repeated anyway.

Does that make me a philistine? (Though not in a Palestinian sense.)

Wole Soyinka thinking to himself: “Are two phones enough? Maybe I should get a third one just in case.”

Next up – Nigerian Nobel literature prize winner Wole Soyinka. I’ve read quite a bit of him. I’ve even seen him before. But the highlight of his performance was when a mobile phone started ringing during one of his readings – and the phone owner would NOT turn it off. It wasn’t until Wole came to the end of his poem that we discovered the culprit. It was Wole’s own phone ringing – conveniently amplified by the nearby microphone.

We laughed. He laughed. He turned it off. Then he took out his other phone and turned that off too.

The man has TWO phones Continue reading

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Mise Éire – The day I met… George Morrison

Like Godzilla rising from the depths, here’s another entry in the The Day I Met… Competition. This tale comes from Pól Ó Duibhir aka Póló in Ireland.

It’s the tale of his encounter with the man who put Mise Eire on the screen – George Morrison.

Mise Eire began as a 1912 poem by teacher and executed 1916 Easter Rising leader Padraig Pearse. (It’s also the title of a 1987 poem by Eavan Boland.) George Morrison made his iconic Irish language historical drama, using news footage from the period leading up to and around the Rising. It caused quite a stir when it came out in 1959.

So here’s Pól Ó Duibhir’s tale, of The Day I Met…George Morrison

I sat there, the tears streaming down my face Continue reading

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An intermission – but not for swearing…

I had to tell you this before it was too late – because it’s only available for a short time.

One caveat though. There’s a lot a swearing Continue reading

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