Tag Archives: Ireland

I’ve struck it rich in the movies…

The Big Steal trillion dollar noteIt’s finally happened. I’ve really made it this time. I’ve invested in three films and one of them has really paid off.

I’ve just received my first huge return. I’ve taken a photo of it in case you’re sceptical.

Yup. There it is. A trillion smackers. $1,000,000,000,000. My good intention has been rewarded.

I’m thinking of buying a few trips on the space shuttle – or maybe 2,000 of them. Nah – something closer to my heart. I think I’ll spend it on Ireland. With Turkey thrown in too, if I can’t get change from a trillion dollar note.

Trillion dollar noteWhatever I do, I can’t let the larcenous crew who got us into this financial mess get their grubby paws on my cash. Who? The bankers of course, according to The Big Steal.

Because my $1tn note is my return from my friends’ movie The Big Steal. They’re Julian Darley and Celine Rich, of Mysterious Movies – just two of the many outraged at the greed of the banks and the cynical way taxpayers’ money has been transferred to dodgy banks and then moved offshore or transformed into bonuses. So what? Lots of us are cross about it – but what can you do? Well, you can turn it into a film. That’s what they’re doing. The film will be called The Big Steal – but unlike most heist movies, this time the thieves are behind the counter, not breaking in. Can anyone stop them? Watch the film and find out.

But before you watch it – they have to make it. And they need help. They’re looking for lots of mini-donations, from a dollar upwards, to crowdsource the film and take it to the Cannes Film Festival this year.

So if you’re looking to bash the banking system and get a bit of retaliation in – here’s a way of doing it. Lots of good perks too. Being part of the film, getting your name in the credits Continue reading

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Filed under Film, friends

And the award goes to…

Versatile Blogger Award

It’s official. This blog is  super awesome. How do I know? Because of these two awards.

Laurie nominated me for the “Versatile Blogger Award.” Thank you lovely Laurie from Ten Minute Missive.

And the dashing Duck of Indeed nominated me for the “One Lovely Blog Award.” Thank you Duck.

The rules of both awards are the same:

  1. Nominate 15 fellow bloggers. (See list at the bottom.)
  2. Inform the bloggers of their nomination. (Working on it.)
  3. Share 7 random things about yourself. (See below.)
  4. Thank the blogger who nominated you. (I’ve done that above.)
  5. Add the award picture to your blog. (Done. – You’ll find the code for the award images at the bottom of this post.)

One Lovely Blog Award

If you’re one of the superlative blogs listed below – you have to go through this same rigmarole described above on your own blog to comfirm the award – or in this case – double award. (Sounds like a Readers Digest Exclusive Offer.)

Seven random revelations about me that have some truth to them – the short version is in bold:

  1. The tastiest drink I found was at a roadside cafe in northern Venezuela after being dropped off while hitching through the the littoral forest. Freshly squeezed passion fruit juice.
  2. I had to kneel on the road to get a lift out of Ballymena.
  3. I used to pick up the smelliest, dirtiest, wettest looking hitchhikers in Ireland – usually old farmers – because I thought nobody else would.
  4. The Gardai (police south of the Irish border) stopped to reprimand me for hitching on the motorway – and then kindly gave me a lift to the end of it.
  5. Perhaps the scariest road ride I had was against oncoming traffic and on the opposite hard shoulder on a busy road in Jamaica, as the driver of the minibus in which I was holding on wide-eyed, diced with a speeding car of armed men. Having a priest sitting beside me was no comfort. He was too thin to offer much in the way of cushioning.
  6. My first car was a (“You can’t wine and dine here in an auld“) Morris Minor which “used to be black as me father’s hat” till I sprayed it a rich bright candy yellow. The chrome became matt black. It had lovely wide wheels. It was a beautiful sight.
  7. Then one of the lovely wide wheels fell off…  I watched it bounce up the road away from me as the car slunk and tipped to a halt. (Luckily the engine of the motorbike I had been towing had just turned over, so I nipped on the back and we chased down the escaping car wheel. And off we went again Continue reading

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Filed under blogs, friends, Music

It should have been the Jungle Book. (My X-certificate first cinema visit.)

This is the nearest I could get to an image combining both Clint Eastwood and a Jungle local.

At GrannyMar‘s prompting, I submitted this story to See You At The Pictures, a documentary about film-going in Ireland. Er… Sorry Dad.

The first film I saw in a cinema should have been the Jungle Book. My Dad took me to the cinema in Ballycastle, Co. Antrim, one bright summer afternoon.

I wasn’t sure what to expect. But it wasn’t car chases, gunfire and a naked lady Continue reading

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Filed under family history, Film

The missing slaves of Belfast

Olaudah Equiano - one of Belfast's more famous visitors.

Question: What have Liverpool, Bristol and all sorts of other places got that Belfast hasn’t?

Answer: A corporate history of slave trading.

Hurrah! One shameful pursuit into which we did not dive. Continue reading

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Filed under D - Loose Bloggers Consortium, friends, history, life, Music

Do people really speak like that?

Belfast landscape heads by David "Creative" McClelland.

Dialogue springs forth fully formed from the mouths of the regulars in my favourite pub. It’s very odd. This isn’t how people really speak surely?

Normal speech is hesitation, prevarication, vagueries, misunderstanding, repetition, replete with em-ing and er-ing. Isn’t it?

But what I heard while perched at the bar sounded honed by Elmore Leonard. It can have/seem to have an aggressive edge to it. (See here for a foreigner’s view.)

This snatch of speech begins as the fella on my left hand explains that he drinks in the pub most weekdays, at which point fella on my right hand jumps in…

LEFT: I drink here most lunchtimes.

RIGHT: Why?

LEFT: Because I can.

Pause.

LEFT: I’m drinking for one now…

RIGHT (interrupting forcefully): No! Never explain. You were a hero there. The hero in films never explains himself. It’s just bang, here it is, this is it. For 45 seconds there, you were a hero. But you blew it. Continue reading

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Filed under language, life

Irish mysteries

Actor Brian Kennedy who plays The Lover, Bassanio in the Fringe Benefits Theatre production of The Merchant of Venice. That'sBelfast City Hall he's posing in. This version of the play is set in 1912

I’m just back from an intriguing week in Ireland. (Where I met some people you may know – more on that below – with a pic.) But the whole place was unexpectedly mysterious.

I’m not talking about leprechauns or the absence of snakes. These are modern mysteries.

1. Fat people. Where are they all hiding? Continue reading

22 Comments

Filed under life, theatre

Trust

The internet is a terrible place… scary… red in tooth and claw and packed to the gills with trolls, scammers, spammers, backbiters, fakers and bigots of many persuasions.

Or so I was warned.

And no doubt they’re out there.  But so far I’ve been lucky in those I’ve encountered – the other members of the Loose Bloggers Consortium being a case in point. (The rest of them are also writing about trust today – links to their blogs are further down the right hand column.)

So, in the light of the naiviety, gullibility, trust that has grown up between me and other people who exist on the internet, I’ve gradually revealed and had revealed to me (ahem, no, not like that – we’re not talking webcams here) details about our personal lives.

And taking a step further, I’ve trusted and some of them have trusted, to actually meet offline in meatspace, (like Padmini for instance).

Which is what I want to do again, this month, in Belfast.

If any of you – and yes I am thinking of you in particular GM – fancies meeting on the evening of Sunday 15th April at Arthur Magee’s Walk Round Belfast For People Too Lazy To Walk, then he and I will see you upstairs in the Garrick bar (haunt of Thackery & thespians since 1870) on Chichester Street  near the front of the City Hall. There’ll be Continue reading

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Filed under D - Loose Bloggers Consortium