Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A tale of Two Reviews

I forgot to post the link last week to a review I wrote for Eyewear about Meryl Pugh's pamphlet Relinquish and Patrick Williamson's Prussia Cove.

This week I find the poetry pundits have got their own back on me - only joking! There's a very considered review of Kairos as well as Fred Johnstone's latest poetry collection, The Oracle Room.

Did you know that Doghouse have very little stock left of Kairos... ?

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Clue is in the Date

Today, if all goes well, our household will have an honoured guest sitting at the dinner table, partaking of a vegetarian dish that I have cobbled together from good oul Delia's cookbook.

The honoured guest will be: none other than Shameless! What a great way to celebrate the wearing of the green ;)

Pictures to follow!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Some Good Poetry News

I got a really nice letter about three weeks ago from the organisers of the Féile Filíochta Poetry Competition in Dun Laoghaire, telling me that I had won third prize in the Adult English section for a wee scrap of a poem.

This competition is run every year: you can enter online, and it's free to do so - perhaps I might never have tried my wee poem only for that. I've been eagerly waiting ever since the letter came for the website to be updated before saying anything - not wanting to offend anyone.

Anyway, you can now look at the First, Second and Third prize winning poems and see what you think.

The prize awards ceremony is organised to coincide with the Poetry Now 08 festival, already becoming a big fixture along the lines of StAnza in Scotland.We are all going to Dun Laoghaire on the 4th of April to collect the cheque, read the poem and hear the other poems read. This is one occasion where the 'woman with six kids' brings them along for an airing, along with the hub!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Round and around Rome in 2 days

First, let me explain that map-reading is not one of the hub's special skills. It's normally allotted to me to undertake the task of navigation, which is usually conducted from the safety of a passenger seat with him driving. This usually prevents us from getting lost, but it does provoke some rather surreal scenes as I don't know my left from my right (yes, it was quite hard work passing my driving test), and indicate directions something like this: 'You need to turn that way. No, that way, not this way.' Accompanied by various 'pointed' hand signals.

With him not driving, he had to have something to do with his hands, like hold the map. He's a self-confessed ex-scout, so you'd think he'd have picked up something about map-reading, like how to hold it the right way round, but alas I think his badges were for fire-lighting and sewing, not map-reading.

Thus it was that we found ourselves being conducted the long way round, the wrong way round to the hotel on the first night, with him reading the map. Oh, he said after about an hour, this city is quite small. That came after our first foray from the hotel into the darkness on Friday night to find a) somewhere to eat, and b) the Trevi fountain. Ah yes, toss a coin in the Trevi and you'll always come back, but in our case we skipped waiting for another trip to Rome and came back to the Trevi a grand total of four times - always just tripping across it the way you do a stubborn doorstep

Similarily with the roman ruins at the Palatine and the Colosseo, as it has become ingrained in my mind. I'm not being ungrateful - it was fabulous to see it in Saturday morning's soft rain, Saturday evening's luminescence and again in Sunday morning's sunlit glow. Thank goodness the Vatican is closed on Sundays doing the other sort of business - Lord alone knows how many times we might have strayed that way too, only for it being a bit further away from us than every where else.

On the Sunday, we went to the Villa Borghese, which is this really massive park containing a fair few museums and galleries where Romans like to hang out when it's sunny. Not satisfied with trying to lose me a good few times, hub decided to hire one of these side-by-side bicycles, of which only one side is the controller, and kill me by refusing to break until the last minute; driving it off very high kerbs and making it go fast down hills... and finally getting it out on a main road and trying to get us run over. My nerves couldn't take any more and I refused to get back on after about an hour. He said it was the best fun he's ever had, the highlight of the weekend and worth every euro he paid - evil sod.

There will be pictures, just as soon as I get the camera to talk nicely to me.