May 5, 2010

I love older people, I love their stuborness, their stories, their bluntness. I often feel I’m drawn to them, their faces, their lines, their dress sense. I enjoy their company, their stories…sometimes I wish myself to 50 years time when I have earned my badge of honour with years gone-by. I’ve got my favourites, the ones with a bit of divilment in them. The ones with the smiley eyes and quick wit. The ones that pull you to a halt at the local shop to tell you “what a shame it is about Jerry Ryan” or “what do you think of this volcano?”. The ones not embarrassed by conversation with strangers.

Bealtaine is a month long festival celebrating creativity in older age, I’d heard about it briefly through another friend in passing, when she’d mentioned the Dust Your Old Trumpet Off concert. But thinking about Vidal Sassoon (previous post) I remembered to check it out.

Creativity does not stop as we age, and Bealtaine aims to engage older people in the arts again through active participation in music, theatre, art and other creative projects. The festival runs 1-30th May, and I for one can’t wait to check out some of the divilment.


Hypnotic Sugar

April 20, 2010

Volcanic eruptions don’t happen to often, and Icelandic ones that bring whole european fleets of planes down to earth is certainly a rare occurance. To Dublins delight it has however grounded the ever loved Hypnotic Brass Ensemble to our shores. Playing sold out gigs in Cork and Dublin, the band who were to play Coachella festival, brought some more brass cheer to the city yesterday. Firstly playing an impromptu busking session on Grafton street, followed by an afternoon gig in the GraftonLounge. After which they took to the Sugar Club stage, to treat a crowd of sunday gig goers, only too happy to part with €10 for this lively, hip-hop, brass infused ensemble.

If Volcanic ash causes more impromptu gigs like this, I am only too happy to ground all airlines(until Primavera at least).

A note from Paddy

April 20, 2010

I’ve lived along the grand canal for a while now, my small dark house(shared with three others) is inspiration to move sometimes, however there’s something about the canal that leaves me reluctant. I think Paddy and the hundreds of other, now familiar faces, are in agreement. From the tin whistle playing bearded man, who draws the swans every evening with his bin loads of bread and his corteous “good evening lady” to the business men out on their lunch break.  I returned home this weekend and through my idle fingers I flicked through a sisters leaving cert poetry book, only to land on Paddy Kavanagh’s “Lines Written on a Seat on the Grand Canal, Dublin”. It reminded me why I and so many others are drawn to the canal and to Paddy, his tilted head across from the busy Mespil hotel ready to listen to all your problems or to just sit in silence. Go! Sit with him!

Lines Written on a Seat
on the Grand Canal, Dublin

'Erected to the memory of Mrs. Dermot O'Brien'

O commemorate me where there is water,
Canal water, preferably, so stilly
Greeny at the heart of summer. Brother
Commemorate me thus beautifully
Where by a lock niagarously roars
The falls for those who sit in the tremendous silence
Of mid-July.  No one will speak in prose
Who finds his way to these Parnassian islands.
A swan goes by head low with many apologies,
Fantastic light looks through the eyes of bridges -
And look! a barge comes bringing from Athy
And other far-flung towns mythologies.
O commemorate me with no hero-courageous
Tomb - just a canal-bank seat for the passer-by

Copyright © Estate of Katherine Kavanagh

Forty Foot Bicycle

April 8, 2010

Inspired by Gary Coyles exhibition in the RHA I took my little Gretel on a road to Dun Laoighre today. Gretels, my little vintage bicylette, Gary Coyles exhibition focus’s on the Forty Foot. Turns out the Forty Foot, Dun Laoighre, is only 40 minutes away by bicycle. You’ll have to forgive me, but I get quiet excited these days about bringing my dear gretel on outings.

You see gretel is only a little one speed, 40 year old bike, perfect for our relatively flat capital. Its more me than her that I don’t want to over exert…she’s quiet sturdy, my thighs are not.

A little man called Paul who has a love for vintage bikes, set me up with her. He might be able to set you up with a beautiful one too, if you’re nice to him. One has to commend anyone that spends their spare times recycling and servicing beautiful old bicycles getting more people, like myself, peddling!