I am going to Copenhagen this weekend for a book festival. The only issue with this is that it involves the two things I hate most - leaving the house and packing. I’m currently trying to figure out if the four outfits I’ve packed will go with the same coat, boots, and bag, and I am losing the will to live. But as I was trying on a dress that I thought might be suitable for Saturday’s panel discussion, I had this strange realisation. I rarely look at myself in the mirror anymore. Obviously, I do when I’m applying moisturiser and brushing my teeth, but other than that - nothing. Even when I’m washing my hands or coming out of the shower, I simply avoid my reflection.This is partly because I’m busy, I know. I’ve just started my next novel and I find this period all-consuming. It’s all I can think about, at times, these characters and this world that I’m trying to create, wondering how I can flesh them out and make them come alive. I … [Read more...] about How could we stop caring when we’re taught that a woman’s inherent value is tied up in her physicality?
Poem because i could not stop for death
'Mountbatten's murder had a huge impact on the royal family... but for the Queen and Prince Charles, the creation of better relationships between Ireland and the UK was more important than the personalities involved' BelfastTelegraph.co.uk After his beloved great uncle Lord Louis Mountbatten was murdered by the IRA - he and three others died when a bomb was exploded by remote control on their pleasure boat off the Sligo coast on August 27, 1979 - Prince Charles was heard to remark: "It made me want to die, too." https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/life/books/mountbattens-murder-had-a-huge-impact-on-the-royal-family-but-for-the-queen-and-prince-charles-the-creation-of-better-relationships-between-ireland-and-the-uk-was-more-important-than-the-personalities-involved-37507651.html https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/incoming/article37508328.ece/5d7e2/AUTOCROP/h342/6_Britains_Prince_.jpg Email After his beloved great uncle Lord Louis Mountbatten was murdered by the IRA - he and three … [Read more...] about ‘Mountbatten’s murder had a huge impact on the royal family… but for the Queen and Prince Charles, the creation of better relationships between Ireland and the UK was more important than the personalities involved’
I recall the beauty of the words but also the impossibility of imagining what it must feel like to be 60 years old. Yet next February this is the age I'll reach. Recently I walked through a classroom of children and realised how - although obviously not a public figure like Yeats - I'd suddenly become the man inside his poem: the lines of which stayed with me since 1977, their meaning changing as my life changed. This is true of Frost's 'Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening' and other poems I didn't fully understand at school but became signposts to my adult life: helping me survive moments of personal trauma. At 12 I decided I wanted to be a poet. My primary teacher, the late Michael Donnelly, read us a poem by Francis Ledwidge. To someone like me with a stammer, subjected to sporadic bullying, the poem was mesmerising, like a light bulb in my head. I walked home from school that day with a friend whose ambition then was to join the army. I shyly confessed my new ambition to be a … [Read more...] about Poetry Day Ireland: Dermot Bolger on how poems we learn as children can stay with us through our lives
And spirit shall begin/ To feed on hope/ To learn how truth blows cold/ And loves betray.' On November 27, 1989, when his speck of clay, his first son came into the world, Gerry Ryan didn't pen a poem to help him understand the world better. His gift to his newborn son was a name, says that son 28 years later, "that he thought would look nice on a poster: 'Rex Ryan'. He gave me the confidence to go after acting". Rex's acting and off-stage personality betrays the high-octane intensity and idealism of the aforesaid Daniel Day-Lewis. For my benefit, sitting opposite him in The Westbury last week, Rex does one of Daniel's monologues from the Gangs Of New York movie. The young Dub has become one of the most compelling actors of his generation. His performance in Mark O'Rowe's Made in China had the critic at the arts website Nomoreworkhorse rhapsodising thus: 'Ryan is astonishing, capable of extracting a laugh and breaking your heart in the one line' while The Examiner was also … [Read more...] about Gerry Ryan’s son Rex on life, death and redemption
Fire crews desperate to help victims of the Manchester Arena bombing were held back by their bosses for two hours amid mistakes that brought the service ‘to the brink of failure’. While paramedics and armed police were on the scene of last May’s attack within ten minutes, the fire service was in ‘paralysis’, according to Lord Bob Kerslake’s report into the atrocity, published today. Frustrated crews - many of whom had heard the blast from their city centre post - were instead sent away to a station in Beswick, three miles away, only to later be sent back into town again amid confusion. Lord Kerslake’s review concludes the actions of then-chief officer Peter O’Reilly ‘played a key role’ in the delays, while concluding ‘poor communication and poor procedures’ within the service were more broadly at fault. The review also finds that Vodafone, which holds the national Home Office contract for emergency post-disaster … [Read more...] about Firefighters were held back for two hours following Arena attack