Thursday, March 20, 2014

PANTIES TO PARADISO





I was sitting on the loo the other morning just after waking up and my eyes strayed to the panties that I'd stepped out of the night before. It only seemed like five minutes before that I had been putting them on fresh and ready for a new day. Now it was a different day....different panties....same routine. The sameness of that routine and the feeling that as I grow older, time is moving at an ever-increasing speed, caused a sense of panic that took hold for a second....a minute....an hour; that stark reality that sometimes takes hold within the immediacy of wakening, when the buffers of escapism....lagging behind, are still sleep.

Life, or at least my life is riddled with ambiguity. I tell myself I hate routine, but secretly I crave order, because I know that I will never function or fire on all pistons in a house that badly needs to be de-cluttered, or with a brain that darts from one project to another. I swear to myself that I will give up cigarettes because I know it is bad for my physical and psychological health....yet I've just stubbed one out! I want to be able to sit for hours at a time writing, yet there is always, always something more pressing to be done. I want to fill my days with golden things like music, art,poetry and gardening, yet I put on the radio to listen to the news and current affairs programs, because I haven't the time to read a newspaper.

I am so excited about and grateful for my office....my den; the equivalent of the patriarchal shed! Just some pictures and photographs; a rug; coffee machine (well you have to spoil yourself now and then); and a window to dress now. Whilst moving everything in and on to shelves, I could not get over the amount of work and research I had done on Dante's Inferno and Purgatorio at UCC, and felt lonely for those hours of Dante time and study, that fascinated and mesmerized. I groaned and moaned to myself about the fact that all the wonderful Dante stuff that is still going on in UCC, to which I am always invited, happens on Tuesday evenings, and I have to be somewhere else. Typical.

Anyway, as I sat there looking at the panties, half asleep , I promised myself there and then, that I would continue to study Dante's great work on my own. Here's to Part 3 of Dante's Divina Commedia - Paradiso. 








Ciao for now!


Saturday, March 15, 2014

THE OFFICE, THE MOUTH, THE SOURCE, MY BEAUTIFUL BREASTS AND STORY THE CAT.





Well...well....well it's been a long time since I checked in, but then I've been busy....busy....busy! I can't believe its almost St. Patrick's Day already and almost one quarter of 2014 has passed me out. It's not that I've been sitting on my as....s....pidistra, but things just seem to take over; good things, and not entirely unexpected, but just more time-consuming than I thought they might be.

Dramatically speaking and outside of my normal teaching and Class Act Production work, I directed Aine MK Ryan's one woman play, Kitty in the Lane in the wonderful Source Theatre in Thurles during January and then as part of the Collaborations Festival in Smock Alley in Dublin during February. It was a great pleasure to work with Aine, who is a new and promising up-and-coming writer/actress from Upperchurch, Co, Tipperary. Presently, I am working with Transition Year Students in the Presentation Convent in Clonmel on an adaptation of a work-in-progress piece called The Mouth, that I started working on in 2008, during my time at UCC. Within the framework of The Mouth, the girls have created 8 x 3 minute pieces on such subjects as mental health stigmas, eating disorders, bullying, etc., which will be performed in front of an audience on March 31st.

On the literary side, I have been practicing my editing skills via my friend Diane's book, My Beautiful Breasts. I have finished four chapters so far, together with the introduction and an overview, which I mulled over for ages, knowing how important it was to get this right, if we were going to grab the attention of any literary agent. We feel that we're good to go for it now, so we'll be keeping our fingers crossed.

The great news for me is that at long last, after many many years of waiting I almost have my OFFICE. I have a space of 12ft x 14ft of almost wall to wall shelving. Delicious space....constructed for me by my beloved. My brother is reported to have said, 'What does she need an office for?' (No comment) I cannot wait to look at his face, when he sees all my 'stuff'' on shelves and together. Truth is my things have been spread out all over the house in drawers, cupboards, brief cases, which has made finding anything extremely frustrating. I am a natural born hoarder anyway; just like my father was....bless him. Blasted genes! I have been collecting books, CD's, libretti and sheet music for years and then there's all the folders crammed with work from UCC. Apart from that, I have kept every little piece of paper that I have ever written a word or a sentence upon; newspaper cuttings; theatre programmes. You name it....I kept it. (And up until approx 6 weeks ago, I still had every little colouring book, dot to dot, and puzzle book, that the girls had ever scribbled on!)

A white desk sits ready for action under a window that looks out across fields, hedgerows, hawthorns and horses. I open the window and the symphony of birdsong floats into the room in the attic....sublime! I picture myself sitting there, finishing my first novel, but at the moment, I'm at that 'head-wrecking, standing with my hands clawing at my head in the middle of a pile of photocopied sheets, that most people, if they had any sense would probably have burned twenty years ago', stage of muttering to myself, 'Where the f...?'and 'How the f...am I going to file all this?' Thing is I genuinely find it extremely difficult to discard anything....'Well you just never know....!' Same with the clothes, they go into the costume department.... 'Well you never know I might just need those for a show I'm doing sometime....' and so it goes on. I keep promising I will de-clutter, because I worry that my girls are going to have a dreadful time of it, sorting through all my crap, when I pop my clogs. So tomorrow will come and I'm telling myself I'm going to have one good run at it for St Patrick and....yeah right!

Anyway our latest adorable addition to the menagerie, Story the cat is lying across my left arm as I type and it's beginning to go a little dead. I hate to move him, because he's fast asleep and snoring lightly. Story, a name that Emma my eldest thought was ridiculous because she associated it with the wonderfully colourful Dublin salutation of 'Story Bud....?' But my oh my, does it suit him. He is always looking for the next story; the next adventure. He is without doubt the most affectionate cat I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. A lady, who looks after wild cats in Tipperary town, knew he wasn't wild. He had been found wondering around the local supermarket. She gave him to us on appro, because we weren't sure how Scout the 'Princess' and Buffy the 'Duchess' would react. Six months later they tolerate him, but they have adapted and am I happy, because I would have hated to have missed out on this Story.

And just because myself and Story were watching a BBC 4 tribute to Tamla Motown earlier, I'm loading my inspiration for tomorrow with Gladys Knight and the Pips and their super rendition of Come Back and Finish What You Started. Go girl go!





Ciao for now!