Sunday, December 9, 2012

Holding on for Christmas out now - #txs2 update

Holding on For Christmas the original single for #txs2 is launched. The wait is over and it was worth it. The song is fantastic with its upbeat tempo, catchy lyrics coupled with an amazing bridge that urges us to reach out and show someone that you care. Each of the soloists did an amazing job, Ian Callanan and Brenda Drumm expertly guided us and I feel immense pride that I was part of the choir. Yet underlying this as discussed in my previous blog post this is for Console who work day in and day out to assist those who feel suicidal or those who lost loved ones to suicide. When the first clip of the video to #txs2 revealed that in Ireland 500 people a year die from suicide, the stark reality of it hit me.


That is 500 deaths per year, often through violent means and 500 families grieving with their hearts ripped out asking / crying / sometimes screaming why? That's a lot of bloody hearts out there. It is how and why organisations like Console came about as they go some way to easing the hurt and saving lives. So please buy the song, apart from contributing to something special, you get the opportunity to bop to a really great song during the festive season so download Holding on for Christmas from Itunes for only 99c.
                On a final note I think it is both wonderful and ironic that through the power of Twitter, which is so often associated with cyber bullying and cruel trolling behaviour, that in this instance it has brought a group of ordinary people together to sing a song that will aid those in pain by being that helping hand who cares.   
Me at the launch of #txs2 - photo by Brenda Drumm

Monday, November 12, 2012

Twitter Xmas Single (#txs2) - singing for Console

From all corners of the country, be it car, train, bus or in one case by plane from the US, we converged at the Westin Hotel to sing for #txs2 (#twitterxmassingle). The twitter gathering came about in 2011 when Brenda Drumm tweeted ‘wouldn’t it be great if we made a twitter Christmas single’.  Little did she realise what she had unleashed.  Last year 140 people turned up to sing Winter Song to raise funds for the neo-natal unit in Holles Street.  
           On Sunday 11th November, in response to Brenda’s #txs2 tweet, we came together to sing Holding on for Christmas which is an original song written by Ian Callanan, Brenda Drumm, Gavin Byrne and Alan Chadwick.  This year the charity of choice is Console, an organisation that resonates with me on a personal level.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The price tag on sexual assault / rape in Ireland

I am angry.  I am also worried that there is a trend developing within the Irish judiciary system that facilitates the commercialisation of sexual crimes.  In July this year Anthony Lyons was found guilty of sexually assaulting a 27 year old woman.  He was given a six year sentence whereby five and a half years was suspended and he was ordered to pay €75,000.  Lyons defence was that the effects of the cough medicine, alcohol and medication for high cholesterol "left him unable to resist what he did."

Monday, September 24, 2012

What’s the story? Newbridge: past, present and future

Below is a piece on the history of Newbridge that I read out on Culture Night (21 September 2012) with Cill Dara Writers’ Circle.  We held our event in the lovely St. Patrick’s church in Newbridge, where we also launched our second CD anthology ‘A Way with Words II’.  More details can be found on our facebook page
Here in Newbridge, Culture night coincides with the tail end of the town’s 200 hundred year celebrations.  As such history meets culture this evening and I want to reflect on the intersection of these two.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Bag Lady reads - Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L James

In between the first and second reading of Cloud Atlas I downloaded Fifty Shades of Grey to see what everyone was talking about. Okay I fess up I bought it for the sexy bits.  When I finished the book I gave my review on Amazon, the gist of which was that it was clichéd and poorly written with an ending that was too abrupt for the reader.  I believe it was a manipulative tactic to ensure the reader immediately downloaded books 2 and 3.  I don’t take kindly to these types of parlour tricks so I never bought them.  

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Bag Lady Reads - Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

I love books, more specifically, I love stories built up by a collection of words.  The more beautiful, the better.  When there is that synergy of language and story-telling that comes from the heart along side characters that linger long after the book has been closed, the reader experiences that sense of contentment that only beautiful books can give.  Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell is such a book.  The novel explores the ever-recurring philosophical facet of the human condition; goodness versus evil.

Friday, March 9, 2012

The future Irish writers

It is my belief that classic writing comprises of three aspects; a good story (heart), strong characters and quality writing.  Tonight I had the pleasure to listen to four young writers on KFM who all show promise in producing classic writing.  Each of them are a member of WriTeen Scene, a creative writing group that was formed last year by Brenda Drumm, Margaret Kane and myself.  So the reader of this blog may go is the bias.