Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Hail Atlantis

I tend to associate moments in my life with what I was reading or listening to at that time. I’m sure most people do this. When I read or listen to them again years later they can transport me back. Sometimes I can see a whole new meaning.

When I was fifteen my favourite author was still Roald Dahl and I also loved Virginia Andrews. I had yet to discover Sci-Fi, Horror and Fantasy. Someone had given Stephen King’s The Stand to my brother, I think, but he never read it and it sat on the dresser unloved for a long time. The dog had read more of it than anyone else in the house, he had attempted to chew through it but gave up when he realised there was no chocolate inside. So, one afternoon, bored silly, I picked up The Stand and started reading. Fifteen years on it is still my favourite book and Stephen King remains in my Top 5 Favourite Authors.
My Well-Loved Copy of The Stand

Rolling on six years, I received a Christmas gift of Hearts in Atlantis by Stephen King. I know when I got it because of the inscription inside the cover reading “Nessa, Christmas 2001”. I can’t remember who bought it for me. When I read it first I liked it but to me it wasn’t equal to The Stand. There are 5 stories in the book. Each main character is linked in someway to another. All the stories are linked to the sixties and to the Vietnam War.

In 2001, I was still pretty new to college and all that it entailed. Therefore the second story in the book stood out among the others for me. It was about a boy who had just started college. I could identify with his struggles to claw back wasted time to survive in there.

I’ve read the book many times in the last eleven years. What stands out for me most now is how this character remembers his time in college in the late sixties.

“I have to remind myself that we were smaller then, small enough to live our brightly hued lives under the mushrooms, all the time believing them to be trees, shelter from the sheltering sky. I know that doesn’t make any real sense, but that’s the best I can do: hail Atlantis”

There is more to this quote but I don’t know if it would make sense to many people. Its how I feel about a time in my life that is thirty years after the time the character is talking about. There was a time, in the late ‘90’s, when everything seemed golden. We thought we were golden. Back then it seemed like we could do or have whatever we put our minds to and everything was so important, life or death. But now, wishing on stars just seems pointless. You make your own luck in this world and if what you really want doesn’t happen and never will then maybe its time for a new dream.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Music to watch the world by

What is your favourite music? I like to listen to different music that reflects my mood at any given time.

When I’m lonely for adult company I listen to the radio. Always 2FM when I’m at home during the day but this is more for the connection to the outside world than the music. It took me a while to warm to Hector (Irish DJ) in the morning but now he’ll be sure to put a smile on my face. I love the oldies at lunchtime, Colm Hayes and Cormac Battle. There is very little music I hate hearing on the radio but I have to turn it off when a certain solo female artist comes on.

When I’m feeling nostalgic for my younger school days I like to stick on Placebo or Oasis and sing at the top of my voice. I thought I had been a Blur girl until someone handed me What’s the Story Morning Glory. Don’t get me wrong, I still love Blur but there’s something catchy about 3-chord-Oasis that really makes me want to rock out :-) When I miss my college days I listen to Gomez, John Lennon and my cabin crew days are attached to Simon and Garfunkel.

When I’m out jogging (only 3 weeks left to the 10k road race) Electric Light Orchestra’s Mr. Blue Skies is my starting point. Always makes me feel top of the world. For jogging I also like certain Placebo songs and Rod Stewart’s Maggie May (You know I can hear you laughing from here, yeah?). If it’s a long run I just let the MP3 player play whatever while I concentrate on breathing and not falling over!

For after break-ups and when people are really annoying me it has to be Alanis Morissette. She helps me release my angst and cry and feel empowered again. Hail to you Alanis :-)

Throughout it all though there are artists that just fit in anywhere and everywhere. Don McLean, The Clash, The Jam, T-Rex, The Who, Colin Hay and the Carpenters. They are my staples.

For me, music is part of my everyday, the way I breathe, the way I cope, escape and live.

My Little Rockstar!

 Oh, by the way, I am a Grobanite and the song I'm listening to now is You Are Loved.

Friday, April 6, 2012


I hate wasting food. I don’t like leaving food on a plate, whether it’s in my own house or in a restaurant waste really bugs me. Having to throw out fruit, vegetables and potatoes annoys me worst of all.
The problem is that a lot of fruit, veg and potatoes are cheaper to buy in bulk. Having only two of us in this house means that quite a bit goes to waste, unfortunately.

So, that is why this year I have decided to grow my own in an effort to cut back on cost and waste. Tomatoes, onions, carrots and potatoes. It’s a pity I can’t grow bananas and oranges but we never waste them.

These are my tomatoes...

Down the back of my garden are carrots and onions...

I'm afraid the snow and freezing cold weather last week may have killed my potatoes but I'll keep my fingers crossed for them! I used to grow all kinds of things when I was younger and was quite successful so hopefully my efforts pay off this time. If not, there's always next year :-)

Beth loves the garden too...