Sunday, June 26, 2005

Albie Sachs - an inspiration

'Mrs Grootboom decided she had had enough.' So began Albie Sachs' illuminating speech at the Inaugural Human Rights Lecture last Thursday in the Law Society of Ireland.

The sun was shining down, and the hall was stuffy, but a pin didn't drop as the audience hung on Albie's every word. This man, who had been held in solitary confinement, had lost his arm due to a bombing, spoke from the heart about how each human's dignity should be preserved.

His stories, those of real life cases taken to the supreme court in the new South Africa, were of women in shanty towns, an intelligent man who wanted nothing more than to get a job that was rightly his, but he was denied due to his HIV status. He spoke of mothers, who wanted access to drugs that would lower their unborn babies likelihood of being born with HIV by 20 per cent.

And always he spoke from the heart. His attitude to drafting the initial version of the South African bill of rights, was to sit at a large bare table, devoid of papers, and to write, for as he said, these rights should be obvious, should come from the heart.

The world is not a dead, cold place, when people like Albie Sachs are here to voice love and hope into the wilderness. Dublin was honoured to receive such a noble guest this week.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Things that give me joy

The reasons I am feeling joyful today:

1. I'm going to Donegal for the weekend, and if the sun shines, I might even get to swim. The beach at Rossnowlagh is ideal for surfing, but for an eejit like me, who likes to paddle on a body-board, it is equally bliss.

2. On my weekend away I have booked the four of us a table in Smugglers' Creek, which is (in my humble experience) one of the nicest, cosiest place to tuck into a pint of beer and a plate of seafood whilst viewing the coast from a height. Fingers crossed the duo who haven't been enjoy it as much as I do!

3. My boss gave me a sneaky half day yesterday, just coz. Went swimming and felt great because it was like dossing off school, but without the fear of getting caught.

4. My friend called over last night and we pigged out on crisps and chocolate whilst gossiping and giggling, which was nice, as lately everyone has been a bit worried, and I hadn't seen her smile for awhile.

5. Just ate a plate of pesto and pasta, prepared for me by himself, which made me feel I was being spoilt.

6. We may even get to go and see the murals in Derry from the castle, which is another of my fav things to do. And I'm hoping that this would be a very interesting thing for one of the guests who is from Transylvania to see. And we might drive up Fanad head, which is so scary but amazing.

Aw. Life is good sometimes!

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Nightswimming, deserves a quiet night.

I can't seem to coax the words out in any semblance of order tonight. The ego within shouts and stamps its feet that there is a story there to be told, if only I would take the time to tell it. During the day, if I'm in the office and am being asked to do something menial, or if someone's rude or off-hand to me, the ego screams 'tell them to fuck off, that you can't even seem them they are so irrelevant. Get your shit together - these pricks are sucking the marrow from your bones'.

Of course, you wouldn't dare disagree with the ego, he's such a bastard, its impossible to tell what he would do. I just let him down with meandering tales that inevitably end up deleted from the hard drive. Last night I was so bored with the insipid conversation and dull playground politics I was witnessing that I got it into my head there was a story lurking close by, ready to be splurged (or if I'm being pessimistic vomited) onto the page.

Bitter taste of failure again, as I sit here vacantly staring at the screen, fingers tapping, making no sense out of words. I consider how like doing the lottery this is - the hope, the daydreams and then, cold, harsh reality that the reality is a piece of useless paper and a sour taste of waste in your mouth.

Maybe one day I'll hit the jackpot.

Saturday, June 11, 2005


It wasn't meant to be a late night, but we were making our way into Eddie Rocket's in Phibsboro at 3 am. The reunion had dwindled from four of us to three. Glamourous ladies in spangly tops and high heels, all artfully dressed up for this night of memories.

We went to school together and I hadn't seen her since the day after her baby was born, nearly seven years ago. The funny thing is that we share a birthday, so I remember her every year. I'm really good friends with the girl who went home early, and I've met up with the other one from time to time at parties and that type of thing.

The night was ace. We spent at least half the time talking about the here and now and the other half laughing about the past. I remembered things and people I had forgotten. And wow - the photos - of us in McDonalds aged 12, hilarious. We vowed there would be more reunions, more nights of giggles, memories and good banter.

Now with a happy memory and a sore head, I'm trying to convince myself that I'll be able for tonight, another night out with a group of work friends. My liver is about to pack it in - reckon I'll have to make some chicken noodle soup tomorrow for its restorative properties! The sun is streaming down on Dublin, and I've spent the last hour lying on the grass Guardian magazine to the left, cup of coffee to the right. Aw, this is the life!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Dublin Made You (not to be confused with the far superior 'Dublin Made Me' see link)

You've all gone and left me in your hell I call home, but wouldn't you have had fun kicking a ball in the Phoenix Park with us yesterday.

As the sun smiled down, it brought me to mind that your prison walls are my sitting listening to wild bird calls.

And I can't romanticise the skangers or the puke on the street, but the humour speak and nights of banter make up for the dewy rain never cease.

Those childhood games of squares and kerbs, as I watch the kids in Tallaght play Kick the Can, and the view from beside Pine Forest is just grand.

Sure I leave her too, but I take my city with me, even when I refer to her as s*itty. So it pains me to hear you diss her, never a good word to say, and yet I remember the fun we've had blagging our way into Lillies.

Only to leave the pretention and have a smelly pint in Doyles, before heading home on the nitelink. Don't you remember the Chocolate Mousse cake in Café Metro the day after.

Maybe you're right, I'm a fool and naive, yet I can't help but like who I am, where I'm from.

(Never mind my ramblings, check out the far superior: 'Dublin Made Me' by Donagh Mac Donagh

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Berlin - Dublin - Rome (or: why I like to travel)

Rome. You badly dressed tourists, clogging my streets.
Berlin. Nods at shame, won't you let me move on? It wasn't me anyway.
Dublin. Go away, I don't have time to raise my head from the trough.

Rome. History, culture revered by all, thousands of years later.
Berlin. Bullet holes still in walls. Fallen statues. Symbols of ego razed
Dublin. Colonial art. Hokey Irish f* art. Brave Spire, despised

Berlin. Stop pretending that you know me, I know who I am
Rome. I'm better than you, don't you know who I am?
Dublin. Who am I? Who the f* are you to tell me who I am?

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