Ice-cream money

I wished I had an ice-cream;
so I looked in my purse for money
and all I found was myself.

Ticket from pharmacy weighing scales with a quote from Sandman written across the back
one handwritten and three printed love poems by people I never have/never will meet.
A card with information of Asthma attacks and what to do if I have one.
A tiny drawing of a poké-ball with the words “Pikachu- I Choose You!”.
An out of date student card from when I was still in formal education.
A note from a second hand book saying “Enjoy Your Summer”
Three first Class stamps with Doctors nine to Eleven on them.
A purple piece of card with stuff about Sagittarians on it.
A torn list of my favourite songs from when I was 15.
two 87p stamps: good for a letter to Ireland
Five receipts from Oxfam and WH Smith.
A library receipt of someone else’s loans
A card with contact details for my bank.
Two “Fighting Animal Testing” badges.
A small wire coil (Not a contraceptive).
A drawing of the Cheshire cat by Zoe
An Astérix sticker from a small boy.
My Co-operative membership card.
An attempt at keeping to a budget.
A picture from Rock Paper Cynic
Gloucester County Libraries card
A secret challenge from college.
A sticker with my name on it.
Wagamama’s discount card.
Santander bank debit card.
A card for the local gym
A Blockbuster Card.
A childhood photo.
2 airmail stickers
Bus tickets.
A hair grip
£1.92
€1.21

Make Grá The Law

So a month or two ago a friend of mine asked me my reasons for being behind a yes vote, and it’s taken me this long to reply for a number of reasons. One was because the last few months been mad hectic for me, and another was because I honestly can’t think of a reason not to!
I have honestly never thought seriously about getting married someday. Never since I came out six years ago people have asked me if I’d ever get married to another woman and my answer was always “Not until it’s fully legal in Ireland.” and I honestly thought that it wouldn’t come up for years in Ireland even as a thought.

The no side seem to have decided that the way to win this is by focusing on family as the issue. But their idea of family is so so narrow! They insist on making any form of family other than the heterosexual two parent “norm” feel inadequate every time they pass by a poster.

People say marriage is to protect the children of heterosexual couples only, but my parents never got married and I have never been any worse off or less loved for that.
People say that it’s not what God would want but their religion is not my religion so why should it dicate my life? And does he not say love thy neighbour? Are all men not created equal?
People say we must think of the children, but I grew up thinking certain things would never be for me because I was different.
Any time this is discussed in public forums children see, and they will interalise that information.

Because I live in England at the moment I can’t vote in this referendum and if it doesn’t pass I honestly don’t know how I’ll be able to cope knowing that the country I adore doesn’t love me and mine, doesn’t respect us enough to let us marry the people we love.
Please vote yes in the upcoming referendum, if you vote for anyone vote yes for the children of Ireland who will be able to grow up tall knowing they are equal. Vote to prove that Ireland is leaving the past behind.
Make grá the law!

VOTE YES

Make grá the law.

A Song Flung Up to Heaven: Goodbye to Maya Angelou

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” -Maya Angelou

 maya-angelou

Renowned poet and civil rights activist Dr. Maya Angelou was found dead this morning. The award winning author was 86 years old and had apparently been in ill health for some time now.

She’d written numerous plays, film scripts, poetry collections and autobiographies as well as receiving multiple awards and honorary doctorates. She was also a strong-willed civil rights activist and we have lost an incredible woman today. One of my favourite books of hers is called Halleujah! The Welcome Table, a collection of anecdotes and family recipes and it shows how and why despite a traumatic childhood, featuring abuse and racial discrimination, she absorbed the unshakable faith and values of community, family, and a deep love of the arts.

She was elective mute for years following sexual abuse and the subsequent death of that abuser. She had become scared, believing, as she said, “I thought, my voice killed him; I killed that man, because I told his name. And then I thought I would never speak again, because my voice would kill anyone…”. It was during those years discovered her passion for reading and the written word. It was this love that would cause her to become the writer known as “the black woman’s poet laureate”.

In 1981 she became the lifetime Reynolds Professorship of American Studies at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina where she lived until her death. She called herself “a teacher who writes”. Angelou taught a variety of subjects including philosophy, ethics, theology, science, theater, and writing, all of which reflected her interests and passions.
Throughout her life she was not only a writer, she was also a dancer, a fry cook, prostitute, mother, singer, producer, professor and lecturer. She worked closely with Malcom X and Martin Luther King Jr. and in 1993 become the first poet to recite at a presidential inauguration since Robert Frost did in 1961.

She was an inspiration to many, as an author, feminist, teacher, and phenomenal woman. A song has been flung up to Heaven today.

Since I first came across her writing she has been one of my favourite poets. Her words have changed so many lives and touched so many people. And she will be deeply missed. And I will finish this leaving you with my favourite of her poems.

Still I Rise


You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Maya Angelou

Song Century: A W!ld New Project

An up and coming young band from Cork, W!ld, launched a really exciting new project today, Song Century.

I’ve been following W!ld for a fair few years now, back since I first saw them live in ’06 or ’07, though they went by a different name then. I’ve watched three different names, with three different drummers. The line up now has been going since 2010 and consists of brothers Perry and Louis Wild and their long time friend Ben Duffy, all of whom have absolutely fabulous hair (Though it has seen bigger days).

The hints started a week ago, with a song coming out every day on SoundCloud and their new website was unveiled today.It’s a very new and interesting theory, they’ve demoed 100 of their original songs and they want people like YOU to help them with an independently crowd funded democratic album, something that just might be the first of it’s kind.
They want people to donate towards the formal recording and mastering of the album, including hiring session musicians and so on, and in exchange for your money you get ten votes towards which songs will be on the final album!

There’s a full and detailed description of what their plan is on the site, but Perry’s potted version is here.

“We’re trying to raise enough funds to make our debut album. The website is hooked up to paypal and anyone who makes a donation can vote on the 10 songs they like best from our 100 song longlist (there are other rewards as well, CDs and the like).

Once we’ve reached our goal of €15,000 we’ll head into a recording studio and record the 10 songs that got the most votes.   
“But they’ve already been recorded” I hear you cry “Why must they be recorded again?”. Well the truth is, the recordings we have just ain’t good enough. We want to make the best album we possibly can and we feel that to reach the professional standard we’re aiming for, we’re gonna have to spend a bit of money.”

Like other crowd funding websites like Pledgemusic or Kickstarter they have some reward levels and for a minimum of 5 euros you can have a digital download of the finished album. (For more information on the donations go here).

I’m slowly working my way through the hundred songs, some are older ones I know quite well, others are really new and exciting to hear. Some of my favourites so far are Old Friend, (Enduring) Summer Showers, A Wedding Band’s Lament, The Bus I Nearly Caught, Shadow Dancers.

They’ve also got an exciting home page, which if you look at in the right way is almost a hidden object game. How many body parts or detectives can you find? Can you find the hidden message and the answer to it? What is a type of food Ben really enjoys?

There’s not much else to say here that isn’t already on their site, so go over there, take a look, and if you like what you see, please do think about making a donation! To quote my sister (who is dating Perry) “Quick, put out charming posts to everyone you know! http://www.songcenturyproject.com/ Help me achieve my dream of marrying a rockstar!”

Links!

Song Century

The seven Soundcloud releases
There are social network site links available on the Song Century website

Image

The lovely lads, Ben, Perry and Louis.

Bra-Burning and a Horror Story

(Pre-warning. This post tackles difficult subjects, like feminism, bras, and my breasts. If you think that my talking about any of those three things will upset you, don’t read this. Also spiders.)

This is the story of why I burnt my bra, with some observations on feminism.

I have (or rather, past tense had) a really nice bra.It was the first bra I bought after getting my first proper fitting since I was about 13, very comfy, M&S, white with red floral pattern. Not really ‘sexy’, but nice.
I’m going to burn that bra. Much as I’d like to pretend it was a political standpoint, or a personal, low level revolt against the patriarchy, really, truly and honestly, it’s because of spiders.

I don’t know what wave we’re on now, different people have said 3rd to 5th, I’m sure one day we’ll look back and say things like “Ah yes, the second decade on the 21st century, 4th wave feminism turned into 5th, abortion was legalised in Ireland, and women were still not allowed wear the kind of clothes they wanted without harassment.” but right now until it’s a bit clearer, all I can say is that I am firmly, happily and proudly a feminist.
I can vote, and vote for a female candidate, I can own property, I can be in charge of my own money, and in the job where I work at least I am getting paid on the same level as the men. Feminism for me means equality, regardless of any criteria you want to set, sex, gender, sexuality, age, race. There is no reason we should not all have equal rights.

Feminism for me also means support, which is why I never really understood the whole bra burning thing. Ever since I outgrew a B cup I am firmly in the pro-bra corner, they help me do things like jog, or run downstairs without pain and therefore I can’t believe that bras are a evil trick created by men folk to trap and ensnare women’s juicy bits. That’s bollocks.
And yet, with all of this, I am burning my bra.
Because of spiders.
A spider nested in my bra, and hatched a nest of baby spiders in my bra. I didn’t discover this until hours later, after wearing the bra pretty much all day, but when I took it off there were roughly 20 baby spiders crawling all over my chest.
I don’t dislike spiders, but that’s too much. I couldn’t wear that bra anymore.
Purging fire was the only solution.

Recipe: Bailey’s Hot Chocolate

This is my recipe for delicious, simple, alcoholic Bailey’s hot chocolate-

Ingredients
*Boiling water

*Milk Chocolate

*BAILEYS!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Put the chocolate and hot water into a cup, don’t fill it up all the way, mix it until the chocolate has all melted. Then top up with Baileys and enjoy!

You can also add cream, marshmallows or anything else that takes your fancy!

The Night Bus (With Raspberry Upside-down Sponge Recipe)

The Night Bus (Raspberry Upside-down Sponge)

 

 

We had potato salad for lunch the day I finally made up my mind to run away from home. We’d had yet another fight and the fact that all there was for me to eat was slimy potatoes and mayonnaise just tipped me over the edge. I pushed my chair out from the table and walked stiff with anger up to my room.

Everything I’d need was already in my bag so I grabbed it and my hoodie from behind the door. On second thoughts I turned, went to the desk and scribbled a quick note which read simply “This is it.”

She tried to say something to me from the kitchen but anything she said was drowned out by my slamming of the door.

It was November and the rain was bucketing down as I closed the garden gate for the last time. The rain still hadn’t let up at all by the time I reached the bus stop but I felt so liberated and joyful that I just stood there luxuriating in the feeling of having my clothes soaked through and the rain saturating my skin.

After about twenty minutes a bus pulled up and I came to enough to get on it. The driver asked me where I was headed and gave me 50p change from a twenty when I told him I was headed out.  I found two empty seats and collapsed into them, it was only Three PM but it felt much later with the November sun getting ready to go down to behind the clouds.

I must have drifted off for a little because the next thing I remember it was sunset and the clouds had finally lifted. I looked across the unfamiliar landscape as the shadows lengthened and the sun went down. Any tiredness I had felt was gone and I felt almost euphoric. The further we drove the more I felt like a new person. I sat with my chin on my knees and my arms around my legs and watched the towns as we passed through them and looking at the people who got on. The longer we went the stranger the places and the people.

We stopped at the bottom of the kind of drive that leads to a stately home to pick up two strange women, one in blue and white and one in black and green. They paid the bus driver in feathers and broken egg shells. As they passed by me I heard one say to the other “But Joy, how many secrets can you not tell?”

We stopped at a gas station to pick up two old women with loads of shopping bags and a young boy who was hiding three tiny kittens inside his jacket.

I felt more connected to these strange characters as we progressed along our journey; more and more like someone new than the person that I left behind when I left my home.

An old man with ivy growing in his beard, a woman holding a scarf full of stars.

You had to look closer and pay attention to notice the different ones.

A young man with feathers peeking out from under his shirt, a pretty young woman with lots of bags and boxes and a tail poking out under her skirt.

She sat down in the seat next to me. We sat there in silence for a while before she smiled and passed a box to me saying “Are you hungry? Try some of this.”

I opened the tin and took a slice of a gorgeous looking sponge cake with some kind of jam on the top. It tasted divine, soft and sweet. It was the kind of food to fall in love with, it was wooing food. I asked what the jam was and how she got it into the cake, she smiled her little smile again, lent in close to me and whispered the recipe in my ear. I never thought that I’d be seduced on a bus but there I was, being seduced and wooed. When I finally kissed her it was sweet and soft and she tasted faintly of raspberries.

 
 
 
Raspberry Sponge Cake

 

 The key to lightness in this cake is to whisk for the actual times given.

 

3 eggs  1/3 cup sugar  1 cup sugar  1 cup flour  1 tsp baking , raspberries, extra sugar.

 

Raspberry Syrup – Melt the raspberries in a saucepan with a small bit of water, add sugar to taste.

 

Cake method: Separate eggs.  Beat yolks and sugar for 2 mins.  Blend in water.  Whisk until firm and creamy about 10 mins.  Fold in sifted flour and baking powder.  Beat egg whites until they hold a stiff peak, about 3 mins on top speed.  Fold them in very gently. Pour mix into in two greased, floured sandwich tins and then pour the raspberry mixture on top. Bake in a moderately hot oven, Reg. 5, 190oC for about 20 mins.  (9½” tin = 30 mins).

When you take the cakes out turn them upsidedown so the jam faces the top.