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.

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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.

The Irish Problem

There’s a problem in Ireland and it’s been going on for centuries. It’s not the rain, or the alcohol, the leprechauns or even the occasional famines we’ve been known to have.
The Irish problem is emigration, we’ve been coming and going for 10,000 years or so. After the great famine the population halfed, a quarter died and a quarter left, in times of recession (which seem to happen often) many people would leave to find work overseas, and since 2008 it’s been going on again.

My grandmother came to Ireland from The Niger Republic, as did my great grandmother 30 years later. My grandfather was born in Wales to Irish parents, moved around a lot before settling in the south of Ireland. My mother was sent across the sea to go to school in Meath at 5. My father came to Dublin when he was 18 to go to college and met my mother there. When my brother was born they moved around a lot, across two continents and several countries.

I come from a family of emigrants and immigrants, so it probably shouldn’t be too surprising that when I was 17 and found myself with no decent job prospects and no qualifications (Due to home education) in a world where to get into third level education you desperately need qualifications, I left. I was and still am the first of my group of friends to leave, but almost everyone I know knows someone who has left. Two of my friends seem set to go to college in Wales or Scotland in the next year or two, and who knows what’ll happen when everyone starts to finish up college and look for jobs.

There’s this interesting thing where you are simultaneously an emigrant and an immigrant with the particular issues that come up for both of those. The tiny cultural differences that suddenly become so massive, the huge amounts of homesickness. People make horrible comments about immigrants sometimes, occasionally in a semi friendly banter, more often when someone forgets that I wasn’t born here. A couple of weeks ago a billboard went up around the corner from where I live. it was from UKIP (The UK Independence Party, a group primarily made up of close-minded dickheads) saying “Stop Open-Door Immigration, enough is enough”. It’s pretty damn demoralising to walk past that every day. On the other hand, when I was in college there was a running “joke” about the “Damn Irish, coming to our country, taking our jobs and our women” which became hilarious when everyone realised I had in fact done just that.

I get overly excited when I meet someone from Ireland, joyfully chatting about where we’re both from and who (if anyone) we know in common. According to my girlfriend, sometimes I get grumpy, morose and patriotic if I’m away from home too long. I occasionally freak out about living in a country with a monarchy.And when I finally do go home I want to jump around and hug everyone.

I guess what I’m tying to talk about here are the difficulties of emigration on a personal level, it’s different for everyone who leaves, depending on the whys and the hows. It was hard for me, it wasn’t a decision I had a lot of time to think about. From conception to actually moving I had about 2 weeks in total. I was going to a town I didn’t know, in a country I didn’t belong in, a college course I knew next to nothing about and to lodge with a woman I had never met. But I had family nearby (An aunt and my brother living quite close) and more support than a lot of people who have to leave their birthplaces.

People ask me is England home now, and the answer is that it isn’t, Ireland is home, for always and ever. I want to go home one day be it in a year or ten, because it’s where I belong.

And I’m going to end it here, because I’m not sure what else to say right now, though I’ll probably write more on the subject soon.

A post-script. I was originally going to name this post “The Irish Curse” until I realised that that is slang for an Irish man with a smaller than average penis. Whelp, there goes that title!

Another post-script. The UKIP board round the corner has been replaced by an ad for Sainsbury’s Apple Pie, much more palatable!

What I Have in My Purse- An Onlookers Potential Character Study

Today is the 19th of April 2013.

My purse is quite large, and floral patterned. Very worn. The brand name on it is Fat Face. It was a Christmas present last year. I’ve attached my keys onto the zip, and therefore have my house key, my work key, a dirty rainbow ribbon, a ring with a blue stone and a key tag shaped like Ireland.

Inside it I have-

8 Advice Slips from ATMs.Five receipts from Oxfam and WH Smith.

3 Bus tickets.

A library receipt of someone else’s loans.

2 airmail stickers

Three first Class stamps with Doctors nine to Eleven on them.

two 87p stamps (The amount it takes to post a letter to Ireland).

A sticker with my name on it.

Two “Fighting Animal Testing” badges.

€1.21

£1.92

A hair grip

A small wire coil (Not a contraceptive).

A card with information of Asthma attacks and what to do if I have one.

A card for the local gym

Gloucester County Libraries card.

A Blockbuster Card.

A card with contact details for my bank.

Co-operative bank debit card.

Santander bank debit card.

Wagamama’s discount card.

An out of date student card from when I was still in formal education.

My Co-operative membership card.

A tiny drawing of a poké-ball with the words “Pikachu- I Choose You!”.

A torn list of my favourite songs from when I was 15.

A drawing of the Cheshire cat by Zoe

An Astérix sticker from a small boy.

A note from a second hand book saying “Enjoy Your Summer”.

A secret challenge from college.

one handwritten and three printed love poems by people I have never/will never meet.

Two love poems by someone I have.

A purple piece of card with stuff about Sagittarians on it.

A childhood photo.

A picture from Rock Paper Cynic.

Two receipts from pharmacy weighing scales, six months apart, one with a quote from Sandman written across the back.

An attempt at keeping to a budget.

Attempts At Playwriting

This is an open letter to anyone who is out there and reading this.
I am in the process of trying to come up with ideas for a play. I don’t have much of a plot yet, but I know I want it to be based in traditional fairy tales but with an emphasis on self esteem and body image. Because this is a fairly big project I would love to hear from other people about self esteem and their experiences with body image.
So if you want to help me with this please leave a comment and/or email me at theladyssanctuary@gmail.com.

I’ll probably write more about this when I can.

Thanks a million!
xx