Monday, April 18, 2016

Courteous Canadians


A friend of mine recently told me about his experiences working in a call centre in India. As most of us know, the centres set up sections to look like the country they deal with - posters, maps etc - and one works in a particular country. My friend worked in Canada and he said it was such a pleasant experience despite the fact people were annoyed and having problems with their service. In fact, they tended to apologise for complaining! Well done, Canada. Contrary to that, I'm afraid, was the experience of his friends who worked in the American section. (Sorry, America but this is a true story.) They suffered constant stress from the abusive nature of the calls they received. Now perhaps Americans might think this makes Canadians push-overs. But, you know, people give you better service when you treat them like human beings.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Beannachtaí Lá Fhéile Phádraig!


A few photos from the St. Patrick's Day parade in Bray today. Have to say it was the best I've ever seen and there was a huge turnout of spectators. It was the Mermaid Art Centre who gave us the gorgeous costumes of iced buns, girls in pink and the piano key twirlers. The other photo is my mum and me. Mum is the one on the right! Jaze, we look like sisters. At 92, she's definitely ageing better than me ( yes I spelled ageing right, that's the European version). It was a great day, cool but sunny. As is tradition, all the family met on the corner of Florence Road and Main Street to enjoy the parade and then we retired to mum's house for Irish coffees, snacks, chats and a singalong. My niece Elise was a star singing "The Foggy Dew" and accompanying herself on the guitar. Her mum, my sister Lorraine, made the Irish coffees. My daughter Finn is still in the West but will be home Monday for a few days, hurrah.

Monday, March 07, 2016

Cancer Must be a Lonely Disease


Or is it just me? I've been undergoing tests at my doctor's request due to some early warning signs and the fact that one of my sisters had it (but she's all right now, hurrah). I've mentioned the situation, along with references to hospital visits, MRIs and what not to family and various friends and the degree to which they've either made a vague enquiry promptly forgotten or have totally ignored the news is astonishing. Except the sister who had it, of course, who immediately skyped me to find out what was what. Is that it? Except for those who have had it, are people so terrified by the Big C that they simply cannot countenance the very thought of it and go immediately into denial? Well I hope that's it ... as opposed to me being surrounded by people who could care less!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Anti-Water Protest Dublin February 20


So here's me (frizzy blonde) setting off with my sister Geni, her husband Paddy, my brother-in-law James and his daughter Elise for the last big march against water charges and austerity before the election next week. And the second pic shows Sharon Briggs, running for the People Before Profit party in my riding in Bray. She'll be getting my number 1. We were about an hour at the Garden of Remembrance waiting for the thousands to come down Parnell Square. The numbers were amazing. I couldn't see the beginning ahead of me nor the end behind me. When we turned at Christ Church and headed for Dame Street we could see down the side streets to where thousands more were marching who hadn't reached the turn yet! A fantastic feeling of democracy in action. I felt I was back in the 70s when people knew they could influence the ruling elites. I couldn't believe the Irish Times reporting "several thousand" attended. Why do the media need to lie? Or is it simply that they are so lazy they don't even investigate and just repeat what the powers-that-be tell them. I knew the Irish Independent is nothing more than a mouthpiece for its owner Denis O'Brien but I've now lost all respect for the IT as well.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Annegret Soltau


When I was researching the history of collage for my Art & Design course, I came across this amazing German artist. Her work can be unsettling in the best kind of way, i.e. art that gives you a shake and makes you wake up and think! She's a feminist - so am I, it's not a dirty word, nothing new with the haters both male and female (have never understood the latter, as they enjoy the benefits of feminism while objecting to it). One day I will travel to see an exhibition of hers. Something new added to the bucket list. Meanwhile wasn't I surprised to discover that Braque and Picasso were the first two to use collage and contrary to my initial opinion that it's a pretty useless chocolate box kiddie art form it has had a long and respectable history challenging elite high art establishments, governments and other power structures, fashion, conventional art forms and so on. Okay, now I'm interested.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

So About That List


Re blog post below. Finn reminded me the character's name was Dolores. She was a hoot. And here it is Tuesday and I have ticked off everything on the list except cleaning the shelves. That can wait until painting. I'm amazed at how much I did get done on Sunday - cheers Dolores! - with just the emails left for yesterday and today. Now I'm going to take a well deserved rest and watch Cinema Paradiso which a school chum lent to me.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Getting Things Done


Remember that hilarious character in Dead Like Me whom the main girl stayed with for a time? I think she was her supervisor at work. She had a blog or website that showed her "getting things done" each day. Her followers shared her delight as each item got ticked off. So, here's my list for today: 1) tidy house to stop it sliding into irredeemable chaos 2) wash bookshelves which have been emptied of books - now lying all over floors of living room and kitchen and trailing up the stairs, hence #1 - to prepare for PAINTING nxt week 3) shop for groceries & buy lined pad for #4 4) ***read over producer's contract for film deal of The Hunter's Moon and make notes for skype with agent's lawyer tomorrow*** 5) make carrot and ginger soup for lunch at skule tomorrow 6) email Jampa Ling Tibetan Buddhist Centre about volunteer work for Work Weekend coming up in April 7) email - en espanol - Asociaciones de Amigos del Camino de Santiago en Espana to tell them I cannot make the training session in April (flight too expensive) and request to go a week early in summer to train in the albergue in which I would be volunteering as an hospitalera 8) email photos of Zen Buddhist Retreat I did yesterday to Luisne Spirituality Centre for their newsletter (volunteer there too) 9) email the Pushkin Trust in Northern Ireland about the days I will be presenting writing workshops to school children in Baronscourt, Co. Tyrone. I think that's all of it. Helps to list it. Better get my skates on. I need a clone. :6