#HurricaneOphelia So the Hurricane hit Ireland. We responded by clearing out Tesco and taking the washing off the line. Now I managed to not pay a vast amount of attention to the news over the weekend and did not actually even know there was a Red Alert in Place until I got to the bus stop. Sometimes you just dont listen to the news and you miss things. Anyway I headed on foot to the city centre and noticed a few interesting things. A lot of shops were closed but one or two restaurants were open. And of course you get those lads who were not going to miss the daily gargle or ten and to hell with the wind. I was in the web cafe by City Hall and I noticed a lad outside rolling a rollie. In the wind. In short sleeves. I think, like me, he was only slightly aware of the weather warning. Then I headed on down to see if by some miracle the library was open. On the way a homeless man asked me for money and followed me down the street when I said no. I darted across the road from him and he called me a miserable old cow. The library was not open so I came back towards the Halfpenny bridge. I saw the metal awning from H samuel Jewellers get bent in half by a pole and decided it might be time to go home. On the way home I saw tourists taking pictures of the rainbow which appeared just over Liberty Hall. I was tempted to tell them this was normal weather for Ireland and the Hurricane had not hit yet. I think I might just have a mean streak.
#HarveyWeinstein I am not vastly astounded by the news that a big name producer in Hollywood can be a letch. I am just surprised by it being this guy. Harvey Weinstein had long had the reputation of being a tough guy to deal with but this whole thing of him letching on actresses did come as a bit of a surprise to the general public. This is how it can be though. Men in power can get away with so much because they are picking on people who do not dare to speak out for fear of never working again. Rose Mcgowan sued him and was given a settlement in secret. She is not even A-list and she stood up for herself. There is much to admire in her. Harvey Weinstein has a lot of power though and there is the danger that he could spin his way out of this as he has done in the past. I just hope that now he is not allowed to do this. Money can be a persuasive thing but guilty is guilty.
#StephenPaddock #LasVegasShootings I can remember as a teenager hearing about the Brenda Spencer shootings. A teenager who had been given a new gun every year since she was a child had just leaned out her upstairs window and started shooting. Singer Bob Geldof heard about the shooting as he was giving an interview and was appalled. He later immortalised her in the song 'I don't like Mondays'. He was at pains to point out that he was not doing this to immortalise her but to pass comment on the whole pointlessness of her explanation as to why she did it. Then yesterday morning the world woke up to the news that there had been a mass shooting on American soil. A man named Stephen Paddock had opened fire at a music gig in Las vegas and taken many many lives. He had a stockpile of guns in his hotel room. When he had finished his horrendous attack, he then took his own life. There are so many questions here. How did he get such a stockpile into his hotel room in the first place? How was a man so clearly mentally ill able to get so many guns in the first place? How is it America does not have the toughest gun laws on Earth, given the long line of nut-jobs who have opened fire on the innocent? I know that the right to bear arms is enshrined in the Constitution but I would have thought that the right to live in safety in your own country would be a bit of a priority for any government. I don't believe that guns have a place in modern society unless they are in the hands of people who have a massive understanding of the fact that they are not to be used unless absolutely nescessary and even then only in the defence of life. I wonder will Trump's government sit up and do something. Successive governments before him seem to have ducked the problem of gun control. Maybe this time things will be different. For America's sake, I hope so.
#HughHeffner So tributes all over the world are being paid to the owner of one of the most successful wank mags ever published. I know he liked to think he was promoting a lifestyle of some kind but really, was he not just an outdated cliche? Hardcore porn has long dominated the Internet and Playboy magazine actually took the decision to go offline a while back. The Playboy mansion had been sold last year with the proviso that he could live there until he died. The Playboy Empire had been, like the mansion,crumbling for some time. I guess I am too young to remember a time when that magazine was actually relevant. I remember it arriving on our shelves after being banned for a long time and I looked at it out of curiosity. I remember thinking that the women looked way too airbrushed and I remember thinking it was a regular tsunami of blondes. Well, Heffner did have a type. Once Fhm and Gq arrived on the scene, starlets and other celebrities did not have to flash the lot to raise their profile. They could wear a clinging dress or a bra/knickers combo and promote themselves as the hottest thing in shoe leather without having to go the soft-core route. Of course there were some blondes who suited the magazine. Pamela Anderson, a woman who once got married in a bikini, posed for Horny Heff a record 11 times. to my mind, she was the living personification of Playboy and she got nicely compensated for this. I wonder did she ever get to a point where she realised she could keep her clothes on if she wanted. Who knows, maybe she is at that point already? Sharon Stone and Kim Basinger also posed for Heff but they were two women who could be said to have self-exploited all the way to the top of the ladder. Kim Basinger actually stated that' the more you show, the higher up the ladder you go'. Madonna was featured in the magazine too and she tried to sue but lost. It was one of the few times in the Material girls career when she could not control an image of herself and she was furious. Personally I thought her complaining drew more attention to the picture and she was badly advised when she sued but it is her life. Hugh Heffner made a career out of telling women it was empowering to get their tits out for the men in every walk of life. I dont care how many good photographers he used, exploitation is wrong. I also remember the time Ozzy Osbourne's daughter said she would like to pose for him and he replied' We don't airbrush to that extent'. This was a nasty thing to say to a young girl and to my mind, she had a lucky escape. I personally would not lose any sleep over the demise of his sordid empire and its exploitative lure. I think young men have long required better role models than this.
#older I swear to you, old age is like a stealth weapon. It just creeps up on you unawares. I turned fifty a month ago and can feel the twinges of age kicking in already. I notice now that I am moisturising twice a day and hiding my neck as much as I can. Not that it is a lined neck or anythng, it is more or less the paranoia of my newly found self-scrutiny that makes me do this. I hate the sight of my own grey hair and will be continually dyeing it to the day I kick the bucket. Go grey,no way. I do not intend to be one of those women who does not mind ageing gracefully. Hell no! I have the most moisturised face outside of a movie star. I still wear Doc Martens and I can just about still get into my black bootcut jeans. It might be pointlessly fighting the inevitable but it makes me feel good. I do find that the one advantage of older age is that you care less and less what people think. Since I turned 50, I have decided to redo two manuscripts and gotten a short story printed and auiitioned for Vikings. So it would seem there is life in me yet. I look to role models like Judi Dench and Helen Mirren who are still out there doing there thing. I hope I am still working when I get to their age. They are both awesome. I do find though that losing weight is harder now. It took me nearly two years to lose 1 and a half stone. It crawled off me, gramme by gramme. I have never downed so much yoghurt and salad in my life. Next time I hear some skinny twentysomething moaning about how their life is tough, I will tell them it stays tough and not only that, everything starts to go south over forty. That ought to cheer them up.
#music I got ripped off a long time ago in the music industry. I think I have moved on from it and then I have my days when I know I have not. So , on one of those days, I decided to write it as a work of fiction. That is the thing about fiction. I literally can put anything I like in there and it can stay. Now here is the thing. If the band recognises themselves, which they will, there is literally nothing they can do about it because they have previously gone on record as stating that they do not know me. This is fine by me. On the night they ripped me off, I realised they had become a four-headed monster. Their manager did not even bother to introduce himself to me until 8 years after the event. But time catches up with us all. They are not what they once were. Their last three albums tanked, a fact that filled me with no end of joy. Have you figured out who they are yet?
#GeorgeHook How is it George Hook still has a job? He actually insinuated that victims need to shoulder some of the responsibility for being on the receiving end of sexual assaults. So now George, I am a bit confused here. Does this mean that you think rapists can then go into into court and say things like ' your Honour,she had the drink taken so it was all all her own fault'. I never thought you were the most enlightened of men but if you are going to be a monumentally stupid dinosaur of a man, can you go and do it somewhere else and stop being a total idiot in public at least? You maintain victims need to take responsibility. Well George, right now you are the one who needs to do more than issue a craven apology. You need to get out of Newstalk altogether. You have already cost them a sponsor. I really can't think of anyone in Ireland who wants to hear another word out of your misogynistic mouth. Do the decent thing and quit.
#music I have a song on Reverbnation called 'All leave is cancelled'. The idea for the song came to me many years ago when I heard about the cancelled leave letters that soldiers have to write home when they are about to go to war. I imagined one of them writing to another soldier in the trenches across no-man's land, telling him he did not like this at all. It is a one-sided letter but I imagine the soldier on the receiving side might have been thinking the same thing. Now I cannot sing really but I recorded a version of it to protect the copyright and uploaded it on here. Eventually it got some hits and got to no 1 in my local section which is Dublin. This is nice to say the least. Some people have told me it is a brilliant song and I am flattered by this. So I logged on today to discover that it has gone to number one nationally on Reverbnation. This is a bit of a shock to tell you the truth. I know it has been having a lot more attention of late due to the fact that my Twitter followers had jumped from 149 to over 900 but I had no idea it was going to get to number 1. It is a bit of a shock to tell you the truth. I wish the person who uploaded it with me and laughed himself silly when he heard me sing could know this but he has gotten out of touch. Ah well. I am delighted all the same.
#BacktoSchool So here we have it. The moment that many have been dreading. The school books are being bought and the shiny new uniform is hanging in the wardrobe. The nights have been getting shorter for a while now and the holidays will be over in a week. I can remember going back to school after the Summer holidays with a mixture of fear and,oddly,relief. I didn't have a happy home life due to my mother being out of her gourd so I would find pretty much any excuse to be outdoors. Towards the end of every Summer I would be running out of excuses to be honest and then the Holidays would be over. The uniform would be purchased. I would be seeing old friends again and this I liked. Of course, along with the old friends, came the old foes. It is amazing the things you fall out over when you are a teenager. It could be two girls wearing the same shoes or liking the same fella. It did not matter, a line was drawn and a minor war was declared. Some of these tiny things could escalate into all out war and sides would be taken. I recall some of the girls in 3c did not like me because I had what they deemed to be a 'posh' accent. I had to go to that class for Irish but the teacher took pity on me when she saw the abuse I was getting, put an A on a test paper for me and I was promptly whisked back to the B class. I have forgotten her name but not the nice thing she did for me. School can be a bit of a minefield all right and it is horrible to have to go through your social growing pains in the presence of so many witnesses but such is life. I don't know if they are the best days of your life as some people make out though. I never felt as if I fitted into a classroom environment to be honest but then again I am one of life's late bloomers. I guess back then it was just not my time to shine.
#revenge A long long time ago I had to leave home in a hurry. I was trying to save what was left of my sanity. I was doing a course at the time and some girls I knew on the course had a spare bedroom. They hummed and haad, pretending to drag their feet about me moving in. They were the two most popular girls on the course and everyone thought I was really blessed to be moving in with them. Well, it was not quite a blessing. They both turned out to be two snipey bitches in the end. One of them got together with a guy who was in a long-term relationship and made sure he was never alone with his ex again. The other one was engaged but you would not have thought it by the men she brought home. They laughed at me for not being as loose as them but then again I did not want to be them. There were other things besides that. Food would go missing and I was being told that they were bitching about me behind my back on the course. Then one day they both announced they were off to stay with their boyfriends for the weekend. The weekend passed. Then the week. I asked them when they were coming back as the rent was due. It took another girl in the course to break it to me that they were not coming back as they were rent-free in their fellas houses. I had to break it to the landlord that I did not have the rent. I found a place quickly enough as it was a faster cheaper thing to get a new place in those days. I vowed one day I would get them back for it and I did. I was in the city centre a few years later and there was one of them. She was still with the guy whose relationship she had broken up. They had a child. Now she was unaware that an ex of mine had told me that he had written to me and I was aware someone else had opened the letter. She had disresprected my privacy and left me to pay the rent. She was going to pay. So I started talking to her boyfriend with her standing there grinning. I told him about me being left to pay the rent but it did not seem to move him in any way. Then I told him about her reading my mail. He went quiet. Very quiet.She stood their grinning. She told him it had only been my mail and sure I was 'nobody important'. He asked her if she had ever read his mail. She hung herself with her reply; 'Only the mail from your Mam'. He stood their stone-faced and she did not see the danger. They walked off. I knew I had done damage but it was to be two more years before I found out what it was. I bumped into the other flatmate and she told me that I was a prize bitch and it was all my fault he was gone. It turned out he had been quiet for a few days and then he told her he was going to see his family in Dublin. He got on the train. Normally when he went anywhere he rang her immediately. Four days passed and she realised he was not coming back. She was devastated but karma does happen to us all. Of course I was not a totally hard-hearted bitch. I told the second flatmate to get the Guards to find him. At this point he had been gone two years. I knew even if he was found, he was not coming home. The 2nd flatmate roared at me that the child was fatherless and it was all down to me mentioning the opened mail. I pointed out that I never made her open the mail in the first place. I remembered the way he had looked back at me over his shoulder as they walked away after the mail conversation. She might not have seen the look but I did. He was thinking. She was not good with men who could think for themselves. I do wonder though if they ever did swallow their pride and get the Guards to find him.