Archive for April, 2013

Snacks Bygraves

Posted in Food & Drink, Grave News, Sort-of-News on April 22, 2013 by Johnnie

cemetery1

A pleasant cup of tea?  Then I’ll meet you at the cemetery gates.

For a blog with the preoccupations this one has, how pleasant to find that a quaint tea room has opened in the quiet surroundings of Deansgrange Cemetery in South Dublin. In a place I like to visit often, this is a very welcome addition to the local area.

Rumours of “a tea room in the graveyard” has circulated for some time; I’m never sure where these start and how they get around but it was quite enticing. For years I’ve thought it would a great idea – how morbidly jolly, munching themed snacks in the shadow of tombstones, like a kind of permanent Hallowe’en. Then I thought, no, locals might find the notion a little lugubrious. And then I recalled that it’s apparently an Irish tradition to visit cemeteries on Christmas Day to remember departed relatives as part of the celebration – ‘Ho Ho Ho’ indeed.

Here it is, then: a (so far) nameless tea room, in a newly refurbished office building just inside the main cemetery gates.   Continue reading

Advertisements

The overdue burial

Posted in Favourite Publications, Radio, TV, Words on April 21, 2013 by Johnnie

new lifeIn the grand scheme of things, embarking on a Facebook ‘friend’ cull is no big deal. Things change, people move on, acquaintances are fleeting and you’re essentially doing others a favour by ever-so-slightly lightening their burdens. You know the people who don’t ‘like’ anything you say, you know the people who probably ‘hid’ your updates some years ago. Basically, the people who can’t be arsed with you.

All you’re admitting is that, perhaps like your own sad, failed pop career or other youthful crush, clinging on to the past and trying breath life into its sagging, rotting cadaver is a pointless and tragic exercise. You need to move on, break the chains, and rejoice in hearing the Looney Tunes-style whistle as this particularly uncomfortable baggage falls off its cliff edge and moments later makes a satisfyingly distant thud. Continue reading

Trying a medium for sighs

Posted in Strange phenomena on April 4, 2013 by Johnnie

medium rare

I’m being menaced from the other side. Ghosts are haunting my inbox and after my money.

It’s my own fault. In my anxiety to win a silly online prize (the sort of thing Michael Parkinson sends you free if you subscribe to a 50+ life insurance plan), I stupidly said ‘yes’ when asked if I would like a ‘free’ horoscope. Where’s the harm, I thought? If it’s positive, it’ll put an optimistic bounce in my step; if it’s negative, I’ll dismiss it as the workings of a crank.

To be perfectly honest, I can’t remember what it was about, apart from the fact that she said she knew I’d had it tough lately but there was a pot of money around the corner for me. ‘Tara’ (for it was ‘she’, photo of the ‘model’ who represents her below) signed off as my ‘devoted friend’, asssuring me of her utmost attention at all times. Amazing, a ‘free’ fairy godmother, I thought. Then promptly forgot all about it.

But then the menacing started. Continue reading

Marr, Morrissey and the notion that comebacks don’t work

Posted in Grave News, Heroes, Music, Unwanted Comebacks, Words on April 2, 2013 by Johnnie

OMAN_JohnnyMarr_Promo3by4

Last week, as I write, this blog and its beloved went to see Johnny Marr play at that lugubrious Dublin venue, The Academy. For anyone in their 40s who had seen The Smiths in their heyday (i.e. any point in their brief career), it was an extraordinary experience.  Johnny Marr has finally settled back into his skin, reclaiming his role as the guitar hero of a generation and the man behind some of the most delightfully crafted chord sequences ever created. He not only has a fine solo album, The Messenger, out, but he’s now merrily playing some of those old greats like it was the most natural thing in the world.

And really, it should be the most natural thing in the world. They’re 50% his songs.

The ‘surprise’ (and, really, we should have had more faith) is just how natural it is for him to play – and for us to hear.  His former sidekick Morrissey has been playing the same songs on and off for nigh on 20 years, as he was the voice and the melody we had all known and adored on those records. However, it was but a bar or so into Marr’s rendition of ‘Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before’ (the second song of his set) that it becomes obvious what we’ve been missing all these years – hearing those songs played properly. Continue reading