Archive for January, 2005

January 31st, 2005


Ahahahahaha! Ahahahaha! Aahahaha!


Yrs sincerely

The Opera Ghost

– (Terry Pratchett, Maskerade)

Hilary has finally started on Terry Pratchett (that only took 6 years of advocacy and whining in my part). And while I can’t say much about Monstrous Regiment – well written single themed book typical of what Pratchett attempts when he tries to tackle social issues and/or trends (c.f. Small Gods, Moving Pictures, The Truth etc) – I can’t say enough good things about Maskerade.

Maskerade is by far my favourite book of the Discworld and involves Music, Witches, Ghosts, Food, Cats, Revenge, Death, Girls in various shapes and various states of undress and of course Murder most foul. So it is, rather obviously, about Opera.

I have the UK Hardback, US Paperback and ISIS Unabridged Audio editions. The audio edition is read by Nigel Planer (Neil from the Young Ones) and is far superior to the abridged verstion, which is read by Tony Robinson. Not necessarily because Planer is a far superior narrator, but mostly because it is unabridged.

While reading Maskerade as a stand alone book is a worthwhile endavour of itself it really comes into its own as part of the Witches Sequence of books: “Wyrd Sisters”, “Witches Abroad”, “Lords and Ladies” then “Maskerade” (even if you don’t read any other books read “Maskerade”) and “Carpe Jugulum” and most recently “The Wee Free Men”and “A Hat Full of Sky”, which are childrens books but also fit in with the whole Witches/Lancre series.

On its own Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg (and Greebo) are more or less introduced in media res as fully mature characters – which is good in itself, but Maskerade is so much funnier when you know how they have developed/evolved in the earlier books. Likewise for Nobby Nobbs and Detritus and even for Agnes/Perdita who is a minor character in “Lords and Ladies”

January 31st, 2005

House Hunting

My brother Mark is starting co-op in Intel in Leixlip next Mon (7th Feb) so I ended up driving up to Dublin/Kildare with him so he could find accomodation.

While Mark is older than me and more than capable of looking after himself; it does kind of sum up our relationship that he had to be driven around to find a place by his younger brother, using his mother’s car. Oh! and it cost me 200 Euros. I’m well used to that now that whenever I see Mark or when he calls me its generally because he wants something – typically help with college and/or money. And even if it starts out as college stuff it invariably ends up as money stuff. The going rate seems to be a min of 50 euros for 5 – 30 mins of time (only until the grant/rent check/whatever comes in). As we spent >10 hrs together on friday I suppose I got off lightly with 200 Euros.

So we drove a bit around Celbridge and Lexlip looking for houses Mark had researched on the Internet. We never got to Maynooth because Mark fixated on Lexlip pretty quickly (to be fair Celbridge was horrible, not that Lexlip is much better. But Intel). Myself and lots of pepole had recommended Maynooth as better to live and so forth but Mark is also incapable of taking unsolicited advice from people. He is quite good at complaining after the fact. I expect that before September I will hear more than once that he feels cheated as he never knew there were alternatives, (Maynooth for example) that are so much trendier and have actual people and real shops and a real town centre, to living in Leixlip.

The 200 Euros was 100 Euros to make up the shortfall in Rent + Deposit for the room he eventually got. Dunno what the other 100 Euros was for.

In the end it was a long day, we saw only three places in 4.5 hrs and Mark ended up in the kind of middle class suburban hell that I would rather remove my spleen with a blunt instrument than live in. But it is only about 2 miles from Intel and about the same from Lexlip village. Which puts it millions of miles from anywhere worthwhile.

January 20th, 2005


Super Smash Monkey House are playing in the Stables on Friday at 8pm.

Its their first gig of the year, hopefully they will have many more.

ssmh rock. allegedly!

January 19th, 2005


We started a new term of yoga classes on Tuesday. As well as myself and Maria; Eoin and Ben and Joanne came along as well. If we can keep adding people like this we should be able to run our own class soon enough.

There seemed to be a large turnover of students from last term – certainly I didn’t see more than 7 or 8 people I recognised from before. The male/female ratio was 8 or 9 out of about 30 as opposed 2 out of 30 last term

From the Limerick Post

ENROLMENTS of the Spring term of Ashtanga Yoga classes at Milford School in Castletroy begin at 5.15pm on Tuesday January 18. Classes will run afterwards from 6pm until 7.30pm.

Different to conventional yoga, which is gentle exercise, Ashtanga Yoga is a dynamic form of this eastern discipline.

According to the yoga instructor, “participants need aerobic fitness, strength and flexibility. Regular practice brings the benefits of an enhanced sense of well-being and energy”.

She added that the ‘asanas’ or postures are designed in a sequence to benefit more than the physical body, requiring deep breathing, relaxed movements and mental concentration.

“Ashtanga Yoga is 99 per cent practice, one per cent theory, and is intense as well as immensely satisfying. It is also a lifelong programme and people should not expect to be able to master it after eight or ten weeks,” she makes clear.

January 18th, 2005

Rip Off Ireland

The bus fare in the city has gone from 1.20 to 1.25. Not a huge jump, but it was done without any prior notice – the last two times the bus fare went up (by 10c each time) there were posters and notices informing people about 2 weeks in advance. Not this time. Maybe 5c is not worth a poster campaign. They did manage to take down all the posters with the old price on them so now when you get a bus you have no idea what the price is.

CIE were granted a 6.5% fare increase from 10/01/04 but when prices did not go up on that date a lot of people seemed to assume they would not go up at all (myself included). Instead we got pounced on this week – one bus driver even had the nerve to complain that not enough people had 5c for the new fare and he was fast running out of change.

Must bring bike into city and get it repaired. In the meantime I shall just use up my penny jar.

January 17th, 2005

Neville has a blog

‘N’ is for Neville, who died of ennui

OK. OK. Its not our Nev, who remains beardless. But at least the tag is correct :-)

January 17th, 2005


My head feels stuffy, but my nose is runny (not very). I’m kinda light headed and a bit lethargic. My throat is dry – but not sore and my stomach is a bit up and down. I’ve got the whole alternately feeling hot and cold thing and my attention span is down a lot (not that anyone would notice)

But none of them are at any kind of debilitating level (yet!). Even taken together they are just at a stage where I am slightly distracted (not too much more so than usual) and so I forgot both my mobile phone and coffee for the lab this morning. And my typing is gone to pieces.

So it could be some pre-flu/cold stuff or it could be a reaction to the varnish fumes permiating the apartment from the shop downstairs. In either case there will plenty of liquids and a dose of aerobics/gym today.

Definitely a kill-or-cure type approach.

January 14th, 2005

Do your wishes come true??

Jamie’s do

January 13th, 2005

Viva El Presidente for Life

We formally constituted the Limerick School of Arms last night, after a year in existence. Now we can get a bank account and apply for tax exemptions and all that stuff.

I am the new Chairman. Ben is Secretary and Jan is Treasurer. David is Youth and Membership Secretary.

Nev remains all round in-charge guy whose role is to actually run the school and bully the committee into doing whatever he wants.

January 11th, 2005

Books and Blogging

While on the subject of blogs and books, here is quite a horrible tale of how Joe got fired from Waterstones in Edinburgh for maintaing a blog. This is beginning to cause a stir in literary and other circles, so hopefully it should be resolved soon.

I don’t think I shall be visiting Waterstones in Edinburgh anytime soon, or in Cork or Dublin for that matter. Nor HMV owner of Waterstones.