Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Between nights...

'The Miser' opened last night (after a batch of extra rehearsal yesterday) - and went really well.

I'm struggling with a cold at the moment: kind of sound like I gargle gravel for breakfast :-) Had to pause during my lines for breath.

Anyhoo, will take some piccies tonight before we start. I just wanted to thank everyone for the texts and emails wishing us well - they were much appreciated XXX

Thursday, December 24, 2009

All is calm, all is bright...

Gorgeous day here: Baltimore is still and quiet, and the sea is like glass.

It's been bizarrely mild - just nippy enough now to light the fire :-) Max and Dubh are calm at last, after getting overexcited about the all-new scents of spiced beef and butter respectively. Speaking of which:

And the Nosey Rosie proof copies are back from the printer (who took a copy home to read to his kids - and they loved it!). Slightly surreal see her all bound - it's been a manic few weeks! Sharon's illustrations came up great, and she was amazing to get the book together in time - well done Sharon!!

Safe travels, for those who are on the road or in the air. Hope Christmas Eve is filled with warmth and joy, and a very merry Christmas X

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

No-one gets out alive

Off I went to drop off some rubbish, took four steps onto the pavement when I realised the glossy sheen to the path was not freshly fallen rain but slick ice. I stood, with two rubbish bags, wobbling, while planning a course of action.

There were several cars up at the top of the hill, setting up bollards to block off the road. A friend pulled up - he was trying this exit rather than the other hilly road coming out of Baltimore (which it turns out, is just as treacherous). 'There's no getting out of the village now,' he declared, turning and retreating home.

And I too retreated, reshuffling my To Do list in the hope that the Road Elves work their magic. For there's another Nosey Rosie road trip planned, and there's venison to collect :-)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Nosey Rosie Road Trip

Quick note before rehearsal, while oven heats to cook frozen pizza (can't wait for all my free time when the Christmas treaty cooking can begin. And the Christmas decorations can be unpacked).

So, today was a Nosey Rosie fiesta: visits to her printer, and stockists of all kinds, and a trip to the Magic Embroiderer Machine, where I watched in awe as garments were transformed into branded NR goods. Very positive feedback throughout. Baby steps :-)

But the roads, oh the roads. Two slides on ice: one coming around a corner as we sailed across the road, swerved, avoided hitting the other side. The other was when we turned down at the top of my road - massive thanks to Paddy the Dub for freeing Sharon Rose and me from our second twirley slide, and well done Sharon for the quick reflexes throughout.

Home. Hungry. Adrenalined up. Dress rehearsal in - oh, half an hour. Just enough time for that pizza...

Friday, December 18, 2009

Meet Nosey Rosie

So, the other writing thing I've been working on is a children's book. It's the brainchild of designer Sharon Rose: about a girl who lives in a sleepy fishing village, who wants to be the greatest detective ever. Our first book is Case 101: The Search for Mr Quackers. Still crime writing, just fewer corpses :-)

Sharon's been illustrating, I've been writing and designing the layout. The book forms part of a major launch of Sharon's range of children's clothing (coming to the RDS in late January - more details as soon as they come in). Oh, and it's one of the Dragon's Den shortlisted ventures. Gulp.

We went out to the local primary school today and read the book to two classes (it's aimed at 5 to 7 year olds). It got a great response, and a zillion clever questions, and they sang us Harry the Hedgehog, and er... Bad Boys.

And the first pre-order was made. Whoo hoo!!

Here's a sneak preview :-)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Yuletide Cheer

Managing to make a dent in my To Do list... I still haven't read a single Christmas dinnerey recipe, but in the meantime, I reckon it's time this New Orleans version of 'Oh Holy Night' got an airing. I probably mentioned in last year [invisible pause while I go and look - aha!]. So it's explained back here. A simply sumptuous arrangement.

[and in case the embed function doesn't make it all the way to facebook, the link is:]

Reading that post from last December, I had totally forgotten about Straight No Chaser - off to listen to them now. Ho ho ho :-)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Breaking news

Kitties unable to contain excitement at being home; may go into fine papier mache production business:-

Friday, December 11, 2009

Road Sense

So, the trip went well. The kitties walked in to their own travelling cage this morning and watched me close the door without so much as a mew.

I, of course, took this as a sign of good things to come.

However, when the cage moved to the car, the yowling commenced. Figuring they'd run out of steam eventually, I set off.

I caved after an hour of solid noise and ever-increasing distress (for most of the hour, I was wishing that someone had invented a feline calpol). And then, I did the potentially most stupid thing ever, and unlocked the cage in the car.

Max settled on the back window and watched traffic for the next four hours (and brought a smile to many a driver); Dubh slept in my lap. A journey of ease and contentment.

I'm conscious that it could have been the most embarrassing death ever: 'Woman dies in car accident; new heights of stupidity scaled'. However, it worked out, and in Dublin the kitties made friends with the kidlets, and all is well.

And now to work...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

pre-trip prep

Okay: oil & tyres checked; all petrolled up.

Gathering things together for Dublin, and trying to get work moved ahead here before I leave. Of course, the attendance of the table quiz tonight is non-negotiable, it being in the lovely Algiers :-) I shall just have to squeeze everything in to the time allotted.

And the kitties - who are acting like they're coked out of it - just knocked over my cup of coffee.
Which I cleaned up.

I think I've gone and made a clean spot.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Home Comfort

Still grey day. Scribbling is going well, and I'm happily planning a weekend in Dublin. And baking something to go with my soup-ey lunch :-)

Ah if only Smellovision had been invented...

Monday, December 7, 2009

Surviving the Fall

Among the myriad weekend activities, I was practicing some calligraphy, and wrote this poem out a few times. And each time, I liked it even more. Slow burn :-)

Falling Stars

Do you remember still the falling stars
that like swift horses through the heavens raced
and suddenly leaped across the hurdles
of our wishes--do you recall? And we
did make so many! For there were countless numbers
of stars: each time we looked above we were
astounded by the swiftness of their daring play,
while in our hearts we felt safe and secure
watching these brilliant bodies disintegrate,
knowing somehow we had survived their fall.

R M Rilke

Friday, December 4, 2009

New Heights

Having spent weeks watching long-legged Max jump to great heights, Dubh has discovered that being on the teenier, lighter side has its advantages. Yes, with the grace of a not-very-graceful thing, she clambers up to the curtain rings and abseils down again.

But at present, they're curled up by the fire, as is only right and proper for felines on a drizzley grey day. So I shall sneak away for an undisturbed clean-a-thon & then a yoga session. Fingers crossed that they don't get curious while I'm all upside-down...

Have a scrumptious weekend :-)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Quire and leaf

Juggling a little this week - a writing tangent materialised out of the blue, of which more, if and when it materialises to the Talking About It stage. And the book typeth on, and the kitties nappeth most beautifully, and a couple of big rehearsals loometh.

While looking at papery things this morning, I came across Peter Callesen. His work has a lovely blend: strong imagery rendered in delicate paper forms; he seems to muse on transitions between real and imagined, earthly and heavenly. His archive - from A4 projects to enormous installations, is well worth a stroll through.

Halfway through

Down the River

Between Angels and Devils (detail)

Nature's Maze (detail)

Birds trying to escape their drawing

And while we're on the subject of paper, here's a book staircase designed by Levitate Architects; you can see more images over at