Short Story: Chickens On Display

For Easter I have written a short story entitled, Chickens On Display. It’s quite sweet I think and hope you like it. Happy Easter to you all and all your loved ones. 🙂

 

 

I stayed over by the corner. A host of other chickens were over the other side getting acquainted. It seemed so easy for them. I smiled over and watched as a crowd of people gathered outside to look in. Raising an eyebrow I thought how the other chickens probably thought I was distant and now I was on display for all these people to decide I was too. How fun!

Taking some tentative steps I feel a plastic egg against my foot. It is multi-coloured, mostly pink and yellow. Another chicken who I learn is called Susie jokes that she laid it this morning and comes over to engage me in conversation. She is rather beautiful and I am suddenly even more shy than I was before.

“You’re the singing chicken, right?”, she asks.

“I sing a little bit.”, I admit.

“No, you don’t. Lemon, he says he seen you on ChickenTube and you’re not bad apparently. What songs do you sing?”

“I did a cover of Royal Blood’s Little Monster recently …”

“Oh a rock chick, I like it.”

“You like rock music?”

“No, I just like rock chicks Melody.”

I find myself blushing slightly.

“My real name’s not Melody. I’m Kate really.”

“I was so nervous today. You’re used to been on display.”

“Well usually singing. This is not my comfort zone either.”

“We can get through it together then. And maybe go for a coffee down in Chicken Village later if you like.”

“Is that a …”, I begin but trail off.

“Yes. That’s a date.”, she giggles.

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Rogue Angel Wins The Irish Grand National

 

The Mouse Morris trained Rogue Angel became the latest winner of the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse Racetrack today.

Winning at a starting price of 16/1 Ger Fox helped guide Rogue Angel home after leading from the start just holding off the Gordon Elliott trained Bless The Wings ridden by Ruby Walsh who was 12/1.

Third place went to 33/1 shot Ballyadam Approach with fourth going to Folsom Blue, Rogue Angel’s stablemate.

Winning jockey Ger Fox said following his win,

“I’m still pinching myself – I can’t believe it. This is my local track and I’m just trying to take it all in, it’s brilliant. I’ve only ridden him twice and he’s given me a Kerry National and an Irish National. My thanks go to Mouse Morris and Michael and Eddie O’Leary (of Gigginstown House Stud) for giving me the chance on him again. I did what I did in the Kerry National, just jumped out in front and let him do his own thing. He jumped from fence to fence and I think he only made two mistakes on the way round. What he has is guts and when he got headed, he battled back and got back up again. He never gives up. This means the world to me. Rides are getting slim at the moment, so to get something like this should be a great help.”

Mouse Morris paid tribute to his late son Christopher following the win,

“It’s unbelievable. Tiffer (Christopher) was looking down on me today. He helped me there. That’s just special.  I gave Ger no instructions. He knew the horse as he had rode him in Listowel and won a Kerry National on him, so there was no need for instructions. The fourth horse ran a blinder as well and I couldn’t be happier.”

My mum did two horses in the race Rogue Angel and Bless The Wings so it was very exciting in our house. I think she should have did the blog tips earlier! 🙂

Congrats Rogue Angel and all concerned and of course to my mum too! 🙂

My Tips For The Irish Grand National 2016!

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Today’s the day!

The 2016 Irish Grand National takes place today at Fairyhouse Racecourse in Co. Meath with 29 runners going to post for the big race. Below I have compiled my five tips for glory. Good luck everyone! 🙂

Baie Des Iles

Welcome 2016 Raceday - Punchestown Races

The trip will suit Baie Des Iles. A really strong horse with a really good chance of success today.

Folsom Blue

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Folsom Blue is a horse I’ve always liked. Quite underrated but hard-working and has a definite chance in this race.

Thunder And Roses

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You can’t really pass last year’s winner and if this horse did the double it wouldn’t shock me.

Kilford

Kilford Navan 12

This horse has a good chance. There is definite potential of Kilford coming close to glory or possibly even winning the race.

Raz de Maree

Raz De Maree

This horse has always been a good horse and I still believe there’s a lot of talent still present. Raz de Maree could make a winning return today.

 

 

 

First Voice UK Live Show Review: Jordan Gray Steals The Show

 

The first live show of BBC show The Voice UK took place last night and the last ten performed for the first time live following two finalists Chloe Castro (from Team Ricky) and Beth Morris (from Team Paloma) leaving the show. It was a mixed bag of performances but Jordan Gray (from Team Paloma) stole the show with her amazing rendition of Florence & The Machine’s Shake It Off.

Below is my review of live show 1 performance by performance:

Team Will

Lydia Lucy – Somebody Else’s Guy By Jocelyn Brown

Proceedings began with Team Will and the first singer on his team to sing was Lydia Lucy. The song didn’t really suit her. I don’t know if her vocal is very distinctive and personal taste wise I probably prefer singers that you switch on a record and you know it’s them without knowing they have a track out. I don’t know if I find that with Lydia’s vocal which isn’t to say by any means she can’t sing but I think she needs to find a song that makes her stand out more and while I love this song it wasn’t the song to do that.

Lyrickal – Just Like A Child By James Morrison

Lyrickal’s performance wasn’t great vocally but I appreciated that he tried something new that we hadn’t seen him do on the show before. The emotion with which he sang the song was great.

Lauren Lapsley-Browne – Dreamer By Livin’ Joy

It pains me to say it but this didn’t work. The song kind of swallowed Lauren’s vocal up and it didn’t really suit her but she did Ireland proud by getting to the quarter finals. Not everyone can say they got to that stage and we’re very proud of her.

Team Paloma

Heather Cameron-Hayes – Stitches By Shawn Mendes

If Heather had have been on another team last night she probably would have got the fast pass into the semi-final because she was in the top three performances on the night so it was great she got through on the public vote. She sang this song beautifully and her piano playing was stunning too. Oh and the piano and dress co-ordination was quite cool too. She is definitely a dark horse to make the final next week.

Jordan Gray – Shake It Out By Florence & The Machine

Everything was perfect about this performance by Jordan Gray. Her vocals were on point, the staging was incredible and she looked amazing. She’s a natural performer and a true artist and she’s put herself in a great position to win the entire contest after her performance last night.

Team Ricky

Kevin Simms – I’m Kissing You By Des’ree

There is no doubt that Kevin has a great voice but he has sung all ballads throughout the contest so far and last night he did another ballad. He sang it very well but it was very much in his comfort zone. In saying that a singer can sing anything and I’m glad he has the chance to come back next week and show that he can do something different because I believe he is more than capable of doing so.

Jolan Gidney-Craigen – Yes By McAlmont & Butler

Jolan sang Yes by Mc Almont & Butler and he did a really good job on the track. Jolan was definitely in the top three performances on the night and has really set himself up as a contender for voice glory. If it is to be our 3rd male winner in a row I think it might be Jolan who wins.

Team George

Harry Fisher – Space Oddity By David Bowie

This didn’t really work unfortunately. Harry has a great voice but it was a big ask to perform a David Bowie track in the first live show. David had such a storytelling vocal and that was missing so it wasn’t the right song but he is a great singer.

Vangelis Polydorou – Here Comes The Rain Again By Eurythmics

Another huge song for a first live show. It didn’t suit Vangelis’ vocal but I’m glad he has the chance to come back next week because he has had some good performances up to this point.

Cody Frost – Ordinary World By Duran Duran

Cody was really good on the chorus of this song but on the verses her vocal sounded a bit low. It wasn’t her best performance on the show but I’m sure she’ll come back fighting next week in the semi-final because she’s really talented.

 

So basically round 1 goes to Jordan but anything can happen next week which makes everything very exciting! But outside of reviewing performances it has to be said that it is immensely brave of each of the finalists to even go on that stage. Not everyone would have the guts to put themselves out there live on prime time television and that in itself regardless of how a performance goes is incredibly admirable so well done to the ten of them on that! 🙂

Below is the performance by the coaches and the performances by the guest performers Stevie McCrorie and Years & Years.

 

 

‘North Wicklow and The Easter Rising – not a bullet was fired’ Event In Bray Libray

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My sister and I recently went to an event as part of the 1916 events in Bray library. It took place on March 23rd and was entitled, ‘North Wicklow and the Easter Rising – not a bullet was fired’. It was really interesting. Sponsored by County Wicklow Library Service and Bray Cualann Historical Society, many leading figures and less known figures connected to the 1916 Rising were discussed by historian Brian Hughes as well as all the various connections to North Wicklow. There is a great assembly of photographs from the time of the various faces associated with the Rising as well as many of the places in Bray as they were at the time. There was an interesting photograph of two volunteers pretending to be tourists which gives an insight into the dangers people faced at the time if it was discovered that they were volunteers. The Proclamation is also discussed and how you would know the original because they had no letter Es to put in it so they used an F instead and put a bit of tape at the bottom of it. There was also an interesting overview of the times running throughout the talk. I know it was different money back then but my sister and I did have to smile when he said that £1 would get you 600 cigarettes back then.

There is another chance to catch the talk at the Powerscourt Arms Hotel in Enniskerry on Thursday, April 14, at 8.30 p.m.

Jordan Gray Star Magazine Interview (Issue 627)

 

The Voice UK finalist Jordan Gray recently did an interview with Gemma McCartney for British celebrity weekly Star Magazine with photos by Rex/Shutterstock. In her very articulate and at times witty interview the 26-year-old Essex lady, whose stage name is Tall Dark Friend, talks about her girlfriend Heli, why she auditioned for The Voice instead of rival talent contest The X Factor, the reception she has got from the public since appearing on the BBC talent show, what Paloma is like as a mentor, her amazing sense of style and what winning the contest would mean to her.

Talking about her journey on the show so far she said that she didn’t “believe in fate or destiny but it does feel like something quite peculiar is going on in my stars. It’s like I’m in the middle of a Cinderella story.”

On her decision to audition for The Voice over The X Factor she said,

“I’m not naive to the fact that people are curious about transgender. The Voice has integrity, I knew they’d deal with things the right way. I felt like they were going to promote my artistry, not my genitals. At no point have I felt exploited.”

Asked about whether she was worried about how she would be perceived by the public and what the public response to her had been like she said,

“Of course. I’ve been female for two years and it’s my responsibility to be a positive example of a transgender woman and a human being. I thought it (the viewers’ reaction) would be 50/50 good and bad, but it’s been 98.8 per cent positive.”

Speaking about the messages she received from viewers who were confused about their gender she said that there had been “so many!” and added,

“It’s really overwhelming and heartbreaking. I’ve had messages from as far away as South Africa, America, Russia, Bangkok and Australia.”

When asked if her girlfriend Heli is fan of the show she said,

“She doesn’t even have a TV, so this is probably the first thing she’s ever watched. We only got together last year.”

On her style she said that she liked “getting dressed up” but that she isn’t “very glitzy” and continued,

“My style is all over the shop really, but I’d like to be a female Russell Brand.”

On her dream she said,

“As a kid I wanted to be a superhero and I don’t think I’ve ever let go of that. I want to change the world!”

Speaking about her mentor Paloma Faith she said,

“She gives life-changing advice. She said I shouldn’t feel like I have to sing like a woman, because I don’t have a very feminine voice.”

Finally on how she would react if she became the 3rd female winner of The Voice UK and the fifth winner overall she said,

“I would cry. But then I am on 300mg of oestrogen a day!”

Good luck Jordan! 🙂

Poem: Humanity In The Face Of None

Humanity In The Face Of None is a poem I have written about the horrific attacks in Brussels. May everyone who lost their lives rest in peace.

 

More madness,

Will it ever stop?

Yet more lives destroyed,

Yet more tears by loved ones,

Yet more thoughts from others

That it could have been us or someone we love.

Humanity in the face of none,

Compassion in the face of none,

Love in the face of hate.

Rest in peace to all those who died in Belgium.