Yesterday I went to Glamour Hair & Beauty Salon in Bray and had a hair wash, blow dry and hair cut as well as an eyebrow wax. I was very pleased with the outcome. Everyone there was very friendly as usual and did everything as always with great attention to detail. I usually either get the eyes done or the hair cut (either as a dry cut or occasionally with the wash and blow dry) but yesterday it was the first time I did the three in the one day and I thought I would share the result of the three together. Recently I had my hair dyed with Clairol Nice ‘N Easy Black 2 by my wonderful sister Sharon who did a great job so everything I think beauty-wise has come together well for the moment.
I’m heading down the country back to my hometown in Meath this weekend which is an annual trip to the blessing of the graves where my father and other relations are buried in the graveyard. My little dog is buried close by too so I’m going to visit his resting place as well.
Today I placed a religious Guardian angel medal at the memorial site of a young man who sadly lost his life in tragic circumstances on May 9th in Bray. His name was Krzysztof Rudnicki and he was a 33-year-old homeless man originally from Poland. The medal was placed there to honour his memory from me, my mum and my sister. We didn’t know him well but we had met him quite a few times when giving change. I always remember that he would say ‘God bless you’ when you would give change to him. Even thought I didn’t know him well he seemed like a nice person. Mostly we used to meet him outside Supervalu where he used to sit a lot and sometimes sitting near where his memorial is situated.
It is very sad. Very surreal too. He was born in 1985. I’m only a few years younger and it is just so heartbreaking. These things just shouldn’t happen. There needs to be so much more did for homeless people by people with the power and the finances to do so. We shouldn’t leave people in situations where they are in all sorts of danger.
My condolences are with all his loved ones at this time. Krzysztof Rudnicki, rest in peace.
On Monday night my sister and I had a lovely night out at the Bray Arts night where the launch took place of the Bray Arts Journal. It is the second volume of the new journal. My story Wedding Bells was in it which was great. 🙂
On the night, there was also a very interesting talk about the Theatre Royal entitled Theatre Royal Remembered by Conor Doyle and Mairin O’Donovan, who sang at the Theatre Royal, was accompanied for a few performances by Retrofix. It was a very entertaining night.
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.
On Monday the 7th of December the Bray Arts show took place in The Martello. My sister and I were at the event and it was a very special night because the Bray Arts journal’s launch for its first issue following its hiatus took place and my story At Last was one of the pieces included in the issue.
The journal was launched by writer Catherine Brophy, Artist James Devlin and the new editor of the journal Michael O’Reilly. Following the launch, entertainment was provided by painter and sculptor Paul Flynn, quartet The 4 Piece Suite and fiddle player Ger Doyle. A raffle took place in aid of the charity The Five Loaves and there was also Christmas stands with items such as jewelry and home skincare available to buy. Also everyone got a complimentary mulled wine for the Christmas period.
It was a great night and an honour to have my story published in a journal which has a long, prestigious history in Bray.
I was recently at a great art exhibition in Bray with my sister. It was held in the Cornerstone Church of the Well in Bray and was the 18th annual art exhibition by Bray Churches Together. Organised by one of the artists whose work was on display Peter Growney, the exhibition displayed a host of stunning pieces showing the immense talent there is via numerous wonderfully crafted pieces such as the acrylic beauty of Stripes, The Boxer and Colours of Autumn by Avril Stanley, the fun of It’s Magic, Disappearing Magic and Magic Stars by Ann Hardigan, the realism and colour of Ray Cranley’s Bray Seafront 1950s, In The Dargle and The Turkish Baths Bray and the originality of Peter Growney’s Scene From Kilcoole to Wicklow, Candy Kiosks and Bray Bandstand. Further highlights included Paul Carroll’s work with Blue Eyed Girl and The Fisherman’s First Love, David Walsh’s Dunlaoghaire Yacht 1, 2 and 3 on print, David Fitzgerald’s Chris’s Chalice and Taylor Swift, Jean Poutch’s Powerscourt River Walk, Grafton Street and London Side Street and Meave Spotswood’s Blue Jug, Badgers and Resting. These were the highlights for me but to be honest you couldn’t look anywhere without seeing stunning work and been really happy that there is so much amazing creativity and talent out there. There was no bad paintings. Brilliant exhibition.
I had been saying for a while that I would go to the Bray Arts Night which is on every month here in Bray and this month myself and my sister went along to enjoy the night and enjoy the night we most certainly did! It was a fabulous night of photography, music and the spoken word. It was all amazing and I felt rather at home like it was a haven for nerdy, expressive types. I almost wanted to join them on stage!
Everyone was so talented. There was a brilliant photographer called Aoife Hester who displayed wonderful photographs of Bray Seafront and pics of Cavan which reminded me and Shar of our days living in the country, The Circle Sessions who had blues, indie rock, comedy music, thought-provoking poetry and some Shakespeare, amazing belly dancing from The Zoryanna and the night was ended with the wonderful opera and jazz instrumentals combined with the stunning vocals of Aran McMahon of Bella Notte Euro Jazz.
It was an amazing night of entertainment in the Martello and the bar was behind us all night. That was quite fab too! 🙂
Recently artist Carmel Benson’s art exhibition entitled, “How to be a Child?” ran at The Mermaid in Bray, Wicklow from the 18th of July to the 7th of September. I was lucky enough to get to see it in it’s duration. Me and my sister went to see it.
Benson is originally from Wexford but in 1999 the artist, who graduated from University College Dublin (UCD) and later majored in painting and printmaking in Dun Laoghaire College of Art and Design, moved to Roundwood in Wicklow.
Benson’s latest pieces deal with a recurring theme in her work, that of childhood. This particular exhibition centres around the 1950s in Ireland when the “Catechism” was a vital book in Catholic childrens’ lives. A book that brought fear and oppression to the child if they were sensitive to it. There is also many male words in the collection which represent the inequality between men and women. In Benson’s collection these males are restraining the threatening women while Benson’s Sheela-na-Gig motif is her reaction to the world that shaped her. A world which was dominated by the Church and filled fear and remorse in its people. I love the concept of the collection but I found that the collection fell somewhere in-between. Some of I loved, like Crouching Sheelagh and my sis loved that one too, but there was others I wasn’t as crazy about.
But for it’s message and concept and in terms of pictures especially the Crouching Sheelagh it is an exhibition that needs to be seen so if you get a chance at some stage in the future somewhere else I would advise you to check it out! 🙂
The Gathering and Man Booker Prize winner for 2007, Irish author Anne Enright was at Bray Library on Friday to celebrate Culture Night and me and my sis Shar went along to see her.
Anne Enright on Bray seafront.
The woman who works in the library introduced her and she was reading some of her next-to-be-released book entitled, “The Green Road” and I can say that it is really good, not that it would be anything else with her writing talents. She also read a short story she wrote called, “Until The Girl Died”. That was really good. Then there was a question and answer session from the crowd which turned up. It was a good amount in the crowd. She seemed a really nice woman and spoke about how she reads her stories aloud to her husband, Martin Murphy, the director of the Pavilion Theatre in Dún Laoghaire. They have lived in Bray for a while but Enright said how they will be moving not too far away soon. She said how the buyers were in the house at the moment so that’s why she had to borrow a copy of the book. She also spoke about not knowing where her ideas come from and the research she had done for her new book.
It was a lovely night out and all the best to Anne with her new book! 🙂
I recently went to The Mermaid in Bray with my mum and sis to see the box office smash Cavalry starring Irish legendary actor Brendan Gleeson as Father James Lavelle. The theatre is a lovely little theatre. Very intimate and cosy. My mum has always been a huge Brendan Gleeson fan and Gleeson never disappoints in his various diverse roles in cinema and this particular role was no exception to that rule as he played the kind priest who is on the verge of paying for the sins of the bad priests in the Church.
The writing by John Michael McDonagh was really superb. If you live in Ireland you see so many films where people have the same respect as years ago for the Church and that simply isn’t an authentic reflection of everyone in Irish society nowadays. What McDonagh done superbly (and rather bravely really) was to write the various different reactions to the Church and priests from people who have faith to people who despise the Church and the views of everyone inbetween. The characters are so well-rounded, even the more minor characters in the film and the movie really is a bit of a masterpiece. It shows the complexity of people and how not everybody is as black-and-white as they appear. You get worried when there is the level of hype which surrounds a movie like the hype surrounding Cavalry but it definitely lives up to it’s hype. The scenery of Sligo also looks absolutely beautiful throughout the movie and Patrick Cassidy’s music is very emotive. I also must mention the scene with Brendan and his gorgeous son Domhnall Gleeson when the priest goes in to see Domhnall’s character serial killer and cannibalist Freddie Joyce. They play it really well. It was a bit surreal but they played it really well.
It’s a family affair in Cavalry!
My personal favourite characters were Milo Herlihy played by Love/Hate’s Killian Scott, Leo played by Owen Sharpe and of course Bruno the dog. Done in a comedy way, the character of Milo’s shyness and fear of not finding someone is played out. It is a way a lot of people feel but isn’t always addressed in film. Leo just makes me laugh. He is really brash and funny but an interesting element which is touched upon through his face when talking to the priest while playing pool is that he may not be as happy as he pretends which is true of a lot of people who pretend that everything is Ok all the time. Then there’s Bruno who is just such a sweetheart. I absolutely love dogs and he’s such a dote and so loyal to Father James. I love him! 🙂
Father James with Bruno and his daughter in the movie!
The film is a stunning piece of writing with many characters you can identify with or if not many you know someone like while Brendan Gleeson takes on the protagonist with gusto and gives an amazing performance proving why he has been at the top of his game in the acting world for so long. The rest of the cast are also amazing in their various roles as well whether they are playing a major part or a smaller role in the production. This movie proves that Irish acting, writing and film in general is alive and well and ready to take on anyone at their craft.