Help The Halloween Party

Hallowe'en

Everyone dressed up to go around the houses to collect for the Hallowe’en party. We started knocking on doors as soon as it got dark. We never had fancy costumes like children today. We’d put on old coats from the hot press in the boxroom and put ashes on our faces from the fireplace. Whoever was first upstairs got to wear mammys wig. The rest of us just pulled on any old hat we found.
‘Help the Hallowe’en party’ we’d all shout , pushing and shoving each other to get up front to get the good stuff when the doors were opened.
We never got sweets or lollies. Just apples, oranges,nuts or bananas.No such thing as trick or treat; Sure we were lucky to get a monkey nut from some of them.
I remember knocking on one door and saying”help the hallow e’en party’ and the woman said.’Sorry love, we had our party last night’. An hour later her kids were knocking on our door.
‘Help the Hallowe’en party’ they said. ‘Ah we had our party last night too’ I said. ‘ Ma gave out to me for that. ‘God love them ‘ she said when I told her.’Their poor Mammy obviously hadn’t the money to buy a bit of fruit.’ She went out and called them back and gave them some monkey nuts and a few apples and oranges. They were delighted. I felt bad then for being mean.
When we’d collected enough goodies we’d go over to the bonfire for the ‘party’. Some of the really brave kids went down to the old graveyard at the bottom of the lane. I never went. I heard that the lost souls came back for children at Hallowe’en. This was the only day of the year that they could return from ‘the other side’. My friend said she saw the banshee sitting on the wall of the graveyard. I didn’t believe her. Sure she was afraid of her own shadow and wouldn’t come near the graveyard with us any day, never mind on Hallowe’en.

For dinner we always had colcannon. Potatoes mashed up with kale and onions.Mammy would wrap up a thruppeny bit in greaseproof paper and put it in the colcannon. Whoever found it was lucky for the rest of the year. I thought it was lucky enough just to get the thrupenny bit.
When she made the barm brack she put in an old ring and who ever found it was next to be married.
We loved to get the ring, even though we were too young to get married.
Da said if you could peel an apple in one go and threw the skin over your shoulder it would show you the initial of the person you’d marry. We believed him. He always peeled it in one go and when he threw it, he always got the letter ‘C’. Mammys’ name is Christina.
I loved the games we played after we came in from knocking on doors and watching the bonfire . Da put apples in a basin of water and we had to try to take a bite of the apple with our hands behind our back. The water always went up my nose and I thought I was drowning…in 2 inches of water! I preferred when he hung the apple from the ceiling on a piece of string. He’d swing the apple back and forth and we had to try take a bite without using our hands to steady the apple. There was an awful lot of banging of heads as we all jostled to get the apple.
Before bed, we’d gather around the fire in candle light and tell ghost stories. Shadows flickered on the wall as we told tales of the headless horseman riding up the driveway to Johnstown House or the wailing of the banshee combing her long black hair as she forewarned the impending death of some family member.
‘The headless horseman is outside waiting to bring you down to the graveyard’, Ger would shout in from the boys bedroom after we all went to bed.’No, it’s the banshee looking for her comb back’,Peter would laugh.Then they’d scratch on the door and make ‘woooooh’ noises and rattle the chains off their bikes. Da would come up and give out yards to them, but they thought it was hilarious to hear us screaming. My sister said that Hallow e’en was the Devils birthday and if you looked in the mirror at midnight you’d see him looking back at you and it meant you were going to die. We always covered the mirror in our bedroom with a sheet until morning…just in case.

Hallow e’en these days is completely different to when I was small. The kids ring doorbells wearing costumes that wouldn’t be out of place in the movies; Batman, Superwoman, Princess Lea, Dracula,Wicked witches and even the odd Freddie Krueger. There’s not a sign of an aul coat or chimney soot to be seen as they  shout ‘Trick or Treat,trick or treat, give us something good to eat’. They hold out bulging Lidls bags full of sweets and chocolate waiting for you to pile in more goodies. You daren’t give them a banana or an apple for fear they’d throw it back at you.

Some things never change though. They still love a good old ghost story when they come home eventually with their swag and munch their way through their goody bags,even if said ghost story is on Netflix.

As for me… I’m off to put a sheet over my mirror ….there’s some scary shit in there of a morning before I put my face on… and I’m not just talking about Hallow e’en   :p

 

walking dead

 

 

 

 

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The Cap Awards 2017

carolann cap awards

 

 

The winners of The Cap Awards 2017 were announced last Wednesday evening at The Teachers Club on Parnell Square.

The Carousel Aware Prize for Independent Authors is the brainchild of Carolann Copland of Carousel Creates who is herself an independently published author.

Carolann set up the awards in 2015 with the intention of encouraging independent authors and also to help raise awareness of mental health by donating all submission fees for the competition to the mental health and support organisation Aware.

Gerry O’Brien from Aware spoke to us about the organisation and its aim to educate and empower people to take care of their mental health.

Aoife Copland gave us a beautiful rendition of the Christina Aguilera son ‘You are Beautiful’ such an apt song for the night that was in it , after her sister Katy Ana Copland spoke so bravely on the night about her own personal experience with depression and the fantastic support she has always received from Aware; proving that yes indeed they are indeed beautiful.

I can say without hesitation that the second year of The Cap Awards proved to be a resounding success for all involved, and as Carolann said on the night “The standard of entries was so high, the judges had a very difficult task in choosing the winners”

The judges this year were:

Best Junior Book: Benji Bennett

Best Young Adult Book: Claire Hennessy

Best anthology: Tanya Farrelly and David Butler

Best Non Fiction: Tony Canavan

Best Novel: Louise Phillips

But the winners were indeed chosen and prizes were presented to each winner by the judge in their category.

 

Prizes were awarded in five categories and are as follows :

 

Best Junior Book:  The worms that saved the world by Kevin Doyle and Spark Deeley

Best Young Adult Book: My Life as a Bench by Jaq Hazell

Best Anthologies Book: Circle and Square by Platform One writers and friends, edited by Eileen Casey

Best Non Fiction Book: Pedal the Planet by Breifne Early

Best Novel: Lady Beth by Caroline E. Farrell

Both Easons and Dubray Books who both sponsored the awards will stock the winning books in their stores nationwide.

cap trophy

The beautiful trophies were provided by Dubray Books.

 

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Brangelina soup

soup

Brad and Ange have split

Are we meant to give a shit?

Breaking news they say

They’ve gone their separate ways

In Syria they drop bombs

Making new orphans for Ange

In Dublin all the talking

Is about the imposed walking

The bus strike keeps us on our toes

Worn shoe leather our biggest woes

In other news, here’s the scoop

Today I made leek and potato soup.

 

 

 

 

 

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Easter 1916 – Commemorative Edition

I’m so delighted to be part of this Easter 1916 commemorative edition of Live Encounters Poetry. Well done to all at Platform One Writers Group. Great writing and a wonderful publication 😉

Platform One Writers

Live EncountersLive Encounters Poetry – Reading The Lines Easter 1916 Commemorative Edition

“The idea behind Reading The Lines derives from William Butler Yeats’ Easter 1916. Poets  were invited to choose a line from this iconic work which resonated for them, either culturally, politically or historically. The chosen line was then given a new lease of poetic life, forming a transitional bridge from the now of 2016 to a century ago and the events which led up to or followed on from Ireland becoming a Republic.”
Eileen Casey, Irish Poet and Writer

Click here to connect to Live Encounters where you can read or download this beautiful publication for free!
Live Encounters Platform One Writers Easter

Editor of Live Encounters, Mark Ulyseas, has served time in advertising as copywriter and creative director selling people things they didn’t need, a ghost writer for some years, columnist of a newspaper, a freelance journalist and photographer. In 2009 he created Live Encounters Magazine, in Bali, Indonesia. It…

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Zippedy doo da

Z (1)

 

Zippedy- doo- da-zippedy-A

I can’t believe it’s the very last day

My blogging challenge has come to an end

I won’t even begin to pretend

That it has been easy, that it wasn’t a chore

Some days it was actually quite a bore

To tell you the truth it was a challenge alright

Coming up with ideas of what to write

Most days I was stumped, I hadn’t a clue

What to write, but I eventually came through

Now the end is here and I’m feeling sad

I thought I would be feeling so glad

I hope you enjoyed my AtoZ  journey

I couldn’t have done it without yer one Bernie

I’m not sure if I can do this again

Two blogs a day just hurts my brain

So farewell for now, don’t shed a tear

I’m sure I’ll be back, so,see you next year!  🙂

 

blog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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You don’t bring me flowers

Y (1)

 

Dedicated to Bobby from Janine

(Shoving Connie around the green)

 

I never brought you flowers

Or a get well card

After your operation

As you lay in a hospital ward

I do feel very guilty

As you’ve always been there for me

On Mondays when I set up class

For my little Drama Beans

At Christmas you are always here

When you dress up as Santa

You make us laugh at your silly jokes

And your everyday banter

You know you always cheer me up

When we sing our songs

Even though you haven’t a clue

You get all the words wrong

‘You never brought me flowers’ you said

‘You know they’re cheap in Dealz’

‘No one buys them for me either’ I said

‘So I know exactly how you feel’

But Bobby I will promise you

When you are dead and gone

I’ll buy you those flowers in Dealz

You know the plastic ones?

I’ll drape your cross with rosary beads

Your resting place I’ll mark

I’ll make sure that they’re solar

So they’ll glow in the dark

Although the flowers wont be fresh

They’ll  survive all weathers

And like my memories for you

They will last forever

plastic roses

 

 

 

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X Factor

X (1)

 

Sharon dreamed of being a star

Singing songs, playing guitar

Supported by her backing crew

She’d strut her stuff in The O2

People would stare in the street

Fans would weep at her feet

Beyoncé would be her best mate

Bieber would pester her for dates

She’d have stylists and her own private chef

For Shazza there’d be nothing but the best

Her family knew there would be disaster

When she applied for the X Factor

Because in spite of all her dreams

Everybody knew it seems

That our Sharon was no Christina

In fact she sang like a hyena

They knew that Simon could be cruel

And Sharon would look like a fool

They tried to stop her, to no avail

And common sense would not prevail

As audition day drew nearer

She practiced in front of her bedroom mirror

Her da tried the direct approach

But Sharon seemed beyond reproach

Even though his words did sting

‘Sharon love you just can’t sing’

She flew to London on a mission

But didn’t get past the first audition

Our superstar wannabe

Never got onto  the T.V.

She came home sad and forlorn

Her hopes of stardom dead and gone

Back at work, pulling lager

No chance of ever meeting GaGa

But though she’ll never be Beyoncé

She’s got good friends and a fiancé

No Sharon will never be a star

But she  still sings and plays guitar

On Stephens green; case by her feet

You can hear her from O’Connell Street

And as far as the Three Arena

‘Cause she still sings like a hyena.

busker

 

 

 

 

 

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Walter Mitty

W (1)

Walter lives an exciting life

And though he has ten kids and a wife

He goes on secret missions, but cannot tell

Sometimes I think his head will swell

With all the compliments he receives

From people that actually believe

His endless fantastic tales

Of killing sharks and saving whales

Once on a very turbulent flight

When  people were screaming in fright

He was the only one to remain calm

And safely brought the Airbus down

The details he did not discuss

Claiming he didn’t want a fuss

A famous actor ( name classified)

He met the night they almost died

Said he looked so dark and moody

He should be really in the movies

So he took lessons for one day

Then got the lead in a major play

What it was, no one knows

As the details he could not disclose

He really has a neck like brass

Setting up his his own drama class

He was injured once on a secret mission

involving heavy ammunition

That’s how he got his limp he said

When he was almost left for dead

But you know that the real story

Isn’t nearly half as gory

He caught his foot in his bicycle pedal

But God knows where he got his bravery medal

Because Walter, our super hero showman

Is none other than our local postman.

 

 

postman

 

 

 

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Vibrator

V (1)

 

If your purse is feeling the pinch

And you fancy more than an inch

Why not head on down to Dealz

You’ll soon find out how it feels

When you bite the bullet, you’ll feel fine

They’re selling vibrators for  €1.49

dealz v

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U.F.C. I won’t dance, don’t ask me

U (1)

I won’t dance, don’t ask me

I am not your monkey

Nor will I act the goat

I wont promote

Is four hundred million not enough?

Just shut the fuck up

No longer will I take the blows

On your ‘Nobody gives a fuck morning shows’

I’m back in training, where I’m remaining

Out of sight, until my next fight

Time to be selfish time for me

And then all the world will see

I am not retired, nor was I fired

I won’t dance, not a chance

 

McG

 

 

 

 

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