Quick review: Between Trees and Water, Dublin Fringe Festival

Between Trees and Water. Photo credit John Allen

I’m sorry I don’t have enough time to do “Between Trees and Water” the justice it deserves but I’m also conscious that time is of the essence if you are to make it to see this compelling production by Painted Bird Productions as part of the Tiger Dublin Fringe Festival. It runs here in Dublin until Sunday with matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 1pm in South Studios on New Row South.

Between Trees and Water. Photo credit John Allen
Between Trees and Water. Photo credit John Allen

Based on a collection of documents relating to an illegal abortion in Cork in 1939 the fabulous ensemble acting of the cast and subtle costume, set and lighting weave an evocative piece of theatre. They capture the dun, smoke-yellowed, enamel and brown bottle ordinariness of the lives shattered by this event. Their repeated use of certain words like “responsibility”, “girl” and “married man” remind you of the morals that brought these people into this parlous state. One sequence where the cast members regard the missing victim is particularly thought-provoking. I was not surprised to read in the programme that the director, Fiona McGeown, had studied at L’ecole de mime corporeal dramatique as the physical realisation of a story bound up with the very physical was enthralling. I could not pick one actor from the cast as I felt that the ensemble work was impressive. I could go on but I’ve run out of time.

Between Trees & Water – Painted Bird Productions from Julie Kelleher on Vimeo.

Go and see it before it’s gone. I’m off to Charolais on Sunday so another review to follow. Special thanks to my good pal Aoife for getting me out of the house and down to this show 🙂

Back to School Banana Porridge Bites

Bake at 180C/ GM4 until golden

Well how did you all cope? We’ve had tears and recriminations but this was from the child heading into Ranga 5. Nipper 3.0 sailed into NaĂ­onĂĄn Bheaga gan strĂł ar bith uirthi. So that’s it all my children are now “in the system” Our job now is feeding and watering and damage limitation (especially as Nipper 2.0 is in communion year.)

I’ve really noticed in the last couple of years, where I have been with them in the afternoons, that the boys EAT ALL THE TIME. I thought this was some sort of gender stereotyping but so far, so true, the older boy in particular. We feed them porridge everyday. They have a full on lunch at school and then come home expecting a meal circa 3pm and then dinner around 7pm. It’s my imagination that is mostly sapped by this experience. How do I feed them, keeping it healthy AND varied. When I experiment one of them is bound to turn their nose up (“Rocket Pesto? I don’t care that you grew, picked and made it yourself, it’s yuck!”) and I tend to fall back on those childhood staples of fish fingers and waffles or baked beans or scrambled eggs on toast. Soup, if I’m careful about its ingredients and consistency can sometimes gain their royal highnesses’ approval. This tomato and courgette soup was a surprising hit. With tomatoes and courgettes in season around about now  I would recommend you give it a whirl.

Not only do my darling children demand lunch they usually expect a dessert with it. I blame the parents. Having a sweet tooth myself I understand the hankering so I was quite happy when I found this recipe for Chewy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies on SkinnyTaste.com. This site is one of my favourite sites for family friendly, health conscious recipes although at times the recipes rely a little too much on products that can only be found in the US.Banana Oatmeal Bites with sultanas

These bites are great and never last jig time in our gaff. They are NOT flapjacks and are a squishy consistency but are a great energy booster on long days when the kids are rushing hither and yon to after school activities. I have substituted the chocolate chips for raisins and they are still delicious so experiment with dried cranberries, blueberries or chopped dried apricot. While I’m not a big fan of what chocolate they are gorgeous with White Chocolate Chips. Here’s the recipe, Europeanised 🙂

Banana Porridge Bites

Makes 12.(So consider making a double batch!)

  • 2 ripe bananas (I always keep a couple of bananas in the freezer for ripe banana recipes)
  • 80g oat flakes
  • 40g chocolate chips (dark, milk or white or a mixture)
  1. Preheat oven to 180C/ GM4.
  2. Mash the ripe bananasLay a sheet of silicon or baking paper on your tray. These do NOT spread so don’t need a huge amount of space between the cookies. Note in the pics below my silicon paper is completely crumpled. This was an excellent tip I picked up from some TV show to stop your paper rolling up and off your baking tray. Works when lining tins too.
  3. Mash your banana and stir in oats and chocolate chips.
  4. Take bite size portions or tablespoons full, create small balls and flatten onto your prepared baking tray.
  5. Pop them in the over for 12 – 15 mins or until golden brown.Mix in the porridge oats and the chocolate chips or raisins
  6. Allow to cool on trays.
  7. Store in an airtight container. I have no idea how long they keep because the Nippers have them shnarfed in no time.

Bake at 180C/ GM4 until golden







The little things bring it: Cannellini Bean and Bacon Soup

Cannelin Bean and Bacon Soup

Serendipity. Sometimes the little things bring it. Rocking up to my local Supervalu to restock after two weeks holidays and finding a new line of Batchelors tinned beans* give me a little blasht of serendipity. You take it where you can get it, right?

I’m all for change but, gosh darn it, I want to be the one making the changes! When my local Superquinn switched to Supervalu I saw a few of my favourite products disappear off the shelves. Admittedly there are some new or expanded ranges but I can no more buy Doves Farm Yeast, for example. I have to schlep all the way to The Hopsack in Rathmines to pick it up. I use this nearly everyday. The range of De Cecco pastas has shrunk to insignificant – no more fusilli or lasagne sheets – but thankfully The Best of Italy in Dunville Avenue, close to the ancestral home, seems to be the importer for this brand and so stocks a dazzling range of my favourite pasta. I’m easily dazzled, folks.

Back to the beans. We were just back from our holidays. I was still in my one pot cooking mode after 2 weeks of Trangia creativity and rooting around my “Get into my mouth” Pinterest board when I came across a link to this beautiful photograph by Rachel Hathaway with accompanying instructions which fitted my mood: comforting, warm (it’s gotten colder), and easy to prepare ahead. I’ve made it three times since and I think I have it now. This is also a hit with the Nippers.

Cannelini Bean and Bacon Soup

Ingredients for Cannelini Bean and Bacon Soup
Ingredients for Cannelini Bean and Bacon Soup


1 tbsp olive oil
125g smoked bacon lardons (I use the Dulano lardons from Lidl, always have a stock of them in the freezer)
1large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, diced
1/2 tbsp Selection chopped fresh herbs, chopped (I use sage and rosemary which taste great with beans and bacon and grow well all year round in Ireland. Do it!)
1tbsp tomato puree
2 cans (400g) canellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 litre chicken stock
1 Parmesan rind (optional)
  1. Heat the oil in your favourite soup pot and, once hot, add the bacon.
  2. Once it’s beginning to render a little add the onion and cook until soft.
  3. Add the garlic and soften but don’t burn and lastly add the carrots and cook for about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the drained and rinsed beans, tomato puree and the herbs.
  5. Cook, stirring, until all the ingredients are evenly mixed.
  6. Lastly add the stock (home made or sure, feck it, from a good quality cube. I like Kallo Just Bouillon Stock Cubes which are low in sodium.)
  7. If you are using the Parmesan rind, add now.
  8. Bring to the boil and simmer for 45 minutes.
  9. Remove Parmesan rind and discard
  10. You can if you like blend some of the soup but I didn’t think it needed it. Some of the cannelini beans will soften into a lovely mush.
  11. Serve with delicious crusty bread (both the aformentioned Hopsack and Best of Italy stock lovely sourdoughs.)
Cannelin Bean and Bacon Soup
Cannellini Bean and Bacon Soup

A couple of notes:

You can, of course, make this with fresh beans correctly prepared.
You may find that smoked bacon makes your soup too salty so do try with an unsmoked variety i.e. chop up some traditional rather than smoked rashers.
Adding a Parmesan rind is a soup tip I got from the Corkonian and I save all my rinds in the freezer for this very purpose. It brings an extra depth to the flavour. Try it!
I’ve tried this recipe with black eyed beans and while this will render the kitchen table very tuneful the cannellini beans really are a must.
* So new, in fact, that they don’t even feature on their own website. You heard it hear first!

Filleann an Feall ar an bhFeallaire

The recent announcement that the Turing Award had been awarded to a team that created “Eugene Goostman” got me thinking for my most recent article for Beo.ie.

Beo.ie is currently seeking the assistance of its readership and supporters of independent minority language media. It is among a raft of Irish Language organisations that have had their funding withdrawn by Foras na Gaeilge in 2014, many of which have since closed their doors including my former place of work, ComhdhĂĄil NĂĄisiĂșnta na Gaeilge which was founded in the 1940s. Beo.ie is a vital part of the international Irish language community media since 2001, allowing Irish Language writers and readers to consider and discuss news and current events in their own language.

‘To conquer the unknown, you must trust.’ Sin an mana a bhĂ­ ar lipĂ©id mo dheoch tae luibhe ar maidin mar spreagadh don lĂĄ amach romham. Ritheann sĂ© liom go mbĂ­onn sĂ© deacair uaireanta, go hĂĄirithe nuair atĂĄ tĂș ag plĂ© leis an idirlĂ­on, an oscailteacht seo a iompar leat i rith an lae.

Samhlaigh go bhfĂ©adfaĂ­ lipĂ©id ar thae luibhe, rud chomh bunĂșsach, ĂĄrsa mar dhea, deacrachtaĂ­ nuĂĄlaithe ĂĄr linne a achoimriĂș i mbeagĂĄn focal. De rĂ©ir Pamela Mayer, saineolaĂ­ aigneolaĂ­ochta agus Ășdar ‘Liespotting’, cloistear idir 10 is 200 brĂ©ag in aghaidh an lae. Tugann sĂ­ “deception epidemic” ar mhĂ©id an mhĂ­-ionracais atĂĄ sa saol comhaimseartha, ach dĂĄ rĂ©ir, is trĂ©ith inbheirthe Ă© sa chine daonna atĂĄ againn Ăł aois an-Ăłg.

Ach le borradh teicneolaĂ­ochta tĂĄ sraithe eile ann: conas gur fĂ©idir linn a bheith muinĂ­neach faoi na mĂ­lte duine atĂĄ inĂĄr gciorcal soisialta anois? Conas is fĂ©idir linn muinĂ­n a bheith againn sna cĂ©adta seirbhĂ­sĂ­ idirlĂ­n a bhfuil sonraĂ­ pearsanta acu fĂșinn? Conas is fĂ©idir linn ĂĄr ngĂĄ don teicneolaĂ­ocht a chomhardĂș le prĂ­obhĂĄideachas agus le sĂĄbhĂĄltacht eolais? TĂĄ caibidil nua, gan chaint ar leabhar nua, ĂĄ dhreachtĂș (is athhdreachtĂș) faoi mhothĂș ionannas an duine, cĂșrsaĂ­ muinĂ­ne agus teorainn phearsanta.

DrochscĂ©ala ‘Eugene Goostman’

DĂłibh siĂșd a bhfuil deacrachtaĂ­ muinĂ­ne acu cheana, dĂ©arfainn gur chuir an nuacht is dĂ©anaĂ­ faoi Dhuais Turing soir in iomlĂĄn iad. FĂłgraĂ­odh an mhĂ­ seo chugainn gur bhuaigh scata forbrĂłirĂ­ an duais chĂĄiliĂșil seo toisc gur chreid nĂ­os mĂł nĂĄ aon trian de mheitheal moltĂłirĂ­ go raibh siad ag plĂ© le Eugene Goostman, buachaill de trĂ­ dĂ©ag Ăłn UcrĂĄin in ionad a bheith i mbun cumarsĂĄide le clĂĄr rĂ­omhaire. BunaĂ­odh an duais in onĂłir Alan Turing a scrĂ­obh faoi mheaisĂ­nĂ­ machnaimh in 1950 is a chur an cheist:

“Are there imaginable digital computers which would do well in the imitation game?”

Is Ă© seo prionsabal fealsĂșnachta bunĂșsach i gcĂșrsaĂ­ intleacht shaorga (IS) atĂĄ fĂłs ĂĄ phlĂ© 60 bliain i ndiaidh bĂĄs Turing.

Ar ndĂłigh tĂĄthar ann nach dtugann mĂłrĂĄn creidiĂșnt dĂĄ leitheid, ag rĂĄ go bhfuil an triail rĂłghairid (5 nĂłimĂ©ad), nĂł gur cleas a bhĂ­ ann pearsa dĂ©agĂłra nach BĂ©arla a phrĂ­omhtheanga a ĂșsĂĄid nĂł nach bhfuil fiĂșntas ar bith lena leithĂ©id de dul chun cinn. LĂ©igh mĂ© cĂĄinteoir amhĂĄin a rinne mĂłrĂĄn de rud gur comhtharlĂșint dochreidte a bhĂ­ ann gur tharla seo ar ĂłcĂĄid comĂłrtha 60 bliain Ăł bhĂĄs Turing.

MĂĄs Ă© todhchaĂ­ Ă©asca a shamhlaigh Arthur C. Clarke i gcathair Diaspar ina ĂșrscĂ©al The City and the Stars atĂĄ uainn is cĂ©im bheag ina threo sin an chĂ©im seo. Samhlaigh mura mbeadh ar na ceadta cĂ©imĂ­ ollscoile tabhairt faoi dhĂ­ol is tacĂș teicneolaĂ­ochta in ionaid glaonna ar fud na cruinne. Samhlaigh go bhfĂ©adfaimĂ­s an obair sin a fhĂĄgĂĄil le IS. NĂ­ bheadh de dhĂ­th ach na forbrĂłirĂ­ agus, cĂ©im ar cĂ©im, bheadh an IS in ann tabhairt faoi fhorbairt na rĂ­omhchlĂĄr freisin. Is Ă© an todhchaĂ­ sin a chuireann eagla orainn is dĂłcha agus a phlĂ©igh Clarke sa leabhar cĂ©anna agus a phlĂ©ann na ceadta scrĂ­bhneoirĂ­ ficsin is fealsĂșnachta i leith IS.

An Neamh Seo Chugainn

Go pearsanta tĂĄimse ag sĂșil leis an lĂĄ nuair is fĂ©idir liom dĂ­riĂș ar cheardanna agus ar na healaĂ­ona, ar rothaĂ­ocht is siĂșl trĂ­ choillte agus cois farraige, ar gach uile leabhar a lĂ©amh sa leabharlann, ar leabhair a chur sa leabharlann mĂ© fĂ©in, ar luĂ­ siar agus a bheith ag samhlĂș dom fĂ©in. TĂĄ mĂ© ag sĂșil leis an lĂĄ nuair nach mbeidh dualgas oibre ar aon duine beo agus an t-aon sprioc a bheas againn nĂĄ spriocanna bunaithe ar spĂ©is in ionad a bheith bunaithe ar bhrabĂșs corporĂĄideach. Ach conas is fĂ©idir linn a dhĂłthain muinĂ­ne a bheith againn i dteicneolaĂ­ocht chun an saol sĂł sin a ghealluint do gach mac is inĂ­on mĂĄthar?

TĂĄimid fĂłs i bhfad uaigh sin go hĂĄirithe nuair a dtuigeann tĂș an comhrac inmheĂĄnach agus an lĂĄmhacĂĄn cĂșl scĂ©ithe a bhaineann le, mar shampla amhĂĄin, OAuth agus OpenID, pĂ©ire creatlach aitheantais atĂĄ in ĂșsĂĄid, nĂł nach bhfuil in ĂșsĂĄid i gceart ag a leithĂ©id Facebook, Microsoft, Google agus Twitter. Ligeann an creatlach seo ĂșsĂĄid frithchuimilte a dhĂ©anamh dĂĄ seirbhĂ­sĂ­ i dteannta le suĂ­omhanna idirlĂ­n eile. Mar shampla, mĂĄs mian leat trĂĄchtaireacht a dhĂ©anamh ar suĂ­omh is fĂ©idir ‘Social sign-in’ a ĂșsĂĄid toisc OAuth. TĂĄ rian coimhlinte le leanĂșint i leith na teicneolaĂ­ochta seo chomh fada siar le 2012 de rĂ©ir mo lĂ©amhsa.

An mhĂ­ seo chaite bhĂ­ an creatlach seo sa nuacht arĂ­s nuair a fĂłgraĂ­odh go ligeann feidhmiĂș an chreatlaigh do shuĂ­omhanna mailĂ­seacha eolas pearsanta a bhailiĂș gan strĂł. Tugadh “Covert Redirect” ar an locht seo. CĂ© nach bhfuil an earrĂĄid seo chomh contĂșirteach is atĂĄ Heartbleed faoinar scrĂ­obh Joseph Steinberg,

“Some might argue that [Heartbleed] is the worst vulnerability found (at least in terms of its potential impact) since commercial traffic began to flow on the Internet.”

Is achrann eile é a chuireann siar céim eile i dtreo saol na bhFlaitheas a bhfuil muid ag dréim leis.

Mar sin is buille eile Ă© seo i gcoinne muinĂ­n i dteicneolaĂ­ocht ach mar a mhĂ­nĂ­onn Matthew J. Schwartz ina alt faoi, nĂ­ hĂ­ an teicneolaĂ­ocht atĂĄ lochtach ach iad siĂșd atĂĄ ĂĄ chur i bhfeidhm:

“Many developers, however, have used implicit flows when they should be using code flows, and many sites have allowed them to do so. (Bradley recently published OAuth guidance for developers about how to employ the right flow techniques.)”

Faoi ScĂĄth an Amhrais

Thosaigh mĂ© ag machnamh mar sin ar an bpriacal atĂĄ inghlactha dĂșinn agus sinn ag plĂ© le teicneolaĂ­ocht. An ligfidh nĂĄdĂșr an chine daonna dĂșinn riamh an chĂ©im mhĂłr chun tosaigh a thĂłgĂĄil a fhad is a bhfuil grifters, is sharks, is con-artists amuigh ansin ag iarraidh feall a imirt orainn? De rĂ©ir an tsaineolaĂ­ slĂĄndĂĄla Bruce Schneier, tĂĄimid ag Ă©irĂ­ nĂ­os drogallaĂ­ in aghaidh contĂșirtĂ­ de rĂ©ir a chĂ©ile toisc ĂĄr n-in-oiriĂșnachta.

When you implement measures to mitigate the effects of the random risks of the world, you’re safer as a result. When you implement measures to reduce the risks from your fellow human beings, the human beings adapt and you get less risk reduction than you’d expect — and you also get more side effects, because we all adapt.