Tuesday Tune: Somewhere to Go by Sue Rynhart

I’m posting this like Tuesday Tune is going to become a thing on my blog. It might but I make no promises.

Sue Rynhart released this video at the end of 2014. Perfect timing (as you would expect from a musician) for her album Crossings to be among the Ticket Awards 2014 nominations as jazz album of the year. I hadn’t even considered the album as jazz until that moment. Featuring only Rynhart’s enthralling voice accompanied by Dan Bodwell on double bass the music on her debut album is, as Bernard CLarke of Lyric FM describes it, “unclassifiable.” Rynhart and Bodwell can be heard live as part of Kaleidoscope Night on 4th February, details to be announced.

Yes, yes I know I should have posted this at the time to help with the popular vote but pre-Christmas was crackers busy. I know Sue for a number of years as she has worked with my sister Abigail on a number of projects.

The whole album is worth a listen and don’t let The Ticket’s genre-pushing put you off!

Review: Charolais, when a cow brought a tear to my eye

Charolais Photo by Sally Anne Kelly

I’m making a concrete effort this year to get to more shows in The Dublin Fringe Festival. Maybe I’m trying to make good on last year’s (yes 2013’s) resolution to see more theatre. I am the cultural bulimic that I may or may not have spoken about during my undergrad viva voce.

Wow, that sentence is full of hot air.

That sentence couldn’t be less like the lunchtime play I attended in Bewley’s last Sunday. Charolais is full of shit. And muck. And blood. Cows. Jeeps. Kitchen tables. In other words, very down to earth, realistic. It’s a one woman show about a love triangle between a woman, her man and his cow with a little bit of his mother thrown in for good measure. Hilarious (guffawing out loud hilarious) and moving, this Show in a Bag is technically excellent as well: minimal set and lighting are augmented by extremely clever but simple costume and hair changes. Written and performed by Noni Stapleton and directed by Bairbre Uí Chaoimh the site for this drama is very much Stapleton’s body, rather than any particular stage, which she uses to great effect. This in itself is a metaphor for the action of the play which is occurring in the bodies of the main character, Siobhán, and her farmer lad’s Charolais, who are both living that which is many females’ most physically dramatic experience: pregnancy.

Charolais Photo by Sally Anne Kelly
Charolais Photo by Sally Anne Kelly

It doesn’t escape my attention that the last play I reviewed was also situated in the drama of the female body and while Charolais is no less dramatic than Between Water and Trees, it is likely a far more accessible production. Interesting though that two productions that I have attended almost by accident have focused on this topic.

If you fancy a lunch time or tea time pick me up this week (check Fringe site for times) get yourself along to this most excellent and original production.

Buíochas le mo chomrádaí ollscoile a roghnaigh an dráma íontach seo dúinn. Go raibh maith agat agus ná ligimid chomh fada arís é!

Ironically this awaited me on my return home:

Roast beef
Roast beef

Next up I hope to see Eating Seals and Seagulls’ Eggs which I understand examines, amongst other things, our relationship with the most hated woman in Irish History: Peig Sayers.

Photo credit: Sally Anne Kelly

All the fun of the feirm

By the end of the month the majority of the family will have spent some time on a farm. If we were in an episode of the late lamented House the team would have great fun trying to work out which one of us had been exposed to badger.

The elder Nippers are both going to farms on their turasanna scoile. Nipper 2.0 has spent the day today on Glenroe Farm and his verdict is “Awesome!” His favourite part was “touching the guinea pig and the rabbit”. What more could a boy ask for?

Nipper 1.0 will be heading to Greenan Maze. We actually visited this farm last August and I only hope Nipper 1.0 has better luck with the weather this time.

And I spent an extremely pleasant morning last Saturday on Ballindrum Farm in Athy, Co. Kildare thanks to the good folks (Amanda and Gina) in Avonmore. Why you might ask? I wondered that myself. Could it be I am now considered a tweeter of some influence? It certainly not due to my blogging efforts. I suspect it might be because I’m a mum that converses with other mums online much to The Meyler’s chagrin.

Why question these things? Never look a gift cow in the mouth I say and off I took myself with a lovely gang of pop culture and food bloggers (Okay I probably fall right in the middle of those two groups. Lovely to meet and make the reacquaintance of @backpedalling @thisispopbaby @ModernFarmette

@likemamuse2bake @Smorgasblog @cakeinthcountry

@ismiseadam @Culch_ie @PopCultMonster

@mushypea007  @anthonymcg)

The raw material #peakfreshIt was a fascinating and filling morning. We were fed like kings and queens by Mary Gorman, entertained by the golden voiced Joseph Gorman (Mark my words- that kid will be a star!) and then Vincent Gorman showed us around the farm. Despite the inclement weather it was beautiful. How lucky we are in Ireland to have such luscious gorgeousness never more than an hour away. That very lusciousness (read rain), we were told, is a major contributing factor in the production of Ireland’s delicious milk. But even Vincent said you can have too much of a good thing (read rain). I have been on dairy farms before but it was really fascinating to see how technological and traceable the farming is. The farming practiced by the Gorman’s is good for the cows, good for the land and ultimately good for the consumer of their dairy products. The farm was spotless and everything was in its place.

5 day old calf @juleser #peakfreshWell nearly everything… Vincent did admit that for all their watchful care of their cows that a few months previously there had been some shenanigans among the youngsters of the herd and well, nature took its course. This meant we got to see some super cute calves though so no complaints from us!

All the Bó lined up for judging #peakfreshWe rounded off the day with some Make and Do – always a big hit with me and I think our friends in Avonmore were surprised by how seriously we all took this part of the day! I took it embarrassingly seriously. Basically Avonmore are running an online competition to celebrate the fact that one million glasses of milk are drunk in Ireland a day. (Yes! One MILLION! A DAY!) In order to encourage me to write about this they sent me (along with my invitation to the farm) a litre of milk, a glass and a kit to make my very own Bó.

My finished Bó #peakfresh #bocomp I didn't win. The guy who got someone else to knit a hat did. I'm not bitter...Now I have to say I was a little dubious about this but after seeing the way those bloggers got stuck in I’m thinking those Avonmore ladies have their heads screwed on! It’s perfect timing with the summer holidays rolling in and the appalling weather with it. You can get your own kit and find out how to enter the competition over on the PeakFresh website. You will even see my little entry over there (I did mention I took it a little seriously) If it keeps your kids half as quiet as those bloggers then you are onto a winner.

So yes this post may be proudly sponsored by Avonmore and based on what I heard and saw on Saturday I have no qualms recommending Avonmore products to you. Will I be purchasing Avonmore products myself from now on? Well with a 50c difference in price between this and the Irish produced own brand in our local supermarket, four 2 litres of milk, adjusting for holidays, means a €100.00 saving per year. Economics trumps warm fuzzy feelings every time. Sorry Avonmore.

An tÉan Cuideáin a Shaoradh as an nGaráiste

This is my article for the March edition of Beo!  where I write about how the internet can bring people together in real life too. This includes bringing crafters together to create a hyperbolic crochet reef which will be on display in The Science Gallery from March until June.

Is cuimhin liom blianta ó shin gur léirigh mo dhearthair a mhíshásamh leis an idirlíon, ag rá faoin mbealach a dtaispeántaí sna meáin é: “Cén fáth go léirítear i gcónaí é le daoine i mbun gníomhaíochta? Ag léimt san aeir? Le cuma ridirí rollercoaster orthu? Ag baint taitnimh as an saol amuigh faoin aer?” Déanta na firínne, dar leis, is i seomraí beaga sa dorchadas a tharla na miongníomhartha a bhain leis an saol seo ar líne. Téacs aimrid don chuid is mó a bhí i gceist san idirlíon ag an am, le corrphictiúr, chun triomacht an fhásaigh a éascú agus a bheochan.

Bhí an ceart aige, nó, cuid de. Ach le borradh faoi ríomhairí cumhachta, fóin chliste, banda leathan ag druidim ar uileláithreacht agus leis na meáin sóisialta, tá ré an geek sa gharáiste thart. Rinne mé cur síos cúpla mhí ó shin ar Foursquare, cluiche chun líonra sóisialta a ligean do dhaoine stádas agus pointí a bhailiú de réir mar a thugann siad cuairt ar ionaid éagsúla timpeall a gcathrach. (Agus ritheann sé liom anois gur dhéan mé glan dearmad mo phointí a bhailiú do Centra is mé ag ceannach an nuachtáin ar maidin!)


Tá suíomh eile anois ar fáil ar a dtugtar Plancast. Ligeann an suíomh seo duit do chuid pleananna a chraoladh leo siúd a bhfuil síntiús glactha le do phróifíl, nó le haon duine a bhreathnaíonn ar do phróifíl. Tá neart Éireannach á úsáid cheana féin ag roinnt eolais faoi chomhdhálacha, léachtaí, ceolchoirmeacha agus faoi imeachtaí sóisialta. Tarraingeoidh neart de na himeachtaí seo geek ar bith amach as an ngaráiste!

Ar ndóigh, seo feidhm amháin de chuid Facebook a oibríonn thar barr freisin. Ligeann Facebook don úsáideoir imeachtaí a chruthú, idir phríobháideach agus phoiblí go hiomlán. Toisc bunús galrach Facebook, is féidir aíonna a bhailiú gan stró do chuile imeacht a fhad is a ligeann tú do na haíonna an imeacht a roinnt lena ngréasáin féin. Más mian leat, is más fiú é, is féidir fógra a cheannach ar an líonra seo chun an imeacht a fhógairt díreach leo siúd a bhfuil spéis acu ina leithéid. Is féidir costas ticéid nó dhó a chaitheamh ar fhógra thar thréimhse ama agus srian iomlán a choinneáil ar an mbuiséad. Is féidir imeachtaí ceoil a fhógairt ar Last.fm freisin agus iad a roinnt thar ghréasáin sóisialta eile.

Eventbrite agus Event Elephant

Is ag caint faoi thicéid a dhíol, tá neart feidhmeanna gréasáin ar fáil a ligean don eagraí ticéid a dhíol nó a scaipeadh. Tá úsáid bainte agam féin as Eventbrite cheana agus tá sé an-chumhachtach. Ligeann an feidhmchlár gréasáin seo don eagraí imeachtaí gach eolas faoin imeacht a chur ar fáil in aon áit amháin le URL saincheaptha, léarscáil agus eolas úsáideach eile. Tá córas slán íocaíochta ar fáil agus gearrann Eventbrite céatadán beag ar gach ticéad a dhíoltar. Is féidir r-phost meabhracháin a chur chucu siúd a chláraigh agus is féidir an imeacht a roinnt thar líonraí sóisialta eile agus ar shuíomhanna gréasáin le cód leabaithe curtha ar fáil don eagraí. Tá an comhlacht Event Elephant ag soláthar seirbhíse cosúil leis seo agus tá oifig acu anseo in Éirinn. Is fiú tacú leo mar sin, má tá siad ag fostú daoine abhus! Ní féidir liom Event Elephant a mholadh bealach amháin nó bealach eile, tharla nár bhain mé triail as an tseirbhís go fóill.

Nuair atá cibé imeacht gur spéis leat faoi lán seol is féidir eolas faoin imeacht a roinnt ar an bpointe trí théacs, griangraif agus fís sruthaithe ag úsáid na líonraí gréasáin Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Pix.ie agus Qik faoi seach. Nuair atá an imeacht thart roinntear an t-ábhar seo is a léirmheasanna ar na líonraí sóisialta arís is ar bhlaganna, suíomhanna léirmheasa agus ar na líonraí sóisialta. Léann daoine eile faoi agus tosnaíonn an ciorcal ag casadh thart arís.

An Chróise

Bealach amháin i mo shaol féin ar tháinig an teicneolaíocht agus an saol réadúil lena chéile ná trí crochet. Thosaigh mé an chróise arís i ndáiríre timpeall 5 bliana ó shin nuair a bhí mé ag téarnamh tar éis aipindicítis. Úsáidim Google Alerts chun eolas a bhailiú faoi áiseanna cróise ar líne. Leanaim cúpla ceardaí trí mo Reader agus ar Twitter. Tá an-spreagadh le fáil do chách ar líne, is cuma más é cróise, nó madraí, nó cócaireacht an t-ábhar spéise atá acu. Tá dreamanna ar Facebook, líonraí ar Ning, liostaí ar Twitter, físeanna foghlamtha ar YouTube, VideoJug, ailt mínithe ar Wikihow is ar uile.

Thuig mé i 2008 go raibh níos mó ag baint leis an scil nuair a léigh mé sa Times Online faoi matamaiticeoir ón Laitvia, Daina Taimina, a bhí ag úsáid a scileanna cróise “to create a model of hyperbolic space”. De réir an ailt seo, ní raibh aon bhealach eile ach tríd an gcróise chun samhail mar seo a chruthú.  Chonaic mé fís de Margaret Wertheim ag caint ag TED anuraidh, 2009, faoin mbealach ar bhain sise úsáid as cróise chun deilbh agus fás coiréil a thaispeáint. Spreag an obair is an chaint seo daoine fud fad na cruinne. Is féidir breathnú ar líne ar Sceir Choiréil déanta as Cróise Hipeairbóileach a rinne dream as Sydney na hAstráile. Tá siad á húsáid chun aird a tharraingt ar na bagairtí ar scéir choiréil na hAstráile. Ach is meafair é don chomhshaol atá faoi bhagairt agus scileanna atá faoi bhagairt ar ndóigh. Tá roinnt físeanna ar YouTube den Chróise Hipeairbóileach seo, chomh maith le patrún, le fáil ar líne freisin.

sceir choiréil á cruthú anseo in Éirinn faoi láthair a bheidh le feiceáil sa Science Gallery i dteannta leis an sceir idirnáisiúnta ó 20 Márta go 28 Bealtaine: cuir r-phost chuig info@sciencegallery.com le tuilleadh eolais a fháil nó páirt a ghlacadh i gcruthú na sceire.  Beidh Margaret Wertheim í féin ag caint ag TEDx Dublin sa Science Gallery 12 Márta is beidh ticéid ar fáil ón gcéad lá Márta.
Ná habair nár tharraing an t-idirlíon an t-éan cuideáin amach as an ngaráiste riamh!

Foursquare na gCearnóg

This is the article I wrote for the January edition of the Irish online magazine Beo! all about the newly arrived Foursquare. I go on to discuss the business opportunities Foursquare and other social sites offer the canny business person. I also reveal that I asked the Foursquare team to create a Fainne badge for venues where Irish can be seen or spoken.

Chuala mé faoi Foursquare ar dtús ó chara liom ar Twitter. Is Meiriceánach í a dhéanann an-chuid taistil ina cuid oibre le comhlacht mór idirnáisiúnta teicneolaíochta – nach méanar di!

Thug mé faoi deara giolc áthais uaithi lá amháin ag rá go raibh Foursquare tagtha go Baile Átha Cliath. Ba leor a háthas chun m’fhiosracht a mhúscailt agus thug mé cuairt ar an suíomh ag glacadh síntiús in aisce is ag cur tús le mo rannpháirtíocht i gcluiche idirnáisiúnta. Bhí taithí ag mo chara ar an tseirbhís seo toisc go mbíonn sí ag taisteal agus i ngeall ar chairde a bheith aici ar fud na cruinne atá ag úsáid na seirbhíse seo ina gcathracha féin.

Is líonra sóisialta atá ann go bunúsach. Scríobhtar teachtaireachtaí gairide mar théacs nó ó fheidhmchlár iPhone, Android, nó is féidir suíomh soghluaiste Foursquare a úsáid ar aon ghuthán le brabhsálaí air (m.sh. Blackberry nó Nokia.) Níl mórán idir na teachtaireachtaí seo agus stádas a thabhairt aníos cothrom le dáta ar Twitter, nó ar Facebook, le difríocht tábhachtach amháin: láithreacht an úsáideora. Tá an líonra seo locbhunaithe agus is é bunús an líonra ná nodanna a fhágáil faoi áit, bíodh an áit sin poiblí nó priobháideach. Is féidir le Foursquare láithreacht an úsáideora a aithint tríd an gcóras suite domhanda ar an bhfón, ball a bhfuil sé nó sí. Tairgíonn sé ionaid sa chóngar, nó is féidir áit nua a chur leis an mbunachar.


Cén fáth go mbacfá leis? Tá dhá shiocair mhaithe leis. Faightear pointí gach uair a dhéantar “check-in” agus faightear suaitheantais éagsúla fá choinne éachtanna ar leith (trí ionaid in aon oíche amháin, don chéad “check-in”, srl.) An dara fáth ná faigheann tú eolas faoi áiteanna gar duit ó do líonra féin (daoine a bhfuil aithne agat orthu agus muinín agat astu) agus uaireanta déanann na gnólachtaí sa timpeall in aice leat tairiscintí speisialta d’úsáideoirí Fourquare. Is féidir líonra a chothú ag úsáid líonraí seasta cosúil le Twitter nó Facebook nó teagmhálacha Gmail is do chairde ansin atá ar Foursquare a tharraingt isteach i do líonra gan stró. Is féidir le do chuid teachtaireachtaí Foursquare a roinnt ar na líonraí sin gan stró.

Mar seo é, bhí mé amuigh fá choinne dinnéir tamall ó shin i mbialann i mBaile Átha Cliath. Bialann ardnósach a bhí ann agus bhí an bia is an tseirbhís den chéad scoth ann. Thug mé cuairt ar an leithreas, áfach, agus bhí deistín orm fáil amach ar an gcead dul síos nach raibh ach doras amháin idir an leithreas agus an chuid eile den bialann, rud atá mídleathach i mbialann phoiblí in Éirinn, mar is eol dom. Ach mar a tharla, ba chuid de club príobháideach a bhí sa bhialann seo (agus sin scéal eile nach bhfuil ach baint bheag aige le teicneolaíocht!) agus b’fhéidir mar sin, nach mbainfeadh na rialacha céanna leis. Ach an rud a chur casadh aigne amach is amach orm ná go raibh an clár cáise fágtha díreach taobh amuigh den leithreas céanna. Múisc! Sin an nod a d’fhág mé ar Foursquare faoin mbialann sin: ná triail an clár cáise! Sin an saghas eolais a bheadh uaimse faoi bhialann. Mar gheall ar Foursquare, tá neart nodanna agam i mo phóca ó mo chairde faoi na háiteanna is fearr fá choinne radhairc, itheadh le páistí, tairiscintí speisialta, pionta, caife agus ar ndóigh na háiteanna nó na seirbhísí gur chóir dom a sheachaint!

Gradam a Bhaint Amach

Luaigh mé go mbíonn gach úsáideoir in ann suaitheantas ar leith a bhuachaint agus ceann díobh is ea ‘Méaracht’. Má thugann tú cuairt níos mó ná aon duine eile taobh istigh de dhá mhí ar an áit chéanna, déanfar Méara asat. Is Méara mé den chaife is gaire do m’oifig, fágaim. Bíonn iomaíocht idir imreoirí méaracht a fháil ar áiteanna ar leith ar ndóigh. Faoi láthair, níl ann ach iomaíocht ar son stádais ar leith, ach tharla rud domsa le déanaí a d’oscail mo shúile i leith feidhm ghnó Foursquare. Bhí mé in Ukiyo, bialann seapáineach i lár na cathrach agus tharraing mé amach Foursquare chun nod a fhágáil i leith a “Nojito”, leagan de dheoch ghlan de Mojito a bhí an-bhlasta go deo. Nuair a bhí an obair bheag seo ar siúl agam, mhol Foursquare dom cuairt a thabhairt ar theach tabhairne sa chomharsain, áit a bhfaigheadh an méara is cara, leis nó léi, deoch saor in aisce!

Tá bealach le gabháil ag gnólachtaí Éireannacha i leith na féidearachtaí a thairgíonn an t-idirlíon dóibh, na líonraí sóisialta go háirithe, ach mholfainn d’aon chomhlacht súil a choinneáil ar leithéid Foursquare, RateMyArea.com, WhoseView.com, nó ar Loudervoice.com, nó ar aon suíomh eile a ligean d’úsáideoirí ábhar a scríobh faoina seirbhísí nó faoina gcuid tairgí. Glac leis na léirmheasanna mar aiseolas custaiméara agus tabhair faoin aiseolas (.i. faigh áit éigin eile fá choinne an cháis!). Más féidir, tabharfar duaisín ar son moltaí nó dílseacht cosúil leis an teach tábhairne sin i mBaile Átha Cliath.

Ar Son na Duaise

Fáiltíonn Foursquare roimh mholtaí i leith suatheantais fá choinne cathracha ar leith.

Mhol mé dóibh mar sin, suaitheantas go bhfaighfeadh úsáideoirí ‘Fáinne’ nuair a fhreastalaíonn siad ar áiteanna ina bhfuil Gaeilge infheicthe (m.sh. Tesco, Waterstones srl.) deich n-uaire nó níos mó, nó nuair a fhreastalaíonn siad ar áiteanna inar féidir Gaeilge a úsáid níos mó ná trí uaire (m.sh. Club an Chonartha, siopaí nó gnólachtaí inar féidir gnó a dhéanamh trí Ghaeilge, comhlachtaí stáit cosúil le hOifig na bPasanna srl.). Cuirfidh an suaitheantas seo i gcuimhne do dhaoine a gcuid Gaeilge a úsáid nó, ar a laghad, tarraingeoidh sé a n-aird ar an rud go bhfuil Gaeilge le feiceáil sa timpeall. Mar a tharlaíonn sé, sin é misean Foursquare: daoine a ghríosadh chun aithne a chur ar a gceantar agus ar a dtimpeallacht, rud a luíonn go dílis le misean gluaiseacht na Gaeilge.