Tag Archive | Irish

Irish ‘Catherine Ryan Howard’ Could Be The 21st Century ‘Agatha Christie’ — Despite Her Focus On Serial Killers.

by Anura Guruge


Click to access my October 2020 post.


As you can see I RAVED about her in October. Let me now confirm that I think she is absolutely bloody brilliant. Over the last few weeks I have finished listening to her “The Nothing Man” & “Distress Signals“. Both are BEYOND good. And the crazy thing is that I am not that much into crime stuff! But, she is quite the writer. I am in awe. I think she is exceptional. A rare talent. I am sure glad I stumbled upon her.

You definitely should check her out. You will NOT regret it.


Related posts:
Search ‘book‘.


by Anura Guruge


‘Lost & Found’ (2019) Irish Movie — Alas NOT Another ‘Waking Ned Devine’.

by Anura Guruge



Click for ‘Amazon Prime Video’ listing.



Click for IMDb.com listing.



There have been quite a few good — and in some cases outstanding — movies that have come out of Ireland. This is NOT one of them! Though billed as such, it is definitely not a comedy and nowhere close to being another ‘Waking Ned Devine‘. And it is also not ‘Crying Game‘ though towards the end I was nearly ready to cry that I had wasted my time watching this tripe.

What drew me to it was the ‘7 interconnected stories‘ pitch. I like that genre and as you must know there have been some very clever and compelling movies of that type. This, alas, is not one of them.

Not a clever movie. Not profound in any aspect. I might even say it was bloody awful.

I did, however, enjoy seeing the trains! Never realized that they had such fancy and large (as in length) trains in Ireland. Also freight trains full of wood. Wow. That was about the highlight.

Do not get me wrong. It might appeal to some. Not I. So, I just wanted to give you a heads up on that. SMILE.

It was FREE. So, all I lost was 90-minutes of my time and some dignity — though I did do 23-minutes of pedaling my stationary bike while watching this. So, it wasn’t time totally wasted.

 


Related posts:
Category ‘Art’.


by Anura Guruge


 

Iconic, British Red & Irish Green Telephone/Telefon Booths/Boxes For Sale.

by Anura Guruge


greenphone

Irish Green from Hammacher Schlemmer for $6,000! Click to access their Webpage.


redbooth

The more famous British red available from multiple sources for 1/2 the price! Click for this listing. Google for many more, including those on eBay.


My interest, as ever, was piqued when I got my usual e-mail ‘alert’ from (dear) Hammacher Schlemmer.

$6,000 seemed a bit stiff. I thought they sold the red ones too. Couldn’t find it on their online catalogue. But easy enough to find them at other places.

Of course I would much rather have a red.

Interesting. The green is cute.


Related posts:
++++ Search ‘Hamm’ for other posts >>>>


by Anura Guruge


Ronan Tynan, The Irish Tenor, In Wolfeboro, NH, Aug. 7, 2015 Was But TOWERING Virtuosity!

.Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail
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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> Glenn Miller Orchestra.
>> Jonathan Edwards & Marina Evans.
>> “Best of Broadway”.
>> BS&T.
>> John Gorka & Cliff Eberhardt.
>> “Devonsquare”
.

>> “Aztec, Two-Step”.
>> “Yellow Brick Road”
— Brilliant!

>> Gordon Lightfoot Concert

++++ Search on ‘Great Waters’ for many other related posts >>>>


Click on any & all pictures to ENLARGE.

Attribution will be enforced with gusto. 







His voice SOARED. It, at times, was primeval. It had the intensity of a lion. You could feel the Viking blood that imbued the Irish centuries ago. Our dear friend, Dianne Monahan, an accomplished singer in her own right (with ‘Clearlakes Chorale‘ for one), who knows her music and her English, called his voice ‘strident’. It sure was that. I loved it. I got to sit in the front row. His high notes make my body tingle. It was sublime. Yes, I know that there were a lot of complaints during the intermission that his voice, amplified, was too loud! Some claimed that the amplification caused it to break up and I heard the word ‘saturated’ being used. I cannot attest to any of that. Sitting in the front row I might have missed the worst of the amplification because of the way the speakers are positioned. I thought he was GREAT — in every way and in every sphere. Not the cat’s whiskers, but definitely a lion’s whiskers.

Yes, I am a sucker for any and all Celtic music and this was, indubitably, a class act. I was familiar with about 70% of his repertoire (done by others) and Ronan, to his credit, let me savor them in a different light. He is quite the entertainer. It is basically two shows in one — actually THREE shows in one because his piano accompanist, Billy (‘William’) Lewis is a magical, vastly gifted musician, worthy of being classed ‘peerless’. So it was Ronan Tynan of the blessed voice, Ronan Tynan the stand-up comedian & Billy Lewis the musical maestro. I would pay and go and listen to Billy on his own. I will have to look him up. Got to interact with him fleetingly before the show and I was struck by his humility. Such a nice guy.

I knew nada about Ronan prior to the show — and I missed, because I was supposed to be doing ‘security’ (which is kind of an oxymoron), his introduction. I noticed he limped and that he made a lot of jokes about his legs. It was only during the intermission that I learned that he is a double amputee, a bona fide orthopedic surgeon and the holder of numerous Paralympic records. An author too! He is quite the guy. Read up about him. He is inspirational. Start here on Wikipedia.

I relished every second of this unforgettable concert. Yes, it has been one great show after another — every week — all Summer BUT this was, nonetheless, still special, spectacular and scintillating. I am going to follow his music more.

People who complain that live concerts are loud kind of bug me. Concerts are supposed to be LOUD. If you like to modulate the volume stay at home and listen to your iPod. I love the vibration of loud concert music. When Matthew (now 23) was young he would drag me by my hand to stand in front of the huge 10′ monitors that ‘Seven Nations‘ would use in their incredible concerts — Loon Highland Games and in other places. The power of the sound waves coming out of those speakers made your teeth rattle. Now that was loud and we loved it. Yes, I have been going to loud concerts, with glee, since I was a teenager. And, oh yes, my ears must be shot, but jeez why come to a concert and talk about wearing ear plugs! I am sure Ronan probably has some choice words for people like that.

Two small gripes. I, knowing the Irish better than most, kind of thought that some of his ‘gushings’ were a tad too patronizing and as such, came across to a professional cynic as I, as being slightly ‘over the top’ (and I don’t want say more than that). Now, reading about him, I see that he has been blackballed for a supposed politically incorrect remark — and that would explain some of his cracks about Trump. That anybody would blackball this guy for remark like that is sad and bad. But I don’t think he needs to bend over backwards, as much as he does, to make up for being Irish to the core. The other thing that bothered me was his slight girth. He is a doctor. And yes, I gather you need some bulk to be able to have a voice like that — but he, to my untrained eyes, did not look a picture of health. That is sad. He loves his red wine and apple strudel. I can empathize. I love my red wine and apple ‘anything’ too — but not having been lucky enough to have been born Irish I am able to exercise something called moderation. And lets face it, it was the 2nd most famous Irishman, next to Ronan, Oscar Wilde, who said (and I am paraphrasing here): “I have terrific will power. I can resist anything but temptation”. I guess that must be Ronan’s thinking too. I am going to stop now. Moving into Oscar territory at this juncture might not be the best move for any of us. Moderation in all things — bar two (which is my motto).






Christmas Revels in Cambridge, MA. Sold Out. But, They Send Greetings For The Winter Solstice. Celebrate.


Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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by Anura Guruge


Past related posts:
1/ Revels North (i.e., Hanover, NH at Dartmouth) and Revels (Cambridge, MA) Doing Same Irish 1907 Christmas Show — Sept. 2, 2012.
2/ Of Course I Know R.M.S. Carpathia, The Setting For The Christmas Revels In Hanover, NH & Cambridge, MA — Sept. 3, 2012.
3/
Christmas Revels 2012 In Cambridge, MA … — Oct. 18, 2012.


Image from their production of ‘Irish Revels’ a board the R.M.S. Carpathia by Cambridge Revels (the ‘mother-ship’ as I refer to them). Got this in my e-mail. Thanks.


For the Dartmouth, NH equivalent.

Celebrating the Winter Solstice.


Another rendition of the haunting "Sussex Mummer's Carol", a celebration of the passing of the Winter Solstice, the traditional ending of all Christmas Revels performances irrespective of geography. See last Solstice post here for the other version. Click image for the YouTube video.

Another rendition of the haunting “Sussex Mummer’s Carol”, a celebration of the passing of the Winter Solstice, the traditional ending of all Christmas Revels performances irrespective of geography. See last Solstice post here for the other version. Click image for the YouTube video.

Christmas Revels 2012 (An Irish Celebration), Dartmouth, NH: A Stupendous Success. Bravo! Thank YOU.

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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..by Anura Guruge


Related post:
[Do a blog ‘Search‘ for ‘Revels‘ for the many others >>>>]:

§  Christmas Revels At Dartmouth, NH: Tickets …Aug. 15, 2012.


Revels postcard 2012


The minimalistic, but functional, inside the R.M.S. Carpathia, set used for the entire Revels.

The minimalistic, but functional, inside the R.M.S. Carpathia, set used for the entire Revels.


Click to ENLARGE to Full Size.

Click to ENLARGE to Full Size.

To say that yesterday’s ‘An Irish Celebration‘ Christmas Revels at Dartmouth, NH, ‘warmed the cockles of my heart‘ (as the expression goes) would be a lie. It did much, much more. They ‘toasted my cockles‘! It truly was heart warming, as befits its premise of helping people overcome the shortest day of the year, i.e., the Winter Solstice, and thereby herald in the new Yule. This was an inspired multidisciplinary performance that encompassed song, dance, storytelling and narration. It made your spirits soar; made you appreciate the genius of life. I always feel privileged to attend ‘Revels’. I wish more people could attend. I am sure that the world, given what transpired in Connecticut on Friday, would be a better place if more people experienced the joy of Revels.

Yes, as a confirmed lover of the Winter Solstice I am a captive audience for the Christmas Revels. The whole theme of driving away the shortest day and looking forward to progressively longer days is one dear to me. ‘December 21‘ (or thereabouts), the Winter Solstice, the shortest day, is my favorite day of the year. To me it signifies that we have turned the corner and that Summer is on the way. I sulk on the Summer Solstice and try to explain to others that ‘June 21’ is a day of sadness. The Summer Solstice is about the coming of Winter! Starting on that day, though it is only perceived by the cognoscenti, days start getting shorter — even though at first it will only be a few seconds a day. But, nonetheless, it is the beginning of the slippery slope that takes us into the dark days of Winter. But, as the Revels testify, each year, come the Winter Solstice we reach the other side. Rejoice. Days are getting longer. Summer is on the way.

As always the cast was gifted, motivated and interactive. They really want us to have a good time, to savor the moment, contemplate life, and get the best from the holidays. That said, it is hard to ignore that among all these talented folks there are some who are exceptional, beyond exceptional. Their prowess excels. They have me, a person devoid of talent, in awe. Yes, I have done standup presentations in front of 900 people, but all I was doing was talking. These people sing, they dance, they act. They are so gifted. Bravo. Among those that really stood out, you have Danielle Cohen, Jennifer Culley Curtin, Will Thomas Rowan, Josiah Proietti and the Irish bag pipe player. [I was so glad that they got it right.] The Irish dancing was good, though much of it was done by lovely ladies who were no longer teenagers. So, though I have seen ‘River Dance‘ (in Boston) and ‘Lord of the Dance‘ (in Vegas and Portland, ME), I would rate these ladies as entertaining as any I have seen. Also kudos to the two Morris Dancers. They were outstanding. Bravo. Bravo. The Irish dancers were sporting an interesting innovation that Deanna spotted. They wore wireless microphones on their shoes (the transmitters strapped to their thighs). I have been told that this was a suggestion by Kieran Jordan, one of the dancers, and was implemented by the ever resourceful and gifted Revels creative team. Very clever. Very smart. Always a joy.

As always they had lots of kids. This year, with the tragedy in CT so close, there was special, magical meaning to seeing these kids. In one scene they all appeared, dressed in white, standing at the top railing of the ship. Wow. I didn’t count, but I guess there were between 20 and 30. Roughly the number of kids we lost in CT. Seeing these kids made you appreciate life. Why we have a duty to protect these kids.

I bought the ‘accompanying’ CD — though it was not exactly the soundtrack from this show and was done by the folks in Cambridge rather than Dartmouth.

Three songs from yesterday’s Revels really made a mark, though I was familiar with one of them — not counting ‘All Around My Hat‘. So what I did is get YouTube versions of these songs. So, these were not exactly as performed at Revels, but variants by others.


Song 12 at Revels, 'Colcannon' by Mary Black. The Revels program does mention Mary Black. Click to hear Mary Black at YouTube.

Song 12 at Revels, ‘Colcannon’ by Mary Black. The Revels program does mention Mary Black. Click to hear Mary Black at YouTube.

'An Poc Ar Buile' (The Crazy Goat) song by the Chieftains. This was song 9 and was done very well. I was very familiar with the Chieftains version. I had even heard them play it at the Albert Hall in London. Click for YouTube.

‘An Poc Ar Buile’ (The Crazy Goat) song by the Chieftains. This was song 9 and was done very well. I was very familiar with the Chieftains version. I had even heard them play it at the Albert Hall in London. Click for YouTube.

'Deck the Halls' in Gaelic, song #5 yesterday. Josiah Proietti did better than this! This is just a sampler. I have a different version on the CD I bought yesterday. Click for YouTube.

‘Deck the Halls’ in Gaelic, song #5 yesterday. Josiah Proietti did better than this! This is just a sampler. I have a different version on the CD I bought yesterday. Click for YouTube.

Christmas Revels 2012 In Cambridge, MA — Very Striking R.M.S. Carpathia Illustration.


Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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by Anura Guruge


Past related posts:
1/ Revels North (i.e., Hanover, NH at Dartmouth) and Revels (Cambridge, MA) Doing Same Irish 1907 Christmas Show — Sept. 2, 2012.
2/ Of Course I Know R.M.S. Carpathia, The Setting For The Christmas Revels In Hanover, NH & Cambridge, MA — Sept. 3, 2012.


After sharing the same publicity material to start with for the common ‘Royal Mail Ship (R.M.S.) Carpathia‘ 1912 Irish Christmas Revels they are doing this year, the Cambridge, MA ‘Revels’ (the mother ship) has come up with some very spiffy images for their marketing/ticketing brochure that I received in the post this week. Very impressive. Very compelling. Bravo.

After studying it intently for a few minutes, I eventually found, in the smallest type possible, at the very bottom: ‘illustration PJ Lynch‘. That is it. I then found this P.J. Lynch — drawings, paintings and illustrations. Could be him. Very nice.

Of Course I Know R.M.S. Carpathia, The Setting For The Christmas Revels In Hanover, NH & Cambridge, MA.

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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by Anura Guruge


Related post:
Christmas Revels At Dartmouth, NH: Tickets Went On Sale Today
August 15, 2012.
Revels North (i.e., Hanover, NH at Dartmouth) and Revels (Cambridge, MA) Doing Same Irish 1907 Christmas Show
Sept. 2, 2012.

British, Cunard Royal Mail Ship (R.M.S.) Carpathia (named after an European mountain chain). ‘Royal Mail’ designates that it was licensed to carry mail for the British Royal Mail.



R.M.S. Carpathia, true to its designation ‘Royal‘, is the HEROIC British Cunard liner, under the command of an intrepid British captain, Capt. Arthur Henry Rostron, that rescued 710 souls after the Titanic disaster on April 15, 1912.

Carpathia which got there two hours after the sinking, after a four hour dash, saved the day and most of those in the water. The Carpathia and its crew were lauded as heroes — Capt. Rostron was knighted by the British and received the Congregational Gold Medal from the U.S. That is the Carpathia. [We will not talk about the S.S. Californian that for reasons unknown did not go to rescue.]

The Revels is set in the Carpathia in (December ) 1907. I find the choice of that day (not to mention the ship) cute. This year, 2012, is the 100th year anniversary of the Titanic disaster. So, Revels is kind of exploiting that. By saying 1907 they are getting a 5 year separation from the 1912 event. As it transpired the Germans torpedoed and sank the Carpathia in July 1918. So 1907 is cute.

It will be good. The Carpathia is a much loved ship — especially by anyone who knows anything about the Titanic.

I have to now confess that I am a vicarious Titanic buff; my son from 1995 to about 2003 (from when he was 3 to about 11) being totally and utterly obsessed by the Titanic. During those years all things Titanic ruled his life — and consequently mine. We still have SOME of the artifacts from those years of Titanic fever. There are at least two models of the Titanic in the house — one of them an Airfix model that I painted and constructed (the only model out of close to a hundred that I ever bothered to paint properly). We also have a small metal model in the dinning room. Matthew, my son, also got an amazing cross-stitch of the Titanic. That is on the wall. I just went and counted. Not counting a few books that Devanee has ‘borrowed’ for her room over the years, I have 13 books (from what I can see) on the Titanic. There might be a few more around.


Not sure exactly how Matthew, around age 3, got so involved in the Titanic. It started with a fascination of sunken wrecks and then homed in on the Titanic — most likely given all the stuff he could watch on TV, even then, about Bob Ballard and the Titanic.

In the Summer of 1995 I was doing a number of seminars in the U.K. We all went over. I took the kids to Greenwich (as in G.M.T.) because of the huge, scenic park and the boat ride on the Thames to get there. We straddled the GMT line, and the kids as I expected ran riot in the park. Then we went into the museum. Matthew wondered off. On the wall there were these huge, old oil nautical paintings — many of them involving ship wrecks, Greenwich touting its role in facilitating navigation to minimize maritime disasters. I found him intently studying a picture of a sinking ship, talking to himself. It was like an epiphany. He was into ship wrecks.

For the next 18 months, more or less non-stop, to anybody that would listen, he would talk about the ‘Dumpster House’ — or something that sounded like that. We have never got to the bottom of that. He definitely was referring to the Greenwich Maritime Museum, but called it the ‘Dumpster House’. [We can’t remember, but maybe he saw a dumpster outside the building.] The ‘Dumpster House’ was synonymous with ship wrecks. Matthew, as was my older daughter, Danielle, three years older, were water rats. We had got our first lake house and boat the year Matthew was born. To Matthew water and boats were part of his life.

So OUT Titanic odysseys began. I got him books. He watched National Geographic and Discovery. He had a denim Titanic shirt, a green T-shirt and a cap. I think we still have the cap, Devanee having appropriated it from her brother.

When the movie came out in 1997 he couldn’t go to see it. He was 5. So I got him the 2-tape set the day it became available. Now we get to an aiding image I have of my two older children. Danielle took it upon herself to make sure that Matthew, all of 5, will NOT see any of the ‘inappropriate’ ‘girlie’ parts in the movie — she was particularly concerned about the scene in the car (in the hold). She would either fast forward the tape when it got close to that section or she would cover his eyes with her hand. There were days when Matthew would watch the movie twice a day. I can still see them, Danielle with her hands clasped over Matthews eyes and the TV showing the rocking car.

So, this is why I know the Carpathia — plus in April we, Deanna and the two younger kids, watched about 6 hours worth of new, 2012 documentaries on the Titanic.

Revels North (i.e., Hanover, NH at Dartmouth) and Revels (Cambridge, MA) Doing Same Irish 1907 Christmas Show

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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by Anura Guruge


Related post:
Christmas Revels At Dartmouth, NH: Tickets Went On Sale Today — August 15, 2012.

Talk about déjà vu all over again. Actually, to be honest, given that I worry about it on a constant basis as I get older, I thought I was cracking up and not going to the right Web sites. It was the SAME picture. Confused me, to start with, no end. I am easy to confuse.

So here is the Revels North, Hanover/Dartmouth picture — the show to which we already have front row seats.

The 1907 Irish experience Revels by ‘North’ at Dartmouth.


Publicity photo for Cambridge Revels. The similarity is uncanny. (Click to visit the Cambridge Web site). Got me thinking. Where is this picture from. I checked the movie.


This is fine. Totally their prerogative. I am just disappointed. I was hoping to see two different Revels as we had done last year — albeit that being the first year we had made the trek down to Cambridge for Revels. Last year they did a Medieval Mediterranean Christmas in Cambridge while it was the traditional British Victorian in Hanover. We all love British Revels. I, however, enjoyed the Mediterranean frolics. So, this year, I was hoping to see the Irish at Dartmouth and maybe British at Cambridge. Alas no.

Kind of interesting. Two separate, independent productions; obviously the Cambridge effort being bigger and grander. Hhhmmm. From an economic standpoint that does not make sense to me — with my engineering background. If Cambridge did 1907 Ireland this year, Hanover could have borrowed the scenery, props and costumes for 2014, with Hanover, in 2012, borrowing the Mediterranean from Cambridge from last year. But, I am just an attendee. They obviously know what they are doing — given how successful they are. The Cambridge Christmas Revels are at the incomparable (to the U.S.) Sanders Theater. Wow, what a beautiful building. It brought tears to the eyes of a homesick Brit like me. So European. We lucked out. When we went last Christmas we were ‘lost’. So we asked this older gentleman how to get to the Sanders. He was with his daughter, who was about Deanna’s age. His face lit up. He insisted, though this was late December, on walking us to the Theater. He was an ex-Harvard Professor of History. He gave me a history lesson on the Theater. He took us to the door. We lucked out. Yes, we will be going back to the Sanders soon. He also pointed us towards a wonderful ‘store’ that did a buffet meal — with Indian food. It was perfect, for me.

The building that houses the Sanders Theater.

Christmas Revels At Dartmouth, NH: Tickets Went On Sale Today, August 15, 2012.

Click for the official Web site.

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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by Anura Guruge


Prior posts on HopFest:
July 18, 2012.



Yes, I got my customary front row aisle seats (so Teischan can more readily interact with the performers in the aisle), at 8:40 am this morning; thank you. I had put a reminder on my calendar for yesterday, and that alone is unusual because, at most, I might have 10 reminders, in total, for a whole year. Since to me a day starts at midnight, I planned to buy the tickets before going to bed last night. Alas, Dartmouth works on a more pedestrian 8am to 5pm schedule. 8am, I am still asleep. But, I got Devanee to bring in her laptop and I bought the tickets, from bed, while drinking my coffee and listening to CNBC.

The funny thing is that front row seats at the Hopkins and also at Plymouth are NOT considered prime seats! So they are not the most expensive. That makes them even better. Yes, I know that there are many that find the front row too close and quite literally a pain in the neck. It has never bothered me and the kids like it. Plus, during the intermission they typically get to meet some of the performers because they come down from the stage to press the flesh.

This year it is an Irish immigrant Christmas on a ship, set in 1907 (to the shades of the Titanic). We like Irish music and dance. So that should be good, though Deanna and the kids most prefer the traditional medieval English Revels. But, I am hopeful. Revels North, who do this performance is an inspired bunch. This is their Web site. You should definitely pay them a visit.

Last Christmas, because we liked their show so much, I rushed off and got tickets for the ‘main’ Revels at Harvard, Cambridge, MA. Wow. What a location. What a show. Given that it was a last minute thing, we had poor seats. Plus, it was a Mediterranean theme. I thought it was very good, but Deanna, in particular, was very down on it. I haven’t checked what they are doing this year, though I am on their e-mail list.

So, we will see you at Revels in Dartmouth. Merry Christmas.

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