Writer and Author

Tag: Blogging (Page 4 of 5)

A Whole New Way of Doing Things?

I was talking to a friend on Skype earlier today and the conversation turned to social networking…as it does.  I was trying to explain the concept of Twitter to her and persuade her to give it a try and the conversation turned to the whole social networking phenomenon and how much the business of writing and researching has changed since we both studied journalism in college.

Now granted, since I learnt the ropes things have moved on from quarter in reel to reel recorder (one of these…, through minidiscs on to hardrive recorders.  Elsewhere the revolution of being able to file copy from anywhere without having to use a copy taker or an ISDN line as long as you have access to an internet connection has made minute by minute breaking news achievable.

But apart from the tools we carry about with us to perform our daily business it’s the actual job that has changed almost beyond recognition over the year.  I graduated from college in 2000.  Back then learning how to use search engines was a fairly new part of the curriculum.  These days, if the Internet went bang in the morning I wonder how many of us would remember how to do things the old fashioned way.  There are so many routine inquiries that would have required several hours of judicial phone calls or knocks on doors that can now be answered by a few minutes Googling.

It’s something that we all take for granted yet still on occassion becomes something to marvel at.  I’ve lost count of the number of times the press room in the Four Courts has been agog over a piece of video or audio that would have previously meant a search of the archives back at base that you might only have seen when it went to air.  During the Joe O’Reilly trial, for example the footage of his appearance on the Late, Late Show in the company of his obviously uncomfortable mother-in-law three weeks after he had murdered his wife got an almost daily showing.

Similarly the video that Siobhan Kearney shot to publicise the guest house she and her husband Brian Kearney had run in Spain was played again and again in the media room during his trial for her murder.

These are the kinds of archive material that have always been obtainable but never quite as readily as they are now.  These days colour writers wanting to describe an earlier event in vivid technicolour can call up their subject in a Google search rather than rely on rusty memories.

Even basic newsgathering is changing according to the advances in technology.  Journalists can now look at someone’s Myspace or Facebook page.  Incereasingly this is the first place to look in the case of murder victims.  A Bebo memorial page set up in their honour is a source of photographs not just of them but of the friends and family who attend the court each day, a way of putting names to faces without intruding.  In the recent trial of Finn Colclough, which I’ve written about at some length, journalists quickly found the Bebo page set up for victim Sean Nolan with the outpouring of grief from his devoted friends which still continues to this day.

We live in a technological world and it is at their peril that a journalist doesn’t move with the times.  YouTube is the source for the kind of eye witness footage captured by increasingly high resolution mobile phones that news editors could have only dreamed of in the past.  Twitter has become the new buzz word for a second by second stream of information from any major news event.  You only have to look at the number of articles and courses springing up on electronic news gathering to see the impact it’s having.

As I discovered researching the book it’s now possible to gather information from the other side of the road simply sitting at your desk.  I’m a great fan of the idea of VOIP (quite apart from the fact it allows me to chat with people who have decided to move back to Sweden and are no longer eligable to be my Call a Friend for Free!)  I get very excited about the fact that I can Google someone or somewhere, go to their website then simply click on a phone number somewhere in that page of text and within seconds talk to them through Skype (using the Firefox Skype plugin).

As a writer too the advent of Web 2.0 has totally changed the reality of life.  The fact that you have become some grungy creature who hasn’t change dout of your pajamas and who lives in a small pool of light over  you cluttered desk and overheating laptop is no longer a barrier to you networking with editors or agents in any of the major cities.

Living in Ireland and not having access to a lot of writing festivals or author appearances where publishers and agents would be in attendance it’s fantastic.  I can be as cheeky as I like in approaching people through Twitter or blogs (although it remains to be seen how successful my networking is – to date I’ve probably got most of my most concrete contacts the old fashioned way but I’m optimistic for the future).

I’m constantly in awe of all these changes.  I love technology but I’m not young enough to be born to it.  I remember what life was like in the dark Luddite days and I like the way things have changed.  Personnally I think the reality is that this is simply a new way of doing something we’ve always done.  I’m fascinated with the opportunities to self publicise that the Internet provides (obviously I’m aware of the blogging one) and the idea of virtual book tours and being able to reach a global audience is too exciting to pass up.

The Internet has allowed us to go back to the kind of old fashioned communities and intensive networking that were bog standard a century or more ago.  These days we may hang out on Twitter, in the 18th Century coffee shops were all the rage.  Thanks to Google I’m now in touch with a community gardening initiative that happens not five minutes from my front door.

I sometimes wonder what would happen if everything went bang (it’s a thought that feels natural with the ongoing economic doom and gloom) but I can’t help thinking we’d probably carry on much as we are now.  We’d just have to get out more.  As long as Armageddon isn’t coming any time soon, I’m happy enough with the way things are.  We’ve come a long way, even if the communities we’re building hark back to earlier times and I for one am more than happy to embrace tweeting and blogging and exploring the big wide world from the comfort of my desk!



Technology and the Irish Courts

I’ve just read a very interesting article thanks to Journalismnews on Twitter.  Even though I’ve worked in the courts on a pretty much daily basis for the past couple of years, the issue of whether or not blogging or Twitter updates should be allowed of court proceedings had never really occured to me.  Here in Ireland electronic news disemination is somewhat slow to catch on – probably a lot due to pitiful state of broadband in this country.

Twitter is still very much a niche site here and while several media organisations such as RTE, the Irish Times, Irish Independent and Irish Examiner have news feeds, these tend to be pretty much a clone of the kind of copy they’ve been providing for years for mobile phones, rather than using any of Twitter’s unique functionality.  I’m not saying no one’s aware of it, just that it’s not really that much in the public consciousness here…and if it hasn’t reached the public counsciousness in any meaningful way then it definately hasn’t ruffled any feathers in the Irish Courts.

For the subject of real time blogging and tweeting of court proceedings to raise consternation in the courts here there would have to be more understanding of the realities of social networking by the barristers who raise these kinds of issues.  Even though more and more trials include evidence of emails and text messages as part of the prosecution case it’s still not unusual to hear email accounts described as web pages and other hints at a deeper incomprehension of the technology being described.

I’m sure there are many techologically literate barristers out there but there are still those that seem to view the advent of Web 2.0 as something in the realm of alchemy or plain straight forward magic.  Granted it’s now common practice for the judge to warn the jury not to check the internet when he’s warning them about the dangers of slanted media reports during the trial but thankfully no one has yet raised the issue of live reports on blogs and on Twitter being an even greater threat to the jury’s umblemished objectivity.

To be honest though, even if such concerns were raised I think an Irish judge would rule in the same way as their Colorado counterpart in the article I mentioned and allow the trial to be reported in this way.  There may be no photography allowed in the confines of an Irish court and television cameras and recording equipment may be banned but the journalists who take their places in the hard wooden benches all have their laptops available.

The broadcast reporters frequently file text to their newsrooms using mobile broadband from the courtroom itself – I’ve done so myself in high profile cases when deadlines were looming.  There are some judges who don’t like seeing the laptops out but then there are some judges who don’t like seeing journalists reading a newspaper when proceedings are dragging a bit.

While there may not be any dedicated online journalists sitting in court, the story will be published on various breaking news websites within minutes of it being received.  I suppose technically since broadcasting or recording isn’t allowed from the courtroom during proceedings then the issue of whether or not material should be published online could well be one that may arise at some time in the future.  Certainly there have been occassions when reporters have clashed with security within the courts over bringing in microphones, even though they weren’t live.

It’s an interesting area and one that will have to be addressed one day.  But for the moment the men and women who have the power to make such decisions tend to come from a generation that never had to worry about these issues and are slow to embrace the relentless march of technology.  For that matter, there are still a lot of Irish journalists who don’t really stray beyond Google and Facebook.

It’s probably going to be a while before there’ll be real-time blogging or tweeting coming out of the Irish courts. Most journalists have their hands full keeping up with proceedings and filing for hourly bulletins or tight print deadlines without posting rolling updates.  There would probably need to be a dedicated blogger sent down if that was to be acheived and in the current climate of cut backs and economies it’s unlikely they’d spare an extra body (already having someone to do news and someone else to write colour in the case of a high profile trial).

Mind you, if we keep having the kind of blockbuster trials that have become a regular occurance since wife killer, Joe O’Reilly turned out to be such a draw, who knows.  Maybe an Irish judge will have to rule on whether Twitter should be allowed into the courtroom, far sooner than I for one expect.

The January Blues…

The last of the Christmas decorations have been boxed up and put away and the rapidly moulting tree was dragged off down to the recycling centre this morning.  The house now looks twice the size and impossibly, depressingly bare.

I was ready to scream if the tinsel and the baubles had stayed up one more night but predicably now they’re gone for another year I’m in the dumps.  It’s probably got a lot to do with the rather uncertain forcast for 2009 and the fact that I’m actually going to have to settle on one project to start on and just pray it earns some money.

Its a weird thing to be moaning about I know.  I might be temporarily lacking in steady employment but I’m not exactly short of avenues to explore.  The January cold and gloom though makes it feel like those times in the dim and distant past when the heating kept going off because you’d forgotten to pay the bill and you didn’t answer knocks at the door in case it was someone looking for money (yes I’m old enough to remember the days before Ireland became the land of milk and honey).

Rationally I know times have changed beyond recognition and I’m no longer an eighteen year old calling herself a writer when she got into conversations with other people in the queue for the Dole.  Now I actually am a writer and the book’s available in all good bookshops.  But sitting in the newly denuded living room with nothing much to do in the middle of the afternoon and no one to talk to but the cat, it really doesn’t feel any different.

I know there’s stuff I should be doing, emails I should be sending, phonecalls I should be making, but today January just got on top of me and optimism just seemed a stretch too far.  Tomorrow I’ll go round the bookshops, maybe sign some more copies (honestly it was my publisher’s idea, I’m not just a desperate meglomaniac) and rev myself myself up to the relentlessly cheerful state of mind that I usually manage to keep up until the leaves come back on the trees and I don’t have to fake it any more.

But some days were just meant to be bad and the cold, grey empty ones lend themselves to it easier than others.  The decorations are away and it’s time to start the new year for real…tomorrow.

Getting ready to write…theoretically…

It happens every year, during those dead days when the presents and the turkey and the Christmas pud start to feel overly familiar.  The last few days when the New Year has been rung in but the tree’s still up and tedium reigns supreme.

We stick to the old twelve days of Christmas in our house.  The new year doesn’t start in earnest until January 6th when the tree is brought down for recycling and the decorations get zipped back up into their Ben & Jerry’s cooler bag and stowed in a cupboard while the days gradually get longer.

I’ve always waited until the 6th to take down the decorations.  January 6th was my dad’s birthday (he died when I was a baby) and it always seemed in some way appropriate to celebrate Twelth Night for him.  The husband holds a similar superstition and so up stay the decorations and all resolutions are put off until they’ve gone away.

To be honest, there’s not really much choice.  We live in a little terraced house and once the tree’s gone up, there’s limited room in the main living area.  With other drawers and cupboards hidden by laiden branches, my desk (in a corner of this main room – would probably be an idea to move but I like where it sits, in a little cubby hole under the stairs) become the repository for all the festive detritus that doesn’t have a home.

As I write I’m looking at three presents that haven’t yet been given, a bowl of Christmas chocolates and another one of nuts, various festive cds and dvds, a cat pencil sharpener that squeals whenever you sharpen a pencil by sticking it up it’s bum (ok that sort of lives there and was a Christmas present), various lengths of ribbon left over from present wrapping and six rolls of Sellotape and two tubes of Araldite glue.  I might not be the most consientious house frau but even by my standards that’s pretty ridiculous!

I know the obvious answer is to have a more minimalist Christmas but that’s something I just can’t bring myself to do.  For me Christmas is a puddle of light in an otherwise grim season and it’s a festival I always embrace wholeheartedly.  The other eleven months the house work can go hang if I’m on a deadline or the inspiration is actually doing what it’s supposed to.  But for the few weeks from the second week of December until the end of the first week in January I morph into a Stepford Wife and the writing tends to take a back seat.

Consequently once the end of the season is only a few days away the tension starts building.  Quite apart from all the work I know I have to do starting Monday (invoices to write, emails to send, a book trailer to shoot and some heavy editing to get stuck into) I’m itching to get the hoover out and vacuum up all the pine needles (my inner Stepford hasn’t quite evaporated yet).

I feel quite irritable all the time, waiting for the year to get started and to clear the festivities away for another year.  Because at the end of all, while I love Christmas and I wouldn’t change the way we do it for love or money, after a few weeks off I’m brimming with ideas and I can’t wait to get back into that zone again and start work.

In the mean time I’m doing what I can.  This is one resolution I can keep up in the brief interludes of peace I can find and the rest will follow next week.  Roll on the 6th!

Resolutions, resolutions, resolutions…

Every year since I was a child I’ve started each new diary on January 1st with a list of the resolutions I intend to fulfill throughout the year.  It’s not a particularly imaginative way to start the year but the habit’s stuck and so it continues.

In recent years, since I discovered the wonderful writer’s diary produced by the literary magazine MsLexia my resolutions have become more focused.  I still promise myself this is the year I’m going to get in shape, start fencing again, become a fully fledged domestic goddess and make more time for housework but it seems to make a lot more sense to resolve to do things I have a chance of following through rather than setting myself up for disappointment before I start.

So every year the first page of the diary is the home of my professional aspirations, a point by point plan of where I want to be by the end of the year.  Some resolutions have been in the same place for years but others have seen some definate movement.  It’s always interesting to look back over old diaries and see where you thought you were going.

This year was a tricky one.  I’ve never been in this situation at the turn of the year you see.  On the one hand I’ve achieved something I’ve been wanting to do for as long as I can remember and I’m closer to where I want to be than I ever have.  On the other hand I’m technically jobless and let’s be honest, it’s not exactly the best time to be looking for alternative employment.

Rather than simply throwing a load of ideas at the wall when it comes to resolution time, in the hope that at least one of them will stick, I now have to work out what I need to do to finally achieve my dreams.

On the one hand I’d like to concentrate on my novel, on the other building on the genre I’ve been writing in so far seems like the most sensible path, and the one that’s more likely to put bread on the table in the short term.

These musings probably sound rather self indulgent – after all I could simply hang on and push away exactly as I have been for the past couple of years.  After all, that’s got me where I am today.

It’s not that simple though.  I describe myself as a writer and a journalist on this blog.  It might seem like an unnecessary repetition but I think it’s an important distinction.  Journalism is what I trained at.  It’s how I pay the bills and hopefully how I will continue to pay them for the moment.  But writing is what I’ve always done.  Ever since I can remember I’ve told stories and woven plots.  I’m happiest when I’m making things up.

When I’m writing a piece of journalism or working on non-fiction I can tell the story and try to craft the existing plot into it’s sleekest form but I can’t deviate from the facts.  There are plenty of stories that need and deserve to be told in the world we live in and that’s why I love journalism but the satisfaction I get from telling a true story is nothing compared to following the thread of an idea inside your head and pulling in narrative rules until you have something that stands alongside reality, mirroring it but with your fingerprints all over it.

This isn’t exactly what I intended to be writing here.  When I started this blog it was to go hand in hand with the publication of the Devil in the Red Dress so this kind of artistic rush of whimsy was to be strictly banished in favour of clear, well-described facts and figures.

But this year, as I write down the latest batch of resolutions in the brand new writer’s diary I’m faced with the realisation that I’m going to have to start talking about this kind of stuff because like it or not it’s the writing I want to pursue more than anything else.

I’ll still be down at the Four Courts following trials from time to time but this year I want to pursue other things so you’re going to see a rather different side to me here.  I’m rather nervous about introducing a rather more personal aspect to this “personal blog” but I might as well start the year as I mean to go on…that’s what resolutions are all about!

So what can you expect to read here from now on?  Well if I’m down in the courts there’ll be more of my impressions of proceedings as I’ve done so far with trials like those of Finn Colclough and Dane Pearse.  But this year I want to write more about other things I write and the reality of being a (in all probability struggling) freelance writer/ journo.  I’ve been at this point several times over the years and I’ve always decided to do the sensible thing in terms of following the most regular source of income.  Well now it seems like a concerted push is needed if I’m ever going to have anything other than a double-barrelled profession.

God knows what I’ll be writing on the first page of next years diary.  This year it all feels a little bit make or break.  Wish me luck!

A Brand New Year with New Possibilities!

I’ve been very bad about posting here for most of the festive period…I’ve been enjoying a bit of communications black out and focusing on the much neglected home and husband.  Anyway, it’s a new year with new resolutions and one of them is to stop slacking and rejoin the world!

2008 was an incredible year for me.  Last January I had steady work in the Four Courts and no solid plans to write a book (other than the novel that spent most of 2008 sitting in the top drawer of my filing cabinet.)  As 2009 dawns Devil in the Red Dress is on the shelves (thankfully in ever dwindling numbers) and I’m officially freelance and sitting here trying to decide what to do next.  Do I focus on fiction or push ahead at building on what I’ve already achieved…and am I completely insane to be even asking that question in the first place?

The novel, about more another time, is sitting awaiting further editing and thanks to developments towards the end of 2008 might actually see the light of day some day soon (as long as the on the future of publishing worldwide don’t come to pass.) It’s been a bizarre rollercoaster of a year but I think on balance it ended on a hell of an up!)

I’m very conscious of the fact that when I write here I hold an awful lot back.  I’m going to try and rectify that this year but the problem is that there’s been an awful lot going on the past few months that I simply can’t announce to the world in general just yet – hopefully all that will change before 2009 gets too much older.

A blog like this is an odd beast.  On the one hand I call it my personal blog, and certainly it’s completely separate from my publishers’ website, but it’s still very much a public persona.  I’ve spent too long writing for publication not to have a very strong internal editor screaming at me to tow the line when it comes to defamation and contempt of court.  But there’s a second consideration at play as well – just how personal do I want this blog to be?

I started the blog to write about the writing of and publication of Devil.  Now that Devil’s in print I have to decide where I want to go from here, not just with my writing but with the blogging as well.  So far the blog has been mainly focused on true crime (which is what Devil is and which is the bulk of the journalism I write) but if my options are expanding then surely the scope here should do likewise.

So far I’ve been slow to write completely unguardedly about my professional life.  As long as the book is in need of pushing then being one hundred per cent frank about certain things that happen day to day.  However, if I’m going to be branching out then maybe I should be more open. I’m not talking kiss and tell here just talking more about the frustrations and obstacles we all encounter in economic times like these.

My writing goal for this year is to write more books.  I enjoy the process of research and the freedom of writing at length.  I’d like to get somewhere with the fiction but the rent still has to be paid so I’ll not be hanging up my notebook and pen anytime soon.

In terms of this blog I’m just going to have to sit down and think hard about where it’s going…

Happy New Year!

The Book Marketing Continues…

I’m really tired this evening so this won’t be a long post.  Today I went out to East Coast FM in Bray, Co Wicklow, to do an interview about Devil in the Red Dress.  It went well I think.  Tomorrow afternoon it’ll be Phantom FM…I’m doing quite a tour!

This weekend we’ll find out what the first week’s sales have been like…nerve wracking stuff!  It’s so frustrating to have to just sit back and wait…

I’ve been playing around with Twitter all day, the people following me must have been driven mad.  The new possibilities in book marketing offered by the Internet have always fascinated me and now I have a book to market I want to try some of them out.

So there’s this blog for a start…as I’ve said before I had been running an anonymous blog until I started writing Devil.  That’s when it seemed like a good idea to register my own domain and start blogging officially so to speak.

I also use Twitter.  It’s an interesting idea to be able to tweet about interviews I’m doing or news about the book.  Stephen Fry has used Twitter like this brilliantly.  I’ve got a long way to go before I reach his numbers of followers – have to become a national treasure so!

Finally there’s the idea of a book trailer…that I’m busy scripting but it should be appearing on a Youtube channel near you sometime soon.

I remember when I was a teenager being sent out to drop around flyers for shows I was working on.  I suppose this is simply the modern equivalent….

An Unpredictable Beast

This afternoon I’m waiting for a jury to bring back their verdict.  It’s the apex of any trial of course, the bit everything builds towards but that doesn’t make the waiting part any more enjoyable.

The thing is it’s impossible to judge how long the waiting is going to go on.  It could be minutes, it could be days.  This particular time it’ll probably be hours but you can never tell.  Something happens to those twelve strangers when they become that peculiar entity…the jury.

It doesn’t matter what their personal beliefs may be, what way they vote or where or if they attend a church on Sunday.  Once they get voted onto that jury they become a single unit. It’s impossible to predict what they’ll do or how long they’ll take to reach their decision.

Even if you’ve sat through an entire trial, listened to every piece of evidence and carefully watched the faces of the twelve overlooking the action, all you can do is guess what way they’ll come down.

This doesn’t stop the perennial question of when there’ll be a verdict, as if being a court reporter gives you the ability to mind read or a crystal ball that sees the immediate future.  You can think you can tell the outcome but there have been enough trials where a jury has confounded all expectations to make you wary of making any kind of prophecy.

It’s sometimes as if a kind of madness comes over that special dozen as soon as the door closes behind them and the weight of justice bears down on them.  There have been plenty of bizarre decisions in the past, juries stubbornly refusing to make an obvious decision or seemingly flying in the face of logic to make those used to this wait wary of what’s about to come.

Maybe it’s the weight of responsibility or the sudden realisation that they are suddenly the most powerful people in the court with the ultimate say over another human being’s life.  It’s impossible to tell what goes on behind that door but it certainly makes waiting on a jury one of the most peculiar waits there is.

As soon as the jury leaves the courtroom empties.  The families of the deceased and the accused disappear in search of something to take the edge off the tension.  The rest of us wait, one ear always open for that knock on the door, trying to work, chatting about nothing.  I’ve got one ear open now and I’m finding it difficult to see to the end of one of my own sentences so apologies for any rambling repetition or lack of narrative flow!

It’s easy to be frustrated when you’re waiting to file copy and a jury appear to be taking unnecessary time but that’s the nature of the process.  It’s easy to make a decision on someone’s guilt or innocence when your opinion has no effect on their life.  It’s equally easy to become cynical when you spend all your time in the courts but that’s why practicing barristers, court staff and court reporters aren’t allowed on juries and it’s probably a good thing.

Despite the sometimes bizarre decisions juries have come back with in the past it’s still the fairest way to judge a crime.  It makes sense that we all have the right to be judged by our peers, even if sometimes those peers seem to be bonkers.

Mind you if I was shackled to eleven other people and locked in a room to argue over a total stranger’s fate I have no idea how I would react.  Maybe a slight touch of madness is just part of the process!

So the wait continues.  I have my laptop and a plug and Internet access so there are worse ways of earning a living.  At least it’s not my fate they’re deciding!

But an early verdict would still be nice…

What’s in a Name? Part 2

When I was in college one thing that used to confound me was headline writing.  It always seemed impossible to find that combination of words that sounded snappy enough, pithy enough and apt enough to sit at the top of my article.

When I wrote my first book (currently sitting in a drawer of my filing cabinet gathering dust) I sat for days with a dictionary of quotations on my lap flicking through it for inspiration.  I never had any problem with content – maybe something to do with the fact that I’ve always been able to talk the hind legs off a whole ark of donkeys and assorted livestock – but actually committing to something by giving it a title!  That was always the tricky bit.

Of course, these days, if pushed I can suggest several passable possibilities off the top of my head but there’s always the nagging feeling that I’ve missed the perfect phrase.  The Devil in the Red Dress (my soon to be published first book) kind of named itself.  The title is taken from a phrase in one of the emails between Lying Eyes and Tony Luciano (for more details on what the hell the book’s about have a look at The Story Behind the Book).  It suits the story and it’s been in the headlines before.

But tonight I’m trying to think of a title for this blog.  While the main purpose, granted is self promotional, and so naming it after myself makes sense I just can’t get used to seeing my name as a headline and want to get it back to byline size.  Of course, if you’re reading this once I’ve found the perfect phrase you won’t have a clue what I’m talking about but right now my name is just too big.

Of course, if I can’t think of a blog title then you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about and you’re probably thinking I’m rather big headed by now. But I am trying to find the perfect title that sums up why I’m here and what I’m about – and that hasn’t been used before.  Titles are the hook that draws you in and frequently the first thing that lodges in your mind.  A memorable title can enter the terminology of popular culture (not that I’m particularly aiming for the Zeitgeist here).  I’d like it to be my words not anybody else’s

It’s only when I sit down and try to work out what to call this thing I realise my distressing tendency towards pretension (well I might have had an inkling, I’m sitting listening to moody 60s French music as I write this although does it stop being pretentious if you actually like it but probably starts again when you draw attention to it – ah well.)  I’ve lists of rejected choices (Compost of the Mind was a serious contender for about ten minutes)

It’s ridiculous though, on a daily basis I send out copy that doesn’t have and doesn’t need a headline, other than for purely informative purposes.  If I write a book the title can be changed by the publisher at any stage.  But a blog is different.  It’s mine and only mine and so the pressure to name it right suddenly reaches monumental proportions.  I didn’t think this hard about naming the cat!

But as I say, this is a rather moot point.  If I find the perfect phrase this post stops meaning anything and if I don’t I’m just highlighting an irritating weakness.  After all this is a blog, not a diary…must resist slipping into confessional mode to the vastness of the Net…these things are dangerous!

Back Home and Back to Work

After a much needed break (even with all the hassle with this blog) I’m back at my desk and back at work.  I have just over a week before Sharon Collins and Essam Eid are back in front of the courts for sentencing and the courts aren’t back until next week either so there are a few days to get back into the swing of things.

It’s time for one final push but for today with the suitcases still only partially unpacked I can’t take things too seriously.  I still have French music on Media Player and I’m not quite ready to get back to the hustle and bustle of normal life and normal posting just yet.  Once I settle down I’ll blog more seriously but since I’m still essentially talking to myself (Google indexing being the arcane beast that it is) I thought I’d share a little music.

I always get cds when we go to France and my latest find is a Parisian singer called Camille.  I’d heard about her before we went through my friend Rowan’s blog (always a good source of inspiration music wise!) and already got her latest mainly English album, Music Hole which includes tracks like Cats and Dogs – you’ve got to love a song which has the whole band making random animal noises at the end…

While over there I found a copy of her first album, Les Sac des Filles.  Sung mainly in French it includes songs like Paris.

The lyrics (for those of you that don’t speak French) are talking about leaving Paris because it’s dirty and miserable and smelly but in the end coming back because it’s home.  Which seemed rather appropriate coming back to grey and miserable Dublin.  It really is just peachy coming home to the news that the economy is teetering on the brink of collapse…

Yes I’ve just decided, the holiday can last one more day, I’m going to listen to more Camille!

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