Tag Archives: Ireland

More from the vault


Whilst rummaging through a musty old cardboard box, I came across some more notebooks.

I found a couple more poems whose jib I liked the cut of so I reworked them. This is one from around 2003.

 

Driven to Distraction

By David Milligan-Croft

I am trying to avoid your gaze,

When you look up from your desk.

I am trying to ignore you,

When you stand by the water cooler.

I am trying not to notice the way your auburn hair cascades

When you lean over my desk.

I am trying not to inhale your Poison

As you glide by the photocopier.

I am trying not to notice your smile

From across the boardroom table.

I am trying to avert my eyes,

When your slender ankles clip-clip down the corridor.

I am trying to be ambivalent,

About the new dress you bought in Paris.

I am trying to dismiss your emerald eyes,

Framed in dark-rimmed spectacles.

I am trying to be oblivious to the way you laugh,

The way you think – even the way you blink!

And, try as I may to ignore these things,

I carry them with me, every moment,

Of every day.

Although the above poem isn’t in my collection, if you liked the style of it you can find more of them by simply clicking on the cover image below.

LETMEFAIL-COV-A

2 Comments

Filed under Art, Books, Contemporary Arts, Creativity, Ideas, Inspiration, love, Poetry, Writing

50% off Peripheral Vision


Yes, you’re reading that right. And no, you don’t need to go to Specsavers.

Actually, it’s 51% off. But let’s not quibble.

From tomorrow, (Tuesday 24th May), my second novel, Peripheral Vision will be available for only 99p!

I know, I know, I’m practically giving it away. What can you get for 99p these days, eh?

I’ll tell you what – fuck all. (Well, apart from my book, of course.) Actually, you could probably get a bag of Monster Munch and a Sherbert Dip-Dab, but I digress…

Here’s the blurby bit:

After being blinded in one eye by his abusive father, Peripheral Vision tells the story of 11-year-old Danny Kane growing up in 1970s northern England. His violent upbringing results in his descent into a life of drugs and crime. As he reaches adulthood he realises that the only way out of his spiralling slide into perdition is to find the one thing that he treasured most – his childhood friend, Sally, who was taken into care after the death of her mother. Can the search for his long-lost love lead to Danny’s redemption?

Peripheral Vision explores themes such as child abuse, domestic violence, drug abuse and gang crime. It’s a gritty coming-of-age drama that pulls no punches. It’s even been compared to Donna Tartt – which is a huge honour, as I’m a big fan of her work.

But, it’s only half price for 7 days, so get thee skates on.

American cousins can get their discounted copies here.

TOS26

 

5 Comments

Filed under Books, Children, Comedy, Contemporary Arts, Creativity, Ideas, Inspiration, Literature, Writing

Slow Clocks of Decay


My good friend, Patrick Chapman, has just published his seventh – yes, 7th! – collection of poetry. And it’s utterly brilliant.

Personally, I think Slow Clocks of Decay is a bit more experimental than his earlier works. Though, no less exceptional.

He writes of love and loss with a thoroughly modern voice.

You won’t find images of Ireland’s rolling green pastures here, but a dystopian 21st century society.

He’s one of the best poets Ireland has ever produced and, mark my words, he’ll win the Nobel Prize for Literature one day.

So, just click on the links to order your copy. And, to whet your palate, I’ve included a taster under the pic., with the kind permission of the author.

13164219_1184923011532271_5022913790204444650_n

 

Teleport Memory

By Patrick Chapman.

 

Eighteen winters on, I find your jet-black

hold-up in my box of old remarkables,

the rubber garter still with spring in it.

 

I drape the stocking long on the bed

and try to imagine your pale slender leg

filling it toe to knee to thigh and beyond

 

in a matter transmitter reconstitution

of you with a physical copy that holds

your consciousness, your memories,

 

your tenderness, your wit still dry –

while out in the real, the original you

has surely diverged in directions I can’t

 

follow: some of your people passed on;

you a mother, an aunt or alone; and every

cell in your body, twice overwritten.

 

If that you can bear think of me

it may be with disdain for who I was

at the end but listen, my old love,

 

he has been replaced so many times –

no longer that young cripple who,

out of repression and pain, cracked

 

your heart and in its fracture fatally

punctured his own. So far undone is he

that even teleport could never bring us home.

2 Comments

Filed under Art, Books, Contemporary Arts, Creativity, Ideas, Innovation, Inspiration, Patrick Chapman, Poetry, Writing

Peripheral Vision – Mood Board


This is part of a mood board I’ve created on Pinterest to help me with my second novel, Peripheral Vision. (Working title.)

Before I show you the shots, (and hopefully get you in the mood), here’s the synopsis:

After being blinded in one eye by his abusive father, Peripheral Vision tells the story of 8-year-old Danny Kane growing up in 1970s northern England. His violent upbringing results in his descent into a life of drugs and crime. As he reaches adulthood he realises that the only way out of his spiralling slide into perdition is to find the one thing that he treasured most – his childhood friend, Sally, who was taken to Ireland after the death of her mother. Can the search for his long-lost love lead to Danny’s redemption?

5441b651a751725bbdd29e6b781d4dfe

0eb35d729638fb25f05cb20e78323b3f

3a082c2751713ed0fb31c1f3daa79e29

9ceed1ea4da716fe1196064b4367b171

23cb154157f379f5ccb6760fcf7880dd

329a954263de42de18149fc8f2170782

7360ea7361c9d4819e0122211321f581

b788fdf65990d1c32f718c88c85f1a28

b764010c82ba85846aecb5ab7ac0b375

b2400973a7a9995f46f9d94e9ace44df

d8c3c2e5d0074db4e3b3462a9099ab2e

d138caddbd08123155dc5b254872d8c0

e82f5f3b7e3da9269166473031527fe7

df482971bfd812aa21e7c1ce9b5f1a50

f9460a7a37418ff7e8c8b59964997a1d

fe237e9cf7088335a846bf278f1931ea

fd64287027d9f5c7324d229c4ceecac0

 

6 Comments

Filed under Books, Children, Children's books, community, Contemporary Arts, Ideas, Inspiration, Writing

Things I am grateful for #72-99 – Ireland.


Bray, Co. Wicklow.

Bray, Co. Wicklow.

Where to begin?

I spent 13 years of my adult life in Ireland72. From 1992 to 2005.

It’s the longest period of time in my life that I have spent in any one place.

So many happy memories.

Kylemore Abbey, Co. Galway.

Kylemore Abbey, Co. Galway.

A friend I know through blogging wrote a post asking what people loved most about Ireland, and I replied – the people73. She felt I was generalizing a bit. I understand where she was coming from, because it’s quite a predictable answer. But I hadn’t meant it to come across like that because, when it came down to it, when I reminisced about all the places I loved such as: Dublin74, Galway75, Connemara76, Westport77, Achill Island78, Carlingford Lough79, Cork80, West Cork81, Sherkin Island82,  Kinsale83, Bray84 (yes, Bray), Kilkenny85, Kerry86, Clare87, Bushmills88, Helen’s Bay89, Wicklow90, – I could go on. Then there’s the arts – IMoMA91, the writers92, the poets93, musicians94, filmmakers95.

Temple Bar, Dublin.

Temple Bar, Dublin.

Then, there was my career. I was lucky enough to work in some top-class agencies96, working with some of the best people in the industry, producing some not-too-bad work. It was the most productive and award-winning of my career to date.

Kinsale, Co. Cork.

Kinsale, Co. Cork.

Then there’s the pubs97! I did my level best to try as many of them as was humanly possible. I’d never drunk Guinness98 until I moved to Ireland – I was a Yorkshireman and I drank bitter. (Aye, ‘appen as mebby.) But their bitter tastes like pish, so I started on the Guinness. And, even though I’ve moved back to Blighty, I still drink it. (It’s ‘atin’ and drinkin’, as Oonagh used to say.)

Westport, Co. Mayo.

Westport, Co. Mayo.

After all of this, when I boiled it all down, the real reason I stayed in Ireland for all of those years, was because of my friends. Irish friends, who made me feel welcome, made me feel respected, made me feel protected, made me feel loved and made me feel at home99. (And, I’m classing non-Irish friends such as other English, South Africans, Australians and Americans, as Irish in this context.)

I’m sure there are a good few who hate my guts, as well. But that’s for a different post.

Co. Kilkenny.

Co. Kilkenny.

So, for the weekend that’s in it – Happy Paddy’s Day, everyone.

Paul O'Connell and Brian O'Driscoll.

Brian O’Driscoll (right).

River Liffey, Dublin.

River Liffey, Dublin.

Giant's Causeway, Co. Antrim.

Giant’s Causeway, Co. Antrim.

Temple Bar, Dublin.

Temple Bar, Dublin.

Cliffs of Moher, Co. Clare.

Cliffs of Moher, Co. Clare.

Glendalough, Co. Wicklow.

Glendalough, Co. Wicklow.

Powerscourt, Co. Wicklow.

Powerscourt, Co. Wicklow.

Achill Island, Co. Mayo.

Achill Island, Co. Mayo.

Dingle Peninsula, Co. Kerry.

Dingle Peninsula, Co. Kerry.

Dungarvan, Co. Waterford.

Dungarvan, Co. Waterford.

10 Comments

Filed under Advertising, Art, community, Creativity, Inspiration, Poetry, Writing

#64/365 – Rain


I love the rain.

Which, when you live in a country like England, is pretty fortunate because it pisses it down all the time. (Not keen on it when it’s accompanied by a bitterly cold wind, mind.)

af2b1a2c2a3cd74eb5b19243ab46f92e

There’s something very cleansing and liberating about it.

That said, hearing it can be just as joyous as feeling it – the sound of rain against a Velux, or the cascading rhythm of droplets on leaves.

Where would we be without it, eh? Here’s where…

af0c5714441bef002c445ffa5e4945ef

Don’t get me wrong, I love the sun, too. And I wouldn’t say no to swapping the North of England for the South of France for six months of the year.

But, let’s face it, we wouldn’t have This Green and Pleasant Land, or the Emerald Isle, (not to mention flowers and crops and animals to feed off the land), if it weren’t for a spot of rain now, would we?

IMG_0578_2

Peak District

IMG_2636

Derbyshire

Unworried sheep

Unworried sheep

Sorry, couldn't resist. But there is some grass in the background.

Sorry, couldn’t resist. But there is some grass in the background.

Leave a comment

Filed under Animals, Children, Inspiration, Nature

Things I am grateful for #40/365


Okay, you lucky people, you get an extra one today as I’m behind on one.

This is one of my all-time favourite poems by W.B. Yeats, 13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939.

He was an Irish poet, founder of Dublin’s Abbey Theatre, the first Irishman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1923 and also an Irish Senator. Not too shabby.

NPG x6397,William Butler Yeats,by George Charles Beresford

He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven

W. B. Yeats

Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

1 Comment

Filed under Art, Books, Contemporary Arts, Creativity, Ideas, Innovation, Inspiration, Literature, Poetry, Writing

Things I am grateful for #13.


The sound of ropes against their mast.

Now, I’m no seafarer, so I don’t know what the technical terms are for the ropes that run down masts. (Answers on a postcard?)

IMG_0714

But, what I love, is hearing them tinkle against their masts as their boats bob in a blustery harbour.

I was lucky enough to live by the sea when I was in Ireland. So it was a sound I heard frequently and grew to love as much as the sound of rain on a tin roof.

And, if you happened upon a marina, such as the one in Malahide, the melodious diasapon was truly hypnotic.

Imagine, some people have probably never seen a boat, let alone heard their song.

Carlingford Lough, Ireland.

Carlingford Lough, Ireland.

Carlingford Lough, County Louth, Ireland.

Carlingford Lough, County Louth, Ireland.

5 Comments

Filed under Inspiration, Music

Things I am grateful for #10 & 11


Softball & Baseball.

I first took up softball in Ireland back in 1992 when I was 28 and played for about 10 years. I absolutely loved  it.

For about 9 of those years I played for a team called The Thirteen Threes. (Named after the 13.3 second world record for running around a baseball diamond.) I actually did it in 13.1 seconds. No, seriously. But that was on a softball diamond which is about 30 yards shorter.

For the last year, I played for our arch nemesis – The Troops. But, to be fair, a lot of my mates played for them.

The highlight of the season was the summer cup competitions which were held over the weekend, either in Cork or Galway. For teams like us, it was just an excuse for a major piss-up. And it never failed to disappoint.

I was lucky enough to play shortstop for most of my softballing days. And saw myself very much like this…

How I see myself playing softball.

How I see myself playing softball.

I suspect this was closer to reality…

How I actually play softball.

How I actually play softball.

As I said, I loved playing the game, not just for the sport, but because of the team spirit and camaraderie, and the innumerable wonderful people I met whilst playing it.

Could’ve done without breaking most of my pinkies though. The worst was a double fracture and dislocation sliding into second base. Still, not as bad as having my palate fractured from taking a ball in the mouth. Or having my nose shattered for a similar reason. Both of which happened to teammates.

For that, I am truly grateful.

I got into watching baseball as a result of playing softball. Unfortunately, I don’t get to watch it on TV over in the UK. (Not sure why American Football deserves that much more coverage.) So I buy the odd DVD or watch clips on YouTube and imagine I’m the one getting the triple play. (I use a hairbrush as a microphone on weekends.)

34449_430880648840_1878494_n

This was the Thirteen Threes in Cork in about 1993. That’s me, fag in hand, dipping under the railing. Not sure where I’m going. It certainly wasn’t onto the pitch as we were spectators. I think we might’ve actually been watching The Troops in the final. (We were all mates.)

From left to right: I think that’s Al O’Donohoe (with his sweet cheeks to camera), Peter somebody (he was new), John Flynn (the gaffer), Briain Wright, Ian Doherty, yours truly, Bernadette Dooley, Tony Purcell and Liz Flynn. No idea who the geezer is on the far right. So many more teammates not in this shot who I am still close friends with today.

4 Comments

Filed under community, Games, Sport

Inside the world of Love is Blood


Grasse, where Severine and Harry meet.

Grasse, where Severine and Harry meet.

One of the wonderful things about reading a good book is imagining the world that the author has created. I suspect every individual would visualise slightly different characters and the world in which they inhabit. Hopefully, mine is no different.

Whilst Love is Blood is not autobiographical, I have visited all of the locations featured in the novel. This obviously helps when trying to describe the settings in which the leading characters play out their story.

The characters themselves are not real people. They are amalgams of people I have met, invented or seen in movies. Their personalities are defined by the plot of the story. For example, both Harry and Dominic need to be creative, hopeless romantics and spontaneous, otherwise the story wouldn’t progress very far.

The three leading female characters are all strong, determined women. Severine is probably the most independent and decisive. Roísín starts out life being strong-willed and flamboyant, but, in later years, becomes slightly kooky. Sylvia, meanwhile, is the quietly sensitive type, noble and reflective.

Here are a few images that served as inspiration for the story. And, if they were all in their prime now, some actors/personalities I could imagine playing the lead roles.

If you haven’t read it yet, I’d appreciate your help in getting me up the Amazon chart. You can get a copy of it here: Love is Blood.

Love is blood, love story, David Milligan-Croft, romance

Liz Taylor as Severine?

Love is blood, romance, love story, David Milligan-Croft,

Liz Taylor

Love is blood, love story, David Milligan-Croft, romance

Cary Grant as Harry?

Love is blood, romance, love story, David Milligan-Croft

Audrey Hepburn as Sylvia?

Love is blood, romance, love story, David Milligan-Croft,

Or Emily Blunt as Sylvia?

Love is Blood, romance, love story, David Milligan-Croft

Lloyd Cole as Dominic?

Love is blood, romance, love story, David Milligan-Croft,

Gina McKee as Roísín?

Love is blood, romance, love story, David Milligan-Croft,

Dominic’s Sunbeam Tiger.

 

Love is blood, romance, love story, David Milligan-Croft,

Severine’s Citroën Pallas DS.

 

Love is blood, romance, love story, David Milligan-Croft,

Saint Paul de Vence, Cote d’Azur.

Love is blood, love story, romance, David Milligan-Croft,

Sartene, Corsica.

Love is blood, romance, love story, David Milligan-Croft,

Cargese, Corsica.

Love is Blood, romance, love story, David Milligan-Croft,

Irish Museum of Modern Art where Dominic works.

Love is blood, romance, love story, David Milligan-Croft,

Harry’s toy workshop?

Love is blood, romance, love story, David Milligan-Croft

Sylvia’s sketchbooks.

Love is Blood, love story, romance, David Milligan-Croft,

Severine’s villa in Grasse, Cote d’Azur.

Love is Blood, romance, love story, David Milligan-Croft,

Modigliani – inspiration for “Clatto”.

Picasso's 'art on paper' - Dominic's mission.

Picasso’s ‘art on paper’ – Dominic’s mission.

Love is blood, romance, love story, David Milligan-Croft.

The Empire State Building, New York.

love is blood, love story, romance, incest, David Milligan-Croft,

Help me make it Number 1!

2 Comments

Filed under Art, Books, Contemporary Arts, Creativity, Ideas, Inspiration, Literature, Poetry, Writing