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.

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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

 

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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#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.)

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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…

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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?

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Peak District

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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.

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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.

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