Words and photos byJensine-Bethna Wall
With the weather warming up and Easter in sight the wedding, races and party season is just around the corner. And we at Suburbia know what that means: our wardrobe has suddenly become very empty and we just have nothing to wear. So what to do?
Well, we found just the place to go to when your looking for that something special to spruce up you and your outfit: Matt Doody in Powerscourt Townhouse.
This young, innovative designer has created beautifully tailored and draped dresses for those lucky ones out there who's purse hasn't suffered to much in this dire economic climate and can still afford the handmade designer goods. For the rest of us and our more meager wallets Matt Doody has created stunningly beautiful and one of a kind fascinators to crown our heads. These skilfully handcrafted headpieces will transform that tired black dress into an outfit to be proud of and make us girls (and maybe boys) feel a little bit more special, regal even.
To find out more check out Matt Doody in Powerscourt Townhouse on South Williams street
Words by Aoife Miniter
Walking through the heart of Temple Bar is where you can find the trendy hotspots in Dublin. A small vintage shop is my new discovery.
The shop is packed with rails of vintage clothing and art work fills the walls. There's a shelf stacked with vogue magazines, pattern books, and a counter with old school glasses, hats and shoes that won't be found in a high street shop. Curiosity grows and I notice how young the owners look and decide to find out more about 9 Crows.
Asking one of the shop owners (a slick looking guy) about the background and set up of the shop, I soon find out that there are two shops in one. The first is 9 Crows and the second is Siopaella, (nice pun, owned by Ella De Guzman. The two are a combination of second hand/vintage clothing, and luxury one off pieces.
Not only has 9 Crows been open for a couple of months, it has taken off with a bang. Prices are very reasonable and the staff are more than happy to help you out. Everything is handpicked by the owners who try to keep a high standard in the quality of the garments, making sure they are in immaculate condition.
The shop also works by buying, trading, or consigning from anyone who shares a passion for fashion, and they accept fashion designers that would like to sell some of their own work. The whole ensemble makes a great cocktail of clothing and you're guaranteed to walk out with unique goods.
I sat on the back sofa in 9 Crows with Dean McDaid, one of the owners, who is nothing but positive and enthusiastic about Ireland when commenting on fashion. He feels that there has been a serious turn around over the last couple of years. All you have to do is look out of the shop window to realise he's got a point. Speaking with him, one particular sentence sticks in my mind 'We want to establish a DIY culture; young people are helping each other out'. It was a breath of fresh air to hear such get up and go attitude with all the doom and gloom of the recession It just proves that creativeness and imagination is definitely the way forward, no recession can rob us of that.
Words by Fayma Donohue
If living in a hard water area it can cause discolouration and even early grey hair. Buy a shampoo that is designed for after swimming to remove chlorine.
Rinse your hair with cold water after washing it to close the cuticles and add shine.
It is said that our sense of smell is shaper in the evening, so this is a good time to try out new perfume.
Wear stronger scents in cold weather as the cold reduces a scent's strength.
Remove all makeup from your makeup brushes using a baby shampoo every other week.
Words by Jensine-Bethna Wall
Quark and Dirk is a little gem hidden away in a small, not too dark, alley in Fairview D3. The tiny shop is like a jewellery box filled with old, new, hand-made, colourful and much loved finds. The owner, Deirdre Cantwell, loves what she does and wears what she sells. She has always loved fashion and when she was 18 she opened up her first shop over the summer holidays in the same space on the lane as today. She had no experience but it was still fun. That summer a dream and the name of her shop was born, Deirdre being Dirk, her best friend being Quack.
After graduating in sports science (Deirdre still plays hockey and breaks a bone now and then) she went on to study dressmaking and fashion design. Working as a buyer for a fashion retailer gave Deirdre the experience she needed to open up her own shop Quack and Dirk in 2009. Now two years later the shop is still going strong. And we are grateful, as with it's affordable prices and one of a kind vintage clothes and accessories everyone can treat themselves to something unique without having to eat porridge for a week.
Beside the vintage wear and retro goods, Deirdre also sells her own collection called Auntie Maureen. The quacky designs (Deirdre hates the word quirky) are made to suit people who enjoy their own style, like things with a story and love a rarity.
So if you are looking for a select piece for a good price, or if you just want to see Deirdre as she sews in the shop go and visit Quack and Dirk on the lane in Fairview. I am sure you will not leave without a smile on your lips or empty handed.
For more information check out www.quackanddirk.com
Expert flea market
1) Time … you need time to go around the whole market, but also take time to study every item on a stall, so that you can see everything together, in context. Is everything good value etc.
2) Play hardball … dare to haggle and don't let the stall-owner know how much you like an item, if he names a price you think is too high, cast object aside as if you didn't care. He will change the price!
3) Be prepared for disappointment ... things may be just too expensive so you won't be able to get everything you would like. Sometimes you will just have to walk away.
4) Buy early ... if you really want something and it is a good object buy at once,it will be gone later. You can walk away and try to buy it at a lower price later but you risk losing it.
5) Buy with you in mind ... Don't get carried away by a lovely atmosphere and how things look on the stall. Make sure you will want the item once you are back at home!
Did you know that balding and thinning of hair can be restored permanently by modern Medical techniques? Experiencing hair loss is no longer a situation that you have to accept as permanent. The condition is treatable
The Arte Novi Clinic in Malahide (www.artenoviclinic.ie) has joined forces with Boston Barber Brand Bars (www.bostonbrandbars.com) to create an awareness amongst the general public that balding and thinning of hair is treatable and affordable to restore!
Hair loss is a medical condition just like diabetes and high blood pressure and should not be viewed differently. if a treatment exists for a specific condition nobody should be disqualified from getting access to a potentially brilliant medical solution. Hair loss and hair loss restoration has nothing to do with vanity – it is a personal experience affecting the general and psychological wellbeing of an individual. Anybody who would like to address their hair loss concern should have access to affordable treatment options.
The Arte Novi Clinic is unique in its offering of two highly qualified physician hair restoration specialists who are registered with the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgeons, European Society of Hair Restoration Surgeons and the Irish Medical Council. This means that clients can enjoy much larger procedures performed in shorter times compared with the services provided by a single surgeon led team.
The surgeons practice the latest non-invasive and invasive techniques available for restoring and managing all types of hair loss, baldness and thinning of hair. The best news is that more people in Ireland now have access to an affordable hair loss service option performed in Ireland. The Arte Novi Clinic has aligned itself with the price structures of mainland Europe and the USA. Therefore Arte Novi Clinic is competitively priced with markets in the UK, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, France and Belgium.
The Arte Novi Hair Restoration team provides state-of-the-art FUT strip and FUE surgery options as well as non invasive treatments such as caboxytherapy and related mesotherapy modalities combined with medicinal treatments.
The first step would be to attend a consultation with one of our physician hair restoration surgeons for a examination and assessment. During this examination all the possible causes of hair loss will be discussed. The examination will also include a microscopic examination of the scalp and hair using specialized imaging equipment. Once your hair loss problem has been assessed a treatment plan will be discussed and the best possible treatment option for your individual case will be suggested. The cost for your procedure will be discussed during the visit.
Hair restoration is our passion and we take pleasure in improving the wellbeing of our clients. Your image, your appearance… your confidence is our business.
"Receive 30% discount when purchasing any hair restoration service from Arte Novi clinic by quoting the word BOSTON."
Arte Novi Clinic
Kilronan House,Church Road
Malahide, Co. Dublin
Words- Grace Burrowes
I'm not going to lie; I have glued my eyelashes together in a vain attempt to look a little glamorous. After regaining my sight, I set the glue and the eyelashes aside, vowing never to crave longer lashes again. But, as usual, I was tempted by the celebrity endorsement and the sparkly packaging not too long after my self imposed ban. However, this time I came prepared and full of fake eyelash knowledge acquired from the holy grail of makeup advice, not the cosmetics counter, but you tube.
I am a self confessed make up fanatic and adore trying out new products that promise a life changing, or at least face changing, experience. Sometimes my trials left me looking a little like Boy George. So I sought help and found it in abundance through you tube make up tutorials. The ladies and gentlemen who post these tips and guidance range from the amateur to the professional. Some are merely fans of all things make up and give a helping hand in creating an idea, others are professional makeup artists who have found this form of media as a wonderful way to promote their trade and encourage others to become a little more adventurous with their every day routine. One such pro is Lisa Eldridge who boasts Helena Christensen, Cameron Diaz and Keira Knightly in her client list. Her videos are wonderfully shot and easy to follow.
Most of these beauty guru's do endeavour to use a range of products from high street or drug store brands to higher end beauty products. From watching these videos I certainly developed a desire for all things MAC which is often the favoured product range of the pro's. However, the price tag can be a little steep when there are cheaper alternatives out there.
The tutorials posted can vary from simple every day make up, evening wear and editorial looks. There is also a trend through these videos of imitating the celebrity de jour's facial routine, and whether you want Penelope Cruz's smoky eye or Rihanna's pop of colour, help usually is at hand for whatever style you are trying to achieve. Requests are also taken if there is something you're not willing to try yourself and need that extra push in the right direction.
With the revival of all things vintage through programmes such as mad men, the tutorial talent has spread to those who are masters of the coiffure. LisaFreemontStreet has a channel devoted to vintage hair techniques and will guide you through the mine field of heated rollers, pin curls and setting lotion; with styles based on trend setters like Sofia Loren, Ginger Rogers, Jean Harlow and Greta Garbo. Re-creating these looks will make you feel part of old Hollywood, when the ladies were truly icons. For all things 'pin up' the tutorials of ilovegerardo will set you right and will have you curling and pinning like a pro in no time.
I find the in depth product reviews by those who use them as part of their trade or those who just want to help their fellow shopper out to be invaluable. If I am considering broadening my collection I will consult the makeup gods first. Being able to enjoy the review of a product in your own home as opposed to under the stark lighting of a beauty counter is a delight. These reviews are honest and will inform you of the positive and negative aspects of the product as opposed to the somewhat biased representatives of your favoured brand in the department store who seem to be displaying everything in their range on their face. This is hilarious!
These tutorials certainly are the new 'how to' guide and a forum for every woman no matter how much or little makeup they use. When you feel that you have sufficiently mastered your art, feel free to post a response of your masterpiece for the entire world to see, and you never know, you may create a following of your own.
Mens Street Style
Photos by Roisin Moloney
|Guy in grey jacket with brogues||Guy in blazer, blue tee & stripey scarf||Guy in green hunting jacket|
Words by Edward Smith
To her fans, she's the famous face with the most glamorous job on television. To her peers, she's the hard working girl with a demanding job. So who is the real Lisa Cannon? And how does she still find time to collect antiques and box?
It is 6.30pm at the Savoy cinema in Dublin, late March; not a hint of Spring in the freezing streets outside. Inside, the savvy presenter, Lisa Cannon is warming her hands by the over head heater above the entrance. Despite working the red carpet at this premiere, Lisa still has time to chat to the crowds behind the barriers, ready to turn and interview at any moment - true of a traditional heavyweight, television personality.
At 6.55pm, I catch her eye line and wave. Lisa Canon's status as head honcho of her game is apparent only from her exclusive position on the red carpet and the fact that the fans are looking for her autograph, as well as the Actors signatures. Lisa seems happy in her present job, interviewing the celebrities: 32, beautiful, with a successful career as part of Ireland's flagship entertainment show, Xpose, she has the world at her feet. A lot has changed since her first days, over a decade ago at a precocious age in her teens when she couldn't decide between medicine and media.
Dr. Cannon? No, definitely not. Our screens wouldn't be the same without her, but don't be deceived by her Hollywood good looks because this beauty has a brain. Later that week, I caught up with her to talk about life as Lisa.
She did get an offer to study medicine in the Royal College of Surgeons but instead (perhaps, thankfully, in hindsight) she studied Drama and Theatre in Trinity College. 'It was the best thing for me over all because I love writing.' Lisa came from ideal beginnings for a writer as both her parents are English teachers. During her time at Trinity, Lisa trained on Film and Television sets in Ireland and in the USA, namely the Emmy Award winning show, 'Sex and the City', Jerry Bruckheimer's 'King Arthur' and RTE's 'Bachelor's Walk'. "I was third assistant director on Bachelor's Walk. I just put my whole heart in it." Working on Sex and the City, "that opened a lot of doors for me." After that Lisa was approached to work on the hit TV show, The Sopranos. "Mum was having none of it." Much to her dismay she still hadn't finished her degree at Trinity and she had to return to Ireland.
She was meant to go to the Philippians with friends but was asked to produce a radio show for entertainment and gossip. "That changed my direction and goal." She was doing junkets with Alicia Keys and other big stars, covering the MTV awards, "I was producing a radio show that was going out to hundreds of thousands, you kind of have to get it right." A lot of people said that she had a voice for radio and sure enough she got a job on FM104. Lisa then went on to produce the weekly Entertainment slot for RTE's show, 'Nationwide'. Then she was asked to go on camera- she not only has a voice for radio but she has a face for TV. "It got my name out there." Over the years, she has worked as a broadcaster and a writer for Television, Radio and Newspapers. Then, in 2005 Lisa produced the acclaimed and controversial documentary for Channel 4 and NBC for the 25th anniversary of the death of John Lennon, appropriately titled 'I shot John Lennon'. Lisa is currently a Showbiz Reporter for Ireland's Primetime Entertainment Show, Xpose which is broadcast on TV3, everyday at 6pm.
What's next for Lisa Cannon? "I don't know, I mean I'm very happy and settled in my job. It is hard work. We do, shoot, produce and edit our own work." Despite that, there are perks to her job. "I'm the brand ambassador for Oasis so I always have great clothes."
There is no escaping it, the recession has hit us hard but has it affected your lifestyle? "Yeah, recession affects everyone; I'm a lot more cautious with my money. I've had pay cuts the same as everybody else- we're all in the same boat."
The perks of the job include meeting most of the world's famous faces like Beyonce, Angelina Jolie and Dustin Hoffman. "Jennifer Anderson is very genuine". Lisa tells of the time she met Jennifer Anderson who she asked to say 'hello' to on the red carpet later that evening. "She was true to her word." Sure enough Jennifer remembered and came over for a few words with Lisa. However, all of her celebrity encounters have not been so nice. "I don't particularly like Cameron Diaz; I found her a bit false."
She leads an active life as staying in shape is a vital part of her job. "I started boxing in January-it's great." Lisa goes on to say that she wants to get back into ballet, "I did ballet for seventeen years." She is passionate about movies and music too, having done movie reviews for years, "I adore movies and I love rock and dance music."
Out of all her interests the one thing that I did not expect to hear was that she collects antiques. I wondered how she was introduced to this. "Have a pub in Mayo called Cannons, my family name, so I started there and have an old Grandfather clock! My favourite." Well, it is easy to see that she expresses her passions and interests in her personal style, "I wear a mix of modern and vintage with a twist of Rock n' Roll."
You work crazy hours, what do you do when you have time off? "I like going to Metro and having a coffee, to stroll through Stephen's Green and I like going to Powers Court gardens or for a stroll on Dun Laoghaire peer." She also commented on how she does normal things like cleaning her house and getting the shopping in on her days off, "the house is upside down." It's nice to hear her complain about mundane everyday life - she seems very down to earth.
"I love going travelling." She tries to get away with her man (he stays out of the spotlight) for weekends when they have the time. "We are together years." Any babies planned? "No, not at the moment. Lulu, my Maltese dog, she's my baby," Lisa laughs.
Lisa Cannon is an impressive woman with a lot more going for her than meets the eye. On the one hand she has a great showbiz career and everything that goes with it and on the other hand she owns a stake in a magazine, has a BA from Trinity College, speaks French and collects antiques! Suburbia looks forward with anticipation of what great things are to come for Lisa Cannon.
She had a flying start, landing her first role as the leading lady in a junior infant’s production but there was some turbulence before Aoibheann McCaul got her big break from RTE. Aoibheann tells Suburbia what she once had in common with Jonathan Ross and how acting helped her score more than 500 points in her leaving certificate.
Playing the Doctor’s daughter as Caoimhe on Fair City, Aoibheann has no problem pronouncing her R’s but that wasn’t always the case. ‘I couldn’t say R’s when I was younger so that got my Mum to send me to speech and drama.’ Unlike Jonathan Ross, Aoibheann had an aunt that was a speech and drama teacher in Tipperary and she went down at Christmas and Easter to practice her diction. ‘Rustling through the roof tops, round and round it goes.’ After a spell in speech and drama workshops, Aoibheann found the Dublin Youth Theatre a welcome break. ‘It was a huge change from speech and drama. You are working with industry professionals when you are fifteen or sixteen. They chose kids from totally different areas, some of them had loads of experience and some of them had none. It was a completely different environment, I learned a lot.’
Getting into character Aoibheann questions why her character does what she does? ‘I have to have an understanding. I’m definitely more street wise than my character on Fair City. She’s too outspoken and impulsive; she’s a lot more naive than I am.’ Then there are those tough, emotional scenes when crying needs to come pretty easy. She once took part in a stage play that required a tear jerking performance every night. She cried at a different point every night within the scene but it always came across authentic. .‘You need to know what sets you off.’
Getting noticed is inevitable when you appear on television on a daily basis. ‘The funniest are teenage girls.’ It seems most apparent outside of Dublin, ‘I think it’s the accent, they recognise you more.’ When she was in Cork she heard girls giggling, ‘that’s the girl from fair city.’
She has always known that she wanted to act but working in the media industry can be hard on your personal life. ‘I have always known that I wanted to do it. My parents would have been happy if I did teaching and did acting as a hobby. I want to work in TV and film.’ Trying to have a relationship is difficult because of the hours she works and the fact that she can’t make definite plans for holidays or days off. ‘I kind of think you almost need to date someone in the same field because of time and the type of work I do. I’m generally single all the time’
Aoibheann studied Drama and theatre in Trinity College Dublin. It is hard to get a place on the course but Aoibheann is disciplined. ‘I worked hard. It was 540 points the year I did it but you had to pass the interview first.’ When the leaving certificate results came out she got the points. ‘It was a shock to everyone including myself. I can learn things off and I think a lot of that comes from speech and drama.’ After that she received a scholarship to study in California just south of LA where she met a lovely, Irish casting director, Karen. Karen casts for all of the Lady Gaga music videos. Unfortunately, Aoibheann didn’t have a working visa for the states and as it is really strict she couldn’t audition for any parts. ‘She said I could stay on her couch’, Aoibheann commented. She already has her first contact and a place to stay in LA-all she needs is a visa. ‘I’ve got a couple of things in the pipeline, it’s a huge throw, do I go to London or do I go to LA. I’d love to stay in Ireland but there’s not a whole lot here.’
She has auditioned for other roles and sometimes it’s hard when there is no feedback. It can be hard sometimes. ‘The best actors go through it.’ She tells how her colleagues and peers help each other through their bad days. ‘There are times when you send a show reel to agents and casting directors and you know that you are perfect for the role but you hear nothing back, you don’t even get a call. If you are going to make it, it’s because you need to be an actor. I can’t do anything else. It’s this absolute need. I suppose that I’m a bit of an escapist and that it is the only thing I feel passionate with. I would lose my mind if I was teaching’, she laughs. Fortunately, Aoibheann seems set to make it as her acting career has gone from strength to strength until date. Whether it is in TV or theatre, Suburbia looks forward to her future success.
Why do you feel that you are getting nowhere while exercising?
Always consult a professional trainer in person before adhering to any of the advice on these pages
Words by Paul Byrne
I see women who spend four days a week, forty minutes at a time on the stair-stepper, treadmill or bicycle and they don't lose weight! I know men who run six miles a day who have no muscle tone and rolls of fat around their waists. You have been led to believe that if you want to lose fat, all that you have to do is regular aerobic exercise but you must do more than that. You must be able to monitor and control your cardio intensity to maximize the number of calories you burn and if aerobic exercise is not supplemented or combined with resistance training (lifting weights) to at least maintain muscle mass, you cannot effectively accelerate the fat loss process.
Each pound of lean muscle tissue burns three calories a day while your body is at rest. Whereas body fat is not metabolically active, so little fat is burned for each pound of body fat. Therefore, a combination of properly monitored aerobic exercise and resistance training enables you to rapidly burn the maximum amount of fat.
What can you do to Increase Your Metabolism and get more out of exercise?
If you don't increase your body's burn rate or metabolism, you won't be able to burn the fat you want to get rid of. So what can you do to boost your metabolism, lose inches, and eliminate that belly fat?
Doesn't your metabolism slow down with age?
Yes, it can, but if you follow the tips I outline below you should stop your metabolism from slowing down. You should actually increase your metabolism, thanks to your new fat burning habits.
1 Strength training
Strength training should be at the core of any fat loss program. It boosts metabolism up to 10% after a training session. The lean muscle that strengthtraining helps you condition will firm and tone your body like nothing else outthere. Strength training must be a part of your fat-blasting workout routine. This is one of the reasons bodybyrne clients look so good.
Research shows eating breakfast is associated with successful weight loss. Breakfast increases metabolism because it breaks your overnight fast. So make it a habit to consume some protein, fibre, fruit (even veggies) at this time. This will keep your appetite incheck till your next meal.
3 Eat every two to three hours
Eating five to six small meals per day boosts metabolism and can help control cholesterol. Try and split your meals up into smaller meals that can be eaten over the course of the day. This one simple tactic can be the difference between becoming a fat burner or a fat hoarder.
4 Interval cardio training
Interval training causes a greater increase in post- exercise metabolism than regular cardio. It doesn't really matter how many calories you burn during a workout, what matters most is how much you burn after the workout. Interval programs lead to more weight loss than a long, slow cardio training program. Hard work and proper nutrition burn more calories and help you lose fat.
What is my advice?
Add strength training, intervals, mini-meals, and breakfast to your weight loss plan and you'll burn body fat fast thanks to your increased metabolism.
Motivation Tip for you...
You used to go to the gym. Now, you're busy. I mean, after all, you do work all day. The last thing you want to do is hit the gym after a long day at the office (yawn). Once you get home, you want to plop down on the couch, place your feet up, unwind and watch the tube. So how do you motivate yourself to go to the gym? Don't reckon about exercising just get yourself to the gym. Once you're at the gym, your body will adapt to the environment and it will be simpler to exercise.
I find this helps:
"Your body is an adaptable, mechanical machine that you have control of. It adapts to the environment you place it in. If you place your body in a better environment (physically, emotionally or mentally) your body will respond to it."
Showing up is half the battle. Take control of your adaptable, mechanical machine. Place it in gear, arrange to meet a personal trainer or a friend then you will always turn up. You can do it. Just get your body there and everything else will take care of itself.
For more info on training and diet: www.bodybyrne.ie
Words by Claire Craig
NOW THAT WE are well into spring, most of us are starting to shed some layers of clothing; and skin that may have not been on display for the last six months is getting to see the light of day again. While this is a good thing, if you're anything like me, it's also a tad unsettling as some of the sins of the comfort food consumed in the winter are still hanging (or jiggling!) around. Right now the thought of wearing anything above the knee makes me go a little weak at the knee's - and not in a good way!!!!!
So before this month leaves the room, lets all get cracking on getting our bodies into tip top shape for the summer.
This week I've tried out a Bodypump class in a North Dublin Gym.
Bodypump is originally from New Zealand and has spread worldwide. You can find these styles of classes in most gyms.
The class begins with everyone taking a selection of dumbbell weights, a barbell (steel bar), and disc weights to be put on the barbell in accordance with fitness level. Everyone is then taken through a series of moves, working the muscles groups in the upper and lower body. It is challenging, and muscles I didn't know I had were on fire by the end of the session! For the last ten minutes of the work-out we do an "abs blast" where the instructor takes us through a variety of tummy exercises, after that it's time for some serious stretching and a cool down.
Afterwards I'm exhausted but happy, no pain no gain and all that! On the subject of 'gain' even from here I can here some women exclaim, "But won't it make me bulky?" Not at all. It's been proven women do not have enough testosterone in their bodies to "build" large muscles and the benefits of weight training are too great to ignore. Research has shown that this type of training can help reduce body fat, increase strength and lower the risk of osteoporosis; and besides all that, what about just plain old looking and feeling good? Nothing beats that feeling! So if you want to start toning up fast, get to a bodypump class, feel the burn and say bye-bye to those winter body woes and hello to a leaner and fitter you.
Make sure you get all your vitamins and fatty acids, such as Omega-3, and always get advice from your nutritionist!
What is Autism?
"Autism is not me. Autism is just an information processing problem that controls who I am" Donna William's — author of 'Nobody, Nowhere' and 'Somebody, Somewhere'
Autism is a disability that affects the normal development of the brain in areas of social interaction and communication. The first signs of autism usually appear as developmental delays before the age of 3. Autism is described as a 'spectrum' disorder. This means that the symptoms and characteristics of autism can present themselves in a wide variety of combinations and can range from mild to severe. Two children with the same diagnosis can act very differently from one another and have varying skills. Autism is a serious developmental neurological disorder, marked by severe difficulties in communicating and forming relationships with people, in developing language and in using abstract concepts. Characteristics include repetitive and limited patterns of behaviour and obsessive resistance to tiny changes in familiar surroundings or routines.
There is also increasing scientific research which has investigated chronic bowel problems in some children with autism and many believe that this continuing research will eventually provide some of the answers to this previously unexplained condition and the current rise in incidence. Please see our Information Sheet on Research, check out the website or phone the Information Office for more details.
As stated above, the numbers of those diagnosed with autism is rising. In a recent briefing the National Autistic Society in the UK confirmed that the condition now affects 1 in 166 children in the UK and there is no reason to believe that incidence in Ireland is any different. Although it is widely maintained that the increase in incidence can, in part, be attributed to better diagnostic procedures, it is apparent that the condition itself is reaching epidemic proportions worldwide. What we do know, in Ireland, is that the number of young children coming into the system each year is significantly greater than in the past and that the demand for services to meet the needs of this special population will continue to grow.
Autism is not a mental illness
Autism is not caused by 'refrigerator mothers' who either consciously or unconsciously reject their children, nor is it caused by bad parenting.
Autism is not an indication of genius. Approximately 5% of autistic people are autistic savants who do have incredible talents. 95% of autistic people are not so gifted.
Children with autism are not unruly kids who choose not to behave.
The characteristics of autism
It is important to understand that no single behaviour is indicative of autism, nor will a child show all the behaviours listed. The significant factor is a pattern of behaviours. Some of the behaviours may be intense whilst appear relatively mild and also often seen at specific times in normal development. The significant difference in autism is the intensity and the persistence of the behaviour beyond the normal developmental time - frame. Here are some characteristics but check out www.autismireland.ie for more information
Has flat or little facial expressions
Does not use gestures
Rarely initiates conversation
Fails to imitate actions or sounds
May have little or no speech or may be quite verbal
Repeats/echoes words or phrases
Uses unusual intonation or rhythm
Spends time alone
Less responsive to social cues
Seeks social contact in unusual ways
Uses an adults hand as a tool
Lack of imaginative play
Does not imitate others actions
Is very attached to certain toys or objects and plays with them in an unusual way
Does not play turn-taking games
Play is repetitive
Is upset by and resists change
Shows strong/inflexible interests
May he hyperactive or passive
Sometimes appears deaf
Exhibits panic or pain related to specific sounds
Plays with light and reflection
Flicks fingers before eyes
Pulls away when touched
Strongly avoids certain smells, foods, clothes etc
Is attracted to certain patterns/textures/odours.
May spin, whirl, bang head/torso, bites wrist/hand, bounces, jumps, climbs
Exhibits unusual or non response to pain, heat or cold
Words by Grace Burrowes
Most young girls, myself being one of them, had the dream of becoming a ballerina and their mothers were more than pleased to let them dip their first perfectly pointed toe into a world that's filled with floating music and pink tulle. But whether the tutu's didn't come quick enough or the French terms for every movement was too much for the young mind to handle, numbers began to wane and class sizes reduced as I grew older.
In truth, I do see how ballet has become a less attractive option for those interested in performing arts or using dance as a fitness regime. Most television stations now run dance competition based shows, where the overwhelming majority of entrants favour hip hop and street dance. Compared to these, ballet looks stuffy, snooty and all together unexciting to the young dance enthusiast
The more modern forms of dance lend themselves and have been created alongside a culture of chart music, celebrity and fashion that is a constant in everyday life and has become universally accepted through outlets such as YouTube and MTV. When you can relate your dancing skills to Britney and J-LO, there are no rules or terms to obey, the term freestyle can easily be applied. Ballet really has an uphill battle to attract participation, with the uniform of tights and leotard, and mainly classical music as an accompaniment to any performance; it certainly is more Tchaikovsky than Tinie Tempah. I for one prefer to dance to music which is not rapped, sung or shouted over. With the emergence of shows like Got to Dance, So you think you can Dance and America's best Dance Crew it appears easier for the masses to throw themselves into a hip hop class, freestyle to their hearts content and call themselves a dancer and make their life goal superstardom.
Perhaps results are easier to achieve when there is no set standard to aim for. Ballet is graded and at the end of term there are examinations if you wish to participate, even if you don't your instructor will always be aiming for you to meet this standard. Your performance requires hard work, practice, determination and technical skill. This kind of background in dance can only hold you in good stead; even the most basic ballet can be seen as a basis for all other kinds of performance as it promotes good turnout, poise and fluidity in movement of any kind.
An audience at a ballet performance, by in large will not view it as an incentive to take a class, but will observe the beauty and grace as if it belongs to another time period and has not asserted its relevance in a culture of fads. Ballet has lasted the test of time, while other dance crazes have fallen by the wayside. With hip hop and street dance the icons and masters of the art are ever present in the music they create. Their ability to mould dance trends, ideas and styles can never be matched by a dance form that has not much room for evolution.
Masters such as Darcy Bussell Polina Semionova and our very own Monica Loughman are very much hidden away for ballet enthusiasts to relish, but do come to light when there is a surge in interest as was experienced with the release of Black Swan which brought ballet back to centre stage, at least for a couple of months. However, the attention was not all positive and the usual stereotype of skinny dancers trying to get skinner through whatever means possible was once again rolled out. This is a serious issue which I would hope only occurs in the minority of dancers; thankfully I have never experienced it.
My dreams of making the big time in the ballet world have long since been dashed. I admit I did not have the dedication or discipline required of the very best. I still take a one hour class once a week with eight other twenty something year olds, this goes to show that ballet does not have to be an all or nothing medium of dance it can conform to the idea of a casual enjoyable activity. I encourage those who still have that dream to become a ballerina hidden deep in the depths of their inner child to find a class near them and reap the benefits of a stalwart form dance.
Synopsis of Life
I was born Eamon Tallon in 1958, the second child and first son of a middle-class family in Granard, Co. Longford. My mother’s family were relatively well-to-do, owning land and several properties and running the local shop where everyone bought their groceries. This was a poorer – much poorer – Ireland than today and these possessions did make us that little bit different, I suppose. My sister Lucy was fourteen months old when I was born and my brother Michael came along a year after me. As small children we were close and played together happily. I’m sure we squabbled but to be honest, I don’t think there were many tiffs.
Those early years in Granard are very important to me. I often return to them in my thoughts and smile, for they were, without doubt, the happiest and most stable time of my life. Whenever I’m in trouble, particularly when I’m soul-troubled, it is to Granard I run, either in person or in my thoughts. I am always, always accepted back – sometimes with a sigh and a wry smile but the town takes me back and I feel loved there.
As a child, my favourite comic was the Bunty. Lucy always had her own copy but Granny held a secret Bunty aside for me. The very best thing about the Bunty was the back page. It had a picture of the Bunty character on it, standing with her arms and legs slightly apart wearing just her underwear. There were also pictures of two cut-out outfits with little tabs on them at the shoulders and waist. You had to cut out the Bunty outfits very, very carefully. You could then dress her in whichever outfit and accessories you liked. You gradually built up a huge ‘wardrobe’ of paper clothes for your paper doll.
During my teenage years, and indeed to this very day, music and dance played a huge part in my life. I was such a girl when it came to music! Donny Osmond and David Cassidy were the heart throb pin-ups at the time. Oh God, I loved Donny Osmond! I had the most enormous crush on him. All those clean American kids, we loved them, their glamour, their wholesomeness. The 70s were a great time for what they called Glam Rock: Slade, T.Rex, Sweet, Adam Ant. I loved Gary Glitter, too, but to this very day I still fancy Donny Osmond!
At the suggestion of my cousin, Mary, I decided to become a hairdresser. I was employed as a junior hairdresser in His ‘n’ hers, a salon in the city centre. Unisex salons weren’t all that long in Dublin and male hairstylists were on the increase. But it was still mostly female hairdressers and I always felt more comfortable with women. I settled quickly into hairdressing and I liked the laugh I had with the other juniors. We were in awe of the stylists and I would watch closely what they were doing. Dying to get my hands on a pair of scissors and start sculpting – I realised that this might be something I could be good at.
I dyed my own hair flaming red at one stage and I looked like David Bowie. I loved the look of that man. I loved it, not so much the actual hairdressing ‘job’ but the freedom the job gave me, a licence to wear the clothes I wanted and to do anything I liked with my hair. Hair is such a statement when you’re in your teens, more than anything else, it is what marks you as different from the previous generation. I was a brilliant hairdresser and I loved the creative part of the work. In 1975 I thought ‘this is it’ – I’m famous now and I’m going to be a millionaire before I’m twenty one. Of course, I wasn’t.
Life became a bit of a rollercoaster in the following years. I opened my own salon in Granard in the early 80s. Business was booming, I got married and we had a baby girl. Was life good? Not really. Suffice to say that at this point many things came to a head and my life took off in a completely different direction and in a different city – London here I come!
My years in London were happy, sad, mixed up, a whole plethora of emotions. I made great friends there too and one momentous decision that was to change my life completely and for the better.
It is with great inner peace and satisfaction I find myself back in Ireland doing what I love most – working in fashion, working on television and of course writing my book. People’s acceptance of me is total and for that I am truly happy. My days are full; I am working hard getting my model agency up and running. I also have commitments now to TV and other media operators and I look forward to the work and challenges ahead.
I am very close to my family, I visit my mother regularly – she is being very well looked after in a nursing home in Longford. I have renewed past friendships and have made new friends – my life is full and fulfilling.
My life so far...
It's a bit odd writing about yourself. Rather like listening to the sound of your own voice which I usually try to avoid because it makes me self conscious. I know some people like the sound of my voice and other people detest it. Recently I was asked on a radio station by an interviewer with a pronounced southern accent what I was doing expecting the Irish people to vote for somebody as President who had such a toffee nosed semi English accent. I just said to him "ní chreidim go bhfuil cannúint ardnósach agam, ach go minic ní thugann muid faoi deara a chloistear muid. Is uaidh mo scoil, mo chlann agus mo chuid oibre a fuair me mo channúint". That knocked him off his perch I can tell you. It wasn't known generally that I loved Irish in school and got a very good honour thanks to my Irish teacher Frank Peters from Cork.
One of the things that I really love about this country is the way in which it developed from the rather dull grey homogenous days of the 1950s when I was growing up in Dublin. I think it is wonderful to see the way some elements of Irish society have been recognised and brought in from the margins.
In the 50s there wasn't much in the way of recreation. There was certainly no electronic video or computer games. My aunt used to rifle through an old trunk full of leases that belonged to her mother's family. They were a well known medical family in Dublin called Stoker. My great grandfather Joseph Creighton Stoker was a cousin of Bram Stoker the novelist who gave the world Dracula. On Saturdays we used to take out some of these old hand written leases with their red wax seals and try to track down the houses in which they had lived. It had the elements of a real treasure hunt. I am very glad to say that we now recognise it and have taken Georgian Dublin to our heart both with intrinsic beauty and for the fact that it is an important element in drawing tourists into this country.
My experience as a politician has been that the majority of my colleagues are decent, well motivated people. Unfortunately there has been a lapse in some spectacular cases that have helped to bring the entire profession of politics into disrepute. Of course we are not alone in that. All the pillars of Irish life appear to have crumbled into the sand, the banks, the church, the law and politics. I often wonder what young people have to look up to. They have to find their own values, very often without the support of those pillars which were so respected in the days of my youth. It is inspiring to see how many of them are able to do so. Of course one pillar that remains is the creative intelligence of the Irish people that led us to write so much of the greatest literature in the world and more recently of music and painting as well of course as science. We often I think forget that an Irish man Richard Boyle Earl of Cork who all those centuries ago enunciated one of the principal laws of science Boyle's Law concerning the expansion of gases. Throughout a large part of the 19th century Ireland was home at Birr Castle to the largest telescope in the entire world. Without George Boole of Boole algrabra fame we would not have the computer in its modern form. I even remember sitting at the table at lunch on a number of occasions with a diffident, modest and shy man the late E.T.S. Walton who split the atom. We also designed and built the White House, invented the submarine, the first people to develop duty free facilitaties at airports and ports.
My family disdained politics but I caught the infection fairly early on shortly after I had graduated from Trinity when my colleague friend and subsequently barrister Mary Robinson ran first for the Senate and I was asked to help on her little committee. I was delighted to do so. One of the great honours of my life is subsequently being one of the 20 signatures on the document that presented her to the Irish people as a nominated candidate for the post of Uachtarain na Eireann. From Mary Robinson I learnt that it was possible to get into the Senate. I have been there now for 24 years and am very pleased to have racked up a large number of amendments to Government legislation,
introduced legislation myself and rectified injustice through techniques such as the matters on the adjournment.
My ambition now of course turn to the presidency. I believe I do have something new and exciting to offer the Irish people. Mary Robinson is an expression of her time and the wish of the Irish people to move in a progressive direction. Her finger prints are on so many of the social reforms of the last part of the 20th century. Not alone my own case concerning the decriminalisation of the male homosexual behaviour. But then very few people also credit that women a mathematical majority of this country were excluded simply by their gender for sitting on juries until Mary Robinson took up their case. It was similar with contraception and other issues. Mary Robinson's fingerprints are on all these issues.
She was succeeded by another colleague from Trinity, Mary McAleese. Mary McAleese and I had worked together as early as 1976 were the co founders of the Campaign for Homosexual Law Reform which eventually succeeded in reversing the unjust and discriminatory laws. Professor McAleese is a good Ulster woman. She had been blown out of her family's home in Ardoyne by Loyalist Paramilitaries and yet having announced that the theme of her presidency would be the building of bridges she managed with great nobility to reach a hand out to the same very loyalist elements.
I feel the very diversity of background and interest that I have makes me an appropriate person to be considered by the people of Ireland especially because we have come to recognise and celebrate the diversity in Irish life rather than pretend that we are all the same. I have always as a politician tried to deliver not just to be full of empty rhetoric. My determined candidacy has ensured that there will now be an election. It will be difficult. It will be a challenge for me and I will not know whether or not I have a nomination until three weeks before the count. Nevertheless the fact that I won't know I am in the race means the parties will not know either and they cannot take the gamble of an attempted agreed candidacy because of my possible presence in the race.
There are two ways of getting nominated for the Presidency. One is an internal nomination of 20 members of the Oireachtas which can be a mixture of both TDs and Senators. The recent election has thrown up such a varied group of new members it is now a mathematical possibility that I could attain this. The other method is to obtain the support of four local authorities, County Councils etc. There are 29 of these. I have written already to every single councillor in the country and have recently sent a request to the Cathaoirleach of each Council asking if I may be allowed to make a submission personally and directly to the members of the Council. All I am asking for is the right to present myself to the people and let them make their choice. I think in the light of my good showing in the opinion polls and the fact that there are well over 30,000 signatures on the combined websites supporting my candidacy this is a reasonable request.
When announcing my campaign I stated that I will be concentrating my campaign upon three pillars Mental Health, Enterprise and Innovation and Culture. I have been astonished and pleased in particular at the reception that by placing Mental Health at the centre of my campaign has received. I have now many times been told by people both friends and strangers who come up to me in the street every family in this country has been touched by one mental health issue.
I also think that I could help to lift the feeling of gloom that envelopes this small European island over the last couple of years. It is beginning to lift with the energies that have been released after the recent election and I believe that I can certainly help bring a new day to this country I love.
Any further information can be had at my website www.norrisforpresident.ie
A Paradise prototype for a Dublin back Garden
Words_Sophie Gräfin von Maltzan
The Recession-Prosperity garden is designed to be economically constructed DIY, and to provide liveable space for growing vegetables, playing and living. It is full of creativity and generosity and is credible, inventive and achievable. A fantastically simple but elegant and practical 21st century response to garden design on a restricted budget providing every element of sustainability for anyone interested in making the best of their garden, commented the Irish Landscape Institute award panel of the winning design.
Gone are the days when the mayor of Galway opens the restored Eyre Square with the words that, “this public space is as good as any, or even better than, continental Squares”. Clad in Chinese granite with almost identical street furniture as O’Connell Street, Dublin, it is modelled on the Champs Elysees in Paris. Sad that we simply cannot afford to build many like it now, but perhaps there is a good side to that. Having watched how, during the Celtic Tiger years, many important Irish landscapes were stripped of their uniqueness and identity, maybe it’s a welcome break?
As a Landscape Architect, often your only chance to bring your design to life is to take the obvious disadvantage as your opportunity. In the autumn of 2008 I devised the Recession-Prosperity Garden; this is a prototype for a back garden that highlights the prosperity the recession brings. Yes! There is a good side to everything bad. You just have to be original enough to find it. Of course, I am writing about the perfect garden, and sure, this is only about a garden, but the Garden of Eden is often described as the origin of sin and mankind’s wrongdoings. Therefore, maybe we could start off with getting it right in the garden again? It is why this model for a budget garden is not merely named ‘Recession Garden’ but aptly called ‘Recession-Prosperity garden’. The prosperity lies within having the time to design and build your own garden, to think creatively, to be more aware of your needs, and not what your neighbour thinks, and perhaps to take into account the natural environment. The days of showing off prosperity are over, especially for the ones who have money left. It is now chic to admit one shops at bargain stores, and weekends are no longer about going to the races via helicopter from a manor house a stone’s throw from Punchestown. (I would have remembered the name of the developer if it was not for all the champagne!)
This prototype is all about family comfort and the wellbeing of the environment. I first exhibited it in 2009 at the Bloom garden show in the Phoenix Park. I thought it a nice counterbalance to all of the other expensively built gardens; the ground-covering plants of the garden next to mine cost 2.5 times more than everything needed to build the entire Recession-prosperity garden. Yet there was no practical element in the neighbour’s garden. It won the gold medal, our garden only silver, as the Judges deemed that the planting was too much like in a real garden and the trees not grown straight. I had gone all the way to West Cork and spent the night on a sofa in a hippy retreat to source natural looking trees from a nursery. Trees do not naturally grow in a straight line, like soldiers they need training to do so. The trees finally arrived in Dublin in a horsebox with three wheels. The 60.000 visitors to Bloom loved the garden because it reminded them of what their grandparent’s garden used to look like. They eagerly picked up building manuals on how to copy it, DIY- style, in their own back yard. Visitors especially loved the chicken, albeit much explaining had to be done about the difference between a cockerel and a hen (no joke).
It was only when the garden won the Irish Landscape Institute Award for being the best residential scheme in Ireland, against all the prestigious developer lead residential schemes with glamorous courtyards and roof terraces (clad in, yes, Chinese granite and Indian sandstone) I finally found a home for the garden. It now lives at the back of the Irishtown- Ringsend Community Centre, with the wonderful Jack and Philip looking after it. We will be holding cost-free workshops explaining how to maintain it and build your own at home.
For details on the workshops view:
www.fieldworkandstrategies.com or follow Sophie here every month in Suburbia Magazine.
words by Brian Kennedy
It’s that time of the year again, daffodils have arrived and the thought of starting work on the garden again is hanging over everybody.
Each month I will have various helpful tips for both the garden lover, itching to get ‘stuck in’ and for those who see the garden as a chore, to help make things simple and quick! The days are brighter, slightly warmer and so, slightly more outdoor friendly. Although the snow and harsh winter are firmly behind us, don’t let the good weather deceive you, there can still be sharp spells of frost in the mornings. With this in mind, try to avoid planting summer bedding just yet because they simply will not last!
Most garden centres will have these summer plants on sale, but remember, these bedding plants are stored indoors at night time so don’t be fooled and hang on until May.
Although I am advising to steer clear of spending money on flowers just yet, there is some basic work that can be done out in that gloomy, neglected garden, to prepare for summer months and keep those fingers busy! Obviously, every garden in Dublin is different, but at a guess, presumably the vast majority of you own a lawn. A lawn is a hugely important visual aspect of the garden. Therefore, whether it is a sizeable plot or petite ‘patch’; now is the perfect time to begin preparing it for summer time. A decent ‘feed’ in April is how to begin. Weather wise, I would recommend the middle of the month as the safest time to begin ‘feeding’ without damaging your lawn. An important point you ought to remember is, most lawn feeds contain quite a lot of nitrogen. This ingredient helps to make your lawn super green, healthy and lush; however, it also softens the grass, which in turn, weakens it. Sadly, the results of a feed + frost = black grass. Bearing this in mind, keep an eye on the frosts before you start. If we get lucky and have a consistently nice warm April, as has been my experience for the last two years, get out and get feeding!
There are hundreds of lawn feeds out there on the market, all with different expected results depending on the type of grass, choose what you think suits your area best.
Some simple advice before you buy: Liquid lawn feeds - I can only describe as being like a ‘treat’ for grass. They are designed to give the grass a sharp burst of greenness, which looks great, but quite quickly wears off and does not give good long term results. It is, however, quite useful and effective for an upcoming special event, party/BBQ etc.
The type I would best recommend is a slow release lawn feed fertilizer. Although slightly more expensive, it certainly gives value for money. It usually comes in granular form and is akin to a ‘drip feed’ onto the grass, with nutrients in small and regular doses. This form of feed is far more consistent, giving healthier green grass over a longer period.
If your grass is not of great quality to start with, I recommend you buy a feed that also contains a moss and weed killer, combined with the fertilizer. After spreading, this type of feed encourages growth of grass in the areas that the moss and weeds once were.
A well-fed lawn will help to keep weeds and moss at bay, as the grass is simply so dense and heavily spread, there is no room for weeds to make their way in.
Another recommendation is to start cutting the lawn from April. Once every 10 days to fortnight initially, after the first couple of cuts, once a week should suffice. Subsequently, begin to lower the heights of the blades gradually, to give the grass a tighter cut.
Get ready for May
Once you have finished perfecting your lawn, here are a few quick and helpful tips to get ahead of things and get the garden ready for May:
Prune roses – (before) the middle of the month at the latest.
Feed roses, shrubs, spring bulbs and hedges with an all-purpose feed
Re-seed bare patches of lawn (compost mixed with grass seed on a 2:1 ratio)
Try to ‘keep’ daffodils, although messy, it’s too early to tie them up just yet.
Plant summer bulbs into bedding, into pots for patios.
Plant strawberries, sow tomatoes
Feed blackcurrants, blackberries, redcurrants and raspberries
Prune stone fruit trees
Tidy and tie-up wall trained shrubs, climbing roses and new climbers
Make your house a home at the ideal home show
This April, the Ideal Home Show sets up in the RDS with hundreds of exhibitors under one roof.
Are you looking to spruce up your house because that annual Spring clean just wasn't enough this year to keep your living space in top shape? Are you thinking of changing the colour of your four walls? Or, do you just need more space? Are you thinking of extending? Perhaps you want to save on bills? Maybe it's your garden that needs attention? A few tips and tricks to make those potted plants and that tired grass a bit more like a Garden of Eden may be just what you need . Whatever it is, the Ideal Home Show has the solution.
I know, I know, we are all sick of the 'R' word but in a time of recession (there, I said it) we need to save money wherever we can. This does not mean that we want to cut corners, hire cowboys or settle for sub-standard work when it comes to repairing, remodelling, insulating or even extending the family home. At the Ideal Home Show you can save your hard earned money without compromise, 'there is no better place to find the quality, value and choice you need to improve your home, save on your energy bills, find the latest great value and ideas for interior decor, furniture, kitchens and bathrooms or even plan extension with free advice from an RIAI Architect.'
If you are planning an extension then you won't want to miss the free one-to-one extension advice from Architects. You can even bring the plans and photos of your project to make the most of the free advice. When you decide on extending your home there is a lot to consider and you will find expert advice, suppliers, contractors and information on all you need at the Ideal Home Show's Extend Expo.
We all need to be careful of our carbon footprint and by saving the environment you will save Euros by reducing your homes energy bills. 'Experts in the Energy Advice Centre can show visitors how to benefit from the various government grants and greener alternatives available to help you save on your energy bills.'
After you have sorted the house why not don the garden gloves and step outside? Gardening Expert Gerry Daly will be at the Ideal Home Show giving talks and advice. Then, when all your home's interior and exterior has been dealt with you can treat yourself at the Health, Pamper and Fashion Zone. Whatever your house needs to make it a home you will find it at The Great Value Ideal Home Show.
Meet Suburbia at the Ideal Home Show
Come and visit us at our stall in the RDS from the 15th-17th of April and check out all our fantastic competitions.
Drop by and take part to win books, art, wine and lots of other goodies. And we would love to know what you think of Suburbia, so why not stop by and give us some feed-back? After all we are all about YOU!
Words by Edward Smith
Set up as a response to the September 11th 2001 attack on the World Trade Centre, Tribeca Film Festival celebrates New York City as a major film making centre. Founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff, it has become one of the most prominent and well respected film festivals in the world. ‘The Confession’ an Irish short film made its debut at the festival three years ago. Submitted at the hand of a then novice, who is now making history as the only film maker in the world to premiere at Tribeca for a third consecutive year.
Who is this filmmaker? As a child he wrote short stories and wanted to be a novelist, Archaeologist, Physicist and he thought that he might like to study Quantum mechanics at one time. Evidently, he is a man with big dreams. In real life he knew that he would have to make a choice in what to do but not in film. The enthusiasm and passion for filmmaking is blatantly obvious from the moment one meets Thomas Hefferon. “For me it’s like an obsession. It’s like a woman that you can’t stop thinking about.” From the time he wakes in the morning until he sleeps at night, this promising, young Irish Director is thinking film. “It consumes me none stop.”
Thomas Hefferon is on the brink of what is forecast to be a successful career in the film industry. “Getting into Tribeca was a pretty big deal.” Working for a well known department store in Dublin, Hefferon was rarely out of trouble. Unable to focus on anything but film, he was constantly jotting down ideas and scribbling bits of scripts on receipt paper, which didn’t impress management of course. After a number of disciplinary events he had enough. “I went for it.” He remembers having a screaming match with management because they confiscated a piece of paper that he had been writing on. He demanded that they give it back. He saved money before quitting his day job against his friend’s advice. Working in retail simply wasn’t for him. “You got to throw yourself in the deep end and just swim or drown. You’ve got to throw it all on the line.” Hefferon’s friends strongly advised that he should have a backup plan but he doesn’t believe in them. “I think that if you have a backup plan you will just use it.’” Going it alone he set out to make his first short film, The Confession. Again his friends told him not to make that particular film which was based on a script Hefferon had wrote over a year before; they thought that it was no good. He made the film against his friend’s advice and entered about a hundred festivals in the space of a few weeks. Palm Springs Film Festival accepted his submission and he flew to LA where he met Sharon Badal who it turned out is not only a fan of his film, The Confession but is the Short Film Programmer of Tribeca too. Speaking with Sharon Badal, Hefferon mentioned The Confession and to his surprise she had just watched and loved it. He offered her a hard copy of The Confession to be considered for Tribeca but she suggested that it would be better if he entered directly as she is constantly given Short Films. Hefferon persisted, adamant that she would take it and in the end she did. “It was the best thing I ever did.” Sure enough it was received well at Tribeca as was his second short film, The Pool in the following year.
His persistence and drive is admirable even his wife Oxana will tell you that it took a year of persuasion to wear her down. “He chased me for one year before I gave in.” she laughed. Hefferon pointed out, quoting Einstein, “It is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.” He seems to know what he wants and will go to insufferable measures to get it. “We met about eight years ago at a friend’s birthday party.” One year later they were dating and a year after that they married.
Now, Thomas Hefferon and his wife Oxana are preparing to head to Tribeca Film Festival for the third time in a row this April. Heffernan will be the only person who has ever achieved this honour. As a fashion designer, Russian born Oxana loves nothing more than to sow up a new garment for a red carpet event. “All of my girlfriend’s are quite jealous.” She explains how she is designing her dress for this year’s Tribeca where they will rub shoulders with the Hollywood elite. “When we first met Robert De Niro we were both a bit star struck because he’s such a legend. It was hard to know what to say to him as he is so shy.’”
What is next for Hefferon? He tried his hand at making music videos and even commercials, gaining a broad understanding of filmmaking, and now he wants to make his first feature film. “I’m in the midst of trying to make a feature.” Drawing inspiration from his peers and lifelong idols such as, James Cameron and Christopher Nolan, as always Hefferon aims high. “I feel I have a similar sensibility to the way they make movies. I want to make epic movies like, The Lord of the Rings. I think every shot needs to look like an epic painting.” His ideal career would involve living between Ireland and America, “Similar to Jim Sheridan that would be perfect.’
Hefferon makes films because he loves to tell stories, develop ideas and ask questions. “I make films because I can’t not do it.’” The future looks bright for this young filmmaker who is flying out to New York with his wife later this month to attend the launch party for Tribeca where Sir Elton John will kick off the event with a live performance before the festival gets under way.
Words_ Jensine-Bethna Wall
This Irish thriller tells the story of the suburban housewife and Mum Karen, excellently played by Amy Huberman. She seems content with her life until her past catches up with her in the form of a somewhat unhinged ex-boyfriend Karl (Allen Leech). With his appearance, her comfortable lifestyle is threatened and a wedge is slowly driven in between Karen and her husband Brendan(Owen Mc Donnell).
Rewind takes its time in portraying the characters and slowly builds up the atmosphere to a quite explosive show down at the end. Overall a good Irish film with some beautiful camera work and a strong Irish female lead. Suburbia says go and watch Rewind and support our own.
Director: PJ Dillon
Cast: Amy Huberman, Allen Leech, Owen McDonnel
Release Date: Out Now
Suburbia caught up with Director and writer P.J Dillon to get a little peek behind the scenes.
What made you choose Rewind as your directors debut?
Rewind had an unusual genesis in that it was written specifically to comply with the rules of ‘The Catalyst Project’, a low-budget feature film initiative - essentially a script competition, funded by the Irish Film Board, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, Screen Training Ireland and other organisations,.
Normally producers look for finance once a script is finished, in this case the finance existed first and we needed to write a script that could access it.
Was Amy Huberman your first choice as the Lead, and if so why as she is not known for such heavy roles?
I had worked with both Amy and Allen previously on a short film I made called ‘Deep Breaths’ - there are some similarities between that film and ‘Rewind’ so Amy was the obvious choice.
Having said that we did go through the process of auditioning a lot of other actresses, just in case there was somebody out there who we were not aware of. At the end of that process however, even though we did see some really great people we felt that Amy was the best choice.
I guess she wasn’t known for heavy roles but having worked with her I knew that she had great range as an actress, and the only reason other people weren’t aware of it is that she was never required to show it in the sort of parts she had previously played.
Both Amy and Allen are very strong in the film, were they easy to work with and did they work well together?
They are both a dream to work with. Totally committed and professional. We filmed in mid winter and it was bitterly cold, really difficult for them, but they never complained, they just knew it was required if the film was to work. We also had to work fast, really fast - we shot the film in under three weeks - so they didn’t have time to ease their way into scenes, or find things as they went along, it was pretty much turn up, do a couple of takes and move on. But they always remained focussed and just turned it on again and again.
They are good friends off screen so they got on famously during the shoot, in fact it was a great advantage as they were very supportive to each other.
The house (Amy’s home in the film) is stunning and often seems like its own character, how did you find it?
The house was found by Georgina O’Connor, a location scout. I had briefed her that I wanted an unusual house with quite modern design. She came back to me to say she had found a house shaped like an eye, I couldn’t believe how perfect that was in a thriller about a woman being watched by an ex-lover! Perfect.
The shower scene towards the end is beautifully done, was it hard to shoot as water, glass and light can be difficult?
The only difficulty was that the hot water ran out really quickly so Amy was under rapidly cooling water for most of it. We shot those scenes at 120 frames per second and the close-up of her eyes is my favourite shot in the film.
The silence in this film seems often to say more than the dialogue. Did you allow for a lot of improvisation or was it all scripted?
I was absolutely open to improvisation, in fact I would have welcomed it, but the reality was that we didn’t have time to explore most scenes in that way so they are pretty much as scripted. The exception is the final scene between Allen and Amy in the forest. We were rapidly running out of time and light - night was setting in fast - and I wasn’t able to shoot the scene as planned so I went to the two of them and asked them what they thought we should do. We all agreed that they would just take the bare bones of the scripted dialogue and improvise. We ran the scene twice, on two cameras both times, and that was it. They were both terrific, flawless, the moment where he kisses her is unscripted and is really powerful, they just ran with it.
After so many short-films are you now going to stay with features?
I hope I’ll direct at least one more feature but I wouldn’t discount the idea of making another short if I liked the script. Most of my work is as a Director of Photography and that will still be the main focus of my work, I love being a cameraman too much to quit.
What big project are you working on at the moment and what feature film can we look forward to?
I’m developing a feature film called ‘The Ranger’ with Macdara Kelleher of Fastnet Films and the Film Board. It’s a bigger film than ‘Rewind’, an action film set in Conamara in 1847! We are hoping to shoot it early next year.
Any guilty pleasures while on set?
Gummy bears and cola bottles.
Killing Bono is a fun film that doesn’t take itself too seriously. It is based on the book ‘I was Bono’s Doppelgänger’ written by Neil McCormick. The film tells the story of Dublin brothers Ivan and Neil McCormick, who attempt to become rock stars in a time where Bono was still Paul and Euro’s were Pounds. No matter how hard the two brothers try they just cannot compete with their secondary school friends, who just happen to become the world’s biggest band U2. The brothers move from Dublin to London running after fame and always tripping up. Maybe that is partly the clothes fault as they don some particularly horrific (albeit entertaining) 80’s outfits. The music is good, the score created especially for this film by Joe Echo and a little gem is the late Pete Postlethwaite in his final film role as their flamboyant, gay landlord.
Director: Nick Hamm
Cast: Ben Barnes,
Release Date: 1st April 2011
Words Gavin Burke
Snap continues the great run of quality Irish movies released this year. Part mockumentary, part straight drama, Snap follows Sharon (O’Sullivan – Raw, The Clinic) as she invites a documentary crew into her apartment to ‘set the record straight’. Three years ago Sharon’s disturbed teenage son Stephen (Moran) kidnapped a two-year-old boy and kept him captive for five days; the media turned the situation into a circus, with Sharon the focus of their wrath. Cutting back and forth between then and now, Snap plays with the audience’s pity for Sharon and Stephen, with compassion consistently chopping and changing as new information surfaces. Carmel Winters might be a sure hand directing her first feature, but Snap belong solely to O’Sullivan, whose caustic and nervous turn is one of the best Irish performances in recent memory. Eileen Walsh (Eden) and the late Mick Lally co-star.
Director: Carmel Winters
Cast: Aisling OíSullivan, Stephen Moran
Release Date: 8th April 2011
Joe Echoc’s “Killing Bono”
Words_ Heather MacLeod
He has co-written with Madonna, had a Grammy nomination, shared the stage with Paul McCartney at Hyde Park and had a track on Oakenfold’s Number 1 Dance album ‘Perfecto Vegas’. Just touching the tip of the iceberg, you would be forgiven for thinking I was actually reciting Bono’s CV but I’m talking about the Northern Irish born musician who goes by the name of ‘Joe Echo’. I recently caught up with Joe to discuss his eclectic career so far.
Born and raised in a rural area of County Derry, Northern Ireland, Joe tells how, “there wasn’t a lot to do so from a young age I was exposed to a lot of traditional, and later, rock music”, which spurred him on to buy his first guitar and start up bands with friends. Joe later attended what he describes as a “hippy” college in Co. Down, where he really got his teeth into the process of writing, recording, organising gigs and studying with the likes of Nathan Connolly - who later went on to become part of Snow Patrol. Joe tells us how his first big break came. Having previously sung for, and co-written with, Paul Oakenfold (noted Record Producer and DJ) he put Joe’s track ‘On All My Sundays’ on his album ‘Perfecto Vegas’. This went to Number 1 on the USA itunes and Amazon Dance Charts and ultimately opened doors for Joe.
From there, Joe went on to work with Madonna co-writing the track ‘Celebration’ for her Greatest Hits album, which later became the title track. He sang backing vocals on the Snow Patrol album ‘Eyes Open’. Has written and recorded with big industry names including William Orbit and Groove Armada. Joe has also had the privilege to open shows with none other than The Script, Franz Ferdinand and Paul McCartney.
Upon receiving the phone call to play with McCartney, Joe comments, “it’s one of those things where someone phones you up and tells you they’ve got you a slot with Paul McCartney in Hyde Park in London and you think “What?!” but it was amazing”.
Let’s talk about ‘Killing Bono’. Not to worry, this is not a change in career for Joe. From musician/songwriter to assassin, it is the title of the new film, due out April 1st , featuring Ben Barnes (The Chronicles of Narnia), Robert Sheehan (Misfits TV series) and Pete Postlethwaite’s last ever screen appearance.
When asked whether he was concerned about being asked to write tracks for a film entitled ‘Killing Bono’? Joe responded, “No not at all. They hadn’t actually come up with a name for it when they first approached me, although I knew it was based on the book ‘I Was Bono’s Doppelganger’. I think the title is fantastic and the beautiful thing is that Bono actually came up with it himself”. U2 also contributed tracks to the film including the previously unreleased track ‘Street Mission’ sung on the soundtrack by Martin McCann, who plays ‘Bono’ in the soon to be released film.
Having previously written tracks for films including ‘Wild Target’ Joe explains that, “the ‘Killing Bono’ soundtrack was different in ways. They didn’t know what they wanted but they knew that they needed someone to try out different styles. I was asked to write a song in the style of, say, Iggy Pop, so I went away and gave it a go. They tried it in the film and it worked, after that, they would ask me to write a song in the style of Flock of Seagulls or The Police. Some genres came naturally to me. The hardest one was probably the reggae style which I’d never done before”. This resulted in Joe penning eight tracks in total for the film’s soundtrack ‘Killing Bono: The Original Soundtrack Album’.
After all this, Joe is only just getting around to finishing off his own debut album, due for release later this year. Considering his busy workload to date, it is quite understandable.
‘Killing Bono’ is due for general release on April 1st and the soundtrack is available from 28th March. You can find out more about Joe Echo via his website www.joeecho.com
Listen to the whole interview with Joe on www.macloudmusic.podomatic.com Tune into ‘Off The Record’ on 103.2 Dublin City FM with Heather MacLeod and Anna-Lucy Hughes every Friday from 9-10 pm.
Words & Photos _ Jensine-Bethna Wall
The Vincent Keeling Gallery on Clarendon Street (just behind the Westbury hotel) is filled to the brim with canvases of all shapes and sizes depicting vibrant works of art. If you walk by the large window, you will probably see the artist, and owner Vincent Keeling himself either standing amidst the paintings chatting to costumers or sitting behind his desk preparing prints. If you are lucky, and it is late enough in the day you will find him positioned behind the easel painting in oil, mixing vivid colours and molding forms into shapes that jump off the canvas.
Vincent likes to paint in the evening until late into the night, maybe not quite as excessive as when he was a teenager, sleeping all day, working all night, but old patterns die hard and remnants are left. But it seems to work for him, at the age of 18 Vincent showed his work in the Royal Hibernian Academy's Annual Exhibition, the youngest artist ever to do so. At that time Vincent was mainly painting in the style of hyper-realism. His work has changed somewhat since then and it seems as if he is in transit to something new, a bit more expressionistic. Organic studies and the human form still play a big role in his work but it seems they are becoming less defined.
Vincent opened the lovely white washed space of his gallery in November 2009 and has been successfully displaying and selling his own and other artist's work since. But selling his work is not a new thing for him, painting since a very young age he sold his first piece at 16 and has been able to keep doing so throughout the years allowing him to live his dream as a full-time artist.
Vincent dropped out of school to paint and although he is mainly self-taught he did get a chance to study under the talented and established artist Brian McCarthy. The two quite different artists, are still friends today and many of Brian McCarthy's works are on display in the Gallery and both originals and prints are waiting to be bought.
So why not stop looking at your empty walls at home, or maybe take down those bad reproductions of Monet and buy something a little more unique? Besides the many originals from great artists such as McCarthy and of course Keeling you will find work by Jimmy Lawlor, Sharon McDaid, Paul Kerr, Louise McKeon and many more. If the originals are maybe a little to pricey for your income in these penny pinching times then maybe a very good quality limited edition print will do the trick.
So the next time you are around and about the city centre check out The Keeling Gallery, meet the artist, or his sister, talk art and drink in the colours with your eyes. You will leave feeling happy and your walls will love the new pictures you bought.
For more information check out www.keelinggallery.com
Words & Photos_Jensine-Bethna Wall
Every last Sunday of the month the Co-Op Market in New Market Square turns into a vintage lovers paradise. With a large indoor space filled to the brim with crafty goods, food stalls, bric-a-brac and vintage memorabilia it is no surprise that everyone will find something to buy, eat or just love.
With 60+ stalls (40 inside & 20 outside) you are sure to find a bargain and anything from funky vintage clothing, cool 60s furniture and handmade goods from the bizarre to the beautiful.
But the real little gem about this hidden market on the Southside of Dublin is the atmospheric outdoor space. The simple cobble stone square has a continental feel to it and quirky seating arrangements invite you to sit and people-watch or just take a break from all the browsing. With live music acts and DJs to entertain you, while you sit surrounded by stalls full of bargains and treats, what could be a better way to enjoy a Sunday afternoon, especially if the sun is shining in Dublin?
So if you have no plans, a few Euros in your pocket and enjoy a good nosey, just pop down to The Dublin Flea Market on New Market Square on the 24th of April.
For more information check out:
I was strolling down Dublin’s boardwalk (the existence of which can be accredited to the Celtic Tiger) when I observed the empty retail units on either side of the Liffey, reminding me that the days that put these very panels beneath my feet are firmly behind us. A little prayer and a lot of penny pinching were prescribed- It was in the hands of the heavens now, I thought. Just then it struck me, like a shiny nugget that caught my eye, not quite Devine intervention but Dvine Wine Bar.
Ideally located in the heart of Dublin’s city centre, Dvine Wine Bar boasts great wine and Mediterranean appetizers, pizza and desserts, at affordable prices. I wandered in and plonked myself on a stool by the window to watch the last of the daylight shrink over the Liffey. Recently opened, this quaint oasis is perfectly suited for intimate gatherings. The wine bar is newly refurbished with tall tables holding candles and comfortable chairs that effortlessly convey a modern, authentic Italian vibe. After a warm welcome, traditionally akin to both the Irish and Italian, my host, Leonora presented the menu.
I ordered the Irish Panini(€5.50), asserting my national identity through the food- an oven baked ciabatta with Irish crumbed ham, Tipperary red cheddar and fresh vine tomatoes: Delicious. If any adjective is to stand out in the previous sentence it is undoubtedly, ‘fresh’. The finest in fresh produce baked to mouth watering goodness-yum! The easy listening background music aided digestion and added the Pièce de résistance that created something you can’t buy from a menu- atmosphere. The friendly and much appreciated, individually assessed banter was carefully administered among the diverse, yet pleasant clientele- a truly winning formula.
When it comes to wine, I don’t go in for that formal table side tasting before buying a bottle, as if I am a connoisseur. I am more of a layman but not a complete philistine, so I was happy when asked to have a sip or two before choosing. Deciding on a red from Montepulciano (€4.50), a region in Italy famous for wine, I sat back and enjoyed every drop.
The time had come to order my favourite course. After much deliberation, I ditched sweet and stuck with savoury, asking Leonora to serve me up the Continental cheese selection (€12.00). There was Goats cheese, cream cheese, Parmigiano Reggiano and Gorgonzola with green olives, forest honey and bread- it complimented the vino very well. Before coughing up for the meal, I tried their coffee. My standards are high and in all fairness they were met- My cappuccino was satisfying.
Overall, the food is great, the wine very good and the service went above and beyond the call of duty but most of all the experience was memorable.
DVine Wine Bar, 16 Bachelor’s Walk, Dublin 1 / ph: 01 8720291
Words_Paul O Doherty
There is so much to like about Chile and its wines that it's just so frustrating that it's nearly a 13-hour flight from Europe, and that's only if you're living in Madrid. Once there, however, diversity if definitely it's calling card from its rain-shy Atacama Desert in the north to the icy beauty of Antarctic in the south, or from the shadow of the Andes mountains that provides a natural barrier to Argentina to the cooling influences of the Pacific to the west. In the middle it's all about agriculture and specifically the diverse 'typicity' of its wines many of which are increasingly available locally in Ireland.
If you were lucky enough to be arriving in Santiago at this time of year, at the end of the Chilean summer, you'd notice that temperatures regularly still touch 30 degrees centigrade, and the city is colourful, vibrant and alive surrounded as it is by the ruffled collar of the Andes mountains that in winter on a clear day seems surreal so close to the metropolis. While Santiago has its charms and its interests, particularly, the view from the summit of Cerro San Cristóbal that gives stunning views over the city and the Andes, the colonial architecture on Plaza de Armas and the Mercado Central marketplace and its seafood, it is the wandering soul who gets most for his or her Euro or Chilean Peso when visiting the country.
Close enough to the city and within a short driving distance, specifically, are the wine regions of Aconcagua, Casablanca, San Antonio and Leyda and Maipo, among others, home to such wineries as Viña Errazuriz, Viña Tarapacá, Viña Concha y Toro, Viña Santa Carolina and Viña Carmen. However, it's probably outside this vineyard necklace away from the irrigations systems that run down from the Andes where Chile's great future lies bearing in mind that vines are far more inspired in searching for water than having it feed to them. Time will tell, however, if far flung enclaves in the north such as Elqui, Limari and Chopara, or destinations further south such as Itata, Bio Bio and Mallleco will find room on Irish wine shelves to match the enthusiasm of confidents who are keen to unleash the exceptional quality in Chile's burgeoning diversity. To this diversity, here are just some of what's available on a wine shelf near you.
Mont Gras Chardonnay 2009
(Tesco, Dunnes, Supervalu, €8.99)
Much more than a cheap and cheerful no-nonsense Chardonnay from the Central Valley that touches all the right notes and is an ideal fruity mouthful ahead of the barbecue season. Surprisingly long finish.
Secano Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2009
(Marks and Spencer, €11.29)
On the cusp of spring and the promise of summer, this is a lively, fresh and elegant dry white with grassy green ripeness on the nose, a little more complicated on the palate with the riper zippiness of lime and gooseberry, and a decent finish.
Los Vascos Chardonnay 2007
A wine from the Lafite-Rothschilds, this is an unoaked Chardonnay from Casablanca, with faint layers of tropical melon and grapefruit on the nose, a little richer with added green apple fruit, hints of spice and more depth on the palate. Another relatively long finish and good value at the price.
Confin Single Vineyard Viognier 2009
Showing the diversity of Chile, this is a gem from the Rapel Valley and a steal at the price. Intensely floral and perfumed on the nose, its palate is edgy with a mixture of apricot and apples lost in a summer meadow of recalcitrant roses. A lingering finish to boot.
Coyam Emiliana 2007
Big bold blockbuster from Colchagua in the Central Valley, this is a blend of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon Carmenère, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Mourvèdre that's sophisticated and enticingly fruity on the nose. On the palate, it's very smooth with a rich depth of leather, cedar and spice awash with blueberries. Long, long finish and still only a baby. Wine of the Month.
Mayu Reserva Estate Bottled Carmenère 2007
From the Elqui Valley, on the borders of the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, this is a world away from the vineyards that surround Santiago, and as good an outsider as you're likely to find on the fringes of the Chilean wine industry. On the nose, it's welcomingly vibrant, fruity and spicy while on the palate it's full bodied and rich in high quality chocolate and coffee and yet still soft and comforting without the addition of overindulgent tannins. A long gutsy finish and a celebration of Carmenère.
Mont Gras Quatro 2009
(O'Briens, Molloys and Supervalu, €12.99)
Again from Colchagua in the Central Valley this is another blend – this time of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Carmenère and Malbec – married together with ripe serious blackberry notes on the nose mingling with vanilla, cedar and spice. On the palate the flavours are just as rich and the finish, while, lacking a little oomph is just as rewarding at the price.
Carmen Reserva Carmenère 2008
(Tesco, SuperValu, Nolans of Clontarf, €11.49)
While a little shy on the nose, this charmer from Colchagua gets to work on the palate with an abundance of plumy rich fruit, hints of chocolate and the whiff of tobacco. While not terribly showy on the finish it's still a likeable Carmenère that won't break the bank.
Honestly darlings, I've Chilean recommendations coming out of my ears. Only at tennis the other night, the girls – the two Cyndis and Miriam –were flinging out suggestions like backhand returns to what's her name with the short skirt. Down the toddler group on Friday Nancy, formerly of Phibsboro, recently divorced and now living with her new beau Fitzy between Monte Carlo and Donnybrook, was offering me tasting notes as I was picking up Jemima. Tasting notes! Can you imagine it at half-one in the day and me trying to fit the child into the uppity car-seat? Did I take any notice? Had I time? Of course, I hadn't time. No, I found myself in the off-licence at the end of the week trying to remember was I supposed to pick up my elderly mother from her Facebook training at seven or was it eight while I glanced at the Chilean shelf looking for inspiration like a miner who'd been under the ground for six months. Then my mother rang me on my mobile. "Are you picking me up from Facebook training, I'm freezing here waiting for you?" And, that was it, I was off, having bought nothing.
Luckily, I got talking to the postman – Christy – a day later and he recommended a great bottle he'd had with his missus, Betty. I remembered there and then, that one of the Cyndis had also sung its praises too, as did Nancy. Christy's like that - good occasionally for early post and occasionally for wine recommendations. So, when I got the call to sample the wine of the month, Coyam Emiliana 2007, sure I was made up. Now before you start getting out your pen and paper to take notes, I'm not the sort of person that's going to glorify a wine with images that tell you I can smell wildebeest hair or cured semtex in the wine or whether the finish was designed by Matisse and has hints of an exam on the palate. No, the wine is either great or it's brutal, no fancy words. Just what I thought of it, pure and simply, where I had it and whether it added to the night or not. So, here goes darlings.
Penelope's Tasting Note
Husband missing. Children in bed. House spotless. Mother practicing on Facebook. I'm on the sofa, reading television presenter Fern Britton's first novel New Beginnings, trying to juggle pen, paper, bottle of wine and glass. Poured myself a glass of Coyam and drank it. Tasted great, in fact brilliant. No doubt it's red, tastes like wine and some sort of red berries, lots of them. Warm and very pleasant in the mouth. Had to brush my teeth twice before going to bed. A great wine as recommended by Nancy, one of the Cyndis, Christy the postman and now me. Cheers darlings.
Saint Anne's Park may already be the preferred destination for a good old-fashioned stroll in the park for many Northsiders, but the lovely food & craft market at the Red Stables is an added incentive.
Every Saturday your taste-buds will enjoy the many tasty opportunities from cheese over fruit & vegetables to bread and those oh so delicious and calorie laden cakes.
If you don't want to sit in the 19th century red brick courtyard and enjoy the goodies there and then with a hot cup of tea or coffee, just pack them up, take them home and spoil yourself within your own four walls.
Maybe even buy a bunch of freshly cut flowers to brighten up your home and remind you that you can always look forward to another outing to the Red Stables at the weekend, no matter how long and hard your week may be. And with the summer on its way what a great excuse for a picnic!
Words by Jensine-Bethna Wall
We all feel our pennies pinching in our pockets and decide that the new going out is staying in, but The Station House Bar Raheny may just be able to coax you out after all.
With a large range of international cuisine and some good old fashioned Irish favourites (we do love our fish and chips) the menu is a delight to choose from. And at prices from between 4 and 15 Euro (only the steak costs a little bit more) our purses won't be too empty after a wonderful and delicious night out.
The Station House Bar Raheny has a large indoor space which may at first seem a little bit over whelming, but through smart layout and design you'll soon discover that there are lots of cosy corners and comfy nooks for you to settle down in to enjoy a good chat and an even better meal.
The friendly and very helpful staff, local girl Bernadette is particularly nice, lets you take your time picking whatever food suits your hunger and answers any questions you may have. All the produce is Irish and comes from local businesses, so you're not only treating yourself but boosting the local economy, too.
Everything taste really good and is made fresh when you order and I can't compliment and recommend the Balsamic Vinegar enough. So make sure you get a dish that has it in it. The chef reduces the vinegar down and ads lots of little extras, like honey, to make the flavour just explode in your mouth. Trust me you will want to drink it, it's that good!
For those of you out there who have kids or are non-meat eaters, the Station House Bar Raheny offers children's plates and veggie food. The desserts vary as they are delivered fresh so ask what is on the menu that day before you pick and choose.
One thing I really liked was that the skillful chef felt confident enough in his cooking to come out of the kitchen to chat with the customers. Accepting both his critique and his praise with a smile and a friendly handshake.
With a full lunch time menu opening hours are no excuse to miss out on this suburban bar. With the Dart just down the road, the bus stop across the way and loads of local parking transportation isn't a hindrance either.
Because the Station House Bar Raheny has the space a wedding meal, a christening brunch or a Birthday finger-food bonanza can easily be catered for. And now the summer is on its way the BBQ in the lovely back-garden area will be a great way to dine out after a late night at the office or just to enjoy the last rays of the sun.
The Station House Bar Raheny gets the thumbs up from us here at Suburbia and an added bonus as you don't have to venture into town to brave the masses but can find something so nice in a more suburban area. Overall everyone will leave with a full belly and a happy, satisfied grin on their faces.
There is no need to keep up with the Joneses – we are the Joneses!!!
When my husband Freddie came home from work, one day back in 2008, and told me that we were in a recession, I nearly dropped the cafetier on the spot. My mother had just popped in with the new Harvey Nic’s catalogue and, up to that point; it was just like any other day. Two things I wanted to know – how long was it going to last and would it affect us? I should have known when he said that it would be over by half past ten on the 22nd of October 2010 that he had something to hide.
Things have been unbearably difficult ever since – I find my self in the strangest of places with words in the names that are not palatable for someone like me – like ‘Bargain’ Stores and ‘Cheap’ Shop and they don’t have staff to pack the shopping into the bags. I have to wear a special wardrobe to these god awful places in case anyone recognises me – camouflage to do the weekly shop. To top it all off they don’t even take credit cards so I have to stick to a budget – mind you, you could feed a small country in one of these places with the same amount that I used to spend every week in my old supermarket.
Then there are the little niceties that Freddie insisted I cut back on, like my weekly aromatherapy massage, my manicure and my blow dry. So I told him firmly – no blow dry = no blow job!
Things have become very sticky with the staff too. I’ve had to cut Magda’s hours to almost nothing. And I only have one au pair instead of the usual two. Although I seem to be getting a handle on that – last week my friend Fiona sent around her Nanny to keep an eye on her child while she was playing in our house so I gave her a pair of rubber gloves, a bottle of bleach and sent her in the direction of the bathroom.
It is awful really the things I’ve had to do to get by, like taking the new magazines from the hairdressers to see if I am in the back pages. Freddie just doesn’t understand the importance of the ladies lunches, fashion shows and all the other philanthropic work I do – there wouldn’t be an incubator in the Children’s Hospital if it weren’t for the amount of champagne I’ve had to guzzle down my throat at events in numerous five star Hotels.
Things hit an all time low last week in one of my favourite department Stores when I was dropping in to get my usual benefit lippy at the cosmetics counter. I was top of the queue when Samantha Hooper gushes over in my direction with about ten jars of Lancôme anti wrinkle products – (heaven knows she can do with them!) no sooner had she slipped off to get even more products at the Armani counter than I had the embarrassing scenario of my credit card being rejected. I had to actually plead and beg the girl at the counter to give me an empty bag and I stuffed my old lippy in and covered it with tissue paper so that Samantha would be none the wiser when we crossed paths on the way out. I won’t let that happen again. So I have a new routine when I go into town now with my bags already prepared. I’ve found the merits of shopping in Bargain Stores in that awfully rough part of town and, as long as I get back across the Liffey before getting mugged, I can slip my purchases into my favourite department Stores bags and nobody is any the wiser when I go into Bewleys on Grafton Street for my skinny latte!
But there is one luxury I will never cut back on and that is Raul my delicious Spanish gardener – he’s built like a stallion and he can trim my bush in a way that nobody else can. So you see, the more Freddie tries to economise, the more resourceful I will become. Anyway dahlings, I think I have given away enough of my moneysaving secrets for one month but bear with me, as I know we are not out of the dark hole of this recession yet!
illustration by Sam Moorhead: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sam-Sketches/205696336122473?sk=wall
words by Edward Smith
The rain pelted off the bonnet of Catherine's car as she drove on the new road through the forest. It cut the distance between the hospital and her home by half. This was a welcomed shortcut, especially after a nightshift. Barely keeping her eyes open, the noise of the rain hitting the car echoed in her over-tired head. Her palms were sweating and her face flushed. Catherine knew what she had to do when she got home but wasn't sure if she could go through with it.
Spotting the bend ahead she slowed to take the sharp right onto the old road to get to the village-she was almost home. Driving through the village her chest began to tighten. She was on the verge of losing her cool and the fatigue made it even more difficult. She pulled over twenty metres from her house to rest her head on the wheel. 'He wants this, he wants this, he needs this', she repeated to herself. 'It's the right thing to do'.
Arriving at her door, she moved to the kitchen and poured a glass of water, drinking it in one long gulp to satisfy her dry mouth. Then, with one last deep breath of self-encouragement, Catherine walked up the stairs, carefully reaching into her uniform pocket and removing a loaded syringe. Opening the bedroom door, she looked at him sleeping before slipping the lid off the syringe and moving towards the bed. She hadn't taken two steps when her mobile rang at full volume, shocking her into dropping the syringe and wakening Tom. He turned and stared at her, half asleep, then noticing the syringe on the floor he asked, 'What's that for?' 'Uh, I was, hang on...' She answered the phone; it was the hospital. 'It's Bob; he's had a heart attack'. Picking up the syringe Catherine high-tailed it back to the hospital, leaving Tom wondering what was going on. 'Who is Bob?', he muttered to himself.
At the hospital, Catherine was at Bob's side when he came around. He was stable now. The nurse came to move him into a private room. Bob worked as a security guard in the hospital, so he was getting special treatment. Catherine on the other hand was feeling quite unstable and burst into tears as soon as they were alone. 'What's all this?' Bob whispered. Catherine couldn't stop crying, 'If they didn't ring when they did, things could have been so different now. I nearly lost you too, all in the same morning', she climbed up and lay beside him. 'What do you mean?' he asked confused; but both were exhausted, and fell asleep together without another word.
Opening her eyes she saw Bob reading the dinner menu and drinking tea from one of those plastic hospital cups that she loath so much. 'I was just about to wake you. I'm sure Tom will be wondering where you are?' 'Yeah, I suppose he will be; I had better go.' She leaned over and kissed him goodbye. She was working that night in Accident & Emergency and knew that she needed to go home before coming back, as she had some explaining to do. Before leaving the hospital Catherine safely disposed of the syringe and bought a takeaway coffee from the canteen.
She spilled the coffee on her hand as she tried to open her car door but ironically, the scalding burn made her freeze, triggering an old memory. Wiping the coffee from her hand, she thought back. The coffee trickled down her arm running over her old burn scar. Rolling back her sleeve she looked at it once again remembering how frightened and tortured she was back then- her eyes filled with tears instantaneously. 'Catherine', a voice called. Dropping her coffee and keys in surprise she turned to face Tom. 'What are you doing here?' she nervously exclaimed. 'I have a treatment today. Where have you been?' With no time to think Catherine told Tom that she had forgotten to give one of her patients their medication this morning and that was why she had to take the syringe back to the hospital. She told him that she decided to sleep in the hospital as she was too tired to drive anymore. Tom looked suspicious. 'You are working and taking care of me too after all. You work too much. You need to take some time off', he said, 'I'll see you for dinner before you head back to work'. 'Yeah, sure, see you later', muttered Catherine, getting into her car and closing the door.
Catherine stopped off in the village to buy fish and other bits to prepare dinner. She knew how particular Tom was and she didn't want to draw any more attention to herself after this morning's events so she made an extra effort to prepare a great meal.
Tom had just finished a session of Chemotherapy. He never felt too bad until the next day. He was making good progress after battling with cancer for the past two years. Downstairs in the hospital, Bob had just tucked in to his dinner. Laughing at something he was watching on TV, Bob was feeling much better. 'So you think it's funny', a voice said. Bob turned his focus from the TV to a man standing at the end of his bed. 'What? Do I know you?' 'You know my wife.' 'Tom?' 'Oh, so you do know me after all', smirked Tom. 'Why was my wife sleeping beside you here today?'
To be continued next month ....
A picture says more than 1000 words, or so they (whoever they may be) say.
We here at Suburbia would love to know what YOU have to say about your Suburbia Moments, so pick up your camera (we know you have one) and start snapping whatever takes your fancy.
Once your battery is empty or you begin to get carpal-tunnel-syndrome send us your favourite shot. You have until the 20th of April to send in your photo, either via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or to our PO BOX: Suburbia Publications Ltd, PO Box 12039,Dublin 13 if you are more the retro kind of girl or guy.
Add a few words about what your Suburbia Moment means to you and we will pick our favourites and publish them in our May Issue.
Hope you are as excited as we are!
Victoria channels Angels to answer questions
Question: I am worried to death about money. Both my husband and I are self-employed, and because of the recession, we have both been losing business. I feel as if we have no financial security for the future. I am so anxious that I can't sleep, and then I can't seem to find the energy to do anything constructive. The worrying paralyses me, so that I just don't have any enthusiasm! The worst part is that I want to think positively, I know I am making things worse, by thinking negatively, but I can't stop myself imagining the worst, imagining that we will lose our home and everything will keep getting worse. I have been told that I need to meditate, but I can't do it, my mind just won't switch off, I find myself thinking endlessly about my problems. Can you help? Marion, Donnybrook.
Answer: Dear Marion, we understand that while you are in this situation, and you are worried about money, it can be extremely challenging to take control of the way that you think, and to think positively. It can also be extremely challenging to find peace of mind in meditation. As you have discovered, your mind does not want to switch off! Instead, it wants to work harder, and to think of ways in which you might be able to change your situation.
It is of vital importance in this situation that you do not make an enemy of your mind that you do not regard it as something to be 'switched off'. Your mind is not your enemy, in fact quite the opposite. It is one of your greatest assets, as a human being, perhaps the greatest asset to your wellbeing that you have. Your mind is only trying to help you in the best way that it knows how.
Meditation is a wonderful way to calm the mind, to allow it to slow down, and to help you to access new and different states of mind which are more resourceful and creative, more relaxed and more expansive than the fear based states that you are currently experiencing. But in order to meditate in a way that is useful, you will need the full co-operation of your mind. You will need to tell yourself that you are not 'switching off' your mind (in which case it would resist!), rather you are giving it an opportunity to rest and re-charge. In other words, you are not fighting it, you are assisting it. As you sit in meditation, you may wish to use simple breathing exercises, to deepen and slow down the breath, so that your mind can also relax. You may also find that before you even attempt to sit for meditation, it is extremely useful to engage in some form of vigorous exercise, in order to further relax the body. Yoga is highly beneficial for this purpose, as it combines physical exercises with focussed attention on the breath, and you will notice that the more you can relax the body, the more relaxed your mind becomes.
There is another extremely important thing that we would like to say about your mind, and how it can be used to work for you, rather than against you in this situation. You may have already noticed that your mind is highly suggestible. Because of the things that are happening in your country at this time, you have been exposing your mind to many stories about recession, struggle, hardship, as well as stories of insecurity and the threat of financial ruin. Your mind takes in all of this information and literally becomes programmed to expect more of the same kind of stories. Everything you focus your mind on begins to grow and develop into more of the same. And so, as you have seen, the thoughts that you have been having about losing your money, losing your home, losing your lifestyle become very powerful, and seem to 'take over'. But we assure you that these thoughts have not taken over, and they do not control you. You have the power to choose new thoughts to focus on and to tell yourself. You can re-programme your mind to think thoughts that are strong, courageous, inspiring, optimistic and even humorous. You can do this by deliberately finding stories with these qualities, and by feeding your mind with stories that are uplifting and inspiring to you. You may not find many of them in your everyday media so you may need to deliberately edit what you are paying attention to, in the world. But if you concentrate and turn your attention to finding them, you will find them. There are books, films, television shows and
articles being produced that will inspire you, and as you start to look you will find more of them. You will be amazed at how well your mind responds to being fed a diet of stories that tell of people finding strength and courage and humour and compassion that they did not previously know existed. As you do this regularly, you will find that your attitude to life changes. You may even find that you begin to relish your challenges. You will begin to view your own challenges not as something to dread, but rather as a series of opportunities to amaze yourself. As a series of opportunities to explore just how creative, powerful, expansive, adventurous and resourceful you can be! And as you begin to generate more positive thoughts within yourself, your world will begin to reflect that positivity back to you!
For individual angel-channelled readings call 086 2277528 or visit www.victoriamaryclarke.com
These are the opinions of Victoria Mary Clarke and subject to your own interpretation. The information provided does not constitute legal, psychological, medical, business, or financial advice. The person reading or receiving this channelled advice is responsible for all of their own choices and/or actions. The opinions expressed through Victoria's channelling are not necessarily the opinions of Suburbia.