I’ve sped through two 6 episode seasons of Derry Girls and loved every minute. Set in Londonderry in the 1990s when Northern Ireland was experiencing the “Troubles” a time of military occupation and bombings by the IRA, Derry Girls focuses on a tight knit group of teenage girls growing up amidst violence. In spite of all this we see Erin Quinn and her friends and family dealing with taking exams, the goody-two shoes at school, mothers, the fragility of a friendship.
Writer Lisa McGee is adept at weaving stories together and taking her audience on a funny and meaningful tour of teenage Ireland. I commend her for the funniest laundry joke I’ve ever seen and for adeptly mixing hilarity and pathos. She protects no sacred cows. Now there is a lot of swearing, so you’ve been warned.
Each actor superb and as an ensemble they produce delight from start to finish. There is no weak link in this cast.
We sat together at one summer’s end,
That beautiful mild woman, your close friend,
And you and I, and talked of poetry.
I said, ‘A line will take us hours maybe;
Yet if it does not seem a moment’s thought,
Our stitching and unstitching has been naught.
Better go down upon your marrow-bones
And scrub a kitchen pavement, or break stones
Like an old pauper, in all kinds of weather;
For to articulate sweet sounds together
Is to work harder than all these, and yet
Be thought an idler by the noisy set
Of bankers, schoolmasters, and clergymen
The martyrs call the world.’
. . . . . . . . . And thereupon
That beautiful mild woman for whose sake
There’s many a one shall find out all heartache
On finding that her voice is sweet and low
Replied, ‘To be born woman is to know-
Although they do not talk of it at school-
That we must labour to be beautiful.’
I said, ‘It’s certain there is no fine thing
Since Adam’s fall but needs much labouring.
There have been lovers who thought love should be
So much compounded of high courtesy
That they would sigh and quote with learned looks
Precedents out of beautiful old books;
Yet now it seems an idle trade enough.’
We sat grown quiet at the name of love;
We saw the last embers of daylight die,
And in the trembling blue-green of the sky
A moon, worn as if it had been a shell
Washed by time’s waters as they rose and fell
About the stars and broke in days and years.
I had a thought for no one’s but your ears:
That you were beautiful, and that I strove
To love you in the old high way of love;
That it had all seemed happy, and yet we’d grown
As weary-hearted as that hollow moon.
I attended a talk on Irish traditions and culture at my library not too long ago. One thing I learned, and rejoiced in learning since I don’t like the taste, was that you shouldn’t eat corn beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day if you want to honor or experience Irish culture.
When the Irish immigrated to the US during the Potato Famine, they were poor. The only food they could afford was corn beef. So eat lamb or pork, which Irish typically ate in Irish.
I learned from this website that corned beef was eaten by kings as a way to drive the “demon of gluttony” out of his belly. As someone who doesn’t like the taste of corn beef and cabbage, I understand how that ancient practice could work.
BY WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS
I made my song a coat
Covered with embroideries
Out of old mythologies
From heel to throat;
But the fools caught it,
Wore it in the world’s eyes
As though they’d wrought it.
Song, let them take it
For there’s more enterprise
In walking naked.
By William Butler Yeats
Never give all the heart, for love
Will hardly seem worth thinking of
To passionate women if it seem
Certain, and they never dream
That it fades out from kiss to kiss;
For everything that’s lovely is
But a brief, dreamy, kind delight.
O never give the heart outright,
For they, for all smooth lips can say,
Have given their hearts up to the play.
And who could play it well enough
If deaf and dumb and blind with love?
He that made this knows all the cost,
For he gave all his heart and lost.
love is more thicker than forget
love is more thicker than forget
more thinner than recall
more seldom than a wave is wet
more frequent than to fail
it is most mad and moonly
and less it shall unbe
than all the sea which only
is deeper than the sea
love is less always than to win
less never than alive
less bigger than the least begin
less littler than forgive
it is most sane and sunly
and more it cannot die
than all the sky which only
is higher than the sky
Once, a touching, understated love story between a broken-hearted Hoover repairman cum musician and an intelligent, inquisitive Czech woman. Quirky with great music.
The Secret of Kells has beautiful animation and tells the story of a boy in medieval Ireland who must defy his uncle to protect and finish the monks’ Book of Kells. A beautiful way to get some history. My nephew 5 year old loved it as much as I did.
In America.Okay, it’s set in New York, but it’s about an Irish family that immigrates to the US in the 1980s. You’ll hear some wonderful Irish accents and see some strong acting from Samantha Morton and Paddy Considine. The little girls are adorable.
Waking Ned Divine is a fun romp in small town Ireland, a comedy about townspeople who band together to cash in on the lottery.
From Frank McCourt’s book, Angela’s Ashes reminds me of Dickens and why so many Irish had to leave.
I went to Brunch at Butch McGuire’s Tavern on Rush St. Sunday. The restaurant cum bar is an Irish pub with lots of character. Old time regulars might complain that Butch’s son doesn’t have the same panache or avuncular host/manager, but I’d only gone there a few times and was happy with the atmosphere and service. The bar tenders add a flair with their white shirts and ties, dressing up the place. Yesterday was the last day for the Christmas decorations: colorful, twinkling lights, Disney characters, penguins and a PG-13 Santa.
Car Bomb French Toast
I had Car Bomb French Toast, thick cut bread dipped in a batter with Bailey’s and Guinness. The syrup was infused with Jameson’s. I couldn’t resist the tongue in cheek name. The French toast didn’t have a strong alcohol taste, though the addition of the whiskey was a good twist.