Thursday, March 22, 2007

Dream of Dreams...

The trip is coming together!! A round-the-world LIKE NO OTHER (Sony-style!!). So, the flights are as follows:

Dublin - Mexico City
Santiago - Auckland
Auckland - Sydney
Sydney - Bangkok
Bangkok - Dublin

The bare bones of a round-the-world! We will have to make our own way from Mexico to Cuba & the Caribbean islands, then down to Venezuela, into Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Peru, and back to Chile. From there, we're back on track for the flights, and it's just a matter of picking where we want to tour in New Zealand, Australia and South-East Asia...

Sounds good, muchachos!!

We will buy them soon. They will be mine - oh yes - they will be mine.

Dreamers of Dreams

Some friends of mine have recently managed to do the improbable and release an album. Their band, Unite Tribe, may not play my type of music, but they are friends, and I will always wish them well...plug to follow!!

The band, Unite Tribe, have gone from strength to strength – though some nostalgics long for the days that they were called Rastafenians (a name some very smart, intelligent, beautiful and talented woman came up with). These days they play regular gigs to big audiences, and have created quite a following! Their debut album, Enlocarai, was launched in the Temple Bar Music Centre last Thursday, and garnered a huge turnout from friends, family, fans and well-wishers. It was a very successful night, which will hopefully encourage them to continue with their chosen path.

The album is on sale in Tower Records at the moment for €14.99, and will be available in a more nationwide capacity from March 29th.

I truly wish them the best of luck, and I hope that things continue to go well for them in the future.

“One good thing about music – when it hits, you feel no pain.”
Bob Marley.

Good Luck Brian, Barry, Glenn, Sean, Ciara, Sean and Pierre!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Got myself a weekend job in a pub, so the money-saving is well-ish on its way!

I’ve told them in work now, so there’s no going back.

I informed my bosses that ‘myself and Alan are in discussion about the next phase our relationship should move to, and we’ve decided to either move in together or go travelling. I have now gotten a weekend job in order to pay off my debts (credit union and credit card), and when my debts are gone, we’ll look at our financial position in regards to what we can do’.

It’s a roundabout way of doing it, but at least they now know that in the summer, I will be making some kind of major move.


Monday, March 12, 2007

My Man has gone to Sweden.... be a businessman for a few days. And I miss him already....

What if he changes while he's away? What if he turns INTO the establishment, becomes a member of their private club and suddenly doesn't care about little old haphazard me?

Imagine if Alan suddenly morphed from The Boombox Prince into some kind of working stiff??

What would that be like???????????

Friday, March 09, 2007

Perfect example of how true fans should behave

"It’s easy to lose faith in football when the constant talk is of sky high salaries, super-inflated egos and sour grapes, whenever things go wrong.

But surely even those who have long since given up on the game will have felt a glow at seeing the behaviour of the Barcelona supporters at Anfield this week, and the response they drew from Liverpudlians.

Because it was refreshing, not to say uplifting, particularly as at the same time back in Spain, Valencia and Inter Milan players were serving up some of the most disgraceful scenes seen on a European stage for several years.

As players threw post-match punches and kicks in a mass televised brawl at the Mestalla which then spilled into the tunnel, Barcelona and Liverpool supporters reached across the divides of victory and defeat in the Anfield Road end to shake hands, swap scarves and slap each other's backs. The Barca fans sang 'You'll Never Walk Alone' while being stripped of the European Cup they won in Paris last year, while in return, Kopites chanted Barcelona's name to register their appreciation and mutual respect.

Of course, Anfield was on show at its inspirational finest on Tuesday night and the display and the din clearly stunned new owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks. But the Americans attending their first game were by now surely the only ones surprised by sights and sounds which have become customary at Anfield on such big European occasions.

In truth, what was just as impressive in its own way was the warm display of sportsmanship by the Barcelona fans who did their great club credit – and proved that born winners don't have to be bad losers, too. Sadly, there is increasing evidence that the two aspects go hand in hand these days, when they do not and should not.

It is one thing to hate defeat and never countenance it mentally while a contest is alive. But it is quite another to refuse to accept defeat when it happens and behave with distaste or disgrace, rather than dignity.

The Barcelona supporters in Liverpool this week did themselves proud on that front. They had thoroughly enjoyed Liverpool during the day – even their president, Joan Laporta, headed for the Cavern Club – and continued to try and do so after they had won the game but lost the tie on Tuesday night.

They mingled good naturedly with Liverpool supporters in bars around the ground and the city centre, without a hint of malice or ill feeling before or after the match on either side.

It can be argued it was easy for the Reds supporters to smile and engage them having claimed victory and less so for the Nou Camp faithful who had been shocked and hurt at defeat and it's clear prospect beforehand. The sportsmanship, friendliness, warmth and respect which they brought from one great city in Catalonia to another in the north of England will not be forgotten.

It is how the game should be. But how it too often isn't."

John Thompson, Liverpool Echo, 9 March 2007

Thursday, March 08, 2007

International Women's Day - 8 March


Purple, green and white are the official international women's colours. The colours originated from the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU), in the UK in 1908. The colours were said to represent:

- white for purity in public as well as private life
- purple for justice, dignity, self-reverence and self-respect (and representing the women's vote)
- green for hope and new life.

The colours unified the women's movement and emphasised the femininity of the suffragettes. The tricolour of the WSPU soon became a visual cue for the women's movement in other countries. Purple, green and white were worn on International Women's Day and were used for other women's movement banners and posters.

More recently, two changes have occured:
- the use of the colour white has more recently been rejected as 'purity' is a controversial issue and attitudes towards the role of 'purity' from women differ greatly
- the introduction of the colour gold representing 'a new dawn' has been commonly used to represent the second wave of feminism.

Check out for more information on why feminism is not dead, it is merely taking a breath....


There is still work to be done:

- whenever Britney shaves her head and enters rehab
- whenever Amy Winehouse thinks it's OK to exit a toilet with coke on her nose
- whenever excuse of consent is used in rape cases
- whenever eductation is lacking for women
- whenever female babies are abandoned simply for their sex
- whenever only male witnesses are accepted in gang rape cases
- whenever women are paid less for doing the same job as a man
- whenever pop singers dress in sexually explicit outfits to titilate a male-dominated field
- whenever anyone who expresses an opinion differentiating them from a doormat is vilified
- whenever men think it's OK to grab or grope at strange women in bars
- whenever 'emotionalism' is used as an excuse to ignore a firebrand woman
- whenever opionions count you as someone to avoid
- whenever men don't accept that women are different, but equal....

....THAT'S when feminism counts.

Support International Women's Day for the sake of every woman who still hasn't found her voice....and for those who had the courage to use their voice to take us as far as we have gotten today.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Just because it's not in the papers, doesn't mean it's not still happening!

Justice for Darfur
By Angelina Jolie
Wednesday, February 28, 2007

BAHAI, Chad -- Here, at this refugee camp on the border of Sudan, nothing separates us from Darfur but a small stretch of desert and a line on a map. All the same, it's a line I can't cross. As a representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, I have traveled into Darfur before, and I had hoped to return. But the UNHCR has told me that this camp, Oure Cassoni, is as close as I can get.

Sticking to this side of the Sudanese border is supposed to keep me safe. By every measure -- killings, rapes, the burning and looting of villages -- the violence in Darfur has increased since my last visit, in 2004. The death toll has passed 200,000; in four years of fighting, Janjaweed militia members have driven 2.5 million people from their homes, including the 26,000 refugees crowded into Oure Cassoni.

Attacks on aid workers are rising, another reason I was told to stay out of Darfur. By drawing attention to their heroic work -- their efforts to keep refugees alive, to keep camps like this one from being consumed by chaos and fear -- I would put them at greater risk.

I've seen how aid workers and nongovernmental organizations make a difference to people struggling for survival. I can see on workers' faces the toll their efforts have taken. Sitting among them, I'm amazed by their bravery and resilience. But humanitarian relief alone will never be enough.

Until the killers and their sponsors are prosecuted and punished, violence will continue on a massive scale. Ending it may well require military action. But accountability can also come from international tribunals, measuring the perpetrators against international standards of justice.

Accountability is a powerful force. It has the potential to change behavior -- to check aggression by those who are used to acting with impunity. Luis Moreno-Ocampo, chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), has said that genocide is not a crime of passion; it is a calculated offense. He's right. When crimes against humanity are punished consistently and severely, the killers' calculus will change.

On Monday I asked a group of refugees about their needs. Better tents, said one; better access to medical facilities, said another. Then a teenage boy raised his hand and said, with powerful simplicity, "Nous voulons une épreuve." We want a trial. He is why I am encouraged by the ICC's announcement yesterday that it will prosecute a former Sudanese minister of state and a Janjaweed leader on charges of crimes against humanity.

Some critics of the ICC have said indictments could make the situation worse. The threat of prosecution gives the accused a reason to keep fighting, they argue. Sudanese officials have echoed this argument, saying that the ICC's involvement, and the implication of their own eventual prosecution, is why they have refused to allow U.N. peacekeepers into Darfur.

It is not clear, though, why we should take Khartoum at its word. And the notion that the threat of ICC indictments has somehow exacerbated the problem doesn't make sense, given the history of the conflict. Khartoum's claims aside, would we in America ever accept the logic that we shouldn't prosecute murderers because the threat of prosecution might provoke them to continue killing?

When I was in Chad in June 2004, refugees told me about systematic attacks on their villages. It was estimated then that more than 1,000 people were dying each week.

In October 2004 I visited West Darfur, where I heard horrific stories, including accounts of gang-rapes of mothers and their children. By that time, the UNHCR estimated, 1.6 million people had been displaced in the three provinces of Darfur and 200,000 others had fled to Chad.

It wasn't until June 2005 that the ICC began to investigate. By then the campaign of violence was well underway.

As the prosecutions unfold, I hope the international community will intervene, right away, to protect the people of Darfur and prevent further violence. The refugees don't need more resolutions or statements of concern. They need follow-through on past promises of action.

There has been a groundswell of public support for action. People may disagree on how to intervene -- airstrikes, sending troops, sanctions, divestment -- but we all should agree that the slaughter must be stopped and the perpetrators brought to justice.

In my five years with UNHCR, I have visited more than 20 refugee camps in Sierra Leone, Congo, Kosovo and elsewhere. I have met families uprooted by conflict and lobbied governments to help them. Years later, I have found myself at the same camps, hearing the same stories and seeing the same lack of clean water, medicine, security and hope.

It has become clear to me that there will be no enduring peace without justice. History shows that there will be another Darfur, another exodus, in a vicious cycle of bloodshed and retribution. But an international court finally exists. It will be as strong as the support we give it. This might be the moment we stop the cycle of violence and end our tolerance for crimes against humanity.

What the worst people in the world fear most is justice.
That's what we should deliver.

The writer is a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.