Write a new life story

Posted on: 20th January, 2015

Category: Music

Contributor: Mark Holland

What’s all this I’ve been hearing about people giving things up? It’s the middle of winter; we’ve already given up long sunny days, eating outdoors and going to the beach, and no doubt the weather is going to get worse before it gets better.

I know the Christmas break may feel like a month of Sundays, but that’s because it takes us a few weeks to get into the swing of it. Within reason, we should be doing more of the comfort indulgences, not less — hot stove, warming soup, cozy duvet, that kind of thing. Now, if you really feel the need to flay yourself with nettles, wear a hairy shirt and give out about the size of your bottom in order to purge a guilty conscience, go right ahead — just make sure you enjoy the experience — and no, there is absolutely no need to tell the rest of us about it.  However, personally I think all that cleansing and rejuvenating will keep fine until the spring is well and truly in the air and it all becomes so much easier.

Right now we should be adding things in, not taking them away — a hobby, a pastime; take the opportunity to try out something you’ve been meaning to but haven’t had the chance.

Last year I took up drum lessons. At 50 years of age, it’s something I’ve wanted to do since I was a teenager, but it didn’t happen; life moved on and I knew I’d grow out of it, but I didn’t and circumstances recently presented me with the opportunity. So far I’m only tipping the iceberg of what this journey has in store, but already, after only a little hard work (and no tears, yet), the rewards are immense. It went on for a few weeks — the whole sequence of not making much progress and then the feeling of going backwards, but with a little stamina and perseverance the breakthrough came…a sequence of rhythm, fleeting and (unfortunately) unrepeatable; I have a quick look left and right and then wonder ‘did I do that?’

There have been a few surprises along the way, I didn’t expect that reading music and breath control were part of a drummer’s development, but they are.  Reading music is part of the learning process so that you are not a free-style riot at the back of the ensemble and the other, breath control, prevents you from falling off your stool (throne) with a purple face and no dignity. But it’s the mental/physical gymnastics that are most rewarding and fascinating about the whole experience so far; re-training my mind to persuade my muscles to combine actions they are not used to; embedding muscle memory so that my body learns to re-act correctly to a new mental instruction; and, when it works, the joy of a new language, a new form of expression.

Whatever shape yours takes — banjo, piano, lifedrawing or knitting — make it your business to set that time aside for yourself and come up with a new story to tell the spring.

While there is still time to sit on the couch, the documentary/film ’20 Feet from Stardom’ has been very well received by many music enthusiasts, but if you haven’t already seen ‘Searching for Sugar Man’ stop wasting time and watch it now.

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11th October, 2017  ·  

Submarines, American Sailors, and the Underwater War in Irish Waters, 1917-1918
by Dr John Borgonovo in The Parish Centre, Clonakilty
on Thursday Oct 26 2017 at 8.30 pm

In 1917, unrestricted submarine warfare by German U-boats brought the United States into WWI and created a crisis in Britain. To defeat the submarine menace, an American naval fleet was dispatched to County Cork, bringing about 10,000 sailors with it. This talk will explain the circumstances of this extraordinary event, and how Cork residents dealt with their unexpected American guests.

Dr John Borgonovo is a lecturer in the School of History at UCC. His publications include Spies, Informers, and the 'Anti-Sinn Féin' Society: The Intelligence War in Cork City, 1920-1921; The Dynamics of War and Revolution: Cork City, 1916-1918; Exercising a close vigilance over their daughters: Cork women, American sailors, and Catholic vigilantes, 1917-18; Something in the Nature of a Massacre: The Bandon Valley Killings Revisited (with Andy Bielenberg). His latest publication (with co-authors John Crowley, Donal Ó Drisceoil and Mike Murphy) is the highly acclaimed and magnificient Atlas of the Irish Revolution. In July of this year, he organised a very successful conference on Winning the Western Approaches - Unrestricted Submarine Warfare and the US Navy in Ireland 1917-1918.
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11th October, 2017  ·  

Apple Juicing Day in Clonakilty next Sunday Sept 30th. All welcome to bring their apples from 2-6pm to the Clonakilty Community Garden (on entrance road to Clonakilty Lodge).

Building on the success of its inaugural 2016 event, local voluntary environmental organisation Sustainable Clonakilty invites people to bring along their apples and press them to extract their own juice to take home, using the group's Apple Press.

Volunteers will be at hand to assist in the procedure. Bring along your apples washed; clean containers to freeze your juice (milk/juice bottles or cartons, plastic bottles with caps); clean, sterilised glass bottles to pasteurise with swing caps or suitable for 26 mm diameter metal cap.

A limited number of new 3 litres juice bags that are suitable for freezing and pasteurising, can be purchased for a nominal fee on the day also.

This is a free community event and donations will be welcome to cover costs.

For further information, please contact Xavier at xavierdubuisson@gmail.com or text at 086/0476124.
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26th September, 2017  ·  

Dúchas Clonakilty's first lecture for the Autumn promises to be of huge interest to all: Emerging from the Shadow of Tom Crean – The Parish Centre, Clonakilty, Thursday September 28th 8.30pm.

Lecture by Aileen Crean O’Brien & Bill Sheppard

In May 2016, Kerry man Tom Crean, along with Ernest Shackleton and four other crew members, landed the James Caird lifeboat on the rocky isle of South Georgia. The navigation of that small boat, across 1500 km through icy winds and towering seas, is regarded as the greatest ever feat of navigation. They then trekked across the forbidding and inhospitable mountains and glaciers of South Georgia to seek help for the rest of their crew, who were left behind on Elephant Island after their ship, the Endurance, was crushed by the Antarctic ice.

One hundred years later, Crean’s grandaughter, Aileen Crean O’Brien, set off with her sons and partner to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps. Join Aileen and Bill to hear of their adventures (and misadventures) on the Southern Ocean and the island of South Georgia.
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7th September, 2017  ·  

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