Thursday, November 26, 2009

All is revealed !

Especially on a Corfu beach.

The right answer as guessed by Weaver ,Beedlemama, argent and almost by Domestic Oubliette who changed her mind at the last minute, is No 10. My real age is NOT 48. All the rest are true.

1) TRUE...... I put a 4 inch scar on my left arm to be cool and impress Miss EEjit. I'm not and it didn't.It also gained me the unfortunate nickname of ' Action Man ' for a while as the boys toy had exactly the same scar. Doh!

2)TRUE..... Carling Black Label tastes like cat's wee.I tried it once (carling, not cats wee) and haven't been desperate enough in it's company to try it again. (Luckily there has always been harpic or domestos available.)

3) All TRUE but I hated Rugby, scared shitless of being tackled I scored a try every time I got the ball.

4) TRUE... Love is a temporary madness, you have to stretch it out.

5) TRUE.....But the beach was deserted except for Miss EEjit.Did enjoy it though.Highly recommended.

6) TRUE.. attacked by skinheads at least once, you don't always get time to quiz the assailant, sometimes (this time) you are sure( no 1 haircuts, ten hole cherry red Doc's beneath cut-off jeans, right wing tattooos, Ben Sherman button down shirts, red braces ,yellow National Front laces, limited but effective vocabulary, serious intent to do harm )

Was also attacked by two youths with a half brick to the head, amazingly it didn't even hurt which kind of disarmed them.
Mrs EEjit threw the ham at me (a great shot) and so that's how I know it was 3lbs, I'd bought it earlier in Tescos .Really took me by surprise, knocked me half off the stool I was on. We had it later for dinner, lovely! She also tried to brand me (at a later date) with an electric iron but I was saved by the cheapskate short length Morphy Richards flex.

7) TRUE.. my accent/voice is so awful I try not to speak at all, choosing instead to communicate by meaningful looks , body language, telepathy and hieroglyphics.

8) TRUE... I really wanted the gravedigger job and was really disappointed.

9) TRUE...Was thrown clear and the bike went across the road under an oncoming car.

10) FALSE I am not 48 years old

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


The latest craze to sweep blogland is ten factos about yourself one of which is a lie and the rest of the universe has to guess the falsehood. I've enjoyed this with a few others so will have a go myself...

1) I have a four inch scar on my left arm

2) I never drink Carling Black label

3) I was athletics sports person of the year at school, house Rugby captain and on the school rugby team, had trials for the county at soccer did well over 2,000 keepy-ups for 45 mins and was offered a trial at Luton Town FC by their goalkeepers dad.

4) I drove from near London to Blackpool via Manchester, just to say hello to Miss EEjit, (before we were married) and at 2am played football on a moonlit Blackpool beach for 10 mins and drove home and went straight to work.

5) I ran naked across a Corfu beach

6) I have been attacked by skinheads, assaulted with a half-brick to the head , dazed by an uncooked 3lb ham and nearly branded by a domestic iron.

7) My accent is truly awful. A weird mix of London /Tipp/Offaly /Dublin /Manchester

8) I applied to be a gravedigger and failed to get an interview.

9) I nearly died in a motorbike accident

10) My real age is 48


Get over to Liz's blog foor the draw to win her wunderissimo book 'The Wrong Miracle'

Saturday, November 21, 2009


The sea ,I have to say, was magnificent today.I’ve mainly thought of the Irish Sea as the tame little cousin of The Wild Atlantic.I’ve prodded it with a pointy stick like it’s lazy a sleeping tiger in the zoo.All domesticated and cosy like a pussy cat.

Well that fughin Tiger is awake today it’s taken that pointy stick and shoved it where the sun don’t shine, it’s roared, flicknifed it’s razor claws and ripped incessantly at our bit of coastline like an earthquake. It’s visual display of waves would get a perfect ten for gymnastics at the olympics, its awesome roar(particularly at night) is louder the thud of a thousand canon.
What used to be our beach is awash with debris and trees and a foot deep wobbling brown alien blancmange of froth and sand,it looks like a disaster zone from a distant planet.The anger, the venom, the sheer muscular passion of the sea is awesome, only a fool would feck with it. The raised sandy grassland path I've trod for the past ten years ,10 to 15 feet from the beach, is gone, disappeared overnight and huge chunks of land continue to fall in.

Whatever about global warming,coastal erosion is a witnessable fact.The beach itself is being clawed back into the sea grain by grain,where once was a million stones is now mainly sand. A 20ft wooden skeleton once buried deep and unknown is now plainly visible.

Did I bring a camera to capture the boiling turmoil of water ,the 20 ft cresting waves braved only by crazy gulls like winged surfers tempting the crashing tunnels of water.Waves so huge their height sometimes breaks their broad backs clean in two rising 30 ft into the air as they fall backwards into a churning abyss.Did I stand there framing this virtuoso display of might? Not today.I have in the past and will do again.You are a different person every day of your life. But Sometimes, just sometimes you have to be within something, be a part of the experience and not try to cynically distance yourself, then casting a cold calculated eye, stand back ,capture and tame it, explain it,or even worse shoot it, frame it, put it on your wall like a trophy, like a tigers head.

Truth be told I forgot my camera but still.....

ALSO the poteen party is still going strong here and despite fears that the poteen might be quite toxic only 3 people have actually died so far, so that's a relief. Jimmy The Butler performed autopsies on all three and discovered that one had underlying medical problems-he'd been shot.

Dominic Rivron is still performing 'Nancy Spain ' over 24 hours later and doesn't look like he's going to stop despite Lassie eating his Ukelele. Feel free to 'Do a turn' and provide a link. Amy Winehouse is up next followed by the two tenors Caruso and Pavorotti, so plenty of fun still to be had,all you can eat and drink is here plus plenty of daybeds for a nap ,should you need one.

Hey Dominics got another tune for us

DON'T FORGET to enter the draw to win a FRE signed copy of Liz Gallagher's excellent poetry book 'The Wrong Miracle' Just leave a comment on my blog or Liz's saying you'd like to enter.The winner will be drawn from a hat (quite possibly a Sombrero) on Liz's blog on Nov 25th. Bon chance mes petits amis!

AND FINALLY please buy a copy of the latest SHOp poetry magazine . Buy it , not because it will improve your life (though it undoubtedly will), not because it's the greatest poetry magazine in the world (though it is), not because it's funds have been cut and is in need of support (though they have and it does), forget all these excellent reasons, buy it because I have a poem on page 25. Better still take out a subscription. Pip pip!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

La Liz Gallagher est arrivé

TFE: Hello Liz and you are most welcome to EEjit castle. Not to keep like, just to visit. Jimmy The Butler has made up a nice comfy bed in the solar.Come on into the Throne room and sit down by the fire, mind you don't trip over Dylan Thomas, he's beaten his record of 18 straight whiskeys and is sleeping it off. I'll bring you through to meet the other guests when we've had a chat.
(Looks like Jimmy is enjoying your book Liz.)

LIZ: Hi TFE,it's a pleasure to be here with you and Mrs TFE in the Castle. I can now see where the mystery element comes into play. It is indeed a wonderful place and Jimmy, the Butler is just like the character from Joe Orton's play 'What the Butler Saw...' might try to have a private word with him later... (joking!); ) And Mollie is looking a treat, I can see she has settled in well here, what a lucky dog.

MOLLIE: Well Liz as you know us Collies are highly intelligent and I have to say that your book is one of the best debut collections I have ever read.And thank you,yes, I am happy here ,though my owners are, I have to confess, a right bunch of feckin EEjits and the fat baldy one is rarely sober.

TFE: Ah, thanks Liz but the luck was all ours the day we got Mollie The Collie, we all love her to bits.

LIZ: TFE, I know you have an avid following of guests and sure hope they enjoy the oh my, what an amazing number of bottles you have, TFE, all the better to drink the house dry, I suppose. Can't wait to start clinking glasses with all those guests, Scooby is bound to find a ghost here and Lassie will come to someone's rescue no doubt, the gathering round Oscar will be massive, mustn't let him bog down John Wayne, the quiet man that he is...can't wait to see all the interaction...should make for a great night, hope the camcorder is running...
Thanks again TFE for going to all this trouble, you are definitely the host-it with the most-it...

TFE: Not a bother Liz and yes the whole place is full of camcorders, I'm hoping to make a fortune in blackmail by threatening to post stuff on have a glass of poteen, Maris piper this one bit cloudy but still good.
Now Liz, how do you write your poetry, they read almost like they come out in one inspirational genius gush, or stream of consciousness, but if not , how long do they take to write? Also if they are more crafted then it makes them even more amazing, to be able to think controlled thoughts as wonderful as yours. (is that a question or a statement??) How do you do that? Do you even know? Do you fully know what you have written before you read it?

Liz: TFE, I am a big believer in daily writing, even though I'm not actually doing that now due to having to put poetry to the oneside for a while this year. I have written most of my work while under pressure to get a poem out each day while doing the 30:30 challenges in ITWS that I have talked of before (in Arlene's interview It is a mixture of free-writing or more provocatively known as mental-rioting ; )...I get an image and go with it or I write into the screen in invisible colour text for 10 minutes or more to see where that takes me and then I do a massive re-read and sorting out, using my words and phrases collections from my notebooks and generally trying to guide things along. Sometimes, it works and other times it can be very messy and then I usually just save it for another day ….or I may extract a line or two and use that to take me somewhere else. I rarely set out to write on a particular theme and never know where the poem is going until things start clicking into place near the end...the poem is usually finished in one foul sweep....I return to the poem a few weeks later to tighten up and re-draft...usually, I never do more than three or four drafts but sometimes there can be a tricky one that I really want to work with and it might take up to 7 or 8 drafts, my top number to date. Generally though, the essence and bones of the poem is done in one sitting. I have to feel surprised by the poem myself to know that I can work on it further...if I don't get that 'kicking alive/surprise' element then I usually abandon the poem....but salvage some general ideas/phrases/images.

TFE: I love that image of 'Mental rioting' that really is what a poem should be! And I like the idea of invisible writing too, just waiting to see what you have at the end.

Brendan Behan: Jaysus Liz that's a mighty book you've written, I loved every scrap of it. Have you tried mixing the poteen with Drambuie and Cider? Lovely.

Shane MacGowan: Wheeere ...............2 mins pause ............ THEFUUGHHAMMI?

TFE: You're grand, Shane, you're at EEjit castle with Brendan, remember? You always wanted to meet him. Here sit yourself down and have another pint of poteen and some Tayto.


TFE: Yip.

Shane: Grand. (laughs like Mutley out of Wacky races and falls over)

TFE: I'm also fascinated, Liz, that you use little noteboks and are always losing them,it would be a lovely thing for a stranger to find but have you ever lost a great poem, line or thought in one? How do you cope with that or are you so prolific that it doesn't matter.I' thinking of Garrison Keillor who lost his 1st Wobegon novel and never got over it,thought it his best and has spent the rest of his life trying (unsuccesfully in his opinion) to recreate it.

Liz: It would be awful to actually lose a novel...I have lost notebooks, the last one I left behind on the plane coming back from Ireland, I think it was after the summer of 07. I usually take lots of notes in Ireland and was really disappointed to lose it...the notebook didn't contain full poems as such. I didn't try to remember what was in the notebook...I just tried to forget about it and actually felt embarrased at the idea of somebody finding it and hoped I had not left any identifying details on it...
Another notebook that I remember losing was on a beach in Greece. It fell out of my rucksack and I didn't discover that the front pocket of my rucksack was open until I was half way across the was really crowded and warm and I didn't have the energy nor the wherewithall to go back and I just kept going!
I wish I could lose notebooks in ordinary places and then there might be a chance of finding them. : )
But yes, generally I am a big notebook user, I type poems into the screen but keep notebooks nearby.

TFE: You only started writing quite recently,why is this and what prompted you and what made you want to publish a book?

Liz: I started writing about 4 years or so ago, I had over-saturated myself with academic study at that stage and wanted to escape into a different type of writing world. I found myself browsing writing forums. I came across the BBC Get Writing site (which is now defunct), joined it and pulled out from under the bed a biscuit tin box of poems, written over 15 years previously. I had never shown them to a living being before...I eventually plucked up the courage to re-read them and I remember publishing the first one to the forum and being absolutely terrified. Luckily, I 'met' some wonderful people there and got great feedback and learned to give became addictive and set the ball rolling for writing more poems. One of the people who encouraged me a lot in my writing was Jenni Doherty, another Donegal woman, and prominent member of the Get Writing site, a great writer herself and an ex-member of The Poetry Chicks. She works for Guildhall Press in Derry and at that time she began editing a book of creative works from women writers in the North West of Ireland and I was very lucky to have some poetry and photographs selected. The name of the book was Eve: A Celebration of Creative Women from publishers Guildhall Press ( This was one of my first experiences of being published and it was very exciting.
A year or so later, I joined Inside The Writers' Forum (ITWS) and met very accomplished writers who had been published widely and who encouraged me to submit my work to magazines, both online and print. So I really started publishing in the States before submitting to UK and Irish magazines. I became very disciplined in my writing and did daily challenges with the poets from ITWS. I also won a few competitions which helped me develop some faith in my work.
(TFE, sorry this is going to be rather long-winded...) getting on to why I decided to seek book publication...I had heard about SALT publishing from different sources online and last Oct. I began checking out the type of work they published and their general philosophy and liked it a lot. Out of sheer curiosity and with no definite intent, I checked their website and saw that they were looking for submissions for The Crashaw Prize, I read the conditions of entry and was disappointed to see that because I lived in Spain I couldn't enter. I sent an e-mail to Chris, the director of Salt. to ask if he had a general submission period that wasn't connected to The Crashaw Prize and he replied that I could send him 6 poems whenever...within a few days I had selected 6 poems and sent them to him. The next day, he e-mailed and asked me to send a full collection of poems for consideration. I was excited and motivated by his speedy response and I had more or less 70 or so poems that I began organising into sections and sent them to him within about 2 weeks. Around Christmas time, Chris replied to say that he was interested in the collection but wanted me to take out one section that I had which was related to the theme of 'Poems about poems' and to forward him the collection again with that section removed and about 10 other poems to take their place. In about a week or so, I forwarded the collection again. Actually, the way I found out SALT was going to definitely publish me was in a sort-of-roundabout way.... In January, I think, Chris had put a list of the writers he was going to publish in 2009 up on Facebook and my name was on the list. I was on Facebook at the time but was not very active on it so didn't see the list...Irish poet, Barbara Smith, sent me a congratulatory note saying she saw my name there....and that was how I discovered it...I sent an e-mail to Chris asking him if it was really true and he replied Yes! So really, I suppose, I am a total slush-pile poet! ; ) It all happened so fast that it is only now I've had time to reflect on the sheer-speed of it all as it has just been a year between submitting to Salt and having a 4 month old book ….I was lucky in that it was my first and only experience of submitting the full collection.
TFE, time has flown by. I have so enjoyed talking to you, I hope I didn't go on too much for your readers and guests but the poteen may have made me get slightly carried it is time for a re-fill, must circulate, Amy Winehouse looks pretty lonely, think I'll say hello...
TFE, just to say that next week, on Thursday the 3rd of December, I'll be with Rachel in Scotland visiting her very popular 'More About the Song – Rambling with Rachel Fox' Blog I am very much looking forward to that even if her questions are tricky and unusual but certainly interesting....; ) !

TFE: Well Liz it's been great talking to you glad you're enjoying the poteen and don't worry the blindness is only temporary.I'm really looking forward to Rachel's questions in December. We better go through now to the Great Hall with the other guests. Elbow are kicking off the entertainment and here is a virtual reproduction as a taster.Great video but one fatal flaw......I think they spelled Condom wrong...
Later Shirley bassey will be singing 'Goldfinger' with Frank Sinatra and Padre Pio,I'm really looking forward to that.
In the meantime look what one glass of poteen can do to a human. (Mr Dominic 'I only have eyes for you ' Rivron)
If anybody else would like to sing a song, or recite a poem ,do a dance etc just post a link in the comments.
Don't forget everybody to leave a comment on either mine or Liz's blog saying you'd like to enter the prize draw to win a free (signed!) copy of 'The Wrong Miracle' posted to anywhere in the world ,even Carlow. And finally many thanks to the talented ArtSparker for the brilliant drawing of Shane MacGowan in the header.

FREE BOOK draw and LIZ Gallagher's visit.

Well the big day is almost upon us. I've shined my shoes and my head, brushed my ears and combed my tooth. So I'm good to go.

The brilliant poet Liz Gallagher will be here tomorrow to answer 3 questions, about her book 'The Wrong Miracle' and her writing in general.

Liz will be giving away a free copy of her book(posted to anywhere in the world ) on her blog on Nov 25th.To be in with a chance of winning this great book all you have to do is leave a comment on my blog or Liz's saying that you'd like to be in the draw.Simple as that.

This is a book well worth winning ,I really enjoyed it and I very rarely like things as much as this. It has been described by top Irish literary journal 'The Stinging Fly' as 'Unquestionably one of the most interesting debut collections of 2009'.........'an original voice employing electric, almost flourescent language..... 'the poetry races down the page taking handbrake turns as it goes'

To celebrate Liz's visit here at the castle we will be holding a poteen (illegal potato liqour) party with a star spangled guest list (see previous post) but it won't be a proper party without you bloggy pals, yes YOU reading this.So come along ,bring a guest (anyone you like ,real or imagined ,famous or infamous ,dead or alive) let us know who your guest is and don't forget to enter the competition prize draw.

Look forward to seeing you all tomorrow. Spread the word, the more real (and virtual) guests the better.

Got to get back to fermenting and bottling the poteen. See you tomorrow.

Pip pip!
Loudon Wainright 111 will be performing tomorrow too.He's a good bit betterthan his moniker, but couldn't find a decent rendition of this song anywhere.This will have to do

Monday, November 16, 2009


The wonderful poet Liz Gallagher is visiting the world famous EEjit Castillio here at Peeps Republo D'EEjit on Thursday .She will be here as part of her virtual wordwide tour promoting her recently published first collection, The Wrong Miracle.

It's a great book and Liz has a unique voice that I really like, else she wouldn't be allowed within five miles of the castle.We don't tout rubbish here in the Republo.And to celebrate Liz's visit we are holding a poteen (highly potent illegal liquor made from potato) party and ye are all invited. Yes YOU, especially YOU reading this, it wouldn't be the same without YOU.

We have other special guests/performers including; Dylan Thomas,Ted and Sylvia, Brendan Behan, Shirley Bassey, Amy Winehouse, Einstein, Ghandi, Frank Sinatra, Luke Kelly and The Dubliners,Emily Dickinson, Padre Pio,Marilyn Monroe, Eddie Izzard,Bette Davis, Aretha Franklin, Pat Shortt, Chekhov,Virginia Wolf, Iris Murdoch, Edna O'Brien, Seamus Heaney, Clarke Gable,

Pontius Pilate,Socrates, Salvador Dali, J.F.K, Cleopatra, Marlon Brando, Elvis Presley, Barack OBama, Ernest Hemingway, Fred Astair and Ginger Rogers, Trigger, Skippy the bush kangaroo, Lassie, Scooby Doo,Red Rum, Aristotle, Debbie Harry,Janis Joplin, Kate Bush,John Steinbeck, Mark Twain, John Wayne, Shania Twayne, Ant and Dec, Morecambe but not Wise, Laurel and Hardy, Pele, Jack Kerouac, Grace Kelly,Andy Warhol, Nico,Emily Pankhurst, Countess Markiewiscz, Joan of Ark, Anne Sexton, Alice and The Machine,Hilary Clinton, Jane Austen, Enid Blyton(anyone for tennis ?)Alexander the Great,Jerry Lee Lewis,Gene Kelly,Vivienne Westwood,Richard Pryor,Emily Bronte,Byron,WB Yeats, Carol Ann Duffy, Leonardo Da Vinci,William Shakespeare,Lawrence of Arabia, Dh Lawrence,Elizabeth Bishop,Stevie Smith,Miroslav Holub, Harold Pinter, The Kray twins,Bruce Springsteen, Eva Peron and Jedward.

So be sure and come along , bring a bottle and a stretcher.THERE WILL ALSO BE A FREE PRIZE DRAW TO WIN A COPY OF LIZ'S WONDERFUL BOOK 'THE WRONG MIRACLE. Be there or be square shaped :)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Some sad news

Joan O'Flynn , (AKA Drama Queen Bus Poet and member of The Lucan Writers passed away yesterday.Beyond blogging I never met or knew Joan at all , but I liked her writing.Below is her beautiful poem written for The Poetry Bus. Any comments might best be left on Joan's blog.

Wait for me.

River winding to the sea, wait for me.
Rippling gently, rushing slowly,
Take me with you, keep me buoyant,
Pushing ever onwards, make me free.

Whisk me in your steady current
Bobbing briskly with its force,
Undeterred by sudden torrent
Keeping ever a clear course.

No time to wait, to hesitate,
Stagnate in boggy marsh;
Drawn by undertow and flow
Through terrain however harsh.

Immerse me in the endless sea.
Winding river, wait, oh wait for me.

There is a great interview with Joan by Niamh Bagnell here

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Now I'm really getting worried

I think I'm losing the plot altogether. No drink taken , ok just a little whiskey , but not enough to explain why earlier today I bent down to stroke what I thought was the dog ,but turned out to be the vacuum cleaner.

Explanations, tips, advice, help line numbers on a postcard to:

Castle for the Bewildered
Peoples Republic of EEjit.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


That sparky artist ,ArtSparker ,has set another challenge to finish off one of her drawings, see details here

This is Mrs EEjit's effort......

'Antony was keeping an eye on his palm tree across the road'

And this is mine.....

'Antony was thinking he might have some fondant fancies for tea.'

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Feelin Good? Full of energy?

No? Well how about some Dr Feelgood then? Not the greatest band in the world but still ,like us all ,they have their own sumptin' and I'm a bit of a fan of the guitarist Wilko Johnson (Wearing black) who though somewhat subdued here still executes his trademark manic OCD style back and forth manouvres.

Now for something else, Christy Moore. Such was the energy he expelled during live performances that he thought he was going to die one night on stage, so gave it up for a while.I saw him on his 50 birthday do a bodhran (hand held goat skin drum) solo that put the hairs up on the back of my neck, but even so I wondered at the time if he would burst such was the enormous strain on him. He's back a while now, older ,more restrained and with the support of guitarist Declan Sinnott to take some of the pressure. Here he is in 2006 aged about 61 and still be times putting out some Kilowatts.

Finally some footage of the late Ian Dury with The Blockheads singing 'Sweet Gene Vincent' Love this song..Not the best of singers but a great performer backed by some brilliant musicians including my old pal Wilko in the best of form.

'white face, black shirt

white socks, black shoes

black hair, white strat

bled white, died black'

'but when your leg still hurts and you need more shirts,you betta get back on the road !'

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

SALT is good for you

The lovely people at Salt are having a 7 day sale , all deadly good books. I can highly recommend ' The wrong miracle ' by Liz Gallagher at any price but right now it has a whopping 40% off till the 11 Nov .
Salt Seven Day Savers #2 «
get ye all down there and grab yerselves a bargain.

Ps. Liz Gallagher will be making a visit here sometime soon on her 'Maximus Miraculous' world blog tour.