Monthly Archives: July 2012

Irish people on holiday

One of the more startling discoveries from RTÉ’s Home documentary series (2007) was an illuminating look at Irish summer holidays from the late 1960s. Fr Peter Lemass presented a report from Ballybunion and talked about people leaving their “factory, farm or kitchen” and coming to the seaside resort to enjoy all the good things it had to offer. However this relaxed and carefree buzz is quickly killed when the tone changes to one of concern. He wonders out loud:

“Do Irish people tend to let down their hair a little too much when they come on holiday?”

Such earnest concern about morality is also reinforced by the parish priest – Fr Murphy – as he sternly dishes out advice to prospective holidaymakers from the presbytery’s garden.

Not one commandment but the whole lot!

(by nlgbbbblth)

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Tea Off: Lyons V Barrys

Lyons Tea original blend box

Tea. For our US neighbours across the pond who don’t generally own kettles as part of their kitchen paraphernalia, tea is seen as something delightfully old fashioned, ladylike and whimsical, to be served at 4pm in frilly porcelain cups with sugar lumps, a vicar and some crustless cucumber sandwiches.

But as we all know, tea is a particularly Irish experience too. And quite a different one at that. None of yer Liptons or PG Tips here, thanksverymuch. Oh no. Bang a bag or three in a mug, leave it brew for a half-life of at least a thousand years so the resultant tannin stains will keep your dentist in business till kingdom come and that’s a proper Irish Cupan Tae O’Toole. Forget to warm the teapot first? Expect a clatther about the head from your mother for your incredible stupidity, so. It’ll get cold, you craythur! And dare to refuse a cup in someone’s house on a visit? <insert Mrs Doyle Clip here>

And then of course, like county colours, it’s possible to size someone up and assess their character – much in the way that a Nordie Mammy can know your seed, breed and bad thoughts based on your surname – based on the brand of tea they drink.

So people. Are YOU a Barry’s or a Lyons quaffer? Me? I’m in the Lyons camp. I grew up in a Lyons household, despite having a Corkish father. What can I say? He was clearly rebelling, as is the wont of those from the Real Republic. And to this day, no other tay holds sway.

You? Dish in a comment. This is a safe space of no judgement. Yet…

(by Kirstie McDermott)

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Canvas Of Life

Minor Detail were an Irish synth pop duo from Blackrock, Co Dublin consisting of two brothers – John and Willie Hughes. They became the first Irish band to secure a deal with a US label – signing to Polydor in 1983. Their debut single Canvas of Life was released in October of that year with their self-titled album following shortly afterwards. The LP was produced by Bill Whelan of Riverdance fame. It’s a curious piece of melancholia with some rather heartfelt themes encompassing world peace, positivity / success in life and tentative romances.

Canvas of Life was also promoted by a video single which received a number of plays on the first season of MT USA. It’s a soaring pop tune with a heavy reliance on the Roland SVC-350 vocoder. The video was shot in Dublin and features some evocative footage of St Stephen’s Green.
I remember Fab Vinnie being particularly fond of it. However sales were lacklustre and the band broke up during the summer of 1984 after their second single (Why) Take It Again?  A brief reunion in 1986 produced two more singles but no meaningful critical acclaim. John Hughes later went on to manage The Corrs.

(by nlgbbbblth)

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