Archives for posts with tag: Dublin

I had a few topics I wanted to discuss over the last few weeks but didn’t get around to it. Some of the delay is my procrastination to write and then there’s the critic in me that says I’d have to improve the topic / idea first. But seeing as this blog is mainly about me learning the creative crafts as I go through them – I’ll share this thought quickly and see how it goes / grows.

This thought is about some of the people of Cork, and their ‘issue’ about the identity the city holds in Ireland. As a Dublin man living in Cork for many years, I’m amazed by the amount of Corkonians that insist on mentioning to me that ‘I’m in the real capital now’ (boy)! Some locals even question why I decided to live in Cork, as if it were an unbelievable choice or forced infliction. You see, I think Cork is a great city and county. I love living here. Cork has so much to offer, that I would be hard pressed to leave it, ever. But, I also love Dublin – it’s also an amazing city that has a lot to offer its residents and it’s visitors. Comparable to other capital cities around the world, it can be enjoyed whether your purse had restrictions, or you’re one of the high fliers of this world. Ireland has a few great cities, and thankfully we’re such a small island that they are easily accessible.

Cork city is a great size – not too big, not too small – to stroll around and see all it has to offer. The food options are amazing and more affordable than Dublin. The local stouts of Beamish and Murphy’s are much nicer, in my opinion, than the Dublin version. I once contacted Heineken Ireland to send me a list of Dublin pubs that regularly buy kegs of Murphy’s so that I could enjoy a drink in my hometown. But the consistent emphasis from the people of Cork regarding ‘the real capital’ can be annoying. Not that I’m protective of my home town’s status, Dublin is a great city whether it holds a capital city title or not. I don’t see why Corkonians use ‘the capital city’ title at all – it makes no sense. I’ve never got an answer to why they believe Cork is the ‘real capital’ and/or why they want it to be?

A few weeks ago Cork hosted a Global Cork Economic Forum. It seemed to have been a great success. A comment I heard from one of the speakers was around this very subject I discuss here – why is Cork trying to be a capital city, it’s great the way it is!? I can’t recall who said it, but I totally agree with this speaker. Why not flaunt what you have, instead of trying to measure up to another city. No matter what you do, you can’t be some other place. You’re Cork, so promote that!!

His statement threw an image into my head of two daughters in a family, and the younger teenage sister is trying to be as good as, if not better, than her older sister. When a young man becomes attracted to the older sister, the younger one emphasises all her best qualities to try out-do the traits of her big sister. She wants to be the attractive one. It’s only when she grows up that she realises that she also has admirers, and she doesn’t have to compete with her sister at all. There’s ‘plenty of fish in the sea’ for them both to get what they want. They both have traits that people want. She realises that there are issues about being the eldest that will not always be attractive, so it’s great to be the second child!

So, in keeping with this analogy, I’m looking forward to the day the Corkonians realise that they have a great city and county to offer the world already, and they don’t have to keep criticising the rest of the family for being attractive as well. Alright boy!

A beautiful painting from another ‘blow-in’ to Cork – Victor Richardson.
Available through Lavit Gallery, Cork

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In less than two weeks I’ll be heading to Dublin for Offset 2013. It’s an annual designers conference that I discovered last year – a couple of weeks after the event! So this year I was one of the early bird ticket holders, and I’m getting really excited about it now.

As mentioned before, I’m a wannabe designer of sorts. I’m fascinated by the work of the creative industry, the variation in the work, and the joy someone can bring to us through their skill. For the last twelve months I’ve spent time researching and following designers and started to recognise names and their work.

One designer I discovered is Sarah Illenberger, who created an amazing infographic from food (see below). I’ve always used food to express my creativity, but only in the guise of cooking a nice meal. Illenberger uses the raw material as props for her designs. So, needless to say, I was thrilled to see her added to the Offset 2013 line up. It’s a three day event so there are plenty more designers who have work I admire and others I’m eager to see to learn more about.

Others designers talking over the weekend are Oliviero Toscani who did the infamous Benetton ad campaigns I remember from my days in Dublin. Niamh Sharkey, the author and illustrator of one of my daughter’s favourite books – The Ravenous Beast – will also be there. Street artists, photographers, digital creatives, and more illustrators (Oliver Jeffers has just confirmed his attendance) will take to the stage so I’m hoping to learn a lot. I’ll share more when I get back, or follow me here for updates.

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I’m sure most of you have experienced a time when, without warning, a song or tune floats continuously through your head. All day you hum, whistle and sing the tune! Sometimes it’s recognisable to you straight away; then other times this melody drives you mad as you try figure out what it is.

Today, I’ve had a repetitive musical air follow me. All day. Thankfully, I know the song, and who sings it. Thankfully, it’s a song I love. I first heard it by chance last year; I bought the EP and shared my newfound musical treasure to my wife and friends. I played it constantly at home and in the car; and sung it passionately while playing air guitar. (My wife will undoubtedly question my use here of the verb ‘sung’!!).

Weeks later, I was thrilled to discover the band are from Dublin – my birthplace and home for many years! A few months later, a song from their aforementioned EP was chosen to be played during a scene in the hospital drama, Grey’s Anatomy. Sales of this track (and the band’s EP) shot through the roof afterwards.

Who am I writing about? Kodaline. The song going through my head most of last year and today is ‘All I Want’. So, I thought I should share it with you. Be warned, I’m going to attach links, and when you click and listen to this track you will be humming it all day. If you already know this song, you’re probably already humming it!

Check iTunes for the original EP and song. Check YouTube for Kodaline videos, or for a huge selection of cover versions from guitar wielding admirers. Whilst there, you can also check out some of their live sessions. A really beautiful one is here, when Kodaline sang at the TodayFM radio studio for Ian Dempsey’s Breakfast Show.

Today, I hummed and whistled this gorgeous song and melody. My two and a half year old son has a nicely developing musical ear, so he joined me in humming this song. Then my seven year old daughter heard us and joined our chorus. I then threw in some enthusiastic finger drumming (and the compulsory bit of air guitar) and we rocked our way through the kitchen and the day. ‘All I Want’ is definitely an enjoyable tune. It’s certainly not a song worm.

Now it’s your turn…

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still shot from the TodayFM / Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show recording on YouTube