Monday, August 25, 2008

there is notwist to the tale


So last night I was introduced to an amazing group, German band called Notwist, performing with the Andromeda ME Orchestra in Paradiso WOW....
I have a thing for rock bands (although in this case it was Rock and Electronica) with Orchestra's. Part of my love for Sigur Ros... is that rock with amazing delicate notes. Last night I was delighted to see a Harp on stage (no there was no pint of bass, smart asses). I love the Harp and Harpischord ... weird I know.... which reminds me of Dustin OHalloran.

Nightlife here still exhausts me, I mean its remarkably peaceful for a city in which the pubs serve until 4/5am during the weekends and nightclubs seem to go on until breakfast, take that Dermot Ahern. Here is proof that turfing everyone out of the pub at the one time, rather than allowing people to chose when to go home and filter out accordingly is the far better option.

Really looking forward to my holiday... 8 weeks and I will be in New York with Catriona, can't wait. Really looking forward ot having time to explore the city unlike the last rushed visit where I saw nothing only a New Jersey outlet mall.

Thinking about Catherine today, she will have to have the leg amputated..... and today the Metro began working again, although I think that for as long as the weather remains half decent I will stick to biking. I'd like to try the "shorter" Dam Square cycle on the way home but not sure I am brave enough just yet. Morning is one thing, but I dont fancy doing that route back in the evening.

Must be homesick, considering leaving RTE online on after the news to see a bit of the Rose of Tralee.... perhaps I need an emergency slap! Its been in my head since mum mentioned it at the weekend, the usual Irish Mammy, "you know its the end of the Summer when the Rose of Tralee is on" I actually like Ray Darcy on the Rose, he's a big Queen (well for an Irish mucker) and very Bitchy

On the topic of RTE news, I enjoyed the piece on Drivetime this evening about the blogger room, sponsored by Google at the Democratic Convention in Denver today, sofas, sweets, soft drinks... google seems big into tooth decay!! :)
Not too sure about all the "hype" surrounding the US elections, I mean yes its a big country and yes its a rich country.... but really... I heard a soundbite from some US celebrity stating that this was the most important election in history... REALLY? That's taking it a tad too far for my liking.

Had the best cup of tea this evening ...really good..... just needed to say that!

Anyway.... ad break over... back to good ole RTE News, six months of BBC brainwashing has formed a deep appreciation of RTE One (Radio and TV). Well at least thats my current excuse, other people might say Im showing my age, Morning Ireland, Liveline and Drivetime.... its a little bit middle aged of me ... but I dont care... pass me my knitting!

Final disturbing note.... An Taoiseach Brian Cowen TD singing 'Paddy's Green Shamrock Shore' at the Fleadh Cheoil in Tullamore

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Bites and Fine Dining!

Tuesday night Sharon Poo and I went for a small farewell dinner (for Poo) to an Argentinian steak house, mostly as Sharon is on a no carbs diet so Steak it was. There was no denying we ended up in one of the tourist traps, and I really hate the way the have these really good value meals advertised outside but yet upon sitting down they offer you a menu that has none of the "tourist enticing" menus on. Anyway... we got what we wanted... with surly service and left.

Wednesday at 2pm Poo went home to Ireland, think he's glad to be going home. I think he liked the time to relax in Amsterdam, I'm not sure it was what he expected but I hope he was happy.
I really liked him being around, I know I'll miss him but I have lots of visitors over the next few weeks and the trip to New York to look forward to so its all ok.

Got a HUGE mosquito bite on my neck tuesday night...... I look deformed, no really I do.
Actually the one on my arm is more worrying... looks like a second elbow and there's a nasty red line running from it to almost my armpit.... I'm not a doctor but it doesn't look great

Went home last weekend, didn't think Poo was leaving so quickly after or I'd have stayed but I had it booked ages ago and I hadn't been home for 7 weeks so it was due! Saw all the work mums had done in the house, stuff she's wanted to do for ages and I'm glad for her that she's getting her house a little more the way she wants it, she deserves it.

I've been waking up every morning wrecked, it began when I moved here first and abated slightly after 3 months to return with a vengeance in the past month. I have to say I chickened out of cycling to work for the last three days on the basis that I wasn't awake enough to competently make it to work in one piece. Really I was just too lazy and preferred the idea of veging on the tram/train/metro/stroll listening to morning Ireland/rick o shea/2xm streaming on my mobile (yes i found a way around the olympic ban - more on that in a bit) I could be forgiven for one morning as it was excessively wet, however Thursday and friday have been lovely so I am just a useless lazy sod to be honest!

The restrictions on RTE broadcasts for the Olympics bug me, even if working in the industry I understand them. RTE paid money for the rights to broadcast exclusive coverage of the Olympics and as such have to keep that coverage within their territories. This allows the IOC to sell similar rights packages to other territories on an exclusive and therefor more expensive basis. But really, could RTE not just delay transmission by 15 seconds and edit out/ block any news bulletins or coverage of Olympics? Anyway .... as I must circumvent every rule relating to my aquisition of entertainment I spent an hour trying to find another way to satiate my aural needs of morning ireland/ rick o shea / decent music. I happened across a site called moodio ( and within mins was streaming my daily fix through the wonder that is my mobile!! I hope the usage is within the limits of my 9.99 "endless" data package, but I am restricting myself to just those two shows and then switching to the internet to listen to 2xm which is unaffected by the blanket ban.

I spent a couple of hours watching the Olympic Opening ceremony last Friday, wow it was amazing. Sorry I had more to say on this .... but it took the last train out of my head! :P

Lots of visitors this weather, which is good, and bad. Mostly good.... all the visitors that have stayed in my house so far have been pretty excellent. Beginning to wonder about certain requests for lodging tho. Ever wonder when to draw the line under a friendship, when its run its course and now its just a vestige of something that was..... I do!

Been doing some great night time blog searching these days, and found some treasures... hope they dont mind me listing them here; most are in my sidebar anyway....
Travelvice - the blog of a guy who has been traveling the world since Dec 2005, first solo, then with his girlfriend and since Jan of this year, with their son! :)
Conortje - the blog of an Irish guy in Netherlands for ten years, I love his writing, very witty and intelligent.
Textsecrets /Post Secret - two sites really but similar idea, people write anonymous confessions to absolve, incite, inspire, entertain the public....

Ok enough from me.... suspiciously photo free post! :)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Mad Weather!!!

Huge Storm right over Amsterdam right now.
The sky is black as if it was 10pm, and the thunder and lightening (seconds apart) are lighting the sky!

Love continental summer storms!!

Glad I got to work on time, and that I brought my wetgear!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


So the summer continues!

Weather's been great (mostly) looking out the window at the sun.

We had a strange few weeks, my colleague was in an accident two weeks ago, nearly lost here leg. A British bus driver pulled out and turned without looking for bike traffic and crossed a bike crossing mowing my colleague Cathrine down, she tried to jump out of the way but it was too late. If you can read dutch click here

Despite the accident I am still cycling, I now take a shorter and while a little scarier, an actually safer route to work. Oh and I found a way that the last (and most hated) dangerous crossing has been cut out of my trip. I don't know yet whether I will continue cycling after Aug 17th.... we'll see, I think its good for me but its not easy and I like my legs.

Going home on Friday after 7 weeks! My longest without seeing my mum in quite some time... looking forward to seeing whats been done with the house.

We had Pride here this weekend and Catriona's 30th birthday, we had a great weekend despite being locked out of the house for a short while and having to pay 100euro to get a new lock fitted.

Check out more here: Album 1
Album 2
The weather while being lovely is quite heavy, and I'm quite tired all the time. Its nice having Padraig here, I think he's a little disappointed there's not more people to go out with at night but its not really a student town (during the summer) so most of the people out are older and working mon-fri.

Still trying ot get into the work mode, not sure its happening .... I like it here just not sure of the job! Its ok, actually you know... the work is grand, the atmosphere here sucks tho. I miss AA but there you go!