Tag Archives: Plugd

Journalism, or am I crazy?

Last week, I came home to news of The Sunday Tribune’s financial difficulties. The vast majority of my Twitter stream alternated between tweets about The Tribune and others about the impending closure of two Waterstone’s outlets in Dublin. While both pieces of news were as bad as each other, and reminded us of the real effect of this recession, the Tribune story struck more of a chord with me.

Not a week goes by anymore without someone asking me what I put down on my CAO or what I want to do with my life. I usually babble on for a minute or so about how I was torn between choosing a science course and a humanities course, but eventually disclose the dream of one day getting paid to write.

Each and every time I answer this question I ask myself where this whole journalism idea came from. The only relative of mine who ever wrote anything was my dad’s second cousin, who published two novels for pre-teens, along with a primary school textbook and a school play. So writing’s not exactly in my blood..

It’s hard to pinpoint when I first got this dream of being a journalist into my head. I suppose I always liked writing. Many a time as a young wan I tried writing a book, and for a few years there kept a diary religiously.

Being editor of the school magazine in TY is probably what made me seriously consider a career in publishing or the media. There were, of course, other people involved with the magazine, and there’s no way it would have ever happened without them, but I’m not going to pretend that I didn’t do a hell of a lot of work to get that magazine printed and sent off to The Irish Times before the deadline for the competition closed.

Having been taught the basics of InDesign by an art teacher in school, I spent my mid-term painstakingly putting the magazine together, bit by bit, before flying off to Paris for a school trip. Last year was much the same, only Paris was replaced by an even better trip to London. In some ways, though, last year’s magazine was a more influential experience. It’s hard to say which magazine was better overall, but if I had to pick one, I’d probably choose last year’s ‘Snap!’ While ‘Ink’ from the previous year was impressive, the bit of experience we had shone through in ‘Snap!’ Above all, I put together every single page of it, and maybe even more importantly wrote an award-winning article about Plugd’s closure.

I know that sounds quite conceited but it’s not. If I could write about Plugd for the rest of my life, then my articles would all be pretty good. It’s easy and enjoyable to write about something you know very well and love even more. And as much as this would be a fabulous career, I don’t think it’s very feasible. Having said that, if you know someone who’d like to hire someone (i.e. me) to write a regular column about Plugd, then do pass on my details.

I remember going to the school magazine awards in the Science Gallery in Trinity in TY. I think it was Shane Hegarty of the Times who told us a story of how his career in publishing started when he put together his 6th year yearbook. It was a nice story to hear because it reminded me a bit of myself, only my ‘career’ started even earlier, in 6th class when I designed the cover of out primary school yearbook. And it wasn’t that I was the only one willing to do it, because everyone in the class had to do one, and then there was a vote among the class. If, one day, I become a mighty successful journalist, this will be my story of my beginnings in journalism. I could embellish it a bit though, and claim that I knew from that very moment it was all I ever wanted to do. How romantic..

Now though, I’m eighteen and need to be a bit more realistic about job opportunities. I could have done the sensible thing and went for Medicine, but when have I ever done the sensible thing? I probably should be contributing to this whole smart economy lark, but instead I’m aiming for the most insecure career possible.

It worries me that I’ll spend my life writing the odd article here and there, struggling to find permanent work or make ends meet. I’m scared that I’ll regret choosing this airy-fairy future over a solid, well-payed, highly-sought-after job. The current vogue of blaming the Irish Government for everything doesn’t really apply here, unfortunately enough. The newspaper industry was changing long before the IMF arrived in the country, so I can’t go shouting at politicians who come canvassing to the door that they’ve ruined my chances of being a journalist. That’s a bit annoying really, because it would have been nice to have someone to blame.

Last June I spent one amazing week working with the Irish Times, and I’d have given anything to stay there and not have to come home and face the raucous music that is the Leaving Cert. When I do imagine my future self, it’s not in a hospital or a lab but somewhere else, less concrete, but there’s usually a notebook in hand or laptop in front of me.

I don’t think I’m in any way gifted at writing or English which sometimes make me reconsider this whole ‘plan’, if you can even call it that. Yes, I’m well able to ramble on and successfully bullshit my way through an exam, but this doesn’t mean I’ll be pumping out literary masterpieces any time soon. Or any time at all.

I may be deluding myself. More than maybe, I’m probably deluding myself. But I think I’ve got to at least try to achieve the dream first, and if it doesn’t work out, I can always marry a farmer…

 

5 Comments

Filed under rambling

Hello again..

I am such a bad blogger, I do know that. There is no regularity whatsoever to Wintertime Clothes anymore, so much so that I don’t think I should bother trying to make anyone read it. If they do, then I’ll be delighted but it’s like it’s always on the back of my mind if I haven’t written a post in a while. It used to be sort of a daily blog, and I was good at keeping that up for a while but I can’t seem to do that these days. I love writing, I love it a hell of a lot, but if blogging’s going to become a chore then I don’t think I should bother trying to pretend that I do a post everyday. Maybe if I say right now that I’ll do one post a week, or two posts a week then I’ll manage to stick to that. I read somewhere once that blogs should be regular. That doesn’t mean posting everyday, but just post at the same time every day/week/month so that your readers know when to expect a post.

I also know that blog posts should be short. I’m not good at keeping things short though. Once I start writing I don’t want to stop and then I think of a topic that would make a good blog post but I don’t know whether to throw it into the middle or do a separate post straight afterwards about that topic. I usually go with the former meaning that this blog has no structure whatsoever apart from the fact that the post title will most definitely not be applicable by the last sentence. If you get my drift.

I think I first started blogging just to keep me writing regularly. An English teacher told me that you can’t just not practice writing and expect to get an A in your essay. She said just write, about anything and everything once you’re forming words into sentences and sentences into paragraphs in some coherent manner. Hopefully this is semi-coherent anyway.

If you like reading all this stuff that has no logical sequence whatsoever then I’m a very lucky blogger. Recently, I’ve kind of started thinking about trying to build up a bit of a portfolio or something. Some day in the near-ish future I’ll need to be sending CVs to newspapers looking for a bit of freelance work and I’ll need something to show them. I write here about once a week but to be quite honest this isn’t something I’d want to be sending to a newspaper editor. It’s fine for a blog, but that’s what it is. There are two articles I could include in my ‘portfolio’ so far, namely a piece that was published in the ‘Go’ travel supplement in the Times, and an article I wrote about Plugd Records which won an award in an Irish Times competition. This blog isn’t exactly on par with that stuff like..

Speaking of journalism and all that jazz, I’m beginning to think I should just do what I said I never would and do journalism in DCU or UL or somewhere. Forget that whole get-a-solid-degree-and-then-do-a-masters shite. Media studies in NUIM looks very tempting too because you can combine it with a arts degree so you take media and two arts subjects in first year, drop one of the arts and continue to degree level with media and one arts subject. There’s Irish and Journalism in DCU too but I don’t think that’s exactly what I’m after. Maybe I’ll completely change my mind by CAO time but at least I’m doing some bit of thinking about it all.

There’s two other things I was going to mention but I just found out that Reeling in the Years is on Youtube and I now feel like looking back on simpler times. Ahhh..

2 Comments

Filed under rambling

A leisurely morning…

It’s been a while since I’ve been into town super early and had a few hours to kill. Having a few hours to kill always makes it sound like you’ve nothing to do with your life and you’re a sad person. That’s not the case though. But I’m going to go ahead and justify my free hours anyway, by saying that if I hadn’t bothered going into town I’d have just been sleeping those hours away. I prefer to be up and about, even if it means I spend money on things I don’t need.

I started out by going to Gusto for one of their amazing raspberry scones and a large cappuccino. I sat there for over an hour probably, reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower. It was nice. The time sort of flew. I even bumped into someone I knew there, Darren, from Canadian arts company Mammalian Diving Reflex. I like that. Just sitting there, and then you see someone you know and have a quick chat. Eventually I left Gusto and wandered out onto the lonely streets.

Not really, but they were still pretty quiet. That’s the one thing that annoys me about Cork really. I just find it too quiet at times.. Whenever I’m in town with feck all to do and I’ve already had a fill of caffeine, I just go looking around shops. I bought a few bits in Topshop the other day so I didn’t need to look through that fecking shop again, but I did head into Oasis. They had a sale, which is what attracted me in in the first place. I got a green short sleeved t-shirt. It’s a really nice, almost silky, material and it strikes the perfect balance between fitted and loose. Happy.

Then I went to the Crawford art gallery, because I think appreciating art will  make me cool. I jest. Nah, I just like the building. It’s nice to wander around inside and just look at whatever exhibition is on. There’s no need to critically analyse every piece, but just kind of absorb all the stuff around you. It’s really peaceful too, which is nice. I love the contrast between the old collection and the newer exhibitions. You walk through those glass doors and it’s like a different world. The exhibition part is all clean, modern lines, high ceilings, quite minimalist. The older parts of the gallery are warmer colours, with plenty of wooden furniture. The art is, of course, hugely different too.

After that, I went to Easons. I don’t really know why, to look at books or something I guess? And I did end up buying some book, purely because it was €1.99. ‘We Are Gold’ I think it’s called.. Whatever, I wouldn’t even have a coffee for the price of it.

From there I headed over to Plugd to show Albert the article I wrote in the magazine that won the award. He seemed to like it. He laughed a few times, which is always a good sign, and he was pretty impressed with it overall too. Then I listened to some choons, and bought a Sea Lion CD. We had a nice chat, and then Albert told me I should rehydrate before my trek to Kinsale. Maybe he thought I was walking, ’cause getting the bus ain’t that hard.. Still though, I respected the wisdom of my elders and I went to M&S for their savage lemonade, and got a pack of crunchy granola bars in Tesco.

And then I went to Kinsale to work in the box office. It was a good day.

It crossed my mind at one stage though that I was perfectly content going for a coffee on my own, and wandering around a gallery. I know that some folk might find that a bit intimidating, or they just wouldn’t feel at ease on their own. Not in an oh-my-god-i’m-going-to-be-attacked-slash-abducted way, but just that they wouldn’t be able to enjoy their own company. I’m glad that I can sit on my own and just think, or drink coffee, or organise my week, or read a book, or just watch the world go by. We’re always in a rush, to meet someone, to do something, to get some where.

No harm in just stopping every once in a while.

Also, I’ve kind of given up on trying to find pictures for each post. It’s such a pain unless I’ve taken them myself, so you’ll just have to read the whole pf each post to actually see what it’s about. I mean, you hardly still read books with pictures, right? Why should a blog be any different…

4 Comments

Filed under today

News, some good, some bad.

I guess the pretty obvious bad news that emerged today is that of the death of Gerry Ryan. We were coming home from school and my mum had to park at the end of the driveway because there were vans and stuff in the way. My cousin the builder was doing some stuff down there, and he said he’d gotten a text that Gerry Ryan had died. This was seconded my some other workman person whom I’ve never seen before. Then I came inside and saw it on twitter, then irishtimes.com. It’s a shock to say the least. I mean I didn’t listen to his show that often, what with school and everything. But there’s no denying that he was a huge part of Irish radio and media, and undoubtedly he will be missed. He’s an inspiration to me in certain ways, as he did law in college, but went on to work in media. Rest in Peace, Gerry.

On a brighter note, today we got word of the nominations for the Irish Times SchoolMag competition. We were supposed to have known by March 26th, but things got delayed, and finally we were told today that we have been nominated for three awards. An overall award, and award for design, and an award for my article on Plugd. I first posted that article here actually, and then changed it around and adapted it for the magazine. So I was particularly pleased with that one, but the design one too as I did do alot of that myself. So I was happy out today. However, I was unusually quiet at tennis, because I had read over my Plugd article again, and it made me miss the place even more.. I’m glad that I’ve gotten to voice my opinion about it though, and that someone’s taken notice and actually thought it was good. It’s true what they say though, you should write about what you know.

I got a nice message from a nice person today too. Nothing spectacular, but they were just doing a small favour for me, and talking to them brought back good memories, and made me look forward to some other stuff too. It’s weird how you don’t talk to someone for a while, but their personality is so strong it’s like you were only talking to them yesterday. Or maybe that’s just because the year has flown by. Perhaps a mixture of both.

I’m tired now, so I think I might leave the laptop. I wish we had more books in this house.

And apologies for the lack of pictures. I’m feeling lazy.

Leave a comment

Filed under rambling

Happiness is…

…right now. This. Happy happy happy!

Town was so so so nice today. None of my friends were in, and I only had two hours while my mother rushed around on her one disc, but it was lovely.

I went to Plugd first. I had a little look around. There was a DJ set going on so nice vibe about the place, but then again, there always is. I thanked Albert for his little message on the back of the CD cover, and had a chat at the counter. Then he handed me an Adam Green album, completely sealed in plastic, and said ‘You like him, right? Happy Christmas.’ So that made me happy. And I wished him a merry Christmas also, and went on my way. Like two hours is pretty short, y’know…

I really wanted a big chunky cardigan for over this dress I have so I headed to H&M first. Found a few there so I tried ’em on and I absolutely loved one. Kinda thought my mother wouldn’t like it so I hid it with a grey long sleeved top I liked and arranged to meet her there later on. I kinda don’t know what I did for a while, but went back to H&M at some stage to show her the cardigan, and SHOCK HORROR she liked it. I was seriously surprised because she usually only likes fitted things and this is pretty much as baggy as you can get.

So I went and bought it. €40 down to €20. And the guy at the counter was so nice! He had a Santa hat on and a Christmas tee and was asking me was I all ready and whatnot. We were chatting away and I told him I was going down to Kerry and it was just nice. I departed as we wished each other a merry Christmas. All shop assistants should be like that.

And then I practically ran up to my favourite coffee place in the town and had to resort to a coffee to go. When I got to the counter they were like ‘Americano?’ . ‘Of course, but it has to be to go today.’ I’d say they nearly died on the spot. And as a little Christmas present they gave me an extra stamp on my loyalty card so my next coffee is free! Woo!

Then as I rushed back to the car to meet my mother I bumped into so many lovely people, all along the one street. I had short but seriously sweet conversations with folks I could have spent hours with. It’s nice to meet nice people. That’s it, nothing else, just nice.

It was a beautiful day. And it made me realise how many million times better local businesses are than commercial chains.

Nollaig shona daoibh go léir!

Leave a comment

Filed under Christmas, town

Christmas, and the people it brings.

I like Christmas, and pretty much everything about it, but my absolute favourite thing about Christmas is how it brings everyone home. Yesterday was one of the nicest days in town. I saw lots of people, but the ‘highlight’, so to speak, was seeing a person who has moved across the water and who I haven’t seen in a long time.

We were queuing up to get waffles with chocolate sauce and I looked out of Winthrop Arcade and saw this person. It was like everything and everyone else disappeared and I ran across the street shouting his name. He put down whatever he was carrying and gave me a hug. It was nice, so unbelievably nice. I knew this person pretty damn well, but due to age differences and the like we haven’t exactly kept in contact or met up the odd time he comes home. But we chatted, and it was like he had never moved away. It’s been a few years, and I guess we’ve both changed, but it was still comfortingly familiar. He’s one of those people you can just talk to, and laugh with, and it’s easy and so, so lovely.

That really made my day.

It also made me think about this sense of home that exists at Christmas. Students who are dispersed around in various colleges nationwide, and even worldwide, come home to their mammies. People who are living their own independent lives become children again. Everyone’s looking for presents for their friends and family. It’s like Christmas unites everyone together, and we’re all the same again.

And seeing people you miss, it’s just the best.

In other unrelated news, I passed the Theory Test today, with full marks may I add! I went for a coffee and a scone beforehand in my favourite coffee shop and one of the guys who works there noticed. He was telling me how he only did it earlier in the year, and then wished me luck as I was leaving. Later on, I went back with a few friends, and as soon as I was in the door, he shouted down to me and asked me had I passed. That was nice. Things like that make me smile.

Going into Plugd today also made me smile. Aside from Albert being nice, there was a first-time customer in there, who wasn’t used to Albert’s quirky sense of humour and his various phrases. She got a bit confused, but was very funny about it, and decided that she loved the place and would be back. Then Albert said ‘We’re closing at the end of the month.’ It was interesting how he can still make a joke of such a horrible issue, and how everyone laughed.

Christmas holidays are deadly.

Leave a comment

Filed under Christmas, people

Early mornings and long days

I don’t like culchie buses. In fact, I don’t like any type of bus. But rural buses are alot worse than city buses. So when I have a day off (like today) but my parents have work, I get a lift with one of them as far as a ‘city’ bus stop and end up being the first teenager in town. I think I hold some sort of record. Not that I live in the middle of nowhere, far from it to be fair. It takes 4 minutes in the car to get me to a bus stop, but that 4 minutes of road is a little too treacherous to walk or cycle.

So this morning I was in town at 9am. It’s not as bad as it sounds, I swear. I just sat in my favourite coffee shop from 9am til 11am, then decided I had just about outstayed my welcome and left to go to the GPO and post my mother’s Christmas cards. I just avoided developing frostbite as I crossed the bridge and down Oliver Plunkett Street. I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to see the GPO. After that little sojourn was complete, off I went to Plugd for a sconce around, stopping en route to chat to a few friends who were collecting for SHARE. My excuse for not being so socially aware is that I had forgotten to wear my Uggs. Pumps are not a sensible choice in -3.5 degree weather. There were icicles, yes ICICLES, hanging from the fountain on Grand Parade.

Plugd was nice. The door was closed ‘cos it was so cold, which gives the place a nice homely feel. I bought a CD, which I want, but is going to be used as the Christmas present for the ‘rents, and also bought Albert a coffee. And gave him my copy of The Cork News so he can frame my quote..

I bought a pair of shoes in Dunnes, black pumps with studs and sequins, and met up with my friends. More coffee followed, along with personal cake recommendations from one of the ‘baristas’ in Coffee Roasters. Back to Plugd for more Christmas shopping, and the like. Tried on 3 skirts in Topshop.

First one isn’t online, so no pics, but here’s the other two:

http://www.topshop.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?beginIndex=0&viewAllFlag=&catalogId=19551&storeId=12556&categoryId=167997&parent_category_rn=85550&productId=1401768&langId=-1

and

http://www.topshop.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?beginIndex=0&viewAllFlag=&catalogId=19551&storeId=12556&categoryId=167997&parent_category_rn=85550&productId=1341464&langId=-1

(For some reason I can’t make those links look pretty so you’ll have to make do.)

Well any opinions? Tried both on with grey tights and aforementioned pumps, along with my grey jacket. Can’t decide which on though…

Then my mother text me and told me to come home so I couldn’t ask my friends who were with me either. And the bus driver was mean to us when we asked for halves. Then he drove ridiculously fast over the ramps on College Road and I thought I was going to die.

Also I should be at a ‘drowling’ party now. ‘What’s drowling?’ I hear you ask.. None other than drunk bowling. Check that shit…

Leave a comment

Filed under today, town