Category Archives: Personal

Not-so-Old Moore’s 2015 Predictions


The predictions* as I see them in 2015.

Administration departments shall see a sudden increase in the use of the number 5.

The letter ‘Y’ shall be boycotted by the rest of the alphabet.

Governments around the world will receive better danishes at eleven o’clock break.

Halle Berry, Cheryl Cole and Jenna Coleman shall continue to deny any knowledge of my existence.

At least five people will stop drinking milk.

An upsurge in violence towards lampposts shall spark a mini revolution in a country which has not yet been formed.

Batteries will start communicating with each other but shall soon get bored.

A new computer language will be written which nobody will understand.

Somebody will break a long standing sports record. There will be cheering and tears.

Berlin will become the official capital of Ireland.

Halle Berry, Cheryl Cole or Jenna Coleman will ask the police to issue a barring order.

A hasty trade decision between Ireland and Iran shall see the M50 carpeted.

History will repeat itself.

A five year old girl shall be enlightened with the cure for all the world’s problems but no one will listen to her.

A cow will give birth to a chicken which looks and acts exactly like a cow.

Intelligent life will finally be discovered on Earth.

Soap operas and reality television will be criminalised.

The Obamas shall move to Moneygall, take over the running of Moneygall Football Club and they will lose their first match.

Ireland will enter the space race with the Mick Mark One.

The climate will seriously consider wiping us out completely but then have a change of heart.

Google’s DeepMind will become self-aware and throw the internet out of it’s pram.

*All predictions courtesy of the mice in charge of supervising the vacuuming of my brain.

Advertisements

Beanmimo – Ice Bucket Challenge


No introduction necessary

Dalkey Sound: Sea Shore: 2013


This may only be of interest to my family  (including cousins), Coliemore Road neighbours and all our friends who had the pleasure, fun and adventure of  spending time on the stretch of rocks that led from the bottom of our garden and ran all the way up to Dillon’s Park in Dalkey.

From Dillon’s Park this is the run as it looks today (2013)

a

b

The New Year would bring a new challenge.

c

d

Storms would adjust the shoreline.

d1e

Different rocks would move when you landed on them.

fg

While others that moved the year before would be forever jammed tight.

hij

This was the view from the back of my house.

klmn

Tide in or out it was always an adventure.

opqrst

Books That Changed My Life – Part Three: Adulthood to Now


Aged 26

The Children of Men by P.D. James

In Earth’s dystopian and infertile near future a University Don must choose between family, political ties and a group of terrorists while the continuation humanity hangs in the balance.

The Children of Men

Early this morning, 1 January 2021, three minutes after midnight, the last human being to be born on Earth was killed in a pub brawl in a suburb of Buenos Aires, aged twenty-five years two months and twelve days.”

One of the best opening lines of a novel I have ever read. It is set in the future, the youngest man on the planet is, sorry, WAS 27, what happened to all the children?  I was  hooked.  The book is not merely a race to survive but deals with the physical, political and psychological effects of a world where the human race has become barren. Family relationships, political worth, scientific and religious effect of global infertility are explored. I had never come across a sci-fi novel that was infused with such deeply thought human emotion. I read this on a holiday to Tunisia with my then girlfriend, on the last day we disagreed over something in the morning and spent the day on the beach. I became lost deep into the last third of the novel and hours sped by. “Ben”, she said, ”I am still angry with you”, I looked up from the book, searched her face, looking for clues to help me remember what we were arguing about. “Don’t you realise that I haven’t said a word to you for hours? ”. “No”, helplessly, I added, “This book is amazing”. That was the beginning of the end.

Aged 32

His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

The adventures of Lyra Belacqua from a parallel universe and Will Parry from our own world as they strive to stop ‘The Authority’ form Lyra’s world destroying all parallel universes in their quest to understand the physics behind the mysteries of The Dust.

His Dark Materials

How I wished I had read this trilogy as a teenager but I have enough youth left in my heart to lose myself in Pullman’s imagination. The reason I picked them up was because of the film of the first book “The Golden Compass”, though I found it somewhat confusing there were a few concepts that drew me to the trilogy, in particular the idea that the people from Lyra’s universe had daemon’s. These are an animal familiar, a mixture between a conscience and a soul, who accompanied them throughout their lives who could never stray too far. As a child the daemons are constantly changing shape, from animal to animal but once you reach maturity they choose one animal form. This concept drew me in and opened me to the fullness of the adventures between multiple universes, incredible characters, angels, witches, warring bears etc. For the first time since Tolkien I realised that the fantasy genre could be reshaped and reformed with brilliance.

Aged 36

We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver

A mother writes a number of letters to her estranged husband to trace the growth of their son who has, as a teenager, carried out an atrocity.

We Need To Talk About Kevin

Kevin’s mother relates the tale of how she met her husband and how they started raising their son highlighting the difficulties every parent must feel at one stage or another but as her story unfolds we see that this family have a disturbing and unique problem which is not revealed straight away. Shriver crawls under the skin of a mother who is afraid she has not bonded with her son; a mother who goes through periods of questioning the bond between herself and her husband. The tone of the book begins ominously and continues with the same threatening tone throughout. Yet she gives us so many clues along the way that you just have to find out what happens.  Never before has a book stayed with me for so long. Shriver’s writing didn’t just dig her way into my head, it build an small flat, interior decorated, invited its friends over and threw wild parties. It has been years since I read it and still to this day and as I write these words I shudder when I think of Kevin.

What are yours?

Books That Changed My Life Part One

Books That Changed My Life Part Two

Books that Changed My Life – Part Two: Young Adulthood and University


Aged 19

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

Owen Meany, a unique and insightful little boy who is terribly bad at baseball and accidentally kills his best friend’s mother. Narrated by that best friend john we see their relationship grow from child to adulthood, the funny, dark and perceptive effect Owen has on the lives of the people around him.

This was my first introduction to John Irving and a bit of a curse as I still consider it his best work.  It took me more than a few years to be able to finish any of his other novels. Irving once said that he fills the lives of his characters with so much tragedy in an attempt to stop any of his own loved ones from suffering.  Owen Meany is a unique character who at such a young age is filled with a philosophy of one older than his years. But as the novel continues Irving somehow makes his insights fit exactly with his character and all you want to hear are more of Owen’s views and less of any other of the characters. We become greedy for Owen and his ‘wrecked voice’. My sister gave me her copy, it sits on my bookshelf to this day, I often read random passages, he is never far from mu side. I made up for it by giving my sister a signed copy of one of Irvings’s later novels when I had the good fortune to meet him.

Warning spoiler for A Prayer For Own Meany in the blog comments below.

Age 21

Frankenstein by Mary Wollenscroft Shelley

Victor Frankenstein relates his life and how his insane passion for the reanimation of the dead ruined his life.

By the time I began reading Mary Shelley’s first novel I had seen quite a few of the screen adaptation and was not quite prepared for the differences between those narratives and her own. Instead of mad scientists, humpbacked assistant, lightning and lynch mobs we get a story of blind ambition, an intelligent and sympathetic outcast trying to understand his place in the world and ultimately revenge. It was an inspiring read from a woman who thought up the idea at the age of eighteen and was published at the age I was reading. She imprisoned my imagination and carved a new genre in Gothic fiction which continues to inspire imaginations across the globe. I read it again in 2012 and have since created a twitter account for Victor’s Creation called @Thy_Creature so that he can stomp around that social network instead of just inside my imagination.

Age 22

Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift

Lemuel Gulliver tells the story of his sea voyages and the four fantastic worlds he encountered, each world serves as satirical basis for different parts of real society.

gulliverstravels

Published in 1726 was an immediate hit, “It is universally read, from the cabinet council to the nursery”, and no less a hit with me. It was one of the very first fantasy novels which in which society was shown itself a mirror enjoyed the comparisons. Again I had watched the animation which dealt with Lemuel Gulliver’s first voyage to Lilliput but when I read the novel I realised that he traveled to four separate worlds where Swift satirised different parts of society. Lilliput (The land of minutes peoples) was at war with Blefuscu and belittled the on-going wars between Britain and France. Brobdignag (the land of the giants) points out that perfection is relative, when you get close to people there will always be imperfections. The Floating Island of Laputa poked fun at the ridiculous nature of some of the work in the scientific community and The Land of The Houynhnhms shows us that any form of deceit makes a mockery of a society that calls itself cultured. Being neither musical nor mathematical in my skill this book gave me the connection between these two spheres and it mocked the idea of immortality. But most profoundly me a new appreciation for horses to the point that since then I have always stopped to take in their beauty and grace, my heart sinks if I have ever seen a badly tended horse, I have an appreciation of their speed strength and power and whenever I see one I remember how happy Gulliver was in their company.

What are yours?

Books That Changed My Life – Part Three: Adulthood to Now

Books that Changed My Life – Part One: Childhood and School

The BlogAwards.ie – A Blogging Challenge


The Blog Awards for Irish Bloggers 2013 was launched with style last Thursday in the lovely surroundings of the Glenisk pop up shop on Dublin’s Dawson Street. They set a challenge to write a blog based on three random words chosen from a hat, before I knew it my hand (clutching my smart phone) was in the air (if I had chosen the other hand my Prosecco would have gone everywhere).

So here goes.

The Simpsons began as crude number of short sketches on the Tracy Ullman show and grew to capture the imagination of a number of generations. It is a unique phenomenon of animated television which has just finished it’s multi record breaking 24th season. The series makers should remember to tip their hats to at least three other television programmes, The Honeymooners, The Flintstones and Wait Till Your Father Gets Home. In one particular Simpsons episode “Lisa The Iconoclast” the writers introduced the word ‘Cromulent’ defined as validating the legitimacy of a made up or nonsense word that makes sense within the structure of a sentence. Despite not appearing in any recognised dictionary, Cromulent produces over 40 pages of results when searched on the internet. Google now gives ‘cromulent’ cromulence.

Love is all you need, in the air, is like a red red rose, means not having to say you are sorry, a many splendoured thing… etc, Love is a feeling between family, friends and people, it can grow, sustain, devour and destroy. Even though you cannot hold it in your hand it is one of the most powerful forces on this earth. While I have had various relationships, I remain one of those who are unlucky with love but still I understand its value and have not locked it out of my heart for good. While I wait for the right person, she is out there, I have put love to use by losing myself in the words or images that I discover in books and movies where I continue to find endless examples.

The only time I sat on a horse was in Co. Wicklow in my early teens. I felt a certain amount of trepidation mounting the animal but more confident once I had learned the basic skills. After the lesson I still felt that the animal had gone for a walk and I was literally along for the ride. In the thirty years between then and now I have not sat on a horse. But while I was in college I read Gulliver’s Travels, of the four world’s he visited the last was the Land of the Houyhnhnms (pronounced ‘whynims’) a race of English speaking and cultured Horses who did not have it in their philosophy to tell a lie. Some how when I finished this passage I had gained a new found admiration for their grace, beauty and power. While writing this blog I took a break and met this beautiful example on a stroll.

In short, since encountering Swifts’s Houyhhnhms I found the idea perfectly cromulent and it has served to enhance my love and appreciation of the horse.

Books that Changed My Life – Part One: Childhood and School


Aged 5-10 years old

The Adventures of Asterix by Goscinny and Uderzo

Two Brave Frenchmen take on the might of the Roman Empire and travel the world with the help of magic potion.

asterix

When I first plunged into the many Adventures of Asterix I couldn’t read properly. I only realised this some years after first reading the picture books that I had not been pronouncing the names correctly in my head. But that didn’t stop me from enjoying the myriad of historical events Asterix and Obelix encountered. The idea that two men could influence the events in whatever countries they visited with the added thrill of using the magic potion to help them bashing various armies along the way was enough to capture my growing imagination.  The basis of Roman history mapped out through the picture books ended up being one of the reasons I chose to study Greek and Roman Civilisation for my primary University Degree.

Aged 13

The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien

A short creature called a Hobbit and named Bilbo Baggins is drawn unwillingly on an adventure involving a Wizard, Dwarves, treasure, a dragon, and a very handy ring.

bilbobaggins

J R R Tolkien is a milestone in my literary endeavours for two reasons. My eldest brother gave me his copy one afternoon, by dinnertime Mum had to tell me to put it down during dinner and later tell me on a number of occasions to go to bed. I waited in the dark until the house fell silent and gingerly switched my light back on again, I was sure that I would be caught but I ended up turning the last page deep into the early hours of the morning. It remains the first and only book I read in one sitting. It was the scope of the story that hooked me. It unfolded and told me  how a small and seemingly insignificant creature like this Hobbit could have an influence over such a huge undertaking. Bilbo Baggins used whatever skills he had and became indispensable to the adventure. It opened me up to the vast and intricate imagination of Tolkien that would lead me to Lord Of The Rings and taught me that stories could be about anything your mind could conjure. I began to make up my own stories in copybooks.

Aged 17

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

The impact a stoic foundling has on generations of two families who live on the Yorkshire Moors.

wutheringheights

We had to read Emily Bronte’s novel for our last year in school. As I ploughed through the narration by Nelly Dean and traced the interwoven lives of the characters in Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange I realised that the enjoyment of their tormented, tragic and complex existences was riveting. It occurred to me that writing exam questions about this book was going to be entertaining as opposed to topics in other subjects. I even went as far as writing a parody of the plot and substituting my classmates into the story and read it out in my English class. Even though I has already made up my mind to study English in University, Wuthering Heights cemented that choice, if I could enjoy a novel that much which was written 140 years previously I was going to be ok.

What are yours?

Books that Changed My Life – Part Two Young Adulthood and University 

Books That Changed My Life – Part Three: Adulthood to Now