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London Calling!

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Well, England/London was brilliant as always and heart-breaking to have to leave.  The trip to Bel Canto on the Saturday was definitely worth the trip alone and very reasonable considering, it is in the heart of London and the height of the tourist season.  Me and my sister have decided that we'll do it again next year for our birthdays, as they both fall in July.  But next time, we plan to stay in London and make a weekend of it.

I didn't get to the Van Gogh in Britain exhibition, the last ticket sold out as we were trying to buy them and there was nothing available until the Thursday but unfortunately, I was back home by then.  I was hoping to do a quick weekend trip before it finishes on 11 August but it's just too expensive as the car had to be taxed and is also in getting serviced.  But that was the only disappointment over the weekend.  We had some nice pub lunches and trips to the Sussex Downs and the coast, and at Wilmington, I even met a 'long' man!  

So, all in all, it was a very enjoyable weekend and to be honest, I've been struggling since I came back home. I am just so unsettled and do not want to be here.   I cannot relate to the culture/the politics or most of the people.  I have outgrown Ireland and really feel that I need to leave for a few years, at least.   

I've been looking at jobs in London and there is one in a hospital in the same role I have here, that I'm really tempted to apply for. It closes on Monday so I might send off the application over the weekend.  As Freddie Mercury and Michael Jackson said or rather sang, 'There must be more to life than this.'

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Grand Prix

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Great to see the Grand Prix back but what is going on with Vettel???  He has grown a moustache over the winter break and it's awful!  Some people suit moustaches, like Freddie Mercury but some don't, like Seb.  He looks like a 70's porn star!  If anyone out there knows him (they say we're only 6 degrees of separation from anyone) tell him to shave!  Puuullleasseeee!

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Bohemian Rhapsody

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Sunday, 11 Oct 2020, 09:43

Is this the real life, is this just fantasy...and many a day I spent, back in my teenage years, gazing out the classroom window, watching the sky as clouds contorted and rolled over Croaghan Hill, the ever-changing light, adding depth and detail to the broad vista of the town below while fantasizing about (among others!) Freddie Mercury.  Completely unaware at that stage of his sexual preferences, although, even when I did become aware, I still fantasised that he was only gay because he had never met me!  After all, we had so much in common, he liked opera and ballet and so did I, and he also loved to play Scrabble, my favourite board game!

Bowie and Zeppelin were my first loves in music and I had been introduced to them through my oldest brother but Queen, I discovered and fell in love with, all on my own.  I still remember the night at St Colman's disco when I first heard Seven Seas of Rhye, Now I'm Here and of course, Killer Queen.  I also remember, only too well, the announcement of his death and how I cried that miserable Monday morning in November.  So, with my heart on my sleeve, I ventured forth tonight to see if justice had been done to my beloved Freddie, in the movie, Bohemian Rhapsody. 

The movie tells us about the early days of the band and their rise to fame.  It reveals more about the background of Freddie's life than the other members but there wasn't anything in it that I hadn't read or heard about before, from his long term friendship with Mary Austin to his, shall we say, adventurous party lifestyle.  

 As a Queen fan, I loved it!  I had forgotten just what a tour de force Freddie Mercury was on stage! What a showman, artistic and outrageous, unique and dynamic! I wanted to sing along! I wanted to stamp my feet and clap my hands to We Will Rock You!  I wanted to stand in the crowd at Live Aid and cheer and sing and drink in every second of that heart-storming performance, made more poignant when we realise he had just been diagnosed with Aids, and I'm not the least bit embarrassed to admit a few tears were shed.  Ah, Freddie!  We'll never see your like again, unfortunately!  

When the film ended, no one wanted to leave, conversations were struck up with strangers in order to delay the inevitable as fans and new fans discussed the merits of Mr Mercury et al.  Those of us old enough to remember relived those moments in our lives when the music of Queen provided the soundtrack and helped to cement those memories in our hearts and minds.  Many vowed to come back and see it again and next time, we will stamp our feet and clap our hands!

In the daily grind of life, we sometimes forget those great moments in life.  Times when our hearts soared, when the sheer joy of a performance or piece of music lifted and inspired us, reminded us that there was more to life, that there could be better days or better ways of living if we just had the courage to reach out for it.  I remember 1985,  I remember Live Aid and how unhappy I was with my life at that time.  I also remember vowing to change it and the following year I ended my marriage and even though I had a tough few years after it, it's a decision I've never regretted. 

I haven't listened to music much in the last few years even though I still have all my albums and CD's.  I seem to have settled (or been driven?!) into a sort of musical doldrums, I put away Queen and the Sex Pistols, Billy Idol and all those others who sent my heart soaring and my pulse racing, those powerhouses of my youth who didn't compromise or apologise for being exactly who they were and screw everyone who didn't like it!  

In the apparent misery of the world today, as controlled and promoted by the media, we are fed a daily diet of fear, propaganda and paranoia.  We have forgotten that music used to be a way to stick it to the man, a way to upset the establishment and inspire revolt and rebellion.  Nowadays, everybody is so busy trying to display their liberal principles, demonstrating to the world how open-minded they are, how welcoming, all kumbaya and political correctness, anxious to be good citizens, terrified of change with a soundtrack so bland, sanitised and nonthreatening that we're being lulled into a permanent state of brain-deadness and musical easy-listening (which used to be the most insulting thing you could say about someone's musical taste!).  Now we have music giants like Ed Sheeren with all the charisma of cold rice pudding, perfect for the snowflake generation and political cowards like (punk?) Bob Geldof who turned coat and now kisses the asses of the establishment.  'Oh, we're better together,' 'Oh, we need to save the planet', 'Oh, we can't listen to someone who might disagree with us because we're so easily offended', 'Oh those nasty Brexiteers have taken away our future'.  Blah, whine, blah!  

It speaks volumes for how weak and insipid we have become that the most rebellious voice in politics today is Jacob Rees-Mogg!  My God!  What happened to us?? We were the punk generation, when did we roll over, give up and play brain dead? 

Well, I'm not giving up and thank you Bohemian Rhapsody for getting my blood pumping again, I'm going make it a point to listen to Queen, the Sex Pistols and Billy Idol at least once every month because I need those reminders.  We all need those reminders, to remember who we were, when we had a fire in our bellies and weren't afraid to speak up and speak out.  Remember our youth, when it was normal to challenge the status quo and defy the authorities instead of cowering in a permanent state of anxiety, too terrified to stand out or stand up and go against the crowd even when we're being sold out!  Maybe it's time to get out those old tunes, crank the volume up and let chaos reign for a while, be a rebel, disagree with your friends, be offensive, challenge everything you are being told and be a bit like Freddie, strutting, confident, belting it out at volume, the shy man who was a God on stage, and who knows what might happen if we let that fire burn again...ROCK ON!


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David Bowie

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Sunday, 11 Oct 2020, 09:36

The late great David Bowie would have been 71 today had he lived.  I still haven't bought the last album, I haven't the heart to, because it's the last...and there isn't going to be a next one.  I know it makes no sense but it does to me so I'm holding out.  I was remarking on this to one of the girls at work today, and it's not just that he's gone but it's how boring the world feels now without him, and not just Bowie but Michael Jackson, Prince, George Michael, Freddie Mercury, all incredibly talented and original and more importantly, interesting!

What do we have now?  Ed Sheeran??  He's ok, he won't exactly set the world on fire, will he and that 'Galway Girl'??? Gawd, I hated that!!!  Thank gawd for the Gallagher brothers, at least they're not boring...

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