Early reminders – Five Points for Perfect Posting this Christmas
Online festive flurry underway
An Post’s Christmas countdown has begun
1.‘Early does it’ is An Post’s advice this year with Early Planning, Early Shopping and Early Posting all part of the mix for a happy, stress-free Christmas: The number of parcels in and out of Ireland and across the globe is rising steadily every day as shoppers chase high street and online bargains. An Post advises online shoppers and anyone planning to send presents by post this Christmas is to get organised early so as to avoid last minute panic or weather-related delays around the world.
2: Make it personal: A personal message in a Christmas card or letter is the very centre of Christmas; there’s pleasure in both sending and receiving them. Colourful Christmas stamp booklets (€25 for 26 stamps) and international stamps are now on sale at all post offices. An Post handles between 3 and 7 million mail items each day during the Christmas lead-up. Mail volumes more than double as the holiday approaches with Christmas shopping, presents and greetings forming the bulk of the extra seasonal mail.
Give yourself time: Be sure to factor in the time for any online purchases to be delivered and for posting them onwards to family and friends. With so many Irish people now living abroad, we know there’ll be parcels of all shapes and sizes carrying special Christmas wishes this year. While writing cards and addressing envelopes is the perfect time to reflect and think back over the year just passed – make sure to give yourself time to enjoy sending Christmas wishes at home and abroad.
Don’t miss out: AddressPal.ie is the handy new service from An Post which gives shoppers their own UK or US address so that they can order from websites that don’t deliver to Ireland, or charge steep shipping fees for doing so, and your shopping will be delivered back to your local post office, your home or wherever suits you.
Pack it properly: Make sure to wrap and seal cards and parcels well; check the address and postage and always include the sender’s details too. It means we can get the package safely back to you if it can’t be delivered. Use bubblewrap or extra paper to cover sharp corners and don’t spare the tape. Good packaging keeps your precious parcel safe all the way to its destination.
Date Alert for Far Far Away: December 7 is the latest guaranteed date for regular parcel services to far-off places such as Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong. See anpost.ie/Christmas for all you need to know about Christmas posting.
Multi-award winning one-man-show ‘The Man In The Woman’s Shoes’, written and performed by Mikel Murfi and a Storytelling Concert featuring UK, US and Irish tellers are among the highlights of the 6th Sneem International Storytelling & Folklore Festival which takes place 10th-12th November in the village of Sneem on the Ring of Kerry.
‘The Man In The Woman’s Shoes’ follows Pat Farnon as he walks to town and back again. It is a beautifully observed piece, utterly simple and Murfi’s “astonishing acting” has been widely praised since it was first performed in 2012.
Acclaimed US Storyteller Len Cabral, Kate Corkery from Cork and London, Dublin’s Jack Lynch, Listowel’s Frances Kennedy and Sneem Seanchái and festival chairman Batt Burns are all performing across the weekend in various venues.
There is a strong youth programme this year with children’s storytelling workshops and the hugely popular Young Tellers Concert on Saturday evening where children from the locality and around Kerry as young as 11 years of age will perform stories and verse in front of a live audience.
Once again, the hugely popular Story Swap Sessions, an open-mic for amateur tellers to come and swap stories with one another, will take place in pubs locally as well as a storytelling pub trail, a storytelling hill walk, storytelling in an 18th century barn, adult workshops and lunchtime theatre.
Killarney Toastmaster and Author Sean Lyons will present a hilarious lecture on his observations of middle-aged Irish men while the famous South Kerry Rosen Choir will perform ‘Songs From Kerry’ in the Church of the Transfiguration.
“We are thrilled with the support of Fáilte Ireland who have helped to keep this festival since we began, and as a result we are keeping this oral tradition alive in Sneem and Kerry. It’s our oldest tradition and it should be nurtured to bring it back to where it once was up to 70 or 80 years ago. We are trying to do our bit here in Sneem and it’s great to see some of our young people embracing it”, commented Batt Burns, festival founder and renowned Seanchaí.
A weekend festival ticket is €55 including the storytelling concert and ‘The Man In The Woman’s Shoes’ show and full details are available on www.sneemstorytellingfestival.com
Universal Music Ireland and RTÉ 2FM are proud to announce the release of The Joshua Tree – New Roots, an 11 track studio collection which sees some of Ireland’s most outstanding musical talent cover songs from U2’s seminal Grammy Award-winning album ‘The Joshua Tree’. Set for release on 27th October, The Joshua Tree – New Roots will raise funds for LauraLynn, Ireland’s Children’s Hospice.
The Joshua Tree – New Roots will also include an exclusive bonus track from U2, a live performance of ‘Red Hill Mining Town’ recorded at the band’s recent show in Amsterdam during the critically acclaimed ‘The Joshua Tree Tour 2017’.
The Joshua Tree – New Roots features a stellar roll call of emerging Irish talent including new artist Lyra singing ‘Mothers of The Disappeared’; Picture This performing ‘With or Without You’; Fangclub with their version of ‘Exit’; The Strypes with ‘Trip Through Your Wires’, as well as the hugely talented Imelda May performing a stunning acapella version of ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’.
Other featured singers include Gavin James with a solo version of ‘Where The Streets Have No Name’; bright new star Aine Cahill performing ‘Red Hill Mining Town’; plus bands including All Tvvins (‘Bullet the Blue Sky’), The Academic (‘In God’s Country’); The Coronas (‘One Tree Hill’), as well as Kodaline with their rendition of ‘Running To Stand Still’.
Curated by Universal Music Ireland, the idea for the record originated with 2fm.
Paul Russell, Deputy Head of 2fm said – “The station has long been associated with U2. This special album is a 2fm Music initiative showcasing our support of Irish music by inviting some of our favourite acts to connect with one of the most famous Irish albums of all time. While highlighting the incredible work of LauraLynn, we are especially indebted to Larry Mullen for joining the dots together in the early stages.”
Mark Crossingham, Managing Director of Universal Music Ireland added – “When 2fm came to us with this idea, we immediately thought it was a complete winner that could be very beneficial to the chosen charity. I’ve always been astounded by the work that LauraLynn Children’s Hospice do, especially as they are so dependent on fundraising to provide their vital care. Choosing them to be our charity partner was a very easy decision.”
“LauraLynn is Ireland’s only Children’s Hospice caring for children from birth to 18 years old, with life limiting conditions and helping their families to cope. We are thrilled to have been chosen as the charity partner for this fantastic initiative by 2FM and Universal Music Ireland; not just because it will help raise vital funds to allow us provide hospice care and support families who desperately need it but also because the children have had so much fun in the process, designing artwork… making precious memories. And that’s what it’s all about!” said Sharon Morrow, CEO LauraLynn, Ireland’s Children’s Hospice.
And Larry Mullen of U2 said of the project – “The songs on ‘The Joshua Tree’ have travelled well with us over the past 30 years, it’s been a privilege to take them out on tour around the world again this year. And what an honour to hear them revisited on The Joshua Tree – New Roots in support of the important work of LauraLynn.”
The Joshua Tree – New Roots is available on CD, download and to stream from 27th October 2017.
This very special album has been made possible through the generosity of the performing artists, U2 and all the labels, managers and production teams involved.
Full Track Listing is as follows;
Where The Streets Have No Name
I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
With or Without You
Bullet the Blue Sky
Running To Stand Still
Red Hill Mining Town
In God’s Country
Trip Through Your Wires
One Tree Hill
Mothers of the Disappeared
EXCLUSIVE BONUS TRACK – Red Hill Mining Town – Live from The Joshua Tree Tour 2017
A perennial favourite on the culinary calendar, Waterford Harvest Festival, will fill the streets with the sights, sounds and aromas as one of Ireland’s leading food festivals
returns from September 8th to September 10th.
Waterford, as a city and county takes huge pride in its food producers, and this year’s festival is all about the people who grow, cultivate, harvest, produce, prepare, promote and serve some of the country’s best food and beverages.
There are dozens of events taking place throughout the city centre and the areas of the Mall, Cathedral Square, Palace Square, The Applemarket and Ballybricken. Many are free for the young and young at heart to enjoy, so make sure you bring yourself, your family, your friends and your appetite along for the three-day taste-bud tingling, tasty and tantalising Waterford Harvest Festival.
Free Family fun:
Pip & Pear Pop Up restaurant will be serving free wholesome breakfasts for babies, toddlers and parents, all from fresh produce. The Baby HQ Livewell day is a new addition to the Harvest menu and will host a free “Happy Hearts” workshop, Mum-to-be Yoga and Pilate, baby massage classes and much more.
Garter Lane will host Autumn Leaves and Tasty Treats, a free hands-on, creative-craft, Harvest-themed workshop for children. WIT’s Calmast returns with a host of workshops and fun demonstrations exploring STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). GIY will showcase “Grow, Cook, Eat” which highlights how easy and how much fun it is to grow your own food, transform it into a tasty meal and enjoy the fruits of your labour.
The Harvest Fit Food and Wellness area is a cornucopia of health-conscious workshops and demonstrations covering everything from meditation and mindfulness, diet and nutrition and achieving the best balance for a busy life.
The Festival Market will transform Waterford’s Viking Triangle into a food lover’s dream, with a weekend of taste bud tempting events! Or you can treat yourself at the Waterford Chamber Skillnet:A Taste of Food and Craft where you will find exciting artisan food, from Waterford and South-East producers.
Ballybricken, which was traditionally the hub of Waterford’s livestock and bacon curing industries, will play host to Junior HQ, the Dawn Meats City Farm, the Agri Aware Mobile Farm, Woodcarving demonstrations and the Ballybricken Fair.
Farm to Fork is a fantastic insight with interactive and entertaining demonstrations from Dawn Meats and Agri Aware. There’s even a pop up farm, where you can pet the animals, watch the sheep shearing or learn how to milk a cow.
The little ones can get creative at the Junior HQ kitemaking, Grow and Sow and Little Red Kettle workshops, while the Ballybricken Fair will have free falconry and birds of prey displays, face painting and some fun amusements for the kids to enjoy.
The opening event, The Banquet on the Mall, is a collaborative celebration of local producers as chefs Darren Collins of The Olive Tree Restaurant, Shane McGrath of the Cliff House and The Seagull Bakery’s Fergal Walsh prepare a sumptuous five course meal at the Olive Tree on the Mall.
La Boheme Restaurant welcomes the owner and head chef of Miyazaki Take Away in Cork, Takashi Miyazaki. One of Japan’s most exciting and innovative chefs will prepare an unforgettable Japanese dining experience, introduced by John and Sally McKenna. They will also prepare a Butcher’s Block Feast using Dawn Meats ‘Black Angus’ aged beef.
The Granary Café set in the bustling centre of the city will serve up a sophisticated Afternoon Tea. Dooley’s Hotel will host the ever-popular Love Local Lunch, whilst Burzza, in its inimitable style, is preparing a pizza / burger and craft beer pairing weekend.
GIY’s Grow HQ will cook up a storm at their plot to plate event, using the very freshest local ingredients including their very own homegrown veg.
The Bay Tree Bistro’s Grand Finale is a “Three Sisters” themed event featuring owner and chef Keith Boyle, alongside Wexford Chefs Billy Whitty of Aldridge Lodge and Paul Hynes of La Côte Seafood Restaurant and Michelin starred chef Ken Harker of the Lady Helen Restaurant at Mount Juliet.
Quirky Festival features:
There will be chainsaw wood carving demonstrations with “Special Branch” in Ballybricken. The Blaa Eating Competition returns for a second year to The Mall, while the GastroGays will present a brunch demo.
The Applemarket is the stunning backdrop for Applemarket Street food, while Coffee House Lane will give Coffee Roasting demos, and at Garter Lane you can watch the documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi (with a taste of Glorious Sushi) which follows 85-year old master sushi chef Jiro Ono, owner of the esteemed 10 seat, $300–a–plate Sukiyabashi Jiro restaurant in Tokyo.
Flahavan’s Fit Family Breakfast is a free Flahavan’s breakfast for all the family to enjoy at the Granary Café. You can forage for your food with the Sea Gardener, sample the very best of Irish gin on the Blackwater Gintastic Lunch Trail or Thin gin and Tapas bits on the river or if whiskey is your tipple try Midleton Whiskey tastings at Revolution Gastro pub.
Metalman Rocks Craft Beer Festival returns to Bailey’s New street with a wide selection of their craft beers, live music from the likes of Newfoundland, Soul Reazon and Susan O’Neil.
To find out more the Waterford Harvest Festival full programme of events is available on www.waterfordharvestfestival.ie. Be sure to keep up to date on all things Harvest Fest by checking it out on Facebook and Twitter #WaterfordHarvest
DERVLA MURPHY CONFIRMED FOR KILMORE QUAY LITERARY FESTIVAL
The internationally-celebrated travel writer Dervla Murphy has been confirmed for the second Write By The Sea 2017 Literary Festival set to take place in Kilmore Quay, Co Wexford from Saturday, September 30, to Sunday, October 1, after an opening reception on Friday, September 29 at the Stella Maris Centre in Kilmore Quay.
Murphy, who lives in Lismore, Co Waterford, will be interviewed on the stage at the Stella Maris Centre by best-selling author Jackie Hayden at 4 pm on Saturday, September 30. The doyenne of travel writers has written over 20 books about her various adventures that began fifty years ago when she cycled from Dunkirk in France through the Middle East To Delphi in India. They will be joined by Belfast-based travel writer Geoff Hill who has circumnavigated the globe on his trusty motorcycle.
Contributors to this year’s festival will include noted novelists Donal Ryan and Cat Hogan, poets Thomas McCarthy and Joe Neal, internationally-renowned playwright Billy Roche, travel writer Geoff Hill, Marcus Connaughton of RTE, Sarah Webb (children’s fiction author), John Curran (editor of the award-winning Agatha Christie’s Complete SecretNotebooks), and novelist Peter Murphy, while Jackie Hayden will talk about music journalism. Other contributors are yet to be confirmed.
At least two of the writers will have new works published before the Festival, including Cat Hogan’s second novel There Was A Crooked Man, and Joe Neal’s fifth collection The Next Blue Note.
Write By The Sea 2017 will feature over 20 different events, from workshops to interviews and talks. Full details of the programme and booking facilities are available on www.writebythesea.ie and tickets can be purchased at Eventbrite for €28 for a day ticket or €45 for a week-end ticket. Early bird week-end tickets are available until Friday, June 30 for €40.
The Write By The Sea 2017 committee have expressed their gratitude to their sponsors and to Wexford County Council, Wexford Arts Centre and the Arts Council for their generous support.
Family fun guaranteed at Waterford Country Fair, June 11, 2017
Make-A-Wish fundraiser to help grant wishes for children
Fearless jousting knights on horseback, stunning birds of prey and artisan food and crafts from the four corners of Ireland are just some of the countless attractions expected to spur thousands to attend this year’s Waterford Country Fair, a fun-filled, family-focused fundraiser on Sunday, June 11, which this year will help grant wishes to children with cystic fibrosis through Make-A-Wish Ireland
The third annual Waterford Country Fair is a unique chance for everyone to embrace all that is exciting, fascinating and captivating about country life and living this summer in the extensive grounds of stunning Curraghmore House and Gardens in Portlaw, Co. Waterford.
Shuttle busses are planned from Waterford city and it is hoped that families walking or cycling along the stunning new Waterford Greenway will also make the short journey to Curraghmore for what the organisers promise will be their best Country Fair yet.
Funds raised go to Make-A-Wish Ireland, a children’s charity which grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions and gives them hope, strength and joy. Make-A-Wish CEO Susan O’Dwyer, says, “We are delighted to be the charity chosen by the Waterford Country Fair committee this year and look forward to holding a fundraising collection at this great family event.
“We recently granted our 2000th wish and since we receive no government funding, we rely on the generosity of the general public to help us to continue to grant wishes to children living with life-threatening illnesses.”
The day-long event starts from 10am and includes jousting, sheep dog trials, poultry displays, falconry, dressage, side saddle and pony club games qualifiers for the Royal Dublin Horse Show.
Gundog guru, Keith Matthews, makes his first appearance and Fair-goers will also have a chance to try their hand at fly fishing, archery and so much more, Committee Chairperson, Jo Breheny, explained.
“We’ve delighted to have the jousters back – they were a huge hit last year and they really add to the sense of occasion on what is always a fantastic family day out. We’re thrilled to link up with Make-A-Wish, a charity that does so much good work.
“Our event is very much the Bloom for Country Living. All of the popular attractions are back, such as live music, beekeeping and a “living” medieval village which will quite literally take visitors back in time to experience medieval life in Ireland,” Jo explained.
Too much, or too little, Animo TV want to hear from you!
Are you always tired, but find yourself awake all night? Can you exist on hardly any sleep? Is your child having sleeping problems that you just can’t seem to solve? Is your partner’s chronic snoring keeping you awake all night… every night? Are you a shift-worker who struggles to catch up on sleep? Or would you like to take part in a fascinating sleep experiment?
“Awake – The Science of Sleep” is a new documentary for RTÉ One, which takes a snapshot of our sleeping patterns as a nation. From new parents to shift workers – we want to represent all of the issues people have with their sleep.
If you think you have an undiagnosed problem or want help from Irelands top sleep experts please get in touch!
If you would like to participate in this series, please email email@example.com with your name and contact details for more information.
Reading beats social media, TV and sport as the most relaxing and guilt-free way to spend leisure time.
This World Book Day, March 2nd, sees the release of Ireland’s largest contemporary review of reading habits. Irish bookseller Dubray surveyed over 800 people to learn more about their attitudes and habits when it comes to reading and how they have changed in recent years.
Bookseller Dubray was keen to understand how people like to spend their precious free time, and how books measured up to other means of entertainment – and was pleasantly surprised by the results.
The survey revealed that reading is an entirely guilt free process, with 0% feeling it was a waste of time, and that it is the best way to unwind, with 52% of people feeling more relaxed after reading. 25% say they put down their book in a better mood, and 14% feel better informed.
Social media is the big rival for readers’ time, with 41% of respondents saying that it keeps them from their books.
However, a staggering 61% of respondents said that after an hour on social media they felt guilty that they had been wasting their time. Only 1% said that they found time on social media relaxing. Interestingly 17% of respondents said that they felt better informed after an hour of social media, possibly reflecting the increased use of Twitter and Facebook as sources of news.
Of the other pastimes, Sport ranked well in the guilt-free stakes, with only 1% feeling it wasn’t a good use of their time and 19% finding it relaxing. 19% also found TV relaxing, but with a higher guilt-ratio, also of 19%.
Time spent reading had increased for more readers than not over the last year, which is reflected in the 9% increase in book volume sales reported by Nielsen in 2016. Book clubs, discovering new genres, and a conscious attempt to avoid the distraction of the smartphone were among the most popular motivators. Interestingly several readers cited ill health or depression as a reason for more reading, reflecting the importance of reading for solace and distraction. Of those who were reading less, work, study, children and social media were the most frequently cited reasons.
Dubray MD Maria Dickenson said, “As booksellers we know better than most the benefits of burying yourself in a good book, but with this survey we are delighted to be able to prove them! Books are the best way to relax and unwind, and this World Book Day we invite people to put down their phones and indulge in that guilt-free pleasure”.
Other findings of interest in The Dubray Book Report include:
Bookshops are places of great temptation: 46% of respondents say that they always leave a bookshop with the book they wanted – and a few more!
The frequency of reading: 84% of readers pick up a book every day. 43% read ‘whenever I can’ and 37% in bed before going to sleep.
The influence of family on reading habits: 73% of respondents were inspired to read by parents.
The importance of friends: Recommendations by friends beat newspaper reviews, author interviews, book awards and social media as the primary influence over reading choices.
Dubray is a family owned chain of eight bookshops, known for its recommendations and range. Founded in Bray in 1973, it has stores in Grafton St, Galway, Kilkenny, and across South Dublin.
World Book Day is a partnership of publishers, booksellers and interested parties who work together to promote books and reading for the personal enrichment and enjoyment of all. A main aim of World Book Day in the UK and Ireland is to encourage children to explore the pleasures of books and reading by providing them with the opportunity to have a book of their own.
Colm Tóibín, Anne Enright, Mike McCormack, Sara Baume and Alissa Nutting are just some of the guests announced for the renowned West Cork Literary Festival, which runs in venues all over Bantry, West Cork, from July 14th to 21st. Poetry is again well represented with the new Ireland Chair of Poetry 2016-2019, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, Paula Meehan, former Ireland Chair of Poetry (2013-2016), and former editor of Poetry Ireland Vona Groarke.
Dame Marina Warner will read from her short stories inspired by fairy tales, legends and mythology. Cork author Billy O’Callaghan, recently a Costa Short Story runner-up for The Boatman, will read from his first novel The Dead House, due to be published later this year and Dermot Bolger will read from his latest novel The Lonely Sea and Sky. Visiting from the UK, Ian McGuire and Jon McGregor, both long listed for the Booker Prize, will join us for the festival; as will Sarah Perry, whose novel The Essex Serpent is the Waterstones Book of the Year 2016. Brendan Barrington, editor at Penguin Ireland, and of the Dublin Review, will be attending the festival as Editor in Residence.
Since the Festival’s inception in the late 1990s workshops have been at its heart, encouraging both novice and experienced writers. Alissa Nutting, Dean Bakopoulos, Doireann Ní Ghríofa, Vona Groarke, Lara Marlowe, Dave Lordan, John Spillane, and Phoebe Smith are amongst those facilitating workshops. From Writing a Novel to Investigative Reporting Techniques, Playwriting to Poetry, there is a workshop to suit every aspiring, or established writer, looking to spend time in beautiful Bantry honing their craft.
2017 will see a plethora of new novels being published: Carol Drinkwater returns to Bantry this year to read from The Lost Girl and Lisa McInerney will read from The Blood Miracles.
The Children’s Festival remains as popular as ever with events this year featuring Jan Carson, PJ Lynch, Laureate na nÓg, Ireland’s laureate for children’s literature, The Book Clinic, and many more special events.
The West Cork Literary Festival runs from July 14th to 21st and is generously supported by The Arts Council, Cork County Library and Arts Service and Fáilte Ireland. Booking on www.westcorkliteraryfestival.ie, Telephone: 027 52788/9 LoCall: 1850 788 789.