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  • Parenting | Writing, life and other animals
    for a fleeting time at the start of the year doing so makes us feel good about ourselves and our noble intentions but it doesn t last We soon fall back into old habits and the fact that we haven t had the strength of character to persevere with our New Year convictions leaves us feeling worse about ourselves than we did before So my suggestion for a New Year s Resolution this year is to resolve not to make any New Year s Resolutions at all Trust me you ll be much better off If you eschew my advice and decide to make a few regardless for goodness sakes keep them to yourself That way at least you can pretend you chose not to make any resolutions and you alone will know how spectacularly you ve failed I love Christmas and all the festive frivolity that surrounds it but New Year is a pretty rubbish holiday and while 2010 is likely to be a better year for many of us than the one we ve just departed somehow I can t bring myself to embrace the excitement As I ponder all of this New Year whimsy I glance at the children and see three individuals refreshingly unencumbered by all this nonsense Shielded from the worst of what the year throws their way by the insulating buffer of good parents for them every year is a happy one and the prospects for the new year are always bright They live in the comfortable bubble of consistency that we provide blissfully oblivious to the ups and downs of our topsy turvy world You ve got to envy them that Happy New Year Posted by Calvin at 0 02 Tagged with 2009 2010 New Year Resolutions All work and no play Children Education Evening Echo Column Parenting School No Responses Dec 17 2009 Image via Wikipedia The twins had finished their homework and had gone off to play Next to me the little one struggled on valiantly ploughing through maths reading and several worksheets before moving on to rehearsing her lines for the upcoming school Christmas concert She could hear her sisters playing in the next room but was keen to keep Miss happy by getting all her homework It was too much Since school restarted in September when the little one who s six years old got a new teacher we ve seen the volume of homework she brings back each afternoon increase Now it s reached a level that s bordering on the ridiculous A six year old is already tired after being at school all day The last thing she needs when she arrives home is big chunk of homework To her credit she does it diligently every day except Friday which is thankfully homework free As I help her with her maths reading and writing I can t help thinking that enough is enough that outside school hours the priority for young children should be to play and have fun to learn through non academic pursuits that expand knowledge promote problem solving stimulate imagination develop spatial awareness and all those vital things that you can t teach in a classroom Instead they have homework which after a long day at school leaves them mentally exhausted tired cranky and almost incapable of constructive play Continue reading Posted by Calvin at 18 07 Tagged with Children Evening Echo Column homework Parenting play Ice skating fingers blades and other worries Children Evening Echo Column Events family Parenting Reviews No Responses Dec 09 2009 It s official I still have all of my extremities I know this because I ve counted them Two arms two legs eight fingers two thumbs and ten toes Three weeks ago it had seemed like such a good idea My wife was browsing the Cork on Ice website and asked if I d be up for going ice skating with the gang Sitting at home in a warm living room saying yes had been easy Now the day had arrived though I was feeling a bit less assertive Me blades and a large expanse of cold wet slippery stuff not a good combination I ve been ice skating maybe three times in my life The first was as a child when we were taken to a huge Ice rink in North Wales on a school trip As with most unpleasant experiences my mind has obscured most of the details All I remember is clinging white knuckled to the edge of the rink making my way inch by painful inch around the perimeter In my mind s eye all I could see was images of bloody skate blades and severed fingers From the moment I stepped onto the ice I remember praying for the experience to end The next time was a friend s birthday party When I found out we were going ice skating it was all that my parents could do to convince me to go This time I was a little braver and actually let go of the side Big mistake I spent more time spread eagled on the ice than I did actually skating Cold wet and miserable I vowed never to set foot on an ice rink again Continue reading Posted by Calvin at 11 37 Tagged with 2009 Christmas Cork evening echo family ice skating Parenting West Cork Wash out Climate Change Environment Evening Echo Column family Parenting Photo Blog Rant Video West Cork Writing 1 Response Nov 27 2009 Best wishes and condolences to everyone in West Cork Cork City and further afield whose homes and businesses were affected by the recent flooding In Ireland we don t do climatic extremes very well Maybe it s the inevitable consequence of a climate that consistently under delivers We don t get long baking hot droughts we don t get bone chillingly cold winters with lots of snow and ice we don t get anything extreme on the weather front really just a

    Original URL path: http://blog.cjwriting.com/category/parenting/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Photo Blog | Writing, life and other animals
    this is a shot of Schiehallion taken from the banks of Loch Rannoch early one morning It was the only day we saw the mountain for the rest of our trip it was shrouded with low cloud Technorati Tags Nikon D90 blog Loch Rannoch Scotland Schiehallion Kinloch Rannoch Posted by Calvin at 12 56 Tagged with Blog Kinloch Rannoch Loch Rannoch Nikon D90 Schiehallion Scotland Help Portrait Cork 12 12 2009 Christmas Events Photo Blog Photography PR 3 Responses Dec 10 2009 Picture framing service sponsorship needed for Help Portrait Cork can your business help Max 75 frames and mounts needed contact Paul O Mahony for details Paul O Mahony of MarketingWriteNow got in touch earlier today about a fantastic initiative taking place at the Clarion Hotel in Cork on Saturday 12 December from 9 30 to 15 30 Help portrait is an international movement of photographers and other professional who are donating time equipment and expertise to give something back to those less fortunate than them this Christmas Here s a video explaining the initiative The idea is to help boost the self image and self esteem of people who would never normally consider or be able to afford getting a professional photographer to take their portrait Who s that you might ask Well according to the Help Portrait site it could include Who needs pictures Anyone who wouldn t normally have access to or be able to afford professional photography We suggest the following groups of people for starters the homeless orphans single moms and their kids single dads and their kids sick children sick parents the elderly army vets underprivileged families your neighbour Some of Cork s leading photographers are already on board for Help Portrait and they ll be supported by photography assistants make up artists and a host of other volunteers on the day But the organisers are still desperately in need of support and sponsorship If you re in Cork and would be willing to contribute time resources catering or a donation of cold hard cash to support the initiative get in touch with Paul via the Marketing Write Now contact page And especially if you can donate would be willing to sponsor photo frames and mounts for the event please talk to Paul before the end of the day tomorrow Thursday 09 12 to get things sorted If your a blogger twitterer or facebooker please help spread the word about this great event UPDATE Read more about who was involved in Help Portrait Cork on Paul O Mahony s blog and see some great photos of the action on the day over on Roger Overall s blog Posted by Calvin at 0 42 Tagged with charity Cork help Help Portrait Photography portraits West Cork Wash out Climate Change Environment Evening Echo Column family Parenting Photo Blog Rant Video West Cork Writing 1 Response Nov 27 2009 Best wishes and condolences to everyone in West Cork Cork City and further afield whose homes and

    Original URL path: http://blog.cjwriting.com/category/photo-blog/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Photography | Writing, life and other animals
    Technorati Tags Nikon D90 blog Loch Rannoch Scotland Schiehallion Kinloch Rannoch Posted by Calvin at 12 56 Tagged with Blog Kinloch Rannoch Loch Rannoch Nikon D90 Schiehallion Scotland Help Portrait Cork 12 12 2009 Christmas Events Photo Blog Photography PR 3 Responses Dec 10 2009 Picture framing service sponsorship needed for Help Portrait Cork can your business help Max 75 frames and mounts needed contact Paul O Mahony for details Paul O Mahony of MarketingWriteNow got in touch earlier today about a fantastic initiative taking place at the Clarion Hotel in Cork on Saturday 12 December from 9 30 to 15 30 Help portrait is an international movement of photographers and other professional who are donating time equipment and expertise to give something back to those less fortunate than them this Christmas Here s a video explaining the initiative The idea is to help boost the self image and self esteem of people who would never normally consider or be able to afford getting a professional photographer to take their portrait Who s that you might ask Well according to the Help Portrait site it could include Who needs pictures Anyone who wouldn t normally have access to or be able to afford professional photography We suggest the following groups of people for starters the homeless orphans single moms and their kids single dads and their kids sick children sick parents the elderly army vets underprivileged families your neighbour Some of Cork s leading photographers are already on board for Help Portrait and they ll be supported by photography assistants make up artists and a host of other volunteers on the day But the organisers are still desperately in need of support and sponsorship If you re in Cork and would be willing to contribute time resources catering or a donation of cold hard cash to support the initiative get in touch with Paul via the Marketing Write Now contact page And especially if you can donate would be willing to sponsor photo frames and mounts for the event please talk to Paul before the end of the day tomorrow Thursday 09 12 to get things sorted If your a blogger twitterer or facebooker please help spread the word about this great event UPDATE Read more about who was involved in Help Portrait Cork on Paul O Mahony s blog and see some great photos of the action on the day over on Roger Overall s blog Posted by Calvin at 0 42 Tagged with charity Cork help Help Portrait Photography portraits Ferret photos Pets Photo Blog Photography No Responses Oct 22 2009 Paul O Mahony Omaniblog on Twitter was asking for Ferret Photos so here are a few from the archives of Frida Frankie my dynamic duo I realised whilst digging these out and they re not the best that I have surprisingly few ferret photos in my library and will have to remedy that over the coming weeks They re lots of fun quick on their feet and

    Original URL path: http://blog.cjwriting.com/category/photography/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Reviews | Writing, life and other animals
    to see or at least didn t get to see as clearly as we might have The girls were thrilled to watch the dissection of the whale that they d seen lying on the beach but for me the programme itself wasn t as engaging and informative as the elephant one the week before Next week it s back to the Royal Veterinary College where the subject going under the knife is a crocodile Should be revealing Posted by Calvin at 17 06 Tagged with channel 4 Fin Whale inside natures giants Reviews Wildlife Push it Twitter Mosaic from Sxoop Technologies Reviews social media Software Tuesday Push Whimsy 1 Response Feb 10 2009 A very talented software developer I used to work with way back when Walter Higgins walter on twitter over at Cork based Sxoop Technologies has developed a cool little application that builds a clickable photo montage of all your twitter followers avatars People are already putting the resulting Twitter Mosaics on their blog posts desktop wallpaper mugs T shirts bags business cards you name it The application has evolved somewhat since I first looked at it and now lets you selctively delete avatars from the resulting mosaic and even order printed products It also presents you with the HTML code to embed the mosaic on your own website or blog post So if you re on Twitter why not check out your own Twitter Mosaic Great work by Walter and the crew at Sxoop and proof yet again that when it comes to Twitter application ingenuity Ireland in general and perhaps Cork in particular is leading the charge Related articles by Zemanta Sxoop Technologies turn a buck on Twitter patphelan net Tuesday Push Twitter Mosaic from Sxoop Technologies ewritecork com Twitter Mosaic Using the long tail to make money from Twitter antonmannering com Tuesday Push was Sxoop web2ireland org Posted by Calvin at 15 14 Tagged with applications Cork social media Software Twitter Television the de evolution Animals Children Education Evening Echo Column Reviews TV Wildlife No Responses Feb 09 2009 Image via Wikipedia It s refreshing when you see some genuinely good television Refreshing but depressingly rare Our screens are flooded with vacuous celebrity talent shows and patently unreal reality programmes Television schedules crossed the boundary into the banal a long long time ago and with the exception of a few pinpoints of light among the shadows of mediocrity show no sign of returning to a more cerebrally stimulating norm any time soon Little wonder that the youth of today are eschewing TV and are spending increasing amounts of their leisure time online interacting with their peers in all sorts of ways As I write this as if to reinforce the point a mid morning re cap of dancing on ice is flickering across the TV screen in the other room The off switch really is the only escape But despite the tidal wave of mediocrity television still has the power to enthrall and inform Last

    Original URL path: http://blog.cjwriting.com/category/reviews/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Rugby | Writing, life and other animals
    any stretch of the imagination It was neither flowing nor exciting it wasn t inspiring or innovative but the result and the joy on the faces of the Scots crowd as the final whistle sounded said it all There s something about facing that white jersey and the pompous self assured arrogance that it seems to represent that galvanises the opposition particularly those of a Celtic persuasion to dig deep and raise their game That s certainly what happened this afternoon and the English simply had no answer for Scottish passion determination and drive No tries but the Scots controlled the ball at the breakdown ran through the phases and when the inevitable penalties came the stalwart Chris Paterson was there to hammer the nails into England s six nations coffin It will be small consolation to the English camp that Johnny Wilkinson s became the highest ever scoring player in Rugby Union history during the course of the match England didn t just loose they were resolutely beaten by a spirited Scottish team that simply hadn t read the form sheet All that s left is for Ireland to stuff the English next weekend and we ll have a Celtic hat trick against the old enemy Let s hope Eddie O Sullivan can do something right for once Come on Ireland Technorati Tags Scotland England Six nations rugby Posted by Calvin at 17 27 Wales 16 12 Ireland Triple Crown glory for Wales Reviews Rugby Wales No Responses Mar 08 2008 Wales did the business again at Croke Park today a victory I savoured more than most as a Welshman living in the Emerald Isle I love Ireland and can t think of anywhere better to live than West Cork but when the rugby s on all bet s are off I may have an Irish wife Irish daughters live and work in Ireland and root for Ireland when they re playing anybody else but when it comes to rugby you can take the Welshman out of Wales but well you know the rest Ireland started brightly but for most of the game there was really only one team in it The score line never really reflected the run of play with the Welsh missing a number of chances that should have put them out of sight by mid way through the second half despite being down to 14 men for a full 20 minutes It s back to the drawing board for Ireland and Eddie O Sullivan who really doesn t seem to have any answers Maybe it s time for him to stand aside Considering this is supposed to be the best Irish side for generations it s looking pretty desperate The triple crown of course is a bonus the big result for Wales was beating the English right at the start of the Six Nations campaign You know the drill as long as we beat the English cue Stereophonics As long as we beat the English

    Original URL path: http://blog.cjwriting.com/category/rugby/ (2016-02-15)
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  • School | Writing, life and other animals
    glimpse of sunshine Perched out beyond the western edge of the time zone we tend to enjoy a little bit more light than our neighbours to the east when the clouds don t obscure it that is In midsummer I can be outside at 11pm and there s still a glow in the sky to the west It s not light but it s not quite dark either more of an elongated twilight But despite a daylight extension courtesy of our peripheral geography the nights are definitely starting to draw in Like everything else that life throws up this presents yet another dilemma for parents With the school term literally around the corner do you start to re establish school time routine and get the kids to bed earlier or do you let them stay up later to wring every ounce of potential out of the rapidly evaporating holidays Continue reading Posted by Calvin at 23 42 Tagged with back to school Evening Echo Column Parenting Summer West Cork Time to decouple school and religion Children Education Evening Echo Column Parenting Politics Rant School 2 Responses Jun 23 2009 Image by Getty Images via Daylife So the Archbishop of Dublin Dr Diarmuid Martin has said it is no longer tenable for the Catholic Church to manage 92 of all primary schools What a revelation And it s taken the Church until now to work that out Dr Martin of course is furiously back peddling squirming to try and salvage some form of face in the wake of the damning Ryan Report into what it described as endemic child abuse by clerical institutions in Ireland and the public backlash that has ensued both here and abroad But there s no face to be saved the Church s reputation is in tatters Any parent worth their salt will tell you that its involvement in even 1 of our primary schools should be more than untenable it should be absolutely criminal Those are emotive words because quite frankly when it comes to the safety and security of my children I am emotional Continue reading Posted by Calvin at 23 15 Tagged with Catholic church Evening Echo Column Irish clerical abuse Irish schools Parenting Summer holidays already Evening Echo Column holiday Parenting School West Cork 1 Response Jun 17 2009 Image by Jagrap via Flickr The little one was staring intently at the calendar this morning her lips moving silently as her finger traced the days She shushed me when I asked what she was doing turned the page to the following month and kept on counting When she finally finished I asked her what she d been doing Seeing how many days there are till my birthday she said brimming with excitement about an event that was still more than a month away She was already making lists of who she wanted at her party what sort of food she wanted what games we d play even what she was going to wear That s when it hit me there was something coming a lot sooner than her birthday something big that had approached under the radar and was now almost upon us I grabbed the calendar and the letter full of dates from where it was pinned by a magnet to the side of the fridge Sure enough there it was in black and white the kids only have two weeks left in school before they break up for the summer holidays Two weeks and then they re home for more than two months Continue reading Posted by Calvin at 10 34 Tagged with school holidays summer camp parenting summer holiday Classroom cutbacks show Government s true colours Children Comment Economy Education Evening Echo Column Government Parenting Politics Rant School No Responses Jan 10 2009 Image via Wikipedia With the excitement of Christmas and New Year behind us the kids are gearing up to going back to school Their partly looking forward to seeing their friends again and partly mourning the fact that the holidays are coming to a close I can sympathise with them in part because I still recall the conflicting emotions of going back to school after the Christmas break from my own childhood but mainly because of the clash of sentiments it causes for me now as a parent Back to school means back to routine getting up early making school lunches a personal pet peeve of mine organising the kids getting out of the door on time The return to school imposes structure on the fluidity of life and on one level that s a good thing At the same time structure and routine are always going to be more boring and mundane than disorder and spontaneity and part of me riles against the conformity of it all But back to school they must go and while spending lots of time with them over the holidays has been wonderful for the most part I ll be happy to reclaim the bulk of my working week as we head into what promises to be a very challenging year Talking of challenging years I guess I should be grateful that the children have a school to go back to in 2009 given the cutbacks our esteemed Government is imposing on our education system Faced with the cost cutting initiatives spearheaded by Cork TD and Minister for Education Batt O Keeffe financially embattled schools across the country are facing a very tough 2009 on the fiscal front and will no doubt be looking to parents for fundraising and direct financial contributions The Government will bail out the banks it seems but bailing out the schools falls to mums and dads I m all for parents getting involved and raising money for schools but for my money if you ll pardon the pun such funds should surely go towards equipment facilities and resources over and above those demanded by the standard national curriculum Schools should be adequately funded by Government to

    Original URL path: http://blog.cjwriting.com/category/school/ (2016-02-15)
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  • social media | Writing, life and other animals
    for yourself if you haven t seen it already It s already received around 2 3 million views on YouTube and has elevated the starring duo to pseudo celebrity status in their home town It featured on all the prominent media channels in the UK including the BBC and Sky News and received massive coverage in the press This is yet another example of how well executed digital content can reach a massive audience cross over into traditional media which in turn drives more people back online adding to the viral effect Everybody say Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch Update YouTube have taken down the video embedded above but you can still see the original in all it s brilliance by following the link bellow Newport Ymerodraeth State of Mind Posted by Calvin at 11 33 Tagged with Newport online video Wales YouTube Call for Online Marketing Case Studies Books Digital Marketing Internet social media No Responses Dec 09 2009 I m working on a new book a follow up to Understanding Digital Marketing that will be published by Kogan Page next year showcasing forty of the best digital marketing campaigns in the world We re sourcing case studies from various places and will feature a mixture of different online campaigns in the book from award winners to more obscure but successful campaigns from all sorts of businesses spanning a variety of industries We re a bit short of time to truly crowdsource all the case studies for this edition but we are looking for your nominations to help us identify truly exceptional examples of online marketing that we may miss through other channels You can use this form to submit your favourite campaign for consideration We ll let you know if it goes on to be featured in the book Thanks a million for your input Posted by Calvin at 12 03 Tagged with best online marketing in the world case studies crowdsourcing nominations online marketing Understanding Digital Top online marketing speakers International Authors Drinks for 50 BARGAIN Digital Marketing Events social media Technology Web No Responses Nov 02 2009 Image by lism via Flickr Only four days to go before Understanding Digital CREATIVE when Damian Ryan and I will be hosting four leading speakers in the online creative space at the National College of Ireland in Dublin The event is on Thursday 05 November at 4pm On the agenda we have Dave Birss former creative head of Poke London now Head of Digital with OgilvyOne in London Nick Suckley Managing Partner of Agenda21 Digital Matt Butterworth former Managing Partner Founder and Digital Strategist with Folk Creative Robin Grant Founder of We Are Social and of course the co authors of Understanding Digital Marketing me and Damian That s four award winning digital creative thought leaders and a couple of widely acclaimed online marketing authors ready to share the secrets of creative online marketing with YOU But that s not all there s also a drinks reception afterwards courtesy of Design Week sponsors

    Original URL path: http://blog.cjwriting.com/category/social-media/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Technology | Writing, life and other animals
    particular network provider and locking them in to proprietary software and services But the January sales are starting to change my mind Wherever you go in town during the sales you ll find a particular breed of sorrowful creature laden with carrier bags wandering aimlessly outside fitting rooms trying desperately not to look like a pervert in the lingerie department and generally milling about on a never ending quest for non existent seating I m talking of course about the long suffering shopping husband a cross between an over laden pack mule and a rabbit caught in headlights These people are usually so far outside their comfort zone that you d expect them to be in a constant state of panic They re not because the edge of that panic is dulled by the mind numbing monotony of trotting from shop to shop behind a credit card wielding spouse That and the preoccupation of juggling an ever growing mountain of shopping bags combined with the mental anguish of totting up next month s credit card bill Continue reading Posted by Calvin at 0 14 Tagged with Apple Gadgets iphone January sales O2 shopping Amazon Kindle e reader now ships to Ireland Books Internet Technology 4 Responses Dec 03 2009 Amazon com is now shipping the much vaunted Kindle e book reader to Ireland complete with 3G wireless connectivity that lets you purchase and download new books direct from your kindle wherever you are and start reading it within a minute Here s what Amazon has to say about shipping the Kindle to Ireland Continue reading Posted by Calvin at 13 50 Tagged with Amazon Amazon Kindle e book reader Gadgets Ireland technollogy Top online marketing speakers International Authors Drinks for 50 BARGAIN Digital Marketing Events social media Technology Web No Responses Nov 02 2009 Image by lism via Flickr Only four days to go before Understanding Digital CREATIVE when Damian Ryan and I will be hosting four leading speakers in the online creative space at the National College of Ireland in Dublin The event is on Thursday 05 November at 4pm On the agenda we have Dave Birss former creative head of Poke London now Head of Digital with OgilvyOne in London Nick Suckley Managing Partner of Agenda21 Digital Matt Butterworth former Managing Partner Founder and Digital Strategist with Folk Creative Robin Grant Founder of We Are Social and of course the co authors of Understanding Digital Marketing me and Damian That s four award winning digital creative thought leaders and a couple of widely acclaimed online marketing authors ready to share the secrets of creative online marketing with YOU But that s not all there s also a drinks reception afterwards courtesy of Design Week sponsors Bombay Sapphire The cost to tap into this extraordinary pool of digital marketing insight including drinks and a valuable opportunity to network just 50 That has to be a bargain in anybody s book So what are you waiting for Head on over

    Original URL path: http://blog.cjwriting.com/category/technology/ (2016-02-15)
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