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  • Christmas is coming | Writing, life and other animals
    of the day it tastes much better While CDs and books gadgets and gizmos are the same wherever you buy them from food is always better when bought as close as possible to the source Buying local simply makes sense But I m digressing back to that bad habit Christmas has of creeping up on you In October when all the hype started I paid it little heed There were literally months left before Christmas no need to panic The months turned into weeks then days and almost without warning it was time to put up the tree and fetch the decorations from the attic Every year we get a real tree from the girls cousins who have a fine selection growing on their farm near Drimoleague in West Cork There s nothing like a real tree but the spiky needles are a nightmare both for small hands hanging decorations and when they inevitably shed all over the floor the couch and anything else within a twelve foot radius of the tree so when the girls Nana got a new artificial tree this year and offered us her old one we decided to break with tradition and give the fake tree a try At first the girls weren t convinced How could a fake tree possibly compare with the real thing It never could of course but I have to say that now it s up and decorated I m surprised at how well it looks The other thing we have to decide this week is what we ll be eating for Christmas dinner The girls have asked if we can have turkey for a change Generally I ll get something a bit different at Christmas goose duck and venison have all made an appearance in recent years but if

    Original URL path: http://blog.cjwriting.com/2010/01/18/christmas-is-coming/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Ice skating, fingers, blades and other worries | Writing, life and other animals
    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 The third time wasn t really skating as such We took the girls to an outdoor public ice rink in Sweden a couple of winters ago and I walked beside them in big grippy snow boots as they got the hang of balancing on ice skates They loved it and I was quite happy out on the ice in my boots Now as I sat in the marquee on Cork s docklands strapping ice skates to my feet childhood memories of scything blades flying shards of ice and severed fingers came flooding back I tried to dismiss them as I helped the little one on with her skates The children were excited and jabbered nineteen to the dozen I was silent My wife who s as accomplished on the ice as I am chickened out last minute opting to take photographs from the sidelines She gave her ticket to her brother who couldn t skate either see photo and we headed for the ice We started off on the kiddies rink a smaller more manageable looking expanse of ice next to the main rink Here the kids could hold on to weeble like sliding penguins with handlebars to help them find their feet Unfortunately there didn t seem to be any giant penguins for incompetent adult skaters I clutched the side and hung on for dear life as my feet headed in opposite directions Dad will you help me asked the little one tugging at my arm and almost pulling me to the floor Help her Who was going to help me All around the ice I saw parents in a similar predicament children with the fearless abandon of youth were taking off across the ice pulling terrified mums and dads in their wake It would have been funny if I hadn t been one of them The little one was completely fearless and before long she was out on the big rink heading off across the ice without giving it a second thought My heart was in my mouth as I watched her head for the middle of the rink wondering how on earth I d reach her if she fell Amazingly she didn t lose her balance once during the entire session She was having a ball The twins perhaps because they re that bit older were a little more cautious than their baby sister but after a while they too were letting go of the side and properly skating They were showing their Dad up I d just have to get over my fear and take the plunge I let go and didn t fall over Gingerly at first but with growing confidence I started to skate While I don t

    Original URL path: http://blog.cjwriting.com/2009/12/09/ice-skating-fingers-blades-and-other-worries/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Ice Skating | Writing, life and other animals
    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 Subscribe to feed Get posts in your favourite feed reader Now blogging about Ireland s Wildlife and Nature Read Calvin s writing on Ireland s leading Wildlife

    Original URL path: http://blog.cjwriting.com/tag/ice-skating/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Better late, late… or never? | Writing, life and other animals
    of expectation and anticipation could Ryan Tubridy in his first year at the helm of the iconic show perhaps add something compelling and appealing to the mix Unfortunately it seems the answer was a resounding no While a much younger Ryan is a lot more energetic around the set than Pat Kenny and is it has to be said a tad more engaging dynamic and congenial with his young reviewers the show s format hasn t changed at all And that s a shame It still flits too rapidly from toy to toy not giving the kids enough of a chance to tell you what they really think or the viewers long enough to really form an opinion They d be better off with less toys and a bit more time spent on each Instead RTE opts for courting as many sponsors as it can when in reality focussing on fewer sponsors would deliver more value for everyone This whole thing is an elaborate pre Christmas marketing exercise which is fine but with a bit more thought the production team could turn it into a much more effective one for the brands involved and a much more entertaining and informative show for the audience watching at home You can t blame the presenter for decisions made by the team behind the scenes of course and all things considered I found this year s Toy Show more entertaining than Pat Kenny s recent exploits but that s not saying much The selection of toys didn t do the new host any favours either with very few exception there was the usual assortment of battery powered plastic rubbish that only half works on the night and that you know if you actually buy them for Christmas will suffer from either disintegration or a chronic case of disinterest before the New Year But perhaps the worst parts of the show are the talent breaks that crop up with distressing regularity I use the word talent in the loosest possible sense because with few exceptions the musical interludes are to be endured rather than enjoyed I can only put the enthusiasm of the whooping cheering studio audience down to pre show drinks or perhaps to giddy exuberance from the plentiful one for everyone in the audience give aways By far the lowest point of this year s show was when X Factor freak show John and Edward made an appearance It was bad enough on the X Factor when all you had to do was listen to them trying to sing but that s nothing compared to enduring their attempts at coherent conversation If all of this sounds a bit negative I guess it s because I ve been disappointed again The Late Late Toy show has the potential to be a really wonderful family programme a fantastic precursor to the festive season that parents and children can watch together It could be genuinely entertaining enjoyable even useful But somehow it always manages to

    Original URL path: http://blog.cjwriting.com/2009/12/03/better-late-late-or-never/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Late Late | Writing, life and other animals
    thing just that it s an inescapable one As inevitable as death taxes corruption tribunals and election posters the Late Late Toy Show is one in a long list of things that parents all over the country have to suffer but would generally prefer to avoid Having skilfully managed to sidestep the live airing on Friday night the girls had friends staying over and were so engrossed in play that they forgot about it I thought that we might get away with it this year but thanks to the wonders of modern technology there was no chance of that The next day we had a family viewing of the show over the Internet With the computer hooked up to the flat screen telly and RTE Player streaming full screen it was almost as good as viewing the live show Lucky me Continue reading Posted by Calvin at 14 35 Tagged with Christmas late late RTE Ryan Tubridy Toy Show Subscribe to feed Get posts in your favourite feed reader Now blogging about Ireland s Wildlife and Nature Read Calvin s writing on Ireland s leading Wildlife and Nature blog Ireland s Wildlife on Facebook Recent Posts Empire it s finally

    Original URL path: http://blog.cjwriting.com/tag/late-late/ (2016-02-15)
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  • RTE | Writing, life and other animals
    thing just that it s an inescapable one As inevitable as death taxes corruption tribunals and election posters the Late Late Toy Show is one in a long list of things that parents all over the country have to suffer but would generally prefer to avoid Having skilfully managed to sidestep the live airing on Friday night the girls had friends staying over and were so engrossed in play that they forgot about it I thought that we might get away with it this year but thanks to the wonders of modern technology there was no chance of that The next day we had a family viewing of the show over the Internet With the computer hooked up to the flat screen telly and RTE Player streaming full screen it was almost as good as viewing the live show Lucky me Continue reading Posted by Calvin at 14 35 Tagged with Christmas late late RTE Ryan Tubridy Toy Show The very very Late Late Toy Show Evening Echo Column Parenting TV Writing 2 Responses Dec 12 2008 Image via Wikipedia Certain events punctuate every year acting as temporal milestones that hammer home just how quickly time is passing us by Birthday s are the obvious ones when we really can t escape the fact that we re adding yet another year to the clock but there are plenty more of them One rolled around again last Friday night when RTÉ broadcast the annual extravaganza that every child in Ireland waits for with bated breath as the nights close in and temperatures plummet Yes it was time for a cosy evening in with Pat Kenny and the Late Late Toy Show Time flies when you re having fun they say so I knew this was going to be a long long

    Original URL path: http://blog.cjwriting.com/tag/rte/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Toy Show | Writing, life and other animals
    screen telly and RTE Player streaming full screen it was almost as good as viewing the live show Lucky me Continue reading Posted by Calvin at 14 35 Tagged with Christmas late late RTE Ryan Tubridy Toy Show The very very Late Late Toy Show Evening Echo Column Parenting TV Writing 2 Responses Dec 12 2008 Image via Wikipedia Certain events punctuate every year acting as temporal milestones that hammer home just how quickly time is passing us by Birthday s are the obvious ones when we really can t escape the fact that we re adding yet another year to the clock but there are plenty more of them One rolled around again last Friday night when RTÉ broadcast the annual extravaganza that every child in Ireland waits for with bated breath as the nights close in and temperatures plummet Yes it was time for a cosy evening in with Pat Kenny and the Late Late Toy Show Time flies when you re having fun they say so I knew this was going to be a long long night We decided we d let the girls stay up despite the fact that The Late Late Toy Show really lives up to its name For something designed to appeal predominantly to kids it s on ludicrously late but watching the rerun on Sunday morning simply doesn t cut it The girls normally go to bed around eight so by the time the signature theme tune rang out and a festively dressed Pat Kenny arrived on screen the twins were stifling yawns and the little one was actively fighting sleep Pat Kenny was his usual engaging lucid and insightful self so within about five minutes I found myself actively fighting sleep too The toy show is a bit different to Pat

    Original URL path: http://blog.cjwriting.com/tag/toy-show/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Aggresive marketing at Tesco | Writing, life and other animals
    some saucy display advertising caught my eye Seems the two German discount supermarkets must be taking their toll on Tesco s market share to prompt this kind of response Be Sociable Share Tweet Share this Click to share on Twitter Opens in new window Share on Facebook Opens in new window Click to share on Google Opens in new window Related Posted by Calvin at 19 00 Tagged with Marketing products tesco Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your Comment You may use these HTML tags and attributes a href title abbr title acronym title b blockquote cite cite code del datetime em i q cite s strike strong Name required E mail required URI Notify me of follow up comments by email Notify me of new posts by email Christmas done Welsh parody of Empire State of Mind is tops Subscribe to feed Get posts in your favourite feed reader Now blogging about Ireland s Wildlife and Nature Read Calvin s writing on Ireland s leading Wildlife and Nature blog Ireland s Wildlife on Facebook Recent Posts Empire it s finally out there Ireland s Wildlife sails past 4 000 likes on Facebook Web content help limited time offer Web

    Original URL path: http://blog.cjwriting.com/2010/05/28/aggresive-marketing-at-tesco/ (2016-02-15)
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