Diarium (Noo Yoik ) Part 1 "Running Uphill"

Monday Jan 13th

A mere handful of hours after this photo was taken I collapsed at the back door at misty midnight.  It is 24 hours before I fly to America for the first time in my life.  According to my diary I woke at 7,  dined on a banana then rocked up to a dentist to have my teeth boxed off before I stunned the craythurs in the front row.   My smile has been disfigured for years from the slap of a bottle that chipped a front tooth, not to mention staining from smoking and caffeine.  Amrish is a stunning man with sparkling gnashers and a heart of gold who came in on his day off to check the state of play and how much the teeth have lifted with bleaching.   A lot actually, although he wasn't lying about the sensitivity.  He took a mould of my mouth on Day 1 and then presented me with the plaster version of my own teeth as an aide de memoir, a keep sake if you will. 
"I know you are a Writer so I thought you'd like to have these" he remarked casually not realising I…

If I can make it there ..................

My Producer is on her way over to manhandle a procession of hard backed, soft fronted,
wheeled and carry on cases into submission and bate the contents of a stage wardrobe, props, furniture and various sundries into all the above mentioned holdalls.
 She will also have to explain as if to a Martian how to actually pack and what I can and cannot bring.
It would appear that I am absolutely going to New York in a couple of days.


My mantra is do what you can from where you are when I am low.
And obversely do it like you mean it when I am high.

I don't know where I am right about now.

Howya gettin' on eh? says a lad on the street with a fine row of false teeth top and bottom.
He'd a head for pints and was veering at an obtuse angle towards an Undertakers in a Bullring for large bottles, staring out the window on a high stool, having the craic.

Gluing a €2 coin on the ground to see how many will stop for it, and then mortified pretend to fasten their laces.

God b…

Sour Dough Bread

Once upon a quiet summers evening- a car drops me at the glass doors with the tinkling chimes. I carry freshly plucked Marguerite from  furze yellow hedges around  ridged chocolate fields. I'm balancing  ice-cream wrapped in a deli-foil bag to keep cold so I open the door to my Mother’s room with my chin. A pretty blonde woman in a blue tabard is kneeling on the floor,both of my Mother’s hands in hers, craning upwards to see the face under the flopping fringe. -Kin you tell me if there is anythink I can do for you? She speaks with an accent that I've become familiar with, although one is never sure if it is Croatian, Polish, or Lithuanian. I am at pains to mark my territory, and inform this stranger that my Mother does not, cannot speak. I throw the flowers onto the patchwork quilt and make a production about getting a vase, a saucer and spoon. How very dare she -I wonder and stalkup the miles of carpeted hallwaysaluting and calling into the various open doors at the residents beyo…

Backstory - Part 1

50 years later I get to bring a doll to New York City.

Let me walk you back a little ......................
Once upon a time I was a very heavy sad woman. And resembled an egg on legs with enough cheek for a second set of teeth.  After I had made myself as fat as a lark, I threw in Type 2 Diabetes to boot.  May as well go the whole hog says I on Lithium eating the fill of the table and rooting for more. 
I had watched my Mother Siobhán die a little every day in her mute locked in body in a gigantic padded chair.  We all die a little every day, just not as harshly. Siobhán witnessed this with her own Father, whose curled sepia fingernails gripped the white railings of the bed, ferociously shaking them in agitation while his wife, a doctor, a district nurse, a home help, 8 sons and 4 daughters did the caring.  The Dooley Men doing the heavy lifting,  sleepovers and gatching, the women doing the cooking and feeding, the bathing and shaving.  Tom Dooley was his name, not he of the hangin…

GRAVITY - a dramatic review of a blanket

I saw the word sleep in the ad.

And women curled up under grey blankets.

Blah blah blah ........ so very what I thought and scrolled on.

It came back into my feed repeatedly so I tapped the link.

It's a heavy blanket to calm you down is what it is.

Calm a scourge?
A woman with a racing brain who rarely sleeps ?
Go ahead, hit me with your best shot.

My amazing Doctor  -  had once issued the immortal line -
"We'll have to bring out the big guns" and prescribed a strong sedative that I became immune to as speedily as my head races.
Trying to sleep with the mania of a Bi-Polar high means that your brain is fizzing with kaleidoscopic colours and thoughts.
Sometimes it hurts more to shut my eyes because of the flickering.
On tour with my play I lay on a hotel bed in the last hours of sunlight before showtime and remarked wearily to a woman in the corner that it was easier to stay awake.

As a child I had many names.
That Divilskin. That little Scourge. The Changeling. Little…


It was a whore of a night.
The kind of night where a rain soaked wind blows a jeep sideways on the N11 and the heater mists the windscreen so that you nearly plough into the orange cones that have diverted traffic into Carlow town. The Sat Nav was on cocaine.   She tried and tried to bring us in ever decreasing circles around the town - always within spitting distance of the theatre we are bound for, but then frustratingly away, again and again as she shouts turn left, turn left.  She led us a merry dance in a hurricane down roads that are named for Pollerton, StaplestownGraigcullen and Dublin, and streets that are named for Tullow and Burrin. I know this town. Since I was a child I have been driven up the roads from Wexford to my Mothers home in “The Crescent” named for Killian. Oylegate, Enniscorthy, Bunclody, Kildavin, Ballon, and Carla recited like a Mantra as we drove at speed over potholes you could lose a wheelbarrow in, rattling around unrestrained in the backs of  Austin …

Frankly Speaking - An Essay - Part 1