Aaaarrrrgh Rated

Can you believe another Pirates of the Caribbean movie will be hitting our screens in the near future?  And a fifth one is already in the works apparently.  Despite Jack Sparrow being one of my favourite movie characters of all time, I don’t think I will be able to bring myself to watch this dead horse flogging, so I am searching for my pirate fix elsewhere.

Here are some of my options:

  1. Stalk the Johnny Depp lookalike I’ve seen around West End and try to convince him to dress up like Jack Sparrow and hang out with me.
  2. Buy a big ol’ yacht.  Christen her “Cash Onboard” and take a pleasure cruise off the coast of Somalia.
  3. Go and see a pirate band.

Not wanting to seem weird, or get myself killed I chose option 3.

Saturday night I headed to The Joynt in South Brisbane to see “pelagic folk rock” outfit The Good Ship play their home port.

Giving your band a theme can be risky.  There’s a chance it can end up corny and confining.  But I can’t see that happening with The Good Ship.

They dress the part, but there aren’t any eye-patches or parrots on shoulders.  For the girls it’s corsets, beads and feather headresses, while the boys don waistcoats and caps you would imagine scoundrels at sea may have worn in the days of yore.  They manage to look cool rather than in costume.

The music has a folky sound, debauched lyrics and maritime references without being laboured.

It feels like their pirate theme has given them direction without hemming them in.

With nine band members on a small stage, swapping positions and instruments, some getting off stage to dance with the crowd, or towards the end climbing on top of the bar, it can all look a bit crazy and thrown together.  Their sound says otherwise.  These guys are all talented musicians and despite the seeming haphazardness bang out one tight melody after the next.

The other great thing about The Good Ship is that they all truly look like they’re having a blast onstage.  It’s infectious.  You can’t help smiling, tapping your foot, swaying your hips and singing along.

It could only have been made better if the Johnny Depp lookalike was there, dressed as Jack Sparrow.  Maybe next time.

(I was having too much fun to get a decent photo on the night so instead have a listen and a look at their single Bury Me above, or sail on over to

Boundary St. Art

Very striking street art that went up on Boundary St. recently.  It’s done on paper and glued to the wall.  I believe the cool kids call that a “paste up”.  It looks like an angry koala.  You can’t tell from this photo, but it’s nose is glittery.  I’m impressed.

Ginos, my old friend

As far as I know, Ginos was the first pizzeria to open in Waterford city.  Around twenty years later it’s still going strong.  Other pizza places have come and gone.  The generic franchises have made their mark, but Ginos is still there, where it always was, doing what it always did.

They make pizzas and they make ice-cream and they do them well.  Simple.

It’s a place that’s full of good memories for me.  When I was a kid it was a treat to go there with my family.  When I was in my teens I hung out there and ate ice-cream with my friends on Saturday afternoons.  When I was in my early 20s it was a good place to go on a date.

I’ve neglected Ginos on my last few visits home to Ireland (which means I haven’t been there in years) so on my most recent trip a long overdue catch-up was in order.  I went there for dinner with two of my bestest friends from school with whom I used to have the aforementioned Saturday afternoon ice-cream hang-outs.

Barely anything in Ginos has changed.  They’ve extended it a bit since it first opened but the decor is still the same.  The same pictures still hang on the walls.  Amazingly, none of it looks dated.  I thought they might have expanded their menu, added some pasta dishes or something like that, but nope, still the same, printed on the same menu cards as always.  The staff are still relaxed and friendly dressed in their jeans and white Ginos t-shirts.

I had a quattro formaggio with pepperoni and a huge chocolate and vanilla ice-cream.  I thought they would give me one scoop of each flavour but they gave me two of each.  I left stuffed, but happy.

Ginos is a great example of keeping things simple, of deciding if you’re going to do something to do it right and of realising that if something ain’t broke don’t try to fix it.

History Lesson

What the?!  Saw this t-shirt in a clothes shop on the Sunshine Coast today.  A non-risque clothes shop that also had a very nice selection of jeans and knitwear.  Now tell me, am I being a total prude or is this just a tad inappropriate?

T-bay is for tea…

…and coffee, and hot chocolate, and toasted sandwiches, and muffins, and hiring wetsuits and surf boards if you’re game enough to brave the icy waves.  Which I’m not anymore, by the way, despite my friend Eimear’s best efforts to get me in the water. Ausland has turned me soft.  But in my defence, the Irish sea is at its coldest in springtime.  It’s had the whole winter to chill.

T-bay is Ireland’s oldest surf club (est. 1967) and is home to a collection of photos and memorabilia detailing the sports history in Ireland.  They also hold exhibitions and when I was there recently had a great collection of photos by local photographers on display.

Their cafe is a great place to hang out.  It has a fantastic view.  The staff are always friendly.  And there’s a sunny atmosphere even when the weather isn’t co-operating.

If you ever find yourself in Tramore I recommend checking it out.

How to not go completely insane on a long-haul flight

Ask yourself when else in your adult life can you sit on your ass and watch four films in a row and not feel guilty?  Long-haul flights, that’s when.  At the very start of the flight when you start to really think about the reality of the next, in my case, around 33 hours of travelling that lie ahead, and you start to wonder if it’s worth it, and you ask yourself do you really love the people at the other end that much?  That’s when you grab the entertainment guide from the seat pocket in front of you and start planning your movie marathon.  Here’s what kept me (somewhat) sane on my most recent expedition.

127 Hours

Based on the incredible true story of adventure sports enthusiast Aron Ralston who ended up trapped in a rocky crevasse with his arm under a big boulder for 127 hours after a hiking trip went horribly wrong.  This is a great film to watch on a plane.  I was feeling a touch claustrophobic in my economy seat but this put it all in perspective.  I wasn’t sure how director Danny Boyle was going to keep this film interesting when the story is about a guy who is just, y’know, stuck in one very small space for a long time but, wow, he made it work.  A lot of the films success is down to its star James Franco.  An amazing performance.  I have to admit I fast-forwarded through the pretty graphic part where he cuts off his own arm.  It came on the screen just as my first round of dodgy looking plane food arrived.  My stomach couldn’t handle both.  But yeah, highly recommend this one.

Never Let Me Go

Aaaagh…. I wish I hadn’t watched this film.  So bleak.  Bleak bleak bleak.  It’s based on the novel of the same name by Japanese author Kazuo Ishiguro.  I hadn’t read the book.  Knew nothing about the film.  I decided from the promotional photos that it looked like a love triangle drama set in the 50s or 60s.  I also deduced that it starred Keira Knightly, Carey Mulligan and one of the lads from The Social Network. This should be grand I thought, not too taxing.  Did I say bleak already?  Well it is a love triangle drama, set in the late 70s through to 90s.  But here’s a big piece of info I did not deduce from the photos.  The main characters are three of many clones bred specifically for their organs to be harvested for the use of other human beings.  It’s set in a very grey Britain and grimly realistic.  If you like really really depressing films then you’ll probably love it.  I was so traumatised by the closing credits that the nice German girl sitting next to me paused her own movie and took off her headphones to check if I was ok.  Bleak.

Going the Distance

After the aforementioned bleakness, I needed a light and fluffy rom com to clear my head.  Drew Barrymore’s sunny smile seemed like the perfect remedy.  I watched the trailer.  No mention of organ donations.  I read the blurb.  Organ donation free.  I read it again, just to be sure.  This isn’t a standout romantic comedy but it’s perfectly reasonable.  Drew does her standard adorable ditzy routine.  She stars alongside a fairly cute brown-haired actor whose name evades me right now.  I think they may have actually got together in real life too (awww).  In the film they’re in a long-distance relationship and struggling to make it work.  If you’ve ever been in one yourself there’ll probably be at least a couple of scenes where you’re nodding and relating.  I can’t remember the ending though.  I must have drifted off.  I assume it was happy.

Crime d’Amour

Not content with being a successful English speaking actress Kirsten Scott Thomas decided to go off to France and get fluent in French and be a successful actress there too, *cough* overachiever *cough*. Ah no, fair play.  C’est quite le achievement, non?  Here she is in Crime d’Amour or Crime of Love, en anglais.  She plays Christine, the boss of a big company in Paris who seems to derive pleasure from slowly destroying the people around her.  The film centres on her relationship with her second in command Isabelle. You start off thinking they love each other.  Then they hate each other.  Then they seem to love each other again.  Then you think Christine is totally manipulating Isabelle for her own gain.  But is Isabelle manipulating her right back?  Hmmm. I was enjoying it, but then we had to land.  I’ll definitely be watching the rest of this one on the way back.


Wish you were…

I got up last Saturday morning and decided I wanted to go to the other side of the planet.  On Sunday I got on a plane.  I kept expecting something or someone to stop me, even a stranger in the airport to shake me and say “Don’t be crazy!”.  It never happened.  I expected the check-in staff to laugh and say “Ha ha, you want a seat?  But you only booked it yesterday, you’ll have to sit on the floor the whole way!”.  But no,  they even gave me an aisle seat when I requested it.  Spontaneity is not a crime.  Who knew?