Tag Archives: Dublin

The X Factor hits Dublin

The sensations of last year’s TV reality show The X Factor, Jedward, are on a roll. Not only have they a hit CD in the shops, John and Edward Grimes have signed a lucrative deal to take part in a panto in the Gaiety Theatre, Dublin, this Christmas.

They are also the stars in a TV3 documentary series that show them moving out of home and into a new apartment. Not bad for a pair of “talentless clowns.” It’s nice work if you can get it.

But Jedward are maestros compared to Temple Fire, four lads from Dublin who auditioned to take part in this year’s show. I heard about them through my girlfriend. Her son knows them. I’m in now way putting them down. They were obviously doing it for a laugh and they have more balls than most. One thing I will say, though, Westlife and Take That are safe for now.

From Little Acorns Grow…

LifeRing Ireland

It all started in a dining room of a house in north County Dublin. Present and correct were two men, two women and two dogs. I can’t speak for the dogs but I know for a fact that the four humans were (and are) recovering addicts, mainly alcoholics but there was some drug abuse, too.

LifeRing had arrived in Ireland.

Tonight, in St. Patrick’s Hospital, Dublin, we had two groups of 19 people, each recovering (or hoping to recover) from whatever their drug of choice happens to be. People from all walks of life, looking for hope, support, and camaraderie. The St. Patrick’s group is one of three active meetings in Dublin. The other two are located at the Methodist Mission on Abbey Street, and the Stanhope Street Alcohol Treatment Centre. The last piece of the jigsaw, St. John of God’s Hospital, will fall into place within the next month or two.

LifeRing has arrived in Ireland.

It’s a recovery program without a program. By this I mean there are no Steps, no Higher Power, no powerlessness over our addiction. The choice to whether or not drink or use is put in our hands. We alone are responsible for picking up a drink or drug. End of story. Sure, we’re powerless once we do — that much is obvious — but if we chose not to, that choice empowers us. That, in essence, is what LifeRing is all about. We keep it secular and leave our Higher Power (if we have one) outside the room until we leave. We chat to each other, we cross-talk, we laugh, cry, but ultimately we’re all about positivity. Our “drunk-a-logues” and “drug-a-logues” are a thing of the past. Our “war stories” remain just that — stories. We talk sobriety in the here and now. We ask each other: “How was your week in sobriety?”

It is an alternative to Alcoholics Anonymous and its Twelve Steps, and without becoming all preachy, LifeRing offers the addict a different forum from which to draw strength. Some addicts can’t “get” the AA approach, so LifeRing shows them another way. It has worked well in the U.S.A. and the signs are that it will work well here in Ireland, too.

What Jimbo Didn’t Do…

…since he last blogged.

1. Grow a beard.

2. Learn Mandarin Chinese.

3. Eat snails.

4. Read War and Peace. (Come on, life is waaay too short.)

5. Vote in the UK General Election.

6. Take up badminton.

7. Shake hands with Sarah Palin.

8. Have lunch with Queen Elizabeth.

9. Organise a revolution against the muppets that run this country.

10. Start a fan page for tuna sandwiches.

11. Help an old lady cross the road. (Shame on me!)

12. Feel sympathy for the banking institutions. (Shame on you!)

13. Take myself too seriously.

14. Take my job too seriously.

15. Win the lottery.

James the Listmaker.

People Are Strange

The taxi drivers staged a protest today. I think it was their fourth one this year. I remember a time when you couldn’t get a taxi on a weekend night, there were that few of them. I met a girlfriend – and broke up with one – on a taxi rank, I was there that fucking long.

Anyway, the cabbies are complaining that there’s too many of them now. A few years back some suit deregulated the business, unclosing the “closed shop,” and opening the market out to anyone who had a few bob to spend on a licence. More than a few goons thought taxi driving was a licence to print money. It was then; it isn’t now.

Because of their bi-weekly protest, Dublin’s main street, O’Connell Street, was closed to traffic for the day, even for the emergency services. Gardai-directed diversions were in operation. This meant that the bus route home from my Tuesday night meeting was changed and I had to go search for where I could catch the right one. So I stood at the corner of Marlborough and Eden Quay. Big mistake.

I saw this young man, dressed in a striped hoodie, skinny jeans and trainers, jogging toward me. He didn’t look threatening. He’s a jogger, I thought.

He stopped in front of me and asked, “Have you any gear?”

“What?” I said.

“Have you any gear?”

“No,” I said. And away he jogged. I shook my head and continued to look for my bus.

My next visitor was altogether different. He was stick-thin, dark-haired, but he had danger in his eyes. His girlfriend was no better. He stared at me.

“Git,” he said. “Why didn’t you call me earlier?”

Like I said, this guy looked menacing. I gave him full eye contact and said softly, “I’m sorry but you’re talking to the wrong person.” He considered this for a moment and then the pair of them walked off. He turned his head, just to make sure he wasn’t making a mistake.

I lit a cigarette and mumbled, “Come on, do I even look like a drug dealer?”

I would have taken a taxi home – if there were any – but I decided to walk. There was no way I wanted to hang around that corner any longer.

Take it away, Jim…