Saturday, 31 January 2009

Creativity Innovation fund

Dont forget the deadline is next week look on the arts council website if you have an innovative idea and put it in might never get the chance again. of 100% funding £10,000 and more .........................................................the NI economy needs all our creativity to burst forth and help the economy . Come on you can break through the crust .........or are you one of those people who belive no one can help you.....and in NI we are all doomed????

Just change your mind ;-)...............................................

Not so isolated

It was great to see a really good turn out at the Golden thread gallery last night and if you went you would have definitely not have been isolated.

I think there must have been a couple of hundred people there and it's interesting to see how different artists interpreted the idea. I noticed the drips coming through again and not to spoil the surprise there was something singing but I don't think it knew the words...............................................and it was rather small and very health concious or Jewish
;-).....................................nice to see Gemma a BPW member showing some of her work beautiful prints. Gemma is off in Japan at the moment I believe working away so it will be interesting to see what she comes back with......................

So congratulations to Peter Richards and his team over there nice to see he's getting some support from all interested people. What he is able to do with such a small core of staff is amazing would someone give that man 10 extra staff and a decent budget there would be no stopping him. ........................................................................... ...........

Note about Hillsborough castle, it was an interesting evening and we were all beautifully looked after there were some particularly nice oat cakes and everyone was on their best behaviour and they have the same hand cream in the ladies toliets that they do in the Merchant hotel. It's the little details that mean so much...................................

Hay it's nearly the end of January roll on spring................................the other thought I had about yesterdays post was who defines artist???? is that going to be a issue.? Has anyone in the South Belfast partnership Board ever been to an exhibition??

Thursday, 29 January 2009

botantic festival want artists !!!!!

Nice to see the South Belfast partnership board have got themselves in gear.
they are going to have an Art Market Sat 28th March in Crescent Park,lower cresent, off Botantic they are looking for exhibitors ...£20 cost for more info

Belfast festival

I see Ulster Bank is still sponsoring the Belfast festival at Queens, I hope who was ever responsible got everything signed up ok before they announced the lay off's. ......ho hum the world goes around.


So to all those self employed people out there have you filed your tax return??? I think there must be a few accountants quaking a bit as its now so easy to do it online why would you need one? Well they can be good for somethings. But seriously the online filing is brilliant and so easy to use. I suppose the exchequer needs to make it as easy as possible as it needs all the tax it can get.

Anyway can anyone else hear things creeking??? the structures of before shifting away?? I'm off to Hillsboriugh castle tonight. It's the Arts and business awards. I dont think I actually said that I am now Chair of BPW? Well BPW has won an award with Jill O Neil and we are off to Hillsborugh castle to collect it tonight. Another BPW member Fran has actually made the awards they are framed copper pieces and beautiful. Lovely and shiney with a beautiful etched door on them she has been working on them since before Christmas, fretting over every stage but they turned out fantastic.. A door into another time. Lewis Caroll eat your heart out.

I have been up a couple of times before to Hillsborough castle. The first time was when Mo Molam was in office I was invited along with other participants who had going through the wider horizons programme with the International fund for Ireland. It was the prime minister of Canada who was there Creterian( cant spell it) he was wanting to see why Canada should still give funds to the IFI when "peace " was already here. Well we gave him plently of reasons. I have a photo somewhere of my good friend Peter W and I giving Mo Molam a hug. Or at least she was giving us a hug. It was a very celebratory day.

The second time was about 4 years ago when they had their annual garden party, that was a laugh watching everyone in their heals sinking into the ground in the rain. Anyway tonight its for dinner so we shall see how it goes........................................

So go on be the change you want to see in the world and if you have not already done it look inot the arts council website for the creativity fund. info. deadline next week.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Key steps to successful trading on eBay

BEN networking:

Michael Hughes is the UK’s only 5 star rated EBAY instructor and will demonstrate how your business can use EBAY to generate more sales for your business.

Date: Thursday 5 February 2009Time: 5.30pm - 8pm (includes refreshments) Venue:

Northern Ireland Science Park Cost:

This networking event will be followed up with a more in-depth workshop 'Make eBay Work for Your Business' which will help you sell on eBay. It's on Thursday 19 February at Townsend Enterprise Park from 5.30pm - 8pm. How to register

Visit to register and for more information. Early registration is advised to avoid disappointment. More information
If you need any further information about these events, please contact Rhonda Lynn on 028 9027 0229 or email


I have just come back from North Belfast and thought I'd write a few things that came into my head . Some of the women in the group I have been working with were taking about the proposal that has been put forward to give £12,000 to every victims family, welll every family that has had a death . Be it on what ever side. There was alot of anger at this proposal. One women said a bomb went off in front of her mothers house and she had to move and has never been the same since, is she not a victim?Another said her brother had been shot dead was she not a victim after what she had been through with that?

Victim , victim what is in a name................its such a horrible word something that makes you want to lay down and personal feeling after all these years thinking about this is that we are all victims we have all suffered in different way, some immediately with violence and death and destruction but others in more subtle ways. Through lack of opportunity because of the troubles, last of proper infrastructure because of inefficiency. etc etc etc . Take Strangford, have you ever been to West Cork? beautiful place lots going on lots of money from Tourism. Come North Strangford beautiful place very few tourists because people have been scared to visit. As a result the local economy has to rely on the local population in the winter and a few extras in the summer. As a result unless your a pub nothing much doing in the winter. People have to ove away to get jobs etc etc etc.

Anyway I hate victim..................we shall see what happens with the proposals.


Ok, so hot of the press

BPW member
Liam de Frinse, will read two love poems from his newly published limited edition (100) art poetry book entiled 'Cupla Focal-A Few Words' at around 8:20pm on the evening of the launch of the Belfast Print Workshops LOve exhibition on Thursday 5th Feb!

If you have not heard Liam before it will be well worth the wait............................and come and see what members think of Love...................or lust or both or maybe something else????????????????????????????????????????

Any one reading in Milan??

Opening on tonight in Milan


Inaugurazione mercoledì 28 gennaio 2009 alle ore 19

And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains: round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

P.B. Shelley, Ozymandias of Egypt, 1818

Per la sua prima mostra personale in Italia, Robin Kirsten ha realizzato una serie di 17 dipinti iconografici di eccentriche creature allucinate. Le immagini rappresentate dall’artista sembrano emergere da un mondo psichedelico di drogati ispirati da una catatonica demenza. Ogni base pittorica “indossa” felici intenzioni hippy, in una realtà futuristica in cui tutto ciò che conta è la superficie.

I modelli di questi dipinti sono ritratti, radicalmente stilizzati, di consumatori psicotropi, che sembrano inchiodare loro stessi in una specie di circo interstellare di zombi, provenendo da un mondo patinato sinonimo alla realtà vuota dalla falsa coscienza. Trasformati in oggetti di lusso, generati fuori dai sogni aspirati e dal coma ritualistico della loro produzione, queste creature posano e spiccano fuori dal loro mondo super laccato, offrendo soltanto uno sguardo seducente della loro pelle avida, desiderosi di scambiare se stessi per il Love Money Honey dello spettatore.
Fucked up e mai a casa, questi personaggi finti, come Ozyman (341 a.c.) re egiziano megalomane al quale l’artista si è ispirato, sembrano congelare tutto ciò che è en vogue e, sottratti dal loro contesto, risultano vuoti ed appariscenti. Ciò che rappresentano non è altro che un commento ironico sulla natura fugace del potere e la perseveranza dell’egotismo umano.

L’artista, per l’occasione, ha scelto di trasformare la solita white cube in una sorta di show room iper-minimale grazie ad un sistema di illuminazione molto suggestiva creando un’atmosfera insolita. In questo modo lo spazio di KLERKX diventa una piattaforma dove il feticcio del culto dell’immagine e la devozione tribale dei seguaci dello stile, trovano riparo: in una boutique utopica che non sente di niente e dove si spara nel buio…

Tutti i dipinti hanno lo stesso formato 50cm x 42cm e sono realizzati grazie ad un programma digitale in 3D. Le immagini ottenute sono successivamente trasposte su una tela lucida ed elaborate attraverso l’uso dell’aerografo e pittura ad olio. Questa tecnica applicata dall’artista, gli permette di raggiungere un risultato di transizione di sfumature raffinatissime, una ripresa in chiave contemporanea della maniera dei Maestri del Rinascimento.

Ma – Sa 1 – 7 PM
Per ulteriori informazioni e/o materiale fotografico si prega di contattare la galleria

Belfast nashville songwriters festival

Ye haaaaaaaaaaaaaaa !!!!!!!!!

5 days 100 songwriters 30 concerts 20 workshops...........................(and a partridge in a pear tree ;-0 Just kidding.) i made up the last bit.

but there is a song writers festival 18-22 Feb...........some interesting people involved. ...............................go along and listen,learn and understand.

Dont forget Friday

Dont forget Fridays opening at the Golden thread gallery at 5

and if your down in Portaferry the sailing club is having a quiz

so why not go along for some intellectual stimulation...........

If your not sure where the sailing club is ask. It's just along the shore everyone knows where it is they are also doing meal for 2 and a bottle of wine for £35 every Friday. I think it starts at 7.

You never know you might even get the urge to sign up for sailing lessons.................................................................................................if your not sure what sailing is like remember it gives you a bit of the feeling. they are busy setting the fixtures for the year.

Foggy morning

Its a foggy morning here today, I bet you the Strangford Ferry is off. A few happy school children with no school today as they cant get over on the boat to Downpatrick. Oh how many time I've been up and down that Downpatrick road in and out to school all those years.

Anyway we are still alive and there is always something to be thankful for. I feel a shift in Belfast. Does anyone else feel it???? Is it the old world order slipping away? I meant to say when I was in London I saw lots of paintings on with drips as well so maybe its bigger than that maybe we are seeing things drip away on a national scale---who knows. It's just important to note that life is very interesting at the moment. The strutures of the past are slipping away and those who have got their house in order are going to be in a better position to take advantge of the next wave of existance. If you have not got your house in order, it's going to crumple all around you better be prepared.

I've added another quote
People are always fixated at lower levels. Self actualisation is the tendency of every human being to make real his or her full potential, to become everything that he or she can be.
the self actualising person is the true human specied type.... not a NORMAL PERSON WITH SOMETHING ADDED, BUT A NORMAL PERSON WITH NOTHING TAKEN AWAY.

Abraham Maslow

Quote of the day

This is oner for everyone who thinks they are in a dead end job>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
everything COUNTS

He takes whatever dull job he's stuck with...and just to keep himself amused, starts to look for options of Quality,and secretly pursues thse options,just for their own sake,thus making art out of what he is doing,he@s likely to discover that he becomes a much more interesting person and much less of an object to the people around him because his quality decisions change him too. And not only the job and him,but otherts too because the quality tends to fan out like waves. The quality job he didnt think anyone was going to see is seen, and the person who sees it feels a little better of it, and is likely to pass that feeling onto others,and in that way the quality tends to keep on going.

Robert Pirsig

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Year of the ox

I was listening in the videos about the year of the ox
it's the year to stand firm when all around is in turmoil............
know that you can have control over yourself when all around is
falling around you. seems a strong spiritual message in this time of change
and if you want to seel better why not just turn off the TV. Stop watching that stuff.
Do a google on the year of the OX, see what lessons there are around you.

quote of the day

Stop looking for a scapegoat in your life
but be willing to face the truth within yourself
and right your own wrongs.

Eileen Caddy
Footprints on the Path.

Monday, 26 January 2009

Ulster bank

When I was growing up at school you were told get a job in a bank and your set for life. Ulster bank announces 200 layed off........................................nice to see things changed bit by bit. More lay off in the Republic branches

Presbyterian Mutual society

I had a thought about of the collapse of the Presbyterian Mutual society

sometime ago I remember an announcement that the Assembly had given the Presbyterians £1million odd (cant remember the exact figure) to help them renovate the Presbyterian Assembly (you know the building with the spires shopping centre at the bottom of it) well I wonder if they got the money and put it in the Mutual society bank, because if they did it's not there now................................mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Now who's going to pay for that again???? Interesting how NI is affected by the rest of the world. As a mutual society I believe it does not have the same protection as a bank and so depositors do not have £50,000 cover on any losses. But you might need to check that out.

How's the Assesmbly going to sort that one out? I believe there is a petition to give the mutual society the same protection as the banks but that is not going to help those who have lost money in the mean time. there it goes in Northern Ireland we are more likely to get a divorce than change our bank accounts maybe it's time for the worm to turn????????????????????????????? anyway go to the website if you have any money worries.

Happy Chinese new year

It's the year of the ox

Free comedy tickets

Colin Murphy's Great Unanswered Questions
February to April 2009Various venues

BBC Studio Audiences is delighted to announce that tickets are now available for a brand new series of Colin Murphy's Great Unanswered Questions.

In this BBC Radio Ulster comedy programme, Colin Murphy tries to unravel some of life's great unanswered questions with the help of some comedy friends and a few brainy people.For example, do lobsters mate for life? Why does a mattress have a pattern when no-one ever sees it? Could there be a city under the sea?

Recording on:25th, 26th, 27th February at Queen's Film Theatre, Belfast 4th, 5th, 6th March at Studio 1, Broadcasting House, Belfast 31st March, 1st, 2nd April at Studio A, Blackstaff House, Belfast.

To apply for FREE tickets, call the BBC Ticket Line on 0370 901 1227* or click the Book Now button above.

Monday morning

Do you have the monday morning blues ? Well look at it this way January is almost over just another week to go and you can see the evenings are getting lighter already . Hopefully we are over the worst of it. You can see why bears hibernate though, are you sure all bears didnt come from Ireland??
Its going to be a busy week so keep an eye out for interesting things. Anyone still doing their self assesment forms remember if you cant pay your tax contact the tax office and work out some sort of repayment schedual with them. They expect it to be the first time that many sole traders might have issues with paying all their tax.

On a good note I did hear that Belfast City Council are looking at bidding for the city of culture again.........I do not think we were ready last time to do it . There is so much transition going on that it would have been a nightmare. But maybe we will be ready the next time ??????????????? You can see changes more and more and you know what, we are used to having no money in Belfast so less of it being around as long as we can keep the roofs over our heads might just make us all be a bit more civil to each other. Hay and it's good to barter and at least we are all not running around worrying about getting blown up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now if that is not progress I do not know what is.

So grasp opportunity with both hands and if your creative go to the arts council website and think about turning that creative idea into a business can get help with the form if you phone up. If your not in you cant will.............;-) Have a good week because its good to be alive.

Quote of the day

Follow your heart ,your dreams, your desires, Do what your soul calls you to do,whatever it is,and allow it to be finished; then you will go on to another adventure.

You will never be judged-unless you accept the judgement of those around you.
And if you accept their judgement , it is only your will to do so-for the expereince.


Saturday, 24 January 2009

quote if the day

What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?

Dr Robert Schuller

and if you have a creative idea why not go to Arts council website and check out their funding there is an application open for new ideas.......................................................go for it......................................................................................................................£10,000 for 100% idea. etc etc etc you might never get this chance again.

Embracing Diversity in Derry

A feminist peace building seminar on the theme of ‘will take place in the Guildhall, Derry on Wednesday 11 February 2009

‘Women’s security issues have always been at the forefront of feminist activism, this series of seminars are particularly timely during this current escalation of violent conflict worldwide’ Myrtle Hill, 2009.

Keynote speakers at the Derry seminar are:

Bernadette McAliskey, political activist and author, publications include ‘On the Irish Freedom Struggle’, ‘The Irish Fight for Socialism’ and ‘The Price of my Soul’

Myrtle Hill, senior lecturer in women’s and gender studies at Queen’s University, and author of ‘Women in Ireland: A Century of Change’ and ‘Evangelical Protestantism in Ulster Society 1740 to 1890’

The keynote speeches will be followed by a panel of women speakers from diverse backgrounds including the LGBT, Traveller and Multi-cultural communities, who will discuss their experiences of women’s human rights; women’s activism; women working across divides; women’s contribution to public life; gender equality; dealing with differences and what feminism means to individual women today. This will be followed by discussion and Q&A.
Hanna’s House, inspired by the suffragette and peace activist Hanna Sheehy Skeffington, is a feminist organisation that works to support women’s active participation in leadership and decision making in Ireland. On 11 February it is launching the first in a series of seminars that aims to open dialogue between women across Ireland to discuss the legacy of the conflict in Ireland; the creation of equal, non-violent partnerships both in private and public spheres; and to provide an exciting opportunity to create solidarity amongst diverse groups of people by reclaiming and reconnecting to the feminist ideals of justice, equality and peace.
Hanna’s House believes in feminism because:
· Feminists take women’s lives, concerns, and issues seriously
· Feminists secured women’s right to vote
· Feminists insisted on women’s right to access contraception
· Feminists offer women advice and support on security issues including protection from domestic violence
· Feminists founded women’s refuges as safe havens from domestic violence
· Feminists acknowledge that women everywhere have issues in common although they are experienced differently
· Feminists are social activists and are passionate about women’s rights
· Feminists set up women’s networks and groups to support women wherever they are experiencing difficulties
· Feminists bring fresh perspectives, ask challenging questions, and aim to create more egalitarian, just and peaceful societies.

Date: Wednesday, 11 February 2009
Time: 10.30am to 3.30pm
Venue: The Main Hall, the Guildhall, Derry
Refreshments and a sandwich lunch will be available. There is no fee for this seminar.

Places are limited. To reserve your place email: or call +353 1 8786400. For information about future seminars and the summer school in 2010 go to our website:

A note by me-please note men can be feminists as well as women just in case nayone out there was wondering????????????????????????;-)

Strangford image!!!.

Have you ever been to Strangford?

The Wild Geese Festival
Poetry, Story & Song
Strangford, Co. Down

Geese appear high over us,pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,as in love or sleep, holdsthem to their way, clear,in the ancient faith: what we needis here.

From ‘The Wild Geese’ by Wendell Berry (Selected Poems of Wendell Berry)

The Wild Geese Festival returns for its third year. Write! Down welcomes all visitors to Strangford on Saturday, 7th February to celebrate writing in all its forms.

The programme includes writing workshops with distinguished writers Damian Smyth, Maureen Boyle, Joan McEldowney (songwriting), readings showcasing newly published writers presented by Summer Palace Press and the Ballycastle Writers’; and an evening featuring our guest artists and music at the church in Old Court, Strangford.

The festival is supported by the Down Arts Centre and Poetry Ireland, and is one of a necklace of festivals of literature in the north of Ireland, which links Strangford to the Let me take you to the island Festival in Rathlin Island, the Donegal Bay and Bluestacks Festival at the Summer Palace in Kilcar.
Everyone Welcome ____________________________________________________________

Programme: Saturday 7th February 2009

1.30pm-3.30pm – Writing Workshops, Strangford, venue tbc

Take a writing workshop. Workshops will be facilitated by Damian Smyth, Maureen Boyle, Joan McEldowney (songwriting). The workshops are open to everyone. Book a place with your preferred facilitator IN ADVANCE – email (please indicate if you wish to attend the evening event as tickets are limited and a number are held for workshop participants and, if you can, we’d request a voluntary contribution of £10 on the day).

4.00pm-6.00pm – Readings, Strangford
Afternoon reading by workshop participants wishing to share their work and scheduled readings by emerging Summer Palace Press writers (2), Ballycastle Writers’ (2) and Write! Down (2)

8.30pm – Concert, The Church, Old Court, Strangford
Evening Event of spectacular poetry, music and song in the historic and beautifully situated Church at Old Court.

Featuring our guest artists - poets Damian Smyth and Maureen Boyle, singer-songwriter Joan McEldowney. Musical programme included. The church is a small space which will hold a maximum of 120, so book early. Tickets, priced £7.50/conc. £5.00, are available at Kevin Óg’s, The Square, Strangford. Phone 00 44 (0)28 4488 1377. Workshop participants please indicate whether you will be attending the evening event when booking your workshop.

Programme may be subject to change.____________________________________________________________

Guest Artists

Damian Smyth was born in 1962, raised and educated in Downpatrick, Co Down, he studied Scholastic Philosophy and English at Queen’s University, Belfast . He has edited and introduced Joseph Tomelty: All Souls’ Night & Other Plays (1993), Martin Lynch: Three Plays (1996) and John Hewitt: Two Plays (2000), all from Lagan Press, and all reflecting a commitment to the regional ethos in Ulster . His first poems were published by David Marcus in the Irish Press in 1978 and work subsequently appeared in Poetry Ireland , the Honest Ulsterman, Threshold, Fortnight and elsewhere. In 2002, his stage play Soldiers of the Queen (Lagan 2002), set in the Boer War, played the Belfast Festival at Queen’s. His collections are Downpatrick Races (2000) and The Down Recorder (2004). Market Street is due in spring 2009. He is currently Literature Officer with the Arts Council in Belfast .

Maureen Boyle grew up in Sion Mills, County Tyrone. She studied at Trinity Collge in Dublin, then the Universities of East Anglia and London. In 2004 she was runner up in the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Competition for an unpublished manuscript. She completed a Creative Writing Masters at Queens University, Belfast in 2005. In 2005 and 2007 she was the recipient of awards from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. In 2007 she won the Strokestown International Poetry Competition and in the same year was awarded the Ireland Chair of Poetry Prize. She recently completed a commission for the BBC for a poem to run through a documentary on the Crown Bar which was screened in October 2008. She works as a teacher, writer and children’s bookseller.

Joan McEldowney, having written and produced a highly acclaimed first album storm, is working on a second album ‘Music and Moonlight’. She has supported acts such as Duke Special, the Lowly Nights, James Blunt, Ocean Colour Scene and the Hothouse Flowers. She was awarded a Write! Down bursary in the 2007 to attend the ‘Let me take you to the Island’ Festival on Rathlin. Singer, songwriter and tutor – she is currently based in Killyleagh, Co. Down.

*Poster image from an original artwork by Stephen McClean
Contact Write! Down at Get updates at

Wild geese Write down festival Strangford

OK so something cultural is happening in Strangford............. do not sound so surprised.
the details of the write down festival have arrived in my in box.

10 reasons to go
1. you will meet new people.
2. you will meet new people.
3. you will meet new people.
4. you will explore a beautful part of the country
5. you will eat good food
6. meet new people
7. meet new people
8. explore creativity
9. get to experience poetic readings in a private church.
10. get an opportunity to listen if you want to, write if you want to and have a bit of crack............or craic...................and why not meet the locals .......................they are friendly most of the time.////////////////////////////////;-)

Junko Mori at OBG

I confess I have been sailing with Junko Mori down in Strangford Lough and I didnt realsie that she did the work she is doing . I first saw it in Liverpool at the contemporary craft gallery and then she had some beautiful pieces in the London Art fair. She is a Love refugee ( like my husband) someone not from NI but has married someone from here and found themsleves in the middle of our wee provience.

She is a silversmith and modernist metalworker .

Fantastic organic forms.

Anyway Junko is doing a master class on Wednesday 18th 1.30pm at OBG

Tickets free but capacity is limited.

10 reasons to live in Belfast not London

It's frosty this morning is it not ? The cool crisp air of the light blue sky over head links the existence of up there with down here.

Sorry I got carried away but it is a lovely crisp morning, when I was young my primary school teacher used to say "Jack Frost has been in the night" we would look out the window as the blanket of white and wonder at the change. You didn't get frost so much down on the shore where we were as the salt air kept it away. But is it colder than usual?? Well we did get snow last year so we shall see. The stars were really twinkling last night as the cold air was making everything sharper and clearer.

Anyway enough of that I have been processing my trip to London and I got to know London when I was a student at Winchester School of Art, Hampshire. It was only a few hours up on the train and we used to go up with collage. I lived in North London for a while in the 80's after I just finished collage and found different areas of it interesting at different times of my life.

So what was interesting ?? well there is always two sides to everything.

10 reasons to live in Belfast instead of London

1. Belfast £3 to go to the cinema on a Tuesday, London £8.50 (if not central )
2. Belfast £1.30 Metro bus ticket, London minimum £4 for any journey one way ( with no oyster card) £7.20 for 1 day travel card
3. Belfast -from centre 30 mins not in rush hour- get to Country side.
London- from centre 30 mins not in rush hour - get no where
4. Belfast -VIP ticket means free bar, London - VIP ticket means buy your own.
5. Belfast -people understands my accent, London -everyone thinks I'm Scottish
6. Belfast-People talk to you a bus stops- London -everyone is busy being alone
7. Belfast- Rents are cheaper, London- £250 a week are you kidding me ;-/
8.Belfast-You see change every day- London you see change every minute (slow down)
9.Belfast- We get longer evenings in the summer-London-dirty,dirty,dirty
10. Belfast-We are experiencing a economic correction- London is experiencing an economic meltdown.

Anyone any thoughts on that?????
What I also noticed was that Del have a new campaign on . cmonover I noticed it on the Ryan air planes coming over to Belfast is that really the place to put the adverts?????? I mean the people on the plane were already on there way over. You can check out what they are saying about us on

another one is

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Scottish Pudding?

What is a Scottish pudding??? haggis with jam??;-) just kidding but I did hear it was burns night this if you want to reconnect with your Ulster Scots roots ( if you have them)then keep an eye out or "strange timerous beasties" !

However if your in Edinburgh check out

echo presents: Pudding

The third and final part of echo's À la carte residenceAn exhibition of artists' films at the Collective Gallery Opening Friday 23rd January 2008, 7 – 9pmExhibiton open 24th January - 7th February

Artists:Samantha ClarkMichael FortuneMolly MishkasAngelo PicozziPhilip KennedyRachel MacleanSandy ChristieSabine KlausKit Abramson and Laura Van TatenhoveCatherine StreetRinat KotlerAyaka Okutsu and Ryan Siegan-SmithLyndsay MannBenjamin Fallon,Naomi Sex

The Collective Gallery22-28 Cockburn StreetEdinburghEH1 1NY

LOve opening.

For a few weeks not BPW members have been working on the theme of LOVE ! ! and its quite interesting to see members different reactions to the theme. I have noticed quite a few half naked bodies in the prints if not naked as well as decorative and poetic versions. Who's so say what is Love and Lust after all??????????? to each individual and does the concept change over time or just mature.????????????????????

Who is to say but BPW has arranged for all concepts and budgets with cards and framed pieces
suitable for all pockets and understanding of the concept..................................there is a rumour going on that a certain member is writing a poem especially for the occasion'nt it great to be creative.

Anyway the dairy date for the opening is FEb 5th at 7pm and the exhibition runs until 14th Feb.

Everyone who purchases on the opening night will be out into a draw for a meal for two at the Wellington Park Hotel.

Prints can be purchased off the wall .....................................................buying more than one card is encouraged after all you never know??

Good news for pregnant mums to be

– gvt are giving a £190 one off Health in Pregnancy grant that is not means tested. See link below:

Also if anyone needs more info on tax credits Advice NI’s website has a page dedicated to tax credits. See link below

Re the form below – there are some scams where certain organizations are asking a £90 fee to fill in the Tax Credit form - advice would be use your local advice centre if you need help. Also the by HMRC that most of this money has already been paid out automatically but you can check this by ringing HMRC. Their no. is: 0845 300 3900

1O% off but still some places left

Just a reminder that
courses are filling up but there are still some places left
in a number of areas. If you want to make use of it
speak while it's in your head. Details on the BPW website.


It must be the time of year but I notice that with the weather and the hale and the cold wind blowing outside that a number of people are feeling isolated. At least we have passed the most miserable day of the year. That point after Christmas when all the bills come in but we no longer have that festive afterglow.

So why not put this date in your diary for an exhibition called:

Isolated opening night Friday 30th January 7pm (why not go and start the weekend by not being not being isolated and meet other Art appreciators;-))

Curated by Peter Richards

until 5th of March 2009

Anna Konik, Brian Maguire, Cecily Brennan, Ciara Finnegan, Gemma Anderson, Guy Ben-Ner, Lisa Byrne and Phil Hession

…‘isolation’ – the feeling that you are all alone, that our not being understood – nobody understands, that you are outside of your society, you are without a connection, your social network has let you down. That’s when the fragments from the world of your playlist begins to echo from deep inside – surfacing when you need it most … as you sit alone … alone in company, with them all around, then they disappear into the thick, thick fog. You’re all on your own … fragments… ‘I’m doing the best that I can’ but ‘people … when you’re a stranger’ … articulate a comforting reassurance that you’re not alone… you’re alone together … somebody understands … they have empathy with, they know, they share, they save you from the ‘isolation’…The playlist isn’t real … it has been deleted… You’re on your own.

There is a warning that it is not suitable for everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! so that's sounds interesting..............................always good to push the envelope.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Can you do it in 90 seconds?

call for submissions via

Call for short films any genre under 30 min.

different link

When you click the link below ,click though to
the google link to get the video

back from London

Oh its much colder here than in London I've been over for a few days, lots of stressed out people and nothing fresh to eat. Thats how I picture London. Yet its always good to go and see something different which I did.
So what was waiting for me on return?

the International Fund for Ireland book has been launched.

and lots of other interesting things going on.
Will have time to catch up later.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

All over the shop- Be there

Are you finding the current retail climate difficult?

Invite for 5.45 22 January

Bar 2 Waterfront Hall Belfast

Belfast City Council

invites you to a master class with Geoff Burch, star of BBC 2 " all over the shop"

Tips on how to improve you sales customer service and motivate staff.

RSVP ciara Heaney 90320202 Ext 3569

Refreshments provided.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Yesterdays events and 17th Feb event

Two really interesting events yesterday on the same night good to see work going on at the Golden Thread and great to see innovative work happening in Belfast but as I have always said there is lots of international level work happening in Belfast and N I it's just the crust on top that is stopping it get through. The talk the the Hilton was good fun and one particular thing that I brought away from it was tell people what it is you like about them. Have you done that recently?? Have you ever done that ? We all know there are thinks we like about certian people but we often tell them what we dont like rather than what we do like.

So I've been having interesting reactions from people whe I have been telling them what I like about them. Why not try it?????????????????????????????????????? it's not very Noethern Ireland but there you go, you might even get a smile.

Anyway on to other information,
Intelligent leadership and supportive management workshop.

17th Feb

Ormeau Business Park ( gasworks site)

Joe Blair Managment Business solutions

an opportunity to explore and review their leadership style and approach to management of people, The interactive workshop will include self assesment ,case studies and supportive management techniques.

I worked with Joe on a project when he worked with Business in the Community and he is a really excellent person with a great sense of humour and knows how to talk with no bullshit.

For more into call Rhonda Lynn 02890270229 or

Monday, 12 January 2009

Tomorrow night a free event run by B4B the physiology of persuasion.
Register now drop down after going to the Golden Threads salon.

Why not...................................

Maternity here and Gaza?

I'm forwarding this on as I have had a number of converstaions with women recently about the state of the Maternity services in NI but its nothing compared to this>>>>

Casualties Replace Gaza's Maternity Ward Patients Run Date: 01/09/09 By Mohammed and SoguelWeNews correspondents In one Gaza hospital the maternity ward curtails normal operations and mothers of neonates hover over incubators threatened by power disruptions. The World Health Organization says all of Gaza's 56 primary health care clinics face fuel shortages.

GAZA CITY, Gaza (WOMENSENEWS)--Two days after the air strikes started, Ola Othman's water broke.

She told Women's eNews that she could not check into any hospital in Gaza because they were all overcrowded and filled with injured patients.
"I thought my baby and I were going to die because we didn't get any medical attention till too late," she said. "I couldn't believe it when the nurse told me to look in other hospitals for a doctor since all were busy treating the injuries," she said.
Now the usually crowded maternity section of Al Sharif Hospital in Gaza City is nearly empty.
The hospital's staff--contending with an influx of war-related injuries--is only treating the most urgent cases of miscarriages and pregnancy complications.
Due to a shortage of medical supplies, Othman said that it could be more than a month before her baby could get vaccinated. "Doctors told me they run out of vaccines," she said, while holding her baby in the waiting room of Al Sharif Hospital. "I don't think it can get any worse."
On Dec. 27, Israel launched an air strike campaign on Gaza City in retaliation against rocket strikes into southern Israel by Hamas, the militant Islamic group that has governed Gaza since elections in 2006.

Hamas launched 3,000 rockets into southern Israel during a seven-month period in 2008. The Israeli military says it has killed 130 Hamas militants since the start of its ground operations in Gaza on Jan. 3.

Over 700 Palestinians have died since the conflict flared, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Civilian fatalities are between one-quarter to half of these tallies, according to U.N. estimates. The Palestinian Health Ministry reported on Jan. 7 that 1,135 out of 2,250 injured are women and children.

Seven Israeli soldiers and three civilians have been killed since the strike began, according to Jan. 8 press reports. Also on Jan. 8, rocket fire on Israel launched from inside Lebanon to the north threatened to escalate the conflict and regional tensions. No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Heavy Death Toll
Statistics are difficult to verify as Israel is barring most international reporters from the war zone and only allowing footage pre-approved by Israeli military censors. U.N. relief agencies halted operations Jan. 8 after a humanitarian aid mission was hit by Israeli tank fire, killing one and injuring two.

The U.N. Security Council held high-level meetings Jan. 7 and 8 to determine its response to the crisis. Arab and Western countries went back and forth about the language, attributions of responsibility and the terms of a ceasefire. Egypt is leading diplomatic efforts to broker a truce between Israel and Hamas.

On the ground, in Gaza, maternal health care and related medical support stand frozen until further notice. Nurses and doctors that normally work in the maternity wards have been redirected to overcrowded emergency rooms. Pregnant women told Women's eNews they are being turned away at the door.

Mothers in Despair
All of Gaza's 56 primary health care clinics depend on back-up generators and face fuel shortages, the World Health Organization reported Jan 7. Three mobile clinics and three ambulances have been destroyed.
Among the hardest hit is Al Shifa Hospital, the only maternity ward with neonatologists in Gaza City. Currently,
there are 30 neonatal units. Power shortages have left premature infants in incubators tethered between life and death.

"Our staff isn't able to work effectively under electricity power shortage," said Dr. Hasan Al Louh, chief of the maternity unit. "Most of Gaza's hospitals rely mainly on power generators. They are threatened with a complete collapse if problems arise with the generator machines, putting at risk our patients and these babies' lives."

Soraya Hassan, 32, said her premature baby, Sara, stopped breathing after the back-up generators went off for 30 minutes and cut off life-support systems in Al Shifa Hospital. Fourteen other infants also stopped breathing. Nurses and doctors rushed to revive them manually. Hassan says her baby survived, but others did not.
New Babies Lost

"The losses in premature babies have increased 10 percent since the start of the war," said Dr. Abu Wael Morjan. "We cannot host mothers with their babies anymore. We have to separate them to take good care of children. Some mothers even refuse to take their babies out of the hospital in fear of not being able to provide them with proper medications at home."
"There may be serious consequences on patients' lives if we don't manage to get through these days," said Samah Mousa, a nurse at Al Shifa. "Even Kamal Edwan's Hospital in the north can barely send us pregnant women in critical condition. Any delay can cost us a life or more. The shortage of medicine and vaccines isn't helping either."

On Jan. 7, the 12th day of military operations against Gaza, Israel called for a three-hour truce to allow the distribution of humanitarian aid.
Al Louh told Women's eNews that Al Shifa Hospital learned of the truce too late and by the next day, the hospital still needed to get medication and fuel supplies for the generators. Resupplying the hospital, Al Louh says, would take more than a few hours, perhaps days.

This story was reported by Eman Mohammed, correspondent in Gaza, and Dominique Soguel, Arabic editor, in New York.

something that would not have happened before

I see that they are advertising for non executive directors for the 4 New Health and Social Care bodies

You can apply to be a lay member with no specific requirements for these posts.

Don't remember it ever being that public before interesting to see some of them get £8827 for 5 days work a month or £3530 for 2 days work a month. So at least with the Assembly being in its a bit more transparent..................................why don't you apply.

Sunday, 11 January 2009


So America signals in a new wave of optimism with Obama, They are pinning a lot of him or so my friend form the US states. One thing in particular I thought might just interest us over here in Belfast is that she said that one of his big election promises was that he would bring a lot of the investment that was sent overseas back to America.

So where exactly does that leave the US investment conference and all the money that was spent on it last year getting all those US business people over to NI to sell them the green and fertile land?? Will we actually see any results from it?? Is there still going to be any "money from America" or as Senator Mitchell said when he was presiding over the "talks about talks" that proceeded the good Friday agreement "are we ever going to get onto solids" and get off help from outside of this wee place of ours.

It looks ever more like we will have's about time I say.

Belfast Book Festival

Not yet released a full programme but is coming 24 Feb-1 March if you sign up for their news letter you can win a night for 2 in the Merchant Hotel....................................................................................think of all those lovely colours around you.

QFT-new year revolution

Nice to see the QFT have online booking now
Che: part one looks interesting..............................

Friday, 9 January 2009

just pay taxes and stuff

Typical how hard is it when the airlines keep doing all these deals to think about climate change? has a 4 day sale on anyone ever been to Inverness??

25% off easy jet flights

Saw this anyone need to go anywhere?...................................................

Giant sunshine savings! Up to 25% off flights.
The easyJet sale is now on!
We're giving you giant sunshine savings of up to 25% off every seat, every route, every day on flights from 1 March up to 30 June 2009, including Easter and Half-Term!
But hurry - this sale must end at midnight on Tuesday 13 January 2009.
Don't miss out on a great sunshine deal. Pick your giant saving now at!

quote of the new year

To change one's life
: Start immediately
: Do it flamboyantly
: No exceptions

Wiliam James

Thought this was a good quote for the new year it might stop you having a bad year.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

wee secret

Just letting you into a wee secret if you want to take advantage of the "beyond" it's a quick way to search available flights to and from anywhere in the world. The way things are at the moment I would not book too far in advance as the airline might not be still in existance but its a great way to check lots of airlines at once. I wonder which airlines will survive the credit crunch?? can you belive Ryan air is making a bid for air lingus? oh how the tides have turned and all the car manufacturers seem to be in trouble. Will they all fold and finally will real green transport win the day? who know but all I know is that there is change in the air.

Change yes, but will we have snow? we did this time last year will there be a repeat performance ??????????????????? I always like a bit of snow............burrrrrrrrrrr we certainly need to get rid of some bugs everyone seems to have some sort of cough or splutter.For my New Zealand readers are you enjoying the summer ??? is there any ozone left down there?? can you still go outside?? When I was there about 15mins was the maximum you could stay outside without burning, all the children wore cover ups on the beach and French legionairres hats to keep the sun off them . Strange to think with us in the Northern hemisphere darkness at 4.30 there is so much sun else where in the world. ........................or did you think the world was flat?? its funny how we forget about the rest of the world in NI with all our navel gazing.............................................but at least we had a blue sky today. Just keep it away from the greyness and we will be ok? maybe ? If we find interesting things to do to stop us going mad..................................................................................

10% off weekend and evening courses

10% discount for January/February 2009

January / February 2009
Relief Printing
Price £60

Sat & Sun 10am-3pm 24th & 25th January 2009
Photo Etching
Price £60

Sat & Sun 10am-3pm 31st Jan & 1st Feb 2009
Price £60

Sat & Sun 10am-3pm 7th & 8th Feb 2009
Mono Printing
Price £60

Sat & Sun 10am-3pm 14th & 15th February 2009


IntroductionEvening Courses

January / February 2009
Screen Printing
Price £70
Mondays 19th January - 9th February 2009 7-9pm
Photo Intaglio
Price £60
Tuesdays 20th January - 10th February 2009 7-9pm
Price £60
Wednesdays 21st January - 11th February 2009 7-9pm

DISCOUNTED PRICE£63.00 & £54.00

Printmaking TechniquesPhoto etchingTransfer of drawn or photographic imagery onto the etching plate.Screen-printingHand made and photographic stencils combine to dramatic effectMono PrintingMark making in ink to produce unique results.EtchingProbably the most recognized traditional technique. A needle, plate and acid.Relief PrintingThis course will concentrate on lino cutting and the different techniques involved.Collagraph A traditional approach to Collagraph using a wide variety of materials to produce different marks.


To make a booking please contact Workshop Manager - Struan Hamilton & forward payment to the

WHAT TO BRING: Apron/old shirt, Image/ideas for visuals. For Photo-Intaglio course please bring a photographic image.

CANCELLATION:In circumstances where BPW must cancel a course a full refund will be given. If you cancel 2 weeks prior to the course commencing a full refund will also be given. Cancellation within 2 weeks of the course starting you will receive a credit note for the full amount which can be used against another course or in the BPW Gallery.

Golden thread gallery next Tuesday

Locus of Control

Acitore Z Artezione & Christoff Gillen

Exhibition Preview: Tuesday 13th January 09, 6pm - 8pm

Panel Discussion at 4pm Tuesday 13th the panel discussion looks really interesting. If you have some free time why not go and see whats going's always good open your mind to different thoughts (after all its Northern Ireland remember) Different thoughts are hard to find..........................or maybe you know different.


For all of you that care enough information from NI Committee of Irish Congress of Trade unions

Saturday 10th January


Organised by the Northern Ireland Committee
of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions.

MARCH AT 12:45 – Art College Square (UU), Belfast

RALLY AT 13:30 – Belfast City Hall.

The situation in Gaza is an affront to all humanity.

We know that many hundreds have been killed including women and children.

We know that many people have been maimed.

We know that the hopes of a just and peaceful settlement are blown further away with each rocket and tank shell.

We know that violence does not solve any political impasse.

We are calling for an immediate and complete end to all military operations in and around Gaza.

We demand that this ceasefire happens now and that humanitarian relief can be allocated to the grieving and suffering people of Gaza.

We call on the people of Northern Ireland to make their voices heard by joining our peace rally.

Please bring Trade Union banners and white flags and ribbons, symbolising our belief in a peaceful future for Israel and Palestine.

Quote of the day

Every great and commanding movement in
the annals of the world is the triumph of enthusiasm.

Nothing great was ever achieved without it.

Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Hurrah for cqaf

So I've been to two events in the cqaf festival so far. Dr sketchy was good fun . It could be improved by having someone who is used to facilitating life drawing advise them a bit but there were some great sketch's made of some can can dancers and a great looking man in drag. I hope all the Art society's in Northern Ireland pick up on the idea and we might see some different kinds of art going on...............................and you win jelly vodka for the best sketches so that's all appealing.

The other event I went to was Shappi Khorsandi and as previously explained she was really funny both events were packed out so it just goes to show that even in times of economic hardship there is room for innovation and people will part with money if its targeted right. I was also discussing this with someone when they were to buy an i phone ............................they were all sold out again design and a well thought out product as a result fantastic sales and everything sold out.

How does that compare to all of the tacky goods still left on the selves this new year? Shipped over from all over the world at a cost to our environment to end up in the sale bin. Is this consumerism worth it? Is there not better ways to live our lives?????

Anyway dont forget CQAF is on all January I think they have it right so long may it continue. It would be good if they spread it out to a few more venues in the Catherdral quater but its something to build on.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

At PLACE until end of January 2009

AAI Awards 2008

Since 1984, the Architectural Association of Ireland (AAI) Awards have encouraged higher standards of architecture throughout the country; recognised projects which make a contribution to Irish architecture and informed the public of emerging directions in contemporary architecture.

Each year, a panel of five assessors is invited to make a selection of schemes which they believe make a contribution to Irish architecture. The assessors comprise an architectural critic, a foreign architect, two Irish architects, and a distinguished non-architect.

New Irish Architecture 23 – AAI Awards 2008, the book to accompany the exhibition, is also available now in the PLACE bookshop, priced at £15.

Opening tomorrow 7-9 @ PS2

Kathy Graham, a recent graduate from the art college, University of Ulster, uses and works with architectural spaces in her photography.

For 'Portraits' she writes:

"A photograph allows for a reconstruction of reality resulting in a portrait of a given space. Through a working process, the space becomes the image which in turn becomes the object. Substituting the true gallery space for its objectified portrait allows the observer to take possession of a quantity of the space. The result of this remaking of the space means the absence in the gallery becomes the presence in the image".

More info at
18 Donegall StreetBelfast BT1 2GP

Is Ballymena beyond?

As the blog is Belfast and beyond I thought I tell you about this going on in Ballymena on one of those dark nights before the end of the month. I have heard Alma speak before and she is great fun and really knows what she is talking about. I would recommend her for a wardrobe audit if anyone fancys one.............................................

Title: Dress for Success - Out with the Old, In with the New

Speaker: Alma McManus, Clothesology (

Date: Thursday 22nd January 2009

Time: 7pm - 9pm followed by refreshments

Venue: Leighinmohr Hotel, Ballymena

Cost: £5 members, £10 non-members

For more information, invitations or to book at place, contact 07866408092, or email

Quote of the year

If you do what you have always done you will get what you've always gotten.

Literature of Long Kesh to night

Tonight wed 7th
a panel discussion
Sam Millar
William Mitchell
Danny Morrison
Graham Reid

Belfast Exposed 23 Donegall Street, belfast

Facilitated by Marie Louise Muir of Arts extra.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Israel and Palestine

Is this happening as someone said to me because Bush is still in office and the next president of the US would not support it?

There is a call from Israel and Palentine people to stop this . I once went to a seminar run by women from both these countries and it was horrific what was going on....................... are we all going to stand by? It's been going on for 2000 years ? make up your mind.

Does Americia have a sex addiction?

Like this website for a global view, sometimes it's a bit boring but interesting thoughts on it

Help for your business?

Lot's of training and info etc etc just look up the diary section ........................................................................

Dont forget if you do self assesment it's all online this year info on the above site.

quote of the day

Always leave enough time
in your life to do something
that makes you happy
satisfied or even joyous.
That has more of an effect on economic well being that any other single factor

Paul Hawken

Dancing is good for your soul

Need to do something different this year? always promised yourself you might try it? Love strictly come dancing?..........what to meet a new women? /man? need to loosen up your hips??
there is salsa going on everywhere even Ballymena......................................why not have a go?

------------------Kings Head - MondayWith Jeff and RichardClass start Monday 5th Januarylatest details:* 7:00pm Salsa for Absolute Beginners with Jeff* 7:00pm Salsa Beginners level 2 with Richard* 8:00pm Salsa practice* 8:30pm Salsa Improver's and Intermediate* 9:30pm social/practice dancingLa reuda class will start within the next few months. We will bringyou more details soon ------------------Landsdowne hotel - Antrim roadwith Jeff & GinaEvery Tuesday ...latest details: times from 6 Jan '09Beginners 1- 7.30 - 8.30Beginners 2 - 8.30 - 9.30 ------------------Bangor (British Legion, Hamilton road)with JeffEvery Wednesday from 7 Jan '09latest details: 7.30 - 8.30Improver's 8.30 - 9.30 ------------------Thursdays – Queen's PEC (Botanic Park) A new round of beginners classes will start Thursday 29th January 2009 To book a place phone the PEC on 028 9068 1126 18:45 - Lindy Hop Swing20:00 - Salsa Beginner (Salsa Bachata, ChaCha) ------------------H&W Staff Club, 8 Dundela Avenue, Belfastwith PiretStarting Tuesday the 13th of Januarylatest details: dancexpress.org7.30pm Ballroom8.30pm Salsa9.30pm Latin£5 per class per person ------------

------The Braid Arts Centre in Ballymenawith PiretStarting Wednesday the 14th of Januarylatest details: dancexpress.org7pm Salsa, please contact the centre for further details

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Quote of the day

Everyone has talent
What is rare is the courage to follow the talent
to the dark place
where it leads

Erica Jong

happy new year

Well now that's that over and done with we can get into the spirit of the new year. When I finally stopped running around I went to the Chiropractor and he did something to my neck , said my head was overactive and the next think you know I get a kind of flu. Just my body asking me to slow down which I did. Not able to do too much over Christmas except reconnect with relatives and friends -which is part of the reason for it anyway don't you think?

Time spent in Strangford and Portaferry was joyful as usual. The thing about being away from it is every time you go back you see a new just how beautiful it is. Something that when you are there all the time I'm not sure you appreciate. I noticed lots of people from the South in the Hotel in Portaferry , a sign that the Euro might just save us up in the North. Nice food too.

Beautiful sea scapes with lots of grey and pink colours. It's the time of year. Time to take your breath away. Have you ever spent some time down there?? I could write you a what to do over a weekend, a week or a lifetime. But not yet as I'm trying to get my head back into work again.

One date for your diary is the weekend of the 7th Feb when the wild Geese festival is on the Strangford. It's in it's 3rd year and each year I have gone to something and really enjoyed it. It's for writers and lovers of writing and an excuse to spend some time in a beautiful place.

I will keep you posted. Dr sketchy was great fun...........more on that later.