One Day in Croker Pt. 2 (Romance)

Stephen was somewhat more coy and he said with a wide grin –

“God, I didn’t think I’d be getting help from a Westmeath woman on today of all days!”

“You better pray that Westmeath win so,” Aoife replied.

Yvonne then interjected –

“You’d want to watch her or she’ll tip ya out of that chair. Say one bad thing about Westmeath.”

The small group burst out into laughter.

Soon, they had reached an exit point onto a standard footpath, but descended onto the road when they saw the large crowds all decked out in the maroon of Westmeath, and the green and gold of Kerry walking along it in the direction of Croke Park.

Aoife could hear that Yvonne and James had started chatting away behind them.

“What stand are you in Stephen?”

“The Hogan Stand. I think they have a special wheelchair area.”

“So, are we. We’re in the Lower Stand”

“Looking forward to it? I guess with Kerry winning everything, you’ve been here loadsa times!”

“This is actually my first time here. ‘Twas a long drive, wouldn’t do it often.”

He strained to look backwards. Aoife felt her heart flutter as she looked into his warm, blue eyes. She reckoned that he was in his mid thirties, just like herself.

“Yeah, I’d say it was. What part of Kerry are you from?”


“Oh, lovely. Heard so much about Kerry, have always wanted to visit it.”

They were now in the shadow of the stadium.

The place was jammed full of people all excitedly talking to one another.

“I can take it from here Aoife, thanks so much. I think we have to get a lift up to where we’re going,” James said with a wide smile.

Stephen interjected –

“We can’t wish you luck though.”

“We understand.”

With that, they parted ways.

One day in Croker (Romance – Pt 1)

It was the best of times. Of that, she had no doubt. Westmeath had finally reached an All-Ireland final. Only Kerry stood in the way. It wasn’t that Westmeath had experienced a famine, there was never food there in the first place. No glory, no swagger save a lone Leinster title. Now, Aoife would finally see that all change. She just knew it.

“Don’t get your hopes up too much girls, this is Westmeath after all.”

That was her father just over an hour ago, thinking he was being funny. Unfortunately, he was from Offaly and loved to get the digs in when he could.

Now, she could see the stadium in the distance. The drama, the passion. Adrenaline was pumping through her body. She was with her sister Yvonne. Not the biggest of GAA fans, but more of a recent convert, and Westmeath would need every bit of help it could get.

It was a warm day, not a cloud in the sky and they had just parked up on a field at Clonliffe College. They were now walking on the pathway out of the grounds.

“Come on Yvonne, not much further.”

“Relax Aoife, it doesn’t start for an hour.”

Then Aoife noticed that there was an eldely man pushing a guy in a wheelchair a few meters in front of them. But they are struggling over the gravel surface.

“Sorry, need a hand? Can I be of assistance?”

The old man looked at her forlornly. The guy looked somewhat embarrassed. They were both wearing Kerry colors.

“It’s just so hard to push.”

“Here, let me have a go,”

It was tough but she knew she could do it.

“My name is Aoife by the way.”

The older man spoke first.

“I’m James and this is my nephew Stephen.

The Horror (Comedy)

This may be a time of war, starvation, homelessness and despair but its rare for me to be truly horrified. But, this was a truly terrible confession by Mr R (to keep anonymity). It took some minutes for me to stop shaking with the dread. Well Mr R was out on the town having some beers. All good so far. It has to be done after all. I’d like to imagine he was chatting up everything with a skirt.

And as is customary he decided to have some vodka when he got home. As God would have intended. Well, after pouring himself a triple or so, he had a sip and let the taste hit his tongue.

But he decided that he had his fill and threw it down the sink.

“How could you?” I said

“It’s just so wrong?”

“Think of all the alcos dying for a drop, how do you live with yourself?”

The horror.

All those years of patience, seeking perfection ruined.

Perhaps, it started its life as a potato out in a field full of hope that someday in the future, it could be distilled into the most perfect vodka before being drank by a good man. Hopes now cruelly dashed.

I think of that partially empty bottle of vodka, all alone in a fridge somewhere wondering what is the meaning of it all.

It’ll take time folks but I’ll be okay. Each hour I’m thinking about that beautiful full glass of vodka, a little bit less. I’m strong, I can do it.

Review of “Children of Time” by Adrian Tchalkovsky (Sci-fi novel)

Well readers, I really should have been studying for upcoming interviews but I can always waste tomorrow doing that instead. This novel, the winner of the 2016 Arthur C Clarke was well worth it and a real gem. It’s hard to know exactly to start. It’s a long read at over six hundred pages.

It covers many different themes, some of which are God, alienness and what exactly that means, and the difficulties and duration of space travel for a level of technology that humans might approximate in the next century.

In the far future Dr. Avrana Kern is the head of a science team that has terraformed an uninhabitable torus shaped planet to make it suitable for life. A genetically designed virus to speed the evolution of monkeys is then released. But that is where things start to go wrong. There is a revolution, then a war of annihilation that breaks out throughout the empire. This affects the science vessel too and the monkeys who are the intended target of the virus burn up in the planet’s atmosphere.

Instead, it acts on different species but has the largest impact on spiders/

We are then introduced to an Ark Ship called The Gilgamesh that is the last remnants of humanity and looking for somewhere to settle down. Earth has been poisoned by the Old Empire.

What follows is a fascinating journey through space and time. What most impresses me about the novel, is how the spiders follow their own different way of technological improvement and the pure genius of the author to imagine it all. It really feels like you are being given an insight into something somewhat familiar, yet so alien.

Needless to say, this masterpiece gets five stars out of five. The movie rights have been sold but I think it would be impossible to truly bring it to the big screen. Like all the spider communications would have to be subtitled and would people want to look up close at spiders for so long.. It definitely wouldn’t be as good as the book.

Final thoughts on “Treason” Netflix Series

Well just a short post to keep my readers fully updated, I watched the final two and a half episodes of “Treason” earlier today. As you may remember I was already recommending you watch this series. Well, the final episodes do not disappoint.

This series gets all five stars out of five for me. Thankfully, it didn’t go down a rabbit hole. The story kept its focus and my engagement with the right mixture of intrigue and action. The characters were complex but just the right amount.

Also, the series is it’s own closed story. I’m not left thinking I’ve spent five hours watching a half story like you often get with Netflix.

Will there be a series 2? Quite possibly but it’ll have its own story. The Russian spy character has a lot of potential.

Read my first post if you want to know more.

Review of “Treason” – Netflix series

Hello, ladies and gentlemen, I do hope that you are all enjoying the holidays. I know I am. The thoughts of the drudgery of work, save me please. On a lighter note I started to watch this new Netflix series yesterday and am currently half way through it. I have to say that I am transfixed. It’s the first time in a while that I’ve been impressed by Netflix.

It tells the story of a a youngish (it is significant) M16 agent who finds himself catapulted to the position of C (overall in charge) when his boss is mysteriously poisoned.

Naturally for this type of tv program, all is not as it seems. Otherwise, sure why would we watch it? Our M16 agent may have been getting some assistance on his rise up through the ranks in the form of a Russian spy. And now it’s time for payback.

What follows is intrigue and suspense before a kidnapping ups everything a gear. No sex though and the violence is quite limited for this kind of thing. But, I like it.

These kind of series are prone to getting overly complicated with too many characters and side stories. I’ll keep you updated on whether it keeps its focus but in the meantime, you should give the first few episodes a try.

Review of The Duke (Film)

This film, that only recently became available on Sky Cinema, is a British comedy drama based on real life events. It was released to cinema in February 2022. It’s about a British taxi driver played by Jim Broadbent, self educated sixty year old Kempton Bunton who has recently been fired and steals a famous painting to try and further a socialist cause – that older persons shouldn’t have to pay their tv license. In that regard, it feels eerily contemporary.

It deals with the real life 1961 theft of “The Portrait of Wellington”. Generally, I love these films set in prior eras giving you a snapshot into what life was once like.

So is it any good? Well, yes and no. It’s quite slow to start but that does give you time to get to know the characters that bit better and what their different motivations are. Mr. Bunton’s daughter died a few years previously and he blames himself, trying to do good deeds to make some amends.

He is aided by his dutiful son who helps him in his exploits when he’s not chasing skirt.

The exasperated wife, who has buried her grief is played by played by Helen Mirren and she is brilliant as always. Just a pity role wasn’t a bit more challenging.

The film is quite funny at times, especially when it goes to trial. The intelligentsia meets the self taught man with his unusual answers to questions.

However, the film does have somewhat of a depressive feel to it for a comedy. Of course they have to show the why of what he did. And I don’t think it crosses the line into being a feel good film.

Therefore, I give this film three stars out of five.

Review of Top Gun: Maverick

Happy Christmas Day everyone! What can I say, I’m a 365 day kind of guy. Okay yes, I have no life.. On a happier note I saw this film a few days ago and said what the heck, I’ll write a review. It’s the first time I’ve done a film review in a while. Yes, I should be studying for an upcoming interview but that’s just so boring.

Everybody in their 40s remembers the original Top Gun. It was an iconic masterpiece and propelled Tom Cruise to the stratosphere. Goddamit, I think I even cried in parts. I was young, okay. So what about this sequel?

Well, as was expected, it was somewhat of a walk down memory lane. Though, I think there’s more action in this one. Maverick aka Tom Cruise is still the all-American hero. And the Americans are the good guys, you don’t question that. It’s taken for granted.

Before I watched the film, I read a review that said it was anti-woke. But Maverick has grown up somewhat. His love interest is more of a long-term thing now. Maybe he wants someone to look after him in his old age. I don’t know. There is a female pilot also, who is one of the best.

I thought that the first half of the film was spot on. The second started to lose realism and started to become fantasy with too many just in time saving moments. It was all too happy to make a truly, great film. Now, if a few characters had died and made the ultimate sacrifice, it could have been something special.

This film gets four stars from me.

Review of “The Kind Worth Killing” by Peter Swanson

Hello readers, I do hope you are all keeping good and are all ready for Christmas. This is my latest book review and it’s a real gem.

A psychological thriller of the highest order, this novel starts off with a chance encounter at an airport and then branches out into all the repercussions that flow from it. Fortunately for us, that means plenty of sex and deception, with some murder thrown in. The writing is fluid, precise and articulate. It is written in the first person perspective of each of the characters, which gives a powerful insight into their motivations.

“Everyone dies. What difference does it make if a few bad apples get pushed along a little sooner than God intended? And your wife, for example, seems like the kind worth killing.”

Well, when she puts it like that

When you meet a total stranger that you don’t expect to ever meet again, there’s an opportunity to discuss and say things, that perhaps would otherwise be left unsaid. Ted who runs his own business and is a millionaire many times over has discovered that his beautiful, glamorous but somewhat cold and calculating wife is having an affair with the contractor working on their new half finished house. He tells this to the attractive red haired woman he has just met at the airport and they discuss killing his wife.

Neither are sure just how serious the other is. They agree on a time and location to meet if they want to go ahead with it. They both show up.

But it is far from straightforward from there with many twists and turns. The red haired lady has many dark secrets and is not as random as she first appears.

It is not often that one finds yourself rooting for a psychopath but hey, it happens.

It’s a long read but there was always something to keep you flicking from one page to the next and I strongly recommend you read this novel. I give it five stars out of five. Unsurprisingly, it has already been made into a film but I’d say it’s a better read so don’t take the easy option..