Keith Barry Interview | Magic Man

Keith Barry blog 3

Keith Barry |Magic Man

Ahead of his first ever show in Sneem, Fergus Dennehy talks to the world famous magician and hypnotist that is Keith Barry about his new show entitled ‘HypnoMagick’, his love of fishing in Kerry, working in Hollywood with some of the worlds biggest actors and how he thinks that Donald Trump and his White House Staff are in fact master manipulators.

THROUGHOUT his stellar career, Ireland’s Keith Barry has been known by a great many titles. He’s been labelled a magician, a mentalist, hypnotist, brain hacker, an activist for the elderly and in more recent times, he’s even become Hollywood’s go-to resident magic consultant.

Ahead of his upcoming new show entitled ‘HypnoMagick’ in the Sneem Hotel on April 14, I was given the chance to interview the man of the hour and after listening to him speak about his love for his craft, I started to think that there is still one more item that can be added to the above list of titlesand that is that simply put, Keith Barry, is a man incredibly passionate about his craft and someone who is constantly driven to improve and expand upon his already burgeoning repertoire of skills.

Skills gained from a very young age and honed well into his teenage years, Keith admits that practising magic and hypnotiosm weren’t exactly the regular things that a boy his age should have been getting up to.

“I got a Paul Daniels magic set back when I was 5 or 6 and that kind of spawned my initial interest in the whole side of magic and then when I was 14 or 15, I was given another book on the subject called the ‘Klutz Book of Magic’ and this when I first started to perform in the public eye, using all the tricks from that book.”

“At the same time then, I got this little pamphlet on hypnosis called ‘Practical Hypnosis’ and so I started getting involved in that side of things aswell from here and in the years that followed, it all sort of escalated on from there into this amazing career that I have now.”

Keith’s show in Sneem on April 14 will be the first time that he’s performed his shows outside of the INEC in Killarney and he says that while he’s looking forward to hitting the road to new locations, he jokes that if his performing career doesn’t take off any further, he wouldn’t mind setlling down in some quiet Kerry location and fishing his days away.

“I’ve been down in the direction of Sneem a couple of times myself doing a spot of fishing and it’s a truly stunning area. It’s not beyond the real,s of possibility that I’ll spotted sporting a giant beard and living by a river fishing away,” he jokes.

“This will be our first official performance down there and we’re very much looking forward to it; we’ve always played in the Killarney area and we obviously love the INEC and performing there but we realised that Killarney might in reality be too far away for some people to travel to and so we just made the decision to hit the road to places that we’ve never been before.”

“As you can guess from the title ‘HypnoMagick’, the show is going to be divided up into a mixture of hypnotism, mentalism and magic; so parts of the show will involve me manipulating peoples sense of reality and what I like about the performance is that it doesn’t matter if you’re on the stage or in the audience, everybody at some point is going to be a part of the show.”

“Now, obviously I know that some people are nervous when they come to see a show such as mine that they might be landed on the stage with me or something, so I don’t force anybody to come up at all. I just invite people who want to come up and who are willing to give things a go, but still, that being said, it is still a hugely interactive show.”

“In one portion of the show, I basically just perform this mass experiment on all the people in the audience where they will hallucinate for ten seconds into believing that two people are dematerialising right in front of their eyes and it’s a magic trick that really just takes place in the minds of the audience and we’ve been posting the reactions of the crowds from other shows up on social media and you can actually see the people going temporarily insane,” he laughs.

“They can tell that the trick is only happening in their minds but they are powerless to stop it actually happening, even if you believe yourself to a cynic or a sceptic; another thing that I like to do and what people can expect is that every night under hypnosis, I create this ‘UFC Fight Night Conference’ where I hypnotise one person into believing that they are Conor McGregor and I hypnotise the other person into believing they are this Japanese UFC fighter, who can only speak Japanese.

“There is just going to be a load of mentalism throughout the night and people are going to have the opportunity to catch me out and win some money aswell so yeah, people are going to have a really fun time,” he says.

For those of us not in the loop on Keith’s latest exploits these past few years, a litle bit of research shows that the Waterford man has not taken not been resting on his laurels too much; even taking his renowned skills to the glitz and glamour of the Hollywood Hills where he has been busy consulting on the hit ‘Now You See Me’ trilogy, films which follow a group of talented magicians who operate a number of bank robberies and heists.

“I consulted on the first ‘Now You See Me Film’ for couple of weeks a number of years ago; I just looked at the script and I was working with actors such as Woody Harrelson and a number of others aswell.”

“The second film then, ‘Now You See Me 2’, I worked as a consultancy basis for a full twelve month period from day one of production and then I worked on the set for a full three months after this; I was working with all the actors on set to help them with the tricks, we wanted to use as little CGI as possible when it came to the tricks so I had to physically teach all the actors how to do them.”

“We were working on how to produce doves out of thin air, I taught Dave Franco and the rest of the cast how to properly throw and spin cards into a hat for this one big heist sequence at the end of the film and then when it came to the script, if I came up with an idea, I could approach the director and say ‘look, I think this would be a good addition here’ and then we’d go off and look at the practicalities of getting it all done.”

“I still pinch myself everyday because I managed to turn my hobby into my profession and I’ve been loving every minute of it all since I started; I’ve been very lucky to have worked with some amazing people and gotten to do some amazing things so yeah, it’s all been fantastic so far.”

Such is the student of psychology and behaviour that Keith Barry is, I cannot let him go without asking his opinion of the newest and most divisive figure in the world at the moment, American President, Donald Trump.

“He’s got all the hallmarks of a dictator, I suppose, for want of a better word; I mean, people think that he is this lone wolf kind of character that is operating against the grain, but what you have to realise is that he has this huge team behind him who, instead of discouraging his behaviour, are actually actively encouraging him to do this.” he said.

“His advisors are telling him to continue to behaviour I’m convinced because it was this type of action that got him elected; they know exactly what they are doing, they know that people follow certain language patterns and that they can influenced in certain ways,” he finished.

Keith’s ‘HypnoMagick’ show is set to be staged in Sneem Hotel on the night of April 14 with tickets available to buy from and they are being priced from €30 onwards.


Tim Landers Interview | Stronger Than Ever

Fresh from appearing on our television screens in Fair City, Fergus Dennehy talks to Tralee actor Tim Landers about the long and winding road he’s taken to where he is now, how he’s happier than he’s ever been and how sometimes, he will still run with excitement to rehearsals and auditions.

“Tralee people like to see one of their own doing well and hopefully by now, I’m considered one of Tralee’s own, I don’t know if I am or not.”

These are the modest words of Tralee’s resident actor extraordinaire, Tim Landers, one of the towns most well known and well liked faces and a man who for the past 15 years has lent his significant talents and stupendous energy and work ethic to almost all of the various stages that we here in Kerry and further afield have to offer.

Even now, after an acting career that has spanned almost 27 years and which has seen the Dublin born-turned Tralee local feature in Game of Thrones, Killinascully and more recently a prominent role in Fair City, Tim insists that he is only just getting started and that there is so much more to come from him in terms of honing his craft even further and striving to be the best actor that he can possibly be.

The origins of this amazing passion and love for his job can be seen in the circumstances of how he came to be on stage in the first place; a promising soccer player for at both League of Ireland and International level with his country and with a lucrative paid contract wirth Galway United in his hands, it only took the breaking of his leg and an off the cuff offer of a role in an amateur play back in 1990 for Tim to realise his love of the acting craft and for him to turn his back von what many would have considered to be a dream career. A dream career for many, but not for Tim, he had his own dream to pursue, that of acting.

“I was working in the Bank of Ireland in Galway from 1987 to 2002 and for the last five years there, I was very unhappy. I had been playing soccer but I broke my leg and I was out for a year so my friend went and introduced me to amateur drama and that was it for my soccer career, I had caught the acting bug,” said Tim, talking to The Kerryman on Thursday.

“In Galway, I did my first ever amateur play there way back in 1990, it was called ‘Seven Brides to Seven Brothers’ and I haven’t looked back since and I’ve done every piece that I could lay my hands on,” he laughs.

“I took a two year leave of absence from the bank and I moved away to England and I did a lot of pantomime work while over there and then when I came back from my leave, I worked at the bank for another three months and I found that I couldn’t do it any more and I just left; that life wasn’t for me and I just wanted to be an actor, that’s all that I wanted to do.”

tim-blog-quote“It was a massive leap of faith for me at the time, and my family weren’t sure at all what I was doing leaving such a well paid job but I can honestly say that right now I’m happier than I’ve ever been.”

‘Happier now than I’ve ever been’ is quite a statement to make, but what is it about acting that after all these years and all those hours of travelling and rejection that showbusiness is so famous/infamous for, what is it that has Tim, now at 50 years old, still so enthused and excited about going to rehearsals and being on stage?

“What I love about acting is being given the opportunity to step into someone else’s shoes and being allowed to present their view point; I might not be like that person but my job is try and become that person on stage and in front of an audience and I absolutely love that challenge and that feeling,” he says.

“When it comes to the adrenaline that I get from being on stage, let me put it like this; I’m a hardworking actor, I know that there’s infinitely more talented actors out there than I, but I know that I work very, very hard on my craft, I really do.”

“I watch movies every day, I watch the actors, I watch people in real life and how they are and how they interact with people and I think ‘I could do that in my next part’ so it’s like a job, I’m constantly learning and working to be better.”

“When you’ve worked on the character, you’ve broken down the piece that you are doing and then after a lot of long hours of practice and rehearsals, you get to go out on stage in front of an audience and someone goes ‘Wow, that was great’, that’s the rush, that’s the vindication for all the hard work I’ve put in and for me, there’s honestly no better feeling,” he says, the pride now obvious in his voice.

“I have to say that my first time on a stage back in 1990 is possibly one of my fondest memories from my career, I remember it being like getting hit in the face with this sheer buzz and happiness; back then I was used to performing on the soccer pitch but there I was now performing in front this audience and for them to come up to me afterwards and tell me that I did a great job was amazing.”

“I remember just going ‘oh man’ and this buzz and excitement washing over me; you get this buzz when you’re on stage and you get this hunger for acting and you want to do everything. I’m still like that now, I will run to rehearsals sometimes, that’s how excited I am to be doing this thing that I love; in my head, I’m thinking that this is my passion, this is what I want to be doing for the rest of my life,” he continues.

Fresh from his starring role on Fair City last week, a role in which he played the gangster-esque character Donnacha O’ Riordan and got to star alongside two of the shows most famous characters in Paul Brennan and Niamh Cassidy, Tim has nothing but good things to say about his experience working on the RTÉ show and he jokes that he will sit anxiously waiting by the phone to see if his character gets a returning role.

“When I was working in Galway and thinking of leaving my job there, I would sit at home after a days work and I’d be watching Fair City and I just thought to myself, ‘I would love to be on that show. I think I might just be good enough for that.’” he says reflecting on his excellent start to his year so far.

“Working on Fair City back in November, it was just a culmination of all my years of hard work for me; it was an absolute pleasure to work on the show, people were just so lovely up there. There was a lot of support from everyone there, banter between the scenes, they were respectful and engaging, I couldn’t have asked for more,” he admits.

Going from relecting on one of his proudest career moments to date, Tim goes on to look back on his proudest all round moment as an actor, a moment that he says that will stick with him for the rest of his days, the moment that he collected his AIMS award for ‘Best Comedian’ at the INEC for his role as mad German playwright, Franz Liebkin.

“When I won my AIMS award in the INEC back in 2014 and a thousand people rose up to their feet to applaud me and support me, that was my proudest moment as an actor, it’s something that I’ll never forget. It was just amazing and incredible.”

So, what now for the Tralee actor? What does the future hold for him?

“I’m currently rehearsing for my role as King Herod in the musical ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ and I can’t wait for rehearsals to begin, it’s going to be a lot of fun!”

We reach the end of our interview after about 20 minutes of talking and I ask Tim, if he can, to try and sum up his acting career and journey so far in a few words or a single sentence and his answer is wonderfully typical of the hardworking actor…

“Not finished, there’s much more to come,” he states.

Gavin James Interview | A Surreal Three Years

Gavin James Performs At O2 Shepherds Bush Empire

Gavin James in action.

GETTING Gavin James’s phone number for an interview ahead of his upcoming show in Killarney proves a lot tricker than both I and the staff at the INEC had anticipated; even the mans location is hard to nail down at first, with his social media first showing that he is in Biarritz, or is it Paris? He seems improbably to be in both locations!

After eventually tracking him down though, we get to chatting and it turns out that he’s already back from France and sitting in his flat in London, wearing a big fluffy jacket, he delightedly reliably informs me.

While the thought of this amount of travel is baffling to this humble writer from Tralee, this whirlwind and jet-setting lifestyle is certainly nothing new to Gavin though after what he describes as the “absolutely mental” and “surreal” past three years of his life which has seen him support huge acts such as Kodaline, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith and appear on both the Jimmy Kimmel and James Corden Shows.

This is certainly quite the journey for the 25 year old Dublin born singer but he quickly admits that while the last few years have been as unexcpected and amazing as they have been, he always looks forward to coming home and playing to Irish crowds, something which he says he can’t wait to do at the INEC on Saturday, February 18.

“Playing back home here in Ireland is always an amazing feeling, it’s like you’re just out there playing a few songs for your mates; the crowd are always so supportiveI first played the INEC acoustic room once a couple of years ago and I played the main room there with the Coronas about four years ago and again then with the Coronas again just before last Christmas, I think I jumped on stage to play one small song towards the end so this will be my fourth time playing there and I can’t wait” he says, the excitement clear in his voice.

“I absolutely love playing there, it’s always great fun for me! Going to Killarney and playing there is almost going on holiday, there’s always a relaxing atmosphere around the town; the crowd down there are always well into having a good time, it’s something that I’ve always noticed and loved about playing there.”

When asked about his fondest memories of the South Kerry town, the ‘Bitter Pill’ singer goes quiet for a second or two before letting out a loud sigh, saying that it’s hard to pick just one for him.

“My fondest memories? Oh man, that’s a tough one! If I had to pick, I would have to say that I remember that we crashed a wedding down there once, well we kind of crashed it, I mean, I think that we vaguely knew one guy that was maybe there and we just sort of went to this strangers wedding and at the end of the night there, we ended up on the ground with all these strangers doing that dance you do sitting down, you know? Rock the Boat, that’s the one and honestly, it was absolutely hilarious; that was great craic,” he continues.

When talking to someone of Gavin James stature, it’s hard to avoid the elephant in the room for too long and talk inevitably soon turns to the whirlwind success that he’s enjoyed over the past few years and most noticeably, THAT gig in his home city of Dublin, in a little known venue called Croke Park.

“Ah man, I can’t even describe how mental that was, I just couldn’t believe I was up there! All that I was thinking when I was playing to the crowd was ‘don’t mess up. don’t mess up. don’t mess up’,” he laughed.

“You can be on stage playing a song that you’ve played a hundred times before and suddenly your mind can drift to something completely random, like burritos or a movie you watched recently and then you remember where you are and it’s back to don’t mess up. don’t mess up. don’t mess up’,” he laughed again.

Honestly, It’s amazing the simplest things that you can forget when you are up on stage playing to thousands of people, it all becomes about ‘how do I play a g chord?’, the simplest things just become so huge,” he reflects.

“Thankfully though, the only thing I messed up in Croke Park was that I think I said the word ‘arse’ at a couple of points, I had a few people message me about that but that’s all the mistakes I made, so it was all good, thank god!,” he chuckled.

Reflecting more on these bizarre situations that he has found himself in over the past few years leads Gavin to reveal the even more bizarre way in which he was approached for these gigs.
“It’s a strange story how that whole situation came about because it all happened very quickly and nicely.”
“I had gone to see Ed [Sheeran] play a gig that he was doing for VH1 and he just shouted across the room, casual as anything, ‘Gav, you want to play Croke Park with me?’ and I was just standing there going ‘Eh, yeah! I’d love to…’

“That was literally the start of that whole situation, it’s so weird looking back on it but it was such a nice thing from Ed to ask me.”

“The likes of the James Corden show then when I did that, I was on tour with the Kodaline boys in the States and as I’d met James before, he’s a lovely, lovely lad. I thought I would just gave him a call and I asked him out for a pint. He couldn’t make it out unfortunately but he then he just asked me straight out if I wanted to play on his show the next night and of course, I said yes! I was supposed to be heading out with the lads but I just hopped straight into bed,” he laughed.

“It’s all kind of happened like that, these really weird little moments but I’ve enjoyed every single minute of it.”

On his upcoming show in Killarney, James says that people can expect a varied type of show on the night, but he says that one thing that he can guarantee is that people are going to have a great time.

“There’s going to be a few cnew songs that I’m going try out on the night so we’re going to have a little bit of fun with that; this is going to be the biggest show that I’ve done this year so far so I’m going to go all out on stage to enjoy myself.”

“It’s just going to be this weird show that will have a mixture of intimacy, madness and whole load of banter; it’ll be this emotional rollercoaster,” he laughs.

“People will be laughing and crying in equal measure,” he joked.

“Ah, it will just be mad craic on the night and people are going to be leaving and they’ll be buzzing. We’re going to have a great night,” he finished.

Eddi Reader Interview | ‘I feel like I’m coming home’

London Folk And Roots Festival - Eddi Reader

Eddi Reader in full flow.

Ah, It’s so great to hear your voice and to be reminded just a little of Kerry and its people”

These are the first words that the award winning singer/songwriter and 80’s legend Eddi Reader says to me when she answers the phone to me late last Friday afternoon and it’s right then I know that I’ve chosen to right person to talk to this week.

Eddi, who along with her then-band ‘Fairground Attraction’ gained worlwide attention back in 1988 and 1989 for the song ‘Perfect’, a song which she jokingly now refers to as her ‘calling card’, tells me that she is delighted to take my call as it means that that her upcoming show in Siamsa Tíre on February 19 is getting ever closer, a prospect that she admits is all too exciting.

“Oh, I can’t wait to play there again, we’ll be a player short on the night there as one our members is heading away to Japan but I’m sure that we’ll still be able to make a good noise anyway!”she says in her pleasant sounding, almost lyrical, Scottish accent.

The Glasgow born singer has achieved much in her career; she has been awarded an MBE, won two BRIT Awards back in the 80’s and had a UK number one and two with an album and song respectively. For all this success though and all the things she has achieved and the places that she has been to, talking to her on the phone, Eddi only has room in her mind for one topic and that is her beloved Tralee grandmother Margaret Nammock, or as she was more affectionately called her, Madge.

“Well she lived in what I think was Lower Abbey street in Tralee and although she left there way back in the 1920’s, she never stopped telling me about this wonderful place that she called Tralee; I never heard anything but great things about Tralee from my granny Madge. She talked about the town as if it was a Walt Disney magical kingdom,” letting out a loud laugh at the memory.

“She told me about the magic water at the Spa and how she would walk up Rock Street to put some money on the dogs at the track; I just absolutely loved her stories about Tralee, I couldn’t get enough of them, I gobbled them up! She made the town sound like it was some sort of paradise, and so to be able to come back here again and play to my family and relatives here in Siamsa Tíre, it’s a wonderful wonderful feeling.”

Speaking of family, Eddi tells me that there are still a few Nammocks and Roches scattered around Tralee town, some in the Connolly Park area, name dropping Danny and Jimmy Burns specifically as she goes and she says that she will always make the effort to seek them out when she is over here. They remind of her of that special connection she shared with her beloved Madge.

“Granny Madge was 87 when she passed away and I still miss her to this day. I’ve still got all of her records that she kept throughout her life. She wrote to me all throughout my own life when I was growing up; I left home at 18 and she wrote to me, when I lived in London she wrote to me and all through the shenanigans of my youth, she always wrote to me; her advice to me was always so lovely and to this day, I still cherish all of those cards and letters she sent.”

“I had such a strong and special connection to her and Tralee and I think that she, more than any other relative, instilled in me a wonder about the world and that where she came from and grew up was somewhere different and this gave me such wanderlust to see and do so many different things in life,” she continued.

“She gave me some of her Tralee-ness, some of her Kerry-ness and I’m not really sure what it is but certainly when I’m on my way to Kerry and Tralee, I feel like I’m coming home”

Eddi tells me that her upcoming show in Siamsa is her third or fourth time playing the famous venue and she lets out a loud laugh when she remembers her first time playing there, when just her family showed up to watch her play before jokingly praying that people actually turn up to see this time,

“The second time that I played there, there was a few more people there,” she laughed.

“There had been a lot more hype in the papers and a few more people had heard of me so that probably helped! Suddenly there suddenly these two coach loads of people arriving to see me play; it was almost like I was being ‘claimed’ as a Tralee person. A lot of distant Nammocks came to see me play and I even had Elvis there aswell, you know the guy from Tralee who impersonates Elvis; I thought that my Dad would be so proud of me, I had Elvis in the building,” she laughed.

Aside from her upcoming visit, my mind turns to another interest of Eddi’s, poltics. When doing a small bit of research for the interview, my attention was brought to Eddi’s Twitter page, a place where I learn that aside from being a talented singer/writer, she is a staunch activist for everything Scotland with regards to Brexit and Scottish Independence and so I knew that I would admonish myself if I did not at least ask her opinion on the current political situation happening across the pond.

“Brexit, I’ve got no idea about how it’s all going to unfold; all I know is that Scotland, like Ireland all those years ago, we are in a position where it is kind of being ignored.”

“We, the Scottish, have to figure this position out; is this okay? What can we do to change this? Hopefully we can get people around a table with a cup of tea and debate it out like adults with a bit of common sense; you just can’t be sure of what’s going to happen though.”

My talk with Eddi lasted over half an hour and we discussed much more than can be written here, but her final note is one that I feel is a fitting way to end this story:

“When I sing at Siamsa, I feel like I’m singing to that my Granny and that is a very feeling for me. I feel like I’m home”.

The show is set for 8pm at Siamsa Tíre on Sunday, February 19; tickets are €23/ €21 and are available from Siamsa Tíre.

Welcome home, Eddi.

My Awkward Life | The Angry Taxi Driver


My Awkward Life | The Angry Taxi Driver

This woeful tale of a country fool in the big city begins on a cold and windy crowded street in Dublin in December.

Readers may experience a slight lack of interest and an overwhelming sense of underwhelming disappointment.

Except you, George, you’re free to go.

Here we go, I hope.

Let’s take it right from the beginning, shall we?

I’m in Dublin to meet up with my old college friends for what has become our traditional yearly reunion.

Things have so far gone swimmingly except for a slightly rickety and very squeaky luggage compartment on the train up (trust me when I say that it was loud, so very loud).

I’ve successfully navigated my way through the Dublin streets, catching two Bulbasurs and a Magnemite might I add (no biggie), and I make my way to The Spire where I’ve arranged to meet my friend, Will, another country bumpkin like myself, before heading to catch up with the rest of the gang.

After a few tourist short minutes underneath the giant monument in which I embrace my inner tourist and stare open mouthedly (gawking, if you will) up at the almost impossibly tall and dizzying point at the top (see terrible photo below), I decide to ring Will and see where he is.


The top of The Spire; photography, at its finest.

Feeling like a some sort of dealer with my large duffel bag on the ground between my legs (there’s a dirty joke in there somewhere, I’m sure of it), I see Will approaching through the crowd and after a few minutes of chatting, we head towards the taxi rank and here is where all semblance of suave, sophisticayed adulthood maturity begins to unravel…rapidly.

There are two taxi’s in the rank when we arrive and after taking a quick glance at the ahem, anatomy and make of the taxi at the head of the queue, I quickly (for reasons which shall become embarssingly clear rather soon) make the executive decision to go to the second taxi in the queue.

BIG MISTAKE, it would appear.

The driver of the second taxi nods his head in the direction of the car in front of him and says rather quickly:

“Eh lads, yous should definitely get into that car lads.”

Feeling rather perplexed, I turn back the taxi at the head of the queue and am greeted with the very gruff and angry looking face of the driver of the front car.

“What’s wrong with MY car?!” he demands in a think Dublin accent, catching Will and I completely off guard, not knowing whether he is joking or not.

“Ehhhh….” I stutter.

“Do yous have a problem with me or my car?!”he asks again, his voice rougher and tougher than before.

“No, no! Of course not, we just happened to go for the second one…” I say rather sheepishly back, my voice catching once or twice.

“Are yous sure?! Are yous sure you don’t have a problem or yous don’t like the look of this car?”he says as we place our bags into the back seat and he sits back into the drivers chair.

“No, sir, it was just random really.” I reply sheepishly again, lying through my teeth, not wanting to reveal the true embarrassing reason why I chose to ignore his car.

What follows are some of the most awkward few minutes that have ever been experienced in a taxi…

“Can you take us to Terenure please?” I mumble, trying to re-establish that sacred bond of driver/passenger status quo that had been lost.

No response.

It’s this address, I try again: reading him out a text from my phone.

Again, no response.

I sit back slowy in my seat, unsure of whether he will actually now take us to where we are going or whether we’ll be taken to some unknown location and deposited there to fend for ourselves, such was this mans disdain for us after our dismissal of his car.

Slowly but surely though, he types the address into his sat-nav and we move off, joining up with the citie’s traffic and although still with a knot of anxiety in my stomach, I lean back in my seat and exhale slightly.

‘Bullet, dodged’ I think to myself smugly, when suddenly:

“So, why didn’t yous choose my car? Do ye have a problem with it or with me?”

Oh god.

Here it comes, the unescapable inquisition.

‘I’ll have to tell him’ I think.

‘There’s nothing else that I can say…’

‘It’s so ludicrous he’ll have to believe me…’

“Well, I mbbbmbmbbmb…” I say quietly before trailing off.

“What’s that? I missed what you said,” he responds.

‘Here goes nothing, the embarrassing truth,’ I resign myself inwardly.  

“Well, it’s just…that…I don’t really like…” I say.

“Go on…” the driver says, now looking at me in the rear view mirror.

“I don’t like the sliding side doors on taxi’s..they’re tricky!” I blurt out, leaving a breath of shame lingering in the air.



Right, umm, yeah.

“Are yous fookin’ serious?” he says, his eyes probing me through the mirror, but now with a hint of humour and incredulity about them.

“Yes…” I reply quietly, “they can be awkward to get open…and so when I saw your door, I just said to myself that to avoid any potential fumbling and grabbing, that we’d get just avoid the sliding doors altogther, okay? That’s the truth.”

Silence again.


“You’s are a fookin’ idiot” he answered before breaking into laughter.

Thus followed the single longest taxi ride of my short life culminating in the driver remaking to me as I got ready to leave the car:

“Do yous need a hand with that sliding door? They can be awkward.”





My Awkward Life | The Crow



My Awkward Life | The Crow

To my friends and loyal readers; AKA: one man, his dog Lionel and a girl from Eyeries; I have a confession to make: 

I write this post as a broken man; an ornithological hit-man, a disrupter of the Darwinian Theory and an enemy of the bird kingdom.  

This is My Awkward Life. 

Let’s just put it straight out there; I killed a crow today, by accident of course. 

I ran straight over him with my car, I heard a thump and then he was gone; I saw his lifeless body lying in the road through my rear-view mirror. 

It’s the first time that I’ve ever killed anything bigger than a spider and so, it came as a bit of a shock to my system. 

At first, I just thought that he was one of those prankster dare-devil crows that you sometimes meet; you know the ones; they wait until the last possible second to fly away to safety and you’re just left a big sweaty nervous mess behind the wheel. 

Those bastards. 

Unfortunately, for this particular crow though, he left it just a little too late to try and escape. 

Cool+side+of+the+pillow_ef150a_3247055I was on my way back from a work event; the sun was shining, the radio was blaring out summer songs and the breeze was as cool as the other side of the pillow. 

Yep, life was pretty grand.

I rounded the corner and that’s when I saw him.

The Crow. 

He was just standing there in the middle of my lane, doing crow things on his crow time. 

I kept thinking that he’d move, that’d he’d fly out of the way…

He didn’t. 

Legitimately, no word of a lie, I shouted the following sentence out loud to myself in my car:

“Get out of the way crow! You have to move! I’m going to hit you!” 

Picture that in your head, eh?

With cars coming past me on the other side of the road; I couldn’t maneuver out of the way, I could only position the middle of my car over him and hope that I’d pass harmlessly over…

This simple plan would have worked too if it hadn’t been for his meddling brain; poor stupid fool tried to up and fly away while by car was over him:





This fainest of noises could be heard as loud as a church bell inside my head as I quickly glanced in the rear-view mirror to check what had happened…

He was still alive when I looked back, trying in vain to move his wings and get off the road; it was not to be though and before I turned the corner and out of sight…I saw him stop moving altogether. 

Then, to show that the universe has either got some terrible timing or a sick sense of humour; this is actually line from the song that played as I caught my last glimpse of the bird:

“All these things that I have done” – The Killers. 

Heck, you really can’t write this stuff.

So now, my watch begins in this latest and saddest of all the episodes of My Awkward Life.

RIP, Mr Crow. 


Current Mood.

Hello darkness, my old friend. 



My Awkward Life | The Failed Cup Of Anything


My Awkward Life | The Failed Cup of Anything

This is not a terrific tale; this is certainly not even a tea-rrific tale; this is just a story of one man, a supermarket, bitter disappointment and a lesson learnt.

This is My Awkward Life. 

This tale of failure and social ineptitude begins, as a lot of my tales do, with me heading to some sort of fancy/non fancy occasion for work. 

The post on Facebook said that the event was due to start at 11am and so being the time diligent turtle that I am, I arrived bang on time at 11:15.

You know what they say; a wizard is never late, nor is he early, he arrives precisely when he means to.

Clearly in my head, I’ve replaced ‘wizard’ with ‘Fergus’ but you know, just run with it okay? 

No? Come on? Be cool…

Deal? Deal! 



Now, after realising that the actual official ribbon cutting for the shop wouldn’t be happening until 12, I had now got time to kill and so I meandered into town, fancying a nice cup of tea. 

Roysh, so to save myself from potential embarrassment, I won’t be naming the shop I was in; but here’s how my tale of failure goes:

I enter the shop and pass the security guard; it’s awkward as I had only been in this shop ten minutes previously to buy some pistachio nuts and now he’s probably thinking:

‘Hang on a second, why is that guy back so soon?’

It probably doesn’t help the situation that as I pass him, I’m rummaging through the bag of the aforementioned pistachios that I have stored in my pocket; I look shifty and suspicious, no question about it.

‘Play it cool, Dennehy, just play it cool; just find the tea counter and you’ll be golden’ I reassure myself. 

Looking like a confused sheep that has been suddenly roped into running for president and is now standing on a stage in front of the worlds press; I stand still for a second, looking bewildered as I try to glance around nonchalantly for where the magical and much desired cup of tea resides. 

‘AHA! Thar she blows!’ I cheer inwardly as I spy my white whale in the far corner. 

Heading over, with a renewed spring in my step, my heart sinks as the glossy sign above the station reads ‘GOURMET COFFEE’.

‘Curses!’ I mutter under my breath, my dislike of coffee has come back to bite me, it seems. 


Right, what to do now?

On the verge of quitting this quest altogether, I spy an option for ‘Hot Chocolate’ on one of the machines and my hope is renewed. 

Soon, after struggling for quite a few minutes to pull the paper cup from its holder, I press the option for ‘Hot Chocolate’ and we’re away in a hat and I’m already looking forward to the delicious chocolate warmth…


‘Why is there only milk pouring into my cup?’ 

‘Maybe they put the milk in first and the chocolate afterwards?’ 

‘That’s a lot of milk…’ 

‘Any second now, it has to…’ I reason with myself, expecting at any second now to see that brown liquid chocolate add itself to my drink.



The machine finishes its job and I’m just left staring at my drink.

‘Oh, God’ I whisper, staring at the now completely full large cup of frothy, curdling milk in my hands. 

‘This is not at all what I wanted; what do I do with THIS?’ 

That’s when I see the sign:


Well that explains it…

Realising that there’s someone behind me, I move away from the machine and cradle my drink in my hands, as if I actually care about it. 

Now very conscious of every employee in the store that could be watching me and that cursed security guard on my tale, I try to act as cool and ‘loosey goosey’ as possible.


Yes, yes we can.

‘Maybe, if I drink it, then they’ll think that I actually got the right drink and that I know what I’m doing’ I think to myself. 

‘No! You fool, you haven’t even paid for it…you can’t just go drink-stealing drinks…plus…it’s a cup of horrible looking steamed milk…’ my inner logic bites back.

‘Could I just pour it down a drain?’ I think, looking longingly over at the coffee machine drains;

‘They could work….or cause a blockage…or they could be decorative’ I ponder inwardly.

Looking around, I realise that I have only one other solution at this point…

So my friends; this is the tale of why there is now a large cup of frothy, curdling milk hidden deep in the recesses of the cold drink section of a certain shop here in town.

To the employee that finds it; know that I tried my best and I apologise. 

I left the shop empty handed and trudged back to the event; thirsty, disappointed but a little wiser nonetheless. 


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