All posts tagged fiddle

Catch my Disease

Published July 28, 2009 by Dorothy
I like learning new things.Once I’ve learned something new,it gives me the impression that my day was not wasted,that I am indeed going forward,although I’m not quite sure towards where I’m headed yet.
I like to estimate how hard I’ve worked the past week by looking at the amount of rosin dust accumulated at the end of my fingerboard;I like the pine scent of the sticky block of rosin when I slide it along my bow.
I like the ensemble of squeaky fiddles not played quite right yet,the tunes played completely wrong and the subsequent collapses into fits of laughter.I like being not quite good in a space where it doesn’t really matter.
I like the rare times when I get it right;they are precious accomplishments,if small,and I save them like gems,the warm feeling for rainy days.

You’d understand,I didn’t want to give up on the end of the fiddle term,despite having to come from Kilkenny,which is two hours away by bus,for the lessons.

So last week I was quite confident I was going to be able to come in the morning,do a bit of shopping,go to my lesson, and then stay over at some friend’s place for the night.

After various shenanigans,the “staying at friend’s place” part of the plan didn’t work out (Too long to explain) let’s just say that we kept trying to contact each other but failed to succeed,me having no mobile phone didn’t help the situation.(have to buy a new one very soon)

After walking around in circles wheeling my one wheeled suitcase and carrying my fiddle case on my  back,I decided to go to a hostel.A jolly hostel manager greeted me and asked me what brought me to Dublin.The whole story was too long to explain and I couldn’t think of any way to explain it that didn’t make me sound like a tool, so I simply pointed at the fiddle case and said it was music related.

“Ooooh,you’re a musician! Why not do a gig at the hostel one week end?!”

Sure,I can if you really like the Kerry Polka,because it’s pretty much all I can play,I thought,but I said I couldn’t do gigs yet because I had to “Perfect my musical abilities”.

“Ah,you’re too modest” he said merrily before he handed me the room keys.

Two of five students had actually given up on fiddle,so was quite glad I had decided to come. Only three of us left.Was a nicer,but more intensive class,that was.Got a chance to chat with other two girls.Still didn’t chat a lot with Sinead, Sinead very small,very smily and very gentle but still frightens the life out of us pupils for some reason, maybe it’s the speed at which she can play reels.

After managing a reasonable set of Polkas, we said goodbye and I headed back to hostel.Spent a few hours on the internet and almost falling asleep with head on computer keoboard,went to bed.

Woke up with tiny little red dots on my arm. Dots dissapeared quickly.Forgot all about it and went on with my day.

The next morning,tiny dots had reapeared in whole new ginourmous reedition.whole arm was red,inflated and itchy;had huge boil on left cheek.Am still on anti allergy tablets and cream,but thankfully it has all gone down.

What you wouldn’t do for fiddle class!Now if that’s not dedication!

I had a msn message from the friend with whom I was supposed to stay overnight.I logged in today and saw it.He’d sent it when I wasn’t online.

The_Irishman’s_balanced_diet_iz_a_beer_in_each_hand said:

Buy yourself a new phone you eejit 🙂

Maybe it’s all down to that.

Catch my disease,a cool song by Aussie guy Ben Lee.

Have a nice day!





Hello Goodbye

Published July 19, 2009 by Dorothy

For a few reasons, I had to leave my job in Dublin two weeks early,ahd to leave the baby Beatles…and so that means I’m back to where it all started, staying in aul’ Firoda with Little Fairy,Little Elf, mammy, daddy and the new supernanny who is nice and comes fom Italy.Iz great.Was missing them.

But, have decided am still going to go back to Dublin for fiddle lessons because

a) Don’t want to dissapear on Sinead 🙂

b) Am impatient to learn Slip Jigs and Reels

c) Fiddle lesson is the only place where I can play awful and do shite for two hours, and still get out feeling like I’m the musician of the century.All thanks to Sinead’s clever way to cricticise our performances “Yeah, the beginning was a bit funny and the end not so good,and the middle not exactly right yet, but overall, you’re all awesome, I’ve never heard a class play so well,that was wonderful,well done!”

Other news of the week

Had news from two of my three BFFs.Me and BFFs met in Australia,and now I live in Ireland, Marguerite in Korea,and Jennifer in Slovaquia.Still,even though we’re far apart,it just feels good to know they exist somewhere in the world.So am seeing BFF Marguerite this summer as we should both be in France at the same time for more than a week, ad this is an event about as rare as solar eclipses.If Jennifer can be there it would be just great! (but realistic probability of us three being on the same continent at the same time:about the same as winning tattslotto, one in several millions).

Had also occasion to talk to uncle Phil, our Aussie uncle,on the phone.Was three in the morning on a saturday night, and so was half asleep (coming back from clubbing) but still was very good to talk to him.Missing Australia loads.Loving Ireland,though.Dunno.

We’re going to west Cork with fellow nanny Do and her host family.They have a new three month old little Thumbelina baby I can’t wait to meet!!And I’m hoping to get some Irish dancing tips from six years old and four years old girls before I start in September. (Girls had already given me a crash lesson last year and I was quite hopeless at it but never mind.I’m made for Irish dancing, I mean,look at me, I have those ringlets naturally, I don’t even need to wear a wig like all these girls 😆 )

Anyway! Hello Goodbye by the Beatles!

Have a nice day 🙂


Spectacular Spectacular…

Published July 3, 2009 by Dorothy

…was the fiddle ensemble at our first group lesson today.Haha!

the teacher

Is very pleasant.

Read teacher’s biography on  myspace a few days before I started.Has been playing fiddle since before she could walk,has a PHDZXY in musicology,has played for the Queen of England the Marajah of Somethingland and still has patience for us bunch of eejit who can’t play A and G in a row because it’s too hard with the fingers.Very nice.Not at all as scary as her biography.Am liking her.

The pupils

All seem quite nice and were all just as terrified as I was.Am not the only one who’s fingers are shaking on the fingerboard!Only one guy there.All seemed quite good at fiddle, though, and they had no sellotape cheats on their fingerboard like I did:)  at least not until the end of the lesson.

the lesson

At the beginning,teacher had to tune all the fiddles so not much was going on.Was trying to chat us up but everyone was too terrified to respond in other ways than mutters and clattering teeth and borborygms.Communication didn’t get much better between teacher and pupils despite teacher’s claims that she did not intend to bite any of us.Am really going to make a conversation effort next time.

Have learned how not to play my D’s flat, and that’s all because of the position of my thumb 🙂 am pretty happy with that,and am doing lots of practice!Really looking forward to lessons now,and learning my first reel!

Overall,a lot of screechy sounds and discreet winces from Sinead “Hem,yeah,almost there!Well done!”

haha awesome fun!

Here’s the Spectacular Spectacular song from the Musical Moulin Rouge.Janey,haven’t seen that film in ages,makes me feel so nostalgic.Anyway.

Stay tuned!

M xx

Wind of change

Published May 22, 2009 by Dorothy

Hello faithful readers ! You were wondering, hey, you were biting your nails wondering where I had gone and why I wasn’t writing anymore! (Or more probably you didn’t give two s***s,ha).

Anyway,I will tell you what I have been up to, so many new things are happening, I don’t know where to start.

1) Move to Dublin: Mission accomplished.

I have three kiddies to mind as a job for the summer.As you will have noticed,I hardly ever give real names on that blog, I think nicknames are more funky and I want to preserve the people I write about’s privacy.These boys have supercool rock dudes hairdo,a bit like the Beatles! so there, I will nickname the eldest Ringo and the next Macca.For the little baby boy he reminds me of Tommy Pickles from the rugrats when he hangs around in his tee and little nappy, so let’s call him Tommy Pickles.

New  house is superclose to the city centre,close enough to go to Eason for no reason everyday (Am addicted to bookshop.Not sure it is healthy) ,although not close enough to have drunk people barfing and wrestling under my window at 3am every week end.Cool.

2) Sign up for music school:Mission accomplished.

I am a bit nervous about that one.Given that I get all nervous and can’t play properly when just one person is in the room with me,I wonder how I will do in front of a whole class ? Just hope I won’t make too much of an eejit out of myself, is all 🙂 but am totally excited about having an excuse to walk around the streets with the fiddle case again (have to find myself some sticker saying stuff like “Ballyshannon Tradfest” or “Fiddler’s green Festival 2006” and stick them on the fiddle case so everyone will think I’m so cool and I have been doing gigs all other the place).

3)Transferring all stuff from Castlecomer to Dublin:Misson accomplished

Janey Mack!Who knew I had so much stuff ? I thought it would all fit in a couple of suitcases, well:error.

I had three suitcases, and no,all  my  stuff didn’t fit in those, so I had to use two ginormous rubbish bags to pack the rest. Aren’t I travelling in style, I ask you ? Anyway, the main thing is, it’s all here,even though I’ kinda wondering how am I going to move it again in August when I have to.I’m going to invest in Hermes luggage.I’m so not using the rubbish bags again.

4)Waxing upper lip:mission failed.

I have had the project to wax that annoying mini moustache for a while but was a bit worried.I bought a pack of facial waxing strips 3973538 years ago and carried it around with me, but never found it in me to use it; finally, after having a look at myself  in the mirror today and fingering the thick fur above my lip, I decided I’d wax it , and right now.

On the box they say it’s easy to use.Just apply the strip, warm wax with your hand,pull, and the hair is gone.Well you know what, I did everything they said,applied the stip, warmed, pulled, and the hair wasn’t gone.The wax, on the other hand, had come off the strip and was stuck on my face.I tried rubbing it off, but no, wouldn’t come off.

Went in the shower.Directed the jet of red hot water on the wax.Was able to rub a micro bit off.wax kinda melted and spread to my cheek.Half my face was now covered in blue wax.Came out the shower.Looked in the mirror.Made mental note- I’d do a good smurf (schtroumf), have to audition if ever Hollywood makes a film version.This could be my big break.No kidding. )

Finally almost all the wax came off after about an hour of relentless rubbing.Skin was now red instead of blue, and still had bizarre shine about it. Was kind of an improvement though. “You’re all sticky” Macca said when he saw me.”Have you been eating sweets ?”. Decided I would go to a professional next time I want to try waxing.

Now I’m not sure you’ve noticed but have been naming my posts after songs.Wind of change is from the band Scorpions-have a listen,

Nice day to you!

M xx

Almost seems (too late to turn)

Published April 28, 2009 by Dorothy

This week’s update:


Fiddle wise:


Actually I’m not that dreadful at it. I can almost manage to play all my scale without screechy noises, and I can do the Kerry polka without mistakes if I play it really slow.Though I’m still far from playing in front of millions of fans,I’m still quite pleased with my achievement.I’m hoping I’ll be good enough to attend a workshop at the Frankie Kennedy Christmas school this winter.That would be grand.


Feeling wise:


Kinda depressed actually.A bit excited.Confused.Don’t know.


I mean, I’m excited about starting music lessons in Dublin and driving lessons, and being able to go out and drink Guiness till my legs wobble under me and I lose control of my arms and then I have to be thrown out of the pub because I keep spilling my drinks on other people. (I’m actually joking, it never happened, or maybe that one teeny weeny time when I was about sixteen but it doesn’t count, does it ? You’re drunk after one drink at sixteen so it’s not like I was a binge drinker or anything.)


But I’m going to miss the little head poking in my bedroom on my day off, “Hellooooooo!Color with me! Come sitting room!”.And I’m also going to miss singing and dancing around the kitchen with the children who can’t stop laughing and telling me I’m a silly billy( I’ll probably still play Altan and dance around singing made up Irish words on my own but you know, it’s not the same without the little monkeydoos.)And I’m definitely going to miss watching Dora the Explorer and talking with the telly, and dancing like a big idiot, singing stuff in Spanish.


Now is like the winter sun, its light flickers, flimsy;it is not strong enough to warm up the air around me.


When will spring come,bringing renewal with it,when will warmth pierce through ?





Moving wise:


Done a bit more packing and cleaned under the bed.Half of my stuff was under the bed actually,so I’m glad I had the idea to look at it now and not left it to the day before I leave at three o’clock in the morning (which is what I usually would do).It took me ages to take everything out.


Still have loads of stuff to sort out,though.Will see what happens.



Novel wise:


Have made a words count this afternoon, and have almost written 21000 words, not counting the spaces, and not counting the handwritten drafts, so I’m pretty rapt with that.I have managed to write the timeline for the first three chapter.Writer’s block is gone!I think it was all due to stress because of the big move.







At night I can’t really sleep.I think and think and summon up memories from that eventful past year.

The time when we went for a walk in the country and we met these cows and the three of us spoke cow to them”MOOOOO!”.

And in the boat in West Cork, little Fairy and I holding on to each other in fright!

And I could still feel the cool little hands grabbing face between them “And I missed you when you were in Dublin”.I smiled to myself in the dark. “I’ll miss you too” I said.


Published April 21, 2009 by Dorothy

We went to a classic cars exhibition on Sunday with mammy daddy and the two little ones, in two of daddy’s classic sportscars.


What was good:


  • We had (in my opinion) the coolest cars,only we looked a little bit uncool when the batteries in one of them went flat and we had to get out and push it uphill.Mammy and I tried to help but we were quite useless.We pushed it like, tree inches forward and it was the end of it, we were panting and gagging and in need of cold drinks.So daddy had to beg a grandad who was only there to take a few pictures of the engine, to push the car with him. The car wouldn’t start.the only solution was to push it downhill but with all the visitors cars driving up, it was impossible. Had to abandon ship temporarily until people stopped coming in
  • It was sunny.
  • The cars were actually quite cool (not that I know anything about cars.Except how to scare the mickey out of the passengers when I drive one.)



What wasn’t so good:


  • Sitting on the hobbit-sized backseat of the classic Porsche. It took me approximately half an hour to get in and hallf an hour to get out.I had to duck my head and my chin was resting on my knees,and I reckon if I had had one more Twix that morning,I wouldn’t have fitted in.
  • The unfriendliness of the staff at the event. Spent the afternoon getting roared at. It started when we arrived and when daddy discovered he was a few bobs short for the entry fee and asked if he could get out of the queue and back to town to find an ATM: “No ye can’t turn round here ye have ter go forward!just gimme whatever cash ye got an get outa me way!Those bleedin tourists, they’d put years on ye!” And then I thought they were going to squish us when the car broke down in the middle of the tracks! the same lady came running as soom as she saw us getting out to push the car: “Lookit!” she yelled “Ye’re not parkin here ye mob of aul eejits!”


That was funny alltogether!


Today, day off, but not off the fiddle and the whistle! The Jig I’m learning to play on the whistle is starting to come together, and on the fiddle well, nothing is coming together really, I’m practising, to learn the fingercharts.So I just kind of play all the notes one after the other, over and over again.It is like a tune, really, it could be called “The Firoda Jig-Have you a headache yet ?-I bet Mammy regrets giving me a fiddle lesson”


Haha! Available in all good music stores soon!


After my practice I went to have a packet of Mr Tayto crisps (I won’t fit at the back of the classic car at all soon), I was crunching away thinking these crisps had some kind of unusual flavour, when I smelled my hands and realised my hands were still dusted with rosin (The resin thingy you use to powder your bow when you play the fiddle) Eww!

Well actually when I think of it, it wasn’t so bad.I’m thinking of writing to Mr Tayto and suggesting they lauch a new roisin flavour.It might be a hit with musicians.


Allright, I’ll head off!




Stay tuned.

M xx

Rainy day

Published April 17, 2009 by Dorothy

having a stay at home day today.Quite depressing-don’t know why-maybe the weather.

And you know what, there’s nothing like music practice to take your mind of things.I was practicing fiddle in the sitting room (After 397354785 hours I could play a rather terrible version of the britches full of stitches) and I was so busy worrying about my wrist inclination and my bowing and I-hope-nobody-is-going to-walk-in-on-me-and hear-that-dreadful-screeching rhat I forgot about being depressed.

here is a nice song to ornament your day,

You will notice Mairead is not playing the fiddle on that video. I can’t listen to Mairead playing the fiddle since I’ve started learning, without feeling incredibly lame 😆

ha!only kidding.I’m still addicted to Imeall!

Stay tuned, lads!

M xx

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