Mic Christopher Anniversary

Last night was the tenth anniversary gig for Mic Christopher, a musician I adore but never had the pleasure to meet or here live. His former band The Mary Janes, along with The Frames led a musical tribute in his honour in Vicar Street. Mic passed away tragically in Holland while on tour with the Waterboys, one of his favourite bands. He left behind some great music, including his solo album ‘skylarkin’, which was completed by his friends and released nine years ago on his first anniversary. Its one of the most beautiful Irish albums ever made.

A review of the four and a half hour gig (in aid of the Irish fragile x society ) wouldn’t do it any justice, so to sum it up, it was magical! Musicians and friends celebrating the life of their friend and hero, someone they respected and admired, and who will be fondly remembered. It was great to learn a lot more about Mic’s life and personality through the stories from his friends and his dad. It was an emotional night, which everybody involved should be so proud of. Mic would have been very proud too.

Set List:

Party Game (The Mary Janes) – Glen and MJs
Sham (The Mary Janes) – Eoin Glackin and MJs
Bored of Their Laughing (The Mary Janes) – Philip Marshall and MJs
Cut Me Loose (The Mary Janes) – Matthew Devereux and MJs
Listen Girl (Mic Christopher) – Matthew Devereux and Glen
I’ve Got Your Back (Mic Christopher) – The Frames and Conall Coleman
Traditional Jigs – Colm Mac Con Iomaire + 2 Others [Concertina and Uillean Pipes]
Pete Courtney and MJs
Eoin Dillon
Everything is Going to be Alright (poem) + John The Baptist (John Martyn) – Scullion with Colm and Dave
Eyelids Into Snow (Sonny Condell) – Scullion with Colm and Dave
I Need You (The Beatles) – Mark Geary and The Frames
This is the Sea (The Waterboys) – Mike Scott and The Frames
Fisherman’s Blues (The Waterboys) – Mike Scott and The Frames
Peter Murphy
Ken O’Neill (Hey Day Festival contest winner)
[Don’t know First name] Roche and her Son
Kids Song (Mic Christopher) – Interference, Mundy, The Frames, Levi + Isaac O’Sullivan and Annie Smith Short
Breaking Out (Interference) – Interference, Mundy and The Frames
Gold (Interference) – Interference and The Frames
Centurian (The Mary Janes) – Claire Nicolson
What a Curious Notion (Mic Christopher) – Nina Hynes
Who Knows Where Time Goes – Miriam Ingram
Hard Station (Paul Brady) – Paul Brady
Arthur McBride (Traditional) – Paul Brady
Poem – ‘He’s a true one fardadadididdle, He’s A True one and I tell you…’
Winesong (The Mary Janes) – Mundy and MJs
Lyin’ Down – Mundy and MJs
Part of Me (The Mary Janes) – Tony Fitz and MJs
Bones (The Mary Janes) – Aimee Christopher, Glen and MJs
The Story of an Artist (Daniel Johnston) – Jerry Fish
True Friends (Jerry Fish & The Mudbug Club) – Jerry Fish
And The Healing Has Begun (Van Morrison) – Acko, Swanny and The Frames
The One I Love (REM) – Canice Kenealy and The Frames
Friends (The Mary Janes) – Paddy Casey, The Frames and MJs
Heyday (Mic Christopher) – The Coronas and everyone else
Skylarkin’ (Mic Christopher) – The Frames and Matthew Devereux
You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere (Bob Dylan) – The Frames, Matt Devereux, Noreen O’Donnell, Acko, Levi + Isaac O’Sullivan and Annie Smith Short, Someone From Crowd
Forever Young (Bob Dylan) – Liam O Maonlai and everyone else
Wooden Heart (Elvis Presley) – Harry Christopher and The Frames
Suspicious Minds (Elvis Presley) – Harry Christopher and The Frames

As I watched the gig,
kept coming into my head. I’ve read it so many times but its still so beautiful.

Glor Tire

If you’ve been reading here for a while you might remember hearing about Nicky Kealy.
Last year he wrote a great
guest post
about working with his first guide dog Richie, and I wrote about going to his
celebrations in Carlow in May.
He’s been on TV a bit recently, and you might be able to keep him on it a bit longer if you keep reading, then if you live in Ireland or the UK and vote for him.

Glor Tire is a country and western music competition currently running on TG4. Nicky is one of nine singers participating. Wednesday is the beginning of the ilimination process, where two contestants leave the show each week, leaving three competing for the title of Glor Tire in the grand final.

You can watch the show at 10 30 PM on Wednesday on TG4. You can help to keep Nicky in the competition by texting glor7 to 53307 in Ireland or, glor7 to 81108 if your in Northern Ireland or the UK. Text any time and as often as you like, until he wins!

Writing for the sake of writing

My enthusiasm for bloggings sort of died recently. I thought I might as well mention a few things i’ve been doing and thinking about during the last week. Usually when I write an unplanned post like this, it tturns out long and all over the place, so be prepared!

This is my first blog from my new house, since my friends set up the internet last night. We had another great night here, (its turning into a Saturday night drinking tradition at this stage.) The house has been busy all week with visitors. I’ve been paying the last few debts, before I get into the regularity of bills and boring stuff every month. O J is working really well around the area, even though the road is scarily busy at times. Its great to be reminded of the freedom a guide dog brings, when you learn a new route and watch the dog becoming more confident with it each time. Its very easy to lift the dog’s harness handle each day and take the work that it does for granted. Dog’s need to be challenged just like we do, so I’d advise anyone to teach their dog a new route once in a while to keep both your interests and appreciation for each other up.

I’ve decided to take a break from doing shows at the radio station for a while, and my last show was broadcast this evening. I’m honestly not enjoying being there at the moment, and when that happens and your doing voluntary work – something that’s supposed to be fun then its time to go. Hopefully I’ll be back in Spring of next year, broadcasting live with the appropriate technology, and the enthusiasm for radio that I usually have.
I’m not doing anything dog training related at the moment. The course I was considering studying in January won’t happen for financial reasons. I’m listening to a great audiobook called ‘the loved dog’, which I’m really enjoying, and I think I’ll have to stick to books for another while. Any recommendations would be really appreciated, in audio or braille formats of course!
Its frustrating when your interested in things but seem to be getting nowhere with them. That’s sort of how I feel at the minute but I know I will return to radio and dog training more seriously when the time is right.

Speaking of books, I started reading ‘Round Ireland with a Fridge’ today while making dinner, and am probably 2 thirds the way through because its great fun!
‘The Hunger Games’ will be my next book I think, though I’ve no idea what to expect from it. I got David Blunket’s autobiography from the braille library even though I don’t remember ordering it.

I got a house phone in last week and two hours later my mobile died. I saw it coming for ages but refused to do anything about it. I’m using a brick of an old phone now, but it has lots of entertaining photos and sound clips on it so a few people are very happy that it has been ressorected. I’ve no real interest in Iphones but wonder if it would be my most sensible option to buy.

This week is going to be a busy one, with meetings tomorrow, a couple of busy days in work and celebrating (or lamenting) the fact that my nephew is thirteen on Thursday. That makes me feel ancient! It will be nice to make it to the weekend, when I can escape Donegal and the madness for a few days.

Guest Post: Plays With Puppies!

I’m delighted that this month’s guest post is from Patti, author of the excellent, entertaining, educational and resourceful blog
Plays With Puppies.
Thanks for the great post!

I am honored to write as a “guest blogger” on Jenny’s blog. In keeping with the flavor of my own blog, plays with puppies, I decided to offer a glimpse
of “a day in the life” of a puppy-raiser. Or, “what I went through so my puppy would behave at a Lions Club meeting.”

I am currently raising my 4th puppy for Leader Dogs for the Blind, a black Lab/Golden mix my husband named “Scout” (after the narrator from To Kill a Mockingbird).
Future Leader Dog (FLD) Scout is about 3 ½ months old and like all my other FLD puppies, she is a sweetie-pie.

However, as you will read, sometimes raising a puppy, even a sweetie-pie, can be a challenge!

In the end, the effort is always worth the trouble. FLD Scout learned a lesson, my patience and persistence were reinforced, and together we were able to
express our gratitude to those who so generously support the mission of enhancing the lives of the blind and visually impaired.


Rain. It started the night before and continued all day. Hard to get the puppy out for exercise, but I needed a “good” puppy that evening. If I’ve said
it once, I’ve said it a thousand times—A Tired Puppy is a Good Puppy.

Future Leader Dog (FLD) Scout and I were giving a presentation about Leader Dogs for the Blind that evening to a Lions Club “zone” meeting—a gathering of
local Lions Clubs. And Scout was acting like it was a full moon, even though it was almost new.

The corner of the blue dog bed in the living room that she’d been “suckling” now had a small hole in it, just enough for her to pluck out a bit of stuffing.
She’d become fascinated with all the computer cords under Andy’s desk. Although she wasn’t getting up on the couch anymore, she could still sometimes reach
the pillows.

I don’t wonder anymore how my mother always knew I was in to something, even though she was in the other room and I thought I was being quiet. Raising a
puppy means that sometimes you just can’t get anything else done.

So. Taking a long walk wasn’t attractive on this wet and windy day. I opted for obedience work inside. A couple of 15-20 minute sessions with Scout on-leash
practicing loose-leash heeling, stairs, sits, downs, stays, and come should have done it. Nope.

At about 3:30 in the afternoon, I braved the cold wet woods in an effort to really tire out my puppy. Base layers under rain gear topped with my Tilly hat
and we were off. An hour and a half and maybe only two miles later, drenched and finally tuckered out, we were home.

Andy was ready to send out a search party. He said, “You left and it was raining hard. Then it rained harder.”

“Miss Scout and I had a significant event,” I said.

I don’t know if she didn’t want to go back into the woods (the day before Andy and I took the dogs for a long, leisurely hike), or if she didn’t like the
rain (it never bothered her before), or if she just wasn’t interested in behaving, but most of the time I was either walking backwards or standing still
as Scout flailed against the leash and argued, sometimes flamboyantly. I thought our little noisemaker had learned to shut it off, but I was wrong. Squeals,
whines, barks, moans, howls—more than once I wondered if our pack of coyotes would appear to investigate!

It didn’t matter that we turned around to go home; Scout was just as unhappy. Somehow, I stayed calm and collected until FINALLY, up our last hill home,
Scout settled into an easy heel, leash loose at my side. Yay! Good puppy!

Once inside and dried off (somewhat), Scout waddled over to her mat and curled up with heavy eyelids.

Mission accomplished. 


It was still raining when we arrived for the Lions meeting, but FLD Scout “parked” and trotted comfortably next to me into the hotel and through the halls
to the conference room. She amazed everyone, and me too, when she greeted each Lion calmly enough to be petted.

I shared my experiences as a volunteer puppy-raiser and fielded thoughtful questions from the group. During my half-hour talk, FLD Scout settled in at my
side (after whimpering a few times under her breath).

“That’s her pouting stance,” I said as she sprawled out on the floor with her chin between her paws.

It was great to have a chance to thank the Lions Club members for their strong support of Leader Dogs for the Blind. FLD Scout and I will have another opportunity
soon—members of the Hale Lions Club took my contact information.

I only hope it isn’t on a rainy day! 


To learn more about the Lions Clubs and Leader Dogs for the Blind, visit this page:

Here is a link to my blog post about “A Tired Puppy is a Good Puppy”:

To hear my little noise-maker when she first came home with us, visit my blog post here:

If you are interested in what a “Tilly hat” is, check out this website: