Nostalgia is back?

Nostalgia. It’s everywhere, especially in the form of sweet shops. they seem to be popping up everywhere. We have  a  new one in Carlow and a little 8 year old took to the Tubridy Show last week to tell everyone about her new “Pop-up” shop, guess what it was?

Yes, a sweet shop with all those nostalgic sweeties for you to buy.

One thing I get nostalgic about is my time in university-U.C.D-the best college ever. I shared a house with some great girls, 7 of us up on North Avenue, Mount Merrion. How lucky were we? £34 a week! A 10 minute walk to the stuent bar..sorry, lectures and the majority of us are still great friends. don’t think there is anything sinister about the fact I said “the majority of are great friends” but some of the girlies disappeared. Stephanie Burke aka Burpie and Fionnuala aka dry soup eater extraordinaire, where are you now?

There was something else brilliant about the Mount Merrion/Stillorgan area. No, not the 80s shopping centre or O’ Dwyer’s Pub.

The best thing about Stillorgan that I still dream about is a chip shop. Not just any chip shop. This was C.Aprille’s of Stillorgan.

They make chips the other ship shops can only dream about making. Super thick, slightly crunchy on the outside and soft in the inside. We would walk down to Stillorgan and buy a big bag with a tub of the best garlic mayo and walk back home. God, life was simple.

But, all is not lost. you can still avail of these chips. C. Aprile’s is still in business! Don’t get confused by the one in Portabello. Not the same. Get your self down to Stillorgan and bag yourself a bag of the “Best chips in Ireland awarded by Rozz”

As I was saying nostalgia is everywhere, usually nostalgia takes a year, maybe a few decades to come back. That’s what makes it truly nostalgic, doesn’t it?

Not in Carlow.

I was out walking through the area of Askea (The wannabe D4 of Carlow) last week and came across a new chip shop. It’s Billy Bunter’s, it closed down about a year or 2 ago and it did bloody good chips too. We were slightly disappointed when it closed down but about a million other chip shops seemed to open and we forgot about it.

You can imagine my joy when I saw that Billy Bunter’s was back, baby!

With a big, colourful and boasting sign saying” Billy Bunter’s is back!”

It’s not nostalgic.

They have good chips but it’s no C.Aprile’s.

Pain of the muscles: It’s Boot Camp!

Last week, we spent the weekend in the Monart Spa resort, eating, drinking and spa-ing (if that’s a word!)

It was heavenly…

So, I have decided to shatter all blissful and peaceful memories of that time by joining one of these “boot camps”. Apparently, they are the new black.

You know all about them. They involved an over the top fit lady/man making you run, jump and carry heavy things outside for an hour whilst shouting things like ” You wouldn’t be here if you didn’t need to” “It’s difficult cos you need to be here”

It damages your confidence and your muscle. But, I know it’s good for me. Eire Og is a Carlow-famed sports/GAA club that built a rather fabulous gym last year. Their emphasis is on keeping fit in as many ways as possible, outside of the gym.

They have built a pretty amazing outdoor training area, see the photo here.

They run these boot camps throughout the year and this one ends in a graduation and BBQ.

So, I’ll “fess” up, the aim of this was not to get fit or to meet people. I have a much more simple aim.

Burgers, sausages and wine.

I’ll let you know how it works out but next appointment with pain is the running club this Saturday. Join us at 9 a.m. at Eire Og, if you dare!

Opera for Carlow is back but not in the way you think!

We were all invited to the premiere of the first viewing of “Opera for Carlow” performance in GBS Theatre last week.

It started out all civilised in the Carpe Diem bar, sipping fizzy sodas and ended in the one and only chippy left open in Carlow Town on a Wednesday night.( See, Brian, told you I’d find one!)

It was amazing to see and hear all the hard work we had put in over the year. It looked great! I couldn’t believe how well it was and envied anyone who had witnessed the live performance! Afterwards, there was yummy desserts by Lennons alongside cups of tea. Most of headed back to Carpe Diem, where the tea and coffee continued into the late, late hours.

I knew it was time to go home when I attempted to lead an army of 8 followers through the strangely empty streets of Carlow in search of chips. I led my followers to an establishment that I cannot remember the name of. The chips were not hand cut but they did provide garlic mayo, which is a thumbs up.

I left a smaller gathering of mixed sopranos and tenor/bass outside the chip shop, fighting over beans cooking on a hot stove or something.

I miss you, guys! If you really find it hard to quell those “Opera” hormones, then listen out to Lyric FM this Friday, 1st July at 7 PM. Excite! You can check out audio boo at

Also, if you need your addicition to John or Brian fulfilled( and who doesnt? ;)) then head to the Galway Film Fleadh. John has written a script for a film in his spare time. It’s called “Behold the Lamb”. It looks great, see it here at So, if you happen to be in Galway around the 9th July, it may be nice to pop in there. Unfortunately, I have not received confirmation that Fergal has made any films so don’t expect to see him there!

Thanks, GBH and everyone who made our special premiere night happen!

How can we get people to shop more in Carlow Town?

Okay, a simple question for you.
Imagine your town has an annual festival of arts and culture every year and its quite popular, actually.
This festival improves every year, adding quality acts and events for children to adults alike.
One feature it always has is a French Market, full of fresh foods and drink stalls. Smelly cheese, sauces, baklava, organic BBQ, you get the vibe?
Ethnic clothes and jewellery, fortune tellers and flowers, herbs and plants
The people associate this festival with this market and look forward to it every year. They might spend a Saturday or Sunday looking around this market, soaking it up and then venture into local cafes and restaurants, grab some lunch and coffee. Possibilities are endless, would you not think?

This year, in Carlow, it was decided not to have the French Market as it impacts on local business.

I hear the French market is on in Newbridge this weekend, I might go up there instead and pay for parking for the day, have a coffee or two, have my lunch, check out the shopping centre while I’m at it and soak up the market atmosphere

The simple question is “Was this a clever decision for the local businesses to make in Carlow?”



The best brown bread you will ever eat:Carlow Farmers’ Market

I love Mike’s bread and the Truffle Fairy’s Chocolate Brownie at the  Carlow Farmers’ Market

See the photo above. That bread is the best bread you will EVER eat. I can place that bet with you. If I’m wrong, you have no taste buds or just want to win a bet by telling lies. The photo does the bread no justice. A lump of cucumber, some Tesco Hummus and on the bread board is the best chocolate brownie you will EVER taste.


These 2 items can be purchased at our Farmers’ Market every Saturday 9-2. If you arrive after 11, these items will surely be gone. The people of Carlow will have scoffed them all. Who could blame them?

Mike’s Brown Bread

Hennessey’s Deli and Cafe only sells yummy food. Fact.

One of those yummy foods is Mike’s Brown Bread. Mike and Trish own Hennesey’s and make all the afore mentioned yummy foods. This bread tastes like cake and bread at the same time. It has seeds, wheatgerm and other nice, secret ingredients. You will not stop until you have finished the whole loaf. That’s a promise. Mike doesn’t know the recipe. He tells me he just throws stuff in a bowl. I don’t believe a word of it. A bread like this had to be planned. He makes 21 loaves for the Farmers’ Market. nce, they’re gone, they’re gone.

Truffle Fairy’s Chocolate Brownies

One of these brownies cost €3.50. At first, I was shocked. I gave out. I complained to simon. How could this be? Ireland is a rip-off. I then tasted the brownie.

That was it.

Complaints finished.

You can find this chocolate fairy at and in Kilkenny, Dun Laoghaire and loads of other places.

Precious, our cat is AWOL for 9 days now….

We miss Precious. I miss the abuse that Simon used to throw at him, jokingly. I miss his purrs and cuddles.

Come back, smelly.

It’s worse that we have no proof that he won’t come back. Spotted 2 different cats in our garden in the last week. But, no Precious.

I hope he returns.

Tidy town of Carlow is covered in champagne

So, we have done it again! The town of Carlow is officially the tidiest in Ireland. Brilliant.

Yesterday (Monday), the town was announced as the cleanest in Ireland for 2010, beating 53 towns and cities to the post in the survey of litter levels by Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) organisation.

The Cathaoirleach of Carlow Town Council Walter Lacey was delighted with this news. So delighted that a picture published in the Carlow Nationalist involved a bottle of champagne being sprayed everywhere. Hardly the tidiest thing to do, is it now, lads? You can see the picture here! Don’t waste good sparkling!

Eddie Rocket’s Diner coming to Carlow! EXCITE!

Yes, let’s get it out there.

I am sad. I am sad because of two things.

The first is that when I was walking through Carlow Town today, I saw an ad saying “Eddie Rocket’s is coming soon!”.

I was over hyped! The second reason you may think I’m sad is because I’m devoting a blog post to this!

Anyway, there’s a history to this. I love Eddie Rocket’s, though the Counter burger has pipped Eddie Rocket’s in “Best Burger according to Rozzie” The Garlic-Cheese fries, Oreo Chocolate malt. chicken tenders and their new sweet potato fries are the best!

And guess what? They’re coming to Carlow! It’s good for the town but not for my waistline. Resolve will be needed!

I find it strange that it’s coming to the town after all these years, we have a Rip-off version in the town, it basically has copied their menu and tried to put an Irish slant on it. You know what this is if you’re from Carlow. I think this may spell the end for this particular eaterie!

You will find the new Eddie Rocket’s at Court Place, the top of Tullow Street in beside the new HSE and Bank of Ireland( and my fave hairdressers, Berlin and face beautician for Shellac, Butterfly Beauty)

We should meet up for a malt.

Snow in Carlow-why not tell everyone about it?

Oh yip, it’s snowing!

In Carlow.

In our estate.

Look at my back garden, it is just full of snow and in fact I am stuck in the middle of a snow storm right now.

I was amused by the amount of “It’s snowing here” updates on Facebook and Twitter over the weekend.Everyone had a story to tell. Their snow was the best snow, the most special snow and they wanted everyone to know about it. Except, it was snowing everywhere so I wasn’t really interested in looking at millions of snowy photos of gardens or snow men. I had them too!

As if Irish people don’t remember the incident from last winter. Remember? We were stuck in the house for about 3 weeks with nothing to do but eat and watch tv. It got boring.

So, why the excitement now? I suppose it beats writing about the economy, the IMF or the cuts to wages etc.

Hmmm, I feel a snowy article and update coming on…

Alan Leech teaches me how to sing from right down in your belly! Part 2 of Opera for Carlow

Last night, the Opera for Carlow group met in a big favourite of real Carlovians-The Seven Oaks Hotel.
The room was packed full of people I didn’t know or recognise from the last workshop, which I love!
Alan Leech was our tutor for this workshop, he was a big energy ball of professional and highly talented music! Speaking to others afterwards, we all thoroughly enjoyed the session and would love to have him back to Carlow. But, he is a busy tenor!
Alan Leech gave us an energetic workshop and covered things like posture, breathing, pronunciation and emphasis on words. He taught us a new song, which was a good idea. It always nice to go away with a product of some so to work in your own time.
There was a great mix of people from all ages and backgrounds and we are back with a different tutor next week to some more ensemble training.
I’m wondering when we meet the Aspiro choir or what part they will take in it. Also, I think a bit more about the auditioning and the main roles needs to be discussed. The people I was chatting with last night seem to be under the illusion that they will all get a shot at singing solo if they like. I’m sure it doesn’t work like this. I presume you have to be pretty good, experienced and trained to sing solo at an opera! At the minute, I’m happy to be part of something new that’s helping me build my non existent skills in music!