Tag Archive | Twitter

Get Glued at the Clonmel Tweetup!

Get Glue Stickers

Get Glue Stickers

Get Glue was just one of the topics discussed at yesterday morning’s Tweetup in the Clonmel Park Hotel.  The badges above are some of the ‘rewards’ given to users for sharing their knowledge and recommendations on this fun social networking website, and those who were present yesterday will know just how I happened to end up with SO many of them! 😉

Conversation yesterday morning also centered around Facebook, Twitter, and how to get the best out of blogging software for your business (thanks to Pat Quirke for sharing his knowledge on that one).

It wasn’t all Tech though.  With the elections looming in the not too distant future, we spoke about campaigns and candidates, and local and national issues.

This get together arose from a Tweet posted on Monday that aimed to get Clonmel Tweeters to meet up.  Attendees were eager to have regular meetings and it was decided that these would take place on the second Friday of every month.

You don’t have to be a Twitter user to attend though.  If you’re living in or around Clonmel, or just passing through, and have an interest in networking and meeting people, then pop into the Clonmel Park Hotel for a coffee and a chat.  The next Tweetup will take place at 10AM on the 11th March!

You can follow the #clonmeltweetup tag for further information (until someone comes up with something shorter). 🙂

Snow and Humbugs

Hearts in the snow

Hearts in the snow

The disadvantage of having a steep driveway!

Bad weather means I can’t get the car in or out so I usually park on the road at the top.  I thought I’d make it in the driveway today after we’d had a bit of rain, but not so.  Above is the pattern the tyres left after the car slid down a bit before I abandoned the attempt and reversed back the way I came.

In other news…..

I tweeted earlier that Mark from our local TSPCA is looking for donations of dog/cat food, bedding, and other items that would be of assistance to them in looking after the animals that they’ve found, and thanks to all those who retweeted the message.  The TSPCA do a great job as do other animal rescue centres in treating and caring for abandoned or rescued dogs, cats, horses and other animals.

So I was shocked when one person tweeted to say I should give Mark directions to the local Aldi for cheap dog and cat food. He went on to say how charities should ‘plan properly instead of crisis management’ and how he didn’t like charities motivating through ‘stimulating guilt’.

God grant me patience, but how are charities meant to plan without appealing for help, especially now when so many are in need of assistance! It’s been a hard couple of years for everyone!

As it was, the TSPCA were meant to hold a church gate collection last weekend, to see them through the rest of the year, but an administrational error resulted in another organisation being issued a permit for the same weekend.  The entire story can be read on the South Tipp Today website.

We can all feel guilty if we’re not in a position to help, and that’s ok.  It’s impossible to help everyone. But, please, don’t begrudge the charities who are trying very hard to make ends meet.

Original message from Mark of the TSPCA:

The TSPCA urgently need dog & cat food,dog beds etc. If you can help call Mark on 0860609288. Thank You.

The Big Book of Hope


Big Book of Hope

I am really looking forward to curling up on the couch tomorrow evening, in front of a warm fire, wine bottle *cough* glass at my side, munchies at the ready, and making a start on The Big Book of Hope.  I’ve been waiting for a quiet moment to read it ever since being lucky enough to win a copy on Twitter a couple of weeks ago.

A ‘competition’ was run  on Twitter where users were asked to tweet a story of hope with the hashtag #bigbookofhope in order to win a copy of the book.  There were some amazing stories tweeted.

A few hours before the competition ended, I happened to be browsing photos of Ally’s debs and thinking of how the last 17 years had flown by.  She was so tiny (1lb 10 ozes), and so ill when she was born.  I had her baptised when she was two days old on the advice of her doctors.  It felt awful heading back home to Kildare, a week after her birth, and leaving her in an incubator in the ICU in The Coombe Women’s Hopsital in Dublin, connected to a ventilator, with tubes everywhere.


I’ll never forget the day the phone rang and a nurse at the hospital asked me to come in as Ally wasn’t expected to make it.  She’d developed a stomach bug overnight, a very serious complication for such a tiny baby.  All I could do was touch her hand through the opening in the incubator cover and watch and pray.  Someone was watching over her because she began to improve.  Slowly and steadily she gained weight and, four months later, weighing 5lbs, she was discharged from the hospital.


Ready to come home


Home at last!

While thinking back on this, a few lines popped into my head and I tweeted them as my story of hope.

Tweet #bigbookofhope

It’s always nice to win something and this book, in particular, is very special.  The book was launched in order to raise funds for the Hope Foundation, which works with the street children of Calcutta.  It contains lots of stories by well known figures such as Joseph O’Connor, Maeve Binchy, Evelyn Cusack, Denis O’Brien, Claudia Caroll, among others, and was compiled by Hazel Katherine Larkin and Vanessa O’Loughlin of Inkwell.

The Big Book of Hope can be bought online from Poolbeg.  There’s been so much talk on Twitter about it that I’d advise you to buy quickly! With so many fantastic contributors, this is a gem of a book and something to be treasured for years to come.

P.S.  Ally completed her Leaving Cert this year.  This is a photo of her heading off to her Debs last month.


Ally’s Debs Photo

Listowel Writers’ Festival


Finally I have an opportunity to write something about my few days in Listowel. I’ll try to keep this blog post short but I’ve so much that I want to say that it’ll be difficult.




I set off for Listowel for the Writers’ Festival last Wednesday afternoon.  I thought I’d never get going! By the time I’d dropped the girls to school, gone to work and done the shopping, it was 3:30 before I was on the road.  I hadn’t planned a route so it was a matter of hastily keying the details into the Sat Nav, sticking it onto the dashboard, throwing the cases into the car and tearing out the driveway (at a legal speed, of course)!

I don’t know when the Sat Nav was last updated but I was well on the way to Mallow when “Deirdre” (Jay and his friends christened her that) decided to ‘dong’ loudly at me and tell me that she was recalculating.  I looked at the screen and the motorway was non-existent.  She donged, loudly, about half a dozen times until I started to doubt myself and gave in and turned off the motorway.   I ended up on a narrow backroad, riddled with potholes (the road, not me), jerking along in second gear behind an extremely slow moving tractor and trailer.

When I eventually got into Mallow, Deirdre told me to take a right turn at the roundabout coming into the town.  Either Deirdre couldn’t tell her left from her right or Mallow Town Council have made a few changes recently, but if I’d turned right I would have been driving up a one way street.  I copped it just in time.  It’s a very small roundabout so not only was the driver coming down the one way street and trying to get onto the roundabout not very impressed with me, but neither were the three other drivers who decided to descend on the roundabout at that precise moment.  I managed to negotiate the rest of the town without incident and was grateful for the fact that I wouldn’t have to pass through it again in order to return home.

The drive down to Tralee was lovely.  I had a bit of a scare when the articulated truck in front of me braked hard after a tractor pulled out in front of it. (Why do people pull out in front of trucks??)  A cloud of smoke rose up from the road and I thought I was going to choke on the smell of rubber.   I’d been in tourist mode, taking time to admire the beautiful scenery as I drove, so I wasn’t too close to the truck, thankfully.

It surprised me that Killarney was such a short distance from Clonmel – a two hour drive at most – and I promised myself I’d visit the town more often.  The road was starting to get busy and when I reached Tralee there was a tailback of traffic trying to get out of the town on the far side.  The car had started to overheat a little so thankfully I wasn’t delayed too long.  The directions I’d gotten for the B&B (Teach an Phiobaire) were spot on and I was there in less than five minutes after leaving Tralee.


Teach an Phiobaire, Tralee, Co. Kerry

Teach an Phiobaire

I was greeted at the door by Patricia, a lovely friendly lady who hails from just outside the Clonmel area, herself.  She and her husband, Michael, operate the B&B and Michael  crafts Uilleann pipes in a workshop behind the house.  I was made very welcome during my stay there.  I had the most delicious bowl of fresh fruit every morning, and the full Irish breakfast was cooked to perfection! My room (en-suite with a really spacious shower) was clean, airy and bright and I slept soundly every night.

Teach an Phiobaire Bedroom

Teach an Phiobaire

Teach an Phiobaire Bathroom

Teach an Phiobaire


On the Wednesday evening I headed into the Listowel Arms Hotel for the official opening of Writers’ Week.  I arrived there around six o’clock.  It was buzzing…mobbed!!  I found a seat at the bar and had a lovely vegetarian lasagne and a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon before making my way to the function room where I presumed opening night events were taking place.   Once I’d gotten past the people who were standing at the door, I was a bit disappointed to see that I was watching the Listowel Singers perform on a large screen set up at one end of the room.  I considered it would have been rude to turn around and walk out so I stood and listened to them and then to Judge Bryan McMahon and Colm Tóibín (also on screen) before finally deciding to call it a night.

As I was on the way out of the hotel I noticed double doors, opened, at the side of the hotel.  There were people standing just inside them and I made my way over to see what was happening.  Lo and behold, this was the room where everything that was being shown on screen was actually taking place! The room was packed to capacity but I managed to squeeze myself in amongst those standing at the bar.  I didn’t stay long though.  It was so hot I thought I was going to pass out, so I pushed my way back through all the people that I’d disturbed on the way in.  A few of them raised their eyes to heaven, probably praying that I’d find my way out…..and stay out.  I was tempted to shout “Just kidding” and return to where I’d been standing.

I wandered around the hotel for another few minutes, half hoping that someone (anyone) would jump from one of the little clusters of people  that were gathered at the bar or around the registration table and shout “Hey, you look like you’re on your own, why don’t you join us and our merry crew?”  It didn’t happen.  So I went for a stroll around the town square and took a few photos before heading back to Teach an Phiobaire.


The first of three workshops with Sheila O’Flanagan took place on the Thursday morning at nine o’clock.  After dumping the car in a free carpark in the town I had ten minutes to find the Community Resource Centre where the workshop was to take place.  The Centre didn’t appear to be too far from the town, judging from the road layout on my map.  I asked a couple of locals, to be sure, but they didn’t know where it was.  A wine Ford Fiesta pulled up beside me with two middle aged ladies who asked me where they could find the Centre.  I told them I was trying to find it myself but I didn’t think it was too far as the last person I’d stopped had told me it was around the corner….somewhere.  They were right.  It was around the corner, a good ten minutes walk past the fire station (which I’d already circled twice), past Lidl (or was it Aldi), through the traffic lights, turn left, into a housing estate and on the left! As I went back to get my car the Ford Fiesta passed me twice, travelling a different direction each time.  I pulled up in the carpark outside the Resource Centre (or Listowel’s best kept secret as I now call it), at ten past nine.  The Fiesta was nowhere to be seen.

I arrived in the middle of introductions.  Being late meant that the only seat left was beside the author, herself – THE Sheila O’Flanagan! Go me! Go Sheila! Wow! I was so awestruck (and flustered and out of breath after my stressful journey and having to lug my camera and laptop bags into the room) that I missed about three of the introductions.  Unfortunately I zoned back in just in time to hear the words ‘accountant’, ‘solicitor’, ‘halfway through first novel’, ‘writing a trilogy’ and began to have a massive panic attack, wondering what I, as an amateur blogger, was doing there in the first place.  Thankfully the last two people to introduce themselves, before it was my turn, said they hadn’t written much, which cleared the way for me to say that I ‘dabble’.  What a word, eh? I am forever grateful to whoever invented the word ‘dabble’.  It encompasses so much! I write seriously, I blog, I scribble shopping lists, I ‘dabble’!

But, anyway, (I also digress), once introductions were made the workshop got underway.  We covered so much in that first workshop – ideas, theme, subplots, how/when to write.  We discussed and reviewed other books and what made them work, had coffee, got to know each other a bit better and the four hours were over before we knew it.


Abbeydorney Abbey

Abbeydorney Abbey

After dropping off my laptop at the B&B I took a bit of a spin around Slea Head and got a few photos of Abbeydorney Abbey on the way.  I knew I wouldn’t have time on the Friday or Saturday as there were so many speakers that I wanted to see and I didn’t want to come home without seeing some of the scenery.

Abbeydorney Abbey

Abbeydorney Abbey


Realising it had gotten quite late I drove back into Listowel for dinner ahead of Kate Adie’s talk at 7:30.  I opted for the chicken kiev at the Arms’ Bar with the obligatory (*cough*) glass of white wine and coffee.  When I’d finished I managed to get a space at the back of the already crowded function room and made the decision that I would not leave it so late in future to get seated.  Despite Kate’s talk being  witty and highly interesting and entertaining, the heat of the room about halfway through was making me feel distracted and tired.  I wasn’t too tired afterwards though to get my copy of her book signed and have my photo taken with her.

Kate Adie Listowel

Kate Adie

Outside the Listowel Arms the Abbeyfeale Drama Group were providing entertainment as part of the Literary Pub Trail.

Abbeyfeale Players

Abbeyfeale Drama Group, Literary Pub Trail, Listowel 2010

I followed them as far as Christy’s Bar, where they performed a scene from John B. Keane’s Sharon’s Grave, before returning to the B&B for the night.

Abbeyfeal Players - Sharon's Grave

Abbeyfeal Drama Group perform Sharon’s Grave at Listowel 2010

Christy's Listowel

Christy’s Bar, Listowel


The second workshop with Sheila O’Flanagan centred around editing.  Again, very informative, more discussion, lots of tips.  One thing that stuck in my mind was to watch out for repetition.  I have a habit of repeating particular words.  Reading back on this blog post so far I’d typed the word ‘thankfully’ about six times.  A lot of the time the word wasn’t even necessary.  Oh…and people don’t ‘giggle’ things.  They say what they have to say and then giggle, or they giggle first  THEN speak. This gave us a few laughs throughout the workshop.

I managed to get a photo of all of us and, of course, my copy of  ‘Dreaming of a Stranger’ signed by Sheila.

Sheila O'Flangan Listowel Workshop 2010

Sheila O’Flanagan, Fiction Writing Workshop, Listowel 2010


Paul O’Mahoney (@omaniblog) tweeted me at lunchtime on the Friday to say that he was in Lawlor’s with Patrick Stack (@destaic) if I wanted to have lunch with them.  Deirdre, Patrick’s daughter, was also there and I spent an enjoyable hour in their company.

Twitter is such a great asset in this regard.  I use Tweetdeck to keep tabs on upcoming events or place names and had had columns set up for the hashtag #LWW10 and for Listowel.  I had been following both Paul and Patrick but had also Tweeted @sunny100 as I’d seen her Tweeting that she was going to be in Listowel.

I met with @sunny100 purely by coincidence even though we’d swapped phone numbers via Twitter.  On the Saturday I had lunch in Lynch’s Bakery and Coffee Shop.  The only seat free was at a table where a lady was reading her paper.  She told me the seat was free and so I sat down.  We must have been sitting and chatting for about ten minutes when I mentioned that I was from Clonmel.

‘Are you Susan’ she asked.

‘I am’ I said.

‘I’m Sunny100’ she said.

What are the odds that out of all the hundreds of people milling around Listowel that weekend that the two of us would sit down at the same table in the same café? Amazing!

On Saturday evening I went to dinner in Allo’s Restaurant with Paul O’Mahoney and others for a lovely meal – perfect ending to my stay in Listowel.

So, thanks to Twitter I had company on several occasions during the festival, although I met with others on the workshop and during events also so I wouldn’t hesitate to go alone again.



Joseph O'Connor Listowel


While at Joseph O’Connor’s reading, I met Annette from Waterford.  We were queueing up to have our copies of ‘Ghost Light’ signed.   Annette said she had really enjoyed Joseph’s talk but had never read anything by him.  I told her that if it was the very next thing she did, she should get a copy of The Irish Male and read it.  I told her that I used to bring my copy of The Irish Male on the train with me to Dublin and, eventually, I had to leave it at home because I must have looked like a complete loon laughing to myself all the way to work.

Annette was kind enough to take my photo with Joseph O’Connor. 🙂

Joseph O'Connor, Listowel

Joseph O’Connor, Book signing, Listowel 2010

(The photograph above shows me apologising to Joseph O’Connor for taking so many photographs of him.  I’m serious!! Because I was trying to set the camera manually without using the flash (didn’t want to distract Joseph), it took a huge number of attempts for me to get a decent photo.  I have lots of photos with blurred Josephs, shaky Josephs, more than one Joseph, no Joseph…..unreal!)

I waited outside for Annette to get her book signed and to see how she’d gotten on.

“You’ll never guess what’s happened”, she said when she came out.

“What?” I asked.

“I asked Joseph O’Connor what the piece he was reading at the beginning was, because I really liked it, and he gave me his own copy of “The Irish Male”, she said, showing me the book.

Well I’d say my chin nearly hit my shoes!

“I don’t believe it” I said.  (I had difficulty refraining from screaming it actually).  “You lucky thing!”

“I know” she said, “I can’t believe it!”

Nor could I! I was overwhelmed by the fact that Joseph O’Connor was so lovely and so generous and had given his book away.  But a teeny part of me (well, no actually….a HUGE part of me) wanted to go back into him and tell him he should have given The Irish Male to me because I had read all about his secret world and his being at home and abroad and everywhere else! And, actually, I had to buy TWO copies of The Last of the Irish Males because I’d lent the first one and the person I’d lent it to had never returned it! And I’d queued for an hour to see him so I’d get the best seat and five people had skipped the queue because they came in the far door. And Sinead O’Connor had agreed with me about leaving the Irish Male at home because she had to stop bringing her own copy on the train too – she Tweeted me and told me that! Honest Injun!

Annette started to leaf through the pages and we both oohed and aahed at the handwritten notes on it.

“Of course”, I said, “you’ll have to get another copy.  You can’t read that one”.  I was ‘half’ joking.

“Of course I’m going to read this one” Annette said.  The book obsessed side of me shrieked inwardly at the thought of Joseph O’Connor’s page folds being undone and his handwritten notes being worn away but I tried to put the thought out of my mind by singing loudly inside my head!

Hunger was getting to me having eaten so early on in the day.  We walked up the road to the chipper.  Annette left the Irish Male on a table and her bag on the seat while we ordered curried chips at the counter.  I was horrified!  Someone could so easily have stuck their hand in the door and grabbed the Irish Male, or someone inside the chipper could have grabbed it and run away very quickly….. and never have been caught!! Hmmm……

Anyway, it was all very exciting and enjoyable and I was glad I’d met Annette.  I look forward to catching up with her at some stage in the future as she doesn’t live too far from me, otherwise I’ll probably see her at Writers’ Week 2011!


Eddie Hobbs, Listowel 2010

Eddie Hobbs, Listowel 2010

The man who has it all! Looks, brains, gorgeous Cork accent…..phew!! It’s no wonder I couldn’t get a decent photo of him!  Sure I was overcome with emotion at seeing him…..and at hearing what he had to say regarding mortgages!  However,  according to Mr. Hobbs it is not all doom and gloom.  “Are we absolutely screwed?” he asked, then said “We’re absolutely not!”.

Eddie’s talk took place on the Saturday in the Listowel Arms, my last event of Listowel Writers’ Week.  On Sunday morning I said goodbye to beautiful Kerry, threatened to return, and set off for Lahinch – another story!

Twitter Thursday!


I’m no Twitter expert BUT…..I decided to give my opinion anyway…..because I’m a woman and I CAN….and I’m allowed to…and I’d hate to be different….

First of all…. I know it’s not Thursday, but ‘Twitter Friday’ just didn’t have the same ring to it.

And I didn’t have anything to post about that began with an ‘F’! I could have used the letter ‘F’ a LOT last Wednesday….

I could have posted about the bank if there’d been an ‘A’ in the week, but there isn’t. They sent me out a cheque today as a ‘goodwill gesture’ so I’m feeling a little better than I was.

Anyway, this week’s Twitter Thursday (and there probably won’t BE a next one because, as a woman, it’s my prerogative to change my mind)  gives me an opportunity to air my frustration at:

The ‘MeMeMe’ Tweeter…

….who goes something like this:

blahdeeblah Couldn’t be arsed thanking you for the RT. Have you seen my Special Offers? Buy one sneaker, get the other free!

blahdeeblah I’m too busy promoting my Special Offers. Have you seen them?

blahdeeblah I’m hoping you’ll buy my Special Offers but I’m going to ignore you if you tweet me

blahdeeblah I have some Special Offers! Read my blog!

blahdeeblah I’m just going to tweet about me for a while. Look at my website!

blahdeeblah Why don’t you have a look at www.blahdeeblah.me for Special Offers

blahdeeblah Special Offers today at @blahdeeblah

blahdeeblah This Social Media Twitter thing is great. Just the thing for promoting my Special Offers.

Hello? *SOCIAL* Media??? Is there something wrong with the above picture? Isn’t the object of publicising a business through Twitter to develop your personal side as well as promote business? To establish consumer relations? Build up a trust with possible clientele?

Or am I missing something?

Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t expect a continuous two way conversation or a reply every time I tweet someone. I don’t expect to be followed either.  And I don’t ‘unfollow’ those who ‘unfollow’ me – a bit like cutting your nose off to spite your face, in my opinion.

I just wonder what they’re thinking about.


What a feeling!




I’ve actually come out with something that someone (and not just any old someone) has found worthy of retweeting!

All because I’m becoming increasingly pedantic in my old age!

This Twitter stuff rocks!

Websites on Twitter?


I’m getting more and more into this Twittering lark lately. I find it amusing that it’s so easy to strike up a short conversation with someone who I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to have said “hi” to in real life. And, you can bet, if I did meat them “IRL” that I probably wouldn’t have dared to greet them anyway. I’m still waiting to converse with Ryan Tubridy who seems to have done a legger since I started following him a couple of weeks ago. He’s probably gotten wind of my inane ramblings on a particular parenting website.

I’m also starting to realise the value of Twitter with regard to getting “known” and so I’ve created an account for itsinmyway.com. This is a website that was set up about a year or so ago and aimed at getting people to de-clutter by putting the things they no longer need on the site, either to sell, swap, or give away. It also has a section where tradespeople can advertise their services, and a general chat section. If you’re living in Ireland you should visit and see what’s on offer in your area.

I’m wondering what other websites are on Twitter? I’ve found plenty of links to other companies, but a lot of websites aren’t companies. If you know of any, please let me know.

I don’t understand it….


….this Twitter thing. What exactly is it? I registered with it a few weeks ago, but I’ll be fecked if I can understand it…all this following of people and them following you back. And is everyone really who they say they are? I started following Barack Obama and the next thing I see he’s actually reciprocated my following. I mean…why on earth would Barack Obama want to follow me….me, a small time housewife who goes by the name QueenofPots. I don’t get it. Would someone please explain to me in a “Twitter for Dummies” type manner, what exactly Twitter is?

Anyway, aside from trying to get my head around Twitter, I have been quite busy today.

I took Roxy to the vet this morning to get her stitches out. I was lucky to get there in time. For some reason I thought her appointment was at 10.30 with the result that I came home from the school run and proceeded to do a few things around the house. I spotted my diary lying on the table, picked it up to have a look, and nearly had a heart seizure when I realised that her appointment was for 9.30….and this was at 9.20. I had to fly down to the bedroom, tidy myself up, change my jumper, fly back up to the kitchen, grab Roxy’s lead, get her ready, get her loaded into the car, and off we went like the clappers!! (Not really sure if the word “clappers” these days is one of those words that I should avoid….it used to mean you travelled very fast, but I think it may mean something else now)

The removal of stitches went well, although Roxy insisted on barking non stop at the other more well behaved dogs down in the veterinary surgery. It was quite embarrassing. The other pooches, with the exception of one large Lassie type dog, were all so tiny. One little baby Scottie, in his owners arms, was literally shivering with the terror at the loud barking that Roxy was doing. When Roxy eventually lay down in front of me, she then insisted on carrying on with this loud mournful groaning and whining that the other dog owners found highly amusing.

But, anyway, she’s healed well, which is good, and she just needs to take things easy for another week or so. She will be getting a bath then as, at the moment, she is one manky mutt!

I sorted out a few bills during the morning and finally, have written a letter to my new pen friend in Toronto. God knows if she’ll write back. She’s only waiting two months for me to reply to her initial letter.

This afternoon then I had to do a home check for the local animal welfare organisation. It was my first one and went ok. Just something I’m going to try to help out with every now and again….in my spare time, of course.

After picking up the girls from school I had to fly down to the post office to post my “swap” parcel. Don’t ask. It’s just one of those things I do to amuse myself….a group of us on a certain website swap pressies with each other every now and again. It’s just a nice little thing to get involved in. So I posted it off, along with another couple of letters that I had lying in my bag, then headed down town to get my parents’ tickets for the play in two weeks time.

I am now going to make dinner while practising my lines for the play. I’m trying to remember what I have to do tomorrow, besides bring Bee to her own drama lessons which she hasn’t been to in over a month because of the Chicken Pox and various other different things that have been going on.