Friday, September 03, 2010
The sharing of media
A quick word on life in Eire before moving on to the topic du jour. The summer returned (as everyone promised it would) right when the children went back to school. August 30th. And I feel awful peachy about having bought a paddling pool at the end of season sale in August for €2. At the time I never thought we'd use it... but figured €2 was worth the gamble. And here we are 2 weeks later, and 5 full days of swimming weather.
The other exciting news is we've hired our first babysitter, ever. She's the daughter of one of Brad's cycling crew... and I do hope Nikolai goes to sleep for her. But if this works out it may be a dawn of a new era... one where we both get to go out at night! The event that has spurned this occasion on is a birthday party on the M.V. Cill Airne. Round number b-days are a very big deal here.
Now, I have two television based posts itching in the background. One is about the unfortunate side effects of tv culture... but negative posts don't seem to be too popular, so I'll start with a post on Canadian and Irish media.
On the music front... I don't have much to say. Canadian music is very much played 'round here. And while music sharing with a friend, Brad was recently introduced to some Canadian bands he'd never heard of! On the Irish front, Lisa Hannigan is from Leixlip (our very near neighbour) that indie music fans may enjoy (she has her very own YouTube Channel). Aisling's partner, Jamie, is in the unsigned Black Eagle Charm. The Irish teen pop phenomenon seems to centre around Jedward. And if I cared enough... I could have gone down to Tescos for an album signing last month. Jedward may be big enough to have their own chocolate easter egg... but they're not big enough to avoid signing autographs in a small town supermarket.
As for television... all things Canadiana would be best displayed in Corner Gas. The Canadian humour may be lost on the Irish, but the small town humour is always funny. Another Canadian show that would provide a fairly accurate view of the North is Ice Road Truckers.
Before moving to Ireland, my mother brought home a DVD series from the library that she had been informed was the Ultimate Must See Irish TV Show, Amongst Women, by someone who was definitely not well informed. Father Ted is most definitely the favored Irish TV show by anyone who is not overly religious. I think that the small town humour would appeal to everyone (I love the Fair in the first episode). But most of the humour centers around the Catholic Church, and given the fact that between us Brad and I have not been to more than a handful of services, under any denomenation, we don't really find the send up of the church that funny. Before watching this, you should know the background behind the housekeeper's endless offering of tea. Apparently, during the hard times everyone would still offer visitors tea, even if they didn't have any tea. So visitors were required to refuse the first two times; if offered tea a third time, then you would know that they actually had tea to offer.
Black Books is actually a British program, but the lead character is from Navan (another close neighbour), so I'm going to count it as an Irish program. A lot of the jokes are fairly simple, but I end up laughing my head off everytime... so I'd have to recommend the program.
And I have two more recommendations: the CBC program Being Erica, which I like because I can really relate to Erica (Brad like's it because of the minor hint to a sci-fi/fantasy, at least enough to get over the fact it is essentially a "chic show") and the British No Heroics, about not-so-super heros.
Lastly, two children's program recommendations. I love them both because they 1) promise not to be over stimulating, 2) gauged at a level that my 2 year old can honestly comprehend, 3) they don't seem to have any marketing attached to them, and 4) you can stream them on You Tube.
The RTE program, Fluffy Gardens features simple storylines, really bad cartooning, and an Irish narrator who's world-wide accents make me laugh.
The Canadian Four Square, well actually only the dancing portion, which features national ballet dancers teaching children how to dance. It's very repetitive, interactive, and the dancers are a pleasure to watch.
The picture is of Brad cycling through the Sally Gap, with the Glenmacnass in the background. I would have included a cute picture of Nikolai's nakid butt running around the garden, but Brad wouldn't let me. So instead we get a picture of Brad panting at the top of the pass ;-)
...and further media suggestions are more than welcome...