Sean\’s Sicily

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Archive for June 2008


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Talking to some people at work today about Lisbon, and everyone who is voting no are voting no for all the wrong reasons – anger about the management of the health service, ignorance of the treaty, incomprehension, anti-Fianna Fail sentiments and whatnot.

What they don’t have is a coherent reason for voting no. This demonstrates the huge success of the anti-treaty side. Anti-Treaty side, now there’s an evocative term, bringing to mind the Civil War and it’s lasting, painful legacy.

Unfortunately the anti-treaty side on Lisbon are all bloody crackpots, loons, racists and Shinners.

If they all started a political party, it’d be a cross between Monster Raving Looney Party and Eamon Dunphy! Who the hell would vote for them? It’d be all postal votes from the prisons and loony bins.

Speaking of Dunphy, he’s voting no to, and why? Because Bertie Ahern is voting yes. Now there’s a reason to junk an important treaty. But this from a man who can’t get into work sober on a regular basis, so forget about him.

But hey, he’s not alone! Libertas have been banging on about support from industrialists – while IBEC, the employers association, is pumping for a Yes vote, some shady military-industrial-complex people are supporting the No. Oh yeah, the Shinners are in great company there!

What this shows is that the mainstream political parties are completely, utterly, and totally, out of touch with the people. They’re fat and complacent. They should be, after FF got returned to power the last time. And if there’s a No vote, it’s because those self-same damned parties couldn’t organise a piss-up in a brewery.

The “Yes” campaign was so goddamned incompetent it makes me mad. Instead of explaining what’s going on, the city is full of posters of Gay bloody Mitchell smiling on a lamp-post with “Good for us”…

“Good for us”? WHAT’S GOOD FOR US? Explain, you freaking moron!

While Libertas are putting out posters lying about European Armies, the Yes campaign is putting up posters of inanly smiling politicos with dumb fucking slogans. Where’s the passion? Where’s the conviction? Gay Mitchell MEP is sitting on a big fat MEP paycheck every month and he can’t even work up to getting himself on TV tearing into Libertas and the Shinners?

I find myself agreeing with the Workers Solidarity Party. I hate that this important Treaty has been hidden in legalese, that EU governments don’t trust their citizens enough to present the Treaty to them and instead are passing it via parliamentary processes.

But that’s not going to stop me. I’ll be voting “Yes”, and why?
Well, it could be because I want Ireland to be top-dog for a while, the guys that disarmed the ticking timebomb, the ones that everyone owes BIG TIME. It could be because after 10 or 15 years of EU-funded propserity, I want the EU to work better. It could be because as someone who lives in another EU country, I need things to work better.

But I’d be lying. I’m voting yes becuase that tosspot Dunphy is voting no.

I’m voting Yes, because it’s Us or Them, and I don’t want to be one of Them, because they’re all crackpot two-bit nobodies. And I might be a crackpot two-bit nobody, but I’m not one of THEM!

So don’t be a freaking moron. Vote “Yes”, shut up, and sit down.

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Written by seancasaidhe

June 11, 2008 at 4:45 pm

Jam Biscuits

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Usually when I go into a cafe or bar to get something to eat, I can’t recall the names of the various items on offer. It’s a common problem, I expect. I get by, but a usual conversation might be;

Me: “Two of these please…”
Shop person “What, these sfincione? Anything else?”
Me: “Yes, three of those things..”
Shop person “Cornetti with lemon cream? Ok, anything else?”
Me: “Two of these…”
Shop Person “Grafa with nutella? Is that all?”

so on and so forth. It seems every time I ask for something in any of the myriad sweet things that Sicilians indulge in every day, in any of Palermo’s gazillion bread or sweet shops, it’s got some historically important name and I’m just a stupid foreigner because I don’t know what that name is.

So today I decided to learn something new, and whilst ordering some biscuits with jam on, I asked “Excuse me, but what do you call these?”

And I was met with a blank look; “What, these? You call ’em biscuits with jam!”

I give up.

Written by seancasaidhe

June 5, 2008 at 10:45 am

Work-Life Balance

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Working on a Sunday on a Bank Holiday weekend. That sucks, right?
Well it should do – but it doesn’t. That’s largely because I’m working over VPN and Remote Desktopping on a virtual PC hosted in the Dublin office! But what’s new? That’s my daily grind.

Piazza Marzamemi

Well, I’m not in the office, I’m in Marzamemi.

No, not here! I’m sitting in the cortile at the back of Sonia’s house. We’ve cleaned up all the weeds and set up a little table for my laptop, and here I am, shaded by a big fig tree and my biggest worries are the slow connection, the bloody mosquitoes, and how much food Ignazio is going to try to stuff me with at lunch!

Sonia has a post about how fantastic Marzamemi used to be when she was young, and how the old house is getting a bit run-down, with no-one in it from one end of the year to the next. We spent all of Saturday cleaning it up (the downstairs at least, the upstairs belongs to her uncle). Ignazio had to get a couple of guys in during the week to repair some of the walls due to salt damp, as Marzamemi is below sea level and the old houses here are built of some sort of sandy-concrete concoction. Then her parents arrived with Erika and a couple of new mattresses for the beds, and so this morning I’m free to get on with some work that’s waiting for me in Dublin.

That’s what I call a work-life balance!

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Written by seancasaidhe

June 3, 2008 at 7:56 am