Rant, With Occasional Music – where writing and music combine

The world is full of blogs, on pretty much every topic you can possibly think of, I’m sure we’ve all got ones that we visit over and over as well as just dipping in and out of others as and when a particular post catches our eye.

One of my favourites is Derek Flynn’s Rant, with Occasional Music and it turned one last week. Now I realise that I’m a little late with this (time keeping has never been my strongest point) but I wanted to mark the occasion by sharing just some of the reasons why I love Derek’s blog.

1. New Music Monday – Mondays wouldn’t be complete without me checking in to see what song Derek has to offer this week. Some weeks it’s original material and other weeks it’s cover versions.

It takes a certain kind of voice to take on the likes of Waltzing Matilda, Martha, The Ship Song, Crazy In Love, Titanium and my personal favourite Lover, You Should’ve Come Over but Derek manages to make each one his own.

2. ‘Do You Dream At All?’ – April 2nd saw the release of Derek’s debut album ‘Do You Dream At All?’. You can read his thoughts on the whole experience here and here.

The album contains ten original songs which take you on a journey that manages to both hit you where it hurts and compel you to sing along (often at the same time). The two stand out tracks, for me, are ‘The Way We Lie’ and ‘Original Sin’

Here’s the official video for ‘Do You Dream At All?’, the first single from the album.

3. What Can Writers Learn From Songwriters? – I love this series of posts which examines the writing lessons that can be found in the songwriting skills of the greats such as Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and Neil Young.

4. This post which made me full on sob while I was on the bus on the way to #dubtweetmas. Okay so it was actually a post that was linked to that set me off but Derek was the one who led me to it and it was the inclusion of the Leonard Cohen lyrics at the end of his round up that tipped me into full on sobbing territory. I’m pretty sure I called him all the names under the sun, to his face, when I arrived into the pub with puffy eyes and mascara streaming down my face. I meant them in the nicest possible way, of course.

I could go on but we’d be here all day at that rate so you’re just gonna have to go read his blog for yourself. No seriously if you’re into music, are a writer or an aspiring writer and/or just love reading then you’re bound to enjoy Derek’s unique blend of music and writing.
On a personal note, thanks to Twitter and the power that is the tweet up I now count Derek as a friend so to see both his writing and music going from strength to strength is brilliant and it’s richly deserved because apart from being talented he’s also one of life’s good guys.

He’s always on hand with an encouraging word or two when it’s needed and is a big part of the reason why, amongst other things, I’ve started entering short story competitions as opposed to just throwing a story aside and forgetting about it once I’ve written it.

This post is just my way of saying thank you Derek and wishing you every success for the future.

You’ll find Derek in the following places:

‘Do You Dream At All?’ available to buy – cdbaby and iTunes
Twitter – @derekf03
Facebook – Derek Flynn Music
YouTube – derekf03

Review: Isabella by Isabella Rosselini EDP

Isabella by Isabella Rossellini EDP was released in 2002 but has since been discounted. I’ll apologise now for any product lust that I’m about to create but I couldn’t resist reviewing this.

Isabella contains top notes of mandarin orange and lemon and middle notes of tonka bean, white magnolia, Heliotrope and tobacco. It’s base notes are made up of Iris, oakmoss, musk and vetiver.

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Insomnia: Yes, I’m still awake

Here we are again, it’s gone 5 am and I’m still awake. If previous nights are anything to go by then this means there’s no chance of me sleeping at all.

Insomnia is something that has visited my life over the years, usually in short bursts, but it’s been a constant foe (I almost said companion but it’s not exactly friendly) since January. 

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Review: The Body Shop Moringa Beautifying Oil

I’ve been on the hunt for a new hair serum, cream or oil since deciding that the stale ashtray smell of the Joico Re:Nu Fullness and Body Primer wasn’t for me so I was delighted when The Body Shop sent me one of their new Beautifying Oils* to try. 

Available in 11 scents, I received the Moringa one, these dry oils can be used on  the body, face and hair. Containing a blend of three lightweight nut oils, Community Fair Trade Marula Oil, Kukui Nut Oil and Sweet Almond Oil, they claim to instantly moisturise, smooth and illuminate. The Community Fair Trade Marula Oil is sourced from the Eudafano Women’s Co-operative in Namibia.

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Melanoma Awareness Month: Eau Thermale Avene Suncare Range

According to a recent survey* a whopping 77% of Irish people don’t apply any sunscreen when heading out for their lunch hour. This is despite the sun being at its most harmful during this time.

The survey also showed that 53% admit that they’ve been sunburnt, at least once, in the last five years. This is a shockingly high number especially considering the increase in the incidences of skin cancer in recent years.

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Pushing through it

Last week I was all gung-ho about feeling the fear and doing it anyway and this week…well this week isn’t going so great. 

Don’t get me wrong, my life is no longer on hold and I’m still working on and doing the things that I was talking about but this past week has been harder than I was expecting.

Last night I wrote a blog post that I’m not sure will ever see the light of day. Although I have made a deal to leave it for a while and then see how I feel on re-reading it. Who knows, maybe the act of writing it alone will prove to be enough for me.

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SOS Save Our Skin: Melanoma Awareness Month

Today marks the beginning of Melanoma Awareness Month, a global initiative to promote the early detection and prevention of skin cancer. In Ireland, the campaign is being driven by La Roche-Posay, the Melanoma Trust, the Irish Cancer Society, Dr. Patrick Ormond Consultant Dermatologist and with the support of the Department of Health.

The above video has been developed by La Roche-Posay, as part of its SOS Save Our Skin public awareness campaign and highlights the particular risk to Irish men.

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Feel the fear and do it anyway!

It has been a strange month, there’s been good days and bad days, but despite my best laid plans I’ve been letting the bad days dwell on me more than I probably should considering the good days actually outnumbered them.

Family and friends have been really supportive, something I’ll always be grateful for, but, me being me, I tend to get over reliant on others at times like this. Everyone needs a support system around them, I don’t deny that, but there’s a difference between accepting help when you truly need and becoming dependent on others to get you through even the simplest of things. It’s a fine line and one that I’m very close to crossing so it’s time for a change.

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Public displays of affection

Reading this post over on F is for… got me thinking about public displays of affection and they’re not something I normally give much thought to.

It’s not something that bothers me; gay, straight, trans, bisexual, or none of these, I’m unlikely to pay attention to whose hand you’re holding or mouth you’re kissing. Unless you’re actually standing in my way in the street or sitting in front of me in the cinema and distracting me from the movie then my view is do whatever makes you happy with whoever makes you happy (as long as you realise you’re in public obviously). Even then you can continue to do as you please but be prepared for me to ask you to move out of my way first.

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The weirdest week

It kinda crept up on me and, suddenly, hit me full force across the head all at the same time. It’s possible that there were little signs that I didn’t pick up on, actually if I’m being honest then I definitely missed a sign or two but the first I realised anything was really wrong was when the floaty feeling reared its head on Monday morning.

It’s like I’m in the corner of the room watching everything that happens, both, around me and to me but I’m not inside my own head enough to be in real control of any of it.


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