Ireland – Part 5 – The one about the Hats

Ballina, I hardly new ya.
Well, there‘s this coffee place I know and there‘s Belleek Castle. Those were nice, the rest of the town, let‘s just say it rained only once while I was in Ballina.

Beleek Castle, Ballina.

Staying in the Castle was good though, very fancy, good dinner. The drive to Sligo was ok as well. I‘m getting the hang of this. 60km is ideal for a day. The drive from Galway to Clifden was a bit much and I think its probably best if I cheat, at least a little, between Bushmills and Belfast.

The last leg of the trip, from Belfast to Ayr should work out. It‘s the last bit and I will be rested after a couple of days in Belfast.

Today I took my bike to Strandhill, the beach associated with Sligo. 8km drive, a bit hilly but nice. The beach was windy but I managed to get my feet wet in the atlantic. Sligo itself is quite nice. I think I could have stayed a bit longer here, most places so far have been manageable in two days, Sligo seems like a place to rest a bit longer but who could have known. Tomorrow it‘s off for Donegal.

But now for something completely different, hats. There are a few things I do on holiday. I try to buy coasters and I buy a hat. On my last few trips I‘ve always bought a hat, as a sort of travel companion and souvenir. It started with a cheap Mickey Mouse hat in Disneyland but it has evolved, I have a couple of good hats, the one from Canada is particularly cool. But on this trip, I decided to leave my bike helmet at home and buy a new one. So my lovely green helmet is my „hat“ for this trip.

Stay tuned.

My feet and the Atlantic, Strandhill.

Ireland – Part 4 – SDCC Edition

So, the drive from Westport to Ballina was quite nice. A bit cloudy but dry. The Irish landscape is really interesting, reminds me a bit of our alps, minus the mountains. It‘s green, with lots of hills and many rocks. So far I haven‘t seen that many crop farms, I‘ve seen sheep and peat but the farms are probably in the other part of the island. 

Lough Conn

I stayed in the town of Ballina for one night, nice little Hotel/B&B, later I‘m moving to my other Hotel in town, Belleek Castle. Yes, I‘m staying in a castle. I might post pictures later and detail my impressions. 

But let‘s focus on something else. SDCC. Damn do I miss that place. Yesterday Marvel had their Hall H thing and boy did they deliver. Part of me worries about the omnipresence of Disney/Marvel in our media landscape but there‘s another part of me that just goes wild and excited upon hearing about their new slate. I like that they are trying to diversify and at this point they can probably turn everything into gold but you have to admire their (probably Kevin Feige‘s) balls. „Doctor Strange – Multiverse of Madness“, what the? „Shang-Chi“ with an asian Mandarin and an asian Lead? We knew about the Disney+ shows so I‘ll leave it at that but „Blade“. I loved Blade, at least 1 and 2 but I hope they can deliver on that but I think at the end of the day, I‘m most excited about „Thor: Love & Thunder“. Why? There are a few things to consider there but I‘m just going to be honest, there‘s a real chance that Natalie Portman as Thor could be the most badass thing ever. She was my first celebrity crush and if her as Thor is only half as good as I think it will be, sorry JLaw, a guy never forgets his first love. 

The thing that bugs me the most though is that whole Disney+ thing. I get it, it‘s capitalism. They want me to subscribe which I probably will, I can afford it and everything, but in the long run I‘m not sure if hiding your essential MCU TV, which these shows seem to be, behind a paywall. It reminds me of football, the Champions League for example. Back in the day, those games were special, there weren‘t that many and they got shown of free-tv. If you were a boy (or girl) into football you could watch that, wether your parents were into it or not. Today there‘s too much football, but most of in on pay-tv. So if your dad doesn‘t pay for sky, you can‘t watch the games and I think that has hurt football fandom among children a bit. I might be wrong but I just hope that a similar thing doesn‘t happen to the movies I love. 

Ireland – Part 3 – Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head

What was I expecting. 🙂

So I got my first real rainy day in Clifden. I caught a slight bit of rain on my way to Clifden the other day but seems that the weather took a turn for the irish. I‘m sure it will get better but it‘s a good thing I brought some rain-gear but I wouldn‘t have it any other way. I just read about another heatwave back home so I‘m quite happy with a few raindrops.

Clifden was a pretty nice town. Not too much to do there (yeah, I got some writing done), basically there are two roads with shops, pubs and restaurants. Shout-out to EJ Kings, I only had two pints there but that, and please don‘t get me wrong I‘m not trying to be demeaning or superficial, but that pub had the prettiest waitresses I‘ve ever seen. One prettier than the other, seriously I couldn’t tell you who the prettiest was, basically an MC Escher painting, and they were running the place so smoothly, no guy in sight. Don‘t know if they were locals or just there for the season, I‘ll just know I’ll remember that place.

Today was Stage 2 of my cycling adventure, Clifden to Westport, 66km, a nice drive. Caught rain twice and lot‘s of sidewind. But the drive was actually quite nice. Some hills and some meandering roads. I mostly followed the N59, the scenery was beautiful. Some lakes, almost Fjord like and some sheeps. So yeah, pretty much what I was expecting when I decided to cycle though Ireland.

I actually finalized my intinerary and booked all my hotels. The one thing I‘m not sure about is how I‘ll get from Bushmills, I‘m there for the Giants Causeway and not the Distillery, to Belfast. It‘s a 100km drive with ups and downs. I looked into breaking the trip in half but there were no good options. So I might take the bus or train for that leg of the journey, yeah I might do that, I‘m on holiday I can do what I want. I will definitely take my bike on the ferry to Scotland though. Cycle on a ferry, that‘s just so me.

So yeah, fingers crossed for part 4, more about Westport and my journey to Ballina, where I will stay in a castle.

Ireland – Part 2 – On the Road

Seems like there‘s a second one of these. 🙂

I spent my last day in Galway visiting the „Cliffs of Moher“, yes those from Harry Potter where one the whatever is hidden. I have to admit, great view, very impressive. I rate it 1/2 Grand Canyon1. I took a bus tour there and the tour was fine and everything but I‘m not a fan. Bussing people to sights like that seems to make sense for a lot of people, it‘s easier and makes it possible for many people to see things like that, hell that‘s the main reason I did it, but mass-tourism has it‘s downsides.

I don‘t want to get into a whole thing here, I‘m not going to write a version2 of the 2018 Matura essay but too many tourist just ruin everything, and don‘t get me started about Galway‘s main street.

But let‘s focus on the exact opposite, me cycling 90+ kilometers from Galway to Clifden. I‘m not saying that I underestimated the first stage of my „Tour de Ireland“ but I might have slightly overestimated my cycling abilities without motor-support, but only slightly. I burnt a lot of calories, not that anyone is counting, but I made up for those with a nice dinner, I even got dessert, not that anyone is counting. 🙂

I can sa though, that I already achieved my main goal, there0s nothing better to clear your head than cycling 90km against the wind. So after a long day, slightly prolonged because I might have missed a right turn, I arrived in Clifden.

I already took a short stroll around the town, the town is not that big and I quite like it. I small, charming and not too overcrowded. If I had my say, I‘d try to find another option for the parked cars in the city centre but you can‘t have everything.

Tomorrow I‘ll try to find a nice place to sit down, I already saw some potential options, and write the second act of Alaska. I have a good feeling that today helped me clear my head to get a couple of good pages out of this town.

Fingers crossed for part 3.

On the Road.


  1. When it comes to natural sights, the Grand Canyon is my benchmark. That one really flashed me. Uluru compares evenly, Mount Everest as well. So, what I‘m saying, 1/2 Grand Canyon is impressive.
  2. an obviously better version of the 30 essays I read about that topic

Ireland – Part 1 – Coast to Coast

I‘m doing one of my big trips again. I decided to visit Ireland and after the first week I‘d like to share some of my experiences and thoughts about the Emerald Island.

First of all, beautiful country. So far I‘ve been to Dublin and Galway. Today I took a stroll along the coast and I have to admit, coming from a double-landlocked country, the sea has its appeal. It‘s not just the view. It‘s the smell and I love watching the tide change.

Dublin is a vibrant city. So much to do and so little time. I‘m trying to find the balance between doing touristy things, getting inspired and writing – after all this is not just ab leisure trip, I‘m trying to get some writing done. One of my initial goals was to read Ulysses by Joyce on this trip, after realizing how thick that book is, I got the ebook and started with Dubliners, probably a good call.

I visited the Guiness Brewery and the Teeling Distillery, maybe a bit touristy but it was fun. I did a literary pub crawl in Dublin as well, also a fun evening, and I even learned a few things Irish literature.

Galway is very picturesque. There are parts that are overflown with tourists (look who‘s talking, I‘m one of them) but there are also these areas that are off the beaten path. I was lucky to participate in a Galway Craft Brew Tour and our guide not only knew beer she also knew some great venues I would‘ve never found on my own. I‘ve done my fair share of (craft)beer tasting tours and this one was definitely one of the more charming ones. Might have been because of the company, it was just our guide, a lovely kiwi lady and me (my thanks to the group that cancelled last minute) and I‘ll remember it as the „Before Sunrise“ of craft beer tours.

Tomorrow I‘m visiting the Cliffs of Moher, people say great things about them and on Tuesday I start my bike tour. First stop Clifden. Let‘s see how that goes.

As for my writing, I rewrote the first act of Alaska and I‘m about to embark on act two. I have to adjust the outline a bit but I hope to get act two done on my way to Belfast. So, not sure when/if there‘s going to be a part two but stay tuned anyway.



Happy New Year

Happy new year. Regular programming will return to this site in the very near future. 🙂

Seriously, that’s the plan.

Writing wise, 2018 was a bust. The ITFS and Whiteworms Work Week were great and definitely personal highlights, and I wrote some decent blogposts but other than that, total bust. I Tried to write a few things but nothing besides a few pages here and there, nothing finished, nothing polished, thing worth showing.

Personally 2018 wasn’t that much better. I gained some weight again and I think that all these things are kind of connected. I need to get back on track with everything. I need to do more sports, more writing, more reading and I’m confident that 2019 is going to be the year I get my shit together.

So do I have new years resolutions? Yes, I do.

  1. More sports: I started with 10-15 minutes on my home trainer and once the snow is gone, it’s running season. I’ll also try to eat less. Wish me luck.
  2. More reading: I reactivated my audible account and I’m ending everyday with some audiobook time. So far, great way to fall asleep.
  3. More writing: This one speaks for itself. I need to get going with Alaska. The plan is to get something done by easter. I’ll also try to update the blog regularly. I don’t know whether I’ll do progress reports or something but regular programming should resume.
  4. More D&D: Yeah, I just want to play more D&D, as a DM and as a player. It’s fun, you should try it.

I think this should be manageable and I hope that I won’t disappoint myself.

This is it for today. Take care and stay tuned.


Dear 2018 Fuck off already Thank you

#Momentum – Week 5 (?) – November

… I hate November.

It’s not that November is a bad month or anything, but for some reason everything has too happen in November. I don’t know who decided that everything has to happen in November. It’s probably the busiest month in the year and there are so many things I have to do, that I don’t have time to spend them on anything else.

I’m correcting exams, rehearsing for a concert, doing teacher training, a lot of meetings, matura preparations, …. I can’t even name al the things I’ have to do. I obviously enjoy some of these activities but I’m looking forward to a time where I actually have time to focus on other things, like writing.

I came around, and I’m now trying to implement Orlindo’s idea for Alaska. I’m not totally sure that he was right but the fact that I have new ideas is a good sign. I’m confident that I can tell the story I want to tell with these adjustments. I obviously won’t go into details, you have to wait a couple of month for those, but I hope that I write a first draft, or at least part of one around christmas time, once crazy busy November is over.

I’m actually so busy, that I don’t even have time to blog. I’m basically stealing myself away from schoolwork. So many exams and meetings but I want to offer a quick update on Red Dead Redemption 2. I finished the main story. I like the game but I don’t love it. The game is a tremendous achievement, very immersive and the story is fantastic but I’m still yearning for better fast travel. There were instances of a “long journey” that made perfect sense and had purpose but sometimes it felt like a chore to ride across the map. Unlike some other people I don’t have issues with the gameplay or the controls, hey I love Witcher 3, but I still, prefer to play Spider-Man, maybe it’s just because I prefer web-slinging to horseback-riding. 🙂

Red Dead Redemption Detailed Game Map

Damn, that map is big. Really big.

#Momentum – Week whatever – Do I really care anymore?

I lost count, well losing count would imply that I actually counted but let’s just say that I have definite proof now, that I don’t do well without pressure. I have absolutely no excuse for not blogging and not writing. None, zero, nada… I was just too lazy and I basically had too much time on my hand. I literally postponed everything to tomorrow… yes, hat magical place where all the things happen and get made….too bad that tomorrow is always one day away. I have no-one to blame but myself, well there was a bike accident I was involved in, but I didn’t get much done before that as well, so I can’t really put blame on that.

It’s not that I didn’t do anything. I worked a bit on “Alaska”, that’s the working title of the new project and I’m quite happy with how the story is evolving but I need to get off the brakes and go full throttle with my writing and my life again. It sounds strange, but I’m feeling a bit too content right now. Most of the things in my life are going well and I don’t or didn’t feel the urge to change too much, so I fell back into old habits. I gained a few pounds and I have to admit that I’m probably a bit too comfortable in my own shoes.

I think I have to change my ways again. I need to get my shit together and start “adulting” again. I need to take better care of myself and I need to focus on the things I want. I’m not giving a timetable right now, and I think the change has to be a bit slower than last time. I strongly feel though, that I need to start logging my activities and my calorie intake again. I hope that this blogpost is a first step in that direction. So, I guess I need to get the #Momentum going again.

Orlindo just gave me new idea for “Alaska” that I have to think about. I’m not totally against the new idea but I need some time the get used to it. Maybe that can be first foray into writing again. I’ll keep you posted.

On another note: Skyscraper finally has (some sort of) a poster. Lisa, Orlindo’s girlfriend designed as a title page for a treatment we sent in to a competition. I totally love it and not just because it might be the closest I ever get to a movie spotter of one of my ideas. Please enjoy.

Skscraper Cover3 Title

Football’s (not) coming home

I promised you some content so here we go. But first, this happened:

Three Lions on the Shirt.

Three Lions on the Shirt!

It might come as a surprise to most of you, but I’m not the biggest fan of organised sports. I rarely watch sports on TV or anywhere else and I don’t really follow a team, I have sympathies though and there are a few exceptions to the rule, a ski race, mostly the big downhill races, and the World Cup and the Euro.

It sounds a bit silly but I get quite emotional during the World Cup and especially when England plays. Being an England supporter is obviously a bad idea but I’m happy that I turned out that way and I’m pretty sure that England is the only team I can get this emotional about and I’m going to the you why. I think it has something to with their history or maybe even myth and in some sense, their lack of success.

There’s 1966, the only Championship England has ever won and I think that the biggest part of being an England supporter is the fact that we’re waiting for that moment again, it’s almost biblical, waiting for the messiah, the second coming and in a way that’s what being an England fan is all about. We’re waiting for it to happen again, every time we start to hope again, every time we get this feeling only to get disappointed again.

I said that I don’t like sports but I love sports movies and being an England supporter is probably the closest you can get to a sports movie story in real life. You have the drama, you have hope only to have that hope crushed all over again… but no, we don’t learn. It’s a feeling probably best described in one of the best sports songs ever:

It’s coming home
It’s coming home
It’s coming
Football’s coming home
Everyone seems to know the score
They’ve seen it all before
They just know
They’re so sure
That England’s gonna throw it away
Gonna blow it away
But I know they can play
‘Cause I remember
Three Lions on a shirt
Jules Rimet still gleaming
Thirty years of hurt
Never stopped me dreaming
So many jokes, so many sneers
But all those oh-so-nears
Wear you down
Through the years
But I still see that tackle by Moore
And when Linekar scored
Bobby belting the ball
And Nobby Dancing
Three Lions on a shirt

It’s not fun being an England supporter, especially when you consider tat were now at more than 50 years of hurt but every two years the feeling returns and you start to hope again until that moment where against all odds the underdog, yeah England, where football was invented is the underdog now, wins the championship. Isn’t that how the movie is supposed to play out? But on the other hand, not winning is what the myth is all about. England fans are used to supported their team no matter what in good and let’s be honest especially the bad times. Obviously, reaching the semi-final was a big feat but nobody cares about third place and the dream is to get the Cup. This is real life and not Cool Runnings or Eddie the Eagle but it sure feels like these two movies at the moment.

So, what am I actually trying to say here. Well, I’m disappointed but I support my team and I know that there will be a happy end at some point, it might take some time but “Football will come home one day”.


About that Toy Story 3 Ending

It has been a while and I know that I wrote that sentence a lot lately, well a lot would require a lot of posts and that is exactly the issue. I haven’t felt like writing during the last couple of weeks, life and work have kept me pretty busy. I did some translations and feedback for Orlindo but my own projects have been dormant. I need to change that and get the #ProjectMomentum going again but that’s for another day, today I feel like something (completely) different.

It’s just a short excerpt from a great scene at the end of a great movie and for those of you who’ve never seen Toy Story 3, shame on you but you can remedy that, just drop everything your doing and watch the movie right now. Everyone else, go and watch the whole scene, I couldn’t find a good video of the whole scene online. There are many great Pixar moments and all being said and done, I think this scene, this moment, is probably my favourite one and I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately.

I also have a confession to make, I cry every time I watch this but it’s not because it makes me sad, on the contrary, it’s actually really endearing, uplifting and a celebration of the relationship between Andy and his toys, Woody in particular… but yes, it’s a little bit sad as well. There’s this moment, little Bonnie sees Woody and says: ”There’s a snake in my boot!”, one of Woody’s catchphrases and I don’t know why, my eyes just start to tear up and then we see Andy, not sure what he should do, he initially indented to keep Woody but he has no chance against Bonnie’s big eyes and I have no chance to hold back my tears. The moment is beautifully animated and one of the most emotional moments in cinema history1. Andy decides to let go of Woody, his favourite toy. He basically let’s his childhood go. We are witnessing the moment he grows up but not before one last playtime. A (last) rite of passage if you will.

I like how the moment plays out. It’s not just a heartfelt goodbye, it’s a celebration and a reminder of the great times he had with his toys and let’s face it, a college kid with too many toys is weird and Bonnie will take good care of the toys, she will cherish them just like Andy did and he will always cherish the memories he made with Woody, Buzz, Mr. Potato Head, Rex, Jessie, Hamm … and the Aliens. Andy will miss his toys but he knows that he has to let them go. They had their time together and now it is time to let go, move on and let someone else have their fun with them and even more importantly, let them have fun with someone new. It’s not just him saying goodbye to them, it‘s also them (especially Woody) saying goodbye to him. Damn, I’m already tearing up again… and when Andy leaves, Bonnie waves with Woody’s arms. Damn you.

So, why am I writing about the ending of Toy Story 3? Let’s just say I’m feeling bit like Andy at the moment. I have/had to say goodbye to my 7th graders. They’re writing their matura right now, so we already had our last lessons together and I had to try really hard to hold my tears back but just like Andy not because I was just sad but because I knew that our time together has/had to come to an end2 They need to move on and I need to let go, but I’ll always remember the playtimes we had together. It was mostly a lot of fun and I’m thankful for all the memories.

I’m pretty sure that my students don’t read my blog, I mean, let’s face it, this post, while honest and heartfelt, is also a bit embarrassing but I don’t care, I embarrassed myself more than once. So, if “you” do read this, I’ll just wish you all the best in your future endeavours. I hope you find someone who plays with you like Bonnie. And don’t worry about me, I get new toys next school year. 🙂

But let’s end this sappy piece of writing the only way I know how. The way they did it in the movie….

“Thanks guys (and gals).” 
“So long, Partner.”

…and with a video of Jennifer Lawrence tripping at the Oscars3 because, well you know why.

  1. You disagree? I don’t care. 🙂
  2. That being said, due to the fact that they have two subjects with me…let’s just say I still have options. :-).
  3. Note to self: Be more like Hugh Jackman.