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FOOTY FOR WOMEN... THE EUROS EXPLAINED. BY SANDRA HARRIS.

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  FOOTY FOR WOMEN … THE EUROS EXPLAINED. BY SANDRA HARRIS. © Dear Reader, Today I propose to tell you everything I know about football. Having no postage stamps to hand, I will use this document instead. This is a good time to talk about football, as a big tournament called the Euros is currently being held in cities across Europe. It’s kind of like the Eurovision, but without the sparkly dresses. Here comes the science, so pre-furrow your brows in mild bewilderment, ladies.  Football is a game played on a grassy pitch by twenty-two men with round, medium-sized balls. Eleven men on each side go to make up a team. The referee is the man in charge of the game. Referees are frequently being advised by the fans to visit Specsavers in order to rectify their deficient eyesight. (‘Are ya effing blind, ref, or wha’?’) In recent years, VAR, or the much maligned Video Assistant Referee, has come into play to aid the more myopic of the referees. The object of the game is to kick a ball into the g

A NIGHT IN WITH E.L. JAMES, BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

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  A NIGHT IN WITH E.L. JAMES, BY SANDRA HARRIS. © I recently paid a couple of quid for the privilege of spending ‘a night in’ with billion-selling author and creator of the FIFTY SHADES OF GREY book and film trilogy, E.L. James, real name Erika Mitchell. In reality, this didn’t bestow an actual night with the author on me; it only gave me access to an hour-long conversation between E.L. James and former X FACTOR presenter Kate Thornton, but this was still really enjoyable and entertaining and well worth the couple-a bucks I spent on it. British writer E.L. James is the author I most admire. What she managed to achieve was quite simply phenomenal. I first heard of her in 2012, when suddenly everyone was talking about a book trilogy entitled FIFTY SHADES OF GREY. This was the first book; the other two were entitled FIFTY SHADES DARKER and FIFTY SHADES FREED . I was bemused to see that all three books seemed to materialise in the bookshops all at once. What gives, I wondered? Nor

LEAVING NEVERLAND. (2019) REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS.

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  LEAVING NEVERLAND. (2019) A DOCUMENTARY DIRECTED AND PRODUCED BY DAN REED. STARRING WADE ROBSON, JAMES SAFECHUCK AND ARCHIVAL FOOTAGE OF MICHAEL JACKSON. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. © This is a documentary co-production between Channel 4 and HBO. It comprises two ninety-minute episodes, and it makes for shocking and powerful viewing. It’s made up of interviews with two men, Wade Robson and Jimmy Safechuck, who each claim that they were sexually molested as children by music superstar Michael Jackson, with whom they’d each had a long-standing friendship/relationship. The funny thing for me- not that there’s anything funny in this whole situation, mind you- is that, the week before I’d watched this film, I’d seen Martin Bashir’s interview with Jackson in the ITV 2003 film LIVING WITH MICHAEL JACKSON . Concerns raised in this film led to Jackson’s being criminally charged with several counts of child molestation in 2005, although he was found not guilty on all counts. I’d cried my

C'MON DUBLIN... CLEAN UP YOUR ACT! BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

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  C'MON DUBLIN... CLEAN UP YOUR ACT! BY SANDRA HARRIS. © Don't get me wrong. I love Dublin. I love it more than anywhere else in the world. I can't ever imagine wanting to live somewhere different. It's the exact right city for me. But we're a year into the Covid-19 pandemic now, and there are a few things about our glorious capital that are niggling at me. School's back- for now!- and so yesterday, after doing my usual Mammy-errands, I decided to go for a walk, just for the sake of it. Not to go anywhere in particular or buy anything, but because I thought it would be 'nice' just to reconnect with my gorgeous neighbourhood. My wander took me into the area of Dublin known as the Liberties and, then, on up the hill to Christchurch and the surrounding environs. The first thing I noticed was that the streets are destroyed with dog muck. It's everywhere. If you took five steps with your eyes shut, you'd be nearly guaranteed to walk into a bi

THE TOP TEN THINGS ANNOYING ME ABOUT LOCKDOWN RIGHT NOW! BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

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  THE TOP TEN THINGS ANNOYING ME ABOUT LOCKDOWN RIGHT NOW! BY SANDRA HARRIS. © Firstly, it's probably the fact that I currently have so little to write about due to being in lockdown that I end up writing posts like this, lol. My favourite shops and restaurants are closed, so I can't entertain myself by going there. Cinemas and libraries, ditto. Both my kids' birthdays are in January, and they'll have to celebrate them both at home and not by going out for dinner somewhere, like we'd usually do, and there's nothing we can do about it besides low-level grumbling. Grumble, grumble, grumble... Why are they still showing footage of people being swabbed for Covid and now vaccinated for Covid on the news? I'm sick to the back teeth. if you'll excuse the pun, of seeing those deadly swab sticks or whatever they are going up peoples' noses and throats WHILE I'M TRYING TO EAT MY GODDAMN DINNER. It's so off-putting. And now they

MY JOURNALING JOURNEY: THE STORY SO FAR. BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

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  MY JOURNALING JOURNEY: THE STORY SO FAR. BY SANDRA HARRIS. © I started journaling in November 2020, without really knowing too much about it, because I really wanted to write words in a notebook with a pen again, after years of typing my work on my laptop. I actually had a real yearning for using a pen and paper again. So I found an unused notebook in a local second-hand bookshop that I liked the look of, and bought it for this exact purpose. I didn't realise at first that the journal was part of a series by a lady called Keri Smith, entitled WRECK THIS JOURNAL. The idea is that you find inner freedom and creativity by following the journal's prompts to do mad things to it, like rolling it down a hill, bringing it into the shower with you, poking holes in it with a pencil and even punching the pages, after first dipping your fist in something. Sweet Jesus. I knew I'd do none of these things to the poor, poor journal. I'd write things in it and carry it around

CHEERIO, SECOND LOCKDOWN... HELLO, CHRISTMAS! BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

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CHEERIO, SECOND LOCKDOWN... HELLO, CHRISTMAS! SANDRA HARRIS. © I'm guessing I wasn't the only Dublin person who woke up yesterday on the first of December and felt a huge sense of relief, as if a great weight was being lifted off me and chucked away. It was the day we Irish folks exited our second national lockdown, six weeks of doom and gloom unalleviated by even a flicker of hope and beset by worries over the approaching festive season. It was a strange creature, that Second Lockdown. While I'm not suggesting for a second that the first COVID-19 lockdown earlier in the year was fun or enjoyable, there were aspects of it that were. Spending extra time with loved ones, getting to properly re-watch your DVD collection or re-reading your best-loved books, your kids not getting in trouble at school because there was no school, that type of thing. This Second Lockdown, as I've suggested, was a horse of a different colour altogether. The kids still had to go to school, the