How come I’m not making pots in Peru?

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The Sopranos

Sometimes people need to see other cultures/worlds to understand their own identity a little better.

In season one of The Sopranos Tony and Carmela flirt with the idea that they can be friendly with outsiders.

Their way of life and the age-old tradition of people who are mobbed-up keeping themselves to themselves is a tricky one to shake off. It’s not without irony that the metigan see Tony and his lifestyle as glamorous and exciting and that Tony sees them as boring. One afternoon on the golf course is enough to confirm the huge void that separates their two worlds.

you are what you are

Yet, Tony is back & forth with trying to change who he is… being the boss, being a good father, being a better person even?

What if life wasn’t about your location or your occupation but, instead was about who you are in the midst of the peripheral?

Tony almost gets it! He almost realises what he needs to do to be a better person… but his surroundings suck him back in!

It poses an interesting question for prosperous western civilisation… and maybe more so for religious people?

How come I’m not making pots in Peru?

Would Tony still be driven by the same impulses and desires if he was born in Peru? If he wasn’t in New Jersey?

What if life wasn’t so much about your location or your occupation but, instead was about who you are in the midst of the peripheral?

A family saga, an unconventional love story and a bleak fantasy

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As I have moved on from my job as a bookseller, and read a few publications hailing that the book review is dead, I have decided to attempt a book review Haiku. This will simultaneously revive both the book review and the ancient Japanese poetry style in one literary swoop, (maybe).  *If anyone who knows about the art of the Haiku is reading please let me know if these are correct or incorrect* Forgive me, this is my first Haiku attempt.

A family saga – “Instructions for a Heatwave” by Maggie O’Farrell


Irish father gone,

Mammy has a big secret,

Family Shocker!


An unconventional love story – “The Rosie Project” by Graeme Simsion


Uncouth Male seeks wife,

Rosie is unsuitable,

Awkward laughs all round.


A bleak fantasy – “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” by Neil Gaiman


Promising first half,

Obscure Kitten appearance,

Lost the will to read.


Let me know if you have read something good, bad or otherwise and please feel free to improve upon my debut book review haiku.

Click here to see the books which I have read so far this year. 

We will do it anyway

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Life / Tech

Ballymena Today is now live… we are pretty excited about this but first, let me quickly explain.

Much of my blogging over the past ten years has looked very much like what you see on this site… me… talking about what I like, what I don’t like, what I recommend and what I had for lunch… or posting pictures of where we spent the previous day etc. You get the idea! That’s your cue to laugh!

This type of blogging is what many people think of when I say “I’ve been blogging for ten years.” A lot of people still see it as a past-time or hobby or maybe even a waste of time… it’s just writing about stuff online!

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Mistaken For Strangers

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In 2010, rock band The National were about to embark on the biggest tour of their career. After ten years as a band, and five critically acclaimed albums, they were finally enjoying wider recognition. Lead singer Matt Berninger invited his younger brother, Tom to join them as a roadie, but Tom has other ideas and his camera comes along for the ride. As he tries to capture the behind-the-scenes action, he winds up the band by poking the camera where it’s not wanted, learns that they aren’t as rock-and-roll as he want them to be and generally fails in his tour duties. Tom’s camera captures his journey as he finds himself living in Matt’s shadow and acting out in a way only a little brother can – drinking, complaining, and struggling to balance his ambition with his responsibilities. An amazingly intimate and spirited film, Mistaken For Strangers delves into the joys and struggles of brotherhood. [source]

We love The National. We finally got to see them live in Belfast last year… it was wonderful of course. So, we’ve been waiting to see the film Mistaken For Strangers, made by Tom Berninger, brother of lead singer Matt. Film4 screened it last night. 

We loved it!

Whether intentional or otherwise… It was very funny but, also poignant and interesting to see the relationship of brothers Tom and Matt. One renowned film critic called it a “hamfisted rockumentary.” Like I said, we loved it.

If you are a fan of the band we think you will too.

Stop Asking Jesus into your Heart

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Books / Faith

“You don’t follow Jesus like you follow someone on twitter, where you are free to take or leave their thoughts at your leisure. Following Jesus is not letting Him come into your life to be an influence. Following Jesus means submitting to Him in all areas at all times regardless of whether you agree with what He says or not.”

Stop Asking Jesus into your Heart by J.D. Greear