Friday 22 January 2010

Lonely Planet's Ryan Ver Berkmoes guides the way to this colyoom...

Last Summer I was contacted by the Lonely Planet Guide's Ryan Ver Berkmoes, and had the pleasure of sharing with him a proper Galway afternoon out, which inevitably ended late at night. Ryan was a natural, slotting into the local rhythm and pulse as if a true Galwegian.
So I was delighted to see that Lonely Planet's Ireland Guide 2010, released two days ago, ran a wee boxed feature on the colyoom-as-was, as well as some auld Adley blather.
Of course they spelled my name wrong, turning me into Carlie Adley (the only Carlie I ever met was a 17-foot bronzed southern Californian Valley Girl, who probably spelled her name cArLi) but it's always good to get a mention, so thanks, Ryan!
Here's the slot, with typo intacto.

Every week readers of Galway’s Tribune newspaper turn to Carlie Adley’s column about life and much more in the city and the region. An unabashed fan of the place, Adley’s heart still had to be won over originally. He came to Galway 17 years ago after a life in London, San Francisco and elsewhere. He hasn’t looked back.
‘The city centre is the perfect size for walking around, chilling out and bumping into people’, he says from one of his favourite pubs, Séhán Ua Neáchtain’s ( p400 ), where he often has his afternoon office, watching the world go by while a movable feast of friends comes and goes. Later, after the pub? ‘Who knows – Galwegians don’t make plans. The perfect Galway day is one that takes its own shape.’
Adley’s perfect day includes ‘sitting on a rock on the beach at Salthill; watching the tide turn; looking out at the ocean and trying to spot one of the Aran Islands; just being calm; and appreciating the volatile light and weather, which truly offer a different view across to County Clare every day of the year.’
Visitors looking for the real Galway, he says, need to do the above, plus ‘do the pubs and music and you can’t go wrong. Galwegians will reach out to you and have a chat; the craic awaits.’

Tuesday 19 January 2010

Nasty virus compels me to self-publicise!

“Your dinner is ready!”
“Blimey! That was quick!”
I took my Chinese takeaway from the lass behind the counter and headed off to look for a taxi home. Part of me was at the time wishing that the food I’d ordered had taken another ten minutes to cook, because that was quick; that was just way too quick. There can’t have been five minutes between my order going in and the food coming out.
If I was worried that my food came out too quickly on the Saturday, I was horrified by the same phenomenon the following day, in a much more personal and unpleasant way.
As Sunday afternoon oozed into evening, I became aware of my stomach. Okay, so my belly is a massive natural phenomenon, to be rated up there with the migration of Monarch butterflies from Canada to Mexico, and hence difficult to ignore at the best of times, but the feeling that grew that Sunday within me was the desire of its entirety or at least its contents to be out of me, pronto.
That night I felt so feverish I had no doubt it was the flu, so despite protestations from my wife and mother, I refused to go to the doctor, armed only with a virus that might well infect himself or other patients in his practice. What was the point? They can’t cure viruses, so all I could do was rest, drink bucketloads of fluids to replace the rivers of alien gruel coming out my nether end, and be patient.
By Tuesday the fever passed, and yet the stomach cramps came with a brutality I had not encountered for decades. At one point I accidentally referred to them as ‘contractions’, and then started to wonder whether I was having a baby. Maybe I was going to give birth to the mutant child of sweet and sour chicken and Jameson’s whiskey.
Sadly, nothing as exciting as that came to fruition. Instead my body did its best to resurrect the ancient Irish industry of seaweed fertiliser manufacture. That’s what it looked like, and I know, I know, that’s way more detail than you wanted.
Oh, and I felt so tired, so wasted, that I forgot to eat, forgot to turn off the TV for days, forgot to watch anything but the Sopranos boxed set.
With illness in my body and Tony Soprano in my head, my nights turned into confused maelstroms of New Jersey mob-dom and rushing to the bog-dom!
Mind you, it was a great diet. I lost 12 pounds in ten days, and while I wouldn’t recommend the bug as a lifestyle choice, it showed me yet again how much excess there is ready and willing to expire from my body into the ether.
Doubtless the weight I lost will be refound. All those lost pounds are out there, stumbling around the ether, lonely and sad, wondering what they did to be so rudely and unpleasantly expelled from the Daddy Ship.
Fear not belly inches! All of you will be embraced and attached back to the body you left just as soon as I find you!
Ten days later I went to the doctor, who told me that my symptoms were textbook for the norovirus, a.k.a. the ‘winter vomiting bug’, so I should go home, rest, drink loads and wash my hands 45,657 times a day, drying them on paper towels. I should burn all our household towels, bed linen and clothing, and never ever leave the house again, nor come into contact with any other human being, except those in future years who will bring me cocktails to my lounger beside my private pool.
Before the lurgy hit me off my feet and laid me supine on the sofa, I was ready to start contacting agents and publishers, because I have finished the compilation book of my ‘Double Vision’ column’s best bits.
Originally it was my intention simply to self-publish, and sell locally to my loyal readership here in Connacht, but when I took a look at the finished book, I realised that it had massive ‘Irish Interest’ market potential in the USA, as well as in the UK and here in Ireland.
The book is called ‘Do I Love Ireland?’ (very Search Engine Oriented, donchaknow) and filled with snippets, excerpts and passages from my newspaper column, published between 1992-2009 (the final 3 years of the column are on this blog).
For 17 years I grumped, sobbed and giggled my life into a thousand almost coherent words every week, and have now edited those 1,000,000 words down to 95,000. Funny, serious, silly and smart, this book is a personal, emotional, political, social and drunken history of Ireland and my life within in it, sorted in a fashion into 12 chapters.
These two decades represent a seminal period of Irish history, and along the way you get my insane life inside it, and a funky read to boot.
So I need to get an agent, and on the back of the mega-sales of this tome, finally release the other column books I have, such as my ‘Diary of a Blow-in’, the story of this London boy building himself a great life in rural Co. Mayo, which ran in the Irish Examiner for over two years. Also there are four novels, at least two of which are eminently and commercially publishable.
And yes, I am shamelessly self-publicising, because I haven’t yet found the post-viral energy to print the sample chapters, send them out and attract an agent.
Literary agents require writers to behave as if our lives depended on them, rather than the other way around. Having said that, if one is reading this and I’ve piqued your interest, licky licky kissy wissy, get in touch and I’ll try to behave myself.