Sunday, 30 December 2012

One Moment In Time

'What a year! Next year is goin' to be SO different!'

We all say it. Every year.

What is 'New Years Day'? 'New Years Eve'?
Just another moment of time passing?
Or a moment in time, passing!
A moment just passing us by, or a moment of living?
A moment in time we will remember?
Or, a moment in time. We will remember!

I have worked as an entertainer on NYE for all but one of the 22 years I have been married. (And for many more before that!)

People say stupid things to my wife about us not being together on NYE.
Things like 'How awful for you!' 'What a sad night it must be for you!' 'You must be SO lonely!'
These are the sad lonely, awful people, who know not how wonderful a person my wife is, and how strong our relationship is.
Let them say the same when they have been together for as long as we have, and are still just as much in love as we are! I'll say no more!

As per usual, at the stroke of midnight, I will sing 'Auld Lang Syne' to the happy couple and their families and friends as they celebrate together both a wedding and the coming of a new year.

I will shake hands with, and hug my fellow band members, and carry on entertaining, which is what I do best.

I could get all sentimental, drink more than I should, and shed a few tears for the ones gone before me.
But I do that in my own time, privately.
Tonight, I continue to be a professional.

I wish you all a better year ahead, even if it was a good one last year.
I hope to meet with some of you in the future.

But a very special Happy New Year to my good friend and pal JB and my Glesga family. I just know ye's are gonna have a good one!
Raise a Jameson fer me in that 'little bar for two' with the view of the stars the neet yeah?

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Fields of Athenry - Derek Moloney & Kay Lynch

When this wee baldy fella was just a 13 yr old scallywag he was the boy soprano who sang so beautifully at the wedding of Mr & Mrs Map.

I went to see him in concert last year, and he does not dissappoint!

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Sing! (Hallewhatsit!)

I don't believe in God.
I do believe people have faith.
I respect all faiths.
I have none.
I hope people respect that.
I have a love of choral music.
I especially love religious choral music.

Go figure!

Sunday, 23 December 2012

The Clearing (Of The Heid!)

It's been a week of singing.

And a week of 'socialising'!

I went out three nights in a row, first one on me own (though one is never alone in my local!), second night with Mrs. Map (we laughed so much, people watching is good free entertainment!) and last night with me pal (another night of laughter!)

So today meself & Herself took off to the forest for a 'head clearing' walk. (I hasten to add that mine was the only head needing clearing!)

And I remembered the camera!

Thursday, 20 December 2012

I Was A Kid

Me & two of my younger brothers.

Back in the day when we had fuck-all.

But we were clean, fed (Somehow!) and it looks as though we were happy.

I love this photie.

(That's Map on the right.)

I think I was about six years old then, and look at me with the collar &  tie!

(Plus, see our initials carved into the wall behind us!)

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Into The West

Mr. & Mrs. Map had a  few quiet days away in the west this week.
Galway, but not the city this time, east Galway. Though we did venture into the city for some shopping. (Has to be done!)

Of course we missed the kids.

But the quietness, the big warm bedroom, the drink, the food I didn't have to cook, the friendly staff, the bar, the drink, the big warm bed in the big warm bedroom!

Of course we missed the kids.

"Any chance of putting the Celtic game on the telly?" I asked the barman.
"Telly? I think we can do better than that!" says he as he used the remote to lower the big (180'')  screen from the ceiling.

"Will that be OK for you?"

In fairness, the bar was  quiet, but said barman was really looking after us.

Mrs. Map even watched, for a while.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012


I missed watching THE big game, in the pub of my choice, with my pal.
Where was I?
I was entertaining one of my senior groups at their Christmas party.
Timed to coincide exactly with the start and finish times of THE game.
But I had great fun. And so did they.

(That's worth 3,000,000,000,000,000,000,002 points on the 'being nice to yer elders' scale. I'm that much away from a secure seat in Heaven!)

(There was a 'Secret Millionaire' in the audience! Maybe he'll adopt me?)

I had warned my pal, 'Don't text the result!' 'I'm gonna watch it when I get home.'

'Doodle oodo, Doodle oodo, Doodle oodo do!' (can you hear the text alert??)

'We're THROUGH! Can you pick us up from the pub on yer way home?!'

I'm such a good Samaritan!


Friday, 30 November 2012

Doctor, Heal Thyself

I am not well.
Today I payed a visit to me Doc. He's been 'lookin' after me for 30 years now.
I was the last patient before his lunch break.
'Go ahead in Martin,' says he.
He seemed distracted
I went into the room, and waited.
For about five minutes.

He came in.
'Howr'ya doc' says I.
He sat in his chair, head in hands, for a few seconds.
'Martin' says he, 'I was 60 last week, I'm gettin' too feckin' old fer this game!'
'Sure ya don't look it at all doc' says I, 'haven't ye the full heid of hair and ya nearly 10 years younger than meself!
'Can we talk?' says he.
'Shoot' says I.
And for the next 15 minutes or so my doc told me of his woes.
'Thanks' he said, I don't get to do that too often. I'm tired today, the state of this country has people in a bad way. It's getting to me. Did I say I was tired?

We had a laugh after that, we know each other a long time.
And we eventually got to the reason as to why I was there!

I'll survive, despite the procedures he prescribed. (Hopefully!)
He's a good man, my doc.

As I was leaving I said, 'have an easy night, share a bottle of Merlot with Herself, see ya soon'.

'I will' he said, 'thanks Martin'..

'Take it easy T**' says I.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Baby It's Cold Outside

This winter I will mostly be wearing this hat.

And I don't care if I do look like a 'Tube'*!

(*Don't ask! But if you must, ask me Taller pal!)

Sunday, 18 November 2012

From A Jack To A King

I have to admit that the humour on me when I arose was not a positive one. But I always try to 'turn that frown upside down' before I face the world, and I had a busy day ahead of me. Made coffee in my big Hoops mug and headed to my 'music room' and sang more than a few songs. Always gets the endorphins goin'!

After lunch I packed the van and headed off across town with Annette to the center where she works, for to entertain the seniors at their first Sunday afternoon dinner/bingo/dance. (It's usually Wednesdays.)
I may never be up there with the greats but I don't need to be when I get a response such as the one I get from this group when I sing a few songs. They do more for me than I'll ever do for them. Let's just say the humour upon me had changed completely by the time I was packing my gear back into the van.

Home for a quick tea and then a 200 KM round trip to pick up my oldest pal at Cork airport on his return from a trip to England. I was still singing when he got into the van. We spent the drive home chatting and laughing.

Those negative humours don't come on me often, but when they do I always hear the voice of another pal in me heid. His advice, along with his satirical jibing, have been more of a blessing than any I ever received from from a man of the church. (The irony of his current dwelling place is not lost on me!)

I end this day a much happier, brighter man. Thankful for what I have, the people I know, and the love I receive.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012


It is indeed time for all Irish men and women to yet again rise up.

A time for politicians to tell the church to FUCK OFF!

A time for citizens to tell the politicians to GROW THE FUCK UP!

A time for Revolution.

A time for ME & YOU to make our voices heard.

A time for ME & YOU to STOP being the weak little 'it's up to the government' shits that we have become.

WE are the Government.

WE put them in Power!

It Is Our FAULT!

It is MY Fault!

It is YOUR Fault Ireland.

Saturday, 3 November 2012


From the age of about 14, up until the age of about 39/40, I had a 'tache, or a beard. I also had hair, and bushy eyebrows. (We won't go downstairs!)

The 'tache was part of my face for so long that when I eventually shaved it off for good, people thought I looked physically sick. They said things like "You don't look right, have you been ill?, I can't put my finger on it, but you, my friend, look wrong!"

Because it was when I started shaving my heid, and my barber said I couldn't have bushy eyebrows with a bald noggin, and clipped them back to within an inch of their lives, that I decided to shave the 'tache.

I actually felt naked for quite a while. My upper lip trembled at the thought of going outdoors, into the wide open world.

But eventually, we, my lip & I, became accustomed to the stares, and the cold, and the cold stares!

I grew a beard a few years ago. Imagine a ginger Santa. It didn't look good in June. It didn't make July.

It's Movember, a time when Irish men of all ages (and men of some other countries, not to mention a few women)  stop shaving on the 1st of November to raise funds for, and awareness of, men's Cancer.
Being in the business of show, and having to look one's best at all times for one's public , I have never participated in such shenannigans. But yesterday, having shaved the heid, I let the face go wild. Two days in, it doesn't look much, a mixture of grey & ginger, a slight shadow on an otherwise handsome fisoge. I have a gig with the two-piece this very evening and I will decide just minutes before the gig if I shall shave or not.

Herself will not approve, though she fell for the moustachioed Map many moons ago. Or maybe she will be tickled grey!

Think 'Magnum', think 'Freddie Mercury', Think '70's Porn Star'!

I know you want it!

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Friday, 26 October 2012


Last night I dreamed I punched a man to death
He taunt me so
I, the most non-violent person I know
Yet, with each and every breath
With each and every roar and scream
And heavy hand I lay
Upon his head, to my dismay
It was my perfect dream.

Lines And Lines And Lines

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Just Sittin'

I spent way too much time just sitting in the driver seat today. Not driving, just waiting. I seem to be getting the hang of this patience thing, must be my age!

I sat for over 90 minutes outside the doctor's surgery while one of my daughters waited patiently inside until 12:30 for her 11:00 appointment. In fairness, both of the usual doctors were missing and a poor locum was trying to cope on her own.

Later this evening I waited in the car-park of the local maternity hospital for another one of my daughters who was supposed to finish her shift at 20:45 but didn't get out 'til almost an hour later. Then again, babies aren't known for their punctual arrivals!
Said daughter is on  placement in this hospital for the past week (she's usually in general hospitals). Today she was on the labour ward. First thing she said getting into the car? "I'm never having kids! Adoption is the way for me!"

In between I made a huge batch of my famous tomato sauce, which should last the week, and enough for friends too. Also made a lovely chicken dinner, complete with Bubble & Squeek, (from yesterdays leftover cabbage and spuds.) So all is well. 


Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Family First.

I've not been ignoring you, I've just been having a very good time.
It's 3am, and I'm just in from a family party. (Yes, another one!)
This time it was the celebration of 40 years of wedded bliss for my brother Jimmy and his wife Helen.

A day (and night) long affair in their house, just down the road from my own wee castle.The fling started about 4ish and went on from there. We joined the party about 7pm, that's when it really got going! That's when the singing started!

It's been quite a while since the six brothers and our little sis were all in the same house together. Add some alcohol.....

To say we all like to sing is an understatement, can you just imagine the lot of us fighting for mic time?? But it's my mic, yeah?
No, I was happy to be MC and let the rest of the clan do the singing for a change.
Throw in some very talented nieces & nephews, who needs a band?

The neighbours were fascinated! We're like a very ugly Osmond/Partridge family! (Apart from wee sis, who's just gorgeous!)
But with the voices of angels.
Hell's Angels!
Fuckit though, we amuse ourselves, and it's free.

Much as I love being out with friends, and much as I love being on stage entertaining strangers, there's nothing beats a gathering of the clan.


Family first.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012


Today for breakfast.... HAHAHAHA!!

I don't eat breakfast. It's coffee & a fag for me, though I haven't had a fag in over eight years now. So it's just the coffee. Three spoons of Tesco's Finest in me big Hoops mug. (Ta Pal!) Keeps me going for at least an hour.

I knew before I even started the van that the clutch was gannna be fucked. The heavens were pouring down which didn't make the day any better! Today was ganna be busy.

I managed to get the van moving, and with the help of my drummer, got it to our mechanic and get back home in time to get my gear into Herself's car.

Oh, I haven't told ya yet, today I was doing my first 'seniors' lunch 'singalongwithmap'! And the van fucked up!

As it was on in the centre where Herself works, she came home and helped me pack the gear into the car. And I'm glad she did.

I was on after the bingo (Such a Star!). Approx 60 senior ladies & one gent.
I'm not one to boast, but I sent a lot of ladies home happy!  :¬)

I myself am still on a high from the love I got back from the girls. They sang along with all the oldies, and danced like young'uns to the lively tunes.

A good time was had by all.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

That's Entertainment

Again I sit awake at an unholy hour, perfect you may say, for such an unholy soul.
It's all the years spent on shiftwork, coupled with being a Rock-God that gives my body the sleeping patterns of a vampire. That and an over-active mind.

It was a busy weekend, I estimate that at least 250 songs were voiced by the Map in the last three days! I'm keeping my cakehole shut for the day tomorrow. Friday was a wedding with the band in Bunratty, great night. A drinking pal of mine was in attendance with his good lady wife. He has never seen me perform before. I think he was mildly shocked by the on-stage Map compared to the quiet bar-fly he's used to. "You're quite a different man up there"

Saturday night I was entertaining the guests at my grand-nephew's Christening. This was a solo gig, and most of my family, including the Ma  and most of my brothers were in my audience. The problem with having so many brothers is that they keep sending drinks up to the stage. I was having such a good time I forgot the hour, and was singing for five hours! And Ma was one of the last to leave, at almost 3am!

Sunday night was another solo gig in a rugby club. A surprise 50th birthday party for the FIL of one of my nieces. A bit more quiet than the previous two nights but it suited me, as I was on Adam's wine!

Sometimes it's hard to believe that folk pay me good money to do what I do.

Have a good week my friends.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

No Church

'Tis not to church I'll go when life leaves me
I've asked her that, and agree did she
Lay me out in my music room
Where my friends
And those who wonder
To see the man
Who sang for many
A man who loved to sing
For any
Dared to sing
And dared to love
Loved to share
And shared to love
Not a night in church I'll tarry
Though be it there I did doth marry
Leave me not alone
With priest
I've spent my time with such,
A beast
Take me from my home my dear
To the hole,
Without fear.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Can I see some I.D.?

The trousers do be getting tight again. And though herself has been taking me on her nightly walks I think it's time I started doin' some real exercise again.
I've been researching local gyms on the web. The one I currently attend pay membership to is getting a bit old and tired, like meself.
I found a couple of good ones in local hotels, but the price of membership is a bit steep.
Then herself pointed out the special offer for the Over 50's!
I'd forgotten that!
I'd forgotten I was Over 50!
But that's good yeah?
And it saves me money.
I'm offf to research 'Golden Oldie' holidays!

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Wee Man

If I had a son
His name would be Iain
And his hair would be curly
And he would be a gangly teen
Who would grow
To become a strong man
And he would be gentle
Like his grandfathers before him
He would cycle a bike
And kick a ball
And hug his Grannies
And he would love his Ma
And Protect his sisters
And take his auldfella for a pint
Of a Sunday

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Caught In A Moment

Another great shot from my favourite photographer Dermot Culhane.

Not only a great photographer, but one of the most down-to-earth people I have the pleasure to know.

I was visiting the Ma last Saturday and she was telling me she had woken up with an old neighbour, Pauline, on her mind. Pauline had passed away two weeks previously. Ma said that Pauline had come to her in the dream and looked very cold (she was a very thin woman) so she gave her a brandy to warm her.

That evening at my wedding I got chatting to Dermot. He told me he had taken some great shots of me singing to his Aunt at the last wedding we were both working. She passed away two weeks ago, his Auntie Pauline.

Small world.

Have a look at his site if you have some time to spare.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Thursday, 27 September 2012

The Weakness (In Me)

Here's the story.

Once upon a time a little boy called Martin Anthony Patrick Stewart heard a young woman by the name of Joan Armatrading sing.

And the boy fell in love.

Many years later the lovely miss Joan Armatrading sang her lovely songs, four feet away from Martin Anthony Patrick Stewart, and he did swoon. Repeatedly.

For she smiled her lovely smile, and he doth quivered.

And she did sing, to him alone. Though there be a crowd.

For she doth love him. (:¬)

Monday, 24 September 2012

Gwan Joanie

We're off to Killarney later today to see Joan Armatrading in the INEC.

I've been waiting quite a long time to see this lady perform live.

Front row too! :¬)

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Fathers (Sorry 'Bout Dat)

Father Ted Crilly
Father Jack Hackett
Father Dougal McGuire
Father Noel Furlong
Father Larry Duff
Father Paul Stone
Father Brian Eno
Father Hank Tree.
Father Hiroshima Twinkie.
Father Stig Bubblecard.
Father Liam Deliverance
Father Johnny Helzapoppin.
Father Luke Duke.
Father Romeo Sensini
Father Billy Furley.
Father Austin Purcell
Father Buzz Cagney
Father Chewy Louie.
Father John Hoop.
Father Benny Cake
Father Harry Cakelinem.
Father Rabulah Conundrum.
Father Pee-wee Stairmaster.
Father Joe Briefly
Father Tri-Peglips.
Father Jemimah Ractoole.
Father Jerry Twig.
Father Jim Johnson
Father Fintan Fay
Father Spodo Komodo.
Father Canabramalamer.
Father Todd Unctious.

Saturday, 15 September 2012


Yes, I've been to the pub.
Yes, I'm feeling sorry for myself.
And yes, much as my good chef friend has been making me a much tougher lad than I normally would be.

I miss my sister.
(I've been drinkin'!)

I fucking miss her.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Inspired by M.De.F (From long ago)

Magnificent was my Perjink

At once both wild and pretty

It ran off with my favourite shoe

Which was an awful pity

For if it took the other shoe

The one which I destested

I would have stayed with my Perjink

For life, my heart be rested.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

let it be,let it be, let it be,let it be.

Sometimes a night in the pub of choice with the friend of choice is all it takes to put life into perspective. It's amazing really how simple life can be if you just let it be.


Thursday, 6 September 2012

MapSlim (Drink Yerself Skinny!)

Seriously, there's only so much belly a man can hold in!

P (the P) is foregoing our usual Thursday night session 'cos he's putting in extra training BEFORE starting work on Fridays! So we just sat around the fire in his back yard on Wednesday night instead, drinking cans, and bottles, yada yada...
(Why do we say 'Thursday night' and not 'Thursnight'?)

So, the Mapster has got to get back to some serious training. I've started already with some walking, TO the pub, FROM the pub, No taxi's for me.

Back to the gym it is, might start easy with some swimming. Tried the Speedo on today, can still get into it, another week or so and I should be able to get past the knees. (My taller pal has taken my 'Emergency' Speedo to Spain! Hope he remembers 'Yellow to the front, Brown to the back!) Ah the fun we had on the last trip we had together, watching him trying to get it on over his heid! He should have waited 'til I'd taken it off first. You have to love him though!

Two weddings this weekend, should sweat off at least half a stone what with all the jumping around with the auld wans, few pints Sunnight and after a good lie-in on Monday should be fit for the gym by Wednesday.

I'm feeling more svelte already!

Sunday, 2 September 2012


I was chatting with the Ma earlier this evening, the usual Sunday chat.

'It's your Father's anniversary next wednesday, 26 years'
'Ya, like yesterday Ma'
'Say Mam, I never liked that word, Ma'
'OK Ma'
'What age were you?'
'25 Ma'
'Sorry Ma'
'I would have been what?'
'61 Ma'
'I won't fuckin' tell you again!'
'61 Mam'
'Same age as your brother Jimmy is now'
'Ya, he was 35, I thought he was so old then'
'I thought I was old'
'You were a young widow Ma'
'I was, still seems like yesterday'
'It does Ma'
'It does'

Thursday, 30 August 2012


For my very good friend Jimmy and the lovely Siobhán.

24 years, and still in love.

Enoy the sunshine my dear friends!


Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Tall Pal Long Pockets

Funny how Jimmy always has a 'bladder moment' just before it's his shout!

I'll forgive the bastid (AGAIN!) being the night that's in it.

Now sing along ya big yin!

Fields Of Athenry <--CLICK!!

Friday, 24 August 2012

Monday, 20 August 2012


Just one of the benefits of having a daughter who works as a
Castle Entertainer is that she gets to take her family to a lot of associated tourist attractions for free!

This past Sunday four of us spent quite a few hours at Bunratty Castle & Folk Park. We haven't been there since the young'uns were young'uns and we really enjoyed it.

Unfortunately we didn't have time to sample a few beverages at the local, Durty Nelly's. One never knows who might pop in for a wee dram. (A pal of mine is a landowner thereabouts!) Next time.

Thursday, 9 August 2012


A friend asked me recently about growing up on the Island.
'Did you have a happy childhood? Did it bother you growing up where you did?'
I never really thought about whether my growing up where I did, or whether I was happy or not as a child influenced the man I am today.
It was a rough place most of the time, but looking back, it never struck me that any place else was different to where I was.
It may have been bleak in Limerick in the 1960's, but I was a child and knew no better. I'm sure I was happy most of the time.
The same friend asked me if I was proud that I was from the Island.
He may as well have been asking me if I was proud to be bald, or blue-eyed, or tall.
I had no choice in any of these matters, I was born into circumstances I had no control over. Born to live the start of my life where my parents lived.
I inherited male pattern baldness, and blue eyes, from my parents.
And the fondness for music.
And morals, and right from wrong.
And love.

Forgive me for my rambling, sometimes I just tap out what comes into me head!

I met an old friend today in the supermarket. Her husband, a fellow musician, who taught me a lot, died a few months back. She still can't believe he's gone. But she struggles on, and looks forward to each new day, 'cos she says that her husband loved each extra day he got. She lives each and every day not only for herself but for him too.

We've had another young man take his life in our community this past few days. It breaks my heart to see young people in so much pain that they give up on life. But I see so many of our young folk who struggle with this world and yet take on the challenge with vigour that it brightens the face of this old fella! We need to watch and care for our teenagers and young adults.


Monday, 6 August 2012

Happy Birthday Ma.

The auld one is 87.
What to give as a present?
12yr old Jameson, her favourite.


Friday, 3 August 2012

Aye Jimmy!

So, back from the holliers.
Bride from Limerick.
Groom from Glasgow!!!

East end!!!

Good night?

What do you think??

Monday, 30 July 2012

Gone Fishing.

Mr. & Mrs. Map and the youngest Maplet are away for the next few days to the (hopefully) sunny south-east.

I'm expecting you lot to mind the shop, and as the older maplets are home alone maybe some of you (Séamus) could keep an eye out for visiting boyfriends!

(We'll be staying here if you need to contact me!)

Saturday, 28 July 2012


Just home from the third of four gigs this weekend. (I could really do with most weeks being like this!)

All very different. But one was to an audience of deaf people, well at least 95% of the audience was deaf.

We had signers on stage with us, for some of the gig.
But for most of the night, the majority of the audience had their back to us.
I might be going out on a limb here, but I thought that was quite ignorant.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Wet In A Different City

Frank McCourt portrayed our lovely little city as being constantly wet, damp, drizzled upon and miserable in his book Angela's Ashes. If you were to visit us in the very recent past one could hardly convince you otherwise.
(Because it has been wet, damp, drizzled and downpoured upon, though it's hardly ever miserable! The music alone in this town would cheer Scrooge!)

So today we took ourselves on a day trip to Cork City, about 100Km from here. They seem to have taken a like to our weather!
(At least we were wet in a different city!)

All in all it was a good day out, and I did something I very rarely do.
I bought shoes! (Albeit special shoes, said to make one's hair grow back (maybe not!) but could possibly help ease my back problems.)

The English Market in Cork City is a wonderful joy of smells and sounds and sights.

Friday, 20 July 2012


22 years ago the lovely Miss Annette Hogan said 'I Do'.
And so did I. :¬)

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Busy! :¬)

I could do with most months being July!
Or September.
They seem to be the busy months for weddings.
I'm singing my proverbial heart out this month and I am as happy as a pig in shit!
August is a bit quieter, but I shall enjoy the break, and hopefully the weather will pick up and I'll get some swims in the Atlantic!
And then September. Busy again.
Thank you all you couples who give us the honour of entertaining you and your guests!
I am blessed and privileged!

Friday, 13 July 2012

My Father's Coat

When I was small my father's coat was our duvet.
And it kept us warm.
And when his coat was on our bed it meant he was home from work.
And we felt safe.

I can still smell it.