Anakana Schofield – Author of Martin John and Malarky

Dervla, Eurovision

While I am tempted to write an entire post on the Eurovision Song Contest, I shall restrain myself to one paragraph.

Very moving to see Conchita nail it, she was fantastic and I’m fixated on the fact her act involved a lamp post. It was suggestive of weather. The Polish entry was a puzzling advert for plumbing porn (via butter making) which set feminism back 50 years by suggesting all women want to do is shag plungers, possess inflatable breasts and look dopey, while all clever people know very well that them loose goose writhing motions will not create butter. Plumbing has become a whole new pragmatic gesture thanks to youtube & how to fix your u bend yourself videos. There’s no going back to the reductive rescue trope as Poland learnt when they received virtually no points. Italy sang about parking problems, while wearing a very Stations of the Cross head wreath, due to recent $155 tow truck kidnap of my car, point taken.  There is NO rain in Spain, yet Spain sang endlessly about rain. There was a very strange Indie-guitar entry, which has no place in the Eurovision. Slovenia remains the Capital of Eurovision. The excellent singer who played the flute and conducted non playing flute waving like the Flying Fox bat (really youtube the two videos) was remarkable. Wavy flute arm gestures are the ones to be topped next year. People should start carrying silver flutes around just to reveal their dynamic potential for self-expression during heated conversations, never mind needing to play them. Iceland was as formidable as ever. All countries near Russia voted not to be invaded over any musical considerations, except Lithuania who are already in that situation and were able to consider the treble clef. Immense boos for Putin throughout score results and a strong suck it to the homophobes as Conchita was crowned. Ireland gave Conchita douze points, let’s hope the govt now moves to vastly improve Trans rights. The UK entry sang we are children of the universe, while the NHS is dissolving/struggling, libraries closing and you must pay for wifi at Heathrow.  I am perplexed by Malta’s double-headed, cross pollinated guitar/uke instrument, there were no mouth organs in any entry I saw (she squints, was there maybe one?) and one accordion in Germany’s otherwise dud entry. Instead Celine Dion has much to atone for in destroying true Euro pop and an increase in belter, yowling type tunes. Johnny Cash has made an entry also and again we need to consider the ramifications of this very carefully. The whole point of the Eurovision is bad synth, mad costumed Euro pop. France was almost there, except for the Vanilla Ice influence. Twitter was hilarious and some of the funniest observations flowed. I regret that much of my Saturday was consumed with the Eurovision and not the more serious duties that are outstanding, but my faith in human humour and devilment was restored. Conchita’s speech was very moving.

It is nearly Mother’s Day and musically things have changed channel to Dvorak.

A very long paragraph that almost became a post.

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Here is a lovely video interview with Dervla Murphy, where she comforts one of her dogs repeatedly by scratching his armpit and shares succinct insights on big questions. I love how sparse her kitchen is. You can see where everything is and how practical and cosy her house is. She’s very sensible and a mighty writer. I’ve given her books to many. I still remember reading the first one so many years ago, about her crossing Ethiopia on a donkey. There’s another longer radio interview with her here.

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