DUSTIN The Turkey …

Ireland has won the Eurovision Song Contest so many times that it got too much for the tiny nation to cough up the dosh to make a posh do aka to arrange the competition year in, year out, so that the representatives selected on the same from the Emerald Isle have not done well at all for years and years.

But this year there is a very amusing entry, for the Irish voters picked the children’s hand puppet as the best of six finalists in a decision that is likely to ruffle some feathers – LOL!! — at the event in May. The entertainer’s song Irelande Douze Points emerged as a clear favourite in the weeks leading up to the country’s vote.

Dustin has been one of Ireland’s leading stars since he joined The Den with fellow puppets Zig and Zag in the 1990. He is no stranger to being in the limelight, having recorded six albums and performed a host of comical duets with artists such as Bob Geldof, Chris De Burgh, Ronnie Drew, Dervla Kirwan and the late Joe Dolan.

Dustin was plucked – HaHa!! very apt word as we are talking about a turkey — from six finalists to win a televised poll programme in the Republic of Ireland on Saturday night. And such is the contest’s reputation for successful novelty acts that bookmakers have made him 10-1 favourite to win in Belgrade in May. His song is entitled Irelande Douze Pointe, a reference to the maximum of 12 points which each country can award to a song.  Dustin’s song, sung in a North Dublin accent, urges the contest judges to “give douze points to Ireland, for its lowlands and its highlands, for Wogan’s wig and Bono’s leather pants. We brought you Guinness and Westlife, 800-years of war and strife, but we all apologise for Riverdance.”

The Eurovision Song Contest, now in its 53rd year, is known for its glitzy but tacky costumes, bizarre songs and outrageous performances. An estimated 100 million people from 42 countries watched last year’s gala, which took place in Helsinki.

The background of this turkey vulture loved by many is according to the Wikipedia that “Dustin was introduced as a character when one of the puppets, Zag, who was trying to join the upper classes, entered a golf tournament with Tony Fenton the 2fm DJ and came last. The prize was a Christmas Turkey, and a chance to meet movie star Dustin Hoffman.

It transpired however, that the turkey shared the name of the movie star and was not only still alive, but had a Dublin accent and his own building company. Zig and Zag intended to eat Dustin for Christmas dinner, and only changed their minds when a frequent visitor to the show, artist and children’s novelist Don Conroy, provided his taxonomical opinion that Dustin was, in fact a cross between a turkey and a vulture, and therefore unsuitable for human or Zogling consumption (Zig and Zag are aliens from the planet Zog). He makes appearances outside of The Den, including an annual appearance on The Late Late Show Toy Show special at Christmas each year.”

See for yourselves his remarkable talent in this video:.

Tis for now, Rii xx





12-Days of Christmas: A Novel Take

This particular Countdown for Christmas has been our special favourite for decades aka since it first appeared in the 1980’s in Ireland. We are known to quote parts of it at all seasons in our family.

The countdown is read by Frank Kelly who is better known nowadays as the heavy drinking, foulmouthed priest in Father Ted. Here in this link there is more on him.

Tis now for Rii xx

Photo: Riihele. All rights reserved.


Escape Artist

One that nearly managed to escape this paparazzi aka Da Blonde!!

One that nearly managed to escape this paparazzi!!

This bird was a most cool customer, so he was.
I saw him walking on the pavement and went to take a snap on him
but he was having none of it, and just kept marching on with this determined step as if I wasn’t even there with me camera and all!!

Anyway, managed to take this one and I am pleased with is as it shows the gull looking rather proud and assured of his charm! Just as he was. He kept on walking and I thought that he was going to wait at the zebra crossings for the cars to pass…. He was so very clever but then he took off on his wings.

Tis for now. Riihele xx

© Photos: By Riihele. All rights reserved.

TIME 4: Starling

Birds building a nest

This time, the TIME 4 is about birds, Starlings to be precise. One of my contacts, and a great person altogether, is Aditi, and her house had these most clever birds as house guests - yes, literally - and this prompted me to dig into my files and take up this off another entry done previously a good while ago!

The One, in the bird ‘interior design- and decorating world’ that is a top-notch skilled designer, and has the most fanciful taste, is the Starling. You see, I read me newspapers and get a lot of thoughts for blogs there, and a while back I saw this article with some photographs of this bird’s work and it must be seen to be believed. The Starlings even put into the nests some herbs such as mint and lavender with their ethereal oils that add to the wellbeing of the off-spring which has been proven by some French scientists. Apparently, they want to smell good and be fragrant as well, you see!

I will be looking at them birds with an altogether different eye now that I know that there could be some useful and beautiful interior design ideas to be had in their nests. Here is a snippet off an excellent site:

“All of the European Starlings found today in North America-and they number in the 200 million range-are descendants of approximately 100 birds introduced in New York City’s Central Park in the early 1890s. Today, European Starlings are seen from Alaska to Florida to northern Mexico.

European Starlings – (Sturnus vulgaris) – are stocky birds with short, square-tipped tails and pointed wings. During breeding season, they can be distinguished quickly from blackbirds by their long, pointed, yellow bill; blackbirds have dark bills. Starlings exploit a variety of food sources, taking invertebrates, fruits and berries, grain, and temporarily abundant food such as animal feed or garbage.

Both males and females (especially in the fall) can sing and make a variety of calls, whistles, and more complex songs. The males typically sing two types of songs, one consisting primarily of loud whistles and the other a so-called “warbling song” that often incorporates mimicry of other species. An individual bird can mimic up to 20 species, including Eastern Wood Pewee, Killdeer, and Meadowlark songs. It has been observed that longer songs are more successful in attracting a mate.” (Source:http:// http://www.birds.Cornell.edu)

The Starlings seem to be the comedians of the bird world for this it is what this site states:

“Starlings are great at mimicry,, with examples including machines, such as telephones and car alarms, and other birds such as curlews and Pied Wagtails. Consequently, it’s difficult to know what their song is other than a medley of squeaks, clicks and whistles.” Source: British Garden Birds online.

The picture is taken off the net showing them birds at decorating. The young ones must be hiding somewhere in their luxuriously and tastefully designed and oh-so-delightfully fragrant nests. Who would have thought that the Starling was so fashionable and so into detail?

In my school we had this over-enthused biology teacher who insisted on teaching us about birds of all kinds and their songs with a test at the end of it! I have hardly ever sweated so much in my life for a test than I did for that one, let me tell you! Anyway, here is a link to a quizz like he did to us. Good luck! I do not have a memory of how I did on the said thingie – just remember the perspiration prior to the event.

Tis for now. Rii xx

Here is another entry I did on me school years with a mention of this same biology teacher, and all of 80-plants (wild) which we had to collect and present in a Herbarium, in an entry called: Me Memories of Teen Age Years.

Did You Know That: Birds


Did You Know That the birds are expert interior designers and decorators? Well, neither did I until I read one day in my morning newspaper that this is so. Really, it is so that unless one lives in an area where there are birds of the feather nearby, one does not pay that much attention to their doings and goings on.Thus, one remains ignorant of the beauty and joy that they do bring into one’s life.

I am reminded of the birds of the feather as the weather has been so very mild for the past few weeks now that some plants are coming with new blooms. Also, passing by a place where there are lots of birds, I heard them negoating deals for property and new litters seemed to in the planning. So, I thought:’For goodness sake, Birdies; tis winter not spring! Do not get fooled into a wrong deal nor into a wrong plan regarding parenting for when the winter winds arrive, they are most unkind.’ The Snow That Was Photos are in this link and me ponderings, wonderings about the weather is in this here.

We had a garden in Ireland that had lots of various kinds of birds residing in it,and they did not mind that there were also the enemies of them – our cats – who constantly tried to and sometimes succeeded in killing some. No matter what we did to make the cats to stop being such brutes, they just kept on honing their skills in hunting and killing.

I like and I love to learn about all sorts of things and people worldover, so for me to be able to tuck into the daily paper is such a pleasure. A lot of the ideas to ‘what’ to write comes from the daily reading of a whole range of newspapers both online and actually in the ‘real paper’ form. Also, over the years I have read books and articles in a variety of languages so they will keep on popping up as well from time to time. I do have a few topics on-going like The Pink Sofa-Chats, Travelogues, about my life so far-stories of growing up in Lapland and so on, but every now and then it is refreshing to take up something totally different, a new topic and then weave away to make it into a pattern of ‘cloth’ made of words and images of mind. Hence, this new topic: Did You Know That…

The interior colours that are the most in are shown in here.To me it does look like it is the usual colours that are always ‘in’: the yellows, the pinks, the reds et cetera. The site gives a Top Ten Designer Techniques -chart which is very handy.

But back to the birds – The One in the bird ‘interior design and decorating world’ that is a top-notch skilled designer and has the most fanciful taste is the Starling. In the newspaper that I mentioned above, there is a photograph of this bird’s work and it must be seen to be believed. The Starlings even put into the nests some herbs such as the mint and the lavender with their ethereal oils that add to the wellbeing of the off-spring which has been proven by some French scientists. Apparently, they want to smell good and be fragrant as well, you see!

Tis for now. Riihele xx.

I will be looking at them birds with an altogether different eye now that I know that there could be some useful and beautiful interior design ideas in their nests.

The photograph is one that I took a few years ago, though no sign of not even one single bird in it. They must have been hiding somewhere in their luxuriously and tastefully designed and oh-so-delightfully fragrant nests.