Here I am now writing a blog post. I’ve been meaning for ages to get started on my own blog. I set one up a while ago for the wedding stuff but haven’t been meticulous in updating it. What really got me started was Twitter which is described as a micro-blogging site.
I think it’s great you can follow different people who have interesting things to say. You don’t have to wait for them to accept you as a friend like other social networking sites. Right from the word go you can receive snippets of information like links to interesting websites, blogs and what not, along with general musings on what is happening in their life that day. You can see who they follow, and in turn who that person follows and on and on like that. In typical fashion for me I was tweeting before I was blogging, most do it the other way around.
Through Twitter I have been led into many wonderful blogs and websites that I would never have come across if left to my own devices. I have put off writing a blog because I wasn’t sure what I’d write about. I’m still not sure but I’m going to just wing it anyway because I love to write. And I get so caught up in the everyday running of my business that writing is usually the last thing I get to do. Like anything else you have to start somewhere and learn as you go. And that just leaves one question,what’ll I do tomorrow?
I kept plugging away with the Tipp Tatler. Mary and I built a house. A friend of mine asked me one day to look up the price of flights to Paris. When I got back to him he had more questions about other places and things. He eventually told me he was planning to propose to his girlfriend. We hatched a plan.
He bought her a flying lesson at Moyne flying school, just outside Thurles. Got a huge sheet of black polythene, painted the words ‘Will You Marry Me?’ on it and rolled it out over a field. He told the pilot of his plan, who duly obliged by flying over the field. Of course she said yes. This got me to thinking….
There must be quiet a few blokes out there with no where to go for help or assistance in planning a marriage proposal. Derry to the rescue!
Around about the same time I had set up website for the Tipp Tatler and on speaking with Tom, who organised it, we decided to set up www.WillYouMarryMe.ie and fill it with proposal ideas to help people come up with their own unique proposal. It has since expanded to take in the whole wedding planning process, helped in no small way by my own wedding in May 2008.
I think I have developed a love for advertising and marketing and can never read or learn enough about either. There are just so many different methods for any business to get their message out there. What do you think is the best way or what works for you?
We spent a great deal of time getting to grips with printing, plate making and swearing loads at the pile of crap of a printing press we had. My least favourite job was (can’t think of the word right now, but it means kind of shuffling the paper to stop 2 sticking together and jamming the machine), and often way past midnight. I have to give a special word of thanks also to St. Sheelan’s College, Templemore who very helpful in those early days with advice and use of computers etc.
Anyhow Magical Tipperary was 6 or 8 months in the making between selling ads, design and layout, printing and distribution. In that time I got a crash course, kind of hit by a speeding space shuttle type of crash, in sales, general computing, graphic design, printing and all that sort of stuff. That was a long time between issues if we were to do another one, so we had a think. We decided to publish a free monthly magazine and called it the Tipp Tatler . Then I went to the pub, for a week.
Our first issue was distributed in Tipperary Town and we gave all the advertisers from Tipp Town that were in Magical Tipperary a free ad to get started. We gradually started increasing the numbers we printed and delivering to more towns. After a while we were doing all the main towns in North Tipperary. My future wife to be appeared on the scene (sorry that should read – I was blown away by a new love) and she moved down from Belfast to live with me. We still weren’t getting any richer with the magazine and my father called it a day. I now had full control and was hot on the heels of Rupert Murdoch!
After I got back from my stint in Oz my Father got onto me to work with him in producing a magazine about Tipperary. He had produced a few tourist guide books to Ireland, years previously, and had also published a couple of issues of Magical Tipperary. So a quick crash course in advertising sales and off I went calling door to door to half the businesses in Tipperary selling ads. Then somebody, for better or for worse I’m not sure, gave my father a desk top publishing program to do up the magazine. I had marginally more computer experience than him (could send an email, open Word and Excel and could type with 2 fingers as opposed to his 1) so I got the job of ‘GraphicDesigner’. The sheer joy of learning how to put a block of text into a square box was only surpassed by learning how to take it out again! Through trial and error, several undo’s and regular consultation with the ‘Help’ function I finally got all 96 pages assembled into something that slightly resembled a magazine.
Delighted with ourselves we brought it to a printer on disc.
“Na, no good, can’t open it”
“What do you mean, is your computer broke?”
“No the computer’s fine, we just don’t have that software”
“We use Quark Xpress”
“All printers use it, you’ll need to get it done up in Quark Xpress to have it printed or convert it into a pdf”
“A piddyef, what’s that?”
“I have a job on the go at the moment, I better go, did you try the printers up the road?”
There we were with with weeks of work on a useless round plastic disc that no one except us could open.
Lets print it ourselves! Dad went to the UK and bought a second hand printing press and got a few hours lessons in how to work it. Got it shippped home and then we were ‘Printers’
After leaving that fine institution that is St. Josephs College in Borrisoleigh, I went to college in Cork where I sat in a class where other people studied accountancy. Went to Chicago on J1. Finished college. Moved to Mullingar, worked as a trainee accountant and learned how to scuba dive.
I lost my balance, left accountancy, moved to Paris, worked in the Meridien Montparnasse for a month , then got a job through a friend with an international law firm. Moved to Nice for the summer, worked in a restaurant, quit that, then took photos of tourists in the market place at night while washing car windscreens at traffic lights for an hour each day. Moved home, leased pub from parents, went travelling again. To Greece, to France, home again, various jobs, travelled some more, did more stuff in different places, moved to Oz for a year, worked/managed pub for 4 years, left that, went to Western Australia, picked water melons and worked in lobster factory. Back to Sydney, pub job again. 5 years in Oz home again.
I guess from the beginning is as good a place to start as any. My parents met, married and multiplied. I had a happy childhood, at least the absence of any bad memories leads me to believe I did. Similarly the lack of any photographic evidence of me before the age of about 4 causes me to wonder did I have a toddlerhood or was I born at the age of 4? Around about the age of 7 we moved from the town of kings (Cashel, in case you’re wondering) to Borrisoleigh, where my father had opened a pub he had bought and renovated. For years I hated alchohol and drunks, I got over that though!.