Archive for February, 2017

As many of you’ll know, I love performing. I’m addicted to it. A friend told me, on the night of my first performance, that it’s a sick thrill. And he was right. It’s something I just can’t get enough of; that almost nauseating rush to the head, the spark in your nerve-endings, the electricity surging through your veins. There’s no sensation on earth that can rival it.

This weekend, I had the opportunity to perform at two amazing events as a featured performer. The first of these was Café Sessions at Joey’s Coffee Shop in Clonmellon, Westmeath, run by Donal Coghlan. I featured on the bill with the wonderful and delightfully charming singer-songwriter Seb Kerrbay in front of a greatly receptive audience. I performed spoken-word versions of Autopsy of a Dream, The Ballad of Christopher Robin, Red Rover, Trigger Warning, A Long Way to Fall and Did’Ya, and received an unprecedentedly warm reaction from the assembled crowd, a number of whom purchased my books and CDs afterwards. The buzz carried me through til the following evening to the Tivoli Backstage Dublin for Chillz and Vibez poetry and acoustic night, hosted by Reo Odirile and featuring, along with myself, poet John Cummins and singer-songwriter Shane May, in addition to many brilliant special guests. My set for the night consisted of For You I Died, My Lover, A Long Way to Fall, Red Rover, Autopsy of a Dream, Trigger Warning and Did’Ya,  largely similar to the previous night’s set, and I got to sit back and appreciate a whole host of talented musicians, poets and storytellers. I’m so grateful to Donal and Reo for inviting me to participate in a double-bill of wonderful entertainment, and I absolutely will be back if you’ll have me!

For the moment, I’m working on writing the music for my poetry and music album Ctrl/Alt/Delete, which is roughly one-third the way through, and I’ll be starting work once more on my second novel, The Katzenjammer Chronicles, in early March. Stand by for future gig announcements!

 

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I have been the perennial commuter for what feels like a century at this point; the primary reason for this being that, despite my most strenuous efforts, I cannot get a place. This, of course, makes the fact that I work, perform and do the majority of my socialising in Dublin somewhat awkward. It also puts a relative strain on relationships and friendships, and means I can’t get to see certain people nearly as often as I’d like to. All this, added to the fact that I spend up to four hours per day on public transport, makes for a very disjointed life, and a permanently exhausted punk- poet/author/guitarist/photographer/administrator.

That’s not to say I haven’t pushed myself to my utter limits to find a place too. In fact, over the weekend, while I was embroiled in a raging battle with influenza, I had a most interesting response to an enquiry I’d made into an apartment on Merchant’s Quay:

Hi Natasha
A high standard. Accommodation is accessed through a main door and comprises; large welcoming reception hallway with generous storage cupboard off, very spacious lounge with bay windows, fully fitted dining kitchen with new modern appliances, family bathroom with electric shower over bath and two large double bedrooms. The property has been furnished to a high standard and offers great living space with many period feature The large master bedroom has a king-size bed Linen and towels included and pet are welcome once there are friendly and couple are welcome as well. Its a ideal for students studying at either What’s on offer is an opportunity to experience high-end city center luxury, close to lots of interesting places.The area has lots of nice Cafés, Restaurants, Pubs and Bars. It is hard to stay more central , you can walk in any direction from the flat and will find so much to discover! The transportation link to other parts of the city is excellent.
 Address:  (Too-Good-To-Be-True Street)
Available fully furnished.The rent is €650 per month and the security Deposit of €650,which will be refundable at the end for the stay.
Internet and all bills are included in the rent,the apartment is available it all depends on how long you want to stay in it.
So, tell me more about yourself and See Google Map on the address  let me know if the location suits you and if this is okay for you in terms of distance from your work or school or closeness to the city center
Looking forward to hearing from you so we can proceed to the tenement agreement contract and also getting keys for you to move in,
I will now look forward to your questions, thoughts and comments. Kindly let me know more about you 
 
Thanks
Too good to be true, perchance? I’ve been a hundred times round the block when it comes to house-hunting, and this place seemed a little too much like heaven. The attached photos looked like they’d been scanned from a showhouse brochure. Still, I was not deterred, and proceeded to enquire about a viewing, which prompted the following:
Hello again,
Thanks again for the interest and it’s available for the period you want and I suggest you rent for the specific period you want. Although, you can further increase your duration of rent later if you want. I will also appreciate you telling me little about yourself and I do hope our business relationship grows further than this. What I will suggest as of now is if you don’t mind is that I can mail you the keys to the apartment as am not around for now. However, that’s subject to both us in agreement with the terms and conditions set out in the Contract Agreement also signed the Contract Agreement. 
Now, the total number of occupants will be 2 as stated before. All the rooms are en-suite room so you have access to your own private bathroom while the living room and the kitchen are the common areas to be shared with your other flatmate. Also, each room as its own heating system. These are all put in place for your ultimate comfort. Our guest policy is flexible, you can receive guest at will but you must put in a written notice if any of your guest will be staying for more than two week. Also, I need to let you know that one of the rooms was just secured by a lady. In fact, she might be in a better position to show you the apartment as am not going to be around. She’s a 24 years old lady starting her internship for six month here and will be moving in February ending. You can contact her directly at { fakename@gmail.com } to properly introduce yourself. She will even be in a better way to tell you more about the apartment because she’s already viewed and inspected it. I hope that will also put your mind at rest?
So, if you are interested in making reservation, do let me know as soon as possible so I can forward the rental documents to you. Payment is via a bank transfer, it’s secure, fast and reliable. There is no agent involved in this. If you wish to proceed on the reservation by signing the contract/tenancy agreement form and the payment of the first month rent and deposit.Here are the details required for the rental agreement as follows:: 
*you need to send your name, current address, move in date, duration of stay in the apartment and a scanned copy of your international passport or any form of Identification*.
I look forward to reading back from you. Thank you and have a lovely weekend ahead.
This was a little less convincing. The achingly poor English, the request for a copy of my passport, the offer to post me a set of keys once I’d wired €1300 without getting to stick so much as a toe in the door, let alone view the place; it all smacked of the type of emails you find lining your spam box every once in a while from an overthrown Nigerian prince. You know what I’m talking about, we’ve all gotten them. At this point, I took the liberty of sending an email to the address of my supposed new housemate, to try to assemble the pieces of whatever the hell was meant to be going on.  I present, for your reading pleasure, the response:
Hi,Natasha  
Thanks for reaching out and sorry it took a while to reply, it’s a pity I just left town Saturday afternoon on a family emergency. I urgently need to see my parents right now so am not sure meeting up with you will be possible for now. Yes, I have my keys. Perhaps the Landlord (Mrs XX) can arrange something else so you can be able to view the apartment but I can assure you and give you my word that the apartment is as it was put out to you. Everything are all in place and it’s a fantastic house. It’s also safe and very accommodation. Mrs XX  is also a wonderful person. I had my doubts too at first but as it turns out, I was proved wrong and am happy and privileged to have rented one of the rooms. I can assure you, you won’t regret renting the apartment. Anyways, here’s little about me.
I’m [Obviously Fake Name]. I’m a British citizen. I quite have a diverse background, My Dad is from Bristol UK, and mom is from California, USA. I’m 24 years old graduate of Finance at the University of Miami Florida, United States who is moving to start an internship. I was there with my parents to look at a number of rooms and to be candid, it was difficult finding anything decent within our budget (we had a budget of €600-€650 in a month). A family friend recommended XX property to us and the apartment looked wonderful and we couldn’t have hoped for anything better. The apartment is in very good condition and I feel privileged to have been considered to rent a room in the apartment. The best part for me is having a private bathroom, I can sing and dance in the shower without any worries in the world??. 😄😍😇 The flat is really great. I really call it a home and I have signed the contract agreement form and made the payment for the rent and deposit and I have collected the booking confirmation letter and the payment receipt. Sorry I don’t have the Contract here with me I would have attached for you to see. 
On a personal note, I am organized to a fault, neat and I love cooking. (I hope you have a huge appetite). A little more about me. I am a very sincere and honest person ,am caring, kind, social, smart, intelligent, passionate, friendly, romantic. I’m also trustworthy so far as people tell me maybe I’m just laid back. I believe in the truth and honest and God fearing people. I am a very sincere person when it comes to sharing feelings and emotions with any person and I really am down to earth, honest about the things I say and do not like hurting peoples feelings. I’ve attached my picture. 
How soon are you moving into the property? I am moving in by the end of February. Kindly send me your Skype id and i will add you on  what-apps number and I will add you. I will be a little occupied this coming week because am planning on going on an excursion to the Douro de la Sierra in Soria Province across northern-central Spain and Portugal. Well, that’s after I finish what I have to do with my parents. Have a great day.
Cheers..
I don’t feel I need to point out that the child of a Briton and an American, both natives of English-speaking countries, should have more than a flaccid grasp of the English language, but I shall nonetheless. Similarly, I shouldn’t need to add that it’s considered too much information to announce to a potential housemate that you like to sing and dance in the shower (how is the latter even possible?!) and you are passionate and romantic. I’ve met a lot of whackos in my time who took the biscuit, but this one took the whole damn packet.
I had, by now, of course realised what must be evident to you reading this- the landlord and tenant are one in the same person. This was nothing but a poorly-cobbled-together ruse to shaft me out of almost a grand and a half. I can laugh now, because this pathetic attempt at trickery could never in a millennium have fooled anyone with even half a functioning brain. But the scammers behind it will learn, and evolve, and keep changing their act until they eventually snare someone in their web.
I’ve been screwed over royally in my quest for a roof above my head.  I’ve been messed about and led astray up the garden path, but who hasn’t? This is a comic relief chapter in my tale of strife, one we can all laugh at, and learn from. By the by, I’ve got another viewing coming up on Thursday. I’ll keep you posted.