Contemporary literature, classical music, charity initiatives, cooking and chocolate eating are on the agenda this weekend …
If you are missing The Museum of Literature Ireland (as well as its lovely garden café) good news. MoLI in association with UCD’s School of English, Drama and Film is launching a new digital platform for Contemporary Irish Writing today, April 1. The website is a must-use resource for readers, book club members, teachers and enthusiasts and features an exciting selection of 100 titles from of contemporary Irish literature, ranging from fiction and poetry to memoir, young adult fiction and children’s literature. The platform launches with an online event featuring readings from Michelle Gallen, Anna Heussaff, Peadar Ó Guilín and Emilie Pine (pictured). For more information visit ContemporaryIrishWriting.ie.
Talking of books, this year’s chosen title for One Dublin One Book, is Leonard and Hungry Paul by Rónán Hession, Bluemoose Books. Dublin City Libraries have a range of free online events throughout April which will see author Rónán Hession take part in discussions, interviews and webinars. Hession will also perform music from his three albums released under the name Mumblin’ Deaf Ro and discuss his move from music to writing. Today, Thursday, April 1, in association with The Little Museum of Dublin Rónán Hession and Fíona Scarlett are in conversation with Sarah Costigan of the Little Museum. As part of the museum’s 120 Dublin Stories series, this conversation will reflect on the idea of Dublin as a character and speak about themes such as friendship and outsiders as depicted in Leonard & Hungry Paul and in Fíona Scarlett’s debut novel Boys Don’t Cry; www.onedublinonebook.ie.
On Friday, April 2 at 3pm, Drogheda Classical Music will present a virtual performance of Haydn’s Quartet Op 51 “Seven Last Words”, with texts by Mark Strand, the acclaimed Canadian born poet and Pulitzer prize winner, from St Peter’s Church of Ireland, Drogheda. The work will be performed by the ConTempo Quartet and actress Aoibhéann McCann (pictured). Michael D Higgins, Úachtarán na hÉireann President of Ireland, in a note to Drogheda Classical Music, says: “Haydn’s Quartet Op. 51 “Seven Last Words” are meditations on Christ’s last words on the cross, and are among the great pieces of Easter music. They are seven short phrases from the Latin Bible worked conceptually and rhythmically into the texture of Haydn’s exquisite music.” The work was commissioned in 1786 for the Good Friday service at Oratorio de la Santa Cueva in Cádiz, Spain. Originally scored for orchestra, the quartet version was arranged in 1787 and is the form in which the work is most often performed today. Tickets for the concert are €10 via www.droghedaclassicalmusic.com and www.droichead.com.
Usually at this time of year, Barnardos is gearing up for its favourite annual event – the Cadbury Easter Egg Hide in Merrion Square, where they would be joined by 2,500 families over the two days in a fundraising initiative. This year, Cadbury wants to connect people with the launch of their “Show You Care, Hide It’” initiative in aid of Barnardos. On Easter Saturday, April 3, Cadbury is asking as many people as possible to hide a Cadbury Easter Egg at home, take a snap of the hiding place and upload it to social media tagging @CadburyIreland and using #ShowYouCareHideIt. Anyone who takes part is also encouraged to text HIDEIT to 50300 to donate €4 to Barnardos. For every donation made on Easter Saturday, Cadbury will match it and everyone who shares snaps of their donation and Easter egg hiding place will be in with a chance of winning a Cadbury hamper full of Easter goodies. www.barnardos.ie
It wouldn’t be Easter without a bunny, and if you order the cute Easter Kids’ Afternoon Tea from the K Club, €20, Co Kildare, the Easter Bunny himself will be supervising the delivery of your order to your car! The K Club’s regular Afternoon Tea is also available to order and collect, at €40, and includes a selection of sandwiches and sweet creations. Both the kids and grown-up versions are available for collection on Saturday, April 3 and Sunday, April 4 from 12pm – 4pm. Easter Sunday lunch is also available for €70 for two people. For further details visit www.kclub.ie.
In need of burning off some chocolate calories? One way is to get out in the fresh air for a good cause. The Irish-owned holistic weight loss and health community, Unislim, whose CEO is Fiona Gratzer (pictured) has opened registration in its first global virtual 5k “Hop ‘n’ Run” for Pieta House on Easter Monday. Fundraising from the event will help Pieta provide its (free) lifesaving services to support people in suicidal distress, who are self-harming or bereaved. The first 500 participants will receive a free Pieta T-shirt and Unislim facemask. The official start time is 11am on Easter Monday – though you can start anytime that suits you. Register your walk or run and post photographs on social media using the hashtag #UnislimHopnRun. There will be prizes on the day for the best pictures and posts. Registration for the event is on eventmaster.ie and the cost is just €20.
If in need of some retail therapy, Kildare Village has introduced a new virtual shopping service. Customers can book virtual appointments directly with favourite boutiques or via a virtual Personal Styling appointment. Consultations can take place over the telephone, as a video call, by email, or WhatsApp, whichever suits best. This completely personalised approach gives customers access to the latest products and the best offers, as well as “seeing” several new brands to the village including Tods, Jimmy Choo, Eleventy, Neom and Tory Burch. This new way of shopping at Kildare Village is to be a permanent service and will remain when the village reopens. Find the full list of brands at KildareVillage.com.
Further afield, in South Korea to be precise, Gwangju Biennale, one of Asia’s leading visual arts events is taking place from April 1 – May 9. In the line-up of participating artists is John Gerrard and his work “Mirror Pavilion – Corn Work” originally commissioned for the Galway International Arts Festival in 2020. Installed at Claddagh Quay, Galway, it was seen by more than 120,000 people. A response to the escalating climate crisis, Gerrard’s work pushes the boundaries of digital art using simulation. The work recalls histories of grain milling in Galway and the strong flow of water, which provided a sustainable clean energy source for the city’s now dismantled flour mills.?The second part of the work, “Leaf Work” will debut later this year at Derrigimlagh Bog in Connemara. www.gwangjubiennale.org
You can’t celebrate Easter without Hot Cross Buns, and with some extra time on our hands, why not try Avoca’s recipe! This delicious baked treat combines the gentle warmth of cinnamon with the tangy sweetness of citrus peel and dried fruit. When hot from the oven, brush with a honey or maple glaze and watch them disappear.
Makes 10-12 buns
500g strong white flour
20g fresh or 7g dried yeast
50g caster sugar
30g melted butter, cooled
½ tsp of cinnamon
2 tsp mixed spice
50g mixed peel
275ml lukewarm water or milk
1 egg, optional
Pipeable dough for the cross on top:
Make a stiff but pipeable paste by mixing plain flour with a couple of tablespoons of cold water until smooth.
Preheat your oven to 180 fan assisted.
Start by dissolving the yeast in either 250ml of lukewarm water or milk along with the melted cooled butter.
Place the flour, spices, salt and sugar into the bowl of a food mixer with the dough hook, mix on a low speed for a minute to incorporate ingredients. Then slowly add the yeast liquid, and egg if using (this will give you a slightly richer dough) until the mix comes together. Then add your fruit and mix on a low speed for 5 – 8 minutes or until dough is springy to touch, (it should hold a thumb indentation for a minute or two).
If your mixture is sticky simply add a little extra flour. Once your dough is ready, remove to a floured surface and divide into 10/12 equal size balls approx 100g in weight each. Roll each ball into a circle then place onto a parchment lined baking tray, allowing enough room for each bun to double in size.
Make a cross on top of each bun with your thick flour and water paste, you can pipe it on or use a teaspoon to drizzle it across.
Allow the buns to rise in a warm place. This will take between 25 – 45 minutes depending on your kitchen’s temperature. Once they have risen, place in the hot preheated oven for 18 – 22 minutes or until golden and cooked through.
Remove the buns from oven and whilst hot brush with a little honey or golden syrup.
Or, if you’re feeling lazy, pick up one of Avoca’s tempting range of Easter themed desserts and sweet treats, freshly baked by their award-winning cake-makers. www.avoca.com
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