Monday, November 14, 2016

Update - My Scribbles


Liver and Onions - A Day in the Life of an Ordinary Irish Drone

About three weeks ago I sent this piece to the following politicians in hopes that at least one of them would take the slightest bit of interest: 

Garry Adams
Mick Barry
Michael Colins
Simon Covney
Michael Creed
Jim Daly
Billy Kelleher 
Micheal Martin
Michael McGrath
Aindrias Moynihan
Dara Murphy
Margaret Murphy
Donnchadh O'Laoghaire
Jonathan O'Brien

Unsurprisingly, like most who call out to our government for help, I was ignored. That's not to say someone won't eventually respond but I won't be holding my breath. 


In today's economic climate, with low paying, zero hour contract jobs, there is a phrase that is thrown at many of us who are considered to be the working class; "Be grateful you have a job."

Usually this is casually uttered by someone who has no idea what is to have a minimum or slightly above minimum wage job. Now I don't entirely blame these people or would be too quick to call them ignorant, misled, perhaps. After all, with the Central Statistic Office claiming that the average annual income in this country to be aprox €35,000, you can't exactly hold those who believe this to be true to be entirely accountable for being blasé towards those of us who are struggling

In reality, the figures are far more startling. In actual fact over half of the working force in this country earns under €28,500 a year, with 20% of the population earning between €17,500 and €22,000 while a whopping 108,000 people earn less than €17,500 and these are all based on full time workers, that's 36 to 40 hours a week. That's less than €28,500 a year to spend on food, electricity, heating, refuse collection, phone/Internet, television license, school/college expenses, rent/mortgage, home insurance, car insurance, car tax, NCT, petrol/diesel, income tax and health care. Living a whole and fulfilling life on €28,500 or bellow per year is an impossibility, sacrifices and compromises must be made and I'm not talking luxuries like foregoing a holiday or new car, they don't even come into the equation... essentials have to be cut. For me, as much as I yearn for independence and freedom I have no choice but to accept that in the current climate, that day will never come. I have to continue to live at home with my parents with literally no realistic hope of ever owning my home...

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© Sarah O’Regan 


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Writing


Thursday, September 1, 2016

Update - My Scribbles


Falling Stars

To live a dream is wistful, 
To dream a life is wasteful, 
To excel to the stars is for the life of the deserving, 
To plummet to the gutters is the deserving of the dreamer, 

To summon belief is willful, 
To believe the summon is skillful, 
To adorn the courage is for the path of the popular, 
To wallow in the fear is the deserving of the believer, 

To hope and dream and believe 
Is the luxury of few, 
As days grow 
Strength wavers, 
Consumed by conflicting cries 
Hold on 
Give up 
Struggling to see the sense of why. 





© Sarah O’Regan
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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Update - My Scribbles


Blonde and Blonder

False nails
Fake tan
Synthetic hair, 
Blonde, 
As blonde can be, 

Your youthful visage
Nothing more than a paper mask,
Concealing the truth, 
Hiding the ugly within, 

Nothing natural,
Nothing real,
Nothing genuine under that skin, 
Until, 
You are denied what you seek, 
When you relenquish who is truly you, 

Sour,
Cold,
Calluos, 
An unjustifiable sense of self-importance,

You are both one in the same,
Nothing interesting, 
Nothing special,
Nothing unique,
Bland, 
As bland can be.





© Sarah O’Regan
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Thursday, June 9, 2016

Manila Major Roundup



As the matches come thick and fast here’s a quick roundup for the next 2 days. 

It looks like Liquid will go through in the first lower bracket match Vs Navi, I think they’ll be too much for the Fan favourites. This would lead to Liquid Vs Fnatic in the next round and I think they’ll triumph here also leading them to the LB Final. 

The other side of the LB is more difficult to pick with both LGD and VGR improving as the tournament goes on. lgd given the slight edge here which would see them go on to face MVP who were quickly dealt with by Og earlier today.This one will be tricky but I’m leaning towards LGD, 

Newbee are on unstoppable form and I’d expect them to progress to the final after dispatching OG, possibly facing liquid, which for me would be a fantastic grand final. 

A lot of game to be played between now and then though for the moment let me just recommend a Liquid and Newbee double that comes in a lil shy of 6/4 
Happy Hunting 






© Rosinante
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Monday, June 6, 2016

Update - Manila Major Betting Tips


Manila Major Betting Tips



Welcome back all to another round of Dota tips with me, your friendly neighbourhood Gamblor, Rosinante

The group stages were a mixed bag for us so far, let's look back and see how we got on.

Group A went according to plan with Newbee dominating, a low odds double and group winner selected here, we were off to a nice start. 

Group B, while i did say it was the riskiest to call, I still got this group very wrong. Wings , picked every hero under the sun and at times played with absolute wild abandon but the results just weren’t there coming up against surprising consistency in the form of DC and of Navi looked very good with their 4-0 run. 

In Group C more easy winnings with Liquid topping the group, VGR let us down against Fnatic, VGR not looking up to scratch in either of their first two games but Fnatic definitely impressing with their large Hero Pool and willingness to draft a lil’ unexpectedly securing a nice second place in the group. 

Then there’s Group D, The Heartbreaker, perhaps I shouldn’t have been tempted by the Odd’s on EG but as I said in my stated piece it was big odds for winning two matches, after the first game Vs LGD they just needed one little ol win for a massive 5/2 win for us, unfortunately they never managed that one more game and weren’t hugely impressive in either of their attempts.


Lower Bracket 

Time for the pocket strats and mega rats cause these BO1’s are make or break for these teams;


Wings Vs Complexity
Complexity haven’t managed to win a single game in the group stages, and despite being in one of the tougher groups haven’t shown much promise in their games. Despite the inconsistency of Wings I’m sticking with them for this match up. Wings are 8/15 with PP.

Alliance Vs Mineski
The best of a bad bunch here, Alliance at 1/ 3 look by far the better of the two.

EG Vs VGR
EG Looked to have promise from their first game but the last 3 games have seen some poor individual and team performances. VGR haven’t looked like they’ve really gotten going yet in this tournament. This could be their last chance to show some of the form they’ve shown in china in recent months. Risky either way. I’d avoid this matchup but if you insist maybe look at VGR as better value of the two at 11/10.

Empire Vs Secret
I’ve liked Empires “new” line up for a while and they’ve really come together as a team and shown great performances in a very tough group A and convincingly saw off Complexity to see off bottom spot. Secret Have continued to disappoint, can envy turn it around with one last ditched effort? I don’t think so, Empire at 5/6;


Uper Bracket


Team Liquid Vs MVP
Liquid to hopefully continue their dominance but at 1/ 4 you won’t find much value here.

Newbee Vs DC
Despite how impressed i’ve been with DC so far this tournament I’ll have to pick Newbee here despite being only 1/ 4, Newbee have also dropped to 17/10 Tournament favourites and while i still fancy Liquid for this it’s understandable as it looks like liquid will face the winner of Navi OG, a tougher matchup than Newbee’s Fnatic/LGD prospects should they progress through the upper bracket.

LGD VS Fnatic
For me LGD are a great bet at 4/ 5 here , while Fnatic have certainly impressed They were always gonna get a rough draw as second place in a group, and I would expect them to do well in the lower group I just think LGD should be able to deal with Fnatic and ⅘ is a really good price for that.

Navi Vs OG
Navi are back… But are they back enough to deal with an OG team who've been playing great Dota (if somewhat inconsistently in my opinion) since Frankfurt? I Don’t think so, OG look good at 1/ 2 .

Well that’s all for today folks! Hope you’ve been enjoying the tournament so far and hopefully you’ve had a winner or two as well! 

Good Luck & Happy Hunting 
Rosinante






© Rosinante
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Update - My Handywork


Fairy Garden



We all know the best time to catch a glimpse of a fairy is during the hot summer days.

Why not entice one or two with their very own fairy garden? 

As making your own garden is all about imagination and creativity, I haven't put together a step by step tutorial, just a few snaps of the process.

I started by checking out Google for inspiration and eventually melded together a garden of my own.

It's not totally complete, I'm just short a pump and some solar lights.




Don't rush your decision when it comes to choosing your flowers. I generally will pick my favourite and then select other plants to compliment it.
In the end I went with pink splendens, orange daisies and some very deep purple violas, which look almost black; I thought they looked a bit mystical and would fit right in in my fantasy garden...  



The pride of my garden, a purple delphinium.




I thought this half whiskey barrelled would give the garden a nice rustic look. Whatever type of container you choose, make sure it's nice and deep and wide to allow enough space to fit in your plants and features.




I decided that I wanted a pond/spring and wanted to give the garden varying levels. I started by placing some compost along the bottom. Still in its pot, I placed the delphinium in. I then put a watertight container into the barrel,  placing more compost underneath so the brim is at the same level as the delphinium.
I cut some bamboo into asending sizes and placed them around the first plant. These will act as a mold for the raised foundations.
Careful not to knock the bamboo out of place, I took the first plant back out and removed it from its plastic pot, put it back into the barrel and placed compost around it.
I built up the compost around the pond and placed in the violas.



I continued to build up the compost at different levels around the bamboo, while placing in the final plants, until a nice steady slope formed.







I gathered up some rocks and pebbles and placed them inside and around the watertight container




I layered some pebbles out on the slope. A pump will be added and some waterproof membrane at a later date to create a trickling waterfall.







I poured some water into the rocky pond



I added some frogs, butterflies, fairy potion and a baby dragon...




As well as a swing made out of bamboo, garden wire and ribbon...





And a tree out of bamboo and pink flexible cane



Finished Garden



© Sarah O’Regan
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Sunday, June 5, 2016

Update - My Scribbles


Ages of Dawn: A Minstrel's Song, The First Great Darkness


Without needing to peek my head out of this carriage, I know the very reason why we have halted. We aren't just picking up any old passengers. Get in here, you mysterious wanderer... 

Get your FREE copy of the third story in the series - A Minstrel's Song, The First Great Darkness


Get Part One The Flight of Apus
Get Part Two Rising




© Sarah O’Regan
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Friday, June 3, 2016

Update - My Scribbles


Ages of Dawn: A Minstrel's Song, The First Great Darkness 


As their numbers dwindled, man, sought refuge among the treetops with the tall, winged, green creatures known as the Tree Men. Being compassionate in nature, the tree men aided, however, not even the salvation of the very top of The Great Tree itself could save neither Tree Men nor man from the giant winged serpents that infested the blackened skies...

Get ready for Ages of Dawn: A Minstrel's Song, The First Great Darkness

Out Tomorrow!

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© Sarah O’Regan
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Ages of Dawn: A Minstrel's Song, The First Great Darkness 



Man came to the point of near extinction as giant, smoky creatures, that bared broad, wolf-like muzzles; adorning sharp, jagged teeth, prowled the wildlands and settlements with sharp and quick movements reminiscent of a large cat. They would stalk their prey silently through endless, scarlet eyes and would rip through flesh with their steel talons; Shadow Beasts, they were dubbed...

Get ready for Ages of Dawn: A Minstrel's Song, The First Great Darkness

Out Tomorrow!

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© Sarah O’Regan
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Ages of Dawn: A Minstrel's Song, The First Great Darkness 



The sun still rose in the mornings, however, it burned a deep blood red which cast a shadowy veil across the landscape. Plants and animals that once thrived on sunlight were wiped out and only vegetation that drank in the pale beams of light from the pastel moon during the nights survived the crippling age...

Get ready for Ages of Dawn: A Minstrel's Song, The First Great Darkness

Out this Sunday!

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© Sarah O’Regan
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Ages of Dawn: A Minstrel's Song, The First Great Darkness 


It wasn't long after the God of Life had been banished, that a noticeable effect overcame the realms of Aldaffar and Aldahnnab. Life had once been so orderly and within a matter of seconds the boundaries between the realms began to break down...

Get ready for Ages of Dawn: A Minstrel's Song, The First Great Darkness

Out this Sunday!





© Sarah O’Regan
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Thursday, June 2, 2016

Update - Manila Major Betting Tips


Manila Major Betting Tips



Welcome all to my Manila Major betting guide. This guide takes a few liberal assumptions with it’s readers, that you are familiar with the general concept of gambling, what e sports and Dota 2 are and you have a burning desire to gamble some of your hard earned cash or rares on the upcoming Manila Major with the hopes of retiring to some tropical island paradise atop a pile of hats and gold doubloons, like a mordern day Scrooge McDuck. So to help you out we’ve some predictions from the first two days play and some insight on how the tournament may progress

As examples of odds we’ll be using real money betting sites, we’ve found in the past year especially major betting sites have been trying to get into the e sports market which has led to them offering greatly expanded markets, and sometimes pretty decent odds. Two I’ve used are www.padypower.com & www.bet365.com , Don’t worry this isn’t some paid advertisement (unfortunatley, i could use the money for more bets!) these are just two sites we use, and will be taking examples of odds from them in this piece.


From experience I personally believe the best time to make profitable bets is earlier in Dota 2 tournaments, group stages especially. Noticing a team playing much better than expected and following their form, think MVP at Shanghai, can lead to some great odds, or just backing the team you expect to dominate early before everyone else jumps on the bandwagon driving the odds down. Odds for favourites in individual matches can be quite low so picking a nice double or treble can really up your winnings in games where a certain outcome is more anticipated, just be careful not to push it too far or combine too many bets, the more matches you place in a single bet the more likely that bet is to go wrong, that’s why you got such good odds. These are high quality teams playing at the top level so there is likely to be an upset or two.. But if you can call when that upset will happen…



Outright Winner
Let us get straight to the good stuff, who will win the Manila Major? Team Liquid. Okay you probably expected some long winded build up or a vague maybe this if this happens but that if that happens but no, there it is, putting it out there. Why? Consistency, Steady Improvement, Since their formation they’ve become stronger with each tournament. PP is offering odds of 7/2 for Liquid to win outright, which isn’t great considering you could have had them at 5/1 with them two days ago, B365 offer slightly better chances at 9/2. This large drop in price is a telltale sign an awful lot of people fancy Liquid at Manila, but of course there are some other teams in with a great chance. 

A lot is also expected from another european team, OG, perhaps a little hit and miss since Frankfurt last year, there is no denying the talent , oh the talent, on display, and they should definitely go far in the tournament, I just see them having problems, as they have done recently, against the bigger teams, and while their group isn’t terrible, Newbee is a daunting task. OG are 9/2 joint favourites at B365, but you can get 6/1 over at PP, if you’re that way inclined. 

I actually think Newbee will Win group A, but we’ll get to that later, as an outright bet , 6/1 PP 5/1 B365, they’re not bad considering their recent streak, despite being ended they’ve bounced back since with some nice wins, but their strategies have had holes poked in them for the last few tournaments and i think the big teams have figured out a lot of what Newbee have to offer. 


Groups & First Two Days Matches 

Group A  
Newbee Vs Complexity 
With Newbee only 1 /4 at PP and 2/9 at B365 the obvious choice is not a profitable one. 

OG Vs Empire
Same here with OG at 2/9 with PP and 1/ 4. 
Doing a Double, both teams to win, is the logical choice, even with odds of only 1 /2 backing this should be a nice easy win to build up your stack for later in the tournament. 

As for the overall winner of Group A i think it’s very likely that’ll come down to a game between OG and Newbee, with OG fancied by the bookies, 11/10 at PP and 1/1 at B365 and Newbee 5/4 & 11/8 respectively, It’s a risky bet but I think Newbee are worth a small bet here. 

The Bottom two match up of complexity & empire will be tight, seeing how both teams fair against their opponents the first day will tell a lot. Complexity may have the experience but they’ve not been playing great of late, keep an eye out for Empires odds if they put up a good fight Vs OG. 


Group B
In My opinion the toughest group to pick results in. And possibly the most exciting to watch as a spectator. 

You’ve got Wings a team playing extremely well in China and most likely to win this group, who at the same time can be very unpredictable, then you also have DC, a bit of an unknown element, hasn’t really been tested much against this level of competition but their players will obviously have a lot to prove considering the teams in the group. 

Of Course Team Secret… what can be said, so much talent, so little results, still not to be discounted. IF they played to their full potential could no doubt win the tournament, but that’s a big if looking at recent results since the roster change, despite still having 3 players who’ve been in the last two major finals (winning one), perhaps puppey will flick a switch and all will be fixed in time for manila? Navi are somewhat similar, though opposite, they’ve actually improved since their roster change, it’s unlikely they’re quite up to the level of the other teams in this tournament and while their recent forms been good it's been against teams who’ve been alot worse then their competition at this tournament. 

Wings Vs DC
Wings are not a bad price at 1/ 2 (PP) or 4/9(B365) , or you could throw them into the previous double giving treble odds of 6/5 although as mentioned the more teams the more risk, a single bet is preferred here. 

Secret Vs Navi 
Tough to call given both teams changing form of late, great odds available to either team 4/7 for Secret , 6/5 Navi. Would recommend avoiding , but paying close attention too, this one. If you see Secret back to once upon a time form (or Navi for that matter) they’ll be worth backing in future matches. 


Group C
Liquid, to win both their games and the group. 

No offence to [A] but they’re not back so I think it’ll be VGR with their impressive results in China are the ones to watch for second place. Liquid 11/10 to win their group, Highly recommend this bet. 

Liquid Vs [A
Again, Liquid to win, but at 2/9 it’s not a great return, back liquid to win the group instead. 

VGR Vs Fnatic
Though there is always something to be said for home turf advantage I see VGR taking this one and they’re a great price at 4/6(PP) . Though Fnatic will be motivated they just haven't seemed to be competing at a high enough level lately to match up with some of the competition they face. Could be a nice bet against [A] in the losers play-off tho, depending on performance tomorrow. 

Group D
LGD are Favourites to win the group, I’ve always found them to be a team of great potential who do well in early tournaments but fall off later on, they’re 1/ 2 Vs MVP and 10/11 to Win the group, both good bets i’d recommend 1 /2 Vs MVP but think there may be a better option for group winner. IF you’re looking for a bit of a gamble, and after playing it safe for the last 3 groups you may just be itching for one. 

So here it goes, EG 5/2 to win the group, they’re massive 1 /6 favourite to beat mineski so if they win you’ve basically got a 5/2 shot up against LGD, most likely, which will be much better than the single win options on they day making this a nice mix of gamble & value. Despite EG’s results since roster change , they haven’t played much but they have 4 Ti5 winners on their team and are well worth a punt. 

LGD Vs MVP
Lgd at 1 /2, could be a safe bet to win the group but there’s better value in EG. 

EG Vs Mineski
EG are terrible odds to in this match but as stated good odds to win the group, though risky! 


Most Recommended 
Bets Liquid To Win Outright 9/2 
Liquid to win Group B 11/10 
OG & Newbie Double 1/ 2 
Wings 4/9 
VGR 4/6 
EG to win group D 5/2 


Risky Business
OG, Newbee & Wings 6/5 
VGR & LGD 6/4 


Well I hope we’ve been of some help when deciding what to do with those hard earned monies of yours. The plan is to release a few more of these during the major and hopefully give some good advice and maybe even beat the bookies a few times. No matter what, remember to only bet money you can afford to lose and to enjoy the games. Good Luck & Happy Hunting





© Rosinante
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Update - My Scribbles


Ages of Dawn: A Minstrel's Song, The First Great Darkness 



I believe I ended on a rather glum note, didn't I; eternal darkness and all that. Well, as you know the darkness didn't last forever, we saw the sun rise once again... eventually...

Get ready for Ages of Dawn: A Minstrel's Song, The First Great Darkness

Out this Sunday!





© Sarah O’Regan
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Ages of Dawn: A Minstrel's Song, The First Great Darkness 



Here, it's strawberry wine, the sweetest in the region. Let's see... oh yes, the last time we spoke, we relived our origins, very phylosophical indeed. I don't see why we shouldn't carry on from there...

Get ready for Ages of Dawn: A Minstrel's Song, The First Great Darkness

Out this Sunday!





© Sarah O’Regan
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