Chronic, by Mary Tynan

I’m the person you don’t see –
The person with ME,
The person who’s hidden
Away in her room;
Often in bed,
Stuck in her head,
Maybe reading a book,
Or listening to a tune,
Making friends on Facebook or Twitter

We’ve been forgotten
For many a year,
But come a pandemic,
And we appear;
Now we can watch a play,
Go to a class,
See our friends on a video call –
Suddenly, we’re part of it all,
Included at last

But what happens to us
When usual returns?
Do we also return –
To our rooms, our cocoons?
Will we be forgotten again
When you’re making new plans –
When things return to normal?

Mary Tynan

Xanadu Reading Challenge – June 2021

One of the lovely things about being an online arts centre is that Notes can Xanadu can feature writing and literature alongside other art forms.  With this in mind, we have created a reading challenge for 2021.  Each month there will be a theme, with several sub-categories, and the challenge is to read one or more books each month to fit the topic.  Feel free to add sub-categories, the only rule is that one book each month should be a new read.  The entire challenge can be downloaded in pdf format here.  We also have an Excel spreadsheet, thanks to Karin Hammarstrom, one of our participants, which you can also download, and use to track your progress.

Every month, we’ll introduce the theme and sub-categories in a post like this, and also give some reading suggestions.  The sub-categories are only a guide, feel free to adapt and expand as you like.  Please leave a comment and tell us what you are reading, and whether you are enjoying it, or any other information that you would like to share with your fellow readers.

For , the theme is Language.


• a book in a language with which you are familiar, but don’t read in very often, if at all.
• (if you are monolingual) a beginner’s “Teach Yourself” book in a language you are interested in.
• a coding manual in a programming language you don’t know, or in which you have more to learn
• a book about the history of language or linguistic

Reading suggestions:

. Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint Exúpery
. Harry Potter in any language
. Teach Yourself .. in 24 hours

I’m reading:

Teach Yourself Javascript in 24 hours

Come back next month for our July suggestions, and don’t forget to leave a comment below to tell us how you got on in May or June!  Happy reading!


Stitch ‘n’ Bitch at Xanadu – June 2021

Our next Stitch ‘n’ Bitch takes place on Thursday, 17 June, at 6.30 pm BST, in one of the rooms of Xanadu Online Theatre.  For those who haven’t heard the term before, a Stitch ‘n’ Bitch is when people get together to work on their various projects while having a natter and a bit of craic at the same time.

The Xanadu Stitch ‘n’ Bitch is hosted by Aoife Flood, a highly experience knitter, who will be on-hand to answer any questions and offer help; beginners are welcome.  You don’t have to be knitting though: you can crochet, embroider, sew, or do any other craftwork you may have underway.

The event is co-hosted by Notes From Xanadu Artistic Director Mary Tynan.  If you wish to attend, please register by emailing  See you there!

About our host: Aoife Flood’s knitting journey began on a trip to New Zealand in 2007, when she came across a book of designer knitting patterns while browsing in a shop. She decided that, if she wanted to have these designer clothes, the best way was to knit them herself. So that was it; she got the bug and has been hooked ever since. Aoife will sharing some of her wonderful work with us in a gallery exhibition in the coming weeks.  She is wearing one of her own pieces in the photo.

Canadh agus Caint – Part Two

After a successful launch in April, Canadh agus Caint returns for a second session on Thursday, 10 June, at 7.30 pm.  We will start off by learning a simple song in Irish, and then see where the conversation takes us.  Irish speakers of all levels are welcome, from complete beginners (we recommend Duolingo) to fluent Gaeilgeoirí.  As usual, you need to register for this in advance by emailing, and materials will be sent out in advance

This month, Canadh agus Caint will be hosted by Suzanne Ledwith and Julia Kennedy, with assistance from our artistic director Mary Tynan.  See you there!

Beidh an dara seisiún Canadh agus Caint ar siúil Deardaoin, 10 Meitheamh, ag 7.30 pm.  Beidh muid ag foghlaim amhrán simplí as Gaeilge, agus ansin, tar éis an canadh, an caint.  Beidh fáilte roimh daoine le gach leibhéal Gaeilge.  Mar ghnáth, ní mór duit clarú le haghaidh an imeacht – seol ríomhphoist chuig – agus seolfaidh muid nasc agus focail an amhráin duit roimh an oíche.

Beidh Canadh agus Caint óstailte le Suzanne Ledwith, Julia Kennedy, agus Mary Tynan. Bígí linn!