Saturday, 16 May 2009


The Working Genie

There once was a poor man who longed to be rich. He heard tell that a man in another village had a genie and decided to go and see how he could get one. When he got to the village and found the right person, he asked after his genie.

“I don’t mind letting you have him,” said the villager. “However if you take him it is on these conditions. The genie likes to be kept busy at all times and if he has nothing to do he gets very agitated. Also if you take him you have to keep him, I can’t take him back.”

The man was overjoyed. “Don’t worry, I won’t run out of jobs for him, I have great plans,” he said, “And why would I ever want to give him back?”

He couldn’t believe his luck. “Get me a gold carriage and four beautiful white horses to take me home” The genie snapped his fingers and there they were. “When I get home I want a huge palace full of beautiful furniture and a feast for all the village.” The genie snapped his fingers.

For a few weeks the man had everything his heart desired. He made his wish and with a snap of the genie’s fingers it came true.

After a while he ran out of desires, nothing pleased him anymore and he just wanted a bit of peace. But the genie kept asking “More Work! More Work!”

“I have nothing for you to do.” The genie got angrier and angrier. “Give me more work or I will kill you,” he shouted. The poor man got more and more stressed and eventually decided to go back to the village and ask for help.

“Well, I can’t take him back, but I’ll tell you what to do,” the wise man said. “Get a pole and put it in the garden. Tell the genie to go to the top and then when he reaches the top he has to go down to the bottom, when he reaches the bottom he has to go back to the top.”

This is what the man did and had no more trouble.

Our minds can be like the genie. It can help us get what we desire but its restlessness can drive us crazy. Keep a peaceful thought or mantra in the mind to control the mind.


Emma Porter lives in Desertagney with her parents Joe and Betty. Emma has run her company, Vivid Performances School of Speech and Drama for nine years and runs very popular classes all over Inishowen including Buncrana, Muff, Burnfoot and Letterkenny. Her classes cater for both adults and children building communication skills, self-confidence and self-esteem. Emma has just finished a very busy time where she was performing in the hugely successful Sound of the Musicals stage musical in Buncrana, directed by Donall Henderson of Greasepaint Productions.

You can still join Emma’s classes that are running at the moment and enrolment has also started for the new courses in September. Contact her on 086 360 1537

What music are you listening to at the moment?
BelX1. They released a new album in February of this year called Blue Lights on a Runway, which is very good. Damien Rice used to be the lead singer before he went solo. I am still listening to music from Joseph, Mama Mia, Les Miserables, Chicago, The Sound of Music and Wicked, all of the songs that were in The Sound of the Musicals.

What book are you reading?
I spend time reading scripts. We are putting on the Wizard of Oz soon so I will be rehearsing for that after a couple of weeks off. The last book I read was by Banana Yoshimoto called Kitchen. I really like her work; it’s real and touches people’s lives.

What was your favourite childhood game?
I was a bit of a tomboy and loved climbing trees and going really fast on my BMX bike, it didn’t have any brakes but that didn’t seem to matter.

Have you been to the cinema recently, what did you see and was it any good?
I have been at the cinema at St Mary’s hall for the last month….It’s a great place and also does bingo, is a community centre and a playschool.

What section of the newspaper do you turn to first?
I read the front-page headlines first to see what’s going on.

What would you never throw away?
Things of sentimental value from my childhood and from family and friends. I have a few things belonging to my grandma that I got after her death that I wouldn’t part with. A scarf and some ornaments

Most embarrassing moment of your life?
I am constantly putting my foot in it. I ask questions like “When is it due?” to people who are not pregnant.

Favourite TV programme?
Shameless. It has new writers and is still very fresh. It covers real, gritty issues.

Favourite meal?
Anything with seafood in it, especially when I am on holiday. I like the Surf and Turf at the Laurentic in the parish too… fillet steak and sea bass….yummy.

What job did you want to do when you were a child?
I wanted to be an actress. I idolised some of the great screen stars, Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn and Vivienne Leigh. I had my first chance of acting when Patricia Tinney asked me if I wanted to take part in a play called That’s all for now by the Clann le Cheile group, which was about the big band era in the 1950’s that played in the Plaza. We went on to do a short play about the famine, which was so popular that we toured New York and Boston. It was very exciting for a young girl.

Where was your best holiday and what made it special?
Seven of us girls, and one fella (Matthew, my cousin) went to Gran Canaria. We all loved it…Sun, sea and clubbing….

What famous people would you invite around for dinner and why?
Steven Speilberg, he’s a fantastic director. I could grill him for directing tips. Brad Pitt could come to wear the marigolds and the apron.

What do you do for a special treat?
I go to Michelle’s Beauty and Injury Clinic in Buncrana for a facial and back massage every six weeks. I am always on the go so it’s lovely to relax and chill out for an hour or two.

Favourite animal?
I love dogs. We have always had one. We have a border collie crossed with a lab at the moment…. He’s huge, up to my waist…. and spoiled.

Biggest thrill?
Doing a bungee jump six years ago in Cyprus. We went into the sea after dropping 400 feet. We bobbed in and out of the water for ages until we were pulled ashore…once was enough.

Biggest Challenge?
Playing Nancy in Oliver last year. I hadn’t sung for ten years so I had lessons for four months to build up to the character.

What was the best present you ever got?
My accordion. When I was eight my parents took me to Henderson’s in Derry and bought me it. I played in the Buncrana marching band for 8 years with it.

What was the last thing you bought just for yourself?
A bottle of perfume called Ghost.

What charity would you support?
Bridgeen Harkin is a local woman who raises money for Africa by putting on trips. The last one was to the bowling alley.

The world’s most irritating/most useful invention?
The mobile phone for both….

Favourite past-time?
Taking part in plays and musicals. My full time job of teaching drama is also my favourite past time.

Which period in history would you most like to have lived through?
The swinging 60’s. It looked like mad fun and anything goes. You probably had to be in a big city to get the clothes and music.

What do you have for breakfast?
A cup of coffee, toast and butter and a vitamin C tablet to keep the immune system up.

Do you have a favourite cartoon character?
Danger Mouse. Every week was a new adventure and I loved his sidekick Penfold.

What was your first paid job?
Babysitting for my cousin Elizabeth. She was busy starting out the Ubiquitous Chip restaurant in Buncrana.

Best/worst household task?
Doing the dishes. Thankfully we have a dishwasher. I love clearing out wardrobes and drawers though to get them organised. Some might say it’s a bit obsessive but if your drawers are organised, so is your life.

What is the best/worst piece of advice you have been given?
Someone once said that my hair would suit me short. I was 11 years old and looked like a boy. I was devastated and cried for a month.

Personal philosophy?
Do whatever makes you happy in life…..

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