Tarot forum for Michael Jackson supporters



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    Post  EMPATHY on Sat Nov 27, 2010 8:06 am

    Dont underestimate the Irish!!


    EVEN in the context of the bizarre twisted fairytale of Michael
    Jackson's life, the time he spent living in a converted cowshed in rural
    Ireland takes some believing.
    But in the summer of 2006, after his
    acquittal in the previous year's court case, having left Neverland and
    spent some time in Bahrain, the King of Pop secretly arrived in County
    Westmeath with his children. Relieved he had found a sanctuary away from
    the paparazzi and enchanted by an area so rich in history, myth and
    folklore, Jackson ended up staying for the rest of the year.

    been given some odd assignments, but none quite so off the wall as
    sleeping in what used to be Jackson's bed; the Irish country homes he
    stayed in are available to rent for weekend breaks. Grouse Lodge is a
    secluded Georgian estate located down an unsigned, winding, potholed
    gravel drive near the village of Rosemount.

    It was converted into
    a residential recording studio in 2002 by owners Paddy and Claire
    Dunning and has been used by everyone from REM to Doves, Muse to Ms
    Dynamite, Snow Patrol to Shirley Bassey.

    Paddy is a modern-day renaissance man in his mid-40s whose life at times seems only slightly less fantastical than Jackson's.

    started out as a Dublin dustman and became one of the founding fathers
    of the resurgence of the Temple Bar district of the capital. Now his
    Dublin businesses include Temple Lane Studios, the Sound Training
    Centre, the Button Factory nightclub and the National Wax Museum Plus.

    2006 a woman called Grace Rwaramba arrived to check out Grouse Lodge
    studio for an unnamed A-list pop star. She liked what she saw and booked
    the studio, plus a three-bed cottage on the grounds that had been
    converted from a cowshed. But she still didn't reveal who the artist

    The Dunnings discovered the identity of their new lodger
    only when a bus turned up and out trooped Prince Michael Jr, Paris and
    Blanket, followed by their father, nanny Grace and the children's tutor.

    Lodge is set around an old farmyard, and there's a collection of
    converted outbuildings that form a second grassed courtyard, none of
    which is visible from the road, so it's not hard to see why Jackson felt
    safe and secluded here. He began work on new material at Grouse Lodge
    with producers Will.I.Am and Rodney Jerkins, who flew in from the US.

    fell in love with County Westmeath and, after a month in the converted
    cowshed, moved to the equally secluded neighbouring estate of Coolatore,
    also owned by the Dunnings.

    Because Jackson didn't have his own
    driver in Ireland, Paddy enlisted local taxi driver Ray O'Hara to drive
    the family around in a borrowed people carrier with blacked-out windows.
    The Dunnings somehow managed to keep the fact the King of Pop was in
    residence a secret for several months. Even when Jackson began to
    venture out and there were rumoured sightings of him in the nearby
    villages of Moate or Kilbeggan, the Dunnings would deny all knowledge.
    "If someone said to me: 'I've heard Michael Jackson is there,' I would
    tell them: 'Yeah, so is Elvis Presley,' " says Paddy.

    The only
    security Grouse Lodge arranged was to post three guards on rotation at
    the top of the drive to intercept unwelcome visitors. When word
    eventually began to leak out, locals in the know became protective of
    Jackson, sending reporters the wrong way, and one farmer even threatened
    to empty his slurry trailer over the car of a paparazzo.

    Irish Midlands are often overlooked by people rushing from Dublin to
    Galway or other parts of the west coast, but it's a magical land dotted
    with ringforts and medieval castles. Within a few miles of Coolatore are
    the twin historic hills of Cnoc Aiste and Uisneach; there's Lough
    Ennell and Lilliput, where Jonathan Swift first conceived Gulliver's
    Travels (Paddy is planning on an eco village in woods near Lough Ennell,
    along with a seven-storey model of Gulliver) and Locke's Distillery in
    Kilbeggan, now a museum.

    There are also a few local pubs that
    haven't changed for decades, such as the William Fox in Loughnavalley,
    and Gunnings in Rathconrath, which doubles as shop, newsagent, garage
    and community centre.

    Traditionally, the hill of Uisneach is the
    geographical centre of Ireland. It's only 182m high, but from the top
    you can see 20 counties on a clear day
    It was the ancient seat of the
    kings of Meath, the most sacred site in the world in pagan times, and
    home of the ancient festival of the fires, Bealtaine, which attracted
    Egyptians up the Shannon 2000 years ago. It's also home to the Cat Stone
    (or Stone of Divisions), said to be the burial place of the goddess
    Eriu (who gave her name to Ireland, or Eire) and where the ancient
    provinces of Ireland were divided.

    Uisneach is now part of the
    farm belonging to David Clarke, and on May 1 this year Clarke and Paddy
    organised the first Festival of the Fires for more than 1000 years,
    attracting a diverse mix of locals, farmers, clairvoyants, witches,
    wizards and gurus from far and wide. A beacon was lit on Uisneach,
    sparking a chain of fires on 73 hills across the country, from Dingle to

    "Michael [Jackson] was interested in history," says
    Paddy, "and smitten by the intricacies of Irish music." The Dunnings
    have a wealth of stories from the time they spent with Jackson. "One
    night we ended up in the studio," Paddy recalls. "Michael was on the
    drums, I was playing guitar and [American producer] Nephew was on the
    keyboards and we just started getting a rhythm together, and slowly but
    surely Nephew just creeped the song into Billie Jean. It was mad playing
    Billie Jean with Michael Jackson; I never thought I'd do that."

    is a natural raconteur. He tells me how, when he bought the Wax Museum
    Plus, Dublin's answer to Madame Tussauds, the resident Elvis was looking
    a little tired, so Paddy retired him, placing him in the woods by
    Coolatore. He had forgotten about him until Jackson came in from a walk
    one day looking shaken
    "Paddy," he said, "I just met my father-in-law in the woods."

    the end of his stay in Westmeath, Jackson started to look at
    prospective houses to buy. When the Dunnings bought a further property,
    Bishopstown House, a derelict Georgian estate a couple of kilometres
    away, Jackson visited it and discussed the renovations with Paddy.

    although it would be a little disingenuous to call Bishopstown the
    house that Jacko built, it's certainly the house built with Jacko in
    mind. Jackson had a base in London for his ill-fated 50-date run of gigs
    at the O2 but, according to Paddy, he planned to spend time in Ireland,
    escaping the media glare of the English capital.

    Both Coolatore
    and the newly converted Bishopstown are now available for hire.
    Coolatore is the larger estate of the two. It's a beautiful 1866
    Victorian country retreat with grand living and dining rooms, a library
    and a hidden staircase that leads down to a basement bar installed by
    the Guinness family.

    Bishopstown, having been derelict for years
    before the Dunnings took it over, has been converted in a much more
    contemporary style, with an extension added to the original Georgian
    house, along with a secret fourth-floor roof garden. Both houses have
    six bedrooms and five bathrooms. The houses are rented primarily as
    self-catering properties and if you use all the available beds they can
    work out costing about E100 ($138) a night each
    It is also possible
    to have meals supplied by nearby Grouse Lodge (they can also arrange
    everything from massages to clay pigeon shooting), with menus focusing
    on local produce and vegetables grown in their own walled garden.

    and the staff at Grouse Lodge cooked for Jackson, who favoured a
    simple, healthy diet of porridge for breakfast and main meals of fish or
    chicken with vegetables. "The guy was fit, he was getting stronger,"
    Paddy says. "And I reckon that if he had lived here and stayed here, he
    wouldn't have died

    "You and I must make a pact, we must bring salvation back,
    whenever you need me, I,ll be there".




    Post  Guest on Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:18 am

    I love the name Ireland

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