Each month a member of the crew behind the Bloomsday Survival Kit will provide an insight into the motivation and method behind their work. Our first blog is by survival kitter Jessica Peel Yates.

When reading Ulysses, I’m struck by this description:

“It was that small act, trivial in itself, that striking of that match, that determined the whole aftercourse of both our lives.”

In life we experience pivotal moments. Epiphanies, Joyce would have it. One for me was 16 June 2007 when I fell in love in, not with, a Dublin bar. Another was on 29th February 2012 when I went for a romp in the woods with James, Maite and Niall. Our conversation was boyant, bordering on the ridiculous. We talked about Bloomsday, Joyce, life, literature. A match was struck, a spark flew and the Bloomsday Survival Kit was born! Three zany months later we
celebrated with a launch at Sweny’s Chemist. We were delighted by the enthusiasm of everyone we showed the kit to.

What is it? A 50 page in-yer-pocket Manual to help you explore and bring to life Ulysses and Bloomsday. Onehandle it to your hearts content! The Kit includes a bundle of props to create those “striking of the match” moments that will last forever….. imagine dancing the Glasnevin Shuffle – or listening to Simon Dedalus tickling the ivories in the Ormond Hote.

Join us! We’re going to be traipsing round Dublin between now and Bloomsday, reading and bringing Ulysses to life – in the places it happened (or did it?). The Bloomsday Survival Kit will be our guide! We’ll start with the first two episodes (the one with the swim and the one with the Sh*t) at 2pm on Sunday 27th January in the Martello Tower in Sandycove. Then from Tuesday 5th Feb at 7pm we’ll be roving round Dublin every week.

Where did it grow from? This Bloomsday Survival Kit? James found Joyce during his Art College days and I’ve been intrigued by the spirit of Vaudeville since a chance encounter with a man on a tea chest in Sweden 9 years ago. As Bloomsday had brought us together, we began to read Ulysses. We discovered the reading group at Sweny’s Chemist. What an experience – to read with a random bunch of Joyce junkies in such a rich setting. Mix with this Niall’s delicious and crisp animator’s eye & twirling moustache and Maite’s background in theatre production and carnival. Then dollop on a spoonful of chaos and the immense talents of innumerable friends. Swirl it all about during a period of intense creativity and out plopped the BDSK Mark One.

The fun and accessible Kit induced smirks and raised eye brows. Failte Ireland, The James Joyce Centre, Dublin UNESCO City of Literature, Sweny’s Chemist have all peered with genuine interest at our quirky kit. They have given us welcome support and encouragement. We’re squirrelling away at the 2nd edition now.

Keep in touch and find out where we’ll be reading and recreating Ulysses each week on www.bloomsdaysurvivalkit.com and http://www.facebook.com/BloomsdaySurvivalKit.