The Romance of Cinemas


  Cinemas are romance in so many ways, above and beyond even the magic of the silver screen;  the fantasy, the possibilities, the beguiling landscapes and beguiling beauties, the lifting of the heart to music or dance or humour, the racing of the heart to...

Christmas is Custard, Custard is Christmas


    Around our dining table were a Serbian woman, a German man, an East Berlin German woman, two Cork men and one Cork woman, three growing children (German by birth, Irish citizens by adoption) and one Eastern European baby girl. We three Irish people...

Meryl Streep, 9/11 and Mama Mia


  Yesterday, September 11th, was the 17th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on New York’s World Trade Centre; the day the world changed and nothing was the same again, either in the lives of those affected by bereavement, in peace and war and politics, in...

The Naked Domestic Servant


    It is noon on the third of August and it is 36 degrees Centigrade under the French pre-Alps by Lake Annecy.  I am naked in the kitchen, making peach ice-cream.  I consider opening the window, but it is only 28.5 degrees in the...

The Moon In June


After June’s full Strawberry Moon had circled and set and the sun was shining, I was going out through the hallway of the Rives Parking in Geneva this morning as an elderly Sikh was coming in. His full grey moustache well kempt, he was dressed...

We Need To Talk About Ireland


      The May morning after Savita Day, Fintan O’Toole of the Irish Times newspaper tweeted “Oh god I just remembered all the Irish novelists and playwrights. What will they do now we don’t have shame and guilt anymore? Gogo in Godot: What do...

A Love Letter from Right Blackkidglove and Left Blackkidglove


      In one of the cult horror “Living Dead” films of the ‘Seventies the only secure refuge the living could find from the arisen deceased flesh-eaters was a shopping centre.  They barricaded themselves inside as the zombies howled and clawed at the rooflights...

World Poetry Day “Back Up Quick They’re Hippies”


Today, March 21st, is World Poetry Day.   Yes it matters, yes poetry counts.   Now grown up, semi-responsible, semi-respectable, a member of the Establishment, property owner; over breakfast in Berlin on the second day of spring I read a poem which, in fewer than...

Poor Frida Kahlo


  When, thirty years ago, on return from the US, I told the artist Dorothy Cross the news about our wedding and how I’d got married lying down, she started to laugh and said “You and Frida Kahlo!” and thus turned me on to the...

PAD WOMEN


  The film “Pad Man” is a great story about a difficult crusade. Essentially, the person who endeavoured to bring sanitary towels to all Indian woman suffered physically and emotionally, lost his spouse and was shunned….though he did not regularly bleed. This is how women...
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