modern history


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 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...

Celebrate the Silence of the Snowflakes


      Dreams. The re-telling of which is, I am aware, of zilch interest to anyone apart from the dreamer. However, this might elicit amusement from Corkonians of the Art+Love circle; that wide but narrow clique  from the Palace and The Group via the...

Everything is Connected: Rhiannon Giddens


          From The Uncle Travelling Paul Collection: For winter in Berlin, a Spring Manor House party in England, a Summer wedding in Italy, Cherry Blossom season in Hiroshima   My husband, known in the family as “Uncle Travelling Paul” has a large...

CASUS BELLI


“Casus Belli”an act or situation that provokes or justifies a war. 2003. In a London cafe, Keith Nearing the anti-hero of Martin Amis’ novel “The Pregnant Widow” is reading The Times; reading about the ‘axis of evil’ war, the war purportedly provoked –  but more...

Irish Dancing


    One of the most enjoyable gigs I ever covered as a journalist was the World Irish Dancing Championships when it was held in Cork. I wish I one of the 7,000 spectators along with the 1,600 competitors at Oireachtas Rince na h-Éireann 2016...

Why I Can Say What I Darned Well Please


                                I have earned my feminist stripes. In jest,with irony, I used to facetiously remark  “How would I know/I couldn’t do that…I’m just a woman” and drew upon me the...

Gloves and OJ Simpson


On the night of June 12/13th 1994, we were staying with friends in the hills above Santa Monica.  After supper I sat on the low stone wall behind the swimming pool and looked down over the twinkling dark bowl of West L.A. communities. Suddenly, and...