The Big Fellow


There are almost 41 million Google references for “Michael Collins.”   Some of them relate to the astronaut Michael Collins, or the clarinettist Michael Collins and others refer to young fellas and old fellas whose family name is Collins and whose first name is that of...

The Soft Berlin Wall


                                                                    It was fifty years ago today that Berliners woke up on...

Gay Times in the Áras


  It used to be that only Marys stood, and were elected to the highest office in the land.  Now the Irish Presidential race is being dominated by Gays. With the election not until October, to date, we have three Gays – one past, one...

In Patagonia. In Chamonix.


The weather in Chamonix yesterday was icky pooh….16?C with fat, cold rain. Mont Blanc and the Aguilles were shyly shrouded from us mortals below, showing themselves only to the angels.  But the weather didn’t matter to me.  I wasn’t climbing mountains, cramponing glaciers, birling, birling...

Memories of Summer. Sherkin Island


        The first family holiday I can remember was in the summer of 1953. We went for a month to Sherkin Island off the coast of County Cork.  I remember the year, because our youngest sister was conceived on that holiday.  She arrived...

Free Swedish Siestas….and you don’t even have to make the bed (or make the bed)


  The annual summer pilgrimage of vacationing French families began on the ‘Pont’ Bastille Day weekend; i.e. the holidaymakers left on the Wednesday, the National Holiday was Thursday and so they ‘made the bridge’ of Friday for a 4 day weekend…quite common in France.   The...

Visas. An open letter to the President


Dear Mr Obama,   When you were in Dublin last May, I was watching television and posted on Facebook that the College Green event was so moving, during the speech by our Taoiseach Enda Kenny “Michelle and I are crying” (A few moments later, I...

Pedal Power


  This week it’s all about cycling. Our friends Mike and Kathryn are over from Cork cycling up hill (make that Alp) and down dale every day. They usually stay with us, but this year they’ve been joined by an equally bike-fanatic couple, so they...

A Word for Robert Graves… A Writer Partial to Bling


  The poet Robert Graves was addressing the audience from the dais in the bear pit of “The Dairy Sci” in University College Cork. All the large auditorium’s tiered seats were full, literally to overflowing that May night in 1975. They were so full that...

When You SUP on Lake Annecy You Need a Long Oar


We spent last Christmas and New Year in Australia (“spent” being the operative word:  it was the most expensive place I have ever been, bar none. It was a relief to go on to New York to find everything reasonable and good value.)  The people...
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