My First Huipil


  I have always had a soft spot for Frida Kahlo – she and I are the only women I know of who got married lying down – and not just her story and her art are of interest, I am also a great fan...

The Flea Markets of Berlin


  In Berlin, the weekend used goods sales are known as “Trodelmarkts” and “Flohmarkts” meaning Junk and Flea. Here are some other things you will find:   Bicycles, parts of bicycles, clocks that work, clocks that don’t work, baseball caps embroidered with eagles and the...

Plaisir d’Amour


  There is, I think, a difference between “the love of one’s life” and one’s “Grand Amour”.  One’s spouse is often the real love of one’s life, as it is with them, in a happy marriage, one knows real love, sharing, the mutual support of...

The Gift of a Canicule


E-mailed my daughter in New York city: “Any news?” “ANY NEWS??” she replied “Don’t you read your texts?……I’ve just had an earthquake and now we’re getting a hurricane….and you ask me if I’ve any news?”   The perfect storm is no storm at all.   But...

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...
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