My Lovely Canoe


July 2nd and the first time taking my canoe out on the lake this year.   Shame and fie……but life kinda gets in the way and if not life, then weather or lack of a strong-muscled crew……   I have always loved boats, but not necessarily...

Cherry Season


  All is not fair in love (nor indeed, in war) for a difficult life choice is in determining between elegant hands and a trim waistline, or the love of cherries. I have decided that the joy, wellbeing, artistic and gastronomic satisfaction won from growing,...

Air India Disaster 1985


  It was 1985, the year that Cork was celebrating its 800th birthday. It was a Sunday and it was raining. As The Irish Press newspaper was on strike I was relishing staying in and catching up on housework. So, despite the noise of what...

Light Can Be Both Wave and Particle, or I Love My ECAL Crystal


    I got a beautiful present the other day.  It is a calorimeter crystal photomultiplier tube.   The moment I saw it I was so struck by its beauty, as to become instantly avaricious and told my nephew, at whose table we were sitting, “I...

The Secret Life of Diarmuid Gavin


  We know him as a horticulturalist, television presenter, author, Honorary Doctor of Art from Nottingham Trent University, and last month, winner of the Gold Medal at Chelsea Flower Show for “The Irish Sky Garden” (in partnership with Fáilte Ireland and the City of Cork)……but...

The Packing Room


I am just back from a week in Cork (the President of the United States, the Queen of England, Annie Proulx and I like to visit Ireland in May) followed by a week in Berlin. Now, along with trying to reclaim a house left to...

Blackbird


    Mr Blackbird he sing so sweet. He sing so sweet the daisies dance, Wisteria sway Dandelions glide their down up and down to his melody He make sun more golden, sky more blue, air so fine it tinkle like gin. He warn me...

The Smell of Lilac. Remembering the May Day Procession


      This is a piece I wrote several years ago, about the May Day procession in Laurel Hill Convent in County Limerick.   I dusted it off yesterday, May Day, after a trove of bittersweet memories and sentiment was stirred amongst my friends, by...

Tilth and Loam


  I wish I were Camilla Parker Bowles. She is really lucky, because she can have as much Highgrove Biodegradable Garden Twine as she likes……and I don’t know about her (spoiled hussy) but I like Highgrove Biodegradable Garden Twine A LOT.   My sister (the...

The €25,000 bottle of whiskey


  In March 2006 we were invited to a St Patrick’s Day party by Anglo Irish Bank in Geneva.   The guest speaker was Tim Pat Coogan, former Editor of the Irish Press.  It was a swell affair in a swanky venue.  Tim Pat Coogan’s speech,...
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