A child’s Culchie Christmas with Dad

Fruit-in-a-pram-Heinrich-Klaffs-Dublin-1973-1280x827

“Get your maulers off me oranges” — Moore Street in the rare old times

My Dad and Dublin never used to get on. As a child, though, I remember the special hatred he reserved for our annual December 8 family trip up to the smoke. 

But here he was now, asleep in my bed in my Rathmines flat after a great night out in town with his old Garda buddies.

I had slept in a camp bed borrowed from a friend. It was early morning and in the gathering light filtering through the curtains I could discern the tousled track of white hair running around his bald head, and the red tip of Dad’s right ear above the blankets.

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Things that go grump in the night

hagrid-singlenessI actually began writing this at around half five this morning, rising from a horrible night’s — you could hardly call it sleep since I seemed to be awake for most of it —  tossing, turning, snorting and worrying. Feeling hopelessly lost.

Things had really got on top me and I went to bed early to try and sleep on through to some kind of miraculous enlightenment, or at least a new perspective that would let me appreciate the light of the new day. Hoping against hope things might somehow be different, better. Continue reading

To Passchendaele and back for my darling daughter

davWhat a morning that was: the Quest for the Big Enough Knickers, followed by the Blue Socks SOS From School and, finally, Daddy Goes On A Muddy Field Adventure! And home in time for lunch.

Indiana Jones? A regular old stick-in-the mud by comparison!

‘Feckin’ hell,’ I thought to myself as I rooted through our ironing-pending drawer — aka everything washed and dried stuffed into the bottom of our son’s wardrobe —  for a clean pair of knickers for our daughter, ‘I never signed up for this!’ Continue reading

Sick boy tries to play us

sick-boy-cartoon-vector-1485528One of the biggest buzzes I get from blogging is when I surprise myself with what I write. I’m mulling over that next post for ages and it’s nearly written before I start. Then my fingers hit the keyboard and all these guerilla words burst in stage left and take over the  whole show.

This morning I thought I was going to write about the closing of a beloved cinema in Dublin city but my insurgent digits had other ideas. Continue reading

This slasher movie dad makes me scream

happy death dayAny of you annoyed by the father figures in those movies and Netflix thingies your testy teen daughters are gorging on these days? Well, here’s one daddy who is.

Yes, I’m the father of a young teenage daughter and I’m more than miffed by the naffness of the deadbeat or despot dads in the stuff my once smiling little cherub princess has been watching.

I get the fact that daddy cannot be Mr Big forever; a girl must break away and become her own person. She must deal with the fact that Daddy has feet of clay. But a brain made from the same material, and the dash and panache of Ned Flanders!!!??? Continue reading

Breakfast on Planet Weird

Dopey dadWhat a strange morning this has been: never quite emerging from the fug of a sleep ravaged and arrested; half-awake when I was sleeping and half-asleep when awake. 

Sleep did I say? More like a night-long stretch in the cosy horizontal dark, my mind spinning furiously, matters practical tossed in with a kaleidoscopic carousel of images and encounters that can only have come from my deeper self. Continue reading

Dad, you’re such a loser

i_hate_you__daddy_Okay, maybe it’s time to come clean: this parenting lark can be such a downer. Brings out the best in me, occasionally, but brings out the worst in me way too often. I struggle to get it right, thinking I am doing it for the best, but sometimes I have to ask myself am I just trying to come out on top in a battle of wills? One ego versus another?  And me supposedly the responsible adult. The bigger ego. Bruised and brittle.

My dear, departed dad was a really good man, which I always suspected as a child but luckily came to know when I became an adult myself.  But I remember as a kid hearing him saying certain things, in that horribly cross daddy way, with that cross daddy face, and thinking I won’t ever be like that, or say anything so stupid or so obviously out of touch. Continue reading