Shock as Taoiseach tells the truth — kind of

Jack-Nicholson-You-Cant-Handle-the-Truth

So Taoiseach Leo Varadkar finally let us — and Vincent Browne — know the real truth: his Government can’t solve the riddle of the loaves and hospital trollies, and neither will those selfless property developers who once slushed millions into his party’s funding coffers sort out the housing crisis. Like ever!

This was the top headline in today’s online Irish Independent, following last night’s appearance on Browne’s programme on TV3: “Problems in housing and health will not be solved by this government, Varadkar”.

Continue reading

Diary of an unknown football legend

 

teds over 75s

He’s going to shoot any minute now ….   the All-Priests Over 75s Indoor Challenge match on Craggy Island … or is it my weekly  five-a-side game

Aged 59-and-a-half,  I’ve wintered way too well and those ankle ligaments strained way back in November are still not right. But it’s just a twinge now and as the evenings stretch, the senescent sap is rising in my strung-out hamstrings. My Wednesday night indoor soccer game is calling me back. 

How dignified is it to be still drawn to that draughty old sports hall to run … trundle …  around red-faced and panting and kicking ball for an hour with similarly deluded/evergreen old boys? Sure even my 10-year-old son told me I have no pace. And he wasn’t slagging, merely observing.

When is it over?  Continue reading

Milky Way a bar to artistic integrity?

milky-way

How big a part does context play in determining aesthetic merit? This was the conundrum I was forced to consider on this morning’s North Beach ramble with Bella my seashell-crunching terrier. And all because of a discarded Milky Way wrapper.

 We had barely stepped on to the familiar strand and the tension of the most recent battle to get my young teenage daughter out to school in time was dissipating with every soft scrunching step on the familiar carapace of crushed shells and sandy grains. 

Continue reading

Lightness of being on a deserted winter beach

crowBack on the beach. The tide is but a distant swoooosh, a faintly pulsing thrum that draws you in to listen for its intermittent soothing surges. The light is low and the air is grey and heavy but throbbing high and low with trills, tweets, warbles and whistles.

The sounds are coming from every direction and none in this sweeping quadrophonic soundscape. So bracing, so full and so invigorating. Continue reading

Tripping along the magical Blue Nile

Ken Sweeney’s In Search of the Blue Nile documentary a must-listen

the-blue-nile

Steeling myself for a bunch of mindless but necessary ironing, I put on something for the soul. A Facebook-flagged podcast on The Blue Nile. It’s called In Search Of The Blue Nile,  and  was made by  music journalist Ken Sweeney, who also narrates. I believe Ken lives just up the road from me, in Skerries.

It’s dark and dreary outside but my rainswept window becomes a time-bending portal to a brighter, higher world. The gently ruminative and rhapsodic world of The Blue Nile. Continue reading

Litter and sewage spoil Rush beach stroll

Looks like the poo always be with us

dsc09999-21

At play on the North Beach in Rush, Co Dublin. Just don’t mention the raw sewage being pumped straight out to sea nearby by Fingal Council

low swathe of diaphanous cloud is puffing across a clear denim-blue sky as down Kilbush Lane we go, Bella, my wiry black and white terrier mix, and I. We’re on our way to the North Beach in Rush, Co Dublin, for our early morning ramble.

There’s a north-easterly wind would cut through you though, and an old salt who has stepped out from a galvanised shed for a roll-up, welding mask pushed to the top of his shaven knobbly head, remarks, “It’s a bit blowy.”

“Tis a bit,” I reply in kind.

Blowy? The fur on Bella’s black face is parted and her ears are flat against her head, making her look like a startled hawk from the front.

Continue reading