When Daddy Cool became Daddy Fool

fullsizeoutput_22f8Maybe I was being a bit Daddy Cool. That might be it?

There I was, walking my 12-year old daughter and my 11-year-old son down to the bus stop to meet the school bus. We were in good time, the sun was shining bright on one of those pet winter days, and I just felt good. With my kids, a bounding Bella pulling on her lead all set for a good walk on the North Beach afterwards. 

Life was beautiful. Continue reading

Tripping along the magical Blue Nile

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

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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

Why is RTE’s flagship news so dull?

dobboWhy are RTE’s flagship news bulletins so dull, predictable and safe? The same heads, the same tales … drawing the same reactions. Yawnarama!

I have my iPhone and my laptop, so I’m fairly up to speed on what’s happening. Surely Bryan Dobson and the team have something new, or value to add? Footage from Roy Keane’s press conference 13 hours ago scripted in that dramatic present tense just doesn’t cut it! Continue reading

Litter and sewage spoil Rush beach stroll

Looks like the poo always be with us

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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.

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Aleppo and Syria a tragedy for us all

Weapons manufacturers must be called to account _aleppoThis is one of those ones where you stick your neck out and risk being denounced as a dunce, or a simpleton. I’m talking about Aleppo.

Most of us are looking on from our comparatively cosy TV lounges and wondering what the hell is going on. What kind of hell are we witnessing? Or are we even witnessing it? Every emotive hand-held camera testament to Facebook, or Instagram, or Twitter is open to question. Every stock shot of every devastated city streetscape, every line of ragged bodies beamed out to the world is either history in the making or wicked propaganda, or some immeasurable mix of both.  Who is right? Who is wrong?  What do we do? What can we do? Confusion reigns and the destruction continues.

It’s all so confusing. All faction and counter-faction. Elements splitting and transmutating all the time, colliding and dividing to spark ever more deadly fissions and fall outs in ungovernable space.

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WAR declared on teenage terrors

(Inspired by my experiences as father of a teenage girl)

teenagers-warIt was the ticket and information caravan parked on the plaza for our town’s recent festival that gave me the idea: a one-stop shop for the frazzled parents of unmanageable young teenagers.

Welcome to our rather more discretely located Wild Angels Response (WAR) unit.

Maybe son number two is magnetically drawn to the naughty goings-on in the town’s shadier parts? No worries: we know where they — and he — are and we will have him home in no time. He will soon get over the shock. Call it tough love. He’ll understand. Sometime. Continue reading

Walking Dublin city blues

(As Perceived Quarterly, Volume 1, Number 1, November 2016)

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St Patrick’s Park, Dublin  … where the soft drift of mellow voices wafts over me.

Summer girls in summer dresses and young men rippling with confidence and expectation. They are the ones I mostly notice anyway on this rare sun-splashed day in Dublin city as I revisit old haunts and take in new delights. 

An unhurried man in my inconspicuous fifties, I am invisible to these youthful creatures as I stroll up the broad O’Connell Street boulevard. 

Looking across at the massive GPO, its six granite columns glinting in the sun, I am thinking of Patrick Pearse standing outside its smouldering doors in Easter 1916 proclaiming the Irish Republic. 

A hundred years of myth and legend have since weaved their emotive colour into history’s fabric and marked this country forever. Not something today’s strolling natives or camera-clicking tourists are likely pondering on for long. 

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