Overcoming the Driving Test…At Last.

Overcoming the Driving Test…At Last.

‘Passengers for Banteer, Millstreet, Rathmore, Killarney, Farranfore and Tralee, must change at Mallow’, is a part of the soundtrack of my youth. If the announcer was non plussed about the stops he was rattling off; nor was I at the thought of another leg. The droning PA on the train home is something I am very accustomed to. I probably have dreamt about it on occasion. My Friday itinerary was like clockwork as I made the journey south. Leave Maynooth…

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Working From a Different Perspective

Working From a Different Perspective

‘I come to the office and get my work done, and drive for 5 minutes and I’m home’, says Declan Sugrue, as he sits resplendent in his chair, surveying his office in South Kerry. An architect by trade, with his own business, Declan is immeasurably content with his work-life balance. A bustling business and burgeoning family on the go. It was a few years ago that Declan envisaged providing office space for the remote worker in one of the most…

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In Solidarity With James McClean

In Solidarity With James McClean

One of my favourite things to teach at junior cycle English is World War One poetry. Siegfried Sassoon and the tragic Wilfred Owen, in particular, provide a raw and visceral insight into the grim reality of life in the trenches. The rage and anger they felt drips off the pages by the bucketload. The haunting imagery Owen confronts us with in Dulce et Decorum Est, has the tendency to leave our jaws on the floor. Onomatopoeia has scarcely ever been so disturbing. Phrases…

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The Privilege of Being in Jackie’s Army

The Privilege of Being in Jackie’s Army

Following the harrowing news over the weekend of good auld Jack’s demise, a deluge of memories of those heathy days have come swirling back to me. As they did for us all who were privy to those times, I’m sure. It shook me more than I’d anticipated. Italia ’90 was the first real time I discovered the magic of football. What a time to be alive. That match against Romania will always be the stand out one (for the occasion…

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A Return to the Wilderness

A Return to the Wilderness

‘It’d be a great little country if you could roof it’, is a phrase we have become accustomed to on our little island. Surrounded by stunning scenery, yet surrounded by weather that is unpredictable and moody like a teenager, the phrase is easy to comprehend. Yet, for me, this only adds to the charm, at times anyhow. With freedom granted last Monday to travel outside the county we reside in, we hightailed it home to South Kerry like scalded cats….

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Searching For Sugarman- A Lesson in True Mastery

Searching For Sugarman- A Lesson in True Mastery

*NB Spoilers alert; Watch this wonderful film before reading, as it is a heck of a journey. Every now and then a story comes along that rattles me to the core. Not that I’m nosy, but my ears have always had the habit of picking up on a tale that I thought was from the ‘other’ category. Listening to Dave Fanning many moons ago, as I was want to do, of an evening, I heard of a new documentary following…

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What Have They Done to Us?

What Have They Done to Us?

As I said when I introduced this blog, the whole point of writing is to help me refrain from imposing my opinion on those who were happy in life, without having my views inflicted on them. Fair enough. I was developing an unhealthy habit; getting vexed at the fact that sometimes people don’t see things the way I do. What is wrong with them?! With some introspection, I realised that my approach was not the way to go. Whilst I…

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‘Keep on Rockin in the Free World’

‘Keep on Rockin in the Free World’

‘We got a kinder, gentler/Machine gun hand’ are the standout lyrics for me, from my favourite protest song; Neil Young’s Keep on Rockin in the Free World. Those who have socialised with me over the years will possibly recall me bounding joyfully up to the poor fella with the guitar, there for our entertainment, to have; ‘play Rockin the free world maaan’, hurled at him. A song that has always sent me into bold, anti-establishment rapture. Every song has a moment I…

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A Return to Wonder

A Return to Wonder

”We have tested and tasted too much, lover-/Through a chink too wide there comes in no wonder.’. The opening phrase of one of my favourite Patrick Kavanagh poems. He may have been an auld crank if stories of him ring true, but man could he nail the human condition, and moreover the Irish condition. Advent sees Kavanagh at a critical juncture in his life. He is questioning how far he has come, and what direction he may go from here. He…

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Swooning for The Last Dance

Swooning for The Last Dance

I always had a small head. Having always been small, I guess it was proportionate. In the nineties, as I was entering my teens, this tiny noggin was nearly always adorned with a big, red, Chicago Bulls hat. This served to dwarf my features even further. Such was the fever created by Michael Jordan & Co., I was more than willing to ignore this difficulty for the sake of fashion, not for the last time either. Jordan fever had swept…

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