Archive for July, 2009

The Namesake That Cheers

Posted in Grave News on July 22, 2009 by Johnnie


While reading the “heartwarming” story of Kelly Hildebrandt and Kelly Hildebrandt, the couple who met on Facebook due to some obscure similarity or other and subsequently fell into a pool of romantic gloop, I was reminded of my first forays of internet exploration into finding my own namesakes. Continue reading

The Future’s Bright…

Posted in Favourite Publications, Grave News on July 22, 2009 by Johnnie


Now, I was toying with the notion of running a little competition (entirely for my own amusement, you understand) to find the most orange-looking person in Ireland.  However, I stumbled upon the winner immediately during a routine glance at the  Saturday edition Cork’s Evening Echo.   Continue reading

Windy & Wild

Posted in Music on July 19, 2009 by Johnnie

A Fun Day Out Is Child’s Play

Posted in Travel on July 19, 2009 by Johnnie

Published in Dublin’s Evening Herald, 17th July 2009

In which your host takes his first-born on a grand tour of her city’s and nation’s glorious and bloodthirsty past

Trinity‘Daddy, I’m bored.” Words which strike fear and temper into the hearts of even the most patient parent, especially during the seemingly endless summer holidays.  Like many five-year-olds, my daughter Madeleine has a low boredom threshold, often requiring full parental interactivity to alleviate her perceived brain-rot.

As a parent, it’s too easy to be lazy about it. Just switching on the telly, or having her running riot in a leisure centre, with its ball pools, vending machines and fast-food/slow-metabolism outlets, may let us off the hook, but it can be pretty unedifying for children — and expensive for us.  Could Dublin’s notoriously exorbitant city centre provide kids with a full, exciting, cultural and relatively cheap day out?  Madeleine and I set out early to see if this was the case.

Our tour began at 10am, in Dublinia, an attraction which brings the city’s Viking and medieval histories to life. Its newly opened Viking World exhibition comes first, with all the sounds and fury invasion entails. Continue reading

Waterford: The Sky’s The Limit, Bar None

Posted in Food & Drink, Travel on July 17, 2009 by Johnnie

WatergreatposterfordWaterford is having an indentity crisis.  Of course, this may just be my opinion as viewed from the vantage point of Dublin, but it does seem that it’s not a city entirely at ease with its image.  Take the poster to the left here.  “Waterford – Summer City”, it states, colourfully.  What great Waterford landmark have they chosen to illustrate this objective?  A cartoon blue sky with fluffy clouds.  As an enticing tourist-magnet, it’s quite possibly the worst, most ineffective poster I have ever seen.  Another Waterford-centric pamphlet I saw yesterday features a photo of a giant hot air balloon, a tree top and a sea of raised hands, apparently praising this glorious vision.  Again, not a Waterford landmark in sight.  In fact, not a sight of anything that resembles the ground, giving anyone the impression that the best thing about Waterford is the skyward escape out of it.

All this could perhaps be partially explained by the lead story in this week’s Waterford News & StarContinue reading

Salad Days

Posted in Food & Drink, Grave News on July 17, 2009 by Johnnie

panzanellaI’ve just bought a Korean lunch box.  People have been asking me what’s ‘Korean’ about it, and the truth is, I’ve no idea.  It was just made there.  All I can tell you is that, if this is a standard example of a Korean lunchbox, they’re very good at making them.   As short-legged people who try to walk beside me will confirm, I walk everywhere at as brisk a pace as possible.  Today was no exception; but I’d completely forgotten that, inside my bag, the Korean lunchbox was full of salad.  When it finally dawned on me, I expected the inside of the carrier bag to be sodden with dressing, but it was no such thing.  So well done, Korea – your press hasn’t been great lately, but here’s one  consumer who’s satisfied with at least one aspect of Korean industrial endeavour.

Now, you may think I’m being poncy bringing salad to work; and you’d be right.  But there’s as much method in my madness as there is madness in my method.  I’ve been fighting off insanity.  No, seriously.  Let’s not put too fine a point on it, but, work-wise, motivation has been hard, almost to the point of impossible over the past few months.  As one of nature’s cynics, I avoid most forms of medicine and medics; basically because, when things get tough for people, so-called ‘doctors’ automatically reach for their prescription pads and recommend you take anti-depressants. Well, that’s not going to happen to me. Continue reading

From the Bush Era to the Tush Area

Posted in Star "Style" on July 13, 2009 by Johnnie


So there you go; Barack Obama isn’t Irish at all, he’s Italian.

Continue reading