Memoir of a Soho square

Lately, I’ve been catching up with a month’s worth of weekend supplements. It’s a nice thing to do, especially when you have very little money. All that culture, most of it out of reach and well out of the range of my rather functionless wallet. One thing I love above all else is to read […]

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These are Grave times…

It is that time of year.  The air has turned chill and crisp, the leaves brown, orange and scarlet.  The time of overcoats, scarves, gloves and mystery, when I feel the overwhelming impulse to listen to the very bleakest Scott Walker and read ghost stories.  It’s also the time when I feel like spend chilly afternoons wandering around cemeteries. […]

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Why is a taxi driver’s time more precious than anyone else’s?

First, a disclaimer:  I know that not all Dublin taxi drivers have over-bitten, vinegar-soaked fingernails, nor do they all wear chafing hessian underpants – in other words, they’re not universally irritable, intolerant, impatient, racist, shoulder-chipped prole chauffeurs.  I also understand that, as self-employed people, time generally equals money in their line of business.  And I […]

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Waiter, there’s a woman in my soup

It’s hard to believe that the boom-time obsession with spas hasn’t gone away.  Glossy mags, weekend supplements and the provincial press are still plugging these idiotic, aery-faery dens of self-gratification, a hangover from what already looks like the tackiest bygone era in history. We’re already well into the first year of a new decade, and a more […]

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The Sound of the Underwhelmed

Because I’m a parent, people, with the very best of intentions, always feel the need to recommend Trabolgan Holiday Village to me, as if I look like the sort of dad who needs to have a disc inserted where my imagination should be.  I mean, yes, we are all aware of the difficulties in coping […]

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The Pap and The Poop

This is a blog about a log.  Sorry about this; I’m writing from Scotland, where the locals (including most members of my family) are utterly charmed by tales of excretion.  Lots of non-Scots may think this is entirely to do with Billy Connolly and his jolly old japes about jobbies, but all he did was […]

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A Fun Day Out Is Child’s Play

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… ‘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 […]

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My Lovely Horsey Weekend

JOHNNIE CRAIG GOES WITHOUT MODERN TECHNOLOGY (From Evening Herald HQ article “Cheap Tricks”, 16th April 2009) Day one: I wake up to my youngest daughter singing Barbie’s annoyingly catchy dirge (I Feel) Connected.  Barbie is, of course, the ultimate consumer chick, but we’re having none of that this weekend. Our challenge is to have three […]

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You Have Kilt Me…

Well, if this doesn’t put the Ross back in your Cromarty, you’re already immune. It appears my old country wants its ex-pats back. Well, if Connery fancies paying taxes there again, and Lulu is prepared to go on a hunt for her long-jettisoned accent, maybe I will go back. For a weekend. The song carries […]

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