New Year, new list of ill-conceived, unachievable goals – or not

Every Sunday, I sit on my favourite armchair for approximately seven minutes (an unscientific average) and feel truly excited and inspired by the possibilities within my grasp. There’s a reason why this happens. I have flicked through my favourite sections of the Sunday papers for those seven minutes, made a mental reminder to return to […]

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In search of patience

Patience.  It’s a beautiful word.  To me, it represents more of an aspiration than something that comes naturally.  But I’m learning. When I was 15, a school friend flicked through my drawing pad, admiring my freehand, felt-pen copies of album cover (chiefly The Smiths) artwork and told me that I “must have the patience of a saint” to copy […]

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O would some Power the gift to give us To see ourselves as others see us! It would from many a blunder free us, And foolish notion: What airs in dress and gait would leave us, And even devotion! Robert Burns

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The first sign of madness

I talked to myself a lot as child.  I would act out TV dramas on my own, playing all the parts, goodies and baddies (but obviously romantic entanglements were out because I couldn’t play women, and there was no such thing as ‘gay’ when I was growing up), always timed to last as long as […]

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Dark water

“Don’t do it!” we shouted, with our usual mirthful, carefree abandon. Bob looked up and around at us, a tiny smile appeared at the side of his mouth.  I can’t remember exactly what he said as we passed him by, but it was something to the effect of: “I’m just having a rest.” The bridge […]

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Tea-time tale

A few days back, a colleague and I were discussing the timing of some inconsequential matter, and I happened to estimate it occurred “around dinner time”.   He smiled and said, “so that would be tea time for me”.  It reminded me of a recent piece by an Irish journalist I’m fond of reading, who disparaged the type of people who have […]

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Gallows humour

“It was now the representation of an object that I shudder to name –and for this, above all, I loathed, and dreaded, and would have rid myself of the monster had I dared –it was now, I say, the image of a hideous–of a ghastly thing –of the GALLOWS!–oh, mournful and terrible engine of Horror […]

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