As a child I had a guideline to mark the start of the Christmas build up: November 29, my birthday. This was the trigger that seemed to switch my sense of anticipation into full swing.Read More
To idle: to spend time doing nothing – or so my dictionary tells me. In a word-prompt association game, a psychologist might anticipate responses such as unproductive, indolent, frivolous, useless, fruitless, pointless, empty, futile, trivial, hollow, lazy, and otiose – to name a dozen that idly come to mind. I particularly like otiose: having no practical purpose, result or merit.Read More
Those who attempt periodical essays seem to be often stopped in the beginning, by the difficulty of finding a proper title. Two writers, since the time of the Spectator, have assumed his name, without any pretensions to lawful inheritance; an effort was once made to revive the Tatler, and the strange appellations, by which other papers have been called, show that the authors were distressed, like the natives of America, who come to the Europeans to beg a name.Read More
As I wish my words to reach a much wider audience than I see before me here, I intend to read all that I propose to say.
What I shall read now is something I wrote more than twenty days ago. There is an objection possibly not good in law but surely good on moral grounds against the application to me here of this English statute, 565 years old, that seeks to deprive an Irishman to-day of life and honour, not for "adhering to the King's enemies" but for adhering to his own people.Read More
The wrecking ball hangs like a heavily ponderous thought over my childhood home.Read More
Much is made of culture shock for uninitiated Westerners visiting a Muslim country. And at first, the sight of a young woman in a head-to-toe burqini was a bit disconcerting — but really only because she’d just emerged from the depths of the Red Sea at the jetty in Aqaba thus clad, assessorised by oxygen tanks, weight belts and breathing apartatus; the wet suit not visible. She stepped out of her flippers as out of slingbacks and strode off up the beach with her Saudi dive mates. Culture shock indeed.Read More