We leave for Vancouver in the morning and realized that I was on the rota to do a piece for broadcast on Downtown Radio in the North on the morning of Sunday, 13th July. The “Letter from Dublin” goes out on the Sunday morning religious programme once every six weeks. This is the script of the MP3 recording I emailed to my friend Colm.
My favourite broadcaster is an American.
For fifteen years or more, I have listened to him. He does monologues, stories about a fictional small town in …
Michael went to his “debs” last night.
The traditional school leaving event held by many groups of Irish school leavers takes many forms – his was a dinner and disco at a local racecourse.
At 11 o’clock, as pre-arranged, we collected him. He doesn’t like music and he doesn’t drink, which meant there wasn’t much interest left in the evening.
“How was the dinner?”
“It was €95 a ticket – how could it have been poor?”
“That was to cover the cost of the cocktail reception and the dance …
“Is ‘trash’ an American word?”
“Yes,” I said.
“Are you sure?”
Lines from Chapter 6 of Persuasion by Jane Austen were read aloud,
I hate sending the children to the Great House, though their grandmamma is always wanting to see them, for she humours and indulges them to such a degree, and gives them so much trash and sweet things, that they are sure to come back sick and cross for the rest of the day.
“Ah”, I said, “It was hardly an American import, then. The United States …
On August 26th 1981, I first set foot on Irish soil. It was 7.30 in the morning and we had travelled all night.
I bought a Daily Telegraph from a paper seller standing at the entrance to the Carlisle Pier and we walked the three hundred yards to Dun Laoghaire station. In retrospect, going to the station was a daft thing to do, we could have walked the distance to the seasonal youth hostel in half the time we stood waiting for the train.
The youth hostel was in a …
The approach of the holiday season brings an annual family ritual of buying books. The prospect of a long haul flight restricted the number this year. The short pile on the study floor looks odd.
On Green Dolphin Street by Sebastian Faulks, Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson and Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky, accompanied byThe Complete Novels of Flann O’Brien. It is O’Brien who will get most attention, not because of literary merit, but because he seems to anticipate the absurdity of much of contemporary life
It is nine years since I saw Doctor Samuel. He had flown to London to have cataracts removed from both eyes and a friend had paid for him to travel on to Dublin. Outside of his environment, he seemed much older and world weary. Perhaps this was Doctor Samuel with his guard down, back at home there would be no possibility of relaxing.
Dr Samuel’s hospital had been paid for by a missionary society. It was in a village some twenty miles from the next settlement, the journey by road …