The Summer 1994 edition of the Thomas Cook European Railway Timetable is still in the bookshelf. It was an probably an unnecessary extravagance, being used for only one day trip. The times of the two trains caught are still ringed in blue biro.
Catching the 0936 from Båstad, we reached Helsingborg at 1015, where the carriage was shunted on to the ferry. The ferry reached Helsingør at 1115 and the train departed at 1138, reaching København at 1215. We travelled from a town in Sweden to the capital of Denmark …
I never knew what Joe did, maybe he was a groundsman of some sort. Rarely to be seen in the daytime, he would appear at the evening meal in the small basement room where he and the three volunteer staff sat around a plain wooden table.
He claimed to be a devout Catholic, though his religious devotion seemed to consist mainly in a very peremptory sign of the cross before diving into his plate of food.
He never explained how he came to be working in the place, maybe the …
My mate Jonny came up with the idea that we all give up a week’s earnings to put the country back on its feet and that we then get on with life. It seemed a reasonable proposition; there is so much gloom and doom in the air that giving up a week’s pay to get rid of it would not be a bad deal. But would a week cover it?
The CIA World Factbook gives the figure for Ireland’s Gross Domestic Product in 2008 as $285 billion, a figure that …
Sermon at Saint Matthias’ Church on Sunday, 1st March 2009
“He was in the desert for forty days, being tempted by Satan” Mark 1:13
Extreme circumstances can bring forth the most unexpected reactions; even in the wilderness, God’s grace can be found.
Victor Frankl, the Austrian psychologist, told of a young Jewish woman who was with him in a concentration camp:
This young woman knew that she would die in the next few days. But when I talked to her she was cheerful in spite of this knowledge. “I am
The Parting Glass must rank as one of the most beautiful of Irish songs: a man rising from the company of his oldest friends and bidding them a final farewell. Sung at a funeral, it is a moving lament. The song opens:
Of all the money that e’er I spent
I spent it in good company
And all the harm that e’er I’ve done
Alas, it was to none but me
And all I’ve done for want of wit
To mem’ry now I can’t recall
So fill to me
Attending a dinner with a German friend last night reminded me of from what Europe has recovered in his lifetime. He recounted childhood memories of 1945.
“My father was away in the army somewhere. Perhaps in France? We did not know. My mother was trying to run the hotel.
Our village had been granted a charter as a town in medieval times, but was really no more than a village.
One day a tide of people came through the streets: thousands and thousands of them from East Prussia and other