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MUSIC AND MEMORY   The first song that entered my consciousness as a young child was an American spiritual called: “Will the Angels Play their Harps for Me”. I heard it in a house that had no radio or television but had an old, wind-up gramophone and a small number of 78 vinyl records. How […]


BRETON CALVARIES   When our children were young, we used to get the car ferry from Cork to the French port of Roscoff, for our annual holiday. From there we drove to various camp sies in coastal Brittany.Breton Calvaries are massive cut stone blocks on which scenes from the Childhood and Passion of Christ are […]


THE STUFF OF LIFE   There was great excitement in the town when a fit up company arrived during the 1950’s. These were groups of actors who travelled around the small towns and villages of Ireland putting on plays. They set up a barn-like tent in the Fairgreen with a curtained stage at one end […]


THE YEAR OF THE OCTOPUS   As a child I had an aversion to snakes – their beady eyes, their scaley bodies and their furtive, slithery nature. I knew that they could spit venom, they could lash out and bite or they could strangle their victims to death, python wise, by wrapping their muscular, sinewy […]


TOWN LIFE   As a child, I Iiked to visit the Public Library in Loughrea. It occupied a room in the Temperance Hall and was presided over by Mrs Joynt, a thoughtful and benevolent woman with a soft-spoken voice. I loved to take down the large, illustrated children’s books and open them on the floor. […]

The Stuff of Life/The Life of Stuff

Life is full of miracles and mysteries.   It is a miracle that we are here on earth and that we are sustained by all that surrounds us.   There is the divine produce of mother and father nature and the substances from the natural world that people like you and me have taken and moulded for […]

Weekend Trip to The Greenbrier

  A work colleague went to a convention at The Greenbrier, White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia and he couldn’t stop singing its praises.   He loved the old-world-charm of the place which was established over 200 years before to accommodate people who came to “take the waters” of the White Sulphur Springs.   It became a gathering […]

DEFRAG. ……. “Say what?”…

  Defrag., an abbreviation of defragmentation is a new word for me.   Some people may be familiar with it as it relates to defragging the hard drive in their computer to organize the contents of storage devices to free up space.   It is the opposite of fragmentation, the process of being broken into fragments, […]

Buns “AND” “OR” Chatbots “NOT”

Buns “AND”  “OR” Chatbots  “NOT”   I baked some raisin buns for my college-going grand-nephew and his mom.   He was designing an algorithm and translating it into computer programs to create his own Chatbot called Mia.   He needed a break and I explained that I made the buns just the way he liked them by […]

Yes! We Have No Bananas

“Yes, we have no bananasWe have-a no bananas today.We’ve string beans, and onionsWe have an old fashioned to-mah-toA Long Island po-tah-toBut yes, we have no bananas.We have no bananas today.”   That song, written in 1922, was about a Greek fruit and vegetable seller at New York docks whose English wasn’t perfect.   It was inspired […]

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