Ten questions about humans and humanity. I don't have the answers – do you?

When the first person applauded, why did they and what did everyone else think they were doing? Was a bar invented by a cavemen who invited friends around for some bear blood and then charged them for it? Who was the first human to put clothes on and did it go down well with the … Continue reading Ten questions about humans and humanity. I don't have the answers – do you?

Once, it was just the hairdresser or the barber. Now it's brow bars, nail bars and, of course, massage parlours for all those bad backs.

It was easy when I was a kid in Mount Merrion. If you wanted a haircut, you went to Baumann’s in Stillorgan. They’re still there I’m told though the need for me to visit has long passed. But I was looking around as I motored around through slow traffic in Dublin the other day. Within, … Continue reading Once, it was just the hairdresser or the barber. Now it's brow bars, nail bars and, of course, massage parlours for all those bad backs.

The world is changing quickly and it's not all for the better.

Another year passes. And the world changes. From my teenage years when my father put a lock on the (old, Bakelite) ‘phone in the hall, to my own teenage daughter staring at her “mobile”* day in, day out. *(It’s not actually mobile. It’s portable. Sorry. I’m a pedant.) But in the past few years lots … Continue reading The world is changing quickly and it's not all for the better.

The 50 best pop and rock singles ever…according to me.

Okay. I’m kind of housebound. Not entirely. But I have to be careful with ‘flu and other stuff about.  So I decided to list my five favourite singles ever. That became ten, then twenty. Now I have fifty. (I only allowed myself one song per artist) I doubt anyone will agree. But genuinely, the top … Continue reading The 50 best pop and rock singles ever…according to me.

So many great Irish Rock and Pop stars – but so many more who didn't get that lucky break…

We celebrate* our successful stars. And rightly so. We’re proud of Saoirse Ronan and Fiona Shaw and Cillian Murphy and Colin Farrell. There’s a long list of successful Irish actors. And writers – from Joyce and Beckett and Yeats through to Seamus Heaney and today’s high achievers like John Boyne and John Banville and others. … Continue reading So many great Irish Rock and Pop stars – but so many more who didn't get that lucky break…

Three stories about the wonderful Richard Harris – and I know at least one of them is true!

There’s a documentary about Richard Harris coming up on TG4on New Year’s evening. It’s recommended viewing. There are *myriad stories about that fine actor and wonderful man. Here are three. Richard married the actress and former model Ann Turkel in 1974. The story goes that while they were living in London he popped out for … Continue reading Three stories about the wonderful Richard Harris – and I know at least one of them is true!

And a miserable Christmas and New Year to you all from our soap operas

It was 50 years ago more or less. We were sitting at home in Mount Merrion settled down for the evening after our Christmas lunch and distribution of presents. And we were gathered around our new black and white television watching a soap opera on the country’s new and, indeed, first domestic television station, Radio … Continue reading And a miserable Christmas and New Year to you all from our soap operas