11 February / / Life

“The thing about the Irish,” said my colleague from Amsterdam as we carried our beers from the bar to our seats in the alleyway, “is that they always have to have a drink in their hand.” The three Belfast-based members of the team appraised each other for a minute…then nodded in agreement.

27 October / / Life

On the Isle of Lismore, far off the beaten track, is the shambling ruin of Castle Ceoffin. It resembles, more than anything, a gnarled, groping hand reaching skyward.

11 July / / Life

Like many working class families, we used to cut turf for our fires in the winter. A visit to an old peat bog brings back some childhood memories…

10 June / / Photos
19 April / / Life
Life comes at you fast. At the start of 2020, the world had never heard of Coronavirus. By March, terms like “social distancing” and “flattening the curve” were part of everyday conversation. We entered nationwide lockdown, keeping to our houses as much as possible and watched anxiously for news of the virus at home and abroad. The impact of this pandemic is almost impossible to comprehend. International travel at a virtual standstill.
06 March / / Photos
18 December / / Life
01 May / / Life

Tom and Eileen’s house. Glenshesk, 2006.

The lure of an abandoned house is in imagining the story of the people who lived there. Who they were. What their lives were like. Why they left behind their home and where they went to next. But in the case of this hillside house in Glenshesk, I knew the people well.

28 March / / Life
14 November / / Life
I decided to stop drinking for two months. So I did. I decided to sever a series of toxic relationships. So I did. I decided to take some risks in my career. And I did. I decided to start taking yoga classes. And I did. I decided to start writing again. So I’m writing this. At the beginning of those yoga classes, the instructor utters some words which are magical to me.
13 June / / Life
This is going to be a strange post. But then it’s a strange time, and my head is full of conflicting ideas and emotions and memories. So expect a jumble of words that may not entirely make sense and may not be in exactly the right order…. Last Monday, I found myself in Elstree, the home of Big Brother. On assignment as our roving reporter to meet with 89 potential housemates for the new series.
25 August / / Life

Rewind to two days before the funeral, his green Nissan Primera racing toward Ballycastle for the final time. But he’s not at the wheel, I’m the driver, my newly widowed mother beside me, still shell-shocked. Sister in the back seat, silent.

08 August / / Photos

The boys and I have just come back from a short trip to Galway. On the second day we stopped off at Portumna, a quiet little town that Lisa and I discovered on a Shannon cruise about 9 years previously.

24 May / / Life

How does an Atheist deal with death? Two things have made me think about death and Atheism lately: a reading of Richard Dawkins' book, The God Delusion and the news that my father has terminal cancer.

24 April / / Life

Last Wednesday I got dragged to France. I’ve never been to France, although I have tried their method of kissing before and even their ticklers once or twice.