SOAPBOX

I'VE NEVER BEEN KNOWN NOT TO FORM AN OPINION AND WHAT'S THE POINT IN HAVING ONE IF YOU'RE NOT WILLING TO SHARE IT?

  • SOAPBOX

    WHAT HAVE WE BECOME?

    The second statistic informed me that 10 women are murdered each year in Ireland by their husband or partner in their own home. At home where they should be safest and by the one person they thought would love and protect them. I don’t recall their sad demise being reported in banner headlines and that’s probably because it’s no longer…

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    THE FAILED GENERATION

    PHOTO: Franklin / AP “I was a child in the sixties Dreams could be held through TV With Disney, and Cronkite, and Martin Luther Oh, I believed, I believed, I believed Nanci Griffith – It’s A Hard Life I’m in my mid-fifties and I was a child of the sixties. I grew up with the momentum of foreign protests igniting protest…

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    6 THINGS I’D LIKE TO THANK YOU FOR MR.TRUMP

    www.flickr.com/photos/donkeyhotey/11360949604 I was always told in polite company to steer clear of discussions about sex, religion and politics. Of all of these I can’t seem to steer completely clear of politics and now is probably not the time for me to start. On this occasion, I want to thank the US presidential (almost) candidate Donald Trump for the many things…

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    IT’S ALL PORK PIES…

    You know the old joke: “How can you tell if a politician is lying? His lips are moving!”. We’re about to embark on three weeks of a general election campaign where a lot of lips will be moving. The last time the Irish people went to the ballot boxes to elect a new government our economy was circling the toilet…

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    SUPER POWER

    I came across a video promoting a private university in the US that describes itself as a university for heroes (check it out here). It’s an intriguing idea and it got me thinking about superheroes and super powers. If you were to be offered a super power what would it be? I think I’d opt for the ability to fly. As…

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    WHY SOME OF US DON’T HAVE ONE TRUE CALLING

    I came across this TED Talk and it helped me understand why I think like I do (up to a point). I always thought I had butterfly brain and despite trying to find a single lifelong burning passion I’ve flitted from one to another for practically my entire life. Pity my parents aren’t still around to hear I’m actually a…

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    MEN AT WORK…

    In an effort to work out why I bother writing this blog (yes I am struggling a bit with the apparent futility of writing a blog for my own amusement) I decided to do an in-depth piece of research of existing blogs written by men. When I finally finished Googling for “male blogs” and “men who write blogs” and “blogs…

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    I’VE SEEN A SIGN

    I’ll be the first to admit we all have strange pet hates that we either can’t explain or refuse to admit to because there’s no rational reason for entertaining them and I’m no exception. I freely admit I have a serious dislike for the use of the @ symbol instead of the extremely difficult to spell the word “at”” (yes…

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    JUST DO IT!

    It’s great when your children reach an age when you see them do things you would never pluck up the courage to do. My children are all in that category and frequently make decisions, have adventures and generally just do things that I would never have the nerve to do. Recently GUC #5 fulfilled a long-held desire to skydive. I wanted…

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    EVERYONE MATTERS

    Once upon a time, in the land of Hush-A-Bye, around about the wondrous days of yore, they came across a kind of box, bound up with chains and locked with locks and labelled “Kindly do not touch; it’s war.”  Kendrew Lascelles (in John Denver’s album- Poems, Prayers and Promises) I intended starting this post by stating that I wished to…

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    TAKE THE NEXT STEP

    “I dream of men who take the next step rather than worrying about the next thousand” Theodore Roosevelt. Have you ever been busily working towards something and then suddenly find yourself hesitating just before the finish line? I think if we’re honest most of us have been right at that spot on more than one occasion. It doesn’t really matter…

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    BORN TO STAND OUT

    “Why fit in when you were born to stand out” – Dr. Seuss. Isn’t it amazing how we spend so much of our time trying to fit in and the rest of it trying to stand out? Most of us spend our formative years trying to work out what we need to do to attract cool friends and be accepted…

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    JUNK MAIL

    “No Junk Mail” – Probably the three most ignored words in any language. No matter how often I’ve tried to get this message across I seem to fail. Increasing numbers of leaflet droppers are choosing to completely ignore the helpful signs I put up especially for them. Given the fact most of them seem to be wandering from door to…

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    TIME

    “We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right.” -Nelson Mandela. It’s totally subjective I know but in my opinion I think you have to pass the point where you know for a fact you don’t have as many years ahead of you as you have behind you before you really understand…

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    BROKEN

    “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” Frederick Douglass- It’s a wonder humanity ever became the dominant species on planet Earth when you think about how fragile we really are. Quite apart from the physical fragility we display in comparison to other creatures, the effect mental damage can have on us should really make us…

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    BEFORE / AFTER

    “In many ways, history is marked as ‘before’ and ‘after’ Rosa Parks. She sat down in order that we all might stand up, and the walls of segregation came down.” Jesse Jackson.- Have you ever noticed how people are always smiling in the ‘after’ photo for makeovers? Maybe if they smiled in the ‘before’ photo they wouldn’t need the makeover.…

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    A CERTAIN LACK OF LOGIC

    There are many things about life that confuse me and most of them will continue to do so, but maybe someone could shed some light on something that I can’t get my head around – how come animal shelters are overloaded with abandoned dogs and cats and yet they refuse to allow people working full-time to adopt the animals? They also…

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    ENJOY!

    I was lucky enough to have been on holiday in Florida in the early noughties when every shop assistant, waitress and person you met finished every interaction with a chirpy “have a nice day!”. When I say lucky I’m referring to the holiday and not the chirpy instruction as to how I view the rest of my day. Honestly it’s…

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    WHAT VALUE DOES A LIFE HAVE?

    Sometimes I try to think of ways not to sound like I’m delivering another lecture when I write a piece about something I’m passionate about, but on this occasion I’m going to forego that and just say what’s on my mind. Life is precious and I don’t imagine many people would disagree with that statement but hidden within those three…

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    DOGGED DISCRIMINATION

     If I was to blog about a notice erected by a Local Authority in Ireland indicating that the amenity they set up with public funds was off limits to people of certain nationalities – lets say German, Zimbabwean, American, English, or Japanese – because the ignorance of received wisdom indicated they were more agressive than other nationalities and especially the…

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    SHOUT LOUDER THE TV CAN’T HEAR YOU

    What is it about sport on TV that turns even the most mild mannered person into an aggressive expert who could singlehandedly replace every team member AND coach them from the sideline? As I write this my Ban Cheile is roaring “Oh you stupid, stupid…” at a player on a pitch miles away and in the full knowledge that only…

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    POCKET EUROPE

    I reckon everyone has a little personal ritual when it comes to emptying their pockets, especilly if you’re doing it just before you go to bed. I usually put my battered wallet on the bedside locker first and then my mobile phone and then scoop any change from my pocket and toss it into an old ashtray that’s a relic…

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    JUST A THOUGHT

    I witnessed something today that was both humbling and thought provoking. Sitting in Burger King with The Ban Cheile I noticed two men arrive into the restaurant and recognised one of them from earlier in the day, when I saw him panhandling in a doorway on Patrick’s Street. Both were dressed in old, well worn, but apparently clean clothes. One…

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    ABSENCE MAKES THE HEART GROW FONDER…..REALLY?

      The idiom goes “absence makes the heart grow fonder” and according to my late mother the next line is” but presence makes the love grow stronger”. Another nugget of received wisdom that appears to contradict itself, but does it? To begin with is fondness and love on equal footing? With two of our GUC (Grown Up Children No. 5…