Party Politics

Today the office Christmas Party season reaches its peak. You will see revellers everywhere. Shouting and talking shite during the performances at comedy clubs, ordering ‘sure why not’ side dishes in restaurants, crying and talking to the pavement while having their hair held back by a friend, fighting with another office party in a chipper.

Cold Call

“No we’d love to see ye!” Smiles. “No that’s no problem at all. Sure if you’re passing ye might as well call in.” More smiles. “Ok, bye bye!” Pause. “No honestly it’s grand. Bye Bye” Hang up phone. The smile on my wife’s face has now been replaced by a look of horror. “Tommy and

Budget Regard

It will be over soon. The kite-flying and the boat-floating. The low-hanging fruit and the hard choices being made for poor people by wealthy people. The budget is nigh. The trick for the government, therefore is to raise money from us in ways we don’t notice or don’t mind. Here are a few suggestions: Prize

Souper Man

Her face flicks through a range of expressions – some involuntary, some manufactured. Hopeful Grimacing. Thoughtful. Puzzled. And then back to Optimistic as she continues the tasting. “Ptsep-Ptsep-Ptsep – it’s nice…em… maybe it needs more salt.” If the soup had any more added salt, it would get its own special rate of VAT in the

Selling Out

I’ve never been good with salespeople. Not only are they very self-aware, they also seem to know a lot more about me than I do – like what I need. When you work from home you meet a lot of people selling various things. Each has a different approach. Members of the Travelling community are

Group Theory

Every now and then a news story will shine a light again on a quirk of the English language. In the last ten days, the quirk was the collective noun. The gasps and OMGs of two English women as they kayaked on Lough Derg, was the backing-track to a hitherto not often-mentioned collective phenomenon –


It’s been some time. The conditions have not been right. There was always somewhere else to be, someone to talk to, the wrong shoes, the wrong floor, the music did not have the requisite level of funk. But now the planets are aligned. A seven-piece brass band called Brass Roots is playing OutKast and I

Seasons To Be Cheerful

Saturday marks the end of Western European Summer Time. Or Irish Standard Time as it is officially known here. We don’t call it that of course. If we were on Irish Standard Time we would all be half an hour late, ‘stuck in traffic’, because ‘we got delayed’, ‘something came up’ or ‘we couldn’t get