Pension Tension

I received a couple of reminders of mortality this week. The first involved a rather freakish separation of my bicycle from its handlebars and the resultant separation of me from the bike. Handlebars are one of those things I’ve always taken for granted – like slippers and toast. I cannot imagine them behaving in any

Spatial Awareness

The one-way ticket is a powerful motif. It marks the end of one chapter of life and the beginning of another more uncertain one. Boney-M sang about having a “One way ticket, one way ticket to the blues/Choo, choo train chuggin’ down the track” . I have felt that pain.  Recently, I lost a return

Opening Lines

It’s my first day in this job . Figuratively speaking I’m standing in the foyer, with my new pen and wearing a shirt that still has the shop creases in it. All around me, experienced employees go about their business, full of intent. I’m slightly in the way, so I think I’ll tentatively approach reception.

Anti-Climate

Irony: It’s a word often misused and shoehorned into places it shouldn’t. Like “austerity” it has become a catch-all for many things that are just a pain in the hoop. There is an old truism that virtually nothing in Alanis Morrisettes’s song ‘Ironic’ was ironic. (Although writing a song called “Ironic” that isn’t ironic could

All Property Accounted For

You clearly don’t mess with people’s bank accounts in Cyprus. It was like a scene from the film 300, except instead of Spartans going around without their tops on, Cypriot politicians, kicked the sleeveen emissary from the ECB down a well and Shouted WE. ARE CYPRUS!!!! Taking money from poor people’s savings is not an

Benediction

Thursday February 28th The last day! It wasn’t too hectic. Most of it just Handover stuff and most of that was in one file: “InfallibilityForIdiots.doc”. Then I started composing my Out Of Office Reply until I realised I’d need a new email address. Apparently pope@vatican.va will be needed for the next guy, so I’m stuck

Trip Advisor

“What do you know about Bratislava?” “Yeah – sounds.. authentic” I clap my hand to my mouth in horror. Oh no! what have I said? The traditional February Winter fatigue has set in and thoughts have turned to fantasizing about holidays. We’re planning to go around a bit of Europe by train and wondering where

Thread Needle

Don’t get Ketchup on your good shirt now. Too late. I had woken up that morning with the unmistakeable craving for a sausage sandwich. Not porridge and egg and a refreshing smoothie but a dirty, succulent, corpulent sausage sandwich. The one concession to health was that the sausages sizzled on our George Foreman. The alternative:

Ireland’s Got Mammies – Bitteen of a Tour

The Show Of The Book Of The Twitter Account is off on a bit of a tour. ‘Do you have a son working in something to do with computers’?, ‘Had you to ask the young one in the shop to put the credit on the phone’? Did you ‘have the pavlova’? Colm O’Regan, creator of

Telly Binge

It’s the week of Blue Monday – and I don’t mean a week of celebrations to commemorate New Order’s seminal 1983 hit. Statistically, the third Monday of January is the most miserable day of the year. Even children are likely to feel the gloom, with Madame Snow once again toying with their emotions. “Hey kids

Destination Nation

A few days after the New Years Eve fireworks, the reality is dawning. SOMEONE – don’t ask who, it wasn’t me – is after inviting a load of visitors to come to Ireland this year. I wish we’d been given more notice. The place is in a bit of a heap. And what’s worse, the

Forward Thinking

Assuming there is still a world in 2013, Colm O’Regan looks ahead to see what it might be like… January Phil Hogan, following the example of Shell Corrib Gas Tunnelling machine (called Fionnuala after the children of Lir), announces plans to name other unpopular measures after Irish mythical figures. The Household charge is renamed The