Paddy’s Home

Paddy J O’Flaherty was a celebrity. He wasn’t always that way, but it’s how he ended up. He started his career in the drinks trade as a sales rep for what was known as Cork Distilleries Company (CDC) Old Irish Whisky. He was one of the first brand ambassadors – think The Simpsons’ rambunctious brewery spokestoon […]

Bad Timing

I did not like La La Land when it came out. It felt like everyone else did, which in itself might have given me unrealistic expectations about how life-changing it might be. Perhaps my nonplussed reaction to it came from the fact that I don’t watch a huge amount of musicals (does anyone any more?). […]

Only forward

In the autumn of 2012, a 92-year-old retired engineer named Bobby Hogg passed away, and with him went a little piece of Scottish culture. Hogg was the last native speaker of a Scots dialect spoken by the fisherfolk of the isolated Cromarty community, the only other native speaker having been his brother, Gordon, who had […]

Bowing out

I loved Dublin. It’s the city of my birth, where my wife and I fell in love, and where we became parents. I spent four great years there from 1999-2003 and it broke my heart to leave. But I had to face the fact that I am a culchie. Like the salmon swimming back upstream […]