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Have a nice day


That was the caption for the start of my day, shitty, mildly irritating but funny at the same time.

And then I heard about the Manchester terrorist attack.

One would think that there cannot be any gradation in horror. But there is.
The very choice of the target is sickeningly evil. A concert attended by excited pre-teens. For some of them their first concert ever.

For some of them their last concert ever.

With no possibility of bringing the perpetrator to justice. But how do you bring justice to the maimed, to the broken relatives of the dead, to the stunned community?

This sad, deluded, sick person is dead. Vapourised into nothingness. It was an undeservedly quick death for the bastard. He is nothing now and we shall not mention him anymore, because that would keep him alive for the little bit longer that he should not be granted.

What he believed in is also nothing. A mirage. An illusion. A cancer.

What is very real is the hurt and distress and inability to comprehend for those who are left behind.

What is very real is the 22 gaping holes in the universes of hundreds of people for whom 23 May 2017 will not gradually becomes a distant, less painful memory.

What is very real is a new, less colourful, more traumatic life for the scores of injured kids, teens and adults for whom 23 May will remain the essence of evil.

My thoughts are very much with them right now.

My car door handle is crying today.


Today I walked for two hours with a teenager. It was, like, totally boring, like. We talked about films, and history, and video games, and sexual education, and the internet, and special effect, and art, and exams.
It was, like, totally boring.
And mega embarrassing.

Jayzus, I hope that none of my mates saw me walking on the streets of Dun Laoghaire, talking to him. The embarrassment. Total morto I am…

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Totally embarrassing, like





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Almost as tall as Pepe

county dublin ireland

Ash Wednesday, George’s Street, Dun Laoghaire

I am not religious.
Yet I have a lot of respect for the tradition of Ash Wednesday.
Every year I ask people on the street if they wouldn’t mind me taking their portrait, with the ash mark on their forehead.
While most of the time people would normally be weary of a stranger taking their photograph, the vast majority today were willing participants.
For one day people are proud to display their beliefs, their tradition, their sense of belonging. Their awareness of mortality.
Ash to ash. Dust to dust.

A million thanks to you all for your good-humoured, spontaneous participation.

(You’ll have to scroll to the bottom to meet my youngest participants to date)


















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Ash to ash

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Mimiteen is ten


Jayzus… 10 years already since that little fist punched the air, out of the C section, prompting the obstetrician to ask you to take it easy.

How incredibly aware of your environment you’ve been from an early age.
You looked so serious for the first couple of months, taking in the world around you with your big saucer eyes, and that little frown that said that you were reserving your judgment until later, after you had gathered more information.

You’ve grown a lot since. I know what you are thinking, but don’t worry about the height. It’s just centimeters. Your growth is measured in other units, and it is tremendous.

You are so in tune with the world around you that it is I, big bozo, who learns from you.
You show tremendous maturity when it comes to relationship intelligence.
Especially if we use your brothers for bench-marking purposes…

I am so delighted your enjoyed your birthday.

Enjoy your first watch. And your first real writer’s pen (no, it doesn’t run out, you just pop in a new cartridge!) And your Game of Life and Monopoly with credit cards (sort of annihilates what was truly fun about Monopoly, the dipping in the bank while the others were not watching…)

Mum and Dad, and Pepe and Nana, and the bros love you very much.

There is only one Mimi.
And you are she.






An altar to MDF

The Big Blue and Yellow shed

Last Thursday, once again, for the sake of fun and surprising parenting, I bit the bullet.
I bit a whole AK47 charger full of them actually.
I offered, unprompted, to take Mimi and Finn for a Swedish hotdog after our fun-filled swim in Ballymun.
They very happily took me up on the offer.

The usual sense of aggressive tension was permeating the car park and entrance to the Church of the Holy MDF.
Having no intention of buying any colourful trinkets or flat-packed modern living, I steered them straight to the customer returns area (who in their right mind could be unhappy with their colourful trinkets or shiny flatpacked Billy bookcases?!) where the hotdogs can be found. And stressed, aggressive, short-tempered shoppers who have just been spat out of the checkout area €350 poorer than they had intended to be (cheap colourful trinkets have a nasty habit of combining into a surprisingly high total it seems…)
With barely three dozens angry Neanderthals in the queue ahead of us, we considered ourselves lucky.

The kids loved it. The nasty hotdogs, the chips, the doughnuts, but most of all the free refill cups.
I was tempted to try and explain to them that nothing is free in life, that the “free” refill is actually very much incorporated in the sales price.
But that would mean being boring old daddy, on a rare day when I had actually volunteered to take them to the big blue and yellow shed…

They loved all of it.
They loved the pool.
They loved the waterslide.
They loved the long hot shower after the cold water.
They loved their hotdog meals.
They loved the sugar rush from their refilled cups.

Unsurprisingly, they were like possessed beings for the drive back.
(But I did find it hard not to smile when they were wondering why there are so many words for a penis. “Penis! And Willy. And zizi” “And balls” “Not balls, Finn, they are the testicles, it’s not part of the penis, it’s the goolies, and the dangly bit is called the sack” “Santa’s sack!!!” Giggle giggle giggle giggle giggle giggle giggle)

A good day.

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In a trance