Waiting for Gavin

By Francine Cunningham Foxgloves, which used to grow wild in the shaded orchard behind my childhood home in County Tyrone, have always been a favourite flower. So, when we returned to Ireland after many years on the continent, I dreamed of a meadow-like garden full of native plants and humming with bees. It would beContinue reading “Waiting for Gavin”

A Fairytale of Wicklow

By Francine Cunningham Many of us dreamed of giving our house a complete makeover during lockdown.  I don’t know whether they wished upon a star, but for a few of my neighbours in County Wicklow, this dream has just come true. In the village of Greystones just south of Dublin, which we moved to sixContinue reading “A Fairytale of Wicklow”

A tale of tweets, trolls and true courage

By Francine Cunningham When I read the press announcement last week about the decision by the Sunday Independent to terminate the contract of polemical columnist Eoghan Harris, due to his involvement in at least one fake Twitter account, I knew it was only a matter of time before “Lady Macbeth” would be blamed. True toContinue reading “A tale of tweets, trolls and true courage”

Dryrobes and bikinis at the Irish Coast

By Peter Vandermeersch Why would anyone swim in the sea in the middle of winter? In most parts of the world people would think you’re not completely sane if you went to the beach in January, put on your swimsuit and ran happily into the ice-cold water. Not so in Greystones, the small Wicklow townContinue reading “Dryrobes and bikinis at the Irish Coast”

[Dog] Shit Doesn’t Just Happen

By Francine Cunningham It might be called the perfect storm: an upsurge in people buying dogs to keep them company at a time of social distancing, combined with more people out walking and travel restrictions keeping them confined to built-up areas. A perfect shit storm. Walks around the pretty seaside town of Greystones, County Wicklow,Continue reading “[Dog] Shit Doesn’t Just Happen”

Separated at birth? A St Patrick’s Day nod to our continental cousins

By Francine Cunningham On 17th March every year,  it seems like everyone in the world can find some trace of Irish ancestry, at least enough to raise a glass or two in honour of St Patrick. Yet if the roles were reversed, which nationality would Irish people identify with the most?  Could it be theContinue reading “Separated at birth? A St Patrick’s Day nod to our continental cousins”

Sunday papers and windscreen wipers

By Francine Cunningham There is a strange Irish phenomenon that has only intensified in corona times. For some reason, Irish people like to drive to the coast, find a parking space just in front of the sea and…. sit in their cars. No, they don’t drive there to have a walk at the seaside. TheyContinue reading “Sunday papers and windscreen wipers”

Thank God for The Happy Pear

By Peter Vandermeersch Every Saturday and Sunday for the last two months, this is my weekend prayer. The Happy Pear? Dutch and Belgian readers of this blog are already wondering what kind of religious sect I decided to join here in Ireland.  Irish readers probably think that I’ve turned vegan. They obviously know the twinContinue reading “Thank God for The Happy Pear”

Time to lighten up about Oirish accents

By Francine Cunningham C’mere till I tell ye. If there’s one thing that the Irish like more than giving out about the British claiming any of their own who becomes a star (note to all UK eds:  Saorise Ronan is not English), it’s getting all indignant about actors putting on phoney Oirish accents. So, everyoneContinue reading “Time to lighten up about Oirish accents”