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”

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”

United Covid nations?

By Peter Vandermeersch We’re all in this together, aren’t we? Covid-19 is basically the same in Dublin, Brussels or Amsterdam. According to the official figures, in Ireland, Belgium and The Netherlands combined almost 20,000 people died due to Coranavirus over the last seven months. The English terms “social distancing’, “lockdown” and “second wave” are also used in DutchContinue reading “United Covid nations?”

New Irish Writing in a time of Coronavirus

By Peter Vandermeersch Two distinct articles in two different newspapers, both on the same day: Saturday, 8th August, 2020. On page 8 of The Financial Times, I read an excellent column by Cordelia Jenkins, ‘An ode to the poems almost foregone’. I learn that poetry is to be downgraded on the GCSE English exam andContinue reading “New Irish Writing in a time of Coronavirus”

A year in Irish politics

By Peter Vandermeersch Dear Belgian and Dutch friends, As some of you probably remember, I started my job as publisher here in Ireland at the beginning of August 2019, exactly one year ago this week. The past year has been an exciting one in Irish politics, something which has not always been noticed on continentalContinue reading “A year in Irish politics”

Visit Talbot Street, its crime, its colour

By Peter Vandermeersch ‘There’s a lot of colourful people in this street. Some of them are very interested in you. Especially in your wallet and your phone’, a colleague at the newspaper office warned me. It was my first day in the building of ‘Independent News and Media’ (INM), which has its offices in oneContinue reading “Visit Talbot Street, its crime, its colour”

Landlords with euro signs in their eyes

By Peter Vandermeersch Moving to Dublin, I was convinced I had a very decent budget. In July 2019, a month before packing my bags for the Irish capital, I had sold a chic apartment of 100 square metres smack in the centre of Amsterdam, one of the liveliest cities in Western Europe, where… everyone isContinue reading “Landlords with euro signs in their eyes”

It’s not the Champs Elysées

By Peter Vandermeersch April 2019. Paris! Fresh croissants! Les Champs Elysées! Le Musée d’Orsay…. I am preparing to leave Amsterdam, where I have been working for nine years as the editor-in-chief and a director of NRC Handelsblad, to move to the city of lights. I have been editing and managing newspapers in Belgium and TheContinue reading “It’s not the Champs Elysées”