General

Getaway To Ireland

We got back yesterday after three nights in Ireland...

Conventions, General

“You Are Here”: Dublin

On Friday evening we flew to Dublin from nearby London Luton airport for a weekend visit with Irish friends...

General

“Like jazz on a summer’s day”

A year ago today - October 12, 2015 - my novelist uncle (and my godfather) died. Incredibly, my mother would follow her brother on October 26. It has not been a "good year." But my recent personal "trials" had actually begun a year and some earlier: on February 2, 2014. On that day we were… Continue reading “Like jazz on a summer’s day”

Conventions, General

Weekend In Dublin

Ireland: the moment you arrive, you feel at home. Perhaps as an American that's at least partly due to its familiarity. Like many Americans, some of my ancestors moved to America from there. Yet ancestry is not one of the reasons I have been drawn to it. Frankly back in my teens it had never… Continue reading Weekend In Dublin

Distances, General

From Across The Irish Sea

Only minutes after I published yesterday's post, my shaken mother-in-law phoned us with sad family news. My wife's uncle-in-law, who was an inspiration for a gregarious, friendly Irish tourist in Rome in Distances, died at home in London early Sunday morning. He was 85. He had lived in England for over sixty years, and married… Continue reading From Across The Irish Sea

General

“You can’t see me or touch me….”

This is the sort of social media that is indeed "social": a sympathy message last night from an Irish friend - a longtime girlfriend of ours in Dublin, with whom we'd traveled to Florida in the summer of 2014. Several years back, her parents passed away within a year of each other. She had also… Continue reading “You can’t see me or touch me….”

Distances, Frontiers, General, Passports

Having Sat Out That War Is Not A Badge Of Celtic Honor (So Shut Up And Hope Everyone Else Forgets)

A very serious post to start the week. At a U.K. family get-together over the weekend, I witnessed (yet again) an ugly Irish chauvinism and excuse-making for Ireland's "neutrality" during the Second World War. It had come up amidst chatter in "taking sides" during Saturday's Rugby World Cup match between Wales and England, which was… Continue reading Having Sat Out That War Is Not A Badge Of Celtic Honor (So Shut Up And Hope Everyone Else Forgets)

General

At The Irish Frontier

It happened again. Previously it was at Heathrow. This time, it was Dublin Airport. Arriving on Saturday morning, my passport's older stamps made it clear immediately to the Irish border agent that I travel to Ireland pretty regularly. After we cleared up that I live in the United Kingdom and not in the U.S.A., he… Continue reading At The Irish Frontier

General

Monasterboice, County Louth

Yesterday was the first time I'd seen this, which is off a quiet side road, north of Dublin. From where you park, you'd think it's merely an old cemetery amidst the ruins of a couple of old churches. But it's much more: Two ruined churches (perhaps built in the 14th century) stand on the site… Continue reading Monasterboice, County Louth

General

Left Side Of The Shelf

We're visiting our long-time friends in Dublin for the weekend. Flew over this morning from Bristol. Haven't seen them in person since Florida, last summer. Settling in, I stumbled on this. And, no, I'm not referring to Larsson or Mandela: Oh! Dear! God! That? In our girlfriend's guest room? I may never recover from the… Continue reading Left Side Of The Shelf

General

The World’s Sexiest Nationality?

Previously, this blog has dutifully shared what we are informed are "the most attractive accents" in the world. Now this, as reported by a well-respected Irish media outlet. Understand, it is offered here purely for any "research and reference" purposes you may have: That Irish Times piece goes on to tell us a "travel dating"… Continue reading The World’s Sexiest Nationality?

General

Fáilte / Welcome

I don't keep close tabs on visitors. However, I have noticed over nearly the year this blog has existed that my "Top Five" countries of daily "regular visitors" clicking in through the web (as separate from those of you who arrive via the WordPress reader) have by now come pretty consistently to be ranked like… Continue reading Fáilte / Welcome

General

What Happened To Bobby?

Yesterday afternoon, an episode of Escape to the Country came on the BBC. In the background, we heard one of the househunting couple's children's names: "Hatcher." With that, the fun began: • Me: "There must be an American in this couple. Boys names in the U.S. have become ridiculous in recent years. Only an American… Continue reading What Happened To Bobby?

General, Photos

Among The Best 25¢ I’ve Ever Spent

Got a bit of a surprise on Monday in Key West. It wasn't, as you know, at Hemingway's house. I mean down at the docks behind Conch Seafood: As I tweeted the other day, a manatee appeared seconds after we had fed the fish, resulting in a marine encounter the two kids - the 9… Continue reading Among The Best 25¢ I’ve Ever Spent

General

Sharing Champagne

One of them has already arrived. My wife's Irish long-time friend's mid-twenties niece took a coach to us from Orlando, via Miami. She got here to the Keys two days ago. I knew her, although not very well. As we three have spent the last couple of days together, I've discovered she's an absolute dry-witted… Continue reading Sharing Champagne