Go West, Young Man!

Go West, Young Man!

I love the United States! There, I’ve said it. I may not like its foreign policy and I probably couldn’t see myself ever living there but as a travel destination, it’s very hard to beat. My first experience of the US was way back in 1976 when the country was celebrating its bicentennial year and … Continued


Pietra Dura — the opposite of Naff!

Look in any dictionary for the meaning of the word ‘Naff’ and you’re likely to come up with some or all of the following terms: ‘tacky’, ‘tasteless’, ‘cheap’, ‘duff’, ‘inferior’ or just downright ‘bad’. The antonyms to be found include words like, first-rate, high-quality, exceptional, first-class, superior, fine and excellent. I can tell you all … Continued


Perceptions, assumptions and misunderstandings

Nothing is set in stone. Things change. Reality is fluid and few things in life adhere to a precise and inviolate template. What on earth am I waffling on about this time? One of the biggest mistakes that people make (and I include myself in this) is that we treat everything as gospel. We read … Continued


In India, they drive on the left …

… and the right, in the middle, on the hard shoulder and in the opposite direction — even on dual carriageways and motorways but for some perverse reason, it all seems to work. India is not a country where you simply hire a car to get around. You hire a car and a driver because … Continued


When a man is tired of London …

The full quote is ‘When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford’ and it was written by Samuel Johnson (aka Dr Johnson), who was the author of the ‘Dictionary of the English Language’ which was published in 1755. Johnson was also … Continued


Out of this world!

Isn’t language an amazing thing? Whether we realize it or not, it is a living thing that adapts to its surroundings to reflect the era it occupies, within which, words are used to convey certain concepts and ideas and like all other living things it is wonderfully flawed. Words that originally meant one thing, end … Continued


The fascinating world of micro-climates

When we think of weather, we tend to categorize it in terms of one of two ideals — good weather or bad weather. The former is the category that we associate with positive things; holidays, sun, ideal agricultural conditions and so on, whilst bad weather tends to be associated, understandably enough, with negative phenomenon such … Continued


When they’re gone, they’re gone!

Back in the mid-eighties, I secured a booking for a large GAA group that wanted to undertake a multi-city tour of the US, taking in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. As is standard practice with large groups, I brought two of the group leaders out with me on an inspection tour of all … Continued


Lakes & Mountains — a gem just waiting to be discovered!

Are you a creature of habit? Do you head off each summer for your traditional two weeks in the sun somewhere warm? Even if you go to a different beach resort each year, priding yourself on the fact that you love change and diversity, you might still be deluding yourself if the TYPE of holiday … Continued


Where to stay in London?

London is, without doubt, one of the greatest cities in the world and it is a destination that is often overlooked by Irish people — partly because of its proximity to home but also because of that phenomenon of ‘familiarity breeds contempt’. It is also an expensive city to visit, particularly when it comes to … Continued


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