We try to keep Sundays family-friendly. We like to do the whole Sunday dinner shebang as it has the effect of making everyone sit down together for longer than five minutes; so that on any given Sunday, there is a buzz to the house, it is packed with noise and commonplace happiness.
IF THERE'S one thing that is abundantly clear, it's that the so called Islamic States, formerly ISIS, is not going to go away any time soon Western dithering in Syria, the lack of support for the Syrian National Coalition formed to oust Bashar al-Assad, and a hands off approach by the world's leading democracies , allowed the fundamentalists to grow in power.
NOBODY ever said rearing children would be an easy task. For the most part it is an often thankless and certainly expensive business, with huge financial demands placed on parents, particularly when it comes to kitting out the kids at the start of each school year.
I was shocked to read recently that inmates in Irish prisons have received a combined €19m in 'pocket money' over the past five years. I find it staggering that this figure is spent on providing spending money for prisoners who are already being supported by the taxpayer.
THE WORLD of sport is littered with cliches, you know the kind of stuff, 'it's all about the team, it's all about the performance'; the kind of stuff you just get so sick of hearing especially with a 24-hour sports news channel that seems to go searching for these cliches as often as possible.
I was in Fatima last week, a beautiful remote part of Portugal where in 1917 Our Lady appeared to three children who were pasturing their flock. Since then millions of pilgrims have visited the site of the apparitions, bringing their prayers and intentions, seeking God's help in their lives and sharing in the beautiful events of almost a century ago.
Thursday: We had guests for dinner tonight. As we sat, post-dessert, reminiscing about pleasant memories of summers when we still carried puppy fat, the good woman got up and went into the next room. She returned with a dusty old box that I recognised from many moons ago. 'Let's play a game of Blockbusters,' she chirped. And the theme tune began ringing in my ears.
Saturday: The good woman went clothes shopping today and she took the younger lad with her, the poor thing. She called me at lunchtime to tell me that she had found a dream pair of shoes to wear to a wedding that we are attending in the next few weeks. Her version of events was that they had been reduced from some 'astronomical price' to a 'sale of the century' bargain, and inside she was dancing.
THE pre-Budget debate has begun. Government Ministers are out stressing why their departments need to be protected. Interest groups are lobbying to ensure the October speech by Michael Noonan reflects their concerns. The focus is on what will happen next year but there is little consideration as to where we want to be in ten years or in twenty years.
LAST Wednesday Betty, a friend of mine, was buried in Killiney Cemetery, Castlegregory, Co Kerry. She was 88. Five years ago she was struck down with meningitis from which she nearly died. She managed to make a great recovery. But her lungs had been damaged and she died of a respiratory illness on Monday of last week.
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