It's Holy Week which means the annual debate over Good Friday drinking laws is brewing again. Efforts to water down the 90-year old law are well progressed with Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald to ask the cabinet not to oppose the private members bill tabled by Billy Lawless. Mr Lawless is the Taoiseach's nominee to the Seanad and is a former president of the Vintners Federation of Ireland.
I have written in this column on previous occasions about a homeless man, whom I know, who is in prison at present. Last Monday week I visited him in Cloverhill Remand Prison. On this occasion we had a long and detailed chat. We spent an hour talking, during which time he paraphrased his life-story.
I'm a loser. Now don't feel sorry for me. It's alright. I've been a loser all my life. You get used to it. And in case you're wondering, I don't suffer from low self esteem. When I say I'm a loser, I mean in terms of actual physical victories, be them sporting or otherwise.
I have returned from America in one piece... just about. Unfortunately I fell victim to a bad flu somewhere over the Atlantic and ended up quarantined for most of the trip. A total of three alcoholic beverages were consumed over the seven days I was away and one of those had beetroot juice in it. It has got to have been the most sober holiday I've had in my adult life to date.
Some weeks back in this column I wrote about how a teacher in primary school gave us graphic details of what life would be like in hell. So when I read Normal Tebbit's comments on the occasion of Martin McGuinness' death I was back thinking about 'that place'.
The Dominican priory in Düsseldorf is right in the heart of the old city. On one side of the building are two Irish pubs and in front is the 17th century church of St Andrew, which is the property of the State of North Rhine Westphalia. The church is managed by the German Dominicans.
On Tuesday, March 7, I was mulling over in my head what I would write for this column this week. I saw the news and the Prime Time programme that followed. Both programmes carried stories about the Tuam revelations. The next day on 'Morning Ireland' Brid Smith TD was interviewed. During the interview she suggested that the religious congregations involved in such behaviour be closed down. Also, I was annoyed about the actions of a particular bishop.
Grocery shopping is one of those weekly chores that makes my anxiety levels hit the roof. Not because I dread traipsing around a supermarket with a trolley filled to the brim, trying to remember everything I need, although admittedly it's not my favourite pastime.
Some time back I wrote in this column how I first met Michael Healy-Rae. Very briefly: he greeted me one evening when we were both in Kerry General Hospital. In smart-aleck mode I said: 'You don't know me, so why are you saying hello to me?' He quipped: 'Commane, you're as "nashty" in reality as in the paper'. Brilliant. Since then we are friends and have each other's mobile numbers.
All nations produce the sort of legacies that prompt moments of intense pride and despair. But when it comes to the excavation of hundreds of infant remains from a tiny plot in Tuam, we are faced with a legacy that will echo in the conscience of the State forever.
Is it that I am getting old or that travelling has changed? I'm inclined to think it's a mix of both. Maybe I should refine it a little and say, flying has become tedious. The thought of an early morning flight out of Dublin must be close to the perfect 'bad thought'. The snake-like queue at security in Dublin Airport. Make sure you have your passport and boarding pass. How many times have I checked my pockets for both? How many times have I panicked thinking I had lost one or the other?
The truism 'all things end badly or else they wouldn't end' is coming home to roost for Taoiseach Enda Kenny. The fallout from the Maurice McCabe fiasco has now shifted focus and there are ramifications for the upper echelons of Fine Gael.
So The 11 Year old has discovered make up. At first I was kind of delighted. She skipped the whole dolls phase of childhood which left me feeling a bit cheated. I had been looking forward to us bonding over Baby Born and picking outfits for Barbie for her date nights with Ken.
John (not his real name) and I have been 'hello' friends now for a number of years. He regularly sits outside a church. He looks an old man but he is younger than I. A tall man with long hair and a fabulous beard. Some people entering the church give him a 'peace offering'. There are certain things that cause him to roar and scream and it can be very off-putting for people and some people, understandably feel nervous passing him on entering the church. He can be most insulting and frightening but he can also be most caring and kind.
WE need to talk about narcissism. Narcissism, by definition, is the pursuit of gratification from vanity or egotistic admiration of one's own attributes. The term originated from Greek mythology where the young Narcissus fell in love with his own image reflected in a pool of water. Unable to consummate his love, Narcissus 'lay gazing enraptured into the pool, hour after hour,' and finally changed into a flower that bears his name, the narcissus.
And just as I think that romance is dead and gone, Myself and Himself have a moment! Now I must admit, a certain amount of alcohol and Today Fm DJ Phil Cawley are partly responsible for this rare occurrence, but still it was A Moment. And it was lovely.
The older I get the more inclined I am to think that it's the little things that matter. So often the little things can give us such unexpected pleasure and joy. Also, it's the little things that often give people away, tell us about how they think and feel.
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