Blowing in from the beach – and other places, too

There’s something nice about walking along a deserted beach, one that you’re sharing with just a few dogs and their owners. Should I mention that the dogs looked rather joyous when their miserable-looking owners called for them to …

Who do you listen to – your heart or your mind?

I realize it was just a few weeks ago, but it seems like a lifetime – or maybe just a different lifetime – ago. Before social distancing gave me time to start reading all the books I’ve been …

You know those days when the stars just don’t align for you?

Do you ever find that things you planned on may not be available? And then stewed on the situation for way too long before learning you were mistaken in the first place? Sure, I’d been through Dundalk before, …

Remembering Dublin City in the Old Times

Let’s admit it. Our memories are selective. We may not remember what we had for lunch yesterday, but there’s a good chance we’ll remember the good deed someone did for us many years ago. Here’s one of my …

Is this the next generation of pubs?

Thurles: There’s a long table that starts next to the guitars, runs past non-fiction and ends near the children’s books on the back wall. A counter full of colourful knitting yarn separates it from the rest of the …

Did I find better stories outside the bookstores?

How many times has a bad movie led you to buy the book? Until now, I can’t remember a single instance – and my eyeballs have absorbed a lot of films and books through the years. I truly …

No, it was NOT a dark and stormy night.

It was a miserable, blustery, sideways-raining several days. Minutes of glorious sunshine punctuated rolling black storm clouds emptying themselves on all of us stuck below. Or, to put things another way, it was just a normal winter’s day …

When someone’s more than a Valentine

Let’s forget the candy and ignore the hype. Here’s a glimpse of a couple I encountered a few years ago. I haven’t seen them since, but occasionally wonder whatever happened to them. https://jpmaney.com/private-selves/

Is there a future for old-fashioned love?

It’s hard to miss Mullingar’s Just Books when you’re walking down the street. It’s even harder to leave once you’ve gone through their door. If the bulletin board full of neighbourhood notices doesn’t keep you occupied, there are …

I went looking for fiction – and found a calamity-in-waiting

Have you ever walked into a place that just felt right? Trinity Books in Carrick on Shannon wasn’t on my list of places to visit. Its street sign caught my eye on the way to another store. So …