Darwin never said it . . .

Charles Darwin never said survival of the strongest, he spoke of survival of the fittest, meaning those best able to deal with change and adapt to their environments survive. Have you seen many dinosaurs walking down your street …

Too much good food, not enough time or big enough stomach

I’ve heard it said that we can’t live on organic bread alone. Accepting that, I went to Ennistymon, a tiny town that – on a per capita basis – probably has more locavore artisan chefs preparing wonderful food …

Between covers or not, stories make the world go round

Ennis has always given me stories, even before I paid any attention to its bookstores. While I remember De Dannan playing a wonderful pub set many, many years ago, I’d forgotten that most of the pubs featuring trad …

A Yogi Berra Guide to Belfast

“You can see a lot just by observing,” is one of Yogi’s better known aphorisms. Or, in advice that predates him: we have two eyes, two ears, and one mouth. Use them in that proportion. This trip saw …

Derry – old walls and old-fashioned book lovers

Derry’s encircled by medieval walls. Unfortunately, in spite of sincere efforts by quite a few decent locals, there are still people there with equally strong personal walls. But that’s not why I visited. In fact, I’m not even …

What happens when you use all your senses – except your mouth?

You learn. Sitting at a Waterford bus stop I couldn’t help but overhear the conversation between an Irish retiree and a Syrian woman. He’d lived in Waterford for the better part of his 80+ years. She’d been here …

A community’s living room happens to be a bookstore…

When you’re standing and browsing in Schull’s Anna B’s, it’s impossible not to overhear things. It felt more like I was at a family gathering than in a retail shop. How many times have you been in a …

I felt guilty leaving you. Really, I did.

Bantry Bookstore, I doubt if you even realize what you did to me – or maybe it’s what you did for me. I guess only time will tell. First, I need to thank you for reminding me that …

They’ve Paved My Paradise…

Ever wake up to one of those chilly, cloudy, windy, rain-spitting days where you’d really rather roll over and go back to sleep for a week? Hell, this is Ireland, nearly every day’s like that, but it didn’t …

Good bookstores. Great restaurants. Beautiful scenery. What more do you need?

Kinsale – My first time here I was a backpacking blow-in from across the pond. That’s back when there were more fishing boats than pleasure boats in the harbour. Now the town’s reinvented itself as a foodie’s paradise …