Dad’s Diary

The other day, I awoke early and checked the time. For one strange half-awake moment, the second hand on my watch seemed to be moving unnaturally fast. It soon settled to its normal pace. This odd temporal misperception seemed like a warning of the speed at which time is passing by. The parents of small…

Click here to subscribe

Dad’s Diary

Can the tooth fairy get Covid? That was the perplexing question I had to ask myself, when my 7-year-old Covid patient lost a tooth. She and I recently spent 10 days isolating in the apartment at the side of our house, to protect the rest of the family. It was strange to spend all day…

Dad’s Diary

The kids were only back in school a few days before the inevitable message from school came through. A child in one of our kids’ classes had tested positive for Covid. We soon learned that it was not a child in our child’s pod, and so she could continue to go to school if we…

Dad’s Diary

August is the new October. A succession of low-pressure systems hit the west coast of Ireland this August, just in time for peak holiday season. We found ourselves needing full winter clothing as we explored the windswept Aran islands or the rain-drenched streets of Galway. Of course there were gaps in the weather, when the…

Dad’s Diary

The summer holidays have again crept up on us. We go through our workaday, busy lives with a vague notion of respite at some distant time, until suddenly you realise that the long-promised date with idleness is next Friday. Then, panic ensues. Getting ready for holidays means work: there’s grass to be cut, bills to…

Dad’s Diary

Irish people are not usually designed for the sunshine. In fact, the stereotypically Irish fair skin evolved so as to enable people to manufacture vitamin D under the murky grey skies of northern Europe. It’s therefore quite a shock to the system when Ireland, without warning, becomes a tropical paradise. We become fish out of…

Dad’s Diary

“I really love you dad.” Such words, when so sincerely spoken, by such a small girl, would melt the hardest heart. Her follow-on phrase, however, led me to better understand the proximate cause of this profound outburst of affection, “I also really love your chocolate,” she said, in a pointed reference to the piece of chocolate I’d…

Dad’s Diary

In early summer, the Irish countryside takes on the qualities of Eden – except without the serpents. Lush green foliage bursts forth, unrestrained, all around us. As midsummer’s warmth seeps into the soil, ferns and tall grasses sway, while wildflowers glimmer in the hedgerows. The songs of busy birds, the buzzing of bees, and the…

Dad’s Diary

Some friends kindly left us look after their cottage on an island off west Cork during the past month. Each Friday, we packed the kids into the car straight after school and rushed westward to catch the ferry. As soon as we stepped ashore on the island, we entered into another world, where time goes…

Dad’s Diary

A friend sent on an old picture from our village when I was a boy. When a picture from your childhood looks like something from another world, you know you’re getting older. Although my childhood took place not too long ago, in the 1980s, I do remember Ireland as being a very different country back then.…