Dad’s Diary

What is rare, becomes precious. During an Irish January, sunlight is perhaps the most precious commodity in all of nature. On this icy morning, it shines low and golden across frosty fields. Its light touches the soil, awakening snowdrops from their winter sleep. The sun causes stirs of life within the trees limbs, as furled…

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Dad’s Diary

I’ve always loved New Year’s Eve. The clock ticks past a threshold in time, and we are suddenly gifted a new beginning. The old year is gone and a new one is born. Anything seems possible in the dawn of a new year. As 2021 comes into being, we leave a strange year behind us.…

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Dad’s Diary

Our childhood Christmases are too few. Before the age of three, children know too little to truly appreciate Christmas. After the age of 11, or so, they know too much, as they veer recklessly towards their teenage years. This means that we have perhaps eight pristinely innocent childhood Christmases. We parents must do what we…

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Dad’s Diary

I had never been quite so delighted to be dropping the kids off at one of their clubs. The clever old Brownies had organised an outing to the beach. The government, in their wisdom, permit parents to drive outside the 5km limit during the lockdown, to enable children to attend sports and clubs. The logic was…

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Dad’s Diary

Hibernia is in hibernation. Outside the window, torrents of rain gush from grey November skies, while the wind groans through drunken trees. The stream is a torrent of white water cutting a path towards the distant sea, as though trying to escape the onslaught. The summer foliage has been torn violently from all but the…

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Dad’s Diary

Many who live alone are finding things difficult during the lockdown. Yet I often envy them their hours of contemplative serenity and uninterrupted sleep. For there are also challenges involved in sharing your home, as I do, with four kids, two cats, a wife, a mother-in-law and a giant dog. You can therefore imagine my…

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Dad’s Diary

Two wheels are good. We’ve recently had a slew of brand-new bikes arrive at our house. The coronavirus pandemic had seen bikes become impossible to come by over recent months. For a time, bikes became the new toilet paper, as shops ran out and the lead time to buy a bike stretched into months. To…

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Dad’s Diary

All the fun has gone out of the pandemic. It’s not that I mean to be flippant about something which has cost a million lives globally, and which continues to cause economic devastation. Yet most people acknowledge that there were real positives to the sudden interruption to normal life imposed by the spring lockdown. This…

Dad’s Diary

There’s nothing more terrifying than a clock. For we mortals, the mere passage of time is a memento mori like no other. Yet, in the end, we may hope that the lifting of the veil of this world reveals something vastly more beautiful. The heartache which time causes in the parents of small children is…

Dad’s Diary

September still seems like a time of new beginnings to me. I’m sure it’s a legacy of my school and college days, when early September marked a return to work, and an advancement to the project of a new academic year. The mornings are fresh and I feel keen to leave behind the lethargy and…