Dad’s Diary

We sat huddled by the fire as the rain lashed relentlessly against the windows. My wife was treating one child for mild hypothermia and another for sunburn. We were, of course, on a traditional Irish summer holiday. The most accurate predictor of rainfall in June is the scheduling of the school holidays. It is an…

Click here to subscribe

Dad’s Diary

My eldest daughter skipped downstairs to breakfast, threw her arms in the air in triumph, and announced delightedly: “Today we are going to see nana and granddad!” It had been almost three months since the kids had met with their beloved grandparents. This pandemic-induced hiatus was all the more frustrating, knowing that they were just…

Dad’s Diary

Family homes across Ireland have been transformed into makeshift schools, thanks to the coronavirus epidemic. Our own home school has three pupils on the roll, along with an enthusiastic toddler who joins in from time to time. Our daily routine involves having all pupils up and breakfasted by 8 in the morning. This allows them…

Dad’s Diary

The newly arrived swallows swoop across the evening sky; happy heralds of summer. They have journeyed from Africa to our eaves, where they will nest for the summer. Our little valley has become rewilded in recent years, with acres of new woods springing up nearby us. Buzzards and falcons now regularly soar overhead. Trout frequent…

Dad’s Diary

In those dim and distant pre-lockdown days, I remember having the liberty to take non-essential journeys. One such frivolous expedition saw me set out on a beautiful spring morning for Tipperary. When the kids asked where I was going, I fobbed them off with an excuse. In fact, I was going to see a man…

Click here to subscribe

Dad’s Diary

The sky is a deeper blue than before the pandemic. It is no longer being washed pale by so many aircraft contrails. In Cork, we are on the flightpath from London to New York, so the effect is particularly pronounced. The silence is deeper too, as there are fewer cars and trucks rumbling about. People…

Click here to subscribe

Dad’s Diary

It’s been a lovely lockdown so far. The sun has shone kindly over our pleasantly shrunken world. Life is simpler and there’s no longer any rush to school, to clubs or birthday parties. There are no weekend breaks or daytrips. There’s something pleasant about not having to decide what to do, for the only thing…

Click here to subscribe

Dad’s Diary

We decided to triple my wife’s potential exposure to the coronavirus. It seemed like the sensible thing to do. This decision saw my wife go from working one to three shifts per week in the emergency department of our local hospital. This is on top of her normal GP work. As a doctor, she can…

Click here to subscribe

Dad’s Diary

It was a moment of madness. Just as Storm Jorge charged towards the Irish coast, I spontaneously booked a holiday cottage perched just yards from the West Cork coastline.  I felt the whole family needed a getaway, after a remarkably busy few weeks, and since our Christmas holidays were marred by one of the kids…

Click here to subscribe

Dad’s Diary

My wife and I were test-driving an electric car the other day, when my 10-year-old son announced from the back seat, “This might be the car I learn to drive in!” He was right, too. He turns 11 this autumn, and we could easily keep the car for another six years. In six years’ time,…

Click here to subscribe