It is a tender moment when you are called to school to pick up a poorly child. The call came from reception, with tales of a pallid, weak boy, almost asleep with his head on his desk. It fell to me to ride to the rescue.  Driving to school, late autumn leaves clung to the…

Seán said it was going to be “the biggest adventure he had ever been on ever in the whole world”. We were in sudden need of a second car and Seán’s granddad kindly offered us an old Land Rover he had. The only catch, if there can be a catch to such a generous offer,…

I’m encouraging my mother-in-law to take up motorcycling. A cynic might suspect my motives, but to be honest, I never quite got mother-in-law jokes; I’m very fond of mine, an Italian mother-in-law being the very best variety, I believe. Although well-acquainted with her zest for life, I have to say, even I was surprised by…

There is no better way to get away than to fire up a motorcycle and to make for the horizon. My bike is normally used for the dreary purpose of commuting to work. Today, however, I would be taking it to Ireland’s Atlantic coast. I had been hankering after a deep draught of the west of…

Children love animals, but the reverse is not always so. To animals, especially ones which belong in the wild, children are erratic, noisy little creatures, capable of pulling tails, poking eyes and shrieking alarmingly. Still, it is always a sad day when a child first comes to the realisation that their love for an animal…

It’s springtime and “adventure” is the watchword in our house. We no longer walk to the playground, we “go on an adventure” to the playground, taking obscure and unnecessary paths through the woods, clambering over fallen trees and exploring hidden glades. We are already, under duress, planning summer camping trips to faraway adventure-filled lands such…

Sherkin Island had apparently drifted about 2,000 miles to the south. Certainly the weather over the Easter holidays was worthy of the Canaries, with wall to wall sunshine and temperatures up to 18 degrees most days. The odd patch of sea fog or cooling sea breeze was almost a welcome relief from the amazingly unrelenting…

It was going to be a big, and very emotional, adventure. The older two kids were going to have their first full weekend away on their own without one or other parent with them. They were going to Cork to stay with their nana and grandad for a whole weekend alone. They’re very close to…

Baddies are still cartoonish characters in the mind of my five-year-old boy. But sadly, he is becoming increasingly aware that bad things do happen, and that there are bad people out there. Like most parents, we always try to shield him from unnecessary fears, even if we are only delaying the inevitable.  Driving past an…

As I write, my wife is in the kitchen chopping vegetables, while somehow keeping our six-month-old baby daughter happy. The older two sit each side of me on the sofa, where I balance my laptop, homework, crayons and a colouring book. The annual St Valentine’s Day extravaganza is passed, with its notions that love is shown…