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

Dad’s Diary

A child’s first words are a huge milestone. At first, amongst the babble that emerges from a baby, something resembling a word occasionally emerges, like “da” or “yeah”. Yet, you cannot be quite sure if was merely accidental. Perhaps, you think, she is also inadvertently saying the occasional coherent word of Swahili or Russian, as…

Dad’s Diary

A deep frost had carpeted the garden with diamonds. A white mist rose from the stream in the woods, cut through with shafts of golden sunlight. The branches of the naked trees stretched their frosted limbs to the blue sky, where a half moon loitered. From the warmth of the kitchen, where last night’s fire still…

Dad’s Diary

I was working at home when the call came. A shake in the teacher’s voice told me that this was no ordinary playground fall. She said my son had fallen badly while playing football and that “he couldn’t see afterwards” and was complaining of headaches, as well as cuts to his arms and legs. I drove…

Dad’s Diary

I pulled in to the airport drop-off zone with some trepidation. My wife was travelling overseas for an important course. This meant that our breastfed baby had to travel with her too. For nine whole days, I would be alone at home with the three bigger kids. The oldest two would be fine. They would…

Dad’s Diary

Christmas looms large in children’s minds. It is for them a time when the mundane is transformed into the glittering and magical. The Christmas lights strewn across the land are a collective rebellion against the darkness in these, the very darkest days of the year. Since the end of November, during every night-time car journey,…

Dad’s Diary

I am entering the ‘taxi driver’ stage of parenthood. My little customers have busy schedules and must be ferried at the appointed time to brownies, gymnastics, rugby training, soccer training, GAA training, Irish dancing classes, flute lessons, singing lessons, tin whistle lessons, swimming and weekends away, together with sundry playdates, birthday parties and so forth.…

Dad’s Diary

Ten-year-old kids are complex creatures. There is but a short period in life when you fervently believe in Santa, but also can operate a computer proficiently. If there were a Venn diagram with circles entitled, ‘Computer skills’ and ‘Santa Claus’ the age in the intersection would be 10. A 10-year-old is at a remarkable juncture…

Dad’s Diary

It is the finest sort of autumn morning. The sun shines kindly upon the apple trees, their boughs now heavy with fruit. Clusters of ripe apples gleam red against pale blue skies. The leaves of the beech and sycamore are already turning a golden brown. Yet the ash trees stand defiantly green, in a willful…