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Confessions of a Learner Gardener – Lessons Learned

Winter is my least favourite season and December is hibernation month. But even with the long nights, frosts and grey days there’s still loveliness in the garden. The light slanting low through bare branches and ornamental grasses, the twisted branches of the contorted hazel, the grass silvered by cold nights, the high drama of winter sunrises and sunsets. Cold Nights, Slimy Plants After a nasty frost last week the annuals

The Cloud of Unknowing – Descartes

I was never meant to study philosophy- it was understood from a very young age that I would be a lawyer. Then I went to boarding school and one night, while loitering around up to no good in the library, I stumbled on an old copy of Descartes’ Meditations. I was hooked. Descartes (1596-1650) opens by asking, How do we know that this isn’t a dream- how can we know

An Emigrant’s Diary – Back to reality

So we’re back from our amazing trip to Mexico. We set off from Calgary at 5.45am on November 14 and got back the evening of November 22 so we had 8 nights in total there. Once we were there, we wished we had booked a longer trip. It was such a fantastic holiday – unfortunately the weather was somewhat hit and miss overall, but when the sun was out it

Rural Eye – Beef Crisis: Farmers rally to the cause

The scale of the recent blockade of Irish beef factories by the IFA, shows once again the huge resolve of farmers to rally to the cause when the ‘’drums beat for battle’’. Clearly farmers have become weary from being cast as irrevelent by the beef processors, who farmers perceive – as availing of every opportunity to drive down the price of beef in the factories. The recent blockade at the

West Cork book venture aims to nurture comic writing

“MANY things should be taken seriously – but thankfully life is not one of them” – so says Glengarriff-based website publisher, Brian Wall of Bibliovista.com. He is promoting Old Sod’s Big Book of New Irish Comedy – a compilation of new Irish comic writing and cartoons which has a foreword by the multi-talented actor and writer, Frank Kelly, better known to many as Fr. Jack.

Letters – Ballymurphy families still waiting

Dear Sir, I am and have always been a man who finds injustice abhorrent, in life we all see injustice and are confronted with the choice to act of remain silent. Sometimes there is very little we can do to combat these injustices but it is my belief that I must do what I can. It is in this regard I require your assistance. I would like to highlight for

Confessions of a Learner Gardener – Wintery Predictions

Winter weather predictions have been flying about of late. There have been various warnings: warnings that winter will involve copious amounts of snow and ice, or not much snow at all, that there will be more gales and rain than usual, or on the other hand, normal amounts of rain will soak the land. The boogie monster sounding Beast from the East, presumably some kind of fearsome Siberian wind, will

Give the gift of hope this Christmas

Kinsale man Padraig Fitzgerald, founder of the Kinsale Peace Project recently visited Zimbabwe with Trocaire, here he tells of a resilient, friendly people in need above all of hope for the future.   Sitting down in Kinsale on a wet and windy day to write about my trip to Zimbabwe, two weeks after my visit, it feels a million miles away from my first morning in Harare, the country’s capital.

An Emigrant’s Diary – November in Calgary

By the time this piece goes to print, we will be sunning ourselves in Mexico! I can’t believe how quickly the time came round – it feels like only the other day since we actually booked the vacation package, so we are really looking forward to a break now. To make it even better, we booked our vacation with Westjet and they offer a Price Guarantee service – thanks to

Rural Eye – winter weather predictions cast a shiver!

After one of the best summers since metrological records began, we are all now in adjustment mode to the less than idyllic weather of recent weeks. After the balmy month of September, which continued well into to October, we are all beginning to realise that weather wise, Ireland is still Ireland, and not southern Spain where warm weather is a continuous feature. Of course we all realise that this year’s