After years of badgering my dream's finally come true
In Preston, where I grew up, the word 'Brock' is a common prefix to a lot of place names. Brockholes, Brock Bottom, Brock Wood are all...
Now my kids are older, I have seen the light
As I was driving towards the Sydenham bypass last Saturday afternoon, traffic was crawling at a snail's pace. Was it an accident? Or a demonstration? Or maybe a security alert of some sort, I wondered? So I flicked on Cool FM and soon got the answer. Disney on Ice was on at the Odyssey and there were tailbacks for miles. Urrghh ...
Get me an airbrush after portrait disaster
I've always found it quite ironic that vanity is one of the least attractive traits a person can have. In fact of all the seven deadly sins it's the one I'd least like to be accused of, even though I know fine and rightly that I'm actually a terrible offender. I'm just too proud to...
I'm having a whale of a time as I hit 50
Hola mis amigos y buenos dias from the Canary Islands where I am spending a well-earned week in the sun with a friend as a pre-birthday present to myself.
How a Jobsworth very nearly sent me off the rails
The formal dictionary definition of a 'Jobsworth' is as follows: "A person in a position of minor authority who invokes the letter of the...
Why I'll hedge my bets on blackberry picking
When the late lamented Seamus Heaney wrote his poem about blackberry picking, it was with a yearning nostalgia for the simple pleasures of a distant youth:
The time I decided to bake a cake ... in a saucepan
You know you're turning into an avid Epicurean when both your favourite TV programmes are about cooking. Tuesdays, for...
Forget New Year, September is time for new beginnings
The first of September has always felt to me more like an annual turning-point than New Year's Day itself. Summer is effectively...
Penniless in Cyprus, my pal needed help...
A few days ago I switched on my computer and, amongst all the usual junk mail I noticed an email from my friend Joe's private address entitled "Please Help!" Naturally I was alarmed, so I opened the message and began to read.
My dad, his stupid cat and a house full of memories
Greetings from Lancashire, where I'm visiting my dear old dad for the fifth time in a year. Although I've lived in Northern Ireland since...
I'm so wild about Belfast's RSPB reserve
To describe the RSPB reserve at Belfast Harbour as just a bird sanctuary does not do it justice. It is a sanctuary for everyone; a perfect haven of peace and harmony in the one place you would least expect it.
Say Viva! to the return of my partying days
It's official. I'm a party animal. Well, this week I was, briefly, having been invited to two parties on consecutive nights, going to them both and suffering the consequences for days afterwards ... which leads me to the conclusion that I'm not really cut out to be a party animal...
Poor Kate: Spare a thought for Duchess at centre of media feeding frenzy
I don't know if you've heard, but guess what? Catherine Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, went into labour on Monday. And guess what...
The Fall: Women the victims as TV drama shows its predictable side
I first heard about the TV drama The Fall more than a year ago, when it was being filmed in Belfast. I had a tip-off that Gillian Anderson...
Roll on May, April’s been acting the fool for quite some time
April 2013 has been a month of anniversaries for me, none of which I've particularly felt like celebrating.
Is there anyone not in Game of Thrones?
Game of Thrones is back at last and all's right with the world of Westeros.
How I ended up living in the red light district
I was back in my old stomping ground Manchester recently.
A golden opportunity for papal garage sale
The Catholic Church has been in crisis for so long, marred by so much controversy, I can hardly remember a time when I felt proud to be part of its congregation.
So, did I enjoy a nice relaxing Mothering Sunday? My eye
My son bought me a precious casket of ocular unguent for Mother's Day.
Northern Ireland Nightlife: Botanic Inn Belfast, January 2015
Northern Ireland Nightlife: The Eg, Alibi, Parlour, Roxy, Belfast -2015
Northern Ireland Nightlife: Cuckoo - December 2014
Northern Ireland Nightlife - The Cloth Ear, Belfast, January 2015
Northern Ireland Nightlife: Bar With No Name -2014/2015
Northern Ireland Nightlife: Sixty6, Cathedral Quarter, Belfast - Winter 2014/2015
Northern Ireland Nightlife: Shine Belfast, December 2014
Northern Ireland Nightlife: Cathedral Quarter, Belfast December 2014 - The National, 21 Social, The Dirty Onion and Duke of York
Northern Ireland Nightlife: The Eg, Alibi, Parlour, Roxy, Belfast - December 2014
Northern Ireland Nightlife: The Eg, Alibi, Parlour, Roxy, Belfast-Nov, Dec 2014
Northern Ireland Nightlife: Sixty6, Cathedral Quarter, Belfast - December 2014
Filthy McNasty's - November 2014
Northern Ireland Nightlife: Shiro
Northern Ireland Nightlife: The Eg, Alibi, Parlour, Roxy, Belfast - November 2014
The Bot, Belfast - November 2014
Northern Ireland Nightlife: Thompson's Garage Sound Of Misfit
Northern Ireland Nightlife: Cuckoo - October 2014
Northern Ireland Nightlife: Alibi, The Parlour, Groovy Train, The Eg
The Dirty Onion November 2014
The Limelight, November 13
Bill Gates: Artificial intelligence will threaten us
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The Troubles gallery - IRA checkpoint, early 1970s
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Reader pictures: Favourite Ulster beauty spots
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Shakira welcomes son new
Shakira and Gerard Piqué have welcomed their second child.