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 found in the local maps of the area, as it the village of Brock itself. I remember this being pointed out to me when I was at school and...
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 admit it ... precisely because it is so unattractive.
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 law to avoid any action requiring initiative, co-operation etc." The term originates from the phrase "Sorry, love, but it's more than my job's...
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 example, are a high point in our house since the Great British Bake-Off started again. Last week, we watched in awe as the contestants created...
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 over, the days are getting visibly shorter and suddenly there's a chill in the air that wasn't there before.
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 1990, I've been back home over a hundred times and with each trip I notice something new or changed about the family home and its occupants.
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 after all. Besides, I did feel like a bit of a fraud at each of them anyway.
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 happened next? She had a baby boy!
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 and Jamie Dornan were in town, working on a major crime thriller. To say my curiosity was piqued would be an understatement.
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.
Whatever happened to all of the heroines? Frances A Burscough
Would my flag jokes at catwalk show get me hung out to dry? Frances A Burscough
The continuing saga of the lost spectacles Frances A Burscough
21st century woman is getting bigger - breast boom no myth, Frances A Burscough
What those ladies who lunch love to talk about Frances A Burscough
Funderland defends position after refusing entry to dad wearing Northern... Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland company director had to spend £80,000 on treatment abroad for Lyme... Features
Could revamped Windsor Park become the Tayto Stadium? Northern Ireland
Nama set to sell three of Belfast's best known bars from collapsed pub chain:... Business News
Loyalist Communities Council launched with backing of UDA, UVF and Red... Northern Ireland
UV Party at Mandela Hall, Belfast
Nightlife: Oktoberfest at King's Hall, Belfast
Electric Playground's full moon rave at Mandela Hall, Belfast
Freshers' week toga party at The Fly, Belfast
Nightlife: The Limelight, Belfast, Sept 2015
Nightlife: Ireland fans at The Albany, The Hudson, Ryan's Bar & The Bot
Nightlife: Zak's at The Apartment
Nightlife: Shine - The Classics
Tennent's Vital Day 2: The Script, Kodaline, Annie Mac, Clean Bandit and Jack Savoretti
Tennent's Vital Day 1: Calvin Harris, Ellie Goulding, John Newman, Disciples and BURNS
Twenty One Pilots at Belsonic Belfast 2015 [Photos]
Bastille at Belsonic 2015: fan photos
Belsonic 2015: Above and Beyond in pictures
Belsonic 2015: Hozier in pictures
Stereophonics rock Belsonic: In pictures
Belsonic 2015 Paloma Faith in pictures
Nightlife: The Eg, Alibi, & Parlour Belfast, July 2015
Nightlife: Box Nightclub
Northern Ireland Nightlife: Mandela Hall Taboo Pride Party, August 2015
Nightlife: Villa nighclub, July 2015
From Belfast Telegraph
World Cup trivia for beginners - rugby quiz
Northern Ireland v Greece fan photos
Dramatic footage shows moments leading up to crash
Rugby World Cup 2015: fans' gallery
Mustached Kingfisher: rare bird photographed then instantly killed
Claims that Russian missiles hit Iran 'lies', says Iranian general
Video: Doctors in Australia reattach toddler's head
Runher 2015: Full results, videos and pictures
Sun sets over Lough Neagh in Co Antrim [Photos]