People buying puppies as if they are fashion accessories like a designer handbag makes my stomach turn
You wouldn't buy a designer handbag in a car park in Magherafelt. So why would you consider it an appropriate place to buy a "designer" dog?
You wouldn't buy a designer handbag in a car park in Magherafelt. So why would you consider it an appropriate place to buy a "designer" dog?
Would it make a big difference, do you think, if America was currently facing the prospect of the presidency of a Donna Trump as opposed to a Donald?
In a fairly spectacular step up from the concept of "me time" an author is now arguing for a full-on "meternity" break. You read that right. Meternity not maternity. American writer Meghann Foye is a bit peeved that while working mothers are able to avail of generous maternity leave, their female colleagues who don't have children are denied the same luxury.
It says something about the acting skills of Jimmy Nesbitt that this most genial of men manages to convincingly transform himself into the coldest-hearted of killers for the upcoming TV series, The Secret. The four-part drama tells the story of dentist Colin Howell and his murderous affair with the equally evil Hazel Stewart.
For a while there I took my eye off the Brexit ball and as a result, I'm now not entirely up to speed on who's In and who's Out. Or indeed who is out to persuade us to stay In. Or Out.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on their current tour of India are hoping to create 'new memories', we are told. As William's da Charles might say, whatever that means ...
What now for poor Michaella McCollum Connolly, newly released from her "foreign prison hellhole" (which is how any overseas incarceration facility tends to be described these days)?
Arlene wasn't available and Mike seemingly had other things to do. So somebody had to go. In fairness I doubt very much if I was the only observer from a unionist background who went down at the weekend to view the Dublin commemoration of the 1916 Rising.
What sort of a clown is Madonna making of herself these days? Caught up in a custody battle with her ex, Guy Ritchie, over their 15-year-old son, Rocco, she has appeared on tour in Australia togged out as a clown, riding on stage on a very small trike, her thighs bulging like a prop forward's over stripey stockings.
It is a tragedy beyond comprehension. Not just the scale of it, but the speed of it. The utter harrowing, helpless horror of it.
Charlotte and her hen party were all dolled up and ready to revel. They were wearing lurid green tutus, sparkly green tiaras and matching, specially printed T-shirts. That's how I knew they were Charlotte and her hen party.
I feel as much affection for the city of Belfast as for a dear old friend. So bearing in mind that line about the things a good friend really should tell you, here goes... Belfast, old girl, you smell a bit. In fact you smell a lot. Has anyone else noticed how vile the whiff now is in various parts of the city centre?
Another week, another homeless man dead on our streets. If there is any ray of light in this bleak saga it is that coverage of the tragic death of the man who was found several days ago in a Belfast shop doorway has reminded the rest of us of the great work being done by so many volunteer outfits working to help others like him.
Is BoJo the Trump of Brexit? Six months ago that sentence wouldn't even have made sense. It doesn't make a whole lot even now, you might argue. But at least you get the gist. Dominating the political headlines on either side of the Atlantic we now have two fabulously wealthy men whose main appeal seems to be bad haircuts, big gobs and a talent for "connecting with the masses". However you define/explain that last bit.
On a bleak, cold February morning earlier this week, I watched a family hunker down for breakfast on the pavement outside the Gare du Nord in Paris. Mother, father, a girl of about 12 years, a boy who looked to be about seven and a babe in arms.
Anyone who's ever had a sneaky fag behind the bike shed at school will be forgiven a wry smile at the news that a smoking shelter outside a hospital in Belfast has been demolished to make way for ... a bike shed.
According to a recent headline grabbing calculation from one of the major aid agencies, a mere 62 people are as wealthy as 50% of the rest of the world's population. By the look of it around half of these mega-rich have this week been vying for presidency of the United States.
First red-doorgate and then bright-coloured-wristbandgate ... It would be safe to say that some of those tasked with providing housing and catering services to migrants in England and Wales do not appear to be letting sensitivity and thoughtfulness get in their way.
Donald J Trump - love him or loathe him he is very much man-of-the moment thanks mainly to that petition signed by over half a million doubtless well-intentioned souls who wished to give the old windbag a touch of his own medicine at immigration control.
You can see why actor Sean Penn might have thought there could be a movie in Joaquin Guzman. The life and crimes of the diminutive Mexican drugs cartel boss, better known as El Chapo (that translates as Shorty, although whether anyone actually calls him that to his face is another matter), is the stuff of hackneyed Hollywood script.
Who said; "The more kindness and love there will be, the more confident and stronger we will be"? Little Mix? Harry Styles? Gwyneth Paltrow? Or Vladimir Putin?
From the original Christmas story featuring Madonna and Child to the 2015 version - a modern day parable starring Madonna and estranged child. The multi-millionaire pop star is reported to be currently involved in a transatlantic custody battle over her son Rocco (15), whose father is movie director Guy Ritchie.
Nonsensical and unwieldy the old 12 Days of Christmas may have been but at least you knew where you were with a partridge in a pear tree. Put it like this, rounding up game birds in fruit bushes and high jumping peers of the realm sounds like small beer compared to trying to keep up with the convoluted and lunatic demands of Christmas 2015.
Tyson Fury - as names for champion boxers go you'd be hard pressed to come up with better. And it isn't even a stage name. It's his real name. Not only that but Tyson II is a proud member of the Travelling community, descended from a long line of what he calls gypsy fighting legends and the man who against all predictions, if not all the odds, has recently, dramatically, won the world heavyweight boxing championship.
Which of these two would you think is likely to be unpredictable — a small, excitable dog on a retractable lead or an oncoming cyclist wheeling past the little beast? In a case which has just been settled out of court, the answer appears to be neither.
Only a couple of days to go to Black Friday, that American-imported festival of greed and grasping that now officially kicks off the season of peace and love and goodwill to all ad-men. Can't wait. If only for the video footage.
Immediately after the massacre in Paris, Bono, who with his bandmates in U2 had been due to give a concert in the city, described the atrocities as an "attack on music". This prompted a bit of a backlash on Twitter. "Yeah, right, Bono. It's all about you ..." But actually it is, isn't it?
Vrooom. There she goes…Emma Pengelly. Scorching faster up the track than Lewis Hamilton at Circuit of the Americas in Texas. A mere few weeks ago who, outside of her immediate Stormont circle, had even heard of Ms Pengelly?
Like anyone else who enjoys any excuse for a party, I've no problem with the idea of celebrating Halloween. I just think we're starting to take it all a bit too seriously. Take the story about this year's "shortage" of pumpkins which has been given surprisingly extensive coverage in the national media.
That old line about "charity begins at home" ... It does not, you'll notice specify "stately home". Which is doubtless good news for the 84 Church of England bishops who have just released a letter they've written to David Cameron urging him to allow into the country more than double the number of Syrian refugees he envisages giving asylum to over the next five years.
Julian Assange and that estimated security bill of £12.6m for police monitoring his stay in the Ecuadorian Embassy - is this the most outrageous accommodation bill in history? Assange infamously fled to the Knightsbridge embassy seeking asylum way back in June 2012.
As has been widely reported across America and throughout the world, he was a fan of the Nazis and the IRA. He had previously observed on social media that mass shootings were a good way to make a name for yourself. And he was known to have behavioural and anger management problems.
Workers of the world unite. You have nothing to lose but your Coco-Pops. As revolutionary slogans go, it's not quite aux armes citoyens, is it? But spurred on by the horrid decadence of a cafe in London serving up the likes of Crunchy Nut Cornflakes with your choice of milk (soya? almond?) and assorted toppings (cranberries? peanut butter chips?), a crowd of enraged protestors have marched on that establishment demanding equality, justice and, presumably, a return to the reassuring proletarian solidity of the traditional Full English.
Jamie Bryson before the Stormont finance committee - a bit of a revelation there. In more ways in one.
I know we are all pretty much Corbyn-ed out. But two things about Jezza continue to fascinate - me, anyway. His so-called authenticity. And his tie. First up, the authentic tag. The new Labour leader (as opposed to the old New Labour leader) is we're told, an authentic politician. People like him because he's authentic. That landslide vote in the Labour leadership campaign was all down to party members being attracted by the very fact that he was/is so authentic.
Just after Bobby Storey was lifted and Stormont went into yet another meltdown last week, I took myself off on a tour of Twitter to gauge how the online community was dealing with these dramatic developments.
Today's the day that she makes it into the Royal record books. In the real life game of thrones, around about 5.30 this afternoon, Elizabeth II surpasses even her great-great granny Victoria's previous record to become the longest reigning British monarch. Ever.
Others may sneer, but actually I think Mr Jeremy Corbyn's proposal to create lady carriages on the rail network is a fine one. His novel idea is a suggested solution to a very real and serious problem - the rising tide of assaults on female train travellers, in particular attacks on those travelling late at night.
I was on an easyJet flight earlier this week and it goes without saying I checked out the inflight magazine for items that might give offence. Being from Northern Ireland we should never knowingly pass up on any opportunity to seek out insult in even the most unlikely places.
Could Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, learn a lesson from Kim Kardashian? In recent days the Duchess and her husband William have issued a stern statement asking paparazzi to lay off the young Prince George. Apparently the child has been snapped as he played in a public park. While the vast majority of newspapers and media outlets at home and abroad have shunned such photographs, they have been sold to, and appeared in, a number of overseas publications.
The first time I saw Bondi Beach my precise words were: "Is that it?". And not in a good way...
A lighthearted wee story amid the bleaker headlines this summer ... in England a pub owner opened his premises one morning recently to discover a scene of utter chaos. At first sight it looked as though vandals had ransacked the place. Bottles and glasses were smashed and debris strewn across the floor. There was spilt beer, spirits, wine everywhere he looked.
We need to get a grip. If we have finally reached the point where Human Resources are now monitoring the naffery with which we choose to adorn our rear view mirror we really, truly have lost the furry dice.
Once some years ago, I went on safari in Africa. Sort of. It wasn't the full Big Five experience but we did get to see the most amazing wildlife - elephants, zebra, impala, baboons, a protected species of dung beetle, you name it.
With impressive understatement, the wife of John Buttifant Sewel, former peer of the realm, deputy Lords Speaker and chairman of the House of Lords privileges and conduct committee, has let it be known that, no, he is not expected back home.
Adolf Hitler is making a bit of a comeback, is he not? All these decades after we thought him dead and gone and comprehensively combusted, his vile bake is once again all over the news pages. This week's Nazi news centres on the discovery of a piece of archive film showing the then seven-year-old Princess Elizabeth larking around in the garden with family members aping a "Heil Hitler!" salute.
Note to all those keen customers who are so terribly dismayed that we in backward Northern Ireland are not set to benefit from new legislation in England and Wales which could lead to a change in Sunday trading hours. (Local councils there will be able to rule on opening times in their own areas.)
Karen Danczuk is one of that rare, new breed - the selfie-made superstar. Ms Danczuk, a former Labour councillor, and recently separated wife of a Labour MP, has built a career entirely out of posting online multiple pics of her chest area.
School's out. Summer is officially here. And with summer, the tourists. The tourist agencies are doing their bit to showcase our top attractions to these visitors. But could we not also be doing with an alternative visitors' guide to promote some of our more hidden gems?
Either I look more of a soft touch than I used to or Councillor Jim Rodgers is right with his recent comments about the increasing number of people begging on our streets. Every time I pass through the city centre these days I'm asked for alms. It's almost like paying a toll.