Hugo Duncan: Some presents can be a real treat
When I was in my prime (whatever that is), I spent a lot of weeks performing in England and Scotland, simply because there were a lot of venues in those two countries which were well-attended by Irish people who were working there.
Because I was away so much, I missed family occasions, like birthdays and anniversaries.
Nowadays, though, such occasions are top of my agenda and this will be very much the case over the next few days when two of my grand-daughters celebrate their birthdays.
Molly Jay will be 12 tomorrow and Katie Sue hits the big 17 mark on Wednesday - I will be doing our programme as an outside broadcast from Clogher Primary School that day, incidentally, and naturally, as a doting granddad, I will have to dig deep into my pocket.
The other night, the conversation in the living-room came round to the birthdays I celebrated when I was at primary school. When Katie Sue asked me what was the best present I ever got, I replied: "The 30 bob I received for not missing a day at school in one particular year - and that was a mini-fortune then."