Belfast Telegraph

Curtain call: Michael Flatley is to quit his successful career

Why rediscovering Irish dance was a reel step back in time 

Riverdance has a lot to answer for - not least unleashing the talents of Michael Flatley on to a world stage. Can you believe it's nearly 21 years since Flatley first hoofed out into the Ireland-hosted Eurovision of 1994 to star in a seven-minute interval act which changed the course of Irish dancing? Now, several smash hit stage shows later - and millions of record-breaking taps - Flatley has announced he is finally hanging up his dancing shoes to retire at the age of 56.

True romance: Scott and Charlene's wedding day

Why Neighbours really did become my good friends for 30 years 

I have a small confession to make. I still watch Neighbours. Not in the obsessive, twice-a-day, never-missed-an-episode way I did as a teenager, but I still like to dip in now and then to see what the residents of Ramsay Street are up to. I was one of the generation of millions of young fans who fuelled the mind-boggling mass popularity of Neighbours in the 1980s when it first arrived on UK television, bringing a bit of Aussie sunshine into our lives.

The Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George

Why being a mum is really about seven loads of washing at 4.37am 

There is surely no greater symbol of a mother's love than sitting up all night comforting a sick child - while simultaneously cleaning up the aftermath of all it entails. I usually don't have much time for the philosophical rubbish you see posted endlessly on Facebook, but my attention was caught by one share about the importance of being a mum and how its habit of ruining your body doesn't matter because "there is no greater honour, love or blessing". The overall mantra was too cheesy to repeat, but one line lodged in my mind.

Hard lesson: the primary school selection process can be tough

Why should a teacher's child have better chance of a place at a school? 

It can be tough being the eldest child in a family for many reasons, but especially if you're trying to get a place in a school in Northern Ireland where priority is almost always given to pupils with a sibling already studying there. I can understand why schools strive to keep families together but as the parent of an only child starting primary one next year, I'm finding it extremely frustrating to see her position in the family as a reason to push her down the list of entry criteria for our closest school.

Paper trail: Martin Shaw uncovered surprises about his ancestors

Do you really want your own descendants to use old Facebook or Twitter posts to form your lasting legacy? 

The year is 2114 and my great-great-granddaughter is doing some research into her family tree. She heads down to the Public Records Office of the Independent State of Northern Ireland which is still in Belfast's Titanic Quarter (recently the scene of the 200th commemorations) but now on a massive floating deck with various glass compartments containing documents from different eras of the State's rich history.

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