2020 Grateful 41: Could we wake up to a better world?

I’m on the train back to the village, having spent 24 hours in the city. I was very careful about who I met, where I stood, what I touched. Extra vigilant.  Extra, extra vigilant. Read more

2020 Grateful 42: Memories of Rabbitt Carter

Walking down the village to mass yesterday, I noticed three women in front of me all in black. The men outside the church were in their usual spot – all in black, too. Himself was in dark colours but I was in a bright red sleeveless jacket over a pale blue jumper with a multicolour blue scarf. I felt a little bright. Read more

2020 Grateful 43: Grateful – the film

I’m back in my happy place. Since I got up this morning, I’ve only spoken to two people. One was himself. The second was a chap who says his name was Boris. I picked up my phone without checking the number and answered. It was Boris. Read more

2020 Grateful 44: As Lent begins

No wine. No booze of any kind. No cakes, sweets, or biscuits. No chocolate. No sneaky cigarettes. And I’m going to work out every day, be in bed by 10 pm, and get my steps in. I delivered all this in one roll. She looked at me askance and asked hopefully: Are you going to be away much between now and Easter? Read more

2020 Grateful 45: Cupid and Covid-19

I was late for the wedding. I’d set my alarm to be up at 7.20 am, giving me a whole ten minutes to get there, but I’d miscalculated the time difference. My college classmate Sum was getting married in Hong Kong and they were streaming the ceremony. Read more

2020 Grateful 46: On sharing

A comment on a recent blog post got me thinking: “Next time maybe just stop the car, forget the photo and enjoy the sunset in front of you and the way it changes………why do you need to share it with others……..does the sun not set where they live?” Read more

2020 Grateful 47: Caught in a cycle of same

Driving back from Keszthely last week, I saw a spectacular sunset. It looked like a rainbow had bled across the sky. I wanted to pull over immediately and take a photo. Then I talked myself out of it. I’d wait till I got over the next hill. But in a matter of a minute or so, the sky had changed. It was still spectacular but a different kind of spectacular. Read more

2020 Grateful 48: Intolerance and indulgence

I’ve been paying a lot of attention to words lately and to how we use them. Back in primary school, Mother Patrick would give out to us for our wanton use of the words all and always and never. All the world, Mary? Really? Every single person in it? You always do it? Always? You’ve never told a lie? Not ever? She did my head in.   Read more

2020 Grateful 49: Marking St Brigid’s Day in Budapest

In a letter to the Irish diaspora, President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins spoke of a woman who was ‘unafraid to raise her voice in a male-dominated world’. He wasn’t talking about a modern-day feminist, but one who lived in Ireland back in the fifth century – St Brigid. Read more

2020 Grateful 50: The art form of giving

A month ago, floors were littered with wrapping paper. Presents had been opened. People had spent upwards of $1000 buying things for family, friends, coworkers, even the postman or woman. Roll on to January and how much of that stuff has been binned? Consigned to the attic to be binned later? Marked for regifting? A fair chunk of it, I’d say. Read more