What I Found In a Thousand Towns

I have a healthy obsession with an American singer songwriter by the name of Dar Williams. I first saw her perform in 1996 in the Jazz Café in Camden Town in North London, again a few years later in the Sanders Theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts and most recently a couple of years ago in the… Read more »

Ireland has a Housing Agency?

I caught an interesting discussion on the Pat Kenny Show on Newstalk the other morning. Pat was interviewing (actually a more accurate verb might be ‘crucifying’) the Chief Executive of The Housing Agency. And perhaps the most striking and interesting thing about the Chief Executive of The Housing Agency was how fondly he spoke, how… Read more »

Sub Zero Maintenance & The Farthest

I have been given a brief for a townhouse garden, 15 metres long x 8 metres wide. So what, says you. Nothing startling, special or unusual about that. And, of course, you’re right. I only mention it because it is one of those that crop up every so often that is proving especially difficult to… Read more »

Sounds of the Suburbs

Some day when you have absolutely nothing else to do, Google the phrase ‘Sound of the Suburbs.’ In all likelihood, what will appear before you on the results page is a collection of versions of The Members hit single of the same name from the nineteen seventies. You will also see a string of references… Read more »

Changing Times

Every summer, the last week of July, the good folk down in Carlow Tourism stage the Carlow Garden Festival. This year in fact it ran for nine days, from July 21st to July 30th. The idea is to stage at least one event on each of those days whether it be a talk, a presentation,… Read more »

Bananas & Rain

Right, so here is something I’m pretty sure you didn’t know. I only found out myself this morning. You can grow a banana plant in your back garden. Or your front garden for that matter. Despite their exotic appearance, the roots of banana plants can withstand bone chillingly cold temperatures. Now, in the Irish midlands… Read more »

Bottling It

Let me throw a few interesting statistics at you. The world consumes 1 000 000 plastic bottles per minute. That is the equivalent of approximately 17 000 per second. 480 billion bottles were sold globally in 2016. If laid end to end they would reach halfway to the sun. By 2021, at current rates of… Read more »


I’m a big fan of Brendan O’ Connor. I’m a big fan of his television work, his easy way with guests on his former Saturday night show covering items of frivolity or high seriousness. I’m a big fan of his Cutting Edge series where he elicits all manner of insight from a wide array of… Read more »

Gardening and the ‘Yoof’

So, there I was the other day leafing through The Guardian trying to look cool when I happened upon something very interesting. It was an article by Kim Stoddart which touched upon a few ways in which gardening, in the U.K. at any rate, is slowly but steadily developing an appeal for younger generations. Now… Read more »

Don’t Be Afraid To Fake It

It’s never dull round my way.  A look across my desk this minute reveals a lovely array of projects at various stages of development. Some are mere ideas taking some sort of shape, some are designed and ready to go, some are ongoing, some are wrapping up. Then there’s the pile of miscellaneous bits and… Read more »