Conor has the advantage over me in that he is prepared to back up his viewpoint by conducting actual research. I am referring of course to Conor McHugh and his great piece on cycling tourism in last week’s edition of the Leinster Leader newspaper. In the article Conor cited a range of papers and reports… Read more »

Something For Everyone

We’re all busy. Check. We all want a nice living environment. Check. That nice living environment would include a garden as well as the soapstone worktop sourced in Nepal. Check. We all want a nice garden but nobody wants to do any maintenance. Hmm, I’d love a car that never needed to be serviced. Where… Read more »

Everyone’s a Designer

It’s easy to be “creative” these days. It seems that you are entitled to call yourself a designer if you can figure out how to log onto Pinterest. Innovation and clever design seem to be everywhere, but are they? Is any of it really any good? Last week we asked how much any of this… Read more »

Different Folks Same Broad Brush Strokes

Is the general level and standard of design right now better than it has ever been? Or are we just kidding ourselves because of all the exposure it gets? Exposure on every conceivable forum; twenty channels of home, lifestyle and garden television on the box, countless self-build and interiors magazines, innumerable blogs and websites devoted… Read more »

That Friday Feeling

I lived in New England for nearly a decade from the mid nineteen nineties until the mid noughties. One of the many interesting things about living in the States is Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving, according to our know-all friends over at Wikipedia, is “an annual national holiday in North America marked by religious observances and a traditional… Read more »

Hippies. Who’s Laughing Now?

It’s probably because they have all the best subjects that the Americans make the best documentaries. They have a pace, immediacy and relevance that you’re never going to find within, say, the history of the Scottish Canal System. So there I was a few nights back watching the excellent Summer of Love documentary on PBS… Read more »

Up The Walls In Paris

Urban greening is a subject I have repeatedly touched upon in these pages. It’s only a few weeks ago that we were singing the praises of the High Line in New York City, an elevated public park and greenway which was conjured up from a disused section of elevated railroad in Manhattan. As mentioned, The… Read more »

Run For Your Life, It’s A Tree

We spoke about trees last week and their prominence at this time of the year, how inspiring a thing a well-placed tree can truly be. What is probably less appreciated and which, in my experience, is an undeniable fact is this; people are afraid of trees. Absolutely petrified. This is a conclusion I haven’t come… Read more »

Bittersweet Symphony

Everything In Its Right Place as Thom Yorke and the boys from Radiohead told us there a few years ago. I think they were referring to trees. Where we are right now in the calendar, late autumn to early winter, could be described as prime tree time. We are inspired by the changing colour palette,… Read more »

The Lammas Project

Remember when you used to ask your class mates if they saw The Benny Hill Show last night, or Chips? Well now it’s Grand Designs you ask your colleagues about. Well anyway did you see the one a few weeks ago, October 26th to be precise, which featured a couple by the name of Simon… Read more »