Sráid Thobar Phádraig — The Street of St. Patrick's Well
14 March 2022 by
Right next to our store on Nassau Street in Dublin hangs a street sign. Wholly unremarkably it displays both the English and Irish names of the street, as do all street signs in the Republic of Ireland — a country that counts both as its official languages. That is all, of course, unless the viewer understands something of Irish street name conventions. Instead of the expected Sráid Nassau, this one states 'Sráid Thobar Phádraig', or The Street of St. Patrick's Well.
Civility in the Age of Corona
08 April 2020 by
There are certain polite behaviours hardwired into my brain. Maybe they're there because of a childhood spent in a rural town where everyone knew not only my name but the grades I received on my last ten report cards.
Pipe Encounters of the Awkward Kind
22 November 2019 by
Whether you're relatively new to the hobby or a seasoned pipe smoker, I think everyone who's smoked a pipe in public has had at least an awkward encounter or two.
A Farewell To Summer
22 November 2019 by
Well, it's official. Summer has ended, and autumn is upon us. Not that that means much in the immediate term, of course, what with dates for seasons being at least somewhat arbitrary in nature.
All Work and No Play
01 November 2019 by
Like most people, I read a lot of different things, and for a lot of different purposes. News sites to keep abreast; literary fiction, biographies and the occasional reader (collections of essays) for personal growth; and technical manuals and marketing blogs for professional growth. Then, of course, there's the bulk of my reading — speculative fiction.
Idioms, Oddities, and More
20 September 2019 by
For someone who — in a rare showing of self awareness — once considered himself inflexible to the point of obstinance, I've made a lot of adjustments over the past five years. It's just one of those things that comes with expatriating, and especially with doing so twice.
A Little Breathing Room
15 August 2019 by
I've recently come to the conclusion that house guests — much like gases — will expand to fill the space allowed them. Unlike gases though, they're not so easily compressed.
The Serendipity Of Why Not
02 August 2019 by
Much of what I hold dear in my life eventuated from the only seemingly rhetorical question "why not?". Only seemingly rhetorical because most of the time I'm genuinely asking ("Oh, you can't think of a single reason why not? Well I guess this is what we're doing now."). From somewhat begrudgingly agreeing to go to a housewarming party where I met my now wife, to nervously attending a camping trip with a bunch of armed and armoured weirdos where I originally took up the pipe, just going with the flow has been pretty good to me.
Standing Out From The Crowd
21 June 2019 by
Museums, tours, restaurants, bars, and the obligatory sleep-in on huge, comfortable hotel beds. There's a lot of "must-dos" when you're on holidays. For me though, the one thing I absolutely have to do when visiting another city or country is people watch. Finding an out-of-the-way spot in an otherwise busy thoroughfare and just watching the movements of both locals and fellow tourists — and how the two groups interact.
05 June 2019 by
Well before mindfulness became the flavour of the day, commodified by social "influencers" and used as a stop-gap in mental health services, pipers were enjoying their own form of mindful meditation.