During the summer of 1975 when I was on the road with an architect, a singer, an uileann piper and a gypsy guitarist, we diverted from lucrative street performing in Germany to visit Scandinavia. We travelled in a green VW van which had been gifted to us one . . .
My sister is honey coloured so she tones in beautifully with traditional Swedish architecture. From the old town of Gamla Stan to the hilly cobbled streets of Sodermalm, the Swedes seem to favour warm Italian tones. That's the first . . .
When I was in Rome earlier this year as part of this Pilgrimage year, I remembered those tiny paint boxes that we used to get for Christmas when I was a kid. Each little square or tube of colour had an unfathomable name; Yellow Ochre, Warm Sienna, Burnt Umber, Terracotta, . . .
Every year I choose a word to guide me on my way. Last January I chose Pilgrimage and set out to undertake "a long journey especially one undertaken as a quest, or for a votive purpose, to pay homage." As an agnostic, sitting on the fence as to . . .
With the phrase "to hell or to Connacht" attributed to Cromwell ringing in their ears, the native Irish were banished to the west. Their handprints are on every stone, making tiny fields of rock and sand dividing the land between the hungry multitudes. The walls . . .
Out west the beauty of the landscape would make you weep, but it's the people and the chat that would warm your heart. It's summer in Kerry and there is no shortage of talk. From morning until night we are discussing the situation in Gaza, the decline of the Labour party and the . . .
When the streets of Vienna are getting too hot to bear, I duck into a side street flower shop. It's the bunches of "weeds" in the window that first catch my eye; familiar wildflowers as carrot and catmint, laurel leaves and common grasses, in bouquets and tall . . .