Viva Italia!

We’re about to start heading for Italy. This’ll involve taking the train to Belfast, the bus from Belfast to Dublin airport, and a Ryanair flight from there to Pisa. We are due to arrive after midnight so it’ll be after 1 a.m., I imagine, before we lay our weary heads down. I know there’s a […]

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A hotel room with a pay-per-view (or two)

Strewth! What next – the Pope gets caught coming out of a Roman night-club looking tired and emotional? Jeffrey Donaldson says those bills for hundreds of pounds in movies viewed – alone, presumably – in his London hotel room were for ‘blockbuster movies’. Like? Oooh, like the Star Wars trilogy and, what was it – […]

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A hotel room with a pay-per-view (or two)

Strewth! What next – the Pope gets caught coming out of a Roman night-club looking tired and emotional? Jeffrey Donaldson says those bills for hundreds of pounds in movies viewed – alone, presumably – in his London hotel room were for ‘blockbuster movies’. Like? Oooh, like the Star Wars trilogy and, what was it – […]

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Icarus the Scot

I’ve just come from watching Andy Roddick, the Yank, beat Andy Murray, the, um, Brit. Actually Murray is a Scot and he even had the chutzpah to tell a BBC interviewer that he’d be hoping England got beaten in some football tournament at the time. Despite that, the British have drowned his Scottishness in their […]

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Icarus the Scot

I’ve just come from watching Andy Roddick, the Yank, beat Andy Murray, the, um, Brit. Actually Murray is a Scot and he even had the chutzpah to tell a BBC interviewer that he’d be hoping England got beaten in some football tournament at the time. Despite that, the British have drowned his Scottishness in their […]

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Here It Comes Again (Thud, Thud)

With our toes in the shallow end of July, maybe it’s time to get a few things straight about the Orange Order and its marching men. 1. The Orange Order uses its flimsy links with religion as a veil for its embarrassing core parts, which are anti-nationalist and anti-Catholic. The organisation’s origins at the end […]

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Here It Comes Again (Thud, Thud)

With our toes in the shallow end of July, maybe it’s time to get a few things straight about the Orange Order and its marching men. 1. The Orange Order uses its flimsy links with religion as a veil for its embarrassing core parts, which are anti-nationalist and anti-Catholic. The organisation’s origins at the end […]

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Seamus says Yes, so…

I love the notion of celebrity endorsement, don’t you? David Beckham packs himself into a pair of underpants and, at enormous expense, his image is hung (aptly enough) down the side of a building in Times Square. In response, thousands or maybe millions of males rush to the shops and buy said underwear, figuring if […]

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Seamus says Yes, so…

I love the notion of celebrity endorsement, don’t you? David Beckham packs himself into a pair of underpants and, at enormous expense, his image is hung (aptly enough) down the side of a building in Times Square. In response, thousands or maybe millions of males rush to the shops and buy said underwear, figuring if […]

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Birthday Background Music

When I was small, every 12 July my sisters and myself used to go half-way out our lane, moving carefully from tree-trunk to tree-trunk to avoid being seen. That was because the Orange bands were marching up the Derry Road towards Omagh and while we were keen to see this blaring, thudding procession, we didn’t […]

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