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The Frames release collection and new song

Saturday, July 4th, 2015

Ireland’s biggest and best cult band The Frames celebrate their 25th anniversary with a string of live shows, an album of collected songs, and – most importantly for long time fans – a new song ‘none but i The Frames have always had a hesitant and wary approach to ‘hit songs’, despite having penned quite […]

Piazza Unita d'Italia

Trieste – 5 reasons to visit this overlooked historic city

Friday, June 19th, 2015

Trieste, once a major international crossroads, serving as a port for the mighty Hapsburg empire, is today somewhat on the periphery. Most tourists to Italy rarely venture up to that North Eastern Corner, distracted by the classic cities of Venice, Milan, Florence and Rome, or perhaps by the allure of the South; Travellers heading to […]


Elena Ferrante and the Premio Strega

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

Elena Ferrante’s novel The Story of the Lost Child, the fourth and final novel in her Neopolitan series, has made the final five shortlist for Italy’s Premio Strega prize – and not without controversy. Ferrante was first nominated for Italy’s biggest prize 23 years ago, with her first novel L’amore molesto (Troubling Love). It didn’t […]


Mambo – Bologna’s Modern Art Museum

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

Bologna has a thriving cultural life, and one of its centerpieces is Mambo (Museo Art Moderna di Bologna), a wonderful art museum with temporary and permanent exhbitions, situated in Via Don Giovanni Minzoni 14, between the city centre and the train station. A lot of thought has gone in to the Museum, which was formerly […]

The Piazza del Popolo in Ascoli PIceno

Ascoli Piceno – A jewel in the Marche

Monday, August 4th, 2014

The city of Ascoli Piceno while easy to reach, is also far enough away from the main attractions of the Marche region to keep it off the general tourist track for many people, which is a shame because it’s a real jewel, with plenty to see and do, as TMO Travel found on a recent […]


Crimea and the kenosis of the European soul

Monday, March 10th, 2014

“You write down in your newspaper articles that Russia and Ukraine will never be separated,” said Kolya, sticking his index-finger for emphasis like a boxer sticks the jab, “You tell them that!” Then he continued “I hope that you’re not here to debase the moral order of our society” – rumours about “provocateurs,” both foreign […]


Meat Deboner – a short story

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

They’re looking for meat deboners at the processing site in Paull, a coastal village ringed by chemical plants and vacancies, so I fill in my slip and waft it towards the receptionist at my agency. She puts it in her out-tray without looking and without raising her head, and she doesn’t smile. “You’ll not need […]


Irish Sopa statute signed

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

Yesterday, despite a popular outcry and serious objections raised, Ireland’s Minister of State for Research and Innovation Seán Sherlock signed into law the European Union (Copyright and Related Rights) Regulations 2012, a statutory instrument which has been described as Ireland’s version of SOPA. The background to the statute is outlined here and here. When news […]


Sinead O’Connor – How About I Be Me (And You Be You)

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

There’s a quote, from an article that Germaine Greer wrote back in the 70s,which springs back in to my mind continuously when listening to certain albums: “When Joshua fit the Battle of Jericho the walls came tumbling down. That’s revelation. The holy Ghost talking. So it can be done. The way to crack a mirror or shiver […]

The House of the Mosque – Kader Abdolah

Friday, February 19th, 2010

I finished Kader Abdolah’s The House of the Mosque on the same day that organised celebrations (and crackdowns on civil unrest) took place in Tehran to mark the anniversary of the 1979 revolution which swept Mohammad-Rez? Sh?h Pahlavi from power and led to the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Looking at the pictures […]

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