My son phoned me. He sounded low. ‘I’ve lost my wallet,’ he said. ‘Everything’

It had been a funny old week: bits of bad news had been stalking us, illness was in the air, plans were being remade

‘I hope that those impressive daughters have a lovely American summer’

An encounter with young Irish women on their way to the US reminded me of my teenage trip there. I hope their long legs tan, the t(...)

Certain magazines are obsessed with ‘the perfect beach body’. Above: a hot day at Dollymount. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

According to the magazines I was flicking through, it was high time to focus one’s energy on developing a beach body. And there wa(...)

Sunny days in Dublin. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

There’s something forensic about the light, something too revealing

Cliff Richard: note-perfect but a dull phenomenon. Photograph: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

For reasons that remain a mystery, especially to me, I ended up at a Cliff show in Dublin last weekend

The women’s mini marathon in Dublin: ‘I felt almost overwhelmed by the sheer force of the event.’ Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

In a country where the cufflinks still twinkle and the bonuses still soar, why are people having to raise funds for basic services(...)

The cheque was eagerly anticipated, but the possibility of having a play produced was the real prize

The shoes are more orthopaedic than elegant, big blocky black things that cost a lot of money

I would like to think I no longer foolishly aspire to youthful comeliness

A woman boards a bus in Brixton. Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

When I was waitressing in London in the early 1990s, Brixton felt rawer than it does now, and still scarred from the riots

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