Irish gems: Sydney has the Bondi to Coogee walk. We have cliff walks in Kilkee (above) and Dunmore East. Photograph: Alan Betson

The problem with writing a column on the great outdoors is that I am, by nature, more of an indoorsy type. None of your dawn swimming for me. None of (...)

Say yes to that thing. You’ve got the rest of your life to be busy or tired or hungover.

“Learn how to say no” is one of those useful pieces of life advice you hear bandied about a lot at this time of year, when we’re all deep in the knit-(...)

Michelle Obama: knocked Hillary Clinton off the most-admired spot. Photograph: Emily Berl/New York Times

Michelle Obama has overtaken Hillary Clinton as the United States’ most admired woman, a spot Clinton had held for 17 years. Obama won by “a significa(...)

CBD: drug or foodstuff? Photograph: Getty Images

All of a sudden cannabidiol – better known as CBD – is everywhere, purporting to cure assorted ills from insomnia to inflammation and anxiety to acne.(...)

“In the days of my grandmother and Maura Laverty, cookbooks were not the equivalent of scatter cushions for your kitchen, accessories designed to make your shelves look smart.” Photograph: Getty Images

I’ve been getting to know my grandmother. This is not as easy as it sounds, since she died when I was 20. I never knew her as an adult, and I’m n(...)

Alison Farrell. Photograph: Patrick Browne

There’s no simple answer to the question of what it’s like to grow up transgender in Ireland in 2018. On the one hand, “Ireland is a world leader in (...)

By the time you read this, unless I’ve had another wobble, I’ll be up a mountain. Photograph: Getty Images

I once did a questionnaire that tests your personality with the aim of assessing whether your leadership style is more Margaret Thatcher or Kim Jong-u(...)

f I’m honest, the earwigging possibilities offered by the train have always been one of its chief pleasures. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

There’s a lot to be said for having the kind of job and wifi access that allows you to work in Dublin, and live pretty much anywhere else. One of the(...)

Javier Abreu as Lindoro and Rachel Kelly as Isabella in Rossini’s ‘The Italian Girl in Algiers’. Photograph: Frances Marshall

It’s a while since I heard anyone talk about never wasting a good crisis, although the idea was frequently mentioned when Ireland was in the throes of(...)

One of the residents in a bedroom at the Aiséirí centre in Cahir, Co Tipperary. Photograph: Dylan Vaughan

A stint in rehab has become shorthand for something celebrities do when they’ve been caught ingesting substances they shouldn’t, or when they want to (...)

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