Christmas Torch

Used to be that Christmas wasn't Christmas without a torch. You woke about 4 or 5am, used your foot to locate the weight at the end of

the bed, rolled out from under the covers like John Wayne rolling out from behind the rock to loose off a couple of slugs at the unshaven heavies. Pounce on the parcels, working by touch. The Annuals, yeah! Maybe The Rover or The Adventure (until those two comics were amalgamated with The Wizard), probably something more exotic, like The Tiger or The Lion or even Buffalo Bill. Didn't much matter, where's the bleedin' torch?

Fiscal Reich

Don't know about the rest of you, but I'm off to have steel toe-caps fitted to my boots. Now that the Fiscal Reich is in power the name of the game is Looking After Number One, right? Hail the New Economic Order! Prices up, wages down! Unemployment up, tax social welfare, right? These days everyone's in love with the New Patriotism - ask not what your country can do for you, ask only what your country can do you for. Dawn raids on dole scroungers, right?

As Time Goes By - Christmas 1981

And so this is Christmas. And what have we done? Another year over, a new one ... "

Nice way to start a Christmas column - or so I thought when I wrote that one December day last year. And woke up next morning, rollled over, switched on the radio and 'heard Ronan Collins talking about something bad that had happened in New York City. After that it didn't seem the thing to do to mess about with John Lennon's Xmas song.

As Time Goes By - Dec 1981

Saturday night, chewing the cud with Studs life, love, destiny, ambition, the vagaries of the human heart, that kind of thing — small talk. Nine o'clock comes round and she heads off to the night shift and I'm on my own and trying to figure some thing to pass the time. Long winter evenings, you can have them.

The Spoiled Vote Movement

This is the month in which Americans are to be asked to choose between a nut and a peanut. And in Donegal the populace will have yet another choice between various shades of corruption, incompetence and opportunism. Will Charlie pull it off? Or will Blaney queer the pitch? Will it be a gold for Coughlan in '84? Will Piggot pip Carson at the post?

They used to cut open birds and examine their entrails to discern portents of the future for the elite.