As previously stated here, music's always been a part of my life.  But for my early years, I have to thank my family for that interest – I come from a large-ish family (5 elder sisters) and my mother and father would always have music at holidays, christmas, easter and the like.  Not only that, but all of my cousins had some musical inclination – mostly on my mum's side.  The reason was Sean O'Baoill, my grandfather. 

Sean died the year I was born, but it's thanks to him (and his children) that I came across and fell in love with the Irish language and more recently, with music.  He was a scholar of Irish music, a broadcaster and Irish speaker.  He worked with the likes of Carl Hardebeck, Tommy Makem and others.

It seems my family at large share this influence, and years of family get-togethers, sing-songs, weddings and funerals always brought us back together.  

But for once, this year, we decided to bring all of the grandchildren of Sean & Alice O'Baoill together in the town in which they lived, Armagh, Northern Ireland – to see each other again, catch up and have a bit of craic.  And craic it was!

Here we all are, all 28 of us!, in chronological order:

And it won't end there – we'll get together again, in 15 years.  And bring the kids.  By that time it'll be THEM going to the bar for us 😀

No Show…

Live music is an essential part of my life.  Like any great art, live music has the possibiltiy of altering your understanding of the world in a fundamental way – shifting the way you look at the world and understand yourself in an enormously positive way.  And the euphoria that comes with such a shift can last for days.

I must’ve been to hundreds of shows over the last few years.  But over the last few months that’s dropped off precipitously.  A change of priorities has come about and although I don’t see this lack of show attendance as permanent, it’s been enormously fun and rewarding to shift priorities.

For family reasons, and for the better part of 7 months, my wife and daughter were in the USA and I was here in the UK.  Since they’ve been back, I’ve been having a ball making up for lost time.


Sophie at a cookery class (above) and high-atop the climbing frame in the park (above that).

So I’m sure I’ll be back having my perception shifted by live music again – but right now, this feels *good*.

No Show…

Down on the farm…

An early autumn day meant it was perfect weather to get out and about on my friend Una’s farm.


She has two gorgeous Irish red setters named Rosie & Suzie – and they ran all afternoon with Patch. Good clean fun.


I say clean, but Una decided it’d be fun to teach Sophie to jump in cow-pats (they had wellies on). Couple that with Patch taking a tumble in one, it’s baths all round tonight.

Still, great fun!


Down on the farm…