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The greatest love and the best gift

It’s almost Valentine’s Day! This is the time of year when in every supermarket and shopping centre, and even online, we are bombarded with red and pink hearts, Cupids and flowers. The promoted message is that if people really love each other, they will purchase this gigantic bouquet of roses, that heart-shaped box of chocolates, and the cuddly teddy bear, then present all of the above at an extravagant romantic dinner for two.READ MORE

Patrick – saint or sinner?

I had a wonderful childhood growing up at the foot of Slemish, the mountain to which, according to legend, Saint Patrick was brought after he was captured and became a slave. We loved climbing the small rock and heather-covered mountain as children, and we couldn’t slide back down the steep, muddy slopes until we’d each had a turn sitting in what we called Saint Patrick’s chair – a missing section from a large, flat-topped stone.

It wasn’t only local people who visited the mountain, however. Each 17th March, Saint Patrick’s Day, hordes of people descended on our area in cars, buses, and even walking the ten or so miles from the nearest town. From our garden, we were able to see the climbers as small specks silhouetted against the spring sky.READ MORE

It’s what’s inside that matters! A lesson from ugly bananas, Part 1.

The bananas really weren’t very pretty. As well as being short and stumpy, they had black marks all over their lumpy skins. I searched in vain for the perfect banana, but in the end I had to settle for one just like the rest. Imperfect. Flawed.

I wasn’t expecting great things from my ugly snack.

As I peeled back the skin, I was surprised. On the soft, pale inside, there wasn’t a blemish. I took a bite. Full of flavour and the perfect texture, this was one of the best bananas I’d ever tasted!READ MORE