Amy,

You won’t remember this given all you’ve been through today, but there was a cinnamon sky this morning when it looked like you and our unborn child could die.

How horribly fitting it could end like this after a year in waiting rooms? A grey parade of carpets and uncomfortable furniture that earlier looked set to end with us drowning in a sea of ashen faces. Now the room is wallpapered with uncertainty, but there’s hope.

It feels a lifetime ago, but the year started in this same building, though in circumstances far enough removed to require a visa…


This story was first published in 2019 to mark Tom Brady’s birthday. I’ve tweaked the ending to reflect the third era of his career.

IT’S AN ODD experience to think you’re about to die. It’s a lot different than how it’s portrayed in film and literature. So incredibly mundane, my life didn’t flash before my eyes, nor was there even a splinter of light to step into. Instead, as I collapsed on my sitting room floor, I turned to my wife and said: ‘Please don’t let me die watching The Phantom Menace.”

I don’t remember a huge amount about the…


A Breonna Taylor mural in Louisville. Image: Sky News

65 years ago this week, the trial of Roy Bryant and his half-brother JW Milam for the kidnap, torture, and murder of 14-year old Emmett Till came to an end, with the jury sent for deliberations. An hour later, the all-male, all-white jury allowed the pair to walk free.

The half-brothers had been on trial for brutally murdering Till after Carolyn Bryant, wife of Roy, accused him of whistling at her in a store and grabbing her by the waist. In a 2017 book, Bryant told Timothy Tyson ‘that part’s not true’ about the allegations he assaulted her.

To make…


With all the hype surrounding America’s showpiece sporting event, you’d be forgiven if you missed the news, broken to coincide with the Super Bowl, that Quicken Loans had signed a four-year contract with the NFL to be its exclusive mortgage sponsor.

Quicken—founded by Dan Gilbert, owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers—has been the largest provider of residential mortgages in the US since 2017 and already have a range of sports sponsorship deals with NASCAR, the PGA Tour and, of course, the NBA through the Cavs.

Last year, Quicken agreed to a $32.5 million no-fault settlement with the United States government after…


The Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland (MASI) have these brilliant t-shirts for sale to deliver supplies to children in Direct Provision. Support them if you can.

There’s no way of escaping the fact that our children will ask us how we allowed Direct Provision—the holding of people who arrive in Ireland seeking asylum or international protection in centres around the country—to happen for as long as it has.

While in theory the State directly provides essential services, including medical care, accommodation, and board — along with a minuscule weekly allowance — in the majority of cases the centres are privately owned and operated for profit.

And before they were holding Minsters and EU Commissioners to account; Paul Hosford and Aoife Grace Moore of the Irish Examiner…


Sign at a rally following the 2016 shooting of Philando Castile — Lorie Shaull

WITH THE CONTINUED spread of Covid-19, 2020 was already set to be a season unlike any other. Indeed, as coronavirus cases spike in California, Florida, Texas, Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina, and Missouri — states which host nearly half (13) of the league’s 32 teams— it’s still far from guaranteed we will have a full season at all.

With nearly 900,000 confirmed deaths worldwide, it’s easy to see sport as trivial. But it remains hugely important. Not because we’ve already lost so much of our routines, the annual events we pace our years by. Nor is it because of our fundamental…


Today’s prompt via Mari Andrew: Write a travel journal entry from your home, could be your living room, could be your bed. Write as though you’ve just arrived in a new place (because, in many ways, you have) and what you’re observing about the place and how you feel in it. Write what you see, hear, and touch, as though it’s all brand new. What are you learning about yourself in this different land, with all its deprivations? …


Today’s prompt via Nora McInerny. Put yourself in a moment where you were not fine. Maybe you were terrible, and maybe you were TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE. Put yourself back in that moment when you lied. Why did you do it? Whose feelings were you trying to save? Write what you wish you would have said, and imagine where that honest conversation could have led you.

Did you have ever have a nightmare so real, so vivid, and so violent that you breathed a sigh of relief when you woke because it was just a dream, a shrivelled black…


Today’s prompt via Suleika Jaouad. Write a letter to a stranger — someone imaginary, someone you met once, someone you only know from a distance. Tell them any and everything: when you first noticed them and what has happened since, how you’d like your day to start and to end, or what’s been on your mind. Or tell them a story about a time when something difficult led you to an unexpected, interesting, maybe even wondrous place. You may be stuck inside four walls, but there are no boundaries. …


I knew from the second he got on the 18 that Tom—as I would later learn he was called—would sit beside me despite a vast swathe of empty seats. For he had the look of a man both in want of conversation and unflinching in his determination to engage in it, preferably with the person least receptive to it.

I had my headphones on. It was not enough.

I had my face buried in my phone. It was not enough.

“Great weather for the ducks,” he proclaimed before he’d even taken his seat.

I produced my politest ‘it is, but…

Steve O'Rourke

I still hate your favourite sports team, I'm just not paid for it anymore. There will be puns.

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