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3 years ago

Don't Fade Away.

Neil Smith · The cotton flysheet of the old school Vango Force Ten tent could lose its bright orange colour fairly quickly. · Preventing Actinic damage to your tent. · Thanks to Covid-19 this, far from normal, summer has seen an explosion of back garden camping adventures. All over Ireland, p ...

4 years ago

The ''Look After Our Own'' Brigade

Pascal Derrien · The Look After our Own Brigade. Who are they? Do they have a colourful language and a rather vicious behaviour? Do they tend to spit their venom instead of arguing sensibly? Do they repeat the same thing over and over? Are they outraged at the notion that one may suggest they are ...

5 years ago

Care and Feeding of Your Airbeam tent.

Neil Smith · The latest piece for the Charles Camping website this month focuses on how to get the most out of an increasingly popular style of family camping tent. · Inflatable tents and awnings are here. After a decade on the market they aren't a thing that could catch on and become a big d ...

5 years ago

Campsites, kayaks and crabs. Journeys around Ireland.

Neil Smith · As the return of school once again beckons for pupils, parents and teachers I was sore tempted to call this article "What I did on my holidays" as per the traditional essay requirement throughout my own schooldays. Hopefully though the reader will find this a bit more interesting ...

5 years ago

There is no Path to Fitness.

Neil Smith · What's the secret to getting fit? What's the best way to lose weight and get healthier? I would like to run but how do I get started? What's the ideal pathway to fitness? · In Western societies there exists a massive health and fitness industry. Publishers, bloggers, gyms, broadc ...

5 years ago

These Days

Pascal Derrien · Metz, France 1974 · I am probably four, its my first school year and my parents told me it was a time I was madly in love with my teacher. We have settled here for a few months but I am well accustomed to move from places to places. In the last 18 months a  major change has occur ...

5 years ago

A Paddy’s day reflection.

Neil Smith · The small Wicklow town of Blessington held only its second St. Patrick’s Day parade this March 17th. Last year’s inaugural event was cursed by cold, harsh weather and this year the weather omens were even worse, although as it transpired the snow held off long enough for everyone ...

5 years ago

Irish Adventure Races.

Neil Smith · An unashamed advert for a couple of events that Charles Camping have become involved in. I have been at this company for two years now and we have had a bloody good go at changing the level we operate at and becoming a much better outdoor equipment and clothing supplier. As part ...

5 years ago

The Melting Pot & The Mosaic

Pascal Derrien ·   ...

5 years ago

War and Family.

Neil Smith · Apart from the genetic inheritance I don’t have much from William Leslie, my maternal grandfather. He died a fair while back and we last met when I was about two years old. Mostly he exists in my mind as a collection of fuzzy, black and white photos. Pictures of a man I hardly kn ...

5 years ago

German Mornings

Pascal Derrien · Its was a Monday morning In Ireland, school run was done and I had just been served my morning coffee by the friendly South African coffee shop owner when I overhead what I thought sounded like a German conversation. · Adjusting my eyes and fine tuning my ears I finally spotted ...

6 years ago

In Diversity We Trust

Pascal Derrien · Months ago I wrote half an article that was meant to be bundled along side another half. Myself and another blogger had in mind to produce a long form post together. For various reasons it did not happen and it did not help that I had also lost the draft which is something that r ...

6 years ago

Out of a Silent World

Pascal Derrien · My name is Owen Carlson, today is Thursday 28th of March 2019 and I have an important meeting with Catherine Jones somewhere in the middle of Cardiff. I am a carpenter by trade when I was 12 I wanted to be an astronaut but my father Harry convinced me that aliens may need to be t ...

7 years ago

Frozen Lives & Broken Souls

Pascal Derrien · The Berlin Wall fell in 1989 and by 1990 I had already made the decision that I would travel to what was called the satellite countries, I would go accompanied or not but I would go no matter what.Travelling on a low budget I found myself heading to Poland, Romania, Hungary and t ...

7 years ago

It’s Your Funeral.

Neil Smith · This was written for the website of an Irish funeral director. It was a bit out of my “Writing about sport” comfort zone and took a long time to get started. Once I had a start the rest just fell out onto the screen. The piece was specific to Ireland but obviously the situation i ...

7 years ago

Rock It To Fitness.

Neil Smith · Lots of us want to be fit. We train, practice and sweat it out to perform better at our chosen sports and feel better and more confident in ourselves. · Sometimes though we all just get to a point where we seem to have stalled and the joy goes AWOL from our exercise routines. · T ...

7 years ago

Are You A Coached Potato?

Pascal Derrien · Are you the king of the couch? Are you worshipping take aways to a point that even your own mind is fried? Are you making half-baked decisions? Are you a coached potato? · We have a popular TV program on National TV every January here in Ireland called Operation transformation wh ...

7 years ago

Top Of The Morning

Pascal Derrien · What you typically do when your alarm clock goes off at six in the morning? As anyone else you will press the snooze button and go back to sleep but for others it is a little bit different as they have already started their morning much earlier. Health advisors say it is importan ...

7 years ago

Migrant Brother, Soldier On It Is Economic Warfare Out There

Pascal Derrien · In 2013, 232 million people, or 3.2 per cent of the world’s population, were international migrants, compared with 175 million in 2000 and 154 million in 1990. So 3 per cent of the population worldwide live and work in a country they were not born in, I sometimes like to think ab ...

7 years ago

Happy St Patrick's Day From Irish State Figure Jakub-Chang O'Brien

Pascal Derrien · Dublin 16th of March 2048, Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Jakub-Chang O`Brien is sitting at his desk in the Government buildings, tomorrow he will deliver an address to the nation at the occasion of the national and iconic St Patrick on the 17th. · It is around nine o’clock in the ev ...

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