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 HOME .. LETTER FROM PARIS .. PHOTOS .. FILMS .. AGONY AUNT .. BIOGRAPHY .. CONTACT DENISHome.htmlLetters.htmlPhotos.htmlFilms.htmlAgony%20Aunt.htmlContact%20Denis.htmlshapeimage_7_link_0shapeimage_7_link_1shapeimage_7_link_2shapeimage_7_link_3shapeimage_7_link_4shapeimage_7_link_5shapeimage_7_link_6
Born 1972. Auspicious Cloudless Sky, Conspicuous Western Star.  Three men in shiny tracksuits, bearing lisps. Got a splinter in my thigh from the manger.  Still have it.
1972 - 1990:  Cut my knees a lot.  Got spots & teenage angst, got £20 for my confirmation, won the Cork U-21 football championship and Cork Speaker’s Club “Young Speaker of the Year”.  
1990 - 1995:  Sports Scholarship to University.  Honours English Degree.  Played more than 25 times for the Irish Student Soccer Team, including two World Student Games - New York 1993 - Japan 1995.
1995 Seattle: worked in a factory cutting glass after graduating from U.C.C. Enjoyed the fruits of Puget sound, and the beautiful pacific north-west.
1996:  Patted Mum on the head, kissed the dog goodbye, and went to Paris to “Climb a Mountain”. Learned french, worked in an irish pub, visited every monument, market & museum: cycled every cobblestone and “ruelle”, and generally had a ball!
1998:  From Paris to New Zealand for a year.  Worked in Wellington and Dunedin. Hitchhiked, Walked, Bicycled, Kayaked, Log-Flumed, Bungie-Jumped my way around every inch of both islands.
1999:  Paris again. Came back to eat more cheese, drink more wine, learn more history, cycle the loire valley, cross Corsica from coast to coast to scuba dive the red coral at the famous Golfe of “Porto”, traipse the basque country and the Pyrenees, visit more monuments, go to more shows, eat at more restaurants and generally paint the town.
2000:  Los Angeles.  200 square miles of parking lot. Weird & wonderful: more the first than the second. Would rather live in a tin of tuna on the rancid streets of Calcutta on ten cents a year.  Everything is plastic.  Even the plastic.
2001:  Paris again.  Still haven’t eaten all 500 French cheeses, nor polished off the myriad “appelations” of grapey juice. Worked on a building site this time. Ball busting 80 hour weeks, but saving up to hit the road again.
2002:  Quit the job on the Parisian Building Site, got a train to London, bought a round the world ticket for 12 months and got on a plane to Kathmandu...  Four months between 3000 and 6000 metres altitude in winter, in the high Himalaya during the Nepal Civil War.  Rooftop buses, yakshit fires, army & rebel checkpoints, noodle-soup, masala tea and four Himilayan passes over 5500 metres!  Met the Nepalese minister for sport and played small part in a local film..!
Thailand’s islands and mountains, across the Maekong to Laos and down to Luang Prabang on the slowboat. All the way down to Cambodia, Angkor Wat, and a hitchhike from Battambang to Pnomh Penh on the world’s worst road!... Then Saigon, and barefoot footie with the kids on the road in  Saigon’s backstreets... Great Train trip all the way up to Hanoi and the mountains on the chinese border. Kayaking Halong Bay was a gem; climbing Fangsipan (3,500m), Vietnam’s highest peak in the leech-infested monsoon was fun!... Singapore for a quickie, then Bali, Lombok, Gilli Islands (snorkling with turtles!), Sumba and Flores; participated in a reef conservation project in Labuanbajo...having the occasional one too many beers along the way.
Sydney: landscape gardening, fishing off circular quay while listening to shortwave German radio.. going to the opera to see Cavalleria Rusticana and taking the ferry to Manly... to be manly.
Adelaide, NZ again, and then on to Madrid.
2003:  Madrid. Formed a “Tertulia” cafe debating society “The Social People’s Archaeological Society of Madrid” (SPASM), to debate world events in archaeology and to imbibe as much as possible at various “Tavernas” and hostelleries of repute. In so far as I can remember, a great success.
2004: Paris..... one more time!...  Worked in an Irish pub in Saint German, then worked for several months on France2 television show “Encore Plus Libre”; a saturday evening show on a european theme. Master of Ceremonies for the first time at the “Goal Charity Gala Ball” at the Concorde Lafayette hotel Paris: attended by 400 people including the Irish ambassador, charity founder John O’ Shea, and tennis stars Pat Cash and Mats Wilander…a.k.a Matsy and Patsy… sang a song with Pat Cash!..
2005 - 2008:  Stripped out and Re-built a 150 year old cheese shop in “Les Halles” (central Paris) into my own international bar/restaurant “The Lollipop”; then bust my chops making it work!... Continued to do the Master of Ceremonies at the Goal ball- wouldn’t miss it for the world!
Mid 2008:  Sold the restaurant and went travelling to Mauritius and Nepal- was in everest region again for the Nepalese elections and Kathmandu for declaration of the world’s newest Republic!
2009:  Planning to make the first manned mission in a Louis Vuitton handbag to Yorkshire, via Rekyavik... only time, generous sponsorship, and favourable winds can tell....