Franz Kafka — The Complete Short Stories. I am revisiting this crazy bohemian writer, with his bizarre dream-like stories in which literally anything can happen.
I haven’t seen very many good movies this year, but I did enjoy Boyhood.
A singer from Scotland called Kathleen MacInnes. I saw her perform at the Cultúrlann on the Falls Road in Belfast. She sings in Scots Gaelic, and has a cool velvety voice, with a hint of throaty hoarseness mixed with a very sweet melodic tone.
Usually by trading albums with other musicians. I recently visited a studio in Ring, Co Waterford, which is the home of Donal Clancy. Donal is the son of the great Liam Clancy and kindly gave me a copy of his new album, A Roving Blade. I love this album and have it on in the car a lot. It contains many Irish ballads, which seem to have fallen by the wayside in recent years.
A great traditional Gaelic song, called ‘Cois Abhann Na Séad’. It means ‘Beside the River of Gems’. I heard it sung by Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh. This is a big Gaelic Cork song, with an enchanting ‘big’ melody.
The first movie that I ever went to to was Oliver. I was nine and it was a big, important trip into town and into the Capitol Cinema.
I watch fairly random TV. In the last few years I’ve enjoyed Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Love Hate, Vikings, but I haven’t seen all of them.
Radio listening: I listen to the radio in the car. I listen to Raidíó na Gaeltachta, RTÉ Radio 1, Today FM, and various local stations around the country. I find Clare FM very good for Irish music. Like a lot of Irish musicians, I am often disappointed that Irish radio does not play more Irish music.
Mick Flannery is a world-class singer, with a big, soulful, sorrowful voice, and I think he will become very big in the future.
A week’s holiday in Rethymo, on the island of Crete; lots of sunshine, beach, swimming, and eating really good Cretan food. Also, great Cretan music, soulful, highly ornamented singing and lots of swirling bouzouki playing.
I don’t think I’ve ever spent that much money on clothes. I do remember imploring my mother for a Wrangler jacket when I was 15. It seemed beyond reach but, eventually, I broke her down and she took me into town and I thought I was the bee’s knees going around in my brand-new Wrangler jacket.
I have a Macbook laptop computer, which serves me very well, and a smartphone, and that’s it.
I like to visit the farmers’ markets and maybe have a bite of grub from a stall called Green Saffron, or Bouef a Lola, or maybe drop into Napoli, an Italian spot in Monkstown, Co Cork, for a killer cup of coffee from Antonio, or a pint in the Ferry Arms.
I have two Tibetan terriers and I take them for a good old walk almost every day. That’s my main form of exercise, but in the summertime I like to do a fair bit of swimming, in the sea and especially in the sacred waters of the River Lee. I have a lot of favourite spots, such as the Hell-Hole, the Elbow, Iniscarra graveyard.
Ger Wolfe released a really excellent album last year, called I Have Been Loved. It’s a pity that more people are not aware of this album, as I believe they would really enjoy it if they got a chance to hear it.
Peace and friendship. Nothing to kill or die for, and no religion, too, all the people living life in peace.