I miss the singularity of suffering.

I’d vague travel plans to head down to Somerset in mid-April, so vague I’d not yet checked the train prices, or even the exact date. It was duty, duty, to pay my respect to Marcus’ family on the first anniversary of his death, to show I’d gone the extra mile, an act of obvious, praiseable, male goodness.

As it was, there would no trips, save for Tube rides to and from work, me of the oddly envied few, granted permission, still, to leave home, to share the platform with a handful of others, plus…


Dyspraxia is hard to diagnose, more common than people realize, and affects every aspect of my life

Photo: Dina Belenko Photography/Moment/Getty Images

A couple of years ago, I was sitting outside a bar in Victoria, London, with a pretty Australian girl from Victoria, Australia.

Conversation was flowing when I noticed that my hands had turned blue, the dye from my new jeans having run on to them. I showed her what had happened, and, through fitfully antipodean laughter, she said: “Ronan, you are the most awkward man I have ever met.”

She was correct.

My attempt to buy ethically sourced (and runny-dye) jeans had backfired, sure, but the overall awkwardness was not atypical for me.

I am dyspraxic. I’m clumsy, I stumble…


From Jung to a plastic carp, how I rediscovered the creative force of ‘meaningless’ pleasure

As a child, I spent a great deal of time at my grandparents’ house. Between eating ice cream layered in hundreds and thousands – which I called ‘pretties’ for years like my grandmother, oblivious as to their real name – and watching television sat either side of my mother’s parents, I’d play alone upstairs, or in the garden; creating a world of my own from toy cars, LEGO, or whatever was to hand. There was even a saliva-inducing game of blow football from my uncle’s youth.

The urge to stop playing was something I resisted. In early adolescence I privately…


An Absolute Ride

I am an absolute ride, a veritable ten out of ten, an objective would. I’m beauty in human form, a head-turner extraordinaire. I inspire jealousy in people, to be me, to be with me.

I have only one flaw. My sister says I have a few she could think of but that’s because she thinks too much in general and, with her oversized feet and the tumbleweed that is her Tinder profile, that’s to be expected.

Narrow canals. We’re talking about ears here, friend.

Such a minor defect shouldn’t matter, you’d think, but sadly this quirk of…


Credit: Christopher Blakeman

I woke up, knowing full well my day wouldn’t be spent writing a Magnum™ opus. That’s a little joke I say occasionally to entertain myself and others. Are you not entertained? That’s a film reference.

Anyway, I woke up in the full knowledge that my day would not be spent writing a hit novel or a failed novel, pabulum for the masses, pamphlets for the few, slogans for the impressionable, travel articles for bored commuters, PR speak for the curious and/or unhappy, or anything else for that matter. I woke up knowing I wasn’t going to write at all.

And…


A short story

Seferetovia was a funny sort of place. There were trees and there were trams and there were children pissing in street drains whilst held aloft by their parents, though when you thought on that hard, it was a lot more hygienic than having them do so in a bush or on the pavement, even if it was more public than the average child-holding parent in my country might think normal.

There were machines on every street and they were huge, but that was no different to any other major city. People called them cars and they were…


(Credit: Vann Thomas Powell)

Why it can be tricky to enjoy Saturday and Sunday

It spools out, a sea of endless promise, a finite but lengthy period of time to use as one sees fit.

There’s novels to write and books to read, things to do and people to see. There’s indulgent pub lunches and relaxed cafe brunches, or finally getting around to those tax receipts that need unruffling, shuffling and re-organising long, long, long after they should have been organised, filed and safely stored. There’s words to write in journals and exercise classes to attend, television to watch and floors to clean, bins…


Apps like Bumble and Tinder seemed cold and awkward, until I learned to see them as an opportunity

Photo by Yu Chun Christopher Wong/S3studio/Getty Images

I remember what I wrote in my journal when I realized I’d missed my chance to ask her out.

You are an idiot, you are a coward, you are a fool.

The missive was scrawled in barely legible handwriting, my chest tight with inbound anger and pain. I’d come to the café each day for weeks, only to find myself incapable of asking the waitress I liked if she’d go for a drink with me. In the end, her colleague handed me a scribbled number, saying she’d left it for me. It was a lie, but the number was real…


How 2018’s short break from soccer break was a prolonged ordeal for some of us

Credit: Sandro Schuh

When Friday rolls around, only 26 days will have elapsed between the end of the 2018 World Cup in Russia and the start of the new Premier League soccer season in England.

Marketed abroad as the EPL (PR people love an acronym), the enduring agony of the off-season was this year mitigated and shortened by the World Cup, which served less as a Band-Aid and more an intravenous drip of intensely rewarding soccer.

Maligned in the months leading up to the tournament due to doubts…


How London’s Trump protest gave a cynic hope

It was a hot day. July’d been kind to London, June also. My emulsion-hued skin was covered in sun cream for the afternoon ahead, and I’d plans to head into the city’s innards to see what all the fuss was about.

Donald Trump had come to town. Well, he’d actually skirted around it, electing instead to spend the afternoon with the British queen, outside of London.

The Cally Road was quiet, as it often is, the usual smattering of daytime drinkers sat outside the dive bars with rolled up cigarettes and pints…

Ronan J. O'Shea

Writer. Author of the novel Bad Bread, Good Blues: A study of anxiety, heartbreak and yeast-based foodstuffs.

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