About Me

My name is Pádraig Ó Méalóid. I’m a straight, white, English-speaking, western European, middle-aged, middle-class Irish male. As well as that, I’m an ex-Catholic, ex-smoker, ex-drinker, left-handed, Irish speaker, who reads a lot and writes a bit about things he is interested in. I was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer at the beginning of 2010, and have had huge amounts of treatments and surgery consequent to that ever since, which has certainly changed my life, in a number of different ways.

This blog is intended to be a personal one, where I attempt to examine all the things that make we what I am. I have had a lot of time over the past years to think about myself, my place in the world, and imponderables like life, and death, and other, less important issues, like the music I like, and the books I read, and the various people I have known, and places I have worked over the years. All of these things will be grist to my mill here. In the end, I’m writing this blog as much to explain things to to myself, as for any other reason, as sometimes the best way to crystallise what I’m trying to think is to write it down.

God knows, the world isn’t in any great need of another blog, but, sure, if people don’t wish to read it, no power on Earth can force them to do so.

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6 responses to “About Me

  1. Will, I must say, you sure know how to kick off a blog. Best wishes, and remember to have fun.

  2. A Phádraig, a chara,
    tá mé ag déanamh roinnt taighde i láthair na huaire agus ba mhaith liom roinnt rudaí a phlé leat maidir le comics in Éirinn.
    An bhféadfadh mé scríobh chugat?
    Mise le meas,
    Cathal Ó Cuaig
    cathalocuaig (ag) gmail

  3. Hugh Sheridan

    Are you the same Padraig who used to have a comic stall in the Dun Laoghaire market and later a store in the shopping centre? if so I can remember having long fascinating chats with you when I was just a kid.

    • You’re thinking of Paddy Ferry, who had the comic shop called Unit Zero or WOW Comics (or indeed both names) in the DLSC. He closed down the shop in the middle of 2002, fifteen years ago now. At that time I was producing an email newsletter, imaginatively called Irish SF News, and wrote this about the shop when it closed:

      It is with great sadness that I hear the WOW comics in the Dun Laoghaire Shopping Centre is to shut within the next week or two. Paddy Ferry originally opened up shop half a dozen years ago, or thereabouts, and has been a keen comics fan since his youth in Donegal nearly fifty years ago. Indeed, it is due to Paddy, obliquely, that many of us are reading comics now. Many years ago Paddy persuaded Gloria and Valerie in The Alchemist’s Head (now also long since closed, alas) to bring in an American comic he wanted to get, called Cerebus the Aardvark. In their wisdom they decided to order a few spare copies, and before you could say ‘Atomika!’ Dublin had its first comic shop, where he was ever after referred to as ‘Paddy the Aardvark’. I bought a lot of stuff from them, over the years, and miss them. The story of The Alchemist’s Head will have to wait until another day, however.

      WOW’s business relied perhaps over much on whatever the kids were looking for, however. He always sold more Eminem posters than comics, and was already in trouble a few years ago, until Pokemon came along. There are probably few places more ideal to sell Pokemon than in a shopping centre, and, before the rush was over, Paddy had paid off £25,000 worth of debt. All things end, mind you, and the unfortunate truth was that he started to amass debt again once things returned to normal. The transient nature of the tastes of teenagers, along with the virtually never-ending road-works that have dogged businesses in Dun Laoghaire, conspired against him, and, despite moving to a smaller premises within the shopping centre, he eventually realised that the time had come to close his doors for good.

      I have been in exactly the same situation, and Paddy has my deepest sympathy. I know these decisions are not made lightly, but are the wisest thing to do when there is nothing but mounting debt around you.

      WOW will be open for another few weeks, so take the chance to go out to say goodbye, ad to see if you can buy anything from him to help defray his debt. He’s having a massive sale, and there’s still some good stuff left at very attractive prices.

      Although I am not the man you’re looking for, I did once work in a tiny little record shop in the same DLSC, back at the end of the 1970s, probably long before your time, I imagine!

      • Hugh Sheridan

        Thanks for the reply! lots of cool info – I never knew of the Alchemist Head connection. I would love to read more about that shop – I only got to visit a few times at the very beginning of my collecting days ( I was more of a Phantasia guy myself)

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