George Hook's blog

Wasted on the young?

16/04/15 at 10:21 PM | 0 Comments

George Hook reflects on growing old, and whether some people are trying too hard to ignore the march of time…

There are a few unwritten rules and guidelines that should generally be adhered to if one wishes to grow old gracefully. This is not to suggest that yours truly is the perfect example of pension-hood, but even if my actions sometimes fall below the required gold standard, my intentions are usually well meaning.

Some of today's mid–life crises would make the ancestral equivalent of fifty years ago seem like a mild mood swing. Where once a new haircut and a pungent aftershave constituted a mid-forties freak out, now it’s a brand new sports car, a divorce, a twentysomething sex partner and a face lift. And that's just the men.

As the career of a sporting legend draws to a close, George Hook reflects on grit, determination, and the will to win

09/04/15 at 10:56 PM | 0 Comments

I am not myself when I'm hungry. I get grouchy and irritable and I find it difficult to focus on the most basic tasks. I am not the sort of person that can skip a meal and feel fine. In fact, I can safely say that if I didn't have my breakfast soon after waking up, I would be a foul–tempered sour puss before very long.

I will keep that in mind this Saturday afternoon when I sit down to watch the greatest jockey that ever lived saddle his horse in the Aintree Grand National for one final time.

It's highly likely that Anthony Peter McCoy hasn't been himself for over twenty years. The man hasn't had a decent breakfast in over two decades. In fact, most days he goes without breakfast altogether.

Reflecting on a case which captivated and horrified the nation, George Hook reminds us that ‘perfect murder’ doesn’t exist

03/04/15 at 10:12 AM | 0 Comments

The perfect murder: is there such a thing? The term in itself is a gargantuan oxymoron, for how can anything with roots in evil and depravity ever be described as 'perfect’?

Perfection is a newborn baby cradled in its mothers arms, or a summer heat eased by the lap of a gentle breeze. But murder? A perfect murder? It cannot exist, can it?

The answer to that would probably depend on the person answering the question. People rely on instinct and personal barriers which prevent them from encroaching a darker side, or straying from what they perceive to be their own sense of decency.

But evil or wicked deeds, though widely defined within the laws of society, are still subjective entities, subject to the whims and restraints of individual taste.

One person’s idea of depravity might not necessarily invoke the same feelings of horror in another.

As Ireland continues to bask in unprecedented rugby glory, George Hook warns of potential dark clouds on the horizon

27/03/15 at 06:31 AM | 0 Comments

The concept behind how a living organism is able to grow and mature is a relatively easy process to understand.

Take a tree as an example. If 10 trees are planted across a large area in a forest, it is reasonable to assume that each tree will grow at a different rate to the others. There are a number of variable factors as to why this is so.

Trees, like all other living things, respond to the circumstances of their environment. If one tree is allowed more sunlight and nutrients from the ground than the others, it is safe to assume that it will grow quicker and taller than the others during a given period of time.

Similarly, if a tree is denied sufficient levels of sunshine or is incapable of absorbing enough water due to the circumstances of its position in the ground, it stands to reason that its development will be stunted or drawn out over a longer period of time.

Will Renua bring about a new era in Irish politics, asks George, or will it stil be ‘business as usual’ after the next general election?

20/03/15 at 02:00 PM | 0 Comments

It is often said that "politics is the art of compromise"; it’s an idea the Irish political system could benefit greatly from.  

Even a cursory examination of the political ideas of ‘the left’ shows they are simplistic nonsense, as does cursory examination of the political ideas of ‘the right’.

Workable solutions take elements from both sides. Workable solutions eschew ideologues. Workable solutions come from politicians who realise they represent all constituents, not just the ones that voted for them.

Politics is about negotiating consensus and cooperation between factions. The effective politician is pragmatic and pragmatism welcomes compromise. Unfortunately for Labour, its idea of compromise has been to bend the stronger hand of its government bedfellow.

Pádraig Harrington has had the worst form of his life in recent years but, as George Hook notes, it takes a special kind of man to snatch redemption from the jaws of damnation

10/03/15 at 06:32 PM | 0 Comments

On Monday afternoon, at the prestigious Honda Classic in Florida, Pádraig Harrington rose, Lazarus–like from a mass grave of washed–out golfers and catapulted himself back into the world’s top 100 players with a stunning victory.

It was a glorious triumph, carved out meticulously in the most dramatic of sporting play–books and one that I'm sure Harrington will treasure and savour for quite some time. His relief as the final putt sank from sight on the second play–off hole against American rookie Daniel Berger was palpable.

The same 170 yard, par 3 where, less than an hour previously, Harrington's tournament hopes almost washed away in the greenside lake where his ball had vanished.

The emotional roller–coaster that was Harrington attempting to return to the big time was compulsive and excruciating viewing in equal measure. The three–time major winner, true to form, had us all sweating in our seats.

“You never get a second chance to make a first impression,” goes the old adage. George Hook explains why:

26/02/15 at 10:52 PM | 0 Comments

How many people reading this article would give a fat person a job? Let me break it down further; how many among you would choose an obese candidate to fill a position over two 'normal' sized alternatives?

This topic came up for debate at a dinner party recently and the argument got quite heated. Among the five other guests in attendance, just one insisted that a person’s weight had no bearing whatsoever on their suitability to fill the vacancy in question.

The others vehemently disagreed and questioned whether the defence of the overweight job seeker was a truthful and honest assessment, or rather, was it a politically correct stance just for the sake of it.

It's an interesting subject. If three candidates walk in for an interview for the same position and two are of normal weight while the third is obviously obese, which is less likely to get the job?

Reality television is close to the bottom of the barrel of modern society, in George Hook’s opinion, and even ‘self help’ shows may be doing more harm than good…

19/02/15 at 11:16 PM | 0 Comments


Reality television is close to the bottom of the barrel of modern society, in George Hook’s opinion, and even ‘self help’ shows may be doing more harm than good…

"I am the entertainer, And I know just where I stand

Another serenader, and another long haired band

Today I am your champion, I may have won your hearts

But I know the game and you'll forget my name

I won't be here in another year, if I don't stay in the charts."

Billy Joel, The Entertainer.

One of the most effective routes out of depression and misery comes through dragging another person into despair. Sharing unhappiness is not a cure in itself, but it has the effect of temporarily appeasing the solitude of loneliness. A bad experience shared is an easier burden to shoulder. 

“Waste not, want not” admonishes George Hook, wondering whether taking from the needy to give to the less needy is really the way forward…

12/02/15 at 11:55 PM | 0 Comments


“Waste not, want not” admonishes George Hook, wondering whether taking from the needy to give to the less needy is really the way forward…

Arguably, one of the greatest sins is squandering scarce resources on those of sufficient means. My mother instilled in me an aversion to wastefulness from a very young age and while I consider myself a generous person, I am certainly not flippant.

A dinner plate in the Hook household was always licked clean. Even if a few scraps remained from an evening meal, it was always recycled in stews or soups the following day. My parents battled to give me every chance at life and for that I am eternally grateful.

If you can’t say anything nice

05/02/15 at 11:34 PM | 0 Comments

“If you can’t say anything nice…” George Hook complains eloquently about Ireland’s complaints culture and wonders why we’re so much less likely to be positive

It takes a certain type of person to enjoy making a complaint. I listened with interest to a radio interview last weekend where the guest speaker actively boasted about the amount of complaints he had accumulated over the years. One could almost visualise the white chalk marks on his wooden club.

This guy complained about everything and anything. No service was off limits, no product too small or insignificant to send back and bark about.

The smug tone of his voice and the triumphant way in which he recounted past complaints was enough to make me reach for the sick bucket. He seemed genuinely aroused by it all.

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