There was my first Christmas without my Mum which I spent with my daughter in Donegal, then a horrific dose of the flu followed by another wave of grief and loss which I am still feeling. No heart to blog. But I shall return at some point. Now over to my Book Blog for a little note about writing.
Off to my favourite Buddhist Retreat Centre to work on the last draft of my latest book. Nothing like a monastic schedule and daily meditations to get the thoughts focussed and the work done! www.jampaling.org
Well I'm so proud that I am blogging about this twice, here and in my Book Blog. I claim Mother's Prerogative (and spelling that word correctly while I am at it). My daughter Finn ni Fhaolain will be a published author herself next year with her healthy lifestyle delicious food cookbook being brought out by Gill Books www.gillbooks.ie @Gill_Books. These are some of the pics from her photo shoot in Donegal today. You can find Finn herself at www.finsfitfood.com and @Fins_Fit_Food.
Dealing with the loss of the most amazing woman I have ever met. I wrote a poem that I read at her funeral called She was the Sun. She left, trailing stars behind her. Now I'm writing a book about that last journey with her, two months of day and night shifts as cancer slowly killed her. It can be a cruel place, this world. Greater than pain is the bond with people, said the great Jean Vanier.
Little heart to post much these days as I deal with tragedy. It has been a strange Big C year: first my tests, thankfully clear; then my daughter's procedure to remove early abnormal cell growth; and now my mum with full blown disease. Not much more to be said right now.
So this is bizarre. As one commenter here said "if the Irish Ambassador to Canada tackled a native Canadian protestor at a ceremony in Ottawa, would he not be recalled immediately?" The fact is Ambassador Vickers shamed the Irish police who were there. It was their job to deal with the situation, not his. The protestor was shouting, he was not violent, and the Ambassador's manhandling of him was, in legal terms, an assault and in social terms, a gross and reckless over-reaction. Ambassador Vickers was undoubtedly a hero in Canada but this act was not heroic. If, as Prime Minister Trudeau says, he was acting spontaneously as a former policeman then he is not fit to be a diplomat. They are required to be diplomatic! Ambassador Vickers needs to do the right thing and resign, saving the Canadian government further embarrassment by having to recall him.
Just finishing up my first year of an intensive Art & Design course which included metalwork, woodwork, textile art & print, drawing, painting, ceramics, desktop publishing, maths and communications. Phew. It has been fabulous. Brain food. Creative inspiration. Mad fun. And, god, making things is so much more interesting and rewarding than bloody writing. (Should I be saying that?) Here are a few things I made from scrap metal, using metal lathe, welding iron, angle grinder and enamelling kiln - and from blocks of wood, using wood lathe to turn, spindle and off-centre turn. Note: the beautiful paintings which inspired the lamp are by Y.M. Whelan, my brilliant sister. You can find her gallery in Toronto here: www.yumart.ca.
I was born in Ireland and grew up in Toronto, Canada with my seven sisters and two brothers. Left home at seventeen to live in a commune, then headed off across Canada with my pal, Carole, and we hitch-hiked around California for months, then back up to Vancouver(Van as we called it then) and across Canada with two more pals, Linda and Peggy. A year later, headed off to Malaysia and Borneo with Jeunesse Canada Monde/Canada World Youth for a year. Baik-lah! Back home, went to Trinity College at the University of Toronto (posh blokes) while also joining the Canadian Naval Reserve as an Officer Cadet. Trained on the east and west coasts of Canada every summer. Great fun. Then what? Hmm. Started to write books, dodgy personal life (that's personal but let's just say it's been a long time between drinks) started to wander around the world, had a darling daughter, settled down in Ireland, wrote more books.