Sunday, November 06, 2016

Off on Retreat to Write


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

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Daughter's Book!


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.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

A Day at a Time


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.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Apologies


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.

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Courteous Canadian?!


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.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Art & Design!


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.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Courteous Canadians


A friend of mine recently told me about his experiences working in a call centre in India. As most of us know, the centres set up sections to look like the country they deal with - posters, maps etc - and one works in a particular country. My friend worked in Canada and he said it was such a pleasant experience despite the fact people were annoyed and having problems with their service. In fact, they tended to apologise for complaining! Well done, Canada. Contrary to that, I'm afraid, was the experience of his friends who worked in the American section. (Sorry, America but this is a true story.) They suffered constant stress from the abusive nature of the calls they received. Now perhaps Americans might think this makes Canadians push-overs. But, you know, people give you better service when you treat them like human beings.