This is a bit late but it has been HECTIC this past while what with the book launch, book promotions, organising my mum's 90th birthday dinner, a dose of flu, and the usual running around like a headless turkey getting presents (no Kris Kringle nonsense in my huge family!). So I hope you all had a wonderful one and may I wish you -- with better timing -- a very happy new year. Irish-language garda note: I've used the plural "you" for the best wishes at Christmas, unlike the Grafton Street sign which is using a singular pronoun for everyone which simply isn't right (and I'm pretty sure it's dhuit, not duit). That's Dubliners for ya.
Was thrilled to see that the article I wrote for the Indo was given a two-page spread with a huge photograph taking up one whole page! That's Rinpoche and myself with a nomadic family in the Gobi.The other photograph is from my naval days. The title of the piece is "ALWAYS READY FOR A BIG ADVENTURE" and it was published December 12. You can read the full text online here: http://www.independent.ie/lifestyle/always-ready-for-a-big-adventure-29830963.html. There's a funny story about me involving a sand dune, a camel and a vulture.
A light has gone out on our planet. I'm reminded of a drawing that marked Albert Einstein's death. It was an image of the Earth with a plaque attached to it. I'll change what the plaque said and put "MADIBA LIVED HERE." Whenever I am asked who are my heroes, I have always named him first. How any human being could remain kind and forgiving after 27 years in a hell-hole of a prison for attempting to free his nation and his people from an oppressive regime ... it would be unbelievable except that he did it. I suspect he was a saint. At any rate, our world was blessed the day he was born into it. I'm so glad he lived so long and so sad that he is gone.
Here's a funny little synchronicity. I presented a copy of my book to my friend Kate who makes her own hemp-based soap and she let out a gasp and presented me with one of her soaps which bore a distinct resemblance to my cover! I've shown it here on both sides, first in the upper left-hand corner of my book and then in the lower right-hand corner. Astonishing. And here's a link to information about her soap-making: http://thearkpermacultureproject.com/soap-making.php. (Photo credit: F ní Fhaoláin)
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.