Hello all – here’s me busy at work, trying hard to come up with another bestseller! September’s been quite manic, but mostly in a good way. On the home front, two of my brothers have returned from overseas, where they live and work. Colm, a Redemptorist priest, has been based in the Philippines since his ordination twenty-five years ago. He comes home every couple of years, and a few of us have been out to visit him. The Philippines is a beautiful place, both in terms of landscape and people – I travelled there with my mother about 4 years ago and we were utterly charmed by the warmth of the welcome we received, usually from the poorest of the poor – typically, the people Colm spends most of his time with. (I wrote here about that experience, I was reminded of it in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, which caused so much destruction there last year – scroll down a bit if you want to read it). Colm will be with us till the beginning of November, so we’ll have plenty of time to catch up. And because this year is his silver jubilee we held a celebration last week to mark the occasion – actually we had two – and invited all and sundry to join us. Lovely to spend some time with people you mightn’t meet that often, and a hooley is a great excuse to round everyone up.
Another brother, Ciaran, returned from California where he’s been living for the past several years – pic shows him and Colm walking in County Clare a few days ago. Ciaran’s planning to stay for a few months too so we’re having lots of chats around my parents’ kitchen table, or heading out for walks in the evenings. Interesting for Colm and Ciaran to compare the different directions their lives have taken: Ciaran is a computer programmer, living just outside San Francisco (he says his proper title is ‘computer architect’, but I suspect he’s making that up to impress us!) It’s lovely for Mam and Dad to have the boys around the place, and they’re fairly good at not making too much work for their hosts…I’m keeping an eye on that side of things – bossy big sister strikes! Of course Mam, being the quintessential Irish mother, just LOVES fussing over her sons, and does far more than they’d expect her to, but you might as well talk to the wall as try to stop her!
On the books front, I’ve sent off Two Fridays in April to my editor and agent, and I’m waiting now for their feedback. In the meantime, I want to pull out some children’s books I’ve written over the past few years for various age groups and have another look at them. I’d love to have another children’s book published – I’d particularly love to bring out a picture book for very young children – and now’s my chance before I have to dive back into Two Fridays in April to fix all the things I’ll be told are wrong with it! The cover is being designed as we speak – I saw an early version of it and it looks very promising, but I’m not allowed to flash it here or anywhere until it’s been finalised and approved. You’ll be the first to see it, promise! And publication date is March 18 – not sure if I knew that the last time I wrote here – so you won’t feel it….
For the non-Irish readers among you, our weather’s been incredibly mild, almost balmy, for most of September. The nights are drawing in, of course – it’s now getting dark around 8.00pm – but the central heating has stayed off most of the time, and I’ve lit my first fire today after the summer, purely because I took a TUMBLE earlier today – didn’t see a bump in the path, galloping along like I usually do, went SPLAT, mortifying – and now I’m feeling a little bumped and bruised and in need of some pampering!
Oh, one other thing. This most adorable little kitten has moved in across the road (here she’s asleep on one of my kitchen chairs – see her pearl necklace???) She comes visiting now and again, appears on my windowsill and mews loudly until I let her in. It’s made me really want a cat of my own again, after losing my two ladies over the past couple of years – not sure how long more I’ll be able to hold out without one. I was waiting until after the summer so I’d be more grounded in Limerick, and not heading off to the mobile home every so often, but I’m off to Rome in a week or so, and in November I’m heading to Lanzarote for a week, and I don’t like the thought of leaving a new arrival until he/she is well settled in….so maybe after Lanzarote I’ll have a look around. In the meantime, my new little neighbour will fill the gap nicely.
Right, time to stop, or I’ll put you all to sleep! Take care,