When Mum lost Dad for a second time

Yesterday was a poignant milestone in my Mum’s Alzheimers journey. My latest (second ever) vlog post to YouTube talks about it. Three years after my Dad’s death she asked me: “Where’s Jim?”, and, trying to hold it together, I had to tell her, for the second time, that he had passed on.

A Dublin review is extra sweet…

A nice review is, of course, nice. But one that appears in your hometown’s newspaper is nicer. I’m delighted to see this review of  Pins and Needles in the Southside People.

The book is available in ebook or paperback on Amazon or in these shops now and please remember to come along to the launch on October 12 to help me celebrate with a nice glass of Spanish wine. Hope to see you there!


My book is in the shops!!

Pins and Needles‘, which has only been available through Amazon, is now in bookstores. It’s a really nice feeling, as I’m sure any author will agree.  In Dublin south city centre it’s in Hodges Figgis on Dawson Street (where I hope you’ll be coming along to the offical launch on October 12). On the northside it’s in the Winding Stair on Ormond Quay near O’Connell Bridge. In the north Dublin suburbs you can get it in Manor Books of Malahide while in the south Dublin suburbs it’s in Alan Hanna’s in Rathmines and The Rathgar Bookshop in Rathgar. The book retails at €10.


The Winding Stair on Ormond Quay. One of Dublin’s best loved bookstores. Pins and Needles is now available here.

26 pages of info on The Camino de Santiago (for those who want to spend a week or so on “the road less travelled”)

Having walked the last stage of the Camino de Santiago along the lesser known and, therefore, less commercial Portuguese route to research my book Pins and Needles, I became somewhat of an accidental expert. In order that this knowledge shouldn’t go to waste I put together a 26 page booklet in pdf form giving some tips and information for anyone who’s considering putting a backpack on their back and setting off for a week on the ancient pilgrim trail. As you’ll see from the guide, I thoroughly recommend it for all sort so reasons. You can download the free pdf here. Buen camino!


When in Rome…

From Il Sorpasso

The imaginative parking of some makes life difficult for others but Romans take it in their stride…

Because I’m in Rome, I’ve been sitting in a little delight-of-a-trattoria, sampling a pear and walnut salad with Gorgonzola.

Because I’m in Rome I’ve been sitting near the open window to escape the heat. When I left Dublin this morning it was wintry and I feel that getting acclimatised will take a while.

I’ve been observing the quandary of a woman and her car, which had been parked front-to-footpath in the appropriate fashion outside.

Because this is Rome, she returned to find herself practically trapped into the parking space by a large people-carrier vehicle, parked in manner that is illegal, even in Rome.

Because she is clearly from Rome, she didn’t make a fuss but, instead, took a deep breath and began to attempt the Houdini-like escape feat of extracting her vehicle from between a motorcycle, a car and the thoughtlessly parked black monster.

In a true spirit of Roman humanity, a man appeared on the scene from nowhere and began to wave, shout, coax, gesticulate and cajole the woman and her car through the intricate set of manoeuvres that he felt would set them both free. Being Rome, a small crowd of assistants, supervisors and onlookers soon joined in. He who had been first to step up to the task was not to be unseated from his heroic status, however. He persisted until, between his somewhat ambiguous directions and the driver’s growing nervousness at the scene she was causing, he had contrived to leave her wedged tightly between all three vehicles.

To me the situation seemed hopeless. But, this being Rome, the woman’s savior was not to be outdone.

“I’ll move it,” he announced, and, taking the keys of the offending black people carrier monster out of his pocket, he did so, putting the twenty minute struggle to an abrupt and satisfactory end.

This being Rome, nobody seemed perplexed.


A date for your diary…

Launch Invite

The books are back from the printer so I’ve been able to nail down the launch date. Because the novel is set against the Camino de Santiago, I’ve decided on nice Spanish wine and nibbles. I realise that some of you reading this may have a slight difficulty flying into Dublin from the Pacific coast of the USA for a glass of wine and to say ‘hi’ but if you happen to be in or near Dublin, I do hope that you’ll pop along. Don’t worry, you won’t be pressurised into anything. It’s just a celebration that the thing got finished – and I love the job the the printer has done 🙂 Put the date in your diary – October 12, 6pm Hodges and Figgis on Dawson Street.