It’s been eighteen months since I last visited Northern Ireland, and I doubt I’ll be able to get over this summer; as of the time of writing, the GOV.UK site still advises against all but essential travel to NI (or at least I think it does; it may be downright illegal, depending on your source). […]
I’m pleased to reveal the new, much improved cover artwork for my 2017 novella The Battle of Watling Street. The imagery really captures both the story itself, and the juxtaposition between historical fiction and science fiction that defines my strange little tale that might really be about grief and loss, with historical figures and a […]
In my July update I hoped for the best but prepared for the worst, and here we are in another year, in another national UK lockdown, with a very unprecedented Christmas behind us.
If I distilled anything palatable from the bitter brew of 2020, it was to be actively grateful – not in a wishy washy, Pinterest board way, but to frequently and actively list out on a piece of paper all the reasons to be cheerful whenever the new normal threatened to overwhelm. We are safe, we are fortunate that we can work from home, we continue healthy, we have a good broadband and Wi-Fi connection so we can connect to friends and family online, as well as buy most of what we need in the same way. We did manage to get out and about for some hiking trips in between lockdowns (pic above is from a brief trip to the Lake District in September), but I’m now doing my part as a stay-safe couch potato.
Flowers are wilting My enthusiasm, too Only weeds survive.” – Gaia Garden The weeds are not only surviving; they’re winning, and a lot of my time is taken up with tackling them; in the garden and in my writing commitment. With lockdown easing, we’ve ventured out for a few walks, but always in less frequented […]
I’ve had asthma since my teens, nearly forty years now. It lurks, ready at the lack of a coat to remind me of how it’s compromised my respiratory system. A mild cold in December mutated into a chest infection that hung around like an oblivious, unwelcome guest for nearly a month. Needless to say, I’m […]
I hope you all had a restful and enjoyable Christmas and New Year break. The tone of this post was set by my New Year’s Eve iTunes playlist (mercifully for my friends and family it’s quite short, unlike my eight-hour gargantuan Christmas version). While singing along to Abba’s “Happy New Year” I realised it’s not […]
This month’s poem is inspired by both a trip during August to Northern Ireland, my journey of DNA discovery, and the depressing news cycle we watched when we (rarely) turned on the TV to catch the news while taking in the magnificent Causeway coast. I recently had my DNA ancestry traced on 23andMe and discovered that […]
We lived on a road at the base of the massive outcrop in the picture above which is, of course, Cave Hill. Straddling the skyline of North Belfast, it was immortalised by Jonathan Swift as a Sleeping Giant. The best panoramic views of the city and Belfast lough are from the peak by McArt’s Fort, or […]
…And the blackbird’s tune, And May, and June! – De Gustibus, Robert Browning I’ve added a lot of tags to this post; my four weeks away from writing and blogging generated quite a few thoughts and ideas, as well as […]
Philomena Who’s in that house there, look? I thought I saw a light flickering in the empty rooms; who’d be in there late on Saturday night? Who’s in that house there – that wee house belongs to my dad! No one lives there now. Should we go and check it’s nothing bad? Who’s in that […]