Only a year before we moved in, the site of the Dublin house that I grew up in was a field. Down the road, after the house was built and the developers had moved on, there was a scrubby patch of trees. They've disappeared now, under concrete and more housing. But when I was a child a spring rose in the scrubland, flowing briefly between two oaks and disappearing again among their twisted roots. I remember hours spent swinging out over the water on a rope tied to a branch, and
letting go at the crucial moment to land in squelching mud on the other side.That survival of the countryside, hemmed in by two roads, was a favourite playground for us local kids. We called it St. Bridget's. And at the time I never asked myself why. I don't know now if Bridget's name survives there. But I know that for thousands of years before I swung out across that water, people had come there to pray. It was the site of a holy well. Wells dedicated to Bridget are found all over the country. Sh…
Well, look at this. My North American debut. When I was an actress I thought that word only applied to performance but, no, it's what publishers say about books as well. Actually, the dictionary definition is as follows:-
A person's first appearance or performance in a particular capacity or role.
Synonyms: first appearance, first showing, first performance, launch, launching, coming out, entrance, premiere, beginning, introduction, inception, inauguration. informal:kick-off.
I love "informal:kick-off".
I may substitute it for "debut" in conversation from now on.
I've always been a sucker for synonyms and dictionary definitions, which is one of the reasons why working with my US editor on The Library at the Edge of the World has been such fun.
The book, the first in my "Finfarran" series of novels, is already available, with two others, across Europe, and in Australia, China and South Korea. In the case of the latter two, the covers are stunning but I…
Tonight in Corca Dhuibhne neighbours came together to wake Danny Sheehy in his home in Baile Eaglaise close to the burial ground at Dún Urlann where he'll be carried tomorrow after his funeral mass. He died on Friday June 9th after a boat which he and a friend had built, and of which he was a crew member, overturned off the northwest coast of
Spain. Danny and his companions were returning from a sea pilgrimage, taking the old medieval pilgrim route of The Camino de Santiago in a naomhóg - a traditional Irish boat with a wooden frame over which a covering of tarred canvas or calico is stretched. The boat was called the Naomh Gobnait, after a legendary saint associated with the area, and, according to the medieval Nauigatio sancti Brendani abbatis, a similar craft carried the monks who took part in the Voyage of St Brendan, the saint after whom Corca Dhuibhne's Mount Brandon is named. Over a period of years, beginning in 2014, the Naomh Gobnait had continued on its journey each…