I can’t believe it’s been so long since I’ve written a blog. How’s the summer treating you so far? I’ve just returned from a few days of immersion in the spectacularly unspoilt views of Connemara in the west of Ireland. I went for a few days rest – that makes me sound like an ailing geriatric doesn’t it? Admittedly, I’m kind of okay with that description at the moment. I wouldn’t be overly surprised if I looked in the mirror and saw a 95-year-old woman staring back at me. Suffice it to say I’m feeling the effects of 50 radiation fractions (funny that) and last week I started back on my old pal, Avastin chemotherapy. I noticed the side effects more starkly than before because I’ve been off it for almost ten months now. On the upside, it’s all very manageable in greater scheme of things. I know once I give my body a chance to bounce back I’ll be fine. My cancer hasn’t been irradiated completely. There are a couple of nasty nodes still there. But my medical team are watching it all like a hawk and I know I’m in safe hands. All I have to do is get on with things as best I can. That’s fine by me. I can work with that.
Going away is such a freeing thing. A break from the usual routine in a different setting is wonderful for restoring my peace of mind. Serenity is such a balm for the soul and there was oodles of it in Connemara. I feel as if I've crawled back into a space where I can forge onwards and upwards and dust myself off after the latest wrestle with cancer.
I even started a new novel while I was there. Well, the ideas are in motion at least. I also managed quite a bit of poking in rock pools petting donkeys and giggling with my daughter and her visiting friend! I loved witnessing their amusement as they went back to nature and forget about technology for a few days. They netted a tiny fish at the bay across the road from our house. They made him a watery house in a large glass bowl complete with seaweed and a small rock. He was christened Alan. I was congratulating them on abandoning all phones etc when they informed me that they’d set Alan up on instagram. I didn’t bother pointing out that we’d little or no wifi so Alan’s updates would be few and far between. But he’s a local so I guess he already realised that…
My children are finished school for the summer holidays and have three months of free time ahead, hence the trip away. It was a girly trip as hubby is working and our son has trotted off to Gaeltacht. For the non-Irish readers, this is basically a residential summer camp where everyone has lots of fun while speaking Gaelic. It’s a real right of passage for Irish teens. I went when I was his age and adored it. Apart from learning the language it’s a great way for kids to spend a bit of time away from their mothers and gain some independence. Apparently he's had his ear pierced again by another teenager. He was wondering if I mind, which I don't. That sort of thing doesn't phase me. It's reversible if he changes his mind and he feels it's a good move, so happy days. It’s very quiet without him and aside from the reportage of the earring we’ve heard very little from him. He’s having too much fun to bother speaking to us! Phew – wouldn’t it be so much worse if he were pining?
The Summer Guest my latest book is currently out in Ireland. Thank you to all my wonderful readers for putting it straight into the bestsellers list. I love you all. I went across the water to the Headline UK conference in London last month where I met lots of lovely booksellers and other authors. The Summer Guest is due for release in the UK mid July. I’ve every crossable appendage crossed in the hope that it’ll be welcomed by my new audience.
My publishers and I are going full steam ahead with my new Christmassy / Wintery novel, Winter at Huntersbrook. It’s a revisit with the Craig family from Driving Home for Christmas. The big edit should land back on my desk next week so it’ll be ready for release this coming Christmas. I’m thrilled to have another book in the pipelines and I hope you’ll all enjoy it. Eek!
I was delighted to speak at the Irish Tatler Business Academy on 22nd May. I met so many dynamic and incredible women. I’m never un-aware of the brilliance of women, but every now and again it’s wonderful to encounter an entire nest of them and immerse myself in their energy and come away with renewed inspiration and vigour.
Not to forget the man in my life, hubby is working hard as his triathlon emporium Base2Race embraces the triathlon season with gusto. All the ladies and men in lycra are off swimming running and cycling like madzers right now. He’s working his way toward his first Ironman race in Vichy in September. It’s a totally insane affair where they swim 3.8K then cycle 180K and run 42K all in one day. I know – utterly bat-shit crazy right? Personally I think it shouldn’t be legal, but I’m probably one of the laziest people known to man. So I clearly don’t get it. Still, opposites attract and if it keeps him happy isn’t that marvellous? Each to their own and all of that. For those of you who do carry the lycra gene, Ironman is coming to Dublin in 2016 and promises to be an incredible event. Hubby and his B2R colleagues are naturally, over the moon with excitement. I’ll certainly be there with my Base2Race flags and my clackers. It’ll bring so much tourism to Ireland as there are many many other lycra-minded folks the world over. So that's a fab thing isn't it? Just don’t ask me to actually take part! Instead I’ll be the one on the sideline eating a bag of doughnuts and waving happily!
I’m off to do the ironing. Yes, I lead a very glamorous life. Enjoy what’s left of June and I’ll chat to you all again soon.
Love and light