I've just finished my annual reading of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol. Yes, as always, I wept for Tiny Tim. I love this story. It is beautifully written, the characters are wonderful - indeed mythic! - and the tale always puts me in the Christmas spirit. The illustration on the left is from the first edition, by artist John Leech. I'd love to see a copy of that work. Meanwhile, I am slowly but surely getting sorted for the day. The ham has been ordered as my sister does the turkey; the tree is up, being the real thing and quite lovely; and Finn has made delicious egg nog while I've made mulled apple punch. There are still cards to be written and presents to be bought - upcoming trips to Dublin and Powerscourt House will clinch the latter - and then I can put my feet up, ready to enjoy the big day. May I wish you all a very happy Christmas and Yuletide season.
I was born in Ireland and grew up in Toronto, Canada with my seven sisters and two brothers. Left home at seventeen to live in a commune, then headed off across Canada with my pal, Carole, and we hitch-hiked around California for months, then back up to Vancouver(Van as we called it then) and across Canada with two more pals, Linda and Peggy. A year later, headed off to Malaysia and Borneo with Jeunesse Canada Monde/Canada World Youth for a year. Baik-lah! Back home, went to Trinity College at the University of Toronto (posh blokes) while also joining the Canadian Naval Reserve as an Officer Cadet. Trained on the east and west coasts of Canada every summer. Great fun. Then what? Hmm. Started to write books, dodgy personal life (that's personal but let's just say it's been a long time between drinks) started to wander around the world, had a darling daughter, settled down in Ireland, wrote more books.