Robin Williams Decades of Laughter.

The death of Robin Williams has left  the world of entertainment with a huge space but he leaves behind a legacy of laughter. To have the ability to bring smiles to so many faces is a great achievement for a man who  battled with depression for most of his life. I loved him in Mork and Mindy and in every movie he ever appeared in. From Dead Poets Society  and Good Will Hunting to Mrs. Doubtfire and even Popeye. He used his intuitive and sensitive nature to bring to life any character he was asked to play, making him an extremely versatile actor.

To give you a taste of how good he was at improvising, here is a clip I found on Youtube. Thank you Robin for decades of laughter.

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Amazon, Hachette and Me

Amazon, Hachette and Me

Will books become victims of the fallout?

I have looked at both sides of the Amazon versus Hachette debate as open mindedly as possible and I’ve decided to be biased. This weekend I am going caravan hunting  because I earned the money to buy one from my book sales on Amazon. I have been helped every step of the way in my venture into self-publishing, by the advice freely available on both Amazon and Createspace. They have always been quick to respond to any of my emails. I am eternally grateful to the readers who bought my books and likewise to Amazon. If I were not able to self-publish, very few people would have read anything I wrote. Amazon helped me to realize a life long ambition. Of course it’s in their best interest for me to sell books, but it’s also in mine, too. Once my work started selling, thanks to my pathetic attempt at marketing and to those generous enough to buy it, Amazon got behind me and promoted my books – without charge. I didn’t even have to ask them to do it and they never deducted anything from my share of the royalties for the service.

High prices won’t affect me as I will never charge them for my books and I don’t buy any that are in a high price range – that’s where my local library comes in handy. Just as Hachette’s authors are remaining loyal to them, I am being loyal to a company that has supported me and I don’t believe they will be detrimental to books.
The Gutenberg Press made books available to people at a time when only the very wealthy could afford them. The translation of the Bible from Latin into the common language in Luther’s day meant the ordinary person in the street could read from a book that had been previously chained to a pulpit, written in a language only the well educated could understand. That’s called progress. Books flourished, readers grew in numbers and look where the book world is now. Are we on the brink of a literary Armageddon? I don’t think so, but if that IS the case, when the smoke clears, you will find me tucked up in my caravan (courtesy of You-Know-Who), clutching my kindle to my bosom and surrounded by the last remaining paperbacks that survived the ‘Abookalypse’.

See what Amazon has to say here.

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A Blend of Traditional and Orchestral

Have a listen to this fabulous sound. Irish rock/trad music with an orchestra.

Horslips and the Ulster Orchestra

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Cooking versus Writing, no Contest.

Eggsplosion

Eggsplosion

When writing conflicts with cooking, for me there is no contest. The image above is not a reflection on my culinary skills but a testimony to my ability to focus on my literary endeavours. This morning, in spite of being hungry, I got stuck into writing a new chapter, as I was on a role. I had earlier put some eggs into a pot of water and left them to cook for our breakfast, returning to the living room to continue my typing. I won’t apologize, as all puns are intended.

I became so engrossed by the ideas my brain was hatching that I completely forgot about breakfast. Even though my stomach was rumbling and complaining, I carried on eggstracting one thought after another until I had finished the chapter. With a sigh of relief and a great feeling of satisfaction, I leaned back in my chair and closed my eyes – I was eggsausted but eggstatic.

I heard the door opening and a strange smell accompanied my husband as he entered the room, carrying a pot for me to eggsamine.

“I think these are cooked,” he eggsclaimed, holding out the pot. “The rest are on the ceiling.”

Well, you can see from the photo above just how ‘hard boiled’ they were. It was the sound of our breakfast eggsploding in the pot that caught his attention. This just goes to prove how dedicated writers can be to their work. I have cremated countless pizzas and boiled dry numerous pots of vegetables, pasta and rice, in the wake of pouring out my thoughts and words – I’m not eggsagerating. Now I can add blowing up eggs to the list.

The funny thing is, I was working on a sequel to one of my books and guess which one it was – ‘A Pocket Full of Shells‘ – I kid you not!

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Camping in Clare, Castles in Kerry

DSC_0558

While on a recent camping trip to the west of Ireland, my family and I discovered a fabulous castle. It would make a great setting for a book, of any genre. Follow the link below and take a look at the video if you would like to see a lovely example of a late 15th century Irish tower house.

Camping and a castle

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And they say that humans are the most intelligent animals

Jean Reinhardt:

Are you being attacked by an army of flies? We’ve been battling swarms of them this summer in my town. I just had to reblog this post – enjoy.

Originally posted on Suffolk Scribblings:

I am your master (source: permatreat.com)

I am your master (source: permatreat.com)

Our village has been under attack. A swarm of houseflies has descended upon our little hamlet, leaving a trail of destruction as tea cups, picture frames and Royal Doulton figurines became collateral damage in the battle between fly and swat. The only people happy with the invasion are the owners of our local hardware store, who have been doing a roaring trade in fly swats, fly paper and – for the landed gentry – the ultra-violet electric bug zapper.

In our household the preferred weapon of choice was a rolled up newspaper (and they said print news is dead). It’s cheap, practical and you can tear off a page if the squished dead fly residue leaves splat marks on your walls. Plus there is something about wielding a rolled up newspaper that takes most men back to their childhood. In our heads we…

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Moby Dick, The Irish Connection

moby dick, youghal, cork,

Each year, the town of Youghal in county Cork holds a Moby Dick festival. If you would like to find out why, follow the link to Irish TV’s Cork presenter Ruth Hayes as she interviews locals who were eye witnesses to the making of the movie Irish TV – Cork

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Unfettered freedom; America’s elbow room.

Jean Reinhardt:

Great motivational post from Shelley of Peak Perspective.

Originally posted on Peak Perspective:

Tis the week we Americans begin getting a sprightly gleam in our eyes. It could be suggestive of our massive appreciation and gratitude toward our forefathers—the ones who gave their lives for our liberties. Or it may simply be a reflection of all the illegal fireworks we’re setting off in preparation for the big day: the one where we’re supposed to be showing massive appreciation and gratitude toward our forefathers, but end up losing focus due to the overabundance of burgers, beer and bad behavior.

290614freedom (639x800)

Therefore, this year I am determined to explore the theme of freedom before my brain becomes befuddled.

Summertime is a season where typically we are encouraged by the onslaught of complimentary commercials to enjoy the hot, sunny days and wear the attitude of one who is footloose and fancy-free. And I think that works brilliantly if you have a trust fund and are allowed free…

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Sleeping With Your Crush

Candy Crush Fallout

Candy Crush Fallout

If you haven’t heard of Candy Crush you must be living on another planet.  It’s a match three game you can play on your smart phone or Facebook.  It can be addictive, so this article comes with a warning.  Do you remember Tetris?  That game spawned the medical term Tetris Syndrome, seriously, look it up on Wikipedia.  I admit to being a user of Candy Crush.  You either love it or hate it.  I don’t play it, I use it.  The word “play” gives the impression you are enjoying yourself, relaxing, having fun.  If you become addicted you will find yourself begging, cheating, just needing one more “fix” before making dinner, doing homework, finishing that job your boss gave you to do.  Get the picture?  Sweet.

On a more positive note, as the title of this article says, I use Candy Crush to help me get to sleep.  I even yawned as I wrote that sentence.  If I am lying in bed and that precious state of slumber is being elusive, though it is way past midnight, I get my phone and play until my lives are gone.  Usually I am ready to drop off before that happens but I force myself to keep playing that extra life.  On occasion, overcome by drowsiness, I have to give up and switch my phone off, finally allowing my eyes to close as I drift off to the land of nod.  Divine.

Centro-de-rehabilitacion-de-los-adictos-al-Candy-CrushI have recently recommended Candy Crush to my clients who bite their nails, I own a salon.  One of the tricks to giving up this habit is to do something with your hands, besides putting them in your mouth.  I tell them to play holding their phone, not placing it on a  table or their lap.  It may even be used as a substitute for smoking.  This is an ongoing experiment and I will be publishing a scientific paper on the results of the trial in the near future. I predict Candy Crush will be classified as an illegal substance at some point, and only available on prescription.  Candycrush Anonymous clinics will spring up all over the place and we will read headlines about which latest celebrity has signed themselves into rehab, addicted to CC.

It is early morning as I finish writing this article and I am about to go downstairs to have my breakfast. I will prop my phone against a book (I used to be addicted to reading) at an angle that allows me to play Candy Crush without suffering from Repetitive Strain Injury.  Eating cereal with one hand, while striving to blow up jelly with the other is a strange, but somehow liberating way to start the day.  Delicious.

Originally posted on MARSocial by Jean Reinhardt (Sept 2013)

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1 Poet, 2 Rivers and Banksy

Vintage VespaWell, strictly speaking, Banksy himself wasn’t there. Neither was Thomas Moore, the poet – but samples of their work was. I  spent a lovely weekend with my three sisters in the beautiful county of Wicklow and the Irish weather did not let us down. We paid a visit to The Meetings of the Waters in the Vale of Avoca, the place that inspired some of Thomas Moore’s work. A bonus find was a group of fabulous scooters so creatively decorated and adorned that we spent as much time looking at them as we did the scenery.

Vintage Scooter

Vintage Scooter

Actually, we also took a lot more photos of the scooters. Thomas Moore would have been aghast at us drooling over mechanical contraptions instead of the beauty of nature. We couldn’t help ourselves as you can see from the photos. It was difficult to choose our favourites, but we all had one.

 

 

Which One?

Which One?

 Those three beauties in the photo on the left are my sisters, having a hard time deciding on which one they liked best. We must have spent twenty minutes walking around them discussing the pros and cons of each one. It was easy for me as my husband owned a similar one in the seventies.

 

 

My Favourite

My Favourite

Our little Lambretta was even the same colour, but we didn’t have the sidecar. It would have been so handy for the shopping and the dog. I also  took note of Thomas Moore’s beautiful Vale of Avoca, it would be difficult not to. You can check that out in the link below.

Thomas Moore and The Vale of Avoca

 

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