What does your Pa look like?

Today I visited Monash Medical Centre as a visitor (via Koala Kids Foundation) to the Children’s Cancer ward’s outpatient clinic.
I read ‘Wild Pa’ several times and we made many wild Pas. What personalities!


We also sang songs and created some superheros including Superman, Superwoman and my personal favourite SuperSanta to begin decorating the empty Christmas tree. Inspired by these creations and aware that the top of the tree was bare, one young boy created his own special Christmas star. It now sits securely at the crown of the tree.

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So, it’s been a little while …

… since I posted.

It’s been a busy while.

The biggest part of that while was spent in Ireland. And what a time was had! There was research and relaxation. There were theatre shows and music sessions. There were hill climbs and seaside discoveries. There were poorhouses and cathedrals. And there were wonderful, funny, musical, generous Irish folk. And there were many stories. Stories from now, stories from so many years ago that it’s hard to fathom. 5th century stories of Brendan and small boats and big seas. 12th century stories of a castle built by a woman (castle in a field – accessible by climbing a gate). Famine stories (so much heartbreak). Family stories (meeting the backpackers who once did some casual work for our Australian family, and meeting their family). Storymaker stories (CS Lewis and the Mourne Mountains)

So here are a few pics from that trip. I’d thought about offering them thematically (yano castle pics, church pics, cliff pics, botanic pics) but as my mind is frequently jumbled, so are these pics.

In a tower once part of a church, a secret stairway. Kells.

Once was castle, now is (very swish) hotel. Kingscourt

A poorhouse. So much sadness here. Carrickmacross

Ancient Celtic cross, in a tiny village called Tynan, my maiden name. 

A grand cathedral. One of two St Patrick Cathedrals in Armagh.

Tesselated walls. Armagh

Looking to the Mourne Mountains (where later we walked). Dundrum.

Looking to the sea. Dundrum Fort.

Sunrise. County Down

Stooks … wearing the hay equivalent of a knotted handkerchief.

Kitchen supplies. Donegal Castle

Silebales. Like silage but in bales. Beyond Donegal. So many tractors on the roads.

Consequences for those who do not heed.

Connemara. Near Leenane.

Connemara. A still day.

This dolphin meets the ferry. He was seemingly interested in the propeller – fortunately when it was idling. Inisheer, Aran Island.

Stone walls. Inisheer.

Ballyferriter. Dingle peninsula. 


SCBWI YA novel-writing all day workshop with Sheena Wilkinson. Cork

View from the belltower. Cork. Yes, we rang the bells.

A fishing and shooting bits and pieces cabinet. Birr Castle. Birr.

Put another log on the fire. Peat fire in the kitchen. Shannonbridge.

Shopping, 1930s style. Shannonbridge.

In the fairy glade. Who wouldn’t want to spend time here? Rostrevor.

Canal boat, Grand Canal Dock. Dublin. A wonderful way to end our holiday.