Latest updates

Rolling forward

Sunday, 22 April 2018

By now you should all have received your copy of the book and I am AGOG to hear your reactions! Some of ye have already sent a few words of encouragement and I am bathing in the sunlight of positive reports. But criticism is also welcome - we learn by our mistakes. (Supposedly!)  If your copy hasn't arrived and you have looked in all the obvious places where a postman or courier might have left a…

Counting the days

Friday, 2 March 2018

I'm sitting here at home in the west of Ireland with the snow swirling round and the temperature below zero and a warm glow inside me, as my book is due to be delivered to Unbound today. Now, they've had some snow, too, so it may be a little delayed, but for you, my heroic pledgers, the wait is nearly finished! Hallelujah.I can't wait to hold the actual book in my hands.

If you pledged for a specially…

Counting down...

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

I'm now in discussions with Unbound about promoting the book when it comes out! So we've come a long way from the early days when I was not even sure I'd reach my target. Well, I always believed I would and I shall ever be grateful to you, my pledgers, for stepping up to the plate, as we seem to be saying these days. An American sporting reference, I think, and even perhaps baseball, which we must…


Friday, 24 November 2017

Hello, friends! I sent off a message a little while ago and gave you the WRONG date for pledging! I meant to say that pledges should be received by midnight on 27th NOVEMBER this year if you want to be sure of having your name in the book.  Eejit that I am! Thank you to Margaret O'Farrell for telling me tactfully!


The chimes at midnight!

Friday, 24 November 2017

Hello to you, all of my lovely shed people! Did you think I'd forgotten you? Far from it. I know I haven't sent out a message for a while, but I have been beavering away at Ireland's Green Larder - reading the proofs and agonising over my acknowledgments.Being thrilled with the illustrations and the design of the book. Getting excited about it all. This is NOT the definitive cover, but it'll give…

Where did it go?

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

No, I'm not referring to my lost youth! I wrote an update recently to all my shedders and then there it was - gone!  I assume that a forensic team could retrieve it from my laptop, but in the absence of such a team,  I'll just write it again.

It was partly about a coincidence. I was in Co Mayo recently, staying at a house organised by a friend, and we met the owners, had a quick chat, they showed…

Just broken the tape!

Thursday, 15 June 2017

What do you think of my new pad? A step up from th'ould shed, eh? It's all thanks to you, my supporters. I'm now in the happy position of being 100% FULLY FUNDED!!!! Which means that the book is going into production! There is light at the end of the tunnel of your waiting! BUT LISTEN! (I know I'm going a bit mad with the exclamation marks.) I still have to carry on funding as I would like to…

Moving along swiftly....

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Hello, my dear pledgers, supporters and - as I still think of you - my shedders.

As you will be pleased to hear, I'm not that far off now. And once I reach the 100% target, the team at Unbound gets cracking and the book is on its way to being published and you are not so very far off getting the book delivered into your deserving hands.

The wonderful Julian Roberts is scheduled to do the book…

Moving along swiftly....

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Hello, my dear pledgers, supporters and - as I still think of you - my shedders.

As you will be pleased to hear, I'm not that far off now. And once I reach the 100% target, the team at Unbound gets cracking and the book is on its way to being published and you are not so very far off getting the book delivered into your deserving hands.

The wonderful Julian Roberts is scheduled to do the book…

Summery summary

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

I thought I'd just let you all know how it's going. I'm not far off 70% and someone I know has promised a big contribution, so I can see the end of this phase. After that, I'll be keeping you in touch with progress on the actual production of the book!

It's heavenly weather here at the moment. My pal Joanna Kennedy flew out to Greece with her daughter, my goddaughter, Eleanor, and they are both…

More than two thirds of the way!

Friday, 5 May 2017

Hello everyone! I'm writing this on a fine May afternoon. I have been away from my laptop for a little while, as I was very involved in a poetry festival. My pal Merrily Harpur started it in 1999, up in a little town in Co Roscommon, called Strokestown and it's been going since, with the cream of poetry featuring over the long weekend. It's a highlight in my year and I had the honour of judging the…

Little videos

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Hello, my brave band of supporters! I'm sure you are looking forward to the Easter holidays. Here are some Easter eggs for you to enjoy. I had one for my breakfast, so then there were four!

Now, I have an idea that you might be interested in. I want to make a live video recording at a certain time each week. I propose every Wednesday at 12 midday. Would that be a time when you could be sure to…

Something fishy

Friday, 7 April 2017

I was down beside the River Corrib on a lovely sunny day. It's one of the shortest rivers in Europe, but very fast flowing. In fact, the river gave its name to the little settlement that grew up on its banks. That became a town, then the city of Galway, so for a short river, it's had a big influence. 

And I'll be down beside the Corrib tomorrow, when I'm giving a talk at Galway City Museum…

A traveller's food diary and updates on our progress

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Here is a photograph of some really delicious prawns I had on a recent trip to central America. The people of Costa Rica are not wealthy, and I was interested in the way their staple is the very simple combination of rice and black beans. The staple for the very poor in Ireland was, as we know, potatoes. But Costa Rica also produces some marvellous fruit and, because it has both a Caribbean and…

Eaten bread is soon forgotten

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

I've forgotten the name of this magnificent old lady. Nellie, surely! And this was taken at Kipling Camp in India a few years ago. It doesn't really have any relevance to what I'm going to tell you all, but I thought you might like it.

I'm sorry to see that the Unbound redesign has demolished the shed. I think of you all as my shedders, and will continue to do so until they arrest me.  So,…

Ambassadors, I am spoiling you!

Monday, 6 March 2017

No, I'm not handing out Ferrero Rocher, but you must admit that 3 Shed missives in 2 days is good going. Trying to make up for the gap while I was away.

I'm sitting in my shed working up the text of the talk I'll be giving this weekend. Well, talks, actually. On FRIDAY, in the Irish WOrkhouse Centre, here in Portumna, I'll be giving a talk at A Taste of Portumna. It's an afternoon event in the…

Porridge for grown-ups! (Of all ages.)

Thursday, 2 February 2017

At the suggestion of my pal Merrily Harpur, I'm going to give you the porridge lecture! Well, not lecture, so much as enthusiastic encouragement to share in the good times.

Ronnie Barker was a genius in Porridge, but I'm not on about that. I want to dispel forever any qualms you have about porridge for breakfast and I want to encourage you to offer yourselves the Rolls Royce of porridges for a…

Shedding at home and abroad

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Hello my lovely shedders


I've been quiet for a while, but under the surface, the feet have been paddling away. Here's a lovely butterfly to start off with .

I think it's a Blue Morpho, which is a butterfly we saw a lot of on our tour around a certain Central American country. (Identity to be revealed anon.)  But if it isn't, it's definitely a native, and one we found in a fabulous butterfly…

Saint Brigid's Eve

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

As promised, here's a little snippet about this auspicious day in the calendar. For farmers, the end of January marked a lengthening of the day, and if there was rain (not unheard of in Ireland) there might be an early growth of grass. For fisherfolk, the spring tide closest to St Brigid's Day was thought to be the greatest, with opportunities for collecting shellfish and cutting and gathering seaweed…

Spring coming for sure.

Monday, 30 January 2017

Hello, my shedders! I love the Irish tradition that spring begins on 1st February, making the spring months February, March and April. Others reckon spring begins on 1st March. Yet others put it beginning on 21st March.Although winter is a season I wouldn't be without, I'm always glad when the days draw out. Would anyone care to march with me up to Leinster House to petition the government to keep…

It feels like spring!

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Hello, my lovely shedders


I was down in east Cork this week, having lunch with Darina Allen. If you don't know who she is, I suppose I might say that she has taken the foundations laid by her mother-in-law Myrtle, and has built an entire shining city on them. She is a human dynamo, writing books, broadcasting, advising on food policy and running the phenomenally successful Ballymaloe Cookery…

New Year, Old Shed

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Hello my lovely Shedders, and a happy new year to you each individually. When I see the name of a new pledger, I get a real thrill and if I know that person's e-mail address, I usually drop a line. If I haven't contacted you that way don't think I'm any the less glad to have you in my shed. You are all very welcome here, and I'll make it as cosy as I can.


No, I haven't put any pictures…

A Christmas Shed

Sunday, 25 December 2016

A very merry Christmas to all my shed friends. My hen isn't laying at the moment, for obvious reasons, but she also sends you her very best wishes. In fact, she's lucky not to have ended up on the table, as at this time of year, chickens and capons, sometimes ducks and geese, ended up as Christmas dinner for families able to stretch to such luxury.

I'm not actually in Ireland just now, but…

A poor abandoned bastable.

Monday, 12 December 2016

I've let it grow rusty, but it could still be pressed into service again. My New Year resolution will be to restore it in pristina virtute.

Shedding again and again

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Hello Shedders! I wonder if you're in a fever to know why the shed isn't a shed?As the man said, curb your enthusiasm, as I'll tell you.. 

Yes, I know the photograph isn't of a shed. Duh! It was taken almost exactly a year ago when Lough Derg was flooded and the swans are swimming over a piece of land I usually walk over! I just thought you'd like it, unretouched as it is.

The shed was, of course…

Shedding again

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

I've come across a photograph of the shed that was taken last summer. It's not much tidier now, I must admit. But it does show the full, rich life of the writer (too busy thinking of poetry to tidy the place) and those oblong things on the left of the photograph are sods of turf. Peat, some people call it. That is the way everyone in rural Ireland used to heat their houses and it's the fuel over which…


Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Good day to you, everyone!

I thought you might like a picture of the west-facing window in my shed. That's an old bedstead you can see, plus the wooden cart on the left is actually a turf barrow - a real heritage object, now. There's a box of rusty old nails that I don't know what to do with, some adventurous ivy, plus, as you can see, the plaster is falling off the walls and the window frame has…

Publication date: Spring 2018
111% funded
243 backers