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 package, then firstname.lastname@example.org will put you in touch with the very helpful team at Unbound.
Here's what is happening now!!! If you can get your hands on a copy of The Irish World, dated 21st April, you'll see a big spread about the book. I'm longing for there to be some coverage of the book in the UK, as it is a book that is meant for a wider readership than the Irish alone. (And how many people are there in Britain that have no connection with Ireland? Correction: how many in the world?) So this is the first review. Very encouraging.
Readers of the Irish version of the Sunday Times will see an article about the book next Sunday - April 29th. It's by Katy McGuinness and a photographer is arriving here on Tuesday, so you can expect to see something of the wonderful part of the country around where I live. Here's a pic of my neighbour Dermot's henhouse, where his happy chicks roam freely and peck away to their hearts' content. Just to cheer you up!
And then if you all tune in your radios to RTE1 on Friday 4th May, you'll catch the Sean O'Rourke show from 10 until 12.00. I'll be talking about Ireland's Green Larder with Sean and then I'll be scooting up to Strokestown, Co Roscommon, where I'll be judging the Percy French competition for humorous verse, as part of the annual Strokestown International Poetry Festival. It's a highlight on my calendar every year, but more so than ever this, its 20th year, as they have kindly invited me to launch my book that very evening at 10pm. I'd heartily recommend all my readers to check out this wonderfully welcoming poetry festival.
And if that weren't enough, I'd like you all to make a note in your diaries. On Thursday 10th May, I'll be having my Galway launch of the book in Charlie Byrne's bookshop in the city. The time is 6.30 and I am thrilled to say that my friend, the wonderful writer Nuala Ni Chonchuir (also writing as Nuala O'Connor) has agreed to say a few words to introduce the book. My pal Clarissa has said she'll make some nibbly bits, the finest wines known to mankind will be flowing and there'll be a distinguished crowd, of whom you'll be the most distinguished of all, if you can make it! Is that a date, then?
If you feel you have a little good will to spare, perhaps you could spend every minute of your waking hours during the next 2 weeks telling people about the book, nagging your nearest bookshop to stock it and lighting up social media with the white heat of your comments!
Here's a pic of some of the roast cauliflower I had for lunch. Drizzle of olive oil, a little salt and a further drizzle of toasted sesame seed oil. Simples! Looks better sideways on! Don't know how it came out like that. But you get the idea...