Posts Tagged ‘President Michael D. Higgins’


Monday, January 2nd, 2012

A friend of mine has ‘NOW’ written in large letters on the face of his watch. What time is it? It’s now. What year is it? It’s now. When will I be happy? Now. When will I choose my thoughts? Now.

It’s all we have. Just this moment. The past is gone. The future never comes. There is just this moment.

I’ve finished my book. After a very long time. Finally. Sure, there may be some tweaks to be done to it. It’s the hardest job of work I’ve ever had to do – harder than a degree. OK, not as hard are leaving religious life – that was the hardest thing I ever did. But professionally, it’s the most arduous journey I’ve taken. I’m very proud of the result; and a little scared too.

I’ve just finished reading Charles Dickens: a life by Claire Tomalin. It’s a brilliant book: I loved it and highly recommend it, especially to writers.

I’m delighted that President Michael D. Higgins will be presenting the Irish PEN Award to Joseph O’Connor in February.

As the new year begins, I’ve been cycling quite a bit. I did an hour and three-quarters today – not sure how far I travelled as the mileometer needs to be re-calibrated after I inserted a new battery. The day before yesterday it provided dodgy readings.

I’m doing a detox during January after the excesses of the Christmas. There’s a time for feasting and a time for fasting – well, detoxing.

If anyone out there wants a copy of the book I did a few years ago on how to stop smoking, they can get a copy at

Let’s all have a happy new year. Enjoy each moment. Live in the now. Let’s all be thankful for all we have and for all we are – now!


Tears of Joy at inauguration of President Michael D. Higgins

Friday, November 11th, 2011

I wept several times watching the inauguration of the new premier citizen of Ireland, President Michael D. Higgins. It was so moving. How great that he had a humanist there, Michael D’s initiative. I wept watching him greeting the children, wept as he gave his inaugural address, wept because life isn’t all about money and economics and bank bonds and bailouts. I loved Michael D’s  focus on inclusiveness and creativity and humanity. I loved that he has spoken out in favour of human rights all his life and, as RTE’s John Bowman remarked during the television commentary, the new President was more often outside the US embassy, standing up for human rights, than inside it. I love Michael D’s individuality, his independence of mind. He is a man of integrity and truthfulness. He arranged a wonderfully inclusive ceremony. And I loved that gorgeous rendition of ‘The Deer’s Cry’ by Shaun Davey, sung so beautifully by his wife Rita Connolly.