Family ties

Posted Oct 20 2017 in , , , , ,

My mom grew up in a picturesque Canadian village in rural eastern Ontario—twelve miles from where I now live.   Dotted with stone buildings and tucked into a rolling landscape of century farms and historic waterways, it’s a place that shaped me as a person, as well as the writer I’ve become. Several weeks ago, […]

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My reading life

Posted Sep 22 2017 in , , , , , , ,

Long before I became an author, I was, and still am, an avid reader. Since early childhood, reading has been a huge part of my life—so much so that I’m always perplexed when asked how I find time to “fit” reading in. How could I not fit it in? Reading is almost as fundamental to me […]

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Sand between my toes & memories in my heart

Posted Aug 11 2017 in , , ,

Tech Guy, English Rose and I have been on holiday this week. After months of bouncing between writing deadlines (me), school and medical appointments (English Rose), and work in big-city Toronto and our small-town home (Tech Guy), we all needed time to stop, reconnect and simply “be.” And so this week we’ve been in Nova […]

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The tale of a travelling china cabinet

Posted Aug 12 2016 in , , , ,

This week, a moving van arrived at my home. It brought a china cabinet that’s been in my mother’s family since the mid-nineteenth century. In the furniture world, the cabinet is a stately dowager duchess or grizzled elder statesman. Made of solid wood, it sits on substantive claw feet and features a mirrored shelf and […]

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Canadian repatriation: One year

Posted Jul 15 2016 in , , , , , ,

On 18 July 2015 English Rose and I landed in Toronto on an Aer Lingus flight from London via Dublin. I was on my way home, but English Rose had left the only home she’d ever known. Missing England One year later, I still miss the gentle English mist, fish and chips and the “have […]

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Goodness, a word for our time

Posted Nov 20 2015 in , , ,

My word for 2015 is goodness. As those of you who read my blog regularly know, it’s been a year when goodness has at times been hard for me to find. At other times, though, I’ve been blessed with abundant goodness, a reminder that even in the darkest hours, there’s still hope and things to […]

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Remembering a life

Posted Oct 23 2015 in , , ,

I lost a special member of my family this week, and my last living link with a world that’s now vanished. I blogged about Cousin Mary in August 2014 at the centenary of the start of the First World War. Born in May 1910, Mary didn’t remember the start of that conflict, but she had […]

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What makes a reader?

Posted Sep 25 2015 in , ,

I’ve unpacked many boxes of books in the last two months. Books I brought back in my suitcase from the Romance Writers of America (RWA)® national conference. Books I shipped in cartons when I moved from the UK to Canada. And books in storage for fifteen years when I moved, at the time I thought […]

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Moving away and moving toward

Posted Jul 17 2015 in , , , ,

Migration has been a recurring theme in my life and family history. My mother’s ancestors left Ireland in the nineteenth century to seek a better life in what was then the frontier of Canada’s Ottawa Valley. Her lone Scottish ancestor, my great-great grandfather, left a village near Glasgow in 1820 while still an infant. His […]

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Thanking mothers everywhere

Posted Mar 13 2015 in , ,

Sunday, 15th March, is Mothering Sunday in the UK. For Christians, it falls on the fourth Sunday of Lent. Historically, it was when people attended their “mother” church, and domestic servants were given the day off to visit family. Since I grew up in Canada where Mother’s Day is celebrated in May, Mothering Sunday was […]

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