“The man to whom little is not enough will not benefit from more.” Saint Columbanus. A Saint Patrick’s Day message from the other one. A dozen-and-one wise words on our insatiable appetite for more. When I was a child, or even a young adult, or even a middle-aged woman, I used to marvel at the … Continue reading More


He’s carrying a small backpack that is far from full, hardly looks as though it holds enough for an overnight stay. For a moment, I wonder if he’s a runaway. He looks and sounds too calm for a runaway (as if I’d know). ‘I’m going to see my grandparents,’ he volunteers, mind-reading. I am to … Continue reading Companion

One Week

Overheard on the radio: manipulate the brain and one’s experience changes. It’s the most obvious statement in the world, but how to pull it off? I refuse to become toxically positive and shut out all negativities. Is there an acceptable ratio of optimism versus pessimism to aim for? Perhaps a 10% pessimism weighting might be … Continue reading One Week


When life is going well, we do it a disservice by not offering it a small bow of gratitude, not acknowledging the simple happiness of the everyday. Instead, we sail on, eyes forward, unappreciative of the smile of fortune that is ‘nothing much happening’. We are conditioned to believe that good fortune and happiness in … Continue reading Better

Heaney Healing

I am listening, over one week, to an abridged version of the Roy Foster book, On Seamus Heaney. Adrian Dunbar is reading. Cashmere blanket voice. I could listen to him read my home insurance policy and still feel comforted. Commitment, that’s what’s coming through in this morning’s section, that Heaney was a committed grafter: drafting, crafting, … Continue reading Heaney Healing