I actually copied the previous short blog about John Rodgers from a page on Amazon...he does give his permission to share it.

Now I want to get his first book 'For the love of my Mother'...I bought the second book today 'Eggshells and Broken Dreams' about his growing up years...he signed it for me and wrote...'A Good woman is better than a million in the Bank' on the inside cover...!

It's Boyle Festival week you see so writers and artists and singers and musicans descend on the town in droves...John was at the Farmers market with copies of his book and a collection of photographs and bits and bobs he's collected over the years. He is a very nice man...extremely unassuming...it wasn't until I Googled him when we came home that it dawned on me he is famous in Ireland at least...you'd never have guessed for a minute.

Isn't the story of his Mother totally horrendous? Like something out of the Dark Ages and he's only a year older than me...

Because of the Festival and the fact the weather was lovely...not too hot but very sunny with a welcome breeze...the town was heaving with people. Tourists mostly...Millie loves going to Boyle...she hops straight out of the car and trots over to the stone wall beside the river and rubs her sides along with an expression of bliss on her face...when she's done one side she turns around and does the other...

She always gets plenty of attention going round the stalls as well...little children love her 'cos she's on their level and she wags her tail fit to burst when they stroke her. She made a special friend today...a tiny little girl with a head of bright red curls...she was gentle with Millie and crouched down to have a better look at her and rubbed her ears and the top of her head. Millie loved it...until someone walked past with a small puppy and she was totally distracted...

Michael, who has the organic fruit and veg stall, had fresh ripe figs for sale...the pure joy of seeing those! I only bought two 'cos they don't last very well and Himself turned his nose up when I showed him...so they are for me...and I bought two sticky and sweet and totally delicious Chelsea Buns from the baker man who told me he'd been swimming in the river Shannon the previous evening and the water was as warm as a bath...

Library next and I found an incredible book...brand new...and the label is still inside and it cost 60€...imagine! But it has wonderful paintings of Irish cottage interiors and loads of those snippets of information I love so well...one I'd never heard of before was that the 'Keeners' the women who would sit around a coffin and wail...not only were they paid in tobacco but also in salt. And they played very rude games at Wakes...so rude in fact that one writer visiting Ireland in the 1880's couldn't bring himself to describe them in writing. So not only was there drinking and smoking pipes and keening going on around the coffin of the deceased...there were rude games as well.

Which reminds of something I read the other day about a teenage girl in the Sixties...it was to be her school dance and the boys from the local Grammer school had been invited for the occasion. One of the nuns took her aside and explained all the girls would be given a sheet of brown paper...they were to hold the paper between themselves and the boys they danced with...at all times. I'm still trying to work that one out...

I knew the priests used to patrol the dancehalls and poke you with a stick if you were dancing too close to a boy...one of my neighbours told me that.

Anyway...back to the library where I not only found the brand new book packed with paintings and information but three thrillers I've not read before by my favourite authors and one by Fannie Flagg I'd not come across either...you remember she wrote the totally brilliant Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe...which I devoured in one evening years ago.

Did that last night with a book I had on my Kindle...Himself had gone to bed at a sensible time while I kept thinking I'll just read a little bit more...finished it and then went on the prowl with a container of salt and the torch to hunt down slugs. I was wearing flip-flops which probably isn't the best footwear for slug murdering...feckin' horrible creatures were absolutely everywhere and I swear some must be six inches long at least...thought it best not to go in the front garden though 'cos I also had on my fluffy pink dressing-gown and if Paddy had walked past...which he often does in the middle of the night...it might have given him the heebie-jeebies to see me in my nightwear with a tub of salt in my hand...

By the time I went to bed my feet were frozen...Eilis was snoring loud enough to make the rafters wobble and then I needed a wee. When I went to the bathroom I noticed the moon was rising and it was enormous so I went out to have a look at that for a minute...and wondered why I was knackered this morning...

It's Reek Sunday tomorrow when hoardes of people will walk and stagger up to the summit of Crough Patrick...it's a pointy mountain in County Mayo with a little chapel built on the summit. Some walk in bare feet...and the pathway is loose shale...must be totally mad to do it that way. St Patrick is said to have thrown a bell from the summit...though goodness knows why...he must have had his reasons...and since then pilgrims from all over Europe have walked to the top of the mountain on Reek Sunday. The mountain was revered in Pagan times of course and people would climb to the top then to hold a feast and celebration of summer...but the Christians pinched all our old ways and made them their own...we won't be going.