Posted by: Sheila | August 12, 2014

Measuring up


Sunflowers and Pumpkins


Recently having finished editing  “Simply be-Autumn” (though hopefully we have lots of summer left) as I danced around my kitchen to Billy Bragg I was transported back to a time when the summer seemed longer and the days unfolded like a mystery waiting to be experienced. Music, favourite books other than traditions  all serve to mark the chapters in our lives. Sometimes it can be hard to start or finish a chapter if it is too good or too bad yet conclude we must as there is invariably more ahead. As I release Simply be-Autumn into the earth I step back in time to leg warmers, black nail varnish, lace and all sorts of eighties essentials. The clothes come and go but words and music have no fear of time. When my finger hits the play button it could be my record player, ipod or youtube, I could be fourteen or forty it makes no difference. Some musicians are worthy to stand the test of time, Billy Bragg is one of them. I will get to do this dance one last time for Simply be-Winter and dare to dream that one day I may receive even a dot of his recognition.

Simply be-Summer and Simply be-Spring are  out now on sale in all good bookshops or click on the names to buy online


Posted by: Sheila | June 3, 2014

Five steps to a simpler life


1. Include at least fifteen minutes of free time into your day

The other week on the school run we spotted a beautiful horse still donning his night blanket running for freedom on the footpath as we drove by. A blonde in a jeep was in hot pursuit and the horse was wining. We all willed the horse on he looked so happy and liberated. He was running as if his life depended on it. I think we have all had times when we felt like running free.

It must have been the week for it because on Sunday morning we met a chicken and yes you have guessed it unbelievably she was crossing the road all alone and looking very happy. She too had had enough and was breaking out at least for a little while.

Fifteen minutes without radio television, computer, smartphone or land-line is a breath of fresh air, even if you don’t leave your desk and run for your life.

 3. Give what you want to get

When we sit at home and are sad that we have no friends we get no friends.  When we get out and meet people and are friendly then people are drawn to us. The same goes for everything else, we get what we give.   Just be careful that you want it because you will get it!

4. Learn to say no

To have a simple life we must stop being there just for everyone else and be here for us too. Learning to say no is hard and takes time however it is worth it. If we do what we love and love what we do life is simpler and happier all round. Saying yes to everything spreads us all too thin.   Saying yes to yourself means you will make time to get stuff done that you love and have been putting off for ages.

5. Choose what matters and ignore the rest

A huge amount of life is spent filling out forms and signing our names. Another chunk is immersed in bills and banks. Let’s try and keep these to a minimum and concentrate on who we are and what we want. Abandoning paper bills is a good start to this so that we can actually start again to look forward to the post as we did years ago.

Abandoning paper bills will also free up space in the home. When we choose what matters at home and dump the rest, space is freed up and life becomes simpler. Even if it means objects are just simpler to find. So remove unnecessary paperwork, old bills and catalogues that crept in via your letter box.

For more ideas get my new non-fiction  book Simply be-Summer  available at all good bookshops or just click on the title for immediate delivery. There is a new thought for every day.

Posted by: Sheila | May 6, 2014

Simply be-Summer book launch, May 2nd 2014


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Daily Star May 2nd 2014

The Daily Star, great review on May 2nd 2014 describes “Simply be-Summer” as a must read

Posted by: Sheila | April 30, 2014

Time enough to clean the fridge………..

It has been a busy couple of weeks here at the Mothership. The crew were on holidays for two weeks from school meaning that I was on duty as cook, chauffer and general go between whilst counting down the days to the launch of my second book Simply be-Summer. Here is a sneak peek at the front cover, it is launching on May 2nd and will shortly be available everywhere.


Simply be-Summer



I have been busy too with a recent article on the home of Irish writing online  writing .ie  where I ramble on about my struggle to create in the midst of family life.  They say that real writing is when you just hold the pen and it flows, across the lines over the page and down. It comes through you. A lot of authors say they don’t even know what is going to happen next in their own stories. So having heard that and being Irish I began this adventure many years ago with a beautiful fountain pen and a hardback notebook and I had no idea where it would take me. I don’t know how it started and I have no idea where it will end, I just know that shortly my new book will be published and on Thursday I will be in studio with Declan Meehan on East Coast FM to chat about its release.

It won’t be long though before it is back to the drawing board or in my case the kitchen table in the picture of chaos initiating another book, staring at one page for days and finally letting it go one way or another.

Simply be-Summer will launch on Friday in Bridge Street Books Wicklow at 7pm and Simply be-Spring is available from all good booksellers.



Posted by: Sheila | April 7, 2014

A natural beauty and so far its free…………….

They say a change is as good as a rest and with summer around the corner my thoughts turn to longer days, holidays to come and holidays gone before.  As a parent of four children (some bigger than others)   there is so much I want to show them and share with them.

Two years ago we brought our three smallest charges to the Eiffel Tower amongst other sights in France.  When the big lad was small we stood with him at the Tower, the baby in the buggy and  we marvelled at its vast structure. On this occasion as we marched from the metro and gazed at the Eiffel Tower for the first time I was blown away by my children’s lack of excitement. I carried on and when we finally reached the second floor of the Tower one of them commented that there was quite a bit of metal.  Later that same day as fought our way through crowds to view the Mona Lisa I was not too surprised when their main comment was that she was ugly and the painting was small.

Fast forward two years and we discover that a short drive from our home lies the Motte Stone. The Motte Stone is a huge white granite boulder deposited by a glacier from the ice age. There is a short climb namely about five rungs on a ladder to the top and from there you can view about five counties. It took us  longer than required to locate the stone but nonetheless when we arrived it was remarkable in its simplicity and beauty. We took turns taking photographs on the stone of the surrounding area and the same son remarked to me that he thought it was better than the Eiffel Tower.  The answer was here all along, a twenty minute drive, free entry and a very happy family. Happiness is strange it can be found in the most unlikely places. In our haste to see the world we had ignored an overgrown car-park down a narrow lane leading to an area of remarkable magnificence and right on our doorstep.   

What undiscovered beauty have you found in your community? Do you believe we travel too far for exotic locations when we already have it all? I would love to hear your feedback and any suggestions for simple outings at home or away.

My book “Simply be-Spring” is available from The village bookshop Greystones and  Bridge Street Books, Wicklow and on line at and . “Simple be-Summer” will be launched  early next month.

Posted by: Sheila | March 22, 2014

Free book anyone?

Simply be-Spring

When I was a child I was excited when I got free stickers at exhibitions. Stickers were so exciting the bigger the better.  Stickers it turns out are very last century and Taco Bell knows it. This week they launched a campaign where they posted 1,000 free Samsung phones to random customers.   Each super fan received their phone this week along with orders to wait for further instructions.  They never know when the phone will ring or what they will be asked to do.  It is all very “Mission impossible”. Those who are successful in their missions might win items as exciting as free Taco Bell breakfast for a year, shirts or even hoodies. The fun kicks off on March 27th and they await further instructions.

Other trends have overtaken the media this week. Not least of these are the no-makeup selfie which now has moved on to the preciously untouched men of the world.  I thought my eyes were deceiving me when I flicked on Facebook and I was met with a photo of a radio DJ in  full make up being compared to a character on a television soap opera. The power of the social media is incredible. Yesterday The Irish Cancer Society had made Euro500,00 from the photographs  and their marketing department  had stated they had nothing to do with the craze, it just went viral. It is a far cry from a bucket under your nose and once again a sticker, though amazingly this is still widespread.

I must admit I sometimes miss the simplicity of the old world. This is a world where you read a book and if you liked it you bought
another. You told a friend it was interesting and you moved on. Now Amazon have a problem with bored people who put up fake reviews of books they may never have read just  to rub out the competition. It’s a sad day in technology when authors have to campaign to get a real review. In any case it appears over half of the books have not even been read. The BBC has  released a list of 100 books and they reckon the average person has only read 6!  Don’t worry if some of them have  passed you by they are nearly all out in film so it is simple enough to catch up.

For my part, I am all out of shirts and hoodies mind you I am giving away a free copy of my new book “Simply be-Spring” and to be in with a chance of wining it all you  need to do is to come along to my author reading next Saturday at Michaella’s. The fun kicks off at 4pm. Now get clicking and remember if you have read more than 6 books you are above average and the required reading in school would nearly cover that. I am starting to feel quite smart already!

Posted by: Sheila | March 12, 2014

By the skin of my teeth…….

by the skin of my teeth

We made it through February and not a sign of snow. All the work I put into swooping on those foot grips last March in the sales seems to have been in vain. But a sale is a sale and for me there is no avoiding it.  The other morning the frost was heavy on the path and I contemplated popping them on (to get the value) but thankfully it was explained to me that I would then skid into oblivion. Instead I stalled my walk for a couple of hours and returned the grips to the porch. I bet we all have vital acquisitions  we never use. My purchases include boots that I cannot even get my heel into, I hope some day to develop skinny feet!

It is not the first near miss I have had. Earlier today I slipped on a drain cover as it had been raining and only for my son’s arm to save me  I would have been badly hurt. Still far more interesting would be the times I ripped my leggings on a nail in a bathroom at a friend’s house or split my dress in the office leaning over a desk!

None of these were life threatening or even dangerous but memorable for me none the less.  However they do not rate beside the serious issues facing some of our women around the world. We had International Women’s day at the weekend and a one woman show called Fabulous-females had been running last week in The Leprechaun Museum. It was showcasing the forgotten female legends  of our country and taking a break from  great male warriors such as Fionn McCumhaill, Cúchulainn and Oisín. I so wanted to see it, but apparently we all did and it was booked out. Everyone wanted to meet the women who were erased from history and put down as assistants to the so called true heroes.

Still not to worry, my world is surrounded by amazing ladies, I don’t have to look too far.  Ladies quietly working away at home and away helping to make the world a better place. I know the true heroes. I pass them in the street, stand behind them in the queues and see them at the stores where electronics are sold.   We may not read about them in school text books or talk about them at dinner but inside we know how the real work is done and without women it just would not work.

My book “Simply be-Spring” is available from The village bookshop Greystones and  Bridge Street Books, Wicklow and on line at and . If you fancy free delivery then go to The Book Depository to order.Visit to enter a draw to win a free copy.

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