Thursday 24 November 2016

The Best Medicine

The Best Medicine by Christine Hamill is a courageous book that addresses the difficult subject of the effects of a mother’s illness on her teenage boy.

Hard to imagine, but the tone of this romp is hilarious

Philip Wright’s school escapades, his infatuation with school mate, the Goddess Lucy, his confrontations with school bully, the Yeti, his broken specs and hapless adventures will endear him to you.

You will be strongly rooting for him and his Mum as they engage with the Big C.

Proverbial as the saying goes…….It will make you laugh and it will make you cry.

The writer is also the author of B is for Breast Cancer … and she has drawn on her own personal life story to create these memorable characters.

A powerful read and an empowering one- for adults and teens.

Monday 21 November 2016

Ask a Florist

Ask a Florist
about true love

All the red roses returned
every Valentine's

All the Aislings

All the posies binned
or the single stems pinned

On lapels
'til they wither

Ask a florist
about the unsteadiness of the human heart

Its blossom as fickle
as a freshly cut bouquet

How ardour
gift wrapped

So quickly becomes
an order cancelled

Ask a florist
about true love

Friday 18 November 2016


Have had the good fortune to have a short story published in an anthology entitled Baubles.

Book launch will take place in London on December 3rd.
Baubles was the theme given to writers and the 24 selected stories all reflect that theme, but in a very diverse way.
The book is published by Bridge House Publishing- see links.Keep your eye on this site for further publications and competitions.
Have had a sneak preview of the other stories and there's something for everyone.
Available in paperback - A nice Christmas collection.
Kindle version also available.

Thursday 17 November 2016


Letting Go

Without ceremony I binned your letters
Shredded and tossed in an Ikea office bin
Transferred to a Panda Grey
Not to be recycled
Never to be re-read
I watched them dragged and hoisted onto a conveyor belt
Pierced by gigantic Panda teeth
Imagined them flung in a land fill or incinerated
Leaving behind the smell of a Sweet Afton
The taste of a Blue Nun
And memories as seemingly random

as the toss of a dice.

Copyright with Cathy Leonard 2016

Wednesday 9 November 2016

Curtains -The Ginger Tom Cat

Extract from my cat story. Adventures of a Ginger. Will keep you posted on this development.
Meanwhile a friend's website to browse for doggy treats


As Curtains Doyle rounded the corner of the sitting room on route to his favourite sunspot he encountered an unusual obstacle. His ginger snout came nose to nose with something white, soft and furry with pixie ears and blue eyes and a face not unlike his own, but much smaller.
   The ginger cat drew back in distaste. A kitten! What was this white kitten, with a splash of black and brown streaks and patches on its face and tail, doing in his hallway? 

Behind it, on all fours, was his owner Eimear, cooing and sighing into the kitten’s ears. Curtains made a dash at the ball of white fluff and emitted a cry that sent the kitten catapulting through the air. Then the triumphant Ginger retreated into the kitchen to consider this latest addition to the Doyle household.
   According to Eimear, Curtains emitted a series of sharp hisses before he leapt onto the kitchen stool and positioned himself in such a way that he had a bird’s eye view of all comings and goings into the kitchen.
   After a few minutes Eimear minus kitty appeared around the door frame. She approached the Ginger tomcat cautiously but was stopped in her tracks by an unmistakable hiss, bared teeth and a show of sharp claws. Undaunted by this display of discontent the nine year old crept nearer.
“Curtains. It’s you I love!” 

This flattery, however, made no impression on the outraged Ginger Tom. He repeated his earlier performance and Eimear was forced to withdraw. So was her brother Eoin but, in his case, the antics of his regular play mate reduced him to tears.
“I’m afraid of Curtains!” he bawled. “He doesn’t like me anymore. It’s that kitten’s fault. Why did we have to get a kitten anyway?”
   “Mum’s idea of company for Curtains. That kitten will have to go!” declared his big sister.
  “Give him time. He might come around to the idea,” said Mum after listening to their account of the meeting between the two cats.

  Meanwhile Curtains was giving out his usual recognisable signals that he wanted out, scratching at the window, meowing loudly.
  “Why doesn’t that cat use the cat –flap? He just loves to have us all running after him,” said Mum. 
Curtains flicked his tail high, ignored these outrageous allegations and refused to descend from his perch on the windowsill. When Mum finally opened the window the Ginger Tom leapt with relief onto the driveway and headed for the road.
“What if he doesn’t come back?” wailed Eoin, watching the cat walk purposefully towards the open gate.
   “It’s chicken in a puddle for dinner,” shouted Eimear after the disappearing tomcat. “He’ll be back! You know how he loves chicken.”
   Curtains already knew what was for dinner. He’d been sniffing the delicious aroma of chicken soaked in garlic and cream for hours now. This timely reminder took the strut out of his swagger and caused him to waiver in his determination to take a long stroll that might hopefully be interpreted as a sulk. He sat stock still in the driveway to reconsider his position.
Perhaps the kitten hadn’t come to stay. Perhaps it was gone already. He looked wistfully towards the dining room where Eimear was setting the table for dinner. He wouldn’t leave home just yet. Not until after dinner anyway.

   Curtains was so intent on his thoughts that he didn’t see Togs Toner, the neighbour’s King Charles spaniel, sneaking up on him. Togs was about to pounce on the unsuspecting Ginger when the dog found himself mounted by a fully clawed white ball of rage; the kitten scratching furiously at his back and biting into his neck. Before Togs could dislodge his attacker from behind he felt himself confronted by a huge ginger paw which gave him a clout in the face. The spaniel let out a high pitched wail and scampered quickly under the fence and back to his kennel followed by a flash of ginger.

   “Good work, Junior!” declared Curtains on returning to his side of the fence. But the white ball of fluff lay inert on the driveway. Curtains nudged the kitten with his snout.
   “This won’t do, Junior. No pretending now!”

   But the kitten wasn’t pretending. He was lying face down in the gravel path. Curtains sank his teeth carefully into the loose flesh around the kitten’s neck and lifted it gently. Then he headed straight for the cat flap which Junior had so recently discovered and that he himself only used in emergencies.

   “Curtains has killed the kitten!” wailed Eoin on seeing the cats emerge through the flap. “Bad cat! I hate Curtains!”
    “How did that kitten get outside?” demanded Mum who was staring down at the lifeless creature that Curtains dropped at her feet, just as he would do with a dead bird or mouse.
   “He ran away!” shouted Eimear from the hallway. “I saw the whole thing from the window. The kitten saved Curtains from Togs Toner, but it got injured in the fight. Curtains didn’t touch it.”
   “The kitten saved Curtains?” Eoin was wide eyed as he considered this revelation.
   “Look! The kitten’s beginning to move! It’s not dead,” said Mum.

   And sure enough the small creature was beginning to stir. A few moments later, when kitty opened its eyes it saw itself enveloped in a warm ginger furry paw. A rough tongue was licking its head and ears. It made a shaky attempt to stand up, and when the kitten collapsed a ginger snout gently raised it up again.

   “I think Curtains has got used to the new kitten already, “declared Eimear.
   “Can we keep it now?” asked Eoin.
   “What will we call him?”
   “Ronaldinho?” suggested Eoin.
   “That’s not fair! No footballers’ names!” wailed his sister.
    “What about Junior?” said Mum.
    Both cats perked up their ears when they heard this suggestion.
   “I think the kitten likes that name,” said Eoin.
   “I think they both do,” said Eimear.
   “And with a name like that our Curtains can’t complain, now can he?” said Mum.

  Certainly not, thought the Ginger Tom, wallowing in his new position as Topcat.  

Copyright with Cathy Leonard 2016 

Tuesday 8 November 2016

To a Winter Sun

Read an article by Conor Pope about extinct and near extinct technologies and realise that I still use a few of them..but then he did include cameras, books, CDs,video tapes, cassette tapes...

I still like my camera and here's a winter poem about just that ...sort of and Sunrise

To the Winter Sun

Rising at dawn to catch a glimpse
I swivel lens and mince words, meaningless,
to myself. And when the reel is done
you come, catching me speechless.

Sunblaze across a winter scape
reaching me dazed in a doorstep
Come, lover, come.
Though the reel is done

Meet me and melt me
as the frozen earth is spun
Over and over to meet the sun.
Come, lover, come

Friday 4 November 2016

A Whole Life

I am not much into translations.
And books that excel in long descriptive passages don’t do it for me either.
 A Whole Life by Robert Seethaler is a translation from German, the author’s fifth novel and full of evocative prose….

So what kept me turning the pages??

A friend says, “It’s a wise book…”

I’d say he could be right.

There is something about it that brings you to a deeper place within yourself than the daily grind allows. It’s contemplative, meditative in tone and feeling: it calms you down.

 From the word go  Andreas Egger has the odds stacked apparently against him. An orphan, beaten at the age of 8 by his adoptive father, Andreas ends up with a permanent limp. He has no great notions about himself and no great aspirations.

Born in 1902 he witnesses the arrival of electrification, cables cars, modernity, war followed by depression and then the new industry of tourism: the evolution of a way of life in the Austrian Alps from traditional to modern.

Moments of joy alternate with longer periods of grief and he spends years in sorrow, though not self indulgence, following the death of his wife and unborn child until one day he raises his eyes and notices again the beauty of the mountain: "He saw the mountains grow out of the night with the first rays of the sun,and although it was a spectacle he had watched a thousand times before, this time he found himself strangely moved by it"

His intimate love for, and knowledge of, his place, and his strong work ethic save him from a deep melancholy that might have enveloped him.

This novel’s protagonist will touch your heart and move you to re-evaluate your own existence.

Pure therapy

And if you can read German I envy you…

Wednesday 2 November 2016

Lentil Soup

Winter Warming Soup

Chop a couple of celery stalks
2 or 3 carrots peeled and chopped
1 onion chopped
A handful of red lentils
Throw ingredients into a pot on the stove
Add a stock cube
Bring to boil and then simmer until vegetables are cooked
Liquidize  to a smooth consistency or leave as chunky veg soup
This takes minutes to prepare and is a great lunch or filler any time of the day

Add some split peas and/or pot barley for variation but simmer for longer

Top with parsley and cream( if desired) and serve with crusty loaf bread

Bon Apetit

Tuesday 1 November 2016

Falling Leaves Time

I definitely hibernate in winter so if I post more recipes, book reviews and knitting patterns than poems it is because I am not out and about much...

Falling Leaves Time

Disillusionment is a thickness
in the air
and in the throat
a closing up like a clam shell
a hedgehog turning in for winter
a self reflective bubble
feet touching mouth in a perfect O

All myths and legends have their Tartarus
their underworld journey
through darkness to rebirth
and regeneration;
Native American Indians call it
Falling Leaves Time.

In Newgrange we squatted in darkness
and waited for a shaft of light
that would herald the promise
of a new dawn.
So for now  I will hold my feet
in my mouth and wait
for the coming of Solstice