And about time!

Did you notice the recent revelation that Pope Francis has made it much easier to get a marriage annulled? It was a very quiet announcement. Good news for divorcing Catholics.

Until now obtaining an annulment has been complex. Henry VIII, after years of campaigning for an annulment from the pope, famously had to convert his whole country to protestantism in order to get one. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorised | 1 Comment

What’s in a name?

I was amused by a writer friend of mine telling me she had sketched a character into her novel who so far had no name.  He was Hispanic, she said, and she hadn’t thought of the right name for him yet so was just calling him P.  Thinking of footballers, I commented that South Americans sometimes had odd names such as Julius Caesar, Jesus or Maxi.  (Maxi Lopez, who plays for Torino, always sounds like an ice lolly to me!)

‘Oh no, it has to begin with P.  He’s definitely a P person.’

I knew just what she meant.  Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorised | 5 Comments

Good news for independent book lovers

A new independent bookstore opened in the centre of Manchester today. Chapter One Books is on Lever Street in the Northern Quarter, just a hop and a skip from Piccadilly.

A vast space, light and airy, you feel you’ve stepped onto cushions as you walk through the door. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorised | 1 Comment

A cheer for equality

27 May 2015

The Irish referendum last week brought in a resounding vote for same-sex marriage.  The sight of rainbow coloured flags waving across the country and the joy of those who can now feel themselves equal to their compatriots was heartening.

My soon-to-be-published novel, Ringing in my Ears, is about a gay couple in Italy, and explores the protagonist’s concerns about acceptance in a country restricted by long and tight links between the church and government – and the mafia, which always enters as the third element in Italy’s unholy trinity.  Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorised | 2 Comments

Miracles?  Really?  In the twenty-first century?

17 May 2015

I sat watching the news as part of my morning routine after my cappuccino frothed to perfection by my personal barista (my husband), when onto the screen came Piazza San Pietro in Rome.   We both leaned forward, instantly shrugging off our dopiness.

The news was of the canonisation of two nineteenth century nuns, that is they have been officially declared saints.  Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorised | Leave a comment