Sunday Praise: What’s Made Me Happy this Week

I have to admit, I haven’t been in the right frame of mind to do one of these posts since the New Year. Lockdown is HARD in winter – much harder than I thought and there hasn’t seemed much to be positive about.

Still, I thought I should try and it’s been good to look at things in a different light and celebrate the small wins.

  • From one brilliant French TV show to another! Last week we said goodbye to the wonderful Spiral, but the pain of that show finishing for good was lessened by the return of the equally wonderful Call My Agent.
  • Last week I virtually attended the first event to celebrate Brian Moore at 100 and it was a fantastic round table discussion. Next week I’ll review the first of my 12 Brian Moore books – Lies of Silence.
  • Last week I also took part in Eastside Arts Festival’s online Symposium on Northern Irish Writing. It was such an inspirational day and despite the nerves, I enjoyed chatting with writer Jan Carson and Damian Smyth about what makes writing from Northern Ireland so distinctive.
  • I’ve started to plan my choices for Reading Ireland Month (to be announced next week!) and that always cheers me up
  • Speaking of Irish writers, it was great to see Elaine Feeney, Sara Baume, Patrick Freyne and Doireann Ní Ghríofa on the longlist of the Rathbones Folio Prize while Naoise Dolan and Caoilinn Hughes were included on the Dylan Thomas Prize longlist.
  • Stella did a portrait of me and I love it!
  • My husband loves tacos, so for Christmas we got him this hilarious card game called Taco vs Burrito which we are now obsessed with and play every night!
  • A friend alerted me to the brilliant Hunt & Gather online stationery store and I am trying to resist temptation!
  • We have been dealing with lockdown by watching loads of movies. Which is great! The only problem is that all our movies seems to come accompanied by this…
  • Boys for Pele by Tori Amos turns 25 this year – which makes me feel very old – but I’ve enjoyed catching up with it again this week.

So, what in your life deserves some praise this week? Let me know in the comments!

Sunday Praise

Cathy746books View All →

I am a 40 something book buying addict trying to reduce the backlog one book at a time!

54 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Stella is very talented – wonderful portrait!!! ❤️
    I have watched the 1st episode of Call My Agent on your recommendation – why have I not discovered this before?? (downside of Netflix there’s so much) It’s brilliant!!!!
    Ah when will we get back to SHHP??? Filing in Magherafelt is getting old now 😰

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post Cathy. I love that when we take the time, there are things that make us happy and that we can be thankful for. I had never heard of Joel Meyorwitz. I went to his site and was quite impressed. So many different types of photos, but all with a very profound message in them. Thanks for introducing me to him.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your daughter is very talented! I’m grateful for lovely flexible clients and having a good friend who will give me 2.5 hours of her day off to help me run a birthday half-marathon!


  4. Lockdown in winter is a lot harder! I have been cheered up in the last couple of weeks by a bounty of bouncing babies! 👶 First my cousin had her baby girl on Wednesday 13th and then my friend also had a baby girl on Sunday 17th, which was also my birthday! 🎁Take care and happy reading, Cathy 🙂


  5. Lockdown is hard in winter, I miss the afternoons drinking tea in the garden with my book, chatting to my neighbour that helped keep me sane last April, May and June. Anyway I am reviewing Lies of Silence tomorrow. I have been enjoying watching The Serpent which is very dark, and keep meaning to get back to the French drama I have been watching Killer by the Lake. I haven’t watched Spiral, I want to but rather alarmed by how many series there are.


    • We’ve been watching Spiral for over ten years now and really loved it. We went back and watched the first episode again out of interest and it wasn’t great! It definitely got better as it aged!


  6. It’s so good to see you back. I have missed your Sunday evening posts.
    Isn’t Tori talented? Little Earthquakes was the first album I bought. I first heard of her through the Channel 4 Teletext reviewer! That’s harking back a bit. I was describing teletext to my kids the other day. I loved it.


  7. I’m interested to see the emergence of online bookish things to do. Here in Melbourne we had a lock hard lockdown of 114 days, and the best organisations and businesses pivotted (hmm, is that a verb?) online. Within days there were adverts for a digital LitFest, then there were author talks and launches via Zoom, then there were more digital LitFests. Bookshops that had only a desultory presence online suddenly enabled online ordering.
    Attending these digital events did wonders for me: I never felt deprived at all. (And you can see how many of them I blogged, sharing the joy of it with my readers).
    I hope these digital initiatives work for you too.


    • It’s funny. I’ve had to move my programming for HomePlace online too and I was initially so resistent to it, but it has its benefits. We’ve attracted an audience from the States who normally wouldn’t be able to attend the theatre and we’ve been able to book some high profile authors who we otherwise wouldn’t have been able to afford. Silver linings, eh?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes. And I would say, since you are deep in the throes where you are, and I know that it’s tough because we were there ourselves for so long, that it pays to be wary of media coverage & social media that focusses on doom and gloom and economic disaster and mental health &c &c, because that will make you feel worse. There *are* some good things about lockdown and it helps acceptance of it if you keep yourself aware of them. The air is cleaner, the cities are quieter, and the planet is having a brief respite from global emissions. Neighbours meet and greet each other as they take their daily exercise and shop in their local shops and a sense of community strengthens. People do lovely things for the kids, like teddy bear hunts; I made pen friends with the little kids in my street, kids I’d never known before. People who could never access certain kinds of cultural offerings can do so online. People are saving money because they can’t get out to spend it like they usually do. I could go on, but I don’t want to sound like Pollyanna or as if I’m denying the difficulties or the tragedy of all the deaths. I just hope that we can all get through this in whatever ways we can, and for me, actively looking for the benefits, such as they were/are, has been a help, not just to me but to the people around me as well.


      • I agree with you completely Lisa – we need to find positives to this and I think if we carry those positives through to ‘normal life’ it will be of benefit to us all. I have realised that I don’t need to shop as much as I used to – I don’t miss it at all.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I like these posts, Cathy. I’m sorry to hear that lockdown is so tough but it’s nice you can focus on finding the positives. I feel very spoilt living in Western Australia… no community transmission for 6+ months but it is easy to become complacent and I really do feel for my British and Irish friends having to endure such harsh times on the other side of the planet. Take care 😘

    Liked by 1 person

  9. So many examples of gratitude in your post and a wonderful reminder of how good it is to reflect on them. Love the portrait!
    I read some wonderful book by Irish women writers in 2020 and loved seeing Sara Baume and Doireann Ni Ghriofa on the Rathbones Folio Prize list last week and looking forward to reading more Irish literature in 2021. Brian Moore does sound like an interesting character himself, so looking forward to joining the read-along. Reading in community is such a wonderful thing to do, for us all, so thank you Cathy!


  10. A few anxious days when my partner went into hospital for a much needed hip operation: then happy when she came home this weekend, even if it will take a few weeks to get back to pre-arthritic days.


  11. Not in lockdown here, but not a lot to give me pleasure with my dear old 100-year-old father continuing his slow slow fade and needing more and more hands-on help. However, we did see the latest Australian big movie, Jane Harper’s The Dry, and I did get to play some Scrabble with my brother’s partner before she returned to Hobart.

    Sounds like you are getting some good family times out of the lockdown. That’s a plus, I’m sure. Love the portrait.


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