January Flower


Taking down the decorations used to depress me, the sight of the naked tree in the corner, taken out then and left on the road for collection, pathetic strands of tinsel hanging on for dear life.

­­We have tested and tasted too much lover

Yep! the post Christmas hangover always hurt, you’d be dragging the arse out of it after New Years, the 2nd the 3rd the 4th tracking the week into January with anxiety, until little by little no trace of Christmas left, no excuse for excess and there you were staring at the shorn tree in the corner like the emperor without his clothes.

This year I took on the role of spectator a little bit, treating Christmas like a parade and letting it pass me by, enjoying the spectacle of it but not getting swept away

The last bite of the Christmas dinner wasn’t down the throat of my Grandmother, God rest her soul, but she’d say that’s it now, ‘tis as far away now as it ever was. There was a glee about her as she’d say it, revelling in it, longing for the return to normality. She’d been around long enough to know the bliss of routine.

Wherever life pours ordinary plenty, won’t we be rich, my love and I

That’s where things are at the moment.

Trying to forge all the different strands of life into one routine, so there’s no peaks and troughs just even keel.

It’s like trying to plait a wild gypsies hair into one neat ponytail, but it will come eventually I’m sure, all rivers learn to meander and mellow the nearer they get to the sea, knowing I suppose that they’ll get there anyway.

I have finally finished the edit for ‘Clíona’s Wave,’ my first novel that will be released in the Spring. What began as a frustrating experience ended as a rewarding one. You see, I’m a lazy fucker. I’d put the book away, shelved it and started another one. Then when Indigo Dreams said they were going to publish it, they assigned an editor to me, and she went to work, and it was painful. Editing a book you thought you were done with is like lying in bed after an ill-judged one-night stand, smoking cigarette after cigarette when all you want to do is get out of there and move onto the next conquest.

Last night however as I read over it I was glad of the time we spent together over the last couple of months, at least I can move on from it now and say it’s finished or at least that it’s more finished than it was. I don’t know if a story can ever really be finished, there will always be the regret that comes with hindsight. I am hoping to launch it at the Doolin Writers’ Weekend at the end of March and also planning a launch in Union Hall(where the book is set), so the next few months will be busy promoting Clíona’s Wave and trying to finish my second novel Leap of the Foals. We have our third child due in April so the goal is to get the second novel finished before the new arrival and the start of the busy season in Doolin. A short piece of fiction of mine was short-listed for the K Award judged by Claire Keegan, you can read this piece here https://donalminihane.com/2014/09/04/dead-priests-house/

Even though it’s January there’s a lot to look forward to but I’m trying to learn that the trick isn’t to look forward to something, or to look longingly back, the trick is to enjoy the moment, each one as we move along, easier said than done, especially in January I hear you say. But you know what, I got up this morning in the dark. I looked out the window. It was a bar-room brawl of a morning, nasty, dirty, bad tempered, shutters outside the windows clattering with a hollow thud off the wet stone, trees, wind and rain pulling out of each other, tugging and tussling, only the few houses were still on the landscape, motionless like petrified bar-maids caught in the melee. I pulled on my boots and coat, called the dog and headed up the hill. It’s never as bad when you get out in it. The weather is like most things that confront us. The day had dawned proper when I got back to the house, the kids were up and the porridge was on and the fire was lighting. The tree waited in the corner. I put it out before breakfast.

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