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Bonjour, mes amies!

It Started with Paris by Cathy KellyI am allowed to speak French because It Started With Paris is out in paperback on Thursday! Well, I am allowed to write a bit in French, but not really to speak it much because I am the woman who once ordered a cappuccino in my beloved French and got an Orangina . . . See? In my defence, we had already ordered an Orangina, and the waiter might not have heard me . . . This is the excuse I am sticking to, anyway.

When I learned French in school back in the 1970s and early 1980s, we read it till, by the end, we could understand (ish) Sartre in French, but we never heard a French person actually speaking the language. (Actually, there was a French guy at school for a few months once, to speak French with us but he was so gorgeous, none of us fifth- or sixth-years had the use of our ears when he was around! It’s a scientific fact that you cannot hear when you are a teenager gazing with longing at a real man. I went to a convent school, I should also point out. Low on men.)

I remember in journalism college hearing French radio in a French class and nearly falling off my chair with shock because I was getting about one word in every twenty. Yes, hearing languages does help with the learning of them.

But this does not deter me when in France. I’ve written a book that starts with a glorious proposal on top of the Eiffel Tower. And oh, if you haven’t read It Started With Paris yet, I do so hope you like it.

Watch Cathy talking about It Started with Paris

It’s got three wonderful heroines who feel like my friends – Grace, Leila and Vonnie – plus a host of others, and the romantic proposal does not mean that pure happiness follows. Because when your son, or best friend, gets engaged, it can mean a lot of things. Particularly if you are divorced from his dad, or miserable because your husband ran off on you. What do you think, about the feelings that follow when a friend gets – or puts – a ring on her finger? Tell me, please!


Filming the new video


Thank you, darling Louisa, for putting up the lovely pics from our fun day filming together. I have broken my phone – dropping it on the garage floor does this, apparently. Who knew? – so until I get the time to plug it into my computer and have its brains taken out so I can send it off to be fixed, it is not taking photos. It’s probably sulking at me.

Cathy Kelly

I do so want to take a pic of my new hen mat from inside the back door. John thinks it’s bonkers but it was a) in a sale and b) has a lifelike picture of three hens, which myself and the boys have named Blanche (white hen), Henrietta and Penny (Rhode Island Reds). I have hens – yes, I am obsessed – in my new, JUST FINISHED novel, Between Sisters (out in October) and they all have unusual names, given them by a fashion design student. It’s about two sisters who adore each other but who have great pain from their childhood because their mother walked out when Cassie was seven and Coco was one. Raised by their grandmother, Pearl, and their father, who has now died, their mother leaving them is the great pain of their life. I loved writing it.


It’s finished!


Between SistersIn my post-new novel state, I should be going through my backlog of emails, which stretches from here to Tipperary (‘it’s a long way to Tipperary . . .’). But I am just looking at this list of emails, filled with guilt. Any hints on how to get rid of guilt gratefully accepted. There should be surgery for it. Honestly, if you can have bits of your rear sucked out and put in your lips, surely a ‘guiltectomy’ can’t be far away?

I have not sorted out the pile of ‘writing clothes’ – Jack Russell fur-covered leggings – or tidied my study or brought the books back to the Royal Dublin Society library. SORRY! And in the kitchen, the baking cupboard is still a riot of old ‘cooking’ chocolate (half eaten by me), elderly flours jammed one on top of the other, sultanas so old they are now currants and random muffin cases that have escaped their boxes.


What I’m watching and reading


I’ve watched Gandhi (lots of it I couldn’t watch, actually – too painful), some of the new House of Cards season (how are Claire and Frank Underwood so compelling when they are so baaad, and why do I want my hair cut like Robin Wright’s when it would not suit me?), and am holding off on watching the latest Orange is the New Black because I’m too tired to do obsessional Netflixing.

I’ve been reading a great psychological thriller, You Should Have Known by Jean Hanff Korelitz, about a New York psychoanalyst who has written a relationship guide which says not to marry the guy if he gambles, idly says he once thought of being gay, and so on, because chances are he will turn out to be a gambler or gay and not really be marriage material, and you will spend years in therapy trying to fix a marriage that is unfixable because of basic incompatibility which was there from the get-go. And then it turns out that her paediatric oncologist husband isn’t what she thought he was . . . Ooh, so good!

The Flower ArrangementAlso loved The Flower Arrangement by Ella Griffin, a truly beautifully written book about a woman with a flower shop and the people who come into it. Thoughtful and wise, with hints of the great Maeve Binchy, this is a book you will treasure.




Finally, I am doing yoga every day by myself. The thing is, I hit a wall when I write a book – a cortisol-induced slump, I think. That great gallop is over, and something in me sinks and I forget the things that cheer me up. Yes, I know I have nothing to be sad about because I have been to a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan and that is something to be sad about, but sometimes people get sad. Some wise person said, ‘Humans evolved to survive, not to be happy,’ which is depressing but possibly quite true.

We need to work at the happiness. And in some strange way, we forget how to heal ourselves. Yoga helps me, and I have remembered, so am stretching and doing my asanas, and it’s like taking a deep breath. Remind yourself of what your happy things are: talking to a friend, walking, knitting, writing in your journal, doing yoga or a workout, and then do it. We are all so busy and so often forget ourselves, but remember: it all falls apart if we fall apart, so take your few minutes, darlings.

Sending you love and light and hugs,



It Started with Paris will be published in paperback on 2 July. Read an extract or listen to an extract read by Olivia Carrey.

Buy It Started with Paris now from
Amazon | Waterstones | Hive

Pre-order Between Sisters from
| Waterstones

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