Enter Harry’s Universe

Tomorrow is the big day. Harry’s newest adventure, Hell to Pay, will be available everywhere. There’s still time to preorder your copy to ensure swift delivery.

If you can’t wait to return to Riverton (or need a bit of a refresher), I’ve created a reader’s guide to Harry’s world, a compendium of sorts, listing the people, places and things that make up Harry’s universe.

A word of warning before you click ENTER. If you are caught up on the series, you have nothing to fear (unless you don’t want to see my dream cast version of the main characters). If you are a book or two behind, my guide to Harry’s world contains spoilers. Enter at your own risk.

gothic gate

 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Top of the morning to you and a Happy St. Paddy’s Day. A few years ago I was lucky enough to do a whirlwind road trip around the beautiful country of Ireland and I thought I would share some pictures with you to celebrate the day.

small road map

As you can see, we covered a lot of ground, sticking mainly to the coast roads. While I’m not as well-travelled as I would like, I have seen a lot of countryside, including a lot of Canada (some of the most beautiful scenery around), but nothing beats this road trip. (Click on the pictures below to see a larger view)

We started and finished in Dublin where there is plenty to see and do. Next we headed south to Cork and its surrounds including Cobh and Kinsale. If you ever get to Kinsale, I’d highly recommend stopping by Jim Edwards for a bite to eat and don’t forget to order the Banoffee pie for dessert (OMG it is to die for).

From Cork we continued to follow the coast and after a few false starts found our way to Mizen Head, the southernmost (and I’d hazard to say windiest) point in Ireland. The Ring of Kerry led us into Killarney and then it was on to the sandy beaches and stellar seafood chowder of Dingle (one of my favourite stops).

From Dingle we hit the road and headed to Galway and then on to Mulranny and the 42kms of biking/hiking trails that make up the Great Western Greenway. The walled city of Londonderry took us out of Ireland and into the U.K. and Northern Ireland. Rich in a history both ancient and modern, Derry, as it is also called, was the scene of many civil uprisings associated with the IRA and the Troubles.

From Derry, we headed back to the coast and some of the most spectacular vistas I have ever seen along the Causeway and Ocean roads that lead to and from the Giant’s Causeway.

Highlights in Belfast included seeing the murals dedicated to the Troubles as well as the huge Titanic museum (definitely worth a look).

Our final stop before heading back to Dublin was Newgrange and the 5200 year old (that’s older that Stonehenge and the pyramids) passage tomb.

Well, I hope you enjoyed my little trip down memory lane. Now hoist a green beer and dish yourself up another bowl of Irish Stew and have a safe and happy St. Patrick’s Day.

happy st pats day

Beware the Ides of March

Most people know that March 15 is called the Ides of March and it is notorious for being the day that Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 B.C., so I thought I’d talk about Caesar.

caesar

 

No, not that Caesar, this Caesar, Canada’s favourite cocktail.

canada loves caesar

 

Invented in Calgary, Alberta in 1969, the Caesar is a vodka based drink that combines clam juice, tomato juice, and Worcestershire sauce with a blend of herbs and spices to create a drink that is similar to a Bloody Mary, but with a uniquely spicy flavour.  It’s also pretty unique to Canada (or so I’m told), so if you are ever visiting the Great White North be sure to give it a try. Or if you want to try one at home, here’s a handy video: