Frank Parker's author site

Home » General posts

Category Archives: General posts

Here Come the Stories of a Hurricane… If My Auntie Had Testicles…

A typical Irishman’s response to adversity – unless he can blame the British.

Source: Here Come the Stories of a Hurricane… If My Auntie Had Testicles…


Open Book Blog Hop Oct 2 2017

I’ve been a volunteer with a local cancer support charity since the spring of 2010. I mostly work in the garden there. But in 2013 I trained to lead groups of walkers on a programme called ‘Strides for Life‘. Too many of my friends at relatives have been afflicted by this disease which takes lives at random. It’s good to be involved with people who help those recovering from the illness, and family members struggling to come to terms with the fact a loved one has it.

This is first time I’ve participated in the Open Book Blog Hop. You are welcome to have ago. The idea is you blog about the week’s subject – My Favourite Charity this time around – then click the blue button to post a link to it. To get the button, follow this link.

1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.v


This is a cruel and evil practice and should not be tolerated in ANY society, certainly not in one that regards itself as ‘civilised’. Resorting to ‘culture’ or ‘religion’ as a justification for ignoring it is not acceptable.


Fabulous Festival Feelings – Dreaming of the Electric Picnic and making it happen

Writer Fiona Hogan, who lives just a few miles from me, celebrates the good fortune that allowed her and her daughters to enjoy the festival taking place on my doorstep this past weekend. My son (three days camping) and grand-daughter (Saturday only with friend) enjoyed it too.

Source: Fabulous Festival Feelings – Dreaming of the Electric Picnic and making it happen

Are you up for a Challenge? Part 1 – Guest Post by Jemima Pett…

Jemima Pett, guest blogging at Chris the Story Reading Ape talks about the atoz challenge (blogging 6 days a week throughout April, taking the letter a as the prompt on 1st. April, b on 2nd., and so on. I did it last year and am still prevaricating about whether to do it again this year. (You can see my atoz posts from last year by clicking the atozchallenge tag above)

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog


Reading, writing, blogging, they all have their own challenges. And then some of us go and make it, if not competitive, then something of a commitment, a target to achieve in a set timescale.

I’m getting to be a bit of a challenge-aholic, so I’m going to talk about these challenges in three posts, starting today with Blogging Challenges.

Once upon a time, I started my blog. I didn’t have much of an idea what to write about, except my progress in writing a book, or rather, bringing the books I’d already written into the public eye. And the first bit of advice about that is: write a blog. I wandered about, posting occasionally, probably never being read, until something happened that changed my blogging life. I expect you had a similar experience. If you haven’t then let me introduce you to…

The A to Z April Blogging Challenge

View original post 675 more words

Translate this site into your native language

If English is not your first language, never mind. You can now translate all my posts and pages into your language by clicking the button at the top of the side bar on the right.

And if you want the same facility on your WP blog, here’s how to do it,, courtesy of Chris Graham:

Robbie’s Million Steps

About 6 months after we arrived in Ireland the presenter of the early morning show on our local radio station left. Among the new voices that took his place was one with a very ‘posh English’ accent. But Robbie Donnelly did not do much presenting in the months and years that followed. He became the voice of promotional events. Indeed, in those first weeks, in the spring and summer of 2007, he would turn up at a randomly selected home each breakfast time to present, live on air, a prize to any householder who could show him a loaf produced by a particular well known Irish baker.

Originally from the Channel Islands, Robbie’s distinctive, friendly voice became part of the background to our new lives. One of the delights of local radio, perhaps especially for incomers like us, is the way you get to know something of the personal lives of the presenters and their support staff. Over the 10 years since we first heard him, Robbie we learned how Robbie got married and started a family. Because of his role in promotions, his face became almost as well known as his voice. I met him in person on a couple of occasions when I entered one or other of the crazy competitions he devised.

Around the middle of last year, we realised that his voice, ever present in commercials up until then, had disappeared. This morning we discovered why. Robbie came on to the mid-morning current affairs programme to talk to the long time presenter about the reason for his absence.

His and his wife’s third child, Harry, was born in May of last year with Down’s Syndrome. But that was not all. Harry also had respiratory problems leading to the need for a tracheostomy. And then the really bad news – Robbie’s youngest child has leukemia. He has never been home. The whole of Harry’s 17 months of life have been spent in one or other of Ireland’s pediatric hospitals.

Robbie and his young wife have to spend long days and nights at the hospital, too, whilst at the same time trying to hold things together at home for the two older children. Robbie told his story in matter of fact terms, with no great show of emotion. He and his family are living every parent’s worst nightmare. A nightmare compounded by the fact that they live 100 km from the hospital.

Home from Home


But that was not the reason for his appearance on this morning’s Midlands Today Show. He has been helped enormously by a facility called Hugh’s House. It’s a place where the families of sick children can stay over at no cost. The hospitals provide limited accommodation for parents, but this is not suitable for families. Hugh’s House helps to keep families together in a ‘home from home’ whilst one of their children is undergoing treatment.

To show his gratitude Robbie is undertaking a fund-raising walk in January. He will take a million steps that month. To understand what this means, most people will take around 6,000 steps in a typical day. Robbie will be doing five times that number every day in January. About 25 km each day, whatever the weather.

Now, I know that not all of my readers are based in Ireland and that many of you have your own favourite charities that you support. But this seems to me to be a particularly worthwhile cause. Maybe there’s a similar facility serving families who live near you who have a child undergoing long term hospital treatment. I urge you to seek it out and offer your support.

And for those of you who are in Ireland, here’s a link to the GoFundMe page where you can join me in supporting Robbie’s appeal.