Saturday, 14 December 2013


The first issue of Spontaneity is a visual and creative delight. The mix of art, prose and poetry is enthralling, intoxicating.

Here's what Spontaneity has set out to do: 'Our theme of Age and Beauty has been explored in many ways and through different genres. We hope that each piece speaks to its companion on the page, sometimes overtly, sometimes in a more abstract connection. We have only just begun; now  – it’s up to you. If you are inspired by something you read or see here, consider submitting to our next edition – which will evolve from this first little acorn... Spontaneity is all about a creative chain reaction – so it’s crucial you tell us which piece inspired yours.'

I love the video 'Danielle' by Anthony Cerniello that appears on the same page as my piece 'Effie's great-great-great-great Granny.'

The concept reminds me of a website that I love and I thought I'd share here:

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Short Story Outlets

When I first started writing short stories it was for a creative writing class. We studied stories from some of the great writers (Alice Munro, William Trevor, Anton Chekov) and we wrote our own. Although I enjoyed the exercise, and I learned a lot about the craft of writing, I didn't really love the form. In fact, outside the class I rarely read short stories and would never have picked up a collection when I was browsing in the book shop.

I'm not sure what's changed but I find myself drawn to the short story more and more. There is a revival of sorts going on it seems. Even Amazon has launched a short story imprint in the US called StoryFront.

For the emerging writer it is a great way to feel productive and to get some feedback on your writing. And there are so many outlets to test the waters. There are countless lists and resources for publication of short stories.

This is my competition/journal schedule for the next six months (although I will certainly deviate from it as I hear of new outlets). It goes without saying that you should check the details yourself if you intend to submit to these outlets. Each journal/competition has its own set of submission guidelines which should be adhered to.

I read short story collections much more frequently these days (Kevin Barry, Michèle Roberts, Colin Barrett). And I write short stories because I enjoy the experience. Whereas the process of writing a novel is long and sometimes disheartening, a short story can be written in a few hours (experience has taught me that it then needs about ten rewrites plus breathing space, so really it takes me a month to finish a story).

Publication would be great. Winning first place in a competition would be great. Shortlisted, longlisted, payment, prizes: all would be much appreciated. But, even if I don't manage to submit to all of these (I am also trying to write a novel after all) it's good practice to write regularly and to set myself deadlines. And it's good to experience rejection as well as success.

I recently submitted to a prestigious literary magazine and received a rejection: several paragraphs explaining why the story didn't work (for that editor). He pointed out something that I couldn't see because he had the distance from the piece that I had lost. I appreciate his input. I will take another look at this story and submit it elsewhere. It deserves a good home.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Autumn in Gascony: Photo blog

Kakis on leafless trees against the blue sky
St Mont vines in Marciac

By the lake in Plaisance

Virginia creeper. Soon I'll be sweeping up these leaves




Tuesday, 26 November 2013

The Luminaries: Review

2013 Man Booker Prize Winner: The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton

A week ago I was singing the praises of this book. Now, having finished, I'm not sure. Wonderful writing, but the plot is like a block of Emmental - more holes than cheese. I suspect this will go down as a Marmite book (or should that be Vegemite?): you'll either love it or hate it.

Here's the blurb:

'It is 1866, and Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields. On arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of twelve local men, who have met in secret to discuss a series of unsolved crimes. A wealthy man has vanished, a whore has tried to end her life, and an enormous fortune has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into the mystery: a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely patterned as the night sky. The Luminaries is an extraordinary piece of fiction. It is full of narrative, linguistic and psychological pleasures, and has a fiendishly clever and original structuring device. Written in pitch-perfect historical register, richly evoking a mid-19th century world of shipping and banking and goldrush boom and bust, it is also a ghost story, and a gripping mystery. It is a thrilling achievement for someone still in her mid-20s, and will confirm for critics and readers that Catton is one of the brightest stars in the international writing firmament.'


When I got to the final page (or final few minutes, as I was listening to this on Audible), I thought I'd missed something, skipped a chapter or fallen asleep during the denouement. So I went for a walk and tried to piece some of the parts together in my mind. I tried to remember how each character was linked to the others. Who was who? Where did the gold originate again? And where did it end up? And the gold that was in the 5th dress? And the bullet? Did I miss the explanation of the bullet? Or was the man behind the drape really all there was to it? What about Moody's father? Did he find him in the end?

Considering I ended up with more questions the more I thought about it, I did the next logical thing - I googled. And I found scores of discussions. So I'm obviously not the only one in a state of confusion.

Sure, I glossed over all the astrological stuff. I thought the deeper significance would be explained. I made no attempt to place the compass points on the map and never knew if they were really relevant. I did get confused between the characters at times. But I really thought the whole story would become clear in the end. But it didn't.

Despite all that, this was still a hugely satisfying read. How did Eleanor Catton do that? She kept my attention throughout, kept my curiosity tickled, and I had such an enjoyable time. It feels like a great book you read years ago - one that you recommend to everyone, yet, if they ask, you can't quite remember the story but you remember loving it. The Luminaries just bypasses the stage of actually following the storyline and goes straight to the good memory part of the brain.

So, weirdest review ever: I loved this book despite all the above and would love to read it again.
But I probably won't because I know I'll still be scratching my head.

Will I read Eleanor Catton's first novel, The Rehearsal?

Monday, 18 November 2013

Reading List

Just finished:

'Fun Home' by Alison Bechdel
I hadn't read a graphic novel before and was amazed what graphics can bring to text. There were no superheroes though in this comic. It is an autobiographical account of the author's life as she examines her homosexuality, mulling over every childhood memory. She wonders why her father died - whether it was suicide or not. She also examines whether her 'coming out' had anything to do with his death. And whether his death had anything to do with the possibility that he was bisexual. An honest and insightful story, with a smattering of interesting literary references. A book I'll definitely read again.

'A Visit from the Goon Squad' by Jennifer Egan
This is described as 'a new classic of American fiction' by Time. Made up of interrelated stories that form a whole. Some characters appear in one chapter, then reappear older and more decrepit in another. I loved this book, yet felt frustrated, as I often do in these type of novels. I can't relax, wondering whether a minor character is just that, or whether they'll take over the story later. I find myself flicking back and forth trying to remember where a character appeared before. I need to read this again.

Currently Reading:

'The Luminaries' by Eleanor Catton
I was planning on reading all the books on the Man Booker shortlist but only managed to read 'Translantic' by Colum McCann and 'Almost English' by Charlotte Mendelson before the award (both fantastic and highly-recommended). So now I'm listening to the winning book on Audible. It is set during the gold rush in New Zealand in the 1860s and the cast of characters is vast. There is a Chinese opium dealer, a Scottish prospector, a whoremonger, a politician, a French legal clerk and a ship captain... among others. This book reads like a classic, with somewhat old-fashioned language and narrative techniques. I'm about two-thirds of the way through and highly recommend it.

 'The Spinning Heart' by Donal Ryan
A debut novel from Donal Ryan, dealing with the property boom and bust in Ireland and how it touched the lives of various people (21 narrators). The writing is honest and beautiful, with distinctive voices, which makes it a very easy book to read. I read the first half in one sitting and looking forward to reading the second half tonight. The first paragraph really draws you in. The narrator, talking about his father, says: 'I go there every day to see is he dead and every day he lets me down. He hasn't yet missed a day of letting me down.' I'll certainly order Donal Ryan's new novel 'The Thing About December' as well.

'Mud' by Michèle Roberts   This is a short story collection. I bought it when I went to hear Michèle speak at the International Short Story Festival in Cork in September. Michèle's writing is rich and sensual, and to hear her read was a pleasure. As with all short story collections, I'm dipping in and out of this slowly to absorb each set of characters and settings better. As Michèle is half-French half-English, I'm particularly interested in her use of language and her settings.

'Young Skins' by Colin Barrett
This is short story collection published by The Stinging Fly. I've read just a couple of the stories so far and love the settings and characters. These midlands-Irish males are so familiar yet under-represented in literature. Brings out the culchie in me!


In the to-read pile:

'After the Fire, A still small voice' by Evie Wyld
I bought this after I read Evie Wyld's story in the Granta 123 magazine. Looking forward to reading it, especially as it's set on Australia's East coast (of which I have many fond memories as a backpacker).



Monday, 11 November 2013

Press 'Submit'

Submit by email. Save the trees.
A carved trunk in Aire sur l'Adour

Upload file and press 'Submit'

I started writing my first novel when I was 17 and submitted it to an editor when I was 21. It was, I thought at the time, an enthralling tale about life in boarding school in Ireland. I remember making the decision to spend half my food budget on the purchase of the Writers' & Artists' Yearbook. I devoured the pages devoted to Irish agents and publishers and chose one lucky editor. I printed off my novel, put it in an envelope and posted it, enclosing an SAE. It cost me a bloody fortune. I didn't know I'd have to wait for six months before I got a reply. I didn't write anything during the wait. When I got a standard rejection I put that novel in a drawer and started another.

My second novel was better. I had learned a little from writing and editing the first. I also had a bit more life-experience to draw from. But, instead of sending this one to an editor, I decided to pay for a professional critique: a sizable expense considering I was earning a tiny salary working as a telemarketer. But I felt it was an investment in my writing career. The critique I received was probably accurate, but terribly off-putting. I deposited my manuscript in the drawer alongside my first.

My third attempt was a children's book. I wrote the first draft and decided I wasn't really a children's writer. I didn't even read children's books at that stage. Fail. Drawer.

I gave up writing for about five years. The freedom! Now I could watch TV like ordinary people without feeling like I should be chipping away at a manuscript into the early hours. I joined a karate club. I took up the flute. I had three children. But eventually the lure of the quill pencil keyboard was too strong.

By now things had changed. Editors and agents had websites with submission guidelines. Published authors had websites and blogs. There were forums for emerging writers, places to exchange critiques, lists of competitions and literary magazines. All this information was free. I spent about a year learning about the craft of writing and finding out about the industry. I wrote short stories and a new novel. Then I came out: I admitted to friends and family that I was a closet writer. In fact I'd won a prize and was to read my short story at a prize-giving ceremony in Birmingham.

In a way I think it's easier for authors these days. Certainly the submission process is easier. Up-to-date submission guidelines are available online. Most agents accept submissions by email or by Submittable (online form). No postage. No printing costs. Save the trees and all that!

This tree trunk fascinates me
every time I visit this park.
Themes of books,
 music and dancing
carved into the wood.
I'm proud of my fourth novel, Lost in Lourdes, which is out on submission at the moment. Even after several big rewrites I still love the story and my characters and believe it will be published. But this time, instead of waiting for a reply, I'm tinkering away at my next project.





Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Donostia San Sebastián

A weekend in Spain

We took a trip to San Sebastián last weekend to make the most of the unseasonably warm October weather.

The harbour and bay area

Don Quixote and Sancho Panza

Boys in football gear

San Sebastián is a beautiful, lively city in the Basque region of Spain. The busy shopping area is located right next to the beach. Spanish families eat ice creams and mingle with tourists in the old city. Children play football in the streets, or enjoy the park on the seafront.

Basilica of Saint Mary of the Chorus

Carousel in front of City Hall

Children dressed alike
Adults dressed alike, maybe they're brothers
 A stroll through the narrow city streets led us to tapas, and more tapas. Or Pintxos in Basque. Delicious. Although (and I have a hazy memory of a forgotten new year's resolution) my Spanish did let me down badly. The words came out in Italian, in French, even in Irish (!)...  But we still managed to eat well by pointing and gesturing. The locals are used to the influx of tourists, especially French (it's only a half an hour from Biarritz) and switched easily from Spanish and Basque to French and English.


The best views of the city were to be enjoyed from Mount Urgull. We climbed up through the park to the historic castle and the statue of Jesus overlooking the city. My calf muscles are nearly back to normal now, thanks for asking.

Playa de la Concha was ideal for people-watching. A bride and groom arrived down from the city hall for a photo shoot--the bride struggling through the sand with her long white dress, the groom carrying the Champagne and glasses for that perfect photo. Children played in the sand--often naked, as seems to be the norm. The melodious tune of a saxophonist on the promenade wafted down towards us. A businessman arrived after work with a novel, stripped down to his boxers, and went in for a swim. Then he lay there reading until he was dry enough to put back on his shirt and tie and head home. Made me wish I lived closer to the sea.


Certainly the nicest city beach I've ever visited.



Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Le requin marteau et les jours de la semaine

Le requin marteau et les jours de la semaine - Martin
My nine-year-old son came home from school last week begging to be brought to hear David Dumortier reading poetry in the library that evening. He's not usually a bookish kid--more an outdoorsy type--so I was rather surprised. He went on to explain that David had been to his school that afternoon and had performed magic tricks. Aha! He wanted to see a magician, not a poet.

David is a fantastic entertainer. Reciting poetry, embedded in magic tricks, he made the kids laugh. One child was brought to the stage to learn how to do nothing. David had invented a machine to help him. The kid sat winding a handle on a toy that did nothing. Every time he stopped he was prodded to 'keep it up, do nothing' and he had to wind again.

Meanwhile a child helped carry a magician's hat around the audience and David pulled out lines of poetry, read them and threw them into the air. My son grappled with the rest of the kids to grab as many as he could.

It was a great performance. He's a great speaker. He also managed to sell a few books. But, as a writer, I'm depressed at the idea of having to do a similar performance to sell my work. These days it seems that writing the book is only part of the deal. Engaging with the public to persuade them to buy it is a huge part of the writer's job. But what do you do if you're not naturally a magician or entertainer?

The outcome for my nine-year-old: He begged if he could write a poem before bed. I agreed (bemused, amazed). He produced the above poem. He announced that it was 'full of originality' (Then he checked what originality means.) Still, I'd call that a result!

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Literature in translation

When I ordered the summer edition of The Stinging Fly I discovered it was dedicated to literature in translation and included fiction from Belgium, Italy, China, Poland, Rwanda, Ukraine, Morocco, Greece, Netherlands, Spain, Austria, Brazil and Finland.

The translators of these stories were interviewed for the journal. They were asked: Why is literature in translation important? What is your reaction to the term untranslatable? How would you describe your relationship with the author after you get involved with the translation? Responses were fascinating. I hadn't considered the relationship between the translator and the author, or how the author can lose a little of their own book when it's been translated into a language they can't read.

Having studied Applied Languages (French and German), I was oriented towards employment as a translator. After graduation, I managed three months in a tiny translation agency, where the work was mind-numbingly boring and the working environment was less than attractive. (My boss used to kick holes in the walls in childish tantrum when things weren't going his way. Not a nurturing environment!) I translated German accident reports for insurance companies. Every report started with 'I was driving on the left when...'

Technical translation and localisation were not for me, however I did and do remain in awe of literary translation. You can learn so much about language by trying to render an expression written in another language into English, or from English into another language. Metaphors, similes, regional dialects--they require the translator to stop, reflect, choose. We mull over the connotations of one word over another. Even simple vocabulary is not straightforward. A castle is a château in French, but the mental images we create when we hear those words are very different.

Haruki Murakami spent many years translating some of the great novels into Japanese. He wrote, about his translation of The Great Gatsby: “Although numerous literary works might properly be called ‘ageless', no translation belongs in that category. Translation, after all, is a matter of  linguistic technique, which naturally ages as the particulars of a language change. Thus, while there are undying works, on principle there can be no undying translations.”

In Claire Kilroy's essay, in the translation issue of The Stinging Fly, she tells a great story about one of her pieces that was translated into German. She discovered that the sentence 'The men were padding around the boardroom' had been translated as 'the men were walking about in bare feet like animals'. This is a worrying thought for any author whose books are translated into languages they don't speak and can't check.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

I was pleased this week that my piece Essential Advice: RTE Guide Penguin Publishing Day was published on and I hope it has given any writers who didn't attend the day a better insight into what the industry is looking for, how to improve your writing and tips on getting published.

On Saturday I watched a workshop on Children's Writing on WritersWebTV presented by Vanessa O'Loughlin. Interviews with authors and illustrators, writing exercises, comments from a panel and from the public via Twitter, email and Facebook, it addressed many questions and was really useful. I only managed to dip in and out all day as I had children to ferry to endless activities, but the course can be purchased for anyone who missed it live.

The plan for WritersWebTV is ambitious and I'm looking forward to courses including Getting to the Heart of it: Writing Women’s Fiction on Tuesday, October 15th, Crime Pays: Writing Crime Fiction on Wednesday, October 30th, and Getting Published on Saturday, November 9th. Recommended viewing, very professional and very helpful.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

New! Published Works Page

I've added new pages to my blog: details of published stories and some samples on the 'Short Stories' page.

To begin with I would like to share my short story 'Kalashnikov for Shoes' which won the Writing West Midlands Short Fiction Competition earlier this year. I was invited to Birmingham to read my story and accept my prize and it was really a proud moment.

With kind permission from Writing West Midlands I quote from Sian Buckley's blog:

'The Short Fiction Competition turned out to be a beautiful intimate event where we enjoyed wine and readings of the winners’ short stories. Each was presented with their award by the wonderful Tiffany Murray and, being the sociable bunch that they were, everyone ended up staying late to chat and swap contact details (and drink more wine!). We were amazed to discover that Hilary McGrath, the first place winner, had drawn inspiration for her story, Kalashnikov for Shoes, from her friend Sumaya, who had travelled all the way from Kurdistan especially for the reception – not only that but she and runner up Ed Briggs had both travelled from France for the occasion! It was an honour to have them there and of course our more local winners; Ken Elkes and Garrie Fletcher.'

And this is what novelist and guest judge Tiffany Murray said about Kalashnikov for Shoes: ‘This is a big, sweeping journey. It’s one that tells the story of these particular characters, but also one that tells a story of a whole nation. It’s hard to get such ‘bigness’ into a very short story without becoming sweeping, general, or mawkish. I think Kalashnikov for Shoes succeeds. Of course it starts with a great title.

'Shiro and his Aunt’s family are travelling across a border, through the mountains. Their guide is Khalid. Shiro’s cousin, Sa’eeda is lame. It’s a hard journey. They reach their destination. This is the story, but the third person works very well here, taking us step by step; letting these characters speak, focusing on simple showing, on clear unfussy detail. This is a short story that shows the reader a big canvas with detailed, light brushstrokes  – it is a snapshot, and one that certainly lingered with me.’

Read the story here.

Friday, 20 September 2013

They actually don't bite

The RTE Guide/Penguin publishing day

So, a first experience of meeting editors and publicists and people-in-the-know in the writing world--and they actually don't bite.

The room in Pearse Street Library was buzzing with the group of writers longlisted for the RTE Guide/Penguin Ireland short story competition. We were looking forward to a day of talks and workshops, not to mention the networking opportunity and the chicken and stuffing sandwiches. The line-up included Jane Alger, Dublin UNESCO City of Literature and Cliona Lewis, Publicity Director, Penguin Ireland, who spoke about the industry in its current state, with some warnings about how hard it is to get published and how polished the manuscript needs to be. A dollop of luck is also a requirement. We had some informative talks and Q&A sessions with  Patricia Deevy, editorial director Penguin Ireland and Faith O'Grady, Lisa Richards Literary Agency. They were both very approachable and unassuming and urged us to polish, submit and keep writing.

There were three authors present (Sinéad Moriarty, Niamh Boyce and Mary Grehan) and also an interesting talk from Stephen Boylan, Books Purchasing Manager, Eason & Son and Donal O’Donoghue, Features Editor, RTÉ Guide. After lunch we had an excellent overview by Rachel Pierce, freelance editor, peppered with the real experiences of the authors on the panel. All in all a good mix from the publicist to the book buyer to the authors and the editors, the day was well-organised and efficient. All through the day there were plenty of questions and a chance to mingle.

The authors on the panel were: Mary Grehan, Love is the Easy Bit, who seemed to be enjoying the whirlwind of the first book publicity tour. And, this being Ireland, we discovered that we had both taught English in the same school in Japan. We compared just a few of our battle scars.

Niamh Boyce (The Herbalist: I blogged about it here) gave a very honest account of her writing methods and habits and entertained us with her dry wit.

Sinéad Moriarty, Mad about You: Her love of writing was evident. An established writer, on her tenth book, and such a positive energy and attitude. I'd say she works damn hard too, but she reminded us that we need to be in it for the journey and not the destination.

That reminds me of a documentary I saw recently on John Irving (A Prayer for Owen Meany and The world according to Garp.) He compared writing to preparation for a wrestling match. There's a lot of training, repeating and perfecting every move, and then a short match that can be over in minutes. Irving takes about seven years to write each book. He says that you've got to love the journey, because the day the book comes out and for about four months, he's on the publicity/interview circuit, but then he's back to his desk for the next six or seven years.

So we left the event in high spirits and I got to enjoy a rare night out in Dublin.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Have you done a MOOC?

  Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC)

"The New York Times dubbed 2012 'The Year of the MOOC,' and it has since become one of the
hottest topics in education. Time magazine said that free MOOCs open the door to the 'Ivy League for the Masses." (Source Wikipedia)

I've only discovered MOOCs recently. While searching for information on Flaubert I found a free online course on called The Modern and the Postmodern, which includes an introduction to Kant, Rousseau, Marx, Darwin, Flaubert, Baudelaire, Nietzsche and many more. The selection of courses available on Coursera is vast, from Exploring Quantum Physics to History of Rock.

Anyone for quidditch? Opposite Auch cathedral, Gers, France

I decided to enrol on this course: 14 weeks of readings and lectures brought to my sitting room by Professor Michael S. Roth of Wesleyan University. The readings are mostly available online and the video lectures are posted every week.

From the course syllabus: 'We shall be concerned with the relations between culture and historical change, and our materials shall be drawn from a variety of areas: philosophy, the novel, and critical theory (with possible forays into music, painting, and photography). Finally, we shall try to determine what it means to be modern today, and whether it makes sense to go beyond the modern to the postmodern.'

Although I don't want or need a final certificate, it is possible to get an accreditation from this prestigious university. There are essays to complete which are peer-graded. There is also a forum and it's interesting to read comments from students of all ages and nationalities. For my purposes I'm content to do the readings and watch the lectures, or 'audit' the course, as they say at Wesleyan.

So far I'm finding it excellent, and inspirational, and would recommend both the course and the method of learning.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Longlisted for the RTE Guide/Penguin Ireland Short Story Competition

A great start to this week with the news that one of my short stories has been longlisted in the RTE Guide/Penguin Ireland Short Story Competition. I have been invited to a day of workshops and talks in Dublin in September where I hope to meet some of the people whose names have become familiar to me as I research editors and agents for my novel.

The last writing workshop I attended was back in 2002 with Éilís Ní Dhuibhne in the Irish Writers' Centre in Dublin. I got so much out of that ten-week course and always hoped to attend other writing courses at some stage. Three children and the fact that I then emigrated to rural France made that rather difficult.

At the beginning of the year, I decided I would attend some conferences or writing courses no matter how complicated the childcare/work arrangements were. In April I won the Writing West Midlands Short Fiction competition and travelled to Birmingham to read and collect my prize. I mingled with other emerging writers, sipped wine with the team at Writing West Midlands, and discussed writing and other things with author Tiffany Murray. A couple of hours in the company of like-minded people was a real pleasure.

But I still had my eye on workshops or 'events' where I could listen to editors, agents, publishers and fellow writers discussing the book industry. And so I began to plan a trip to the upcoming Cork Literary Festival (18th to 22nd September) and hope to attend some interesting events.

And now, another opportunity to visit Dublin arises and I begin a new flight search. How to make it to Dublin and drive kids to after-school activities simultaneously? I'm sure it'll all sort itself out. Looking forward to the RTE Guide/Penguin Ireland day. May even be in with a chance of winning...

Hopefully the millions will start rolling in soon to pay for this expensive habit.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Jazz in Marciac (3) Joe Cocker and Todd Unctious

Joe Cocker was one of the big acts this year and he played to a packed marquee. Even better than I remember, when he came to Marciac in 2007.  At 69 years of age he can still belt them out.

Warm-up act was Canadian Kellylee Evans. She has a powerful voice, mixed a little hip hop with jazz to interesting results, and she managed to charm the audience by speaking excellent French.


And Joe. What to say about Joe? Able to send a thrill down your spine from the other end of a rugby pitch. He sang a good few songs from his new 'Fire it up' album, but loads of the oldies as well--You can leave your hat on, With a little help from my friends, Unchain my heart, and the heart-stopper, You are so beautiful. What a show.


First time I noticed the physical similarity with Todd Unctious from Father Ted, must have been the black clothes!

So I feel obliged to link to a clip from Father Ted. No disrespect Joe!

Here's Mrs Doyle's list (copied from this blog I found while searching the very subject.

Fr. Andy Riley,
Fr. Desmond Coyle,
Fr. George Byrne,
Fr. David Nicholson,
Fr. Declan Lynch,
Fr. Ken Sweeney,
Fr. Neil Hannon,
Fr. Keith Cullen,
Fr. Ciaran Donnelly,
Fr. Mick McEvoy,
Fr. Jack White,
Fr. Henry Bigbigging,
Fr. Hank Tree,
Fr. Hiroshima Twinkie
Fr. Stig Bubblecard,
Fr. Johnny Hellzapoppin’ ,
Fr. Luke Duke,
Fr. Billy Ferry,
Fr. Chewy Louie,
Fr. John Hoop,
Fr. Hairycake Linehan,
Fr. Rebulah Conundrum,
Fr. Peewee Stairmaster,
Fr. Jemima Racktool,
Fr. Jerry Twig,
Fr. Spodo Komodo,
Fr. Cannabranna Lammer.
Fr. Todd Unctious

And no, Kellylee is nothing like Mrs Doyle.