Alternative Gift Guide |
Christmas, Musings

Alternative Gift Guide

Crickey, if I see one more ad for “Gift ideas”, I’m going to scream. I understand it’s the season for giving and we all want to give our loved ones something nice, but the idea of scrolling through a list of random suggestions and buying a random gift just so you have something to hand… Continue reading Alternative Gift Guide

Smoky Bacon Schnapps |
Food & Drink

Bacon Schnapps?! Yes, please!

Sometimes you just hit the jackpot. You hit one of those moments when all your stars are aligned and everything seems just perfect. You’re in a cosy bar, in good company. The barman is handsome and chatty (even if he is half your age!) And you are sipping on the most sublime drink you’ve ever… Continue reading Bacon Schnapps?! Yes, please!

Guests of the Nemo, Nemunas River |
RiverWorld, Travel

Nemo Girls [Nemo Mergikės]

We all travel our own road. Even when we travel with partners or groups, we each take different things from the experience. We enjoy quiet moments away from the group or playful moments with a friend. We notice different details - a stick that might entertain a dog, a feather that might adorn our hair,… Continue reading Nemo Girls [Nemo Mergikės]

Wasp spider (paprastasis vapsvavoris) in web | Wild Lithuania |
Wild Lithuania

Autumn comes too early

The weather has turned distinctly autumny over the past few weeks. We went from blazing heat every day for most of July to wind, rain, mist and chilly temperatures just as August began. While a bit of respite from the heat is welcome, I'm not ready for autumn just yet! Chestnut trees are always the… Continue reading Autumn comes too early

Flowering Rush by the Nemunas | Wild Lithuania |
RiverWorld, Wild Lithuania

Flowering Rushes

I am as drawn to wildflowers as I am to wild animals. I find them intoxicating, dizzying, especially when they grow together in great numbers. They are feisty and strong, pushing their colourful heads up in the wildest of places. They nod gently in the breeze or sway violently if the wind blows strong. Somehow,… Continue reading Flowering Rushes

Nemunas Beach |
RiverWorld, Travel

Big kids, little kids!

There’s something about sand that brings out the child in all of us. The moment your toes hit the warm sand, you are transformed – you are free! Free to kick and dig and run and dive. Free to bury your friends, or yourself. You are a kid again! Lithuania may have a short coastline,… Continue reading Big kids, little kids!

June & Luna kayaking on the Nemunas |
RiverWorld, Travel

My article in today’s Irish Times

‘Already, I feel different, calmer, freer.’The Irishwoman who moved to Lithuania. June Molloy from Wexford is travelling the length of Lithuania’s longest river this summer. You can read the full article here. Details of our journey along the Nemunas can be found here. Like what you see? Then please subscribe for updates on my writing,… Continue reading My article in today’s Irish Times

Sunset on the Nemunas |
RiverWorld, Travel

Sunset Boulevard

The soul of an evening is in the sky. That’s where the drama unfolds, if there is to be drama. Or the serenity, if she’s in a tranquil mood. Clouds drift softly, or fold themselves gently around the setting sun. At other times they move quickly, or form thick blankets that create a tapestry of… Continue reading Sunset Boulevard

Old Friends on the Nemo |
RiverWorld, Travel

Old Friends

Thirty years ago this year, I walked into Dublin's catering college for the first time, nervous and excited. It was a goal I had worked towards for many years and I couldn't wait to see what the coming years would bring. New skills, adventure, self-discovery and, of course, friendship. I had a wonderful time at… Continue reading Old Friends

The Nemo on the Nemunas |
RiverWorld, Travel

Revive your spirit on the Nemunas

Life is difficult sometimes. We make choices and think we're on the right path, but then life throws us a curve ball that knocks us off our path. A failed relationship. An unfulfilling career. Illness or injury. Or a global pandemic that keeps us away from friends and family and prevents us from doing the… Continue reading Revive your spirit on the Nemunas

View of Nemunas from Hill |
RiverWorld, Travel

And We’re Off!

It's hard to describe the peace and tranquility of floating on water, on a beautiful raft, down a beautiful river. Watching the bank slowly moving past, the wildlife undisturbed by the silent boat. The gentle bubbles on the surface of the water where it rolls over stones. The blue sky above, occasional clouds offering respite… Continue reading And We’re Off!

RiverWorld, Travel

My Summer Plans – Sailing the Nemunas!

On this day eight years ago, I set sail from Rosslare in Wexford (Ireland) on a huge adventure - to travel through Europe in a small camper van, seeking out delicious food and wonderful scenery. That trip took me through England, France, Spain, Portugal, Switerland and Germany before arriving here in Lithuania. What was meant… Continue reading My Summer Plans – Sailing the Nemunas!

Song Thrush |
Wild Lithuania

Song Thrush

Hark, how blithe the throstle singsAnd he is no mean preacherCome forth into the light of thingsLet Nature be your teacherWilliam WOrdsworth I spend many hours in the forest and have been fascinated for some time by the song of a mysterious bird I could never see. It was reminiscent of a child's toy -… Continue reading Song Thrush

Wood Violet (Kvapioji našlaitė) |
Wild Lithuania


Spring came late in Lithuania this year. Winter didn't start in earnest until January, but it found its feet quickly and dug in hard. Snow fell on top of snow and temperatures held at about -19 C (-2 F) until the end of February. It was beautiful to behold, even if it cost a small… Continue reading Wildflowers

30-Day Music Challenge |

30-Day Music Challenge

Music has always played a big part in my life, from singing songs in the car on long journeys to busking on Grafton Street and on to playing in various pubs and clubs around Dublin. I remember the first album I ever owned (a vinyl album of Walt Disney classics), buying my first single (Frankie,… Continue reading 30-Day Music Challenge

Homemade Nutella |
Food & Drink

Homemade Nutella

In my ongoing quest to live a healthier lifestyle, I try to avoid overly-processed and high-sugar foods. Luckily for me, I don't have much of a sweet tooth, but I do love hazelnut spread. I was shocked to discover that the "branded" spreads contain only 13% hazelnuts and a whopping 56% sugar. This homemade version… Continue reading Homemade Nutella

Roe Deer in Mist |
Musings, Wild Lithuania

Living in the Moment

I envy animals sometimes. They live life in the moment. If they feel like eating, they eat. If they feel like sleeping, they sleep. And while they're alert for danger and will bolt if they feel the need, they return to their relaxed state very quickly. No need to dwell on that last danger. No… Continue reading Living in the Moment

Roe Deer Herd |
Wild Lithuania

Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen…

"You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen...🎼" "Not again, Robert - WE'RE NOT REINDEER!" Like what you see? Then please subscribe for updates on my writing, photography & daily life. You can also follow on Facebook and Twitter. You can view more of my wildlife photos here and here.

Pale Morning Sun |
Wild Lithuania

Pale Morning Sun

I find snow very soothing. It dulls sounds, softens light, quietens the mind. Having a dog is great for getting you out of the house and into the fresh air, even when the temperatures have fallen well below zero. I walk about 4 km each morning, and even though I regularly take the same route,… Continue reading Pale Morning Sun

Ask the Author |
Books, Guardian of Giria

Ask the Author – Millie’s Questions

One of the greatest joys of writing books for kids (or for any audience, to be honest) is getting positive feedback from readers. It takes a long time to write a book, and even longer to get it published, so hearing that people have read and enjoyed your work is extremely gratifying. A friend wrote… Continue reading Ask the Author – Millie’s Questions

Palanga, Baltic Sea, Lithuania |
Wild Lithuania

Stuck in Colder Weather

I know lots of people are feeling "stuck" right now, with all the travel restrictions that are in place. I managed to make it to the seaside a few days ago. It was the first time I'd ever seen snow on sand and slushy ice at the water's edge. Between the sky, the sea and… Continue reading Stuck in Colder Weather

Guardian of Giria, by June Molloy |
Books, Guardian of Giria

Keeping Kids Entertained During Social Distancing

It seems that the whole world is now on lock-down, with the term "social distancing" now a part of our daily vernacular. While social distancing will hopefully help to stem the spread of coronavirus, self-isolating in this manner is not without its challenges. This is particularly true if you have kids who are now home… Continue reading Keeping Kids Entertained During Social Distancing

Cherry Tree |

So long, and thanks for all the fruit

It was a swift ending to a long and fruitful life. One minute, she stood strong, leaves shivering in the gentle breeze, the next minute she was gone. Broken. Lifeless. All in about 15 seconds. When I stepped outside on Thursday afternoon, I was pleased to feel a breeze on my face. The weather had… Continue reading So long, and thanks for all the fruit

Mallard duck female with ducklings |
Wild Lithuania

Mallard with Ducklings

I've been watching the ducks down at our local pond since the start of April, following their journey. I think there are four drakes and three ducks. I certainly saw plenty of mating action in April and was really looking forward to seeing the ducklings emerge. I had spotted a few broken eggs on the… Continue reading Mallard with Ducklings

Homemade Nettle Tea |
Food & Drink

Homemade Nettle Tea

Making the most of nature's bounty is a huge part of my philosophy. I try to make use of anything that is available to me, whether it's fruit and vegetables I grow myself, that given to me by friends and neighbours or wild food I find out in the fields and forests. So when I… Continue reading Homemade Nettle Tea

Red Deer Hind |
Wild Lithuania

Red Deer Hind with Calf

I've waited so long to take these pictures. I know they're not perfect, but when one of your favourite animals strolls out from the trees a few metres away, you take whatever photos you can get, regardless of the strong shadows. Red deer feature prominently in my middle-grade novel, Guardian of Giria, and I have… Continue reading Red Deer Hind with Calf

Male Chaffinch |
Wild Lithuania

Male Chaffinch

A gorgeous male chaffinch. It's a pity there is a branch partially blocking him, but there is still some lovely colour and feather detail. Beautiful birds. Like what you see? Then please subscribe for updates on my writing, photography & daily life. You can also follow on Facebook and Twitter. You can view more of… Continue reading Male Chaffinch

Bean Goose Migration, Lithuania |
Wild Lithuania

Bean Goose Migration

There are days when I go out to take photos and seeing nothing of interest. Perhaps a few roe deer that run off as I approach or a fox skulking by a distant hedgerow. I regularly see birds, but most are small and skittish and have moved on before I can lift my camera. Once… Continue reading Bean Goose Migration

School & Library Visits |
Books, Guardian of Giria

School & Library Visits: Now Reopening

Now that spring is here and the snow has finally melted, I am reopening my school & library visits. If you would like me to visit your school or library (here in Lithuania), please contact me and we can arrange a date. The presentation typically lasts for about one hour, but we can adjust this… Continue reading School & Library Visits: Now Reopening

Grey Wolf |
Books, Guardian of Giria

Why the Wolves are not the Bad Guys

One question that has come up a number of times when chatting with readers about Guardian of Giria is why I made wolves the “bad guys”. And my answer is this – the wolves are not the “bad guys,” they are the antagonists. And those are not the same thing. Let me explain. (Please note… Continue reading Why the Wolves are not the Bad Guys

English Grammar: Definite & Indefinite Articles |
Learning English

Possessive Pronouns (“Your” v “Yours”)

A mistake I frequently see made by learners of English is use of the wrong possessive pronoun. For example, someone might say “it is yours coat” instead of “it is your coat”. Overview A pronoun is a small word which takes the place of a noun (or number of nouns) in a sentence, such as… Continue reading Possessive Pronouns (“Your” v “Yours”)

English Grammar: Definite & Indefinite Articles |
Learning English

Definite & Indefinite Articles (“the” & “a/an”)

One of the most common mistakes I see being made by non-native speakers of English is incorrect use of definite and indefinite articles – “a/an” and “the”. This mistake is particularly common in countries where the native language does not have a similar grammar rule, such as here in Lithuania. Even those who speak English… Continue reading Definite & Indefinite Articles (“the” & “a/an”)

5 Steps to Publishing a Book |

Step 5: Market & Promote Your Book

Regardless of whether you are traditionally or self-published, you will need to be heavily involved in marketing your book. This means having a visible presence on a variety of social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, as well as attending a wide variety of events, either as a speaker or to mingle with… Continue reading Step 5: Market & Promote Your Book

5 Steps to Publishing a Book |

Step 4b: Self-Publish Your Book

Self-publishing is a huge area and whole books have been written on the topic. I have tried to condense what I’ve learned into a few short(ish) sections, but if you plan to self-publish you will need to explore each of these sections in much more detail. Editing Before you publish your book, you must ensure… Continue reading Step 4b: Self-Publish Your Book

5 Steps to Publishing a Book |

Step 4a: Find an Agent and/or Publisher to Publish Your Book

If you would like to be traditionally published then you need to find a publisher who is interested in publishing your book. Some publishers will allow you to submit your manuscript directly to them. However, most big publishers will only accept submissions via an agent. Your first step is to research which publishers publish your… Continue reading Step 4a: Find an Agent and/or Publisher to Publish Your Book

5 Steps to Publishing a Book |

Step 3: Pick a Publishing Route

Now that you have a well-written and clean manuscript, you need to decide which publishing route you would like to take. There are two main routes – either publish through a traditional publisher (the traditional route) or publish the book yourself (the self-publishing route). There are advantages and disadvantages to each. In a nutshell, with… Continue reading Step 3: Pick a Publishing Route

5 Steps to Publishing a Book |

Step 2: Make it Better

Yes, I know – you’ve written the perfect book. There’s nothing that could possibly be done to make it better. Except there is! I have no doubt that your book has the potential to be a bestseller or Man Booker prizewinner, but at the moment it is an unpolished gem. It needs lots of further… Continue reading Step 2: Make it Better

5 Steps to Publishing a Book |

Step 1: Write a Book

If you want to publish a book, the very first thing you need to do is write a book. You simply cannot publish a book that isn’t written. While it’s good to have an overview of the process of publishing before setting out on your own publishing journey, there is little point in reading multiple… Continue reading Step 1: Write a Book

5 Steps to Publishing a Book |

5 Steps to Publishing a Book

Since I published My Food Odyssey - Lithuanian Food: Nine of my favourite traditional Lithuanian recipes early last year, and perhaps more so since I released Guardian of Giria earlier this year, I am often asked how to go about getting a book published. It’s a question that is not easy to answer in a… Continue reading 5 Steps to Publishing a Book

Wild Boar Nighttime Feeding, Lithuania |
Wild Lithuania

Wild Boar Feeding Project, Tauragė (Lithuania)

Oh, the joy! Oh, the sweet, sweet joy! Finally, after years of searching and waiting, I got to see a wild boar in the flesh. But not just one boar – a whole sounder (group) of sows and piglets! And the experience was everything I hoped it would be! Norėdami skaityti šį straipsnį lietuvių kalba,… Continue reading Wild Boar Feeding Project, Tauragė (Lithuania)

Vaga Bookshop, Taurage |
Books, Guardian of Giria

Vaga Bookshop, Tauragė

I'm delighted to announce that "Guardian of Giria" is now available from Vaga bookshop in Tauragė! Su dideliu džiaugsmu pranešu kad nuo šiandien, "Guardian of Giria" galite įsigyti knygyne "Vaga" Bažnyčių gatvė 6. Tauragėje. Like what you see? Then please subscribe for updates on my writing, photography & daily life. You can also follow on… Continue reading Vaga Bookshop, Tauragė