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Greetings for the spring season / autumn, depending on your hemisphere.
Life is just beginning to open up again here in Ireland. Mass vaccination programmes are running with great efficiency. People want to socialise outdoors; businesses are moving to adapt areas for outdoor dining, while my family is actually able to plan a picnic at a place of interest more than 5k from our home. Now we just need the weather to improve. Recent sunny days turned to thunderstorms yesterday.  
I’ve just completed my college degree course and handed in my thesis. This means I should have more time to write, so while I’ve been clearing up my physical and virtual desks, I’ve started thinking about what book to embark on next. Since I write in a few genres, the options are pretty open. Help me decide by e-mailing me about what you’d like to read. Don’t worry, this does not commit anyone to ordering a book.
My thesis project is a multimedia website. Author and environmentalist Ryan Mizzen kindly responded to my Goodreads mail and provided an interview on the offshore windfarm industry, and I surprised everyone, myself included, by making this into a short film, then a podcast version. Ryan gave permission for the film to be released on YouTube so watch it here:

The NGO Brooke, which helps horses, donkey and mules and their owners in developing nations, also provided me with great assistance through footage and photos, and an interview with Megan Sheraton, their Media Officer. Aside from this, I visited a Virtual Reality planning consultation, covered a United Nations conference and an African conference, investigated Dublin’s rubbish, looked at coal mines and brick kilns in South Asia, photographed wonderful dogs, created infographics, and read science papers about how relaxing outdoors is beneficial for us during the pandemic.
The website topics are:
  • The Dublin Array proposed windfarm;
  • Sea of Solutions the UNEP Conference;
  • Working horses and donkeys in developing nations;
  • And finally, a look at people relaxing in the park.
I also had to write a reflective essay, which might give future generations a good laugh. I started by quoting a Tom Stoppard play, Travesties, in which James Joyce is fictionally asked, “What did you do in the Great War?”
Joyce replies, “I wrote Ulysses. What did you do?”
The worst effects of lockdown – boredom, confinement, illness – have chiefly not affected me, due to being in college. Yes, this had its difficulties, chiefly technological ones. But we made it through the year. I could have written a thesis. I found that of the previous students on my course, nobody else had created a website. The most popular choice was the thesis; I expect this was because the writing was easiest to fit in around final-year’s learning and assignments. Next choice was a series of five written articles, and third most popular was a podcast. One final-year class collaborated on a class magazine, which won an award. 
Speaking of awards, our Green Campus, in which I participate as Vice President of the Sustainability Society, instigator and editor of our blog Sustainable College, has been shortlisted for Best Green Campus in the national Education Awards. I am hoping the good work can continue to an even greater extent now we have built up momentum.
During the DBS Student Awards ceremony, hosted online, my cat won Zoom Pet of the Year Award. Here she is on YouTube making a Zoom call.
I was honoured to be nominated in several categories, either as a Peer Mentor or Volunteer, or for being part of a committee running events and producing blogs. Sustainability Society won Most Improved Society of The Year, and I was awarded the title of Volunteer of The Year. This may be due to my blog editing for the Journalism Soc and Sustainability Soc, in which I gave many students their first published article to put on their CV; but it could also be because I kept showing up on Zoom calls and bringing my cat. Students like cats in meetings.

Free Books

That’s not all – excitingly, my work has been shortlisted in the Feature Writer – News and Current Affairs section of Ireland’s Student Media Awards. Not all section shortlists have been announced yet.
Each month I blog on my Goodreads page and announce there if I make a book free to download. You can also read all my books from Kindle Unlimited, and some of them come in paperback as well as Kindle.
My own author website has been adapted to use Flex by my talented husband Allan, so every page should suit itself to your phone, tablet or computer. Try it out and let us know how you get on!
Enjoy your summer, socialise safely, and good wishes to any fellow students.

My Web Address
Visit my website:
for news, puzzles, books, reviews and events. I blog here about disability access including my Top Ten places to visit. You can find my podcasts about Octocon on the News and Events page. I am also adding book covers to Pinterest boards after I review the books, so feel free to find me on Pinterest.
All photos © Clare O'Beara
Copyright © 2021 Clare O' Beara, All rights reserved.
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