As a writer, my greatest nemesis is time. With three young children, and a part time editorial job to plug the gaps that my book income cannot reach, I am forced to write in brief intervals—in the predawn hours, late at night when the kids are in bed, or on weekends when it is hard to tear myself away from the hum and bustle of my family home. Imagine then, my astonishment and delight when I learned, in February 2017 that I had won the lottery—a literary lottery—in the form of the Spring 2017 Monaco Writer-in-Residence Bursary at the Princess Grace Irish Library (PGIL). This gift—so generously funded by The Ireland Funds—would provide four glorious weeks to finish a book project with a fast approaching deadline: a collaboration with former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson, on ‘climate justice’, her signature issue. Any wistfulness about leaving my four hearts behind in Washington, was eased, upon arrival in Monaco, at the first peek in- side my elegant office at the PGIL, an exquisitely restored former home atop the rock overlooking Monaco, and just a stone’s throw from the Grimaldi palace. For seven-hours a day—with the windows thrown open onto the lively Rue Princesse Marie-de-Lorraine below—I sat at a wooden desk and wrote, and wrote. On the wall opposite me hung a painting by Jack B Yeats; to the right was the antique wall telephone that his brother, William, used frequently to call Ireland from a sea- side villa nearby. All around me sat hundreds of first edition volumes penned by the giants of Irish literature. Each morning, I felt a shiver of excitement as I opened the door to this enchanting haven. My gratitude to those who had made this miracle happen knew no bounds. As each work day wound down, I would begin to anticipate my stroll back across the tiny principality to my studio apartment in Beausoleil. My route varied almost every evening, but some delightful new rituals stuck: a glass of rose at an outdoor café in the Place du Palais, and a stop at the tiny Eglise St. Devote to listen to the organist play. These twilight pleasures were matched equally by my early morning routine: a dawn dip in the bracing Spring waters of the Mediterranean, followed by a latte and pain au chocolat at my favorite café. Every day was punctuated by a multitude of kindnesses. I remain indebted to both Judith Gantley and Geraldine Lance of the PGIL, who showered me with guidance, support and cheerful friendship. So too did Sile Jackson of The Ireland Funds, and PGIL trustee,FrancisO’Hara.Anemotionaltalkmid-monthtoPGILmembers about my memoir, An Affair with my Mother, yielded yet more new friends. One member, a fellow Irish adoptee who had read my book, made an unexpected mid-afternoon dash from London to make it to Monaco in time for my talk. The gesture left me speechless. I returned to Washington with four new chapters under my belt —far exceeding the wordage I had expected to achieve—and with so much more besides: newfound confidence in my writing, inspiration for future books, and a contact list brimming over with new friends. I will be eternally grateful to The Ireland Funds for this once-in-a-lifetime gift. A Month in Monaco By Caitríona Palmer About the Author Caitríona Palmer is the author of the bestselling memoir, An Affair with my Mother: A Story of Adoption, Secrecy and Love (Penguin Random House 2016). Her latest book, a collaboration with former Irish president Mary Robinson, will be published by Bloomsbury in September of 2018. A freelance journalist and writer, Caitríona is a former Iran Correspondent for The Irish Times, and Washington Correspondent for the Irish Independent. She has also reported from Iran and Iraq for RTE Radio, and the BBC. Born in Dublin, Caitríona is a graduate of University College Dublin, and a recipient of a Fulbright Irish Scholar Award which she spent at Boston College. Caitríona now lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband and three children. Awarded biannually, The Ireland Funds Monaco Residential Bursaries were established to enable writers born or living in Ireland to pursue a current project during a one-month residency at the Princess Grace Irish Library in Monaco. We are pleased to present this personal reflection written by author Caitríona Palmer on her experience in Monaco. connect 2018 • 105 MONACO AROUND THE WORLD