Five on Friday with Jill Doyle of Jill’s Book Cafe @JillsBookCafe



A bit of a departure this week – you get to hear from me. As we’re rapidly approaching Christmas I decided to give my authors a break and not let them have to worry about sharing posts and responding to notifications. Plus, having inflicted these questions on others it seemed only fair that I put myself through the process too. The one thing I agreed quite quickly on, is that the music choices are the hardest – especially when you’re of a more advanced age as there’s even more musical memories. Anyway here goes.


Which 5 pieces of music/songs would you include in the soundtrack to your life and why?

Scarlet Ribbons by Harry Belafonte – I’d never actually heard Harry Belafonte sing this until I searched it via YouTube several years ago. Before that, the only person I’d heard sing it was my mum. She would sing me to sleep with this when I was little. Spookily having decided on Wednesday evening on my music choices I heard it on the Radio on Thursday morning. We listen to RTE Radio 1 between 12 – 1pm on weekdays and this was played – what were the chances? I will admit I had a little weep.

Young Girl by Gary Puckett and the Union Gap –  I loved this record from the first time I heard it being played on Top of the Pops (though as a 10-year-old had no clue what the lyrics were about). Even now when I hear those opening bars I’m taken straight back to Hull in 1968. Saturday morning junior disco at the Locarno ballroom, cowbells, and skinny rib jumpers. I should say if any pop quiz features music from 1968 I’m your woman.

Dancing Queen by Abba – What can I say, the ultimate pop song that’s still guaranteed to get me on the dance floor. In 1976 I was that Dancing Queen, albeit aged 18 and not 17. The Locarno ballroom had been re-named Tiffany’s and I was there strutting my stuff with my bestie Jill.

Vienna by Ultravox – Not only did it also feature Midge Ure, who I’d been a little bit in love with since his Slik days (something I’m sure he’d like to forget) it also takes me back to my student days. I went to University as a mature student, having decided that life as an articled accounts clerk was not really me. At the time record was out I’d also just started going out with Vince, who, incidentally, hates this song as much as I love it. Despite this I still married him!

Despacito by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee –  I love this song and the genre of music it represents. There is something about Latin music that just makes you want to dance and sing along. I often have it on repeat when I’m in on my own as I sing my way through cooking tea. I also tell myself it helps with my Spanish, though I suspect not.

Highlight five things (apart from family and friends) you would find it hard to live without

Tea – I’ve nearly always got a cup on the go. Just as well given that I’m called Mrs Doyle. One of the hardest things about my chemotherapy treatment was my inability to drink tea, It just tasted awful. The first time I was able to drink a cup of tea again felt amazing.

Books – I don’t think I need to say more.

Music – I love all sorts of music so there’s always something to suit my mood. That said, the more upbeat the better would be my normal choice.

Chocolate – Another one that’s self-explanatory.

Jewellery – more specifically earrings. I’ve got over 300 pairs.

Can you offer the five pieces of advice you’d give to your younger self?

Don’t change to please others – just be yourself.

Be nicer to your mum and dad – they’re really not the enemy. You won’t believe it now, but they were young once. When you get older you’ll see their advice was not borne out of the desire to thwart your wishes.

Choose your boyfriends more wisely.

Don’t read those horror books that result in your being scared stiff in the dark.

When you’re crossing the road and hear that car beeping it’s horn DO NOT turn around. The corner of that concrete lamp post is far harder than your head and you’ll look a bugger in the Sunday School outing photographs.

Tell us five things that most people don’t know about you

I’ve kissed Michael Flatley

I’ve cycled from Fatehpur Sikri to Pushkar across the Rajasthan desert.

I used to play in a brass band.

I qualified as an aromatherapist, masseuse and reflexologist while considering a career change that never happened.

I have an MA in Local History.

What are the first five things you’d have on your bucket list?

Bizarrely, as I set this question, I don’t actually have a bucket list. I have a fear that dreaming about things I’d like to do, would be depressing if I never got the chance to do them. To a degree my theory was put to the test when I was diagnosed with breast cancer last year. Before knowing what the outcome would be, I did feel that if the worst was to happen I’d had a good life. I’ve visited amazing places, taken my chances and opportunities and would have no regrets about things I hadn’t done. I know that makes me sound very smug, but I don’t mean it to.

That said, there are of course things it would be great to do.

I’d like to see the Northern Lights.

I’d like to really get to grips with Spanish.

I’d like to visit the Tower of London (despite numerous visits to London I’ve never done it).

I’d like to spend some time at Loch Ness as I’ve always hoped that Nessie really does exist.

I’d like to make inroads into my enormous book mountain (upwards of 3500 titles).


You’ll all be pleased to know that the normal Five on Friday service will be resumed in the New Year. Many thanks for joining me on Fridays to read this feature, I hope you’ve enjoyed them as much as I have.

So until then, I hope you all have the Christmas you desire and here’s to a Happy, Healthy and Peaceful New Year.



  1. Lovely to hear your choices today Jill. Young Girl, Dancing Queen and Vienna (I always think of Mr Rigby’s cat!) are all ones that I remember only too well! Merry Christmas to you and every good wish for 2019 x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jill you are such a good writer, have you ever thought of writing short stories or even a novel? Your voice is so distinctive, witty and conversational. And I’m not just saying that because I got a shout out! Those Saturday nights in Tiffs are etched in my memory- my g&ts, your port and lemons (no ice, they didn’t rise to that sort of sophistication), hiding in the toilets to avoid unsavoury men – ah youth! And Young Girl will always remind me of you… Sorry for being soppy but it is Christmas 🎄 xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s kind of you to say so but no I haven’t, you’re the literary one! Though our history essays were probably masterpieces 😂 I will always have fond memories of our youthful escapades, though best not to reveal too much! You’ve been a brilliant friend and I’m so pleased you’re still in my life – now pass the tissues. Have the best Christmas you can and hopefully we can catch up in the new year xx


  3. What a brilliant post! I thoroughly enjoyed this, even though I’ll now have Young Girl stuck in my head all day. (Not a bad thing and at least it beats Baby Shark, so thanks! 😉)

    Wishing you and the OH a wonderful Christmas and sending you all the best wishes for the new year! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lovely to read your 5 of Friday Jill – I too was a huge fan of Young Girl and played it constantly! My dad (a history teacher) borrowed it for the grand opening of the common room in the boy’s school he taught in, where the boys had been allowed to paint the room how they wanted. True to the age, they did a massive mural of Che Guevara – I was so proud that my record was used for the occasion!
    Have a wonderful Christmas and I look forward to reading more of your blog in 2019 which I hope will be a happy and healthy year for you and Vince. Janet xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Janet, that’s a great memory to have – I think I should have tagged Mr Puckett in this thread as Young Girl is proving evocative. All the best for Christmas and the coming year. I shall aim to keep you entertained in 2019 xx

      Liked by 1 person

  5. A lovely post and it was great to learn a bit more about you, Jill. Your music choices echo many of my music memories – especially Young Girl! Wishing you a happy Christmas and all the very best for 2019.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Omg Jill I love this so much. Poor you and the lamp post, though I admit I laughed, I remember walking into one of those big black Victorian style ones when I was a child. It brought back memories. Great music choice and bucket list… In fact a great post full stop. Have an amazing Christmas and New Year filled with tea and sherry that taste as they should now 😉😁😘😘

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Yvonne, I still have the photographs and my eye was a mess and I still have a dint in my eyebrow! Still it makes a good story. At the moment no Christmas food shopping done, but I have tea and sherry so I’ll survive. Have a great Christmas and all the best for the coming year xx


  7. A lovely post, Jill – and I’m most impressed by the cycling – envious, too! And totally with you on the mum and dad thing; something we don’t understand until we are older. I think I put something similar in mine. Hope you have a lovely Christmas, and that your health stays on the up xx

    Liked by 1 person

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